Monday, 14 January 2008

This year's BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition saw fifth year student Catherine Duane of Holy Faith Secondary School, Clontarf, Dublin, receive top prize in an exciting national science essay competition organised by NUI Galway. Catherine, who won a laptop, trophy and €500 science bursary for her school, received her prizes from the Minister for Education and Science, Mary Hanafin T.D., on the Science Foundation Ireland booth at the festival. The competition, co-ordinated by the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway, and sponsored by Medtronic, has now completed its third year. Essays were received from across the country on the theme of 'Genetic Engineering: Panacea or Pandora's Box?' The runner up prize of a video iPOD, trophy and €250 school science bursary went to Leaving Cert student Aidan Rowe of St Gerald's College, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. Presenting the prizes for the third successive year, Minister Hanafin said: "Increasingly we are all aware of the vital role of science and technology in our lives. We are aware too, of the extent to which it will impact upon our future economic development. Competitions like the national science essay competition have an important role in raising the profile of science among young people. As students complete their CAO forms, it is important that we all encourage them to consider the vast range of exciting career opportunities in the fields of science and technology - from playstations to mutations, from bionics to photonics! I would like to congratulate all of the students who took part in the competition on their hard work and on the very high standard of research and writing. This level of dedication and expertise gives me great hope for the future of Irish science." Professor Frank Barry, Scientific Director at REMEDI and competition judge, thanked all the students who participated in the competition along with Medtronic and SFI for their work in supporting science education. Noreen Moloney, of competition sponsor Medtronic, said: "Medtronic are delighted to support the promotion of science and engineering through initiatives such as the REMEDI national essay competition. It is imperative we promote interest in science, engineering and technology among our young people and be assured of a pool of highly educated, talented graduates to drive our economy forward in years to come." Catherine Duane's essay was selected from a top-ten shortlist by a high profile panel of judges who met at REMEDI in November 2007 to choose a winner. The judges included: Leo Enright (Chair of the Discover Science & Engineering Steering Committee); Tom Kennedy (Editor of Science Spin Magazine); Prof Frank Barry (Scientific Director, REMEDI); Noreen Moloney (Medtronic); and Cormac Sheridan (Freelance Science Journalist). Commenting on Catherine's essay, competition judge Cormac Sheridan said: "Catherine s essay is a very polished piece of work. The writing is crisp and to the point, she handles the argument with great confidence, and it s superbly structured." Organised as part of a joint REMEDI and NCBES secondary school outreach programme called GRO (Galway Regional Outreach), the aim of the competition is to hear young people's views on contemporary scientific questions and to encourage students to consider studying science in third level. REMEDI is a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded research institute at the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) located at NUI Galway. To read the winning essays or for additional information on REMEDI outreach programmes, visit www.remedi.ie -ends-

Friday, 4 January 2008

Dr Colin O'Dowd, School of Physics, and Director of the Environmental Change Institute's Centre for Climate & Air Pollution Studies at NUI Galway, has been awarded a Doctorate in Science from the University of Manchester. The award was in recognition of highly distinguished published work resulting from research into atmospheric aerosols and their role in climate change. Dr O'Dowd has made a substantial, sustained and original contribution to knowledge and scholarship, and holds an authoritative international standing in his field of research. His research papers presented for the Doctorate of Science are regarded as having made the substantive part of the most significant advances in atmosphere aerosol research over the past twenty years. Dr O'Dowd directs the Centre for Climate & Air Pollution Studies (C-CAPS) in NUI Galway's Environmental Change Institute. Recently, C-CAPS secured significant research funding (in excess of €3 million) from the HEA, EPA and the Marine Institute in a series of research projects coordinated by Dr O'Dowd. The research focuses on aerosol-cloud-climate interactions, air-sea exchange of CO2 and ozone and regional climate modelling. The overarching aim of O'Dowd's research is to understand fundamental processes controlling climate change and air pollution and to build the most advanced climate prediction tools to provide accurate assessments of future climate change for Ireland. ends

Friday, 29 February 2008

The Career Development Centre at NUI Galway will host a Science and Technology Careers Fair on Wednesday, 5 March 2008 from 4-6.30pm, in Áras na Mac Leinn. The event will be an opportunity for students and graduates to make valuable first-hand contact with actively recruiting organisations in the areas of science, engineering, technology and healthcare. National and international science and technology organisations attending the fair include: Abbott Ireland Diagnostics; Intel Ireland; Science Recruitment Ireland; Stiefel Laboratories; Fidelity Investments; Servisource Recruitment; SAP; PharmaChemical Ireland; Realex Payments; Western Fisheries Board; Environmental Protection Agency; Institute of Geologists; Geological Survey of Ireland; Engineer's Ireland; Schwartz Pharma Ltd/UCB; Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland; National Rehabilitation Hospital; InterTradeIreland; Saint Michael's House; O&B Recruitment; Warwick Medical School; and Careers in Research, NUI Galway. According to Angela Teahan, Career Development Centre, NUI Galway, "The majority of companies attending are actively recruiting and this is such an opportunity for students and graduates. My advice is to arrive well-prepared having researched the exhibitors and with an up to date CV in hand. Be prepared to network with employers, get into conversation with the representatives, and endeavour to make a positive and lasting impression on the company representatives". For further details on the event visit the Career Development Centre's website http://www.nuigalway.ie/careers/students/sciencefair.html or telephone Angela Teahan on 091 492133. -ends-

Friday, 29 February 2008

Engineering students at NUI Galway have proposed solutions to over 30 practical problems encountered by older people and the physically impaired. These community-based projects were undertaken by third-year undergraduate students at NUI Galway as part of their studies in Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering. The projects are part of a service-learning programme, designed to allow students apply academic knowledge for the benefit of others. Running since 2003, this is the only pioneering programme of its kind in Engineering across the country. Among the ideas developed by the students this year are: an orthopaedic schoolbag; a self-locking medicine cabinet; a collapsible walking aid; a device to help wheelchair users manoeuvre a wheelie bin; a ring-mounted panic alarm; and a machine for making peanut butter designed for an AIDS centre in Zimbabwe. Professor Abhay Pandit, Department of Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering and co-ordinator of the module: "We call this a 'service-learning' module, whereby students identify a need in their locality and provide a service related to their discipline, with the input from the local community, towards assisting with that need. As a university we have a duty to engage students with the community and to create an ethos that involves understanding and supporting the wider world." In one of the projects, an outdoor exercise machine for the elderly has been created by modifying a bicycle and attaching it to a standard park bench. The device allows a person to sit comfortably on the bench, while exercising their lower limbs by pedalling. This idea was developed by Mary O'Shea from Moore, Roscommon, after consultation with older people in her neighbourhood. According to Mary, "Exercise facilities designed specifically for older people are quite common in countries such as the UK, Australia and Japan, but not so much here. Feedback so far from members of the community and physiotherapists I have spoken to indicate the benefits of exercising in an outdoor and social setting would be significant. In Ireland, with a design like this, customisation of park benches would be relatively easy to achieve". Prototypes for the some of the devices and ideas have been created and all have a descriptive poster which will be displayed in an exhibition entitled "Engineering in Society and Community Outreach". Each project and poster is assessed against rigorous criteria, based on the theoretical studies the students have already undertaken. The exhibition is being held in the Arts Millennium Building on campus. The module is supported by the University's Community Knowledge Initiative which supports civic engagement across campus and is now leading a national civic engagement network. Around a dozen other service-learning modules are on offer in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes across the disciplines including Law, Italian, Philosophy and Occupational Therapy. -ends-

Friday, 29 February 2008

Beidh Aonach Gairmeacha Eolaíochta agus Teicneolaíochta á reáchtáil ag an Aonad Fobartha Gairmeacha in OÉ Gaillimh Dé Céadaoin, 5 Márta 2008 ó 4–6.30in, in Áras na Mac Léinn. Deis a bheidh san imeacht seo do mhic léinn agus do chéimithe teagmháil phearsanta a dhéanamh le heagraíochtaí atá i mbun feachtas earcaíochta sna réimsí eolaíochta, innealtóireachta, teicneolaíochta agus cúram sláinte. I measc na n-eagraíochtaí náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta eolaíochta agus teicneolaíochta a bheidh i láthair ag an aonach tá: Abbott Ireland Diagnostics; Intel Ireland; Science Recruitment Ireland; Stiefel Laboratories; Fidelity Investments; Servisource Recruitment; SAP; PharmaChemical Ireland; Realex Payments; Bord Iascaigh Réigiúnach an Iarthair; An Ghníomhaireacht um Chaomhnú Comhshaoil; Institute of Geologists; Suirbhéireacht Gheolaíochta na hÉireann; Engineer's Ireland; Schwartz Pharma Ltd/UCB; Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland; An tOspidéal Náisiúnta Athshlánúcháin; InterTradeIreland; Saint Michael's House; O&B Recruitment; Warwick Medical School; agus Gairmeacha Taighde, OÉ Gaillimh. Deir Angela Teahan, ón Ionad Forbartha Gairmeacha in OÉ Gaillimh gur iontach an deis é do mhic léinn agus do chéimithe go bhfuil formhór na gcuideachtaí a bheidh ag freastal ar an aonach i mbun earcaíochta ar bhonn leanúnach. Lena chois sin, deir sí gur cheart do mhic léinn beagán taighde a dhéanamh ar na cuideachtaí a bheidh ag an aonach agus gur cheart dóibh CV atá cothrom le dáta a thabhairt leo. Dúirt sí gur cheart do mhic léinn labhairt le fostóirí agus le hionadaithe, agus iarracht a dhéanamh dul i bhfeidhm ar bhealach dearfach ar ionadaithe na gcuideachtaí éagsúla. Tá tuilleadh eolais faoin imeacht seo le fáil ar láithreán gréasáin an Ionaid Forbartha Gairmeacha http://www.nuigalway.ie/careers/students/sciencefair.html nó is féidir glaoch ar Angela Teahan ag 091 492133. - críoch -

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

A group of sixth class pupils took up the ancient art of story telling in front of a packed audience at NUI Galway recently. The 11 and 12 year-olds had been developing their story telling abilities in special workshops for six weeks as part of an NUI Galway Access Office programme. The children represented three local schools: Scoil Bhríde, Shantalla; Holy Trinity Girls School, Mervue; and St Michael's Boys School, Mervue. Parents, siblings, teachers and NUI Galway staff gathered for the performance and were treated to selection of stories ranging from the comical to the scary. Clare Murphy, who facilitated the workshops with fellow storyteller Rab Fulton, said, "By retelling old tales, and inventing their own, children engage their imagination and find confidence in their own innate storytelling abilities." The storytelling initiative is part of the NUI Galway Access Office's schools programme Uni 4 U. The three-year structured programme of activities aims to positively promote third level education to children and their communities. The programme is a combined sport and homework initiative that promotes third level education and the value of education itself, as well as improving sporting techniques and skills. Speaking at the event, Vice President for Strategic and External Affairs at NUI Galway, Professor Gerard Hurley, said "Storytelling is part of the Irish tradition that we want to encourage it in the next generation. We also want to encourage younger children to consider third level education and to feel comfortable in its environment." -ends-

Monday, 25 February 2008

The National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at NUI Galway has launched a new Bioelectronics Research Cluster. With over 20 researchers, the Bioelectronics Research Cluster will focus on Electronic Engineering solutions to medical problems, several of which are associated with ageing. The research cluster draws on the full range of technical epertise at NUI Galway's Department of Electronic Engineering. The research group was officially launched by Harvard Medical School academic and Biomedical Engineer Professor Paolo Bonato. One of the key technologies to be developed by the Bioelectronics Research Cluster is known as 'Wearable Electronics for Health Management'. The team will develop a range of body-worn electronic devices to monitor a person's health status and transmit this information on an on-going basis to their health care providers. Patient trials are about to commence on a wearable muscle stimulation device, developed by the Bioelectronics Research Cluster, for the treatment of venous leg ulcers. Older people are particularly susceptible to venous leg ulcers if they have been immobilised for a sustained period. The Bioelectronics Research Cluster is also currently investigating wearable electronics systems for fall detection in the elderly, the management of diabetic foot, gait correction following stroke and mobility monitoring in the elderly. Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin, Bioelectronics Research Cluster leader at the NCBES, NUI Galway, said "It is generally expected that a significantly increased use of electronic and other technologies will be required to provide an efficient healthcare delivery system in the face of ongoing demographic change. In 2001, 17% of the European Union (EU) was aged over 65, however it is estimated that by the year 2035 this figure will have reached 33%. Therefore healthcare delivery methods will need to be adapted to meet the challenges posed by these changing demographics, while constrained by limited resources." It is anticipated that this approach to healthcare management will facilitate elderly persons continuing to live in their own home, while having the sense of wellbeing associated with knowing that their health status is being automatically monitored on an on-going basis and that in the event of a medical emergency, assistance will be automatically sought by the system. The Bioelectronics Research Cluster at the NCBES also has a significant research activity in Diagnostic and Therapeutic Engineering for Cancer. -ends-

Monday, 25 February 2008

NUI Galway and GMIT have formed a strategic alliance to develop Galway and surrounding areas into a recognised "Knowledge Region". Together they have secured funding of €824,000 under the Strategic Innovation Fund, which supports Higher Education reform. The funding will be used to stimulate economic development, provide a greater range of services to communities, business and industry, and enable people to avail of higher education in the region. This concerted collaborative approach to regional development will deliver greater benefits than could be achieved by implementing parallel programmes. Professor Jim Browne, Registrar and Deputy-President of NUI Galway, welcomed the announcement saying; "The concept of a 'Knowledge Region' is an emerging phenomenon involving the interaction of governmental agencies, knowledge based enterprises and third-level institutions to combine efforts and define common agendas to the benefit of the region. NUI Galway and GMIT, with their history of cooperation and interaction with industry, development agencies and social and cultural organisations in the Galway area, are well placed to act together as a catalyst for further development". Marion Coy, President of GMIT, said: "This strategic alliance is timely in view of the recent push to pour more investment into the eastern region, particularly as there is concern at the lack of focus, and a sense of urgency, around the implementation of the National Spatial Strategy." "Together we will seek to identify services we can offer, look at the expansion of our academic programmes and engage in the joint promotion of higher education in international markets which has potential in relation to the development of tourism. We will also seek to identify how we can promote the region as a centre for new business development and growth." "Developing a knowledge region is the only way to ensure that community life will continue to thrive. This approach harks back to the 'Meitheal' and the belief that we will all be stronger and more successful when we work together, share a vision and drive forward the good of the region," added the GMIT President. The NUI Galway and GMIT collaborative project is one of a range of proposals approved for SIF funding. GMIT was also approved SIF funding worth over €4m for two further projects, both of which will be led by the Institute - "Student-Led Learning" and "Curriculum Reform", which is also a joint collaborative project with NUI Galway. The Strategic Innovation Fund allocated a further €3 million to NUI Galway for the continuation of its academic reorganisation and the development of graduate schools. NUI Galway expects to be a major beneficiary of funds reserved under the SIF initiative for major IT systems development towards transforming the student experience in a cohesive and integrated manner. Professor Browne added that the funding provided to NUI Galway in support of its new academic structures and graduate education was evidence of the progress being made by the University in both areas. -ends-

Monday, 25 February 2008

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway has officially welcomed this year's Bank of Ireland Fellowship Scholar, Dr. Abou Abass from Mauritania. Since 2001, the Fellowship has allowed the Centre to host scholars from developing countries. The aim of the fellowship is to support academically gifted individuals, providing them with an environment in which they can undertake research and increase their knowledge in the field of Human Rights and International Criminal law. At the Irish Centre for Human Rights, Dr. Abass will pursue research on the subject of Africa and the International Criminal Court, while lecturing a course on Gender and Human Rights. Dr. Abou Abass holds a PhD in Law from the University of Paul Cezanne in Aix-en-Provence, France. Prior to taking office as Bank of Ireland fellow, Dr. Abass has spent six months at the Hague, the Netherlands, working as a Law Clerk at the Legal Advisory Section of the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. According to Kathleen Cavanaugh of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, "Since 2001 the Bank of Ireland Fellowship Scholar scheme has supported five scholars from countries such as Mauritania, Nigeria, Ghana and Bangladesh. Through this support, uniquely talented and gifted people have benefited from working with the Irish Centre for Human Rights in Galway. In equal part, we have gained much from the scholarship programme and look forward to working this year with Dr. Abass." The Irish Centre for Human Rights is one of the world's premier university-based institutions for the study and promotion of human rights and humanitarian law. Since its establishment in January 2000, the NUI Galway Centre has developed a global reputation for excellence in the field of human rights teaching, research and advocacy, which has enabled the institution to attract high quality students to its acclaimed Masters programmes and to build a thriving community of doctoral researchers. The Irish Centre for Human Rights presently offers LL.M. programmes in International Human Rights Law, and International Peace Support Operations and has a Cross-Border Programme in Human Rights Law (LL.M.) and Human Rights and Criminal Justice (MSSc/LL.M.), in conjunction with Queens University of Belfast. This year the Irish Centre for Human Rights offers a new LL.M. programme in International Criminal Law. -ends-

Friday, 22 February 2008

NUI Galway is offering a new Masters Degree through Irish in Conference Interpreting (MA Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála), the first of its kind in Ireland. The course has been designed in direct response to Irish becoming an official language of the European Union and the resulting demand for professionals with recognised qualifications in Irish language interpreting and translation. The M.A. programme will be taught through Irish and, in addition to Irish and English, students with a high level of French and Irish will have the opportunity to use French while studying this M.A. The course is based on the European Masters in Conference Interpreting, a programme developed in conjunction with institutions of the European Union and offered in 18 universities across Europe. Devised by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway's dedicated structure for the provision of third level courses through Irish, the M.A. will be delivered in An Cheathrú Rua in the heart of the Connemara Gaeltacht. Eoin Ó Droighneáin, Programme Director, believes the career prospects for graduates will be very good, "The European Union urgently needs to recruit highly trained and qualified Irish language interpreters. The MA Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála is designed to educate and prepare students for a career as a professional conference interpreter. Students will also be trained in the specialised skills of interpreting, leaving them in a strong position to secure prestigious employment on completing the course". The subjects covered in the MA Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála will include Conference Interpreting, simultaneous and consecutive Interpreting, the European Union and International Organisations, as well as the Theory and Practice of Interpreting. The programme will also cover memory exercises, sight translation, note-taking skills, mock conferences, glossaries for technical meetings, voice coaching, and booth etiquette. Students will have the opportunity to visit EU institutions to see at first hand the work of international interpreters. Applications are now being accepted for this full-time one-year course which will begin in September 2008 with a maximum intake of 12 students. Other postgraduate courses in Irish on offer at NUI Galway, include the: M.A. in Language Planning; M.A. in Teaching Methodology (An Ghaeilge); Higher Diploma in Drama; and the Higher Diploma in Applied Communications. In addition to the taught programmes, the NUI Galway's Acadamh offers a research scholarship programme in Information Technology. - ends -

Friday, 22 February 2008

Tá Céim Mháistreachta nua trí Ghaeilge san Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála le tosú in OÉ Gaillimh – an chéad chúrsa dá leithéid in Éirinn. Cinneadh an cúrsa seo a thairiscint de bhua stádas oifigiúil a bheith ag an nGaeilge san Aontas Eorpach agus an t-éileamh atá ann ar lucht gairme le cáilíochtaí aitheanta san ateangaireacht agus san aistriúchán Gaeilge. Is trí Ghaeilge a mhúinfear an clár M.A. agus le cois Gaeilge agus Béarla, beidh deis ag mic léinn le Fraincis agus Gaeilge den scoth, Fraincis a úsáid mar chuid den chúrsa M.A. Tá an cúrsa seo bunaithe ar an gCéim Mháistreachta Eorpaigh in Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála, clár a forbraíodh i gcomhar le hinstitiúidí an Aontais Eorpaigh agus clár atá ar siúl in 18 n-ollscoil ar fud na hEorpa. Is é Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge – coláiste de chuid OÉ Gaillimh atá dírithe ar chúrsaí tríú leibhéal trí mheán na Gaeilge a sholáthar – atá i mbun an chúrsa seo agus is ar an gCeathrú Rua, i gcroílár Ghaeltacht Chonamara, a bheidh an cúrsa ar siúl. Deir Eoin Ó Droighneáin, Stiúrthóir an Chláir, go gcreideann sé go mbeidh an-deis ag céimithe an chúrsa seo poist mhaithe a fháil agus gur "gá anois ateangairí Gaeilge ardoilte agus ardcháilithe a earcú san Aontas Eorpach. Is é atá mar aidhm leis an M.A. (Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála) mic léinn a oiliúint agus a ullmhú ionas gur féidir leo poist mar ateangairí comhdhála a fháil. Lena chois sin, cuirfear oiliúint ar mhic léinn sna sainscileanna ateangaireachta, rud a chinnteoidh go mbeidh ar a gcumas poist mhaithe a fháil nuair a bheidh an cúrsa críochnaithe". I measc na n-ábhar a chlúdaítear mar chuid den M.A. (Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála) tá Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála, Ateangaireacht Chomhuaineach, Ateangaireacht Leantach, an tAontas Eorpach agus Eagraíochtaí Idirnáisiúnta, mar aon le Teoiric agus Cleachtas Ateangaireachta. I measc na ngnéithe eile den chúrsa áireofar cleachtaí cuimhne, aistriúchán le hamharc, scileanna breacadh nótaí, bréagchomhdhálacha, gluaiseanna do chruinnithe teicniúla, oiliúint ghutha, agus dea-bhéas botha. Beidh deis ag mic léinn cuairt a thabhairt ar institiúidí an AE chun taithí phearsanta a fháil ar an obair a bhíonn ar siúl ag ateangairí idirnáisiúnta. Táthar ag glacadh le hiarratais anois don chúrsa lánaimseartha bliana seo a bheidh ag tosú i mí Mheán Fómhair 2008. Tá áit ar an gcúrsa do 12 mac léinn. I measc na gcúrsaí iarchéime Gaeilge eile atá ar fáil in OÉ Gaillimh tá: M.A. i bPleanáil Teanga; M.A. i dTeagasc Teangacha (An Ghaeilge); Ard-Dioplóma sa Drámaíocht; agus Ard-Dioplóma sa Chumarsáid Fheidhmeach. Chomh maith leis na cúrsaí múinte, tá scoláireacht taighde sa Teicneolaíocht Faisnéise á tairiscint ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. - críoch -

Friday, 22 February 2008

The NUI Galway Teaching Careers Fair takes place on Wednesday, 27 February, 2008, from 5-7pm in Áras na Mac Léinn. The event is aimed at those interested in a career in teaching, whether they are graduates, current or prospective students of the Postgraduate Diploma in Education. Over 20 exhibitors will attend, including employers such as County Galway VEC, County Wicklow VEC and Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh. UK employers including Red Teachers, MPS Education, Mossbourne Community College, Protocol Education and UTeach Recruitment are also travelling to the event to showcase employment opportunities for the next academic year. NUI Galway's exhibition stand will provide information on the Postgraduate Diploma in Education programme. Education providers from the UK, such as St. Mary's College in Twickenham, will be available to discuss vacancies on Postgraduate Certificate in Education courses in the UK. Deirdre Sheridan, of NUI Galway's Career Development Centre, says this is an excellent one-stop-shop for those interested in teaching, "For graduates and current students, employers will be taking CVs on the day as well as hosting interviews on campus in the days following the event. For those considering undertaking a postgraduate teaching qualification, there will be presentations highlighting the different entry routes to a career in teaching from both an Irish and UK perspective." Information providers will also have a presence at the event with the Teaching Council, and ASTI, the second level teachers union, listed to attend. For a full list of exhibitors visit www.nuigalway.ie/careers -ends-

Thursday, 21 February 2008

From Galway to Lisbon – What's in it for Ireland? The NUI Galway Political Discussion Society (PDS) will host a debate on the EU Reform Treaty Debate entitled 'From Galway to Lisbon – What's in it for Ireland?' The debate is to take place on Monday, 25 February, 2008 at 8pm in the O Flaherty Theatre at NUI Galway. The event includes a line-up of national speakers: Leader of Fine Gael, Deputy Enda Kenny T.D.; Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Éamon Ó Cuív T.D.; President of the Labour Party, Deputy Michael D. Higgins T.D.; Leader of the Socialist Party, Joe Higgins; Declan Ganley of the Libertas Campaign; and Patricia McKenna of the People's Movement. The panel discussion will be chaired by President of NUI Galway, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh. The society hopes that this debate, which will be the largest to be held in Ireland to date on the matter, will encourage awareness among students and the general public on the key issue of the EU Reform Treaty. The meeting will be free and open to both students and public alike. As capacity is limited, those wishing to attend the meeting are advised to come early to avoid disappointment. Ends

Friday, 15 February 2008

The Governing Authority (Údarás na hOllscoile) of National University of Ireland, Galway has today (15 February 2008) announced the appointment of Professor Jim Browne (55) as the incoming President of the University. Currently Registrar and Deputy-President at NUI Galway, Professor Browne's appointment will come into effect on 6 March 2008. Professor Browne will be the twelfth President of the University and his term will be for ten years. Commenting, the Chairman of the Selection Board appointed by the Governing Authority, Dr Noel Dorr, said; "Professor Browne is a distinguished academic with very wide international contacts and experience of other Universities in Europe, the US, Asia and Latin America. He has a personal record of research and an understanding of the importance of promoting it in the University. He combines this with a strong commitment to upholding the traditional values of the University across all of the sciences and the humanities and to developing and enhancing its primary role as an educational institution. In his present post as Registrar and Deputy-President he has been deeply involved in necessary and important changes to the structure and functioning of the University which have been achieved on a basis of participation, to the benefit of both staff and students. It is widely recognised that, in this and other ways, he has made a major contribution to the progress and the success of NUI Galway over the past seven years". Concluding, he said: "The post of University President in Ireland today is one of very particular responsibility. It calls for leadership of a high order in shaping the development of the University over the decade ahead. In particular it calls for a capacity to respond creatively and sensitively to regional and national needs while respecting and upholding the traditional educational function of the University as such. It is for these reasons that the Selection Board tasked by the Governing Authority to select a new President, unanimously recommended the appointment of Professor Jim Browne. We wish him the very best in what will be a challenging and rewarding role." Dr Dorr also paid tribute to Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh for his tremendous achievements during his successful tenure as President of NUI Galway since 2000. Professor Browne, a native of Athlone, Co Westmeath, and an engineering graduate of NUI Galway, is a former Dean of Engineering (1996 - 2001) and, for the past seven years, Registrar and Deputy-President of the University. He has a record of achievement in academic leadership, strategic planning and change management within NUI Galway. Professor Browne has published over 200 academic papers and 15 books. He was awarded the degree DSc by the University of Manchester for published work in 1990, is a member of the Royal Irish Academy and the Irish Academy of Engineering. Professor Browne's leadership roles include: member of the editorial board of a number of international research journals; member of Irish Universities Quality Board since 2004; senior Vice-President of Engineers Ireland; Member of the Senate of the National University of Ireland since 2001; member of the Health and Social Care Professionals Council; member of the Board of CAO; Member of the EPSRC Review Group on Engineering Research Centres in the UK; member of the Board of the Galway University Foundation since 2001; and Member of the Board of Music for Galway. Professor Browne also has considerable experience of working with overseas Universities, public and private bodies. Professor Browne is married to Maeve; they have four children. The appointment was made following an extensive national and international search, with professional assistance through a Search Committee. The selection process was conducted by a distinguished Selection Board. Both bodies were chaired in a non-voting capacity by Dr Noel Dorr, Cathaoirleach of Údarás na hOllscoile. The examination in Irish was conducted by a Bord Gaeilge. All three bodies had significant external as well as internal membership. -ends-

Friday, 15 February 2008

Inniu (15 Feabhra 2008) d'ainmnigh Údarás na hOllscoile Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh an tOllamh Jim Browne (55) mar Uachtarán nua na hOllscoile. I láthair na huaire tá an tOllamh Browne ag feidhmiú mar Mheabhránaí agus Uachtarán Ionaid in OÉ Gaillimh agus cuirfidh sé tús lena phost nua mar Uachtarán an 6 Márta 2008. Is é an tOllamh Browne an dara hUachtarán déag atá ceaptha san Ollscoil agus mairfidh a théarma oifige deich mbliana. Dúirt an Dr Noel Dorr, Cathaoirleach an Bhoird Roghnúcháin a cheap Údarás na hOllscoile go bhfuil "cáil bainte amach ag an Ollamh Browne mar scoláire mór le rá, tá teagmhálacha aige ar fud na cruinne agus tá taithí aige ar Ollscoileanna eile san Eoraip, sna Stáit Aontaithe, san Áise agus Meiriceá Laidineach. Tá go leor taighde déanta aige féin agus tuigeann sé an tábhacht a bhaineann le tacú le taighde san Ollscoil. Lena chois seo, tá sé mar aidhm aige luachanna traidisiúnta na hOllscoile a chaomhnú i réimse na n-eolaíochtaí agus na ndaonnachtaí agus príomhról na hOllscoile mar institiúid oideachais a fhorbairt agus a fheabhsú. Le linn dó a bheith ag obair mar Mheabhránaí agus Uachtarán Ionaid bhí dlúthbhaint aige leis na hathruithe riachtanacha agus tábhachtacha atá le déanamh ar struchtúr agus ar fheidhmiú na hOllscoile; athruithe atá curtha i bhfeidhm trí rannpháirtíocht, agus athruithe a théann chun tairbhe comhaltaí foirne agus mic léinn araon. Is léir go bhfuil an-obair déanta aige maidir le cur chun cinn agus rath OÉ Gaillimh a chinntiú le seacht mbliana anuas". Mar fhocal scoir, dúirt sé: "Baineann freagracht ar leith le post mar Uachtarán Ollscoile in Éirinn sa lá atá inniu ann. Is post é a éilíonn ceannaireacht chun an Ollscoil a fhorbairt sna deich mbliana amach romhainn. Tá gá le freagairt chruthaitheach agus íogaireach do riachtanais réigiúnacha agus náisiúnta agus ag an am céanna meas a léiriú ar fheidhm thraidisiúnta oideachais na hOllscoile agus an fheidhm sin a choimeád. Bunaithe ar na cúiseanna seo, bhí an Bord Roghnúcháin a d'ainmnigh Údarás na hOllscoile chun Uachtarán nua a roghnú, ar aon fhocal maidir leis an Ollamh Jim Browne a ainmniú don phost mar Uachtarán. Guímid gach rath air sa phost dúshlánach, suimiúil seo." Chomh maith leis sin, ghabh an Dr Dorr buíochas ó chroí leis an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh as an obair iontach atá curtha i gcrích aige ó ceapadh mar Uachtarán ar OÉ Gaillimh é sa bhliain 2000. Fear de bhunadh Bhaile Átha Luain, Co. na hIarmhí é an tOllamh Browne. Rinne sé céim innealtóireachta in OÉ Gaillimh, ceapadh é mar Dhéan Innealtóireachta (1996 – 2001) agus le seacht mbliana anuas tá sé ag obair mar Mheabhránaí agus Uachtarán Ionaid in OÉ Gaillimh. Tá an-chuid bainte amach aige ó thaobh ceannaireacht acadúil, pleanáil straitéiseach agus bainistíocht athruithe laistigh de OÉ Gaillimh. Tá os cionn 200 páipéar acadúil agus 15 leabhar foilsithe ag an Ollamh Browne. Sa bhliain 1990 bhronn Ollscoil Mhanchain céim DSc air as an obair a bhí foilsithe aige. Is comhalta é d'Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann agus the Irish Academy of Engineering. Seo a leanas cuid de róil cheannaireachta an Ollaimh Browne: Comhalta de bhord eagarthóireachta roinnt irisí taighde idirnáisiúnta; comhalta de Bhord Feabhais Ollscoileanna na hÉireann ó 2004; Leas-Uachtarán Sinsearach ar Engineers Ireland; Comhalta de Sheanad Ollscoil na hÉireann ó 2001; comhalta de Chomhairle Lucht Gairme Sláinte agus Cúram Sóisialta; comhalta de Bhord an CAO; Comhalta de Ghrúpa Athbhreithnithe an EPSRC ar Ionaid Taighde Innealtóireachta sa Ríocht Aontaithe; comhalta de Bhord Fhondúireacht Ollscoil na Gaillimhe ó 2001; agus Comhalta de Bhord Music for Galway. Tá an-taithí ag an Ollamh Browne ar a bheith ag obair le comhlachtaí poiblí agus príobháideacha agus le hOllscoileanna thar sáile. Tá an tOllamh Browne pósta le Maeve; agus tá ceathrar clainne acu. Ní dhearnadh an ceapachán go raibh cuardach maith náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta déanta, le cúnamh gairmiúil ó Choiste Cuardaigh. Bhí Bord Roghnúcháin i gceannas ar an bpróiseas roghnúcháin. Bhí an Dr Noel Dorr, Cathaoirleach Údarás na hOllscoile, ina chathaoirleach ar an dá bhord sin. Bord na Gaeilge a reáchtáil an scrúdú Gaeilge. Bhí comhaltaí inmheánacha agus comhaltaí seachtracha ar na trí ghrúpa.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

John O'Shea, the CEO of GOAL, will deliver a public seminar at NUI Galway on Thursday, 21 February, from 1-2pm. The high-profile campaigner will offer personal and professional reflections on 'The Tragedy That Is the Third World' and the work of GOAL in terms of crisis reduction. The event is being hosted by the University's Community Knowledge Initiative in partnership with the student-led GOAL Society. From its first year of operation in 1977, when it spent €12,000 on a street children's project in Calcutta, GOAL has grown to spend over €400 million implementing relief and development programmes in 50 countries in the past 30 years. Student Peter Mannion, who heads up the GOAL Society at NUI Galway, said, "With over 200 members, our student society is very active in terms of fundraising to support GOAL. We are thrilled to have John visiting us here on campus and look forward to hearing his point of view, as he has been on the front-line in terms of responding to major natural and man-made disasters for over thirty years." John O'Shea's visit is part of a long-running Keynote Seminar Series devised by the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway to address pertinent civic issues. According to Lorraine McIlrath, who coordinates CKI, "We have had some fascinating seminars in the past, with the likes of Dr. Garrett FitzGerald and Michael D. Higgins T.D., which help generate debate among about our society and civic responsibilities. This event will be a great opportunity to hear some of John's personal insights regarding the sometimes controversial arena of international relief and development." This free, public event takes place in the Siobhán McKenna Theatre, Arts Millennium Building, from 1-2pm. To attend, please contact Mary Bernard at the CKI Office by e-mail mary.bernard@nuigalway.ie or by phone 091 493823. -ends-

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

NUI Galway was successful in securing two of the new Science Foundation Ireland Engineering Professorship and Lectureship posts announced recently by Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Micheál Martin, T.D. Both posts are in the biomedical engineering discipline and the new lecturers will be hired by the College of Engineering and Informatics later this year. The new staff will be integrated into the research activities of the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at the University and will also support the programme within the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI). An interesting feature of this Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) scheme is the significant involvement of the private sector which is providing 20% co-funding. Professor Padraic O Donoghue, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, is delighted with the University's success in this highly competitive proposal call, "Both positions will greatly assist NUI Galway in its goal of generating highly trained and qualified graduates, and in generating world class research, in biomedical engineering in a manner that will be directly relevant to industry. The new lecturers will be appointed following an extensive international search to attract and identify the best available candidates." One of the positions is a lectureship in functional biomaterials. This position will underpin the recently established Network of Excellence in Functional Biomaterials at the University – a strategic research cluster that has also been funded by SFI under the leadership of Professor Abhay Pandit. The lectureship is in partnership with the Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association (DEBRA-Ireland). DEBRA is engaged in identifying and funding specific research projects likely to lead to a cure and successful treatments for epidermolysis bullosa (EB). The second position is a lectureship in the area of biomechanics and will be associated with the research programme under the direction of Professor Peter McHugh. This position will focus on the combination of core engineering mechanics analysis and design skills with a knowledge of human biology, and the application of these skills in the biomedical science and engineering arena. Strongly supported by the medical technologies sector, the post is part sponsored by Medtronic CardioVascular, Galway, and Stryker Instruments, Cork, whose operations in Ireland are in the cardiovascular and orthopaedic areas, respectively. The SFI Professorship and Lectureship programme will run for a further three years and it is planned to create a total of 35 new posts over the lifetime of the scheme. The SFI funding covers the first five years for the posts and at that time they will be integrated into the regular university system. -ends-

Monday, 11 February 2008

On Wednesday, 20 February, the Environmental Change Institute at NUI Galway will host an exciting two-man show 'Foresight or Frivolity? Flann O'Brien and the Science of The Third Policeman'. In this free, public event, DCU's Professor Dermot Diamond and performer Fergus Cronin, will take a number of excerpts from The Third Policeman, and illustrate the links between the writings and the science that influences Flann O'Brien's writing. In his writings, and particularly in The Third Policeman, Flann O'Brien took scientific principles, extrapolated them to fantastic proportions, and set the outcomes in a bizarre context that is at once both logical and illogical. Written in 1940, but not published until after the author's death in 1967, the story follows the trail of a murderer-on-the-run through an Irish countryside that is not as we know it. In this setting, the narrator is continually challenged by scientific processes that we normally take for granted such as the relationship between light and time, the Conservation of Energy, and perhaps most famously, the Molecule Theory. Dr. Dónal Leech, of NUI Galway's School of Chemistry and Environmental Change Institute, says, "Look forward to an amusing and thrilling exploration of the fantastic scientific principles and applications devised by the comic genius of Flann O'Brien. His hilarious description of how molecular theory contributes to the production of part-Garda, part-bicycle (and vice-versa), and other amazing, though increasingly realistic visions of science (such as the production of needle-points so sharp to be invisible to the naked eye, now commonplace in nanoscience and technology), will be on show at this spectacle." The event is certain to be as entertaining as it is informative, having delighted audiences at the 2005 Kilkenny Arts Festival. It is free and is open to all, and will begin at 8pm in the Orbsen Building's Seminar Room, with light refreshments from 7.30pm. For more information contact: sarah.knight@nuigalway.ie. -ends-

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Frankie Gavin, Máirtín O'Connor and Mary McPartlan are just some of the performers set to appear at the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway this Thursday, 7 February, as part of special night of traditional music, storytelling and dance. The evening will also feature musicians Ronan Browne, Arty McGlynn, and sean-nós singer Róisín Elsafty. The show will be unique in that each performer will give a short talk on their performance giving an insight in to their respective art forms. Sean-nós dancer Róisín Ní Mhainín and traditional storyteller Fiona Kelly will also perform in their own inimitable traditional styles. Doors will be open from 7pm and tickets are available on the door. Performance begins at 7.30 pm sharp. Admission is €10 and free for students of NUI Galway. The event is part of NUI Galway's Arts in Action programme and is featured in the 2008 Múscailt Arts festival programme. Arts in Action is a specially designed programme for undergraduate students in the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies. The programme offers illustrated performances and lectures in a variety of art forms and acts as an open invitation to come closer to the Creative Arts. Múscailt '08, NUI Galway's Spring Arts Festival, will take place from the 5th to the 9th of February 2008. For the entire week the campus will be alive with concerts, theatre, dance, exhibitions, storytelling, film and live performances. Almost all events are free and everybody is welcome. ENDS

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

I measc cuid de na haíonna a bheidh ag seinm san Aula Maxima in OÉ Gaillimh Déardaoin, an 7 Feabhra, mar chuid d'oíche speisialta de cheol traidisiúnta, seanchas agus damhsa beidh Frankie Gavin, Máirtín O'Connor agus Mary McPartlan. I measc na gceoltóirí a bheidh ag seinm tá Ronan Browne agus Arty McGlynn. Beidh an t-amhranaí sean-nóis Róisín Elsafty ar an ardán freisin. Seó ar leith a bheidh anseo sa mhéid is go mbeidh deis ag gach duine a bheidh ar an ardán labhairt leis an slua agus léargas a thabhairt ar an bhfoirm ealaíne a chleachtann siad féin. Tabharfaidh an damhsóir ar na sean-nós Róisín Ní Mhainín agus an seanchaí Fiona Kelly léargas ar a stíl thraidisiúnta féin ar an oíche freisin. Beidh fáilte roimh an slua ó 7pm ar aghaidh agus beidh ticéid ar díol ag an doras. Cuirfear tús le himeachtaí na hoíche ag 7.30 pm. Cosnaíonn ticéad €10 agus tá saorchead isteach ag mic léinn OÉ Gaillimh. Is cuid de chlár Arts in Action OÉ Gaillimh an t-imeacht seo agus is cuid den chlár Múscailt 2008 é freisin. Tá an clár Arts in Action dírithe ar mhic léinn fochéime atá i mbun staidéir i gColáiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte & an Léinn Cheiltigh. Mar chuid den chlár áirítear léiriúcháin agus léachtaí ar fhoirmeacha éagsúla ealaíne. Tugann an clár seo deis don phobal na hEalaíona Cruthaitheacha a bhlaiseadh. Beidh Múscailt '08, Féile Ealaíon an Earraigh OÉ Gaillimh, ar siúl idir 5 – 9 Feabhra 2008. Beidh idir cheolchoirmeacha, sheónna amharclainne, dhamhsa, thaispeántais, sheanchas, scannáin agus léiriúcháin bheo ar siúl ar an gcampas i gcaitheamh na seachtaine. Tá saorchead isteach ag formhór na n-imeachtaí agus tá fáilte roimh chách. CRÍOCH

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

The Annual NUI Galway Graduate Studies Fair took place on Monday, 4 February. With the focus entirely on 'fourth-level' the event showcased 429 full-time and part-time postgraduate programmes on offer at NUI Galway, including taught and research masters, and doctoral research options. Seminars addressed 'Research & Funding Opportunities' and 'Careers and Making a Postgraduate Application'. Working with the 'fourth-level' theme, NUI Galway's graduate education opportunities are now under the banner go4th™. An online prospectus of all that is on offer at NUI Galway is available at www.go4th.ie. The postgraduate application process is also online, through PAC (Postgraduate Applications Centre www.pac.ie).

Friday, 1 February 2008

Tom Arnold, CEO of Concern Worldwide and Lyndall Stein, Director of Concern UK, will lead a discussion forum at NUI Galway's Huston School of Film & Digital Media on Friday, 8 February at 6.30pm. Entitled 'Influencing Social Change', this free, public event is aimed at local charities, campaigners, activists and others who wish to influence positive social change. The event will also be of interest to current and prospective students of NUI Galway's MA/Postgraduate Diploma in Public Advocacy and Activism. Tom Arnold will discuss how Concern links its work in some 30 of the world's poorest countries to advocacy for policy change at national and international level. Lyndall Stein will discuss the role of emotions and images and their power to affect social change, drawing on her expertise and experience as Director of Concern UK. A questions and answers session will follow. Rod Stoneman, Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media which runs the MA/Postgraduate Diploma in Public Advocacy and Activism, said, "If you are currently involved in or wish to become involved in charity work, public advocacy or campaigning, this workshop promises to be a great educational, networking and social event. This is an excellent opportunity to gain feedback and advice and compare experiences with two internationally renowned charity figures. Between them, they bring a wealth of experience in humanitarian and development work, agricultural policy, advocacy and fundraising." Spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. For more information and to register email derval.mccormack@nuigalway.ie or call 091 495076 -ends-

Friday, 28 March 2008

NUI Galway students interested in starting community projects will soon be able to bid for seed funding to develop their ideas. Details of the new 'Civic Engagement Fund' will be released at the fifth annual ALIVE Certificate for Volunteering ceremony on Thursday, 10 April. At the ceremony, up to 500 students will receive the ALIVE Certificate for Volunteering, recognising their time spent volunteering this academic year. Through NUI Galway's ALIVE programme, students have volunteered with organisations including Ability West, the Gaf Youth Café, Amnesty International, Childline, Galway Simon Community, Enable Ireland and Down Syndrome Ireland. "The annual presentation of the ALIVE Certificate for Volunteering is an important opportunity to recognise students for their volunteering, and to encourage their sense of civic responsibility," said Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator for the ALIVE programme at NUI Galway. She continued, "This year we are launching the Civic Engagement Fund, which has huge potential. Our community partners and students have so many innovative ideas that simply require some seed funding to turn them into concrete projects. It might mean money to hire a venue for a fundraiser or to print posters as part of a social awareness campaign. Ultimately, the real value of the fund will be in supporting students' enthusiasm for community involvement." Katie Stack, fourth-year Occupational Therapy student at NUI Galway volunteered to befriend a person with an intellectual disability for Ability West. According to Katie, "Volunteering puts all the college work in perspective, it is important to know there is more to life. There is an impact for the service user but also for the volunteers, we love it." Over the academic year the ALIVE programme has supported over 1300 students interested in volunteering and the year now culminates with students applying for an ALIVE Certificate for Volunteering. Professor Jim Ward, Deputy-President and Registrar of NUI Galway, and Galway City Mayor Tom Costello, are expected to attend the ceremony, as well as community members, students and NUI Galway support personnel. The event takes place in the Aula Maxima, Quadrangle Building, NUI Galway, at 1pm on Thursday, 10 April. -ends-

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

NUI Galway's Vice-President for Research, Professor Nicholas Canny, has been elected the 53rd President of the Royal Irish Academy. The Royal Irish Academy was founded by royal charter in 1785 as Ireland's academy for the sciences and the humanities. Not since the 4th Earl of Rosse was elected in 1896 has the Royal Irish Academy elected a President based outside of Dublin. At NUI Galway, Professor Canny is also a Professor of History and Director of the University's Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies. Commenting on the appointment, NUI Galway President, Professor Jim Browne, said, "The election of Professor Canny is a great personal honour and brings great lustre and prestige to the Moore Institute, to the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies and to NUI Galway. I have no doubt but that he will be an excellent leader of the Academy in these important times for research and scholarship in Ireland". On his election, Professor Canny said, "The decision by the Members of the Academy to look outside Dublin for a President represents a fresh determination of the Academy to assert itself as a body committed to preserving the cultural and environmental heritage of all parts of the island of Ireland". Professor Canny added that he was elected, "To continue the outstanding work of his predecessor, Professor Jim Slevin, in upholding academic excellence in all fields, in advocating the promotion of a better research environment in Ireland, and in seeing that the Royal Irish Academy meets its obligations towards its own research projects, and identifies and negotiates funding for new undertakings in science as well as in the humanities and social sciences". Professor Canny was educated at University College Galway (now NUI Galway), the University of London and the University of Pennsylvania, and is a leading authority on early modern history. His many books and articles have dealt with developments in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and include The Oxford History of the British Empire Vol. 1: The Origins of Empire (1998) and Making Ireland British, 1580-1650 (2001). He was awarded the Irish Historical Research Prize for published work in 1976 and 2003. His current academic commitment is to Atlantic History in general and more particularly to comparing French with English writing on the Natural History of the Atlantic World from 1550 to 1720. Internationally well known as a scholar, Nicholas Canny is the only Irish person to share with Séamus Heaney the distinction of being both a Fellow of the British Academy and a Member of the American Philosophical Society. Professor Canny is not the first Galway scholar to be elected President of the Royal Irish Academy. That distinction goes to Cloughballymore scientist, Richard Kirwan (1733-1812) who was elected President in 1799. Kirwan, who lived in Cregg Castle, is renowned for his study of meteorology and in particular for producing a chart showing the temperature of every latitude between the Equator and the Poles. -ends-

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

NUI Galway has welcomed today's announcement by Minister for Education and Science, Mary Hanafin, T.D., regarding an allocation of €6,147,900 to enhance research facilities at the University. The funding has been specifically allocated to improve research space and facilities in Biomedical Science and Engineering which is one of the University's designated research priority areas. Improvement in the research space and working conditions in this area of NUI Galway's research portfolio will enhance research training and support efforts to increase the number of PhD students in an area which is not only important to the University but to the region and the country. Welcoming the funding boost, Professor Nicholas Canny, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway, said, "Researchers from the several academic disciplines associated with Biomedical Science and Engineering have succeeded beyond all expectations in raising research funding from an extraordinarily wide range of sources. This enhancement to their research space is no more than they deserve and will enable their research to attain new heights in the months and years ahead". The allocation is part of a €58m scheme being managed by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) on behalf of the Department of Education and Science, for the refurbishment of research facilities at third-level institutions. The level of funding allocated to each of 20 institutions was based on applications received and assessed by a panel representing the Department and the HEA. Announcing the funding for the successful bidding institutions, Minister Hanafin said, "Continued strong investment in research infrastructure sends a very important message that Ireland is serious about research. Attracting first class researchers and delivering world-class research in a globally competitive environment is paramount. The training of future researchers will ultimately bring economic and social benefits nationally". A recent HEA/Forfás Research Infrastructure Review had identified shortfalls in research infrastructure. "This funding will assist in addressing these shortfalls and enhance the capabilities of the institutions," said Minister Hanafin. -ends-

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

NUI Galway will host an international conference on bacterial infectious diseases from 27-28 March, 2008. Presentations will be made by leading international experts on a variety of well known pathogens including Salmonella and E. coli, as well as lesser known pathogens such as Listeria and Helicobacter pylori. The focus of the conference will be on bacterial infectious diseases that occur in humans, in particular the interactions that occur between bacterial pathogens and the human host. Understanding these interactions builds up a clearer picture of how infectious diseases progress within the host, supporting the development of new treatment therapies. According to conference organiser Dr. Conor O'Byrne of the Microbiology Department at NUI Galway, "We will hear the latest scientific findings from world-renowned experts on infectious pathogens such as Listeria and Helicobacter pylori. Listeria can cause food poisoning in vulnerable groups such as infants or pregnant women, which is the main reason that pregnant women are often advised to avoid certain food groups, such as soft cheeses and pâté. H. pylori infects about half of the world's population and infections can result in the development of stomach ulcers and in some cases of stomach cancer". He continued, "This event is an opportunity for researchers at NUI Galway to showcase their world-class research programmes on infectious diseases. It also represents a wonderful chance to exchange ideas about the latest developments in this fast-moving field of research and to forge exciting new collaborations both in Ireland and internationally." The conference is expected to attract over one hundred researchers from all over the world, including Canada, France, the US and the UK, as well as speakers from institutions throughout Ireland. The event is funded by the Society for General Microbiology, which is the largest Microbiology Society in the Ireland and the UK. For further information visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/microbiology/ -ends-

Friday, 14 March 2008

A group of 41 NUI Galway students studying Geography as part of their BA are taking a field trip to Shanghai. The students will study the economic, social, tourism and environmental geographies of Shanghai during 16-23 March. Situated on the banks of the Yangtze River Delta in East China, Shanghai is the largest city in China. The students will explore aspects of Shanghai's urban development, including planning issues, tourism and industrial development. Environmental issues in this rapidly developing region will be investigated with students examining issues surrounding conservation promotion, biodiversity, water and air quality Course co-ordinator Dr. Chaosheng Zhang, of NUI Galway's Geography Department, comments, "Shanghai is a fascinating example of the march in tandem of economic development and drastic landscape change. The students have a packed agenda on this trip and will learn much from first hand experience of field work and research in the city". The students will be accompanied Dr. Chaosheng Zhang and his colleagues Professor Seamus Grimes, Dr. Mary Cawley and Dr. Aaron Potito. Five postgraduate students will also make the journey. In preparation for the trip, everyone has had some introductory Chinese language classes. The Geography Department at NUI Galway organises international field trips every year and has taken students to Barcelona, Sophia and Beijing in recent years. -ends-

Friday, 14 March 2008

Friday, 14 March, 2008: The Minister for Innovation Policy, Mr. Michael Ahern T.D., launched a national collaborative programme on Commercialisation of Research and Technology Transfer at an event last Thursday in TCD Dublin. The collaborative pilot programme between TCD, UCC and NUI Galway is funded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) under the strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) to develop PhD programmes in commercialisation and technology transfer. At the launch Minister Ahern said, "Ireland is turning from an investment driven economy to a knowledge driven economy leading to an increase in technology transfer and commercialisation as well as the number of people involved in research. Graduating PhD levels are also on the rise". Fiona Neary of the Ignite Technology Transfer Office, NUI Galway, says, "It is an exciting time to be part of a technology transfer group working on programmes such as this one where we can work first hand with budding entrepreneurs striving to make their business idea a commercial reality. The commercialisation path is a difficult one so all available training support can make an enormous difference to the technology researcher, the universities and hopefully the economy in the long run." Dr. Lawrence Dooley, Innovation and Business lecturer, UCC, on the topic of market validation said, "We need to get the ying and yang of the technology and the market interacting, bringing together the key collaborations to develop the required innovation, this is key to validating your business concept". Other topics to be covered during the three-year pilot programme include opportunity proposition, the selling model, the funding gap and intellectual property management. For further information on this programme please contact Fiona Neary, IGNITE Technology Transfer Office, NUI Galway at 091-492400 or log on to www.nuigalway.ie/tto -ends-

Thursday, 13 March 2008

The role of the business 'Strategy Director' will be the subject of a talk at NUI Galway on Wednesday, 19 March, by Professor Duncan Angwin of the Warwick Business School, Warwick University. Professor Angwin, a fellow of Saïd Business School, Oxford, is co-author of the recently published The Strategy Pathfinder. The free public event is part of a series of talks on business and innovation by leading international figures and will take place at 7pm at the EMBA Suite, Cairnes Graduate School of Business and Public Policy, NUI Galway. The series is supported by Enterprise Ireland in collaboration with NUI Galway's Centre for Innovation and Structural Change. Professor Angwin will discuss the rise of strategy formulation by functional officers resulting in strategic marketing, strategic IT and strategic operations in various contexts. Therefore, little attention has been paid to those senior executives specifically tasked with being 'Strategy Directors' – defined as senior (non CEO) executives. Professor Angwin will question what distinctive role the Strategy Director performs if everyone else is now a strategist. He will also query whether these senior executives are obsolete or do they carry out a critical and largely unsung function. According to Dr. James Cunningham, Centre for Innovation and Structural Change, NUI Galway, "Whether strategy is born out of the functional departments of a business or at a more senior dedicated level, is an interesting question. This seminar aims to address these questions and present current empirical research from the UK. Professor Angwin is an expert in this field and the talk will be of interest to those with an interest in the evolving machinations of business strategy". For further information contact Tara Cosgrave on 091 492817. -ends-

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

A new Engineering degree programme in Sports & Exercise Engineering is to be offered by the College of Engineering & Informatics in collaboration with the College of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences at NUI Galway. The B.E./M.Eng.Sc. Sports & Exercise Engineering degree will be offered for direct entry in September 2008 and CAO entry in September 2009. The programme will allow successful students to exit after four years with a level 8 B.E. degree or after five years with level 9 M.Eng.Sc., however the full benefits to the students of the programme will be achieved with the five year programme. This programme offering represents the first degree programme in Sports & Exercise Engineering on the island of Ireland. Professional sport is a worldwide multi-billion euro industry and plays a central role in most western societies. Today technology is used on a regular basis to improve sports performance in elite athletes. The new Sports & Exercise Engineering programme at NUI Galway will provide the graduate with the skills and expertise to design systems and devices for the evaluation and execution of sport performance across a broad range of sports. Professor Padraic O'Donoghue, Dean of Engineering and Informatics, NUI Galway, says, "This new degree programme represents an exciting venture for Engineering at NUI Galway. It is an excellent example of a focused interdisciplinary programme whereby some of the latest engineering techniques are meshed with medical and scientific concepts to train a cohort of students with a unique skillset. Thus, graduates of the programme will be able to address a range of highly relevant problems associated with sports and exercise". The professional Engineering degree programme will have a strong multi-disciplinary focus and will create a new type of Engineer whose training and education will provide the graduate with the skills and expertise to design innovative systems and devices for the assessment and performance of sport and exercise with a particular emphasis on elderly participation in exercise and on increasing participation of children in sport & exercise. Professor B.G. Loftus, Dean of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, NUI Galway, says, "The evolving obesity epidemic reflects an imbalance between energy ingested and expended. The decline in levels of physical activity at all ages is, in large part, responsible for this epidemic, and also contributes to increased risk of many other illnesses. It is incumbent on us to remedy this at societal level through initiatives like this new Engineering programme, which will produce a new generation of engineers with the skills and expertise to design novel systems and devices to increase participation in exercise across the age groups. The programme will incorporate significant elements of Anatomy, Physiology, Mechanical Engineering and Sport & Exercise Engineering practice and a major input of Electronic Engineering to reflect a particular focus in the programme on the development of a range of ambulatory electronic devices for movement assessment in sport & exercise, ambulatory monitoring of human performance in sport & exercise and the design of systems & devices for the performance and assessment of exercise, rehabilitation and sport. Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin, Head of Electronic Engineering and course co-ordinator, says, "This programme will benefit from two major infrastructural developments on the NUI Galway campus: the completion of the €20 Million, 6,500 sq. meter Sports Centre by June 2008 and the expected completion of a €60 Million, 14,000 sq. meter New Engineering Building, which will feature state-of-the-art Engineering teaching and research laboratories, including a multi-purpose motion analysis laboratory, by September 2010." For further information on the new programme contact Prof. Gearóid Ó Laighin at 087-6504801 or email: gearoid.olaighin@nuigalway.ie ENDS