Experts Gather to Plan for ‘Gold Rush’ to the Bottom of the Ocean

Experts Gather to Plan for ‘Gold Rush’ to the Bottom of the Ocean-image

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Researchers at NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute are at the centre of conservation efforts in relation to mining for precious minerals at the depths of our oceans. In this new ‘gold rush’, the ecological assessment of the effects of mining operations will be key to sustainably exploiting resources at these very important habitats, according to organisers of a major workshop next week. The Ryan Institute’s Patrick Collins and Dr Bob Kennedy have scheduled a high-level international workshop from 10-12 April with the aim of standardising methods used for assessing the ecological impacts of commercial mineral extraction at deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Sometimes called ‘black smokers’ these volcano like structures sit thousands of metres under the sea and produce “seafloor massive sulphides”, sediments that are very rich in copper, zinc, gold and silver. They also support an array of unique life forms. The minerals found at hydrothermal-vents are increasingly in demand, for potential uses in the production of superconductors, precision lasers and other electronics. “We are seeing a gold rush to the bottom of the sea”, says Dr Bob Kennedy, an expert in benthic (sea floor) ecology with the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway. “Valuing the goods and services provided by ecosystems is always a difficult compromise. Mining hydrothermal vents involves the removal of the vents and adjacent seafloor massive sulphides using cutting and suction devices to transfer the ore to barges at sea. Where mining occurs, the habitat will be completely removed and there will be substantial disturbance to the adjacent area.” The workshop, VentBase, is supported by the International Seabed Authority and InDeep, the international network for scientific investigations of deep-sea ecosystems. VentBase is set to attract academics and high-profile delegates from all over the world, including delegations from government bodies such as IFREMER in France, JAMSTEC in Japan, KORDI in Korea and NIWA in New Zealand. Commercial mining companies will also attend, with a presentation by Nautilus Minerals, the first company to actually begin mining. At present there is just one site, Solawara 1 near Papua New Guinea, where mining is being actively developed. It has led to many calls in the scientific community and general press for a halt to mining at hydrothermal vent sites because of their high biodiversity value.   A biologist with the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, Patrick Collins was part of an expedition last summer which discovered a new hydrothermal vent site in the Atlantic. While actual mining is probably a decade away in the North Atlantic, he believes this is the ideal time for Ireland to take a central role in managing this unique biological resource. He comments: “From a conservation perspective, vents are one of the last remaining wild frontiers. We are only beginning to scratch at the surface of this enormous biotechnological resource. Animals at these sites have adapted to a very harsh, toxic and radioactive environment. Their tissue often has increased regenerative powers and may hold secrets to new medicines and useful materials. Life at these depths is not based on photosynthesis, but on turning energy from the earth’s core directly to biomass. This may be a good model for what life on other planets may be like. We should value giant tubeworms and bizarre blind shrimp for their quasi alien nature, and for reminding us that there is always the possibility of innovation in solving any problem, even if it seems like alchemy at first glance.” Despite there being data available from many cruises to investigate hydro-thermal vents, the information is often collected in a different way by each operator, meaning that it is very hard to compare vent sites to each other and to use evidence to make general statements about important processes at vent sites. The organisers of VentBase hope the event will help to develop protocols for the collection of rigorous and comparable evidence from many hydrothermal vents sites around the world. “The pulse of progress in the deep-oceans quickened after the announcement of James Cameron’s successful solo-expedition to its deepest recess,” says Dr Kennedy. “Cameron was only the third human to touch down and the first to film the 11km depths of the Marianas Trench. To put this in context, four times as many people have walked on the moon and over five hundred people have been into space. The deep sea is largely unknown territory and we must consider many ecological aspects before we throw open the doors to mining.” To listen to Patrick Collins on Radio One click here ENDS  

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BioInnovate Ireland Fellowships to Focus on Urology and Radiation Therapy

BioInnovate Ireland Fellowships to Focus on Urology and Radiation Therapy -image

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

BioInnovate Ireland is delighted to announce the recruitment of the next elite, multidisciplinary teams for the start of the 2012 Fellowship Programme which commences in August this year.  Now in its second year, BioInnovate is a specialist training programme modelled on the Biodesign programme offered at Stanford University. The BioInnovate Ireland Fellowship Programme was developed in 2010 and delivered by a consortium of Higher Education Institutions with the overall aim being the training of graduates to support the creation of new, cost-effective medical devices that improve patient care through a collaborative approach that focuses on the needs of patients, physicians and the health care industry as a whole. The two new Fellowship teams, each consisting of eight fellows, will be immersed in a medical device innovation microclimate and connected to biomedical engineering, product design, clinical, finance and business expertise. The Clinical focus for the 2012 Fellowship programme is Urology and Radiation Therapy with both NUI Galway and the University of Limerick hosting the 2012 teams.  Dr Mark Bruzzi, Programme Director based at NUI Galway, commented: “The standard of applications and competition for the Fellowship teams this year was very high with interest expressed from as far as India and China which demonstrates the excitement and appetite that exists amongst the Irish and international med tech environment for this type of programme.”  The impetus for the development of this specialist training programme emerged from the 2010 Innovation Taskforce Report. The new programme aims to hot-house, in the space of 10 months, talented individuals with multidisciplinary backgrounds to explore and develop in teams, opportunities for innovative medical devices. Professor Tim McGloughlin from UL added: "We are delighted to host a BioInnovate Fellowship Team at the University of Limerick.  This programme can transform the product development process in medical device technology while creating exciting new business opportunities by linking the academic and clinical environment to one of Ireland's most vibrant industrial sectors." It is envisaged that the BioInnovate Ireland Fellowship Programme will act as a catalyst for enhancing innovation in medical device development within Ireland. The successful recruitment of eight Fellows to work in two elite multidisciplinary teams is now complete and these two teams will focus on Urology and Radiation Therapy, identifying unmet needs, inventing solutions to meet those needs and implementing the solutions the Fellows will then map a route to commercialisation to enable these solutions to enhance patient care. Professor Frank Sullivan, Director of the Prostate Cancer Institute, NUI Galway, and Lead Clinician, Department of Radiation Oncology, Galway University Hospitals, welcomed the recruitment of this year’s teams. “The ability to look at the clinical problems we face on a daily basis, with a fresh perspective, is highly appealing. The prospects for novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches have never been greater in both the fields of surgery and radiation oncology.  We hope to focus the 2012 BioInnovate Fellows on the opportunity of developing exciting new therapies for prostate cancer. Ireland has the highest incidence of prostate cancer in Europe, and GUH in partnership with the PCI, are very excited to have individuals of such high calibre to work with.” The current Fellowship teams, due to complete the inaugural BioInnovate Progamme, are progressing their output of the 2011-12 programme with both the NUI Galway and the DCU teams focusing on developing and commercialising their concepts by summer 2012.  Dr Bruzzi added: “BioInnovate Ireland will have achieved its primary output with the next generation of specially trained Fellows and skill graduates emerging this summer.   This wealth of Med Tech BioInnovate talent will add value to the med tech market place over the coming months and we look forward to sharing the commercial opportunities and proposals as a result of the current Fellowship programme in May 2012.”  ENDS

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Galway Signs up to Welcome 700,000 Visitors for 8-Day Volvo Ocean Race Festival

Galway Signs up to Welcome 700,000 Visitors for 8-Day Volvo Ocean Race Festival-image

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

NUI Galway and CPL Announced as Official Partners More than 500 volunteers have signed up to help out when the Volvo Ocean Race – the largest sporting event to hit Ireland this year and watched by 2 billion viewers worldwide – crosses the finish line in Galway in July.  But, there is still time to step up as a total of 2,000 volunteers need to be signed up over the next few weeks. Latest figures were revealed at the launch of the partnership of Volvo Ocean Race Galway with educational partners NUI Galway and recruitment partners CPL which took place durign Easter. Key speaker at the launch was Mayor of Galway City, Cllr Hildegarde Naughton who said that the support that NUI Galway and CPL provided made the made the festival possible and make it a very successful event. CPL have joined as the  recruitment partner  to take on the mammoth task of facilitating and coordinating the Volunteers that sign up, whilst  NUI Galway as education partners will bring its considerable experience in the field of volunteering. Both organisations will to work with non-profit event organiser Let’s Do It Global to help recruit and train over 1200 volunteers required to run the 9-day festival.  And, it seems that Galway is keen to offer a céad míle fáilte to the 700,000 expected visitors to its environs from June 30 to July 8 as people of all ages queued up at the launch for several hours on Wednesday evening to register their support. The volunteers are needed to help run the eight day festival organized by Lets Do It Global to celebrate the ending of the Volvo Ocean Race and will embrace everything from concerts, entertainment, arts, food, ice rinks and everything else in between. The festival has been created to embrace both consumer likes and business demands. A huge variety of sporting, kids, music and cultural events will be taking place in the Race Village. And a business expo, bringing together the best Irish companies and leaders with international financiers and potential partners in the areas of Green, Food and Marine, will take place during the festival in the Global Village. The majority of volunteers will be stewarding the Race Village and the Global Village car parks.  Other volunteers will man the numerous Information and merchandising stands across the festival site. And volunteers who don’t mind getting wet and are qualified in areas such as sailing, first aid and/or are senior sailing instructors will assist on water. President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne said: “NUI Galway is delighted to be on board with the Volunteering Programme for the second time. As Ireland’s leading University for student volunteering, we will bring our considerable expertise in the field of volunteering to bear in helping to mobilise and train the small army of volunteers required to ensure the smooth running of the 2012 Race. “Volunteers were key to the success of the Galway Stopover in 2009. They were the face of the event to visitors, and were really the heart and soul of the two-week festival. This time round I have no doubt the volunteers will make the same impact and will make a huge contribution to the overall success of the Race.” Last time the racing yachts from the contest came to town was in 2009 when Galway was a stopover point. Some 650,000 people visited the Race Village and 10,000 people lined the harbour walls at 3am on the morning of May 24 to welcome the Volvo Ocean Race fleet into Ireland. The Volvo Ocean Race is known as the ‘Everest of Sailing’ and is a nine-month marathon of the seas passing through four oceans and five continents covering 39,270 nautical miles. All volunteers will be invited to the Wrap-Up Gala and there will be prizes and surprises along the way.  Further information sessions will take place throughout April and May at various locations around Galway. Applicants will be matched to roles in early June.  For more details, visit www.volvooceanracegalway.com  ENDS

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Family Focus at NUI Galway Spring Open Day

Family Focus at NUI Galway Spring Open Day-image

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Over 3,000 prospective students and their parents from across Ireland are expected to attend NUI Galway's Spring Open Day on Saturday, 28 April. Tailored towards Leaving Certificate and mature students interested in studying at NUI Galway, the Open Day will give the opportunity for students, along with their parents and families, to sample university life at NUI Galway. Taster sessions will run throughout the day, designed to give a real insight into studying at NUI Galway, with hands-on interactive Science Experience workshops and tours of the campus. New for 2012 is ‘Your Career with an Arts Degree’ - a specialised talk on the Bachelor of Arts providing an insight into the diverse range of careers from an Arts degree. Tours of the campus will feature the state-of the-art sports complex and gym, and the new Engineering Building. Tours of student accommodation will also be available to visitors on the day. Popular highlights for parents will be the talks, 'Focus on Your Career' and 'A Parent's Guide to University'. With a packed programme of events for all ages, including entertainment for younger children, the event is an ideal family day out. This year, all counties in Ireland will be represented by a team of 'student ambassadors', answering questions on specific courses and all aspects of university life. Lecturers and support staff will also be available at over 80 stands to deal with any queries about degrees, accommodation, finances and much more. Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, said: "Choosing a university is one of the most important decisions a student will ever make and parents play a key role in supporting students as they take this important next step. Open Day is the perfect opportunity for parents to ensure they have access to all of the information they need to support sons and daughters through their university career. We are encouraging anyone with an interest in studying at NUI Galway to come along, talk to our lecturers and current students, find out about the courses, check out the facilities and decide for yourself whether NUI Galway feels right for you. Spring Open Day has proved invaluable in the past to many students, particularly those considering their options before the CAO change of mind deadline of 1 July.” NUI Galway is an internationally recognised university with a distinguished reputation for teaching excellence and research. The University was recently awarded the top rating of stars in the latest QS Stars rating system for its exceptional developments in education, securing five stars for its teaching and facilities. The University is one of the top universities for student retention and graduate employment. NUI Galway recognises the academic excellence of its Undergraduate students annually with the presentations of such awards as Entrance Scholarships, Sports Scholarships, Scoláireachtaí na Gaeltachta and the Dr James Massey Keegan Scholarship. The University also awards ten scholarships for Medical students who perform exceptionally well in the Leaving Certificate and the Admissions Test (H-PAT Ireland). The NUI Galway Spring Open Day will run from 10am to 3pm and visitors can book a place and receive a programme in advance by logging on to www.nuigalway.ie/opendays, calling 091 494145 or emailing visit@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-   Lá don Teaghlach ag Lá Oscailte an Earraigh in OÉ Gaillimh  Táthar ag súil le breis agus 3,000 duine agus a dtuismitheoirí as gach contae in Éirinn freastal ar Lá Oscailte an Earraigh in OÉ Gaillimh Dé Sathairn, an 28 Aibreán. Tá an Lá Oscailte dírithe ar dhaltaí na hArdteistiméireachta agus ar dhaltaí lánfhásta a bhfuil spéis acu staidéar in OÉ Gaillimh. Beidh an deis ag daltaí agus ag a dtuismitheoirí agus a dteaghlaigh blaiseadh a fháil de shaol na hOllscoile in OÉ Gaillimh. Beidh seisiúin eolais ar siúl ar feadh an lae chun léargas a thabhairt ar shaol na hOllscoile in OÉ Gaillimh. Beidh ceardlanna praiticiúla idirghníomhacha Eolaíochta ar siúl chomh maith le turais den champas. Den chéad uair i mbliana beidh ‘Your Career with an Arts Degree’ - caint speisialta ar an mBaitsiléir sna Dána - ar siúl. Gheobhaidh éisteoirí blaiseadh den réimse gairmeacha atá ar fáil le céim sna Dána. Ar thurais den champas, taispeánfar an t-ionad spóirt le giomnáisiam den scoth mar aon leis an bhFoirgneamh nua Innealtóireachta. Beidh turais de lóistín na mac léinn ar fáil do chuairteoirí ar an lá chomh maith. Cuirfidh tuismitheoirí suim sna cainteanna, 'Focus on Your Career' agus 'A Parent's Guide to University'. Tá clár imeachtaí den scoth beartaithe don uile dhuine, siamsaíocht do ghasúir óga san áireamh - is cinnte gur iontach an lá a bheas ann don teaghlach ar fad. I mbliana, beidh ionadaíocht ag gach contae sa tír ag an ócáid le foireann ‘ambasadóirí na mac léinn', a fhreagróidh ceisteanna faoi chúrsaí ar leith agus faoi aon ghné de shaol na hOllscoile. Beidh léachtóirí agus an fhoireann tacaíochta ar fáil chomh maith ag breis agus 80 seastán chun ceisteanna faoi chéimeanna, lóistín, maoiniú agus go leor eile a fhreagairt. Dúirt Caroline Loughnane, an Stiúrthóir Margaíochta agus Cumarsáide in OÉ Gaillimh: “Ceann de na cinntí is tábhachtaí a dhéanfaidh mac léinn go brách an ollscoil a fhreastalóidh sé/sí uirthi a roghnú. Tá ról tábhachtach ag tuismitheoirí tacú le mic léinn agus iad i mbun an cinneadh sin a dhéanamh. Is é an Lá Oscailte an deis is fearr do thuismitheoirí a chinntiú go bhfuil an t-eolas ar fad acu chun tacú le mac nó le hiníon ag an ollscoil. Molaimid do dhuine ar bith a bhfuil suim acu staidéar in OÉ Gaillimh teacht chuig an Lá Oscailte, labhairt leis na léachtóirí agus leis na mic léinn reatha, eolas a fháil faoi chúrsaí, breathnú ar na háiseanna agus a fháil amach duit féin an bhfeileann OÉ Gaillimh duitse. Bhain go leor mac léinn leas as Lá Oscailte an Earraigh sna blianta roimhe seo go háirithe má bhí rún acu athrú intinne an CAO a úsáid roimh an spriocdháta an 1 Iúil.” Tá aitheantas idirnáisiúnta ag OÉ Gaillimh a bhfuil cáil an teagaisc agus an taighde uirthi. Bhain an Ollscoil na marcanna ab airde amach i gcóras rátála QS Stars le gairid as forbairtí den scoth in oideachas agus bhaineamar cúig réalta amach sa teagasc agus sna háiseanna chomh maith. Tá an Ollscoil ar cheann de na hollscoileanna is fearr ó thaobh mic léinn a choinneáil agus fostaíocht na gcéimithe. Tugann OÉ Gaillimh aitheantas d’fheabhas acadúil na bhFochéimithe gach bliain le gradaim cosúil le Scoláireachtaí Iontrála, Scoláireachtaí Spóirt, Scoláireachtaí na Gaeltachta agus Scoláireacht an Dr James Massey Keegan. Bronnann an Ollscoil deich scoláireacht freisin ar mhic léinn Leighis a dhéanann thar barr san Ardteistiméireacht agus sa Tástáil Iontrála (H-PAT Ireland). Beidh Lá Oscailte an Earraigh ar siúl idir 10am agus 3pm agus féadfaidh cuairteoirí áit a chur in áirithe agus clár imeachtaí a fháil roimh ré ach logáil isteach ar www.nuigalway.ie/opendays, glao ar 091 494145 nó ríomhphost a sheoladh chuig visit@nuigalway.ie. -Críoch-

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Student Scoops €10,000 with Smart Conferencing Technology at NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards

Student Scoops €10,000 with Smart Conferencing Technology at NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards-image

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Niall O’Connor, an MSc student in Enterprise Systems at NUI Galway from Sligo, has scooped the top prize of €10,000 at the NUI Galway Student Enterprise Awards held recently for his Smart conferencing technology package SonorPlex. The creator of SonorPlex was presented with his prize by Dragon’s Den star Bobby Kerr, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne and NUI Galway Students’ Union President, Emmet Connolly. Niall’s product SonorPlex seeks to deliver services which enhance the learning and interactive experience of delegates at conferences, using 'smart' devices such as tablets and smartphones. SonorPlex will unify these services using a cloud-based system to store, and manage access to conference content and data. Judges were greatly impressed with SonorPlex and its potential to draw investment to the domestic economy. Eight teams contested the final of the NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards in anticipation of securing an investment of €10,000 for the winning project. The competition is the initiative of the NUI Galway Students’ Union, with the support of NUI Galway and has the goal of fostering a spirit of entrepreneurship amongst the students of the University. The competition successfully attracted entrants from across all of the colleges and schools of the University, from which eight ideas were chosen to progress to the final stage. The two runner-up prizes of €5,000 were awarded to Tunes in the Church and An Mheitheal Rothar. Cormac Ó Beaglaoich, hails from a traditional musical family in West-Kerry and is currently in his final year of a PhD in Psychology.  His project, Tunes in the Church, presents traditional Irish music concerts in churches around the country and has already been run in St. Nicholas Church in Galway. An Mheitheal Rothar (The Bicycle Gang) team hopes to set up a free, student-run bicycle workshop at NUI Galway to promote and support the benefits of bicycling. An Mheitheal Rothar is Paul O' Donnell an Arts Student from Galway, Mary Green a Geography Student also from Galway, Sarit O'Donovan, Environmental Science Student from Kerry and Senan Mac Aoidh an Arts Student from Monaghan. As part of the final assessment of their entries, students received an investment of €500 for their projects, and also received the assistance of specialised workshops from a team of experts, which was comprised of a combination of members of the academic staff of the University and members of the local business community. Bobby Kerr from RTÉ1 show Dragon’s Den, who presented the winning team with their prize said: “The drive, determination and enthusiasm of the students is fantastic. It is heartening to see that within NUI Galway the essence of the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well. I would also like to congratulate the University and the Students’ Union for their vision in fostering the talents of tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.” NUI Galway Students’ Union President, Emmet Connolly said: “We have been overwhelmed by the number and standard of entries to the NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards. The entrants are testament to the exceptional initiative and creativity of students in social and business enterprise. They show that students are both able and willing to create the big ideas that will help fuel our recovery. The Students’ Union is delighted to be in a position to facilitate some of these ideas as they take their first steps. I have no doubt but that we are working with the leaders of the future.” ENDS

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Marine Scientists to Explore Whittard Canyon for Biodiversity

Marine Scientists to Explore Whittard Canyon for Biodiversity-image

Friday, 13 April 2012

A team of Scientists led by Dr. Louise Allcock, NUI Galway set sail onboard the RV Celtic Explorer 13th April 2012 to investigate biodiversity on the Whittard Canyon System. Whittard Canyon is a huge canyon system that spans Irish, UK and French waters along the Atlantic margin. This survey will take place in the Irish territory where the Continental shelf drops down to depths beyond 3000 m. The Marine Institute’s  Holland 1  Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) will be deployed to explore the steep canyon walls where biodiversity is greatest because of the fast currents there. Whittard has been explored before, but the system is so vast that some areas are still unsurveyed. The multidisciplinary team on board will be looking for corals and sponges, which can be found in extensive reefs at some depths.  A feature of species growing attached to the seafloor is the production of chemicals, thought to deter grazing and overgrowth by other animals.  There is significant scientific and commercial interest in the novelty of these chemicals for medical applications. Material previously collected for the Irish Marine Biodiscovery Programme has shown activity against some cancer cell lines, the first step in potentially developing new treatments. Material collected on this cruise will be examined in antibacterial and anti-cancer assays as part of the National Marine Biodiscovery Programme in NUI Galway, UCC and the Marine Institute. The survey will also carry out detailed surveys of the canyon system in collaboration with onboard taxonomists from across Europe, who are experts in identifying deep sea marine organisms. Biogeochemists from Trinity College Dublin will study the processing of material in the benthic ecosystem, with oceanographers from Galway following the transport of sediment and planktonic production to deeper waters. These studies will improve the understanding of the canyon ecosystem and the links between surface and deep waters. The scientists will be blogging throughout the survey and you can follow their progress at http://scientistsatsea.blogspot.com This research survey and the Beaufort Marine Research Award are carried out under the Sea Change strategy with the support of the Marine Institute and the Marine Research Sub-programme of the National Development Plan 2007–2013. The Beaufort award in Marine Biodiscovery is a consortium between NUI Galway, UCC and Queen’s University Belfast. The Ship-Time Programme provides access to the National Research Vessels (Celtic Explorer / Celtic Voyager) for research organisations based in Ireland. Ends.

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NUI Galway Launches Ireland’s First Online Diploma in Italian

NUI Galway Launches Ireland’s First Online Diploma in Italian -image

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

NUI Galway is delighted to announce the launch of an online Diploma in Italian. Organised by the Discipline of Italian Studies at NUI Galway this unique programme is the first of its kind in Ireland and will be begin in September 2012. The Diploma is specifically tailored to suit the requirements of students who need flexibility in their time and mode of study and are not available to attend lecturers on campus. The course concentrates on all four main language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and provides a gradual introduction to the structures and functions of the language. In addition, a module on oral and intercultural skills will introduce various aspects of Italian life from an intercultural perspective. Professor Paolo Bartoloni, Head of Italian, NUI Galway, said: “The online Diploma in Italian is a groundbreaking experience employing the latest skills in e-learning and will enable learners to study Italian in their own time, wherever they are, and as part of a community of e-learners.” Dr Laura McLoughlin, Applied Language Teacher with Italian Studies at NUI Galway, who coordinates the new initiative in collaboration with E-Learning expert, NUI Galway’s Dr Silvia Bernabei, said: “Unlike many distance learning programmes designed for independent learning, the diploma course is based on a collaborative, communicative approach and students are encouraged to participate in virtual class activities with their peers and e-tutors.” In order to facilitate interaction and create a supportive learning environment, face-to-face on campus sessions will take place as part of the course. A practical introductory session in the use of computers will also be given at the beginning of the course to ensure that all students have basic computer skills. The Diploma in Italian is open to everybody and is designed for those who have no previous knowledge of the language. Closing date for applications is Friday, 13 July and full details is available at www.nuigalway.ie/italian/onlinediploma.html. Further information is available from Dr Laura McLoughlin at 091 492240 or laura.mcloughlin@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-  

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NUI Galway Support First Student Entry in 2012 Round Ireland Yacht Race

NUI Galway Support First Student Entry in 2012 Round Ireland Yacht Race-image

Monday, 16 April 2012

A crew of NUI Galway students and graduates are, for the first time ever, entering this year’s Round Ireland sailing race. The race is a 1400km non-stop circumnaviagtion of Ireland by sea. The NUI Galway crew, ten in total, is one of the youngest teams to ever compete in the event. The Round Ireland race is held every two years and considered one of Europe’s top offshore races.  This year, the start gun goes at 12:00 on Sunday, 24 June and the boats will finish from four to six days later, depending on weather conditions. The race begins and ends in Wicklow Bay. The NUI Galway crew is made up of students and graduates from various disciplines including engineering, science and commerce. Sailing together in the NUI Galway sailing club over the past few years has built up the trust and camaraderie which will be relied upon during the race. The team have chartered a 38-ft racing yacht for the race. Pat Morgan, Vice-President for the Student Experience at NUI Galway, said: “The University actively promotes leadership and team building skills and is delighted to support this crew to further develop these attributes as they compete in the Round Ireland Race. Their determination and drive, especially given that they are one of the youngest crews is to be admired. We wish them fair winds and following seas.” One of the main aims of this project is to promote the home-grown sailing talent in Galway. Boat skipper, Cathal Clarke says: “The vision of this project is to prove the wealth of sailing talent here on the west coast and to encourage the next generation of Volvo Ocean Race sailors to get out there and get sailing. We aim to inspire other sailors from the region to undertake such projects in the future.” Cathal added: “A busy few months lie ahead for us, with training on and off the water, safety courses and coaching lined up. But the aims of this campaign are high, with a lot of experienced sailors on board, we will certainly be looking for good results.” Encouraging the students was Cillian McGovern, project manager of Green Dragon who says: "The camaraderie and team work displayed by this young team is to be admired. What an opportunity to freshen up the sailing circuit in Ireland.” ENDS

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NUI Galway Conference and Dance Festival Weekend

NUI Galway Conference and Dance Festival Weekend-image

Monday, 16 April 2012

NUI Galway has announced details of an upcoming traditional music and dancing conference and festival. Based on the Rambling House, or cuairteoireacht, tradition in which neighbours used to gather at a local house for music, dancing and merriment, the event will take this weekend, 19-21 April. The international conference, entitled Mapping Spectral Traces V, and the festival, Dancing Days, will explore the connections between how we inhabit such everyday spaces and how the traces of the past have shaped and moulded the places in which we live today. Highlights of the weekend will be launched at 7pm Thursday, 19 April at the Black Box Theatre and will be followed by the world premiere of Galway Dancer-in-Residence, Ríonach Ní Néill’s FRAME, produced by Richard Wakely.  Irish and international dancers, visual artists, writers, musicians and academics will gather in Galway throughout the weekend of specially commissioned performances and academic sessions that are free and open to the public. There will also be a pop-up art exhibition in the Black Box Theatre and the launch of a new essay collection, Irish Contemporary Landscapes in Literature and the Arts, in Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop. Traditional artforms will include the Straw Boys, a house céilí and sean-nós dance, who will join traditional with contemporary, site-specific dance works, installations and artworks to create a night in which the audience members are vital players. The audience for the final event will be ferried from Galway city centre to a mystery location in Connemara by bus to experience a cuairteoireacht of the past but that is housed very much in the present moment. This particular event seeks to open up discussions as to how Ireland’s landscape changed from being the ‘céilí at the crossroads’ to the ‘chaos at the crossroads’ in recent years. Dr Nessa Cronin, Lecturer with the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway, said: “This is an exciting line-up of free events and public lectures by Irish and international artists, dancers, musicians, architects and scholars who are all concerned with re-thinking how our lives are shaped by the spaces in which we live today. From an Irish perspective in particular, the construction and de-construction of places has been in the fore with discussions of NAMA and Ghost Estates in recent times, and issues such as these will be discussed over the course of the three days in Galway.” The event is organised by Dr Nessa Cronin and Tim Collins based at NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies, Dr Karen Till of NUI Maynooth, and Galway Dancer-in-Residence, Ríonach Ní Neill. Mapping Spectral Traces V is supported by the IRCHSS, NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth and the Mapping Spectral Traces International Network. Dancing Days is supported by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, the Arts Council, Galway County and City Councils, and the Town Hall Theatre, Galway. Conference events at NUI Galway are free and open to the public, and tickets for Dancing Days are available from the Town Hall Theatre at www.tht.ie  and 091 569 777. For further information contact irishstudies@nuigalway.ie and www.nuigalway.ie/centre_irish_studies.   ENDS

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NUI Galway to Host Irish Human Computer Interaction Conference

NUI Galway to Host Irish Human Computer Interaction Conference -image

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

NUI Galway has announced it will host the sixth Irish Human Computer Interaction (iHCI) Conference in June, 2012. The conference theme ‘Poetics of Design, Narratives of Use’will focus on the role that different artefacts, perspectives, methods and tools play in the design of new technologies. 2012 marks the sixth year of the iHCI conference, and the first time it will be hosted in the west of Ireland. The particular emphasis of this year’s conference will be to look at the broad range of methods used to design, implement and evaluate technology, and to share stories of the design, deployment and evaluation of computing in context. Keynote speaker will be Professor Rod Stoneman, Director of the Huston School of Film and Digital Media, NUI Galway. Dr Tony Hall, School of Education and Programme Co-Chair iHCI 2012, said: “The iHCI Conference brings together researchers, technologists, academics, designers, artists and those with an interest in the development of technology for use by people. The conference invites submissions - papers, posters, demos and showcases – on a diverse array of technologies and topics ranging from mobile and smart telephony, and Cloud Computing and social networking, to wearable computers, novel sensors and computer-augmented educational, living and work environments. Dr Hall added: “In 2012, as we mark the sad passing of Steve Jobs, the da Vinci of the Digital Age, and celebrate Alan Turing Year, commemorating one of the pioneers of the modern computer, the conference promises to be an exciting event showcasing the design of personal and social technologies for today’s highly mediated and networked world.” iHCI 2012: ‘Poetics of Design, Narratives of Use’ will take place at NUI Galway on Wednesday, 20 and Thursday, 21 June. For further information please visit http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=180 ENDS

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