Honorary Conferrings Launch NUI Galway Conferring Week

Honorary Conferrings Launch NUI Galway Conferring Week-image

Monday, 18 October 2010

Over 4,000 students will graduate from NUI Galway during the Autumn Conferring Ceremonies taking place this week. Today (Monday,18 October), NUI Galway will confer two Honorary Masters Degree during the ceremonies on musician Máirtín O'Connor and County Galway Councillor Norman Morgan. Máirtín O'Connor will be honoured for his lifetime contribution to Irish traditional music. Máirtín has had a successful solo career and was a member of many of traditional music s leading groups including, Midnight Well, De Dannan, The Boys of the Lough, and Skylark. He has recorded with many national and international musicians throughout his career and was the first recipient of the Allied Irish Bank Traditional Musician of the Year Award. Councillor Norman Morgan will be recognised as a renowned historian, archivist and book collector, community activist and Loughrea Town Councillor. Councillor Morgan recently donated 13 issues of the Galway Independent from the 1800s to the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway and 157 rare editions of the Dublin Evening Mail which dated from 5 February, 1838 to 31 December, 1855 to the Dublin City Library. Speaking ahead of the ceremonies, Dr James J. Browne, NUI Galway President, said: "NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history. Today we are proud to honour Máirtín O'Connor and Councillor Norman Morgan for their contributions to music, culture, public service and education. They are particularly worthy individuals and NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise their exceptional talents and achievements." The annual NUI Galway Autumn Conferring Ceremonies began with the Adult and Continuing Education ceremonies on 15 October, with 990 students completing a range of certificates, diploma and degree courses locally at the University and at many outreach locations across the country. -Ends-

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Western Region NUI Galway/BSTAI/Sunday Business Post Business 2000 Table Quiz

Western Region NUI Galway/BSTAI/Sunday Business Post Business 2000 Table Quiz-image

Friday, 15 October 2010

The Western Region NUI Galway/BSTAI/Sunday Business Post Business 2000 Table Quiz took place recently in the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics, NUI Galway. Twenty three schools, with a total of thirty one teams from all over the West took part with the top three winning teams going forward to represent the West at the National Finals in November. The table quiz, organised by NUI Galway and the BSTAI in conjunction with the Sunday Business Post Business 2000, was held for Junior Certificate students of Business Studies. Professor Willie Golden, Dean of the College of Business, Public Policy and Law, NUI Galway expressed his delight at the high standard of students competing. "NUI Galway works closely with its regional hinterland and this is nowhere more evident than in the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics. A defining part of all our student courses is the engagement with the local community. Working with the BSTAI 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 said, "It is great to see the high level of interest from students and teachers in the region. Events such as these showcase the extra curricular effort that is the hallmark of the teaching profession." The tension rose quickly on the night, as two teams went head-to-head in a tie breaker round for first place. In the end, the winners were St. Raphaels College, Loughrea. Second place went to Gort Community School. Third place went to Seamount College, Kinvara. The top three teams from the regional final will now go on to compete in the National Finals, which will take place in Tipperary Institute in November. For further information please contact: Padraic De Búrca, College of Business Public Policy and Law, NUI Galway. 086 6089511 or padraic.deburca@nuigalway.ie ENDS

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Leaving Certificate Excellence Honoured at NUI Galway

Leaving Certificate Excellence Honoured at NUI Galway-image

Friday, 15 October 2010

A select group of first-year students at NUI Galway recently received a total of €83,300 in recognition of the high points they achieved in the recent Leaving Certificate examination. At a special ceremony on Thursday, 14 October, 49 students were presented with a cheque for €1,700 and a specially designed scroll to mark their achievement. Entrance Scholarships are given annually to new entrants at NUI Galway who reached a minimum of 560 points in their Leaving Certificate examination, except in Medicine. In Medicine, ten Scholarships were awarded, based on the combined results in the Leaving Certificate and the new Admissions Test (H-PAT Ireland). This year Entrance Scholarships were awarded to students from 41 individual schools throughout Ireland. The winners represented 16 counties including Antrim, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Limerick, Mayo, Meath, Offaly, Roscommon and Westmeath. NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne, who presented the cheques to each individual winner, said: "We are delighted to recognise the academic talent of these 49 outstanding individuals from all over Ireland. The purpose of these awards is to encourage each student to develop his/her academic potential to the fullest, by setting a realistic threshold of excellence and rewarding every student who attains that level." Designed to attract the best students to NUI Galway and reward their academic excellence, the awards may be held with any other scholarships or grants, including the University's extensive Sports Scholarship Scheme. Ends

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Second Annual Irish-American Human Rights Seminar at NUI Galway

Second Annual Irish-American Human Rights Seminar at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway will host the second annual Irish-American Exchange on Human Rights seminar, which will take place from 17 to 18 October. This annual event will bring together faculty and students from two distinguished human rights institutions, the Center for Civil and Human Rights at Notre Dame Law School and the Irish Centre for Human Rights in NUI Galway. The seminar will open on Sunday, 17 October, at 11am in the Moore Institute at NUI Galway, with introductory comments from Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, and Professor Doug Cassel, Director of The Centre for Civil and Human Rights at Notre Dame Law. This seminar is an opportunity for colleagues to present their research, share ideas and engage in discussion. On Monday, 18 October, activities will be held at Kenny's Bookshop in the Liosbaun Industrial Estate, where presentations will combine or relate human rights issues with various literary themes. The seminar will conclude with a reception and the inaugural launch of the Irish Centre for Human Rights photo exhibition entitled 'Human Rights Through the Lens'. Speaking about the upcoming event Professor William Schabas said: "These annual gatherings bring together human rights specialists from the US and Ireland, where we can compare the differences in our perspectives and learn from each other. Our starting point is the same, of course. It is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The two Human Rights Centres, at Notre Dame University and at NUI Galway, play important roles in their own countries. Each has a very international outlook, something that enhances a common vision." The event is free to attend and is open to the public. For further information contact Alexis Bushnell in the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, at 091 49 3798. -Ends-

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€1.1 Million Contribution to NUI Galway Enterprise Agility Group

€1.1 Million Contribution to NUI Galway Enterprise Agility Group-image

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

A Dublin-headquartered market-leader for post-trade automation solutions to the global securities services industry will contribute in excess of €1 million over a five-year period to research at NUI Galway. The contribution by Information Mosaic will be geared towards the management of agile and lean systems development in the Enterprise Agility group at the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC) at NUI Galway. A primary objective of the Enterprise Agility group is to build and maintain an international network of excellence around the management of agile and lean development, with NUI Galway firmly at the hub of this network. According to Dr Kieran Conboy, Leader of the Enterprise Agility group: "It is significant, close-knit engagement and collaboration with industry partners such as Information Mosaic that can make this goal a reality." The partnership will involve a very close working relationship between Information Mosaic and the Enterprise Agility group, including hosting of researchers, joint delivery of seminars, co-authoring of papers, and placement of NUI Galway students to work with the eight Information Mosaic staff dedicated to the project. Declan Costello, the CTO of Information Mosaic, adds: "To stay competitive and grow our business, our collaboration with NUI Galway will help us better implement agile and lean methods in our own company and provide the opportunity for us to both be thought-leaders in this space." Dr Kieran Conboy also referred to the key role that Dr Meghann Drury has played in creating this collaboration. "Since joining our group in February, Meghann has developed strategic links with a number of companies such as Information Mosaic, and it is great to see that her early research has led to such a large scale industry investment." Meghann is a PRTLI funded postdoctoral researcher, and her work with Dr Conboy, Dr Tom Acton and Professor Willie Golden focuses on decision processes, data presentation methods, and decision quality in agile and lean environments. The Enterprise Agility group includes a team of 20 academic staff in NUI Galway, along with five postdoctoral researchers and 12 existing doctoral students across the School of Business & Economics (Business Information Systems, Accountancy & Finance, Management and Marketing), the School of Law, the School of Psychology, Centre for Research on Occupational and Life Stress (CROLS), and Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), and is supported by existing funding of over €4.2 million. Through CISC and building upon NUI Galway and the University of Limerick's (UL) collaborative alliance, the group is becoming a formal member of the Lero Software Engineering Research Centre, a Science Foundation Ireland funded CSET, and will be applying its existing research skills and multidisciplinary knowledge to the software engineering domain. -Ends-

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Thirteenth Galway Science and Technology Festival Launched at NUI Galway

Thirteenth Galway Science and Technology Festival Launched at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

The Galway Science and Technology Festival, now in its thirteenth year, was formally launched today (October 12) at a function at the National University of Ireland, Galway. The launch at the Aula Maxima, was performed by Mr. William A Hawkins, the Chairman and CEO of Medtronic Inc. One of the Festival's proudest boasts is of its ongoing engagement with the community – the grand finale involves 20,000 young people visiting the Festival Exhibition in a day-long event which has become one of the most popular on Galway's annual diary. The Festival – which was founded to increase the uptake and popularity of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects among young people – runs from November 8 to 21 and will culminate with the Festival Exhibition, which will be held at the new location in the Bailey Allen Hall at NUI, Galway on November 21. This year's Exhibition will be formally opened 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 Cosmic Explorers using the latest 3D stereo technology to explore the possibility of life on other planets. Mr Bug returns with his snakes, cockroaches and Tarantulas while Sue McGrath turns science into magic with her show based around negatively charged particles and magnets with the help of Sponge Bog Square Pants pet Gary . James Soper features with his show Galileo s Greatest Mistake and Galway's very own Mad Scientist Craig Steven's will conjure up foggy ice storms and make giant smoke rings. In the two-week run of the Festival, Galway's two third level colleges, NUI, Galway and GMIT, will open their doors to all the primary and second level students in the City and County. At NUI Galway there are many very interesting shows and events to stimulate the mind including the 'True Physics Rocket Workshop' which is very popular for secondary school students. There are Museums to explore including Ireland s only Computer & Communications Museum! showcasing the development of technology and where original computer games like Space Invaders are available. Guided tours of the NUIG Research Institutes, etc and also a series of informal talks Open Your Mind Seminar Series each Wednesday at lunchtime from November 10th. GMIT have various workshops to choose from including Medicines and how they work and Engineering and Energy Technologies . The regional finals of the ISTA PharmaChem Ireland Science Quiz for Leaving Certificate students will take place in GMIT on November 11th. There is also on offer the popular tour of Galway Bay FM and Dr Thompson s Laboratory will be available in the Galway Civic Museum. The Exhibition will also feature many of the shows included in the Programme, there will be up to 60 interactive stands representing areas including research, education, industry and the environment. The 20,000 tickets for the event will be distributed to schools throughout Galway City and County in the weeks prior to November 21. The event would not be possible without an enormous commitment by education, by industry and by our sponsors, Festival Chairman Tom Hyland said today. "On behalf of the Board of the Galway Science and Technology Festival, I am deeply grateful to Mr. William Hawkins, the Chairman and Chief Executive of Medtronic, for giving us his time to launch the Festival today here at NUI, Galway. I want to assure him that his personal interest, and the commitment of Medtronic, are deeply valued by all of us in the Galway Festival," said Mr. Hyland. Minister for Enterprise Trade and Innovation Mr. Batt O'Keeffe TD has praised the Festival as an important awareness-building exercise aimed at encouraging more young people into science, technology, engineering and maths courses. The 2010 Programme of events is available at www.galwayscience.ie and the exhibition will open at 11am on Sunday 21st November, 2010. -Ends-

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Award for NUI Galway Web Researcher at International Conference

Award for NUI Galway Web Researcher at International Conference-image

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

An NUI Galway Web researcher has been awarded the 'Best Paper Award' at a Web conference in Italy. Dr Axel Polleres of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute, (DERI) at NUI Galway, recently won the award at the Web Rules and Reasoning Conference in Bressanone, Italy. Dr Polleres' work surrounds a standard query language for the Web entitled SPARQL1.1. This language allows users to ask complex multi-faceted questions when searching the Web. The awarded paper "Redundancy Elimination on RDF Graphs in the Presence of Rules, Constraints, and Queries", emerged from a collaboration with an Austrian University, TU Vienna. It is co-authored by Professor Reinhard Pichler, Sebastian Skritek, and Dr Stefan Woltran. The work describes theoretical foundations of compressing structured information on the Web for more efficient processing and exchange. This work aims to provide a basis for optimisations within future Web databases. Dr Axel Polleres, Leader of the Research Unit for Reasoning and Querying and Senior Research Fellow at DERI says, "A goal of my work is to build bridges from theory to practice in the application of Semantic Web technologies which is why I am so delighted that our work is so well-received on both ends of academic research." Dr Polleres' Research Unit previously received another prize on practical applications of Semantic Web technologies in Content Management Systems in last year's International Semantic Web Conference. "My research focuses on both foundations of Web search and real world applications of Semantic Web technologies. Eventually, our goal is to make the Web usable like one huge database, which can answer complex questions, beyond the common keyword search of current Web search engines," Dr Polleres added. Dr Stefan Decker, Director of DERI says, "This prize does not only confirm our academic leadership internationally, but also provides a sound basis for our industrial partners. They know the place to go to find the knowledge they need is Ireland and especially DERI." -Ends-

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Covidien Announces R&D Investment with NUI Galway

Covidien Announces R&D Investment with NUI Galway-image

Monday, 11 October 2010

Covidien, a leading global supplier of healthcare products, today announced that it is investing €900,000 in medical technologies research and development projects with NUI Galway, during the next two years. This is the first phase of a multi-part investment of €1.8 million with Irish academic institutions which Covidien announced in July. Covidien has engaged in discussions with IDA Ireland, Ireland s investment promotion agency, to establish three collaborative programmes to support active technology development projects. Today's announcement details two of the highly innovative projects, in Editor's Notes below, with information about the third project to follow in the coming months. The announcement was made today in Dublin and was attended by the Minister for Health and Children, Ms Mary Harney T.D. Speaking at the announcement, Minister Harney said: "University-based facilities enabled by this collaboration with Covidien will help to ensure that Ireland continues to produce high-quality researchers who can innovate new technologies and design robust scientific research. This ultimately produces the valuable data that furthers patient health and safety." Speaking about Covidien's investment, Scott Flora, President, Surgical Devices, Covidien, said, "The medical devices sector in Ireland has a legacy of innovative products and is of critical importance to the country's economic recovery. We are dedicated to R&D in partnership with IDA Ireland. We believe the medical devices and health sectors will be a thriving part of Ireland's business growth and high-technology job creation in the future." Through these collaborative programs, Covidien hopes to incentivise students to choose science as a career and promote the continued growth and prosperity of the medical devices sector in Ireland. Barry O'Leary, CEO, IDA Ireland, added, "Ireland is recognised as a key global hub for medical technologies, employing the highest medical technologies personnel per capita in Europe. Nearly 60% of the sector's companies are now carrying out R&D functions here and today's announcement is another great example of how the unique collaboration between Government, industry and academia in Ireland can assist global companies such as Covidien to meet their R&D needs." The project involves a number of research groups based in the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at NUI Galway including the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) and the Centre for Pain Research (CPR). Speaking at the event, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway Professor Terry Smith said "NUI Galway is delighted to be part of this investment by Covidien for research to be led by Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials and Dr David Finn, Lecturer in Pharmacology and Co-Director of the Centre for Pain Research. It is yet another tangible benefit arising from the Government investment in R&D in Ireland and acknowledges the part which Irish research plays in translating research from the bench to the clinic." Earlier this year, Covidien announced an investment of €11 million in a state-of-the-art European Services Centre in Cherrywood Dublin. The centre employs 200 people who manage sales and marketing, customer services, credit control, contracts and pricing, and import and export functions for 16 European countries. Covidien is a leading global healthcare products company that creates innovative medical solutions for better patient outcomes and delivers value through clinical leadership and excellence. Covidien manufactures, distributes and services a diverse range of industry-leading product lines in three segments: Medical Devices, Pharmaceuticals and Medical Supplies. With 2009 revenue of $10.3 billion, Covidien has 42,000 employees worldwide in more than 60 countries, and its products are sold in over 140 countries. Please visit www.covidien.com to learn more about our business. -Ends-

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Award for NUI Galway Postgraduate Researcher at European Biomaterials Conference

Award for NUI Galway Postgraduate Researcher at European Biomaterials Conference-image

Monday, 11 October 2010

A first year postgraduate researcher at the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials, (NFB) at NUI Galway, was recently awarded the best podium presentation at the 23rd European Conference on Biomaterials. Bill Daly received the award at the Annual Conference of the European Society for Biomaterials (ESB) which was held in Tampere, Finland. The research is funded by Enterprise Ireland through the Proof of Concept scheme and focuses on developing a three-dimensional construct to study neural tissue regeneration in vitro. The award-winning presentation is entitled 'A Three Dimensional in vitro Model for the Assessment of Neurite Growth'. The project investigates how alterations on the surfaces of implantable materials can modify the growth of nerve cells. This is relevant to peripheral nerve repair studies. To test the effects of modifying the surfaces, Bill has developed a system which uses lasers to etch patterns on the surface of the materials and then measures the resulting growth. Stimulating growth while also controlling the direction of this growth is the ultimate goal as this facilitates the re-growth of long nerve fibres. The work is co-supervised by Professor Abhay Pandit and Dr Dimitrios Zeugolis at the NFB and by Dr Claire O'Connell at the National Centre for Laser Applications (NCLA). NCLA researcher Dr Claire O'Connell says: "This is a great accomplishment for Bill. The NCLA is delighted to be involved in this research and recognises the enormous implication that this study will achieve in the neural tissue regeneration area." The 23rd European Conference on Biomaterials attracted more than 800 delegates from across the scientific and engineering disciplines as well as members from the clinical and industrial sectors. Researchers from the NFB presented nine podium presentations and two poster presentations during the event representing a significant achievement for the NFB at an international event. The European Society of Biomaterials is a non-profit scientific society whose main objective is to encourage progress in the field of biomaterials in all its aspects, including research, teaching and clinical applications, as well as to foster any other related activity. The society was founded in March 1976 and became a member of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Sciences and Engineering (IUS-BSE) at its inception in 1979. The ESB has approximately 750 members from 32 countries worldwide. Next year, the ESB conference will be hosted by the NFB in Dublin on 4 to 9 September, 2011 at the Convention Centre Dublin. -Ends-

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Rose of Tralee Launches Mental Health Week at NUI Galway

Rose of Tralee Launches Mental Health Week at NUI Galway-image

Thursday, 7 October 2010

This year's Rose of Tralee and NUI Galway Psychology graduate Clare Kambemettu yesterday (06 October) launched Mental Health Week, 10 to17 October at the University. Along with launching a comprehensive programme of events surrounding 'Building Resilience - to protect mental health and wellbeing', the Rose also launched a MyStudentBody website dealing with mental health and wellbeing issues for students and parents and a Bobby Baker Art Exhibition which runs from 6 to 30 October. Clare Kambemettu, from Athy in County Kildare, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from NUI Galway in 2005 and continued her studies in the University by completing a higher Diploma in Arts, Psychology Conversion in 2006. This is the first time that Clare has returned to NUI Galway in her official capacity as International Rose of Tralee. The programme for Mental Health Week is very varied including, societies events, a Graduate Jobs Fair, opportunities to volunteer with the Alive Volunteering Programme, and the chance to be physically active with Sports and Recreation. A keynote session, of 'Laughter Yoga' will also take place on 14 October. In the session laughter is simulated as a body exercise in a group and soon turns into real contagious laughter, leaving participants feeling happy, healthy and energised. The MyStudentBody® website is a comprehensive online programme originating from the USA which tackles the most relevant health issues on college campuses today including alcohol, drugs, sexual health, tobacco, nutrition, and stress. Using a unique three prong approach, MyStudentBody reaches students, parents, and administrators with information that aims to improve students' daily lives and overall wellness. The website aims to reduce student health risks on the individual and campus community level, empower families with strategies and tools for supporting student health, find strategies and apply data to strengthen prevention initiatives. The Bobby Baker Diary Drawing Exhibition entitled 'Mental Illness and Me, 1997 – 2008', depicts Bobby's experiences of day hospitals, acute psychiatric wards, 'crisis' teams and a variety of treatments, while coping with personal mental illness. The drawings chart the ups and downs of her recovery, family life, work as an artist, breast cancer and just how funny all this harrowing stuff can be. Bobby Baker herself will give an illustrated talk on Wednesday, 13 October at 8pm at the Bank of Ireland Theatre. She will explore how painting, breathing and madness led her to create the remarkable series of drawings on which the exhibition is based. Speaking at the launch of Mental Health Week, Administrative Officer of Student Services at NUI Galway, Matt Doran said, "In these times when there is so much apparent hopelessness, the advice of the recently beatified John Henry Newman who is often quoted in relation to University Education is very relevant: "Let us act on what we have, since we have not what we wish". When we actively seek out "what we have", we will find a lot of positives and this is key to Building Resilience and coping skills, the theme of this year's Mental Health Week." ENDS

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