Royal Irish Academy Honours NUI Galway Academic

Royal Irish Academy Honours NUI Galway Academic -image

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-

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NUI Galway Spin-Out Company to Appear at TechCrunch Disrupt

NUI Galway Spin-Out Company to Appear at TechCrunch Disrupt-image

Thursday, 5 June 2014

An NUI Galway spin-out company,, 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. 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 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 or visit -Ends-  

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NUI Galway Conference Focuses on Impact of Health Promotion to Population Health

NUI Galway Conference Focuses on Impact of Health Promotion to Population Health-image

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-   

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NUI Galway Invited to Las Vegas to Share Winning Innovation Project on Mobile App

NUI Galway Invited to Las Vegas to Share Winning Innovation Project on Mobile App-image

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 -Ends-

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Six From NUI Galway Scoop Prestigious Fulbright Award

Six From NUI Galway Scoop Prestigious Fulbright Award-image

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,, for more information. All applications for the 2015-2016 academic year will be due on Wednesday, 12 November, 2014. -Ends-

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Over 200 Primary School Students ‘Graduate’ from NUI Galway

Over 200 Primary School Students ‘Graduate’ from NUI Galway-image

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 -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Hosts International Conference on Power Electronics for Renewable Energy Systems

NUI Galway Hosts International Conference on Power Electronics for Renewable Energy Systems-image

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 -Ends-  

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NUI Galway Host Photography Exhibition on Victims of Armed Conflicts

NUI Galway Host Photography Exhibition on Victims of Armed Conflicts-image

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-

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Deadline Approaches Undergraduate Awards 2014 Submissions

Deadline Approaches Undergraduate Awards 2014 Submissions-image

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 For queries please contact -Ends-

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NUI Galway Law School Launch Formal Exchange with Boston’s Suffolk University Law School

NUI Galway Law School Launch Formal Exchange with Boston’s Suffolk University Law School -image

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-

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