Wednesday, 9 December 2009

- A new book about online information - The solution to problems associated with social websites, such as information integration, dissemination and searchability are the subject of a new book by NUI Galway internet experts. The Social Semantic Web investigates how emerging Semantic Web technology has produced a variety of approaches to overcome existing information boundaries. The book is authored by John Breslin, School of Engineering and Informatics, and Alexandre Passant and Stefan Decker of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), based at NUI Galway. The content is intended for computer science professionals, researchers, and graduates interested in understanding the technologies and research issues involved in applying Semantic Web technologies to social software. Breslin et al. describe some popular social media and social networking applications, list their strengths and limitations, and describe some applications of semantic web technology to address their current shortcomings by enhancing them with semantics. Across these social websites, they demonstrate a twofold approach for interconnecting the islands that are social websites with semantic technologies, and for powering semantic applications with rich community-created content. Practitioners and developers interested in applications such as blogs, social networks or wikis will also learn about methods for increasing the levels of automation in these forms of web communication. Co-author John Breslin, who founded boards.ie, one of the most popular internet forums in Ireland: “The ‘Social Semantic Web’, also called ‘Web 3.0’ is all about forming a network of interlinked and semantically-rich content and knowledge. This leads to a web of data that can be used by computers to help people with their daily tasks, and is an ideal platform for interlinking and performing operations on the diverse data available from Web 2.0”. The success of much of the work described in the book has been demonstrated in its adoption by various groups and companies. The SIOC system, described in the book and developed by researchers in DERI, has been used by Yahoo! in its SearchMonkey application. It has also recently been integrated into the Drupal content management system that is used by thousands of organisations. The Social Semantic Web, is published by Springer; for more information see www.socialsemanticweb.net. -Ends-

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Professor Stefan Decker, Director of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway, was announced the award winner for ‘Academic Contribution to the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Sector’ at the recent Information Technology Association Galway (ITAG) Industry Awards. DERI is an internationally recognised institute in semantic web research, education and technology transfer. DERI brings together academic and industrial partners to boost innovation in science and technology, which directly contributes to the Irish government s plan of transforming Ireland into a competitive knowledge economy. On receiving the award, Professor Decker said: “I am delighted to be presented with this award for the continued growth and excellence of our research at DERI. This recognition from ITAG is hugely important and I welcome the endorsement from such and established group on our work. ICT in Galway is crucial to its development and we look forward to continued relationships in the future with local industry”. DERI was established in 2003 by Science Foundation Ireland as a Centre for Science and Engineering Technology (CSET) and has become the largest research institute in the world dedicated to the development of advanced web technologies. DERI is also actively engaged in technology spin-outs and licensing of its leading edge technologies. Since its establishment DERI has grown to over 120 people and has acquired significant additional research funding from sources such as the European Union Framework Programmes, Enterprise Ireland and industrial partnerships. Its core industry partners include CISCO, Nortel, Ericsson, Storm, Celtrak, Openlink, and Cyntelix. The ITAG was established in September 2000 by a group of IT professionals representing both multinational and indigenous IT companies. Through ITAG, the IT sector in Galway has played its role in shaping the future development of the region, both economically and socially. Each year, ITAG rewards the achievements and encourages further success of its outstanding members through the ITAG Industry Awards. -Ends-

Monday, 7 December 2009

The Rape Crisis Network Ireland has published ground breaking research into rape and its treatment within the criminal justice system. The research, which was carried out by NUI Galway s School of Law, had the participation of 100 survivors of recent adult rape, examined almost 600 DPP files and further examined over 170 Central Criminal Court trials and the transcripts of appealed cases. The research was prompted by Ireland s increasing levels of reporting of rape and decreasing convictions. The four-year study, entitled "Rape and Justice in Ireland", looks at different key stages of our criminal justice system, and reveals insights that have not previously been documented in Ireland before. Fiona Neary, Director of the Rape Crisis Network Ireland, said: "We know from victims that the Criminal Justice System is failing in rape cases. Ireland s conviction rate from reported incidents to conviction is amongst the lowest in Europe. Survivors in Rape Crisis Centres tell us of their fears about reporting. They talk of the lack of dignity and respect in how they are treated; how they feel it is they who are on trial, and how their voice is ignored by the system. For those who have a positive experience of reporting, they also feel isolated and lost, are not kept informed, and have been unable to move on with their lives because of the years waiting for their case to come to court". This research, which was headed by NUI Galway s Conor Hanley, had the full, unreserved, and by and large, unprecedented cooperation of key agencies, from the Rape Crisis sector to the DPP and the Court Services. Never before has such extensive and reliable data on our legal system been documented. Given the breath of the research, the findings have application beyond rape cases. For example, there is a thorough examination of whether or not complainants use Victim Impact Statements to seek vengeance and thus abuse the system. This report looks at the journey from incident to conviction and how cases fail to engage with, simply fall out or are dropped out of the Criminal Justice System along the way. Hanley and his team have made wide-ranging recommendations for reform in the legal system and in society. For a copy of the report visit visit www.rcni.ie. -Ends-

Friday, 4 December 2009

NUI Galway has been named the Overall Winner in the Marketing Institute of Ireland West Region's Annual Awards. Speaking at the Awards Ceremony, Chairperson of the Marketing Institute of Ireland West Region Emma Dillon-Leetch congratulated NUI Galway on their very talented team efforts in outstanding marketing development. "The Marketing Institute of Ireland West Region Awards is the premier independent awards programme for companies and businesses in the West of Ireland today. NUI Galway has demonstrated an innovative approach to marketing within business and is a worthy winner of the overall top prize", she said. In 2009 the University's Marketing Team led a major brand development project with the aim of repositioning the University and creating a strong visual identity to differentiate NUI Galway from its competitors. Significant measurable successes as a result of the University's outstanding marketing activity saw NUI Galway show a substantial increase of 13.1% in CAO First Preference applications- a growth of more than double that of the University Sector and the highest year-on-year increase of all the Universities. The University was also named University of the Year 2009 by The Sunday Times. On accepting the award, Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications, NUI Galway, said: "We are delighted to accept these prestigious awards from the Marketing Institute. Winning the overall award on top of the 'Marketing Team of the Year' category was simply overwhelming. It really has been a fantastic year for NUI Galway. We have enjoyed success on many fronts in 2009 and the Marketing Institute Awards are a fitting recognition of the University's achievements over the last year". Now in their eighth year the MII West Region Marketing Awards are the premier independent awards programme available to marketers in the West of Ireland and attracted an initial entry of over 80 from businesses and companies operating in Galway Mayo and Roscommon. This year several new awards categories were added creating eleven categories that companies, teams or individuals could enter. -Ends-

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Newly appointed SFI Stokes Professor of Biophotonics at NUI Galway, Malini Olivo, is one of the University's nanoscience experts participating in Nanoweek, which was opened in Cork this week by Mr Batt O'Keefe, Minister for Science and Education. Organised by the Nanoscience Network, Nanoweek, will run until 4 December and will include a wide range of events designed to raise awareness of the contribution that nanoscience makes to the Irish economy and to society. Nanoweek will also highlight the central role nanoscience can play in driving the Smart Economy. Professor Malini Olivo has pioneered the area of clinical application of Photodynamic Diagnosis and Treatment in Cancer in Singapore. She has spearheaded several collaborative projects with Singapore linked government research agencies and universities in biophotonics and nanophotonics for in-vivo optical bio-imaging applications in cancer and metabolic medicine. Dr Margaret Brennan Fournet from NUI Galway's School of Physics will also participate in Nanoweek, events at the University Research to Economic Value workshop to be held in Dublin on 3 December. This workshop focuses on the development of economic value from university research, including discussions on intellectual property and case studies on developing nanotechnology companies. Members of the National Centre for Laser Applications (NCLA) at NUI Galway will also be visiting local secondary schools in Galway during Nanoweek. The visits will introduce nanoscience and photonics to secondary-school students and include lesson plans/worksheets linked to the school curriculum. The NCLA recently launched a new Clean Room Ultrafast Laser Laboratory. The laser facility combines state-of-the-art laser research technology with advanced spectral and imaging diagnostics. The facility includes nano-second, pico-second, and femto-second laser systems integrated with advanced motion systems and precision spectral and imaging diagnostics. The development is part of the National Integrated Nanoscience Platform for Ireland (INSPIRE) supported under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI4). Dr Gerard O'Connor, who leads the INSPIRE project at NUI Galway, said: "Nanoweek, has two aims. Firstly, it seeks to bring the remarkable transformation that is occurring in nanoscience to the attention of the young people in schools so that they may make more informed decisions regarding their future careers. Secondly Nanoweek showcases the excellent research activities and facilities, such as the new laser laboratory at NUI Galway that are available to industry and academic partners for collaboration". -Ends-

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

A one-day Branding Masterclass for Business Leaders The Centre for Innovation and Structural Change at NUI Galway is to host a one-day Masterclass for business leaders entitled ?Growing Brands through a Recession?. The event will be co-hosted by marketing guru Professor Leslie de Chernatony, Professor of Brand Marketing at Universita della Svizzera italiana in Switzerland and Aston Business School, UK, and Dr Elaine Wallace, Lecturer in Marketing and Associate Head of Development and Promotion at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway. Dr Wallace says: ?During recessionary times, many companies are tempted to cut prices in order to offer value to customers. However, focusing on price can negatively affect brand equity, leading to a weaker brand image and a loss of market share. The recession represents an opportunity to reconsider how brands can offer more relevant value. This Masterclass will show how a budget can be better used to deliver a ?wow factor? by offering more appropriate value to customers?. Designed with business professionals in mind, the event will highlight factors leading to brand success and, using examples, will show how leading brands get through tough times. Billed as a ?hands on? event, delegates will get practical tools for brand building. Frameworks will be presented, and delegates will work in syndicate groups to apply those frameworks to their own businesses. During plenary sessions, ideas for growing brand value will be shared, and discussions will help to shape brand-building activities. Dr Wallace added: ?The event, in particular Professor de Chernatony?s insights, will be invaluable for large and small businesses in product and service sectors?. The Chartered Institute of Marketing cite Professor Leslie de Chernatony as one of the 50 gurus who have shaped the future of marketing due to his pioneering work on brand management. His cutting edge work on strategically building brands has helped many organisations develop more effective brand strategies. A firm advocate of the need for managers to benefit from his work on brand marketing, he has run many highly acclaimed management development workshops throughout Europe, the USA, the Middle East, Asia and Australia and his advice has been sought by numerous organisations throughout the world on developing more effective brand strategies. The Masterclass will take place on Thursday, 21 January, 2010 and the cost of a full day is ?195. To register for this event please visit www.conference.ie. For further information please contact Angela Sice, Centre for Innovation and Structural Change, at 091 492817 or Dr Elaine Wallace, Marketing, J. E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics, NUI Galway at 091 492603. -Ends-

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

- How social science and business research can better inform policy making - NUI Galway will today (Tuesday, 1 December) open the Irish Social Science Platform Annual Conference. The two-day event will focus on how and why social science and business research can better inform policy makers and the policy process. Conference keynotes and round table discussions will examine topics such as 'How should the Social Sciences relate to Public Policy?' and 'Social Science, Policy, and Partnership in Crisis'. Keynote speakers include Professor Diane Halpern of Claremont McKenna College, California, on A Cabinet-Level Office of Social Science Advisors: Mr Cowen and President Obama, Are you Listening? Dr Rory O'Donnell, Director of the National Economic and Social Council of Ireland (NESC) will speak about Social Science, Policy and Partnership in Crisis and Professor Paul Wyckoff of Hamilton College, New York will address Social Science and Public Policy: Bridging the 'Great Disconnect'. Commenting on the need to better link academic research and public policy, Professor Wyckoff of Hamilton College, notes: "Precious little of our hard-earned social science knowledge is used in actual policy debates. Instead, intuition, ideology and simplistic reasoning often drive decision-making". Dr James Cunningham, Director of the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change, NUI Galway, said: "Too often there is a gulf between the body of knowledge and information produced by social science researchers and the assumptions that motivate policy makers and public policy. One aim of the conference is to figure out ways to close this gap and improve public policy". In addition to invited international speakers and national policymakers, the event brings together faculty and Ph.D. students from various disciplines in eight third-level institutions. Most of the research presented will reflect the Irish Social Science Platform (ISSP) focus by investigating three broad themes of national importance – creating balanced development, sustaining communities, and building the knowledge economy. The ISSP programme is unique in that it integrates social science, business research and graduate training across multiple academic disciplines with the purpose of stimulating innovative social, cultural and economic transformations that will shape Ireland in the 21st century. The ISSP programme at NUI Galway, for example, brings together academics and Ph.D. students from The Centre for Innovation and Structural Change, the Centre for Child and Family Support, the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, the Centre for Research on Occupation and Life Stress, and the Irish Centre for Rural Transformation and Sustainability. For additional information and the conference programme please visit: www.conference.ieor contact Dr James Cunningham, at 091 493472 or email james.cunningham@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

- Irish Cancer Society commits €1 million to supporting career development for the next generation of cancer researchers in Ireland - Dr Eva Szegezdi of Biochemistry in the School of Natural Sciences and the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at NUI Galway was one of three researchers to receive an Irish Cancer Society fellowship at a recent awards ceremony held in Dublin where President of Ireland, Mary McAleese presented six of Ireland's most gifted young cancer researchers with inaugural Irish Cancer Society's Research Scholarship Awards & Research Fellowship Awards. This new Scholarship award scheme is part of the Society's commitment to funding cancer research in Ireland, to cultivating the next generation of cancer researchers and rewarding exceptional people with outstanding research ideas in the area of cancer research. Dr Eva Szegezdi is studying a new anti-cancer therapy, called TRAIL, which is currently in phase II clinical trials. "TRAIL is effective at treating 50% of cancers, but does not work in the other 50%. My research is trying to find ways to make TRAIL more effective in these resistant cancers" explained Dr Szegezdi. Professor Afshin Samali, Head of Biochemistry at NUI Galway, said: "This is a major achievement for Dr Szegezdi and Biochemistry. Dr Szegezdi has achieved the highest level of scientific excellence and earlier this year was also awarded a Starter Investigator Research Grant (SIRG) for cancer research from Science Foundation Ireland". In 2008, the Irish Cancer Society established the Research Fellowship programme to assist cancer researchers to develop their research ideas and offer them the support they need to direct their own research teams. Following on from the success of this initiative, this year the Society established the Research Scholarship programme to fund young post graduate students starting out on a career in cancer research. The Scholarship programme aims to encourage the brightest and the best students in Ireland to complete PhDs in cancer research. Commenting on the Fellowship and Scholarship scheme, Professor Cliona O'Farrelly, Chairperson, Cancer Research Committee, Irish Cancer Society said, "We are delighted with this new scheme which has attracted huge numbers of applicants from dedicated and enthusiastic researchers who are keen to dedicate themselves to cancer research." "It was particularly challenging to select just six candidates to receive the awards, but we are optimistic that with additional funding we may be able to expand this scheme," continued Professor O'Farrelly. The Fellowship and Scholarship scheme is open to all scientific, medical and paramedical disciplines that are committed to cancer research. Each Fellowship award is up to the value of €75,000 per annum for up to three years and each Scholarship award is up to the value of€40,000 per annum for up to three years. The Irish Cancer Society is the single largest voluntary supporter of cancer research in Ireland and is responsible for evaluating grant applications from scientists and doctors conducting this research. This research focuses on identifying risk factors for various cancers so that the disease may be prevented, identifying the cellular mechanisms of cancer in order to unravel the mystery of why some cells behave normally and some become cancerous and identifying the most effective combination of therapies in treating cancer. The Health Research Board (HRB) through the Medical Research Charities Group (MRCG) and the Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) are acknowledged for their support in co-funding some of these research projects. The Irish Cancer Society is now inviting applications for the 2010 Fellowship and Scholarship Awards Scheme. Closing date for entries is Wednesday, 10 February, 2010. Applications must be submitted online at www.cri.cancer.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

The next in a series of public talks organised by NUI Galway s Centre of Astronomy will explore the topic of Giant Telescopes. The free event takes places at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 9 December, in the McMunn Lecture Theatre, Arts & Science Building, NUI Galway. The lecture, presented by NUI Galway?s Dr Alexander Goncharov, will focus on telescopes such as the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). Currently under construction, the E-ELT will provide European astronomers with the largest optical-infrared telescope in the world. With a mirror diameter of 42 meters, the E-ELT will be more than one hundred times more sensitive than the present-day largest optical telescopes. Ireland has a strong tradition in astronomy with one of the largest telescopes in the world being built in Co. Offaly in 1845. Known as ?The Leviathan of Parsonstown?, it was the largest telescope of its time and was built by the third Earl of Rosse, William Parsons. Speaking about the lecture, Dr Goncharov said: ?The high interest of astronomers in further development of new, powerful telescopes is shared by a large part of the general public. The lecture will give special emphasis to astronomical imaging with adaptive optics, a new technique that helps to overcome the limiting effects of the earth s turbulent atmosphere. Future giant telescopes will initiate and support a new era in observational astronomy?. The lecture will also cover observing the night sky with a naked eye, amateur telescopes and professional optical telescopes. Essential scientific challenges including the search for earth-like planets will also be discussed. The series of public talks co-incides with the International Year of Astronomy which takes place throughout 2009. More details of all the talks can be found on http://astro.nuigalway.ie/outreach.php. -Ends-

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Pictured at the launch of the Collingwood Cup 2008, sponsored by www.future.ie, which will be hosted this year by NUI Galway were, Front: NUI Galway Soccer Club players Eoin McCorman, Ballina, Co. Mayo and Seamus Connelly, Rosmuc, Co. Galway. Behind them are NUI Galway Vice President for External Affairs, Ger Hurley; James O'Toole, Sports Med West; and CEO of tournament sponsor (www.future.ie), Mickey McLoughlin. The Collingwood will run from Monday February 25th-28th 2008 with most of the games to be played at Dangan Sports grounds. The NUI Galway Soccer Club hopes to secure Terryland Park for the Cup Final, in what promised to be a major event not only for varsity soccer, but for the city of Galway and indeed for sport in Ireland. Twelve universities from north and south of the border will take part in this unique All Ireland competition which is now run on a knockout basis over four days. The first cup was played in 1914.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway has announced that Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge will be opening a new Centre in Baile an Fheirtéaraigh in Corca Dhuibhne. Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge will commence their work in Baile an Fheirtéaraigh in a temporary location from September 2008. There is an understanding between the University and Údarás na Gaeltachta that the University will proceed with the construction of a new 1,700m² building on a 10 acre site owned by the Údarás, once planning permission has been granted. Mr. Éamon Ó Cuív, Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs is pleased to support this project and the Acadamh and University management are hopeful that Minister Ó Cuív's Department will supply generous funding for the building and running of this Irish Language Centre in Corca Dhuibhne, similar to the University Centres in An Cheathrú Rua, Carna and Gaoth Dobhair. The President had a special welcome for Tomás Ó Gairbheith and his wife Esther at a recent public meeting in Baile an Fheirtéaraigh. Tomás has made a generous donation which will be used by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge in the construction of the new building in Corca Dhuibhne. The President had the following to say at the event: "The generous donation made by Tomás to Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge is a source of encouragement for myself and the Gaeltacht community. Tomás Ó Gairbheith is one of the most successful business men in Kerry and I am particularly delighted with the support he has shown for university education through Irish and the creation of language and knowledge-based employment in this region".

Friday, 25 January 2008

D'fhógair Uachtarán Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, go bhfuil Ionad nua de chuid Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge le lonnú i mBaile an Fheirtéaraigh i gCorca Dhuibhne. Cuirfear tús leis an obair i bhfoirgneamh ar cíos sa bhaile i mí Meán Fómhair 2008. Tá comhthuiscint idir an Ollscoil agus Údarás na Gaeltachta go dtógfaidh an Ollscoil foirgneamh nua 1,700m² ar shuíomh 10 n-acra de chuid an Údaráis ach cead pleanála a bheith ar fáil fá na choinne. Tá a thacaíocht léirithe ag an Aire Gnóthaí Pobail, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta, Éamon Ó Cuív, T.D., don tionscadail seo agus tá muid dóchasach go mbeidh tacaíocht fhlaithiúil le fáil óna Roinn do thógáil agus do reáchtáil Ionad iompair agus buanaithe Gaeilge i gCorca Dhuibhne mar atá déanta ag an Ollscoil ar an gCeathrú Rua, i gCarna agus i nGaoth Dobhair. Chuir an tUachtarán fáilte faoi leith ag an ócáid i gCorca Dhuibhne roimh Thomás Ó Gairbheith agus a bhean chéile Esther. Tá Tomás tar éis bronntanas fhlaithiúil a chur ar fáil don Acadamh le húsáid i dtógáil an fhoirgnimh nua i gCorca Dhuibhne. Dúirt an tUachtarán ina óráid: "Is cúis mhór mhisnigh domsa agus don phobal Gaeltachta seo tacaíocht Thomáis don Acadamh. Tá Tomás Ó Gairbheith ar dhuine den lucht gnó is bisiúla i gCiarraí agus is mór agamsa go pearsanta a thacaíocht don ollscolaíocht Ghaeilge agus do chruthú fostaíochta teanga-lárnaithe agus eolasbhunaithe sa leathinis seo".

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Based on their high points in the Leaving Cert, 76 first-year students at NUI Galway will be awarded Entrance Scholarships at a special ceremony on Saturday, 2 February, 2008. Each student will receive a cheque for €1,600 and a specially designed scroll to mark their achievement in last summer's exams. Entrance Scholarships are given annually to all NUI Galway new entrants who reached a minimum of 560 points in their Leaving Cert (590 in Medicine and Health Sciences). Among the Entrance Scholarship Awardees, 24 reached the maximum 600 points. The number of students achieving such high points is growing every year. This year, the scholarships will be awarded to students from 51 individual schools, large and small, throughout the country. The winners represent 16 counties including Armagh, Clare, Cork, Down, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Laois, Mayo, Meath, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary and Westmeath. NUI Galway President Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, who will present the cheques and a specially designed scroll at the event, said, "The University strives constantly to support and promote academic excellence across all the disciplines. The Entrance Scholarship ceremony is an opportunity to give special recognition to our first-year students who have already proved academic prowess through their Leaving Cert results. It is also a chance to give due credit to their parents and secondary school teachers for their contribution to such success". The ceremony will also feature 50 other individual College/Faculty awards and prizes. -ends-

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Bronnfar Scoláireachtaí Iontrála ar 76 mac léinn ón gcéad bhliain in OÉ Gaillimh ag searmanas speisialta a bheidh ar siúl Dé Sathairn, an 2 Feabhra 2008. Ghnóthaigh na mic léinn i gceist scoth na marcanna i Scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta. Bronnfar seic ar fiú €1,600 é ar gach mac léinn chomh maith le scrolla a dearadh go speisialta mar cheiliúradh ar na marcanna iontacha a ghnóthaigh na mic léinn seo i Scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta an samhradh seo caite. Bronntar Scoláireachtaí Iontrála ar gach mac léinn nua in OÉ Gaillimh a ghnóthaigh 560 pointe, ar a laghad, i Scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta (590 pointe i gcás cúrsaí Leighis agus Eolaíochtaí Sláinte). As measc na mac léinn sin a mbronnfar Scoláireacht Iontrála orthu, d'éirigh le 24 mac léinn an t-uasmhéid de 600 pointe a fháil. Tá níos mó agus níos mó mac léinn ag fáil pointí arda gach uile bhliain. I mbliana, bronnfar scoláireachtaí ar mhic léinn as 51 scoil éagsúil ar fud na tíre, scoileanna beaga agus móra san áireamh. Tá buaiteoirí againn as 16 chontae ar fad. Ina measc tá Ard Mhacha, An Clár, Corcaigh, An Dún, Dún na nGall, Baile Átha Cliath, Gaillimh, Ciarraí, Cill Dara, Laois, Maigh Eo, An Mhí, Ros Comáin, Sligeach, Tiobraid Árann agus An Iarmhí. Dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, a bhronnfaidh seic agus scrolla atá deartha go speisialta ar gach mac léinn ag an ócáid, go bhfuil sé "mar aidhm leanúnach ag an Ollscoil feabhas acadúil a bhaint amach agus a chur chun cinn i ngach uile disciplín. Deis é searmanas bronnta na Scoláireachtaí Iontrála le haitheantas speisialta a thabhairt dár mic léinn chéad bhliana – mic léinn a bhfuil a gcumas acadúil léirithe acu cheana féin leis na marcanna a ghnóthaigh siad i Scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta. Deis atá ann freisin buíochas a léiriú dá dtuismitheoirí agus múinteoirí meánscoile as an obair iontach atá déanta acu". Bronnfar 50 gradam agus duais eile a bhaineann le Coláistí/Dámha éagsúla ag an searmanas seo freisin. - críoch -

Thursday, 24 January 2008

On Wednesday 30 January, the 36th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, NUI Galway's Centre for Irish Studies will host a public talk entitled 'Understanding Bloody Sunday'. Dr Niall Ó Dochartaigh, author of From Civil Rights to Armalites and a lecturer in the University's School of Political Science and Sociology, will deliver the lecture at 8pm in the Joseph Larmor Theatre, Arts & Science Building. Bloody Sunday, as it became known, took place on 30 January 1972 when thirteen civilians were shot dead by British soldiers at a civil rights march in Derry. This tragic part of history will be in focus again this year with the expected publication of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry report, also known as the Saville Inquiry. According to Dr Ó Dochartaigh, "In the weeks before Bloody Sunday, efforts were made to use proven channels of communication between the security forces and the Catholic community to avert confrontation. These efforts were clearly and decisively rejected at the highest levels of the British army command structure in Northern Ireland." During the talk, Dr Ó Dochartaigh will trace the development of British security policy in Derry in the months before Bloody Sunday, examining the way in which deep divisions between military and police commanders on the ground were reflected in changing policies at the highest levels of the British state. While some in the security forces desperately attempted to prevent the outbreak of violence at the march, others deliberately prepared to stage a major confrontation. Dr Ó Dochartaigh will follow the development of this struggle through the decisions of the British government in the months before the march, in the shaping of the British army's plan to deal with the march on the day, and in the minute-by-minute details of the army operation on Bloody Sunday. Everyone is welcome to attend the event. For further information contact the Centre for Irish Studies on 091 492051. ENDS

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Múscailt 2008, NUI Galway's Spring Arts Festival, takes place from 4-8 February. For five days, the campus will be alive with concerts, theatre, dance, exhibitions, story-telling, films and live performances from student societies and special guests. Produced by the University's Arts Office and Societies Office, Múscailt is now in its eighth year. As always, the Societies have put together an action-packed week of events including the Witless Music Festival, Poetry Slam, Fleadh Imboilg, Ceili Mór, Art Soc's Up on the Down side, and a New Talent Comedy Night. Flamboyance and fun are big on the agenda with the festival taking inspiration from this year's musical in the Black Box Theatre Back to the 80's. The musical is modelled on classic movies like Back to the Future, and follows the graduating class of William Ocean High School set to a soundtrack of the biggest hits of the 80's. NUI Galway is a great source of new writers, dramatists and performers and the Jerome Hynes Original One Act Play Series promises to be very special, with nine new works being premièred and judged. Several young original artists will be featured this year including students and graduates including: Heather Murphy and her glorious photographic show Seascape; Aimee Jeane Levey with her drama Cryptosporidium Town; and David Rock with his kaleidoscope of colour images in Pushing the Light 2. Limerick four piece Indie pop band We should be Dead will play at the Gala Opening in the Aula Maxima on Monday, 4 February, at 1pm. The group exploded onto the Irish music scene in 2007 with their debut single Forget Romance Let s Dance', and their debut album is one to watch in 2008. For fans of traditional music and dance the Arts in Action Traditional Concert takes place on Thursday, 7 February, at 7.30pm in the Aula Maxima. This evening features internationally renowned musicians such as Frankie Gavin, Mairtín Ó Connor, Ronan Browne, Arty McGlynn and Roisín Elsafty. Also on the line up are sean nós dancer Roisín Ni Mhainín, singer Mary MacPartlan and storyteller Clare Muireann Murphy. To add to the evening each of the artists will give a brief history of their art form and instrument. For those interested in the visual arts, highly regarded Welsh artist Timothy Emlyn Jones' installation on the glass bridge called 'The Idea of the Rain' is a piece of art that people can actually walk through. Jones also brings his fascinating Gallery Exhibition called 'In Praise of Bad Weather' which includes a variety of studies of rain that he has made since he settled in the Burren in 2003. Equally exciting is a new show from acclaimed artist Michael Mayhew, who presents 'Upon Reflection - a look back at The Rituals of Being not Being'. Mayhew was Tulca Artist in Residence at NUI Galway in November 2007, and he returns to tell the amazing story of his performance where 14 stories of people who have vanished from other's lives were heard, words selected and then tattooed onto his body. There will be an opportunity to view the work as a whole on DVD, and to listen to Mayhew engage in a conversation focusing on the issues of new approaches within Live Art Practice. These and many more events are all open to the public. For further information call the Socs Box on 091-492852 or visit www.muscailt.nuigalway.ie -ends-

Monday, 21 January 2008

R&D collaboration the first for Beckman Coulter in Ireland Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheál Martin TD today (Monday 21st January 2008) announced that Beckman Coulter Inc, a worldwide provider of biomedical testing systems, with the support of IDA Ireland, is to launch an innovative four year collaborative research programme with NUI Galway in the field of Molecular Diagnostics. Headquartered in Fullerton, California, Beckman Coulter is a leading manufacturer of biomedical testing instrument systems, tests and supplies that simplify and automate laboratory processes. The company's facility in Galway manufactures a wide range of chemistry, haematology and immunoassay reagent products used in conjunction with the company's diagnostic systems. Molecular Diagnostics is a major growth sector in the diagnostics industry and has a market potential of $2bn annually. It can provide rapid and sensitive alternatives to traditional microbiological tests and immunoassays by detecting molecules of DNA from bacteria, viruses and cancer cells in patient samples with 'sample-to-answer' results. This investment represents the first collaborative research project undertaken by Beckman Coulter in Ireland. The collaboration will involve the creation of a research team of 10 Masters and PhD researchers based in NUI Galway and building on Intellectual Property already developed in the university. Welcoming the ground breaking collaboration Minister Martin said "Government policy and IDA Ireland's strategy is working to establish Ireland as a world class strategic location for research and development in the fields of science and technology and to foster novel approaches to R&D through innovative investments and industry academic partnerships". "IDA Ireland in supporting this complex industrial research programme between Beckman Coulter and NUI Galway is building on historic research in NUI Galway which was funded by Enterprise Ireland. NUI Galway's unrivalled reputation as a centre of excellence in the field of molecular biology diagnostics was a major factor in the decision by the company to proceed with this research collaboration. The high quality of the Beckman Coulter management team and its Galway workforce were critical considerations in attracting this next generation R&D investment to Galway. It is anticipated that success in this project potentially could lead to future manufacture of the company's Molecular Diagnostic assays in Galway" concluded the Minister. Mike Whelan, Group Vice President of Beckman Coulter's High Sensitivity Testing group said "With these agreements, we will take a big step toward the launch our 'sample-to-result' molecular diagnostic system, including a differentiated menu of moderately complex tests that address urgent clinical decisions. The agreements give us access to intellectual property for the development of tests for infectious diseases including sepsis; hospital-acquired infections; and sexually transmitted diseases, such as Chlamydia and Neisseria." Mr Whelan added, "The combination of NUI Galway technologies with ours gives us a glimpse of the next generation of molecular diagnostics. Our goal is that our simplified, automated solution will allow these time-consuming, complex, and labour-intensive tests to migrate into the routine hospital lab. So physicians will get diagnostic information within hours, instead of days or weeks, and be able to begin treating patients much sooner." Welcoming this new partnership with Beckman Coulter, NUI Galway President, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh praised the work of the University s National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) and the Microbiology Department who are leading this research initiative. "The work of these departments harnesses the skills of leading edge researchers who are addressing some of the most challenging and important issues at the frontier of modern biomedical research – with the ultimate goal of changing the way patients are treated and healed. The research and technology development collaboration with Beckman Coulter will ultimately improve patient care and is a strong endorsement from industry of the quality and importance of the research being undertaken at NUI Galway." Commenting on the announcement, Professor Terry Smith, Director of the NCBES, and Molecular Diagnostics Programme Director said "This is a very significant research collaboration for both NUI Galway and Beckman Coulter, in that it leverages the combined diagnostics test and instrumentation capabilities of both partners resulting in the development of break-through technologies for the diagnosis of infectious diseases in humans. These partnership agreements also validate the infectious disease molecular diagnostics test R&D being carried out at NUI Galway, highlighting our world-leadership in this area." ENDS

Monday, 21 January 2008

An chéad chomhoibriú Taighde & Forbartha do Beckman Coulter in Éirinn Inniu (Dé Luain, 21 Eanáir 2008) d'fhógair an tAire Fiontar, Trádála agus Fostaíochta, Micheál Martin TD, go bhfuil Beckman Coulter Inc, soláthraí domhanda de chórais tástála bhithmhíochaine, le tacaíocht IDA Ireland, chun comhchlár taighde ceithre bliana a bhunú le OÉ Gaillimh – taighde a bheidh bunaithe ar Dhiagnóisic Mhóilíneach. Is in Fullerton, California atá ceanncheathrú Beckman Coulter – ceann de phríomhdhéantúsóirí córas tástála ionstraimí, tástálacha agus soláthairtí bithmhíochaine a shimplíonn agus a uathoibríonn próisis saotharlainne. Déanann an chuideachta atá bunaithe ag Beckman Coulter i nGaillimh raon leathan táirgí imoibrithe ceimice, haemaiteolaíochta agus imdhíon-mheasa agus úsáid á baint as córais diagnóisice na cuideachta. Tá fás as cuimse ag teacht ar Dhiagnóisic Mhóilíneach laistigh den tionscal diagnóisice agus d'fhéadfadh sé $2 billiún a shaothrú go bliantúil. Is féidir leis an earnáil seo roghanna tapa agus íogaireacha a sholáthar seachas na tástálacha traidisiúnta micribhitheolaíocha agus imdhíon-mheasa trí mhóilíní DNA a bhrath ó bhaictéir, víris agus cealla ailse i samplaí othair agus i dtorthaí 'sampla go freagra'. Is ionann an infheistíocht seo agus an chéad chomhthionscadal taighde atá déanta ag Beckman Coulter in Éirinn. San áireamh sa chomhthionscadal seo beidh foireann taighde a chruthú – deichniúr taighdeoirí Máistreachta agus PhD – foireann a bheidh bunaithe in OÉ Gaillimh, mar aon le cur leis an Maoin Intleachtúil atá forbartha san Ollscoil cheana féin. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Aire Martin le linn dó an comhthionscadal taighde seo a fhógairt, "Tá beartas an Rialtais agus straitéis IDA Ireland ag feidhmiú ar mhaithe le hÉirinn a bhunú mar ionad straitéiseach den chéad scoth do thaighde agus d'fhorbairt i réimse na heolaíochta agus na teicneolaíochta agus chun cur chuige nua i ndáil le Taighde & Forbairt a bhunú trí infheistíochtaí nuálaíocha agus comhpháirtíochtaí acadúla sa tionscal". "Trí thacú leis an gclár casta tionsclaíoch taighde seo idir Beckman Coulter agus OÉ Gaillimh tá IDA Ireland ag cur le taighde atá déanta cheana féin in OÉ Gaillimh; taighde a fuair maoiniú ó Fiontraíocht Éireann. Is léir go raibh tionchar ag dea-cháil OÉ Gaillimh mar ionad taighde den scoth sa diagnóisic bhitheolaíoch mhóilíneach sa chinneadh a rinne Beckman Coulter leanúint ar aghaidh leis an gcomhthionscadal taighde seo. Bhí an-tionchar ag foireann bainistíochta ardcháilithe Beckman Coulter agus lucht oibre na cuideachta i nGaillimh ar an infheistíocht Taighde & Forbartha seo a mhealladh i dtreo na Gaillimhe." Ina theannta sin, dúirt an tAire, "má éiríonn go maith leis an tionscadal seo go mb'fhéidir go mbeadh ar chumas na cuideachta imdhíon-mheasa Diagnóisic Mhóilíneach a fhorbairt i nGaillimh amach anseo." Dúirt Mike Whelan, Leas-Uachtarán Grúpa ar Ghrúpa Tástála Ard-Íogaireachta Beckman Coulter, gur "céim mhór chun tosaigh na socruithe seo maidir le córas diagnóiseach móilíneacha 'sampla go toradh' a fhorbairt, lena n-áirítear sraith dhifreáilte de thástálacha measartha casta a d'fhéadfadh tionchar a imirt ar chinntí práinneacha cliniciúla. Ciallaíonn na socruithe seo go bhfuil teacht againn ar mhaoin intleachtúil chun tástálacha a fhorbairt do ghalair thógálacha lena n-áirítear seipseas; ionfhabhtuithe a fhaigtear san ospidéal; agus galair ghnéas-tarchurtha cosúil le Clamaidia agus Neisseria." Ina theannta sin, dúirt an tUasal Whelan, "Trí leas a bhaint as na teicneolaíochtaí atá ar fáil in OÉ Gaillimh agus ár dteicneolaíochtaí féin féadfaimid tuairim éigin a fháil ar a bhfuil i ndán dúinn sa réimse diagnóisic mhóilíneach amach anseo. Is é atá mar aidhm againne go gciallóidh ár réiteach simplí, uathoibrithe gur féidir na tástálacha casta, fada agus dlúthfhostaíochta seo a áireamh mar chuid de ghnáthchleachtas saotharlainne in ospidéil. Ciallóidh sé seo go mbeidh teacht ag dochtúití ar eolas dhiagnóiseach taobh istigh d'uaireanta an chloig, seachas a bheith ag fanacht laethanta nó seachtainí, agus go mbeidh ar a gcumas tús a chur le cóireáil othar níos luaithe." Le linn d'Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh a bheith ag labhairt faoin gcomhpháirtíocht nua seo le Beckman Coulter mhol sé obair an Ionaid Náisiúnta um Eolaíocht Innealtóireachta Bithmhíochaine (NCBES) agus Roinn na Micribhitheolaíochta, a bhfuil ról lárnach acu sa tionscnamh taighde seo. "Cinntíonn obair na rann seo go mbaintear leas as scileanna taighdeoirí den scoth atá ag obair ar chuid de na ceisteanna is dúshlánaí agus is tábhachtaí sa taighde bithmhíochaine. Is é atá mar aidhm leis an obair seo an modh a bhfuil cóir leighis á fáil ag othair a athrú. Is é a bheidh mar thoradh ar an gcomhthionscadal forbartha taighde agus teicneolaíochta le Beckman Coulter go gcuirfear feabhas ar an gcúram atá á fháil ag othair agus léargas maith an méid seo ar an tacaíocht atá á tabhairt ag an tionscal don taighde atá ar bun in OÉ Gaillimh." Le linn don Ollamh Terry Smith, Stiúrthóir NCBES, agus Stiúrthóir an Chláir um Dhiagnóisic Mhóilíneach, a bheith ag labhairt ag an ócáid dúirt sé gur "comhthionscadal suntasach taighde é seo do OÉ Gaillimh agus Beckman Coulter, agus go mbaineann sé leas as acmhainní tástála agus ionstraimíochta diagnóisice an dá pháirtí, rud a chiallíonn gur féidir teicneolaíochtaí nua a fhorbairt a chabhróidh chun galair thógálacha a aithint i ndaoine. Ina theannta sin, tacaíonn na socruithe comhpháirtíochta seo le Taighde & Forbairt atá ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh ar dhiagnóisic mhóilíneach galar tógálach, léiriú eile fós ar ár seasamh domhanda sa réimse seo." CRÍOCH

Friday, 18 January 2008

Almost 400 children, aged 3 to 7, were at NUI Galway today for the University's third annual 'Teddy Bear Hospital'. The main aim of the day was to help dispel some of the fears children may have of a hospital environment. The event was organised by the Sláinte Society (the NUI Galway branch of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations - I.F.M.S.A.). At the 'Teddy Bear Hospital' children and their teddies visited the team of 'Teddy Doctors' and 'Teddy Nurses' who examined the patients and took a full medical history. Appropriate medical action was taken, whether it was applying bandages, or taking a trip to the Teddy X-ray machine or the Teddy MRI machine. There was also a Teddy Pharmacy fully stocked with nourishing vitamin juices and other healthy treats to promote healthy eating and dietary well being. Over 150 students volunteered their time to explain how treatments worked and dispel any fears the children might have. Many of the students who took part are studying health related disciplines at the University. NUI Galway's Juggling Society was also on hand to provide entertainment. The event was supported by Kelkin, Medtronic and Eli Lilly & Co. According to Riona Hughes, NUI Galway Societies Officer, "The Teddy Bear Hospital is just one example of the enthusiasm and creativity of our students. This event has gone from strength to strength each year and is of huge benefit to the local schools and children. This is just one small example of the community engagement that happens here on campus". The University has 89 active societies through which students make friends, pursue their interests, learn new skills and organise events such as the Teddy Bear Hospital. NUI Galway also runs the ALIVE programme to assist students who wish to volunteer with community organisations. -ends-

Friday, 18 January 2008

The Annual NUI Galway Graduate Studies Fair takes place from 1.30-5pm on Monday, 4 February, 2008 at Áras na Mac Léinn. The event will showcase 429 full-time and part-time postgraduate programmes at NUI Galway, including taught and research masters, and doctoral research options. Almost 3,500 postgraduate students currently attend NUI Galway. At the Graduate Studies Fair, 70 stands will provide information about opportunities at NUI Galway, with academic staff and current students on hand to answer questions about specific courses. A free seminar at 2.15pm will address 'Research & Funding Opportunities' while a presentation at 3.15pm will cover 'Careers and Making a Postgraduate Application'. Supported by Bank of Ireland, the Fair will also feature stands from other institutions across the country. According to John Hannon, Head of NUI Galway's Career Development Centre, "A postgraduate qualification can provide a real career boost. Whether you are a recent graduate or whether you secured your primary degree some years ago, there is a growing demand for people with postgraduate or 'fourth' level qualifications. More and more students now go straight onto postgraduate study in order to maximize their career prospects and earnings". Working with the 'fourth-level' theme, NUI Galway's graduate education opportunities are now under the banner go4th™. The University offers world-class fourth level education, developing programmes based on its traditional academic strengths of Arts, Social Sciences, Celtic Studies; Commerce, Medicine, Nursing, Health Science, Law, Engineering, Informatics and Science. These areas have been augmented with innovative Research Centres in areas as diverse as Biomedical Engineering, International Human Rights, Digital Media & Film Studies, and Regenerative Medicine. An online prospectus of all that is on offer at NUI Galway is available at www.go4th.ie. The postgraduate application process is also online, through PAC (Postgraduate Applications Centre www.pac.ie). "Most of our postgraduate applications for both taught and research programmes are now made online," says Valerie Leahy, Postgraduate Admissions Officer at NUI Galway, "the system is very easy to use and allows for quick turnaround and decision times". For further information on the Graduate Studies Fair visit www.go4th.ie/gsf -ends-

Friday, 18 January 2008

Beidh an tAonach Léinn Iarchéime ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh idir 1.30 – 5 pm, Dé Luain, an 4 Feabhra 2008 in Áras na Mac Léinn. Beidh eolas le fáil faoi 429 clár iarchéime lánaimseartha agus páirtaimseartha atá ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh, lena n-áirítear cláir mháistreachta mhúinte agus thaighde, mar aon leis na deiseanna atá ann taighde dochtúireachta a dhéanamh. Tá beagnach 3,500 mac léinn iarchéime ag freastal ar OÉ Gaillimh i láthair na huaire. Beidh 70 seastán ag an Aonach Léinn Iarchéime agus beidh eolas le fáil faoi na deiseanna ar fad atá ar fáil in OÉ Gaillimh. Beidh idir chomhaltaí foirne acadúla agus mhic léinn i láthair chun ceisteanna faoi na cúrsaí éagsúla a fhreagairt. Beidh seimineár dar teideal 'Research & Funding Opportunities' ar siúl ag 2.15pm agus beidh láithreoireacht dar teideal 'Careers and Making a Postgraduate Application' ar siúl ag 3.15pm. Is é Banc na hÉireann a dhéanann urraíocht ar an Aonach, agus beidh seastáin ann freisin ó institiúidí eile ar fud na tíre. Deir John Hannon, Stiúrthóir Ionad Forbartha Gairme OÉ Gaillimh, "cabhraíonn cáilíocht iarchéime go mór le duine post níos fearr a bhaint amach. Is cuma mura bhfuil do chéim díreach faighte agat nó má tá do chéim faighte agat le fada an lá, is cinnte go bhfuil an-éileamh anois ar dhaoine le cáilíochtaí iarchéime nó cáilíochtaí 'ceathrú' leibhéal. Téann níos mó agus níos mó mac léinn i mbun staidéar iarchéime anois ar mhaithe leis na gairmeacha agus na tuarastail is fearr agus is féidir a bhaint amach dóibh féin". Le téama an 'cheathrú leibhéal', tá deiseanna iarchéime OÉ Gaillimh anois á bhfógairt faoin mbranda ar a dtugtar go4th™. Soláthraíonn an Ollscoil oideachas ceathrú leibhéal den scoth, agus forbraítear cláir atá bunaithe ar láidreachtaí traidisiúnta acadúla OÉ Gaillimh – Na Dána, Na hEolaíochtaí Sóisialta, An Léann Ceiltreach, Tráchtáil, Leigheas, Altranas, Eolaíocht Sláinte, Dlí, Innealtóireacht, Faisnéisíocht agus Eolaíocht. Tá méadú tagtha ar na réimsí seo agus ar Ionaid Nuálaíocha Taighde i réimsí cosúil le hInnealtóireacht Bhithleighis, Cearta Idirnáisiúnta an Duine, Na Meáin Dhigiteacha & Staidéar Scannán agus Leigheas Athghiniúnach. Tá réamheolaire ar líne OÉ Gaillimh le fáil ag www.go4th.ie. Is féidir iarratas a dhéanamh ar chúrsaí iarchéime ar líne freisin trí PAC (An tIonad Iarratas Iarchéime www.pac.ie). Deir Valerie Leahy, An tOifigeach um Iontrálacha Iarchéime in OÉ Gaillimh gur féidir iarratas a dhéanamh ar fhormhór na gclár múinte agus taighde ar líne anois, agus gur "fusa an córas a úsáid agus cinntíonn sé nach gcuirtear mórán moille ar an bpróiseas trí chéile ná ar an bpróiseas déanta cinntí". Tá tuilleadh eolais maidir leis an Aonach Léinn Iarchéime le fáil ag www.go4th.ie/gsf - críoch -

Monday, 14 January 2008

This year's BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition saw fifth year student Catherine Duane of Holy Faith Secondary School, Clontarf, Dublin, receive top prize in an exciting national science essay competition organised by NUI Galway. Catherine, who won a laptop, trophy and €500 science bursary for her school, received her prizes from the Minister for Education and Science, Mary Hanafin T.D., on the Science Foundation Ireland booth at the festival. The competition, co-ordinated by the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway, and sponsored by Medtronic, has now completed its third year. Essays were received from across the country on the theme of 'Genetic Engineering: Panacea or Pandora's Box?' The runner up prize of a video iPOD, trophy and €250 school science bursary went to Leaving Cert student Aidan Rowe of St Gerald's College, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. Presenting the prizes for the third successive year, Minister Hanafin said: "Increasingly we are all aware of the vital role of science and technology in our lives. We are aware too, of the extent to which it will impact upon our future economic development. Competitions like the national science essay competition have an important role in raising the profile of science among young people. As students complete their CAO forms, it is important that we all encourage them to consider the vast range of exciting career opportunities in the fields of science and technology - from playstations to mutations, from bionics to photonics! I would like to congratulate all of the students who took part in the competition on their hard work and on the very high standard of research and writing. This level of dedication and expertise gives me great hope for the future of Irish science." Professor Frank Barry, Scientific Director at REMEDI and competition judge, thanked all the students who participated in the competition along with Medtronic and SFI for their work in supporting science education. Noreen Moloney, of competition sponsor Medtronic, said: "Medtronic are delighted to support the promotion of science and engineering through initiatives such as the REMEDI national essay competition. It is imperative we promote interest in science, engineering and technology among our young people and be assured of a pool of highly educated, talented graduates to drive our economy forward in years to come." Catherine Duane's essay was selected from a top-ten shortlist by a high profile panel of judges who met at REMEDI in November 2007 to choose a winner. The judges included: Leo Enright (Chair of the Discover Science & Engineering Steering Committee); Tom Kennedy (Editor of Science Spin Magazine); Prof Frank Barry (Scientific Director, REMEDI); Noreen Moloney (Medtronic); and Cormac Sheridan (Freelance Science Journalist). Commenting on Catherine's essay, competition judge Cormac Sheridan said: "Catherine s essay is a very polished piece of work. The writing is crisp and to the point, she handles the argument with great confidence, and it s superbly structured." Organised as part of a joint REMEDI and NCBES secondary school outreach programme called GRO (Galway Regional Outreach), the aim of the competition is to hear young people's views on contemporary scientific questions and to encourage students to consider studying science in third level. REMEDI is a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded research institute at the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) located at NUI Galway. To read the winning essays or for additional information on REMEDI outreach programmes, visit www.remedi.ie -ends-

Friday, 4 January 2008

Dr Colin O'Dowd, School of Physics, and Director of the Environmental Change Institute's Centre for Climate & Air Pollution Studies at NUI Galway, has been awarded a Doctorate in Science from the University of Manchester. The award was in recognition of highly distinguished published work resulting from research into atmospheric aerosols and their role in climate change. Dr O'Dowd has made a substantial, sustained and original contribution to knowledge and scholarship, and holds an authoritative international standing in his field of research. His research papers presented for the Doctorate of Science are regarded as having made the substantive part of the most significant advances in atmosphere aerosol research over the past twenty years. Dr O'Dowd directs the Centre for Climate & Air Pollution Studies (C-CAPS) in NUI Galway's Environmental Change Institute. Recently, C-CAPS secured significant research funding (in excess of €3 million) from the HEA, EPA and the Marine Institute in a series of research projects coordinated by Dr O'Dowd. The research focuses on aerosol-cloud-climate interactions, air-sea exchange of CO2 and ozone and regional climate modelling. The overarching aim of O'Dowd's research is to understand fundamental processes controlling climate change and air pollution and to build the most advanced climate prediction tools to provide accurate assessments of future climate change for Ireland. ends

Friday, 29 February 2008

The Career Development Centre at NUI Galway will host a Science and Technology Careers Fair on Wednesday, 5 March 2008 from 4-6.30pm, in Áras na Mac Leinn. The event will be an opportunity for students and graduates to make valuable first-hand contact with actively recruiting organisations in the areas of science, engineering, technology and healthcare. National and international science and technology organisations attending the fair include: Abbott Ireland Diagnostics; Intel Ireland; Science Recruitment Ireland; Stiefel Laboratories; Fidelity Investments; Servisource Recruitment; SAP; PharmaChemical Ireland; Realex Payments; Western Fisheries Board; Environmental Protection Agency; Institute of Geologists; Geological Survey of Ireland; Engineer's Ireland; Schwartz Pharma Ltd/UCB; Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland; National Rehabilitation Hospital; InterTradeIreland; Saint Michael's House; O&B Recruitment; Warwick Medical School; and Careers in Research, NUI Galway. According to Angela Teahan, Career Development Centre, NUI Galway, "The majority of companies attending are actively recruiting and this is such an opportunity for students and graduates. My advice is to arrive well-prepared having researched the exhibitors and with an up to date CV in hand. Be prepared to network with employers, get into conversation with the representatives, and endeavour to make a positive and lasting impression on the company representatives". For further details on the event visit the Career Development Centre's website http://www.nuigalway.ie/careers/students/sciencefair.html or telephone Angela Teahan on 091 492133. -ends-

Friday, 29 February 2008

Engineering students at NUI Galway have proposed solutions to over 30 practical problems encountered by older people and the physically impaired. These community-based projects were undertaken by third-year undergraduate students at NUI Galway as part of their studies in Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering. The projects are part of a service-learning programme, designed to allow students apply academic knowledge for the benefit of others. Running since 2003, this is the only pioneering programme of its kind in Engineering across the country. Among the ideas developed by the students this year are: an orthopaedic schoolbag; a self-locking medicine cabinet; a collapsible walking aid; a device to help wheelchair users manoeuvre a wheelie bin; a ring-mounted panic alarm; and a machine for making peanut butter designed for an AIDS centre in Zimbabwe. Professor Abhay Pandit, Department of Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering and co-ordinator of the module: "We call this a 'service-learning' module, whereby students identify a need in their locality and provide a service related to their discipline, with the input from the local community, towards assisting with that need. As a university we have a duty to engage students with the community and to create an ethos that involves understanding and supporting the wider world." In one of the projects, an outdoor exercise machine for the elderly has been created by modifying a bicycle and attaching it to a standard park bench. The device allows a person to sit comfortably on the bench, while exercising their lower limbs by pedalling. This idea was developed by Mary O'Shea from Moore, Roscommon, after consultation with older people in her neighbourhood. According to Mary, "Exercise facilities designed specifically for older people are quite common in countries such as the UK, Australia and Japan, but not so much here. Feedback so far from members of the community and physiotherapists I have spoken to indicate the benefits of exercising in an outdoor and social setting would be significant. In Ireland, with a design like this, customisation of park benches would be relatively easy to achieve". Prototypes for the some of the devices and ideas have been created and all have a descriptive poster which will be displayed in an exhibition entitled "Engineering in Society and Community Outreach". Each project and poster is assessed against rigorous criteria, based on the theoretical studies the students have already undertaken. The exhibition is being held in the Arts Millennium Building on campus. The module is supported by the University's Community Knowledge Initiative which supports civic engagement across campus and is now leading a national civic engagement network. Around a dozen other service-learning modules are on offer in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes across the disciplines including Law, Italian, Philosophy and Occupational Therapy. -ends-

Friday, 29 February 2008

Beidh Aonach Gairmeacha Eolaíochta agus Teicneolaíochta á reáchtáil ag an Aonad Fobartha Gairmeacha in OÉ Gaillimh Dé Céadaoin, 5 Márta 2008 ó 4–6.30in, in Áras na Mac Léinn. Deis a bheidh san imeacht seo do mhic léinn agus do chéimithe teagmháil phearsanta a dhéanamh le heagraíochtaí atá i mbun feachtas earcaíochta sna réimsí eolaíochta, innealtóireachta, teicneolaíochta agus cúram sláinte. I measc na n-eagraíochtaí náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta eolaíochta agus teicneolaíochta a bheidh i láthair ag an aonach tá: Abbott Ireland Diagnostics; Intel Ireland; Science Recruitment Ireland; Stiefel Laboratories; Fidelity Investments; Servisource Recruitment; SAP; PharmaChemical Ireland; Realex Payments; Bord Iascaigh Réigiúnach an Iarthair; An Ghníomhaireacht um Chaomhnú Comhshaoil; Institute of Geologists; Suirbhéireacht Gheolaíochta na hÉireann; Engineer's Ireland; Schwartz Pharma Ltd/UCB; Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland; An tOspidéal Náisiúnta Athshlánúcháin; InterTradeIreland; Saint Michael's House; O&B Recruitment; Warwick Medical School; agus Gairmeacha Taighde, OÉ Gaillimh. Deir Angela Teahan, ón Ionad Forbartha Gairmeacha in OÉ Gaillimh gur iontach an deis é do mhic léinn agus do chéimithe go bhfuil formhór na gcuideachtaí a bheidh ag freastal ar an aonach i mbun earcaíochta ar bhonn leanúnach. Lena chois sin, deir sí gur cheart do mhic léinn beagán taighde a dhéanamh ar na cuideachtaí a bheidh ag an aonach agus gur cheart dóibh CV atá cothrom le dáta a thabhairt leo. Dúirt sí gur cheart do mhic léinn labhairt le fostóirí agus le hionadaithe, agus iarracht a dhéanamh dul i bhfeidhm ar bhealach dearfach ar ionadaithe na gcuideachtaí éagsúla. Tá tuilleadh eolais faoin imeacht seo le fáil ar láithreán gréasáin an Ionaid Forbartha Gairmeacha http://www.nuigalway.ie/careers/students/sciencefair.html nó is féidir glaoch ar Angela Teahan ag 091 492133. - críoch -

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

A group of sixth class pupils took up the ancient art of story telling in front of a packed audience at NUI Galway recently. The 11 and 12 year-olds had been developing their story telling abilities in special workshops for six weeks as part of an NUI Galway Access Office programme. The children represented three local schools: Scoil Bhríde, Shantalla; Holy Trinity Girls School, Mervue; and St Michael's Boys School, Mervue. Parents, siblings, teachers and NUI Galway staff gathered for the performance and were treated to selection of stories ranging from the comical to the scary. Clare Murphy, who facilitated the workshops with fellow storyteller Rab Fulton, said, "By retelling old tales, and inventing their own, children engage their imagination and find confidence in their own innate storytelling abilities." The storytelling initiative is part of the NUI Galway Access Office's schools programme Uni 4 U. The three-year structured programme of activities aims to positively promote third level education to children and their communities. The programme is a combined sport and homework initiative that promotes third level education and the value of education itself, as well as improving sporting techniques and skills. Speaking at the event, Vice President for Strategic and External Affairs at NUI Galway, Professor Gerard Hurley, said "Storytelling is part of the Irish tradition that we want to encourage it in the next generation. We also want to encourage younger children to consider third level education and to feel comfortable in its environment." -ends-

Monday, 25 February 2008

The National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at NUI Galway has launched a new Bioelectronics Research Cluster. With over 20 researchers, the Bioelectronics Research Cluster will focus on Electronic Engineering solutions to medical problems, several of which are associated with ageing. The research cluster draws on the full range of technical epertise at NUI Galway's Department of Electronic Engineering. The research group was officially launched by Harvard Medical School academic and Biomedical Engineer Professor Paolo Bonato. One of the key technologies to be developed by the Bioelectronics Research Cluster is known as 'Wearable Electronics for Health Management'. The team will develop a range of body-worn electronic devices to monitor a person's health status and transmit this information on an on-going basis to their health care providers. Patient trials are about to commence on a wearable muscle stimulation device, developed by the Bioelectronics Research Cluster, for the treatment of venous leg ulcers. Older people are particularly susceptible to venous leg ulcers if they have been immobilised for a sustained period. The Bioelectronics Research Cluster is also currently investigating wearable electronics systems for fall detection in the elderly, the management of diabetic foot, gait correction following stroke and mobility monitoring in the elderly. Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin, Bioelectronics Research Cluster leader at the NCBES, NUI Galway, said "It is generally expected that a significantly increased use of electronic and other technologies will be required to provide an efficient healthcare delivery system in the face of ongoing demographic change. In 2001, 17% of the European Union (EU) was aged over 65, however it is estimated that by the year 2035 this figure will have reached 33%. Therefore healthcare delivery methods will need to be adapted to meet the challenges posed by these changing demographics, while constrained by limited resources." It is anticipated that this approach to healthcare management will facilitate elderly persons continuing to live in their own home, while having the sense of wellbeing associated with knowing that their health status is being automatically monitored on an on-going basis and that in the event of a medical emergency, assistance will be automatically sought by the system. The Bioelectronics Research Cluster at the NCBES also has a significant research activity in Diagnostic and Therapeutic Engineering for Cancer. -ends-

Monday, 25 February 2008

NUI Galway and GMIT have formed a strategic alliance to develop Galway and surrounding areas into a recognised "Knowledge Region". Together they have secured funding of €824,000 under the Strategic Innovation Fund, which supports Higher Education reform. The funding will be used to stimulate economic development, provide a greater range of services to communities, business and industry, and enable people to avail of higher education in the region. This concerted collaborative approach to regional development will deliver greater benefits than could be achieved by implementing parallel programmes. Professor Jim Browne, Registrar and Deputy-President of NUI Galway, welcomed the announcement saying; "The concept of a 'Knowledge Region' is an emerging phenomenon involving the interaction of governmental agencies, knowledge based enterprises and third-level institutions to combine efforts and define common agendas to the benefit of the region. NUI Galway and GMIT, with their history of cooperation and interaction with industry, development agencies and social and cultural organisations in the Galway area, are well placed to act together as a catalyst for further development". Marion Coy, President of GMIT, said: "This strategic alliance is timely in view of the recent push to pour more investment into the eastern region, particularly as there is concern at the lack of focus, and a sense of urgency, around the implementation of the National Spatial Strategy." "Together we will seek to identify services we can offer, look at the expansion of our academic programmes and engage in the joint promotion of higher education in international markets which has potential in relation to the development of tourism. We will also seek to identify how we can promote the region as a centre for new business development and growth." "Developing a knowledge region is the only way to ensure that community life will continue to thrive. This approach harks back to the 'Meitheal' and the belief that we will all be stronger and more successful when we work together, share a vision and drive forward the good of the region," added the GMIT President. The NUI Galway and GMIT collaborative project is one of a range of proposals approved for SIF funding. GMIT was also approved SIF funding worth over €4m for two further projects, both of which will be led by the Institute - "Student-Led Learning" and "Curriculum Reform", which is also a joint collaborative project with NUI Galway. The Strategic Innovation Fund allocated a further €3 million to NUI Galway for the continuation of its academic reorganisation and the development of graduate schools. NUI Galway expects to be a major beneficiary of funds reserved under the SIF initiative for major IT systems development towards transforming the student experience in a cohesive and integrated manner. Professor Browne added that the funding provided to NUI Galway in support of its new academic structures and graduate education was evidence of the progress being made by the University in both areas. -ends-

Monday, 25 February 2008

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway has officially welcomed this year's Bank of Ireland Fellowship Scholar, Dr. Abou Abass from Mauritania. Since 2001, the Fellowship has allowed the Centre to host scholars from developing countries. The aim of the fellowship is to support academically gifted individuals, providing them with an environment in which they can undertake research and increase their knowledge in the field of Human Rights and International Criminal law. At the Irish Centre for Human Rights, Dr. Abass will pursue research on the subject of Africa and the International Criminal Court, while lecturing a course on Gender and Human Rights. Dr. Abou Abass holds a PhD in Law from the University of Paul Cezanne in Aix-en-Provence, France. Prior to taking office as Bank of Ireland fellow, Dr. Abass has spent six months at the Hague, the Netherlands, working as a Law Clerk at the Legal Advisory Section of the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. According to Kathleen Cavanaugh of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, "Since 2001 the Bank of Ireland Fellowship Scholar scheme has supported five scholars from countries such as Mauritania, Nigeria, Ghana and Bangladesh. Through this support, uniquely talented and gifted people have benefited from working with the Irish Centre for Human Rights in Galway. In equal part, we have gained much from the scholarship programme and look forward to working this year with Dr. Abass." The Irish Centre for Human Rights is one of the world's premier university-based institutions for the study and promotion of human rights and humanitarian law. Since its establishment in January 2000, the NUI Galway Centre has developed a global reputation for excellence in the field of human rights teaching, research and advocacy, which has enabled the institution to attract high quality students to its acclaimed Masters programmes and to build a thriving community of doctoral researchers. The Irish Centre for Human Rights presently offers LL.M. programmes in International Human Rights Law, and International Peace Support Operations and has a Cross-Border Programme in Human Rights Law (LL.M.) and Human Rights and Criminal Justice (MSSc/LL.M.), in conjunction with Queens University of Belfast. This year the Irish Centre for Human Rights offers a new LL.M. programme in International Criminal Law. -ends-