Monday, 19 November 2012

NUI Galway’s REMEDI and Orbsen Therapeutics win €6 million European funding NUI Galway has been awarded a major new €6 million European project, designed to address complications associated with diabetes. The research project will examine the ability of stem cells to safely control glucose levels and alleviate the damage caused by six different diabetic complications. Professor Timothy O’Brien, Director of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway, who is also a Consultant in Endocrinology at Galway University Hospitals, will co-ordinate the project. Orbsen Therapeutics Limited, an NUI Galway spin-out company, is the lead SME on the project. Clinical trials will take place in Ireland and Denmark using stem cells discovered by Orbsen. In total, nine new research jobs are to be created in Ireland by the project. An estimated 60 million patients with diabetes mellitus in the EU are using prescription drugs to control blood glucose levels. Poor control of blood glucose levels may lead to a number of diabetic complications, including: nephropathy, retinopathy, cardiomyopathy, neuropathy, impaired bone repair and wound ulceration. “At the moment, there are very few treatment options available to control the initiation and progression of these complications”, explains Professor O’Brien. “In addition, there are no treatments which will improve glucose levels and simultaneously treat the diabetic complication. These complications therefore continue to be a major challenge for clinicians and patients alike.” The REDDSTAR project, originally conceived by Dr Steve Elliman, Head of Research & Development at Orbsen Therapeutics, will take place over two phases. The first will examine which diabetic complication responds best to stem cell treatment in various models of diabetes. The second phase will involve a clinical trial at the Steno Diabetes Centre in Denmark, in collaboration with clinicians at the Diabetes Centre in Galway University Hospitals, specifically in the complication which showed the most promising results in the first phase. Orbsen Therapeutics Limited was formed as a spin out company to advance and commercialise new intellectual property developed by researchers at the SFI-funded REMEDI at NUI Galway. The University has become a leading centre of translational research in adult stem cells involving its National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) and REMEDI. Co-ordinated by NUI Galway, the REDDSTAR (Repair of Diabetic Damage by Stromal Cell Administration) project brings together ten expert teams from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal and the US will comprehensively examine if stem cellscan safely address this challenge. Converting research funding into job creation The REDDSTAR EU FP7 funding will be used to create three new positions within REMEDI and a further five new positions at Orbsen. Administration of the REDDSTAR project will be supported by a third SME, Dublin-based EU specialists Pintail Ltd, bringing the total number of new Irish jobs created by this project to nine. Professor O’Brien states: “The creation of new jobs is a very important impact of government-funded research through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). The funding of REMEDI by SFI has allowed this EU support to be leveraged resulting in job creation in Ireland.”  Orbsen CEO Brian Molloy adds: “Our participation in REDDSTAR assists us in the development of our core stem cell technology and will make a substantial contribution to our R&D programme. Our mission is to become Europe’s leading Stem Cell Therapy company. Collaborations such as this with REMEDI and NUI Galway help to position Ireland as a European hub for cell therapy development.” Orbsen recently developed and is patenting a unique method of isolating therapeutic stem cells from human tissue at class-leading levels of purity. The Orbsen cell therapy product is unique in that it has been designed to meet future EU regulations regarding cell-based medicines. The Orbsen therapy will be independently assessed by the REDDSTAR experts in each diabetic complication.   Dr Steve Elliman, states: “This project design has a number of advantages over similar approaches being taken by other researchers. Primarily, this is the first FP7 project to unite EU experts on all six diabetic complications to work together and assess how a therapy might impact all six tissues at the same time. It is expected that this REDDSTAR ‘network’ of researchers will live beyond this project and be used by other drug developers.” In addition, REDDSTAR has permitted a unique collaboration between Orbsen and the US-based SME, Owl Biomedical Inc. Owl Biomedical is developing the unique “Nanosorter”, a bench-top device that will permit isolation of the Orbsen cell therapy for clinical use in line with forthcoming EU regulations. -ends-

Monday, 19 November 2012

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Clonmel on Wednesday, 28 November. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7-9pm in the Clonmel Park Hotel, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand to answer any questions in relation to courses and practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a whole suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a Bachelor of Arts with Human Rights, an Energy Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programmes, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies and a Bachelor of Arts with Journalism which are brand new for 2013. “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to Tipperary, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Clonmel is a perfect opportunity to meet current students and our lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit”, says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. To find out more about the information evening in Clonmel, contact NUI Galway’s Schools Liaison Officer, Celine O’Donovan on 087 239 1219 or celine.odonovan@nuigalway.ie. ENDS

Monday, 19 November 2012

Former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, visited NUI Galway this weekend to mark the beginning of a new partnership with the University. Recent plans have been unveiled to establish a Mary Robinson Centre in the former President’s home town of Ballina, Co. Mayo. The Centre, supported by Mayo County Council and Ballina Town Council will be established at Mary Robinson’s birthplace and will include both a Visitor Centre and an academic research centre, supported by NUI Galway and focused on scholarly research and education in the fields of Human Rights and Women’s Leadership. Speaking at NUI Galway, Mary Robinson also announced details of a public interview on her life and work, with Fintan O’Toole, to take place at NUI Galway on January 14, 2013. Mary Robinson’s archive will be the centrepiece of the educational facility, and as academic partner to the project, NUI Galway will bring researchers and students from all over the world to Ballina to engage with the archive. NUI Galway is internationally recognised as a leader in the field of Human Rights and Gender research, and offers undergraduate degrees and Masters programmes in the area. The University will also advise on the cataloguing and making available of the extensive archive which is valued at over €2.5 million. President Jim Browne of NUI Galway commented: “We at NUI Galway are delighted to have been invited to become involved in this project.  We believe that the Mary Robinson Archive is very important  for scholarship globally; for our region – it adds a truly unique piece of infrastructure to the knowledge capital of the West of Ireland; and for Ireland as a nation  preserving the narrative of the life and work of probably the most significant figure to emerge from our country – a transformative figure of modern Ireland – Mary Robinson.” The proposed Visitor Centre, which is set to open to the public by the end of 2014, will provide a unique cultural tourism resource for Mayo as visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about Mary Robinson’s life and work, including her early roots in Ballina. The project will involve the refurbishment of Victoria House, a protected 19th century Georgian house, together with the construction of an Annex to the house. Parts of the house will be recreated to its original condition at the time of Mary Robinson’s birth in 1944. The property at Victoria House, which has been in the Bourke Family for generations, is being made available to the Centre by the owner, Mary’s brother Adrian Bourke, and will be leased in perpetuity. Mary Robinson’s archive is a vast collection illuminating the life and career of one of Ireland’s most distinguished public figures. The archive includes a library of books, and periodicals, Mary Robinson’s personal diaries, working files and detailed records of her career as a champion of human rights and women’s equality. Also included are numerous recordings and manuscripts from her time as President of Ireland. ENDS

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A new €4.4 million EU project A new €4.4 million EU project is using the latest web technologies to make the most of the wealth of medical information contained in electronic medical records. The project aims to aid decision-making for medical practitioners and improve safety in clinical research. The Linked2Safety project will build a medical and clinical data management infrastructure, using privacy-aware, semantic technology. At the forefront of technologies being deployed by the project, are researchers from the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at the National University of Ireland Galway. Their task is to imbue meaning into the data contained within the European healthcare information space, which is fragmented and disparate, and connect that data. To do so, the project will use ‘linked-data’ and other sematic technologies developed by DERI. “So much valuable information sits in seclusion in medical records in hospitals across Europe. They have the potential to significantly help and advance medical research, as well as improve health policies,” explains Ronan Fox, Health Care and Life Sciences Leader at DERI. “What we need to do is put in place a framework so that the information can be interconnected, this could lead to all kinds of possibilities. For example, within the context of the data governance, and legal and ethical framework created in Linked2Safety, individuals could be identified to join a clinical trial for a rare disease, whether they are in Ireland or Cyprus.” In addition, using ‘linked data’, information contained in the records will be leveraged in clinical research for the early detection of potential patient safety issues. Such issues might be based on genetic data analysis and the extraction of the bio-markers associated with an identified type of an adverse event. The Linked2Safety project will also support the effective organization and execution of clinical trials by allowing health carers and medical scientists to easily submit their own query and get homogenized access to high-quality medical data. Linked2Safety is an FP7 project funded by the European Commission under the area of ICT for health. With over 140 researchers, DERI is the largest web science institute of its kind in the world, set up in 2003 with funding from Science Foundation Ireland and the National University of Ireland Galway. -ends-

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Officials from the Chinese Government Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) visited the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway last week.  Organised by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Ireland, the visit was a follow-up to the signing of collaborative research agreements between REMEDI and two Chinese research institutes based in Shanghai and Xi’an earlier this year. The collaboration will see the partners work together in the areas of regenerative medicine clinical trials, particularly in the areas of diabetes and orthopaedics.  As part of their visit the officials from MOST had the opportunity to see the Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland (CCMI) at NUI Galway, which is a specially designed facility for manufacturing GMP-grade stem cells for use in human clinical trials. At present there is no similar facility in China. REMEDI hopes to work with its collaborators and the Chinese Government to help set up similar resources in China, ultimately opening up new opportunities for partnership in the area of clinical trials using stem cells. Professor Timothy O’Brien, Director of REMEDI states, “We look forward to undertaking collaborative clinical trials using stem cells in Ireland and China. This will allow efficacy to be assessed in different ethnic populations and will also serve to harmonize transnational conduct of such trials.” “We highly appreciate that NUI Galway has been actively developing close scientific collaborations with Chinese institutions in recent years”, added Liya Dong, Deputy Director General, Department of Science & Technology Development, MOST, “and we strongly support Ireland-China bi-lateral collaborations in life science and other areas, and will do our best to provide assistance for promoting the collaborations between NUI Galway and the Chinese Institutions in Shanghai and Xi’an.” The Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) is a Science Foundation Ireland-funded Strategic Research Cluster, led by NUI Galway and with partners in University College Cork and NUI Maynooth. REMEDI is a partnership between scientists, clinicians and industry and it is the leading centre in the area of stem cell and regenerative medicine in Ireland. -ends-

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

First Podiatry Students in Ireland to Graduate Over 1400 students, including the first Podiatry students in the country, will graduate from across the five colleges at NUI Galway at the University's winter conferring ceremonies, which take place from today, Wednesday 21 to Friday, 23 November. George Cunningham will also be conferred with an honorary Master of Arts degree. From Roscrea, Co. Tipperary, George Cunningham is a former Principal of Coolderry Central School, Birr, Co. Offaly. He was prominently associated with the successful campaign to save and subsequently restore Damer House in his native Tipperary town of Roscrea. He founded there, in 1980, Ireland’s first heritage centre together with the Roscrea Heritage Society, of which he is still President and honorary Life Member.  He has been deeply involved with every aspect of Irish heritage tourism during the past thirty years. He receives this honorary degree in recognition of his enormous contribution to heritage, conservation and education. The winter conferring will see the first cohort of graduates from the discipline of Podiatry in the School of Health Sciences at the University, which is the only undergraduate programme available in the Republic of Ireland leading to a BSc (Hons) in Podiatry. 13 students will graduate, qualifying after four years of study as healthcare professionals specialising in the management of disease and disorders of the lower limb and foot. Speaking in advance of the ceremonies, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “The graduation of the first cohort of podiatry graduates in Ireland is a historic milestone.  We are delighted to have worked closely with colleagues in the HSE and with international experts to develop this new programme. I am also pleased that this week we will honour the achievements of George Cunningham, an enlightened educationalist and custodian of Irish heritage, by conferring him with an honorary degree.  In addition, degrees, higher diplomas, Masters and PhDs will be awarded to students graduating over the three days from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; College of Engineering and Informatics; College of Business, Public Policy and Law; College of Science; and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. -Ends-

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The 15th Galway Science and Technology Festival, part of National Science Week and sponsored by Medtronic Galway, will host the Festival’s Final Exhibition Day at NUI Galway on Sunday, 25 November from 10am to 6pm. Professor Pat Fottrell, Chairman of Science Foundation Ireland is the Festival’s special guest and will visit exhibits accompanied by Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, Mr Gerard Kilcommins, VP of Global Vascular Operations Medtronic, Professor Tom Sherry, Dean of Science NUI Galway, Mr Michael Carmody, President of GMIT, Dr Des Foley, Head of Science & Research GMIT and Mr Tom Hyland, Chairman of Galway Science & Technology Festival. During the Final Day Exhibition at NUI Galway visitors can enjoy over 80 interactive stands representing areas including research, education, industry and the environment at the Bailey Allen Hall and Orbsen Building. Visitors can take a tour of the new Engineering Building and visit the Zoology and Marine Biology Museum, while 20 separate shows for families will take place in the IT Building, Aula Maxima and the Arts and Science Concourse buildings. There will be a number of volunteers who will direct visitors to shows and exhibits and there will also be a Park and Ride facility at Corrib Village, Newcastle with a shuttle bus to and from the University Campus. Up to 20 Primary and Secondary Schools will exhibit stands covering Life Science, Technology and Physics and Chemistry themes, with the overall winning schools receiving a prize for most creative exhibits. Visitors can expect to be greeted by students lurking around exhibit areas dressed in mad scientist and bacteria costumes. Festival Sponsors providing exciting interactive exhibits include Medtronic, Galway Enterprise Board, NUI Galway, GMIT, Cisco, Boston Scientific, Avaya, SAP, Covidien, Hewlett Packard, Creganna, The Marine Institute and Galway County Council. Medtronic’s exhibit will focus on Innovation, with engineers on hand to demonstrate how to get from Idea to Product and all the steps in between. There will be a showcase of products for the treatment of Coronary Artery Disease and Hypertension. Visitors to the stand are encouraged to ask lots of questions and may be in with a chance of winning a prize. Medtronic will also provide a fun Games Corner where children of all ages are invited to come and test their manual dexterity with lots of helpful people from Medtronic on hand to greet you on the day. Gerard Kilcommins, VP of Global Vascular Operations and General Manager Galway Site Medtronic commented, “Medtronic became the main sponsor of the Galway Science and Technology Festival over ten years ago.  Since then, we are delighted to have experienced the journey that has seen the event evolve and flourish into one of the highlights in the calendars of the educational and science communities. This year’s theme is “Everyday Experimenting” and experimentation is something that makes Science and Technology so fascinating. Engaging the younger generation throughout this festival about the wonders and possibilities of Science and Technology will help ensure we have the pool of talented scientists and engineers so necessary for Ireland’s future success as a nation. As Thomas A. Edison once said, ‘to have a great idea, have a lot of them’ and I have no doubt the action-packed Exhibition on Sunday will generate lots of ideas and open minds to the many great possibilities and opportunities out there.” The Computer & Communication Museum of Ireland, part of the University’s Digital Enterprise Research Institute, will be on display in the Bailey Allen, providing a fascinating insight into advances in communications and computing through the years. Hewlett Packard will join the Coderdojo Galway members in the Museum and demonstrate coding. Also, on the day a Prize-Giving Ceremony will take place at the Boston Scientific stand, awarding the winner of the Coding the Big Bang competition where entrants had to create a web-based computer programme that explains the role of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. The competition coincided with the CERN ‘Accelerating Science’ Exhibition sponsored by Boston Scientific in association with Coderdojo Galway City. Visitors to the Boston Scientific stand will also learn about the technology behind Angioplasty and Balloon Formation and try their hand at the Guidewire Tracking Challenge for a chance to win an iPad Nano every hour. NUI Galway will have a number of exhibits including a H-Racer and Solar Hydrogen Station. The H-Racer is the smallest and coolest hydrogen fuel cell car in the world. Visitors can witness the power of new energy technology in the palm of their hand. The car does not need batteres and uses a real fuel cell and its own on-board hydrogen storage system. The Hydrogen station will provide the H-Racer with an unlimited supply of clean energy. To create free hydrogen fuel at the flick of a switch, just add water to the station’s tank while fuelling is animated by a special blue light display. GMIT will have a number of interactive Science and Technology exhibit stands to mark their 40th Anniversary. Exhibit themes include How Engines Work where visitors will see how different engine types work with interactive models on display as well as touch screen animations, and Energy Engineering will demonstrate how energy management is a vital part of everyday life and learn about how energy can be harnessed from the sea, the sun and the wind. Family shows include Black John The Bogus Pirate, a cartoon workshop aimed at teaching children of all ages about marine environment while having fun. K’nex Roadshow, is based on a dynamic open ended spatial building system and Mr Bug with Matt Lewis allows children get up close to friendly tropical animals like snakes and lizards. Killaloe Exploration Dome is a mobile planetarium designed to explore science, astronomy, geology and geography in a fun and interactive way. True Physics Show is an interactive hands-on science show where students participate in launching rockets and flying helicopters and Sue McGrath’s Chemistry Show will demonstrate wacky experiments like super foams, colour changes and disgusting slime. Galway Science and Technology Festival Chairman, Tom Hyland commented, “On behalf of the Board of the Galway Science and Technology Festival, I would like to thank our main sponsor Medtronic and all of our partners who have contributed to the growth and development of this Festival into a very significant vehicle for the promotion of the STEM subjects to our young people and help bring excitement and fun to Science and Technology for children and families across the city and county.”  Exhibition day bookings can be made at www.galwayscience.eventbrite.com to help people plan their day. ENDS

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Over 157 NUI Galway students received certificates at the annual NUI Galway Annual Access Awards Ceremony recently. The certificates were presented by Professor Chris Curtin, NUI Galway’s Vice-President for Innovation and Performance, for successful completion of the University’s Access courses delivered during the academic year 2011/2012, both on campus and in Outreach Centres in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, Screebe, Co. Galway and in Longford. Also receiving awards were 73 Access Students who graduated with degrees in Arts, Commerce, Law, Engineering, Nursing and Medicine. A further 14 students who received post-graduate diplomas in Education, Health, Arts and Business Studies, and post-graduate degrees in Marketing, Social Work, Community Development and Law were also acknowledged.  NUI Galway’s Access Officer, Imelda Byrne, said: “By the end of this year, a total of 463 graduates and 139 postgraduates will have come through the University’s Access Programme since its introduction in 2001. This ceremony was to mark the wonderful achievement of those inspirational students and to commend all on their perseverance, dedication and hard work.”  The function of the NUI Galway Access Programme is to address and respond appropriately to the issues of equality of access, equity of life long opportunities and responding to the issues of rural (and to a lesser extent, urban) social exclusion in the Border, Midland and Western Region and County Clare. All of the elements of the access programmes have important initiatives designed to give everyone a chance to benefit from third level education.  -ENDS-

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Bachelor of Commerce graduate and Executive Vice President of The Coca-Cola Company, Irial Finan took time during a business trip to Ireland this week to visit his Alma Mater, the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway. Mr Finan, who is also President of the Bottling Investments Group and Supply Chain, was on hand to talk to students of the Masters in International Management, passing on his valuable expertise in the arena of international management. The Roscommon native is responsible for managing a multi-billion dollar internal bottling business, the Bottling Investments Group (BIG), which has operations on four continents, with revenues of over $8 billion and employs in excess of 60,000 people. Additionally, he is responsible for stewarding the Company's equity investments. Dr Paul Ryan, Programme Director of the MSc (International Management) was delighted to have Mr Finan address the class saying,“The aim of the programme has always been to bring real learning into the class room. The insights he was able to provide, leading a company with a portfolio featuring 15 billion dollar brands, will not only stand to our students in their studies but also in their future careers.” Mr Finan commented: “The Coca-Cola Company operates in 207 countries and is truly both a global and a local company. We constantly challenge ourselves to remain relevant to our consumers. The ability to do business internationally across different cultures is a key feature of my role. I was delighted to share my thoughts with students in the institution which provided a springboard for my career.” ENDS

Thursday, 22 November 2012

NUI Galway’s Alumni Club will host an interview with Dr John Killeen, CEO of Cold Chon and Chairperson of Let's Do it Galway, the group responsible for bringing the Volvo Ocean Race to the City. The interview will be conducted by fellow graduate and broadcaster, Tomás Ó Síocháin of RTÉ and TG4, on Thursday, 29 November at 8pm in NUI Galway's Engineering Building. Prior to the interview, guests will have the opportunity to take a tour of the award-winning Engineering Building at 7pm. Sandra Butler, Chairperson of NUI Galway Alumni Association, said: “John Killeen is one of those people who has a clear vision of what can be achieved when Galway makes full use of its maritime environment. The Volvo Ocean Race is but one example of that potential.” Registration can be completed online at www.nuigalway.ie/alumni or by contacting the Alumni Office on 091493750 or alumni@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Thursday, 22 November 2012

The Living Scenes programme in Millstreet Community School, Co. Cork has been awarded second place in an EU Commission competition, celebrating the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. At a ceremony in Brussels recently, Millstreet Community School beat off 1,000 schools from 30 countries to win this major accolade and put intergenerational learning in Ireland on the European radar. The Living Scenes programme, which is designed, implemented and funded by NUI Galway, has been in existence since 1999 and is currently in eight centres throughout Ireland. A Transition Year based initiative, NUI Galway’s Living Scenes allows teenagers and older adults to learn together, share experiences and build bonds of mutual respect and understanding through a curricular based programme of learning. A strong emphasis is placed on the holistic development of the participants, promoting equality, personal development, well being and confidence building in both the younger and older adults. The winning entry from Millstreet Community School saw retired adults and teenagers from the school create a multi-media programme aimed at bridging the gap between young and old. The Living Scenes group created an intergenerational rap song; compiled a book titled Two Generations, One Road; and used clay, wood, tiles, glass, and metal to create a permanent display about crossing the generational divide to scoop their prestigious award. The generations@school Project is organised by the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations and is about engaging pupils and seniors in intergenerational dialogue. This year the focus is on bringing together pupils and older people to engage in a conversation about what it means to get older and how older and younger people can collaborate for a better life.  Living Scenes is the brainchild of NUI Galway's Dr Mary Surlis, and as the Living Scenes Programme Director, she has developed the programme on a national level. Commenting on the award, Dr Surlis said: “This is a wonderful achievement for the Living Scenes Programme and in particular for John Magee, Pat Piggott and his staff, the outstanding participants and facilitation team in Millstreet Community School. Such an achievement cements the programme as a world class example of civic engagement from a university perspective and also highlights the value of experiential learning in a school’s curriculum.” Congratulating Millstreet Community School on its success, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne said: “This is a wonderful example of intergenerational learning in Millstreet. It also highlights the prioritisation of civic engagement here at NUI Galway. I would like to congratulate all involved in the project – teachers, school leadership, students, seniors and my own colleagues here in the University - on their tremendous achievement in winning this prestigious EU Commission prize. John Magee, co-ordinator of the Living Scenes programme at Millstreet Community School, said: “This is a wonderful achievement for our school. I would like to thank Dr Mary Surlis, Living Scenes Programme Director, and NUI Galway, who have supported the project in Millstreet from the start. Over the seven years that Living Scenes has been in Millstreet Community School, a great many friendships have been formed between the older adults and the 80 students who have taken part in the project over that time. Rather than one group assuming the role of ‘expert’ on a certain topic, people from both age groups have been given the opportunity to work collaboratively, learning about one another along the way.  A lot of misconceptions about ‘youth and old age’ have been dispelled through the work of the project.”  -ENDS-

Monday, 26 November 2012

Over 500,000 visitors to Galway City; 97% positive rating for festival experience                                   Over 1 billion global audience for Galway A new report from the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway reveals that the Volvo Ocean Race Finale (VOR) which took place in Galway city earlier this year, having hosted a stopover for the Race in 2009, was worth €60.5 million to the Irish economy. Over 500,000 visitors attended events during the festival period from 30 June to 8 July 2012, with 16% of those coming from outside of Ireland. The 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race lasted for nine months and covered 39,270 nautical miles. The boats circumnavigated the globe, visiting eight stopover ports before finishing in Galway. The participants sailed through four oceans and visited ports in five continents, making it the toughest sailing event in the world. Hundreds of thousands of spectators visited the race villages in the participating ports, while millions tuned in via numerous media channels. The report, An Economic Assessment of the Volvo Ocean Race Finale, Galway 2012, takes an in-depth scientific examination of the economic impact of the event in Galway over the nine day period. It also reports on the extra-economic benefits of the VOR finale which saw an investment by organisers and Galway City of €7.6 million. Speaking of the findings, Dr Patrick Collins of NUI Galway’s Whitaker Institute said: “For nine days and nights, Galway City became the focal point of one of the most highly regarded international sporting events, supported by over 275 free events around the city. The magnitude of the event in terms of the relatively small economy of the Galway area was exceptional.” For the duration of the event the harbour area of Galway city was transformed into a hub of activity in both the commercial and entertainment spheres. The addition of the ‘Global Village’, a unique expo highlighting the best of Irish business, education and craft, brought a new feel and focus to the event. The hosting of showcases under the pillars of marine, innovation, green and food, was a platform for the city and the region to display its unique strengths. The report, which was launched today (26 November) at NUI Galway, identifies key questions on the event’s economic impact. Findings reveal the direct expenditure of €35.5 million and indirect spend during the festival period of €25 million giving an overall economic impact of €60.5 million. The hospitality industries gained the most in terms of relative increase in revenue. In particular the Bar/Lounge sector enjoyed a significant boost over the course of the event with turnover showing a 50% increase across the sector. However, a quarter of local businesses found their business was negatively affected by the Race as most of the economic benefit was located in the areas surrounding the event and particularly by the hospitality industries. Dr Patrick Collins explains: “What becomes immediately obvious when we look at the relative change in turnover spatially is the tight geography of benefit. What might be termed the ‘honey-pot’ effect of the Race and Global Villages are obvious with adjacent businesses in particular sectors gaining extra revenue. Revenue gains were highly differentiated by location and business sector. ” Positive employment figures showed an increase in numbers employed over the course of the event, with over 70% of these in the hospitality industry and more than 80% of this located in Galway city centre. However, these employment gains were of a temporary nature - of those hired on a full or part-time basis, 42% were for the duration of the festival only, and only 7% of the new employees lasting beyond a three month period. The report states that approximately 800,000 visits were recorded to the Race Village and the Global Village over the duration of the Volvo Ocean Race festival and 97% of these race attendees rated their Galway experience as positive. According to Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway: “The Volvo Ocean Race finale focused the attention of a global audience of over one billion on the city of Galway for the duration of the event. This kind of attention brings with it massive opportunities for the promotion of the city and its businesses.”  Extra economic impacts examined and included in the report include results on how businesses and attendees during the Volvo Ocean Race Finale also cited non-economic aspects of the festival. More than 1,500 volunteers took part in the organisation of the Volvo Ocean Race finale in Galway. They contributed thousands of hours to cater for more than 500,000 visitors to the nine-day event. Dr Mulligan added:  “Looking beyond the economic helps us identify the ancillary benefits and costs of hosting an international event of this scale. Economic impact events of this magnitude are significant but it is incumbent on any assessment to incorporate the extra economic impacts such as boost of morale for the host city and the upsurge of community spirit experienced by all. While the commercial emphasis was obvious, the event did not lose the key element which was held most precious during the 2009 stopover, the family-friendly community spirit.” The report was compiled by Dr Patrick Collins, Dr Stephen Hynes and Dr Emer Mulligan of NUI Galway on behalf of Let’s Do It Global. ENDS

Friday, 23 November 2012

NUI Galway’s School of Education recently developed and launched the Sci-Hook Series, an innovative APPLE iBook resource for science educators. Sci-Hooks are introductory video clips which aim to grab the learner’s attention by capturing what is interesting and engaging about a range of science topics. The series forms part of the School of Education’s mission to build collaborative and supportive partnerships with second-level schools. Dr Veronica McCauley and Seán Ó Grádaigh, lecturers from the School of Education at NUI Galway, led this Science Education Research project with a design team of student science teachers from NUI Galway’s Professional Diploma in Education and Dioplóma Gairmiúil san Oideachas programmes. Dr Mary Fleming, Director of Teacher Education with NUI Galway’s School of Education, said: “Engaging student interest in a learning process which is relevant and connected with the students’ own life experiences not only determines what they will learn, but also the depth of learning and degree to which they process the material being taught.” These Sci-Hook resources have been developed into a set of three iBooks - Physics, Chemistry and Biology, with over 10 videos and support material available in each category, with over 30 Sci-Hooks created for the Junior Science classroom.   The creative design process was highlighted by NUI Galway’s Dr Veronica McCauley: “The design team has created innovative videos that capture novel and engaging aspects of science, and engage pupils immediately with their curious content, quirky film editing and animation fluidity. These edgy snippets have been created in a way that allows seamless translation into other languages. As such, a vibrant team of Dioplóma Gairmiúil san Oideachas students have adapted them for dissemination throughout Irish Medium Schools nationally.” NUI Galway’s Seán Ó Grádaigh emphasised the impact that this new form of iPad technology has had in terms of initial dissemination, saying: “Prior to its launch, Sci-Hook Series had already received over 500 downloads. They are available on iBookstores across 50 countries, with our largest market being the US with 32% of all downloads and this is expected to increase further as the Biology resources are published.” These iBook resources are free to download on your iPad through the iBookstore and also available as videos and pdf on iTunesU and through the scoilnet portal. Funding from NUI Galway, An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG) and Apple Ireland supported the project. -ENDS-

Monday, 26 November 2012

NUI Galway’s Executive MBA, in association with the MBA Association of Ireland Western Chapter, recently hosted its fifth Masterclass event. Entitled Maximising Human Potential & Performance: Lessons from Sports Psychology and Business the Masterclass included a line-up of high-profile speakers including Professor Eamon O’Shea, Caroline Currid, Martin Conroy and Seán McGowan, who shared their insights and personal experiences in a discussion chaired by businessman Pádraig Ó Céidigh. Professor Eamon O’Shea is a Professor of Economics at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway and has recently been appointed Manager of the Tipperary Senior Hurling Team for 2013. Professor O’Shea was also the coach for the All-Ireland Champions in 2010. Caroline Currid, Performance Coach with the National Athlete Development Academy, has had a profound impact on Gaelic games. She has worked with All-Ireland Football Champions Tyrone in 2008 and helped the Tipperary hurlers and Dublin footballers bridge 10 and 16 year gaps, respectively, attain silverware. Martin Conroy is Director of Continuous Improvement, Global Vascular Operations at Medtronic, Galway. Martin is responsible for developing and deploying the corporate lean strategy across a number of global sites for over 5,000 employees. Seán McGowan, Ocean Rower, spent 118 days at sea alone, crossing the Atlantic in a small boat. He is a qualified Engineer and holds an MBA and assists with organisations in turnaround situations. During the event Seán spoke very personally of his solo journey across the Atlantic and attributes much of his achievement in doing so to the power of the mind. The panel discussed the effects of attitude on human potential and the importance in self-belief concluding that Irish people need the move away from their current negative ‘I’m not too bad’ state of mind to an ‘I’m great’ culture. The power and importance of values and the panel’s failures and success were also discussed by the panel. Dr Alma McCarthy, Director of NUI Galway’s Executive MBA programme, said: “It is an honour and a privilege to receive insights on the psychology of success which are relevant to any context and incumbent on all of us to use the learnings in our personal and professional lives.” ENDS

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Roscommon on Thursday, 6 December. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7-9pm in the Roscommon Abbey Hotel, Roscommon Town. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand to answer any questions in relation to courses and practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a whole suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a Bachelor of Arts with Human Rights, an Energy Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programmes, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies and a Bachelor of Arts with Journalism which are brand new for 2013. “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to Roscommon, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Roscommon is a perfect opportunity to meet current students and our lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit”, says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. To find out more about the information evening in Roscommon, contact NUI Galway’s Schools Liaison Officer, Gráinne Dunne on 087 2440858 or grainne.dunne@nuigalway.ie. ENDS

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Déanfaidh an fear scannáin agus fiadhúlra, Éamon de Buitléar, a chartlann phearsanta a bhronnadh ar Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, inniú, Dé Céadaoin, 28 Samhain, 2012. Tá breis is trí scór bliain d’ábhar ilmheáin sa chartlann seo, ar léargas é ar spéiseanna pearsanta agus proifisiúnta Éamoin de Buitléar. Cuimsítear sa chartlann: Scannáin fhaisnéise Éamoin ó chuaigh sé leis an scannánaíocht; Bunábhar fíor-shuntasach a bhaineann le stair na craoltóireachta agus na scannánaíochta in Éirinn; Buntaifeadtaí agus ábhar eisceachtúil a bhaineann le Seán Ó Riada, Ceoltóirí Chualann agus Ceoltóirí Laighean a thugann léargas luachmhar ar athréimniú an cheoil dúchais san fhichiú haois; Taifid fhuaime agus físe a thugann léargas tábhachtach ar stair na timpeallachta agus na tuaithe in Éirinn; Ábhar cultúrtha mórshuntais i measc pháipéir theaghlaigh mhuintir de Buitléar, lámhscríbhinní agus bunchóip de Fhoclóir na nÉan, a réitigh an Coirnéal Éamon de Buitléar, iar aide-de-camp Dhubhghlas de hÍde, an chéad Uachtarán ar Éirinn. Dúirt Éamon de Buitléar agus an togra á sheoladh aige: “Saothar saoil atá sa chartlann seo. Is mór i gceist agam an timpeallacht, an teanga agus an ceol dúchais agus tá ríméad orm go bhfáilteofar roimh an mbailiúchán ina iomláine in OÉ Gaillimh. Tá sé fíor-thábhachtach go mbeadh teacht ag daoine óga agus pobal na Gaeltachta ar an mbailiúchán seo go furasta agus go saoráideach, i nGaeltacht Chonamara go háirithe.” Mhol Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, an bronnadh flaithiúil seo ar an Ollscoil ó lámh Éamoin: “Bronnadh thar a bheith gnaíúil é seo ó dhuine de cheannródaithe móra na craoltóireachta in Éirinn. Is cás le hÉamon gnéithe éagsúla dár n-oidhreacht – idir cheol, chultúr agus nádúr – agus rinne sé saibhriú ar shaol na tíre gan trácht ar a chartlann phearsanta. Bainfidh an Ollscoil lánearraíocht as an acmhainn luachmhar seo de bharr an luí atá againn leis an nGaeilge agus le staidéar na físe.” Cuirfidh OÉ Gaillimh tús le mórthogra le go ndéanfaí digitiú agus clárú ar an gcnuasach seo a bhfuil tábhacht náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta leis. Cuirfidh an togra ar chumas scoláirí, taighdeoirí, mic léinn agus pobal na Gaeltachta teacht ar an ábhar. Bainfidh OÉ Gaillimh leas ar leith as ábhar na cartlainne i bhfianaise obair na hOllscoile le Taisclann Dhigiteach na hÉireann. Fágfaidh seo go mbeidh ábhar na cartlainne ar fáil taobh istigh de chreatlach bhonneagair a éascóidh rochtain scolártha agus rannpháirteachas pobail. Oibreoidh an Ollscoil i gcomhar le páirtnéirí ar nós Cartlanna RTÉ le go bhforbrófaí an dea-chleachtas agus prótacail chomhchoitianta maidir le rochtain phoiblí agus caomhnú na hoidhreachta náisiúnta clos-amhairc. Déanfaidh OÉ Gaillimh an chartlann a dhigitiú, a chlárú, a chaomhnú agus rochtain ar an gcartlann a chur ar fáil trí pháirtnéireacht idir Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge agus Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Ardagáin. Déanfar próiseáil ar ábhair scannáin, fístéipe, téip fuaime agus páipéar mar chuid den togra. Gné eisceachtúil den togra an comhthéacsú atá déanta ag Éamon de Buitléar féin ar an mbailiúchán. Tá suas le 20 uair a chloig de thaifeadtaí fuaime déanta ag Éamon le taighdeoir an togra, Micheál Holmes, agus cur síos déanta aige ar réimsí éagsúla dá shaol oibre. Cuirfidh Cartlann Éamoin de Buitléar go mór le bailiúcháin eile i Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Ardagáin, leithéidí togra digitithe Amharclann na Mainistreach agus páipéir Bhrendan Duddy, Thomas Kilroy agus John McGahern. Beidh taispeántas i Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Ardagáin i ndiaidh sheoladh an togra Dé Céadaoin 28 Samhain a thabharfaidh léargas ar earraí tábhachtacha ón mbailiúchán agus éagsúlacht an chnuasaigh trí chéile. Beidh teacht ar an gcartlann dhigiteach in Áras Taighde nua na nDán, na nDaonnachtaí agus na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta, a osclófar díreach taobh le Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Ardagáin ar phríomhchampas OÉ Gaillimh i 2013 agus in Ionaid Ghaeltachta na hOllscoile, i gCarna agus ar an gCeathrú Rua mar a ndéantar BA agus MA sa Chumarsáid a mhúineadh trí mheán na Gaeilge. Tabharfar faoi Dhigitiú an Tionscadail i Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Ardagáin agus in Ionad na hOllscoile i gCarna mar a bhfuil tograí taighde ilmheáin eile á riaradh ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, leithéidí www.joeheaney.org, Cartlann Raidió na Gaeltachta, Cartlann Joe Burke agus iTunesU de chuid COGG, togra acmhainní digiteacha don seomra ranga bunscoile. Tuilleadh eolais agus ábhar cartlainne le fáil anseo CRÍOCH   Éamon de Buitléar to Present His Unique Multi-Media Archive Collection to NUI Galway Today, Wednesday, 28 November, 2012, renowned film-maker and environmentalist Éamon de Buitléar will officially present his exceptional personal archive to NUI Galway. This multi-media archive collection spans some sixty years of creativity and reflects a broad range of Éamon de Buitléar’s professional and personal concerns. The archive contains: Éamon’s documentary film output over the course of his career; Key materials relating to the history of broadcasting & film production in Ireland; Original recordings and unique insights into the revival of Irish traditional music in the twentieth century with material relating to Seán Ó Riada, Ceoltóirí Chualann and Ceoltóirí Laighean; Visual and audio records of interest in terms of historical environmental studies; Culturally significant material within the de Buitléar family papers including manuscripts and A Dictionary of Irish Bird Names, compiled by An Coirnéal Éamon de Buitléar, former aide-de-camp to Dubhghlas de hÍde, the first President of Ireland. Launching the project, Éamon de Buitléar said: “The collection contains my life’s work. The environment, the Irish language and our native music have been cornerstones of my work and I am happy that the archive as a whole will find a home in NUI Galway. It is important that the collection will be available and accessible, particularly to young people and also to the Gaeltacht community in Conamara.” President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne paid tribute to Éamon’s generous donation to the University: “This is a magnificent gesture by one of the pioneers of Irish broadcasting. Éamon’s constant concern for various aspects of our heritage – natural, cultural and musical – has enriched not only his personal archive but national life. We will use our institutional strengths in visual studies and the Irish language to fully exploit and conserve this rich resource.” NUI Galway, will begin a major project to catalogue and to digitise this collection of national and international significance to facilitate access to scholars, researchers, students and the Gaeltacht community. Playing a key role in the Digital Repository of Ireland, the University is uniquely positioned to exploit the archive material and place it in a framework which will facilitate scholarly access and public engagement while working with partners such as RTÉ Archives to develop common protocols and best practice in the conservation of and public access to the national audio-visual heritage. Work on this multi-media project will be carried out by NUI Galway’s James Hardiman Library and Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge and will process materials on film, video, audio tape and paper. A unique aspect of the collection is the contextualisation which has been provided by Éamon de Buitléar himself in the form of 20 hours of audio recordings describing the various facets of his work to project researcher, Micheál Holmes. The Éamon de Buitléar Archive will complement existing and newly acquired collections in the James Hardiman Library such as the project to digitise the Abbey Theatre archive and the acquisition of the papers of Brendan Duddy, Thomas Kilroy and John McGahern. Following the launch on Wednesday, 28 November, an exhibition will be staged in the James Hardiman Library in NUI Galway which will highlight the diversity of Éamon de Buitléar’s work and display key items from the collection. The collection will be accessible in the new Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Research Building which will open at the heart of the NUI Galway campus in 2013 and at the University’s Gaeltacht centres in Carna and at An Cheathrú Rua where BA and MA programmes in Communications are taught through the medium of Irish. The Project Digitisation will take place in the James Hardiman Library and in the University’s centre in Carna where Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge have already managed multi-media research projects such as www.joeheaney.org, Cartlann Raidió na Gaeltachta, The Joe Burke Archive and, most recently, iTunes U COGG, a project to develop digital classroom resources for primary schools. Further information and access to archive material here ENDS

Thursday, 29 November 2012

 Druid’s Garry Hynes to Launch Project for the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway Small and medium enterprises with creative offerings encouraged to participate Today (Thursday 29 November) Druid’s award winning director Garry Hynes will launch the Creative Edge project. The Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change will lead the project which will help creative businesses in Europe’s Northern Periphery to export to new markets and nurture emerging creative talent. The project received €1.1 million in funding through the European Union’s Interreg Initiative under the Northern Periphery Programme (NPP) and brings together universities, development agencies and industry bodies from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Finland and Sweden. The main objectiveof the Creative Edge project is promote the active participation of local creative organisations and businesses in global markets while also aiding them in their ability to attract and utilise local emerging creative talent in these markets. This is important as the creative economy is increasingly seen to be a major area of growth in the coming decades for rural peripheral regions. Studies continue to show how the creative sector is a leading indicator of global growth. The cultural and creative sector is globally one of the fastest growing. Estimates value the sector at 7% of the world’s GDP and forecast 10% growth per year[1]. According to NUI Galway’s Dr Patrick Collins lead researcher on the project: “When you look at the emerging trend of increased demand for goods and services that are authentic, sustainable, and that tell a story, you are looking at the growth of the creative economy. The west of Ireland, and other regions on the edge of Europe stand to gain from the promotion of small and medium enterprises with creative offerings.”  The project itself has grown out of direct consultations with the Creative Industries across the NPP region. Of particular policy relevance were the constraints faced by new and established creative industries in the NPP region. Consultation with the sector across a variety of disciplines, from craft to App development, showed that most people working in the creative sector found themselves confined by their inability to access international markets and the inability to share information and learn from contemporaries here and abroad. The project is now looking for the active participation of ‘Creatives’ located in the west of Ireland. Dr James Cunningham, Director of the Whitaker Institute called on local creative businesses and individuals to engage with the project. “This work is built on addressing the needs of the creative sector, needs change and we want to keep abreast of those changes. We are therefore actively encouraging creatives to engage with us and with our project partner in the region – the Western Development Commission. The incentive is that this project will help them develop as an individual and / or company and opportunities to engage with creative industries in Northern Ireland, Finland and Sweden.” For more information, please visit www.nuigalway.ie/whitakerinstitute or www.creative-edge.eu -ends-

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The 15th Galway Science and Technology Festival, part of National Science Week and sponsored by Medtronic Galway saw over 20,000 visitors attend the Final Exhibition Day at NUI Galway on Sunday (25 November). Professor Pat Fottrell, Chairman of Science Foundation Ireland was the Festival’s special guest who visited exhibits accompanied by Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway; John McNamara, Research & Development Director of Medtronic; Professor Tom Sherry, Dean of Science NUI Galway; Michael Carmody, President of GMIT; Dr Des Foley, Head of Science & Research, GMIT; and Tom Hyland, Chairman of Galway Science & Technology Festival. Thousands of families and children enjoyed over 80 interactive stands representing areas including research, education, industry and the environment at the Bailey Allen Hall and Orbsen Building. Visitors took a tour of the new Engineering Building, Zoology and Marine Biology Museums, while 20 fun shows for families took place in the IT Building, Aula Maxima and the Arts and Science Concourse building at NUI Galway. Up to 20 Primary and Secondary Schools exhibited stands covering Life Science, Technology and Physics and Chemistry themes with prizes being presented to the overall winners from Milltown N.S, Galway Educate Together N.S. and Inis Meain N.S. for most creative exhibits in each category. Brendan Smith, Community Education and Outreach Officer for the Digital Enterprise Research Institute at NUI Galway, was presented with the Science Person of the Year Award at the Festival Exhibition on Sunday for his outstanding contribution in the field of Science & Technology. Festival Sponsors provided jaw-dropping, high-tech exhibits for young people to interact with including Medtronic, Galway Enterprise Board, NUI Galway, GMIT, Cisco, Boston Scientific, Avaya, SAP, Covidien, Hewlett Packard, Creganna, The Marine Institute and Galway County Council. Medtronic’s exhibit focused on Innovation, with engineers demonstrating how to get from Idea to Product and all the steps in between. They also showcased products for the treatment of Coronary Artery Disease and Hypertension, and provided a fun Games Corner where children were invited to test their manual dexterity with lots of helpful people from Medtronic on hand to guide them through it. John McNamara, Director of Research & Development at Medtronic commented, “Medtronic became the main sponsor of the Galway Science and Technology Festival over ten years ago.  Since then, we are delighted to have experienced the journey that has seen the event evolve and flourish into one of the highlights in the calendars of the educational and science communities.  This year’s theme is “Everyday Experimenting” and experimentation is something that makes Science and Technology so fascinating. Engaging the younger generation throughout this festival about the wonders and possibilities of Science and Technology will help ensure we have the pool of talented scientists and engineers so necessary for Ireland’s future success as a nation. I have no doubt today’s Exhibition will generate lots of ideas and open minds to the many great possibilities and opportunities out there.” The Computer & Communications Museum of Ireland provided a fascinating insight into advances in communications and computing through the years. Hewlett Packard joined the Coderdojo Galway members in the Museum and demonstrated coding. Young people crowded around the Boston Scientific stand learning about the technology behind Angioplasty and Balloon Formation and tried their hand at the Guidewire Tracking Challenge for a chance to win an iPad Nano every hour. NUI Galway had a number of exhibits including a H-Racer and Solar Hydrogen Station. The H-Racer is the smallest and coolest hydrogen fuel cell car in the world. Visitors got to witness the power of new energy technology in the palm of their hand. The car does not need batteres and uses a real fuel cell and its own on-board hydrogen storage system. The Hydrogen station will provide the H-Racer with an unlimited supply of clean energy. To create free hydrogen fuel at the flick of a switch, water was added to the station’s tank while fuelling was animated by a special blue light display. GMIT displayed a number of interactive Science and Technology exhibit stands to mark their 40th Anniversary. Exhibit themes included How Engines Work where visitors saw how different engine types work with interactive models on display as well as touch screen animations. Energy Engineering demonstrated how energy management is a vital part of everyday life and how energy can be harnessed from the sea, the sun and the wind. Family fun shows were a huge hit that included Black John The Bogus Pirate, a cartoon workshop aimed at teaching children of all ages about marine environment while having fun. K’nex Roadshow, based on a dynamic open ended spatial building system, Mr Bug with Matt Lewis allowed children get up close to friendly tropical animals and Killaloe Exploration Dome, a mobile planetarium designed to explore science, astronomy, geology and geography in a fun and interactive way. True Physics Show was an interactive hands-on science show where students participated in launching rockets and flying helicopters and Sue McGrath’s Chemistry Show consisted of wacky experiments like super foams, colour changes and disgusting slime. Galway Science and Technology Festival Chairman, Tom Hyland commented, “On behalf of the Board of the Galway Science and Technology Festival, I would like to thank our main sponsor Medtronic and all of our partners who have contributed to the growth and development of this Festival into a very significant vehicle for the promotion of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths subjects to our young people and help bring excitement and fun to Science and Technology for children and families across the city and county.”  To view photos and videos from the Exhibition visit www.galwayscience.ie ENDS

Monday, 1 October 2012

Major organisations from business and industry will feature at the NUI Galway Graduate Jobs Fair on Monday, 8 October, from 12.30- 4pm in the Bailey Allen Hall. This free event will showcase graduate employment opportunities from all disciplines, with a diverse number of fields such as accountancy, consultancy, education, engineering, IT, law, science, retail and many other sectors represented throughout the day. Major Galway-based employers such as Avaya, Creganna, Lidl, Medtronic, Merit Medical, Smyths Toys will attend, in addition to international companies such as Abbott, Accenture, Analog Devices, PWC and Microsoft. Visitors to the event can spend the afternoon networking with Ireland’s leading graduate recruiters and avail of the opportunity to have their CV reviewed at the CV Clinic, which will run from 1.30-3.30pm. According to John Hannon, Head of the NUI Galway Career Development Centre: “Demand for NUI Galway graduates remains high, reflecting on their excellent employability status and many of Ireland’s major graduate recruiters are coming to the Jobs Fair hoping to find the next generation of leaders for their businesses. Over 90% of our most recent graduates went into work or further study last year and this Fair will also be an opportunity to get information on postgraduate programmes available in NUI Galway for those interested in further study.” Event organiser, Josephine Walsh, advises those attending the Fair not to forget their main objective: “Securing your first graduate job is the main priority. Plan in advance. Know what employers are attending and the type of opportunities they have available. Many graduate employers now recruit graduates from all academic disciplines so do not be misled by an organisation’s name – they may have the perfect graduate opportunity for you. Arrive with a ‘can do’ attitude and be prepared to network. I would also recommend that attendees bring a CV, have it reviewed at the CV Clinic and get feedback on how to package and sell all their experiences to date.” Full details on the Graduate Jobs Fair and list of exhibitors are available from www.nuigalway.ie/careers. -ENDS-     Fostóirí Móra na Gaillimhe ag Aonach Post Chéimithe OÉ Gaillimh Beidh eagraíochtaí móra ón saol gnó agus ón tionscal i láthair ag Aonach Post Chéimithe OÉ Gaillimh a bheidh ar siúl i Halla Bailey Allen, Dé Luain, an 8 Deireadh Fómhair, ó 12.30 - 4pm. Léireoidh an ócáid saor in aisce seo na deiseanna fostaíochta atá ann do chéimithe ó gach disciplín, lena n-áirítear cuntasaíocht, comhairleoireacht, oideachas, innealtóireacht, IT, dlí, eolaíocht, miondíol agus go leor earnálacha eile. Beidh fostóirí móra na Gaillimhe ar nós Avaya, Creganna, Lidl, Medtronic, Merit Medical, Smyths Toys i láthair, chomh maith le cuideachtaí idirnáisiúnta ar nós Abbott, Accenture, Analog Devices, PWC agus Microsoft. Féadfaidh cuairteoirí chuig an ócáid an tráthnóna a chaitheamh i gcuideachta earcaitheoirí móra chéimithe na hÉireann agus an deis a thapú lena gcuid CVanna a scrúdú ag Clinic na CVanna, a bheidh ar siúl idir 1.30-3.30pm. Dar le John Hannon, Ceann Ionad Forbartha Gairmeacha OÉ Gaillimh:  “Tá an-éileamh i gcónaí ar chéimithe OÉ Gaillimh, rud a léiríonn an stádas fostaíochta den scoth atá acu agus tá go leor d’earcaitheoirí móra chéimithe na hÉireann ag teacht chuig Aonach na bPost ag súil go n-aimseoidh siad ceannairí den chéad ghlúin eile dá gcuid gnóthaí. Chuaigh os cionn 90% dár gcéimithe anuraidh isteach san ionad oibre nó i staidéar breise agus is deis a bheidh san Aonach seo freisin le heolas a fháil ar chláir iarchéime OÉ Gaillimh don té ar mian leis tabhairt faoin staidéar breise.” Mhol eagraí na hócáide, Josephine Walsh, dóibh siúd a bheidh ag freastal ar an Aonach gan dearmad a dhéanamh ar a bpríomhchuspóir: “Is í an chloch is mó ar do phaidrín do chéad phost mar chéimí a bhaint amach. Bí réidh ina choinne. Bí ar an eolas faoi na fostóirí a bheidh i láthair agus na deiseanna atá ar tairiscint acu. Earcaíonn go leor fostóirí céimithe as gach disciplín acadúil anois mar sin ná cuireadh teideal na heagraíochta aon dul amú ort – d’fhéadfadh deis a bheith acu a d’fheilfeadh duitse. Tar chuig an imeacht le meon dearfach agus bí sásta meascadh le daoine éagsúla. Mholfainn do dhaoine CV a thabhairt leo chomh maith agus breathnófar air ag Clinic na CVanna agus tabharfar aiseolas duit faoin mbealach is fearr le gach taithí dá bhfuil agat go dtí seo a chur le chéile agus a dhíol.” Tá an t-eolas iomlán faoin Aonach Post do Chéimithe agus liosta de na taispeántóirí le fáil ar www.nuigalway.ie/careers. -CRÍOCH-      

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

For a second year in a row, the free day-long research festival, Sea2Sky, has been hailed as a huge success. Organised by NUI Galway last Friday (28 September), up to 10,000 visitors attended exhibitions in three different locations in Galway and in CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork. Sea2Sky was part of European Researchers Night, which took place across 800 venues in 320 cities. Throughout Europe, the general public were encouraged to participate in experiments, competitions and quizzes, to watch demonstrations and simulations, to exchange ideas and get to know researchers. Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, officially opened Sea2Sky, saying: “I am delighted to be here at the Sea2Sky Researchers Night in Galway where scientists and researchers are opening up the world of science to the general public and to young people in particular. Europe needs to attract more young people into careers as researchers to stay ahead of the game in research and to tackle the biggest issues of our time, such as energy, climate change and our ageing population. Exciting events like this, which are bringing science to life right across Europe tonight, will certainly help to achieve this goal.” Sea2Sky was organised by NUI Galway, with huge support from partners the Marine Institute and Galway Atlantaquaria, and CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork. Visitors to Sea2Sky had access to the ‘Accelerating Science’ exhibition in Leisureland and over 40 stands in the Galway Bay Hotel showcasing local research. The Galway Atlantaquaria was also open for free to the public. Local scuba divers gave an exhibition in the aquarium, the Marine Institute showcased their Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) and a Japanese oyster farmer made a special guest appearance as a tie in with the Galway Oyster Festival. Thousands visited the Promenade in Salthill and watched a parade with Galway Colour’s Street Theatre, while others viewed the night sky through telescopes from Galway Astronomy Club. “Sea2sky this year was an even bigger success than 2011 with astronomers, marine scientists and atmospheric physicists engaging with a wide cross section of the community from small children to the over eighties. One of the highlights was the Café Scientifique linking Galway, Cork and NASA astronaut Dan Tani in the US. Our Sea2sky event was even mentioned in the NASA broadcast showcasing the recent Curiosity Rover findings,” explained chief organiser, NUI Galway’s Dr Andrew Shearer, a lecturer in physics. -ends-

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Dublin on Thursday, 25 October. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Tara Towers Hotel, Dublin 4. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a whole suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights, an Energy Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programme, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies which is brand new for 2012. “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to Dublin, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Dublin is a perfect opportunity to meet current students and our lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit”, says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. To find out more about the information evening in Dublin, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Siobhán Dorman on 086 042 1591 or siobhan.dorman@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Over 100 young people from second and third-level institutions across County Galway and Roscommon were honoured with a Gaisce Medal at a special ceremony in NUI Galway last night. Organised by the University’s Gaisce Society, who this year celebrate over ten years in existence, the Awards were presented by NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne on behalf of the Patron of Gaisce -The President’s Award, President Michael D. Higgins. Two NUI Galway students, Eimear O’Callaghan from Craughwell, Co. Galway and Laura Staunton from Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, were presented with a Gaisce Silver Award. Eimear volunteers with a homework club in the Claddagh National School helping children with their reading. Laura volunteers with the Galway Society for the Prevention to Cruelty to Animals and was a member of the Galway University Musical Society production of Spring Awakening.  Bronze awards were presented to secondary schools and community groups including: Castlerea Community School, Co. Roscommon; Coláiste na Coiribe, Galway City; Dunmore Community School, Co. Galway; Presentation Secondary School, Galway City; Archbishop McHale College, Tuam, Co. Galway; St Jarlath's College, Tuam, Co. Galway; Dominican College, Taylors Hill, Galway City and Youthreach, Galway City. Gaisce, the President’s Award, is the National Challenge to young people and the President of Ireland is the Patron of the organisation. Last year, the number of young people taking on the Gaisce challenge rose nationally by 15% from the previous year to over 20,000 and the range of activities that people worked on shows the positive energy and imagination the young people bring to their community. The Gaisce Awards consists of three awards, Gold, Silver and the Bronze award. These awards recognise four areas in which the individual has completed - community involvement, personal skill, physical recreation, and adventure journey. As the challenges are completely individually there is no pressure or competition between participants as the individual is only competing with themselves. This challenges the young person to be self motivated and to push themselves to the best of their ability. This year’s recipients have played a leadership role in the community from setting up a branch of the Vincent DePaul Society to young men cooking meals for COPE Galway’s meals on wheels service. These young people have learned a variety of skills from music, art and drama to first aid and, of course, cooking. Billy Stewart, Auditor of Gaisce Society and at student of the Higher Diploma in Education at NUI Galway, said: “The society is proud to be able to honour the hard work of such exceptional young people. Each year we become more and more impressed by the growing numbers and enthusiasm of our members, with this enthusiasm we have been able to organise adventure journeys on the Camino de Santiago in Spain and over the Atlas Mountains in Morocco with more planned for the future. The Gaisce Award allows young people all over Ireland to show what they are capable of and we are more than happy to enable this to continue to happen.” -ENDS-

Thursday, 4 October 2012

NUI Galway has jumped to third place in the country in this year’s Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings. With only two Irish universities improving their world ranking, NUI Galway sees the greatest rise in position, increasing 31 places. NUI Galway is now ranked 336th in the THE Rankings 2012/2013. In the same rankings, Trinity College Dublin increased their position by seven places to 110. Speaking of the rankings, NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne said: “This is very good news for NUI Galway. Having just recently increased our position in the QS World University Rankings 2012/2013 to 287th this confirms that our position globally is on the rise. We have experienced huge cuts in overallfunding at third-level in Ireland, while student numbers have continued to rise. Despite this, our university has gone against the tide to secure a marked improvement in these very competitive rankings. This is a testament to our high standards in teaching and research, and the continued dedication of our staff at NUI Galway.” The Times Higher Education World University Rankings were developed in concert with rankings data provider, Thomson Reuters, with expert input from more than 50 leading figures in the sector from 15 countries across every continent. The Times Higher league table of the world’s top universities is based on 13 separate performance indicators covering all of the core missions of a world class university — teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. President Browne added: “It will be critical for Ireland to maintain its investment in its universities if we are to remain internationally competitive. Every year, rankings such as this are broadened to include a burgeoning number of world-class universities. We operate in a global market, competing for students and research support on an international playing field. Support on a national level must be maintained for universities such as NUI Galway to continue with their success.” Phil Baty, Editor of the World University Rankings said of NUI Galway’s achievements: “It has been a very tough year for many Western institutions in the world rankings this year, with a large number slipping down the rankings, as competitors across Asia benefit from substantial funding and focused political commitment to building world class universities. NUI Galway’s performance should be seen against this backdrop. The top 400 list represents only around 2 per cent of the world’s higher education institutions, so to sustain a position within in such an elite group is in itself quite an accolade.” ENDS   Ardú Suntasach ag OÉ Gaillimh i Ranguithe Domhanda an Times Higher Léim OÉ Gaillimh go dtí an tríú háit sa tír i Ranguithe Ollscoileanna an Domhain na bliana seo de chuid Times Higher Education (THE). Ní dhearna ach dhá ollscoil in Éirinn dul chun cinn sna ranguithe domhanda, agus is í OÉ Gaillimh a rinne an dul chun cinn is mó, ag ardú 31 áit. Tá OÉ Gaillimh anois sa 336ú háit i Ranguithe THE 2012/2013. Sna ranguithe seo chomh maith, léim Coláiste na Tríonóide, Baile Átha Cliath seacht n-áit go dtí 110. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh faoi na ranguithe: “Is iontach an dea-scéala iontach é seo do OÉ Gaillimh. Táimid tar éis ardú roimhe seo go dtí an 287ú háit i Ranguithe Ollscoile an Domhain QS 2012/2013 agus deimhníonn sé seo go bhfuil ár staid dhomhanda ag feabhsú leis. Tá gearradh siar uafásach déanta ar mhaoiniú ag an tríú leibhéal in Éirinn agus ag an am céanna tá líon na mac léinn ag dul i méid. In ainneoin seo, tá ollscoil s’againne ag dul ó neart go neart sna ranguithe seo atá thar a bheith iomaíoch. Is cruthúnas é seo ar an gcaighdeán ard teagaisc agus taighde atá againn agus tiomantas leanúnach na foirne in OÉ Gaillimh.” Cuireadh Ranguithe Ollscoileanna an Domhain Times Higher Education le chéile i gcomhar le soláthróir sonraí na ranguithe, Thomson Reuters, le hionchur ó bhreis is 50 duine iomráiteacha san earnáil ó 15 thír i ngach mór-roinn. Tá tábla sraithe an Times Higher de na hollscoileanna is fearr ar domhan bunaithe ar 13 tháscaire feidhmíochta ar leith ag clúdach gach croímhisean a bheadh ag ollscoil den scoth — teagasc, taighde, aistriú eolais agus dearcadh idirnáisiúnta. Dúirt an tUachtarán Browne chomh maith: “Is den riachtanas é go gcoinneoidh Éirinn ag infheistiú ina cuid ollscoileanna le gur féidir leo bheith iomaíoch go hidirnáisiúnta. Gach bliain, leathnaítear ranguithe den chineál seo chun ollscoileanna eile den scoth a thógáil ar bord. Táimid ag feidhmiú i margadh domhanda, san iomaíocht do mhic léinn agus do thacaíocht taighde ar pháirc idirnáisiúnta. Caithfear an tacaíocht ag leibhéal náisiúnta a choinneáil d’ollscoileanna cosúil le OÉ Gaillimh chun go mbeidh an rath céanna uirthi amach anseo.” Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Phil Baty, Eagarthóir Ranguithe Ollscoileanna an Domhain, faoi éachtaí OÉ Gaillimh: “Tá bliain an-chrua curtha isteach ag go leor d’institiúidí an Iarthair atá sna ranguithe i mbliana, agus, dá bharr sin, tá go leor acu tite síos sna ranguithe. Tá maoiniú go leor ag iomaitheoirí san Áise agus tá gealltanas láidir polaitiúil ann ollscoileanna den scoth a fhorbairt. Ba chóir an méid atá bainte amach ag OÉ Gaillimh a fheiceáil sa chomhthéacs seo. Ní léiríonn an liosta de na 400 ollscoil is fearr ach 2 faoin gcéad d’institiúidí ardoideachais an domhain, mar sin mura ndéanfaí ach a seasamh a choinneáil sa scothghrúpa seo is éacht ann féin é.” CRÍOCH

Friday, 5 October 2012

NUI Galway invites all graduates and friends from the classes of 1972 and 1982 to attend a reunion celebration on Saturday, 20 October. Bringing together those classes celebrating their 30th and 40th reunions, the programme of events includes an afternoon reception, tour of the campus and a reunion dinner. Emma Goode, Alumni Project Manager, encourages alumni to come along, “Reunion is that perfect excuse to put the date in your diary to meet up with former classmates. Busy lives mean that old friends fall out of touch and we are told regularly that graduates look for these occasions to reconnect. Many alumni from the classes of 1972 and 1982 have already booked their places and they never regret making the effort. You never know who’ll be there.” The Alumni Association serves over 80,000 alumni worldwide with an extensive range of programmes administered by the Alumni Office. These include Alumni Clubs, both national and international, Alumni Publications, Reunions and Alumni Awards. Graduates who are interested in getting involved with any of the above programmes are encouraged to contact the Alumni Office for further details. Register at http://www.nuigalway.ie/alumni-friends/reunion/ or for further information contact Colm O’Dwyer in the Alumni Office on 091 493750 or email alumni@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Friday, 5 October 2012

Sunday Times University Guide to be published Sunday, 7 October, 2012 Completing a full sweep of successes with third-level rankings in recent weeks, NUI Galway has been named as the runner-up in The Sunday Times University Guide 2013, a special 64-page supplement to be published with the newspaper this weekend (7 October, 2012). This news comes just days after it was announced that NUI Galway had risen dramatically in a separate prestigious world ranking. The Sunday Times University Guide 2013 is a definitive guide to higher education in Ireland and the UK. The 2013 guide ranks third-level institutions against six key indicators, including Leaving Certificate points for entry, top degrees awarded, graduate job prospects and income generated from research. NUI Galway was lauded for having one of the lowest dropout rates among all third-level institutions across Ireland and its excellent record for graduate employment. According to Kate Butler, jourmalist and co-author of the Sunday Times University Guide: “NUI Galway's excellent performance in terms of job progression (with 93.7% of graduates going on to jobs or further education), of the amount of research funding it secures per academic staff member (it came fourth nationally in this category) and its high completion rate (just 16% students dropped out, one of the lowest rates amongst Irish universities) meant that the west coast university secured the runner up position of the Sunday Times University of the Year Award. Other factors that commended NUI Galway were its academic initiatives including credit for volunteering and its successful access record, as well as its strong performance in the creation of start-ups and patents.” NUI Galway was previously named University of the Year 2009 in The Sunday Times University Guide, securing the prestigious accolade for a second time having won the inaugural University of the Year in 2002. The Sunday Times Irish University of the Year’ award is made not solely on league table position but also on the University’s contribution on a local, national and international level, the quality of the student experience and the overall robustness of the institution. President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, commented: “This is all very good news for NUI Galway as it confirms that our position nationally and internationally is on the rise and that we are succeeding in our efforts to achieve recognition in selected priority areas. In spite of substantial cuts in overallfunding at third-level in Ireland, our University has gone against the tide to secure a marked improvement in these very competitive rankings." President Browne continued: "The University offers our students world-class teaching and encourages active engagement with the learning experience through opportunities such as volunteering, work placement, international exchange programmes, sports clubs and vibrant student societies. Our focus on student engagement contributes to our leading retention rate among universities and strong employment figures for our graduates.” Earlier in the week NUI Galway jumped to third place in the country in this year’s Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings. NUI Galway is now ranked 336th in the THE Rankings 2012/2013,an increase of 31 places on last year’s position. NUI Galway was one of only two universities improving their world ranking this year, with Trinity College Dublin also increasing their position by seven places to 110. This increase in position follows on from a similar result in the QS World University Ranking last month, where NUI Galway was again one of only two Irish universities to increase its position, with a rise of 11 places to 287th in the world. Earlier this year, the University was also awarded the top award of a five star rating by the QS Stars system, a new rating system designed to provide a more detailed comparison of world universities than the rankings provide. University College Dublin (UCD) is awarded the accolade of The Sunday Times University of the Year, with Limerick Institute of Technology as The Sunday Times Institute of Technology of the Year, with Dundalk IT the runner-up. Cambridge is the top university in the UK, with Oxford in second place, among the 126 degree-awarding institutions in Britain and Northern Ireland profiled in The Sunday Times University Guide, out this weekend.   Ends

Monday, 8 October 2012

The School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics at NUI Galway will host a number of events as part of Maths Week Ireland from 13-21 October to promote appreciation, understanding and an awareness of maths in society. On Friday, 19 October, Andrew Jeffrey, also known as ‘The Mathemagician’ will give workshops to primary and secondary school audiences at NUI Galway. Andrew is a teacher, lecturer, magician, and keynote speaker and has been described as a mathematical evangelist. He is the author of several books, including Be A Wizard With Numbers, Magic for Kids, 100 Top Tips for Top Maths Teachers, Top 20 Maths Displays, and the new Cool, Calm and Calculators. A former vice-principal, Andrew believes that the fundamentals of mathematics can be taught via practical experiments and travels Europe inspiring and entertaining teachers and students alike with his Magic of Maths shows. Dr David O'Keeffe, one of the organisers of Maths Week events at NUI Galway, said: “ The concept behind Maths Week is to illustrate the relevance and beauty of this subject in a fun and interactive way. It coincides with a mathematical discovery made by Sir William Rowan Hamilton, Ireland’s greatest mathematician, who in a flash of inspiration while walking along the Royal Canal in Dublin on 16 October 1843 created a novel algebraic structure, the so-called quaternions. Subsquently quaternions have been used in areas such as computer graphics and animation in film making.” Also this year's PRISM contest, Problem Solving for Irish Second level Mathematicians, take place during Maths Week on Thursday, 18 October. Teachers and schools wishing to participate are asked to email to prism@nuigalway.ie with their name and email address, and the name and address of the school. Schools throughout Galway and beyond are encouraged to participate in these special events to make maths accessible to a wider audience and schools can register on the Maths Week website,  www.mathsweek.ie. For further information on Maths Week at NUI Galway contact Dr Tim Downing at tim.downing@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Monday, 8 October 2012

Professor Lesley Yellowlees of the University of Edinburgh will deliver the Eva Philbin Lecture of the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland at NUI Galway on Tuesday, 9 October. Entitled Powering Ahead with Solar Energy, the lecture will take place in the Larmor Lecture Theatre at the University. Professor Yellowlees is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh and completed research positions in Brisbane, Australia. Since returning to the University of Edinburgh, she has held the position of Head of the School of Chemistry and gained a personal chair in Inorganic Electrochemistry. Currently Professor Yellowless is Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Science and Engineering. Her research interests include inorganic electrochemistry and spectroelectrochemistry, EPR spectroscopy, solar energy and CO2 conversion. Active in the Royal Society of Chemistry since 1990, she has held many positions and was appointed Fellow in 2005, elected a Council Member 2005-09, and was elected as first female President last year. Professor Yellowlees was awarded an MBE in 2005 for services to science, selected as a 2011 IUPAC distinguished woman in Chemistry/Chemical Engineering and elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2012. Assistant by An Cumann Ceimice at NUI Galway, the meeting will be followed by a reception.  For further information contact Dr Niall Geraghty in the School of Chemistry, NUI Galway at niall.geraghty@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Monday, 8 October 2012

Ireland’s leading expert in stem cell science, Professor Frank Barry of NUI Galway, has sent congratulations to the Nobel Prize winners Professor Shinya Yamanaka and Professor John Gurdon. The two pioneers of stem cell research will share the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology, it was announced today.   “The discoveries made by these two scientists, although many years apart, both changed the way we think about cells and how they regulate their behaviour,” said Professor Barry. The discovery of methods in cell reprogramming, in particular, has had a huge impact. It has given us extraordinary new insight into what stem cells are and how they work.  It has also given us powerful new tools to study human development and what causes certain diseases.  We at REMEDI send our heartfelt congratulations to Drs. Gurdon and Yamanaka.  The award of the Nobel Prize in Medicine to them is richly deserved.” Professor Frank Barry is Director of the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at NUI Galway and also Scientific Director of the University’s Regenerative Medicine Institute. His particular research interest is in the therapeutic application of adult stem cells, especially mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from bone marrow. For 10 years he has directed a series of research programmes focusing on the isolation and characterization of adult stem cells, and on the development of methods for their delivery in a variety of clinical indications. This has included cardiovascular and arthritic diseases. He has also developed approaches for the use of MSCs for the delivery of specific therapeutic genes, for example in rheumatoid arthritis. In addition he has an interest in proteomics and mass spectrometry for the identification of surface molecules on cells. Some of his more recent work is focussed on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), along with NUI Galway’s Professor Sanbing Shen. -ends-

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

NFB and Microbiology Researcher to Lead €1.2 million EU Project on Stent Development A new type of cardiovascular stent, coated in antibodies to improve biocompatibility and effectiveness, is now under development in Ireland and Poland. Scientists at National University of Ireland Galway are to lead a €1.2 million EU project which aims to reduce re-narrowing of arteries and the need for further interventions, through the development of novel cardiovascular stent materials. National University of Ireland Galway’s Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB), a Science Foundation Ireland funded strategic research cluster, and the University’s microbiology department will head the four year project. This is the fifth successful EC funded grant that NFB has secured in the last two years. “About half of all deaths from cardiovascular diseases are due to coronary artery disease, which occurs when the coronary arteries become hardened and narrowed due to the build-up of plaques on their inner walls or lining,” explains National University of Ireland Galway microbiologist Dr Gerard Wall, who is leading the project. “This EU project brings together researchers from important medical device clusters in Ireland and Poland, involved at all stages of the stent design and development pipeline, to develop a novel product to reduce restenosis, which is one of the major current limitations of stent performance.” “Our plan is to create a new type of coating on the stents using human antibody fragments,” explains Dr Wall. “Once the stent is in place, we hope these antibodies will attract a layer of the patient’s own epithelial cells. This should effectively camouflage the stent as far as the body is concerned, and it will no longer be such a foreign object. Our theory is that this will reduce the potential for rejection, the level of clot build-up, and also significantly improve the long-term outcome of surgical interventions.” Coronary heart diseases, including myocardial infarction, are commonly triggered by the build up of plaques in the inner walls of coronary arteries, leading to stenosis and reduced blood flow to the heart. This is the most common cause of death in Europe, accounting for approximately two million deaths each year. This condition can be successfully treated by angioplasty to reopen blockages and the insertion of a stent to keep arteries open. However, not all stents continue to perform perfectly over time. Cells such as macrophages and smooth muscle cells can grow over the stent surface and cause clot formation, once again clogging the arteries. While anti-clotting drugs can be used, the risk of rejection of the foreign stent material remains a problem. The project brings together three academic partners National University of Ireland Galway, and Poland’s Wrocław University of Technology and Wrocław Medical University. These are joined by Vornia, a Galway-based start-up biomedical company and the multi-national stent manufacturer Balton, which has its headquarters in Poland. The project is funded under the Marie Curie Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP) scheme of the EU’s FP7 2012 People Work Programme. The programme will provide cross-sectoral research training, career development opportunities and knowledge sharing pathways to 16 researchers involved in the project, in addition to hosting networking and dissemination events open to 30-40 additional researchers in the partner groups. “The project is an excellent example of the importance of strong industry-academia cooperation in the development of commercially viable products,” adds Dr Wall. “Both university and industry-based researchers will spend considerable time working in the opposite work sector during the project as both sectors recognise that genuine partnership in this manner is the best way to nurture creative research ideas into leading edge products that have unmet clinical need.”  -ends-

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) Premier Awards Exhibition 2012will be on view in NUI Galway’s new Engineering Building, winner of the 2012 Best Sustainable Project and the RIAI Public Choice Award, which runs until 26 October. The 2012 Exhibition is a major component of the RIAI efforts to illustrate and inform members of the public of the impact of good architecture on their lives. With over 120 entries for this year’s award, the 14 different categories include housing, conservation, sustainability, accessibility, retail, leisure, public choice and culture.  Founded in 1839, the RIAI is the regulatory and support body for architects and architectural technologists in Ireland. The organisation promotes the activities and achievements of the Irish architectural profession - both in Ireland and abroad - through a wide variety of initiatives including the prestigious Irish Architecture Awards and through publications. Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “Having received two awards from this year’s competition we are delighted to host such a diverse and highly regarded exhibition. The show, which is open to the public, features 120 entries across the design spectrum. Their collective display in the area of sustainability ties in perfectly with the ethos of the Engineering Building.” The exhibition is opened Monday to Friday from 9am-5pm. -ENDS