A Galaxy of Free Events as Galway Science & Technology Festival Opens

A Galaxy of Free Events as Galway Science & Technology Festival Opens-image

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

The 15th Galway Science and Technology Festival, part of National Science Week and sponsored by Medtronic Galway officially opened on Monday 12th November at the Orbsen Building, NUI Galway. Attending the opening were Galway City Mayor, Cllr Terry O’Flaherty, Tom Hyland, Chairman of Galway Science & Technology Festival, John MacNamara, Director of R&D Medtronic, Dr. Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, Professor Tom Sherry, Dean of Science NUI Galway and Michael Carmody, President of GMIT. The Festival runs from the 12th–25th November and includes free shows and activities for primary and secondary school students and a family day out at the Final Day Exhibition on Sunday 25th November. It aims to increase the uptake and popularity of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects among young people by bringing shows to schools throughout Galway city and county over the two-week free event. John MacNamara, Director of Research & Development at Medtronic commented, “This festival is so important in terms of engaging the interest of the younger generation in Science and Technology and the exciting career possibilities open to them, ensuring we have the pool of talented scientists and engineers so necessary for Ireland's future success as a nation.” Primary schools can book shows to visit their school for free including Cell Exploration for 5th and 6th class  students, a hands on practice of cellular and molecular biology for budding explorers. Jumping Clay by Jim Daly is an education programme for 3D clay modelling, that can be used in animation or just making popular art. Jane McLoughlin’s Fun with Science presents easy science experiments and use of recycled materials and everyday foods to learn about science. Additional primary school shows include Modern Day Medicines, a half-day workshop at GMIT for 5th and 6th class students that will explain how everyday medicines that we buy in pharmacies work to treat a variety of conditions and diseases. The School of Chemistry at NUI Galway will run a Primary Schools Outreach program, Kitchen Chemistry, aimed at introducing primary school children to the exciting world of Chemistry. Secondary schools can also avail of free shows including Dr Ken’s Entertaining Science Circus Show, which demonstrates how circus performers make use of scientific principles in their tricks and stunts. The Strange World of Forces with Paul McCrory, a fast-moving interactive show exploring the forces that are so important in allowing us to move. Celestia and Stellarium Workshops will take students on an interactive journey through the Solar System highlighting latest discoveries. Bend it like Beckham by James Soper NCBES Roadshow will present an informative presentation outlining the links between Science, Engineering and Medicine. Cosmic Explorers with Robert Hill demonstrates how the Hubble Space Telescope has revolutionised our understanding of the cosmos and helped us to better understand the universe in which we reside. Both primary and secondary schools can book Galway Bay FM School Tours allowing students experience the technology involved in producing a live radio show. The Centre of Astronomy, NUI Galway will host 3-D Tours of the Universe taking students on a trip from the earth to nearby stars, across our Galaxy and through the whole Universe. Blackrock Castle Observatory’s StarDome allows students discover the wonders of the night sky in their own school hall and The National Computer and Communications Museum will provide a fascinating insight to the development of communications and computing technology from ancient heiroglyphics to today’s internet. During the Final Day Exhibition at NUI Galway on Sunday 25th November visitors can enjoy over 80 interactive stands representing areas including research, education, industry and the environment and 20 separate shows for all ages. It will take place at the Bailey Allen Hall, Orbsen and IT Buildings and has expanded to the Aula Maxima and new Engineering Building at NUI Galway. Shows include the K’nex Roadshow, which is based on a dynamic open ended spatial building system, Mr Bug with Matt Lewis allows children get up close to friendly tropical animals and even stroke a lizard and a snake. Other Exhibition shows include Killaloe Exploration Dome, a mobile planetarium designed to explore science, astronomy, geology and geography in a fun and interactive way. True Physics Show with Declan Holmes is an interactive hands on science show where students participate in launching rockets and flying helicopters. A Lego Competition sponsored by Lego and Smyth’s Toys Superstore offers a ‘Technic Lego Challenge’ where participants have 50 minutes to build a car of the future. Sue McGrath’s Chemistry Show will demonstrate wacky experiments like super foams, colour changes and disgusting lime and Black John The Bogus Pirate, is a cartoon workshop aimed at teaching children of all ages about marine environment while having fun. Full Programme details available at www.galwayscience.ie and the Festival Exhibition will open at 10am on Sunday 25th November. Bookings can be made at www.galwayscience.eventbrite.com to help people plan their day. -ENDS-

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Two NUI Galway Scientists Participate in ‘I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here!’

Two NUI Galway Scientists Participate in ‘I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here!’-image

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

From Monday, 12 to Friday, 23 November, NUI Galway scientists Dr Tim Downing and Dr Enda O’Connell will take part in a novel new online science engagement event. The two researchers will be part of I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here!, which will see them chatting with students from 36 schools across the island of Ireland. Dr Tim Downing is a lecturer with the School of Mathematics at NUI Galway. His research involves discovering mutations linked to drug resistance in flesh-eating parasites. He is looking forward to the new online challenge: “This lets scientists and students chat, discuss and learn more about exciting new research, what the big questions are in science now, and how science is perceived in schools.” Dr Enda O’Connell is a senior technical officer with the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science at NUI Galway. His work involves using a robot to help find cures for different types of cancers. He said: “I’m really looking forward to chatting with the students, answering their questions about science in general and my work in NUI Galway, and getting a new perspective on what it means to be a scientist.” Students take part in quickfire Facebook-style online live chats, ask the scientists all the questions they want and then vote for their favourite scientist to win a prize of €500, to communicate their work with the public. This is the first time the event has come to Ireland, and it’s proved very popular with teachers. The public can watch live chats and read the students’ questions online at http://imascientist.ie and follow @imascientist on Twitter. -ends-

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NUI Galway's School of Business and Economics Hold Annual Career Mentoring Event

NUI Galway's School of Business and Economics Hold Annual Career Mentoring Event-image

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

NUI Galway recently held its annual Career Mentoring Day giving 25 students from the University’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics the opportunity to meet with volunteer mentors holding senior positions across various professions on a one-to-one basis. Topics discussed throughout the mentoring session included the challenges of the current employment market, the importance of networking and making effective job applications. The mentors also offered careers advice covering sectors such as marketing, accountancy, management, consultancy, teaching and human resource management. Dr Gerard Turley, Programme Director for the Bachelor of Commerce programme at NUI Galway, said: “Mentoring provides a crucial link between university life and the workplace. In recognition of the difficult transition from college days to work life, the School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway organises mentoring sessions for different business programmes, including undergraduate Bachelor of Commerce students, Masters of Economic Science students and Executive MBAs.” Students participating found the opportunity to meet with senior professionals invaluable with NUI Galway second year Bachelor of Commerce (International) student Nadja Lorenz commenting: “It was a fantastic and unique opportunity. Going into the event, I knew exactly what I wanted but now, and this is crucial, I know how to get there. I can already start working on it with the advice I got from my mentor. It's much easier now that I know where to start and what to pay attention to.  The advice I got was unique and invaluable.” -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Hold Student Entrepreneurial Networking Event

NUI Galway Hold Student Entrepreneurial Networking Event-image

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Exponential, an NUI Galway event which allows students to meet local company founders, entrepreneurs and like-minded people, in a fun and casual way, will take place in the Townhouse Bar on Tuesday, 20 November at 7.30pm. Exponential allows the opportunity to meet some of Galway's technology start-up companies and young innovative entrepreneurs, share ideas and learn how some NUI Galway graduates started their own business, right out of college. Throughout the night attendees will be able to interact with local start-up companies, speak to potential employers in a casual environment and learn what it takes to develop a business idea, form a team, raise finance, setup and run a company. Those who already have a novel idea for a product or business can share their idea and get advice and feedback from fellow students and other entrepreneurs. Guest speakers on the night will include NUI Galway graduate Paul Killoran of Starlight Solutions and Liam Ryan of GetHealth app. Both Paul and Liam set up successful ventures while still in college and will be at the event to share their experiences and give advice. This is a free event, but you do need to register at http://exponential1.eventbrite.com/ or via the Exponential website http://exponential.ly/. Exponential is a project undertaken as part of the NUI Galway/Students’ Union EXPLORE initiative. Further details on this initiative are available at http://www.su.nuigalway.ie/explore/. -ENDS-

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Minister Launches Education Matters Yearbook 2012

Minister Launches Education Matters Yearbook 2012-image

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D. will today officially launch the Education Matters Yearbook 2012 at the offices of National University of Ireland in Dublin. Now in its sixth edition, and supported this year by NUI Galway, Education Matters Yearbook 2012 is a contemporaneous, living history of Irish education over the course of the last year. Compiled and presented to complement other seminal Irish educational publications - curriculum, policy and research, the Education Matters Yearbook 2012 collects in one publication key voices and perspectives - national and international - on key policy, practice and pedagogy developments and innovations in 2012. With a foreword from the Minister for Education and Skills, it aims to provide a comprehensive compendium of all significant events, trends and debates in Irish education. This information is accompanied by review articles, commentary and analysis by leading educators, parents, students, educational organisations and the educational unions.  Speaking in advance of the launch, Minister Quinn said: “I am delighted to launch the Education Matters Yearbook 2012. This is a very worthwhile compendium of all the significant events, trends and debates in Irish education throughout the year. It covers all levels, from pre-school to 4th level, reflecting the various views and perspectives in Irish education.” Among the notable additions to the Education Matters Yearbook this year are an article from the teaching diaspora/Irish teachers abroad; an article on the development of civic engagement at third-level; and the experience of being a student teacher completing the Professional Diploma in Education. Speaking of the announcement, Dr Tony Hall of NUI Galway and Editor of Education Matters Yearbook 2012, said: "Education Matters Yearbook 2012 provides an invaluable, unified resource of information about Irish education - practice, policy and pedagogy - from across all sectors of the educational system: preschool and early childhood, primary, post-primary, the Irish language, third and fourth levels. It is a unique repertory of information and insight on Irish education." While retaining its familiar, easy-to-read 'look and feel', the layout of the Yearbook has been changed this year. To enhance readability and navigability further, selected news and media items are interleaved with relevant feature articles. In a time of change and challenge in Irish education, Education Matters Yearbook 2012 addresses the salient developments currently taking place in Irish education, including the growth of the early childhood education sector; patronage and pluralism in primary education; curriculum reform and literacy and numeracy at post-primary level; and the changing landscape of Irish tertiary education and research. ENDS

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Four NUI Galway Graduates Receive Recognition for Undergraduate Research from the President of Ireland

Four NUI Galway Graduates Receive Recognition for Undergraduate Research from the President of Ireland-image

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Four recent NUI Galway grads received gold medals from the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, having won various categories in the 2012 Undergraduate Awards recently. The Ireland-based academic awards programme identifies top students across the island of Ireland for their innovative undergraduate research.  The awards ceremony marked the culmination of the Undergraduate Awards Summit, an annual three-day event in Dublin, Ireland that brought together some of the world’s most impressive budding academics. These are the top performing entrants in this year’s Undergraduate Awards programme, which received 2,890 submissions from third level institutions on the island of Ireland as well as elite universities primarily in the UK, USA, Canada and Ireland. Addressing the attendees, patron of the awards programme President Higgins commended the students on their remarkable achievement. “All of the submissions being recognised here today are a reassuring reminder of the great wealth of innovative and imaginative talent that exists amongst our young people – the leaders, policy makers, scientists and artists of the future. I would like to congratulate all of our awardees here today and wish them every success.” A “junior Nobel Prize”, the Undergraduate Awards is an initiative that aims to identify and connect the world’s top students, while also running a separate programme throughout all third level institutions on the island of Ireland. With 20 categories, it recognises excellence and innovation across the sciences, humanities and creative arts. The four recent graduates who were recognised for undergraduate coursework conducted at NUI Galway were: Neasa O’Callaghan, who won the Ancient & Classical Studies for her essay ‘Mapping Europa from Antiquity to Present: Contrasting Images of an Abductee and Queen’; Isaac Burke, who won the Mathematical & Physical Sciences category for his project ‘Finding a Non-Broken Circuit Basis for the Orlik-Solomon Algebra of an Arrangement of Hyperplanes’; Cathal Kelly, who won the Engineering & Mechanical Sciences category for his project ‘Phosphorous Removal From Wastewater Using Pyrrhotite’; and Marek Bohacek, who won the Psychology category for his essay ‘Process Timing and its Relations to the Perception of Tonal Harmony: an EEG Study’. Louise Hodgson, Programme Director of the Undergraduate Awards said: “Every year the Undergraduate Awards has recognised outstanding students and graduates, but I think our winners today are the most impressive bunch so far. Congratulations to them all! I know they’ll go on to be leaders and pioneers in their fields, and I’m glad the Undergraduate Awards can be one of the first to recognise their work.” ENDS

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Music for Galway Archive Launch

Music for Galway Archive Launch -image

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Music for Galway’s archive has been catalogued at NUI Galway’s James Hardiman Library and Erika Casey, founding Member of Music for Galway, will officially launch the archive on Monday, 19 November at 6pm in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway. The evening will include an exhibition of material from the archive, an overview of the archive material and a performance from Con Tempo Quartet. Ranging in date from 1981 to 2011 the archive includes numerous series of original records documenting the Irish and international acts that played to audiences across Galway and the West of Ireland. The archive traces the relationship between Music for Galway and NUI Galway, as the group found a home for concerts and their grand piano at the Aula Maxima on the University's campus. The archive consists of nineteen boxes of records comprising of a comprehensive record of Music for Galway's legacy. These include records of productions including posters, flyers, invitations, programs, press releases and number of black and white and colour photographs of Music for Galway committee members, musicians and concerts. Financial records, details of membership and rates, correspondence between Music for Galway and various musicians and groups, newsletters and press cuttings of news and coverage of concerts and events are also included in the archive. Music for Galway’s archive will offer researchers a unique insight into the establishment and growth of one the West's premier music groups while documenting the creative and administrative processes of Music for Galway's numerous achievements. NUI Galway Librarian, John Cox, said: “The University was honoured to receive this important archival collection in 2007 and the James Hardiman Library is delighted to be able to open it for consultation now that it is fully catalogued. The catalogue is itself an excellent resource and will make it easy to use the archive productively.” -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Students' Union Enterprise Awards

NUI Galway Students' Union Enterprise Awards-image

Thursday, 15 November 2012

The NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards, a competition to encourage enterprise and innovation among students, has been launched at NUI Galway. Now in its third year, the initiative invites students across campus to put forward proposals for a project or business, with a prize of €10,000 investment capital for the overall winner and two runners up prizes of €5,000 each. The NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards aim to unlock the potential of NUI Galway students by providing financial support and expertise for students who wish to start a project in the areas of business and social entrepreneurship. The NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards are generously supported by NUI Galway Students’ Union Commercial Services Ltd., NUI Galway and the NUI Galway Technology Transfer Office. Paul Curley, President of NUI Galway Students’ Union, said: “The Enterprise Awards are a showcase for the best and brightest student minds on campus and reflect the dynamic, innovative and creative graduates we all wish to see emerging from NUI Galway, now and in the years ahead.” Last year’s winner Niall O’Connor of SonorPlex said: “Participating in the NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise awards really helped me to develop a concept into a real-world proposition. The profile generated - even by taking part, not to mention winning was extremely valuable. The prize money is now helping me to take the project to the next level.”  The closing date for submissions is 5pm Friday 30th November. More information is available at www.su.nuigalway.ie  -ENDS-

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Swim Ireland Launch Connacht Performance Centre

Swim Ireland Launch Connacht Performance Centre -image

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Swim Ireland, in conjunction with Kingfisher Club and NUI Galway launched its new Connacht Swimming Performance Centre on Wednesday, 14 November at the Kingfisher Club, Galway. The event was attended by representatives from NUI Galway, the Irish Sports Council, Swim Ireland, Kingfisher Club, Connacht clubs, swimmers and coaches. The Connacht Swimming Performance Centre(in operation since September 2012) is based at the Kingfisher Club in NUI Galway and is led by swimming coach Pearse McGuigan, in conjunction with Peter Banks, National Performance Director. The Centre is designed specifically to provide additional training hours, develop skills, provide opportunities for the best swimmers to train together on a weekly basis and provide support to club, coaches and athletes.  A total of twenty five swimmers currently avail of the centre, across a variety of training programmes. Swimmers are offered a range of sports science services such as strength and conditioning, video analysis and physiology and they can avail of both full and part-time programmes. Swim Ireland’s National Performance Director, Peter Banks, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Kingfisher Club and NUI Galway to develop swimming in Connacht. The new centre will help us to raise the level of training opportunities for Irish swimmers at home, and will also provide the structure and programmes to enable swimmers who are based in Connacht to achieve success at European, World, and ultimately Olympic level. We are grateful for the support of the Irish Sports Council, Kingfisher Club, NUI Galway and other partners in this regard.” Speaking at the launch Kingfisher Managing Director, Joe Cosgrove, commented: “The Kingfisher Fitness Club are honoured to be chosen as Connacht’s Premier Performance Centre. Through our partnership we strive to help the young talent steadily emerging throughout Connacht and allow them develop their skills to propel them towards successfully performing at international standard. We fully believe that we can support the new generation of Irish swimmers with better training facilities and opportunities. By setting ourselves high standards and living and working by these standards we cannot but see results.” Gary Ryan, Elite Sports Development Officer, NUI Galway, said: “This is an exciting development for Sport in the region. NUI Galway has a long history of supporting excellence in sport and this Performance Centre is an important venture for Swimming in Ireland. We hope that this will not only help the development of young sporting talent but encourage more students to study at NUI Galway and progress their sporting performance to the highest levels.” - ENDS –

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Galway Company Named Winners of InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Regional Final

Galway Company Named Winners of InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Regional Final-image

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Full Health Medical secures €20,000 in funding and go forward to national final Galway company, Full Health Medical was named the Best Emerging company at the Connacht and Leinster final of the 2012 InterTradeIreland Seedcorn all-island business competition. Full Health Medical which is based in the Business Innovation Centre of NUI Galway beat tough competition from the other Connacht and Leinster finalists in its category to win €20,000 to help finance the early stages of their ventures.  The company will now go on to compete in the all-island final of the competition, which will take place on the 28th November 2012 at the iconic Titanic Belfast building. Now in its tenth year, Seedcorn is the island’s biggest business competition for early stage/high growth companies in any sector, from any part of the island.  The competition, aimed at companies who have a new equity funding requirement, has a record prize fund of €280,000.  To date, InterTradeIreland has supported over 1,600 enterprising companies through the Seedcorn process and previous finalists have gone on to leverage around €159m worth of equity since taking part. The Seedcorn competition is considered an important barometer for new and emerging companies among the investment and business communities. Full Health Medical, has designed a system that addresses one of the most basic deficits in healthcare – the meaningful communication of test results in the context of a person’s own history and lifestyle.  Developed over three years by a team led by GP and A&E doctor Ann Shortt, the Full Health system uses a series of clinical algorithms and combines medical, family history and lifestyle information with the examinations and test results to generate a personalised report for the doctor’s approval.  The results are then presented in an easily understandable format, complete with recommendations and advice for the patient.  This system offers doctors a huge saving of time and expense, and allows a doctor to provide a better service to significantly more patients. Paul McCarthy, Managing Director of Full Health Medical said; “We are thrilled to have won the Connacht and Leinster Emerging Category award and we’re going to put all of our efforts into the national final at the end of this month.  Seedcorn is such a recognised competition so to win this accolade is a great milestone for us.  After years of extensive development and testing, winning the Seedcorn regional final really validates the hard work that our team has put into the company.  Although we have already secured a number of key contracts, it is only now we are launching for the wider primary care and corporate health market.” Thomas Hunter McGowan, Chief Executive, InterTradeIreland added; “It is inspiring to see the level of innovative thinking, determination and optimism for the future displayed by businesses coming through this process.  These companies have the potential to be a key driver of future economic growth.  The Seedcorn competition reaches out to businesses at the early stages in their development and it is exciting for InterTradeIreland to work with these companies at such a crucial stage of their business.  The quality of companies in the Connacht and Leinster final was outstanding and I congratulate Full Health Medical on its win today from these very competitive fields.” Full Health Medical will go head-to-head with the winners of the Northern Ireland, Dublin and Munster finals for the title of overall Best Emerging company. Finalist companies also benefit from being part of the Seedcorn Network – an extensive business and investment community that helps boost their profile, contacts and future potential investment opportunities. The all-island finals will take place at the Titanic Belfast building on the 28th November, where companies are in with a chance to compete for the overall ‘Best Emerging Company’ prize worth €50,000 or the overall ‘Best High Growth Company’ prize worth €100,000.  Previous finalists have included companies from sectors including technology, online, medical devices, green tech solutions, healthcare solutions and consumer products.  Further details are available on www.intertradeireland.com/seedcorn. Companies can follow the Competition on Twitter (@ITI_seedcorn) where they can get valuable information and advice.  ENDS

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