Máire Geoghegan-Quinn to Speak at NUI Galway

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn to Speak at NUI Galway-image

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn will deliver her first public address in Ireland since becoming European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, at NUI Galway tomorrow (Friday, 19 March). Máire Geoghegan-Quinn will speak about the role that research, innovation and science policies are playing in supporting Irish and European Economic recovery. An invited audience of over 250 guests is expected, which will include University researchers, academics, students and alumni. According to Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn: "The European Union is playing a central role in supporting Irish economic recovery in a variety of different ways. The political portfolio of Research, Innovation and Science, which is my direct political responsibility within the European Commission, is implementing a number of initiatives which are positively developing the European and Irish economy". A native of Galway, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn is a former Member of the Governing authority of NUI Galway. Speaking ahead of the event, Dr James J. Browne, President of NUI Galway, praised the Commissioner's pioneering spirit: "Máire Geoghegan-Quinn is the European Commission's first Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science. Her work is central to the economic and social success of the José Manuel Barroso's commission's Strategy for Europe. From her native Carna, at the western edge of Europe, she is now operating at the very centre of Europe. I am certain that the pioneering spirit she has demonstrated throughout her political life will help chart the course ahead". This event will be streamed live and will be available to download as a podcast from www.nuigalway.ie -ends-

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Interactive Showcase for Biomedical Industry at NUI Galway

Interactive Showcase for Biomedical Industry at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

NUI Galway's National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) will host an 'Interactive Showcase for Industry' on Wednesday, 24 March. This afternoon event is for companies who want to learn about new R&D opportunities, technology development, testing services and partner initiatives in biomedical technology. At the event, potential industrial collaborators can find out about NUI Galway's key technologies, capabilities and facilities, and the benefits that can be gained from partnership with the NCBES. Many of the successful existing partnerships will also be highlighted and talks by current industrial collaborators will feature Helen Ryan, CEO of Creganna Tactx Medical. Speakers from the NCBES will present information on key topics of interest and outline the ongoing research and opportunities that are relevant to industry and commercial application. These NUI Galway speakers will include: Professor Frank Barry, Director of NCBES; Professor Larry Egan, Acting Director of the HRB Clinical Research Facility, Galway; Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials; and Professor Lokesh Joshi, Director of the Alimentary Glycoscience Research Cluster. Talks will be followed by guided tours of the facility where delegates will find out about NCBES's current research programmes and testing platforms, services and expertise in: Imaging Technology; Mechanical Testing; Materials Analysis; Flow Cytometry; GMP Manufacturing; and Glycobiology. "NUI Galway has a strong commitment to the development of partnerships and collaborative research initiatives with industry", comments Frank Barry, Director of the NCBES. "Through this event we hope to showcase new opportunities for enhanced cooperation and innovation". Galway is home to the largest medical device cluster in Europe, and the NCBES is Ireland's premier biomedical science and engineering research centre. As an interdisciplinary centre of research excellence, the NCBES brings together scientists, engineers, information technologists and clinicians in a team-based, problem-centred approach to research. The Centre's research is focused on innovative solutions to current medical challenges in cardiovascular disease, orthopaedics, infectious disease, and cancer. -ends-

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Shannon Region to become Major Green Energy Hub

Shannon Region to become Major Green Energy Hub -image

Monday, 15 March 2010

Shannon Region to become Major Green Energy Hub with the launch of the Shannon Energy Valley Initiative The University of Limerick (UL), National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway), Shannon Development, and Silicon Valley's Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG) today announced the launch of the Shannon Energy Valley, a major renewable energy hub in Ireland's Shannon Region. The Shannon Energy Valley initiative will create a national hub for Energy research and development, industry and commerce with a view to attracting international investment and generating high-end employment in the region. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed between the four partners that commits them to delivering a hub of excellence and innovation that will harness the natural resources of the region, as well as its highly skilled workforce and access to top class research and development expertise at UL and NUI Galway. Speaking at the launch of Shannon Energy Valley, which took place at the ITLG conference in Silicon Valley, California, today Professor Brian Fitzgerald, Vice-President Research UL said that the Shannon Energy Valley is the first step on the road towards energy self-sufficiency for Ireland while generating much needed employment opportunities and reducing costs for industry. "The European Wind Energy Association has estimated that the spending on importing energy in Ireland works out at almost €1,000 per annum for every man, woman and child. Ireland is surrounded by natural resources in the form of wind, wave, tidal, solar and local geothermal energy. This is a major opportunity for Ireland to become a leader in energy research while also maximising our resources and in turn creating sustainable green collar jobs." NUI Galway Vice-President for Research, Professor Terry Smith, said: "The Shannon Energy Valley concept seeks to provide a big-picture coherent ecosystem relating to energy. The main research partners, NUI Galway and UL, will combine their research efforts in a coherent way from the outset and will provide a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes right up to PhD level to provide the necessary human capital for the project. NUI Galway introduced a New B.E. in Energy Systems Engineering, integrating energy sources, energy conversion and energy utilisation in 2009, while UL has also commenced its BSc. Energy programme with the first cohort of students due to graduate in 2013. Both Universities have been to the forefront in Technology Transfer in recent years. This formal partnership, however, in the development of an Irish energy hub, in association with the other two partners, is the first major initiative in regional development to flow directly from the Strategic Alliance between NUI Galway and UL launched by An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen TD, on 18 February last , a groundbreaking strategy of combining the resources of the two Universities over a wide range of their operations in the interests of both the development of the region and their students". Speaking at the ITLG event, Dr Vincent Cunnane, Chief Executive, Shannon Development, said "The Shannon Energy Valley project brings together public and private sector organisations in a unique initiative that will lead to new opportunities and developments in the energy sector. The Shannon Energy Valley initiative will support the development, manufacture, installation, operation and maintenance of wind, wave/tidal, biomass, solar, geothermal generation facilities and related infrastructure. A key component of the Shannon Energy Valley will be the development of an Energy and Environment Park which will host demonstrator projects in the area of renewable energy and will serve to showcase projects to ensure public awareness and community engagement." Mr John Hartnett, President and Founder of ITLG, and President and CEO of Silicon Valley based Solar Energy Company, G24 Innovations, said: "This initiative with the partners University of Limerick, NUI Galway, Shannon Development and the ITLG puts Ireland in a optimum position to become a leading innovator and developer of clean technologies". The MOU sets out the objectives of the four-way alliance between the Irish and US bodies as: The creation of a world-class cluster of sustainable energy-related activity to support job creation and business start-ups through national and international investment Reduction of Ireland's carbon footprint, energy generation costs, dependency on fossil fuel imports and helping the country meet environmental and emissions commitments Enhancing Ireland's capability in the sustainable energy sector by attracting world-class R&D energy expertise, realising its commercial benefits and enabling further, advanced R&D activities Growing Ireland's smart economy by developing additional education and training capability at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in specialised energy disciplines. Further information on Shannon Energy Valley at www.shannonenergyvalley.com. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Announce Details of Final Astronomy Lecture

NUI Galway Announce Details of Final Astronomy Lecture -image

Monday, 15 March 2010

NUI Galway's Centre of Astronomy and School of Physics has announced details of the final talk in their series of public Astronomy lectures. This free event will take place at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 24 March, in the McMunn Theatre, Arts and Science Building, NUI Galway. The lecture, entitled 'The Very High Energy Universe', will be delivered by Dr Mark Lang, Head of the School of Physics at NUI Galway. Dr Lang will describe the latest results from two special telescopes, the VERITAS ground-based telescopes and the NASA s Fermi space telescope. VERITAS is an array of ground-based gamma-ray telescopes located in Southern Arizona. The Gamma-Ray Astronomy Group at NUI Galway is a member of the international collaboration which operates the telescopes. NUI Galway post-graduate students have travelled to Arizona to help build the array and to use it to carry out observations. NASA s Fermi telescope is a space based telescope which can search the entire sky for sources of high energy gamma-radiation every three hours. It detects radiation which has slightly lower energies than that seen by VERITAS. Commenting on the lecture, Dr Lang said: "In the 'ordinary' Universe, stars shine because they are warm and we can see visible light from them with our eyes or through optical telescopes. But there is also an 'extraordinary' Universe in which exotic astrophysical objects produce very high energy radiation that we can detect using special telescopes. Sources include super-massive black holes at the centres of distant galaxies and the remains of nearby massive stars which have exploded as supernovae". The Gamma-Ray Astronomy Group at NUI Galway is part of the Centre for Astronomy and currently consists of Dr Gary Gillanders and Dr Mark Lang and postgraduate researchers Andrea Cesarini, Fr Michael Connolly and Dawn McMorrow. More details of all the talks can be found on http://astro.nuigalway.ie/outreach.php. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Students Gobble Gaming Glory with Pac-Man

NUI Galway Students Gobble Gaming Glory with Pac-Man-image

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Electronic and Computer Engineering students win the XNA Ireland Challenge Colleges Cup Two second-year Electronic and Computer Engineering students from NUI Galway have won the annual XNA Ireland Challenges College Cup, which was held as part of the Games Fleadh event in Tipperary Institute yesterday (10 March, 2010). XNA is a games development platform from Microsoft, who were co-sponsors of the competition. The NUI Galway students, Finn Krewer from Tubber, Co. Clare, and Padraig Meaney from Cloghan, Co. Offaly, won the competition with their updated version of Pac-Man, the thirty-year old classic video game where the object is to gobble as many dots as possible while avoiding the roaming ghosts. Their game was entitled 'Pac-Man Unleashed', and featured four variants on the classic game including a multiplayer version, a limited visibility version, a 'ghost infection' version, and a combination of all three. The winning entry was commended by the judges - representatives from colleges and Irish-based gaming companies including PopCap, Jolt and DemonWare - for "having everything" in terms of coding, design, game play and music. As well as winning the overall award, the students won the individual award for 'Best in Game Play'. According to John Breslin, lecturer in the School of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway: "Ireland has a thriving computer games industry, as exemplified by Irish success stories such as Havok, DemonWare and Jolt Online. There are also various international gaming companies in Ireland such as PopCap Games and Gala Networks. This industry has huge growth potential in Ireland, and talented students such as Finn and Padraig bode well for its future success". Finn and Padraig are both enrolled in the Electronic and Computer Engineering degree course, a collaborative programme from the Electrical & Electronic Engineering and Information Technology disciplines at NUI Galway. Finn is a past student of Gort Community School, Co. Galway, and Padraig is a past student of Banagher College/Coláiste na Sionna, Co. Offaly. For more information, please visit http://www.eee.nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

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