Monday, 4 February 2013

NUI Galway will host the Spring Postgraduate Open Day on Tuesday, 12 February, from 12 noon to 4pm in the Bailey Allen Hall, Áras na Mac Léinn. The Open Day will showcase over 400 of NUI Galway’s full-time and part-time postgraduate programmes, including taught and research masters, as well as doctoral research options. With one of the broadest portfolios of postgraduate teaching and learning in the country, NUI Galway’s Postgraduate Open Day will afford potential students the opportunity to meet academic staff and current students. With over 70 information stands, information will be available on courses, scholarships, fees and other practical considerations. Talks on funding opportunities will take place, along with presentations on how undertaking a postgraduate course in NUI Galway can boost your career opportunities. Valerie Leahy, from the Marketing and Communications Office at NUI Galway, comments: “A postgraduate qualification broadens your skills-set, increases your specialist knowledge, and can improve your job prospects: over 92% of our graduates are currently employed or are in further study within six months of graduating. Making an online application to an NUI Galway postgraduate programme is so easy; it takes less than ten minutes and it could be the best ten minutes you’ll ever spend investing in your future.” NUI Galway offers many new and unique programmes, building on its traditional academic strengths of Arts, Social Sciences, Celtic Studies, Commerce, Medicine, Nursing, Health Science, Law, Engineering, Informatics and Science. These areas have been augmented with innovative research centres in areas as diverse as Biomedical Science and Engineering, International Human Rights, Digital Media & Film Studies, and Regenerative Medicine. NUI Galway also offers postgraduate conversion courses, where students can change their study-direction at postgraduate level and perhaps then move into a more buoyant field. According to John Hannon, Head of NUI Galway’s Career Development Centre: “Irish graduates are ranked first in Europe in terms of how employers rank graduates, and postgraduate study can definitely boost employability. Over the last three years postgraduate numbers going in to employment has grown consistently. NUI Galway has extensive and well-established links with employers, professional bodies, research organisations, and commercial and voluntary sectors which can benefit you in your job search.” To book your place at the Open Day visit www.nuigalway.ie/postgraduate-open-day or register on the day. To apply for an NUI Galway postgraduate course visit www.pac.ie/nuigalway. -ENDS-

Monday, 4 February 2013

NFB delivers five-fold increase in initial exchequer funding The Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB), a multidisciplinary research group based in NUI Galway, is celebrating the award of its fifth successful coordinated EU grant. Over the past two years NFB has secured €14.2 million in EU-coordinated grants. This brings to €20 million the amount of funding which NFB has attracted, an almost five-fold return on initial exchequer funding through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). In addition to the initial investment from SFI in 2007, NFB has secured its additional funding from the EU, Enterprise Ireland and national and international industry partners. NFB is an SFI-funded Strategic Research Cluster developing functional biomaterials which have clinical applications in orthopaedics, cardiovascular, neural and soft tissue repair. Through the coordination of EU grants, NFB has teamed up with ten academic institutions and fourteen industrial partners in eight countries, highlighting the strong industrial component and integrated nature of NFB’s research. One of NFB’s latest grant successes will fund research which aims to reduce the re-narrowing of arteries following implantation of stents through the use of novel cardiovascular stent material. Other projects being undertaken by the group include research into a medical condition known as ischemia which occurs when blood supply to a tissue is limited. The aim is to form new blood vessels to supply the ischemic tissue and restore function. Repair of damaged nerves is another research area being investigated with hopes to improve the lives of patients suffering from spinal cord damage. Biomaterials include both natural and synthetic materials, or a combination of both and these are placed within the body to restore cells and tissue that have become dysfunctional through disease or injury. Speaking about NFB’s success, its Director Professor Abhay Pandit said: “The research being carried out will have a real impact on patients’ lives and economic benefits will also be reaped by the country as the next generation of scientists and engineers are being trained for skilled jobs in the ever growing Irish medical devices market. Meanwhile, Vornia, a start-up medical device company that has been spun-out from NFB is expanding rapidly and bringing superior and consistently high-quality biodegradable biomaterial products to the market. As a medical device company, Vornia also uses its own superior grade materials to develop and scale up products in niche clinical targets including tendon regeneration, soft tissue repair and spinal cord repair.  -ends-

Monday, 4 February 2013

NUI Galway has announced the winners of the 2013 Alumni Awards to be presented at the 13th annual Alumni Awards Gala Banquet on Saturday, 9 March, 2013. The Gala Banquet will be presented by RTÉ’s Gráinne Seoige and will again be held in the Bailey Allen Wing located in Áras na Mac Léinn on campus. The Alumni Awards recognise individual excellence and achievements among the University’s more than 80,000 graduates worldwide. The Awards programme boasts an impressive roll call of 68 outstanding graduates who have gone on to honour their alma mater, including, for example, Michael D. Higgins, Ciarán FitzGerald, Sean O’Rourke, Professor Frank Gannon, Dr Luke Clancy and Gráinne Seoige. This year’s award winners come from right across the globe as the University celebrates The Gathering 2013. The winners of the five alumni awards to be presented at Gala 2013:  Alumni Award for Business, Public Policy and Law – sponsored by Bank of Ireland    -  Adrian Jones, Managing Director, Principal Investment Area, Merchant Banking Division,    Goldman Sachs.  Alumni Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences – sponsored by Medtronic  - Mary E. D’Alton, M.D. Willard C. Rappleye Professor and Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.  Alumni Award for Engineering and Informatics –sponsored by Bank of Ireland  - Hugh O’Donnell, Saipem Spa deputy CEO and COO Drilling.  Alumni Award for Science – sponsored by Aramark  - Seamus Kavanagh, Vice President Global Innovation and Technology Development,Hollister Incorporated.                              Award for Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies sponsored by AIB  - Joyce McGreevy, Author and a Supervising Editor for the Academic Division of National Geographic. Speaking on the announcement of the Awards recipients, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne said: “Our Alumni Awards programme recognises the many Galway alumni who are leaders in their chosen fields. These awards celebrate the life-long value of an NUI Galway education and recognise individual achievements among the University’s more than 80,000 graduates worldwide. In this year of The Gathering, we are delighted to recognise in a very special way graduates who have distinguished themselves internationally, and who return to their alma mater from various parts of the globe.  I congratulate each of the Award winners and look forward to welcoming them back to campus for the Gala Banquet in March.” For ticket and booking information contact the Alumni Office on 091 493750 or email alumni@nuigalway.ie. Online bookings at www.nuigalway.ie/alumni-friends   ENDS

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Over 200 NUI Galway MBA graduates recently returned to the University to mark the 40th anniversary of the first intake to its Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme. Organised by the University’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, the milestone was marked with a conference and gala dinner.  The conference, ‘40 Years A-Growing in Business & Management: Learning from the Past, Leading the Future’ brought together a panel of 15 high-profile national and international contributors from business and academia, with the majority of speakers being NUI Galway MBA alumni.  Professor Jim Doolan, the first MBA Director in 1972, also addressed the conference and recounted the objectives of offering the first MBA which included serving the needs of managers and industry leaders at the time.  The first conference symposium focused on innovation and entrepreneurship with presentations from Joe McBreen, Founder, Chair and CEO Celtrak; Jill Holtz, Founder mykidstime.ie  and The Ahain Group; and Connor Flanagan, Director, LotusWorks. The session was chaired by Liam Bluett, General Manager, Ballybane Enterprise Centre. The second symposium focused on Ireland in the national and international economy with presentations from Dr Alan Ahearne, Economist & Lecturer, NUI Galway and Professor John McHale, Chair National Fiscal Council and Professor of Economics, NUI Galway.  The economics symposium was chaired by Brian Molloy, Director HC Financial Advisers and CEO Orbsen Therapeutics Ltd. The Global Mindset symposium included presentations from New York and Chicago based organisations and was chaired by Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway.  Helen Ryan, CEO, Creganna Tactx Medical reflected on the challenges and opportunities for Irish owned companies through export-led growth.  Seamus Kavanagh, Vice President, Innovation and Technology Development, Hollister Inc., Chicago and Mike Higgins, Managing Director and Head of CIBC World Markets Corp., New York and Chair of the NUI Galway US Foundation, reflected on the global business market. The final conference symposium reflected on issues of ethics, governance and leadership in driving organisational success with presentations from Conor McDonnell, Vice-President for HR, Fidelity Investments, Myles McHugh of Myles McHugh and Associates (formerly Irish Rail), and Paschal McCarthy, Vice President, GE Healthcare.  Dr Alma McCarthy, MBA Programme Director and event organiser, said: “I was struck by the considerable success which our MBA alumni have achieved in challenging senior management positions nationally and globally.  It was refreshing to hear from our alumni who were very positive about the opportunities that lie ahead and the possibilities that can be achieved with the right frame of mind.” Over 200 attended the black tie gala dinner at the Ardilaun Hotel where guests enjoyed a keynote dinner address by Dr Leo Smyth, Adjunct Professor of Management at NUI Galway and former MBA Programme Director and Lecturer. Commenting on the NUI Galway MBA programme, Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway is a highly regarded management development programme in the region.  It also enjoys a very good reputation nationally as evidenced by two recent national All-Ireland competition wins for MBA programmes on the island of Ireland.”  The conference received funding under The Gathering as many international alumni returned for the event. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Promoting Peace and Reconciliation and Excellence in Music Education and Performance 2,000 children from schools all over Co. Galway will take part in Galway Peace Proms which will be held in the Kingfisher Hall, NUI Galway this Saturday and Sunday, 9 and 10 February. For the second year in a row, choirs will perform with the internationally acclaimed Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland (CBOI), led by Ireland’s premiere conductor Gearóid Grant. Performances will take place at 2pm and 7pm each day. Concerts will feature tenor Emmanuel Lawler, renowned Uilleann Piper Patrick Martin, Violinist Patricia Treacy in addition to drummers and pipers from the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Northern Ireland Branch. The programme is packed full of family favourites and showstoppers as well as powerful anthems from the Ulster Scots and Irish traditions.  The CBOI was established as a peace initiative almost eighteen years ago and is made up of 120 young musicians from all over Ireland including Galway.  The orchestra has just returned from their sell out debut at the Royal Albert Hall London, and has also performed at prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, New York; Chicago Symphony Hall; Boston Symphony Hall, and major venues throughout California and Europe. In 2010 the CBOI won an international award for the “Most Outstanding Performance” and the Shanghai Expo in China. The CBOI will make their London debut at the Royal Albert Hall in October next. The CBOI has performed for President McAleese at Áras and Uachtaráin; for Queen Elizabeth 11 at Hillsborough Castle; for many special international Ministerial gatherings at Slane Castle and Dublin Castle; for numerous national commemorations including the Battle of the Boyne; the 10th anniversary of the Belfast Agreement; the 30th anniversary of the twinning of Listowel and Downpatrick, and the 400th Anniversary of the Flight of the Earls in Rome. This year over 10,000 children from all over Ireland will participate in “Peace Proms” which is supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and the Department of Education and Skills and is recognised as one of Ireland’s most important Arts Education initiatives, providing outstanding cultural opportunities for young people while promoting peace, unity and tolerance through music. The CBOI is a registered charity and totally not-for -profit. All funds generated through ticket sales cover the cost of running this programme in which 10,000 children participate annually. Tickets for the Galway Peace Proms can be purchased from www.cboi.ie and from the Town Hall Theatre, Galway   ENDS

Friday, 8 February 2013

On Friday 8 March 2013, NUI Galway School of Law will host a public symposium on the privacy issues which are becoming increasingly important as more and more of our daily interactions and long-term records are stored digitally and on the Internet. Entitled “Privacy from Birth to Death and Beyond: European and American Perspectives”, the event will deal with topics such as the upcoming European Court of Justice ruling on the so-called “Right to be Forgotten”, the development of privacy regulation in the United States of America, the protection of children’s privacy online, privacy rights after death, and the practical issues that face practitioners working with these rapidly-developing problems. The symposium is being jointly organised by the LL.M. in Public Law and the LL.M. in Law, Technology and Governance. According to Mr Rónán Kennedy, Director of the LL.M. in Law, Technology and Governance, at NUI Galway: “The rise in popularity of social networking, image and video sharing sites mean that the regulation of privacy is becoming increasingly complex and challenging, and anyone working on these issues needs to keep abreast of new developments.” Ms Marie McGonagle, Director of the Public Law LL.M., at the University, added: “In an increasingly online world, the boundaries between private and public are constantly shifting. This symposium will provide an opportunity to engage with international and national experts in both private and public law in exploring approaches to some of the most pressing issues relating to privacy that affect everyone from the individual to the private sector and the State.” Speakers will include Mr José María Baño, Instituto de Empresa and José María Baño León Abogados, Madrid; Professor Joshua Fairfield of the Washington and Lee University Law School; Dr Sharon McLaughlin, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Mr Paul Lambert, Merrion Legal Solicitors and Mr Damien McCallig, School of Law, NUI Galway. The LL.M. in Public Law has been running successfully since 2005 and has attracted a steady number of students, both full-time and part-time, including, as well as recent graduates, qualified and practising solicitors, barristers, Gardaí and personnel from public bodies. The LL.M. in Law, Technology and Governance is a unique and pioneering programme with a focus on the interconnection between law, technology, science, and innovation. Both programmes include modules with a focus on the legal issues and problems presented by the development of new communications technologies, such as Communications Law: Law, Technology and Change, Data Protection, Privacy and Retention, Internet Regulation and Governance Torts. Further details and registration information are available at http://www.conference.ie. Continuing Professional Development certificates will be provided.   ENDS

Monday, 11 February 2013

NUI Galway is celebrating Drama in many forms during its Theatre Festival, which runs from 18-22 February.  Now in its fourth year, the event showcases through theatre, literature and film, the many talents of NUI Galway students, societies and alumni. Organised by the University’s Societies Office, one of the main highlights this year is the return of the Jerome Hynes One Act play Series, which features eight new works written by students. The plays will be performed at lunchtimes and evenings and all eight will feature in the Omnibus Edition on Friday, 22 February in the Cube Theatre in Áras na Mac Léinn. NUI Galway’s Dramsoc will present Sam Shepard’s play ‘Seduced’ which runs from 20-23 February. This dark comedy takes place at the death bed of the world’s richest man as the empire he has created starts to fall apart as his paranoia and madness grow. Guest performances for the week include ‘Blooming Ulysses The Show’. The acclaimed comic adaptation of James Joyces’s Ulysses is performed by Gerry Farrell. The show serves as an excellent introduction to Ulysses. Proceeds from the show, which takes place on 18 February, are in aid of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland. Cyclone Rep, in association with Everyman Theatre, will present their Shakespeare Sessions. These student centred performances include ’Macbeth’ and ’The Merchant of Venice’.  On Thursday, 20 February 130 students from the Danish School of Performance, Mellerup Efterskole, will join NUI Galway’s Musical, Traditional Music and Dance Societies for a performance of eclectic music and dance. As part of the Fesitval, third-year students from the BA in Theatre and Performance will present ’Manologues’, a devised piece which  tells the story of eight males searching for a meaning in contemporary Ireland. The play looks at male identity in Irish culture bringing into light the hardship of everyday life for many men in an Ireland where the old identity is laughed at and the new identity is unknown. Continuing its commitment to the arts, NUI Galway offers a four-year degree programme, BA degree in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, which is designed for students with a keen interest in all aspects of drama and performance. Students on this programme have the opportunity to benefit from the dynamic partnerships forged by NUI Galway with key arts organisations including the Abbey Theatre, Druid Theatre Company, the Galway Arts Festival and Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe. Ríona Hughes, NUI Galway Societies Officer and Festival Director, said: “The Festival is an opportunity for the University to showcase the dramatic arts on campus and to invite world class practitioners to the college, we hope that Galway will join with us for a week of celebration.” All events are open to the public and the full programme of events is available at http://www.socs.nuigalway.ie/news_reviews/view/479/. For information and tickets visit the SocsBox in Áras na Mac Léinn, NUI Galway, or contact 091 492852 or socsbox@socs.nuigalway.ie. -END-

Monday, 11 February 2013

NUI Galway’s Engineering Building was judged the Best Educational Building at the recent Local Authority Members Association (LAMA) Awards 2013. This adds to the Engineering Building’s existing list of accolades which includes RIAI Irish Architecture’s Public Choice and the Best Sustainable Project Awards, the Irish Building and Design Award for School and Educational Building Project of the Year, and the Irish Concrete Society’s Sustainability Award. Opened in 2011 by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, the Engineering Building at NUI Galway is a world-class teaching and research facility. The building has been designed to be a teaching tool in itself, with exposed construction techniques and an array of ecological building methods. The 14,250 sqm, four story building supports an emerging generation of engineers, engaged in a new wave of technologies, embracing innovation and entrepreneurship; it accommodates some 1,100 students and 110 staff. Commenting on the latest award, John Gibney, Director of Physical Resources at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted that Galway City Council proposed the Engineering Building to LAMA and also to win the Best Educational Building Award for 2013. The building is proving successful in teaching and research terms and it is heartening to receive consistent recognition for its architectural and sustainability credentials. This is testament to the hard work and innovation of the designers, contractors and university staff involved in its inception, delivery and operation.” First held in 2006, the LAMA Awards were created to recognise innovative local and national projects in the areas of infrastructure, community development, recreation and social impact initiatives. Commenting on the awards, Chairman of IPB Insurance George Jones said: “Once again the awards have served up a very high standard of projects and initiatives and is testimony to the hard work being done by Local Authorities and their communities. It is only fitting to publicly acknowledge this great work so as to promote best practice and encourage others to aspire to these high standards.” -ENDS-

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

NUI Galway, in collaboration with software industry partners, has been awarded HEA funding for the renewal of the innovative industry-focused Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development. Initiated in 2012, this one-year post-graduate conversion course aims to increase the supply of skilled graduates to meet the needs of Ireland’s high-growth software industry. It will provide graduates with a fast-track, focused computing qualification, and presents them with an opportunity to obtain valuable industry work experience. The Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development builds on the existing strengths of collaborative academic-industry interaction in the Galway region, and provides graduates with: a solid foundation in key software design knowledge; a choice of software architecture specialization in either .NET or Java Enterprise; and a guaranteed work placement to gain relevant experience, and so provide the opportunity to kick-start their career as software developers. The industry partners include Avaya, Ericsson, Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), Hewlett Packard, Storm Technologies, The Marine Institute, Solano Tech Ltd, NetFort Technologies, SourceDogg, APC/Schneider, CISCO and IBM. The new course will be delivered as part of the Information Technology Discipline’s complimentary portfolio of postgraduate degrees. Welcoming news of the award, Dr Enda Howley, Course Director of the Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development at NUI Galway, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for highly motivated analytical graduates from engineering, science and business, to invest just one year of their time in further education, and, through placement experience with our Industry partners, they will have an excellent prospect for recruitment as software developers in Ireland’s high-tech information and communication technology sector. This sector is experiencing rapid expansion at the moment, and there is a growing skills shortage for information and communication technology graduate roles that these students are ideally suited to fill.” -ENDS-

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

A new book examining the history of a “think tank”, established in the mid 1950s, to challenge the ways Ireland was governed, socially, politically and economically, is to be launched in the National University of Ireland on 19 February. Tuairim: intellectual debate and policy formulation: Rethinking Ireland, 1954-75, published by Manchester University Press, was written by Dr Tomás Finn, a lecturer in modern Irish History at NUI Galway. Tuairim (the Irish word for “opinion”) was an intellectual movement that challenged traditional orthodoxy and put forward new ideas and fresh solutions. From the late 1950s, Tuairim’s members, who included the late Garret Fitzgerald, future Supreme Court Judge Donal Barrington, Miriam Hederman O’Brien, Jim Doolan and David Thornley, sought to influence debate and public policy in an attempt to re-invent the country. “At a time when Ireland is currently looking at ways to re-invent itself as it continues with the process of economic recovery, the timing of this publication is particularly appropriate,” explains Dr Finn. “The Ireland of the 1950s, 60s and 70s encountered similar social and economic upheaval.” The book argues that Tuairim influenced the key public policy decisions that shaped modern Ireland. Policies on which Tuairim’s members voiced influential arguments included: investment in education; reforms to censorship and the system of childcare; the central importance of economic planning to Ireland’s future; and moves towards a more conciliatory policy in relation to Northern Ireland. Also considered in the book, is Tuairim’s contribution to debates on both administrative and Oireachtas reform, and on the quality of ideas informing public policy. The groups’s hopes for moves towards equality of opportunity, and increased co-operation, provoked a strong reaction from vested interests, particularly the Catholic Church, but also facilitated increased activity by the State. In assessing the relative successes and failures of the organisation in these areas, the book is an addition to the current public debate on national policy and its administration and Ireland’s intellectual and cultural development in the post-Celtic Tiger period. The book will be launched by Dr Maurice Manning and Mr Justice Donal Barrington on Tuesday, 19 February at 6pm in the National University of Ireland, Merrion Square, Dublin. -ends-

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Professor Daniel Schrag, Director of Harvard Centre for the Environment and member of President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, will participate in a public talk at NUI Galway on Thursday, 14 February. ‘How Can we Change Attitudes to Climate Change?’ will feature Professor Daniel Schrag in conversation with Dr Henrike Rau, a lecturer in Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway, and leader of the Ryan Institute’s Socio-Economics and Policy priority research area. The event is part of the Climate Gathering, which will see over 50 participants from more than 10 countries gather in The Burren to discuss climate change. The Ryan Institute at NUI Galway is hosting the Galway event, and the Institute’s Director, Professor Colin Brown, commented: “The evidence for climate disruption from human activities is clear, and so are the broad strategies for dealing with it. What we urgently need are detailed policies that significantly change behaviour at every level of society.” The Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research at NUI Galway has over 300 researchers making it Ireland’s largest research institute to focus on some of the most pressing environmental and energy issues of the 21st century. Climate Gathering participants are coming from a variety of different backgrounds ranging from science, politics, culture and business. Conversations will be held over three days in the Burren College of Art, in an informal and non-binding context. Innovative facilitation techniques will be employed to access the collective insight and wisdom within the diverse group. The intention is to distil this into the beginning of new narratives to catalyse profound change in the way we approach and address the challenges associated with climate change. Talks get underway in Ballyvaughan, County Clare on Friday, 15 February. -ends-

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

NUI Galway is calling all wanna-be-engineers to participate in a week of events and activities from 25 February to 3 March as part of National Engineers Week. Engineers Week will provide an opportunity for members of the public of all ages to meet practicing engineers and IT specialists who are creatively using imagination and creativity to envisage the future. As part of the line-up NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics and Ryan Institute will host Bringing Dreams to Life, a free family-event for all ages where visitors will be able to take part in hands-on experiments, workshops, and demonstrations. There will be puppets and a lego-build area especially for the young visitors and a display of antique engineering equipment to make the grown-ups feel at home. Highlights of the event will include a K’Nex Bridge Building Contest, an Eco-House Design Challenge, a Renewable Energy Demonstration Station, Water Treatment experiments, Robotics and much more. Speaking about Engineers Week, Professor Gerard Lyons, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “Engineering is an exciting profession. Everything around you has been engineered in some way, yet you may not see the engineers behind the scenes. Engineers take maths and science from the lab to invent, design, and build things that matter. By dreaming up creative and practical solutions, engineers are changing the world all the time. We encourage you to come and explore engineering through cool, fun and exciting demonstrations, meet with practicing engineers and IT specialists, learn about robotics, mobile phone apps, sports engineering, building design, renewable energies, medical implants and much more.” Transition Year students will be able to participate in a dedicated ‘Youth Enterprise Ideation Camp’. During this two-day camp, students will focus on solving real world challenges using technology. At the end of the camp teams will present their ideas to a professional jury and winners will go forward to a national competition at Intel, Leixlip in April 2013. Other activities include an interactive engineering show for primary school pupils, ‘Airmazing’, a second-level students event which will re-imagine the works of pioneering Irish Structural Engineer Peter Rice, and an event that will include the local Coderdojo Club. Additional NUI Galway events being hosted during National Engineers Week includes a public talk on Cyberbulling by Brendan Smith of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway. Brendan will give an overview of the modern phenomena of Cyberbulling from mobile phone texting to online social media services such as Facebook, Twitter and Ask.fm. This presentation will give a brief history of the development of communication technologies, the laws governing harassment by electronic devices and guidelines on Internet Safety. ‘Energising Ireland: What’s the Best Option’ will be the topic for discussion at the 3rd annual Energy Night which also takes place during National Engineers Week. Experts in the field of Nuclear Energy, Renewable Energy and fossil fuels will discuss the best solution to the Irish Energy Crisis. All of these events are free of charge but booking is essential as spaces are limited. For further information, or to book a place contact Ena Brophy, College of Engineering and Informatics, NUI Galway at 091 492664 or email ena.brophy@nuigalway.ie. For more information on all the events taking place during Engineers Week visit www.nuigalway.ie/engineers-week or www.engineersweek.ie. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Letterkenny on Thursday, 21 February. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7-9pm in the Radisson Hotel, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. 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 including 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 Donegal, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Letterkenny 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 Letterkenny, contact NUI Galway’s Schools Liaison Officer, Gráinne Dunne on 087 244 0858 or grainne.dunne@nuigalway.ie. ENDS

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Dr Maurice Hayes for Monsignor Pádraig de Brún Memorial Lecture at NUI Galway The 2013 Monsignor Pádraig de Brún Memorial Lecture, entitled “To Hell or to Croker: Whither the Irish Public Service?” will be delivered by former public servant (north and south) and former Senator and political analyst Maurice Hayes. The event will take place in the Aula Maxima at NUI Galway on Monday, 25 February at 8.00pm and booking is essential. A native of County Down, Maurice Hayes is a graduate in Literature and in Law of Queen’s University Belfast.  He has spent most of his life working in the public service in Northern Ireland, variously as Town Clerk; as Head of Human Resources, Northern Ireland Civil Service; Permanent Secretary, Department of Health and Social Services; and Northern Ireland Ombudsman. He was first Chairman of the Northern Ireland Community Relations Commission and a member of the Human Rights Commission. He has acted as Electoral Boundary Commissioner, as Senior Advisor to the Chair of the Constitutional Convention, and chaired a review of acute hospital services in Northern Ireland. He served for ten years as a member of Seanad Éireann, and chaired the National Forum on Europe. A Member of the Royal Irish Academy, he holds honorary doctorates from the National University of Ireland, TCD, QUB, and the University of Ulster. He was a member of the Patten Commission and authored the report which led to the establishment of the Office of Police Ombudsman.  He has also advised and produced reports on management issues in An Garda Síochána, Tallaght Hospital and RTÉ.  He chairs the Irish Language Broadcast Fund (NI). He has published three books of memoirs Sweet Killough let go your anchor, Black Puddings with slimand Minority Verdict as well as numerous articles and papers on conflict resolution and other aspects of social policy. He is a regular political columnist and book reviewer in the Irish Independent and the Belfast Telegraph. He is married with five children. In his younger days he was an interprovincial hurler. For several years he was  secretary of the County Down board of the GAA and set out a ten year plan that saw Down win the All-Ireland football trophy for the first time in 1960 and go on to win the title a further four times. According to NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne: “The Monsignor Pádraig De Brún lecture honours a former University President who was a renowned polymath with keen interest in the arts, the sciences and the culture of his day.  This year’s De Brún memorial lecture is both timely and relevant.  It will be of great interest to all those interested in the future of the Irish public service at a time of great turmoil in the public sector.  We are delighted to welcome the very distinguished public servant, Maurice Hayes to give this year’s Dr Brún lecture and I look forward to his insights into this important matter of public discourse.  Speaking in advance of the lecture, Dr Maurice Hayes said: “The first and main challenge for the public service is to regain public respect, to recover the public trust which has been lost, and to restore the parallel loss of morale which has been shattered by mindless criticism on the one hand and blind self-interest on the other.  The next is to re-structure and re-equip to meet the needs of a changing society, and then to find the people who can deliver on both objectives at a price the nation can afford.” The public lecture takes place at 8pm on Monday, 25 February and while admission is free registration is required via www.conference.ie -ends-

Thursday, 14 February 2013

NUI Galway recently conferred the second cohort of graduates from its Youth Academy. At the special ceremony held at the University, 133 primary school children from across Galway City and County were presented with certificates, with more than 800 attending the ceremony. Established in 2012, the Youth Academy aims to inspire entry to university by introducing children and their families to university life. Since its foundation, over 200 children have graduated from a range of Saturday morning courses that the Youth Academy established in Italian Language and Culture, Philosophical Discovery, Psychology, Engineering, Irish History, Science Exploration, English and Information Technology. The Youth Academy runs for a six week period and works with high ability fourth and fifth class primary school children to support their learning and academic development, in partnership with their primary schools. Speaking at the event, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “NUI Galway is committed to sharing knowledge with the wider community and ensuring that the pathways to university are open to all. I would like to pay tribute to the commitment and support of the parents gathered, for encouraging a culture of learning and knowledge among some of the youngest members of the community, who will go onto to fuel the knowledge economy.” The Youth Academy was founded by three NUI Galway colleagues, Mary Dempsey, College of Engineering and Informatics, Dr Caroline Heary, School of Psychology, and Lorraine Mc Ilrath, Community Knowledge Initiative, and is supported by NUI Galway’s Vice-President for Innovation and Performance, Professor Chris Curtin. The Irish Centre for Talented Youth, based at Dublin City University, has supported and guided the activity. On behalf of the founding members, Dr Heary said: “Encouraging and nurturing children’s strengths and interests from an early age is vital, and the University, in partnership with schools and communities can play an enormous role in this process.” It is anticipated that another round of courses will be offered to fourth and fifth class children in Galway City and County in the spring of 2013. For further information on the courses and participation please contact Geraldine Marley, Youth Academy Coordinator, at youthacademy@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

European Space Agency and Irish Research Council Sponsor NUI Galway Research Rocket engineers at NUI Galway are developing new materials which will reduce the cost of launching rockets into space. The European Space Agency (ESA) is cooperating with the Irish Research Council and Irish and European companies to fund the research project. Two PhD students in Mechanical Engineering at NUI Galway will research innovative methods of using thermoplastic composite materials to reduce the weight of fuel tanks for space launchers.  David Grogan, from Renmore in Galway, and Brendan Murray from Annaglough, Co. Cavan, will work with NUI Galway’s Dr Conchúr Ó Brádaigh and Professor Seán Leen. Dr Christopher Semprimoschnig of the European Space Agency (ESA) has said that the Agency was delighted to support the work of the NUI Galway researchers: “It costs up to €30,000 to launch 1kg of payload into space. If ESA can reduce the weight of our liquid hydrogen/oxygen fuel tanks on launchers such as Ariane 5 and future launchers, by substituting lightweight composites for metals, this will reduce the cost of telecommunications, internet and satellite television and even help enable manned-missions to Mars and further parts of the Universe.” David Grogan’s PhD topic is “Finite Element Prediction of Microcracking in Thermoplastic Composite Cyrogenic Fuel Tanks”, and Brendan Murray’s research is on the “Development of Cost-Effective Rotationally-Moulded Polymer Liners for Composite Fuel Tanks.” The students’ PhD work is jointly sponsored for three years by ESA through its Network Partnering Initiative, and by the Irish Research Council through its EMBARK postgraduate Scholarships. David and Brendan’s work is also supported by ÉireComposites Teo. in Indreabhán, Co. Galway, and Astrium Space Transportation in Bordeaux, France, as well as the Irish Centre for Composites Research at the University of Limerick. -ends-

Thursday, 21 February 2013

The Law Reform Commission will hold a public consultation on its Fourth Programme of Law Reform in Áras Moyola, NUI Galway at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 27 February. The event will be chaired by the Commission President, Mr Justice John Quirke, and there will be two contributions from invited speakers: Judge Tom O'Donnell of the Circuit Court and Damien McCallig, an Irish Research Council-funded PhD candidate in the School of Law, NUI Galway. The purpose of the evening is to hear the views of members of the public on what should be contained in the Fourth Programme of Law Reform. Members of the Law Reform Commission, including Tom O'Malley and Donncha O'Connell from the School of Law, NUIG, will be in attendance in a listening capacity. The event is open to the public and there is no admission charge. The Law Reform Commission is a statutory body, established by the Law Reform Commission Act 1975, with a mandate to keep the law under review, to undertake examinations and conduct research with a view to reforming the law, and to formulate proposals for law reform. Having completed the majority of the projects set out in its Third Programme of Law Reform, the Law Reform Commission is now in the process of preparing a new Programme of Law Reform which will form the principal basis of the Commission’s work over the coming years, subject to approval by the Government. Further information is available on our website www.lawreform.ie and any enquiries may be sent to fourthprogramme@lawreform.ie

Friday, 22 February 2013

“Full Health puts employees in the driving seat on preventative health”  – Taoiseach A major personal health initiative which promises to revolutionise the way medical test results are reported, was unveiled by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. in Dublin yesterday.  The new initiative, ‘Full Health’, which is being introduced into Biomnis Ireland’s workplace health screening programme, has the potential to significantly enhance preventative health planning for employees. Developed by a team of doctors at Full Health Medical, a company based in the NUI Galway Business Innovation Centre, ‘Full Health’ converts medical test results into a personalised report, outlining what the medical test results mean in a simple and easy-to-understand way.  The report, which combines medical, family history and lifestyle information with the test results, provides the individual with a personalised set of recommendations and preventative health measures. The ‘Full Health’ technology is now being introduced by Biomnis Ireland – the leading provider of medical laboratory testing services – as part of its workplace health screening programme, HealthWatch, which will benefit both employees and their employers. HealthWatch is Ireland's largest independent provider of workplace health and lifestyle screening programmes. Speaking at the launch event at the Biomnis Ireland Laboratories in Sandyford, Mr Kenny described Full Health as an empowering solution which puts employees firmly in control of their own personal health.  “As Ireland moves towards economic recovery, we need to secure the health and wellbeing of our workforce. Companies are increasingly aware that employee health can have a significant impact on the bottom line. This is a wonderful example of an innovative start-up company, Full Health, responding to a market opportunity and then commercialising its offering in conjunction with Biomnis Ireland. It is especially gratifying to see this level of collaboration happening in an Irish business setting and I wish the venture every success.” Full Health Medical is a Galway–based company that has developed new health technology which decodes complex medical data and creates simple medical reports that can empower people to improve their health. Dr Ann Shortt of Full Health Medical predicted Full Health would be a valuable tool in detecting and offsetting chronic illnesses and disease in the workplace. “The cost of just one chronic illness can be huge to a national economy, for example, type 2 diabetes which affects 5% of the Irish population.  Extrapolating from UK figures, type 2 diabetes leads to  approximately 515,000 absentee days per year in Ireland, costing €72.5 million while diabetes presenteeism (productivity loss among people still in work but suffering from this disease) costs a further €247 million.1 When the largest cost to business is wages and salaries, it makes sound business sense to invest in understanding employee health. Full Health can really help employers in a practical and meaningful way to anticipate and mitigate against future financial loss.” John O’Sullivan, CEO Biomnis Ireland said: “We are delighted to collaborate with Full Health on this partnership which we see as a unique medical reporting solution, which will form a key part of our growing HealthWatch brand. The HealthWatch screening service delivers health checks to approximately 10,000 employees every year. The Full Health initiative will provide employees with the important information in an easy-to-understand format as well as recommendations on how to stay healthy.  We also see it as having a wider application across the Biomnis group for our laboratory testing service as a premium content offering for clinicians and their patients.” Fiona Neary of NUI Galway’s Technology Transfer Office and Business Innovation Centre, said: “The NUI Galway Business Innovation Centre is buzzing with so much technology expertise, and Full Health Medical Ltd being no exception. We are here to support pioneering and ground-breaking companies that offer business solutions through the use of technology as can be demonstrated by the launch of ‘Full Health’, a preventative health innovation developed by our client company Full Health Medical Ltd. NUI Galway is a great place to do business, because of the workspace suitability for start-ups, the technical infrastructure, the atmosphere of innovation, as well as having research and industry located together is definitely a winning combination.” ENDS

Monday, 25 February 2013

      Largest ever state/industry co-funded research investment in Ireland       €200m of new Exchequer funds for 7 World Class Research Centres over 6 years      €100m co-investment by over 150 industry partners      NUI Galway represented in 3 of the 7 Centres      Supports key growth areas targeted in the Action Plan for Jobs 2013     Targets research into major social challenges, including Health and Energy     Directly supporting 800 top-class researcher positions NUI Galway features prominently in Government plans for science and technology research over the next six years, as part of a €300 million investment announcement today. The University will participate in three of the seven new Science Foundation Ireland Research Centres as announced by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard BrutonTD and Sean Sherlock, TD, Minister for Research and Innovation, in Dublin today. In a landmark investment by the Government in scientific research which is closely aligned to industry and enterprise needs, job opportunities and societal goals, €200 million of Irish exchequer funding will be invested in seven world class research centres of scale. The new funding will be delivered through Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Research Centres Programme coupled with over €100 million in cash and in-kind contributions from industry partners, making it the largest ever combined state/industry co-funding announcement of its kind in the research field in Ireland. The funding will be provided over the next six years with a mid-term review. Big Data and Analytics - INSIGHT NUI Galway’s web science research centre, the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), along with colleagues from the discipline of IT, will play a leading role in a new ‘big data’ and analytics centre, INSIGHT. For the last decade DERI has been at the vanguard of web science research and now has 140 researchers based in NUI Galway. With the explosion of internet based information, ‘Big Data’ represents a sector that is currently growing at up to 40% per annum. With 32 industry partners, including CISCO, Avaya and HP in Galway,INSIGHT will lead the development of breakthrough data analytics technologies to make Ireland a global leader in this rapidly expanding area. The goal of INSIGHT is explained by Professor Stefan Decker, Director of DERI: “In our digital age, the amount of data is growing exponentially. We want to harness that information and make it work for individuals, for business and for society. With significant support from SFI we are taking our research to the next phase, which is world-class and will have world-wide influence. This will have huge impact on the ICT sector in Ireland, in terms of supporting existing industry, attracting foreign direct investment and propelling Ireland onto the world stage in this area.” Marine Renewable Energy - MaREI Another new initiative, the Centre for Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI), will carry out world-leading research on all aspects required for the success of the marine renewable energy sector while also educating and training the next generation of engineers and scientists for the marine renewable energy industry. Ireland is one of the best locations in the world in terms of marine renewable energy resources. This centre will look to generate energy technologies for industry from wave, tidal and floating wind devices. NUI Galway’s Professor Michael Hartnett, who will be Deputy Director of MaREI, along with Dr Conchur O'Bradaigh will lead teams of researchers investigating tidal energy and the development of novel materials for use in the marine renewable energy industry.   Synthesis and solid State Pharmaceutical Technologies Cluster (SSPC) NUI Galway will also be part of Synthesis and solid State Pharmaceutical TechnologiesCluster along with its Alliance Partner, the University of Limerick. Speaking about the selection of the seven world-class centres, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of SFI, said: “These seven funded research centres were selected from 35 proposals following a highly competitive and rigorous international peer review process. This 20% success rate is comparable to international funding success rates.  Each centre proposal was examined for scientific excellence through international scientific review by eminent scientists from the world’s leading universities and for potential economic impact through an international impact review by distinguished industrial R&D leaders, high technology investors, translational institute directors and tech transfer directors from world leading universities.  Over 100 esteemed international reviewers have joined with Industry and agency experts to ensure that the centres supported have excellent science with the potential to deliver societal and economic impact. ” At today’s announcement in Dublin, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway is a leading international, research-intensive university, ranked amongst the top 250 universities in the world. The level of investment announced today by SFI in NUI Galway is very significant.  It is an endorsement not only of our research excellence, but also of our collaboration with academic partners and industry. “We have an ambitious research agenda, which is having a direct effect on job creation, through industry partnerships, spin-outs and innovation. Today’s investment is a welcome validation of our research agenda, past and future.” Commenting on the benefits for job-creation, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said: “A key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is to build on the major achievements in scientific research we have built up over the past decade and turn more good ideas into good jobs. Today’s announcement will lead to the establishment in Ireland of world-class centres of research excellence and scale which will be game-changers for Irish scientific research.” “The €300million investment announced today, and the seven new, large-scale, world-class research centres it will support, are aimed at achieving a step-change in the reputation and performance of Ireland’s research system. This will support more than 800 talented scientists, develop cutting-edge research and new technologies, attract dynamic partnerships with industry and ultimately help to create the jobs we need.” The new centres will link scientists and engineers in partnerships across academia and industry to address crucial research questions, and foster the development of new and existing Irish-based technology companies. The aim is also to attract industry that could make an important contribution to Ireland and its economy, and expand educational and career opportunities in Ireland in science and engineering. “We are pushing the frontiers of science and discovery at NUI Galway. Whether it’s securing Ireland’s energy independence through marine renewables or revolutionising the World Wide Web, our research shapes and influences all of our futures. Our research, carried out in conjunction with collaborators and our industry partners, also has huge potential in terms of job creation and growth”, said Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway. -ENDS-   Faigheann OÉ Gaillimh Maoiniú Suntasach  in Infheistíócht €300 milliún ón Rialtais in Ionaid Thaighde den Chéad Scoth    ·         An infheistíocht taighde is mó riamh in Éirinn atá cómhaoinithe ag stát/tionsclaíocht ·         €200m maoiniú nua ón Státchiste d’Ionaid Taighde den Chéad Scoth thar thréimhse 6 bliana ·         €100m comhaoinithe ag breis is 150 comhpháirtithe tionsclaíochta ·         Ionadaíocht ag OÉ Gaillimh i dtrí cinn de na seacht nIonad Taighde ·         Tacaíocht á tabhairt do phríomhréimsí fáis atá mar spriocanna i bPlean Gníomhaíochta do Phoist 2013 ·         Dírithe ar thaighde ar mhórdhúshláin shóisialta, Sláinte agus Fuinneamh san áireamh ·         Tacaíocht á tabhairt go díreach do 800 post den chéad scoth do thaighdeoirí Tá páirt suntasach ag OÉ Gaillimh i bpleananna an Rialtais don taighde eolaíochta agus teicneolaíochta as seo go ceann sé bliana, mar chuid de mhaoiniú €300 milliún don taighde a fógraíodh inniu. Glacfaidh an Ollscoil páirt i dtrí cinn de na seacht nIonad Taighde nua de chuid Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann mar a d’fhógair an tAire Post, Fiontar agus Nuálaíochta,  Risteárd  De Briotún TD agus Seán Sherlock, TD, An tAire Taighde agus Nuála,  i mBaile Átha Cliath inniu. De bharr infheistíocht shuntasach an Rialtais i dtaighde eolaíoch a bhfuil dlúthbhaint aige le riachtanais tionsclaíochta agus fiontraíochta, deiseanna oibre agus spriocanna sochaíocha, déanfar €200 milliún maoiniú ó státchiste na hÉireann a infheistiú i seacht n-ionad taighde scála den scoth. Déanfar an maoiniú nua a sheachadadh trí Chlár Ionad Taighde Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann (SFI), mar aon le breis is €100 milliún in airgead tirim nó mar ranníocaíochtaí comhchineálacha ó chomhpháirtithe tionsclaíochta, rud a dhéanann é seo ar an infheistíocht taighde is mó atá comhaoinithe ag stát/tionsclaíochta a fógraíodh riamh sa réimse taighde in Éirinn. Cuirfear an maoiniú ar fáil as seo go ceann sé bliana agus déanfar athbhreithniú meántéarma air. Olltiomsú Sonraí agus Anailísíocht - INSIGHT Beidh ról ceannasach ag ionad taighde eolaíochta gréasáin OÉ Gaillimh, an Institiúid um Thaighde ar an bhFiontraíocht Dhigiteach (DERI), mar aon le comhghleacaithe ó dhisciplín na Teicneolaíochta Faisnéise, in ionad nua ‘olltiomsaithe’ agus anailísíochta, INSIGHT. Le deich mbliana anuas tá DERI ar thús cadhnaíochta i dtaighde eolaíochta gréasáin agus anois tá 140 taighdeoir dá chuid lonnaithe in OÉ Gaillimh. Leis an bhfás ollmhór atá tagtha ar fhaisnéis bunaithe ar an idirlíon, seasann ‘Olltiomsú Sonraí’ d’earnáil a bhfuil fás de suas go 40% in aghaidh na bliana ag teacht uirthi. Le 32 comhpháirtí tionsclaíochta, lena n-áirítear CASCO, Avaya agus HP i nGaillimh, beidh INSIGHT i gceannas ar fhorbairt teicneolaíochtaí ceannródaíocha anailísíochta sonraí chun Éire a chur chun tosaigh ar domhan sa réimse seo atá ag teacht chun cinn go sciobtha. Tá  míniú tugtha ag an Ollamh Stefan Decker, Stiúrthóir  DERI, ar chuspóir an ionaid taighde, INSIGHT: “San aois dhigiteach atá againn anois, tá fás easpónantúil ag teacht ar líon sonraí. Teastaíonn uainn leas a bhaint as an bhfaisnéis sin agus agus úsáid a bhaint aisti ar mhaithe le daoine aonair, le gnó agus leis an tsochaí. Agus tacaíocht shuntasach á fáil againn ó SFI táimid ag tabhairt ár gcuid taighde go dtí an chéad chéim eile, taighde den chéad scoth agus a mbeidh tionchar aige ar fud an domhain. Beidh tionchar an-mhór aige seo ar earnáil na Teicneolaíochta Eolais agus Cumarsáide in Éirinn,ó thaobh tacú leis an tionsclaíocht atá ann cheana féin, infheistíocht dhíreach a mhealladh ó thíortha thar lear agus Éire a chur ar stáitse an domhain sa réimse seo.” Fuinneamh Mara In-athnuaite - MaREI Beidh taighde den scoth ar siúl freisin ag tionscnamh nua eile, Fuinneamh Mara In-athnuaite na hÉireann (MaREI), ar na gnéithe uile atá de dhíth chun go n-éireoidh le hearnáil an fhuinnimh mara in-athnuaite agus ag an am céanna oideachas á thabhairt don chéad ghlúin eile innealtóirí agus eolaithe do thionsclaíocht an fhuinnimh mara in-athnuaite agus oiliúint á cur orthu. Tá Éire ar cheann de na háiteanna is fearr ar domhan ó thaobh acmhainní fuinnimh mara in-athnuaite. Cinnteoidh an t-ionad seo chuige go nginfear teicneolaiochtaí fuinnimh don tionsclaíocht ó ghléasanna toinne, taoide agus gaoithe. Beidh an  tOllamh Michael Hartnett ó OÉ Gaillimh, a bheidh ina Leas-Stiúrthóir ar MaREI, mar aon leis an Dr Conchur O’Bradaigh, i gceannas ar fhoirne taighdeoirí a bheidh ag déanamh imscrúdú ar fhuinneamh taoide agus ar fhorbairt ábhar núíosach lena n-úsáid i dtionsclaíocht an fhuinnimh mara in-athnuaite.     Braisle na Cógaisíochta Staide Soladaí (SSPC) Beidh OÉ Gaillimh ina chuid de Bhraisle na Cógaisíochta Staide Soladaí (SSPC) freisin, mar aon lena Comhpháirtí Comhghuaillíochta, Ollscoil Luimnigh. Ag labhairt faoi roghnú na seacht n-ionad den chéad scoth, dúirt an tOllamh Mark Ferguson, Ard-Stiúrthóir SFI: “Roghnaíodh na seacht n-ionad taighde maoinithe ó 35 togra tar éis próiseas athbhreithnithe piaraí idirnáisiúnta a raibh iomaíocht ghéar agus doichte ag baint leis. Tá an ráta ratha 20% seo inchomparáide leis na rátaí ratha a bhaineann le maoiniú idirnáisiúnta.  Rinneadh cíoradh ar gach togra le haghaidh ionaid chun a fháil amach an raibh feabhas eolaíochta i gceist leis trí athbhreithniú idirnáisiúnta eolaíoch a rinne eolaithe oirirce ó na hollscoileanna is fearr ar domhan agus chun a fháil amach an raibh tionchar ionchasach eacnamaíoch i gceist leis trí athbhreithniú idirnáisiúnta tionchair a rinne ceannairí céimiúla tionsclaíocha T&F, infheisteoirí ardteicneolaíochta, stiúrthóirí institiúidí aistritheacha agus stiúrthóirí ar aistriú teicneolaíochta ó na hollscoileanna is fearr ar domhan.  Bhí níos mó ná 100 athbhreithneoirí idirnáisiúnta measúla ag obair le saineolaithe tionsclaíochta agus gníomhaireachta le cinntiú go bhfuil eolaíocht den scoth ag na hionaid a dtugtar tacaíocht dóibh agus an acmhainneacht iontu tionchar sochaíoch agus eacnamaíoch a imirt.” Ag an bhfógairt i mBaile Átha Cliath inniu, dúirt an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Is Ollscoil dlúth-thaighde idirnáisiúnta,ar thús cadhnaíochta í OÉ Gaillimh, agus áit bainte amach aici i measc an 250 ollscoil is fearr sa domhan. Tá leibhéal na hinfheistíochta in OÉ Gaillimh a d’fhógair SFI inniu fíorshuntasach.  Is formheas é ní hamháin ar fheabhas ár gcuid taighde, ach ar an gcomhoibriú atá á dhéanamh againn freisin le comhpháirtithe acadúla agus le tionsclaíocht. Tá clár uaillmhianach taighde againn, a bhfuil iarmhairt díreach aige ar chruthú post, trí  chomhpháirtíochtaí, mac-chuideachtaí agus nuálaíocht tionsclaíochta. Déanann infheistíocht an lae inniu bailmheas a gcuirimid fáilte roimhe ar ár gclár taighde, san am atá thart agus sa todhchaí.” Ag labhairt faoi na tairbhí atá ann do chruthú post, dúirt an tAire Post, Fiontar agus Nuálaíochta, Risteárd De Briotún TD: “Is príomhchuid de Phlean Gníomhaíochta do Phoist an Rialtais cur leis na móréachtaí i dtaighde eolaíoch atá déanta againn le deich mbliana anuas agus poist mhaithe a dhéanamh as smaointe maithe eile. Mar thoradh ar fhógairt an lae inniu, bunófar in Éirinn ionaid bharr feabhais taighde agus scála den chéad scoth a athróidh go suntasach an taighde eolaíoch in Éirinn as seo amach.” “Tá an infheistíocht €300 milliún a fógraíodh inniu, agus na seacht n-ionad nua mórscála taighde  den chéad scoth a gheobhaidh tacaíocht ón infheistíocht sin, dírithe ar athrú suntasach a bhaint amach i gclú agus i bhfeidhmíocht an chórais taighde in Éirinn. Déanfaidh sé seo tacaíocht a thabhairt do bhreis is 800 eolaí tallannach, taighde ceannródaíoch agus teicneolaíochtaí nua a fhorbairt, comhpháirtíochtaí dinimiciúla le tionsclaíocht a mhealladh agus ar deireadh thiar thall cabhrú leis na poist atá uainn a chruthú.” Déanfaidh na hionaid nua eolaithe agus innealtóirí a nascadh i gcomhpháirtíochtaí sa saol acadúil agus sa saol tionsclaíochta chun aghaidh a thabhairt ar cheisteanna fíorthábhachtacha taighde, agus chun forbairt cuideachtaí teicneolaíochta atá bunaithe in Éirinn, idir chuideachtaí nua agus chuideachtaí atá ann cheana féin, a chothú. Is í an aidhm freisin tionsclaíocht a mhealladh a d’fhéadfadh cúnamh tábhachtach a thabhairt d’Éirinn agus do gheilleagar na hÉireann, agus níos mó deiseanna oideachais agus gairme san eolaíocht agus san innealtóireacht a chur ar fáil in Éirinn. “Tá teorainneacha na heolaíochta agus na fionnachtana á leathnú againn in OÉ Gaillimh. Cibé acu an bhfuil neamhspleáchas fuinnimh na hÉireann á bhaint amach trí athnuaiteáin mhara nó tríd an Gréasán Domhanda a athrú ó bhonn, déanann ár dtaighde ár saol sa todhchaí a mhúnlú agus imríonn sé tionchar air.  Tá acmhainneacht mhór chun poist a chruthú agus ardacmhainneacht fáis inár gcuid taighde, a dhéantar i gcomhar lenár gcomhoibrithe agus lenár bpáirtithe tionsclaíochta”, a dúirt an tOllamh Lokesh Joshi, Leas-Uachtarán don Taighde in OÉ Gaillimh. -CRÍOCH-     

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Secondary schools students from across Ireland participated in the sixth All-Ireland Final of the Debating Science Issues (DSI) competition on Friday, 22 February, in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin. After closely contested debates, Banbridge Academy, Co. Down came out victorious to become the 2013 Debating Science Issues winners, with Pobal Scoil Gaoth Dobhair, Co. Donegal awarded second place. Other finalists included Sacred Heart Secondary School, Clonakilty, Co. Cork and St. Andrew’s College, Blackrock, Co. Dublin. DSI is a dynamic debating competition inviting young people to engage in debate on the cultural, societal and ethical implications of advances in biomedical science. Open to students in the senior cycle of secondary school, the competition provides a great opportunity for students to expand their communication and scientific skills. Funded by Discover Science and Engineering, Abbott Ireland, Boston Scientific and Pfizer, this All-Ireland project is coordinated by the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway in conjunction with eight science research and discovery centres throughout Ireland - Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, UCC; Biomedical Diagnostics Institute, DCU; CRANN in Trinity College Dublin; Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), W5 in Belfast, Clarity at UCD, Cork Institute of Technology and the Centre for Cross Border Studies. Danielle Nicholson, DSI Coordinator and Outreach Officer with REMEDI at NUI Galway, said: “DSI provides young people with an insight into science as an institution and the processes by which scientific knowledge is produced.  Incorporating the values and limits in science as well as its tactics for decision-making, DSI employs a discussion-based teaching model. The pre-competition workshops involve both science and non-science students. It is important that students do not judge their understanding of scientific knowledge to be insufficient to allow them to engage with socio-scientific issues of concern.  Argumentation is one of the cornerstones of the scientific process.  DSI increases student engagement with science content and promotes reasoning and justification skills that help prepare an informed citizenry.” Judges for the DSI Final included: Terry McWade, Deputy CEO of RCSI; Louise Mylotte, Lecturer at St. Angela’s College, Sligo; Katharine Jensen, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Abbott Ireland; Oonagh Ward, Programme Manager at Health Research Board; Eimear Holohan and Dara Dunican, both Scientific Programme Managers at Science Foundation Ireland; Maria Daly, Science Calling; Joan Flanagan, Education Liaison at European Commission Representation in Ireland; and Hannah McGee, Dean of Faculty of Medicine RCSI. Full information on the DSI competition is available at www.debatingscienceissues.com. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

NUI Galway’s School of Psychology is hosting a public lecture delivered by Professor Carol McGuinness, Queens University Belfast, on Teaching Thinking: Learning How to Think. The lecture will take place on Wednesday, 6 March from 5-7.30pm in IT250, Information Technology Building, NUI Galway. Drawing on research, this presentation will outline the key concepts for successfully teaching children to think and implications for teachers and curriculum designers will be emphasised. The session will be conducted in seminar style and will include demonstrations of useful techniques for classroom teachers.  Professor Carol McGuinness, a consultant on several national curriculum projects in the Republic of Ireland and the UK, is an expert in the application of psychology to learning and teaching in classrooms. Professor McGuinness is Director of the Activating Children’s Thinking Skills (ACTS) project in Northern Ireland and has helped launch similar projects across the UK.  She has also devised professional programmes for teachers embarking on thinking developments in their classroom. She is author of From Thinking Skills to Thinking Classrooms and a forthcoming book entitled Thinking Lessons for Thinking Classrooms.  According to Dr AnnMarie Groarke, Head of the School of Psychology at NUI Galway: “This topic is of immense interest as equipping children with skills on how to think will provide them with a valuable resource to help manage the increasingly complex social and educational challenges they will face. ”   Sponsored by Brainworx, this is the third in a series of jointly organised free public lectures from the Psychological Society of Ireland and the Northern Ireland Branch of the British Psychological Society. To book a place, visit www.psychologicalsociety.ie/page/all_events/102. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

NUI Galway’s Commerce students scooped first, second and joint third prize in the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport Ireland ‘Student Idea of the Year’ Awards at a special ceremony in Dublin recently. The awards are presented to the originators of the most innovative ideas which could make the most significant contribution to some aspect of the logistics industry in Ireland. NUI Galway student Seán Ó Muircheartaigh from Rahoon, Galway City, was announced winner with his project ‘Easy Smart Travel Ireland’. Seán wrote a paper which focused on the feasibility and the design of a system which integrated public transport services using seamless smart mobile ticketing technologies. Second place was awarded to NUI Galway student Alex Hannon-Cross from Barna, Co. Galway. His project, ‘An Intelligent Public Transport System’, aimed to assess the viability of big data application orientated solutions for the public transport system, with the purpose of increasing efficiency and maximising resource usage. Third place was presented to NUI Galway international student, Kerry Creehan from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, USA. Her project ‘Exploring Out of Bounds’ designed a mobile application which uses offline capabilities for navigation and points of interest. The prototypes uses technology efficiently employing vector based maps rather than raster so that data is not stored as pixels. Mary Dempsey, College of Engineering and Informatics, NUI Galway said: “The positive indicators of economic growth are fuelled by the knowledge economy. I believe our graduates are well positioned to aid in the continued recovery of our country. Our students have an important role to play in creating the technologies of the future and engineering a path to a better future for all citizens. NUI Galway has established a learning platform for student innovations to be nurtured. I am encouraged that professionals in the industry who judge this national competition continue to reward our students for their innovations.” -ENDS-

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Public invited to a keynote lecture by Dr Kevin McNamara, former Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland NUI Galway’s Moore Institute will host a two-day international conference on 8-9 March on the theme of ‘The British Labour Party and Twentieth-Century Ireland’. The conference will take place in the Moore Institute at the University, with the keynote address scheduled for the Harbour Hotel, Galway, on Friday, 8 March at 6.30pm. Keynote speaker for the event is Dr Kevin McNamara, Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 1987-1994. He will deliver an address entitled, ‘The Cause of Labour is the Cause of Ireland, the Cause of Ireland is the Cause of Labour’. Dr McNamara, who was succeeded by Dr Mo Mowlam as Labour spokesperson on Northern Ireland under Tony Blair’s first government, is a seasoned commentator on Anglo-Irish affairs. He has researched and written on the MacBride Principles and is an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Irish Studies at Liverpool University. The aim of the conference is to explore the relationship between the British Labour Party and Ireland over the course of the last century. At its foundation in 1900, the Labour Party was broadly supportive of Irish nationalist demands for self-determination in the form of ‘home rule’. Yet Labour’s responses to the Irish question would become more complicated over successive decades, particularly after the first Labour government came to power in Britain in 1924. Dr Laurence Marley, conference convenor and historian at NUI Galway, said: “The theme of the event provides an opportunity to examine a largely neglected aspect of Anglo-Irish relations in the twentieth century. By drawing on the expertise of a broad range of scholars from Ireland and Britain, the conference will bring a fresh perspective to the historical and commemorative focus on relations in ‘these islands’ and at a cross-border and regional level.” The conference is free and open to the public, and the keynote event, chaired by Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Emeritus Professor at NUI Galway, will feature a questions and answers session. ‘The British Labour Party and Twentieth-Century Ireland’ is supported by the Community Knowledge Initiative, NUI Galway, and by the Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A symposium entitled ‘Embedding a Children’s Rights Approach into the new Child and Family Support Agency’ is being held today (27 February 2013) in the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. The establishment of a Child and Family Support Agency is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to revolutionise the delivery of child protection, family support and other children’s services. This is a radical and important change, involving far more than simply switching logos at the top of payslips and headed paper. The design of the new agency will have a profound impact on services delivered to children and families for decades to come and will be one of the biggest tasks of the current government. Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance, said:“Today is about kick-starting discussion on the new agency. There is no doubt that the agency has the potential to be a powerful vehicle for reform. There must be a transparent approach from the outset to ensure future accountability and buy-in from all stakeholders, including children and families themselves. Key to this is a commitment from Government to consult comprehensively on the draft legislation establishing the new agency. We have just passed a referendum on children but it will be an empty referendum if the new agency is not properly resourced to protect children and support families. A child-centred approach must be the starting point for the agency. This means treating all children equally, making decisions in their best interests and taking account of their views when making decisions about them.” “The potential for the Child and Family Support Agency’s success is indisputable, helping to draw a line under past failings such as those so tragically outlined in the 2012 Report of the Independent Child Death Review Group. It is also vital that the agency starts life without the burden of the existing HSE budgetary deficit, and that it is given adequate resources to fulfil its statutory duties to children.” Professor Pat Dolan, Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galway, said: “The failings of the child protection and welfare system in the past have consistently focused on a lack of collaboration between professionals in the interests of children and children’s voices not being heard. People are tired of hearing about the failings of the system. In the future we should be hearing about its success. A system whereby workers at the frontline commit to upholding children’s rights, through the introduction of a children’s rights charter to be adhered to in practice, coupled with all children’s services coming under the umbrella of one transparent and accountable agency, will be the true test of positive change.” Noel Kelly, Chair of the Prevention and Early Intervention Network, said: “The Prevention and Early Intervention Network (PEIN) welcomes the establishment of the Child and Family Support Agency. This is an agency for all the children of Ireland and universalism must be its hallmark. Ensuring a prevention and early intervention approach within the design of the new agency will generate benefits for all children and families as well as reducing the numbers of families requiring intensive or specialist interventions. The new Prevention and Early Intervention Network website www.preventioninpractice.ie is also being launched today. It showcases the network's research, service and advocacy work, as well as being a valuable source of information about prevention and early intervention in Ireland.” This symposium, which has been heavily over-subscribed, is the first opportunity to publicly discuss the new agency. It is jointly organised by the Children’s Rights Alliance, the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galway and the Prevention and Early Intervention Network. Speakers and Chairs include: Paul Gilligan, Chair of the Children’s Rights Alliance Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald TD Gordon Jeyes, CEO Designate, Child and Family Support Agency Young People from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs’ Voice of Children in Care Implementation Group Dr. Geoffrey Shannon, Child Law Expert Professor Pat Dolan, Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galway Jim Breslin, Secretary General, Department of Children and Youth Affairs Jennifer Gargan, Director, Empowering People in Care (EPIC) Catherine Ghent, Gallagher Shatter Solicitors Toby Wolfe, Start Strong and Prevention and Early Intervention Network  Today’s event aims to explore how children’s rights, including a prevention and early intervention approach, must be translated into the structures, governance, design and service delivery of the agency. ENDS

Friday, 4 January 2013

A new type of orthopaedic implant developed at NUI Galway, which could improve the lifespan of hip and knee replacements, is generating growing interest from the biomedical industry.  OsteoAnchor aims to overcome a problem of implants coming loose over time by using a revolutionary surface of hundreds of tiny gripping claws. The implant is designed to not only grip bone securely, but also to encourage new hard bone tissue to grow into the implant, though a specially engineered lattice of tiny struts and pores. Successful pre-clinical study A recent successful pre-clinical study of an OsteoAnchor hip replacement showed the technology immediately grips the bone effectively, leading to a quicker recovery after surgery. No other surface coating on the market provides such a secure initial fixation with such potential for quicker recovery after surgery. In addition, the hip replacement remained very secure over time due to extensive growth of the bone into the implant. The team is now moving towards clinical trials, with plans for a first-in-man trial in 2014. $8.7 billion market With the combined US and European markets for hip and knee replacements estimated to be worth $8.7 billion, the team behind OsteoAnchor will initially target a particular segment - the revision hip market - which is estimated at $800 million. “We are keen to engage with potential investors and business partners interested in commercialising this high potential technology”, explains Dr Pat Mc Donnell who has been developing OsteoAnchor over the last four years with Dr Noel Harrison, of the Biomechanics Research Centre at NUI Galway’s National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science. As people are living longer and undergoing hip implants later in life, the potential for reduced recovery times associated with OsteoAnchor is a key attraction. “We have put together a team of orthopaedic surgeons to work with us to design a hip implant with OsteoAnchor,” adds Dr Mc Donnell. “They will participate in the clinical testing of the implant, providing the initial path to market. The initial target application is for patients having their second or third hip replacement in the same leg - that is one of the most challenging kinds of orthopaedic surgery, and it’s where OsteoAnchor can make a huge impact. In the future we hope to have OsteoAnchor knee and shoulder implants, but for now we are concentrating on hips.” 3D printing OsteoAnchor is made from a standard titanium alloy using a process similar to 3D printing. A preclinical study showed the technology immediately grips the bone effectively, that recovery after surgery is quicker and the hip replacements remain secure due to extensive bone in growth. The product is also cheaper to manufacture due to one step manufacturing process, where the surface architecture is integral to the implant core. The commercialisation project was funded by Enterprise Ireland and showcased at Enterprise Ireland’s Big Ideas event at the Aviva in November. NUI Galway has a strong reputation for technology transfer, in recent years spinning out 25 High Potential Start Ups, 76 license agreements and over 100 patent applications, providing a significant basis for job retention and creation in Ireland. To view Dr Pat Mc Donnell and Dr Noel Harrison on the Late Late Show (46.55 minutes) click on the below image ‌ -ends-

Monday, 7 January 2013

NUI Galway’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics is organising a conference and gala dinner to mark the 40th anniversary of the first intake to its Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme. Celebrating this milestone, the events will take place Friday, 25 January in Galway and all MBA alumni, as well as past and current teaching faculty, are invited to attend. Focusing on a number of contemporary business, management and leadership issues and challenges, the conference, 40 Years A-Growing in Business & Management: Learning from the Past, Leading the Future, will draw together a panel of high-profile contributors from business and academia, many of whom are NUI Galway MBA alumni. These will include: Dr Alan Ahearne, Economist and Lecturer at NUI Galway; Mike Higgins, Managing Director and Head of CIBC World Markets Corporation and Chair of NUI Galway’s US Foundation Board; Seamus Kavanagh, Vice-President of Hollister in Chicago; Paschal McCarthy, Vice-President of GE Healthcare; Professor John McHale, Chair of the National Fiscal Council and Chair of Economics at NUI Galway; and Helen Ryan, CEO, Creganna Tactx Medical. Dr Alma McCarthy, Executive MBA Programme Director, NUI Galway, said: “We very much look forward to welcoming back our very successful MBA alumni.  This is a great opportunity for them to return to the University, see the new Cairnes Business School, reconnect with their MBA classmates and network with other NUI Galway MBA graduates and potential business partners.” A number of alumni who are located oversees have registered to attend the event and the conference has received funding from The Gathering.  “The NUI Galway MBA programme is the second oldest MBA programme in the Island of Ireland and is the flagship programme in the School.  The quality of our graduates is reflected in multiple successes in national MBA competitions with many of our alumni holding senior management positions in a variety of organisations nationally and internationally”, said Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway. For further information about the conference and gala dinner, please contact the Alumni Office on 091 493750. ENDS

Monday, 7 January 2013

Former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, will give a public interview on her life and work with journalist Fintan O’Toole at NUI Galway on Monday, 14 January. The event will begin at 7.15pm and will take place in the Bailey Allen Hall on campus. While the event is free and open to the public, registration is essential and bookings should be made through www.conference.ie Following the interview a panel discussion will take place with representatives of NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights including the Centre’s newly appointed director, Professor Michael O’Flaherty FRSA and Professor Bill Schabas as well as Dr Nata Duvvury and Dr Niamh Reilly from the University’s Global Women’s Studies Programme. Mary Robinson visited NUI Galway last November to mark the beginning of a new partnership with the University. Plans unveiled in 2012 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. 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 postgraduate 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. 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. Shortlisted for the Political Book Awards 2013 Political Book of the Year Everybody Matters A Memoir by Mary Robinson was published in 2012.   ENDS

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Thurles on Thursday, 17 January. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7-9pm in the Anner Hotel, Thurles, 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 Thurles 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 Thurles, contact NUI Galway’s Schools Liaison Officer, Celine O’Donovan on 087 239 1219 or celine.odonovan@nuigalway.ie. ENDS

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Research calls on screening and interventions to bring down costs and protect mother and baby A new study from NUI Galway, funded by the Health Research Board, has shown maternity care costs for pregnant women with gestational diabetes are 34% higher than average. Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) is a form of diabetes which is first diagnosed during pregnancy. It develops in about 12% of pregnancies and is more common in women who are overweight or obese. Previous research has shown that it carries with it increased risks for both mother and baby, but this is the first time the economic implications have been studied in Ireland. This study explored the determinants of maternity care and costs for a cohort of 4,432 pregnant women in Ireland. In particular, it estimated the independent effects of GDM, over and above the effects of other potentially important determinants, on mode of delivery, neonatal unit admission, and maternity care costs. From the sample of 4,372 women, those with a diagnosis of GDM were almost twice as likely to undergo an emergency caesarean section, and their infants were three times more likely to be admitted to a neonatal unit. The resulting maternity care costs, specifically calculated by sampling patients from the public healthcare system, were increased by 34%.Of the other variables included in the analysis, maternal obesity was found to increase costs by 21%. “Aside from the serious health implications, GDM is also placing a substantial economic burden on maternity care costs. This burden is likely to rise in the future if current practices remain unchanged given projected increases in GDM prevalence rates. However, what our study really highlights are the potential cost savings which may go to offset the costs of interventions that aim to prevent the onset of GDM in pregnancy,” explains Dr Paddy Gillespie, from the School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway. Professor Fidelma Dunne, Consultant Endocrinologist and Head of School of Medicine at NUI Galway, headed-up the Atlantic DIP research and co-authored this week’s study.  Professor Dunne pointed out that the cost of interventions, such as universal screening, could potentially be offset by the reduced number of women requiring more costly medical care. “GDM is a significant public health concern for women and their babies in Ireland. It can lead to future diabetes in the mother and diabetes and obesity in their children, with indications that it is contributing to the global diabetes epidemic. Ireland needs to introduce universal screening of women in pregnancy for GDM, rather than the current approach of selective screening. We also need to look at lifestyle interventions and educating women about vitamin supplements, diet and exercise through their ante-natal centres and GPs.” The research, ‘Modelling the Independent Effects of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus on Maternity Care and Costs’, was funded by the Health Research Board, was published this week in the international peer-reviewed journal Diabetes Care. Data for the study came from the five-year project Atlantic Diabetes in Pregnancy (Atlantic DIP), which measured the incidence and outcomes of diabetes in pregnancy in the west and north-west of Ireland. -ends-

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties will host a seminar acknowledging Ireland’s first term as a newly elected member of the UN Human Rights Council, which began on 1 January 2013. The seminar, Ireland and the Human Rights Council – Where to From Here? will take place on Friday, 1 February in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway. This one-day seminar will explore the challenges and opportunities presented by Ireland’s recent election to the United Nations Human Rights Council. The event will bring together a range of experts from the field of human rights, including H.E. Gerry Corr, Irish Ambassador to the United Nations, to draw up a list of recommendations that can inform Ireland’s term of office on the Council. Other speakers at the seminar will include: Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director, Amnesty International (Irish Section); Mary Lawlor, Founder and Executive Director, Frontline Defenders; Professor Michael O’Flaherty, Co-Director, Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway; Suzanne Egan, Lecturer, School of Law, University College Dublin; Dr Niamh Reilly, Senior Lecturer in Global Women’s Studies, School of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway; Julie de Rivero, Geneva Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch; and Caoimhe de Barra, Head of International Department, Trócaire. Professor Ray Murphy, Co-Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway said: “The seminar will explore the challenges and opportunities presented by Ireland’s recent election to the United Nations Human Rights Council. The aim of the event is to address questions regarding the commitments made by Ireland during its election campaign, how Ireland can best contribute to the agenda of the Council, and the leadership role that Ireland can play in the promotion of human rights.” The Human Rights Council, which was established in 2006 by the UN General Assembly, is the most important UN body for the protection and promotion of human rights. The 47 member Council is an inter-governmental body within the UN system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the world and for addressing situations of human rights violations. The Council has a number of mechanisms at its disposal including Universal Periodic Review to assess human rights practices in member states, the Advisory Committee, which serves as the Council’s “think tank” providing it with expertise and advice on thematic human rights issues, and the Complaint Procedure, which allows individuals and organisations to bring human rights violations to the attention of the Council. To register for the seminar, or to view the programme, visit http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=203 For further information on the seminar contact Annabel Egan in the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway on 091 493946 or annabel.egan@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-