Friday, 22 March 2013

NUI Galway announced the recipients of the 2013 Sports Awards at a special ceremony last night (Thursday, 21 March). The awards recognise sporting performance, leadership and participation, as well as those that contribute to the running and development of the NUI Galway Sports Clubs. This year’s individual award winners include Des Leonard who won his second World Junior Kickboxing title this year and Darren Wallace who set a new Irish University record in Archery this year. Darren was also part of the NUI Galway Archery team which dominated the Irish Varsity scene this year and who are in receipt of one of the team awards. The Tom Tuohy memorial award remembers one of Ireland’s greatest ever rowing coaches who contributed to the NUI Galway boat club for 30 years. The award recognises outstanding achievement in the past year by an individual or crew and this year goes to Robert O’Callaghan who was part of the Senior 8 that won the National title last summer. Kathy Hynes, Development Office, Sports Clubs and Participation, NUI Galway said: “Each year NUI Galway recognises the outstanding contribution of student athletes across many diverse sporting disciplines for their achievements in sport. This year’s awards ceremony extended to reflect not only the achievements of students in terms of performance sport but also the contribution of the clubs to campus life and the importance of participation in sport and exercise. Five such awards were awarded to reflect this important contribution to university life.” The Table Tennis Club and Surf Club were joint winners of the ‘Leadership Alumni Award’,a dedicated leadership programme for all Club Captains and committee members. The programme is a partnership between the University’s Sports Clubs and Galway Alumni Office. The ‘Club Captain’s Award’, which recognises the enormous contribution of individual students to the successful running of sports clubs, was presented to Gráinne Conway. ‘Most Improved Sports Club Recognition’ was awarded to the Ladies Soccer club, under the direction of team Captain Rosa Shine, who, with her committee, raised the profile of their club through increasing student numbers, evaluating training methods and providing a strong foundation for their future success. Sporting life on campus is not just for the elite performers and this is reflected in the ‘Outstanding Recreational Participation Award’ which this year was awarded “Fresh N Cool” a group of young men who have participated in the indoor Futsal leagues for the past three years. These individuals have been selected from several different teams for their participation within the Futsal league, their sense of fair play, camaraderie and the sense of community they provide to all students involved in the league. The ‘Special Achievement Award’ recognises, over a period of time, the excellence of a club or club member. This year’s recipient was Hannah Smith who as Club Captain, committee member and team player raised the profile and success of Women’s rugby at a local and national level. This is the 30th year of the awards and past winners include current Galway Hurling manager Anthony Cunningham, Irish Soccer International Meabh De Burca, Olympians, Éadaoin Ní Cheallaráin, Olive Loughnane, Paul Hession, Alan Martin and Cormac Folan, as well as a long list of All-Ireland winners and Internationals. Gary Ryan, NUI Galway’s Development Officer for Elite Sport, said: “When you look at the list of the people who have won these awards over the years some of the most recognisable names in Irish Sport are amongst them. There are also dozens of former students who have contributed enormously to sport locally and nationally since then in a variety of different roles. It is striking to see how many past award winners are now involved in coaching and administration and reinforces how important the learning experience of being involved in University Clubs can be.” 2012 Sports Award Winners: Individual Awards Archery: Darren Wallace from Portlaoise, Co. Laois Ladies Soccer: Jennifer Byrne from Ballinsloe, Co. Galway Cricket: Waqar Ul Hassan from Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo Pool and Snooker: Stephen Darren Dempsey from Monaghan Town Swimming, Lifesaving and Waterpolo: Kevin McGlade from Galway City Hurling: Kevin Moynihan from Ennis, Co. Clare Camogie: Orlaith Duggan from Clooney, Co. Clare Men’s Gaelic Football: Ciaran McDonald from Aherlow, Co. Tipperary Hockey: Síle Johnson from Bandon, Co. Cork Tom Tuohy Award for Achievement in Rowing: Rob O’Callaghan from Galway City Kickboxing: Des Leonard from Riverstown, Co. Sligo Team Winners     Team Award - Archery Club        Team Award - Swimming and Lifesaving Team Team Award - Mystics (Ladies Basketball) Team Award - Volleyball Club    Most Improved Club: Ladies Soccer Club Outstanding Recreation Participation Award: Futsal winners "Fresh N Cool" Club Captains Award: Surf Club - Captain Gráinne Conway from Westport, Co. Mayo Special Achievement Award: Hannah Smith from Ennis, Co. Clare, past Captain and now secretary of Women’s Rugby Club Leadership Alumni Award: Joint winners – Table Tennis Club and Surf Club -ENDS-

Monday, 25 March 2013

NUI Galway is delighted to announce that the Dr Tony Ryan Trust has made a significant donation to the University to support scholarship and innovation in environment, marine and energy as well as the University’s access programme. In addition to supporting the access programme, this significant philanthropic gift of over one million euro will specifically provide fully funded research scholarships for five PhD students.  The Dr Tony Ryan Research Scholarships will offer opportunities to pursue a postgraduate degree in the key research areas of environment, marine and energy.  The scholarships will specifically focus on research priorities at The Ryan Institute in the University, including: Innovation in energy-efficient technologies and bio-energy Research and development in aquaculture, fisheries, offshore renewable energy resources and bio-discovery Development of technologies for monitoring, modelling and mitigation of environmental pressures Speaking on behalf of the Trustees of the Dr Tony Ryan Trust, Emma Lane-Spollen said: “We are proud to support so many Irish and migrant students to access NUI Galway’s degree programmes with €125,000 per year for 4 years. We also look forward to supporting the development of the marine industry and the exploration of marine ecosystems in Ireland by supporting Galway’s ability to attract the best PhD students through these 5 full scholarships, putting Galway at the forefront of marine research and innovation.” Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway said: “This scholarship funding amplifies the generous support received in the past from the Ryan family.  NUI Galway remains indebted to the late Dr Tony Ryan and the Ryan family for the vision and the enlightened philanthropy which led to the capital development of the Ryan Institute in the 1990s.  The Ryan Institute is the leading centre for environment, marine and energy research in Ireland.  Increasingly these areas are becoming crucial to the global economy, generating new and sustainable technologies.  Support for scholarship and innovation in these areas is a strategic and important decision by the Trust and I would like to thank the Trustees for their philanthropy. The Dr Tony Ryan Trust’s funding of the NUI Galway Access Programme will also enable talented students facing financial challenges to realise their full educational potential.” The Ryan Institute Award In addition to the Dr Ryan Scholarship Fund, a substantial Ryan Institute Award will feature annually, as a new means to support and foster entrepreneurship and innovation.  The Award, which will be presented each year for five years, will be coupled with the above scholarship opportunity to drive innovation, entrepreneurship and spin-outs from postgraduate research at NUI Galway.  An annual University competition, targeted at researchers and/or postgraduate students within the Ryan Institute, will assess business ideas arising from research.  This award is to enable the winner to commercialise or develop their idea, including through further research at home or abroad. The Ryan Institute has over 300 researchers making it Ireland’s largest research institute to focus on some of the most pressing environmental and energy issues of the 21st century.  NUI Galway’s formal research in this area goes back to the early-1990s when Dr Tony Ryan, funded the Marine Research Building, named in memory of his father Martin Ryan. Professor Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway said: “NUI Galway has a long history of engaging with vital environmental and marine issues through our research, especially in the areas of climate change, water resources, marine ecosystems, biodiversity and sustainability. We strongly welcome this support for research scholarship and look forward to further collaboration with the Dr Tony Ryan Trust as the fund and award scheme realise the bright minds of the future.” -ends-

Monday, 25 March 2013

Doing the Leaving Certificate and looking ahead to University? NUI Galway is holding a University Taster Day for Leaving Certificate students during the Easter break. The Taster Day will combine a series of revision sessions on aspects of the Leaving Certificate curriculum, together with some taster workshops in new Arts subjects. Participants will gain unique insights into Leaving Cert subjects in revision sessions taught by University lecturers. A choice of 17 subjects is on offer in areas like English, Irish, French, History, Geography and more. Students will also enjoy taster workshops in University level Arts subjects like Psychology, Drama, Film Studies and Sociology and Politics. Organiser of the University Taster Day, Joe Mac Donnacha explained: “Students are focused on their revision for the Leaving Certificate at this time of year. The aim of the NUI Galway Taster Day is to help them maximize their revision in key subject areas, while also giving them an enjoyable introduction to some of the subjects taught on the University’s Arts degree.” The Arts degree at NUI Galway is the second largest undergraduate course in the country, attracting over 1,000 new students every year.   Commenting on the ongoing popularity of the Arts degree at NUI Galway for students, Dean of the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies, Dr Edward Herring, said: “Arts and Social Science students are very creative. More start-up enterprises are founded by Arts graduates than Business graduates. You find successful Arts and Social Sciences graduates in almost every walk of life. Of course, we need scientists, engineers, doctors, and entrepreneurs but we also need those people who understand and can critique human behaviour, social values and cultural creativity. That is what Arts graduates are trained to do.” The NUI Galway Taster Day runs from 9.30am to 3pm on Friday, 5 April, in the Engineering Building on the NUI Galway campus. Advanced booking is essential for this FREE revision session and taster day. Bookings can be made online at:  www.nuigalway.ie/university_taster_day. Enquiries should be directed to (091) 494 145 or email visit@nuigalway.ie   ENDS

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Bishop John Fleming of the diocese of Killala, Co Mayo and former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, are pleased to announce that Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa will endorse the proposed new Mary Robinson Centre with the presentation of a Welcoming Stone at an ecumenical event in St Muredach’s Cathedral, in Mrs Robinson’s home town of Ballina, Co Mayo on Saturday, May 11 next at 6pm (18:00hrs). The Mary Robinson Centre is being developed by a partnership including National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway), Mayo County Council, Ballina Town Council, the local community and the Robinson / Bourke families together with Government support.  Representatives of all will attend the event. Archbishop Tutu and Mrs Robinson, who has just been announced as the UN’s new Special Envoy to Africa’s troubled Great Lakes region, will engage in a shared reflection which will be conducted in St Muredach’s Cathedral and chaired by the renowned Irish journalist and current affairs presenter, Olivia O’Leary. The Archbishop will also visit the site of the new Centre at Mary Robinson’s birthplace, the Bourke family home on Victoria Terrace at Ballina, directly opposite the Cathedral.   Ends

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The fourth international Nursing and Midwifery conference, Building and Promoting Excellence in Practice, will take place from 15-16 April in Áras Moyola, NUI Galway. Organised by NUI Galway’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, in partnership with Galway University Hospital and the Nursing and Midwifery Planning and Development Units (West), the conference will bring together leaders in the field of nursing and midwifery to share their experiences of clinical care and research. Building and Promoting Excellence in Practice will cover topics relevant to the fields of chronic illness, mental health, older people, maternity care and women’s health, and teaching and learning in practice. With over 200 delegates expected to attend, the conference will feature over 100 presentations from national and international speakers and will be of interest to health professionals working in nursing or midwifery, along with medical and allied health professionals. This year's keynote speaker will be Dr Julie Barroso, Distinguished Professor at the Duke University School of Nursing in North Caroline, USA. Dr Barroso’s research is in the areas of qualitative research methodology and chronic illness and has written prolifically on these topics. She has specific expertise on synthesizing qualitative research and this will be the topic of her keynote address. The conference will also feature a keynote discussion from Dr David Tovey, Editor-in-Chief with The Cochrane Library. A previous Editorial Director for the BMJ Evidence Centre, Dr Tovey’s keynote discussion will focus on evidence-based practice. Professor Declan Devane, Conference Chair and Professor of Midwifery at NUI Galway, said: “We are really excited about this year’s conference. Faced with rapidly changing healthcare contexts, new research initiatives and demanding resource constraints, the opportunity for health care professionals to come together to discuss best practice is vital. Thoughtful practice based on the best available evidence is key to making a difference to those accessing our health care services; this conference provides an opportunity for nurses and midwives to come together share their experiences to build and promote excellence in practice.”   For more information on the conference, please visit the conference website at  www.nursingmidwifery.ie. -ENDS-   

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Eight NUI Galway postgraduate courses have been shortlisted for the national gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards 2013. The award winners will be announced on Thursday, 18 April at a reception in the Mansion House in Dublin. The annual Postgraduate Course of the Year Awards, sponsored by the Higher Education Authority (HEA), recognises excellence amongst Irish postgraduate course providers. The winning courses are judged on the success of the course including employability of graduates, recognition of the course’s quality or ranking by external bodies, research record of academic staff, and providing a good experience for students. Judges also take feedback from students into consideration when selecting a winner. With eight courses in contention, NUI Galway is the higher education institution with the most shortlisted entries this year, a notable achievement, considering there were 126 entries to the competition in total. NUI Galway courses shortlisted for the Business Award are: the Executive MBA, which also celebrating its 40th anniversary this year; MSc in Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management; and MSc in International Management. The MSc in Biolnnovation Fellowship programme is shortlisted in the Best New Course category.  Two NUI Galway courses are nominated as Best IT Course: LLM in Law, Technology and Governance and the Masters in Digital Media. In the Engineering category NUI Galway has one of two courses in the shortlist, the Masters of Applied Science (Enterprise Systems). Similarly it has one of only two courses shortlisted in Science, the MSc in Biomedical Science (Distance Learning). Valerie Leahy, Postgraduate Recruitment Officer at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to again make the shortlist for these important national awards; it’s great that the calibre of our postgraduate courses is being recognised. The courses in question are accepting applications now so those interested can apply online via the Postgraduate Applications Centre at www.pac.ie. This year we’re also offering full-time taught masters scholarships for first class students, so that’s another good reason to consider NUI Galway for your postgraduate studies.” NUI Galway offers a wide range of fourth-level courses, developing programmes based on its traditional academic strengths of Arts, Social Sciences, Celtic Studies, Commerce, Medicine, Nursing, Health Science, Law, Engineering, Informatics and Science. These areas have been augmented with innovative Research Centres in areas as diverse as Biomedical Engineering, International Human Rights, Digital Media & Film Studies, and Regenerative Medicine. Almost 3,500 postgraduate students (including international students) currently attend NUI Galway. NUI Galway awards Postgraduate Scholarships, valued at €1,500 per student, to all students studying a postgraduate taught Masters programme in the year 2013/14, who have a first class honours undergraduate degree. The new initiative is open to postgraduate students, applying for a fulltime Taught Masters programme. Scholarships will be awarded to students accepted on a fulltime taught masters and who fulfill the criteria as outlined by the University. For further information on any of the postgraduate courses available at NUI Galway call 091 495148 or visit www.nuigalway.ie/courses. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

NUI Galwaycancer researcher Dr Eva Szegezdi has been applauded for reaching the finals of the Irish Cancer Society’s ‘Researcher of the Year’ Award. Dr Szegezdi works in the Apoptosis Research Centre at the University’s School of Natural Sciences. Professor Afshin Samali, Director of Apoptosis Research Centre at NUI Galway, said: “Reaching the final three of this prestigious award is a major achievement. This is a testament to high quality, relevance and impact of Dr Szegezdi’s research at the Centre. Dr Szegezdi is the leading scientist in her field of research in Ireland and is an opinion leader whose work is at the cutting edge of cancer research.” The Apoptosis Research Centre at NUI Galway is composed of an interactive network of researchers investigating cell death and its relationship to human disease. Dr Eva Szegezdi was shortlisted for her research entitled, ‘Blazing a new TRAIL in cancer therapy’. “TRAIL is a protein produced by immune cells to kill newly developed cancer cells”, explains Dr Szegezdi. “TRAIL has the ability to selectively find and kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells, which give it advantage over standard chemotherapeutic drugs. The aim of our research is to use the cancer-selective characteristics of TRAIL, synthesize and process it outside the body and to convert it into a cancer drug that possesses high anticancer potential, in fact higher than natural TRAIL produced by immune cells.” Research carried out by Dr Szegezdi is also supported by Science Foundation Ireland and funding from NUI Galway. Last year, NUI Galway’s Dr Róisín Dwyer a postdoctoral research fellow in the Discipline of Surgery at NUI Galway was announced as the first Irish Cancer Society ‘Researcher of the Year’. Dr Dwyer scooped the top prize in 2012 for her research that investigated the potential of adult stem cells as vehicles for targeted delivery of therapeutic agents to breast tumours, which aims to significantly reduce tumour growth. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Leukaemia and myeloma research efforts in Galway have received a huge boost with a generous donation of €12,500 by the Cloonacool Community in Co. Sligo. The money raised was donated to Galway University Foundation to support research at NUI Galway and Galway University Hospitals facilitated by Professor Michael O’Dwyer. The fundraising took place initially following the personal experiences of local families who had loved ones diagnosed with leukaemia. It soon gathered momentum through a table quiz in Brennans of Cloonacool, and culminated in an outdoor event ‘The Westport Sea2summit Challenge’. ‘The Westport Sea2summit Challenge’ saw 23 people undertake a gruelling 4km run, 8 km cycle, 3km ascent and descent of Croagh Patrick, 8 km cycle and finally a 4 km run to Westport. To add to the monies collected, The South Sligo Gun Club contributed €1200. Professor Michael O’Dwyer and his research team are extremely grateful for the donation: “We are trying to improve the outcomes for those diagnosed with leukaemia and myeloma. Every euro raised is really appreciated and will help us in our research efforts. I applaud the community of Cloonacool for their extreme and inventive fundraising efforts. For us and the patients, knowing we have that kind of moral support is something you can’t put a price on.” To support leukaemia and myeloma research at NUI Galway please visit www.guf.ie     -Ends-

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Dr David Finn of NUI Galway has been awarded the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland’s Doctor Award for best paper published in an indexed journal in 2012 in the Pain/Anaesthesia category. Dr Finn, lecturer in Pharmacology, Co-Director of the Centre for Pain Research, and Leader of the Galway Neuroscience Centre, received the award at a ceremony held the Royal College of Physicians in Dublin. The first author of the winning paper was Dr Weredeselam Olango who did the work during his PhD under the supervision of Dr Finn and Dr Michelle Roche in Physiology, NUI Galway. The Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland’s Doctor Awards are presented each year to Irish or Irish-based researchers who are judged to have published the best research papers in international, peer-reviewed journals.   The winning paper confirmed the key role of a midbrain region called the periaqueductal grey in the suppression of pain behaviour by fear (so-called fear-induced analgesia). Fear-induced analgesia was associated with increases in levels of marijuana-like substances known as endocannabinoids in this part of the brain. Furthermore, fear-induced analgesia was prevented by injecting a drug that blocked the receptor at which these endocannabinoids act into the periaqueductal grey. An increased understanding of the biological mechanisms involved in fear-induced analgesia is important from a fundamental physiological perspective and may also advance the search for new therapeutic approaches to the treatment of pain.  Dr David Finn, senior author on the paper, said: “We are very pleased that our work has been recognised with this prestigious award. This research which was funded by grants from Science Foundation Ireland and the Irish Research Council, advances our fundamental understanding of the neurobiology of pain and may facilitate the identification of new therapeutic targets for the treatment of pain and anxiety disorders.” -ends

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The West Ocean String Quartet: Seamus McGuire and Niamh Crowley - violin, Ken Rice – viola and Neil Martin – cello in partnership with NUI Galway College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences will perform in the Aula Maxima at NUI Galway on 18 April at 8pm. The concert marks the new album An Indigo Sky. Proceeds on the night will go toward Voluntary Services Abroad (VSA). A potent collage of timbres and hues, An Indigo Sky is bold, passionate and unapologetic. Central to it is Neil Martin’s four-movement suite from which the album takes its name, commissioned in memory of Joseph Browne, a former medical student of NUI Galway from Knockmeal on the Clare/Galway border who died tragically in 2006.  Additionally, alongside traditional and newly-composed pieces sits music by Turlough O’Carolan and Thomas Moore. In a rare and much-coveted 5 star review of the album, The Irish Times talked of this “magnificently elegiac recording” being “a shimmering delight”.  The concert will also draw from the quartet’s three other albums. Formed in 1999, the West Ocean String Quartet’s vision, eclectic repertoire and style have won them global praise. Their music lies somewhere in between the worlds of classical and traditional. Disregarding rules and boundaries, they have found for themselves a unique voice, and have collaborated with many leading artists, both on stage and in the studio, including Christy Moore, Matt Molloy, Maighréad Ní Dhomhnaill, Mary Black, Liam O’Flynn and Brian Kennedy. The quartet's debut CD, Unwrapping Dreams (2004), was released to very considerable acclaim both in Ireland and around the globe. It won the award for Best Newcomers Album in Chicago’s American Live Ireland Awards that year and a BBC television documentary on the quartet followed. Universal praise continued with their second cd, The Guiding Moon (2006) featuring The Chieftains' flute player Matt Molloy.  Their third cd, Ae Fond Kiss (2009), with special guest Maighréad Ní Dhomhnaill, similarly garnered applause worldwide. The quartet has performed widely, including sell-out performances in Dublin's National Concert Hall, Belfast's Waterfront Hall and Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall.  Their music has taken them to USA and France and their appeal is truly universal - all three of the quartet’s cds were played aboard the International Space Station in 2011.  Tickets are priced at €20 euro, students €15 euro and can be obtained from the Galway Arts Centre on Dominic Street; School of Medicine at NUI Galway; Socs Box in NUI Galway or at the door on the night. ENDS

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

A group of second year Biomedical Science students from NUI Galway recently hosted a two-day art exhibition at the Galway museum.  The ‘Art in Science’ exhibition featured striking images acquired from research labs in Anatomy, Biochemistry and Pharmacology disciplines in the University. The project was undertaken as part of a Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) module.   The images were mostly derived from subcellular structures of components too small to see with the naked eye and required sophisticated imaging systems. Students designed and produced brochures to accompany each image which gave details of how the image was generated and its significance in the progress of scientific research. The images were regarded as particularly interesting as standalone art pieces in addition to their scientific significance and therefore were able to bridge the gap between science and art.    Dr Lynn O’Connor, Lecturer in Biomedical Science at NUI Galway, said: “We are very proud of the efforts of the students to share the ongoing research efforts taking place in Biomedical Science in NUI Galway with the general public.  They successfully managed to convey not only the enormous research strides that are taking place in NUI Galway but also to convey an appreciation of the artistic merits of the images produced as part of that research effort. They have bridged the gap between science and the arts. Over the course of the two day exhibition children from local schools, tourists and local people viewed the images and spoke with the students about their work which was received with great interest.”    NUI Galway scientists who contributed to the exhibition included: Drs Maura Grealy and  Eilis Dowd from Pharmacology; Dr Lynn O’Connor, Biomedical Science; Professor Peter Dockery, Alex Black and Drs Dara Cannon and Fabio Quondamatteo from Anatomy; and Professors Noel Lowndes, Brian McStay and Ciaran Morrison, and Dr Andrew Flaus from Biochemistry. -ENDS-

Friday, 1 February 2013

According to the gradireland 2012 Graduate Salary & Recruitment Trends Survey almost half (48.4%) of all graduate jobs created in 2011 were in the accountancy and financial management sector.  This far exceeds any other sector, including the high profile IT and telecoms sector which comes in at second with 13.6% of graduate jobs.   Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway concurred with the survey findings saying: “On the ground we continue to see strong demand for our graduates locally, nationally and internationally.  Recent curriculum changes in our programmes ensure all our graduates have the necessary skills for the workplace and are accordingly in demand by industry.” With a career in accounting such an attractive prospect, it is surprising that fewer students are choosing accounting at second level. However, although a C1 in leaving certificate accounting is a prerequisite for the BComm Accounting programme at NUI Galway, there is no requirement for accounting for students on the mainstream BComm, as they can specialise in accounting in final year of study. Current Student Perspective Students like Ruth Guinane and James O’Brien, both from Galway and studying at NUI Galway, bear out the truth of this survey.  Ruth is a student on the BComm (Accounting) and James is a student on the BComm, who has chosen to specialise in Accounting in his final year. Both of these programmes offer the opportunity in second year to apply for an optional international experience year which extends the degree from three to four years.  The international experience year typically includes a semester in a university abroad and a semester on placement with a relevant employer.  Ruth spent a semester at the State University of New York at Albany NY and worked on placement for six months with Deloitte in Dublin.  “The opportunity to study in the US was fantastic, I got to immerse myself completely in another culture, study different subjects and travel all around New York and even up to Canada.  The placement gave me a real insight into my future career and Deloitte have already offered me a training contract when I finish my degree.” James also opted for the international experience year “I worked at Alkermes Plc. in Athlone for seven months in the accounting department. I learned a lot while working there including the importance of hard work, team work and the need to be flexible as I was presented with different challenges every day. Overall, it was an incredible opportunity; I got experience working in a multi-national pharmaceutical corporation which gave me a great understanding as to what would be expected of me in the workplace. I studied at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. I visited North Carolina, Washington DC, New York, Philadelphia, the Jersey Shore and Toronto. It was definitely a semester that I will never forget! I’m in my final year now and the experience was huge help in securing job offers with Accounting firms.  It really gave me a taste for international experience and so I have accepted a job with Ernst & Young in Luxembourg, starting next September.&rdqu o; The BComm at NUI Galway is a three year programme which allows students to specialise in Economics, Marketing, Human Resource Management, Business Information Systems and Accounting.  Students who select the international experience year have the opportunity to study abroad and engage in a work placement converting it into a four year programme. -ENDS-

Friday, 1 February 2013

“The beneficial effects of a good quality environment on human health and well-being are very considerable,” according to author Tony Juniper.  “Exposure to green space and the natural environment has been shown to improve our well-being, and that is very valuable to society, including in an economic sense,” the internationally-acclaimed environmentalist told some 300 delegates this morning at the ENVIRON2013 conference at the Ryan Institute in NUI Galway. Juniper is visiting Ireland to deliver the conference’s keynote lecture on ‘Nature for Health - Opportunities for People and the Environment’. Protecting our environment from pollution, abuse and mismanagement, and providing a good quality natural environment can do more to benefit our health and well-being than many other measures, he told the audience. In his new book released earlier this month, What Has Nature Ever Done for Us – How Money Really Does Grow on Trees, he highlights the potential economic benefits of working with nature instead of simply seeing it as a supplier of resources and a place to dump waste. According to Tony Juniper, nature provides the world economy with more than €100 trillion worth of goods and “natural services” every year.  He explained how the loss of these “natural services” can trigger huge economic costs. Tony Juniper is a campaigner, writer, sustainability adviser and one of the world’s most influential environmentalists. From 2003 to 2008 he was the Director in England, Wales and Northern Ireland of Friends of the Earth and from 2001 to 2008 he was the Vice Chair of the 70-strong network of national organisations that comprise Friends of the Earth International. For more than 25 years he has worked for change toward a more sustainable society at local, national and international levels.  Juniper presently works as a Special Adviser to the Prince of Wales Charities’ International Sustainability Unit, having previously worked (2008-2010) as a Special Advisor with the Prince’s Rainforests Project. He is a Senior Associate with the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership working as a member of the teaching faculty. During his visit to NUI Galway he also launched the Centre for Health from Environment at the Ryan Institute, which was established to encourage research and teaching on the ways in which the environment benefits human health and well-being. The Centre brings together interdisciplinary researchers from areas of medicine, science, engineering, political science, geography, and other disciplines who are all working together to place sustaining health through environmental stewardship at the centre of public policy. The Centre’s on-going and planned research intersects four thematic areas: Air Quality, Water Quality, Public Policy, and Food and Soil.  “We benefit much more from clean air, pure water, good food and exercise and strong communities than we do from hospitals, medicines and clinics,” said Professor Martin Cormican, Director of the Centre for Health from Environment at the launch of the centre this morning. He stated that “In recent decades we have seen major improvements in outdoor air quality through control of emissions from coal and motor vehicles, improvements in indoor air quality through changes in cigarette smoking, improvements in water quality through control of discharges into rivers and lakes and we’ve witnessed important social changes that promote acceptance of diversity in communities. The Centre seeks to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of the principle that if we take good care of the environment, than it takes good care of us.” Professor Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute added: “The launch of the new Centre for Health from Environment is timely. Nature and biodiversity have often been considered only relevant to biologists or ecologists, but a growing body of research makes clear that it is equally relevant to health-related disciplines.” The ENVIRON 2013 conference continues until tomorrow, with a Career Expo as one of the highlights this afternoon. The ‘ENVIRON Career Expo and CV advice shop’ is open to all members of the public, and will feature representatives from NGOs, environmental consultancies, research institutes, and semi-state bodies who are all actively recruiting. The Career Expo takes place in the foyer of the Bailey Allen Hall on Thursday, 31 January, from 1-5pm. -ends-

Monday, 4 February 2013

NUI Galway will host the Spring Postgraduate Open Day on Tuesday, 12 February, from 12 noon to 4pm in the Bailey Allen Hall, Áras na Mac Léinn. The Open Day will showcase over 400 of NUI Galway’s full-time and part-time postgraduate programmes, including taught and research masters, as well as doctoral research options. With one of the broadest portfolios of postgraduate teaching and learning in the country, NUI Galway’s Postgraduate Open Day will afford potential students the opportunity to meet academic staff and current students. With over 70 information stands, information will be available on courses, scholarships, fees and other practical considerations. Talks on funding opportunities will take place, along with presentations on how undertaking a postgraduate course in NUI Galway can boost your career opportunities. Valerie Leahy, from the Marketing and Communications Office at NUI Galway, comments: “A postgraduate qualification broadens your skills-set, increases your specialist knowledge, and can improve your job prospects: over 92% of our graduates are currently employed or are in further study within six months of graduating. Making an online application to an NUI Galway postgraduate programme is so easy; it takes less than ten minutes and it could be the best ten minutes you’ll ever spend investing in your future.” NUI Galway offers many new and unique programmes, building on its traditional academic strengths of Arts, Social Sciences, Celtic Studies, Commerce, Medicine, Nursing, Health Science, Law, Engineering, Informatics and Science. These areas have been augmented with innovative research centres in areas as diverse as Biomedical Science and Engineering, International Human Rights, Digital Media & Film Studies, and Regenerative Medicine. NUI Galway also offers postgraduate conversion courses, where students can change their study-direction at postgraduate level and perhaps then move into a more buoyant field. According to John Hannon, Head of NUI Galway’s Career Development Centre: “Irish graduates are ranked first in Europe in terms of how employers rank graduates, and postgraduate study can definitely boost employability. Over the last three years postgraduate numbers going in to employment has grown consistently. NUI Galway has extensive and well-established links with employers, professional bodies, research organisations, and commercial and voluntary sectors which can benefit you in your job search.” To book your place at the Open Day visit www.nuigalway.ie/postgraduate-open-day or register on the day. To apply for an NUI Galway postgraduate course visit www.pac.ie/nuigalway. -ENDS-

Monday, 4 February 2013

NFB delivers five-fold increase in initial exchequer funding The Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB), a multidisciplinary research group based in NUI Galway, is celebrating the award of its fifth successful coordinated EU grant. Over the past two years NFB has secured €14.2 million in EU-coordinated grants. This brings to €20 million the amount of funding which NFB has attracted, an almost five-fold return on initial exchequer funding through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). In addition to the initial investment from SFI in 2007, NFB has secured its additional funding from the EU, Enterprise Ireland and national and international industry partners. NFB is an SFI-funded Strategic Research Cluster developing functional biomaterials which have clinical applications in orthopaedics, cardiovascular, neural and soft tissue repair. Through the coordination of EU grants, NFB has teamed up with ten academic institutions and fourteen industrial partners in eight countries, highlighting the strong industrial component and integrated nature of NFB’s research. One of NFB’s latest grant successes will fund research which aims to reduce the re-narrowing of arteries following implantation of stents through the use of novel cardiovascular stent material. Other projects being undertaken by the group include research into a medical condition known as ischemia which occurs when blood supply to a tissue is limited. The aim is to form new blood vessels to supply the ischemic tissue and restore function. Repair of damaged nerves is another research area being investigated with hopes to improve the lives of patients suffering from spinal cord damage. Biomaterials include both natural and synthetic materials, or a combination of both and these are placed within the body to restore cells and tissue that have become dysfunctional through disease or injury. Speaking about NFB’s success, its Director Professor Abhay Pandit said: “The research being carried out will have a real impact on patients’ lives and economic benefits will also be reaped by the country as the next generation of scientists and engineers are being trained for skilled jobs in the ever growing Irish medical devices market. Meanwhile, Vornia, a start-up medical device company that has been spun-out from NFB is expanding rapidly and bringing superior and consistently high-quality biodegradable biomaterial products to the market. As a medical device company, Vornia also uses its own superior grade materials to develop and scale up products in niche clinical targets including tendon regeneration, soft tissue repair and spinal cord repair.  -ends-

Monday, 4 February 2013

NUI Galway has announced the winners of the 2013 Alumni Awards to be presented at the 13th annual Alumni Awards Gala Banquet on Saturday, 9 March, 2013. The Gala Banquet will be presented by RTÉ’s Gráinne Seoige and will again be held 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 80,000 graduates worldwide. The Awards programme boasts an impressive roll call of 68 outstanding graduates who have gone on to honour their alma mater, including, for example, Michael D. Higgins, Ciarán FitzGerald, Sean O’Rourke, Professor Frank Gannon, Dr Luke Clancy and Gráinne Seoige. This year’s award winners come from right across the globe as the University celebrates The Gathering 2013. The winners of the five alumni awards to be presented at Gala 2013:  Alumni Award for Business, Public Policy and Law – sponsored by Bank of Ireland    -  Adrian Jones, Managing Director, Principal Investment Area, Merchant Banking Division,    Goldman Sachs.  Alumni Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences – sponsored by Medtronic  - Mary E. D’Alton, M.D. Willard C. Rappleye Professor and Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.  Alumni Award for Engineering and Informatics –sponsored by Bank of Ireland  - Hugh O’Donnell, Saipem Spa deputy CEO and COO Drilling.  Alumni Award for Science – sponsored by Aramark  - Seamus Kavanagh, Vice President Global Innovation and Technology Development,Hollister Incorporated.                              Award for Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies sponsored by AIB  - Joyce McGreevy, Author and a Supervising Editor for the Academic Division of National Geographic. 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 80,000 graduates worldwide. In this year of The Gathering, we are delighted to recognise in a very special way graduates who have distinguished themselves internationally, and who return to their alma mater from various parts of the globe.  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

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Over 200 NUI Galway MBA graduates recently returned to the University to mark the 40th anniversary of the first intake to its Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme. Organised by the University’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, the milestone was marked with a conference and gala dinner.  The conference, ‘40 Years A-Growing in Business & Management: Learning from the Past, Leading the Future’ brought together a panel of 15 high-profile national and international contributors from business and academia, with the majority of speakers being NUI Galway MBA alumni.  Professor Jim Doolan, the first MBA Director in 1972, also addressed the conference and recounted the objectives of offering the first MBA which included serving the needs of managers and industry leaders at the time.  The first conference symposium focused on innovation and entrepreneurship with presentations from Joe McBreen, Founder, Chair and CEO Celtrak; Jill Holtz, Founder mykidstime.ie  and The Ahain Group; and Connor Flanagan, Director, LotusWorks. The session was chaired by Liam Bluett, General Manager, Ballybane Enterprise Centre. The second symposium focused on Ireland in the national and international economy with presentations from Dr Alan Ahearne, Economist & Lecturer, NUI Galway and Professor John McHale, Chair National Fiscal Council and Professor of Economics, NUI Galway.  The economics symposium was chaired by Brian Molloy, Director HC Financial Advisers and CEO Orbsen Therapeutics Ltd. The Global Mindset symposium included presentations from New York and Chicago based organisations and was chaired by Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway.  Helen Ryan, CEO, Creganna Tactx Medical reflected on the challenges and opportunities for Irish owned companies through export-led growth.  Seamus Kavanagh, Vice President, Innovation and Technology Development, Hollister Inc., Chicago and Mike Higgins, Managing Director and Head of CIBC World Markets Corp., New York and Chair of the NUI Galway US Foundation, reflected on the global business market. The final conference symposium reflected on issues of ethics, governance and leadership in driving organisational success with presentations from Conor McDonnell, Vice-President for HR, Fidelity Investments, Myles McHugh of Myles McHugh and Associates (formerly Irish Rail), and Paschal McCarthy, Vice President, GE Healthcare.  Dr Alma McCarthy, MBA Programme Director and event organiser, said: “I was struck by the considerable success which our MBA alumni have achieved in challenging senior management positions nationally and globally.  It was refreshing to hear from our alumni who were very positive about the opportunities that lie ahead and the possibilities that can be achieved with the right frame of mind.” Over 200 attended the black tie gala dinner at the Ardilaun Hotel where guests enjoyed a keynote dinner address by Dr Leo Smyth, Adjunct Professor of Management at NUI Galway and former MBA Programme Director and Lecturer. Commenting on the NUI Galway MBA programme, Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway is a highly regarded management development programme in the region.  It also enjoys a very good reputation nationally as evidenced by two recent national All-Ireland competition wins for MBA programmes on the island of Ireland.”  The conference received funding under The Gathering as many international alumni returned for the event. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Promoting Peace and Reconciliation and Excellence in Music Education and Performance 2,000 children from schools all over Co. Galway will take part in Galway Peace Proms which will be held in the Kingfisher Hall, NUI Galway this Saturday and Sunday, 9 and 10 February. For the second year in a row, choirs will perform with the internationally acclaimed Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland (CBOI), led by Ireland’s premiere conductor Gearóid Grant. Performances will take place at 2pm and 7pm each day. Concerts will feature tenor Emmanuel Lawler, renowned Uilleann Piper Patrick Martin, Violinist Patricia Treacy in addition to drummers and pipers from the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Northern Ireland Branch. The programme is packed full of family favourites and showstoppers as well as powerful anthems from the Ulster Scots and Irish traditions.  The CBOI was established as a peace initiative almost eighteen years ago and is made up of 120 young musicians from all over Ireland including Galway.  The orchestra has just returned from their sell out debut at the Royal Albert Hall London, and has also performed at prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, New York; Chicago Symphony Hall; Boston Symphony Hall, and major venues throughout California and Europe. In 2010 the CBOI won an international award for the “Most Outstanding Performance” and the Shanghai Expo in China. The CBOI will make their London debut at the Royal Albert Hall in October next. The CBOI has performed for President McAleese at Áras and Uachtaráin; for Queen Elizabeth 11 at Hillsborough Castle; for many special international Ministerial gatherings at Slane Castle and Dublin Castle; for numerous national commemorations including the Battle of the Boyne; the 10th anniversary of the Belfast Agreement; the 30th anniversary of the twinning of Listowel and Downpatrick, and the 400th Anniversary of the Flight of the Earls in Rome. This year over 10,000 children from all over Ireland will participate in “Peace Proms” which is supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and the Department of Education and Skills and is recognised as one of Ireland’s most important Arts Education initiatives, providing outstanding cultural opportunities for young people while promoting peace, unity and tolerance through music. The CBOI is a registered charity and totally not-for -profit. All funds generated through ticket sales cover the cost of running this programme in which 10,000 children participate annually. Tickets for the Galway Peace Proms can be purchased from www.cboi.ie and from the Town Hall Theatre, Galway   ENDS

Friday, 8 February 2013

On Friday 8 March 2013, NUI Galway School of Law will host a public symposium on the privacy issues which are becoming increasingly important as more and more of our daily interactions and long-term records are stored digitally and on the Internet. Entitled “Privacy from Birth to Death and Beyond: European and American Perspectives”, the event will deal with topics such as the upcoming European Court of Justice ruling on the so-called “Right to be Forgotten”, the development of privacy regulation in the United States of America, the protection of children’s privacy online, privacy rights after death, and the practical issues that face practitioners working with these rapidly-developing problems. The symposium is being jointly organised by the LL.M. in Public Law and the LL.M. in Law, Technology and Governance. According to Mr Rónán Kennedy, Director of the LL.M. in Law, Technology and Governance, at NUI Galway: “The rise in popularity of social networking, image and video sharing sites mean that the regulation of privacy is becoming increasingly complex and challenging, and anyone working on these issues needs to keep abreast of new developments.” Ms Marie McGonagle, Director of the Public Law LL.M., at the University, added: “In an increasingly online world, the boundaries between private and public are constantly shifting. This symposium will provide an opportunity to engage with international and national experts in both private and public law in exploring approaches to some of the most pressing issues relating to privacy that affect everyone from the individual to the private sector and the State.” Speakers will include Mr José María Baño, Instituto de Empresa and José María Baño León Abogados, Madrid; Professor Joshua Fairfield of the Washington and Lee University Law School; Dr Sharon McLaughlin, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Mr Paul Lambert, Merrion Legal Solicitors and Mr Damien McCallig, School of Law, NUI Galway. The LL.M. in Public Law has been running successfully since 2005 and has attracted a steady number of students, both full-time and part-time, including, as well as recent graduates, qualified and practising solicitors, barristers, Gardaí and personnel from public bodies. The LL.M. in Law, Technology and Governance is a unique and pioneering programme with a focus on the interconnection between law, technology, science, and innovation. Both programmes include modules with a focus on the legal issues and problems presented by the development of new communications technologies, such as Communications Law: Law, Technology and Change, Data Protection, Privacy and Retention, Internet Regulation and Governance Torts. Further details and registration information are available at http://www.conference.ie. Continuing Professional Development certificates will be provided.   ENDS

Monday, 11 February 2013

NUI Galway is celebrating Drama in many forms during its Theatre Festival, which runs from 18-22 February.  Now in its fourth year, the event showcases through theatre, literature and film, the many talents of NUI Galway students, societies and alumni. Organised by the University’s Societies Office, one of the main highlights this year is the return of the Jerome Hynes One Act play Series, which features eight new works written by students. The plays will be performed at lunchtimes and evenings and all eight will feature in the Omnibus Edition on Friday, 22 February in the Cube Theatre in Áras na Mac Léinn. NUI Galway’s Dramsoc will present Sam Shepard’s play ‘Seduced’ which runs from 20-23 February. This dark comedy takes place at the death bed of the world’s richest man as the empire he has created starts to fall apart as his paranoia and madness grow. Guest performances for the week include ‘Blooming Ulysses The Show’. The acclaimed comic adaptation of James Joyces’s Ulysses is performed by Gerry Farrell. The show serves as an excellent introduction to Ulysses. Proceeds from the show, which takes place on 18 February, are in aid of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland. Cyclone Rep, in association with Everyman Theatre, will present their Shakespeare Sessions. These student centred performances include ’Macbeth’ and ’The Merchant of Venice’.  On Thursday, 20 February 130 students from the Danish School of Performance, Mellerup Efterskole, will join NUI Galway’s Musical, Traditional Music and Dance Societies for a performance of eclectic music and dance. As part of the Fesitval, third-year students from the BA in Theatre and Performance will present ’Manologues’, a devised piece which  tells the story of eight males searching for a meaning in contemporary Ireland. The play looks at male identity in Irish culture bringing into light the hardship of everyday life for many men in an Ireland where the old identity is laughed at and the new identity is unknown. Continuing its commitment to the arts, NUI Galway offers a four-year degree programme, BA degree in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, which is designed for students with a keen interest in all aspects of drama and performance. Students on this programme have the opportunity to benefit from the dynamic partnerships forged by NUI Galway with key arts organisations including the Abbey Theatre, Druid Theatre Company, the Galway Arts Festival and Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe. Ríona Hughes, NUI Galway Societies Officer and Festival Director, said: “The Festival is an opportunity for the University to showcase the dramatic arts on campus and to invite world class practitioners to the college, we hope that Galway will join with us for a week of celebration.” All events are open to the public and the full programme of events is available at http://www.socs.nuigalway.ie/news_reviews/view/479/. For information and tickets visit the SocsBox in Áras na Mac Léinn, NUI Galway, or contact 091 492852 or socsbox@socs.nuigalway.ie. -END-

Monday, 11 February 2013

NUI Galway’s Engineering Building was judged the Best Educational Building at the recent Local Authority Members Association (LAMA) Awards 2013. This adds to the Engineering Building’s existing list of accolades which includes RIAI Irish Architecture’s Public Choice and the Best Sustainable Project Awards, the Irish Building and Design Award for School and Educational Building Project of the Year, and the Irish Concrete Society’s Sustainability Award. Opened in 2011 by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, the Engineering Building at NUI Galway is a world-class teaching and research facility. The building has been designed to be a teaching tool in itself, with exposed construction techniques and an array of ecological building methods. The 14,250 sqm, four story building supports an emerging generation of engineers, engaged in a new wave of technologies, embracing innovation and entrepreneurship; it accommodates some 1,100 students and 110 staff. Commenting on the latest award, John Gibney, Director of Physical Resources at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted that Galway City Council proposed the Engineering Building to LAMA and also to win the Best Educational Building Award for 2013. The building is proving successful in teaching and research terms and it is heartening to receive consistent recognition for its architectural and sustainability credentials. This is testament to the hard work and innovation of the designers, contractors and university staff involved in its inception, delivery and operation.” First held in 2006, the LAMA Awards were created to recognise innovative local and national projects in the areas of infrastructure, community development, recreation and social impact initiatives. Commenting on the awards, Chairman of IPB Insurance George Jones said: “Once again the awards have served up a very high standard of projects and initiatives and is testimony to the hard work being done by Local Authorities and their communities. It is only fitting to publicly acknowledge this great work so as to promote best practice and encourage others to aspire to these high standards.” -ENDS-

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

NUI Galway, in collaboration with software industry partners, has been awarded HEA funding for the renewal of the innovative industry-focused Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development. Initiated in 2012, this one-year post-graduate conversion course aims to increase the supply of skilled graduates to meet the needs of Ireland’s high-growth software industry. It will provide graduates with a fast-track, focused computing qualification, and presents them with an opportunity to obtain valuable industry work experience. The Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development builds on the existing strengths of collaborative academic-industry interaction in the Galway region, and provides graduates with: a solid foundation in key software design knowledge; a choice of software architecture specialization in either .NET or Java Enterprise; and a guaranteed work placement to gain relevant experience, and so provide the opportunity to kick-start their career as software developers. The industry partners include Avaya, Ericsson, Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), Hewlett Packard, Storm Technologies, The Marine Institute, Solano Tech Ltd, NetFort Technologies, SourceDogg, APC/Schneider, CISCO and IBM. The new course will be delivered as part of the Information Technology Discipline’s complimentary portfolio of postgraduate degrees. Welcoming news of the award, Dr Enda Howley, Course Director of the Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development at NUI Galway, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for highly motivated analytical graduates from engineering, science and business, to invest just one year of their time in further education, and, through placement experience with our Industry partners, they will have an excellent prospect for recruitment as software developers in Ireland’s high-tech information and communication technology sector. This sector is experiencing rapid expansion at the moment, and there is a growing skills shortage for information and communication technology graduate roles that these students are ideally suited to fill.” -ENDS-

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

A new book examining the history of a “think tank”, established in the mid 1950s, to challenge the ways Ireland was governed, socially, politically and economically, is to be launched in the National University of Ireland on 19 February. Tuairim: intellectual debate and policy formulation: Rethinking Ireland, 1954-75, published by Manchester University Press, was written by Dr Tomás Finn, a lecturer in modern Irish History at NUI Galway. Tuairim (the Irish word for “opinion”) was an intellectual movement that challenged traditional orthodoxy and put forward new ideas and fresh solutions. From the late 1950s, Tuairim’s members, who included the late Garret Fitzgerald, future Supreme Court Judge Donal Barrington, Miriam Hederman O’Brien, Jim Doolan and David Thornley, sought to influence debate and public policy in an attempt to re-invent the country. “At a time when Ireland is currently looking at ways to re-invent itself as it continues with the process of economic recovery, the timing of this publication is particularly appropriate,” explains Dr Finn. “The Ireland of the 1950s, 60s and 70s encountered similar social and economic upheaval.” The book argues that Tuairim influenced the key public policy decisions that shaped modern Ireland. Policies on which Tuairim’s members voiced influential arguments included: investment in education; reforms to censorship and the system of childcare; the central importance of economic planning to Ireland’s future; and moves towards a more conciliatory policy in relation to Northern Ireland. Also considered in the book, is Tuairim’s contribution to debates on both administrative and Oireachtas reform, and on the quality of ideas informing public policy. The groups’s hopes for moves towards equality of opportunity, and increased co-operation, provoked a strong reaction from vested interests, particularly the Catholic Church, but also facilitated increased activity by the State. In assessing the relative successes and failures of the organisation in these areas, the book is an addition to the current public debate on national policy and its administration and Ireland’s intellectual and cultural development in the post-Celtic Tiger period. The book will be launched by Dr Maurice Manning and Mr Justice Donal Barrington on Tuesday, 19 February at 6pm in the National University of Ireland, Merrion Square, Dublin. -ends-

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Professor Daniel Schrag, Director of Harvard Centre for the Environment and member of President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, will participate in a public talk at NUI Galway on Thursday, 14 February. ‘How Can we Change Attitudes to Climate Change?’ will feature Professor Daniel Schrag in conversation with Dr Henrike Rau, a lecturer in Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway, and leader of the Ryan Institute’s Socio-Economics and Policy priority research area. The event is part of the Climate Gathering, which will see over 50 participants from more than 10 countries gather in The Burren to discuss climate change. The Ryan Institute at NUI Galway is hosting the Galway event, and the Institute’s Director, Professor Colin Brown, commented: “The evidence for climate disruption from human activities is clear, and so are the broad strategies for dealing with it. What we urgently need are detailed policies that significantly change behaviour at every level of society.” The Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research at NUI Galway has over 300 researchers making it Ireland’s largest research institute to focus on some of the most pressing environmental and energy issues of the 21st century. Climate Gathering participants are coming from a variety of different backgrounds ranging from science, politics, culture and business. Conversations will be held over three days in the Burren College of Art, in an informal and non-binding context. Innovative facilitation techniques will be employed to access the collective insight and wisdom within the diverse group. The intention is to distil this into the beginning of new narratives to catalyse profound change in the way we approach and address the challenges associated with climate change. Talks get underway in Ballyvaughan, County Clare on Friday, 15 February. -ends-

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

NUI Galway is calling all wanna-be-engineers to participate in a week of events and activities from 25 February to 3 March as part of National Engineers Week. Engineers Week will provide an opportunity for members of the public of all ages to meet practicing engineers and IT specialists who are creatively using imagination and creativity to envisage the future. As part of the line-up NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics and Ryan Institute will host Bringing Dreams to Life, a free family-event for all ages where visitors will be able to take part in hands-on experiments, workshops, and demonstrations. There will be puppets and a lego-build area especially for the young visitors and a display of antique engineering equipment to make the grown-ups feel at home. Highlights of the event will include a K’Nex Bridge Building Contest, an Eco-House Design Challenge, a Renewable Energy Demonstration Station, Water Treatment experiments, Robotics and much more. Speaking about Engineers Week, Professor Gerard Lyons, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “Engineering is an exciting profession. Everything around you has been engineered in some way, yet you may not see the engineers behind the scenes. Engineers take maths and science from the lab to invent, design, and build things that matter. By dreaming up creative and practical solutions, engineers are changing the world all the time. We encourage you to come and explore engineering through cool, fun and exciting demonstrations, meet with practicing engineers and IT specialists, learn about robotics, mobile phone apps, sports engineering, building design, renewable energies, medical implants and much more.” Transition Year students will be able to participate in a dedicated ‘Youth Enterprise Ideation Camp’. During this two-day camp, students will focus on solving real world challenges using technology. At the end of the camp teams will present their ideas to a professional jury and winners will go forward to a national competition at Intel, Leixlip in April 2013. Other activities include an interactive engineering show for primary school pupils, ‘Airmazing’, a second-level students event which will re-imagine the works of pioneering Irish Structural Engineer Peter Rice, and an event that will include the local Coderdojo Club. Additional NUI Galway events being hosted during National Engineers Week includes a public talk on Cyberbulling by Brendan Smith of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway. Brendan will give an overview of the modern phenomena of Cyberbulling from mobile phone texting to online social media services such as Facebook, Twitter and Ask.fm. This presentation will give a brief history of the development of communication technologies, the laws governing harassment by electronic devices and guidelines on Internet Safety. ‘Energising Ireland: What’s the Best Option’ will be the topic for discussion at the 3rd annual Energy Night which also takes place during National Engineers Week. Experts in the field of Nuclear Energy, Renewable Energy and fossil fuels will discuss the best solution to the Irish Energy Crisis. All of these events are free of charge but booking is essential as spaces are limited. For further information, or to book a place contact Ena Brophy, College of Engineering and Informatics, NUI Galway at 091 492664 or email ena.brophy@nuigalway.ie. For more information on all the events taking place during Engineers Week visit www.nuigalway.ie/engineers-week or www.engineersweek.ie. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Letterkenny on Thursday, 21 February. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7-9pm in the Radisson Hotel, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand to answer any questions in relation to courses and practical issues including accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a whole suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a Bachelor of Arts with Human Rights, an Energy Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programmes, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies and a Bachelor of Arts with Journalism which are brand new for 2013. “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to Donegal, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Letterkenny is a perfect opportunity to meet current students and our lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit”, says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. To find out more about the information evening in Letterkenny, contact NUI Galway’s Schools Liaison Officer, Gráinne Dunne on 087 244 0858 or grainne.dunne@nuigalway.ie. ENDS

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Dr Maurice Hayes for Monsignor Pádraig de Brún Memorial Lecture at NUI Galway The 2013 Monsignor Pádraig de Brún Memorial Lecture, entitled “To Hell or to Croker: Whither the Irish Public Service?” will be delivered by former public servant (north and south) and former Senator and political analyst Maurice Hayes. The event will take place in the Aula Maxima at NUI Galway on Monday, 25 February at 8.00pm and booking is essential. A native of County Down, Maurice Hayes is a graduate in Literature and in Law of Queen’s University Belfast.  He has spent most of his life working in the public service in Northern Ireland, variously as Town Clerk; as Head of Human Resources, Northern Ireland Civil Service; Permanent Secretary, Department of Health and Social Services; and Northern Ireland Ombudsman. He was first Chairman of the Northern Ireland Community Relations Commission and a member of the Human Rights Commission. He has acted as Electoral Boundary Commissioner, as Senior Advisor to the Chair of the Constitutional Convention, and chaired a review of acute hospital services in Northern Ireland. He served for ten years as a member of Seanad Éireann, and chaired the National Forum on Europe. A Member of the Royal Irish Academy, he holds honorary doctorates from the National University of Ireland, TCD, QUB, and the University of Ulster. He was a member of the Patten Commission and authored the report which led to the establishment of the Office of Police Ombudsman.  He has also advised and produced reports on management issues in An Garda Síochána, Tallaght Hospital and RTÉ.  He chairs the Irish Language Broadcast Fund (NI). He has published three books of memoirs Sweet Killough let go your anchor, Black Puddings with slimand Minority Verdict as well as numerous articles and papers on conflict resolution and other aspects of social policy. He is a regular political columnist and book reviewer in the Irish Independent and the Belfast Telegraph. He is married with five children. In his younger days he was an interprovincial hurler. For several years he was  secretary of the County Down board of the GAA and set out a ten year plan that saw Down win the All-Ireland football trophy for the first time in 1960 and go on to win the title a further four times. According to NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne: “The Monsignor Pádraig De Brún lecture honours a former University President who was a renowned polymath with keen interest in the arts, the sciences and the culture of his day.  This year’s De Brún memorial lecture is both timely and relevant.  It will be of great interest to all those interested in the future of the Irish public service at a time of great turmoil in the public sector.  We are delighted to welcome the very distinguished public servant, Maurice Hayes to give this year’s Dr Brún lecture and I look forward to his insights into this important matter of public discourse.  Speaking in advance of the lecture, Dr Maurice Hayes said: “The first and main challenge for the public service is to regain public respect, to recover the public trust which has been lost, and to restore the parallel loss of morale which has been shattered by mindless criticism on the one hand and blind self-interest on the other.  The next is to re-structure and re-equip to meet the needs of a changing society, and then to find the people who can deliver on both objectives at a price the nation can afford.” The public lecture takes place at 8pm on Monday, 25 February and while admission is free registration is required via www.conference.ie -ends-

Thursday, 14 February 2013

NUI Galway recently conferred the second cohort of graduates from its Youth Academy. At the special ceremony held at the University, 133 primary school children from across Galway City and County were presented with certificates, with more than 800 attending the ceremony. Established in 2012, the Youth Academy aims to inspire entry to university by introducing children and their families to university life. Since its foundation, over 200 children have graduated from a range of Saturday morning courses that the Youth Academy established in Italian Language and Culture, Philosophical Discovery, Psychology, Engineering, Irish History, Science Exploration, English and Information Technology. The Youth Academy runs for a six week period and works with high ability fourth and fifth class primary school children to support their learning and academic development, in partnership with their primary schools. Speaking at the event, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “NUI Galway is committed to sharing knowledge with the wider community and ensuring that the pathways to university are open to all. I would like to pay tribute to the commitment and support of the parents gathered, for encouraging a culture of learning and knowledge among some of the youngest members of the community, who will go onto to fuel the knowledge economy.” The Youth Academy was founded by three NUI Galway colleagues, Mary Dempsey, College of Engineering and Informatics, Dr Caroline Heary, School of Psychology, and Lorraine Mc Ilrath, Community Knowledge Initiative, and is supported by NUI Galway’s Vice-President for Innovation and Performance, Professor Chris Curtin. The Irish Centre for Talented Youth, based at Dublin City University, has supported and guided the activity. On behalf of the founding members, Dr Heary said: “Encouraging and nurturing children’s strengths and interests from an early age is vital, and the University, in partnership with schools and communities can play an enormous role in this process.” It is anticipated that another round of courses will be offered to fourth and fifth class children in Galway City and County in the spring of 2013. For further information on the courses and participation please contact Geraldine Marley, Youth Academy Coordinator, at youthacademy@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

European Space Agency and Irish Research Council Sponsor NUI Galway Research Rocket engineers at NUI Galway are developing new materials which will reduce the cost of launching rockets into space. The European Space Agency (ESA) is cooperating with the Irish Research Council and Irish and European companies to fund the research project. Two PhD students in Mechanical Engineering at NUI Galway will research innovative methods of using thermoplastic composite materials to reduce the weight of fuel tanks for space launchers.  David Grogan, from Renmore in Galway, and Brendan Murray from Annaglough, Co. Cavan, will work with NUI Galway’s Dr Conchúr Ó Brádaigh and Professor Seán Leen. Dr Christopher Semprimoschnig of the European Space Agency (ESA) has said that the Agency was delighted to support the work of the NUI Galway researchers: “It costs up to €30,000 to launch 1kg of payload into space. If ESA can reduce the weight of our liquid hydrogen/oxygen fuel tanks on launchers such as Ariane 5 and future launchers, by substituting lightweight composites for metals, this will reduce the cost of telecommunications, internet and satellite television and even help enable manned-missions to Mars and further parts of the Universe.” David Grogan’s PhD topic is “Finite Element Prediction of Microcracking in Thermoplastic Composite Cyrogenic Fuel Tanks”, and Brendan Murray’s research is on the “Development of Cost-Effective Rotationally-Moulded Polymer Liners for Composite Fuel Tanks.” The students’ PhD work is jointly sponsored for three years by ESA through its Network Partnering Initiative, and by the Irish Research Council through its EMBARK postgraduate Scholarships. David and Brendan’s work is also supported by ÉireComposites Teo. in Indreabhán, Co. Galway, and Astrium Space Transportation in Bordeaux, France, as well as the Irish Centre for Composites Research at the University of Limerick. -ends-

Thursday, 21 February 2013

The Law Reform Commission will hold a public consultation on its Fourth Programme of Law Reform in Áras Moyola, NUI Galway at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 27 February. The event will be chaired by the Commission President, Mr Justice John Quirke, and there will be two contributions from invited speakers: Judge Tom O'Donnell of the Circuit Court and Damien McCallig, an Irish Research Council-funded PhD candidate in the School of Law, NUI Galway. The purpose of the evening is to hear the views of members of the public on what should be contained in the Fourth Programme of Law Reform. Members of the Law Reform Commission, including Tom O'Malley and Donncha O'Connell from the School of Law, NUIG, will be in attendance in a listening capacity. The event is open to the public and there is no admission charge. The Law Reform Commission is a statutory body, established by the Law Reform Commission Act 1975, with a mandate to keep the law under review, to undertake examinations and conduct research with a view to reforming the law, and to formulate proposals for law reform. Having completed the majority of the projects set out in its Third Programme of Law Reform, the Law Reform Commission is now in the process of preparing a new Programme of Law Reform which will form the principal basis of the Commission’s work over the coming years, subject to approval by the Government. Further information is available on our website www.lawreform.ie and any enquiries may be sent to fourthprogramme@lawreform.ie