Monday, 30 May 2011

The Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research at NUI Galway is hosting its annual Research Open Day on Thursday, 9 June, from 2pm to 5.30pm. Short talks will address subjects of national and global importance such as the economics of marine energy and novel treatments of greenhouse gases. A meet and greet session and poster display highlighting ongoing research by some of the Institute’s 300+ researchers in areas such as Energy, Biodiversity, and Human Health will also take place. The free event is aimed at the general public and all are encouraged to attend. According to the Ryan Institute’s Director, Dr Colin Brown, “When NUI Galway’s Environmental Change and Martin Ryan Institutes merged in 2010 to form the Ryan Institute, it provided us with a great opportunity to further broaden the scope of our projects, and consider all aspects of our research from new angles.” He added, “Our Research Open Day provides us with the opportunity of sharing our work with the local community, and getting thoughts and insights from the people our research benefits.” According to Dr Martina Prendergast, Strategic Development Manager of the Ryan Institute, “This Open Day should appeal to anyone who has an interest in how the world around us is being so severely affected by environmental and climate change. Everyone is welcome to attend. We invite all members of the public to come and join us on the day to find out what is going on in our local University that is leading to the development of new solutions to curb the damage caused by global environmental change. Anyone involved in eco-related business should not miss out on this event.” In one project that will be highlighted on the Research Day, Civil Engineers at the Ryan Institute are collaborating with the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and the National Roads Authority (NRA) to develop guidelines for a National Cycling Network (NCN) across Ireland. Postgraduate student Richard Manton is using the N59 Galway to Clifden route as a case study, and examining engineering, design, route considerations and cost benefit analyses. Principal Investigator Dr Eoghan Clifford tells us, “Ireland’s scenery is world renowned. The NCN presents an ideal opportunity to exploit our natural advantage in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way. With the network in place, jobs can be created in the construction and maintenance of the cycle ways and local tourism will also benefit.” The Ryan Institute Research Open Day will be held on 9 June, from 2pm, with registration beginning at 1pm in the Orbsen Building at NUI Galway. The Research Day is free and open to all and pre-registration is not necessary. To RSVP or for more information visit www.ryaninstitute.ie or contact Dr Sarah Knight, Outreach Officer on 091 495061 or sarah.knight@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

New research initiated jointly by NUI Galway and the University of Helsinki reveals the true rate of greenhouse gas induced global warming has been masked by atmospheric aerosols (otherwise known as Particulate Matter), through their formation of reflective haze and cloud layers leading to an aerosol cooling effect.   The new investigations show that the present-day aerosol cooling effect will be strongly reduced by 2030 as more stringent air pollution abatements are implemented both worldwide and at the European scale and as advanced environmental technologies are utilised. These actions are projected to increase the global temperature by 1°C and temperatures over Europe by up to 2-4°C depending on the severity of the action. This is one of the main research outcomes of the recently concluded EUCAARI (European Integrated project on Aerosol Cloud Climate and Air Quality Interaction) project funded by the European Commission.   The EUCAARI project, originally initiated by Professor Colin O’Dowd at NUI Galway’s Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies, who resided on the project’s management team, and led by Professor Markku Kulmala of the University of Helsinki, has provided new understanding of the impacts of aerosols and trace gases on clouds and climate.   According to Professor O’Dowd:“The quantification of the effect of aerosols on the radiative balance (cooling or heating) of the planet has been one of the most urgent tasks to underpin more informed projections of future climate change. Now that we have this data we need to reinforce European political decision-making to develop new strategies and implementation plans for global air quality monitoring and to take Europe a leading role in developing and applying environmental technologies.  Furthermore, it is urgent that higher-resolution EU-scale projections are conducted using a new generation of regional models nested within the global models.”   EUCAARI has been the most extensive atmospheric aerosol research project in Europe so far. The total budget of the project was €15 million, of which €10 million was provided by the European Commission Framework Programme 6. In all, 48 research institutes from 24 countries participated in this project over the period 2007-2010. The project has led to significantly more information on the whole physics background related to aerosol formation and impacts at all scales; from nanoscale to global, and from milliseconds to centuries.   The project performed extensive studies from ground-based, aircraft and satellite platforms, not only in Europe, but also in China, South-Africa, Brazil and India (i.e. significant developing countries). These studies have improved the theoretical understanding of the aerosol life-cycle, enabling scientists to make major improvements in climate and air pollution models and present new air pollution scenarios over Europe.   Professor O’Dowd added: “The positive impacts of aerosols are partially off-setting global warming while the negative effects impact on public health. Abatement of the negative health impact is complicated due to the diversity of sources, even within Europe.”    EUCAARI found that the reduction in ammonia emissions is one of the most effective ways to reduce aerosol mass concentrations in Europe. Reduction in nitric oxides is also effective, but might lead to higher ozone levels, thereby leading to another negative impact on air quality. Reduction in sulphur dioxide emissions will reduce particulate air pollution especially in the Eastern Mediterranean area.   Reduction of organic aerosol concentrations is a lot more challenging and will require reductions of gas and aerosol emissions from transportation and biomass burning. Furthermore, it is now shown that a large fraction of organic aerosols in Europe is of modern origin (as opposed to fossil fuel origins), for which the main sources are biogenic secondary organic aerosol (boreal forests), biomass burning and primary biogenic aerosol particles.”   Professor O’Dowd concluded: “All these emission sources are expected to respond to climate change, although we are presently unable to gauge the strength of the multitude of feedback mechanisms involved.  The uncertainties in feedback highlight the need for improved Earth System Climate models to encapsulate feedback processes generally lacking in current projections.”   - ends – 

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The NUI Galway Alumni Club invites all graduates to the third annual cruise on the Corrib Princess on Thursday, 7 July. The Corrib Princess will depart from Woodquay at 7.00pm for a four hour cruise along Lough Corrib’s famous Steamers Line. A barbeque will be served on board and entertainment will be provided by Galway Bay FM’s Marc Roberts. “Catching up with old friends and fellow alumni on board the Corrib Princess is great way to spend a summer’s evening” says Emma Goode, Alumni Project Manager. “We encourage all graduates to come along, bring a friend and pass on the message to former classmates.” For further information and booking details please contact Colm O’Dwyer in the Alumni Office on 091 493750 or email alumni@nuigalway.ie.   -Ends- 

Friday, 24 June 2011

Four outstanding individuals were conferred with honorary degrees from NUI Galway today (Friday 24 June, 2011). Those conferred were Margaret Atwood, Seán O’Rourke, Professor Gio Wiederhold and Seán Campbell. Speaking at the conferring ceremony, NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne said: “NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history and those being honoured this year form a particularly distinguished group. Each has made an outstanding and distinctive contribution to the diverse fields of literature, youth affairs, journalism and computer science. NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals”. Margaret Atwood was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Literature (honoris causa). The Canadian author has published more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. Her newest novel, The Year of the Flood (2009) is, in the author’s words, “the meanwhile” or the “simultaneal” to her 2003 Giller Prize finalist, Oryx and Crake. Other books include the 2000 Booker Prize-winning, The Blind Assassin: Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada, The Robber Bride, Cat’s Eye, The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Tent. Margaret has a strong connection with the West of Ireland and has contributed poetry to a collection edited by Des Lally in 2008 entitled Captivating Brightness: Ballynahinch. Profits from the book were donated to Cancer Care West. Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson. Seán O’Rourke was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa). A native of Portlaoise, Seán completed a BA in English, History and Legal Science at NUI Galway, graduating in 1977. Seán was awarded the 2006 NUI Galway Alumni AIB Award for Literature, Communications and the Arts, and is the founding chairperson of the Alumni Association’s Dublin Club. He first joined RTÉ in 1982 as presenter/reporter in Radio News features. He was Political correspondent with the Irish Press between 1984 and 1989, when he returned to RTÉ as Programme Editor/Presenter, working on the News at One, Morning Ireland and This Week. Since 1995, Seán has been presenter of the News at One. In 2003, Seán began presenting The Week in Politics, a weekly review of political events on RTÉ One. He was Radio Journalist of the Year in 1997 and won PPI Awards for News Broadcaster of the year in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Professor Gio Wiederhold was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Science (honoris causa). Gio Wiederhold is a Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Medicine at Stanford University, still teaching part-time. Gio Wiederhold was born in Italy and received a degree in Aeronautical Engineering in Holland in 1957. In 1976 he obtained a PhD in Medical Information Science from the University of California at San Francisco and joined the Stanford faculty. Gio consulted with several computing enterprises in Europe and Asia. Professor Wiederhold is one of the pioneers in Computer Science who created the foundations for modern Web and information technology, which shaped society and the economy throughout the world. He is one of the founding fathers of Databases as a research field in Computer Science and has initiated Knowledge Base Research while at DARPA. During his career he has pioneered the combination of Database and Knowledge Bases. His research contributions are fundamental for the Semantic Web, which is the main research topic of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute, (DERI) one of NUI Galway’s flagship research institutes. Seán Campbell was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa). Seán Campbell is Chief Executive Officer of Foróige, Ireland’s leading youth organisation and has worked for the organisation for over 25 years. A native of Dundalk, Co. Louth, Seán is a graduate of UCD and holds a BA and a Higher Diploma in Education. He volunteered for two years in Zambia. During his time at Foróige, Seán has played a pivotal role in the continuous and rapid development of Foróige and the youth work sector. One of Seán’s most notable achievements is bringing the Big Brother Big Sister youth mentoring programme to Ireland. Seán was a driving force in the development of Foróige’s relationship with the Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway which, among other things, led to Foróige’s partner status in the UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement. Today’s graduands join the ranks of previous honorary conferees which include among many others Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Christy O’Connor Snr and Jnr, Enya, the late Merv Griffin, Anjelica Huston and Fionnuala Flanagan. -Ends-

Monday, 27 June 2011

Galway Arts Festival and NUI Galway this morning announced details of a new partnership. The University will support the 34th Galway Arts Festival through development of the Festival’s Volunteer Programme and Selected, a new artist development strand of the Festival for emerging artists and producers. Galway Arts Festival takes place from July 11-24 and features an international programme of artists from Africa, America, Asia, Australia and Europe with a strong focus on Irish work and home-grown productions. NUI Galway has provided a breeding ground for the development of artistic talent in successive generations of students. Flagship programmes in Theatre, Performance and Creative Writing at undergraduate level, together with Masters Programmes in Drama and Theatre Studies and Writings, have established NUI Galway’s reputation in the Creative Arts field. Now, through this partnership NUI Galway and Galway Arts Festival are coming together to form a partnership that supports the development of the Performance Arts of the region. The SELECTED strand will see five NUI Galway students and graduates join five other artists in this unique initiative which will allow them full access to every aspect of the Festival. This ’two-week academy’ will offer students the opportunity to see how a Festival of this magnitude is put together while also attending shows, post-show talks and getting a hands-on experience from performers and organisers. Commenting on the new partnership, NUI Galway President James J. Browne said, “NUI Galway is delighted to be involved with this well-established, international Festival. The Volunteering aspect of the partnership re-enforces our place at the forefront of pioneering models for civic engagement. The SELECTED strand will provide our Theatre and Performance students an excellent opportunity to develop their careers.” Festival CEO John Crumlish added, “NUI Galway have been at the forefront of developing volunteerism at 3rd level in Ireland through its Community Knowledge Initiative and the partnership with the longstanding Festival programme will introduce a new generation of volunteers to the Festival experience while also helping shape that experience for the future. Volunteerism plays a key role in Galway Arts Festival and has been hugely important in the success of the event and provides volunteers with the opportunity to engage with many aspects of staging a large Festival, from involvement with the Macnas Festival Parade, the Festival Big Top, and the Festival’s online television channel, GAFTV. These elements are very varied and provide hugely positive experiences for those who partake.” Both Paul Fahy and John Crumlish recalled their initial experience with the Festival as volunteers in the late 1980s and the Festival continues to play a leading advocacy role in the advancement of careers in the arts. 2011 is also the European Year of the Volunteer. Commenting on the Selected Programme, Galway Arts Festival’s Artistic Director Paul Fahy said, “Selected is a really exciting development for the Festival in partnership with NUI Galway. Selected will allow participants immerse themselves in all aspects of Galway Arts Festival and will benefit NUI Galway’s MA in Drama and Theatre Studies and BA Connect in Theatre and Performance in addition to a number of individual artists living and working in Galway. Selected will offer participants free access to key elements of the Festival Programme facilitated by a wide variety of international and Irish arts professionals.” Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator for NUI Galway’s volunteer programme, ALIVE says the new partnership will enhance the University’s excellent volunteering reputation, “The Arts Festival is an incredible volunteer opportunity for NUI Galway students who are seeking to give their energy and enthusiasm while gaining valuable experience and skills from engaging with the city’s creative, fun and vibrant community.” The James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway is home to the Galway Arts Festival Archive. The archive contains an excellent collection of materials from the Galway Arts Festivals since 1980. NUI Galway’s impressive archival collection was enhanced in the last year with the addition of two collections which will provide a rich source of research material. The archive of director, writer and actor John Huston’s papers and recordings and the Thomas Kilroy Archive. The James Hardiman Library is home to a range of other theatre, literary, historical and political archives. Collections include the archives of the Druid and Lyric Theatres and of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe; the literary papers of John McGahern; and original documents relating to the foundation of the Gaelic Athletic Association and the Northern Ireland ’Troubles’. Applicants interested in applying for the Volunteer Programme can contact Susan McKenna, Galway Arts Festival Volunteer Programme Manager volunteers@galwayartsfestival.com. -Ends-

Monday, 27 June 2011

SEEN, NUI Galway’s student enterprise support service, has launched a hot-desk facility for the summer of 2011. SEEN provides NUI Galway students who want to progress their business ideas the benefit of networking with like-minded students and on-campus support and resources.  The hot-desk facility is being managed by the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) and SEEN. SEEN is a student run network which encourages entrepreneurship among the student populace. Since January 2011, SEEN has worked with students to bring their business and social concepts and ideas to a commercial reality.  Paddy Melia from the SEEN team adds, “We are delighted at the possibilities of this new facility. This space will act as a springboard for students with ideas and demonstrates how NUI Galway is leading the way in developing a culture for ’studentpreneurs’ on campus.”  SEEN have also launched their website, www.seen.ie, which is a first point of contact for students. The site provides NUI Galway students with the latest news, opportunities, and connections as well as details on how to access the hot-desk facility.  The website and hot-desk facility demonstrate NUI Galway’s commitment to entrepreneurship and enterprising students on campus. With the announcement of this additional support available to students, Professor Chris Curtin, Vice-President for Innovation & Performance says, "We are preparing the students of NUI Galway to drive forward the society and economy of the future."

Thursday, 23 June 2011

NUI Galway today conferred over 200 students from across the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Engineering and Informatics, Business, Public Policy and Law, Science, and Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies. The largest cohort of students to graduate were 97 Honours Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and Bachelor of Obstetrics (MB, BCh, BAO) students. Also graduating were 54 PhD students from across all disciplines. International students were well represented at the ceremony, with the University welcoming graduates from, among other countries, Malaysia and Kuwait, who along with students from across Ireland will receive Diplomas, Degrees, Masters, and PhDs. Speaking at the ceremony, President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. 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 and we have doubled the number of PhD degrees awarded each year since the start of the decade.” President Browne added words of encouragement to graduates conferred at the ceremony: “Do not lose hope or courage in this current economic climate. You have what it takes to make a difference in our society. The opportunities you have to create your own environment and to shape your own futures are enormous.” The next conferring to take place at NUI Galway will be the conferring of Honorary Degrees tomorrow, Friday, 24 June. -Ends-

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

NUI Galway’s contribution to Galway’s Bike Week Festival was a huge success with many opting to cycle to work as part of the University’s Cycle to Campus Day. Galway s Bike Week Festival runs from 18 to 26, June 2011. This year, the week was launched in Galway with a mass cycle, a bike village and many other events around the city. As part of NUI Galway s contribution to the Festival, the Green Campus Committee organised a University-wide Cycle to Campus Day today (Wednesday, 22 June, 2011). The Cycle to Campus Day aims to encourage staff and students to cycle to campus and to reward those who do so regularly. All members of the NUI Galway community were welcome to participate - whether dedicated commuters or first-time cyclists. "The Cycle to Campus event is another sign of the growing popularity of bicycling in NUI Galway", says Pierre Ludwick of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI). Over half of all researchers in DERI regularly cycle to work, and Kevin O Sullivan, a Design Engineer with the Buildings Office at the University is working on a project to install additional secure and covered bike parking, to the direct benefit of this group. The University is boosting bicycling even further with a number of improvements, including the development of a Travel Plan and the provision of new bike parking spaces. Additional covered bicycle racks have been installed in several places around campus, as part of on-going improvements to cycle facilities. "We look forward to making it even easier and safer to ride a bike to work for all employees", says Greg Power, Planning and Projects Officer at NUI Galway. "Cycling has many benefits for staff and students - we now need to keep the momentum and culture change with more and better incentives to cycling ". The Cycle to Work Scheme has also been hugely popular on campus, and is open to all employees, with over 300 staff availing of the scheme since 2009. This scheme encourages more people to cycle to and from work, by gaining a tax saving on procuring a bicycle where it is used by the employee mainly for qualifying journeys. 

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The CAO s latest figures for third level applications show that NUI Galway’s popularity amongst Leaving Certificate students as their first choice for University continues to grow for the third consecutive year. The University has seen a further almost 10 per cent increase in the number of students selecting NUI Galway as their first choice institution through the change of mind and late application process. NUI Galway is now in the top two Universities for growth in first preference applications through both application processes. Over the past three years, first preference applications for undergraduate degrees at NUI Galway have increased significantly as the University’s popularity continues to soar. The most popular courses for students to date are Biomedical Science and as Galway is one of four global hubs for Biomedicine and has the largest concentration of Biomedical device companies in the country, career prospects for NUI Galway s Biomedical Science graduates are excellent. At present, NUI Galway is the only Irish University offering a denominated degree in Marine Science and it now has the highest concentration of marine scientists of any institution in Ireland. This degree also offers training on board national training vessels in the third year of study. This is a course that has excellent career prospects for graduates. The University s new BA CONNECT degrees, especially the Theatre and Performance, Creative Writing, Human Rights, Film Studies options, are hugely popular. Science and Engineering courses have also seen a jump in popularity this year with NUI Galway out performing the national trend in both, but especially in Engineering where the opening of a new Engineering Building in September is a big draw for CAO applicants. Medicine at NUI Galway is always very popular and an additional 18 places have being allocated this year. Director of Marketing & Communications at NUI Galway, Caroline Loughnane has this advice for students: “Always follow your interests. Consider an Arts degree that connects specialist learning with practical opportunities, like the new BA CONNECT courses with specialist learning in Film Studies, Human Rights, Creative Writing, Theatre & Performance, Children’s Studies, Latin American Studies, Global Women’s Studies, or Irish Studies. If you have an interest in Engineering, we are about to open the largest School of Engineering in the country, the building itself is a ’living laboratory’ and an architectural gem.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

NUI Galway’s new Engineering Building was the venue today for the official launch of the University’s Engineering Innovation (Electronic) degree. The four-year course will deliver graduates with business and innovation skills alongside traditional engineering capabilities. The programme was officially launched by Mike Conroy, General Manager of Cisco’s Global Product Research and Development in Galway. Cisco is a $40 billon global leader in internet, corporate and consumer information technologies. Speaking at the event, Mike Conroy said: “An innovation culture is imperative for building new start-ups and attracting FDI inward investment into Ireland. Innovation is driven by the intersection of talented engineers and visibility to key business problems and opportunities. Cross-disciplinary education in technology and innovation, like in this NUI Galway programme, is a great example of this as innovation needs to be at the heart of everything we do at all levels of education. I expect all graduates from this programme to have excellent prospects.” The multi-disciplinary Engineering Innovation (Electronic) degree came on stream at NUI Galway in 2009, and its students are being educated and trained in core Electronic Engineering areas in parallel with modules in Business & Finance, and Design & Innovation. Graduates from this new programme may choose to go the entrepreneurial route and set up their own innovative electronic businesses, or to leverage their business skills in an existing engineering SME or multinational company. Electronic engineering solutions are integral to a wide range of devices including laptops and internet tablets, media players and mobiles, pacemakers and life-support systems, automotive electronics and environment monitoring solutions. The NUI Galway programme will ensure that in designing new electronic systems and devices for worldwide markets, engineers will be equipped to consider both the technical and financial considerations associated with successful product design. NUI Galway’s Dr John Breslin, course director said, “Industry feedback has told us that a multi-disciplinary approach to engineering education can provide a massive boost to job prospects. The Higher Education Authority also says that there is a need for greater emphasis on critical thinking, capacity for analysis and entrepreneurial perspectives in Irish engineering courses.” He added: “The figures regarding employment in the technology sector are very encouraging for current and future students. 5000 jobs have been created in this sector since 2010, according to the Director General of Engineers Ireland, and the Director of ICT Ireland recently stated that there are about 3500 open jobs within the information and communications technology sector at present.” For admission to the BE in Engineering Innovation (Electronic), applicants must satisfy the Matriculation requirements of NUI Galway in six subjects including Irish, English, Mathematics and a Laboratory Science subject. The minimum requirements are the same as for the other Engineering Degree programmes at NUI Galway and include at least a C3 in Higher Level Mathematics, or a pass in the NUI Galway Special Entrance Examination in Mathematics. There is also the option of a fifth year of study to achieve a Masters qualification. An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny will officially open NUI Galway’s state-of-the-art Engineering Building in July. -Ends-

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) at NUI Galway has announced the launch of its Industry Day at the forthcoming 24th European Conference on Biomaterials. Hosted by NFB, the Conference is the annual meeting of the European Society for Biomaterials (ESB) and is taking place in the Dublin Convention Centre from 4 to 9 September, 2011. The ESB is a non-profit organisation whose key objective is to encourage, foster, promote and develop research and provide information concerning the science of biomaterials in Europe. Industry Day, 5 September, 2011 will focus on Translating Biomaterials and Combination Products. The event is specifically designed to bring together the leading organisations in the medical device sector, multi-national corporations, small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurial academics who will share their experiences in taking innovative biomaterials concepts to both the clinic and to market. Presentations on the day will see opinions offered from experts in the field of biomaterials and will examine the current market and the regulatory and funding opportunities and issues facing new biomaterial and combination products. Industry Day speakers will focus on the benefits and limitations of combining biomaterials with active components for applications in the medical technology sector. The day will also see perspectives given from key industry players, academics, those involved in regulatory affairs, and venture capital stakeholders, amongst others. Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of the NFB and Chair of the event, commented, “Industry Day at the ESB Conference represents an unequalled opportunity to demonstrate the innovative work that is being done in translating biomaterials and combination products. As economies decline, future growth will be driven by the emergence of these new technologies in the medical devices market as they aim to better the quality of human life. The day will showcase the strength of research being carried out in the industry and will also present a valuable forum for academics and industry figures to network and gain valuable contacts.” Co-sponsored and co-organised by Covidien, Industry Day and the European Conference on Biomaterials is one of Ireland’s most prestigious conferences in 2011 as it is the first time in the Conference’s 24 year history that it is taking place in Ireland. A vast range sponsorship and exhibitor packages of are available for those wishing to support the event. For further information please contact Vidoja Kovaèeviæ at 091 494146 or email vidoja.kovacevic@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The deadline for students interested in taking part in NUI Galway’s Sports Scholarships Scheme for 2011/12 is Sunday, 31 July, 2011. NUI Galway has a long tradition of excellence in sport and this has been enhanced by the recent success in Rowing, Hurling, Basketball, Soccer and Rugby as well as numerous individual achievements. The Scholarship Programme is aimed at student-athletes of outstanding calibre who register as students of the University. In the current academic year, student athletes at NUI Galway received significant financial and professional support services. The scholarships aim to help aspiring young sportspeople to continue to develop their sporting prowess. Through the Sports Scholarship Scheme, more than 50 students were supported in sports such as Athletics, Basketball, Gaelic Football and Hurling, Cycling, Rowing, Rugby, Soccer, Swimming and Tennis. Outstanding sportspeople from all sports are considered. Applicants for Sports Scholarships must satisfy the academic criteria for entry to NUI Galway and must have applied to the CAO in the usual manner. Elite Sports Development Officer at NUI Galway, Gary Ryan says, “The Sports Scholarship at NUI Galway is aimed at helping our athletes improve at their sport while they are succeeding academically at University, it is not just a reward for what you have achieved in the past, it is an award to help you succeed in the future.” A former Irish Olympian and record-breaking sprinter, Gary Ryan sees a bright future for the NUI Galway Sports Scholarships, “Our efforts in developing a high performance sports environment in NUI Galway have already shown significant success with a large number of our Sports Scholarship students representing national teams and the success of our Hurling, Basketball, Soccer and Rugby teams amongst others in the past year. All of these achievements have been secured by students who are also receiving a world class education, and being supported by the scheme to meet the challenges of these dual goals.” For the Scholarships, students who meet the University’s entry requirements will be selected on merit by an independent panel. In addition to the Scholarship, students will receive specialist support including physiotherapy, treatment of injury, fitness training, coaching and support for travel to national and international competitions. More details on the Sports Scholarship Scheme at http://www.nuigalway.ie/sports/scholarships_info.html or by calling the Sport and Recreation Unit at NUI Galway on 091 493482. All applications must be submitted online at http://www.sports.nuigalway.ie/scholarshipform.html. -Ends-

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Computer Science Expert from Stanford University to present’The value of software and where in the world the value is realized’ The effect of Ireland’s corporation tax in a worldwide setting will be among the topics discussed in an exclusive public lecture at NUI Galway on Thursday by a leading computer science expert from Stanford University. Professor Gio Wiederhold will deliver a talk on How to Value Software in a Business and Where might the Value Go? The presentation is intended to provide an understanding of how software products are valued in the marketplace and will provide insights into many areas of high-tech product design, resource acquisition, production, marketing, selection of business structures, outsourcing, and the impact of taxation policies in various countries. Speaking ahead of Thursday’s lecture, the Stanford academic, who is currently writing a book entitled How Multinationals Avoid Taxes, said: “Ireland is facing dilemmas surrounding its corporate tax rate, but just lowering taxes does not necessarily equate to more jobs in the long term. The intellectual property, which generates taxes, can be allocated anywhere, using countries that are willing to provide financial intermediate services, so that the profits, and future investments, occur in places that provide even better incentives.” Professor Gio Wiederhold suggests that few computer professionals are aware of the economic value and exploitation of their products, as the topic is rarely addressed in computer science education. Instead, the assessment of the value of their work is left to business experts, economists, lawyers, and promoters. The lack of understanding hinders rational decision-making for tradeoffs in software design and implementation, market timing, and choosing business models, and allows financial wizards to move the benefits of intellectual work across the globe. The event is being hosted by the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) and the Centre for Innovation & Structural Change (CISC), both of which are based at NUI Galway, along with the University’s Discipline of IT. The lecture takes place at 11am on Thursday, 23 June in room CA 118 of the Cairnes Building. Gio Wiederhold is a Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Medicine at Stanford University, still teaching part-time on software economics and consulting for government entities. On Friday, 24 June, he will receive an honorary Degree of Doctor of Science at NUI Galway. -Ends-

Monday, 20 June 2011

Research by five NUI Galway Researchers, who are part of the Governments € 44 million SFI ’Principal Investigator’ (PI) programme announced last month, was highlighted at a showcase last week attended by Mr Seán Sherlock T.D., Minister for Research and Innovation. The PI showcase follows on from the announcement in early May by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, Mr. Richard Bruton T.D., of a range of measures to support innovation in Ireland, chief among them a € 44 million investment for 44 PI research teams, directly supporting close to 300 high-quality jobs over the next five years. The five NUI Galway Researchers are Professor Robert Lahue, Dr David Finn, Professor Malini Olivo, Dr Wexnin Wang and Dr Ciaran Morrison. Professor Robert Lahue’s research centres investigating the genetic mutation that underlies Huntington’s disease and 14 other inherited neurological diseases on DNA triplet repeat expansions and neurological disease. The aim of the research is to understand the basic science behind the relentless nature of the HD mutation, and to identify possible drug targets to slow or minimise the impact of the disease. Dr David Finn’s research will investigate whether the body’s own marijuana-like chemicals, so-called endocannabinoids, play a critical role in two levels of stress-induced regulation of pain. Professor Malini Olivo’s research centres on cancer of the oral cavity. This type of cancer is among the most common malignancies worldwide with a growing incidence among smokers. Therefore, early diagnosis and treatment is critical for patient survival. Over-expression of a specific protein in oral cancer cells called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) makes it a suitable target to detect and monitor in oral cancer. Prof Malini Olivo proposes two novel antibody targeted nanogold photosensitizers (nanosensitizers) as specific oral cancer optical probes. Dr Wexnin Wang’s research centres on In situ formed Stem Cell Biological Dressing for Wound Healing. Hard-to-heal chronic wounds affect millions of patients each year. The goal of the proposed research is to develop an advanced biomimetic dressing system based on a unique smart dendrtic polymer system combining stem cells and therapeutic biomolecules to address challenging wound healing and regenerative clinical targets. Dr Ciaran Morrison’s research centres on Centrosomes, the structure which controls the division of cells. Dividing cells have two centrosomes that act as anchors to the fibres that pull chromosomes apart when cells divide. Cancer cells have multiple centrosomes, causing uneven cell division. Centrosomal problems also play roles in developmental disorders. The research aims to disrupt the genes that code for key elements of the individual parts of the centrosomes and then examine how cells divide, form centrosomes, manage their chromosomes and carry out activities that maintain genome stability. These experiments will give new insights into how the different parts of the centrosome combine to ensure normal centrosomal functioning. The 2011 PI Awards will directly support close to 300 top-class researcher positions in a broad range of scientific areas such as cancer, early diagnosis of the childhood cancer Neuroblastoma, lung disease, investigation of therapeutic interventions for Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, improved crop and plant cell productivity, graphics for gaming, resource management in data centres, advanced telecoms networks, autonomic management of smart cities, wave energy, and energy conversion and storage devices. Thus far over 20 industry partners are connected to the successful projects in some shape or form, amongst them Inercept Pharma Ltd., Pevion Biotech Ltd, Sigmoid Pharma (Ireland), Nestle, Kerry Group, Alimentary Health, Intel Labs Europe, IBM, Alcatel-Lucent/BLI, Aquamarine Power (Edinburgh), Infineon, Disney Research, ESBI, France Telecom, Howard Science (UK), and a host of others. -Ends-

Monday, 20 June 2011

Dr. Anne MacFarlane, lecturer in Primary Care in the Discipline of General Practice, School of Medicine, NUI Galway, has been awarded an EU-FP7 grant worth € 3 million to lead a large collaborative research project known as RESTORE (REsearch into implementation STrategies to support patients of different ORigins and language background in a variety of European primary care settings). Dr. MacFarlane explains why this research is so important, “In Ireland and other parts of Europe, service users from migrant communities who have limited English and their general practitioners face significant challenges on a daily basis in their consultations together because they do not have a shared language or cultural background. This results in frequent misunderstandings and communication breakdowns which is distressing and frustrating for all concerned. RESTORE focuses on implementing evidence-based solutions to this problem in primary care consultations.” RESTORE is being funded under the EU-FP7 Health -2010 Theme which focuses on better understanding of dissemination and implementation strategies and aims to address ’gaps’ in the translation of research evidence into day-to-day clinical settings. The RESTORE consortium includes partners from Scotland, England, the Netherlands, Austria and Greece, countries which have different patterns of migration and a range of experiences of intercultural health policy and service development. This means that the scope for transnational learning and development is very significant. For RESTORE, each partner will develop academic-community partnerships and will use Participatory Learning & Action (PLA) research methods, making RESTORE a very innovative primary care research project nationally and internationally. Mary O’Reilly-de Brún and Tomas de Brún, co-founders and directors of the Centre for Participatory Strategies (CPS), Galway, were instrumental in the co-design and development of the proposal and are now involved as Senior Researchers in the Discipline of General Practice for the RESTORE project. “As cultural anthropologists, who specialise in PLA approaches and techniques for academic-community based research, we are excited by the prospect of exploring, with our European partners, the application of PLA across culturally-diverse research settings; a participatory approach is capable of giving service users from migrant communities a genuine voice alongside other key stakeholders in the assessment of implementation strategies to support communication in cross-cultural consultations.” Vice President for Research at NUI Galway Terry Smith said, “NUI Galway is delighted to be part of this investment by the EU for research to be led by Dr. Anne MacFarlane. It is an affirmation of the quality of community engaged research conducted at NUI Galway and promises to further our commitment to academic-community partnerships for research and development projects.” Welcoming this funding success, NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne said, "This is a very significant funding development for NUI Galway and it highlights the quality of research being conducted at the University in the areas of general practice, clinical care, health policy and promotion. I congratulate Dr MacFarlane and her team on their success to date and look forward to the outcomes of this project." For further information please contact Dr. MacFarlane on 091 495194 -Ends-

Monday, 20 June 2011

European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn will officially launch NUI Galway’s European Alumni Club in Brussels tomorrow, Tuesday, 21 June, 2011. This is the first NUI Galway Alumni Club established in Europe by the University’s Alumni Association and NUI Galway alumni based in Brussels and throughout Europe will be given an opportunity to reconnect with fellow graduates and their alma mater. Future alumni events are planned for other cities across Europe. The launch reception will be hosted by Irish Ambassador Tom Hanney at The Embassy of Ireland, Chaussee d’Etterbeek/Etterbeeksesteenweg 180, Brussels 1040 from 6:00pm on Tuesday June 21st. Speaking ahead of the launch, NUI Galway President Dr James J. Browne said, “NUI Galway is proud of its more that 90,000 alumni worldwide. The establishment of a European Alumni Chapter is an opportunity for these alumni to network together, while maintaining a vibrant link with their alma mater. I look forward to the development of an active group, based in Brussels, and to working with this group in their activities to support NUI Galway.” EU Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: “It is with pleasure and pride that I will launch the NUI Galway European Alumni Club, and I very much look forward to seeing it flourish and grow in the coming years. Irish graduates have a well deserved reputation for excellence at all levels within the European institutions and in academia and industry worldwide, and this club will offer its members the opportunity to create synergies through the NUI Galway network. Graduates will make new connections and reignite old ones. They will benefit from each others experiences and expertise, welcome new Galway graduates to this part of Europe and help them build networks with other young Europeans. Irish graduates, whether at home or abroad will be key to our economic recovery, and I very much welcome this positive move to bring together the brightest and best from my home county and beyond, right here at the heart of Europe.” Host for the evening Irish Ambassador Tom Hanney said: "I m delighted to host the launch of the Belgium Chapter of NUI Galway. Ireland s graduates are known as innovators in their fields and leaders in their communities. Alumni Associations provide the opportunity not merely to revisit fond memories with fellow graduates, but importantly, are sources of support and exchange of knowledge and experience, forums for engagement with one another to build and strengthen professional and social futures while showcasing Ireland and NUI Galway in particular as a leader in education.” Graduates who are interested in becoming involved in the European Alumni Club or who would like to attend the launch can contact the Alumni Office via their website: www.nuigalway.ie/alumni-friends. -Ends-

Monday, 20 June 2011

Dr James Reilly, Minister for Health, will open the 15th Annual Health Promotion conference on Mainstreaming Health Promotion: Promoting Health Across Sectors at NUI Galway. The conference, which commences at 9.30am on Thursday, 30 June, takes place in Áras Moyola, NUI Galway. This year’s conference addresses strategies for placing health promotion at the centre of public health policy and strengthening work across sectors to promote the health and wellbeing of all population groups in society. Dr Reilly will deliver his talk on the Government’s commitment to place the health of the population high on its agenda. The Minister said, “The Government is making health an essential component of a programme for recovery for a vibrant and dynamic society.” Dr Tony Holohan, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at the Department of Health and Children, will address this meeting on the development of a new National Public Health Policy Framework 2010-2020. Speaking ahead of the meeting Dr Holohan said, “At a time of major health reform, this framework recognises the importance of ensuring that the public health function is supported, maintained and strengthened. The framework will set out how the public health function will operate over the coming years in order to achieve this vision.” The conference delegates will be engaged in a consultation on the development of the national public health policy during this meeting and will hear from health promotion specialists in statutory and voluntary agencies on their experience and successes in building capacity for health promotion across different sectors. The meeting will be addressed by leading international speakers including; Dr Gauden Galea, Director, Non-communicable Diseases and Health Promotion, WHO Regional Office for Europe and Clive Needle, Director, EuroHealthNet who will address the WHO and European policy perspectives on responding to health promotion and disease prevention challenges in Europe. Professor Margaret Barry of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway commented, “This year’s meeting brings an important focus on how health can be promoted across all sectors in society and builds on the growing evidence that supports a population approach to improving health, and the economic and social benefits that accrue from effective health promotion strategies.” -Ends-

Monday, 20 June 2011

Ms. Justice Catherine McGuinness will chair a seminar entitled Equality Through the Ages which examines key gender equality issues from birth to old age. The seminar is part of the NUI Galway - University of Limerick Strategic Alliance and will take place on Friday, 24 June at 10.00am in Áras Moyola, NUI Galway. “Looking at gender equality from birth to old age makes a lot of sense from a legal perspective”, said Ms. Justice McGuinness. “Women have particular experiences at certain life stages. The legal framework must ensure that women can enjoy full and equal rights throughout their lives,” Ms. Justice McGuinness added. The seminar, an initiative of women academics at the two Universities and the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, NUI Galway, is expected to draw a large number of academics and practitioners. Lead convenors of the event, Dr. Lucy-Ann Buckley, Law School, NUI Galway, and Dr. Patricia Conlan, UL, stress the continuing significance of gender equality issues for women, young and old, and also for men. “Despite the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, young girls, mothers of young children and older women are still particularly vulnerable to direct and indirect discrimination,” remarked Dr. Buckley. Drawing on the holistic approaches to policy planning and legal reform identified by the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, the day begins with issues affecting the girl child. Legal protection of young girls from cultural practices such as circumcision and the particular educational experiences of children of working class mothers are identified as key gender equality issues in early life. “Legal and practical protection of the girl-child from practices of cultural circumcision in Ireland and abroad must be robust if Irish law is to meet international standards,” remarked speaker Anne Marlborough, Law School, NUI Galway, who will be evaluating current attempts to legislate in this area. Experts on the impact of family life and work in Ireland highlight gender equality issues for men, particularly the issue of fathers’ rights in the family law courts. Dr. Anne Egan, Law School, NUI Galway is joined by Dr. Patricia Conlan, UL and renowned anti-discrimination legal practitioner and academic, Professor Klaus Michael Alenfelder to discuss gender discrimination in work and family life. Professor Alenfelder shares his extensive knowledge of both European and German law, providing a practitioner’s insight on gender discrimination in mid-life. UK barrister and former Fulbright scholar Yvette Budé leads the programme on the third age. Law and policy can have particular implications for women in later life, as explained by Dr. Gemma Carney, Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, who will also speak at the event. “When it comes to old age, many women have accumulated disadvantage over the life course. As populations age, a life course perspective will become central to policy planning, otherwise, a combination of gender and age discrimination could lead to compounded inequalities for older women,” the policy specialist added. The event will be closed by eminent activist, Ms. Sylvia Meehan, whose vision of women’s equality has led to her being awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Limerick in 1997 and the prestigious ’Person of the Year Award’ in 2009, also the year of her 80th birthday. “If we have achieved legal rights it is essential that we insist on their being delivered. The younger generation of women, who have many of the same pressures of work and family life as I had, are taking up the baton for future generations. I fully support the efforts of the strategic alliance and the Gender ARC now and in the future,” Ms. Meehan concluded. For more information on this free event, contact Dr Lucy-Ann Buckley, School of Law, NUI Galway on 087-2245761 or email lucy-ann.buckley@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway has announced details of their annual summer schools. The first of these is the summer school on Minority Rights and Indigenous Peoples and will take place from 13 to 17 June. During the following week, 19 to 23 June, the Centre will run a summer school on the International Criminal Court. Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, said: “We held our first summer school in 2000, and the popularity and international reputation of both the International Criminal Court and Minority Rights programmes continues to grow.” The 2011 Minority Rights and Indigenous Peoples Summer School will provide participants with an overview of the legal, political and philosophical issues pertaining to international human rights law and its relationship to minority rights and the rights of indigenous peoples. The theme of this year’s school highlights religion in contemporary minority rights discourse, focussing on issues such as: religious minorities, religion and international institutions, and Islam in Europe. The summer school on the International Criminal Court at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, which begins on 19 June, is widely acknowledged to be the premier programme of its kind. The programme will consist of intensive lectures, delivered by leading specialists in the field. Students are provided with a detailed working knowledge of the establishment of the Court, its applicable law, its structures and its operations. Lectures also speak about related issues in international criminal law, including universal jurisdiction, immunities and the role of the victim. The International Criminal Court is arguably the most important new international institution since the establishment of the United Nations. The aim of the International Criminal Court is in combating impunity for atrocities and it is at the forefront of a broader movement for achieving accountability. During the summer school on the International Criminal Court, NUI Galway’s Professor William Schabas will deliver a lecture entitled The First Decade of the International Criminal Court. The lecture will take place on Monday, 20 June and will be open to the public. -Ends-

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

NUI Galway has entered into a Research & Education Alliance with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). ICRISAT is headquartered in India with a range of research stations in Africa. This Research Alliance will combine efforts, expertise and capacity in order to advance Plant and AgriBiosciences research for poverty reduction in developing countries in the semi-arid tropics (particularly in sub-Saharan Africa). The Alliance will strengthen collaborations between research groups within the NUI Galway Plant and AgriBiosciences Research Cluster and scientists in ICRISAT. The Alliance will conduct research on staple crops of the poor to improve smallholder productivity and food security. The Director General of ICRISAT, Dr. William Dar recently met with NUI Galway President Dr. James Browne to co-sign the inter-institutional Memorandum of Understanding between NUI Galway and ICRISAT. Dr. Dar has a PhD in Horticulture (Crop Physiology) and has served as Presidential Adviser for Rural Development and Minister of Agriculture in the Philippines prior to joining ICRISAT. Before this, he was Executive Director of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD), and Director of the Philippines’ Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) under the Department of Agriculture (DA). Dr. Dar has been Director General of ICRISAT since 2000. Welcoming the inter-institutional agreement, NUI Galway President Dr James J. Browne said, “This significant partnership between NUI Galway and ICRISAT will, I believe, further advance the existing strong research links between our two organisations. Our researchers will collaborate with ICRISAT staff to help some of the world’s poorest countries to improve their agricultural output, ultimately helping to reduce hunger and poverty in developing countries in the semi-arid tropics, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.” Dr. Dar further stated that “NUI Galway has a range of research expertise in the fields of Plant and AgriBiosciences which are highly synergistic with ICRISAT’s scientific programmes and humanitarian mandate. This MoU builds on the existing research links between NUI Galway and ICRISAT in order to forge a more powerful research alliance to advance food security and sustainability goals in the dryland tropics.” He emphasised that the Research Alliance will also help advance the goals of Irish Aid in relation to the Hunger Task Force recommendations to improve smallholder productivity and reduce malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa. For further information contact Professor Charles Spillane, Head of Plant & AgriBiosciences Research Cluster, NUI Galway 091 494148. Email: charles.spillane@nuigalway.ie Web links: www.icrisat.org www.nuigalway.ie/botany/ www.plantagbiosciences.org -Ends-

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Researchers at NUI Galway are to lead a European project to develop a new product for use in hernia operations. The Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB)-led consortium has been awarded an EU-FP7 grant worth € 2.7 million for a proposal entitled Targeting Hernia Operation Using Sustainable Resources and Green Nanotechnologies. The overall objective of the Green Nano Mesh research project is to develop a novel mesh for use in hernia operations. Hernia operations are among the most common surgical procedures performed, with over 20 million taking place worldwide annually. In the US alone, the associated expenditure exceeds $48 billion every year. Despite the early success of non-degradable meshes, there is still no wholly satisfactory therapy for hernia repair. In fact, non-degradable meshes are characterised by poor healing response, unfavourable foreign body reaction and in vivo erosion which lead to a failure rate of greater that 10 per cent and a 42 per cent incidence of recurring hernias. Recurring hernias cause further distress to patients, compromising their quality of life, all the while putting an additional financial strain on healthcare systems. The Green Nano Mesh project aims to provide an environmentally-friendly alternative to currently-used meshes which will improve clinical outcomes for the patient. The consortium is led by Dr Dimitrios Zeugolis and Professor Abhay Pandit of NFB at NUI Galway, and includes academic groups from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel; the Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior De Investigaciones Cientificas, Spain; Aarhus University, Denmark; and Centexbel, the Belgian textile research centre. There are also six industrial partners involved in the collaboration including: Collplant, Israel; Luxilon Industries, Belgium; Proxy Biomedical Ltd., Ireland; Vornia, Ireland; Biomatech, France; and European Research Services GmbH, Germany. The driving hypothesis of Green Nano Mesh is that using sustainable raw materials and green nano-processes to fabricate a mesh prototype for hernia repair will eliminate hazardous chemicals from the manufacturing process and result in a clinically relevant, nano-fibrous prototype which is suitable for hernia repair. By processing naturally-occurring materials in eco-friendly ways, the resultant mesh will have superior biological properties helping to reduce incidences of foreign body reaction and toxicity, leading to improved hernia repair. The use of such materials and processes in the medical sector is timely, given that in excess of 206Kt of medical plastics are produced annually in Europe alone. Speaking about the award, Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of NFB, said: “This is our second co-ordinator grant that we have secured in the last six months. We are delighted to get European recognition and support for the research that NFB conducts in nanotechnology. This programme provides fantastic opportunities to access the leading research and industrial researchers in biomaterials across the EU.” The award will fund staff, equipment, consumables and the training and development of researchers in the biomaterials and tissue engineering fields over a four-year period. The programme design encourages increased dialogue between academics, industry and clinicians, fostering the transfer of key scientific and experimental knowledge between the institutions and sectors involved. Dr Dimitrios Zeugolis at the NFB, who is co-ordinating the project, said: “This EU funding demonstrates the competitiveness of Irish research. Furthermore, due to the constructive interaction between academics, industry representatives and clinicians, the technologies under investigation will be translated to bed-side therapies.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

An NUI Galway student, scholar and lecturer have been announced as recipients of the Fulbright Awards 2011. 25 Scholarships in total, valued at € 285,000, were announced recently at an event hosted by the Deputy Chief of Mission from the US Embassy in Ireland Mr. John Hennessey-Niland. The Fulbright Awards are presented on an annual basis to Irish students, scholars and professionals to undertake postgraduate study and research at higher education, cultural and related institutions in the United States. Applications are encouraged in all disciplines including the visual and performing arts. The awards are jointly funded by the Irish and US governments under the Ireland-United States Commission for Educational Exchange. Fulbright scholarships have provided Irish and U.S. students, scholars and professionals with the opportunity to study, lecture and research at top universities and institutions in the U.S. and Ireland respectively since 1957. Máire Ní Chuaig, a native Irish speaker graduated with a BA in Irish and Translation at NUI Galway. She plans on returning to College to complete a Higher Diploma in Education in 2012. Máire will be a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at the University of Montana. Dr. Noam Lubell is a Lecturer at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, School of Law, NUI Galway. Dr Lubell will undertake his research into the area of future challenges in the law of armed conflict at New York University. Daniel Regan is a PhD candidate in Psychology at NUI Galway. Daniel will pursue his research at the University of California, Berkeley specialising in the area of health psychology with a specific focus on alcohol research. His sister Nell Regan was also awarded a scholarship. Out of the 25 scholarship awards, eight are for research and study in the areas of science, technology, environment and health. This year six Irish awardees will spend time teaching the language and lecturing in Irish culture as Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants. The remaining 10 recipients will conduct study and research in the areas of law, music, writing, politics and other humanities and social science disciplines. Commenting on the awards, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Eamon Gilmore, T.D., congratulated the recipients and said: “The Ireland-United States Commission for Educational Exchange represents not just a commitment to the best educational standards for the successful recipients but also a joint investment by both governments to ever closer ties between our two countries, supporting, as President Obama put it recently in Dublin, the people who make the future happen.” Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. John Hennessey-Niland of the US Embassy in Ireland said: “The Fulbright Awards are one of the most important collaborative initiatives between our two countries. I wish this year’s 25 Irish recipients every success during their term in the U.S. In addition to the important academic and professional experience you are about to embark on, I trust you will make friendships that will remain long after you return to Ireland.” Una Halligan, Chairperson of the Fulbright Commission of Ireland concluded: “Each of these 25 successful candidates was chosen not only on the basis of their individual merits but also because they displayed exceptional leadership ability which is inherent to Fulbright. Great ideas are borne out of people’s ability to think creatively, to collaborate well with others and to follow through in order to make things happen. These recipients are some of the finest in their disciplines; I have no doubt they will be outstanding representatives for this country and will thrive and make the most of every opportunity that comes their way.” The next Fulbright Awards Competition 2012-2013 will open to applicants on Monday 5 September. For more information visit www.fulbright.ie. -ends-

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Dr Ger Curley, an expert in Anaesthesia at NUI Galway and Molecular Medicine Ireland Clinician Scientist Fellow, has received a highly prestigious award from the American Thoracic Society (ATS). The Respiratory Structure & Function Assembly of the ATS has awarded Dr Curley its Excellence Award for best abstract presented at its 2011 Annual International Conference, held in Denver, Colorado. The award is in recognition of Dr Curley’s work, conducted with the Lung Biology Group at NUI Galway. His research has demonstrated for the first time the potential for stem cells to enhance repair following Ventilator Induced Acute Lung Injury, a significant cause of disability and death in critically ill patients. Dr Curley’s project was conducted in collaboration with the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway. This award represents a first for Ireland in this arena and brings international recognition for the high quality work being done by Dr Curley and the other members of the Lung Biology Group at NUI Galway. Professor John Laffey, who leads the Lung Biology Group at NUI Galway, commented: “This work provides exciting evidence that stem cells can repair the damaged lungs and by doing so, may help to save the lives of critically ill patients in our Intensive Care Units. There is cause for hope here because we do not have any treatments for this devastating disease. This was a collaborative project that would not have been possible without the world class expertise and experience in stem cell research provided by the scientists at REMEDI.” The research was funded by grants from Molecular Medicine Ireland under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions and by the European Research Council under its Framework 7 programme. -Ends-

Monday, 13 June 2011

A surfing website designed by two students, which has the potential to develop tourism in the West of Ireland, has scooped the top prize of € 15,000 at the NUI Galway Student Enterprise Awards held on Friday, 10 June, 2011. The creators of WestCoastSurfer.com were presented with their prize by Minister of State for Small Business, John Perry T.D., NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne and NUI Galway Students’ Union President, Peter Mannion. WestCoastSurfer.com is the brainchild of Oisin Halpin and Cian Brassil. Oisin is a third year Earth & Ocean Science student from Achill Island, Co. Mayo, whilst Cian is a second year Information Technology student from Kilcolgan, Co. Galway. Their goal is to design, build, promote, develop and manage the premier Irish surfing website. Judges were impressed with the WestCoastSurfer.com brand and its potential draw investment to the domestic economy. Announcing the winner, Chairperson of the judging panel, CEO of Creganna-Tactx Medical, Helen Ryan said: “West Coast Surfer.com has huge growth potential and is well grounded in commercial reality with great opportunities for the West of Ireland. Both Cian and Oisin have all the hallmarks of people who will be very successful.” Six teams contested the final of the NUI Galway Student Enterprise Awards in anticipation of securing an investment of € 15,000 for the winning project. The competition is the initiative of the NUI Galway Students’ Union, with the support of NUI Galway and has the goal of fostering a spirit of entrepreneurship amongst the students of the University. The competition successfully attracted entrants from across all of the colleges and schools of the University, from which six ideas were chosen to progress to the final stage. The two runner-up prizes of € 2,000 were awarded to LittleGreenWheels and Algorithm. LittleGreenWheels was created by Laura Crean, from Tralee, Co, Kerry, and Amy Martyn, from Salthill, Galway City and is an environmental recycling centre for children. Algorithm was created by Evelyn Fennelly, a first year Medicine student from Portlaoise, Co. Laois. Her project aims to help students overcome the difficulties of returning to education following childbirth. As part of the final assessment of their entries, students received an investment of € 500 for their projects, and also received the assistance of mentoring from the highly specialised team of mentors, which was comprised of a combination of members of the academic staff of the University and members of the local business community. Minister of State for Small Business, John Perry T.D, who presented the winning team with their prize said: “The drive, determination and enthusiasm of the students is fantastic. It is heartening to see that within NUI Galway the essence of the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well. I would also like to congratulate the University and the Students’ Union for their vision in fostering the talents of tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.” NUI Galway Students’ Union President, Peter Mannion said: “We have been overwhelmed by the number and standard of entries to the NUI Galway Student Enterprise Awards. The entrants are testament to the exceptional initiative and creativity of students in social and business enterprise. They show that students are both able and willing to create the big ideas that will help fuel our recovery. The Students’ Union is delighted to be in a position to facilitate some of these ideas as they take their first steps. I have no doubt but that we are working with the leaders of the future.” -Ends-

Monday, 13 June 2011

Galway s Bike Week Festival runs from 18 to 26 June 2011. This year, the week will be launched in Galway on 18 June with a mass cycle, a bike village and many other events around the city. As part of NUI Galway’s contribution to the festival, the Green Campus Committee is organising a University-wide Cycle to Campus Day on Wednesday, 22 June. The Cycle to Campus Day aims to encourage staff and students to cycle to campus and to reward those who do so regularly. All members of the NUI Galway community are welcome to participate - whether dedicated commuters or first-time cyclists. Getting involved is easy. Simply cycle your bike to campus and join in the various activities being held around campus on the day. "The Cycle to Campus event is another sign of the growing popularity of bicycling in NUI Galway", says Pierre Ludwick of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI). Over half of all researchers in DERI regularly cycle to work, and Kevin O’Sullivan, a Design Engineer with the Buildings Office at the University is working on a project to install additional secure and covered bike parking, to the direct benefit of this group. The University is boosting bicycling even further with a number of improvements, including the development of a Travel Plan and the provision of new bike parking spaces. Additional covered bicycle racks have been installed in several places around campus, as part of on-going improvements to cycle facilities. "We look forward to making it even easier and safer to ride a bike to work for all employees", says Greg Power, Planning and Projects Officer at NUI Galway. "Cycling has many benefits for staff and students - we now need to keep the momentum and culture change with more and better incentives to cycling ". The Cycle to Work Scheme has also been hugely popular on campus, and is open to all employees, with over 300 staff availing of the scheme since 2009. This scheme encourages more people to cycle to and from work, by gaining a tax saving on procuring a bicycle where it is used by the employee mainly for qualifying journeys. Information about the scheme will be available throughout the day-long event. -ends-

Monday, 13 June 2011

Research in the area of Biomedical Engineering and Regenerative Medicine will be furthered through the launch of a structured PhD Programme in the field delivered through the NUI Galway/UL Strategic Alliance and University College Cork. The PhD in Biomedical Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (BMERM) is a collaborative programme involving partner institutions nationally and internationally, including: Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Institute of Technology Sligo, University of Ulster, Queen s University Belfast, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA, University of Pittsburgh, USA, Duke University, USA, Rice University, USA, Mayo Clinic, USA, RWTH Aachen University, Germany, Georgia Tech Ireland, and the Irish Medical Devices Association (IMDA). The 4 year programme, funded by the HEA under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions Cycle 5, will also involve study visits for Irish students to the world-leading research institute, Georgia Tech based in Atlanta. Director of the Programme, Professor Peter McHugh, of the NUI Galway College of Engineering and Informatics, said “The medical technology industry is one of the pillars of the Irish economy, with a tremendous potential for growth, which is dependent on having a highly educated and trained workforce and a strong research and innovation capability. Biomedical engineering and regenerative medicine are at the heart of this growth potential and this structured PhD programme is designed to produce graduates who will be the next generation of leaders in the industry and in academic research and education in the field.” Professor Tim McGloughlin, Director of Centre for Applied Biomedical Engineering Research at UL said; “This programme will enhance the professional skills of the PhD students through close interaction with the medical devices industry, further enhancing its role in the Irish economy and enabling R&D growth in this key sector.” Professor Noel Caplice, Professor of Cardiovascular Science & Consultant Cardiologist, CUH/UCC said, “This is an exciting interaction between Universities that are already co-operating on stem cell and cardiovascular thematic research. We believe this BERM interaction will only strengthen this collaboration. The PhD programme aims to become a leading international graduate education programme in the fields of biomedical engineering and regenerative medicine in which Ireland is already taking a strong international role. The overall objective is to develop graduates who will produce ground- breaking scientific results benefiting human health and contributing to economic growth. Ireland’s medical technologies sector is a significant global cluster for medical device and diagnostic products. 200 plus medtech companies are involved in the development, manufacture and marketing of a diverse range of products and services, including 100 indigenous companies. Exports of medical device and diagnostics products are valued in excess of € 7 billion annually, representing 9 per cent of Ireland’s total merchandise exports. The sector employs 25,000 people, the highest number of people working in the industry in Europe, per head of population. The Biomedical Engineering and Regenerative Medicine PhD Programme will involve significant interaction with the sector through the involvement of the Irish Medical Devices Association which represents 135 companies in the sector. Irish Medical Devices Association Director, Sharon Higgins said; “IMDA is very excited by the launch of the structured PhD Programme in Biomedical Engineering and Regenerative Medicine. The Programme, developed with close industry involvement, builds on the strengths of the highly active national and international research activities taking place in Ireland, to produce unique graduates with key skills required to further contribute to the economic growth of the medical technology sector in Ireland.” For further information please contact, Professor Peter McHugh, Director of the Structured PhD Programme in Biomedical Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (BMERM), NUI Galway College of Engineering and Informatics 091 493152 or email peter.mchugh@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

Monday, 13 June 2011

The Irish Conference of Medievalists celebrates its 25th anniversary with a conference from 24 to 26 June in the Moore Institute at NUI Galway. The conference reflects the current state of research in Medieval Studies, focusing on the history, archaeology, language and literature of medieval Ireland and Europe. This year’s speakers come from Ireland, USA, Scotland, England, France, Canada, Norway, Iceland and Morocco. The keynote speaker is Professor Alfred Smyth, an eminent historian of early Medieval Ireland and Britain, based at the University of Canterbury. There will be special plenary sessions on Irish and Norse literary connections and on the influence of Columbanus, the Irish missionary active in France and Northern Italy c. 590 to 615. NUI Galway’s Dr Pádraic Moran said, “The return of the 25th Irish Conference of Medievalists to NUI Galway presents an occasion to reflect on 25 years of scholarship in Irish Medieval studies, and recognises the strength of the NUI Galway’s own research community in this important area of our heritage.” A full programme and list of abstracts are available at the conference website: www.irishmedievalists.com. The conference is open to students, academics and members of the public. Visit www.conference.ie for information on registration. -ends-

Monday, 13 June 2011

The Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald, T.D., will officially open the fifth biennial conference of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway later this month. The conference, entitled Protecting Children Through Family Support, will take place over two days, running from 16 to 17 June, in the Áras Moyola Building at NUI Galway. Protecting Children Through Family Support will address the challenges and opportunities in effectively realising children and young people’s right to be cared for safely within their families. The central theme of the conference is how to develop family support interventions that are mindful of children and young people’s right to be protected and child protection (and related) interventions which acknowledge their right to be supported within the family. The theme will be explored through keynote presentations and practice seminars addressing Family Support in universal and preventative settings, through to ’early in the problem’ targeted support services, and child protection and alternative care provision. It will enable practitioners and other key stakeholders the space to listen, reflect and discuss current challenges facing services for children. The keynote speakers will include: Professor Harry Ferguson, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom; Professsor Bob Lonne, Queensland University, Australia; Helen Meintjes, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Dr Susan Bissell, UNICEF HQ, New York; Professor Mary Daly, Queens University Belfast; Carmel Devaney, NUI Galway; Professor Brid Featherstone, NUI Galway; Professor John Pinkerton, Queen s University Belfast; and special guest Róisín Ingle, journalist with the Irish Times. Speaking about the conference, UNESCO Chair and CFRC Director Professor Pat Dolan, commented “With the imminent publication of new child protection guidelines and the establishment of a new child protection agency, the need for services to work effectively with parents, families and communities is critical - social work interventions alone will not protect children.” For further information, or to register for the conference, visit www.conference.ie. -Ends-

Thursday, 9 June 2011

The NUI Galway and UL Alliance have announced an exciting new structured PhD programme in Philosophy of Art and Culture at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. This unique, inter-institutional PhD programme, which will run for the first time in the 2011/12 academic year, has been developed collaboratively by the Philosophy departments at NUI Galway and Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, with the Department of History at the University of Limerick. By blending expertise from the three partner institutions, the highly innovative programme seeks to explore the philosophy of art and culture in an intellectually enriched setting, combining Analytic and Continental Philosophy. The programme offers students valuable insight into the theories and methodologies that are basic to research in all aspects of philosophy of art and culture. It aims to develop students’ skills as active researchers and their capacity to pursue research independently as well as their ability to work in collaboration with others and in broader networks of international research contacts. Students will be encouraged to formulate their work in such a way as to be presentable at conferences and colloquia at both the national and international level and will be instructed in how to teach and develop their research to international standards through specialist disciplinary education. The programme will be offered on an inter-institutional basis across the three partner Institutions. Students will therefore register at either Mary Immaculate College or NUI Galway, but will, under the guidance of their supervisors, take a number of core modules in each of the participating institutions and will choose from a number of other modules on offer. Depending on which modules individual students select according to their own needs, there may also be an element of distance education. Among the modules expected to be taught on the programme at Mary Immaculate College are: Philosophy and the Subject: From the Modern to the Post-Modern; Introduction to Hermeneutics; Literary Aesthetics and Research Methodology. Phenomenology of Art and Culture, History and Philosophy of Pictorial Space and Modernity and Knowledge will be taught at NUI Galway, while modules in Art and Cultures of Display and The Look of the Past will be offered at the University of Limerick. The MIC Director of the programme, Dr. Stephen Thornton, said: “This programme is the first of its kind in Ireland, and offers exciting new possibilities for the promotion of inter-institutional collaboration and research in the philosophy of Art and Culture, construed in a very broad and inclusive sense. We envisage that it will appeal to those who have an interest in Philosophy, Art, Literature and other aspects of contemporary culture and who wish to pursue that interest at the highest level, utilising the expertise available at the three participating institutions.” NUI Galway Professor of Philosophy, Paul Crowther said: “We live in a time when the meanings of art and culture are being subjected to radical questioning through globalisation and modes of new technology. Our programme negotiates this challenge. It does so by combining depth and breadth in philosophical thinking about the arts and the meaning of culture. By this means, it also connects philosophical aesthetics to community-life and the bigger world-picture.” Applicants will normally possess at least an upper second level (2.1) primary degree in Philosophy or a similar award from a cognate discipline from a recognised third level institution. Acceptance may be subject to interview and/or a sample of written work and is entirely at the discretion of the Programme Board. Candidates should be proficient in the use of English for academic purposes. A number of Assistantships will be available for applicants on a competitive basis. For a copy of the Programme Brochure, please contact: Ms Linda McGrath, The Arts Office, Mary Immaculate College: 061-204525 or linda.mcgrath@mic.ul.ie For further information on application procedures for the Structured PhD in Philosophy of Art and Culture, please contact: The Graduate Office at MIC: 061 204556 or hellen.gallagher@mic.ul.ie For application forms see: http://www.mic.ul.ie/programmes/Postgraduate/pdf/EnglishTaught%20Application.pdf. For application via NUI Galway visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/courses/research-postgraduate-programmes/structured-phd/philosophy-art-culture.html . For further information contact: Holly Ní Chomáin, Oifigeach Margaíochta & Caidrimh Poiblí/ Marketing & PR Officer Coláiste Mhuire gan Smál/ Mary Immaculate College. 061 204595 Holly.Cowman@mic.ul.ie www.mic.ul.ie. -ends-

Friday, 10 June 2011

The Irish State needs to defend its citizens’ rights to a home and protect them from the power of global financial corporations, according to NUI Galway’s Dr Padraic Kenna. His new book, Housing Law, Rights and Policy, provides the first comprehensive reference and critique of the legal and policy elements of the Irish housing system. According to Dr Kenna: “There is an urgent need to re-evaluate what housing law and policy is actually about. Housing and mortgage law must be more than the means of repaying irresponsible loans from international financial corporations. It must be more than disparate pieces of legislation, cases, policy reports and media commentaries on the state of the market. Housing as a means of personal, social and community development must be given a legal status”. Dr Kenna, who is a lecturer with the School of Law at NUI Galway, added: “Today, we need a balance in our housing law and policy. Now might be the time for a new set of representative national organisations of mortgage consumers, social housing tenants, and those who require adequate and affordable housing at Irish and EU level. The new book from Dr Kenna, Housing Law, Rights and Policy, brings together for the first time all the legal and policy approaches which could inform a new paradigm in Irish housing. The book examines the development of the Irish housing system, including contemporary policy perspectives. It also outlines and evaluates the law, rights and policy in relation to older people, people with disabilities, homeless people, State housing finance, private mortgages, housing rights, planning, housing standards, building regulations, local authority housing, private rented housing, apartments, multi-unit developments and estates, housing associations and co-operatives, rural housing and EU housing related law. Housing Law, Rights and Policy is published by Clarus Press. -ends-