As an Ulster graduate (BA and PhD) we were delighted to welcome Karen back to give a keynote address to PhD researchers at our 2022 Festival of PhD Research. The inspirational story of her amazing journey, told with humility and humour was by far the best keynote I have ever heard. Her ability to relate her experience of crossing the Atlantic to the PhD journey struck a chord with the entire audience. Her message that with the correct mindset and focus you can overcome any challenge you encounter is one that has universal appeal. The feedback from her lecture was effusive and unanimously positive and we hope to welcome her back to Ulster again soon!
Karen … you are an endorphin machine, can I say that ?! Your audiences could surf out of the room on top of that high! Any engagement with Karen blows the cobwebs well away and leaves audiences energised. Her lively presence and intellectual curiosity set the scene. Her vision and adventurous undertakings are inspiring. As a speaker, her ability to step outside herself and use personal psychological insights to illuminate her descriptions of her travels is unique and thought provoking. A brilliant evening all round.
Ryan Tubridy Karen was the most engaging and amusing guest…a wonderful person….
The organisation committee of the 33rd Irish Signals and Systems Conference hosted in Munster Technological University (MTU) in June 2022, invited Dr Karen Weekes, to deliver the opening keynote speech to a mainly technical audience of researchers working in electronic engineering and computer science. We asked Karen to deliver the opening keynote speech as her story of leadership, bravery and determination transcends disciplinary boundaries. Her experience of rowing solo across the Atlantic Ocean inspired many PhD students who attended the conference to “just keep rowing” on their own personal journeys of science and discovery towards the end goal of their PhDs. Karen is the perfect antidote to procrastination, inspiring people to take risks, follow their dreams and build their own personal resilience. Karen’s humble and modest nature are key aspects of her personality and makes her achievements even more remarkable and relatable to audiences of all types.
Karen Weekes is the real deal. She combines outstanding personal achievement with extraordinary humility; hard-nosed scientific data with the warmest of personalities; and most of all, a positive, inspiring and charismatic approach to business and life. Smácht audiences love her for her proven success undertaking extreme assignments; her amiable and affable personality; and her multi-media presentations which combine excellent presentation skills with cutting-edge video technology of her trans-Atlantic voyage
I have known Karen since she undertook her MSc with me many, many years ago… I can honestly say I find her motivation, enthusiasm and pragmatic approach to dealing with very challenging situations inspiring. She is a wonderful communicator, really understands human behaviour from a scientific and personal perspective, and is a real pioneer in pushing the boundaries for personal challenge and for girls and women in sport.