Awards for Outstanding Graduates to be presented

Monday, 11 February 2002

Release date: 11 February, 2002

Awards for Outstanding Graduates to be presented

The NUI, Galway Alumni Awards will be presented at a Gala Banquet in the Radisson Hotel, on Saturday, 2 March. Awards will be presented in four categories to graduates who have made a distinctive contribution in their chosen careers. Through the awards programme, the University recognises individual excellence among its 43,000 graduates.

The ntl Award for Engineering, IT and Mathematics will be presented to Áine Brazil, from Salthill, a Managing Principal at Thornton-Tomasetti Engineers, New York. Throughout her 24 years experience she has been responsible for the design and construction of high-rise offices, hotels, air-rights projects with long span transfer systems, hospitals and sports arenas. In recent years Áine has been responsible for the structural design of several high profile high-rise projects in the New York City area, which include three commercial buildings on Times Square ranging from 550 ft to 850 ft tall. Also high on the list of her accomplishments is the role she played in leading the structural engineering team for the design of the 850,000 square feet expansion of New York Hospital spanning over the FDR highway.

In 1999 Ms. Brazil was named one of "New York's 100 Most Influential Women in Business" by Crain's New York Business. Last month she was featured in a New York Times article entitled "More Engineers in Hard Hats and Heels," which explored the hurdles she overcame as a woman in the construction industry. In May 2001, Ms. Brazil was honoured by Professional Women in Construction (PWC) in their Salute to Women of Achievement.

The Medtronic AVE Award for Health Care and Medical Science will be presented to Dr Luke Clancy, a consultant respiratory physician at St James's Hospital in Dublin. Originally from Salthill, Dr Clancy first graduated from NUI, Galway in 1963 with a BSc and again in 1966 as a medical doctor. He is Senior Lecturer in Respiratory Medicine at Trinity College Dublin and has conducted remarkable research into respiratorial conditions such as asthma, and why it is on the increase in Ireland. He is a member of the Euro TB advisory committee, an organisation that carries out surveillance of tuberculosis in Europe, as well as being involved with the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. This work also includes a study of air pollution trends and its associations with adverse health effects, comparing Northern Ireland and the Republic. Dr Clancy is a long-time anti-smoking campaigner and in his former capacity as Chairman of ASH Ireland, has worked tirelessly, and continues to do so, to combat the dangers involved with smoking in this country. Dr Clancy is also a former Director of the William Stokes Post Graduate Centre at St James's Hospital.

The Bank of Ireland Award for Business and Commerce, will be presented to Hugh Friel, who graduated from NUI, Galway with a B.Comm degree in 1966. Hugh is currently the Managing Director of the Kerry Group plc. A native of Donegal, he previously worked with Aer Lingus in New York, Mobil Oil Corp. in London and Erin Foods in Ireland. In 1972 he was appointed Financial Controller of North Kerry Milk Products Limited, the forerunner of Kerry Co-op and now Kerry Group plc. Kerry Group today is a leader in global food ingredients markets and a leading consumer foods processing and marketing organisation in selected EU markets. In less than 30 years, from the commissioning of its first manufacturing plant in Listowel, the Kerry organisation has grown to become a highly successful public company, having achieved sustained profitable growth with current annualised sales in excess of €2.6 billion. Listed on the Dublin and London Stock markets, Kerry has established over 80 manufacturing facilities across four continents and provides over 10,000 food and ingredient products through its network of international sales and technical centres to a wide customer base in 80 countries.

The Compaq Award for Literature, Communications and the Arts will be presented to Eddie Lenihan, County Clare based seanchaí and author who graduated from NUI, Galway in 1973 with a BA, again in 1975 with a HDip in Education and in 1978 with an MA. A historian, folklorist and until recently a teacher, he has been collecting Irish lore from the elders of Ireland for the past twenty-seven years, and now possesses probably the largest tape-archive held in private hands in Ireland today. Well known in Ireland and beyond as a seanchaí (who has been called 'Ireland's greatest living storyteller'), Eddie has published sixteen books, eleven audio-tapes, a double CD and a video on Irish culture and folklore, and his television programmes Storyteller and Ten Minute Tales ran for three consecutive years on RTÉ.

His most recent audio programme, The Good People, a collection of authentic Irish fairy stories for all ages, was published in the USA in 2001. Meeting The Other Crowd: The Fairy Stories of Hidden Ireland, co-edited with Carolyn E. Green, and due for publication in 2003, will be Lenihan's definitive collection of 'real' fairy stories from Ireland, to be followed by Tales from the Táin, Foreign Irish Tales for Children (No. 8 in his 15-book Fionn Mac Cumhail saga).

Ends

Information from:Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418

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