NUI Galway appoints Director to Huston School of Film and Digital Media

NUI Galway appoints Director to Huston School of Film and Digital Media-image

Wednesday, 16 April 2003

Release date: Wednesday 16th April 2003 NUI Galway appoints Director to Huston School of Film and Digital Media NUI Galway is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Rod Stoneman to the post of Director of the Huston School of Film and Digital Media at National University of Ireland, Galway. Mr Stoneman has been CEO of the Irish Film Board since its re-establishment ten years ago. Prior to that he was a Deputy Commissioning Editor for Channel Four television in the UK. The Huston School of Film and Digital Media at NUI Galway will be launched by Angelica Huston at a Gala Banquet to be held in Los Angeles on May 2nd 2003. The school has been founded with the support of the Huston family, commemorating their long association with "St. Cleran's", John Huston's family home in Co. Galway. Additional support has been provided by Coca Cola HBC. "We are delighted to welcome the appointment of Mr Stoneman, as Director of the new Film School", said Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway. "He brings wide industry experience and an international profile to this exciting and innovative project". The Huston School of Film and Digital Media has been founded with the ambition of training a new generation of filmmakers, making use of the latest digital technology. Its inaugural programme, beginning in September 2003 will be a Masters programme in Screenwriting. Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer. NUI Galway. Tel. 091-750418; 087-2986592

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May 2003

NUI Galway Scientist wins Optical Society of America award

NUI Galway Scientist wins Optical Society of America award-image

Monday, 26 May 2003

NUI Galway Scientist wins Optical Society of America award The Optical Society of America (OSA) has announced that the recipient of its C. E. K. Mees Medal 2003 is Professor Christopher Dainty, of NUI Galway. The award recognizes his achievements in the field of Optics. The C. E. K. Mees Medal was established in 1961 in memory of C. E. K. Mees,who contributed much to the development of scientific photography, and acknowledges a recipient who exemplifies the thought that optics transcends all boundaries, interdisciplinary and international. Chris Dainty was chosen as the 2003 recipient for his contributions to the understanding and application of speckle phenomena and for leadership in the international optics community. Professor Dainty is Science Foundation Ireland Professor of Experimental Physics at NUI Galway and is President of the European Optical Society. His research has spanned a wide variety of topics in optical imaging, propagation and scattering. His early work focused on laser speckle and astronomical speckle interferometry. However, by the early 1980s, he became interested in measurement of atmospherically induced scintillation and phase fluctuations, as well as enhanced backscattering from rough surfaces. More recently, he has been involved in low-cost adaptive optics and its applications, and in the optics of the eye. His advanced research uses novel electronics, computer power and light-sensing devices to improve our view of the world. Known as "adaptive optics", the approach is already being used to enhance the images captured by earth-based telescopes. Adaptive optics is a technology developed by astronomers to compensate for the deleterious effects of atmospheric turbulence in astronomical imaging. Dainty is applying adaptive optics to the human eye, primarily to produce very high-resolution images of the retina in vivo. Reversing the optical system could provide "super-vision" that would enable people to see better than "20/20". In the same way that applied optics can clean up a telescope image, Dainty is using the technique to get a clearer view of the back of the retina. A cleaner image of retinal cells can help diagnose disease, but also opens the possibility of sharper vision, he says. Other applications include "line-of-sight" cable-free optical communication links that operate in all weathers, more powerful microscopes and CDs with greatly increased storage capacity. Dainty's research programme also includes basic and applied studies in the fields of smart optics, light scattering and propagation through random media. Smart optical systems are ones where both the optical elements and the detector are programmable, allowing complex tasks to be performed with potentially very low cost devices: consumer digital cameras are one product area that could benefit from smart optics. On a related theme, Professor Dainty is also coordinating an EU Research Training Network, "SHARP-EYE" from his base in NUI Galway. Ends

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SFI awards major Research Centre to NUI Galway

SFI awards major Research Centre to NUI Galway-image

Friday, 23 May 2003

Release date: 23rd May 2003 SFI awards major Research Centre to NUI Galway Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) has announced major funding for three new Centres for Science, Engineering and Technology (CSETs) at NUI Galway, Royal College of Surgeons and UCC. The three successful centres received their awards against competition from 23 other applicants. The new Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway will receive €12m from SFI over the next five years (with a review for further funding after two years), with significant resource investment being contributed by Hewlett-Packard s European Software Centre in Galway. DERI will conduct basic and applied research on the Semantic Web and Semantic Web-enabled Web Services, and on the innovative implications of this emerging technology for industry and society. The importance of this research to business and the public alike is evidenced by the already enormous use of the Web as a tool for communication, accessing and distributing information and conducting business. Traditional Web technology has stimulated the development of entirely new methods of accessing markets, distributing product information and connecting dispersed commercial partners. However, the success of the Web has made it increasingly difficulty to find, sort, present and maintain the information distributed globally. Fortunately, the Semantic Web provides a way of handling this explosion of information and DERI will be at the forefront of this step into the second generation of Web technology. Conceived by the architects of the original web, the Semantic Web is still in its infancy, but when fully developed it will enable computers to talk meaningfully to each other. The new Institute will be directed by Prof. Dieter Fensel, a leading figure in Semantic Web research world-wide, and co-directed by a leading industrial researcher, who brings significant experience to DERI from the US. Prof. Fensel plans to build the number of research staff in DERI to over 60 post-graduate and post-doctoral researchers by 2008. DERI will be a rich collaboration between NUI Galway researchers from the Computer Integrated Manufacturing Research Unit, the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change, the Departments of Information Technology and Electronic Engineering and key industrial researchers from HP's European Software Centre in Galway. In addition, DERI will attract world-class researchers from around the globe. While DERI will be based on the NUI Galway campus it will also have a laboratory at the HP European Software Centre, allowing easy physical and intellectual exchange of researchers between academia and industry. DERI has also developed strong academic links with the Next Web Generation Group at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, through joint projects headed by Prof. Fensel, and plans to foster an extensive researcher exchange programme with the Group. In a research area that demands team-work and global collaboration, this international sharing of ideas and personnel will greatly enhance the potential of DERI to establish itself as a world-leader in the Semantic Web. The involvement of Hewlett-Packard's European Software Centre in Galway is particularly important for DERI s mission to support the future development of indigenous Irish industry. In the commercial world, where software technologies for different parts of a business have not been based on a common foundation, there are serious problems with trying to connect these various data-handling applications. Semantic Web-enabled Web Services will allow the development of simple interfaces between these applications. With over 100 interconnected systems and interface technology ranging over 30 years, HP s European Software Centre represents an ideal 'real-life' laboratory in which the research carried out by DERI can be case-studied and applied. Ends

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June 2003

Nelson Mandela Conferred with Honorary Doctorate at NUI Galway

Nelson Mandela Conferred with Honorary Doctorate at NUI Galway-image

Thursday, 26 June 2003

Conferral underlines NUI Galway's global human rights activity The world's elder statesman, Nelson Mandela visits NUI Galway today (Friday 20 June 2003) to be conferred with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws. The visit and conferral emphasises the work the University has, and continues to carry out, as a leading world-centre of research on global human rights issues. Commenting, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said: "As a university, NUI Galway is committed to the study and promotion of human rights and global humanitarian law. This is demonstrated through the ongoing work of the University's Irish Centre for Human Rights. It is therefore a fitting and momentous occasion for NUI Galway to welcome Mr. Mandela to this University". He added, "While we honour Mr. Mandela with an honorary doctorate, it is actually he who honours us by his presence today at NUI Galway". Continuing he said: The values and beliefs that have shaped the life of Nelson Mandela continue to drive and shape reform, not only in South Africa and the African continent but throughout the world. His visit to NUI Galway underlines a genuine commitment and engagement on the part of this institution to those ideas of human rights, justice and equality for all. The visit and conferral of the Honorary Doctorate to Nelson Mandela can be viewed live via the University's website at: www.nuigalway.ie/mandela To mark the visit, the University has also organised an International Development Conference on Friday 20 June, which will focus on the key themes in economic development, human rights and development co-operation. It will look at opportunities for enhanced and innovative partnerships with African states, and consider in conjunction with Irish aid practitioners, the particular role Ireland can play in these areas. Speakers include Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway; Michael D Higgins, T.D.; Justin Kilcullen of Trócaire and John O'Shea of Goal. Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, Professor William Schabas said: "The main objective of the conference will be to honour Nelson Mandela's visit to NUI Galway, and his ongoing work on behalf of the disadvantaged. In addition, the conference will seek to inform the public debate on development issues and contribute to the dialogue in policy formulation, and to review and highlight key developing world priorities." Ends Issued on behalf of NUI Galway by Drury Communications, contact Orla Benson / Paddy Hughes at Tel: +353 1 260 5000 / +353 87 8033262 / +353 87 616 7811 For reference: Máire Mhic Uidhir Press Officer, NUI Galway Tel: +353 91 750 418 / +353 87 298 6592

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NUI Galway Conference on Economic Development, Human Rights and Aid

NUI Galway Conference on Economic Development, Human Rights and Aid-image

Monday, 16 June 2003

NUI Galway Conference on Economic Development, Human Rights and Aid A new partnership for Africa's Development – Ireland's Role To mark the visit of Nelson Mandela to NUI Galway, the University is organising an International Development Conference which will take place from 11.30 to 5.00 p.m., on Friday, 20 June, 2003, in the Siobhán McKenna Theatre, Arts Millennium Building. The conference will focus on key themes in economic development, human rights and development co-operation. The proceedings will focus on the opportunities for enhanced and innovative partnerships with African states, and consider in conjunction with Irish aid practitioners, the particular role Ireland can play in these areas. Speakers at the conference will include Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway; Michael D. Higgins, T.D., Justin Kilcullen of Trócaire and John O'Shea of Goal. The main objectives of the conference are to inform the public debate on development issues and contribute to the dialogue in policy formulation; to review and highlight key development priorities; and to honour Nelson Mandela's visit to NUI Galway and his ongoing work on behalf of the disadvantaged. Ends

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Bank of Ireland Fellowship in International Human Rights Law

Bank of Ireland Fellowship in International Human Rights Law-image

Monday, 9 June 2003

Bank of Ireland Fellowship in International Human Rights Law to be established in honour of Nelson Mandela's visit to Galway Bank of Ireland has announced the establishment of a fellowship to be awarded to a distinguished scholar from a developing country studying at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway. The fellowship will be established to commemorate the visit of Nelson Mandela to the University to receive an honorary degree on June 20th. Hundreds of applicants are expected to apply for this prestigious fellowship. Applications will be considered by a special academic panel chaired by Professor William A. Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights. "This important fellowship will make a most significant contribution to the academic research capacity of the Irish Centre for Human Rights", said Professor Schabas. "Since the Centre began activities in early 2000, it has quickly become the Irish think tank with respect to issues on the cutting edge of international human rights law. The fellowship will strengthen its international reputation for excellence and innovation." Professor Schabas went on to say that the requirement that the fellow comes from a developing country is particularly important. "Research from developing countries suffers from inadequate resources, and we believe a fellowship like this can help in a modest way to correct the imbalance," he said. Mike O Grady, Regional Manager Area Office West at Bank of Ireland said, "Nelson Mandela is a towering figure in human rights. We were glad to be able to recognise his historic visit to Galway by establishing a fellowship for a scholar from a developing country." Ends

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Fifth International Biennial Conference of the International Association of Geno

Fifth International Biennial Conference of the International Association of Geno-image

Friday, 6 June 2003

From 7 – 10 June 2003 the Irish Centre for Human Rights will host the Fifth Biennial Conference of the International Association of Genocide Scholars. Over 150 delegates from throughout the world will participate in this prestigious international event. Genocide, often called "the crime of crimes", is defined by human rights law as the racist destruction of an entire group. The keynote address will be delivered by Gerald Gahima, the Attorney General of Rwanda. He will give an account of his experience in the pursuit for justice in post-genocide Rwanda. Other notable speakers include the Honorable Howard Wolpe, Former Congressman from Michigan and Special Presidential Envoy of the U.S. to the Great Lakes Region of Africa, Ben Kiernan, Professor of History and Director of Genocide Studies Program, Yale University and Professor Israel Charny of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide, Jerusalem. The Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights and chair in human rights at the University, Professor William A. Schabas will discuss the implications for international law of the ad hoc international criminal tribunals. This conference will involve over forty panels discussing a variety of topics, including the genocide of indigenous peoples, the effects of genocide on survivors, prevention of genocide, the role of mass media, international law and genocide, the role of truth commissions and denial of genocides. Scholars from the numerous countries, including Canada, Rwanda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the United States and Israel will participate in this event. The International Association of Genocide Scholars is at the forefront of research and study on the subject of genocide and the Irish Centre for Human Rights is honoured to be hosting this conference. Ends

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Preparations well underway for visit of Nelson Mandela

Preparations well underway for visit of Nelson Mandela-image

Tuesday, 3 June 2003

Preparations well underway for visit of Nelson Mandela to NUI Galway Preparations are at an advanced stage for the impending visit of Nelson Mandela to NUI Galway. The Nobel Laureate and former Prime Minister of South Africa will be conferred with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws on Friday, 20 June 2003 at the University. It is expected that huge numbers of people will come on campus to welcome Mr Mandela on his historic visit to Galway. Mr Mandela will arrive on campus at 5.30 pm. Members of the public are invited to view the arrival and the colourful academic procession from the Quadrangle to the conferring hall at Áras na Mac Léinn/Student Centre. Designated Viewing Areas will provide excellent vantage points for the public. Details of these locations, which will be supervised for crowd safety by the Gardaí, will be published in due course. The ceremony will be relayed live to large screens in the Kirwan, Dillon and Larmor Theatres. Admission to these venues will be by ticket only. Tickets will be issued on a first come, first served basis to members of the public and should be collected in person from Áras Fáilte, the University's Visitor and Information Centre, from Monday 9 June. To mark this historic event, NUI Galway and HEAnet will host the first-ever live webcast from the campus. This will enable alumni, staff and friends all over the globe to enjoy this auspicious occasion. In order to access the live video-stream, log-on to www.nuigalway.ie/mandela for instructions and test page to check you can view the webcast. "This is a momentous occasion for the University and for Galway," said Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway. " We are delighted to be able to facilitate public access to the event and look forward to making this a memorable and exciting occasion for as many people as possible. Now approaching his eighty fifth birthday, Nelson Mandela is one of the world's greatest statesmen and it is a singular honour for us to welcome him to Galway." Ends

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July 2003

Ireland's first Marine Finfish Hatchery established

Ireland's first Marine Finfish Hatchery established-image

Monday, 28 July 2003

The first custom-built facility to produce farmed marine finfish is being established in NUI Galway's MRI Laboratories in Carna, Connemara. With support from Údarás na Gaeltachta, the €600,000 facility will commence operation in the autumn (2003) with the pilot commercial scale production of juvenile cod in a research project funded by the Marine Institute. Wild cod stocks have been severely depleted in recent years resulting in the imposition of quotas and conservation measures. The combined landings of wild cod in the waters off Ireland and UK have plummeted from an average of 75,000 tonnes per annum to less than 25,000 tonnes of cod since the mid 1990s. "Cod is perhaps the best known species of white fish in the North Atlantic with a readymade market of millions of consumers on both sides of the Atlantic", according to Declan Clarke, Development Manager at NUI Galway's Martin Ryan Institute. "There is a strong market opportunity for farmed cod in Ireland and other European countries. Technology developed for cod will also be readily transferable to other white fish species, including haddock, hake and halibut," he said. Research at the MRI Laboratories will support emerging commercial development in terms of Ireland's marine finfish brood stock programmes, live feed production and fish health. Micheál Corduff, Marine Project Executive, Údarás na Gaeltachta said, " This is a very exciting project with tremendous potential for sustainable development, commercial success, and job creation." This project is part of an inter-agency initiative to develop new species and technologies, which involves the Marine Institute, NUI Galway, Bord Iascaigh Mhara and the Department of the Marine. Ends

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President of International Criminal Court to address NUI Galway Event

President of International Criminal Court to address NUI Galway Event-image

Thursday, 10 July 2003

The recently elected President of the International Criminal Court, Philippe Kirsch, will be the keynote speaker at a one-week course organised by the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway from 19-26 July 2003 in Galway. Now in its fourth year, the one-week course provides students, diplomats, journalists and other interested professionals with a comprehensive introduction to the operational and political issues concerning the Court. President Kirsch headed the negotiations that resulted in the creation of the Court. He was elected a judge in February 2003, and President of the Court the following month. He will lecture on the establishment of the Court, including the 1998 Rome Conference and subsequent developments. Speakers at the course include Ambassador David Scheffer, who led the United States delegation at the Rome Conference and Professor William Schabas, director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights and author of Introduction to the International Criminal Court. The International Criminal Court became fully operational in June 2003, following the election of its judges, the Prosecutor and the Registrar. The Court is authorised to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed since 1 July 2002. The Irish Centre for Human Rights, founded in 2000, is based at NUI Galway, where it is affiliated to the Faculty of Law. Besides organising specialised courses on relevant themes, like the International Criminal Court course, it offers a degree programme of post-graduate studies in international human rights law and engages in a range of individual and contract research projects. Ends

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