Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The NUI Galway Comic Book Society has won the Best New Society Award at the recent Board of Irish College Societies (BICS) Awards ceremony held at NUI Galway. BICS, the Board of Irish College Societies is dedicated to providing a national forum for the societies across Ireland s Universities, Colleges and Institutes of Education and promoting their interests and working towards best practice in the sector. The National Awards are the highlight of the year for the Societies nationwide where the best from each institution compete for the coveted awards. According to this year's Awards coordinator and NUI Galway Societies Officer Ríona Hughes, "NUI Galway was delighted to host the largest awards to date. The standard was outstanding congratulations to all the winners." Full details of the Awards at www.bics.ie -Ends-

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Fifteen NUI Galway School of Medicine research students were recently awarded Summer Student Scholarships by the Health Research Board (HRB). The aim of the HRB Summer Student Scholarships is to encourage an interest in health research and to give students an opportunity to become familiar with the research process, research techniques and methodologies through conducting a summer project. The students will be supervised by academic and clinical staff at NUI Galway and Galway University Hospital and at the School Affiliated teaching Academies. The fifteen awardees from the School of Medicine are: Cliona Small from Knocknacarra, Galway; Maria Duignan from Boyle, Co Roscommon; Catherine Crowe from Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon; Máirtín Ó Maoláin from Dangan, Galway; Sorcha Kearney Wolnik from Shantalla, Galway; Fiachra O Deasmhunaigh from Bishoptown, Co Cork; Sarah Cormican from Oranmore, Co Galway; Domhnall O'Connor from Tullamore, Co Offaly; Tariq Esmail from Burlington, Canada; Dympna O' Dwyer from Mullagh, Co Clare; Mark Gurney from Grange, Co Sligo; Kate Dinneen from Barna, Co Galway; Robert McGrath from Loughrea, Co Galway; Urszula Donigiewicz from Carigtwohill, Co Sligo, Darren Kilmartin from Rosses Point, Co Sligo and Alan Jacobsen from Castlegar, Co Galway. The Scholarship scheme is open to undergraduate students who are studying in a health-related discipline in a university in Ireland and who are not in the final year of their degree course. The research project must be in one of the following research areas: applied biomedical research, clinical research, health services research and population health sciences research. The Scholarship will support the students' participation in research over the summer and they will receive €250 per week for a maximum of eight weeks. Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, said: "This is fantastic news for the School of Medicine and demonstrates yet again the success of our students nationally. It also demonstrates the mentorship provided by our clinical and academic staff in the partnership arrangement. In total we have 60 undergraduate students participating in research this summer, 15 of whom will now be supported by HRB. We have also a number of applications pending with the Welcome Foundation. The work of the students and their supervisors will culminate in an Undergraduate Research Day later in the year and to many publications in the national and international Medical literature." -Ends-

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Tuesday, 3 May 2011

NUI Galway is offering secondary school students the choice of three separate Summer Schools in June, across the disciplines of Computing, Engineering and Science. Aimed at students in transition, fifth and sixth year, the summer schools are specially designed to give prospective students a real taste of University life through a wide range of hands-on practical activities. Caroline Loughnane, Director for Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, says: "This is our third year of summer schools and they are proving hugely popular. Not only are summer schools a great opportunity to experience University life, but they also help participants to really find out what subjects and courses they will be best suited to in college. We recommend that secondary school students choose subjects they enjoy for their CAO options, and these summer schools are a great way of helping students to discover where their interests lie." From Monday 13 to Friday 17 June, the Computing Summer Camp introduces computing in a novel, fun and interactive way. Students, from first to sixth year, will have the opportunity to explore and experiment with a range of digitally-inspired topics including Digital Media, Games, Robotics, Programming and Animation. Participants will have the opportunity to use leading-edge technologies, from constructing and controlling robots that can interact with their environment, to directing a virtual 'mini-movie' that can be uploaded to a website and shared with friends. On Thursday, 23 June, the Engineering Summer School will offer a taste of experiences as wide-ranging as controlling a wastewater treatment plant remotely, building an eco-house; and for future Formula 1 engineers, designing a go-kart. There will also be a 'Frankenstein Design Feature' on how bioengineers make new body parts. Participants in the Engineering Summer School will also have the unique opportunity of being the first students ever to use the University's new Engineering Building. The state-of-the-art facility opens to all students in September. From Monday 27 to Tuesday 28 June, the Science Experience Summer Event will offer students two whole days to delve into a wide range of scientific disciplines in world class research facilities and institutes. The workshop will feature all disciplines of the College of Science including Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics. Prospective students will get a taste of life as a scientist with the opportunity to gain a closer view of the research facilities with tours, to take part in lab experiments and demonstrations and to speak to the lecturers and the scientists at NUI Galway. Spaces for all Summer Schools are limited so early booking is advised. The last date for receipt of applications is Tuesday, 31 May. To find out more or for applications visit www.nuigalway.ie/summer-schools. -Ends-

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

A public seminar on the topic HIV and the criminal law: combating stigma through science will take place next Tuesday, 3 May in NUI Galway. People who are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) who have, or are believed to have, put others at risk of acquiring HIV may be prosecuted in many countries. This great intrusion by the law into the lives of HIV-positive individuals in addition to issues regarding confidentiality, discriminatory treatment of certain individuals, and regarding HIV and sex education in schools have become a major concern for many people involved in HIV prevention and treatment, as well as those who provide all kinds of support for HIV-positive people. Dr Grace McCormack from the School of Zoology, School of Natural Sciences, NUI Galway says; "The incidence of HIV in Ireland has increased dramatically since 1999 and we should all be aware of issues surrounding this infectious disease. This public seminar on criminalisation of HIV transmission is relevant to the public, to health care professionals, and to scientists who track the spread and evolution of the disease" This public seminar will take place in the MRI Annex, NUI Galway on Tuesday, 3 May, 2011 at 5.30 pm. The seminar will be given by Edwin J Bernard, who is a writer, editor and advocate specialising in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-related issues and is being held as part of the 18th International Conference on HIV Dynamics and Evolution, hosted by Dr Grace McCormack and Dr Simon Travers of NUI Galway at the Radisson Blue hotel from 1 to 4 May, 2011. "This is the first time this international conference has been held in Ireland and the seminar has been designed to bridge the gap between science and the public in this important area". For further information please contact Grace McCormack on 086 1003023 or email grace.mccormack@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

A doctoral fellow at the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC) at NUI Galway, Ciara Fitzgerald, was presented with second prize in the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) Graduate Student Literature Review Prize at their annual meeting in Las Vegas recently. Originally from Bishopstown, Co Cork, Ciara's studies are funded under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI 4) as part of the Irish Social Sciences Platform. Her research is focused on examining strategic planning and formulation practices in Irish Technology Transfer Office and her prize winning paper focused on Legitimacy, Mission and Management: Key Challenges for Technology Transfer Offices. The criteria for this global competition include topic saliency to AUTM members, adequate richness of discussion for application to practice, and strength of conceptual framework in organising the review. As a prize winner, Ciara was invited to attend the AUTM Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, where her achievement was announced at an all-conference session and where her award plaque was presented. Furthermore, she was invited to present her work at the Conference. "This is an outstanding achievement for Ciara and all at CISC at NUI Galway would like to congratulate her on her success" said Dr James Cunningham, Director of the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change at NUI Galway. -Ends-

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

The Dublin Ageing Research Network (DARN) sponsored 2011 Jack Flanagan Intervarsity Competition took place on Wednesday, 6 April 2011 in Dublin. The event was won by the NUI Galway School of Medicine team which included Larissa Higgins, Tara McDonnell, Tara Tarmey and Teresa O'Dowd. The winners were awarded the Jack Flanagan Medal in Gerontology and a cash bursary. The competition, named after Dr Jack Flanagan, Ireland's first doctor to specialise in modern day geriatric medicine, originated as an intervarsity competition between the penultimate year students of Dublin medical schools and has in recent years expanded to include Galway and Cork medical schools. The event focuses on student teams from each of the medical schools being challenged on their knowledge of medicine and psychiatric programmes and how they interrelate with an ageing population. The competition takes the form of a clinical-pathological review where competitors are given a case to analyse and must formulate a care plan and diagnosis for the patient. Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, commended the students on their performance at the event and looks forward to hosting the Jack Flanagan Medal at NUI Galway in 2012. -Ends-

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Bhronn mic léinn Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, An Cheathrú Rua seic €5,000 ar Choiste Tuismitheoirí Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin ar an Déardaoin, 14 Aibreán 2011. Bailíodh an t-airgead seo i rith Sheachtain na Mac Léinn (14-17 Márta 2011) san Acadamh ar an gCeathrú Rua. Tá feachtas bailiúchán airgid ar bun faoi láthair ag Coiste na dTuismitheoirí agus cabhróidh an t-airgead le háiseanna spóirt a fheabhsú agus a fhorbairt sa scoil. Bhí mic léinn agus foireann an Acadaimh le feiceáil thart timpeall na Ceathrún Rua le linn Sheachtain na Mac Léinn ag bailiú airgid, go háirithe ar an Máirt, 15 Márta mar a rinne siad brú leapa ó TG4 anoir go dtí An Cheathrú Rua. I measc na n-imeachtaí a bhí eagraithe bhí clár beo Iris Aniar ar RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Brú Leapa ó TG4 go dtí An Cheathrú Rua, Oíche Scóladh na Scoláirí, buíon ceoil sna tithe tabhairne, Lá Spóirt, Comórtas Scoraíochta srl. D'eagraigh An Cumann Sóisialta na himeachtaí ar fad agus is iontach an scéal é go bhfuil €5,000 bailithe acu i bhfianaise a laghad airgid atá le caitheamh ag daoine. Ba seo an cúigú Seachtain na Mac Léinn ar an gCeathrú Rua. Cuireann mic léinn agus foireann an Acadaimh an-bhéim ar charanachtaí agus le cúig bliana anuas, tá suas le €25,000 bailithe ag muintir an Acadaimh do charanachtaí áitiúla. "Táimid thar a bheith buíoch díobh siúd ar fad a thug tacaíocht dúinn", a dúirt Oifigeach na Mac Léinn, Louise Ní Dháibhéid. "Tá airgead gann ar dhaoine faoi láthair ach níor loic muintir na háite agus táimid an-sásta leis an méid a bailíodh i bhfianaise na géarchéime eacnamaíochta". Tá breis is 100 mac léinn i mbun staidéir ar chúrsaí lánaimseartha san Acadamh ar an gCeathrú Rua faoi láthair agus a bhformhór mór ag cur fúthu sa cheantar. Is í seo an t-aon institiúid oideachais sa tír atá lonnaithe faoin tuath agus fágann sin go bhfuil dlúthbhaint ag na mic léinn leis an bpobal áitiúil. -Críoch-

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

An information evening on Adult and Continuing Education courses available from NUI Galway takes place in the Orbsen Building on campus, on Thursday, 5 May from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Over 30 part-time courses will be showcased at the event. NUI Galway's Adult and Continuing Education part-time programmes are available from foundation level studies through to Masters level. All are available in a modular, flexible format and can be taken through traditional classroom mode or via distance learning for students who are unable to attend the campus on a weekly basis. Nuala McGuinn, Adult Education Development Officer at NUI Galway says, "There has never been a better time for prospective students to refocus their careers. A number of our new programmes including the one-year specialist diploma programmes in Medical Device Science, Environmental Sustainability and Lean & Quality Systems are directly focused on employment and the emerging skill needs of Irish industry." For those interested in pursuing a Degree award in a Science and Technology area, the blended learning Diploma/BSc in Science and Technology Studies is available on a modular basis allowing students to select modules in accordance with family and work commitments. Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Process and Product Improvement are the focal points of the Masters in Technology Management and its related Diplomas in Innovation Management and Technology Commercialisation. "These are offered in conjunction with UL and UCC under the auspices of the Atlantic University Alliance (AUA)", explains Nuala McGuinn, Adult Education Development Officer. One of the newer courses on offer this year is the BA in Early Childhood Studies & Practice which focuses on the training needs of childcare practitioners while the popular BA in Training & Education has been available over a number of years and provides vocational trainers, HR specialists and those in the community/voluntary sector with the knowledge and skills required for today's training professionals. For students who wish to pursue a shorter term award, Diplomas are available in Gemmology, French, Italian, Spanish, Psychology of Counselling, Irish, General Studies and many more. All Diplomas are two-years in duration with classes taking place on campus or at outreach centres one evening per week. Conscious of the many financial pressures placed on students today, NUI Galway facilitates payment on a semester by semester basis. In addition, the University has re-launched its Fees Scholarship initiative which allows a 50 per cent reduction in fees for people who have recently become unemployed and wish to study certain modules or specific programmes which address the future skills of the 'smart economy'. Further details of this scheme can be provided by individual course co-ordinators. Applications for all programmes are accepted from April. For further details on the information evening or on any of the Adult and Continuing Education programmes contact 091 492062 or adulteducation@nuigalway.ie. Full details on all courses are available at www.nuigalway.ie/adulteducation. -Ends-

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Leascheannaire (Deputy Head) Raidió na Gaeltachta Dónall Ó Braonáin has been appointed Príomhfheidhmeannach (Chief Executive) of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge at NUI Galway. Dónall Ó Braonáin has won graduate scholarships in both Irish and Latin at University College Dublin. Following an MA in Irish and postgraduate training in Linguistics, Philology and Palaeography, he lectured in the Department of Modern Irish in UCD for several years and worked on academic publishing projects in the Royal Irish Academy (Dictionary of Irish Biography, Foclóir na Nua-Ghaeilge). He joined RTÉ as a journalist in 1999 and reported extensively from the Tribunals of Inquiry, the Courts and local, European and general elections while working as a reporter and sub-editor with Nuacht RTÉ and TG4 and as a producer with Raidió na Gaeltachta. A former presenter of Nuachtiris on RTÉ Radio 1, he contributes regularly to the Scottish Gaelic service BBC Radio nan Gàidheal. He has commentated on major events such as the election of Pope Benedict XVI and the state funerals of Charles Haughey and Patrick Hillery. He is a former chair of the Dublin Broadcasting Branch of the National Union of Journalists and a former secretary to the ICTU/RTÉ Group of Unions. Appointed Leascheannaire of Raidió na Gaeltachta in 2006, he was responsible for Editorial Operations, Financial and Human Resource Management, Regional Development and the Broadcast Archive at the station headquarters in Casla, Co. Galway. Dónall is particularly experienced in directing organisational change and performance management programmes and has a strong interest in regional development. Welcoming Mr Ó Braonáin's appointment, NUI Galway President Dr. James J. Browne said "the appointment of Dónall Ó Braonáin as Príomhfheidhmeannach of an tAcadamh is an excellent one. I look forward to working with him in promoting third level education through Irish on campus, in the Gaeltacht centres, among the Irish community and the Diaspora." -Ends-

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

St. Vincent's Secondary School, Dundalk, Co. Louth were declared the All-Ireland winners of Debating Science Issues (DSI) 2011. The grand final, which took place at the Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin on April 14, was the result of a field of 56 schools narrowing to just four. The confident team from Dundalk persuaded Professor Tom Sherry, Dean of Science at NUI Galway, Dr Amy Sanders, Wellcome Trust Special Projects Manager, and Professor Orla Shiels Lecturer in Pathology and Medical Jurisprudence, that "animal testing is necessary for the advancement of disease treatment". Colaiste an Phiarsaigh of Glanmire Co. Cork were the Runners up at the Final. Ulster was represented by St. Catherine's Vocational School, Killybegs, Co. Donegal and Connacht by St. Joseph's College Garbally, Co. Galway. Debating Science Issues is a cross border schools science debating competition supported by a Wellcome Trust People Award for four consecutive years and involves eight collaborating partners: the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway, W5 in Belfast, Biomedical Diagnostics Institute at DCU, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, CRANN at TCD, CLARITY at UCD, and Tyndall National Institute and Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre both at UCC. The competition encourages young people to engage in debate on the cultural, societal and ethical implications of advances in biomedical science. Schools taking part initially receive a three hour biomedical, bioethical workshop to facilitate discussion on the ethical issues raised by stem cell research, genetically modified food, nanotechnology, health and self-testing kits or flu vaccinations. School students research further in preparation for the debate motion related to the initial workshop. From there, the debate motions circulate so that students debate on an array of controversial topical issues. Boston Scientific and NUI Galway's College of Science sponsored the provincial trophies and prizes. Other judges at the DSI grand final included Professor Tim O' Brien, Director of REMEDI; Danielle Barron, Editor of the Irish Medical News; Dr Diarmuid O'Brien, Editor of the Irish Medical News; Professor Gerry McKenna, Executive Director of CRANN, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ulster; Dr Louise Mylotte, Lecturer in Biology at St. Angela's College, Sligo; and Dr Marion Boland Scientific Programme Manager at Science Foundation Ireland. REMEDI's Outreach Officer and competition co-ordinator, Danielle Nicholson, said: "Debating Science Issues tackles many of the prevailing big scientific, philosophical dilemmas. Students discussed the methods of science and utilitarianism and debated the moral status of the embryo; I was impressed." Connacht team mentor and teacher Fr. Iomar Daniels from Garbally College said of the initiative, "DSI has shown the students the importance and relevance of science and how it permeates the entire fabric of our society." -Ends-

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

A new study undertaken by the Centre for Health from Environment at NUI Galway's Ryan Institute, finds most unwanted or leftover prescription medicines are disposed of incorrectly. Disposal of medicines by flushing down sinks and toilets, or including in general household waste, is a common occurrence and may result in environmental contamination. The research was conducted by 2nd year medical students at NUI Galway, Sarah Cormican and Michelle Furey. Out of 207 people surveyed for the Public Awareness Regarding the Safe Disposal of Unwanted Medicines in Galway City study, most had leftover medicines in their home but only one third regularly returned them to a pharmacy. Over half of respondents reported disposing of unwanted medicines along with general household waste, by flushing down toilets and sinks, or by burning. The study was undertaken in the context of international reports which show that many people do not know that unwanted medicines should not be by thrown into household waste or flushed down toilets or sinks. This is because the drugs can eventually end up in rivers and ground water and may contaminate drinking water supply. "We know that drugs are designed to have biological effects at low concentrations and therefore it makes no sense to take the risk of disposing of them in this way," explained Professor Martin Cormican, Director of the Centre for Health from Environment at NUI Galway. He added, "The levels of drugs in the environment are probably too low to have acute toxic effects, but the potential health and environmental impacts of long-term exposure to low levels of many different drugs is very difficult to assess." The study concluded that when respondents were given advice by a health-care professional, over half would be more likely to dispose of medicines correctly. In Ireland there is an additional problem because there is no ongoing national system for the safe disposal of unwanted medicines. Many retail pharmacies will take back unwanted medicines, but they do this on a goodwill basis and at a considerable cost to them. The HSE have in the past organised 'dump campaigns' for unwanted medicines but these are not a regular event. Professor Martin Cormican added, "The project highlights the need to put in place a national system for safe disposal of unwanted medicines similar to the battery recycling scheme. There is also a need for action to let people know about the need for safe disposal." -Ends-

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

NUI Galway will host an international meeting entitled Combining Human Brain Imaging Techniques, at the end of April. International experts will review the latest advances in brain imaging techniques and the challenges and opportunities that lie in combining these techniques. The workshop, taking place from Friday, 29 April until Sunday, 1 May, will bring together a number of leading basic and clinical scientists to discuss the latest advances in combined imaging techniques. It will do so in an effort to further advance knowledge in the field and establish networks of excellence that further our knowledge in the future. Brain imaging techniques allow researchers and clinicians to view activity or problems within the human brain, without invasive neurosurgery. There are a number of accepted, safe imaging techniques in use today in research facilities and hospitals throughout the world. Each of these brain imaging techniques have their own unique strengths and weaknesses, and there may be potential benefits and difficulties in combining these techniques to achieve a fuller analysis of brain functioning. Dr Michael Hogan, School of Psychology at NUI Galway said, "Researchers and clinicians who seek to combine various different brain imaging techniques are faced with a number of challenges. These include interference between measurement systems, integration of measurement outputs, and integration of theoretical foundations to support measurement integration, to name a few. Nevertheless, rapid advances are being made at the levels of theory, measurement, and computational analysis systems that are furthering our understanding of brain functions in states of health and disease. There is great scope for the development of novel brain imaging techniques and technologies and my hope is that NUI Galway will lead the way by establishing strong links across discipline areas within the University and new networks of excellence both nationally and internationally." The meeting is organised by Dr Michael Hogan, NUI Galway, in collaboration with Joshua Balsters, Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, Dublin; Jacinta O Shea, Oxford University; and Steven Jackson, Nottingham University. It is supported by the European Science Foundation (ESF) and the Health Research Board (HRB). Academics, post-doctoral and postgraduate researchers in basic and clinical neuroscience are encouraged to attend. Registration is free and bursaries are available for students and junior scientists. To register and obtain further information, visit www.erni-hsf.eu. -Ends-

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

A two-day 'Entrepreneurship Boot Camp' was held recently at NUI Galway, to widen and deepen the enterprise know-how and employability of students. The boot camp presented a challenging and dynamic experience with games, activities, lectures, competitions and mentoring by academic staff, industry practitioners, knowledge experts and representatives from state agencies. Over 25 students, from all disciplines, were encouraged to fully participate in the boot camp experience by leaving inhibitions at the door and engaging in the process with an open mind. Student Paul Curley described the boot camp as "a completely fresh and life changing experience". In very personal and tangible ways, the boot camp immersed students in the skills, attitude and insights needed to link their entrepreneurial ideas to a commercially viable end. The event was organised by the Student Enterprise Exchange Network (SEEN) which is NUI Galway's student run and focused enterprise support service. Paddy Melia, from the SEEN team describes the event: "One of the outcomes was to realise that in the rubble of this recession lies opportunity. Our most talented young people on campus came forward to get booted into shape and take up the enterprise call. The boot camp brought three important ingredients for opportunity together. Motivated students, industry experts and funding representatives. The resulting outcome was something very special. The participants not only enhanced their entrepreneurial and life skills but also made an impression and took advantage by networking with on and off campus movers and shakers." Seamus Bree, Regional Director, Businesses and Enterprise Ireland commented on his experience at the boot camp, "The energy and commitment on the NUI Galway Entrepreneurship boot camp demonstrated that Ireland s best days lie ahead of us not behind us!" SEEN is part of the SIF ACE project and is supported by NUI Galway's Technology Transfer Office. -Ends-

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

The Connaught Automotive Research (CAR) Group at NUI Galway has announced a strategic research agreement with Valeo Vision Systems, one of the world's leading manufacturers of automotive vision systems. The CAR Group at NUI Galway researches topics related to automotive vision systems to help improve road safety by allowing drivers to see blind spots around vehicles. The ultimate aim of such research is to develop intelligent cars that have a greater 'awareness' of their environment and a greater ability to avoid crashes, for example.  Valeo has a presence in 27 countries, with its Irish operations based in Tuam, Co. Galway, where it recently announced a significant increase in its Research and Development activities. Its partnership with NUI Galway is already making an impact according to Peter Reilly, R&D Director at Valeo Vision Systems: "Having access to a world class research group such as CAR means that we have a pool of new technology, ideas and potential employees right on our doorstep. We already have a number of NUI postgraduates who have been involved with the CAR Group working at our R&D offices in Tuam and they are really making an impact on our engineering capabilities." Under the directorship of Dr Martin Glavin and Dr Edward Jones, the CAR Group is based in the discipline of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway. It comprises of a team of researchers who work in close collaboration with industry on the development of the image processing systems. Dr Glavin commented: "Having a market leader as a research partner provides the CAR Group with a breadth and depth of knowledge of the requirements of industry that we might not otherwise be able to access. We have a fantastic working relationship with Valeo Vision Systems and they have been extremely supportive of our work at NUI Galway over the years. Our researchers gain invaluable experience by learning about the industry first-hand from people who work in that market every day." Dr Jones added: "Our research with Valeo allows us to exploit our expertise in signal processing and related technologies in a very relevant way. Furthermore, the fact that our Masters and PhD-level graduates are already being employed in significant numbers by companies like Valeo is a tangible example of the value of investment in University research, and with Valeo's recent announcement of 100 new jobs, we see a growing demand for highly qualified graduates". Over the years, the CAR Group at NUI Galway has received funding from Enterprise Ireland, IRCSET and directly from industry. Dr Neil Ferguson, Acting Director of the NUI Galway Technology Transfer Office, says the partnership with Valeo Vision Systems is very much alingned to the University's core mission of supporting regional developoment. He states: "Valeo is an excellent example of a knowledge-intensive company who are successfully competing in a very competitive market. We hope to contribute to this success through the provision of experienced PhD graduates and innovative technologies." -Ends-

Monday, 11 April 2011

NUI Galway research student, David Byrne was recently awarded second place for his poster presentation at the Institute of Structural Engineers Young Researchers Conference held at the Institute's headquarters in London. The conference, now in its 13th year, provides a platform for research students to present their work and exchange ideas with their peers and industry leaders. David, a PhD student from Wicklow town, was presented with the award for his poster, entitled The analysis of shear transfer in void formed flat slabs, including in-situ measurements from a building. David's entry was shortlisted from over 60 abstracts submitted from PhD students throughout the UK and Ireland, and was judged by a panel of selected members from the Institution. "This is a great achievement for an NUI Galway graduate student at the early stages of his research", said Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway. "This award confirms that our standards of engineering education and research in NUI Galway are at the very top in international standings. We are very proud of David." David's project relates to shear and load transfer in void form flat slab systems. These are an innovative and novel form of flat slab system, which allow a reduction in self-weight of the concrete and savings in construction materials. Central to his project is the instrumentation of the new Engineering Building at NUI Galway and its development as a teaching tool. The Engineering Building at NUI Galway is one of the largest engineering schools in the country at 14,000m2 and opens in September 2011. It will consolidate education and research activities in the various engineering disciplines. Among many innovative and notable features, it is among the first buildings in Ireland to employ the use of void form flat slab systems. One of the slab bays within the new Engineering Building has been instrumented with over 160 gauges across fifteen different sections. Sensors have been installed both in the concrete and on the steel reinforcement bars to monitor the geometric and material properties of the slab system during construction and throughout the building's lifetime. They are providing valuable data as to how the slab system behaves in-situ and responds to different loadings. David's research strategy will combine numerical simulation using finite element models and field measurements. The finite element models of the instrumented slab system will be validated by comparison and continual updating of data obtained from measurements on site. The principal investigator for this project is Dr Jamie Goggins, School of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, and was co-supervised by NUI Galway's Eamonn Cannon. The research project is co-funded by the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) and Arup Consulting Engineers under an Enterprise Partnership Scheme. It forms part of an initiative to develop the new Engineering Building at NUI Galway as a 'living laboratory' for engineering, where live data sets from numerous types of sensors will be used to illustrate structural engineering and building performance concepts in undergraduate teaching and in the development of full-scale research in structural engineering and energy. -Ends-

Monday, 11 April 2011

An Engineering and Informatics Research Day took place recently at NUI Galway which showcased research undertaken by students. This year, for the first time, the annual event was run in conjunction with the University of Limerick, as part of the Strategic Alliance between the two organisations. Research by students from both Universities was highlighted with a display of 174 research posters covering nine primary fields of engineering and informatics research. This year's theme was Publishing your Research and 200 students from NUI Galway and the University of Limerick (UL) listened to presentations from senior industry representatives and academics on how to present and promote their research to the highest international standards. A key element of Research Day is a competition among students for the best posters. Every year the top 12 students are selected by their peers to give a short presentation of their research. The winners of this 'shoot-out' are then selected by a panel of senior academics in the industry. Dr Peter Corcoran, Vice-Dean of Research, College of Engineering and Informatics, at NUI Galway, commented: "This is a special day in the University calendar, as Engineering and IT researchers in our College get together to present and debate their research and network with each other. This year, as part of our Institutional Alliance with the University of Limerick, we were pleased to have staff and graduate students from UL participate in Research Day for the first time. It is interesting, also, to note the complimentary nature of research activities in both institutions and we look forward to growing this collaboration with our Engineering and Informatics colleagues in Limerick." He continued: "Engineering research is often ignored by the mainstream media, yet it underlies everything in our modern society. Water, electricity, consumer and medical devices are all designed and maintained by engineers. The Research Day helps us realise how important and far researching the role of the engineer is in society. This year we have more than 174 distinct research projects represented - a record for our Research Day and a sign that engineering research is still strong in the West of Ireland." Over 1,400 people study Engineering and IT at NUI Galway. To serve the growing number of students, a new Engineering Building opens on campus in September 2011. -Ends-

Monday, 11 April 2011

Galway's 2nd International Dance Festival will be held at the Radisson Blu Hotel on Saturday, 14 May at 7.30pm. The Festival will be a unique opportunity to see a variety of dancers performing in their traditional attire, including a Galway-based Mexican group presenting the famous 'Son de la negra' as well as dancers from Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, France, India, Ireland, Peru, the Philippines, Russia and Spain. This spectacular event is being organised by NUI Galway staff members Gloria Avalos, Ann Monahan, Breda Kelleher, Micheál Newell and Lorraine Tansey, together with Susana Campos of the Sisters of La Retraite. All the proceeds from this event will go to the Special Olympics to help support the clubs and organisations in Connaught. According to Gloria Avalos, "the International Dance Festival held in 2009 raised in excess of €10,000 and this year we are hoping to match or exceed this amount, all on behalf of a very good cause, Special Olympics Connaught". Following the dance performances, a D.J. will be playing entertaining music from many countries of the world. A raffle offering fabulous prizes will also be held during the evening. The organisers would like to thank their sponsors Marks and Spencer, Tesco, Galway Bay FM and CATERENT (Furniture & Equipment Hire). Tickets are priced at €10 or €7 for students and are available in advance from the Soc Box, in Áras na Mac Léinn, NUI Galway, as well as in the various NUI Galway canteens from 10.30am to 4pm on Thursday, 14 April. Tickets will also be available at the Radisson Blu Hotel on the night. Please invite your friends all are welcome. -Ends-

Friday, 8 April 2011

"Poor systems within the civil service and the public sector will further dis-empower public sector leaders and compromise the change needed to correct our public finances," that's according to NUI Galway President Dr James J. Browne, speaking earlier today at the launch of Leadership in the Irish Civil Service: A 360° Review of Senior Management Capability report at the University today. President Browne added that a robust, independent and rational public service must be free from any suspicion of political clientelism. Civil servants, especially senior civil servants, must feel free to act with true accountability and transparency. In his speech, Dr Browne added that "senior leaders are currently managing and leading without the authority or indeed adequate control mechanisms to effect real change and this encapsulates the challenge facing leaders in the civil service, and indeed the wider public sector". The President is arguing for a system where senior managers in the public sector are given defined budgets and are responsible for outputs within their organisation. "Leaders and managers must have the freedom to allocate resources and to change processes while working within these budgets and achieving agreed outputs. There is no role for a central 'control' authority, in second guessing processes, procedures and decisions made at local level, provided always, of course, that decisions are made in accordance with best practice and good governance and are within agreed budgets." With a forward by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, the report is the culmination of a two-year research project at the University's Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC) and Management Discipline. The Taoiseach has written that the report, "will inform public service policy and practice with regard to human resource management and leadership development". The Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC) and Management Discipline, NUI Galway, led by Dr Alma McCarthy, carried out the leadership capability study, funded by the IRCHSS, at senior management level in the Irish Civil Service. The study was carried out between May and August 2010. Over 140 senior managers participated in the study from 12 Government Departments and the Office of the Revenue Commissioners with over 1,200 leadership surveys completed in total and represents the most extensive study of its kind to-date in Ireland. Keynote speakers at today's Conference included Dr Maria Maguire, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and Independent Consultant; Philip Kelly, Assistant Secretary General, Department of An Taoiseach with responsibility for Transforming Public Services and Brian Cawley, Director General of the Institute of Public Administration. Dr Alma McCarthy, CISC and J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway, who presented the findings of the report at today's Conference said, "This conference focused specifically on the area of senior management leadership capability in the Irish public service. The conference debated the important areas of human resource management, talent management, and leadership development that merit attention in the drive for public service modernisation and reform. The conference is extremely timely given the new Government's express focus on reform and the establishment of the new Public Expenditure and Reform Department under Minister Brendan Howlin." The report will be available online at www.nuigalway.ie/cisc -Ends-

Thursday, 7 April 2011

The NUI Galway Society Awards took place on campus recently with seventeen awards presented at the gala event. The Society Awards celebrate the contribution which over one hundred societies make both to the University and the wider community. NUI Galway Societies Officer Ríona Hughes, said: "The NUI Galway Societies Awards was a huge success and hosting the event on campus in the new Bailey Allen Hall was a fitting end to an outstanding year of creativity and involvement." The winners on the night will represent the University at the BICS National Society Awards which will be hosted in NUI Galway on Thursday, 21 April. · The coveted Best Society of the Year Award went to the Drama Society for the professionalism and creativity they brought to their numerous and varied events during the year. · Most Improved Society went to the GiG (Gay in Galway) Soc for their sheer determination and effort to improve and expand the society. · Best New Society went to the Comic Book Society who exploded onto the societies scene this year with colourful and original events. · Best Society Individual went to Drama Society's Neasa O'Callaghan whose hard work and dedication during the Irish Student Drama Awards was exemplary. Neasa is also the auditor of Classics Soc and an active member of Lit & Deb. · Best Fresher went to Ronan Gallagher. Ronan was the venue manager of the Bank of Ireland theatre during the ISDA Festival and has been involved in lighting for many Dramsoc productions. Ronan's commitment and passion to Dramsoc won him this award. · Best Event went to the ISDA festival which was organised by the Drama Society. The other awards on the night were: Best Departmental Society: Accountancy and Finance Society; Best Poster: Literary and Debating Society; Best Website: Comedy Soc; Most ALIVE Society: Musical Society (GUMS); Best Civic Contribution: Draíocht Nepal Society; Best Cultural Contribution: Anime and Manga Society; Best Small Publication: Musical Society (GUMS); and Best Multi Media/ Large Publication: Art Soc for their Lunatic Fringe publication; and Best Photograph to Joe Hyland in the Photography Society. Two Múscailt prizes were also presented to the Orchestra Society and Comic Book Society and the best contribution to Múscailt Arts Festival award went to the Juggling Society for their wonderful show during the festival. -Ends-

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

'Research between commercial and academia sectors a winning formula for our economic recovery' - Minister Sherlock "The 'clustering' model of scientific research, comprising an unprecedented degree of co-operation and collaboration between commercial and academic personnel, has been a winning formula here," Minister for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock T.D. said today (Wednesday) 6 April, 2011. Minister Sherlock was addressing the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) Open Day at NUI Galway earlier today. DERI, a Centre for Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET), supported by Government through Science-Foundation Ireland-funding, was established in 2003, and has become an internationally-renowned web science research centre, providing the technology which underpins intelligent services on the Internet. Current research results include semantic search engines, novel collaboration and social media as well as sensor network technologies. Over 250 academics and industrialists attended the DERI Open Day and were briefed by presentations and demonstrations on DERI's research, applied research and commercialisation activities. Also presenting were DERI's key industrial partners and funders. Minister Sherlock told the assembled group, "There is a story here to be told. It is a story of resilience, skill, steely determination and achievement. You are the characters who make the story and should be the tellers of that story." The Minister added, "You have both a national and an international audience that I believe are eager to listen once their attention has been captured. Today's showcase demonstrates clearly the high quality research underway here at DERI, and at NUI Galway." He added that DERI's impressive track record provided the Government with "considerable hope and indeed some expectation that science will be pivotal to our economic recovery". The Minister referred to the Government's pledge in the Programme for Government to promote and support investment in technology research, development and commercialisation in line with an overall Digital Ireland strategy. Professor Stefan Decker, Director of DERI, said: "Our research showcases the innovation potential in the Irish ICT sector. Realising this innovation potential by contributing to a national and holistic Digital Ireland strategy is firmly on our agenda." Michael Turley, CEO of DERI noted: "Today was an extremely important day for DERI. It enabled us to showcase what we have achieved to date, but also to demonstrate the possibilities for the future with the research we are doing, and also with the collaborations we have through our partners. All of our efforts are geared to assisting in achieving the goals of the Smart Economy." Throughout his day long visit to NUI Galway Minister Sherlock met with a range of key research and industry personnel connected to the University covering the biomedical, ICT and energy sectors. -Ends-

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Michael D. Higgins will officially launch a new documentary film, Bridging the Gap, in which leading academics in Irish higher education discuss contemporary social and economic issues in an engaging and accessible way. Two of the NUI Galway contributors to the film, Dr Su-Ming Khoo, School of Political Science and Sociology, and Dr Vinodh Jaichand, Irish Centre for Human Rights, will also speak at the launch and the event will include screening of excerpts from the film. The launch, hosted by Galway City VEC, Campus Engage and NUI Galway, will take place on Wednesday, 13 April at 11am at the Galway City Museum. The aim of the film is to 'bridge the gap' between higher education and adult and community education, by making available the knowledge, expertise and perspectives of academics to students learning in community-based settings. The film consists of two DVDs which contain a number of short programmes on topics such as human rights, globalisation, education, democracy, gender and racism. Ann Lyons, Project Manager at the Community Knowledge Initiative, said: "The experience of adult and community education has demonstrated that students learn best when a variety of teaching methods and media are used. The DVDs will provide a visual and audio tool which will be a user-friendly resource for teachers, tutors, and educational facilitators in the field of adult and community education and beyond. The producers of the film hope that the various programmes will stimulate discussion and be a catalyst for social action. While the primary objective of the film is to be a resource for adult and community education it will also be of interest to individuals, other organisations and learners in general." The production of Bridging the Gap is a partnership between County Wexford VEC, Roots Reel Films and the Equality Studies Centre at UCD and supported by funding from Campus Engage. The film has won an Aontas Star Award as an outstanding learner centred adult and community education project and represents a very productive collaboration between institutions of higher education and community-based education. It will make a valuable contribution to the adult and community education sector and be a useful resource for teachers and learners alike. For further information on Bridging the Gap contact Ann Lyons, Community Knowledge Initiative, NUI Galway at 091 492228/087 7677080 or email ann.lyons@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Tá duais náisiúnta €1,000 buaite ag an gCumann Sóisialta in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, An Cheathrú Rua. Tháinig an Cumann sa tríú háit i gcomórtas Ghlór na nGael do Chumainn Ghaelacha i gColáistí tríú leibhéal na hÉireann. Fógraíodh na torthaí beo ar chlár Rónán Mhic Aodh Bhuí, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Dé Céadaoin, 5 Aibreáin 2011. Bronntar na duaiseanna seo ar choistí mac léinn i gColáistí tríú leibhéal, a bhfuil forbairt agus caomhnú teanga agus cultúr na Gaeilge mar spriocanna lárnacha acu. Bhí 14 Cumann Gaelach ar an ngearrliosta agus ba mhór an t-éacht do mhic léinn an Acadaimh an gradam seo a ghnóthú i bhfianaise nach bhfuil ach 120 mac léinn lánaimseartha ar an gcampas. Is iad an dá champas is mó sa tír, Coláiste na hOllscoile, Baile Átha Cliath agus Coláiste na Tríonóide a tháinig sa chéad agus sa dara háit. Tá Oifigeach na Mac Léinn, Louise Ní Dhaibhéid, ag obair san Acadamh mar chuid den bhliain taithí oibre agus is í a dhéanann comhordú ar imeachtaí na mac léinn. Cé gur pobal beag mac léinn atá ar an gcampas, tá An Cumann Sóisialta thar a bheith gníomhach agus tá a gcuid féin déanta ag na mic léinn de shaol na Gaeltachta. Tá gné láidir charthanachta ag baint le hobair an Chumainn agus tá breis is €25,000 bronnta acu ar charthanachtaí áitiúla le cúig bliana anuas. "Tá obair thar na bearta déanta ag An gCumann Sóisialta faoi stiúir Louise Ní Dhaibhéid agus is iontach an méid atá bainte amach acu. Tá mic léinn anseo ó chuile chearn den tír agus is cuid an-tábhachtach d'eispéireas an choláiste an ghné sheach-churaclaim", a dúirt Treasa Uí Lorcáin, Riarthóir Ionad an Acadaimh ar an gCeathrú Rua. Bronnfar na duaiseanna ag ceiliúradh mór Ghlór na nGael in Óstán Carton House, Maigh Nuad Dé Sathairn, 16 Aibreán 2011. -Ends-

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The Irish Universities Quality Board (IUQB) is delighted to publish the third review report from its Institutional Review of Irish Universities (IRIU) process, this time focusing on NUI Galway. Dr Padraig Walsh, IUQB Chief Executive stated, "This evidence-based review provides independent confirmation of NUI Galway's commitment to quality in line with national and European standards." The Review Team was composed of national and international experts. They identified areas of good practice and areas for further development to assist NUI Galway in assuring the quality of the student experience.  IUQB is particularly pleased that the review team commended NUI Galway's approach for unifying strategic planning, institutional research and quality assurance. The review report commends 'the strong leadership of the President and the University Management Team and the overall institutional structure and processes for quality.' Dr Walsh added: "The Review Team was impressed by the visibility of strong leadership and the track record of President Browne in driving forward the quality vision for NUI Galway, together with the strategic thinking and effective restructuring necessary to achieve this vision." NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne has welcomed the report and its findings and stated: "We welcome the report's recommendations - in particular, the suggestions for increasing student feedback and pursuing further an internationalisation agenda and we will ensure that these will be addressed." The Review Team found there was 'abundant evidence that the University pays attention to the findings and recommendations of internal and external reviews of its teaching, research and support systems and that, where it is reasonable, affordable and practicable to implement the recommendations, it does so.' The Report encourages the University to continue to ensure that its governance structures are strategically focused and include a wide spectrum of external stakeholders. It is also encouraged to pursue an assertive internationalisation agenda to achieve a more open and outward-looking approach, and to review its current policy on student feedback. -Ends-

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

NUI Galway's Figure Fun are hosting Making Awesome Things Happen in Summer, a summer enrichment programme with maths in mind, from 7 to 10 June, in the Education building, NUI Galway. This course is aimed at first year secondary school students who wish to improve on their maths skills in a fun environment. The area of mathematics is currently undergoing many changes in secondary schools and as a result Figure Fun has decided to provide a summer camp for students who have just completed first year and wish to strengthen knowledge gained. The camp will cover the areas of number systems, geometry and probability, building strong foundations in these key areas required for further study of mathematics. Students will learn that there is a fun element to maths and heightening their interest in the subject. Students will discover the beauty and necessity of mathematics in our every day lives. Upon completing the course, participants have an excellent grasp of basic topics needed for the junior cycle. Dr Catherine Paolucci, a programme director of the BA in Mathematics and Education, is a lecturer with the School of Education, NUI Galway: "This is an exciting programme offering students an opportunity to reinforce their classroom learning in an alternative setting with a focus on real-life applications. The unique projects and activities that Figure Fun have planned will ensure that students enjoy the week, make new friends, and learn a lot in the process." Speaking about the course, Nichola Leonard, a member of the Figure Fun production team has said "through fun and games students will develop an appreciation and greater understanding of maths". Figure Fun is a group of seven, third year Maths and Education students dedicated to the promotion of secondary school mathematics and providing a fun environment to facilitate this. They are committed to providing a professionally run summer camp and ensure students satisfaction and safety at all times. Rachel Lynch, Administrator of Figure Fun says: "The members of the Figure Fun team look forward to hosting this event, which is the first of its kind for NUI Galway. The whole team are excited about sharing their enthusiasm for maths and hope to convey the relevance and value of the subject for secondary school and beyond." The course is priced at €10 per student. You can register online by visiting the website www.conference.ieand following the link for Making Awesome Things Happen in Summer. Places are limited and offered on a first come first served basis, so apply early to avoid disappointment. For further information contact Conor Diskin on 087 7535006 or c.diskin2@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The 2011 Monsignor Pádraig de Brún Memorial Lecture, entitled Your Inner Muse: Heart, Ears, Mind, and Chipsets, will be delivered by concert pianist and MuseAmi CEO, Robert Taub. Taking place at NUI Galway on Monday, 11 April at 7.30pm in the Bailey Allen Hall, the lecture will address the relationship between music and technology, and will place leading-edge technological innovation within the context of musical innovation over the ages. Robert Taub has been acclaimed internationally as a concert pianist and recording artist. Having achieved many goals in the arena of the performing arts, Robert altered his focus and founded MuseAmi in 2007. With advanced machine learning capabilities, MuseAmi software breaks down both written and acoustic music into its most basic elements in real-time. This results in a total deconstruction of the sound or notated page, enabling end users to put the metadata back together in any way imaginable. In effect, the technology enables every musician to sound great while interacting and engaging in fun ways with the music they love, and to more easily facilitate people's innate creativity. A distinguished American concert pianist, Robert Taub is familiar to Galway audiences as his performances have featured frequently in Music for Galway s concert programmes. Music for Galway celebrates its 30th Anniversary Season this year. Robert Taub is perhaps best known to Galway concert audiences for his performances of the complete cycle of Beethoven Piano Sonatas. According to NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne: "The Monsignor Pádraig De Brún lecture honours a former University President who was a renowned polymath with keen interest in the arts, the sciences and the culture of his day. In many ways, Roberts Taub's work is a perfect reflection of De Brún s interests, at the nexus of music, mathematics, technology and culture." As part of the presentation on 11 April, Robert Taub will perform one of the most revolutionary piano works, the Waldstein Sonata Op. 53, in which Beethoven transcended expectations of musical creativity and musical perception, and thereby forged new demands on pianos, the pianists, and audiences. According to Robert Taub: "Music is all around us; music knows no linguistic or geopolitical boundaries; music moves us all. Yet music has always been married to technology, and thus has often been the driving force for new innovation." The public lecture takes place at 7.30pm on Monday, 11 April in the Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway and is organised by the President's Office, NUI Galway. Admission is free. For further information contact 091 492110. Robert Taub will also give a Seminar to the College of Engineering and Informatics on Tuesday, 12 April at 11.30am in the Information Technology Building. For further information please contact 091 493413. -Ends-

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The Global Women's Studies Programme, in the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway, will be hosting a public lecture on Friday, 15 April, as part of the 2010-2011 public lecture series. Professor Clare Midgley, distinguished women's historian, will deliver the lecture entitled, 'Imperial feminist or transnational social reformer? Mary Carpenter and India'. During the lecture, Professor Midgley will explore concepts of gender, imperialism and religion with reference to Mary Carpenter, an archetypal imperial feminist. Mary Clancy, Historian and Lecturer in Global Women's Studies, says, "We are especially pleased to welcome Professor Midgley to NUI Galway and to be able to participate in discussions about women's history, imperialism and public commemoration with a leading international researcher and practitioner in the field." Professor Midgley is Research Professor in History at Sheffield Hallam University and President of the International Federation for Research in Women's History. The lecture will be held in the Alexander Anderson boardroom, in the Quadrangle Building at NUI Galway at 1pm. All are welcome to this public event and light refreshments will be served. For further information contact Gillian Browne, School of Political Science and Sociology, at gillian.browne@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Monday, 4 April 2011

The 2011 Debating Science Issues All-Ireland Finals will be held Thursday, 14 April, at the Science Gallery, Trinity College Dublin. The Finals, co-ordinated by the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway, will see four teams of secondary school students representing the provinces of Connacht, Ulster, Leinster and Munster. The schools in the Finals are: St. Joseph's College, Garbally, Co. Galway; St. Catherine's Vocational School, Killybegs, Co. Donegal; St. Vincent's Secondary School, Dundalk, Co. Louth and Coláiste an Phairsaigh, Glanmire, Co. Cork. The Connacht winning team from St. Joseph's College is comprised of speakers Matthew McMorrow, Eoin Moran and several researchers working behind the scenes. Their transition year English teacher and team mentor, Fr Iomar Daniels, comments: "As the competition has progressed, the students have enjoyed the challenge of researching and preparing for the contemporary, engaging topics set by the organiser. Their interest in science issues has been greatly enhanced." Magh Ene College from Bundoran, Co. Donegal, was the Runner-Up team from the West. Teammates Eoin Dillon and Kitty Pang gave a strong performance throughout the debate series. Fifty-six schools are involved in the 2011 Debating Science Issues competition, which encourages young people to engage in debate on the cultural, societal and ethical implications of advances in biomedical science. The competition, which is coordinated by eight research, medical and science centres throughout the island of Ireland, addresses contemporary scientific issues such as stem cells, nanotechnology, genetically modified food, vaccinations and health and self-testing. This national schools' biomedical science debate competition, sponsored by a Wellcome Trust People Award, is run in collaboration with the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute, CLARITY, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, CRANN, Tyndall National Institute, the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, and W5. Provincial trophies and prizes are sponsored by the College of Science at NUI Galway and Boston Scientific. Competition organiser and Outreach Officer at REMEDI, Danielle Nicholson remarked, "The pre-competition workshops provide an open and impartial environment and challenge the students to consider the ethical impacts of contemporary research. This debate series reflects the interest and insight among 15 to 18 year olds in the field of biomedicine." For further information on the Debating Science Issues competition visit http://www.remedi.ie/education/debating-science-issues-dsi-2010-2011. -Ends-

Monday, 4 April 2011

One of the world's outstanding mathematicians comes to NUI Galway next week. Professor Cheryl Praeger, from the University of Western Australia, is in the top one per cent of highly cited mathematicians in the world. She has made revolutionary contributions in several disparate pure and applied areas, including Algebra, Discrete Mathematics, and Statistics (Data Analysis). According to Dr Dane Flannery, of the de Brún Centre for Computational Algebra at NUI Galway: "We are very fortunate to be hosting Professor Praeger. We look forward to hearing about her latest research, as well as her insights about Mathematics in the wider contexts of modern science and society. Her visit here is also an important advertisement for the many successes of women in Mathematics." Professor Praeger visits Galway for the 5th de Brún Workshop from 11 to 16 April, where she will deliver a lecture course on the state-of-the-art in her specialities. The Workshop brings together international experts to discuss computational aspects that have recently emerged in Algebra and Discrete Mathematics. These areas are part of a current strategic focus of Mathematics at NUI Galway, which is supported by the de Brún Centre for Computational Algebra, funded by Science Foundation Ireland under its Mathematics Initiative 2007. Professor Praeger has strived to encourage involvement by talented students in mathematics from an early age; as she says, "We need to ensure a strong mathematical education for our young people to underpin their other skills, whether in science, medicine, engineering or technology. This requires a new educational focus on nurturing mathematically talented young people to ensure they realise their potential." Professor Praeger's forebears originally lived in Germany, but moved to Dublin for a time, before settling in Australia. In 1983, Praeger was appointed to her current position as Professor of Mathematics at the University of Western Australia. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, a former President of the Australian Mathematical Society (1992-1994), and a member of the Order of Australia (since 1999). Her many other prestigious awards include honorary Doctorates of Science from the Prince of Songkla University in 1993, and the Université Libre de Bruxelles in 2005. Professor Praeger works tirelessly for the mathematical community worldwide. As just one example of this, she is a serving member of the Executive Committee of the International Mathematical Union which comprises 10 leading mathematicians who administer the Union. In particular, this committee oversees selection of the Fields Medallists, known as the 'Nobel Prize in Mathematics'. -Ends-

Monday, 4 April 2011

A team of students from NUI Galway have won a Health and Safety Authority run competition aimed at undergraduate teams from construction related degree programmes in third level institutions. At the final held recently in the Ashling Hotel in Dublin, six short-listed teams battled it out to win the first prize of €3,000 with Sligo Institute of Technology awarded the runner-up prize of €1,000. Other teams which made the final included students from UCC, GMIT and Carlow IT. The NUI Galway winning team was made up by Kevin Carney from Frenchpark, Co. Roscommon, Grant Deeney from Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon, and Shane McHale from Ballina, Co. Mayo. The students from different disciplines worked together to take on the role of giving expert advice on remedial repairs, traffic management and long-term maintenance of a bridge that suffered structural damage as result of a bridge strike. Various challenges had to be addressed including examining the impact of design on after-care maintenance, site-specific risk assessments and preparing traffic management plans. Dr Jamie Goggins, Chartered Engineer and Programme Director for BSc in Project and Construction Management at NUI Galway, said: "We would like to congratulate Kevin, Grant and Shane on winning this competition organised by the Third Level Initiative Group of the Health and Safety Authority. The aim of the competition fits very well with the ethos of our undergraduate degree programmes in construction related programmes – to provide an environment where undergraduate students can collaborate and work together to enhance, develop and embed their knowledge and understanding of various aspects of engineering and construction. Furthermore, this competition provides a platform for students to work in multidisciplinary groups, which is an experience that we value and promote in our undergraduate degree programmes." Chairperson of the Health and Safety Authority's Third Level Initiative Group (TLIG), Dr Anne Drummond, said, "In the world of work, collaboration and working with colleagues from other disciplines is essential to problem solving as well as being the safest approach. This competition has clearly illustrated to both students and judges that engagement and teamwork with their colleagues is a rewarding experience for students, and one that can deliver a safe and effective product." -Ends-

Monday, 4 April 2011

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Tipperary on Thursday, 14 April. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Anner Hotel, Thurles. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterward, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions visitors may have. Seamus Hennessy, from Cloughjordan, is currently studying Commerce with Accounting at NUI Galway and will be there on the night to answer questions: "I decided upon NUI Galway as it has an extremely high teaching quality, a great social aspect to both the college and city, and an excellent sporting structure for various sports. It also has a very reputable reputation among employers both nationally and internationally. I would highly recommend it to any prospective student". The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in part due to a whole suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market, including an Energy Engineering degree and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. "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 Tipperary, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses", says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. The University recently developed a popular four-year Arts degree called BA Connect, which allows specialisation in certain areas and a year of placement in Ireland or abroad. There are eight to choose from, including Human Rights, Creative Writing, and Theatre and Performance, all areas where NUI Galway leads the field. NUI Galway is Ireland's leading University for Biomedical Science, so students have access to top researchers and the very latest facilities. As the University is at the heart of the medical device industry hub in Galway, graduates have excellent opportunities for ongoing employment in the field. Caroline Loughnane continued: "With so many courses on offer, this event in Thurles is a perfect opportunity to meet current students and our lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit". To find out more about the Information Evening in Tipperary, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Office, Siobhan Dorman, Schools Liaison Office on 086 042 1591 or siobhan.dorman@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-