President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins Addresses International Disability Conference at NUI Galway

President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins Addresses International Disability Conference at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 18 June 2012

  The fourth International Summer School at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, NUI Galway, was launched today (Monday, 18 June) by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins. The Summer School, co-hosted by the Harvard Law School Project on Disability, will run from 18-23 June. Speaking at the Summer School, President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins commended the University for their active scholarship and the Centre of Disability Law and Policy for the vital contribution it makes to informed thinking on disability related policy and issues in this country: “I am delighted to be here with you today to launch the 4th International Summer School in partnership with the Harvard Law School Project on Disability, which this year deals with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. "This, as you know, is a convention that I strongly support and which, as a public representative, I called upon successive Governments to ratify.  This summer school and the other educational opportunities that you afford to students will educate them in the policies and reforms required to ensure that people with disabilities can be treated as Equal Citizens in Irish Society and that once ratified the requirements of the Convention will become the benchmark for all disability related policies.”  The Summer School is designed to equip participants with the insights and skills necessary to translate the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into tangible reform for persons with disabilities. President Higgins has a great interest in disability issues and has been a tireless campaigner throughout his long political life for the rights and interests of persons with disabilities in Ireland and internationally. The teaching faculty for the School includes high profile senior academics, practitioners and policy makers from around the world who have been directly and actively engaged in drafting and implementing the Convention. The estimated 100 attendees will similarly be from around the world and will include people with disabilities, their families, representatives from civil society groups as well as advocates for disability law reform, lawyers, policy makers and policy analysts. The School is directed by Professor Gerard Quinn of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the School of Law, NUI Galway along with and Professor Michael Stein of Harvard Law School. Professor Quinn is a co-drafter of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and internationally recognised as a leader in the field of advancing the right of disabled people. Professor Gerard Quinn said: “This Summer School is all about power – restoring power to persons with disabilities over their own lives and giving them knowledge and skills based on the new UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Above all the School belongs to the people affected and is structured in such a way as to enable people explore for themselves the relevance of the Convention in their own lives and in the process of change.” Speaking at the event, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, welcomed visitors and delegates from 29 different countries: “I know of the deep links between Harvard and our Centre for Disability Law and Policy and am delighted to acknowledge this wonderful, continuing collaboration at this the fourth International Summer School held by the Centre. “The impact of this Summer School is truly global.  The faculty and speakers include experts who were active in drafting the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as leading thought-leaders from around the world.  This Summer School serves to give delegates the tools to implement this very important treaty and is a wonderful example of scholarship in action.”  Further information, including the programme and speaker profiles is available from the Summer School website at: On the last day of Summer School, Saturday, 23 June, the Centre for Disability Law and Policy will also host a one day international conference Mental Health Law Reform: New Perspectives and Challenges. This event will be held in conjunction with Amnesty International and will examine issues relevant to the review Mental Health Act 2001 including Ireland’s obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as it moves towards ratification.  The conference is aimed at experts by experience, legal practitioners, mental health professionals, advocates, academics, policy makers, politicians, NGOs and any person or organisation interested in mental health law and policy. There is a €20 conference fee. Places are limited so early registration is advisable. Fee waiver available for students and unwaged persons. For registration details: ENDS

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Evening of Conversation with Leading New York Times Columnist in Mayo

Evening of Conversation with Leading New York Times Columnist in Mayo -image

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Mayo County Council to host Civic Reception in honour of Maureen Dowd NUI Galway in association with Mayo County Council is delighted to announce an ‘Evening of Conversation’ with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd and journalist and author Niall O'Dowd.  The special event will take place on Monday, 25 June at 6:30pm at the Museum of Country Life, Turlough Park House, Castlebar, Co. Mayo and coincides with Maureen Dowd’s conferral with an honorary degree by NUI Galway later in the week. The event will be followed by a Civic Reception, to be attended by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, honouring Ms Maureen Dowd in Turlough Park House, Castlebar, Co. Mayo Maureen Dowd is a 1999 Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and Op-Ed columnist of The New York Times since 1995. Previously, she served as its Washington bureau correspondent where she covered two Presidential campaigns and as White House correspondent, gaining a wide following for her witty, incisive and acerbic portraits of the powerful. Ms Dowd joined The Times as a metropolitan reporter in 1983 having begun her career in 1974 with the Washington Star where she later became a sports columnist, metropolitan reporter, and feature writer.  Dowd is the author of two bestselling books, Bushworld: Enter at Your Own Risk (2004) and Are Men Necessary? When Sexes Collide (2005). Ms Dowd lives in Washington. Her father, Mike, worked as a DC Police Inspector while her mother, Peggy, was a homemaker. She traces her Irish heritage to Co. Clare and Co. Mayo, from where her mother’s family, the Meenahans of Ballinrobe, emigrated. Niall O’Dowd is the founder of IrishCentral as well as of Irish America Magazine and Irish Voice newspaper. He founded the Wall Street 50, Top 100 Irish Americans, Business 100 and more recently the Top 50 Women in Business as well as the Irish Legal 100. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by University College Dublin for his work on the Irish peace process which was a subject of a book Daring Diplomacy and a PBS Special 'An Irish Voice' He is also adjunct professor at Columbia University journalism school. The event is open to the public however as places are limited those interested should contact the Alumni Office at NUI Galway on 091-492721 or email ENDS

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Major Stem Cell Conference Marking Ireland’s Standing in Regenerative Medicine

Major Stem Cell Conference Marking Ireland’s Standing in Regenerative Medicine-image

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Mesenchymal Stem Cell Conference, NUI Galway, 2-3 July Focussing on adult stem cells, the Mesenchymal Stem Cell Conference takes place in NUI Galway on 2-3 July. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a type of adult stem cell, and this event brings together the world’s leading scientists in the field to discuss their latest ideas and findings. This international meeting is the first major stem cell conference to take place in Ireland, and will look at all aspects of adult stem cells, from basic biology to manufacturing to clinical trials and therapeutics. Scientists at NUI Galway are investigating how adult stems cells might be used to develop new treatments for vascular disease, osteoarthritis and lung injury. The University has become a leading centre of translational research in adult stem cells involving its National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) and Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI). NUI Galway also collaborates with other Irish research institutes, including UCC and NUI Maynooth, who will participate in the event. There will also be significant participation from multinational and Irish companies working in the stem cell field.  Adult Stem Cells Stem cells can divide to produce more stem cells (self-renewal) or can change into many different specialized cell types.  There are two main types, embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. Adult stem cells are found in many of our tissues, where they act as the body’s own repair mechanism. They can be easily isolated from tissues such as bone marrow and fat. The focus on adult stem cells at the conference relates to the fact that these cells are at the forefront of the global translational effort in stem cell therapy and also reflects the area of particular expertise of researchers at NUI Galway.  “Work in the field of adult stem cell therapy has advanced rapidly because they are relatively easy to isolate and grow in the laboratory and because there is increasing evidence to suggest that they will represent an effective and safe treatment for a number of diseases”, explains Frank Barry who is Professor of Cellular Therapy at NUI Galway, Director of the NCBES and a principle investigator at REMEDI. Professor Barry adds: “However, stem cell therapy is complex and controversial and sometimes exaggerated claims are made. This gathering of research experts and industry leaders in Galway will focus on the realities of adult stem cell research, what is possible now and what is likely in the future.” Conference Programme The conference will cover five strands including Therapy, Immunology, Manufacturing, Gene Therapy, and Biology. Speakers include: Professor Anthony Hollander, University of Bristol, was one of a team of scientists and surgeons who successfully created and then transplanted the first tissue-engineered trachea (windpipe), using a patient’s own stem cells. The bioengineered trachea immediately provided the patient with a normally functioning airway, thereby saving her life. Professor Arnold Caplan, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio is one of the leaders in the field and the founder of Osiris Therapeutics, a global leader in of adult stem cell therapy. Professor Catherine Verfaillie, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, looks at stem cell based and stem cell derived therapies in models of hematopoietic, cardiovascular, liver and metabolic (diabetes) disorders. Professor Robert Deans works with Athersys Inc., a company developing cell therapeutics based on stem cells isolated from adult bone marrow. Professor Cosimo De Bari, fromUniversity of Aberdeen in Scotland, has expertise is in translational stem cell research for musculoskeletal repair, regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. Dr Luc Sensebé of University of Brest in France coordinates EU projects dedicated to the development of quality production processes for MSCs and their uses for clinical trials. Dr Elena Jones of Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine in the UK, has developed novel ideas on large-scale extraction of MSCs from soft tissues including synovium and joint fat.  Professor Barry concluded: “Given the presence of significant research programmes in MSC biology, immunology, manufacturing and transplantation in Ireland the staging of this conference in 2012 is timely and important. The event will enhance the profile of regenerative medicine research and give Irish scientists an opportunity to interact with leading scientists and industry leaders.” The conference is supported by Orbsen Therapeutics, Science Foundation Ireland, NUI Galway and Fáilte Ireland. -ends-

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Summer Conferring Ceremony at NUI Galway

Summer Conferring Ceremony at NUI Galway-image

Thursday, 21 June 2012

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 was 81 Honours Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and Bachelor of Obstetrics (MB, BCh, BAO) students. Also graduating were 46 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 Jim 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 Ph.D 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 on Friday, 29 June. -Ends-   Searmanas Bronnta an tSamhraidh in OÉ Gaillimh Bronnadh cáilíocht ar bhreis agus 200 mac léinn as Coláiste an Leighis, an Altranais & na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte, Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice, Coláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí, agus an Dlí, Coláiste na hEolaíochta, agus Coláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta, agus an Léinn Cheiltigh inniu (Déardaoin, 21 Meitheamh). Ar an ngrúpa is mó díobh bronnadh Baitsiléir Onóracha sa Leigheas, Baitsiléir Onóracha sa Mháinliacht agus Baitsiléir i Liacht Bhan (MB, BCh, BAO) ar 81 mac léinn. Bronnadh céim PhD ar 46 mac léinn as na disciplíní éagsúla freisin.   Bhí mic léinn idirnáisiúnta i láthair ag an searmanas chomh maith, mic léinn ón Mhalaeisia agus ón gCuáit ina measc. Bronnadh idir Dhioplómaí, Céimeanna, Máistreachtaí agus PhDanna ar na mic léinn sin agus ar na mic léinn Éireannacha. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne le linn an tsearmanais: “Thar ceann OÉ Gaillimh, tréaslaím le gach duine agaibh. Ábhar misnigh dúinn ar fad is ea go bhfuil an oiread sin céimeanna taighde agus iarchéimeanna á mbronnadh againn inniu. Tá níos mó agus níos mó céimeanna á mbronnadh againn bliain i ndiaidh bliana agus go deimhin tá a dhá oiread céimeanna PhD á mbronnadh againn anois le hais mar a bhí ag tús an chéid." Dúirt an tUachtarán leis na céimithe gur cheart dóibh aghaidh a thabhairt ar na blianta amach rompu le teann dóchais: “Ná cuireadh cúrsaí geilleagair an lae lagmhisneach oraibh. Tá an cumas ag gach duine agaibh dul i bhfeidhm ar an tsochaí ar shlí éigin. Níl teorainn ar bith leis na deiseanna atá agaibhse an cineál saoil is mian libh a chruthú daoibh féin agus lántairbhe a bhaint as na deiseanna a thiocfaidh in bhur dtreo sna blianta amach romhainn.” Beidh an chéad searmanas bronnta eile ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh Dé hAoine, an 24 Meitheamh, tráth a ndéanfar na Céimeanna Oinigh a bhronnadh.     -Críoch-

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Soros Foundation Announce Major Support for the Summer School Cinema, Human Rights and Advocacy at NUI Galway

Soros Foundation Announce Major Support for the Summer School Cinema, Human Rights and Advocacy at NUI Galway-image

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Open Society Foundations, part of the Soros Foundation, has announced new support for the annual Summer School in Cinema, Human Rights and Advocacy. The Summer School will take place at the Huston School of Film and Digital Media at NUI Galway from 6-13 July 2012. Following its successful development over the last six years, the Summer School in Cinema, Human Rights and Advocacy will receive support as part of the Open Society Media Program and Youth Initiative. The Summer School’s unique and successful programme was originally launched in 2006 in Venice in co-operation with the Venice International Film Festival. In 2010, supported by the Galway University Foundation, the Summer School moved to NUI Galway’s Huston School of Film and Digital Media and the Irish Centre for Human Rights, in co-operation with the Galway Film Fleadh. The programme continues to attract young talented filmmakers and professionals from across the world to engage in an intense week’s training course where ideas and projects are shared, developed and challenged by fellow participants and internationally acclaimed experts in film, television, photography and human rights. The Summer School is working with human rights film festivals in Jordan and Ethiopia and with film schools in Belgium and Burkina Faso. “The new support will enable us to extend the reach and activities of the Summer School and enable us to offer a number of scholarships. The focus on issues of human rights encourages filmmakers and activists to share concerns for the health and prosperity of the global community and the global environment” said Rod Stoneman, Director of the Huston School of Film and Digital Media at NUI Galway. For more information please visit or call 091 495076. -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Engineering Building Wins Major Architectural Award

NUI Galway Engineering Building Wins Major Architectural Award-image

Thursday, 21 June 2012

The new Engineering Building at NUI Galway, designed by Taylor Architects/RMJM, has been voted Ireland’s favourite new building: it was the Public Choice in this year’s RIAI Irish Architecture Awards 2012, which are announced later today at the RIAI annual awards ceremony. The Public Choice Award is set up to raise awareness of architecture in Ireland. Since the shortlist of 34 projects was announced two weeks ago, the RIAI has received over 12,500 votes, over 40 % of which went to the NUI Galway Engineering Building. Situated on the north campus, beside the Quincentennial Bridge, the immense glass, steel and zinc structure was officially opened in July 2011 by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny. The 14,250m2 building is now home to 1,100 students and 110 staff. The building supports an emerging generation of engineers, embracing innovation and entrepreneurship, and reflects a new wave of technologies through the array of ecological building methods embodied in its design and construction. The building has been designed to be an interactive teaching tool and operates as a ‘living laboratory’. Viewing panels have been created so that the students can literally peer into the foundations. Sections of the steel embedded in the cement walls for reinforcement can be seen. Also on show is an array of ‘green’ building methods which will help inform students about a raft of modern sustainable technologies. Live data from numerous sensors measures the behaviour of the structure and its energy consumption, and is used as a teaching tool for structural engineering and building performance concepts. Pipes and ducting in corridors and rooms have been left exposed and labelled. Speaking about the award, NUI Galway’s Vice-President for Capital Projects, Keith Warnock, said: “We are delighted to receive the news that the Engineering Building is Ireland’s favourite new building. The design of this world-class teaching and research facility reflects the role of engineering in Ireland’s future. The building fulfils multiple roles, providing facilities for research and development, educating future generations and reinforcing the relationship between Galway City and the University. The ‘Public Vote’ award adds to the growing appreciation of the physical infrastructure at NUI Galway and reaffirms our confidence in the programme of campus development we are undertaking.” The award also adds to the accolades for this innovative building, which was awarded the Sustainability Award at the 30th Irish Concrete Society Awards, recognising excellence in both design and construction in concrete. -ENDS-

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Final Prep Underway for NUI Galway Entry in 2012 Round Ireland Yacht Race

Final Prep Underway for NUI Galway Entry in 2012 Round Ireland Yacht Race-image

Thursday, 21 June 2012

The countdown has begun for this year’s Round Ireland Yacht Race where NUI Galway is supporting the first ever university-backed entry into the 1400km race. Ten NUI Galway students and graduates will be on the start line in Wicklow this Sunday, 24 June. The race is a non-stop circumnavigation of Ireland by sea and will take anything from anything from four to six days. The NUI Galway crew is one of the youngest teams to ever compete in the event. Sailing together in the NUI Galway sailing club over the past few years has built up the trust and camaraderie which they will rely on during the race. The team have loaned a 38-ft racing yacht for the race. The past few months have been very busy for the NUI Galway crew says skipper Cathal Clarke: “We have been following a tough training plan, attending safety courses and getting professional coaching. We recently competed in our first offshore race as a crew across the Irish Sea from Wales to Wicklow and were very happy with a second place result. The aims of this campaign are high, with a lot of experienced sailors on board; we will certainly be looking for good results.” Pat Morgan, Vice-President for the Student Experience at NUI Galway, said: “The determination and drive of this crew is to be admired, especially given that they are one of the youngest crews to participate in the race. They have worked very hard and displayed incredible determination and dedication over recent months in their preparation for the race. The University actively promotes leadership and team building skills and is delighted to support this crew to further develop these attributes as they compete in the Round Ireland Race. We wish them every success.” 37 boats have entered this prestigious race from Ireland, the UK and Europe. Entries include previous race winners Tonnerre de Breskens 3 and Volvo Ocean Race entrant Green Dragon. Cillian McGovern, project manager of Green Dragon commented: "The camaraderie and team work displayed by this young NUI Galway team is to be admired. What an opportunity to freshen up the sailing circuit in Ireland!” The NUI Galway team is very proud to be supported by Dubarry, Lifes2good, SF Engineering, Celtic Linen, Meteogroup Offshore, Cadbury's, Michael Durkan (Mayo Sailing Club), Rory Casey (Mayo Sailing Club), Galway Bay Sailing Club and the West of Ireland Offshore Racing Association. The Round Ireland Race begins on Sunday, 24 June 2012 in Wicklow town. The NUI Galway crew’s progress can be followed on the live race tracker online at ENDS

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Simulation in Irish Medical Education Seminar at NUI Galway

Simulation in Irish Medical Education Seminar at NUI Galway-image

Friday, 22 June 2012

The first national seminar on medical simulation, entitled Simulation in Irish medical Education: Where are we and Where Should we be Going?, will take place at NUI Galway on Monday, 2 July. Simulators are radically changing the way that medical professionals are being trained. Simulation provides a method for building expertise in clinical and non-clinical skills, for example team-working and communication, in a safe environment. The purpose of the seminar is to provide an overview of medical simulation in Ireland in order to make better use of the assets that are available, allow people who are experienced in the use of simulators to share their knowledge; and discuss how simulators can be most effectively used to improve medical education, patient safety and quality of care. Delegates will hear from speakers from the two main Irish medical simulator centres, ASSET Centre, University College Cork and St James’ Hospital Dublin, and the Australian Centre for Health Innovation in Melbourne. Presenters from the airline industry and specific medical specialties will discuss how simulation is used, how to evaluate the performance of trainees, and the challenges with setting up a simulation training programme. Delegates will also participate in hand-on demonstrations of the latest high-tech simulators by the ASSET centre and Cardiac Services. Dr Paul O’Connor, Senior Research Fellow with the Institute for Business, Social Sciences, and Public Policy at NUI Galway, said: “The use of medical simulators to train healthcare professionals is becoming increasingly common. Simulators provide a safe environment for healthcare professionals to build expertise in both clinical and nontechnical skills such as team-working and communication. The purpose of the seminar is to get Irish medical educators together to share knowledge and expertise in simulation and learn from national and international experts.” The seminar is sponsored by the Irish Network of Medical Educators (INMED) and the Institute for Business, Social Sciences, and Public Policy at NUI Galway. For further details contact Dr Paul O’Connor at 091 492897 or -ENDS-

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NUI Galway PhD Student Receives Award at International Conference in Egypt

NUI Galway PhD Student Receives Award at International Conference in Egypt-image

Friday, 22 June 2012

Declan Gavigan, a PhD student from NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics and the Ryan Institute, recently received the Top Young Engineers’ Award. A native of Ardara, Co. Donegal, Declan was awarded the prize for a paper he presented on ‘Strength and durability performance of stabilised soil block masonry units’ at the International Association of Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE) Conference. This conference attracted 120 delegates from around 30 countries and included sessions on Sustainable Development and Structural Engineering; Structural Engineering and Renewable Energy Sources; Smart Structures, New Materials and Construction Techniques. Dr Jamie Goggins, Chartered Engineer and Principle Investigator for this research project at NUI Galway, said: “I would like to congratulate Declan on winning this prestigious international award that recognises his significant contribution as a young research engineer to sustainable development and structural engineering. Declan’s paper on ‘Strength and durability performance of stabilised soil block masonry units’ is an important document in the research into stabilised soil blocks or SSBs as they are commonly known. Although there is ample literature on the application of SSBs in tropical countries, their potential use in a European climate has not been fully investigated. Declan is part of an NUI Galway Sustainability and the Built Environment research group, which is currently investigating the feasibility and suitability of SSBs for use in a European context through extensive testing in terms of durability, strength and appearance.” Stabilised soil blocks are cost-effective masonry blocks formed by compressing a suitable mixture of soil, cement and water into a mould. These masonry units have a low impact on the environment, as their main component, the soil, is often sourced directly from the site of construction. SSBs are extensively used in the construction of both structural and non-structural elements in many developing countries. SSBs have less negative impact on the environment than alternative masonry technologies, such as clay fired bricks or concrete masonry blocks. The most commonly-used stabiliser used in the manufacture of SSBs is Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC), which is their most expensive and energy-intensive ingredient. Replacing OPC with alternative waste materials and by‐products is a cost‐effective process, and their use in SSBs can benefit the environment, especially where disposal to landfill is the alternative. The ability of blocks to resist prevailing rain, wetting and drying cycles, freezing and thawing cycles, and chemical attack are critical if there are to be applicable in a European climate. The extensive laboratory studies carried out as part of this research projects indicate that SSBs have adequate durability for typical use in the construction of buildings in Europe. In addition, the research has shown that SSBs containing waste materials and by-products as cement replacements can have adequate, and sometime superior performance to specimens containing OPC only as a stabiliser. On the other hand, utilising waste products in the manufacture of the blocks such as pulverised fuel ash (pfa) from peat-fired power plants have been shown to reduce the performance of SSBs. As an output from this research project, the development of a comprehensive code of practice and design guidelines on the manufacturing and use of SSBs is envisaged to aid the future commercial development of SSBs. This research project is associated with the priority thematic area ‘Sustainability and the Built Environment’ of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway. -ENDS-

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Success for NUI Galway Students in the Ireland Fund Business Plan Competition

Success for NUI Galway Students in the Ireland Fund Business Plan Competition-image

Friday, 22 June 2012

Four NUI Galway PhD students Paul Lohan, Ana Cimpian, Sean Gaynard and Fiona Griffin, reached the final of the Ireland Fund Business Plan competition held at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Tuesday, 19 June, 2012. Their innovative medical device business proposition, created as part of their participation in the BioInnovate Ireland programme, secured the team joint third place. BioInnovate Ireland is a specialist training and collaboration programme in medical device innovation. It is modelled on Stanford University’s prestigious Biodesign Programme. This competition seeks out the best business ideas from nine Universities across Ireland. The team of four who worked on this project since last November are first-year PhD students in the Structured PhD Programme in Biomedical Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (BMERM). For the competition, 19 teams were shortlisted for the semi-finals, from a large pool of applicants, from which four teams were selected for the final based on their business plan sales pitch to the judging panel. Professor Peter McHugh, Director of BMERM at NUI Galway, commented: “This is a fantastic achievement for the students, the BioInnovate and BMERM programmes and the University. It really shows the synergy that can be achieved between programmes to deliver a ‘best in class’ graduate and further demonstrates NUI Galway’s leadership position in the medical technology area.” Dr Mark Bruzzi BioInnovate Ireland Programme Director added that the interaction between the postgraduate multi-disciplinary teams and the BioInnovate Ireland Fellows, Academics, Clinicians and Industry Experts has produced a class of students who will have a significant long-term impact on the graduate medical technology market place in Ireland. The BioInnovate Ireland programme offers a unique medical device innovation training opportunity. It has achieved unparalleled access to Ireland’s leading academic researchers, clinicians, and industry experts, while the activity is underpinned by world-class facilities available through the support network.  BMERM is an inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional structured PhD programme, led by NUI Galway, that is funded under the Programme for Research in Third-Level Institutions (PRTLI) Cycle 5 and co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). -ends-

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