Friday, 24 February 2017

NUI Galway is First in Ireland to Join PHABLABS 4.0 - Bringing the Power of Photonics to Galway

PHABLABS 4.0 aims to inspire young minds, future generations of entrepreneurs, technicians and engineers in photonics, building bridges between science and research to support the next revolution in digitisation NUI Galway has been selected as one of 11 European top-level photonics institutes, and the first in Ireland, to join forces with PHABLABS 4.0, a European-wide project making photonics – the technology of light – accessible to citizens through a new hub in Galway. The ambitious project will provide a suite of 33 Photonics Workshops, 11 Photonics Challenger Projects, and Photonics Toolkits customised for three specific user groups: Young minds (10-14 years), students (15-18 years) and young professionals, entrepreneurs and technicians (+18 years). Located at the Maker Space in the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway, the PHABLABS centre will provide access and academic support to entrepreneurs who wish to prototype their ideas and avail in the use of novel 3D printing facilities and materials. Commenting on the announcement of the PHABLABS 4.0 hub, Professor Martin Leahy, Chair of Applied Physics at NUI Galway said: “We are delighted to be selected among the best Photonics centres in Europe to harness and combine the world of photonics with the growing creative ecosystem of PHABLABS. Photonics is one of the key enabling technologies driving the internet, cinema, medical diagnostics and device manufacture, art, intelligent robotics and ultimately the economy. PHABLABS 4.0 is a global, collaborative, knowledge sharing network that provides a platform for learners, educators, technologists, researchers, makers and innovators, providing stimulus for local entrepreneurship. We hope the Galway hub will be used regularly and that the technologies you have dreamed about can be brought to life.” Led by Professor Leahy, the Centre for Photonics and Imaging at the School of Physics in NUI Galway, will promote photonics and encourage the next generation of innovators at the Galway hub. Photonics, using photons or particles of light in many applications, can provide game-changing solutions to future societal challenges in a wide scale of domains such as energy, aerospace, mobility, food safety, healthcare, bio-photonics, ICT and manufacturing for industry. For now, photonics' huge potential is still a great unknown to many people, even though it is all around us and commonly used in everyday life through; smartphones, TV and large screens, 3D applications, smart driving cars, even healthy vegetables involve light technology. By integrating photonics and its many applications PHABLABS 4.0 will allow young people to put seemingly unattainable ideas into practice with laser equipment, LED, lenses, optical fibre and programmable electronic chips in a way that is both fun and inspiring. The project aims to spark ideas and pave the road to innovative concepts that become a starting point for a bright future as a technician, engineer or researcher. The Photonics Workshops, Photonics Challenger Projects and Photonics Toolkits will stimulate hands-on design, fabrication, experiments, and the building of innovative systems with photonics components. Next to personal development, teamwork and co-creation, the PHABLABS 4.0 modules will nurture the 21st Century skills of the participants. After the creation and design of modules in the first development phase, PHABLABS Galway will test all Workshops and Challenger Projects with the necessary components for hands-on design, fabrication and experiments (from June 2017-March 2018). From June 2017, different user groups such as schools will be invited to the PHABLAB on campus to participate in test panels and give their feedback. Hugo Thienpont, coordinator of the project and director of VUB B-PHOT Brussels Photonics, explains: “There is a huge opportunity to inspire real interest in science among young people by engaging them in real-life experiments. Getting acquainted with new technologies to create concrete projects can speed up the learning curve fundamentally. The challenge is to excite them in an attractive and inspiring way to achieve meaningful impact. PHABLABS 4.0 builds bridges between science and research to support the next revolution in digitisation.” For more details on PHABLABS 4.0 visit -Ends-

News Archive

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

CÚRAM at NUI Galway win European Research Council grant to support the development of a new medical device to treat high blood pressure that can lead to heart disease and stroke Tuesday, 21 February, 2017: CÚRAM Investigator Dr Martin O’Halloran has been awarded a second European Research Council (ERC) grant. ERC grants are Europe's most competitive and prestigious research funding, and in this case the €150,000 award will support the development of a new medical device for the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure) that can lead to heart disease and stroke. The project is a collaboration between Investigators Dr Martin O’Halloran and Dr Conall Dennedy at CÚRAM, the Centre for Research in Medical Devices based at NUI Galway. The Investigators aim to bring the novel medical device towards first-in-man trials within the lifetime of the project. Since heart disease and stroke are such major global health problems affecting a large population of patients, the team expect the project to have a very significant societal and economic impact. The widespread presence of hypertension in European countries is currently 28-44%. This amounts to between 200 and 327 million Europeans. Excess production of the hormone aldosterone by the adrenal glands (primary aldosteronism) is the most common endocrine cause and accounts for 8-20% of all hypertension. Current treatment regimens are dissatisfactory and costly, involving either surgery or lifelong drug therapy. Therefore, a cost-effective, minimally invasive and definitive management approach for this underlying cause would present a potential cure for an often undiagnosed and unmanaged disease. This is what is being proposed with the new ERC ‘REALTA’ project. “The REALTA project plan is very similar to that of a start-up medtech company, where as well as technology development, the team will also examine the competitive landscape, the clinical and regulatory pathway, and reimbursement opportunities”, says Dr O’Halloran. “The overarching goal is to gather sufficient technical, clinical, regulatory and commercial evidence over the course of the next 18 months to be able to spin-out a company that is attractive to external investors. Such investment will be required to take the technology through to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval and clinical trials.” Dr O’Halloran secured his first ERC Starting Grant in 2015 to examine the electrical properties of human tissue, as a platform for novel medical device development in Europe. Supported by a Science Foundation Ireland ERC Support Grant, he established the Translational Medical Device Lab in Galway, the first medical device lab in Ireland to be embedded in a regional hospital, University Hospital Galway, and co-located within the Health Research Board’s Clinical Research Facility. Working closely with Dr Conall Dennedy, Consultant Endocrinologist at NUI Galway, he began to examine the potential of new technologies to treat primary aldosteronism, the most common endocrine cause of hypertension. Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM said: “The objectives of CÚRAM are to carry out research on the development of innovative ‘smart’ implantable medical devices, which will benefit patients with chronic ailments such as cardiovascular diseases. I would like to congratulate Dr O’Halloran and Dr Dennedy on their continued research success, which is supported by the excellent multidisciplinary team of clinicians, translational scientists and engineers here at CÚRAM and NUI Galway, which reflects the interests and expertise of investigators in CÚRAM.” For more information on the Translational Medical Device Lab in NUI Galway visit: -Ends-

Monday, 20 February 2017

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

Monday, 20 February 2017

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

Events Calendar

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

Facebook stream

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

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