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Carrigaline College Student Recognised at the Regeneron College Awards 2024

Tara Maher

Anna Feenan from Carrigaline, was one of three UL students awarded for their exceptional research projects in the Science and Engineering field from Regeneron Ireland.

Industrial Biochemistry student Anna, alongside classmate Eva McMahon, from Ardnacrusha, Co Clare and Chemical and Biochemical Engineering student Kate Storan from Dooradoyle, Limerick were presented with their awards at a special ceremony which took place on Thursday, February 22, at Regeneron's Industrial Operations and Production Supply (IOPS) facility in Raheen, Limerick.

The awards aim to honour and celebrate exceptional research projects undertaken by select students pursuing degrees in Science and Engineering. The awards also provide a glimpse into the potential of a career in STEM within one of the world's leading innovative companies.

Students from University of Limerick were given the unique opportunity to compete for awards in Quality Control, Manufacturing, or Engineering, depending on their specific field of study. The students were tasked with the exciting challenge of developing a project based on a topic provided by Regeneron. They then had the chance to present their work to a group of business representatives, followed by an interactive Q&A session, allowing them to engage directly with Regeneron colleagues.Kate, Eva and Anna were selected as this year’s winners and have received a substantial bursary to aid their academic pursuits, a paid internship at Regeneron where they are currently on their Cooperative Education placement, and the guidance of a Regeneron employee mentor to help navigate the early stages of their careers. 

Michael Nolan, Executive Director Manufacturing at Regeneron, pictured with Anna Feenan from Carrigaline, and Christine Colleran, Director of Biotech Production at Regeneron.Pic Arthur Ellis

Anna began her studies in UL in 2021. She entered this course through the 'Biological and Chemical Sciences' entry route which is a common entry course. Science had always fascinated Anna but she wasn’t entirely sure which path to pursue, “spending my first year studying common entry science at UL allowed me to explore the fundamentals of four different science courses. I chose to study Industrial Biochemistry not only because it is interesting and engaging but it is also an excellent course for working in the pharmaceutical industry. I have since studied modules in biochemistry, microbial metabolism and technology, bioprocess technology, analytical chemistry and genetic engineering.”

Anna chose UL not only for academic purposes but also its sports facilities. Growing up, she swam competitively, competing at least once a month at different competitions all over Ireland. During secondary school, Anna swam on the Munster Swimming team for six years, “The Olympic sized swimming pool and the excellent range of sports facilities in UL drew me to the campus. I swam with 'National Centre Limerick' for my first two years of college which is a high-performance swimming team based out of UL Sports Arena.”

Anna applied for the UL Regeneron College Awards in August 2023 when she submitted a presentation answering the manufacturing question - 'What are ALCOA+ Principles and why are ALCOA+ principles important and critical to manufacturing biopharmaceuticals?'. Anna was then shortlisted for an interview to present her presentation to the manufacturing team in Regeneron, “I was very surprised when I was informed I had won the award but I was also excited to begin my placement in January 2024.”

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