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Tuesday, 19 July 2016

The Yield Lab, the United States’ first food and agriculture technology business accelerator, announced the launch of the Yield Lab Galway in the PorterShed Galway on Friday, 15 July.  The Yield Lab Galway is a food and agriculture technology venture fund and business accelerator which is now located in Galway, Ireland. Yield Lab Galway is a significant boost to the investment opportunities available to emerging agri-tech and agri-innovation spinouts from NUI Galway. The Yield Lab is an early-stage venture fund and business accelerator that invests $100,000 in early stage food and agricultural technology (AgTech) startups, provides one-on-one mentorship, free workspace, and networking opportunities supported by agriculture focused organizations and businesses from the St. Louis region. Professor Charles Spillane, Head of the Plant & AgriBiosciences Research Centre (PABC) at NUI Galway highlighted that: “The Yield Lab’s establishment of its first European base in Galway is extremely exciting for the translation of agri-research activities into agri-innovations and startup agri-technology companies. The multi-disciplinary PABC looks forward to collaborating and working closely with Yield Lab Galway as one of it key investment and startup partners. The sustainable intensification challenges facing the agriculture and food sector in Ireland and internationally present opportunities and necessities for development of disruptive agri-innovations that the Yield Lab can foster.”  Agriculture is a leading industry in the U.S. Midwest, with extensive business connections to the St. Louis region and beyond. The diversity, central location, and solid business community support makes the St. Louis region a leading market for AgTech expansion. St. Louis is a sister city with Galway, which has an emerging and vibrant agri-innovation system. “We believe finding innovative solutions to sustainably feed the world’s rapidly growing population is the biggest problem facing human kind today,” said Yield Lab Managing Director Thad Simons. “The launch of the Yield Lab Galway is the appropriate next step and will provide greater access to financial and strategic opportunities for both our St. Louis and Galway based investments.” The Yield Lab Galway has been established on the same building blocks and strategy of sourcing, transacting, and mentoring as the Yield Lab in St. Louis. The fund plans to invest in 8- 12 companies over the next two years. Each Galway-based food and AgTech startup will receive up to €100,000 and participate in a twelve-month accelerator program. Dr John Breslin, one of the founders of the PorterShed and a PABC Principal Investigator, highlighted significant synergies between The Yield Lab and the NUI Galway AgTechInnovate program which he leads. He indicated that: “AgTechInnovate is a new Fellowship Programme from NUI Galway which aims to create interdisciplinary teams of technology entrepreneurs (“techpreneurs”) who are embedded in a particular domain for 6-8 weeks to identify real needs, following which they invent, implement and iterate solutions. In the case of AgTechInnovate, this would be in an agricultural environment, with our initial plans to immerse the 2016 AgTechInnovate team in 10 large dairy farms. “Spinouts emerging from AgTechInnovate will have the opportunity to pitch to the local Yield Lab Galway for investment. The establishment of Yield Lab Galway will further strengthen the agri-innovation ecosystem in the West of Ireland, which includes the NUI Galway PABC, Teagasc Athenry, Mountbellew Agricultural College, GMIT and agri-innovators like JFC, Food 360 and McHale.” “AgTech companies work in a global economy and our goal is to build a bridge to St. Louis for Irish AgTech companies looking for a U.S. footprint,” said Joe Reagan, President & CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber. “In St. Louis, we are focused on supporting entrepreneurs and innovators, and our economic development strategies in the 21st Century must be bold and innovative as well.” The St. Louis Regional Chamber has made a founding investment in the Yield Lab Galway from its Spirit of St. Louis Ventures fund, which has previously made founding investments in five early-stage business accelerators as part of a comprehensive strategy to support the formation of early-stage capital and to support entrepreneurs. Galway was the obvious choice for the Yield Lab to establish a European footprint due to the strong relationship as a sister city with St. Louis. It also offers a number of regional resources such as the multi-disciplinary NUI Galway PABC, GMIT, Teagasc Athenry, Mountbellew Agricultural College and a central location to the agricultural production systems of the west of Ireland. Galway has built itself into an entrepreneurial stronghold, boasting a thriving technology park and growing support ecosystem for innovators. “Cultivation Capital has developed a significant interest in agricultural technologies,” said General Partner Rick Holton. “The Yield Lab has provided us with valuable insight into their portfolio companies that has consistently presented Cultivation with the opportunity to capitalize on promising investments. This was the value proposition that led us to invest in St. Louis, and this is why we are investing in Galway.” “The new Yield Lab partnership enables a two-way street of economic activity between St. Louis and Galway. The growing Yield Lab portfolio in both regions will now have overseas networks to leverage. The Yield Lab Galway portfolio companies will attend a programming session in St. Louis to provide them with opportunities to access US markets and alternative sources of capital, and the Yield Lab St. Louis companies will be encouraged to leverage the resources unique to Galway. This marks a critical milestone for the St. Louis entrepreneurial and economic ecosystem. This bridge of economic activity with Galway should bring further opportunities for St. Louis.” said Sheila Sweeney, CEO of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership. -Ends-

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

NUI Galway has issued a final call for applications to its Elite Athlete Sports Scholarships Scheme for 2016/17. The University has a long tradition of excellence in sport and this has been enhanced by the recent success in Rowing, Hurling, Basketball, Soccer, Rugby and Archery as well as numerous individual achievements. The deadline for application for current and prospective students is Sunday, 31 July at 5pm. The scholarship programme is aimed at student-athletes of outstanding calibre who register as students of the University. Michael Heskin, Director of Sport and Physical Activity at NUI Galway, said: “The University is proud to support the next generation of sporting stars. We recognise the huge commitment made by our young athletes in balancing their academic studies and their elite training schedules. NUI Galway through the Elite Scholarship programme provides supports to those athletes who have podium dreams and thus the best possible chance of fulfilling their potential in the sporting and academic context.”  NUI Galway has had an outstanding record in supporting young athletes in developing their sporting and academic careers in recent years, with scholarship athletes winning senior All-Ireland GAA titles, winning and competing at World Championship level in their chosen sport and dozens of NUI Galway students representing their country and a number who have gone on to professional careers in a number of sports. Applicants for Elite sports scholarships must satisfy the academic criteria for entry to NUI Galway and must have applied to the CAO in the usual manner or be a currently enrolled student at NUI Galway. 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 Strength and Conditioning, Performance Nutrition, Performance planning and mentoring and Medical and Physiotherapy support. More details on the Sports Scholarship Scheme at http://www.nuigalway.ie/sports/scholarships_info.html. 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 agaibh le hiarratas a chur isteach ar Scéim Scoláireachtaí Spóirt Scoth-lúthchleasaíochta OÉ Gaillimh 2016/17. Tá dea-cháil ar an Ollscoil le fada as a fheabhas a éiríonn lena cuid mac léinn i gcúrsaí spóirt agus cuireadh leis an gcáil seo le déanaí le héachtaí Rámhaíochta, Iomána, Cispheile, Sacair, Rugbaí agus Boghdóireachta agus le héachtaí a rinne go leor daoine aonair. Is é 5pm Dé Domhnaigh, an 31 Iúil an spriocdháta d’iarratais ó mhic léinn reatha agus ó mhic léinn nua. Tá an clár scoláireachtaí dírithe ar lúthchleasaithe den scoth a chláraíonn mar mhic léinn san Ollscoil. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Michael Heskin, Stiúrthóir Spóirt agus Gníomhaíochta Fisiciúla OÉ Gaillimh: “Tá an-bhród ar an Ollscoil as a bheith ag tacú leis an gcéad ghlúin réaltaí spóirt eile. Aithnímid go bhfuil díograis ar leith á léiriú ag ár lúthchleasaithe óga agus iad ag iarraidh cothromaíocht a bhaint amach idir an staidéar acadúil agus a gcuid sceideal traenála scoth-lúthchleasaíochta. Tríd an gclár Scoláireachtaí Scoth-lúthchleasaíochta, cuireann OÉ Gaillimh tacaíocht ar fáil do na lúthchleasaithe sin arb é mian a gcroí a bheith ina seasamh ar an bpóidiam lá éigin. Tugtar gach seans dóibh le barr cumais a bhaint amach i saol an spóirt agus sa saol acadúil.”  Tá tacaíocht tugtha arís is arís eile ag OÉ Gaillimh do lúthchleasaithe óga atá ag iarraidh a ngairm spóirt agus a ngairm acadúil a fhorbairt le blianta beaga anuas. Bhuaigh lúthchleasaithe a raibh scoláireacht spóirt ó OÉ Gaillimh acu craobh shinsir na hÉireann sna cluichí Gaelacha, agus tá siad ag buachan agus ag iomaíocht ar leibhéal domhanda sna spóirt ar roghnaigh siad tabhairt fúthu. Tá na scórtha de mhic léinn OÉ Gaillimh ag déanamh ionadaíochta ar a dtír dhúchais agus chuaigh cuid acu le spóirt éagsúla mar ghairm bheatha. Ní mór dóibh sin ar mian leo cur isteach ar scoláireachtaí spóirt scoth-lúthchleasaíochta critéir acadúla iontrála OÉ Gaillimh a shásamh agus ní mór dóibh iarratas a bheith déanta acu tríd an CAO ar an ngnáthbhealach nó a bheith cláraithe mar mhac léinn in OÉ Gaillimh cheana féin. Déanfaidh painéal neamhspleách na mic léinn a shásaíonn riachtanais iontrála na hOllscoile a roghnú ar bhonn fiúntais. Mar aon leis an scoláireacht féin, beidh tacaíocht le fáil ag na mic léinn ó speisialtóirí maidir le Neart agus Aclú, Cothú Réamh-iomaíochta agus pleanáil agus meantóireacht Réamh-iomaíochta, agus beidh tacaíocht Leighis agus Fisiteiripe ar fáil acu. Tuilleadh eolais faoin Scéim Scoláireachtaí Spóirt ag http://www.nuigalway.ie/sports/scholarships_info.html. Ní mór gach iarratas a dhéanamh ar líne ag http://www.sports.nuigalway.ie/scholarshipform.html. -Críoch-

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Although hand hygiene is known to be the key to preventing hospital acquired infections such as MRSA, compliance with good hygiene practices remains low. With healthcare-associated infections affecting, on average, 5% of hospitalised patients in Ireland[i], NUI Galway is to lead a Health Research Board funded project to improve hand hygiene practice. The three-year project will provide theoretical valid and practical tools and methodologies for improving hand hygiene compliance in Irish Intensive Care Units. Effective hand hygiene practices are considered to be the most important strategy for preventing healthcare-associated infections. However, compliance with good hand hygiene practices has been historically low, leading to a national and international focus on improving hand hygiene practices. “International bodies have made recommendations for how to improve hand hygiene practices, but there are serious weaknesses in the research evidence to guide the implementation of these interventions. As a result, infection control practices are not based on sound scientific knowledge, may be of limited effectiveness, and resources are not being used efficiently”, explains Dr Paul O’Connor, the Principal Investigator of the project. “Although the hand hygiene procedure itself is simple, the behaviour related to hand hygiene is complex and is not readily understood, explained, or changed”, continued Dr O’Connor. “We want to explore all the factors at play in the ICU setting, by involving all key stakeholders such as patients, nurses, doctors, healthcare providers and regulators. Collaboratively, we will identify the barriers for effective hand hygiene to ensure that limited resources are being used effectively. The goal is provide direction on ‘how’ standards of hand hygiene can be achieved rather than only defining ‘what’ standards must be achieved.” -ends-  [i]http://www.hse.ie/eng/health/hl/hcaiamr/healthcareassinfection/howcommonhealthcareinfections/

Monday, 18 July 2016

10 risk factors are same worldwide, with regional variation Ten risk factors, that can be modified, are responsible for nine of 10 strokes worldwide, but the ranking of those factors vary regionally, says a study led researchers from NUI Galway and McMaster University, Canada. Prevention of stroke is a major public health priority, but the variation by region should influence the development of strategies for reducing stroke risk, say the authors of the study published in The Lancet today. Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability, particularly in low-income and middle-income countries. The two major types of stroke include ischaemic stroke caused by blood clots, which accounts for 85% of strokes, and haemorrhagic stroke or bleeding into the brain, which accounts for 15% of strokes. The study led by Dr Martin O'Donnell of HRB-Clinical Research Facility, NUI Galway and formerly McMaster University and Dr Salim Yusuf of the Population Health Research Institute at McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada, and collaborators from 32 countries, builds on findings from the first phase of the INTERSTROKE study which identified ten modifiable risk factors for stroke in 6,000 participants from 22 countries. This full-scale INTERSTROKE study added 20,000 individuals from 32 countries in Europe, Asia, America, Africa and Australia, and sought to  identify the main causes of stroke in diverse populations, young and old, men and women and within subtypes of stroke. “This study has the size and scope to explore stroke risk factors in all major regions of the world and within key populations,” said O’Donnell, a stroke physician at Saolta University Healthcare Group. “We have confirmed that ten modifiable risk factors are associated with 90% of stroke risk in all parts of the world, in both men and women, and in younger and older people. The study also confirms that hypertension is the most important modifiable risk factor in all regions, and the key target in reducing the burden of stroke globally.” The investigators looked at the different risk factors, and determined the proportion of strokes which would be cut if the risk factor disappeared. The number of strokes would be practically cut in half (48%) if hypertension was eliminated; trimmed by more than a third (36%) if people were physically active; and shaved by almost one fifth (19%) if they had better diets. In addition, this proportion was cut back by 12% if smoking was eliminated; 9% for cardiac (heart) causes, 4% for diabetes, 6% for alcohol intake, 6% for stress, and 27% for lipids (the study used apolipoproteins, which was found to be a better predictor of stroke than total cholesterol). Many of these risk factors are known to also be associated with each other (such as obesity and diabetes), and when were combined together, the total for all 10 risk factors was 91%, which was similar in all regions, age groups and in men and women. However, the importance of some risk factors appeared to vary by region. For example, the importance of hypertension ranged from 38.8% in western Europe, North America, and Australia to 59.6% in Southeast Asia. The risk of alcohol was lowest in Western Europe, North America and Australia but highest in Africa and south Asia, while the potential impact of physical inactivity was highest in China.  An irregular heart rhythm, or atrial fibrillation, was significantly associated with ischaemic stroke in all regions, but was of greater importance in Western Europe, North America and Australia, than in China or South Asia. However, when all 10 risk factors were included together, their collective importance was similar in all regions. “Our findings will inform the development of global population-level interventions to reduce stroke, and how such programs may be tailored to individual regions,” said Yusuf, a professor of medicine of McMaster’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and director of the PHRI. “This includes better health education, more affordable healthy food, avoidance of tobacco and more affordable medication for hypertension and dyslipidaemia.” Along with the study, The Lancet published a related comment from New Zealand researchers Valery L. Feigin and Rita Krishnamurthi from the National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences, of Auckland’s University of Technology. They said the key messages from the study were that stroke is a highly preventable disease globally, regardless of age and sex; that the relative importance of modifiable risk factors means there should be development of regional or ethnic-specific primary prevention programmes, and that additional research on stroke risk factors is needed for countries and ethnic groups not included in INTERSTROKE. “Now is the time for governments, health organizations, and individuals to proactively reduce the global burden of stroke. Governments of all countries should develop and implement an emergency action plan for the primary prevention of stroke,” they wrote. ENDS

Monday, 18 July 2016

NUI Galway will hold an information evening for those interested in renting a room or a house to students on Thursday, 21 July at 6.00pm in The View, Áras na Mac Léinn. The evening will provide free advice and information on how a person can earn up to €12,000 tax free by renting to students and how to ensure a good experience for both the householder and the student. The University will also provide free advertising for the properties. John Hannon, Director of Student Services at NUI Galway said: “This is a great opportunity; it is a ‘win-win’ situation for the householder, the student, their family and the University. We have really positive feedback from people who have rented a room. It is more than the opportunity to earn income tax free - there is also a social benefit from each other’s company and increased safety for student and householder.” For further information contact Teresa Kelly in NUI Galway’s Accommodation Office on 091 492364 or email teresa.kelly@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Friday, 15 July 2016

NUI Galway offers heartiest congratulations to the Galway 2020 team following the announcement this afternoon that Galway has been designated the European Capital of Culture for 2020. Our congratulations to City Manager Brendan McGrath along with his dedicated staff and all involved with to the Galway 2020 bid, the volunteers and general public for their overwhelming engagement with the bid process especially in recent months when a united front was visible from all communities across the city and county. This is a massive win today for Galway, one that will see lasting and transformative benefits for years to come, and one that has seen over 18 months of sheer hard work for all involved. Their success with this bid is reflective of the commitment shown on this journey to securing the European City of Culture title. This has made the University, the city, the county and the province proud, extremely proud. As a major supporter and contributor to many of the projects, NUI Galway is delighted to offer its further commitment with this phenomenal Galway 2020 success. Comhghairdeas ó chroí le foireann Gaillimh2020 Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway Príomhchathair Chultúir na hEorpa 2020  Tréaslaíonn Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh ó chroí le foireann Gaillimh 2020 agus an fógra déanta tráthnóna inniu gurb í Gaillimh atá le bheith ina Príomhchathair Chultúir na hEorpa sa bhliain 2020. Déanaimid comhghairdeas leis an mBainisteoir Cathrach Brendan McGrath agus leis an bhfoireann dhúthrachtach a bhí ag obair in éineacht leis ar an iarratas, leis na hoibrithe deonacha agus leis an bpobal trí chéile as a rannpháirtíocht ghníomhach sa phróiseas, go mór mór le cúpla mí anuas nuair ba léir go raibh pobail uile an chontae agus na cathrach aontaithe agus ar a ndícheall. Is iontach an gaisce é seo ag Gaillimh inniu agus cuirfear athrú suntasach chun feabhais ar an áit ar feadh na mblianta amach romhainn dá bharr. Is toradh iontach é ar an obair chéadach a rinne daoine go leor le 18 mí anuas. Is breá an léiriú ar an díograis agus an obair éachtach a rinne siad é scéala an lae inniu go bhfuil an stádas mar Phríomhchathair Chultúir na hEorpa bainte amach ag Gaillimh. Tá bród as cuimse ar an Ollscoil, ar an gcathair, ar an gcontae agus ar an gcúige. Agus tacaíocht mhór tugtha aici go dtí seo do thionscadail iomadúla an fheachtais seo, is mór ag Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh tuilleadh cabhrach fós a thabhairt amach anseo do Ghaillimh 2020. Comhghairdeas ó chroí le foireann Gaillimh 2020 An Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Edel Browne has been announced as the winner of U Magazine’s ‘30 Under 30’ in the contribution to STEM and was named as one of the Sunday Business Post’s ‘30 Under 30’ for Technology. Nineteen-year-old Edel from Athenry, Co. Galway is in second year of a BSc in Biotechnology at NUI Galway. She is the founder and CEO of Free Feet Medical, a multi-award winning medical device designed to treat gait freezing for people with Parkinson's disease and is the Student Entrepreneur in Residence in Blackstone LaunchPad at NUI Galway. She is a past participant on the STEMette's Outbox Incubator in London, a founding member of the Digital Youth Council in Ireland, and a global youth ambassador for AAT (America’s Amazing Teens). Edel has also secured her place as one of 11 Nissan Generation Next ambassadors after a month of public voting. A total of 81,000 votes were cast for 20 finalists, with the top seven automatically qualifying to join the ambassador programme. The Nissan Generation Next is about helping the best and brightest on the road to success and she plans to use her new Nissan to travel to Parkinson’s Associations across Ireland to present her work and to conduct market research to improve Free Feet Medical’s product so that she can bring it to market. Speaking on the awards Edel said: “I'm absolutely thrilled to be recognised for my work in STEM promotion and Entrepreneurship by both the Sunday Business Post and U Magazine. It’s fantastic for hard work and dedication to be recognised, on a national and international scale, among such inspiring peers. Becoming a #NissanGenNext Ambassador also means that I have an outstanding opportunity to represent both the brand, the University, and it’s an excellent opportunity for Free Feet.” Mary Carty, Executive Director of Blackstone LaunchPad at NUI Galway, said: “I am absolutely thrilled for Edel, and delighted to see that her hard work and commitment is being recognised. I am looking forward to seeing what the future brings for Edel and Free Feet Medical.” Edel has been chosen as one of 30 Three Dot Dash Global Teen Leaders for 2016 and one of 200 ‘Founders of the Future’. She was listed among the top 38 Women in Tech in Ireland in 2015, named one to watch by The Irish Times, and was awarded the Best Individual Award at the BT Young Scientist competition in 2013. -Ends-

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Those aboard NASA’s Aquarius undersea research station will participate in a live, public video link-up with their NUI Galway-based clinician Dr Derek O’Keeffe on Friday, 22 July. The link up will be preceded by a public talk on Telemedicine at 12 noon in the Clinical Science Institute, NUI Galway. The NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) is sending a group of six astronauts, engineers and scientists to live aboard the Aquarius habitat, 20 metres under the sea off the Florida coast for three weeks, from next week. Dr Derek O’Keeffe, Clinical Fellow NUI Galway has been selected as the Flight Surgeon for Telemedicine for the mission. As an expert in telemedicine, he will be remotely monitoring the ‘Aquanauts’ during their undersea experience as an official part of the NEEMO mission. Dr O’Keeffe holds dual biomedical engineering and medical qualifications and is an expert in state of the art remote monitoring technology with a successful track record in prior spaceflight and extreme environment missions. He will oversee the ‘Aquanauts’ physiological parameters during their undersea experience and use this information to monitor crew health and to facilitate mission critical decisions (e.g. Extra Vehicular Activities - EVAs). In addition he will run several staged health emergency scenarios (e.g. cardiac / respiratory arrest) to evaluate and develop remote crisis response protocols. Dr O’Keeffe will be working with his fellow Irish colleague Dr Marc Ó Gríofa who has been chosen as one of six crew members on NEEMO Mission from 18 July 2016. “The Aquarius habitat and its surroundings provide a convincing analog for space exploration. NASA are also carrying out similar missions in other extreme environments, such as deserts, icefields and volcanoes around the world. Telemedicine provides us with the ability to monitor in real-time the ‘Aquanauts’ vitals. We can alert them if for some reason their heart rate goes too high or their blood pressure goes too low.” Dr O’Keeffe added: “Telemedicine is already opening up exciting new frontiers in our everyday lives, such as providing remote care to patients in medically underserved areas. In addition it is currently been used experimentally in novel healthcare applications such as chronic disease home monitoring. For example, this allows doctors to track parameters such as blood glucose or bodyweight patterns which allows them to make clinical decisions to intervene early if required. This would prevent patients with diabetes or heart failure from deteriorating and therefore improve care and ultimately prevent a hospital admission. Fast forward ten years, we would envisage that it would be the standard of care for patients to have home monitoring of physiological data for certain chronic diseases and equally for all hospitalised patients to have continuous monitoring and remote review.” -ends-

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

The United Nations World Youth Report will be launched at the UN Headquarters in New York on Friday, 15 July and focuses on Youth Civic Engagement in 2016. The publication is comprised of contributions from international experts including UNESCO Chair and Director of NUI Galway’s Child and Family Research Centre Professor Pat Dolan. The report, published biennially, was commissioned in the context of an increased policy focus on youth civic engagement to counter the rise in youth radicalisation and the growing disenfranchisement among young people with traditional forms of political participation.  The United Nations World Youth Report spans economic, political and community civic engagement models. These elements, grounded in discourses over the purpose and nature of youth as citizens, highlight a number of societal benefits to better recognition of young people as contributors to the development of their communities and society. The Report calls for the development of inclusive policies and decision-making processes that facilitate meaningful engagement and active partnership by young people.   Professor Dolan said: “At a very real and human level this world youth report demonstrates that positive engagement of youth, in real ways in school and community settings, is core to future of Irish civic society, and needs and deserves fuller respect by adults including politicians. Young people when given the opportunity are equally, if not more empathic and willing than adults, and more than willing to play a positive role – youth are civic actors now and into the future.” In a context-setting piece, UNESCO Chairs Pat Dolan and Mark Brennan of Pennsylvania State argue that perspectives that see youth as individuals with the positive motivation and skills to contribute to their communities have immediate benefits in terms of young people becoming more involved as collaborators, team members, leaders and decision makers within their communities while also setting up young people on a lifetime course of broader engagement in political and economic life.  For further information on the United Nations World Youth Report visit www.unworldyouthreport.org. -Ends-

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

NUI Galway hosted the first ever Symposium on Student Volunteering this month to build the peer-reviewed research landscape needed to address the scarcity in student engagement literature from the Irish higher education perspective. The recent expansion of Irish Higher Education Institutions community engagement initiatives supporting student volunteering raises important questions and the Symposium is a critical, safe place to build a scholarly layer of enquiry.  The symposium, which was attended by volunteer coordinators from across Ireland, saw a showcase of research findings on volunteer motivations, barriers, and experiences from NUI Galway, DCU, NGOs, Comhlámh and Gaisce. Keynote speaker Clare Holdsworth, Professor of Social Geography from Keele University, gave an address on the latest research on youth engagement. She outlined good practice in research methods as well as the common challenges and drawbacks of statistical analysis. Her keynote addressed the mobilisation of employability skills as an outcome of volunteering, valuing and nurturing voluntary activity as an end in itself and critiquing graduate attributes discourses. Symposium supporters include Volunteer Ireland, studentvolunteer.ie, NUI Galway Students’ Union and Campus Engage.  The Symposium focused on the following themes: build understanding on the scale of student volunteering how to begin researching your student volunteering practice and supportive research tips recognising the scholarship dimensions of student learning through extra-curricular engagement raising awareness of contemporary research into student volunteering at higher education through practice and policy levels Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Programme, ALIVE coordinator, said: “We are delighted to see a debate and discussion on a topic that can often be simply seen as a benevolent act.  Current trends and our ability to inspire the future generation of volunteers are at stake. We hope annually we can lead the national conversation and create rich theory and data to create the policies needed to support student civic learning.” For further information visit www.nuigalway.ie/community-engagement/studentvolunteering or www.studentvolunteer.ie/news/symposium-on-student-volunteering. -Ends-

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Cutting greenhouse gas emissions from milk and meat production is a major challenge for Ireland. To help address this and other related challenges, Teagasc and NUI Galway today announced the establishment of a Strategic Research and Training Alliance on Carbon-Neutral Agriculture. The new partnership will accelerate an inter-disciplinary portfolio of training and research approaches and innovations. Building from existing collaborative activities between both institutions, the Strategic Alliance will see new postgraduate courses come on stream, and a range of new research projects aimed at transitioning our agriculture and food systems to a lower carbon footprint. Recent analyses have revealed that current agricultural interventions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the global level will only deliver 21-40% of target, indicating need for transformative technical and policy options. The agri-food sector in Ireland is our largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. The targets to dramatically grow the Irish agrifood sector by 2020/2025 are likely to result in Ireland exceeding its national targets for greenhouse gas emissions triggering major fines. Denis Naughten, TD, Minister for Communications, Climate Change and Natural Resources, stressed that: “The Climate Change agenda presents many challenges for Ireland in transitioning to a low carbon climate resilient economy not least of which will be how we manage our overall emissions profile. These challenges are well understood by Government as reflected in the National Policy Position on Climate Action which envisages an approach to carbon neutrality in the agriculture and land-use sector, which does not compromise capacity for sustainable food production. The role of research and innovation in informing the implementation of such policy is a key consideration and I am therefore delighted to see this Alliance launched today and look forward seeing outcomes which can inform our thinking on the most appropriate pathways towards supporting both climate change adaptation and mitigation for the Irish agri-food sector.” The Teagasc and NUI Galway Strategic Alliance will combine the expertise and strengths of both institutions to foster the research and training necessary for both climate change adaptation and mitigation for the Irish agri-food sector. Today’s agreement builds on the existing MoU between Teagasc and the inter-disciplinary Plant and AgriBiosciences Research Centre (PABC) in NUI Galway. The Director of Teagasc Professor Gerry Boyle and the President of NUI Galway President Jim Browne agreed that the combined research and training efforts of both organisations will support both climate change adaptation and mitigation for the Irish agri-food sector. Head of the NUI Galway PABC, Professor Charles Spillane indicates that: “FAO indicates that over half of farming’s direct climate impact is currently caused by methane released by livestock and from their manure. Climate change concerns combined with dietary guideline drivers are now major challenges for the agri-food sector, particularly for higher carbon-footprint milk and meat products. There is a need, and indeed an opportunity, for NUI Galway, Teagasc and our other partners across Ireland to develop the next-generation of innovations to reduce the carbon-footprint of agriculture.” To generate impact and promote an inter-disciplinary approach, the Teagasc and NUI Galway Strategic Alliance will bring together research and researchers across many subject areas ranging from agri-biosciences, engineering, informatics, economics, marketing and agri-business. The Alliance will have a particular focus on postgraduate (PhD and Masters) research and training, with the launch of a new jointly-developed Structured PhD Programme in Plant and AgriBiosciences, and a new Structured Masters degree in AgriBiosciences. Both of the new programs contain advanced training modules that are jointly designed and delivered by leading experts from NUI Galway, Teagasc, industry and stakeholder groups. These new qualifications are in addition to the Masters degree in Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (MScCCAFS) which NUI Galway is running in collaboration with the global CCAFS programme and national partners such as Teagasc. Dr Frank O’Mara, Director of Research at Teagasc said: “We are excited by the prospect of the new structured PhD researcher programme between NUI Galway and Teagasc having tailor-made modules on the Irish Agri-Food Sector, Agri-Sustainability, Agri-Business and Agri-Communications delivered jointly by Teagasc and NUI Galway staff.” The new structured PhD program will build upon existing activities between both institutions. Since 2000, Teagasc has supported 63 Walsh Fellowship PhD researchers at NUI Galway with an investment of over €5.5 million, and is engaged in a wide range of collaborative research projects with NUI Galway PABC research groups. To deepen the integration of research and training activities between the two institutions, Teagasc has appointed five leading NUI Galway experts as Adjunct members of Teagasc, while leading Teagasc experts are being appointed as Adjunct Faculty of the NUI Galway Plant and AgriBiosciences Research Centre (PABC). One such expert is Professor Colin O’Dowd who runs NUI Galway’s Mace Head Climate Observatory. He highlighted that: “There are emerging inter-disciplinary opportunities for more accurate measurement and management of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture arising from advances in satellite remote sensing and informatics, that NUI Galway and Teagasc will combine efforts on.”   The Head of the Teagasc Rural Economy and Development Programme, Professor Cathal O’Donoghue further indicated that: “The Strategic Alliance also includes a new Executive Education Program between Teagasc, SFSI (Sustainable Food Systems Ireland) and NUI Galway which is aimed at agri-food managers and leaders and aims to transfer the lessons from Ireland’s experience in developing and implementing a sustainability strategy within the agri-food sector.”  -ends- 

Monday, 4 July 2016

Company to create 20 new roles over next two years DiaNia Technologies, an innovative materials technology company based in NUI Galway’s Business Innovation Centre, has secured €2 million in seed-funding to utilise materials science to facilitate the development of disruptive catheter based medical devices. The investment was led by four key investors - Helen Ryan, Liam Farrissey, Ian Quinn and Gearóid Faherty - and also included the HBAN’s Medtech Business Angel Syndicate and Enterprise Ireland. The funding will allow DiaNia Technologies to develop and commercialise the first application of its proprietary materials science technology which will enhance the performance and functionality of medical devices resulting in increased patient safety and improved product performance. The technology works by providing in-built low friction at the surface of an extrusion, delivering a paradigm shift in the manipulation of friction on both the inside and outside surface of extruded catheter shafts. This inherent lubricity in the main component of a catheter will eliminate the industry’s need for expensive liners and coatings.  It is estimated that the global market potential for this material science technology is in excess of €250 million. DiaNia Technologies expects to create 20 new jobs over the next two years. These will include a number of specialised materials science and extrusion positions as well as roles in quality assurance, regulatory affairs, manufacturing, marketing and finance. DiaNia Technologies was founded in 2013 by Sinéad Kenny and Mark Mellett, who both have extensive experience in the medical device industry. Sinéad, who has a degree in Materials Science, and a PhD in Biomedical Cements, has previously worked with a host of multinational companies, consultancies and start-ups including Cook Medical, Boston Scientific, Altran and Creganna Medical, developing devices for a wide variety of applications. Mark, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, has held a variety of senior roles in various international companies including Deloitte, Kerry Group, Oracle and more recently Alere, where he is Director of Toll Manufacturing. Sinead Kenny, CEO of DiaNia Technologies, said:“This €2million investment will accelerate the product arriving to market and will be of benefit to manufacturers and ultimately clients, around the world. Delivering a technology which has the ability to both improve the experience and outcome for the patient as well as making the end device safer and more efficient to produce are the drivers behind our extensive R&D programme.  We are excited to be supported by such a knowledgeable group of investors who share our vision of advancing the next generation of medical devices through innovative materials technology.” Helen Ryan, one of the lead investors in DiaNia Technologies, said: “We are delighted to announce this investment for Galway. There is a strong med-tech knowledge base in the West of Ireland and we’re looking forward to developing the technology to build a long term sustainable company. This is a unique opportunity for materials scientists to show how significant their knowledge is in enabling innovation in the industry.” Find out more about DiaNia Technologies at www.dianiatechnologies.com Ends

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Over 40 second level students attended the annual Computer Science and Information Technology Summer School in NUI Galway recently. The students were treated to a host of guest lectures and workshop activities across a range of exciting themes. One of the many highlights throughout the day was a practical demonstration of corporate security vulnerability through secret message encryption which was led by Dr Michael Schukat. Students learned of the historical significance of cyphers from early Roman times through to World War 2 and the Cold War. The students got to encrypt secret messages during the session by embedding hidden codes within software files that might appear to be simply basic images but can actually contain hidden information in encrypted format using an approach called steganography. The implications for modern day organisations for this type of communication are huge when dealing with sensitive trading data or intellectual property.  Academic Coordinator Dr Enda Howley said: “The event was another huge success, with a wide range of schools in the region in attendance from Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork, Roscommon and Longford. We always look forward to the opportunity of welcoming second level students onto the campus and giving them a sense of university life alongside the huge potential of studying Information Technology. The job opportunities are limitless and industry employers simply cannot get enough software developers at the moment. The enthusiasm and energy of these mostly Transition Year students is almost infectious and we are already looking forward to our 2017 Summer School. ” -Ends-

Friday, 8 July 2016

NUI Galway students’ car excels in international energy-efficiency competition Last week the Geec 2.0 (Galway energy-efficient car), designed and built by NUI Galway engineering students, competed at the Shell Eco-marathon Europe in London. Fourteen students, from first year to PhD, travelled with three university staff members and a sponsor to prepare and drive the car on an 8-lap 18-km course around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Shell Eco-marathon is a competition in vehicle fuel-efficiency, not speed, where the winner is the team that completes the course using the least amount of energy at an average speed of at least 25 km/h. The competition includes six categories of vehicles based on different fuel types and energy sources. The Geec 2.0 competed in the battery-electric category for the second year running. It has one wheel at the back, driven by an electric motor, two wheels at the front, and an extremely low profile with the driver in a lying position. This was the first year of the competition took place in London. The Geec 2.0 successfully completed 4 full runs out of 5 attempts around the track. On the final attempt the score jumped from 157 km/kWh to 236 km/kWh. This placed the Geec 21st out of 50 competitors in its category, an advance on last year’s 23rd position, and ensured that it retained its position as Ireland’s most energy-efficient car. Dr Maeve Duffy, Lecturer in Electrical & Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway and one of the Academic Mentors for the Geec, said: “Shell Eco-marathon Europe is truly a festival of engineering where teams work on their cars in full view of each other and the visiting public. It’s a hugely rewarding experience for all involved, with students getting to road-test designs they’ve brought to life in a car, while we as academic supervisors see them develop into fully-fledged engineers to take full ownership of their project. Our students were excellent representatives of NUI Galway and Ireland. We are proud of how they gelled as a team and raised their game under pressure this past week.” The mission of the Geec is to show what young engineers at Irish universities are capable of when faced with a major challenge. Work on the Geec has been incorporated into student engineering projects at NUI Galway, and as well as the technical experience of designing and building the car, it develops students’ skills in teamwork, communication, project management, health and safety, ergonomics and logistics. Annual participation at Shell Eco-marathon provides a platform for rigorous testing of the student-built vehicles in a real-world, internationally competitive setting, with a primary focus on energy efficiency. To experience a snippet of Shell Eco-marathon 2016, the Geec team featured in a live Facebook video from the event on 1 July at www.facebook.com/nuigalway, and the full story of the Geec’s week at Shell Eco-marathon 2016 is available at www.theGeec.ie/blog. -Ends-

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Ireland’s thriving trade in books in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries depended on strong networks linking the country with Great Britain. An international group of researchers will meet in NUI Galway’s Moore Institute from 11-12 July to discuss how texts, authors, and workers moved between the two locations across the period. Topics under discussion include circulating libraries, publishing by subscription, the effects of the Act of Union in 1801 on integrating the book trade in Britain and Ireland, periodicals, and poetry publishing. Professor Daniel Carey, Director of the Moore Institute, said: “Research on the history of the book trade in Ireland is revealing new networks and exchanges of labour and publishing projects between Ireland and Britain. Brexit has reminded us how close these countries are economically. But the pattern has been in place for the three centuries.” Scholars from London, Oxford, Edinburgh, and Birmingham will join academics from NUI Galway and other Irish institutions for two days of discussion. For further information contact Martha Shaughnessy in the Moore Institute at Martha.shaughnessy@nuigalway.ie or 091 493902. -Ends-

Friday, 1 July 2016

Includes a virtual tour of Galway Bay above and below the waves SeaScience, an educational app developed by the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway in partnership with Galway City Museum, has now been launched. The app was designed as a companion for the SeaScience exhibition, permanently housed in the Galway City Museum, and provides the visitor with a virtually-guided tour of the exhibits. It can also be used independently without having to physically visit the museum itself. The app interactively encourages the user to learn about the marine environment by teaching in a fun way using text, audio and video content about the value and benefits of the oceans to all life on the planet. Some of the topics covered include marine pollution, the generation of renewable electricity from the sea, marine zoology, the sounds of the ocean, and effects of climate change on marine environments. “The SeaScience app can be used by adults or children all over the world. It’s a wonderful classroom resource and showcases the internationally-recognised work of our researchers across disciplines as disparate as Civil Engineering, Earth and Ocean Science, Physics, Information and Communication Technology, Modelling and Zoology. All of these disciplines worked closely together to produce the content for app,” said Professor Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute, who spearheaded the creation of the SeaScience exhibition and the development of the app with Galway City Museum. “The SeaScience app also provides a virtual tour of Galway Bay above and below the waves. It really shines the spotlight on the city of Galway, its people and their relationship with the sea.” Eithne Verling, Director of Galway City Museum said: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity of working with the Ryan Institute on this project. Our Sea Science exhibition is extremely popular with all our visitors - it gives people a great understanding of the richness and value of Galway Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.” The app was designed by Gerald Glynn of Gesture Media and is designed to work across all platforms. It is free to download from the Apple app store and will be available shortly in the Google play store for android. Just search for “sea science”.    -ends-

Thursday, 30 June 2016

CÚRAM researchers involved in the coordination of three major EU funded projects; ‘AngioMatTrain’, ‘Tendon Therapy Train’ and ‘Neurograft’, are hosting three symposia at the prestigious TERMIS-EU 2016 conference in Uppsala, Sweden this week. Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director at CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices, based at NUI Galway, will also present a keynote talk. The Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) is one of the most prominent organisations in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine globally and attracts interest from the highest levels of the scientific community in biomedical research. The projects featured at the conference are coordinated by CÚRAM and funded by the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme and the Horizon 2020 programme. CÚRAM investigators are currently coordinating eight large scale research consortia funded by the EU FP7 and Horizon 2020 programmes. Another CÚRAM researcher, Dilip Thomas, is Chair-Elect for the EU Student and Young Investigator section (SYIS) of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS). SYIS provides a platform for the next generation of scientists and engineers in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine to interact. SYIS aims to further the professional and scientific development of its members. Professor Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM, stated: “Our strong presence at TERMIS-EU 2016 is an indication of the relevance of CÚRAM’s research within Europe. We will continue to initiate collaborative research, with partners from outside of Ireland and look towards funding opportunities within Horizon 2020.” AngioMatTrain focuses on understanding ischemic diseases, from basics to translation, and is supported by eight full partners (five universities, one hospital and two SMEs). The AngioMatTrain symposium at TERMIS; “Biomaterial-Based Treatments for Ischemic Diseases” is being chaired by Professor Andrea Banfi, Principal Investigator on the project and a leader in the field of angiogenesis from the University Hospital Basal Switzerland. Dr Renza Spelat, a postdoctoral researcher on the project, based at CÚRAM, is chairing the session while three postgraduate researchers will give oral presentations and an additional five will present posters at the conference. The NeuroGraft Project focuses on injuries and degenerative diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) which constitute a bottleneck in medical and surgical practice for which no therapy currently exists. NeuroGraft aims to develop stem cell seeded functionalised bio-artificial organs. This exciting concept will be realised through the NeuroGraft consortium, consisting of one academic and four industrial partners (four SMEs), across four countries. This week’s NeuroGraft symposium at TERMIS, ‘Biomaterial-Based Treatments for Repair After Nerve/ Spinal cord Injury’ will be chaired by Dr Siobhan MacMahon, Investigator within CÚRAM and a Lecturer in Anatomy at NUI Galway and will feature Dr James Phillips, Senior Lecturer, Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, Eastman Dental Institute, University College London, and Rachel Ronan, PhD candidate at CÚRAM. Tendon Therapy Train will develop the world’s first three-dimensional, cell-assembled prototype for human and equine patients suffering tendon injuries. The Tendon Therapy Train consortium is led by Dr Dimitrios Zeugolis at CÚRAM at NUI Galway and is further comprised of six academic, three clinical and seven industry partners. Dr Zeugolis will chair two sessions this week at TERMIS, titled ‘Clinical Tissue Engineering’ and ‘Tendon Biology: A Blueprint to Engineer Functional Tissue’ with presentations to be given by visiting researcher Diana Pereira and doctoral candidate Christina Ryan. The goal of the conference is to bring together leading experts within the tissue engineering and regenerative medicine community to present and discuss their latest scientific and clinical developments. Sessions this year are focused on biomaterials and intelligent scaffolds, stem cells, growth factors, activation of developmental and regenerative pathways, and translation of research to the clinic and industry. -ends-

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

NUI Galway Mechanical Engineering Student, Patrick Costello was a finalist and received a Merit Award at the recent 2016 Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur Awards ceremony. The project ‘Agricultural Safety Solutions’ was a joint initiative between Patrick, who is from Oranmore, Co. Galway, and GMIT student Brian Melia. The students came up with the idea of a safety device which is installed in agricultural trailers, the Livestock Trailer Restrainer. Opening the gates of a livestock trailer can be hazardous due to the fact the animals can place excessive force on the gates, with the risk of potential injury to the operator. The Livestock Trailer Restrainer is essentially a gate with a release mechanism that can be operated from the side of the livestock trailer. It puts a barrier between an operator and livestock to allow them to exit the boundaries of the danger zone which is the ramp. The device can then be released from a safe zone to the side of the trailer putting the operator out of the trample path of the livestock. Professor Sean Leen, Head of Mechanical Engineering, NUI Galway: “This successful design is an excellent example of the initiative of many Irish engineering students and originated as part of the Community Awareness Initiatives Responsibly Directed by Engineers (CAIRDE) second year engineering group design projects at NUI Galway. We ask students to work directly with community partners to conceive, design, make and test prototype solutions to real-world problems. It is highly rewarding to see this type of initiative getting due recognition.” -Ends-

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

A free screening of the documentary film, Stem Cell Revolutions takes place on 4 July at the Clinical Science Institute, NUI Galway, from 7pm. With the tag line ‘You’ve heard so much about stem cells. But what do they really do?’ it has been described as a truly entertaining documentary. According to reviews, it provides a ‘fascinating, unsensationalised and complete guide for anyone who wants an informed appreciation of stem cell science and an understanding of what all the fuss is about’. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with Professors Timothy O’Brien and Matt Griffin, both of University Hospitals Galway and NUI Galway. Professors O’Brien and Griffin are among the many scientists and physicians in Galway who are involved in cutting edge research and clinical trials using bone marrow-derived stem cells in Galway. Through the Health Research Board (HRB) Clinical Research Facility Galway (CRFG), Professors O’Brien and Griffin will be conducting a clinical trial using bone marrow derived stem cells to offset diabetic kidney disease as part of a Horizon 2020 project called NEPHSTROM. Other clinical studies that involve stem cell treatments are also underway at the HRB CRFG. Stem Cell Revolutions Featuring beautiful hand-drawn animations and interviews with leading stem cell scientists, Stem Cell Revolutions charts the history and scientific evolution of stem cell research - from the earliest experiments that first revealed stem cells in the body, to leading current scientific and clinical developments. Stem Cell Revolutions features eminent international scientists in stem cell research, including 2012 Nobel Laureates Shinya Yamanaka and Sir John Gurdon, Nobel Laureate Sir Martin Evans, as well as Sir Ian Wilmut, creator of Dolly the sheep. Acclaimed novelist Margaret Atwood serves as a non-scientific commentator in the film. This screening is part of the ‘It’s OK to ask about clinical research’ public awareness campaign that aims to encourage patients, carers, and the public to ask healthcare professionals if there is a clinical trial study they might be suitable for. The documentary is aimed at adults with a general interest in science and medicine and transition year students upward. Watch the trailer here https://youtu.be/uhfBaZSkiMQ Please reserve seats for the screening through Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/stem-cell-revolutions-documentary-screening-tickets-25954474532?aff=ebrowse or email Danielle.nicholson@nuigalway.ie -ends - 

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

NUI Galway will hold a free public conference on the theme of ‘Place, Identity, Conflict: War and Revolution in the West of Ireland, 1913-18’ on 1-2 July. The conference will be hosted by the University’s 1916-Scholar-in-Residence, Dr Conor McNamara and take place in the Aula Maxima. The conference will showcase the most up-to-date research on the period, and will feature speakers from a number of universities, as well as from civic and community groups in the west. Dr John Cunningham, a historian at NUI Galway, said: “There will be a particular focus over the two days on the  newly-available resources – especially digital resources – which have been transforming our understanding both of the impact of the First World War on Irish society, and the pressures that drove a generation into revolution. The level of detail in military pension applications and in compensation claims, for example, can be quite remarkable, and they assist in providing a rounded picture of the impact of conflict at the level of the family and the local community.” The conference programme includes talks on contrasting perspectives of the period from the world of the ‘big house', the lives of rural women, the Irish in America, the urban poor and a range of competing narratives. The crucial issues of land, recruitment to the military, the emergence of the Irish Volunteers, the Irish language, the Easter Rising in Galway and the social history of ordinary peoples’ lives will all be examined. In association with the conference, there will also be an event in the Galway Mechanics Institute on Middle Street on Friday, 1 July at 9 pm, entitled ‘Songs of Labour, War and Revolution’, curated by Therese McIntyre of the 1916 Song project. For a full programme email history@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The latest incarnation of Ireland’s most energy-efficient car, the Geec (Galway energy-efficient car), was recently launched at NUI Galway by Dr Jim Browne, the University’s President, and Dr John Conroy, Head of Regulatory Affairs at Shell E&P Ireland. The Geec and its team of NUI Galway students travelled to London at the weekend to compete in the prestigious 2016 Shell Eco-marathon (SEM) Europe, which takes place 30 June to 3 July. The Geec, which has been designed, built, driven and tested entirely by NUI Galway students, became the first-ever Irish entry to the Europe-wide event in 2015. The car finished 23rd out of 51 teams in the battery electric prototype category, with an efficiency score of 287 kilometres per kilowatt-hour, equivalent to 8,000 miles per gallon. Driving the 2015 Geec from Galway to Dublin would use just 13 cents worth of electricity. The Geec 2.0 aims to improve on this performance through an aggressive campaign of vehicle weight reduction, aerodynamic improvements, electric drive optimisation, data gathering and analysis, and driver training. As part of this effort, the Geec 2.0 teamed up recently with Mondello Park International Racing Circuit, the home of motor racing in Ireland, to put the car’s electrical, electronic and mechanical systems, as well as its drivers, through their paces before travelling to London. The team behind the Geec comprises 19 undergraduate students from NUI Galway’s disciplines of Energy Systems Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Commerce. The students have responsibilities for all aspects crucial for the success of the Geec; the chassis, braking and steering systems, the electromechanical drive-train, the power electronics control system, the data acquisition system, the aerodynamic shell, and marketing and communications. Assisting and advising the students are two postgraduate advisors and three academic mentors from across NUI Galway’s engineering disciplines. The mission of the Geec is not only to place highly on the leader board at SEM Europe, but also to show what young engineers at Irish universities are capable of when faced with a major interdisciplinary challenge. Work on the Geec has been incorporated into engineering project work at NUI Galway. The students’ work also illustrates the roles engineers can play to tackle some of the biggest problems currently facing Ireland and the world, such as climate change, the need to find alternatives to fossil fuels, and sustainable transportation. Nearly 40% of energy use in Ireland is for transportation, with 97% of this figure delivered by imported oil products. The widespread use of fossil fuels in transportation is responsible for the release of about one quarter of Ireland’s climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions from transportation are second only to those of agriculture. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “It is wonderful to see the strides that the Geec has made in the last year since becoming the first ever entry from an Irish university to compete at the Shell Eco-marathon. This illustrates the creativity, dedication and initiative of our young engineers when they are given the right guidance, education and access to world-class engineering facilities.” Sorcha Tarpey, a fourth year Energy Systems Engineering student and one of the Geec team leaders, said: “Working on the Geec at NUI Galway has given the team members invaluable insight into real-life engineering, where diverse teams have to work together to deliver solutions to complex problems in time and on budget. It has been an incredible learning experience and we can’t wait to put our theory into practice in London!” Ronan Deasy, Managing Director at Shell Ireland said: “Shell Ireland is delighted to partner with NUI Galway on the enhanced GEEC. The team have worked incredibly hard and have made vast strides in the performance of this year’s model. We are very proud to partner with such ingenuity and tenacity. We wish them all the best for the event in London and look forward to hearing of their success.” Dr Rory Monaghan, Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at NUI Galway and one of the Academic Mentors for the Geec, said: “At NUI Galway, we believe that having a high-profile flagship project like the Geec gives us a real edge in attracting top students from around the country to study engineering. Working on the Geec encompasses all aspects of engineering, which is a truly creative profession, from concept design, detailed analysis and mathematical modelling, all the way to component manufacturing and assembly, vehicle testing and team marketing. We believe the Geec produces truly rounded engineers who are able to take on any challenge thrown at them.”  -Ends-

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

NUI Galway has launched a new sustainability initiative which aims to make the campus one of the greenest, smartest, healthiest and community-focused in the world.   The initiative is based on a Learn Live Lead approach where NUI Galway focuses on its core strength in teaching and research to learn about sustainability, analyses building performance and campus operations to live more sustainability, and connects to broader society to lead in translating sustainability to the wider community.  As part of the initiative, NUI Galway becomes the first university in Ireland to join the Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI) Sustainable Energy Communities Network. This ambitious initiative also includes a ‘Battle of the Buildings’ energy-efficiency competition and a new website to showcase sustainability teaching and research and to engage the campus community. Commenting at the launch, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Registrar and Deputy President of NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to be the first university in Ireland to sign up for this initiative. After my appointment in early 2014 as Registrar and Deputy President, I initiated a university-wide discussion on the future of NUI Galway among senior academics and senior administrators. One of the key themes identified in this process was to move the University towards the greenest, smartest, healthiest and community-focused third-level campus in Ireland with an ambition to be internationally recognised by 2025 for its culture and practice of sustainability. ” Professor Ó Dochartaigh continued: “The SEAI Sustainable Energy Communities Network is timely and fits very well with strategic developments in NUI Galway. For example, the NUI Galway Strategic Plan 2015-2020, Vision 2020 embraces the ideas of ‘creating a sustainable campus where all resources are used efficiently and where facilities are managed and services consolidated as efficiently as possible’ and recognises the need for ‘external engagement with an openness to partnership and a spirit of collaboration to define the NUI Galway approach’.” The Sustainable Energy Communities Network embraces an inclusive and community approach, across all sectors, to develop a sustainable energy system. To achieve this goal, SECs aim to be energy efficient, to use renewable energy where feasible and to develop decentralised energy supplies. By joining the SEC Network, NUI Galway commits to knowledge sharing with SEC members and to developing and implementing energy-saving initiatives. Membership of the SEC network offers many benefits to the University and its community partners, including the potential for energy and financial savings, community building through a partnership approach, and developing renewable energy technologies. Battle of the Buildings The first major project of the University’s sustainability initiative is the ‘Battle of the Buildings’, inspired by a similar competition run by the US Environmental Protection Agency. It aims to make students, academics and staff more aware of the energy use of campus buildings and to encourage energy-efficient behaviour through collegial competition. The first departments to battle off are engineering, nursing and business, all located in the north of the Newcastle campus. Details of daily energy use of buildings will be available online as well as on dashboards throughout campus. An energy training and awareness campaign will encourage students, academics and staff to make informed decisions about energy use that will reduce energy costs. Professor Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, said: “We have made great progress over the last 10 years in introducing clean and green systems into our buildings and thanks to the leadership of the Buildings Office we are becoming much more efficient in how we use energy and what types of energies we use. This launch recognises that to progress a sustainable energy system, a collaborative and concerted campus and community-wide commitment to energy efficiency and sustainable energy use is needed.” Professor Brown continued: “NUI Galway recognises the role of a sustainable third-level campus in the transition towards a sustainable community encompassing environment health, economy, community and culture. Sustainable energy use is a central pillar of campus energy policy and is the foundation for NUI Galway to become recognised internationally as one of the greenest, smartest and healthiest campuses.” Phelim Kelly, President of the Students’ Union, added: “This is a fantastic initiative where we can see a real partnership between students, staff and indeed the external community. I would like to thank everyone involved in their efforts to make people more consciously aware of the environment. It is brilliant to see staff and students collaborate with an aim to see a healthier, green campus and in doing so giving the University and wider communities an insight into the value of sustainable technologies.” NUI Galway has also launched a new website to collect all existing research, teaching, outreach and management relating to sustainability. This website includes dedicated pages for each sustainability project, a feedback mechanism for ideas for campus improvements, and links to teaching and research centres. New data platforms will be integrated in the website demonstrate key performance indicators relating to campus performance, such as energy use in each building. For more details on sustainability at NUI Galway, visit: www.nuigalway.ie/sustainability ENDS

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The QS World University Rankings By Subject 2016 has placed Earth and Ocean Sciences in the School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway as the highest ranked subject across the entire university. The University are placed 2nd in Ireland in the category of Earth and Marine Sciences and has maintained the position of 151-200 in the world, in this particular subject area. For the second year running, Earth and Ocean Sciences have graduated the largest earth science class ever across all of the Irish universities. Dr Tiernan Henry, Lecturer in Environmental Geology at Earth and Ocean Sciences in NUI Galway, said: “We are really delighted that earth sciences is the highest ranking subject at the University. This is a reflection of the dedication of all of our staff to excellence in both teaching and research. Our graduates are going to excellent post graduate destinations in Ireland and elsewhere and many are now working in the broad geoscience field.” The QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016 highlight the world’s top universities in 42 subjects, based on academic reputation, employer reputation and research impact. Earth and Ocean Sciences at NUI Galway involves the study of the physical and chemical processes that affect planet Earth and its oceans. In this field, students study topical subjects, such as climate change, natural resources and the management and conservation of our oceans. Four sub-disciplines are involved: geology, geophysics, hydrogeology and oceanography, which, in different ways, look at various workings of the planet, from the atmosphere to the seabed. Earth and Ocean Sciences provide a wide range of disciplines such as mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry, geophysics, hydrogeology, physical and chemical oceanography, marine biogeochemistry, palaeobiology, sedimentology and plate tectonics. And includes the study of earthquakes, tectonics, volcanoes, ocean productivity, ocean currents, mass extinctions, climate change, energy or environmental pollution, the most productive insights into these phenomena often arise from interactions amongst the different disciplines. To view the full QS World Rankings visit: http://www.topuniversities.com/universities/national-university-ireland-galway#subject ENDS

Friday, 24 June 2016

US Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O’Malley and Ireland’s Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resources, Seán Kyne TD, announced 39 new Fulbright Irish Awardees at the Ambassador’s Residence in Dublin recently. Since 1957, the Fulbright Awards are given annually by the Irish and U.S. governments and provide Irish students, scholars, and professionals with the opportunity to study, lecture, and research at top universities and institutions throughout the United States. Among the 39 awardees were nine winners from NUI Galway including mother and daughter Rita and Ruth Melia from Athenry, Co. Galway. This is the first mother and daughter pair to win Fulbright Irish Awards in the same year. The NUI Galway recipients include: Ruth Cormican, from Oranmore, Co. Galway, is currently completing her LLB at NUI Galway. She will be taking up the Fulbright-University of Notre Dame LLM Award in International Human Rights Law, focusing in particular on human rights issues arising in the context of international and internal armed conflict. Jason Finnerty graduated from NUI Galway in 2014 with a BA in Irish, History and Irish Studies. In 2016 he completed a Professional Masters in Education at NUI Galway, while working as a teacher in St. Raphael's College, Loughrea, Co. Galway. Jason, from Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, will be a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at Davidson County Community College, North Carolina. Dr Kate McDonnell-Dowling, from Doolin, Co. Clare, is a recent graduate from the NUI Galway in the field of Neuroscience and Neuropharmacology. As a Fulbright Scholar, Kate will be hosted by Tufts University, Boston to carry out research on the consequences of early-life stress and drug exposure and focusing on how these experiences can lead to addiction in later life. Rita Melia is a Doctoral Researcher at UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galway, an early childhood specialist with Early Childhood Ireland, and an Irish Research Council Scholar. As a Fulbright Student Awardee at Project Zero in the Harvard Graduate School of Education Boston, Rita will explore the preschool educators image of the child as a learner. Dr Ruth Melia is a Clinical Psychologist who collaborates on a joint research project with the IT Department at NUI Galway where she is also Adjunct Lecturer in Clinical Psychology. Ruth works with the HSE West and is co-founder of CAATCH, a suicide prevention initiative. As a Fulbright TechImpact Scholar, Ruth will research the use of mHealth technologies in suicide prevention at the Suicide Prevention Research Laboratory, Stanford University. Anna Ní Choirbín graduated with a BA in Modern Irish and English, a Dioplóma Iarchéime san Oideachas and an MA from NUI Galway. Originally from Corr na Móna, Co. Galway, has been a secondary school teacher for the past 6 years and will be a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at Elms College, Chicopee, Massachusetts. Áine Ní Shúilleabháin has completed a BA International in English and French, a Diploma in Irish, and an MA in Advanced Language Skills at NUI Galway. Áine, from Tralee, Co. Kerry, has worked as an Irish teacher and translator and is currently employed in at a translation company. She will be a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at Idaho State University.  Sylvia Soldatou is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemistry at NUI Galway after moving to Ireland from Greece. As a Fulbright Student Awardee, Sylvia will focus on a chemical ecology project comparing the chemistry produced by Irish algal and mollusk samples. She will conduct her research at the University of South Florida. Rosa Shine graduated from NUI Galway in 2014 with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. From Athlone, Co. Roscommon, Rosa is currently a PhD candidate in the Biomechanics Research Centre, NUI Galway. As a Fulbright Student Awardee she will be performing advanced experimental testing on bioresorbable polymeric stents at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Kevin O’Malley, US Ambassador to Ireland, said: “I warmly congratulate the 2016-2017 cohort of Awardees. The Fulbright Awards are highly competitive, globally recognised, and associated with excellence and prestige, so this is a real accomplishment. We are proud to have such bright minds embarking on educational and cultural exchanges to the US, and we look forward to seeing the fruits of their studies and research when they return to Ireland.” Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resources, Seán Kyne TD said: “I am thrilled with the level of prowess we see in this year’s Fulbright Irish Awardees. While in the US, they will not only gain knowledge and expertise in their fields, they will also act as Ambassadors for Ireland. For us, promotion of the Irish language is a key element of this goal to share knowledge beyond borders. With the support of the Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the National Lottery, the Fulbright Commission will send nine Foreign Language Teaching Assistants (FLTAs) to the US this August to teach Irish language and culture. We will also welcome 62 US citizens to Ireland as Summer Gaeltacht Awardees shortly where they will stay in Gaeltacht regions for 4-6 weeks to learn more about Irish culture and language. Indeed, many of these Awardees were introduced to the Irish language by former Fulbright FLTAs who taught at their US universities.” The next round of applications for Irish Fulbright Awardees will open on Wednesday, 31 August, 2016. Interested applicants from all disciplines are encouraged to visit the Fulbright Commission’s website www.fulbright.ie for more information. Applications for the 2017-2018 academic year will be due on Friday, 28 October, 2016. -Ends-

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Her Excellency Ms Mari Miyoshi, the Ambassador of Japan to Ireland and Professor Nobuo Ueno, Director of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science London, will attend the NUI Galway led ‘Ireland - Japan Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Meeting’ on the 22-23 June in the Hotel Meyrick, Galway. Led by Dr Dimitrios Zeugolis, Director of the Regenerative, Modular & Developmental Engineering Laboratory (REMODEL), and Investigator within CÚRAM, SFI Centre for Research in Medical Devices, the Conference is being held as part of the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) International Strategic Cooperation Award (ISCA) Japan programme, which aims to strengthen and improve relationships between researchers in Ireland and Japan. The Meeting will open with an address from Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway. Seven Japanese scientists with expertise in functional biomaterials, tissue engineering, nanotechnology and stem cell technology will be in attendance. They represent prestigious Japanese institutions including the University of Tokyo, Kyoto University and RIKEN. Also in attendance will be a delegation from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) in London and from Science Foundation Ireland, who will be presenting on joint funding opportunities between Ireland and Japan. This will be complemented by presentations from leading researchers from NUI Galway and other Irish institutions. Dr Dimitrios Zeugolis said: “Researchers from NUI Galway visited Japan for industry-academia seminars in May 2015 and this week’s meeting is a follow up to those efforts. The Meeting represents an excellent opportunity for Irish researchers to meet world leading scientists and develop new relationships.” The ISCA Japan programme was established in March 2014 after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Taoiseach Enda Kenny exchanged visits and decided to increase cooperative efforts between the two countries, issuing the Joint Declaration for Partnership and Growth. Cooperation in Research and Development is a key element of the Partnership. The Programme has been strengthening relationships between Ireland and Japan by providing a framework for interaction between Irish and Japanese researchers, as the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries approaches in 2017. Eleven Irish institutes came together to form a consortium, which is led by NUI Galway. A range of medium and large seminars and conferences have been held since March 2014, with a total of over 100 researchers and visiting partners, travelling in both directions. Ultimately, the aims of the ISCA Japan Programme are threefold: To increase the number of joint research projects between Irish and Japanese researchers To increase the number of joint funding proposals To increase the number of Japanese PhD students, Post-doctoral researchers, and academics choosing Ireland as a destination for research For further information about the Meeting visit: http://www.curamdevices.ie/curam/news-and-events/events-calendar/events/2016/name-111147-en.html For more about the ISCA Japan Programme visit: www.irelandjapanresearch.com ENDS

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Now in its fifth year, the partnership focuses on several initiatives supporting new work, volunteering, the SELECTED internship programme, and hosting major productions on-campus NUI Galway has announced details of their 2016 partnership with Galway International Arts Festival. The partnership will see the University support two world-class theatre productions, play host to First Thought talks and a major visual art exhibition, and continue to support the Festival’s SELECTED and Volunteer Programmes. This year NUI Galway is supporting two major theatre productions at the Festival. The world premiere of Death at Intervals, new Irish work featuring Olwen Fouéré, one of the country’s greatest performance artists. It is also supporting the Irish premiere of Song From Far Away, a new production by one of the world’s most exciting theatre companies, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, and directed by Ivo van Hove, the internationally acclaimed director whose recent productions include the Broadway hits The Crucible (featuring Saoirse Ronan), Lazarus (by Enda Walsh and David Bowie) and Antigone (featuring Juliette Binoche).  Theatre post-show talks at the Festival will be moderated by Professor Patrick Lonergan and Thomas Conway from NUI Galway. The University will also play host to key events during this year’s Festival, including its First Thought programme, which examines the theme of Identity, and the campus will house Making Ireland Modern, a major exhibition that explores the relationship between architecture, infrastructure and technology in independent Ireland. Galway International Arts Festival and NUI Galway will continue its SELECTED internship programme. Exclusively available to NUI Galway students in the Creative Arts (Film, Drama, Arts Policy and Practice), SELECTED is a unique initiative which gives a limited number of students full access behind-the-scenes to many aspects of the Festival. The two-week, whirlwind academy offers students the opportunity to see how a Festival of this magnitude is put together by offering in person meetings with Festival organisers, international and Irish producers, and participating artists.  NUI Galway will also partner the Festival’s Volunteer Programme where the University is one of the leaders in the field of volunteerism through its ALIVE programme. Commenting on the partnership, Patrick Lonergan, Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway, stated that the relationship with Galway International Arts Festival plays a key role in the University’s mission of producing the next generation of creative artists and producers. “SELECTED has been a huge success during its five years, giving emerging artists and producers their first steps into the professional world of the creative industries. We are delighted to be able to continue to offer our undergraduate and postgraduate students the opportunity to put their knowledge into practice in the vibrant setting of one of Europe’s leading Arts Festivals.” Professor Lonergan added that the University’s support of theatre productions in the Festival was an important element of the partnership. “We want our students to aspire to excellence, so it is hugely important that they can encounter a new production by a brilliant Irish artist such as Olwen Fouéré, while also having a chance to see new work by the world’s most in-demand director Ivo van Hove. This work shows that Galway is a leading centre for the creation of new theatre, and a leading location for the production of international work.” John Crumlish, CEO of Galway International Arts Festival said: “The partnership with NUI Galway is hugely important to us and we are very grateful to the University for its continuing support. Over the last number of years, the relationship has grown significantly and now impacts across a number of different areas of the festival. All of this is hugely important to the ability to deliver a world class event here in the West of Ireland.” Mr Crumlish added, “The SELECTED programme is now established as a great learning experience for young artists and producers who wish to forge a career in the creative industries while NUI Galway’s support for the theatre programme ensures we can continue to produce new Irish work while presenting the very best of international theatre in Galway. In addition, the University generously shares its physical resources with us to provide additional festival venues and its human resources to support the Volunteer Programme.” Celebrating five years of SELECTED, former participant Rachel Ní Fhionnáin said: “Being part of the programme surpassed all of my expectations. We met with the Festival’s directors and were introduced to artists, producers, musicians and background staff, and saw how GIAF works both financially and practically. The programme gave me the opportunity to meet encouraging, inspiring artists and creative minds such as Olwen Fouéré, Enda Walsh and David Mach. Following this unique experience I have gone on to join the committee of Féile na Bealtaine Arts Festival in Dingle and have directed the play An Filleadh by Alan Titley in the Abbey Theatre.”   Galway International Arts Festival will run from the 11-24 July 2016. For bookings and further details visit www.giaf.ie or follow #giaf16 For more information on NUI Galway’s Creative Arts visit: www.nuigalway.ie/creativearts ENDS

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

NUI Galway, in collaboration with 19 software industry partners, is offering a limited number of free places on its award winning, innovative Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development Programme – Industry Stream. This programme was recently awarded the accolade of ‘Postgraduate Programme of the Year in Information Technology’ by Grad Ireland. 90% of graduates of the Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development programme have secured immediate employment in software development roles. Many of the graduates are employed with some of Ireland’s leading software companies. NUI Galway has designed this one year conversion programme in conjunction with 19 leading IT employers which enables graduates to reskill for employment in the software development area. Student fees for the course are funded by the Higher Education Authority given the strategic importance of developing skills in this area. Successful applicants therefore, pay no fees, only a student levy of €224. The overall goal of this postgraduate conversion programme is to strategically increase the supply of skilled graduates to meet the needs of Ireland’s high-growth software industry. It will provide graduates with a fast track, focused computing qualification, and presents them with an opportunity to obtain valuable industry work experience. Applicants are paired with an industry partner from the start of the programme and are then trained in key technologies for that employer’s needs, so they are then able to maximise the impact of a paid industry internship towards the end of the programme. The Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development builds on the existing strengths of collaborative academic-industry interaction in the Galway region, and will provide graduates with a solid foundation in key areas of software design, a choice of software architecture specialisations in either .NET or Java Enterprise. The final aspect of the course involves a guaranteed three-month paid internship to gain industry experience, and as a result provides the opportunity to kick-start your career as a software developer. Each student progresses through the course will have their training content determined by their associated industry partner. On completion of the course, these students will have transformed their employability in the current economy, with a range of great options opening up to them for further progression either in industry or via more specialisation through a masters.  The industry partners include Avaya, IBM, Cisco, Fidelity Investments, INSIGHT, Storm Technologies, Aspect Software, The Marine Institute, Solano Tech Ltd, NetFort Technologies and Schneider Electric. Dr Enda Howley, Course Director, said: “We are delighted to again offer free places on this unique programme due to funding from the Higher Education Authority and their Springboard initiative. This is a super opportunity for highly motivated analytical graduates particularly from engineering, maths and science backgrounds. We have had huge success with graduates from these areas due to their natural problem solving capacity. By investing just one year of their time in further education, and, through placement experience with our Industry partners; they will have an excellent prospect for recruitment as software developers in Ireland’s high tech ICT sector. This sector is experiencing rapid expansion at the moment, and there is a growing skills shortage for ICT graduate roles that these students are ideally suited to fill. “The highly intensive programme is designed to begin software development from scratch, but we are particularly keen to receive applications from those who have had some exposure to code and realise that this is something they potentially have a flare for. People with technical or strong numerical backgrounds often perform best in these types of programmes and we strongly encourage applicants who have strong maths skills. This could be a strong maths result from their leaving cert or from certain modules in their undergraduate degree. This is not essential, but often indicates a strong problem solving and logical skillset”, continued Dr Howley. The programme is open to all those who have a level 8 degree or alternatively those with a level 7 degree and has some relevant industry work experience. The programme is ideal for those from a Mathematics, Science or Engineering background, and who enjoy challenges along the lines of problem solving or project work. Dr Howley added: “The career prospects for our graduates are extremely strong and demand is dramatically outstripping supply. The programme is highly respected among many of Irelands leading software companies with many who specifically want to recruit graduates who have come through our unique programme. Many of our graduates are receiving multiple job offers before they even complete the programme. Our recognition as ‘Postgraduate Programme of the Year in Information Technology’ has propelled both the programme and our graduates to the front of the list for many recruiters and we are delighted with the feedback and positivity we have been receiving from our past graduates and their employers alike.” NUI Galway is now processing applications and those interested can make their application through www.springboardcourses.ie, or seek more information via the twitter account @hdipindustry.  Significant interest in this free course is expected and early application is advisable as we will process applications and hold interviews on a rolling basis. Deadline for final applications is Friday, 15 July. For further information contact the Programme Director, Dr Enda Howley at ehowley@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Landscape Values: Place and Praxis NUI Galway’s Centre for Landscape Studies will host the UNISCAPE General Assembly and International Conference, Landscape Values: Place and Praxis from 29 June to 2 July. The conference takes place on the first anniversary of the publication of Government of Ireland’s National Landscape Strategy 2015-2025, issued as part of its commitments under the European Landscape Convention which Ireland ratified in 2002. Working in association with the Heritage Council of Ireland and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the conference aims to reflect on how values attached to landscape get expressed at local and community level which in turn can be mobilised to shape national and European policy in the future. With 95 papers from 130 international experts, including colleagues from North America, Japan, China and Australia, the conference will explore innovative ways in which values associated with place are shaped and made. Papers range from landscapes of wellbeing, the material culture of the Galway Hooker, to sustainable food tourism. Sessions on policy and governance will also highlight new models of spatial planning and decision-making that honour the full suite of values associated with places in which communities live across Europe today. Delegates will also participate in four full-day site visits to community-led projects in the West of Ireland, across counties Galway, Mayo, Clare and Offaly as part of the conference programme. UNISCAPE is the European network of universities especially dedicated to the implementation of the European Landscape Convention (Council of Europe, Florence 2000). The aim of its 53 constituent institutions is to support and reinforce interdisciplinary co-operation within and among European universities regarding landscape issues, especially in the areas of research and education. On the importance of hosting the UNISCAPE General Assembly in Ireland, Chairman of the Heritage Council of Ireland, Conor Newman said: “The presence here of UNISCAPE sends out a strong signal about the role that universities across Europe are playing in the delivery of the European Landscape Convention. UNISCAPE is a key partner of the Council of Europe’s Committee for Culture, Heritage and Landscape. This committee met in Strasbourg recently to sign off on the European Cultural Heritage Strategy for the 21st century, foregrounding the connection between the Landscape Convention and the Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society. This conference is an opportunity to tune in to this wider, international dialogue, to learn from the experience of others, and to showcase the Irish situation.” Professor Bas Pedroli, Director of UNISCAPE, said : “We are really looking forward to meeting our international delegates of various disciplinary backgrounds in Galway this summer. The engagement of the Centre for Landscape Studies of the NUI Galway promises an excellent working atmosphere both in the University and out on site with the field-visits to community projects in the region. This will certainly enhance a better understanding of the Irish landscape within its own particular parameters while also discussing broader European contexts as well.” Other events associated with the conference include, a screening of Fís na Fuiseoige, a documentary film exploring the connection between people and place which won Best Cinematography at the San Francisco Earth Day Film Festival, and the launch of Gearóid Ó hAllmhúráin’s new work in Irish Music Studies, Flowing Tides: History and Memory in an Irish Soundscape, published by Oxford University Press. The opening night of the conference will also see the launch of Iarsma: Fragments from an Archive, the Artist-in-the-Archive Project at the Tim Robinson Archive now housed in the James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway. Devised by Dr Nessa Cronin at NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies, Iarsma is the culmination of the collaborative work of visual artist Deirdre O’Mahony, choreographer Ríonach Ní Néill, and composer Tim Collins. All are welcome to attend the performance at 8pm Wednesday, 29 June in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society, NUI Galway. For further information see http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=448 or contact placeandpraxis@gmail.com. -Ends-

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

A major three-day international symposium focusing on improving health outcomes for young adults with type 1 diabetes will take place at NUI Galway from 22-24 June. Type 1 diabetes affects 14,000-16,000 people in Ireland and requires intensive self-management, including monitoring blood glucose, administering insulin, carbohydrate counting, and regulating exercise, to maintain good diabetes control. This daily self-management routine is challenging for most, but is especially difficult for young adults whose lives are often characterised by transition, independence and unpredictability. The Irish Young Adult Type 1 Diabetes Study team, based in NUI Galway, have been working since 2011 to better understand the needs and perspectives of young adults with type 1 diabetes and this three-day event is the culmination of that work. On the first day, Dr Molly Byrne, Health Behaviour Change Research Group, NUI Galway, will bring together expert researchers and clinicians to agree a standardised set of outcomes for use in future research with young adults with type 1 diabetes. The highpoint of this three-day event will be the a major international expert conference ‘Strength In Numbers: Teaming up to improve the health of young adult with type 1 diabetes’ on Thursday, 23 June. This innovative, multi-disciplinary conference is not an information event for people with diabetes but will be of interest to young adults who would like to learn more about different approaches to supporting type 1 diabetes self-management and the research going on in this area. The free conference, which is funded by the Health Research Board through a Knowledge Exchange and Dissemination Scheme, may also be of interest to healthcare professionals, researchers and policy makers. Headed by Professor Seán Dinneen, Consultant Physician at Galway University Hospitals and Head of NUI Galway’s School of Medicine, the conference will see national and international experts presenting to a multi-disciplinary audience on service provision and technology for supporting self-management in young adults with type 1 diabetes. The final day will involve two parallel sessions: an ‘Expert Panel’ and a ‘Hackathon’. The Expert Panel will be focused, and people will be specifically chosen to attend based on their skills and experience. This panel meeting will involve feedback sessions and workshops to reach a consensus on the final protocol for an intervention to improve health outcomes for young adults with type 1 diabetes in Ireland. The Hackathon will bring together software developers, health-focused start-up businesses, people with type 1 diabetes and healthcare professionals to focus on possible technology solutions which could be applied in a future young adult intervention. Professor Seán Dinneen said: “We at NUI Galway are very excited at the prospect of bringing together a group of over 100 people interested in young adult diabetes care including healthcare professionals, researchers, policy makers and especially young adults living with type 1 diabetes. With your help we hope to gain real insight into new ways of delivering care to this group of patients.” For further information contact Dr Lisa Hynes in NUI Galway’s School of Psychology on 091 494458. -Ends-

Friday, 17 June 2016

NUI Galway announces scheme that targets high-achieving, school leavers from ‘new’ communities, particularly those who are living in or exiting from direct provision Conference to underline the importance of access to third-level education Conference to recognise and celebrate Ireland’s diversity in 2016 Mary Robinson, David Stanton TD, Minister of State for Justice with responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration and former Justice Bryan McMahon are among the line-up of keynote speakers at the Inclusive Centenaries conference today (Friday, 17 June) at NUI Galway. Inclusive Centenaries, which takes place ahead of World Refugee Day on Monday, 20 June, aims to be a space for reflection on the meaning and significance today of the ideals set out in the 1916 Proclamation from the perspective of Ireland’s newest communities. In a spirit of dialogue and celebration of Ireland’s diversity in 2016, Inclusive Centenaries will bring together people living in direct provision – especially women and young people – as well as members of other immigrant and local communities, elected representatives, policy advocates and NUI Galway leaders and decision makers. As part of the conference, and to mark Ireland’s Decade of Centenaries and celebrate the diversity of Irish society in 2016, NUI Galway is pleased to announce and launch a new, merit-based Inclusive Centenaries Scholarship Schemewith support from Galway University Foundation. This national pilot scheme aims to assist high-achieving, second-level school leavers from Ireland’s newest communities to pursue their third-level educational goals at NUI Galway, to realise their full potential, and to contribute to shaping Ireland of today and tomorrow. Minister David Stanton TD, the newly appointed Minister of State for Justice with responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration, during his address said that the Government is committed to further improving the living conditions in the State provided accommodation through the provision of enhanced catering facilities and increased living space for families and children. The Minister also noted that the accommodation system would come within the remit of the Ombudsman and the Office of the Ombudsman of Children. The opening conference keynote address will be delivered by former Justice Bryan McMahon, Chairperson of the Government’s Working Group on the Protection Process, including reform of direct provision. Three other sessions will take place throughout the conference, which include “Cherishing all the Children of the Nation: Voices of Young People Living in Direct Provision”. This features a presentation by a group of young people currently living in direct provision in Galway, entitled “Endless Possibilities” through which the young people express their aspiration to be allowed to partake in third-level education and improve their living conditions within direct provision, as well to raise awareness of the inequalities of the system.  The group will premiere their original song “Shaping Futures” about educational inequality, under their group name “The Key” as part of this presentation. The session on “Inclusive Centenaries, Women’s Voices” features presentations by Mercedes Varona an entrepreneur originally from Cuba, Ludmila Snigireva, representing Russian speaking migrants and Simmy Ndlovu, from Zimbabwe, reflecting on her journey from seeking asylum to integration. A Lunch time performance, “Women Voices” is coordinated by Blessing Siphathisiwe Moyo and performed by women living in direct provision in the Eglinton Hotel. The performance also includes students from St. Enda's College in Galway Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, currently UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change will deliver  the closing address and which will also see the launch of the Galway Intercultural Forum Resource Booklet 2016. In addressing the conference Mary Robinson, said: “The new scholarship launched by NUI Galway today is a very fitting expression of the Inclusive Centenaries theme – it captures the traditional value placed on education in Ireland while looking forward and supporting young people in new communities to follow their educational dreams.” The Inclusive Centenaries conference is funded by the Irish Research Council New Foundations scheme. It is organised jointly by the Centre for Global Women’s Studies, School of Political Science and Sociology, the School of Law, and the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance at NUI Galway in partnership with The Mary Robinson Centre, Ballina and local partners: Galway County Council, Galway County Council Intercultural Forum, Youth Work Ireland, Galway and Galway City Partnership Intercultural Consortium. Speaking on behalf of the organisers, Drs Niamh Reilly and Ciara Smyth said: “Today’s presentations and performances by members of ‘new’ communities, especially young people, have reminded us that realising the values of the 1916 Proclamation is something that we all wish for and that education can be a shared journey that gets us there together.” For details on the Inclusive Centenaries Scholarship please see http://www.nuigalway.ie/scholarships/ ENDS