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Thursday, 23 February 2017

FameLab Galway 2017 Sold Out for Second Year Running

Winners announced at FameLab Galway 2017, the regional heat of the biggest science communication competition in the world The 2017 Galway heat for FameLab, the biggest science communication competition in the world, was held at An Taibhdhearc in Galway City on Tuesday 21 February. The event, which was organised by the College of Science at NUI Galway in association with the British Council in Ireland saw 12 scientists compete for two places in the national final and was sold out in advance. At FameLab, presenters explain scientific concepts to a general audience in just three minutes. The competition is open to scientists, mathematicians and engineers across Ireland working in industry, business, research, academia, education or public service. The 12 participants in FameLab Galway 2017 came from a variety of backgrounds including a GP, an engineer from the medical device industry and researchers from NUI Galway involved in bioinformatics, civil engineering, physics and chemistry. The participants addressed a wide range of topics from being addicted to addiction, to the evolution of curiosity and answered a range of questions from ‘How to get rid of your energy bills?’ to ‘Can Oxytocin reverse a self-destructing civilisation?’ The winner of this year’s Galway FameLab heat was Dr Ana Panigassi, a fellow at BioInnovate Ireland based at NUI Galway. Dr Panigassi is a medical doctor who specialises in obstetrics and gynaecology, maternal-foetal medicine and ultrasonography in obstetrics and gynaecology. The title of Ana’s talk was the ‘Placenta of attention’. The runner up was Dr Patrick Ryan for his presentation ‘Bananas don't grow on trees’. Dr Ryan is a bioinformatician whose research background is in flower transcriptomics. Patrick has a PhD in genetics, worked in industry as a microbiologist and is currently involved in a phylogenetics (the study of evolutionary relationships among biological entities - often species, individuals or genes) project looking at Darwinian selection in Arabidopsis. The audience vote went to Joanne Duffy for her excellent presentation entitled ‘The Gene Genies’. Joanne is a BSc student in Microbiology at NUI Galway. A self -confessed public-speaking junkie who loves to talk about science with anyone who will lend an ear, Joanne also hosts and produces a weekly science radio show on the University radio station Flirt FM 101.3. MC on the night was Dr Jessamyn Fairfield, Founder of Bright Club Galway and a Lecturer in Physics at NUI Galway. The panel of judges included Ms Mary Deely, Training and Events Manager, Galway Film Centre, Ms Cushla Dromgool Regan, Communications Office, Marine Institute, Mr Tim Jones, Senior R & D Engineer with Medtronic and Professor Dónal Leech, Dean of NUI Galway’s College of Science. Entertainment on the night was provided by Brian Hughes, Dean of International Affairs and Professor of Psychology at NUI Galway. Commenting on the success of the event, Dr Muriel Grenon from the School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway, and one of the event organisers said: “FameLab is a fantastic opportunity for anyone engaged with science to communicate the impact of science on people’s lives. It is a skill that’s becoming more and more important and we are seeing these science communication events increase in popularity with adult audiences in the last few years.” Both Ana and Patrick will participate in the FameLab Ireland Final, which will be held at the Science Gallery in Dublin on Thursday, 13 April 2017. The winner of the National competition will have a chance to win the international FameLab final at the Cheltenham Science Festival, UK in June 2017.  FameLab Ireland 2016-17 is managed by the British Council in Ireland in collaboration with Newstalk 106-108fm, NUI Galway, Science Gallery Dublin, Tyndall National Institute and the University of Limerick. The initiative is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and is supported by CPL Resources Plc and Henkel Ireland Limited. For more information on FameLab visit http://www.britishcouncil.ie/famelab  or follow on Twitter @FameLab and @FameLab_Galway. -Ends-

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Paul Brady to Perform at NUI Galway Alumni Awards 2017

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

NUI Galway Recruiting Participants for Ongoing Pilates Study

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

CÚRAM Investigators Awarded €150,000 to Tackle Major Global Health Problems

News Archive

Monday, 20 February 2017

Comedian Áine Gallagher today launched NUI Galway’s 17th annual Arts Festival programme, Múscailt. The Festival, which runs from 6-10 March, will present a superb free programme comprising of art, music, performance, live art, comedy, spectacle, song, sculpture, film, dance and talks. Múscailt means to inspire, to awaken and to create. Each year the festival commissions new work from artists and curators and also shines a spotlight on artists working and studying within the University. This year, the festival will open with a new multimedia Múscailt Exhibition at the School of Education on Nuns’ Island, which includes works by students from NUI Galway, The Jes and The Bish. Múscailt offers a chance to lift the lid on artistic projects taking place on campus. This year there is an emphasis on the historic Anatomy and Physiology Departments, dating from the Victorian beginnings of NUI Galway, in the Quadrangle, circa 1847. Art and installation will feature heavily throughout the week including: Ananya Gupta’s paper cut-out ‘Silhouettes of Life’, which will hang in the glass cubes outside the James Hardiman Library. Live art performer Áine Phillips will recreate her performance ‘Bag Lady’ and Fou Scarf will perform ‘Re: Search’. Artist James Fleming will present his exhibition ‘Sculptures from a Mobile Home’, made entirely from the recycled furnishings of his now ex-mobile home. Artist-in-Residence Aideen Monaghan will project drawings onto the side of the Anatomy Building and Alan-James Burns, a photographer and video-artist, was given free reign to document Physiology, in its iconic position above the Archway. Catch a glimpse of some of their work in ‘Victorian Echoes’, a combination of photography and drawings exhibited in the Arts Millennium Building. There will be interactive and improvised outdoor entertainment by Madame Fou and the Funfair which includes a gramophone, a fortune-teller, circus performers and troubadours, and a travelling kiosk/time-machine. In a new departure, the Arts Office has commissioned a short dance film, 'Ciúnas', directed by Bernadette Divilly, that explores the place, power and presence of women at NUI Galway. This will be shown on screens throughout campus with a talk and screening of the film in the Bank of Ireland Theatre. One of the festival highlights will feature a performance/lecture with music entitled ‘Portrait of the Nation,’ celebrating 100 years since the publication of James Joyce’s most autobiographical novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Performed by Darina Gallagher and Sinéad Murphy, it will take place in the 100 years old Anatomy Lecture Theatre. Rogha Bhríde, the award winning Irish language/multi-lingual radio music show on Flirt FM, will present MC/Ceoltóir Bríd Ní Mhaoileoin and a musical and storytelling treat with well-known Galway artist Little John Nee and guests. Other events taking place throughout the week include: ‘Ponder’, a group exhibition of paintings and drawings; ‘Focus 17’, a selected exhibition from the Photo Society; and ‘Metamorphosis’ by the Art Society. Art meets science events includes ‘Research Use Only’ by Bioscience student Patrizio Mancuso; and ‘Culture-itis’, knitted works in petri dishes by NUI Galway Knit and Crochet group ‘Moodboosters’, a new comedy by Áine Gallagher and fellow comedian Pearl O’Rourke Curator Katherine Waugh will present film-clips entitled ‘Altered States’ Dr Mags Mannion, Artist/Archaeologist will present an illustrated talk on Medieval Glass Beads Dráma Nua ‘Streets & Stages’, performed by Caroline Morahan as part of Arts in Action series Commenting on this year’s progamme, Fionnuala Gallagher, NUI Galway Arts Officer, said: “Múscailt embraces all artforms and strands of creativity. It creates a safe and nurturing platform for new work and an opportunity for play, fun and improvisation. Everyone is welcome to participate and all events are free.” For more information on the festival visit www.nuigalway.ie/muscailt, or phone 091 493766 or 091 495098. You can also follow the event on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Muscailtarts or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Artsofficenuigalway. -Ends- Seolann an Bhean Ghrinn Áine Gallagher Clár Múscailt OÉ Gaillimh 2017  Inniu sheol an bhean ghrinn Áine Gallagher an clár do 17ú Féile Ealaíon bhliantúil OÉ Gaillimh, Múscailt. Beidh an Fhéile ar siúl idir an 6-10 Márta agus cuimseofar clár iontach, saor in aisce d’ealaín, ceol, taibhléiriú, ealaín bheo, greann, taispeántas, amhránaíocht, dealbhóireacht, scannán, damhsa agus cainteanna. Is í an chiall atá le Múscailt spreagadh, dúiseacht agus cruthú. Chuile bhliain déanann an fhéile coimisiúnú ar shaothar nua ó ealaíontóirí agus ó choimeádaithe agus tarraingíonn sé aird chomh maith ar ealaíontóirí atá ag obair agus ag staidéar san Ollscoil. I mbliana, cuirfear tús leis an bhféile le Taispeántas nua ilmheán Múscailt i Scoil an Oideachais ar Oileán Ealtanach, áit a mbeidh saothair le mic léinn ó OÉ Gaillimh, ó Choláiste Iognáid agus ó Choláiste Sheosamh. Cuireann Múscailt deis ar fáil chun aird a tharraingt ar thionscadail ealaíonta atá ar siúl ar an gcampas. I mbliana táthar ag leagan béime ar Ranna stairiúla na hAnatamaíochta agus na Fiseolaíochta, atá ar an bhfód ó ré Victeoiriach OÉ Gaillimh sa Chearnóg, thart ar 1847. Beidh páirt lárnach ag ealaín agus ag taispeántán le linn na seachtaine, lena n-áirítear: Gearrthóg pháipéir de chuid Ananya Gupta dar teideal ‘Silhouettes of Life’, a bheidh crochta i gciúbanna gloine lasmuigh de Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Argadáin. Athchruthóidh an taibheoir beo ealaíne, Áine Phillips a léiriú ‘Bag Lady’ agus cuirfidh Fou Scarf ‘Re: Search’ ar stáitse. Cuirfidh an t-ealaíontóir James Fleming a thaispeántas ‘Sculptures from a Mobile Home’ i láthair, atá déanta go hiomlán as troscán agus fearas athchúrsáilte óna sheanteach soghluaiste. Teilgfidh an tEalaíontóir Cónaitheach Aideen Monaghan léaráidí ar thaobh an Fhoirgnimh Anatamaíochta agus tugadh cead a chinn don ghrianghrafadóir agus ealaíontóir físeáin, Alan-James Burns an Fhiseolaíocht a léiriú, ina suíomh íocónach os cionn na hAirse. Breathnaigh ar a gcuid saothar in ‘Victorian Echoes’, meascán de ghrianghrafadóireacht agus léaráidí á dtaispeáint in Áras Dán na Mílaoise. Beidh siamsaíocht lasmuigh idirghníomhach agus cumtha ar an láthair le Madame Fou agus an tAonach Siamsaíochta áit a mbeidh gramafón, bean feasa, taibheoirí sorcais agus trúbadóirí agus both/meaisín ama taistil. Rud nua atá ag tarlú i mbliana is ea go bhfuil coimisiúnú déanta ag an Oifig Ealaíon ar ghearrscannán damhsa ‘Ciúnas’, atá á stiúradh ag Bernadette Divilly, a bhreathnaíonn ar áit, ar chumhacht agus ar láithreacht na mban in OÉ Gaillimh. Taispeánfar é seo ar scáileáin ar fud an champais agus beidh an scannán ar siúl mar aon le caint in Amharclann Bhanc na hÉireann. Ar cheann de bhuaicphointí na féile beidh taibhléiriú/léacht le ceol dar teideal ‘Portrait of the Nation,’ a dhéanann ceiliúradh ar chéad bliain ón uair a foilsíodh an t-úrscéal is dírbheathaisnéisí le James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Is iad Darina Gallagher agus Sinéad Murphy a bheas ar stáitse agus beidh sé ar siúl i Léachtlann na hAnatamaíochta atá céad bliain d’aois. Cuirfidh Rogha Bhríde, an clár ceoil raidió Gaeilge/ilteangach de chuid Flirt FM a bhfuil duaiseanna buaite aige, an MC/Ceoltóir Bríd Ní Mhaoileoin i láthair agus iontas ceolmhar agus seanchais leis an ealaíontóir cáiliúil as Gaillimh Little John Nee agus aíonna. I measc na n-imeachtaí eile a bheidh ar siúl le linn na seachtaine beidh: ‘Ponder’, taispeántas grúpa de phéinteálacha agus léaráidí; ‘Focus 17’, taispeántas roghnaithe ó Chumann na nGrianghraf; agus ‘Metamorphosis’ leis an gCumann Ealaíne. I measc na n-imeachtaí ina dtagann ealaín agus eolaíocht le chéile tá ‘Research Use Only’ le Patrizio Mancuso, mac léinn le hEolaíocht Bhitheach; agus ‘Culture-itis’, saothair chniotáilte i miasanna petri le grúpa Cniotála agus Cróiseála OÉ Gaillimh ‘Moodboosters’, seó grinn nua le hÁine Gallagher agus an bhean ghrinn Pearl O’Rourke Cuirfidh an coimeádaí Katherine Waugh míreanna scannáin i láthair ar a dtugtar ‘Altered States’ Cuirfidh an Dr Mags Mannion, Ealaíontóir/Seandálaí caint mhaisithe i láthair faoi Choirníní Gloine Meánaoiseacha Dráma nua ‘Streets & Stages’, curtha i láthair ag Caroline Morahan mar chuid den tsraith Arts in Action Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Fionnuala Gallagher, Oifigeach Ealaíon OÉ Gaillimh, faoi chlár na bliana seo: “Cuimsíonn Múscailt gach cineál ealaíne agus gach sruth cruthaitheachta. Cruthaíonn sé ardán sábháilte agus cothaitheach do shaothar nua agus deis do spraoi, do chraic agus do chumadóireacht ar an láthair. Tá fáilte roimh chách agus tá cead isteach saor in aisce ag gach imeacht.” Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil faoin bhféile téigh chuig www.nuigalway.ie/muscailt, nó cuir glao ar 091 493766 nó 091 495098. Féadfaidh tú an imeacht a leanúint ar Twitter ag www.twitter.com/Muscailtarts nó ar Facebook ag www.facebook.com/Artsofficenuigalway. -Críoch-

Monday, 20 February 2017

NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies and Comhrá Ceoil have announced details of the first talk in this year’s Martin Reilly Lecture Series, which will be given by Dr Éamonn Costello. Entitled ‘Muintir Chonamara agus Oireachtas na Gaeilge: The role of the Conamara Gaeltacht community in shaping Ireland’s oldest festival’, the lecture examines the engagement of the Gaeltacht community of Connemara with Oireachtas na Gaeilge throughout its history and takes place on Tuesday, 28 February at 6.30pm in the Galway City Library. Established in 1897 by members of the Gaelic League, the Oireachtas is Ireland’s oldest arts festival and is primarily concerned with promoting and celebrating the Irish language. However, for much of its history the native Irish speaking community, an Ghaeltacht, had little impact or input into the festival’s programme of events. This all changed in the early 1970s when the Connemara-based civil rights movement, Gluaiseacht Cearta Siabhialta na Gaeltachta, turned the Irish language issue from being primarily a nationalist cause to one which was primarily concerned with minority rights. The actions of the Gaeltacht civil rights movement inspired the Connemara Gaeltacht community to appropriate the Oireachtas for a period in the 1970-1980s. This period of appropriation and the events leading up to it will be the focus of the talk. Originally from An Cheathrú Rua, Dr Costello is an Irish traditional musician and holds an MA and PhD in ethnomusicology, as well as a BA in Irish Music and Dance. He currently teaches Irish in the Irish language department of the School of Culture and Communication, at the University of Limerick; he is secretary of the International Council for Traditional Music Ireland (ICTMIre); and is a founding member of TradSong, a research cluster based at UL. This series of free talks is dedicated to Martin Reilly, the celebrated Galway uilleann piper, and gives an opportunity to researcher-practitioners in Irish traditional music and dance to present their work in a public forum.  The success of the series thus far confirms the interest in research of this kind in Galway, where traditional music and dance are part of the cultural fabric of the city. For more information on this and other planned talks in the series email Martinreillylectureseries@gmail.com or follow on Facebook at Martin-Reilly-Lecture-Series. -Ends-

Friday, 17 February 2017

NUI Galway publish new mathematical formula on soft ‘dielectric’ membranes Applied mathematicians from NUI Galway have today published a formula which will be of huge benefit to materials scientists and soft robotics engineers. The team have worked out how much voltage and deformation soft ‘dielectric’ membranes can take before they break. Soft ‘dielectric’ membranes are used on the cutting edge of science to develop artificial muscles, soft robotics, energy harvesters and ‘smart clothes’. These lightweight soft materials deploy and stiffen when put under high voltage, but until now, there has been a big challenge in knowing what the breaking point of these membranes is.  Professor Michel Destrade, at the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics in NUI Galway explains: “If you can remember the scene in Batman Begins where this huge bat cape emerges from a tiny folded piece of material, that’s the kind of technology which is being developed currently in some labs around the world, especially in Harvard University and in China. It’s the electric voltage that allows these special membranes to expand. Until now it was not fully understood how much voltage these membranes could sustain. Some are a millimetre thick, but if they thin out too much when they stretch with the voltage, it can lead to a short-circuit and a catastrophic breakdown. We hope our mathematical formula will help advance science in this area.” Dr Giuseppe Zurlo of NUI Galway, co-author of the study, adds: “The very near and real applications for these materials are artificial human muscles, or soft robots which can help organs function.” Together with collaborators at Politecnico di Bari in Italy, the mathematicians worked out a simple formula to link the physical properties of the membrane to the breakdown amount of stretch. “The final equation is very compact”, says Dr Zurlo, “and it will provide most useful safety guidelines for future experiments on these fascinating materials.” The problem had stumped material scientists for years and its solution is published today in the prestigious Physical Review Letters. Professor Destrade and Dr Zurlo are now working on experiments with engineering colleagues at Xi’an Jiaotong University in China. To view the full paper in Physical Review Letters visit:  https://journals.aps.org/prl/accepted/5f076Y18Kbb1ac4ed8f93f49a3ee764f0dd938eb8 or http://www.maths.nuigalway.ie/~destrade/Publis/destrade_109.pdf  Video link of a membrane deforming under a voltage: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ybk5am3s7pmcdwd/video.avi?dl=0  -Ends-

Events Calendar

Upcoming Events Time / Date Location
Arts in Action Free Lunchtime Concert 13.00 Thursday,
2 March 2017
The Cube Theatre, Áras na Mac Léinn

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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

The Frozen Ocean – A Photographic Diary of a Winter Expedition into the Antarctic Sea Ice

The public are invited to a fascinating public lecture of a winter expedition with the German icebreaker “Polarstern” to Antarctica. The talk will be delivered by Professor Peter Lemke of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Helmholtz-Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Germany on Wednesday, 14 September, at 7.30pm in the Colm O’hEocha Theatre in the Arts Millenium Building at NUI Galway. Professor Lemke has participated in nine polar expeditions with the German research icebreaker “Polarstern”, and has collections of stunning photographs depicting the Antarctic landscape and intriguing experiences to share. He is visiting Galway to participate in the Atlantic Ocean Climate Scholars Programme which is a week-long intensive, accredited workshop examining how climate and oceans interact, with particular examples from the Atlantic Ocean and higher latitudes. The lecture is open to members of the public and is part of a workshop organised by Dr Pauhla McGrane of the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training (SMART) being held in Galway, from 12-19 September,offered to international postgraduate students of marine, atmosphere and climate-related sciences. “Polar regions play an important role for our climate, but direct observations are difficult to obtain and can only be achieved with greatest effort. This is especially true in wintertime” said Professor Lemke. “Severe blizzards, being trapped between thick ice floes and forced to drift with the ice, the darkness of the polar night and temperatures around minus 30°C. This presentation will take you along on an extraordinary winter expedition into the Antarctic Ocean. It shows the beauty of the frozen ocean, presents some insight into polar and climate research, and demonstrates everyday life on a research icebreaker,” he continued. High latitudes have received attention recently because of significant changes in the atmosphere, sea ice, and ocean, and on land, especially in the Arctic. The surface air temperature in the Arctic has increased about twice as fast as the global air temperature. The Arctic sea-ice extent in summer has decreased by 35% since 1979, and the sea-ice thickness during late summer has declined in the Central Arctic by about 40% since 1958. A warming has also been observed at depth in the Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean. But surprisingly there is no negative trend observed in the Antarctic sea ice. Both, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass, and the sea level is rising. Most of these observed trends are in agreement with warming scenarios performed with coupled climate models, which indicate an amplified response in high latitudes to increased greenhouse gas concentrations. But details of the complex interaction between atmosphere, sea ice and ocean, and the impacts on the ecosystem and the human society are still only marginally understood. Results will be shown from the latest Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and from a winter expedition the speaker has lead into the ice-covered Weddell Sea (Antarctica). Dr Pauhla McGrane, coordinator of SMART said: “We are delighted that Proffessor Lemke has agreed to provide his unique insight into carrying out climate research in hostile polar environments, particulaly when accompanied by such beautiful stark images. This is especially relevant as this year we will run the second North South Atlantic Training Transect on-board the RV Polarstern from Germany to South Africa which will train 24 postgraduate students, including seven Irish students, in researching climate, ocean and atmospheric interactions at sea. These innovative offshore international collaboarations, developed with AWI, the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO) and funded by the Nippon foundation are essential in developing excellent climate and ocean scientists to measure and understand our changing planet”. Professor Lemke continues to work on the observation of climate processes in atmosphere, sea ice and ocean and their simulation in numerical models for the polar components of the climate system. On six expeditions on Polarstern he acted as chief scientist.  For more than 30 years he served on many national and international committees on polar and climate research. He was the Coordinating Lead Author for Chapter 4 (Observations: Changes in Snow, Ice and Frozen Ground) of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report published in 2007. The IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize together with Al Gore in 2007. For the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC published in 2013 Proffessor Lemke worked as Review Editor of Chapter 4 and as Lead Author of the Technical Summary. All members of the public are welcome and refreshments will be served afterwards. The Atlantic Ocean Climate Scholars Programme is a collaboaration between SMART, NUI Galway, AWI and the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO) that is funded by the Nippon foundation under NF POGO Regional Training fund.  -ends-