NUI Galway Theatre Week

NUI Galway Theatre Week-image

Monday, 11 February 2013

NUI Galway is celebrating Drama in many forms during its Theatre Festival, which runs from 18-22 February.  Now in its fourth year, the event showcases through theatre, literature and film, the many talents of NUI Galway students, societies and alumni. Organised by the University’s Societies Office, one of the main highlights this year is the return of the Jerome Hynes One Act play Series, which features eight new works written by students. The plays will be performed at lunchtimes and evenings and all eight will feature in the Omnibus Edition on Friday, 22 February in the Cube Theatre in Áras na Mac Léinn. NUI Galway’s Dramsoc will present Sam Shepard’s play ‘Seduced’ which runs from 20-23 February. This dark comedy takes place at the death bed of the world’s richest man as the empire he has created starts to fall apart as his paranoia and madness grow. Guest performances for the week include ‘Blooming Ulysses The Show’. The acclaimed comic adaptation of James Joyces’s Ulysses is performed by Gerry Farrell. The show serves as an excellent introduction to Ulysses. Proceeds from the show, which takes place on 18 February, are in aid of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland. Cyclone Rep, in association with Everyman Theatre, will present their Shakespeare Sessions. These student centred performances include ’Macbeth’ and ’The Merchant of Venice’.  On Thursday, 20 February 130 students from the Danish School of Performance, Mellerup Efterskole, will join NUI Galway’s Musical, Traditional Music and Dance Societies for a performance of eclectic music and dance. As part of the Fesitval, third-year students from the BA in Theatre and Performance will present ’Manologues’, a devised piece which  tells the story of eight males searching for a meaning in contemporary Ireland. The play looks at male identity in Irish culture bringing into light the hardship of everyday life for many men in an Ireland where the old identity is laughed at and the new identity is unknown. Continuing its commitment to the arts, NUI Galway offers a four-year degree programme, BA degree in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, which is designed for students with a keen interest in all aspects of drama and performance. Students on this programme have the opportunity to benefit from the dynamic partnerships forged by NUI Galway with key arts organisations including the Abbey Theatre, Druid Theatre Company, the Galway Arts Festival and Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe. Ríona Hughes, NUI Galway Societies Officer and Festival Director, said: “The Festival is an opportunity for the University to showcase the dramatic arts on campus and to invite world class practitioners to the college, we hope that Galway will join with us for a week of celebration.” All events are open to the public and the full programme of events is available at For information and tickets visit the SocsBox in Áras na Mac Léinn, NUI Galway, or contact 091 492852 or -END-

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NUI Galway’s Engineering Building Wins Best Educational Building at Local Authority Awards

NUI Galway’s Engineering Building Wins Best Educational Building at Local Authority Awards-image

Monday, 11 February 2013

NUI Galway’s Engineering Building was judged the Best Educational Building at the recent Local Authority Members Association (LAMA) Awards 2013. This adds to the Engineering Building’s existing list of accolades which includes RIAI Irish Architecture’s Public Choice and the Best Sustainable Project Awards, the Irish Building and Design Award for School and Educational Building Project of the Year, and the Irish Concrete Society’s Sustainability Award. Opened in 2011 by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, the Engineering Building at NUI Galway is a world-class teaching and research facility. The building has been designed to be a teaching tool in itself, with exposed construction techniques and an array of ecological building methods. The 14,250 sqm, four story building supports an emerging generation of engineers, engaged in a new wave of technologies, embracing innovation and entrepreneurship; it accommodates some 1,100 students and 110 staff. Commenting on the latest award, John Gibney, Director of Physical Resources at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted that Galway City Council proposed the Engineering Building to LAMA and also to win the Best Educational Building Award for 2013. The building is proving successful in teaching and research terms and it is heartening to receive consistent recognition for its architectural and sustainability credentials. This is testament to the hard work and innovation of the designers, contractors and university staff involved in its inception, delivery and operation.” First held in 2006, the LAMA Awards were created to recognise innovative local and national projects in the areas of infrastructure, community development, recreation and social impact initiatives. Commenting on the awards, Chairman of IPB Insurance George Jones said: “Once again the awards have served up a very high standard of projects and initiatives and is testimony to the hard work being done by Local Authorities and their communities. It is only fitting to publicly acknowledge this great work so as to promote best practice and encourage others to aspire to these high standards.” -ENDS-

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HEA ICT Skills Initiative Funding Success for NUI Galway

HEA ICT Skills Initiative Funding Success for NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

NUI Galway, in collaboration with software industry partners, has been awarded HEA funding for the renewal of the innovative industry-focused Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development. Initiated in 2012, this one-year post-graduate conversion course aims to 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. The Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development builds on the existing strengths of collaborative academic-industry interaction in the Galway region, and provides graduates with: a solid foundation in key software design knowledge; a choice of software architecture specialization in either .NET or Java Enterprise; and a guaranteed work placement to gain relevant experience, and so provide the opportunity to kick-start their career as software developers. The industry partners include Avaya, Ericsson, Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), Hewlett Packard, Storm Technologies, The Marine Institute, Solano Tech Ltd, NetFort Technologies, SourceDogg, APC/Schneider, CISCO and IBM. The new course will be delivered as part of the Information Technology Discipline’s complimentary portfolio of postgraduate degrees. Welcoming news of the award, Dr Enda Howley, Course Director of the Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development at NUI Galway, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for highly motivated analytical graduates from engineering, science and business, to invest 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 information and communication technology sector. This sector is experiencing rapid expansion at the moment, and there is a growing skills shortage for information and communication technology graduate roles that these students are ideally suited to fill.” -ENDS-

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New book explores how Ireland was ‘re-thought’ from 1954-1975

New book explores how Ireland was ‘re-thought’ from 1954-1975-image

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

A new book examining the history of a “think tank”, established in the mid 1950s, to challenge the ways Ireland was governed, socially, politically and economically, is to be launched in the National University of Ireland on 19 February. Tuairim: intellectual debate and policy formulation: Rethinking Ireland, 1954-75, published by Manchester University Press, was written by Dr Tomás Finn, a lecturer in modern Irish History at NUI Galway. Tuairim (the Irish word for “opinion”) was an intellectual movement that challenged traditional orthodoxy and put forward new ideas and fresh solutions. From the late 1950s, Tuairim’s members, who included the late Garret Fitzgerald, future Supreme Court Judge Donal Barrington, Miriam Hederman O’Brien, Jim Doolan and David Thornley, sought to influence debate and public policy in an attempt to re-invent the country. “At a time when Ireland is currently looking at ways to re-invent itself as it continues with the process of economic recovery, the timing of this publication is particularly appropriate,” explains Dr Finn. “The Ireland of the 1950s, 60s and 70s encountered similar social and economic upheaval.” The book argues that Tuairim influenced the key public policy decisions that shaped modern Ireland. Policies on which Tuairim’s members voiced influential arguments included: investment in education; reforms to censorship and the system of childcare; the central importance of economic planning to Ireland’s future; and moves towards a more conciliatory policy in relation to Northern Ireland. Also considered in the book, is Tuairim’s contribution to debates on both administrative and Oireachtas reform, and on the quality of ideas informing public policy. The groups’s hopes for moves towards equality of opportunity, and increased co-operation, provoked a strong reaction from vested interests, particularly the Catholic Church, but also facilitated increased activity by the State. In assessing the relative successes and failures of the organisation in these areas, the book is an addition to the current public debate on national policy and its administration and Ireland’s intellectual and cultural development in the post-Celtic Tiger period. The book will be launched by Dr Maurice Manning and Mr Justice Donal Barrington on Tuesday, 19 February at 6pm in the National University of Ireland, Merrion Square, Dublin. -ends-

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Member of Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology to Speak on Climate Change at NUI Galway

Member of Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology to Speak on Climate Change at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Professor Daniel Schrag, Director of Harvard Centre for the Environment and member of President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, will participate in a public talk at NUI Galway on Thursday, 14 February. ‘How Can we Change Attitudes to Climate Change?’ will feature Professor Daniel Schrag in conversation with Dr Henrike Rau, a lecturer in Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway, and leader of the Ryan Institute’s Socio-Economics and Policy priority research area. The event is part of the Climate Gathering, which will see over 50 participants from more than 10 countries gather in The Burren to discuss climate change. The Ryan Institute at NUI Galway is hosting the Galway event, and the Institute’s Director, Professor Colin Brown, commented: “The evidence for climate disruption from human activities is clear, and so are the broad strategies for dealing with it. What we urgently need are detailed policies that significantly change behaviour at every level of society.” The Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research at NUI Galway has over 300 researchers making it Ireland’s largest research institute to focus on some of the most pressing environmental and energy issues of the 21st century. Climate Gathering participants are coming from a variety of different backgrounds ranging from science, politics, culture and business. Conversations will be held over three days in the Burren College of Art, in an informal and non-binding context. Innovative facilitation techniques will be employed to access the collective insight and wisdom within the diverse group. The intention is to distil this into the beginning of new narratives to catalyse profound change in the way we approach and address the challenges associated with climate change. Talks get underway in Ballyvaughan, County Clare on Friday, 15 February. -ends-

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NUI Galway Host Free Family Events for National Engineers Week

NUI Galway Host Free Family Events for National Engineers Week-image

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

NUI Galway is calling all wanna-be-engineers to participate in a week of events and activities from 25 February to 3 March as part of National Engineers Week. Engineers Week will provide an opportunity for members of the public of all ages to meet practicing engineers and IT specialists who are creatively using imagination and creativity to envisage the future. As part of the line-up NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics and Ryan Institute will host Bringing Dreams to Life, a free family-event for all ages where visitors will be able to take part in hands-on experiments, workshops, and demonstrations. There will be puppets and a lego-build area especially for the young visitors and a display of antique engineering equipment to make the grown-ups feel at home. Highlights of the event will include a K’Nex Bridge Building Contest, an Eco-House Design Challenge, a Renewable Energy Demonstration Station, Water Treatment experiments, Robotics and much more. Speaking about Engineers Week, Professor Gerard Lyons, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “Engineering is an exciting profession. Everything around you has been engineered in some way, yet you may not see the engineers behind the scenes. Engineers take maths and science from the lab to invent, design, and build things that matter. By dreaming up creative and practical solutions, engineers are changing the world all the time. We encourage you to come and explore engineering through cool, fun and exciting demonstrations, meet with practicing engineers and IT specialists, learn about robotics, mobile phone apps, sports engineering, building design, renewable energies, medical implants and much more.” Transition Year students will be able to participate in a dedicated ‘Youth Enterprise Ideation Camp’. During this two-day camp, students will focus on solving real world challenges using technology. At the end of the camp teams will present their ideas to a professional jury and winners will go forward to a national competition at Intel, Leixlip in April 2013. Other activities include an interactive engineering show for primary school pupils, ‘Airmazing’, a second-level students event which will re-imagine the works of pioneering Irish Structural Engineer Peter Rice, and an event that will include the local Coderdojo Club. Additional NUI Galway events being hosted during National Engineers Week includes a public talk on Cyberbulling by Brendan Smith of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway. Brendan will give an overview of the modern phenomena of Cyberbulling from mobile phone texting to online social media services such as Facebook, Twitter and This presentation will give a brief history of the development of communication technologies, the laws governing harassment by electronic devices and guidelines on Internet Safety. ‘Energising Ireland: What’s the Best Option’ will be the topic for discussion at the 3rd annual Energy Night which also takes place during National Engineers Week. Experts in the field of Nuclear Energy, Renewable Energy and fossil fuels will discuss the best solution to the Irish Energy Crisis. All of these events are free of charge but booking is essential as spaces are limited. For further information, or to book a place contact Ena Brophy, College of Engineering and Informatics, NUI Galway at 091 492664 or email For more information on all the events taking place during Engineers Week visit or -ENDS-

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NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Letterkenny

NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Letterkenny-image

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Letterkenny on Thursday, 21 February. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7-9pm in the Radisson Hotel, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand to answer any questions in relation to courses and practical issues including accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a whole suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a Bachelor of Arts with Human Rights, an Energy Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programmes, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies and a Bachelor of Arts with Journalism which are brand new for 2013. “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to Donegal, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Letterkenny is a perfect opportunity to meet current students and our lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit”, says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. To find out more about the information evening in Letterkenny, contact NUI Galway’s Schools Liaison Officer, Gráinne Dunne on 087 244 0858 or ENDS

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‘To Hell or to Croker: Whither the Irish Public Service?’

‘To Hell or to Croker: Whither the Irish Public Service?’-image

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Dr Maurice Hayes for Monsignor Pádraig de Brún Memorial Lecture at NUI Galway The 2013 Monsignor Pádraig de Brún Memorial Lecture, entitled “To Hell or to Croker: Whither the Irish Public Service?” will be delivered by former public servant (north and south) and former Senator and political analyst Maurice Hayes. The event will take place in the Aula Maxima at NUI Galway on Monday, 25 February at 8.00pm and booking is essential. A native of County Down, Maurice Hayes is a graduate in Literature and in Law of Queen’s University Belfast.  He has spent most of his life working in the public service in Northern Ireland, variously as Town Clerk; as Head of Human Resources, Northern Ireland Civil Service; Permanent Secretary, Department of Health and Social Services; and Northern Ireland Ombudsman. He was first Chairman of the Northern Ireland Community Relations Commission and a member of the Human Rights Commission. He has acted as Electoral Boundary Commissioner, as Senior Advisor to the Chair of the Constitutional Convention, and chaired a review of acute hospital services in Northern Ireland. He served for ten years as a member of Seanad Éireann, and chaired the National Forum on Europe. A Member of the Royal Irish Academy, he holds honorary doctorates from the National University of Ireland, TCD, QUB, and the University of Ulster. He was a member of the Patten Commission and authored the report which led to the establishment of the Office of Police Ombudsman.  He has also advised and produced reports on management issues in An Garda Síochána, Tallaght Hospital and RTÉ.  He chairs the Irish Language Broadcast Fund (NI). He has published three books of memoirs Sweet Killough let go your anchor, Black Puddings with slimand Minority Verdict as well as numerous articles and papers on conflict resolution and other aspects of social policy. He is a regular political columnist and book reviewer in the Irish Independent and the Belfast Telegraph. He is married with five children. In his younger days he was an interprovincial hurler. For several years he was  secretary of the County Down board of the GAA and set out a ten year plan that saw Down win the All-Ireland football trophy for the first time in 1960 and go on to win the title a further four times. According to NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne: “The Monsignor Pádraig De Brún lecture honours a former University President who was a renowned polymath with keen interest in the arts, the sciences and the culture of his day.  This year’s De Brún memorial lecture is both timely and relevant.  It will be of great interest to all those interested in the future of the Irish public service at a time of great turmoil in the public sector.  We are delighted to welcome the very distinguished public servant, Maurice Hayes to give this year’s Dr Brún lecture and I look forward to his insights into this important matter of public discourse.  Speaking in advance of the lecture, Dr Maurice Hayes said: “The first and main challenge for the public service is to regain public respect, to recover the public trust which has been lost, and to restore the parallel loss of morale which has been shattered by mindless criticism on the one hand and blind self-interest on the other.  The next is to re-structure and re-equip to meet the needs of a changing society, and then to find the people who can deliver on both objectives at a price the nation can afford.” The public lecture takes place at 8pm on Monday, 25 February and while admission is free registration is required via -ends-

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Primary School Students ‘Graduate’ from NUI Galway

Primary School Students ‘Graduate’ from NUI Galway-image

Thursday, 14 February 2013

NUI Galway recently conferred the second cohort of graduates from its Youth Academy. At the special ceremony held at the University, 133 primary school children from across Galway City and County were presented with certificates, with more than 800 attending the ceremony. Established in 2012, the Youth Academy aims to inspire entry to university by introducing children and their families to university life. Since its foundation, over 200 children have graduated from a range of Saturday morning courses that the Youth Academy established in Italian Language and Culture, Philosophical Discovery, Psychology, Engineering, Irish History, Science Exploration, English and Information Technology. The Youth Academy runs for a six week period and works with high ability fourth and fifth class primary school children to support their learning and academic development, in partnership with their primary schools. Speaking at the event, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “NUI Galway is committed to sharing knowledge with the wider community and ensuring that the pathways to university are open to all. I would like to pay tribute to the commitment and support of the parents gathered, for encouraging a culture of learning and knowledge among some of the youngest members of the community, who will go onto to fuel the knowledge economy.” The Youth Academy was founded by three NUI Galway colleagues, Mary Dempsey, College of Engineering and Informatics, Dr Caroline Heary, School of Psychology, and Lorraine Mc Ilrath, Community Knowledge Initiative, and is supported by NUI Galway’s Vice-President for Innovation and Performance, Professor Chris Curtin. The Irish Centre for Talented Youth, based at Dublin City University, has supported and guided the activity. On behalf of the founding members, Dr Heary said: “Encouraging and nurturing children’s strengths and interests from an early age is vital, and the University, in partnership with schools and communities can play an enormous role in this process.” It is anticipated that another round of courses will be offered to fourth and fifth class children in Galway City and County in the spring of 2013. For further information on the courses and participation please contact Geraldine Marley, Youth Academy Coordinator, at -ENDS-

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Rocket Engineers to Develop New Materials to Improve Space Launchers

Rocket Engineers to Develop New Materials to Improve Space Launchers-image

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

European Space Agency and Irish Research Council Sponsor NUI Galway Research Rocket engineers at NUI Galway are developing new materials which will reduce the cost of launching rockets into space. The European Space Agency (ESA) is cooperating with the Irish Research Council and Irish and European companies to fund the research project. Two PhD students in Mechanical Engineering at NUI Galway will research innovative methods of using thermoplastic composite materials to reduce the weight of fuel tanks for space launchers.  David Grogan, from Renmore in Galway, and Brendan Murray from Annaglough, Co. Cavan, will work with NUI Galway’s Dr Conchúr Ó Brádaigh and Professor Seán Leen. Dr Christopher Semprimoschnig of the European Space Agency (ESA) has said that the Agency was delighted to support the work of the NUI Galway researchers: “It costs up to €30,000 to launch 1kg of payload into space. If ESA can reduce the weight of our liquid hydrogen/oxygen fuel tanks on launchers such as Ariane 5 and future launchers, by substituting lightweight composites for metals, this will reduce the cost of telecommunications, internet and satellite television and even help enable manned-missions to Mars and further parts of the Universe.” David Grogan’s PhD topic is “Finite Element Prediction of Microcracking in Thermoplastic Composite Cyrogenic Fuel Tanks”, and Brendan Murray’s research is on the “Development of Cost-Effective Rotationally-Moulded Polymer Liners for Composite Fuel Tanks.” The students’ PhD work is jointly sponsored for three years by ESA through its Network Partnering Initiative, and by the Irish Research Council through its EMBARK postgraduate Scholarships. David and Brendan’s work is also supported by ÉireComposites Teo. in Indreabhán, Co. Galway, and Astrium Space Transportation in Bordeaux, France, as well as the Irish Centre for Composites Research at the University of Limerick. -ends-

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