IFIP President Mike Hinchey is now also head of the Irish Computer Society (ICS) after its election earlier this month.

Professor Hinchey, who previously served as ICS Vice President and Treasurer, was elected for a one year term with the potential to renew for up to three years. His elevation comes just two months after his re-election as IFIP President for a second three year term at the IFIP General Assembly, held in conjunction with the World Computer Congress at Poznan in September.

Hinchey believes his dual roles will enable him to more effectively represent the needs of ICT professionals across Ireland and internationally.  

“My role and mission at ICS and IFIP are very similar – I want to help represent Irish IIT professionals at every level and to get the respect that ICT professionals deserve, which is way overdue in both a national and international sense,” he said.

With technology now driving outcomes and enabling processes across all sectors of business and public service, the role of ICT professionals in developing, maintaining and supporting ICT systems is critical.

“No sector of the economy can thrive without a strong and professional ICT workforce. We want our highly-skilled tech workforce, over 10,000 of whom are ICS members, to be valued as an unparalleled national resource.”

Hinchey credits Ireland’s technology sector with saving its economy and said ICT is the reason why Ireland is one of the best performing nations in the EU today.

“We’ve reached a point where further growth is being constrained by funding, capacity and capability issues. We at ICS – and IFIP – want a future where our ICT profession is strong, flexible and respected. Our goal is to create a professional ecosystem that attracts, nurtures, retains and creates talent,” he explained, pointing to ICS’s success in encouraging thousands of members to log their CPD activities and plan career paths through the society.

“Ireland leads the way in this area. The EU is fully supportive of what ICS is doing in terms of professionalising the ICT workforce.

“The reality is that ICT often moves too quickly for us to legislate for all the impacts of the technology we develop. We can either continue to develop systems and assume that everyone has the technical skills and ethics to deliver safe systems or we can choose a new path and hold professionals accountable for their work.”

Hinchey is called for an overarching governance standard to provide a benchmark for the ICT solutions and services that increasingly underpin our world, raising professional standards and reducing risks for consumers.

The Professor of Software Engineering at the University of Limerick and the former Director of Lero – The Irish Software Research Centre, Hinchey was previously Director of the Software Engineering Laboratory at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland.

He continues to consult to NASA, building on his work in software research incorporating Formal Methods, Autonomous Systems and Software Reliability. His research has been implemented in various space projects and will be incorporated in future missions.