Monday, 8 June 2009

Technology from a new NUI Galway start-up company, eagleEdge Ltd., is cutting almost 20% off fuel bills in the haulage and transport industries. By installing a 'black box' device, designed and developed in Ireland, the solution helps identify how changes in driver style across vehicle fleets can save fuel. eagleEdge, which was founded by a former NUI Galway research team and came out of the University's business incubation facilities, has been instrumental in reducing the fuel usage of large vehicle fleets by up to 18%. Improvements in individual driver performance of as much as 30-40% have also been achieved. The company's product FuelGauge monitors driving style and habits, and a customised report advises on where fuel is being wasted. This could be through hard acceleration, harsh braking, lack of cruise control usage, excessive speeds or various other factors. Jason Byrne is Director of eagleEdge: "What became evident in our research was the scale of the fuel problem for hauliers and logistics companies. Currently, a typical haulier or coach operator is spending at least 40% of their running costs on fuel, which is just staggering when you consider the tight margins a lot of these companies operate. When you consider the massive cost that fuel represents to fleet managers, it's easy to see why some transport chiefs are looking at innovative ways to turn their biggest cost into their biggest profit maker this year". Dr John Kavanagh is Director of the Technology Transfer Office, NUI Galway: "eagleEdge is a fine example of entrepreneurship leading to a very practical innovation and proves the adage that what gets measured gets done. This is a true Green Technology with cost benefits to the transport sector leading to lower fuel imports and a reduction in Ireland's carbon footprint". -Ends-

Monday, 8 June 2009

The largest ever survey of children and young people's health is to be planned by international experts in NUI Galway this week. A hundred scientists will gather to prepare for the next round of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study which will take place during 2010 in more than 43 countries and will include over 230,000 children aged 11-15 years. Of particular interest will be the opportunity to listen to the voices of Irish young people, who will showcase their projects and views on children's health and well-being and help ensure that their voices are fully represented in the planning process. Dr Saoirse Nic Gabhainn of the Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI Galway, and Principal Investigator for HBSC Ireland, said: "We are delighted to welcome colleagues from across Europe and North America to Galway, planning the next international survey is a huge undertaking and we need to make sure that the best possible methods are used". The HBSC survey aims for greater understanding of health among young people, both physical and emotional, and includes information on the context of young people's lives including families, school, communities and peer groups. These data sets will be vital to those developing policy, strategy and practice in the area of youth health and well-being in Ireland and internationally. In order to ensure that comparisons between countries are valid, the scientists convening in Galway will discuss and agree how to make sure that all countries follow the same procedures and collect information in the same way. All the questions to be included in the next survey round including the rationale and evidence-base will be discussed. "Young people deserve the best quality, evidenced-based planning for their health and well-being, and they want to be involved in the process – our aim is to make that possible" said Dr Nic Gabhainn. -Ends-

Monday, 8 June 2009

The Center for Disease Control in the United States has announced that a paper on Swine Flu, co-authored by NUI Galway's Professor Anthony Moran, has been nominated for a prestigious US science award. The manuscript Anti-Ganglioside Antibody Induction by Swine and Other Influenza Vaccines: Insights into vaccine-Associated Guillain-Barré Syndrome, was nominated in the Laboratory and Methods category in the 2009 Charles C. Shepard Science Awards. The research concerns the "swine flu" (H1N1) epidemic of 1976 in the US which has some similarity to the present-day AH1N1 outbreak. Over 40 million US citizens were given a swine flu vaccine in 1976. A very small percentage subsequently reported the development of a paralytic disorder, Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), which is a disorder of the peripheral nervous system that may lead to immobility due to paralysis. However, the link between the vaccine and the development of this syndrome remains to be proven. Professor Anthony Moran of the School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway, explained: "Our paper dealt with a re-analysis of the 1976 vaccine* and its potential to contribute to GBS development. Using more modern approaches retrospectively on these samples, we were able to show that important safety issues should be considered when producing such vaccines to avoid the development of GBS. Thus, our findings will allow the development of even safer vaccines. This is of central relevance at the present time in producing a new flu vaccine for current usage". Since 1985, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) have presented the Charles C. Shepard Science Award to authors of the most outstanding peer-reviewed research paper published by CDC/ATSDR scientists during the preceding year. The award recognises scientific achievement at CDC/ATSDR and honours the memory of Dr Charles C. Shepard, whose career was marked by the pursuit of scientific excellence. Presently, in addition to honouring publications in three categories – Assessment and Epidemiology, Prevention and Control, and Laboratory and Methods – there is also an award for Lifetime Scientific Achievement. President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, commented on the prestige and relevance of this award: "The US Center for Disease Control is the leading disease surveillance authority worldwide, so the nomination of Professor Moran and his team for this award is highly prestigious and represents an acknowledgement of the internationally significant research being conducted at NUI Galway. I would like to congratulate Professor Moran and his team and wish him well at the award ceremony in June". The Shepard Science Award ceremony will take place at the CDC's Roybal Campus on Monday, June 29, 2009. This year's keynote speaker will be Nobel Laureate, Professor Paul Krugman. He will speak on "Health and the Economic Future". -Ends-

Friday, 5 June 2009

A new book published by The Liffey Press and co-edited by NUI Galway academics Seán Crosson and Rod Stoneman, is to be launched on Thursday, 11 June at 11am in the Huston School of Film & Digital Media as part of the American Conference for Irish Studies (ACIS) 2009. Seán Crosson is a lecturer on Irish and world cinema with the Huston School of Film & Digital Media at NUI Galway where he is Programme Coordinator of the MA in Film Studies and Rod Stoneman is the Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media and was formerly Chief Executive with Bord Scannán na hÉireann/The Irish Film Board. This book, The Quiet Man … and Beyond, involves both critical analysis of aspects of The Quiet Man as myth, commodity and fetish and the celebration of a film that has sustained considerable academic attention and popular appreciation since its release in 1952. Among the topics considered are the complexity of the film's relation to Ireland, Irish literature and to John Ford's other films; its perceived place with regard to indigenous Irish cinema and representations of women; and the phenomenon of its circulation and reception as a cult film over the years. The contributors to the collection include some of the leading scholars of film and Irish studies including Luke Gibbons, John Hill, Ruth Barton and NUI Galway academics Adrian Frazier and Sean Ryder. In 1996, The Quiet Man topped an Irish Times poll for the best Irish film of all time. Almost ten years later, in 2005, with many more Irish (and Irish-themed) films made, The Quiet Man still occupied number four in a poll of 10,000 people across Ireland. John Ford's greatest commercial success, the film also set a template for Ireland's representation, and promotion, for over half a century. ACIS 2009, hosted by the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway, is one of the largest conferences in the humanities in Ireland this year. Speakers from a dozen countries, representing over 100 universities will present up to 250 papers examining themes relating to contemporary Irish culture and society. Delegates attending the American Conference of Irish Studies (ACIS) in conjunction with the Second Galway Conference of Irish Studies (GCIS) will consider issues relating to the key themes of the dynamics of immigration and settlement in modern Ireland, and the concept of the everyday in Irish life and culture. -Ends-

Thursday, 4 June 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) In response to an increased number of queries from graduates seeking assistance with job searches, NUI Galway will host a Graduate Support day in the Career Development Centre on 11 June from 1.30pm to 4.30pm. John Hannon, Head of the Career Development Centre at NUI Galway, says: "It is without doubt a difficult time for graduates who find themselves navigating the current labour market. We look forward to meeting recent graduates again and we encourage alumni to avail of this unique event". Graduates will have the opportunity to avail of a one to one consultation with a careers adviser which can be pre booked by calling the Career Development Centre in advance. Staff will also be available to review CV's and offer advice on further education options. In addition, the event will include a series of talks on job search, CV advice and tips on keeping motivated in the current climate. For further details or to book an appointment please contact the NUI Galway Career Development Centre on 091 493589 or email An tIonad Forbartha Gairmeacha le Tacú le Céimithe OÉ Gaillimh (View in English) Ó tharla neart fiosrúchán a bheith faighte ó chéimithe ag lorg cúnaimh agus iad ar thóir poist, tá sé beartaithe ag OÉ Gaillimh Lá Tacaíochta do Chéimithe a reáchtáil san Ionad Forbartha Gairmeacha ar an 11 Meitheamh ó 1.30pm go dtí 4.30pm. Dúirt John Hannon, Ceann Ionad Forbartha Gairmeacha OÉ Gaillimh: "Níl dabht ar bith faoi ach go bhfuil an-chuid deacrachtaí le sárú ag céimithe atá anois ag iarraidh poist a aimsiú dóibh féin agus cúrsaí geilleagair mar atá. Táimid ag tnúth le bualadh le cuid de chéimithe na hOllscoile seo agus molaimid freisin do alumni freastal ar an imeacht seo". Beidh deis ag céimithe freastal ar sheisiún comhairliúcháin duine le duine le comhairleoir gairme; is féidir seisiúin mar seo a chur in áirithe roimh ré trí ghlaoch ar an Ionad Forbartha Gairmeacha. Beidh comhaltaí foirne ar fáil freisin le breathnú ar CVanna agus comhairle a thabhairt maidir le roghanna breisoideachais. Chomh maith leis sin, eagrófar sraith cainteanna maidir le conas post a chuardach, tabharfar comhairle agus noda maidir le misneach a bheith agat agus cúrsaí geilleagair mar atá. Má theastaíonn tuilleadh eolais uait nó más mian leat coinne a dhéanamh, déan teagmháil leis an Ionad Forbartha Gairmeacha ag 091 493589 nó seol ríomhphost chuig -Críoch-

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

To survive and prosper firms need to innovate their current management models, according to international management and strategy expert Professor Julian Birkinshaw. Professor Birkinshaw is co-founder and research director of the Management Lab (M-Lab), a non-profit organisation based in California working to accelerate management innovation, and Professor of Strategic and International Management at London Business School. He will deliver two key note addresses at the InterTradeIreland Innovation conference hosted by the Centre of Innovation and Structural Change (CISC) at NUI Galway on 9 and 10 June. Innovation from Research to Practice is the theme of Professor Birkinshaw's first keynote talk on 9 June. This will focus on the emergence of the 'open innovation' model, how firms can do a better job of managing innovation and the role of the leader in stimulating innovation in a downturn. On 10 June, Professor Birkinshaw's will focus on Innovating your Management Model which will outline the current challenges that managers face and the need for managers and organisations to fundamentally change their management model to survive, prosper and to innovate on a sustainable basis. Delegates will also have the opportunity to put questions to a panel of industry speakers who will discuss "Innovation: Challenges and Opportunities" from their perspective. This conference is being delivered as part of the InterTradeIreland All-Island Innovation Programme. The Programme, a partnership between InterTradeIreland, NUI Galway, University College Dublin and Queens University Belfast, aims to promote and encourage innovation across the island of Ireland. The All-Island Innovation Programme is complemented by a Community of Researchers working on innovation across the island. The aim of this community is to progress the development of an all-island knowledge economy, to align best practice in innovation research with current policy thinking and inform future policy-making and its implementation. InterTradeIreland Strategy and Policy Director Aidan Gough said: "This two-day programme will explore the challenge of delivering innovation for the smart economy. Innovation is more important than ever in the current climate and can make the difference between mere survival and growth. Professor Birkinshaw will provide insights into how embedding innovation into the overall management process can drive success." Anyone interested in attending should contact and online at Attendance is open to all and the event is free to attend. -Ends-

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Three groundbreaking research projects at NUI Galway secured funding awards when Conor Lenihan T.D., Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation recently announced research funding awards of €20.7million for 22 research projects under the Science Foundation Ireland Principal Investigator Programme. Making the announcement, Minister Lenihan said: "Today's Government investment will enable crucial research to be carried out in Ireland over the next three to five years. The successful 22 projects include medical research into cancer, stroke and brain injury, Alzheimer's Disease, asthma, cystic fibrosis, salmonella, meningitis, pre-clampsia, genetics and medical devices, while other areas to be funded include greenhouse gas emissions, web personalization, cloud computing, cyber security, digital media and semi-conductors." In congratulating the award winners, the Minister added: "The Government remains firmly committed to developing the "Smart Economy". It is research projects such as these that will support the next phase of Ireland's economic development. We must never lose sight of the fact that research and development is primarily about people - the individual and collective talents of our skilled personnel. We must continue to support the best researchers to bring about long-term economic benefits and with the assistance of support structures such as SFI, IDA and Enterprise Ireland, we can studiously bring these concepts to that next level, and through exploitation and commercialisation ensure economic and societal benefits for Ireland." Speaking at the announcement, Chairperson of SFI, and former President of NUI Galway Professor Pat Fottrell said: "To date, the academic and commercial outputs stemming from previous PI funding have been promising, which bodes well for today's recipients under this programme. By subjecting all funding applications to a high level of scrutiny and review by 28 distinguished international scientists, SFI has illustrated its meticulous and exhaustive approach in rewarding ground-breaking research with the greatest potential for commercial and societal benefits." From a total of €20m in funding granted by the SFI Principal Investigator Programme, the following NUI Galway projects received €2.7m: Professor Robert Woods, School of Chemistry and NCBES Virtual Glycan Array Development and Carbohydrate Receptor Engineering Carbohydrates are highly abundant, simple organic compounds and are the building blocks of sugars and starches. Professor Woods aims to use a combination of computer modeling and experimental approaches to design new carbohydrate-based drug therapies and diagnostic agents. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop novel anti-viral medications for treatment of influenza and diagnostics for diseases, such as cancer and diabetes. Professor Corrado Santocanale, NCBES Understanding and exploiting molecular mechanisms of DNA replication in cancer cells Correct duplication of the genetic material (DNA) in each cell of our body is essential for the maintenance of a cancer free state. Uncontrolled DNA duplication is one of the hallmarks of cancer and many established chemotherapeutic agents target this process. Professor Santocanale aims to discover mechanisms that control DNA duplication in human cancer cells and to identify proteins targets for development of novel chemotherapeutics. Dr Henry Curran, School of Chemistry & ECI Combustion Chemistry for Sustainable Energy and Energy Efficient Technologies. Under the Kyoto Protocol, Ireland agreed to limit its Greenhouse Gas emissions to 13% above 1990 levels by 2008–2012. Emissions from transport continue to be the main source of growth in GHG levels in Ireland. Dr Curran will examine how biofuels burn which will assist in making choices on potentially new fuels for energy efficient combustion. The research also aims to develop technologies that will enable safe and reliable gas turbine operation (for power and heat generation) with undiluted syngas. These SFI awards follow from last week's announcement by The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Ms Mary Coughlan T.D., for Government funding of €11.3million for 68 research projects under the Science Foundation Ireland Research Frontiers Programme (RFP) for 2009 of which NUI Galway was awarded over €1million. Dr Harald Berresheim, School of Physics & ECI Variation of the Oxidation Efficiency and Particle Precursor Gases in the Coastal Atmosphere. The atmosphere's efficiency to clean itself from pollutants is linked to the production of OH radicals which react with nearly all pollutants via oxidation. However, this cleansing efficiency can significantly vary depending on UV radiation and atmospheric levels of natural and/or man-made compounds. This project aims to quantify these limitations based on direct measurements of OH in the coastal atmosphere at Mace Head. In addition, the role of OH and sulphur gases as well as other compounds in the formation of new ultrafine particles will be investigated. The project will be supported by two international collaborators. Dr Dimitrios I. Zeugolis, Department of Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering, & NCBES Loading a self-assembled nano-textured matrix for functional tissue engineering In the quest of the ideal raw material for scaffold fabrication, collagen use has been advocated due to its superior mechanical properties and reduced immunogenicity. However, the currently available sources of collagen either harbour concerns for inter-species transmission of disease (e.g. bovine extracted collagen) or are of low yield (human recombinant collagen). Herein, we propose an approach to produce large amounts of collagen that will be host-specific. The resultant scaffolds will be optimally stabilised and functionalised to control structural, physical and biological properties with no inherent toxic effects on resident cells. Dr Anne Marie Power, Zoology & Martin Ryan Institute 'BINDING: Barnacle INspired Design IN Gluing technology' "Developing glues that work in wet environments would be extremely useful in surgical applications. Barnacles have evolved underwater mechanisms to cement themselves to all sorts of surfaces, producing strong bonds which can withstand powerful forces but which are also non-toxic. The molecular methods which produce this attachment will form the basis of this research." Professor Michael Redfern, School of Physics Researchers in the Centre for Astronomy in NUI Galway have developed a unique instrument, for use on the World s largest telescopes, which will now be used to study emissions from collapsed stars in unprecedented detail. It has been known for more than forty years that stars can collapse to a few kilometers across, and can spin at up to 50 times per second - emitting flashes of light like a light-house beam as they do so. What is not understood is why they do so. Our new instrument will provide detailed information to study this emission. Dr Michael Tuite, School of Mathematic, Statistics & Applied Mathematics Vertex Operator Algebras and Deligne s Exceptional Lie Groups A vertex operator algebra is a new mathematical construction very closely related to notions coming from quantum theory in theoretical physics. This project is concerned with an application of some of my recent research in this area to Lie groups in pure mathematics. This work provides a new explanation of very surprising observations made 10 years ago by the Field's Medal winning French mathematician Pierre Deligne. Professor Afsin Samali, Biochemistry & NCBES Accumulation of unfolded or misfolded proteins in the ER triggers the unfolded protein response (UPR). UPR initially attempts to reduce the protein load in the ER and increase its folding capacity. However, unresolved ER stress results in the activation of apoptosis. Loss of UPR protective signalling may underlie the cell death seen in diabetes, congestive heart failure and neurodegeneration. In the recent SFI-RFP proposal we have proposed to study the role of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2, in the regulation of IRE-1 signalling during the unfolded protein response. Dr Adrienne Gorman, Biochemistry & NCBES Novel neurotrophin variants with altered receptor binding Dr Adrienne Gorman received €150,536 from the SFI RFP programme to work on 'Novel neurotrophin variants with altered receptor binding'. Neurotrophins are a small family of molecules that promote neuronal cell survival or death depending on the cell surface receptors with which they interact. The aim of this project is to produce novel neurotrophin variants that retain the neurotrophic activities that are mediated by Trk receptors, while at the same time and prevent cell death signaling through the p75 receptor. These variants could have therapeutic potential to prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease where increased activity at the p75 receptor has been implicated. -Ends-

Friday, 24 July 2009

Spinal cord regeneration will be the first topic of the Biomedical Distinguished Lecture Series commencing on Thursday, 30 July, at NUI Galway. The lecture series will be hosted by the University's National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES), which this year celebrates its tenth anniversary. Over the coming months, a range of international speakers involved in ongoing research collaboration with the NCBES will share their insights and experiences with fellow scientists and the general public. Topics during the seminar series will include: the latest developments in breast cancer research; furthering understanding of the cause of multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative disorders; the social-psychology of exercise and its use in helping stroke and spinal cord injury patients; and the discovery of new therapies for the treatment of cancer. According to Professor Frank Barry, Director of the NCBES: "The lecture series will bring some of the most accomplished research leaders to Galway and will provide a forum for discussion of the latest and most significant advances in life sciences research. It will provide good opportunities for NCBES scientists to develop new collaborations and will lead to enhanced quality and productivity in our research efforts". On Thursday, 30 July, a husband and wife team from Arizona State University will provide an overview of a number of projects at the Center for Adaptive Neural Systems. Professor James J. Abbas and Professor Ranu Jung focus on developing systems to promote recovery after spinal cord injury by controlling movements using electrical stimulation of paralyzed muscles. An innovative technology by this prominent engineer-scientist pair, which interfaces with the nervous system, has already benefitted patients with spinal cord injury and with neurodegenerative diseases. Lokesh Joshi, Stokes Professor of Glycosciences at the NCBES, heads up the Centre's collaboration with the team in Arizona. He comments: "A cutting-edge approach is being taken in Arizona to current medical challenges in the areas of spinal cord injury and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's. The Jung-Abbas team is truly translational and unique because it brings together electrical and mechanical engineering, physiological science and clinical research. This has been tried successfully in patients". In its collaboration with the Center for Adaptive Neural Systems, the team at the NCBES are investigating the role played by the 'sugars' involved in cell to cell communication. These complex carbohydrates or glycans play crucial roles in the development and regeneration of tissues and organs, during growth, disease and injury. As Professor Joshi explains: "The central nervous system (CNS), found in the brain and spine, is a complex organ and does not regenerate after injury at the pace of other organs and tissues. Studies have shown that removal of certain glycans can promote some growth on a cellular level, thereby facilitating CNS regeneration. The burning question is – what exact role do glycans play by inhibiting neuroregeneration? Our project involves the mapping of glycans so we can better understand their presence in healthy, injured or rehabilitating tissue". The field of Neuroglycoscience is rapidly emerging and scientists at NUI Galway are working on discovering novel glycobiomarkers, glycoimaging tools, therapeutic targets and molecules and drug delivery systems to promote neuro-regeneration. The Biomedical Distinguished Lecture Series is being supported by the Galway University Foundation. The first lecture takes place at 10.30am on Thursday, 30 July in the NCBES Seminar Room, Orbsen Building, NUI Galway. For further information telephone 091 495701. -ends-

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Botanists from NUI Galway have used a most unlikely source – fungi that grow on cattle and sheep dung – to shed new light on farming and its impact on the Burren, County Clare, the best developed karstic region of western Europe. Using old and new techniques, including analysis of fossil spores produced by fungi that grow only on herbivorous animals' dung, the study – published in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Ecology – shows how farming waxed and waned over the past 3500 years and how this shaped Burren's extraordinary plant life. Dr Ingo Feeser and Professor Michael O'Connell from the NUI Galway collected peat and soil samples from upland areas of the Burren. It is well known that peat, because it preserves pollen, archives long records of past plant life. But scientists have only recently realised that peat also preserves other fossils such as fungal spores. By using both these techniques and radiocarbon dating, Feeser and O'Connell have uncovered the history of upland farming in the Burren and the major role that cattle and sheep grazing has played in shaping the area s flora and landscape. According to Professor O'Connell: "Spores from fungi that grow on dung of cattle and sheep are really useful for two reasons: they preserve well and, since they are produced at ground level they stay put. That means when we find them as fossils, we can be sure that grazers were present at the sampling site all those years ago. Together with fossil pollen, they help us distinguish between the impact of factors such as climate change and upland grazing on species composition and biodiversity." The fossil pollen reveals that pinewoods once grew on the exposed north-western Burren hills that face the Atlantic Ocean on the southern side of Galway Bay until around 500 BC, when increased farming by Iron Age peoples resulted in pine no longer being the dominant tree. "Present-day open pinewoods on limestone soils in Scandinavia, with a ground flora that includes many typical 'Burren' species, are the closest analogy to these former pinewoods on the coastal Burren uplands," says O Connell. This means it is no longer necessary to invoke special conditions, such as persistence of open, treeless conditions since the retreat of the ice sheets, to explain the presence of arctic-alpine species in the Burren; rather these plants found favourable conditions, and thus survived, within open pinewoods. The study also emphasises the highly dynamic nature of the relationship between humans and nature in the Burren since farmers first arrived about 6000 years ago. While open pinewoods dominated coastal uplands, hazel scrub was important in inland areas such as Corkscrew Hill where farming impact was higher. Hazel was also highly dynamic and sensitive to farming pressures. When farming declined at the end of the Iron Age (about AD 300), hazel replaced grasslands in what the researchers refer to as the 'Late Iron Age Lull'. The reverse occurred in the late eighteenth/early nineteenth century when population levels rose dramatically and the Burren became so bare that the woody stems of the mountain avens (Dryas) were used as a substitute for wood. This, in turn, contrasts with the present-day situation when farming is on the decline and the spread of hazel reduces the habitat available to the typical Burren flora and hides the rich archaeology of the region. However, vegetation and farming are not the only dynamic features of the Burren. The placename 'Burren' denotes a rocky place that aptly describes this extensive area of bare limestone rock. "That the Burren landscape always had this lunar-like appearance is not true," says Professor O'Connell. By radiocarbon dating charcoal contained in eroded soils recovered from grykes (deep fissures in the limestone), the NUI Galway researchers have shown that substantial loss of soil through erosion followed not only the clearing of primeval woodlands by the early farmers, i.e. the megalith tomb builders, but continued to be a feature of the Burren until well into medieval times. Ingo Feeser and Michael O Connell (2009). Fresh insights into long-term changes in flora, vegetation, land use and soil erosion in the karstic environment of the Burren, western Ireland, Journal of Ecology, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2009.01533.x, is published online on 22 July 2009. -ends-

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) The third John McGahern International Seminar will be officially opened tomorrow (Thursday, 23 July), by NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne, and Cathaoirleach of Leitrim Co. Council, Mr Thomas Mulligan, in the Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim. The John McGahern International Seminar and Summer School is organised annually in Co. Leitrim to commemorate the work and literary achievements of this distinguished author. In advance of the opening address, President Browne spoke of the relationship John McGahern had with the University over a period of almost 50 years: "In the course of John's interaction with NUI Galway, a deep and close friendship grew with its people, and a shared regard developed between John and the University. There was a sustained rapport between the academy and the artist, based largely I believe on a shared understanding of a sense of place. The writings of John McGahern are inextricably linked with and informed by the writer's own sense of place. Leitrim and the north-west form a unique and important backdrop to the McGahern canon. We at NUI Galway share in this sense of place, and by becoming the repository of the papers of John McGahern in some way maintain for this region an enduring link with the writer and the man". Mr Thomas Mulligan, Cathaoirleach of Leitrim County Council, commented: "Leitrim County Council is delighted to see this project develop in its third year, establishing its own rhythm within Ireland s literary calendar. While retaining its central focus on the work of John McGahern, this year's engagement with themes of the heroic - from the local to the universal - and taking account also the 125th anniversary of the GAA, is a strong expression of the confidence and breadth of vision that Leitrim County Council and NUI Galway share for this important event". The keynote lecture, "The Local and the Universal: Ordinary Heroes in John McGahern", will be delivered at the opening ceremony by Professor Kevin Whelan of Notre Dame University. The second volume of the John McGahern Yearbook will also be launched on the opening evening. The Yearbook, published in a collectable hardback format, is the associated publication of the Seminar and Summer School. The Yearbook is compiled and edited by Dr John Kenny, John McGahern Lecturer in Creative Writing at NUI Galway and Academic Director of the Seminar and Summer School. This year's volume contains all of last year's Seminar lectures as well as a wide range of other essays. Contributions include the keynote address by Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh of NUI Galway and lectures given by Professor David Malcolm of the University of Gdansk, Poland, and Gerardo Gambolini, the Argentinian poet whose Spanish translation of John McGahern's collected stories has recently been published to great acclaim. Writing about John McGahern, Gambolini says: "I see John McGahern as a great writer, not as a great Irish writer. His voice is universal; his undeniably Irish tone and topics are made universal by his talent, not by geography. My dominant experience in translating him was the pleasure of reading day after day over a long time remarkable pictures of the greatness and the abjectness of human soul and flesh, pictures always traversed in the end by compassion, by a joyful or painful form of redemption". The Yearbook specially commissions a short-story writer each year and this year's story is 'White Hitachi' by Irish author Kevin Barry. Speakers during the International Seminar include Professor Liliane Louvel of the University of Poitiers, France, Professor Denis Sampson, Canada, Professor Mike Cronin, Boston College, and Kevin Barry. Panel discussions and readings will also take place throughout the programme. As in previous years, the Seminar will include guided visits to John McGahern's home places in Aughawillan, Ballinamore and Mohill in Co. Leitrim, and Cootehall in Co. Roscommon A detailed schedule for the Seminar can be downloaded from Tríú Seimineár Idirnáisiúnta John McGahern ar siúl i Liatroim (View in English) Is iad Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr James J. Browne, agus Cathaoirleach Chomhairle Contae Liatroma, Thomas Mulligan, a osclóidh tríú Seimineár Idirnáisiúnta John McGahern anocht (Déardaoin, an 23 Iúil) in Óstán an Bush, Cora Droma Rúisc, Co. Liatroma. Reáchtáiltear Seimineár Idirnáisiúnta agus Scoil Samhraidh John McGahern gach bliain i gCo. Liatroma chun ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar shaothar agus ar éachtaí liteartha an údair cháiliúil seo. Sular thug sé aitheasc na hoscailte, labhair Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Browne, faoin ngaol a bhí idir John McGahern agus an Ollscoil ar feadh 50 bliain, nó mar sin: "Cuireadh síol domhain cairdis, de réir a chéile, idir John agus pobal OÉ Gaillimh, agus d'fhás dámh eatarthu. Cothaíodh gaol láidir idir an coláiste agus an t-ealaíontóir, gaol a bhí bunaithe, déarfainn féin, ar chomhthuiscint ar ómós áite. Sníonn ómós áite go dlúth trí chuid scríbhneoireachta John McGahern. Ní féidir Liatroim agus an t-iarthuaisceart a scaradh ó chanóin liteartha McGahern. Tá tuiscint againne, pobal OÉ Gaillimh, ar an ómós áite chomh maith, agus ó tharla gur anseo san Ollscoil atá páipéir John McGahern i dtaisce, táimid ag cothú ceangal buan leis an scríbhneoir agus leis an bhfear féin, ar bhealach". Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Thomas Mulligan, Cathaoirleach Chomhairle Contae Liatroma: "Tá an-áthas orainn i gComhairle Contae Liatroma go bhfuil an seimineár seo á reáchtáil den tríú bliain as a chéile, agus go bhfuil sé go mór chun tosaigh i bhféilire litríochta na hÉireann. Cé gur ar shaothar John McGahern is mó atá an bhéim, léiríonn téamaí laochais áitiúil agus uilíoch na bliana seo agus ceiliúradh 125 bliain a mbunaithe ag CLG, an mhuinín choiteann atá ag Comhairle Contae Liatroma agus ag OÉ Gaillimh as an ócáid thábhachtach seo agus an fhís choiteann atá acu di". Is é an tOllamh Kevin Whelan ó Ollscoil Notre Dame a thabharfaidh an phríomhléacht, "The Local and the Universal:Ordinary Heroes in John McGahern" i ndiaidh na hoscailte. Seolfar an dara himleabhar de The John McGahern Yearbook tráthnóna na hoscailte chomh maith. Is comhfhoilseachán de chuid an tSeimineáir agus na Scoile Samhraidh The John McGahern Yearbook, foilseachán a bhfuil clúdach crua air agus a mbeidh tóir ag bailitheoirí leabhar air. Is é an Dr John Kenny, Léachtóir John McGahern sa Scríbhneoireacht Chruthaitheach in OÉ Gaillimh agus Stiúrthóir Acadúil an tSeimineáir agus na Scoile Samhraidh a thiomsaigh The John McGahern Yearbook agus a bhí ina eagarthóir air. Tá léachtaí Sheimineár na bliana seo caite ar fad in imleabhar na bliana seo mar aon le rogha leathan aistí eile. I measc na n-aistí atá sa leabhar tá an phríomhléacht a thug an tOllamh Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh ó OÉ Gaillimh agus léachtaí a thug an tOllamh David Malcolm ó Ollscoil Gdansk, an Pholainn agus Gerardo Gambolini, an file ón Airgintín a bhfuil ardmholadh faighte ag an aistriúchán go Spáinnis a rinne sé ar scéalta John McGahern le déanaí. Seo cuid den mhéid a bhí le rá ag Gambolini faoi John McGahern sa leabhar: "I see John McGahern as a great writer, not as a great Irish writer. His voice is universal; his undeniably Irish tone and topics are made universal by his talent, not by geography. My dominant experience in translating him was the pleasure of reading day after day over a long time remarkable pictures of the greatness and the abjectness of human soul and flesh, pictures always traversed in the end by compassion, by a joyful or painful form of redemption". Déantar coimisiúnú ar ghearrscéalaí gach bliain le scéal a scríobh do The John McGahern Yearbook agus is é 'White Hitachi' a scríobh an t-údar Éireannach Kevin Barry gearrscéal na bliana seo. I measc na gcainteoirí ag an Seimineár Idirnáisiúnta beidh an tOllamh Liliane Louvel as Ollscoil Poitiers, an Fhrainc, an tOllamh Denis Sampson, Ceanada, an tOllamh Mike Cronin, Boston College agus Kevin Barry. Beidh plé painéil agus léitheoireachtaí ann i rith an tseimineáir chomh maith. Arís i mbliana, eagrófar turais threoraithe chuig na háiteanna a raibh cónaí ar John McGahern iontu in Achadh an Mhuilinn, i mBéal an Átha Móir agus i Maothail i gCo. Liatroma agus go hUachtar Tíre i gCo. Ros Comáin. Is féidir mionsonraí chlár an tSeimineáir a íoslódáil ó -Crioch-

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) Following the recent release of final CAO figures for 2009 applications, NUI Galway shows a substantial increase of 13.1% in CAO First Preferences. This growth is more than double that of the University sector (6.2%) and is by a comfortable margin the highest year-on-year increase of all the Universities. Professor Jim Ward, Deputy-President and Registrar at NUI Galway, commented on the increase in CAO applications: "We are delighted that NUI Galway has the highest growth rate in applications; it's encouraging to see we are well above the national average. In particular Engineering applications have jumped by 39% in first preferences as against a drop nationally of 3.4%. Programmes on offer at NUI Galway are designed to develop students academically and personally, and our partnerships with industry and community play a huge part in the overall design of the courses we offer". Almost all subject areas experienced increases in CAO applications, with large demand for Science, Arts and Commerce, and a major rise in Engineering, IT and Medicine. The University sees this growth as a direct result of its response to integrating national priorities into the institutional agenda. The national need for teachers in mathematics has been identified and the new BA programme in Maths and Education is designed to improve the teaching of mathematics, which is key to Ireland s success as a 'Smart Economy'. Demand for this programme has grown 69%. Being responsive to the changing needs of the employment market is also a key focus at NUI Galway. Soaring Engineering applications reflect carefully thought-out new programmes in Energy Systems Engineering, designed in response to a growing demand for professional engineers to work in the energy sector as well as Engineering Innovation, which aims to create a new type of engineer with skills in innovation and entrepreneurship essential to delivering the 'Smart Economy'. Engineering students at NUI Galway will also benefit from the University s new state-of-the-art Engineering Building which is due for completion in 2011. Professor Ward added: "Internationally recognised research in priority areas and partnerships with industry are key at NUI Galway. Growth in the popularity of IT courses is mirrored in tremendous research successes for the University's Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) which is the leading Semantic Web Institute in the world. A Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded Centre for Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET), DERI recently hit the headlines when a piece of their web technology was adopted by the Obama administration to bring greater transparency to the new US Government. The area of Biomedical Engineering is also directly linked to Biomedical Science where the University has integrated courses and research to meet the needs of local industry partners such as Boston Scientific and Medtronic". Tríú Borradh faoi Líon na nIarratas CAO ar OÉ Gaillimh agus í ag Díriú ar 'an nGeilleagar Glic' (View in English) Léiríonn na figiúirí deiridh a d'fhoilsigh an CAO le gairid maidir le hiarratais 2009 go bhfuil méadú suntasach 13.1% tagtha ar na hiarratais Chéadrogha CAO ar OÉ Gaillimh. Is ionann sin agus dhá oiread an mhéadaithe ar líon na n-iarratas ar Ollscoileanna trí chéile (6.2%) agus is é an méadú is mó go héasca é ó bhliain amháin go bliain eile ar líon na n-iarratas chéadrogha a rinneadh ar Ollscoileanna uile na tíre. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Ollamh Jim Ward, Meabhránaí agus Uachtarán Ionaid OÉ Gaillimh, faoin méadú atá tagtha ar líon na n-iarratas céadrogha CAO: "Táimid thar a bheith sásta gur ar líon na n-iarratas ar OÉ Gaillimh is mó a tháinig méadú i mbliana. Is tógáil croí é go bhfuil an méadú i líon na n-iarratas chun na hollscoile seo i bhfad chun cinn ar an meán náisiúnta. Is cúis suntais, go háirithe, an méadú 39% atá ar líon na n-iarratas céadrogha san Innealtóireacht, réimse a raibh titim 3.4% i líon na n-iarratas inti go náisiúnta. Cuireann cúrsaí OÉ Gaillimh rompu mic léinn a chothú go hacadúil agus go pearsanta agus tá ról lárnach ag an gcomhoibriú a bhíonn idir an Ollscoil, an tionscal agus an pobal i leagan amach na gcúrsaí atá á dtairiscint againn". Tháinig méadú ar líon na n-iarratas CAO i bhformhór na n-ábhar. Tháinig méadú mór ar líon na n-iarratas san Eolaíocht, sna Dána agus sa Tráchtáil, agus tháinig méadú an-mhór ar na hiarratais san Innealtóireacht, i dTeicneolaíocht na Faisnéise agus sa Leigheas. Dar leis an Ollscoil gur toradh díreach an fás seo ar an gcaoi ar chuir sí béim ar thosaíochtaí náisiúnta i gclár oibre na hinstitiúide. Aithníodh go mbeadh éileamh ar mhúinteoirí matamaitice ar fud na tíre agus tá sé mar aidhm ag an gclár nua BA sa Mhatamaitic agus san Oideachas an chaoi a múintear an mhatamaitic a fheabhsú. Tá sé ríthábhachtach go ndéanfaí sin chun go mbainfeadh Éire barr feabhais amach mar gheilleagar glic. Tá méadú 69% tagtha ar an éileamh ar an gclár seo. Cuirtear an-bhéim in OÉ Gaillimh chomh maith ar fhreastal ar riachtanais luaineacha mhargadh na fostaíochta. Tá méadú mór ar líon na n-iarratas Innealtóireachta. Léiríonn sin go bhfuil éileamh ar na cúrsaí nua ar caitheadh an-dua leo, amhail an chéim in Innealtóireacht Córas Fuinnimh, a cuireadh ar fáil le freastal ar an méadú ar an éileamh atá ar innealtóirí gairmiúla le hoibriú in earnáil an fhuinnimh, agus an chéim i Nuálaíocht Innealtóireachta, a bhfuil sé de chuspóir aici cineál nua innealtóirí a chur ar fáil a mbeidh scileanna nuálaíochta agus fiontraíochta acu, scileanna atá riachtanach chun an Geilleagar Glic a chothú. Beidh mic léinn innealtóireachta in OÉ Gaillimh ábalta leas a bhaint as Foirgneamh nua Innealtóireachta na hOllscoile, chomh maith, foirgneamh den chéad scoth a bheidh á chríochnú in 2011. Dúirt an tOllamh Ward an méid seo a leanas chomh maith: "Tá an-tábhacht le taighde i réimsí tosaíochta idirnáisiúnta agus le comhpháirtíochtaí leis an tionscal in OÉ Gaillimh. Is léiriú ar an méadú atá ar an tóir atá ag mic léinn ar chúrsaí i dTeicneolaíocht na Faisnéise a fheabhas atá ag éirí leis an taighde atá á dhéanamh ag Institiúid Taighde na Fiontraíochta Digití (DERI) san Ollscoil, Institiúid atá ar thús cadhnaíochta ó thaobh an Ghréasáin Shéimeantaigh de go domhanda. Bhí an tIonad Eolaíochta, Innealtóireachta agus Teicneolaíochta (CSET) a mhaoinigh Fondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann (SFI) sa nuacht le gairid nuair a roghnaigh lucht riaracháin Barack Obama cuid de theicneolaíocht ghréasáin an Ionaid chun go mbeidís in ann cur leis an trédhearcacht i Rialtas nua na Stát Aontaithe. Tá ceangal díreach idir réimse na hInnealtóireachta Bithleighis agus an Eolaíocht Bhithleighis, áit a bhfuil cúrsaí agus taighde curtha in oiriúint ag an Ollscoil le freastal ar riachtanais na gcomhpháirtithe áitiúla tionscail, amhail Boston Scientific agus Medtronic." -Crioch-

Monday, 20 July 2009

NUI Galway has issued a final call for applications to its Sports Scholarships Scheme for 2009/2010. With a strong reputation in sport, the University is committed to supporting and encouraging promising athletes to pursue their sporting careers. The deadline for application for current and prospective students is Thursday, 30 July. The Scholarship Programme is aimed at student-athletes of outstanding calibre who register as students of the University. In the current academic year, student athletes at NUI Galway received over €100,000 in scholarships to help them to continue to develop their sporting prowess. Through the Sports Scholarship Scheme some 80 students were supported in sports such as Athletics, Basketball, Gaelic Football and Hurling, Rock Climbing, Rowing, Rugby, Soccer, Swimming and Tennis. Applicants for sports scholarships must satisfy the academic criteria for entry to NUI Galway and must have applied to the CAO in the usual manner. Gary Ryan is Elite Sports Development Officer at NUI Galway: "The Scholarships are aimed at those with the potential to achieve a high level of performance in sport and, at the same time, be academically successful. Each scholarship is available for the duration of a student's studies. Our approach focuses on developing the athlete so that they are in a position to achieve sporting success and development during and after their time in NUI Galway". A former Irish Olympian and record-breaking sprinter, Gary Ryan sees a bright future for the NUI Galway sports scholarships; "The Irish Olympic team in Beijing had four NUI Galway graduates and shows that students who come to Galway can succeed in their chosen sport and course of study. We are developing an integrated approach to student athlete support that will create a high performance environment around the athlete and enable them to train and study effectively". For the Scholarships, students who meet the University's entry requirements will be selected on merit by an independent panel. In addition to the scholarship, students will receive specialist support including physiotherapy, treatment of injury, fitness training, coaching and travel to national and international competitions. More details on the Sports Scholarship Scheme or an application form are available from the Sport and Recreation Unit at NUI Galway by phoning 091 493482. -ends-

Monday, 20 July 2009

Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr., enters his final week of teaching at NUI Galway today as part of the New England Law Boston Summer School. The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway has hosted the summer school every year since 2001 and Chief Justice Roberts is one of a series of distinguished lecturers through the years. This year, 56 students from US law schools attended the programme, the overall focus being International and Comparative Human Rights Law. As well as providing a venue for the programme, several members of the Irish Centre for Human Rights faculty also deliver courses for the programme that are credited towards American Bar Association approved law degrees. Dr Ray Murphy of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, comments: "The Irish Centre for Human Rights is tasked with the study and promotion of human rights and humanitarian law. Our brief is international and the opportunity to engage with the New England Law summer school provides an added dimension to our work. We meet not only the next generation of legal professionals from the US but also some of its leading law academics. This year we are further informed by the presence of Chief Justice Roberts". Justice Roberts' class, 'The United States Supreme Court in Historical Perspective', examines changes in the Supreme Court since the nation's founding, with particular emphasis on the role of the Chief Justice and how several of them, from John Marshall to William Rehnquist, have influenced the Court's role. The course also reviews the changes that advocacy before the Court has taken over time. "We are honored that Chief Justice Roberts is participating in our Galway programme," said Dean John F. O'Brien of the New England Law Boston Summer School, "and proud to be able to offer our students this extraordinary opportunity". -ends-

Friday, 17 July 2009

A Bachelor of Commerce student at NUI Galway has received a scholarship from the Ireland-U.S. Council to work with Allied Irish Bank in New York for the summer. The scholarship was awarded to Máirtín Ó Rabhartaigh, from Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, as part of the Ireland-U.S. Council's annual programme of Student Work Experience Scholarships 2009. Máirtín's scholarship period runs until early September 2009 when he returns to NUI Galway to begin his third year of study. Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, said: "This is a great opportunity for any undergraduate business student and we are delighted that a student of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics has been afforded this opportunity. Máirtín has performed extremely well in his business studies to date, and I have no doubt he will benefit hugely from this work experience with Allied Irish Bank in New York. We are very grateful to the Ireland-U.S. Council for providing this opportunity to one of our students, through its very successful Student Work Experience Scholarships programme". Council President Dennis D. Swanson, in releasing details of this year s scholarship awards, said: "This is the 25th year in which the Council will have operated its successful Scholarship Awards. The programme provides opportunities to student undergraduates from third-level educational institutions on the island of Ireland travel to the United States and work temporarily in American corporations. The scholarships provide work assignments in business corporations of all sizes. The assignments are linked to the fields of study and academic disciplines which the undergraduate scholars are pursuing in Ireland". The Ireland-U.S. Council was founded in 1963 by American and Irish business leaders. Its principal objective is to encourage closer business links between Ireland and America. The Council operates a variety of scholarship and internship programs, stages seminars and hosts frequent events aimed at building business bonds and commercial connections between Ireland and the United States. -ends-

Monday, 13 July 2009

NUI Galway's Rowing Club claimed five titles at the Irish National Rowing Championships over the weekend. The University's rowers snatched victory in the blue ribbon event, the Men's Senior Eights. The NUI Galway men claimed the 'Big Pot', after beating Queen's University Belfast by just 0.4 seconds. The winning crew were Dave Mannion, Jason Wall, Evin Donnelly, Pádraig Bracken, Paul Giblin, Alan Martin, Cormac Folan, James Wall and Ruadhán Cooke. The crew was coached by Tom Tuohy, a recent recipient of an honorary M.A. in recognition of his years of service to the sport in the University. The other national titles secured by NUI Galway were the Men's Senior Coxless Fours & Double Sculls and the Women's Novice Eights & Fours. The University also won the award for the best overall club at the event which was held over three days at the National Rowing Centre in Cork. Ruadhán Cooke teaches French in the School of Languages at NUI Galway and was cox of the winning Men's Eight: "Rowing is very much a part of the fabric and an expression of the identity of the city of Galway, surrounded as we are by the river Corrib, the canals and the sea. It's a sport that strikes a chord with Galwegians. We in the University are very proud of our rowing tradition and we are committed to working hard in order to stay on top in the years ahead". NUI Galway Rowing Club is one of the most successful clubs in the University and indeed in Irish rowing. In the last decade, its rowers have captured numerous National Championship titles and rowed to success at the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta. Rowing Club members have also represented Ireland at all levels internationally, most notably Alan Martin, Cormac Folan and James Wall who were members of Ireland's Heavyweight Coxless Four which has been competing on the World Cup Regatta circuit since 2005. Alan Martin and Cormac Folan, along with two other Irish rowers, qualified the boat for the Beijing Olympics at the World Rowing Championships in Munich in 2007. Cormac Folan managed to retain his seat and competed in the Games last summer. -ends-

Monday, 13 July 2009

The first Molecular Medicine Ireland (MMI) Clinician Scientist Fellowship Programme (CSFP) Annual Meeting took place on Saturday 11 July 2009 at NUI Galway. The objective of the CSFP is to train the next generation of clinician scientists with the unique and specialised knowledge essential to fulfil Ireland's research needs in translational medicine. The CSFP is funded by the Irish Government under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions cycle 4. Fellows from five institutions with a shared agenda in clinical and translational research are participating in the Programme, which is being coordinated by Molecular Medicine Ireland. This training programme transcends institutional boundaries and provides systematic training for this l group of clinician researchers through a structured Ph.D. programme. 22 MMI Fellows have been appointed to date The CSFP Annual Meeting gathered key individuals involved in this MMI programme, including the Fellows' supervisors. Professor Terry Smith, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway, welcomed the delegates to the annual meeting. The MMI Fellows presented their research as short talks and posters. A highlight of the day was the Keynote Lecture delivered by Professor Sherine Gabriel (William J. and Charles H. Mayo Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Mayo Clinic, MN, US). A judging panel, comprising Prof Matthew Griffin (Professor of Transplant Biology at NUI Galway), Dr Christine Dingivan (Executive vice president and chief medical officer, PPD) and Prof Gabriel awarded a MMI medal for best Fellows presentation. 'Today is milestone in the Clinician Scientist Fellowship programme' commented Dr Ruth Barrington, CEO of MMI. 'The research presented by the Fellows is at the cutting edge of science and is of great significance for more effective diagnosis of disease and treatment of patients. The Fellows are contributing to Ireland's reputation for excellence in clinical and translational research. They are also making Ireland a more attractive place for investment by healthcare industries in research and development', she said. The Annual Meeting was preceded by a week of Structured Training at NUI Galway, which brought the MMI Fellows together for education modules covering research and translational skills. -ends-

Monday, 13 July 2009

A group of nine final year engineering students from NUI Galway depart for Ethiopia this week to volunteer for two months. The students, the majority of whom have studied Civil Engineering, will work on a house building project and also help with a literacy programme. Siobhán Kennedy, from Rahoon in Galway City, is one of the NUI Galway students and is excited about the trip: "Ethiopia remains one of the world's poorest countries. As a group of graduate engineers we hope we can make a contribution to the house building project and assist the local people". The five young men and four women are headed for Bahir Dar, in the North of Ethiopia and will work with an ongoing programme overseen by the Daughters of Charity. NUI Galway President Dr James J. Browne, commended the students: "Volunteering has become an integral part of student life at NUI Galway. Through our ALIVE volunteering programme, thousands of students volunteer their time and contribute significantly to community organisations every year. This group of students in particular should be commended for committing so much time to this worthwhile project in Ethiopia". The students found the volunteering opportunity through the Vincentian Lay Missionaries, which is part of a 400 year old tradition which began with St Vincent de Paul working in the France of his day to alleviate the dreadful circumstances of the poor. -ends-

Friday, 10 July 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) Olympic silver medallist and former double World Cross Country Champion, John Treacy, today (Friday, 10 July) officially launched NUI Galway's B.E. in Sports & Exercise Engineering. The degree programme, which incorporates significant elements of Anatomy, Physiology, and Mechanical Engineering with a major in Electronic Engineering, puts particular emphasis on ambulatory monitoring of human performance, movement assessment, and systems and devices for the assessment of sport and exercise. Speaking at the launch, John Tracey, who is now CEO of the Irish Sports Council, said: "This whole area is hugely important. I see tremendous potential in this combination of engineering and sports science. In elite sports we deal with tenths and hundredths of seconds. Winning often comes down to a technical edge so having professionals trained in Ireland in this area will be of great benefit". The first cohort of students taking this focused interdisciplinary programme have just finished first year and are destined to graduate with a unique skillset for a growing industry according to NUI Galway's Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin. Professor Ó Laighin is Head of Electrical & Electronic Engineering and Course Director: "Professional sport is a worldwide multi-billion euro industry and plays a central role in most western societies. Today technology is used on a regular basis to improve sports performance in elite athletes. The Sports & Exercise Engineering programme at NUI Galway will provide graduates with the skills and expertise to design systems and devices for the evaluation and execution of sport performance across a broad range of sports". Professor Ó Laighin sees the Exercise Engineering component of the programme becoming increasingly important. Exercise Engineering is expected to play an important role in the management of two major healthcare crises for the Western World, obesity and ageing populations. "There are numerous health benefits associated with physical activity, including a reduced risk of premature mortality and reduced risks of coronary heart disease. Regular participation in physical activity also appears to reduce depression and anxiety, improve mood, and enhance ability to perform daily tasks throughout the life span. Exercise Engineers will design systems and devices to promote increased adherence to exercise". The programme in Sports & Exercise Engineering is offered by the College of Engineering & Informatics in collaboration with the College of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences at NUI Galway. As part of their studies, Sports & Exercise Engineering students use the facilities in the newly opened Sports Centre at NUI Galway. A new high-spec Engineering Building will add to facilities on campus by 2011. NUI Galway is also offering two additional new Engineering degrees, which will have the first student intake in September. These are B.E. degrees in Energy Systems Engineering, and Engineering Innovation – Electronic. Click here to download a copy of the course booklet. Ardmholadh ag an Lúthchleasaí Oilimpeach John Treacy do Chéim Spóirt agus Innealtóireachta OÉ Gaillimh (View in English) Sheol John Treacy, fear a bhain bonn airgid sna Cluichí Oilimpeacha agus iar-Churadh Reathaíochta Trastíre an Domhain faoi dhó, sheol sé Baitsiléir Innealtóireachta (B.E.) Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh in Innealtóireacht Spóirt & Aclaíochta inniu (Dé hAoine, 10 Iúil). Cuirtear béim ar leith sa chlár céime, ina nasctar gnéithe tábhachtacha den Anatamaíocht, den Fhiseolaíocht agus den Innealtóireacht Mheicniúil le mórchéim san Innealtóireacht Leictreonach, ar mhonatóireacht shiúlach ar iompraíocht an duine, ar mheasúnú gluaiseachta, agus ar chórais agus ar fhearais a dhéanfadh measúnú ar spórt agus ar aclaíocht. Ag labhairt dó ag an seoladh, bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag John Treacy, Príomhfheidhmeannach Chomhairle Spóirt na hÉireann: "Is réimse iontach tábhachtach é seo. Creidim go mbeidh deiseanna den scoth ar fáil don mheascán seo idir an innealtóireacht agus an eolaíocht spóirt. Sna spóirt éilíte bímid ag plé leis an deichiú cuid de shoicind nó leis an gcéadú cuid de shoicind. Is minic a bhíonn an bua ag brath ar eolas níos fearr a bheith ag an lúthchleasaí ar an teicneolaíocht agus dá bhrí sin is buntáiste mór é go mbeidh oiliúint á cur ar lúthchleasaithe gairmiúla sa réimse seo." Tá an chéad bhaicle mac léinn a thug faoin dianchlár ildisciplíneach seo díreach i ndiaidh an chéad bhliain a chríochnú agus bainfidh siad céim amach ina mbeidh sraith sainscileanna sealbhaithe acu atá dírithe ar thionscal atá i mbéal fáis, a dúirt an tOllamh Gearóid Ó Laighin ó OÉ Gaillimh. Is é an tOllamh Ó Laighin Ceann na hInnealtóireachta Leictrí agus Leictreonaí agus is é Stiúrthóir an Chúrsa é: "Is tionscal domhanda an spórt gairmiúil ar fiú na billiúin euro é agus tá ról lárnach aige i bhformhór phobail iarthar an domhain. Baintear úsáid go rialta as an teicneolaíocht sa lá atá inniu ann chun cumas lúthchleasaithe éilíte a fheabhsú. Cinnteoidh an clár Innealtóireachta Spóirt & Aclaíochta go mbeidh na scileanna agus an saineolas ag na céimithe le córais agus feistí a dhearadh chun cumas spóirt a mheas agus cur leis an gcumas sin i gcineálacha éagsúla spóirt." Ceapann an Ollamh Ó Laighin go bhfuil níos mó agus níos mó tábhachta le gné Innealtóireachta Aclaíochta an chláir. Meastar go mbeidh ról tábhachtach ag Innealtóireacht Aclaíochta i mbainistiú dhá mhór-ghéarchéim sláinte sa Domhan Thiar, róraimhre agus daonra atá ag dul in aois. "Tá go leor buntáistí sláinte ag baint le gníomhaíocht fhisiciúil, an baol báis róluath agus an baol báis ó ghalar croí a laghdú ina measc. Is cosúil go laghdaíonn gníomhaíocht fhisiciúil rialta an galar dubhach agus imní, go gcuireann sí aoibh níos fearr ar dhaoine, agus go gcuireann sí le cumas daoine tascanna laethúla a dhéanamh i rith a saoil. Déanfaidh Innealtóirí Aclaíochta córais agus feistí a dhearadh a chuirfidh leis an tóir atá ar aclaíocht." Is é an Coláiste Innealtóireachta agus Ionformaitice atá ag cur an chúrsa in Innealtóireacht Spóirt & Aclaíochta ar fáil, i gcomhar le Coláiste an Leighis, an Altranais & na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte in OÉ Gaillimh. Mar chuid dá gcuid staidéir, úsáideoidh na mic léinn Innealtóireachta Spóirt & Aclaíochta na háiseanna san Ionad Spóirt nua a osclaíodh le gairid in OÉ Gaillimh. Beidh Foirgneamh Innealtóireachta den scoth á chur leis na háiseanna atá ar fáil ar an gcampas faoi 2011. Tá OÉ Gaillimh ag cur dhá chéim bhreise nua san Innealtóireacht ar fáil, a mbeifear ag glacadh leis na chéad mhic léinn orthu i mí Mheán Fómhair. Céim B.E. in Innealtóireacht Córas Fuinnimh, agus B.E. i Nuálaíocht Innealtóireachta – Leictreonach atá i gceist. -Crioch-

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

NUI Galway has been announced among the recipients of the Research Grants Programme by the Centre for Ageing Research and Development (CARDI). The CARDI programme aims to promote north-south research partnerships that bring together different subject areas to look at issues affecting older people in new ways. The research will involve older people themselves and the findings will be designed to improve policies and services for them. The Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway, with Queen's University Belfast, the School of Geography at NUI Galway, Rural Community Network and FORUM will establish a cross-border research network to explore healthy ageing in rural communities. The network, entitled Healthy Ageing in Rural Communities (HARC), will draw on interdisciplinary expertise in the areas of gerontology, economics, spatial planning, rural geography, social care and public health. Professor Bob Stout, Queen's University Belfast, Co-chair of the grants panel, said: "CARDI's wish is to get all the partners together and stimulate research that will bring benefits to the daily lives of older people". The Healthy Ageing in Rural Communities research network will commence in September 2009 and will run to the following year. Speaking about the grant award, Kieran Walsh, Research Officer at the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, NUI Galway, said: "Although there is an over representation of older people in rural areas throughout Ireland, research into rural ageing has been limited to small-scale studies with a total absence of any cross-border coordination. HARC will allow us to share existing knowledge, identify key research questions for future study, and ultimately increase the capacity for rural ageing research in the fields of ageing and rurality across Ireland". HARC is a part of a broader research programme on rural ageing at the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology. Focussing on the economics of ageing, technology and ageing, and rural ageing, the multidisciplinary research centre has been awarded more than €5 million in funding since its establishment in 2006. -ends-

Friday, 3 July 2009

"Investment in innovation is your lifeblood, so it should be cut only as a last resort. The evidence from past recessions is that many highly successful innovations came when the recession was at its worst. Necessity is the mother of invention". This was the message from international thought leader on international management and strategy, Professor Julian Birkinshaw, who spoke at the recent InterTradeIreland Innovation conference hosted by the Centre of Innovation and Structural Change (CISC) at NUI Galway. Professor Birkinshaw is co-founder and research director of the Management Lab (M-Lab), a non-profit organisation based in California working to accelerate management innovation, and Professor of Strategic and International Management at London Business School. During a presentation called 'Innovating your Management Model: Developing New and Better Ways of Working', Professor Birkinshaw argued that the current economic crisis was a failure of management. He said the current model of management is flawed through an over emphasis on the role of leader and not the managers within firms. New ideas are emerging about how management is changing and he commented that "to survive and prosper firms need to innovate their current management models to sustain their competitive momentum". The 164 delegates at the conference heard that innovation is not limited to introducing new technologies but that companies should also focus on business and management model innovation. These forms of innovation, he argued, have the highest impact on competitiveness particularly as they are difficult to imitate since they are specific and unique to individual companies. Summing up his three basic rules to approaching innovation in the current climate, Professor Birkinshaw said: "First, innovation applies to how you work as well as to the products you make, and new or better ways of working can actually save you money. Second, make more use of partners as a source of new ideas. Third, become more experimental about what you do – see what works, learn from your mistakes and only scale up when you are confident of success". InterTradeIreland Strategy & Policy Director Aidan Gough said: "This conference explored the challenge of delivering innovation for the smart economy. Innovation is more important than ever in the current climate and can make the difference between mere survival and growth. Professor Birkinshaw provided insights into how embedding innovation into the overall management process can drive success". Professor Birkinshaw's lectures at NUI Galway were part of the InterTradeIreland All-Island Innovation Programme. The Programme, a partnership between InterTradeIreland, NUI Galway, University College Dublin and Queens University Belfast, aims to promote and encourage innovation across the island of Ireland. The All-Island Innovation Programme is complemented by a Community of Researchers working on innovation across the island. -ends-

Monday, 31 August 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) The EU Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, Meglena Kuneva, visited Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge's (NUI Galway) Centre in An Cheathrú Rua on Friday, 28 August. "This is the first such visit by an EU Commissioner to a university centre in the Gaeltacht", said Treasa Uí Lorcáin, Administrator of NUI Galway's Centre in An Cheathrú Rua, "and is a great honour for us to host a visitor as distinguished as Commissioner Kuneva. It reiterates again the deep interest at the highest levels of the European Union in the pioneering work undertaken by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge in the fields of Interpreting and Translation Studies, especially in light of the employment opportunities now available to graduates of our courses in the European institutions." Commissioner Kuneva visited the facilities in place in the Centre for students and staff, and paid particular attention to the specialist equipment and facilities for the M.A. san Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála (M.A. in Conference Interpreting) and Ard-Dioplóma i Léann an Aistriúcháin (Higher Diploma in Translation Studies) programmes – the leading programmes in these fields in Ireland. New intakes of students will commence their studies in these two programmes in mid-September. Applications for places on the programmes will be accepted until Monday, 7, September. Further information available at Cuairt Stairiúil ag an gCoimisinéir Eorpach Kuneva ar Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, an Cheathrú Rua (View in English) Thug Meglena Kuneva, Coimisinéir an Aontais Eorpaigh ar Ghnóthaí Tomhaltais, cuairt ar Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh ar an gCeathrú Rua, Dé hAoine, 28 Lúnasa. "Is é seo an chéad uair a thug Coimisinéir de chuid an Aontais Eorpaigh cuairt ar ionad ollscoile sa Ghaeltacht," a dúirt Treasa Uí Lorcáin, Riarthóir Ionad an Acadaimh ar an gCeathrú Rua, "agus is mór an onóir don Acadamh agus don Ollscoil go bhfuil oifigeach chomh sinsearach leis an gCoimisinéir Kuneva ag tabhairt cuairte orainn. Léiríonn sé arís an spéis dháiríre, ag an leibhéal is airde san Aontas Eorpach, san obair cheannródaíoch atá ar bun ag an Acadamh anseo ó thaobh cúrsaí léinn san Aistriúchán agus san Ateangaireacht a chur ar fáil atá dírithe ar na deiseanna maithe fostaíochta sa Ghaeilge a bhíonn á dtairiscint san Aontas Eorpach anois". Thug an Coimisinéir Kuneva cuairt ar áiseanna éagsúla an Ionaid ar an gCeathrú Rua, agus bhí aird ar leith aici ar na háiseanna speisialtóireachta atá ag an Acadamh don M.A. san Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála agus don Ard-Dioplóma i Léann an Aistriúcháin – cláir léinn cheannródaíocha i réimsí na hAteangaireachta agus an Aistriúcháin sa tír seo. Beidh tús á chur i lár na míosa seo chugainn le babhta nua den M.A. san Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála agus den Ard-Dioplóma i Léann an Aistriúcháin. Glacfar le hiarratais le haghaidh na gcúrsaí sin go dtí an 7 Meán Fómhair 2009. Tuilleadh eolais: -Críoch-

Monday, 31 August 2009

NUI Galway, in partnership with the Institute of Occupational Medicine in Edinburgh and the University of Aberdeen, are looking to recruit 50 homes in Galway and 50 in Scotland to participate in a study to measure the levels of indoor air pollutions in homes. The Indoor Air Pollution and Health (IAPAH) project, which will run until December 2010, is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, and will focus on homes which use solid fuels for heating or cooking, or homes which have a resident smoker. The information collected in this project will be used to estimate how air pollution in homes affects our health. This is one of the first studies in Ireland and Scotland to look at air pollutants in domestic dwellings. Over the last few decades there have been many advances in the design and construction of domestic dwellings. As a result, the amount of air movement in today's buildings is estimated to be 10 times lower than it was 30 years ago. Activities in the home such as cooking, heating and smoking, along with reduced air exchange can result in indoor air pollutants reaching levels greater than those found outdoors. According to Dr Marie Coggins of the School of Physics at NUI Galway and co-ordinator of the project: "The average European spends 90% of their time indoors so the quality of the air we breathe plays a significant role in our health and well-being. Indoor air pollution has been identified as one of the key factors related to the development of respiratory illnesses, such as asthma and allergies. This project will allow us gather information which will help us improve our understanding of this important area". For details on how to participate in the study or for more information on air pollution please visit -ends-

Monday, 24 August 2009

The creation of an extensive database of illustrated travel accounts about Ireland, from the 16th-19th century, is underway at NUI Galway. The 'Ireland Illustrated' project will provide an online collection of images showing how Ireland was portrayed in centuries gone by to travellers around the world. NUI Galway's Professor Jane Conroy is one of the team heading up the project: "Travel accounts played a major role in shaping mental images in early modern and modern Europe. Particularly when images came to support the text, the suggested representation might become even truer than reality. These ancient texts and the images they contain preserved an important part of history that needs to be discovered. Bringing this part of our heritage together through the Ireland Illustrated project, we will have a resource of interest and value to all". Large numbers of images and other documents will be scanned and catalogued, including those housed in libraries and museums around the country. Researchers at NUI Galway are asking anyone with books containing images about travelling to Ireland from 1500-1900 to contact them so that copies might be included. The searchable database of travel images will be available for academic use, and for the wider public. Due for completion in 2012, the Ireland Illustrated project will give international audiences access to rare books and give Irish people a way to connect with their visual heritage. Through an interactive searchable map, visitors will also be able to search for images of their own town or county. Professor Conroy, who is also Humanities Secretary with the Royal Irish Academy, adds: "In a way, travel accounts were the Lonely Planet or Rough Guide of their day, often containing drawings or sketches of the scenery and people. Quite scarce in the 1600s, accounts from that century portrayed a wild land, with quite an uncivilised population. From the late 1700s on, manor houses, estates and towns attracted more attention and a different image of Ireland began to filter through". Experts from the world of travel literature, digital humanities and libraries from across Europe gathered at NUI Galway recently to discuss the project. A similar database has been created by the University of Paris-Sorbonne containing travel accounts on France from the same period. The project Texts, Transmission and Cultural Exchange is taking place at NUI Galway Moore Institute for Humanities and is part of an interdisciplinary PhD research programme involving NUI Galway, TCD and UCC, and is funded by PRTLI4 and the Andrew Mellon Foundation. -ends-

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Co-ordinators of the Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing Practice (DMP) at NUI Galway have issued their annual call to businesses that might benefit from hosting a recently qualified marketing graduate. Since 1981, NUI Galway has been successfully placing marketing graduates with companies around Ireland through the DMP. To participate in the postgraduate diploma, students must have completed a business degree during which they specialised in marketing. To date, over 800 organisations have acted as hosts on the programme and each year over 90% of graduates have been retained by their companies on completion of the diploma. According to the DMP Programme Director, NUI Galway's Ann Walsh, "The ongoing interest by companies is fuelled by the quality of our students, many of whom speak two or more languages. All DMP students go through a rigorous application procedure to secure a place on the programme". Through the DMP, marketing graduates spend 32 weeks of the 35-week programme with their host company who provide a minimum weekly rate of payment. The placement is preceded by an intensive Induction Programme at the Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway where graduates learn the practical skills necessary to become effective in the workplace. Graduates also attend training workshops throughout the programme to enhance their practical marketing skills. "Everything from effective presentation skills to effective online marketing strategies is covered in the workshops and all assignments undertaken by the graduates relate specifically to their host companies," explains Ann Walsh. NUI Galway works closely with the host business. Assistance is given in compiling a detailed job specification and a shortlist of candidates for interview is provided that best matches the company's needs. On-going advice and assistance is also available to both companies and graduates in the form of regular visits, review sessions, telephone and e-mail support. For further information contact Ann Walsh on 091 492546. -ends-

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) NUI Galway has seen a significant increase in demand for its programmes across all colleges, as CAO points were released this week. Contrary to national trends which saw demand for construction courses fall, Project and Construction Management at NUI Galway was up 20 points. At 445 points, NUI Galway's new degree, Energy Systems Engineering, was the highest in terms of points for any engineering course at the University. Another new degree, Engineering Innovation – Electronic also attracted a lot of interest as did the University's Sports and Exercise Engineering degree with 415 points. Soaring Engineering applications reflect favourably on the carefully thought-out new programmes in Energy Systems Engineering, designed in response to a growing demand for professional engineers to work in the energy sector as well as Engineering Innovation, which aims to create a new type of engineer with skills in innovation and entrepreneurship essential to delivering the Smart Economy . Other newer courses also saw points increase, such as Podiatry, which rose from 390 to 420, and Arts (Mathematics and Education) which was up from 325 to 375. In other disciplines, Arts degrees remained in strong demand, with BA Connect Programmes proving popular again this year. NUI Galway's Irish language degree Na Dána (Gaeilge agus Léann an Aistrúcháin) rose a dramatic 200 points, one of the largest jumps for any course in the country. Commerce (International) with languages including French, German, Spanish and Italian all saw an increase in points. Courses linked to accounting and economics also rose in points, with Business Information Systems up 40 points to 340, while Financial Maths and Economics saw an increase from 385 to 400. In the area of professional healthcare, General Nursing and Psychiatric Nursing also rose significantly. Science also performed well, with points up in Physics, Marine Science, Biotechnology and Biomedical Science. The University sees rising demand for courses as a direct result of its response to integrating national priorities into the institutional agenda. Being responsive to the changing needs of the employment market is also a key focus at NUI Galway. Cúrsaí Foirgníochta OÉ Gaillimh ag Seasamh an Fhóid (View in English) Tháinig méadú mór ar an éileamh atá ar chláir léinn choláistí uile OÉ Gaillimh, mar a léiríonn pointí an CAO a foilsíodh an tseachtain seo. Cuireadh 20 pointe breise le céim OÉ Gaillimh i mBainistíocht Tionscadail agus Foirgníochta, glanmhalairt na treochta náisiúnta inar laghdaigh an t-éileamh ar chúrsaí foirgníochta. Ba é cúrsa céime nua OÉ Gaillimh, an chéim Innealtóireachta Córas Fuinnimh, an cúrsa ab airde pointí de chúrsaí innealtóireachta uile na hOllscoile; 445 pointe a theastaigh le háit a fháil ar an gcúrsa sin. Bhí go leor spéise chomh maith i gcéim nua eile, Nuálaíocht Innealtóireachta – Leictreonach, agus i gcéim Innealtóireachta Spóirt agus Aclaíochta na hOllscoile a raibh 415 pointe á éileamh dó. Tháinig méadú mór ar líon na n-iarratas Innealtóireachta. Is dea-thuar é an t-éileamh ar chúrsaí nua a raibh an-dua caite leo, amhail an chéim in Innealtóireacht Córas Fuinnimh, a cuireadh ar fáil le freastal ar an méadú ar an éileamh atá ar innealtóirí gairmiúla a d'oibreodh in earnáil an fhuinnimh, agus an chéim i Nuálaíocht Innealtóireachta, a bhfuil sé de chuspóir aici innealtóirí de chineál eile ar fad a chur ar fáil a mbeidh scileanna nuálaíochta agus fiontraíochta acu, scileanna atá riachtanach chun an 'Geilleagar Glic' a chothú. Bhí ardú ar phointí cúrsaí nua eile chomh maith, an Chosliacht, mar shampla, ar ardaigh na pointí ó 390 go 420, agus an chéim sna Dána (Matamaitic agus Oideachas) a d'ardaigh ó 325 go 375. Sna disciplíní eile, bhí an-éileamh ar chéimeanna sna Dána, mar is gnáth, agus bhí an-tóir ar na Cláir BA Connect arís i mbliana. Ceann de na cúrsaí is mó ar ardaigh na pointí dó sa tír ba ea an chéim sna Dána (Gaeilge agus Léann an Aistriúcháin) in OÉ Gaillimh; léim shuntasach de 200 pointe a bhí i gceist. D'ardaigh pointí na gcéimeanna sa Tráchtáil (Idirnáisiúnta) le teangacha amhail an Fhraincis, an Ghearmáinis, an Spáinnis agus an Iodáilis. D'ardaigh na pointí na gcúrsaí cuntasaíochta agus eacnamaíochta chomh maith; cuireadh 40 pointe leis an gcéim i gCórais Faisnéise Gnó (340 pointe), mar shampla, agus d'ardaigh an chéim i Matamaitic an Airgeadais agus Eacnamaíocht ó 385 go 400 pointe. I réimse an chúraim sláinte ghairmiúil, bhí ardú mór ar na pointí san Altranas Ginearálta agus san Altranas Síciatrach chomh maith. D éirigh go maith le cúrsaí eolaíochta freisin agus d ardaigh na marcanna san Fhisic, sa Mhuireolaíocht, sa Bhiteicneolaíocht agus san Eolaíocht Bhithleighis. Measann an Ollscoil go bhfuil méadú ag teacht ar an éileamh atá ar na cúrsaí sin de bhrí gur chuir an institiúid béim ar thosaíochtaí náisiúnta ina clár oibre. Cuirtear an-bhéim in OÉ Gaillimh chomh maith ar fhreastal ar riachtanais luaineacha mhargadh na fostaíochta. -Críoch-

Monday, 17 August 2009

NUI Galway has applauded the outstanding performance of one of its heroic graduates Olive Loughnane (BComm 1996) as she took the silver medal position yesterday in the 20k walk at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin. President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, commented: "We, at NUI Galway, are delighted for Olive and extend our congratulations for her perseverance and continued dedication to her training which has finally paid off with a silver medal at the World Championships". Olive Loughnane, originally from Loughrea, Co. Galway, represented NUI Galway Athletics Club from 1993 to 1995 and was selected for a Sports Award in 1996. Yesterday Olive finished 49 seconds behind defending champion and Olympic gold medallist Olga Kaniskina of Russia in a season's best of 1hr 28mins 58secs, just over a minute outside her personal best at last year's Olympic Games in Beijing. In her third Olympic Games in Beijing, Olive finished the 20k walk in seventh place (of 48 competitors) in a personal best time of 1hr 27mins 45secs, over a minute inside the Olympic record. Speaking after the race Olive said: "We didn t know what was going to happen before the race but I felt very comfortable at the start. I knew I was stronger than last year and this result was a combination of great tactics and technical support. I focused on the process, not the medal. Everything helped me a lot, good physio, good doctors, psychological training and of course my family back in Ireland that is supporting me. I promised my little daughter Eimear I was going to bring her a medal so she will be very happy. We all believed that everything was possible". Tony Regan, Head of Sport at NUI Galway, added: "Olive's achievement is one of the most deserved in Irish sport. It is a triumph of hard work, dedication and perseverance that has seen Olive deliver on the potential she showed in her early years at NUI Galway. She is a wonderful role model for all sportspeople and we are delighted to congratulate her on this remarkable success". -Ends-

Monday, 17 August 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) NUI Galway is hosting its tenth annual series of information evenings around the country for students starting their studies at the University in September 2009. Parents are also invited to the information evenings or 'Student Send-Offs'. The 'Student Send-Offs' will take place at 7pm in the following venues: Westmeath, Monday, 24 August: Radisson SAS Hotel, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. Dublin, Tuesday, 25 August: The President's Hall, The Law Society of Ireland, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7. Donegal, Wednesday, 26 August: Pier One, Donegal Town, Co. Donegal. Mayo, Thursday, 27 August: Days Hotel, Lannagh Road, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. Sligo, Monday, 31 August: Sligo Southern Hotel, Strandhill Road, Sligo Town. Galway, Tuesday, 1 September: Lecture Theatre MY243, Áras Moyola, NUI Galway. Galway, Wednesday, 2 September: Lecture Theatre MY243, Áras Moyola, NUI Galway. Clare, Thursday, 3 September: Temple Gate Hotel, The Square, Ennis, Co. Clare. Throughout the evenings, NUI Galway Lecturers, Alumni Association Board Members, Student Services staff and Students' Union representatives will be on hand to advise students and answer any questions relating to university life. The topics covered will include Accommodation, Finance and the Students' Assistance Fund, Safety, Careers, Counselling, Clubs, Societies and the Students' Union. JB Terrins, Director of Alumni Relations at NUI Galway, said: "This is an ideal opportunity for both parents and students to get first-hand advice on finding one's way around campus during those first days of term. Students can find out about the University's support services and the benefits of becoming involved in the many Clubs and Societies". Some 3,000 new students will join NUI Galway in September, with First Year registration commencing on Monday, 14 September. For further information on the information evenings please contact Eimear Doran on 086 8585168 or email Oícheanta Eolais ag OÉ Gaillimh do Mhic Léinn Nua ar Fud na hÉireann (View in English) Den deichiú bliain as a chéile, beidh oícheanta eolais ar siúl ag OÉ Gaillimh ar fud na tíre do mhic léinn a thosóidh san Ollscoil i mí Mheán Fómhair 2009. Tá cuireadh ag tuismitheoirí freastal ar an oíche eolais chomh maith. Beidh na hoícheanta eolais ar siúl ag 7pm ar na dátaí agus sna hionaid seo a leanas: An Iarmhí, Dé Luain, 24 Lúnasa: Óstán Radisson SAS, Baile Átha Luain, Co. na hIarmhí. Baile Átha Cliath, Dé Máirt, 25 Lúnasa: Halla an Uachtaráin, Dlí-Chumann na hÉireann, Plás Blackhall, Baile Átha Cliath 7. Dún na nGall, Dé Céadaoin, 26 Lúnasa: Pier One, Baile Dhún na nGall, Co. Dhún na nGall. Maigh Eo, Déardaoin, 27 Lúnasa: Óstán Days, Caisleán an Bharraigh, Co. Mhaigh Eo. Sligeach, Dé Luain, 31 Lúnasa: Óstán Sligo Southern, Bóthar an Leathrois, Baile Shligigh. Gaillimh, Dé Máirt, 1 Meán Fómhair: Téatar MY243, Áras Mhaighe Seola, OÉ Gaillimh.  Gaillimh, Dé Céadaoin, 2 Meán Fómhair: Téatar MY243, Áras Mhaighe Seola, OÉ Gaillimh.  An Clár, Déardaoin, 3 Meán Fómhair: Óstán Temple Gate, An Chearnóg, Inis, Co. an Chláir. Beidh léachtóirí, comhaltaí an Chumainn Alumni, comhaltaí foirne Sheirbhísí do Mhic Léinn agus ionadaithe Chomhaltas na Mac Léinn i láthair ag na hoícheanta eolais chun comhairle a chur ar mhic léinn agus aon cheist a bheadh acu maidir le saol na hOllscoile a fhreagairt. Beidh eolas ar fáil maidir le Lóistín, Airgead agus an Ciste Cúnaimh do Mhic Léinn, Sábháilteacht, Gairmeacha, Comhairleoireacht, Clubanna, Cumainn agus Comhaltas na Mac Léinn. Dúirt JB Terrins, Stiúrthóir, Caidrimh Alumni, OÉ Gaillimh: "Is iontach an deis é seo do thuismitheoirí agus do mhic léinn gach cineál eolais a fháil a chuideoidh leo na chéad chúpla lá sin agus iad ag iarraidh a mbealach a dhéanamh ar an gcampas. Gheobhaidh mic léinn eolas maidir le seirbhísí tacaíochta na hOllscoile agus na buntáistí a bhaineann leis na Clubanna agus na Cumainn atá san Ollscoil". Tiocfaidh 3,000 mac léinn nua chuig OÉ Gaillimh i mí Mheán Fómhair. Tosóidh clárú mhic léinn na Chéad Bhliana Dé Luain, an 14 Meán Fómhair. Tá eolas breise maidir leis na hoícheanta eolais le fáil ó Eimear Doran ar 0868585168 nó ríomhphost -Críoch-

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

NUI Galway will host Ireland's largest surgical conference, the 34th Sir Peter Freyer Memorial Lecture & Surgical Symposium, from 4-5 September 2009. Dr Patrick Gullane, Wharton Chair in Head and Neck Surgery at Toronto's Princess Margaret Hospital, will deliver the Memorial Lecture at 5pm on the first day of the conference. The annual event provides a platform for healthcare professionals to present their research and clinical work and allows for the merging of both scientific and clinical information. It is named in memory of the Galway-born surgeon, Sir Peter Freyer, who performed the first successful surgical operation to remove an enlarged prostate in 1900. Commenting on the upcoming lecture, Professor of Surgery at NUI Galway, Michael Kerin, said: "We are honoured to have Dr Gullane here this year to deliver the Memorial lecture. Although his reputation is international, we know him as an Irishman and a graduate of our own institution here at Galway. Dr Gullane has since embarked on a career in otolaryngology - head and neck surgery - and is recognised globally as a leader in his field. As he also acts as Professor and Chair to the Department of Otolaryngology in the University of Toronto, we look forward to his practical, theoretical and research-led insights". On the second day of the Surgical Symposium, Saturday, 5 September, Professor Arnold Hill will present the State of the Art Lecture entitled 'Breast Cancer and the Cancer Strategy - Past, Present and Future'. Arnold Hill is Professor and Chairman of Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Beaumont Hospital. His research interests focus on resistance to current therapies in the treatment of breast cancer. The Sir Peter Freyer Memorial Lecture & Surgical Symposium is hosted by NUI Galway's Professor Michael Kerin and Mr Oliver McAnena. For further information on event, please contact Grace Clarke at 091 524390 or -ends-

Monday, 10 August 2009

The College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway is to embark on a new educational strategy which will enhance the learning experience for students, and will ensure that graduates will be to the forefront as Ireland continues to develop into a knowledge economy. The introduction of new advanced teaching methods will see an increased usage of computing and laptop technologies in the upcoming academic year across all programmes in the College. The College in conjunction with PC manufacturer Lenovo have identified a specific high performance laptop which is preloaded with specialised engineering and informatics software that is essential for the students. The College has also negotiated a discounted purchase price for students at 40% below the normal retail price. This initiative is unique in Ireland and will be rolled out to students for the first time at the start of the coming academic year, in September 2009. Dr David O Sullivan at the College of Engineering and Informatics, NUI Galway, said: "We are very excited about this new initiative. Our students will have round-the-clock access to all of our information tools and resources. The new laptop scheme will significantly enhance the educational experience of students on programmes in Engineering and Informatics. The availability of a high spec machine with several specialised software packages at a reduced cost will allow the students carry out assignments and projects in any location at any time. It will also facilitate more relevant interactive teaching in the lecture hall". When students purchase a Lenovo ThinkPad W500 laptop they will have access to on-campus repair services, next working-day consulting facilities, warranty and a four year accidental damage insurance to protect their investment. Students can either choose to buy a laptop outright or, for a more affordable option, lease a laptop directly from the manufacturers. Globally, Lenovo has invested in similar initiatives across 500 universities. Some of the leading universities in the United States have adopted the initiative such as St John s University and Rensselear Polytechnic Institute, New York and Wake Forest University in North Carolina. Niamh Minnock, Education Account Manager, Lenovo Ireland, says: "NUI Galway will be the first university to engage in this type of initiative with Lenovo in Ireland, and signifies Lenovo's commitment to Ireland and Irish third-level education. It is available exclusively to NUI Galway and if successful we plan to roll out to universities throughout the country". The College of Engineering and Informatics offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of learning in a number of branches of engineering and informatics. Three additions to its programmes include Bachelors of Engineering in Energy, Sports and Exercise Engineering and Engineering Innovation – Electronic. New postgraduate programmes include the Master of Applied Science in Enterprise Systems. -Ends-

Friday, 7 August 2009

Men with angina are twice as likely to have a heart attack and almost three times as likely to suffer a heart disease-related death than women with the same condition, finds a study published in the British Medical Journal today. Led by Dr Brian Buckley of NUI Galway, the study is the first to link primary and secondary care data with mortality records to assess the risks of angina among men and women. In the United Kingdom, angina is common and is often the first manifestation of ischaemic heart disease. Recent estimates suggest that 4.8% of men and 3.4% of women aged over 16 in England have the condition, while in Scotland angina is reported to occur in 6.6% of men and 5.6% of women. It is therefore important for both patients and their clinicians to understand the risks following a diagnosis of angina. Researchers based in Scotland and Ireland identified 1,785 patients (average age 62 years) from 40 primary care practices in Scotland who were newly diagnosed with angina between January 1998 and December 2001. According to Dr Buckley, who is a Cochrane Fellow and researcher in Primary Care at NUI Galway and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Aberdeen, "Angina must be taken seriously. This research really shows how important it is for people with angina to change their lifestyle and take their tablets. This message is so important and is today reinforced by the fact that the British Medical Journal – one of the top medical journals in the world – published this research". The study showed that a number of characteristics, including being male, age, smoking and obesity, in people with a first diagnosis of angina are strongly associated with subsequent risk of a number of cardiac outcomes. These results suggest that appropriate control of risk factors and optimal use of preventative medical treatments should be aggressively pursued in patients with angina, the authors conclude. Underlying conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, were recorded and cardiovascular risk factors, such as smoking and obesity, were also assessed. The postcode of each patient was also used to assign a deprivation status. Participants were tracked for five years. Being male, older and a smoker was associated with an increased risk of having a heart attack, while being male, older, obese and a smoker were each associated with an increased risk of death from heart disease or any other cause. The likelihood of having a procedure to open up blocked arteries, known as angioplasty (PTCA) or coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG), was also higher in men than in women. But, interestingly, neither procedure was associated with significantly improved survival. Dr Buckley added: "At a time when many people are naturally concerned about data protection, people may be interested to know that at no time were the researchers able to identify any of the patients involved - the information they worked with was entirely anonymous. This study illustrates the great value of using such anonymous clinical datasets to answer important research questions, in a rigorous way which protects patient confidentiality". -ends-