Wednesday, 29 March 2017

NUI Galway PhD Candidate Awarded Prize at French Contest

Giada Lagana, a final year PhD candidate in the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway, was recently awarded the Elocution prize at the PhD contest ‘My Thesis in 3 Minutes … in French!’ in Dublin. The event was organised by the Embassy of France in Ireland and set during the month of la Francophonie, which celebrates and promotes French language and cultural diversity. The contest tasks PhD candidates of all nationalities and all disciplines to present their research project in three minutes in French. This year, 25 competitors coming from seven universities and Institutes of Technology were judged according to several criteria including speech quality, outreaching and speech structure. NUI Galway were represented by two PhD candidates, Justine Aussant from Zoology who presented her work on microalgae, and Giada Lagana who presented “The European Union and the Northern Ireland Peace Process” winning her one of the three prizes attributed during the contest. The jury were composed of four experts working in Ireland, all of them having defended a doctoral thesis including: Dr Virginie Gautier, principal investigator at University College Dublin; Dr Rachid Seghrouchni from the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Ireland; and Dr Michel Dugon and Dr Muriel Grenon, two NUI Galway lecturers from the School of Natural Sciences experienced with public engagement in science. Stéphane Aymard from the French Embassy in Ireland said: “All presentations were of outstanding quality and participants, of whom 70% were not native speakers, were all successful in speaking clearly and concisely in French while delivering fascinating information on their research. It was great to have doctorate participants from most part of Ireland including NUI Galway, where many staff and students have a strong interest in French values and culture.” Dr Muriel Grenon, Vice-Dean for Promotion of Science Technology Engineering and Maths at NUI Galway said: “It is a very important and useful skill for researchers to be able to communicate clearly and simply the importance of their work to the public – it is an additional advantage to be able to communicate in multiple languages. Congratulations to Justine and Giada, their participation and Giada’s victory are a credit to the multiple talents of NUI Galway postgraduate students.” More information can be found at -Ends-

News Archive

Monday, 27 March 2017

Launch of the Alliance for Wound Research and Innovation to take place during the event NUI Galway, in partnership with The New York College of Podiatric Medicine, The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists of Ireland and The Organisation of Chiropodists/Podiatrists of Ireland will host the third Transatlantic Wound Science and Podiatric Medicine. This two-day international conference will take place from the 31 March in the Galway Bay Hotel, Salthill, and is set to be the largest wound science and podiatric medicine conference in Ireland. The conference will be dense with presentations and workshops by experts in the fields of diabetes, wound management, vascular disease and podiatric medicine. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Sharing the Vision – innovation, integration, new horizons’ and is expected to attract a large number of national and international delegates to Galway City. Speakers will include: Cheryl O’ Neill, Chair of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists of Ireland Professor William Jeffcoate, Consultant Diabetologist, Nottingham Foot Ulcer Trials Unit, UK Dr Paramjit Chopra, Chairman and Medical Director, Midwest Institute for Minimally Invasive Therapies and Associate Professor, Rush University, US Professor Michael J. Trepal, Professor of Podiatric Surgery, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean, New York College of Podiatric Medicine, US Professor Caroline McIntosh, Established Professor and Head of Podiatric Medicine, NUI Galway Dr Georgina Gethin, Head of School of Nursing and Midwifery, NUI Galway Professor Caroline McIntosh, Head of Podiatric Medicine at NUI Galway, said: “The University has benefitted from its affiliation with the New York College of Podiatric Medicine through student exchanges, collaborative research initiatives, video case conferences and shared seminars, the sharing of knowledge and expertise, an international perspective and collaborative research opportunities. On Friday evening we will launch the Alliance for Wound Research and Innovation, a multidisciplinary, multiagency collaboration to provide a focus for research and innovation in the field of wound care. The Galway region has one of the highest numbers of medical device technology companies in the world and in addition NUI Galway is host to CÚRAM – the Centre for Research in Medical Devices. Galway also delivers the only BSc Podiatric Medicine programme in the Republic of Ireland, the School of Nursing and Midwifery has an MSc/PhD in Wound Healing and Tissue Repair. Our colleagues have conducted world-leading research in stem cell therapies in wound healing and along with researchers/clinicians in microbiology, bioengineering, nursing, medicine and others we have a wealth of expertise.” Dr Georgina Gethin, Head of School of Nursing and Midwifery, NUI Galway, said: “This new initiative will be pivotal in the development of collaborative research to improve the lives of the 1000’s of people with wounds or at risk of a wound and help alleviate the impact on the individual, society and healthcare systems.” -ENDS-           

Monday, 27 March 2017

NUI Galway will hold a workshop on ‘The Dark Psychological Impacts of Social Media in the Workplace’ at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics on Monday, 10 April. A large body of research has considered the positive aspects of social media in the workplace. However, emerging research and practice are beginning to focus on complex and often alarming ways in which use of social media may harmfully affect workers.  For example, addiction, anxiety and depression, privacy violation, stress, information overload, and work-family conflict are some of the issues that have been studied so far. This workshop focuses on these psychological effects of social media in the workplace.  Dr Eoin Whelan, Lecturer at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics said: “We are delighted to be hosting this workshop the dark psychological impacts of social media in the workplace. Social media plays an increasingly significant role in our experience of work. But what we need to remember is that unintended consequences arise when we begin to use new communication technologies. For example, email was initially used by scientists to share important information across geographically boundaries. But now we email people sitting a few metres away with information that is often not very important. We are only beginning to understand the unintended consequences of social media use in the workplace. The line-up of international speakers will discuss state-of-the-art knowledge on how social media is affecting the psychology and physiology of workers. We particularly welcome industry practitioners to the event.” Speakers at the workshop will include: Dr Eoin Whelan, NUI Galway; Professor Hanna Krasnova, University of Potsdam; Professor Tom Jackson, Loughborough University; and Professor Monideepa Tarafdar, Lancaster University. Industry practitioners are especially welcome. To register for the workshop, click here For further information, contact Dr Eoin Whelan at -Ends-

Monday, 27 March 2017

NUI Galway coordinated PANDEM report outlines the threat posed by pandemics to European citizens and makes recommendations on priorities for future research to enhance the capacity of EU Member States to respond to the next pandemic The European Union-funded pandemic project, Pandemic Risk and Emergency Management (PANDEM), has completed its research phase and produced a final report, identifying current needs and recommending innovative solutions to the European Commission. The 18-month project, coordinated by NUI Galway, was funded through the EU Horizon 2020 Secure Societies programme of research and innovation, to help improve pandemic preparedness across European Union member states and beyond. Throughout history, pandemics have had a major impact on the health and security of human populations. An outbreak of plague killed one third of Europe’s population in the Middle Ages, and Spanish flu killed 40-50 million people in the early 20th century. In 2003, a new disease called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) emerged in China and spread from Hong Kong through international transport hubs to multiple countries within days causing major disruption with an estimated economic cost of US$80 billion. The most recent H1N1 influenza pandemic in 2009 spread around the world in weeks, affecting all countries with significant health, economic, political, social, cultural and environmental consequences. More recently, outbreaks of the Zika virus, Ebola and MERS-CoV have posed major threats to human health, and to global trade and trust. The threat analysis conducted by the project concluded that the risk of emergence of a pandemic is greater now than ever before. Influenza viruses continue to circulate between birds, pigs and humans, greater numbers of laboratories engaging in bioengineering work on dangerous pathogens increases the risk of accidental release if biosafety measures are not strictly implemented, and bioterrorism poses a threat with the increased availability of technology and knowledge to build a bioweapon. Antibiotic resistance is also a major threat to human health which could bring the management of infectious diseases back to the pre-antibiotic era. The objectives of the PANDEM project were to review best practice and identify tools and systems needed to strengthen pandemic preparedness and response at national, EU and global levels. From the beginning of the project in September 2015, there has been a particular focus on identifying innovative solutions to build capacity of EU member states to collaborate on cross border risk assessment, response and recovery. These solutions aim to build the foundations for a multi-disciplinary, inter-sectoral network of experts, and contribute to the reduction of health, socio-economic and security consequences of future pandemics through improved preparedness at local, national, EU and global level. Professor Máire Connolly from the Discipline of Bacteriology in the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, and coordinator of the PANDEM project said: “The timing and origin of the next pandemic is uncertain, but improved preparedness can minimise the impact on human lives and health, and the disruption to economies and societies that results. By applying innovations from the security, defence and crisis management sectors to improve the tools and systems used by the health sector, we can help to ensure that Europe and the wider world are better prepared to rapidly detect and mitigate the impact of the next pandemic.” The project coordinated by NUI Galway included the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Europe, the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Swedish Defense Research Agency, Public Health Agency of Sweden, Université catholique de Louvain and IGS Strategic Communications. The PANDEM team at NUI Galway, a collaboration between the School of Medicine, the College of Engineering and Informatics and the Insight Centre for Data Analytics, demonstrated the cutting edge expertise in the University and the value of cross-disciplinary work to bring science and innovation to the next level in this important field of pandemic research. The PANDEM Final Conference was held in Brussels earlier this month, back-to-back with a meeting of DG HOME’s Community of Users for Safe, Secure and Resilient societies, which brought the recommendations of the PANDEM project and proposed next steps to more than 1,000 members of the Community of Users in crisis management, security and related fields in Europe. For more information on PANDEM visit: -Ends-

Events Calendar

Facebook stream

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

The public are invited to a fascinating public lecture of a winter expedition with the German icebreaker “Polarstern” to Antarctica. The talk will be delivered by Professor Peter Lemke of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Helmholtz-Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Germany on Wednesday, 14 September, at 7.30pm in the Colm O’hEocha Theatre in the Arts Millenium Building at NUI Galway. Professor Lemke has participated in nine polar expeditions with the German research icebreaker “Polarstern”, and has collections of stunning photographs depicting the Antarctic landscape and intriguing experiences to share. He is visiting Galway to participate in the Atlantic Ocean Climate Scholars Programme which is a week-long intensive, accredited workshop examining how climate and oceans interact, with particular examples from the Atlantic Ocean and higher latitudes. The lecture is open to members of the public and is part of a workshop organised by Dr Pauhla McGrane of the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training (SMART) being held in Galway, from 12-19 September,offered to international postgraduate students of marine, atmosphere and climate-related sciences. “Polar regions play an important role for our climate, but direct observations are difficult to obtain and can only be achieved with greatest effort. This is especially true in wintertime” said Professor Lemke. “Severe blizzards, being trapped between thick ice floes and forced to drift with the ice, the darkness of the polar night and temperatures around minus 30°C. This presentation will take you along on an extraordinary winter expedition into the Antarctic Ocean. It shows the beauty of the frozen ocean, presents some insight into polar and climate research, and demonstrates everyday life on a research icebreaker,” he continued. High latitudes have received attention recently because of significant changes in the atmosphere, sea ice, and ocean, and on land, especially in the Arctic. The surface air temperature in the Arctic has increased about twice as fast as the global air temperature. The Arctic sea-ice extent in summer has decreased by 35% since 1979, and the sea-ice thickness during late summer has declined in the Central Arctic by about 40% since 1958. A warming has also been observed at depth in the Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean. But surprisingly there is no negative trend observed in the Antarctic sea ice. Both, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass, and the sea level is rising. Most of these observed trends are in agreement with warming scenarios performed with coupled climate models, which indicate an amplified response in high latitudes to increased greenhouse gas concentrations. But details of the complex interaction between atmosphere, sea ice and ocean, and the impacts on the ecosystem and the human society are still only marginally understood. Results will be shown from the latest Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and from a winter expedition the speaker has lead into the ice-covered Weddell Sea (Antarctica). Dr Pauhla McGrane, coordinator of SMART said: “We are delighted that Proffessor Lemke has agreed to provide his unique insight into carrying out climate research in hostile polar environments, particulaly when accompanied by such beautiful stark images. This is especially relevant as this year we will run the second North South Atlantic Training Transect on-board the RV Polarstern from Germany to South Africa which will train 24 postgraduate students, including seven Irish students, in researching climate, ocean and atmospheric interactions at sea. These innovative offshore international collaboarations, developed with AWI, the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO) and funded by the Nippon foundation are essential in developing excellent climate and ocean scientists to measure and understand our changing planet”. Professor Lemke continues to work on the observation of climate processes in atmosphere, sea ice and ocean and their simulation in numerical models for the polar components of the climate system. On six expeditions on Polarstern he acted as chief scientist.  For more than 30 years he served on many national and international committees on polar and climate research. He was the Coordinating Lead Author for Chapter 4 (Observations: Changes in Snow, Ice and Frozen Ground) of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report published in 2007. The IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize together with Al Gore in 2007. For the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC published in 2013 Proffessor Lemke worked as Review Editor of Chapter 4 and as Lead Author of the Technical Summary. All members of the public are welcome and refreshments will be served afterwards. The Atlantic Ocean Climate Scholars Programme is a collaboaration between SMART, NUI Galway, AWI and the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO) that is funded by the Nippon foundation under NF POGO Regional Training fund.  -ends-