Energy Night at NUI Galway

Energy Night at NUI Galway -image

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Ireland’s largest and longest-running student-run energy event will take place in NUI Galway’s Engineering Building on Wednesday, 11 February from 5-9pm. Now in its fifth year, the Energy Night is organised by the University’s Energy Society and this year the event will focus on smart grid and the growing technology and privacy issues associated with it. Last year’s event ‘Energy in Ireland – Local Wellbeing, National Priorities, Global Challenges’ produced a very lively debate on the topic of wind farms and their impacts. This year will provide an even more topical discussion on Irish Energy. Energy Night 2015, “Smart Grid, Pushing Technology and Privacy Boundaries” aims to discuss the progression of Smart Grid, Smart Meters and the Future of Energy Efficiency. After the dominance of the Internet of Things at the Consumer Electronic Show and also the data privacy controversy with Irish Water, this promises to be an innovative event. A ‘Careers in Energy’ seminar will be held from 5-6pm. Several speakers from major energy companies such as Eirgrid, Arup and Accenture will deliver presentations on their current projects and various employment opportunities in Galway and Ireland. The poster competition on the theme of ‘Energy, Environment and Sustainability’ will take place at 6.30pm and is open to all NUI Galway undergraduate and postgraduate students. The evening’s main event, a panel discussion will take place at 7pm and feature speakers with backgrounds in ICT, Data Privacy and Energy all with the aim of exploring the future of Smart Grid in Ireland. The moderator for the panel discussion will be Dr Karlin Lillington, contributor to The Irish Times, The Guardian and Wired.com. NUI Galway’s Dr Michael Schukat, an expert in network security and embedded systems, will provide the ICT expertise for the night, with Rónán Kennedy from the University’s School of Law providing context on how law and information and communications technology influence each other. There will also be a talk on an overall view of the future of Irish Energy and how Smart Grid will play an influential role in this. The discussion will include a lengthy Q&A session with active participation from the audience. The event is free of charge and all are welcome. For updates follow the Energy Society on twitter at @nuigenergynight, on Facebook at NUIG-Energy-Society, or visit the website, http://www.nuigenergynight.com/. -Ends-

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TCBB hosted at NUI Galway welcomes funding for new Dairy Processing Technology Centre

TCBB hosted at NUI Galway welcomes funding for new Dairy Processing Technology Centre-image

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Ireland’s national Technology Centre for Biorefining & Bioenergy (TCBB) at NUI Galway has welcomed the announcement by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr Richard Bruton TD of a package of €25 million in funding for the new Dairy Processing Technology Centre. The TCBB will be providing the sustainability pillar of the new Dairy Processing Technology Centre announced this week at Arrabawn Dairies in Nenagh, Co Tipperary. “In our contribution within the Dairy Processing Technology Centre, the TCBB will focus on activities that improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the dairy industry. We will do this through value-added applications for processing wastes and residues to reduce costs, recover resources and improve environmental impact,” said Mr Bart Bonsall, Technology Leader and head of centre, TCBB. NUI Galway’s Vice-President for Research, Professor Lokesh Joshi commented: “This is very impressive news for TCBB and NUI Galway. With the lifting of European Union milk quotas only weeks away, this is a key investment and industry collaboration announced by Minister Bruton and Enterprise Ireland.” Professor Donal Leech, Dean of the College of Science, NUI Galway is the NUI Galway representative on the board of directors of the new DPTC. -ends-

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NUI Galway’s GiGSoc Launch Rainbow Week

NUI Galway’s GiGSoc Launch Rainbow Week -image

Monday, 9 February 2015

GiGSoc (Gay in Galway Society) will today launch its third annual Rainbow Week at 7pm in the IT Building. The week, running from 9-13 February, will consist of numerous events to promote LGBTQA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning and Ally) presence on campus. On Tuesday, there will be an information session on the new Marriage Equality Taskforce. This session is a collaboration between GiGSoc and NUI Galway Student Union for the upcoming Marriage Equality Referendum in May. On Wednesday numerous LGBTQ workshops such as Sexual Health, Trans 101 and LGBTQ and the Law will take place. Jessica Watts, Events Officer of GiGSoc said: “Many of us on the committee attended USI Pink Training in November. We got to hear a number of useful talks on relevant LGBTQ issues. With our workshops, we hope to bring that training to a wider audience on our campus.” The highlight of Rainbow Week is the Rainbow Ball, which takes place on Thursday, 12 February in the Clayton Hotel with tickets available for €35. Some up-and-coming bands will perform on the night, which will be headlined by popular Galwegian drag act Kiki St. Clair.   Sean Reilly, Co-Auditor of GiGSoc, said: “Rainbow Week is about celebrating the diversity of people who identify as LGBTQA. Our objective is to give our members a chance to celebrate their identities with a bit of panache.” Tickets for Rainbow Ball 2015 can be purchased through the SocsBox in Áras na Mac Léinn, or by contacting GiGSoc at gigsoc@socs.nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

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Universities rise to the gender equality challenge

Universities rise to the gender equality challenge-image

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Extension of the Athena SWAN Charter for women in science to the higher education sector in Ireland The Irish universities are working to address gender imbalances in the higher education sector through the extension of the Athena SWAN Charter to Ireland, officially launched today by Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O'Sullivan. Irish Universities Association (IUA) Chief Executive, Ned Costello said: "tackling gender equality needs to be actively pursued and the Athena Swan Charter and Awards are a real force for positive change." During 2015, the UK-based Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) announced that they would, for the first time, make access to their awards system possible outside of the UK by allowing Irish higher education institutions to sign up to the Athena SWAN Charter for women in science from Autumn 2014. Signing the Charter is the first step towards applying for Athena SWAN Awards, which recognise and celebrate good practice in recruiting, retaining and promoting women in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) in higher education. The first Award applications from Ireland are due by the end of April next, and the universities are currently preparing their submissions. The Irish universities, working with colleagues from across the higher education sector, have played a strong role in facilitating this extension of the Charter and the associated Athena SWAN Awards to Ireland. Applications are rigorously reviewed prior to an award being made, and progress is closely monitored afterwards. Securing an award under the Charter involves the development of an institution-wide Action Plan to improve gender equality and diversity, and putting in place appropriate structures to rigorously monitor progress of the Plan's implementation. The Plan itself must be specific to issues faced by the institution. Experience has shown that active engagement and significant "buy-in" from academic staff and senior management is critical to a Plan's successful implementation. A 2013 external evaluation identified the significant impact of Athena SWAN on organisational structure and culture change in the UK higher education system. The ECU has recently announced the expansion of the Athena SWAN charter to include arts, humanities, social science, business and law departments alongside the current science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine disciplines, a development which is welcomed by the universities.

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Grade A for NUI Galway in EU University Ranking

Grade A for NUI Galway in EU University Ranking-image

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

New global university ranking, funded by the EU, announces NUI Galway as only one of two Irish Institutions to achieve all-round top scores on International Orientation NUI Galway has been given the highest ranking of four A’s in U-Multirank, an EU Commission-led initiative to measure excellence in higher education and research institutions worldwide. The indicators, published this week across Europe show that NUI Galway ranked highest with an A grade in all four performance indicators of international orientation. These related to teaching and learning, doctoral training, research and the composition of academic staff. These new ‘readymade rankings’ focusing on International Orientation show how 237 Universities in the U-Multirank database perform on internationalisation, using measures spread across teaching and learning, doctoral trainings, international research collaboration and the composition of academic staff. The rankings make this comparison at both the institutional level and in four academic fields: physics, business studies, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. Just 27 universities out of the 237 – barely one in ten – achieved all-round top scores in the new institutional level ranking. Professor Brian Hughes, Dean of International Affairs, NUI Galway welcomed the announcement: “NUI Galway is a university that embraces internationalisation in all of its activities. Being connected to the world is part of our everyday reality, and we are delighted to receive this external validation for our international orientation.” U-Multirank is a new global university ranking funded by the European Commission and takes a different approach to existing global rankings of universities; it is multi-dimensional and compares university performance across a range of different activities grading them from “A” (very good) to “E” (weak). It does not produce a league table of the world’s “top” 100 universities based on composite scores. Instead, it allows users to identify a university’s strengths and weaknesses, or the aspects that most interest them. “Achieving four ‘A’ scores for international orientation is a significant achievement. Not many institutions are ever likely to accomplish it,” commented Frans van Vught one of the U-Multirank project leaders. “And it is not necessarily the institutions you would expect that perform best: these rankings identify high-performing universities not captured by other rankings with their heavy research focus." The rankings show that excellence in international orientation is found in widely diverse institutions. The 27 all - round top performing universities come from a wide range of institutions differing in terms of size, sector, mission and age. The 27 top performers are located in 12 different countries. In further rankings news, NUI Galway has been named in the top 100 most international universities in the world 2015 by THE (Times Higher Education) who compiled a list using the “international outlook” indicator of its World University Rankings methodology. All the institutions that feature in the THE World University Rankings 2014-15 top 400 were considered. This measure considers each institution’s percentage of international staff, its international student numbers and the proportion of its research papers published with a co-author from at least one other country. Further information on U-Multirank is available at www.umultirank.org and for THE information see www.timeshighereducation.co.uk -ends-

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Advancing public policy to combat violence against women and girls

Advancing public policy to combat violence against women and girls-image

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

New £1.5 million project to focus on economic and social costs of violence against women and girls A new research project announced today (11 February) is to investigate the social and economic costs of violence against women and girls in developing countries. Led by Dr Nata Duvvury of the National University of Ireland Galway, and funded by the UK’s Department for International Development, the project will give policy-makers ways of estimating the social and economic costs of violence to national economies. NUI Galway will lead an international team comprising Ipsos MORI, London, UK and the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW), Washington DC, USA on the GBP£1.5 million, three-year project. The ambitious project will take a multi-disciplinary approach, involving experts in economics and the social sciences, including political science, sociology, gender studies, public health and psychology. The research aims to pinpoint identifiable links between violence against women and girls (VAWG) and the economic impact this has on nations at differing stages of development. The research will be undertaken in three countries – Ghana, Pakistan and South Sudan – representing fragile, conflict affected and/or low-middle income states. The project will survey over 4,500 women across those countries and will carry out in-depth interviews with survivors of VAWG. By producing new empirical research and evidence on the economic and social costs of VAWG, the research project will strengthen the argument for resources to implement laws, provide health and social support services and to mobilize communities to shift the social norms that underpin VAWG. The project is part of the UK Department for International Development’s investment of £25 million over five years, in a pioneering violence against women and girls Research and Innovation programme called ‘What Works to Prevent Violence’. Tackling violence against women and girls is a top priority for the UK government. This programme is driving innovation, and will generate ground-breaking new evidence, and inform new prevention programmes on the ground. According to Dr Nata Duvvury, an established global expert in field, and Co-Director of Centre for Global Women’s Studies at the National University of Ireland Galway: “Violence against women and girls is a global issue. We need an immediate, pragmatic, informed and coherent response across nations. We understand today, more than ever before, the debilitating impact it has on individuals, families and communities. What we now need to understand are the myriad impacts of violence on the economy and society, we can then identify which interventions need to be prioritised for the benefit of individuals and society as a whole.” Innovative economic analysis There is growing interest to estimate the socio-economic impact of violence against women in many parts of the world. In a previous study led by Dr Duvvury, on costing domestic violence against women in Vietnam, the estimated loss of productivity, out-of-pocket expenditures, and foregone income for households came to about 3.19% of GDP. The project plans to further advance this frontier using innovative quantitative and qualitative research methods to capture economic and social costs at individual, household, community and national levels. “The importance of the potential research findings to policy makers, practitioners, communities and families cannot be overstated. Building on this evidence is crucial to create a better understanding of the tragic consequences of violence against women and girls – not only as a gross violation of human rights, but as a global economic issue. With such evidence, we have the potential to catalyze investments into the prevention and response to violence against women,” said Stella Mukasa, Director, Gender, Violence and Rights at the International Centre for Research on Women. The research team led by Dr Nata Duvvury at the National University of Ireland Galway includes Dr Stacey Scriver, Post-Doctoral Researcher and Project Coordinator, Global Women’s Studies, Dr Srinivas Raghavendra, Lecturer, School of Business and Economics, Sinead Ashe, Post-Doctoral Researcher, Global Women’s Studies, and Dr Diarmuid O’Donovan, Senior Lecturer, School of Medicine, NUI Galway. ends

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NUI Galway Announce 2015 Alumni Award Winners

NUI Galway Announce 2015 Alumni Award Winners-image

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

World Gold Medallist and Four Time Olympian Olive Loughnane among Awardees NUI Galway has announced the winners of the 2015 Alumni Awards to be presented at the 15th annual Alumni Awards Gala Banquet on Saturday, 7 March, 2015 in the Bailey Allen Wing located in Áras na Mac Léinn on campus. The Alumni Awards recognise individual excellence and achievements among the University’s more than 90,000 graduates worldwide. The Awards programme boasts an impressive roll call of outstanding graduates who have gone on to honour their alma mater, including, for example, President Michael D. Higgins, Rugby great Ciarán FitzGerald, RTÉ broadcaster Sean O’Rourke, Attorney General Máire Whelan, former Creganna CEO, Helen Ryan, Tony Award-winning actress, Marie Mullen and Gráinne Seoige. The winners of the six alumni awards to be presented at Gala 2015: Award for Arts, Literature and Celtic Studies - sponsored by AIB - Dr Tom Mitchell, Former Provost, Trinity College Dublin. Alumni Award for Business and Commerce – sponsored by Bank of Ireland - Catriona O’Farrell, Former CEO, Fintrax Group. Alumni Award for Law, Public Policy and Government – sponsored by Bank of Ireland - Ms Justice Carmel Stewart, Judge of the High Court. Alumni Award for Engineering, Science and Technology – sponsored by Aramark - Pearse Mee, IT Entrepreneur, founder of AMT-SYBEX. Alumni Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences – sponsored by Medtronic - Dr Morgan O’Connell, retired Medical Officer for the Royal Navy, Consultant Psychiatrist and specialist in PTSD. Alumni Award for Contribution to Sport – sponsored by Galway University Foundation - Olive Loughnane, Olympic athlete and World Champion, Irish race walker. Speaking on the announcement of the Awards recipients, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne said: “Our Alumni Awards programme recognises the many Galway alumni who are leaders in their chosen fields. These awards celebrate the life-long value of an NUI Galway education and recognise individual achievements among the University’s more than 90,000 graduates worldwide. I congratulate each of the Award winners and look forward to welcoming them back to campus for the Gala Banquet in March.” For ticket and booking information contact the Alumni Office on 091 493750 or email alumni@nuigalway.ie. Online bookings at www.nuigalway.ie/alumni-friends -Ends-

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NUI Galway CAO Performance Points for Elite Athletes

NUI Galway CAO Performance Points for Elite Athletes-image

Monday, 16 February 2015

15 Elite athletes, who meet strict criteria, will be awarded 40 CAO Performance Points for undergraduate courses under the NUI Galway Performance Point Scholarship Scheme Following the success of the inaugural bonus points scheme last year, NUI Galway will again reward elite athletes with 40 CAO Performance Points in recognition of their skill, time and dedication in reaching the highest level of their chosen sport. This is an extension of NUI Galway’s current Elite Athlete Scholarship scheme which includes a subsistence grant, performance supports, gym membership and medical support. The scheme will award 40 Performance Points to a limited number of athletes, applying for undergraduate courses, who meet strict criteria in a number of identified sports. The points will be added to a minimum requirement of 350 CAO Points from a single sitting of the Leaving Certificate in 6 subjects. The scholarship currently does not apply to GY501 Medicine. The closing date for applications is Tuesday, 31st March 2015. NUI Galway Sports Officer Kathy Hynes said: “NUI Galway has enabled and guided student leaders in sport for many years. The Performance Points Scheme will broaden the horizon of achievement both for NUI Galway and for the athletes themselves. Our facilities, structure and athlete supports help successful candidates achieve their goals, both academic and sporting.” Applicants will be selected through an application form and interview process. The assessment will be based on sporting achievement and potential as well as evidence of their academic achievement and commitment. The successful candidates will then receive a conditional offer of the 40 performance points in May prior to the Leaving Certificate and CAO changes. The ‘Performance Points’ athletes will receive similar benefits to those enjoyed by the current NUI Galway Elite Athlete scholarship scheme. Benefits will include a subsistence grant, performance supports, gym membership and medical support. Supports will be provided for the duration of the undergraduate degree of the successful candidates as per the terms and conditions of the NUI Galway athlete’s charter and will be reviewed on an annual basis. The scheme will only apply to new entrants applying for full-time undergraduate courses at NUI Galway. Applicants must be under 21-years of age on 1st April in the year of application and only sports whose national governing body is recognised by the Irish Sports Council will be considered. For further details see http://www.sports.nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

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Former Dean of Medicine Presented with Award for Outstanding Contribution to Respiratory Medicine

Former Dean of Medicine Presented with Award for Outstanding Contribution to Respiratory Medicine-image

Monday, 16 February 2015

Professor Pat Finnegan, former Dean of Medicine at NUI Galway and retired respiratory consultant at University College Hospital Galway, was presented with the Irish Thoracic Society Award for Outstanding Contribution to Respiratory Medicine at the Society’s recent Annual Gala Dinner. On presenting the award, friend and colleague Professor JJ Gilmartin paid tribute to Professor Finnegan and outlined the highlights of a career marked by outstanding achievements as both teacher and innovator.   A graduate of University College Galway (now NUI Galway) Professor Finnegan spent the early stages of his career in Birmingham, where he was involved in seminal work in the development of long term oxygen therapy which included use of the first prototype concentrator in the early 1970s. The safe prescription of oxygen therapy, nowadays taken for granted, owes much to those ground-breaking advances. On his return to Galway in 1976 Professor Finnegan applied his skills to the management of patients across the spectrum of respiratory disease. He was a pioneer in the development of non-invasive ventilation, and indeed developed the first home-based NIV programme in Ireland. Professor Finnegan’s vision for and commitment to his patients and to respiratory medicine in Ireland is well illustrated by his extraordinary efforts in obtaining this novel and life saving treatment. It was not until the new millenium that such programmes became common place around the world.  As lecturer, then Professor and later Dean, he has contributed enormously to the development of the Medical School in NUI Galway. Under his direction, the Faculty expanded to embrace Nursing and the Allied Health Professions. His teaching style is epitomised by his hallmark, the bedside tutorial, and as a mentor he was known for being generous with his time and for his astute advice. Professor Finnegan was also a key figure in the development of the Irish Thoracic Society.  In 1985, when the Society evolved from what was previously the Irish Thoracic and Tuberculosis Society and joined forces with members of the Ulster Thoracic Society to become an all-island body, Professor Finnegan was elected as its first President. Professor Finnegan’s retirement has been no less productive albeit in the sphere of history rather than medicine. He is currently completing his third book. The first two entitled The case of the Craughwell Prisoners during the Land War in Co. Galway, 1879–85 and Loughrea; That Den of Infamy, the Land War in Co Galway 1878-82 were bestsellers in their genre. They are based around incidents during the Land War in East Galway including a grave miscarriage of justice which saw the wrongful conviction for murder of the author’s grandfather, Patrick Finnegan. -Ends-      

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NUI Galway Launches Alumni Virtual Choir

NUI Galway Launches Alumni Virtual Choir-image

Monday, 16 February 2015

Ireland’s First Virtual Choir combining music, song, technology and grads! Do you want to join the NUI Galway Virtual Alumni Choir? In a first for NUI Galway and we believe universities everywhere, we are calling on our graduates to get singing! In a new departure for NUI Galway, a special project has been launched where graduates of the University are invited to form this unique singing experience. Graduates based in Galway, Ireland, Europe, the US and even as far away as Australia are being urged to participate and pull off what will be an ambitious but exciting use of music, song and technology. The choral work to be sung is Ave Verum Corpus composed by Mozart. The piece was chosen due to its familiarity for choral singers around the world but all potential singers to listen to the many recordings available online to hear what the work sounds like when all the parts come together. This may jog the memories of singers who weren’t part of the University Choral Society but may have sung it in other choirs as it’s a firm favourite for choral groups. How to get involvedIn order to participate graduates should visit the alumni website https://nuigvirtualalumnichoir.wordpress.com/ On this website singers will find the musical score, sound recordings of different vocal parts as well as piano accompaniment. From there the singers will be directed to a YouTube video of the piece being conducted by NUI Galway graduate Peter Mannion, current conductor of the University Choral Society and Unitunes, the award winning NUI Galway staff choir. On explaining the virtual project, Peter Mannion said: “This is the first time we have ever attempted virtual singing so we need singers to log online to participate and to send in their recordings as soon as possible. Most computers, laptops, tables and mobile devices have excellent video and sound recording capabilities so there is no special equipment needed for you to get involved – just send in your best recording and we will do the rest. Don’t be afraid to send in video clips or photos of you singing as we will only use them in small parts of the final video. So happy singing!” The choir is expected to debut in early March so don’t be disappointed and log on now https://nuigvirtualalumnichoir.wordpress.com/. ENDS

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