Wednesday, 1 November 2006

01 November 2006 - The fourth annual VOLT conference will be held at NUI Galway on 6 November, giving Irish volunteer coordinators a place to find peer support and share their knowledge and experience about good practice. VOLT (Volunteer Organisers Linking Together) is the Irish network of volunteer coordinators, and is facilitated and administered by Volunteering Ireland. This conference, Paving the Way: Leadership in Volunteer Management, will feature international speaker Susan J. Ellis, world renowned expert on volunteer management on her first ever visit to Ireland. Sr. Stanislaus Kennedy, Life President of Focus Ireland will open the conference and Sean Kelly, representing the Taskforce on Active Citizenship, will provide an update on the work of the Taskforce. The annual VOLT conference gives Irish volunteer managers the opportunity to explore issues related to coordinating volunteer programmes. This conference will look at the issue of leadership in volunteer management, the concepts of leadership and what this means to those involved in managing volunteer programmes. Sr. Stanislaus Kennedy says "Leadership is about enabling people to realise their worth, their value and their potential". This conference will give volunteer managers the opportunity to reflect on their own leadership style, how they lead volunteers within their own organisation and how they harness leadership qualities in their volunteers. The conference is kindly sponsored by the Community Knowledge Initiative and the National Irish Bank and will take place in the Arts Millennium Building, NUI Galway. -ends- For more information visit www.volunteeringireland.ie or contact: Nancy Nuñez, VOLT Chairperson, Tel: 01 8722622, Mobile: 087 9258112, Email: volt@volunteeringireland.ie

Tuesday, 19 December 2006

19 December 2006: A leading lecturer in history at NUI Galway has praised a book of short stories and poems by Galway-based senior writers as a "precious collection of stories about bygone times and a wonderful Christmas gift". The book 21 - An Anthology, comes from the Salthill/Knocknacarra Active Retirement Writers Group, and is edited by well-known Irish author Michael Gorman. Many of the stories retrieve a rich written heritage, reflecting a world that has long passed with stories of childhoods in Ireland in the 1940s and 1950s. According to Dr. Caitriona Clear, Lecturer in History, NUI Galway, "The recent past is often farther away from us than the distant past, a time that seems only slightly different but belongs to a different culture, a different way of looking at the world. These stories bring back memories of only cold water in the tap, ice on the inside of bedroom windows, the Rosary in the evening in every house, and boxes of biscuits strapped onto the backs of bikes brought to cousins' houses in the days coming up to Christmas. 21 - An Anthology captures the texture of life we would otherwise forget about". Michael Gorman, a Programme Director at NUI Galway's International Summer School for Writers, who facilitated and compiled the book, comments "My instinct in preparing this collection was to preserve what is most easily endangered, that which is close to hand. I have always been drawn to reticent people rather than those who shout loudest. So, here, in their own words, are twenty-one individuals from all over Ireland who have lived, worked in or retired to Galway". In a poignant twist, the book is dedicated to some of the 21 authors who have passed away since the time of writing, making 21 - An Anthology an even more precious collection of writing. NUI Galway's Adult and Continuing Education Centre has been involved in working with and supporting Active Retirement groups in Galway city and county for the past ten years. 21 - Anthology is published by NUI Galway and can be purchased for just €10 from Áras Fáilte, the information centre on campus. -ends-

Tuesday, 19 December 2006

19 December 2006: The U.S. Board of Galway University Foundation was formally launched by the Irish Consul General in New York, Mr. Tim O'Connor, at a reception hosted recently at the Irish Consul's residence in New York. Galway University Foundation generates financial support for NUI Galway's programmes and activities from a range of private individuals and institutions. The new board will help nurture lasting relationships with donors in the U.S. who share NUI Galway s vision for the future. The U.S. Board will be chaired by NUI Galway graduate Declan Kelly who is CEO of Financial Dynamics US. He will work to raise awareness of the University and assist with the monumental capital campaign that the University has initiated to improve the physical resources offered to its growing student body of 15,000. The development programme will include planned new buildings and enhancements of current facilities, all financed by University resources and a combination of government and private, philanthropic funding. Following the inaugural meeting of the Board in the US, the new members were introduced to a gathering of 150 prominent New York Irish Americans together with University Alumni and Friends. At the meeting, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President, NUI Galway outlined his ambitions for the University "NUI Galway's Governing Authority recently authorised a visionary Capital Development plan, amounting to a €400 million investment in new buildings and enhancements to current facilities. This vision for our 'Campus of the Future' will ensure that we provide the platform from which the young people of today will make their contribution to ensuring that Ireland continues to hold it's place and to play it's part in the knowledge society of the future". The full list of the Galway University Foundation board members in the US are as follows: Declan Kelly, (Chairman), C.E.O Financial Dynamics (Graduate) Mike Higgins, M.D. Real Estate Finance & CIBC World Bank (Graduate) Aedhmar Hynes-McGovern, CEO, Text 100 Public Relations (Graduate) Frank Mooney, Partner, Dunnington, Bartholow & Miller Irial Finan, President - Bottling Investments, Coca-Cola Worldwide (Graduate) Dómhnal Slattery, Chairman & Managing Partner, Claret Capital (Graduate) John MacNamara, Chairman, Galway University Foundation Tom Joyce, Executive Director, Galway University Foundation Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President, NUI Galway The Board appointments are for three years. -ends-

Monday, 18 December 2006

18 December 2006: Environmental researchers from the Civil Engineering Department and Environmental Change Institute at NUI Galway have been awarded a three-year research grant to develop, commission and assess innovative environmental technologies for treating wastewaters from small towns and large villages. The research is seen as a major initiative in developing sustainable environmental products and services for the domestic and export markets, as well as meeting the requirements of EU directives on water quality. According to Dr. Michael Rodgers, Civil Engineering, NUI Galway, who heads up the research, "This project is a strategic step towards developing the knowledge, skills and products Ireland will need in order to command a strong stake-hold in the burgeoning environmental technology industry. It is one of the fastest growing sectors in the EU, supplying €183 billion worth of goods and services a year, and is also highlighted in the Government's recent Strategy Document for Science, Technology and Innovation". The grant is co-funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the EU Environmental Technologies Action Plan (ETAP), and the National Council for Forest Research and Development (COFORD) under the National Development Plan. Dr. Rodgers will carry out the research work with members of his twenty–person team of engineers and scientists from Ireland, China, Denmark, Spain and Poland. The present value of the team's contracts on such national and international environmental research projects is in excess of € 2.2 million. On location at a local authority site, the NUI Galway team will design and develop technologies to clean wastewater for discharge to any surface or groundwater body. Innovative environmental technologies will be developed to remove a range of contaminants from the wastewater, including organic carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, microorganisms, odours and solids. Nutrients from the wastewater will fertilise willow trees and the chipped willows will be used as biofuel. The performance of the technologies will be monitored by on-line analysers and sensors, and will be interrogated and controlled from NUI Galway's campus, while computer models will be built and calibrated to provide designs for a range of population sizes. Capital and running costs of different technologies will be evaluated and compared to provide design guidelines for consultants, architects, local authorities, developers, agriculture, industry and planners. The research will provide the basis for a unique Irish water and waste facility for leading edge research, knowledge creation, graduate training, and the development and commercialisation of eco-innovative environmental technologies. There is also scope for education, public information and policy planning. Dr. Rodgers continued "There is great support for the NUI Galway project from environmental technology stakeholders as they have also identified the industry's potential for market growth at home and abroad. All stakeholders will be invited to take part in the research project. It is expected that new commercial environmental products will be developed from this and other industry/higher education projects part-financed through national agencies that include EPA, COFORD, Enterprise Ireland, HEA, IRCSET, Marine Institute, SFI, and Teagasc". -ends -

Monday, 18 December 2006

18 December 2006: The first ever conferring of the Master of Science in Software and Information Systems (MScSIS) took place recently at NUI Galway. The MScSIS is a collaborative programme between NUI Galway and Regis University in Denver, USA. It was created in response to the rapid pace of change in the techniques and technologies employed within the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry and the need for employee skills to remain up-to-date with these changes. Twenty-four students graduated in total with a further graduation taking place in Regis University. Commenting on the graduation, Seamus O'Grady, Director of Adult Education, NUI Galway said, "The class of 2006 represents a 100 per cent retention rate of those who started the course in August 2004. It is a wonderful testament to the work which NUI Galway and Regis have done to make this course a success". The two-year, part-time programme is delivered entirely on-line and is open to honours degree graduates in Science, Engineering or other relevant disciplines, and to other degree graduates with three or more years of relevant experience. "The programme is designed for people wishing to update their ICT skills with a specific emphasis on software development and/or databases, and who require the flexibility offered by online learning", explained Dr. Sam Redfern, Programme Academic Director. "It also suits professionals working in the ICT area who wish to formalise and gain accreditation for their skills". Course materials are written in self-instructional format, are easy to follow and are accompanied by continuous assessment exercises, research questions and a recommended course textbook. Each module is delivered over an eight-week period with specific topics outlined for study during each of these eight weeks. "Establishing a set timetable of study which guides the students as they undertake each module, ensures that they keep up to speed with the recommended programme schedule", according to Nuala McGuinn, Course Co-ordinator. "This is particularly important with distance learning programmes where students may fall behind in course work as they are not attending class on a regular basis". While there are no seminars or tutorials as part of this programme, the students are not alone. An e-tutor is assigned to each module and is available during each eight-week period to answer queries that they may have regarding course content and to provide individualised feedback on the weekly continuous assessment exercises. By combining the strengths of both Universities and the power of the internet, the MScSIS has become truly global with over 120 people currently studying for the MScSIS across Ireland, Europe, Australia and the US. -ends- Notes to Editors For further details please visit the programme website at www.it.nuigalway.ie/onlineITMSc

Monday, 11 December 2006

11 December, 2006: Details have been announced of NUI Galway's eighth annual Gala Banquet, which will take place at the Radisson SAS Hotel on Saturday 3rd March 2007, and will focus on volunteerism. The 2007 Gala Banquet will celebrate the ALIVE (A Learning Initiative & Volunteering Experience) programme that enables students to register for volunteering opportunities. ALIVE was established in 2003 to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution that NUI Galway students make by volunteering. Professor Ger Hurley, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs, NUI Galway, said, "NUI Galway is leading the way in integrating civic engagement with practical skills learned in the classroom (service learning). The ALIVE programme was established to support the contribution that our students and staff make by volunteering. The programme has to date offered over 700 NUI Galway students and staff volunteers the opportunity to help develop partnerships between the University and the community while advocating active citizenship". Income from the Gala Banquet itself will also contribute to this initiative. One of the highlights of the evening, which has established itself as a premier national event and one of the key social occasions in the West of Ireland, is the presentation of seven annual Alumni Awards. These awards celebrate the life-long value of an NUI Galway education and recognise individual excellence and achievements among the University's more than 60,000 graduates worldwide. The Alumni Awards are; Medtronic Vascular Award for Health Care and Medical Science; Seavite Award for Natural Science; Bank of Ireland Award for Business and Commerce; AIB Award for Literature, Communications and the Arts; TBD Award for Engineering, IT and Mathematics; Duais Hewlett-Packard don Ghaeilge and the NUI Galway Award for Law, Public Service and Government. Tickets for the banquet cost €150 each and €1,500 for a table of 10. For further information, please telephone 091 495266 or email: gala@nuigalway.ie -ENDS- Notes to Editors: Contact: Michelle Ní Chróinín, Press & Information Officer, NUI Galway 091-493361 or michelle.nichroinin@nuigalway.ie Biographies Seán O'Rourke, Winner of the AIB Award in the area of Literature, Communication and the Arts, graduated with a BA in 1977. He is one of Ireland's leading broadcasters and a stalwart of current affairs programming. After University, he joined the Irish Press Group, as a sports reporter, feature writer and political correspondent. Since 1989, he has been a programme presenter-editor with RTÉ, working on This Week, Morning Ireland, Today Tonight, Prime Time and Family Matters. He has been presenter of the News at One on Radio Once since 1994. Mr O'Rourke also presents The Week in Politics on RTÉ. Irial Finan, Winner of the Bank of Ireland Award for Business & Commerce, Irial Finan is EVP, The Coca-Cola Company and President of Bottling Investments and Supply Chain. The Bottling Investments Group is creating a totally new model for managing our consolidated bottling investments by creating what is essentially an internal bottler that will interact with our concentrate business in the same way as our independent bottlers. Irial has spent 25 years in the Coca-Cola bottling system, most recently as chief executive officer of Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company SA, our third largest anchor bottler, with operations in 26 countries. Irial has been part of the Coca-Cola system since 1981. From 2001 to 2003, he served as chief executive officer of Coca-Cola HBC, during which time he managed the merger integration of Coca-Cola Beverages plc and Hellenic Bottling SA, and led the combined company s operations in 26 countries. From 1995 to 1999, he was managing director of Molino Beverages, with responsibility for expanding markets, including the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Romania, Moldova, Russia and Nigeria. Prior to that role, Irial worked in several markets across Europe. From 1991 to 1993 he served as managing director of Coca-Cola Bottlers Ulster, Ltd., based in Belfast. He was finance director, Coca-Cola Bottlers Ireland, Ltd., based in Dublin from 1984 to 1990. Irial serves on the boards of directors of Coca-Cola Amatil, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Coca-Cola FEMSA, Coca-Cola HBC, and the Supervisory Board of CCE AG. He will also coordinate the Company's board representation with other boards. The general managers of the Company-owned bottlers report to Irial. He is also a non-executive director of Alltracel Pharmaceuticals and chairman of their Audit Committee. He also serves as a non-executive director for Co-operation Ireland. Irial holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from National University of Ireland in Galway and an Associate (later Fellow) of the Institute of Chartered Management Accountants. Mairéad Ní Nuadháin, Duais Hewlett Packard Gaeilge. Is í Mairéad eagarthóir coimisiúnaithe ar chláir Ghaeilge, oideachasúla agus ilchultúir in RTÉ. Is í a bhunaigh "Léargas" agus bhí sí ina léiritheoir sraithe ar an tsraith fáisnéise Ghaeilge sin, a cheiliúir deich mbliana ar an aer i mbliana. Tá cláir shiamsaíochta agus cláir eile fáisnéise léirithe aici chomh maith i mBéarla agus i nGaeilge. Mar chuid dá cúram cláir a sholáthar gach bliain do TG4, tá sraitheanna ar nós "An Tuath Nua," "Bean an Ti," "Bia 's Bóthar," "Ardán" agus go leor clár eile curtha ar fáil, lena n-áirítear cúrsaí reatha, cláir spóirt, cláir irise agus cláir do leanaí. Ba í freisin a choimisúnaigh cláir ilchultúir faoi Éireannaigh nua agus cláir oideachais do RTÉ, mar shampla "Turas Teanga," "Families in Trouble," "Mono," "Who's Afraid of Islam?" agus "No Place Like Home." Is as Bealach an Doirín, Co. Ros Comáin í ó thús agus bhí cónaí uirthi tar éis na hollsoile i nGaillimh, áit a raibh sí ina comhalta de lucht bunaithe an Druid Theatre agus ina haisteoir leis an Taibhdhearc. Nuair a bhí sí in OÉ Gaillimh (Coláiste na hOllscoile, Gaillimh ag an am), bhí sí ar dhuine de na chéad reachtairí mná ar an gCumann Liteartha agus Díospóireachta (Lit and Deb). I mBaile Átha Cliath atá sí anois ach choinnigh sí an tsnaidhm leis na healaíona i nGaillimh, trína ballraíocht i mBord Macnas, agus tá sí ina ball freisin de Bhord Feidhmiúcháin an Celtic Film and Television Company. Professor Patrick Gullane, Medtronic Award for Healthcare and Medical Science. Upon graduating from NUI Galway in 1970, Dr. Patrick J. Gullane embarked on a career in otolaryngology - head and neck surgery - and in 1989 he was appointed as Otolaryngologist-in-Chief at the University Health Network in Toronto. In 1997 he was appointed as Wharton Chair in Head and Neck Surgery, Princess Margaret Hospital, and in 2002 as Professor and Chair to the Department of Otolaryngology, University of Toronto. Dr Gullane is recognised globally as a leader in the field of head and neck surgery and his professional achievements has been celebrated by, amongst others: The Harris P. Mosher Award, Triological Society, 1990; Millennium Society Award, American Academy of Otolaryngology, 2004; Distinguished Service Award, American Academy of Otolaryngology 2005; George Davey Howells Memorial Prize in Otolaryngology", University of London, 2005; Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Honorary Fellowship, 2006. Most recently Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, recognized Dr Patrick Gullane's leadership and contribution to his field with a "Tribute Event and Gala Evening" and an endowed Fellowship Chair. Dr Gullane is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a Diplomat of the American Board of Otolaryngology. He has served as the President of the American Head and Neck Society and the President of the North American Skull Base Society, and is the current Vice-President of the Triological Society. He has published 210 papers in peer-reviewed journals and 56 chapters in textbooks and published 8 books on Head and Neck Surgery. He serves on the editorial boards of 10 professional journals. Dr Gullane has lectured as a visiting professor in 42 countries. He has facilitated the establishment of four University Chairs in Head and Neck Oncology and Reconstruction, from private funding donations in excess of $12.5 million. Brian O'Donnell, NUI Galway Award for Law, Public Service & Government Brian O'Donnell graduated from NUI Galway with a BA (Leg.Sci) (Hons) and LLB (Hons), 1974 and 1976. He was admitted to the Role of Solicitors in 1976. Having interned in general practice in Galway for two years Brian O'Donnell was appointed in-house counsel to IDA Ireland. In 1980 Brian O'Donnell was head hunted by William Fry, one of Ireland's largest law firms as a corporate law specialist. He was one of the youngest equity partners ever appointed at the age of 28. During the course of his career Brian O'Donnell acted for Irish Life plc in its privatisation; for Waterford Wedgwood plc in its acquisition of Wedgwood; represented Chevron's mining interests in Ireland; B.T. and BP's in its energy interests in Ireland. He has acted in many healthcare projects and hospital projects particularly the Mater Private Hospital. He advised Doyle Hotels, in its acquisition by Jurys plc and acted for the Irish Press Group for many years and had the task of chairing the liquidation meeting of Irish Press Newspapers Limited. He has also acted in the mergers of a number of regional newspaper groups and radio stations. Brian O'Donnell has acted as legal adviser in large family corporate mediation cases such as Doyle Hotels Group, Blarney Woolen Mills/Meadows & Byrne, Williams Group etc. Pro bono cases have been many, the best known of which was the Blaise Gallagher case where a quadraplegic boy received the then largest damages ever achieved in Ireland. Brian O'Donnell was the managing partner of William Fry on a number of occasions culminating in 1999 in its most successful period in its then 150 year history. In 1999 Brian O'Donnell surprised the legal establishment in Ireland by resigning from William Fry having decided to establish Brian O'Donnell & Partners, a specialist corporate law firm to concentrate on banking, finance, private equity, healthcare and acquisitions of both companies and assets. Shortly after establishing Brian O'Donnell & Partners the practice formed the first ever exclusive association between an Irish and a worldwide international law firm, US based Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP. Jointly both firms have worked on significant cross border transactions in the telecoms, technology and energy areas. In 2005 Brian O'Donnell and Dr Mary Patricia O'Beirn-O'Donnell (MB, M.MED SCI. NUI Galway 1977, MRC PSYCH) established Vico Capital. Vico Capital has become one of the most successful Irish based privately owned property investors abroad particularly in the City of London. During the last 18 months Vico Capital has acquired €650 million approximately of grade A offices blocks in Canary Wharf and in the City. Its tenants include Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and the British Government. Recently Vico Capital completed the acquisition of Sanctuary Buildings (a 230,000 sq ft grade A office block let to the British Government as the headquarters of the Dept of Education & Skills). Brian O'Donnell has been one of only a handfull of Irish lawyers included in the International Who's Who of mergers and acquisition lawyers and has been named in Global Counsel 3000 as Ireland's leading corporate and commercial lawyer. Dr. Reg Shaw, Seavite Award for Natural Science,graduated with a BSc in 1971 and subsequently with a PhD in 1974. He is currently Managing Director of the Wyeth BioPharma Campus in Dublin. Wyeth BioPharma Campus is one of the largest integrated biopharmaceutical facilities in the world with. It was officially opened in Dublin in September 2005. The facility produces Wyeth's best known drugs – Enbrel, a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, and Prevenar, a vaccine for preventing pneumococcal disease in infants. The product cycle - from cell culturing in a test tube through to bulk manufacturing, packaging and distribution – is, unusually for the industry, carried out on site. This model employed by the Campus is considered a frontier-type investment. Dr Shaw is heading the project to extend the product manufacturing cycle from basic product development right through to the finished product. Patrick & Thomas Coffey, TBD Award for Engineering, IT and Mathematics. Paddy Coffey established Coffey Construction in 1974, a building construction and engineering firm with brother Tom Coffey joining a few years later. The company is now one of the leading companies in the building, civil, environmental and specialist engineering industry in Ireland with such recognisable projects as the Dublin Outer Ring Road and the Leixlip-Ballycoolin Water Supply Scheme. It is also active in the Greater London area with projects such as the renovation of the Royal Albert Hall and the Slough S.T.W. In recent years, the Coffey Group have become involved in the Design, Construction and Operation of Waste Water and Potable Water Treatment Works, Directional Drilling, Trenchless Technology, Wind Farms and Asphalt Production. Great emphasis is placed on continuous professional development for both employer and employees and on quality, health and safety and sound environmental management. The Group considers these matters a primary responsibility and imperative for good business management. The Coffey Group will realise a turnover of €100m this year. The brother's company is a stalwart supporter of NUI Galway graduates and is well known as a nurturing ground for the University's engineering professionals and entrepreneurs. It employs students on placement (PEP) more than any other company since the initiation of the Civil Engineering placement programme and sponsors graduate students in Civil Engineering at NUI Galway.

Monday, 11 December 2006

11 December 2006: The Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway has announced the winners of the Schools' Science Essay Competition 2006, sponsored by Medtronic. First prize went to Leaving Certificate student, Paul Kelliher, who studies at Killorglin's Intermediate School, Co. Kerry. Runner-up was Sarah Grace of the Loreto Abbey Secondary School in Dalkey, and honourable mentions were achieved by Caoilfhionn Ni Chonghaile of the Sacred Heart School in Westport and Saraid McCarrick of St Attracta's Community School, Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo. With prizes including laptops, iPODs and school science bursaries, hundreds of essay entries came from sixty schools across the country. Competition was steep, with a particularly high standard of writing amongst the students who reached the "Top 11 short-list" reviewed by a high profile panel of scientists and journalists. Commenting on the winning essay, competition judge and freelance science journalist Cormac Sheridan said, "Paul's essay crackles with ideas that are expressed with great verve. He is a writer with real intellectual energy and genuine potential". The competition, for which students wrote essays on the topic 'The Quest for Immortality: Who Wants to Live Forever?', was co-ordinated by REMEDI, a Science Foundation Ireland funded research centre at NUI Galway, and was sponsored by REMEDI industrial partner Medtronic. The competition aims to challenge young people to think about and express their views on recent advances in the science and technology field, a view eloquently expressed by Tom Kennedy, a member of the judging panel and editor of Science Spin magazine: "I like the competition because it gets participants thinking about science yet it has nothing to do with the points race. It is relatively easy to repeat given facts in a report or exam paper, but to write well about any subject it is necessary to understand it first." Organised as part of a joint REMEDI and National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science secondary school outreach programme called GRO (Galway Regional Outreach), the competition will run annually. REMEDI also runs additional school and general public awareness initiatives throughout the year which are designed to facilitate dialogue in the areas of stem cell and gene therapy research. The winning essays were selected by a high profile panel of judges which included: Prof Frank Barry (Scientific Director of REMEDI), Mr Leo Enright (Chair of the Discover Science & Engineering Steering Committee), Mr Tom Kennedy (Editor of Spin Science Magazine) and Mr Cormac Sheridan (Freelance Science Journalist). For additional information on REMEDI outreach programmes, visit www.remedi.ie -ends-

Monday, 4 December 2006

A major €400 million development project, announced today at NUI Galway, will put the campus firmly on the international stage in terms of facilities and research. The capital investment project will see almost 20 large infrastructural projects undertaken on the 260-acre campus, continuing the dramatic re-orientation of the campus to face the River Corrib. The planned development marks a significant investment in the future of education and research at NUI Galway that will bring huge benefits to the Western Region as a whole. Commenting on the plan, President of NUI Galway, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, who unveiled the 'Campus of the Future' exhibition today, said: "This ambitious development plan responds not only to a growth of 40% in student numbers over the last six years but also to our role in supporting indigenous, high-value industries in Ireland. Already, we are home to the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science and the Digital Enterprise Research Institute, which are world-class facilities. We also have the Moore Institute which is undertaking pioneering research in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Our plans will build on this success and take every facet of the University to the highest class in terms of services, facilities and research, making us comparable to the best internationally." The €400 million investment package will be financed by University resources and a combination of government and private philanthropic funding. Flagship projects will include a new Sports Centre; a Cultural Centre; a state of the art Engineering building; a Human Biology building and an expansion of the Clinical Sciences Institute; and a Law School which will be linked to jury rooms and a court room to be developed by the courts as part of a pioneering strategic collaboration. Work on some of the new infrastructure projects has already begun with plans for further development to commence on other buildings next year. The 'Campus of the Future' programme commits to enhancing the University's physical infrastructure, while at the same time preserving and nurturing all that is excellent in the current campus. Development will harmonise the natural and built environments, preserving – and where possible adding to – existing walkways and open spaces. The aim is to create a riverside amenity which will be of enormous benefit not only to students and staff, but also to the broader community of the city and region. Dr Ó Muircheartaigh continued: "In charting the future direction for NUI Galway, we have set out a vision in which the continual enhancement of 'the student experience' is enshrined as a core principle. Students are at the very heart of what the University is about and these planned developments are designed to further that ethos. Although the campus is currently home to 15,000 students, the atmosphere remains one of friendliness, inclusion and acceptance of diversity. With the support of students, staff, alumni and the local community, we aim to retain all that is unique and wonderful about our campus and embrace the future with confidence." Commenting on the impact of investment of this scale on Galway City, Dr Ó Muircheartaigh said: "The plans reflect the importance of a strong university to the region as a whole and NUI Galway is central to ongoing development as our high quality students attract and retain national and multi-national investment. This programme is great news for Galway City. Dramatic changes are underway and we will be consulting and including the public on individual projects at every appropriate stage." Highlights of the proposed developments fall into two broad categories of student facilities and teaching facilities: Services and Facilities A €21 million 6,500sqm Sports Centre Complex which will include a 25m swimming pool, gym, weights room, handball and squash courts, climbing wall, sports hall with three basketball courts, an aerobics/dance studio and multi-purpose activity spaces. The Cultural Centre which will consist of a multipurpose hall, a dance studio, a rehearsal and performance space, recording facilities, an exhibition room, a photographic studio and a new space for the University's Flirt FM Radio Station. Major improvements in infrastructure and mobility management including the building of a new entrance on Newcastle Road, internal roads and services, parking and transport initiatives, and a new crèche. Teaching and Research The development of a 14,000sqm Engineering Building which will house the University's five Engineering Departments in one location. The building is scheduled to open in 2009 and will be the largest single capital project undertaken in the University's history, at a cost in excess of €50 million. A new Human Biology Building, which will incorporate the Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Anatomy and Physiology Departments. In a central location, it will build on the established relationship between NUI Galway and UCHG Hospital allowing further collaborative research projects. Given the envisaged increases in the number of medical places required at NUI Galway, there is a proposal to increase significantly the size of the existing Clinical Sciences Institute to provide sufficient teaching, laboratory, library and staff accommodation space. The Law School will have 8,000sqm of accommodation and will be a pioneering strategic collaboration with the courts. It is intended to include lecture theatres, law libraries, jury rooms and a court room in the overall complex. The development of a 5,000sqm building for Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, consisting of a mix of offices, language laboratories, seminar rooms, lecture halls, libraries, Irish language archives, recording facilities and general exhibition space. The 'Campus of the Future' exhibition is open to members of the general public, as well as staff and students, at the Orbsen Building in NUI Galway, 10am-4pm, Mon-Fri, until 15 December. Thorough local consultation will take place on a project by project basis. Information is also available at http://www.nuigalway.ie/campusofthefuture/ - ends -

Monday, 4 December 2006

04 Nollaig 2006: Cinnteoidh mórthionscadal forbartha ar fiú €400 milliún é, tionscadal a d'fhógair OÉ Gaillimh inniu, go mbeidh clú agus cáil ar champas na hOllscoile ar fud na cruinne i dtéarmaí áiseanna agus taighde. Tabharfar faoi os cionn 20 mórthionscadal infrastruchtúir ar an gcampas 260 acra mar chuid den tionscadal infheistíochta caipitil seo, ag leanúint leis an athrú treo atá ag tarlú ar an gcampas, is é sin ag iompú i dtreo Abhainn na Gaillimhe. Infheistíocht shuntasach i dtodhchaí an oideachais agus an taighde in OÉ Gaillimh í an fhorbairt ar fad atá beartaithe, infheistíocht a chruthóidh buntáistí suntasacha don Iarthar trí chéile. Le linn dó a bheith ag labhairt faoin bplean, dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, a sheol taispeántas 'Campas na Todhchaí' inniu: "Is ann don phlean forbartha uaillmhianaí seo d fhonn freastal ar mhéadú 40% sa líon mac léinn atá againn le sé bliana anuas agus an ról atá againn féin tacú le tionscail dhúchasacha, ardluacha in Éirinn. Cheana féin tá an tIonad Náisiúnta um Eolaíocht Innealtóireachta Bithmhíochaine mar aon le hInstitiúid Taighde na Fiontraíochta Digití tógtha againn, agus is cinnte gur áiseanna den scoth atá iontu. Chomh maith leis sin tá Institiúid de Móra againn, institiúid atá i mbun taighde ceannródaíoch a dhéanamh sna Dána agus sna hEolaíochtaí Sóisialta. Cuirfidh ár bpleananna le rath den chineál sin agus cinnteofar go mbeidh gach uile ghné den Ollscoil ar an gcaighdeán is airde i dtéarmaí seirbhísí, áiseanna agus taighde, ionas go mbeimid ar chomhchéim leis na caighdeáin idirnáisiúnta is fearr. " Acmhainní na hOllscoile agus meascán de mhaoiniú rialtais agus de mhaoiniú daonchairdis, príobháideach a sholáthróidh an pacáiste infheistíochta €400 milliún. I measc na dtionscadal mór atá beartaithe tá Ionad Spóirt nua; Ionad Cultúir; foirgneamh Innealtóireachta nua-aimseartha; foirgneamh Bitheolaíochta Daonna agus leathnú ar an Institiúid Eolaíochta Cliniciúla; agus Scoil Dlí a bheidh nasctha le seomraí giúiré agus seomra cúirte atá le forbairt ag na cúirteanna mar chuid de chomhoibriú straitéiseach ceannródaíoch. Tá tús curtha le hobair cheana féin ar chuid de na tionscadail nua infrastruchtúir agus tá sé beartaithe tús a chur le hobair ar fhoirgnimh eile an bhliain seo chugainn. Tá clár 'Campas na Todhchaí' tiomanta d infrastruchtúr fisiceach na hOllscoile a fheabhsú, agus gach scoth-thréith de chuid an champais reatha a chaomhnú agus a chothú. Tabharfaidh an fhorbairt an timpeallacht nádúrtha agus na foirgnimh uile le chéile, agus áit ar féidir caomhnófar na bealaí siúlóide agus spásanna nádúrtha atá ann. Is é atá mar aidhm leis an tionscadal seo áiseanna cois abhann a chruthú, áiseanna do mhic léinn agus do chomhaltaí foirne, ach freisin do phobal na cathrach agus go deimhin an ceantar mórthimpeall ar an ollscoil. Chomh maith leis sin, dúirt an Dr Ó Muircheartaigh, "Le linn dúinn cinntí a dhéanamh maidir le treo OÉ Gaillimh sa todhchaí, shocraíomar an fhís a bheadh againn, is é sin fís ina dtugtar tús áite 'd'eispéireas na mac léinn'. Gan mic léinn ní bheadh Ollscoil againn agus tá na forbairtí ar fad atá le déanamh deartha le cur leis an éiteas sin. Cé go bhfuil 15,000 mac léinn ag freastal ar an gcampas faoi láthair, is léir fós gur campas cairdiúil atá againn, agus áirimid agus glacaimid le héagsúlacht ar an gcampas seo. Le tacaíocht ó mhic léinn, comhaltaí foirne, alumni agus an pobal áitiúil, tá sé mar aidhm againn na nithe sainiúla agus iontacha a bhaineann lenár gcampas a choinneáil agus aghaidh a thabhairt ar an todhchaí go muiníneach. " Bhí an méid seo le rá ag an Dr Ó Muircheartaigh nuair a labhair sé faoin tionchar a bheadh ag infheistíocht chomh mór leis seo ar Chathair na Gaillimhe: "Tugann na pleananna léargas ar an tábhacht a bhaineann le hollscoil rafar a bheith againn sa cheantar seo trí chéile agus tá ról lárnach ag OÉ Gaillimh i bhforbairt leanúnach mar go meallann agus go gcoimeádann ár sármhic léinn infheistíocht náisiúnta agus ilnáisiúnta. Is cinnte gur dea-scéal atá sa chlár seo do Chathair na Gaillimhe. Tá athruithe suntasacha á ndéanamh agus beimid ag dul i gcomhairle leis an bpobal agus ag lorg tuairimí ón bpobal faoi thionscadail ar leith nuair a bheidh sé sin feiliúnach". Tá idir áiseanna do mhic léinn agus áiseanna teagaisc san áireamh sna forbairtí atá beartaithe againn: Seirbhísí agus Áiseanna Ionad Spóirt 6,500 méadar cearnach ar luach €21 milliún. San áireamh san Ionad Spóirt seo beidh linn snámha 25 méadar, giomnáisiam, seomra meáchan, cúirteanna liathróid láimhe agus scuaise, balla dreapadóireachta, halla spóirt le trí chúirt leadóige, stiúideo aeróbaice/damhsa agus spásanna gníomhaíochta ilchuspóireacha. San áireamh san Ionad Cultúir beidh halla ilchuspóireach, stiúideo damhsa, spás do réamhchleachtadh agus taibhiú, áiseanna taifeadta, seomra taispeántais, stiúideo grianghraf agus spás nua do Flirt FM, Stáisiún Raidió na hOllscoile. I measc na bhfeabhsuithe móra atá beartaithe in infrastruchtúr agus bainistíocht gluaiseachta tá bealach isteach nua a thógáil ar Bhóthar an Chaisleáin Nua, bóithre agus seirbhísí inmheánacha a fheabhsú, tús a chur le tionscnaimh pháirceála agus iompair, mar aon le crèche nua a thógáil. Teagasc agus Taighde Tá Foirgneamh Innealtóireachta 14,000 méadar cearnach le tógáil, foirgneamh ina mbeidh cúig Roinn Innealtóireachta na hOllscoile. Tá an foirgneamh seo le hoscailt in 2009 agus beidh sé seo ar an tionscadal caipitil is mó riamh san Ollscoil, foirgneamh a chosnóidh sa bhreis ar €50 milliún. Tá Foirgneamh Bitheolaíochta Daonna nua le tógáil ina mbeidh an Roinn Cógaseolaíochta & Teiripice, Roinn na hAnatamaíochta agus Roinn na Fiseolaíochta. Tá an foirgneamh seo le tógáil in ionad lárnach agus cuirfidh sé leis an ngaol atá bunaithe le fada an lá idir OÉ Gaillimh agus Ospidéal na hOllscoile, Gaillimh, rud a chinnteoidh go mbeidh níos mó tionscadal taighde ar siúl eadrainn. Bunaithe ar an méadú a bhfuil súil leis sa líon áiteanna do mhic léinn leighis atá ag teastáil in OÉ Gaillimh, tá moladh déanta cur go mór le méid na hInstitiúide Eolaíochta Cliniciúla chun a dóthain spáis a chur ar fáil do theagasc, saotharlanna, leabharlann agus comhaltaí foirne. Beidh 8,000 méadar cearnach de chóiríocht sa Scoil Dlí agus comhoibriú straitéiseach ceannródaíoch a bheidh ann i gcomhar leis na cúirteanna. Táthar ag súil go mbeidh léachtlanna, leabharlanna dlí, seomraí don ghiúire agus seomra cúirte san fhoirgneamh nua seo. Tá foirgneamh 5,000 méadar cearnach le tógáil d'Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. San áireamh san fhoirgneamh seo beidh oifigí, saotharlanna teanga, seomraí seimineár, léachtlanna, leabharlanna, cartlanna Gaeilge, áiseanna taifeadta agus spás ginearálta do thaispeántais. Tá tuilleadh faisnéise faoin bhforbairt atá beartaithe ar fáil don phobal in Áras Oirbsean in OÉ Gaillimh, ó 10am-4pm, gach lá as seo go ceann coicíse. Beimid ag dul i gcomhairle leis an bpobal áitiúil faoi na tionscadail éagsúla de réir a chéile. Tá faisnéis le fáil ar http://www.nuigalway.ie/campusofthefuture/ freisin - críoch - Chun tuilleadh faisnéise a fháil, déan teagmháil le: Michelle Ní Chróinín, Oifigeach Preasa & Faisnéise, OÉ Gaillimh 091-493361 nó 086-8168268 Nótaí do na hEagarthóirí Tionscadal Méadair chearnacha Foirgneamh Innealtóireachta 14,000 Scoil Dlí 8,000 Ionad Spóirt na hOllscoile 6,500 Tionscadail na hInstitiúide Eolaíochta Cliniciúla 6,000 Foirgneamh na Bitheolaíochta Daonna 6,000 Leathnú na Leabharlainne 6,000 Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge 5,000 Ionad Tráchtála 3,500 Ionad Cultúir 2,760 Leathnú Áras Dán na Mílaoise 2,500 Eolaíochtaí Matamaiticiúla 1,600 Domhaneolaíocht & Aigéaneolaíocht 1,565 Cothú Sláinte 1,400 Oideachas 1,300 Oideachas Aosach 1,000

Monday, 17 January 2005

The annual NUI Galway Alumni Awards will be presented at the University's sixth annual Gala Banquet, which will take place at the Radisson SAS Hotel on Saturday 5th March 2005. The theme of this year's Banquet is the University's mission in international education and the event will focus on NUI Galway's role as an international force for change in improving educational opportunities for students from developing countries. The centrepiece of the Gala Banquet is the presentation of the Alumni Awards, which celebrate the life-long value of an NUI Galway education and recognise individual excellence and achievements among the more than 50,000 graduates worldwide. "The awards reflect the outstanding success of our graduates across diverse areas of activity from business and the arts to science, law and medicine", says Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway. "Our global community of graduates are excellent ambassadors for their Alma Mater and the recipients of the Alumni Awards are a particular inspiration for our current students. The Alumni Awards programme is a wonderful opportunity to recognise the standard of excellence achieved by our graduates worldwide." Alumni Awards will be presented to the following: NUI Galway Award for Law, Public Service and Government: Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, South Africa (BA 1964) Bank of Ireland Award for Business and Commerce: Declan Kelly (BA 1989), President & CEO of Financial Dynamics – USA Hewlett-Packard Award for Literature, Communications and the Arts: John Coll, (BSc 1979), Sculptor Medtronic Vascular Award for Healthcare and Medical Science: Prof Orla Conneely, BSc 1977, MSc 1981, PhD 1983. Professor, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine Seavite Award for Natural Science: Prof Frank Imbusch, BSc 1956, MSc 1958 Duais Hewlett-Packard don Ghaeilge (Hewlett-Packard Award for Irish): Daithí Mac Cárthaigh BA/MA/LLB 1989/1995/1997; called to the Bar in 1998 TBD Award for Engineering, IT and Mathematics: Anne Butler BE 1976, Senior Consultant with TES Consulting Engineers Tickets for the Gala Banquet on the 5th March cost €150 each or a table of 10 for €1,500. For further information, please telephone 091 495266 or Email: gala@nuigalway.ie Ends

Thursday, 6 January 2005

The Galway branch of Soroptimist International has inaugurated an international scholarship in NUI Galway. The scholarship, valued at €1,250 was presented today (6 January) to BA International student Ms Elaine Scahill, Scoil na Gaeilge. The bursary will be presented annually to a student entering the third year (Year Abroad) of the University's BA International programme. Elaine, from An Cheathrú, Rua, Connemara. is spending her study abroad year in the University of Brest, Brittany. In this first year of the bursary, Erasmus Students in the Faculty of Celtic Studies were invited to apply for the scholarship and to submit a 400-word personal statement in either Irish or English on the theme of 'Joy of Achievement,' this being one of the Soroptimists ideals. Speaking at the presentation of the Scholarship, Professor John Marshall, Dean of the Faculty of Arts said: "We are delighted to acknowledge this enlightened initiative by Soroptimist International of Galway and look forward to developing a strong partnership with this organisation whose ideals are the advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace." At the end of her Erasmus period abroad when she returns to Ireland and as part of the conditions of the Scholarship, Elaine Scahill will write and present a 1,000-word essay on Women Survivors of War . Ann Mitchell of the Galway branch of Soroptimist International explains that this topic was chosen because the current Soroptimist International project is Project Independence: Women Survivors of War. "The project aims to help women who have suffered the traumas of war, genocide and other horrors to reclaim their lives," she said. "The project aims to raise more than $1.2 million over the next four years to assist women survivors of war in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Rwanda". Ends

Monday, 28 February 2005

Engineering students at NUI Galway have shown that there's more to the life of a student than passing exams and having a good time. As part of the new Engineering in Society module offered to third-year Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering students, participants developed devices for the physically impaired, provided assistance with mathematics to school children and helped out in voluntary organisations, including Oxfam, Amnesty International and Enable Ireland. A poster exhibition entitled Engineering in Society and Community Outreach, describing their work takes place this week in the Arts Millennium Building. The Engineering in Society module is an intrinsic part of the academic programme taken by all 60 students in the third-year Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering programme. It is designed to encourage students to commit some of their time and energy to the benefit of local communities and individuals outside the family. This module is also supported by Lorraine McIlrath, Staff Developer, Centre for Excellence in Learning and Training (CELT),who described the work undertaken by the Engineering students "as a massive achievement and a great inspiration to staff and students locally and nationally". "This is a wonderful opportunity for the students to put something back into their communities", said Professor Abhay Pandit, co-ordinator of the initiative. " 'Service Learning,' where students use their skills to improve the lives of others is commonplace in American universities but is a relatively new concept in Ireland. In our programme, students were asked to identify a need in their locality and volunteer twenty hours of assistance towards assisting with that need." The students used their engineering skills directly in two of the projects. In one, a simple can-opening device was designed for people suffering from severe arthritis, which made many every-day tasks including opening cans extremely difficult. "By making life a little easier for arthritis sufferers, we felt that we had put something back into the community by using our practical engineering skills," said student Rory Duggan. Niamh Mahony and Ciaran Costello designed a device to help people who suffer from arthritis or broken bones, to put on their shoes. "It's a simple device," said Niamh, "but it helps to relieve the pain of putting on a shoe and it also provides an element of independence the sufferer hitherto did not enjoy." Ends

Friday, 25 February 2005

-Stem cell treatments to be performed in Ireland in less than ten years- Researchers at NUI Galway have commenced research into adult stem cell therapies for heart disease, arthritis and spinal cord injury at a new €19 million Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Minister Micheál Martin, TD. REMEDI is the leading centre in Ireland doing stem cell research and one of a limited number of centres in Europe combining the technologies of stem cell and gene therapy to regenerate and repair tissue. Researchers at NUI Galway have said that stem cell therapy has enormous potential for the treatment of many incurable diseases including heart disease, arthritis and neurological disorders such as spinal cord, Parkinsons Disease and Alzheimer's. Early data suggests that delivery of stem cells to the heart following heart attack enables regeneration of the damaged tissue and some restoration of function. Dr. Frank Barry, REMEDI scientific director and stem cell expert explains, "Adult stem cell treatment is likely to have a dramatic effect on patient recovery and provides us with the potential of treating previously incurable diseases. We are very excited about early data which suggests that stem cell therapy will be potentially effective in repairing heart tissues. Other research into arthritis also underpins the case for stem cell therapy. Stem cell delivery into arthritic joints stimulates a significant amount of repair of damaged tissues and prevents the sort of degenerative changes that you see associated with arthritis. There is still a great deal of work to be done before these therapies become widely available but I believe that stem cell treatments will be performed in Ireland in less than ten years." REMEDI was established in 2004 through a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Centre for Science Engineering and Technology (CSET) award and industry funding totalling €19 million. REMEDI is supported by industry partners Medtronic and Charles River Laboratories. REMEDI is initially employing 36 researchers in the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science at NUI Galway, the only centre in the country that contains a state of the art facility for generation of products for human gene therapy research. Referring to the strong links NUI Galway has forged with industry, Minister Martin said: "Ireland remains at the forefront of the medical devices sector in Europe. This sector will continue to be a major employer and economic contributor in this country but it is a challenge for the Irish government, industry and other stakeholders to increase the level of research being carried out in both indigenous and multinational companies. We must continue to forge the links between academia and industry. NUI Galway has played an important role in forging these links in the West of Ireland and providing industry in this region with access to a pool of highly qualified graduates". A total of €4 million has been contributed to the research programme by REMEDI partners in particular Medtronic, the world's largest medical devices company and Charles River Laboratories. Commenting on the importance of academic links and the West of Ireland as a location, Gerry Kilcommins, Vice President of Operations & General Manager of the Medtronic Galway site, added, "Medical technology has become one of the country s largest industry sectors and Ireland is recognised as a global centre of excellence for the development and manufacture of medical devices. Medtronic s location in the West of Ireland, amongst a cluster of the world s leading medical technology companies, provides us with access to highly trained research and development experts and third level institutions, like NUI Galway, allowing Medtronic to increase our level of R&D activity with highly commendable results." Professor Tim O'Brien, Director of REMEDI, Professor of Medicine at NUI Galway and a clinician at University College Hospital Galway with expertise in gene therapy research, added: "What we are talking about here is translational research – bringing the discoveries made in the lab to the clinic and the patient. This is a complicated process in which the interest of patients and the public must always be central. Our research will lead to new methods of clinical practice in the future, less dependent on invasive procedures, with the potential of curing currently intractable diseases." In welcoming the opening of REMEDI, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said that continued funding of world-class research programmes was vital for Irish universities to remain internationally competitive and also central to sustaining Ireland's economic progress. He said that NUI Galway was committed to furthering its reputation as a research centre of excellence and that REMEDI, through its partnership involving scientists, clinicians and engineers working together in academic centres and industry, exemplified this commitment. Ends

Tuesday, 22 February 2005

Students from Presentation College, Galway will be the first secondary school pupils in the west of Ireland to receive courses in web design. These courses are taught as part of the DERI Science Research Online Education Programme. The Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) is based in NUI Galway. The students, with their science teacher Bernie Crawford, recently presented their interim report on Urban Foxes to Councillor Niall O Brolchain at City Hall recently where their project was used at the launch of the Inventory of Wildlife Habitats in Galway city . The research was carried out in conjunction with Dr. Colin Lawton of the Department of Zoology NUI Galway. Councilor O Brolcháin is Chairperson of the Galway City Development Board s Natural Environment & Waterways committee. Once the report is finalised, the students will undertake a web-design course with DERI staff in order to create their own website and tell the world about the urban environment of Galway. Two other schools will also undertake web design courses as part of this programme. They are Scoil Phobail Mhic Dara, Carna, Co. Galway and Galway Community College, Galway city. Scoil Phobail Mhic Dara s website will be on the Geology of Connemara, while Galway Community College will host a website on "Weaponry and Tactics 1805 - 1918. The students were assisted in their projects by Ronan Hennessey, Department of Geology, NUI Galway and Sgt. Brian Smyth, Defence Forces, Renmore Barracks, Galway. Students and their mentors were only allowed to communicate over the internet. All this activity is just one part of DERI s comprehensive education outreach programmes which are designed to encourage the next generation of scientists and technologists who will be key to Ireland s future economic well being. Ends

Wednesday, 16 March 2005

Today (16th March) the Royal Irish Academy elected Professor Jim Browne as a Member of the Royal Irish Academy. Election to membership of the Academy is the highest academic honour in Ireland. Those elected are entitled to use the designation MRIA (Member of the Royal Irish Academy) after their name. The Royal Irish Academy is an all-Ireland, independent, academic body that promotes study and excellence in the sciences, humanities, and social sciences. It is the principal learned society in Ireland and has approximately 412 Members elected in recognition of their academic achievement. Professor Jim Browne is Registrar and Deputy President of the National University of Ireland, Galway. A chartered engineer he holds Bachelor and Master s degrees from NUI Galway and Ph.D. and D.Sc. degrees from the University of Manchester. His research focuses on the modelling, analysis and design of advanced manufacturing systems. He has been particularly active on industrially based research, supported by the EU Framework Programme, national and industrial sources. He has published over 200 papers, 11 books, three in second editions, one translated into French, one into Chinese. He is a Fellow of the Irish Academy of Engineering. For further information, please contact Pauric Dempsey, RIA. 087-6386651 Ends

Monday, 14 March 2005

National University of Ireland Galway will celebrate the achievements of four outstanding individuals by conferring them with honorary degrees at a formal ceremony in Los Angeles on the 6 May 2005. It is the first time that the University has awarded honorary degrees at a ceremony held outside of Ireland. Degrees will be conferred on the following individuals: Anjelica Huston, for her contribution to cinematic arts, as an actress and director Ray Bradbury, for his outstanding achievements as a novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and poet Dolores Hope, as a philanthropist and humanitarian, who has devoted much of her life to the service of others Merv Griffin, for his contribution to American entertainment and popular culture The Honorary Degree ceremony will take place in the presence of Chancellor of the National University of Ireland and former Taoiseach, Dr Garrett Fitzgerald and President of NUI Galway, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh. The conferring ceremony will be followed by the Huston Gala at the Beverly Hilton hotel, Los Angeles. This will be the culmination of a programme of business, cultural and academic events during the first week of May 2005 to mark the continued growth and influence of the NUI Galway-based Huston School of Film & Digital Media. Dr Ó Muircheartaigh, NUI Galway President said: By hosting this unique Conferring Ceremony and Gala in Los Angeles, we are celebrating both the Huston Film School and the strong links between Ireland and Southern California. The four outstanding individuals who we will honour, all of whom enjoy strong Galway connections, have demonstrated exemplary standards of artistic creativity and humanitarian service and their influence is felt and admired across the world. Rod Stoneman, Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media said: Since its launch in 2003, the Film School has been very successful and now attracts graduate students from Ireland and abroad to participate in a range of programmes in our screen writing, film studies and arts administration programmes. These graduates will play a significant role in the film and television industries in the future at regional, national and international levels. The Los Angeles events will bring together celebrities from the world of film and television along with leaders from business and political life and the many graduates of NUI Galway who are living in California. Proceeds from the Huston Gala, which will have a strong entertainment programme with a distinctive Celtic flavour, including a performance from ConTempo, Galway's ensemble-in-residence, will contribute toward the continued development of the Huston Film School. The Huston Film School is named after John Huston, one of the twentieth century's greatest film directors and celebrates the Huston family's links to the west of Ireland and St. Cleran's, the family home in Galway, which is now operated as an exclusive hotel. Ends

Tuesday, 8 March 2005

-first year of programme secures €250,000 in support from a range of Irish donors NUI Galway today (March 8th 2005) announced that it is to commence a new International Scholarship programme to forge links with developing countries across the globe. The programme, which is the first of its kind in an Irish university, will commence in September 2005 and will enable talented and deserving students from developing countries to pursue their graduate studies at NUI Galway. The announcement of funding for the new programme was made at the University's annual gala banquet at which Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of South Africa was guest of honour. The purpose of the programme is to realise NUI Galway's strategic objective of forging links with a range of the world's developing countries, thus increasing international participation at the University. To date, a total of €250,000 has been raised with support from a range of donors to enable the first 10 international students from South Africa and Sri Lanka, to undertake postgraduate degrees at NUI Galway. The University hopes that continued philanthropic support will sustain further development of the programme at this level over the next five years. As the programme progresses, it will be extended to other developing countries. The International Scholarships will be targeted to developing the capacity of outstanding individuals who can assume leadership roles in their fields of study and whose work will enhance the development of their own society. Announcing the scholarships, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh said: "It is my belief that in assisting talented students, whose limited resources might prevent them from fulfilling their educational potential, we will be helping to build the infrastructure and human capital of their own countries. During a time when we, as a University, compete for resources ourselves, we must realise that we are essentially a wealthy society, and that as an institution it behoves us to extend the benefits of a post-graduate education to those who might not otherwise have such an opportunity." Ms Anna Cunningham, Director of International Affairs, NUI Galway, whose office will manage the International Scholarship programme said: "NUI Galway has forged strong links with a number of developing countries and by assisting talented students from these countries, who will return to their native lands on completion of their studies at NUI Galway, we will be contributing in a very meaningful way to the development of those countries." The NUI Galway International Scholarships are being funded by philanthropic support secured by Galway University Foundation. Emphasis will be placed on selecting candidates from communities that lack access to higher education preventing them from reaching their full potential. Ends

Tuesday, 1 March 2005

Are you interested in networking with professionals from around Galway city and gaining valuable transferable skills in the process? Do you want to bridge the gap between your academic degree and the world of work? If so, the new NUI Galway Mentoring Programme, "Career Connect," could be of enormous assistance to you. The mentoring programme has many elements such as work shadowing, career talks, workshops, face-to-face and email mentoring. The first part of the programme is a pilot initiative between NUI Galway Careers Service, Alumni and Junior Chamber International (JCI) Galway. The aim is to provide students and experienced professionals from the city with an opportunity to meet, discuss career goals, network, have fun in a social setting and help students in enhancing their professional skills outside the lecture hall. "Communication with mentors can provide useful information about career options, employment conditions, job prospects and responsibilities," says John Hannon, Careers Advisor NUI Galway. "This kind of first-hand advice and support from those already established in their chosen field or profession will be invaluable to undergraduate and postgraduate students setting out on their own career paths. The mentors and their organisations will also benefit from participating in the programme as it will provide them with opportunities to have direct contact with students and potential employees as well as illustrating the mentor's ability to help others." The programme will be structured around a number of events, starting today (Tuesday) and running throughout March/April, to support the mentoring relationship. The events have been selected to provide students with a variety of business experiences outside the classroom including networking, a company job shadow day, training on leadership skills, team work and personal development. Interested? Whether a student or a graduate, find out more by contacting Una McDermott, NUI Galway Student Services, Tel. (091) 495282; Email: una.mcdermott@nuigalway.ie and request an application form. Places on this programme are limited, so sign up now! Ends

Friday, 29 April 2005

- New developments to enhance bilingual campus - NUI Galway today (Friday 29th April 2005,) announced that a new €35 million Irish language institute Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge is to be developed on campus at the University and at a number of Gaeltacht centres. The national institute was launched by the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Éamon Ó Cúiv. The institute will pioneer the provision of third level education through the medium of Irish and will provide a range of courses through Irish including many of the disciplines provided in the Arts and Science Faculties. The launch of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge is central to NUI Galway's strategy of creating an exemplary bilingual campus at the University and is in line with the priorities outlined in the University's Strategic Plan (2003-2008). The creation of the institute reconfirms NUI Galway's commitment to the promotion of the Irish language. Funding to support this initiative will be raised through a range of sources. The national institute, the first of its kind in Ireland, will provide university programmes, engage in research, provide consultancy and be a centre of excellence for Irish language research and planning, in co-operation with other institutions. In addition to its centre on campus at NUI Galway, the University will further develop its three outreach Gaeltacht centres, two in the Galway Gaeltacht (Carna and An Cheathrú Rua) and one in Donegal (Gaoth Dobhair). Commenting on the initiative, the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht affairs, Éamon Ó Cúiv TD. said, "NUI Galway is to be congratulated for its strategic and innovative approach to the provision of third-level education through the medium of Irish. The creation of the Institute is vital for the continued promotion of the Irish language in Ireland. Equally, NUI Galway has played a key role in bringing Irish to the regions, through its outreach centres in Gaeltacht areas, it is bringing the University to the people and empowering those communities in a sustainable and meaningful way." Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway added: "This University has a long and proud tradition of supporting Gaeltacht and Irish language communities and the Acadamh will strengthen and invigorate our commitment to provide sustainable development of the Irish language. The creation of an exemplary bilingual campus ensures our ongoing commitment to the Irish language over the longer term. Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge will contribute to the social, economic, cultural and linguistic life of the communities in which it is based at a local level while broadening and enriching education provision at National and International levels. As it expands, the range of courses developed into areas such as information technology, communications, education and translation studies, will be extended." At present, an tAcadamh provides Masters and Higher Diploma programmes in Translation Studies and Applied Communications, as well as part-time and full-time courses in information technology, radio and television skills. An tAcadamh provides a Diploma in Irish in 22 centres throughout the country, attended by more than 850 students this year. Peadar Mac an Iomaire, Príomhfheidhmeannach (CEO) of an tAcadamh announced that a range of new programmes would be developed over the coming years and that over 1,500 students are expected to participate in courses at the Institute. He thanked Minister Ó Cuív for the financial backing received by the University from the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs for the promotion of university education through Irish as well as the maintenance of Irish in Gaeltacht areas. He also paid tribute to Údarás na Gaeltachta and FÁS for their assistance in the work of the University's Gaeltacht Centres over the years. -Ends

Friday, 29 April 2005

- Forbairtí nua chun campas dátheangach OÉ, Gaillimh a láidriú - D'fhógair OÉ, Gaillimh inniu (Dé hAoine an 29 Aibreán 2005) go bhfuil institiúid nua teanga ar chostas €35 milliún, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, le forbairt ar champas na hOllscoile agus i roinnt ionad sa Ghaeltacht. Ba é Éamon Ó Cuív TD, an tAire Gnóthaí Pobail, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta a sheol an institiúid náisiúnta. Glacfaidh an institiúid nua ceannródaíocht maidir le soláthar an oideachais tríú leibhéal trí Ghaeilge agus cuirfidh sí raon cúrsaí ar fáil trí Ghaeilge lena n-áirítear go leor de na disciplíní a chuimsítear i nDámha na nDán agus na hEolaíochta. Tá seoladh Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge i gcroílár straitéis OÉ, Gaillimh maidir le campas eiseamláireach dátheangach a chruthú san Ollscoil agus tagann sé leis na tosaíochtaí a leagtar amach i bPlean Straitéiseach na hOllscoile (2003-2008). Dearbhaíonn cruthú na hinstitiúide arís eile díocas OÉ, Gaillimh i dtaobh chothú na Gaeilge. Déanfar maoiniú chun tacú leis an tionscnamh seo a fháil ó fhoinsí éagsúla. Cuirfidh an institiúid náisiúnta, an chéad institiúid dá sórt in Éirinn, cláir ollscoile ar fáil, rachaidh sí i mbun taighde, cuirfidh sí comhairleoireacht ar fáil agus beidh sí ina hionad ardchaighdeáin don taighde agus don phleanáil Ghaeilge, i gcomhar le hinstitiúidí eile. I dteannta an ionaid ar champas OÉ, Gaillimh, déanfaidh an Ollscoil tuilleadh forbartha ar na trí ionad sheachtracha atá aici sa Ghaeltacht; tá dhá ionad acu sin suite i nGaeltacht na Gaillimhe (Carna agus an Cheathrú Rua) agus ionad eile suite i nDún na nGall (Gaoth Dobhair). Ag labhairt faoin tionscnamh seo dó, is é a dúirt an tAire Gnóthaí Pobail, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta, Éamon Ó Cúiv TD., "Ní mór ardaitheantas a thabhairt do OÉ, Gaillimh as an gcur chuige straitéiseach agus nuálaíoch atá glactha aici i leith sholáthar an oideachais tríú leibhéal trí Ghaeilge. Tá bunú na hinstitiúide seo ríthábhachtach do chothú leanúnach na Gaeilge in Éirinn. Bhí ról lárnach ag OÉ, Gaillimh freisin maidir leis an nGaeilge a thabhairt i measc na réigiún trí na hionaid sheachtracha atá aici sna ceantair Ghaeltachta; tá an ollscolaíocht á tabhairt i measc na ndaoine aici agus tá na pobail sin á gcumasú ar bhealach inmharthana a mbaineann idir bhrí agus tábhacht leis." Dúirt an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, Uachtarán OÉ, Gaillimh, an méid seo: "Tá sé de thraidisiún ag an Ollscoil le fada an lá tacaíocht a thabhairt do phobal na Gaeltachta agus na Gaeilge agus déanfaidh an tAcadamh an díocas atá againn maidir le forbairt inmharthana na Gaeilge a threisiú agus a bheochan. Ach campas eiseamláireach dátheangach a chruthú, léireofar cúram na hOllscoile seo i leith na Gaeilge san fhadtréimhse. Cuirfidh Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge le saol sóisialta, eacnamaíoch, cultúir agus teanga na bpobal ina bhfuil sé lonnaithe ag leibhéal áitiúil agus ag an am céanna déanfaidh sé soláthar an oideachais ag leibhéil Náisiúnta agus Idirnáisiúnta a shaibhriú agus a leathnú. De réir mar atá sé ag fás, táthar ag forbairt raon na gcúrsaí i réimsí cosúil le teicneolaíocht faisnéise, cumarsáid, oideachas agus staidéar an aistriúcháin." Faoi láthair, cuireann an tAcadamh cláir Mháistreachta agus Ard-Dioplóma ar fáil i Staidéar an Aistriúcháin agus i gCumarsáid Fheidhmeach, mar aon le cúrsaí páirtaimseartha agus lánaimseartha i scileanna ríomhaireachta, raidió agus teilifíse. Cuireann an tAcadamh Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge ar fáil in 22 ionad ar fud na tíre, agus d'fhreastail os cionn 850 mac léinn ar an gcúrsa sin i mbliana. D'fhógair Peadar Mac an Iomaire, Príomhfheidhmeannach an Acadaimh, go ndéanfar raon clár nua a fhorbairt i rith na mblianta amach romhainn agus go bhfuiltear ag súil leis go mbeidh os cionn 1,500 mac léinn rannpháirteach i gcúrsaí na hInstitiúide. Ghlac sé buíochas leis an Aire Ó Cuív as an tacaíocht atá tugtha ag a roinn don ollscolaíocht trí Ghaeilge go dtí seo. Ghlac sé buíochas chomh maith le hÚdarás na Gaeltachta agus le FÁS as a dtacaíocht ag páirt mhaoiniú cuid de chúrsaí an Acadaimh sna hIonaid Ghaeltachta. - Críoch -

Monday, 18 April 2005

NUI Galway International Conference: "Edna O Brien: A Reappraisal" Edna O Brien s writing has always provoked controversy, from her earliest The Country Girls trilogy to her more recent works of faction , In the Forest and Down by the River. Critical responses have been divided between those who see her writing as populist and stereotypical, and those who admire her flouting of taboo and experiments with style and language. Existing criticism has tended, however, to regard O Brien primarily in the light of feminist and Irish nationalist and religious discourses, leaving unexplored a great deal of what makes her a complex figure. A major International Conference, "Edna O Brien: A Reappraisal", will take place on Saturday 23rd April in NUI Galway (9.00am, Centre for the Study of Human Settlement and Historical Change). Co-hosted by the University s Department of English and the Centre for Women s Studies, delegates from Finland, France, Italy, the US, England and Ireland are due to attend. "The conference will seek to broaden the critical framework for O Brien studies, reconsidering, for example, the reception of her work both in Ireland and elsewhere and her place in the canon, the way in which her work interacts with contemporary fiction, literary influences on her work and more," says Dr Rebecca Pelan, director of the Women s Studies Centre, NUI Galway, who has published extensively on the subject of Irish women s writing and Edna O Brien s fiction and who will address the conference. Established scholars as well as newer voices will contribute on the day towards creating fresh critical perspectives on the writing of Edna O Brien. Other speakers include Amanda Greenwood (Andrew Marvell School, UK) who is the author of the most recent monograph on Edna O Brien and Heather Ingman (TCD) who has published several books and articles on women s writing, including work on Irish women s writing and that of Edna O Brien. Conference programme available at: www.nuigalway.ie/english/eob/index.html Ends

Monday, 18 April 2005

History will be made today (Monday), when the first conferral of the degree of Master of Fine Arts in this State will take place in the Burren College of Art (BCA) at Newtown Castle, Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare. The degrees will be conferred by National University of Ireland, Galway on seven students from USA, Canada, Africa and Ireland, at a ceremony attended by the Presidents and senior Faculty members of the BCA and NUI Galway. The Master of Fine Arts is a joint NUI Galway-Burren College of Art two-year fulltime postgraduate degree programme, based in the Burren College of Art. The programme is offered in association with two of the world's leading art schools – the Royal College of Art, London and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said: "Over the years the Burren College of Art has established itself as a vibrant, global, artistic educational centre with international affiliations and accreditations and NUI Galway is very pleased to be a partner with the College in this joint initiative, drawing on our long-standing strengths in preserving and developing our cultural heritage and fostering artistic creativity and imagination. We at the University see our involvement with the Burren College of Art through this programme as an integral part of our strategic aims to support educational development and training in the west region." Mary Hawkes-Greene, President of the Burren College of Art said: "Organically integrated into its local community and space, Burren College of Art is already well known across the USA and increasingly across Europe as one of the most distinctive independent art colleges in the world. It is also one of the smallest, catering for only 60 students. With the completion of its magnificent state of the art studios, the opening of which coincided with the first Masters' degree show, the Burren College provides what successful artists thrive on and what emerging artists need – the time represented by a high level of individual tuition from top class resident and visiting artists, the space afforded by 200 sq. ft. studio space for each graduate student with 24 hr. access, 7 days a week and finally, the inspiration which can be drawn in abundance from the spectacular Burren landscape, free from urban distraction." Ends

Monday, 18 April 2005

NUI Galway has appointed Dr Chris Coughlan as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Management. Dr Coughlan is a senior manager at Hewlett-Packard who has contributed personally over many years to both the teaching and research programmes of the University. His appointment to this part-time honorary position was welcomed by the Dean of Commerce and head of the Department of Management, Professor Roy Green. "Dr Coughlan is an outstanding individual who has done much to build strong relationships between NUI Galway and regional business, especially in the high tech sector," said Professor Green. "We are delighted to formalise his role in the University with this appointment." Ends

Monday, 11 April 2005

Pupils from 4th, 5th and 6th classes in a number of selected Galway City schools will tonight (Monday 11th April) celebrate the completion of a 'Sport for Success' programme in NUI Galway, designed to encourage pupils in disadvantaged areas to continue their education right up to and including third level. Packie Bonner, former Republic of Ireland soccer star, will present certificates at 7.00pm (Ó hEocha Theatre, Arts Millennium Building), to pupils from St. Michael's Boys School, Mervue, Holy Trinity Girls School, Mervue and Scoil Bhríde, Shantalla, who have completed the programme. 'Sport for Success,' part of NUI Galway's Access programme since 2002, is a combined sport and homework initiative that promotes third level education and the value of education itself, as well as improving sporting techniques and skills. On one afternoon each week over the spring term, pupils come into the University where Access students and Access university under-graduates provide help and guidance with homework. On completion of that task, the pupils can then enjoy an hour of popular sports such as soccer and basketball. They learn new sports such as uni-hockey, climbing on the climbing well, Tai-Bo, spinning and juggling. According to Imelda Byrne, NUI Galway's Access Officer: "The children really benefit from the 'Sport for Success' programme. It helps students develop personally by building their self esteem, confidence, communication skills and social behaviour through team games and sport activities in addition to their educational attainment, especially improvement in numeracy and literacy skills." Professor Ger Hurley, Vice-President for Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs, NUI Galway said: "The very fact that ten, eleven and twelve year olds are participating in a university-run programme is a powerful positive action which will no doubt focus these young minds on future achievement and educational attainment." Ends

Tuesday, 5 April 2005

The Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway has announced the appointment of the distinguished poet Máire Mhac an tSaoi to the position of Adjunct Professor of Irish Studies. Máire Mhac an tSaoi is one of a handful of major poets who transformed poetry in Irish in the period during and after the Second World War. Her work is particularly significant in that it anticipates the emergence of women's voices at the forefront of Irish poetry in both Irish and English during the 1970s and 80s. A generation before the groundbreaking achievements of Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Eavan Boland and others, and in more daunting circumstances, Máire Mhac an tSaoi's poetry speaks to and from the intimate experience of women at a time when women's voices were marginalized both in literature and in Irish society. Her most famous poem 'Ceathrúintí Mháire Ní Ógáin', is a powerful challenge to the orthodox morality of Ireland in the 1940s and subsequent decades: Beagbheann ar amhras daoine, Beagbheann ar chros na sagart, Ar gach ní ach a bheith sínte Idir tú agus falla- I care little for people's suspicions, I care little for priests' prohibitions, For anything save to lie stretched Between you and the wall- The intellectual integrity and emotional independence that characterise her poetry is evident again in Máire Mhac an tSaoi's public life. In reviewing her autobiography The Same Age as the State¸ Seamus Heaney says 'there is truth to experience here, a forthrightness about passion and transgression that is thrilling and exemplary'. Throughout the book, she speaks frankly of her own experience as a civil servant and career diplomat during a period of dramatic change and political turbulence in Ireland, Europe, and the developing world. During her time in the Department of External Affairs, she was, in her own words, the 'token woman' on Ireland's first delegation to the United Nations. As chargé d'affaires at the Irish Embassy in Madrid, she was invited to the Palacio del Oriente, where she met with General Franco, an experience she describes as 'both baroque and absurd'. She also spent time with her husband Conor Cruise O'Brien in the Congo, Ghana, and elsewhere in dramatic times and dangerous circumstances. One of the most powerful passages in The Same Age as the State recounts a violent incident in Katanga and an apparent attempt to assassinate Dr O'Brien. Ms Mac an tSaoi's appointment is a timely one, according to Dr Louis de Paor, Director of the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway. "While she is highly regarded by other poets and by critics, the full extent of Máire Mhac an tSaoi's contribution to twentieth-century Irish literature and politics has yet to be fully appreciated and acknowledged. In recognition of her achievement, as a groundbreaking poet and as a public figure who participated significantly in some of the key moments of recent Irish, European, and world history, it is entirely appropriate that she be appointed to this honorary position." ENDS

Tuesday, 24 May 2005

Six researchers at NUI Galway were recently successful in winning funding under the Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund. The projects are supported under the Proof of Concept Phase 1, which aims to support academic researchers to establish the commercial potential of a scientific concept which is seen to address a viable market. The novel projects are across strategic commercial areas such as biomedical sensors, implantable medical devices, controls for waste water treatment plants, software development, optics and biomaterials. The six researchers are Professors Chris Dainty and Gerry Lyons, Drs Desmond Chambers, Vincent O'Flaherty, Dimitrious Apatsidis, Yury Rochev. Successful projects under this programme will bring the research to a stage where a robust prototype will be developed. The proposed projects cover a wide range of potential applications and the funding was won against strong competition involving all the third level colleges in Ireland. Séamus Bree, Director West Region, Enterprise Ireland said that innovation was the key to the future of Irish industry. "It is vitally important that we build and maintain a momentum in the development of intellectual property through the Third Level colleges. The commercialisation of technology from our strengthening research base is a key priority so that more growth-oriented companies will emerge in cutting edge sectors. I look forward to research initiatives such as these funded under the commercialisation fund in NUI Galway, resulting in either new campus companies or licensed technology into SMEs." Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said: "We are delighted to receive this substantial award aimed at developing applied research which is critically important to the future economic growth of Ireland as we move from a manufacturing base to product design and intellectual property creation. Because of its strong research base, NUI Galway is ideally placed to support the Government's enterprise strategy of developing a knowledge-based society." Ends

Monday, 23 May 2005

In 1996 the James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway acquired the Ritchie-Pickow Photographic Archive, along with tapes of sound recordings. The photographs were taken and the recordings made by the US husband and wife team, George Pickow and Jean Ritchie on visits to Ireland in 1952 and 1953. On Monday 30th May 2005, the James Hardiman Library will launch a resource, housed on the library's web-pages, which will allow access to the 1,887 images which make up the Ritchie-Pickow photographic collection. It provides researchers world-wide with the facility to search for and view the images, as well as giving background information on each image. The resource will be launched by Dr Hugh Maguire of the Heritage Council who supported the provision of an archivist to preserve and make accessible this collection in digital format. Professor Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, lecturer in the History Department, NUI Galway and a grandson of Elizabeth Cronin, one of the vocalists recorded by Jean Ritchie, will also speak at the launch. It was under his auspices that the collection found its way into the Library Archives. Jean Ritchie, singer, folklorist and dulcimer player was born on 8 December 1922 in Viper, Kentucky. She was the youngest of a family of 14 children, known as 'The Singing Ritchies'. Jean graduated from the University of Kentucky and in 1952 she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to enable her to research the origins of her family's songs in Great Britain and Ireland. Ritchie's husband George Pickow, a photographer, accompanied her and they spent approximately eighteen months recording folk songs and traditional musicians and taking photographs. The photographs include images of many well known uileann pipe players, such as Seamus Ennis, the McPeake trio, Leo Rowsome; vocalists, including Elizabeth Croinin and Sarah Makem and story tellers, such as Paitsín Faherty from the Aran Islands. As well as assisting his wife in her research George Pickow also did features on aspects of Irish life – Christmas celebrations with straw boys and wren boys, life on the Aran Islands, Dublin scenes, the American Ambassador and his family in Ireland, the development of Dublin Airport, operations of the Garda Síochána at Dublin Castle, and Irish sporting activities, such as road bowling, hurling, coursing, hunting and racing. Photographs were also taken of traditional Irish crafts, including spinning, weaving, thatching and crios and sliotar making. Ends

Friday, 6 May 2005

-Anjelica Huston, Merv Griffin, Ray Bradbury receive Honorary Degrees from NUI Galway at LA Gala event- Los Angeles — NUI Galway has raised more than $1.2 million towards the further development of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media. The fundraising culminates in the Huston Gala, a black-tie event to be held today (Friday) at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. The Gala follows a conferring ceremony at which honorary degrees will be conferred upon actress, Anjelica Huston, broadcaster, Merv Griffin and author Ray Bradbury, all of whom have strong west of Ireland connections. This event marks the first time that NUI Galway has held an honorary degree conferment outside of Ireland. The Honorary Conferring and the Huston Gala are the centrepiece of a programme of business, cultural and academic events during the first week of May to mark the continued growth and influence of the Huston School. The honorary degrees will be conferred by the Chancellor of the NUI, Dr Garret FitzGerald. The honorary graduates chosen all have strong Irish roots and are renowned for their significant contribution to social, cultural and artistic development of both Ireland and the U.S. Celebrities from the world of stage and screen will attend the Honorary Conferring ceremony and Huston Gala. Gráinne Seoige, Sky News Ireland and NUI Galway graduate, will present the Gala programme. The Huston School of Film & Digital Media, launched in Los Angeles in 2003, is the first dedicated school of film and digital media to be located on campus at an Irish university. NUI Galway will use the recently raised funds, which have been secured through private donors, to further develop the ongoing programmes at the School including an ambitious programme of invited residencies. These would bring students into direct contact with a stimulating range of Irish and international film artists. NUI Galway President, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh said, "We are very proud to honour these individuals who have made significant artistic and humanitarian contributions, and who have achieved fame the world over. With this honour, we pay tribute to the great tradition of the creative arts at the heart of Los Angeles. And we share in that heritage by awarding them the highest honour that the University can bestow, thereby associating their names forever with National University of Ireland, Galway and the Huston School. "We are fortunate at NUI Galway to have created a haven where we can nurture and develop the talents of individuals interested in pursing a career in film. The Huston School represents a bold and unprecedented move forward for Irish filmmakers and cinematic traditions, for all those who dream of telling their stories in fresh and compelling ways." Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media Rod Stoneman says, "The Huston School of Film and Digital Media is developing a new breed of Irish film makers. We are giving these individuals the opportunity to develop their raw talent in order to pursue a career in the film industry. We hope that the School can help filmmakers react critically and constructively to the changes which are taking place in film. It offers a wide-ranging exposition of the full range of international filmmaking and allows course participants to develop their own distinctive voices. With new courses coming on stream, we hope to continue to challenge and develop talented students in the future." Among the courses provided in the Huston School are a Masters programme in Screenwriting and a Masters in Film Studies, now in their second year, along with a Higher Diploma in Arts Policy and Practice. The School plans to start an innovative Masters in Public Advocacy and Activism in 2006. This will be an advanced course for people working in international and local advocacy, including the fields of community and environmental rights, among others. Also in 2006 the School will add a Masters in Production and Direction to its portfolio, with teams from these two courses working together to produce short films on social issues. Funds raised through the Gala from donors throughout Ireland and the US will be spread out over the next five years, providing considerable capital and revenue funding for the School as it initiates new courses in production and direction. The LA programme of events includes an illustrated lecture on 'James Joyce's "The Dead" and Cinema', by Professor Kevin Barry, Department of English, NUI Galway; and a screening of 'The Abyss' (1910) with original score performed live by ConTempo, NUI Galway's Ensemble in Residence. To further support its significant numbers of alumni located in North America, NUI Galway will also host an alumni brunch, the day following the Gala. For further information on the NUI Galway Huston Gala visit www.hustongala.com. ENDS

Tuesday, 28 June 2005

- NUI Galway Researcher wins Donegan Medal - A postgraduate researcher at the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) NUI Galway, has identified a molecule which could be used in the future as a novel drug in cancer treatment. Ailish O'Connell was awarded the Donegan Medal for her research presentation at the Royal Academy of Medicine (RAMI) summer meeting in Galway organised by NCBES Director, Professor Terry Smith. Ailish's research is in an area called apoptosis, which is a natural process whereby cells in the body die when they are damaged, are not functioning or no longer needed. A common factor in cancers like leukaemia is an upset in the balance between cell growth and cell death by apoptosis. If the natural process of cell death does not occur, cancerous cells survive for longer than they should, and acquire further mutations. Ailish, whose research is supervised by Dr. Catherine Stenson-Cox at the NCBES, has studied the process of cell death by treating leukaemic cells with chemotherapeutic agents (similar to chemicals used in chemotherapy for cancer patients). By studying the pathway by which human leukaemic cells die following this treatment, Ailish has identified a novel pathway (part of the cell death process) that hasn't been known before and has found a specific type of molecule, a serine protease, which Ailish and her team believe is critical in this cell death pathway. Serine proteases (SPs) are a family of enzymes with many functions, but their role in cell death is only now being uncovered. "Very few with apopotic function have been isolated to date, but modulation of some family members have already been used in therapies for emphysema and some are in clinical trials for solid cancerous tumour treatment," says Ailish. "They have huge therapeutic potential and there is a lot of commercial interest in this area of research." The serine protease discovered in Ailish's research was tracked in the cell through the process of cell death using a fluorescent tag provided through collaboration with the US Company Immunochemistry Technology Inc., based in Minnesota. All indications point to this SP being instrumental in the novel apoptosis pathway discovered by Ailish. The SP Ailish is looking at chops up proteins in cancerous cells causing cell degradation and the cell is then digested by the body's immune response. The aim now is to characterise and re-introduce the serine protease molecule into leukaemic, and other cancerous cells to selectively activate cell death which could lead to novel anti-cancer therapies. The research is funded through an SFI basic Research Grant, administered through the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) awarded to Dr. Catherine Stenson-Cox in 2004. *Professor Donegan was a former Professor of Physiology at NUI Galway. The competition for the medal is a national one open to all PhD students who haven't presented to a learned Society previously. Ends

Monday, 27 June 2005

- Honorary Doctorates conferred on Marian Finucane, Cyril Ramaphosa, Fr Alex Reid, Prof Alim-Louis Benabid, George Clare, Bernard McNicholas and Sean Purcell National University of Ireland Galway recognises the achievements of seven outstanding individuals at an honorary conferring ceremony today (Friday). The calibre of each of the individuals to be conferred reflects NUI Galway's commitment to the study and promotion of human rights and global humanitarian law. Each honouree was chosen for his or her outstanding contribution to society through social work, philanthropy, medicine, arts or culture. The conferring ceremony further underpins NUI Galway's work in enhancing the lives of Irish communities while fostering strong relationships with organisations and individuals worldwide. The Honorary Conferring Ceremony will take place in the presence of Chancellor of the National University of Ireland and former Taoiseach, Dr Garret Fitzgerald and President of NUI Galway, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh. Dr Ó Muircheartaigh said, "It is a particular honour for me to welcome these seven individuals to NUI Galway to be conferred with honorary degrees. Each has given so much of their personal and professional lives to advance human rights, enrich minds and capture the spirit and imagination of millions worldwide. I am proud that these individuals will now be associated with NUI Galway, as they have had such a profound effect on communities worldwide." Marian Finucane is one of Ireland's best known broadcasters. In a career spanning four decades she has been a transforming influence in the lives of Irish people, highlighting social injustices and encouraging social change. She is a Board Member of the Irish Hospice Foundation, which has led her to raise funds in support of the construction of an AIDS hospice and orphanage in the Khayelitsha township of Cape Town, South Africa. As part of this effort, Marian and her partner have established a Charity, Friends in Ireland, to extend their philanthropic work in South Africa. Cyril Ramaphosa has dedicated his life to improving the lives of the people of South Africa. He is renowned for his work with the trade union movement but is also recognised internationally for the key role he has played in bringing about a peaceful end to apartheid. He steered South Africa towards its first democratic elections in 1994, when he was elected chair of the new Constitutional Assembly and became a Member of Parliament. He is currently active in the private sector as chairman of Millennium Consolidated Investments. Fr Alex Reid has been acclaimed nationally and internationally for the crucial role that he has played in the Northern Ireland peace process. He was the key person in ensuring that dialogue was initiated between various parties at critical stages in the development of the peace process, and provided compelling moral arguments for the cessation of violence. It has been said that the peace process would not have been as successful without his involvement. Professor Alim-Louis Benabid, chairman of neurosurgery at the Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France, is considered a pioneer in the field of neurosurgery. He is leading a team of neurologists developing revolutionary new methods to fight neurological diseases such as Parkinson's disease and epilepsy. The method, Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), involves high-frequency electrical stimulation of the brain. Following the operation, the main symptoms practically disappear, and most patients can stop taking medication. George Clare, journalist and author, was born in Vienna, Austria in 1920. In the aftermath of Hitler's Annexation of Austria, virulent anti-Semitism erupted and drove many Jews into exile. George's best-selling memoir, Last Waltz in Vienna (1981) was translated into seven languages and won the W.H. Smith Literary Award. The memoir tells, among other things, of how George and his mother Stella travelled to Galway for George to help set up a ribbon factory. Bernard McNicholas is a native of Bohola, Co. Mayo. In the early 1960s he succeeded his father as head of McNicholas Engineering Ltd. Under Bernard's leadership the company has developed into one of the most professionally managed, multi-disciplinary companies in its field today. In 1993 the AIB in Britain named him Irish Businessman of the Year, as much for his philanthropy as for his business acumen. He has been a mentor and a leading figure in the Irish community in London. Among the charities he supports are Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin and the John Durkan Leukemia Trust. Sean Purcell, from Tuam, County Galway, is widely regarded as one of the best exponents of the skills of Gaelic football. An extremely versatile player, he is generally held to be one of the game's greatest ever centre-half forwards and was elected in that position on the GAA/An Post 'Team of the Millennium'. He won an All-Ireland colleges medal with St Jarlath's, Tuam in 1946, and in his career with the Tuam Stars Club, he won ten County Championship titles. He won one All-Ireland senior football medal with Galway and three Railway Cup medals with Connacht, in 1951, 1957 and in 1958, when he was captain. - ENDS -