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

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

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

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

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Dr Iain Mac Labhrainn, Director of NUI Galway’s Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, has been invited to attend the 2016 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Ministerial Meeting. The Meeting will take place in Cancun, Mexico from 21-23 June. Dr Mac Labhrainn will participate in a panel discussion on ‘Jobs and Skills’. The invitation is following on from his presentation at last year’s OECD Higher Education meeting in Singapore, and reflecting on the growing international interest in the national project ‘All Aboard: Enabling and Empowering staff and students to flourish in the digital age’ which has produced a national digital skills framework and a wide range of supporting materials and activities. The 2016 OECD Ministerial Meeting on ‘The Digital Economy: Innovation, Growth and Social Prosperity’ will be attended by current and former government ministers, advisors, representatives of business and industry, trade union organisations, educational bodies, and civil society organisations. The debates and discussions will explore a wide range of items spanning the economy and society, technology and communications, and training and education. The event will conclude with the publication of the Cancun Declaration on Thursday, 23 June. For more information on the Meeting visit www.oecd.org/internet/ministerial/. -Ends-

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Tibetan Buddhist Monk to deliver public mindfulness classes at NUI Galway as part of the University’s ongoing initiative towards integrating a mindful culture As part of its ongoing initiative towards integrating mindfulness into the University’s culture, NUI Galway will host a day of Mindfulness classes with Tibetan Buddhist Monk, Gelong Thubten. The classes are free and will take place in NUI Galway’s Aula Maxima Lower on Friday, 24 June, throughout the day from 8.15am to 5pm.   This month’s classes will focus on Transforming Emotional Reactions through Mindfulness. This will be followed by a reflection practice that looks at methods for gaining more freedom from limiting emotional patterns, as well as how to develop greater tolerance and mental resilience. Training in compassion will also be emphasised. Classes are open to all university staff and students, the general public, researchers, student counsellors and advisors, healthcare professionals, mindfulness practitioners, and anyone with an interest in mindfulness. The June class is the fifth in a series of monthly classes, which will continue over the coming months at the University. The purpose of the classes is to provide a thorough training in mindfulness, teaching new themes and reflection practices each month, which should be practiced in between modules. For those attending for the first time, there is an opportunity to cover the previous three sessions at the 12pm class. Tibetan Buddhist Monk, Gelong Thubten is based at the Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery in Dumfriesshire in Scotland and works with businesses, hospitals, schools, prisons and addiction centres, and counts among his clients such organisations as the NHS, Google, Morrisons, Clifford Chance and Linklaters. He has lectured on Buddhism and meditation at the universities of Oxford, Helsinki and Cardiff.  Commenting on what people can expect from the Mindfulness classes Gelong Thubten said: “The mindfulness training has been very well supported at NUI Galway and people are finding real benefit in their lives. It is great to see so many people gaining such a lot from these classes.” Class Schedule for Friday, 24 June, 2016: 8.15am – 9:00am 10.45am – 11.30am 12:00pm – 12.45pm (Beginners) 13.15pm – 14:00pm 17: 00pm – 17:45pm For more about NUI Galway’s Mindful Way visit: www.nuigalway.ie/mindfulway ENDS

Thursday, 16 June 2016

NUI Galway is involved with Ireland’s first ever Autism Registry, which was recently launched by Minister for Children Katherine Zappone. The Registry will help identify the exact service needs for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by gathering vital information on a child’s diagnosis, development, medical and educational history. NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin and Autism Speaks are leading the initiative in response to a call for a registry from affected families. The pilot phase of the Registry will begin in Kildare/West Wicklow with hopes to extend it nationally later this year.  The data gathered will not only map out gaps in occupational health, speech & language and educational services but will also offer an important insight into the day-to-day realities for families living with autism. The Registry will also inform future academic research into the causes of autism and improved interventions. Dr Geraldine Leader, Director of the Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Research at NUI Galway said: “The benefits of this Registry are far reaching, and it will allow us not only to demonstrate how widespread the condition is but to identify where extra medical and educational resources should be targeted. The Irish Autism Registry will serve as a national resource, targeted at the social, health, educational and long term needs of the Irish autism community.” Professor Louise Gallagher, School of Medicine at Trinity College Dublin said:“I work with parents every day and know the immense challenges they face when it comes to access to the services they need for their child. The information gathered will allow us to identify the services that are lacking and to pinpoint exactly where they are needed. This will be the first step in helping children reach their full potential and in turn improve their quality of life.” An estimated one in 68 people worldwide has ASD, which makes it more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and paediatric AIDs combined. Parents and guardians across Kildare/West Wicklow are encouraged to support the project by registering their child on the Autism Registry. To sign up, please email Sarah-Marie Feighan on feighans@tcd.ie or call 01 8962315 For more information visit www.iarb.ie ENDS

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Minister of State for Health Promotion, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy to deliver opening conference address NUI Galway will hold the 20th annual Health Promotion Research Centre Summer Conference on Wednesday, 15 June in Áras Moyola. The conference will explore the use of research evidence in developing and implementing inter-sectoral policy and innovative practice for health promotion.  Minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Minister of State for Health Promotion at the Department of Health will deliver the opening address. Minister Corcoran Kennedy said: “The Healthy Ireland Framework is the blueprint for how we will promote, protect and improve the health and wellbeing of our people. Health promotion research and practice will play a key role in empowering individuals, families and communities to look after their own health and wellbeing and make positive choices. They are also a key part of the cross-sectoral partnerships we need to build to address the determinants of health.” The conference will bring together policy, research and practice perspectives on the use of more effective methods of translating evidence into effective health promotion action. Bridging the gap between ‘what works’ and ‘what happens in practice’ will be a key focus of the conference. This meeting also marks 30 years since the publication of the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion (WHO, 1986) and celebrates 20 years of NUI Galway hosting the annual Health Promotion conference. Professor Don Nutbeam, Professor of Public Health, Sydney School of Public Health in the University of Sydney, will deliver the a keynote lecture on optimising the transfer of research evidence into healthy public policy and health promotion practice. Professor Nutbeam said: “We need to work with policy makers to understand more clearly the type of questions that need answering, and to continue to develop the research methods that deliver the best possible answers to questions of greatest public health importance.” Dr Gauden Galea, Director of the Division of Noncommunicable Diseases and Promoting Health through the Life-course, WHO Regional Office for Europe will present on strengthening the evidence base for action on health promotion in Europe. Other speakers will include Professor Corey Keyes, Department of Sociology, Emory University, Atlanta, United States, who will deliver a lecture on the need for the promotion and protection of positive mental health throughout the lifespan, with a particular focus on youth and students. Professor Jan de Maeseneer, Head of Department of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care, Ghent University will discuss community oriented primary care and provide examples of the integration of health promotion into public health and primary health care. Professor de Maeseneer said: “Community Oriented Primary Care blends daily activities in primary health care with the aspirations of health promotion in the context of public health.” Workshops on using research in policy and practice will also feature and include topics such as alcohol, mental wellbeing, child and adolescent health, partnerships for health, behavior change and health inequalities. Oral and poster presentations related to the conference theme will also be delivered, and together with the workshops provide every delegate a chance to network and meet with speakers and colleagues. A riverside walk or spin on a ‘Pedal Power’ bike is also on offer to enable delegates easy and accessible active opportunities. Professor Margaret Barry, Chair of the 2016 Conference and Established Professor at NUI Galway, said: “This conference brings together key players in health promotion policy, research and practice and together we will reflect on the impact of health promotion since the publication of the Ottawa Charter, consider successes and current challenges, and envision how we can shape the future of health promotion and strengthen evidence-based action for improved population health.” Since NUI Galway’s postgraduate Health Promotion programme had its first entry in 1993, there have been over 600 graduates from the Master’s and Postgraduate Diploma programme and a recent survey of past graduates indicated that the vast majority are working in Health Promotion posts or in related work. NUI Galway has also seen a significant increase in the number of PhD students in Health Promotion in recent years, including overseas students, with 21 currently registered on a full or part-time basis.  -Ends-

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Scaling: building a business through sustainable growth in the West of Ireland is the focus of an entrepreneurship course in NUI Galway aimed at, and structured to, facilitate entrepreneurs Robert (Bob) Rosenberg of the Chicago Booth School of Business and the Polsky Centre for Innovation, ranked number 4 in innovation in the US, will spend the week of June 11-17 working with Irish companies working on ‘Scaling a Business’ in NUI Galway. There will be an additional event, which is open to the public and hosted in the PorterShed in Galway city on Wednesday, 15 June in association with StartUp Galway.   The newly established Atlantic Centre for Entrepreneurship & Executive Development aims to develop a sustainable partnership between proven entrepreneurs and experienced academics and bring globally-leading talent to Galway and the West of Ireland to offer the necessary skills to sustain and grow indigenous industry. This first course, ‘Scaling a Business’ and subsequent courses will be held at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway. Dr Tom Acton, Head of the School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway and Caitríona Lynch, entrepreneur and adjunct Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at NUI Galway have been working together to put in place a set of programmes in entrepreneurship. These are not training courses, not one-off workshops, but a structure for university accredited qualifications. Tom and Caitríona see it as the future of coalface education, a public-private partnership leveraging expertise from the University and others, and the entrepreneurship community. Describing how she convinced Bob Rosenberg to come to Galway, Caitríona Lynch said: “I went to Chicago with the aim of knocking on Bob’s door and asking him to come to Ireland. Building the next billion dollar company in Ireland depends on having the skill set to scale a business from a start-up and our focus is putting the structure and the skills in place now, to allow that to happen. It’s a privilege to work with someone of the calibre and expertise of Bob, and to draw from the vast skills and experience that he brings.” It’s a visit Bob Rosenberg is looking forward to and said: “The Atlantic Centre is a brave experiment, an effort to transform promising startups into economic drivers for the region and the country. Tom and Caitríona deserve full marks for their ambition and vision. The Atlantic Centre is a necessary and brave step, an effort to transform promising ideas and companies into economic drivers for the region and the country.” A chartered accountant and entrepreneur, Caitríona Lynch sold her business C Infinity a number of years ago and is now working with entrepreneurs, start-ups and early stage companies at the Atlantic Centre for Entrepreneurship & Executive Development. It’s ‘Scaling a Business’ is the first of many courses. According to Tom Acton, “The course targets entrepreneurs beyond the startup stage, persons in a company seeking to grow a team or product, service, or someone who wants to learn more about expanding an existing business in which they play a role. Facilitating growth is the key focus.” The June ‘Scaling a Business’ course is full, but it is just the first. Dr Acton encourages anyone who is interested in future courses to register their interest and added, “This is a first step towards building a network across the region to move ideas from the entrepreneur’s mind to the global market, and to that end we will be hosting a number of additional events during the week for participants. One of these will be open to the public and hosted in the PorterShed in Galway city on Wednesday, 15 June in association with StartUp Galway.” This course has been made possible with the generous support of Deloitte and Bank of Ireland. To register and for further information visit www.aceatlantic.com and follow @atlanticcentre ENDS  

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The Mayo Medical Academy has been awarded the ‘Conservation Project of the Year’ at the recent Irish Construction Industry Awards 2016. The Academy is an NUI Galway partnership with Saolta University Health Care Group and Mayo University Hospital for the training of doctors. The Irish Construction Industry Awards recognise, encourage and celebrate original and innovative contractors, businesses, teams, consultants and projects that demonstrate excellence in the built environment. The Mayo Medical Academy was officially opened by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny in December 2015 and is housed in a purpose-designed facility located in the former chapel on the grounds of Mayo University Hospital. The original structure was built in the early 20th century and was used for religious purposes during the period 1902 to 2010. This building has been sensitively restored into a multipurpose teaching facility. As the original building was subject to a historic preservation order, all aspects of the church were carefully retained during the heritage restoration project. The design team was Taylor Architects, Castlebar, Co. Mayo and the work was undertaken by the local construction firm Mountain View Securities. The entire project was funded by NUI Galway at a cost in the region of €2.2 million. The final result comprises a stunning and innovative architectural design, combining the best of old and new. The building encompasses many features that facilitate a flexible approach to teaching and the various spaces within the building are designed to accommodate different student group sizes simultaneously. John Gibney, Director of Physical Resources at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted with the award for this very fine addition to the University’s facilities for medical education. The project was successfully delivered due to a positive collaboration between the design team, the main contractor, NUI Galway, Saolta University Health Care Group and Mayo University Hospital.” The Academy allows future doctors to fine tune their clinical skills under the watchful eyes of tutors and lecturers covering all medical specialties. 60 students per semester from third, fourth and final medical years rotate through Mayo University Hospital for one year clinical training. The co-location of the Academy with the hospital allows students to attend didactic teaching in the Academy and also bedside teaching in the hospital. One of the strengths of the NUI Galway Medical School Academies is the ratio of both tutors to students and also of students to patients. -Ends-

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

NUI Galway has received Horizon 2020 EU funding for ‘ROCSAFE’ ICT and Security software that will use robotics and intelligent reasoning to gather forensic evidence in the event of a chemical, biological or nuclear incident A team led by NUI Galway has been awarded €4.8 Million in Horizon 2020 EU funding for their project ROCSAFE (Remotely Operated CBRNe Scene Assessment & Forensic Examination), which will use robotics and intelligent reasoning to gather forensic evidence in the event of a chemical, biological or nuclear incident. Led by Dr Michael Madden from the College of Engineering & Informatics at NUI Galway, the ROCSAFE project will focus on developing ICT and Security software to gather forensic intelligence in the event of a terrorist attack. ROCSAFE’s overall goal is to fundamentally change how CBRNe (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense events) are assessed, and ensure the safety of crime scene investigators, by reducing the need for them to enter dangerous scenes to gather evidence. The overall project budget is €4.8 million, of which almost €1 million has been awarded to NUI Galway. The project includes five other Irish entities and additional funding will be awarded to Tyndall, the Defence Forces (specifically ordinance disposal), the Inter-Agency Emergency Management Office, and two Irish companies, Reamda and SBN. There are 13 partners in total involved in the ROCSAFE project across Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Germany, along with a wider set of advisory board members. CBRNe accidents or terrorist attacks are a low probability but of high consequence. In the aftermath of a CBRNe event, the principles that govern the response mission are: Protection of Life Elimination/Reduction of Threat Protection of Property Preservation of Evidence Restoration of Normal Activities Speaking about the project, Dr Michael Madden at NUI Galway, said: “ROCSAFE focuses specifically on three of these principles: the protection of life, the elimination/reduction of the threat, and the preservation of evidence. By building a mobile remotely operated system, ROCSAFE can protect personnel by removing the need for them to go on-scene to identify threats, detect the presence of forensic material, and collect forensic material.” In order to safely respond to a threat, it must first be identified. To do this, the scientific team will adapt robotic air and ground vehicles to carry cameras and innovative sensors for the identification of CBRNe materials. To preserve evidence, they will equip the vehicles with tools to enable the careful and methodical collection of forensic materials and will develop procedures that are appropriate to remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), to preserve the integrity of the evidence chain. Using robotic aerial vehicles (RAVs) that will be remotely managed and semi-autonomous, ROCSAFE will quickly gain a visual overview of the scene and identify hotspots. This will enable responders to quickly set up a perimeter to protect bystanders and start managing the scene. The RAVs will be equipped with cameras (operating in the visible and infra-red ranges) and sensors for detection of radiation/nuclear, chemical and biological threats. Data from these will be relayed to a Central Decision Management unit in real-time. The Central Decision Management will provide data analytics and decision support software to ensure all available data is presented in the Command Centre, which will be located in a safe zone near the periphery of the incident, to the on-scene commanders in an intuitive and easy to assimilate manner. The Central Decision Management will include an innovative approach, which will be able to adapt to the evolving situation over time as information arrives from sensors and cameras, and the people on the scene provide inputs. ROCSAFE will use state-of-the-art ground vehicles that are specifically designed for hazardous scenes, and will include the development of tools and procedures for gathering forensic material and evidence. The challenges in forensic evidence collection are to remove the possibility of cross-contamination and to ensure the integrity of the evidence chain. This process will ensure that CBRNe scenes are assessed more rapidly and thoroughly than is currently possible, and that forensic evidence and material is collected in a manner that stands up in court, and all without sending personnel into zones of high risk. The ROCSAFE project is the most recent in a series of security-related research successes by the Research Office. NUI Galway has recently established a National Centre for Security Research to draw together the multiple strands of security-related research in the University, and to facilitate growth of this activity into the future. For further information about ROCSAFE visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/remoteforensics/ ENDS

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

NUI Galway today (14 June) conferred degrees on over 350 students. Among that number, 64 were conferred with doctoral degrees. The largest cohort of students to graduate was over 210 future doctors who received their Honours Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and Bachelor of Obstetrics (MB, BCh, BAO) degree. Among the cohort of medical students, Clodagh Flannery McDermott from Breffy, Co. Mayo received 7 out of 14 Final Medical Medals for her outstanding academic performance. Every year, NUI Galway awards the Final Medical Medals to the student who receives the highest mark in each subject area. Dr John Greally, originally from Galway City but now living in New York, was also conferred with a Doctor of Medicine on Published Work (DMed).Degrees on published work are higher doctorates and are the highest qualifications awarded by the University. They are awarded to scholars who have, over a sustained period, published a substantial body of ground-breaking and influential work in a field of specialisation and who have achieved outstanding distinction internationally in that field. Speaking at the ceremony, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “On behalf of NUI Galway, I congratulate each of today’s graduates. It is very encouraging to see the number of research and graduate degrees which we are conferring today. These graduate numbers continue to grow. From a base of about 50 doctorates per year at the turn of the millennium, we now confer up to four times that number annually.” -Ends- Bronnann OÉ Gaillimh Céim ar bhreis is 350 Mac Léinn ag Searmanas Bronnta an tSamhraidh   Dé Máirt, 14 Meitheamh 2016: Inniu (14 Meitheamh) bhronn OÉ Gaillimh céimeanna ar bhreis is 350 mac léinn. Ina measc siúd, bronnadh céimeanna dochtúireachta ar 64 mac léinn.  Ar an ngrúpa is mó díobh bronnadh Baitsiléir Onóracha sa Leigheas, Baitsiléir sa Mháinliacht agus Baitsiléir sa Chnáimhseachas (MB, BCh, BAO) ar bhreis is 210 ábhar dochtúra. Fuair Clodagh Flannery McDermott as Bréachmhaigh, Co. Mhaigh Eo, duine de na mic léinn leighis, 7 mBonn don Bhliain Deiridh Leighis as 14 Bhonn as a feidhmíocht acadúil den scoth. Gach bliain, bronnann OÉ Gaillimh Boinn Deiridh Leighis ar an mac léinn leis an marc is airde i ngach ábhar. Bronnadh Dochtúireacht Leighis as Saothar Foilsithe (DMed) ar an Dr John Greally chomh maith.Is ard-dochtúireachtaí iad céimeanna a bhronntar as saothar foilsithe, agus is iad na cáilíochtaí is airde a bhronntar san Ollscoil iad. Bronntar iad ar scoláirí a bhfuil bailiúchán de shaothar úrnua agus cumhachtach i réimse speisialtóireachta foilsithe acu, thar thréimhse áirithe, agus a bhfuil aitheantas den scoth bainte amach acu go hidirnáisiúnta sa réimse sin. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne le linn an tsearmanais: “Thar ceann OÉ Gaillimh, tréaslaím le gach duine agaibh. Ábhar misnigh dúinn ar fad is ea go bhfuil an oiread sin céimeanna taighde agus iarchéimeanna á mbronnadh againn inniu. Tá níos mó agus níos mó céimeanna á mbronnadh againn bliain i ndiaidh bliana. Bhíodh 50 céim dhochtúireachta in aghaidh na bliana á mbronnadh againn ag tús an chéid ach anois bronntar a cheithre oiread sin gach bliain.” -Críoch-

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Eric Van Lente, a researcher with NUI Galway’s School of Psychology, is seeking participants for a study to explore the experience of oneness in meditators, including people with experience of any form of sitting or moving meditation practice. Throughout history, people all over the world have sought to understand their relationship with others, the world, and the cosmos - and in every religious and philosophical tradition there has been an attempt to understand feelings of oneness that arise in these relationships. People often report feeling at one with others, nature, or the universe – either as a temporary or ongoing experience. But where do these feelings come from and how can we best understand them? Researchers in the field of psychology have noted that feelings of oneness sometimes come from practicing different forms of meditation, and researchers at NUI Galway are seeking to understand how people with experience of mediation describe their experience of oneness.  Commenting on the study, Eric said: “We are particularly interested in the collective intelligence of meditators and are running a series of workshops with groups of meditators over the coming weeks. This work will be used to develop a new measure of oneness experience – a measure that will be used to examine the relationship between oneness and wellbeing outcomes. We’re interested in all forms of meditation and all perspectives on the oneness experiences that people have had.” A number of workshops are scheduled for the study, two for short-term mediators for those who have three months to one year of some daily meditation practice over their lifetime. The first will take place on Thursday, 30 June from 2-5pm and the second on Saturday, 2 July from 10am-1pm. There are also two workshops for long-term mediators, those who have five or more years of some daily meditation practice over their lifetime. The first will take place on Saturday, 25 June from 10am-1pm and the second on Saturday 9 July from 10am-1pm. The results will be published in academic publications and will form part of a PhD thesis. To participate in this research contact Eric at evanlente@gmail.com or at 087 9393100. -Ends-

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

NUI Galway Students prepare for Shell Eco-marathon 2016 NUI Galway’s ultra-energy-efficient car team, the Geec (Galway energy-efficient car), has teamed up with Mondello Park International Race Circuit, the home of motor racing in Ireland, to push the bounds of automotive energy efficiency. The Geec, which has been designed, built, driven and tested entirely by NUI Galway undergraduate students, will spend a day on the track at Mondello this Thursday (16 June). The car’s electrical, electronic and mechanical systems, as well as its drivers, will be put through their paces before travelling to London for Shell Eco-marathon (SEM) Europe 2016, the premier competition for student-built energy efficient vehicles. In 2015, the Geec became the first ever Irish team to participate at the Europe-wide event, finishing 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 and driver training. Testing at Mondello Park provides a truly unique opportunity for the NUI Galway students to put engineering theory to the test under realistic driving conditions not available anywhere else in Ireland. For Mondello Park International Race Circuit, the day of testing is a chance to play a key role in the shift towards a more sustainable future for mobility in Ireland. 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. The NUI Galway students of the Geec team are pushing the boundaries of energy-efficient transport technology. Shane Queenan, a final-year student of mechanical engineering and one of the car’s design team leaders, said: “Testing at Mondello Park is an ideal opportunity for us to fine-tune the performance of the car before we race in London. It will be truly rewarding to see the Geec running around Ireland's renowned motorsport circuit.” Dr Nathan Quinlan, Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering and one of the team’s academic mentors, added: “The team has made huge strides this year. The Mondello Park testing is the final preparation for SEM Europe, and will give the team invaluable knowledge about the car and experience of race conditions.” ENDS

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

US Disability Visionaries will reflect on Ireland's programme for government in the area of disability at International Summer School The world’s biggest Disability Law Summer School focusing on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will take place in NUI Galway from 20-24 June. Hosted by the University’s Centre for Disability Law and Policy, this the eighth such Summer School to take place at the University, and this year’s theme is ‘Civil Society Impacting Change’. The aim of the five-day Summer School is to equip participants with the insights and skills necessary to help them translate the generalities of the UN Convention into tangible reform for persons with disabilities. This School will look at some of the strategies that civil society has used to protect the rights and improve the lives of people with disabilities around the world. Over 140 delegates from nearly 40 countries are expected to attend this year’s event, including persons with disabilities and their families, civil society groups, as well as advocates for disability law reform, lawyers, policy makers and policy analysts. The faculty will include senior academics, practitioners, advocates and policy makers from around the world. Many of the speakers have been directly and actively engaged in drafting and implementing the UN Convention. Others are advocates for change and reform. This year it will be opened by Senator Tom Harkin and Judith Heumann of the US State Department. Senator Harkin was the lead sponsor of the famous Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) which triggered the disability rights movement around the world. Judith Heumann now acts as Assistant Secretary of State in the US State Department helping other countries develop their disability rights programmes.   Also speaking will be John Wodatch, Former Director of the Disability Section of the Civil Rights Division in the US Department of Justice; and Catalina Devandas, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Though designed to be pan-national in its scope, this year will afford a unique learning opportunity on how disability-related innovations in the new Irish programme for government can be mapped onto innovations already taken place in the US. The Summer School is in part supported by the Open Society Foundations. Registration for the Summer School remains open until Friday, 17 June and will cost €330. Further information is available at http://www.nuigalway.ie/cdlp/summer_school/about.html or contact jb.terrins@nuigalway.ie or 086 8252612. Participant accessibility (physical or communicational) requests and enquiries are welcomed. -Ends-

Friday, 10 June 2016

Eamon Gilmore, Marie Mullen, Brendan Flynn and ConTempo conferred with Honorary Doctorates  At a ceremony in NUI Galway today, Honorary Degrees were conferred on Eamon Gilmore, former Tánaiste and Labour Party leader; Marie Mullen, actor and Druid Theatre co-founder; Brendan Flynn, Clifden Arts Festival Director; and classical quartet ConTempo, currently RTÉ’s Quartet in Residence and also the resident quartet on the west coast in the Galway Music Residency. NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, speaking at the conferring ceremony, said:  “NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history and those being honoured this year form a particularly distinguished group from public and political life and the arts. NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals.” Eamon Gilmore was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa). Former Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland, Eamon is now the EU Special Envoy for the Peace Process in Colombia. He was born and raised in Caltra, Co. Galway and received his education at Garbally College, Ballinasloe and at NUI Galway (then UCG). He was President of the UCG Students’ Union and of the Union of Students in Ireland, and he worked as an officer of the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union, prior to his election to Dáil Éireann in 1989. He served as Minister of State for the Marine from 1994 to1997, and was the Leader of the Irish Labour Party from 2007 until July 2014. Marie Mullen was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Arts (honoris causa). Marie is an award-winning Irish actress and founding member of Druid Theatre Company. She co-founded Druid with fellow NUI Galway students, Garry Hynes and the late Mick Lally in 1975. Over the company’s 40-year history she has performed many memorable roles and established herself as one of Ireland’s greatest living actors. Marie has been sweeping the boards as an actress for many years; in 2012 she received a special tribute at the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards for her contribution to theatre. In 1998, Marie also received a Tony Award for her role as Maureen in Druid’s acclaimed production of The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh, on Broadway. Brendan Flynn was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa). A native of Taughmaconnell, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, Brendan was educated at Garbally College and University College Cork. An awareness of the distance from cultural happenings and artistic encounters led to the inception of Clifden Arts Festival in 1977, where artists such as John McGahern, Richard Murphy, Seamus Heaney and John Behan were among the first to participate in what later became Clifden Arts Festival.  He has served on The Arts Council, the board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art and is a member of ‘Creative Engagement’, a committee responsible for arts in education under the auspices of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals.  ConTempo, a Degree of Doctor of Music (honoris causa) was awarded jointly to Andreea Banciu, Adrian Mantu, Ingrid Nicola and Bogdan Sofei. Formed in 1995 while students at the Music University in Bucharest, Romania, ConTempo Quartet is one of the most celebrated young quartets performing today, having won 14 international awards and toured the world extensively, performing over 1,400 concerts in 46 countries. They have studied with the most celebrated string quartets of the world, including Amadeus, Alban Berg, Tokyo, Emerson, Hagen and Quartetto Italiano. In 2003, after an international audition ConTempo became Galway Ensemble-in-Residence, in a unique project, under the auspices of Galway Music Residency, supported by NUI Galway, the Irish Arts Council, and Galway City and County Councils.  In 2013, ConTempo was selected as RTÉ String Quartet in Residence. They have had the honour of performing in front of world leaders, including the late Nelson Mandela and Pope John Paul II, as well as EU leaders, Nobel Prize-winner, Seamus Heaney, Prince Charles and for Hollywood actors, Angelica Huston, Angela Lansbury, Martin Sheen and Merv Griffin. The graduands join the ranks of previous honorary alumni which include, among many others, Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Christy O’Connor Snr and Jnr, Enya, Anjelica Huston, Fionnuala Flanagan and Margaret Atwood. WATCH: Honorary graduate, Marie Mullen, describes the beginnings of the Druid Theatre Company with fellow students Garry Hynes and Mick Lally: https://vimeo.com/170186995 WATCH: Honorary graduate, Eamon Gilmore, describes his new focus as EU envoy to the peace process in Columbia: https://vimeo.com/170191503 WATCH: Honorary graduate, Brendan Flynn, talks about some of his early inspirations, including Heaney and Yeats: https://vimeo.com/170364729 WATCH: Honorary graduates, ConTempo Quartet, give advice to young graduates starting out in the creative arts: https://vimeo.com/170376721 -Ends- Searmanas Bronnta Chéimeanna Oinigh OÉ Gaillimh Dochtúireachtaí Oinigh le bronnadh ar Eamon Gilmore,  Marie Mullen, Brendan Flynn agus ConTempo Ag searmanas in OÉ Gaillimh inniu, bronnadh Céimeanna Oinigh ar Eamon Gilmore, iar-Thánaiste agus iar-Cheannaire Pháirtí an Lucht Oibre; Marie Mullen, aisteoir agus comhbhunaitheoir Amharclann an Druid; Brendan Flynn, Stiúrthóir Fhéile Ealaíon an Chlocháin; agus an ceathairéad clasaiceach ConTempo, Ceathairéad Cónaithe reatha RTÉ agus an ceathairéad cónaithe ar chósta an iarthair sa Galway Music Residency. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, agus é ag labhairt ag an searmanas:  “Tá an t-ádh le OÉ Gaillimh céimithe oinigh den scoth a bheith aici in imeacht na mblianta ach is eisceacht céimithe oinigh na bliana seo sa saol poiblí agus polaitiúil agus in earnáil na n-ealaíon. Tá an-áthas ar OÉ Gaillimh a bheith in ann aitheantas a thabhairt do na daoine eisceachtúla seo.” Bronnfar Céim Dhochtúireachta le Dlíthe (honoris causa) ar Eamon Gilmore. Iar-Thánaiste agus iar-Aire Gnóthaí Eachtracha agus Trádála na hÉireann is ea Eamon agus tá sé anois ina Thoscaire Speisialta AE do Phróiseas na Síochána sa Cholóim. Rugadh agus tógadh é sa Chealtrach, Co. na Gaillimhe agus fuair sé a chuid oideachais i gColáiste an Gharbhaile, Béal Átha na Sluaighe agus in OÉ Gaillimh (COG ag an am). Bhí sé ina Uachtarán ar Chomhaltas na Mac Léinn i gColáiste na hOllscoile, Gaillimh agus ar Aontas na Mac Léinn in Éirinn, agus d’oibrigh sé mar oifigeach ar Cheardchumann Oibrithe Iompair agus Ilsaothair na hÉireann, sular toghadh chuig Dáil Éireann é sa bhliain 1989. Bhí sé ina Aire Stáit Mara idir 1994 agus 1997, agus bhí sé ina cheannaire ar Pháirtí an Lucht Oibre ó 2007 go dtí mí Iúil 2014. Bronnfar Céim Dhochtúireachta sna Dána (honoris causa) ar Marie Mullen. Aisteoir Éireannach a bhfuil duaiseanna buaite aici í Marie agus bhí sí ar dhuine den dream a bhunaigh Compántas Amharclannaíochta an Druid. Sa bhliain 1975, in éineacht lena comh-mhic léinn as OÉ Gaillimh, Garry Hynes agus Mick Lally nach maireann, bhunaigh sí an Druid. Thar thréimhse 40 bliain an chompántais is iomaí ról mór le rá a bhí aici agus tá sí anois ar cheann de na haisteoirí Éireannacha is fearr dá bhfuil ann. Is iomaí ról aisteoireachta a bhí ag Marie le blianta fada anuas; sa bhliain 2012 tugadh ómós ar leith di ag Gradaim Amharclannaíochta na hÉireann de chuid an Irish Times as an méid a bhí bainte amach aici i leith na hamharclannaíochta. Sa bhliain 1998, bronnadh Gradam Tony ar Marie dá ról mar Maureen sa léiriúchán mór le rá a rinne an Druid ar The Beauty Queen of Leenane le Martin McDonagh, in Broadway. Bronnfar Céim Dhochtúireachta le Dlíthe (honoris causa) ar Brendan Flynn. Is as Teach Mhic Conaill, Béal Átha na Sluaighe, Co. na Gaillimhe do Brendan agus cuireadh oideachas air i gColáiste an Gharbhaile agus i gColáiste na hOllscoile, Corcaigh.  Is ón tuiscint ar an achar ó imeachtaí cultúrtha agus eachtraí ealaíonta a bunaíodh Féile Ealaíon an Chlocháin sa bhliain 1977, áit a raibh ealaíontóirí amhail John McGahern, Richard Murphy, Seamus Heaney agus John Behan ar chuid den chéad dream a ghlac páirt san ócáid ar a dtabharfaí Féile Ealaíon an Chlocháin ina dhiaidh sin.  Bhí sé ar an gComhairle Ealaíon, ar bhord Áras Nua-Ealaíne na hÉireann agus is ball é de ‘Rannpháirtíocht Chruthaitheach’, coiste atá freagrach as na healaíona san oideachas faoi scáth Chumann Náisiúnta na bPríomhoidí agus na Leas-Phríomhoidí.  Bronnfar Céim Dhochtúireachta le Ceol (honoris causa) ar an ngrúpa ConTempo, is iad sin Andreea Banciu, Adrian Mantu, Ingrid Nicola agus Bogdan Sofei. Bunaíodh an ConTempo Quartet sa bhliain 1995 fad is a bhí siad ina mic léinn san Ollscoil Cheoil i mBúcairist, an Rómáin agus tá sé ar cheann de na ceathairéid óga is mó cáil atá ag seinm inniu. Tá 14 ghradam idirnáisiúnta bainte amach acu agus bhí siad ar stáitse ar fud an domhain i mbreis is 1,400 ceolchoirm i 46 tír. Tá staidéar déanta acu ar na téadcheathairéid is mó le rá ar domhan, ina measc Amadeus, Alban Berg, Tokyo, Emerson, Hagen agus Quartetto Italiano. Sa bhliain 2003, tar éis triail idirnáisiúnta a dhéanamh, rinneadh  Ensemble Cónaithe na Gaillimhe de ConTempo. Tionscadal uathúil a bhí anseo faoi scáth Galway Music Residency, agus fuarthas tacaíocht ó OÉ Gaillimh, ó Chomhairle Ealaíon na hÉireann agus ó Chomhairlí Contae agus Cathrach na Gaillimhe.  Sa bhliain 2013, roghnaíodh ConTempo mar Théadcheathairéad Cónaithe RTÉ. Bhí de phribhléid acu seinm os comhair ceannairí domhanda, ina measc Nelson Mandela agus an Pápa Eoin Pól II nach maireann, mar aon le ceannairí AE, buaiteoir Dhuais Nobel, Seamus Heaney, an Prionsa Séarlas agus aisteoirí Hollywood, Angelica Huston, Angela Lansbury, Martin Sheen agus Merv Griffin. Beidh na céimithe seo anois i measc céimithe oinigh eile mór le rá a tháinig rompu cosúil le Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Christy O’Connor Sinsear agus Sóisear, Enya, Anjelica Huston, Fionnuala Flanagan agus Margaret Atwood. -Críoch-

Thursday, 9 June 2016

The 2nd Annual mHealth Behavioural Science and Mobile Technology Conference will be hosted by the mHealth Research Group and the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, on the Thursday, 16 June in the Arts Millennium Building.  Building on the success of its inaugural event last year, the mHealth Behavioural Science and Mobile Technology Conference will bring together an impressive network of healthcare researchers, practitioners and industry leaders to address key issues in behavioural science, mobile health (mHealth) research and healthcare delivery.  The mHealth Research Group was founded in 2014 by a diverse group of researchers and clinicians at NUI Galway. The main aim of the mHealth Research Group is to promote approaches to mHealth research, intervention development and implementation in practice that are appropriate, patient-centric, evidence-based and scalable. The conference will feature leading and innovative experts and guest speakers in the area of mobile health, including: Professor Susan Michie, University College London; Professor David French, University of Manchester; Professor Sean Mackey, Stanford University; Dr Beth Darnall, Stanford University, Dr Leanne Morrisson, University of Southampton; Dr Conor Linehan, University College Cork; Dr Felix Naughton, University of Cambridge and Avril Copeland, Founder of TickerFit.  For students, post-graduates, established and early career researchers, this dynamic and interdisciplinary event will provide an ideal platform to showcase existing and emerging mobile, telehealth and connected health technology research and practices focusing on patient care, population health management and clinical outcomes.  The overall theme of the conference will be on the use of effective methods of knowledge translation and specific efforts to bridge the gap between the scientific and commercial aspects of mobile and connected health.  Conference topics of interest include: improved access to healthcare related knowledge and information; diagnostic, communication and treatment support for patients and providers; timely and actionable delivery of public health information; remote monitoring of health conditions; personal health management including chronic conditions and greater access to education and training for healthcare professionals. The conference will feature interactive panel discussions, poster presentations and awards for best poster presentation including best student poster presentation. Dr Jane Walsh, Chair of the mHealth research group at NUI Galway, said: “We are particularly delighted to have such a fantastic line up of speakers joining us to continue the discussion on the role of behavioural science and mobile health technology in healthcare, and the future of mHealth in health-related practice, policy and research. This event will aim to promote the development of high quality multidisciplinary research networks through which NUI Galway can achieve the highest quality of scientific excellence working with international research leaders and all the various stakeholders in healthcare and industry.” The mHealth Behavioural Science and Mobile Technology Conference is supported in part by the Irish Research Council, the Whitaker Institute and the Health Research Board. Registration for the conference is free and places are limited.  For more information, submission guidelines and to submit a presentation, please visit: http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=470 Attendees at the mHealth Behavioural Science and Mobile Technology Conference on June 16 are also invited to enjoy a second day of discussion, exploration and networking at the 20th Anniversary Health Promotion Conference also hosted at NUI Galway.  For further information, please visit the website: www.hprcconference.ie    ENDS

Thursday, 9 June 2016

A researcher at the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway has received a Seed Award in Science of €100,000 from the SFI/HRB/Wellcome Trust Biomedical Partnership. The funding was provided following a pilot study on a novel treatment to improve the delivery of therapy to the heart for patients with post-heart attack scarring or tissue damage. Treatment for heart attack has advanced greatly in the past few years. However, even if the vessels of the heart are reperfused, there can be residual scarring that can lead to heart failure in later life. This removes the need to give systemic drugs that can have toxic side effects. The concept from the research is an implantable device that is placed on the heart and acts as a reservoir to allow direct, selective delivery of therapy along with multiple refills to the heart from a port just under the skin. The goal of this project is to develop a computer-based model using mathematical techniques (finite element techniques), which will be able to predict how the therapy will be dispersed from the implantable device to the heart tissue. The researchers will create a simplified model based on experimental testing, and then a more complex model that will incorporate the microstructure of the heart and the reservoir. These models will predict how the drug will diffuse into the heart tissue, and allow optimisation of device design. This device will also reveal some more fundamental insights into the rate of drug delivery to the tissue, in order to help to design the best treatment strategy. The key goals of the work will be to obtain the material properties of all the device components so they can be used as input for the model, to create and run the computer-based models so that the drug diffusion profile can be elucidated, and the drug dosing regimen can be optimised, and finally to compare the results of the simulation to existing results of when the device was implanted in animal models. The research was carried out by Dr Ellen Roche, MIT Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Discipline of Biomedical Engineering in the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway. Commenting on the study, Ms Roche said: “I am delighted and honoured to receive this grant from the SFI/HRB/Wellcome Trust Biomedical Partnership. It will enable me to complete my research on computer simulation of a novel therapy delivery system for heart failure patients.” Peter McHugh, Professor of Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway, said: “This is a wonderful achievement. As a graduate of Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway, Ellen is a fantastic ambassador for our research and teaching programmes here, and through this award she forges a very strong link between NUI Galway and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), that will be of tremendous benefit to the University and to Ellen herself into the future.” Seed Awards provide responsive, flexible funding from the SFI (Science Foundation Ireland and HRB (Health Research Board) Wellcome Trust Biomedical Partnership, enabling researchers to develop a novel idea. The Seed Award scheme provides one-off grants of up to £100,000 for up to two years, to help researchers develop original and innovative ideas. Their exploratory nature gives scope for the use of innovative methodologies, and a range of possible activities; from pilot and scoping studies, to preliminary data gathering and proof-of-principle studies. They can provide funding for the direct costs of carrying out the research, including materials, equipment, animals, research assistance, fieldwork and data collection and travel. They fund interdisciplinary research and researchers at the start of their independent careers who wish to develop innovative ideas outside of their discipline or area of expertise. ENDS

Thursday, 9 June 2016

An NUI Galway graduate, Colm O’Rourke, was part of a team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) which recently unveiled the first ever MIT Hyperloop Pod. Colm, originally from Walsh Island in County Offaly is a Bachelor of Engineering graduate from NUI Galway. Colm leads the electronics section of the MIT team, which includes everything from sensors, micro-controllers and batteries, to relays and actuator controllers. He also works closely with other leaders on the team who look after software, aerodynamics, structures, vehicle dynamics, levitation and business. Hyperloop is a high-speed transportation envisioned by Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors. With a projected top speed of 760 mph, the Hyperloop is poised to revolutionise transportation by moving passengers between cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco in as little as 35 minutes. Hyperloop pods will travel in evacuated tubes above the ground, diminishing the drag force of atmospheric air and enabling passenger and freight transportation at high speeds with low energy consumption. In June 2015, SpaceX announced the first ever Hyperloop Pod Competition which comprises of a Design Competition, held in January 2016, and a Build Competition to be held in late summer 2016. Following their first place win at the design phase of the competition in Texas, the MIT team became the first team to construct their prototype.  Colm said: “Regardless of what Hyperloop becomes, I've already benefited so much from taking part. Although it is important to develop new theory, implementing that theory effectively is equally important and that is what makes an engineering project successful. It’s about the fusion of theory and practice. Seeing this project go from ideas on a chalk board a few months ago, to an assembled prototype is just really special. My undergraduate degree in Energy Systems Engineering at NUI Galway exposed me to a wide range of fields - everything from thermodynamics to power electronics. The Hyperloop project built on that, as now I work with experts in aerodynamics, system dynamics, software and even business.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

NUI Galway has been shortlisted for three national Marine Industry Awards 2016. The Marine Industry Awards recognise and celebrate the most innovative companies in the Irish maritime and marine sector. Staff members of NUI Galway’s Discipline of Geography have been shortlisted in the ‘Excellence in Marine Education and Training Award’ category for their MSc in Coastal and Marine Environments: Physical Processes, Policy and Practice programme. The NUI Galway team comprises of co-directors Dr Eugene Farrell and Dr Kevin Lynch, and Dr’s Frances Fahy, Aaron Potito, Audrey Morley, Terry Morley and Chaosheng Zhang. The MSc in Coastal and Marine Environments: Physical Processes, Policy and Practice is a full-time, one year, taught MSc which began in September 2014. The programme was designed to deliver postgraduate training in costal and marine environments to meet the immediate and future demands in the growth in marine and costal sectors. Two NUI Galway research institutes, the Centre for Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) and the Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU), have been shortlisted in the ‘Excellence in Marine Research Award’ category. Professor Mike Hartnett and his Project Team at MaREI have developed the first operational wide-area Coastal/Ocean Observing System in Ireland and the UK. This is a highly sophisticated remote sensing system streaming large amounts of oceanographic data in near real-time; the data is integrated with high resolution computer models for improved forecasting of marine climate, and project has advanced the capabilities of ocean/coastal observing in Ireland. The system consists of two antenna stations; each station has a transmit and receive antenna, and associated electronic hardware and software. Digital signal processing is performed at each station on the data collected and is then wirelessly transmitted to a central server at NUI Galway. The server combines the data from individual radars to develop maps of surface ocean currents and graphs visualising characteristics of ocean waves: significant wave heights, periods and directions, and wind speeds. These data have many applications such as marine renewable energy, pollutant transport, coastal flood warning, search and rescue, and aquaculture. In particular, the team work on marine renewable energy and improving marine hindcasting/forecasting models of waves and tides though data assimilation of radar data.     SEMRU, within the Whitaker Institute, was established through the Beaufort Award in 2008 and has developed into the foremost marine economic analysis centre in Ireland. SEMRU was established with the objective of expanding marine socio-economic research capability in Ireland, centred around a research cluster in Galway led by NUI Galway and linking with RERC, Teagasc and the Marine Institute. The main research focus of the unit involves examining the economic utility of the marine environment (e.g. transportation, recreation) and the ecological value (e.g. fisheries, aquaculture) derived from the productivity of associated ecosystems. SEMRU is perhaps best known amongst marine stakeholders for its ocean economy statistics and reports but it has also strongly influenced policy making in the marine sector, where its research has for example been used to form a baseline and to monitor progress in Ireland’s marine plan, ‘Harnessing Our Wealth – An Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland’.  The Marine Industry Awards 2016, in association with SeaFest, provide a voice for the individuals and companies that play a significant role in the growth and development of the industry in Ireland while recognising the key functions within the industry that promote growth and sustainability. The award winners will be announced on Thursday, 30 June at a reception in the Radisson Blu, Galway. -Ends-

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

NUI Galway’s JE Cairnes School of Business and Economics has announced the successful reaccrediation of its Executive MBA progamme by the Association for MBAs (AMBA). The AMBA provide the only dedicated accreditation regime for MBA Programmes with only 2% of MBA programmes globally attaining AMBA accreditation.     The AMBA accreditation is internationally recognised as the global standard for all MBA programmes. AMBA accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement in MBA education and is earned only by the best programmes.   Katherine O’Flynn, Director of Accreditation at AMBA, said: “The number of MBA qualifications available worldwide is now in the thousands, but only a small percentage of these would achieve accreditation if they were submitted to our rigorous international criteria.”     The NUI Galway MBA is one of the leading management development programmes in the country. The mission of the NUI Galway Executive MBA is to enable participants to prepare for accelerated career progression through the acquisition of the knowledge, skills and confidence necessary for success in strategic management and senior leadership roles.   Speaking about the achievement, Martin Hughes, Executive MBA Programme Director, J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, said: “We know for participants, the decision to study an MBA represents a major commitment, both in terms of time and money. This AMBA accreditation ensures that students’ investments are rewarded with the finest MBA education available. We have constant engagement with the business community and our programme reflects and aligns with developments in industry both nationally and internationally. Our class sizes are kept small, our lecturers are leading experts in their respective fields and continue teaching to the changing demands of the business world which overall results in greater one-to-one attention and learning experience.”   Graduates of the NUI Galway Executive MBA have significantly advanced their careers with many being promoted, starting their own business, or changing careers after completing the programme. The J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics are currently accepting applications for the next programme starting in September.     Further information on the Executive MBA at NUI Galway is available at http://www.cairnes.nuigalway.ie/mba/.   ENDS

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Estimated €24million economic benefit to Galway   As conference season continues at NUI Galway, the University are expecting to welcome over 16,000 delegates, the majority of whom are international, to the campus this year.   According to Fáilte Ireland, Business Tourism is one of the highest yield sectors in tourism, worth €580million a year to the Irish economy and business tourists or international conference delegates are valued at €1,500 per person. With over 16,000 delegates expected to NUI Galway this year, the estimated economic benefit to the region will be €24million.   Highlights this summer includes the first COTEC-ENOTHE joint congress, which takes place from 15-19 June. The conference will welcome over 1,000 Occupational Therapists from across the globe to the University and Galway City. Other international conferences booked include an International Summer School on Disability Law, a Health Promotion Conference and an International Conference on Natural and Constructed Wetlands.   In August, NUI Galway will host the 13th Conference of the European Society for the Study of English, with over 1,000 delegates attending. This conference on English Literature, Language and Cultural Studies will include over 80 individual seminars and panel topics from the medieval period to the present, featuring everything from Shakespeare to Harry Potter.    Ann Duggan, Commercial Manager at NUI Galway, said: “Our academic and research colleagues  have been key to our success in winning a significant number of international conferences and of  course Galway City’s unique character and our wonderful hinterland provide the perfect backdrop for visiting international delegates.”   For information on hosting a conference at NUI Galway, please visit www.nuigalway.ie/events or call the NUI Galway Conference and Event Centre on 091 492264.   -Ends-

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

NUI Galway will host the 25th International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE) Annual Conference, ‘Transitions and Transformations in Gender Equality’, from 24-26 June. Bringing together leading practitioners from the fields of academia, economics and social justice, the conference presents an opportunity to interact with preeminent feminist and heterodox economics scholars and advocates whose work covers a wide range of issues such as gender equality, gender and development, macroeconomic policy, capabilities and well-being. The IAFFE is a renowned international association that focuses on advancing feminist inquiry into economic issues. The conference comes at a time of growing economic and environmental instability across the world. In responding to these issues, the IAFFE members are engaged in critical policy discussions on gender equality at both national and international forums, providing a strong voice in critiques of neo-liberal paradigms, and advocating for an alternative vision of economics focused on equality, capabilities and well-being. Speakers will include: Bina Agarwal, a prize-winning development economist and Professor of Development Economics and Environment at the University of Manchester, UK Naila Kabeer, Professor of Gender and Development at the Gender Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science Diane Elson, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Sociology at University of Essex, UK Gita Sen, Professor of Public Policy at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, India, and Adjunct Professor of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health Alicia Girón, past President of IAFFE is a member of the UN High-Level Panel on Women's Economic Empowerment Speaking ahead of the event, chief organiser Dr Nata Duvvury, senior lecturer and Co-Director of NUI Galway’s Centre for Global Women’s Studies, said: “This conference comes at a very critical juncture as the world is grappling with fragile economic recovery, a refugee crisis of unprecendented proportions, growing income inequality and deepening environmental crisis. Scholars, policymakers and activists will explore the ramifications of these challenges for gender equality and social justice as well as consider alternative sustainable solutions through gender aware macroecnomic policies, innovative social arrangements transforming the gendered nature of care work/social reproduction, and consistent application of human rights to design of programs and policies.” The Conference will open with a plenary on “Gender Equality in ‘Post-Recession’ Ireland” with contributions by Professor Sesma Ozar, President of IAFFE; Dr Anne Byrne, NUI Galway; Professor Kathleen Lynch, UCD; Dr Helen Russell, ESRI; and Orla O’Connor, National Women's Council of Ireland. A consultation roundtable for input to the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment will also be held. Alicia Giron, former President of IAFFE and member of the High Level Panel will provide an overview of the work of panel thus far. Another important high-level roundtable of special interest to policy makers, advocates and activists is on ‘Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals: are they transformative agenda?’. The roundtable discussants include Professor Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, New School for Social Research and Member of UN Development Policy Committee; Naila Kabeer, Professor of Gender and Development at LSE Gender Institute; Professor Gita Sen, Indian Institute of Management; and Shahra Razavi, Chief of Research and Data at the UN. On Thursday, 23 June, a pre-conference workshop will be held by the IAFFE, designed for scholars and activists new to feminist economics. Topics will include feminist economics methodologies, caring labour, diversity in economics, and global perspectives on gender and economics. The workshop will also provide career-building presentations and discussions, such as publishing feminist economics research and developing a media presence. This year’s conference is being organised by NUI Galway’s Centre for Global Women’s Studies with support from Fáilte Ireland, and NUI Galway’s Institute for Lifecourse and Society, Moore and Whitaker Institutes, Research Office, International Office as well as Galway University Foundation. For more information on the IAFFE Conference and a full list of the speakers visit http://www.iaffe.org/2016-annual-conference/ -Ends-

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

A total of 220 final year medical students from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at NUI Galway recently completed their final year practical exams, the first time that these students and their examiners have participated in electronically marked exams provided by University spin out company, Qpercom. The College of Medicine at NUI Galway has been implementing this form of electronic marking for all practical exams over the last number of years. Thanks to electronic retrieval, storage and analysis of the data in real-time during the previous years, practical exams are now carried out at various sites at University Hospital Galway, Merlin Park University Hospital and Croí, and two new sites at the NUI Galway affiliated Medical Academy at Sligo General Hospital and St Columbas Hospital in Sligo. Qpercom Ltd, a local spin out company from the School of Medicine since 2008, is responsible for the retrieval, storage and analysis of the electronic ‘Objective Structured Clinical Examinations’. Over the last eight years the company, which is located at NUI Galway has built up an international reputation serving medical, nursing, dental, veterinary and various health sciences schools worldwide with their practical clinical examinations. Prestigious universities such as the University of Dundee and University of St Andrews in Scotland, the Nobel Prize University Karolinksa Institutet, the National University of Singapore and most recently the University of Sheffield in the UK are among many institutes partnering with Qpercom. Dr Thomas Kropmans, co-founder and acting director of Qpercom, and senior lecturer of Medical Educational Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “We don’t sell software, we sell expertise in Clinical Skills Assessment. Many young doctors worldwide and their trainers and examiners have jointly benefitted from this unique assessment tool.” Enda Griffin, psychologist and e-learning technician at NUI Galway, said: “Before Qpercom was setup we found 30% of errors occurred in the paper based versions of these observational exams. Exam and Quality Assurance procedures of doctor’s practical examinations worldwide have improved so much over the past few years because we can now provide real-time insight and feedback on the exam results.” The unique combination of having a spin out company associated with medical and health science institutions affords it the opportunity to perform research in clinical skills assessment. Recently PhD student Winny Setyonugroho graduated on the ‘Assessment of Communications Skills’ by introducing a gold standard for streamlining the 17 different domains of clinical communication skills. Currently, PhD student Markus Fischer is performing a study on ‘situational awareness’ of undergraduate medical students. It asks; Are students prepared for their postgraduate professional lives on the ward? Are they aware of all the facts they need to take into account to make a profound medical decision? “When we formed the company seven years ago, we could never have envisaged the impact our software solution would have for the 25 universities and professional bodies we work with now. Since then we have co-published various scientific papers with some of our clients”, said co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Qpercom, David Cunningham. For further information about Qpercom, visit: www.qpercom.ie   ENDS

Thursday, 2 June 2016

NUI Galway’s CÉIM programme recently won the ‘Student Engagement Activity of the Year Award’ at the National Student Achievement Awards 2016. CÉIM is an academic peer-led support scheme for first year NUI Galway students studying the BA in Geography, the BA in Law, and Engineering. The National Student Achievement Awards recognise the contribution of individuals and groups from third-level education institutions across the island of Ireland. Presenting the Award to NUI Galway was Tom Boland, CEO of the Higher Education Authority, who said: “CÉIM is innovative and invigorating and shows a depth of work and understanding worthy of any project in higher education.” CÉIM was initiated by NUI Galway Students' Union in collaboration with the University’s College of Engineering and Informatics in 2013. Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics, said: “CÉIM aims to support first year students to transition successfully to university, succeed academically, develop networks, and complete their studies. We are delighted that CÉIM has been acknowledged at a national level and we look forward to further developing the programme in collaboration with our students in the coming years.” CÉIM is based on the well-evidenced Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) model used in over 30 countries. Sessions, which are about collaborative learning, are student-led and about working in small groups to gain a greater understanding of coursework, prepare for exams and develop new skills. Amber Walsh Olesen, CÉIM Co-ordinator, NUI Galway Students’ Union, said: “First year students can sometimes be apprehensive about asking questions in lectures and don’t always know what is expected of them as independent learners. CÉIM is a structured programme where student leaders from higher years facilitate weekly study sessions for small groups of first year students, creating peer-led learning communities where it’s easy to ask questions.” According to Dr Eoghan Clifford, Academic Coordinator of CÉIM at NUI Galway College of Engineering and Informatics: “The impact to date of CÉIM is very encouraging with 80% of first years surveyed in 2014/15 saying it helped them settle into university and make friends. Regular CÉIM attendees achieved 9% higher grades in 2014/15 than irregular or non-attendees and were much more likely to pass the year. We can clearly see that interest among students in CÉIM has grown year on year, with 20% of first year Engineering students recently applying to be student leaders.” Due to the success of CÉIM, the programme was piloted in NUI Galway School of Law in the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies in 2015 and will be further rolled out in 2016/17. NUI Galway Students’ Union President, Phelim Kelly, added: “Peer learning is not an activity that is traditionally associated with Students’ Unions and we’re delighted to be leading the way in this regard in Ireland. CÉIM is proof that there is a lot to be gained by students’ unions, university staff and higher year students partnering to support first years as they transition to university.” For more information on the CÉIM initiative visit www.su.nuigalway.ie/ceim. -Ends-

Thursday, 2 June 2016

A team of students from NUI Galway were recently awarded the runner-up prize at the prestigious 2016 Enactus Ireland National Competition for Social Entrepreneurship. Enactus is an international, not-for-profit organisation which provides a platform for third-level students to create community development projects, while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders of the future. The national competition is an annual event where students come together to present their projects to show how they are transforming lives through entrepreneurial action. NUI Galway was one of the founding university teams of Enactus Ireland and this year marks its fifth year of involvement. Teams from Ireland’s seven universities and Dublin Institute of Technology, Cork Institute of Technology and Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art Design and Technology gathered in Dublin to compete to represent Ireland at the Enactus World Cup, which will be held this year in September in Toronto, Canada.  Michael Campion, Faculty Advisor to the NUI Galway team, said: “It’s been a privilege to support the Enactus team this year as they worked on a set of projects which have made a significant impact in helping some members of the community.  From working with young people with mental health issues to creating opportunities for people in homeless circumstances, the students channeled their creativity and passion to develop excellent, sustainable projects that have had a very positive impact for the participants. To make it all happen, they partnered with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Galway Simon Community, COPE Galway, the HSE, Ability West and Croí.” Achieving the runner-up prize in the competition is a great recognition of all the hard work that the students have put in over the past year, something that is not easy while balancing with their academic studies. They are a credit to themselves, their families and to NUI Galway.” -Ends-

Thursday, 2 June 2016

The Lectures in the Library series will return on Wednesday, 15 June for one-off special lecture with Pádraig Ó Snodaigh. The lecture, entitled ‘Recollection and recording: A historian’s encounters with the makers of history’, is part of the programme of commemoration organised by NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies to mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising. Ó Snodaigh’s history of the Irish Volunteers has been a primary source for historians of the Irish revolution. His talk will take listeners backstage to eavesdrop on conversations between the professional historian and those who participated in the momentous events of 1916 and the subsequent war of independence. Those who provided eye witness accounts of those events for the young historian included Éamon de Valera, Bulmer Hobson, Frank Fahy, Alfie Monaghan, and Alf Cotton. The lecture will begin at 6.30pm at Galway City Library in Augustine Street.  -Ends-