Tuesday, 21 February 2012

As part of  NUI Galway Energy Night experts from the fields of business, enterprise and investment, innovation and energy technology will come together to debate ‘Putting Energy to Work for Ireland’ on Tuesday, 6 March. The Energy Night will run from 2pm in the Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway, with the panel discussion commencing at 6pm.NUI Galway’s Energy Night is the only event of its kind in Ireland, and it reflects the central role the student organisers believe energy must play in the economic recovery of Ireland.  Organised by the NUI Galway’s Chemistry, Energy and Physics Societies, Energy Night will also feature an Industry and Career Fair featuring some of the most prominent energy employers including Eirgrid, Cylon, Enerit, Nutherm, Shell, AER Sustainable Energy, United Technologies Research Centre Ireland, HDS Energy and Kingspan Renewables.The week prior to NUI Galway Energy Night, 27 February to 4 March, organisers will be running targeted CV and professional development workshops for students interested in careers in the energy sector. These will be organised in conjunction with the Career Development Centre at NUI Galway. The Industry and Career Fair will run concurrently with a Poster Showcase of cutting-edge and multi-disciplinary energy research that is currently being undertaken in Irish universities. With presenters working in areas such as biofuels, wave energy, smart buildings, smart grids and data efficiency, the Career and Industry Fair and Research Showcase will provide an invaluable opportunity for students, academics and business people from around the country to network, exchange thoughts and ideas and set up new and exciting collaborations.The centrepiece of Energy Night will take place at 6pm with the Panel Discussion, ‘Putting Energy to Work for Ireland’. RTÉ’s The Business presenter, George Lee, will moderate the discussion that features energy executives and experts from Ireland and abroad including: Gabriel D’Arcy, CEO, Bord na Móna; Norman Crowley, founder of Crowley Carbon; Brian O’Cathain, CEO of Petroceltic; Serial Entrepreneur George Polk, who has worked with Richard Branson and George Soros; and Tom Kelly, Clean Tech Divisional Manager with Enterprise Ireland.“The NUI Galway Energy Night is an entirely student run event with the aim of enhancing understanding, interaction and collaboration between energy stakeholders in the policy, business, technological and academic spheres as well as the public. It is a hugely exciting event as it brings local community, students, researchers, lecturers, industry representatives and experts in the energy field together to discuss where we are at, what needs to be done and what can be done”, said Rory Monaghan, Lecturer in Energy Systems Engineering at NUI Galway.The NUI Galway Energy Night is made possible by the generosity of sponsors, including Galway-based Enerit Ltd and Shell. The Energy Night has been awarded EXPLORE funding from NUI Galway, which is funding for projects that build a culture of innovation on campus. NUI Galway Energy Night is also an Engineers Ireland Continuing professional development (CPD) approved event.This event is open to members of the public. For more information visit the events website www.nuigenergynight.com, or contact Sinéad Burke at director@nuigenergynight.com.-ENDS-

Thursday, 16 February 2012

National University of Ireland Galway, University of Limerick to Provide Biophotonics Expertise, Gain Stake in Emerging Silicon Valley Technology CompanyCompact Imaging (CI) today announced an innovative research collaboration with National University of Ireland Galway and University of Limerick.The two-year agreement, in the scientific field of biophotonics, specifically optical coherence tomography (OCT), will explore and further develop CI’s novel technologies. OCT is an imaging technique similar to ultrasound, but employing light rather than sound.The project will combine National University of Ireland Galway’s globally-recognised body of OCT research in medical and biological imaging with CI’s development and intellectual property in the area of multiple-reference OCT.  The focus will be on Compact Imaging’s MRO™, multiple-reference OCT, architecture.CI is an early stage technology company focused on the rapidly expanding market for non-invasive optical imaging, measurement and analysis. The Company’s MRO™ technology makes possible very small (cell phone size), low-cost, robust OCT-based devices for these applications. CI, based in Silicon Valley, holds a portfolio of US patents covering multiple-reference optical coherence tomography (MRO™).The collaboration makes the extensive scientific research capabilities of National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway) and University of Limerick (UL) available to CI. The agreement has been led by and supported by Galway University Foundation and University of Limerick Foundation. The agreement will lead to the University foundations receiving equity in CI. Additional financial details are confidential, for commercial reasons.NUI Galway’s Professor Martin Leahy will direct the research efforts. Professor Leahy is Chair of Applied Physics at NUI Galway, Scientific Director of the National Biophotonics Imaging Platform Ireland (NBIPI) www.nbipireland.ie and Director of the University’s Tissue Optics and Microcirculation Imaging Laboratory (TOMI) http://tomi.nuigalway.ie.“Physics has delivered extraordinary advances in almost every facet of modern life,” said Professor Leahy. “From the humble thermometer and stethoscope to X-Ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound, PET and radiotherapy, our health has been transformed by these advances. Photonics promises to bring healthcare to the next level, as it is the only means to see cells and molecules in small, accessible, low cost and safe imaging systems.“Compact Imaging’s multiple-reference OCT technology has the potential to harness all these advantages, delivering solutions to health and security markets with a distinct edge,” added Professor Leahy. “Our proprietary MRO™ technology has a broad set of biological imaging and measurement applications in fields from medical to security,” said Don Bogue, CEO of CI. “By embarking on this collaboration with Professor Leahy and the laboratories at National University of Ireland Galway, Compact Imaging gains access to outstanding research capability with a group that has the right scientific expertise and research focus to move MRO™ well beyond where our startup-level resources would otherwise allow. We expect that this collaboration will accelerate our development and delivery of small low-cost solutions to a variety of markets,” he said.The underlying imaging technology, optical coherence tomography (OCT), was first commercialised more than a decade ago for use in ophthalmic and medical diagnostic imaging. CI’s MRO™ is a very different architecture from that used in conventional OCT systems. The architecture enables design of small form factor (cell phone size), low cost devices ideally-suited both to integration with large multi-purpose instruments for office or clinic use and to higher volume mobile or remote applications.“Leveraging knowledge to support innovation is an important part of the mission of universities. For NUI Galway and UL to partner in this way with an emerging company in Silicon Valley is a very exciting development. NUI Galway is delighted to be part of this collaboration which brings mutual benefit to all partners – academic and commercial,” said Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway.Speaking about the alliance, UL President, Professor Don Barry said: “This alliance and this pioneering commercial agreement highlight what can be achieved with some innovative thinking from supporters of the University. It demonstrates ways in which commercially astute universities and their foundations can benefit through creative collaborations with industry.”-ends-

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Researchers at National University of Ireland Galway have made a significant scientific discovery in the fight against Huntington’s disease. The novel findings are published today (21 February) in the online, open access journal PLoS Biology. Huntington’s disease is an incurable, inherited, neurodegenerative disorder that causes uncontrolled movements, emotional disturbances, and severe mental deterioration. It affects over 100,000 people worldwide, with another 300,000 likely to develop symptoms in their lifetime. There is currently no way to halt progression of the disease, and available treatments are designed only to manage the symptoms.The new research identifies specific enzymes called HDACs, or histone deacetylase complexes, as positive agents for the mutation that underlies Huntington’s disease. When HDACs are active, they exacerbate the disease-causing mutation in cells, possibly contributing to the severity of the disorder. The new research found that blocking these HDACs with experimental drugs greatly reduced the risk of further mutation.“Ongoing mutations in the brain of Huntington’s patients are thought to drive progression of the disease,” said Professor Robert Lahue of National University of Ireland Galway’s Centre for Chromosome Biology, and lead author on the new research paper. “Our discovery suggests that inhibiting HDAC function slows down the mutation process, and thereby could slow disease progression. A key finding of the research was to pinpoint specific HDACs for selective inhibition.”Several laboratories in the United States of America are currently testing new HDAC inhibitors in laboratory models for efficacy and safety in related fields. Professor Lahue and his research group hope to work with these labs to evaluate the effect of HDAC inhibitors on the mutational process. “Huntington’s is a particularly cruel disease, as it is passed from parent to child, often with increased severity or earlier onset,” Professor Lahue adds. “With modern genetic testing, people can now establish whether they received the mutant gene from their parent, but then they live a waiting game for the onset of symptoms, which usually appear around the age of 40.”Professor Lahue emphasised that the HDAC inhibitors are still experimental, and that their development to potential drugs is still some way off. “It is very exciting that basic research at National University of Ireland Galway, funded by Science Foundation Ireland, has created a new possibility for helping Huntington’s patients and their families.”The findings may also have implications for research into certain other neurological disorders, such as myotonic dystrophy type I, a type of muscular dystrophy caused by the same sort of mutation as seen in Huntington’s.-ends-

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Theatrical forces will once again merge on campus for NUI Galway's Theatre Week. Celebrating NUI Galway’s commitment to the dramatic arts, Theatre Week will run from Monday, 27 February until Friday, 2 March. Now in its third year, the event showcases through theatre, literature and film, the many talents of NUI Galway students, societies and alumni. The launch of Theatre Week will take place in The View, Áras na Mac Léinn at 12.30pm on Monday, 27 February.One of the highlights of the week is the Jerome Hynes One Act play series which features eight new one-act plays written by NUI Galway students. The plays will be performed during lunchtimes and evenings in The Cube, Áras na Mac Léinn. All eight can be seen at the Omnibus Edition on Friday, 2 March from 6pm, followed by an awards ceremony. Three student playwrights have also been working closely with NUI Galway’s radio station, Flirt FM which will broadcast these three radio plays during the week.Throughout the week, Dramsoc will present two plays, Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues, proceeds in aid of the Galway Rape crisis centre, and a production of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Many of NUI Galway’s societies are getting involved in Theatre Week, including the Philosophy Society who will present a reading of Plato’s Republic, a philosophical discussion of justice written over 2,000 years ago. There will also be a politically motivated Flash Mob wedding party on campus celebrating an unholy union. On Tuesday, 28 February, the Music and RockSoc will present a night of music performance at the Witless Showcase in the College Bar. FilmSoc will also present a selection of films based on a theatrical theme throughout the week.Continuing its commitment to the arts, NUI Galway recently launched a new four-year degree programme, BA degree in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, which is designed for students with a keen interest in all aspects of drama and performance. Students on this new programme will have the opportunity to benefit from the dynamic partnerships forged by NUI Galway with key arts organisations including Druid Theatre Company, the Galway Arts Festival and Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe. The first intake of students for the new BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies will be in September 2012. Applications will be accepted via the CAO process, on which the new course code is GY118.Ríona Hughes, NUI Galway Societies Officer and Theatre Week Director, said: “Theatre Week in NUI Galway is a collaboration between the Societies and very talented drama students to show case the University's vibrant drama scene on campus and a demonstration of NUI Galway's commitment to producing professional dramatists of the future and supporting the tradition of high quality theatre of which Galway is justifiably proud.”For full details on the programme of events visit www.socs.nuigalway.ie or http://www.socs.nuigalway.ie/download/file/34354/theatre%20week%20programme%20a3.pdf. Tickets for all events are available from the Socsbox in Áras na Mac Léinn, NUI Galway.-Ends-

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Researchers at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) in NUI Galway are leading a European Union, multi-million euro initiative aimed at government transparency and giving citizens a voice in creating policies.The project, entitled ‘Puzzled by Policy’, has now launched as an online platform, with the focus on immigration in the EU. The website is customised for Greece, Hungary, Italy and Spain, profiling users based on national and European immigration policy.The Puzzled by Policy platform allows users to graphically compare their views on immigration with national and EU immigration policies, as well as with the opinions of relevant stakeholders. Users are then encouraged to join discussions on particular aspects of immigration policy they feel strongly about.The platform is also available in English and discussions can be automatically translated into any language. To ensure accessibility to all users, the Puzzled by Policy widget can be embedded on any social media site, blog or website.The Puzzled by Policy project aims to help end the detachment and disillusionment of citizens in the policy making process of the EU by improving information resources and tools.Current ways of informing citizens and allowing them to participate can be difficult to access, time consuming to use and yield little results. Experts at DERI are deveoping IT tools to acquire, share, reuse and process vast amounts of relevant data from multiple and divergent information sources.DERI’s Deirdre Lee, who is leading the Puzzled by Policy Project, comments:“ DERI is providing the models, technologies and tools for more effective and efficient public administration systems. This is all part of a larger move toward eGovernment, which embraces the world wide web for better governence. eGovernment offers the ability to transform not only the way in which most public services are delivered but also the fundamental relationship between government and citizen.”With over 140 researchers, DERI is one of the world’s leading international web science research institutes, established as a CSET in 2003 with funding from Science Foundation Ireland.Its researchers have a specific focus on the Semantic Web and Networked Knowledge, which provides the framework to link information in a way that allows us to use, analyse and retrieve this information more efficiently.-ends-

Friday, 24 February 2012

New research looks at older women workers’ access to pensions Fewer than one in three female pensioners in Ireland receive the maximum contributory pension and two-thirds rely on the non-contributory pension, leaving many women disadvantaged in later life, says a new report today. The report Older Women Workers’ Access to Pensions: Vulnerabilities, Perspectives and Strategies was written by Dr Nata Duvvury, Dr Áine Ní Léime and Aoife Callan of NUI Galway, and Dr Linda Price and Mark Simpson of Queens University Belfast, with funding from the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI). The research highlights the issue of gender inequality in pension provision in Ireland, north and south. It underlines the vulnerability of older women and examines the factors that contribute to lower pension incomes among women, including level of labour force participation and time spent caring for dependants. The report also looks at strategies used by older women and finds many depend on partners’ or husbands’ incomes for a secure future, even though they may well outlive them as women tend to have longer life expectancies. Inez McCormack, who was the first female president of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, will officially launch the report at the National University of Ireland Offices in Merrion Square today: “This report comes at a crucial time in light of the changes to pensions recently announced in the Republic of Ireland[i] and Northern Ireland. It makes the issue of women and pensions visible – a crucial step towards the state living up to its obligation to protect the most vulnerable with regard to social security, which is a human right.” Key findings: Older women workers experience limited access to pensions because of low pay, poor conditions of work and their primary role in caring. Women account for only 27% of those receiving the maximum contributory pension. Women are likely to be involved in non-pensionable employment and/or in seasonal, part-time and short-term contracts, making it difficult for them to contribute regularly to pensions. Reliance on partners’ income is common, but is a risky strategy in the event of separation, divorce, widowhood, illness or redundancy. The economic crisis, with the imposition of the government levies and charges, has further reduced women’s ability to pay into pensions. Typically, women were not aware of the importance of personal pension provision until quite late in life or in situations of change such as husband’s job loss or family disruption. For some women who could afford to contribute to private pensions, the failure of the banking system resulted in significant losses to the value of their pension funds. Dr Nata Duvvury, co-Director of the Global Women’s Studies Programme at NUI Galway, one of the lead investigators of the report commented: “Women are often the holders of low pay and part-time jobs which will dramatically affect their ability to build pensions. With the economic crisis, this particular group in society is being put under even more financial pressure and the long-term result looks set to be financial insecurity in older age.” Roger O’Sullivan, Director of CARDI, said: “Gender inequality in pension incomes is an important issue affecting many tens of thousands of older people in Ireland, north and south – and the number of women aged 65+ will rise by more than half a million in the next 30 years. This research underlines the gender gaps in the pension systems in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland and makes an important contribution to understanding how such gaps might be closed by policy makers to ensure all older people can enjoy a secure and healthy old age.” Dr Áine Ní Léime, co-principal investigator at the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway, commented: “While pension policy in Ireland, north and south, has begun to address some of the obstacles to women’s access to pensions, there is a clear need for a coherent approach across the policy areas of employment, taxation and social welfare, as well as pensions to ensure that women have an adequate income in later life.” Dr Linda Price, Lecturer in Spatial Planning, who led the research at Queen’s University, Belfast commented: “The life course approach taken in the research has led to an appreciation of the continuing impact of gender relations, caring responsibilities and fragmented and often low-paid employment on women’s ability to retire in our society in an era when popular conceptions are that gender equality has been achieved.” -ends-

Friday, 24 February 2012

The Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Research at NUI Galway to be launched by Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, 50 years after he enrolled as a mature student President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins will make his first official visit to NUI Galway to launch its new Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Research on Friday, 24 February, 2012. The visit takes place 50 years after he was initially enrolled as a mature student at the University. The Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Research (ICAN) is dedicated to ensuring improvements for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families not only through scientific research but also through education and providing services to the community. Co-funded by Galway University Foundation, the Centre is the first centre of its kind outside North America that uses an integrated approach to the delivery of postgraduate education, research and the delivery of autism support services. NUI Galway’s Dr Geraldine Leader is the Director of ICAN: “A diagnosis of autism can have a devastating effect on a family. The lack of autism services in Ireland places an enormous burden on parents. Yet parents and families are the true advocates for those diagnosed. Our Centre aims to support families by training highly-skilled practitioners in the management and care of persons with ASD, conduct research that will provide practical solutions for parents and by providing support services for families.” Dr Leader added: “Neurological disorders such as autism affect individuals and their families across the life span. Our centre aims to target many of these challenges by conducting research into social and communicative deficits, adaptive behaviour needs, restricted interests and repetitive/challenging behaviours.” Autism is a complex disorder that inhibits a person’s ability to communicate, form friendships and relate to the outside world.  It is characterised by restrictive and sometimes repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests and activities.  It may also be accompanied by behaviour problems.  The prevalence of autism is on the rise.  In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that 1 in 110 children will be diagnosed with autism.  Among boys the incidence is 1 in 70.  Although there are no comparable studies on autism in Ireland, it is believed the prevalence is similar to that found in the US.  Ita Fitzgibbon, is the parent of a 12 year old son with autism and Chairperson of Abalta Special School Galway, said: “Abalta has a very strong relationship with the MSc in Applied Behaviour Analysis in NUI Galway, providing placements to many students on the programme, each year. Our school has seen the benefits of receiving the very best expertise first hand and the impact it has had on the lives of our students and their families. There is a lack of understanding of autism in Ireland and it is only through research that we can hope to generate a greater awareness of this condition. The opening of ICAN at NUI Galway will bring leading international experts together to use their knowledge, insight and research to enhance the lives of those affected and touched by autism in Ireland. This centre will help those diagnosed with autism in Ireland to reach their potential and achieve their goals.” ICAN offers both an MSc and PhD programme in Applied Behaviour Analysis at NUI Galway. These programmes are preparing students to become highly skilled practitioners in the care and management of ASD and related neurodevelopmental conditions.  Students are making an important contribution to services as they are placed in either Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention programmes that are home and school based, ASD Units within mainstream schools, special schools and adults services. Neurological disorders such as Autism affect individuals and their families across the life span.  Our centre aims to target many of these challenges by conducting research into social and communicative deficits, adaptive behaviour needs, restricted interests and repetitive/challenging behaviours. A major international conference recently hosted by NUI Galway, Autism Speaks and the American Ireland Fund, highlighted new technologies and practical strategies for managing challenges faced in schools for helping children on the autism spectrum. Key international experts in the field discussed treatment of associated medical conditions and presented the latest research on early signs of autism and the use of medication for people on the autism spectrum. President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said the establishment of this new centre highlights NUI Galway’s commitment to autism research and underscores the translational dimension of the University’s work.   He said, “This Centre will be a landmark for those concerned with ASD.  Students will benefit from research-led teaching at a centre which is affiliated with the best international centres in this field.  The Centre’s outreach programme will ensure that the latest research and educational strategies will reach those families living with ASD. I believe that the launch of this Centre by President Higgins will be an important landmark for families affected by autism.”   ENDS For further information visit www.nuigalway.ie/ican 50 bliain ag teacht – Filleann an tUachtarán Ó hUiginn chuig a Alma Mater chun Ionad Uathachais a sheoladh Seolfaidh Uachtarán na hÉireann, Micheál D. Ó hUiginn an tIonad Éireannach um Thaighde ar Uathachas agus ar Néar-Fhorbraíocht in OÉ Gaillimh, 50 bliain i ndiaidh dó féin clárú mar mhac léinn lánfhásta. Tabharfaidh Uachtarán na hÉireann, Micheál D. Ó hUiginn, a chéad chuairt oifigiúil ar OÉ Gaillimh chun an tIonad nua Éireannach um Thaighde ar Uathachas agus ar Néar-Fhorbraíocht a sheoladh Dé hAoine, an 24 Feabhra 2012. Tagann an chuairt seo 50 bliain i ndiaidh dó féin clárú den chéad uair mar mhac léinn lánfhásta san Ollscoil. Tá an tIonad nua Éireannach um Thaighde ar Uathachas agus ar Néar-Fhorbraíocht (ICAN) tiomanta feabhsúcháin a chinntiú do dhaoine aonair a bhfuil neamhord ar speictream an uathachais (ASD) ag gabháil dóibh agus cúnamh a thabhairt dá dteaghlaigh. Déanfar é seo ní hamháin trí thaighde eolaíoch ach trí oideachas agus trí sheirbhísí sa phobal a chur ar fáil. Tá an tIonad á chómhaoiniú ag Fondúireacht na hOllscoile, agus is é an chéad ionad dá leithéid é taobh amuigh de Mheiriceá Thuaidh a úsáideann cur chuige comhtháite maidir le hoideachas iarchéime, taighde agus seirbhísí tacaíochta uathachais a sholáthar.  Deir an Dr Geraldine Leader, comhalta foirne in OÉ Gaillimh agus Stiúrthóir ICAN:  “Nuair a fhaigheann teaghlach amach go bhfuil uathachas ag gabháil do dhuine acu is féidir leis tionchar uafásach a bheith aige orthu. Cuireann an easpa seirbhísí uathachais atá ar fáil in Éirinn ualach mór millteach ar thuismitheoirí. Ach is tuismitheoirí agus teaghlaigh a sheasann an fód dóibh siúd le huathachas. Tá sé mar aidhm ag an Ionad seo tacú le teaghlaigh trí oiliúint a chur ar chleachtóirí a bhfuil ardscileanna acu maidir le daoine le ASD a bhainistiú agus aire a thabhairt dóibh. Tabharfar tacaíocht do theaghlaigh freisin trí thaighde a dhéanamh a thabharfaidh freagraí praiticiúla do thuismitheoirí agus trí sheirbhísí tacaíochta a chur ar fáil do theaghlaigh.” Chomh maith leis sin dúirt an Dr Leader: “Bíonn tionchar ag neamhoird néareolaíocha cosúil le huathachas ar dhaoine aonair agus ar a dteaghlaigh i rith a saoil. Tá sé mar aidhm ag an ionad seo díriú ar go leor de na dúshláin seo trí thaighde a dhéanamh ar easnaimh shóisialta agus chumarsáide, riachtanais iompraíochta oiriúnaitheacha, leasanna srianta agus iompraíochtaí athchleachtacha/dúshlánacha.” Is neamhord casta é an t-uathachas a chuireann bac ar chumas duine cumarsáid a dhéanamh, cairde a dhéanamh agus tuiscint a bheith aige ar an domhan mórthimpeall. Bíonn pátrúin shrianta agus uaireanta athchleachtacha iompraíochta, leasanna agus gníomhaíochtaí i gceist le huathachas. Is féidir go mbeadh fadhbanna iompraíochta i gceist chomh maith. Tá forleithne uathachais ag méadú. Sna Stáit Aontaithe, measann na hIonaid um Ghalar a Rialú go mbeidh páiste amháin as gach 110 páiste diagnóisithe le huathachas. I measc buachaillí, is buachaill amháin as gach 70 buachaill a bheidh diagnóisithe le huathachas. Cé nach bhfuil aon staidéar comparáideach ar uathachas in Éirinn, creidtear go mbeidh na figiúirí mórán mar a chéile is atá sna Stáit Aontaithe. Dúirt Ita Fitzgibbon, a bhfuil mac 12 bhliain d’aois aici a bhfuil uathachas ag gabháil dó agus atá ina Cathaoirleach ar Scoil Speisialta Ábalta, Gaillimh: “Tá caidreamh thar a bheith láidir ag Ábalta leis an gclár MSc in Anailís Iompraíochta Fheidhmeach in OÉ Gaillimh, agus tagann mic léinn ar shocrúchán oibre chugainn gach bliain. Feiceann scoil sin againne na buntáistí a bhaineann leis an saineolas is fearr a fháil ar an láthair agus an tionchar a bhíonn aige sin ar ár scoláirí agus a dteaghlaigh. Tá easpa tuisceana ar an uathachas in Éirinn agus caithfear taighde a dhéanamh ionas go mbeidh feasacht níos leithne ag daoine. Le hoscailt ICAN in OÉ Gaillimh tabharfar saineolaithe idirnáisiúnta le chéile chun a n-eolas, a léargas agus a dtaighde a úsáid chun feabhas a chur ar an saol dóibh siúd a bhfuil uathachas ag gabháil dóibh in Éirinn. Cabhróidh an tIonad seo leo siúd a bhfuil uathachas ag gabháil dóibh in Éirinn a bpoitéinseal agus a spriocanna a bhaint amach.” Cuireann ICAN clár MSc agus clár PhD in Anailís Iompraíochta Fheidhmeach ar fáil in OÉ Gaillimh. Tá na cláir seo ag cur oiliúna ar mhic léinn go mbeidh siad ina gcleachtóirí ardoilte i gcúram agus i mbainistiú ASD agus riochtaí néarfhorbartha lena mbaineann.  Tá mic léinn ag cur go mór le seirbhísí mar go mbíonn siad ag obair ar chláir Luathdhian-Idirghabhála Iompraíochta atá bunaithe sa bhaile nó sa scoil, nó in Ionaid ASD laistigh de scoileanna príomhshrutha, scoileanna speisialta agus seirbhísí d’aosaigh. Bíonn tionchar ag neamhoird néareolaíocha cosúil le huathachas ar dhaoine aonair agus ar a dteaghlaigh i rith a saoil.  Tá sé mar aidhm ag an ionad seo díriú ar go leor de na dúshláin seo trí thaighde a dhéanamh ar easnaimh shóisialta agus chumarsáide, riachtanais iompraíochta oiriúnaitheacha, leasanna srianta agus iompraíochtaí athchleachtacha/dúshlánacha. Ag oll-chomhdháil a chuir OÉ Gaillimh, Autism Speaks agus an American Ireland Fund i láthair le déanaí, tarraingíodh aird ar theicneolaíochtaí nua agus ar straitéisí praiticiúla chun aghaidh a thabhairt ar na dúshláin a bhíonn i scoileanna chun cabhrú le páistí ar speictream an uathachais. Labhair príomh-shaineolaithe idirnáisiúnta sa réimse faoin gcóireáil a úsáidtear do riochtaí cosúla leighis agus chuir siad an taighde is déanaí i láthair maidir le luathchomharthaí uathachais agus úsáid chógais ar speictream an uathachais. Dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, go léiríonn bunú an ionaid nua seo tiomantas OÉ Gaillimh do thaighde ar uathachas agus leagann sé béim ar an ngné aistritheach d’obair na hOllscoile.   Dúirt sé, “Is áit cheannródaíoch a bheidh san Ionad seo do dhaoine a mbaineann ASD leo.    Gheobhaidh mic léinn buntáiste as an teagasc taighde-bhunaithe san ionad a bhfuil baint aige leis na hionaid idirnáisiúnta is fearr sa réimse seo.  Cinnteoidh clár for-rochtana an Ionaid go mbeidh an taighde agus na straitéisí oideachasúla is déanaí ar fáil do theaghlaigh atá ag maireachtáil le ASD. Creidim gur ócáid cheannródaíoch a bheidh sa seoladh seo a dhéanfaidh an tUachtarán Ó hUiginn ar an Ionad seo do theaghlaigh a mbaineann ASD leo.”   CRÍOCH

Friday, 24 February 2012

UCB and The Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway are pleased to announce the start of a collaboration to enhance the D2RQ open source software project. D2RQ has long been the software of choice when exposing relational data sources as Linked Data. UCB is pleased to be able to fund the next evolution of D2RQ with the main aim of the project to enhance some core enterprise features and introduce new and exciting product features including alignment with the latest R2RML W3C standards. Linked Data principles are key to enable efficient data integration by providing a common format and language for data exchange and alignment. Enterprise spends billions globally dealing with data integration. The Linked Data approach seeks to drastically reduce this cost and greatly increase data effectiveness within an organisation. However traditional enterprise systems do not expose data in this universal format and third party applications such as D2RQ are required to achieve this. We believe the D2RQ enhancements will enable the enterprise to expose Linked Data in the most efficient and appropriate manner for their business. This is increasingly important as the Linked Data movement gains increasing momentum across the enterprise community. This project is the first step in helping D2RQ to become the de-facto standard that is used across the enterprise, no matter if they are looking at Linked Data for the first time or implementing a quality solution. -ends-

Monday, 27 February 2012

Housing is at the root of the global financial crisis – but it is also at the heart of personal, social and community development. Resolving the conflict between these approaches, nationally and internationally, is a core element of contemporary housing law and policy and the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy at NUI Galway are delighted to announce an international conference exploring this challenge. ‘Key Contemporary Housing Issues in a Changing Europe’ will examine key issues of law, rights, regulation and policy relating to housing. The conference, which will also hear presentations on important aspects of people’s experiences, both positive and negative, in today’s housing systems, will take place at NUI Galway from 20 to 21 April.  The conference brings to Galway an unprecedented platform of speakers drawn from the legal, economic, political, and academic spheres at both national, European and international level. It will offer opportunities to participants and presenters to explore and exchange information on contemporary developments in housing finance, law, regulation, rights, policy and current thinking across Europe. Event organiser and Lecturer with the NUI Galway School of Law, Dr Padraic Kenna, said: “This conference brings to Galway the leading writers and researchers on housing law, finance, rights and policy in Europe. It will offer a valuable forum for an informed discussion of the nature and role of housing systems, both today and in the future. Can we bridge the gap between the competing paradigms of housing as a market and housing as a home? How do we create a fresh inspiration and model of housing for the future, in the midst of the current crisis? These are the types of issues that will be discussed during at the conference.” Speakers at this International Housing Conference at NUI Galway include: Professor Stefan Gerlach, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank; Miss Justice Mary Laffoy, High Court of Ireland; Jan O'Sullivan T.D., Minister for the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government with special responsibility for Housing and Planning; and Regis Brillat, Head of the Department of the European Social Charter, Council of Europe. Leading international housing researchers will also present papers within dedicated seminars on important contemporary housing issues, such as housing and independent living, public interest law and housing, tenures, housing rights and homelessness, contemporary issues in mortgage regulation and consumer protection, migration, housing education, development, planning and housing law. The conference will be of particular interest to those who are involved in housing law, finance, those involved in policy-making and implementation, academics, researchers, public officials and representatives, planners, NGOs, housing rights advocates and students. Fees for the conference will cover admission to all seminars and presentations, book of abstracts, copies of relevant papers, lunches and coffee. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points will be available for attendance. Full conference attendance (12 CPD points) is €175, and single day attendance (6 CPD points) is €95. To register online for this event please visit www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=135 For further information contact Dr Padraic Kenna at housingconference@gmail.com. -ENDS- Speakers at the conference will also include:  Ionnis Dimitrakopoulos, Head of Equality and Citizen’s Rights, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. Professor Sergio Nasarre-Aznar, Universitat Rovira I Virgili, Tarragona, Coordinator of Legal Aspects of Housing, Land and Planning Group, European Network of Housing Researchers. Professor Martin Partington, Law Commission of England and Wales, and Bristol University Law School. Jamie Burton, Barrister with Doughty Street Chambers, London. Mike Wright, Founder-Director of Keyring Housing Association. Professor Lorna O’Mahoney-Fox, Law School, University of Durham.

Monday, 27 February 2012

NUI Galway and Hewlett-Packard have announced a new Master of Science degree in Cloud Computing Research. Identified by the Government, Forfás and the IDA as one of the best potential high-value growth areas for Ireland, and a vehicle for future jobs, cloud computing is set to provide a new generation of infrastructure, services and solutions for businesses. Designed by the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway together with Hewlett-Packard Galway’s Cloud Services Innovation Centre, the new degree is the first of its kind in Ireland, in providing a programme of advanced research on high-value, business-focused aspects of cloud computing and services.Cloud computing allows businesses and individuals to use software and access data and services on service providers’ remote computers, usually connecting over the internet, and typically using a web browser or mobile application.Dr Chris Coughlan, Manager of Hewlett-Packard’s Worldwide Cloud Services Innovation Centre, said: “This innovative and international masters degree is a critical support component in developing and sustaining Ireland’s smart economy ahead of the curve, and in the creation of high value employment within Ireland.”The MSc in Cloud Computing Research is a one-year fulltime or a two-year part-time research-based course, commencing in September 2012.NUI Galway’s Dr Tom Acton, architect of the programme, said: “Through direct dialogue with key industry partners such as Hewlett-Packard, Information Mosaic and others, we constructed this degree to meet the needs of these and other companies moving into the cloud space, and to provide a vehicle for the realisation of knowledge-intensive research into cloud computing.” Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway added: “The course is evidence of what can be achieved through close ties between academia and industry, in building upon synergies both regionally and nationally, and provides an innovative degree capable of producing high calibre and much sought-after graduates.”  There are two routes of entry to the course: persons already working in the ICT sector or within a technology-related role in other sectors with a qualifying degree or related experience, or persons with an undergraduate degree containing information systems, technology management or equivalent.  The University also recognises degrees from other institutions for entry, including the Bachelor of Business Studies (Information Systems Management stream) and the BA in Information Systems Management degree programmes provided by GMIT. -ends-

Monday, 27 February 2012

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Derry on Thursday, 8 March. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the The Everglades Hotel, Prehen Road, Derry City.The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students.The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in part due to a suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market, including an Energy Engineering degree and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers.Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programme, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies which is brand new for 2012.“NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to Derry, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Derry is a perfect opportunity to meet current students and our lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit”, says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway.To find out more about the information evening in Derry, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Office, Gráinne Dunne, Schools Liaison Office on 087 2440858 or grainne.dunne@nuigalway.ie.-Ends-

Monday, 27 February 2012

Last Thursday, 23 February, Minister for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock TD, announced Government funding via the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation of over €6.5 million covering 58 research awards.  NUI Galway received 8 of these awards to a total value of almost €1 million. The investment is made as part of Science Foundation Ireland’s Technology Innovation Development Award (TIDA) programme and will enable SFI-funded research groups to focus on the first steps of an applied research project which may have a commercial benefit if further developed. The eight NUI Galway projects under the Programme and their leaders are: Professor Terry Smith ‘Rapid molecular detection of pathogens from bio-pharmaceutical process water and sterile products’. Currently, process water monitoring is by microbiological methods which are slow.  This project will investigate the feasibility of an isothermal point-of-need device for the rapid detection of the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which is the species most frequently isolated from pharmaceutical process water and water-for-injection. This is the bacteria which was responsible recently for several infant deaths in a Belfast hospital. Professor Rhodri Ceredig, ‘Personalised stem cell therapy for inflammatory diseases: a feasibility study of whole blood testing for optimising patient specific stem cell potency and efficacy’. In this project, researchers from NUI Galway’s Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) Immunology Group and additional collaborators will develop rapid-turnaround, whole-blood assays to measure the anti-inflammatory potency of therapeutic stem cell products for individual patients.  This is of relevance to the use of stem cell products for the treatment of diseases that cause inflammation. Professor Abhay Pandit, ‘Scale-up feasibility of a polymeric diatom replica as the next generation drug delivery system’. This project seeks to develop a novel drug delivery system for ‘hard-to-deliver’ therapies such as cannabinoid drugs. The system is based on a polymer (plastic) version of a naturally occurring structure in diatoms, which are algae. Diatoms are of interest because they are encased within a unique cell wall made of silica, which is ideal for drug delivery. Professor Paul Murphy, ‘Development of new anti-metastatic agents’. Tumour metastasis, or spread, is the primary cause of death of cancer patients. A molecule called migrastatin - which occurs naturally in some bacteria - and its analogues have potential as therapies against tumour spread. This project proposes to build on SFI-funded research to generate a wide range of new migrastatin analogues for biological evaluation. Professor Murphy’s group has a competitive new method to manufacture known tumour migration inhibitors and has the capability to extend this know-how to prepare the new analogues. Dr Andrew Flaus ‘Recombinant chromatin substrates for the epigenetics market’. Research that looks at DNA structure and stability can help shed light on biological processes and point to potential drug targets. This project proposes to undertake a feasibility study into the potential for building a comprehensive catalogue of molecules as reagents and kits to target the chromatin and epigenetics research and development sectors. The group has established methods for efficient large-scale production of recombinant molecules. Proof-of-concept demonstrations and a business plan will be produced. Professor Lokesh Joshi ‘Glycoprotein micelle mediated capture of bacteria’. Despite major advances in hygiene practices worldwide, outbreaks of bacterial gastroenteritis still occur with serious public health consequences and economic impacts. This project will demonstrate a low-cost, natural ‘glycelle’ (glycosylated micelle) strategy that can be used to prevent disease-causing bacteria from sticking to cells of the gut and can be used to remove pathogens from water. Dr Adrienne Gorman, ‘Host cell engineering approach to increase product titre in a mammalian cell expression system’. A major issue exists in the biopharmaceutical sector in the production of biologics and biosimilars, such as recombinant proteins and monoclonal antibodies. Current methods are expensive and yield low amounts of protein. This project explores the commercial potential of a recent finding by Dr Gorman’s group that a protein, Hsp70, could enhance survival and secretion of mammalian cells. The outcome of this project will be a system that increases protein production yields and enhances survival of the cells, leading to a decreased cost of protein production. Professor Robert J Woods, ‘Development of anti-adhesion therapeutics for the inhibition of influenza’. The flu is caused by an infection with an influenza virus, and a key step in this process is the virus sticking to cells in the host. That step is mediated by a molecule on the surface of the virus called hemagglutinin.  Professor Wood’s group is developing a new class of carbohydrate-based anti-influenza agents that block this initial hemagglutinin-mediated adhesion of the virus to host cells.  The proposed research is likely to lead to commercially exploitable results in the form of therapeutics for treating or preventing influenza A in both humans and livestock. Commenting on the awards, Professor Terry Smith, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway, said: “The success of NUI Galway under the TIDA Programme represents an important endorsement of on-going research at NUI Galway and its potential for commercial and economic development.  We are excited about exploiting these opportunities, facilitated by SFI, to deliver research excellence with impact.” Making the announcement at Dublin’s RDS, Minister Sherlock said: “The TIDA Programme focuses on the first stages of an applied research project.  It provides financial support to research teams to enable them to get from concept to market.” Minister Sherlock also took the opportunity to urge the wider research community to support all endeavours towards commercialisation of research, stating: “While today is an endorsement of research endeavours, it is also very much a call to action for all higher education institutions to get behind and support their researchers in every way possible towards facilitating the commercialisation of their research.” The Minister concluded by saying “The spirit of convergence and collaboration that has characterised Irish scientific research over the past decade is not only the best way forward – it is the only way forward.” Welcoming the Minister’s announcement, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland, Professor Mark Ferguson, said: “The TIDA awards being announced today will make a telling impact on how academia and enterprise intertwine towards commercialisation. The projects present significant opportunities for commercialization of research and potential treatments in diverse areas such as new drug delivery system, new transistor devices, 4G wireless communication, cornea repair, SMART needles, hay fever, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, biomass, wastewater treatment and acoustic sensors to detect damage in pipes. Enterprise Ireland has played a key role in the programme’s selection process, further underpinning the market potential of the award recipients.” ENDS

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The winners of the UCG Spirit of 78/80 Socs Bursary were announced at a special ceremony at NUI Galway recently. Last year the UCG Spirit of 78/80 Socs Bursary was set up to celebrate and encourage outstanding students in NUI Galway. Each year six prizes, in the form of bursaries, worth €1000 each are rewarded to students with exceptional talent who wish to pursue their field of interest. The bursaries are a project which fosters co-operation and vision from the past and present to promote student creativity and empowerment within NUI Galway. The bursaries were divided into performance and non-performance categories. Performances included entrants from backgrounds in dance, alternative, jazz, traditional Irish and rock music as well as singing, juggling, theatre and performance. The recipients of the bursaries were: Soloist Category: Peter Berrill from Headford, Co. Galway. Groups Category: Joint winners: Choral Societies acapella group, ‘Sing n Tonics’, and Orchestra Society’s Colm O’Rourke from Walsh Island, Co. Offaly and Steven Conroy from Port Arlington, Co. Offaly. Performance Category: Sean Leonard from Galway City. Behind the Scenes/Event Management Category: Laura Donnelly from Galway City. Volunteering Category: Eva-Marie Costello from Ballyglunin, Co.Galway. Audience Choice: Oisín Minogue from Nenagh, Co. Tipperary. Speaking after the ceremony Riona Hughes, Societies Officer at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted with the outcome of the Bursaries Award which culminated in a wonderful night of top class entertainment. These bursaries help our very talented students to support them in realising their dreams.” The bursaries are jointly funded by NUI Galway’s societies and from sponsorship by NUI Galway Alumni from the class of 1978 – 1980. To find out more about the Societies Bursary visit www.socs.nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The launch of the Midlands Branch of the NUI Galway Alumni Association will take place on Tuesday, 13 March in the Custume Barrack in Athlone, Co. Westmeath. Hosted by the Officers Mess at the Custume Barracks, the launch will take place at 8.30pm and all graduates and friends of NUI Galway are welcome to attend. According to Sinéad Lenehan of the NUI Galway Midlands Alumni Club, “The Midlands Alumni Club will provide an outlet for graduates to keep in touch with other graduates and University staff, renew friendships and keep up-to-date with developments in the University.” Registration for the event is necessary and can be obtained online at www.nuigalway.ie/alumni or by contacting Máire Aherne on 091 492721. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Seolfaidh an Dr Éamon Ó Ciosáin leabhar nua, An Chonair Chaoch: An Mionteangachas sa Dátheangachas, san Aula Maxima, OÉ Gaillimh, Dé Luain 5 Márta ag 6pm. Tá an leabhar eagraithe ag Ciarán Lenoach, Conchúr Ó Giollagáin agus Brian Ó Curnáin. Sa leabhar seo tugtar aghaidh ar thaithí chomhaimseartha chainteoirí Gaeilge ar an dátheangachas comhuaineach. Pléitear go mion sa chnuasach aistí seo an taithí thrioblóideach atá ag cainteoirí mionteanga ar an dátheangachas sóisialta. Maíonn údair an leabhair go ndéanann an dátheangachas aontreoch (.i. aontreoch ón nGaeilge go Béarla) atá á chleachtadh sa phobal mionteanga leas sóisialta agus teangeolaíochta na mórtheanga agus aimhleas na mionteanga. Ach na tuiscintí is nua-aimseartha ar an taithí seo a chur ar fáil, leathnófar an díospóireacht acadúil agus an plé poiblí ar an dátheangachas agus díreofar aird ar na ceisteanna is cinniúnaí i leith inmharthanacht na Gaeilge agus na Gaeltachta mar phobal sainiúil teanga. Is Breac-Ghaeltacht atá fágtha anois den Ghaeltacht stairiúil, nach bhfuil inmharthana mar atá sí. Pléitear anseo mar sin cur chuige réadúil, fearacht na moltaí atá sa Staidéar Cuimsitheach Teangeolaíoch ar Úsáid na Gaeilge sa Ghaeltacht (2007), le dul i ngleic leis na dála seo, chun an Ghaeltacht mar phobal Gaeilge a athnuachan. Is é dea-scéala an phlé atá sa leabhar seo ná go dtuigimid gur drochscéala atá sa dátheangachas comhuaineach sa Ghaeltacht agus nach gcuirimid dallamullóg orainn féin i dtaobh impleachtaí na tuisceana seo don fhéiniúlacht Ghaelach. Le plé eolaíoch macánta agus le léargas fírinneach ar dheacrachtaí ár ndála is ea is féidir linn aghaidh mhisniúil a thabhairt ar an gcinniúint a shárú – coiscéim tosaigh an bheartais dóchais í an tuiscint. “Tá plé oscailte macánta ionraic le fáil sa leabhar seo ar bhuncheisteanna tráthúla (ach achrannacha agus conspóideacha) faoin nGaeilge, agus an plé sin suite i gcomhthéacs scolártha an léinn idirnáisiúnta. Cuirfidh an leabhar seo go mór leis na díospóireachtaí is na dioscúrsaí reatha ar an nGaeilge in Éirinn agus ar mhionteangacha an domhain chomh maith.” An tOllamh Roibeard Ó Maolalaigh, Roinn na Ceiltise is na Gàidhlige, Ollscoil Ghlaschú. D’eascair an leabhar seo as téamaí agus léargais éagsúla a pléadh le linn léachtaí, seimineár agus imeachtaí acadúla eile a reáchtáladh in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh. -CRÍOCH-

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Top Marks as 5 Star Rating Awarded from QS Stars NUI Galway has today been awarded a five star rating from the latest QS Stars rating system. NUI Galway recorded top marks in a new international rating, designed as an alternative to university rankings. Three Irish universities competed for the first ever global university rating system and NUI Galway joins University College Cork in securing the overall five star rating. NUI Galway was rated five out of five overall, receiving maximum ratings in several key areas, including research, teaching, internationalisation, facilities, engagement and innovation.  Speaking of the announcement, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne said: “This is excellent news for NUI Galway and a fitting acknowledgement of the exceptional developments that have taken place at this University in recent years. The award of five stars confirms NUI Galway's position as one of Ireland's leading universities, and a growing force on the international stage.” Dr Browne added: “This five Star rating represents a significant international validation of our performance in teaching, research and other activities, and positions us well alongside other international universities on a global stage. It rewards the vision by the University to continually invest in capital development and it highlights the strength of our industry partnerships and commercialisation activity.  NUI Galway is particularly proud of its achievements in engagement and delighted our leadership in this field is recognised. In a growing competitive market, we are especially happy about our five star rating in internationalisation as this again reaffirms our position within higher education globally.” The first international assessment of its kind, QS Stars has been devised by the research team behind the annual QS World University Rankings. The opt-in scheme assesses an unlimited number of universities in a greater range of areas than any existing international ranking. Designed to cover areas currently beyond the scope of university league tables, rankings expert Dr Ellen Hazelkorn of Dublin Institute of Technology has called the system “a smart and inevitable development in the higher education knowledge business.”  “QS Stars has the potential to revolutionise the way we measure university performance”, says John O’Leary, editor of The Times Good University Guide. “It covers areas that have proved to be beyond the scope of international rankings, such as teaching, employment rates and access, as well as strength in specialist disciplines.” Unlike rankings, QS Stars measure universities against preset international standards, drawing on 30 criteria. As well as an overall rating of zero to five stars (with a 5+ plus rating reserved for a handful of top scorers), universities that opt to take part are rated in up to eight areas including research, teaching, graduate employability, access and innovation QS Head of Research Ben Sowter states: “With concerns about graduate unemployment and rising tuition fees, students need a more comprehensive way of comparing universities than rankings can provide. QS Stars is able to provide a far greater range of evidence about the performance of an unlimited number of universities, helping students make smarter and better-informed decisions.” For more information visit http://www.topuniversities.com/qsstars/ireland  -Ends-

Thursday, 26 January 2012

At a ceremony in Dublin Castle, the Chancellor of the National University of Ireland, Dr Maurice Manning conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) on the President of Ireland, His Excellency, Michael D. Higgins. In his introductory citation, Dr James J. Browne, Vice-Chancellor of NUI and President of NUI Galway defined the conferring as ‘honouring an extraordinary man who personifies and combines so many decencies that, taken individually, we perceive to be ordinary’.In a phrase used by the late President Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh to characterise the role of President, Dr Browne said that  ‘As the ninth President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins is, somewhat paradoxically, the primus inter pares or first among equals’. Referring to the President’s election, Dr Browne said that his ‘radical egalitarianism animated his claim to be elected as Uachtarán na hÉireann in 2011. It posited a moral choice not between the state and the market but between two versions of the state. We were invited to reconceive the role of government in a re-imagined state and to engage without shame in an ethically informed public conversation about the choices that this would entail’.‘It was an unapologetic claim that placed ethics before competence in what he prescribed as ‘a real Republic’. It challenged the Irish people to accept that adjustment by daring to re-imagine and revive almost-forgotten decencies. Over one million voters rose to that challenge’.Dr Browne summarised the President’s political career in the following terms:  ‘First elected to Dáil Éireann in 1981, he represented Galway-West as a T.D. until 2011. Michael D. Higgins has identified, amplified and championed the rights and interests of communities that he described as “comhluadar faoi bhrón”. He did so without fear, using everything at his disposal: politics, sociology, broadcasting, journalism and poetry. In 1992, he was the first recipient of the Seán MacBride Peace Prize from the International Peace Bureau in Helsinki, in recognition of his work for peace and justice in many parts of the world’.Dr Browne concluded in saying ‘the Presidency of Michael D. Higgins may well reverse the adage of campaigning in poetry but governing in prose. Already, he is asserting the true value of rhetoric, purposefully and forthrightly deployed, evincing the defining quality of this truly extraordinary man – integrity’.Following the conferring, the President addressed the gathering. The large attendance in St Patrick’s Hall included representatives of the Government, the Council of State, the judiciary, the diplomatic corps, in addition to members of the four NUI constituent universities and other Irish universities. Notable amongst the attendants were many former colleagues of the President from NUI Galway where he lectured in the Department of Sociology for over thirty years.  National cultural institutions and the media were also represented.It is a longstanding tradition of the National University of Ireland to confer an honorary degree on the President following his or her inauguration. Dr Douglas Hyde received an honorary degree from the Royal University of Ireland in 1906. NUI has honoured all Presidents since 1952 with the exception of Dr Eamon de Valera, who was Chancellor of the University while in office.See link below for the full version of the conferring address delivered by His Exellency, President of Ireland, Dr Michael D. Higginshttp://www.president.ie/index.php?section=5&speech=1053&lang=engEnds.                ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Céim Oinigh OÉ le bronnadh ar Uachtarán na hÉireann, a Shoilse, Mícheál D. Ó     hUiginn    Bronnfaidh Seansailéir Ollscoil na hÉireann, an Dr Maurice Manning an chéim oinigh, Dochtúir le Dlíthe (LLD), ar Uachtarán na hÉireann, a Shoilse Mícheál D. Ó hUiginn ag searmanas i gCaisleán Bhaile Átha Cliath. Ina thagairt tosaigh, dúirt an Dr James J. Browne, Leas-Seansailéir an OÉ agus Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, go raibh an bronnadh ‘ag tabhairt aitheantais d’fhear neamhghnách a thugann chun saoil an oiread sin dea-thréithe, agus dá mbreathnóimis ar gach aon cheann acu sin astu féin níorbh iontach linn iad ar chor ar bith. I ráiteas a d’úsáid an tUachtarán Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh, nach maireann, chun cur síos a dhéanamh ar ról an Uachtaráin, dúirt an Dr Browne ‘Mar an naoú Uachtarán ar Éirinn tá Mícheál D. Ó hUiginn, go paradacsúil, mar primus inter pares nó an chéad duine dá leithéid ina chomhluadar’. Agus é ag tagairt do thoghchán an Uachtaráin, dúirt an Dr Browne gurb é a ‘chothromas radacach a chabhraigh lena iarracht a bheith tofa mar Uachtarán na hÉireann in 2011. Leag sé síos rogha morálta idir dhá leagan den stát seachas idir an stát agus an margadh. Tugadh cuireadh dúinn ról an rialtais a athcheapadh i stát athchruthaithe agus páirt a ghlacadh, gan náire, i gcaidreamh poiblí eiticiúil faoi na roghanna a bheadh i gceist leis seo’.‘Éileamh gan leithscéal a bhí ann a chuir eiticí roimh inniúlacht sa rud ar thug sé féin an ‘fhíor-Phoblacht’ air. Thug sé dúshlán mhuintir na hÉireann glacadh leis an athrú sin trí bheith sách dána chun dea-thréithe a bhí ligthe i ndearmad a thabhairt chun beochta arís. Ghlac os cionn milliún den lucht vótála leis an dúshlán sin’.Rinne an Dr Browne achoimre ar ghairm pholaitiúil an Uachtaráin mar seo a leanas:  ‘Toghadh mar bhall de Dháil Éireann ar dtús é i 1981, agus sheas sé do Ghaillimh Thiar mar T.D. go dtí 2011. D’oibrigh Mícheál D. Ó hUiginn ar son leasa na bpobal ar thug sé ‘chomhluadar faoi bhrón’ orthu. Rinne sé é sin gan aon fhaitíos ach ag tarraingt ar an bpolaitíocht, an tsocheolaíocht, an chraoltóireacht, an iriseoireacht agus an fhilíocht. I 1992, ba é an chéad duine é a fuair Duais Síochána Sheáin Mhic Giolla Bhríde ón mBiúró Síochána Idirnáisiúnta i Heilsincí, mar aitheantas ar a shaothar ar son na síochána agus an cheartais ar fud an domhain’.Chuir an Dr Browne críoch lena óráid ag rá ‘tá an nath ann go ndéantar feachtais i bhfilíocht agus rialú i bprós ach le huachtaránacht Mhícheál D. Ó hUiginn d’fhéadfadh a mhalairt a bheith fíor. Cheana féin, tá sé ag baint an leasa chirt as reitric, d’aon turas agus go neamhbhalbh, ag léiriú cad é an tréith is mó atá ag an bhfear iontach seo – ionracas’.I ndiaidh an tsearmanais bhronnta, labhair an tUachtarán leo siúd a bhí i láthair. I measc an tslua mhóir a bhí i Halla Naomh Pádraig bhí ionadaithe ón Rialtas, Comhairle an Stáit, an bhreithiúnacht, an cór taidhleoireachta, chomh maith le comhaltaí ó cheithre chomh-ollscoil an OÉ chomh maith le comhaltaí ó ollscoileanna Éireannacha eile. I measc na ndaoine iomráiteacha eile a bhí i láthair bhí iar-chomhghleacaithe an Uachtaráin ó OÉ Gaillimh, áit a raibh sé ina léachtóir sa Roinn Socheolaíochta ar feadh breis agus tríocha bliain.  Bhí daoine  ann chomh maith ó na hinstitiúidí cultúrtha náisiúnta agus ó na meáin.Is traidisiún fada é go mbronnann Ollscoil na hÉireann céim oinigh ar an Uachtarán i ndiaidh a (h)insealbhaithe. Bhronn Ollscoil Ríoga na hÉireann céim oinigh ar an Dr Dubhghlas de hÍde sa bhliain 1906. Bhronn an OÉ céimeanna oinigh ar gach Uachtarán ó 1952 i leith seachas an Dr Eamon de Valera, a bhí mar Sheansailéir ar an Ollscoil agus é in oifig.Críoch.

')">

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

NUI Galway has announced the winners of the 2012 Alumni Awards to be presented at the twelfth annual Alumni Awards Gala Banquet on Saturday, 3 March, 2012. The Gala Banquet will again be held in the Bailey Allen Wing located in Áras na Mac Léinn on campus. The Alumni Awards recognise individual excellence and achievements among the University’s more than 80,000 graduates worldwide. The Awards programme boasts an impressive roll call of 68 outstanding graduates who have gone on to honour their alma mater, including, for example, Michael D. Higgins, Ciarán FitzGerald, Sean O’Rourke, Professor Frank Gannon, Dr Luke Clancy and Gráinne Seoige. The winners of the six alumni awards to be presented at Gala 2012: Bank of Ireland Award for Business, Public Policy and Law Máire Whelan, Attorney General of Ireland Bank of Ireland Award for Engineering and Informatics Gerry Kilcommins, VP Global Vascular Operations & General Manager Medtronic Galway and past President American Chamber of Commerce, Ireland. NUI Galway Alumni Award for Science  Professor Fergal O'Gara, Chair of Microbiology UCC; Director, BIOMERIT Research Centre (BRC) AIB Award for Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies Marie Mullen - actress, Druid Theatre Company co-founder Medtronic Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Professor Tim O'Brien, Director, Gait Laboratory & Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Central Remedial Clinic Duais Hewlett Packard don GaeilgePeadar Mac An Iomaire, Iar-Phríomhfheidhmeannach, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh Speaking on the announcement of the Awards recipients, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne said: “Our Alumni Awards programme recognises the many Galway alumni who are leaders in their professions and excel in their pursuits at national and international levels. These awards celebrate the life-long value of an NUI Galway education and recognise individual achievements among the University’s more than 80,000 graduates worldwide. I congratulate each of the Award winners and look forward to welcoming them back to their alma mater for the Gala Banquet in March.” For booking information contact Catherine Conroy on 091 492972 or email catherine.conroy@nuigalway.ie. Online bookings at www.nuigalway.ie/alumni-friends  ENDS

Thursday, 26 January 2012

NUI Galway has announced the winners of the 2012 Alumni Awards to be presented at the twelfth annual Alumni Awards Gala Banquet on Saturday, 3 March, 2012. The Gala Banquet will again be held in the Bailey Allen Wing located in Áras na Mac Léinn on campus. The Alumni Awards recognise individual excellence and achievements among the University’s more than 80,000 graduates worldwide. The Awards programme boasts an impressive roll call of 68 outstanding graduates who have gone on to honour their alma mater, including, for example, Michael D. Higgins, Ciarán FitzGerald, Sean O’Rourke, Professor Frank Gannon, Dr Luke Clancy and Gráinne Seoige. The winners of the six alumni awards to be presented at Gala 2012: Bank of Ireland Award for Business, Public Policy and Law Máire Whelan, Attorney General of Ireland Bank of Ireland Award for Engineering and Informatics Gerry Kilcommins, VP Global Vascular Operations & General Manager Medtronic Galway and past President American Chamber of Commerce, Ireland. NUI Galway Alumni Award for Science  Professor Fergal O'Gara, Chair of Microbiology UCC; Director, BIOMERIT Research Centre (BRC) AIB Award for Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies Marie Mullen - actress, Druid Theatre Company co-founder Medtronic Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Professor Tim O'Brien, Director, Gait Laboratory & Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Central Remedial Clinic Duais Hewlett Packard don Gaeilge Peadar Mac An Iomaire, Iar-Phríomhfheidhmeannach, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh Speaking on the announcement of the Awards recipients, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne said: “Our Alumni Awards programme recognises the many Galway alumni who are leaders in their professions and excel in their pursuits at national and international levels. These awards celebrate the life-long value of an NUI Galway education and recognise individual achievements among the University’s more than 80,000 graduates worldwide. I congratulate each of the Award winners and look forward to welcoming them back to their alma mater for the Gala Banquet in March.” For booking information contact Catherine Conroy on 091 492972 or email catherine.conroy@nuigalway.ie. Online bookings at www.nuigalway.ie/alumni-friends  ENDS        ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  Tá buaiteoirí Dhuaiseanna Alumni 2012 fógartha ag OÉ Gaillimh. Bronnfar na Duaiseanna ag Mórfhéasta Bronnta na nGradam Alumni san Ollscoil Dé Sathairn, an 3 Márta 2012. Seo an 12ú bliain as a chéile a mbeidh an Mórfhéasta á reáchtáil. Reáchtálfar an Mórfhéasta i Sciathán Bailey Allen in Áras na Mac Léinn, OÉ Gaillimh. Tá breis agus 80,000 céimí de chuid na hOllscoile scaipthe ar fud an domhain. Tugann na Duaiseanna Alumni aitheantas do chuid de na céimithe sin a bhfuil éachtaí déanta acu.  Go dtí seo tá duais alumni bronnta ar 68 céimí den scoth – céimithe a bhfuil a n-alma mater fíorbhródúil astu – Michael D. Higgins, Ciarán FitzGerald, Sean O’Rourke, an tOllamh Frank Gannon, an Dr Luke Clancy agus Gráinne Seoige ina measc. Seo a leanas an seisear a mbronnfar Duais Alumni orthu ag Mórfhéasta 2012: Duais Bhanc na hÉireann don Ghnó, an Beartas Poiblí agus an Dlí  Máire Whelan, Ard-Aighne na hÉireann Duais Bhanc na hÉireann don Innealtóireacht agus don Ionformaitic  Gerry Kilcommins, Leas-Uachtarán Global Vascular Operations & Bainisteoir    Ginearálta Medtronic na Gaillimhe agus iar-Uachtarán ar Chumann Tráchtála Mheiriceá in Éirinn Duais Alumni OÉ Gaillimh don Eolaíocht  An tOllamh Fergal O’Gara, Ollúnacht le Micribhitheolaíocht, UCC, Stiúrthóir, Ionad Taighde BIOMERIT (BRC) Duais AIB do na Dána, na hEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léann Ceilteach  Marie Mullen – aisteoir, comhbhunaitheoir Chomplacht Amharclannaíochta an   Druid Duais Medtronic don Leigheas, an tAltranas agus na hEolaíochtaí Sláinte  An tOllamh Tim O’Brien, Stiúrthóir, Saotharlann Gait & Máinlia Comhairleach Ortaipéidice, an Clinic Lárnach Íocshláinteach Duais Hewlett-Packard don Ghaeilge  Peadar Mac an Iomaire, Iar-Phríomhfheidhmeannach, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, nuair a fógraíodh buaiteoirí na nDuaiseanna Alumni: “Tugann an clár Duaiseanna Alumni aitheantas d’iarmhic léinn na Gaillimhe ar ceannairí iad agus atá ar thús cadhnaíochta ina ngairm in Éirinn agus thar lear.  Déanann na gradaim seo ceiliúradh ar luach fadsaoil an oideachais a chuirtear ar fáil in OÉ Gaillimh agus tugann siad aitheantas do na héachtaí atá déanta ag cuid den 80,000 céimí de chuid na hOllscoile fud fad na cruinne. Déanaim comhghairdeas le gach duine a bhuaigh Duais Alumni agus táim ag súil go mór le fáilte ar ais a chur rompu chuig a n-alma mater ag an Mórfhéasta i mí an Mhárta.” Chun eolas faoi áirithintí a fháil, déan teagmháil le Catherine Conroy ag 091 492972 nó seol r-phost chuig catherine.conroy@nuigalway.ie.  Is féidir áit a chur in áirithe ar líne ag www.nuigalway.ie/alumni-friends CRÍOCH 

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Students from across Connaught who received an A in Junior Certificate Honours Business Studies, were presented with Certificates of Achievement from the College of Business, Public Policy and Law, NUI Galway recently. The presentations, in association with the Business Studies Teachers Association of Ireland (BSTAI), were made at a recent special ceremony at the University which included teachers and parents. This is the second year NUI Galway has presented these awards and 200 students received recognition for their achievement at the ceremony. The certificates were awarded to students from over 55 individual schools throughout the counties of Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo. Dr Willie Golden, Dean of the College of Business Public Policy and Law, NUI Galway, who presented the certificates to each individual winner, said: “NUI Galway’s international success is built on a strong and enduring relationship with its hinterland, and a commitment to working with all stakeholders in the community. We are continuously updating our suite of business programmes to ensure we stay ahead of market changes and industry demands. I congratulate all the students on their achievement and also the work of teachers in helping students achieve their potential.”  Mary O’Sullivan, President, BSTAI said “The BSTAI are delighted to partner with NUI Galway to host this ceremony which celebrates and recognises academic excellence in Business Studies at a young age. I have no doubt that many of today’s award recipients will embark on successful careers in the business world.” ENDS

Thursday, 5 January 2012

One of Ireland’s leading scientists working in the field of stem cell therapy is to receive the 2012 Marshall R. Urist Award for Excellence in Tissue Regeneration Research. Professor Frank Barry, Director of the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at the National University of Ireland, Galway, is to be given the award by the Orthopaedic Research Society. This is the first time the award will go a scientist working outside of the US. The Marshall R. Urist, MD Award was created in 1996 and is sponsored by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. This prestigious award honours an investigator who has established him/herself as a cutting-edge researcher in tissue regeneration research, and has done so with a sustained ongoing body of focused research in the area of tissue regeneration as it relates to the musculoskeletal system. The award is named after Dr Marshall R. Urist (1914-2001) who carried out pioneering studies on bone induction and the identification of bone morphogenetic protein, or BMP, which revolutionised orthopaedic medicine.  Harry A. McKellop, Chair of the Awards and Recognition Committee of the Orthopaedic Research Society, said: “The Urist Award honours investigators who have made significant contributions to research in tissue regeneration. It is presented to Professor Barry in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the field of cell mediated therapies in bone and joint repair, and the impact of his research on improving the understanding of tissue regeneration and joint metabolism.” Professor Frank Barry, who is from Cobh, Co.Cork, moved to the US in 1990 to work with Osiris Therapeutics, based in Baltimore, which is now one of the leading companies engaged in the development of stem cell therapies. In 2004 he moved back to Ireland, as Scientific Director of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway, a role he continues to hold. He took over as Director of NCBES in 2009, and oversees 70 academic investigators and 300 researchers as they develop innovative diagnostic and therapeutic solutions in the areas of Biomedical Engineering, Cancer, Neuroscience, and Regenerative Medicine. Commenting on the announcement, Professor Barry said: “It is an extraordinary honour for me personally to receive this award and I am very grateful to the Orthopaedic Research Society for recognising the research I have been involved in over the last number of years. I am fully aware that research of this nature involves teams of scientists and I have been very fortunate to work with many talented and innovative researchers in the US and especially now at NUI Galway.” The Marshall R. Urist Award includes an honorarium of $5,000 and a commemorative plaque, which will be presented to Professor Barry during the 2012 Annual Meeting of the ORS in San Francisco, on 6 February. Professor Barry will join the company of previous distinguished recipients, including Drs. Ernesto Canalis, A. Hari Redi, Arnold Caplan, Richard Coutts, Thomas Einhorn, Steven Goldstein, Rocky Tuan, Farshid Guilak, Chris Evans, Vicky Rosen and Jay Lieberman.

Monday, 9 January 2012

The next talk in the NUI Galway public talk series on Sports Technology will take place on Tuesday, 17 January at 6pm. Entitled A score or not a score – that is the question! Score detection and other technologies in Gaelic games, soccer and other field sport, the talk will be delivered by Liam Kilmartin, Lecturer with the School of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway. According to Liam Kilmartin: “From Geoff Hurst in 1966 to Frank Lampard in 2010, the inability to determine whether valid goals have been scored in soccer has generated much press and debate. Similar discourse has erupted at times in GAA circles particularly relating to hurling where determination of valid point scores is often even more challenging due to the speed and height of the sliotar.” The talk will initially focus on the challenge of score detection in a number of sports, and will examine technologies which have been proposed for use in both soccer and Gaelic sports, ranging from a prototype system developed for the GAA in the late 1990s to contemporary systems such as Hawkeye and other candidates for ‘goal line technology’ currently being considered by FIFA. The second half of the talk will examine in a broader sense how modern communication and sensor technology is being used in team sports such as soccer, GAA, Australian football and rugby to aid in monitoring player performance both in training and during actual games. The final portion of the talk will examine possible future technologies which could help with player’s mental focus, possibly determining when they are in the zone and hence ready mentally to perform at an optimal level. Liam Kilmartin, an NUI Galway Engineering graduate, has been a Lecturer in Electronic Engineering at the University since 1994. His research interests include signal and image processing algorithms and applications and wireless and mobile communication technology. He was one of two Principle Investigators on a GAA/Enterprise Ireland (formerly Forbairt) co-funded project which ran from 1998 to 2002. The project focused on the development of technology to facilitate automated score detection in hurling. In recent years, his research interests have also focussed on how advanced technologies such as GPS, wireless communications and signal analysis can be applied to maximise athletes’ physical and mental conditioning. The free public talk will take place in room ENG-3035 in the Engineering Building at NUI Galway. The series of Sports Technology talks is being organised as part of NUI Galway’s degree programme in Sports & Exercise Engineering, whose students are being educated to design the next generation of sports and exercise systems and devices. For more information on the Sports Technology talks, which are supported by Engineers Ireland (West), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, visit www.ExerciseEngineering.com or call 091 492728.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

NUI Galway is pleased to announce the launch of a new computer training initiative aimed at people categorised as digitally excluded. Working in partnership with Limerick Community Connect, DCU and Age Action Ireland, NUI Galway will deliver basic computer training to 400 people between January and June of 2012. ‘Click & Connect’ is funded by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and will be delivered by the Discipline of Information Technology at NUI Galway. All training will be provided without charge. Experienced tutors will introduce learners to the very basics of computers and teach them computer activities such as: surfing the web, setting up and using email, how to download photographs, how to access Government information on-line. Classes will be small and will be carried out in local, non-formal learning settings. Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics, stated that there are thousands of people living in Ireland today who have been left behind when it comes to the internet. Referring to the new computer training initiative he said: “Older people will particularly benefit, as will unemployed people and disadvantaged groups in the Galway region. These people miss out on opportunities most people take for granted.  For example, those not yet online cannot send emails, do internet searches for products or information, or conduct Government transactions online.” NUI Galway has designed training material suitable for beginners, with plenty of support and encouragement from the volunteer tutors. The training provided will be very basic and is intended as practical guidance for people with no prior experience of computers and the internet. Classes will be just two hours duration over three consecutive weeks and are a great opportunity to be part of this amazing digital world. If you would like more information on NUI Galway’s ‘Click and Connect’, or to register for the classes, please contact the co-ordinator Trish O’Connell in the Discipline of Information Technology at 087-0571967 or e-mail her at clickandconnect@nuigalway. Training begins the week of 16 January. ENDS

Monday, 9 January 2012

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Enniskillen on Thursday, 19 January. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Kellyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh.  The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in part due to a suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market, including an Energy Engineering degree and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programme, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies which is brand new for 2012. “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to Fermanagh, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Enniskillen is a perfect opportunity to meet current students and our lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit”, says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. To find out more about the information evening in Enniskillen, contact Gráinne Dunne, Schools Liaison Office at NUI Galway, on 087 2440858 or grainne.dunne@nuigalway.ie.   -Ends-

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy and Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Professor Emeritus in History have been appointed by President Michael D. Higgins to sit on the Council of State. Judge Catherine McGuinness, Adjunct Professor of Law has also been nominated by the President. Other nominees include Mr Michael Farrell, Professor Deirdre Heenan, Mr Ruairí McKiernan and Ms Sally Mulready. Professor Gerard Quinn Professor Gerard Quinn is the Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the NUI Galway School of Law.  The Centre is part of a new Lifecourse Policy Research Institute at the University which researches policy innovation covering age, child and family as well as disability.  He is a graduate of UCG (BA, LL.B.), was called to the Irish Bar in 1983 and holds a masters (LL.M.) and doctorate in law (S.J.D.) from Harvard Law School.  His specialization is international and comparative disability law and policy. Professor Quinn led the delegation of Rehabilitation International (RI) at the UN Working Group that elaborated the new UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  He has worked in the European Commission and held a number of posts such as Director of Research at the Law Reform Commission and First Vice President of the European Committee of Social Rights (Council of Europe).  He is a former member of the Irish Human Rights Commission.  He voluntarily participates on a number of international boards dealing with disability law and policy issues. Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh is Professor Emeritus in History and former Dean of Arts and Vice-President of NUI Galway. A former member of the Senate of the NUI and of the Irish-US Fulbright Commission, and a former Cathaoirleach of Údarás na Gaeltachta, Professor Ó Tuathaigh has published widely – in Irish and English – on many aspects of modern Irish history. Judge Catherine McGuinness Judge Catherine McGuinness was called to the Bar in 1977 and to the Inner Bar in 1989.  She was a member of Seanad Éireann from 1979-82 and was a previous member of the Council of State from 1988-90. She served as a Judge of the Circuit Court from 1994-1996, of the High Court from 1996-2000 and of the Supreme Court from 2000-2006. From 2005-2011, she was President of the Law Reform Commission. She is currently the Adjunct Professor of Law at NUI Galway. Michael Farrell Michael Farrell is the senior solicitor with Free Legal Advice Centres. He was involved in the Civil Rights movement in Northern Ireland and is a former co-chairperson of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.  Michael was a member of the Irish Human Rights Commission from 2001 until last year and is currently the Irish member of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance.  He is also a member of the Human Rights Committee of the Law Society.Professor Deirdre Heenan Deirdre Heenan is Provost and Dean of Academic Development for the University of Ulster’s Magee Campus, where she a member of the Senior Management Team. She was appointed to a Lectureship in Policy Studies at the University of Ulster in 1995 and became a Professor in 2007.   Professor Heenan is a co-founder and former co-director of the Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey which has become a key statistical resource for schools, academics and policy makers.  Her particular areas of expertise are devolution, education and social care. In 2008-9 Deirdre spent nine-months working as a policy adviser in the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister. Last year she was appointed by Health Minister, Edwin Poots, to join the five strong panel of advisers to assist with the Review of Health and Social Care Services in Northern Ireland. Ruairí McKiernan Ruairí McKiernan is a community activist and social entrepreneur. He is the founder of the national youth organisation SpunOut.ie. He is also a founder and organiser of the Possibilities 2011 Social Summit. Ruairí is a business graduate and is a recipient of numerous awards including a Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Award, a Net Visionary Award, and a Junior Chambers International Award.  After 8 years as CEO of SpunOut.ie, he recently stepped down to develop new social innovations. Sally Mulready Sally Mulready has made a huge contribution to the Irish emigrant community in Britain over many decades. She was born in Dublin and moved to Hackney, London with her mother in the 1970s.  Sally is a local Labour councillor in the London Borough of Hackney since 1997. In her former capacity as the Secretary of the Federation of Irish Societies, Sally was involved in securing the Irish Government’s agreement for the creation and funding of five Survivor Outreach Services in Britain.  She is also a founder member of the Irish Women’s Survivors Network and Director of the Irish Elderly Advice Network.  Sally was prominently involved in the campaign to free the Birmingham Six and is currently active in the Magdalene Laundries issue.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

NUI Galway will host two CAO Information Days on Thursday, 19and Friday, 20 January in the Arts Millennium Building on campus. These drop in sessionsare specific to mature students aged 23 (or over) who may not have had the opportunity of participating in third level studies previously and who are now considering embarking on this new journey. The information sessions will take place from 10am to 4pm each day. Information will be provided on all full-time degrees available to mature students at NUI Galway, the entry requirements for each degree and on how to fill your CAO application correctly and on the selection process itself.  There will also be a focus on financial and other supports within the University during your time as a student. NUI Galway advises all mature students to apply through the CAO system, which has a closing deadline for applications of Wednesday, 1 February, 2012.  In particular, mature Arts applicants should note that the MSAP Exam (Mature Students Admissions Pathway Exam) is required for entry to programmes in the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies degrees. Mature applicants for Arts degrees must apply firstly through the CAO before 1 February and then register on-line for the MSAP exam at http://www.msap.acer.edu.au/ The MSAP exam will take place on Saturday, 18 February, 2012 at testing centres nationwide. A short talk providing information on the MSAP exam and tips on how to prepare and register for the exam will take place from 1pm to 1.30pm on both days of NUI Galway’s CAO advisory sessions. Trish Hoare, Mature Students Officer at NUI Galway, has noticed a growing interest in returning to formal study: “With the economic downturn, many are looking to develop new employment opportunities by studying for a degree. However it is imperative that prospective students know how to apply correctly through the CAO, deadlines of application and are aware of assessments involved for some degree programmes.” Speaking in advance of the advisory sessions, current mature student at NUI Galway Caroline Gorman, said: “My return to college first started with the NUI Galway Commerce Foundation course in 2009.  Successfully completing this course gave me both the opportunity and confidence to start a full time degree.  Thanks to the skills I learned through the part time access course, I found it much easier to make the transition into full time education, and subsequently succeed in my exams.  I’ve just begun the second year of my BComm degree, and I love every minute of it!  I would encourage anyone thinking of studying Commerce as a mature student to take full advantage of these fantastic courses and of the advisory sessions, and to explore the possibilities which they can create for the future.” ENDS

Thursday, 12 January 2012

The full text of the ‘red book’, intermediary Brendan Duddy’s handwritten account of the 1981 hunger strike negotiations, has now been made available online by the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway where the document is held as part of the Brendan Duddy Archive. A transcript of the handwritten diary, originally created in 2001 by a relative of Brendan Duddy’s in consultation with him, has also been placed online. The documents, when set alongside the recently released official papers from the UK National Archives, and the Republican account originally outlined in the book ‘Ten Men Dead’, add significantly to our knowledge of the 1981 hunger strike negotiations. Commenting on this announcement, Dr Niall O Dochartaigh, Lecturer in Politics at NUI Galway, said: “This fractured and occasionally very personal handwritten record provides us with a sense of the intensity of these contacts and the biting tensions at this intersection between the British government and the Provisional Republican leadership. It provides an informal record of these contacts from the perspective of the intermediary that adds significantly to our understanding of the dynamics of these backchannel negotiations. It highlights in particular the importance of struggles over deadlines and the timing of moves by both parties.” Deposited at NUI Galway in 2009, the papers of Brendan Duddy provide a unique insight into the resolution of the ‘Troubles’. The archive includes coded diaries of contact as well as messages exchanged between the British Government and the Provisional Republican leadership. The Duddy papers are directly related to the papers of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, former President of Sinn Féin, which are also held in the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway. Together these archives constitute one of the most important sources for understanding the attempts to resolve conflict in Ireland that culminated in the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. John Cox, University Librarian at NUI Galway, noted: "The James Hardiman Library is pleased to provide wider access to this important document by making it available online as part of our digitisation initiatives." Research on the papers involves collaboration between NUI Galway’s School of Political Science and Sociology and the University of Ulster’s International Conflict Research Centre (INCORE) Documents can be viewed at: archives.library.nuigalway.ie/duddy/

Thursday, 12 January 2012

The Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopment Research at NUI Galway, in partnership with Autism Speaks and The American Ireland Fund, Launch the First International Autism Conference in Ireland The Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopment Research, in the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, in partnership with Autism Speaks, Galway University Foundation and The American Ireland Fund, are delighted to announce their first international conference, "Autism Spectrum Disorder: from Clinical Practice to Educational Provision," which began today, Thursday 12 January and Friday, 13 January 2012.THE conference continues tomorrow when Minister of Health, Dr James Reilly TD will address an audience of over 600 researchers, healthcare professionals, teachers, and parents from around the world. The conference will unveil the latest research on early diagnosis of autism and will focus on providing practical solutions and approaches to diagnosis, clinical management, education, and adult service provision. “This is a tremendous example of transatlantic cooperation to tackle one of the most demanding and complex issues affecting millions of families worldwide,” said Kieran McLoughlin, CEO of the American Ireland Fund.  “The partnership between Autism Speaks and NUI Galway and the willing support of our donors is a wonderfully tangible expression of the depth of Irish-American relations.” International experts from the fields of health and education will discuss best practices, from diagnosis to intervention. Experts include Professor Connie Kasari from the Centre for Autism Research and Treatment at UCLA; Professor Cathy Lord, Director of the Weill Cornell Medical College and New York Presbyterian Hospital Institute for Brain Development; Professor Richard Foxx of Penn State University; and Professor Helen McConachie of Newcastle University.   “We are delighted to be hosting such distinguished international experts,” said Conference organiser and lecturer in Psychology at NUI Galway, Dr Geraldine Leader. “It is only through the use of the latest up-to-date evidence based practices that we can ensure best outcomes for all individuals on the autism spectrum.” Parents of autistic children have been invited to attend and participate in workshops on early intervention and caring for children on the autism spectrum. Adrian Jones, a parent of an autistic child, a board member of Autism Speaks and Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, welcomed the conference. “Our family has been dealing with autism since we got Liam's diagnosis 10 years ago, during which time we have been fortunate to benefit from the insight and guidance of experts in the field,” Jones said.  “We've seen the impact that Autism Speaks has had in generating awareness throughout the US, and the tangible benefits to families of its many programme initiatives. We hope the insights of global experts at this conference will accelerate improvements in care for Irish children and adults with autism.” Virginia Bovell, co-founder of the Tree House School in London, will speak about her longtime campaign for autism services in England. Bovell will share stories of raising her son Danny, who is on the spectrum, and discuss her experience in the context of the wider policy and intellectual environment. The conference workshops will highlight new technologies and practical strategies for managing challenges faced in schools for helping children on the autism spectrum. They will discuss treating associated medical conditions, and present the latest research on early signs of autism and the use of medication for people on the autism spectrum. President of NUI Galway Dr Jim Browne said the conference highlights NUI Galway’s commitment to autism research and underscores the translational dimension of the University’s work.  “With over 600 parents, professionals and support workers present to learn from best international practice, we are bringing our research-led teaching from the clinic to classroom and back again,” Browne said. “This conference will be an important landmark for many families affected by autism.” The Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopment Research at NUI Galway will be officially launched by President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins on Friday, 24 February. For further information on the conference, or to register, visit www.conference.ie. ENDS

Monday, 16 January 2012

NUI Galway's Centre of Astronomy will continue its 2011/2012 programme of open evenings at its Imbusch Observatory in Dangan. The Observatory provides state-of-the-art observing facilities for NUI Galway's astrophysics students and the open evenings are an opportunity for the general public to come in and visit. Weather permitting, the free open evenings will take place at 7pm on 25 January, 8 and 22 February, and 7 March. An informative hour-long lecture will be followed by a hands-on viewing of the sky by night, weather permitting. The Imbusch Astronomical Observatory was opened in 2004 and is used by students studying Physics and Astronomy at NUI Galway. The observatory is equipped with a modern computer controlled 16" telescope and camera, and a radio telescope with a hydrogen line spectrometer, which is able to map out and measure the velocity of the sun and the Milky Way. There is also a 10" portable telescope - computer controlled – for visual observations of planets, star clusters, nebulae and other bright objects. Bookings are limited to two tickets per person and is strictly by ticket only. Tickets are allocated on a first come first served basis. All bookings are by email and those interested should send requests to tara.shanahan@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-  

Monday, 16 January 2012

NUI Galway has announced details of new scholarships scheme for mature students. In total, 30 new scholarships will be awarded, consisting of €2,000 per student for every year of their study. The new initiative is open to mature applicants, 23 years and over, applying through the CAO by 1 February, and commencing study in autumn 2012. Scholarships will be awarded based on merit, and those interested should apply as normal through the CAO process. The top 30 applicants will be automatically selected for a scholarship and notified before September 2012. The 30 scholarships will be allocated across three areas: Entrants via the Mature Student’s AdmissionsPathway (MSAP). Entrants via the Access Foundation programmes. Entrants who are mature (23 years of age at 1 January of year of entry), who are entitled to enter the programme to which they are admitted from School Leaving results. There are some limitations on who will qualify for possible selection, for example, students with a Local Authority Higher Education grant or similar awards will not be eligible for the scholarship. Interested students should visit the NUI Galway website for further detail about the scholarships and for information about the general mature student application process.Dr Martina Ní Chúlain, Admissions Officer at NUI Galway, explains: “The new Scholarships for Mature Students are an incentive to attract more of the brightest and most committed students, and to support their return to full-time education. Mature students bring so much to the campus and to their classmates, and we hope to offer the scholarship as a support in making the transition into third-level education easier.”Mature students make up a significant part of the student population at NUI Galway, with over 1,200 full-time mature students across all schools and disciplines.For more information on studying at NUI Galway as a mature student visit www.nuigalway.ie/mature/scholarships or phone 091 492 695. -ends-