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Michaela Blott Women in leadership Masterclass

11 March 2019

On 4 March 2019, Dr Michaela Blott, Xilinx gave the first 2019 Women in Leadership Masterclass at the Royal Irish Academy with the support of Accenture.

Michaela is a Distinguished Engineer at Xilinx in Dublin, and she spoke about growing up in Germany and the rebellious spark that led her to engineering. She wanted independence and to make her own money, and when she was told at school that only boys can be engineers, it spurred her on to make engineering her career choice. Michaela still notes worryingly that there echoes of the ‘engineering is for boys’ and ‘small dreams for girls’ attitude lives on in the school system. This needs to be countered with more visible role models visiting the classrooms, showing that you can be a female engineer. This masterclass covered lots of areas including the transition to management, sexist comments/attitudes and effective tools for dealing with them; social conditioning and infrastructural support bias and how to achieve happy professional/family life.

About the Speaker

Michaela Blott is a Distinguished Engineer at Xilinx Research, where she is heading a team of international scientists, driving research into new application domains for FPGAs, such as machine learning, hyperscale deployments, and high-speed networking in the past. She graduated from the University of Kaiserslautern in Germany and brings over 25 years of experience in computer architecture, FPGA and board design, working in both research institutions (ETH and Bell Labs) as well as development organizations. She is strongly involved with the international research community as technical co-chair of FPL’2018, industry advisor on numerous H2020 projects, and serves on numerous technical program committees (DATE, FPGA, FPL, GLOBALSIP, Hipeac).


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