Tuesday, 4 March 2014

App aimed at Leaving Certificate students launched in August 2013 NUI Galway scooped a major award at the prestigious Digital Media Awards, which took place recently in Dublin. Ireland’s best and brightest from the world of digital media were celebrated at the 2014 Samsung Digital Media Awards. The University won Bronze in the hotly contested ‘Best Use of Mobile’ category for their iPoints app. The NUI Galway iPoints app is the first official third-level app designed for students to calculate Leaving Certificate points. The free app was launched in August 2013, ahead of Leaving Certificate results being released and has since been downloaded over 6,000 times. The winning entries are judged on the overall strategy, objectives, design, innovation and results. NUI Galway was the only higher education institution to be shortlisted. NUI Galway were shortlisted in three categories, ‘Best Use of Mobile’, ‘Best Social Media Campaign’ and ‘Best App’, and were delighted to win Bronze in the contested ‘Best Use of Mobile’ category, surpassing both the Bulmers and Eircom brands. NUI Galway, in partnership with former information technology student Paul Herron, developed the iPhone app. Students using the app can simply enter their results for each subject, indicating whether it is higher or ordinary level and the app calculates the number of points attained in each subject, and indicates the total. The app calculates 25 additional points to be added for Higher Maths if relevant, and allows for Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) scores to be included. The annual Digital Media Awards celebrate the very best in Online Marketing. Commenting on the awards, Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, said “We are delighted to have done so well in such hotly contested categories. The key objective for NUI Galway was to provide a useful app that allows Leaving Certificate students to quickly and easily calculate their points when they receive their exam results.”  The NUI Galway iPoints app is available for all iPhone users on the iTunes store www.tinyurl.com/NUIGalwayApp. -Ends-

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

The national final of the Team Math 2014 competition will take place in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway on Saturday, 8 March from 1.15pm. This year 13 teams of four pupils from schools across Ireland will compete to be crowned champions. Countries represented at the final will include Galway, Donegal, Kerry, Cork, Waterford, Wexford, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Laois, Dublin and Monaghan. Each team has qualified through regional finals which were held throughout the country earlier this year. The event is organised by the Irish Maths Teachers Association, with voluntary input from the schools and mathematics teachers. Dr Götz Pfeiffer, Head of NUI Galway’s School of Mathematics, said: “It is good to see these smart young people enjoying maths in a competitive way. We look forward to welcoming them to NUI Galway, where we offer a variety of mathematics courses to form part of their future academic education.” -Ends-

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Minister Alan Shatter TD, speaking in Dáil Éireann was speaking about the PhD research of Dr Maeve Hosier, undertaken in NUI Galway, on the evolution of the legal profession   The Minister for Justice Alan Shatter praised NUI Galway, School of Law graduate, Dr Maeve Hosier’s PhD thesis during a recent parliamentary debate on the Legal Services Regulation Bill 2011. Minister Shatter described Dr Hosier’s PhD on The Regulation of the Legal Profession in Ireland as a “marvellous” study, which “should be compulsory reading for us all.” The Law graduate’s PhD thesis was supervised by Professor Laurent Pech, formerly of the School of Law at NUI Galway, now Head of the Law Department at Middlesex University London. Highlighting Maeve Hosier’s thesis during the parliamentary debate the Minister stated, “One Maeve Hosier has written a marvellous PhD thesis entitled The Regulation of the Legal Profession in Ireland, which should be compulsory reading for us all. It sets out the history of the legal profession and how it evolved. It evolved continually until approximately 1870 and then went into paralysis and nothing has changed since.” The Minister continued, “The only thing that has changed subsequently was as a result of the enactment of the Courts Act 1971, when the then Minister for Justice, Des O'Malley, conferred rights of audience on solicitors in all the superior courts. That is the only fundamental change effected since approximately 1870 to the manner in which the Irish legal profession operates. It is extraordinarily curious that people think the world stopped in 1870.” Professor Laurent Pech said, “Maeve’s thesis on the Regulation of the Legal Profession in Ireland makes a decisive contribution to the on-going scholarly and policy debates on this issue, by evaluating the present regulatory framework and offering a number of suggestions to improve it in a context of increasing transnationalisation of the market for legal services. Professor Pech continued, “Her innovative approach to the problem of lawyers’ misconduct is, in particular, worth noting. This aspect of her work has the potential to help alleviate a problem which has been extremely costly for both the legal profession and wider society alike. Her doctoral research also provides a valuable insight into the impact of the Troika upon the regulation of the legal profession in so-called ‘bailed-out countries’. Maeve should be congratulated for having made an exceptional contribution to the current debate on the regulation of the legal profession both nationally and internationally. I have no doubt that her original and thought-provoking work will be useful to policy-makers and scholars alike.” Maeve Hosier is originally from Belfast and currently living in Connemara, she graduated from NUI Galway last month (February 2014) with a PhD in Law. Maeve's thesis has been deposited in the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway. -Ends-

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Meeting in Sligo examines research demonstrating that youth work engagement is of considerable benefit to young people The Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway is engaging with youth workers in the community as part of a two-way dialogue between academic researchers and youth work practitioners.   A forum entitled ‘Research & Practice Talking’ held in Sligo this week provided an opportunity to share and discuss findings of research into youth work undertaken by NUI Galway among Foróige services over recent years and to highlight innovative programmes and projects that may be incorporated into future research programmes and wider practice.  The forum heard that youth work resulted in greater knowledge and skills in key areas for young people as well as increased confidence and self-belief.  Youth work was seen to bring a greater sense of connection to community for young people and provides opportunities for them to contribute positively to their communities.  NUI Galway Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement said "Given the available research, across Ireland, we are in a greater position now to get youth engagement right.  It’s no longer just about getting it done." Dr Bernadine Brady, also of the of the UNESCO Child & Family Research Centre and School of Political Science & Sociology said “ there is now a compelling body of research evidence that youth work makes a difference in people’s lives." Susan Redmond, Manager of the Foróige Best Practice Unit, said ‘We have developed a strong working relationship with NUI Galway; they have assisted us in evaluating our programmes which yields great learning and also confidence in what we do. Our work has also had a wider impact on our staff and the young people they work with. Staff are more critical in their work, they employ self-evaluation tools and they use evidence to inform the work they do. Ultimately, the young people benefit from this kind of engagement as it means richer and higher quality youth work develops”.  The UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at the NUI Galway is based in the School of Political Science and Sociology. Founded with support from The Atlantic Philanthropies and the Health Services Executive, the Centre undertakes research, education and training in the area of Family Support and Youth Development with an emphasis on prevention and early intervention for children and young people experiencing adversity. Foróige is a national youth organisation whose programmes are supported by a wide range of sources including the DCYA, HSE, Department of Justice and philanthropy. Further information available at http://www.childandfamilyresearch.ie/ -ends-

Friday, 7 March 2014

As part of the international Brain Awareness Week, staff and students of NUI Galway’s Neuroscience Centre are organising a public information exhibit in the Aula Maxima, Quadrangle on Tuesday, 11 and Wednesday, 12 March from 9am to 3.30pm. Members of the public and children from local schools will have the opportunity to visit the exhibit to learn more about how the brain and nervous system work. The exhibit consists of interactive displays where visitors can learn more about the nervous system in a hands-on way.  For example, there will be various puzzles and tests of hand-eye coordination, visual perception, left/right handedness, creativity and many others. Approximately 180 million Europeans are thought to suffer from a brain disorder, at a total cost of almost €800 billion per annum. At the event in NUI Galway general information about the brain will be available to visitors with the opportunity to learn more about brain disorders, via a series of large information posters prepared by the staff and postgraduate students of NUI Galway Neuroscience Centre. The posters cover a variety of illnesses including: Epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Pain, Anxiety, Depression, Schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, Stroke, Brain injury and Spinal cord injury. Information leaflets obtained from brain-related charities and organisations will be on display and available for the public to take away, such as the DANA Foundation, MS Ireland, Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland, Parkinson’s Association of Ireland, Aware (relating to depression), Chronic Pain Ireland, Shine (relating to mental health, Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, Brainwave (the Irish Epilepsy Association). Microscopes will be available to view brain cells and brain tissue sections for those interested in seeing what a brain cell and brain tissue really looks like. Additional features will include plastic models of the nervous system, and even Play-Doh and colouring books for the very young. The Galway Neuroscience Centre wishes to acknowledge funding from the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering and Science in NUI Galway, and the DANA Foundation. -Ends-      

Monday, 10 March 2014

Explore the science behind baking cupcakes, disappearing bees, and Breaking Bad at NUI Galway’s first ever Undergraduate Science Fair. The fair include demonstrations, experiments, and hands-on activities and takes place on Wednesday, 19 March from 11am to 5pm in The View, Áras na Mac Léinn. Student presenters from all science disciplines will be showing off interactive displays which they have created on a scientific topic that they find engaging and exciting. Student organiser Joanne Duffy said “This is going to be a really exciting event. As a student in the undenominated Science programme at NUI Galway, I am constantly inspired and excited by the things I learn about every day, and I realise how lucky I am to be in this environment. I wanted to put on an event on that would give non-science students and members of the public an opportunity to be inspired by science too!” As well as undergraduate science student presentations, displays from various outreach initiatives within the University will also be present.  Kitchen Chemistry will be on hand with their crowd-wowing display, the Cell Explorer’s Programme will demonstrate how to extract DNA from a banana, and venomous insect expert Dr Michel Dugon, aka the Bug Hunter, will bring along some of his favourite pets. Dr Sarah Knight, one of the staff members behind this event and Outreach Officer with NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute, said “This is a great opportunity for Science students to try their hand at educating and enthusing others. Science Outreach is one of NUI Galway’s strengths, but as of yet the vast potential of our undergraduate students in this area remains largely untapped. One of the ideas behind the undergraduate science fair is to foster a culture of public engagement with Science within the undergraduate community.” Funding for this event has come through NUI Galway’s EXPLORE initiative.  The event is free and open to everyone. For more information visit facebook.com/undergradsciencefair or contact nuigsciencefair@gmail.com. -Ends-

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

NUI Galway, the sole remaining Connacht side will face Collinstown FC in Dublin on Sunday 23 March at 2pm. The FAI Junior Cup is the biggest amateur soccer competition in Ireland, and one of the biggest in Europe, with over 600 participants involved from the outset. The draw was conducted by Ray Houghton, FAI Junior Cup Ambassador and Teresa McCabe, FAI Junior Council President with NUI Galway Soccer Club representatives attending including Professor Liam Spillane, Hon. President, Dr Eric Mortimer, Chairman and Ger Cheevers, Captain. This year’s FAI Junior Cup Final will take place at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday, 25 May before the Ireland v Turkey International Friendly which has given the competition even greater exposure than ever before. 

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Students interested in pursuing a career in science can experience the research underway in NUI Galway at the ‘Biomedical Science Under The Microscope’ exhibition An exhibition of scientific images entitled Biomedical Science Under The Microscope can be seen at Galway City Museum from the 11th-22nd March, a project created by Biomedical Science students at NUI Galway. The exhibition is part of a second year BSc. in Biomedical Science project entitled Community Knowledge Initiative. Its aim is to inform the public on current areas of biomedical science research in NUI Galway through the medium of images. It will comprise of ten scientific images spanning a broad range of research areas including developmental biology, chromosome biology and studies of the brain and nervous system. The images are drawn from the major disciplines that support Biomedical Science, which are Anatomy, Biochemistry, Pharmacology and Physiology. The exhibition provides a great opportunity for students interested in pursuing a career in science to experience the research underway in NUI Galway and for the general public interested in this area. Visitors can talk to students involved in the exhibition at Galway City Museum on Wednesday 19th March from 10am to 1pm. For further information on the exhibition please contact Dr. Derek Morris on 091 494439 or derek.morris@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

Thursday, 13 March 2014

NUI Galway students win top awards for breast cancer research and measuring the performance of elite swimmers at the Irish Independent/HEA Making an Impact 2014 Two NUI Galway students have claimed the prizes at this year’s Irish Independent/Higher Education Authority (HEA) Making an Impact 2014 competition. An award of €2,500 sponsored by the Irish Independent was made to each of the two winners. The Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Irish Independent had invited postgraduate research students in any discipline at an Irish higher education institution on the island of Ireland, to make a short submission on the difference that their research work would make to a particular aspect of Irish life, to the country as a whole or in a global context. Robert Mooney (33) from Salthill in Galway was The Judges Choice Winner for his research project 'Movement and Performance in Elite Swimming'. The PhD student is working under the supervision of Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) at NUI Galway. Mr. Mooney’s award-winning research is based on the development of a novel method using sensor technology to measure the performance of elite swimmers. Traditional methods of monitoring a swimmers performance are based on video. Mr. Mooney is looking at using inertial sensors that can be worn by swimmers that will track their movements through the water. Killian O’Brien (24) from Bishopstown in Cork was The Student’s Choice Winner for his research project 'Blood May Hold the Key to the Riddle of Cancer'. The PhD student completed a Masters Degree in Regenerative Medicine at NUI Galway and is currently carrying out his research in the Discipline of Surgery, Clinical Sciences Institute at NUI Galway, working under the supervision of Professor Michael J. Kerin and Dr. Róisín Dwyer. Mr. O’Brien’s award-winning project is funded by the Irish Cancer Society and is part of the BREAST-PREDICT initiative. His work is looking at the levels of biomarkers in the blood of patients with breast cancer, with the aim of earlier detection. Runners up were NUI Galway student Linda Connor for her project 'Improving Honey Bee Health', Diana van Doorn, IT Carlow and Martin Holmes from Trinity College Dublin. For further information on the Making an Impact 2014 competition visit www.hea.ie Ends.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

NUI Galway announces new industry-focused initiative for Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering degree programmes in response to growing demand from industry In a significant development for engineering education, following extensive consultation with industry partners, the NUI Galway College of Engineering and Informatics has announced that the duration of the Professional Experience Programme (PEP) for third year Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering students will be extended to 8 months in duration. Students will now undertake work-placement in leading local, national and international high-technology companies, including medical device companies, from January to August, starting in 2015. The NUI Galway Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering programmes have very strong links with industry, both nationally and internationally, and the decision to extend the duration of PEP was made in response to the growing demand from industry for longer work-placement, providing students with a broader range of industry-relevant skills and dramatically increasing their employability upon graduation. The demand was strongest from the medical device industry which is one of the cornerstones of the local and national Irish economy, and which employs large numbers of NUI Galway Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering graduates. The PEP work-placement has been an integral part of these degree programmes for over twenty years. Commonly, upon completion of the PEP work-placement, students will continue to collaborate with their PEP employer through the industry-led research performed in their fourth year project. Speaking about the announcement Prof. Gerry Lyons, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway said “This is a very significant and positive development for engineering education at NUI Galway that will further increase the employability of our graduates, equipping them with critical industry-focused skills and experience so that they can make an immediate impact in the high-tech sector upon graduation.” Dr. John O’Dea, President of Engineers Ireland and former Chairman of the Irish Medical Devices Association commented “This is a very welcome development that is strongly supported by Engineers Ireland. This new industry-focused enhancement of the Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering degree programmes at NUI Galway will have far reaching positive implications in terms of graduate employability and continued development of the Irish high-tech engineering sector.” Engineers Ireland is the national professional body for engineers and engineering degree accreditation. The announcement was made at the Get SET (Science, Enterprise & Technology) Expo organised by the Career Development, which took place on March 4th in the Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway. Companies that are interested in finding out more information in relation to the PEP for Mechanical Engineering & Biomedical Engineering can contact Tom Fitzgerald, Placement Officer, Career Development Centre on 091 492909 or tom.fitzgerald@nuigalway.ie Ends.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The All-Ireland Finals of Debating Science Issues (DSI) will take place on 27 March 2014 at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in Dublin. Co-ordinated by REDDSTAR’s Dissemination Officer Danielle Nicholson, this All-Ireland competition encourages young people to engage in debate on the cultural, societal and ethical implications of advances in biomedical science.  Through a process of single elimination, the field of 32 secondary schools narrowed to just four representing all four provinces in Ireland. The four schools in the final will be: St. Brigid’s Vocational School, Loughrea, Co. Galway; Our Lady and St. Patrick’s College, Knock, Belfast, Co. Antrim; St. Joseph’s Secondary CBS, Fairview, Dublin; and Coláiste Mhuire, Crosshaven, Co. Cork. The schools will compete in two semi-final rounds of debate focussing on the moral obligation to research with embryonic stem cells to develop new medical treatments. The winners of the two semi-final rounds will go on to debate the allocation of organs donated for transplantation. “We hope that this collaborative outreach programme is a useful tool in facilitating increased awareness of the important research taking place in Ireland among young people and the Irish public in general”, said DSI Coordinator Danielle Nicholson. Preceding the competition, all participating schools availed of a three hour workshop addressing an area of biomedical research with societal and ethical implications delivered by one of the nine DSI partners in 2014: REDDSTAR, an EU project coordinated at NUI Galway, Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre at UCC, Biomedical Diagnostics Institute at DCU, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, CRANN at Trinity College, W5 in Belfast, INSIGHT at UCD, Cork Institute of Technology and the University of Ulster, Coleraine.  The DSI 2014 Finals have been generously supported by Science Foundation Ireland Discover Programme project award. Further information on the Debating Science Issues in available at www.debatingscienceissues.com. -Ends-   

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

A compelling evening of musical styles and song featuring Carl Hession, Mark Duley, Frankie Gavin, Elvin Moynagh, NUI Galway Medical Orchestra and St. Nicholas Schola Cantorum Arts in Action at NUI Galway will host its annual finale concert upstairs in the Aula Maxima on Wednesday, March 26th at 8pm. This special event will feature The NUI Galway Medical Orchestra directed by Carl Hession, Choral Scholars of the St. Nicholas Schola Cantorum directed by Mark Duley, piper Elvin Moynagh and special guest Frankie Gavin. All proceeds will directly benefit Voluntary Students Abroad (VSA). Organised by Arts in Action Creative Director, Mary McPartlan, the concert promises to be a compelling event featuring a mix of musical styles and song that will range from classical to traditional, artfully juxtaposed to create a truly remarkable and enjoyable experience. The NUI Galway Medical Orchestra has been in existence for four years and has already established itself as a very positive initiative with a number of high profile public performances. It has not only developed into a primary source of positive activity for the medical students at NUI Galway but is also a Special Study Module (SSM), a credit bearing module which allows at least 20 medical students per year to have a rich and creative experience as well as fulfilling an academic rating. The orchestra has a membership of more than 40 medical students from first year, right though to final medicine, including visiting international students. Mary Mc Partlan, producer of the orchestra said, “This is one of the most important elements of artistic creativity at NUI Galway where the medical faculty have strongly supported and aided the concept of the power of music and healing, while also promoting and enhancing the wellbeing of medical students. St. Nicholas’ Schola Cantorum, one of Ireland’s newest and most exciting choral initiatives, was formed in September 2012 when NUI Galway and St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church entered into a new partnership with the establishment of twenty choral scholarships for promising young NUI Galway student singers. The scholars form a small chamber choir offering a high level of engagement. Voluntary Services Abroad is run by the 4th year medical students of NUI Galway. Founded in 1977 by Galway doctor Dom Colbert, the organisation raises funds for healthcare facilities in developing countries. Tickets for Arts in Action Finale Concert are priced at €10, students €5 and can be obtained on the door at the Aula Maxima. Proceeds on the night will go toward Voluntary Services Abroad (VSA). Ends.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

NUI Galway Theatre Season and Galway Arts Centre present the Irish Premiere of The Monster In The Hall by prolific Scottish writer David Greig   As part of the inaugural NUI Galway Theatre Season, Andrew Flynn directs a new play The Monster In The Hall by one of Britain’s most exciting writers, David Greig. It will run at Nun’s Island Theatre from the 24th - 27th March. This performance by members of the NUI Galway BA Connect in Theatre and Performance class marks its Irish Premiere. David Greig is Scotland’s most prolific writer. His work includes the Galway Arts Festival hit The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Harte and the West End hit musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The Monster In The Hall was a smash hit at the Edinburgh Festival in 2013. Duck Macatarsney cares for her biker dad whose MS is getting increasingly bad. Her Dad, Duke, is a spliff smoking (for medicinal reasons you understand), bike riding, heavy metal and movie loving, pizza eating widower who's brought up Duck since the death of her mother in a crash. The two of them are just about surviving when one morning the Duke wakes up blind and the Duck hears that the social services are coming to take her away. The Monster in the Hall follows the story of Duck as she tries to protect her world from the terrifying prospect of change. This is a low budget indie comedy musical about a girl on the verge of a nervous breakdown played out by seven actors and a big fat motorbike that goes vrrooommm. The Guardian described the production as “passionate, playful and yet serious, gripping us one minute, cracking us up the next, before melting our hearts with a happy ending.” Sound and music is provided by Carl Kennedy and lighting design by Mike O’Halloran. The production will run at Nun’s Island Theatre for four performances only from Monday 24th March to Thursday 27th March at 8pm. Tickets are €10 and are available at the door. Ends.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

NUI Galway recently hosted the first UniStem Day to take place in Ireland, which took place on Friday, 14 March. UniStem Day is a day in which 45 universities, 20,000 secondary school students and more than 250 researchers, managers, communicators, ethicists, clinicians, technicians from around Europe came together to learn about and discuss cutting edge stem cell research. Now in its sixth year, UniStem Day is about pushing the boundaries of stem cell knowledge and disseminating it across Europe. During the day events happened simultaneously in Ireland, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Hosted by the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway and sponsored by Orbsen Therapeutics, over 50 students from St Endas and St Marys schools in Galway city learned about stem cells, what they can and cannot do and also about their potential as future treatments from REMEDI Professors Rhodri Ceredig and Sanbing Shen. REMEDI Manager Kieran Ryan said: “We are so delighted to host a Unistem Day event here in Ireland for the first time ever. It’s a wonderful experience for the students to be part of such an exciting initiative happening all over Europe.” Teacher Emma Dalton from St Endas said: “It was a great event. The talks were very inspiring and I hope that it opened the student’s eyes to the amazing research that is being done on their doorstep. The combination of top class facilities and world renowned scientists now boasted by NUI Galway will be a major motivational factor for our students to stay and study Science in Galway.” UniStem Day is all about fostering learning, discovery and debate about stem cell research and building and strengthening knowledge amongst secondary school students. The UniStem events are designed to give participants experiences connected directly to research and to give them an insight into the day-to-day life of scientists. -Ends-

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Third-level students from NUI Galway and GMIT awarded CodeNinja winning prizes for creating innovative web and mobile apps On 13th March, CodeNinja, an app development competition for third-level students in Galway came to its conclusion with three prizes awarded to student teams from NUI Galway and GMIT. Through a series of workshops, CodeNinja gave students the skills and knowledge required to create their own innovative web or mobile apps. The competition was designed by local businesses and academics to train and encourage students to be creative in the cultivation of their own technology ideas, and was supported by Microsoft Ireland, GitHub, OnePageCRM, Ex Ordo, and Prof Chris Curtin, VP for Innovation and Performance at NUI Galway. The winning entry was the “Annoying Mosquito” app developed by Chengxuan Xing and Adeel Gilani, both final year software development students at GMIT. Both received Nokia 1520 mobile phones for winning first prize. Their Windows Phone app relies on what is called “augmented reality” - superimposing computer-generated graphics on top of a mobile camera view of the real world - and the aim is to make anyone from adults to kids move and do more exercise when they are playing games. (The game allows players to swat a computer-generated annoying mosquito using a mobile phone.) The joint runners-up were John Maguire, a final year Electronic and Computer Engineering student from NUI Galway, and Răzvan Rădulescu, an Atmospheric Science PhD researcher also from NUI Galway. Both received Nokia 520s mobile phones as runner-up prizes. John Maguire developed a presentations speech-to-text web app for the hearing impaired, based on conversations with a community resource officer from DeafHear Galway. Răzvan Rădulescu created “Rainwatch”, an app which keeps track of a user’s location and notifies them of potential rain a few minutes before it happens. Tutorials were given to students by a range of startup founders and app development experts: OnePageCRM CEO Michael FitzGerald, Ex Ordo CEO Paul Killoran, NUI Galway Research Technologist David Kelly, previous CodeNinja competition winner Mike Rockall, and Windows and Xbox developer Neil Turner. Co-organiser Dr. John Breslin of NUI Galway says: “A recent study run by Gigaom Research and NUI Galway found that the EU app economy has been responsible for the creation of 1.8 million jobs, so the future is bright for Galway’s student app developers and for those who took part in the CodeNinja competition.” “We see CodeNinja as a critical cog in building an app culture in Galway City and amongst our student population,” according to Clodagh Barry, from NUI Galway’s Research Office. “It is important in terms of its impact on students and the local economy: increasing the available skillsets and working with industry partners in the app ecosystem.” More information on the winners is available at www.codeninja.ie/2014 Ends

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Harry McGee, political correspondent with the Irish Times has been named as the most recent appointment to NUI Galway’s governing authority, Údarás na hOllscoile. Harry McGee is a native of Galway and an alumnus of NUI Galway, holding a BA (1987), H Dip in Journalism (1989) and an LLB (1993). He studied at King’s Inns and is a barrister. He worked in Galway with The Connacht Tribune before moving to Dublin where he worked with RTÉ, as Special Correspondent with the Sunday Tribune and as Editor of Magill. He became Political Editor with the Irish Examiner before moving to the Irish Times, also as Political Correspondent. He is a frequent contributor to both radio and television broadcasts in English and Irish, and is a fluent Irish speaker. Speaking about his appointment, Harry said: “NUI Galway is my alma mater. I completed all of my third level study there, played Fitzgibbon hurling for the University and was very involved with the student societies. I had some very memorable years at NUI Galway as a student and am very proud to have graduated from this University. I feel a strong sense of belonging to the University and was delighted to be asked to serve as a member of Údarás na hOllscoile”. Údarás na hOllscoile is the University’s governing authority and acts as both an oversight and advisory body for NUI Galway. The chair of Údarás na hOllscoile is the Hon Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness, and Údarás na hOllscoile is made up of academic and academic support staff from the university and of external members nominated by both national and regional representative bodies. Welcoming Harry to his first meeting of the governing authority, the Hon Mrs. Justice McGuinness commented: “I am delighted to have Harry as a member of Údarás na hOllscoile. It is admirable to see the great loyalty he has to NUI Galway. I hope that he will enjoy being involved and look forward to his contribution. His widespread experience as a journalist will bring great insights to this University”. Rúnaí na hOllscoile Gearóid Ó Conluain welcomed the appointment and said “Both as an alumnus and a working journalist, Harry McGee has a keen sense of the importance of NUI Galway’s role in both a regional and national context. External representatives on Údarás na hOllscoile play a vital role in helping to inform the university’s decision making processes in relation to key strategic and governance priorities.”  -ends- Harry McGee, Iriseoir leis an Irish Times, ceaptha ar Údarás Ollscoil OÉ Gaillimh Tá Harry McGee, comhfhreagraí polaitíochta leis an Irish Times, ainmnithe ar an duine is déanaí atá ceaptha ar Údarás na hOllscoile, údarás rialaithe OÉ Gaillimh. Is as Gaillimh ó dhúchas é Harry McGee agus is alumnus de chuid OÉ Gaillimh é, áit ar bhain sé amach BA (1987), Ard-Dioplóma san Iriseoireacht (1989) agus LLB (1993). Rinne sé staidéar in Óstaí an Rí agus is abhcóide é. Chaith sé tréimhse ag obair leis an gCuradh Connachtach i nGaillimh sular thug sé aghaidh ar Bhaile Átha Cliath áit ar oibrigh sé le RTÉ, leis an Sunday Tribune mar Chomhfhreagraí Speisialta agus mar Eagarthóir ar Magill. Bhí sé ina Eagraí Polaitíochta leis an Irish Examiner sula ndeachaigh sé leis an Irish Times, mar Chomhfhreagraí Polaitíochta chomh maith. Is minic leis a bheith ag craoladh ar an raidió agus ar an teilifís i mBéarla agus i nGaeilge, is cainteoir líofa Gaeilge é. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Harry faoina cheapachán:  “Is í OÉ Gaillimh m’alma mater. Rinne mé mo staidéar tríú leibhéal ar fad ansin, d’imir mé ar fhoireann iomána Chorn Mhic Giobúin don Ollscoil agus bhí baint mhór agam le cumainn na mac léinn. Tá cuimhní maithe agam ar na blianta a chaith mé in OÉ Gaillimh agus tá bród orm gur bhain mé mo chéim amach san Ollscoil seo. Airím go bhfuil dlúthcheangal agam leis an Ollscoil agus bhí an-áthas orm cuireadh a fháil a bheith i mo bhall d’Údarás na hOllscoile.” Is údarás rialaithe na hollscoile é Údarás na hOllscoile agus gníomhaíonn sé mar chomhlacht maoirseachta agus comhairleoireachta do OÉ Gaillimh. Is í an Breitheamh Onórach Catherine McGuinness cathaoireach Údarás na hOllscoile. Tá comhaltaí foirne acadúla agus tacaíochta acadúla ón ollscoil chomh maith le baill sheachtracha ainmnithe ag comhlachtaí ionadaíocha náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta araon ar Údarás na hOllscoile. Agus í ag cur fáilte roimh Harry ag a chéad chruinniú de chuid Údarás na hOllscoile, dúirt an Breitheamh Onórach Catherine McGuinness:  “Tá an-áthas orm go bhfuil Harry mar bhall d’Údarás na hOllscoile. Is iontach an dílseacht atá aige do OÉ Gaillimh. Tá súil agam go mbainfidh sé sult as a bheith rannpháirteach agus táim ag súil leis an méid a chuirfidh sé leis an Údarás. Tabharfaidh a thaithí leathan mar iriseoir léargas ar leith don Ollscoil seo.” Chuir Rúnaí na hOllscoile, Gearóid Ó Conluain fáilte roimh an gceapachán agus dúirt, “Mar alumnus agus mar iriseoir, tá tuiscint mhaith ag Harry McGee ar an tábhacht ar leith a bhaineann le OÉ Gaillimh i gcomhthéacs réigiúnach agus náisiúnta araon. Tá ról ríthábhachtach ag na hionadaithe seachtracha atá ar Údarás na hOllscoile i gcuidiú le próisis déanta cinntí na hOllscoile agus maidir le príomhthosaíochtaí straitéiseacha agus rialachais.” -críoch-

Monday, 24 March 2014

Competition sees students from Irish universities compete for most professional analysis of a quoted Irish company Five Masters in International Finance students from NUI Galway have won the Chartered Financial Analysts Ireland 2014 Research Challenge for their analysis of Ryanair plc. The Research Challenge is an annual global competition that provides university students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis. Students gain real-world experience as they assume the role of a research analyst and are tested on their ability to value a stock, write an initiation-of-coverage report, and present their recommendations to a panel of leading financial services professionals. The NUI Galway team consisted of: Sam Ryan, Shane O’Brien, and Anthony Patrick Saoud, all from Galway City; Oisín Kenny from the USA; and Conor Hanniffy from Athlone, Co. Roscommon. Speaking after their win, the team said that they had taken a very positive view of Ryanair plc. Anthony Patrick Saoud said: “Our analyses suggested a potential share price of some €9.05 a share – an upside of 24% on the current share price. We believe that Ryanair had secured an incredibly strong competitive position in the airline market in Europe and that current changes in the positioning of the company would lead to income growth from new charges.” The President of the CFA Society Ireland, Ronan McCabe said: “NUI Galway really had to earn their win this year as the overall standard of all the teams competing was exceptionally high.”  The winning team will now go on to compete in the European Middle East Africa (EMEA) Finals of the competition in Milan in early April. In addition to NUI Galway, teams from Trinity, UCD, UCC, Dublin City University, and Queens University Belfast took part in the Irish leg of the competition. -Ends-

Monday, 24 March 2014

Awards presented by Minister for Education, Ruairí Quinn T.D. at special ceremony in Dublin NUI Galway’s Master of Applied Science (Enterprise Systems) student, Kelley Rickard was recently presented with a €500 cash prize by the Minister for Education, Ruairí Quinn T.D. at the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport Ireland Student Idea of the Year Awards. The awards are presented to the originators of the most innovative ideas which could make the most significant contribution to some aspect of the transport and logistics industry in Ireland. Kelley from Greystones, Co. Wicklow was awarded second place for her paper on ‘The Ultimate Traffic Management System’which focused on providing for the needs of traffic managers and road users. The system is designed as an interactive, automated real time traffic management system which relies on an organic intelligence system as a basis. Mary Dempsey, Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at NUI Galway, said: “I am very proud of Kelley’s success through her academic work. We encourage our students to use their time on campus wisely as our programmes and modules have various innovation opportunities designed into the curriculum. There are opportunities open to students in university that will provide them a platform to create and design their own future. I am delighted that Kelley’s work is rewarded in such a prestigious manner.” -ENDS-

Monday, 24 March 2014

Interview part of third Martin Reilly Lecture Series As part of the Martin Reilly Lecture Series, Comhrá Ceoil and NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies have organised a public interview with Mary O’Hara, singer and harpist. The interview will be conducted by Dr Méabh Ní Fhuartháin, Acting Director at the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway and chaired by Dr Helen Lawlor of DKIT, and will take place at 7pm, on Tuesday, 8 April. Mary O’Hara, originally from Sligo and now resident on the Aran Islands, is a leading figure in the popularisation and globalisation of Irish music during the latter half of the twentieth century.  Beginning in the 1950s, she played a seminal role in the reconfiguration of Irish music performance in the public domain through recordings, radio and TV appearances, and her worldwide concert tours. In a review of two albums of songs with harp accompaniment by Mary O’Hara, the critic Charles Acton advised that ‘at least one of these records should be in every home’ (The Irish Times, 1960) and O’Hara’s return to the concert stage in 1977 was declared the ‘folk music event of the year’ (The Observer, 1978). In the wider sphere of the representation and interpretation of Irish cultural identity in the late twentieth century, her role is an important one to recognise. The public interview will provide an opportuntiy to explore this role in music and music-making. Though most well-known for her Irish repertoire, Mary O’Hara’s music draws from other wells of folk and non-folk genres.  Her performances of traditional and newly composed material in her distinctive voice and accompaniment style leaves a legacy still heard in the contemporary sounds of Irish music. The Martin Reilly Lecture Series is dedicated to Martin Reilly, the celebrated nineteenth century Galway uilleann piper, who left a rich musical legacy to generations of pipers. The lecture series will give an opportunity to researcher-practitioners in Irish traditional music and dance to present their research in a public forum and the audience will get to hear some tunes, see some dancing and listen to some songs as well.  The interview with Mary O’Hara takes place in the SAC Room (CA110) in St. Anthony’s on campus (Upper Newcastle Road Entrance). Admission is free and everyone is welcome to attend. Further information on this interview and other planned talks in the series is available at 091 492051 or martinreillylectureseries@gmail.com, and Facebook: Martin-Reilly-Lecture-Series. -Ends-

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

EU funded research aims to use stem cell therapy to work towards a cure, perhaps within a 5 year timeframe NUI Galway researchers are part of an exciting EU-funded project looking at how stem cells from adult fat tissue could be used to activate the regeneration of cartilage. If successful, their work could lead to effective new treatments for millions of osteoarthritis sufferers. Positive, early results indicate the treatment could become a reality for patients within the next 5 years. Osteoarthritis is a disease that affects more than 70 million EU citizens, including over 400,000 in Ireland. It is the most common form of human arthritis and is characterised by the degeneration of cartilage in joints, which can become very painful. Researchers under the EU-funded ADIPOA project are working to better understand a new treatment for osteoarthritis based on stem cell therapy. The research team is seeking to determine how adipose (fat)-derived stem cells injected into diseased joints can activate the regeneration of cartilage. The Phase 1 clinical trial has just finished.   In recent years, these cells have emerged as a good alternative to bone marrow-derived stem cells. For one thing, adipose tissue, or body fat, is easily available through minimally invasive surgical procedures. Secondly, fat is available in large quantities allowing doctors to harvest a lot of stem cells at one time. Professor Frank Barry, Scientific Director of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway, is a partner in the ADIPOA project. Professor Barry explains “Until now there were just two possible outcomes for suffers of this progressive and debilitating disease – joint replacement surgery, in the case of advanced disease or, life-long pain management.  From the clinical trials conducted so far, we have seen the first signs of finding a cure for this truly incapacitating disease which affects so many. Using the patient's own stem cells we have been able to treat their diseased joints and relieve their suffering and burden of pain. Whilst we are still in the early stages of clinical trials the results so far are extremely positive such that the use of stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis could become a reality for patients within the next 5 years.” The FP7 ADIPOA project is a large scale integrated project with partners from France, Italy, Germany, Israel, Lithuania, Ireland, and Netherlands. It has received a total of EUR 9,224, 472 in EU funding under the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme for Research & Technological Development. REMEDI is a Science Foundation Ireland-funded Strategic Research Cluster, led by NUI Galway and with partners in University College Cork and NUI Maynooth. REMEDI is a partnership between scientists, clinicians and industry and it is the leading centre in the area of stem cell and regenerative medicine in Ireland. -Ends-

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Pat Lam, Head Coach of Connacht Rugby will be among the speakers at Open Day, the perfect opportunity for students and parents to experience life at NUI Galway NUI Galway invites all CAO applicants, both undergraduate and mature students, to the annual Open Day on Saturday, 5 April from 10am to 3pm. Open Day is an excellent opportunity for students, along with their parents and families, to explore NUI Galway’s facilities and to learn first-hand from the lecturers themselves about the more than 60 courses on offer. Lecturers and current students will be on hand to talk to students and parents at the main Exhibition area in the Bailey Allen Hall, with over 80 subject-specific exhibition stands. The ‘Parents Programme’ will provide parents and students with information on important issues such as fees and funding, careers, accommodation and support services for students. To get the most out of your day visitors are encouraged to view the timetable of talks at www.nuigalway.ie/opendays Talk Highlights include: New Scholarship Schemes for 2014 - CAO Performance Points Scholarships in Sports and Arts, and all you need to know about Excellence Scholarships. A guest appearance and talk about Sports at NUI Galway with Pat Lam, Connacht Rugby Head Coach. Career talks - “Where are the jobs? What are my employment prospects after University?” Taster sessions designed to give a real insight into studying at NUI Galway will include: Physics - A brilliant career from lasers to the Universe. Take a 3-D tour of the Universe with The Centre for Astronomy, which will take visitors on a trip from the earth to nearby starts, across our Galaxy to groups of stars, and finally through the whole Universe. Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences – Introduction to the Healthcare Programmes. Arts – BA Connect Programme in Drama, Theatre and Performance studies. Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, said: "Choosing a university is one of the most important decisions a student will ever make and parents play a key role in supporting students as they take this important next step. Open Day is the perfect opportunity for parents to ensure they have access to all of the information they need to support sons and daughters through their university career. We are encouraging anyone with an interest in studying at NUI Galway to come along, talk to our lecturers and current students, find out about the courses, explore the campus and decide for yourself whether NUI Galway feels right for you. Open Day has proved invaluable in the past to many students, particularly those considering their options before the CAO change of mind deadline of 1 July.” Tours of the campus will feature the state-of the-art sports complex and gym, and the new Engineering Building. Tours of student accommodation will also be available to visitors on the day, with the tour shuttle bus departing regularly from outside the Orbsen Building. Guided walking tours of the main campus will also take place throughout the afternoon. To plan your day in advance and receive a programme on Open Day 2014 visit www.nuigalway.ie/opendays, phone +353 91 494145 or email visit@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

REMEDI PhD student Éanna Connaughton was awarded the Molecular Medicine Ireland(MMI) Medal for his work at the recent MMI Education and Training Annual Scientific Meeting. Pictured presenting the award to Éanna is (left) Professor Laurence Egan, NUI Galway and (right) Dr Mark Watson, Programme Manager, Education & Training, Clinical and Translational Research Scholars Programme. Originally from from Ballybrogan, Co. Roscommon, Éanna is based at REMEDI in NUI Galway, and was awarded the MMI Medal for his oral presentation ‘Phenotypic, Functional and Molecular Analysis of Novel Human Monocyte Subpopulations’. Over 115 people attended the MMI Education & Training Annual Scientific Meeting, which brought together research students from the Clinical and Translational Research Scholars Programme (CTRSP), Alumni from the MMI Clinician Scientist Fellowship Programme (CSFP) and the wider research community for a day of research presentations. -Ends-

Friday, 28 March 2014

Mr. Justice Nial Fennelly of the Supreme Court and formerly Advocate General at the Court of Justice of the European Union will deliver the School of Law Annual Distinguished Lecture 2014 on Friday, 4 April at 8pm in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway. The title of his lecture will be The National Judge and the European Union and Anna-Louise Hinds, Lecturer in European Law at NUIG and Co-editor of the Irish Journal of European Law, will formally respond to his paper. Previous speakers in the School of Law Annual Distinguished Lecture series include: Professor Christopher McCrudden of Oxford University; Judge John T. Noonan of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; Professor Neil Walker of Edinburgh University; Baroness Brenda Hale of the UK Supreme Court; and Mrs. Justice Catherine McGuinness of the Irish Supreme Court. The event is held on an annual basis to mark the end of the academic year and is open to students and graduates of the School of Law, NUI Galway as well as interested members of the public. In announcing this event, Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of the School of Law at NUIG said: “Mr. Justice Fennelly is a judge of the highest renown who is recognised for the rigour and consistency of his judgments. His expertise in the area of European Law, in particular, is widely acknowledged. It is a great honour for the School of Law at NUI Galway to have him deliver our Annual Distinguished Lecture on a topic of great importance not just to lawyers but to all European citizens.” Mr. Justice Nial Fennelly undertook a degree in Economics at University College Dublin and completed his Bar studies at King's Inns. He practised at the Irish Bar from 1966 to 1995 and worked principally in commercial and constitutional cases, with a particular interest in the growing field of European Community (including Competition) Law. He was Chairman of the Bar Council of Ireland for 1990 and 1991 and was the first Irish lawyer to be appointed as Advocate General at the European Court of Justice (ECJ, now CJEU), where he served from 1995 to 2000. He was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of Ireland in October 2000. He is a Bencher of the Honorable Society of King's Inns and of the Middle Temple in London. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Academy of European Law at Trier, Germany, Chairman of the Irish Centre for European Law (ICEL) and President of the Irish Society for European Law and was President in 2004 of FIDE (Fédération Internationale de Droit Européenne). He has written many articles concerning the law of the European Union, with particular interest in its constitutional aspects. Ends  

Friday, 28 March 2014

The 2014 Ignite Technology Transfer Office (TTO) Commercialisation programme ‘Ignite Eco-System’ came to an exciting finale last Tuesday, 25 March. Each participant pitched their commercial opportunity to an external expert panel after being taken through the 8 week programme of identifying the value proposition of their technology or business concept. Commercial roadmaps & business models were generated and everyone left with a clear vision of their next steps. Awards were presented on the day under the following categories: Best Business Opportunity: awarded to Anthonia O’Donovan from the School of Natural Sciences; Best Presentation: awarded to Paul Dunne from the Department of Engineering in GMIT, Best Elevator Pitch: awarded to Vinod Hegde from the Insight Centre for Data Analytics Judges Choice: awarded Mary-Pat O’Malley from the Discipline of Speech & Language Therapy Ignite Technology Transfer Office offers commercialisation mentoring and training workshops aimed at assisting researchers, individuals and innovative early stage enterprises assess specialist advice in preparation of attracting commercial grant supports or investment appropriate to the needs of the new technology or business concept . Our approach is hands on and practical, delivered to suit the needs of the participants on the programme known as Ignite Eco-System. Vinod Hegde winner, Best Elevator Pitch said “as a PhD student in the INSIGHT group I enrolled on the IGNITE Eco System programme hoping to learn about the process of commercialization from an academic perspective. Personally I can say that this business orientation program is the best I have taken part in. The programme is structured very well and I highly recommend this programme to all researchers. Thanks to the TTO for their continued support.” Fiona Neary Ignite TTO said “Class of 2014 were a highly motivated group, we had lots in interaction and all participants were very eager to progress their technologies and ideas into the commercial world. Our aim is to foster the next generation of entrepreneurs and technologies through programmes such as these. I wish them every success in their commercial pathway and look forward to seeing some significant research & business outcomes from the group.” For more information about the Ignite Technology Transfer Eco-System please visit our website on: http://tto.nuigalway.ie/en/

Monday, 31 March 2014

NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences is now taking bookings for it first Easter break science camp running from 22-25 April 2014. The camps is open all young scientists aged between 8 and 13 years old and participants will get a chance to work as real scientists by performing and analysing experiments in a real research environment.  In the mornings, children will work with Dr Michel Dugon, the host of the RTÉ’s Bug Hunters. Activities will include discovering live local and exotic plant and animals, studying their habitats and understanding how they interact with their environment. In the afternoons, participants will gain an understanding of how cells make our body work. With the dynamic team of Cell EXPLORERS, they will run their own experiments such as building models, observing their own cells under small and large microscopes and extracting DNA from cells. Bio-EXPLORERS is run and supported by the School of Natural Sciences, one of the most research-active Schools at NUI Galway. Bio-EXPLORERS is composed of two science communication and public engagement programmes: Cell EXPLORERS directed by Dr Muriel Grenon and Eco-EXPLORERS directed by Dr Michel Dugon. The programme’s primary goal is to inspire interest in science in the general public and to impact positively on science education. It proposes activities that are designed to engage children in a hands-on way and stimulate their interest in exploring science-related themes. The programme has engaged thousands of children in the West of Ireland since its creation and was very active during the last Galway Science and Technology Festival. The ‘Fantastic DNA’ school visits and other Cell EXPLORERS activities are well known from primary school children in County Galway with the programme‘s volunteers, made of an enthusiastic mix of undergraduate, postgraduate and staff, engaging more than 2000 pupils, teachers and parents since September 2013. The programme received the ‘Outstanding Contribution to STEM’ award from the Galway Science and Technology Festival and will be representing Ireland at the next Malta Science festival in April. Since October 2013 Eco EXPLORERS has engaged thousands of children across the West of Ireland on topics related to ecology, biodiversity and zoology. Bug hunting and live exotic creepy crawlies (including reptiles, spiders or giant beetles) are at the core of the Eco Explorers experience. Activities are led by Bug Hunters host Dr Michel Dugon. Bug Hunters is a 15-episode TV series for RTÉ which has been selected to represent the television station at several prestigious media festivals including IFTA, Celtic Media Awards and Prix Jeunesse International. The camp will run from 9.30am to 4.30pm for four consecutive days. The full cost is €140 per pupil for this exciting course packed with fun and exciting activities. Places will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis. The closing date for registration is Tuesday, 15 April. For further information on the camp or to register, visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/bughunters/  or email cellexplorers@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-      

Monday, 31 March 2014

Jan O’ Sullivan TD, Minister for Housing and Planning receives new book on housing and globalization, which examines major challenges and barriers to adequate and affordable housing, and developments in global housing finance. Jan O’Sullivan, TD, Minister of State, Department of Environment, Community and Local Government with special responsibility for Housing and Planning was at NUI Galway this week to receive a copy of Contemporary Housing Issues in a Globalized World, edited by School of Law Lecturer, by Dr Padraic Kenna. The globalization of housing finance led to the global financial crisis, which has created new barriers to adequate and affordable housing. It presents major challenges for current housing law and policy, as well as for the development of housing rights. This book examines and discusses key contemporary housing issues in the context of today’s globalized housing systems. The book takes up the challenge of developing a new paradigm, working towards the possibility of an alternative future. Revolving around three themes of writing by diverse contributors, each chapter sets out a clear and developed approach to contemporary housing issues. The first major theme considers the crisis in mortgage market regulation, the development of mortgage securitization and comparisons between Spain and Ireland, two countries at the centre of the global housing market crisis. The second theme is housing rights within the architecture of European human rights, within national constitutions, and those arising from new international instruments, with their particular relevance for persons with disabilities and developing economies. The third theme incorporates an examination of responses to the decline and regeneration of inner cities, legal issues around squatting in developed economies, and changes in tenure patterns away from home-ownership. Raquel Rolnik, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing and of the University of Sao Paolo, Brazil said “The deregulation, liberalization and internationalization of finance have had major implications for housing and urban developments throughout the world. The ‘financialization’ of housing has been accompanied by the conceptual transformation of adequate housing from a social good into a commodity, and financial asset and housing markets are increasingly regulated so as to promote financial rather than social aspects of housing.” Ms Rolnik continued, “This book analyses how this process has impacted on violations of the right to adequate housing in different countries and regions. More than understanding the situation, the book offers alternatives and perspectives, crucial in the current housing crisis.” This topical book will be valuable to those who are interested in law, housing rights and human rights, policy-making and globalization. It is published by Ashgate (UK) and can be ordered here   http://www.ashgate.com/isbn/9781472415370 -Ends-

Monday, 3 February 2014

From cell structure to spinal scaffolding collaboration across key disciplines aims to bring together researchers with biomedical insights to enrich society An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD has opened NUI Galway’s €30 million Biomedical Science building that will bring together 300 scientists and researchers. This collaborative approach aims to build on the University’s role at the heart of Galway’s vibrant medtech sector; one of five global hubs in a market worth €95 billion annually in the EU. The Biomedical Science Building, funded under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI) and co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund will create a platform for discovery, development and delivery. It will build on the output of NUI Galway’s cluster of world-leading biomedical research groups in areas such as regenerative medicine and stem cell research, cancer biology (particularly breast and prostate cancer) biomechanics and biomaterials. Speaking at the opening, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD said “I'm delighted to be here for the opening of this new Biomedical Science building at NUIG.  This development will help build on Ireland's reputation as a location for the medtech sector.  Already 250 medical technology companies based in Ireland export €7.9bn worth of product annually and employ 25,000 people, and the Government sees this sector as a key driver of economic growth.” “The Action Plan for Jobs has delivered on the aim of establishing a Health Innovation Hub and will continue to work with industry to turn more good ideas into good jobs and commercial returns.  By bringing the best and brightest together in such an innovative setting there is also real potential here for ground-breaking research to the benefit of humanity" he added. NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne said “This building will see innovation in action. Located in Galway, close to nine of the world’s ten leading medtech companies, researchers at the Biomedical Science building will work on the science which will address some of today’s most pressing biomedical challenges. It is a tangible expression of this University’s commitment to providing the human and intellectual capital needed by the medtech sector here in Ireland.” Dr Browne noted the generous support of Bank of Ireland for the project. A spokesperson for Bank of Ireland said “We are pleased to have played a key role in bringing this very important project to fruition given its importance to the ongoing development of NUI Galway’s faculties and capabilities.  We are confident that this will in turn play a role in supporting the development of key related sectors in the West.” NUI Galway Vice-President for Research, Professor Lokesh Joshi said "This new development is the result of excellence and success in biomedical research in NUI Galway for the past decade. It marks the beginning of a new era to find synergies among different groups and will enable us to continue to compete successfully for funding from European and other sources. It will also help researchers focus on translating their research into products for societal benefit." Since the early 2000s the University has developed a complementary range of interdisciplinary research centres and initiatives including: National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) www.ncbes.ie Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI)  www.remedi.ie Network of Excellence in Functional Biomaterials (NFB) www.nfb.ie Applied Glycosciences Research Cluster (AGRC) /www.agrc.ie/ Centre for Chromosome Biology (CCB) www.chromosome.ie/ Apoptosis Research Centre (ARC) www.apoptosis.ie/ BioInnovate Ireland  www.bioinnovate.ie MeTRIC www.metricireland.ie/ These initiatives have resulted in a world-class clinical, research and people infrastructure at NUI Galway.  For example, in the last 10 years the University has made over 60 permanent appointments - strategically focussed in the area of biomedical engineering science – across the Colleges of Medicine, Science, Engineering and Business.  In addition many hundreds of research students and post-doctoral researchers continue to be attracted to Galway, representing very significant human capital for Ireland and the medtech sector. Through a spirit of discovery and delivery NUI Galway seeks to advance the boundaries of biomedical research and contribute to the international scientific community's quest for knowledge.  In so doing, the research outputs will advance clinical trials to improve the quality of life of patients and stimulate enterprise creation, generate high-end sustainable employment and add value to the national economy.  -ends- Osclaíonn an Taoiseach Foirgneamh Eolaíochta Bithleighis €30 milliún in OÉ Gaillimh ina mbeidh 300 Eolaí ag obair ó thús deiridh ar thionscadail Ó struchtúr ceall go scafall dromlaigh, tá sé mar aidhm ag comhoibriú i measc príomhdhisciplíní taighdeoirí le léargais bhithleighis a thabhairt le chéile chun leasa an tsochaí D’oscail an Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD foirgneamh Eolaíochta Bithleighis, ar fiú €30 milliún é, in OÉ Gaillimh a thabharfaidh 300 eolaí agus taighdeoir le chéile. Tá sé mar aidhm ag an gcur chuige comhoibríoch seo cur le ról na hOllscoile i gcroílár earnáil bhríomhar leighis-teicneolaíochta na Gaillimhe; ceann de chúig ionad domhanda i margadh ar fiú €95 billiún é go bliantúil san AE. Cruthóidh an Foirgneamh Bithleighis Eolaíochta, atá maoinithe faoin gClár um Thaighde in Institiúidí Tríú Leibhéal (PRTLI) agus cómhaoinithe faoi Chiste Forbraíochta Réigiúnaí na hEorpa, ardán d’fhionnachtain, forbairt agus seachadadh. Cuirfidh sé leis an aschur ó bhraisle OÉ Gaillimh de ghrúpaí taighde bithleighis ardchaighdeáin i réimsí cosúil le leigheas athghiniúnach agus taighde gascheall, bitheolaíocht ailse (go háirithe ailse bhrollaigh agus phróstataigh), bithmheicnic agus bithábhair. Ag labhairt dó ag an oscailt, dúirt an Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, “Táim thar a bheith sásta a bheith anseo d’oscailt an Fhoirgnimh nua Bithleighis Eolaíochta seo in OÉ Gaillimh. Cuirfidh an fhorbairt seo le cáil na hÉireann mar shuíomh don earnáil leighis-teicneolaíochta.  Tá 250 cuideachta leighis-teicneolaíochta lonnaithe in Éirinn cheana féin agus iad ag easpórtáil luach €7.9bn de tháirgí gach bliain agus cuireann siad fostaíocht ar fáil do 25,000 duine, agus tuigeann an Rialtas go bhfuil an earnáil seo ina príomhacmhainn d’fhás eacnamaíoch.” “Mar thoradh ar an bPlean Gníomhaíochta do Phoist tá Gorlann Nuálaíochta Sláinte bunaithe agus leanfar den obair leis an tionscal ionas go mbeidh poist agus torthaí tráchtála againn mar thoradh ar smaointe maithe eile.  Trí na daoine is fearr agus is éirimiúla a thabhairt le chéile i suíomh chomh nuálach, tá féidearthachtaí dáiríre ann do thaighde ar thús cadhnaíochta ar mhaithe leis an gcine daonna”, a dúirt sé. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, “Beidh an nuálaíocht ag feidhmiú san fhoirgneamh seo. Lonnaithe i nGaillimh, in aice le naoi gcinn de na deich gcuideachta leighis-teicneolaíochta is fearr sa domhan, beidh taighdeoirí san fhoirgneamh Bithleighis Eolaíochta ag obair ar an eolaíocht a thabharfaidh aghaidh ar chuid de na dúshláin bhithleighis is mó atá faoi chaibidil sa lá atá inniu ann. Is léiriú inláimhsithe é ar thiomantas na hOllscoile seo ar an gcaipiteal/riachtanas daonna agus intleachtúil a chur ar fáil a theastaíonn ó earnáil an bhithleighis anseo in Éirinn.” Dúirt an Leas-Uachtarán um Thaighde in OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Lokesh Joshi “Tá an fhorbairt nua seo mar thoradh ar shárchaighdeán agus rath an taighde bithleighis in OÉ Gaillimh le deich mbliana anuas. Cuireann sé tús le ré nua chun sinéirgíochtaí a aimsiú i measc grúpaí éagsúla agus cuirfidh sé ar ár gcumas maoiniú a fháil ó fhoinsí Eorpacha agus ó fhoinsí eile. Cuideoidh sé freisin le taighdeoirí díriú ar a gcuid taighde a aistriú isteach i dtáirgí ar mhaithe leis an bpobal.” Ó thús an chéid seo tá réimse comhlántach ionad agus tionscnamh taighde idirdhisciplíneach forbartha ag an Ollscoil lena n-áirítear: An tIonad Náisiúnta um Eolaíocht Innealtóireachta Bithmhíochaine (NCBES) www.ncbes.ie Institiúid an Leighis Athghiniúnaigh (REMEDI)  www.remedi.ie Gréasáin Feabhais do Bhithábhair Fheidhmeacha (NFB) www.nfb.ie Braisle Taighde Gliceolaíochtaí Feidhmeacha (AGRC) /www.agrc.ie/ An tIonad do Bhitheolaíocht Chrómasóim (CCB) www.chromosome.ie/ An tIonad Taighde Apaptóise (ARC) www.apoptosis.ie/ BioInnovate Ireland  www.bioinnovate.ie MeTRIC www.metricireland.ie/ Mar gheall ar na tionscnaimh seo tá infreastruchtúr cliniciúil, taighde agus daonna ar ardchaighdeán in OÉ Gaillimh.  Mar shampla, le deich mbliana anuas tá breis is 60 ceapachán buan déanta ag an Ollscoil - dírithe go straitéiseach ar réimse na heolaíochta innealtóireachta bithleighis - i gColáistí an Leighis, na hEolaíochta, na hInnealtóireachta agus an Ghnó.  Chomh maith leis sin mealltar na céadta mac léinn taighde agus taighdeoirí iardhochtúireachta go Gaillimh, rud a chiallaíonn go bhfuil líon suntasach daoine ar fáil anseo don earnáil bhithleighis. Trí spiorad fionnachtana agus seachadta déanann OÉ Gaillimh iarracht teorainneacha an taighde bithleighis a leathnú agus cur le hiarracht an phobail eolaíochta idirnáisiúnta eolas a chuardach.  Mar thoradh air seo, cuirfidh na haschuir thaighde le trialacha cliniciúla chun caighdeán saoil a fheabhsú d’othair agus chun fiontar a chruthú, fostaíocht inmharthana ardleibhéil a chur ar fáil agus luach a chur leis an ngeilleagar náisiúnta.  -críoch-  

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Event hosted by Prof Pat Dolan of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway  Actor Cillian Murphy appeared as a special guest of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway for a screening and discussion of the film Broken at the weekend.  The actor, a patron of the Centre, was interviewed by young researchers in a post-screening discussion on how young people interpret the film’s portrayal of family, relationships and community. The UNESCO Centre, part of NUI Galway’s new Institute for the Social Sciences, undertakes research, education and training in the area of Family Support and Youth Development with an emphasis on prevention and early intervention for children and young people experiencing adversity. Core themes such as empathy, resilience and the importance of social support highlighted in Broken are among the areas of expertise of the UNESCO Centre. The Centre is committed to promoting child and youth engagement in policy, programme design and services. According to Director and UNESCO Chair Professor Pat Dolan “Understanding how young people access sources of informal support such as nuclear family, friends and community networks is critical to the development of strength-based practice and policy. The special screening of the movie Broken, starring Cillian Murphy  provided an opportunity for a group of young people from diverse backgrounds to share their perspective on issues that affect their lives”.   Speaking at the event on Friday 31 January, Cillian highlighted the importance of youth having a voice in Ireland. “Learning from research which is young person led is key to supporting them better.  As Patron, I am delighted to assist the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre in this task”. -Ends-  

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

NUI Galway will host the Spring Postgraduate Open Day on Tuesday, 11 February, from 12 noon to 4pm in the Bailey Allen Hall, Áras na Mac Léinn. The Open Day will showcase over 400 of NUI Galway’s full-time and part-time postgraduate programmes, including taught and research masters, as well as doctoral research options. With one of the broadest portfolios of postgraduate teaching and learning in the country, NUI Galway’s Postgraduate Open Day will give potential students the opportunity to meet and hear from academic staff and current students. With over 70 stands will offer information on the wide range of programmes, how to apply and fund your study, careers and day to day student life at NUI Galway.  Irish graduates are ranked first in Europe in terms of how employers rank graduates, and postgraduate study boosts employability. The number of PG in employment has grown consistently in recent years. NUI Galway’s well-established links with industry allow you to take the first step in building your career. Valerie Leahy, Postgraduate Recruitment Officer at NUI Galway, comments: “A postgraduate qualification broadens your skills-set, increases your specialist knowledge, and can improve your job prospects: over 93% of NUI Galway graduates are currently employed or are in further study within six months of graduating.” To view NUI Galway’s suite of new and unique postgraduate programmes and to book your place at the Open Day visit www.nuigalway.ie/about-us/open-days/  or simply call in on the day! To apply for an NUI Galway postgraduate course visit www.pac.ie/nuigalway. -Ends-  

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

NUI Galway’s Students’ Union Enterprise Awards competition is now entering its second stage as six finalists battle it out for a €20,000 investment fund to turn their ideas into reality. Now in its fourth year, the competition seeks to promote entrepreneurship and innovation among the students of NUI Galway in both social and business enterprise. Each of the six finalists, all NUI Galway students, will receive investment capital of €500 to develop their initial ideas further. A series of workshops hosted by members of the business community over the coming weeks will let the finalists develop their ideas ahead of the final judging session in March. Galway City and County Enterprise Board, Online Marketing in Galway, Hammond Good Solicitors, Gareth Williams Accountant and Starlight Solutions are just some of the groups providing workshops. Sean Kearns, President of NUI Galway Students’ Union, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the number and standard of entries to the NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards again this year. The entrants are testament to the exceptional initiative and creativity of students in social and business enterprise. At a time when real innovation and flair is needed, students are leading the way in creating the big ideas that will help fuel our recovery. The Students’ Union is delighted with the support that the Awards have received from the local business community and the University.” The final six projects are: NUI Galway Student Managed Investment Fund Operating a real-life financial portfolio under the guidance of industry experts and alumni, the NUI Galway Student Managed Investment Fund is an organisation managed by students, for the benefit of both the participants and the University as a whole. Behind the project are: Martin Weitbrech, final-year BSc Financial Mathematics and Economics student from Co. Donegal; Conor Hanniffy, Masters in International Finance student from Athlone, Co. Westmeath; Shane Reilly, final-year BSc Financial Mathematics and Economics student from Castlebar, Co. Mayo; and Maurice Kelter a final-year BComm student from Tralee, Co. Kerry. Student Talks 'Student Talks' is an online knowledge platform for students to communicate their ideas, connect with other students, and find out about courses and careers. Student Talks was created by Brian Slattery from Dublin who has just completed his PhD in Psychology. Shuffleupagus Margaret Tallott has developed Shuffleupagus which is a simple game for everyone who is learning Irish. Margaret is from Belmullet, Co. Mayo and is in the fourth year of her PhD with the Department of Management at the University. MyStudySheets™ MyStudySheets™ provides downloadable, course-specific study aids in mathematics to second and third-level students, aiming to radically improve student grasp of key concepts. MyStudySheets™ was developed by brothers Enoch and Issac Burke from Castlebar, Co. Mayo. Enoch is currently in his second year of a BA degree and Isaac is in his second year of a PhD in Pure Mathematics. QuisineReader QuisineReader seeks to revolutionise the way we collect and redeem customer loyalty points through a visually striking user friendly application. Nathan Regan and Fergal Walsh are both final-year Mechanical Engineering students from Galway. They have developed QuisineReader with Gearoid O'Connor, a final-year Computer Science and Information Technology student, also from Galway. The Big Yellow Thing The Big Yellow Thing is an artistic project that aims to create modern and exclusive apparel for students, staff, visitors and alumni of all National Universities of Ireland. Michelle Campion from Tuam, Co. Galway developed The Big Yellow Thing and is studying a MSc in Neuropharmacology. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony dinner on Saturday, 29 March in the College Bar, NUI Galway. -Ends-