June 2011

Public Invited to Learn about Environmental Research at NUI Galway

Public Invited to Learn about Environmental Research at NUI Galway -image

Monday, 30 May 2011

The Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research at NUI Galway is hosting its annual Research Open Day on Thursday, 9 June, from 2pm to 5.30pm. Short talks will address subjects of national and global importance such as the economics of marine energy and novel treatments of greenhouse gases. A meet and greet session and poster display highlighting ongoing research by some of the Institute’s 300+ researchers in areas such as Energy, Biodiversity, and Human Health will also take place. The free event is aimed at the general public and all are encouraged to attend. According to the Ryan Institute’s Director, Dr Colin Brown, “When NUI Galway’s Environmental Change and Martin Ryan Institutes merged in 2010 to form the Ryan Institute, it provided us with a great opportunity to further broaden the scope of our projects, and consider all aspects of our research from new angles.” He added, “Our Research Open Day provides us with the opportunity of sharing our work with the local community, and getting thoughts and insights from the people our research benefits.” According to Dr Martina Prendergast, Strategic Development Manager of the Ryan Institute, “This Open Day should appeal to anyone who has an interest in how the world around us is being so severely affected by environmental and climate change. Everyone is welcome to attend. We invite all members of the public to come and join us on the day to find out what is going on in our local University that is leading to the development of new solutions to curb the damage caused by global environmental change. Anyone involved in eco-related business should not miss out on this event.” In one project that will be highlighted on the Research Day, Civil Engineers at the Ryan Institute are collaborating with the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and the National Roads Authority (NRA) to develop guidelines for a National Cycling Network (NCN) across Ireland. Postgraduate student Richard Manton is using the N59 Galway to Clifden route as a case study, and examining engineering, design, route considerations and cost benefit analyses. Principal Investigator Dr Eoghan Clifford tells us, “Ireland’s scenery is world renowned. The NCN presents an ideal opportunity to exploit our natural advantage in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way. With the network in place, jobs can be created in the construction and maintenance of the cycle ways and local tourism will also benefit.” The Ryan Institute Research Open Day will be held on 9 June, from 2pm, with registration beginning at 1pm in the Orbsen Building at NUI Galway. The Research Day is free and open to all and pre-registration is not necessary. To RSVP or for more information visit www.ryaninstitute.ie or contact Dr Sarah Knight, Outreach Officer on 091 495061 or sarah.knight@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

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Cleaner Air but a Warmer Europe, Research Finds

Cleaner Air but a Warmer Europe, Research Finds-image

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

New research initiated jointly by NUI Galway and the University of Helsinki reveals the true rate of greenhouse gas induced global warming has been masked by atmospheric aerosols (otherwise known as Particulate Matter), through their formation of reflective haze and cloud layers leading to an aerosol cooling effect.   The new investigations show that the present-day aerosol cooling effect will be strongly reduced by 2030 as more stringent air pollution abatements are implemented both worldwide and at the European scale and as advanced environmental technologies are utilised. These actions are projected to increase the global temperature by 1°C and temperatures over Europe by up to 2-4°C depending on the severity of the action. This is one of the main research outcomes of the recently concluded EUCAARI (European Integrated project on Aerosol Cloud Climate and Air Quality Interaction) project funded by the European Commission.   The EUCAARI project, originally initiated by Professor Colin O’Dowd at NUI Galway’s Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies, who resided on the project’s management team, and led by Professor Markku Kulmala of the University of Helsinki, has provided new understanding of the impacts of aerosols and trace gases on clouds and climate.   According to Professor O’Dowd:“The quantification of the effect of aerosols on the radiative balance (cooling or heating) of the planet has been one of the most urgent tasks to underpin more informed projections of future climate change. Now that we have this data we need to reinforce European political decision-making to develop new strategies and implementation plans for global air quality monitoring and to take Europe a leading role in developing and applying environmental technologies.  Furthermore, it is urgent that higher-resolution EU-scale projections are conducted using a new generation of regional models nested within the global models.”   EUCAARI has been the most extensive atmospheric aerosol research project in Europe so far. The total budget of the project was €15 million, of which €10 million was provided by the European Commission Framework Programme 6. In all, 48 research institutes from 24 countries participated in this project over the period 2007-2010. The project has led to significantly more information on the whole physics background related to aerosol formation and impacts at all scales; from nanoscale to global, and from milliseconds to centuries.   The project performed extensive studies from ground-based, aircraft and satellite platforms, not only in Europe, but also in China, South-Africa, Brazil and India (i.e. significant developing countries). These studies have improved the theoretical understanding of the aerosol life-cycle, enabling scientists to make major improvements in climate and air pollution models and present new air pollution scenarios over Europe.   Professor O’Dowd added: “The positive impacts of aerosols are partially off-setting global warming while the negative effects impact on public health. Abatement of the negative health impact is complicated due to the diversity of sources, even within Europe.”    EUCAARI found that the reduction in ammonia emissions is one of the most effective ways to reduce aerosol mass concentrations in Europe. Reduction in nitric oxides is also effective, but might lead to higher ozone levels, thereby leading to another negative impact on air quality. Reduction in sulphur dioxide emissions will reduce particulate air pollution especially in the Eastern Mediterranean area.   Reduction of organic aerosol concentrations is a lot more challenging and will require reductions of gas and aerosol emissions from transportation and biomass burning. Furthermore, it is now shown that a large fraction of organic aerosols in Europe is of modern origin (as opposed to fossil fuel origins), for which the main sources are biogenic secondary organic aerosol (boreal forests), biomass burning and primary biogenic aerosol particles.”   Professor O’Dowd concluded: “All these emission sources are expected to respond to climate change, although we are presently unable to gauge the strength of the multitude of feedback mechanisms involved.  The uncertainties in feedback highlight the need for improved Earth System Climate models to encapsulate feedback processes generally lacking in current projections.”   - ends – 

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NUI Galway Alumni Club Hosts Corrib Princess Cruise

NUI Galway Alumni Club Hosts Corrib Princess Cruise   -image

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The NUI Galway Alumni Club invites all graduates to the third annual cruise on the Corrib Princess on Thursday, 7 July. The Corrib Princess will depart from Woodquay at 7.00pm for a four hour cruise along Lough Corrib’s famous Steamers Line. A barbeque will be served on board and entertainment will be provided by Galway Bay FM’s Marc Roberts. “Catching up with old friends and fellow alumni on board the Corrib Princess is great way to spend a summer’s evening” says Emma Goode, Alumni Project Manager. “We encourage all graduates to come along, bring a friend and pass on the message to former classmates.” For further information and booking details please contact Colm O’Dwyer in the Alumni Office on 091 493750 or email alumni@nuigalway.ie.   -Ends- 

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NUI Galway Honours Four Outstanding Individuals with Honorary Degrees

NUI Galway Honours Four Outstanding Individuals with Honorary Degrees-image

Friday, 24 June 2011

Four outstanding individuals were conferred with honorary degrees from NUI Galway today (Friday 24 June, 2011). Those conferred were Margaret Atwood, Seán O’Rourke, Professor Gio Wiederhold and Seán Campbell. Speaking at the conferring ceremony, NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne said: “NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history and those being honoured this year form a particularly distinguished group. Each has made an outstanding and distinctive contribution to the diverse fields of literature, youth affairs, journalism and computer science. NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals”. Margaret Atwood was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Literature (honoris causa). The Canadian author has published more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. Her newest novel, The Year of the Flood (2009) is, in the author’s words, “the meanwhile” or the “simultaneal” to her 2003 Giller Prize finalist, Oryx and Crake. Other books include the 2000 Booker Prize-winning, The Blind Assassin: Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada, The Robber Bride, Cat’s Eye, The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Tent. Margaret has a strong connection with the West of Ireland and has contributed poetry to a collection edited by Des Lally in 2008 entitled Captivating Brightness: Ballynahinch. Profits from the book were donated to Cancer Care West. Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson. Seán O’Rourke was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa). A native of Portlaoise, Seán completed a BA in English, History and Legal Science at NUI Galway, graduating in 1977. Seán was awarded the 2006 NUI Galway Alumni AIB Award for Literature, Communications and the Arts, and is the founding chairperson of the Alumni Association’s Dublin Club. He first joined RTÉ in 1982 as presenter/reporter in Radio News features. He was Political correspondent with the Irish Press between 1984 and 1989, when he returned to RTÉ as Programme Editor/Presenter, working on the News at One, Morning Ireland and This Week. Since 1995, Seán has been presenter of the News at One. In 2003, Seán began presenting The Week in Politics, a weekly review of political events on RTÉ One. He was Radio Journalist of the Year in 1997 and won PPI Awards for News Broadcaster of the year in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Professor Gio Wiederhold was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Science (honoris causa). Gio Wiederhold is a Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Medicine at Stanford University, still teaching part-time. Gio Wiederhold was born in Italy and received a degree in Aeronautical Engineering in Holland in 1957. In 1976 he obtained a PhD in Medical Information Science from the University of California at San Francisco and joined the Stanford faculty. Gio consulted with several computing enterprises in Europe and Asia. Professor Wiederhold is one of the pioneers in Computer Science who created the foundations for modern Web and information technology, which shaped society and the economy throughout the world. He is one of the founding fathers of Databases as a research field in Computer Science and has initiated Knowledge Base Research while at DARPA. During his career he has pioneered the combination of Database and Knowledge Bases. His research contributions are fundamental for the Semantic Web, which is the main research topic of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute, (DERI) one of NUI Galway’s flagship research institutes. Seán Campbell was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa). Seán Campbell is Chief Executive Officer of Foróige, Ireland’s leading youth organisation and has worked for the organisation for over 25 years. A native of Dundalk, Co. Louth, Seán is a graduate of UCD and holds a BA and a Higher Diploma in Education. He volunteered for two years in Zambia. During his time at Foróige, Seán has played a pivotal role in the continuous and rapid development of Foróige and the youth work sector. One of Seán’s most notable achievements is bringing the Big Brother Big Sister youth mentoring programme to Ireland. Seán was a driving force in the development of Foróige’s relationship with the Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway which, among other things, led to Foróige’s partner status in the UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement. Today’s graduands join the ranks of previous honorary conferees which include among many others Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Christy O’Connor Snr and Jnr, Enya, the late Merv Griffin, Anjelica Huston and Fionnuala Flanagan. -Ends-

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Galway Arts Festival and NUI Galway Announce New Partnership

Galway Arts Festival and NUI Galway Announce New Partnership-image

Monday, 27 June 2011

Galway Arts Festival and NUI Galway this morning announced details of a new partnership. The University will support the 34th Galway Arts Festival through development of the Festival’s Volunteer Programme and Selected, a new artist development strand of the Festival for emerging artists and producers. Galway Arts Festival takes place from July 11-24 and features an international programme of artists from Africa, America, Asia, Australia and Europe with a strong focus on Irish work and home-grown productions. NUI Galway has provided a breeding ground for the development of artistic talent in successive generations of students. Flagship programmes in Theatre, Performance and Creative Writing at undergraduate level, together with Masters Programmes in Drama and Theatre Studies and Writings, have established NUI Galway’s reputation in the Creative Arts field. Now, through this partnership NUI Galway and Galway Arts Festival are coming together to form a partnership that supports the development of the Performance Arts of the region. The SELECTED strand will see five NUI Galway students and graduates join five other artists in this unique initiative which will allow them full access to every aspect of the Festival. This ’two-week academy’ will offer students the opportunity to see how a Festival of this magnitude is put together while also attending shows, post-show talks and getting a hands-on experience from performers and organisers. Commenting on the new partnership, NUI Galway President James J. Browne said, “NUI Galway is delighted to be involved with this well-established, international Festival. The Volunteering aspect of the partnership re-enforces our place at the forefront of pioneering models for civic engagement. The SELECTED strand will provide our Theatre and Performance students an excellent opportunity to develop their careers.” Festival CEO John Crumlish added, “NUI Galway have been at the forefront of developing volunteerism at 3rd level in Ireland through its Community Knowledge Initiative and the partnership with the longstanding Festival programme will introduce a new generation of volunteers to the Festival experience while also helping shape that experience for the future. Volunteerism plays a key role in Galway Arts Festival and has been hugely important in the success of the event and provides volunteers with the opportunity to engage with many aspects of staging a large Festival, from involvement with the Macnas Festival Parade, the Festival Big Top, and the Festival’s online television channel, GAFTV. These elements are very varied and provide hugely positive experiences for those who partake.” Both Paul Fahy and John Crumlish recalled their initial experience with the Festival as volunteers in the late 1980s and the Festival continues to play a leading advocacy role in the advancement of careers in the arts. 2011 is also the European Year of the Volunteer. Commenting on the Selected Programme, Galway Arts Festival’s Artistic Director Paul Fahy said, “Selected is a really exciting development for the Festival in partnership with NUI Galway. Selected will allow participants immerse themselves in all aspects of Galway Arts Festival and will benefit NUI Galway’s MA in Drama and Theatre Studies and BA Connect in Theatre and Performance in addition to a number of individual artists living and working in Galway. Selected will offer participants free access to key elements of the Festival Programme facilitated by a wide variety of international and Irish arts professionals.” Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator for NUI Galway’s volunteer programme, ALIVE says the new partnership will enhance the University’s excellent volunteering reputation, “The Arts Festival is an incredible volunteer opportunity for NUI Galway students who are seeking to give their energy and enthusiasm while gaining valuable experience and skills from engaging with the city’s creative, fun and vibrant community.” The James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway is home to the Galway Arts Festival Archive. The archive contains an excellent collection of materials from the Galway Arts Festivals since 1980. NUI Galway’s impressive archival collection was enhanced in the last year with the addition of two collections which will provide a rich source of research material. The archive of director, writer and actor John Huston’s papers and recordings and the Thomas Kilroy Archive. The James Hardiman Library is home to a range of other theatre, literary, historical and political archives. Collections include the archives of the Druid and Lyric Theatres and of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe; the literary papers of John McGahern; and original documents relating to the foundation of the Gaelic Athletic Association and the Northern Ireland ’Troubles’. Applicants interested in applying for the Volunteer Programme can contact Susan McKenna, Galway Arts Festival Volunteer Programme Manager volunteers@galwayartsfestival.com. -Ends-

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Business is open for Studentpreneurs this summer in NUI Galway

Business is open for Studentpreneurs this summer in NUI Galway-image

Monday, 27 June 2011

SEEN, NUI Galway’s student enterprise support service, has launched a hot-desk facility for the summer of 2011. SEEN provides NUI Galway students who want to progress their business ideas the benefit of networking with like-minded students and on-campus support and resources.  The hot-desk facility is being managed by the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) and SEEN. SEEN is a student run network which encourages entrepreneurship among the student populace. Since January 2011, SEEN has worked with students to bring their business and social concepts and ideas to a commercial reality.  Paddy Melia from the SEEN team adds, “We are delighted at the possibilities of this new facility. This space will act as a springboard for students with ideas and demonstrates how NUI Galway is leading the way in developing a culture for ’studentpreneurs’ on campus.”  SEEN have also launched their website, www.seen.ie, which is a first point of contact for students. The site provides NUI Galway students with the latest news, opportunities, and connections as well as details on how to access the hot-desk facility.  The website and hot-desk facility demonstrate NUI Galway’s commitment to entrepreneurship and enterprising students on campus. With the announcement of this additional support available to students, Professor Chris Curtin, Vice-President for Innovation & Performance says, "We are preparing the students of NUI Galway to drive forward the society and economy of the future."

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Conferring Ceremony at NUI Galway

Conferring Ceremony at NUI Galway -image

Thursday, 23 June 2011

NUI Galway today conferred over 200 students from across the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Engineering and Informatics, Business, Public Policy and Law, Science, and Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies. The largest cohort of students to graduate were 97 Honours Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and Bachelor of Obstetrics (MB, BCh, BAO) students. Also graduating were 54 PhD students from across all disciplines. International students were well represented at the ceremony, with the University welcoming graduates from, among other countries, Malaysia and Kuwait, who along with students from across Ireland will receive Diplomas, Degrees, Masters, and PhDs. Speaking at the ceremony, President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, said: “On behalf of NUI Galway, I congratulate each of today’s graduates. It is very encouraging to see the number of research and graduate degrees which we are conferring today. These graduate numbers continue to grow and we have doubled the number of PhD degrees awarded each year since the start of the decade.” President Browne added words of encouragement to graduates conferred at the ceremony: “Do not lose hope or courage in this current economic climate. You have what it takes to make a difference in our society. The opportunities you have to create your own environment and to shape your own futures are enormous.” The next conferring to take place at NUI Galway will be the conferring of Honorary Degrees tomorrow, Friday, 24 June. -Ends-

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NUI Galway’s Cycle to Campus Day a Huge Success

NUI Galway’s Cycle to Campus Day a Huge Success -image

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

NUI Galway’s contribution to Galway’s Bike Week Festival was a huge success with many opting to cycle to work as part of the University’s Cycle to Campus Day. Galway s Bike Week Festival runs from 18 to 26, June 2011. This year, the week was launched in Galway with a mass cycle, a bike village and many other events around the city. As part of NUI Galway s contribution to the Festival, the Green Campus Committee organised a University-wide Cycle to Campus Day today (Wednesday, 22 June, 2011). The Cycle to Campus Day aims to encourage staff and students to cycle to campus and to reward those who do so regularly. All members of the NUI Galway community were welcome to participate - whether dedicated commuters or first-time cyclists. "The Cycle to Campus event is another sign of the growing popularity of bicycling in NUI Galway", says Pierre Ludwick of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI). Over half of all researchers in DERI regularly cycle to work, and Kevin O Sullivan, a Design Engineer with the Buildings Office at the University is working on a project to install additional secure and covered bike parking, to the direct benefit of this group. The University is boosting bicycling even further with a number of improvements, including the development of a Travel Plan and the provision of new bike parking spaces. Additional covered bicycle racks have been installed in several places around campus, as part of on-going improvements to cycle facilities. "We look forward to making it even easier and safer to ride a bike to work for all employees", says Greg Power, Planning and Projects Officer at NUI Galway. "Cycling has many benefits for staff and students - we now need to keep the momentum and culture change with more and better incentives to cycling ". The Cycle to Work Scheme has also been hugely popular on campus, and is open to all employees, with over 300 staff availing of the scheme since 2009. This scheme encourages more people to cycle to and from work, by gaining a tax saving on procuring a bicycle where it is used by the employee mainly for qualifying journeys. 

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Record Increase in Numbers Applying To NUI Galway for Third Year in a Row

Record Increase in Numbers Applying To NUI Galway for Third Year in a Row -image

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The CAO s latest figures for third level applications show that NUI Galway’s popularity amongst Leaving Certificate students as their first choice for University continues to grow for the third consecutive year. The University has seen a further almost 10 per cent increase in the number of students selecting NUI Galway as their first choice institution through the change of mind and late application process. NUI Galway is now in the top two Universities for growth in first preference applications through both application processes. Over the past three years, first preference applications for undergraduate degrees at NUI Galway have increased significantly as the University’s popularity continues to soar. The most popular courses for students to date are Biomedical Science and as Galway is one of four global hubs for Biomedicine and has the largest concentration of Biomedical device companies in the country, career prospects for NUI Galway s Biomedical Science graduates are excellent. At present, NUI Galway is the only Irish University offering a denominated degree in Marine Science and it now has the highest concentration of marine scientists of any institution in Ireland. This degree also offers training on board national training vessels in the third year of study. This is a course that has excellent career prospects for graduates. The University s new BA CONNECT degrees, especially the Theatre and Performance, Creative Writing, Human Rights, Film Studies options, are hugely popular. Science and Engineering courses have also seen a jump in popularity this year with NUI Galway out performing the national trend in both, but especially in Engineering where the opening of a new Engineering Building in September is a big draw for CAO applicants. Medicine at NUI Galway is always very popular and an additional 18 places have being allocated this year. Director of Marketing & Communications at NUI Galway, Caroline Loughnane has this advice for students: “Always follow your interests. Consider an Arts degree that connects specialist learning with practical opportunities, like the new BA CONNECT courses with specialist learning in Film Studies, Human Rights, Creative Writing, Theatre & Performance, Children’s Studies, Latin American Studies, Global Women’s Studies, or Irish Studies. If you have an interest in Engineering, we are about to open the largest School of Engineering in the country, the building itself is a ’living laboratory’ and an architectural gem.” -Ends-

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Positive Job Prospects for a New Type of Engineer

Positive Job Prospects for a New Type of Engineer -image

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

NUI Galway’s new Engineering Building was the venue today for the official launch of the University’s Engineering Innovation (Electronic) degree. The four-year course will deliver graduates with business and innovation skills alongside traditional engineering capabilities. The programme was officially launched by Mike Conroy, General Manager of Cisco’s Global Product Research and Development in Galway. Cisco is a $40 billon global leader in internet, corporate and consumer information technologies. Speaking at the event, Mike Conroy said: “An innovation culture is imperative for building new start-ups and attracting FDI inward investment into Ireland. Innovation is driven by the intersection of talented engineers and visibility to key business problems and opportunities. Cross-disciplinary education in technology and innovation, like in this NUI Galway programme, is a great example of this as innovation needs to be at the heart of everything we do at all levels of education. I expect all graduates from this programme to have excellent prospects.” The multi-disciplinary Engineering Innovation (Electronic) degree came on stream at NUI Galway in 2009, and its students are being educated and trained in core Electronic Engineering areas in parallel with modules in Business & Finance, and Design & Innovation. Graduates from this new programme may choose to go the entrepreneurial route and set up their own innovative electronic businesses, or to leverage their business skills in an existing engineering SME or multinational company. Electronic engineering solutions are integral to a wide range of devices including laptops and internet tablets, media players and mobiles, pacemakers and life-support systems, automotive electronics and environment monitoring solutions. The NUI Galway programme will ensure that in designing new electronic systems and devices for worldwide markets, engineers will be equipped to consider both the technical and financial considerations associated with successful product design. NUI Galway’s Dr John Breslin, course director said, “Industry feedback has told us that a multi-disciplinary approach to engineering education can provide a massive boost to job prospects. The Higher Education Authority also says that there is a need for greater emphasis on critical thinking, capacity for analysis and entrepreneurial perspectives in Irish engineering courses.” He added: “The figures regarding employment in the technology sector are very encouraging for current and future students. 5000 jobs have been created in this sector since 2010, according to the Director General of Engineers Ireland, and the Director of ICT Ireland recently stated that there are about 3500 open jobs within the information and communications technology sector at present.” For admission to the BE in Engineering Innovation (Electronic), applicants must satisfy the Matriculation requirements of NUI Galway in six subjects including Irish, English, Mathematics and a Laboratory Science subject. The minimum requirements are the same as for the other Engineering Degree programmes at NUI Galway and include at least a C3 in Higher Level Mathematics, or a pass in the NUI Galway Special Entrance Examination in Mathematics. There is also the option of a fifth year of study to achieve a Masters qualification. An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny will officially open NUI Galway’s state-of-the-art Engineering Building in July. -Ends-

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