New website to enable students to volunteer at the click of a button

New website to enable students to volunteer at the click of a button-image

Monday, 18 September 2006

The Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway has launched a new website that enables students to register as volunteers, at the same time allowing community organisations to recruit student volunteers. The amalgamation of registration for both students and community organisations will make volunteering an effortless process with minimal hassle. The Online Volunteering Opportunities Database allows volunteers to easily browse through a variety of volunteering opportunities and lets community organisations post volunteering opportunities to be browsed through. At the click of a button, students can then easily register to volunteer with their chosen organisation and the organisation can recruit them. The new website also offers educational links for research in community, volunteering, civic engagement and service learning/community based learning. In addition, it highlights video and audio webcasts that have been produced with national and international experts in the field of university-community partnerships. The CKI is a project established in 2001 by NUI Galway in order to place communities at the centre of debate and educate students for their role as citizens in democratic society. The website aims to be an informational resource for students and staff at NUI Galway, as well as those in the wider community. "We created a site that offers students, academics and community a gateway into volunteering and the possibilities university-community collaboration poses in modern society; we envisage that the CKI site will enable students to volunteer and learn about their civic responsibility through community," said Lorraine McIlrath, CKI Project Coordinator. Contact: Lorraine McIlrath, Community Knowledge Initiative, NUI Galway, Phone: 091 495234 ENDS

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Burns Victims and Cystic Fibrosis Sufferers could

Burns Victims and Cystic Fibrosis Sufferers could-image

Monday, 18 September 2006

Burns victims and cystic fibrosis sufferers could benefit from the latest research into hyper-resistant bacteria, often known as superbugs, at NUI Galway. The research, carried out by postgraduate Paul Mc Cay under the supervision of Dr Ger Fleming of NUI Galway's Microbiology Department, looked at the cross-resistance of a particular strain of bacteria to both antibiotics and disinfectant. The three-year study focused on Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an opportunistic pathogen often associated with burn wound sepsis or sufferers of cystic fibrosis and is frequently connected with hospital acquired pneumonia. The University team developed a highly resistant strain of the bacteria and mixed it with the original strain, and a very low level of either antibiotic or disinfectant. The research found that when low levels of antibiotic or disinfectant were present, the ordinary strain of the bacteria was significantly disadvantaged and the superbugs became dominant. The superbugs were also found to be more readily resistant to other types of antibiotic or disinfectant when they were subsequently introduced. Furthermore, superbugs with antibiotic resistance also had resistance to disinfectant, even though the disinfectant had never been present, suggesting a strong link between the development of resistance to antibiotics and disinfectant. "This could have major implications for those administering antibiotics. Firstly, for burn victims and cystic fibrosis sufferers, infections can be long-term. While treatment with antibiotics is the obvious solution this approach is sometimes quite broad and if one antibiotic does not work, we switch to another. However, we may in fact be selecting for resistance and developing an even stronger pathogen. Secondly, disinfectant - tolerant bacteria are emerging more often and this may contribute to antibiotic cross resistance", commented Dr. Fleming. With funding from Research Frontiers Programme, administered by SFI, and the Embark initiative, Paul Mc Cay is one of only a few researchers in Ireland or Britain that utilises long-term selective chemostat cultures for investigations. Using a chemostat culture system, which mimics a natural environment, a highly resistant strain of the bacteria can be grown and in theory grow indefinitely. This better mimics how bacteria behave in the natural environment while allowing bacteria to mutate, evolve and "adapt" to selective agents such as antibiotics and disinfectants. Dr. Fleming and Mr. Paul Mc Cay presented their work at the Society for General Microbiology's 159th meeting, in York on Wednesday 13 September 2006. -ends-

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NUI Galway Student's Brainwave to become Commercial Reality

NUI Galway Student's Brainwave to become Commercial Reality-image

Monday, 11 September 2006

11 September 2006: A postgraduate student from NUI Galway is the first university researcher in Ireland to receive payment for a 'brainwave' from Technology from Ideas Limited (TfI), the technology commercialisation company. Robert Healy, from the Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering Department, has a radical new idea in the field of renewable energy which potentially offers significant enhancement to existing technologies. Robert's initial idea was analysed by TfI looking at its market, technical and intellectual property merits. TfI expanded upon the idea turning it into a novel technology concept which would enhance current and proposed wave power generation devices. An added bonus of the technology is that it would also strengthen the structural integrity of a device allowing it to withstand more severe sea conditions. The technology involves the use of novel materials coupled with innovative structural modifications. The finer details regarding Robert Healy's idea remain top secret while under development; all he can reveal is that the idea came to him while "watching the surf in Galway". TfI will now commit time and resources to developing, demonstrating and protecting the idea, with the aim of selling or licencing a proven technology onto an end customer. The returns from future sales will be shared with both NUI Galway and Robert. In May of this year, NUI Galway signed a technology commercialisation agreement with Irish company TfI. Under the agreement, TfI will source certain categories of technology ideas from NUI Galway researchers for development and sale to industry. Dr Daniel O'Mahony, Director Technology Transfer Office, NUI Galway, said: "Robert's idea is an innovative solution to a problem he observed with current renewable energy devices. It is outside of his core area of expertise and requires further market-focused technology development before being ready for commercialisation – which is where TfI comes in. Our partnership with TfI offers NUI Galway a much needed alternative commercialisation route for our intellectual property and this idea is the first fruits of our relationship since signing our initial agreement with TfI". Commenting on today's announcement, Dan Richardson, TfI's Managing Director, said: "This award demonstrates our belief in the potential of this idea and in our ability to develop it into a valuable technology. This is the start of a potentially long commercialisation process for Robert's idea with the real returns for him and the University coming when there is a sale or licence deal. We expect further awards over the coming year as we take more ideas into our development pipeline." The agreement with TfI forms part of an ongoing strategic initiative for the Technology Transfer Office at NUI Galway in the development, commercial exploitation, industrial partnering and spin-out of technologies under development by a number of research teams at the University. - ends - Notes for editors Technology from Ideas (TfI) Technology from Ideas (TfI) is a new Irish technology commercialisation company partnered by key players in universities and industry. TfI locates unrealised ideas from university researchers, develops them into investment ready technologies, and sells them to customers worldwide for subsequent development into products. This is achieved through commercially focused development in our own laboratories and together with sales through established technology development company partners. For more information please visit Tel Dan Richardson, Managing Director on +353 86 172 4623. NUI Galway For more information please contact: NUI Galway, Dr. Daniel O'Mahony, Director Technology Transfer Office, 091 492147

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NUI Galway Disability Law Expert Re-Appointed to Irish Human Rights Commission

NUI Galway Disability Law Expert Re-Appointed to Irish Human Rights Commission-image

Monday, 11 September 2006

Professor Gerard Quinn, of NUI Galway's Law Faculty, has been re-appointed by the Government to serve another five year term on the Irish Human Rights Commission. An expert in Disability Law, Prof Quinn is the only person based in the West of Ireland on the Commission, which has made its mark domestically and internationally - where it is a member of the European Coordinating Group of National Human Rights Institutions Professor Quinn took a leading role within the Commission over the past five years on the drafting of the new United Nations treaty on disability as well as in the general field of social justice. He led the delegation from the Human Rights Commission to the United Nations on the drafting of the disability treaty which was finally agreed in New York in August. Speaking of his re-appointment to the Human Rights Commission, Prof Quinn said, "This is a great honour for me and for my Faculty. I intend using my next term on the Commission to help co-ordinate human rights commissions worldwide in implementing the disability treaty in domestic law where it counts most. I will continue to build research alliances worldwide on the challenging issue of disability law reform". Professor Quinn also co-directs a major legal Research Network for the European Commission on EU discrimination law which provides the Commission with a wide range of research on issues such as disability as well as age and race. He recently stepped down as First Vice-President of the European Committee of Social Rights (Council of Europe, Strasbourg). The Irish Human Rights Commission, which was established by statute in accordance with the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, is an independent statutory body mandated to ensure that Irish law and practice are in line with highest standards as set out in the Constitution and in international human rights agreements to which Ireland is a party. - ends -

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Fáiltiú roimh mhic léinn lánaimseartha ar an gCeathrú Rua

Fáiltiú roimh mhic léinn lánaimseartha ar an gCeathrú Rua-image

Monday, 11 September 2006

Den chéad uair riamh tá cúrsa bunchéime á reáchtáil in ionad Gaeltachta de chuid Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh i mbliana. Tá an B.A. sa Chumarsáid ar siúl in Ionad Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Áras Mháirtín Uí Chadhain ar an gCeathrú Rua agus tá mic léinn an chúrsa tar éis triall ar an áit. Is cúrsa ceithre bliana atá ann agus cuirfear oiliúint ar mhic léinn san iriseoireacht, i léiriú teilifíse agus raidió agus sna hilmheáin chun iad a ullmhú don ré úr dhigiteach sna meáin. Chomh maith leis an gcúrsa B.A. tá mic léinn ar an gCeathrú Rua ar feadh na bliana ag freastal ar chúrsaí lánaimseartha eile an Acadaimh – an tArd-Dioplóma sa Chumarsáid Fheidhmeach, an Dioplóma Iarchéime/M.A. i Léann an Aistriúcháin, an Dioplóma i Scileanna Raidió agus an Cúrsa Scileanna Ríomhaireachta agus Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge. Tá urraíocht fhlaithiúil á fáil ó Údarás na Gaeltachta chun na cúrsaí seo a rith agus is borradh mór do cheantar na Ceathrún Rua é iad a bheith ar fáil agus an 70 mac léinn atá ag cur fúthu sa cheantar dá bharr. Bhí ócáid fáiltithe eagraithe ag foireann an Acadaimh ar an gCeathrú Rua Dé Céadaoin seo caite, an 6 Meán Fómhair chun fáilte a chur roimh na mic léinn ar fad. Orthu siúd a bhí ag caint leo bhí Peadar Mac an Iomaire, Príomhfheidhmeannach an Acadaimh agus Treasa Uí Lorcáin, Riarthóir Ionad an Acadaimh ar an gCeathrú Rua agus thug an t-iriseoir aitheanta Rónán Mac an Iomaire caint dar teideal "Saol an duine óig ar an gCeathrú Rua". Bhí eolas ar fáil freisin do na mic léinn faoi chlubanna sóisialta, spóirt agus na háiseanna eile atá ar fáil dóibh ar an gCeathrú Rua. Bhí ionadaithe ó Aontas na Mac Léinn ar an láthair freisin chun labhairt leis na mic léinn. Cuireadh críoch leis an lá le BBQ agus ceol. Is féidir tuilleadh eolais a fháil ach glaoch ar Chassie Ní Chathasaigh in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh, ag 091 869022 nó ríomhphost a sheoladh chuig -críoch-

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NUI Galway hosts International Health Conference

NUI Galway hosts International Health Conference-image

Monday, 4 September 2006

The Irish Forum for Global Health is to host a two-day conference in conjunction with NUI Galway entitled "Equity Challenges in Global Health", on September 7th and 8th. The event, which is supported by Irish Aid, will bring together experts to debate the global challenges of addressing inequities in health and aims to identify ways in which Ireland can respond both globally and locally. The conference is an opportunity to connect individuals and organisations involved in relevant education, research and policy. Diarmuid O'Donovan, a Senior Lecturer in NUI Galway's Department of Health Promotion, and Chairperson of the Irish Forum for Global Health, commented, "Despite dramatic improvements in certain areas, on a global level, the gap between the rich and poor in terms of healthcare is widening. HIV, AIDS, TB and malaria are huge problems for developing countries. This is an opportunity to debate the issues surrounding these problems and identify practical ways in which Ireland can help". The conference, which is the Second Biennial Conference on this theme, will feature local and international presenters and include a series of workshops. The workshops will feature, among others, representatives from Ethiopia and South Africa, with the aim of establishing how individuals and organisations can work together more effectively to address healthcare issues. Speakers will include leading figures in global health policy, research and advocacy: Dr Irene Agua Agyapong (Alliance for Health Systems & Policy Research) Dr Odile Leroy (European Developing Country Clinical Trials Partnership) Andrew Chetley (Healthlink International) Dr Hani Serag (People's Health Movement) Dr Vincent O'Neill (Irish Aid) The aim of the Irish Forum for Global Health is to contribute to improvement in the health of individuals and populations globally by creating networks that will promote research and education and advocate for investment in global health. For more information on the conference please visit or telephone 086 3166388. -ends–

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New Strategic Partnership between Trinity College Dublin and NUI Galway

New Strategic Partnership between Trinity College Dublin and NUI Galway-image

Friday, 1 September 2006

September 1, 2006: Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and the National University of Ireland, Galway have agreed a new strategic collaborative research partnership in the humanities and bioengineering. The TCD Provost, Dr John Hegarty, and NUI Galway's President, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, together signed the bilateral agreement this week, which will enable their respective institutions to build collaborative and complementary strengths. The primary focus of this initial collaboration concerns research in the arts, humanities and areas of social studies. It paves the way for the creation of an East-West Arts and Humanities Research Corridor in Ireland, linking Trinity's Long Room Hub initiative with the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies at NUI Galway. The other element of the agreement builds upon existing bioengineering partnerships between the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at NUI Galway and the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering. Speaking on behalf of NUI Galway, Dr Ó Muircheartaigh stated that: "At a time when significant investment has been made by the State in research, both universities agree that we should work together to maximise efficiency at fourth level to deliver added-value in these key research areas. Furthermore, I hope that that this initiative will serve as a platform with which relevant research clusters in other Irish universities will establish links." Commenting on the significance of the agreement, TCD's Provost, Dr John Hegarty said: "This is the second strategic agreement in a series of key bilateral collaborative partnerships which Trinity College is advancing with other institutions in Ireland. I am particularly pleased to see the balance between the humanities and the sciences in this agreement. The role of the humanities in our society cannot be overstated." In addition to collaboration in these specific research areas, Trinity College and NUI Galway will work to develop and implement further complementary research strategies and graduate school programmes. - ends -

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Martin Sheen among first to register as a student at NUI Galway, Ireland

Martin Sheen among first to register as a student at NUI Galway, Ireland-image

Friday, 1 September 2006

Actor Martin Sheen has registered as an arts student at the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway, taking classes in English Literature, Philosophy and Oceanography. Star of the acclaimed TV series 'The West Wing', and of many memorable movies including Apocalypse Now and Badlands, Sheen will take a break from his illustrious acting career to immerse himself in campus life. Martin Sheen is amongst the first of 15,000 students who will register over the coming weeks at NUI Galway. Around 1,500 international students travel to Ireland each year to study at the University, with almost half of those hailing from North America. The rich multi-cultural ambience on campus provides a dynamic backdrop to the student-centred and research-intensive university. Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh President of NUI Galway warmly welcomed the actor, "We welcome Martin as a student at NUI Galway and the city extends to him a heartfelt Céad Míle Fáilte. Martin joins the thousands of students we welcome at this busy and exciting time of year on campus. We hope he will enjoy being part of our friendly, vibrant and diverse community and wish him well in his academic endeavours." Apart from the academic subjects he has chosen, Martin Sheen will find other areas of academic discipline in NUI Galway which fit in with his own particular interests such as the work of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, and the Irish Centre for Human Rights which will touch a chord with his own interest in social justice and civil liberties. Earlier this year, Martin Sheen was conferred with an honorary degree, by the National University of Ireland (NUI) in recognition of his acting talent and work as a champion of the poor and vulnerable in society. Throughout his life, his actions of non-violent civil disobedience and consistent opposition to war have been the cornerstone of his character. - ends - About NUI Galway Established in 1845, NUI Galway is one of Ireland's foremost centres of academic excellence. With over 15,000 students, it has a long established reputation for teaching and research excellence in each of its seven faculties – Arts, Science, Commerce, Engineering, Celtic Studies, Medicine & Health Sciences and Law. Firmly established in the top tier of research-intensive universities in Europe, NUI Galway attracts internationally-renowned academics, as well as researchers and students of the highest calibre. NUI Galway is situated in Galway City on the west coast of Ireland. The 250 acre river-side campus is in close proximity to the Connemara Gaeltacht, the largest Irish-speaking area in the country, which provides a unique dimension to the campus. The regular use of the Irish language is an established part of social and academic life, while the city and university reflect the rich cultural ambience of a bilingual, multi-cultural environment. About Martin Sheen The star of the popular show 'The West Wing', Martin Sheen was born Ramon Estévez, in 1940, in Dayton, Ohio to immigrant parents: Francisco Estevez from Spain and Mary Ann Phelan from Terryglass, Co Tipperary. Martin was the seventh of 12 children and still has relatives in Ireland. In 1961, as he began to enjoy the success of his burgeoning career, Martin met Janet Templeton, an Ohio art student studying in New York whom he later married. Together now for over 40 years, they have four children Emilio, Ramon and Renée Estévez and Charlie Sheen, all four of whom have followed in their father's acting footsteps. Martin Sheen has played more than two hundred screen roles including memorable performances in Badlands, Apocalypse Now, Gandhi, Wall Street, The Missiles of October, Dead Zone and The American President.

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October 2006

NUI Galway Dean Predicts Significant Demand for Engineering Graduates

NUI Galway Dean Predicts Significant Demand for Engineering Graduates-image

Tuesday, 31 October 2006

31 October 2006: The Dean of Engineering at NUI Galway, Professor Pádraic O Donoghue, has predicted very high demand for engineering graduates in the coming years. However, he cautioned that there will be major problems ahead for the Irish economy if there is a shortage of graduates to support the vital high technology industrial sector. Professor O'Donoghue made his comments during a week in which NUI Galway conferred accredited engineering degrees on 240 graduates. In addition, a further 40 postgraduates were also conferred. He pointed to the attractiveness of engineering as a career given the exciting technical challenges that now exist in addition to the fact that remuneration has increased significantly in recent years. The Professor commented, "A report published by Forfás earlier this year indicated that starting salaries for engineering graduates are already amongst the highest of all professions. Engineering and Information Technology students who graduate in the next few years can expect to be in very high demand and consequently will receive very attractive salary packages." According to statistics recently published by Engineers Ireland, engineering salaries in some disciplines have climbed by almost a third in just two years and that the starting salaries are currently on par with those for dentists and doctors. NUI Galway has been very proactive in delivering the good news message on engineering directly to second level students. The Faculty of Engineering has an extensive school visit programme and places strong emphasis in engaging with these students. The Faculty feels that this is a very important activity and the faculty members will be on the road again over the next few weeks to make these connections. Schools are invited to contact the Faculty at 091 492101 to arrange such a visit. -ends-

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'Conversations with Community' Seminars to Build on Success of Volunteer Fair

'Conversations with Community' Seminars to Build on Success of Volunteer Fair-image

Tuesday, 31 October 2006

31 October 2006: Building on the success of last month's Volunteering Fair, the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway has organised a series of discussions entitled 'Conversations with Community' in order to continue to foster communication and partnership with community organisations. Kick starting this discussion series will be a seminar discussing the experience of asylum seekers in Galway on Wednesday the 8th of November from 3.00pm – 5.00pm at NUI Galway. Hosted by the CKI, this first discussion will take place with Brendan Smith, of the University's Digital Enterprise Research Institute and members of the Eglington Centre who will talk about their experiences working with asylum seekers in Galway and what asylum seekers experience here. This seminar is part of a series of informal discussions and talks with community organisations and is organised by the CKI in order to generate more discussion and communication with community. The CKI will also host: Linda Keane, Galway Association and Kathy Heffernan, NAD on Wednesday the 10th of January, 3.00pm – 5.00pm - Barriers & Opportunities facing the disabled in Ireland. Sean Regan, Community Worker Wednesday on the 7th of February, 3.00pm - 5.00pm - Community work in Ireland - managing poverty and injustice or working for social change? Colin McIlrath, Irish Wheelchair Association and John Hannon, Careers Services, NUI Galway on Wednesday the 7th of March, 3.00pm - 5.00pm - Careers in the Community Sector - Insights from Professionals . The Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) is a project at NUI Galway that promotes partnership with communities and endeavours to enhance social commitment within communities. Funded by philanthropic donations, the CKI hopes to reinvigorate the civic mission of higher education in Ireland, putting communities at the centre of debate. For further information, please contact Lorraine McIlrath, CKI Project Coordinator at 091 495234 or email Information from Christina McDonald Legg, - ends -

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