Tuesday, 17 August 2010

NASA researcher and NUI Galway graduate Dr Jacqueline Keane will deliver a public lecture on the origins of the Earth's water. The lecture, hosted by the NUI Galway Centre of Astronomy in conjunction with the Galway Astronomy Club, will take place at 8pm on Monday, 23 August, in the Dillon Theatre, Arts/Science Building. During the lecture Dr Keane will present an overview of the University of Hawai'i NASA Astrobiology Institute studies which range from the interstellar medium to the interior of planet Earth, all designed to explain 'the origin, history, and distribution of water and its relation to life in the Universe'. She will also show pictures of many of the telescopes on Mauna Kea Observatory on the summit of Mauna Kea on the island of Hawai i. The University of Hawai i investigates the astrophysical, cosmochemical, geological, and biological processes that link the history and distribution of life in the universe to that of water. NUI Galway Bachelor of Science and Masters of Astronomy graduate, Dr Jacqueline Keane is an Assistant Astronomer at the Institute for Astronomy and the University of Hawai i NASA Astrobiology Institute. Dr Keane, originally from Oranmore, Co. Galway, has previously worked with the European Space Agency Infrared Space Telescope studying the formation of water ice and organic molecules on interstellar dust grains in cold molecular clouds. Upon receiving her Ph.D., Dr Keane was the recipient of a research fellowship from the National Research Council that took her to spaces sciences division at NASA-AMES in California where she worked with the NASA infrared space-based telescope, Spitzer, for over three years. She is an expert in infrared space and ground-based observing and is the lead researcher for the UHNAI ground-based comet observing campaigns using an array of telescopes on Mauna Kea, the world's premier observation site. Speaking about the upcoming lecture, Dr Andrew Shearer, Director of Centre of Astronomy, NUI Galway, said: "The Centre for Astronomy is please to welcome Dr Jacqueline Keane back to Galway for a short visit. Since leaving NUI Galway ten years ago she has worked with some the most advanced astronomical instrumentation at ESA and NASA. Her talk will look at the origin of the Earth's water and what are the chances of finding life on other planets". For further details on the lecture andy.shearer@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Friday, 13 August 2010

Three of the seven recipients of the Ireland's Outstanding Young People Award, coordinated by Junior Chamber International (JCI) are NUI Galway students. JCI, the world s largest leadership and personal development organisation for young people, recently held their annual 'Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the Year' Awards ceremony in Limerick where seven young Irish nominees were recognised for outstanding personal achievements. National nominees are eligible to go forward to the JCI World Outstanding Young Person of the Year to be held in Osaka, Japan in November. The winners included NUI Galway's Melanie Hennessy from Ennis, Co. Clare, a 20 year-old Medical student who helped set up a school in Nepal. Melanie also established her own University society, Draíocht, to generate funds to build an orphanage for the children of Nepal where she is currently working on improving the lives of these children. Mary Collins, a second-year Arts student from Claremorris, Co. Mayo, spearheaded the successful establishment and ongoing success of the St Patrick's Scout Group Venture section in Galway and also engineered and co-ordinated two outstanding fundraising and house building projects in Zambia and Honduras, raising €230,000. 18 year-old Sean Kearns, a second-year Nursing student from Tuam, Co. Galway, has been involved in a variety of voluntary experiences at NUI Galway. Sean established a University society, 'Best Buddies', a friendship programme that pairs college students in fun, enriching one to one friendships with students who have an intellectual disability; he was the organiser of "Ban the R Word" Campaign at NUI Galway. Speaking at the Awards ceremony President of JCI Ireland, Mark Kelly, said: "The Outstanding Young Person of the Year Award ceremony was an amazing night. It is a great opportunity for us to recognise so many great young people out there that are doing astonishing work accomplishing greatness and the awards help in highlighting these remarkable achievements. The JCI Outstanding Young Person of the Year Award recognises these young people and JCI encourages them and others to seek excellence and serve others". Student Volunteer Coordinator at NUI Galway, Lorraine Tansey, said, "There is a tremendous voluntary ethos at NUI Galway and we are proud of the achievements of Melanie, Sean and Mary." For more information on the Outstanding Young Persons of the Year awards or any JCI events, visit the JCI Ireland website www.jci-ireland.org. -Ends-

Friday, 13 August 2010

The Zoology and Marine Biology Museum at NUI Galway will host an open day for children aged between 7 and 12 years to celebrate 'Wild Child Day' of National Heritage Week on 21 August from 10.30am-12.00pm. Since it officially opened in September 2009, the museum has been home to many fine exhibits from glass models of marine invertebrates to a stuffed capybara, the favourite food of the anaconda. Visitors can wander around the Museum exploring the different exhibits, be drawn in by the beady eyes, scaly crocodiles, the skull of a minke whale, or the tooth of an elephant that is much bigger than you would expect. There is also an extensive collection of glass models of marine life from the renowned Blaschka collection, dating from the 1880's. In addition to the exhibits in glass cases, there will be some live specimens of scorpions, tarantulas, spiders, centipedes and snakes on display for children to see. Currently, a project is underway to label all the exhibits to increase information and interaction with visitors. Many of the specimens are routinely used for teaching purposes with second and third year zoology students. During the open day there will be a member of staff on hand to explain exhibits to children. Eoin Mac Loughlin, Senior Technical Officer in Zoology, NUI Galway, says: "Our Zoology Museum is a great asset to Galway, the nearest thing to it is the National History Museum in Dublin. It is interesting to young and old alike. It offers inspiration for Art students and a place to explore for children. Looking at the stuffed animals and glass models, children become captivated and learn to engage with their natural environment and wildlife, which is what National Heritage Week is all about". The Zoology and Marine Biology museum at NUI Galway has in its possession four genuine Charles Darwin specimens that have just recently been restored and put on display in the museum. They include a grison, an Azara's fox, a Patagonian cavy and a guira cuckoo originally given by Darwin to the Zoological Society of London in 1837. National Heritage Week is coordinated by the Heritage Council, the statutory body charged with identifying, protecting, preserving and enhancing Ireland's national heritage. National heritage includes monuments, archaeological objects, heritage objects, architectural heritage, flora, fauna, wildlife habitats, landscapes, seascapes, wrecks, geology, heritage gardens and parks, and inland waterways. For further information on the open day contact the Galway Civic Trust 091-564946. For more information on National Heritage Week visit http://www.heritageweek.ie. -Ends-

Thursday, 12 August 2010

NUI Galway is one of the partners in a new European multi-million euro research project, investigating methods of screening radiation exposure. The project known as BOOSTER (Bio Dosimetric Tools for Triage and Responders) is an EU initiative to increase the security of citizens in the event of the malevolent use of radiation which focuses on speeding up the triaging process, which is the prioritisation of victims for treatment immediately following exposure to radiation. The €3.5 million project will have a duration of three years, (2010-2013). The new tools for screening radiation will be developed and integrated into a toolkit for the first responders in EU member states to use. The authorities responsible for responding to emergency situations vary. The task may fall to fire services, civil defence or occasionally the military. To determine the amount of radiation to which a person has been exposed, standard practice involves taking blood or another bodily fluid, looking at it under a microscope and documenting changes in chromosomes. This process typically takes up to three days to yield results and is very labour intensive. Since 2004, researchers in Biochemistry at NUI Galway have been working to reduce the period of time it takes to determine the amount of radiation to which a person is exposed. This work will now feed into phase one of the project. By counting the centrosomes, which are sub-cellular structures that control how cells divide and which multiply after irradiation, it is hoped that it will be possible to reduce the waiting time for results to less than one day. Dr Ciaran Morrison, a senior lecturer in the Centre for Chromosome Biology, who is leading the project at NUI Galway, explains: "There is urgency in triaging people exposed to radiation because it is necessary to quickly identify those who need no further intervention, those who will require close follow up, and those who will require hospitalisation. Serious exposure to large amounts of radiation can cause death in a short space of time, so rapid triaging is critical". Automation of the process to reduce labour intensity is another facet of the project, endeavouring to prepare the system for semi-industrial quantities of people, to cope with the event of a large-scale civilian disaster such as a nuclear power plant explosion. A more efficient process would also have applications for employees working in an environment where regular exposure to radiation is likely and civilian surveillance necessary. Dr Ciaran Morrison added: "It is exciting to see that the basic cell biology research we have done at NUI Galway, funded by Science Foundation Ireland and the Health Research Board, can have a wide range of unanticipated applications in the real world". Ends

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

A new dedicated First Year Student Hotline has been launched by NUI Galway and will be open for calls from Wednesday (11 August) at 9am. The initiative, the first of its kind across the sector, has been specially designed to help incoming first year students make the transition to third level education. The hotline will be open to the students, their parents and their advisers and will run until 24 September, 2010. A team of specially-trained staff and students will service the hotline Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, and Saturday 21 and 28 August, 10am to 1pm. The availability of the hotline coincides with the period of frantic activity and decision making that immediately follows the release of the Leaving Certificate Results. The hotline will be active throughout first year orientation on 11 and 12 September and it will remain in service for 2 weeks after lectures begin on September 13, providing students with a place to direct any conceivable query they encounter as they embark on their journey to NUI Galway. The hotline team will provide an efficient, responsive service to callers and are expected to deal with numerous issues that are of concern to incoming first year students. Anticipated queries include: points requirements for courses; first round offers; registering as a student of the University; start dates; fees and accommodation options. A new designated website for first years will also be created and updated on a daily basis detailing the information sought and fed through the new hotline. It will be a portal of specific information aimed at demystifying the first few weeks of university life. Dr Martina Ní Chuláin, Admissions Officer at NUI Galway says: "We understand that this is such a difficult but yet exciting time for students entering University and we hope that this new initiative will provide a mechanism for quickly addressing any queries or concerns that students or their parents have. We at NUI Galway are committed to making the transition into University as easy as possible for our students and their families we look forward to taking to your calls". Students, parents and advisers can contact the First Year Student Hotline at 091-493999 or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/new-students/. -Ends-

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Social media experts and social networking enthusiasts will descend on NUI Galway from 26-27 August for BlogTalk, an event to discuss current online trends and future developments in social media. BlogTalk will be held on the NUI Galway campus over two days, and will consist of keynote talks, discussion panels, and plenty of networking opportunities for those attending. The invited keynote talks will be given by Stowe Boyd, an authority on social tools and originator of the term 'advisory capital'; Dan Gillmor, a noted Silicon Valley journalist, author of We the Media, and director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship; and Don Thibeau, director of OpenID, an easy and safe log-in system for websites used by Yahoo, Google and many others. Other notable speakers include Blaine Cook, former lead developer with Twitter and now with BT; Charles Dowd, manager for Facebook's Platform Operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and Ade Oshineye, developer advocate with the Google Social Web team. Some of the topics to be discussed will include: the need for a new kind of media literacy in our increasingly networked age; how businesses and third parties can benefit from the Facebook Platform by integrating Facebook with their own services; ensuring that citizens can trust that their identity and data is being protected by government websites; and new research data from NUI Galway illustrating how Twitter has gone beyond early adopters and trend followers to become a mature service with a constant growth rate. Irish social media gurus will also give talks, including Darragh Doyle, communications manager with boards.ie; Fergus Hurley, founder and CEO of the Silicon Valley startup Clixtr; and Ted Vickey, former executive director at the White House Athletic Center and a frequent speaker on LinkedIn. Galway native Hurley will talk about his experiences in setting up a consumer Internet startup in Silicon Valley, raising money from venture capitalists and what he's learnt from the journey. Ted Vickey will help attendees learn how to get maximum impact for their CV using the LinkedIn business networking site. The evolution of open spaces for collaborative creative activities will also be covered, using the Galway-based 091 Labs as an example. Conference chair John Breslin of NUI Galway, says: "This is a great opportunity to learn from the experts on social networks and to imagine about what is coming down the road in terms of social media. Also, the schedule has been arranged so that there will be plenty of time to meet the speakers and other like-minded people". Early bird registration is open at www.blogtalk.net until Wednesday, 18 August, and costs €149 for two days (€99 for students and unemployed). There is also a special hotel rate of €89 available for the nights of the 25 and 26 August with The House Hotel; just quote BlogTalk when booking. The event is being sponsored by socialmedia.net, a campus startup company blogging about the future of social media, and the NUI Galway Millennium Fund. -Ends-

Monday, 9 August 2010

The College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway has announced details of a Special Entrance Maths Examination which will give students a second chance to pursue a career in Engineering. The exam, which takes place on Wednesday, 25 August, is for students who achieve the CAO points for an undergraduate Engineering Degree courses at NUI Galway but have not met the obligatory maths requirement. This year, NUI Galway will hold an intensive preparatory course for applicants intending to sit the exam. This free course will run from Thursday, 19 August to Tuesday, 24 August. For more than 20 years, NUI Galway has provided this special entrance exam to help applicants who did not achieve the required grade C3 or better in Higher Level Mathematics. Those who took Lower Level Maths in the Leaving Cert may also apply for the exam. Students who pass this examination will be deemed to have satisfied the maths requirement and providing they have the necessary points, will receive an additional CAO offer at Round 2. In addition to preparing students for the Special Entrance Examination, lecturers will demonstrate the relevance and application of mathematics to Engineering. The aim of the preparatory course is to bridge the gap between the Leaving Certificate lower level and that required to be successful in the entrance exam; this will be achieved by tackling a variety of problems of increasing difficulty. Learning how to approach a problem and apply the knowledge available will be emphasised. Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, says: "The nature of engineering programmes is that they are focused on the development of analytical and problem solving skills, and thus require significant use of mathematics and applied mathematics. Every year we see a number of promising students who perform poorly on the day of the Leaving Cert exam. Our Special Entrance Maths Examination provides these students with a second opportunity to demonstrate that they have reached the necessary standard in Maths. Over the years, we have had some exceptionally talented students graduate and pursue successful careers in Engineering because they were given the second chance which this exam represents". Demand for Engineering programmes at NUI Galway continues to rise year on year and the College of Engineering has expanded its degree programs to meet this rising demand. Engineering is at the heart of the emerging 'Smart Economy' and NUI Galway realises its role in providing world-class graduates to meet the needs of Industry and the Smart Economy. New courses such as Energy Systems Engineering, which is designed in response to a growing demand for professional engineers to work in the energy sector have continued to meet this growing demand. NUI Galway also offers students an 'undenominated' entry to Engineering which allows them to delay their choice of final discipline. There is also demand for Engineering Innovation, which aims to create a new type of electronic engineer with skills in innovation and entrepreneurship. Applications for the Special Maths Examination will be accepted at the Admissions Office reception desk up to 9am the morning of exam. Those interested in the revision maths course and the examination should call 091 492101 or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering/specialmaths.html for further detail. -ends-

Monday, 9 August 2010

Michael D Higgins, Galway United President; Steven Irwin, Reserve Team Captain, Liverpool FC; Dr James J. Browne, NUI Galway President; Rhys Meynell, Galway United; and John McMahon, Reserve Team Head Coach, Liverpool FC at the NUI Galway reception for Liverpool FC who used the University training facilities ahead of the Liverpool XI versus Galway United match at Terryland.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Scholarships for six foreign students learning Irish in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway His Excellency Patrick G. Binns, Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, has presented six scholarships to Canadian students attending an Irish language course in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway, An Cheathrú Rua in the Connemara Gaeltacht. These awards are made available to students registered in certain Canadian universities and offer an opportunity to participate this summer in approved Irish language courses in a Gaeltacht setting. The scholarships are provided by the Ireland Canada University Foundation. At present there are 64 foreign students learning Irish on a month-long course in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. This course is of significant advantage to the Connemara economy with the students living and socialising locally. Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge's Chief Executive, Peadar Mac an Iomaire said: "It is an honour to have the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland with us in An Cheathrú Rua on this the 33rd year of Irish language courses for foreign students at this centre. We are grateful for the support that the Irish government provides to enhance the links between NUI Galway and people in Canada and in universities all over the world who are eager to broaden their knowledge of the Irish language." Historical links between Ireland and Canada go right back to the sixteenth century. Irish people, mainly from the Southeast of the country, used to cross to Newfoundland in search of codfish. This emigration predated the well-recounted exodus during the Great Famine. It is appropriate that these links are today being enhanced and developed in the Irish language sector. At present, four million Canadians or 13% of the population of Canada claim Irish heritage. The Ireland Canada University Foundation provides exchange programmes between Irish and Canadian universities and these programmes are open to all academic disciplines. The Foundation was established in 1994 by Dr Craig Dobbin, Newfoundland and former Irish President, Dr Patrick Hillary. In 2004 the Foundation was given recognition in a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, and the Rt. Hon. Paul Martin M.P., Prime Minister of Canada. -Ends-

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Recently discovered short films by NUI Galway academic, Dr Seán Crosson, will be screened for the first time in over 80 years at the Kilkenny Arts Festival. The series of short films featuring hurling were made for American cinema audiences by the Hollywood majors Warner Bros., MGM and Paramount pictures between the 1930s and the 1950s and copies have recently been acquired by the Irish Film Archive. The series of short films will be screened by the Irish Film Institute, entitled Ireland's Athletic Assault and Battery"?: Hollywood and Hurling on Monday, 9 August, as part of the Festival. While researching Hollywood's treatment of the GAA, Dr Crosson, Director of the MA in Film Studies Programme at the NUI Galway Huston School of Film and Digital Media, discovered the films in an archive at the University of Madison in Wisconsin. During the 1920s, '30s and '40s the GAA organised annual tours to the United States for the All-Ireland winners in both hurling and gaelic football to promote the games stateside. These visits inspired some American producers to consider hurling in particular as a subject for their work. While both Pathé and Fox Movietone newsreels covered several of the games, hurling would also appear in a number of short films released in cinemas in the 1930s including two segments of sports series narrated by seminal American broadcaster Ted Husing, Ted Husing's Sports Slants and Sports Thrills. These films were made by the Vitaphone Corporation for Warner Bros, in 1931 and 1932 respectively. The MGM produced Pete Smith Specialty Hurling (David Miller, 1936) film resulted in a deputation from the GAA visiting the Irish Film censor to demand that objectionable images be removed from the film. These films were joined in 1955 by the Oscar nominated Paramount Pictures short Three Kisses (Justin Herman, 1955), a film featuring the legendary Cork hurling team of the 1950s. Dr Crosson noted: "These films have important historical value, representing some of the very few examples of moving image footage of Gaelic games we have from this period, including the 1930 All-Ireland champions Tipperary on tour in the United States. However, they also provide a fascinating insight into an evolving Irish-American identity on screen in this crucial transitional period for this community in the United States". -Ends-

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

The 31st World Conference of the Stress and Anxiety Research Society (STAR) will take place in NUI Galway, from tomorrow (4 August) to Friday, 6 August. The conference will be hosted by the Centre for Research on Occupational and Life Stress (CROLS) in the University. During STAR 2010, a strong emphasis will be on applied and experimental research on stress and anxiety. Contributors will also focus on social, political, and policy-related aspects of major world events, such as terrorism, natural disasters, global warming, and the worldwide economic recession. The three-day event will incorporate a sequence of cutting-edge keynote addresses from leading figures in stress research. Professor Michael Eysenck, University of London and Roehampton University, UK who is renowned for his research in memory and cognition, will give the distinguished Spielberger address, focusing on new theories on anxiety and cognition, and drawing on his many years of research experience and publication of over 40 books. Professor Charles D. Spielberger, University of South Florida, will deliver another keynote address on the scientific study of emotions. Professor Spielberger is one of the world's most prominent research psychologists who, across a 50-year career, has published over 400 scientific papers. He has also served as president of both the American Psychological Association and the International Stress Management Association. Dr Brian Hughes, Director of CROLS, NUI Galway says: "Stress and anxiety are universal experiences and the problems they create are extensive. This is why it is so important that they be researched extensively. We are delighted to be holding the World Conference on Stress and Anxiety Research in Galway this year. Leading figures from the behavioural, social, and health sciences will be coming to Galway to share the latest research findings in this important area." "As well as the stress of everyday life, it is important for us to understand more about how people are affected by extreme or traumatic stressors. Researchers will be reporting findings about the human impact of the earthquake in Haiti, missile attacks in the Middle East, and stressful occupations such as firefighting, police work, and military aviation", Dr Hughes added. The conference will be attended by over 250 researchers in the social, behavioural, and health sciences from across the world. Delegates will present research focusing on stress, anxiety, depression, coping, mental health, ergonomics, psychosomatics, therapeutics, education, and psychophysiology. Other keynote speakers at STAR 2010 include: Douglas Carroll, University of Birmingham; Jack James, NUI Galway; Jian Li, University of Wuppertal; Germany, Daniel W. Russell, Ohio State University, USA; and Charles D. Spielberger, University of South Florida, USA. A host of pre-conference workshops will also take place running in parallel sessions allowing for a very high level of knowledge dissemination. Across its 30 year history, the conference has traversed the globe, being held in Europe, Australia, Africa, and North America. STAR 2010 marks the first visit of the conference to Ireland. The Centre for Research on Occupational and Life Stress (CROLS) at NUI Galway is an integrated, interdisciplinary research consortium comprising of collaborators from across the behavioural and social sciences, medicine and health sciences, business, public policy, and law. Ends

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Mr Sean Connick, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, today (27th July) visited EIRCOD, a state-of-the-art cod breeding project at the NUI Galway Carna Laboratory in Connemara. The project is aimed at designing, establishing and operating a cod broodstock programme customised for the Irish environment and underpinning the native fish farming industry. "The benefits from supporting the development of an emerging cod farming industry in Ireland are many," said Minister Connick, whose Department has already highlighted the need to research and develop alternative aquaculture species on a commercial and profitable scale in its recent Food Harvest 2020 Report. "In addition to the obvious socio-economic benefits accrued by coastal communities, such an industry would contribute positively to Ireland's aquaculture and seafood sectors by offering species diversification and high value added products." The scientists, working in NUI Galway and University College Cork on the EIRCOD project, were funded under the Sea Change national marine knowledge, research and innovation strategy, co-ordinated by the Marine Institute. "Sea Change supports a range of fishery and aquaculture projects, all designed to build a better understanding of factors that contribute to improving the competitiveness of Ireland's marine food sector," said Dr. Peter Heffernan of the Marine Institute. "There is a strong scientific link between the EIRCOD project and another Sea Change-funded project in Cork on fish genetics where scientists at UCC are developing new DNA tools to help identify unique strains of cod." Leading fish geneticist Professor Tom Cross who, with his team at UCC, are partners in EIRCOD stated "we are using the latest genomic approach to assist the NUI Galway cod breeding programme and increase knowledge of wild stock structure. This invokes next generation sequencing of part of the cod genome allowing us to detect many thousand microsatellites and SNPs (as used in human forensics) and also functional genes involved with traits important in farmed production." As well as being partners in EIRCOD, the UCC group is also funded by the Beaufort Fish Population Genetics Award from the Irish government with Dr Phillip McGinnity as Principal Investigator. The first three years of EIRCOD saw the transfer from NUI Galway's Martin Ryan Institute (MRI) Carna Lab to the Trosc Teo fish farm in Connemara, Co. Galway of specially bred juvenile cod, reared from eggs collected from the Celtic Sea off the South coast of Ireland. The parentage of these fish is known and the growth performance of the different groups are monitored up to market size with the better performing groups being selected for use in future breeding activities. These fish are being selectively bred as a specific Irish strain. As part of this work, the researchers track and benchmark the Celtic sea cod in the farm situation and compare performance with farmed and wild stocks in Ireland and elsewhere. Majbritt Bolton-Warberg, a fish biologist at NUI Galway's MRI facility in Carna explains: "It appears that these Celtic sea cod, grown in Irish waters and at our higher water temperatures, display faster growth rates in the early years of life than those in more northerly European countries. This gives a significant commercial competitive advantage to Ireland". By 2011 the EIRCOD project will have had adult cod at sea for the past four years with in excess of 50 unique family groups, many of which will be reaching their sexual maturity. It will therefore be possible for researchers to selectively breed these fish for the first time; identifying and actively selecting the best performers and applying classical breeding techniques that have been used for centuries in agriculture to give a better performing stock and applying them to fish farming. According to Dr Richard Fitzgerald, Senior Scientist with the EIRCOD project at NUI Galway, "the work of the EIRCOD partnership has underpinned the ongoing development of an innovative sustainable and profitable cod farming industry in Ireland through this strategic breeding programme. In addition, we are putting the final touches to a report 'An Economic Assessment of Cod Farming in Ireland' where we have identified several opportunities for the cultivation of cod on the western seaboard of Ireland." The EIRCOD project is funded by the Marine Institute and the Marine Research Sub-programme of the National Development Plan and is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund. It is led by NUI Galway's Martin Ryan Institute in Carna, Co. Galway with partners UCC, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Irish Seafood Producers Group, Trosc Teo and Dr Ashie Norris, consultant. The project builds on work carried out by the Martin Ryan Institute and Trosc Teo over in the past with the assistance of the relevant state agencies Údarás na Gaeltachta, Marine Institute, and BIM. -Ends-

Monday, 26 July 2010

In recognition of their contribution to the undergraduate teaching programme at NUI Galway, three Ambulance Officers from the HSE West area have been made Honorary Clinical Fellows of the University. The Ambulance Officers, Gabriel Glynn, Vincent O Connor and PJ Commins, were involved in establishing and delivering an innovative special study module in Pre-hospital emergency care to second year NUI Galway medical students under the direction of the University's Dr Gerard Flaherty, Lecturer in Medical Education and Clinical Skills and Coordinator of the Special Study Module programme. The Pre-hospital emergency care module provides students with basic training in immediate care such as basic life support and spinal immobilisation. The students are also given an opportunity to accompany paramedic crews on routine and emergency calls in the capacity of supervised observers. The students benefit by developing a greater understanding of the challenges of pre-hospital emergency care and a deeper appreciation of the role of multidisciplinary team members in an emergency environment. Commenting on the success of the Pre-hospital emergency care module, NUI Galway's Dr. Flaherty said, "Feedback from the module has been overwhelmingly positive to date and it has been the most popular choice of module for second year students over the two years that it has been running. The module is another excellent example of seamless and fruitful partnership between the HSE and the School of Medicine. Both groups will benefit greatly from this academic initiative." Chief Ambulance Officer, HSE West, Mr. Paudie O Riordan said, "The Ambulance Service places great value on the relationship that has built up over the two years with our colleagues in the School of Medicine at NUI Galway. The relationship has benefited the Ambulance Service greatly and we are delighted at the positive response from the students". ends

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

NUI Galway's Boat Club successfully defended its senior titles and status as kingpins at the Irish National Rowing Championships last weekend in Cork. On Saturday afternoon, the NUI Galway rowers snatched victory in the main event, the Men's Senior Eights, claiming the 'Big Pot' by just 3 feet (0.19 seconds) from Queens University, Belfast who were hotly tipped to topple the reigning champions after a very successful season both at home and abroad. In an almost exact repeat of last year s epic showdown, NUI Galway came from behind to once again win on the line by the narrowest of margins. This year s victory was a more polished and confident performance from a very experienced and much-decorated group of athletes, who after this latest win boasts a staggering total of 75 Irish Senior Championship titles between them. The winning crew was Eddie Mullarkey, Jason Wall, Dave Mannion, Paul Giblin, Evin Donnelly, Alan Martin, Cormac Folan, James Wall and Ruadhán Cooke. The crew was coached by club stalwart Tom Tuohy. Four of the winning Eight had already retained their own Senior Fours Championship the previous day with an impressive display over an in-form UCD crew, recently victorious at Henley Royal Regatta. Male and female crews in the Novice and Intermediate grades represented the club with distinction and can draw inspiration from the success of the senior men for future campaigns. Speaking of the Boat Club s success, Gary Ryan, Elite Sports Development Officer at NUI Galway, said: "It is a fantastic achievement for the crews and their coach to win the two most prestigious men s events at the Irish National Rowing Championships. All of the rowers and coaches across the club deserve enormous credit for their work in making the NUI Galway Boat Club consistently one of the strongest clubs in Ireland and one which we are very proud of". -Ends-

Friday, 16 July 2010

NUI Galway named in top 3 universities to secure research funding Over €60m granted in capital and research programmes 3 new buildings funded at a cost of €50m 14 NUI Galway projects funded in total NUI Galway was named in the top three big winners, securing over € 60 million in research funding under PRTLI Cycle 5 - the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions, announced today (Friday, July 16), by An Taoiseach, Mr Brian Cowen T.D. The NUI Galway projects funded today include three new world-class research facilities, an Arts Humanities Social Sciences Research Building and two buildings dedicated to Biomedical Science Research, with a combined cost of €50m. The Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences Research Building will provide a unique research environment to transform Galway's rich cultural resources into social and economic opportunity. The new facility will be a national and international resource that integrates research and training in the Humanities, Digital Cultures, Creative Industries, Business, Social Sciences, Rights, Advocacy, and Public Policy. Funded under the theme of 'Advancing Medicine through Discovery', two new buildings for medical science research will enable NUI Galway to build on its existing strength in the biomedical sciences area, established through its National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES). The proposed infrastructure consists of two new facilities, a Biosciences Research Building on the main campus, and a Translational Research Facility, which will house basic, translational and clinical research teams on the site of Galway University Hospital. Today's result is of both regional and national significance as it enhances the infrastructure of the biomedical sciences research hub at NUI Galway, which is located at the centre of the medical device and healthcare industries in Ireland. The new facility will enhance the national capacity and international standing of Ireland in the biomedical sciences arena. In a major boost to graduate education, NUI Galway also received funding to lead two new structured PhD programmes, with a combined cost of €7m. A new Biomedical Engineering and Regenerative Medicine graduate education programme, which includes international and Medical Devices industry partners, will train graduates to be R&D and product development leaders in industry. A second PhD programme in clinical and translational biomedical research will focus on patient and disease oriented research and aims to produce scientists trained to translate discoveries into clinical and commercial application. NUI Galway is also a partner in several other funded projects including a Digital Arts and Humanities structured PhD programme which is linked to the new Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences Research Building. Welcoming the announcement, President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, said: "I am delighted to welcome this very substantial investment, which is a strong endorsement of NUI Galway's research activities. It is also a recognition of the work of the University's Foundation and its donors, who have provided very significant match funding for the major projects funded today. It is particularly gratifying to note the broad spread of the funding across projects in the Medical Sciences and in the Humanities and Social Sciences." "This is great news for NUI Galway, as well as for the broader higher education sector and for Irish industry. Today's announcement is a clear signal of the Government's commitment to delivering the knowledge economy. The investment in research infrastructure right across the country will have an immediate benefit in bringing much-needed jobs to the construction industry. Concentrating resources on biomedical science and arts, humanities and social sciences research at NUI Galway will have a major impact on the medical technologies and the creative arts industries in the West of Ireland. We have the opportunity now to provide two distinct Irish industry sectors with relevant, world-class research solutions, transforming national leadership into global competitiveness." Ends

Thursday, 15 July 2010

This week sees see the return for the fifth consecutive year of Whizzkids Summer Camps to NUI Galway. The summer camps offer fun and varied multimedia training to children and teenagers aged 8-15 years. The camps take place over two weeks, the first began on Monday, 12 July, and the second on will start on Monday, July 19. Children can engage in these hi-tech camps that cover web-design desktop publishing, movie-making and a host of hi-tech challenges in their "Spy Academy". Designed for children of all abilities, the week-long camp mixes indoor and outdoor action, with sports, stop-motion video, video game programming, code breaking and Crime Scene Investigation (CSI). The structured programme combines education and entertainment in way that allows children to explore the creative side of technology while acquiring valuable skills along the way. Participants of each camp have the opportunity to use state-of-the-art equipment that is normally only available to third level students. Each child has access to their own computer and get hands on time with mobile technologies such as digital cameras, Personal Digital Assistants (PDA s) and Blackberrys. The "Spy Academy" has proven a very popular facet of the summer programme during which children go on "missions" using digital cameras and hand held computers. Throughout the camp, attendees will learn to design their own website. They will also create a movie by putting together a storyboard, shooting the scenes on campus and editing the film. The videos are premiered at the end of the week on the big screen and each Whizzkid receives a copy of their video on CD along with their website as a keepsake. Garry Lowe, General Manager of Whizzkids Summer Camps, says "NUI Galway is the ideal setting for our hi-tech summer camp. The computing facilities are first class and the beautiful campus has a range of old and modern buildings that we can use for backdrops to our movies which range anything from a Harry Potter spoof to Espionage thrillers." Classes in the camp are broken up by age and those attending are supervised at all times by fully qualified teachers. There is a maximum of 60 places per week of camp and these are broken into three groups of 20. Full day camps are offered to 9-15 year olds from 9.30-3.30 each day. Half day camps are available for 8-ll year olds from 9.30 to 1.00 each day. For further information contact: 061 339178 or visit www.whizzkids.ie Ends

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Researchers at NUI Galway, developing innovative orthopaedic implants for hip and knee replacements, have been awarded an Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund Technology Development Grant. The new implants will be more effective for patients with decreased bone stock in the joint, particularly those who are receiving an implant for the second time and have lost bone from surgery to remove the first implant. Dr Pat McDonnell and Dr Noel Harrison, based in the Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering Department at the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) in NUI Galway, were awarded €400,000 to build on work completed from a previous Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund Technology Proof of Concept grant. The award will also see the continuation of a successful collaboration with orthopaedic consultant surgeon Bill Curtin of Merlin Park University Hospital, Galway. The implants will be made from titanium and will be designed to give better bone in-growth into the implant to improve the lifespan. Over 3,000 hip replacements are performed in the public sector in Ireland each year. Professor Frank Barry, Director of the NCBES, said: "The use of new engineering approaches to develop orthopaedic implants with enhanced properties is a central part of the NCBES research effort. I am delighted to see that this exciting and innovative project will be initiated in the near future". The project will run for two years where world-class biomechanical engineering facilities will allow the researchers to carry out detailed design, mechanical testing and histological analysis of the new implants, in order to validate the technology to attract potential industry partners and investors. The goal of the project will be to develop the technology to a stage where a partner orthopaedics company can be identified to bring the new implants through to clinical trials. This will be achieved with the support of the Technology Transfer Office at NUI Galway. Professor Peter McHugh, Head of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway, said: "This project demonstrates the wonderful synergy that can be achieved by integrating engineering, biology and clinical applications; this approach has been the cornerstone of NUI Galway's international achievements in biomedical engineering and of the development of the crucially important medical technology industry sector in the West of Ireland". Dr McDonnell and Dr Harrison both completed their PhD theses in the Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering Department while based in the NCBES in recent years, and their success in achieving this grant demonstrates the progression from fundamental research to innovative product development that is crucial for the enhancement of the knowledge economy in the West of Ireland. -Ends-

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

CAO First Preferences for NUI Galway increase by 18% in 2 years Figures released by the Central Applications Office (CAO) following the Change of Mind deadline of 1 July show another dramatic rise in demand for places at NUI Galway. First preference applications for undergraduate degrees at NUI Galway have increased by almost 18% in the last two years, as the University's popularity continues to soar. The current Sunday Times University of the Year, NUI Galway's share of the University sector's first preference applications now stands at 14.3%. President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, commented on the rising demand to study at the University: "We are seeing a phenomenal demand for places at NUI Galway. This is driven in part by the 20 new undergraduate courses which we have brought on stream over the last three years. There are also a range of new sports, arts and academic facilities on our state-of-the art campus. Another critical factor in attracting applicants is the University's commitment to providing our students with a learning experience that has relevance for the real world". Newer courses at NUI Galway include the extremely popular Energy Engineering, which was developed in direct response to calls from the energy sector for more energy engineers with the right combination of skills. Also popular is the new Engineering Innovation degree, combining traditional electronic engineering with business and entrepreneurship. The University also offers a Sports and Exercise Engineering degree, which is the first of its kind available in Ireland, and new students can look forward to the opening of a stunning new €40 million Engineering Building next year, which will be the largest School of Engineering in the country. Of the University's traditional courses, the Commerce degree has seen a huge increase in popularity, with a 25% increase in applications in recent months. Much of this success is due to innovative programme developments over the last year, including the addition of an industry-led module on innovation, creativity and enterprise where students are mentored by business leaders. The latest figures also show a dramatic increase of more than 60% in first preference applications to the Computer Science and Information Technology programme at NUI Galway. NUI Galway has also brought eight BA Connect degrees on-stream, in a radical departure from traditional Arts degrees. These four-year degrees are designed to increase the employability of graduates by developing distinctive skills and creating connections with life beyond the campus. This year, a new BA Connect degree with Latin American Studies was introduced, alongside the existing BA Connect programmes with either Children s Studies, Creative Writing, Film Studies, Human Rights, Irish Studies, Women s Studies or Theatre and Performance. At present, NUI Galway is the only Irish university offering a denominated degree in marine science and it now has the highest concentration of marine scientists of any institution in Ireland. This degree also offers training on board national training vessels in the third year of study. NUI Galway is also offering the first Podiatry degree in Ireland, which will train healthcare professionals who specialises in the medicine of the foot and leg. -Ends-

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Researchers at NUI Galway have made a discovery that could lead to the development of more effective treatments for a number of diseases. They have shown that a protein produced when cells are stressed interacts with a stress sensor allowing cells to survive conditions of intense stress. Understanding this interaction may help scientists interfere with cancer cells so they can no longer survive exposure to stressful conditions. These findings are published next week in the online, open access journal PLoS Biology. Healthy cells are not usually under stress, but unhealthy cells, such as cancer cells, are often under considerable stress because they grow rapidly in places where they are not supposed to grow. When a cell is under these stressful conditions, the stress protein Hsp70 is activated to help the cell. Professor Afshin Samali, lead author of the publication and head of the Department of Biochemistry at NUI Galway, and his team have discovered that under cell stress conditions Hsp70 interacts with a receptor in the cell, activating survival mechanisms and preventing apoptosis, the normal cell death mechanism. By understanding more about Hsp70 and the way it functions, scientists can learn how to block its function, allowing unhealthy cells to succumb to stress and die . This could have significant implications in the development of new cancer drugs, which would block the protein to encourage tumor cell death. In contrast in diseases where there is too much cell death such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's Disease, and Diabetes, increasing the levels of Hsp70 could potentially be used to help these cells to survive stressful conditions. Professor Samali added: "Our results have identified a novel protein-protein interaction that helps cancer cells to survive stressful growth conditions. By interfering with this interaction we hope to develop a new class of anticancer drugs. This work was funded by Science Foundation Ireland and will have a significant impact on cancer research and drug design". -Ends-

Monday, 5 July 2010

Eleven NUI Galway 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. Nine of the NUI Galway awardees are from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway: Catherine O'Connor from Dunmore, Co. Galway; Maria Costello from Grattan Road, Galway; Blathnaid Murphy from Mullingar, Co. Westmeath; Caitriona Fahy from Loughrea, Co. Galway; Bríd Reale from Murroe, Limerick; Kate Fitzpatrick from Clonmel, Co. Waterford; Ruairí Irwin from Castlebar, Co. Mayo; Nicola Kavanagh from Arklow, Co. Wicklow; and Andrew Carroll from Knocknacarra, Galway. Also included in the scholarships were John Birrane from Ballina, Co. Mayo and Noreen Lenihan from Knocknagoshel, Co. Kerry, from the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies. 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: "The School of Medicine is delighted and proud of our medical students who have been awarded Summer Research Scholarships from the HRB. These awards are highly competitive and reflect the calibre of our students and supervisors. The strategic plan for the School of Medicine aims to embed research as an integral part of the undergraduate curriculum and encourage all students to become research active. These awards will promote this aim". -Ends-

Monday, 5 July 2010

NUI Galway has issued a final call for applications to its Sports Scholarships Scheme for 2010/11. NUI Galway has a long tradition of excellence in sport and this has been enhanced by the recent success in Rowing, Hurling, Basketball, Soccer and Rugby as well as numerous individual achievements. The deadline for application for current and prospective students is Friday, 30 July. The Scholarship Programme is aimed at student-athletes of outstanding calibre who register as students of the University. In the current academic year, student athletes at NUI Galway received significant financial and professional support services. The scholarships aim to help aspiring young sportspeople to continue to develop their sporting prowess. Through the Sports Scholarship Scheme some 50 students were supported in sports such as Athletics, Basketball, Gaelic Football and Hurling, Cycling, Rowing, Rugby, Soccer, Swimming and Tennis. Applicants for sports scholarships must satisfy the academic criteria for entry to NUI Galway and must have applied to the CAO in the usual manner. Gary Ryan is Elite Sports Development Officer at NUI Galway: "The Sports Scholarship at NUI Galway is aimed at helping our athletes get better at their sport while they are succeeding academically at university, it is not just a reward for what you have achieved in the past it is an award to help you get better in the future". A former Irish Olympian and record-breaking sprinter, Gary Ryan sees a bright future for the NUI Galway sports scholarships: "Our efforts in developing a high performance sports environment in NUI Galway have already shown significant success with a large number of our Sports Scholarship students representing national teams and the success of our Hurling, Basketball, Soccer and Rugby teams amongst others in the past year. All of these achievements have been secured by students who are also receiving a world class education, and being supported by the scheme to meet the challenges of these dual goals" For the Scholarships, students who meet the University's entry requirements will be selected on merit by an independent panel. In addition to the scholarship, students will receive specialist support including physiotherapy, treatment of injury, fitness training, coaching and support for travel to national and international competitions. More details on the Sports Scholarship Scheme at http://www.nuigalway.ie/student-life/campus-activities/sports.html-Ends-

Monday, 5 July 2010

NUI Galway and Leitrim County Council have announced that the fourth John McGahern International Seminar commemorating the work of the renowned Irish writer, will take place from 22-24 July in Co. Leitrim. Last year's International Seminar attracted more than 150 participants from Ireland and overseas. The theme of the seminar is 'Literature and Education', and the keynote lecture will be given by Fintan O'Toole of The Irish Times. Dr John Kenny, John McGahern Lecturer in Creative Writing at NUI Galway says: "It is particularly exciting this year to have Fintan O'Toole as our keynote speaker. Not only is Fintan one of the foremost journalists in the analysis of modern Irish society and politics, as he demonstrates again in his recent book Ship of Fools, but he has also long been one of our most astute cultural and literary critics. His lecture promises to be an ideal combination of attention to McGahern's own work and the context of education in Ireland today". Other speakers at the event will include Dr Stanley van der Ziel of University College Dublin; Professor Joan Dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City; Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement at NUI Galway; and the American short story writer, David Means. Dr John Kenny added: "This year's theme is especially appropriate at a time when Irish education at all levels is experiencing enormous challenges. As the son of a teacher and as a trained primary teacher himself, McGahern had a natural lifelong interest in education and this is deeply reflected in his fiction. He was an articulate exponent of the key role of reading and imaginative development in education – again and again in his essays and lectures he extolled the virtues of literary study". There will also be a viewing of the screen adaptation of McGahern's major novel, Amongst Women, after which the screenwriter, Adrian Hodges, will give a talk and discuss his encounter with McGahern's work. The Seminar will include guided visits to John McGahern's home places in Aughawillan, Ballinamore and Mohill in Co. Leitrim, and Cootehall in Co. Roscommon. As well as appealing to all lovers of McGahern's own work, the International Seminar will be of interest to literary researchers and to book clubs, to readers of contemporary fiction and modern writing, and to all national and international students of Irish literature and culture. This year's Seminar will also see the publication of volume 3 of The John McGahern Yearbook, edited by Dr John Kenny. The Yearbook is a lavishly illustrated hardback and it includes proceedings of the 2009 Seminar as well as a range of articles by writers and critics. The book will be launched on the opening night by Professor Seán Ryder, Head of English at NUI Galway. In addition to the public seminar, NUI Galway has organised the third intensive International Summer School on McGahern's work and its contexts which will form part of the University's 27th International Summer School in Irish Studies. The Summer School is designed for advanced level students and researchers who are interested in the writings of John McGahern and his life and times in 20th Century Ireland. The Summer School incorporates the International Seminar and continues at the County Library, Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim the week after the Seminar. The 2009 Summer School was attended by students from Italy and the United States as well as Ireland. Contributors to this year's Summer School, directed by Dr John Kenny, will include David Means; Denis Sampson, author of Outstaring Nature's Eye: The Fiction of John McGahern; Irish authors Kevin Barry and Mike McCormack; Dr Frank Shovlin of the Institute of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool and Belinda McKeon of Columbia University, New York. Special guest writers will discuss the creative and local contexts of McGahern's life and work. Announcing the McGahern events, President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, said: "Through the John McGahern International Seminar and Summer School NUI Galway is working to broaden access to the study of the craft of writing. We are delighted to share the riches of the McGahern archive with the widest possible audience. In holding this important archive in the West of Ireland, we hold in trust a treasure for the world of literary scholarship; for the Irish nation and especially for this region which we have served for over 160 years. I wish the 2010 McGahern International Seminar & Summer School every success and I welcome the continued partnership of Leitrim County Council in this culturally important endeavour". Speaking at the launch of the 2010 programme, Leitrim County Manager, Jackie Maguire, said: "Leitrim County Council is delighted to work in partnership with NUI Galway in organising the fourth International Seminar and Summer School. The Seminar is now an important part of Ireland's literary calendar and presents an excellent opportunity for both academic and general readers to engage richly with the work of John McGahern". For further details on The John McGahern International Seminar & Summer School contact 091-495442 or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/iss -Ends-

Thursday, 1 July 2010

The University of Limerick and NUI Galway today (Thursday, 1 July) launched a new four-year structured PhD in New Media and Film. This development is one of the initiatives to come out of the NUI Galway-UL Alliance recently launched by An Taoiseach Brian Cowen T.D and will start in September 2010. Also announced at the launch was a Fellowship initiative to support the joint PhD through the award of a Doctoral Scholarship to the value of €15,000, to a student of the programme at each institution. The Scholarships are tenable for a maximum of four years. This structured doctoral programme is run jointly by the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway and the School of Languages, Literature, Culture and Communication at University of Limerick. It aims to promote research that integrates theoretical discourses on the impact of digital media on cultural and social expression with practical concerns and the media industries. Dean of UL's Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science, Professor Pat O'Connor, welcomed the announcement: "This exciting development at fourth level exemplifies the way in which cross institutional collaboration can advance the Arts and Humanities in an innovative medium. The collaboration demonstrates that the combined strengths of universities can create innovative teaching programmes and move research to a higher level". Professor Pat O'Connor added: "The issues this new research initiative promises to address are of great significance for the art of cinema and for culture. The impact of digital technologies on the way audio visual works is produced and, importantly, how they are received and understood by audiences, will be at the centre of media research for some time". Dr Rod Stoneman, Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media at NUI Galway, said: "Access to a wider range of complementary courses in a neighbouring university will enhance the possibilities for research in both institutions and build on our strengths". Contemporary work in this area is at the leading edge of study linking digital media to the traditions of narrative and image making. Whilst academically strong, the research should also lead to new concepts that are applicable to practice. It is based on the complementary nature of developed areas of teaching and research at both institutions. Dr David Coughlan, of UL's School of Languages, Literature, Culture and Communication: "Recent recognition of Irish achievements in film and visual effects shows that Ireland can compete internationally in the fields of new media and film, combining artistic brilliance with technical excellence. In the context of a media industry constantly seeking technical innovation and original vision, this unique programme, the result of UL's alliance with NUI Galway, represents an important investment in, and commitment to, Ireland's creative future." The NUI Galway-UL Alliance is an institution-wide alliance across all areas of activity including teaching, research, technology transfer, lifelong learning and the provision of services. The new Alliance will see NUI Galway and UL collaborate extensively in the area of teaching and learning. Exciting new initiatives include a unique 'Link to Learn' student exchange programme, which will enable students at either university to choose modules from the other institution as part of their programme. Other developments include the creation of a new joint Medical Academy at Portiuncula and Roscommon Hospitals, in addition to the development of a programme of activities to respond to the national objectives of building strong foundations in mathematics and science in primary and second level education. -Ends-

Thursday, 1 July 2010

A new book entitled The Criminal Process by Tom O'Malley, Senior Lecturer in Law at NUI Galway, provides a detailed analysis of all the key elements of the criminal process. Among the topics covered are the essential ingredients of a fair trial, the allocation of criminal jurisdiction, arrest and detention, investigation and search powers, prosecution and indictment, bail, the trial process, summary procedure, prejudicial publicity, delay, disclosure and preservation of evidence, confessions and the right to silence, the jury, sentencing principles, judicial review and other post-conviction remedies. While primarily devoted to Irish law and the relevant jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, it also draws extensively for comparative purposes on case law from other common-law jurisdictions such as England and Wales, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. This text, published by the leading international publishers Thomson Reuters, runs to 1,200 pages and is the only comprehensive legal text to deal with recently enacted legislation including the Criminal Justice Acts 2006 and 2007, the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act 2009, the Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009. In the Preface to his book, Mr O'Malley highlights the need for more parliamentary scrutiny of criminal legislation before enactment; the desirability of monitoring the operation and implementation of legislation once it comes into force; and the urgent need for a systematic consolidation of existing criminal justice legislation. "The Criminal Process is set to establish itself as the leading text for criminal lawyers and is our best-selling law book for Round Hall this year. It has been extremely well received by criminal law practitioners" says Catherine Dolan, Commercial Manager at Round Hall, a subsidiary of Thomson Reuters. Tom O'Malley is a Senior Lecturer in Law at NUI Galway and a practising barrister. He has served on several law reform bodies, including a committee established to review the qualifications for appointment to the High Court and Supreme Court judiciary. He is currently a member of a steering committee appointed by the Courts Service to consider the establishment of a sentencing information system. He is the author of the leading Irish treatises on sentencing, sexual offences and sources of law, and has published many law journal articles. The Criminal Process is available to buy from Round Hall, www.roundhall.ie or 01 662 5301. -Ends-

Monday, 28 June 2010

NUI Galway, through the Health Research Board (HRB) Clinical Research Facility and the University's College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, recently announced the launch of a new graduate programme in Clinical Research. Medical research is an area of increasing focus within the Irish health sector, and the proposed MSc in Clinical Research will be the first of its kind in Ireland. The MSc in Clinical Research will begin this September and will provide training for the next generation of healthcare workers in research design, biostatistics and administration. Specifically, the course targets individuals who wish to become Principal Investigators or pursue a career in the operation, monitoring and control of clinical research. Initial intake will be restricted to ten places and will involve blended learning through a combination of didactic lectures, problem-based learning and distance learning and will be provided on a full-time or a part-time capacity. Course contributors include senior academics and medical professionals, who are actively engaged in clinical research from NUI Galway, Galway University Hospitals and McMaster University Canada. Commenting on the new course, Professor Larry Egan, Vice-Dean of Research, College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, NUI Galway and Interim Director, HRB Clinical Research Facility, Galway said: "The absence of a graduate programme in Clinical Research has been a deficit in Irish education and healthcare. We welcome the MSc in Clinical Research, which will support our research activity at the HRB-Clinical Research Facility". "This innovative course will train a new generation of Clinician Scientists to the highest level. It addresses an important unmet need in medical education. We are especially excited about the association with McMaster University, a world-leader in clinical research" said Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of School of Medicine at NUI Galway. Aimed at individuals employed in the healthcare sector, this course has been developed to meet the needs of working graduates who wish to up-skill, specialise or change career direction. Course directors for the MSc in Clinical Research are Professor Martin O'Donnell and Dr John Newell of the HRB Clinical Research Facility, Galway, and Dr Aideen O'Doherty, National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science, NUI Galway. NUI Galway welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Health & Children Mary Harney TD earlier this year that € 7.5m in capital funding is being provided for the construction of a new Clinical Research Facility on the grounds of University Hospital Galway. The HRB Clinical Research Facility Galway is a joint venture between Galway University Hospitals and NUI Galway. The facility is supported by funding from the Health Research Board and has been operating since March of 2008. The purpose of the Clinical Research Facility (CRF) is to improve human health through the generation of new medical knowledge from patient based research. The guiding philosophy of the CRF is to stimulate, engage and support health care professionals from diverse areas of expertise to undertake high quality clinical research. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 15 July. For further details on the course visit www.crfg.ieor www.nuigalway.ie/courses/taught-postgraduate-courses/clinical-research.html. -Ends-

Monday, 28 June 2010

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Eamon Ryan T.D. officially launched the B.E. Programme in Energy Systems Engineering today (Monday, 28 June) at NUI Galway. The new course, which will be based in the new Engineering Building currently under construction at NUI Galway, has been developed in partnership with key members of the Energy industry including; ESB, GE Energy, Airtricity, Bord Gáis, Wavebob, a wave energy technology company, and ARUPS and RPS, two consulting engineers' practices. Speaking at the launch, Minister Ryan said: "The Government has set out ambitious plans for energy, and particularly renewable energy over the next ten years. In order for these plans to come to fruition, we must seek to build on our technical expertise, and continue to add to the highly-skilled energy workforce in this country. These are the skills we need to move from our current level of 15% renewable electricity to 40% by 2020 and to develop this industry to its full potential. It is in developing a strong academic platform, with practical, on-site experience that our future successes will be guaranteed. I must commend NUI Galway and its industry partners for their foresight in developing this course, which I'm sure, will be in great demand". The strong links with industry provides the degree programme with very practical routes. The partnership will also support innovation and technology transfer, working with a cluster of energy companies in the West of Ireland including Wavebob, Eirecomposties, Enerit, and C&F Engineering. The Energy Systems Engineering programme will incorporate aspects of traditional civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, with emphasis on energy policy, economics, environmental issues and a strong focus on informatics. The programme will include a range of additional optional modules which will provide students with maximum flexibility to choose from diverse career paths. The multidisciplinary programme will culminate in integrated design projects that address the sourcing, conversion and utilisation of energy. Subjects on offer will also include strong elements of civic engagement and service learning, with, for example, student volunteers travelling to India and Africa to install solar systems. Students are also required to study a broad range of related subjects, including Economics, Sociology and Politics, and Law and Science. The current National Development Plan and Programme for Government have placed a strong focus addressing energy issues. The new course on offer has been developed to meet a range of requirements of the 'Green Tech' sector and will play a key role in the furthering the Government's Smart Economy agenda. Additionally, the Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation listed energy as a research priority. The course will enhance and further support the strong energy research activity that already exists on the NUI Galway campus. Graduates of the programme will be multidisciplinary engineers equipped to solve problems across the whole spectrum of energy systems. The new degree programme can be applied for through the CAO as change of mind option. Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, says; "The B.E. in Energy Systems Engineering at NUI Galway is designed to meet Ireland's future demand for graduates in the emerging energy sectors. The new programme builds on a strong tradition of engineering in the University going back more than 150 years. These energy graduates are critical to Ireland's recovery and can play a crucial role in the emerging fields of renewable energy and smart grids". Dr James J. Browne, President of NUI Galway, commented on the new course: "NUI Galway is well positioned to deliver such an engineering programme in energy, as it has a strong range of all relevant engineering disciplines within its College of Engineering and Informatics. The new Engineering Building on campus, due for completion next summer, incorporates many sustainable energy and environmentally friendly features. In itself, the building will provide a real-life experimental environment for students of the new programme". -Ends-

Friday, 25 June 2010

Four outstanding individuals were conferred with honorary degrees from NUI Galway today, Friday 25 June, 2010. Those honoured were Bernard Collins, Anne Maria Dennison, John Killeen and Seán Ó hUiginn. Speaking at the conferring ceremony, NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne said: "NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals. In different ways, they represent and exemplify the talents and achievements of modern Ireland in the fields of business, engineering, international relations and social and cultural development. We are delighted to honour them individually as well as the groups they represent". Bernard Collins – Doctor of Laws Bernard Collins is a seasoned businessman with 30 years international management experience. Mr Collins is an investor, chairman and non-executive director of several medical device companies, six of whom are based in Galway. One of the highlights of his career was bringing Boston Scientific Corporation to Ireland and establishing Lifemed, to promote growth and partnership in lifescience companies. He is a non-executive director of IDA Ireland, Creganna, Irish Life & Permanent and Arc Royal and a board member of IDA Ireland. He also holds the position of chairman of Vhi Healthcare, Heartsine Inc USA, Haptica, AnsaMed, Proxy Biomedical, Aerogen Ireland Ltd / Aerosurge Ireland Ltd, Vysera, Vivasure Medical and Creagh Medical. He is Chairman of Cancer Care West, the largest cancer patient support centre in Ireland which in 2007 opened Inis Aoibhinn, a residence for patients undergoing radiotherapy treatment at University Hospital Galway. Anne Maria Dennison – Doctor of Arts Anne Maria Dennison is National President of the Irish Countrywomen s Association (ICA) which celebrates its centenary in 2010. A native of Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick, she joined the ICA in 1989 and over the past 21 years she has held leadership roles at every level of the ICA, the largest women's organisation in Ireland,. Anne Maria has represented ICA, on Limerick County Community and Voluntary Forum and has been Honorary Secretary of its Executive Committee. She has been a member of Limerick County Council Cultural Action Group, with responsibility for organising a programme of events in Limerick County during Seachtain na Gaeilge. She participated in the National Economic Social Forum on Child Literacy and Social Inclusion Project and is currently a member of the Teagasc Education and Training Forum. John Killeen – Doctor of Laws Born in Roscommon, John Killeen, began his career with structural engineering firm, Stanislaus Kenny & Partners in Dublin where he worked as assistant project manager on Ireland's first large scale tunnel project, the Grand Canal Scheme. Mr Killeen is CEO of the Colas Group (Cold Chon) and Chairman of the Galway Docklands Redevelopment Committee. Mr Killeen is a fellow of the Institute of Civil Engineers in London, the Insitute of Engineers of Ireland (now Engineers Ireland) and the Academy of Engineers of Ireland. He is former President of the Institute of Engineers in Ireland and former Chairman of Engineers Ireland, West Region. In 1997 he was Founding President of the Academy of Engineering in Ireland. As Chairman of 'Let s Do It Galway' he led the effort that brought the Volvo Ocean Race to Galway. In May this year he was honoured with the Freedom of the City of Galway for his work in promoting the development of Galways docklands for bringing successive international festivals to Galway as part of the last and next Volvo Ocean Race. Seán Ó hUiginn – Doctor of Laws NUI Galway graduate and Mayo native, Seán Ó hUiginn, has held a succession of key roles in the Department of Foreign Affairs including Secretary to the Irish Embassy in Berne, Deputy Head of the Irish Delegation to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, Consul General of Ireland in New York, Irish Ambassador to Saudia Arabia, Joint Secretary of the Anglo-Irish Secretariat in Belfast, Ambassador to Denmark and headed the Anglo-Irish Division of the Department as Second Secretary. Mr Ó hUiginn was appointed Irish Ambassador to the United States in 1997 and served as Irish Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany from 2002 to 2006 and from then to retirement in 2009 as Irish Ambassador to Italy. He holds honorary doctorates from several American universities and was appointed Grand Officer of the order Della Stella della Solidarita Italiana by the Italian Government. Today's graduands join the ranks of previous honorary conferees which include among many others Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Christy O Connor Snr and Jnr, Enya, Sean Purcell, the late Merv Griffin, Anjelica Huston and Fionnuala Flanagan. -Ends-

Thursday, 24 June 2010

NUI Galway will host the Irish Conference of Medievalists from 25–27 June 2010. More than 70 medievalists from Ireland, Australia, Finland, Germany, the US and the UK will come together for the 24th annual gathering to attend a series of 15 sessions covering the latest research in history, literature and archaeology. The keynote address on Friday 25 June, will be given by Professor Thomas Charles-Edwards and is entitled 'Wales and the Irish, 400–700,' Professor Charles-Edwards is the author of the acclaimed study Early Christian Ireland (Cambridge 2007), which the journal History described as 'THE definitive book on Ireland between the fourth and ninth centuries.' Further sessions of the conference will cover a range of subjects from crowd control in sixth-century Clonmacnoise to sheela-na-gigs (often obscene female figures found on the walls of medieval churches). Two areas of special emphasis will be panels on the Amrae Coluimb Chille, the Old Irish lament for St Columba, and reports on the latest work done by the Discovery programme, the public institution set up to pursue advanced research in Irish archaeology. NUI Galway's Dr Jacopo Bisagni, chair of the Galway organising committee, said, 'The Irish Conference of Medievalists is one of the largest medieval conferences in Ireland, so it's a real privilege for us to host it this year. All of us in Galway are looking forward to three days of interesting papers and good craic.' -Ends-

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

NUI Galway, in collaboration with St Vincent de Paul, Croí na Gaillimhe Resource Centre and Galway Community College, yesterday (Tuesday, 22 June) launched a new community model of Intergenerational Learning, adapting the University's current Living Scenes Intergenerational Programme, which has been operating in Irish Secondary Schools for the last ten years. The current school-based model of Living Scenes is a groundbreaking educational programme, the first of its kind in Ireland and Europe, possibly even worldwide. The innovative programme was first piloted in Galway City's Presentation Secondary School in 1999, and quickly became established as part of its Transition Year. Living Scenes has since developed and expanded through partnerships between NUI Galway and five further secondary schools: Calasanctius College, Oranmore, Co. Galway; Millstreet Community School, Millstreet, Co. Cork; St Flannan's College, Ennis, Co. Clare; St Joseph's Secondary School, Charlestown, Co. Mayo; and St Joseph's Secondary School, Tulla, Co. Clare. NUI Galway's Director of the Living Scenes Programme, Dr Mary Surlis, contends that: "At a time when there is a serious erosion of social fabric evident in Irish Society, Living Scenes aims to respond to the growing need for communication and trust in local communities, regenerating relationships between the older and younger generations is crucial in responding to the challenge currently facing our society. Working with Croí na Gaillimhe Resource Centre and the Galway Community College provides an ideal opportunity to extend the current remit of the programme to a wider target group and the University is delighted to be involved in this collaboration". The Living Scenes Community Programme is a collaborative education initiative which will target teenagers and retired older adults. This model will be based in Croí na Gaillimhe Resource Centre (St. Vincent's de Paul), participants will take part in a weekly structured curriculum over a 30 week period. The programme will focus on positively impacting on the lives of both groups through empowering, enabling and relationship building in a specifically designed learning environment which allows both groups to develop, bond and form new relationships and friendships. Commenting on the potential for the programme Loretta Needham, Centre Manager, Croí na Gaillimhe Resource Centre, said: "This new programme, assisted by the Maureen O'Connell Fund of the Society of St Vincent de Paul, offers an exciting opportunity for us to link with NUI Galway and to be involved in piloting a community model of Intergenerational Learning which will benefit a wide spectrum of our participants throughout Galway City and County and further afield". Rita Duffy, Principal Galway Community College, comments: "It is heartening for us to see NUI Galway reach out to young people who have no tradition of third-level education in their families or communities. Society is losing a wealth of talent and creativity because the gifts of these young people remain under-developed. Our students, like all teenagers, invest heavily in relationships. We are delighted that they will have an opportunity to work with and benefit from the wisdom of people who have faced and overcome many of life s challenges. We welcome the opportunity for our students to engage in learning that is meaningful, relevant and attainable. Galway Community College is particularly grateful to Dr Mary Surlis for this exciting new initiative and to Loretta Needham for investing in the education and welfare of our students". President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne: "NUI Galway is committed to a strong ethos of civic engagement. We develop this by fostering a sense of social responsibility and citizenship amongst students and by working to share the knowledge resources of the University with the wider community. The Living Scenes programme of intergenerational learning is the embodiment of that ethos - reaching from the University into the heart of the community to work in an intergenerational capacity with younger and older people. As President, I am proud of the unique and pioneering work which NUI Galway has led, through Living Scenes, in building social cohesion in Ireland". -Ends-

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

NUI Galway has become the first university outside North America to form a University Course Curriculum partnership with the American Council on Exercise® (ACE®). This partnership will provide NUI Galway with access to the ACE curriculum specifically designed for universities. ACE has formed similar partnerships with a range of prestigious North American universities including Stanford, Duke and Purdue. NUI Galway will initially use the ACE curriculum in the University's BE/MEngSc Sports & Exercise Engineering (SEE) programme. The partnership means that Sports & Exercise Engineering students at NUI Galway, by successfully completing the SEE programme, will have covered the curriculum for the ACE Personal Trainer and ACE Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist programmes, and thus will have the option of taking the exams for certification on both ACE programmes. Such certification has worldwide acceptance, providing additional opportunities for graduates to make meaningful and positive contributions to the health and fitness industry. Founded in 1985, ACE is a recognised leader in the field of physical fitness and has more than 50,000 certified health and fitness professionals in 110 countries. ACE is a non-profit organisation committed to enriching quality of life through safe and effective exercise and physical activity. ACE sets itself the goal of protecting all segments of society against ineffective fitness products, programmes and trends through its ongoing public education, outreach and research. ACE further protects the public by setting certification and continuing education standards for fitness professionals. Speaking about the new partnership, Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin, Head of Electrical & Electronic Engineering and SEE Course Director, said: "This is a very exciting development for NUI Galway as it aligns us with the United States' premier exercise promotion and training body and provides us with the opportunity to deliver the ACE curriculum to our student over the course of the Sports & Exercise Engineering programme". "We are pleased to share our leading curriculum with NUI Galway", said Scott Goudeseune, ACE's President and Chief Operating Officer. "It's exciting to see ACE's certification programs provide students on a global scale with enhanced credibility and the opportunity to educate, motivate, inspire and train others. We are confident that this partnership will help students make a difference in the fitness industry". The NUI Galway BE/MEngSc Sports and Exercise Engineering programme is a professional Engineering programme whose graduates will design systems for monitoring, performing and improving sport and exercise performance. The Sports and Exercise Engineering programme has four elements to the education of its graduates: Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Sports Science and Health Science. This development occurs as NUI Galway add a suite of Sports Science modules to the SEE programme, including Applied Exercise Physiology, Kinesiology of Human Movement, Sports and Exercise Psychology, and Exercise Prescription and Programming in the second semester of third year. The addition of these modules to the programme will provide students with a strong grounding in the science of sports and exercise and prepare the students for work in the sports and exercise industries. Electrical & Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway has also appointed Ted Vickey as Chair of the Industrial Advisory Board for the Sports & Exercise Engineering programme to advise the University on the further development of the SEE programme. Mr Vickey is President of FitWell LLC. He served as Executive Director of the White House Athletic Center from 1994 to 2005 for the George H.W. Bush, Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. From 2001 to 2007, he was Vice-President of Comprehensive Health Services, Inc. "It is an honor to serve as Chair of the Industrial Advisory Board for the Sports and Exercise Engineering programme," said Vickey. "As a champion of ACE and the important work this organization does in North America, I look forward to promoting ACE's mission within NUI Galway and educating students on the importance of enriching quality of life through safe and effective exercise and physical activity". Commenting on the new developments in the Sports & Exercise Engineering programme at NUI Galway, Professor Gerard Lyons, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics said "I am delighted to see these important new developments in the Sports & Exercise Engineering programme at NUI Galway and particularly welcome the new partnership with the American Council on Exercise, which will provide international input into the SEE programme. At NUI Galway we are particularly proud to be the first university outside North America to form a university partnership with ACE". For further information on the NUI Galway Sports and Exercise Engineering programme visit http://www.eee.nuigalway.ie/Courses/see_gy411.html. To learn more about ACE visit www.acefitness.org. -Ends-