NUI Galway Engineering Lecturer joins Board of Directors for the American Council on Exercise

NUI Galway Engineering Lecturer joins Board of Directors for the American Council on Exercise-image

Monday, 2 September 2013

Dr Breslin brings combination of technology expertise and education experience The American Council on Exercise (ACE) has announced that NUI Galway’s Dr John Breslin, a lecturer in Engineering and Informatics at the University and co-founder of, has been appointed to their board of directors for a three-year period. ACE is the largest non-profit fitness certification, education and training organisation in the world, with over 50,000 certified professionals. ACE-certified personal trainers and group fitness instructors are now practising in more than 110 countries worldwide. The organisation recently became the first US-based fitness certification provider to earn approval by the European Health & Fitness Association (EHFA) Standards Council, allowing fitness professionals with ACE certifications to join the European Register of Exercise Professionals (EREPS). In 2010, NUI Galway became the first university outside North America to form a University Course Curriculum partnership with the American Council on Exercise. At NUI Galway, Dr Breslin teaches courses to undergraduate electrical, computer, sports and exercise students, and has worked with ACE on sponsored postgraduate research to examine the relationship between mobile social fitness reporting and exercise adherence. “Personal fitness and fitness training are being increasingly impacted upon by emerging technologies in social media and mobile devices,” says Dr Breslin. “The surge in usage of social media and shared experiences has led many to share details of their daily exercise routines through social networks. These updates are mainly communicated through the proliferation of mobile devices we now carry about our persons daily.” “The same mobile devices used by those measuring their fitness levels can also be used as advanced education delivery platforms for training instructors and fitness professionals,” says Dr Breslin. “ACE is a very forward-looking organisation, always mindful of emerging trends in technology and education, and I will be doing my best to help keep them abreast of current developments based on my technology expertise and education experiences.” “I am honoured and delighted to join the all-star board of directors at ACE, each member having expertise and success in differing domains ranging from government and business to fitness and health.” -- ENDS –    

>> Read full story about NUI Galway Engineering Lecturer joins Board of Directors for the American Council on Exercise ‘GolfCycle’ Prize Winners Announced ‘GolfCycle’ Prize Winners Announced -image

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

The ‘GolfCycle’ undertaken by NUI Galway MA in Digital Media student and former Irish International golfer, Joe Lyons and John McGuire of the Technology Transfer Office at the University, launched the campaign this summer.  The duo cycled from Galway Golf Club to the Irish Open in Mullingar, playing 18 holes across 9 golf courses along the way. The event raised awareness of the University-backed initiative to build smartphone applications to locate your nearest defibrillator while also raising funds for the Irish Heart Foundation. Golf club members across the country also had the opportunity to win some great prizes provided by Revive Active and the Carlton Shearwater Hotel, by taking part in their own club’s weekly medal. The draw for the prizes took place recently at a ceremony in NUI Galway. The results are as follows: First Prize: Mullingar Golf Club Mullingar Golf Club won a weekend trip for four to Oceanico's Amendeoira Golf Resort in the Algarve, sponsored by Revive Active. Second Prize: Galway Golf Club Galway Golf Club won a weekend break for four at the Carlton Shearwater Hotel. Third Prize: Dara Kirwin Dara Kirwin was the winners of the spa day for four in the Carlton Shearwater Spa. Joe Lyons said: “Revive Active and the Carlton Shearwater sponsorship have had a very positive effect on the campaign. Smartphone applications are almost complete and will be available in September. We are continuing to build a list of defibrillator locations to assist the public in times of crises. Without the support of sponsors it would be extremely difficult to do this.” ‘GolfCycle’ was the first in a series of initiatives aimed at encouraging organisations to register defibrillators and highlighting the resource to the general public. Upcoming events will continue to encourage the crowdsourcing of information. The campaign is dependant on crowdsourcing information to build a comprehensive registry. For more information on visit -ENDS-

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NUI Galway and Connacht Rugby announce high performance partnership

NUI Galway and Connacht Rugby announce high performance partnership -image

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Partnership launched by NUI Galway alumnus and former Lions, Ireland and Connacht captain Ciaran Fitzgerald 2013 NUI Galway and Connacht Rugby have announced a comprehensive partnership to further develop the sporting, academic, research and educational links between the two. The partnership aims to nurture the next generation of sports performers and scholars. The partnership will see NUI Galway support the Connacht Rugby Academy and the Connacht Rugby Age Grade Representative teams. A key aspect of the partnership is the offer of structured third level education to elite players. This structured education will also involve a mentoring and development programme. Speaking at the launch, NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne said that the aim is ‘to provide professional players with the opportunity to combine third level study with a professional rugby career which will provide a powerful incentive for talented young players to come to Connacht and NUI Galway.” Connacht Head of Commercial and Marketing, Alex Saul said “We are delighted to welcome NUI Galway on board to support our Academy and Age Grade Programmes. NUI Galway are the perfect partner to have on board to ensure that our development pathway continues to flourish, whilst also opening the door to further commercial, educational and research opportunities. CEO of Connacht Rugby, Tom Sears said ‘Our new partnership with NUI Galway will enable Connacht Rugby to further enhance our holistic approach to elite player development. We have always sought to develop our players in every aspect of their lives, on and off the pitch, to ensure they reach their full potential and this link will provide tremendous opportunities for them. We fully intend to explore all the exciting opportunities of working closely with NUI Galway and see this new partnership as fundamental to our future development in many areas.’ Connacht players and NUI Galway brand ambassadors Robbie Henshaw, Eoin McKeon, Conor Finn and Rory Maloney will be taking an active part in the NUI Galway schools liaison programme, visiting schools and talking to students about the potential to balance elite sport with third level education but also the broader benefits of both an active mind and an active body. Ciaran Fitzgerald, former Connacht, Ireland and Lions captain, launching the partnership, said that the initiative is a wonderful opportunity for young people both inside and outside the province of Connacht to benefit from the combination of two schools of excellence. Today marks the beginning of a broader partnership that will extend beyond school visits, structured education for elite players and underage team support to world class research in areas like psychology, nutrition and performance excellence. The aim is to address challenges facing elite athletes in the professional game and enable leading researchers to address those challenges in rugby played at the highest level. -ends-  

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NUI Galway Celebrate Irish Identity as part of Culture Night 2013

NUI Galway Celebrate Irish Identity as part of Culture Night 2013-image

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

As part of Culture Night 2013, which takes place on Friday, 20 September, 6pm, the Archives and Special Collections Service at NUI Galway’s James Hardiman Library will stage a special evening talk on the connection between The Gathering of 2013 and the original celebration of Irish culture and identity and engagement with Irish diaspora worldwide – the Tóstal events of the 1950s. An Tóstal, first staged in 1953, was a showcase for Irishness, Irish culture and identity. Its events were steeped in spiritual, mythological and national symbolism. It was initiated as a means of attracting visitors and the Irish diaspora to Ireland during the Easter period, as well as giving a platform to Irish culture in a new fledgling Republic. Author, Felicity Hayes-McCoy is the special guest speaker for this Culture Night event, and has been writing specifically on The Gathering and on Irish culture at home and abroad. Felicity is the daughter of Professor Gerard Anthony Hayes-McCoy, former Chair of History at NUI Galway and an advisor and script-writer for the Tóstals of the 1950's. As part of this Culture Night event, there will be a special showcase of digitised archival material from the Hayes-McCoy archive, which is held at the James Hardiman Library. John Cox, University Librarian at NUI Galway comments: “We are delighted once again to take the opportunity offered by Culture Night to engage the public with our archives and in particular to host such a distinguished speaker as Felicity Hayes-McCoy. This event will be a unique opportunity to explore the tradition of Irish culture, its imagery, symbolism and connection to the world, as well as the past connection of NUI Galway to this staging of Ireland, through the Hayes-McCoy archive.” Felicity Hayes-McCoy said: “As a writer with a lifelong interest in mythology and folklore, I am drawn to the imagery, symbolism and ritual invoked in these festivals. And because I come from a background of theatre and broadcast, I am fascinated by the differences and similarities between An Tóstal and The Gathering – not just in terms of the messages they chose to send out, but by the collaborative, and sometimes contentious, process of conceiving and conveying them.” The event will take place in the new Arts, Humanities and Social Science Research Building, adjacent to the James Hardiman Library, with doors opening at 5.30pm. The event is free but booking is essential. For further information, contact, or phone 091 493476. -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Welcomes Over 100 Brazilian Students

NUI Galway Welcomes Over 100 Brazilian Students -image

Friday, 6 September 2013

More internationals students are enrolled in NUI Galway than any other Irish University NUI Galway welcomed the Brazilian Deputy Ambassador, Minister-Counselor, Chief of Chancery,  Elza Moreira Marcelino de Castro, and over 100 Brazilian students to its campus today. This welcoming reception coinsides with Brazil's National Independence Day, which takes place tomorrow (Saturday, 7 September). To date, 140 students from 69 universities throughout Brazil have been accepted by NUI Galway to study a range of modules from Anatomy to Zoology, and from Artificial Intelligence to Tissue Engineering. NUI Galway, with the highest number of international students in an Irish university, has been central to Ireland’s participation in Brazil’s Science without Borders (Ciência sem Fronteiras). Science without Borders directly funds 75,000 scholarships and a further 26,000 are being funded by the private sector. The programme seeks to add to students’ knowledge of science and technology and improve innovation and competitiveness through international mobility of undergraduate and graduate students and researchers. Dr Brian Hughes, Dean of International Affairs at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway has proven to be the university of choice in Ireland for Brazilian students. 140 students from Brazil are travelling to university in Galway under the CAPES grant programme, and we would hope that following the forthcoming funding round our Brazilian family will grow and grow!” Figures released by the Higher Education Authority show that NUI Galway has over 2,000 International students enrolled on a broad portfolio of courses, arts, business, public policy and law, science, engineering, medicine and health sciences. The students come from over 104 different countries, all continents, with international students making up 16% of the overall student population, and 27% of the University’s PhD students. The University has over 200 student exchange agreements with universities around the world. For more information visit -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Ryan Institute to explain and explore Ireland’s Renewable Energy Potential

NUI Galway Ryan Institute to explain and explore Ireland’s Renewable Energy Potential-image

Monday, 9 September 2013

Renewable energy tours to boost awareness and eco-tourism along the west coast NUI Galway Ryan Institute is to merge tourism, technology and geography to allow interested parties to witness first hand Ireland’s renewable energy potential. The eco-tour trails, supported by the EU, will offer an insight into the latest renewable energy research against the backdrop of Ireland’s world famous western coast. The tours will provide renewable energy demonstrations and training in new energy technologies, and will bring economic and educational benefits across the region to investors, local authorities, researchers, policy makers, students and the general public. Professor Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute and project leader says “the renewable energy tours will provide an opportunity for local stakeholders to learn about the technology and best practice within the renewable energy sector, which can increase understanding of the technology and potential for rural communities”.  Dr Annette Harte, senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering added that not only will the renewable energy tours create jobs along the western seaboard but, she said, “will help to build expertise and promote the development of a renewable energy network across rural areas that will be sustainable beyond the project activities”. The Ryan Institute was awarded €127,000 from the EU for the REMOTE project (Renewable Energy Training and Demonstration Network for Remote Communities across the Northern Periphery Programme (NPP) area). Serena Silke has been appointed to manage the project among the five European partners. Brigit’s Garden in Roscahill, Co. Galway and the BMW Assembly are also on board ensuring the integration of the tourism and technology activities into the educational and industrial sectors along the Western region. The project secured a total of €850,000 across the partnership in Scotland, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Ireland. The NPP areas of Ireland include Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal, Clare, Limerick, Cork and Kerry. The project’s aim is to increase and support local capacities in renewable energy solutions across the peripheral and remote communities on the northern margins of Europe and to develop their economic, social and environmental potential. -ENDS-  

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Free Blood Pressure Checks for People with Sleep Problems

Free Blood Pressure Checks for People with Sleep Problems -image

Monday, 9 September 2013

The HRB Clinical Research Facility at NUI Galway, in association with the Heart and Stroke Charity Croí, are inviting members of the public who have sleep problems to avail of free blood pressure checks on Monday, 16 September from 2-7pm at the Croí Heart and Stroke Centre, Moyola Lane, Newcastle, Galway. This initiative is part of ongoing research into reducing the risk of a heart attack or stroke, and is specially targeting people with sleep problems, such as difficulty getting to sleep, waking during the night, or people for who sleep disturbance is impacting on their daily lives. Recent sleep-related research has shown that poor sleep can increase the risk of high blood pressure and obesity, which are major risk factors for heart disease and stroke. It is well known that a good night’s sleep is essential for good health. However, with the challenges and pressures of modern life and demanding lifestyles, more and more people are experiencing poor sleep patterns. If these sleep deficits are linked to high blood pressure, it has important implications for the prevention of longer term chronic illnesses such as heart disease. People attending the blood pressure check may be suitable to be included in the research study. Nurses from the Clinical Research Facility at NUI Galway and the Croí Heart and Stroke Centre will be on hand to carry out the checks and no appointment is necessary. The event is supported by Bristol Myers Squibb. For further information, please contact Alice Power HRB Clinical Research Facility, NUI Galway, on 091 494282 or 086 0220016. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Moves Up 3 places to 284th in QS World University Rankings 2013/2014

 NUI Galway Moves Up 3 places to 284th in QS World University Rankings 2013/2014 -image

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

NUI Galway has again increased its position in the QS World University Rankings 2013/2014. Rising 3 places to 284th in this year’s ranking, NUI Galway is one of only two Irish universities to improve their standing in this year’s league table.   Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said of the achievement: “This is good news for NUI Galway and further acknowledgement of the developments in teaching and research that have taken place at this University in recent years.   Although all ranking systems have their limitations in that they seek to measure performance across a narrow range of criteria, the QS World University Rankings is one of the best regarded evaluations of higher education in the world, and it is great to see NUI Galway continue to make its mark on that ranking.”   President Browne added: “It is clear that Irish universities are competing in a global market now. In spite of the economic difficulties the country faces, we need to continue to invest in teaching and research if we are to continue to attract the best staff and students and to maintain and enhance Ireland’s position within higher education globally”.   NUI Galway is now ranks in the top 300 universities in the disciplines of Engineering and Technology (251), Arts and Humanities (276) and Social Sciences and Management (288). It is in the top 350 universities globally for Life Sciences and Medicine (307) and Natural Sciences (348) in the QS World University Rankings’ discipline categories.   QS Head of Research Ben Sowter said that the economic climate of recent years has been very challenging for Irish universities, with recurrent grant allocations falling 25% between 2008 and 2012. Trinity College Dublin was the only other Irish university to improve its position in this year’s ranking. The QS World University Rankings have been running since 2004 and are amongst the highest profile global evaluations of comparative university quality. The World University Rankings were conceived to present a multi-faceted view of the relative strengths of the world’s leading universities. The calculations leading to the QS World University Rankings are based on data gathered in the following categories: Academic Peer Review, Employer Review, International Faculty Ratio, International Student Ratio, Student Faculty Ratio, and Citations per Faculty (citation data supplied by Scopus).   ENDS  

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Science Communication Video Competition for Primary and Secondary Schools

Science Communication Video Competition for Primary and Secondary Schools-image

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

ReelLife Science, a novel Science video competition, was recently launched in 316 primary and secondary schools by a team of NUI Galway staff and students. The competition aims to involve school children in Science in a fun way, developing their analytical, creative and communication skills, while enabling NUI Galway researchers and students to engage in Outreach in an innovative manner. The initiative was conceived by NUI Galway’s Dr Enda O’Connell, a winner of the inaugural ‘I’m a Scientist, Get me out of Here, Ireland” competition in November 2012, securing funding for a science communication project. Additional funding to expand the project was awarded by the NUI Galway Students’ Union EXPLORE Innovation Initiative and the College of Science. Now supported by a team of NUI Galway Science communicators, ReelLife Science will award a total of €1000 in prizes, while winners will also be invited to attend the Galway Science and Technology Festival on Sunday, 24 November in NUI Galway, where their videos will be on display to the general public. Short (1-3 min) videos may be submitted by the invited schools consisting of all primary and secondary schools in Galway, and the 28 schools which participated in ‘I’m a Scientist, get me out of here, Ireland’ 2012. Videos will be judged by a panel of internationally recognised scientists, including Professor Rhodri Ceredig, REMEDI, NUI Galway and Professor Andrea Brand of Gurdon Institute, Cambridge. Emma Dalton, Science teacher and Transition Year Coordinator in St Enda’s College Galway, said of her students’ upcoming participation: “I am very excited, as this competition offers an opportunity for students to step away from the curriculum and engage in Science in a more fun way. It is also an opportunity for them to guide their own learning and then, even better, to practice sharing what they have learnt with others. I am really looking forward to seeing the ideas they come up with.” The closing date for submissions is Friday, 25 October. The winning videos will be displayed on the projects website,, Facebook page, and Twitter feed, @ReelLifeScience, where regular updates, Science news and blog posts can be found.  For further information visit or email -ENDS-

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Free App Allows Users to Book Health, Wellbeing and Leisure Appointments 24 Hours a Day

Free App Allows Users to Book Health, Wellbeing and Leisure Appointments 24 Hours a Day-image

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

A new app developed at NUI Galway allows users to book appointments 24 hours a day. The free app will be officially launched on Wednesday, 11 September, by Helplink, a new Irish social enterprise. The app means dentist, doctor, beauty salon, physio, hairdressing, and chiropractor appointments can be booked 24 hours a day, seven days a week and in real time. There is also an option to avail of cancelled appointments by viewing appointments in real time and health/wellbeing providers can fill appointments that they may have lost before. Lochlann Scott, Managing Director of Helplink and Psychology graduate from NUI Galway, said: “We all have been in those situations where, for example, it always seems to be out of hours when you need to book an appointment, or you are constantly trying to get through at nine in the morning to an engaged tone or answering machine or wasting time and money ringing around to find a free appointment. Also this service will help free up A&Es because people can find those real time appointments for minor injuries, etc.” Not only does the Helplink’s Directory and Appointment Booking service allow local and out-of-town clients find appointments fast and easily, it also has over 2,500 listings of public and private health and wellbeing services from across the nation. Some of the categories include: hospitals, opticians, home care services, chemists, late night services, yoga centres and many more. The easy to use booking app for iPhones and Androids has been created by Sean Coleman of NUI Galway’s Discipline of Information Technology, under the direction of Dr Owen Molloy. “Financial support was provided by the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher scheme, which provides a very simple and cost-effective way for local industry to engage with our R&D capability”, says Dr Molloy. Helplink’s simple, easy to use website has been created with the support of Eircom. Lochlann, a research psychologist, lecturer and social care worker with the HSE, said: “The reason behind creating Helplink was to use technology to reduce the cost of providing health and support services and also to make these services and health information accessible to everyone in Ireland no matter where they are. Our directory is our first completely free service to the public and this new appointment booking system was a logical next move to my mind.” The Helplink directory is free to use, free to download and use, and details of your chosen listing will be sent to the user’s phone by text for free. The app can be downloaded from the App Store, iTunes and the Google Play Store by searching ‘helplink’. For more information please visit or contact -ENDS-

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