Thursday, 26 September 2013

Royal Irish Academy (RIA) lecture jointly organised by NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute, EPA and the Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland. Environmentalist and author Tony Juniper, speaking at the Royal Irish Academy, has said that environmental protection is not a luxury that can be put to one side in recessionary times. In contrast, Tony Juniper argues that rather than the view that conservation and pollution controls stunt growth and competitiveness, the reverse is the case. Wealth and economic growth are utterly dependent on Nature’s essential services. Tony Juniper was speaking at the Royal Irish Academy (RIA), an event jointly organised by the Ryan Institute for Environmental Marine and Energy research at NUI Galway, the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland (ESAI). Nature’s key role in economic activity is often only apparent when it’s removed. The economic contribution of bees to commercial fruit pollination is only now fully understood as species of bees disappear. Fresh water, a fundamental need, can be sourced, in sufficient quantities by working with natural systems Tony Juniper argues. The replenishment and supply of clean freshwater can often be achieved at a lower cost than highly engineered approaches. Professor Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute for Environment, Marine and Energy at NUI Galway says “The services that nature provides us, like clean water, clean air, fertile soil and food, are crucial for the well-being of humans and represent an astronomical economic value. Typically the loss of biodiversity costs about 3% of GDP which for the EU means about €450 billion - year after year after year. Tony Juniper is one of the most eloquent advocates of the need to tackle the inadequacy of existing economic thinking to tackle this problem.” Tony Juniper cites examples where Healthy Nature can also help control the spread of disease. A study looking into the outbreak of West Nile Virus in the United States in 2002 found that the uneven distribution of cases was linked to wild bird diversity. Where there were greater numbers of wild birds less people caught the disease. Mosquitos that spread the West Nile Virus nasty virus among people prefer to feed on the blood of birds. Where there are fewer birds, they turn to other animals to get a meal, including people. As Ireland works to recover from serious recession, Tony Juniper says it is critical to recognise the direct economic value that is provided by natural systems. Wetlands help reduce flood risk; woodlands absorb carbon dioxide; bees pollinate crops, green spaces improve health and beautiful places attract tourism. These examples and many other natural services make a massive contribution to the economies of places. Indeed for Ireland, it has been estimated that these ‘ecosystem services’ are worth €2.6 billion per year Despite the mounting evidence that protecting Nature is of huge economic value, it is still portrayed as a brake on short-term economic growth. Many people accept the idea that the depletion of natural resources, high greenhouse gas emissions and disappearing animals and plants are the acceptable price of progress. In his talk on 25th September, Tony Juniper challenges these views and demonstrates how healthy environments make vast contributions to economic growth. -Ends-

Friday, 27 September 2013

Students from the floating university programme,  “Semester at Sea”, visited Galway last weekend on a collaborative marine science field-trip led by NUI Galway and the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training (SMART). Over 570 students from 20 different countries were aboard the MV Explorer which docked in Dublin on Friday. The vessel previously visited Galway in 2012 after a trans-Atlantic voyage in which marine science students from NUI Galway participated. The field-trip was led by NUI Galway oceanographer Dr Rachel Cave and investigated  submarine groundwater flow in County Clare and East Galway. According to Professor Rob Young, professor of marine biology and oceanography for Semester at Sea, and  professor of marine science at Coastal Carolina University, “Collaborative programmes such as the one between SMART/NUI Galway and Semester at Sea give students the opportunity to see ongoing research projects in action while promoting inter-cultural understanding.” “Through the SMART partnership programme, and the Marine Institute’s research vessel funding programme, Ireland has very much become a leader in practical offshore training in marine science and technology. Developing collaborative marine initiatives with international programmes such as “Semester at Sea” helps us to cement this” Dr Rachel Cave of the Earth and Ocean Science Department stated. This voyage marks the 50th Anniversary of the “Semester at Sea” programme which has trained over 60,000 students since its inception in 1963. The Autumn voyage will visit 13 countries including South Africa, Brazil and Cuba. Semester at Sea plans to return to Ireland in Summer and Autumn of 2014. ENDS

Friday, 27 September 2013

NUI Galway’s Community Knowledge Initiative will host US entrepreneur and innovator, Sonal Shah for a keynote address on Thursday, 3 October. The event, which is open to the public, will take place from 11am-12.30pm in the Siobhan McKenna Theatre, Arts Millennium Building on campus. Sonal has worked in government, business and the non-profit sectors. Until recently she was the Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the first White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation focused on investing in and scaling innovative models, leveraging technology, opening information in the social sector to solve some of the nation’s toughest challenges. Before joining the White House, Sonal led Google’s global development initiatives for its philanthropy, Google.org, focusing on leveraging technology and information to help the world’s poor. Prior to Google, she was a Vice-President at Goldman Sachs, Inc. where she worked with the Chairman and CEO in developing and managing the firm’s environmental strategy. Sonal also has started and managed non-profits. She is the co-founder of an international non-profit, Indicorps, which offers fellowships for the Indian diaspora around the world to work on development projects in India. The fellowship invests in and builds the leadership of the diaspora to be able to solve problems even in the toughest of circumstances. Shah also helped set up the Center for Global Development, the leading development think tank in Washington DC, where she managed the daily operations and developed the policy and advocacy programs for the Center. Lorraine McIlrath, Community Knowledge Initiative, says, “NUI Galway and the CKI are delighted to host Sonal and learn from her vast experiences of social innovation. Sonal has been an inspiration through her role with the Obama Administration and through private enterprises such as Google and will offer a fantastic opportunity for us to grapple with innovation in times of crisis. The Community Knowledge Initiative is committed to fostering community-university partnerships that aim to promote the principles and practices of civic engagement and democracy. Engaging with Sonal will strengthen our work.” As part of this address, Sonal will talk about her pathway into a career in social innovation, what social innovation means to her and how to imbue within young people a sense of themselves as civic and social innovators. For further information see http://www.nuigalway.ie/cki or contact Lorraine McIlrath Lorraine.mcilrath@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-   

Friday, 27 September 2013

Minister Fitzgerald launches conference and highlights benefits of new technologies The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald TD, yesterday (Thursday, 26 September) opened the Technology for Well-Being International Conference, which examines the role of technology in supporting young people’s mental health and well-being. New research launched at the conference revealed thatover two thirds of Irish parents (70%) would look for help on the internet if their child was going through a tough time. In addition, over one fifth (22%) of parents used the internet to search for mental health information in the past month alone. ReachOut.com, which provides online support for young people’s mental health and well-being, partnered with the National Office for Suicide Prevention to host this international conference attended by delegates from the health, education and technology sectors. These findings are from the ‘Bridging the Digital Disconnect’ research carried out by the Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI Galway and Inspire Ireland, the organisation behind ReachOut.com. The research project is part-funded by the Australian Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre and explores parents’ views on using technology to promote young people’s mental health. “This is the first study to be carried out in Ireland on parents’ views concerning the use of technologies to support young people’s mental health.  The findings will be used to inform the development of a resource to bridge the digital gap between parents and young people and to support parents in harnessing the potential of technologies for promoting young people’s mental health and wellbeing” says Professor Margaret Barry, principal investigator of the study with Dr Aleisha Clarke of the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway. Speaking at the conference today, Minister Fitzgerald welcomed the new research and commended ReachOut.com and the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway on their work which she said “aides a better understanding on the role of parent and technology in youth mental.” The Minister added: “Too often media discourse on new technologies and social media focuses on negative aspects such as cyber-bullying and other online threat. But we must also focus on the opportunities which websites, such as ReachOut.com, offer in terms of providing an accessible portal to young people on key issues such as positive mental health.” As part of the fieldwork, parents reviewed the ReachOut.com site and expressed a desire for the development of a website with similar content for parents. Parents also repeatedly spoke about the need for information on the use of social networking sites and issues around young people’s safety and well-being online. Speaking about the results, ReachOut.com CEO Elaine Geraghty said: “We really welcome this research as an endorsement from parents of the importance of technology in all of our lives. If we’re serious about supporting young people we need to be where they are, providing mental health information in the first place they look for it, which is online. That is what we do every day at ReachOut.com.” Gerry Raleigh, Director of the National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP), said: “The National Office for Suicide Prevention is delighted to support this conference and recognises the importance of technology to connect with those experiencing tough times. NOSP will continue to invest in partners who deliver safe and evidence-based information and supports that contributes to positive mental health and well-being. In addition to providing online resources such as Yourmentalhealth.ie and Letsomeoneknow.ie, NOSP has invested in various online projects and initiatives including ReachOut.com.” The ReachOut.com Technology for Well-Being International Conference addressed these concerns in order to open a national conversation on the positive role technology can play for both parents and young people, in supporting mental health.” To view the report click: Bridging the digital disconnect Ends

Monday, 30 September 2013

Major organisations from business, industry and voluntary sector will feature at the annual NUI Galway Graduate Jobs Fair on Tuesday, 8 October from 12.30 - 4pm in the Bailey Allen Hall. This free event will showcase graduate employment opportunities for students and graduates from all disciplines, with a diverse number of fields such as accountancy, IT, law, science, retail, consultancy and many other sectors represented. Visitors to the event can attend spend the afternoon networking with Ireland’s leading graduate recruiters. Major local employers such as Creganna, Medtronic, Cisco, Sourcedogg, and SAP will attend, in addition to international companies including Accenture, Abbott, KPMG and Lidl. John Hannon, Head of NUI Galway’s Career Development Centre, said: “Demand for NUI Galway graduates remains high, reflecting on their excellent employability status. There will also be an opportunity to get information on postgraduate programmes available in NUI Galway.” Event organiser, Emma Goode, has some advice for those attending the Fair: “Don’t forget your main objective on the day is to secure your first graduate job. Plan in advance - know what employers are attending and the type of opportunities they have available. Many graduate employers now recruit graduates from all academic disciplines so don’t be misled by an organisation’s name – they may have the perfect graduate opportunity for you! Bring along an up-to-date CV, have it reviewed at the CV Clinic and get feedback on how to package and sell all your experiences to date. Arrive with a ‘can do’ attitude and be prepared to network!” Details on exhibitors is available from www.nuigalway.ie/careers     -Ends-

Monday, 30 September 2013

NUI Galway’s School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics at NUI Galway will host a number of events as part of Maths Week Ireland from 12-20 October. Aimed at secondary and primary schools, to promote appreciation, understanding and awareness of maths in society. On Thursday, 17 October, Doug Buchanan will give lively maths challenge workshops to primary and secondary school audiences at NUI Galway. Doug is a recently retired maths teacher, who during his career became an expert at hosting conferences for maths, ICT and his internationally-recognised maths team challenges. He travels all over Ireland and the UK, inspiring and entertaining teachers and students alike with his shows. The School of Maths will also dispatch lecturers and postgraduate students to schools in Galway for talks and workhops. On Thursday, 17 October, the School will launch and host a nationwide maths competition, PRISM (PRoblem solving for Irish Second level Mathematics). NUI Galway’s School of Maths actively promotes appreciation of mathematics by devising school workshops, hosting schools classes through its TY Friday initiative, and enabling pupils to participate in competitions such as Maths enrichment course, Mathematical Contest in Modelling, Challenge Maths competition, Irish Mathematical Olympiad, the national Applied Mathematics Table Quiz contest, and the Team Math competition (with Finals taking place in Galway this Spring.) The University’s maths students also help educate and inspire pupils through the School’s Undergraduate Ambassador Scheme. The University also actively participates in local, national and online events such as the BT Young Scientist exhibition, the Galway Science and Technology forum, ‘I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here’ discussions, and the CERN Accelerating Science exhibition. Booking is essential as places are limited. For further information contact Dr Tim Downing at tim.downing@nuigalway.ie. For other events taking place across the country during Maths Week visit www.mathsweek.ie. -Ends-

Monday, 30 September 2013

CodeNinja - an app competition for third-level students in Galway - is back on Galway’s college campuses and is gearing up to give students the skills and knowledge required to create their own apps. CodeNinja is open to teams from NUI Galway and GMIT who want to build an innovative web or mobile app, with prizes to be awarded to the top entries in February 2014. The competition has been designed by local businesses and academics to train and encourage students to be creative in the cultivation of their own technology ideas. Students will be encouraged to build web and mobile applications, and will be given a number of tutorials and workshops along the way. Clodagh Barry, CodeNinja organiser says “CodeNinja represents a unique opportunity for students from any discipline to innovate at the leading edge of app technology. Multidisciplinary teams of students can learn new skills, network with the technology entrepreneurs and academic experts, with a view to fostering a culture of creativity and excitement as well as adding value to their curriculum vitae”. Galway technology entrepreneurs like Mic FitzGerald from OnePageCRM and Paul Killoran from ExOrdo have supported the CodeNinja initiative, agreeing that this is an opportunity which sows more seeds to build on the blossoming tech startup culture that exists in Galway, whilst building links between Galway’s tech scene and its third-level colleges. Organiser Dr John Breslin of NUI Galway says: “CodeNinja is a collaborative effort where our colleges and industry partners are connecting to share a combined skillset and knowledge to meet the demands of the on-campus population. “The app economy is credited with having created nearly 800,000 jobs in the EU according to a recent study from ACT 4 Apps. We had quite a successful outcome from previous CodeNinja events with competition winners finding employment with local app companies and also achieving recognition through subsequent global app competitions.” More information available at http://codeninja.ie/    -ends-

Monday, 30 September 2013

Supported by NUI Galway, the Education Matters Yearbook 2013 - The Professional Handbook of Educators in Ireland is now available. Now in its seventh edition, and this year featuring both a foreword and afterword from the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D., the Education Matters Yearbook 2013 is an indispensable guide to Irish education in 2013. Designed as an attractive, easily accessible and portable digest, the Yearbook provides a comprehensive and concise account of the key developments and issues in Irish education over the course of the year. Relevant media content and critical, informative commentary from key stakeholders in Irish education help to tell the story of the Irish educational system during the year. Supported by NUI Galway and an editorial board of educators representing all sectors of the Irish educational system, the Yearbook provides a critical and engaging analysis of the main developments across all sectors: early childhood education and early years care; primary and post-primary education; further education and lifelong learning; third-level education; and fourth-level research and innovation. Dr Tony Hall, Lecturer with NUI Galway’s School of Education and Editor of the Education Matters Yearbook 2013, said: “This is a unique reference work which aims to make available the full range of educational developments in Ireland in any given year. It is an easily accessible, comprehensive, and informative resource for all with an interest in Irish education.” 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 Timesand 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. The Education Matters Yearbook 2013 is available to buy online, in both print and pdf formats, at www.educationmatters.ie/yearbook. The whole book, 248 pages including index, or the individual sections can be purchased. The Yearbook can also be ordered by email: info@educationmatters.ie or by phone/text: 086 0809969. The Yearbook is also available to purchase in store in Easons, Galway. -Ends-

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Winners were selected from almost 4,000 submissions from 180 institutions worldwide Four NUI Galway students are winners of the 2013 Undergraduate Awards - an international academic awards programme that identifies top students across the globe through their innovative undergraduate research. A further five NUI Galway students were highly commended. Marcus Byrne was announced winner of the Classical Studies and Archaeology category award for his paper entitled Inferring Status From Early Bronze Age Burial whilst Aisling Ní Churraighín secured a win in the Irish Language, Literature and Folklore catergory for her essay Seán Ó hEochaidh – Bailitheor Béaloideasa in Iardheisceart Thír Chonaill sna 1930aidí: Léargas ón Dialann.  Joining them as winners were Khai El Baba Jones in the Philosophical Studies and Theology category with his essay Faith in Kant: The religiosity of moral faith and its relation to ecclesiastical faith in Kant’s thought and John Birrane for his essay on Is There a Need for Positive Psychology?which bagged him an award in the Psychology category. John’s essay not only won the Irish category for Psychology, but also won the overall international award. Judged by a panel made up of academics and industry experts from each field, the winning essays were selected from almost 4000 submissions in over 180 colleges and universities across the globe, to be named the best undergraduate in their field. Congratulating the students, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne said: "The success of these talented students highlights the high quality of study which our undergraduate students are engaged in.  Their success in these Awards will undoubtedly add lustre to their academic development, as well as underscore NUI Galway’s increasing profile as a centre of world-class research and teaching".  He continued by wishing them continued success in their academic endeavours. The four winning NUI Galway students, along with the 39 other UA winners, will be brought to Dublin for the UA Summit from 13-15 November.  Highly Commended students will also have the opportunity to attend the Summit by purchasing a ticket to the three-day event. The Summit is designed to celebrate these outstanding students from across the world, and to inspire them with speakers assembled from a diverse range of backgrounds. For further information on the UA Summit and the results of the 2013 Undergraduate Awards, please see www.undergraduateawards.com. -Ends-

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

‘iPoints’ is first third level digital app for calculating points The first official third level app designed for students to calculate leaving certificate points has been launched by NUI Galway. iPoints -  the free app is a must for all Leaving Cert students expecting their results on Wednesday, 14 August and is available through iTunes as of today (6 August). NUI Galway, in partnership with former information technology student Paul Herron, developed the iPhone app.  The app will allow Leaving Certificate students to quickly and easily calculate their points when they receive their exam results. Paul, originally from Letterkenny, Co Donegal, explained: “This app aims to simplify the point calculation process for students to relieve some of the stress of Leaving Cert’ results day.” CAO points are calculated based on a student’s six highest results in one sitting of the Leaving Certificate. Students using the app will simply enter their results for each subject, indicating whether it is higher or ordinary level. 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 app also gives students the option to share their results by text message, or through social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, if they wish. Commenting on the app, Stephen O’Dea, Admissions Officer at NUI Galway said: “New technology is continually shaping the way we live and manage our lives and the iPoints points calculator is another useful tool in our increasingly hectic lives, and as every Leaving Cert’ student knows, results day is very hectic indeed. As NUI Galway has a well established reputation in software development, the app’s benefits to all Leaving Cert’ students, is a compelling indicator of what can be achieved in third level education.” NUI Galway is the only third level institution to offer a points calculator app to students. The NUI Galway iPoints app is available for all iPhone users on the iTunes store now www.tinyurl.com/NUIGalwayApp  ENDS

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Cardium Therapeutics’ Excellagen gel will be used as a delivery agent for stromal cell therapy REMEDI, The Regenerative Medicine Institute at NUI Galway and Orbsen Therapeutics have entered into an agreement with Cardium Therapeutics to utilise Cardium’s Excellagen® pharmaceutically-formulated gel as a delivery agent for Orbsen Therapeutics’ proprietary stromal cell therapy in pre-clinical studies for the potential treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. Excellagen is a syringe-based, professional-use, pharmaceutically-formulated 2.6% fibrillar Type I bovine collagen homogenate that functions as an acellular biological modulator to activate the wound healing process and significantly accelerate the growth of granulation tissue.  The research is being conducted by REMEDI at NUI Galway, a world-class biomedical research centre established with funding from Science Foundation Ireland and focused on mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) research. The research initiative (EU REDDSTAR) is funded under the European Union Framework 7 (EU FP7) research programme focused on treating diabetes and its complications with a defined MSC therapy and enlisting academic and industry partners throughout Europe in the program (www.reddstar.eu). Diabetes is a chronic condition associated with significant morbidity and mortality. About 90% of all diabetes is type 2. In Ireland the number of people with type 2 diabetes is growing as a result of an ageing population and rising obesity rates. The Diabetes Federation of Ireland estimated that 200,000 people had diabetes in Ireland in 2003 and a further 200,000 had the condition but were unaware of it. They also estimated that a further 250,000 had pre-diabetes and 50% would develop diabetes in the ensuing five years if lifestyle changes were not met. Professor Tim O’Brien, Director of REMEDI, NUI Galway said “Diabetic foot ulceration is a frequent cause of amputation in patients with diabetes mellitus. New treatments are urgently required and we have shown that mesenchymal stem cells have the potential to promote healing.” He added “one of the challenges with this approach is how to deliver the cells to the surface of the wound and Orbsen and REMEDI have partnered with Cardium Therapeutics to study the use of their biomaterial to deliver the Orbsen cells to the surface of the wound.”  Orbsen Therapeutics, a spin out company of REMEDI, has received funding from the EU to explore the use of a proprietary stem cell product to treat diabetic foot ulcers.  About REMEDI REMEDI is a world-class biomedical research centre focusing on gene therapy and stem cell research. Based in NUI Galway, REMEDI was established in 2004 through a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Centre for Science Engineering and Technology (CSET) award, and industry funding. More information is available at http://www.nuigalway.ie/remedi/about-us. About CARDIUM Cardium is an asset-based health sciences and regenerative medicine company focused on the acquisition and strategic development of innovative products and businesses with the potential to address significant unmet medical needs and having definable pathways to commercialisation, partnering or other economic monetisations. The Company’s lead commercial product, Excellagen® topical gel for wound care management, has received FDA clearance for marketing and sale in the United States. Further information is available at http://www.excellagen.com -ends-  

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

The College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway has announced details of a special entrance maths examination to give students a second chance to pursue a career in engineering. The exam, which takes place on Wednesday, 21 August, is for students who achieve the CAO points for an undergraduate engineering degree course at NUI Galway but who have not met the obligatory maths requirement. This year, NUI Galway will hold an intensive preparatory course for applicants intending to sit the exam. This free course will run from 15-20 August. For more than 20 years NUI Galway has provided this special entrance exam to help applicants who did not achieve the required grade C3 or better in higher level mathematics. Those who took lower level maths in the Leaving Cert may also apply for the exam. Students who pass this examination will be deemed to have satisfied the maths requirement and, providing they have the necessary points, will receive an additional CAO offer at Round Two. In addition to preparing students for the special entrance examination, lecturers will demonstrate the relevance and application of mathematics to engineering. The aim of the preparatory course is to bridge the gap between the Leaving Certificate lower level and that required to be successful in the entrance exam. This will be achieved by tackling a variety of problems of increasing difficulty. Learning how to approach a problem and apply the knowledge available will be emphasised. “The nature of engineering programmes is that they are focused on the development of analytical and problem solving skills, and thus require significant use of mathematics and applied mathematics,” said Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway. “Every year we see a number of promising students who perform poorly on the day of the Leaving Cert exam. Our Special Entrance Maths Examination provides these students with a second opportunity to demonstrate that they have reached the necessary standard in maths. Over the years, we have had some exceptionally talented students graduate and pursue successful careers in engineering because they were given the second chance which this exam represents.” “Demand for engineering programmes at NUI Galway continues to rise year on year and the College of Engineering has expanded its degree programmes to meet requirements. Engineering is at the heart of the emerging ‘Smart Economy’ and NUI Galway realises its role in providing world-class graduates to meet the needs of industry and the Smart Economy”, continued Professor Lyons. NUI Galway offers students an undenominated entry to engineering. This course is specifically designed for students who are interested in becoming an engineer, but uncertain as to which field they want to specialise in. This course offers students the option of studying engineering in a general way for one year before going on to specialise in their chosen field in year two. To apply for the special maths exam please visit: www.nuigalway.ie/engineering/specialmaths.html. Those interested in the revision maths course and the examination should call 091 492 101 or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering/specialmaths.html for further details. -ENDS-   Seans Eile á thabhairt ag OÉ Gaillimh do Mhic Léinn na hArdteistiméireachta trí Scrúdú Speisialta Matamaitice a Reáchtáil Tá Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice in OÉ Gaillimh i ndiaidh sonraí a chur ar fáil faoi scrúdú speisialta iontrála matamaitice, scrúdú a thugann seans eile do mhic léinn tabhairt faoi ghairm na hinnealtóireachta. Beidh an scrúdú ar siúl Dé Céadaoin, an 21 Lúnasa, agus tá sé dírithe ar mhic léinn a bhaineann na pointí cuí don CAO amach chun cúrsa céime san innealtóireacht a dhéanamh in OÉ Gaillimh ach nach bhfuil an marc riachtanach acu sa mhatamaitic. I mbliana, beidh dianchúrsa ullmhúcháin ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh roimh ré dóibh siúd ar mian leo an scrúdú a dhéanamh. Beidh an cúrsa saor in aisce seo ar siúl ón 15-20 Lúnasa. Le breis agus scór bliain anuas, tá an scrúdú speisialta iontrála seo á reáchtáil ag OÉ Gaillimh chun cabhrú le hiarratasóirí nár éirigh leo an grád riachtanach C3 nó os a chionn a bhaint amach sa pháipéar matamaitice ardleibhéil. Féadfaidh daoine nach ndearna ardleibhéal matamaitice san Ardteistiméireacht cur isteach ar an scrúdú chomh maith. Má fhaigheann mac léinn pas sa scrúdú seo beidh an riachtanas matamaitice sásaithe aige/aici agus gheobhaidh sé/sí tairiscint eile ón CAO i mBabhta 2, chomh fada is go bhfuil na pointí riachtanacha aige/aici. Ní hamháin go n-ullmhófar daltaí don scrúdú speisialta iontrála, ach léireoidh léachtóirí an tábhacht a bhaineann leis an matamaitic san innealtóireacht agus an úsáid is féidir a bhaint aisti. Is é an aidhm atá leis an gcúrsa ullmhúcháin seo cur lena mbíonn foghlamtha ag daltaí ag an ngnáthleibhéal san Ardteistiméireacht, le go n-éireoidh leo sa scrúdú iontrála matamaitice. Cuirfear é seo i gcrích trí dhul i ngleic le fadhbanna éagsúla ag leibhéil éagsúla deacrachta. Cuirfear béim ar conas tabhairt faoi fhadhb agus an t-eolas atá ar fáil a chur i bhfeidhm. “Is é mianach na gclár innealtóireachta go bhfuil siad dírithe ar fhorbairt a dhéanamh ar scileanna anailíseacha agus ar  scileanna chun fadhbanna a réiteach, agus dá bhrí sin caithfear úsáid shuntasach a bhaint as matamaitic agus as matamaitic fheidhmeach,” a deir an tOllamh Gerry Lyons, Déan na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice in OÉ Gaillimh. “Gach bliain feicimid daltaí cumasacha nach ndéanann chomh maith agus a d’fhéadfaidís ar lá an scrúdaithe Ardteiste. Tugann an Scrúdú Speisialta Iontrála Matamaitice deis eile do na daltaí seo léiriú go bhfuil an caighdeán riachtanach sa mhatamaitic bainte amach acu. Thar na blianta, d’éirigh le roinnt mac léinn a raibh cumas eisceachtúil iontu, céim a bhaint amach agus dul sa tóir ar shlí bheatha dóibh féin san innealtóireacht mar go bhfuair siad an dara deis leis an scrúdú speisialta iontrála seo.” “Tá an t-éileamh ar chláir innealtóireachta in OÉ Gaillimh ag dul i méid ó bhliain go bliain agus tá Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta tar éis na cláir chéime a leathnú chun freastal ar na riachtanais seo. Tá innealtóireacht i gcroí-lár an ‘Gheilleagair Chliste’ atá ag teacht chun cinn agus tuigeann OÉ Gaillimh a ról maidir le céimithe den scoth a chur ar fáil chun freastal ar riachtanais an tionscail agus an Gheilleagair Chliste”, a dúirt an tOllamh Lyons. Tá cúrsa neamhainmnithe san innealtóireacht ar tairiscint do mhic léinn in OÉ Gaillimh. Tá an cúrsa seo dírithe go háirithe ar mhic léinn a bhfuil suim acu a bheith ina n-innealtóirí ach nach bhfuil cinnte cén réimse ar mhaith leo díriú air. Tugann an cúrsa seo deis do mhic léinn staidéar ginearálta a dhéanamh ar an innealtóireacht ar feadh bliana sula roghnaíonn siad a réimse speisialtóireachta i mbliain a dó. Chun iarratas a dhéanamh ar an scrúdú speisialta matamaitice téigh chuig: www.nuigalway.ie/engineering/specialmaths.html. Ba chóir dóibh siúd ar spéis leo an cúrsa ullmhúcháin matamaitice agus an scrúdú glao a chur ar 091 091 492 101 nó féachaint ar http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering/specialmaths.html chun eolas breise a fháil. -CRÍOCH-  

Friday, 9 August 2013

NUI Galway will host the 2013 International Debate Education Association (IDEA) Global Youth Forum where debaters from 48 countries will deliberate on this year’s theme of Digital Freedom. Running from 13-26 August, this is the first time the Forum has been held in Ireland. Organised in cooperation with NUI Galway’s Literary and Debating Society and the Open Society Foundations – Youth Initiative, the 2013 IDEA Global Youth Forum allows an opportunity for local students to participate and meet peers from all over the world. Now in its 19th year, the Forum is aimed at both novice and experienced debaters and offers students training, competition experiences and the chance to participate in cross-cultural exchange, focussing on issues that affect young people within their communities. Last year’s Forum in Mexico saw over 250 participants attend from more than 40 countries across Europe, Central and Eastern Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas. The key focus of the Global Youth Forum is cultural exchange and, unlike a traditional debate competition, the participants are mixed in geographically diverse teams, giving young people the chance to meet and work with students from across the world, with very different experiences to their own. Steven Nolan, Youth Forum Director for IDEA said: “The Global Youth Forum is an unrivalled opportunity for young people to develop their skills, meet and interact with people from a different background to their own. It’s an excellent opportunity to host the Forum in Galway, and have some local schools take part for the first time.” Elena Micajkova, a participant from the 2012 Mexico Global Youth Forum said: “The Global Youth Forum is a platform where students train to be world citizens, challenging them to be reasonable, intellectual and to show appreciation for others, giving them an experience in international exchange and co-operation.” The opening ceremony, which takes place on Tuesday, 13 August at 8pm in the O’Flaherty Lecture Theatre, will be addressed by Marian Harkin MEP. For more information about the event visit youthforum.idebate.org where workshops and debate rounds will be streamed live. -ENDS-

Friday, 9 August 2013

Solver competition to tackle key issues around funding and scaling-up in the EU app economy and dealing with EU-wide market conditions   Eurapp, a European Commission-funded study of the EU app economy led by Dr John Breslin of NUI Galway, is now inviting solvers globally to generate ideas to solve major challenges facing the EU app economy, with a total prize fund of €9000 and an additional €15000 to facilitate travel of the top ten solvers to a Eurapp event in Berlin this November.   Research shows that over half a million jobs have been created in the growing US mobile and social app ecosystem. Anecdotal evidence suggests the EU is lagging behind, and Eurapp aims to tackle that by modelling and profiling jobs generated by the EU app economy, as well as highlighting potential opportunities for future success and growth.   Eurapp is launching two innovation challenges in parallel during August 2013 to crowdsource solutions to challenges for the app economy in the EU. During the five weeks for each challenge, solvers will have an opportunity to provide ideas on how to overcome various barriers and to trigger the growth of the app economy in the EU. The two challenges will focus on funding and scaling-up app startups, and on improving the capabilities of app startups to deal with EU-wide market conditions. The first challenge launches today (9 August) with the second challenge beginning a week later.   Martin Hahn from DG CONNECT said: “The European Commission has clearly identified that there is a need for action in the field of web entrepreneurship, and for now, we don’t have sufficient evidential data about what is going on in this market. The market is very new, rapid and diverse, so it is necessary that we have clear objectives and clear data.”   “Around about a fifth of the top-grossing apps in iOS and Android come from European publishers, so the majority are from the US,” according to Mark Mulligan, an analyst with GigaOM Research. “So many developers have a really small reach, and there is almost so much choice that it is becoming increasingly hard for consumers to connect with European developers’ apps.”   NUI Galway’s Dr John Breslin, leader of the Eurapp project, said: “In the interviews carried out so far and in our stakeholders workshop, one key challenge that was iterated again and again was funding. The consensus was that it can be more difficult to get the substantial funding required to sustain or grow an internationally-operating app business in the EU, when compared with our counterparts in the US. It may be the less risk-averse mindset in the US, or a lack of know-how in EU companies about how to promote and position one’s app in the market, or other factors.   “Similarly, issues around regulatory and country-specific barriers - e.g. privacy laws, data access, and working in fragmented national markets - have been cited as problems by stakeholders, and gathered into a challenge we have called ‘EU-wide market conditions’. We hope the solvers can come up with some innovative ideas of how to address these challenges”, continued Dr Breslin. “We have chosen InnoCentive as the platform to crowdsource these solutions due to their large community of solvers and previous challenges around the web and data”.   Kevin Mobbs from InnoCentive, the crowdsourcing platform being used for the challenges, said: “We like to think of our approach as challenge-driven innovation, or open innovation. I think ‘open’ is the key word. Anyone can come along and answer questions: end users, the platform providers, the professional developers and the hobbyists.”   The solvers who put forth the top ten innovative solutions will be invited to a Eurapp event in Berlin in mid-November, where they will present their ideas for discussion with 80 stakeholders from the EU app economy. For further details or to join the challenges visit www.eurapp.eu  -ENDS-  

Monday, 12 August 2013

Recipient of an honorary doctorate, Seán O’Rourke is chair of NUI Galway’s Alumni Board and member of the University's Governing Authority. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway today congratulated alumnus and RTÉ broadcaster Seán O’Rourke on taking over the mid-morning Radio 1 slot from Pat Kenny.  Dr Jim Browne said 'On behalf of NUI Galway I want to wish Seán every success in this exciting new challenge he faces.  I am sure that his integrity and tenacity as a journalist, that made both the News at 1 and The Week in Politics such a success, will bring continued success in the future. Seán is a proud alumnus and supporter of NUI Galway and I know that the whole University community joins with me in congratulating him on this recognition of his achievements as a journalist'. Seán O’Rourke was born in Portlaoise, Co. Laois and grew up in Galway. He completed a BA in English, History and Legal Science at NUI Galway in 1977. Seán was awarded the 2006 NUI Galway Alumni AIB Award for Literature, Communications and Arts.  Seán O’Rourke was conferred with an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) by NUI Galway in June 2011. He is the current chair of the NUI Galway Alumni Board and was the founding chairperson of the Alumni Association’s Dublin club. Seán also serves as a member of the current NUI Galway Governing Authority. -ends-

Monday, 12 August 2013

NUI Galway’s Socio Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU) will hold its fourth annual Beaufort Marine Socio-Economic Symposium on Tuesday, 27 August. The symposium will focus on valuing the ocean and coastal economies, maritime transport, the valuation of water resources and ecosystem services. Dr Stephen Hynes, Director of SEMRU, NUI Galway, said: “The symposium is a great opportunity for researchers and policy makers in the area of marine socio-economics to get together to meet and discuss their ongoing work.” Speakers at the symposium includes: Dr Maria Feo, University of Jaume I in Spain, who will give a presentation on maritime freight transport models; Captain Raja Maitra, Howth Fishery Harbour and Dublin Institute of Technology, will give an overview of port policy in Ireland; and Dr Ana Corina Miller, Trinity College Dublin, will present her work on employment effects of seafood production growth targets. There will also be an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sponsored session where Dr Cathal Buckley of Teagasc and Dr Craig Bullock, University College Dublin, will present their work on water resources projects in Ireland. The symposium will also include presentations by researchers involved in the Beaufort Award. The Beaufort Award is carried out under the Sea Change Strategy and the Strategy for Science Technology and Innovation (2006-2013), with the support of the Marine Institute, funded under the Marine Research Sub-Programme of the National Development Plan 2007–2013. Places for this free symposium are limited and registration is necessary. To register, visit www.conference.ie by Friday, 23 August at 5pm. For more information contact Rebecca.Corless@nuigalway.ie -ENDS-

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

NUI Galway will once again open its dedicated First Year Student Hotline on Wednesday, 14 August. Now in its fourth year the hotline will be open to students, their parents and their advisers and will run until Monday, 30 September, 2013. The initiative, which was launched in summer 2010 and was the first of its kind across the sector, has been specially designed to help incoming first year students make the transition to third level education. With NUI Galway anticipating an intake of over 3,200 new students in September, a team of specially-trained students will service the hotline Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, and Saturday 17 and 24 August, 10am to 1pm.The availability of the hotline coincides with the period of frantic activity and decision making that immediately follows the release of the Leaving Certificate results. The hotline will be active throughout first year orientation on 7 and 8 September and will remain in service for two weeks after lectures begin on September 9, providing students with a place to direct any conceivable query they encounter as they embark on their journey to NUI Galway. The hotline team will provide an efficient, responsive service to callers and are expected to deal with numerous issues that are of concern to incoming first year students. Anticipated queries include: points requirements for courses; first round offers; registering as a student of the University; start dates; fees and accommodation options. A designated website for first years will also update on a daily basis detailing the information sought and fed through the new hotline. It will be a portal of specific information aimed at demystifying the first few weeks of university life. Stephen O’Dea, Admissions Officer at NUI Galway, says:  “For all students receiving their Leaving Certificate results, the next few weeks will be a very hectic and exciting time indeed, with the transition from second to third-level education representing a major milestone in the lives of these young people. We at NUI Galway recognise the significance of this change and the impact that it will have on the individuals and the families of those entering into University education for the first time. As such, we have setup the First-Year Student Hotline to provide information, support and guidance for all who are involved in the transitions process. We invite students, parents and advisors to avail of this service to make the passage to NUI Galway as smooth as possible.” Students, parents and advisers can contact the First Year Student Hotline at 091 493999 or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/new-students/. -ENDS- ______________________ Beolíne ar fáil do Mhic Léinn na Chéad Bhliana in OÉ Gaillimh don Cheathrú Bliain as a chéile Beidh Beolíne Mhic Léinn na Chéad Bhliana ar fáil arís i mbliana in OÉ Gaillimh ó Dé Céadaoin, an 14 Lúnasa ar aghaidh. Don cheathrú bliain as a chéile, beidh mic léinn, a dtuismitheoirí agus a lucht comhairlithe in ann glaoch ar an mbeolíne go dtí Dé Luain, an 30 Meán Fómhair 2013. Bunaíodh an tionscnamh seo, a seoladh i samhradh na bliana 2010 agus arbh é an chéad cheann dá leithéid é san earnáil seo, le cabhrú le mic léinn na chéad bhliana an t-aistriú a dhéanamh chuig an oideachas tríú leibhéal. Tá OÉ Gaillimh ag dúil go mbeidh breis agus 3,200 mac léinn nua ag tosú i mí Mheán Fómhair, agus, dá bhrí sin, beidh foireann de mhic léinn atá oilte ar an gceird i mbun na beolíne ó Luan go hAoine, 9am - 6pm, agus Dé Sathairn, an 17 agus an 24 Lúnasa, 10am - 1pm.Beidh an bheolíne ar fáil sa tréimhse chorraitheach sin ina mbíonn ar dhaltaí cinneadh a dhéanamh díreach i ndiaidh dóibh torthaí na hArdteistiméireachta a fháil. Beidh an bheolíne ar oscailt i rith na seisiún céadbhlaiste do mhic léinn na chéad bhliana, an 7 agus an 8 Meán Fómhair, agus beidh an líne ag feidhmiú ar feadh coicíse i ndiaidh an dáta a gcuirfear tús leis na léachtaí, an 9 Meán Fómhair. Tabharfaidh sé seo deis do mhic léinn glao a chur ar an mbeolíne má bhíonn ceist ar bith acu agus iad ag tabhairt faoina saol in OÉ Gaillimh. Cuirfidh foireann na beolíne seirbhís éifeachtach ar fáil dóibh sin a ghlaonn ar an líne agus meastar go mbeifear ag plé le hábhair go leor a bhíonn ag déanamh tinnis do mhic léinn na chéad bhliana. Meastar go mbeidh ceisteanna á gcur faoi na hábhair seo a leanas: na pointí atá riachtanach do chúrsaí ar leith; tairiscintí sa chéad bhabhta; clárú mar mhac léinn san Ollscoil; dátaí tosaithe; táillí agus roghanna lóistín. Tabharfar láithreán gréasáin ar leith atá ann do mhic léinn na chéad bhliana cothrom le dáta gach lá chomh maith. Beidh eolas le fáil ann faoi na ceisteanna a bhí ag na daoine a ghlaoigh ar an mbeolíne nua. Is tairseach eolais ar leith a bheidh sa láithreán gréasáin agus beidh sé de chuspóir aige cuid den smúit a bhaineann leis an gcéad chúpla seachtain ar an ollscoil a scaipeadh. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Stephen O’Dea, Oifigeach Iontrála in OÉ Gaillimh:  “Is athrú mór saoil an t-aistriú ón dara leibhéal go dtí an tríú leibhéal do gach duine óg agus cé gur tréimhse iontach an tréimhse sin dóibh d’fhéadfadh sí a bheith crua chomh maith.  Aithnímid anseo in OÉ Gaillimh an tábhacht a bhaineann leis an athrú seo agus an tionchar a bheidh aige ar na daoine atá ag freastal ar oideachas Ollscoile den chéad uair, agus ar a dteaghlaigh. Chuige sin, bunaíodh Beolíne Mhic Léinn na Chéad Bhliana chun eolas, treoir agus tacaíocht a thabhairt do gach duine bainteach leis an athrú saoil seo. Tá fáilte roimh mhic léinn, tuismitheoirí agus a lucht comhairlithe úsáid a bhaint as an tseirbhís chun cuidiú leis an aistear chuig OÉ Gaillimh.” Féadfaidh mic léinn, tuismitheoirí agus lucht comhairlithe teagmháil a dhéanamh le Beolíne Mhic Léinn na Chéad Bhliana ar 091 493999 nó dul go dtí http://www.nuigalway.ie/new-students/. -CRÍOCH-

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

NUI Galway will host the first Irish Chapter of the Association for Information Systems (IAIS) Workshop on Cloud Computing Research and on Friday, 27 September. Entitled ‘Research and Practice in the Cloud: What is on the Horizon?’, the workshop welcomes national and international submissions comprising short structured two-page abstracts representing emerging, novel or partially-completed research on cloud computing. At the workshop we will work with the authors to create an architecture and propose a direction for the research. The deadline for submissions is Friday, 23 August, with further details at http://iaiswccr.eventbrite.ie. ‘Research and Practice in the Cloud: What is on the Horizon?’ will focus on the Irish national agenda for research on cloud computing, bringing together researchers and practitioners across the island of Ireland.  The workshop will also focus on the international research stage for cloud computing, providing a forum for the development of research from international authors. In September 2013, NUI Galway began a new Masters degree in Cloud Computing Research, which is already helping to shape the national agenda. This new degree provides a dedicated programme of advanced research on high-value, business-focused aspects of cloud computing. In the current year, students from Hewlett-Packard, Cisco and Eircom amongst others, are covering a number of important issues for businesses, including a study on business success factors for cloud services, a model for return-on-investment for strategic cloudsourcing, user interaction for mobile cloud business applications, Irish legal considerations for cloud strategies, user benefits of cloud services, in addition to other topics of importance to both large businesses and small SMEs. The workshop is supported by IAIS, the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre (Lero) and NUI Galway's Whitaker Institute, and is being jointly delivered by the Business Information Systems discipline and Lero at NUI Galway, and the Cloud Computing Services Innovation Centre at Hewlett-Packard. The workshop builds upon NUI Galway, Lero and Hewlett-Packard’s strengths in cloud computing. The University’s research on cloud computing has been published in international outlets, and cloud computing has become a core part of a large SFI-funded research team. Dr Tom Acton, Business Information Systems, NUI Galway, said: “We envisage receiving submissions across a range of cloud-related topics, from early-stage researchers to industry practitioners. All aspects of cloud computing are encouraged, with a particular focus on business needs, encompassing adoption, deployment, strategy, value, impact, business models, services, and so on. Also welcome are cloud-related topics such as the business management of big data, business analytics, and future trends.” The workshop is free and open to authors of accepted submissions, academics and industry persons working with cloud technologies. Online registration will be available from Saturday, 7 September at http://iaiswccr.eventbrite.ie. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

  IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine article rates leading tablets on repairability and sustainability   Dr Peter Corcoran is a lecturer in NUI Galway’s College of Engineering & Informatics and Editor-in-Chief of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Consumer Electronics Magazine. The IEEE won 5 Apex awards but only one ‘Grand Award’, awarded for the “Repairability Smackdown’ feature by Peter Corcoran of NUI Galway and Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit.   The article assesses and rates leading tablets, Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD, Galaxy Note 10.1 and the iPad 3 comparing their respective ease of repairability. The repairability of devices is important to prolong their life-cycle and conserve scarce resources used in their manufacture.   Dr Peter Corcoran says ‘The tablet computing sector is growing at a rate of adoption that is 10 times faster than that of the PC in the 1980s; 3 times faster than the rate at which people have signed up to Facebook since it went public in 2007. It’s an awful lot of tablets, 640 million by July of 2012 and more than 1 billion at the time of writing.’   He continued, ‘Sustainability and repairability are key issues given that the last thing that you think about with a 'new' device is how you are going to repair it. There is a strong commercial rationale for manufacturers to discourage the repair of devices; however the reality is that these new device use some quite rare elements in their display and battery subsystems. This article provides new insights into the latest of today's devices and gives consumers a new metric - the repairability score - to consider when buying their next device.’     Tablets consume considerable energy in their manufacture - a typical consumer device can take as much energy to manufacture as it will use in a 2-3 year life-cycle. This manufacturing/operating energy ratio is getting even bigger for today's low-power devices. Thus from a socio-economic perspective it makes a lot of sense to repair and thus extend the life-cycle of these devices as much as possible.   IFixit (www.ifixit.com) was established by the article’s co-author Kyle Wiens to solve this problem by providing a "repair manual for everything written by everyone". A team of expert fixers at iFixit lead by example, taking apart all of the latest consumer devices and figuring out how to do this safely and how to repair them effectively, from simple battery changing to full screen replacements.    Further information on the APEX awards at http://www.apexawards.com/313.htm    -ends-  

Friday, 16 August 2013

Cosán úr i dtreo chraoladh náisiúnta á chruthú ag páirtnéireacht nua idir TG4 agus Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh   : Is iad mic léinn an BA agus MA/Dioplóma Iarchéime sa Chumarsáid in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge,  An Cheathrú Rua, Co. Na Gaillimhe a dhéanfaidh tograí agus coincheapa físe a thabhairt chun forbartha do sceideal TG4 mar dhlúthchuid den fhoghlaim cleachtadh-bhunaithe ar na cúrsaí seo.  Beidh seans ag glúin nua chruthaitheach a gcuid scileanna scríbhneoireachta, láithreoireachta, ceamara agus eagarthóireachta a chleachtadh agus a chur os comhair lucht féachana náisiúnta. Tá ‘DEIS’ á thabhairt ar an scéim cheannródaíoch seo. Leag Micheál Ó Meallaigh, TG4, Eagarthóir Coimisiúnaithe na sraithe nua, béim ar thábhacht an naisc nua: “Tá sé tábhachtach go mbeadh nasc cruthaithe idir mic léinn cumarsáide agus craoltóirí le linn na gcúrsaí cumarsáide in áit a bheith ag brath ar thaithí a fháil ar an saol praiticiúil i ndiaidh an chúrsa. Is fiú an dá oiread CV a bhfuil ábhar craolta luaite air thar CV nach bhfuil air ach na gradaim atá bainte amach. Táimid thar a bheith sásta dul i bpáirtnéireacht le hAcadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge chun deis mar seo a chuir ar fáil do mhic léinn an BA agus an MA sa Chumarsáid. Is léiriú eile é an togra nuálach seo ar mhian TG4 oibriú i bpáirt leis an earnáil oideachais ag gach leibhéal.” Beidh suas le trí clár faisnéise á léiriú ag mic léinn Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge do TG4 i mbliana mar chuid den scéim nua físe seo ‘Deis’ le tacaíocht ó OÉ Gaillimh. I measc na n-ábhar a bheidh faoi chaibidil sna cláir i mbliana, tá: Nua-inseacht ar bhéaloideas agus pisreogra a bhaineann le peileadóirí Mhaigh Eo agus iad ag fiach ar Chorn Sam Mhig Uidhir; Léargas neamhghnách ar shaol iascairí ar bharr toinne ar Bhanc an Torcáin, 150 míle siar ó chósta na hÉireann; Agus bliain i ndiaidh do Katie Taylor an bonn óir a chrochadh léi abhaile as Londain, cuirtear staidéar spéisiúil inár láthair faoi bhanlaochra na dornálaíochta atá ag teacht chun cinn i gceantar Chonamara. Craolfar na scannáin seo ar TG4 ó Mheán Fómhar 2013 agus tá an Taoiseach Enda Kenny i measc na n-aíonna atá páirteach i mbliana. Anuraidh, craoladh an clár faisnéise, Buscáil, a léirigh Fearghal Ó Maolagáin, mac léinn iarchéime de chuid Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge; tá Fearghal anois tar éis coimisiún a fháil ó TG4 agus ón BBC le tacaíocht ón gCiste Craoltóireachta Gaeilge a bhuíochas den deis a fuair sé anuraidh: “Ba mhór an cuidiú do mo shaol ghairmiúl an bhliain a chaith mé in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge.  Tríd an chúrsa, bhí an deis agam smaoineamh a fhorbairt agus clár a dhéanamh le tacaíocht ón Acadamh.  Anois tá mé ag tabhairt faoi clár a léiriú do TG4 agus BBC TÉ, tá an taithí fíor-luachmhar, agus is ón méid a d’fhoghlaim mé san Acadamh a bhfuair mé an deis seo.” Is iad Micheál Ó Domhnaill, Léiritheoir Teilifíse leis an gcomhlacht Gaeltachta Fíbín, agus Seán Breathnach, Feidhmeannach Cumarsáide le hOÉ Gaillimh a d’fhorbair an togra seo agus a bheidh ina Léiritheoirí Feidhmeacha ar na cláir. Tabharfaidh Ray Fallon agus Colm Ó Méalóid (OÉ Gaillimh) tacaíocht oiliúna agus forbartha nuair a bheidh an tsraith á léiriú. D’fháiltigh Dónall Ó Braonáin, Príomhfheidhmeannach Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge roimh ‘DEIS’ agus an nasc nua idir an Ollscoil agus TG4: “Tá TG4 ar thús cadhnaíochta maidir le samhlaíocht, físiúlacht agus cruthaitheach ó bunaíodh iad de bharr an luí atá léirithe acu leis an óige agus an nuálaíocht. Tiocfaidh mic léinn cumasacha ó OÉ Gaillimh chomh fada leo ar an gcosán seo agus tá súil againn ar fad go mbeidh a shliocht ar sceideal an stáisiúin amach anseo.” Tá Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge ag glacadh le iarratais ar an MA/Dioplóma Iarchéime (Cumarsáid) anois. Tuilleadh eolais ag www.acadamh.ie. -CRÍOCH- NUI Galway and TG4 Announce Broadcasting Initiative NUI Galway and TG4 create new pathway in national broadcasting   NUI Galway's BA sa Chumarsáid and MA/Dioplóma Iarchéime sa Chumarsáid students in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, An Cheathrú Rua, Co. Galway will the opportunity to broadcast their work TG4 as part of a special initiative, ‘DEIS’. A unique enterprise, ‘DEIS’ will enable students of NUI Galway to showcase their talents in scriptwriting, production, post production and television presenting skills to a national television audience. TG4 Commissioning Editor Micheál Ó Meallaigh is a firm believer in cultivating links with third level institutions and their students: “It is important for third level media and communication students to build links with broadcasters during their courses as well as afterwards. A CV with a full broadcasting credit will be most useful in furthering their post university career. We are delighted to be associated with Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge in creating these opportunities for the students of the BA and MA sa Chumarsáid. TG4 welcomes such opportunities to build and develop with all levels of the education sector.” This year, up to three documentaries are being produced through the ‘Deis’ initiative for TG4’s upcoming schedule and amongst the topics included are: An examination of the superstitions linked to the Mayo GAA senior football team’s quest for the Sam Maguire Cup, which they have not been able to win since 1951. A fly on the wall study of the camaraderie and relationships that form on board a Galway fishing trawler as they spend a week on the Porcupine Bank, more than 150 miles off the west coast of Ireland. A portrait of Niamh Ní Chualáin, a young Connemara woman who hopes to emulate Katie Taylor in the often brutal world of women’s boxing. The documentaries will be broadcast from September 2013 and the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny feature among the interviewees. In 2012, NUI Galway graduate Fearghal Ó Maollagáin’s documentary Buscáil, in a pilot version of the initiative, was broadcast on TG4 to great acclaim. This year TG4, BBC Northern Ireland and the Irish Language Broadcast Fund have commissioned Fearghal to produce another documentary on a similar theme.  Fearghal said: “My year with Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge was of tremendous benefit in furthering my professional development. During my time on the course I was able to research, produce and present a television documentary that was subsequently broadcast on TG4.  Due to the support and guidance received from NUI Galway and Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, I’ve now been commissioned to film another documentary for TG4 and BBC NI.” Micheál Ó Domhnaill a producer with the Gaeltacht based production company Fíbín and Seán Breathnach a member of the teaching staff at NUI Galway are the executive producers of the series.  Ray Fallon and Colm Ó Méalóid of NUI Galway provided technical support during the production of the films. Dónal Ó Braonáin, Chief Executive of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway welcomes the link with TG4 and the opportunities for student participation that it will entail: “TG4 lead the field in imaginative, innovative and creative programming and have a history of interacting with and developing new talent.  Students from NUI Galway will partner TG4 in producing exciting, interesting and thought provoking programming through the ‘Deis’ series.” For further information on the MA/Dioploma Iarchéime (Cumarsáid) or the BA sa Chumarsáid please visit www.acadamh.ie. -ENDS-      

Monday, 19 August 2013

  34 NUI Galway courses increase CAO points, 15 courses by more than 20 points There has been a huge increase in demand for Commerce courses in NUI Galway with General Commerce increasing from 340 to 375 points.  Reflecting students’ awareness of the need for language mobility in a global jobs market Commerce (International) with French has increased by 30 points to 525, Commerce (International) with German is up 45 to 450 and Commerce (International) with Spanish is up 50 points to 460. Business Information Systems recorded an increase of 30 points to 400 while Commerce (Accounting) is up 20 to 440.   Science courses, equally, show increased demand. Against the backdrop of NUI Galway’s national and international leadership in biomedical science programmes, Biomedical Science rose from 540 to 545, Biopharmaceutical Chemistry is at 505 (up 10), Biotechnology is at 465 (up 20) and Environmental Science is up 25 at 400. A new course in Physics is offering places to those students with 400 CAO points or more.   Another new course Arts with Journalism at 480 points generated significant interest. Arts, the second largest CAO undergraduate course in the country remains unchanged at 300 points despite the downward trend in Arts courses nationally.  In Law, both Civil Law (up 10) and Corporate Law (up 15) recorded increases.   Engineering courses remain popular with Leaving Cert students with Electrical and Electronic Engineering soaring 60 points to 515, while Civil Engineering and Project and Construction Management both increased by 30 points.   Energy Systems Engineering, taught in NUI Galway’s award winning Engineering Building and home to the largest School of Engineering and Informatics in Ireland, increased 10 points to 440.   Podiatry, the only course of its’ kind in Ireland, is up 10 points to 470. There was also an increase in demand for General Nursing, Psychiatric Nursing and Midwifery courses while  the demand for Medicine remained largely unchanged.   NUI Galway’s Admission Officer, Stephen O’Dea, said: ‘This year, CAO applicants have their eyes firmly the jobs market with marked increases in demand for Commerce and Science courses in particular. Demand for all Commerce courses has increased substantially with Commerce (International) with French up 30 to 525. NUI Galway’s strength and reputation in bioscience is also reflected with Biomedical Science (545) continuing to perform well and Biopharmaceutical Chemistry increasing to 505 points. In Engineering Electrical and Electronic Engineering soared 60 points to 515.’   He continued ‘Incoming students will be well placed to benefit from NUI Galway’s significant capital investment programme facilitating staff and students in embracing innovation, entrepreneurship and research. Our new course Arts with Journalism has performed particularly well, at 480 points, contrasting with the downward trend in demand for Arts courses nationally.’   -ENDS-   Pointí CAO méadaithe go mór do chúrsaí Tráchtála agus Eolaíochta in OÉ Gaillimh   Méadú ar phointí CAO do 34 cúrsa in OÉ Gaillimh, méadú sa bhreis ar 20 pointe ar 15 chúrsa Tá méadú ollmhór ar an éileamh ar chúrsaí Tráchtála in OÉ Gaillimh agus líon na bpointí don Tráchtáil Ghinearálta méadaithe ó 340 go 375.  Tá méadú 30 pointe go 525 tagtha ar Thráchtáil (Idirnáisiúnta) le Fraincis,  méadú 45 pointe go 450 tagtha ar Thráchtáil (Idirnáisiúnta) le Gearmáinis agus méadú 50 pointe go 460 tagtha ar Thráchtáil (Idirnáisiúnta) le Spáinnis. Léiríonn an méadú seo tuiscint na mac léinn ar an riachtanas a bhaineann le teangacha sa mhargadh domhanda. Tháinig méadú 30 pointe go 400 ar Chórais Faisnéise Gnó agus tá Tráchtáil suas 20 pointe go 440.   Tá méadú tagtha chomh maith ar an éileamh ar chúrsaí Eolaíochta. I gcomhthéacs cheannródaíocht náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta OÉ Gaillimh i gcláir eolaíochta bithleighis, tá méadú ó 540 go 545 tagtha ar Eolaíocht Bhithleighis, méadú 10 bpointe go 505 ar Cheimic Bhithchógaisíochta, méadú 20 pointe go 465 ar Bhiteicneolaíocht agus méadú 25 pointe go 400 ar Eolaíocht Chomhshaoil. Tá cúrsa nua Fisice ag tairiscint áiteanna do mhic léinn le 400 pointe CAO nó os a chionn.   Is léir go raibh spéis ar leith i gcúrsa nua eile - Na Dána le hIriseoireacht - agus 480 pointe ag teastáil chun tabhairt faoi.  Níl aon athrú tagtha ar na pointí don chúrsa sna Dána (300 pointe), an dara cúrsa fochéime CAO is mó sa tír, in ainneoin an laghdaithe ar phointí i gcúrsaí sna Dána ar fud na tíre.  I gcúrsaí Dlí, tháinig méadú ar na pointí do Dhlí Sibhialta (suas 10 bpointe) agus do Dhlí Corparáideach (suas 15 phointe).   Tá tóir i gcónaí ag mic léinn Ardteistiméireachta ar chúrsaí Innealtóireachta agus tháinig méadú ollmhór 60 pointe go 515 ar an Innealtóireacht Leictreach agus Leictreonach, agus tháinig méadú 30 pointe ar Innealtóireacht Shibhialta agus ar Bhainistíocht Foirgníochta.   Tá méadú 10 bpointe go 440 tagtha ar Innealtóireacht Chóras Faisnéise, cúrsa a dhéantar a theagasc san Fhoirgneamh nua Innealtóireachta a tógadh ag baint úsáide as modhanna éiceolaíocha tógála.   Tháinig méadú ar na pointí don chúrsa Cosliachta, an t-aon chúrsa dá leithéid sa tír, suas 10 bpointe go 470, agus bhí méadú ar an éileamh ar chúrsaí san Altranas Ginearálta, Altranas Síciatrach agus Cnáimhseachas agus is beag athrú a tháinig ar an éileamh ar Leigheas.   Dúirt Oifigeach Iontrála OÉ Gaillimh, Stephen O’Dea: ‘I mbliana, tá iarratasóirí CAO ag coinneáil súil ghéar ar mhargadh na bpost agus tá sé le feiceáil againn sa mhéadú atá tagtha ar na pointí a theastaíonn do chúrsaí Tráchtála agus Eolaíochta go háirithe. Tá méadú suntasach tagtha ar an éileamh ar gach cúrsa Tráchtála agus méadú 30 pointe go 525 ar Thráchtáil (Idirnáisiúnta) le Fraincis. Tá láidreacht agus cáil OÉ Gaillimh san eolaíocht bhitheach le feiceáil sa tóir atá i gcónaí ar an Eolaíocht Bhithleighis (545) agus méadú go 505 pointe tagtha ar an Eolaíocht Bhithchógaisíochta. San Innealtóireacht tháinig méadú ollmhór 60 pointe go 515 ar an Innealtóireacht Leictreach agus Leictreonach.’   Dúirt sé freisin, ‘Bainfidh mic léinn tairbhe as an gclár suntasach infheistíochta caipitil in OÉ Gaillimh a chuireann ar chumas na foirne agus na mac léinn aghaidh a thabhairt ar nuálaíocht, ar fhiontraíocht agus ar thaighde. D’éirigh go han-mhaith leis an gcúrsa nua - Na Dána le hIriseoireacht - agus 480 pointe ag teastáil chun tabhairt faoi, téann sé seo i gcoinne an éilimh laghdaithe ar chúrsaí sna Dána go náisiúnta.’    -CRÍOCH-      

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

  NUI Galway and Galway businesses and business leaders to the fore in US feature   Quotes from NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne and Galway business leaders are prominent in an extensive Washington Post feature ‘Can Ireland’s Celtic Tiger roar again?’ published at the weekend.   The article, written by Steve Pearlstein, analyses the post-crash economy through the views of observers in Dublin and Galway, with NUI Galway, Galway Chamber and Galway businessman John O’Shaughnessy featuring in the lengthy analysis.   NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne is quoted as saying, in the context of the Irish recovery, "We need to talk not about recovering the economy but recasting it, since in some important ways, what we had before was a disaster."   The feature followed a visit to Ireland by the Washington Post journalist Steve Pearlstein in June and was published this weekend on August 16th. The article is available at the Washington Post online at http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/can-irelands-celtic-tiger-roar-again/2013/08/16/1462304c-0460-11e3-a07f-49ddc7417125_story.html   -ends-  

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

  NUI Galway School of Nursing and Midwifery partner with 3 UK universities in research findings on models of maternity care Maternity care that involves a midwife as the main care provider leads to better outcomes for most women, according to a systematic review published in The Cochrane Library. Researchers found that women who received continued care throughout pregnancy and birth from a small group of midwives were less likely to give birth pre-term and required fewer interventions during labour and birth than when their care was shared between different obstetricians, GPs and midwives.   In many countries, including the UK and Australia, midwives act as the main providers of care for women throughout pregnancy, labour and birth. In midwife-led care, there is an emphasis on normality, continuity of care and being cared for by a known, trusted midwife during labour.   Midwife-led continuity of care is provided in a multi-disciplinary network of consultation and referral with other care providers. This contrasts with medical-led models of care, where an obstetrician or family physician is primarily responsible for care, and with shared-care, where responsibility is shared between different healthcare professionals. There has been some debate about whether the midwife-led model of care is more effective.   The researchers reviewed data from 13 trials involving a total of 16,242 women. Eight trials included women at low risk of complications and five trials included women at high risk of complications. They looked at outcomes for mothers and babies when midwives were the main providers of care, compared to medical-led or shared care models.   When midwives were the main providers of care throughout, women were less likely to give birth before 37 weeks or lose their babies before 24 weeks. Women were happier with the care they received, had fewer epidurals, fewer assisted births, and fewer episiotomies. An episiotomy involves making a surgical incision to reduce the risk of a tear. In addition, women who received midwife-led care were no more likely to have a caesarean birth, but they were in labour for about half an hour longer on average.   Researchers from the School of Nursing and Midwifery in NUI Galway joined with Sheffield Hallam University, The University of Warwick to form an interdisciplinary team of researchers led by Jane Sandall of the Division of Women’s Health at King’s College London.   Professor Declan Devane of the School of Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway said ‘this work has important policy implications and provides high quality evidence of the benefits for women and their infants of midwife-led models of care supported by appropriate multi-professional referral. Other countries are using this to inform their maternity care policy and Ireland should do likewise.’   Five studies considered the cost of midwife-led compared to shared care. While care provided by midwives was more cost-effective during labour, the results for postnatal care were inconclusive. “There was wide variation in the way that maternity care costs were estimated in the included studies, but what was there suggested cost-saving effects of midwife-led care,” said Professor Devane.   -ends-  

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Four programmes to run for three years are among 40 selected from over 209 applications NUI Galway has secured funding from the Health Research Board (HRB) worth €1.3m for four research programmes to run over the next three years.The HRB is to invest €12m in a total of 40 projects focused on different areas of research.   Questions addressed nationally include; Are current increases in suicide rates linked to the recession? Does our blood group determine our risk of heart attack? How do we improve outcomes for young adults with diabetes?  Four of the research projects will be conducted at NUI Galway.   Dr Sean Dinneen is investigating an intervention that will improve outcomes for young adults living with Type 1 Diabetes. Dr Thomas Ritter, National University of Ireland Galway aims to develop a new topical treatment for skin inflammation using adult stems cells.   Dr Wenxin Wang will seek to develop a new topical treatment for RDEB (Recessive Dsytrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa) which causes severe skin blistering in sufferers. Dr Dara Cannon aims to identify the biological subtypes of Bipolar Disorder to better understand the illness and speed up patients’ relief from symptoms.   Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway welcomed the awards, adding that ‘today’s announcement is further endorsement of the calibre and relevance of research underway at NUI Galway.  In particular, this research will improve health outcomes for patients with type 1 diabetes, skin inflammation, RDEB, and bipolar disorder.  As a research-led University, innovative research is central to our objectives and I congratulate each of the researchers on their success under the HRB programme’.   'This funding will address a wide range of subjects, including mental health, cancer, diabetes and arthritis, says Enda Connolly, Chief Executive at the HRB. 'It will support health professionals and researchers to examine pressing research questions that will deliver strong evidence to enhance patient care, improve people's health or lifestyle and positively influence how we deliver our health services'.   The HRB selected a total of 40 projects from 209 applications. These were assessed by international peer review panels who believed the nature, scope and relevance of the proposals demonstrated great ambition and innovation that would lead to results that are relevant both nationally and internationally.   -ends-  

Friday, 23 August 2013

Higher uptake among well-off in Ireland, UK, US but among less well-off in Northern Ireland A working paper published this week by NUI Galway economists points to important differences in uptake of cervical cancer screening. The study compared uptake of cervical cancer screening in Ireland, Northern Ireland, England and the US. It found that while cervical cancer is known to be more prevalent among those from lower socio-economic groups, uptake of screening in Ireland, England and the US all evidenced a pro-rich inequality – the better off were more likely to avail of it.   By contrast in Northern Ireland, the less well-off were more likely to avail of it; a pro-poor inequality was evident. Interestingly, this was driven by the behaviour of Catholics where a marked pro-poor inequality was evident, no such inequality being evident among Protestants.   While incidence rates and mortality rates associated with cervical cancer have been shown to evidence a pro-poor pattern (poor people are more likely to have and to die from cervical cancer), the study results show that in Ireland, England and the US a pro-rich pattern of screening exists. Why Northern Ireland should evidence a pro-poor pattern of service use and why Catholics in particular should do so is unclear but suggests that opportunities exist for shared learning.   NUI Galway researchers point to this as an example of how economists can help inform cancer control policies. Further work by economists from NUI Galway will be presented at the Inaugural Economics of Cancer Research Symposium to be hosted by NUI Galway on Monday 2nd September. The Symposium, funded as part of a Health Research Board (HRB) Knowledge Exchange and Dissemination Scheme (KEDS) initiative, will include presentations that explore various economic aspects of cancer care, policy formulation and research.   Contributors include speakers from the National Cancer Institute (USA), University of Washington, Imperial College London, the Stockholm School of Economics, Irish Cancer Society and Health Research Board. Dr Michael McBride, Chief Medical Officer of Northern Ireland will provide the opening address. A range of poster presentations based on work conducted in Ireland will be on display.   Professor Ciaran O’Neill, Dean of Business, Public Policy and Law says “Every decision has an economic dimension. Whether or not an individual decides to avail of screening, a government decides to fund a particular service or a pharmaceutical company decides to invest in a new treatment, choices are made; choices that have consequences for individuals, families and society. If we are to have an effective cancer control strategy it is crucial that we understand how choices are made, what impact they have and how we might seek to improve upon them. While research at NUI Galway has helped inform the development of policy in Ireland we recognise that no one individual or group has all the questions let alone all the answers. This symposium and the Group it will launch will create an international forum where we can explore the issues and seek answers to the questions together.”   Brendan Walsh, co-organiser and HRB/NCI Fellow states “The Economics of Cancer Research Symposium will bring together stakeholders involved in cancer research including clinicians, patient groups, policy makers, the media and economists. It is hoped that Group to be launched at the symposium will provide an infrastructure that will facilitate communication and knowledge exchange amongst cancer researchers from multidisciplinary backgrounds, both in Ireland and internationally, and allow evidence-based research to be easily disseminated to help inform policy across the cancer care pathway.”   Registration for The Economics of Cancer Research Symposium is free and available at http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/menu.asp?menu=1363&Conference=243 or by emailing b.walsh4@nuigalway.ie or economicsofcancerresearch@gmail.com   The Symposium will be live broadcast online at the Health Economics and Policy Analysis webpage http://www.nuigalway.ie/health-economics/   Follow this Group on https://twitter.com/EconCancerRes or using the hashtag #EconCancer Working paper “Exploring inequalities in service use: the case of cervical cancer screening in Ireland, the United Kingdom and United States” can be found here: http://db.tt/bH6Cjfj1   -ends-    

Monday, 26 August 2013

NUI Galway will host Ireland’s largest surgical conference, the 38th Sir Peter Freyer Memorial Lecture and Surgical Symposium, on 6-7 September. Internationally renowned surgeon, Professor Leslie Nathanson will deliver the Memorial Lecture entitled ‘A Journey Towards the Perfect Fundoplication’.  Dr Nathanson is a General Surgeon and Head of the Hepatobiliary Unit at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Queensland, Australia with special interests in laparoscopic, hepatobiliary and upper gastrointestinal surgery, especially the evolution of laparoscopic fundoplication surgery for reflux. Best known for the Nathanson laparoscopic liver retractor and development of a common bile basket used for extracting common bile duct stones, Dr Nathanson randomised trial of ERCP vs Laparoscopic treatment of CBD stones was published in 2005, and was a landmark trial in the treatment of common bile duct stones. His recent work on measuring adult oesophageal junction distensiblity during general anaesthetic assessed with the EndoFLIP (endoscopic functional luminal imagery probe) was published in 2011. He was awarded an honorary fellowship from the Edinburgh College of Surgeons in 2012. Professor Patrick Broe will deliver the State of the Art Lecture entitled ‘Irish Surgery: The Need for Vision and Leadership’on Saturday, 7 September at 1pm. Professor Broe is President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Consultant General Surgeon at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin with a special interest in Upper Gastrointestinal and Laparoscopic Surgery. He has been a member of the Council of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland since 1991 and during this time he has been Chairman of the College Committee, the CME Committee, the General Surgery Sub-Committee and the Irish Surgical Postgraduate Training Committee. He was President of the Surgical Section of the Royal Academy of Medicine (RAMI) from 2006-2008. In Beaumont Hospital Professor Broe has served as chairman of the Surgical Division, the Medical Board and the Ethics Committee. He held the Chair of Clinical Governance from 2007-2009 after which he became Clinical Director for Surgery. He has been the Lead Clinical Director for Beaumont Hospital since 2011.  Michael Kerin, Professor of Surgery at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to welcome Dr Nathanson and Professor Broe to our University. Dr Nathanson is one of the pioneers of minimal access surgery and is highly regarded internationally within his field.  Both lectures are the centre-points of a large programme containing some of the best surgical research from this country.”  The annual Sir Peter Freyer Memorial Lecture and Surgical Symposium provides a platform for healthcare professionals to present their research and clinical work and allows for the merging of both scientific and clinical information. It is named in memory of the Galway-born surgeon, Sir Peter Freyer, who performed the first successful surgical operation to remove an enlarged prostate in 1900. The venue for the 38th Sir Peter Freyer Memorial Lecture and Surgical Symposium will be the Arts Millennium Building at NUI Galway. For further information call 091-524390 or visit www.freyer.ie -ENDS-

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Two NUI Galway Bachelor of Science students, Catherine McIntyre and Sinead Curran, recently completed summer studentships, carrying out work on undergraduate research projects at the University. The studentships have been funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry Analytical Chemistry Trust Fund (ACTF) Catherine McIntyre worked in the group of Professor Dónal Leech, School of Chemistry, on research to develop alternate systems for monitoring the extent of carbonaceous waste in wastewater plants. During her undergraduate degree, Catherine from Naas, Co. Kildare, became interested in environmental chemistry, and the chemistry of the environment, and the summer studentship allowed the opportunity to gain firsthand experience in this area. Catherine worked on development of a novel system for monitoring biological oxygen demand (BOD) in wastewaters. Traditional BOD measures the amount of carbonaceous material in wastes that can be biologically degraded, and is therefore an important parameter for wastewater and water quality management and determinations take 5-7 days. Research by Catherine focused on growing microbial biofilms on electrode surfaces and using these to generate a signal related to BOD of wastewaters, to provide a more rapid means of monitoring BOD in the samples. A native of Headford, Co. Galway, Sinead Curran worked with NUI Galway’s Dr Andrea Erxleben on the development and analysis of co-amorphous composites of the active pharmaceutical ingredient acyclovir with small-molecule excipients. The studentship has allowed Sinead to gain first research experience in pharmaceutical chemistry. Sinead worked on the development and analysis of co-amorphous composites of the antiviral drug acyclovir with small-molecule excipients. So-called composite amorphous systems, in which a more soluble form of a poorly soluble drug is stabilized, are a relatively new approach to overcome poor water solubility of therapeutics. Poor solubility in water is one of the major hurdles in drug development today. The summer project gave Sinead the opportunity to apply analytical techniques that she had studied in her analytical chemistry course module to a compound of pharmaceutical interest and to use the state-of-the-art analytical equipment in the School of Chemistry. NUI Galway’s Professor Dónal Leech said: “The prestigious ACTF studentships were awarded to Sinead and Catherine, who have demonstrated excellence in their undergraduate Chemistry studies, to allow them have fun and expand their knowledge undertaking research in NUI Galway School of Chemistry research projects.” -ENDS-

Friday, 30 August 2013

A delegation of Irish representatives from the industry, policy and research sectors will be leaving for Canada in early September to stimulate further use of our marine biological resources through marine biotechnology driven R&D initiatives. The initiative is overseen by the Office of the Vice-President for Research of NUI Galway and is activated by the Marine Biotechnology Research Coordination Unit, a trans-institutional initiative based in NUI Galway, supported by the Marine Institute.   The delegation gathers the interests of research partners such as NUI Galway, Teagasc Ashtown Food Research Centre and other research centres that are focused on the goals set out by Ireland’s Marine Knowledge, Research and Innovation Strategy, 2007-2013 (Sea Change) for the National Marine Biotechnology Programme. In particular, NUI Galway is a key component of the Marine Institute Beaufort Award for Marine Biodiscovery Research and have responsibilities in the national Marine Functional Foods Research Initiative (NutraMara), coordinated by Teagasc Ashtown. Both programmes are funded by the Marine Research sub-programme of the current National Development Plan (NDP, 2007-2013) with the aim to mine our marine biological resources to bring novel materials in the health & wellbeing, biomaterials and food sectors.   Among the research performers, and with a strong vocation for services to industry is also the Shannon ABC group, an Enterprise Ireland funded Research Gate infrastructure and a collaboration between Limerick IT and Tralee IT. Industry delegates include the historical business of Arramara Teo, the main supplier of raw seaweed material from the west coast; and Oilean Glas Teoranta (OGT), an Irish company with a core business based on the harvesting and processing macro algae from the Donegal coast, for applications in the horticulture, animal health, cosmetics, human nutrition, biopharma sectors and other value-added markets.   Dr Ilaria Nardello, Marine Biotechnology Research Coordinator, NUI Galway, said: “It’s very novel that such a combination of industry, research and agencies aggregates in a short time to engage in a long distance business-opportunity trip. The participation of representatives from the development agency Údarás na Gaeltachta is particularly significant given the agency’s awareness of the need to add value to our marine biological resources and be integral part of the innovation process.”    The delegation will attend the international business convention ‘Biomarine 2013’ in Halifax. NUI Galway’s Professor Deniz Tasdemir and Dr Ilaria Nardello and Declan Troy of Teagasc, have been invited to participate in the conference’s panel discussions, producing relevant visibility for Ireland in the convention. The panels will debate the emergence and role of marine biotech clusters, in various areas of the world, including Ireland, France and USA, and the relevance of our natural product research outputs to application sectors such as healthcare, biomaterials, nutrition and environment.      The conference will be followed by a dedicated visit to the Technopole Maritime du Quebec (TMQ), at Rimouski. A Memorandum of understanding between NUI Galway and the TMQ will describe their mutual interests and intention to jointly apply for funding for marine biotech R&D initiatives. A call will be issued to small, medium and large size industry to engage in collaborative research programmes under the Eureka and Atlantic Area Cooperation programmes, as well as EU Horizon 2020, to develop collaborative activities in the health & wellbeing sectors, diagnostics, biosensors and novel biomaterials.   Dr Nardello continued: “These events demonstrate that the marine environment’s potential has been fully recognised by the policy, industry and research sectors. The marine biotechnology community appears poised to unite and collaborate around concrete initiatives. In line with the recent 'Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation', the Atlantic is proving to be an area of convergence for research and development endeavours around ‘the marine environment’, which can fuel Ireland’s ‘Blue Economy’ and create business and employment opportunities.”   -ENDS-  

Monday, 1 July 2013

The IUA has announced changes to the HPAT-Ireland examination which is used for entry to all undergraduate medical courses at Irish Higher Education Institutions. The main focus of these changes is to enhance equity of access and transparency.  Note: Students with Leaving Certificates from previous years can still apply for entry to medicine it is only the HPAT test that has to be sat in the year of entry. The changes are as follows: Change 1: Revised Weighting of HPAT- Ireland Test Sections. Effective from 2014 The revised weighting scheme as outlined in Table 1 below will be implemented for the 2014 HPAT-Ireland test.  The change in weighting of the 3 sections aims to reduce the potential benefits of repeating the examination, as an evaluation of HPAT-Ireland has shown that Non-Verbal Reasoning scores can be improved through repeating the exam. HPAT-Ireland Test Section Old Weighting New  Weighting 2014 1. Logical Reasoning and Problem Solving 1 (33.3%) 2 (40%) 2. Interpersonal Understanding 1 (33.3%) 2 (40%) 3. Non-Verbal Reasoning 1 (33.3%) 1 (20%) Table 1: revised weighting for each of the three sections of the HPAT–Ireland test Change 2: HPAT-Ireland Examination Results Valid for One Year Only. Effective from 2013 The results of HPAT-Ireland examinations sat in 2013 and subsequent years will only be valid for a single year for admission to undergraduate medical courses. This means that it will not be possible to present results achieved in the 2013 sitting of the HPAT-Ireland test for admission to undergraduate medical courses in 2014. Applicants who sat the HPAT-Ireland exam in 2012 will still be able to present their 2012 HPAT-Ireland result when applying for admission to undergraduate medicine in 2013. Change 3: HPAT-Ireland Practice Material Being Made Available to All Applicants. Already effective. Students who registered for the HPAT-Ireland 2013 test received, as part of their registration, a copy of the HPAT-Ireland Practice Test booklet, which contains worked answers to assist them with their test preparation.  This change will continue to apply in subsequent years. The changes apply to: National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway) Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) Trinity College, Dublin (TCD) University College Cork (UCC) University College Dublin (UCD) These changes are based on a number of recommendations made in July 2012 by a National Research Group which evaluated Revised Entry Mechanisms to Medicine.  The full report of the National Research Group is available on http://www.iua.ie/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/HPAT-report-July2012.pdf Ends

Monday, 1 July 2013

Galway Arts Festival has announced details of its partnership with NUI Galway for this year’s Festival, which runs from the 15-28 July. One key element of the partnership is to offer participants the opportunity to be part of the SELECTED professional development programme for emerging artists and producers. Eight candidates will be chosen to be part of SELECTED, and given access to all areas to the festival for an intensive two-week submersion ‘behind the scenes’. Participants are drawn from NUI Galway’s theatre and drama postgraduate courses who will join four other emerging Irish theatre makers, producers and visual artists. The SELECTED programme offers participants the opportunity to experience how Galway Arts Festival is produced, attend key elements of the festival programme, participate in talks and discussions, and in lectures and seminars facilitated by Irish and international arts professionals.  NUI Galway offers a very successful BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance, which began at the University this year, and a new part-time MA in Drama and Theatre Studies is currently enrolling for September 2013. Patrick Lonergan, Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway, coordinates the SELECTED programme with Galway Arts Festival. Speaking about the SELECTED Programme, Professor Lonergan said: “This unique ‘behind the scenes’ programme gives candidates an unparalleled experience. Last year’s participants in the SELECTED programme benefited hugely from being at the heart of such a dynamic, international, arts festival.” Galway Arts Festival Chief Executive, John Crumlish, commented: “This programme provides a very exciting opportunity for ourselves and our partner NUI Galway. The ultimate aim is to see course participants develop careers in culture and contribute significantly in that field in the future. Hopefully even returning someday to Galway Arts Festival and becoming a festival highlight.” Festival Artistic Director Paul Fahy added: “We have a hugely exciting programme in place for SELECTED 2013 and participants will enjoy a wealth of knowledge from international producers, directors and programmers in addition to enjoying all aspects of this year’s Festival.”   -ends-