Complex Computations Create Winner at Swiss Conference

Complex Computations Create Winner at Swiss Conference-image

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

NUI Galway PhD student Ruairi Nestor, from Ballyglass, Co. Mayo, has won a prestigious international award at a conference in Lausanne, Switzerland. Ruairi received the Libersky Prize for the best research paper by a student at the 2008 SPHERIC International Workshop, for his work in the field of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). CFD is a set of techniques for accurate computer simulations of the flow of gases and liquids. The technology is central in the design of systems from airliners to medical devices. Ruairi's work is the latest stage in a project by a team of NUI Galway researchers who are developing new CFD methods with the potential to simulate ever more complex systems. The research is carried out in the Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering and the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science, and involves development of mathematical methods which are then built into new software. Ruairi, a graduate of Mechanical Engineering at NUI Galway, has already achieved success in his academic ventures by securing an Embark Postgraduate Research Scholarship. Operated by the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET), the scholarship is designed for researchers in the sciences, engineering or technology at either Masters or Doctorate level. Dr Nathan Quinlan, Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, NUI Galway, commented: "The IRCSET scholarships and other such schemes make this kind of research possible in Ireland. There are opportunities for a whole new generation of engineers and scientists to excel in research". Renewable energy and medical implant technology are among the sectors where advanced CFD methods are needed. According to Ruairi, "The techniques we are developing have the potential to improve the design of flow devices such as artificial heart valves or wave energy converters. It is a great honour to receive an award for my work at international level". Dr Nathan Quinlan, Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, NUI Galway, commented, "This award is a great achievement by Ruairi and the team, and it also highlights the international quality of engineering research going on at NUI Galway. Computational techniques like the one we're working on are going to be crucial for the creation of new technology in key industries". The paper presented by Ruairi in Switzerland, "Moving Boundary Problems in the Finite Volume Particle Method", was co-authored by fellow PhD student Mihai Basa and their supervisor, NUI Galway's Dr Nathan Quinlan. -ends-

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New Study on Activism Traces Green Movement's Emergence

New Study on Activism Traces Green Movement's Emergence-image

Friday, 18 July 2008

NUI Galway academic Dr. Liam Leonard has said the success of civil society groups and social movements in the Lisbon Treaty referendum bodes well for the Irish environment. According to Dr. Leonard, the effectiveness of the No Campaign's 'motley crew' has illustrated the relationship between activism and power. Dr. Leonard was speaking as his new book, which studies activists and the environmental movement in Ireland, was published online. The book, 'The Environmental Movement in Ireland' has been co-written by Michael O' Kane of Australia's Monash University. In the spirit of activism and information sharing, the book is available free to download to members of the public. This is the third book in the Ecopolitics Series, and studies activists in Ireland between the 1997 and 2007 general elections. The relationship between activism and research is explored through a series of case studies, interviews and articles. According to Dr. Leonard, who works with NUI Galway's Social Sciences Research Centre: "The success of civil society groups and social movements in the Lisbon Treaty referendum has increased our focus on the relationship between activism and power. This book provides an account of political events from an activist's perspective, thereby creating further understandings of the motivations of those in society who are so often on outside of the mainstream, but who have influenced events both nationally and throughout Europe in recent political campaigns." Activists with the Irish Green Party in working class areas of Dublin provide the focus for Irish-Australian anthropologist Michael O'Kane's in depth study on the 1997 election campaign. This is followed by a series of articles Liam Leonard, an Irish-American political sociologist, based on his work as a researcher and journalist in Galway between 1999 and 2008. The book is available to download for free at -ends-

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RDJ Glynn funds NUI Galway Law Scholarship

RDJ Glynn funds NUI Galway Law Scholarship-image

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

RDJ Glynn Solicitors have announced that they will be funding a new scholarship in NUI Galway. The scholarship, which is worth €7,500, will be awarded to one postgraduate student on the new LL.M. in Law, Technology and Governance at the University. This scholarship will be awarded on academic merit, in a competition open to all candidates offered a place on the first intake of the new LL.M. in Law, Technology and Governance in NUI Galway. It is tenable for a period of one year of full-time study and will be paid monthly over the academic session. A limited number of places remain on the LL.M. for the coming academic year, and applications close on Friday, 1 August 2008. Padraic Brennan, who heads the Galway office of RDJ Glynn, said, "RDJ Glynn has strong links with the University. Most of our solicitors and trainees and several members of our support staff received their third level education there, and we are delighted to encourage postgraduate study of commercial law in the important area of Technology and Governance by sponsoring this scholarship." The Dean of the Law Faculty, Donncha O'Connell, said, "It is vital that university Law Schools establish meaningful connections with the world of legal practice. Our graduates from a variety of programmes are now placed in the top echelons of practice in Ireland and abroad. This award is an ideal way of marking ties between 'town and gown' and the Faculty of Law is extremely grateful to RDJ Glynn for its initiative in sponsoring this scholarship." Programme co-ordinator for the LL.M. in Law, Technology and Governance, Rónán Kennedy, said, "We are very happy to have the support of one of Ireland's leading law firms for our newest and most innovative programme and look forward to continuing to work with RDJ Glynn over the coming years." The recent merger between Ronan Daly Jermyn and William B Glynn Solicitors, a long-established and successful practice, has led to the establishment of a new commercial practice in Galway city, RDJ Glynn. Led by Padraic Brennan, RDJ Glynn offers specialist legal advice to clients in Galway in areas such as corporate and commercial law, commercial property, litigation and dispute resolution, employment law and taxation. Further information on the NUI Galway Law School's post-graduate programmes, including application information, is available at -ends-

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Primary School Children Access All Areas at NUI Galway Summer Camp

Primary School Children Access All Areas at NUI Galway Summer Camp-image

Monday, 14 July 2008

Thirty local primary school children will return to campus today for the second week of the annual Access Summer Camp. For a fortnight every July, fifth class children from Scoil Bhríde, Shantalla, Holy Trinity and St Michael's Mervue, are given a flavour of life at University. The children are introduced to a wide range of subjects, from Computers to Chemistry, and get to try out new sporting activities. The camp is organised by Ashla Ward of the Access Office, in partnership with university departments and research institutes, and in conjunction with the sports centre at Áras na Mac Léinn. Further support comes from NUI Galway students and researchers who volunteer their time to demonstrate subjects and chaperone the children around campus. Ashla Ward says: "This fortnight is all about showing the children the possibilities that third-level education can offer. By giving them a flavour of exciting subjects in a child-friendly format, we are hoping to instil an interest in further education. While the Access Office organises the camp, we do so only with the ongoing support of staff and students across campus, who put their time and energy into the fortnight. During the summer camp, science is explored through workshops and experiments, introducing topics such as chemical reactions, genetics and forensics. To illustrate the workings of the human body, the Physiology Department monitors the children's hearts, take their pulses and checks their lung capacity. According to Ashla Ward, "The hands-on aspect of the science programmes brings the sciences to life for the children. Apart from being huge fun, the workshops have a positive effect on the children's perception of science as a subject to consider studying in the future". NUI Galway's Digital Enterprise Research Institute, uses the child friendly web site Yahooligans! to introduce the group to the Internet. Other sessions include a hands-on workshop in calligraphy from the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies, and a lesson on collecting and classifying insects from the Environmental Change Institute. Using invisible lasers, the National Centre for Laser Applications show children their names being burned into a piece of wood, which then becomes a memento of the class. Italian was introduced through learning foods and drinks and how to greet a person – Ciao! In a packed schedule, Drama, Art, Music, Hip-hop and storytelling are also included. -ends-

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NUI Galway Appoints Director of Marketing and Communications

NUI Galway Appoints Director of Marketing and Communications-image

Monday, 14 July 2008

NUI Galway is pleased to announce that Caroline Loughnane has joined the University as Director of Marketing and Communications. She has worked in education marketing for the last ten years, and as Head of Marketing at the University of Birmingham for the last five years. Ms Loughnane is a graduate of NUI Galway, having completed her BA in English and History in 1993, and an MA in English Literature (1996). She also holds a Higher Diploma in Education from Galway (1998) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Caroline, originally from Gort, Co. Galway, brings with her over ten years experience in marketing and communications in the education sector. During her time at Birmingham, she was responsible for an extensive rebranding of the University, the development of a postgraduate recruitment strategy, internal communications to support a University-wide restructure, integrated marketing and communications campaigns, and developing innovative approaches to student recruitment in a highly competitive undergraduate market. Speaking about her appointment, Ms Loughnane said: "I am delighted to be joining NUI Galway at such an exciting time for the University. NUI Galway is one of Ireland's top universities and has ambitious plans for the future. I am looking forward to the opportunity of taking the University into the next phase of its development, and to building on the excellent work that has already taken place in raising the University's profile, nationally and internationally." Ms Loughnane added: "The Higher Education sector has transformed itself over the last ten years and universities are now competing in a global arena. Marketing and Communications have a key role to play in enabling Irish Universities to compete on an international stage." -ends-

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Dark Ages were Golden Age of Irish Scholarship

Dark Ages were Golden Age of Irish Scholarship-image

Monday, 14 July 2008

History expert hopeful of a resurgence of interest in science and maths An International Conference on the significant role played by Ireland in the field of mathematics in the Early Middle Ages takes place at NUI Galway from 18-20 July 2008. The 2nd International Conference on the Science of Computus will bring together leading scholars of Early Medieval scientific knowledge during the period of the so-called 'Dark Ages'. The Science of Computus is the mathematics required to calculate the date of Easter and related topics. Computus straddles the fields of: mathematics and astronomy; biblical interpretation and cosmology; empirical astronomical observation; and the perennial quest to understand the concepts of Time and Time-Reckoning. The conference is organised by the HEA funded Foundations of Irish Culture Project, based in the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies at NUI Galway. According to the Director of the Foundations of Irish Culture Project and conference convener, NUI Galway's Professor Dáibhí Ó Cróinín: "There is much talk these days about the decline of mathematics and the sciences in Irish schools, and the effect that will have on the future prospects for Ireland's economy and society. What many Irish people don't realise is that Ireland was once at the forefront of mathematics and science. In fact, the 'Dark Ages' were anything but dark in the fields of mathematics and astronomy, rather it was the 'Golden Age' of Irish medieval scholarship." Professor Ó Cróinín is hopeful of a resurgence of interest in science and maths: "We only need to look at events like the Young Scientist Competition, and our own University outreach programmes, to see that there is interest in the sciences among young people which can be cultivated and nurtured. There is also a vast amount of state-of-the-art work being carried out by Irish scholars and researchers, at home and abroad. The conference aims to highlight the very similar cooperative-type work that was being carried out, between Ireland and Europe, during the Golden Age of Irish medieval scholarship." The conference has attracted speakers and experts from Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Scotland, Spain, and the USA. Professor Ó Cróinín added, "From the time of Columbanus, around 615 AD, Irish scholars led Europe in the field of computistical studies. The contribution of our 'Wandering Scholars' is still highly regarded in other countries today, and evidenced by the wide range of international experts participating in our conference." A focus of the conference will be the scientific knowledge that Irish scholars nurtured and developed during the years circa AD 500 to AD 1100. Time-reckoning, calendars, and the minute reckonings required to compute the date of Easter all involved the minutiae of mathematics, including the original concept of 'digital calculation', and astronomical observation in a truly scientific fashion. The event will appeal to those interested in the history of science in Ireland and Europe, or in the origins of present-day mathematical and astronomical ideas. For a full listing of the speakers and topics, and further information, see the conference website: -ends-

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Mary Robinson Addresses Primary Care Conference at NUI Galway

Mary Robinson Addresses Primary Care Conference at NUI Galway-image

Friday, 11 July 2008

Speaking at NUI Galway last night, former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, called for a human rights approach to healthcare and greater accountability, nationally and internationally. She said that such a principled approach to healthcare was needed, especially in the face of a possible global recession as in "hard times it is more difficult to make the right decisions". Mary Robinson was addressing the 2008 Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society for Academic Primary Care (SAPC), a major international healthcare conference hosted by the University's Department of General Practice. According to Mary Robinson, who is now President of Realizing Rights, the Ethical Globalization Initiative: "Policy interventions that are grounded in human rights with a strong gender dimension can help inform and support efforts to strengthen health systems and improve their performance. Human rights require not only that quality health systems are available and accessible to all, but that positive action is taken to address the economic, social and political inequalities behind mortality and ill-health. A human rights approach helps to ensure a holistic and integrated approach to health delivery, with a focus on prevention." Among the audience were leading healthcare academics and researchers from Ireland, UK, Australia and the US. The audience heard from other speakers during the three-day conference on topics such as: Gaining insight into the awareness, understanding and attitudes of patients towards MRSA; Predictors of outcome for mild to moderate depression in primary care; and Patient's experience when visiting their GP. Professor Andrew Murphy, Department of General Practice and conference chair, NUI Galway, said, "The issue of health as a human right has been reflected in many of the conference papers at this event. On a macro level, healthcare is a human right and on an individual level it is a very unique interaction between caregiver and patient. One of the emerging themes in this field is the vital role that patients can play in the management of their own care and the importance of data management and privacy." At the event Anne Rogers, Professor of the Sociology of Health Care, University of Manchester spoke about the 'expert patient' and enhancing the self management capabilities of people living with long-term conditions. Professor Tom Fahey, from the RCSI Medical School, spoke about the how Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will help facilitate high quality evidence-based practice (incorporating diagnosis, prognosis and therapy) in primary care. For more information about the conference visit -ends-

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NUI Galway President Pays Tribute to the Late Séamus Brennan

NUI Galway President Pays Tribute to the Late Séamus Brennan-image

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

NUI Galway President, Dr. James Browne, has paid tribute to the late Séamus Brennan, former Minister and graduate of the University. A native of Galway, Séamus Brennan, graduated from the University with a Bachelor of Commerce in 1968, and a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) in 1969. In March of this year, Séamus Brennan attended NUI Galway's Gala Banquet where he received the 2008 Alumnus Award for Law, Public Service and Government, from the University. The annual Alumni Awards recognise and celebrate individual excellence and achievement. Dr. James Browne, NUI Galway President, said: "The University offers its sincere condolences to Séamus's family, many friends, and colleagues. We valued him as a graduate and also as a talented politician, who served his country with complete commitment. It was our pleasure to have him back on campus earlier this year to receive an Alumni Award and he will be remembered fondly." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Aitheantas Tugtha ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh do Shéamus Brennan, nach maireann Thug Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr. James Browne, aitheantas don Iar-Aire agus céimí de chuid na hOllscoile Séamus Brennan, nach maireann. B'as Gaillimh ó dhúchas do Shéamus Brennan, a fuair Baitsiléar Tráchtála ón Ollscoil seo i 1968, agus Baitsiléir Dán (Eacnamaíocht) i 1969. I Márta na bliana seo, bhí Séamus Brennan i láthair ag Mórfhéasta na hOllscoile agus bronnadh Duais Alumni 2008 don Dlí, an tSeirbhís Phoiblí agus an Rialtas air. Tugann na Duaiseanna bliantúla Alumni aitheantas do dhaoine aonair ar ardchaighdeán. Dúirt an Dr. James Browne, Uachtarán, OÉ Gaillimh: "Ba mhaith leis an Ollscoil comhbhrón a chroí a dhéanamh le teaghlach Shéamuis, a chairde agus a chomhghleacaithe. B'iontach an céimí é agus polaiteoir den scoth a bhí ann, agus bhí sé tiomanta go huile agus go hiomlán dá thír. Ba mhór an onóir dúinne gur fhill sé ar an gcampas níos luaithe i mbliana chun Duais Alumni a ghlacadh – fear a chuaigh i bhfeidhm orainn ar fad." críoch

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NUI Galway Students Embrace 'Let's Do It Galway' Ethos

NUI Galway Students Embrace 'Let's Do It Galway' Ethos -image

Monday, 7 July 2008

Two NUI Galway students have played a key part in planning for the Volvo Ocean Race, which is expected to attract over 140,000 visitors to Galway next year. Research undertaken by Edel Gallager, from Caherlistrane, Co. Galway, and Daithi Evans, from Durrus, Co. Cork, as part of their Higher Diploma in Applied Science, is contributing to the design of a comprehensive safety management plan for the event. Both students have a primary degree from NUI Galway and are now studying a Higher Diploma in Applied Science focusing on in Occupational Health and Safety, and Hygiene. Subjects covered in the Higher Diploma include safety and risk management, which is integral to the planning of any major public event, such as the Volvo Race. Students are also encouraged to engage with the local community by applying their theoretical, research and practical skills to assist local non-profit organisations. Academic Supervisor, Mary Dempsey, of NUI Galway's College of Engineering and Informatics said, "The University ethos enables students to engage in community efforts. In this particular case, working on such a vast project of international significance will be of huge benefit to the students. This type of applied research activity equips students with a valuable skill set combining both intellect and citizenship". In preparation for the Volvo Race, Galway is developing a three-acre race village for the stopover. Public safety is paramount to the 'Let's Do It Galway' team who worked with the NUI Galway students to develop a plan covering a major port redevelopment to house the race village, open air concerts, hospitality and cultural events. Neil Carney of 'Let's Do It Galway' commented, "There is a real sense of excitement as we build towards the Galway Stopover in May/June 2009. It is a fantastic opportunity for Galway City and County, and for the West of Ireland in general to showcase itself to the wider world. The Volvo Ocean Race is one of the largest international sporting event in the world, and its' arrival in Galway in 2009 will be a fantastic occasion for the community." He added, "The entire ethos of 'Let's Do It Galway' is that we are all in this together, without community spirit and support this event would have, pardoning the pun, no wind in its sails. Support from NUI Galway's staff and students is very welcome and their passion and determination reflects the team spirit behind the race. The work carried out by Daithi and Edel adds a valuable resource to the planning of this major event." NUI Galway promotes student engagement in community based projects through its ALIVE volunteering programme and through the service learning modules incorporated into its teaching programmes. Galway Harbour Master Captain Brian Sheridan has actively encouraged and supported NUI Galway students in various research projects over the years. According to Captain Sheridan, "Students from the University have contributed a lot to the city and the port in terms of volunteering their time and energy. They are the next generation of professionals and tapping into their skills and ideas is always hugely beneficial". Captain Brian Sheridan continued, "Working closely with the University on the many aspects of planning for the new deepwater port at Galway has been very advantageous to the ports management team. Fresh ideas, new technologies and sometimes a different approach have all meant that the liaison between NUI Galway and the Galway Harbour Company has paid dividends for both organisations and will go from strength to strength. Edel and Daithi came through on all fronts with this project and I am sure they have both gained invaluable experience working with the ports sector as I have learned from them." The Volvo Ocean Race, formerly the Whitbread Round the World Race, is run every four years, covering 39,000 miles in nine months and visiting ten ports around the world. -ends-

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NUI Galway Appoints New Vice-President for Research

NUI Galway Appoints New Vice-President for Research-image

Friday, 4 July 2008

NUI Galway has today announced the appointment of Professor Terry Smith as the new Vice-President for Research, effective immediately. With a biomedical background, Professor Smith has had a longstanding career in both academic research and industry. "I am delighted to be taking up this challenging role and very much look forward to working with my colleagues throughout the University to further the level of research excellence at NUI Galway," commented Professor Smith. As Director of the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at NUI Galway since 2002, Professor Smith has been instrumental in the growth of the Centre which currently hosts over 400 members engaged in leading research programmes in biomedical engineering, cancer biology, and regenerative medicine through the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI). He also played a key role in the establishment of industry research collaborations with Medtronic, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, and Beckman Coulter. In his new role he looks forward to working closely with the Ignite Technology Transfer Office to forge new, and enhance existing, collaborations between the University and industry partners. Professor Smith added, "This is an exciting time for NUI Galway. I believe that our greatest single asset is our staff. With a strong foundation of internationally renowned researchers across all disciplines, from the humanities and social sciences to science, engineering and medicine, allied with recent strategic recruitments in key areas, NUI Galway is well placed to maximize the potential of our unique intellectual capital." In 1990, Professor Smith joined BioResearch Ireland* at the University as Senior Research Scientist / Team Leader. He was a founding member of the NCBES at NUI Galway and was appointed Professor of Biomedical Engineering Science and Director of the NCBES in January 2002. He played a leadership role in the establishment of the SFI CSET Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) in 2003, with Medtronic as the major industry partner. In 2005, he played a key role in the establishment of the Centre for BioAnalytical Sciences (CBAS), a collaborative bioanalytical sciences research programme in partnership with Bristol Myers Squibb and Dublin City University. In early 2008 Professor Smith was instrumental in establishing a four-year research collaboration with Beckman Coulter in the field of molecular diagnostics. Professor Smith is the author and co-author of over 100 peer-reviewed papers in international journals, as well as being co-inventor of a number of patents. Commenting on his appointment, Dr James Browne, President, NUI Galway, said, "I am delighted to have Professor Terry Smith on board as the new Vice-President for Research. I know Professor Smith will build on the excellent successes we have had in recent years in winning research funding and developing research projects of international significance here at NUI Galway. Under his leadership, we will create an environment where all academic colleagues have an opportunity to contribute to the University's growing research portfolio, and to build on effective research partnerships already set up." ENDS

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