International Award for NUI Galway Graduate Student

International Award for NUI Galway Graduate Student-image

Monday, 11 April 2011

NUI Galway research student, David Byrne was recently awarded second place for his poster presentation at the Institute of Structural Engineers Young Researchers Conference held at the Institute's headquarters in London. The conference, now in its 13th year, provides a platform for research students to present their work and exchange ideas with their peers and industry leaders. David, a PhD student from Wicklow town, was presented with the award for his poster, entitled The analysis of shear transfer in void formed flat slabs, including in-situ measurements from a building. David's entry was shortlisted from over 60 abstracts submitted from PhD students throughout the UK and Ireland, and was judged by a panel of selected members from the Institution. "This is a great achievement for an NUI Galway graduate student at the early stages of his research", said Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway. "This award confirms that our standards of engineering education and research in NUI Galway are at the very top in international standings. We are very proud of David." David's project relates to shear and load transfer in void form flat slab systems. These are an innovative and novel form of flat slab system, which allow a reduction in self-weight of the concrete and savings in construction materials. Central to his project is the instrumentation of the new Engineering Building at NUI Galway and its development as a teaching tool. The Engineering Building at NUI Galway is one of the largest engineering schools in the country at 14,000m2 and opens in September 2011. It will consolidate education and research activities in the various engineering disciplines. Among many innovative and notable features, it is among the first buildings in Ireland to employ the use of void form flat slab systems. One of the slab bays within the new Engineering Building has been instrumented with over 160 gauges across fifteen different sections. Sensors have been installed both in the concrete and on the steel reinforcement bars to monitor the geometric and material properties of the slab system during construction and throughout the building's lifetime. They are providing valuable data as to how the slab system behaves in-situ and responds to different loadings. David's research strategy will combine numerical simulation using finite element models and field measurements. The finite element models of the instrumented slab system will be validated by comparison and continual updating of data obtained from measurements on site. The principal investigator for this project is Dr Jamie Goggins, School of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, and was co-supervised by NUI Galway's Eamonn Cannon. The research project is co-funded by the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) and Arup Consulting Engineers under an Enterprise Partnership Scheme. It forms part of an initiative to develop the new Engineering Building at NUI Galway as a 'living laboratory' for engineering, where live data sets from numerous types of sensors will be used to illustrate structural engineering and building performance concepts in undergraduate teaching and in the development of full-scale research in structural engineering and energy. -Ends-

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Engineering and IT Students Highlight Research

Engineering and IT Students Highlight Research-image

Monday, 11 April 2011

An Engineering and Informatics Research Day took place recently at NUI Galway which showcased research undertaken by students. This year, for the first time, the annual event was run in conjunction with the University of Limerick, as part of the Strategic Alliance between the two organisations. Research by students from both Universities was highlighted with a display of 174 research posters covering nine primary fields of engineering and informatics research. This year's theme was Publishing your Research and 200 students from NUI Galway and the University of Limerick (UL) listened to presentations from senior industry representatives and academics on how to present and promote their research to the highest international standards. A key element of Research Day is a competition among students for the best posters. Every year the top 12 students are selected by their peers to give a short presentation of their research. The winners of this 'shoot-out' are then selected by a panel of senior academics in the industry. Dr Peter Corcoran, Vice-Dean of Research, College of Engineering and Informatics, at NUI Galway, commented: "This is a special day in the University calendar, as Engineering and IT researchers in our College get together to present and debate their research and network with each other. This year, as part of our Institutional Alliance with the University of Limerick, we were pleased to have staff and graduate students from UL participate in Research Day for the first time. It is interesting, also, to note the complimentary nature of research activities in both institutions and we look forward to growing this collaboration with our Engineering and Informatics colleagues in Limerick." He continued: "Engineering research is often ignored by the mainstream media, yet it underlies everything in our modern society. Water, electricity, consumer and medical devices are all designed and maintained by engineers. The Research Day helps us realise how important and far researching the role of the engineer is in society. This year we have more than 174 distinct research projects represented - a record for our Research Day and a sign that engineering research is still strong in the West of Ireland." Over 1,400 people study Engineering and IT at NUI Galway. To serve the growing number of students, a new Engineering Building opens on campus in September 2011. -Ends-

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2nd International Dance Festival in Aid of the Special Olympics Ireland

2nd International Dance Festival in Aid of the Special Olympics Ireland -image

Monday, 11 April 2011

Galway's 2nd International Dance Festival will be held at the Radisson Blu Hotel on Saturday, 14 May at 7.30pm. The Festival will be a unique opportunity to see a variety of dancers performing in their traditional attire, including a Galway-based Mexican group presenting the famous 'Son de la negra' as well as dancers from Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, France, India, Ireland, Peru, the Philippines, Russia and Spain. This spectacular event is being organised by NUI Galway staff members Gloria Avalos, Ann Monahan, Breda Kelleher, Micheál Newell and Lorraine Tansey, together with Susana Campos of the Sisters of La Retraite. All the proceeds from this event will go to the Special Olympics to help support the clubs and organisations in Connaught. According to Gloria Avalos, "the International Dance Festival held in 2009 raised in excess of €10,000 and this year we are hoping to match or exceed this amount, all on behalf of a very good cause, Special Olympics Connaught". Following the dance performances, a D.J. will be playing entertaining music from many countries of the world. A raffle offering fabulous prizes will also be held during the evening. The organisers would like to thank their sponsors Marks and Spencer, Tesco, Galway Bay FM and CATERENT (Furniture & Equipment Hire). Tickets are priced at €10 or €7 for students and are available in advance from the Soc Box, in Áras na Mac Léinn, NUI Galway, as well as in the various NUI Galway canteens from 10.30am to 4pm on Thursday, 14 April. Tickets will also be available at the Radisson Blu Hotel on the night. Please invite your friends all are welcome. -Ends-

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NUI Galway President Says Poor Systems Compromising Change within Public Sector

NUI Galway President Says Poor Systems Compromising Change within Public Sector-image

Friday, 8 April 2011

"Poor systems within the civil service and the public sector will further dis-empower public sector leaders and compromise the change needed to correct our public finances," that's according to NUI Galway President Dr James J. Browne, speaking earlier today at the launch of Leadership in the Irish Civil Service: A 360° Review of Senior Management Capability report at the University today. President Browne added that a robust, independent and rational public service must be free from any suspicion of political clientelism. Civil servants, especially senior civil servants, must feel free to act with true accountability and transparency. In his speech, Dr Browne added that "senior leaders are currently managing and leading without the authority or indeed adequate control mechanisms to effect real change and this encapsulates the challenge facing leaders in the civil service, and indeed the wider public sector". The President is arguing for a system where senior managers in the public sector are given defined budgets and are responsible for outputs within their organisation. "Leaders and managers must have the freedom to allocate resources and to change processes while working within these budgets and achieving agreed outputs. There is no role for a central 'control' authority, in second guessing processes, procedures and decisions made at local level, provided always, of course, that decisions are made in accordance with best practice and good governance and are within agreed budgets." With a forward by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, the report is the culmination of a two-year research project at the University's Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC) and Management Discipline. The Taoiseach has written that the report, "will inform public service policy and practice with regard to human resource management and leadership development". The Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC) and Management Discipline, NUI Galway, led by Dr Alma McCarthy, carried out the leadership capability study, funded by the IRCHSS, at senior management level in the Irish Civil Service. The study was carried out between May and August 2010. Over 140 senior managers participated in the study from 12 Government Departments and the Office of the Revenue Commissioners with over 1,200 leadership surveys completed in total and represents the most extensive study of its kind to-date in Ireland. Keynote speakers at today's Conference included Dr Maria Maguire, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and Independent Consultant; Philip Kelly, Assistant Secretary General, Department of An Taoiseach with responsibility for Transforming Public Services and Brian Cawley, Director General of the Institute of Public Administration. Dr Alma McCarthy, CISC and J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway, who presented the findings of the report at today's Conference said, "This conference focused specifically on the area of senior management leadership capability in the Irish public service. The conference debated the important areas of human resource management, talent management, and leadership development that merit attention in the drive for public service modernisation and reform. The conference is extremely timely given the new Government's express focus on reform and the establishment of the new Public Expenditure and Reform Department under Minister Brendan Howlin." The report will be available online at www.nuigalway.ie/cisc -Ends-

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NUI Galway Societies Awards

NUI Galway Societies Awards-image

Thursday, 7 April 2011

The NUI Galway Society Awards took place on campus recently with seventeen awards presented at the gala event. The Society Awards celebrate the contribution which over one hundred societies make both to the University and the wider community. NUI Galway Societies Officer Ríona Hughes, said: "The NUI Galway Societies Awards was a huge success and hosting the event on campus in the new Bailey Allen Hall was a fitting end to an outstanding year of creativity and involvement." The winners on the night will represent the University at the BICS National Society Awards which will be hosted in NUI Galway on Thursday, 21 April. · The coveted Best Society of the Year Award went to the Drama Society for the professionalism and creativity they brought to their numerous and varied events during the year. · Most Improved Society went to the GiG (Gay in Galway) Soc for their sheer determination and effort to improve and expand the society. · Best New Society went to the Comic Book Society who exploded onto the societies scene this year with colourful and original events. · Best Society Individual went to Drama Society's Neasa O'Callaghan whose hard work and dedication during the Irish Student Drama Awards was exemplary. Neasa is also the auditor of Classics Soc and an active member of Lit & Deb. · Best Fresher went to Ronan Gallagher. Ronan was the venue manager of the Bank of Ireland theatre during the ISDA Festival and has been involved in lighting for many Dramsoc productions. Ronan's commitment and passion to Dramsoc won him this award. · Best Event went to the ISDA festival which was organised by the Drama Society. The other awards on the night were: Best Departmental Society: Accountancy and Finance Society; Best Poster: Literary and Debating Society; Best Website: Comedy Soc; Most ALIVE Society: Musical Society (GUMS); Best Civic Contribution: Draíocht Nepal Society; Best Cultural Contribution: Anime and Manga Society; Best Small Publication: Musical Society (GUMS); and Best Multi Media/ Large Publication: Art Soc for their Lunatic Fringe publication; and Best Photograph to Joe Hyland in the Photography Society. Two Múscailt prizes were also presented to the Orchestra Society and Comic Book Society and the best contribution to Múscailt Arts Festival award went to the Juggling Society for their wonderful show during the festival. -Ends-

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Minister for Research and Innovation Delivers Keynote Speech at DERI Open Day

Minister for Research and Innovation Delivers Keynote Speech at DERI Open Day-image

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

'Research between commercial and academia sectors a winning formula for our economic recovery' - Minister Sherlock "The 'clustering' model of scientific research, comprising an unprecedented degree of co-operation and collaboration between commercial and academic personnel, has been a winning formula here," Minister for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock T.D. said today (Wednesday) 6 April, 2011. Minister Sherlock was addressing the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) Open Day at NUI Galway earlier today. DERI, a Centre for Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET), supported by Government through Science-Foundation Ireland-funding, was established in 2003, and has become an internationally-renowned web science research centre, providing the technology which underpins intelligent services on the Internet. Current research results include semantic search engines, novel collaboration and social media as well as sensor network technologies. Over 250 academics and industrialists attended the DERI Open Day and were briefed by presentations and demonstrations on DERI's research, applied research and commercialisation activities. Also presenting were DERI's key industrial partners and funders. Minister Sherlock told the assembled group, "There is a story here to be told. It is a story of resilience, skill, steely determination and achievement. You are the characters who make the story and should be the tellers of that story." The Minister added, "You have both a national and an international audience that I believe are eager to listen once their attention has been captured. Today's showcase demonstrates clearly the high quality research underway here at DERI, and at NUI Galway." He added that DERI's impressive track record provided the Government with "considerable hope and indeed some expectation that science will be pivotal to our economic recovery". The Minister referred to the Government's pledge in the Programme for Government to promote and support investment in technology research, development and commercialisation in line with an overall Digital Ireland strategy. Professor Stefan Decker, Director of DERI, said: "Our research showcases the innovation potential in the Irish ICT sector. Realising this innovation potential by contributing to a national and holistic Digital Ireland strategy is firmly on our agenda." Michael Turley, CEO of DERI noted: "Today was an extremely important day for DERI. It enabled us to showcase what we have achieved to date, but also to demonstrate the possibilities for the future with the research we are doing, and also with the collaborations we have through our partners. All of our efforts are geared to assisting in achieving the goals of the Smart Economy." Throughout his day long visit to NUI Galway Minister Sherlock met with a range of key research and industry personnel connected to the University covering the biomedical, ICT and energy sectors. -Ends-

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Launch of New Adult and Community Education Resource DVD

Launch of New Adult and Community Education Resource DVD-image

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Michael D. Higgins will officially launch a new documentary film, Bridging the Gap, in which leading academics in Irish higher education discuss contemporary social and economic issues in an engaging and accessible way. Two of the NUI Galway contributors to the film, Dr Su-Ming Khoo, School of Political Science and Sociology, and Dr Vinodh Jaichand, Irish Centre for Human Rights, will also speak at the launch and the event will include screening of excerpts from the film. The launch, hosted by Galway City VEC, Campus Engage and NUI Galway, will take place on Wednesday, 13 April at 11am at the Galway City Museum. The aim of the film is to 'bridge the gap' between higher education and adult and community education, by making available the knowledge, expertise and perspectives of academics to students learning in community-based settings. The film consists of two DVDs which contain a number of short programmes on topics such as human rights, globalisation, education, democracy, gender and racism. Ann Lyons, Project Manager at the Community Knowledge Initiative, said: "The experience of adult and community education has demonstrated that students learn best when a variety of teaching methods and media are used. The DVDs will provide a visual and audio tool which will be a user-friendly resource for teachers, tutors, and educational facilitators in the field of adult and community education and beyond. The producers of the film hope that the various programmes will stimulate discussion and be a catalyst for social action. While the primary objective of the film is to be a resource for adult and community education it will also be of interest to individuals, other organisations and learners in general." The production of Bridging the Gap is a partnership between County Wexford VEC, Roots Reel Films and the Equality Studies Centre at UCD and supported by funding from Campus Engage. The film has won an Aontas Star Award as an outstanding learner centred adult and community education project and represents a very productive collaboration between institutions of higher education and community-based education. It will make a valuable contribution to the adult and community education sector and be a useful resource for teachers and learners alike. For further information on Bridging the Gap contact Ann Lyons, Community Knowledge Initiative, NUI Galway at 091 492228/087 7677080 or email ann.lyons@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

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Duais €1,000 buaite ag Cumann Sóisialta an Acadaimh

Duais €1,000 buaite ag Cumann Sóisialta an Acadaimh-image

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Tá duais náisiúnta €1,000 buaite ag an gCumann Sóisialta in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, An Cheathrú Rua. Tháinig an Cumann sa tríú háit i gcomórtas Ghlór na nGael do Chumainn Ghaelacha i gColáistí tríú leibhéal na hÉireann. Fógraíodh na torthaí beo ar chlár Rónán Mhic Aodh Bhuí, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Dé Céadaoin, 5 Aibreáin 2011. Bronntar na duaiseanna seo ar choistí mac léinn i gColáistí tríú leibhéal, a bhfuil forbairt agus caomhnú teanga agus cultúr na Gaeilge mar spriocanna lárnacha acu. Bhí 14 Cumann Gaelach ar an ngearrliosta agus ba mhór an t-éacht do mhic léinn an Acadaimh an gradam seo a ghnóthú i bhfianaise nach bhfuil ach 120 mac léinn lánaimseartha ar an gcampas. Is iad an dá champas is mó sa tír, Coláiste na hOllscoile, Baile Átha Cliath agus Coláiste na Tríonóide a tháinig sa chéad agus sa dara háit. Tá Oifigeach na Mac Léinn, Louise Ní Dhaibhéid, ag obair san Acadamh mar chuid den bhliain taithí oibre agus is í a dhéanann comhordú ar imeachtaí na mac léinn. Cé gur pobal beag mac léinn atá ar an gcampas, tá An Cumann Sóisialta thar a bheith gníomhach agus tá a gcuid féin déanta ag na mic léinn de shaol na Gaeltachta. Tá gné láidir charthanachta ag baint le hobair an Chumainn agus tá breis is €25,000 bronnta acu ar charthanachtaí áitiúla le cúig bliana anuas. "Tá obair thar na bearta déanta ag An gCumann Sóisialta faoi stiúir Louise Ní Dhaibhéid agus is iontach an méid atá bainte amach acu. Tá mic léinn anseo ó chuile chearn den tír agus is cuid an-tábhachtach d'eispéireas an choláiste an ghné sheach-churaclaim", a dúirt Treasa Uí Lorcáin, Riarthóir Ionad an Acadaimh ar an gCeathrú Rua. Bronnfar na duaiseanna ag ceiliúradh mór Ghlór na nGael in Óstán Carton House, Maigh Nuad Dé Sathairn, 16 Aibreán 2011. -Ends-

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President Commended by Review Team for Driving Forward Quality in NUI Galway

President Commended by Review Team for Driving Forward Quality in NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The Irish Universities Quality Board (IUQB) is delighted to publish the third review report from its Institutional Review of Irish Universities (IRIU) process, this time focusing on NUI Galway. Dr Padraig Walsh, IUQB Chief Executive stated, "This evidence-based review provides independent confirmation of NUI Galway's commitment to quality in line with national and European standards." The Review Team was composed of national and international experts. They identified areas of good practice and areas for further development to assist NUI Galway in assuring the quality of the student experience.  IUQB is particularly pleased that the review team commended NUI Galway's approach for unifying strategic planning, institutional research and quality assurance. The review report commends 'the strong leadership of the President and the University Management Team and the overall institutional structure and processes for quality.' Dr Walsh added: "The Review Team was impressed by the visibility of strong leadership and the track record of President Browne in driving forward the quality vision for NUI Galway, together with the strategic thinking and effective restructuring necessary to achieve this vision." NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne has welcomed the report and its findings and stated: "We welcome the report's recommendations - in particular, the suggestions for increasing student feedback and pursuing further an internationalisation agenda and we will ensure that these will be addressed." The Review Team found there was 'abundant evidence that the University pays attention to the findings and recommendations of internal and external reviews of its teaching, research and support systems and that, where it is reasonable, affordable and practicable to implement the recommendations, it does so.' The Report encourages the University to continue to ensure that its governance structures are strategically focused and include a wide spectrum of external stakeholders. It is also encouraged to pursue an assertive internationalisation agenda to achieve a more open and outward-looking approach, and to review its current policy on student feedback. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Students Bring Maths to Life

NUI Galway Students Bring Maths to Life-image

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

NUI Galway's Figure Fun are hosting Making Awesome Things Happen in Summer, a summer enrichment programme with maths in mind, from 7 to 10 June, in the Education building, NUI Galway. This course is aimed at first year secondary school students who wish to improve on their maths skills in a fun environment. The area of mathematics is currently undergoing many changes in secondary schools and as a result Figure Fun has decided to provide a summer camp for students who have just completed first year and wish to strengthen knowledge gained. The camp will cover the areas of number systems, geometry and probability, building strong foundations in these key areas required for further study of mathematics. Students will learn that there is a fun element to maths and heightening their interest in the subject. Students will discover the beauty and necessity of mathematics in our every day lives. Upon completing the course, participants have an excellent grasp of basic topics needed for the junior cycle. Dr Catherine Paolucci, a programme director of the BA in Mathematics and Education, is a lecturer with the School of Education, NUI Galway: "This is an exciting programme offering students an opportunity to reinforce their classroom learning in an alternative setting with a focus on real-life applications. The unique projects and activities that Figure Fun have planned will ensure that students enjoy the week, make new friends, and learn a lot in the process." Speaking about the course, Nichola Leonard, a member of the Figure Fun production team has said "through fun and games students will develop an appreciation and greater understanding of maths". Figure Fun is a group of seven, third year Maths and Education students dedicated to the promotion of secondary school mathematics and providing a fun environment to facilitate this. They are committed to providing a professionally run summer camp and ensure students satisfaction and safety at all times. Rachel Lynch, Administrator of Figure Fun says: "The members of the Figure Fun team look forward to hosting this event, which is the first of its kind for NUI Galway. The whole team are excited about sharing their enthusiasm for maths and hope to convey the relevance and value of the subject for secondary school and beyond." The course is priced at €10 per student. You can register online by visiting the website www.conference.ieand following the link for Making Awesome Things Happen in Summer. Places are limited and offered on a first come first served basis, so apply early to avoid disappointment. For further information contact Conor Diskin on 087 7535006 or c.diskin2@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

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