DIT honours ‘outstanding leader in international
business and innovation’

Ray O Connor, President of Topcon Positioning Systems, conferred with Honorary Doctorate

Dublin, 10 November 2012: Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) has conferred the award of Honorary Doctorate on Irishman Ray O’Connor, President and CEO of Topcon Positioning Systems, a global leader in precision measurement instruments. The Award was conferred in recognition of O’Connor’s outstanding achievements in international business and innovation.

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Originally from Naas, Co. Kildare and now based in California, Mr. O’Connor flew in for the ceremony, accompanied by his wife Nancy. He was also joined by several family members who are living in Ireland and in the UK.

In his speech to the Assembly, the President of DIT, Professor Norton welcomed Ray O’Connor back to DIT, where he had completed his studies in construction in the early 1980’s. He said “Your positive, forward-looking approach to developing new businesses, and your ability to work across geographical and cultural borders, provide a real example to us as educators and to our graduates as young professionals. It has been our pleasure to welcome you back to DIT!”

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O’Connor travelled to the USA when he finished his studies. He worked for a number of different companies before joining a division of the Tokyo-based Topcon Corporation in 1993. Reading the citation, Dr. Mike Murphy, Dean of the DIT College of Engineering and Built Environment, said that amongst his other accolades, Mr. O’Connor was also the first person who was not Japanese or of Japanese descent to receive the prestigious Toshiba Business Performance Award, “for his superior leadership and performance.”

Outlining O'Connor's career path, Dr. Murphy told the audience that O’Connor had joined a team of just forty people, and now leads a company employing 800 staff worldwide. “There is no doubt that Ray O’Connor has enjoyed great success in his career, and we honour him for that. We also honour him for the attributes that have helped him to achieve that success – in particular, his outstanding leadership and team-building qualities and the unlimited vein of curiosity that drives him to continue to learn.”

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In addition to his role as President and CEO of Topcon Positioning Systems, this year Ray O’Connor was appointed Senior Managing Executive Officer of the parent company, Topcon Corporation. He is also Director of the company’s growing European businesses.

The award of Honorary Doctorate in DIT is conferred on a small number of individuals who have made an exceptional contribution in their field. The Award is conferred at the annual DIT graduation ceremony and recipients are introduced as standard bearers for DIT graduates starting out on their careers.

Mr. O’Connor was conferred in the company of DIT graduates of Engineering and Built Environment, accompanied by their families. Several hundred graduates of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Building Services received their parchments from Professor Brian Norton, in the impressive surroundings of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. During the ceremony, two current students of music performance in the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama – vocalist Shauna Buckingham and harpist Fiona Gryson – performed Puccini’s O mio babbino caro to thunderous applause.

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Shauna Buckingham, vocalist and Fiona Gryson, harpist- both BMus student in the Conservatory of Music and Drama – who have performed at some of the graduation ceremonies this year.

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