NUI Galway Researchers Participate in Occupational Hygiene Conference

NUI Galway Researchers Participate in Occupational Hygiene Conference-image

Monday, 7 February 2011

Researchers at NUI Galway will participate in the Occupational Hygiene Society of Ireland (OHSI) Annual Conference which will take place on 16 to 17 February in the Clayton Hotel, Galway. The event will feature presentations from NUI Galway researchers who are pursuing projects in the area of Occupational Hygiene, which deals with the monitoring and control of hazards to health in all workplaces. Among those to present will be PhD student Patricia McDonnell, who is incoming President of the OHSI. Patricia will present a paper on her research project, which is sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline, and involves the refinement and validation of an exposure model, known as the Advanced Reach Tool (ART) for use in the Pharmaceutical Industry. Catherine Healy, also a PhD student at NUI Galway will describe her research into the exposure of stone masons to silica dust. Both Patricia and Catherine are graduates of the taught MSc programme in Occupational Health and Safety, at NUI Galway. As well as contributors from NUI Galway, the conference will include presentations from other agencies including the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the Health Safety Authority (HSA), the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) and Alvin Wooley and Associates, UK. The day before the annual conference (February 16) the OHSI present a court room drama entitled 'Hygiene in the Stand', in which an occupational hygienist will be put through his paces by barrister Roisin Liddy in a hypothetical court case. The barrister will scrutinise the report written by the hygienist, along with the work carried out and his professional competency. This will be beneficial to all those working as Health and Safety professionals in industry who wish to familiarise themselves with such court procedures. Commenting on the Conference, Dr Tom O Connor of the School of Physics at the University says: "NUI Galway has over 25 years experience in the area of Occupational Health and Safety. It is important that we in the University continue to contribute to industry at events such as this conference and it is a great testament to the quality of our courses to see students presenting at a national level." Dr O'Connor adds, "Drawing on the resources of the disciplines of Science, Medicine, Engineering, Law and Commerce, Occupational Health and Safety Courses at NUI Galway provide a multidisciplinary approach to health and safety and provide a very solid foundation for a career in occupational health and safety or a very useful additional qualification for many other professional careers." The OHSI is an organisation for all those interested in the area of Occupational Hygiene and it offers important networking opportunities for people involved in Health and Safety at work. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Host Free Family Events for National Engineers Week

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

Monday, 7 February 2011

NUI Galway is calling all young wanna-be-engineers to participate in six days of events and activities from 14 to 20 February as part of National Engineer's Week. As part of the line-up, for the second year in a row, NUI Galway will bring a free family-event to the Galway City Museum on Saturday, 19 February from 11 am to 5 pm. Following on from the success of last year's event, this year's Engineering for Communities promises to be a great day out for everyone, with activities on the day to suit all ages. At Engineering for Communities, visitors will be able to take part in hands-on experiments, workshops, and demonstrations. Each activity will explore engineering solutions to different community needs such as bridge building, sustainable housing, medical devices, water treatment and electricity. There will be puppets and a lego-build area especially for the young visitors and a display of antique engineering equipment to make the grown-ups feel at home. Highlights of the event will include a K'Nex Bridge Building Contest, an Eco-House Design Challenge, Electronic Circuitry Demonstrations, and more. Speaking about the event, Dr Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research at NUI Galway, said: "It will be a fun, free, family-friendly day out and will provide insight to just how much engineering affects the way that we live in our homes and communities." He added "From rural Zambia to urban Galway, engineering plays a fundamental role in our day-to-day lives. As we face a low-carbon, high-tech future, engineering solutions are evolving at a very rapid pace. This event is a great opportunity for people of all ages to learn more about these solutions in a very fun and highly interactive way." Engineering for Communities is being organised by the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway with support from GMIT and the Alan Kerins Project. The event is part of National Engineers Week, which aims to showcase the diversity of engineering and to celebrate the role of engineers in Ireland. Other NUI Galway events being hosted during National Engineers Week include primary school workshops by the College of Engineering and Informatics and many school events, seminars and public lectures hosted by the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI). -Ends-

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NUI Galway Awarded €3 Million to Lead EU Project in Cancer Diagnosis

NUI Galway Awarded €3 Million to Lead EU Project in Cancer Diagnosis-image

Monday, 7 February 2011

Stokes Professor of Glycosciences at the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES), Professor Lokesh Joshi, has been awarded an EU-FP7 grant worth €3 million to lead a large collaborative research project known as GlycoHIT over three years. GlycoHIT (Glycomics by High throughput Integrated Technologies) is aimed at developing future technologies that will enable fast and accurate analysis of glycosylation in blood samples from cancer patients. All cells and most proteins in blood are glycosylated, that is they are coated with sugars, and these sugars are known to be altered in many diseases, including cancer. High throughput technologies to analyse these altered sugars, or glycobiomarkers, will allow scientists to diagnose different forms of cancer from a simple blood test without the need for biopsy. GlycoHIT will also further develop sugar testing technologies to allow this rapid form of diagnosis to be used in a clinical setting. As Professor Joshi explains, "The development of reliable and fast diagnostic tests for the early detection of cancer is central to the project and of great importance. Early initiation of treatment can result in increased survival rates and improved quality of life for the patient. This research is an important step toward making that happen." A number of specific sugar biomarkers associated with certain forms of cancer have already been identified, but more are needed to improve the accuracy with which they can be used for cancer diagnosis. GlycoHIT will also assist the identification of improved glycobiomarkers for cancer. By discovering new biomarkers, as well as modifying existing lab technologies to decrease the amount of time required for testing, GlycoHIT has the potential to deliver a diagnosis in minutes rather than days. GlycoHIT is being funded under the EU-FP7 SICA (Specific International Cooperation Action) programme, the goal of which is to encourage much closer research cooperation between EU Member States and non-EU countries, in this case China. GlycoHIT has 15 academic and industry partners from across Europe, the US, Japan and China. A Chinese 'sister' project for GlycoHIT funded by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) has also been identified by the European Commission. The two projects will hold a number of joint events during the project term to share expertise and knowledge. Vice President for Research at NUI Galway Terry Smith said "NUI Galway is delighted to be part of this investment by the EU for research to be led by Professor Lokesh Joshi. It is an affirmation of the quality of research conducted at NUI Galway and promises to further our commitment to enable the translation of research from bench to bedside." Welcoming this funding success, University President, Dr James Browne said: "This development highlights NUI Galway strong research reputation in key areas and our success in building collaborations with international partners. NUI Galway has to date, won over €25 million in competitive EU research funding under Framework Programme 7 (2007-13)." Professor Joshi is also Director of the NUI Galway-led Alimentary Glycoscience Research Cluster (AGRC), which is examining how glycosylation is involved in the biology of good and bad bacteria, commensals and pathogens, in the gut, with a view to the identification of new therapies for gut diseases. -Ends-

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Múscailt Arts Festival Kicks Off at NUI Galway

Múscailt Arts Festival Kicks Off at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 7 February 2011

Today saw the beginning of the 11th annual NUI Galway Múscailt Spring Arts Festival, which will run until Saturday, 12 February. This year NUI Galway will host a superb line-up of opera, music, performance, sculpture and visual art revolving around the theme of Exploration, offering an escape into the world of fantasy, astronomy and history. Múscailt has invited special guest artists to create new work on campus, linking art and science. This year's festival hosts an array of Irish and international artists, performances by Gatto Marte, Dermot Healy, Treasa Ní Nhiolláin, NUI Galway Chamber Orchestra and the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet. Writer/storyteller Rab Swannock Fulton and artist Marina Wild have also created a new children's show entitled Pirates, Dragons and Moon Monsters for the Múscailt festival. New drama comes from the recently formed University College Players with a new play by Shane Daly-Hughes entitled NOT FOR OSCAR and GUMS, the NUI Galway Musical Society, will perform the rock musical, The Wedding Singer. The Colours Theatre Company will put on a new dance theatre piece, entitled The Red Apple Tree and Dramsoc will play The Lime-Tree Bower. Ana Perez Pereda, renowned Spanish Sculptor, and Artist José María Molina will spend three weeks on campus and create hanging sculptures in a project linking Art and Science. The NUI Galway Artsoc's annual show, this year entitled Black Hold Paradies, will consist of drawings, paintings, textiles and sculpture Alongside special guests, local artists, staff and students have also created work specifically for Múscailt and annual events including performances by the orchestra and choir are present as always. Speaking about the Festival, Fionnuala Gallagher, Arts Officer, NUI Galway said, "February is a time of creation and I invite everyone to visit the university and sample our exhibitions and performances. Almost everything is free or affordably priced. Come join the fun!" The Múscailt festival is produced by the Arts office at NUI Galway, and all events are open to the public. For full programme, details and further information about the festival visit, or call the NUI Galway Arts Office at 493766 or 495098. -Ends-

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NUI Galway to Host First National Social Work Education Conference

NUI Galway to Host First National Social Work Education Conference-image

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The first ever National Social Work Education Conference will take place in NUI Galway on Friday, 11 February in Áras Moyola. This event is being co-hosted by the National Social Work Qualifications Board (NSWQB) and the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway. It brings together student social workers, newly qualified social workers, practice teachers, researchers, policy makers, universities and employers for the first social work education conference of its kind in the Republic of Ireland. A range of speakers will explore the current issues in social work education and practice encompassing student, teacher, research and employer perspectives. It will create a picture of the current state of play in the discipline and work towards an action plan for the way forward. The aim of the conference is to create a lasting partnership between stakeholders in social work in order to meet future challenges within the discipline. The conference will highlight the importance of continuing professional development for those carrying out challenging work with a focus on one well established accredited post qualifying course in Practice Teaching. Future developments at NUI Galway in this area will also be announced. A Framework for Practice Placements in Ireland will be launched on the day. This is in response to the need for a strong framework of induction for those social workers beginning their careers, and employer-led initiatives for providing appropriate caseloads and supervision for new graduates will be explored at the conference. Professor Bríd Featherstone, Director of Social Work at NUI Galway says: "This conference is being held at a difficult time in Irish history. It will highlight the strengths and challenges facing social workers in a climate where there are increasing levels of need and distress and consider what the key policy issues should be for an incoming government in order to ensure that a high-quality workforce is sustained and developed further. The next decade of social work education in Ireland will be informed by the insights and recommendations that will emerge from this unique gathering at NUI Galway." -Ends-

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NUI Galway Co Investor in Kernal Capital Fund

NUI Galway Co Investor in Kernal Capital Fund-image

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Kernel Capital today launched the €10M Bank of Ireland MedTech Accelerator Fund, Ireland's first Seed Fund to focus exclusively on the indigenous medical technology sector. With investments ranging from €100,000 to €500,000, the Fund is focussed on export orientated high potential start-up Life Sciences companies that operate in the medical device, diagnostics or medical/laboratory sectors. The Fund will operate synergistically with the Information Communications and Technology focussed Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund also managed by Kernel Capital as well as Kernel Capital's later stage Technology Funds that invest in the €2m to €5m range. The launch of this Fund marks the introduction of 'NUI Galway' as an investor with Kernel Capital. NUI Galway joins its strategic alliance partner the University of Limerick, Bank of Ireland and Enterprise Ireland in supporting this unique initiative for early stage Medical Technology companies. As one of the top performing sectors in the Irish economy, medical technology directly employs more than 24,000 people and generated €6.8bn in exports in 2009. Nine of the world's top ten medical technology companies have invested significantly in Ireland. The medical technology market is estimated to be worth circa US$300bn worldwide and the west of Ireland in particular is noted globally as a centre of excellence in the creation of innovative research based companies and indigenous medical device start ups. This new Fund creates greater access to investment enabling early stage companies to capitalise on the sectors potential. Commenting on the announcement, Donal Duffy, Head of Enterprise Ireland Relations, Bank of Ireland said: "Bank of Ireland recognises the importance of supporting start-up businesses across emerging sectors including medical technology. The launch today of the Bank of Ireland MedTech Accelerator Fund with our strategic partner Kernel Capital further demonstrates our commitment to this key growth area and our continuing support for domestic export orientated businesses in Ireland. We are delighted to be a key investment partner in this Fund and welcome the involvement of NUI Galway and University of Limerick and the valuable research work conducted in both Universities to support these emerging sectors." "Enterprise Ireland sees the medical devices and related areas as offering very strong potential for innovative, export focussed start up companies. This new Fund is very welcome, marking an important increase in the availability of capital to support the commercialisation of new and innovative products from ambitious Irish companies," said Seamus Bree, West Region Director, Enterprise Ireland. Dr. James J. Browne, President of National University of Ireland Galway, said: "Through its research activities, NUI Galway continues to play an important role in the development of the Medical Technologies sector in Ireland, so it is particularly appropriate that we are involved in this new initiative. We are delighted to invest with Kernel Capital and join with the University of Limerick in supporting the Bank of Ireland MedTech Accelerator Fund. This Fund will enable new companies to gain access to the seed funding necessary to bring their innovations to the product development stage". Professor Don Barry, President of the University of Limerick, added: "Today s announcement reflects the University of Limerick's commitment to working with Irish industry and reinforces the UL-NUI Galway Strategic Alliance. This Fund will play a key role in helping start-up and emerging companies to access early stage capital to grow, create jobs and commercialise new innovations." Niall Olden, Managing Partner of Kernel Capital said: "We are very pleased to confirm the NUI Galway as our new partner joining Bank of Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and University of Limerick Foundation continuing to invest in our new Fund initiatives. It is excellent timing, Ireland boasts Europes leading cluster of MedTech industries and there is considerable untapped potential for new enterprise creation, Irish start-up companies are ideally placed to pioneer the next generation of global healthcare devices. The Fund will operate synergistically with Seroba Kernel our Life Science Associate Firm which is focussed on larger Life Science deals and which has the ability to provide significant follow on finance to appropriate investments." ENDS

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NUI Galway and UL Announce Business Course Partnership

NUI Galway and UL Announce Business Course Partnership-image

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

NUI Galway and the University of Limerick have announced a partnership of the NUI Galway part-time Bachelor of Commerce and the UL Bachelor of Business Studies programmes. The coordination is part of the NUI Galway/UL Strategic Alliance which aims to further a shared commitment to academic excellence. This latest initiative will open access to business students in both institutions; improving the overall student experience and broaden career opportunities. The part-time Bachelor of Commerce by blended learning at NUI Galway's JE Cairnes School of Business & Economics and the Bachelor of Business Studies by flexible learning at UL's Kemmy Business School will be delivered through a mix of face-to-face weekend workshops, online lectures, tutorials and discussion forums. Web 2.0 technologies such as wikis, podcasts and blogs will be used in an innovative way to achieve programme level learning outcomes. Blended and flexible learning methods of delivery provide third level access to mature students with work and family commitments in any location. In the next academic year, (2011/2012) students will jointly study Organisational Behaviour, delivered by the Kemmy Business School and Business Negotiations/Integrated Case-Based Workshop delivered by the JE Cairnes of School of Business & Economics. In the following year, a greater amalgamation between both business programmes is envisaged. Programme Manager of the part-time Bachelor of Commerce at the JE Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway Éilis O Regan says, "Delivering our combined part-time Business programmes via blended/flexible learning, with monthly face-to-face workshops at NUI Galway and University of Limerick, will increase third level assess to mature students, with work and/or family commitments. This innovative delivery format will also broaden third level access across Ireland for those who did not or could not avail of third level education immediately following second level. The JE Cairnes School of Business & Economics welcomes the opportunity to work with our partners in the Kemmy School of Business." Course Director of the Bachelor of Business Studies by Flexible Learning at Kemmy Business School, UL, Dr. Ronan Carbery says, "The UL/NUI Galway Strategic Alliance adds significant value to students on both Business programmes by not only allowing them to broaden their experience of third level education with the delivery of modules in a new University setting, but by also benefitting from the shared expertise across both Business faculties. The ability for students in both Universities to collaborate with each other and with a broader range of academics will further facilitate a stimulating learning environment in which to engage with the programmes." ENDS

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January 2011

NUI Galway Spin-Out Company Targets Finance Markets

NUI Galway Spin-Out Company Targets Finance Markets-image

Monday, 31 January 2011

A spin-out company of NUI Galway's Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) – Peracton Ltd. has partnered with FusionExperience to offer one of Peracton's flagship products MAARS Fund Management Analytics to the market. The technology was initially developed within DERI at NUI Galway and through Peracton, the MAARS technology is being offered to the finance/business world. The original MAARS technology development research has been funded by Enterprise Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland. MAARS is a platform that provides complex analytics decision support for most common equities selection (stocks, funds, ETF etc.), audit and compliance as well as forensic capabilities. In a recent report of summer 2010, Forrester claimed that Peracton s MAARS was the Hot Technology to Watch for 2010. A Forrester excerpt says: "Focusing on solving the core industry-specific business problems is the next big wave in the tech industry. Nowhere is it more evident of technology s unique role in solving business problems than in the highly tech-dependent banking market." Mr. Gordon Easden, Practice Leader, FusionExperience says: "The partnership with Peracton will allow us to add the impressive MAARS analytics application to our already extensive set of offerings. This can only be good news for our existing and potential clients and further increase the excellent end to end service we provide to the financial services community. We look forward to working closely with Peracton in the future." Mr. Richard D'Silva, UK Business Development Manager, Peracton says: "At Peracton, we are really excited about working with FusionExperience. Not only does Fusion provide a great opportunity for MAARS to get the right exposure to key people in the Investment and Asset Management space but also their experience in the Financial Services industry will be invaluable as we develop and release more MAARS financial analytics applications in the coming months." Professor Manfred Hauswirth, Vice-Director of DERI at NUI Galway said: "Peracton is a direct outcome of the foreseeing investment of the Irish government into the Smart Economy to create indigenous companies in the knowledge economy. Peracton successfully demonstrates how the "research-to-industry pipeline" can work: from Science Foundation Ireland funded basic research, via Enterprise Ireland supported translation into industrial strength products to a new Irish company providing jobs and producing tax income." For further information contact: -Ends-

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NUI Galway Hosts Fáilte Ireland Conference Ambassador Programme Launch

NUI Galway Hosts Fáilte Ireland Conference Ambassador Programme Launch-image

Monday, 31 January 2011

A Fáilte Ireland Conference Ambassador Programme launch was held at NUI Galway recently to encourage the University's academic staff to become conference ambassadors with the focus on the development of International Conferences being hosted on campus. NUI Galway hosted over 40 conferences in 2010 attracting over 5,000 delegates to the region, many of whom were international. Speaking at the launch of the Fáilte Ireland Conference Ambassador Programme, Orla Canavan, Business Tourism Manager, Fáilte Ireland stated that the average spend per overseas delegate attending a conference is €1,500 with the aforementioned conferences contributing significantly to the local economy by well over €5 million. The University facilities have been dramatically transformed through an extensive ongoing capital development programme. The University now boasts one of the finest conference centres in the West of Ireland which includes the recently opened Bailey Allen Hall with capacity for 1,200 delegates. Speaking at the launch, Professor Nollaig Mac Congáil, Registrar, NUI Galway said: "The Conference Ambassador event highlighted the excellent facilities and services at this University to support world-class conferences, meetings and events. We look forward to attracting significant International Conferences to our campus and the impact of this will be twofold; bring real academic benefits for the University – networking, reputation and peer review, and also it will have an enormously important economic benefit to tourism and business in our region." For further information please contact Patricia Walsh at the Conference Office on 091 493467 or email -Ends-

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NUI Galway Host Emily Anderson Memorial Concerts

NUI Galway Host Emily Anderson Memorial Concerts-image

Monday, 31 January 2011

NUI Galway and Music for Galway will celebrate the memory of Galway scholar Emily Anderson (1891-1962) with two concerts featuring the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet performing Beethoven's late quartets. Both concerts will take place in the Aula Maxima in the Quadrangle Building at NUI Galway from 11 to12 February, at 8pm. Emily, a daughter of former NUI Galway President, Alexander Anderson, held a position as German lecturer at the University before settling in London where she worked in the Foreign Office. However, her international reputation was secured by translating the complete correspondence of Beethoven and Mozart into English. Sponsored by NUI Galway, the programmes of the memorial concerts alternate between the two master composers and this year Beethoven is featured. The members of the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet have been living and working in Cork since 1986 when they became the fourth ensemble to hold the RTÉ string quartet residency, established in Cork in 1959. They were appointed Artists-in-residence to University College, Cork in 1991. In 2009, the Quartet took up a position as part-time lecturers in chamber music at DIT Conservatory of Music. The quartet has nurtured, inspired and supported countless young Irish musicians and has commissioned and championed dozens of new works by Irish composers. At the same time it has built an enviable international reputation, regularly touring Europe, the Americas and the Far East. The quartet has released twenty-five CDs, including the complete Beethoven quartets. As part of Music for Galway's outreach programme, the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet will present and discuss excerpts from various string quartets for the students of Maoin Cheoil na Gallimhe on Saturday at 11am. The Huston School of Film and Digital Media will show the documentary In search of Beethoven by Phil Grabsky on Saturday at 2pm. For booking information contact Music for Galway 091 705962. Tickets are available from Opus II in the Cornstore Shopping Mall in Galway City or -Ends-

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