Laser Technology Conference at NUI Galway

Laser Technology Conference at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 7 April 2008

Academics and industry professionals working in the field of photonics (light and laser technology) will meet on 17 April for NUI Galway's annual LightFORUM conference. The conference theme is 'Skills & Knowledge Development - Photonics in New Products and Manufacture'. The event will feature case-study presentations from industry representatives as well as speakers from state agencies on support for upskilling in industry. This year, the keynote speaker will be Eugene Arthurs, Executive Director of SPIE, the international society advancing an interdisciplinary approach to the science and application of light, with more than 17,500 members globally. The annual meeting is organised by LightFORUM, the outreach activity of the National Centre for Laser Applications (NCLA) and Applied Optics Groups at NUI Galway. LightFORUM provides a framework in which scientists and professionals in industry can explore and develop interactions of mutual interest. Tony Flaherty of the NCLA explained, "Photonics has long been a fundamental technology for manufacturing and is now commonplace in a range of applications developed by Irish-based industry. The strength of NUI Galway's photonics research and expertise is supporting this development. The University is home to the largest group of laser and optics scientists and engineers in the country, with total of 50 staff in this area. This annual meeting is an important opportunity for bringing together industry and the photonics research community." Attendance at the event is free to professionals in Irish industry. For more information or to reserve a place, contact Tony Flaherty by email: tony.flaherty@nuigalway.ie or tel: +353 91 493 595. -ends-

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Public Lecture at NUI Galway to Address UN Convention on Disability Rights

Public Lecture at NUI Galway to Address UN Convention on Disability Rights-image

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

A public lecture entitled 'The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – New Dawn or False Hopes?' will be given by Professor Jerome Bickenbach at NUI Galway on Monday, 14 April, at 7pm. Professor Bickenbach will talk about the concept of equality that underpins the new UN Disability Convention. His lecture will be of interest to persons with disabilities, their representative organisations, families, carers and service providers. Originally from Canada, Professor Bickenbach is one of the foremost international authorities on ethical, philosophical, and legal issues in disability policy. Working recently with the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva, he played a central role in drafting its International Classification of Functioning, a framework for measuring health and disability at both individual and population levels. During his visit to Ireland, Professor Bickenbach will be a guest of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the Faculty of Law in NUI Galway. Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of Centre, said: "We are delighted to welcome such a highly engaging speaker. Jerome helped WHO completely rethink its understanding of disability and steered it away from an excessive reliance on 'medical approaches' toward a more 'socialised approach'. This approach places the problems of disability on the barriers confronting the person – rather than on the individual person. This 'social approach' to disability had a dramatic effect in the drafting of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which Ireland has signed and is due to ratify". All members of the public are welcome to attend this free event. The lecture will take place at 7pm in NUI Galway (Áras Moyola, ground floor, Room 127, North Campus). Refreshments will be served afterwards. Those wishing to attend or those with special requirements can contact 087 6660634 or email: disability@nuigalway.ie. For further information, visit website: www.nuigalway.ie/law/news.html -ends-

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Leading Judges to Speak on Family Law at NUI Galway

Leading Judges to Speak on Family Law at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Two of the foremost jurists in the area of Family and Child Law, The Right Honourable Baroness Hale of Richmond and Mrs. Justice Catherine McGuinness, will jointly deliver the Annual Distinguished Lecture 2008 hosted by the Faculty of Law at NUI Galway on Friday, 11 April at 7pm. The event will take place in the main lecture theatre of Áras Moyola, NUI Galway, on the north campus beside St. Anthony's. The title of the lecture is Family Law in Ireland and the United Kingdom: Common Threads and Divergent Perspectives. The joint lecture will focus on three broad themes: the division of assets and the question of 'proper provision' upon divorce, the position of children, and the role of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms in family law. Both speakers bring a wealth of experience and insight to the topic. Baroness Hale became the first woman 'Lord of Appeal in Ordinary' in January 2004 after a varied career as an academic lawyer, law reformer and judge. She is recognised internationally as one of the most distinguished judicial experts in the area of family and child law. Mrs. Justice Catherine McGuinness was a member of the Irish Supreme Court from 2000 to 2006 and is now the President of the Law Reform Commission and Adjunct Professor of Law at NUI Galway. Prior to becoming a judge she was a member of Seanad Éireann and is widely known for her work on the Kilkenny Incest Investigation, the Employment Equality Agency and the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation. Announcing the event, Donncha O'Connell, Dean of Law, said: "This is the fourth Annual Distinguished Lecture organised by the Law Faculty and, this year, we are especially honoured to have the two most distinguished women judges on these islands as our speakers on a topic of enduring controversy and acute importance." The lecture will be introduced by President of NUI Galway, Dr. Jim Browne, and chaired by family law expert and graduate of NUI Galway, Geoffrey Shannon. It will be followed by a reception (sponsored by the NUI Galway Alumni Association) in the foyer of Áras Moyola at which it will be possible to meet with the speakers. ENDS

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May 2008

US Presidential Campaign Internships for NUI Galway Law Students

US Presidential Campaign Internships for NUI Galway Law Students-image

Friday, 30 May 2008

Two NUI Galway Law students will spend the summer immersed in the atmosphere of the imminent US Presidential election as they undertake internships in Washington DC. Second Year Corporate Law student Peter Mannion will work with Senator Barack Obama, while fourth year Corporate Law student Chris Joyce joins the office of Congressman Peter King. Peter Mannion, from Tuam, County Galway, is excited about joining the Obama campaign, "This summer presents precious opportunities with an election looming, and Washington in full campaign mode. It will certainly be an interesting place to be and working in the Obama office will be a chance to watch history in the making. This really is an incredible opportunity - I can barely believe my luck. I used to live life in a West Wing fantasy so this is bringing it one step closer to reality!" Chris Joyce from Renmore, is a Galway Titans National League Basketball player. His interest in the Northern Ireland Peace Process makes his internship a perfect fit. He explains, "It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the political life of Washington DC. I will be working at Congressman Peter King's office, a long time supporter of the Northern Ireland Peace process. Even before he was sworn-in as Congressman in 1992, King flew to Belfast to meet with Gerry Adams to help initiate peace talks. He also doesn't appear to be afraid to speak his mind on a number of controversial issues so it should a very interesting summer." The internships are part of the Washington-Ireland Program – an organisation designed to give Irish students a rich insight into America's professional and social culture, through a two-month internship and an intensive course in leadership and service training, all in the heart of Washington DC. According to Donncha O Connell, Dean of Law at NUI Galway, "This is a great opportunity for the two Law students involved. The coming months are probably going to be one of the most interesting times, politically, in the US. An internship abroad at anytime is an experience which can bring huge benefits, adding a whole new dimension to a Law student s education." The Washington-Ireland Program programme aims to pick young, promising individuals, from the North and South of Ireland, who will ultimately use their unique talents in leadership and service to contribute back to their home communities and their country. This summer a total of twenty-six Irish students will have the opportunity to partake in the programme. -ends-

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NUI Galway Hosts Lecture Tour by Leading Israeli Human Rights Activist

NUI Galway Hosts Lecture Tour by Leading Israeli Human Rights Activist-image

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Jeff Halper, one of the leading figures in the Israeli peace movement, will speak at a public seminar at 7pm, on Wednesday, 4 June, at Nun's Island Theatre, Galway City. The event is part of a speaking tour jointly organised by Trócaire, NUI Galway's Irish Centre for Human Rights, and Amnesty International Irish Section. An activist for over 30 years, Jeff Halper is credited with pioneering the use of non-violent action and civil disobedience to resist the Israeli policy of demolishing Palestinian homes and mobilising international support to rebuild these houses. Halper has just published a new book, An Israeli in Palestine: Resisting Dispossession, Redeeming Israel. Halper was Co-founder and Director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions which has protested the demolition of 18,000 Palestinian homes since 1969 in the Occupied Territories, in violation of international law. Speaking about the upcoming event, Dr. Vinodh Jaichand, Deputy Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, commented, "Jeff Halper is a warrior for peace in a region so torn by violence. Many who work for peace there rarely get the attention they deserve. Along with his colleagues he has chosen to stand shoulder to shoulder with oppressed Palestinian communities in the name of human rights and equality. His visit to Ireland is an opportunity for us to hear the viewpoint of Israelis who are opposing their government's actions." For further information about the evening contact Jameen Kaur, Amnesty International, on 091 533 637. -ends-

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NUI Galway Issues Worldwide Invitation to Classes of 1958, 1968, 1978, 1983, 198

NUI Galway Issues Worldwide Invitation to Classes of 1958, 1968, 1978, 1983, 198-image

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Hundreds of NUI Galway graduates are expected to attend a special annual reunion during the weekend 6-8 June. The University has issued a worldwide invitation to the classes of 1958, 1968, 1978, 1983, 1988, and 1998 who attended UCG/NUI Galway. Highlights include a 50 Year Club dinner on the Friday and a BBQ for all six classes by the River Corrib on Saturday night. The reunion celebrations begin on Friday afternoon when the 50 Year Club/Cumann Caoga Bliain are welcomed back to campus for a luncheon in the Aula Maxima in the Quadrangle. Following lunch, a presentation of "1958 - the year that was" will be made by local historian Peadar O'Dowd, focussing on some of the highlights of that year, locally and nationally. The 50 Year Club will then be taken on a bus tour of the campus which will showcase the many new developments on campus since the 1950s. NUI Galway has grown dramatically since 1958 when there were 175 graduates. The equivalent number this year will be in the region of 4,700. The day will culminate with a reception and celebration dinner at the Galway Bay Hotel. On Saturday, 7 June at 7pm, the Annual Reunion BBQ for those celebrating 50, 40, 30, 25, 20 and 10 years since graduation takes place in the Students' Union Bar and Áras na Mac Léinn, overlooking the River Corrib. Mr. JB Terrins, Director of Alumni Relations, encourages graduates to come along, "The reunion is a wonderful opportunity to revisit the University, renew old acquaintances and see how NUI Galway has developed over the years. Many people have already booked their places with graduates returning to Galway from across the globe for this event. This annual event is driven by demand from our alumni, who want the perfect opportunity to catch up with old friends." Reunion weekend comes to a close for the Class of 1958 on Sunday, 8 June, with a mass held in memory of deceased graduates in the Chapel of St. Columbanus on campus. This is followed by a farewell lunch in the Quadrangle. For further information please contact Sheila Gorham in the Alumni Office on 091 493750 or email alumni@nuigalway.ie or visit the reunion www.nuigalway.ie/alumni/reunion2008 -ends-

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Record Numbers Participate in Schools Art Competition

Record Numbers Participate in Schools Art Competition-image

Monday, 26 May 2008

A record number of over 400 students from 13 Galway secondary schools participated in this years' NUI Galway First Year Schools Competition. The art competition is part of the University Trail Access Programme designed to encourage an interest in third-level education among students in selected Secondary Schools in Galway City, County and Gaeltacht regions. The programme is supported by the HEA targeted funding for special initiatives. For the competition, the students are asked to express through the media of Art, Music, Drama and Writing why they would like to study at NUI Galway, what it would mean for them and how it would change their future. Ashla Ward, of NUI Galway's Access Office, commented, "This competition is designed primarily to start the student thinking about their future, linking their current learning status to a long-term goal and sensitising them to the whole notion of third level attainment. The competition has proved very successful over the last six years. Teachers and students have worked diligently to produce wonderful pieces of Art for the competition". At second level, NUI Galway's University Trail starts with the First Year School Competition and continues in second, third, fifth and on to the Leaving Certificate year, with a series of activities such as campus tours, mentoring and Study Skills Workshops. The main objective of the Trail is to promote regular interaction with the University and the students. The effectiveness of this initiative has been greatly enhanced with the ongoing support of management and staff in the participating schools.

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Cancer Scientist Brings Expertise from Italy to NUI Galway

Cancer Scientist Brings Expertise from Italy to NUI Galway-image

Monday, 26 May 2008

An extensive research project by a team of European scientists could help develop methods of treating cancers with less toxicity than drugs currently in clinical use. The research, just published as the cover story in the scientific journal Nature Chemical Biology, was led by Professor Corrado Santocanale in Italy at Nerviano Medical Sciences-Oncology. Professor Santocanale is now based in Ireland with the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering (NCBES) at NUI Galway as Chair of Molecular Medicine. The research project was aimed at identifying protein kinase inhibitors for development into new anticancer drugs. The finding showed that a small-molecule inhibitor of Cdc7 kinase prevents DNA synthesis with a novel molecular mechanism and has anti-tumour activity. According to Professor Santocanale, "The search for new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of a wide range of cancers is a key field of investigation. In this work we demonstrate for the first time the pharmacological inhibition of the Cdc7 kinase (a protein that acts as a switch to initiate DNA replication) kills tumours cells including those that have become resistant to some of the most common anticancer drugs. He continued, "Importantly we found that the treatment with a small molecule Cdc7 inhibitor lead to tumour growth inhibition in animal models. Clinical studies investigating this novel generation of drugs for the treatment of human cancers will be soon initiated and the expectation is that they will offer a novel therapeutic option to cancer patients." Professor Santocanale is currently establishing core research related to new drug targets for cancer therapy. Santocanale also aims to implement a translational research programme linking come of the basic research of the NCBES and the clinical research based in University College Hospital, Galway, with the goal of identifying potential targets for drug discovery. For Santocanale, "The most interesting part of the research process is to start with ideas originated from basic biological discoveries and see it develop into a drug that has the potential to improve the outcome of cancer patients". Professor Santocanale brings huge expertise to NUI Galway from his collaboration with Nerviano Medical Sciences, the largest pharmaceutical R&D facility in Italy, and one of the largest Oncology-focused, integrated discovery and development companies in Europe. -ends-

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An Líon is Mó Daltaí Riamh Páirteach i gComórtas Ealaíne na Scoileanna

An Líon is Mó Daltaí Riamh Páirteach i gComórtas Ealaíne na Scoileanna-image

Monday, 26 May 2008

Ghlac an líon is mó daltaí riamh – os cionn 400 dalta – as 13 mheánscoil ar fud na Gaillimhe páirt i gComórtas Ealaíne OÉ Gaillimh do Dhaltaí Céad Bhliana. Is cuid de Chlár Rochtana Conair na hOllscoile é an comórtas ealaíne atá deartha le spéis a spreagadh san oideachas tríú leibhéal i measc daltaí as Scoileanna roghnaithe i gContae, Cathair agus ceantair Ghaeltachta na Gaillimhe. Tá an tÚdarás um Ard-Oideachas ag tacú leis an gclár trí spriocmhaoiniú do thionscnaimh speisialta. Fiafraíodh de dhaltaí iad féin a chur in iúl trí mheán na hEalaíne, an Cheoil, na Drámaíochta agus na Scríbhneoireachta agus léargas a thabhairt ar an gcúis ar mhaith leo freastal ar OÉ Gaillimh, céard a chiallódh sé agus cén tionchar a bheadh aige ar a dtodhchaí. Dúirt Ashla Ward, ó Oifig Rochtana OÉ Gaillimh go bhfuil "an comórtas seo deartha ar mhaithe le daltaí a spreagadh tosú ag smaoineamh ar a dtodhchaí, a stádas reatha foghlama a nascadh le sprioc fhadtréimhseach agus machnamh a dhéanamh ar a bheith ag staidéar ag an tríú leibhéal. D'éirigh thar cionn leis an gcomórtas seo le sé bliana anuas. Tá an-obair déanta ag múinteoirí agus ag daltaí chun píosaí ealaíne den scoth a chruthú don chomórtas". Ag an dara leibhéal, tosaíonn Clár Rochtana Conair OÉ Gaillimh le Comórtas Scoile do Dhaltaí Céad Bhliana agus leantar leis an gcomórtas do dhaltaí sa dara, sa tríú, sa chúigiú bliain agus i mbliain na hArdteistiméireachta, le sraith gníomhaíochtaí cosúil le turas mórthimpeall ar an gcampas, meantóireacht agus Ceardlanna Scileanna Staidéir. Is é an príomhchuspóir a bhaineann le Conair idirghníomhaíocht rialta leis an Ollscoil agus leis na daltaí a spreagadh. Cuireadh go mór le héifeachtacht an tionscnaimh seo bunaithe ar thacaíocht leanúnach lucht bainistíochta agus comhaltaí foirne sna scoileanna rannpháirteacha. - críoch -

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Virtual Technology Stimulates Children's Interest in the Natural World

Virtual Technology Stimulates Children's Interest in the Natural World-image

Friday, 23 May 2008

Science and nature education in the classroom moves into virtual territory with the launch of Brigit's Virtual Garden by NUI Galway. The habitats and features of local visitor attraction, Brigit's Garden, have been digitally recreated in a 3D virtual space. The first public demonstration of the interactive Brigit's Virtual Garden takes place on Wednesday, 28 May, at 3pm in Brigit's Garden, Rosscahill, Co. Galway. Brigit's Virtual Garden is an educational tool, alive with virtual versions of the insects and plants of the 'real' garden. The user navigates the virtual space by controlling the movements of 'Rua' the fox who takes them on an interactive tour of the 3D garden. The virtual garden was designed as part of a project called the Digital Hedge School (DHS), which is a collaborative effort between Brigit's Garden and several partners from NUI Galway including the Environmental Change Institute (ECI), the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), and the Education Department. The DHS project team have been working together for two years to create intergenerational programmes for primary, secondary, and third level students, by exploring the potential of novel technologies to enhance children's environmental education. This year's participants in the DHS project were 4th and 5th class students from St. Patrick's National School, and transition year students from the Presentation Secondary School. Students from both the Galway City schools completed an eight-week training programme in environmental peer education. The students involved in the Digital Hedge School Project spent time in Brigit's Garden taking digital photographs and drawings insects, water bugs, flowers and trees. The students were then shown how to upload their work into the virtual garden. Access to Brigit's Virtual Garden will be available to teachers involved in the project, for use in the classroom as a tool for supporting the educational experience of students visiting Brigit's Garden. "Incorporating technology into environmental education is the way forward in terms of relating to younger generations", says Professor Gerard Jennings, Director of the Environmental Change Institute at NUI Galway. "The creators of Brigit's Virtual Garden have been very successful in providing a technology that stimulates children's interest in the natural environment and encourages them to step outside the classroom and explore the world around them." The collaborators look forward to celebrating the success of the hard work of all of the students involved at the launch of Brigit's Virtual Garden, which is free and open to all. For more information on the project or the launch event please contact Dr. Sarah Knight, Outreach Officer for the Environmental Change Institute, on 091 495061. -ends-

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