Three Awards for NUI Galway Engineers

Three Awards for NUI Galway Engineers-image

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Three NUI Galway engineers were honoured recently at the Bridge and Concrete Research in Ireland conference that was held in Dublin, from 6-7 September. This biennial symposium features leading researchers and practitioners from the island of Ireland with the focus on the latest developments and findings in the areas of bridge engineering and transport infrastructure, concrete technology, geotechnics, structural engineering and material science. This year, for the first time, a number of individuals received awards for their research contributions and there was considerable success for Civil Engineering at NUI Galway. The prestigious lifetime achievement award went to Eamonn Cannon, a recently retired Senior Lecturer from NUI Galway. Eamonn Cannon received the award for his significant and sustained contributions to research and teaching in concrete that stretch back over forty years.  Holding degrees from University College Dublin, Polytecnico di Milano and Imperial College London, Eamonn Cannon has published widely on many aspects of concrete research. Dr Jamie Goggins received the young researcher award and this category was for researchers at an early stage in their careers (under the age of 35). Dr Goggins received the award for the quality of his research publications and for his growing international reputation for the research in earthquake engineering, computational mechanics, sustainable construction technologies, sustainable energy and life cycle assessment. The final award for NUI Galway went to Gerard O’Reilly for the best paper by a graduate student at the conference. Gerard works under the supervision of Dr Goggins and the title of his presentation was ‘The development of a novel self-centering concentrically braced frame system for deployment in seismically active regions’.  There was strong competition for this award with over 50 graduate student presentations at the conference. Gerard O’Reilly has recently returned from an exchange visit to the University of California. “It is noteworthy that the three awards span the spectrum from a lifetime of achievement to a graduate engineer who is starting out on his research career”, commented Dr Piaras Ó hEachteirn, Head of Civil Engineering at NUI Galway. “The awards reflect well on the level and excellence of the research at NUI Galway and particularly in the area of concrete research.” ENDS

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Galway Leads European Research Event in Ireland

Galway Leads European Research Event in Ireland-image

Monday, 10 September 2012

Sea2Sky returns again The whole of Europe will be captivated by science on Friday, 28 September, as 320 cities celebrate European Researchers’ Night. Festivities in Ireland this year will be once again led by NUI Galway, with events planned throughout the day to showcase science on the grandest of scales. The free, fun, family event will see hundreds of researchers share their work with the public. Thousands are expected to visit the Promenade in Salthill, Galway on the night, to participate in experiments, competitions and quizzes, to watch demonstrations and simulations, to exchange ideas and get to know the researchers. After a very successful event in 2011, NUI Galway again participate under the theme Sea2Sky, with partners the Marine Institute and Galway Atlantaquaria, along with a new partner, CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork. The event will be themed around marine science, atmospherics and astronomy. “Interest in science is riding high and making headlines around the world. We have been captivated by news from the Large Hadron Collier in Geneva, images from NASA's mission on Mars, and video from the journey to the deepest point of the ocean by Hollywood’s James Cameron,” explains lecturer in physics and organiser of the event, NUI Galway’s Dr Andy Shearer. This year, Sea2Sky is linking up with the Galway Science Forum’s exhibition about the work of CERN – Accelerating Science. This exhibition, sponsored by Boston Scientific in partnership with NUI Galway, will show how CERN’s Large Hadron Collider can help us understand fundamental questions about the origins of the universe. Last year, some 10,000 people came to the event, and the plan is for an even bigger event this year, with highlights including the CERN exhibit, 3D tours of the universe and tours of the aquarium. The Galway Bay Hotel, Leisureland and Galway Atlantaquaria will be the three venues in Salthill Galway, with events also taking place in CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork. “Irish researchers are involved in some huge European research projects, and this is an opportunity to share some of the most exciting elements with the public”, added Dr Shearer. “At third-level, we have seen a surge in applications for science related courses and this event will be a real draw for anyone tempted by a career in science and research.” -ends- Gaillimh i gCeannas ar Ócáid Taighde na hEorpa in Éirinn Beidh an Eoraip ar fad faoi dhraíocht ag an eolaíocht an 28 Meán Fómhair, nuair a bheidh 320 cathair ag ceiliúradh Oíche Eorpach na dTaighdeoirí. Beidh OÉ Gaillimh i gceannas ar imeachtaí na hÉireann arís i mbliana agus tá imeachtaí eagraithe i rith an lae chun ardán ar scála ollmhór a thabhairt don eolaíocht. Ócáid shaor in aisce agus spraíúil don teaghlach a bheidh ann ina roinnfidh na céadta taighdeoirí a gcuid oibre leis an bpobal. Táthar ag súil go dtabharfaidh na mílte cuairt ar an bPromanád i mBóthar na Trá, Gaillimh ar an oíche chun páirt a ghlacadh i dturgnaimh, i gcomórtais agus i dtráth na gceisteanna, taispeántais agus cleachtaí a fheiceáil, smaointe a mhalartú agus aithne a chur ar na taighdeoirí. D’éirigh thar barr leis an ócáid in 2011, agus beidh an téama céanna ag OÉ Gaillimh arís i mbliana, Sea2Sky, i gcomhpháirt le Foras na Mara agus Atlantaquaria na Gaillimhe, mar aon le comhpháirtí nua i mbliana, Réadlann Chaisleán na Dúcharraige CIT i gCorcaigh. Beidh an ócáid dírithe ar réimse na mara, an aerthormáin agus na réalteolaíochta. “Tá borradh ag teacht faoin tsuim san eolaíocht agus í ar thús cadhnaíochta ar fud an domhain. Táimid faoi dhraíocht ag an scéala ón Imbhuailteoir Mór Hadróinarge  sa Ghinéiv, ag íomhánna ó mhisean NASA ar Mhars, agus ag físeán ón turas chuig an bpointe is ísle faoin bhfarraige a thug James Cameron as Hollywood,” a mhíníonn léachtóir amháin le fisic agus duine de lucht eagraithe na hócáide, an Dr Andy Shearer in OÉ Gaillimh. I mbliana, beidh Sea2Sky i gcomhpháirtíocht le taispeántas Fhóram Eolaíochta na Gaillimhe maidir le hobair CERN – Accelerating Science. Léireoidh an taispeántas seo, atá urraithe ag Boston Scientific i gcomhar le OÉ Gaillimh, an chaoi a bhféadfadh Imbhuailteoir Mór Hadróinarge CERN cuidiú linn tuiscint a fháil ar na buncheisteanna faoi bhunús na cruinne. Anuraidh, d’fhreastail thart ar 10,000 duine ar an ócáid, agus táthar ag súil le níos mó ná sin i mbliana, idir taispeántas CERN, turais 3D na cruinne agus turais den uisceadán. Is in Óstán Chuan na Gaillimhe, Leisureland agus Atlantaquaria na Gaillimhe a bheidh na himeachtaí ar siúl i mBóthar na Trá agus beidh imeachtaí eile ar siúl i Réadlann Chaisleán na Dúcharraige, CIT i gCorcaigh. “Tá taighdeoirí Éireannacha bainteach le tograí móra taighde san Eoraip agus deis í seo le cuid den eolas is suimiúla a roinnt leis an bpobal”, a deir an Dr Shearer. “Ag an tríú leibhéal, tá borradh tagtha faoi iarratais ar chúrsaí eolaíochta agus meallfaidh an ócáid seo duine ar bith a bhfuil suim acu i ngairm na heolaíochta agus na taighde”. -críoch-

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Conferring of an Honorary Degree Jointly by the Universities of Ireland North and South on Charles F. “Chuck” Feeney

Conferring of an Honorary Degree Jointly by the Universities of Ireland North and South on Charles F. “Chuck” Feeney-image

Thursday, 6 September 2012

The universities of Ireland, North and South, today conferred an honorary Doctorate of Laws (LLD) on Charles F. “Chuck” Feeney, founder of The Atlantic Philanthropies. The degree was conferred to give public honour and thanks to Chuck Feeney for his incredible support of the Irish universities over the past twenty years. It was also conferred to convey to the people of Ireland just how radical and transformative this continued support has been. This is the first time that the universities on the island of Ireland have come together to confer their highest award on an individual. Since 1989, The Atlantic Philanthropies have donated almost €800 million to Irish universities, North and South. Introducing Mr Feeney, Dr Patrick Fottrell, Chair, Science Foundation Ireland, said that ‘Chuck strongly advocated a “think big”, ambitious approach to third level research funding. He wanted to transform rather that “tinker at the edges” with the Irish research landscape’. ‘Thus, the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI) was launched in 1998 by the Higher Education Authority..., Atlantic funded 50% of the first cycle which was vital to kickstart the Programme. Levels of funding in the 100s of million euro which had been available in other competitive countries for many years, now became available in Ireland for the first time. Five cycles of the Programme have now been completed with an investment of 1.22 billion euro which includes government and private matching funds. The programme has provided key physical facilities and personnel for research in the humanities, sciences, engineering, technology and the social sciences including business and law’. Outlining Chuck Feeney’s contribution to the universities of Northern Ireland, Dr Fottrell referred to the joint initiative developed between the Department of Employment and Learning and Atlantic Philanthropies called The Support Programme for University Research (SPUR). The aim of this Programme was to support and strengthen the research capacity of both universities enabling them to increase the number of Research Centres capable of being assessed as being of the highest world quality in the Research Assessment Exercise which is a periodic assessment by the UK Government of the quality of research in third level institutions’. Dr Fottrell emphasised the impact the additional resources provided by Atlantic have had on raising the status of Irish research internationally. ‘For example’, he said, ‘independent ratings agencies now rank the quality of research in both Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland in the top 20 in the world. About ten years ago the Republic of Ireland was 40th in the world. Also, in strategically important areas of food and life science, rankings as high as the top three in the world have been attained. These are remarkable achievements’. Dr Fottrell also acknowledged the support of the Irish Government for continued commitment to research funding ‘especially in our recent difficult economic times’. He recognised the roles of the Higher Education Authority and the Departments of Education and Skills as well as Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.   The degree was conferred jointly on behalf of their respective universities by: Professor Brian Mac Craith, President, Dublin City University Dr Jim Browne, President, NUI Galway Professor Philip Nolan, President, NUI, Maynooth Dr Maurice Manning, Chancellor, National University of Ireland, Dr Michael Murphy, President, University College Cork Dr Hugh Brady, President, University College Dublin Professor Sir Peter Gregson, Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University, Belfast Professor Don Barry, President, University of Limerick Professor Richard Barnett, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ulster Dr Mary Robinson, Chancellor, University of Dublin. The Taoiseach Mr Enda Kenny TD and the Minister for Education & Skills Mr Ruairí Quinn TD were guests of honour at the ceremony. Link to event at Dublin Castle: http://www.nui.ie/news/2012/post_ChuckFeeney_HonCon.asp   -Ends-  

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Making the Most of Festivals

Making the Most of Festivals -image

Monday, 10 September 2012

Dr Eric Jensen, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick, will present a lunchtime seminar entitled Making the Most of Festivals at NUI Galway. Hosted by the Community Knowledge Imitative (CKI) at the University, the seminar will take place on Friday, 14 September from 12.30-2.30pm in the Moore Institute, NUI Galway. Many universities are involved in festivals, including organising their own festivals, participating in other festivals, and students working with organisations at music festivals and creating their own. These festivals can be an effective opportunity to engage with the public, making the most of the knowledge and talents of staff and students. Dr Eric Jensen will share his research findings on successful student engagement in festivals as well as tools to measure the impact of a festival. There are a number of challenges to evaluating festival impacts, and this seminar will discuss creative solutions to these challenges. This seminar will be based on discussion and will offer a space to share experiences and opportunities for reflection and development. Holding a PhD in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge, Dr Eric Jensen teaches advanced modules on the practice of social research, statistics, surveys and science engagement. He is a widely published expert in the evaluation of learning and engagement activities in non-formal settings. Making the Most of Festivals will appeal to festival organisers, members of the public who contribute to and run festivals, marketing and tourism specialists and student volunteers. Lunch will be served so those interested in attending are asked to RSVP by emailing alive@nuigalway.ie to ensure adequate catering. -ENDS-

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Expert Medical Student Selector to Speak at NUI Galway

Expert Medical Student Selector to Speak at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 10 September 2012

International medical student selection expert Dr Jon Dowell, Reader of Medicine, University of Dundee will undertake a two-day visit to Galway, hosted by the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, from 27-28 September. During his visit Dr Dowell will demonstrate how the University of Dundee, one of the top ranked medical schools in the UK, selects its medical students. Dr Dowell has led the use of the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI), originally developed by McMaster University in Canada, which is an interview format that uses many short independent assessments, typically in a timed circuit, to obtain an aggregate score of each candidate’s soft skills. This will be the first time that the MMI has been held in the Republic of Ireland. Dr Dowell said: “Medical school selection is an important but imprecise art. Increasing evidence is emerging and the MMI is the new kid on the block. So it is an exciting time to be working in this field. I am delighted to be visiting NUI Galway which has developed a very promising computer-based scoring system and is initiating its own research in this area.” As part of his visit Dr Dowell will also deliver a lecture entitled “Achievement, Aptitude and Interviews. Where are we with Medical School Selection these days?” on Friday, 28 September at NUI Galway. Dr Maureen Kelly, Lecturer at NUI Galway and event organiser, said: “Medical student selection is a highly emotive topic. The best way to make decisions regarding the introduction and use of medical student selection tools is to continually examine the evidence which supports their use and to pilot the use of novel tools. Our new collaboration with Dundee will help inform the debate on medical student selection in Ireland.” -ENDS-

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