Thursday, 31 July 2014

Scientists from NUI Galway have been involved in a significant new international study that explains how blood production declines with age. Published in this week’s Nature magazine, the research may provide ways of mitigating the effects of ageing on the blood which can lead to diseases such as anaemia, immunoscenescence, bone marrow failure and myeloid malignancies. The study was led by the University of California, San Francisco, in conjunction with NUI Galway’s Centre for Chromosome Biology and other researchers from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre, Madrid, the University of Chicago and the University of California, Santa Cruz. Our blood system can renew itself during our life. However, the key stem cells that are responsible for this become less effective as we age. This can give rise to blood diseases in older people, so the scientists sought to understand how these cells age. The study shows that critical components of blood stem cells’ replication machinery are lost during ageing, giving rise to replication stress, which is associated with cell cycle defects and chromosome gaps/breaks.This leads to particular biochemical marks being made on the genetic material that alter how genes work in aged blood stem cells and indicate the transcriptional silencing of ribosomal genes. It may be possible to manipulate these genetic marks for therapeutic or rejuvenation purposes. The research was led by was led by PhD student Johanna Flach and Professor Emmanuelle Passegué from the University of California. The collaborators from NUI Galway were Dr Pauline Conroy and Professor Ciaran Morrison, of the Centre for Chromosome Biology. Commenting on the work, NUI Galway’s Professor Morrison said: “Many changes happen in cells at the molecular level during ageing - key genes are affected and even the integrity of the genome itself may be altered. How these changes affect cell functions is complicated. We need to understand the mechanisms behind each biochemical activity to get an overall picture of how stem cells work and of how they age. This study indicates an important pathway toward ageing in haematopoietic stem cells - understanding this may ultimately let us mitigate the effects of ageing on the blood.” This work was funded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the US National Institutes of Health, with the NUI Galway work being supported by Science Foundation Ireland.  The 60 scientists led by 11 Principal Investigators at the Centre for Chromosome Biology in NUI Galway are dedicated to understanding many different areas of chromosome biology, such as how cell proliferation is controlled, the structure and maintenance of the genome, precise control of genome duplication and how genes are expressed. Their work is critical to the ongoing scientific battle against cancer and other areas including human reproduction and fertility and genetic diseases such as Huntington’s Disease. -ends-

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at the School of Law, NUI Galway has opened registration for delegates for the 2014 Summer School on the International Criminal Court. The 2014 Summer School will be held on the 16-20 June in Galway. The summer school on the International Criminal Court (ICC) offered by the Irish Centre for Human Rights is widely recognised as the leading programme of its kind, attracting participants from around the world. Leading specialists will deliver comprehensive lectures over the course of five days which will provide delegates with a detailed working knowledge of the establishment of the Court, its applicable law, its structures and operations. Lectures also speak to related issues in international criminal law, including universal jurisdiction, immunities and the role of the victims. Professor Ray Murphy of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway says “Despite the recent veto of the proposal to refer the situation in Syria to the ICC, the Court is arguably the most important international institution to have been established since the creation of the United Nations. Its aim is combating impunity for atrocities, and it is at the forefront of a broader movement for achieving accountability and justice around the world.” The 2014 Summer School on the International Criminal Court will feature expert presentations from Professor William Schabas, Middlesex University and Chairman of the Irish Centre for Human Rights; Professor Don Ferencz, Middlesex University; Dr Shane Darcy, Dr Noelle Higgins and Professor Ray Murphy of NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights; John McManus, Department of Justice, Canada; Dr Mohamed El Zeidy and Dr Rod Rastan and Dr Fabricio Guariglia International Criminal Court; Professor Megan Fairlie, Florida International University College of Law, USA; Dr Nadia Bernaz, University of Middlesex; Dr Mohamed Elewa Badar, Reader in Comparative and International Criminal Law and Islamic Law at Northumbria University School of Law; and Dr Kwadwo Appiagyei Atua, University of Ghana. To register, visit www.conference.ie or email iccsummerschool@gmail.com for more information. -Ends-

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Large network of underground rivers stretching up to 30 miles long and 70ft wide may be hidden under the seabed of Galway Bay, off the West coast of Ireland Geologists from the School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway have discovered large networks of underground rivers hidden under the seabed of Galway Bay, off the West coast of Ireland. The significant discovery was made by the researchers following conversations with residents from Inishmaan on the Aran Islands, who said their well of fresh water never ran out, when typically islands experience water shortages, and from fishermen who refer to freshwater risings along the south coast of Galway Bay. NUI Galway’s Earth and Ocean Sciences researchers concluded the water was likely to be flowing for several miles before emerging as 'freshwater rivers' out of the sea bed of Galway Bay. This water flow is caused by rain falling on the land, it runs through the limestone and then goes out under the sea. Research carried out by the NUI Galway Geologists identified that the 'freshwater rivers' are formed by water dissolving the limestone that underlies southern Galway and north Clare. This karstification process slowly created not only the distinctive topography of the Burren, but the conduits reaching out under Galway Bay and the Aran Islands, which could be up to 30 miles long. Wells intersecting these conduits produce more water than falls on the island as rain indicating that the water is sourced from the mainland. Dr Tiernan Henry, Lecturer in Environmental Geology, School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway said: “We were told about a well at a local hotel on Inishmaan that had an excellent supply of fresh water. The islands can have water problems, they are always short, but this well went deep into the rock and was getting more water than falls on the whole island.” The pure bedded limestones that form the islands are found throughout north Clare and south and east Galway. These rocks are particularly susceptible to dissolution by rainfall (and time) forming the distinctive drainage patterns of turloughs, swallow holes, sink holes and sinking rivers. Almost all of the freshwater in these areas flows in discrete zones within the rock discharging in springs found at the coast and in the bays and sea. The means by which these passages and conduits form is well known and well understood, but where they form, and the shapes they take are less easy to predict.  The research was funded by the Griffiths Award and supported by the University’s Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research. For more information visit the School of Natural Sciences at http://www.nuigalway.ie/natural_sciences/ or Earth and Ocean Sciences at http://www.nuigalway.ie/eos/ -ends-

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

NUI Galway is pleased to announce an international history workshop entitled ‘Small Nations and Colonial Peripheries in World War I: Europe and the Wider World’ which will take place at the Hardiman Library in NUI Galway from 13-14 June. Organised by the discipline of History at NUI Galway, the conference will look at how the war impacted peoples, such as the Irish, who found themselves on the periphery of great powers and empires. Ranging from Ireland to Australia to Central Asia, the twelve speakers, including NUI Galway’s Dr John Cunningham, will consider how the war linked ordinary men and women from across the world to the conflict in Europe and across the globe. The keynote address will be delivered on Friday at 4.30pm by prominent American historian of World War One, Professor Michael A. Neiberg of the US Army College in Pennsylvania. Professor Neiberg will speak on ‘Small Nations inside a Big State: American Immigrant Communities react to War, 1914-17’. Professor Neiberg is the author of several widely-read books on ‘World War One, including Fighting the Great War: A Global History’ and ‘Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of WWI’. The conference is open to all, especially those interested in the World War I centenary. For further information on the conference visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/history/ -Ends-

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Following the success of the Bio-EXPLORERS Easter Science Camp, the NUI Galway School of Natural Sciences is now taking bookings for three summer camp sessions. The Bio-EXPLORERS Summer Science Camps will begin on Mondays, the 14, 21 and 28 of July, with each camp running for five days. Registrations are open to all aspiring young scientists aged 8 to 13 years old. The camps will run from 9.30am until 4.30pm from Monday to Friday. The cost for this exciting course packed with fun and exciting activities is €160 per child (€145 for additional siblings). Children will work as real scientists by performing and analysing experiments in a real research environment.  In the mornings, children will work with Dr Michel Dugon, the host of the RTE TV programme ‘Bug Hunters’. Activities will include discovering live local and exotic plants and animals, studying their habitats and understanding how they interact with their environment. In the afternoons, participants will understand how cells make our body work. With the dynamic team of Cell EXPLORERS, they will run their own experiments such as extracting DNA from cells, observing their own cells under small and large microscopes and building models. Bio-EXPLORERS is run and supported by NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences, and is composed of two science communication and public engagement programmes: Cell EXPLORERS, directed by Dr Muriel Grenon, and Eco-EXPLORERS, directed by Dr Michel Dugon. The programme’s primary goal is to inspire interest in science in the general public and to impact positively on science education. It proposes activities that are designed to engage children in a hands-on way and stimulate their interest in exploring science-related themes. Since its creation, the programme has engaged thousands of children in the West of Ireland and was actively involved in the Galway Science and Technology Festival. The ‘Fantastic DNA’ school visits and other Cell EXPLORERS activities are well known to primary school children in County Galway. The programme‘s volunteers have engaged more than 2000 pupils, teachers and parents since September 2013. The programme received the ‘Outstanding Contribution to STEM’ Award from the Galway Science and Technology Festival this year. Since October 2013, Eco EXPLORERS has engaged over 6000 pupils across the West of Ireland on topics related to ecology, biodiversity and zoology. Bug hunting and live exotic creepy crawlies (including reptiles, spiders and giant beetles!) are at the core of the Eco EXPLORERS experience. Activities are led by Dr Michel Dugon, who is also the host of the RTE TV programme Bug Hunters. The 15-episode TV series has been selected to represent RTE at several prestigious media festivals (IFTA, Celtic Media Awards and Prix Jeunesse International). For further information on the Bio-EXPLORERS Summer Science Camp or to register, visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/bughunters/ or email cellexplorers@nuigalway.ie. Places at the Camp will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis. -Ends-

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Minister Kathleen Lynch to open ‘Disability Policy Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century – Turning Ideas into Change that Transforms Lives’ from 23-25 June 2014 Minister for Disability, Older People, Equality and Mental Health Kathleen Lynch TD will open a major international conference ‘Disability Policy Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century – Turning Ideas into Change that Transforms Lives’, on 23 June at NUI Galway. The conference will link future disability reform agendas with the research and policy work of the EU Marie Curie Initial Training PhD Network DREAM (Disability Rights Expanding Accessible Markets) coordinated by NUI Galway’s Centre for Disability Law and Policy. This event will bring together major agents of change in the disability policy field around the world and will focus in particular on how to translate the generalities of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into practicable reform strategies. Speakers will include international figureheads from research and policy including Baroness Vivien Stern CBE, and video addresses from Maire Geoghegan-Quinn, Commissioner for Research, European Commission and Senator Tom Harkin, Chairman of the US Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. The conference will build on the work of the European-wide DREAM PhD network, which for the past three years and which focused on how to give practical effect to the UN Convention in areas such as: fundamental rights, e.g. the right to community living; expanding economic and market opportunities for persons with disabilities; and sustaining change with appropriate and effective institutional mechanisms at regional and national level. This PhD network was among the first in the world with a focus on the UN disability convention and was funded by the European Union as a Marie Curie Initial Training Network. The 14 researchers have all had placements in policy-oriented institutions and have gained valuable experience in translating ideas into action. “We did not want to produce PhD books that remain on the shelf. We wanted to impart skills to people to become real agents of change and to perform useful roles in the future. It might be within governments, but it could also be in civil society or in commercial organisations,” says Professor Gerard Quinn, Principal Investigator on the project and Director of the Centre for Disability Law & Policy. “The phrase I use to sum it up is ‘policy entrepreneurship’ – developing people who can really bring about change that transforms the lives of our citizens with disabilities.” he concludes. The DREAM network includes NUI Galway, the University of Leeds, Maastricht University, the University of Iceland, NOVA Norwegian Social Research, Fundosa Technosite S.A. and Swiss Paraplegic Research (SPF). More information is available at http://www.disability-rights.eu/ The event will interest all those concerned with the process of change including NGOs, DPOs, governments, international and regional organisations as well as business and services. It will also be of importance to academics, students and researchers interested in the UN convention as an engine of positive change for persons with disabilities. For more information visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/dream/events.html or email dream@nuigalway.ie   -Ends-

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

NUI Galway’s Professor Daniel Carey has been admitted as new members of the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) at a special ceremony in Dublin recently. This year Professor Carey was one of only 15 academics to receive Ireland’s highest academic distinction. Professor Careyis a Personal Professor with the Discipline of English at NUI Galway. Professor Carey's work explores the relationship between travel, colonialism and cultural difference in the period from 1550-1800. In addition to a publishing a book on the problem of cultural diversity in the work of John Locke and his contemporaries, he has edited six collections of essays on themes ranging from Asian travel in the Renaissance, to Gulliver's Travels. He has also investigated the history and philosophy of money and credit in the Enlightenment. He is co-general editor of Richard Hakluyt's Principal Navigations...of the English Nation (1598-1600), to appear in 14 volumes with Oxford University Press, the first ever critical edition of the landmark compilation of English travel. Congratulating Professor Carey, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, said: “Research and academic excellence are the cornerstones of all that we do here at NUI Galway. I am very proud to see the work of my colleague, Professor Daniel Carey recognised by the Royal Irish Academy. Admission to the Academy is the highest academic honour in Ireland.  It is a testament to the calibre of our staff and research to see the work of one of our finest humanities scholars honoured in this way.” At the ceremony admitting the new members, Professor Mary E. Daly, President of the Royal Irish Academy said: “There is a major onus on Irish researchers to ensure that Europe remains a world leader in the twenty-first century. But the emphasis on research that yields a return in the form of patents, company formation or new drugs tends to deny researchers the necessary breathing-space, the time to reflect, to allow for the wrong turns, the brilliant idea that collapses, or the unexpected lines of inquiry that might ultimately deliver something different from the original proposal, but something that is much more exciting. When the Royal Irish Academy elects members, it does soon the basis of a candidate’s publications and research record, the sole criterion is quality. This research may help in the treatment of disease, or it may enhance our understanding of a past civilisation. Members of the Academy should not shirk from their responsibility to let people know that basic research is important and that government support for fundamental research is a hallmark of a civilised society.” For 229 years, membership of the RIA has been keenly competed for, as it is the highest academic honour in Ireland and a public recognition of academic achievement. There are now 482 members of the Academy, in disciplines from the sciences, humanities and social sciences. Those elected are entitled to use the designation ‘MRIA’ after their name. -Ends-

Thursday, 5 June 2014

An NUI Galway spin-out company, Sedicii.com, have beaten thousands of other start-ups competing for the honour of appearing at TechCrunch Disrupt. TechCrunch Disrupt is seen as one of the critical battlefields for globally facing tech start-ups to prove their mettle.  Once a year the most promising stat-ups on the planet get an opportunity to pitch their ideas on the TechCrunch stage in the hunt for a prize of $50,000. The pitches take place in front of one of the most influential groups of angels and investors in the world today with the exposure gained often leading to substantial investment in the start-ups. Sedicii.com is a startup company that was incorporated as a result of an EI funded commercialisation project carried out by the Applied Innovations group in Insight at NUI Galway, in collaboration with Robert Leslie of GBRDirect. Building on original work by Dr Slavomir Grzoncowski in the area of zero knowledge proofs, Sedici has been developed into an authentication system and is being further developed into a federated identity verification system. British Telecom (BT) took a strong interest in the federated identity verification aspect of Sedici and have now named Sedicii.com as winner of its BT Infinity Lab competition. The prize is TechHub membership and desks for the six months, and BT is providing a team of technical and commercial people to validate the technology and to evaluate commercial opportunities. Further contact information Robert Leslie at rob.leslie@sedicii.com or visit www.sedicii.com. -Ends-  

Friday, 6 June 2014

The 18th annual Health Promotion Research Centre Summer Conference will take place at NUI Galway on Wednesday, 11 June in Áras Moyola. Plenary lectures, workshops, oral and poster presentations will focus on ‘Applying the Principles of Health Promotion to Population Health Improvement’.   In the context of the national policy framework ‘Healthy Ireland’, which was launched last, this conference brings together practitioners, researchers, academics and policy makers to consider the impact of Health Promotion on population health and how the core principles of Health Promotion can be applied in Ireland. Professor Louise Potvin, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Community Approaches and Health Inequalities at the Université de Montréal, Canada will deliver a keynote lecture which argues for population health intervention research as an emerging yet fundamental science for Health Promotion. Professor Potvin said: “It is vital that we base interventions to improve health on clear good-quality research and ensure that this is translated into policy and practice nationally and internationally. We should also manage to learn more from the innovative practices of practitioners and community organisations and research their efforts to improve the local conditions.” Dr Antony Morgan, an epidemiologist and Associate Director, at the Centre for Public Health Excellence, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), England, will discuss the Assets Model for improving health and wellbeing. The Assets Model, rather than focusing on a deficits or needs approach, identifies the potential strengths of individuals and communities and promotes joint solutions between communities and outside agencies. Dr Morgan said: “The Assets model provides some of the answers to unlocking persistent barriers to reducing health inequalities at the population level.” Biddy O’Neill, Barry McGinn and Cate Hartigan of the HSE will bring the national perspective to the plenary sessions in the conference. The implications and opportunities for Health and Wellbeing services in Ireland as a result of implementation of Healthy Ireland and the impact on service management and evaluation will be discussed. This session is relevant to delegates as practitioners or indeed as service users.   Participants will also hear and debate the latest research on alcohol misuse, food environments, men’s health and physical activity promotion affecting the Irish population across the life span. Dr Saoirse Nic Gabhainn, Senior Lecturer and Chair of the Annual Conference 2014, said: “The conference is a key event in the Health Promotion calendar in Ireland and it provides a unique opportunity to debate the issues and challenges facing Ireland as it strives to be a healthy society. The platform provided by the conference will help to showcase and disseminate the impact of health promotion on population health improvement in Ireland.” -Ends-   

Monday, 9 June 2014

Two NUI Galway students and an NUI Galway staff member have been invited to Las Vegas to share their EXPLORE project, ‘NUI Galway Mobile App’, which won the Best Presentation Award at the Blackboard European Teaching and Learning Conference in Dublin last week. The ‘NUI Galway Mobile App’ is being developed by Fionn Delahunty, a first year psychology student and Darren Kelly, a first year Biomedical Science student, both in NUI Galway and both from Salthill, Galway City. Fionn and Darren originally decided to make an app which would enhance the first year experience and this project was a fit for the EXPLORE campus innovation initiative.   Speaking about the app, Fionn said: “We soon realised that an app with just a few key functions and without a major cost was the solution and it had to be made with staff and student collaboration. We came across Mosaic by Blackboard which seemed like a perfect platform, allowing us to spend time gathering information with the knowledge that all we had to do is bring it back and plug it in for a functioning app. We approached and received an enthusiastic response from Dr Sharon Flynn, Assistant Director with CELT, NUI Galway, as well as Zara Sheerin and John Caulfield in the Marketing and Communications Office. Then the ‘NUI Galway Mobile App’ journey began.” The NUI Galway Mobile App features campus maps, tours, student mail and much more. The app responded to a campus need desired by many students, whilst using the skills and experience available around the University to produce an app that is useful to almost everyone on campus.  Dr Sharon Flynn, Assistant Director with CELT, NUI Galway, added: “The Student-As-Producer aspect to this project has been core to its success. This is an app designed by students for students, meeting their needs, based on their experience, and as staff members we're delighted to be in a position to facilitate that.” As winners of the Best Presentation Award at the Blackboard European Teaching and Learning Conference, Dr Flynn, Fionn and Darren will now invited to present to a global audience at the Blackboard World conference in Las Vegas in July where they will be joined by over 2,500 education experts and practitioners.  The NUI Galway Mobile App will be available mid-July from the Apple Store. More information on the EXPLORE projects are available at http://www.su.nuigalway.ie/projects. -Ends-

Monday, 9 June 2014

Tom Healy, Chair of the Fulbright Scholarship Board, officially announced 40 new Irish Fulbright Awardees at an event at the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence. Since 1957, the Fulbright Awards are given annually by the Irish and U.S. governments and provide Irish students, scholars, and professionals with the opportunity to study, lecture, and research at top universities and institutions throughout the United States. Among the 40 awardees were six winners from NUI Galway: Dr Gavin Collins is a lecturer in microbiology and European Research Council Fellow at NUI Galway, and a British Science Association Media Fellow at The Irish Times. As a Fulbright Scholar at the University of California Berkeley, Dr Collins will investigate microbial genomics in bioenergy production and enhanced oil recovery processes. Professor Fidelma Dunne is the Head of the School of Medicine at NUI Galway. Professor Dunne will research alongside Professor Mary D’Alton at Columbia University in New York. She will compare and contrast the screening for and clinical outcomes for women with Gestational Diabetes in both states to include a cost benefit analysis. Colm Mac Fhionnghaile is an MA candidate in Modern Irish at NUI Galway. Colm will be a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant in the University of Connecticut. Dr Emer Mulligan is Head of the School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway. As a Fulbright-CRH Scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Dr Mulligan’s research activities will focus on taxation in practice in US multinational corporations and US tax policy and administration. Julanne Murphy completed a Professional Diploma in Education at NUI Galway in 2012 and is currently a secondary school teacher at Ardscoil Ris, Limerick. Julanne will be a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at the Catholic University of America, Washington D.C. Alena Yuryna Connolly is currently undertaking a PhD in Information Systems Security at NUI Galway. While at the University of California Berkeley, Alena will research socio-cultural measures that promote security-cautious behaviour of employees in organisational settings. Patrick McDermott, Chair of the Fulbright Commission Board, commented: “The breadth and diversity of specialist knowledge, combined with immense leadership ability, makes this contingent an incredibly powerful group of representatives for Ireland. Each individual has overcome a rigorous selection process where research and study objectives were judged based on their potential to drive the Irish knowledge economy. “However, their mission extends even beyond academia. Fulbrighters are recognized for their capacity to forge meaningful collaborations between Ireland and the US. This element of inter-country collaboration is crucial to driving creativity which is at the core of all innovation and Fulbright itself. “Recognising global needs in digital technology, the Irish Fulbright Commission has also launched the TechImpact Awards this year. These are new short-term grants intended to facilitate faster movement for cutting edge digital research. This year six TechImpact candidates will explore areas such as optical communications, online laboratory environments, human-computer interaction technology and digital humanities.” A number of other agencies sponsor Fulbright Awards including CRH plc, Enterprise Ireland, the Marine Institute, the Environmental Protection Agency and Teagasc. The Irish Language Awards for teachers are supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht and the National Lottery. Speaking about the diverse nature of the awardees, Colleen Dube, Executive Director of the Fulbright Commission, added; “Year on year Irish Fulbrighters provide a fascinating insight into the direction of progressive global research. This year we have seen a particular increase in research that crosses traditional academic boundaries as the digital world impacts on everything around it. Fulbright provides a unique platform for Ireland’s brightest scholars to forge ahead in breaking new ground, while collaborating with other world class researchers in making a genuine difference to society.” The next round of applications for Irish Fulbright Awardees will open on Tuesday, 26 August, 2014. Interested applicants in all disciplines are encouraged to visit the Fulbright Commission’s website, www.fulbright.ie, for more information. All applications for the 2015-2016 academic year will be due on Wednesday, 12 November, 2014. -Ends-

Monday, 9 June 2014

NUI Galway recently conferred special certificates on the third cohort of ‘graduates’ from its Youth Academy. 208 primary school children from across Galway City and County received their certificates, with more than 1000 friends and family attending the ceremony. Established in 2012, the Youth Academy aims to inspire entry to university by introducing children and their families to university life. Since its foundation, over 600 children have graduated from a variety of 13 courses on Saturday mornings ranging from Italian to Mandarin, Philosophical Discovery, Psychology, Engineering, English Literature, History, Drama, Bio-Explore, Ocean Physics, and Information Technology. The Youth Academy runs for a six week period and works with high ability fourth and fifth class primary school children to support their learning and academic development, in partnership with their primary schools. Speaking at the event, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “The Youth Academy is a very important initiative by this University.  We feel that it responds to the educational needs of our most important young citizens and gives talented young students the opportunity to get experience of learning in a university. NUI Galway is committed to the sharing of knowledge with the wider community and ensuring that the pathways to university are open to all.I hope that initiatives such as the Youth Academy can highlight how the university can and does serve its community, not only here Galway but in society in general.” For further information on the courses and participation please contact Geraldine Marley, NUI Galway Youth Academy Coordinator, at youthacademy@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Following on the success of four international symposia devoted to the technological advances in power electronics and distributed generation, the 5th International Symposium on Power Electronics for Distributed Generation Systems (PEDG 2014) will be held in the Engineering Building, NUI Galway from 24-27 June 2014. This international symposium, sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Power Electronics Society, will provide a venue for experts to present the state-of-the-art in power electronics and distributed generation systems. The conference was previously held in China, Denmark and the USA. The conference programme includes several keynote sessions at which internationally renowned researchers and industry speakers will present on topics ranging from ‘eCar Adoption: A European Perspective’ by Dermot McArdle from ESB ecars, to ‘Taming the Intermittent Nature of Renewable Energy’ byProfessor Ron Hui of Hong Kong University.  Over 100 international delegates from 22 countries are expected to attend and present their most recent findings on the theory, analysis, design, testing and deployment of power electronics for distributed generation and renewable energy systems. The conference is being organised by Professor Gerard Hurley and Dr Maeve Duffy of the Power Electronics Research Centre (PERC) at NUI Galway, whose aim is to foster links with industry by transferring power electronics technology from a strong research base in the University to the wider community. Current research topics in PERC include the design of miniaturised (resonant) power converters with high efficiency, and the application of photovoltaic (PV) energy to charging of electric vehicles. PEDG 2014 will provide an opportunity to discuss these and other research topics with world renowned industry and academic experts. Full details about the conference are available at www.pedg2014.org -Ends-  

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

To celebrate 75 years of the Irish-Swiss diplomatic relations and the 150th anniversary of the First Geneva Convention, the Embassy of Switzerland in Ireland, in collaboration with the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, will present a photography exhibition entitled ‘War from the Victims Perspective’. The exhibition will run from 16-20 June in the University’s Art Gallery in the Quadrangle Building displaying photographs from Swiss photographer, Jean Mohr. Shown in Ireland for the first time in May 2014 at the Gallery of Photography in Dublin, Jean Mohr’s black and white photographs uphold the highest standards of humanist photography. The exhibition at NUI Galway will feature 40 of Jean’s images and addresses the issues of victims of conflicts, refugees and communities suffering from war and those under threat. The photographs focus on emblematic cases from around the world illustrating the universal problems of populations directly or indirectly enduring the repercussions of war. ‘War from the Victims Perspective’ is produced by the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. The exhibition will officially open with a reception on Monday, 16 June at 6pm and run daily from 12-6pm until Friday, 20 June. -Ends-

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

The Undergraduate Awards 2014 Programme is open to submissions from penultimate and final-year students of NUI Galway. Students can submit up to three pieces of their coursework across any of the 25 categories. The deadline for submissions is Monday, 16 June at midnight. Last year four NUI Galway students won Undergraduate Awards. Marcus Byrne topped the Classical Studies and Archaeology category, Aisling Ní Churraighín won the Irish Language category, John Birrane won the Psychology category, and Khai El Baba Jones topped the Philosophy and Theology category. All winners won attendance at the annual UA Global Summit, held over three days in Dublin with world-class speakers. Winners also have the chance to have their coursework published.  Further information on the awards, or to submit coursework can be done at www.undergraduateawards.com. For queries please contact info@undergraduateawards.com -Ends-

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Four NUI Galway law students are currently studying and working in Boston After recently signing a memorandum of understanding to establish formal links, Head of NUI Galway’s School of Law, Professor Donncha O’Connell, and Dean of Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Professor Camille Nelson, are delighted to announce that students from each institution are currently undertaking a two months placement, gaining a mixture of deeper academic knowledge and vital practical experience on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Professor O’Connell noted:  “The the exchange offers an extraordinary opportunity for our students to learn about the US law and legal system in Boston, a vibrant city which is renowned for its universities and cultural life and which has very close ties with Galway and the west of Ireland.”  Further, Professor O’Connell commented that: “This student exchange is unique in Irish law schools and reflects the School of Law’s commitment to clinical legal education – the idea that practical, ‘real world’ experience is an important component of legal education, especially as the practice of law in increasingly global in nature. I would like to thank my colleagues, Larry Donnelly, a Boston native who is a graduate of Suffolk Law School, and Dr Conor Hanly, who is leading the School of Law’s internationalisation efforts, for their work in establishing this new relationship and selecting students to take part in the exchange.” The NUI Galway students who are living, working and studying in Boston until the end of July are Ammi Burke, from Castlebar, Co. Mayo, Patrick Munnelly, from Athlone, Co. Westmeath, Catherine Corcoran, from Ballyconnell, Co. Cavan and Jacintha Hopkins, from Bohermore, Co. Galway.  They will be working, respectively, in the Massachussetts Appeal Court, the Massachussetts Secretary of State’s Office, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, and the Probate and Family Court. Two Suffolk Law School students are spending the summer in Ireland. Melissa Chen will be working in the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, while Ana Mora is working at the Law Reform Commission in Dublin. In addition to their academic work, both students will also be taking part in a variety of cultural activities and tours. Professor Nelson, Dean of Suffolk University Law School in Boston, said: “Suffolk Law School is delighted to partner with the School of Law at NUI Galway to offer our students this unique experience to learn from and work with public interest advocates engaged in truly compelling work.  Likewise, we very much look forward to hosting and welcoming into our Suffolk Law community students from NUI Galway who will be interning in Boston this summer as part of the program. As a school, we greatly value these international exchanges.  The enrichment they bring to our student and faculty life cannot be underestimated.” -Ends-

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Lt. Gen. Sean McCann and Finian O’Sullivan to be conferred with Honorary Doctorates NUI Galway has announced the names of the recipients of 2014 Honorary Degrees. The three individuals to be conferred on Friday, 27 June are Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science; Lt. Gen. Sean McCann retired Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces; and Finian O’Sullivan Founder of Burren Energy Plc. NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, speaking in advance of the conferring ceremony, said:  “NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history and those being honoured this year form a particularly distinguished group. Each one has made an outstanding and distinctive contribution to the diverse fields of political life, public policy and the international oil industry. NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals.” Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn will be conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa). A native of Carna, Co. Galway, Commissioner Geoghegan Quinn is the current EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science. She is a former TD for Galway West (1977-1997) and was the first woman Cabinet Minister since the foundation of the State.  Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn is also a former columnist with The Irish Times, TV presenter, and non-executive director of both Aer Lingus and Ryan Hotels. She is a former Member of the EU Court of Auditors and a former Member of the Governing Authority of NUI Galway. Lt. Gen. Seán McCannwill be conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa). Recently retired Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces, Lt. Gen. McCann was among the first of the Cadet classes to attend what was then UCG, and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1974. He is a graduate of the United States Command and General Staff College and was inducted into their International Hall of Fame in 2011. He served overseas on six occasions and led the Defence Forces during the historic initial deployment of Irish personnel to Mali and Syria in particularly challenging operational environments. He is being honoured in recognition of the strong relationship between the Army and NUI Galway since 1969. Lt. Gen. McCann was the first NUI Galway graduate to hold the post of Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces. Finian O’Sullivan will be conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Science (honoris causa). A Science alumnus of NUI Galway, he worked with Chevron as part of their frontier exploration and development team concentrating on the arctic and western plain of Canada. In 1980 he joined the oil service company United Geophysical in California undertaking exploration around the eastern hemisphere. Moving to Australia in 1982 he led Geophysical Systems Corporation operations expanding through the region to India, China and Thailand. Following a period with Olympic Oil and Gas Corporation in Houston, while based in London, Finian set up on his own, Burren Energy Plc which developed and discovered hydrocarbon resources in Central Asia, India and West Africa in addition to a shipping and trading venture in the Caspian region. Burren Energy Plc was sold to ENI in 2008 and Finian joined the Bayfield Group in July 2008. Finian was also an NUI Galway Alumni Award Winner in 2009. The three graduands join the ranks of previous honorary alumni which include, among many others, Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Christy O’Connor Snr and Jnr, Enya, Anjelica Huston, Fionnuala Flanagan and Margaret Atwood. -Ends- Céimithe Oinigh 2014 Fógartha ag OÉ Gaillimh Dochtúireachtaí Oinigh le bronnadh ar an gCoimisinéir Máire Geoghegan Quinn, ar an Leifteanant-Ghinearál Sean McCann agus ar Finian O’Sullivan Tá ainmneacha na ndaoine a mbronnfar Céimeanna Oinigh 2014 orthu fógartha ag OÉ Gaillimh. Is iad an triúr a mbronnfar céimeanna orthu Dé hAoine, an 27 Meitheamh, an Coimisinéir Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Coimisinéir an AE do Thaighde, Nuálaíocht agus Eolaíocht; Leifteanant-Ghinearál Sean McCann, iar-Cheann Foirne Fhórsaí Cosanta na hÉireann; agus Finian O’Sullivan, an té a bhunaigh Burren Energy Plc. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, agus é ag labhairt roimh thús an tsearmanais:  “Tá an t-ádh le OÉ Gaillimh go raibh sí bainteach le céimithe oinigh den scoth in imeacht na mblianta ach is eisceacht iad céimithe oinigh na bliana seo. Tá a c(h)ion féin déanta ag gach céimí oinigh daoibh i réimsí éagsúla na polaitíochta, an bheartais phoiblí agus thionscal idirnáisiúntas na hola. Tá an-áthas ar OÉ Gaillimh a bheith in ann aitheantas a thabhairt do na daoine eisceachtúla seo.” Bronnfar Céim Dhochtúireachta le Dlíthe (honoris causa) ar an gCoimisinéir Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. Is as Carna, Co. na Gaillimhe ó dhúchas don Choimisinéir Geoghegan Quinn agus is í atá ina Coimisinéir Eorpach um Thaighde, Nuálaíocht agus Eolaíocht faoi láthair. Bhí sí ina TD do Ghaillimh Thiar ó 1977-1997 agus ba í an chéad bhean í le bheith ina hAire Rialtais ó bunaíodh an Stát.  Bhí sí ina colúnaí chomh maith leis an Irish Times; ina láithreoir teilifíse; agus ina stiúrthóir neamhfheidhmiúcháin ar Aer Lingus agus Ryan Hotels. Bhí sí ina Comhalta de Chúirt Iniúchóirí an AE agus ina Comhalta d'Údarás na hOllscoile in OÉ Gaillimh chomh maith roimhe seo. Bronnfar Céim Dhochtúireachta le Dlíthe (honoris causa) ar an Leifteanant-Ghinearál Seán McCann. Bhí Leifteanant-Ghinearál Seán McCann, iar-Cheann Foirne Fhórsaí Cosanta na hÉireann, i gceann de na chéad ranganna do mhic léinn an Airm in UCG ag an am, agus bronnadh céim Thráchtála air i 1974. D'fhreastail sé ar Command and General Staff College Stáit Aontaithe Mheiriceá agus glacadh leis san International Hall of Fame in 2011. Thug sé seirbhís thar lear sé bhabhta agus bhí sé i gceannas ar na Fórsaí Cosanta nuair a cuireadh comhaltaí na hÉireann go Mailí agus go dtí an tSiria den chéad uair ag tráth a bhí thar a bheith dúshlánach. Tá an onóir seo á bronnadh air mar aitheantas ar an ngaol láidir idir an tArm agus OÉ Gaillimh ó 1969. Is é an Lt. Gen. McCann an chéad chéimí de chuid OÉ Gaillimh a bhí ina Cheann Foirne ar Fhórsaí Cosanta na hÉireann. Bronnfar Céim Dhochtúireachta le hEolaíocht (honoris causa) ar Finian O’Sullivan. Alumni Eolaíochta de chuid OÉ Gaillimh é. D'oibrigh sé do Chevron ar an bhfoireann taiscéalaíochta agus forbartha imeallchríche timpeall ar an Artach agus ar mhachairí thiar Cheanada. I 1980, thosaigh sé ag obair leis an gcuideachta seirbhíse ola United Geophysical in California i mbun taiscéalaíochta timpeall ar an leathsféar thoir. Bhog sé go dtí an Astráil i 1982 áit a raibh sé i gceannas ar oibríochtaí  Geophysical Systems Corporation á leathnú amach chuig an India, an tSín agus an Téalainn. I ndiaidh seal a chaitheamh le Olympic Oil and Gas Corporation in Houston, agus é lonnaithe i Londain, bhunaigh Finian a chuideachta féin, Burren Energy Plc a bhí i mbun acmhainní hidreacarbóin a aimsiú agus a fhorbairt san Áise Láir, in India agus san Afraic Thiar chomh maith le fiontar loingseoireachta agus trádála sa réigiún mórthimpeall ar an Muir Chaisp. Díoladh Burren Energy Plc le ENI in 2008 agus thosaigh Finian ag obair leis an Bayfield Group i mí Iúil 2008. Bronnadh Gradam Alumni OÉ Gaillimh ar Finian in 2009. Beidh an triúr seo anois i measc céimithe oinigh eile mór le rá a tháinig rompu cosúil le Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Christy O’Connor Sinsear agus Sóisear, Enya, Anjelica Huston, Fionnuala Flanagan agus Margaret Atwood. -Críoch-

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

ESAI Postgraduate Researcher of the Year 2014 An NUI Galway researcher has won a national award for his work on walking and cycling routes. Richard Manton from the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway is the inaugural winner of the Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland (ESAI) Postgraduate Researcher of the Year Competition 2014. Richard is in the write up stages of his PhD working on a multi-disciplinary project entitled ‘Route Selection and Design of Greenways: Guidance for the Irish National Cycle Network’ which combines Civil Engineering and Social Science. Many people recognise Ireland’s over reliance on the private car and a shift to walking and cycling has the potential to dramatically improve the environmental, economic and health implications of Irish transport. Richard explains: “In the context of the unsustainability of Irish transport and restrictions on public space, a major shift to walking, cycling and public transport is needed. Although we need to curb car use and make our roads safer, the growing number of greenways represents a step in the right direction. Greenways are traffic-free routes for walking and cycling, often built along old railways or canal towpaths, and in 2014 alone there has been €17 million invested in greenways in 10 counties. My research proposes guidelines for the route selection and design of greenways to ensure environmentally-friendly, safe and cost-effective routes for all to enjoy.” A student of Dr Eoghan Clifford, Civil Engineering and Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, Richard says there is an absence of research on greenways in Ireland and a robust route selection and design process is required. He hopes to deliver a route selection tool which will rate route options and recommend preferred routes and connections. According to Richard, “The route selection methodology and greenway design guidance will be a major asset to anyone involved in greenway planning, design or operation. It will be particularly useful for community campaign groups in designing and lobbying for greenways and for local authorities in assessing greenway proposals. An interactive website of Irish greenways, will promote this research and the use of greenways in Ireland, and will be launched in the coming weeks.” The Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland (ESAI) is an association of professional individuals working in the environmental arena in Ireland. The membership is drawn from all sectors and disciplines, ranging from biology and ecology to engineering, hydrology and management. It includes among it 1,200-strong membership researchers from all levels from professors to amateur naturalists. Dr Martina Prendergast from the ESAI Council who presented Richard with his award at a ceremony earlier this month said, “Richard beat stiff competition from all Universities and Institutes of Technology across the country, and from agencies such as Teagasc. The review panel were unanimous in their decision to award Richard the top prize as his work feeds directly into social policy development and decision making at local authority and regional level. His work is relevant to every member of the public.” In February of this year, Richard Manton won the E3 prize for best presentation spanning Engineering, Energy and Environment at the ESAI’s annual conference ‘ENVIRON2014’. The prize was sponsored by Trinity College Dublin’s School of Engineering and School of Natural Sciences. -ends-

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Oisín Moore, a Mechanical Engineering student atNUI Galway, has been named as a runner-up in the Engineers Ireland Level 8 Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Awards 2014, sponsored by Siemens.  Originally from Ballybrittas, Co. Laois, Oisín was shortlisted for the entry titled ‘Improving Breast Cancer Screening – Design of a Microwave Breast Imaging Prototype’. Microwave imaging is one of the most promising emerging medical imaging modalities. In his project Oisín tackles the technical weaknesses of existing systems and incorporates new design considerations from technical and clinical collaborators. James King, a student at Cork Institute of Technology was named winner of the Engineers Ireland Level 8 Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Awards 2014. Ruairi McGee, Anthony Mannion, Gary Lyons and Niall McHale, a group of students from IT Sligo, won the Level 7 category. John Power, chartered engineer, director general of Engineers Ireland said, “Engineering is not only at the heart of our day-to-day lives but it is clear to see from the diverse range of projects entered this year that engineers play a vital role in many existing and developing industries in Ireland - from agriculture and automotive to technology and biomedical. Of the numerous job announcements over the past 12 months, many of these have been engineering opportunities. There continues to be real career options and demand for engineers of all backgrounds in Ireland. While there is an increase in the number of students opting for engineering at third level we still need more students choosing from the wide variety of engineering courses available to fulfil the employment needs of industry now and in the future.” He continued, “I wish to congratulate all entrants, in particular the finalists, who are an example of the ingenuity and talent that exists in Ireland today.” Aiden Cawley of Siemens said the 2014 entries again showed students’ ability to develop innovative solutions to challenges faced by industry and people in everyday society. “Congratulations to all the finalists who have been shortlisted, they are an inspiring group of students. The Innovative Student of the Year Award requires students to think creatively and develop new and improved devices, techniques and procedures. From health projects that explore improvements in breast cancer screening and transporting organs to war torn locations to innovations in farming equipment and the brewing process, this year’s entries exemplify original thinking, practical solutions and excellent technical competence.” Run by Engineers Ireland and sponsored by Siemens the ‘Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Awards’ aims to promote and showcase excellence in engineering degrees across Ireland.  Final year students of Level 8 and Level 7 engineering degree programmes, accredited by Engineers Ireland, are eligible to enter and the competition is judged on the merit of final year projects. The winners receive an Engineers Ireland Excellence Award trophy, the title of 2014 Innovative Student of the Year, as well as €1,500 prize money. For further information about Engineers Ireland and the Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Awards log onto www.engineersireland.ie. -Ends-

Thursday, 12 June 2014

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD this week announced the award of funding of over €1.7 million to support twenty new industry-academia partnerships through the Science Foundation Ireland Industry Fellowship Programme. The programme is funded by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Science Foundation Ireland.   Three of the twenty supported projects are based at NUI Galway: Dr Thérèse Mahony’s work on formulations and delivery systems for prevention and treatment of bovine Johne's Disease, in partnership with Westway Health. Professor Manfred Hauswirth’s work with large-scale integration and provisioning of ‘Internet of Things’ and utility streams in real smart city environments, in partnership with Siemens AG Österreich  (Austria). Dr Daniel O’Toole’s work on the development of a regulatory compliant cell product for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, in partnership with Orbsen Therapeutics. Announcing the funding, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said: “A key part of our Action Plan for Jobs is delivering measures to deliver more commercial outcomes and ultimately jobs from the excellent research infrastructure we have built up over recent years. The SFI fellowships are an important measure in delivering this, by providing funding to research projects working directly on solutions to problems that particular companies are facing. In this way, we can support researchers who are working on projects which can ultimately be developed into commercial ideas and employment – turning good ideas into good jobs. I congratulate all involved and wish them every success with their projects.” The SFI Industry Fellowship Programme provides researchers from academic institutions with the opportunity to gain important first-hand experience in a commercial research environment, while also providing industry with access to highly specialised trained researchers from academic institutions. The aim of the programme is to increase levels of collaboration between industry and academia.    These are the first twenty awards approved for funding under this new programme and involve research in key sectors such as animal health, smart grid, marine, solar energy, transport and mobility studies, and diagnostics in oncology with both multinational companies and SMEs participating.    Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland said: “The Industry Fellowship programme is an important element of SFI’s Agenda 2020 which aims to build strategic partnerships between industry and academic institutions, to encourage cutting-edge research and further grow Ireland’s competitive advantage. The awards will provide academic researchers with practical working knowledge of relevant business drivers as well as legitimate industry experience and important industry contacts. Industry partners participating in the programme will gain from the up-skilling of staff and input into their research and development.  The partnerships will in turn provide an important stepping stone for fuelling future collaborations between industry and academia.” -ends-

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Toner Quinn, Musician and Founder of The Journal of Music will present the Francis Roche Memorial Lecture 2014, entitled ‘The Thin Green Line: On Writing About Irish Traditional Music’. The lecture is part of the Blas International Summer School of Traditional Music and Song, which runs from 23 June to 4 July. Toner Quinn is a fiddle-player, music writer, publisher of The Journal of Music and lecturer in NUI Galway. He began fiddle tuition with Tom Glackin and later studied music at Waterford IT (where he continued his fiddle studies with Noelle O’Connor). He subsequently studied publishing at the University of Stirling, Scotland. In 2000, he founded JMI: The Journal of Music in Ireland (laterThe Journal of Music), a magazine publishing new writing on traditional, classical, jazz and contemporary music. In 2010, the Journal won the Utne Independent Press Award for Arts Coverage in Washington DC. Toner is a regular writer for The Journal of Music, in particular on traditional and contemporary music. He has also worked as an editor for a variety of publishers and now lectures in publishing at NUI Galway. Toner was Project Officer for the Arts Council’s Special Committee on the Traditional Arts, which produced the report Towards a Policy for the Traditional Arts. In 2013, Toner released a fiddle duet album with Malachy Bourke, Live at the Steeple Sessions, which was selected as one of the Irish Times traditional music albums of the year. -Ends-

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Professor Alan Ahearne, Head of Economics at NUI Galway, has been appointed External Advisor to the Strategy, Practice and Review Department of the International Monetary Fund. In that role, he will advise IMF senior management on how the Fund could better support the efforts of countries at all levels of income to boost growth and create jobs in the period ahead. Professor Ahearne is currently preparing a report, along with Sir Paul Collier (Oxford University) and Dr Paul Acquah (former Governor of the Bank of Ghana) on how the Fund’s advice on macro-critical structural issues could be enhanced. The report will identify macro-critical structural policy areas that are most relevant to the Funds’ member countries; determine the extent, focus and quality of Fund advice on such issues so far; and consider what changes should be brought to Fund surveillance in terms of coverage of structural issues. According to Professor Ahearne: “This is an important juncture for the IMF and the global economy. The priority of governments around the world is to revive growth. But with the overhang of imbalances leaving little room for expansionary macroeconomic policies, the only remaining policy options are structural.” Professor Ahearne joined the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway in 2005. He is a member of the Commission (Board) of the Central Bank of Ireland. Professor Ahearne served as Special Advisor to the Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan from March 2009 to March 2011. He is a Non-Resident Fellow at Bruegel, the Brussels-based think tank, and a Visiting Executive Lecturer in the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia. Before joining NUI Galway, Alan Ahearne was Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, DC, where he worked for seven years. He has taught economics at Carnegie Mellon University, University College Dublin, Dublin City University, and the University of Limerick.  He began his professional career with Coopers & Lybrand and also worked for Bank of Ireland. Professor Ahearne is Head of Economics at NUI Galway, where a flourishing and diverse academic environment integrates teaching and research, theory and empirical applications, in a policy-oriented and interdisciplinary way. There are approximately 1,800 undergraduate students of economics across several colleges, but mainly in the College of Business, Public Policy, and Law and in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies, and Social Sciences. -ends-

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

1,200 volumes will contribute to current and future teaching and research programmes An extensive collection of books belonging to circus owner Henry Ringling North, of the famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, has been bequeathed to the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway. The collection, from the private library of Henry Ringling North (1909-1993), totals 1,200 volumes. A special event to mark the bequest was held recently at the University, and attended by members of Henry Ringling North’s family. Henry ran and managed “The Greatest Show on Earth” with his brother John from 1936 to 1967. They introduced many innovations to revive the circus, enabling it to compete with the cinema and television. Henry wrote of his experiences in The Circus Kings: Our Ringling Family Story, published originally in 1960 and republished in 2008. He took up Irish citizenship in the 1960s, purchasing Northbrook, a large working farm at Kilconnell, County Galway, where his son John now lives. Henry Ringling North was a bibliophile and built his library through his lifetime, drawing on catalogues from all over Europe. Prior to the transfer of 1,200 volumes to Galway, the library had been housed in beautiful book cases at the family home in Begnins, Switzerland, and before that in Rome where they had been made by Italian craftsmen in the 1950s. A particular feature of the collection is the magnificent binding of many of the volumes. Notable in this regard are the large folio volumes, bound in crimson morocco, of David Roberts’ The Holy Land, with gilt armorial coat of arms embossed on both covers. In 1998, John North donated 137 of his father’s books to the University and the entire collection will now be combined. Several disciplines are represented in the collection but it is clear that Henry Ringling North had a particular interest in Art History, Archaeology and the Classical World. Travel is a prominent theme throughout, while his interest in Ireland is demonstrated by a fine collection of 18th and 19th century volumes on history and literature. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “We are truly honoured to become the keepers of such an exquisite collection. In addition to its quality, historical value and the insights it provides into the life of Henry Ringling North, this is an excellent resource for teaching and research programmes at NUI Galway. The University is extremely grateful for, and honoured by, this wonderful bequest which will be valued by the scholars of today and of future generations. It will hold a special place here on campus in our newly opened Hardiman Research Building.” The Hardiman Research Building, recently named the 2014 Irish Building & Design Architectural Project of the Year, is situated at the heart of NUI Galway’s campus, adjacent to the James Hardiman Library. It is home to NUI Galway’s unique collection of more than 350 literary, theatrical, political and historical archives, dating from 1485 to the present. At a special event on 6 June to mark the bequest, volumes from the Ringling North Library were on display. There was also commentary on some of the subjects in the collection by experts including NUI Galway’s: Professor Daniel Carey of the Moore Institute, Professor Padraig Lenihan from History, and emeritus Professor Catherine O’Brien from Italian, alongside Mary Hawkes Greene, President of the Burren College of Art. Speaking about the event, University Librarian John Cox said: “The value the University places on this magnificent collection is evident from expert presentations at the event which highlighted the different ways in which it will contribute to our current and future teaching and research programmes.”  -ends-

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

NUI Galway are offering a series of workshops relevant to the Community and Voluntary sector designed to enable participants to further develop and enhance their understanding, knowledge and skills relevant to community development practice and policy in Ireland. This workshop series was developed in response to the continuing education needs of personnel working (paid/unpaid) in community/voluntary and state sectors actively supporting community life in a rapidly changing society. The first workshop, ‘Groupwork and Community Leadership’ will take place on Wednesday, 25 June from 9.30am- 4.30pm. This module examines the theory and practice of group work and community leadership. It considers group dynamics, communication in groups, effective group processes, conflict management and practical facilitation skills. It also outlines theories on leadership and how community leadership can be developed and supported. Topics covered include: Introduction to Group Dynamics; Effective Group Processes; and Practical Facilitation Skills On Saturday, 28 June, the second workshop, ‘Understanding Conflict’ will run from 9.30am-4.30pm. This module examines the theory and practice of conflict transformation and peace building. It recognises conflict as an inseparable part of the human interaction which can, when addressed effectively, resolve underlying needs and concerns, build sustainable communities and ultimately lead to peaceful and positive change. Topics covered in this workshop include: Defining Conflict; Responding to Conflict; Resolving Conflict; Mediating Conflict; and Conflict Resolution and Communication. The workshops are provided on a non-accredited basis. Participants who attend a workshop will receive a Certificate of Attendance and have the option to register for continuing education credit at the reduced rate of €150 per 5 ECTS (normal cost for same €330). Registration for credit with NUI Galway will become available in September 2014-2015.  Such credit, when awarded, may lead to an exemption(s) and a reduction in overall fees at a programme level within a relevant discipline, (such as the Bachelor of Arts in Community and Family Studies). The costs for the workshops are €30 per individual participant per workshop. A reduced cost of €20 may apply for individuals providing evidence of specific social protection payments, see website for full listing. There is a reduced rate of €40 for two individuals from the same group/organisation per workshop. Final date for registration is Friday, 20 June. Further information and registration forms are available from NUI Galway’s Community Education Office at091 495241 or community.ed@nuigalway.ie. Registration forms may also be downloaded from: http://www.nuigalway.ie/courses/adult-and-continuing-education-courses/communityandvoluntarysectorworkshopseries/ -Ends-

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

NUI Galway is delighted to announce details of their upcoming Youth Academy Summer Camp being held at St Angela’s College, Sligo. Applications are now open for the week long summer camp that will take place from 21-25 July from 10am- 1pm. NUI Galway established a Youth Academy in 2012 in order to give high ability primary school students and their families a taste of what it is like to study at one of Ireland’s most popular universities, in order to inspire them to progress to third level education. Since the Youth Academy opened its doors, almost 800 students have taken part in a range of specially designed courses from IT to Engineering and Psychology to Italian. The Youth Academy is for high ability 4th, 5th and 6th class students in the 95th percentile or above, based on standardised test results carried out annually in schools. It is a fantastic opportunity for high ability students to engage with university at an early age. All courses are highly interactive and use a variety of teaching techniques to ensure students get the most out of their time at the Youth Academy. The courses offered in the summer camp are: A fun introduction to Computer Programming, The Internet and Multimedia Exploring Electronics: Building Cool Stuff with Arduino U r wat u eat Medical Academy...What's up doc? Curious Chemist Programme- Discover your inner mad scientist The summer camp will cost €120 and a limited number of scholarships providing free places on the Youth Academy are available depending on family circumstances. To apply for the Youth Academy Summer Camp at St Angela’s College, Sligo and for further information on all of the courses visit www.nuigalway.ie/youthacademy . Places are allocated on a first-come first-served basis and students participate in one course for the duration of the camp. The closing date for applications is Friday, 27 June, and early booking is advisable. -Ends-

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

NUI Galway invites alumni, friends and the public to join sporting leaders at the University to help to inform the role of sport in the University’s Strategic Plan NUI Galway is hosting a forum on sport as part of the University’s engagement process with alumni and the public to help to inform its forthcoming strategic plan. The forum follows the recent announcements of bonus CAO points for Elite Athletes and NUI Galway’s sporting, academic and research partnership with Connacht Rugby. NUI Galway, in association with the University’s Alumni Board, is pleased to welcome regional, national and international leaders in sport to the forum;   ·         Gary Keegan: Director, Irish Institute of Sport ·         Neasa Folan: English Institute of Sport, Coach Team GB Rowing 2012 ·         Prof Eamon O'Shea: Tipperary Senior Hurling Team Manager ·         Olive Loughnane: Olympic Athlete and World Silver Medallist ·         Kathy Hynes: Development Officer for Clubs and Participation, NUI Galway ·         Ollie Daniels: Chairman, Salthill Devon FC ·         Nigel Carolan: Manager Connacht Rugby Academy ·         Ray Silke: Galway All-Ireland winning football captain The forum will be held in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway on Saturday 28 June from 10am-1pm and will be moderated by Caroline Murphy, Board member, Campus Stadium Ireland and former senior TV producer, RTÉ Sport. Topics to be addressed include; achieving sporting excellence, engagement with national sporting bodies, research in action; using scientific expertise and research to benefit athletes and sportspeople, attracting and meeting the physical, structural and academic needs of high performers. Chairman of NUI Galway Alumni Association, Sean O'Rourke, said: "NUI Galway has a fine tradition of achievement across many sports. Its students and graduates have frequently excelled, as they did in numbers with the All Ireland winning Clare hurlers last year, or as they've done down the years at prestigious Rowing events like the annual Henley Regatta. He added “In recent years, a magnificent new sports centre has been opened in the middle of the campus and the latest addition to facilities is new all-weather multi-sport pitch at Dangan. This public forum featuring a wonderful range of speakers such as Gary Keegan, Director of the Institute of Sport and Neasa Folan Team GB 2012 Coach, will help to answer how best to make the most of such resources.” The RTÉ Broadcaster concluded by saying “This is an opportunity for stakeholders, participants and anyone interested in the development of sport in the University and in the west of Ireland to contribute to this hugely important area.” Those interested in attending are asked to register beforehand at www.nuigalway.ie/alumni or telephone the NUI Galway Alumni Office on  091 493750. -ends-

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

NUI Galway invites alumni, friends and the public to join sporting leaders at the University to help to inform the role of sport in the University’s Strategic Plan NUI Galway is hosting a forum on sport to consult with Alumni and graduates on its forthcoming strategic plan. The forum follows the recent announcements of bonus CAO points for Elite Athletes and NUI Galway’s sporting, academic and research partnership with Connacht Rugby. NUI Galway, in association with the University’s Alumni Board, is pleased to welcome regional, national and international leaders in sport to the forum; ·         Gary Keegan: Director, Irish Institute of Sport ·         Neasa Folan: English Institute of Sport, Coach Team GB Rowing 2012 ·         Prof Eamon O'Shea: Tipperary Senior Hurling Team Manager ·         Olive Loughnane: Olympic Athlete and World Silver Medallist ·         Kathy Hynes: Development Officer for Clubs and Participation, NUI Galway ·         Ollie Daniels: Chairman, Salthill Devon FC ·         Nigel Carolan: Manager Connacht Rugby Academy ·         Ray Silke: Galway All-Ireland winning football captain The forum will be held in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway on Saturday 28 June from 10am-1pm and will be moderated by Caroline Murphy, Board member, Campus Stadium Ireland and former senior TV producer, RTÉ Sport. Topics to be addressed include; achieving sporting excellence, engagement with national sporting bodies, research in action; using scientific expertise and research to benefit athletes and sportspeople, attracting and meeting the physical, structural and academic needs of high performers. Chairman of NUI Galway Alumni Association, Sean O'Rourke, said: "NUI Galway has a fine tradition of achievement across many sports. Its students and graduates have frequently excelled, as they did in numbers with the All Ireland winning Clare hurlers last year, or as they've done down the years at prestigious Rowing events like the annual Henley Regatta. He added “In recent years, a magnificent new sports centre has been opened in the middle of the campus and the latest addition to facilities is new all-weather multi-sport pitch at Dangan. This public forum featuring a wonderful range of speakers such as Gary Keegan, Director of the Institute of Sport and Neasa Folan Team GB 2012 Coach, will help to answer how best to make the most of such resources.” This is an opportunity for stakeholders, participants and anyone interested in the development of sport in the University and in the west of Ireland to contribute to this hugely important area. Those interested in attending are asked to register beforehand at www.nuigalway.ie/alumni or telephone the NUI Galway Alumni Office on  091 493750 -ends-

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

All NUI Galway graduates, friends and guests are invited to a summer BBQ on Friday, 27 June in Grogan's, Glasson, Co. Westmeath. John O'Meara, one of the organisers, said: “This is a terrific way to get together and meet up with former classmates and other NUI Galway graduates. Grogan's in Glasson is an ideal venue. The evening kicks off at 8pm and with the good weather, long evening and excellent food and music it promises to be a great night!” The event is organised by the NUI Galway Alumni Midlands Club and tickets cost €20. To register for the event visit www.nuigalway.ie/alumni or call the Alumni Office at 091 493750. -Ends-

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Online Q&A with Subject Experts to Inform Crucial CAO Decisions Before Change of Mind Deadline July 1st  NUI Galway staff will be on hand to answer students’ queries online at www.nuigalway.ie/askus NUI Galway invites all CAO applicants, both undergraduate and mature students to go online and ask the question! NUI Galway staff will be on hand on Wednesday 25th June between 3pm and 5pm to answer queries, questions or quandaries, as CAO applicants enter the final phase of their decision making process. The deadline for the CAO change of mind is July 1st. Until that time, CAO applicants can alter the courses they have outlined on their CAO form. The change of mind period allows for considered reflection following the Leaving Cert exams and students are urged to fully inform themselves when considering their options. This is an excellent opportunity for each student to get tailor-made information on University facilities and student support services including finance and accommodation or indeed, about the CAO process itself. Senior academic representatives from each of the University’s five colleges will also be on hand to answer students’ questions about subjects and courses across the NUI Galway's 60 courses. 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 and we want to ensure that both students and parents have all the information they need to help them make the best choice. Go online wherever you are, at home or abroad, and don’t be afraid to ask the question!” Students can go to www.nuigalway.ie/askus at any time between 3pm and 5pm Wednesday 25th of June 2014. Anyone that wishes to pre-register for a reminder text can register at http://bit.ly/caoaskus -ends-

Thursday, 19 June 2014

NUI Galway today (19 June) conferred degrees on over 280 students. Among that number, 80 were conferred with doctoral degrees. The largest cohort of students to graduate was over 120 future doctors who received their Honours Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and Bachelor of Obstetrics (MB, BCh, BAO) degree. Among the cohort of medical students, Sarah Cormican from Oranmore, Co. Galway received 8 out of 15 Final Medical Medals for her outstanding academic performance. Every year, NUI Galway awards the Final Medical Medals to the student who receives the highest mark in each subject area. Olympian Paul Hession will be conferred an MB BCh BAO and will receive a Final Medical Medal for Outstanding Sporting Achievement. Speaking at the ceremony, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “On behalf of NUI Galway, I congratulate each of today’s graduates. It is very encouraging to see the number of research and graduate degrees which we are conferring today. These graduate numbers continue to grow. From a base of about 50 doctorates per year at the turn of the millennium, we now confer up to 4 times that number annually.” President Browne added words of encouragement to graduates conferred at the ceremony: “Do not lose hope or courage in this current economic climate. You have what it takes to make a difference in our society. The opportunities you have to create your own environment and to shape your own futures are enormous.” International students were well represented at the ceremony, with the University conferring a large number of graduates from Malaysia, Canada and the US, among other countries. -Ends- Bronnann OÉ Gaillimh Céim ar 280 Mac Léinn i rith Shearmanais an tSamhraidh Bronnadh céimeanna ar bhreis is 280 mac léinn inniu (19 Meitheamh) in OÉ Gaillimh. Ina measc siúd, bronnadh céimeanna dochtúireachta ar 80 mac léinn. Ar an ngrúpa is mó díobh bronnadh Baitsiléir Onóracha sa Leigheas, Baitsiléir sa Mháinliacht agus Baitsiléir sa Chnáimhseachas (MB, BCh, BAO) ar 120 ábhar dochtúra. Fuair Sarah Cormican as Órán Mór, Co. na Gaillimhe, duine de na mic léinn leighis, 8 mBonn don Bhliain Deiridh Leighis as 15 Bhonn dá feidhmíocht acadúil. Gach bliain, bronnann OÉ Gaillimh Boinn Deiridh Leighis ar an mac léinn leis an marc is airde i ngach ábhar. Bronnfar MB BCh BAO ar an iar-lúthchleasaí Oilimpeach Paul Hession agus bronnfar Bonn Deiridh Leighis air as a chuid Éachtaí Iontacha Spóirt. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne le linn an tsearmanais: “Thar ceann OÉ Gaillimh, tréaslaím le gach duine agaibh. Is ábhar misnigh dúinn ar fad go bhfuil an oiread sin céimeanna taighde agus iarchéimeanna á mbronnadh againn inniu. Tá líon na gcéimeanna a bhronntar ag méadú bliain i ndiaidh bliana. Bhíodh 50 céim dhochtúireachta in aghaidh na bliana á mbronnadh againn ag tús an chéid ach bronntar a cheithre oiread sin anois gach bliain." Thug an tUachtarán Browne misneach agus dóchas do na céimithe ag an searmanas bronnta: “Ná cuireadh cúrsaí geilleagair an lae inniu lagmhisneach ná éadóchas oraibh. Tá an cumas ag gach duine agaibh dul i bhfeidhm ar an tsochaí ar shlí éigin. Níl teorainn ar bith leis na deiseanna atá agaibhse an cineál saoil is mian libh a chruthú daoibh féin agus lántairbhe a bhaint as na deiseanna a thiocfaidh in bhur dtreo sna blianta amach romhainn.” Bhí mic léinn idirnáisiúnta i láthair chomh maith ag an searmanas, agus céimeanna á mbronnadh ar chéimithe as an Malaeisia, as Ceanada agus as na Stáit Aontaithe, i measc tíortha eile. -Críoch-