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Spotlight Series: Eimear O’Carroll, CTO & Co-Founder, Lios

Eimear O'Carroll, CTO & Co-Founder, Lios

ARTICLE SUMMARY

We sat down with Eimear to discuss her journey into tech, what she hopes to achieve in the future and her advice for other women in tech.

EIMEAR O’CARROLL IS THE CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER (CTO) AND CO-FOUNDER OF LIOS.

Trained as a physicist at The University of Edinburgh, Eimear applies her knowledge and expertise to global noise challenges, creating elegant and practical solutions. She co-invented Lios’ innovative noise reduction technologies.

In her role as CTO, Eimear is the bridge between Lios’ customers and the product development team. Experienced in current industry requirements and upcoming regulatory and industrial changes, Eimear identifies commonalities in requirements from different industries and then examines how SoundBounce can solve those challenges, continually looking at what future R&D activities are required to evolve with changing industry needs. The business has grown through successful customer pilots, commercial and technical partnerships, greater investment, and an expanded team of passionate experts.

Well-versed in the latest industry trends and regulations, Eimear is always looking for new and innovative ways to address global noise challenges. Eimear has previously spoken on the topic of advanced materials and their role in creating a sustainable future. She has been invited to share her insights at global events such as the International Automotive Show (IAA) in Germany and was celebrated as part of the JEC Composites Magazine Leading Women in Composites series. Her passion for creating better advanced materials and her unwavering commitment to innovation makes her a valuable asset to the industry and a leader in her field.

HOW DID YOU LAND YOUR CURRENT ROLE? WAS IT PLANNED?

Rhona and I co-founded the business in 2009 so I’ve been involved since the beginning. At first I worked part-time while I studied physics at the University of Edinburgh. After graduating with my masters, I returned to Ireland to work full time as CTO.

DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY.

It’s a cliche but no two days are the same when bringing a new material to market. In a typical week I spend a lot of time working with our product development team, checking in on their latest progress with experiments and simulations. We discuss results and I decide the next steps for the team.

The other side of my job focuses on our customers who are mainly in automotive, aerospace, home appliances, and construction. I work with them to understand their acoustic and product needs, how our technology can help them make quieter products, and figure out how best to collaborate on developing these products. That spans everything from writing proposals, presenting our products or results, negotiating contracts, and visiting labs in different countries.

DOES YOUR JOB ALLOW YOU TO HAVE A LIFESTYLE YOU ARE HAPPY WITH?

My job has given me amazing opportunities to travel and work with interesting people from all over the world – both within our team and with our customers. Everyday I get to work on solving big problems and creating useful solutions. As a scientist, I find this really creative and stimulating. And on a personal level, helping people who have noise damaged hearing, and preventing it happening to more people, means a lot to me as it’s something I’ve experienced myself. 

I also have the great privilege of working with my best friend and co-founder, Rhona.

We’ve been friends since school and it’s a real joy to come to work everyday with a true friend by her side.

WHAT HAVE BEEN THE MOST REWARDING EVENTS IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?

The work we’ve done on raising awareness of tinnitus and noise damaged hearing, particularly the ways in which it can affect younger people, has been very rewarding. We founded World Tinnitus Day to get people talking about tinnitus and learning how it can be treated. Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is a chronic issue for many people and can affect their mental health as well as their hearing.

Following from this work, and our work in using material science to address noise pollution, I was recently featured as part of the JEC Women in Composites series. This major industry organisation has highlighted some of my role models in composites and material science so it was a real honour to be part of this group.

HOW WOULD YOU ENCOURAGE MORE WOMEN TO BECOME STARTUP FOUNDERS OR JOIN THE TECH SECTOR? WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER FEMALE FOUNDERS?

Role models and representation are important, and more needs to be done to highlight successful female founders and leaders.

Celebrate their achievements and share their stories to inspire other women.

Representation matters, so ensure that diverse voices are heard and visible in conferences, panels, and industry events.

One of the key ways to promote and support female founders and leaders is by celebrating their achievements. By shining a spotlight on successful women, we can provide visible examples of what is possible and challenge the prevailing stereotypes and biases that may hinder progress.

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