NUI Galway to Host Public Lecture Series on the Humanities

NUI Galway to Host Public Lecture Series on the Humanities-image

Monday, 18 January 2010

A new public lecture series by recently-appointed NUI Galway Established Professors in the School of Humanities will commence on Wednesday, 27 January. NUI Galway's President, Dr James J. Browne, will launch the first of the series of free talks at the Galway City Museum at 7.30pm. Designed to make a case for the role of the Humanities in society today, the lectures address fundamental questions from the perspectives of English, Philosophy and History. The talks will follow a lively, informative and provocative format and will be relevant to how we think of ourselves as a society today. The first lecture, 'Literature in a Digital Age', will be given by Sean Ryder, Established Professor of English and an international authority on text-editing with new technologies. His talk will question the use of literature in the contemporary world. On Wednesday, 24 February, Paul Crowther, Established Professor of Philosophy at NUI Galway and world-renowned expert in aesthetics, will pose the question 'what is it to be free?' and address the uses of non-practical knowledge. The third and final lecture will be delivered by Steven Ellis, Established Professor of History at NUI Galway, on Wednesday, 24 March. Professor Ellis, who is a specialist in Tudor Ireland and Britain, will examine the role of political unions and partitions in early modern Ireland. This lecture series is designed to appeal to a broad audience and each 40 minute lecture will be followed by a short question and answer session. Light refreshments will be available before each lecture. The lecture series is organised by the Civic Engagement Forum of the School of Humanities. For further information, contact Karen Walsh 091-495689 or email: -ends-

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NUI Galway on Enterprise Ireland Visit to US to Enhance Research Collaboration

NUI Galway on Enterprise Ireland Visit to US to Enhance Research Collaboration-image

Monday, 18 January 2010

Representatives from NUI Galway and Ireland's six other universities are this week travelling to New York and Washington, in a joint initiative coordinated by Enterprise Ireland. The aim of the initiative is to boost collaboration between Irish and US institutes of higher learning. The visit is part of the Education Ireland strategy to draw new waves of US students to Ireland for undergraduate and graduate studies and to broaden the network of research partnerships between higher learning institutions in both countries. Enterprise Ireland's Manager of International Education Services Terry McParland said: "Ireland's third level institutions, with the support of the Irish Government are investing heavily in research in strategically important areas such as science, engineering, biotechnology and medical disciplines. It is hoped that increasing the collaboration between higher level institutions in Ireland and the US will foster new and greater synergies that will yield inventive research and breakthroughs. "The initiative also aims to increase the flow of US students to pursue studies in Ireland's higher education institutes. International education is already a high growth sector in Ireland as global demand for quality, overseas tertiary education continues to grow despite the economic downturn. This initiative aims to highlight the quality of third level education in Ireland and attract more American students to study in Ireland." Anna Cunningham, Director of International Affairs at NUI Galway added: "NUI Galway has a long tradition of welcoming North American students for both semester abroad and summer school programmes. In recent years, increasing numbers of US students have chosen NUI Galway to complete their full degree programmes, thus adding to the rich culture diversity already evident on campus. Students regularly comment on how welcome they are made not just at the University but also by the people of Galway City. Every year approximately 800 US students choose Galway for their short-term study programmes, contributing significantly to the local economy. These students return to the US and act as important ambassadors both for Galway and Ireland". This initiative is being coordinated by Education Ireland. Education Ireland is dedicated to the development and promotion of Ireland as an international education centre of excellence. The Education Ireland brand is managed by Enterprise Ireland. The seven universities participating in this pilot visit include Dublin City University, National University of Ireland, Galway, National University of Ireland Maynooth, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, University College, Dublin and the University of Limerick. -Ends-

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NUI Galway announce 2010 Alumni Award Winners

NUI Galway announce 2010 Alumni Award Winners -image

Monday, 18 January 2010

NUI Galway has announced the winners of the 2010 Alumni Awards to be presented at the tenth annual Alumni Awards Gala Banquet on Saturday, 6 March, 2010 in the newly opened Bailey Allen Wing on campus. The Alumni Awards recognise individual excellence and achievements among the University's more than 70,000 graduates worldwide. The awards programme boasts an impressive roll call of 61 outstanding graduates who have gone on to honour their alma mater, including, for example, Michael D. Higgins, Ciarán FitzGerald, Sean O'Rourke, Professor Frank Gannon, Dr Luke Clancy and Gráinne Seoige. The winners of the eight alumni awards to be presented at Gala 2010: AIB Award for Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies Gerard Donovan BA 1983, MA 1988, Novelist. Bank of Ireland Award for Business, Public Policy and Law Margaret Sweeney BComm 1981, Chief Executive, Postbank Ireland Ltd. Bank of Ireland Award for Engineering and Informatics Professor Brian Moran BE1980, MEngSc.1982. Acting Provost and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia. Duais Hewlett-Packard don Ghaeilge Pádraig Ó hAoláin LLB 1985, Príomhfheidhmeannach, Údarás na Gaeltachta. Medtronic Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Professor Rose Anne Kenny MB, BCh, BAO 1977, MD 1986, Head of Department of Clinical Gerontology at Trinity College Dublin and Consultant Physician in Medicine at St James' Hospital. Seavite Award for Science Dr J. Paul Duffy BSc 1986, PhD 1992, Vice President Operations, Primary Care/Oncology Operating Unit for Pfizer Ireland Pharmaceuticals. Speaking on the announcement of the Awards recipients, President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne said: "Our Alumni Awards programme recognises the many Galway alumni who are leaders in their professions and excel in their pursuits at national and international levels. These awards celebrate the life-long value of an NUI Galway education and recognise individual achievements among the University's more than 70,000 graduates worldwide. I congratulate each of the Award winners and look forward to welcoming them back to their alma mater for the Gala Banquet in March". The new Gala Banquet venue, The Bailey Allen Wing in the newly refurbished Áras na Mac Léinn, is dedicated to the arts and societies and will include performance facilities, exhibition space and an auditorium for University, civic and public events. Through a generous bequest of the late Angela Allen the spirit of her son, Frank Bailey, will be immortalised at NUI Galway with the development of the new venue. Francis J. Bailey is fondly remembered for his theatre productions on campus in the 1960s. The University is proud to honour this remarkable man who died tragically in 1972. The Bailey Allen Hall will provide the University with a prime theatre space to be used by students for performance as well as by the University for conferrings and other significant events. For booking information contact Catherine Conroy at 091 492972 or For further information and online booking, click here. -Ends-

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Minister Lenihan Announces Winner of School Science Essay Competition

Minister Lenihan Announces Winner of School Science Essay Competition-image

Friday, 15 January 2010

Monaghan Secondary School Scoops Science Essay Competition for Second Consecutive Year Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Conor Lenihan T.D., has today announced the winner of the All-Ireland Science Essay Competition, organised by the Science Foundation Ireland-funded 'Regenerative Medicine Institute' (REMEDI), based at NUI Galway. Visiting the Science Foundation Ireland stand at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, Minister Lenihan presented first prize in the Essay Competition to Lisa Duffy of Castleblayney College, Co. Monaghan. Lisa, a fifth-year student, received a trophy, high-spec laptop and a €500 science bursary for her school from Minister Lenihan. This is the second consecutive year that a student from Castleblayney College has taken first prize in the competition. In making the presentation, Minister Lenihan said: "For the past five years, the REMEDI Science Essay Competition has invited young people to express their views on modern-day scientific challenges, and has sought to encourage students to consider pursuing science and engineering-related studies at third-level". The Minister added, "The theme of this year's competition – "Are people's DNA sequences their business and nobody else's?" – generated considerable interest in schools nationwide, with over 100 essays received from around the country. I welcome initiatives such as this in their drive to foster a greater awareness of science and its impact in our daily lives". The Minister added "The Government places great emphasis on the importance of science to Ireland in an educational, social and economic context and, through a number of channels, continues to prioritise science-related disciplines from primary through to fourth-level education." Scientific Director of REMEDI, Professor Frank Barry commented: "One of the important requirements for a successful career in science is an ability to communicate scientific ideas, debate important questions and report research findings in a clear and unambiguous way. The quality and originality of the winning essays in this competition are very impressive and I congratulate all the students who participated". Dr Mark Foley, Vice-Dean for Communication and Strategy in the College of Science and Lecturer in the School of Physics, at NUI Galway remarks: "The College of Science was delighted to come on board this year to support the REMEDI Annual Science Essay Competition. I am extremely encouraged by the quantity and quality of submissions which showcases the continued interest in Science at Secondary level. I hope that participation in science programmes at third-level continues to grow in the coming years and that these students will be key to the success of Ireland's Smart Economy". center-Ends-

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Details of Next Lecture by NUI Galway's Centre of Astronomy Announced

Details of Next Lecture by NUI Galway's Centre of Astronomy Announced-image

Friday, 15 January 2010

The next in a series of public talks by NUI Galway's Centre of Astronomy will cover two topics, Astrophysics and Atmospheric Physics. The free lecture will take place on Wednesday, 27 January, at 7.30pm in the McMunn Theatre, NUI Galway. Astrophysics is a broad subject focused on developing an understanding of our place in the universe. This part of the lecture will be presented by Dr Andrew Shearer, Director of Centre of Astronomy, NUI Galway, who said: "In Galway, we are interested in modelling and observations of a diverse selection of astronomical objects including pulsars, young and forming stars, star clusters, exo-planets and brown dwarfs. In order to study these objects we have to use astronomical facilities spread around the world and in space. We also have an advanced programme of instrument development particular for the largest optical telescopes". Atmospheric Physics includes a wide spectrum of research ranging from climate change studies to cloud formation, atmosphere-ocean interactions to health and environmental effects of air pollution. This part of the lecture will be given by Dr Brian Ward, Lecturer with the School of Physics, who will provide an overview of the Atmospheric Physics cluster and its Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies (C-CAPS) at NUI Galway. He will also be discussing the University's research facilities such as the Global Atmosphere Watch Research Station, Mace Head, near Carna in Connemara. After the lecture a tour will be given of the research facilities in the NUI Galway School of Physics. Although the lectures will be aimed at second level students, they will also be of interest and open to the general public. More details about this lecture series can be found on -ends-

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NUI Galway Opens the New Bailey Allen Wing

NUI Galway Opens the New Bailey Allen Wing-image

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

NUI Galway officially opened its new €6million arts wing and cultural centre with a spectacular launch this weekend where performances by Druid Theatre, Macnas, David O'Leary and Frankie Gavin introduced the new Bailey Allen Wing to a full house of University guests. Sciathán Bailey Allen is named after the late Frank J. Bailey, born in Galway in 1938, and the son of Desmond and Angela (later Allen), both well-known city-centre hotel proprietors. He graduated from NUI Galway in 1962 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Though a generous bequest from his mother, the late Angela Allen, the spirit of Frank Bailey will be memorialised at NUI Galway, while continuing to foster and support the artistic development of Galway city. As a member of the student Dramatic Society, Frank infused the society with a visionary spirit that began the University's association with experimental and innovative drama. Later, he worked with Radio Éireann as an actor and producer and he went on to establish his own theatre company, producing dramas for the Olympia, Gaiety, Abbey and Celtic Art theatres. Frank's last production, Synge's Riders to the Sea, staged in Galway in 1971, foreshadowed his own sudden and untimely death. Through his work, he inspired a young generation of actors and producers, which led to the rejuvenation of Dramsoc at the University, and to a flowering of culture and creativity in Galway city evidenced in cultural initiatives such as Galway Arts Festival, Druid Theatre Company, Macnas, Cúirt and others. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Dr James J. Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: "NUI Galway is proud to honour this remarkable man who died tragically in 1972. The Bailey Allen Wing in the newly refurbished Áras na Mac Léinn is dedicated to the Arts and Societies and will include performance facilities, exhibition space and an Auditorium for University, civic and public events. It will facilitate the University as a prime theatre space to be used by students for performance as well as by the University for conferrings and other significant events. We are grateful to the Bailey Allen family and in particular to Dorothy Pilkington, niece of Angela Allen, who attended the opening launch this weekend". -Ends-

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DERI announces €400,000 "Enterprise of the Future" Project Supported by Cisco

DERI announces €400,000

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

The Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway today (Wednesday, 13 January) announced a three-year "Enterprise of the Future" technology project, supported by Cisco. The €400,000 project will develop new ways for the "Enterprise of the Future" to integrate information and make it easily accessible for employees. Today, a typical company has information stored across a variety of often unconnected formats including documents, emails, instant messaging and wiki pages. DERI's semantic search and integration technology will seek to more cleverly and usefully link information and make it accessible across the company. Professor Stefan Decker, Director of DERI at NUI Galway, said: "This joint project shows that the leadership of Irish based research is recognised and valued by companies such as Cisco. The results originating from research projects like these could help to secure existing employment and create new jobs in Ireland by providing us with a competitive edge". "It is one thing having information, but another challenge entirely on how to integrate that information so that is easily linked, accessible and useful", said Mike Conroy, General Manager, Cisco R&D in Ireland. Keith Griffin, Lead Architect, Cisco, who developed the project with DERI, said: "Cisco believes that DERI, as a world leader in semantic web research can now link enterprise social networking, social connectivity and unified communications for the benefit of companies of the future". Cisco's decision to support the project follows a recent visit by Cisco's Vice President of Research, Dave Rossetti, to Galway. DERI and Cisco proposed that new semantic web technologies could help companies make better use of the torrent of information – from email to documents – which employees have to process every day. For the 'Enterprise of the Future" project Cisco has made a direct and in-kind contribution to DERI's research, with further support coming from the Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology (IRCSET). The project builds on the existing ongoing Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) sponsored research projects between Cisco and DERI. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Hosts Information Evening for Prospective Access and Mature Students

NUI Galway Hosts Information Evening for Prospective Access and Mature Students -image

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

On Thursday evening, 14 January, NUI Galway will host dedicated information sessions for prospective mature students and for Leaving Certificate students who qualify under the Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) and Disability Access Route to Education (DARE). The information session on the HEAR and DARE schemes will take place at 7pm on Thursday in the O'Flaherty Theatre, Arts and Science Building, NUI Galway. The information session for mature students will take place at 7.30pm in the Colm O'hEocha Theatre, Arts Millennium Building, NUI Galway. NUI Galway is now operating the two new schemes, HEAR and DARE, which enable students to enter the University with reduced points in their Leaving Certificate examinations. HEAR is an admissions scheme for students from backgrounds who, for cultural and economic reasons, do not normally apply to third-level education. DARE is a third-level admissions scheme for school leavers with disabilities. The HEAR and DARE schemes are part of the University's programme to increase access to its undergraduate courses for a wider range of students. For prospective mature students, those aged 23 and over, information will be provided on full-time programmes, entry requirements, and application and selection procedures. There will also be a focus on financial supports and on other supports available within the University. Mary Liddy, from the Mature Students Office at NUI Galway, has noticed an increased interest in returning to formal study in recent years: "With the economic downturn, many are looking to develop new employment opportunities by studying for a degree". During the information session a presentation will also be given on the University's special Access Programme for socio-economically disadvantaged mature students and on the pre-University foundation Courses, open to all, in Science and Engineering and in Commerce. For further information please contact: Tara Hanley, Access Office, NUI Galway on 091 494053; or Mary Liddy, Mature Students Office, NUI Galway on 091 492695; or Elizabeth Walsh, Disability Office, NUI Galway on 091493541. -ends-

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NUI Galway and Local Charity COPE Galway Sign Partnership Agreement

NUI Galway and Local Charity COPE Galway Sign Partnership Agreement-image

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

The President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, and Chairman of COPE Galway, John Concannon, have signed a partnership agreement which will benefit some of the most vulnerable and isolated people in Galway. This partnership is the first of its kind, and through this initiative, a new and innovative approach is being taken by the University in working with a voluntary organisation. Students and academics involved in teaching, research and volunteerism will put a range of resources at the service of COPE Galway. COPE Galway is a charity that provides services including a refuge for women and children affected by domestic violence, accommodation for those experiencing homelessness, and social supports for older people living in their own home. In the past year COPE Galway delivered over 40,000 meals to older people - supporting them to continue living in their own homes, a refuge and outreach support to almost 300 women and their children experiencing domestic violence, and over 10,000 bed nights to homeless women and men. A memorandum of understanding commits both organisations to deepening their engagement with the people of Galway, through a range of partnerships and collaborations. Speaking on behalf of NUI Galway, President Browne said: "NUI Galway is committed to providing a positive and supportive learning environment for students. The educational experience at NUI Galway is enhanced by opportunities for experiential learning and personal development afforded to students through service learning, volunteering and other activities in local, national and international arenas". He continued: "The University has always enjoyed strong relationships with the city of Galway and with non-profit and voluntary organisations in its area. We are proud to work with charities such as COPE Galway, to ensure that the economic, social and cultural needs of the region are met in the fullest possible way". NUI Galway, largely through its Community Knowledge Initiative, incorporates civic engagement opportunities into mainstream teaching and research educational activities. NUI Galway formally demonstrates its institutional commitment to student and staff engagement as critical citizens in pertinent societal issues and community endeavours. To date over twenty-five degree programmes offer some 800 students annually a service learning experience, whereby they use their knowledge to enhance the capacity of community. In addition, over 700 students volunteer every year in local, national and international communities through the ALIVE Student Volunteering Programme. "COPE Galway believes strongly in the power of positive community engagement. We aim to make it easy and natural for all to contribute to the well being of society", said Chairman of COPE Galway, John Concannon. He added: "We are delighted to form this partnership with NUI Galway. By strengthening our organisation through alliances with key institutions such as NUI Galway, powerful networks are created. This leads to the establishment of a compelling knowledge base and the skills and momentum for a healthy, inclusive society are passed on to future generations". -ends-

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NUI Galway Establishes Collaborative Research Programme on Africa's Staple Crops

NUI Galway Establishes Collaborative Research Programme on Africa's Staple Crops-image

Monday, 11 January 2010

Minister of State for Overseas Development, Mr Peter Power T.D. has announced details of funding for crop research involving collaborations between NUI Galway Botany and Plant Science and leading agricultural research centres of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) in the developing world. The research will facilitate efforts to increase agricultural productivity and improve nutrition and livelihoods of the rural poor in Africa. The Irish Aid support is directed towards the agricultural research institutes of the CGIAR, a coalition of fifteen international agricultural research centres located in developing countries. The mandate of the non-profit CGIAR research system is to achieve sustainable food security and reduce poverty in developing countries through scientific research and research-related activities in the fields of agriculture, forestry, fisheries, policy, and environment. Irish plant scientist Professor Charles Spillane, who has previously worked for the CGIAR and is now Head of Botany and Plant Science at NUI Galway, indicated: "For strengthening of food and livelihood security in Sub-Saharan Africa, there is an urgent need for greater investment in such pro-poor research partnerships focussed specifically on the crops and varieties grown and consumed by the rural poor in Africa. The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), one of the CGIAR crop research centres, is now establishing such collaborations with Irish universities, including NUI Galway and University College Cork". Professor Spillane added: "There are a number of factors that are now rapidly converging to aggravate the state of food insecurity, including population increases, changing consumption patterns, growing demand for meat and dairy (especially grain-fed), growing demand for biofuels, scarcity of land and water, slowing of agricultural productivity, and adverse impacts of climate change. Britain s chief scientist Professor John Beddington warned at the Oxford Farming Conference of an emerging "perfect storm" of food, water and energy shortages by 2030, where food prices would rise, more people would go hungry, and people are likely to flee the worst-affected regions in their millions. To ensure food supplies at current consumption rates will require a doubling of food and animal feed production by 2050 through increases in productivity (yield per hectare) while using less energy, fertilisers and water. In this context, the research of the CGIAR and its partners worldwide is critical to generating the improvements in agricultural productivity and sustainability necessary to improve the food security situation for the world's poor". Professor Spillane indicated that the collaborative research projects with IITA will initially focus on approaches for improving productivity of East African Highland bananas, a major staple food crop grown by poor smallholder farmers and essential to the food security for over 20 million people in the Great Lakes Region of East Africa. This project will be conducted in collaboration with East African banana breeder Dr Jim Lorenzen based at IITA's research station in Kampala, Uganda. The second research project will pursue efforts to elevate vitamin A levels in varieties of yellow maize consumed by the poor across Africa, in order to provide valuable options for combating micronutrient deficiencies in malnourished children and adults. This project will be conducted in collaboration with maize breeder Dr Menkir Abebe, based at IITA's research headquarters in Ibadan, Nigeria. Minister Power said: "We know that over one billion people in the world are hungry today. We urgently need practical and sustainable solutions to reverse this unconscionable situation. Scientific research which is designed to improve agricultural productivity is critical to addressing the challenges of hunger and food security, particularly in the context of climate change and a growing world population. Ireland, because of our history and commitment to development, has played a pivotal role in the global fight against hunger. The eradication of hunger is a cornerstone of Irish Aid's overseas development programme". Professor Spillane also highlighted that the collaborative research with the CGIAR which Irish Aid is funding will contribute to the implementation of the Hunger Task Force recommendations. It will also play an important role in ongoing efforts to raise the profile of plant and agricultural research for international development within Irish universities, and developing a cadre of scientists in Ireland who are focused on research for development. Professor Spillane stressed that we have now entered an era where increases in food production and agricultural productivity will have to be achieved in combination with efforts to ensure more equitable access to food, if global food insecurity and malnutrition is to be reduced to meet the Millennium Development Goals. -Ends-

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