Thursday, 30 June 2016

CÚRAM Researchers to Host Three Key Symposia at Prominent Conference in Sweden

CÚRAM researchers involved in the coordination of three major EU funded projects; ‘AngioMatTrain’, ‘Tendon Therapy Train’ and ‘Neurograft’, are hosting three symposia at the prestigious TERMIS-EU 2016 conference in Uppsala, Sweden this week. Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director at CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices, based at NUI Galway, will also present a keynote talk. The Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) is one of the most prominent organisations in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine globally and attracts interest from the highest levels of the scientific community in biomedical research. The projects featured at the conference are coordinated by CÚRAM and funded by the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme and the Horizon 2020 programme. CÚRAM investigators are currently coordinating eight large scale research consortia funded by the EU FP7 and Horizon 2020 programmes. Another CÚRAM researcher, Dilip Thomas, is Chair-Elect for the EU Student and Young Investigator section (SYIS) of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS). SYIS provides a platform for the next generation of scientists and engineers in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine to interact. SYIS aims to further the professional and scientific development of its members. Professor Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM, stated: “Our strong presence at TERMIS-EU 2016 is an indication of the relevance of CÚRAM’s research within Europe. We will continue to initiate collaborative research, with partners from outside of Ireland and look towards funding opportunities within Horizon 2020.” AngioMatTrain focuses on understanding ischemic diseases, from basics to translation, and is supported by eight full partners (five universities, one hospital and two SMEs). The AngioMatTrain symposium at TERMIS; “Biomaterial-Based Treatments for Ischemic Diseases” is being chaired by Professor Andrea Banfi, Principal Investigator on the project and a leader in the field of angiogenesis from the University Hospital Basal Switzerland. Dr Renza Spelat, a postdoctoral researcher on the project, based at CÚRAM, is chairing the session while three postgraduate researchers will give oral presentations and an additional five will present posters at the conference. The NeuroGraft Project focuses on injuries and degenerative diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) which constitute a bottleneck in medical and surgical practice for which no therapy currently exists. NeuroGraft aims to develop stem cell seeded functionalised bio-artificial organs. This exciting concept will be realised through the NeuroGraft consortium, consisting of one academic and four industrial partners (four SMEs), across four countries. This week’s NeuroGraft symposium at TERMIS, ‘Biomaterial-Based Treatments for Repair After Nerve/ Spinal cord Injury’ will be chaired by Dr Siobhan MacMahon, Investigator within CÚRAM and a Lecturer in Anatomy at NUI Galway and will feature Dr James Phillips, Senior Lecturer, Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, Eastman Dental Institute, University College London, and Rachel Ronan, PhD candidate at CÚRAM. Tendon Therapy Train will develop the world’s first three-dimensional, cell-assembled prototype for human and equine patients suffering tendon injuries. The Tendon Therapy Train consortium is led by Dr Dimitrios Zeugolis at CÚRAM at NUI Galway and is further comprised of six academic, three clinical and seven industry partners. Dr Zeugolis will chair two sessions this week at TERMIS, titled ‘Clinical Tissue Engineering’ and ‘Tendon Biology: A Blueprint to Engineer Functional Tissue’ with presentations to be given by visiting researcher Diana Pereira and doctoral candidate Christina Ryan. The goal of the conference is to bring together leading experts within the tissue engineering and regenerative medicine community to present and discuss their latest scientific and clinical developments. Sessions this year are focused on biomaterials and intelligent scaffolds, stem cells, growth factors, activation of developmental and regenerative pathways, and translation of research to the clinic and industry. -ends-

News Archive

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The latest incarnation of Ireland’s most energy-efficient car, the Geec (Galway energy-efficient car), was recently launched at NUI Galway by Dr Jim Browne, the University’s President, and Dr John Conroy, Head of Regulatory Affairs at Shell E&P Ireland. The Geec and its team of NUI Galway students travelled to London at the weekend to compete in the prestigious 2016 Shell Eco-marathon (SEM) Europe, which takes place 30 June to 3 July. The Geec, which has been designed, built, driven and tested entirely by NUI Galway students, became the first-ever Irish entry to the Europe-wide event in 2015. The car finished 23rd out of 51 teams in the battery electric prototype category, with an efficiency score of 287 kilometres per kilowatt-hour, equivalent to 8,000 miles per gallon. Driving the 2015 Geec from Galway to Dublin would use just 13 cents worth of electricity. The Geec 2.0 aims to improve on this performance through an aggressive campaign of vehicle weight reduction, aerodynamic improvements, electric drive optimisation, data gathering and analysis, and driver training. As part of this effort, the Geec 2.0 teamed up recently with Mondello Park International Racing Circuit, the home of motor racing in Ireland, to put the car’s electrical, electronic and mechanical systems, as well as its drivers, through their paces before travelling to London. The team behind the Geec comprises 19 undergraduate students from NUI Galway’s disciplines of Energy Systems Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Commerce. The students have responsibilities for all aspects crucial for the success of the Geec; the chassis, braking and steering systems, the electromechanical drive-train, the power electronics control system, the data acquisition system, the aerodynamic shell, and marketing and communications. Assisting and advising the students are two postgraduate advisors and three academic mentors from across NUI Galway’s engineering disciplines. The mission of the Geec is not only to place highly on the leader board at SEM Europe, but also to show what young engineers at Irish universities are capable of when faced with a major interdisciplinary challenge. Work on the Geec has been incorporated into engineering project work at NUI Galway. The students’ work also illustrates the roles engineers can play to tackle some of the biggest problems currently facing Ireland and the world, such as climate change, the need to find alternatives to fossil fuels, and sustainable transportation. Nearly 40% of energy use in Ireland is for transportation, with 97% of this figure delivered by imported oil products. The widespread use of fossil fuels in transportation is responsible for the release of about one quarter of Ireland’s climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions from transportation are second only to those of agriculture. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “It is wonderful to see the strides that the Geec has made in the last year since becoming the first ever entry from an Irish university to compete at the Shell Eco-marathon. This illustrates the creativity, dedication and initiative of our young engineers when they are given the right guidance, education and access to world-class engineering facilities.” Sorcha Tarpey, a fourth year Energy Systems Engineering student and one of the Geec team leaders, said: “Working on the Geec at NUI Galway has given the team members invaluable insight into real-life engineering, where diverse teams have to work together to deliver solutions to complex problems in time and on budget. It has been an incredible learning experience and we can’t wait to put our theory into practice in London!” Ronan Deasy, Managing Director at Shell Ireland said: “Shell Ireland is delighted to partner with NUI Galway on the enhanced GEEC. The team have worked incredibly hard and have made vast strides in the performance of this year’s model. We are very proud to partner with such ingenuity and tenacity. We wish them all the best for the event in London and look forward to hearing of their success.” Dr Rory Monaghan, Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at NUI Galway and one of the Academic Mentors for the Geec, said: “At NUI Galway, we believe that having a high-profile flagship project like the Geec gives us a real edge in attracting top students from around the country to study engineering. Working on the Geec encompasses all aspects of engineering, which is a truly creative profession, from concept design, detailed analysis and mathematical modelling, all the way to component manufacturing and assembly, vehicle testing and team marketing. We believe the Geec produces truly rounded engineers who are able to take on any challenge thrown at them.”  -Ends-

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

NUI Galway has launched a new sustainability initiative which aims to make the campus one of the greenest, smartest, healthiest and community-focused in the world.   The initiative is based on a Learn Live Lead approach where NUI Galway focuses on its core strength in teaching and research to learn about sustainability, analyses building performance and campus operations to live more sustainability, and connects to broader society to lead in translating sustainability to the wider community.  As part of the initiative, NUI Galway becomes the first university in Ireland to join the Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI) Sustainable Energy Communities Network. This ambitious initiative also includes a ‘Battle of the Buildings’ energy-efficiency competition and a new website to showcase sustainability teaching and research and to engage the campus community. Commenting at the launch, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Registrar and Deputy President of NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to be the first university in Ireland to sign up for this initiative. After my appointment in early 2014 as Registrar and Deputy President, I initiated a university-wide discussion on the future of NUI Galway among senior academics and senior administrators. One of the key themes identified in this process was to move the University towards the greenest, smartest, healthiest and community-focused third-level campus in Ireland with an ambition to be internationally recognised by 2025 for its culture and practice of sustainability. ” Professor Ó Dochartaigh continued: “The SEAI Sustainable Energy Communities Network is timely and fits very well with strategic developments in NUI Galway. For example, the NUI Galway Strategic Plan 2015-2020, Vision 2020 embraces the ideas of ‘creating a sustainable campus where all resources are used efficiently and where facilities are managed and services consolidated as efficiently as possible’ and recognises the need for ‘external engagement with an openness to partnership and a spirit of collaboration to define the NUI Galway approach’.” The Sustainable Energy Communities Network embraces an inclusive and community approach, across all sectors, to develop a sustainable energy system. To achieve this goal, SECs aim to be energy efficient, to use renewable energy where feasible and to develop decentralised energy supplies. By joining the SEC Network, NUI Galway commits to knowledge sharing with SEC members and to developing and implementing energy-saving initiatives. Membership of the SEC network offers many benefits to the University and its community partners, including the potential for energy and financial savings, community building through a partnership approach, and developing renewable energy technologies. Battle of the Buildings The first major project of the University’s sustainability initiative is the ‘Battle of the Buildings’, inspired by a similar competition run by the US Environmental Protection Agency. It aims to make students, academics and staff more aware of the energy use of campus buildings and to encourage energy-efficient behaviour through collegial competition. The first departments to battle off are engineering, nursing and business, all located in the north of the Newcastle campus. Details of daily energy use of buildings will be available online as well as on dashboards throughout campus. An energy training and awareness campaign will encourage students, academics and staff to make informed decisions about energy use that will reduce energy costs. Professor Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, said: “We have made great progress over the last 10 years in introducing clean and green systems into our buildings and thanks to the leadership of the Buildings Office we are becoming much more efficient in how we use energy and what types of energies we use. This launch recognises that to progress a sustainable energy system, a collaborative and concerted campus and community-wide commitment to energy efficiency and sustainable energy use is needed.” Professor Brown continued: “NUI Galway recognises the role of a sustainable third-level campus in the transition towards a sustainable community encompassing environment health, economy, community and culture. Sustainable energy use is a central pillar of campus energy policy and is the foundation for NUI Galway to become recognised internationally as one of the greenest, smartest and healthiest campuses.” Phelim Kelly, President of the Students’ Union, added: “This is a fantastic initiative where we can see a real partnership between students, staff and indeed the external community. I would like to thank everyone involved in their efforts to make people more consciously aware of the environment. It is brilliant to see staff and students collaborate with an aim to see a healthier, green campus and in doing so giving the University and wider communities an insight into the value of sustainable technologies.” NUI Galway has also launched a new website to collect all existing research, teaching, outreach and management relating to sustainability. This website includes dedicated pages for each sustainability project, a feedback mechanism for ideas for campus improvements, and links to teaching and research centres. New data platforms will be integrated in the website demonstrate key performance indicators relating to campus performance, such as energy use in each building. For more details on sustainability at NUI Galway, visit: ENDS

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The QS World University Rankings By Subject 2016 has placed Earth and Ocean Sciences in the School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway as the highest ranked subject across the entire university. The University are placed 2nd in Ireland in the category of Earth and Marine Sciences and has maintained the position of 151-200 in the world, in this particular subject area. For the second year running, Earth and Ocean Sciences have graduated the largest earth science class ever across all of the Irish universities. Dr Tiernan Henry, Lecturer in Environmental Geology at Earth and Ocean Sciences in NUI Galway, said: “We are really delighted that earth sciences is the highest ranking subject at the University. This is a reflection of the dedication of all of our staff to excellence in both teaching and research. Our graduates are going to excellent post graduate destinations in Ireland and elsewhere and many are now working in the broad geoscience field.” The QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016 highlight the world’s top universities in 42 subjects, based on academic reputation, employer reputation and research impact. Earth and Ocean Sciences at NUI Galway involves the study of the physical and chemical processes that affect planet Earth and its oceans. In this field, students study topical subjects, such as climate change, natural resources and the management and conservation of our oceans. Four sub-disciplines are involved: geology, geophysics, hydrogeology and oceanography, which, in different ways, look at various workings of the planet, from the atmosphere to the seabed. Earth and Ocean Sciences provide a wide range of disciplines such as mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry, geophysics, hydrogeology, physical and chemical oceanography, marine biogeochemistry, palaeobiology, sedimentology and plate tectonics. And includes the study of earthquakes, tectonics, volcanoes, ocean productivity, ocean currents, mass extinctions, climate change, energy or environmental pollution, the most productive insights into these phenomena often arise from interactions amongst the different disciplines. To view the full QS World Rankings visit: ENDS

Events Calendar

Upcoming Events Time / Date Location
Art class 14.00 Saturday,
2 July 2016
Art Room (R210), Áras na Mac Léinn
A University in War & Revolution / Ollscoil in am Comhraic, 1923-1919 Sunday,
3 July 2016
Hardiman Research Building
Bio-EXPLORERS Science Summer Camp 09.30 Monday,
4 July 2016
Bio-EXPLORERS Science Summer Camp
Summer Sports Camps 10.00 Monday,
4 July 2016
Kingfisher Club
Summer Digital Heritage project for 5th/6th class children 10.30 Tuesday,
5 July 2016
NUI Galway & Galway City Museum
Art class 13.00 Wednesday,
6 July 2016
Art Room (R210), Áras na Mac Léinn
Art class 17.30 Wednesday,
6 July 2016
Art Room (R210), Áras na Mac Léinn
6th International Conference on the Science of Computus 15.00 Friday,
8 July 2016
Old Moore Seminar Room (Seminar Rm 203 Arts/Science Building)

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