Berlin Soprano Performs at NUI Galway

Berlin Soprano Performs at NUI Galway-image

Thursday, 27 October 2011

The Arts in Action programme continues on a weekly basis at NUI Galway with an international flavour on Thursday, 3 November, with a specific focus on language and classical music. The CUBE theatre is the venue for a lunchtime concert at 1pm- 2pm featuring Berlin based soprano Doerthe Maria Sandmann.  Doerthe is one of the leading and most charismatic soprano singers of her generation in Berlin. She studied as an opera singer and vocalist at the renowned Hans-Eisler academy of music in Berlin and is now teaching at the Berlin University of Arts.  In the course of her international career she has collaborated with numerous ensembles and orchestras, performing in Salzburg, Vienna, Frankfurt, Bayreuth, Milan, Utrecht, Amsterdam and Singapore.Doerthe’s repertoire is immensely versatile and encompasses opera roles, a wide range of lieder and other vocal music. It includes works by Monteverdi, Händel, Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Debussy, Mahler, Strauss, and many others. During her studies she discovered the treasures of Early music and Baroque songs, many of which form a central part of her repertoire. She has recorded numerous CDs, three alone in 2011.In Galway, Doerthe will be accompanied by two colleagues from the Berlin University of Arts, pianist Akiko Yamashita and clarinettist (and musicologist) Cordula Heymann-Wentzel. Her Galway programme includes two masterpieces from German Romanticism: Robert Schumann's Woman's Love and Life, op.42 and Franz Schubert's The Shepherd on the Rock, D. 965.   This concert will be presented by the newly appointed Honorary Consul of the German Federal Republic, Professor of German at NUI Galway, Hans-Walter Schmidt-Hannisa.   Admission is free and open to the public. ENDS

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Top Marks at Junior Cert Business Quiz

Top Marks at Junior Cert Business Quiz-image

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), Business Studies Teachers Association of Ireland (BSTAI) and NUI Galway Western Region Schools Quiz took place recently in the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway. Thirteen schools, with a total of 26 teams took part and competed from all over the west, to determine who would represent the region in the National Finals in March. The table quiz was held for Junior Certificate students of Business Studies. Brian Duffy, Chairperson CIMA West of Ireland Branch, said: “At CIMA our relationships with education providers have always been crucial.  We are delighted to have a leading role in this quiz which showcased the talents of second level business students in the West of Ireland.” Professor Willie Golden, Dean of the College of Business, Public Policy and Law at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway works closely with its regional hinterland and this is nowhere more evident that in the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics. A defining part of all our student courses is the engagement with the local community. Working with the BSTAI and CIMA allows us to engage with second level students and foster their interest in business studies. I have no doubt that many of these students attending the event, will be amongst our leaders of the future.” Mary O’Sullivan, Honorary President of the BSTAI, commented: “It is great to see the high level of interest from students and teachers in the region. Events such as these showcase the extracurricular effort that is the hallmark of the teaching profession.” The winners on the night were St. Raphael’s College, Loughrea, Co. Galway, who took first place. This was followed closely in second place by CBS Roscommon. Third place went to St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. The top three teams from the regional final will now go on to compete in the National Finals, which will take place in LIT Tipperary in March.   -ENDS-

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New Book Tracks the Wolf – Ireland’s Last Great Predator

New Book Tracks the Wolf – Ireland’s Last Great Predator-image

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Two decades of gathering information on wolves by NUI Galway lecturer Kieran Hickey has resulted in a fascinating new book, Wolves in Ireland.  In this book, Kieran Hickey examines a vast array of sources relating to wolves in Ireland. The author considers archaeological remains, name evidence (place and person, both in Irish and in English) and folklore. He also provides an account of wolf attacks on livestock, and more rarely people, and describes how the extermination of wolves took place. The last wolf was killed, most likely in 1786.  According to NUI Galway’s Kieran Hickey: “An iconic symbol of the untamed and wild, the wolf, as Ireland’s last great predator, has always provoked, fear, excitement and wonder. This book explores all aspects of the wolf in Ireland including the archaeological name and folklore evidence, the historical records, its demise and its possible re-introduction.” The causes of extermination are discussed in detail, including legislation, the role of bounties and professional wolf hunters and deforestation. The book closes by assessing whether the Irish wolf could have been a unique sub-species and considers the controversial possibility of re-introduction. Kieran Hickey is a lecturer in Geography at NUI Galway and author of Deluge: Ireland’s weather disasters, 2009–2010. He is also a regular media commentator on climate and geography.  The author will be signing copies of Wolves in Ireland at the book launch in Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, Middle Street, Galway at 6pm on Thursday, 27 October. Wolves in Ireland is published by Open Air, an imprint of Four Courts Press, and is available in book stores across the country.   ENDS

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Cleveland Clinic visits BioInnovate at NUI Galway

Cleveland Clinic visits BioInnovate at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Representatives from Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, regarded as one of the top four hospitals in the US, visited NUI Galway this week as part of the BioInnovate Ireland initiative. Intent on driving medical device innovation, BioInnovate Ireland is a specialist training programme modelled on the Biodesign programme offered at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California. The Fellowship programme, which commenced last August, has recruited two elite multi-disciplinary teams, each of four high-calibre Fellows, which includes experienced medical, engineering, business, technology and law graduates. “NUI Galway and BioInnovate Ireland are delighted to receive representatives from the Cleveland Clinic and Senior Executives from the US Medical Devices Sector to NUI Galway. This is a unique opportunity for NUI Galway and the Galway med tech community to bring together clinical, academic and industrial leaders to discuss the capabilities for the emergence of a world centre for medical device innovation within Ireland”, said the Programme Director, NUI Galway’s Dr Mark Bruzzi, It is envisaged that the BioInnovate Ireland Fellowship Programme will act as a catalyst for enhancing innovation in medical device development within Ireland. The two teams are undertaking an intensive clinical immersion in teaching hospitals to help identify potential medical device development opportunities. Throughout a 10-month period, they will avail of the expert advice, direction and guidance from dedicated industrial mentors and serial entrepreneurs, along with clinicians with an interest in enhancing patient care through medical device innovation.The key benefits of the programme is the establishment of a network of clinical, academic and industrial leaders focused on medical device innovation and to contribute to the future of the medical device technologies sector in Ireland.  The primary output from this programme is the next generation of specially trained Fellows and skilled graduates from the BioInnovate class. BioInnovate Ireland is being offered by: NUI Galway, DCU, UCC, UL and RCSI, with the support of the IMDA, SFI, Enterprise Ireland, IDA, Medtronic, Creganna, Steripak, Lake Region Medical and a team of clinicians nationally. Recruitment for the Fellowship year 2012 will start in November 2011 with an expression of interest form available for download from   ENDS

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Major Conference to Focus on Delivery of Regional Growth through Innovation

Major Conference to Focus on Delivery of Regional Growth through Innovation -image

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

On Friday 4 November, the Border, Midland and Western (BMW) Regional Assembly and the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC) at NUI Galway will host a major conference on the contribution of regional innovation to regional and national economic development. The conference entitled Regional Innovation – A Catalyst for Sustainable Economic Growth in the BMW Region will address how the BMW Region can build on its knowledge-based capabilities to stimulate growth and employment in high value sectors. It will focus upon demonstrating why the Irish Government needs to support regions differently, as stated by the OECD in May 2011 “regions are not countries and (Governments) cannot simply replicate national policies at a regional scale”. The conference will be of enormous interest to key policy makers, enterprise agencies, academic researchers and industry representatives who wish to engage with the issue of creating an effective regional innovation system. Research recently carried out by the BMW Regional Assembly and by CISC at NUI Galway  on regional innovation and competitiveness will be presented at the event. The keynote address will be delivered by Dr Gerhard Fuchs, University of Stuttgart, who is an international expert on Regional Innovation Systems. Peter Reilly, Research and Development Director at Valeo Vision Systems will provide an industry perspective on academic business linkages. Valeo Vision Systems is one of the world's leading manufacturers of automotive vision systems, with a base in Tuam, Co. Galway. The outcomes of a major study completed this year by the BMW Regional Assembly on the innovation performance of the BMW Region will be presented by Dr Kieran Moylan. The report ‘An Audit of Innovation in the BMW Region: An Evaluation of a Regional Knowledge Economy’ sets out the key challenges and opportunities for job creation and economic growth in a range of emerging high value economic sectors.  It recommends that a more explicit regional dimension should be expressed in national innovation policy and argues that regional innovation strategies can form a more effective level of implementation at the regional and local level, e.g., in the medical devices sector in the Western region. Mr Gerry Finn, Director of the BMW Regional Assembly stated that: “There is now a much greater appreciation and understanding of the important role that effective regional innovation strategies can play as a catalyst in driving regional and national competitiveness, for the benefit of the entire economy.” Speaking in advance of the conference, Dr James Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “The West of Ireland region has unique advantages which offer rich potential. Recent work carried out by researchers at CISC highlights the innate competencies of the region and points out how a focus on creative and innovative pursuits has the potential for significant jobs growth in the region. This is a timely conference that will help us better define our own path towards economic and social sustainability”.  The conference takes place in the Bailey Allen Hall at NUI Galway on Friday, 4 November and further information is available at and ENDS

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China – A Century of Change Photo Exhibition at NUI Galway

China – A Century of Change Photo Exhibition at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

His Excellency, Luo Linquan Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People's Republic of China, will officially open a one month photo exhibition on the changes of China through the century entitled “A Century of Change” on Friday, 28 October. The exhibition, organised by the Irish Chinese Society Galway and the NUI Galway Arts Office, will take place from 28 October to 28 November, in the atrium of the Arts Millennium Building, NUI Galway.   This month marks the 100th anniversary of the Revolution of 1911 in China which ended 2000 years of feudal autocratic monarchies and founded the first republic in Chinese history. China has had a glorious history of continuous civilization for 5,000 years but with many trials and triumphs. Over the past three decades, the world has witnessed the rapid development of a prosperous new China. Today the Chinese are still working hard in the pursuit of world peace, sustainable development, human welfare and dignity so that its people can enjoy a decent life in a harmonious and stable society.   The exhibition evokes the past century with the instants of Chinese people from historical figures to ordinary Chinese with a highlight of the achievements of China during the past 30 years since the opening of China to the outside world.  The exhibition is free and open to the public.   -ENDS-

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The Closure of Dell’s Manufacturing Operation and Ireland’s Movement up the Value C

The Closure of Dell’s Manufacturing Operation and Ireland’s Movement up the Value C-image

Monday, 24 October 2011

Seeing the Positive in the Negative: The Closure of Dell’s Manufacturing Operation and Ireland’s Movement up the Value Chain The Midwest of Ireland was dealt a serious blow when, in 2009, Dell announced the relocation of its manufacturing operation to Lodz in Poland with the loss of 1,900 jobs. New research carried out by Dr Patrick Collins and Professor Seamus Grimes of the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change at NUI Galway, has attempted to uncover the fallout of this decision and ask what it has meant for the competitive positioning of Ireland more generally. “Dell’s decision was led by many factors including consumer demand and changing tastes, but much of the media pointed to the fact that Ireland had ‘priced itself out of the market’ and had become uncompetitive”, said Dr Collins. “The reality is that the Dell closed only its manufacturing operation in Limerick, it continues to employ many more in other higher end functions there.” The research shows the Dell case to be something of a microcosm for Ireland’s long term relationship with foreign direct investment. This is a relationship that has been evolving over the past 50 years that has seen lower value added jobs being replaced by higher valued added ones. “In its most simplistic form it’s a case of services replacing manufacturing, however, the picture is considerably more complex, some manufacturing techniques employed by the multinationals are highly evolved and quiet sustainable”, added Dr Collins. The research has been published in an article entitled ‘Cost-competitive places: shifting fortunes and the closure of Dell's manufacturing facility in Ireland’ in the international peer-reviewed journal European Urban and Regional Studies. This work tries to place Ireland in a global context in an era of economic turmoil. The article equates Ireland to a developed country and notes that, like many of its neighbours in Western Europe, it has been losing jobs to countries in Eastern Europe and Asia. The research focuses on what it terms a ‘grim’ period for Ireland’s job market in early 2009. In a matter of months the technology sector haemorrhaged nearly 10,000 jobs, over 80% of which were relocated to other countries. However, the positive is noted by the fact that the same period of time saw over 6,000 jobs announced for the same sector. “Taking the positive from the negative here is that the jobs we are gaining are significantly higher paid and more sustainable ones with brighter prospects to the ones we are losing”, Dr Collins noted. ENDS

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Future Doctors Delve into Research Projects

Future Doctors Delve into Research Projects-image

Monday, 24 October 2011

Over 60 medical students at NUI Galway have completed summer research projects into a range of areas such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, stem cell technologies, diabetes and arthritis. 40 medical and scientific faculty from both within the School of Medicine and Science, NUI Galway and the affiliated hospitals (i.e. Sligo General and Letterkenny) provided supervision for these projects. The prize for best overall research project went to second-year medical student Mr Alan Jacobsen, from Castlegar, Co. Galway. Over the summer Alan explored new treatments for leukaemia. Students applied for external competitive funding from grant agencies such as the HRB and Wellcome Trust. In 2011, 18 students within the programme secured funding from sources external to NUI Galway. In addition, internal competitive funding in the form of Curriculum Innovation Fund and Research Support Fund stipends (13 in total) were offered to students.  Finding from the projects were presented recently on campus, at the School of Medicine Undergraduate Open Day. “This focus on research at undergraduate level is designed to develop high calibre doctors with enormous research potential. Furthermore, it may encourage the development of the next generation of physician-scientists”, commented Dr Richard Flavin, Chairman of the School of Medicine Undergraduate Research Committee. The Undergraduate Research Day was opened by Dr Armand Keating, Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto and President-Elect of the American Society of Hematology. The day also incorporated a lecture by Professor Jozef Bartunek, Consultant Cardiologist, OLV Hospital, Belgium who discussed his work with stem cells. Closing the event was the John D. Kennedy Lecture, given by Dr Ramona McLoughlin, Consultant Gastroenterologist, UCHG. “Some students have succeeded in drafting research articles based on their work, which is a phenomenal achievement given the time constraints they are under. The general feedback from the summer scheme has been very positive and it is inspiring to see so many hardworking, inquisitive and dedicated research-orientated medical students. Many students will know present their findings at both national and international meetings”, said Dr Flavin. The focus on research at undergraduate level is part of an overall ethos at the School of Medicine to provide a holistic, involved and real educational experience. With its strong links to hospitals in Galway, Sligo, Donegal and Mayo, medical students at NUI Galway are brought into contact with patients from the earliest stages of their training. In addition, special study modules allow students to study extra modules such as Medial Electronics, sign language, sports psychology or teenage mental health promotion.  ENDS

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2011 Galway Science & Technology Festival Programme Launched

2011 Galway Science & Technology Festival Programme Launched-image

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

The 14thannual Galway Science and Technology Festival was launched today at a function in the Orbsen Building in NUI Galway, by Mr Gerry Kilcommins, VP Global Operations and General Manager Medtronic. A full two weeks of events was announced, which includes shows, demonstrations and activities for primary and secondary school students and a fantastic family day out at Final Day Exhibition on Sunday, 27 November, at NUI Galway. The Festival in its aim to increase the uptake and popularity of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects among young people, runs from 14_27November, and will culminate with the Festival Exhibition to be attended by the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn.  There is a great programme of events this year to choose from including Robert Hill's ‘Celestia and Stellarium Workshops’, Mr Bug returns with his snakes, cockroaches and tarantulas while Sue McGrath’s show will be full of pops, bangs and fizzing craziness. NUI Galway is running many interesting shows and events to stimulate the mind including ‘Computer Game Programming with Kinect’, an invitation to senior cycle Physics students to the new Engineering Building and a talk for students, parents and teachers on Cyber Bullying.  The Zoology and Geology Museum will be open for tours along with Ireland’s only Computer and Communications Museum.  GMIT is having an open day on Wednesday, 16 November, and tours of all facilities including science, technology and engineering laboratories will be available. There are also various interesting workshops for students including ‘Modern Medicines’, ‘The Chemistry of Smoking Addiction and Nicotine Patches’ and a ‘Forensic Investigation’. This year a ‘Mentoring Program’ by local engineers is available to senior cycle students looking for career advice. Engineers from over 11 different companies are participating in this initiative and will visit schools and talk to the students about subject choices they made and give practical career advice, details available on the website. Plans have been put in place to expand the 2011 Exhibition on 27 November, with more shows and exhibition stands. There will be up to 60 interactive stands representing areas including research, education, industry and the environment. This year a booking system is in place through to help people plan their day.The Galway Science Festival is a fantastic collaboration of education, industry and government and showcasing Galway as a leader in Medical Devices and ICT.  Festival Chairman Tom Hyland said today: “On behalf of the Board of the Galway Science and Technology Festival, I would like to thank all our sponsors for their participation in the 2011 Festival – great thanks must go to Medtronic for their 10 years of outstanding commitment to this event and to the other sponsors including The Galway Enterprise Board, Discover Science & Engineering and Boston Scientific who help bring excitement and fun to science and technology for children and families across the City and County.”  Dr James J. Browne, President of NUI Galway, commented: “For many years, Galway Science and Technology Festival has generated real excitement for young people about the wonders of science and technology.  As a University, NUI Galway shares this belief in the importance of making science and technology attractive to the next generation. Why? Because never before has Irish industry and society depended so much on bright, talented graduates to build Ireland's capacity in technology, research and innovation.  This Festival allows us in the University to open our doors, so that we can share the boundless possibilities and the sheer fun of science!”The 2011 Programme of events is available at and the exhibition will open at 10am on Sunday, 27 November, 2011.  ENDS.

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UN Professors Launch Joint Programme on Children and Young People in Ireland

UN Professors Launch Joint Programme on Children and Young People in Ireland-image

Friday, 21 October 2011

Ireland’s two UNESCO Chair holders came together today to launch an innovative and exciting programme dedicated to improving the rights and well being of children and young people across Ireland. The Children and Youth Programme is an independent academic collaboration between Professor Alan Smith at the University of Ulster and Professor Pat Dolan from NUI Galway. In the coming months the Programme will initiate a debate on two key points – the value of a rights-based approach to the planning and provision of children’s services in both parts of the island, and the need for both governments to incorporate a stronger commitment to children’s rights in legislation.  Speaking today on United Nations Day, Professor Alan Smith, UNESCO Chair in Education for Pluralism, Human Rights and Democracy at the University of Ulster stated: “As the two UNESCO Chairs on the island of Ireland we believe that the academic programme we are launching today will help to reinforce the notion that a strong commitment to children’s rights will have better outcomes for children and families across the island. As we see on a daily basis the most difficult part of any economic downturn is the fact that it is the poorest and the vulnerable who are usually most affected by financial cut backs. Consequently it is the children of those hardest hit by job losses and cutbacks to children and family services who suffer most. We only need to look at the stark predictions being made by those who work in the front line services to see that this is the case. For example,  the impact of welfare and budget cuts on increased poverty levels in Northern Ireland or the fact that today in Ireland, 18.6% of children now live in risk of poverty, and 8.7% already live in consistent poverty. A rights based approach provides stability and certainty of resource allocation and protection for the most vulnerable in times of financial constraint and cutback. As a constant it also requires that all government decisions take account of the rights of children, ensuring that no one falls through the gaps in monitoring processes or becomes a victim of shifting political priorities.” Professor Dolan is Director of the Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway, and holds the UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement: “We believe that there are clear signals the administrations on both sides of the border can send, not only to the international community, but to the next generation on this island, that they will be protected and nurtured, with certainty in policy making and reliability in service provision. The Northern Ireland Assembly has the power to pass legislation which will require every government department to take account of children’s rights in all policy decisions, as the Welsh Assembly has already done. Incorporating the UN Convention and the Rights of the Child and developing a rights-based approach to policy development could be one of the greatest single legislative acts undertaken by the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive since its formation. Likewise, the prospect of a referendum in Ireland to include a clear and binding commitment to children’s rights in the constitution is a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity. Common sense concern for children and families should encourage everyone to support such a referendum.” Professor Dolan added: “Over the next year we want to initiate a debate on how services for children and young people can be provided on the basis of rights.  We hope to show that it is an approach underpinned by clear and consistent obligations that will cherish all children equally.” -ends-

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