NUI Galway Researchers Focus on Mobile Healthcare

NUI Galway Researchers Focus on Mobile Healthcare-image

Monday, 26 November 2007

Increased demand for Electronic Engineering Graduates Expected Researchers from NUI Galway are part of a national group awarded just under €4m by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) for the development of mobile healthcare technology. The group will develop technology to assist clinicians with more effective remote monitoring of out-patients in their own homes. Drivers for the technology include an ageing population, increasing pressure on centralised healthcare facilities and the need to reduce the number of in-patients. Many such applications involve the generation and analysis of large quantities of biological signals for each patient, driving the need for sophisticated electronic signal processing techniques. A key focus of the research will be efficient operation for longer life in mobile devices. The research group, entitled "Efficient Embedded Digital Signal Processing for Mobile Digital Health" (EEDSP), is led by University College Cork, and in addition to NUI Galway, includes academic researchers from University of Limerick and University College Dublin, as well as a number of industry partners. According to Dr. Edward Jones, Lecturer in Electronic Engineering and leader of the NUI Galway team, "This grant from SFI will help the EEDSP group to advance the state of the art in this area of increasing importance to society. At the same time, a steady supply of graduates will be required to meet the needs of the rapidly growing digital healthcare industry. Dr. Jones added, "Electronic Engineering offers a tremendous range of possible careers over a wide range of sectors that are critical to society. Some of these might not immediately spring to mind to leaving cert students, including this relatively new and rapidly growing area of digital and mobile healthcare". NUI Galway is holding its annual Open Day on Thursday, 29 November, and those interested in electronics as a career should drop by the Electronic Engineering stand at this event to find out more. -ends-

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NUI Galway Honours Gabriel Byrne during Winter Conferrings

NUI Galway Honours Gabriel Byrne during Winter Conferrings-image

Monday, 26 November 2007

One of Ireland's best known actors and most appreciated sons will be conferred tomorrow (Tuesday, 27 November) with a Degree of Doctor of Arts (honoris causa) at National University of Ireland, Galway. Gabriel Byrne is one of the best known actors in the world and he will be conferred as part of the winter conferring at NUI Galway along with over 800 students from across the faculties and schools. Gabriel Byrne started his acting career with Ireland's Focus Theatre before joining London's Royal Court Theatre in 1979. His film debut came soon after, in John Boorman's 1981 Arthurian epic, Excalibur. He has worked with some of cinema's leading directors, including the Coen Brothers, Wim Wenders, Jim Jarmusch, Ken Loach, John Boorman, David Cronenberg and Bryan Singer. Moving between independent and studio films, in addition to producing three pictures and writing two, he has starred in 35 feature films, including Miller's Crossing, The Usual Suspects, Into the West, The End of Violence, Dead Man, Vanity Fair and Spider. Rod Stoneman, Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, said, "Gabriel Byrne is an artist whose imagination and performances have offered us irreplaceable ideas and images and we are pleased to honour him for this. His involvement with Irish cultural activities and charitable works is exemplary, reflecting a generosity of spirit and commitment to his homeland." Students will graduate throughout the day from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; College of Engineering and Informatics; Faculty of Law; Faculty of Commerce; College of Science; and College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. Speaking ahead of the conferring, President of NUI Galway, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, said, "We in NUI Galway are delighted to honour Gabriel Byrne as an outstanding Irish actor, who is respected internationally as a master of his craft. We re especially pleased that on the day we graduate the first students from new and innovative programmes in film and digital media, that we are honoured by the presence of Gabriel Byrne, who receives a Doctor of Arts for his outstanding contribution to Irish and international film." Some students at the conferring ceremony will be the first to graduate from certain new courses, such as the MA in Advanced Learning Skills, MA in Philosophy: Ethics, Culture and Global Change, MA in Digital Media, MA Production and Direction, and MA Public Advocacy and Activism. ENDS

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Mineralogical Society Distinguished Lecture at NUI Galway

Mineralogical Society Distinguished Lecture at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

'Minerals, metals, molecules and microbes' The Mineralogical Society Distinguished Lecturers programme comes to the Environmental Change Institute, NUI Galway, on Thursday 29 November, with a lecture by Professor David Vaughan of the University of Manchester. Professor Vaughan will deliver a lecture on "Minerals, metals, molecules and microbes: environmental mineralogy and sustainability", at 8pm, with refreshments from 7.30pm, in the Orbsen Building Seminar Room. Environmental mineralogy is the study of minerals with the purpose of understanding and assessing their influence in the movement and fixing of organic and inorganic contaminants at and near the earth's surface. According to Professor David Vaughan, of the University of Manchester, "Metals are critically important both as resources and potential pollutants. Understanding how they can be concentrated or dispersed at the Earth's surface depends on new knowledge, at the molecular scale, of processes involving mineral surfaces, ultrafine particles and mineral-microbe interactions." The lecture will address the following questions: How do we use minerals to contain waste? Can minerals offer green solutions to the problems of waste management? How do minerals assist in the remediation of contaminated soils and waters? How do flora and fauna interact with minerals in rocks and how do they work to break down stone buildings and walls? What are some of the state-of-the-art techniques used to study metal cycling in the environment? Dr. Martin Feely, of the Geofluids Research Group in the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences at NUI Galway, says that, "On a local level, one of the most visual examples of the importance of mineral-microbe interactions is the manner in which lichen work to degrade Ireland's old stone walls. Understanding how this process occurs is relevant for geologists, archaeologists, environmental consultants, botanists and microbiologists." This lecture is free and open to the public and is hosted by NUI Galway's Environmental Change Institute (ECI) and Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences. For more information please contact sarah.knight@nuigalway.ie or phone 091 495061. ENDS

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President to lead high-level NUI Galway delegation to China

President to lead high-level NUI Galway delegation to China -image

Monday, 19 November 2007

Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of National University of Ireland, Galway will today lead a high level delegation to China of academic representatives from various university faculties and research centres. Over the course of the 5-day visit the delegation will be expanding and strengthening links by meeting with, and in many instances signing memoranda of understanding and partnership agreements between NUI Galway and 17 Chinese institutions. * Developing stronger educational links with China is not only a key feature of NUI Galway's international strategy but features prominently in the Irish government's Asia strategy (1999-2009). Some of the benefits of these links are graduate placement, recruitment and co-operation in the field of research and development. Ms Anna Cunningham, Director of International Affairs at NUI Galway, said, "Attracting high calibre international research Masters and PhD students is a strategic priority for NUI Galway. We are fortunate to have solid links in place already with a range of prestigious Chinese universities. The objective of this visit is to formalise these links and create further opportunities for reciprocal exchange of postgraduate students and collaborative research." During the visit Professor William Schabas of the Irish Centre for Human Rights will deliver a paper at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) with which NUI Galway will sign a formal agreement. Among the other institutions formalising agreements with NUI Galway will be Hong Kong University of Science & Technology and the Institute of Oceanology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, who will forge a formal linkage with the Martin Ryan Marine Research Institute, NUI Galway. In addition, the Beijing Alumni Chapter launch will be hosted by Ambassador Declan Kelleher at the Irish Embassy. Speaking ahead of the visit, President Ó Muircheartaigh said, "This historic visit to China represents a wonderful opportunity for NUI Galway to build upon the strong existing relationships between our university and China. With over 70 alumni in China, Galway is the Irish university with the most China-based graduates. The visit by this delegation will be a platform for our existing and developing connections with China - so that these can be strengthened and built on, thus paving the way for increased cooperation in educational exchange, in research & development and in greater cultural understanding." Dr Louis de Paor, Director of the Centre for Irish Studies and Professor Kevin Barry, Dean of the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies, will visit Nanjing and Fudan Universities with a view to attracting Master and PhD students for a period of study at the Centre. The Centre currently has a student from Nanjing, sponsored by the China Scholarship Council conducting her doctoral research on the work of Roddy Doyle. Professor Barry says, "In order to establish these exchanges NUI Galway are providing Chinese language classes where 30 students are currently enrolled with two lecturers from Beijing. During the next academic year at NUI Galway, it is planned to offer undergraduate students the option of studying Chinese as part of Arts and Commerce programmes." In his remarks at the launch of the Alumni Chapter, the President reminded alumni and guests that the links between NUI Galway and Beijing would be further enhanced by the participation of three current students and 1 alumni in next year s Olympics in Beijing who will compete in sprinting (Paul Hession, 110 & 200m) rowing (Alan Martin, Cormac Folan) and the 20km walk (Olive Loughnane). ENDS

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NUI Galway to Showcase 17 New Degree Courses at Open Day

NUI Galway to Showcase 17 New Degree Courses at Open Day-image

Monday, 19 November 2007

The NUI Galway Open Day will take place from 9am - 3pm on Thursday, 29 November. Thousands of secondary school students from all over Ireland are expected to attend, along with their parents and teachers. The day will showcase 17 new degree courses which will be on CAO forms for the first time in 2008. With a radical departure from traditional Arts degrees, the new CONNECT Programme from the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies is offering seven new four-year degrees. The CONNECT programmes are designed to increase the employability of graduates by developing distinctive skills and creating connections with life beyond the campus. During third-year, students will be immersed in their specialised field, this opportunity might include: project-based work, educational placement in the community, portfolio preparation, creative practice, study abroad, service learning, or placements within Non-Governmental Organisations. The seven new CONNECT degrees are: BA with Children's Studies (GY110); BA with Creative Writing (GY111); BA with Film Studies (GY112); BA with Human Rights (GY113); BA with Irish Studies (GY114); BA with Theatre and Performance (GY115); and BA with Women's Studies (GY116). Other new programmes from the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies are a BA in Mathematics and Education (GY109) and two degrees offered entirely through Irish BA Gaeilge agus Léann an Aistriúcháin (GY107), and BA Riarachán Gnó (GY108). The Faculty of Commerce is offering a new three-year BA Commerce Degree with Accounting (GY207), while the College of Engineering has a new Bachelor of Science in Project and Construction Management (GY410). For those interested in the sciences there are four new degrees: Physics with Applied Physics (GY315); Physics with Medical Physics (GY316); Physics with Astrophysics (GY317); and Biopharmaceutical Chemistry (GY318). Finally, the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences will offer the first undergraduate podiatry programme available in the country, leading to a Bachelor of Science in Podiatry (GY504)*. "According to Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President, NUI Galway, "The initial CAO deadline is a little over 10 weeks away so the Open Day is important in helping students find out more about the huge range of courses here at NUI Galway. It's also a wonderful opportunity for future students to learn more about student life in the University, especially the improvements in sporting and cultural facilities, including our new Sports Centre and Swimming Pool as well as the Cultural Centre". Lecturers and current students will be available throughout the day to answer questions about student life at NUI Galway. Giving a taste of academic study, there will be introductory lectures throughout the day in Arts, Law, Engineering, IT, Commerce, Science and Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. Information stands will provide practical input on topics including student services, admissions, accommodation, volunteering and career development. For further information contact Mary Coyle on 091 492814, email mary.coyle@nuigalway.ie or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/openday/ ENDS

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Eolas faoi 17 gCúrsa Céime Nua ag Lá Oscailte OÉ Gaillimh

Eolas faoi 17 gCúrsa Céime Nua ag Lá Oscailte OÉ Gaillimh-image

Monday, 19 November 2007

Beidh Lá Oscailte OÉ Gaillimh ar siúl ó 9am – 3pm Déardaoin, an 29 Samhain. Táthar ag súil go dtabharfaidh na mílte mac léinn dara leibhéal as ar fud na hÉireann – i dteannta a dtuismitheoirí agus múinteoirí – cuairt ar OÉ Gaillimh don Lá Oscailte. Beidh eolas le fáil faoi 17 gcúrsa céime nua a bheidh san áireamh ar an bhfoirm CAO don chéad uair in 2008. Tá athrú ag teacht ar na céimeanna traidisiúnta sna Dána agus tá seacht gcéim nua ceithre bliana á dtairiscint faoin gClár CONNECT – clár atá á reáchtáil ag Coláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte agus an Léinn Cheiltigh. Tá na cláir CONNECT deartha le cinntiú go n-éiríonn le céimithe poist a fháil trí scileanna ar leith a fhorbairt agus naisc a chruthú leis an saol lasmuigh den champas. I rith an tríú bliain, is féidir a rá gur tumoideachas a bheidh i gceist. D'fhéadfaí na nithe seo a leanas a áireamh sa tréimhse seo: obair tionscadail-bhunaithe, socrúcháin oibre sa phobal, conas portfóilió a ullmhú, cleachtadh cruthaitheach, tréimhse staidéir thar lear, foghlaim seirbhíse nó socrúcháin oibre laistigh d'Eagraíochtaí Neamhrialtasacha. Seo a leanas na seacht gcéim nua atá á dtairiscint trí chlár CONNECT: B.A. le Staidéar Leanaí (GY110); B.A. le Scríbhneoireacht Chruthaitheach (GY111); B.A. le Staidéar Scannán (GY112); B.A. le Staidéar ar Chearta Daonna (GY113); B.A. leis an Léann Éireannach (GY114); B.A. le Staidéar Amharclannaíochta agus Taibhithe (GY115); agus B.A. le Léann na mBan (GY116). I measc na gclár eile a bheidh á dtairiscint ag Coláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte agus an Léinn Cheiltigh tá B.A. sa Mhatamaitic agus san Oideachas (GY109) agus beidh dhá chúrsa céime á dtairiscint go hiomlán trí mheán na Gaeilge – B.A. (Gaeilge agus Léann an Aistriúcháin) (GY107) agus B.A. (Riarachán Gnó) (GY108). Tá cúrsa nua trí bliana – Céim B.A. sa Tráchtáil le Cuntasaíocht (GY207) – á thairiscint ag Coláiste na Tráchtála, agus tá Baitsiléir Nua Eolaíochta i mBainistíocht Tionscadal agus Foirgníochta (GY410) á thairiscint ag Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta. Más spéis leat cúrsaí eolaíochta tá ceithre chéim nua á dtairiscint: Fisic le Fisic Fheidhmeach (GY315); Fisic le Fisic Mhíochaine (GY316); Fisic le Réaltfhisic (GY317); agus Ceimic Bhithchógaisíochta (GY318). Cúrsa eile nach mór a lua freisin is ea go mbeidh an chéad chlár fochéime cosliachta sa tír á thairiscint ag Coláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte – Baitsiléir Eolaíochta sa Chosliacht (GY504). Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, "Tá beagán le cois 10 seachtaine fágtha ag mic léinn leis an bhfoirm CAO a chomhlánú agus tugann an Lá Oscailte a bhíonn againne anseo san Ollscoil deis do mhic léinn níos mó a fhoghlaim faoin raon cúrsaí atá ar fáil anseo in OÉ Gaillimh. Deis atá ann freisin níos mó a fhoghlaim faoin gcineál saoil a bhíonn ag mic léinn anseo san Ollscoil, go háirithe faoin bhfeabhas atá tagtha ar áiseanna spóirt agus cultúir, ár nIonad Spóirt agus Linn Snámha nua, mar aon leis an Ionad Cultúrtha". Beidh léachtóirí agus mic léinn ar fáil i rith an lae le ceisteanna a fhreagairt faoi na himeachtaí a bhíonn ar siúl ag mic léinn in OÉ Gaillimh. Beidh réamhléachtaí ar siúl i rith an lae ó na coláistí seo a leanas - Dána, Dlí, Innealtóireacht, TF, Tráchtáil, Eolaíocht agus Leigheas, Altranas agus Eolaíochtaí Sláinte. Beidh seastáin freisin le heolas faoi sheirbhísí do mhic léinn, cúrsaí iontrála, cóiríocht, obair dheonach agus forbairt gairme. Is féidir tuilleadh eolais a fháil ó Mary Coyle ag 091 492814 nó mary.coyle@nuigalway.ie nó féach ar láithreán gréasáin na hOllscoile ag http://www.nuigalway.ie/openday/. - críoch -

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An tUachtarán agus toscaireacht ó OÉ Gaillimh le haghaidh a thabhairt ar an tSín

An tUachtarán agus toscaireacht ó OÉ Gaillimh le haghaidh a thabhairt ar an tSín-image

Monday, 19 November 2007

Tabharfaidh an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, Uachtarán Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh agus toscaireacht ionadaithe acadúla ó choláistí ollscoile agus ionaid taighde éagsúla aghaidh ar an tSín inniu. Caithfidh an toscaireacht 5 lá sa tSín agus is é atá mar aidhm leis an gcuairt seo naisc a chruthú agus a neartú trí chuairt a thabhairt ar 17 n-institiúid sa tSín agus meamraim thuisceana agus comhaontuithe comhpháirtíochta a shíniú idir OÉ Gaillimh agus na hinstitiúidí sin. * Ní hamháin gur príomhghné de straitéis idirnáisiúnta OÉ Gaillimh é naisc oideachais níos láidre a fhorbairt leis an tSín, ach is príomhghné de Straitéis Áise Rialtas na hÉireann é freisin (1999-2009). I measc cuid de na buntáistí a bhaineann leis na naisc seo tá earcaíocht, comhoibriú agus socrúcháin oibre do chéimithe sa réimse taighde agus forbartha. Seo a leanas a bhí le rá ag Anna Cunningham, Uasal, An Stiúrthóir um Ghnóthaí Idirnáisiúnta in OÉ Gaillimh, "Tosaíocht straitéiseach atá ag OÉ Gaillimh mic léinn idirnáisiúnta Mháistreachta agus Ph.D. den scoth a mhealladh chuig OÉ Gaillimh. Tá an t-ádh orainn go bhfuil naisc cruthaithe againn cheana féin le cuid de na hollscoileanna is iomráití sa tSín. Is é atá mar aidhm leis an gcuairt seo na naisc seo a bhunú go foirmiúil agus tuilleadh deiseanna cómhalartacha a chruthú do mhic léinn iarchéime, tuilleadh deiseanna comhthaighde san áireamh." I rith na cuairte tabharfaidh an tOllamh William Schabas ó Ionad na hÉireann um Chearta an Duine páipéar ag an Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). Tá sé beartaithe ag OÉ Gaillimh comhaontú foirmiúil a shíniú le CASS. I measc na n-institiúidí eile a shíneoidh comhaontuithe foirmiúla le OÉ Gaillimh beidh Hong Kong University of Science & Technology agus Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao. Beidh nasc foirmiúil ann idir an Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao agus Institiúid Mhuireolaíochta Mháirtín Uí Riain, OÉ Gaillimh. Lena chois sin, is é an tAmbasadóir Declan Kelleher a sheolfaidh an Alumni Chapter i mBéising in Ambasáid na hÉireann. Seo a leanas a bhí le rá ag an Uachtarán Ó Muircheartaigh agus é ar tí imeacht chun na Síne, "Is deis iontach é an cuairt stairiúil seo ar an tSín do OÉ Gaillimh cur leis an ngaolmhaireacht láidir atá idir ár n-ollscoil féin agus an tSín cheana féin. Le breis agus 70 alumni sa tSín, is í OÉ Gaillimh an ollscoil Éireannach leis an líon is mó céimithe bunaithe sa tSín. Deis a bheidh sa cuairt seo cur leis na naisc reatha agus naisc nua a fhorbairt leis an tSín – ionas gur féidir na naisc seo a neartú agus cur leo. Ciallóidh sé seo go mbeidh comhoibriú níos fearr ann sa mhalairt oideachais, sa taighde agus forbairt, mar aon le tuiscint níos fearr ar ghnéithe cultúrtha." Tabharfaidh an Dr Louis de Paor, Stiúrthóir Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh agus an tOllamh Kevin Barry, Déan Choláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh cuairt ar Nanjing University agus Fudan University agus é mar aidhm acu mic léinn Mháistreachta agus Ph.D. a mhealladh chun seal a chaitheamh i mbun staidéir in Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh. Tá mac léinn amháin ó Nanjing University i mbun staidéir in Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh faoi láthair. Tá an mac léinn seo ag fáil urraíochta ó Chomhairle Scoláireachta na Síne, agus tá sí i mbun taighde dhochtúireachta ar shaothar Roddy Doyle. Dúirt an tOllamh Barry, "D'fhonn na malairtí idir na hollscoileanna seo a bhunú tá ranganna Sínise á gcur ar fáil in OÉ Gaillimh anois. Tá 30 mac léinn cláraithe faoi láthair agus beirt léachtóirí ó Bhéising atá i mbun na ranganna seo. Sa bhliain acadúil amach romhainn in OÉ Gaillimh, tá sé beartaithe deis a thabhairt do mhic léinn atá i mbun cúrsaí sna Dána agus sa Tráchtáil staidéar a dhéanamh ar an tSínis." Le linn don Uachtarán a bheith ag labhairt ag seoladh Alumni Chapter, mheabhraigh sé do alumni agus d'aíonna araon, go bhféadfaí cur leis na naisc idir OÉ Gaillimh agus Béising mar go mbeidh triúr mac léinn agus alumni amháin ó OÉ Gaillimh ag glacadh páirte sna Cluichí Oilimpeacha a bheidh ar siúl an bhliain seo chugainn i mBéising. I measc na gcineálacha spóirt atá i gceist tá ráibeáil (Paul Hession, 110 & 200m), iomramh (Alan Martin, Cormac Folan) agus siúl 20km (Olive Loughnane). CRÍOCH

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'Schooling in a Changing Ireland' Seminar at NUI Galway

'Schooling in a Changing Ireland' Seminar at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 19 November 2007

A seminar on 'Schooling in a Changing Ireland' will be given from 1-2pm on Tuesday, 20 November at NUI Galway by Fr. Harry Bohan, founder of The Céifin Centre for Values-led Change. The free public event is part of the University's Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) Keynote Seminar Series which seeks to address pertinent issues facing the wider national and international community. Founded by Fr. Harry Bohan in 1998, the Céifin Centre is based in Shannon, Co. Clare. The Centre focuses on a search for values in modern day Ireland. Céifin's main aim is to generate the capacity for debate on social change issues by facilitating a number of activities and programmes including conferences, lectures, workshops and research projects. The seminar will address some of the challenges facing schools in Ireland today, at primary and secondary level. According to Fr. Harry, "In our time, the greatest revolution taking place in Ireland is not with state or church but with family life. We have moved in a short period of time from the extended family to the nuclear family, to various definitions of family life. According to CSO figures 20% of families in the Dublin area could now be regarded as traditional families. Adolescents now spend less that 5% of their time with parents and less than 2% with other adults. This means a generation of young Irish people are growing up alone". He continued: "Traditionally, values were taught by parents at home and by teachers in the classroom. Now we have a society where parents often cannot afford to be at home, where the dynamic of home life revolves around TV and video games. The implications for schools and schooling are enormous. The question must now be asked: who is rearing the next generations? Finding answers to this question could be one of the great challenges facing our society". Previous speakers in CKI's seminar series have included former Taoiseach Dr. Garret FitzGerald, Michael D. Higgins, T.D., Mary Davis, Chair of the Taskforce on Active Citizenship, and Alan Kerins of the Alan Kerins African Projects. The seminar will be held in the Siobhán McKenna Theatre in the Arts Millennium Building at NUI Galway. For further information, telephone the CKI office on 091 493823. ENDS

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SFI awards €4.3 million funding for NUI Galway biomaterials research

SFI awards €4.3 million funding for NUI Galway biomaterials research -image

Friday, 16 November 2007

The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Micheál Martin T.D., has announced Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research investment awards amounting to €87 million across a number of groundbreaking industry-academic projects. Among the projects is the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB), which was awarded just over €4.3 million from SFI with an additional €1.7 million to be provided by industrial partners. NFB is led by Professor Abhay Pandit of the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at NUI Galway. Biomaterials are synthetic materials which are placed within the body for therapeutic reasons. Their effectiveness can be greatly increased by combining them with therapeutic agents such as genes. NFB will develop new technologies to carry therapeutic genes and other agents to specific target sites. These will include coatings for medical devices, tissue repair scaffolds and also programmable nanospheres which carry a therapeutic agent to a specific location via the bloodstream. The new technology has applications linked to several important diseases, including cardiovascular disease, disc repair, spinal cord and nerve damage. "This is a tremendous opportunity for us to develop critical mass in the area of next generation biomaterials. With the establishment of this strategic research cluster we are now poised to make substantial impact on the world stage for biomaterials research. We see this funding as seed money to establish a world-class centre of excellence in biomaterials research in the coming years," reports Professor Abhay Pandit of NUI Galway. The network brings together leading researchers from national and international institutions. The team is competitive internationally by virtue of their broad expertise, their track record of collaboration, and the benefit of international collaborations with outstanding institutions and individuals. Industrial partnerships with a number of key companies in the medical device field have been established and will be critical to bringing materials developed in this project to market. Speaking at the announcement of the funding allocation at SFI, Professor Frank Gannon, Director General SFI, said, "These research award recipients and the teams that they have assembled are of world-class calibre. I believe that the initiatives to be undertaken by SFI over the coming seven years will provide a cornerstone for Ireland s future economic development, with Centres for Science and Engineering Technology (CSETs) and Strategic Research Clusters (SRCs) playing a key role". Professor Nicholas Canny, Vice President for Research at NUI Galway commented, "The award by SFI of the grant of €4.3m is a tribute both to the quality research record that Professor Abhay Pandit and his colleagues have established at NUI Galway for several years, and to the high-calibre collaborative network that Abhay has been able to forge because of his international scholarly reputation." ENDS

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Monsignor Pádraig de Brún Memorial Lecture 2007

Monsignor Pádraig de Brún Memorial Lecture 2007-image

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Solar variability and climate: conjecture, politics and science The 2007 Monsignor Pádraig de Brún Memorial Lecture entitled Solar Variability and Climate Change, will be delivered by Professor Joanna Haigh, Professor of Atmospheric Physics, Imperial College London on Thursday, 22 November, 2007 at 8.30 p.m. in the O'Flaherty Lecture Theatre, NUI Galway. Joanna Haigh is Professor of Atmospheric Physics and Head of the Space and Atmospheric Physics group at Imperial College London. Her talk will outline the chequered history of solar-climate studies, assess what is known about variations in the Sun and review the evidence for a solar influence on climate. It will conclude with a discussion of recent research that is trying to unravel some of the complex physical mechanisms involved. Professor Gerard Jennings of the Environment Change Institute at NUI Galway commenting ahead of Professor Haigh's lecture said, "Natural variations in the sun's energy, as measured from spacecraft over the past 30 years, are too small to account for the observed rapid rise in global mean temperatures. This is consistent with the extensive body of scientific evidence which supports the view that it is extremely likely that human activity has a substantial warming influence on climate." Professor Haigh's scientific interests include: radiative transfer in the atmosphere, climate modelling, radiative forcing of climate change and the influence of solar irradiance variability on climate. She has published widely on these topics in the scientific literature and also contributed to numerous items in the written and broadcast popular media. This public lecture is jointly organised by NUI Galway and the Royal Irish Academy. While admission is free, tickets are limited and are available through the Press and Information Office at 091-493361 or by email at info@nuigalway.ie. Alternatively, tickets can be booked through the Royal Irish Academy at www.ria.ie. ENDS

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