Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Project aims to foster academic-industry research interactions between Ireland and Japan    An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D. has announced that a consortium of Irish Higher Education Institutions, led by NUI Galway has been awarded €1.24m in funding to collaborate with their Japanese counterparts through Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) International Strategic Cooperation Award (ISCA). The NUI Galway-led consortium of Irish Research Bodies will partner with 21 Japanese Universities and a number of companies and research institutes, with the aim of building strategic partnerships to perform cutting-edge scientific research, encourage more industry-informed research, and foster academic-industry interactions between Ireland and Japan. Speaking in Tokyo, Japan, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD said, “This new initiative, supported by the Irish Government through Science Foundation Ireland, will build on the extensive linkages that already exist between the Irish and Japanese research communities. It will encourage a higher level of research engagement at both an academic and industrial level." "The ultimate aim" An Taoiseach said "is to create innovative products, services and jobs to benefit Ireland and Japan as well as tackling important social challenges such as caring for an ageing population and climate change. Importantly, it will also help increase awareness of Ireland’s growing international standing in the area of research among potential new partner organisations in Japan.” Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of SFI and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government, said, "Ireland ranks 20 in the world for the quality of its research. Our focus on funding excellent scientific research with impact is important for the economy and country. Ireland continues to develop strategic international partnerships. Through SFI’s ISCA programme we are fostering new important research collaborations between Irish based Researchers and both academic and industry partners in Japan.”  The partnerships developed by the consortium will address 6 key thematic areas which align with both Irish and Japanese research priorities. These are:  ·         Environmental and climate sciences and technologies; ·         ICT and Big Data analytics; ·         Advanced manufacturing and materials; ·         Imaging and optics; ·         Future healthcare including connected health; ·         Medical devices and regenerative medicine. Project Leader, Professor Ciaran Morrison of NUI Galway, commented "Many Irish researchers already have significant interactions with Japanese colleagues but until now there has not been a framework to support those interactions and to convert them into more tangible collaborations.  The key goal of this initiative is to promote Irish science to Japanese research institutions, in order to forge new collaborative links between researchers in the two countries. Japanese research is very strong and Irish researchers can really benefit from closer association with their Japanese counterparts".   ENDS  

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

                         The NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards, now in their 4th year, reward enterprise and innovation among students.   The NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards, now in its fourth year, invites students across the campus to put forward proposals for a project or business. The winner will receive a prize of €10,000 investment capital and the two runners up will receive prizes of €5,000 each. The NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards aim to unlock the potential of NUI Galway students by providing financial support and expertise for students who wish to start a project in the areas of business and/or social entrepreneurship. The awards are generously supported by NUI Galway and NUI Galway Students’ Union. The closing date for submissions is 5pm Friday 17th January. More information is available at www.su.nuigalway.ie  NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne said “The Enterprise Awards offer an opportunity for students to bring ideas to life and, in doing so, learn invaluable business and entrepreneurial skills. A key aim in NUI Galway is to offer our students a broad skillset that builds on their academic achievements and prepares them for the challenges of working life. “ Sean Kearns, President of NUI Galway Students’ Union, said “the Enterprise Awards are a showcase for the best and brightest student minds on campus. They reflect the dynamic, innovative and creative graduates we all wish to see emerging from NUI Galway, now and in the years ahead.” 2012 Enterprise Award Overall Winner Niamh Duffy said “The NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise awards is a truly life changing experience. Having zero business knowledge prior to taking part, the skills and knowledge I gained were invaluable to making my vision a reality no matter what the outcome. A year on and we are getting ready for our big launch thanks to the awards!”   -Ends-  

Monday, 2 December 2013

  The Creative Edge Project shows that the Audio Visual Sector added €72m to the economy of county Galway alone in 2012, employing over 600 people   UNESCO has identified the creative economy as one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the world economy. The recently published Creative Economy Report further confirmed that the creative economy can transform export earnings, job creation and an economy’s ability to generate income.    The Creative Edge project, at the Whitaker Institute in NUI Galway is a €1.1 million funded initiative supported by the European Union through the Northern Periphery Programme that has explicitly focused on the development of the Creative Economy in Europe’s peripheral regions.   To mark the end of the Creative Edge project, NUI Galway’s Whitaker Institute will host a conference entitled ‘How Creative Industries Contribute To and Shape Peripheral Region Societies and Economies?’ on Monday, 2 December, 11am – 3pm in An Taibhdhearc, Middle St. in Galway City.     Key findings of the research carried out by members of the Whitaker Institute point to the vibrancy of the Creative Economy across the Western Region of Ireland:   The West of Ireland is home to 2,466 creative industries, ranging from micro enterprises to those who employ hundreds in this growing sector. The audio visual sector in Galway alone contributed over €72 million to the local economy in 2012, employing over 600 people in highly skilled positions County Galway hosted 83 festivals and events in 2012 ranging from local fairs to international events like the Volvo Ocean Race, which brought in over €62 million in expenditure to the Galway city-region. Graduates trained in creative economy pursuits are four times more likely to set up their own business. The creative sector has positive spillover benefits into other industrial sectors and more broadly in terms of contributing to social and community development as well as place making and identity formation.   Dr Patrick Collins, School of Geography and Archaeology and the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change at NUI Galway, said: “This is important work because we in the west of Ireland have an obvious competitive and comparative advantage in creative/cultural produce. We are known for our ability to tell stories, to paint a picture through the use of different media, and this sort of narrative construction is fundamental to success in the Creative Economy.”   The project focuses on four regions across the northern periphery of Europe - Vasterbotten in Northern Sweden; Kemi-Tornio, in Northern Finland; South East Economic Development region in Northern Ireland; and the West of Ireland, all of whom share a high degree of rurality.   James Cunningham, Director of the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change, said: “The Creative Edge project has demonstrated the importance of the creative industries to the economic and social vibrancy of peripheral communities and has piloted new ways of how this sector can retain local authenticity while having an international focus in exploiting new markets and opportunities.”   Ian Brannigan, Regional Development Director of the Western Development Commission said "The WDC is delighted to continue our efforts with the Whitaker institute to grow the creative industries sector in the West of Ireland and beyond. Our “mycreative-edge.eu” platform has allowed hundreds of regional creative businesses to  access global markets and with 8,500 unique views last month alone we are excited to see interest translate to sales in the run up to the Christmas season".   Those interested in creating a free online profile and promoting their creative business internationally with MyCreativeEdge can register at www.mycreativeedge.eu/register.   -ends-

Monday, 2 December 2013

Are you in primary school? Would you like to see what NUI Galway is like? Monday, 02 December, 2013: NUI Galway is inviting students from 4th, 5th and 6th class to apply for a taste of university life. NUI Galway Youth Academy is now taking applications for its next round of courses beginning in January 2014. Classes will run over six Saturday mornings in January and February from 10am to 12.30pm, followed by a graduation ceremony for the University’s youngest graduates in March 2014! To date almost 400 students from primary schools across Galway city and county have participated in a range of specially designed courses ranging from IT to Italian and Engineering to Psychology. NUI Galway established their Youth Academy in 2012 in order to give 4th, 5th and 6th class primary school students with ability a stimulating introduction to University life.  The Academy gives students and their families a taste of what it is like to study at one of Ireland’s most popular universities, and perhaps, inspire them to progress to third-level education. All courses are highly interactive and use a variety of teaching techniques to ensure students get the most out of their time at NUI Galway. The courses offered as part of the Youth Academy include: Idea detectives-Exploring the world with Philosophy Discovering Italy: Italian Language and Italian Genius Psychology: who we are, how we think and what we do Engineering our planet A fun introduction to computer programming, the internet and multimedia Weird stuff our ancestors did Words and books: playing with language and literature Introduction to Mandarin Bio-EXPLORERS Ocean Physics: Motion in the Ocean When Play Becomes Performance: How to Make Drama A fee of €150 per student applies for the six week programme and the graduation celebration day. A limited number of scholarships providing free places to students are available depending on family circumstances. To apply for the Youth Academy or for further information on all of the courses visit www.nuigalway.ie/youthacademy. Places are allocated on a first-come first-served basis and students participate in one course for the duration of the programme. The closing date for applications is Friday, 13 December and early booking is advisable. Geraldine Marley, the Youth Academy Coordinator said: “We are delighted to announce the next round of courses for 2014 and are looking forward to welcoming children and their families to NUI Galway.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne welcomes ‘further recognition of NUI Galway’s commitment to biomedical excellence.’   The Stanford Biodesign programme has selected BioInnovate Ireland, led by NUI Galway, as their first Global Affiliate Programme, an affiliation that represents the Stanford programme’s recognition of BioInnovate Ireland's continued growth and development. This affiliation will serve to further the collaborations between both programmes, lead to the development of further training materials and exercises, and allow interactions between Fellows on both programmes. Dr Paul Yock, Director of Stanford Biodesign said ‘We are pleased and excited to see the growth of BioInnovate Ireland into a world-class training program in biomedical technology innovation.  Going forward, we are happy to be able to partner with BioInnovate as our first “Global Affiliate” program. We look forward to this opportunity to share best practices in education and training, create new teaching materials and  provide mutually beneficial experiences for our fellows and students.’  President of NUI Galway Dr Jim Browne said ‘this affiliation is further recognition of NUI Galway’s commitment to biomedical excellence. The BioInnovate programme enables collaboration across diverse fields to meet the needs of patients, clinicians and industry and puts innovation at the forefront of what we do.”  Dr Mark Bruzzi, Director of BioInnovate Ireland  said ‘We are delighted to partner with Stanford Biodesign through their affiliates programme, and very much look forward to working with them and maximising our efforts to the benefit of both programs.’ The BioInnovate Ireland Fellowship is a medical device innovation training programme modelled on the prestigious Stanford Biodesign programme. With industry, academic and government support, and access to leading academic researchers, clinicians and industry experts worldwide, the programme facilitates and trains multidisciplinary teams of experienced professionals in the process of matching unmet clinical needs to attractive market opportunities. The programme is led by NUI Galway and offered in collaboration with University of Limerick, University College Cork and Dublin City University. Programme support comes from Enterprise Ireland, Irish Medical Devices Association (IMDA), Boston Scientific, Medtronic, Creganna Tactx Medical, Steripack, Aerogen and Zeus.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Kildare on Thursday, 14 November. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Osprey Hotel, Naas, Co. Kildare. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a whole suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights, an Energy Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programme, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, BA in Journalism, BA in Science (Physics- degree options in Applied, Astrophysics, Biomedical or Theoretical) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Gaeilge) which is brand new for 2013-14. “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to Kildare, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Naas is a perfect opportunity for prospective students to meet current students and lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit for them”, says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. To find out more about the information evening in Kildare, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Siobhan Dorman on 086 042 1591 or siobhan.dorman@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Monday, 4 November 2013

The site, a collaboration between NUI Galway, the HSE and the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, will provide real time data about the spread of the flu Flusurvey.ie is a new website that will map the spread of the seasonal flu and allow health authorities and members of the public fight against the seasonal flu. Flusurvey.ie is part of Influenzanet, already used in other European countries, which is an innovative development using on-line volunteers to support existing influenza monitoring systems.  It is a research collaboration between NUI Galway, the HSE/Health Protection Surveillance Centre, and international partners from the EU-wide Influenzanet project. The system will indicate to those that register, how many other cases are recorded in their area. It will provide valuable real-time public health information on the demographics and geographic location of influenza sufferers. Using internet technology it provides public health agencies across Europe with novel opportunities for gathering data from members of the public on infectious diseases such as influenza. Volunteers register online and self-report by answering short questions relating to demographic, medical, socio-economic and lifestyle issues. The information received is anonymous and only general non-specific information is made available. Participants can view interactive maps with influenza data broken down at their local and national levels, and the system can map the spread of the disease in its early stages, and provide health professionals with an early warning signal of nationwide outbreaks. Project Leader Dr. Jim Duggan, Senior Lecturer at the College of Engineering and Informatics, and Researcher at the Ryan Institute, says that “Modern technology can transform the way people interact with their physicians, and the wider public health system. This new project will demonstrate the potential for national self-reporting systems, and the approach can be extended for surveillance of other diseases, especially those which are not being monitored regularly through traditional public health surveillance.” Dr. Darina O’Flanagan of the HSE/HPSC welcomed the initiative and said that Flusurvey.ie / Influenzanet will be a useful addition to flu surveillance in Ireland and that the information gathered will be aggregated to complement existing methods of influenza surveillance, and to support modelling and analysis activities. Seasonal influenza is a highly contagious viral disease that is characterised by a sudden onset of fever, accompanied by muscle pain or headache, and a cough or sore throat. In Ireland, the influenza season typically starts in October, and continues through to late May. In additional to the debilitating nature of influenza for individuals, international studies have consistently highlighted the adverse economic impact of the virus due to absenteeism, and also how it can adversely impact on an individual’s productivity in the workplace. Influenzanet is accessible at http://flusurvey.ie, and will be available to the general public from Monday November 4th, 2013.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Harnessing diatoms, a type of microscopic algae, as a platform for drug delivery has been the focus of one of many research projects funded by Science Foundation Ireland at the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) at NUI Galway. Research describing methods to alter the chemical composition and architectural features of diatoms has recently been published in the November issueof Nature Communications. With an impact factor of 10.015, Nature Communications is rated third among all multidisciplinary science primary research journals for 2012. The production of nanomaterials is a fast developing field of nanotechnology. The synthesis of nanomaterials varying in chemical composition and size is challenging. Biological structures inspire for the design and fabrication of advanced nanostructured materials. A variety of organisms is capable of synthesising complicated architectures, among which are diatoms. Diatoms are microalgae found in both freshwater and seawater environments. To date over 100,000 species have been identified. Diatoms have enormous ecological importance and contain nano-scale diverse patterns and structures. Current engineering practices cannot manufacture the highly elaborate architecture of diatoms. Diatoms and their unique architecture are currently being investigated as new, effective vehicles for drug and gene delivery. In this application, the diatom would carry an appropriate amount of drug or gene to the desired site (e.g., tumours or diseased tissues), while minimising undesired side effects of the drugs on other tissues. Diatoms are also being explored as biosensors because of their large surface area and optical properties. The silica structures of diatoms are readily integrated with traditional processing methods in the semiconductor industry. Yvonne Lang, a PhD student at the NFB, collected diatoms from Galway Bay and cultured them in the laboratory. Her work was supervised by NUI Galway’s Professor Abhay Pandit and co-supervised by Dr David Finn. Yvonne’s research involved altering the chemistry of the living diatom and tailoring it for its intended application. The results presented in Nature Communications describe this innovative strategy, and how various microscopy techniques enabled both chemical and architectural modifications to be monitored in microscopic algae. An extension of this work will allow this natural resource to be harnessed for the preparation of biocompatible structures for the delivery of therapeutics.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

  100 new Postgraduate Scholarships for full-time Taught Masters 2014   NUI Galway has announced details of a new scholarship scheme for postgraduate students designed to reward exceptional achievement. Postgraduate Scholarships valued at €1,500 per student will be awarded to all students studying a postgraduate taught Masters programme in the year 2014/15 who have a first class honours undergraduate degree. The scheme is open to postgraduate students, applying for a fulltime Taught Masters programme due to commence in autumn 2014. Scholarships will be awarded to students accepted on a fulltime taught masters and who fulfill the criteria as outlined by the University. Interested students should visit the NUI Galway website for further detail about the scholarships and for information about the general postgraduate student application process: www.nuigalway.ie/postgraduate/scholarships. NUI Galway offers over 500 postgraduate taught programmes, with a wide range of programme choice across its five Colleges, and flexible modes of delivery. Postgraduate study is increasingly essential in enabling new graduates to develop specialist knowledge in particular fields, and in enhancing employability skills. But course fees, along with maintenance costs, put postgraduate study out of the reach of many talented students. Announcing the scholarships at the University’s recent Postgraduate Open Day on campus, Professor Nollaig MacCongháil, Registrar and Deputy President of NUI Galway, said “the scholarships were developed in response to the cuts in maintenance funding for postgraduate students." He said "we know that more and more students are looking to postgraduate study as a means of enhancing their skills and their employability, but financial constraints are a big problem. We believe that these scholarships will enable more of the brightest and most committed students to progress to postgraduate study.” Postgraduate students make up a significant part of the student population at NUI Galway, with almost 4,000 students (taught and research) across all schools and disciplines. For more information on postgraduate programmes and scholarships at NUI Galway visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/postgraduate/scholarships or phone 091 492844 or email postgrad@nuigalway.ie.   ENDS

Thursday, 7 November 2013

  100 Scoláireacht nua Iarchéime do Chláir lánaimseartha Mháistreachta Mhúinte 2014   D’fhógair OÉ Gaillimh sonraí faoi scéim scoláireachtaí do mhic léinn iarchéime chun gnóthachan eisceachtúil a aithint. Bronnfar Scoláireachtaí Iarchéime ar luach €1,500 an mac léinn ar gach mac léinn ar glacadh leo ar chláir lánaimseartha Mháistreachta Mhúinte in 2014/15 a bhfuil fochéim chéadonóracha acu. Tá an deis seo ar fáil do mhic léinn iarchéime a dhéanann iarratas ar chlár Máistreachta Múinte lánaimseartha atá le tosú i bhfómhar 2014. Bronnfar scoláireachtaí ar mhic léinn a ghlacann le háit ar mháistreacht lánaimseartha teagaisc agus a chomhlíonann critéir na hOllscoile. Ba cheart do mhic léinn a bhfuil spéis acu anseo cuairt a thabhairt ar láithreán gréasáin OÉ Gaillimh chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil faoi scoláireachtaí agus chun eolas ginearálta a fháil faoin bpróiseas iarratais do mhic léinn iarchéime: www.nuigalway.ie/postgraduate/scholarships. Cuireann OÉ Gaillimh os cionn 500 clár iarchéime múinte ar fáil le rogha leathan as cúig Choláiste agus modhanna solúbtha seachadta. Tá staidéar iarchéime ag éirí níos riachtanaí chun saineolas a thabhairt do chéimithe nua i réimsí áirithe agus chun scileanna fostaíochta a fheabhsú. Ach mar gheall ar tháillí na gcúrsaí mar aon le costais chothabhála bíonn go leor mic léinn chumasacha nach mbíonn in acmhainn tabhairt faoi staidéar iarchéime. Ag labhairt dó faoin bhfógra, a rinneadh ag an Lá Oscailte Iarchéime ar an gcampas le gairid, dúirt an tOllamh Nollaig MacCongháil, Meabhránaí agus Leas Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Forbraíodh na scoláireachtaí mar fhreagra díreach ar na ciorruithe a rinneadh ar mhaoiniú cothabhála do mhic léinn iarchéime. Tá a fhios againn go bhfuil níos mó mic léinn ag díriú ar staidéar iarchéime d’fhonn cur lena gcuid scileanna agus chun a gcuid deiseanna fostaíochta a fheabhsú, ach tá srianta airgid ag cothú fadhbanna móra. Creidimid go dtabharfaidh na scoláireachtaí seo deis do níos mó de na mic léinn is cliste agus is tiomanta dul ar aghaidh chuig staidéar iarchéime.” Is mic léinn iarchéime iad cuid mhór de phobal OÉ Gaillimh; tá beagnach 4,000 mac léinn (ar chláir mhúinte agus thaighde) sna scoileanna agus sna disciplíní ar fad. Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil ar chláir agus ar scoláireachtaí iarchéime in OÉ Gaillimh téigh chuig http://www.nuigalway.ie/postgraduate/scholarships nó glaoigh ar 091 492844 nó seol rphost chuig postgrad@nuigalway.ie.   CRÍOCH

Friday, 8 November 2013

  Event celebrates 10 years of Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) accreditation of NUI Galway’s Masters of Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management   Dr John McGurk, Head of CIPD, addressed HR professionals, Western Region CIPD branch members, NUI Galway students, staff and alumni and spoke about the importance of human resource management in supporting organizational innovation. The event, sponsored by Medtronic, was jointly organised by the Discipline of Management and the Western Region CIPD branch and was held the Aula Maxima in NUI Galway. Dr McGurk, explaining the people aspect of innovation, said “innovation is essentially about people connecting using their skills and sharing and combining knowledge. HR can play a critical role in supporting that effort.“ Martin Conroy, Senior Director of Continuous Improvement for Medtronic, also addressing the conference, agreed that product and process advances are not simply technological outcomes and require unlocking the potential of organisation’s employees. Mr. Conroy, who trained as an engineer, explained that value was added by HR policies that supported employee empowerment. Tom Ryan, Associate HR Director at Alkermes and Annette Murphy, Assistant Principal, Department of Social Protection, course alumni, described the role of HR in supporting innovation in private and public sector organisations. The event was chaired by alumnus Geraldine Grady, Chairperson of the Western Region branch of CIPD. Maureen Maloney, Programme Director for the Masters in Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management at NUI Galway said, “It was fantastic to assemble such a group of high quality participants to speak about an important and timely topic.  Of course, we were delighted to reunite with our alumni and friends from the HR community.” This seminar was organised to celebrate 10 years of CIPD accreditation of the Master in Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management at NUI Galway.  Over 200 alumni of the programme are working as professional HR managers in Ireland, the UK, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, China, Australia, the United States and other countries.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Project aims to tackle early falls detection both inside and outside the home NUI Galway is testing a wearable sensor and home wireless network to detect falls in the elderly, as part of a €2.25 million EU project called FATE. The project is actively recruiting participants aged 64 and over to test the system in their own homes. The FATE system is made up of a highly sensitive, portable fall detector, a wireless home network and a smart phone. The portable fall detector incorporates accelerometers which are capable of running complex falls detection algorithms. Unique features of this system include a bed sensor for night-time monitoring and the ability to monitor falls even outside the home. The FATE - FAll deTector for the Elderly is an EU Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) funded project involving 10 partners across Europe including a multidisciplinary team from NUI Galway, Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Physiology, Occupational Therapy, Nursing, Gerontology and Podiatry.  The project aims to test and validate this innovative ICT-based solution to improve the quality of life of the elderly population, both at home and outdoors. Falls in the aging population are a very significant problem, an economic burden for care providers and are associated with significant deterioration in the person’s quality of life often resulting in hospitalisation. Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin, Professor of Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway and FATE Principal Investigator for NUI Galway says “one of the key issues with falls in the elderly is the so called “long lie” where fallers remain on the floor for more hour after the fall due to lack of detection. This system has the potential to significantly reduce the incidence of undetected falls and drastically improve outcomes after a fall”.  Dr Leo Quinlan from the Discipline of Physiology, School of Medicine at NUI Galway and project leader for FATE describes the potential impact of the system as very significant and explains “Falls can lead to a restriction in normal activity levels for the older person, due to developing a fear of falling leading to a social isolation and reduced quality of life. This system has the potential to give confidence and security to both the older person and their carers.” Recruitment for the study is on-going and Mary Rose Mulry (Occupational Therapy) and Dean Sweeney (Electronic & Electrical Engineering, NUI Galway) will visit interested candidates to discuss taking part in the study and what is involved for those that do. For more information visit http://fate.upc.edu/index.php Contact Mary Rose  Mulry 085 815 1871 or m.mulry1@nuigalway.ie  or Dean Sweeney 087 711 7064 d.sweeney6@nuigalway.ie -ends-

Monday, 11 November 2013

Introducing children and their families to the fascinating world of how living things work! Do you ever wonder how living things work? Or what they are made of? Or how scientists study living things and how this can help us? Cell EXPLORERS, part of the Bio-EXPLORERS science outreach programme based in the School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway (www.nuigalway.ie/bughunters/), answers all these questions and more! On the final day of the Galway Science and Technology Festival, Cell EXPLORERS will present two workshops in NUI Galway. The Cell EXPLORERS Show will lead children and their parents through a series of interactive workstations where they will learn about the workings of the living cell and the instructions that control it. In the second workshop, The School of Natural Sciences Next Top Model, families will get a chance to interact with the NUI Galway researchers and learn about the model organisms they study and why they study them. Then decisions will have to be made and votes cast to crown the inaugural School of Natural Sciences Next Top Model organism! Do not forget to book your free ticket on the Galway Science and technology Festival website (www.galwayscience.ie) and make sure to come and join us on the 2013 Galway Science & Technology Festival Exhibition day on Sunday 24th November where you too can become a Cell EXPLORER! As well as interactive workshops, the Cell EXPLORERS team of volunteers is running a Road show. The Cell EXPLORERS team of volunteers has travelled over the past year and visited more than twenty 5th and 6th primary school classes, introducing over 600 local school children to the excitement of working in science. This success has allowed the programme to be granted key prestigious funding this year. This year the Cell EXPLORERS Roadshow is travelling to schools outside of Galway city, those schools that rarely receive science show visits. Funding from Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover Science & Engineering Programme Award, and the support of the Galway Science and Technology Festival, means that the Roadshow will reach another twenty primary school classes this autumn culminating during Science week and the Galway Science and Technology festival. Further funding from a Wellcome Trust People Award is allowing new school visits to be designed and implemented by Biochemistry undergraduates as part of their degree course. Also, for the first time, Cell EXPLORERS is visiting infants, 1st & 2nd classes in an exciting collaboration with Naomi Lavelle, of Dr How’s Science Wows. The “Little Cells” project is funded by the Galway Science and Technology Festival and introduces these young children to the different kinds of cells in our bodies in a fun and interactive way. Make sure you explore the extraordinary with Cell EXPLORERS this year! About the Wellcome Trust The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It supports the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The Trust’s breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. It is independent of both political and commercial interests. www.wellcome.ac.uk - Ends -

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway was honoured with the prestigious Outstanding Contribution to Engineering  Award at the fourth annual Engineers Ireland Excellence Award ceremony in the Four Seasons Hotel in Dublin on Friday, 8th November. Dr Browne, a graduate from NUI Galway and a native of County Westmeath, has had an international career that spans both industry and education. He spent a number of years working with Nortel Networks in Canada and Ireland and has also consulted with a wide range of Irish and international corporations, overseas universities as well as public and private bodies. The twelfth and current President of NUI Galway has published over 200 academic papers and 15 books, including translations into French and Chinese. He was awarded a Doctor of Science by the University of Manchester for published work in 1990 and he is a member of both the Royal Irish Academy, the Irish Academy of Engineering and is a Fellow of Engineers Ireland. In April this year, the Minister for Health & Children, Dr James Reilly T.D. appointed Dr Browne as the Chair of the Children’s Hospital Group Board to oversee the merger of the three children’s hospitals in advance of the move to the chosen site in Dublin. Accepting the award Dr Jim Browne said, “I am delighted and humbled to receive this award from Engineers Ireland, and all the more so given the high standing and professionalism of Irish engineers.  I had the great honour to serve as President of Engineers Ireland in 2008 / 2009. During that time I had the opportunity to see, at first hand, the tremendous contribution that engineers make to all sectors of the Irish economy and society. At NUI Galway, we are teaching and inspiring the next generation of engineers, preparing them to make their mark on the future of Irish engineering.” Commenting on the award, Engineers Ireland Director General and Chartered Engineer, John Power, said, “I am delighted to present the Outstanding Contribution Award to Jim; his leadership role is reflected in the number and variety of his memberships including the editorial boards of a number of international research journals, the Senate of the National University of Ireland and the Review Group on Engineering Research Centres in the UK, to name just a few. “In addition to the significant contribution he has made to the engineering profession, Jim is well recognised as most approachable, friendly and helpful by all his peers, colleagues and indeed students. He is a shining example of what is wonderful about engineers and the profession and is totally dedicated to Ireland's recovery in both word and deed.” Mr Power added. The fourth Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards also included awards for: Engineering Project of the Year Award, sponsored by the NRA – East West Interconnector, EirGrid Plc Chartered Engineer of the Year Award - Kevin Harnett, Chartered Engineer shortlisted for his contribution to the project ‘Development of a Commercial Scale Tidal Stream Turbine’ with OpenHyrdo Engineering Education Award – Best in Class 2013, sponsored by CRH Plc - Online Engineering Education – Institute of Sligo Technology of the Year Award, sponsored by the NSAI - Enhanced Wind Turbine - Airsynergy Environmental Infrastructure Award, sponsored by EPA – Mullingar Water Treatment Scheme, Contractors: Veolia Water Ltd, BAM Civil Ltd, Pierse Contracting Ltd, Consulting engineers: J.B. Barry & Partners Ltd / Byrne Looby Partners, Westmeath County Council Leadership Award, sponsored by Shell E&P Limited - John Barry, Chartered Engineer, Programme director for Irish Water  Volunteer of the Year Award – Peter Tiernan, Chartered Engineer, Thomand region International Engineer Award sponsored by ESB –Niall McDermott, Chartered Engineer, Director of the International Group at J.B. Barry and Partners Limited Best Paper / Presentation Award, sponsored by Griffiths & Armour and Beale and Company - ‘Titanic Belfast – Designing an Icon’, presented by: Dr. Michael Shaw, Chartered Engineer, Barry McAllister, Chartered Engineer, Paul McGettigan, Chartered Engineer, RPS Group Belfast Innovative Student of the Year Award, sponsored by Siemens - Patrick Byrnes, Cork Institute of Technology, Innovative Student Engineer - Level 8 and Alastair Chambers, Institute of Technology Carlow, Innovative Student Engineer - Level 7 Continuing Professional Development Employer of the Year Award, sponsored by Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland – joint winners, Abbott Ireland, Sligo and Cavan and Dromone Engineering, Meath -Ends-  

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

NUI Galway’s Astronomy Society will host the first Science Fortnight, running from 11-22 November. The Science Fortnight will take place in conjunction with National Science Week and the Galway Science and Technology Festival, with all events taking place on campus. As part of Science Fortnight, the NUI Galway Astronomy Society will welcome Kevin Nolan for a special public talk entitled ‘Exploring Mars, Discovering Earth’ on Wednesday, 20 November. Kevin Nolan is a lecturer in physics at the Institute of Technology Tallaght and Co-ordinator to Ireland for The Planetary Society. Kevin is nearing completion of a part-time PhD involving design of a software image analysis pipeline for the European Space Agency’s INTEGRAL, a multi-wavelength space observatory. He is a published author of Mars, a Cosmic Stepping Stone, which looks at the effects and relevance of Mars exploration. This talk will discuss how people have attributed naïve "Earth-like" characteristics to our sister planet for centuries. Though early space missions obliterated those early perceptions - suggesting Mars to be a dormant world - recent missions reveal a planet with characteristics and past activity suggestive of early Earth-like characteristics now regarded as relevant to the emergence of life. With a well set out strategy, the exploration of Mars has finally matured and is expected to deliver valuable scientific insights. This talk will examine some of these issues and present the latest findings from the MSL-Curiosity Rover currently exploring the surface of the Red Planet. The talk will take place at 7pm in the Colm Ó hÉocha Theatre in the Arts Millennium Building (AM250), NUI Galway.  This talk is free and open to the general public. The NUI Galway Astronomy society is in its second year with nearly 600 members. The main goal of the society is to promote astronomy, both recreationally and academically. Throughout the year the society hosts a series of talks on astronomy and organise events to increase general awareness and understanding of astronomy. They work with the Galway Astronomy club and are supported by the University's Centre for Astronomy. -Ends-

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The Wellcome Trust Award is worth almost €1.3m over 5 years for research into cell meiosis and genetics, work which could lead to advancements in human reproduction and fertility treatments Dr Elaine Dunleavy of NUI Galway has received an award under the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)/Health Research Board (HRB)/ Wellcome Trust Biomedical Partnership.  The announcement was made at a joint partnership meeting held in the Irish Embassy in London. The vision of the Wellcome Trust, the UK-based global charity, is to achieve extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. This is accomplished through a broad range of funding schemes in support of outstanding researchers and innovative research programmes in biomedical and clinical research. Dr Elaine Dunleavy will receive almost €1.3m in funding over five years for her research into the area of cell meiosis and genetics. Fundamental to the understanding of genetic diseases, including cancer progression, are the mechanisms that control chromosome segregation during cell division. Using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model system, Dr Dunleavy will examine how the DNA-binding protein ‘CENP-A’ regulates chromosome segregation, particularly during the production of eggs and sperm. This research could lead to potential advancements in human reproduction and fertility treatments. Commenting on the awards, Prof. Mark Ferguson, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland, said: “The SFI-HRB Wellcome Trust Biomedical Partnership recognises and funds outstanding scientists in the field of biomedical research. I would like to congratulate and Dr Dunleavy on her achievement in obtaining funding through this highly competitive process. I would encourage the Irish biomedical research community to apply for funding under the partnership and have the quality of their research work recognised internationally by the Wellcome Trust” Commenting on the announcement of the awards Dr Kevin Moses, Director of Science Funding at the Wellcome Trust, said “We are delighted to have awarded a Research Career Development Fellowship to Dr Elaine Dunleavy. These are prestigious fellowships that aim to provide the brightest biomedical scientists in Ireland with the best possible start to their independent research careers.  We hope that Dr Dunleavy are well on their way to becoming the scientific leaders of the future.  We look forward to hearing from researchers of this calibre from the Irish biomedical and public health research community.” Welcoming the announcement, Enda Connolly, Chief Executive of the Health Research Board said ‘Given the level of competition for Wellcome Trust funding, Dr Dunleavy must be commended for topping international standards to secure these awards. The SFI-HRB-Wellcome Trust Partnership has opened up a wealth of opportunity for researchers across a wide variety of Wellcome Trust award schemes. Given the Health Research Boards investments to develop and build capacity in clinical research in recent years, we believe even more Irish researchers will now be well placed to successfully compete in these schemes in the future’.  -ends-

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

NUI Galway Vice President for the Student Experience presented 26 outstanding athletes with NUI Galway student Sports Scholarships last night (Monday 11th). The new recipients bring to 60 athletes in 15 different sports that are supported by the NUI Galway scheme. In recent years the scheme has been extremely successful in supporting some of the finest young talent in Ireland. Twelve of the Clare Hurling panel that won and the All-Ireland in September were current or former recipients of scholarships from the University, as were several of the Galway All-Ireland Camogie team. In recent years NUI Galway has seen world medalists in sports as diverse as Rowing, Handball, Athletics and Kickboxing. The support that the students receive from the Scholarships are designed to maintain their academic and sporting progress and are managed by a former Olympian, NUI Galway Elite Sports Officer Gary Ryan who said about the success of the scheme, “It is very exciting to see young athletes develop not just while they are in University but to continue to progress after they have left and we are hopeful that the tools and support that we give them while students gives them the platform for success into the future.” This year’s recipients represent some of the finest young talents in Irish sport today. Boxing Scholarship recipients Sally Carrig and Niamh Folan have already started to follow in the footsteps of Irish Olympic hero Katie Taylor with both winning European Youth Bronze medals in Boxing. NUI Galway has had its own World class Athletes in recent years in Olive Loughnane and Paul Hession and this year the recipients include a walker Alisha Boylan and Sprinter Cormac Lynch, who have already been National underage champions, while the pool of world-class rowers will grow with the addition of Patrick Higgins, Luis Simo. Keville Neville and Manta Pukelis to the finest rowing program in the country. The long association between NUI Galway and top level Rugby in Ireland is boosted by the fact that Irish U19 International’s Ultan Dillane and Sean O’ Hagan have been awarded scholarships. One of the newer associations that of the Swim Ireland Connacht Performance centre based on the NUI Galway campus has attracted one the finest young swimmers in the country Cian Duffy, to study at the University. Hurlers such as Shane Cooney, Cathal Mannion and John Hanbury will want to follow up All-Ireland underage success with Galway with senior honours, while Robert Duggan will be aiming for a spot on the Clare senior panel for the coming season. All-Ireland U21 winner Adrian Varley and former Roscommon minor captain John McManus were just two of the Gaelic Footballers who will be hoping to win the Sigerson Cup for NUI Galway this season. Two up and coming Irish Rugby Internationals were also added to the scheme. Connacht’s Ultan Dillane and Sean O’Hagan have played at u18 and U19 level for Ireland and are making big impressions in the Connacht academy this season. At the award ceremony Vice-President for the Student Experience, Dr Pat Morgan, said: “I would like to congratulated the recipients of this year’s awards and remind them of the honour of representing the University and the opportunity they had to become great sporting successes like the recent scholarship holders in Hurling, Camogie, Rowing Kickboxing and Athletics that had all reached the pinnacle of their sports.” NUI Galway Sports Scholarships awardees: Athletics: Cormac Lynch from Tulla, Co. Clare Athletics: Alicia Boylan from Newbliss, Co. Monaghan Basketball: Ronan O’Sullivan from Doughcloyne, Co. Cork Boxing: Sally Carrig from Ennis, Co. Clare Boxing: Niamh Folan from Carraroe, Co. Galway Boxing: Eamon Tighe from Ballymote, Co. Sligo Camogie: Orlaith Duggan from Ennis, Co. Clare Gaelic Football: Adrian Varley from Tuam, Co. Galway Gaelic Football: John McManus from Roscommon Town Gaelic Football: Shane Moran from Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim Gaelic Football: Donal O’Sullivan from Castletroy, Co. Limerick Gaelic Football: Deirdre Brennan from Claregalway, Co. Galway Hurling: John Hanbury from Rahoon, Galway City Hurling: Cathal Mannion from Ballinasloe, Co. Galway Hurling: Robert Duggan from Clarecastle, Co. Clare Hurling: Shane Cooney from Peterswell, Co. Galway Karate: Linda Walsh from Swinford, Co. Mayo Rowing: Mantas Pukelis from Tullamore, Co. Offaly Rowing: Kevin Neville from Cork City Rowing: Patrick Higgins from Blackrock, Cork Rowing: Lubos Simo from Rahoon, Galway City Rugby: Ultan Dillane from Tralee, Co. Kerry Rugby: Sean O’Hagan from London, UK Soccer: Richard Fahy from Headford, Co. Galway Soccer: Eric Neary from Oranmore, Co. Galway Swimming: Cian Duffy from Oranmore, Co. Galway -Ends-

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

NUI Galway is to be presented with the Community & Social Responsibility Award by Irish Water Safety, the statutory body established to promote water safety in Ireland, later this month. This award is in recognition of the work of NUI Galway students, working with Irish Water Safety, as part of the Skills for Worklife Community Partner Programme. In groups, students gained the chance to provide their expertise and knowledge to the community by working on a range of different projects alongside the direct involvement and guidance of each community partner. This year alone, 50 different community partners have been involved in the programme, with a total of 64 projects completed by 245 students who take this module. Kieran Conboy, Head of NUI Galway’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics, outlined the importance of this module, “The Skills for Worklife Community Partner Programme is an excellent opportunity for students to not alone apply skills and concepts learned in class and work alongside an established organisation within the community while encouraging real-life learning, but it also allows students to give back to society through their participation and development of the projects undertaken.” Irish Water Safety was highly satisfied by the work carried out by the NUI Galway students which they were partnered with. Irish Water Safety’s Deputy CEO Roger Sweeney, praised the students, “We highly valued the contribution made and initiative shown by the students whom we were partnered with and this is evident in light of the programme being nominated for an award. Each student came up with some really great ideas which we fully intend to implement. The group were a great bunch of motivated individuals who worked very well as a team and are a wonderful reflection on NUI Galway. I will highly recommend the programme simply on foot of my dealings with this group.” The award ceremony, hosted by Irish Water Safety, will take place on the 19th of November in Dublin Castle at which rescuers from 22 dramatic near-drowning incidents will receive recognition for their brave actions in saving 36 lives. The students partnered with Irish Water Safety for the Skills for Worklife Community Partner Programme include; Daniel Allister, Eimear Diver, Daniel Lee, Paul McGovern, Bronagh McManus, Ciaran Moran, Lorna Power, Shane Tierney and Joseph Walsh. -Ends-

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

The strong medical device cluster and close links with Stanford Biodesign programme led to NUI Galway being chosen NUI Galway, in conjunction with Stanford Biodesign, recently hosted the first ever Biomedical Engineering Innovation, Design and Entrepreneurship Alliance (BME-IDEA) International Workshop to be held in Europe. BioInnovate Ireland Director, co-founder and lecturer in Biomedical Engineering Dr Mark Bruzzi says “The (BME-IDEA) represents 95 participating institutions in North America, and since2000, BME-IDEA has held one-day working meetings to share innovation, design, technology transfer and entrepreneurship “best practices” from different university programs with the community. As IDEA programs develop beyond the US, particularly in Europe, it seemed timely to convene a day-long planning workshop to extend the BME-IDEA internationally.” Galway’s strong medical device cluster, the location of BioInnovate Ireland, the national medical device innovation training programme and close links with the Stanford Biodesign programme led to NUIGalway being chosen as the first host location in Europe. The meeting, held during the summer, was attended by over 30 delegates from 15 different BioInnovate/Biodesign style university programmes from across Europe and the US, including, Stanford, Northwestern and John’s Hopkins Universities, the Imperial College London, IHU Strasbourg, Aarhaus University Denmark and the Centre for Technology in Medicine and Health (CTMH), Sweden. The meeting served as a forum for the programme representatives to share experiences and perspectives on a variety of topics including programme design, delivery, funding and outcomes. Each of the programmes in attendance applies a similar process to foster innovation in medical technology design, with a focus on developing new medical technologies, and a new generation of entrepreneurs with a focus on improving healthcare and patient outcomes. Director of the Stanford Biodesign programme, Dr Paul Yock, said “such a forum is an excellent opportunity to share experiences and learning across the European and US programmes, and will facilitate further development of a global network of people and programmes interested in medical device related innovation/entrepreneurship education.” The meeting has resulted in enhanced collaboration between European programmes, particularly with the more established programmes such as CTMH and BioInnovate aiding the development of newer programmes, and an annual BME-IDEA Europe Meeting. Further information about BME-IDEA and medical technology innovation programmes can be obtained by contacting BioInnovate Ireland at info@nuigalway.ie or by calling us at 091 494212. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Scholarships and Awards valued in the region of €800,000 were awarded to scholars from constituent universities and recognised colleges of the NUI NUI Galway was strongly represented in the National University of Ireland (NUI) academic excellence awards, presented this week by the Chancellor of the NUI Dr Maurice Manning. The annual NUI Scholarships and Awards are valued in the region of €800,000. NUI Galway Registrar and Deputy President of NUI Galway, Nollaig MacCongáil congratulated the scholars saying that the University was ‘delighted with the performance of so many of its graduates across a plethora of disciplines in the various Colleges. It reflects well on them as scholars and on the excellence of the scholarship and teaching to which they were exposed during their years at NUI Galway. Comhghairdeas leo agus guímid gach rath orthu sna blianta atá amach romhainn.’ NUI Awards for Senior Scholars were awarded to Dr Colmán Ó Clabaigh and Dr John Cunningham, both of NUI Galway, while students from across the NUI’s constituent universities and recognised colleges competed for awards in a wide range of disciplines. The award winners include representatives from NUI Galway, UCD, UCC, NUI Maynooth, RCSI, St. Angela’s College and NCAD. Senior Scholar Dr Colmán Ó Clabaigh was awarded the NUI Irish Historical Research Prize for The Friars in Ireland, 1224-1540, published in 2012 by Four Courts Press. This prestigious prize of €5,000 is offered in alternate years for the best work of original Irish historical research by a graduate of the National University of Ireland. The Selection Panel for the prize was drawn from the community of historians in the NUI universities. The NUI Publication Prize in Irish History was awarded to Senior Scholar Dr John Cunningham for The Transplantation to Connacht, 1649-1680, published in 2011 by the Royal Historical Society, Boydell Press. This prize of €3,000 was awarded for a first sole author book by an NUI scholar whose doctoral degree was awarded no earlier than 1 January 2005. The awards also include the prestigious NUI Irish Historical Research Prize and funding for eleven major PhD studies through the NUI Travelling Studentships. These PhD studies will undertake research in areas such as Ophthalmology, Biomedical Engineering, Music and History. Other awards include the Mansion House Fund Scholarships in Irish and Irish History Dr H.H. Stewart Literary and Medical Scholarships, the Dr Mary L. Thornton Scholarship in Education, the Denis Phelan Scholarship for doctoral study, and the NUI Art and Design Award. -ends- Onóir tugtha do 39 Scoláire OÉ Gaillimh ag Gradaim Bhliantúla Ollscoil na hÉireann Bronnadh Scoláireachtaí agus Duaiseanna arbh fhiú timpeall €800,000 iad ar scoláirí as ollscoileanna agus coláistí aitheanta Ollscoil na hÉireann. D’éirigh thar barr le céimithe OÉ Gaillimh ag gradaim feabhais acadúla Ollscoil na hÉireann, a bhronn Seansailéir Ollscoil na hÉireann, an Dr Maurice Manning, an tseachtain seo. Meastar gur fiú timpeall €800,000 Scoláireachtaí agus Gradaim Ollscoil na hÉireann. Rinne Meabhránaí agus Leas-Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, Nollaig MacCongáil, comhghairdeas leis na scoláirí ag rá go raibh an Ollscoil thar a bheith bródúil gur éirigh chomh maith sin le líon mór dá cuid céimithe i réimse disciplíní sna Coláistí éagsúla. Is maith an aghaidh orthu féin é mar scoláirí agus ar an scoláireacht agus an teagasc a fuair siad le linn a gcuid staidéir in OÉ Gaillimh. Comhghairdeas leo agus guímid gach rath orthu sna blianta atá amach romhainn. Bronnadh Gradaim Ollscoil na hÉireann do Scoláirí Sinsearacha ar bheirt as OÉ Gaillimh - an Dr Colmán Ó Clabaigh agus an Dr John Cunningham, agus bhí mic léinn as ollscoileanna agus coláistí aitheanta uile Ollscoil na hÉireann san iomaíocht do ghradaim i réimse leathan disciplíní. I measc na mbuaiteoirí bhí mic léinn as OÉ Gaillimh, UCD, UCC, OÉ Má Nuad, RCSI, Coláiste San Aingeal agus NCAD. Bronnadh Duais Ollscoil na hÉireann do Thaighde Stair na hÉireann ar an Dr Colmán Ó Clabaigh as The Friars in Ireland, 1224-1540, a d’fhoilsigh Four Courts Press in 2012. Bronntar an duais iomráiteach €5,000 seo gach ré bliain ar an mbunsaothar is fearr ar thaighde stair na hÉireann a dhéanann céimí de chuid Ollscoil na hÉireann. Is staraithe as na hollscoileanna éagsúla de chuid Ollscoil na hÉireann a bhí ar an bPainéal Roghnúcháin don duais. Bronnadh Duais Foilseacháin Ollscoil na hÉireann i Stair na hÉireann ar an Dr John Cunningham as The Transplantation to Connacht, 1649-1680, a d’fhoilsigh an Royal Historical Society, Boydell Press in 2011. Bronntar an duais €3,000 sep ar an gcéad leabhar le húdar amháin a d’fhoilsigh scoláire Ollscoil na hÉireann agus ar bronnadh a c(h)éim dhochtúireachta air/uirthi ón 1 Eanáir 2005. I measc na ngradam chomh maith bhí Duais Taighde Stair na hÉireann agus maoiniú ar aon mhórstaidéar déag PhD trí Scoláireachtaí Taistil Ollscoil na hÉireann. Tabharfaidh na PhDanna seo faoi thaighde i réimsí cosúil le hOftailmeolaíocht, Innealtóireacht Bhithleighis, Ceol agus Stair. I measc na ngradam eile bhí Duaischiste Theach an Ardmhéara sa Ghaeilge agus i Stair na hÉireann, Scoláireachtaí Liteartha agus Leighis an Dr H.H. Stewart, Scoláireacht Oideachais an Dr Mary L. Thornton, Scoláireacht Denis Phelan do staidéar dochtúireachta, agus Gradam Ollscoil na hÉireann san Ealaín agus sa Dearadh. -Críoch-

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Brain Care Ireland (BCI), was located in the Research and Innovation Centre in NUI Galway, and brings new Telemedicine technologies for Central Nervous System Disorders (CNSD) that includes Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury, early Alzheimer’s, MCI, Psychiatry and Senior Mental Health in Ireland today. A person with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's or another dementia so early detection makes sense so we should can place person on the appropriate MCI  programme to offset the onset and progress of the disease by up to 5 years (ref Dr Arun Bokde TCD). This early intervention approach is supported by Neil of Trinity College (Prof Brian Lawlor, Prof Ian Robertson and Sabina Brennan) and has indicated that ‘’Even modest therapeutic advances that delay disease onset and progression could significantly reduce the global burden of the disease and the level of care required by patients.” Prof Lawlor research interests are in the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease, the neurobiology and treatment of behavioural and psychological symptoms in dementia and mental disorders in the community dwelling elderly. The king’s College of London’s recent research finding that ‘Alzheimer’s Disease; Online brain training improves the lives of over 60’s. So on the back of such endorsements we should be integrating this global validated programme as these Technologies are used in many countries especially in the Memory Clinics in America and are reimbursable through Medicare. We make this technology available to all those involved in AD especially the Alzheimer’s Association of Ireland. Care must be taken to differentiate between companies that have spend vast monies on validating their research and those companies that simply present games as the latter are not research based, do not have scientific standing nor are they directly monitored by professionals. These latter programmes have damaged legitimate programme that have proven to be of benefit in the eyes of Medical Institutes et al. The major advantage of Telemdicine is that, in addition to no side effects as in prescription drugs, Telemedicine can cater for thousands upon thousands of patients at the same time, which is ideal to Ireland with no side effects, at a fraction of the pharmaceutical cost, utilizes little manpower; a huge advantage over traditional methods where time, staff and funding are in major shortage. Contact Brain Care Ireland on 085 217 1800 or email james@braincare.ie (www.braincare.ie) -Ends-

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Biggest display of biomethane/CNG vehicles ever assembled in Ireland An exciting alternative for fleet owners is just around the corner. The biomethane for transport industry is in its infancy in Ireland, but holds great potential to realise the benefits of our extensive bioenergy resource, for the benefit of vehicle fleet owners in particular. “This is proven technology – in Germany, Sweden, Austria and Italy, as we speak, buses and large trucks are already running on biomethane / compressed natural gas,”commented Fred Tottenham, President of the Irish BioEnergy Association (IrBEA). “The technology for the production of the biomethane is also proven technology and Ireland has the second generation biofuel resources in particular to produce environmentally sustainable biogas,”he added. Fred Tottenham was speaking ahead of IrBEA’s Biomethane for Transport morning seminar and vehicle demonstration focused on biomethane for transport fleets which takes place in Dublin today (14th November). The seminar will include a demonstration of commercial and private vehicles adapted to use biomethane/CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) as a vehicle fuel. This will be the biggest display of biomethane/CNG vehicles ever assembled in Ireland. The programme includes presentations from Bord Gáis Networks, technology providers, a project leader of an EU-sponsored initiative in Italy, and an experienced Irish fleet operator. In addition to direct use in vehicles of biomethane sourced from organic, renewable materials, information will be provided on the use of CNG in vehicles and the related area of grid injection of renewable gas. “Historically, biogas in Ireland has been targeted for use in Combined Heat and Power (CHP). With the right commercial framework in place for biomethane as a transport fuel for fleet owners, Ireland could be making a big impact on meeting its renewable energy targets for transport and safeguarding its environment. There is also the very real potential here to recover biogas from organic second generation sources and to reduce both emissions and running costs for the state and for transport fleet owners” said Bart Bonsall, Technology Leader at the Technology Centre for Biorefining & Bioenergy, one of the event sponsors. Bord Gáis Networks is proactively supporting the development of this new industry and recognises several key benefits for Ireland: • Biomethane can be a renewable and indigenous source of gas for Ireland to drive economic development and create local employment opportunities across the country. • Biomethane and natural gas are clean and efficient transport fuels that can reduce Ireland’s dependence on imported fuel and improve our security of energy supply. • Ireland has particularly significant opportunities for biomethane production from waste sources such as waste water, agri-food industry waste, agricultural residues & waste, sorted refuse, etc. 10% of Ireland’s gas demand could be met from these sources with currently available and proven technologies. • All forms of biodegradable waste can be treated to produce biomethane and reduce or eliminate landfill and other waste disposal burdens including greenhouse gas emissions. “We are committed to working with industry and the relevant government bodies to facilitate Biogas grid injection and access to the market. We are now actively promoting and supporting the benefits of gas and renewable gas in transport”added Ian Kilgallon, Bord Gáis Networks, who will give the grid operator’s perspective on biogas at today’s event. -Ends-

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Minister for Research and Innovation Seán Sherlock, TD officially launched the Education Matters Yearbook 2013 this week at the National University of Ireland in Dublin. In his address, the Minister outlined how the Education Matters Yearbook is now established as a key publication in Irish education, that provides its readers with a critical and informative insight into the whole of the Irish educational system in a given year. Minister Sherlock said: “Education Matters Yearbook is a unique resource, one that gives a voice to the important contemporary concerns, issues and questions in Irish education. It provides the reader with this information in an attractive, easily-accessible and engaging format. In time of important change, development and reform in Irish education, the Yearbook articulates the broad context of this change – from early childhood education and early years care through post-primary, further education, lifelong learning, teagasc trí mheán na Gaeilge, and research and innovation at fourth level.” Acknowledging the representativeness of the Yearbook for all sectors of the Irish educational system, Minister Sherlock further added: “one does not have to agree with every opinion or point-of-view outlined in the Yearbook but it is exactly this critical, dialogic perspective which makes Education Matters animportant and highly valuable contribution to the debate, discussion and reflection that are so central to education.” In his address at the launch, Chancellor of the NUI, Professor Maurice Manning, especially noted the Yearbook’s comprehensiveness in its engagement with, and synthesis of current, key issues in Irish education: “For many of us involved in education, there is a natural tendency to become very focused on our own area of the educational system and the issues immediately relevant to our own role. However, the constituent parts of the education system have a high degree of interdependence and it is important that we have an awareness of the issues affecting other areas within education, and indeed the operation of the system as a whole.” Education Matters began as a newsprint publication in 1987. Over the years it was carried as a supplement by various national newspapers, including The Sunday Times and The Sunday Tribune. Contributors included Dr Anthony Clare, Gemma Hussey, Cynthia Ní Mhurchú, Vivian Cassells, Louis O’Flaherty, Dr Eileen Doyle and other well-known and respected writers. The first Education Matters Yearbook was published in 2006. Also at the launch, NUI Galway’s School of Education announced the development of its new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC): Talking about Teaching. Though designed principally for teachers in Ireland, this new online course will also be freely and openly available to all with an interest in Irish education. Talking about Teaching will focus on key contemporary issues in Irish Education, with input from key stakeholders. The course can be undertaken online for free, as and when suitable, or the whole course and a small assessment can be completed for certification. -Ends-

Thursday, 14 November 2013

NUI Galway researchers Professor Caroline McIntosh and Dr Georgina Gethin are linking up with the Western Branch of the Wound Management Association of Ireland, UCHG, Community nursing services HSE West to raise awareness of pressure ulcers and their prevention. As part of ‘Worldwide Stop Pressure Ulcer Day’ on Thursday, 21 November, information sessions and workshops will be available in Áras Moyola, NUI Galway from 1-2pm and in the foyer of UCHG all day. Students of NUI Galway’s School of Nursing and Midwifery and Discipline of Podiatry along with the wound management association of Ireland western branch have been awarded a grant from EXPLORE grant scheme in NUI Galway to develop information leaflets for patients, families and carers to raise awareness and help in prevention. This project will run over the next year and will be of strategic importance as it engages future generations of health professionals, researchers, and voluntary organisations and will tap into the creativity and enthusiasm of these students for the benefit of all. What are pressure ulcers? A pressure ulcer or bed sore is not just a short term problem, it can cause immense suffering, inconvenience, reduced quality of life and in some cases death and are extremely costly and time consuming to treat.  Pressure ulcers, first recorded in Egyptian mummies, are still a problem today despite significant advances in healthcare, increased technology, more complex surgeries and increased survivorship from major traumas. Much can still be done to prevent them, including raising awareness, increased education and the use of modern technology and equipment. A pressure ulcer, also called a pressure sore or bed sore, is localised injury to the skin and/or underlying tissue usually over a bony prominence, as a result of pressure, or pressure in combination with shear. The term bed sore is misleading as it implies that the development of sores or ulcers is limited to those confined to bed. However, anyone with limited or restricted mobility is at risk and this risk increases if they become acutely ill, if they cannot feel their skin is under pressure or from a variety of other factors. The changing profile of the population with people living longer but also with increased prevalence of chronic disease, increased prevalence of diabetes and obesity means that the risk of pressure ulcers will remain well into the future. The costs of pressure ulcers There are no European wide estimates of the total cost of pressure ulcer prevention and treatment. Within specific countries the high cost of pressure ulcers has been identified. In the Netherlands, 1% of all health care expenditure was calculated to be spent on pressure ulcer care. In the UK national the cost of pressure ulcers to the NHS is between £1,760 million and £2,640 million each year, making pressure ulcers the single most costly chronic wound to the Health Service. Further information is available at www.epuap.org or www.wmai.ie. -Ends-

Thursday, 14 November 2013

An information evening for prospective mature students will take place at NUI Galway on Thursday, 21 November. The event will take place from 7-9pm in the O’ Flaherty Theatre, Arts/Science Concourse, NUI Galway. The information evening is designed for people aged 23 and over who are considering embarking on full-time undergraduate degree programmes in NUI Galway in the 2014/2015 academic year. Information will be provided at this session on entry criteria to each of the University’s five Colleges: College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies; College of Business, Public Policy and Law; College of Science; College of Engineering and Informatics; and College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Studies. Sessions will also cover topics such as, application and selection procedures, financial queries and other support systems available within NUI Galway.  NUI Galway’s Mature Students Officer, Trish Bourke, said: “Mature Students are a welcome addition to our growing population of undergraduate students. They bring with them vast life experience, a commitment to study and a determination to perform at a high level.” Applications for third-level are done mostly through the CAO, which has a deadline of the 1 February, 2014.  To qualify as a mature student you must be 23, or over, on or before 1 January, 2014. Mature applicants for programmes in The College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies degrees at NUI Galway are also required to register prior to 1 February 2014 for the Mature Students Admissions Pathway (MSAP) exam which takes place on Saturday, 8 March, 2014. For more information on future upcoming public information events see http://www.nuigalway.ie/mature/publicevents.html or email Trish Bourke at maturestudents@nuigalway.ie.  A Mature Students Guidebook is also available with further information at www.nuigalway.ie/mature. -Ends-

Friday, 15 November 2013

The exhibition, at the NUI Galway Gallery in the Quadrangle will run between 12-4pm, Tuesday to Saturday 23 November to 20 December The NUI Galway Gallery will host the ‘Taking Note or The Curious Eye’ in association with NUI Galway Arts & Theatre Office. The exhibition, organised by Robin Jones, will run from the 23 November to 20 December 2013 and will be open to the public 12pm to 4pm Tuesday to Saturday. Participants include Silvia Bächli, Will Self, Joe Fyfe, Paul Doran, Olwen Fouèré, Karin Ruggaber, John Rocha, Jürgen Simpson, among a wide range of people. This exhibition explores the idea of the note, the notebook and the idea of noticing. Noticing and recording are very human activities. Whether noticing comes in the form of a sketchbook or written notebook, on a scrap of paper or via a laptop or maybe iPhone, whether these notes are for some type of personal research, or come from a general curiosity to register “noticing”, or perhaps even drawings made to explain something to another person, they are all about developing a contact with the world. While writing is woven into the fabric of a huge part of human life and has an acknowledged position as such, drawing too can be thought of in a similar way - though far less acknowledged - in everyday life. It is integrated into an enormous range of human activity. Both drawing and writing - and the use of digital media - can be thought of as registers of complex moments of experience. This exhibition possibly allows a glimpse into the variable, semi-visible processes of human thought. Irit Rogoff said that “ curiosity implies a certain unsettling, a notion outside the realm of the known - of things not quite yet understood or articulated...the hidden or the unthought,” which is followed then by the optimism of finding out something you had not known or been able to conceive of before. Virtually all the work in the show tends towards the quiet and modest, the ruminations of the mind at some stage before an object is made or a conclusion has been drawn, the necessary exploration, searching and grasping towards an often undefined and indefinable end point, or perhaps exploration and examination with no end point in mind at all. The show brings together a variety of works, written, drawn and digital forms of note-taking –sketchbooks, notebooks, diagrams, the archetypal note on the back of an envelope, digital code, mobile phone photos, sketch models, sound recording, short films and marginalia from writers’ manuscripts. It will include some powerful and interesting work from the NUI Galway archives, such as mediator Brendan Duddy’s notebook, Kevin Doyle’s handwritten ‘Document on Civil Disobedience” sketches from Jack B Yeats and items from the John Huston archive. The opening reception will take place on Friday, 22 November at 6pm. Further information on the exhibition is available at http://takingnoteorthecuriouseye.wordpress.com/ or visit www.robinjones.ie. For more information contact Robin Jones at fjonesrobin@gmail.com.   -Ends-

Monday, 18 November 2013

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Thurles on Thursday, 28 November. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Horse and Jockey Hotel, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a whole suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights, an Energy Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programme, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, BA in Journalism, BA in Science (Physics- degree options in Applied, Astrophysics, Biomedical or Theoretical) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Gaeilge) which is brand new for 2013-14.  “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to Tipperary, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Thurles is a perfect opportunity for prospective students to meet current students and lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit for them”, says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. To find out more about the information evening in Thurles, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Celine O’Donovan on 087 2391219 or celine.odonovan@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Scientists from NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute photographed a vertical rock face half a mile below the sea’s surface covered in bivalves and corals Scientists from NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute have published the discovery of novel deep-sea habitats in Irish Waters. Published in the international academic journal PLOS ONE, their findings describe for the first time a rock face half a mile below the sea’s surface. NUI Galway Zoologist Dr Louise Allcock led the team which explored the Whittard Canyon, an undersea canyon system, using the Irish deep-water remotely operated vehicle, ROV Holland I.  The scientists discovered a vertical rock face half a mile below the sea surface, which extended upwards for about 150 metres, and was covered in a rich assemblage of bivalves and corals. “It is really unusual to see so many conspicuous animals so close together at these depths” explains Mark Johnson, Professor of Marine Environment at NUI Galway.  “The bivalves are also remarkably large, and we know that deep-water oysters of this size elsewhere in European Seas may be more than 200 years old.  So we are probably seeing an exceptionally long-lived and stable community”. The bivalves and the corals are filter feeders and are reliant on particles derived from surface waters for their food.  The researchers studied the water column to work out how sufficient food might be arriving at the site to support such a large and vibrant community. NUI Galway oceanographer Dr Martin White said “We were particularly intrigued as to how food particles might be concentrated into one particular area and we found evidence for an internal wave caused by the shape of the canyon, which could be delivering food to the foot of the wall.” Deep-sea habitats are known to play many important roles in ecosystems, including recycling of nutrients, carbon sequestration and can act as nursery areas for other species, so the scientists are keen to discover more. Remote-operated-vehicles (ROVs) have made many of these habitats accessible for the first time. This deep-sea research is guided by ocean floor mapping around Ireland’s coast (INFOMAR) and the knowledge that similar canyon systems around the world are home to the kinds of organisms likely to yield  novel pharmaceuticals; an aim of Ireland’s biodiscovery programme. Dr Allcock says “this habitat, because of its age and fragile structure is potentially extremely vulnerable to damage.  We need to establish where else it occurs and what measures are needed to protect it.” NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute was formed in 2010 by the merging of the Environmental Change Institute and the Martin Ryan Institute for Marine Science. It promotes interdisciplinary excellence in environmental, marine and energy research. It is committed to international collaboration, and a regional, national and EU sustainable development agenda. This research survey was carried out under the Sea Change strategy with the support of the Marine Institute and the Marine Research Sub-programme of the National Development Plan 2007–2013. -ends-

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

NUI Galway’s School of Humanities is hosting two public events this coming weekend on the topic of Famine, and on the Great Irish Famine in particular. On Friday, 22 November, Professor Cormac Ó Gráda, world expert on famine, will be giving a talk entitled 'Reflections on Famine'. Professor Ó Gráda is known for his work on the Irish Famine in books such as Black '47 and Beyond and The Great Irish Famine: interdisciplinary perspectives and more recently has published a general study of famines, Famine: a short history. This talk will take place in the D'Arcy Thompson Theatre in the Arts/Science Building at 6pm. This will be followed on Saturday, 23 November, by a round table discussion in which the authors of acclaimed books on the Famine reflect on the challenges of representing and doing justice to such a complex and controversial event. The featured writers are Enda Delaney, author of The Curse of Reason: The Great Irish Famine, Peter Gray, author of The Irish Famine and Famine, Land and Politics, and Ciarán Ó Murchadha, author of The Great Famine: Ireland's Agony and Sable Wings Over the Land: Ennis and its wider community during the Famine. The discussion will be chaired by Professor Ó Gráda, and will be held in the O’Tnuathail Theatre, Arts Millennium Building from 11.30am to 1pm. These events are free and all interested members of the public are invited to attend. They are part of the annual conference of the Economic and Social History Society of Ireland which is taking place this weekend in NUI Galway. Full details are available on http://eshsigalway2013.wordpress.com/. -Ends-

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Four NUI Galway students received their awards at a ceremony last week, after having been announced as category winners of the Undergraduate Awards in September. The four NUI Galway students  who received their Bram Stoker Gold Medals at a special presentation ceremony in Dublin City Hall were: Marcus Byrne, who won the Ancient & Classical Studies for his paper entitled Inferring Status From Early Bronze Age Burial; Aisling Ní Churraighín, who won the Irish Language, Literature and Folklore catergory for her essay Seán Ó hEochaidh – Bailitheor Béaloideasa in Iardheisceart Thír Chonaill sna 1930aidí: Léargas ón Dialann; Khai El Baba Jones, who won the the Philosophical Studies and Theology category for his essay Faith in Kant: The religiosity of moral faith and its relation to ecclesiastical faith in Kant’s thought; and John Birrane, who won the Psychology category for his essay his essay on Is There a Need for Positive Psychology?. John’s essay not only won the Irish category for Psychology, but also won the overall international award. Dr Mae Jemison, a retired NASA astronaut who was the first African-American woman in space, delivered the keynote address at the event. The Undergraduate Awards is the only international pan-discipline academic awards programme in the world, in operation across the island of Ireland since 2009 and operating globally since 2011. It aims to recognise the best students in the world and to connect them to one another so as to encourage inter-disciplinary co-operation that also transcends borders. The awards ceremony last week was the final event of the three-day UA Global Summit, which saw the winners from both the international and Irish categories attend a series of talks and workshops, delivered by acclaimed international field experts. The 2014 Undergraduate Awards Programme is now open for registrations and submissions. You can do so here http://www.undergraduateawards.com/submit  -Ends-