NUI Galway to Launch Ryan Institute with Public Symposium

NUI Galway to Launch Ryan Institute with Public Symposium-image

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science and Pat Rabbitte TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources to attend NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research will be officially launched on Tuesday, 10 July, by Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science. TheRyan Institutehas over 300 researchers making itIreland’s largest research institute to focus on some of the most pressing environmental and energy issues of the 21st century. The official launch will coincide with a public symposium entitled ‘Green Shift, Blue Growth, Bright Future?’ featuring leading international experts in the environmental marine, energy and smart infrastructure research. EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: “If Europe is to become more competitive and innovative, we need the best brains working together to face the challenges and seize the opportunities ahead. This new Institute, embedded in NUI Galway, will build on the long-standing excellence of the Environmental Change Institute and the Martin Ryan Institute for Marine Science, and will pool resources and expertise. I am convinced that the Ryan Institute will increase Ireland’s already considerable contribution to European environmental, marine and energy research.” The symposium will be opened by Pat Rabbitte TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. The keynote address, ‘A global perspective on the environment in 2040’, will be delivered by Dr Aaron Bernstein, Director of the Centre for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School. He is co-author of the acclaimed book Sustaining Life, which examines the threats that diminishing biodiversity pose to human health. Other speakers at the symposium will include: Dr Kristina Johnson, former Under Secretary for Energy at the Department of Energy in Washington, DC; Dr Diarmuid O’Donovan, Centre for Health from Environment, Ryan Institute; Dr Lisa Amini, Head of IBM’s Smarter Cities Technology Centre in Dublin; and Dr Niall McDonough, European Science Foundation. Professor Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute, said: “NUI Galway has a long history of engaging with vital environmental and marine issues through our research, especially in the areas of climate change, water resources, marine ecosystems, biodiversity and sustainability. As energy research - bioenergy and ocean energy – has become a recent strength in NUI Galway, we realised that bringing all these researchers together in the Ryan Institute could help to unlock creative solutions to some of the pressing resource problems facing us in the near future.” In the afternoon, sessions will focus on national and regional issues, with a specific focus on how Ryan Institute research can feed into regional development. Members of the Galway 2040 Initiative, whose supporters are interested in developing a vision and plan for sustainable development of Galway city and county, will be contributing strongly to the discussions. Other high-profile guests and researchers will stimulate discussion on some of the most important technological, scientific and socio‐economic global and local perspectives on environmental, marine and energy issues. NUI Galway’s formal research in this area goes back to the early-1990s when a donation from Dr Tony Ryan, founder of Ryanair, was made in memory of his father Martin. The symposium is free and all are welcomed to be involved. Registration and programme details for the day can be found on www.conference.ie. -ends-   Seolann OÉ Gaillimh Institiúid Uí Riain ag Siompóisiam Poiblí I láthair beidh Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, an Coimisinéir Eorpach um Thaighde, Nuálaíocht agus Eolaíocht agus Pat Rabbitte TD, an tAire Cumarsáide, Fuinnimh agus Acmhainní Nádúrtha Is í Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, an Coimisinéir Eorpach um Thaighde, Nuálaíocht agus Eolaíocht, a dhéanfaidh Institiúid Uí Riain do Thaighde Comhshaoil, Muirí agus Fuinnimh in OÉ Gaillimh a sheoladh go hoifigiúil Dé Máirt, an 10 Iúil.Tá breis agus 300 taighdeoir ag obair in Institiúid Uí Riain, agus í ar an institiúid is mó in Éirinn atá ag plé le cuid de na ceisteanna is práinní maidir leis an gcomhshaol agus le cúrsaí fuinnimh na haoise seo. Ag an am céanna leis an seoladh beidh siompóisiam poiblí ar siúl dar teideal ‘Green Shift, Blue Growth, Bright Future?’, áit a labhróidh saineolaithe idirnáisiúnta ar thaighde comhshaol muirí, fuinnimh agus infreastruchtúir chliste. Dúirt an Coimisinéir Eorpach um Thaighde, Nuálaíocht agus Eolaíocht, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn: “Más le hÉirinn a bheith níos iomaíche agus níos nuálaí, ní mór dúinn na daoine is éirimiúla a chur ag obair as lámh a chéile chun aghaidh a thabhairt ar na dúshláin agus chun na deiseanna a bheidh ann amach anseo a thapú. Cuirfidh an Institiúid nua seo, atá i gceartlár OÉ Gaillimh, leis an bhfeabhas atá ag baint le fada leis an Institiúid um Athrú Comhshaoil agus le hInstitiúid Mháirtín Uí Riain don Mhuireolaíocht, agus cuirfidh sí acmhainní agus saineolas ar fáil in aon áit amháin. Táim cinnte go gcuirfidh Institiúid Uí Riain leis an méid suntasach atá déanta ag Éirinn cheana féin ar mhaithe le taighde comhshaoil, muirí agus fuinnimh na hEorpa.” Is é Pat Rabbitte TD, an tAire Cumarsáide, Fuinnimh agus Acmhainní Nádúrtha a osclóidh an siompóisiam. Is é an Dr Aaron Bernstein, Stiúrthóir an Centre for Health and the Global Environment i Scoil Leighis Harvard a thabharfaidh príomhchaint an tsiompóisiam, ‘A global perspective on the environment in 2040’. Is comhúdar é ar an leabhar cáiliúil Sustaining Life, a dhéanann iniúchadh ar na bagairtí ar shláinte an duine a bhaineann le bithéagsúlacht laghdaitheach. I measc na gcainteoirí eile ag an siompóisiam beidh: An Dr Kristina Johnson, iarFho-Rúnaí Fuinnimh sa Roinn Fuinnimh i Washington, DC; an Dr Diarmuid O’Donovan, Lárionad Sláinte Faoi Scáth an Chomhshaoil, Institiúid Uí Riain; an Dr Lisa Amini, Ceannasaí Ionad IBM do Smarter Cities Technology i mBaile Átha Cliath; agus an Dr Niall McDonough, Fondúireacht Eolaíochta na hEorpa. Dúirt an tOllamh Colin Brown, Stiúrthóir Institiúid Uí Riain: “Tá dea-cháil ar OÉ Gaillimh le fada mar gheall ar an obair atá déanta aici le haghaidh a thabhairt ar phríomhcheisteanna comhshaoil agus muirí trína cuid taighde, go háirithe sna réimsí a bhaineann le hathrú aeráide, acmhainní uisce, éiceachórais mhuirí, bithéagsúlacht agus inbhuanaitheacht. Le tamall anuas tá láidreacht ar leith léirithe ag OÉ Gaillimh i gcúrsaí taighde fuinnimh - bithfhuinneamh agus fuinneamh farraige, agus thuigeamar go mbeadh tairbhe ar leith ag baint leis na taighdeoirí seo ar fad a thabhairt le chéile in Institiúid Uí Riain d’fhonn teacht ar fhreagraí cruthaitheacha ar chuid de na fadhbanna acmhainní is mó atá os ár gcomhair sa ghearrthréimhse.” Díreoidh na seisiúin sa tráthnóna ar cheisteanna náisiúnta agus réigiúnacha, le béim ar leith ar an gcaoi ar féidir le taighde Institiúid Uí Riain cabhrú le forbairt réigiúnach. Beidh ról ar leith sna cainteanna ag comhaltaí ón Galway 2040 Initiative, ar spéis leo fís agus plean a chur i dtoll a chéile d’fhorbairt inmharthana chathair agus chontae na Gaillimhe. Cuirfidh aíonna agus taighdeoirí iomráiteacha eile leis an bplé ar chuid de na peirspictíochtaí teicneolaíochta, eolaíocha agus socheacnamaíocha domhanda agus áitiúla is tábhachtaí maidir le ceisteanna muirí agus fuinnimh. Cuireadh tús le taighde foirmiúil OÉ Gaillimh sa réimse seo i dtús na 1990idí nuair a thug an Dr Tony Ryan, bunaitheoir Ryanair, deontas don Ollscoil i gcuimhne a athar Martin. Tá an siompóisiam saor in aisce agus tá fáilte roimh chách. Is féidir teacht ar eolas faoi chlárúchán agus ar chlár an lae ag www.conference.ie. -críoch-

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Festival Season at NUI Galway

Festival Season at NUI Galway-image

Friday, 6 July 2012

As part of the Galway Fringe Festival running from 12-30 July, NUI Galway will host eight plays, two literary events, plus music, dance and exhibitions. All the shows will take place in the new Cube Theatre, Áras na Mac Léinn, NUI Galway. Wildebeest Theatre Company will perform ‘Tan’, while Youth Work Ireland are performing their black comedy ‘Banged Up Broads’. Galway Actors Workshop will perform ‘The Heroism Hotline’  and Floating World Productions will present ‘Saol’. NUI Galway Students and Staff will also present a series of new original works. Ríona Hughes will perform the comic one woman show ‘Ballyganruaile’ and Dramsoc presents ‘Rewind’. There are also a series of plays written or directed by recent NUI Galway graduates of Drama. The Cube Triple Bill featuring award winning playwright Paddy O’Byrne’s ‘Ahhh Lad!’. Other plays to feature include ‘The Thee Women’, ‘Cathleen Ní Houlihan 2, and ‘The Berlin Decision’ by Shaun Leonard. New writing is also featured in ‘Girl Uninterrupted’ by Eve O’Mahony and a rehearsed reading of ‘Life Security’ by Drew Dunlop. Award winning Cúirt poetry slam winner Shaun Leonard is hosting four nights of poetry and music with guests including former All-Ireland Slam winner Miceál Kearney, comedian Steve Bennett and poets Kevin Higgins, Anne Irwin and Nicholas Fitzgerald. Children are catered for with a production of Truth Fairy and ‘Do you Speak Mermish’, a multi Sensory drop in room creating an undersea experience to stimulate the senses and imagination. Tickets are from €3-€12 and can be purchased at the SocsBox, NUI Galway, or at the Fringe Festival Box Office on Frances Street or on line at www.galwayfringe.com.  For more information on all the on campus events call 091 492852 or check out www.festivals.nuigalway.ie and follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Shows and times as follows: ‘Tan’: 12-14 July at 8pm ‘Banged Up Broads’: 19 July 8.30pm and 20 July at 6.30pm ‘The Heroism Hotline’: 28 and 29 July at 5.30pm ‘Saol’: 19 July at 6pm Ballyganruaile’: 23–26 July at6pm, and 27 July at 8.30pm ‘Rewind’: 26, 28 and 29 July at 8.30pm, and 27 July at 6pm ‘Ahhh Lad!’: 22-25 July at 8.30pm ‘The Thee Women’: 22–25 July at 8.30pm ‘Cathleen Ní Houlihan 2’: 22–25 July at 8.30pm and ‘The Berlin Decision’: 22–25 July at 8.30pm Shaun Leonard poetry nights: 15-18 July at 7pm ‘Truth Fairy’: 28-29 July at 12.30pm ‘Do you Speak Mermish’: 24-29 July from 11am–3pm -ENDS-

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Final Call for Applications for the NUI Galway Sports Scholarship Scheme

Final Call for Applications for the NUI Galway Sports Scholarship Scheme-image

Monday, 9 July 2012

NUI Galway has issued a final call for applications to its Sports Scholarships Scheme for 2012/13. NUI Galway has a long tradition of excellence in sport and this has been enhanced by the recent success in Rowing, Hurling, Basketball, Soccer and Rugby as well as numerous individual achievements. The deadline for application for current and prospective students is Tuesday, 31 July at 5 pm. The Scholarship Programme is aimed at student-athletes of outstanding calibre who register as students of the University. In the current academic year, student athletes at NUI Galway received significant financial and professional support services.  The scholarships aim to help aspiring young sportspeople to continue to develop their sporting prowess. Currently over 60 students receive support under the scheme in a broad range of sports. The scheme has assisted dozens of athletes’ progress to the highest levels of their sport in recent years and is aimed at providing them with the tools for success in the long term. Applicants for sports scholarships must satisfy the academic criteria for entry to NUI Galway and must have applied to the CAO in the usual manner. Gary Ryan is Elite Sports Development Officer at NUI Galway: “Our aim is to help our scholarship athletes develop as a student and as a sportsperson. We are not rewarding for past successes rather trying to prepare our students for future achievement.” A former Irish Olympian and record-breaking sprinter, Gary Ryan sees a bright future for the NUI Galway sports scholarships: “Our efforts in developing a high performance sports environment in NUI Galway have already shown significant success with a large number of our Sports Scholarship students representing county and national teams. We are especially proud of those individuals that have excelled on the International stage, including Irish Olympian hopefuls at London 2012, Paul Hession and Olive Loughnane.  All of these achievements have been secured by students who are also receiving a world class education and being supported by the scheme to meet the challenges of these dual goals” For the Scholarships, students who meet the University’s entry requirements will be selected on merit by an independent panel. In addition to the scholarship, students will receive specialist support including physiotherapy, treatment of injury, fitness training, coaching and support for travel to national and international competitions. More details on the Sports Scholarship Scheme at http://www.nuigalway.ie/sports/scholarships_info.html  or by calling the Sport and Recreation Unit at NUI Galway on 091 495979. All applications must be submitted online at http://www.sports.nuigalway.ie/scholarshipform.html  ENDS   Seans amháin eile ar Scéim Scoláireachtaí Spóirt OÉ Gaillimh Tá seans amháin eile le hiarratais a chur isteach ar Scéim Scoláireachtaí Spóirt OÉ Gaillimh 2012/13. Tá dea-cháil ar an Ollscoil le fada as ucht a cuid feabhais i gcúrsaí spóirt agus táthar ag cur leis an gcáil seo le héachtaí san Iomramh, Iomáint, Cispheil, Sacar agus Rugbaí chomh maith le héachtaí aonair éagsúla. Is é Dé Máirt, an 31 Iúil ag 5pm an spriocdháta le hiarratas a bheith déanta ag mic léinn reatha agus ag mic léinn a bheidh ag tosú ar chúrsaí. Tá an Clár Scoláireachta dírithe ar lúthchleasaithe den scoth atá cláraithe mar mhic léinn de chuid na hOllscoile.  Sa bhliain reatha acadúil, fuair lúthchleasaithe atá ag freastal ar OÉ Gaillimh tacaíocht shuntasach airgid agus ghairmiúil.  Tá sé mar aidhm leis na scoláireachtaí cabhrú le lúthchleasaithe óga a mbuanna spóirt a fhorbairt. Faoi láthair faigheann os cionn 60 mac léinn tacaíocht faoin scéim agus iad i mbun réimse leathan spóirt. Chabhraigh an scéim le go leor lúthchleasaithe dul ar aghaidh go dtí an leibhéal is airde ina spórt le blianta beaga anuas agus tá sé dírithe ar iad a chumasú leis na huirlisí a theastaíonn le barr feabhais a bhaint amach. Ní mór d’iarratasóirí ar scoláireachtaí spóirt critéir acadúla iontrála OÉ Gaillimh a shásamh agus ní mór dóibh iarratas a beith déanta acu tríd an CAO ar an ngnáthbhealach. Is é Gary Ryan an tOifigeach Forbartha don Spórt Éilíte in OÉ Gaillimh: “Is é an aidhm atá againn cabhrú leis na lúthchleasaithe a fhaigheann scoláireachtaí forbairt mar mhic léinn agus mar lucht spóirt. Nílimid ag tabhairt aitheantais do rudaí atá déanta go dtí seo ach ag iarraidh ár gcuid mic léinn a ullmhú ionas go n-éireoidh leo amach anseo”. Is iar-lúthchleasaí Oilimpeach agus reathaí ráibe a sháraigh curiarracht é Gary Ryan agus is dóigh leis go mbeidh an-rath ar scoláireachtaí spóirt OÉ Gaillimh: “Tá toradh ár gcuid iarrachtaí timpeallacht ardchumais don spórt a fhorbairt in OÉ Gaillimh le sonrú sa líonard mic léinn atá ar fhoirne contae agus náisiúnta agus a bhfuil Scoláireachtaí Spóirt acu. Táimid thar a bheith bródúil as na mic léinn a bhfuil a gcion déanta acu go hidirnáisiúnta, san áireamh Paul Hession agus Olive Loughnane a bheidh ag súil le Londain 2012 an samhradh seo.  Is mic léinn iad seo a bhfuil oideachas den scoth á fháil acu agus atá páirteach i scéim a chuideoidh leo na dúshláin atá rompu a shárú.” Roghnóidh painéal neamhspleách na mic léinn a shásaíonn riachtanais iontrála na hOllscoile ar bhonn fiúntais. Chomh maith le scoláireacht, gheobhaidh na mic léinn tacaíocht eile spóirt chomh maith cosúil le fisiteiripe, cóireáil do ghortú, traenáil aclaíochta, cóitseáil agus cúnamh le taisteal chuig comórtais náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta. Is féidir teacht ar thuilleadh eolais faoi Scéim na Scoláireachtaí Spóirt ag http://www.nuigalway.ie/sports/scholarships_info.html nó trí ghlao a chur ar an Aonad Spóirt agus Áineasa in OÉ Gaillimh ag 091 495979. Ní mór gach iarratas a dhéanamh ar líne ag http://www.sports.nuigalway.ie/scholarshipform.html Críoch

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Former US Under Secretary for Energy Among Advisory Board for Ryan Institute

Former US Under Secretary for Energy Among Advisory Board for Ryan Institute-image

Monday, 9 July 2012

Former Under Secretary for Energy with the Obama administration, Dr Kris Johnson, is one of the newly appointed Advisory Board for NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute. The Advisory Panel meets in NUI Galway today, ahead of tomorrow’s official launch of the Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research by Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science. Dr Johnson is joined on the board by Dr Aaron Bernstein ofHarvard Medical School, Dr Lisa Amini of IBM, Dr Niall McDonough of the European Science Foundation and Dr James Cunningham of NUI Galway. Dr Johnson was Under Secretary for Energy at the Department of Energy in Washington, DC until end-2010. TheRyan Institutehas over 300 researchers making itIreland’s largest research institute to focus on some of the most pressing environmental and energy issues of the 21st century. The official launch tomorrow, Tuesday, will coincide with a public symposium entitled ‘Green Shift, Blue Growth, Bright Future?’ featuring leading international experts in the environmental marine, energy and smart infrastructure research. The free event, which will also be attended by Pat Rabbitte TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources is open to the public with more information available on www.conference.ie During his keynote address at the symposium, Dr Bernstein has said that he wishes to address “the greatest accounting problem ever known” which relates not to the value of money but the “value of nature”. He says: “The depletion of natural capital makes clear that we have as yet been unable to balance the biospheric books even if our survival depends on it.” Bernstein claims that about half of the newly approved medicines in the United States between 1980 and the present wouldn’t exist if nature hadn't provided them to us. “In addition, nearly two-thirds of humanity drinks water from lakes, rivers or other freshwater bodies that may be purified by species inhabiting the watershed surrounding those water bodies”, he adds. Dr Bernstein says: “The Ryan Institute at NUI Galway has many worthy goals in research and education, and it is noteworthy that despite the financial turmoil that besets Ireland, the Institute has moved ahead. Surely at a time when we must know so much more about the life that sustains us, and must redouble our efforts to educate ourselves about why nature matters, this reflects a deep wisdom, the kind of which we must use to meet the challenges that lie ahead and that will enable us to find the accounting we need to do business better with the biosphere.” Professor Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute, said: “Our Institute is honoured to have such leading experts lend their support, innovative ideas and international perspective on how our strengths in environmental, marine and energy research can be harnessed to provide maximum impact for Ireland in the coming decade.” -ends-

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O’Shaughnessy Bridge Launch

O’Shaughnessy Bridge Launch-image

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The new Mayor of Galway city, Cllr Terry O’Flaherty, has launched the O’Shaughnessy Bridge with Mr Keith Warnock, Vice-President for Capital Projects at NUI Galway. The bridge, which crosses the Eglinton Canal, is a suspension bridge of about 50 metres and is designed for use by both pedestrians and cyclists as part of a wider scheme to encourage sustainable travel in Galway City. Speaking at the launch, Mayor O’Flaherty said: “This joint initiative between Galway Transportation Unit and NUI Galway is a credit to all involved. In particular this bridge plays a significant role in the increase in walking and cycling in the City by providing a high quality channel by which pedestrians and cyclists alike can avail. It offers potential to reduce car dependency in key areas of the City by offering commuters and pedestrian travel options.” The project consisted of the design and construction of two bridges, the main one spanning the Eglinton Canal and a smaller one spanning a nearby mill race. It is part of the Smarter Travel initiative and provides a vital link between Fisheries Field and the NUI Galway Campus. The project was promoted on a partnership basis by NUI Galway and Galway City Council. On behalf of NUI Galway, Keith Warnock, Vice-President for Capital Projects, said: “We in the University were pleased to have the opportunity to work with our colleagues in Galway City Council to advance this very worthwhile project.” Mr Warnock thanked members of the design team and the employees of the contractors, all of whom had worked with NUI Galway staff to deliver the project very effectively. The consulting engineers were Ryan Hanley and L&M Keating were the main contractors. The structural steelwork for the bridge was manufactured in Galway by Pat Rynn (Engineering) Ltd. Landscape architects Mitchell & Associates worked on the area where the bridge now meets the campus. Finance for the €1million project came from the National Sustainable Travel Office in the Department of Transport, with some additional funds provided by Galway University Foundation and the University itself. Michael O'Shaughnessy (1864-1934), whom the bridge is named after, graduated in Civil Engineering from NUI Galway (then Queen's College Galway) in 1884. In 1912 he was appointed Chief Engineer of the City of San Francisco. He undertook the building of new infrastructure for the city after the disastrous earthquake and fires of 1906, including the construction of the Twin Peaks tunnel, the famous Seashore Wall, the streetcar (tramway) system and the San Francisco Water-Supply and Electric-Power project, involving dams, powerhouses and 160 miles of transmission towers, pipelines and tunnels the whole way to the City. As City Engineer, O'Shaughnessy commissioned the design and construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. The O'Shaughnessy Dam was named in his honour and provides water and electricity to 2.4 million people in the city of San Francisco, San Mateo County, Alameda County, and the San Joaquin Valley. Prior to becoming Chief Engineer in San Francisco O’Shaughnessy worked as Engineer with the Southern Pacific Railroad and with the Sierra Valley and Mohawk Railroad; was Chief Engineer of the Mountain Copper Company, where he built 12 miles of narrow gauge mountain railroad; assisted in building an aggregate of about thirty miles of large irrigation conduit and some twenty miles of tunnel in Hawaii; and constructed the 260ft high Morena Dam and 13 miles of conduit with seventeen tunnels for the City of San Diego.  ENDS

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First Annual Professor Anthony P. Moran Prize

First Annual Professor Anthony P. Moran Prize-image

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The First Annual Professor Anthony P. Moran Prize for a Postgraduate Research Paper in Microbiology at NUI Galway has been awarded to PhD student Kate Reddington.   A native of Westport, Co. Mayo, Kate won the award for her recent paper on tuberculosis testing. It is hoped that her research will contribute to the global effort to control tuberculosis (TB). The new diagnostic DNA test allows for the identification of the exact bacteria causing a patient’s TB which will give valuable information for their treatment.   The prize was given in memory of the late Anthony (Tony) Moran, who was Professor of Microbiology at NUI Galway until his death in 2010. His major research contribution to microbial biochemistry and glycobiology is widely recognised at both national and international levels. Professor Moran was also a Mayo native, originally from Westport.   This Professor Anthony P. Moran Prize is open to PhD or MSc students, currently registered at NUI Galway who, as lead author, publish a high-quality research paper on any aspect of the microbiology of prokaryotic or eukaryotic micro-organisms.   Kate’s article was published in the acclaimed scientific journal PLoS ONE, and was co-authored by NUI Galway’s Dr Thomas Barry and Dr Justin O’Grady.   -ends-

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NUI Galway Create Galway City Weather Smartphone App

NUI Galway Create Galway City Weather Smartphone App-image

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Local Galway City weather is now available on your smartphone via an android app.  The app arose from a collaboration between the disciplines of Information Technology and Civil Engineering at NUI Galway. The weather data is provided by the IRUSE research group at NUI Galway led by Dr Marcus Keane, Lecturer in Energy Systems Engineering at the University. Dr Hugh Melvin, Lecturer in Information Technology at NUI Galway, said: “Is Galway the wettest city in Ireland? We all know that the Irish love talking about the weather and that the Irish love their smartphones. Now you can combine these two with a free Android app and answer that question at the same time. This version won’t stop the rain or banish the clouds but we hope that the next one will, a practical example of cloud computing.” The app is free and can be found by searching ‘NUIG Weather’ on Android app store. The app provides live weather data (such as temperature, wind speed, wind direction, rainfall and atmospheric pressure) as well as graphs of archived data so that you can review trends in weather over last day or month. The weather data is also available via web browser from http://weather.nuigalway.ie. The app development was carried out by Ronan Everiss, an NUI Galway Bachelor of Science in Information Technology graduate under the supervision of Dr Hugh Melvin. -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Marine Technology Helps PUMA to Victory in In-Port Race

NUI Galway Marine Technology Helps PUMA to Victory in In-Port Race-image

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The coastal radar system run by Dr Mike Hartnett’s research group in the newly launched Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, made a last minute entry into the Volvo Ocean Race. It has been revealed that the radar, which measures currents and waves throughout Galway Bay on the hour, was instrumental to the success of the PUMA team in the in-port races. The radar is a sophisticated system, normally used for advanced marine research. The finale to the Volvo Ocean Race took place in Galway Bay on Saturday afternoon, with the Discover Ireland In-Port Race, with PUMA going into the race tied on the same points with CAMPER. On Friday afternoon, Dr Hartnett was contacted by Robert Hopkins Jnr., PUMA Ocean Racing performance coach, to see if the radar data could be provided to the crew of the PUMA boat. Maps of the currents in the bay over the past month were made available to PUMA and Dr Hartnett advised PUMA on their sailing strategy for the important race. As is now widely known, PUMA went on to win in great style and win the series by a one point margin. The win marked PUMA’s first trip to the top of the podium for an in-port race in this round of the Volvo Ocean Race. PUMA finished on the podium in nine of the 10 in-port races, collecting 45 total points to win the overall In-Port Race Series. The crew was tied with CAMPER going into the final race and won the series by one point.  PUMA’s Robert Hopkins Jnr was delighted and said: “Currents in Galway Bay were a big factor in the In-Port Race, where tides, wind and river outflow make it all very complicated. To prepare for the race, we looked for surface current patterns in hundreds hours of data from the NUI Galway radar, took on-the-water readings before the start, and data from Mar Mostro’s own Doppler velocity log supplied by Nortek AS. It worked and we won the race.” The NUI Galway radar data will soon be available online to the public, hopefully helping local sailors to improve their performance. Dr Hartnett acknowledged the assistance provided by two local businessmen in enabling this advanced technology: “The Spiddal radar site is sending its data back to the computers at NUI Galway via the broadband service of An Crúiscín Lán, thanks to the permission of owner John Foy. Similarly, Liam Twomey, General Manager of the National Aquarium of Ireland, Salthill, provided access to their broadband to courier the Mutton Island radar data back to NUI Galway.” -ends-

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‘Taking the pain out of work’: Promising results from ongoing back pain rehabilitation trial at NUI Galway

‘Taking the pain out of work’: Promising results from ongoing back pain rehabilitation trial at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Interim findings from the HRB-funded ‘Pain Disability Prevention Trial’, currently running at the Centre for Pain Research, NUI Galway, shows promising results for people with back pain.  The researchers are evaluating the effectiveness of an active rehabilitation programme which allows patients who are off work due to back pain, the opportunity to attend 10 free one-to-one sessions with a Clinical Psychologist trained in pain rehabilitation.  The aims of the sessions are to help patients to gradually increase their level of activity and return to work.   Sessions focus on a range of pacing techniques, cognitive therapy to identify any unhelpful thinking patterns and the development of activity goals, stretches and exercising to improve physical function. Miriam Raftery, researcher at the Centre for Pain Research, NUI Galway, says “The initial trends show that those who took part in the rehabilitation sessions had improvements in overall level of functioning and activity levels as well as significant reductions in stress and anxiety, compared to those who didn’t take part in the programme.  This suggests that the active rehabilitation programme may be beneficial in improving overall quality of life among those with back pain.” Sue, 54, from Limerick, who took part in the free sessions earlier this year, says:  “The sessions helped me to structure my day, and acknowledge completed tasks.  It helped me realise that prior to the sessions every day was more or less the same.  I am now back to full time employment after four years.  I think the programme really helped me with this.” Tom, 37, from Galway, says: “I found the programme very beneficial and was very helpful to have the set appointment every week.  I will miss the sessions enormously.” Researchers are still recruiting people to take part in this trial in Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Donegal, Limerick, Cork and Dublin.  All appointments take place locally in each region.  The researchers are interested in hearing from people who are unable to work or are on reduced work hours due to back pain. Lead researcher Dr Brian McGuire, NUI Galway, said: “We are very encouraged with the early results of this programme, it has made a significant difference in the activity levels of a number of people with chronic pain.” For further information about taking part, please contact Miriam Raftery, Centre for Pain Research, NUI Galway, email Miriam.raftery@nuigalway.ie, phone 091 495 830 or see the trial website: www.nuigalway.ie/pdp.  General Practitioners and physiotherapists interested in referring patients to the trial are also invited to contact this number. ENDS

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Delegation from Irish Centre for Human Rights calls for Human-Rights Based Approach to Development

Delegation from Irish Centre for Human Rights calls for Human-Rights Based Approach to Development-image

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

A delegation from NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights will appear today before the Irish Parliamentary Committee on Africa, to make the case for a rights-based approach to development assistance. The group will call on Ireland to fulfil its international legal obligations by adopting an ethical investment strategy as a core principle of its foreign policy.    Peter Fitzmaurice, Josh Curtis and Michael Higgins will speak today at the Houses of the Oireachtais, at a specially convened meeting which is expected to be attended by large numbers of TDs and senators.  The gathering represents the Irish section of AWEPA (Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa), which has over 130 members in the Oireachtas and is regarded as one of the most active sections. AWEPA works in partnership with African parliaments to strengthen parliamentary democracy in Africa, keep Africa high on the political agenda in Europe, and facilitate African-European parliamentary dialogue. Ireland is currently undertaking a review of its Development Programme, and the AWEPA committee in seeking to keep its members informed about development issues, invited the members from the Irish Centre for Human Rights to make their presentation.  Speaking before the Committee met, Michael Higgins, a graduate from the Irish Centre for Human Rights, said: “Ireland can be justifiably proud of its tradition of helping others, but it now risks losing this legacy. Ireland forms part of the Nordic Plus group, a set of countries universally acknowledged as the international development agencies that lead the way in terms of best practice, effectiveness and innovation. However, in recent years, while all the other members of the Nordic Plus group have shifted towards or adopted a rights-based approach, Ireland has remained behind.” “Other countries have realised that a rights-based approach offers an authoritative response to many questions posed both by the public and policy makers; how can we ensure our development assistance leads to recipient governments adopting pro-poor policies, how can we ensure development assistance is sustainable, how can we ensure the participation of the poorest and most vulnerable in decisions that affect their lives? Ireland should follow the example set by the other members of the Nordic Plus group.”    Josh Curtis, a Doctoral Fellow at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, suggested that the Irish Government must engage with the issue of Irish and EU investment policy if the developmental aims of the Irish Aid programme are to be realised and achieved with integrity. He noted that international trade and investment agreements often operate counter to the interests of developing countries, and are presently prejudicial to the rationale and aims of development assistance.  Peter Fitzmaurice, also a Doctoral Fellow at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, added that recent developments in international human rights law concerning the obligations of donor states and international cooperation mandates the realisation of a more just and equitable system of international economic governance. He indicated that donor states will increasingly contend with arguments from developing countries, civil society, and the public, that a re-orientation of donor investment and assistance policy is necessary as a matter of international law. ends

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