NUI Galway Host International Accounting Conference

NUI Galway Host International Accounting Conference-image

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

The topic of sustainable growth and competitiveness brought together practitioners and academics from 24 countries at the recent European Network for Research in Organisational and Accounting Change (ENROAC) conference hosted at NUI Galway. Guest speakers including Ray Cantwell, Senior Finance Director of Global Operations, Medtronic; Massimo Romano, Head of Group Integrated Reporting and CFO Hub, Generali S.p.a; and Nick Topazio, Head of Reporting Policy at the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), discussed the need to highlight the creation of sustainable value for stakeholders within annual reports by focusing on forward looking information for companies, as opposed to simply reporting historical content. Speaking at the two day event, attended by 150 accounting practitioners and academics, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne commended the participants for stimulating the debate with regard to competitiveness and sustainable value as these issues were important for growth and competitiveness globally. Dr Browne said: “This conference highlights the importance of close links between the profession and industry with the academic discipline. The Accounting and Finance Discipline at NUI Galway continue to pioneer the way in disseminating research findings back to industry as this conference follows a number of recent workshops held by our accounting and finance faculty for practitioners.” Head of Accountancy and Finance Discipline at NUI Galway, Professor Breda Sweeney, commented on the close alignment between the themes discussed at the ENROAC conference and research carried out in the Discipline: “Through the Performance Management Research cluster based in the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change we have examined a range of contemporary issues such as the need for both efficiency and innovation in private and public sector organisations and how performance measurement systems can stimulate action and drive accountability.” The event was sponsored by CIMA’s General Charitable Trust, KPMG and Fáilte Ireland. -Ends-

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Major exhibition explores W.B. Yeats’ connections with the West

Major exhibition explores W.B. Yeats’ connections with the West-image

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

A major exhibition celebrating the many connections W.B. Yeats had with the west of Ireland opens at NUI Galway tomorrow (25 June). NUI Galway’s Moore Institute and Hardiman Library will present ‘Yeats & the West’, an exhibition exploring Yeats’s life, work, legacy and deep connections to the west of Ireland. Rare artworks, books, original documents and exclusive film clips will feature in the interactive exhibition. Original watercolour sketches and oils by W.B. Yeats’s brother, the celebrated artist Jack B. Yeats, will also feature. The exhibition is part of Ireland’s decade of commemorations and the worldwide Yeats2015 series of cultural events marking his 150th birthday. The exhibition will run from 25 June – December 2015. Items on display will reflect W.B. Yeats’s attention to life, love, and landscape in Galway, Sligo, and beyond. ‘Yeats & the West’ details the many artistic collaborations that centred on Coole Park in Co. Galway between artists inspired by the western world. It follows the foundation of the Abbey Theatre in Galway, and Yeats’s work with J.M. Synge, George Moore and Edward Martyn, using exclusive materials from NUI Galway’s Lady Gregory Collection, the Abbey Digital Archive, and the Lyric Theatre Belfast. It explores his obsession with local poet Antoine Ó Raifteirí, and highlights the gifted artists of Yeats’s own family, whose pioneering work is showcased in exquisite handprinted books and in embroidery from Loughrea’s St. Brendan’s Cathedral. “William Butler Yeats, poet, playwright, politician, and Nobel prize-winner for literature always looked west. For Yeats the west was the wellspring of songs, stories, folklore, artwork, drama, crafts; the foundation of the Irish imagination. It was also the landscape of his poetry and plays. Significant events of his life took place here; collaborations that formed his work were forged here. ‘Yeats & the West’ tells this remarkable story and considers what the west meant to him, and what that means for us”, explains Dr Adrian Paterson, a Lecturer in English at NUI Galway and expert on W.B. Yeats, who led the curation of the exhibition. The interactive exhibition features original watercolour sketches and oils by W.B. Yeats’s brother, the celebrated artist Jack B. Yeats, priceless Cuala Press volumes and broadsides, a wealth of visual material from artists and photographers from Fergus Bourke to Nicolas Fève, and rarely seen images and manuscripts from archive collections in NUI Galway and around the world. Through rare books, original documents, and artworks, and using modern touchscreens, recorded sound, and exclusive film, visitors will be able to take a tour of Yeats’s commitment to history, tradition, and new art, all under western eyes. Talks and special events feature throughout the exhibition’s spectacular run from June to December 2015. Yeats’s restoration of Thoor Ballylee, Galway, is seen alongside the construction of his own poetry, and the effects of revolution and civil war on his work and the west is put starkly on view with manuscripts from the National Library of Ireland, and rare books and photographs. Collaborations with his artist brother Jack B. Yeats are illustrated with newly exhibited sketches and exquisite colour prints. ‘Yeats & the West’ even tracks his furthest forays west, following him and the Abbey players as they cross the Atlantic and bring back with them a renewed idea of the breadth of the western world. “Through images, words, film, and sound, with interactive touchscreens, panels, and rich display cases, using valuable material from the University’s collections and from around the world, ‘Yeats & the West’ tells anew an old story: a story of going west to find those places, real and imaginative, that change our sense of where and who we are”, added Dr Paterson, who serves on the Yeats2015 Steering Committee and Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society. The exhibition runs from June to December 2015 in the Hardiman Building, NUI Galway with special events throughout. ‘Yeats & the West’ is supported by the Moore Institute, Hardiman Library, Galway City Museum, the National Library of Ireland, Loughrea Cathedral, the Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society, and Yeats2015. -ends-

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New Initiative will Increase Industry Focus of Engineering and Informatics Degree Programmes

New Initiative will Increase Industry Focus of Engineering and Informatics Degree Programmes-image

Monday, 29 June 2015

In a significant development for engineering education, following extensive consultation with industry partners, NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics has announced that the duration of the Professional Experience Programme (PEP) will be extended to eight months. The PEP involves students acquiring professional experience in their chosen speciality and will be applicable for the Bachelor of Engineering (BE) in Energy Systems Engineering, BE Electrical and Electronic Engineering, BE Electronic and Computer Engineering and BSc Computer Science and Information Technology degree programmes. This follows the successful implementation of the longer placement in the BE Mechanical Engineering and BE Biomedical Engineering. Students will now undertake work-placement in leading local, national and international high-technology companies from January to August, starting in 2016. NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics has very strong links with industry, both nationally and internationally, and the decision to extend the duration of PEP was made in response to the growing demand from industry for longer work-placement, providing students with a broader range of industry-relevant skills and dramatically increasing their employability upon graduation. Increasing the duration of the work placement has been well received by companies. It affords students the opportunity to get involved deeper in the work they perform while on placement. Employers benefit by having a skilled student with them for longer which means that they can get students involved in larger projects and give them more responsibility. The PEP work-placement has been an integral part of these degree programmes for over twenty years. Commonly, upon completion of the PEP work-placement, students will continue to collaborate with their PEP employer through the industry-led research performed in their fourth year project. Speaking about the announcement Dr Jim Browne, NUI Galway President, said: “This is a very positive development for our students, as well as for employers and ultimately the Irish economy. By enhancing the practical learning experience which our students gain through structured work placements, we help to give them a competitive edge in the jobs market and boost their employability. In addition, having a student on work placement can be a real advantage to companies, particularly small enterprises, who can develop new opportunities within their business through research projects and other initiatives.” Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics, said: “Our graduates are distinguished by their ability to adpat quickly to the professional work environment, wherever they work. Integrated workplace learning is a central feature of our undergraduate programmes in Engineering and Computing. Students have the opportunity to get significant work experience on an extended eight month PEP. While on PEP, the students also take online professional skill modules, delivered by the College. This enables us to enhance the professional work readiness of graduates, and allows our industry partners to participate directly in the training and evaluation of PEP students.” Companies that are interested in finding out more information in relation to the PEP can contact Career Development Centre on 091 493646 or -Ends- 

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PhD Students Graduate from NUI Galway’s Partnership with International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)

PhD Students Graduate from NUI Galway’s Partnership with International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)-image

Monday, 29 June 2015

Recent crop research in Africa by NUI Galway PhD researchers has had a specific focus on food security and today sees the announcement of the first PhD graduates from an Africa-Ireland collaborative programme. Through a research and training partnership between NUI Galway and the world leading non-profit research organisation the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), advances have been made that contribute to global efforts to improve crop productivity, nutritional quality and resilience. IITA is one of the world’s leading research partners in finding solutions for hunger, malnutrition, and poverty. The first PhD Scholars have now graduated from the IITA-NUI Galway PhD Scholars programme. Over the past four years the three scholars have undergone a collaborative training programme and have been conducting their crop research between NUI Galway and IITA research stations in Kenya and Nigeria. The three PhD Scholars have each researched a particular challenge relating to three important staple crops, and have each made significant advances in their field:  Maize: Dr Girum Azmach  from Ethiopia has been conducting his PhD research, funded by Irish Aid, on developing more nutritious maize varieties that contain higher levels of vitamin A. Such biofortified crops are being developed by IITA and global partners to combat ‘hidden hunger’ malnutrition amongst the rural poor. Dr Azmach has returned to Ethiopia to contribute to the national maize breeding programme.    Bananas: Dr Mercy Kitavi  from Kenya focused her PhD research, also funded by Irish Aid, on East African Highland bananas, a staple crop of smallholder farmers in the Great Lakes region of sub-Saharan Africa. The research has revealed that all varieties of East African Highland bananas lack genetic diversity and are at high risk of being wiped out by new strains of the deadly banana wilt fungus. Dr Kitavi now works on capacity building in East Africa for sweet potato research.  ‌‌ Yams: Dr Gezahegn Tessema  from Ethiopia has been conducting his PhD research, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on understanding genetic diversity of yams, which are an important staple crop in Africa. The research has improved understanding of how yam genetic diversity can be better harnessed in breeding programs to make more resilient and productive yams to meet future challenges such as climate change. Dr. Tessema is currently working with IITA on developing improved cassava varieties for food security in Sub-Saharan Africa. The research of the three IITA-NUI Galway PhD Scholars was co-supervised by Professor Charles Spillane of the Plant and AgriBiosciences Research Center (PABC) at NUI Galway and the world-leading IITA scientists Dr Abebe Menkir, Dr Melaku Gedil, Dr Jim Lorenzen and Dr Morag Ferguson. Professor Spillane commented: “The innovative crop research work of these three IITA-NUI Galway PhD scholars contributes significantly to the broader goals of IITA, NUI Galway’s PABC and Irish Aid, of conducting agricultural research for improving food security and nutrition in developing countries, particularly in Africa”. -ends-

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May 2015

Galway Students Take on Challenge Science

Galway Students Take on Challenge Science-image

Friday, 1 May 2015

More than 100 pupils from primary schools in Galway had the chance to experience the wonderful world of science recently and learned that science is actually fun. The students from Claddagh National School, Scoil Shéamais Naofa, Barna, Mercy Primary School and Gaelscoil Riada, Athenry all participated in Challenge Science 2015, which was supported by Boston Scientific and held in NUI Galway. The budding scientists were assisted by business volunteers from Boston Scientific, who held workshops on Forensic Science, Defence against Disease, Careers in Science, Technology and Engineering, and they were also treated to a tour of the Science Department and Campus at NUI Galway by student volunteers from the ALIVE programme. The workshops provided an appreciation and greater understanding of the ever evolving world of science.  The event was opened by Professor Donal Leech, Dean of Science at NUI Galway, who welcomed the students to the University: “NUI Galway is delighted to host ‘Challenge Science’ which is hugely valuable in developing an interest in science. I hope to see some of the pupils back in NUI Galway in the future as science students or even working in the Science or Engineering departments at the campus.”  “The workshops with the Boston Scientific staff really helped the students to realise that you can take several different paths in order to work in the field of science. The teams also showed that science can be so enjoyable and we heard lots of excitement and enthusiasm in the workshops today, as the students vied against each other to be No. 1 forensic detective! Thanks to Boston Scientific for inspiring all of our young minds”, said Inez Riordan, Vice-Principal, Claddagh National School. Siobhan Murphy, Senior HR Business Partner at Boston Scientific, Galway, said: “It’s great to see so many young people with an interest in Science and Technology as it’s important to develop and keep up STEM subjects in Secondary School. I’d like to thank the teachers for supporting and bringing the students to this event and for helping to develop an interest in STEM at a young age, particularly given our location here at the Medical Device Hub here in Galway” -Ends-

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Bridging the Gap between Research Bench and Patient Bedside

Bridging the Gap between Research Bench and Patient Bedside-image

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

The first European Training School on Clinical Trial Design and Management opens at NUI Galway today, in a concerted effort to accelerate the translation of new medical devices from research bench to patient bedside. The event will run until Friday, 8 May. The European Training School on Clinical Trial Design and Management has attracted senior academic and industry-based researchers from all over Europe to Galway, with the common aim of understanding the clinical trial process. These researchers see the trial process as the final hurdle in bringing their novel medical devices to the market, and more importantly, to the patient. The European Training School is organised by Dr Martin O'Halloran, a Medical Device Engineer at NUI Galway. Dr O'Halloran is Vice-Chair of a large European network called MiMed, whose aim is to accelerate the clinical evaluation and commercialisation of novel medical devices. This unique network is composed of over 190 researchers from 24 countries. Dr O'Halloran said: “Millions of Euro are spent every year on European medical research, but how much of that research actually makes it way to the patient? What percentage of that funding makes a tangible impact on patient care? As researchers, we have a responsibility to ensure that new discoveries in the lab make their way into clinical practice, and have a real societal and economic benefit. Training schools, such as the one being held at NUI Galway, are one important mechanism to make that happen.” The training school is supported by the HRB Clinical Research Facility at NUI Galway, which will provide practical solutions to the challenges involved in designing and managing a clinical trial. During the week NUI Galway’s Professor Martin Leahy and Professor Mark Bruzzi will address the training school describing their experience in the medical device industry, and their success in translating medical research to have a real and tangible impact on patient care. Dr O’Halloran continued: “With the strong culture of medical device start-ups in Galway, the recent establishment of the Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM), and new Clinical and Translational Research Facility about to open, NUI Galway is in a very strong position to lead these important European initiatives.” -Ends-

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‘Kick Start your Job Search’ Career Event for NUI Galway Graduates

‘Kick Start your Job Search’ Career Event for NUI Galway Graduates-image

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

NUI Galway graduates seeking employment are invited to a unique graduate support event on Thursday, 14 May. The ‘Kick Start your Job Search’ is a free event and will run from 9.30am to 1pm in IT 250, IT Building and 2-4pm in the Career Development Centre at NUI Galway. Organised by the Career Development Centre, the event will focus on effective CVs, interview skills, and being creative in the job search process, including a tailored workshop on using LinkedIn effectively. Interactive workshops will challenge and motivate participants to review their current approach to their job search and a panel discussion with employers from various sectors will give insights into job search strategy and what candidates can do to enhance their job prospects. Current vacancies and employers attending who have current opportunities will also be on display. There will be a limited number of one-to-one appointments available in the Careers Clinic in the Career Development Centre in the afternoon. Josephine Walsh, Acting Head of NUI Galway’s Career Development Centre, said: “We look forward to working again with our recent graduates and strongly encourage those who are looking for new ways to market themselves to come along and get their job search on track.” Details of the full programme are available on, where graduates who are interested in attending the event can also book a place for the event. -Ends-

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NUI Galway appoints new Director of Technology Transfer

NUI Galway appoints new Director of Technology Transfer-image

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

NUI Galway has appointed David Murphy as its new Director of Technology Transfer. The Technology Transfer Office at NUI Galway is responsible for supporting innovation and commercialisation on campus. Supports are provided to both NUI Galway researchers interested in exploring the commercial potential of their inventions and to businesses at a range of development stages, from start-ups looking to grow, to multinationals looking for research opportunities. Most recently David was Vice President for Innovation, Communications and External Relations with Fidelity Ireland where he established their European center for applied technology, corporate social responsibility and communication programs as well as leading R&D incentive, innovation, patent, and academic collaboration programs. David joined Fidelity Investments in 2004 as site leader for Fidelity’s Galway facility with responsibility for business development and software delivery programs. Prior to joining Fidelity, David worked in a number of international engineering positions for Lotus Development (now IBM), Microsoft Corp, and Siebel Systems (now Oracle) where he was group director responsible for European and Middle East international product engineering. “As an experienced executive David will bring to the team a wealth of knowledge accumulated through a very interesting career. He comes with senior leadership proficiency and expertise in technology, innovation and external relationships with industry,” said Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway. Speaking about his appointment David said “I am delighted to join an institution which has such a strong tradition and contributed so much to our society for over 170 years. The Technology Transfer Office in collaboration with SFI, Enterprise Ireland, our researchers, and industry partners will continue in that tradition by advancing new discoveries that will deliver real, positive societal impact. This is an exciting time to be involved in innovation. The combination of world-leading research, financial supports, access to global partners and markets allow us a great opportunity to develop and disseminate new knowledge. I look forward to working with staff, researchers, and students to achieve the ambitious research targets outlined in NUI Galway’s 2020 Vision.” David is a graduate of Trinity College, University of Ulster, and NUI Galway where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and a Master’s Degree in Technology Management. -ends-

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NUI Galway Wins Information Technology Postgraduate Course of the Year

NUI Galway Wins Information Technology Postgraduate Course of the Year-image

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

NUI Galway was awarded the ‘Postgraduate Course of the Year in IT Award’ at the national gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards 2015 which took place in Dublin recently. This year, the prize was awarded for the University’s Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development (Industry Stream). Judges commented on the strong links the Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development (Industry Stream) has with leading ICT companies who are partners on the programme. These partners are actively involved in the recruitment, course design and delivery which makes this programme unique among other equivalent programmes. Programme Director, Dr Enda Howley, said: “Over 90% of graduates from the Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development (Industry Stream) secure immediate employment as a result of being on the programme. We have experienced huge demand among applicants and employers to participate with the programme, and this has helped attract the highest calibre students from third level institutions all over the country. NUI Galway is now seen as a leading partner for ICT companies who wish to develop links with our training and research activities.”   Some of the industry partners involved with the Higher Diploma in Software Design & Development (Industry Stream) include: Cisco, IBM, Avaya, Insight, SAP, Storm Technologies, Fidelity Investments, Schneider Electric, Aspect Software, Sogeti, Ericsson, Netfort and Arc Energy. Companies or potential applicants interested in applying to participate in the programme can contact Dr Enda Howley at for more details. -Ends-

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NUI Galway launches Health and Wellbeing Survey

NUI Galway launches Health and Wellbeing Survey-image

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

A survey of 1,000 people is being carried out door-to-door across the country by NUI Galway researchers to find out the views of Irish people with regard to health and wellbeing. Funded by the Health Research Board (HRB), the study is led by Professor Ciaran O’Neill, a HRB Research Leader, at NUI Galway’s School of Business and Economics. “We are really hoping to tap into some valuable information – the preferences of the public with regard to health and wellbeing. The public are the consumers of healthcare and health services in Ireland, and we want to hear first-hand their points of view to help improve decision-making at a national level.” The Health and Wellbeing Survey will take participants through a computer-based questionnaire, which will ask them to imagine different health scenarios that might face individuals such as themselves. This survey explores five dimensions of health: mobility, self-care, pain, anxiety and the ability to undertake usual activities (work, study, housework, pastimes, etc.) and aims to establish which dimensions of health the Irish people value most. When a decision is being made whether to fund a new drug or other treatments in the Irish health system, decision makers look at the costs and benefits of the new drug or treatment. Benefits are typically assessed in terms of gains in both length of life and quality of life, based on data from clinical trials. The results from this Health and Wellbeing survey will be available to help measure gains in quality of life, enabling decision makers to draw on the preferences of the Irish public when making important healthcare decisions. “From this study, we hope that a clearer understanding of the preferences of Irish people for different dimensions of health will emerge. We also want to establish a better picture of what factors underlie differences in peoples’ preferences. This will be useful when considering whether to adopt a new technology, where policy makers weigh up the costs and benefits of new technologies relative to those, for example, in current use”, explained Professor O’Neill. NUI Galway researchers have already visited eight locations, four in Dublin and four outside Dublin. The response from the public has been excellent, householders have engaged with great interest in the survey and the feedback from participants is very positive. The research team will continue to visit randomly-selected homes, representing a cross-section of society, all over Ireland over six months. The research team will carry NUI Galway identification and will call to homes between 10am and 8pm. -ends-

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