Tuesday, 9 November 2010

NUI Galway Gaelic Games will celebrate the 50th anniversary reunion of the 1960 NUI Galway Sigerson Cup Champions at a special event in the University on 19 November. This group of men, who captured the coveted crown, possessed a large number of players who later went on to become household names in the GAA world of the 1960s. This reunion aims to honour those men who in their tenure within the college brought honour and distinction to the college jersey. In the 1960 final UCG, as it was known at that time, defeated the stern challenge of UCD as Galway native George Glynn, who later captured All Ireland honours with his adopted Down in 1968, lifted the famed Sigerson Cup. This UCG side was littered with some famous names none more so than Pat Donnellan, who won three in a row All Ireland s with Galway alongside another three in a row team mate Martin Newell. Martin later became one of the leading Professors of Mathematics in Ireland and lectured for many years in NUI Galway. Hugh McGonigle (Sligo), Mike Laide (Kerry and Galway), John S Kelly (Roscommon), Des Feely (Roscommon), Joe Langan (Mayo), Sean Donnelly (Longford), and Tony Kenny (Roscommon) were others who starred with UCG and later at inter-county level. The Chairman of the Club who did much to develop Gaelic games in the college and was involved in preparing this team was Professor Owen McKenna who was father to the late actress Siobhan McKenna. Gaelic Games Officer at NUI Galway Michael O Connor says "It is an honour for the football club of the college and the GAA organisation with the university to honour these legends of the game who in their tenure within the college brought honour and distinction to the college jersey and continued to do so in sport and their professional lives over the last 50 years. We welcome them back to their Alma Mater and we hope the happy memories garnered around the college quad and the fields of Galway and beyond preparing for Sigerson 1960 will be rekindled. "These men along with many other successful football and hurling sides in this period helped lay the template for future successes that the college enjoyed in the 60s and 70s and NUI Galway GAA would like to welcome them back for this deserved reunion." The reunion will be held in the boardroom in the Quadrangle, NUI Galway on 19 November followed by lunch in the college bar. -Ends-

Monday, 8 November 2010

NUI Galway, in conjunction with partner college St. Angela's College, Sligo, will hold an Information Evening from 7-9pm on Thursday, 11 November, in the Sligo Park Hotel, Pearse Road, Sligo. This event is for students who are considering applying to NUI Galway and St. Angela's College, Sligo, and for their parents or guardians. The Information Evening will commence with a series of short talks about NUI Galway and St. Angela's College and the courses on offer. Current students and representatives from the five colleges of the University will be on hand at information stands to answer any questions visitors may have. "This is an excellent opportunity to talk to representatives from all of NUI Galway's Colleges and St. Angela's College, Sligo about the subjects of interest. It is also a chance to find out about practical issues like accommodation, fees, scholarships, and new programmes on offer at both institutes", said Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. Ms Loughnane added: "Choosing a University is one of the most important decisions in a young person's life, and we offer a University with a strong reputation for top quality teaching and a proven track record in producing graduates with the right mix of skills and knowledge to succeed in an increasingly uncertain job market." NUI Galway continues to increase its number of undergraduate applications with an increase in the order of 18% in CAO first preference applications over the last two years. NUI Galway's increased popularity is in part due to a whole suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market, including an Energy Engineering degree, eight BA CONNECT programmes and a Math and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. To find out more about the Information Evening in Sligo, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Gráinne Dunne at: grainne.dunne@nuigalway.ie or 087- 2440858. -Ends-

Monday, 8 November 2010

In a major boost for Regenerative Medicine research in Ireland, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Mr Batt O'Keeffe T.D. today announced funding of almost €10 million for the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway. Funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), REMEDI is Ireland's leading biomedical research institute focusing on translating stem cell biology to regenerative therapeutics. Today's announcement will allow REMEDI to take research findings from the first phase of its operation and move towards clinical trials for new therapies and treatments for degenerative diseases. Minister O Keeffe said the €9.69 million Government investment would help scientists to develop practical medical applications for their research. "For six years, leading scientists, engineers, clinicians and industry partners in REMEDI have worked towards new therapies to help organ and tissue repair and regeneration. The emphasis in recent years has been on commercialising ground-breaking work undertaken in the REMEDI laboratories. The support of the Government through an award of over €9 million from Science Foundation Ireland will help REMEDI to move their research to the next stage of clinical trials which could produce new therapies for human health, said Minister O Keeffe, who reiterated the Government s commitment to investment in research and innovation. Regenerative Medicine is an evolving and exciting area of medical science, which aims to regenerate tissue thus avoiding the need for organ replacement and the associated problems with sourcing of donor organs. Developments in the field hold enormous potential for the treatment of currently untreatable degenerative diseases. In a partnership involving scientists, engineers, clinicians, and industry partners, researchers at REMEDI aim to develop novel therapies to achieve organ and tissue repair and regeneration. The Regenerative Medicine Institute is particularly focused on developing new therapies and treatments for diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus and osteoarthritis. Today's funding announcement comes on the back of additional support for regenerative medicine research at NUI Galway with a recent Higher Education Authority award of PRTLI funding to the value of €37 million for a Biosciences Research building and a Translational Research Facility. These 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 Biosciences Research Building, which is currently under construction and due for completion in 2011, is located on the main campus, while the Translational Research Facility will house basic, translational and clinical research teams on the site of University Hospital Galway and will open in 2012. The development of the Translational Research Facility at the hospital will promote the international standing of both the University and University Hospital Galway as a leading centre for translational research and cancer care. In a third development in the biomedical sciences area, a new Clinical Research Facility on the grounds of University Hospital Galway will open in 2012. The HRB Clinical Research Facility Galway is a joint venture between Galway University Hospitals and NUI Galway, with funding from the Health Research Board and Health Service Executive. This third facility will serve as the translational arm of REMEDI and will allow findings from basic research in stem cells, gene therapy, biomaterials and immunology to be brought to the clinical trial stage. NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne added: "We in NUI Galway are very proud of the work of REMEDI. In the six years since its establishment, the Institute has developed a critical mass of scientific research and industry partnerships with multi-national and indigenous companies. As it moves into the next exciting phase of development, REMEDI will bring new therapies and treatments for degenerative diseases to clinical trial here in Galway. This is ground breaking work and will support Ireland's position at the forefront of the medical technology sector globally." As REMEDI's focus shifts towards translating research into human therapies, its partnerships with industry will take on a new significance. Advances in regenerative medicine will have important advantages for the progression of research and development in the medical device industry, which is critical to the economy of the West of Ireland. The Institute's already successful collaborative relationship with Medtronic, a global leader in medical device technologies, will continue to grow; while new partnerships have been established with indigenous SME companies including Creganna-Tactyx Medical, Procure, Ovagen, Proxy Biomedical, Ziel Biopharma and EnBIO. Speaking about his vision for the Regenerative Medicine Institute, Director of REMEDI, Professor Tim O'Brien said: "REMEDI's vision is to develop a new and realisable paradigm for medicine in the future utilising minimally invasive therapeutic approaches to promote organ and tissue repair and regeneration. Our goal is to undertake basic research in stem cell biology and to translate the outputs into new regenerative therapies. To achieve this, REMEDI will work with partners in hospitals which are members of the Irish Clinical Research Infrastructure Network, in Irish and overseas universities, and in industry, to translate and commercialise research outputs by developing regenerative medicine therapies for diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus and osteoarthritis." In addition to today's funding from Science Foundation Ireland, REMEDI has also had recent success in securing EU research funding for two projects to develop new methods for the treatment of osteoarthritis using stem cell biology. -Ends-

Monday, 8 November 2010

CANCELLED Professor Hilary Brown of Canterbury Christ Church University will deliver the second lecture in the NUI Galway Centre for Disability Law and Policy s Annual Public Lecture Series. The topic of the evening s discussion will be 'Violence and Abuse Against People with Disabilities' and Professor Brown s lecture will be followed by an open question and answer session. The event will take place on Thursday, 11 November, at 6pm in Room MY129, Áras Moyola. Professor Hilary Brown has a background in learning disability services with a particular focus on issues of abuse and disability rights. During the late 80 s and early 90 s, she was employed by South East Thames Regional Health Authority as part of the team responsible for supporting the transition from institutions to community based models of care. During this time she also developed training on sexuality for people working in learning disability services and became alert to issues of sexual abuse and abusing which later became the focus of her research. She has produced several important pieces of research in this area in recent years, including a literature review on abuse of disabled people for the National Disability Authority of Ireland in 2006. The Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, Professor Gerard Quinn, said, "In the wake of a number reports in recent years, such as the Ryan Report, which highlighted the extent of abuse of people with disabilities, it is important to think constructively about ways forward which can prevent similar abuse from reoccurring. This public lecture will highlight how law and policy can address these issues in an effective manner." This lecture will be an opportunity to reflect on current issues facing people with disabilities, families and carers, service providers and policy-makers in Ireland and abroad and should be of interest to all those who wish to promote the rights of people with disabilities and other marginalised communities in Ireland. The 2010-2011 Centre for Disability Law and Policy s Annual Public Lecture Series is a sequence of four lectures taking place throughout the academic year which focus on topics of interest to people with disabilities, families and carers. The lecture is open to all members of the public. Refreshments will be served following the lecture. To attend please contact Eileen Glynn in the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at eileen.glynn@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Monday, 8 November 2010

NUI Galway will host the 2010 Applied Maths Teachers' Association (IAMTA) Conference and Annual General Meeting on Saturday, 13 November. The conference is particularly timely considering the significant changes underway in school mathematics due to the introduction of the new project Maths curriculum. The conference will consist of a series of panel discussions and keynote addresses, giving teachers of applied maths the opportunity to explore current issues and future directions of the subject in schools. Bill Lynch, the Director of the National Council of Curriculum and Assessment, who has overseen the introduction of Project Maths will be on a panel, together with P J Rudden, a highly distinguished engineer with a very real stake and insight into how maths is used by people who want to improve Irish society. Other panellists include Dean of Science, Professor Tom Sherry, an applied mathematician in NUI Galway, Piaras ó hEachteirn, the head of Civil Engineering in NUI Galway and Peter Doyle from Actuaries Ireland. "Applied mathematics, the school subject, is not so well understood by the general public. Although only 1500 students take the exam in applied maths, there is no subject on the current Irish curriculum which better equips students to think like mathematical problem solvers. Students who have taken applied maths have a head start adapting to third level", says Dr Kevin Jennings, mathematician and Co-Director of BA in Mathematics and Education at NUI Galway. The new maths curriculum will bring challenges to applied maths teachers, who will have to adapt their teaching to the students' new skillsets. However, the maths reform will hopefully encourage more and more students to take this fascinating subject. Many students study the subject outside of regular class time; in Galway City only St Patrick's Patrician School (the Bish) offers the subject within regular class hours. Mr Brendan Doheny from the Bish was awarded the Victor Graham trophy in 2009 for excellence in teaching applied maths. The conference will give teachers the space and time to reflect on applied maths and the concerns and challenges surrounding teaching it as well as the opportunities for the development of the subject into the future. Dr Jennings adds: "This conference is very important to promote applied mathematics and to plan for its future. Teachers from all over Ireland will be on campus that weekend to work on this. For us in the University it's a wonderful opportunity to work with our colleagues in the schools and to advise them of the diverse and interesting third and fourth level options available to their applied maths students." -Ends-

Thursday, 4 November 2010

A new degree programme in Community and Family Studies at NUI Galway is the first of its kind in Ireland where adult learners are given the opportunity to study community and family work policy and practice through the medium of distance learning. The first cycle of the four-year, part-time degree programme were recently awarded their Bachelor of Arts degrees during the Adult Education Graduation ceremony held at the University. The attainment of the Bachelor of Arts in Community and Family Studies marks a significant milestone for the NUI Galway Community Education Centre, who is a core component of Adult and Continuing Education in the University. Furthermore, the award of this degree is testament to the effort and commitment of the 45 students who recently graduated. Helen Casey and Deirdre Hardiman, Community Education Officers and programme managers of the BA in Community and Family studies highlighted the ever increasing significance of education in light of the fundamental challenges now facing both our economy and society, and more particularly the role of educational institutions in assisting communities to respond to these challenges. Helen Casey said: "Over the past 10 years or so, the NUI Galway Community Education Centre has actively supported community development and family support best practice. This BA programme was therefore designed to meet identified needs in the community, and build on Adult Education's track record of community engagement and the promotion of life-long learning. Undoubtedly, the first graduates of this noteworthy programme will be the true agents of change in Irish society and beyond." Deirdre Hardiman added that: "The Community Education Centre are currently undertaking a four year impact assessment study of the first cycle of the degree programme which will be reviewing the impact of the programme to date from the student, community and programme management perspective. The findings of this study will indicate the impact that the BA in Community and Family Studies has produced in areas such as improving educational opportunities for these adult learners and fine tuning their employment skills which has caused a positive ripple effect in many communities over the last four years." Focussing on key areas such as community development, family support, youth work, childcare, health and general political and socio-economic studies, the BA in Community and Family Studies seeks to respond to the requirements of our ever changing society, and also to the requirements of a broad spectrum of adult learners seeking recognised qualifications in formal education. Further information on this innovative, adult friendly programme is available from the Community Education Centre at 091 495241 or http://www.nuigalway.ie/courses/adult-and-continuing-education-courses/community-family-studies.html. -Ends-

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Coffee lovers will be delighted with the addition of global coffee house Starbucks which has recently opened its first Galway café on campus in NUI Galway. The introduction of Starbucks on campus is part of an investment of circa €3.5 million by ARAMARK Ireland's food services division, Campbell Catering and NUI Galway in the University's redesign of its 800 seat restaurant, An Bhialann. An Bhialann now boasts a state-of-the-art kitchen with the latest technologies in cooking servicing an elaborate food court with an excellent range of fresh nutritious food and a large, modern and bright seating area. For over 18 years, Campbell Catering has been a valued partner in delivering catering services at NUI Galway and on an average term day will serve approximately 2,000 cups of tea and coffee. Over the course of a year An Bhialann serves approximately 750,000 customers. Popular sandwich chain Subway is also located in An Bhialann and the addition of these high street brands have been welcomed by staff and students alike. Conference/ Catering Manager at NUI Galway, Ann Duggan said, "NUI Galway prides itself on providing a quality service to all its staff and students, the campus now boasts 14 restaurants which provide healthy eating options for a community of over 17,500 staff and students with prices starting from €3.50 for a hot main course ensuring that both body and mind are nurtured." -Ends-

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Have you ever wondered what the inside of a laboratory really looks like? Maybe you pictured it as a bustling place full of explosions and multi-coloured concoctions getting mixed by people in white lab coats? Of course researchers in NUI Galway are more than happy to discuss their work with anyone willing to listen, but it is simply not feasible to have an open door policy to laboratories. So, how can researchers show the inner workings of a scientific environment to those that are curious? Modern video conferencing technology is making this a real possibility. NUI Galway's partners at Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) in Atlanta have pioneered a research-led teaching programme where high definition cameras are placed in labs to enable researchers to interact with primary and secondary students in real-time. In this way the magic of science can be beamed directly to classrooms and incorporated into science curriculums providing an insiders view of the world of research. Georgia Tech have dubbed this teaching technique 'Direct to Discovery' or D2D. The benefits to education via D2D are many. Students see how the textbook concepts they are studying get applied to real research questions by actual research scientists. In one example already developed by GTRI, students learning physics and chemistry are able to control the gas levels used to produce carbon nano-tubes in a nano-materials lab. In another example students were instructed to gather fossils which they then sent into the microscopy lab for analysis. In this way budding young researchers can be involved in the real world of science and technology they would otherwise never see. A link was recently made between Georgia Tech Ireland and Killina Presentation Secondary School, Co Offaly as part of the 100mbps Post Primary Schools Project. This will allow the Killina students to join the D2D network that already links schools in America, Canada and Australia and will soon involve schools in Chile and Kenya. Over the past few months the Biochemistry Department at NUI Galway have been working with GTRI on the feasibility of launching Direct to Discovery in Galway. Oisín Keely, a Biochemistry masters student working on multi-media teaching technology, recently went to Georgia Tech Research Institute on a ten day study visit to investigate D2D first hand. Oisín also attended the FutureMedia Fest 2010 in Atlanta, a conference focused on the latest trends in media creation, distribution and use of media content. Large corporations, including Cisco, HP, and CNN sponsor the event which enables the leading people in the field of media to come together and discuss strategies for progress. At the conference Oisín and GTRI co-presented a poster on the D2D system and how the project is progressing in Ireland. In the words of Karin Markey, a teacher in Kingsley Charter School in Georgia that is using Direct to Discovery, this scheme gives all students the "opportunity to picture themselves in a college community". The teachers involved in D2D at Kingsley School found that students who were not normally passionate about these subjects were often inspired to progress into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects in the future. Oisín Keely added, "It's a great idea. It really has the potential to inspire students and honestly I wish it was available when I was in school." So now, with the magical world of science being beamed out of laboratories, don't you wish you were back in school? For further information please contact Oisín Keely at oisinkeely@gmail.com -Ends-

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

NUI Galway's student radio station, Flirt FM 101.3, is launching a new programme in which well-known alumni will tell stories of their student days in Galway. The programme, Alumni Hour, promises to be a big hit with fellow alumni and Galwegians who will recognise the times, places, people and sounds of their own college days. Dr James J. Browne, President of NUI Galway, will be the first guest in conversation with the show's host, Alumni Association Board Vice-Chairperson, Sandra Butler. As well as sharing stories of his school and college days in the 60s and 70s, listeners will enjoy a musical selection of Dr Browne's favourite tracks from those times. The line-up for the coming series of Alumni Hour includes some familiar names like Michael D. Higgins TD; Will Leahy, 2FM; Lt Commanders Roberta O'Brien and Orlaith Gallagher, Ireland's first female naval vessel captains; Guggi from the Róisín Dubh; Padraic Breathnach, Arts Festival and Macnas co-founder; Padraig Ó Céidigh, Aer Arann; Eamon Gilmore TD; Olie Jennings, Arts Festival co-founder and Saw Doctors manager; and Sean O'Rourke, RTÉ. Alumni Hour is co-produced by the NUI Galway Alumni Association and Flirt FM and will be aired on Flirt FM 101.3 on Thursdays at 2pm starting on 4 November. A streaming online audio will be available online (from 4 November, 2pm) at www.mixcloud.com/flirtfm//. The first show with Dr James J. Browne will be aired on Thursday, 4 November at 2pm. Flirt FM schedule is available at www.flirtfm.ie/schedule/show/240/. -Ends-

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Have you ever wondered what happens when a star dies? Or how basic science can improve our health? Then don't miss the series of public lectures being held at NUI Galway from 8 to 21 November as part of this year's Galway Science and Technology Festival. Topical lectures including 'Detecting and Predicting Volcanic Ash Cloud Dispersion' along with the 'Molecules of Murder' will be held in lecture theatres throughout the university during the festival. On Tuesday, 9 November, Professor Michael J. Hynes from NUI Galway School of Chemistry will look at the use of chemical substances by some infamous murderers in their attempts to murder famous victims. The crimes are analysed from both the viewpoint of the properties of the poison itself and the manner in which the perpetrators were uncovered and brought to justice through the use of forensic science. The lecture will be held in the Siobhan McKenna Theatre at 6pm. Former Chairman of Intel Corporation Dr Craig Barrett will also give a special talk on Education for Innovation in Áras Moyola on Tuesday 16 November. The Festival, which was founded to increase the uptake and popularity of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects among young people will culminate with the Festival Exhibition in the Bailey Allen Hall at NUI Galway on 21 November where over 20,000 young people are expected to attend. This year's Exhibition will be formerly opened by the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. Both NUI Galway and GMIT open their doors throughout the two week festival to all primary and second level students in the city and county. At NUI Galway, there are a number of shows and events to stimulate the mind including the 'True Physics Rocket Workshop'. Guided tours of NUI Galway's Research Institutes are also held. A full list of the public lectures at NUI Galway can be viewed at www.galwayscience.ie/ . -Ends-

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

The Irish Centre for Human Rights and the NUI Galway Muslim Youth Society are jointly hosting a public lecture by Moazzam Begg. Entitled Enemy Combatant: My Imprisonment at Guantanamo, Bagram and Kandahar, the lecture will take place at 6pm on Monday, 8 November, in the Martin Ryan Annex in NUI Galway. Moazzam Begg was seized in January 2002 by Pakistani police and CIA officers, held at Bagram airbase for nearly a year and then transferred to Guantanamo Bay where he was one of nine British citizens held at Camp X-Ray. In all, he spent three years in prison, much of it in solitary confinement, and was subjected to over three hundred interrogations, as well as death threats and torture, witnessing the killings of two detainees. Begg was labelled an 'enemy combatant' by the US government. He was released on 25 January, 2005 along with Feroz Abbasi, Martin Mubanga and Richard Belmar. President Bush released Moazzam Begg over the objections of the Pentagon, the CIA, and the FBI, who warned that Mr. Begg could still be a dangerous terrorist. At the lecture Begg, who is the co-author of a book about his Guantánamo experiences also entitled Enemy Combatant: My Imprisonment at Guantanamo, Bagram, and Kandahar, will speak about his experiences in custody and detention under the US authorities. Speaking about the upcoming lecture, Dr Kathleen Cavanaugh, Lecturer with the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway and Chair of the lecture, said: "In the aftermath of September 11, a 'war on terror' was declared by the US and other allies. A language was developed to explain the extraordinary measures which were meant to address the emergency, including the need for 'rights free zones', such as Guantanamo Bay. Whilst the Obama administration has promised to close Guantanamo; this has yet to be realised. What has also been insufficiently addressed is the impact of detention for prolongued periods without trail. Moazzam Begg gives a face and a story to those who were (and continue to be) detained and beyond the reach and protection of law." Admission is free and open to the public. For further information please contact ireland.communications@fosis.org.uk. -Ends-

Monday, 1 November 2010

NUI Galway's Centre for Irish Studies will host a public lecture to be delivered by Dr Niall Ó Dochartaigh entitled: 'Making Peace in Secret: Evidence from the Brendan Duddy Papers at NUI Galway', which focuses on the role Brendan Duddy played as a secret key intermediary between the British Government and the IRA during the height of the conflict in Northern Ireland. The lecture will take place on Wednesday, 10 November, at 8 pm in the Charles McMunn Lecture Theatre at the University and is free of charge. This public lecture draws on the personal papers of Brendan Duddy, which were deposited at NUI Galway in 2009 as a result of a relationship between Dr Niall Ó Dochartaigh, Lecturer in Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway, and Brendan Duddy himself. They include notes, documents and previously unseen diaries of negotiation. The papers are a large personal archive of great historical significance to all on the island of Ireland and beyond. For twenty years a secret channel of communication linked the British Government to the Army Council of the IRA. It was through this channel that both parties held intensive peace talks in the mid 1970s and attempted to reach a negotiated settlement of the hunger strike of 1981. It was through the same channel that they returned to dialogue again in the early 1990s in the approach to the IRA ceasefire of 1994 and the Good Friday Agreement. At the heart of this dialogue and negotiation was Brendan Duddy. Codenamed Contact , his identity was a closely guarded secret for three decades. This channel provided a direct link between the Army Council of the Provisional IRA and successive British Prime Ministers from Harold Wilson through Margaret Thatcher to John Major and was so closely guarded that it was kept secret from other members of the British cabinet. Dr Ó Dochartaigh stresses the importance of the Duddy Papers in this period as "the negotiating relationship and the struggles for advantage and information that took place at this intersection are vital to understanding the process by which peace was finally made in Ireland". The Brendan Duddy Papers therefore provide the perspective of the individual who operated secretly at that intersection during some of the most crucial stages of the conflict in Northern Ireland. -Ends-

Monday, 1 November 2010

Directions at your fingertips and genetic algorithms-generated Sudoku puzzles are just some of the exciting new technologies that graduates of the Information Technology discipline at NUI Galway have won awards for recently. Prizes were awarded to students who excelled in their projects, which span a wide range of fascinating topics, reflecting the diversity of research and career opportunities for graduates of Information Technology. Stephen Lenihan from Cong, Co Mayo, a graduate of the B.Sc. in Information Technology developed a software system that uses genetic algorithms to generate Sudoku puzzles. The algorithms were used both to generate the puzzles and to create varying difficulties by reducing the number of initial numbers given. Stephen was awarded the Best Project in the B.Sc. in Information Technology, sponsored by Cisco System. On a more practical application, Steven Connolly from Achill, Co Mayo, Thomas Mitchell and Andrew Sweeney both from Ballinamore, Co Leitrim, all students in the M.Sc. in Software Design and Development, used web and smart phone technologies to develop an innovative mobile application that allows users to get map based directions for specific locations on campus, find friends and timetabled events, and receive point of interest alerts as they walk around the campus. All three were awarded the Best Project in the H.Dip / M.Sc. in Software Design & Development, sponsored by Cisco Systems. For those with an interest in creating music, James Tomkins from Galway City and Jonathan Lynch from Tullamore, Co Offaly, both graduates of the B.A. in Information Technology created a MIDI based music tutor. This novel software application generates sheet music, which is played by the user using a MIDI instrument and the programme then provides feedback on the user's performance. Information Technology is central to the development of the Smart Economy in Ireland. It is a breeding ground for entrepreneurs and attracts the kind of creative people who want to invent and promote technology based products and services. At NUI Galway, students of the B.Sc. in Information Technology study Professional Skills and Business Planning as part of their core academic work. Each year a special Entrepreneurship Prize is awarded for the students who produce the best business plan. These plans are evaluated by external business experts from WestBIC. This year the prize was awarded to Sean Herald from Belfast, for his "Heat Tech" idea – a Carbon Monoxide monitoring device with Bluetooth/SMS interface to alert a home user if their central heating boiler is operating inefficiently or dangerously. Professor Gerry Lyons, Professor of Information Technology and Dean of the College of Engineering & Informatics at NUI Galway also welcomed Cisco Systems as the new corporate sponsor for Best Projects in the Information Technology degree programmes. "We believe this is a strong endorsement of the commercial relevance of our degree programmes, and underlines our commitment to innovation, professionalism and research at NUI Galway. We place a huge emphasis on Final Year Project work," he said. He added: "These projects are a proving-ground for research and commercial business opportunities. Partnering with a blue-chip global company like Cisco gives students the added motivation and ambition to deliver excellent work." For further information, please contact: Dr Des Chambers, B.Sc. (Computer Science & IT) Programme Director, des.chambers@nuigalway.ie, 091 493311; or Ms Tina Earls, Executive Assistant in Information Technology, tina.earls@nuigalway.ie, 091 493143. -Ends-

Monday, 1 November 2010

World-renowned human rights experts will feature as guest speakers at the tenth anniversary celebrations of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway from 19 to 20 November. Speakers at the two-day event will include Andrew Clapham, Director of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights; David Scheffer, American lawyer and diplomat who served as the first United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues and Leila Nadya Sadat, Professor at Washington University School of Law. A special Gala Banquet will take place on Friday, 19 November hosted by Senator David Norris. Guests on the night will include Michael D. Higgins TD, Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs; Don Ferencz, son of Nuremberg prosecutor Ben Ferencz, and Professor Doug Cassel, Director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights at Notre Dame Law School. A special video message by former President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson will also be relayed on the night. Events to mark the tenth anniversary include a photography exhibition entitled 'Human Rights through the Lens', a discussion about the 'Right to Peace' chaired by International Criminal Court Judge Daniel Nsereko, plus many more which will ignite debates surrounding global human rights issues from an innovative standpoint of new and forgotten rights. These events are designed to celebrate the Irish Centre for Human Rights' ten years of contribution to human rights around the world. The Centre has developed a global reputation for excellence in the field of human rights since opening its doors in 2000. A book launch on Saturday, 20 November by Dr Edel Hughes entitled 'Turkey's Accession to the EU: The Politics of Exclusion' will take place in the lobby of the IT Building at 6pm. Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, Professor William A. Schabas says, "The tenth anniversary weekend offers an opportunity to celebrate a decade of distinction. The Irish Centre for Human Rights now offers academic qualifications at Undergraduate, Masters and Doctoral level. Our research and advocacy activities have traversed issues as diverse as the death penalty, the right to food, and environmental law, and spanned most regions of the world." NUI Galway President Dr James J. Browne said, "Over the past ten years, NUI Galway has become a global leader in human rights education through the work of the Irish Centre for Human Rights. Since September 2000, when the Centre welcomed its first LLM students, our academic programmes have produced many of the world's leading human rights researchers, advocates and policymakers. I pay tribute to my colleagues in the Centre, led by Professor Schabas, for their commitment to the highest quality teaching, research and outreach in global human rights." For more information please contact: Yvonne McDermott at y.mcdermott2@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

1916 and After is the title of three events which will explore the cultures, histories and consequences of the year 1916 in global context of the First World War, the Easter Rising, and after. The first of these events will commence on Saturday, 6 November, in the Moore Institute at NUI Galway, followed by a reading of a new play in development by the Druid Theatre Company, Lizzie Nunnery's To Have to Shoot Irishmen, which is based on the murder of Francis Sheehy-Skeffington. On Saturday, 13 November, Trinity College Dublin will host the second event on Imperial Cultures in the Long Room Hub on their campus. A guided historical walking tour of sites related to the Easter Rising will complement the lectures and discussions. The Institute of Irish Studies at Queen's University Belfast will hold the final event of the series on Saturday, 20 November, entitled Radicalism and Sovereignty, and will include a guided tour of exhibits in the Ulster Museum. National and International speakers will give lectures and contribute to discussions at each of the three events. Professor Mary Daly, from University College Dublin, Professor Michael Winter, Princeton University and Professor Jay Wood, Yale University are among the many leading critics and historians who will contribute to three days of debate on subjects that include the context and legacy of republicanism; the memory of imperial service during the great war; human rights; the failure of the home rule movement; the role of labour in Irish society; the Irish language; Ireland's experience in comparison to Poland, colonial East Africa and India. 1916 and After is led by Professor Nicholas Allen, Moore Institute Professor, NUI Galway. In describing the events Professor Allen said: "The coming years from now begin a centenary cycle of events from the promise of Home Rule to Independence, Partition and the Civil War that shaped twentieth century Ireland's social, political and cultural history. Looking at these centenaries from our contemporary moment prompts reflection on the ways in which events like the Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme might be compared to events then happening in Europe and globally. Taking a broad perspective, we hope to place the familiar beside the newly found, bringing the best in current research into contact with the people who make Ireland what it is now, our citizens. As the anniversary of 1916 approaches, we want to ask questions of the past that speak to the turbulent present. If we live in a failing state, like previous generations we might find the imagination and application to think of our potential again." Participation in the three events is free. Registration and information for each day is available by emailing mooreinstitute@nuigalway.ie or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/mooreinstitute/. These events were made possible by the Research Support Fund at NUI Galway. -Ends-

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

General Manager of the Sports Centre at NUI Galway's Barry Phelan has scooped the title of 'Irish Leisure Manager of the Year' at this year's Institute of Leisure & Amenity Management (ILAM) Awards. The club also won the prestigious ILAM White Flag Award for a second year in a row. The €22 million Sports Centre at NUI Galway is operated by Kingfisher Group and the state-of-the-art facility is available to students, staff and the general public. The 6,500 sq.m. sports and leisure complex includes a 25 metre 6-lane swimming pool with moveable floor, squash and racquetball courts, a three-court basketball hall, multipurpose studios, a substantial gym and a high-tech climbing wall. At the recent ceremony the club was also awarded the ILAM White Flag Award, which is a quality mark designed to provide a quality standard for swimming pools, sports halls, fitness studios, health suites, spas and gyms in the absence of government legislation. Manager of the Sports Centre at NUI Galway, Barry Phelan says he is delighted with the award. "I am delighted to receive the award of 'Irish Leisure Manager of the Year'. It was certainly an unexpected accolade and the fact that I received it is due in no small part to the first class facility I was given to operate, the Kingfisher Group and the hard-working team I have around me. It is fantastic to have such a fine place to work in." Mr Phelan added, "NUI Galway in partnership with the Kingfisher Club provide staff, students and members of the public with excellent facilities in which to pursue physical fitness and wellbeing. The White Flag Award for the second year in a row is the standard we want to achieve and maintain in regard to staff training, health and safety and the provision of facilities. This is something we can continue to build on into the future." -Ends-

Friday, 22 October 2010

From the summer of 2009 to the summer of 2010, Ireland experienced a remarkable and unexpected sequence of weather disasters not seen for a generation or more. This sequence of events is the subject of a new book Deluge Ireland's weather disasters, 2009-2010 by NUI Galway Lecturer, Dr Kieran Hickey, which was launched yesterday (Thursday, 21 October). A record-breaking wet summer in 2009 was swiftly followed by a November which was the wettest month in over 200 years in many parts of the country. This accompanied by torrential rain led to severe flooding, especially in the West. Vast tracts of countryside and numerous villages and towns were flooded, including many new housing estates. In some places, the floods lasted until February 2010, coinciding with one of the most severe and persistent cold spells ever recorded in Ireland. When the snow and ice finally melted, it re-flooded areas that had only recently dried out from the previous deluges, causing tens of millions of euro worth of damage. Deluge: Ireland's weather disasters, 2009-2010 also looks at the planning process, the management of waterways, the role of local authorities and the response of central government, voluntary agencies and ordinary people. The book also covers the possible meteorite fall of early February 2010, the Co. Clare earthquake of 6 May 2010, and the Icelandic volcano eruption that caused such extensive travel chaos across much of Europe at times throughout Spring 2010. Speaking at the launch, Dr Hickey, said: "This book is a reminder that Ireland is not immune from natural disasters particularly of the weather variety but even volcanoes and earthquakes can affect us as well." Deluge Ireland's weather disasters, 2009-2010 is available in most book shops and is published by Four Courts Press. For further information, visit www.fourcourtspress.ie. -Ends-

Thursday, 21 October 2010

The Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway is delighted to announce the appointment of Treasa Ní Mhiolláin, a native of the Aran Islands, as Sean-nós Singer in Residence for 2011. Treasa Ní Mhiolláin has an international reputation as a sean-nós singer, and in 1996 won the prestigious Sean-nós Cois Life award for her efforts in promoting and encouraging the sean-nós song tradition. Treasa is a renowned exponent of the great love songs of Connacht, but also possesses a store of locally composed songs and some English ballads. Popular songs include 'Sagart na Cúile Báine,' 'Dónall Óg' and Treasa's famous and unique version of 'Cúirt Bhaile Nua.' She is also a noted performer of the light-hearted songs with quicker tempo such as 'An Spailpín Fánach' and 'Bríd Thomáis Mhurcha.' Treasa has twice won the coveted 'Corn Uí Riada' award, the top prize for sean-nós singing at Oireachtas na Gaeilge (1972, 1979), and her distinctive singing was featured in Bob Quinn's television series Atlantean. Since returning to Aran permanently, Treasa has taught many younger singers the art of traditional Gaelic song, including Macdara Ó Conaola and the Mulkerrins brothers. She has also continued to tour and perform internationally over the years, having given concerts and taught in Germany, Switzerland and Sardinia among other countries. During the period of her residency, Treasa will participate in a series of performances and workshops at the Centre for Irish Studies and other venues throughout Connemara and the Aran Islands. She will also record her own work and that of other singers. The workshops, which are free and open to the public, will commence in February 2011 at the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway. This project is funded by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta and An Chomhairle Ealaíon in association with the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway. -Ends-

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

NUI Galway invites graduates from the classes of 1985 and 1990 to attend their reunion celebrations on Saturday, 6 November. The reunion will begin at 3pm in the Quadrangle with a reception and photo exhibition, followed by a bus tour of campus. The celebrations will continue later that evening in the Hotel Meyrick's Connemara Suite with a reunion dinner. An 80s and 90s disco will follow to round off the evening with some musical memories. JB Terrins, Director of Alumni Relations at NUI Galway, encourages alumni to come along: "Reunions are special opportunities for graduates to revisit NUI Galway and renew old acquaintances. Many alumni from the classes of 1985 and 1990 have already booked their places and many are returning from outside of Galway to be here. These events come around only every decade and our alumni never regret grabbing this chance to roll back the years with old friends." The Alumni Association at NUI Galway serves 80,000 alumni worldwide with an extensive range of programmes administered by the Alumni Association. These include alumni groups, both national and international, publications, reunions and alumni awards. Visit www.nuigalway.ie/alumni-friends for further details. For further information please contact Thelma de Paor or JB Terrins in the Alumni Office on 091 493750 or email alumni@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

A new website which affords staff and students of NUI Galway the opportunity to arrange car sharing, was recently launched by the University. The website, www.carsharing.ie/nuigalway lets staff and students arrange car sharing on an informal basis with colleagues who have similar commutes by registering their details online. The scheme will contribute to the effective mobility management of staff and students at NUI Galway. An NUI Galway travel survey showed that of those questioned, 38 per cent of staff driving alone said that they would be willing to car share while 56 per cent of students driving alone were interested in participating in such a scheme. The scheme has the added incentive that where an unforeseen emergency arises with the driver involved in car-sharing, the remaining passengers are ensured of a way home under the 'Guaranteed Lift Home Scheme'. According to Mr. Keith Warnock, NUI Galway Vice-President for Capital Projects and member of the Mobility Management Group, "Car-sharing is a scheme that has the potential to work very well for both staff and students of the University. It will be an on-going project which we hope will be expanded to a more formal car-pooling scheme in the future. It is one of a number of measures that have been introduced by the University which should reduce traffic problems for the city." Mr. Warnock added that the Park-and-Ride facility located at Dangan in Galway is proving to be very popular this year. "We are delighted with the interest so far in this initiative. The feedback from staff and students is that they are very interested in protecting the environment and in reducing travel costs", says NUI Galway's Environmental Manager, Dr Aoife Collins. Dr Collins added that an additional beneficial outcome of the scheme is that roads could potentially become safer for pedestrians and cyclists due to a reduction in motorised traffic. -Ends-

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

The Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC) at NUI Galway will host a one-day conference on the Medical Technology Clusters in Ireland and Massachusetts on Thursday, 28 October in the Bailey Allen Hall at the University. The purpose of the conference is to learn about the cluster of medical technology companies in Massachusetts and in particular the industry-specific organisations that drive the cluster's development. Within this context the conference will discuss the future path of Ireland's medical technology sector. The event is aimed at practitioners from industry and public policy agencies, as well as academics and will provide a unique opportunity to forge links between medical technology organisations in the two regions. Professor Philip Cooke, Director at the Centre for Advanced Studies, Cardiff University, will give the keynote address. A panel discussion entitled 'From Intent to Reality: Making an Internationally Competitive Cluster Happen' will also take place. The Irish Medical Technology Cluster is currently comprised of approximately 120 companies creating over 24,000 jobs. The cluster is driven by the significant presence of large foreign-owned subsidiaries operating in Ireland whose capabilities lie in manufacturing as well as product and process development activities. Dr Majella Giblin, a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change was awarded a Royal Irish Academy grant to visit Massachusetts and conduct research on the medical technology cluster there. Whilst in Boston, Dr Giblin conducted interviews with representatives from various med tech organisations including start-up companies, industry associations, mentoring organisations as well as the headquarters of multi-nationals based in Ireland. The conference is one of the outcomes from this research and in explaining her motivation for organising the event Dr Giblin states: "Given that the medical technology cluster in Ireland is identified by the Government as one of the potential sectors driving future industrial growth in the economy, nurturing its development from a manufacturing hub to an internationally competitive cluster that encompasses a strong research as well as manufacturing base should be paramount among policymakers and industry representatives. In this regard, there is a lot we can learn from the industrial ecosystem of Massachusetts and the conference provides a unique opportunity to do this." The conference is supported by the Irish Social Sciences Platform, which is funded under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (administered by the HEA and co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund). ENDS

Monday, 18 October 2010

NUI Galway's Web site, www.nuigalway.ie has been named 'Best Education and Third Level Website' at the 2010 Irish Web Awards. NUI Galway was triumphant over four other finalists for the 'Best Education and Third Level Website' at the ceremony held over the weekend in Dublin's Mansion House. There were over 1000 initial nominations for all the awards in the competition in 27 different categories. The Irish Web Awards are held annually to recognise people who do great things on the Web and are open to anyone in Ireland. NUI Galway's website underwent a complete overhaul over the last number of years, resulting in the creation of a new public website which was launched in November 2009. The aim of the new Web site is to make relevant information about NUI Galway readily accessible to the key target audience of the University. Commenting on the Award, Head of Information Solutions and Services (ISS) at NUI Galway Sean O' Farrell says: "I am delighted with the University's success in winning the 'Best Education and Third Level Website' at the Irish Web Awards 2010. This award confirms the innovative and professional approach adopted by the Web site's development team. The Web site provides an engaging and user friendly window to the University at a national and international level." NUI Galway's Director of Marketing and Communications, Caroline Loughnane says: "We are delighted to receive this award for Best Education and Third Level Web site . NUI Galway's Web site underwent a dramatic transformation in the last year and throughout that project we remained 100 per cent focused on the needs of our end users and in making it as easy as possible for them to find the information they wanted. Providing the best Web experience possible for our online audience was our top priority."

Monday, 18 October 2010

Over 4,000 students will graduate from NUI Galway during the Autumn Conferring Ceremonies taking place this week. Today (Monday,18 October), NUI Galway will confer two Honorary Masters Degree during the ceremonies on musician Máirtín O'Connor and County Galway Councillor Norman Morgan. Máirtín O'Connor will be honoured for his lifetime contribution to Irish traditional music. Máirtín has had a successful solo career and was a member of many of traditional music s leading groups including, Midnight Well, De Dannan, The Boys of the Lough, and Skylark. He has recorded with many national and international musicians throughout his career and was the first recipient of the Allied Irish Bank Traditional Musician of the Year Award. Councillor Norman Morgan will be recognised as a renowned historian, archivist and book collector, community activist and Loughrea Town Councillor. Councillor Morgan recently donated 13 issues of the Galway Independent from the 1800s to the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway and 157 rare editions of the Dublin Evening Mail which dated from 5 February, 1838 to 31 December, 1855 to the Dublin City Library. Speaking ahead of the ceremonies, Dr James J. Browne, NUI Galway President, said: "NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history. Today we are proud to honour Máirtín O'Connor and Councillor Norman Morgan for their contributions to music, culture, public service and education. They are particularly worthy individuals and NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise their exceptional talents and achievements." The annual NUI Galway Autumn Conferring Ceremonies began with the Adult and Continuing Education ceremonies on 15 October, with 990 students completing a range of certificates, diploma and degree courses locally at the University and at many outreach locations across the country. -Ends-

Friday, 15 October 2010

The Western Region NUI Galway/BSTAI/Sunday Business Post Business 2000 Table Quiz took place recently in the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics, NUI Galway. Twenty three schools, with a total of thirty one teams from all over the West took part with the top three winning teams going forward to represent the West at the National Finals in November. The table quiz, organised by NUI Galway and the BSTAI in conjunction with the Sunday Business Post Business 2000, was held for Junior Certificate students of Business Studies. Professor Willie Golden, Dean of the College of Business, Public Policy and Law, NUI Galway expressed his delight at the high standard of students competing. "NUI Galway works closely with its regional hinterland and this is nowhere more evident than in the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics. A defining part of all our student courses is the engagement with the local community. Working with the BSTAI allows us to engage with second level students and foster their interest in Business Studies. I have no doubt that many of these students attending the event, will be amongst our leaders of the future." Mary O'Sullivan, Honorary President of the BSTAI said, "It is great to see the high level of interest from students and teachers in the region. Events such as these showcase the extra curricular effort that is the hallmark of the teaching profession." The tension rose quickly on the night, as two teams went head-to-head in a tie breaker round for first place. In the end, the winners were St. Raphaels College, Loughrea. Second place went to Gort Community School. Third place went to Seamount College, Kinvara. The top three teams from the regional final will now go on to compete in the National Finals, which will take place in Tipperary Institute in November. For further information please contact: Padraic De Búrca, College of Business Public Policy and Law, NUI Galway. 086 6089511 or padraic.deburca@nuigalway.ie ENDS

Friday, 15 October 2010

A select group of first-year students at NUI Galway recently received a total of €83,300 in recognition of the high points they achieved in the recent Leaving Certificate examination. At a special ceremony on Thursday, 14 October, 49 students were presented with a cheque for €1,700 and a specially designed scroll to mark their achievement. Entrance Scholarships are given annually to new entrants at NUI Galway who reached a minimum of 560 points in their Leaving Certificate examination, except in Medicine. In Medicine, ten Scholarships were awarded, based on the combined results in the Leaving Certificate and the new Admissions Test (H-PAT Ireland). This year Entrance Scholarships were awarded to students from 41 individual schools throughout Ireland. The winners represented 16 counties including Antrim, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Limerick, Mayo, Meath, Offaly, Roscommon and Westmeath. NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne, who presented the cheques to each individual winner, said: "We are delighted to recognise the academic talent of these 49 outstanding individuals from all over Ireland. The purpose of these awards is to encourage each student to develop his/her academic potential to the fullest, by setting a realistic threshold of excellence and rewarding every student who attains that level." Designed to attract the best students to NUI Galway and reward their academic excellence, the awards may be held with any other scholarships or grants, including the University's extensive Sports Scholarship Scheme. Ends

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway will host the second annual Irish-American Exchange on Human Rights seminar, which will take place from 17 to 18 October. This annual event will bring together faculty and students from two distinguished human rights institutions, the Center for Civil and Human Rights at Notre Dame Law School and the Irish Centre for Human Rights in NUI Galway. The seminar will open on Sunday, 17 October, at 11am in the Moore Institute at NUI Galway, with introductory comments from Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, and Professor Doug Cassel, Director of The Centre for Civil and Human Rights at Notre Dame Law. This seminar is an opportunity for colleagues to present their research, share ideas and engage in discussion. On Monday, 18 October, activities will be held at Kenny's Bookshop in the Liosbaun Industrial Estate, where presentations will combine or relate human rights issues with various literary themes. The seminar will conclude with a reception and the inaugural launch of the Irish Centre for Human Rights photo exhibition entitled 'Human Rights Through the Lens'. Speaking about the upcoming event Professor William Schabas said: "These annual gatherings bring together human rights specialists from the US and Ireland, where we can compare the differences in our perspectives and learn from each other. Our starting point is the same, of course. It is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The two Human Rights Centres, at Notre Dame University and at NUI Galway, play important roles in their own countries. Each has a very international outlook, something that enhances a common vision." The event is free to attend and is open to the public. For further information contact Alexis Bushnell in the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, at 091 49 3798. -Ends-

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

A Dublin-headquartered market-leader for post-trade automation solutions to the global securities services industry will contribute in excess of €1 million over a five-year period to research at NUI Galway. The contribution by Information Mosaic will be geared towards the management of agile and lean systems development in the Enterprise Agility group at the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC) at NUI Galway. A primary objective of the Enterprise Agility group is to build and maintain an international network of excellence around the management of agile and lean development, with NUI Galway firmly at the hub of this network. According to Dr Kieran Conboy, Leader of the Enterprise Agility group: "It is significant, close-knit engagement and collaboration with industry partners such as Information Mosaic that can make this goal a reality." The partnership will involve a very close working relationship between Information Mosaic and the Enterprise Agility group, including hosting of researchers, joint delivery of seminars, co-authoring of papers, and placement of NUI Galway students to work with the eight Information Mosaic staff dedicated to the project. Declan Costello, the CTO of Information Mosaic, adds: "To stay competitive and grow our business, our collaboration with NUI Galway will help us better implement agile and lean methods in our own company and provide the opportunity for us to both be thought-leaders in this space." Dr Kieran Conboy also referred to the key role that Dr Meghann Drury has played in creating this collaboration. "Since joining our group in February, Meghann has developed strategic links with a number of companies such as Information Mosaic, and it is great to see that her early research has led to such a large scale industry investment." Meghann is a PRTLI funded postdoctoral researcher, and her work with Dr Conboy, Dr Tom Acton and Professor Willie Golden focuses on decision processes, data presentation methods, and decision quality in agile and lean environments. The Enterprise Agility group includes a team of 20 academic staff in NUI Galway, along with five postdoctoral researchers and 12 existing doctoral students across the School of Business & Economics (Business Information Systems, Accountancy & Finance, Management and Marketing), the School of Law, the School of Psychology, Centre for Research on Occupational and Life Stress (CROLS), and Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), and is supported by existing funding of over €4.2 million. Through CISC and building upon NUI Galway and the University of Limerick's (UL) collaborative alliance, the group is becoming a formal member of the Lero Software Engineering Research Centre, a Science Foundation Ireland funded CSET, and will be applying its existing research skills and multidisciplinary knowledge to the software engineering domain. -Ends-

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

The Galway Science and Technology Festival, now in its thirteenth year, was formally launched today (October 12) at a function at the National University of Ireland, Galway. The launch at the Aula Maxima, was performed by Mr. William A Hawkins, the Chairman and CEO of Medtronic Inc. One of the Festival's proudest boasts is of its ongoing engagement with the community – the grand finale involves 20,000 young people visiting the Festival Exhibition in a day-long event which has become one of the most popular on Galway's annual diary. The Festival – which was founded to increase the uptake and popularity of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects among young people – runs from November 8 to 21 and will culminate with the Festival Exhibition, which will be held at the new location in the Bailey Allen Hall at NUI, Galway on November 21. This year's Exhibition will be formally opened by the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. There is a great programme of events this year to choose from including Robert Hill s Cosmic Explorers using the latest 3D stereo technology to explore the possibility of life on other planets. Mr Bug returns with his snakes, cockroaches and Tarantulas while Sue McGrath turns science into magic with her show based around negatively charged particles and magnets with the help of Sponge Bog Square Pants pet Gary . James Soper features with his show Galileo s Greatest Mistake and Galway's very own Mad Scientist Craig Steven's will conjure up foggy ice storms and make giant smoke rings. In the two-week run of the Festival, Galway's two third level colleges, NUI, Galway and GMIT, will open their doors to all the primary and second level students in the City and County. At NUI Galway there are many very interesting shows and events to stimulate the mind including the 'True Physics Rocket Workshop' which is very popular for secondary school students. There are Museums to explore including Ireland s only Computer & Communications Museum! showcasing the development of technology and where original computer games like Space Invaders are available. Guided tours of the NUIG Research Institutes, etc and also a series of informal talks Open Your Mind Seminar Series each Wednesday at lunchtime from November 10th. GMIT have various workshops to choose from including Medicines and how they work and Engineering and Energy Technologies . The regional finals of the ISTA PharmaChem Ireland Science Quiz for Leaving Certificate students will take place in GMIT on November 11th. There is also on offer the popular tour of Galway Bay FM and Dr Thompson s Laboratory will be available in the Galway Civic Museum. The Exhibition will also feature many of the shows included in the Programme, there will be up to 60 interactive stands representing areas including research, education, industry and the environment. The 20,000 tickets for the event will be distributed to schools throughout Galway City and County in the weeks prior to November 21. The event would not be possible without an enormous commitment by education, by industry and by our sponsors, Festival Chairman Tom Hyland said today. "On behalf of the Board of the Galway Science and Technology Festival, I am deeply grateful to Mr. William Hawkins, the Chairman and Chief Executive of Medtronic, for giving us his time to launch the Festival today here at NUI, Galway. I want to assure him that his personal interest, and the commitment of Medtronic, are deeply valued by all of us in the Galway Festival," said Mr. Hyland. Minister for Enterprise Trade and Innovation Mr. Batt O'Keeffe TD has praised the Festival as an important awareness-building exercise aimed at encouraging more young people into science, technology, engineering and maths courses. The 2010 Programme of events is available at www.galwayscience.ie and the exhibition will open at 11am on Sunday 21st November, 2010. -Ends-

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

An NUI Galway Web researcher has been awarded the 'Best Paper Award' at a Web conference in Italy. Dr Axel Polleres of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute, (DERI) at NUI Galway, recently won the award at the Web Rules and Reasoning Conference in Bressanone, Italy. Dr Polleres' work surrounds a standard query language for the Web entitled SPARQL1.1. This language allows users to ask complex multi-faceted questions when searching the Web. The awarded paper "Redundancy Elimination on RDF Graphs in the Presence of Rules, Constraints, and Queries", emerged from a collaboration with an Austrian University, TU Vienna. It is co-authored by Professor Reinhard Pichler, Sebastian Skritek, and Dr Stefan Woltran. The work describes theoretical foundations of compressing structured information on the Web for more efficient processing and exchange. This work aims to provide a basis for optimisations within future Web databases. Dr Axel Polleres, Leader of the Research Unit for Reasoning and Querying and Senior Research Fellow at DERI says, "A goal of my work is to build bridges from theory to practice in the application of Semantic Web technologies which is why I am so delighted that our work is so well-received on both ends of academic research." Dr Polleres' Research Unit previously received another prize on practical applications of Semantic Web technologies in Content Management Systems in last year's International Semantic Web Conference. "My research focuses on both foundations of Web search and real world applications of Semantic Web technologies. Eventually, our goal is to make the Web usable like one huge database, which can answer complex questions, beyond the common keyword search of current Web search engines," Dr Polleres added. Dr Stefan Decker, Director of DERI says, "This prize does not only confirm our academic leadership internationally, but also provides a sound basis for our industrial partners. They know the place to go to find the knowledge they need is Ireland and especially DERI." -Ends-

Monday, 11 October 2010

Covidien, a leading global supplier of healthcare products, today announced that it is investing €900,000 in medical technologies research and development projects with NUI Galway, during the next two years. This is the first phase of a multi-part investment of €1.8 million with Irish academic institutions which Covidien announced in July. Covidien has engaged in discussions with IDA Ireland, Ireland s investment promotion agency, to establish three collaborative programmes to support active technology development projects. Today's announcement details two of the highly innovative projects, in Editor's Notes below, with information about the third project to follow in the coming months. The announcement was made today in Dublin and was attended by the Minister for Health and Children, Ms Mary Harney T.D. Speaking at the announcement, Minister Harney said: "University-based facilities enabled by this collaboration with Covidien will help to ensure that Ireland continues to produce high-quality researchers who can innovate new technologies and design robust scientific research. This ultimately produces the valuable data that furthers patient health and safety." Speaking about Covidien's investment, Scott Flora, President, Surgical Devices, Covidien, said, "The medical devices sector in Ireland has a legacy of innovative products and is of critical importance to the country's economic recovery. We are dedicated to R&D in partnership with IDA Ireland. We believe the medical devices and health sectors will be a thriving part of Ireland's business growth and high-technology job creation in the future." Through these collaborative programs, Covidien hopes to incentivise students to choose science as a career and promote the continued growth and prosperity of the medical devices sector in Ireland. Barry O'Leary, CEO, IDA Ireland, added, "Ireland is recognised as a key global hub for medical technologies, employing the highest medical technologies personnel per capita in Europe. Nearly 60% of the sector's companies are now carrying out R&D functions here and today's announcement is another great example of how the unique collaboration between Government, industry and academia in Ireland can assist global companies such as Covidien to meet their R&D needs." The project involves a number of research groups based in the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at NUI Galway including the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) and the Centre for Pain Research (CPR). Speaking at the event, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway Professor Terry Smith said "NUI Galway is delighted to be part of this investment by Covidien for research to be led by Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials and Dr David Finn, Lecturer in Pharmacology and Co-Director of the Centre for Pain Research. It is yet another tangible benefit arising from the Government investment in R&D in Ireland and acknowledges the part which Irish research plays in translating research from the bench to the clinic." Earlier this year, Covidien announced an investment of €11 million in a state-of-the-art European Services Centre in Cherrywood Dublin. The centre employs 200 people who manage sales and marketing, customer services, credit control, contracts and pricing, and import and export functions for 16 European countries. Covidien is a leading global healthcare products company that creates innovative medical solutions for better patient outcomes and delivers value through clinical leadership and excellence. Covidien manufactures, distributes and services a diverse range of industry-leading product lines in three segments: Medical Devices, Pharmaceuticals and Medical Supplies. With 2009 revenue of $10.3 billion, Covidien has 42,000 employees worldwide in more than 60 countries, and its products are sold in over 140 countries. Please visit www.covidien.com to learn more about our business. -Ends-