Thursday, 18 April 2019

University students win three awards including Editor and Newspaper of the Year NUI Galway’s students were presented with three awards at the National Student Media Awards on Thursday night. Hosted by Oxygen.ie, the National Student Media Awards, or SMedias as they are known, are in their 19th Year and honour Ireland’s best young talent in media. NUI Galway’s student newspaper Sin was awarded College Newspaper of the Year. The bi-weekly publication has a circulation of 6,000 and is staffed by students from a variety of courses. The newspaper of the year award is sponsored by The Irish Times whose editors helped to judge this year’s submissions. Bachelor of Arts with Journalism student Áine Kenny took home the Irish Independent’s highly competitive Editor of the Year award. The 21-year-old journalist from Dundalk, Co. Louth, is the editor of Sin newspaper, which is the University’s only college publication. Baitsiléir sna Dána – Cumarsáid (Bachelor of Arts - Communications) student Amy Coy from Loughrea, Co. Galway was present with the Iriseoireacht trí Ghaeilge – Raidió award. Speaking after the award, Áine Kenny said that the win would not have been possible without the Sin team. “The award for newspaper of the year, and editor of the year, was made possible by the wonderful team of volunteers we have working on the paper. This is a group production where everyone plays a part, from our writers, our stellar editorial team, our Deputy Editor Martha and our graphic designer Shannon. I also want to thank the Students’ Union for their continued support and Tom Felle of the Journalism department. Hopefully there will be many more awards to come.” Professor Cathal O’Donoghue, Dean of the College of Arts, Social Science and Celtic Studies at NUI Galway, congratulated Ms Kenny and all the other students who were part of team that won awards at the SMedias: “This is a wonderful achievement for Áine and all the student journalists involved in SIN, the student newspaper. These major awards – best student newspaper in the country, best editor, and best Irish language radio documentary – demonstrate the high calibre of learning in our journalism and cumarsáid programmes at NUI Galway. The University has a long history of producing top quality journalism graduates. The University has recently re-launched our journalism programmes and a new BA Journalism and MA Sports Journalism programmes will launch next September.” -Ends-

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charles Flanagan T.D., and Commissioner of An Garda Síochána, Drew Harris, will address a major conference on ‘Policing, Human Rights and Communities’ hosted by the School of Law and Irish Centre for Human Rights in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway on Friday, 26 April. The conference will focus on the main recommendations of the Report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland, published last September, which acknowledged human rights as the core purpose of policing and committed unequivocally to the ideal of policing with communities. The conference will also consider new arrangements for national security that are being put in place as part of the implementation plan for the Commission’s report. Lord David Anderson of Ipswich, KBE, QC, who was the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation for the United Kingdom, will speak about these new structures and the appropriate level of oversight required. The conference will also be addressed by, among others: Emily Logan, the Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission; Liam Herrick, the Executive Director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties; Professor Maura Conway of Dublin City University; Dr Mick Feehan, former Assistant Commissioner of An Garda Síochána; Dr Sindy Joyce, Human Rights Activist and Member of the Council of State; and Professor Siobhán Mullally, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway. Professor Donncha O’Connell, School of Law at NUI Galway and a member of the Commission on the Future of Policing, who is convening the conference, said: “This conference provides an invaluable opportunity for a wide range of stakeholders to engage critically with the process of policing reform currently under way in Ireland, especially as the reform process relates to the core issues of human rights and policing and policing with communities. There is already huge interest in the event and, in order to include the widest possible audience, we will be livestreaming proceedings for the entire day and making videos of each session available afterwards.” To register for the conference visit https://policinghumanrights.eventbrite.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

NUI Galway students were awarded a bursary of €3,000 to make their idea for a better Ireland a reality at the Pathways to Progress event last week. Their winning project, Understanding Le Chéile, seeks to raise awareness of autism in schools and businesses around Ireland. Understanding Le Chéile is a project that empowers people with autism to deliver information workshops that raise awareness of autism in schools and businesses around Ireland. Now in its second year, the Pathways to Progress initiative is a key element of the partnership between Citi Foundation and Enactus Ireland. The partnership aims to provide resources for students to empower people between the ages of 16 and 24 from disadvantaged urban areas around Ireland. Successful projects receive seed funding, intensive training, mentoring and guidance from Citi volunteers and Enactus Ireland staff. NUI Galway student, Caoimhe Farrell, Academic Leader of Understanding Le Chéile, said: “We continue to strive towards making our goals a reality in ensuring equal treatment for everyone in the academic and corporate settings regardless of their physical, intellectual or emotional abilities.” Ronan Lavin, Corporate Leader of Understanding Le Chéile and NUI Galway student, said: “We hope to pave a way for businesses and schools to encourage, build and nurture environments founded on inclusion, collaboration and respect.”  On this year’s finalists, Ray Kirwan, Senior Compliance Officer from Citi, said: “Citi is delighted to have hosted the final Dragon’s Den pitch, as part of our Pathways to Progress programme with Enactus. The judging panel were all really impressed with the quality of the projects and the work the teams put into them. While the panel found it difficult to select one winning project, Understanding Le Chéile stood out for the impact and empowerment for all involved as well as how it has developed over the last 12 months, with more opportunities to grow in the future. To learn more about Enactus Ireland and the Pathways to Progress initiative visit  www.enactus.ie.    -Ends-

Monday, 15 April 2019

Astronomers at NUI Galway are part of an international team which for the first time have used the VERITAS gamma-ray telescopes to measure the angular diameter of stars. The study was published today (15, April 2019) in the journal Nature Astronomy. VERITAS is an array of four 12-metre gamma-ray telescopes located at the F.L. Whipple Observatory in southern Arizona.  They are used to detect very-high-energy gamma radiation from exotic objects in space. They do this by measuring the brief flashes of visible light produced when gamma rays enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Dr Gary Gillanders of the School of Physics, Centre for Astronomy at NUI Galway, explains: “Stars are so far away from us that they appear as points of light in the sky. Their diameters are usually estimated indirectly using measurements of temperature and brightness.” The VERITAS team have directly measured the angular diameter of two stars by using an asteroid occultation method in which the shadow cast on the Earth when an asteroid passes between the star and the Earth is measured. This is a first for telescopes of the type used by VERITAS, and opens up a new window for direct measurement of the size of stars. Amy Joyce, then an MSc student at NUI Galway was part of the observing crew which measured one of the occultations.  Supported by the Irish Research Council, she is now based at the European Space Agency in Madrid. According to Amy Joyce: “The occultation is like a mini solar eclipse, although it is extremely faint and only lasts a few seconds, VERITAS is an ideal instrument to detect it.” Dr Mark Lang of the School of Physics, Centre for Astronomy at NUI Galway welcomed the results: “Normally we use VERITAS to observe objects like the supermassive black hole in M87, recently imaged by the Event Horizon Telescope. Now we have shown that VERITAS can make other types of measurements”. The study was led by Dr Michael Daniel of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Dr Tarek Hassan of DESY, the German high-energy physics institute. The VERITAS collaboration includes colleagues at UCD and Cork IT. To read the full study on Monday, 15 April at 16:00 London time in Nature Astronomy, visit: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-019-0741-z -Ends-

Monday, 15 April 2019

MERLIN is one of four separate clinical trials by Orbsen Therapeutics studying ORBCEL stromal cell immunotherapies designed to treat some of the most challenging diseases  Orbsen Therapeutics, an NUI Galway spin-out biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialisation of stromal cell immunotherapies, announced its second generation immunotherapy ORBCEL-C is being administered to patients participating in MERLIN, a multi-site UK-based clinical trial to determine the therapy’s safety and effectiveness in treating two types of chronic autoimmune liver diseases.  Dr Larry Couture, CEO of Orbsen Therapeutics, said: “Orbsen’s product pipeline featuring ORBCEL immunotherapies has tremendous potential to make a significant impact on illnesses related to diabetes, autoimmunity and inflammation, as well as chronic liver diseases.”  MERLIN is investigating ORBCEL-C’s ability to safely and effectively treat individuals with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a condition characterised by inflammation in the bile ducts, and autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), a disease which causes the body’s immune system to attack the liver. If left untreated, both conditions may lead to cirrhosis or liver failure and subsequently require liver transplantation. Dr Stephen Elliman, Chief Scientific Officer at Orbsen Therapeutics and who discovered the ORBCEL therapy at NUI Galway, said: “Patients suffering with PSC and AIH have few therapeutic options today, and most patients require liver transplantation. We are optimistic taking ORBCEL-C immunotherapy to the clinic as a solution to preserve liver function and slow progression of these autoimmune liver diseases, ultimately reducing the need for liver transplants in these patients.” The clinical trial, which will follow as many as 56 patients through the treatment process, is under the direction of Chief Investigator Professor Phil Newsome from the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy. Study sites include Birmingham, Oxford and Nottingham. “I am very excited about the potential benefits of this treatment for patients with PSC and AIH,” said Professor Newsome. “There is good evidence the selected cells within this new immunotherapy can reduce liver inflammation and improve liver function. The study aims to prove the treatment’s safety and efficacy, and explore the possibility it may be applied to future clinical trials to address other immune and inflammatory diseases.” Orbsen’s proprietary ORBCEL technology yields nearly 100 percent pure stromal cells, a significant increase in purity when compared to first generation stromal cell therapies. Orbsen is currently enrolling and treating patients in three additional clinical trials to assess ORBCEL’s safety and efficacy in the prevention and treatment of diabetic kidney disease, non-healing diabetic foot ulcers and moderate to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Another trial is pending for patients with several auto-immune disorders. For more information about Orbsen Therapeutics: https://orbsentherapeutics.com/ -Ends-

Monday, 15 April 2019

This summer, researchers, students and industry professionals can apply to take part in the KDU Visual Analytics Summer School, being held at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics, NUI Galway. In addition to contributions from invited world-leading researchers and practitioners, the summer school will draw on expertise present in NUI Galway’s Data Science Institute, Lero - the Irish Software Research Centre, J.E, Cairnes School of Business & Economics, and the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies. Visual Analytics is increasingly used to help decision-makers who rely on “Big Data” to make their decisions. It supports analytical thinking and reasoning, by combining advances in areas such as Information Visualisation, Data Mining and Big Data. These combined provide users with interactive interfaces and meaningful processing abilities to draw out insights for their analyses. Invited speaker, Professor Alex Endert of the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech said: “The research and development of tools and skills needed to understand data are becoming ever more important in today’s data-driven society. People, businesses, and governments who have technology to understand and use data will have greater opportunities. Visual Analytics occupies an important space in the space of data science and data literacy. In continuing to advance visual analytics as a discipline, we can continue to increase people’s data and analytic literacy.” Speaking at the announcement of the KDU Visual Analytics Summer School, organiser Heike Vornhagen of NUI Galway’s Data Science Institute said: “Helping people to develop skills in an emerging area that will have a lasting impact on both their research and career prospects is very exciting. It is a fantastic opportunity to spend time learning from how those in other sectors have developed their skills, approach problems, and implement solutions. Our hope is that it becomes a basis for a network of expertise through which future projects can be run”. Despite the growing importance of Big Data for multinational companies, government agencies and in a wide variety of public and private-sector organisations, there are few opportunities for people to upskill and to learn from others in different fields. Participants in the Summer School will be drawn from fields such as data analysis, visualisation, digital humanities, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), business and IT. Dr Noel Carroll of Lero said: “We see that visual analytics is an integral part of our industry research collaborations to combine visualisation, human factors, data analysis, and business value insights to better inform decision-making processes.” The workshop will consist of keynote talks to identify current trends and stimulate thinking, lectures to deepen participants’ understanding of the subject area, and hands-on tutorials to further participation and engagement. The KDU Visual Analytics Summer School will run from 10-14 June at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics, NUI Galway. Further details can be found at http://vass.datascienceinstitute.ie/, or by contacting vass@insight-centre.org -Ends-

Monday, 15 April 2019

Adele Gabba, a PhD student in the School of Chemistry at NUI Galway, has been awarded the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland Inaugural Postgraduate Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to research.  Originally from Italy, Adele is an Irish Research Council funded PhD scholar, who is currently in the final year of her study. She has been working on synthesis and evaluation of ligands for the macrophage galactose C-type lectin (CLEC10A). CLEC10A is a protein found on the surface of cells of the immune system, and has a role in viral infection, such as infection by the Ebola virus. She has conducted her research mostly at NUI Galway and also travelled for periods to ISAS in Germany to the laboratory of Ulrika Westerlind, supported by an EMBO travel award, and to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre (affiliated with the Harvard Medical School in Boston) to the laboratory of Gabriel Birrane.  The award from the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland also acknowledged Adele’s unwavering commitment to supporting and promoting Chemistry within her University and via her active participation in a wide array of public engagement initiatives. Adele has been very active in Kitchen Chemistry, which contributes to public events, such as the Galway Science and Technology Festival. She has also contributed to other events such as FameLab and Soapbox Science. Professor John Cassidy, President of the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland praised the excellence of Adele’s research as well as recognising the mentorship she provides to younger students.  Professor Celine Marmion, incoming President of the Institute, offered her congratulations to Adele, indicating she is a most worthy recipient of this award and wished her continued success and happiness in her current and future endeavors. Professor Marmion also offered congratulations to her PhD supervisor, Professor Paul Murphy, to the School of Chemistry and to NUI Galway.  Dr Patrick O’Leary, Head of the School of Chemistry at NUI Galway, said: “It’s great to see Adele’s work being recognised. She has truly embraced all that a PhD can offer in terms of her own research excellence, exposure to other research areas, training as a science communicator and inspiring the next generation of STEM students. Once she finishes in NUI Galway we look forward to seeing bright career ahead for her.” The Institute of Chemistry is the professional body representing chemists in Ireland. The mission of the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland is to promote Chemistry and to represent the profession of Chemistry in Ireland. -Ends-

Monday, 15 April 2019

As part of a new Spotlight on Research lecture series at NUI Galway’s College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies, Dr Maura Farrell from the School of Geography and Archaeology will address the increasingly important topic of ‘Researching the Rural: Going Global and Staying Local’ on Tuesday, 7 May. Dr Maura Farrell is currently the Principle Investigator on the National Rural Network Project and the more recent European Commission funded Horizon 2020 RURALIZATION Project. Dr Farrell has been appointed to many national and international committees and organisations, including an appointment by the Minister for Rural and Community Development to the Monitoring Committee for the Action Plan for Rural Development and by DG-AGRI to an evaluation and reflection group for the LEADER Programme. In her talk, Dr Farrell will outline key aspects of her rural research projects, their directions, outcomes and impacts. Dr Farrell remarks: “Rural research has multiple dimensions and directions, all striving to ascertain current rural endeavours and influence policy and practice. Developing a research trajectory within the rural sphere, requires an exploration of the theoretical, conceptual and empirical boundaries of rural studies. One of the foremost themes supporting such research is the nature of social, economic, political and cultural restructuring of rural areas driven by forces of globalisation, social modernisation and technological innovation.  Entwined in this process is the understanding of rural localities as sites through which these and other influences are conveyed, challenged and replicated.” Dr Seán Crosson, Vice-Dean for Research in the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies at NUI Galway, said: “The Spotlight on Research series aims to highlight the world leading and ground-breaking research being undertaken across our College. Academics within the College have received national and international recognition for the research they are undertaking, including major awards and research funding. This series provides a platform for us to bring these research achievements to the attention of both the academic community and the wider general public.” The lecture will be held in GO10, Moore Institute at 1pm on Tuesday, 7 May. Upcoming lectures in the series include: On Thursday, 6 June at 1pm in the Moore Institute, Dr Charlotte McIvor, Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, Dr Pádraig MacNeela, Dr Siobhán O’Higgins, and Kate Dawson of the School of Psychology, discuss the The Active Consent programme, recently awarded major funding support by the Lifes2good Foundation in partnership with Galway University Foundation and NUI Galway. -Ends-

Friday, 12 April 2019

New laboratory will carry out research in disruptive technologies and nature-based solutions for environmental protection and the Irish biobased economy NUI Galway has officially launched a new research laboratory, featuring the latest analytical equipment to characterise biofuels produced from organic waste as well as the microbial communities which produce these fuels. Professor Piet Lens will lead a team of 25 PhD and post-doctoral researchers in the Department of Microbiology at NUI Galway, which includes almost €1 million of advanced analytical equipment, funded through an investment under the Science Foundation Ireland Research Professorship Programme, ‘Innovative Energy Technologies for Bioenergy, Biofuels and a Sustainable Irish Bioeconomy’. Professor Piet Lens is a leading expert in environmental biotechnology and recently joined NUI Galway as an Established Professor of New Energy Technologies at the University’s College of Science and Engineering. Professor Lens and his team are spearheading this major research project to transform waste and wastewater treatment into production processes as part of a circular economy. The project will develop new technologies to produce biobased renewable fuels (such as hydrogen from dairy effluent) that are generated from waste products (such as butanol from spent brewery grains). These can be added to Ireland’s energy mix, supporting the Government’s strategy for an energy self-sufficient Irish bioeconomy. The laboratory performs research on a whole suite of disruptive, high-tech solutions for waste minimisation and material recycling that are already at our disposal, such as anaerobic digesters, a process used for industrial or domestic purposes to manage waste or to produce fuels, that will be developed over the coming years. Besides high-tech solutions, nature-based technologies will also be developed with the aim of tackling socio-environmental challenges such as climate change, water security, water pollution, food security and human health. These pollution control technologies are based on processes as they occur in wetlands and algal ponds. Also, the biomanufacturing of new biobased products such as fertilizers and biocommodities (such as polylactic acid and bioplastic). At the launch, Professor Piet Lens, NUI Galway, commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity for NUI Galway to develop new technologies that transform wastewater and waste into energy and biocommodities. The investment of Science Foundation Ireland in this area is a response to the nation’s Climate Action Plan and ambitions to become a self-sustainable island for energy, where renewable biofuels are generated out of our wastes.”  -Ends- 

Friday, 12 April 2019

Next week will see almost 1,500 international neuroscientists, neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, patient advocates and patient organisations gather in Dublin for the ‘BNA2019 Festival of Neuroscience’, the biggest neuroscience festival to be held in Europe in 2019 and the first time to be held outside of Britain. The Festival will take place from the 14-19 April in Dublin.  Neuroscience, by definition, is the science of the brain and nervous system, but it is so much more than these simple words indicate. Our brain is the seat of our personalities, our identities, our thoughts, our emotions, our memories, our motivations, our perceptions, our creativity, our joys and our fears. Neuroscience encompasses everything from how our brains, spines and nerves develop whilst in the uterus, to how they continue to develop and adapt to our environments and lifestyles as we grow through infancy, through adolescence into adulthood, and on to death. It is also the study of brain and nervous system diseases and disorders including genetic conditions like Huntington’s disease; neurological conditions like epilepsy, stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and chronic debilitating pain; and neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  Some of the latest Irish research being showcased includes how the bacteria in our gut can influence our brains, how concussion and brain injury affects children’s brains, how exercise can improve brain health in ageing, how medicinal cannabis could be harnessed to treat brain conditions, and many more topics. Lead Irish Organiser and President of Neuroscience Ireland, Dr Eilís Dowd from NUI Galway, says: “The BNA Festivals of Neuroscience are unparalleled in their ability to draw together expertise from across different neuroscience domains and to stimulate cross-disciplinary discussion and collaboration. Hosting the event in Ireland will provide the Irish neuroscience community with the opportunity to showcase the very best of Irish neuroscience research, thereby building and strengthening British, European and International research collaborations and networks. Ultimately, it is such cross-disciplinary, collaborative research that will accelerate the development of new therapies for brain and nervous system conditions.”  One of the unique features of the Festivals of Neuroscience is that they are a celebration of neuroscience that are not just open to the neuroscientists, neurologists, psychiatrists and psychologists, but they are also open to everyone else. In parallel with the scientific conference which will be held in the Convention Centre Dublin from 14–17 April, there will also be a Public Festival of Neuroscience that will run in venues throughout Dublin from 13–19 April. A total of 17 public events, coordinated by 30 organisations and 45 individuals, will feature in the programme, and there is something for anyone with an interest in neuroscience Lead Organiser of the Public Programme, Dr Áine Kelly, TCD, said: “The public outreach programme of the Festival of Neuroscience provides wonderful opportunities for the general public to hear about brain health and brain research directly from world-leading neuroscience researchers. Many events focus on neurological or psychiatric conditions, and are designed to encourage interaction between patients, carers, clinicians and researchers. These include events on Huntington’s disease, delirium, depression, teenage mental health and epilepsy. There is a strong arts focus to the programme, which includes films screenings, music and dance performances, a neuroscience-themed art installation and an interactive event on ageing and the arts. The programme caters for all tastes and interests and most events have a social element, with time dedicated to discussion and interaction. There really is something for everyone, so come along, learn, enjoy!” Neuroscience Ireland is Ireland’s official neuroscience society, a charitable organisation that promotes and supports neuroscience research in all of the major Irish academic institutions, as well as in several major Science Foundation Ireland multi-institutional research centres including APC (Microbiome Ireland), CÚRAM (the Centre for Research in Medical Devices), FutureNeuro (the Centre for Neurological Diseases), and INFANT (the Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research). Networking and collaboration between Irish neuroscience researchers is facilitated by several neuroscience networks in Ireland including Neuroscience Ireland, the Neurological Alliance of Ireland, Dementia and Neurodegeneration Network Ireland, the Irish Institute of Clinical Neuroscience, and the Irish Brain Council, and is supported financially by the Irish Government through Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish Health Research Board and the Irish Research Council, as well as through funding from the European Union, the Wellcome Trust, and many other national and international sources, including several Irish patient organisations. For more information about the BNA2019 Festival of Neuroscience, visit: http://meetings.bna.org.uk/bna2019/.   Follow on Twitter @NeuroscienceIRL, @BritishNeuro and #BNA2019. -Ends-

Thursday, 11 April 2019

The Irish Centre for Human Rights and School of Law at NUI Galway has won a major EU contract for Irish Law and Social Data Research, once again becoming Ireland’s national focal point for the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. This is the second time that the prestigious FRANET-Ireland contract for data collection and research services on fundamental rights issues in Ireland has been awarded to the Irish Centre for Human Rights. The new contract covers a period of four years and will run until November 2022. The research focuses on a number of thematic areas that are reported on annually, these include: Access to justice; asylum, migration and borders; information society, privacy and data protection; gender; hate crime; LGBTI; people with disabilities; racism and related intolerances; rights of the child; Roma rights. FRANET is the EU Fundamental Rights’ Agency’s multidisciplinary research network. The work of the Fundamental Rights Agency is critical in informing EU policy and fundamental rights across the EU member States. The Irish Centre for Human Rights has assembled a team of Ireland’s leading human rights and social science experts, located at academic institutions and in civil society, to analyse and report on the state of human rights in Ireland, and to raise awareness of the public policy importance of the Fundamental Rights Agency’s research and legal opinions. Professor Siobhán Mullally, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway and FRANET Senior Expert for Ireland, commented: “We are very pleased to take this leading role in analysing the protection of fundamental rights in Ireland, and thereby contributing to the strengthening of fundamental rights in Ireland and across the EU. We are particularly pleased to partner with Ireland’s leading human rights researchers and civil society advocates to undertake this ground-breaking work.” Under the previous FRANET contract the Irish team of experts led by the Irish Centre for Human Rights, completed a multi-year project on The Right to Independent Living for Persons with Disabilities. The project identified drivers and barriers to the transition to community-based support in fulfilment of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. For more information, contact Emily Brennan FRANET Research Manager, Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway at emily.brennan@nuigalway.ie or 091 493946. -Ends-

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

The British Neuroscience Association is hosting the BNA2019 Festival of Neuroscience in Dublin this April, the first time that this prestigious event has ever taken place outside of the UK. One event of the festival will take place in Galway, Brain Movie Night at An Palás cinema on Thursday, 11 April from 6pm-9pm.  Two documentaries, ‘Feats of Modest Valour’ and ‘A Tiny Spark’, which were made as part of the Science on Screen initiative will be screened and followed by a reception. Science on Screen is run by CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices based at NUI Galway and Galway Film Centre, and both of these films look at different aspects of research in neuroscience which are taking place at NUI Galway. ‘Feats of Modest Valour’, directed by Mia Mullarkey and Alice McDowell of Ishka Films was produced in 2016 and introduces us to Tom, Milena and Brian who have Parkinson’s Disease and also to researchers led by Dr Eilis Dowd in NUI Galway, who are working on the BrainMatTrain project which aims to halt or even cure this disease. This film has screened throughout the world and has won multiple international awards.  ‘A Tiny Spark’, directed by Niamh Heery and produced by Caroline Kealy of Swansong Films, is the newest output of the Science on Screen programme and was produced in 2018. In the film, we meet Rebecca, Trevor and Helen, who have each suffered strokes, and we meet the research team, led by Dr Karen Doyle at NUI Galway, who are conducting a study, the first of its kind in the world, to examine the components of blood clots. At this film’s premiere last year, a lively audience Q&A took place afterwards raising many issues around stroke and its treatment in Ireland. The free event is organised by Neuroscience Ireland, Ireland’s Official Neuroscience Society, and is supported by the Galway Neuroscience Centre, CÚRAM, Cerenovus and Science Foundation Ireland. Tickets to the event are free, but places are limited. Bookings can be made at www.eventbrite.com and search for (Brain Movie Night).  For more information contact Mary Deely, Science on Screen, CÚRAM, NUI Galway at mary.deely@nuigalway.ie. Follow on Twitter #ScienceonScreen, #BNA2019, @NeuroscienceIRL, @BritishNeuro. -Ends-

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

The Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway will host its Annual Research Day on Wednesday, 10 April in the Hardiman Research Building. Martina Lawless from the Economic and Social Research Institute will give the keynote speech at 12noon on Brexit and trade on the island of Ireland. The theme of this year’s Research Day will be ‘Life After Brexit: What Changes for Ireland?’ No matter what form Brexit eventually takes, the UK’s exit from the European Union will likely have significant effects on many aspects of life on the island of Ireland and elsewhere in Europe. Members of the Whitaker Institute will provide their expert insights into the potential impact of Brexit across a range of areas, including business activity, public policy, politics and the law. Speaking in advance of the Research Day, Professor Alan Ahearne, Director of the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway, said: “Ireland and the UK are deeply integrated across several dimensions, so it is crucial that we understand fully the range of exposures and risks for Ireland stemming from Brexit. As there remains great uncertainty about the final Brexit outcome, we need to carefully consider a range of scenarios to help businesses and policymakers to take steps to mitigate some of the effects of Brexit on Irish society.” Martina Lawless has been at the forefront of research at the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) on the potential effects of Brexit on Ireland. Her evidence on how Brexit would affect trade across various sectors in Ireland has played an important role in informing this country’s preparations for Brexit. The Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway is named after the late Dr T.K. Whitaker, widely recognised for setting Ireland’s economy on a path of internationalisation and modernisation. Throughout his illustrious career, Dr Whitaker demonstrated and implemented innovative ideas and approaches to challenges and issues facing our economy and society. The Whitaker Institute has adopted a similarly innovative, multidisciplinary and transformative approach in its research on challenges facing business and society in Ireland today and internationally.   The event will take place in Seminar Rooms G010 and G011, Ground Floor, Hardiman Research Building, NUI Galway on Wednesday 10 April.   Attendance is free. For registration and to download the full schedule, visit: http://whitakerinstitute.ie/event/whitaker-research-day-2019/       -Ends-

Monday, 8 April 2019

New MA in Creative Arts in autumn 2019 and major GIAF theatre production coming to campus this July NUI Galway and Galway International Arts Festival (GIAF) today announced details of a new MA in Creative Arts: Producing and Curation, with applications now open and the first classes commencing in autumn 2019.  This new course is the latest initiative arising from the ongoing partnership between the University and the Festival. The one-year full time programme for the MA in Creative Arts will ensure students develop skills in: Creative producing - putting in place the practical steps needed to turn an artistic vision into a realised project for an audience – whether the work is in the performing arts, literature, visual arts, or an interdisciplinary area. Curation - the assembly and delivery of artistic experiences for audiences, whether those experiences are in the form of arts collections, digital objects on a website, or a programme of performances in a festival (among other possibilities). Over the course of this new MA, students will have ongoing contact with GIAF team members through a regular GIAF-led speaker series as well as participating in SELECTED, the Festival’s professional development programme for emerging artists, theatre makers, curators and producers studying at NUI Galway. This latest development between GIAF and NUI Galway builds on the existing partnership built around a number of initiatives; SELECTED, the Festival Volunteer programme and the University’s role as a key Festival venue hub where, in July 2018, over 50,000 people came onto the campus to attend Festival events taking place across NUI Galway venues.    To coincide with the course announcement, GIAF has announced its first theatre show of the 2019 programme, which will be one of a number of productions taking place on the University campus in 2019. Following their triumphant GIAF debut in 2017 with Tristan & Yseult, the celebrated UK theatre company Kneehigh is back with their theatrical tour-de-force Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs) based on John Gay’s The Beggar's Opera. Written by Carl Grose with original score by Charles Hazlewood and directed by Mike Shepherd; Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs) is busting with wit, wonder and weirdness. Using their legendary mix of puppetry, physical theatre and live music, the extraordinary cast of actor-musicians shoot and shimmy their way through this timeless story of power and lies in this trail-blazing and much celebrated production. It will run at the Bailey Allen Hall on the NUI Galway campus from 16 – 20 July as part of GIAF19. Dr Charlotte McIvor, current Programme Director and Head of Discipline in Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway, said: “Students will emerge from this programme as reflective practitioners with diverse transferable practical skills across these two interrelated industries. We aim to produce graduates capable of engaging with the shifting and complex demands of the creative arts industries in Ireland and beyond. To work in this area, you need to have a creative arts knowledge base that is diverse, interdisciplinary and ultimately practical - perspectives this programme emphasizes in the modules and experiences that are part of the degree. Without the work of producers and curators, the greatest works of art in our time would never have reached their audiences. In order to protect the arts and grow our creative industries, we need the best possible people in these roles, and this programme seeks to find and nurture them.” John Crumlish, CEO, Galway International Arts Festival, said: “We are very excited to be involved in this initiative which will play such an important role in delivering the next generation of cultural producers and curators. If Ireland is to compete with the best in this arena, courses such as this will be invaluable in helping create the individuals capable of delivering excellence at both a national and international level.” To view a video on the new MA in Creative Arts: Producing and Curation visit https://youtu.be/8t-nGdd4Klo. For further information, contact Dr Charlotte McIvor at charlotte.mcivor@nuigalway.ie or phone 091 492631. To make an application to this programme, visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/courses/taught-postgraduate-courses/creative-arts-producing-and-curation.html     For details about Kneehigh’s Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs) at Galway International Arts Festival see https://www.giaf.ie/events/dead-dog-suitcase -Ends-

Monday, 8 April 2019

NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights will host a public lecture on the topic, ‘Gendering Counter-Terrorism’ on Thursday, 11 April, at 5pm. The lecture will be delivered by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism, Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, and chaired by Hon Justice Ms Iseult O’Malley, Supreme Court of Ireland. Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin said: “The abuse of counter-terrorism measures is global and scalar. States use the threat (perceived or real) of terrorism to crack down on peaceful protest, limit freedom of speech, suspend women's rights, threaten environmental activists, bloggers, indigenous leaders, moderate political leaders - and sometimes anyone who simply exercises their legitimate human rights to disagree with government. Terrorism and countering terrorism are the most pernicious threats to the protection of human rights in the world today. This crisis has not diminished since the events of 9/11.” Professor Siobhán Mullally, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, commented: “We look forward to welcoming Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin to NUI Galway. The gender dimensions of counter-terrorism measures remain under-explored, yet raise pressing questions of human rights, and equality. Professor Ní Aoláin’s visit to the Irish Centre for Human Rights is an important opportunity for us to address gender equality in counter-terrorism measures taken by States and to hear about the current work of the UN Rapporteur, at a challenging time for multilateral cooperation in the field of human rights.” Places are limited and early booking is advised at https://bit.ly/2K44rKD. For further information visit https://www.nuigalway.ie/irish-centre-human-rights/newsevents/annual-lecture-with-professor-fionnuala-ni-aolain.html, or contact Siobhán Mullally at siobhan.mullally@nuigalway.ie  or 091 493609. -Ends-

Friday, 5 April 2019

New Times Higher Education Rankings Recognise Contribution to UN Sustainable Development Goals The new Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings have placed NUI Galway 20th in the world for addressing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal for Good Health and Wellbeing.   This is the first edition of the new ranking to measure global universities’ success in delivering the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which includes metrics based on 11 of the 17 SDGs.  SDG 3 relates to Good Health and Wellbeing on the basis that “ensuring healthy lives and promoting wellbeing at all ages is essential to sustainable development.” Speaking today, NUI Galway President Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “It’s a positive development that universities’ contribution to the sustainable development agenda is now being measured.  At NUI Galway, we’re committed to working for the benefit of society, and make a distinctive contribution in the area of population health and wellbeing, as the basis upon which all other aspects of society can flourish.”  The rankings measure institutional commitment to supporting Good Health and Wellbeing through teaching, research and knowledge transfer, as well as embodying the goals in internal practices, policies and procedures.  Prof Ó hÓgartaigh continued: “The University ranking reflects the many and varied activities of our University community in this area, from our contribution to EU-wide physical and mental health initiatives to working with the public on activities from sports to mindfulness.  We look forward to illustrating our distinctive commitment to these sustainable development goals as we develop our University strategy.”     ENDS

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Minister Halligan launched 2019 National IP Protocol, referencing Ireland’s “competitive edge”   Protocol provides a practical framework for businesses to access and use Irish research with a dedicated section on the formation of spin-out companies   NUI Galway spin-out company Loci Orthopaedics shares its spin-out experience with attendees Knowledge Transfer Ireland’s (KTI) national roadshow to present the IP Protocol 2019 to businesses and researchers around the country, arrived in NUI Galway today. The Protocol, which is in its third edition, is produced and managed by Knowledge Transfer Ireland on behalf of the Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation. It provides a practical, best practice framework for businesses, from start-ups and SMEs to large multi-nationals and entrepreneurs to access and utilise Irish research to drive economic growth.   The Protocol sets a benchmark for good practice in the commercialisation of valuable intellectual property all around the country, on terms that are fair to researchers and business alike, and in ways that are predictable and consistent from one negotiation to the next.   The IP Protocol has been a reference point for business and research communities since it was first produced by the Department in 2012. This new Protocol is an update to the previous IP Protocol published in 2016. Recognising the significant numbers of spin-out companies coming out of research performing organisations around the country, the new Protocol includes a dedicated section on best practice in the formation of spin-out companies.  It also includes a summary of the issues relating to state aid in the commercialisation of research.   Brendan Boland, CEO of Loci Orthopaedics, an NUI Galway-based spin-out company, shared his first-hand experience of growing a spin-out company with attendees at the event: “One in 10 of the general population and one in three women over 55 suffer from thumb base arthritis and through our research with NUI Galway, a hugely innovative implant for the treatment of this condition came into being. With the support of the Innovation Office at the University, we have been able to take this technology and spin out of the lab and onto the path of commercialising it for the benefit of arthritis sufferers around the world.   “I am very pleased that the IP Protocol 2019 includes a new chapter on spin-out company formation which is a great acknowledgement of the importance of university spin-outs in the start-up ecosystem of Ireland and I look forward to sharing some of the highs and lows from our journey so far with attendees at today’s 2019 IP Protocol launch.”   Commenting, Minister Halligan, Minister of State at the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Education and Skills, said: “The commercialisation of public research to drive innovation and Ireland’s economic competitiveness is a key pillar of the Government’s innovation strategy, Innovation 2020. While investment in research performing organisations the length and breadth of the country is critical, it must go hand in hand with an effective strategy to put that research into the hands of businesses for the benefit of the Irish economy and society. The National IP Protocol is a key element of that strategy.   “In today’s climate, more than ever, it is vital that we harness the considerable abilities of Ireland’s researchers, so as to give businesses the best possible competitive edge on the European and global stage.”   Commenting, Alison Campbell, Director of Knowledge Transfer Ireland, said: “I am delighted to welcome the publication of the new IP Protocol. The new section on spin-out company formation developed in consultation with people operating at the coal-face is particularly welcome and was drafted to address a gap in the framework. The range of practical tools produced by Knowledge Transfer Ireland that are referenced throughout the Protocol and its associated Resource Guide have been expanded. The aim of these tools is to provide relevant resources that demystify knowledge transfer and allow commercialisation and collaboration to flourish, while protecting the interests of all parties and freeing up researchers and businesses to get on with the business of innovating.”   The National IP Protocol 2019 comprises two documents:    1)      the policy document which sets out the framework underpinning research collaboration and access to intellectual property from state-funded research.     2)      the resource guide which provides an overview of the national IP management guidelines and links to a wealth of resources and template documents that support these guidelines. It also provides an overview of the knowledge transfer structures in Ireland and the kinds of agreements that can be used to formalise research-industry engagements and spin-out company-related contracts.   The Protocol is the product of an extensive consultative process facilitated by Knowledge Transfer Ireland with representatives from industry, investors, entrepreneurs, agencies and research organisations to ensure that Government policy supports all types of enterprises engaging with publicly-funded research in Ireland.   For more information or to download the National IP Protocol 2019 visit www.knowledgetransferireland.com/managingIP

Thursday, 4 April 2019

The Irish Universities Association, (IUA) signed an agreement in Jakarta today with the Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education (MoRTHE) in Indonesia to participate in its overseas scholarship programme as a trusted partner. The programme places PhD candidates into Irish Universities who are currently lecturing in Indonesian Universities. The agreement is for five years and the IUA hope to see over 300 students progress through the program. The agreement signing was witnessed by representatives of a number of Irish universities travelling in the region. This follows on from the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the fields of Higher Education and Research signed by the MoRTHE with the Department of Education and Skills in Ireland in September 2018, in Jakarta by then Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton. There are over 4,000 public and private universities in Indonesia, of which over 17,200 hold a Master’s level degree. The MoRTHE is investing in the development and training of these lecturers to improve the quality of higher education in the country. Overseas PhD placements are an option for some lecturers who meet the requirements of the MoRTHE, these include an English language level of 6.0 on the IELTS score and as well as holding a permanent lecturing position at one of the Indonesian Universities. Since 2008 the MoRTHE has sent over 2,000 lecturers abroad to undertake PhD Doctoral training. Dr Andrew Flaus, Vice-Dean International, College of Science, NUI Galway, said: “This is a significant development in our continued efforts to attract sponsored PhD students from Indonesia and follows on from a visit by DIKTI to NUI Galway in January. Our current Indonesian students have proven to be excellent ambassadors for their home country and we look forward to welcoming many more.” In 2017 the IUA, with the support of Education in Ireland and the Irish Embassy in Jakarta, led a delegation of its seven member universities to Indonesia to meet with education government officials and some of its universities.  It was immediately apparent that the PhD offering in Ireland was an excellent fit for the capacity building needs of Indonesia. Ireland’s reputation as leaders in doctoral education in Europe has proved very attractive for international PhD candidates. Sinéad Lucey, Head of International Affairs and External Engagement at the IUA said: “It has been our great pleasure working in co-operation with the staff at Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education in Indonesia. The IUA is looking forward to growing this partnership and developing the relationship between Irish and Indonesian universities. This agreement is as a result of a ‘team Ireland’ approach. Indonesia is the largest country in the ASEAN region and a valuable partner for higher education institutions. There are many internationalisation opportunities for Irish Universities with Indonesian universities. The support of Education in Ireland and the Embassy in Jakarta has been so important in this process. Ireland is a small country and when the agencies collaborate effectively, it equals success.  Critically the involvement and continued involvement of key academic staff and the Deans of Graduate studies in the universities has been instrumental in getting the agreement over the line. A delegation from the Ministry visited all seven IUA member universities in January 2019 and were highly impressed at the PhD offering in Ireland. The delegation also identified significant opportunities for Indonesian universities to further engage with Irish universities. I hope that the IUA partnership with the Ministry is a stepping stone to a long standing mutually beneficial relationship that will lead to high quality internationalisation in both systems. “ The MoRTHE’s Director General of Resources for Science, Technology, and Higher Education, Professor Ali Ghufron Mukti states that recently the MoRTHE reinstalled the so-called BPPLN Scholarship, which is an Overseas Doctoral Scholarship Programme dedicated to Indonesian lecturers. Through the programme, Indonesian lecturers will have more opportunities to pursue their PhD degrees overseas with the funding support from the Indonesian Government. The programme also opens up more opportunities for overseas universities to be strategic partners, as the programme will prioritize those universities who are willing to offer special support to the students nominated by the MoRTHE. Thus the MoRTHE welcomes IUA as the new strategic partner for the abovementioned program, as IUA offers not only internationally recognized universities but also financial privileges to the qualified students nominated by the MoRTHE. This is a mutually beneficial partnership.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Founder, Chairman and CEO of Merit Medical Systems, Fred Lampropoulos has been appointed as an Adjunct Professor of Engineering at NUI Galway. The role is honorary and as part of his new role Fred will mentor NUI Galway staff and students. Fred is a highly distinguished medical innovator and has invented and holds more than 240 patents on devices used in the diagnostic and therapeutic treatment of cardiovascular disease. President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “NUI Galway is honoured to appoint Fred Lampropoulos as an Adjunct Professor in Engineering in recognition of his distinguished career as a medical device industry leader and a healthcare visionary. As an innovator and a pioneer of the medtech sector, Fred has a lifetime of experience and industry knowledge which we are delighted that he will share with our students and colleagues at NUI Galway. Lampropoulos and Merit Medical Systems, the company he founded are a vital part of the medtech cluster in Galway; employing 1,000 people in our city which is home to Merit’s European headquarters. We are delighted to welcome Fred as an Adjunct Professor and we look forward to the insights and experience which he will bring to the University and to the College of Engineering and Informatics.” Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, Professor Peter McHugh said: “It is highly appropriate that NUI Galway honours Fred as an Adjunct Professor in Engineering, as it recognises the huge contribution Merit Medical, through his leadership, has made to engineering education and indeed our broader educational mission at NUI Galway, and we look forward to this developing even further into the future.” Fred has been in the medical device industry for over 30 years. After serving as the Chairman and Chief Executive of Utah Medical, Lampropoulos founded Merit Medical Systems, Inc. in 1987. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology, CEO of the Year, and was inducted into the Utah Business Hall of Fame. He is an Honorary Colonel in the Utah National Guard, and holds a number of honorary doctorates, including Doctorate in Business Administration from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, recognising his contribution to and development of industry and education within the state of Utah. Speaking about his announcement, Fred Lampropoulos said: “NUI Galway has one of the premier engineering schools nationally and internationally, with a proud history going back to the opening of the University itself in 1849. I’m honoured to be recognised by this world-class institution with professionally accredited engineering degree programmes, and cutting-edge research characterised by break-through engineering science discoveries linked with real-world societal impact.” -Ends-

Thursday, 4 April 2019

The importance and prestige of Paracycling is on the rise, but insight in Paracycling aerodynamics is very limited. Therefore, researchers from NUI Galway (Ireland), Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands) and KU Leuven (Belgium) have used advanced technologies such as engineering simulation (Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)) developed by ANSYS and wind tunnel facilities typically dedicated to aerospace, nuclear or automotive research to better understand and improve the complex aerodynamics of elite Paracycling tandem and handcycling disciplines. The results show that decisive gains can be achieved by counter-intuitive postures and wheel selection that can change the outcomes in the Paracycling competitions in the games next year.  Dr Eoghan Clifford, NUI Galway, a four-time paracycling world champion and current Paralympic Champion has joined forces with Professor Bert Blocken, Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and KU Leuven, recognised worldwide for his expertise in elite cycling aerodynamics. Surprised by the scarcity of scientific research performed on Paracycling where many fundamental insights are lacking, they decided to set up the first large open scientific research project into Paralympic cycling in collaboration with Drs. Magdalena Hajdukiewicz (NUI Galway), Dr Yasin Toparlar (TU/e), Dr Thomas Andrianne (U Liège) and Dr Paul Mannion (who was jointly awarded a PhD by NUI Galway and TU/e for his work on this project). The project combined computer simulation (CFD) with ANSYS software on Irish and Dutch supercomputers with wind tunnel testing in the wind tunnels of Eindhoven University of Technology and the University of Liège. The investigation focused on both tandem cycling and H1-H4 handcycling. This investigation resulted in four key new findings. Applying these findings in races would yield significant gains in terms of time. In recent top races at Rio 2016, the difference between Gold and Silver or missing the podium was often a matter of seconds: Tandem cycling: Men - 4 km pursuit (Rio velodrome) – Gold to Silver (1.6 seconds); Bronze to 4th place (0.9 seconds). Tandem cycling: Men 30 km time trial (Rio road) – Gold to Silver 8.8 seconds. Tandem cycling: Women – Tandem 3 km pursuit (Rio velodrome) – Gold to Silver (3.5 seconds). In qualifying 0.8 seconds separated the 3rd place position from the 5th place position (3rd and 4th quality for a medal ride off). Tandem cycling: Women 30 km time trial (Rio road) – Silver to Bronze 0.8 seconds. Handcycling: Men 20 km time trial (Rio road) – Gold to Silver in some cases was as low as 2 seconds and 10 seconds with Silver to Bronze being as low as 0.9 seconds in one category. The research resulted in four key new findings that are generally opposite to what Paracyclists and their entourage would expect and that in race circumstances can make very significant differences in time: The typical time-trial setup with a time-trial handlebar for the pilot and the stoker does not provide the lowest aerodynamic resistance. The stoker holding the seatpost of the tandem bicycle (frame-clench setup) provides a gain of 8.1 s over a 10 km race. The most aerodynamic race setup of the tandem cyclists is not the one where pilot and stoker bodies are closest to the horizontal. The pilot being slightly more upright gives a benefit of 6.5 s over 10 km. The most aerodynamic wheel choice for a H1-H4 handcycle is not disk wheels at the rear, as commonly accepted, but two spoked wheels at the rear, because disk wheels would channel the flow between these wheels and create extra suction (drag) on the cyclist body. Spoked wheels at the rear and a single disk wheel at the front would save 16 s on 10 km. For downhill handcycling, athletes tend to adopt the so-called 6 o’clock position, with the hands in the lowest position and the arms tucked against the body. The 9 o’clock position with hands farthest upstream has a 4.3% lower drag, which gives a gain of 0.8 s over a 500 m descent. As a 4-time paracycling world champion and current Paralympic champion Dr Eoghan Clifford has corroborated these findings and with the research team and high performance coaches has tested athletes and used the findings to guide these athletes towards better performances. Dr Eoghan Clifford, College of Engineering and Informatics, NUI Galway, said: “This has been one of the most exciting and challenging projects I have worked on. The extensive experimental and computational modelling work was unprecedented for Paralympic cycling and indeed for most sports. The work will fundamentally impact Paralympic cycling and will cause teams and engineers to rethink their approach to aerodynamics. This work also opens the door for world-class Paralympic athletes to have the same expertise and equipment available to them as other professional athletes. At the world championships and Paralympics where tenths of seconds can decide medals this work can unlock that vital time!” Professor Bert Blocken, Eindhoven University of Technology & KU Leuven, said: “I am passionate about Sports aerodynamics because it really pushes the boundaries of computer simulation and wind tunnel testing. In most topics on aerodynamics, accuracies of 5-10% are considered sufficient. In sports aerodynamics however, tenths or even hundredths of percentages can be decisive. This first extensive open project in Paralympic cycling reveals new insights to obtain such gains in these competitions.” Thierry Marchal, Global Industry Director Sports & Healthcare, ANSYS, concluded: “As the engineering simulation leader, ANSYS is keen to assist the sport community improving safety and performance of athletes by adopting a technology traditionally used in the aerospace and automotive industries. Elite sport is an ideal window to illustrate the impact of pervasive simulation across all industries.” Paralympics Ireland Chief Executive Officer, Miriam Malone, added: “I would like to congratulate the research team on the publication of this fantastic research. The results published will fundamentally change the approach that many paracyclists take to their sports and will ensure that more exciting times lie ahead as performances improve. It is particularly pleasing that Paralympics Ireland board member and Paralympic champion, Dr Eoghan Clifford, is spearheading this research project.” Neill Delahaye, National Performance Coach, Cycling Ireland, added: “Cycling Ireland has had significant international success in Track Cycling and Road Cycling over recent years. To compete with the world’s top nations, we actively engage with research and innovation. From the outset we recognised this work could have significant benefits for our athletes especially given aerodynamics plays such a key role in cycling.” Scientific publications about this project: https://surfdrive.surf.nl/files/index.php/s/mCw2JSapLPcKa6Z Photos of Dutch World Champion handcycling in Eindhoven wind tunnel:  https://surfdrive.surf.nl/files/index.php/s/Tjdpjx2ScpFadn9   Photos of Irish tandem cyclists in Eindhoven wind tunnel: https://surfdrive.surf.nl/files/index.php/s/7RHe3wP9EifBol9  

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Indecon research identifies an average wage premium of 38% - 43% for university graduates over those with no formal education and a large cash payback to the State from investment in universities Universities generate €386 million per annum in export earnings and €1.5 billion in R&D impacts  The Irish economy benefitted by €8.9 billion last year from Ireland’s seven universities newly published research has confirmed. The first ever socio-economic impact research undertaken on the role universities play in the economy and society has been carried out by Indecon on behalf of the Irish Universities Association. The Impact Study looks across a variety of areas to assess the impact universities have on research, society, the economy and individuals, including the benefits arising from international students. Findings from the report include: The seven universities contribute a total of €8.9 billion to the economy. There has been a significant increase in the number of students enrolling for a university education which correlates with the demand for more highly skilled employees in the Irish economy. In 2017 over 120,000 students enrolled, up 50% from 2000. Indecon have identified a cumulative net gain to the Exchequer of €1,606 million in net present value terms based on the lifetime net earnings projections for the 2017 – 2018 cohort of new entrants to the seven universities.  This is based on a net gain to the exchequer from the lifetime earnings of individual undergraduate degree holders of €62,000. In other words, the Exchequer gains a net €62,000 over the lifetime of the graduate in today’s money terms when all costs to the Exchequer are taken into account. -          University graduates generate an income premium significantly beyond those with no third level education and have consistently lower unemployment rates, even during the recession years. -           The average lifetime net premium for an undergraduate degree holder is €106,000 compared to a UK premium of £88,000 for graduates from the prestigious Russell Group Universities. Master’s Degree holders’ net premium rises to €146,000 and PhDs’ to €222,000. These figures are net of tax and factor in the costs incurred by students in obtaining their degrees and income foregone during their years at university. -          Irish Universities make a total research impact of €1.5 billion to the economy. This breaks down into €632 million from direct research expenditure, €373 million spill-over impact of university-based research on the wider economy, and €526 million from indirect and induced effects. -          In 2017 – 2018 there were 16,701 full-time International students living in Ireland. Indecon estimated that the total annual export income generated for the Irish economy from International students at €386 million. The report provides further detail on the social and cultural impacts of Irish Universities along with supporting 22,000 jobs, both directly and indirectly. “There has been much debate over the economic return university education generates in Ireland without any rigorous scientific analysis of the actual impacts”, said Brian MacCraith, Chair of the Irish Universities Association. “This vacuum has not served the debate well and I am pleased to say that we have now got a detailed independent assessment on the impact Irish Universities have on our society, our economy and on us as individuals. “What is certain from the report is the significant positive impact Irish Universities are having, from the €8.89 billion contributed annually to the Irish economy to the 21,801 full-time jobs supported, including 15,724 directly employed. “The 50% increase in student enrolments since 2000 is a precursor to an even greater demographic bubble which will place an intolerable strain on the already under-resourced university system. Unless the Government and the broader political community are prepared to deliver a sustainable core funding solution, the opportunities afforded to today’s students may be curtailed for many current and future primary and secondary students. As a society, we cannot let this happen.” Commenting on the research Jim Miley, Director General of the IUA said: “The role of universities is to produce well-rounded, employable graduates and to provide centres of innovation through their research work. The Indecon report shows for the first time that, universities not only do that but also generate a cash surplus for the State over the long-term. This surely provides a compelling case for the Government and the Oireachtas to prioritise the reform of the funding model for higher education.  Next Sunday will mark the 1,000th day since the Cassells Report, the Government-appointed Expert Group, identified the scale of the funding gap for higher education and made clear recommendations about dealing with it. The Indecon Report shows that more State investment in university education isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s the profitable thing to do.” Speaking about the research, Alan Gray, MD of Indecon said: “This analysis is the first of its kind in Ireland.  Indecon undertook a rigorous evidence-based examination on the full range of impacts of Irish universities on the Irish economy and society generally. Ireland has a more highly educated population than the EU average which is often cited as a key reason both multinational organisations and indigenous enterprises base operations here. Our analysis shows the positive impacts that universities have on research and innovation, on graduates earning power and on the positive returns to the Exchequer for their investment.” Indecon Research Economists were appointed by the Irish Universities Association, following a competitive tender process, to cover the combined impact of the seven universities represented by the IUA – NUI Galway, Dublin City University, Maynooth University, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, University College Dublin and University of Limerick. The report is available to read in full at www.saveourspark.ie/universities-impact Ends

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Dr Mirko Daniel Garasic, a Research Scholar, UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights and Adjunct Professor in Bioethics, with LUISS University in Rome, will deliver a seminar at the University entitled ‘Beyond Normality? Technologies Between Assistance and Enhancement’. The seminar will take place on Friday, 5 April, from 12.30-5pm in the Moore Institute, Hardiman Building. The ongoing development of new technologies to replace or improve human functions pose a number of pressing Ethical, Legal and Societal (ELS) questions. These questions relate to issues relating to personal experiences and public acceptability, human freedom and equality, safety, and accountability over such new technologies and their uses.  During the event a number of questions related to current and emerging developments will be discussed including: The evolving notion of human enhancement, understood as improvement beyond the norm, in relation to specific technologies (biomedical, machine-based or genomics) and their various contexts of application (healthcare, education, workplace, military/defence). Wearable Robots such as exoskeletons or robotic suits that may replace lost body functions, for example after spinal injuries, or enhance functioning, for example increasing lifting strength for workers in logistics centres, healthcare or the military. New ‘algorithmic age’ where human choices are increasingly influenced by ‘Big Data’ and dependent on mathematical and computational algorithms, with applications as mundane as the curation of Facebook newsfeed or product suggestions on Amazon, but also highly impactful AI-supported medical diagnosis or even decisions on child protection measures or criminal justice matters. The use of cognitive enhancements (e.g. the drug Ritalin) in competitive contexts, such as employment and higher education, leading to questions of a “cognitive arms race” among students and workers in the knowledge economy. To help with such questions, Dr Garasic will be working with NUI Galway’s Dr Heike Felzmann and Dr Oliver Feeney on the topic of wearable robotic and enhancement technologies. Dr Oliver Feeney, a researcher with the Centre of Bioethical Research and Analysis in NUI Galway, said: “Futuristic technologies are being developed that have immense potential for benefiting humankind, while also having the significant potential for negative consequences for individuals and wider society. This highlights the urgent need for ongoing ethical, legal and societal impact discussions, involving a wide range of perspectives, in order to contribute to the development of robust regulations and legislative frameworks, both nationally and globally.” The seminar will conclude with the official launch of the project ‘B-CAUSE: Building Collaborative Approaches to University Strategies against Exclusion in Ireland and Africa: pedagogies for quality Higher Education and inclusive global citizenship’. Led by NUI Galway’s Dr Su-ming Khoo and Professor Paul Prinsloo, University of South Africa, B-CAUSE is a collaboration between the two universities. For more information, please contact the main event organiser: Dr Heike Felzmann at heike.felzmann@nuigalway.ie, or visit https://bit.ly/2TSv2tt.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Commandant Leo Quinlan will deliver a public lecture in the Moore Institute at NUI Galway on the experience of his father, Commandant Pat Quinlan, in the historic Battle of Jadotville, 1961. The lecture will take place on Tuesday, 9 April, at 5pm. The Battle of Jadotville took place in the Congo and represents the largest military action carried out by the Irish Army against a foreign army since the founding of the State. 155 Irish soldiers (some as young as 15 and 16 years of age) fought 3,500 soldiers of the Katanga Army and survived. This action is the topic of a number of books, articles, radio and TV documentaries and a 2016 film currently showing on Netflix, The Siege of Jadotville. This talk on the Battle of Jadotville describes various actions by the men of ‘A’ Company during their six-month tour of duty in the Congo and provides the audience with information on this historic encounter not generally in the public domain, based on Commandant Pat Quinlan’s memoirs. The speaker, Leo Quinlan, was commissioned as a Lieutenant and served in the Irish Army for 25 years, and overseas with the United Nations. During his army service he served with many Jadotville veterans. After leaving the army he has worked as a consultant/project leader for the European Commission in 47 countries. He lives in Barna, Co. Galway, where he works as a professional landscape artist with his own Art Gallery. Professor Daniel Carey, Director of the Moore Institute, NUI Galway, commented: “The Battle of Jadotville is truly historic and it remains remembered as a remarkable demonstration of heroism. Leo Quinlan is in a unique position to tell the story of this episode through his father’s involvement and recollections.” For more information contact Daniel Carey, Moore Institute, NUI Galway, at Daniel.carey@nuigalway.ie or 091 493083.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Tá an tóir atá ag mic léinn ar OÉ Gaillimh ag dul i dtreis i gcónaí tar éis do bhreis agus 5,000 mac léinn an ollscoil a roghnú mar a gcéad rogha don bhliain acadúil 2019-2020. Reáchtálfaidh an Ollscoil a Lá Oscailte Earraigh bliantúil ar an Satharn, an 6 Aibreán, ón 9am go 3pm.  Is ionann sin agus ardú 5% ar fhigiúr na bliana seo caite in iarratais chéad rogha ar OÉ Gaillimh, agus áirítear leis an líon iarratas sin 64% de na hiarratasóirí leibhéal 8 uile as cúige Chonnacht. Tá 5,351 mac léinn ar fud na tíre a bhfuil rogha le déanamh acu fós ar a n-iarratas CAO, agus cabhróidh sé go mór leo siúd, agus lena dtuismitheoirí, freastal ar Lá Oscailte OÉ Gaillimh agus iad ag iarraidh cinneadh eolasach a dhéanamh. Tiocfaidh pobal na hOllscoile le chéile do Lá Oscailte OÉ Gaillimh agus beidh siad i mbun breis agus 80 caint, seisiún eolais agus zón idirghníomhach, agus ar fáil chun ceisteanna a fhreagairt faoi chúrsaí i gColáiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh, Coláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí agus an Dlí, Coláiste na hEolaíochta agus na hInnealtóireachta agus Coláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte. Beidh mic léinn reatha ar fáil chomh maith chun comhairle phraiticiúil a thabhairt, turais den champas a threorú i nBéarla agus i nGaeilge, agus fíorbhraistint de shaol na hOllscoile in OÉ Gaillimh a thabhairt do mhic léinn ionchasacha. Reáchtálfar turais i rith an lae de na roghanna lóistín atá ar fáil, chomh maith le hÁras Innealtóireachta Alice Perry, na háiseanna Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais, an Leabharlann agus Ionad Uí Dhonnchadha don Drámaíocht, an Amharclannaíocht agus an Taibhléiriú.  Tá an-éagsúlacht cúrsaí fochéime ar fáil in OÉ Gaillimh, agus ba cheart go mbeadh gach duine in ann ábhar spéise a aimsiú as breis agus 70 rogha. Is i Halla Bailey Allen a bheidh an príomhspás taispeántais, áit a mbeidh léachtóirí agus mic léinn ar fáil chun labhairt le mic léinn ionchasacha agus le tuismitheoirí faoi na cúrsaí atá ar fáil. Leanann an Ollscoil ag cur a rogha cúrsaí in oiriúint chun go mbeidh rochtain ar an rogha fochéimeanna is forásaí ag mic léinn. Ina measc siúd, tá roinnt cúrsaí nua á gcur ar fáil don bhliain 2019/20, a n-áirítear leo siúd an BA Oideachas (Eolaíocht Ríomhaireachta, agus Staidéir Mhatamaitice), an BA (Stair agus Staidéir an Domhandaithe), an BA Rialtas (Polaitíocht, Eacnamaíocht agus Dlí), Baitsiléir Dlí agus Cearta an Duine, an BA (Ceol), an BA (Scannán agus Meán Digiteach), an BA (Eolaíocht Sonraí) agus an BA (Dána Digiteacha agus Teicneolaíocht).  Cuirfear eolas ar fáil chomh maith faoin gcéim i nGnó agus Dlí agus an Chéim Bhaitsiléara i nDlí Sibhialta atá á seoladh in athuair. Moltar do thuismitheoirí chomh maith iarracht a dhéanamh freastal ar an gCaint do Thuismitheoirí, áit a mbeidh ionadaithe i láthair ó Sheirbhísí do Mhic Léinn, ón Oifig Iontrála agus ón Oifig Lóistín le heolas a thabhairt maidir le táillí, maoiniú agus go leor eile. Ba cheart do thuismitheoirí agus do mhic léinn a gceisteanna a bheith réidh acu, féachaint le fáil amach an bhfeilfeadh an Ollscoil do riachtanais agus d’uaillmhianta an mhic léinn.  Beidh ionadaithe ó fhoireann Sheirbhísí Tacaíochta OÉ Gaillimh ar fáil chun bualadh le mic léinn agus le tuismitheoirí ar an Lá Oscailte, agus áireofar leo sin ionadaithe ón bhfoireann Tacaíochta Míchumais.   Seo í an chomhairle a bhí ag Lucy Dockery, Ambasadóir na Mac Léinn agus mac léinn le hEolaíocht sa bhliain dheireanach, do mhic léinn áitiúla agus do mhic léinn ar cuairt araon: “Bíodh is go mbíonn seans bualadh le léachtóirí agus ceisteanna tábhachtacha a chur ag an Lá Oscailte, deis iontach atá ann chomh maith an campas a fheiceáil, agus bualadh le mic léinn reatha agus ceisteanna a chur orthu faoina n-eispéiris. Is í an fhoghlaim atá ag croílár an eispéiris ollscoile, ach ag an Lá Oscailte feicfidh tú céard atá éagsúil faoi OÉ Gaillimh agus an cineál saoil atá ag mic léinn anseo, sa seomra léachta agus lasmuigh de.” Beidh sraith cainteanna, ceardlann agus máistir-ranganna ar siúl i rith an lae. I measc na mbuaicphointí, áirítear na cinn seo a leanas: An Spórt in OÉ Gaillimh Máistir-rang ceoil leis an Contempo Quartet Seisiún eolais do mhic léinn lánfhásta Ceardlann Drámaíochta Eolas faoi Ghairmeacha – Ag Cur le d’Infhostaitheacht Iarratas a dhéanamh ar dheontas SUSI Bealaí rochtana ar an Oideachas, HEAR/DARE agus FETAC san áireamh. Zón idirghníomhach Innealtóireachta agus IT I bhfianaise an rogha mór cainteanna, turas agus deiseanna labhairt le comhaltaí foirne na hOllscoile, moltar do mhic léinn ionchasacha clárú roimh ré, an clár a íoslódáil agus a gcuairt a phleanáil. www.nuigalway.ie/opendays. -Críoch-

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Níos mó ná 5% d’ardú ar iarratais chéad rogha CAO faoin 1 Feabhra 2019 Tá ardú suntasach tagtha ar an éileamh ar chúrsaí OÉ Gaillimh i mbliana tar éis do bhreis agus 5,000 mac léinn an ollscoil a phiocadh mar chéad rogha don bhliain acadúil 2019-2020. Ardú os cionn 5% i líon na n-iarratas céad rogha a bhí ann i gcomparáid leis an mbliain seo caite. Tá an t-ardú seo tarlaithe i gcomhthéacs náisiúnta inar tháinig fás 0.5% ar líon na n-iarratas a fuair an CAO i gcomparáid leis an mbliain seo caite. Bhí an t-éileamh méadaithe seo le feiceáil sna réimsí ábhair a mbíonn tóir orthu go traidisiúnta, a n-áirítear leo sin gnó, dlí, innealtóireacht, eolaíocht bhithleighis, altranas agus leigheas, agus bhain cuid den bhorradh freisin leis na hiarratais a rinneadh ar thrí chéim nua sna Dána agus ar chéim nua sa Dlí a bheidh ag glacadh le mic léinn den chéad uair i Meán Fómhair 2019. Clár nuálaíoch agus uathúil is ea an chéim i nDlí agus Cearta an Duine, a rabhthas ag tnúth go mór leis, agus is é seo an chéad chéim dá leithéid in Éirinn. Tógann an chéim seo ar cháil dhomhanda Ionad na hÉireann do Chearta an Duine agus cuirfidh an cháilíocht seo ar chumas na gcéimithe oibriú i réimse an dlí nó an bheartais idirnáisiúnta um chearta an duine, nó i gcleachtas dlí, agus tabharfaidh siad faoi oiliúint ghairmiúil dlí chomh maith mar dhlíodóir nó mar abhcóide. Seolfaidh Coláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh trí chéim nua in 2019. Dhá chéim idirdhisciplíneacha nua is ea an BA (Stair agus Staidéir an Domhandaithe) agus an BA Rialtas (Polaitíocht, Eacnamaíocht agus Dlí) a thabharfaidh an deis do chéimithe eolas agus tuiscint uathúil a fháil ar raon ábhar gaolmhar. Clár oiliúna tosaigh comhthráthach do mhúinteoirí ceithre bliana is ea an BA Oideachas (Eolaíocht Ríomhaireachta, agus Staidéir Mhatamaitice) agus ullmhófar céimithe chun bheith incháilithe eolaíocht ríomhaireachta agus matamaitic a mhúineadh. Is mar seo a leanas a labhair an Meabhránaí agus Uachtarán Ionaid, an tOllamh Pól Ó Dochartaigh: “Tá óige an lae inniu comhfhiosach maidir leis an tsochaí trí chéile, agus iad ag féachaint le dul i ngleic leis na saincheisteanna is dúshlánaí atá romhainn, an t-athrú aeráide, mar shampla, nó an ceartas sóisialta.  An fhianaise air seo ná na cúrsaí atá roghnaithe ag na hiarratasóirí CAO, a bhfuil cúrsaí á roghnú acu agus gairmeacha a n-ullmhú acu inar féidir leo tionchar cumhachtach agus dearfach a bheith acu ar an domhan mórthimpeall orthu. Tá spéis láidir á léiriú ag mic léinn in Éirinn agus san Eoraip sa chéim nua i nDlí agus Cearta an Duine. Tá OÉ Gaillimh á roghnú ag na mic léinn mar gheall ar an gcáil sármhaitheasa atá uirthi go domhanda sa ghort acadúil seo. Táimid ag tnúth le tacú leis an gcéad ghlúin eile agus iad i mbun a gcuid scileanna a fhorbairt agus a rian a fhágáil ar an domhan. “Gné shuntasach den bhreithniúchán a dhéanann mic léinn ar chúrsaí i gcónaí is ea na deiseanna fostaíochta a éiríonn astu agus i bhfianaise an mhargaidh fostaíochta láidir atá ann faoi láthair, tá muinín ag mic léinn, agus iad ag roghnú na gcúrsaí sin, go ligfidh siad dóibh staidéir a dhéanamh ar na rudaí is ansa leo, saineolas agus scileanna inaistrithe a fhorbairt, taithí thar lear agus san ionad oibre a fháil, agus ullmhú do ghairmeacha solúbtha agus fiúntacha.” Tugtar cuireadh do mhic léinn agus do thuismitheoirí tuilleadh eolais a fháil ag an lá oscailte fochéime a reáchtálfar in OÉ Gaillimh Dé Sathairn, an 6 Aibreán, 9am-3pm. Cláraigh anois ar https://www.nuigalway.ie/opendays/. CRÍOCH

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Seven Alumni Award winners will be honoured at a gala night of food and entertainment NUI Galway has announced that broadcaster and Grace Diamonds Founder, Gráinne Seoige will host this year’s Gala Ball and Alumni Awards. A graduate of NUI Galway, Gráinne was presented with the Duais don Gaeilge in 2007 in recognition of her work in the Irish language. The seven Alumni Award winners will be presented with their awards at the Gala Ball on Saturday, 13 April, in the Bailey Allen Hall. The NUI Galway Alumni Awards recognise individual excellence and achievements among the University’s more than 100,000 graduates worldwide. Now in its twentieth year, the Awards programme boasts an impressive roll call of more than 100 outstanding NUI Galway alumni, including Gráinne Seoige, who have gone on to make an impact in their chosen field, and in so doing honour their alma mater. Among the distinguished honorees are President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, broadcaster, Seán O’Rourke, business leaders, Tara McCarthy (Bord Bia), Adrian Jones (Goldman Sachs) and Aedhmar Hynes (Text 100), figures from public life such as Pat Rabbitte, Eamon Gilmore (former Tánaiste) and Máire Whelan (Attorney General), and sports figures such as rugby international, Ciarán FitzGerald and Olive Loughnane (Olympic medallist). The winners of the seven alumni awards to be presented at Gala 2019: Alumni Award for Arts, Literature and Celtic Studies – Sponsored by Deloitte Journalist & RTÉ London correspondent, Fiona Mitchell – BA 1993 Alumni Award for Business and Commerce - Sponsored by Bank of Ireland Aviation entrepreneur, Dómhnal Slattery - BComm 1988 Alumni Award for Law, Public Policy and Government - Sponsored by Ronan Daly Jermyn Senior counsel and jurist, Grainne McMorrow - BA 1980, LLB 1983  Alumni Award for Engineering, Science and Technology - Sponsored by Merc Partners Cancer scientist, Dr John Lyons - BSc 1979 Alumni Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences - Sponsored by Medtronic Surgeon and clinical educator, Dr Ronan Waldron - MB BCh BAO 1976, MMedSc 1984 Gradam Alumni don Gaeilge - Urraithe ag OÉ Gaillimh Journalist and broadcaster, Póilín Ní Chiaráin - BA 1965 Alumni Award for Contribution to Sport - Sponsored by Bank of Ireland Sports medicine pioneer, Dr Mick Molloy - MB BCh BAO 1968 For ticket and booking information contact Alumni Relations on 091 494310 or email alumni@nuigalway.ie. Online bookings at www.guf.ie.

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Novelist and NUI Galway English lecturer, Mike McCormack, has been inducted into the Hennessy Literary Awards Hall of Fame. At the ceremony NUI Galway Masters in Writing graduate, Eamon Doggett, was presented with the First Fiction Award for his story Flipping Burgers. Mike McCormack, originally from Louisburgh, Co. Mayo, has published two collections of short stories, Getting It in the Head and Forensic Songs and three novels - Crowe's Requiem, Notes from a Coma and Solar Bones. In 1996, he was awarded the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. In 1998, Getting It in the Head was voted a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. A story from the collection, The Terms, was adapted into an award-winning short film directed by Johnny O'Reilly. In 2006, Notes from a Coma was shortlisted for the Irish Book of the Year Award.   In May 2016, Mike’s third novel, Solar Bones, the story of a dead man returning to rural Mayo on All Souls’ Day, was published going on to win the Goldsmiths Prize. Solar Bones was voted ‘Novel of the Year’ at the Irish Book Awards 2016 and won the International Dublin Literary Award of €100,000, the largest literary prize in the world for a single novel published in English. Eamon Doggett, from Bettystown, Co Meath, works as a digital sports reporter in Dublin. He said of his story Flipping Burgers: “My story was loosely based on a friend’s work experience and times I spent in a Burger King in Dublin. Fast food places have their own tics and customs, and aspirations seem to me to hang in the air; people swaying between dreams and their own destruction and the world’s.” According to Professor Sean Ryder, Chair of English at NUI Galway: “Mike McCormack’s induction into the Hennessy Hall of Fame is a timely recognition of the impact of his astonishing and innovative fiction, not just recently, but over a writing career of many years. His work has continually tested new possibilities for the ways stories can be told, and has given voice to unforgettable characters and compelling visions. This award confirms what we know already: he is one of the most original writers of our time. For Eamon Doggett, the Hennessy First Fiction Award is a gratifying affirmation of an exciting emerging talent. Both Mike and Eamon deserve heartiest congratulations on their awards, and NUI Galway’s English and Creative Writing programmes are honoured by their association with us.” Dr John Kenny, Director of the MA in Writing at NUI Galway, said: “The Hennessy Literary Awards was a great evening for English and Creative Writing here at NUI Galway. The induction of Mike McCormack into the Hennessy Hall of Fame is a major further endorsement of his status as one of our most distinguished writers, and our undergraduate and postgraduate students continue to benefit enormously from his eminence as an artist, his insights into the world of professional writing, and his fostering skills as a teacher and mentor. Eamon Doggett, one of two MA in Writing graduates shortlisted for the Hennessy First Fiction Award, was co-winner of our inaugural Sylvia O’Brien Prize earlier this year, and his Hennessy win has confirmed his emergent reputation as a young writer of great quality and promise. Seeing Mike and Eamon, writers at such different stages of their careers, recognised in this way by the Hennessy Awards is both stirring and gratifying.”

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

The 2019 Galway heat for FameLab, the worlds biggest science communication competition, was held recently at An Taibhdhearc in Galway City. The event saw 12 scientists compete for two places in the national final in front of a crowded audience. FameLab Galway 2019 was organised by the College of Science at NUI Galway in association with the British Council in Ireland. The goal of a FameLab presenter is to explain scientific concepts to a general audience in just three minutes. The competition is open to scientists, mathematicians and engineers working across Ireland in both the public and private sectors. The 12 participants in FameLab Galway 2019 came from a variety of backgrounds and career stages ranging from undergraduate students to established postdoctoral researchers, as well as IT professionals. The presentations gave the audience an insight into some fascinating areas ranging from Rock and Roll and the Right Hand Rule to Threats to Modern Medicine. The winner of this year’s FameLab Galway heat was Dr Fiona Malone, a Biomedical Engineer and postdoctoral researcher from GMIT. Her PhD investigated the trajectory paths of the blood vessel arrangement in ischaemic stroke patients. She has represented GMIT at various science communication events like Thesis In 3, Research Fest and Soapbox Science, and is featured regularly in STEM blogs and podcasts. The runner-up was James Blackwell, a full-time PhD student in NUI Galway. His research is funded by The Irish Research Council and sees James split his time between the School of Physics and School of Applied Mathematics. Through his research, he is investigating how ultrasound can create stiffness maps of the brain which could help surgeons identify brain tumours and other diseases. James was also the winner of the Threesis final last December. The audience vote went to Megan Griffiths for her talk titled ‘Soothing Scales and Scutes’. Megan spoke about the therapeutic potential of reptiles as she balances her final year in Zoology studies at the Ryan Institute teaching first and second year labs as well as running the animal room on campus. Megan captured the audiences’ attention with her engaging talk and the very large live snake wrapped around her body. Winner, Dr Fiona Malone and runner-up James Blackwell will both have the opportunity to participate in the FameLab Ireland Final which will be held at the Science Gallery, Dublin on Thursday, 11 April 2019. Before that they will be invited to attend an all-expenses paid Communication Masterclass. The winner of the National competition will have a chance to compete in the International FameLab Final at the Cheltenham Science Festival, in the UK in June 2019. The compere for the evening was Professor Michel Destrade, Chair of Applied Mathematics at NUI Galway, previous winner of FameLab Galway and runner up of FameLab Ireland 2016. The judges panel included Paul Fahy, Artistic Director, Galway International Arts Festival; Laura Rigney, Director of Brigit’s Garden; Laoise McNamara, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Principal Investigator, NUI Galway; and Brenda Romero, game designer, artist and Fulbright recipient, Romero Games. Commenting on the success of the event Brenda Romero, one of the event judges, said: “FameLab was such an incredible, intellectual pleasure! I loved the variety of topics, and particularly enjoyed the winning presentation. Fiona had such a great presence and important information to boot!”  Eoin Murphy, Centre for Chromosome Biology at NUI Galway and FameLab organising committee member, said: We were really happy with the success of this year’s Galway FameLab heat. The energy in the room was amazing and I am personally delighted to see FameLab continue to grow.” FameLab Ireland 2018-19 is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and is supported by Cpl Resources Plc and Henkel Ireland Limited. It is managed by the British Council Ireland in collaboration with Newstalk 106-108FM, NUI Galway, Science Gallery Dublin, TCD, UCC, UCD, and UL. For more information on FameLab visit www.britishcouncil.ie/famelab or follow on Twitter @FameLab_Ireland and @FameLab_Galway.

Monday, 1 April 2019

NUI Galway Bachelor of Commerce graduate, Alan Mulligan will release his first film, ‘The Limit Of’ nationwide on Friday, 5 April. At the age of 30 Alan realised that he had a passion for film-making, deciding to leave his successful role in Finance to become a film producer, director and writer, without any previous experience. The new gripping psychological thriller is a story based on Alan’s career as a young banker during the Celtic Tiger years, and the crippling recession that followed. James Allen, played by actor Laurence O’Fuarain, is a successful, controlling, thirty-something banker where a family tragedy occurs at the hands of his employer. James decides to take action which forces him to face a terrible childhood secret. Meanwhile, his mysterious co-worker Alison, played by IFTA-nominated Sarah Carroll, has her own agenda, which puts her on a collision course with James, triggering a dark spiral of deceit, revenge and murder. The film captures the voracious greed in the financial sector along with modern day society’s demand for control. ‘The Limit Of’ premiered to a standing ovation at the 2017 Galway Film Fleadh. Alan was invited to various international film festivals, and the film was nominated for awards in a broad range of categories. ‘The Limit Of’ has won Best First Feature at the Portugal International Film Festival, 2018; and the Director’s Choice Awards, Best Emerging Filmmaker (non-New England), at the Woods Hole Film Festival, Cape Cod, 2018. On the breadth of skills and expertise acquired at NUI Galway and through industry experience, Alan, from Charlestown, Co. Mayo, said: “I know that I didn't study film in university, but without the business background and techniques I learned through my education, I would not have been able to produce, direct and write a feature film. Most of the film making process is very much business related, it's just all built around creativity.” Dr Tom Acton, Head of School, J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics said: “We wish Alan every success in the launch of his first feature film. We are delighted to see our BComm graduates leveraging their breadth of diverse skills across a variety of industries.” ‘The Limit Of’ is released throughout Irish cinemas from 5 April, with the Eye Cinema hosting a special Q & A screening on Tuesday, 9 April at 6:20pm. This screening will be attended by Alan and the lead cast.  For more information about ‘The Limit Of’ visit: https://www.facebook.com/thelimitof/ or to book tickets https://www.eyecinema.ie/movie/the-limit-of. For information on business degrees at NUI Galway visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/commerce/. -Ends-

Monday, 1 April 2019

As NUI Galway’s popularity continues to grow with over 5,000 students choosing NUI Galway as their university of choice for the 2019-2020 academic year, the University will hold its annual Spring Open Day on Saturday, 6 April, from 9am to 3pm.  NUI Galway has experienced a year-on-year increase of over 5% in first preference applications, attracting 64% of all level 8 applicants from Connacht. With 5,351 students nationally yet to make a course choice on their CAO application, attending NUI Galway’s Open Day will be vital for students and parents wishing to make well-informed decisions. During Open Day NUI Galway’s university community will come together to host over 80 talks, information sessions, interactive zones and will be on hand to answer all questions relating to courses in the College of Arts, Humanities and Celtic Studies, College of Business, Public Policy and Law, the College of Science and Engineering and the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. Current students will also be available to offer practical advice, lead campus tours, both in English and Irish, and will give prospective students a real sense of university life at NUI Galway. Tours of the accommodation options, the Alice Perry Engineering Building, the Nursing and Midwifery facilities, the Library and the O’Donoghue Centre for Drama Theatre and Performance will be available throughout the day. NUI Galway offers over a rich diversity of undergraduate courses, with over 70 options there is something for everyone. The Bailey Allen Hall will play host to the main exhibition space where lecturers and students will be on hand to talk to prospective students and parents about all the courses on offer. The University continues to evolve their offerings to ensure that students have access to the most progressive degree options. Amongst these is a number of new offerings for 2019/20 entry including the BA Education (Computer Science and Mathematical Studies), BA (History and Globalisation), BA Government (Politics, Economics and Law), Bachelor of Law and Human Rights, BA Music, BA Film and Digital Media, BA Data Science, BA Digital Arts and Technology. There will also be information on the relaunched Business and Law degree and Bachelor of Civil Law. Parents are also advised to leave time in the schedule to attend the Parents Talk where there will be representatives from Student Services, the Admissions team, and the Accommodation team, with information on fees and funding and more. Parents and students are advised to be well prepared with questions and the goal should be to come away knowing if the University will be a good fit for the students’ requirements and ambitions. There will be representatives from NUI Galway’s Support Services team available to meet students and parents at Open Day, including representatives from the Disability Support team.   Student Ambassador, and final year Science student, Lucy Dockery has some advice for local and visiting students alike: “While Open Day is a chance to meet lecturers and ask important questions, it’s also a fantastic opportunity to see the campus in action and to meet current students and ask them about their experiences. The University experience has learning at its core but Open Day also gives you the opportunity to see why NUI Galway is different and what student life is like here, both outside and inside the classroom.” A programme of talks, workshops and masterclasses will run throughout the day. Highlights include: Sport at NUI Galway Music Masterclass with Contempo Quartet Mature Students information session Drama Workshop Careers Information- Building your Employability Applying for a SUSI grant Access routes into Education, including HEAR/DARE and FETAC Engineering and IT interactive zone With such a range of talks, tours and opportunities to engage with university staff, prospective students are advised to register in advance, download the programme and plan your visit in advance. www.nuigalway.ie/opendays. -Ends-