Explore NUI Galway’s First Undergraduate Science Fair

Explore NUI Galway’s First Undergraduate Science Fair -image

Monday, 10 March 2014

Explore the science behind baking cupcakes, disappearing bees, and Breaking Bad at NUI Galway’s first ever Undergraduate Science Fair. The fair include demonstrations, experiments, and hands-on activities and takes place on Wednesday, 19 March from 11am to 5pm in The View, Áras na Mac Léinn. Student presenters from all science disciplines will be showing off interactive displays which they have created on a scientific topic that they find engaging and exciting. Student organiser Joanne Duffy said “This is going to be a really exciting event. As a student in the undenominated Science programme at NUI Galway, I am constantly inspired and excited by the things I learn about every day, and I realise how lucky I am to be in this environment. I wanted to put on an event on that would give non-science students and members of the public an opportunity to be inspired by science too!” As well as undergraduate science student presentations, displays from various outreach initiatives within the University will also be present.  Kitchen Chemistry will be on hand with their crowd-wowing display, the Cell Explorer’s Programme will demonstrate how to extract DNA from a banana, and venomous insect expert Dr Michel Dugon, aka the Bug Hunter, will bring along some of his favourite pets. Dr Sarah Knight, one of the staff members behind this event and Outreach Officer with NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute, said “This is a great opportunity for Science students to try their hand at educating and enthusing others. Science Outreach is one of NUI Galway’s strengths, but as of yet the vast potential of our undergraduate students in this area remains largely untapped. One of the ideas behind the undergraduate science fair is to foster a culture of public engagement with Science within the undergraduate community.” Funding for this event has come through NUI Galway’s EXPLORE initiative.  The event is free and open to everyone. For more information visit facebook.com/undergradsciencefair or contact nuigsciencefair@gmail.com. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Make the Last 8 of the FAI Junior Cup

NUI Galway Make the Last 8 of the FAI Junior Cup-image

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

NUI Galway, the sole remaining Connacht side will face Collinstown FC in Dublin on Sunday 23 March at 2pm. The FAI Junior Cup is the biggest amateur soccer competition in Ireland, and one of the biggest in Europe, with over 600 participants involved from the outset. The draw was conducted by Ray Houghton, FAI Junior Cup Ambassador and Teresa McCabe, FAI Junior Council President with NUI Galway Soccer Club representatives attending including Professor Liam Spillane, Hon. President, Dr Eric Mortimer, Chairman and Ger Cheevers, Captain. This year’s FAI Junior Cup Final will take place at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday, 25 May before the Ireland v Turkey International Friendly which has given the competition even greater exposure than ever before. 

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NUI Galway Students Showcase Biomedical Science Exhibition at Galway City Museum

NUI Galway Students Showcase Biomedical Science Exhibition at Galway City Museum-image

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Students interested in pursuing a career in science can experience the research underway in NUI Galway at the ‘Biomedical Science Under The Microscope’ exhibition An exhibition of scientific images entitled Biomedical Science Under The Microscope can be seen at Galway City Museum from the 11th-22nd March, a project created by Biomedical Science students at NUI Galway. The exhibition is part of a second year BSc. in Biomedical Science project entitled Community Knowledge Initiative. Its aim is to inform the public on current areas of biomedical science research in NUI Galway through the medium of images. It will comprise of ten scientific images spanning a broad range of research areas including developmental biology, chromosome biology and studies of the brain and nervous system. The images are drawn from the major disciplines that support Biomedical Science, which are Anatomy, Biochemistry, Pharmacology and Physiology. The exhibition provides a great opportunity for students interested in pursuing a career in science to experience the research underway in NUI Galway and for the general public interested in this area. Visitors can talk to students involved in the exhibition at Galway City Museum on Wednesday 19th March from 10am to 1pm. For further information on the exhibition please contact Dr. Derek Morris on 091 494439 or derek.morris@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

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Two NUI Galway Students Win ‘Making an Impact 2014’

Two NUI Galway Students Win ‘Making an Impact 2014’-image

Thursday, 13 March 2014

NUI Galway students win top awards for breast cancer research and measuring the performance of elite swimmers at the Irish Independent/HEA Making an Impact 2014 Two NUI Galway students have claimed the prizes at this year’s Irish Independent/Higher Education Authority (HEA) Making an Impact 2014 competition. An award of €2,500 sponsored by the Irish Independent was made to each of the two winners. The Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Irish Independent had invited postgraduate research students in any discipline at an Irish higher education institution on the island of Ireland, to make a short submission on the difference that their research work would make to a particular aspect of Irish life, to the country as a whole or in a global context. Robert Mooney (33) from Salthill in Galway was The Judges Choice Winner for his research project 'Movement and Performance in Elite Swimming'. The PhD student is working under the supervision of Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) at NUI Galway. Mr. Mooney’s award-winning research is based on the development of a novel method using sensor technology to measure the performance of elite swimmers. Traditional methods of monitoring a swimmers performance are based on video. Mr. Mooney is looking at using inertial sensors that can be worn by swimmers that will track their movements through the water. Killian O’Brien (24) from Bishopstown in Cork was The Student’s Choice Winner for his research project 'Blood May Hold the Key to the Riddle of Cancer'. The PhD student completed a Masters Degree in Regenerative Medicine at NUI Galway and is currently carrying out his research in the Discipline of Surgery, Clinical Sciences Institute at NUI Galway, working under the supervision of Professor Michael J. Kerin and Dr. Róisín Dwyer. Mr. O’Brien’s award-winning project is funded by the Irish Cancer Society and is part of the BREAST-PREDICT initiative. His work is looking at the levels of biomarkers in the blood of patients with breast cancer, with the aim of earlier detection. Runners up were NUI Galway student Linda Connor for her project 'Improving Honey Bee Health', Diana van Doorn, IT Carlow and Martin Holmes from Trinity College Dublin. For further information on the Making an Impact 2014 competition visit www.hea.ie Ends.

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NUI Galway Works With High-Tech Companies To Offer Longer Work-Placements To Increase Student Employability Upon Graduat

NUI Galway Works With High-Tech Companies To Offer Longer Work-Placements To Increase Student Employability Upon Graduat-image

Thursday, 13 March 2014

NUI Galway announces new industry-focused initiative for Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering degree programmes in response to growing demand from industry In a significant development for engineering education, following extensive consultation with industry partners, the NUI Galway College of Engineering and Informatics has announced that the duration of the Professional Experience Programme (PEP) for third year Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering students will be extended to 8 months in duration. Students will now undertake work-placement in leading local, national and international high-technology companies, including medical device companies, from January to August, starting in 2015. The NUI Galway Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering programmes have very strong links with industry, both nationally and internationally, and the decision to extend the duration of PEP was made in response to the growing demand from industry for longer work-placement, providing students with a broader range of industry-relevant skills and dramatically increasing their employability upon graduation. The demand was strongest from the medical device industry which is one of the cornerstones of the local and national Irish economy, and which employs large numbers of NUI Galway Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering graduates. The PEP work-placement has been an integral part of these degree programmes for over twenty years. Commonly, upon completion of the PEP work-placement, students will continue to collaborate with their PEP employer through the industry-led research performed in their fourth year project. Speaking about the announcement Prof. Gerry Lyons, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway said “This is a very significant and positive development for engineering education at NUI Galway that will further increase the employability of our graduates, equipping them with critical industry-focused skills and experience so that they can make an immediate impact in the high-tech sector upon graduation.” Dr. John O’Dea, President of Engineers Ireland and former Chairman of the Irish Medical Devices Association commented “This is a very welcome development that is strongly supported by Engineers Ireland. This new industry-focused enhancement of the Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering degree programmes at NUI Galway will have far reaching positive implications in terms of graduate employability and continued development of the Irish high-tech engineering sector.” Engineers Ireland is the national professional body for engineers and engineering degree accreditation. The announcement was made at the Get SET (Science, Enterprise & Technology) Expo organised by the Career Development, which took place on March 4th in the Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway. Companies that are interested in finding out more information in relation to the PEP for Mechanical Engineering & Biomedical Engineering can contact Tom Fitzgerald, Placement Officer, Career Development Centre on 091 492909 or tom.fitzgerald@nuigalway.ie Ends.

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National Finals of Debating Science Issues Announced

National Finals of Debating Science Issues Announced -image

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The All-Ireland Finals of Debating Science Issues (DSI) will take place on 27 March 2014 at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in Dublin. Co-ordinated by REDDSTAR’s Dissemination Officer Danielle Nicholson, this All-Ireland competition encourages young people to engage in debate on the cultural, societal and ethical implications of advances in biomedical science.  Through a process of single elimination, the field of 32 secondary schools narrowed to just four representing all four provinces in Ireland. The four schools in the final will be: St. Brigid’s Vocational School, Loughrea, Co. Galway; Our Lady and St. Patrick’s College, Knock, Belfast, Co. Antrim; St. Joseph’s Secondary CBS, Fairview, Dublin; and Coláiste Mhuire, Crosshaven, Co. Cork. The schools will compete in two semi-final rounds of debate focussing on the moral obligation to research with embryonic stem cells to develop new medical treatments. The winners of the two semi-final rounds will go on to debate the allocation of organs donated for transplantation. “We hope that this collaborative outreach programme is a useful tool in facilitating increased awareness of the important research taking place in Ireland among young people and the Irish public in general”, said DSI Coordinator Danielle Nicholson. Preceding the competition, all participating schools availed of a three hour workshop addressing an area of biomedical research with societal and ethical implications delivered by one of the nine DSI partners in 2014: REDDSTAR, an EU project coordinated at NUI Galway, Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre at UCC, Biomedical Diagnostics Institute at DCU, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, CRANN at Trinity College, W5 in Belfast, INSIGHT at UCD, Cork Institute of Technology and the University of Ulster, Coleraine.  The DSI 2014 Finals have been generously supported by Science Foundation Ireland Discover Programme project award. Further information on the Debating Science Issues in available at www.debatingscienceissues.com. -Ends-   

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NUI Galway’s Arts in Action Finale Concert To Feature Stellar Line-Up

NUI Galway’s Arts in Action Finale Concert To Feature Stellar Line-Up-image

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

A compelling evening of musical styles and song featuring Carl Hession, Mark Duley, Frankie Gavin, Elvin Moynagh, NUI Galway Medical Orchestra and St. Nicholas Schola Cantorum Arts in Action at NUI Galway will host its annual finale concert upstairs in the Aula Maxima on Wednesday, March 26th at 8pm. This special event will feature The NUI Galway Medical Orchestra directed by Carl Hession, Choral Scholars of the St. Nicholas Schola Cantorum directed by Mark Duley, piper Elvin Moynagh and special guest Frankie Gavin. All proceeds will directly benefit Voluntary Students Abroad (VSA). Organised by Arts in Action Creative Director, Mary McPartlan, the concert promises to be a compelling event featuring a mix of musical styles and song that will range from classical to traditional, artfully juxtaposed to create a truly remarkable and enjoyable experience. The NUI Galway Medical Orchestra has been in existence for four years and has already established itself as a very positive initiative with a number of high profile public performances. It has not only developed into a primary source of positive activity for the medical students at NUI Galway but is also a Special Study Module (SSM), a credit bearing module which allows at least 20 medical students per year to have a rich and creative experience as well as fulfilling an academic rating. The orchestra has a membership of more than 40 medical students from first year, right though to final medicine, including visiting international students. Mary Mc Partlan, producer of the orchestra said, “This is one of the most important elements of artistic creativity at NUI Galway where the medical faculty have strongly supported and aided the concept of the power of music and healing, while also promoting and enhancing the wellbeing of medical students. St. Nicholas’ Schola Cantorum, one of Ireland’s newest and most exciting choral initiatives, was formed in September 2012 when NUI Galway and St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church entered into a new partnership with the establishment of twenty choral scholarships for promising young NUI Galway student singers. The scholars form a small chamber choir offering a high level of engagement. Voluntary Services Abroad is run by the 4th year medical students of NUI Galway. Founded in 1977 by Galway doctor Dom Colbert, the organisation raises funds for healthcare facilities in developing countries. Tickets for Arts in Action Finale Concert are priced at €10, students €5 and can be obtained on the door at the Aula Maxima. Proceeds on the night will go toward Voluntary Services Abroad (VSA). Ends.

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NUI Galway Theatre Season Presents Irish Premiere of David Greig Play

NUI Galway Theatre Season Presents Irish Premiere of David Greig Play-image

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

NUI Galway Theatre Season and Galway Arts Centre present the Irish Premiere of The Monster In The Hall by prolific Scottish writer David Greig   As part of the inaugural NUI Galway Theatre Season, Andrew Flynn directs a new play The Monster In The Hall by one of Britain’s most exciting writers, David Greig. It will run at Nun’s Island Theatre from the 24th - 27th March. This performance by members of the NUI Galway BA Connect in Theatre and Performance class marks its Irish Premiere. David Greig is Scotland’s most prolific writer. His work includes the Galway Arts Festival hit The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Harte and the West End hit musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The Monster In The Hall was a smash hit at the Edinburgh Festival in 2013. Duck Macatarsney cares for her biker dad whose MS is getting increasingly bad. Her Dad, Duke, is a spliff smoking (for medicinal reasons you understand), bike riding, heavy metal and movie loving, pizza eating widower who's brought up Duck since the death of her mother in a crash. The two of them are just about surviving when one morning the Duke wakes up blind and the Duck hears that the social services are coming to take her away. The Monster in the Hall follows the story of Duck as she tries to protect her world from the terrifying prospect of change. This is a low budget indie comedy musical about a girl on the verge of a nervous breakdown played out by seven actors and a big fat motorbike that goes vrrooommm. The Guardian described the production as “passionate, playful and yet serious, gripping us one minute, cracking us up the next, before melting our hearts with a happy ending.” Sound and music is provided by Carl Kennedy and lighting design by Mike O’Halloran. The production will run at Nun’s Island Theatre for four performances only from Monday 24th March to Thursday 27th March at 8pm. Tickets are €10 and are available at the door. Ends.

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Over 50 Students Attend Ireland’s First UniStem Day

Over 50 Students Attend Ireland’s First UniStem Day -image

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

NUI Galway recently hosted the first UniStem Day to take place in Ireland, which took place on Friday, 14 March. UniStem Day is a day in which 45 universities, 20,000 secondary school students and more than 250 researchers, managers, communicators, ethicists, clinicians, technicians from around Europe came together to learn about and discuss cutting edge stem cell research. Now in its sixth year, UniStem Day is about pushing the boundaries of stem cell knowledge and disseminating it across Europe. During the day events happened simultaneously in Ireland, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Hosted by the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway and sponsored by Orbsen Therapeutics, over 50 students from St Endas and St Marys schools in Galway city learned about stem cells, what they can and cannot do and also about their potential as future treatments from REMEDI Professors Rhodri Ceredig and Sanbing Shen. REMEDI Manager Kieran Ryan said: “We are so delighted to host a Unistem Day event here in Ireland for the first time ever. It’s a wonderful experience for the students to be part of such an exciting initiative happening all over Europe.” Teacher Emma Dalton from St Endas said: “It was a great event. The talks were very inspiring and I hope that it opened the student’s eyes to the amazing research that is being done on their doorstep. The combination of top class facilities and world renowned scientists now boasted by NUI Galway will be a major motivational factor for our students to stay and study Science in Galway.” UniStem Day is all about fostering learning, discovery and debate about stem cell research and building and strengthening knowledge amongst secondary school students. The UniStem events are designed to give participants experiences connected directly to research and to give them an insight into the day-to-day life of scientists. -Ends-

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Mosquito Swatting Game And Rainwatch Apps Amongst Winners In Second Annual CodeNinja Competition

Mosquito Swatting Game And Rainwatch Apps Amongst Winners In Second Annual CodeNinja Competition-image

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Third-level students from NUI Galway and GMIT awarded CodeNinja winning prizes for creating innovative web and mobile apps On 13th March, CodeNinja, an app development competition for third-level students in Galway came to its conclusion with three prizes awarded to student teams from NUI Galway and GMIT. Through a series of workshops, CodeNinja gave students the skills and knowledge required to create their own innovative web or mobile apps. The competition was designed by local businesses and academics to train and encourage students to be creative in the cultivation of their own technology ideas, and was supported by Microsoft Ireland, GitHub, OnePageCRM, Ex Ordo, and Prof Chris Curtin, VP for Innovation and Performance at NUI Galway. The winning entry was the “Annoying Mosquito” app developed by Chengxuan Xing and Adeel Gilani, both final year software development students at GMIT. Both received Nokia 1520 mobile phones for winning first prize. Their Windows Phone app relies on what is called “augmented reality” - superimposing computer-generated graphics on top of a mobile camera view of the real world - and the aim is to make anyone from adults to kids move and do more exercise when they are playing games. (The game allows players to swat a computer-generated annoying mosquito using a mobile phone.) The joint runners-up were John Maguire, a final year Electronic and Computer Engineering student from NUI Galway, and Răzvan Rădulescu, an Atmospheric Science PhD researcher also from NUI Galway. Both received Nokia 520s mobile phones as runner-up prizes. John Maguire developed a presentations speech-to-text web app for the hearing impaired, based on conversations with a community resource officer from DeafHear Galway. Răzvan Rădulescu created “Rainwatch”, an app which keeps track of a user’s location and notifies them of potential rain a few minutes before it happens. Tutorials were given to students by a range of startup founders and app development experts: OnePageCRM CEO Michael FitzGerald, Ex Ordo CEO Paul Killoran, NUI Galway Research Technologist David Kelly, previous CodeNinja competition winner Mike Rockall, and Windows and Xbox developer Neil Turner. Co-organiser Dr. John Breslin of NUI Galway says: “A recent study run by Gigaom Research and NUI Galway found that the EU app economy has been responsible for the creation of 1.8 million jobs, so the future is bright for Galway’s student app developers and for those who took part in the CodeNinja competition.” “We see CodeNinja as a critical cog in building an app culture in Galway City and amongst our student population,” according to Clodagh Barry, from NUI Galway’s Research Office. “It is important in terms of its impact on students and the local economy: increasing the available skillsets and working with industry partners in the app ecosystem.” More information on the winners is available at www.codeninja.ie/2014 Ends

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