Graduates of the School of Electronic Engineering last week received international recognition when they featured as part of the Sister Cities International Inaugural Gala, held to celebrate the swearing in of the United States’ 46th President, Joseph R Biden Jnr.

This virtual celebration, held on January 17th as the opening event in a series of Inauguration Week Festivities, placed Ireland and its scholars to the forefront, and in so doing highlighted what Ambassador of Ireland to the United States, Daniel Mulhall, referred to as President Biden’s ‘proud’ Irish Americanism.

Exploring this theme of interdependency, Ambassador Mulhall goes on to enumerate the many vital strands of symbiosis between our nations (political, economic and cultural) before identifying the twinning of San-José and Dublin, and the concomitant Sister City Scholarship Scheme, as an important ingredient symbolising the benefits of citizen or ‘person to person’ diplomacy.

The Ambassador stressed, also, the shared economic trajectory of both cities and nations, noting that there are now in excess of 750 US companies with investments in Ireland, with many of these operations focused on the ICT, digital economy and medical devices sectors.  As Dublin continues to cement its global reputation as a hub of technology and innovation, the twinning of the Irish capital with ‘the heart of Silicon Valley’ thus serves as an articulation of the economic affinity between the two cities, while also presenting unparalleled opportunities for those participating in the Sister City Scholarship Scheme.

Introduced by Ambassador Mulhall, four graduates of the School’s Masters in Electronic and Computer Engineering programme, Louis Free, Aoife Grady, Niall Lyons and Aidan Smyth, offered first hand testimonials detailing the multifaceted benefits they had reaped as recipients of the San-José – Dublin Sister City Scholarship Scheme (also referred to as the Pat McMahon scholarship) while echoing the Ambassador’s sentiments regarding the broader importance of such ‘people to people’ linkages to maintaining the unique ties binding Ireland and the United States.  The San-José scholars touch on various aspects of personal and professional growth garnered through the scheme, such as providing the opportunity to work in some of Silicon Valley’s founding companies.  Other participants reflect upon how the scholarship allowed them to build and maintain international collaborations and friendships, thereby changing perspectives on professional potential and personal relationships.

More information on the San-José – Dublin Sister City Scholarship Scheme can be accessed here and you can watch the Ambassador’s speech, as well as the San-José scholars testimonials, from 32.00 minutes here

The School of Electronic Engineering congratulates President Biden and Vice President Harris on their inauguration and looks forward to a strengthening of the bond between Dublin and San-José as the scholarship scheme continues to offer graduates life changing opportunities.