All 2005

NUI Galway announces Alumni Awards

NUI Galway announces Alumni Awards-image

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

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Soroptimist International inaugurate Educational Bursary at

Soroptimist International inaugurate Educational Bursary at-image

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

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NUI Galway Engineering students making a difference to their communities

NUI Galway Engineering students making a difference to their communities-image

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

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Early data from NUI Galway underpins case for stem cell treatment in heart disea

Early data from NUI Galway underpins case for stem cell treatment in heart disea-image

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

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Another first for the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI)

Another first for the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI)-image

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

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