Foirgneamh Innealtóireachta nua d'Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

D'fhógair an tAire Oideachais agus Eolaíochta, Batt O'Keeffe T.D. aréir go bhfuil cead tugtha ag an Rialtas do OÉ Gaillimh tús a chur leis an obair ar an bhFoirgneamh Innealtóireachta nua ar champas Chathair na Gaillimhe – foirgneamh a chosnóidh €50 milliún. View in English Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Aire O'Keeffe le linn dó a bheith ar cuairt ar OÉ Gaillimh: "Cúis áthais dom a fhógairt go bhfuil cead tugtha ag an Rialtas do OÉ Gaillimh Scoil Innealtóireachta nua a fhorbairt. Maoineofar an Foirgneamh Innealtóireachta nua trí mheascán de mhaoiniú státchiste faoi Phlean Forbartha Náisiúnta 2007-2013, cistí airgid a bhaileoidh OÉ Gaillimh, mar aon le maoiniú ó dheontóirí". Beidh achar 14,200 méadar cearnach san fhoirgneamh seo ina mbeidh Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na Faisnéisíochta; coláiste atá scaipthe i 13 fhoirgneamh éagsúla i láthair na huaire, idir fhoirgnimh ar an gcampas agus fhoirgnimh lasmuigh den champas. Áireofar tionscnaimh 'ghlasa' i dtógáil an fhoirgnimh seo, tionscnaimh a úsáidfear mar uirlis teagaisc amach anseo freisin. Beidh thart ar 110 comhalta foirne ag obair san fhoirgneamh nua seo agus beidh áiseanna ann do thart ar 1100 mac léinn. D'fháiltigh an Dr James Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, roimh an dea-scéala: "Cabhróidh an foirgneamh nua seo go mór le cur chun cinn na hInnealtóireachta anseo in OÉ Gaillimh sna blianta amach romhainn. Tá dea-cháil orainn le blianta fada anuas as caighdeán ár gclár Innealtóireachta agus cinnteoidh an fhorbairt nua seo go dtiocfaidh athrú iomlán ar áiseanna agus ar chaighdeán na gclár a bheidh á dtairiscint againn dár mic léinn. Bainfidh cathair na Gaillimhe agus an ceantar máguaird tairbhe as an bhfoirgneamh seo freisin – ní hamháin go gcruthófar poist sa ghearrthéarma, cuirfidh sé ar ár gcumas céimithe Innealtóireachta den chéad scoth a fhorbairt". Is iad na hailtirí clúiteacha RMJM (Albain) i gcomhar le Taylor Architects, Caisleán an Bharraigh, Co. Mhaigh Eo a dhear an foirgneamh seo – an foirgneamh is mó a thógfar mar chuid d'aon fhorbairt amháin ar champas na hOllscoile i nGaillimh agus is ó thuaidh de Dhroichead na gCúig Chéad a bheidh an foirgneamh suite. Cuirfear an conradh tógála amach ar tairiscint Dé hAoine, 12 Nollaig. Tá sé beartaithe tús a chur leis an tógáil i mí Aibreáin 2009 agus an tionscadal a thabhairt chun críche in 2011. I rith na tógála fostófar 300 duine ar an tionscadal seo. Chomh maith leis sin, dúirt an tAire O'Keeffe go mbeidh "ról lárnach ag institiúidí cosúil le OÉ Gaillimh i gcabhrú leis an Stát déileáil leis na héilimh agus na dúshláin a bheidh le sárú mar chuid den iarracht geilleagar eolasbhunaithe a chruthú". CRÍOCH

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New Engineering Degree has Designs on Innovation and Invention

Monday, 8 December 2008

NUI Galway is to offer a new Electronic Engineering degree, via the CAO, called the B.E. in Engineering Innovation – Electronic. The new four-year course, with the option of a fifth year to achieve a Masters, will deliver graduates with the skills and capabilities to start up their own company to design niche electronic products for world-wide markets. Established companies will also benefit from the availability of a new type of Electronic Engineer who has the capability to stimulate and support innovation and growth in those organisations. The multi-disciplinary programme will educate and train students in three distinct areas: Electronic Engineering, Business & Finance, and Design & Innovation. While innovation and entrepreneurship are traditionally seen as innate skills, Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin, Head of Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway, says a cross-disciplinary approach to education can provide a massive boost. Professor Ó Laighin, said: "At NUI Galway, we are constantly seeking new ways to expand the horizons of our engineering graduates. The new course will ensure that in designing new electronic systems and devices, engineers will be equipped to consider both the technical and financial considerations associated with successful product design. This multidisciplinary aspect of the programme will create adaptable engineers with a new skills set capable of anticipating market demands and of responding to the developing needs of our changing society". Modern day electronic engineering solutions are integral to a wide range of devices including laptops, MP3 players, pacemaker devices, life-support systems, sustainable energy devices, automotive electronics, mobile phones, robotics, etc. At NUI Galway, Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin is confident that graduates from this new programme will be key contributors in the design of the next wave of niche electronic devices, creating new Irish companies in the process. "The current economic climate heralds in a new age of the indigenous entrepreneur, particularly the technologically savvy entrepreneur. Ireland's economic future requires the creation of Irish owned companies led by engineers who can who through invention and innovation will create economic success". For admission to the BE/MEngSc in Engineering Innovation - Electronic, applicants must satisfy the Matriculation requirements of NUI Galway in six subjects including Irish, English, Mathematics and a Laboratory Science subject. The minimum requirements are the same as for the other engineering degree programmes at NUI Galway and include at least a C3 in Higher Level Mathematics, or a pass in the NUI Galway Special Entrance Examination in Mathematics. -Ends-

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Student Creates Device that Could Knock €400 off Electricity Bill

Sunday, 7 December 2008

An NUI Galway student could expect to save over €400 a year thanks to a home-made device he invented which measures domestic power use. Gerard Gallagher, a student of the new programme in Science and Technology Studies, was awarded the Project Prize for his idea entitled 'Domestic Energy Monitoring'. Using off-the-shelf components, he created a device which revealed a considerable wastage of power, particularly overnight. Originally from Easky, Co. Sligo, Gerard says the idea of the domestic energy monitor arose from the need to be able to monitor real-time energy usage in the home. He wanted to examine the hypothesis that, in doing so, energy wastage can be identified and eradicated. According to Gerard, "A facility is already in place in the form of the ESB meter, but this only measures cumulative rather than real-time usage. The prototype measures current usage, and with the aid of a microprocessor, formats and displays results on an LCD display, and also outputs results to a serial port for PC or network connection. This allows a monitoring station to log and save both real-time and historical usage which can be further processed or examined as required". He added: "If I can pinpoint the potential energy saving it could contribute to a significant decrease in domestic carbon emissions, not to mention ESB bills. My current estimate for savings is €409 for the household per annum". Speaking at the prize-giving ceremony, the Science and Technology Studies programme co-ordinator, Dr Niamh Nolan, complemented Gerard on the originality and relevance of his project: "The judges were exceptionally impressed with the overall standard of the projects and noted that this bodes well for the success of the programme and its future graduates". The modular programme in Science and Technology is a new programme targeted at working adults and delivered under the auspices of the Atlantic University Alliance; a collaboration between NUI Galway, University of Limerick and University College Cork. The blended delivery of the programme enables participants to adjust study times to suit their lifestyle and to spread the programme out over a suitable time frame. Participants engage with the programme through custom written course books, online and at Saturday tutorials. The project module provides participants with an opportunity to actively apply their learning and skills to a particular work or life scenario under the supervision of a programme tutor. The prize was generously donated by ULearning Skillnet, a network of industry representatives and academics dedicated to providing flexible programmes of benefit to enterprise and enterprising individuals. For more information on the programme please visit www.modularbsc.ie -ends-

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New Book on Ireland and Climate Change

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Climate change will transform Ireland sooner than we think according to a new book by NUI Galway's Dr Kieran Hickey. Aimed at the everyday reader, Five Minutes to Midnight? Ireland and Climate Change sets out the causes of climate change and its implications for Ireland. According to the author "this book is meant to be wake-up call for the average Irish person and for our politicians". The book describes some disturbing scenarios for Ireland by the end of this century and beyond, depending on how we respond to climate change. Based on the careful projection of current trends, and up-to-date climatological research, Ireland's future might well contain scorching summers, parched lawns, water rationing, escalating rates of skin cancer, mosquitoes and great white sharks off in our seas. Winters will be muggy and wet, with flooded streets and sodden lawns due to some 15% more rainfall. Ireland will see fewer, but bigger and more deadly storms. With a changing climate, many native plants and animals will be lost. Salmon will disappear from our rivers, cod from our seas and potatoes from our fields. Exotic new crops and species will replace them. Rising sea-levels will lead to beleaguered and uninsurable seaside villages. City centres, perhaps even parts of Dublin, may have to be abandoned. Beaches, farms and golf links will be swept away as large swathes of the coastline taken over by rising seas. According to Dr Hickey: "The reference to five minutes to midnight means that its crunch time for climate change in Ireland. By 2080, within our children's lifetimes, Ireland will be vastly changed. Our forty shades of green will have given way to forty shades of yellow. Combating climate change is a global issue, but we cannot throw our hands in the air and wait for the US or China to take steps to save the day. Like charity, combating climate change begins at home". Dr Hickey added: "The first step is for each and every citizen to make it their responsibility to understand what is happening to the climate and to our country. We must comprehend the legacy we are leaving for our children and grandchildren and give ourselves a harsh wake-up call. As citizens, we can then shape political will and manage our country's future. We can influence events. But if we are to do so we must act decisively, and act now". The book has praise for some of the ways in which Irish industry has adapted to the carbon economy, which is likely to be worth 500 billion dollars annually by 2050, and will create tens of thousands of new Irish jobs. The book also examines 'doomsday scenarios' which include runaway global warming, runaway sea-level rise, and the 'turning off' of the Gulf Stream. Dr Kieran Hickey is a lecturer in Geography at NUI Galway. His book Five Minutes to Midnight? Ireland and Climate Change is available in most book shops and is published by White Row Press, Belfast. For further information, visit www.whiterowpress.com -ends-

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NUI Galway Commemorates 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human R

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Wednesday, 10 December, with a series of events on campus. Film screenings, a public lecture, a photography exhibition and a concert, will mark the signing in 1948 of one of the most prominent and enduring foundational documents of international human rights law. "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights remains the most important document of modern international human rights law", said Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway. "Although it is now 60 years old, it remains fresh and inspiring, and speaks to the world as if it was written yesterday. It stands as a monument to the common values of people around the world, and to their commitment to equality, freedom, justice and peace". To begin the day of celebration, the Irish Centre for Human Rights will screen a film created by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The film, Stories on Human Rights by Filmmakers, Artists and Writers, consists of 20 short movies from filmmakers around the world poignantly reflecting the many themes contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Following this, the final seminar in a lecture series examining the European Union as a force for the promotion of human rights, will feature Dr. Georges Christou from the University of Warwick. The focus of Dr Christou's research to date has been on the EU as a conflict resolution mechanism, and in the lecture he will address this broad issue in the specific context of the Cyprus conflict. His seminar is entitled 'The European Union and the Cyprus Conflict: Towards Open Frontiers?'. In the evening, a photography exhibition created by the first cohort of students undertaking NUI Galway's new BA Connect with Human Rights will officially open. The exhibition will contain images taken by the class which reflect the meaning and place of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in their own lives and in the lives of people around the world today. To conclude the day of celebration and commemoration, the Irish Centre for Human Rights will hold a live music session with Philip Fogarty and his band playing an eclectic mix of rock, pop, dance, alternative, classical and traditional music. The Irish Centre for Human Rights is one of the world's premier university-based institutions for the study and promotion of human rights and humanitarian law. Since its establishment in January 2000, the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway has developed a global reputation for excellence in the field of human rights teaching, research and advocacy, which has enabled the institution to attract high quality students to its acclaimed Masters programmes and to build a thriving community of doctoral researchers and undergraduate students. Admission to all events on 10 December is free of charge. For a full programme of events click here, call Tara Smith on 091 493798, or email T.Smith2@nuigalway.ie -ends-

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