Thursday, 30 October 2014

Scholarships available in five key research areas Applications are being accepted immediately for fully-funded PhD scholarships at NUI Galway. The Hardiman and Dr Tony Ryan Research Scholarships will support students to undertake four year Structured PhD programmes, by providing a stipend of €16,000 per annum and fees. The deadline for applications is 21 November, 2014. The scholarships are focused on five key areas of research in which NUI Galway offers world-leading expertise: Applied Social Sciences and Public Policy Biomedical Science and Engineering Environment, Marine and Energy Humanities in Context, including Digital Humanities Informatics, Data Analytics, Physical and Computational Sciences An additional Cancer Care West Hardiman Research Scholarship will also be offered, supported by Cancer Care West. This scholarship will support research in Radiation Oncology or Surgical Oncology at NUI Galway and the associated University Hospital Galway. All the research scholarships are also supported by the Galway University Foundation. NUI Galway Dean of Graduate Studies, Dr Lucy Byrnes said: “These scholarships aim to attract the best students to NUI Galway and to support their development as innovative individuals who will contribute to economic, cultural and social development. They offer opportunities to pursue doctoral studies focused on areas of research in which the University offers leading expertise.” Applications forms and further information are available at http://www.nuigalway.ie/hardiman-scholarships/ with closing date for applications at 5pm on 21 November, 2014. -Ends-

Friday, 31 October 2014

NUI Galway Rugby completed a historic double over the other Irish universities to retain both women's and men's Kay Bowen and Maughan-Scally intervarsity trophies at last weekend's Irish Universities Rugby Union (IURU) Festival of Rugby in Dublin. The Kay Bowen Cup drew some of Ireland's most prestigious universities to Belfield, with Trinity, NUIM, Queen's University Belfast, UCC and NUI Galway joining hosts UCD to compete for the title. NUI Galway claimed the trophy for the second year running with wins over Trinity (33-0) and Queen's (29-0) in the pool stages, and UCC (24-5) in the final. In two years' competition, NUI Galway's women have posted more than 100 points and, through to the 18th minute of last weekend's final, their tryline remained uncrossed. At the same time as the women's side were securing a second successive intervarsity title, the men's squad contested a hard-fought final with UCD. The Galway men were also looking to become the first university to win the Maughan-Scally Cup three years in a row. A memorable day for NUI Galway concluded with the presentation of trophies to women's captain Rhona Julian and men's captain Luke Murphy, before both cups made the now-familiar journey west for another year. -Ends-

Monday, 1 September 2014

Guest judges include Mathematics Lecturer Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin Primary and secondary school students from all over Ireland have been challenged by NUI Galway to compete in a new science communication competition. Students are invited to make entertaining and educational short videos on a range of science topics for ReelLIFE SCIENCE. With over €3000 in prizes, the makers of the best video at primary and secondary school level will each receive €1000, to be spent on promoting science in the winning school. Second and third-placed entries at each level will receive €300 and €200, respectively. Closing date for submissions is Friday, 17 October and the winning schools will be announced during the week beginning 10 November to coincide with Science Week 2014. Topics include ‘The Power of Science’, ‘Science Heroes’ and ‘Physics in Real Life’. ReelLIFE SCIENCE was piloted in Galway schools last year with great success and was conceived by NUI Galway’s Dr Enda O’Connell who said: “There is huge enthusiasm among students for using hands-on science to investigate the world around them, whether it’s exploring the plants and animals in their school garden or the food in their lunchbox. A great way of communicating this is by using video cameras, tablets or even smartphones to make a short movie for their friends, parents and teachers to enjoy.” The secondary school winner of the 2013 pilot competition was Michael McAndrew, a student from St Enda’s College in Galway with an animated video, entitled ‘Astrobiology – Life in Space’. Michael’s winning video can be viewed at http://youtu.be/JbyZ9z3CS3o. Michael has since launched his own website design and hosting company, Corrib Digital, while finding the time to podcast every week about new technology and, of course, study for his Leaving Certificate. Videos will be selected by special guest judges: Stephen Curry, Professor of Structural Biology at Imperial College London and Science writer with The Guardian; Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, Lecturer in Mathematics at University College Dublin, Radio and TV broadcaster, columnist and author; and Paul Clarke, St. Paul’s College, Raheny, winner of the SciFest National Final 2013 and Overall Winner of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2014. More information about the competition and application process can be found at www.reellifescience.com. The initiative is in collaboration with the Cell EXPLORERS School of Natural Sciences outreach programme, and is supported by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover programme, which seeks to promote the awareness and engagement of the Irish public with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). -Ends-

Monday, 1 September 2014

NUI Galway will host Ireland’s largest surgical conference, the 39th Sir Peter Freyer Memorial Lecture and Surgical Symposium, on 5-6 September 2014. Internationally renowned surgeon, Dr John Birkmeyer will deliver the Memorial Lecture entitled ‘Strategies for Improving the Quality of Surgical Care’. John Birkmeyer, MD is the George D. Zuidema Professor of Surgery and Director of the Centre for Healthcare Outcomes & Policy at the University of Michigan. He is a graduate of Harvard Medical School. His research career has focused on performance measurement, understanding variation in hospital outcomes and cost-efficiency, and strategies for improvement. Formerly a series editor of the Dartmouth Atlas of Healthcare, Dr. Birkmeyer has leading roles in several regional collaborative improvement programs involving over 50 hospitals in Michigan, with support from Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan. He serves on the blue ribbon expert panel on hospital safety ratings for the Leapfrog Group and as Chief Scientific Officer for ArborMetrix, Inc. Dr. Birkmeyer was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2006. Professor of Surgery at NUI Galway, Michael Kerin, who is hosting the event along with his colleague Professor Oliver McAnena, says: “We are delighted to welcome Dr Birkmeyer to our University. Dr Birkmeyer is focused on improving the quality of the health care system which will serve the lives of the people and communities for generations to come.” On the second day of the Surgical Symposium, Mr James Sheehan, CEO, Galway Clinic, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Co-Founder of Blackrock Clinic, Galway Clinic and the Hermitage Clinic will deliver the State of the Art Lecture entitled ‘Reflections on the Past and a Vision for the Future’ on Saturday, 6th September at 12.45 p.m. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland and he holds an M.Sc in Bioengineering and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Surrey. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers of Ireland and the Irish Academy of Engineering. He specialised in the design of artificial hip and knee prostheses. Since co-founding the Blackrock Clinic in the 1980s, his name has become synonymous with healthcare provision, as well as innovations. For further information on event, please contact 091 524390 or www.freyer.ie -ends-

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Galway Harbour will transform this month when Galway City will host the seventh World Robotic Sailing Championship (WRSC) from 9-13 September 2014. Fully autonomous and unmanned sailing boats, up to 2.5m in length will compete over a series of short distance racing, navigation and autonomy challenges with teams from Galway, Wales, US, Finland, France, Portugal and Russia participating. This is the first time that Ireland has hosted the event. Organised in conjunction with the WRSC, the International Robotic Sailing Conference (IRSC) will take place on Monday 8 September, in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway. IRSC provides a platform to discuss the broad range of scientific problems involved in the design and development of autonomous sailboats. NUI Galway Engineering Lecturer and event Co-Chair, Dr Fearghal Morgan, said: “The International Robotic Sailing Conference provides international researchers with the opportunity to present and exchange ideas on their work on a wide range of topics related to autonomous surface marine robotics, particularly robotic sailing. Previous IRSC/WRSC events have been hosted in France, Wales, Germany, Canada, Portugal and Austria. We invite participation from anyone who might be interested in this work, particularly from engineering-related and marine sectors.” Robotic sailing offers the potential of long range and long term autonomous wind propelled, solar or wave-powered carbon neutral devices. Robotic sailing devices could potentially contribute to monitoring of environmental, ecological, meteorological, hydrographic and oceanographic data. These devices can also be used in traffic monitoring, security, assistance and rescue. ‌ The WRSC competitions propose tasks such as station, speed in different conditions, accuracy, obstacle avoidance, target tracking, endurance and cooperation, all performed autonomously. The competition, originally designed for sailboats, also includes a motorboats category in order to bring together the scientific communities that work on different types of autonomous marine vehicles. A bottle boat competition will also be held with several Irish entries competing. Event Co-Chair Dermot Tynan of Hewlett Packard, Galway said: “The dependency on changing winds and sea conditions presents a considerable challenge for short and long term route and stability planning, collision avoidance and boat control. Building a robust and seaworthy autonomous sailing robot presents a truly complex and multi-disciplinary challenge for boat designers, naval architects, mechanical engineers, electronic and embedded systems engineers and computer scientists. Since 2004, events such as Sailbot, Microtransat Challenge, World Robotic Sailing Championship and the International Robotic Sailing Conference have sparked an explosion in the number of groups working on autonomous sailing robots. To date, the longest distance sailed autonomously is almost 400km. Many of the challenges in building truly autonomous sailing robots still remain unsolved.” Mr Tynan continued: “We are looking forward to welcoming international teams, many of whom are travelling long distances by sea and overland to bring robotic sailing boats to the West of Ireland. This demonstrates their enormous dedication and enthusiasm.” GMIT has two boats competing in the sailing challenge, Seol and Malendroke, involving students from several engineering departments in the college - electronic & electrical engineering, energy engineering and mechanical engineering. The Seol team are 3rd year electronics students John Lynam and Janet Hardiman, 4th year electronics student Brian Cunnane, and 4th year energy engineering student Brendan Henry. The Malendroke team are 3rd year electronics students Ciunas Low Bennett and Rastislav Petras, 3rd year energy engineering student Christoph Schellenberg, and 1st year mechanical engineering student Brendan Divilly. The challenges begin on Tuesday 9 September at the Claddagh Basin, Galway city. Sean Coffey, lecturer in the GMIT School of Engineering and the competitors' mentor, says "that the challenge presents an enjoyable and exciting opportunity for students to apply and develop their high-tech skills." The IRSC/WRSC event also includes two free public exhibitions in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway on Sunday, 7 September from 2-5pm and on Monday, 8 September from 11am-4pm, at which several of the robotic sailboats will be exhibited. All are welcome. School groups are asked to contact the organisers in advance. IRSC 2014 and WRSC 2014 are sponsored by Hewlett Packard, NUI Galway, Port of Galway, Galway Bay Sailing Club and Intel. Information on each WRSC team entries and schedule is available at http://wrsc2014.com/teams. Details of the conference programme and delegate registration can be found at http://wrsc2014.com/. -Ends-

Thursday, 4 September 2014

The positive effect of reminiscence therapy on the quality of life of people with dementia in long-stay care has been shown in a new report from NUI Galway. The report is the result of a major trial undertaken over the course of three years and involving over 300 dementia sufferers. The trial is the largest of its kind internationally in the area of reminiscence therapy in long-stay settings, and was funded by the Health Research Board. At its simplest, reminiscence is recalling an individual’s past memories and experiences, often through prompts such as photographs, music and familiar household items. “The results showed positive effects of reminiscence for people with dementia,” explains Professor Eamon O’Shea of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway. “Reminiscence is increasingly seen as important in the care and support of people with dementia, given its potential to draw on early memories, which often remain intact for people with dementia, thereby highlighting the person’s preserved abilities rather than any cognitive impairment. While pharmacological interventions have been the mainstay of caring for people with dementia, increasing attention is being paid to the role of psychosocial interventions in the care of people with dementia.” Professor O’Shea added: “The results confirm the importance of a person-centred approach to the care of people with dementia in long-stay care settings. There are a range of psychosocial interventions, such as reminiscence therapy, cognitive stimulation, and art. Interestingly, there is reciprocity at play with the care givers, everyone gains through a more person-centred approach to care in long-stay settings. Fifteen years ago Professor Eamon O’Shea wrote the first Action Plan for Dementia for Ireland and he has been influential in preparing the ground for the new National Strategy on Dementia which will be published by the Government in the coming months. The cost of caring for people with dementia worldwide was estimated to be US$604 billion in 2010. While there have been no comprehensive prevalence studies on dementia carried out in Ireland, current estimates suggest that there are currently 47,746 people with dementia in the country. Approximately 4,000 new cases of dementia arise in the general Irish population every year. The cost of dementia in Ireland has been estimated at just over €1.69 billion per annum, 48% of which is attributable to informal care provided by family and friends to those living with dementia in the community. The trial - the DementiA education programme incorporating REminiscence for Staff (DARES) - was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of a reminiscence-based education programme. The intervention was a structured education reminiscence-based programme for care staff, who subsequently engaged in individualised reminiscence with long-stay residents under their care. The primary research question focused on the impact of reminiscence therapy on the self-reported quality of life of residents with a diagnosis of dementia. -ends-

Friday, 5 September 2014

New research from NUI Galway is using adult stem cells in the fight against cornea transplant rejection. The research has been published in the American Journal of Transplantation, and underpins a pan-European project which hopes to help the 100,000 people worldwide who undergo cornea transplant procedures each year. Corneal eye disease is the fourth most common cause of blindness in the world and it affects more than 10 million people worldwide. An unhealthy cornea affects vision by scattering or distorting light and causing glare and blurred vision. The most widely used treatment for this condition is cornea transplantation (or keratoplasty) where the diseased or scarred corneal tissue is replaced with healthy tissue from an organ donor. Although these procedures have been performed for over 100 years, unfortunately about 30% of transplants are unsuccessful due to rejection by the patient’s own immune system. Researchers, led by Dr Thomas Ritter from NUI Galway’s Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI), showed in a model system that transplant rejection rates could be reduced to as low as 10% by administering a certain type of stem cell called a mesenchymal stem cell (MSC). MSCs can be readily obtained and grown from the bone marrow of adult donors. ‌ Dr Ritter explained: “In recent years, our Immunology research programme at REMEDI has focused at a basic level on understanding the immune response to transplanted tissues such as the cornea as well as on the immune modulating effects of stromal stem cells. It is hoped this work will lead to much improved outcomes for the 100,000 people worldwide who undergo cornea transplant procedures each year.” Previous research from the team at REMEDI which showed that these cells have certain properties which can modulate the immune system led them to study their usefulness in combating cornea transplant rejection. Dr Oliver Treacy, the lead scientist on the team at NUI Galway, showed that the MSCs release chemicals capable of adjusting the immune system balance in the body. This led to an increase in cells called regulatory T-cells, which dampen down inflammation, and a decrease in the number of natural killer cells, key players in the rejection process. Mr Gerry Fahy, Consultant Ophthalmologist at Galway University Hospital, who was involved in the study said: “Corneal transplant rejection can result in blindness and is not uncommon in high risk patients. This important research presents a potentially new avenue of treatment to prevent transplant rejection and save vision in this vulnerable group of patients.” In a follow-up €6 million study now underway, the research team from REMEDI have teamed up with 11 collaborators from all over Europe to look at the process of cornea transplant immune rejection in much greater detail. The five year project which is called ‘VISICORT’ is being funded by the EU Framework Programme 7, and the final year will involve a clinical trial carried out in Galway using stem cells made at the NUI Galway, Centre for Cell Manufacturing (CCMI) facility. Based in NUI Galway, REMEDI (www.remedi.ie) was established in 2003 through a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Centre for Science Engineering and Technology (CSET) award, and industry funding.  REMEDI is part of the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science and manages the Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland, an Irish Medicines Board licensed facility for the manufacture of stem cells. -ends-

Monday, 8 September 2014

NUI Galway, in association with the Kingfisher Club, will host its second annual charity 8K Run/Walk on Saturday, 11 October at 10am. The route consists of a traffic-free, mixed terrain run around the University’s campus and along the banks of the river Corrib. The official charity partner for this event is Jigsaw Galway and coincides with global events around World Mental Health Day. Jigsaw Galway is a free and confidential service supporting the mental health and well-being of young people, aged 15 – 25, living in Galway city and county.  Jigsaw also provides advice and guidance to parents, family members, friends and other professionals worried about a young person.  All proceeds raised from this event will go to Jigsaw Galway. This charity event is forming part of the NUI Galway Alumni reunion programme which takes place from 10-12 October on campus and will be an opportunity to bring together students, staff, alumni and friends of NUI Galway in one place to take part in a fun event for all ages and abilities. NUI Galway Vice President for the Student Experience Dr Pat Morgan said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to welcome staff, students and alumni to the campus as part of the Alumni Reunion programme. Equally, however, it is part of a wider campus initiative to encourage physical activity and perhaps more importantly a great opportunity to show support for Jigsaw and get moving towards better mental health and it is fitting that such an event should take place around World Mental Health Day.” The event is open to everyone, with runners and walkers of all fitness levels catered for. To register for the NUI Galway 8K please log on to the Run Ireland Website http://www.runireland.com/events/nui-galway-8k. Updates are also available on the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NUIGalway.8kRun. Local Kingfisher Fitness Clubs will be running training sessions over the next six weeks to help with your preparation and details are available at www.kingfisherclub.com. All queries on the event can be sent to nuigalway8k@kingfisherclub.com. -Ends-

Monday, 8 September 2014

Ireland has been successful in its bid to attract a significant scientific conference to the Convention Centre Dublin in 2018. Almost two thousand experts in aspects of clean and efficient energy and propulsion technologies, fire safety and power generation will visit the capital in 2018 for the 37th International Symposium on Combustion. The Dublin bid was put together by a consortium of researchers from NUI Galway, University of Limerick and University of Ulster, who saw off competition to host the event from London and the Turkish capital Ankara. The announcement was made at a recent meeting in San Francisco by the Board of the Combustion Institute, an educational non-profit, scientific and engineering society. NUI Galway’s Professor John M. Simmie is Chair of the Irish Section of the Combustion Institute. He explains the importance of research in this field: “In Ireland, 96% of the energy we use is derived from the burning of fuels and 85% of the energy we use is imported, one of the highest figures in Europe. As the effects of climate change begin to be felt around the world, cleaner more efficient fuels and combustion technologies must be developed.” The 2018 Dublin meeting will follow on from San Francisco in 2014 and Seoul in 2016. The voting board members were impressed with the amenities and facilities offered by the Dublin bid, in addition to the scientific stature of the local organising committee. Professor John M. Simmie added: “There is a critical mass of researchers in Ireland focussed on this field of science and this is reflected in the decision of the Combustion Institute to bring their symposium here. Through collaboration among scientists and advances in the combustion research, we intend to unlock more energy from the resources we currently use and engineer solutions for the planet's long term sustainability.” The Irish Section of the Combustion Institute will host the symposium having secured strong support, both financial and motivational, from Government agencies Fáilte Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland - the latter through an Exceptional Conference Award. Those agencies were thanked by the local organising committee which consists of Professor Henry Curran (NUI Galway), Dr Stephen Dooley (University of Limerick), Professor Vladimir Molkov (University of Ulster), Dr Rory Monaghan (NUI Galway) and Professor Emeritus John Simmie (NUI Galway), The committee also thanked the support of Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway and Professor Don Barry, President of University of Limerick. Positive support was also obtained from a number of organisations including Aer Lingus, the Environmental Protection Agency, ESB International, GE Energy Kalman Ltd., the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, and the Ministers for Research and Innovation, and, Transport, Tourism and Sport. -ends-

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies will host a series of Sean-Nós Dance workshops this September. The workshops will be taught by Gearóid Ó Dubháín, the NUI Galway Sean-nós Dancer in Residence 2014. A native of Ardmore, Connemara, Gearóid is renowned for his dancing and has won the prestigious Oireachtas na Samhnna (2010), Craobh na hÉireann (2011), Féile na Mí (2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012), Féile Chóilín Clesham and many other prizes.   The workshops will take place at the Aula Maxima (Upper Level), NUI Galway from 7-8.30pm each Wednesday, beginning on 24 September. The workshops are free of charge and everyone is welcome to attend. For further details, contact Samantha Williams at 091-512428 or samantha.williams@nuigalway.ie. -Ends- Ceardlann Rince ar an Sean-Nós in OÉ Gaillimh Cuirfear tús le sraith de cheardlanna rince ar an sean-nós san Aula Maxima (Upper), OÉ Gaillimh ag 7pm, Dé Céadaoin, 24 Meán Fómhair 2014. Is é Gearóid Ó Dubháin, ón Árdmhóir, i gConamara, a bheidh ina stiúrthóir. Tá Gearóid ceaptha mar Rinceoir Cónaitheach ar an Sean-Nós san Ollscoil i mbliana. Tá cáíl bainte amach ag Gearóid mar damhseoir agus tá go leor duaiseanna bainte amach ag Gearóid ar fud na tíre, ina measc tá Oireachtas na Samhna (2010), Craobh na hÉireann (2011), Féile na Mí (2006, 2008, 2010 agus 2012), Féile Chóilín Clesham (buaite cúpla uair), mar aon le neart comórtais eile. Tá cead isteach saor in aisce agus fáilte roimh chách. Tuilleadh eolais ó Samantha Williams ag 091-512428 nó samantha.williams@nuigalway.ie. -Críoch-

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Dr Manus Biggs, a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Investigator at the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) at NUI Galway has won the Larry Hench Young Investigator Award. The award was presented at the United Kingdom Society for Biomaterials (UKSB) division of the 26th Annual Conference for the European Society for Biomaterials, held in Liverpool, UK from 31 August–3 September 2014. The prize is awarded to a promising young research scientist in recognition of outstanding and innovative contributions in a selected field of biomaterials research. The judging criteria includes evidence of peer reviewed publications, outstanding contribution and demonstrable research in the field of biomaterials. Additionally, the researcher must be at an early stage of his career having no more than seven years of experience after his PhD was awarded. Dr Biggs’s research focuses on developing electrically active polymers for musculoskeletal and neural applications. His research group creates nanoscale fibres from piezoelectric polymers and incorporates them into a mesh-like scaffold that mimics the natural bone matrix. The scaffold materials can be utilised for the regeneration of large bone defects, which do not undergo spontaneous regeneration normally. Also, his group is improving long-term function of implanted microelectrodes being used for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders by using conducting polymers to coat the implanted electrodes. The aim of the coating is to reduce the inflammatory response around the electrode interface to prevent neural loss and instability of the electrodes at the implantation site. Seven researchers from the NFB presented at the European Society for Biomaterials conference. The conference brought together experts and scientists from academia and industry, and also those involved in funding regulatory and commercial enterprises related to biomaterials science, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of the NFB at NUI Galway, commented: “The award is further indication of the competitiveness of the NFB’s research at an international level.” -ends-

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

NUI Galway has again increased its position in the QS World University Rankings 2014/2015. Rising 4 places to 280th in this year’s ranking, NUI Galway is the only Irish universities to improve their standing in this year’s league table. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said of the achievement: “This is good news for NUI Galway and further acknowledgement of the developments in teaching and research that have taken place at this University in recent years. Although all ranking systems have their limitations in that they seek to measure performance across a narrow range of criteria, the QS World University Rankings is one of the best regarded evaluations of higher education in the world.” The global emphasis on high-impact scientific and technological research is the key driver of leadership in the QS World University Rankings. The rankings are, for the third year, led by MIT with Imperial College London the biggest climber in the top 10, leapfrogging Harvard, UCL and Oxford to rank second equal in the world, tied with University of Cambridge. QS Head of Research Ben Sowter said: “In the wake of the recession, both governments and private sector funding source are placing greater emphasis on high-impact STEM research, much of which takes place in specialist institutions, Tech-focused institutions are increasingly the focal point of a global race for innovation. With budgets from public sources increasingly coming under strain, institutions seem more focused than ever on potentially lucrative research in science, technology and medicine.” The QS World University Rankings have been running since 2004 and are amongst the highest profile global evaluations of comparative university quality. The World University Rankings were conceived to present a multi-faceted view of the relative strengths of the world’s leading universities. The calculations leading to the QS World University Rankings are based on data gathered in the following categories: Academic Peer Review, Employer Review, International Faculty Ratio, International Student Ratio, Student Faculty Ratio, and Citations per Faculty (citation data supplied by Scopus). ENDS

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Guest Speakers include Tipperary Senior Hurling Team Manager Eamon O’Shea NUI Galway invites all CAO applicants, fourth and fifth year students, parents/guardians, mature students teachers and Guidance Counsellors to its annual Autumn Open Days on Friday, 3 October and Saturday, 4 October. Friday's Open Day will run from 9am to 3pm and is aimed at school groups, although individuals are also welcome to attend. Running from 10am to 3pm, Saturday's Open Day is for students thinking about university and their parents and families. Open Day is an opportunity for students, along with their parents and families, to explore NUI Galway’s campus and to learn more about the over 60 degree courses that NUI Galway offers. The Open Days are expected to attract some 8,000 visitors. Lecturers and current students will be on hand to talk to students and parents at the main exhibition area in the Bailey Allen Hall, with over 80 subject-specific exhibition stands to answer questions on courses, CAO points, employability, and career progression routes. The ‘Parents Programme’ on Saturday, 4 October will provide parents and students with information on important issues such as fees and funding, careers, accommodation, career destinations and support services for students. This year NUI Galway will host an Alumni event for its graduates. Taking place on Saturday, 4 October at 2pm, the event will include a series of short talks from the University’s leading experts including Professor Alan Ahearne, Head of Economics and Professor Hubert McDermott, Department of English to mention but a few. The Open Days will feature a mix of taster sessions and short lectures to provide a feel for university life. Events will include hands-on science workshops and interactive sessions with IT systems and robotics. To get the most out of the Open Days visitors are encouraged to view the timetable of talks at www.nuigalway.ie/opendays and plan your day. Talk highlights include: New Scholarship Schemes for 2014 including CAO Performance Points Scholarships in Sports and Arts and Excellence Scholarships. A guest appearance and talk about Sports at the University with Eamon O’Shea, Professor of Economics at NUI Galway and Manager of the Tipperary Senior Hurling Team. Career talks - “Where are the jobs? What are my employment prospects after University?” Taster sessions designed to give a real insight into studying at NUI Galway will include: Physics - A brilliant career from lasers to the Universe. Take a 3D tour of the Universe with The Centre for Astronomy, which will take visitors on a trip from the earth to nearby starts, across our Galaxy to groups of stars, and finally through the whole Universe. Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences – Introduction to the Healthcare Programmes. Arts – BA Connect Programme in Drama, Theatre and Performance studies. Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, said: “Choosing a university is one of the most important decisions a student will ever make. The Autumn Open Days is the perfect opportunity for students and parents to get a taste of university life and to gain access to all of the information they need to make that important decision. We are encouraging anyone with an interest in studying at NUI Galway to come along, talk to our lecturers and current students, find out about the courses, explore the campus and decide for yourselves whether NUI Galway is the right university for you.” Tours of the campus will feature the state-of the-art sports complex and gym, and the new Engineering Building. Tours of student accommodation will also be available to visitors on the day, with the tour shuttle bus departing. Guided walking tours of the main campus will also take place throughout the afternoon. To plan your day in advance and receive a programme on Open Day 2014 visit www.nuigalway.ie/opendays, or contact 091 494145 or visit@nuigalway.ie. -Ends- Laethanta Oscailte an Fhómhair in OÉ Gaillimh I measc na n-aoichainteoirí tá Bainisteoir Fhoireann Sinsir Iománaíochta Thiobraid Árann Eamon O’Shea Ba mhaith le OÉ Gaillimh cuireadh a thabhairt do gach iarrthóir CAO, do dhaltaí sa cheathrú agus sa chúigiú bliain, do thuismitheoirí/do chaomhnóirí, do mhic léinn aibí, do mhúinteoirí agus do threoirchomhairleoirí teacht chuig Laethanta Oscailte an Fhómhair Dé hAoine, an 3 Deireadh Fómhair agus Dé Sathairn, an 4 Deireadh Fómhair. Dírithe ar ghrúpaí scoile atá an Lá Oscailte a bheidh ar siúl idir 9am agus 3pm Dé hAoine, cé go mbeidh fáilte roimh dhuine ar bith cuairt a thabhairt ar an Ollscoil an lá sin chomh maith. Is do mhic léinn atá ag smaoineamh ar aghaidh a thabhairt ar an Ollscoil, dá dtuismitheoirí agus dá dteaghlach an Lá Oscailte, a bheidh ar siúl idir 10am agus 3pm Dé Sathairn. Deis atá sa Lá Oscailte do mhic léinn, dá dtuismitheoirí agus dá dteaghlaigh aithne a chur ar champas OÉ Gaillimh agus foghlaim faoin mbreis is 60 cúrsa céime atá ar fáil san Ollscoil.  Meastar go bhfreastalóidh timpeall 8,000 duine ar na Laethanta Oscailte. Beidh léachtóirí agus mic léinn reatha ar láimh le labhairt le daltaí agus le tuismitheoirí i Halla Bailey Allen, áit a mbeidh os cionn 80 seastán ábhair ar taispeáint chun ceisteanna faoi chúrsaí, pointí CAO, fostaíocht, agus bealaí chun cinn i ngairmeacha a fhreagairt. Beidh eolas le fáil ag tuismitheoirí agus ag daltaí i ‘gClár na dTuismitheoirí’ Dé Sathairn, an 4 Deireadh Fómhair faoi cheisteanna móra cosúil le táillí agus maoiniú, gairmeacha, lóistín, cinn scríbe gairmeacha agus seirbhísí tacaíochta do mhic léinn. Beidh ócáid Alumni ar siúl ag OÉ Gaillimh i mbliana dá céimithe. Dé Sathairn, an 4 Deireadh Fómhair ag 2pm, tabharfaidh saineolaithe na hOllscoile cosúil leis an Ollamh Alan Ahearne, Ceann na hEacnamaíochta agus an tOllamh Hubert McDermott, as Roinn an Bhéarla, sraith cainteanna gairide. Beidh idir sheisiúin agus léachtaí gairide ar siúl i rith na Laethanta Oscailte le blaiseadh a thabhairt do chách ar an gcineál saoil a chaitheann mic léinn in OÉ Gaillimh. I measc na n-imeachtaí beidh ceardlanna praiticiúla eolaíochta agus seisiúin idirghníomhacha le córais IT agus róbataic. Chun an tairbhe is fearr a bhaint as na Laethanta Oscailte moltar do chuairteoirí breathnú ar amchlár na gcainteanna ag www.nuigalway.ie/opendays agus an lá a phleanáil dóibh féin. Ar na cainteanna is suimiúla tá siad seo a leanas: Scéimeanna Nua Scoláireachta 2014 cosúil le Scoláireachtaí na bPointí Breise CAO sa Spórt agus sna hEalaíona agus na Scoláireachtaí Sármhaitheasa. Labhróidh Eamon O’Shea, Ollamh le hEacnamaíocht in OÉ Gaillimh agus Bainisteoir ar Fhoireann Sinsir Iománaíochta Thiobraid Árann, faoi Spórt san Ollscoil. Léacht na nGairmeacha - “Cá bhfuil na poist? Cén rogha gairmeacha atá agam i ndiaidh na hOllscoile?” I measc na léachtaí gairide a bheas ar siúl chun blaiseadh a thabhairt duit don staidéar in OÉ Gaillimh tá siad seo a leanas: An Fhisic - Gairm den scoth ó léasair go dtí an chruinne. Téigh ar thuras 3D den Chruinne le hIonad na Réalteolaíochta. Tabharfaidh an tIonad cuairteoirí ar aistear ón domhan seo timpeall an réaltra chuig grúpaí réalta, agus timpeall na cruinne ar fad. Leigheas, Altranas agus na hEolaíochtaí Sláinte – Blaiseadh de na Cláir sa Chúram Sláinte. Na Dána – An Clár BA Connect sa Drámaíocht, i Léann na hAmharclannaíochta agus sa Taibhiú. Dúirt Caroline Loughnane, an Stiúrthóir Margaíochta agus Cumarsáide in OÉ Gaillimh: “Ceann de na cinntí is tábhachtaí a dhéanfaidh mac léinn go brách an ollscoil a bhfreastalóidh sé/sí uirthi a roghnú. Deis iontach iad Laethanta Oscailte an Fhómhair do mhic léinn agus do thuismitheoirí blaiseadh a fháil de shaol na hollscoile agus an t-eolas ar fad atá uathu a bhailiú a chuirfidh ar a gcumas an cinneadh tábhachtach sin a dhéanamh. Molaimid do dhuine ar bith ar spéis leo staidéar in OÉ Gaillimh teacht chuig an Lá Oscailte, labhairt leis na léachtóirí agus leis na mic léinn reatha, eolas a fháil faoi chúrsaí, aithne a chur ar an gcampas agus a fháil amach duit féin an bhfeileann OÉ Gaillimh duitse.” Ar thurais den champas, taispeánfar an t-ionad spóirt le giomnáisiam den scoth mar aon leis an bhFoirgneamh nua Innealtóireachta. Beidh turais de lóistín na mac léinn ar fáil do chuairteoirí ar an lá chomh maith agus beidh seirbhís bus ar fáil chuige seo. Beidh turais treoraithe siúil den champas ar siúl ar feadh an tráthnóna chomh maith. Chun do lá a leagan amach agus clár a fháil do Laethanta Oscailte 2014 féach www.nuigalway.ie/opendays, nó déan teagmháil le 091 494145 nó visit@nuigalway.ie. -Críoch-

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

As part of Culture Night 2014, which takes place on Friday, 19 September, NUI Galway will launch a new Cultural Campus Trail (brochure and map), at 4.30pm in the Atrium of the Orbsen Building. This follows the official start of the night's events in the City and County by the Mayor of Galway, Councillor Donal Lyons, also in the Orbsen Building. Dr Chris Coughlan of Hewlett Packard will launch the University’s Cultural Campus Trail, which heralds a new vision for an open campus at NUI Galway, promoting the sights on offer to the public at the University. The Trail brochure is a first template for a comprehensive visitor guide to the wealth of treasures to be explored on campus in the areas of art, sculpture, heritage, science and technology, and environment, including the sections of the river walk and Greenway. The star attractions include the permanent displays in Zoology, Geology, The James Hardiman Research Building and DERI with details of how tours can be arranged by appointment. ConTempo Quartet, Galway Ensemble in Residence, will play a tribute to mark the Trail and refreshments will be served. NUI Galway is hosting several events that evening across campus and all of the exhibitions are open to the public until 10pm including a new exhibition in the Art Gallery by Vincent Godfrey-Glynn and a pop-up sculpture by Donnacha Cahill. For more information visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/culturenight2014/ or www.galwayculturenight.com. -Ends-  

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Today marks the 25th UN International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, commemorating the date of the signing of the Montreal Protocol which brought about a global initiative to ban Ozone Depleting Substances. Two Irish scientific atmospheric monitoring stations have played a significant role assessing the planet’s success in saving the ozone layer. Over the last 25 years, atmospheric observations from NUI Galway’s Mace Head Station in Connemara and Met Éireann’s Valentia Observatory in Co. Kerry, have charted the success of international actions relating to man-made Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS). The world was shocked 30 years ago to hear of the major threat posed by the hole in ozone layer. World governments responded by developing and eventually agreeing in 1987 the Montreal Protocol .The protocol phased out the use of man-made ODS, of which, the primary culprits where CFCs or chlorofluorocarbons used as refrigerants. CFCs provided a source of reactive chlorine in the upper atmosphere which destroyed ozone. Combined observations from Mace Head and Valentia, supported by satellite data, illustrate that it took 15 years for the destructive chlorine trend to peak-out and turn into decline. As the destructive chlorine declined, stratospheric ozone concentrations slowly started to recover. The data are unique in Europe as they represent observations in Europe’s cleanest air and they demonstrate a gradually recovering ozone layer over the last 10 years. Globally, the impact of CFCs is still evident. According to the IPCC AR5 Report, Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis, it is certain that global stratospheric ozone has declined from pre-1980 values. Most of the decline occurred prior to the mid-1990s. Since then ozone has remained nearly constant at about 3.5% below the 1964–1980 level. Ireland is strategically located to monitor the change in ODS and stratospheric ozone in the cleanest northern hemispheric air and at mid-latitudes which are heavily populated and susceptible to most impacts from the ozone hole. Professor Colin O’Dowd, Director of NUI Galway’s Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Research, which operates Mace Head highlighted the importance of such observing and research infrastructures stating that: “Without these key long-term observations in strategic locations emerging environmental dangers, solutions, and response to interventions would be very difficult to identify, enable and quantify. It is essential that stakeholder support of such research and observation infrastructures is sustained and even expanded on into the future in order to improve environmental security and better inform response-policy development.”   Eoin Moran, Assistant Director of Met Éireann, added: “The location of Valentia Observatory and Mace Head, are strategically important, nationally and internationally, providing important climate and environmental data at the interface between Europe and the Northeast Atlantic. The measurements at both stations are complimentary forming a very important component of the Global Atmosphere Watch programme – this work represents an excellent example of Ireland’s contribution to international scientific research – brought about through successful and sustained collaboration between world class research and operational scientists.” Monitoring Ozone Recovery The accumulation of CFCs in the atmosphere has been monitored at NUI Galway’s Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station since the early 1980’s. This globally important record was one of the first to demonstrate the reduction in CFCs a few years after the protocol for the most reactive CFCs. Mace Head operates with a World Meteorological Organisation ‘Global Atmosphere Watch’ (GAW) status in tandem with Met Éireann’s GAW station at Valentia Observatory where complementary stratospheric Ozone measurements are conducted. The ozone measurements at Valentia contributed to the identification of the extent of ozone loss and eventually the initial beginnings of the expected recovery using special balloon-borne ozone detecting instruments (called ozonesondes) and a sophisticated ground based ozone sensor (called a Brewer Spectrophotometer). The research by NUI Galway is conducted in cooperation with the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gas Experiment (AGAGE). More information on the observatories can be found on www.macehead.org and www.met.ie. -ends-

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

On Monday, 13 October, the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) at NUI Galway will host a free seminar on the regulatory elements that need to be considered when developing medical devices involving a combination of advanced materials and biomolecules. The European Regulation of Medical Devices (EROMed) Seminar will take place in the Seminar Room of the Biosciences Building from 9.30am to 5.30pm. This free event is organised as part of the EU-funded NeuroGraft project and will be of interest to local medical device industries and researchers. The seminar is coordinated by Obelis, a regulatory company, and the NFB, a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded research group. The event is designed to provide information about the higher regulatory aspects involved when using human cells in medical devices. The speakers include experts in compliance with EU legislation of products, as well as experts from industry and research. Topics that will be covered include combined tissue engineering products, clinical investigations, and classification of combination products in the EU. Injuries and degenerative diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) constitute a bottleneck in medical and surgical practice for which no therapy currently exists. The aim of the NeuroGraft project is to develop a novel multichannel conduit system to aid regeneration following spinal cord injury. The NeuroGraft consortium consists of one academic and four industrial partners across four countries. Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of the NFB, stated “Our continued collaboration with Irish and European industries, such as in the case of the NeuroGraft project, is an indication of the relevance of NFB’s research within Europe. We will continue to initiate collaborative research with partners from outside of Ireland and look towards funding opportunities within Horizon 2020.” For further details of the event contact sharon.s.kelly@nuigalway.ie. 091 494233 -ends-

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

NUI Galway has launched the 2014/2015 Arts in Action Programme, which invites students to engage with the creative arts during their studies. Aimed at students across the campus, Arts in Action offers access to a variety of international-standard arts events throughout the academic year. The Arts in Action programme is packed with rich and diverse performances focusing on emerging artists from the Western sea board of Ireland, focusing on counties Clare, Limerick, Cork and Kerry and also on performances by international names from the world of theatre, literature and traditional music. Among the legendary performers showcasing in this year’s series are: Olwen Fouéré, Mick Moloney, Peadar O’Ríada, the Mulcahy Family and Dolores Keane. This year also sees a commemoration of Maud Gonne, the 150th anniversary of the birth of WB Yeats and two new collaborations with NUI Galway’s Moore Institute and the James Hardiman Library. The Dean of the College of Arts Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, Dr Edward Herring said: “The performers in this year’s series come from Ireland’s entire Atlantic coast, from Donegal to Kerry. Just like the ocean constantly shapes and reinvigorates the coastline, so the indigenous tradition sustains and inspires the creative artists and communities of the West of Ireland.” Launching the new programme, Vincent Woods, poet, RTÉ Arts broadcaster and journalist, said: “The Arts in Action programme at NUI Galway is a rare and very impressive example of a university incorporating creative performance into its academic calendar, a blueprint for all third-level colleges in Ireland. I commend it for its vitality, diversity, relevance and richness.” Arts in Action has been building over three years to support specific undergraduate and post-graduate modules as well as having a significant input into the programmes for International Students. The content of the programme is designed in such a way that it is now aligned to a teaching theory component within a two-hour seminar and is a credit bearing module for both Irish and International students. Mary Mc Partlan, Traditional Artist-in-Residence at the Centre for Theatre and Performance and Artistic Director of Arts in Action at NUI Galway, said: “This year’s programme marks the ultimate goal and objective of embedding the creative arts into academic modules, creating a full programme in such a sustained and significant way that fulfils all the aims and outcomes for credit bearing modules, available to all students across the campus, with structured, bespoke space opportunities for visiting students to immerse in Irish Traditional Culture.” All events are free to attend and will take place mostly at The Cube and Bailey Allen Hall in Áras Na Mac Léinn, NUI Galway. The programme will commence on Thursday, 25 September and run until the end of March 2015. For programme details please see http://www.nuigalway.ie/arts/artsinaction.html, or visit the Arts in Action Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ArtsinActionNUIGalway. -Ends-

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

NUI Galway’s 13th annual Volunteering Fair will take place on Wednesday, 24 September in the Bailey Allen Hall, from 11am-5pm. With over 2,000 students, staff and members of the general public expected to attend, the Fair will be officially opened by Mayor of Galway City, Councillor Donal Lyons, and is part of a week-long celebration of volunteering at NUI Galway. Over 80 campus, local, national, and international NGOs, school and hospital programmes, charities and community/voluntary groups will be showcasing the depth and breadth of their work with a particular focus on their current volunteering opportunities.   Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator at NUI Galway, said: “The amazing response from community and voluntary groups to attending the Fair is a real testament to the rich and engaged civic life of the city. There are a wide variety of volunteering opportunities that students are eager to apply for in order to earn much needed experience and skills.” Exhibitors at the Volunteering Fair will include: Enable Ireland, Galway Community Circus, Foróige, Blue Teapot Theatre Company, Galway Rape Crisis Centre, SERVE In Solidarity, Music for Galway, Youth Work Ireland – Westside. ALIVE - A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience – was established at NUI Galway to build links between community groups and students. This has been achieved through community partnerships, events like the Volunteering Fair, and an online website of volunteer opportunities. At the end of the academic year students can apply for an ALIVE Certificate in acknowledgment of their voluntary commitment which is awarded by NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne. To date over 10,000 students have been recognised for their volunteering commitment to the Galway city community, the NUI Galway campus community and with international communities. To book a stand or for further information visit www.nuigalway.ie/alive, or contact the ALIVE office on 091 495346 or email alive@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

NUI Galway’s Alumni Association has organised a Croke Park skyline tour and museum visit for graduate and friends of the University. The event will take place on Saturday, 20 September at 2pm. The rooftop tour will include panoramic views of Dublin City, 17 storeys high over five viewing platforms. Visitors will be given a brief history of the area and of Croke Park. Following the tour, the Association has arranged a special visit to the Croke Park museum. All alumni and friends are welcome to attend but tickets are limited so early booking is advised. The cost per ticket is €15. In keeping with the GAA theme, NUI Galway has also organised a Donegal V Kerry All-Ireland Final breakfast brunch and panel discussion on Sunday, 21 September. The brunch will take place at 11am in the Gresham Hotel, Dublin. Guest panellists include TV GAA analyst Martin Carney and former Kerry footballer Eoin Liston, with MC by Gavin Jennings from RTÉ. Booking for the breakfast brunch is essential and tickets cost €15 or a table of ten for €150. To book tickets for the events, contact the Alumni Office on 091 493750 or tickets can be purchased online at http://www.nuigalway.ie/alumni-friends/. The closing date for tickets is Friday, 19 September. -Ends-

Thursday, 18 September 2014

NUI Galway Computer Science and Information Technology students will hold a new unique networking and workshop event, bringing major technological companies and employers to campus. ‘Synapse//a Tech Carnival’, a one-day free event, will take place on Friday, 26 September in the Bailey Allen Hall, and is for students and people interested in technology to meet with key Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) stakeholders in a fun and informative exchange of ideas. Major employers will be demonstrating their latest technologies and explaining their ongoing training and employment opportunities. The emphasis is all around having a fun and interesting event for people new to ICT to learn how to engage and become successful in the booming software industry. Speakers and panel discussions will offer key insights into the current trends that are being experienced for tech graduates in Ireland. Keynote speakers include: Mark Gantly, Hewlett Packard; Stephen Howell, Microsoft; and Eugene Garvin, Avaya. David Renton, event organiser and NUI Galway student, said: “Students of Computer Science and Information Technology have seen the success of tech events internationally and want to showcase that the West of Ireland is just as exciting for tech people to come together in a dynamic and fun environment. NUI Galway has such a unique balance of energy, youth and talent which lends itself to hosting an event such as this, while Galway itself is one of the best cities in Ireland for ICT companies to attract new talent, as it is one of the most desirable places to live and work for all ages. This will be an unmissable opportunity for those at any stage of their career, from a potential computing student to an experienced pro wanting to network.” David continues: “We have employers such as Microsoft, LinkedIn and Havok coming to the event as they see the energy that has built up around the idea. Galway companies such as HP, Avaya and Cisco/SAP are offering great support as they see this as an opportunity to showcase their Galway operations. Equally NUI Galway are spearheading the event as they offer a range of programmes that can provide training and education opportunities for all ages for a career in ICT.” The networking arena demos and main stage presentations will provide attendees with all the latest information on all of the companies involved while the Workshop Heaven area will provide a more in depth and interactive view of the technologies involved. Exhibitors and presenters include: Microsoft, Accenture, Riot Games, Cloud Consulting, Silicon Republic, ThoughtBox, EY, Avaya, First Derivatives, KBC Bank, Havok, Tribal City Interactive, 091Labs, Hewlett Packard, RealSim, ITAG, Pocket Anatomy, Element Wave, amongst others. Dr Michael Madden, Head of the Information Technology discipline at NUI Galway, said: “I am very proud that our third year Computer Science and Information Technology students are showing the immense energy and enthusiasm they have for the software industry by making this event a reality. They are showcasing the kind of drive and determination that is characteristic of NUI Galway graduates, which has been so hugely valued by major employers for many decades. The response of so many Tech Leaders is testament to the hunger for more graduates and talented professionals in the Galway area.” NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, said: “This is a wonderful student-led event. I commend the students involved in Synapse//a Tech Carnival for their initiative in linking students and industry in such a dynamic and innovative way. I look forward to participating in the event and to seeing at firsthand the synergy developing between NUI Galway technology students and industry leaders.” For more information on ‘Synapse//a Tech Carnival’ visit www.synapsegalway.com. -Ends-

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Collaboration will focus on stem cell therapy, gene therapy, biomaterials and biomedical engineering The National University Ireland Galway has signed an agreement to formalise collaborative ties with the Mayo Clinic Centre for Regenerative Medicine in the US. The agreement follows many years of close cooperation, and paves the way for joint collaborations in clinical trials using regenerative therapies. Collaborative research projects will focus on a number of key strategic areas of importance for both institutes, including adult stem cell therapy, gene therapy, biomaterials and biomedical engineering. Furthermore, the agreement facilitates ongoing student and staff exchange between Galway and the US.   The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) puts the emphasis on regulatory science to facilitate global translation of regenerative medicine therapies to the clinic. Both the National University Ireland Galway and the Mayo Clinic Centre for Regenerative Medicine have GMP cell manufacturing facilities, licensed for use by the respective national medical authorities. National University of Ireland Galway’s President, Dr Jim Browne, welcoming the signing of the MOU, said: “Formalising our longstanding links paves the way for advancing our common agenda which is to realize the potential of regenerative medicine. Here in Galway we have Ireland’s only facility licenced to produce stem cells for human use, while the new clinical and translational research facility for conducting clinical trials with patients will be complete in early 2015.” NUI Galway’s Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) and the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB), both of which are supported by Science Foundation Ireland, are working together specifically to develop joint clinical trial programmes in the area of regenerative medicine. Professor Tony Windebank, Deputy Director for Discovery of the Centre for Regenerative Medicine at Mayo Clinic said: “Mayo Clinic and NUI Galway have an established track record and commitment to regenerative medicine over the last decade. The Mayo Clinic has prioritized the development of new regenerative medicine clinical applications as a critical strategy for meeting the needs of patients in the future, which was evidenced in the formation of our Centre for Regenerative Medicine in 2012.” The signing of the MOU comes on top of the recent announcement of a new $16 million agreement between Mayo Clinic and Enterprise Ireland where up to 20 novel medical technologies will be commercialised in Ireland over the next five years with the aim of creating several high value medical technology spin-out companies. Video featuring Professor Tony Windebank, Deputy Director for Discovery of the Centre for Regenerative Medicine at Mayo Clinic https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B98ci3iAknE  

Monday, 22 September 2014

In conjunction with NUI Galway Autumn Open Days, the University will hold a special event for its graduates on Saturday, 4 October. The Open Days will feature tours of the campus, facility tours, and taster sessions of what is involved in attending NUI Galway today and graduates are invited to participate. As well as the rest of the activities associated with the Open Day, a special series of lectures for Alumni will take place in the Aula Maxima from 2pm. These will include contributions from Professor Hubert McDermott from the Department of English, Professor Alan Ahearne from the School of Economics, amongst others. The Literary and Debating Society have also organised a ball for society members past and present. As well as some familiar faces, there will be a four-course meal, debating and entertainment. For booking details visit www.literaryanddebating.com. For Dublin Alumni, a special evening of Druid's production of Tom Murphy's double bill Brigit and Bailgangaire will take place in the Olymypia Theatre on Saturday, 4 October. To book tickets visit www.nuigalway.ie/alumniday. Sean O'Rourke, Chair of the NUI Galway Alumni Board, said: “NUI Galway Day is an ideal opportunity to celebrate the links that all Galway graduates share with their alma mater. There are over 80,000 NUI Galway graduates worldwide and I would encourage all of them to celebrate their shared Galway heritage.” A special new online graduate worldwide alumni contact map will be live soon at www.nuigalway.ie/alumni. There will be live online links on the day and graduates can also contact each other via our Linkedin and Facebook sites. For more information contact the Alumni Office at alumni@nuigalway.ie or 091 493750. -Ends-

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Mr Damien English T.D., and Professor Orla Feely, Chairperson of the Irish Research Council, recently presented NUI Galway researcher Dr Aideen Ryan with an award in recognition of her selection and participation in the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. Since 1951, the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings have been bringing together the most esteemed scientists of their times with outstanding young scientists from all over the world. This year, 600 young researchers representing almost 80 countries took part in the Meeting. Dr Ryan was one of four young Irish researchers who were chosen in a competitive process to attend the 64th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting dedicated to Physiology and Medicine. The select group of scientists had the opportunity to present and discuss their research in master classes hosted by 37 Nobel Laureates. Dr Ryan works within the Immunology group of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway with Professor Laurence Egan, Dr Thomas Ritter and Professor Matthew Griffin and her research, which looks specifically at colon cancer, is supported by an Irish Cancer Society Research Fellowship. Colon cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer-related deaths in Ireland and represents a significant health problem. Dr Ryan’s research is taking a fresh approach by focusing on the cancer cells interaction with the immune system. Dr Ryan, who is originally from Ballinasloe in Co. Galway, explains her work: “What fascinates me is the interaction of cancer cells with our immune cells. Understanding how our immune system allows the cancer to spread may allow us to develop ways to stop the process.” The aim of her research is to find ways to help the body’s immune system detect and destroy cancer cells. “Our work in the lab has shown that we can target some of the signals coming from tumours and that this could help our immune cells to flourish.” Dr Ryan’s recent research work, published in the journal Oncogene, has provided new insights into how the body’s immune system affects the spread of colon cancer cells and it is hoped that this work will inform the development of new drugs that could be used to strengthen our immune system’s response to cancer. This novel approach to cancer treatment could potentially result in better treatments and consequently a better prognosis and quality of life for patients with colon cancer. -ends-

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Research & Innovation Links on Agenda for Inaugural Visit to Galway Today on the NUI Galway campus, the recently-elected Mayor of Boston, Martin J. (“Marty”) Walsh will be hosted by the University President, Dr Jim Browne at an event that will include NUI Galway research leaders, colleagues from IDA Ireland as well as high-level representatives from IDA and EI client companies with strong Boston-Galway connections. This occasion will focus on the opportunities for further collaboration between Boston and Galway in the context of the global knowledge-based economy, specifically on the development of research and innovation links between Galway’s University and organisations in the Boston area. In advance of the Mayor’s visit, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne said: “Galway and Boston share many strong links in culture, in education and in business life. I am delighted to welcome Mayor Walsh to NUI Galway and I look forward to working with him to build on our regions’ shared heritage to create stronger, more dynamic research and academic links between Boston and Galway.” Elected in November 2013, this is the first official visit of Mr Marty J. Walsh as Mayor of Boston to the home of his emigrant parents. The ten-day trip will see the Mayor attend meetings with representatives of government, business and industry throughout the country. Mayor Walsh's parents, both from Connemara in County Galway, emigrated from Ireland in the 1950s and went to Boston. Having met in a dance hall, John and Mary Walsh married and settled in St. Margaret’s Parish, Dorchester where he and his brother Johnny grew up, and where his mother still lives. Catherina Blewitt, West Regional Manager for the IDA, said: “On behalf of IDA Ireland I am delighted to welcome Mayor Walsh to Galway and to introduce him to client companies of IDA Ireland and to indigenous companies with strong Boston connections. There has been significant two-way activity between Greater Boston and Galway and we look forward to working with Mayor Walsh to strengthen our ties, forge new ones and encourage further investment activity for the mutual benefit of both locations” The meeting at NUI Galway included senior representatives from the University, IDA Ireland as well as representatives from the American Chamber of Commerce West Branch and companies such as Boston Scientific, Fidelity, SmartBear Software, Aspect Software, Marvao Medical Devices, Covidien, Wayfair. Earlier in the day the Mayor will have been the guest of Galway County Council at their meeting also on the NUI Galway campus. ENDS   Cuairt Mhéara Bhostúin ar OÉ Gaillimh Ceangal Taighde & Nuálaíochta ar an gClár Oibre don Chéad Chuairt ar Ghaillimh Ar champas OÉ Gaillimh inniu chuir Uachtarán na hOllscoile, an Dr Jim Browne fáilte roimh Mhéara nua Bhostúin, Martin J. (“Marty”) Walsh ag ócáid ina raibh láithreacht ag ceannairí taighde OÉ Gaillimh, comhghleacaithe ó IDA Éireann mar aon le hionadaithe ardleibhéil ó chliantchuideachtaí IDA agus EI a bhfuil ceangal láidir acu le Bostún agus le Gaillimh. Díreoidh an ócáid seo ar dheiseanna chun an comhoibriú idir Bostún agus Gaillimh a láidriú i gcomhthéacs an gheilleagair dhomhanda eolas-bhunaithe, go háirithe ar cheangal taighde agus nuálaíochta a fhorbairt idir an Ollscoil agus eagraíochtaí i réigiún Bhostúin. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, faoi thábhacht na cuairte: “Is iomaí ceangal láidir atá idir Gaillimh agus Bostún maidir le cultúr, oideachas agus gnó. Tá an-áthas orm fáilte a chur roimh an Méara Walsh chuig OÉ Gaillimh agus táim ag súil le hoibriú leis chun tógáil ar an oidhreacht roinnte atá idir an dá réigiún chun ceangal taighde agus acadúil níos láidre agus níos dinimiciúla a chruthú idir Bostún agus Gaillimh.” Toghadh an tUasal Marty J. Walsh ina Mhéara ar Bhostún i mí na Samhna 2013, agus is í seo an chéad chuairt oifigiúil aige ar áit dúchais a thuismitheoirí a chuaigh ar imirce go Meiriceá. I gcaitheamh na tréimhse deich lá a bheidh sé anseo freastalóidh an Méara ar chruinnithe le hionadaithe rialtais, gnó agus tionscail ar fud na tíre. Ba de bhunú Chonamara i gContae na Gaillimhe iad tuismitheoirí Marty, agus d'fhág siad Éire sna 1950idí le dul go Bostún. Chas John agus Mary Walsh ar a chéile i halla damhsa agus phós siad i bParóiste St. Margaret, Dorchester, áit ar rugadh agus ar tógadh Marty agus a dheartháir Johnny. Tá a mháthair Mary fós ina cónaí ann. Dúirt Catherina Blewitt, Bainisteoir Réigiúnach an Iarthair leis an IDA: “Thar ceann IDA Éireann tá fíoráthas orm fáilte a chur roimh an Méara Walsh go Gaillimh agus é a chur in aithne do chliantchuideachtaí de chuid IDA Éireann agus do chuideachtaí na tíre seo a bhfuil ceangal láidir acu le Bostún. Bhí gníomhaíocht shuntasach sa dá threo idir Mórcheantar Bhostúin agus Gaillimh agus táimid ag súil le hoibriú leis an Méara Walsh chun an ceangal atá againn cheana a neartú, chun naisc nua a chruthú agus chun breis infheistíochta a spreagadh amach anseo a rachaidh chun tairbhe don dá cheantar.” I láthair ag an gcruinniú a bhí ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh bhí ionadaithe sinsearacha ón Ollscoil, ó IDA Éireann chomh maith le hionadaithe ó Bhrainse an Iarthair de Chumann Lucht Tráchtála Mheiriceá agus cuideachtaí cosúil le Boston Scientific, Fidelity, SmartBear Software, Aspect Software, Marvao Medical Devices, Covidien, Wayfair. Níos túisce sa lá d'fhreastail an Méara ar chruinniú de chuid Chomhairle Contae na Gaillimhe a bhí ar siúl ar champas OÉ Gaillimh chomh maith. CRÍOCH

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Over 30 alumni who graduated from the very first Masters of Business Administration (MBA) and the Masters of Industrial Engineering (MIE) at NUI Galway recently celebrated a 40 year reunion in Galway. The occasion enabled the former classmates to reconnect and reflect on their journeys since completing the MBA in what was then UCG. “It is testament to the vision and foresight of the team at NUI Galway in the early 1970s to lead the way in management development by introducing the first MBA outside of Dublin. Over 40 years later, there are over 530 MBA alumni, with many achieving significant career success nationally and internationally. The programme recently attained AMBA accreditation which is the global mark of excellence for MBA education and places NUI Galway’s programme in the top tier of MBA programmes worldwide,” said Dr Alma McCarthy, Executive MBA Director. Helen Ryan, former CEO of Creganna Tactx, was the keynote speaker at the event and Helen recounted the success story behind the global medical device company based in Parkmore in Galway. A clear strategy and vision, sound financial management, recruiting and investing in the right people, and being brave and ambitious in business planning are the key success factors identified by Helen learned from her time with Creganna, which saw it grow from having less than 100 staff when she joined to being a global business today with over 1200 employees. The alumni group was also addressed by the inaugural NUI Galway MBA Director, Professor Jim Doolan, a Harvard MBA graduate himself, who reflected on the need for management education in the western region of Ireland in the 1970s and how NUI Galway was one of the first in Europe to offer the MBA programme at that time. The 1974-1976 MBA drew students from across the country and had a significant impact on management education in the region at the time and one which continues today. Commenting on the changing landscape of management education and the MBA in particular, Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, said: “MBA programmes have proliferated across the world since NUI Galway introduced the MBA in 1972. Obviously much has changed in terms of the curriculum since then and yet some key management principles are still as relevant today as they were 40 years ago. One of the biggest differences now is the diversity of typical MBA class groups where there is greater gender, age and international diversity and a much greater focus on globalisation in the curriculum compared to 40 years ago.” ENDS

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Dr Michel Dugon, from NUI Galway’s discipline of Zoology, and his creepy-crawly friends will tour schools around Ireland to teach kids about bugs, biodiversity and ecology. Dr Dugon is also the presenter of Bug Hunters, an educational TV series in 30 episodes currently airing on RTÉ2 and RTÉJr. In each episode, Michel and three young naturalists explore parts of the Irish wilderness to unearth some of the most fascinating, colourful and strange-looking creepy-crawlies. A specialist of venomous and poisonous animals, Dr Dugon is also a fervent advocate of Irish wildlife: Dr Dugon said: “Ireland is home to over 12,000 species of bugs, including 400 species of spiders, 100 species of bees and over 2,000 species of beetles. Contrary to common belief, Irish ecosystems are very rich and divers and very accessible as well.” Bug Hunters features some of the most prominent and species-rich ecosystems in Ireland, from the mountains of Wicklow to the streams of Connemara and the rock formations of the Burren. To promote knowledge about local ecosystems, Dr Dugon has created Eco EXPLORERS, an NUI Galway-backed science outreach initiative. Last year alone, he visited 44 schools in six counties and over 7,000 pupils followed his workshops and holiday camps on ecology and biodiversity. Dr Dugon also uses live exotic animals in his workshops and said: “Exotic bugs are fantastic models to teach kids about important concepts like biodiversity, ecology, and evolution. People don’t forget their first encounter with a tarantula or a giant millipede. It is also an excellent occasion to re-establish the truth about misunderstood critters.” The second season of Bug Hunters is being aired simultaneously on RTÉ2 and RTÉJr. Episodes are available online on the RTÉ player at http://www.rte.ie/player/ie/show/10324438/. For more information on Bug Hunters contact Dr Dugon at Michel.dugon@nuigalway.ie or visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/thebughunters. -Ends-

Thursday, 25 September 2014

There is a formula for happiness after all. The equation has been described by Professor Ray Dolan, Professor of Neuropsychiatry and Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at University College London. Professor Dolan presented some of his latest research findings on Tuesday, 23 September, at NUI Galway in a lecture jointly hosted by the University’s School of Psychology, the Discipline of Psychiatry, and the Galway Neuroscience Centre. In a talk entitled ‘Value Encoding in the Human Brain’, Professor Dolan explained how he and his team of researchers believe that happiness is governed primarily by expectation and surprise, work which they have published recently in the prestigious international journal The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Professor Dolan and his team used a combination of behavioral neuroscience, computational modeling and neuroimaging approaches to study emotional reactivity in the form of momentary happiness in response to reward. He also presented results from other work that may help to explain why some people have a propensity to gamble and take risks, while others avoid risk. He explained how the chemical transmitter dopamine in the brain is likely to play a key role in determining whether and how someone will gamble. Furthermore, dopamine’s actions in the brain also appear to play a critical role in learning. Professor Dolan demonstrated how a decline in dopamine levels with ageing can result in impaired learning. In turn, drugs that elevate levels of dopamine in the brain can act as cognitive enhancers. Professor Dolan, who is a native of Monivea in Galway and a graduate of NUI Galway (known then as University College Galway), is a clinician scientist with a primary interest in the neurobiology of emotion and how emotion impacts on cognition, including decision making.  He has published over 500 peer reviewed papers in scientific journals and is consistently ranked among the top five most cited neuroscientists in the world in the field of neuroscience and behaviour. He has received numerous awards including the Alexander Von Humboldt Research Award (2004), the Golden Brain Award from the Minerva Foundation (2006), the International Max Planck Research Award (2007). In 2011 he was made a Visiting Einstein Fellow to the Humboldt University, Berlin. He was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci) in 2000 and Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2010. Recently, he received an NUI Galway Alumni Award. NUI Galway’s Professor David Finn, Leader of the Galway Neuroscience Centre, said, “We were honored to welcome Professor Dolan back to NUI Galway to talk to us about his very exciting recent research findings. Neuroscience research and teaching is currently very vibrant at NUI Galway and we aim to train the next generation of leaders in brain research.” -ends-

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The Insight Centre for Data Analytics is delighted to announce the appointment of Oliver Daniels as CEO. Oliver Daniels will lead the €75 million SFI Research Centre as it firmly positions Ireland at the heart of global data analytics research. He joins Insight from Avaya, where he has served as R&D Leader of Research & Development for Contact Center Applications at Avaya for the last five years. Oliver Daniels was responsible for leading the software engineering teams as they developed innovative applications for both cloud and on premise solutions. At Avaya, he has leveraged his 27 years of enterprise software experience with Avaya, and Nortel, to create industry-leading contact centre solutions and drive innovation in customer experience technology. Prior to Avaya, Oliver Daniels served as R&D Leader for Nortel, and has also served as CEO of Accendo Technologies, an Irish start-up. Oliver has held a wide variety of senior roles in technology and management, serving Nortel, ADC, and Saville Systems, based in Ireland, the UK, and France. Oliver Daniels is credited as a co-inventor in several contact centre patent applications, he holds a B. Comm from NUI Galway. Insight is a joint initiative between researchers at DCU, NUI Galway, UCC and UCD, and other partner institutions. Established in July 2013, it has brought together a critical mass of more than 200 researchers to develop a new generation of data analytics technologies in a number of key application areas. Data analytics – the study of ‘Big Data’ - is a global challenge that involves turning vast quantities of ubiquitous raw data into knowledge that will inform people and improve society, business, and health. The sector is growing by an estimated 30% annually and Insight is playing a key role in developing the research strengths and specialised skills needed for Ireland to remain globally competitive. Through dynamic partnerships with some 30 industry partners, the multi-location research centre aims to leverage further investment from Europe, help create high value jobs in Ireland, and deliver economic and societal impact. Speaking about the appointment, John Tracey, Chairman of the Insight Governance Board, said: “We are delighted with the appointment of Oliver Daniels as Insight’s new CEO. As the largest publicly funded research project in Ireland, Insight’s success critically depends on further deepening the close co-operation between industry and the universities. Oliver’s extensive industry and R&D experience, at the highest level, will allow Insight to achieve further success.”   John Tracey also thanked Professor Barry Smyth who has held the role of CEO since Insight’s inception: “Barry led the university groups that successfully established Insight and has led the centre since it commenced in mid-2013. I want to thank him sincerely for the major contribution he has made to Insight to date and will continue to make in the future.” Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Irish Government said: “SFI-funded research centres, like Insight, were established to further Ireland’s competitive advantage in specific research areas. As big data continues to grow exponentially, there is a real opportunity for Ireland to compete and win. Under the stewardship of a leader of Oliver’s calibre, I have no doubt that Insight will be positioned to capitalise on this growth, deliver cutting-edge research and develop opportunities for industry collaboration and commercialisation. I also want to thank Professor Barry Smyth who led the Insight bid, established the Insight Centre and contributed significantly to its scientific and commercial success to date. I am confident that Barry and his colleagues in Insight will continue to research, innovate and keep Ireland to the fore in the rapidly growing field of big data analytics.” Oliver Daniels takes up the role from 21 October, 2014, and will be based at Insight NUI Galway. -ends- Oliver Daniels Ceaptha ina Phríomhfheidhmeannach ar Ionad Anailísíochta Sonraí Insight Tá an-áthas ar Ionad Anailísíochta Sonraí Insight a fhógairt go bhfuil Oliver Daniels ceaptha ina Phríomhfheidhmeannach ar an ionad. Beidh Oliver Daniels i gceannas ar an Ionad Taighde de chuid Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta na hÉireann ar fiú €75 milliún é agus é mar aidhm aige Éire a dhaingniú mar chroílár domhanda an taighde anailísíochta sonraí. Sular ceapadh sa phost seo in Insight é bhí sé ag obair in Avaya le cúig bliana anuas mar Cheannaire Taighde agus Forbartha d'Fheidhmchláir Ionaid Teagmhála. Bhí Oliver Daniels freagrach as na foirne innealtóireachta bogearraí a stiúradh agus iad i mbun feidhmchláir nuálacha a fhorbairt do réitigh néil agus ar an láthair araon. In Avaya, d'úsáid sé an taithí i mbogearraí fiontraíochta a fuair sé thar 27 bliain le Avaya, agus le Nortel, chun réitigh ionaid teagmhála ar thús cadhnaíochta a chruthú agus chun nuálaíocht a chur chun cinn i dteicneolaíocht eispéiris an chustaiméara. Sula ndeachaigh sé ag obair in Avaya, d'oibrigh Oliver Daniels mar Cheannaire Taighde agus Forbartha le Nortel, agus bhí sé freisin ina Phríomhfheidhmeannach ar Accendo Technologies, gnólacht nuathionscanta Éireannach. Is iomaí ról sinsearach sa teicneolaíocht agus sa bhainistíocht a bhí ag Oliver, agus é ag obair in Nortel, ADC, agus Saville Systems, bunaithe in Éirinn, sa Ríocht Aontaithe agus sa Fhrainc. Is comhchumadóir é Oliver Daniels i roinnt feidhmchlár paitinne ionaid teagmhála, agus tá B. Comm aige ó OÉ Gaillimh. Is comhthionscnamh é Insight idir taighdeoirí in DCU, OÉ Gaillimh, UCC agus UCD, agus institiúidí comhpháirtíochta eile. Bunaíodh é i mí Iúil 2013, agus tá tairseach chriticiúil de bhreis is 200 taighdeoir tugtha le chéile aige chun glúin nua teicneolaíochtaí anailísíochta sonraí a fhorbairt i roinnt príomhréimsí feidhmchláir. Is dúshlán domhanda é anailísíocht sonraí - staidéar ar ‘Olltiomsú Sonraí’- a bhaineann le méideanna ollmhóra sonraí loma uileláithreach a athrú go heolas a rachaidh i bhfeidhm ar dhaoine agus a fheabhsóidh cúrsaí sochaí, gnó agus sláinte.  Tá fás 30% ag teacht go bliantúil ar an earnáil agus tá ról lárnach ag Insight i bhforbairt na láidreachtaí taighde agus na sainscileanna a theastaíonn chun go bhfanfaidh Éire iomaíoch ar bhonn domhanda. Trí chomhpháirtíochtaí dinimiciúla le 30 comhpháirtí tionscail, tá sé d'aidhm leis an ionad taighde ilsuímh tuilleadh infheistíochta a fháil ón Eoraip, poist ardluacha a chruthú in ‏Éirinn, agus tionchar geilleagrach agus sochaí a chur i bhfeidhm. Ag labhairt dó faoin gceapachán, dúirt John Tracey, Cathaoirleach Bhord Rialachais Insight: “Táimid thar a bheith sásta le ceapachán Oliver Daniels mar Phríomhfheidhmeannach nua Insight. Tá Insight ar an tionscadal taighde is mó a fhaigheann maoiniú poiblí in Éirinn, agus tá a rath ag brath go géar ar níos mó forbairt a dhéanamh ar an dlúth-chomhoibriú idir an tionscal agus na hollscoileanna.  Tabharfaidh taithí fhairsing Oliver ar an tionscal agus ar thaighde agus ar fhorbairt deis do Insight níos mó rath a bhaint amach.”   Ghlac John Tracey buíochas chomh maith leis an Ollamh Barry Smyth a bhí ina Phríomhfheidhmeannach ar Insight ó bunaíodh é: “Threoraigh Barry na grúpaí ollscoile a bhunaigh Insight agus bhí sé i mbun an t-ionad a stiúradh ó lár 2013.  Ba mhaith liom buíochas ó chroí a ghlacadh leis as an obair mhór atá déanta aige le Insight go dtí seo agus as an obair a dhéanfaidh sé leis amach anseo.” Dúirt an tOllamh Mark Ferguson, Ard-Stiúrthóir Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann agus Príomhchomhairleoir Eolaíochta don Rialtas: “Bunaíodh ionaid taighde maoinithe ag SFI, cosúil le Insight, chun cur le buntáiste iomaíoch na hÉireann i réimsí taighde ar leith. De réir mar atá fás as cuimse ag teacht ar olltiomsú sonraí, tá an-deis ag Éirinn a bheith san iomaíocht agus an ceann is fearr a fháil. Faoi cheannas duine de mhianach Oliver, níl aon amhras orm ach go mbeidh deis ag Insight teacht i dtír ar an bhfás seo, taighde ceannródaíoch a chur ar fáil agus deiseanna a fhorbairt do chomhoibriú agus do thráchtálú tionscail. Ba mhaith liom chomh maith buíochas a ghlacadh leis an Ollamh Barry Smyth a bhí ina cheann feadhna ar thairiscint Insight, a bhunaigh Ionad Insight agus a chuir go mór lena rath eolaíoch agus tráchtála go dtí seo. Tá mé muiníneach go leanfaidh Barry agus a chomhghleacaithe in Insight ar aghaidh i mbun taighde, nuála agus go gcoinneoidh siad Éire chun tosaigh i réimse na hanailísíochta olltiomsaithe sonraí, réimse atá ag fás go tréan.” Cuirfidh Oliver Daniels tús lena phost an 21 Deireadh Fómhair 2014, agus beidh sé lonnaithe in Insight OÉ Gaillimh. -críoch-

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Dilip Thomas, a final year PhD student with the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) at the National University of Ireland Galway, has been awarded the best poster prize at the prestigious Gordon Research Conference. The conference titled ‘Signal Transduction in Engineered Extracellular Matrices’ was held 6-11 July in Waltham, Massachusetts, USA. Thomas received a competitive travel bursary to present his work at the conference. The bursary was awarded by the British Society of Matrix Biology (BSMB) and is given to researchers at an early stage of their career. The award supports members of the society who have been accepted as a presenting author at an international meeting with a matrix biology theme. Dilip’s research work is a collaborative project between the NFB and the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at the National University of Ireland Galway. The project is funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) under the supervision of Professor Abhay Pandit (NFB) and Professor Timothy O’Brien (REMEDI). The project involves novel methods of treating hind limb ischemia which occurs when the blood supply is lost to a limb. Delayed treatment of the condition leads to morbidity, amputation and even death, with around 50,000 cases in the US annually. Dilip’s work entails promoting new blood vessel growth to the limb using cell transplantation and biomaterials. Dilip received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biotechnology from the University of Mumbai, India. He went on to receive a Master of Engineering degree in Biochemical Engineering from University College London (UCL) in the UK. Prior to his academic achievements, he worked at Sharon Biomedicine Ltd, India as a Research and Development assistant in the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) manufacturing and testing division. Professor Pandit commented on the award: “The scientific sessions of this conference are extremely contextual, informative and will help Dilip to interact with leading international experts working in the field of regenerative medicine.” -ends-

Thursday, 7 August 2014

The College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway has announced details of a special entrance maths examination to give students a second chance to pursue a career in engineering. The exam, which takes place on Wednesday, 20 August, is for students who achieve the CAO points for an undergraduate engineering degree course at NUI Galway but who have not met the obligatory maths requirement. This year, NUI Galway will hold an intensive preparatory course for applicants intending to sit the exam. This free course will run from 14-19 August. For more than 20 years NUI Galway has provided this special entrance exam to help applicants who did not achieve the required grade C3 or better in higher level mathematics. Those who took lower level maths in the Leaving Cert may also apply for the exam. Students who pass this examination will be deemed to have satisfied the maths requirement and, providing they have the necessary points, will receive an additional CAO offer at Round Two. From 14-19 August, in addition to preparing students for the special entrance examination, lecturers will demonstrate the relevance and application of mathematics to engineering. The aim of the preparatory course is to bridge the gap between the Leaving Certificate lower level and that required to be successful in the entrance exam. This will be achieved by tackling a variety of problems of increasing difficulty. Learning how to approach a problem and apply the knowledge available will be emphasised. “The nature of engineering programmes is that they are focused on the development of analytical and problem solving skills, and thus require significant use of mathematics and applied mathematics,” said Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway. “Every year we see a number of promising students who perform poorly on the day of the Leaving Cert exam. Our Special Entrance Maths Examination provides these students with a second opportunity to demonstrate that they have reached the necessary standard in maths. Over the years, we have had some exceptionally talented students graduate and pursue successful careers in engineering because they were given the second chance which this exam represents.” “Demand for engineering programmes at NUI Galway continues to rise year on year and the College of Engineering has expanded its degree programmes to meet requirements. NUI Galway realises its role in providing world-class graduates to meet the needs of industry and the economy”, continued Professor Lyons. NUI Galway offers students an undenominated entry to engineering. This course is specifically designed for students who are interested in becoming an engineer, but uncertain as to which field they want to specialise in. This course offers students the option of studying engineering in a general way for one year before going on to specialise in their chosen field in year two. To apply for the special maths exam please visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/prospectivestudents/specialentrancemathsexamination/. Those interested in the revision maths course and the examination should call 091 492 101 or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/prospectivestudents/specialentrancemathspreparatorycourse/ for further details. -Ends- Seans Eile á thabhairt ag OÉ Gaillimh do Mhic Léinn na hArdteistiméireachta trí Scrúdú Speisialta Matamaitice a Reáchtáil Tá Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice in OÉ Gaillimh i ndiaidh sonraí a chur ar fáil faoi scrúdú speisialta iontrála matamaitice, scrúdú a thugann seans eile do mhic léinn tabhairt faoi ghairm na hinnealtóireachta. Beidh an scrúdú ar siúl Dé Céadaoin, an 20 Lúnasa, agus tá sé dírithe ar mhic léinn a bhaineann na pointí cuí don CAO amach chun cúrsa céime san innealtóireacht a dhéanamh in OÉ Gaillimh ach nach bhfuil an marc riachtanach acu sa mhatamaitic. I mbliana, beidh dianchúrsa ullmhúcháin ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh roimh ré dóibh siúd ar mian leo an scrúdú a dhéanamh. Beidh an cúrsa saor in aisce seo ar siúl ón 14-19 Lúnasa. Le breis agus scór bliain anuas, tá an scrúdú speisialta iontrála seo á reáchtáil ag OÉ Gaillimh chun cabhrú le hiarratasóirí nár éirigh leo an grád riachtanach C3 nó os a chionn a bhaint amach sa pháipéar matamaitice ardleibhéil. Féadfaidh daoine nach ndearna ardleibhéal matamaitice san Ardteistiméireacht cur isteach ar an scrúdú chomh maith. Má fhaigheann mac léinn pas sa scrúdú seo beidh an riachtanas matamaitice sásaithe aige/aici agus gheobhaidh sé/sí tairiscint eile ón CAO i mBabhta 2, chomh fada is go bhfuil na pointí riachtanacha aige/aici. Ní hamháin go n-ullmhófar daltaí don scrúdú speisialta iontrála, ach léireoidh léachtóirí an tábhacht a bhaineann leis an matamaitic san innealtóireacht agus an úsáid is féidir a bhaint aisti. Is é an aidhm atá leis an gcúrsa ullmhúcháin seo cur lena mbíonn foghlamtha ag daltaí ag an ngnáthleibhéal san Ardteistiméireacht, le go n-éireoidh leo sa scrúdú iontrála matamaitice. Cuirfear é seo i gcrích trí dhul i ngleic le fadhbanna éagsúla ag leibhéil éagsúla deacrachta. Cuirfear béim ar conas tabhairt faoi fhadhb agus an t-eolas atá ar fáil a chur i bhfeidhm. “Is é mianach na gclár innealtóireachta go bhfuil siad dírithe ar fhorbairt a dhéanamh ar scileanna anailíseacha agus ar  scileanna chun fadhbanna a réiteach, agus dá bhrí sin caithfear úsáid shuntasach a bhaint as matamaitic agus as matamaitic fheidhmeach,” a deir an tOllamh Gerry Lyons, Déan na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice in OÉ Gaillimh. “Gach bliain feicimid daltaí cumasacha nach ndéanann chomh maith agus a d’fhéadfaidís ar lá an scrúdaithe Ardteiste. Tugann an Scrúdú Speisialta Iontrála Matamaitice deis eile do na daltaí seo léiriú go bhfuil an caighdeán riachtanach sa mhatamaitic bainte amach acu. Thar na blianta, d’éirigh le roinnt mac léinn a raibh cumas eisceachtúil iontu, céim a bhaint amach agus dul sa tóir ar shlí bheatha dóibh féin san innealtóireacht mar go bhfuair siad an dara deis leis an scrúdú speisialta iontrála seo.” “Tá an t-éileamh ar chláir innealtóireachta in OÉ Gaillimh ag dul i méid ó bhliain go bliain agus tá Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta tar éis na cláir chéime a leathnú chun freastal ar na riachtanais seo. Tuigeann OÉ Gaillimh a ról maidir le céimithe den scoth a chur ar fáil chun freastal ar riachtanais an tionscail”, a dúirt an tOllamh Lyons. Tá cúrsa neamhainmnithe san innealtóireacht ar tairiscint do mhic léinn in OÉ Gaillimh. Tá an cúrsa seo dírithe go háirithe ar mhic léinn a bhfuil suim acu a bheith ina n-innealtóirí ach nach bhfuil cinnte cén réimse ar mhaith leo díriú air. Tugann an cúrsa seo deis do mhic léinn staidéar ginearálta a dhéanamh ar an innealtóireacht ar feadh bliana sula roghnaíonn siad a réimse speisialtóireachta i mbliain a dó. Chun iarratas a dhéanamh ar an scrúdú speisialta matamaitice téigh chuig: http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/prospectivestudents/specialentrancemathsexamination/. Ba chóir dóibh siúd ar spéis leo an cúrsa ullmhúcháin matamaitice agus an scrúdú glao a chur ar 091 091 492 101 nó féachaint ar http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/prospectivestudents/specialentrancemathspreparatorycourse/ chun eolas breise a fháil. -Críoch-