NUI Galway Opens its Doors for Spring Open Day

NUI Galway Opens its Doors for Spring Open Day-image

Monday, 8 April 2013

To get a taste of university life at NUI Galway, all CAO applicants and interested students of all years are invited to the campus for the annual Spring Open Day on Saturday, 20 April. The Open Day is an excellent opportunity for students, along with their parents and families, to learn about the courses on offer at NUI Galway, talk to lecturers and view the facilities. Running from 10am to 3pm, the Spring Open Day is expected to attract over 3,000 visitors. Taster sessions will run throughout the day, designed to give a real insight into studying at NUI Galway, with hands-on interactive Science Experience workshops a particular highlight. New for this year, students from the School of Law will show short films they have made about famous legal cases, giving would-be solicitors and barristers a unique insight into the Law in action. A wide range of short taster sessions in Arts subjects, together with interactive Engineering and IT Zones will also form part of the packed programme for the day.  Tours of the campus will feature the state-of the-art sports complex and gym, and the new Engineering Building. Tours of student accommodation will also be available to visitors on the day. Popular highlights for parents will be the talks, 'Focus on Your Career' and 'A Parent's Guide to University'. With a packed programme of events for all ages, the event is an ideal family day out. This year, all counties in Ireland will be represented by a team of 'student ambassadors', answering questions on specific courses and all aspects of university life. Lecturers and support staff will also be available at over 80 stands to deal with any queries about courses, accommodation, finance and much more. Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, said: "Choosing a university is one of the most important decisions a student will ever make and parents play a key role in supporting students as they take this important next step. Open Day is the perfect opportunity for parents to ensure they have access to all of the information they need to support sons and daughters through their university career. We are encouraging anyone with an interest in studying at NUI Galway to come along, talk to our lecturers and current students, find out about the courses, check out the facilities and decide for yourself whether NUI Galway feels right for you. Spring Open Day has proved invaluable in the past to many students, particularly those considering their options before the CAO change of mind deadline of 1 July.” NUI Galway is an internationally recognised university with a distinguished reputation for teaching excellence and research. Currently ranked third of the Irish universities in international rankings, NUI Galway is only one of two Irish Universities to be awarded the prestigious top rating of five stars in the latest QS Stars rating system. Five stars are awarded for exceptional developments in education, including teaching and research activity, as well as for top quality facilities. The University is also one of the top two universities in Ireland for student retention and graduate employment. NUI Galway recognises the academic excellence of new undergraduate students annually with the presentations of Excellence Scholarships valued at €2,000 to students who achieve exceptional Leaving Certificate results, while generous Sports Scholarships are awarded to high performing athletes. Visitors for the NUI Galway Spring Open Day can book a place and receive a programme in advance by visiting  www.nuigalway.ie/opendays, calling 091 494 145 or emailing visit@nuigalway.ie. -Ends- _________________________________ Fáilte roimh an bPobal teacht chuig Lá Oscailte an Earraigh in OÉ Gaillimh Chun blaiseadh a fháil de shaol na hollscoile in OÉ Gaillimh, tugtar cuireadh do gach iarratasóir CAO agus do mhic léinn eile i ngach bliain teacht chuig an gcampas do Lá Oscailte an Earraigh a bheidh ar siúl Dé Sathairn an 20 Aibreán. Is iontach an deis a fhaigheann mic léinn, agus a dtuismitheoirí agus a dteaghlaigh, ag an Lá Oscailte chun eolas a fháil faoi na cúrsaí atá á dtairiscint in OÉ Gaillimh, labhairt le léachtóirí agus féachaint ar na háiseanna atá ar fáil. Beidh Lá Oscailte an Earraigh ar siúl ó 10am go dtí 3pm agus táthar ag súil le breis agus 3,000 cuairteoir ar an lá. Beidh seisiúin eolais ar siúl ar feadh an lae chun léargas a thabhairt ar shaol na hOllscoile in OÉ Gaillimh. Ar cheann de na gnéithe is suntasaí beidh ceardlanna praiticiúla idirghníomhacha Eolaíochta ar siúl. Den chéad uair i mbliana, taispeánfaidh mic léinn ó Scoil an Dlí gearrscannáin atá déanta acu faoi chásanna dlíthiúla a bhí i mbéal an phobail, rud a thabharfaidh léargas ar leith ar an Dlí dóibh siúd atá ag dréim le bheith ina ndlíodóirí agus ina n-abhcóidí. Beidh réimse leathan gearrsheisiúin eolais ar siúl in ábhair na Dána, chomh maith le Zóin idirghníomhacha Innealtóireachta agus IT.  Ar thurais den champas taispeánfar an t-ionad spóirt agus giomnáisiam den scoth mar aon leis an bhFoirgneamh nua Innealtóireachta. Beidh turais ar lóistín na mac léinn ar fáil do chuairteoirí ar an lá chomh maith. Cuirfidh tuismitheoirí suim sna cainteanna, 'Focus on Your Career' agus 'A Parent's Guide to University'. Tá clár imeachtaí den scoth beartaithe don uile dhuine, agus is cinnte gur iontach an lá a bheas ann don teaghlach ar fad. I mbliana, beidh ionadaíocht ag gach contae sa tír ag an ócáid le foireann ‘ambasadóirí na mac léinn', a fhreagróidh ceisteanna faoi chúrsaí ar leith agus faoi aon ghné de shaol na hollscoile. Beidh léachtóirí agus an fhoireann tacaíochta ar fáil chomh maith ag breis agus 80 seastán chun ceisteanna faoi chúrsaí, lóistín, maoiniú agus go leor eile a fhreagairt. Dúirt Caroline Loughnane, an Stiúrthóir Margaíochta agus Cumarsáide in OÉ Gaillimh: “Ceann de na cinntí is tábhachtaí a dhéanfaidh mac léinn ina s(h)aol an ollscoil a fhreastalóidh sé/sí uirthi a roghnú. Tá ról tábhachtach ag tuismitheoirí tacú le mic léinn agus iad i mbun an cinneadh sin a dhéanamh. Is é an Lá Oscailte an deis is fearr do thuismitheoirí a chinntiú go bhfuil an t-eolas ar fad acu chun tacú lena mac nó lena n-iníon ag an ollscoil. Molaimid do dhuine ar bith a bhfuil suim acu staidéar in OÉ Gaillimh teacht chuig an Lá Oscailte, labhairt leis na léachtóirí agus leis na mic léinn reatha, eolas a fháil faoi chúrsaí, breathnú ar na háiseanna agus a fháil amach duit féin an bhfeileann OÉ Gaillimh duitse. Bhain go leor mic léinn leas as Lá Oscailte an Earraigh sna blianta roimhe seo go háirithe má bhí rún acu athrú intinne an CAO a úsáid roimh an spriocdháta an 1 Iúil.” Tá aitheantas idirnáisiúnta ag OÉ Gaillimh mar ollscoil a bhfuil cáil an teagaisc agus an taighde uirthi. Faoi láthair tá OÉ Gaillimh sa tríú háit i measc na n-ollscoileanna Éireannacha sa rangú idirnáisiúnta, agus tá sí ar cheann den dá Ollscoil Éireannacha ar bronnadh an rátáil is airde cúig réalta uirthi sa chóras rátála QS Stars is déanaí. Bronntar cúig réalta mar gheall ar fhorbairtí den scoth san oideachas, lena n-áirítear gníomhaíocht teagaisc agus taighde, chomh maith le háiseanna ar ardchaighdeán. Tá an Ollscoil ar an dara hollscoil is fearr in Éirinn ó thaobh mic léinn a choinneáil agus fostaíocht na gcéimithe. Gach bliain tugann OÉ Gaillimh aitheantas d’fheabhas acadúil na mac léinn nua fochéime trí Scoláireachtaí Feabhais ar fiú €2,000 iad a bhronnadh ar mhic léinn a fhaigheann torthaí den scoth san Ardteistiméireacht, agus bronntar Scoláireachtaí Spóirt flaithiúla ar lúthchleasaithe ar ardchaighdeán chomh maith. Féadfaidh daoine ar mian leo freastal ar Lá Oscailte an Earraigh áit a chur in áirithe agus clár imeachtaí a fháil roimh ré ach dul chuig www.nuigalway.ie/opendays, glao ar 091 494 145 494145 nó ríomhphost a sheoladh chuig visit@nuigalway.ie. -Críoch-

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Public Talk on Leadership at NUI Galway

Public Talk on Leadership at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 8 April 2013

NUI Galway’s Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) together with Green Sod Ireland will host a public talk on leadership and the management of change in organisations, based on an innovative approach called complexity theory. The talk, entitled ‘Complexity and Collaboration – the way forward’ will be given by Professor Eve Mitleton-Kelly of the London School of Economics, on Thursday, 18 April at 7.30pm in the Moore Institute, NUI Galway. ‘Complexity and Collaboration – the way forward’ will outline and discuss a variety of tools and methods which can be used to apply complexity theory in a practical way to organisational change in different environments.  Professor Mitleton-Kelly will discuss how insights from complexity theory can help tackle apparently intractable problems in bringing about organisational transformation, emphasising the application of complexity theory in practice. This talk will benefit people in education, health, the community and voluntary sector and business, who are dissatisfied with traditional approaches to organisational change, and academics who would like to learn more about the application of complexity theory in practice. Through her work, Professor Mitleton-Kelly has developed a theory of social systems and a method to address complex social problems which is being used for teaching at universities around the world. She has been Policy/ Scientific Advisor to European and USA organisations, the European Commission, several UK government departments, and several foreign governments. Her research has concentrated on the implications of the theories of complexity for organisations, specifically on strategy and policy development and on the creation of enabling environments to address problems encountered by organisations in both the public and private sector. Inspired by the vision of the environmental organisation Green Sod Ireland, Professor Mitleton-Kelly has agreed to assist the organisation to scale-up and grow, through the application of complexity theory. The aim is to co-create a new culture, structure and way of working within the organisation and the wider community as Green Sod Ireland works for social change. “It is tremendous for us to have a woman of Professor Mitleton-Kelly’s calibre working with us in Galway. We are also very happy with this opportunity to strengthen our partnership with NUI Galway through CKI” said Melissa Griffith of Green Sod Ireland. Ann Lyons of NUI Galway’s CKI, said: “This public talk is part of a week-long visit by Professor Mitleton-Kelly to Galway, to work with Green Sod Ireland. CKI is delighted to have the opportunity of collaborating with Green Sod Ireland on this public talk and to be in a position to bring the work of Professor Mitleton-Kelly to a wider audience in Galway.” Admission to the talk is free of charge, but as places are limited, booking is required. Please book by contacting Mary Bernard at mary.bernard@nuigalway.ie or 091 493823. -ENDS-

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Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway Launches Social Sciences Computing Hub

Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway Launches Social Sciences Computing Hub-image

Monday, 8 April 2013

Social Sciences Computing Hub establishes NUI Galway at the forefront of global Business and Social Science Research A Social Sciences Computing Hub at the Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway, has been formally launched by Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway. The ‘Hub’ is a unique facility that will serve both as a repository of diverse social science databases, quantitative and qualitative, and a computing resource that can be used by researchers across the University. This one-stop facility will enable access to diverse data, analytics, visualization and computational resources for research clusters across various Social Science research institutes. The architecture of the Hub will be set up in such a way that it will provide remote access to university users, both on and off campus. The Hub will facilitate integration of advanced scientific computational methods in Business Analytics and Social Science research utilising and adapting the frontier research methodologies from Natural, Physical, Mathematical, IT and Engineering Sciences. The Hub is designed to deliver regional, national, and international academic and industry collaborations to deepen the multidisciplinary research agenda to inform public policy. To that end, the Hub will offer wide ranging cross disciplinary workshops for academic and industry partners to create innovative research methods for the analysis of global, national and regional public policy issues. Dr James Cunningham, Director of the Whitaker Institute, said: “The creation of the Hub will enable our research community to continue to be at the forefront of international scientific excellence and opens up many new opportunites for our research community to contribute and engage in public policy analysis. The Hub also provides differentiating opportunities for students to develop new skills and knowledge.” Dr Srinivas Raghavendra, Associate Director for Multidisciplinary Research at the Whitaker Institute, said: “Globally, there seems to be a convergence on the importance of data and businesses that are driving for competitive advantage using superior analytics solutions. The Hub will be a creative space for developing innovative analytics both for businesses, and policy makers and other professionals in the public policy arena. Both big data in the business/finance domain and sparse data in the economic/social domain create challenging problems for the respective professionals. The Hub will actively pursue collaborative research in innovative research methods to address the challenges in both these domains.” “The first phase of the Hub ‘Advanced Business Analytics Laboratory (ABAL)’ has already begun its training programme in business analytics. NUI Galway has partnered with Standard and Poor’s Capital IQ to provide access to our platform on the ABAL. Together with our Industrial partner Peracton, the ABAL provides state-of-the-art equity analytics platform – MAARS - via the cloud. Both these platforms will be used in training advanced business analytics, trading and investment techniques, historical back-testing, strategies consolidation and high frequency trading techniques using the financial market data.” Dr Raghavendra added: “One of the key goals of the Hub is to create a reinforcing link between research and teaching through advanced data analytics and visulaization techniques derived from the innovative multidisciplinary research conducted under its auspices. The ‘Hub’ aims to engage and challenge the undergraduate and postgraduate students in terms of both analytics and computation to enrich their educational experience at NUI Galway.” Dr Laurentiu Vasiliu, Peracton CEO, said: “I am delighted to partner with NUI Galway in this exciting development. This is a great opportunity for students, as well as various professionals to train on our MAARS platform where we have developed tools for big data class business analytics. Through this collaboration, Peracton is very proud to train the next generation of finance professionals using latest invsetment analytics platforms and help raise the entry level skill of these students in the business analytics and in investment/trading techniques” Peracton, a spin-out from NUI Galway’s Digital Enterprise Research Institute, was founded in 2010 to provide cutting-edge financial software via the Cloud. It develops and exploits advanced enabling technologies to solve complex business analytics problems for investment in the area of Stocks, Funds, ETFs, Bonds, Portfolio Management, Risk Assessment and algorithmic trading, as well as other solutions for investment management and the retail banking space. -ends-

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Big Data Conference Asks Key European Questions

Big Data Conference Asks Key European Questions-image

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Over 400 delegates are attending a two-day European Data Forum, which opened in the Croke Park Conference Centre in Dublin this morning (April 9, 2013). The conference, which will discuss ‘Big Data’ strategies across Europe, was officially opened by Alan Shatter TD, Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence. The European Data Forum is the annual meeting place for industry, researchers, policy makers, and community initiatives to discuss the challenges and opportunities of ‘Big Data’ in Europe. The European Data Forum (EDF2013) is supported by the European Commission, and is being held in association with the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU. Many representatives from the European Commission will attend and speak at the event, including Roberto Viola, Deputy Director General of DG Connect. Other speakers include Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland, and representatives from businesses including Telefonica Digital, Exalead, Siemens and EMC. At the conference, Michael Gorriz, CIO Daimler, was presented with the European Data Innovator Award. The award recognises outstanding enterprises and individuals, who have shown extraordinary vision and execution in the field of linked enterprise data management. The 2013 European Data Innovator award was made possible by Eccena, a spin-off of Brox IT Solutions and AKSW Research group from University of Leipzig. Deirdre Lee of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway is the local organiser of the European event: “The Irish Government has recently announced Big Data and analytics as a key part of a €300 million investment in science and technology. This is part of a wider European trend to embrace the potential of Big Data and use it as a strategic and competitive tool for the economic region.” “At this conference we are asking key questions such as - is the European economy ready for Big Data? Are we reaching out to relevant stakeholders? What does Europe provide in terms of innovative Business Intelligence solutions?” The EDF2013 is supported by the European Commission as well as by the Digital Repository of Ireland (http://www.dri.ie/), STI International (http://www.sti2.org/) and DERI, NUI Galway (http://www.deri.ie/) with further support from Fáilte Ireland (http://www.failteireland.ie/). EDF2013 is an associated event of the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU (http://www.eu2013.ie/). The programme will consist of presentations and networking sessions by industry leaders, academics, policy makers, and community organisers on a diverse range of topics, including research and technology development, training and knowledge transfer, and commercialisation. For a full programme visit: http://2013.data-forum.eu/program  ------------------------------- end of official press release -------------------------------

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‘Big Data’ to open up wealth of treasures in the RTÉ Archives

‘Big Data’ to open up wealth of treasures in the RTÉ Archives-image

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Summary: RTÉ Archives announce an ambitious collaboration with the newly announced SFI “Big Data” Research Centre called INSIGHT and the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI), which will be carried out in DERI (NUI Galway) at INSIGHT, to develop an innovative semantic content discovery platform to open up the treasures of the RTÉ Archives. At the 2013 European Data Forum in Dublin, Head of RTÉ Archives Bríd Dooley, together with Professor Stefan Decker (INSIGHT and Director of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute at NUI Galway), and Dr Sandra Collins, Director of the Digital Repository of Ireland, announced an ambitious, ground-breaking collaboration to develop an innovative cross-archival semantic content discovery platform as part of the new SFI INSIGHT data analytics centre, a joint initiative between UCD, NUI Galway, UCC and DCU. Opening the event, Alan Shatter TD, Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, said: “A key part of the Irish Government’s plan for growth and jobs is identifying areas where we believe Ireland can compete and win on the global stage.” Minister Shatter added: “One such sector where our ambition is to be amongst the world’s best is in ‘Big Data’ and its analytics. The Irish Government believes that given our climate, educational and skills base and our existing major strengths in ICT, we can benefit significantly in terms of quality jobs and growth from the global expansion of this sector.” “Analysing this explosion of data will revolutionise industries such as manufacturing and pharmaceutical production to further develop Europe's data economy and create good sustainable jobs in Ireland.” Minister Shatter also spoke of the “need for a coherent and practical set of Data Protection rules at National and European Union levels”. Referring to the “new, and increasingly common, risks for privacy” that arise from technological advances, he emphasised the importance of ensuring “that Data Protection standards keep pace with the emerging technologies and new business models”. Progressing the new EU Data Protection regulation and securing agreement on its content he stated is “a priority of the Irish Presidency of the European Union.” Minister Shatter concluded by saying: “Importantly, Big Data will have a huge societal impact with projects such as that proposed by the new Insight research centre in partnership with RTÉ Digital to explore the RTÉ archives, and open up avenues to investigate our cultural, historical, sporting and linguistic heritage and provide us with deep insights into what it means to be Irish.” Speaking during the Opening Session of EDF2013, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland, said: “The Big Data sector is growing by 40% annually and as a nation we must ensure that we are developing the specialised skills needed to remain globally competitive. INSIGHT is a new national research centre in the field of data analytics that brings together the leading players from academia and industry in Ireland. This new SFI Research Centre will undertake research and develop new technologies that will attract dynamic partnerships with industry, further leverage investment for Europe, and ultimately help create high value jobs in Ireland and deliver economic and societal impact.” Big Data is a global challenge that asks us to turn vast quantities of ubiquitous raw data into knowledge that will inform people and improve society, business, and health. The Irish Government, under the stewardship of Science Foundation Ireland, is making a major investment in Insight, the mega research centre that will use world-class data analytics to address Big Data. Minister Bruton, TD and Minister Sherlock, TD, announced this ground-breaking initiative in February 2013. RTÉ is a partner in the INSIGHT research centre, and Bríd Dooley will work with Professor Stefan Decker (INSIGHT) and Dr Sandra Collins (Royal Irish Academy) to bring together the skills and experience of the internationally recognised semantic web and linked data centre and the national trusted digital repository, with the rich essence and curation skills of RTÉ, to open up the wealth of treasures in the RTÉ Archives. Commenting on the project, Bríd Dooley, Head of RTÉ Archives, a division of RTÉ Digital, said: “Our key priorities at RTÉ Digital are to meet the needs of audiences now and in the future through innovation and technology, and by playing an active role within the Digital Economy. As RTÉ Archives is a national resource and a hugely valuable asset to the public, we cannot underestimate the significance of this partnership with the INSIGHT Centre and the Digital Repository of Ireland. Our vision is to enable RTÉ to further step-change its ability to meet audience needs and to provide a much richer discovery, analysis and access gateway to this culturally and historically important material through digital means.” Dr Sandra Collins added: “This is a very important collaboration for the Digital Repository of Ireland. Preservation and access to our nation’s cultural and social heritage is our mission, and a critical part of this is the technology solutions to discover archival content – the essence that informs the narrative. In the age of Big Data, discovering the content, information and knowledge you want requires cross-disciplinary research, and partnering with RTÉ and INSIGHT is a wonderful opportunity to advance the state of the art.” Professor Stefan Decker, also speaking at the conference, added that: “Linked data technologies are enabling the liberation of value out of archives. We are excited to do this research with RTÉ, transitioning the technologies into practise and contributing to society.”   -ends-

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NUI Galway GAA Inaugural Player of the Year Awards

NUI Galway GAA Inaugural Player of the Year Awards-image

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

NUI Galway graduate and Galway GAA hurling committee representative, Joe Byrne presented the University’s inaugural Player of the Year Awards at a special ceremony at the University last night (Monday, 8 April). The Player of the Year Awards honours all teams led by the outstanding players who participated on behalf of NUI Galway during the past third-level GAA season. A number of intercounty players from different counties were winners in hurling, camogie, ladies football and men’s gaelic football. Special Merit awards were also presented to those who, whilst not winning individual awards, achieved distinction by playing with both fresher hurling and football awards, as well as club administration. NUI Galway GAA Officer Michael O’Connor said: “This is part of NUI Galway GAA's increased involvement with the community and the players that represent the University. NUI Galway is also involved in the sponsorship of Man of the Match Awards in all Connacht hurling and football finals at second level to help showcase the best Gaelic games talent and highlight the games that take place at this level.” 2012-13 Player of the Year Awards: Fresher A Football: Lee Cullen from Bellanleck, Co. Fermanagh Fresher B Football: Ger McWalter from Foxford, Co. Mayo Fresher C Football: Éanna Bane from Caherlistrane, Co.  Galway Junior Football: Joint winners - Paddy Collins from Breaffy, Co. Mayo and Ruardhí McLoughlin from Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim Intermediate Football: Kieran O’Donnell from the Aran Islands, Co. Galway Senior Football: Shane Nally from Garrymore, Co. Mayo Fresher A Hurling: David Reidy from Ennis, Co. Clare Fresher B Hurling: Hannan Iqbal from Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo Intermediate Hurling: Eoin O’Farrell from Blackpool, Cork Senior Hurling: Joseph Cooney from Bullaun, Co. Galway Camogie: Aisling Dunphy from Graigue Ballycallan, Co. Kilkenny Fresher Ladies Football: Emer Gallagher from Termon, Co. Donegal Lynch Cup Ladies Football: Michelle Guinan from Tullamore, Co. Offaly O’Connor Ladies Football: Ciara Hegarty from Moville, Co. Donegal Special Merit Awards: Conor Cleary from Kilmaley, Co. Clare (Dual Fresher); Kevin McMahon from Marino, Co. Dublin (Dual Fresher); Gordon Joyce from Fairhill, Cork City (Dual Fresher); Dinny Mulvey from Butlersbridge Co. Cavan (Junior Football Manager); Maureen Heneghan from Portstewart, Co. Derry (Camogie); Rebecca Towey from Ballaghadeeren, Co. Mayo (Ladies Football); and Byran O’Loughlin from Kilmaley Co. Clare (Intermediate Hurling). -ENDS-

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Tidal, wave and offshore wind energy focus of conference

Tidal, wave and offshore wind energy focus of conference-image

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

11-12 April, 2013 A major €3 million EU research project investigating various aspects of tidal, wave and offshore wind energy will be presented at a conference in the Ryan Institute, NUI Galway, tomorrow. Running since 2009, the MAREN project focussed on the energy extraction potential of the Atlantic Area coastal waters. Scientists and engineers from Ireland, Wales, Spain, Portugal and France have collaborated on the MAREN project and will present their project findings at the event. Mr Ciaran Cannon, Minister of State for Training and Skills, will officially open the event. Conference speakers will present how detailed quantification of tidal, wind and wave energy has been carried out. Research into optimising layouts of marine renewable energy farms will be presented, along with environmental impacts such as likelihood of increased flooding. Professor Michael Hartnett of NUI Galway will chair the conference: “Here in Ireland, we are poised on potentially one of the most significant long-term energy resources on the planet. A fully-developed marine renewable energy industry in Ireland could lead to up 70,000 jobs. The Atlantic Ocean has huge potential in terms of energy and pan-European projects like this are vital to assess and predict how we can best harness this natural resource. In NUI Galway we have some of the most advance modelling software tools which are allowing us to quantify marine energy resources from the installations of large scale tide and wave farms.” “This project has also allowed us to predict the impact of marine renewable energy devices on the environment. We have investigated the environmental impact of new energy devices developed over recent years. For example, what is the optimum configuration of tidal or wave devices to minimise environmental impacts on pollutant dispersion and aquatic species. ” The MAREN project also investigated the impact of climate change on the CO2 reduction figures, including CO2 release resulting from increased storminess and flooding. A series of climate change scenarios have been simulated and design requirements for marine renewable energy devices developed for predicted altered hydrodynamic conditions present in coastal waters as a result of the impacts of climate change have been considered. The event will be of particular interest to academics and industry personnel engaged in marine renewable energy activities. It is also highly relevant to individuals involved in regulatory and planning aspects of marine renewable energy. The main emphasis will be on technical and environmental issues. The conference will also host workshops to stimulate stakeholder debate in key areas. The research undertaken within the MAREN project was part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Atlantic Area Transnational Programme (INTERREG IV). The research partners were Cardiff University; National University of Ireland Galway; University of Cantabria, Spain; Centec, Instituto Superior Tecnico, Portugal; and  Iferner, France. -ends-

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Chinese Collaboration Gives Students Eastern Experience

Chinese Collaboration Gives Students Eastern Experience-image

Monday, 15 April 2013

Two third-year NUI Galway Civil Engineering students have departed for a three-month work experience in China which was organised as part of their overall degree. The students will be hosted by Tsinghua University in Shenzhen, China where they will work on wastewater treatment projects. The Professional Experience Programme (PEP) is an integral module of a number of NUI Galway undergraduate and postgraduate academic programmes, offering students each year an opportunity to avail of work experience relevant to their programme of study. Students gain a practical appreciation of the needs and the method of operation of business and industry, and are given an opportunity to develop additional skills relevant in the workplace.  Dr Piaras Ó hEachteirn, Head of Civil Engineering at NUI Galway, said: “The professional experience is an example of work-based learning and the engineering placement experience will improve the employability of the participating students, with over 96% of Civil Engineering students securing a successful industrial placement in the past three years despite the economic downturn period. This experience not only benefits students in gaining work experience, but also benefits NUI Galway in long-term international collaborations with Chinese institutes since Tsinghua University is among the top two universities in China.”   Dr Xinmin Zhan, PEP Co-ordinator for NUI Galway’s Civil Engineering programme, established this link between NUI Galway and Tsinghua University and the placement is run in conjunction with the Career Development Centre at NUI Galway. Dr Zhan, who is also funded by Tsinghua Global Scholars Fellowship Initiative to conduct collaborative research, believes that working in Shenzhen will shape the students’ careers through work in different cultures.  Tsinghua University was ranked 52nd in the 2012-2013 Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings and 31st in the subject of Engineering and Technology.    -ENDS-

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Power Electronics Subject of NUI Galway Book Launch

Power Electronics Subject of NUI Galway Book Launch-image

Monday, 15 April 2013

A new book co-authored by NUI Galway academic Professor Ger Hurley with W.H. Wölfle of Convertec Ltd. Wexford and published by Wiley was launched on Friday, 12 April by President of the University Dr Jim Browne. Transformers and Inductors for Power Electronics: Theory, Design and Applications is a comprehensive reference for students and professional engineers working with power supplies and energy conversion systems who want to update their knowledge on a field that has progressed considerably in recent years. Power Electronics is an enabling technology for renewable energy systems and automotive systems.  The advent of wind and solar power means that transformers are required for converting the wind or solar energy into the electrical grid. The authors present a broad range of applications from modern power conversion systems. They provide rigorous design guidelines based on a robust methodology for inductor and transformer design.  They offer real design examples, informed by proven and working field examples. Professor of Electrical Engineering at NUI Galway, Professor Hurley is the Founder/Director of the Power Electronics Research Centre (PERC) at the University. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineering (IEEE) and a Fellow of Engineers Ireland.  He was awarded the higher doctorate on published work D.Eng degree by the National University of Ireland in 2011. In his foreword for the book, Professor John Kassakian of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology stated “With its comprehensive scope and careful organization of topics, covering fundamentals, high-frequency effects, unusual geometries, loss mechanisms, measurements and application examples, this book is a ‘must have’ reference for the serious power electronics engineer. Hurley and Wölfle have produced a text that is destined to be a classic on all our shelves.” Transformers and Inductors for Power Electronics: Theory, Design and Applications is published by Wiley. ENDS

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Latest scientific research into cannabis to be presented at major international conference

Latest scientific research into cannabis to be presented at major international conference -image

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

The 6th European Workshop on Cannabinoid Research will take place at Trinity College Dublin from Thursday 18th to Saturday 20th April. The conference is being organised by the British Pharmacological Society (BPS) together with Irish cannabinoid researchers and will be the largest and most high profile scientific conference on cannabis and cannabinoids ever held in Ireland. This conference is the leading forum in Europe for the presentation and discussion of novel findings in the area of cannabis and cannabinoid research. The meeting will feature a very lively and high calibre scientific programme with many of the world’s leading scientists in this area speaking in Dublin. It also represents a valuable forum for early career research students and postdoctoral researchers to present their work in oral or poster form, with number of prizes and awards conferred during the meeting. Cannabinoids are the biologically active constituents of the cannabis plant or synthetic drugs with similar effects. Cannabinoids bind to receptors throughout the body to exert their effects which can be wide-ranging. Indeed, the body itself produces its own cannabinoids, so-called endocannabinoids, which are now understood to play very important roles in health and disease processes. In recent years there has been considerable interest in the area of cannabis and cannabinoids for the treatment of a number of conditions including multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, psychiatric disorders, obesity and others. The local organising committee comprises Irish cannabinoid researchers based at NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin and University College Cork. Chair of the organising committee, Dr David Finn of NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming some of the world’s leading cannabinoid researchers to Ireland for what promises to be a very exciting and important conference, at a time when the potential benefits and harms of cannabis and cannabinoids continue to be hotly debated here in Ireland and overseas. Our understanding of the body’s own cannabinoid system has grown enormously – it is clear now that it plays a key role in health and wellbeing, and represents a promising therapeutic target for a range of diseases and disorders.”  There will be two keynote lectures. The first will be delivered by Professor Aron Lichtman of Virginia Commonwealth University, USA and is entitled ‘Harnessing the endogenous cannabinoid system to treat pain’.  The second keynote lecture is entitled ‘The road ahead for endocannabinoid research’ and will be delivered by Professor Raphael Mechoulam of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Professor Mechoulam is regarded by many as the founding father of modern scientific research into cannabinoids, having identified delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol as the main psychoactive constituent within the cannabis plant in the mid-20th century. In addition to BPS, the conference has received support and sponsorship from Science Foundation Ireland, The Irish Research Council, The Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland,  Fáilte Ireland, The International Society for Neurochemistry, industry sources and NUI Galway’s Centre for Pain Research. -ENDS- 

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