Friday, 17 June 2016

NUI Galway announces scheme that targets high-achieving, school leavers from ‘new’ communities, particularly those who are living in or exiting from direct provision Conference to underline the importance of access to third-level education Conference to recognise and celebrate Ireland’s diversity in 2016 Mary Robinson, David Stanton TD, Minister of State for Justice with responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration and former Justice Bryan McMahon are among the line-up of keynote speakers at the Inclusive Centenaries conference today (Friday, 17 June) at NUI Galway. Inclusive Centenaries, which takes place ahead of World Refugee Day on Monday, 20 June, aims to be a space for reflection on the meaning and significance today of the ideals set out in the 1916 Proclamation from the perspective of Ireland’s newest communities. In a spirit of dialogue and celebration of Ireland’s diversity in 2016, Inclusive Centenaries will bring together people living in direct provision – especially women and young people – as well as members of other immigrant and local communities, elected representatives, policy advocates and NUI Galway leaders and decision makers. As part of the conference, and to mark Ireland’s Decade of Centenaries and celebrate the diversity of Irish society in 2016, NUI Galway is pleased to announce and launch a new, merit-based Inclusive Centenaries Scholarship Schemewith support from Galway University Foundation. This national pilot scheme aims to assist high-achieving, second-level school leavers from Ireland’s newest communities to pursue their third-level educational goals at NUI Galway, to realise their full potential, and to contribute to shaping Ireland of today and tomorrow. Minister David Stanton TD, the newly appointed Minister of State for Justice with responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration, during his address said that the Government is committed to further improving the living conditions in the State provided accommodation through the provision of enhanced catering facilities and increased living space for families and children. The Minister also noted that the accommodation system would come within the remit of the Ombudsman and the Office of the Ombudsman of Children. The opening conference keynote address will be delivered by former Justice Bryan McMahon, Chairperson of the Government’s Working Group on the Protection Process, including reform of direct provision. Three other sessions will take place throughout the conference, which include “Cherishing all the Children of the Nation: Voices of Young People Living in Direct Provision”. This features a presentation by a group of young people currently living in direct provision in Galway, entitled “Endless Possibilities” through which the young people express their aspiration to be allowed to partake in third-level education and improve their living conditions within direct provision, as well to raise awareness of the inequalities of the system.  The group will premiere their original song “Shaping Futures” about educational inequality, under their group name “The Key” as part of this presentation. The session on “Inclusive Centenaries, Women’s Voices” features presentations by Mercedes Varona an entrepreneur originally from Cuba, Ludmila Snigireva, representing Russian speaking migrants and Simmy Ndlovu, from Zimbabwe, reflecting on her journey from seeking asylum to integration. A Lunch time performance, “Women Voices” is coordinated by Blessing Siphathisiwe Moyo and performed by women living in direct provision in the Eglinton Hotel. The performance also includes students from St. Enda's College in Galway Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, currently UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change will deliver  the closing address and which will also see the launch of the Galway Intercultural Forum Resource Booklet 2016. In addressing the conference Mary Robinson, said: “The new scholarship launched by NUI Galway today is a very fitting expression of the Inclusive Centenaries theme – it captures the traditional value placed on education in Ireland while looking forward and supporting young people in new communities to follow their educational dreams.” The Inclusive Centenaries conference is funded by the Irish Research Council New Foundations scheme. It is organised jointly by the Centre for Global Women’s Studies, School of Political Science and Sociology, the School of Law, and the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance at NUI Galway in partnership with The Mary Robinson Centre, Ballina and local partners: Galway County Council, Galway County Council Intercultural Forum, Youth Work Ireland, Galway and Galway City Partnership Intercultural Consortium. Speaking on behalf of the organisers, Drs Niamh Reilly and Ciara Smyth said: “Today’s presentations and performances by members of ‘new’ communities, especially young people, have reminded us that realising the values of the 1916 Proclamation is something that we all wish for and that education can be a shared journey that gets us there together.” For details on the Inclusive Centenaries Scholarship please see http://www.nuigalway.ie/scholarships/ ENDS

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Dr Iain Mac Labhrainn, Director of NUI Galway’s Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, has been invited to attend the 2016 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Ministerial Meeting. The Meeting will take place in Cancun, Mexico from 21-23 June. Dr Mac Labhrainn will participate in a panel discussion on ‘Jobs and Skills’. The invitation is following on from his presentation at last year’s OECD Higher Education meeting in Singapore, and reflecting on the growing international interest in the national project ‘All Aboard: Enabling and Empowering staff and students to flourish in the digital age’ which has produced a national digital skills framework and a wide range of supporting materials and activities. The 2016 OECD Ministerial Meeting on ‘The Digital Economy: Innovation, Growth and Social Prosperity’ will be attended by current and former government ministers, advisors, representatives of business and industry, trade union organisations, educational bodies, and civil society organisations. The debates and discussions will explore a wide range of items spanning the economy and society, technology and communications, and training and education. The event will conclude with the publication of the Cancun Declaration on Thursday, 23 June. For more information on the Meeting visit www.oecd.org/internet/ministerial/. -Ends-

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Scaling: building a business through sustainable growth in the West of Ireland is the focus of an entrepreneurship course in NUI Galway aimed at, and structured to, facilitate entrepreneurs Robert (Bob) Rosenberg of the Chicago Booth School of Business and the Polsky Centre for Innovation, ranked number 4 in innovation in the US, will spend the week of June 11-17 working with Irish companies working on ‘Scaling a Business’ in NUI Galway. There will be an additional event, which is open to the public and hosted in the PorterShed in Galway city on Wednesday, 15 June in association with StartUp Galway.   The newly established Atlantic Centre for Entrepreneurship & Executive Development aims to develop a sustainable partnership between proven entrepreneurs and experienced academics and bring globally-leading talent to Galway and the West of Ireland to offer the necessary skills to sustain and grow indigenous industry. This first course, ‘Scaling a Business’ and subsequent courses will be held at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway. Dr Tom Acton, Head of the School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway and Caitríona Lynch, entrepreneur and adjunct Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at NUI Galway have been working together to put in place a set of programmes in entrepreneurship. These are not training courses, not one-off workshops, but a structure for university accredited qualifications. Tom and Caitríona see it as the future of coalface education, a public-private partnership leveraging expertise from the University and others, and the entrepreneurship community. Describing how she convinced Bob Rosenberg to come to Galway, Caitríona Lynch said: “I went to Chicago with the aim of knocking on Bob’s door and asking him to come to Ireland. Building the next billion dollar company in Ireland depends on having the skill set to scale a business from a start-up and our focus is putting the structure and the skills in place now, to allow that to happen. It’s a privilege to work with someone of the calibre and expertise of Bob, and to draw from the vast skills and experience that he brings.” It’s a visit Bob Rosenberg is looking forward to and said: “The Atlantic Centre is a brave experiment, an effort to transform promising startups into economic drivers for the region and the country. Tom and Caitríona deserve full marks for their ambition and vision. The Atlantic Centre is a necessary and brave step, an effort to transform promising ideas and companies into economic drivers for the region and the country.” A chartered accountant and entrepreneur, Caitríona Lynch sold her business C Infinity a number of years ago and is now working with entrepreneurs, start-ups and early stage companies at the Atlantic Centre for Entrepreneurship & Executive Development. It’s ‘Scaling a Business’ is the first of many courses. According to Tom Acton, “The course targets entrepreneurs beyond the startup stage, persons in a company seeking to grow a team or product, service, or someone who wants to learn more about expanding an existing business in which they play a role. Facilitating growth is the key focus.” The June ‘Scaling a Business’ course is full, but it is just the first. Dr Acton encourages anyone who is interested in future courses to register their interest and added, “This is a first step towards building a network across the region to move ideas from the entrepreneur’s mind to the global market, and to that end we will be hosting a number of additional events during the week for participants. One of these will be open to the public and hosted in the PorterShed in Galway city on Wednesday, 15 June in association with StartUp Galway.” This course has been made possible with the generous support of Deloitte and Bank of Ireland. To register and for further information visit www.aceatlantic.com and follow @atlanticcentre ENDS  

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The Mayo Medical Academy has been awarded the ‘Conservation Project of the Year’ at the recent Irish Construction Industry Awards 2016. The Academy is an NUI Galway partnership with Saolta University Health Care Group and Mayo University Hospital for the training of doctors. The Irish Construction Industry Awards recognise, encourage and celebrate original and innovative contractors, businesses, teams, consultants and projects that demonstrate excellence in the built environment. The Mayo Medical Academy was officially opened by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny in December 2015 and is housed in a purpose-designed facility located in the former chapel on the grounds of Mayo University Hospital. The original structure was built in the early 20th century and was used for religious purposes during the period 1902 to 2010. This building has been sensitively restored into a multipurpose teaching facility. As the original building was subject to a historic preservation order, all aspects of the church were carefully retained during the heritage restoration project. The design team was Taylor Architects, Castlebar, Co. Mayo and the work was undertaken by the local construction firm Mountain View Securities. The entire project was funded by NUI Galway at a cost in the region of €2.2 million. The final result comprises a stunning and innovative architectural design, combining the best of old and new. The building encompasses many features that facilitate a flexible approach to teaching and the various spaces within the building are designed to accommodate different student group sizes simultaneously. John Gibney, Director of Physical Resources at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted with the award for this very fine addition to the University’s facilities for medical education. The project was successfully delivered due to a positive collaboration between the design team, the main contractor, NUI Galway, Saolta University Health Care Group and Mayo University Hospital.” The Academy allows future doctors to fine tune their clinical skills under the watchful eyes of tutors and lecturers covering all medical specialties. 60 students per semester from third, fourth and final medical years rotate through Mayo University Hospital for one year clinical training. The co-location of the Academy with the hospital allows students to attend didactic teaching in the Academy and also bedside teaching in the hospital. One of the strengths of the NUI Galway Medical School Academies is the ratio of both tutors to students and also of students to patients. -Ends-

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

NUI Galway has received Horizon 2020 EU funding for ‘ROCSAFE’ ICT and Security software that will use robotics and intelligent reasoning to gather forensic evidence in the event of a chemical, biological or nuclear incident A team led by NUI Galway has been awarded €4.8 Million in Horizon 2020 EU funding for their project ROCSAFE (Remotely Operated CBRNe Scene Assessment & Forensic Examination), which will use robotics and intelligent reasoning to gather forensic evidence in the event of a chemical, biological or nuclear incident. Led by Dr Michael Madden from the College of Engineering & Informatics at NUI Galway, the ROCSAFE project will focus on developing ICT and Security software to gather forensic intelligence in the event of a terrorist attack. ROCSAFE’s overall goal is to fundamentally change how CBRNe (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense events) are assessed, and ensure the safety of crime scene investigators, by reducing the need for them to enter dangerous scenes to gather evidence. The overall project budget is €4.8 million, of which almost €1 million has been awarded to NUI Galway. The project includes five other Irish entities and additional funding will be awarded to Tyndall, the Defence Forces (specifically ordinance disposal), the Inter-Agency Emergency Management Office, and two Irish companies, Reamda and SBN. There are 13 partners in total involved in the ROCSAFE project across Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Germany, along with a wider set of advisory board members. CBRNe accidents or terrorist attacks are a low probability but of high consequence. In the aftermath of a CBRNe event, the principles that govern the response mission are: Protection of Life Elimination/Reduction of Threat Protection of Property Preservation of Evidence Restoration of Normal Activities Speaking about the project, Dr Michael Madden at NUI Galway, said: “ROCSAFE focuses specifically on three of these principles: the protection of life, the elimination/reduction of the threat, and the preservation of evidence. By building a mobile remotely operated system, ROCSAFE can protect personnel by removing the need for them to go on-scene to identify threats, detect the presence of forensic material, and collect forensic material.” In order to safely respond to a threat, it must first be identified. To do this, the scientific team will adapt robotic air and ground vehicles to carry cameras and innovative sensors for the identification of CBRNe materials. To preserve evidence, they will equip the vehicles with tools to enable the careful and methodical collection of forensic materials and will develop procedures that are appropriate to remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), to preserve the integrity of the evidence chain. Using robotic aerial vehicles (RAVs) that will be remotely managed and semi-autonomous, ROCSAFE will quickly gain a visual overview of the scene and identify hotspots. This will enable responders to quickly set up a perimeter to protect bystanders and start managing the scene. The RAVs will be equipped with cameras (operating in the visible and infra-red ranges) and sensors for detection of radiation/nuclear, chemical and biological threats. Data from these will be relayed to a Central Decision Management unit in real-time. The Central Decision Management will provide data analytics and decision support software to ensure all available data is presented in the Command Centre, which will be located in a safe zone near the periphery of the incident, to the on-scene commanders in an intuitive and easy to assimilate manner. The Central Decision Management will include an innovative approach, which will be able to adapt to the evolving situation over time as information arrives from sensors and cameras, and the people on the scene provide inputs. ROCSAFE will use state-of-the-art ground vehicles that are specifically designed for hazardous scenes, and will include the development of tools and procedures for gathering forensic material and evidence. The challenges in forensic evidence collection are to remove the possibility of cross-contamination and to ensure the integrity of the evidence chain. This process will ensure that CBRNe scenes are assessed more rapidly and thoroughly than is currently possible, and that forensic evidence and material is collected in a manner that stands up in court, and all without sending personnel into zones of high risk. The ROCSAFE project is the most recent in a series of security-related research successes by the Research Office. NUI Galway has recently established a National Centre for Security Research to draw together the multiple strands of security-related research in the University, and to facilitate growth of this activity into the future. For further information about ROCSAFE visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/remoteforensics/ ENDS

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

NUI Galway today (14 June) conferred degrees on over 350 students. Among that number, 64 were conferred with doctoral degrees. The largest cohort of students to graduate was over 210 future doctors who received their Honours Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and Bachelor of Obstetrics (MB, BCh, BAO) degree. Among the cohort of medical students, Clodagh Flannery McDermott from Breffy, Co. Mayo received 7 out of 14 Final Medical Medals for her outstanding academic performance. Every year, NUI Galway awards the Final Medical Medals to the student who receives the highest mark in each subject area. Dr John Greally, originally from Galway City but now living in New York, was also conferred with a Doctor of Medicine on Published Work (DMed).Degrees on published work are higher doctorates and are the highest qualifications awarded by the University. They are awarded to scholars who have, over a sustained period, published a substantial body of ground-breaking and influential work in a field of specialisation and who have achieved outstanding distinction internationally in that field. Speaking at the ceremony, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “On behalf of NUI Galway, I congratulate each of today’s graduates. It is very encouraging to see the number of research and graduate degrees which we are conferring today. These graduate numbers continue to grow. From a base of about 50 doctorates per year at the turn of the millennium, we now confer up to four times that number annually.” -Ends- Bronnann OÉ Gaillimh Céim ar bhreis is 350 Mac Léinn ag Searmanas Bronnta an tSamhraidh   Dé Máirt, 14 Meitheamh 2016: Inniu (14 Meitheamh) bhronn OÉ Gaillimh céimeanna ar bhreis is 350 mac léinn. Ina measc siúd, bronnadh céimeanna dochtúireachta ar 64 mac léinn.  Ar an ngrúpa is mó díobh bronnadh Baitsiléir Onóracha sa Leigheas, Baitsiléir sa Mháinliacht agus Baitsiléir sa Chnáimhseachas (MB, BCh, BAO) ar bhreis is 210 ábhar dochtúra. Fuair Clodagh Flannery McDermott as Bréachmhaigh, Co. Mhaigh Eo, duine de na mic léinn leighis, 7 mBonn don Bhliain Deiridh Leighis as 14 Bhonn as a feidhmíocht acadúil den scoth. Gach bliain, bronnann OÉ Gaillimh Boinn Deiridh Leighis ar an mac léinn leis an marc is airde i ngach ábhar. Bronnadh Dochtúireacht Leighis as Saothar Foilsithe (DMed) ar an Dr John Greally chomh maith.Is ard-dochtúireachtaí iad céimeanna a bhronntar as saothar foilsithe, agus is iad na cáilíochtaí is airde a bhronntar san Ollscoil iad. Bronntar iad ar scoláirí a bhfuil bailiúchán de shaothar úrnua agus cumhachtach i réimse speisialtóireachta foilsithe acu, thar thréimhse áirithe, agus a bhfuil aitheantas den scoth bainte amach acu go hidirnáisiúnta sa réimse sin. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne le linn an tsearmanais: “Thar ceann OÉ Gaillimh, tréaslaím le gach duine agaibh. Ábhar misnigh dúinn ar fad is ea go bhfuil an oiread sin céimeanna taighde agus iarchéimeanna á mbronnadh againn inniu. Tá níos mó agus níos mó céimeanna á mbronnadh againn bliain i ndiaidh bliana. Bhíodh 50 céim dhochtúireachta in aghaidh na bliana á mbronnadh againn ag tús an chéid ach anois bronntar a cheithre oiread sin gach bliain.” -Críoch-

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Eric Van Lente, a researcher with NUI Galway’s School of Psychology, is seeking participants for a study to explore the experience of oneness in meditators, including people with experience of any form of sitting or moving meditation practice. Throughout history, people all over the world have sought to understand their relationship with others, the world, and the cosmos - and in every religious and philosophical tradition there has been an attempt to understand feelings of oneness that arise in these relationships. People often report feeling at one with others, nature, or the universe – either as a temporary or ongoing experience. But where do these feelings come from and how can we best understand them? Researchers in the field of psychology have noted that feelings of oneness sometimes come from practicing different forms of meditation, and researchers at NUI Galway are seeking to understand how people with experience of mediation describe their experience of oneness.  Commenting on the study, Eric said: “We are particularly interested in the collective intelligence of meditators and are running a series of workshops with groups of meditators over the coming weeks. This work will be used to develop a new measure of oneness experience – a measure that will be used to examine the relationship between oneness and wellbeing outcomes. We’re interested in all forms of meditation and all perspectives on the oneness experiences that people have had.” A number of workshops are scheduled for the study, two for short-term mediators for those who have three months to one year of some daily meditation practice over their lifetime. The first will take place on Thursday, 30 June from 2-5pm and the second on Saturday, 2 July from 10am-1pm. There are also two workshops for long-term mediators, those who have five or more years of some daily meditation practice over their lifetime. The first will take place on Saturday, 25 June from 10am-1pm and the second on Saturday 9 July from 10am-1pm. The results will be published in academic publications and will form part of a PhD thesis. To participate in this research contact Eric at evanlente@gmail.com or at 087 9393100. -Ends-

Friday, 10 June 2016

Eamon Gilmore, Marie Mullen, Brendan Flynn and ConTempo conferred with Honorary Doctorates  At a ceremony in NUI Galway today, Honorary Degrees were conferred on Eamon Gilmore, former Tánaiste and Labour Party leader; Marie Mullen, actor and Druid Theatre co-founder; Brendan Flynn, Clifden Arts Festival Director; and classical quartet ConTempo, currently RTÉ’s Quartet in Residence and also the resident quartet on the west coast in the Galway Music Residency. NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, speaking at the conferring ceremony, said:  “NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history and those being honoured this year form a particularly distinguished group from public and political life and the arts. NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals.” Eamon Gilmore was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa). Former Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland, Eamon is now the EU Special Envoy for the Peace Process in Colombia. He was born and raised in Caltra, Co. Galway and received his education at Garbally College, Ballinasloe and at NUI Galway (then UCG). He was President of the UCG Students’ Union and of the Union of Students in Ireland, and he worked as an officer of the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union, prior to his election to Dáil Éireann in 1989. He served as Minister of State for the Marine from 1994 to1997, and was the Leader of the Irish Labour Party from 2007 until July 2014. Marie Mullen was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Arts (honoris causa). Marie is an award-winning Irish actress and founding member of Druid Theatre Company. She co-founded Druid with fellow NUI Galway students, Garry Hynes and the late Mick Lally in 1975. Over the company’s 40-year history she has performed many memorable roles and established herself as one of Ireland’s greatest living actors. Marie has been sweeping the boards as an actress for many years; in 2012 she received a special tribute at the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards for her contribution to theatre. In 1998, Marie also received a Tony Award for her role as Maureen in Druid’s acclaimed production of The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh, on Broadway. Brendan Flynn was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa). A native of Taughmaconnell, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, Brendan was educated at Garbally College and University College Cork. An awareness of the distance from cultural happenings and artistic encounters led to the inception of Clifden Arts Festival in 1977, where artists such as John McGahern, Richard Murphy, Seamus Heaney and John Behan were among the first to participate in what later became Clifden Arts Festival.  He has served on The Arts Council, the board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art and is a member of ‘Creative Engagement’, a committee responsible for arts in education under the auspices of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals.  ConTempo, a Degree of Doctor of Music (honoris causa) was awarded jointly to Andreea Banciu, Adrian Mantu, Ingrid Nicola and Bogdan Sofei. Formed in 1995 while students at the Music University in Bucharest, Romania, ConTempo Quartet is one of the most celebrated young quartets performing today, having won 14 international awards and toured the world extensively, performing over 1,400 concerts in 46 countries. They have studied with the most celebrated string quartets of the world, including Amadeus, Alban Berg, Tokyo, Emerson, Hagen and Quartetto Italiano. In 2003, after an international audition ConTempo became Galway Ensemble-in-Residence, in a unique project, under the auspices of Galway Music Residency, supported by NUI Galway, the Irish Arts Council, and Galway City and County Councils.  In 2013, ConTempo was selected as RTÉ String Quartet in Residence. They have had the honour of performing in front of world leaders, including the late Nelson Mandela and Pope John Paul II, as well as EU leaders, Nobel Prize-winner, Seamus Heaney, Prince Charles and for Hollywood actors, Angelica Huston, Angela Lansbury, Martin Sheen and Merv Griffin. The graduands join the ranks of previous honorary alumni which include, among many others, Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Christy O’Connor Snr and Jnr, Enya, Anjelica Huston, Fionnuala Flanagan and Margaret Atwood. WATCH: Honorary graduate, Marie Mullen, describes the beginnings of the Druid Theatre Company with fellow students Garry Hynes and Mick Lally: https://vimeo.com/170186995 WATCH: Honorary graduate, Eamon Gilmore, describes his new focus as EU envoy to the peace process in Columbia: https://vimeo.com/170191503 WATCH: Honorary graduate, Brendan Flynn, talks about some of his early inspirations, including Heaney and Yeats: https://vimeo.com/170364729 WATCH: Honorary graduates, ConTempo Quartet, give advice to young graduates starting out in the creative arts: https://vimeo.com/170376721 -Ends- Searmanas Bronnta Chéimeanna Oinigh OÉ Gaillimh Dochtúireachtaí Oinigh le bronnadh ar Eamon Gilmore,  Marie Mullen, Brendan Flynn agus ConTempo Ag searmanas in OÉ Gaillimh inniu, bronnadh Céimeanna Oinigh ar Eamon Gilmore, iar-Thánaiste agus iar-Cheannaire Pháirtí an Lucht Oibre; Marie Mullen, aisteoir agus comhbhunaitheoir Amharclann an Druid; Brendan Flynn, Stiúrthóir Fhéile Ealaíon an Chlocháin; agus an ceathairéad clasaiceach ConTempo, Ceathairéad Cónaithe reatha RTÉ agus an ceathairéad cónaithe ar chósta an iarthair sa Galway Music Residency. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, agus é ag labhairt ag an searmanas:  “Tá an t-ádh le OÉ Gaillimh céimithe oinigh den scoth a bheith aici in imeacht na mblianta ach is eisceacht céimithe oinigh na bliana seo sa saol poiblí agus polaitiúil agus in earnáil na n-ealaíon. Tá an-áthas ar OÉ Gaillimh a bheith in ann aitheantas a thabhairt do na daoine eisceachtúla seo.” Bronnfar Céim Dhochtúireachta le Dlíthe (honoris causa) ar Eamon Gilmore. Iar-Thánaiste agus iar-Aire Gnóthaí Eachtracha agus Trádála na hÉireann is ea Eamon agus tá sé anois ina Thoscaire Speisialta AE do Phróiseas na Síochána sa Cholóim. Rugadh agus tógadh é sa Chealtrach, Co. na Gaillimhe agus fuair sé a chuid oideachais i gColáiste an Gharbhaile, Béal Átha na Sluaighe agus in OÉ Gaillimh (COG ag an am). Bhí sé ina Uachtarán ar Chomhaltas na Mac Léinn i gColáiste na hOllscoile, Gaillimh agus ar Aontas na Mac Léinn in Éirinn, agus d’oibrigh sé mar oifigeach ar Cheardchumann Oibrithe Iompair agus Ilsaothair na hÉireann, sular toghadh chuig Dáil Éireann é sa bhliain 1989. Bhí sé ina Aire Stáit Mara idir 1994 agus 1997, agus bhí sé ina cheannaire ar Pháirtí an Lucht Oibre ó 2007 go dtí mí Iúil 2014. Bronnfar Céim Dhochtúireachta sna Dána (honoris causa) ar Marie Mullen. Aisteoir Éireannach a bhfuil duaiseanna buaite aici í Marie agus bhí sí ar dhuine den dream a bhunaigh Compántas Amharclannaíochta an Druid. Sa bhliain 1975, in éineacht lena comh-mhic léinn as OÉ Gaillimh, Garry Hynes agus Mick Lally nach maireann, bhunaigh sí an Druid. Thar thréimhse 40 bliain an chompántais is iomaí ról mór le rá a bhí aici agus tá sí anois ar cheann de na haisteoirí Éireannacha is fearr dá bhfuil ann. Is iomaí ról aisteoireachta a bhí ag Marie le blianta fada anuas; sa bhliain 2012 tugadh ómós ar leith di ag Gradaim Amharclannaíochta na hÉireann de chuid an Irish Times as an méid a bhí bainte amach aici i leith na hamharclannaíochta. Sa bhliain 1998, bronnadh Gradam Tony ar Marie dá ról mar Maureen sa léiriúchán mór le rá a rinne an Druid ar The Beauty Queen of Leenane le Martin McDonagh, in Broadway. Bronnfar Céim Dhochtúireachta le Dlíthe (honoris causa) ar Brendan Flynn. Is as Teach Mhic Conaill, Béal Átha na Sluaighe, Co. na Gaillimhe do Brendan agus cuireadh oideachas air i gColáiste an Gharbhaile agus i gColáiste na hOllscoile, Corcaigh.  Is ón tuiscint ar an achar ó imeachtaí cultúrtha agus eachtraí ealaíonta a bunaíodh Féile Ealaíon an Chlocháin sa bhliain 1977, áit a raibh ealaíontóirí amhail John McGahern, Richard Murphy, Seamus Heaney agus John Behan ar chuid den chéad dream a ghlac páirt san ócáid ar a dtabharfaí Féile Ealaíon an Chlocháin ina dhiaidh sin.  Bhí sé ar an gComhairle Ealaíon, ar bhord Áras Nua-Ealaíne na hÉireann agus is ball é de ‘Rannpháirtíocht Chruthaitheach’, coiste atá freagrach as na healaíona san oideachas faoi scáth Chumann Náisiúnta na bPríomhoidí agus na Leas-Phríomhoidí.  Bronnfar Céim Dhochtúireachta le Ceol (honoris causa) ar an ngrúpa ConTempo, is iad sin Andreea Banciu, Adrian Mantu, Ingrid Nicola agus Bogdan Sofei. Bunaíodh an ConTempo Quartet sa bhliain 1995 fad is a bhí siad ina mic léinn san Ollscoil Cheoil i mBúcairist, an Rómáin agus tá sé ar cheann de na ceathairéid óga is mó cáil atá ag seinm inniu. Tá 14 ghradam idirnáisiúnta bainte amach acu agus bhí siad ar stáitse ar fud an domhain i mbreis is 1,400 ceolchoirm i 46 tír. Tá staidéar déanta acu ar na téadcheathairéid is mó le rá ar domhan, ina measc Amadeus, Alban Berg, Tokyo, Emerson, Hagen agus Quartetto Italiano. Sa bhliain 2003, tar éis triail idirnáisiúnta a dhéanamh, rinneadh  Ensemble Cónaithe na Gaillimhe de ConTempo. Tionscadal uathúil a bhí anseo faoi scáth Galway Music Residency, agus fuarthas tacaíocht ó OÉ Gaillimh, ó Chomhairle Ealaíon na hÉireann agus ó Chomhairlí Contae agus Cathrach na Gaillimhe.  Sa bhliain 2013, roghnaíodh ConTempo mar Théadcheathairéad Cónaithe RTÉ. Bhí de phribhléid acu seinm os comhair ceannairí domhanda, ina measc Nelson Mandela agus an Pápa Eoin Pól II nach maireann, mar aon le ceannairí AE, buaiteoir Dhuais Nobel, Seamus Heaney, an Prionsa Séarlas agus aisteoirí Hollywood, Angelica Huston, Angela Lansbury, Martin Sheen agus Merv Griffin. Beidh na céimithe seo anois i measc céimithe oinigh eile mór le rá a tháinig rompu cosúil le Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Christy O’Connor Sinsear agus Sóisear, Enya, Anjelica Huston, Fionnuala Flanagan agus Margaret Atwood. -Críoch-

Thursday, 9 June 2016

A researcher at the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway has received a Seed Award in Science of €100,000 from the SFI/HRB/Wellcome Trust Biomedical Partnership. The funding was provided following a pilot study on a novel treatment to improve the delivery of therapy to the heart for patients with post-heart attack scarring or tissue damage. Treatment for heart attack has advanced greatly in the past few years. However, even if the vessels of the heart are reperfused, there can be residual scarring that can lead to heart failure in later life. This removes the need to give systemic drugs that can have toxic side effects. The concept from the research is an implantable device that is placed on the heart and acts as a reservoir to allow direct, selective delivery of therapy along with multiple refills to the heart from a port just under the skin. The goal of this project is to develop a computer-based model using mathematical techniques (finite element techniques), which will be able to predict how the therapy will be dispersed from the implantable device to the heart tissue. The researchers will create a simplified model based on experimental testing, and then a more complex model that will incorporate the microstructure of the heart and the reservoir. These models will predict how the drug will diffuse into the heart tissue, and allow optimisation of device design. This device will also reveal some more fundamental insights into the rate of drug delivery to the tissue, in order to help to design the best treatment strategy. The key goals of the work will be to obtain the material properties of all the device components so they can be used as input for the model, to create and run the computer-based models so that the drug diffusion profile can be elucidated, and the drug dosing regimen can be optimised, and finally to compare the results of the simulation to existing results of when the device was implanted in animal models. The research was carried out by Dr Ellen Roche, MIT Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Discipline of Biomedical Engineering in the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway. Commenting on the study, Ms Roche said: “I am delighted and honoured to receive this grant from the SFI/HRB/Wellcome Trust Biomedical Partnership. It will enable me to complete my research on computer simulation of a novel therapy delivery system for heart failure patients.” Peter McHugh, Professor of Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway, said: “This is a wonderful achievement. As a graduate of Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway, Ellen is a fantastic ambassador for our research and teaching programmes here, and through this award she forges a very strong link between NUI Galway and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), that will be of tremendous benefit to the University and to Ellen herself into the future.” Seed Awards provide responsive, flexible funding from the SFI (Science Foundation Ireland and HRB (Health Research Board) Wellcome Trust Biomedical Partnership, enabling researchers to develop a novel idea. The Seed Award scheme provides one-off grants of up to £100,000 for up to two years, to help researchers develop original and innovative ideas. Their exploratory nature gives scope for the use of innovative methodologies, and a range of possible activities; from pilot and scoping studies, to preliminary data gathering and proof-of-principle studies. They can provide funding for the direct costs of carrying out the research, including materials, equipment, animals, research assistance, fieldwork and data collection and travel. They fund interdisciplinary research and researchers at the start of their independent careers who wish to develop innovative ideas outside of their discipline or area of expertise. ENDS

Thursday, 9 June 2016

An NUI Galway graduate, Colm O’Rourke, was part of a team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) which recently unveiled the first ever MIT Hyperloop Pod. Colm, originally from Walsh Island in County Offaly is a Bachelor of Engineering graduate from NUI Galway. Colm leads the electronics section of the MIT team, which includes everything from sensors, micro-controllers and batteries, to relays and actuator controllers. He also works closely with other leaders on the team who look after software, aerodynamics, structures, vehicle dynamics, levitation and business. Hyperloop is a high-speed transportation envisioned by Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors. With a projected top speed of 760 mph, the Hyperloop is poised to revolutionise transportation by moving passengers between cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco in as little as 35 minutes. Hyperloop pods will travel in evacuated tubes above the ground, diminishing the drag force of atmospheric air and enabling passenger and freight transportation at high speeds with low energy consumption. In June 2015, SpaceX announced the first ever Hyperloop Pod Competition which comprises of a Design Competition, held in January 2016, and a Build Competition to be held in late summer 2016. Following their first place win at the design phase of the competition in Texas, the MIT team became the first team to construct their prototype.  Colm said: “Regardless of what Hyperloop becomes, I've already benefited so much from taking part. Although it is important to develop new theory, implementing that theory effectively is equally important and that is what makes an engineering project successful. It’s about the fusion of theory and practice. Seeing this project go from ideas on a chalk board a few months ago, to an assembled prototype is just really special. My undergraduate degree in Energy Systems Engineering at NUI Galway exposed me to a wide range of fields - everything from thermodynamics to power electronics. The Hyperloop project built on that, as now I work with experts in aerodynamics, system dynamics, software and even business.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

NUI Galway has been shortlisted for three national Marine Industry Awards 2016. The Marine Industry Awards recognise and celebrate the most innovative companies in the Irish maritime and marine sector. Staff members of NUI Galway’s Discipline of Geography have been shortlisted in the ‘Excellence in Marine Education and Training Award’ category for their MSc in Coastal and Marine Environments: Physical Processes, Policy and Practice programme. The NUI Galway team comprises of co-directors Dr Eugene Farrell and Dr Kevin Lynch, and Dr’s Frances Fahy, Aaron Potito, Audrey Morley, Terry Morley and Chaosheng Zhang. The MSc in Coastal and Marine Environments: Physical Processes, Policy and Practice is a full-time, one year, taught MSc which began in September 2014. The programme was designed to deliver postgraduate training in costal and marine environments to meet the immediate and future demands in the growth in marine and costal sectors. Two NUI Galway research institutes, the Centre for Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) and the Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU), have been shortlisted in the ‘Excellence in Marine Research Award’ category. Professor Mike Hartnett and his Project Team at MaREI have developed the first operational wide-area Coastal/Ocean Observing System in Ireland and the UK. This is a highly sophisticated remote sensing system streaming large amounts of oceanographic data in near real-time; the data is integrated with high resolution computer models for improved forecasting of marine climate, and project has advanced the capabilities of ocean/coastal observing in Ireland. The system consists of two antenna stations; each station has a transmit and receive antenna, and associated electronic hardware and software. Digital signal processing is performed at each station on the data collected and is then wirelessly transmitted to a central server at NUI Galway. The server combines the data from individual radars to develop maps of surface ocean currents and graphs visualising characteristics of ocean waves: significant wave heights, periods and directions, and wind speeds. These data have many applications such as marine renewable energy, pollutant transport, coastal flood warning, search and rescue, and aquaculture. In particular, the team work on marine renewable energy and improving marine hindcasting/forecasting models of waves and tides though data assimilation of radar data.     SEMRU, within the Whitaker Institute, was established through the Beaufort Award in 2008 and has developed into the foremost marine economic analysis centre in Ireland. SEMRU was established with the objective of expanding marine socio-economic research capability in Ireland, centred around a research cluster in Galway led by NUI Galway and linking with RERC, Teagasc and the Marine Institute. The main research focus of the unit involves examining the economic utility of the marine environment (e.g. transportation, recreation) and the ecological value (e.g. fisheries, aquaculture) derived from the productivity of associated ecosystems. SEMRU is perhaps best known amongst marine stakeholders for its ocean economy statistics and reports but it has also strongly influenced policy making in the marine sector, where its research has for example been used to form a baseline and to monitor progress in Ireland’s marine plan, ‘Harnessing Our Wealth – An Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland’.  The Marine Industry Awards 2016, in association with SeaFest, provide a voice for the individuals and companies that play a significant role in the growth and development of the industry in Ireland while recognising the key functions within the industry that promote growth and sustainability. The award winners will be announced on Thursday, 30 June at a reception in the Radisson Blu, Galway. -Ends-

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

NUI Galway’s JE Cairnes School of Business and Economics has announced the successful reaccrediation of its Executive MBA progamme by the Association for MBAs (AMBA). The AMBA provide the only dedicated accreditation regime for MBA Programmes with only 2% of MBA programmes globally attaining AMBA accreditation.     The AMBA accreditation is internationally recognised as the global standard for all MBA programmes. AMBA accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement in MBA education and is earned only by the best programmes.   Katherine O’Flynn, Director of Accreditation at AMBA, said: “The number of MBA qualifications available worldwide is now in the thousands, but only a small percentage of these would achieve accreditation if they were submitted to our rigorous international criteria.”     The NUI Galway MBA is one of the leading management development programmes in the country. The mission of the NUI Galway Executive MBA is to enable participants to prepare for accelerated career progression through the acquisition of the knowledge, skills and confidence necessary for success in strategic management and senior leadership roles.   Speaking about the achievement, Martin Hughes, Executive MBA Programme Director, J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, said: “We know for participants, the decision to study an MBA represents a major commitment, both in terms of time and money. This AMBA accreditation ensures that students’ investments are rewarded with the finest MBA education available. We have constant engagement with the business community and our programme reflects and aligns with developments in industry both nationally and internationally. Our class sizes are kept small, our lecturers are leading experts in their respective fields and continue teaching to the changing demands of the business world which overall results in greater one-to-one attention and learning experience.”   Graduates of the NUI Galway Executive MBA have significantly advanced their careers with many being promoted, starting their own business, or changing careers after completing the programme. The J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics are currently accepting applications for the next programme starting in September.     Further information on the Executive MBA at NUI Galway is available at http://www.cairnes.nuigalway.ie/mba/.   ENDS

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Estimated €24million economic benefit to Galway   As conference season continues at NUI Galway, the University are expecting to welcome over 16,000 delegates, the majority of whom are international, to the campus this year.   According to Fáilte Ireland, Business Tourism is one of the highest yield sectors in tourism, worth €580million a year to the Irish economy and business tourists or international conference delegates are valued at €1,500 per person. With over 16,000 delegates expected to NUI Galway this year, the estimated economic benefit to the region will be €24million.   Highlights this summer includes the first COTEC-ENOTHE joint congress, which takes place from 15-19 June. The conference will welcome over 1,000 Occupational Therapists from across the globe to the University and Galway City. Other international conferences booked include an International Summer School on Disability Law, a Health Promotion Conference and an International Conference on Natural and Constructed Wetlands.   In August, NUI Galway will host the 13th Conference of the European Society for the Study of English, with over 1,000 delegates attending. This conference on English Literature, Language and Cultural Studies will include over 80 individual seminars and panel topics from the medieval period to the present, featuring everything from Shakespeare to Harry Potter.    Ann Duggan, Commercial Manager at NUI Galway, said: “Our academic and research colleagues  have been key to our success in winning a significant number of international conferences and of  course Galway City’s unique character and our wonderful hinterland provide the perfect backdrop for visiting international delegates.”   For information on hosting a conference at NUI Galway, please visit www.nuigalway.ie/events or call the NUI Galway Conference and Event Centre on 091 492264.   -Ends-

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

A total of 220 final year medical students from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at NUI Galway recently completed their final year practical exams, the first time that these students and their examiners have participated in electronically marked exams provided by University spin out company, Qpercom. The College of Medicine at NUI Galway has been implementing this form of electronic marking for all practical exams over the last number of years. Thanks to electronic retrieval, storage and analysis of the data in real-time during the previous years, practical exams are now carried out at various sites at University Hospital Galway, Merlin Park University Hospital and Croí, and two new sites at the NUI Galway affiliated Medical Academy at Sligo General Hospital and St Columbas Hospital in Sligo. Qpercom Ltd, a local spin out company from the School of Medicine since 2008, is responsible for the retrieval, storage and analysis of the electronic ‘Objective Structured Clinical Examinations’. Over the last eight years the company, which is located at NUI Galway has built up an international reputation serving medical, nursing, dental, veterinary and various health sciences schools worldwide with their practical clinical examinations. Prestigious universities such as the University of Dundee and University of St Andrews in Scotland, the Nobel Prize University Karolinksa Institutet, the National University of Singapore and most recently the University of Sheffield in the UK are among many institutes partnering with Qpercom. Dr Thomas Kropmans, co-founder and acting director of Qpercom, and senior lecturer of Medical Educational Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “We don’t sell software, we sell expertise in Clinical Skills Assessment. Many young doctors worldwide and their trainers and examiners have jointly benefitted from this unique assessment tool.” Enda Griffin, psychologist and e-learning technician at NUI Galway, said: “Before Qpercom was setup we found 30% of errors occurred in the paper based versions of these observational exams. Exam and Quality Assurance procedures of doctor’s practical examinations worldwide have improved so much over the past few years because we can now provide real-time insight and feedback on the exam results.” The unique combination of having a spin out company associated with medical and health science institutions affords it the opportunity to perform research in clinical skills assessment. Recently PhD student Winny Setyonugroho graduated on the ‘Assessment of Communications Skills’ by introducing a gold standard for streamlining the 17 different domains of clinical communication skills. Currently, PhD student Markus Fischer is performing a study on ‘situational awareness’ of undergraduate medical students. It asks; Are students prepared for their postgraduate professional lives on the ward? Are they aware of all the facts they need to take into account to make a profound medical decision? “When we formed the company seven years ago, we could never have envisaged the impact our software solution would have for the 25 universities and professional bodies we work with now. Since then we have co-published various scientific papers with some of our clients”, said co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Qpercom, David Cunningham. For further information about Qpercom, visit: www.qpercom.ie   ENDS

Thursday, 2 June 2016

A team of students from NUI Galway were recently awarded the runner-up prize at the prestigious 2016 Enactus Ireland National Competition for Social Entrepreneurship. Enactus is an international, not-for-profit organisation which provides a platform for third-level students to create community development projects, while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders of the future. The national competition is an annual event where students come together to present their projects to show how they are transforming lives through entrepreneurial action. NUI Galway was one of the founding university teams of Enactus Ireland and this year marks its fifth year of involvement. Teams from Ireland’s seven universities and Dublin Institute of Technology, Cork Institute of Technology and Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art Design and Technology gathered in Dublin to compete to represent Ireland at the Enactus World Cup, which will be held this year in September in Toronto, Canada.  Michael Campion, Faculty Advisor to the NUI Galway team, said: “It’s been a privilege to support the Enactus team this year as they worked on a set of projects which have made a significant impact in helping some members of the community.  From working with young people with mental health issues to creating opportunities for people in homeless circumstances, the students channeled their creativity and passion to develop excellent, sustainable projects that have had a very positive impact for the participants. To make it all happen, they partnered with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Galway Simon Community, COPE Galway, the HSE, Ability West and Croí.” Achieving the runner-up prize in the competition is a great recognition of all the hard work that the students have put in over the past year, something that is not easy while balancing with their academic studies. They are a credit to themselves, their families and to NUI Galway.” -Ends-

Thursday, 2 June 2016

The Lectures in the Library series will return on Wednesday, 15 June for one-off special lecture with Pádraig Ó Snodaigh. The lecture, entitled ‘Recollection and recording: A historian’s encounters with the makers of history’, is part of the programme of commemoration organised by NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies to mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising. Ó Snodaigh’s history of the Irish Volunteers has been a primary source for historians of the Irish revolution. His talk will take listeners backstage to eavesdrop on conversations between the professional historian and those who participated in the momentous events of 1916 and the subsequent war of independence. Those who provided eye witness accounts of those events for the young historian included Éamon de Valera, Bulmer Hobson, Frank Fahy, Alfie Monaghan, and Alf Cotton. The lecture will begin at 6.30pm at Galway City Library in Augustine Street.  -Ends-

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Fellowships in Medical Device Research and Development: A CÚRAM Industry-Academia Training Initiative CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices, based at NUI Galway, has been ranked first in Europe and awarded €2.1 million for its application to develop a new industry-academia fellowship programme called ‘MedTrain’ over the next four and a half years. The submission was ranked number 1 out of 72 applications submitted from across Europe to the Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions Scheme under the Horizon 2020 funding programme. The MedTrain programme will offer 31 prestigious two-year postdoctoral fellowships over the next four and a half years to experienced researchers in the area of Medical Device Research and Development, including Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Biomaterials and Drug Delivery, Glyco and Protein Engineering, and Neuromodulation and Computational Modelling. According to Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM at NUI Galway, “The MedTrain programme will provide a chance for researchers to enhance their creative, entrepreneurial, and innovative potential. For anyone wishing to diversify their skill set, through advanced training, international, and inter-sectoral mobility, in the area of Medical Device Research and Development, this will be a really valuable opportunity.” Professor Pandit added, “CÚRAM has had some excellent successes since its establishment, only a year and a half ago, in terms of securing EU funding for cutting edge research projects and we are particularly proud of achieving the top ranking in this funding round. At CÚRAM we work closely with academics, industry and clinicians and this programme will only further enhance those networks across Europe and internationally which are critical for driving medical device research and development.” The MedTrain programme is based on individual-driven mobility, meaning that fellows will have the freedom to choose their research topic (provided that it falls within the remit of CÚRAM), their MedTrain supervisor, and their secondment organisation, which must be relevant to their research and career development. MedTrain will provide an attractive and supportive working environment for the awarded fellows, in which they will have access to state-of-the-art infrastructure and teams of multi-disciplinary experts in the broad area of Medical Device Research and Development. It will deliver high quality tailor-made training for fellows that will equip them with skills and experience required to meet their career goals as well as facilitating their engagement with industry through non-academic secondment partnerships. All fellows will be hosted in a CÚRAM academic host organisation (NUI Galway Galway, University College Cork, University College Dublin, or the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland) and fellowships will include secondments to a suitable research performing industry in organisations around the world. ENDS

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at the School of Law, NUI Galway is accepting delegates for its 2016 summer school on the International Criminal Court (ICC), which will be held from 27 June to 1 July 2016 at NUI Galway. The ICC Summer School is widely acknowledged to be the premier programme of its kind, attracting participants from around the world. During five days of intensive lectures delivered by leading specialists in the field, delegates are provided with a detailed working knowledge of the establishment of the Court, its applicable law, its structures and its operations. Lectures also speak to related issues in international criminal law, including: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, the crime of aggression, jurisdiction, fair trial rights, and the rules of procedure and evidence. This year’s ICC Summer School will include a special session on victims at the International Criminal Court. Dr Shane Darcy of NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights said: “The International Criminal Court is the world’s first permanent court for the prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Despite some setbacks and obstacles, the Court is now fully functional and holding trials, and it provides an avenue for those seeking justice and accountability for serious human rights abuses.” During the ICC summer school, expert presentations will be delivered by: Professor William Schabas, Dr Nadia Bernaz and Professor Donald M. Ferencz, Middlesex University; Professor Anne-Marie de Brouwer, Tilburg University; Dr Fabricio Guariglia and Dr Rod Rastan, Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court; Professor Megan A. Fairlie, Florida International University; Orchlon Narantsetseg, Office of the Public Counsel for Victims, International Criminal Court; Professor Ray Murphy and Dr Shane Darcy, Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway; Dr Mohamed M. El Zeidy, International Criminal Court; Fiona McKay, former head of Victims Participation and Reparations Section of the International Criminal Court; Dr Kwadwo Appiagyei Atua, University of Ghana and University of Lincoln; and Dr Noelle Higgins, Maynooth University. The registration fee is €450, which includes all course materials, lunches and refreshments, a social activity, a closing dinner and a complimentary copy of Professor William A. Schabas, Introduction to the International Criminal Court. The closing date for registrations is 10 June 2016. To register, or for more information visit http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=464, or email iccsummerschool@gmail.com. -Ends-

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

NUI Galway will host ‘ISCA India Meeting 2016’ in June as part of a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) programme to build education and research and development links between India and Ireland. The Ambassador of India to Ireland, Smt. Radhika Lal Lokesh will provide a welcome address. The meeting will showcase Indian science and research and bring together researchers from both countries to explore the possibilities of collaboration and opportunities to obtain joint funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme. The programme supports new and existing scientific, educational and industrial collaborations between the two countries across six thematic areas: Nanotechnology and Material Science; Energy, Environment and Engineering; Bioscience, Biomedicine and Biotechnology; Computer Science & Digital Humanities; Policy Research and “Research Dissemination and Showcasing. The ISCA India consortium serves as a portal for any Indian academic or industrial group interested in expanding their activities to Ireland, and provides a coordinated national approach to promote Ireland´s scientific and technological reputation in India. The programme aims to develop research and educational links between the two countries in all areas of mutual interest that lie within the remit of SFI, and to provide opportunities for the exchange of ideas and the development of joint innovative proposals. The consortium aims to communicate the unique opportunities and attractions of Ireland for education, research and technology. It will also provide assistance to Indian scientific and industrial representatives interested in forming links with Ireland. International speakers who have established themselves as leaders in key areas of research will speak at the event along with eight academic speakers from NUI Galway and other Irish Institutions who are interested in such collaborations. Topics to be discussed include Devices and Technology; Cancer and Cell Death; and Stem Cells and Diseases. Trinity College Dublin leads the consortium of Irish institutions including NUI Galway, CIT, DCU, DIT, UCC and WIT. Members of the Indian consortium include the Indian Institute of Science Bangalore, International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, National Centre for Biological Science and National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences. For further information about Science Foundation Ireland’s ISCA India consortium visit: http://www.sfi.ie/international/isca/india.html  To learn more about Research Ireland India visit www.rii.ie  ENDS

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

This year NUI Galway’s Rover Society launched a new initiative to gather goods, including old clothes or blankets and unopened food stuff, left behind by students which will be donated to the homeless charity COPE. The NUI Galway Rover Society is the Scout society in NUI Galway who aims to promote the outdoors in the University but is also working towards better community outreach. Cathal Breathnach, Auditor of the Rover Society at NUI Galway, said: “Last September, the society collected over 1,100 sleeping bags from the aftermath of Electric Picnic which were donated to COPE Galway. Following this, we met with COPE to see we could help the ongoing homeless situation in the city. COPE was in need of everyday items, such as clothes, blankets, duvets, footwear, unused food, books, DVDs or art materials, and we realised these are items typically used by students during the year that they wouldn’t always bring home.” “The Society ran a small ‘drive by’ collection before Christmas and realised the potential of running a large scale collection after the summer exams, when most students would be leaving the city. After speaking with some of the University management, we realised that similar schemes are run in United States and we then in turn looked to representatives across the Atlantic for advice,” continued Cathal. The scheme that was developed, modelled off what they learned from talking to those in the USA, involved leaving a number of drop-off boxes in convenient locations around the University and in the different student accommodation complexes. Held over a three week period, students and staff were been able to drop off any unwanted items they had at home. The Rover Society have collected countless boxes and bags non-stop over the past few weeks, and almost ten van loads of items have been transferred to date over to COPE. It is hoped that the majority of these items will be usable directly by COPE themselves and others items can be sold on to put more funds into the work the charity does for the homeless. The Society are hoping that a similar scheme could be implemented in other universities across the country to try and reduce waste and pass such items to those who need them. For more information on the work carried out by the Rover Society or to donate unwanted items visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NUIGRoverSoc/. -Ends-

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Over 1,000 delegates from 50 countries are expected to attend the first joint congress of COTEC (Council of Occupational Therapists for European Countries) and ENOTHE (European Network of Occupational Therapy in Higher Education) at NUI Galway from 15-19 June. This is the first time that clinical therapists, researchers and educators have come together to debate issues of mutual interest. Chaired by Professor Agnes Shiel from the Discipline of Occupational Therapy at NUI Galway, this conference will provide Occupational Therapists from Europe and across the world, who work in clinical practice, management, education and research, with a unique opportunity to meet, network and develop collaborations with colleagues across Europe and beyond. The COTEC-ENOTHE Conference will explore a variety of issues in Occupational Therapy relating to the different fields of clinical practice, education, research and policy with a focus on contemporary issues in all aspects of Occupational Therapy. The conference will feature keynote addresses, oral and poster presentations, symposium, workshops and marketplaces. Professor Agnes Shiel said: “We are delighted and honoured to be hosting such a large and prestigious event at NUI Galway. The variety of different Occupational Therapy educators and professionals who will be presenting will make for a wide-ranging, diverse, and stimulating programme. To welcome so many delegates, from all corners of the globe, is a fantastic demonstration of how Galway and the West of Ireland is such an attractive location for conferences of this nature.” Speakers will include: Professor Marion Walker MBE, Professor of Stroke Rehabilitation, University of Nottingham; Professor Corey Keyes, Distinguished Research Professor, Emory University, Georgia; Professor Jan de Maeseneer, President of the European Forum for Primary Care, Chair of the EU Health Expert panel - Ghent University, Belgium; Professor Salvador Simó I Algado, Universitat de Vic – Universitat Central de Catalunya; and Professor Mary Law, McMaster University, Canada. For more information or to view the conference programme, please visit www.cotec-enothe2016.com. For the latest updates follow the COTEC-ENOTHE Conference on Twitter: @COTEC_ENOTHE. -Ends-

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

NUI Galway’s School of Humanities has announced details of a new scholarship scheme for postgraduate students. In total, 20 new scholarships will be awarded at €1,500 per student and awarded to all students undertaking a full-time Taught Masters in Humanities programme. The new initiative is open to postgraduate students, applying for one of the eleven full-time Taught Masters programmes in the areas of Drama, Film Studies, English, History, Irish Studies, Medieval Studies and Old Irish due to commence in autumn 2016. Scholarships will be awarded on a competitive basis to students accepted on a fulltime taught masters and who fulfil the criteria as outlined by the University. A wide range of programmes are covered by these scholarships which will appeal to diverse interests. Some programmes are aimed at preparing students for professional-level work in the theatre and creative industries or providing them with in-depth training in the art of writing for film or theatre. Other programmes concentrate on cultural and social development in modern Ireland, on European culture in the Middle Ages, on early Irish language and literature, on English Literature and on modern History Announcing these new Scholarships, Professor Felix Ó Murchadha, Head of NUI Galway’s School of Humanities, said: “Employment chances increase greatly by ‘topping up’ a primary degree with an MA, and I expect these scholarships would attract excellent applicants to a range of excellent and exciting programmes.” Postgraduate students make up a significant part of the student population at NUI Galway, with almost 4,000 students across all schools and disciplines. For more information on the new scholarships, or on the postgraduate programmes covered by these scholarships, visit www.nuigalway.ie/scholarships-humanities. The closing date for applications is Friday, 5 August, 2016. More details are available at 091 495689 or email humanitiesscholarships@nuigalway.ie. -Ends- 

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

NUI Galway’s French Society has celebrated a successful year by taking home a number of national awards. Eoghan Finn and Shannon Grimes, both first-year Bachelor of Arts students who follow the Fraincis trí Ghaeilge (French through Irish) language option, were recently presented with the trophy for their victory in the National Final of the 2016 University Debating Competition in French (Joutes Oratoires). This competition is organised by the French Embassy in Ireland and is open to all Irish third-level institutions, with NUI Galway’s team beating six other teams including Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin and IT Blanchardstown. The French Society were also presented with the ‘Most Improved Society’, ‘Best Poster’ for their original play Voilà Olivia, and ‘Best Fresher’ at the University’s Societies Awards. Ciarán MacChoncarraige, a Fraincis trí Ghaeilge student, was presented with the ‘Best Fresher’ Award at the Board of Irish College Societies (BICS) National Society Awards, beating all other Freshers in Ireland. Congratulating the French Society on their successful year, Professor Philip Dine, Head of French at NUI Galway, said: “These awards are a great credit to all involved in the French Society, and a fitting reflection of its members’ dynamism and enthusiasm in organising a wonderful range of French and Francophone activities over the year.”  -Ends-

Friday, 27 May 2016

Five young researchers from CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices, based at NUI Galway were honoured for their work, receiving four Merit awards and a Trainee Award at the 10th World Biomaterials Congress in Montreal, Canada last week. Students recognised at the congress included Paolo Contessotto who received the WBC 2016 Université Laval Trainee Award for his poster titled ‘Design of a protease and ROS responsive biomaterial approach to target drug delivery in inflamed tissue microenvironment’, and Marc A Fernandez-Yagüe, Diana Gaspar, Dilip Thomas and Catalina Vallejo Giraldo who all received WBC 2016 Merit awards for research in biomaterials used in tendon regeneration, the formation of microvascular networks and coating of neuroelectrodes. Dr Aitor Larranaga, postdoctoral researcher with CÚRAM, was also represented in the Biomaterials Journal section. CÚRAM also received the ‘Best Image in Biomaterials’ award at the Congress for an image used in a paper published in Biomaterials, one of the top academic journals in the field with an Impact Factor of 8.557. The Impact Factor of a journal is a measure reflecting the yearly average number of citations to recent articles published in that journal. The image was selected for the Biomaterials 2015 Top Images poster which will be featured on the journal homepage where all the manuscripts with the winning images will be highlighted. Congratulating all of the researchers involved, Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM and member of the WBC International Advisory Committee said: “The event is an incredibly important opportunity for all of us working in the field. Everyone attending the event is working on clinical problems with the common goal of finding solutions and providing benefit to patients worldwide. It’s a tremendous opportunity for students and researchers as well as industry and regulatory bodies to come together and connect with colleagues and experts from all over the world. I’d like to congratulate each of our researchers on their success.” The World Biomaterials Congress is the largest gathering of Biomaterial Researchers charting the future of the field. With over 1,200 oral presentations, 2,400 poster presentations and 3,500 abstracts submitted by over 60 countries WBC2016 was one of the largest World Biomaterials Congress to-date. CÚRAM is a Science Foundation Ireland centre for research in medical devices, bringing together experts from Ireland’s leading universities and research institutes. Academic partners, led by NUI Galway, include University College Dublin, University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin, University of Limerick, The Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland and Molecular Medicine Ireland. Over 200 renowned experts in biomaterials, drug delivery, cell therapy, glycoscience and device design are working on blue sky research and industry projects associated with CÚRAM, which aims to radically improve the quality of life for patients with chronic illness by developing the next generation of smart, implantable medical devices. ENDS

Thursday, 26 May 2016

NUI Galway Business and Innovation Centre support a Galway family’s global mission to make their language learning solution accessible for children with autism Enda and Valerie Dodd’s innovative software solution ‘ALL’, named after their company, Animated Language Learning, is driven by the belief that they can change the world. As clients of the NUI Galway Business Innovation Centre, they are determined to create a state of the art, visually rich language learning program that has already lifted their twin sons’ from the isolation of autism, and make it accessible to every family in need. Enda and Valerie Dodd originally moved to California in 2003 to find a solution to their sons’ condition. They actively started developing the software on a full time basis in 2009 in San Francisco and established Animated Language Learning Inc. The company relocated to Ireland in 2015 to NUI Galway’s Business and Innovation Centre. Speaking about the solution, Valerie Dodd said: “There was utter confusion surrounding the diagnosis of our sons’ when it became evident that they were not talking and were diagnosed as highly autistic. Autism spectrum disorder, pervasive development disorder, deafness, language disorder, sensory integration disorder and global dyspraxia were among many terms being used, and we had little understanding of their meaning. We struggled to comprehend these diagnoses and what was truly going on with our sons’. Equally we had to make sense of what therapies were available to help our children succeed with communication. This was our challenge.” It was this quest that ultimately brought the family to San Francisco, and the collaboration with Disney, Pixar and Adobe e-learning teams. Having given up their jobs, Valerie and Enda focused on creating a solution for the autism that disrupted their sons’ language. In that time the family assembled a team of world-leading specialists and schools who together with the help of Disney led their twin boys out of the isolation of their condition. Today the boys are emerging out of their deficits, enjoying school, sports, relationships and looking forward to a bright new world. Fiona Neary, NUI Galway business development manager at the Business Innovation Centre said: “Having recently moved back from the US the Dodd family are now surrounding themselves with a solid support structure and network to scale this solution globally. We are delighted to have Enda, Valerie and their team based onsite and look forward to working with them in achieving their global mission.” Animated Language Learning has already created a learning technology which is currently being piloted with over 200 families around the world. Enda Dodd says: “Language disordered children are very complex and our work with families has been vital in developing our understanding of communication and delivering our sons’ success to families in need. Our aim is to enact social change for our families through language, creating a better future for all of us.” To read more about ALL visit: animatedlanguagelearning.com/ ENDS

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Over 60 students from schools across the country attended the recent SIMMED School at NUI Galway.  Now in its third year, SIMMED School is an innovative and unique programme for Transition Year students who are interested in exploring medicine as a career. Students were immersed in the world of medicine over the four days, giving them a flavour of what life will be like as a doctor in a major teaching hospital. Throughout the programme, students were part of a simulated medical team and got to carry out medical and surgical skills in the centre for simulation in Galway University Hospital, SIMWEST. They heard the experiences of current students starting their journey in the School of Medicine and those of fully qualified doctors. They also met different professionals employed in a wide range of roles throughout the hospital, learned about common medical problems and discovered interesting facts about plastic surgery, orthopaedics, HIV, oncology, diabetes, asthma and many more topics. The focus of SIMMED School is to give students a genuine insight into hospital medicine and in teaching them to develop psychomotor skills. The students are also challenged to work as a team to solve medical and surgical clinical cases. At NUI Galway, the School of Medicine recognises the importance of a good introduction to the medical world for Transition Year students who might otherwise not have access to accurate information to help them to make career choices. Professor Sean Dinneen, Head of NUI Galway’s School of Medicine, said: “SIMMED is an innovative and unique programme at NUI Galway and Galway University Hospital that is a genuine opportunity for students to get hands on experience of what it is like to be a junior doctor. It is enormously popular and enjoyable as well as challenging and real eye-opening!" Speaking of her SIMMED experience, Imy Lundon of Presentation College, Athenry, Co. Galway, said: “I really liked the variety and the practical aspects of the course. For me the Obstetrics and Gynaecology and the heart surgery segments were the most interesting.” Cormac Nugent from Summerhill College in Sligo said: “I liked the simulations and hands-on parts of the course where we got to try things out for ourselves.” -Ends-

Thursday, 26 May 2016

The inaugural conference on ‘Living With Dementia in Rural Ireland’ will take place on Monday, 30 May from 10am-4pm at the Institute for Lifecourse and Society, NUI Galway. This conference seeks to explore rural isolation impacts on those living with dementia in rural Ireland and examine strategies and approaches in dealing with this. The conference will discuss the nature of living with dementia today; create opportunities for sharing of learning; profile models of good practice; highlight the need for joined up responses, both in policy making, planning and implementation.  Conference Organiser and NUI Galway graduate, Carmel Geoghegan said: “The conference is an opportunity for the communities in the West of Ireland to interact with experts in the field that are passionate about what they do and want to make a real difference.” Speakers include: Helen Rochford Brennan, Chair of the National Dementia Working Group; Dr Tony Foley, Department of General Practice, UCC; and Professor Sabina Brennan, Trinity College Dublin. The conference will also hear personal accounts from family members, carers and healthcare professionals working with people with dementia. To register please go to www.eventbrite.ie. Admission is free and members of the general public with an interest in ageing well are invited to attend. For further information please contact Carmel Geoghegan 086 361 2907. -Ends-

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

The inaugural Irish Garden Party and Great ILAS Bake-Off will take place on Wednesday, 1 June from 12-4pm in the main foyer of the Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS) Building in Corrib Village. This local charity event, campus in aid of ACT for Meningitis and the Galway branch of The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, is hosted by ILAS in conjunction with SAOL Café. Bakers are encouraged to bring along cakes, scones and tarts to enter the bake-off competition and take home a prize or simply donate cakes to the bake sale. There will be local food and crafts from Galway producers in the Farmer’s Market on offer and live entertainment. There will also be a series of raffle prizes to be won on the day. Dr Patricia Carney, a researcher in ILAS and one of the organisers, said: “The event promises to be a fun day that brings the community together, old, young and everyone in between, with something for all, while supporting two fantastic charities. It’s also a great opportunity for all our star bakers out there to showcase their talents and get involved!” Local transport can be arranged if required. Please contact SAOL Café on 091 493055 for more details. Parking on university grounds requires a permit so please email irishgardenparty@gmail.com or SAOL Café to obtain a parking permit for use on the day.   The Irish Garden Party and Great ILAS Bake Off is a non- profit event with all raffle and bake-sale proceeds being donated to ACT for Meningitis and the Galway branch of The Alzheimer Society of Ireland.  -Ends-

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

NUI Galway Academic is co-author of global study which finds salt is essential to a person’s health and reduction matters most in people with high blood pressure who consume high salt diets A large worldwide study involving 49 countries has found that, contrary to popular thought, low-salt diets may not be beneficial and may actually increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and death (compared to average salt consumption). The results from the study were published in The Lancet. The study, involving more than 130,000 people from 49 countries, was led by investigators of the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences. Professor Martin O’Donnell, a co-author on the study and an associate professor at NUI Galway, said: “This study adds to our understanding of the relationship between salt intake and health, and questions the appropriateness of current guidelines that recommend low sodium intake in the entire population. Our findings highlight the need for a definitive clinical trial that determines the safety and effectiveness of sustained low sodium intake on incidence of heart attacks and stroke.  Until definitive trials are completed, an approach that recommends salt in moderation, particularly focused on those with hypertension, appears more in-line with current evidence.” The researchers looked specifically at whether the relationship between sodium (salt) intake and death, heart disease and stroke is different in people with high blood pressure compared to those with normal blood pressure. The results showed that regardless of whether people have high blood pressure, low-sodium intake is related to more heart attacks, strokes, and deaths compared to average intake. “These are extremely important findings for those who are suffering from high blood pressure. While our data highlights the importance of reducing high salt intake in people with hypertension, it does not support reducing salt intake to low levels. Our findings are important because they show that lowering sodium is best targeted at those with hypertension who also consume high sodium diets,” said Dr Andrew Mente, lead author of the study, a principal investigator of PHRI and an associate professor of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics at McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. Current intake of sodium in Canada is typically between 3.5 and 4 grams per day and some guidelines have recommended that the entire population lower its sodium intake to below 2.3 grams per day, a level that fewer than five per cent of Canadians and people around the world consume. Previous studies have shown that low-sodium, compared to average sodium intake, is related to increased cardiovascular risk and mortality, even though low sodium intake is associated with lower blood pressure. This new study shows that the risks associated with low-sodium intake – less than three grams per day was consistent regardless of a patient’s hypertension status. The findings show that while there is a limit below which sodium intake may be unsafe, the harm associated with high sodium consumption appears to be confined to those with hypertension. Only about 10 per cent of the population in the study had both hypertension and high sodium consumption (greater than 6 grams per day). Dr Mente said that this indicates that the majority of individuals in Canada and most countries are consuming the right amount of salt and suggests that targeted salt reduction in those who are most susceptible (those with hypertension and high salt consumption) may be preferable to a population-wide approach to reducing sodium intake in most countries except those where the average sodium intake is very high, such as parts of central Asia or China. He added that what is now generally recommended as a healthy daily ceiling for sodium consumption appears to be set too low, regardless of a person’s blood pressure level. Dr Mente continued: “Low sodium intake does reduce blood pressure modestly, compared to moderate (or average) intake, but low sodium intake also has other effects, including adverse elevations of certain hormones associated with an increase in risk of death and cardiovascular diseases. The key question is whether these competing physiologic effects result in net clinical benefit or not.” The study was funded from more than 50 sources, including the PHRI, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. -Ends-

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Registration is now open for The Mary Robinson Centre International Symposium 2016, organised in partnership with NUI Galway’s Centre for Global Women’s Studies. The Symposium will take place in Ballina, Co. Mayo, on 1-2 July. Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, who currently serves as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, explains: “The Mary Robinson Centre International Symposium 2016 will bring together in Ballina an outstanding group of sustainable development champions from Ireland and around the world. It will begin a very important international conversation that puts human rights, peace, tackling inequalities, and promoting women’s leadership at the heart of our collective efforts to implement the new UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.” In addition to Mary Robinson, keynote speakers and panellists will include: Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of UN Economic and Social Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) Dr Paul Gillespie, Irish Times columnist and former Foreign Policy Editor Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, Gender Envoy for the African Development Bank Heather Grady, Vice-President, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, San Francisco, USA Peter Power, Executive Director, UNICEF Ireland, former Minister of State for Overseas Development Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director, Amnesty International Ireland Mouna Ghanem, Member of Women’s Advisory Board to UN Envoy on Syria Jacqueline Pitanguy, Founder and Executive Director of CEPIA (a human and civil rights NGO), Brazil Monica McWilliams, Co-founder of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition political party Ray Murphy, Acting Director of NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights. Niamh Reilly, Co-director of the Centre for Global Women’s Studies at NUI Galway and Academic Advisor to The Mary Robinson Centre, said: “This exciting Symposium opens up global policy discussion and academic research to local communities – for anyone who is interested in issues of development, peace, human rights and equality, it is fantastic opportunity to participate in an agenda-setting discussion.” A reduced registration fee of €75 is available until Tuesday, 31 May, which includes the conference buffet dinner. A full registration fee of €95 applies after this date. A special concession rate of €30 is available to postgraduate students and others subject to eligibility. To register visit www.conference.ie. -Ends-