UCD has conferred an honorary degree on Sir Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive of the British Council. Ciarán, a native of Dublin, entered UCD in 1980 to study Engineering, choosing the discipline of Chemical Engineering after first year, before specialising in the newly emerging field of Biochemical Engineering after his second year. He graduated with a 1st Class Honours BE (Biochemical Engineering) in June of 1984.
Upon graduation Ciarán took up an engineering position with one of the UK’s largest companies, Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), rising to a management-level position over his eight-year period there. In 1992, he left ICI to practise as an engineering consultant, principally for Gemini Consulting.
Personal tragedy struck when his wife, Katy, died from cancer in 2003. For the last three years of Katy’s life, until she died in 2003, Ciarán dedicated himself to her full-time care, putting his career on hold. He accepted the role as Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support in 2007. The charity is one of the largest in the UK and provides healthcare information, support and financial assistance to millions of cancer sufferers across Britain.
“During his time in Macmillan (2007-2014), Ciarán transformed the effectiveness of the organisation, not just in terms of remarkable growth in income and extension and improvement of services to cancer sufferers, but by crucially doing the little things better,” read Professor Eoin Casey, UCD School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering, in his citation at the conferring ceremony.
In recognition “For services to Cancer Patients” Ciarán was awarded a Knighthood in 2015.