Wednesday, 19 March 2008

NUI Galway will host an international conference on bacterial infectious diseases from 27-28 March, 2008. Presentations will be made by leading international experts on a variety of well known pathogens including Salmonella and E. coli, as well as lesser known pathogens such as Listeria and Helicobacter pylori. The focus of the conference will be on bacterial infectious diseases that occur in humans, in particular the interactions that occur between bacterial pathogens and the human host. Understanding these interactions builds up a clearer picture of how infectious diseases progress within the host, supporting the development of new treatment therapies. According to conference organiser Dr. Conor O'Byrne of the Microbiology Department at NUI Galway, "We will hear the latest scientific findings from world-renowned experts on infectious pathogens such as Listeria and Helicobacter pylori. Listeria can cause food poisoning in vulnerable groups such as infants or pregnant women, which is the main reason that pregnant women are often advised to avoid certain food groups, such as soft cheeses and pâté. H. pylori infects about half of the world's population and infections can result in the development of stomach ulcers and in some cases of stomach cancer". He continued, "This event is an opportunity for researchers at NUI Galway to showcase their world-class research programmes on infectious diseases. It also represents a wonderful chance to exchange ideas about the latest developments in this fast-moving field of research and to forge exciting new collaborations both in Ireland and internationally." The conference is expected to attract over one hundred researchers from all over the world, including Canada, France, the US and the UK, as well as speakers from institutions throughout Ireland. The event is funded by the Society for General Microbiology, which is the largest Microbiology Society in the Ireland and the UK. For further information visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/microbiology/ -ends-

Friday, 14 March 2008

A group of 41 NUI Galway students studying Geography as part of their BA are taking a field trip to Shanghai. The students will study the economic, social, tourism and environmental geographies of Shanghai during 16-23 March. Situated on the banks of the Yangtze River Delta in East China, Shanghai is the largest city in China. The students will explore aspects of Shanghai's urban development, including planning issues, tourism and industrial development. Environmental issues in this rapidly developing region will be investigated with students examining issues surrounding conservation promotion, biodiversity, water and air quality Course co-ordinator Dr. Chaosheng Zhang, of NUI Galway's Geography Department, comments, "Shanghai is a fascinating example of the march in tandem of economic development and drastic landscape change. The students have a packed agenda on this trip and will learn much from first hand experience of field work and research in the city". The students will be accompanied Dr. Chaosheng Zhang and his colleagues Professor Seamus Grimes, Dr. Mary Cawley and Dr. Aaron Potito. Five postgraduate students will also make the journey. In preparation for the trip, everyone has had some introductory Chinese language classes. The Geography Department at NUI Galway organises international field trips every year and has taken students to Barcelona, Sophia and Beijing in recent years. -ends-

Friday, 14 March 2008

Friday, 14 March, 2008: The Minister for Innovation Policy, Mr. Michael Ahern T.D., launched a national collaborative programme on Commercialisation of Research and Technology Transfer at an event last Thursday in TCD Dublin. The collaborative pilot programme between TCD, UCC and NUI Galway is funded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) under the strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) to develop PhD programmes in commercialisation and technology transfer. At the launch Minister Ahern said, "Ireland is turning from an investment driven economy to a knowledge driven economy leading to an increase in technology transfer and commercialisation as well as the number of people involved in research. Graduating PhD levels are also on the rise". Fiona Neary of the Ignite Technology Transfer Office, NUI Galway, says, "It is an exciting time to be part of a technology transfer group working on programmes such as this one where we can work first hand with budding entrepreneurs striving to make their business idea a commercial reality. The commercialisation path is a difficult one so all available training support can make an enormous difference to the technology researcher, the universities and hopefully the economy in the long run." Dr. Lawrence Dooley, Innovation and Business lecturer, UCC, on the topic of market validation said, "We need to get the ying and yang of the technology and the market interacting, bringing together the key collaborations to develop the required innovation, this is key to validating your business concept". Other topics to be covered during the three-year pilot programme include opportunity proposition, the selling model, the funding gap and intellectual property management. For further information on this programme please contact Fiona Neary, IGNITE Technology Transfer Office, NUI Galway at 091-492400 or log on to www.nuigalway.ie/tto -ends-

Thursday, 13 March 2008

The role of the business 'Strategy Director' will be the subject of a talk at NUI Galway on Wednesday, 19 March, by Professor Duncan Angwin of the Warwick Business School, Warwick University. Professor Angwin, a fellow of Saïd Business School, Oxford, is co-author of the recently published The Strategy Pathfinder. The free public event is part of a series of talks on business and innovation by leading international figures and will take place at 7pm at the EMBA Suite, Cairnes Graduate School of Business and Public Policy, NUI Galway. The series is supported by Enterprise Ireland in collaboration with NUI Galway's Centre for Innovation and Structural Change. Professor Angwin will discuss the rise of strategy formulation by functional officers resulting in strategic marketing, strategic IT and strategic operations in various contexts. Therefore, little attention has been paid to those senior executives specifically tasked with being 'Strategy Directors' – defined as senior (non CEO) executives. Professor Angwin will question what distinctive role the Strategy Director performs if everyone else is now a strategist. He will also query whether these senior executives are obsolete or do they carry out a critical and largely unsung function. According to Dr. James Cunningham, Centre for Innovation and Structural Change, NUI Galway, "Whether strategy is born out of the functional departments of a business or at a more senior dedicated level, is an interesting question. This seminar aims to address these questions and present current empirical research from the UK. Professor Angwin is an expert in this field and the talk will be of interest to those with an interest in the evolving machinations of business strategy". For further information contact Tara Cosgrave on 091 492817. -ends-

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

A new Engineering degree programme in Sports & Exercise Engineering is to be offered by the College of Engineering & Informatics in collaboration with the College of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences at NUI Galway. The B.E./M.Eng.Sc. Sports & Exercise Engineering degree will be offered for direct entry in September 2008 and CAO entry in September 2009. The programme will allow successful students to exit after four years with a level 8 B.E. degree or after five years with level 9 M.Eng.Sc., however the full benefits to the students of the programme will be achieved with the five year programme. This programme offering represents the first degree programme in Sports & Exercise Engineering on the island of Ireland. 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 new Sports & Exercise Engineering programme at NUI Galway will provide the graduate 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 Padraic O'Donoghue, Dean of Engineering and Informatics, NUI Galway, says, "This new degree programme represents an exciting venture for Engineering at NUI Galway. It is an excellent example of a focused interdisciplinary programme whereby some of the latest engineering techniques are meshed with medical and scientific concepts to train a cohort of students with a unique skillset. Thus, graduates of the programme will be able to address a range of highly relevant problems associated with sports and exercise". The professional Engineering degree programme will have a strong multi-disciplinary focus and will create a new type of Engineer whose training and education will provide the graduate with the skills and expertise to design innovative systems and devices for the assessment and performance of sport and exercise with a particular emphasis on elderly participation in exercise and on increasing participation of children in sport & exercise. Professor B.G. Loftus, Dean of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, NUI Galway, says, "The evolving obesity epidemic reflects an imbalance between energy ingested and expended. The decline in levels of physical activity at all ages is, in large part, responsible for this epidemic, and also contributes to increased risk of many other illnesses. It is incumbent on us to remedy this at societal level through initiatives like this new Engineering programme, which will produce a new generation of engineers with the skills and expertise to design novel systems and devices to increase participation in exercise across the age groups. The programme will incorporate significant elements of Anatomy, Physiology, Mechanical Engineering and Sport & Exercise Engineering practice and a major input of Electronic Engineering to reflect a particular focus in the programme on the development of a range of ambulatory electronic devices for movement assessment in sport & exercise, ambulatory monitoring of human performance in sport & exercise and the design of systems & devices for the performance and assessment of exercise, rehabilitation and sport. Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin, Head of Electronic Engineering and course co-ordinator, says, "This programme will benefit from two major infrastructural developments on the NUI Galway campus: the completion of the €20 Million, 6,500 sq. meter Sports Centre by June 2008 and the expected completion of a €60 Million, 14,000 sq. meter New Engineering Building, which will feature state-of-the-art Engineering teaching and research laboratories, including a multi-purpose motion analysis laboratory, by September 2010." For further information on the new programme contact Prof. Gearóid Ó Laighin at 087-6504801 or email: gearoid.olaighin@nuigalway.ie ENDS

Monday, 10 March 2008

NUI Galway is launching a new road safety awareness campaign aimed at over 15,000 students and 1,500 staff at the University. The campaign begins on Thursday, 13 March, led by first-year Engineering students, who will volunteer to wash car headlights and taillights at the University's main entrance. With the support of the Garda Traffic Unit, the students will undertake the cleaning in order to highlight the benefits of such simple but necessary steps in road safety. Ronan Browne, a class representative for Engineering at NUI Galway, comments, "As Engineering students we are concerned about road safety and the number of people losing lives on a daily basis, in particular young people. Our class discovered that by simply cleaning car lights can have a significant impact on safety, and this one small step will hopefully encourage all on campus to consider what steps they can take for their own safety and the safety of others". The Galway Fire and Rescue Services will also participate during day, displaying a crash rescue on campus by cutting volunteers out of a car wreck. Fundraising throughout the day by student volunteers will go towards a defibrillator for the Galway Fire and Rescue Service. Other events happening on the day include the lighting of a memorial candle in the University Chapel in remembrance of NUI Galway staff and students who have lost their lives in road traffic collisions. The road safety campaign is expected to continue with a series of initiatives and talks on campus about road safety. The campaign is supported by NUI Galway's Community Knowledge Initiative, which helps provide formal and informal opportunities for student to express themselves civically, through activities including volunteering and community based learning initiatives. -ends-

Monday, 10 March 2008

NUI Galway's School of Psychology is embarking on new research looking at how cognitive and physiological functions change as we get older. Following the awarding of two separate research grants to Dr. Michael Hogan and Professor Jack James, work is about to commence on two studies investigating issues relating to human ageing. Researcher and lecturer at the School of Psychology, NUI Galway, Dr. Michael Hogan, says, "We are living through a major demographic shift. There is increasing awareness across all levels of society that we need to invest in successful ageing. The logic and the mathematics are straightforward: everyone benefits when more of us are doing well. More and more, researchers in the field of biological and behavioural science are focusing on how best to maintain high levels of functioning throughout the lifespan. We are fortunate to be working with some of the best researchers in the field on these projects. We aim to understand the brain dynamics that underpin memory problems and Alzheimer's disease, and to understand how sleep patterns and mood influence blood pressure and critical markers of heart disease." Brain Signals and Memory Performance The first study is being undertaken by a newly established research consortium, involving collaboration between NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). This research group plans to investigate the relationship between electrical brain signals and the memory ability of both younger and older adults. At NUI Galway, a state of the art electroencephalography (EEG) laboratory has been built, which will allow researchers to identify types of brain activity that correlate with memory performance. From this work, it is hoped that deficits in memory performance can be detected earlier and thus allow for earlier and more successful interventions. The current research effort continues a line of work initiated by Dr. Hogan and colleagues over the past number of years. The decision of GSK to award funding adds further to its growing reputation of the School and of the University as a renowned research centre. It is hoped that research participants can be located within Galway City who will take part in this groundbreaking research. To this end, Dr. Hogan will visit a number of Active Retirement Groups over the coming week to discuss the project and give people an opportunity to ask questions and express interest in the project. Dr. Hogan will also give a public lecture on Saturday, 15 March at 11am in the Fottrell Theatre, Arts Millennium Building at NUI Galway, to which members of the public are invited. Sleep Duration, Mood, and Blood Pressure A second study, funded by the Health Research Board, is concerned with the effect that the amount of sleep has on mood and blood pressure. In particular, the project will shed light on a long-standing puzzle concerning the effects of sleep duration on heart health. On one hand, long-term studies indicate that chronic sleep loss contributes to the development of hypertension and cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, sleep loss appears to have little immediate effect on blood pressure level. Professor Jack James and his colleagues think the answer to this puzzle lies in knowing more about the processes that affect blood pressure level. "Recent work by us suggests that the key to understanding this dilemma may involve a mechanism whereby restricted sleep acutely induces a vascular hemodynamic profile while having little direct effect on blood pressure level. This so-called 'vascular profile' has been identified as a risk factor for development of cardiovascular disease. We think that chronic sleep deprivation may contribute to the development of hypertension and other cardiovascular pathology. The findings of our research could help to inform the development of improved health promotion strategies and clinical management for cardiovascular diseases" said Professor James. Information on both studies can be obtained directly from the School of Psychology, NUI Galway at (091) 495832. Information packs will also be available at the public lecture. ENDS

Monday, 10 March 2008

An extensive archive of the work of traditional musician Joe Burke has been officially bestowed to the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway. Born in Loughrea, Co. Galway, Joe Burke is widely known for his accordion playing and over the course of the past fifty years amassed a significant collection of traditional Irish music. As well as commercial recordings, the collection contains field recordings made in Ireland, Britain and the US, featuring artists such as Paddy Fahy, Andy McGann and Seán Maguire. Currently, there are over 300 hours of recordings already digitised from the collection, with much more on reel-to-reel and audio-cassette tape. The collection also contains over 1,300 paper items, including photographs, letters and promotional material. The library will house the collection under the official title The Joe Burke Archive Collection. Joe Burke, accompanied by his wife Anne Conroy, were guests of honour at a special celebration on campus to mark the occasion. In his opening address at the event, Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, described Joe as, "The maestro of Kilnadeema, a man whose music brings people to their senses". Professor Ó Tuathaigh continued, "Joe Burke is one of a generation of musicians who presided over dramatic changes in traditional Irish music as it shifted from the domestic to the public domain, in Ireland and overseas. In this regard, Joe Burke's archive is of critical importance for future research into the transformation that has taken place in the performance and reception of Irish traditional music. The University is demonstrating its commitment to act as a regional repository for material of national and international significance." The Centre for Irish Studies, in conjunction with the James Hardiman Library, has been facilitating the acquisition of this important archive collection since 2004. The collection will be available to scholars worldwide through NUI Galway. -ends-

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Tá Buaiteoirí Gradam Spóirt 2008 fógartha ag OÉ Gaillimh. Is é an t-aoi speisialta, An tOllamh Jim Browne, Uachtarán nua na hOllscoile, a bhronnfaidh na gradaim. Beidh an searmanas bronnta ar siúl anocht, Déardaoin, an 6 Márta in Óstán an Ard Oileáin, i nGaillimh ag 8pm. I measc na mbuaiteoirí gradam tá Alan Martin (Bóthar na Trá), Cormac Folan (Bearna) and James Wall (Luimneach) – ó fhoireann cheathrar iomróirí trom-mheáchain na hÉireann – a gheobhaidh Gradam Gnóthachtála Speisialta 2008. Déanfaidh an criú seo ionadaíocht thar ceann na hÉireann ag na Cluichí Oilimpeacha a bheidh ar siúl i mBéising níos déanaí i mbliana. Seo a leanas buaiteoirí na nGradam Spóirt i mbliana: Boghdóireacht: Niamh Breathnach, Corr na Móna, Co. na Gaillimhe. Lúthchleasaíocht: Kevin Duggan, An Muileann gCearr, Co. na hIarmhí. Dornálaíocht: Deirdre Flynn, Sráid an Mhuilinn, Co. Chorcaí. Camógaíocht: Laura Linnane, Sionainn, Co. an Chláir. Cruicéad: Abhi Shekdixit, An India. Iománaíocht: Darragh Egan, Cill Daingin, Co. Thiobraid Árann. Peil Ghaelach na mBan: Anna Conlon, Drom Dhá Thiar, Co. Liatroma. Sacar na mBan: Niamh Fahey, Cill Aithnín, Co. na Gaillimhe. Rugbaí na mBan: Anne O'Callaghan, Abhainn an Scáil, Co. Chiarraí. Peil Ghaelach na bhFear: Gareth Bradshaw, Maigh Cuilinn, Co. na Gaillimhe. Rugbaí na bhFear: Gary Collins, An Rinn Mhór, Gaillimh. Sacar na bhFear: Seamus Conneely, Caiseal, Co. na Gaillimhe. Gradam Foirne: An Club Rámhaíochta – Ruadhán Cooke, John Forde, Evin Donnelly, Paul Giblin, Jason Wall, Breffny Morgan, Mathew Carroll, Martin Wallace, Dave Mannion agus Paul Murray. Bhuaigh an fhoireann seo Comórtas Sinsearach na bhFear do Cheathrar Iomróirí agus Liagóir agus Comórtas Sinsearach na bhFear do Bheirt Iomróirí gan Liagóir ag Craobhchomórtas Náisiúnta Rámhaíochta na hÉireann 2007, mar aon leis an gComórtas Sinsearach d'Ochtar Iomróirí ag an gComórtas Rámhaíochta Idir-Ollscoile. Gradam Foirne: An Club Liathróid Láimhe – Shane Hayes, Kevin Cradock, Ciaran Burke, Ricky O'Gara, Caitríona Casey, John Kennedy agus Marianne Rushe. Is é an Club Liathróid Láimhe seaimpíní foirne 40 x 20 Idir-Ollscoile. Bhuaigh Marianne Rushe agus Caitríona Casey an Comórtas Oscailte Dúbailte ag Comórtas Domhanda na nOllscoileanna Coláisteacha i Missouri in 2007. Gradam Foirne: An Club Tonnmharcaíochta – Stephen Kilfeather, Eoin McCarthy Deering, Hugh Galloway, Andrew Kilfeather, Aidan Kelly, Claire Concannon, Elisha Hickey, Brian O Donnacha, Brendan O'Toole, Ricky Whelan. Bhuaigh an fhoireann seo an Comórtas Idir-Ollscoile trí bhabhta as a chéile. Gradam Gnóthachtála Speisialta 2008: Alan Martin, Cormac Folan agus James Wall, Rámhaíocht. Seo a leanas a bhí le rá ag Tony Regan, Oifigeach Spóirt agus Áineasa, OÉ Gaillimh le linn dó na buaiteoirí a fhógairt: "Tá bua ar leith ag buaiteoirí na ngradam i mbliana agus is iad an chéad ghlúin eile de Réalta Spóirt na hÉireann iad. Tugann na lúthchleasaithe iontacha seo dea-shampla dúinn ar fad agus cúis bróid agus mórtais dúinn iad a bheith mar mhic léinn againn anseo in OÉ Gaillimh faoi láthair. Cabhraíonn na Gradaim Spóirt seo linn, i dteannta lenár Scéim Scoláireachta Spóirt, aitheantas a thabhairt do bhua na ndaoine óga seo agus guímid gach rath orthu sna blianta amach romhainn". Bronntar Gradaim Spóirt OÉ Gaillimh gach bliain chun aitheantas a thabhairt do mhic léinn OÉ Gaillimh ar éirigh go maith leo i gcúrsaí spóirt sa bhliain acadúil atá caite agus is é Brainse na hOllscoile de Bhanc na hÉireann a chuireann urraíocht ar fáil do na gradaim. CRÍOCH

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

NUI Galway has announced the recipients of the 2008 Sports Awards. The awards will be presented by Guest of Honour Professor Jim Browne, newly appointed President of the University. The award ceremony will take place tomorrow, Thursday, 6 March in the Ardilaun House Hotel, Galway at 8pm. Among the award winners announced are Irish rowing heavyweight fours crew members Alan Martin (Salthill), Cormac Folan (Barna) and James Wall (Limerick), who will receive the Special Achievement Award 2008. The crew will represent Ireland in the Olympic Games in Beijing later this year. This year's Sports Awards recipients are: Archery: Niamh Breathnach, Corr na Mona, Co. Galway Athletics: Kevin Duggan, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath Boxing: Deirdre Flynn, Millstreet, Co. Cork Camogie: Laura Linnane, Shannon, Co. Clare Cricket: Abhi Shekdixit, India Hurling: Darragh Egan, Kildangan, Co. Tipperary. Ladies Gaelic Football: Anna Conlon, Dromahair, Co. Leitrim Ladies Soccer: Niamh Fahey, Killanin, Co. Galway Ladies Rugby: Anne O'Callaghan, Annascaul, Co. Kerry Men's Gaelic Football: Gareth Bradshaw, Moycullen, Co. Galway Men's Rugby: Gary Collins, Renmore, Galway Men's Soccer: Seamus Conneely, Cashla, Co. Galway Team Award: Rowing Club – Ruadhán Cooke, John Forde, Evin Donnelly, Paul Giblin, Jason Wall, Breffny Morgan, Mathew Carroll, Martin Wallace, Dave Mannion and Paul Murray. The team were Winners of Men's Senior Coxed Fours and Men's Senior Coxless Pairs at the Irish National Rowing Championships 2007, also winners of Senior Eights at Rowing Intervarsities. Team Award: Handball Club – Shane Hayes, Kevin Cradock, Ciaran Burke, Ricky O'Gara, Caitríona Casey, John Kennedy and Marianne Rushe. The club are Intervarsity 40 x 20 team champions. Marianne Rushe and Caitríona Casey were winners of the Women's Open Doubles at the World Handball Collegiates in Missouri 2007. Team Award: Surfing Club – Stephen Kilfeather, Eoin McCarthy Deering, Hugh Galloway, Andrew Kilfeather, Aidan Kelly, Claire Concannon, Elisha Hickey, Brian O Donnacha, Brendan O'Toole, Ricky Whelan. The team are three in a row Intervarsity Champions. Special Achievement Award 2008: Alan Martin, Cormac Folan and James Wall, Rowing. Announcing the awardees, Tony Regan, Sports and Recreation Officer, NUI Galway said: "This year's winners have outstanding talent and are the next generation of Irish Sporting Stars. These outstanding athletes are wonderful role models and are an inspiration to us all and we are proud and honoured to have them as current students at NUI Galway. In conjunction with our Sport Scholarship Scheme, these Sports Awards have helped to identify the talents of these young people and we wish them well in their future endeavours". The NUI Galway Sports Awards are given out each year in recognition of the NUI Galway students who excelled in the world of sport during the year and are supported by Bank of Ireland University Branch. ENDS

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

NUI Galway is launching a new Masters programme, the LL.M. in Law, Technology and Governance. This new postgraduate course offers students an innovative and internationally focused programme dealing with law, commercial activity, science and technology. The new LL.M includes mandatory modules in regulation, governance and enterprise and optional modules dealing with cutting edge topics such as Internet Regulation, Copyright in the Digital Era, and Biotechnology. The programme is full time for twelve months and applicants must hold a degree in law, or an interdisciplinary degree which includes a substantial law component. The Dean of the Faculty of Law, Donncha O'Connell, also announced that a scholarship for the course has been generously funded by Galway commercial law firm, RDJ Glynn Solicitors. Programme Co-ordinator, Rónán Kennedy, said, "The LL.M. in Law, Technology and Governance will provide a solid grounding for future practitioners, academics and policy-makers. Led by a dynamic team of experts, the students will acquire an ability to deal critically with the problems which arise for law and policy-makers in this rapidly changing area." This programme builds on the success of the existing LL.M. in Public Law, which was launched in 2005. According to the Head of the Department, Marie McGonagle, "Taught masters programmes of the kind offered at NUI Galway are invaluable for those seeking to deepen their knowledge in a particular area of the law, whether for the purposes of professional application or further doctoral study." For further information on the new programme and the RDJ Glynn Solicitors scholarship, contact Rónán Kennedy at 091-495626 or email llmltag@nuigalway.ie Information on all of NUI Galway's postgraduate programmes is available at http://www.goforth.ie -ends-

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Tá 21 mac léinn ó OÉ Gaillimh le coicís a chaitheamh ag obair go deonach ar thionscadal tógáil tithe sa tSaimbia. Tabharfaidh na mic léinn aghaidh ar bhaile Kawama i dTuaisceart na Saimbia an 30 Bealtaine, agus is ag obair le cumainn chleamhnaithe Habitat for Humanity (HFH) a bheidh siad. Eagraíocht idirnáisiúnta tógáil tithe é HFH a bhfuil obair déanta aici i mbeagnach 100 tír anois. Is é atá mar aidhm ag HFH tithe a sholáthar dóibh siúd nach bhfuil tithe acu. Is é an tAthair Iomar Daniels, Déan na Seirbhíse Séiplíneachta, OÉ Gaillimh, ceannaire an ghrúpa mac léinn, agus tá triúr ceannairí foirne ann. Dúirt an tAthair Daniels go bhfuil gníomhaíochtaí tiomsaithe airgid ar siúl ag foireann OÉ Gaillimh i láthair na huaire ar mhaithe le costas an turais a ghlanadh agus síntiús a thabhairt do HFH. I measc na ngníomhaíochtaí atá eagraithe do na míonna amach romhainn tá cáirióice, ceolchoirmeacha, tráth na gceist boird agus neart eile. Deir sé go bhfuil súil acu go leor airgid a bhailiú trí na gníomhaíochtaí tiomsaithe airgid seo. Beidh na mic léinn ag obair faoi threoir ceardaithe áitiúla oilte, agus iad ag tabhairt faoi bhríceadóireacht, siúinéireacht, plástráil agus péinteáil. Beidh na mic léinn ag obair i dteannta oibrithe deonacha áitiúla agus teaghlaigh. Dúirt duine de na mic léinn a bheidh ag obair sa tSaimbia – Katie Crudden as Inis Ceithleann, Co. Fhear Manach, mac léinn sa tríú bliain i nDámh na Tráchtála – go bhfuil an fhoireann ag súil go mór leis an turas seo agus an taithí a bheidh le fáil acu. "Táimid ar fad ag tnúth le bheith ag obair agus ag maireachtáil sa phobal, ag bualadh le muintir Kawama, ag sealbhú scileanna nua agus ag cuidiú le teaghlaigh tithe simplí inacmhainne a thógáil". Bíonn cuma dhifriúil ar na tithe a thógann HFH i dtíortha éagsúla agus sa tSaimbia is déanta de bhrící cré atá na tithe agus iad clúdaithe le leatháin d'iarann rocach. Sa tSaimbia, áfach, meascán de thithe déanta as láib le clúdach féir agus struchtúir chaolaigh is coitianta – tithe agus struchtúir nach mór iad a dheisiú go bliantúil. Meastar go bhfuil 86% de dhaonra na Saimbia ag maireachtáil faoin tairseach bochtaineachta. Aisíocann formhór na dteaghlach a cheannaíonn tithe HFH thart ar £5 in aghaidh na míosa – airgead a úsáidtear chun tithe eile a thógáil don phobal. Má theastaíonn tuilleadh eolais uait faoin turas seo nó más mian leat síntiús a thabhairt, féadfaidh tú teagmháil a dhéanamh leis an Athair Iomar Daniels ag 091-492168 nó iomar.daniels@nuigalway.ie. Chomh maith leis sin, féadfaidh tú síntiús a thabhairt ar an láithreán gréasáin www.mycharity.ie/event/nuigzambia08/ - críoch -

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

NUI Galway's first ever Green Week is to be held from the 10-14 March. It is aimed at raising environmental awareness and promoting the importance of wildlife and biodiversity among students, staff and the general public. The week is being organised by NUI Galway's Student Ecological Society and is supported by the Environmental Change Institute. Among the range of events to take place is an Art Workshop on "Ecological Living" using recycled and found objects (7-9pm, Tuesday, 11 March), a talk by the Irish Seed Saver Association (12pm, Wednesday, 12 March), a unique lecture on the "Cuban Organic Growing Movement" (6pm, Wednesday, 12 March), and a week-long photo exhibition depicting a wide range of Ireland's wildlife (in the foyer of Áras na mac Léinn). A contributor to the wildlife photo exhibition, Professor Michael O'Connell of the Botany Department at NUI Galway expressed his enthusiasm for the Green Week, saying "People have never been so conscious of the importance of the environment, not least for our future but for our pleasure." Dr. Martina Prendergast of the Environmental Change Institute said she expects that Green Week will become an annual event at NUI Galway, "We hope the events will highlight the positive contribution that biodiversity and wildlife can have to our everyday wellbeing". Other events during the week will include a talk on 'Environmental Politics in Galway' (7.30pm, Monday, 10 March) by local community leader and head of the Save the Terryland Forest Park campaign, Brendan Smith. The talk will inform people about environmental issues currently at the forefront in Galway. According to Mr. Smith, "The proposal before Galway City Council to build a road through Terryland Forest Park, which will have a devastating effect on local wildlife, is being met with considerable objection by the general public." A full calendar of events and venues is available on the NUI Galway Societies website at http://www.socs.nuigalway.ie/ or by contacting Christina O Rourke at c.orourke4@nuigalway.ie -ends-

Monday, 3 March 2008

Twenty-one NUI Galway student volunteers are to spend two weeks in Zambia participating in a house building project. The students will leave for the village of Kawama in Northern Zambia on 30 May, and will work with local affiliates of Habitat for Humanity (HFH). HFH is an internationally acclaimed self build housing organisation at work in almost 100 countries and their aim is to make the elimination of poverty housing a matter of conscience and action. The student group is being led by Fr. Iomar Daniels, Dean of Chaplaincy Service, NUI Galway, with the help of three team leaders, "The NUI Galway team are currently fundraising to cover the costs of the trip and their donation to HFH. They are planning karaoke, concerts, table quizzes and many more events in the coming months. With all the energy and enthusiasm going into fundraising we hope to see the group off to an auspicious start". The volunteers will work under the supervision of local skilled trades people, doing work such as bricklaying, carpentry, plastering and painting. They will work alongside local volunteers and families. One of the student volunteers, third-year Bachelor of Commerce student Katie Crudden from Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, says "The team is very excited about the new experiences they will encounter during their trip. We are all looking forward to living and working in the community, meeting the people of Kawama, learning new skills and helping families to build simple affordable homes". HFH homes are different in every country and in Zambia they are constructed from clay blocks and covered with corrugated iron sheets. This is in comparison to typical Zambian homes that are grass thatched mud and wattle structures requiring annual overhauling. An estimated 86% of the population of Zambia live below the poverty line, the families most in need that purchase HFH homes repay about £5 a month which is then put back into making more homes in the community. For more information on the trip, or to make a donation please contact Fr. Iomar Daniels on 091-492168 or iomar.daniels@nuigalway.ie. Donations can also be made on the Zambia group website at www.mycharity.ie/event/nuigzambia08/ -ends-

Monday, 3 March 2008

NUI Galway has launched the new Ignite Technology Transfer Office (formerly TTO NUI Galway) to provide expertise and guidance to researchers, businesses and entrepreneurs in the western region. The 15 members of the Ignite TTO team will offer a range of programmes and services to support Intellectual Property Management and new Enterprise Development. The team will build on existing technology transfer activities at the University, with a focus on the early stage identification and protection of intellectual property (IP), technology marketing, technology valuation and technology commercialisation. The new entrepreneurial forum, enhancing spin-out formation, technology licensing & business mentoring and the expansion of support services, such as the business incubation space, will add to enterprise support that Ignite TTO provides. Dr Daniel O'Mahony, Consultant Advisor, Ignite TTO, said "NUI Galway's investment in research and technology commercialisation exceeded €46m in 2007. When people think of Ignite TTO we want them to equate it with the birth of new technologies, the emergence of new breakthroughs, an endless source of innovation, a fountain of future commercial prospects. It will excite the imagination and attract entrepreneurs to our sandbox of commercially viable offerings. In time it will represent a place of excellent research giving way to excellent technologies and thereafter to commercial success. " NUI Galway has a long standing involvement with the promotion of indigenous enterprise and the direct provision of services to locally based industry. More than 40 collaborative projects with industry were secured in 2007, generating over €2.3m, as well as the establishment of a new entrepreneurial forum with a view to providing researchers and emerging entrepreneurs the fundamental knowledge and skill set required in the pursuit of enterprise development. Ignite TTO has a strong focus on market assessment and delivery of tailored solutions and technology offerings to market on time. During the last year, following licensing of technologies and intellectual property, a number of start-up companies were formed from NUI Galway including Eirzyme Ltd, Theta Chemicals Ltd. and Syncrophi Ltd. Numerous other spin-out companies are at late stage negotiation. Summary of Some Key Achievements in 2007: 1. €46M spent on research in 2007 2. Twenty four Option & License Agreements executed in 2007 3. Thirty patent applications 4. Four spin-out companies in past 12 months 5. 40 collaborative projects with industry (start-ups, SMEs and MNCs) 6. Six bio-incubation labs and a core equipment lab for Life Science companies created 7. Launch of Campus Commercialization Program and Start-up-Solutions to promote enterprise development 8. Funding for new graduate programmes in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Dr Neil Ferguson, Ignite TTO Commercialisation Officer, said, "There is a real sense of entrepreneurial spirit and innovation among businesses in the west of Ireland, matched by the cutting-edge research taking place on campus. The encouragement of our future entrepreneurs is critical to the sustained economic prosperity. The Ignite TTO team is there to lend a helping hand to entrepreneurs in our University and region as they take the first steps in bringing their technology concepts to commercial reality". This is a vibrant and stimulating time to be part of Ignite TTO where National University of Ireland, Galway has developed an attractive portfolio of technologies suitable for licensing, spread across life sciences, biotechnology, medical devices, ICT, engineering and many more. For further information please visit Ignite TTO at www.nuigalway.ie/tto or contact the TTO team on 091-492147 ENDS

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

The Minister for Health Promotion and Food Safety, Mr. Pat The Cope Gallagher, T.D. has published the results from the latest National Health and Lifestyle Survey (SLÁN 2007). SLÁN 07, which is the third in a series of lifestyle and behaviour studies of the Irish population, was commissioned by the Department of Health and Children and was carried out by a consortium involving NUI Galway, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and University College Cork. The study involved face-to-face interviews with 10,364 adults along with a sub-study on body size of 967 younger adults (18-44 years old) and a more detailed physical examination of 1,207 adults aged 45 and over. The research team from NUI Galway was led by Professor Margaret Barry, Director of the Health Promotion Research Centre, and included Dr. Michal Molcho and Mr. Eric Van Lente, also from the Health Promotion Research Centre. Professor Barry, on behalf of the team, said, "We are delighted as a cross-institutional team to deliver SLÁN 2007, the largest national health and lifestyle survey of adults undertaken in Ireland to date. It builds on two previous surveys, also carried out at NUI Galway, to provide a profile of health since 1998. For the first time, the SLÁN survey includes information on the mental health and social wellbeing of the Irish population and national level data on injuries. The findings for the survey give vital direction for policy and service developments in the coming decade." Key results emerging from the Survey The survey contains a wealth of data on lifestyle behaviours of the Irish adult population including smoking, alcohol consumption, mental health, diet and physical activity. Some of the key facts to emerge are: • Half the population recorded self-rated health as 'excellent' or very 'good' and that this has increased since the last SLÁN survey in 2002. Similarly, there is a reported increase in the number of respondents who described their quality of life as good or very good. • There was a decrease from 2002 to 2007 in the percentage of respondents who reported consuming 6 or more standard drinks ('risky drinking') at least once a week. • Overall, 65% reported consuming the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily. One third either always or usually added salt to food at the table. Half reported snacking between meals, most commonly on biscuits and cakes. • 29% of the population smoked, with higher rates amongst young people. Almost half of both male and female smokers reported attempting to quit within the previous 12 months; younger smokers were more likely to report attempting to quit. • Younger men reported higher levels of physical activity, reducing with increasing age. This contrasts with the relatively low level of physical activity in women across all age groups. Of concern was the fact that respondents who reported that they were physically inactive gave their main reason as 'no time'. • Over half of respondents (55%) reported being involved in community activities, compared to 59% in 2002. • The results that emerged from the physical examination of the population sample over 45 years of age point to the prevalence of raised cholesterol and high blood pressure in this population group. In relation to body weight, 39% of those examined (ages 18+) were medically overweight with a further 25% classified as obese. "The SLÁN 2007 study provides invaluable data for policy development and programme planning on a range of lifestyle related health behaviours in the Irish population. More importantly, SLÁN 2007 allows us to identify trends and monitor changes in population behaviours thus better informing our priority setting decisions at national level. While people make their own lifestyle choices, it is only through more and better information that we can better understand the health behaviours of the population and provide the necessary advice and support to them," Minister Gallagher said. The lifestyle choices of individuals have a direct impact on their physical and mental well-being. These choices relate to what they eat, if they smoke, the amount of alcohol they consume and if they take regular exercise. While individuals can make their own lifestyle choices, policy makers need to develop and target effective health promotion policies and initiatives in order to inform and influence people to make healthier choices. It is crucial, therefore, that the information on which these policies are developed is accurate and up to date. The Survey Report is available on line at www.dohc.ie or at www.slan07.ie -ends-

Monday, 28 April 2008

Two students from Gort Community School will represent Connacht in the first ever 'Debating Science Issues' competition in Dublin on Friday, 9 May. This prestigious new Wellcome Trust-funded debating competition is coordinated by the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway in conjunction with science research and discovery centres throughout Ireland. Open to senior cycle secondary school students, the 'Debating Science Issues' competition invites young people to take an active interest in biomedical science and to engage with contemporary research. Dominique Twomey and Shane Croake from Gort CS will represent Connacht, having recently won the regional final hosted by REMEDI at NUI Galway. Students Ailish Ní Choisteabhla and Caitríona Walsh, from Coláiste Chroí Mhuire, An Spidéal, came second in the regional final. The competition invites students to explore topics such Stem Cell Research, Genetically Modified Food, Nanotechnology, Health and Self Testing, Vaccinations, and Animal Testing. 'Debating Science Issues' is an extension of a regional debating series originally initiated by REMEDI among Galway schools in 2005. With support from Wellcome Trust, the competition has now expanded to involve secondary schools north and south of the border. Organisers hope that debating will facilitate discussion among young people on the advances in the biomedical field and the societal and ethical impact of this research. According to Dr. Kieran Ryan, Programme Manager at REMEDI, "Ultimately, we hope to stimulate young people to think differently about biomedical science as they discover the immense impact it has on society, and consider a career or education in this field. An impassioned discussion can really allow students and teachers explore issues surrounding these fascinating areas of science". The final of the competition take place at the Science Gallery, TCD, on Friday 9 May. Competition prizes will include laptops, iPODs and school trophies. For more information contact Breda Kyne, Outreach Officer at REMEDI, at breda.kyne@nuigalway.ie -ends-

Friday, 25 April 2008

NUI Galway MSc student Margaret McCallig has won the 2008 Occupational Hygiene Society of Ireland (OHSI) student prize. The objective of the OHSI student scheme is to encourage research and promote occupational hygiene as a profession in Ireland. Occupational Hygiene is a specialised discipline within the broad area of Occupational Safety and Health and is concerned with the prevention of ill health caused by exposure to poor work environments. NUI Galway offers one undergraduate and two taught postgraduate programmes in Occupational Health and Safety, and also offers the option to complete an MSc or PhD by research in the area. Margaret, originally from Dunkineely, Co. Donegal, is currently undertaking a research Masters in Occupational Hygiene in the Physics Department at NUI Galway, funded by the Health and Safety Unit of The Office of Public Works. Her research is looking specifically at exposure to vibration among construction workers when using powered equipment such as angle grinders, excavators, jack hammers and chain saws. This data will then be used to develop an exposure management system which will aid in the selection of 'low risk' equipment, and will also help schedule work activities so as to minimise worker exposure so that industry can comply with the regulations. According to Dr. Marie Coggins, Lecturer in Occupational Hygiene at NUI Galway said, "Regular exposure to high levels of hand arm and whole body transmitted vibration can result in a range of permanent adverse health conditions including the development of the occupational disease, vibration white finger. The introduction of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Control of Vibration at Work) Regulations in 2006 has presented challenges for the engineering and construction sectors in terms of vibration exposure assessment and management." Margaret has a BSc (Honours) degree in Health and Safety Systems from NUI Galway in 2006. -ends-

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Third level colleges in Dublin, Cork and Galway join forces to strengthen Ireland s profile in health research and announce fellowship programme to train clinician scientists. NUI Galway has been awarded five fellowships through the newly launched company, Molecular Medicine Ireland (MMI) which will coordinate health research activities in Ireland. The company will strengthen Ireland s profile in health research by combining and building on the biomedical research strengths of institutions involved: NUI Galway, University College Cork, University College Dublin, Trinity College and Royal College of Surgeons. MMI will accelerate the translation of recent rapid advances in science into new ways of understanding disease and new diagnostics, drugs and devices to treat illness and protect the health of people in Ireland. Each of the newly appointed fellows will undertake a PhD in one of the five member institutions, the first 19 Fellows were recently selected through a rigorous process led by Molecular Medicine Ireland and will begin their studies next July. Dr. Ruth Barrington, Chief Executive of Molecular Medicine Ireland said that Molecular Medicine Ireland had taken the initiative, with its member institutions, to train tomorrow s leaders in health research. With funding of €10m awarded by the Higher Education Authority, Molecular Medicine Ireland has put a fellowship programme in place to train medical graduates as clinician scientists. Clinician scientists are trained in both the clinical care of patients and in the biological sciences that are revolutionising the practice of medicine. Professor of Medicine and Director of REMEDI at NUI Galway, Professor Tim O Brien, said, "The establishment of MMI with funding from the HEA will allow Galway to play a major role in developing the next cadre of clinician scientists. We are developing a patient centred academic medical centre as a partnership between NUI Galway and the HSE and training clinician scientists who will have protected time for research is a key part of that strategy. The HSE and the HRB have already funded a clinical research facility in Galway which will play a major role in training these clinicians. The Galway facility is part of a network of such facilities in Ireland which has formed the Irish clinical research infrastructure network which will allow new treatments to be developed and ultimately enhance patient care in this country. We are enthusiastic about the structured research education for clinician scientists to be provided through MMI, and in partnership with other medical schools MMI will work towards the development of a unified programme in translational medicine for the benefit of the nation's health." Mary Hanafin TD, Minister for Education and Science launched Molecular Medicine Ireland recently in Dublin. Welcoming the formation of Molecular Medicine Ireland, Minister Hanafin praised the foresight of the heads of the five institutions in taking this important step towards developing a world-class system in health research in Ireland. "Molecular Medicine Ireland will assist the institutions build a sustainable system of world class teams in biomedical research, which is a key goal of Government science and technology policy," said Minister Hanafin. Commenting on the announcement, Professor Terry Smith, Director of the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science, NUI Galway, said, "The MMI-coordinated clinician scientist fellowship programme is an exciting new development which will significantly enhance NUI Galway's Biomedical Science and Engineering research programme. This initiative promises to train clinician scientists of the highest international calibre, and to contribute to the development of innovative therapeutic solutions to current medical challenges. I have no doubt that through MMI, novel insights will be gained in our understanding of the underlying basis of disease including, cancer, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, reproductive disorders, and neuro-degenerative diseases." -ends-

Monday, 21 April 2008

Over 300 cyclists to participate in Kellogg's Tour of Ireland Cycle Challenge Details of Ireland's largest amateur four-day cycling event, the Kellogg's Tour of Ireland Cycle Challenge, have been announced. Over 300 riders accompanied by 60 support staff will travel over 500 miles through the four provinces of Ireland. All proceeds from the event will go towards the National Council for the Blind of Ireland. The Challenge starts in Lisburn, Co Down on Friday 9th May and finishes in Lucan, Co. Dublin on Monday 12th May. 2008 is the second year that NUI Galway has hosted the Kellogg's Tour of Ireland Cycle Challenge, with the official finish line of stage 2 of the event located at the Aula Maxima (Quadrangle) in the University's grounds on Saturday 10th May. The grounds of the 163 year old University are a magnificent platform for the end of the Cavan to Galway stage of the Kellogg's Tour of Ireland. Participants will embark on stage 3 of the challenge from NUI Galway on Sunday 11th May. The public are invited to come out and cheer on the cyclists and enjoy the great spectacle. Last year's inaugural Challenge was a great success and this year's promises to be bigger and better. In 2007, 125 cyclists entered and the 2007 challenge was voted the best organised event of its type by the international cycling community. The Challenge encourages people to exercise and participate in healthy sporting activities. It complements NUI Galway's commitment to the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. This commitment is evidenced by its flagship new sports complex which is opening this year. Event Director, Marc Barr said: "2007 was a lot of hard work and we achieved much more than we had expected. The numbers already entered this year underscore the great reaction we have had from the international cycling community. Thank you to our partner NUI Galway for the great efforts put in by everyone to make the event a success. The Kellogg's Tour of Ireland Cycle Challenge is all about promoting healthy activity for all in an enjoyable and fun way. This fits very well with NUI Galway's commitment to sporting activities. We very much appreciate their association and look forward to working with them again this year." Stephen Twaddell, Managing Director of Kellogg's said: "We are delighted to support this event which is an important part of our Let's Get Active initiative – a community-based programme of events, designed to help people in Ireland get active and have fun while raising money for a good cause. As the Tour snakes its way across Ireland next month, we hope it will inspire people to get on their own bikes and discover the pleasure of getting active. We congratulate the organisers for what looks like being another world-class event and we send a big thank you to local communities who embrace the event as it passes through their own county." The Kellogg's Tour of Ireland is a cycle challenge open to all amateur cyclists. It attracts entrants from all over the island of Ireland and overseas. It is a non-competitive challenge whereby each participant competes against the elements and their own levels of fitness and endurance. It consists of four stages: 9th May: Stage 1 Lisburn to Cavan 115 miles 10th May: Stage 2 Cavan to Galway 124 miles 11th May: Stage 3 start at 8am NUI Galway, Galway to Kilkenny 140 miles 12th May: Stage 4 Kilkenny to Dublin 123 miles The Kellogg's Tour of Ireland event organisers Joe and Marc Barr, are both well-known cyclists. Joe has competed for Ireland and N. Ireland as a professional and has put together the four stages. Marc is the logistics expert and ensures that everything is in place to ensure a safe, exciting and enjoyable event. Further details on the event can be found at www.tourofireland.eu For information on Kellogg's Let's Get Active programme visit www.letsgetactive.ie. -ENDS-

Monday, 21 April 2008

Hollywood writer and producer Evan Goldberg is to teach at NUI Galway as part of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media Writers in Residence Programme. Goldberg has worked on films Superbad and Knocked Up, starring Katherine Heigl, and the TV comedy Da Ali G Show. On Thursday 24 April, Goldberg will attend a special public screening of Superbad followed by a question and answer session. Goldberg's Huston School of Film & Digital Media Residence Programme at NUI Galway will last from 22 April to 7 May. During that time he will deliver workshops to students on Screenwriting, Production and Direction. Previous participants in the Writers Residence Programme have included John Huston's son Tony Huston and documentary maker George Stoney. Writer Allegra Huston, daughter of the late John Huston, has also visited the school with her writing salon. According to Rod Stoneman, Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway, "Together with Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow, Evan Goldberg is part of the new royal family of comedy in Hollywood. Goldberg is writer of Superbad and Executive Producer of Knocked Up, two landmark comedy films which have thrown the mainstream Hollywood comedy rule book out the window. These films out gross the gross-out comedy and yet are inflected with a warmth, humanity and truth that is rare anywhere in mainstream contemporary cinema." Founded in 2003, the Huston School of Film & Digital Media offers a range of one-year postgraduate courses in Film Studies; Screenwriting; Production and Direction; Arts Policy and Practice; Public Advocacy and Activism; and Digital Media. In autumn of 2008, the first undergraduate course offered through the CAO system will come on stream, the BA with Film Studies. For further information on the public session with Evan Goldberg on 24 April, or to reserve a place, contact Derval McCormack 091 495076. -ends-

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

The College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies at NUI Galway has issued the final call for applications to its 50 new Doctoral Research Fellowships. Fellowships are valued at between €15,000-20,000 per annum and will be awarded to 50 students undertaking research PhDs with the College in the autumn. Fellowships may be held across the full range of Humanities disciplines including Children's Studies, Creative Writing, Gaeilge, Global Women's Studies, Human Rights, Irish Studies, Film Studies and Rural Studies. Kevin Barry, Dean of the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies at NUI Galway, commented, "NUI Galway has introduced new doctoral programmes with broad career opportunities. We wish to develop the tradition of research in the humanities, in modern languages, and in the social and behavioural sciences in order to graduate students at the highest level to serve Irish society." He added, "Our strategic support for PhD students reflects a determination on the part of the University to promote and support innovative research and high level training across a wide range of disciplines." The Fellowships are designed to enable students to work in cross-disciplinary projects. These small research clusters will allow students to collaborate and work together, encouraging and testing each other's work. Three of the Fellowships are named in memory of Lady Gregory, for her integration of the Arts and Humanities into regional and national life. For closing dates, terms and conditions, and applications forms contact Mairéad Ní Dhomhnaill on 091 493622 or email fellowshipsfifty@nuigalway.ie -ends-

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

The new Engineering degree programme in Sports and Exercise Engineering (GY411) offered by the College of Engineering & Informatics in collaboration with the College of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences at NUI Galway is now available through the CAO. The B.E./M.Eng.Sc. Sports and Exercise Engineering degree will take its first cohort of students in September 2008. Persons who have already applied to the CAO in 2008 can register a preference for GY411 through the CAO change-of-mind process (deadline 1 July, 2008 at 5:15pm). Persons who have not yet applied to the CAO in 2008 and who wish to register a preference for GY411 must make a late application to the CAO by 1 May, 2008 at 5:15pm. The programme will allow successful students to exit after 4 years with a level 8 B.E. degree or after 5 years with level 9 M.Eng.Sc., however the full benefits to the students of the programme will be achieved with the 5 year programme. This programme offering represents the first degree programme in Sports & Exercise Engineering on the island of Ireland. 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 new Sports and 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 Padraic O'Donoghue, Dean of Engineering and Informatics, NUI Galway, says, "This new degree programme represents an exciting venture for Engineering at NUI Galway. It is an excellent example of a focused interdisciplinary programme whereby some of the latest engineering techniques are meshed with medical and scientific concepts to train a cohort of students with a unique skillset. Thus, graduates of the programme will be able to address a range of highly relevant problems associated with sports and exercise". Professor B.G. Loftus, Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, NUI Galway, says, "The evolving obesity epidemic reflects an imbalance between energy ingested and expended. The decline in levels of physical activity at all ages is, in large part, responsible for this epidemic, and also contributes to increased risk of many other illnesses. It is incumbent on us to remedy this at societal level through initiatives like this new Engineering programme, which will produce a new generation of engineers with the skills and expertise to design novel systems and devices to increase participation in exercise across the age groups." The programme will incorporate significant elements of Anatomy, Physiology, Mechanical Engineering and Sport and Exercise Engineering practice. A major input from Electronic Engineering will reflect a particular focus in the programme on the development of a range of ambulatory electronic devices for movement assessment in sport and exercise, ambulatory monitoring of human performance in sport & exercise and the design of systems and devices for the performance and assessment of exercise, rehabilitation and sport. Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin, Head of Electronic Engineering and course co-ordinator, says, "This programme will benefit from two major infrastructural developments on the NUI Galway campus: the completion of the €20 Million, 6,500 sq. meter Sports Centre by June 2008 and the expected completion of a €60 Million, 14,000 sq. meter New Engineering Building, which will feature state-of-the-art Engineering teaching and research laboratories, including a multi-purpose motion analysis laboratory, by September 2010." For further information on the new programme contact Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin at 087-6504801 or email: gearoid.olaighin@nuigalway.ie ENDS

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

The President of UCD and IUA, Dr. Hugh Brady, today launched the Irish Universities Study. Using advanced internet survey techniques the longitudinal study will capture key information from undergraduate and postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers in our universities. Areas covered include the education experience, economic expectations, personal development and health. The sector-wide survey is a major innovation providing the universities with the ability to formulate policy for students and researchers based on sound evidence. Ultimately the results will play an important role in improving the standard of living for students in Irish universities and contributing to the development of university education in Ireland. The project will run for three years and is funded equally by the HEA Strategic Innovation Fund [SIF] and the seven universities. Speaking about the study Dr. Hugh Brady says: "This pioneering research programme will enable the universities to make strategic policy decisions and will inform the development of key resources including teaching and learning, quality assurance and students services, informed by student feedback". The study is being carried out by the Geary Institute in UCD on behalf of the Irish Universities Association [IUA]. Speaking today at the launch the Director of the UCD Geary Institute, Professor Colm Harmon said "The study is a particularly important and timely one. It will produce a fine set of academic publications, will be the foundation for creating a new higher education research capacity at UCD, but will also be firmly embedded into the planning process for the Irish higher education system". The keynote address was given by Professor Ronald Ehrenberg of Cornell University, one of the most prolific and well regarded labour economists of the last 30 years. Professor Ehrenberg stressed the economic and social value of education, the need to nurture this belief in secondary school, and the critical need to avoid underinvestment in fourth level areas. He emphasized the importance of carrying out research to gather information of the type the Irish Universities Study (IUS) will capture. This study will play a central role for the future development of higher education policy in Ireland. ends

Monday, 14 April 2008

NUI Galway has appointed Dr. Pat Morgan to the newly created position of Dean of Graduate Studies. Dr. Morgan has previously served as Dean of College of Science at the University (1998-2004) and more recently as Pre-clinical Vice-Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing, & Health Sciences. NUI Galway has some 3,500 postgraduate or 'fourth-level' students, and offers over 400 full-time and part-time postgraduate programmes, including taught and research masters, and doctoral research options. With the number of postgraduate students expected to grow quickly in line with growth in research activity at the University, Dr. Morgan will focus on maintaining the high quality of PhD programmes. Dr. Morgan will also support the development of new Graduate Schools at NUI Galway. Alongside NUI Galway-based initiatives, there will be a focus on encouraging inter-institutional cooperation and in attracting high calibre international students to the programmes. Commenting on the appointment, NUI Galway President, Dr. Jim Browne, said, "The University is committed to the development and provision of high quality research and taught graduate programmes. Postgraduate programmes are based on the University's traditional areas of academic strength, and increasingly draw on our well-established Research Centres in areas as diverse as Biomedical Engineering Science, Human Rights, Film & Digital Media, Regenerative Medicine and Marine Science." Speaking about her appointment, Dr. Morgan said, "Ireland has seen rapid growth in the number of students studying at fourth-level. What is critical is that such growth does not compromise the student experience and that we provide the range of skills and training that a fully-rounded graduate student needs." Working with the 'fourth-level' theme, NUI Galway's graduate education opportunities are now under the banner go4th™. An online prospectus of all that is on offer at NUI Galway is available at www.go4th.ie -ends-

Monday, 14 April 2008

Tá an Dr. Pat Morgan ceaptha ag OÉ Gaillimh sa phost nua – Déan Staidéir Iarchéime. Roimhe seo bhí an Dr. Morgan ag obair mar Dhéan ar Choláiste na hEolaíochta san Ollscoil (1998-2004) agus le píosa anuas bhí sí ag obair mar Leas-Déan Réamhchliniciúil i gColáiste an Leighis, an Altranais & na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte. Tá 3,500 mac léinn iarchéime nó 'ceathrú leibhéal' in OÉ Gaillimh, agus tá os cionn 400 clár iarchéime lánaimseartha agus páirtaimseartha á tairiscint aici, lena n-áirítear cláir mháistreachta theagaisc agus thaighde agus roghanna taighde dochtúireachta. Táthar ag súil go dtiocfaidh méadú ar an líon mac léinn iarchéime ar aon dul leis an méadú i ngníomhaíocht taighde na hOllscoile, agus díreoidh an Dr. Morgan ar chláir Ph.D. ar ardchaighdeán a sholáthar. Chomh maith leis sin, tacóidh an Dr. Morgan le forbairt na Scoileanna Iarchéime nua in OÉ Gaillimh. Le cois tionscnaimh bunaithe in OÉ Gaillimh, cuirfear béim ar chomhoibriú idir institiúidí agus ar mhic léinn idirnáisiúnta ar ardchaighdeán a mhealladh le dul i mbun clár anseo. Le linn don Dr. Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, a bheith ag labhairt faoin gceapachán dúirt sé go bhfuil "an Ollscoil tiomanta do chláir thaighde agus theagaisc iarchéime ar ardchaighdeán a fhorbairt agus a chur ar fáil. Tá cláir iarchéime bunaithe ar réimsí láidre acadúla na hOllscoile agus béim go háirithe ar ár nIonaid Taighde atá bunaithe le fada, agus réimsí ar nós Eolaíocht Innealtóireachta Bithmhíochaine, Cearta Daonna, Scannáin & na Meáin Dhigiteacha, Leigheas Athghiniúnach agus Muireolaíocht." Le linn don Dr. Morgan a bheith ag labhairt faoina ceapachán dúirt sí go bhfuil "méadú as cuimse tagtha ar an líon mac léinn atá ag staidéar ag an gceathrú leibhéal. Is é an rud is tábhachtaí nach gciallaíonn an fás as cuimse seo go mbeidh taithí na mac léinn thíos leis dá bharr, agus a chinntiú go gcuirimid an raon scileanna agus oiliúna ar fáil le freastal ar riachtanais mac léinn iarchéime." Bunaithe ar an téama 'ceathrú leibhéal', tá deiseanna iarchéime OÉ Gaillimh anois á bpoibliú faoi go4th™. Tá réamheolaire ar líne maidir leis na cúrsaí ar fad atá ar fáil in OÉ Gaillimh le fáil ag www.go4th.ie - críoch -

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Seven Irish Olympic Heavyweight Rowing team were in training on the Corrib recently during a break between training camps in Southern France. Head Coach Harald Jarling requested the use of the NUI Galway Boat Club facilities and the assistance of some extra personnel to complete an eight-man team. Three members of the Olympic team are NUI Galway rowers, Alan Martin (Salthill), Cormac Folan (Barna) and James Wall (Limerick). For the weekend's training, they were joined by Evin Donnelly and Ruadhán Cooke, of NUI Galway Boat Club. Ruadhán Cooke, NUI Galway Boat Club, said, "We had a wonderful if exhausting two-day training session. The Galway based squad members thoroughly enjoyed being back on their home patch for a few days. Evin Donnelly and I really appreciated the opportunity of linking up with our club mates and experiencing training at this level". Head Coach Harald Jarling, himself a double Olympic Gold Medallist with the former East Germany, was very pleased with the mini-camp during which the squad clocked up over 120 kilometres on the Corrib. The Irish rowers have already qualified a Heavyweight Coxless Four for Beijing and currently train in a Four, Pair and Single Scull. The squad is striving to also qualify the Pair and the Single Scull at the final Olympic selection regatta in Poland in late June. The squad were welcomed to NUI Galway by Vice-President for Physical Resources Keith Warnock, Club Captain Matthew Carroll and Coach Tom Tuohy. Also present to meet the Olympic team were sponsors of NUI Galway's fleet of top-class boats, Tom Forde of the Bank of Ireland and Paul Brennan of Michael McNamara & Company. The eight-man boat used by the squad on the Corrib is sponsored by Seán Stewart of the JSL / Stewart Group. -ends-

Friday, 11 April 2008

Over 100 pupils from primary schools across Galway will be honoured by RTÉ sports commentator Tracy Piggott at a special ceremony at 7pm on Wednesday, 16 April, for their participation in NUI Galway's 'Uni 4 U 2008' programme. The children will receive medals and certificates from the TV personality in recognition of their involvement in the three-year programme which promotes education, school attendance and personal development through sporting, cultural and academic activities on the University campus. 'Uni 4 U' is developed and delivered by NUI Galway's Access Office in partnership with Scoil Bhríde, Shantalla; Holy Trinity Girls School, Mervue; and St Michael's Boys School, Mervue. Now in its eighth year, the programme includes a homework and sports club which is run on campus in conjunction with Áras na Mac Léinn. The children are helped by undergraduate volunteers for two hours a week in completing their homework and playing sports. Explaining the significance of the programme for those involved, Imelda Byrne, NUI Galway's Access Officer, said, "Specifically, this programme aims to help students by building their self esteem, confidence, communication skills and social behaviour through team games and sports activities. In addition, there is a focus on their educational attainment, especially improvement in numeric and literacy skills". Brenda Foy, Home School Community Liaison Co-ordinator with Holy Trinity Girls School, Mervue, commented, "The Uni 4 U programme is an excellent introduction to the University for the pupils of Mervue. They can enjoy the atmosphere and develop serious aspirations for continuing their education onto third-level. Not alone does it benefit the children but it also involved their parents, many of whom might never have stepped onto the University grounds. The Uni 4 U programme has made third-level education a given for our children and look forward to it continuing in the future". Easter and Summer camps facilitated by university staff volunteers have introduced the children to topics in science, engineering, languages and the humanities. This enables the children to get a feel for their subject choices in secondary school and encourage them to participate more actively in their own learning. New initiatives in 'Uni 4 U' during 2008 included a storytelling course and performance where the children told stories they had created themselves in seanchaí style. The programmes' success includes the participation of parents with their children in the study skill and homework support workshops run by the Access Office. -ends-

Friday, 11 April 2008

The NUI Galway Society Awards took place on Wednesday, 9 April, in the Galway Bay Hotel. Seventeen awards were presented at the gala event which celebrated the contribution over 80 Societies make both to the University and the wider community. President of NUI Galway, Dr. Jim Browne, in his speech, congratulated the Societies on their outstanding achievements, the calibre of the events which they organise and the man hours that they contribute through volunteering as part of the Societies he said, "This year alone the hours volunteered by members of Societies' committees is the equivalent of the number hours worked by 53 full time workers in one year. In the last five years the Societies have raised over €900,000 for charity". The winners on the night will represent the University at the BICS National Society Awards in Dundalk IT on 17 April, 2008. The coveted Best Society of the Year Award went to the 'Business Society' for the professionalism they brought to their numerous and varied events during the year. In 2006 they won best new Society in Ireland at the BICS Awards. Best Improved Society went to the 'Musical Society' (GUMS), for their busy year which saw the society branch out into new directions. In addition to their 'Back to the 80's' musical they also organised the 'NUI Galway Schools Musical Awards' which took place in NUI Galway recently with the top prize going to Ballinrobe Community School for 'The Wiz'. Best New Society went to the 'Nothing Specific Society' whose main aim is to bring fun and foolishness to campus, their next event will be 'Meal or no Meal'. Best Society Individual went to Law student Laura Freyne from Knock, Co. Mayo, for her contribution to campus life through her leadership of the International Students Society. Best Fresher went to Nora Ní Dhomhnaill from Buncrana, Co. Donegal, who is studying first-year Denominated History, Nora is a committee member of An Cumann Starr and the Literary and Debating Society. Best Event went to the Rotaract Society for their 'Socs in the City Fashion Show' which raised over €12,000 for the Alzheimer's Association. The other awards on the night were: Best Departmental Society: Law Society; Best Poster: The Musical Society for their 'Back to the 80's' Poster; Best Website to Cumann Satire (History Society) for http://www.cumannstaire.oegaillimh.ie/; Best Charity Event: Art Society Rag Week Fundraisers; Best Cultural Contribution: Malaysian Society for 'Malaysian Cultural Week'; Best Small Publication: International Students Society Pirate Treasure Hunt booklet; and Best Multi Media/ Large Publication: Business Society for the 'Cairnes Review'; Best Photograph to the Chess Society. Two Múscailt prizes were also presented to the Orchestra and Dansoc and the best contribution to Múscailt Arts Festival award went to Lit & Deb and Law Soc for their Trials of Oscar Wilde and Barn Dance. Ends

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Molecular scientists at NUI Galway will play a leading role in the newly formed GlycoScience Ireland group launched today (Tuesday, 8 April). Glycoscience is the study of the glycans (complex sugars) that surround all cells including human cells. GlycoScience Ireland brings together scientists working in this field in order to apply their expertise to the Biopharmaceutical and Food industries. GlycoScience Ireland will encourage inter-disciplinary collaboration between glycoscientists, biologists, chemists, engineers, information scientists and clinicians. The Group will also provide a forum for communication and interaction between Irish glycoscientists and industry representatives for the translation of glycoscience discoveries into commercial realities. NUI Galway' s involvement is being led by Professor Lokesh Joshi, who recently joined the University's National Centre for Biomedical Engineering as Stokes Professor of Glycosciences. Professor Joshi explained "Glycans play crucial roles in almost all biological interactions at molecular and cellular levels, including fertilization, immune regulation, cancer and infectious diseases. Despite their underpinning role in biological processes, study in this area has lagged behind genomics and proteomics. With the global competition in biotechnology and biopharmaceutical research continually shifting, Ireland needs to harness the synergy of existing skills to remain in the leadership position in this emerging research frontier". GlycoScience Ireland Launch is being co-sponsored by The National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) and the Centre for BioAnalytical Sciences (CBAS), of which Professor Joshi is Associate Director. For further information visit http://www.glycoscienceireland.ie/ -ends-