NUI Galway School of Medicine Team Win Jack Flanagan Medal

NUI Galway School of Medicine Team Win Jack Flanagan Medal-image

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

The Dublin Ageing Research Network (DARN) sponsored 2011 Jack Flanagan Intervarsity Competition took place on Wednesday, 6 April 2011 in Dublin. The event was won by the NUI Galway School of Medicine team which included Larissa Higgins, Tara McDonnell, Tara Tarmey and Teresa O'Dowd. The winners were awarded the Jack Flanagan Medal in Gerontology and a cash bursary. The competition, named after Dr Jack Flanagan, Ireland's first doctor to specialise in modern day geriatric medicine, originated as an intervarsity competition between the penultimate year students of Dublin medical schools and has in recent years expanded to include Galway and Cork medical schools. The event focuses on student teams from each of the medical schools being challenged on their knowledge of medicine and psychiatric programmes and how they interrelate with an ageing population. The competition takes the form of a clinical-pathological review where competitors are given a case to analyse and must formulate a care plan and diagnosis for the patient. Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, commended the students on their performance at the event and looks forward to hosting the Jack Flanagan Medal at NUI Galway in 2012. -Ends-

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Bronnadh seic €5,000 ar Choiste Tuismitheoirí Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin

Bronnadh seic €5,000 ar Choiste Tuismitheoirí Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin-image

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Bhronn mic léinn Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, An Cheathrú Rua seic €5,000 ar Choiste Tuismitheoirí Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin ar an Déardaoin, 14 Aibreán 2011. Bailíodh an t-airgead seo i rith Sheachtain na Mac Léinn (14-17 Márta 2011) san Acadamh ar an gCeathrú Rua. Tá feachtas bailiúchán airgid ar bun faoi láthair ag Coiste na dTuismitheoirí agus cabhróidh an t-airgead le háiseanna spóirt a fheabhsú agus a fhorbairt sa scoil. Bhí mic léinn agus foireann an Acadaimh le feiceáil thart timpeall na Ceathrún Rua le linn Sheachtain na Mac Léinn ag bailiú airgid, go háirithe ar an Máirt, 15 Márta mar a rinne siad brú leapa ó TG4 anoir go dtí An Cheathrú Rua. I measc na n-imeachtaí a bhí eagraithe bhí clár beo Iris Aniar ar RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Brú Leapa ó TG4 go dtí An Cheathrú Rua, Oíche Scóladh na Scoláirí, buíon ceoil sna tithe tabhairne, Lá Spóirt, Comórtas Scoraíochta srl. D'eagraigh An Cumann Sóisialta na himeachtaí ar fad agus is iontach an scéal é go bhfuil €5,000 bailithe acu i bhfianaise a laghad airgid atá le caitheamh ag daoine. Ba seo an cúigú Seachtain na Mac Léinn ar an gCeathrú Rua. Cuireann mic léinn agus foireann an Acadaimh an-bhéim ar charanachtaí agus le cúig bliana anuas, tá suas le €25,000 bailithe ag muintir an Acadaimh do charanachtaí áitiúla. "Táimid thar a bheith buíoch díobh siúd ar fad a thug tacaíocht dúinn", a dúirt Oifigeach na Mac Léinn, Louise Ní Dháibhéid. "Tá airgead gann ar dhaoine faoi láthair ach níor loic muintir na háite agus táimid an-sásta leis an méid a bailíodh i bhfianaise na géarchéime eacnamaíochta". Tá breis is 100 mac léinn i mbun staidéir ar chúrsaí lánaimseartha san Acadamh ar an gCeathrú Rua faoi láthair agus a bhformhór mór ag cur fúthu sa cheantar. Is í seo an t-aon institiúid oideachais sa tír atá lonnaithe faoin tuath agus fágann sin go bhfuil dlúthbhaint ag na mic léinn leis an bpobal áitiúil. -Críoch-

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Adult Education Open Evening at NUI Galway

Adult Education Open Evening at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

An information evening on Adult and Continuing Education courses available from NUI Galway takes place in the Orbsen Building on campus, on Thursday, 5 May from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Over 30 part-time courses will be showcased at the event. NUI Galway's Adult and Continuing Education part-time programmes are available from foundation level studies through to Masters level. All are available in a modular, flexible format and can be taken through traditional classroom mode or via distance learning for students who are unable to attend the campus on a weekly basis. Nuala McGuinn, Adult Education Development Officer at NUI Galway says, "There has never been a better time for prospective students to refocus their careers. A number of our new programmes including the one-year specialist diploma programmes in Medical Device Science, Environmental Sustainability and Lean & Quality Systems are directly focused on employment and the emerging skill needs of Irish industry." For those interested in pursuing a Degree award in a Science and Technology area, the blended learning Diploma/BSc in Science and Technology Studies is available on a modular basis allowing students to select modules in accordance with family and work commitments. Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Process and Product Improvement are the focal points of the Masters in Technology Management and its related Diplomas in Innovation Management and Technology Commercialisation. "These are offered in conjunction with UL and UCC under the auspices of the Atlantic University Alliance (AUA)", explains Nuala McGuinn, Adult Education Development Officer. One of the newer courses on offer this year is the BA in Early Childhood Studies & Practice which focuses on the training needs of childcare practitioners while the popular BA in Training & Education has been available over a number of years and provides vocational trainers, HR specialists and those in the community/voluntary sector with the knowledge and skills required for today's training professionals. For students who wish to pursue a shorter term award, Diplomas are available in Gemmology, French, Italian, Spanish, Psychology of Counselling, Irish, General Studies and many more. All Diplomas are two-years in duration with classes taking place on campus or at outreach centres one evening per week. Conscious of the many financial pressures placed on students today, NUI Galway facilitates payment on a semester by semester basis. In addition, the University has re-launched its Fees Scholarship initiative which allows a 50 per cent reduction in fees for people who have recently become unemployed and wish to study certain modules or specific programmes which address the future skills of the 'smart economy'. Further details of this scheme can be provided by individual course co-ordinators. Applications for all programmes are accepted from April. For further details on the information evening or on any of the Adult and Continuing Education programmes contact 091 492062 or adulteducation@nuigalway.ie. Full details on all courses are available at www.nuigalway.ie/adulteducation. -Ends-

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New Príomhfheidhmeannach of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge Appointed

New Príomhfheidhmeannach of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge Appointed -image

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Leascheannaire (Deputy Head) Raidió na Gaeltachta Dónall Ó Braonáin has been appointed Príomhfheidhmeannach (Chief Executive) of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge at NUI Galway. Dónall Ó Braonáin has won graduate scholarships in both Irish and Latin at University College Dublin. Following an MA in Irish and postgraduate training in Linguistics, Philology and Palaeography, he lectured in the Department of Modern Irish in UCD for several years and worked on academic publishing projects in the Royal Irish Academy (Dictionary of Irish Biography, Foclóir na Nua-Ghaeilge). He joined RTÉ as a journalist in 1999 and reported extensively from the Tribunals of Inquiry, the Courts and local, European and general elections while working as a reporter and sub-editor with Nuacht RTÉ and TG4 and as a producer with Raidió na Gaeltachta. A former presenter of Nuachtiris on RTÉ Radio 1, he contributes regularly to the Scottish Gaelic service BBC Radio nan Gàidheal. He has commentated on major events such as the election of Pope Benedict XVI and the state funerals of Charles Haughey and Patrick Hillery. He is a former chair of the Dublin Broadcasting Branch of the National Union of Journalists and a former secretary to the ICTU/RTÉ Group of Unions. Appointed Leascheannaire of Raidió na Gaeltachta in 2006, he was responsible for Editorial Operations, Financial and Human Resource Management, Regional Development and the Broadcast Archive at the station headquarters in Casla, Co. Galway. Dónall is particularly experienced in directing organisational change and performance management programmes and has a strong interest in regional development. Welcoming Mr Ó Braonáin's appointment, NUI Galway President Dr. James J. Browne said "the appointment of Dónall Ó Braonáin as Príomhfheidhmeannach of an tAcadamh is an excellent one. I look forward to working with him in promoting third level education through Irish on campus, in the Gaeltacht centres, among the Irish community and the Diaspora." -Ends-

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Leinster scoops Debating Science Issues All-Ireland Finals

Leinster scoops Debating Science Issues All-Ireland Finals-image

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

St. Vincent's Secondary School, Dundalk, Co. Louth were declared the All-Ireland winners of Debating Science Issues (DSI) 2011. The grand final, which took place at the Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin on April 14, was the result of a field of 56 schools narrowing to just four. The confident team from Dundalk persuaded Professor Tom Sherry, Dean of Science at NUI Galway, Dr Amy Sanders, Wellcome Trust Special Projects Manager, and Professor Orla Shiels Lecturer in Pathology and Medical Jurisprudence, that "animal testing is necessary for the advancement of disease treatment". Colaiste an Phiarsaigh of Glanmire Co. Cork were the Runners up at the Final. Ulster was represented by St. Catherine's Vocational School, Killybegs, Co. Donegal and Connacht by St. Joseph's College Garbally, Co. Galway. Debating Science Issues is a cross border schools science debating competition supported by a Wellcome Trust People Award for four consecutive years and involves eight collaborating partners: the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway, W5 in Belfast, Biomedical Diagnostics Institute at DCU, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, CRANN at TCD, CLARITY at UCD, and Tyndall National Institute and Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre both at UCC. The competition encourages young people to engage in debate on the cultural, societal and ethical implications of advances in biomedical science. Schools taking part initially receive a three hour biomedical, bioethical workshop to facilitate discussion on the ethical issues raised by stem cell research, genetically modified food, nanotechnology, health and self-testing kits or flu vaccinations. School students research further in preparation for the debate motion related to the initial workshop. From there, the debate motions circulate so that students debate on an array of controversial topical issues. Boston Scientific and NUI Galway's College of Science sponsored the provincial trophies and prizes. Other judges at the DSI grand final included Professor Tim O' Brien, Director of REMEDI; Danielle Barron, Editor of the Irish Medical News; Dr Diarmuid O'Brien, Editor of the Irish Medical News; Professor Gerry McKenna, Executive Director of CRANN, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ulster; Dr Louise Mylotte, Lecturer in Biology at St. Angela's College, Sligo; and Dr Marion Boland Scientific Programme Manager at Science Foundation Ireland. REMEDI's Outreach Officer and competition co-ordinator, Danielle Nicholson, said: "Debating Science Issues tackles many of the prevailing big scientific, philosophical dilemmas. Students discussed the methods of science and utilitarianism and debated the moral status of the embryo; I was impressed." Connacht team mentor and teacher Fr. Iomar Daniels from Garbally College said of the initiative, "DSI has shown the students the importance and relevance of science and how it permeates the entire fabric of our society." -Ends-

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Call for Action to Improve Safe Disposal of Unwanted Medicines in Ireland

Call for Action to Improve Safe Disposal of Unwanted Medicines in Ireland-image

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

A new study undertaken by the Centre for Health from Environment at NUI Galway's Ryan Institute, finds most unwanted or leftover prescription medicines are disposed of incorrectly. Disposal of medicines by flushing down sinks and toilets, or including in general household waste, is a common occurrence and may result in environmental contamination. The research was conducted by 2nd year medical students at NUI Galway, Sarah Cormican and Michelle Furey. Out of 207 people surveyed for the Public Awareness Regarding the Safe Disposal of Unwanted Medicines in Galway City study, most had leftover medicines in their home but only one third regularly returned them to a pharmacy. Over half of respondents reported disposing of unwanted medicines along with general household waste, by flushing down toilets and sinks, or by burning. The study was undertaken in the context of international reports which show that many people do not know that unwanted medicines should not be by thrown into household waste or flushed down toilets or sinks. This is because the drugs can eventually end up in rivers and ground water and may contaminate drinking water supply. "We know that drugs are designed to have biological effects at low concentrations and therefore it makes no sense to take the risk of disposing of them in this way," explained Professor Martin Cormican, Director of the Centre for Health from Environment at NUI Galway. He added, "The levels of drugs in the environment are probably too low to have acute toxic effects, but the potential health and environmental impacts of long-term exposure to low levels of many different drugs is very difficult to assess." The study concluded that when respondents were given advice by a health-care professional, over half would be more likely to dispose of medicines correctly. In Ireland there is an additional problem because there is no ongoing national system for the safe disposal of unwanted medicines. Many retail pharmacies will take back unwanted medicines, but they do this on a goodwill basis and at a considerable cost to them. The HSE have in the past organised 'dump campaigns' for unwanted medicines but these are not a regular event. Professor Martin Cormican added, "The project highlights the need to put in place a national system for safe disposal of unwanted medicines similar to the battery recycling scheme. There is also a need for action to let people know about the need for safe disposal." -Ends-

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Brain Imaging Techniques Topic of NUI Galway Meeting

Brain Imaging Techniques Topic of NUI Galway Meeting-image

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

NUI Galway will host an international meeting entitled Combining Human Brain Imaging Techniques, at the end of April. International experts will review the latest advances in brain imaging techniques and the challenges and opportunities that lie in combining these techniques. The workshop, taking place from Friday, 29 April until Sunday, 1 May, will bring together a number of leading basic and clinical scientists to discuss the latest advances in combined imaging techniques. It will do so in an effort to further advance knowledge in the field and establish networks of excellence that further our knowledge in the future. Brain imaging techniques allow researchers and clinicians to view activity or problems within the human brain, without invasive neurosurgery. There are a number of accepted, safe imaging techniques in use today in research facilities and hospitals throughout the world. Each of these brain imaging techniques have their own unique strengths and weaknesses, and there may be potential benefits and difficulties in combining these techniques to achieve a fuller analysis of brain functioning. Dr Michael Hogan, School of Psychology at NUI Galway said, "Researchers and clinicians who seek to combine various different brain imaging techniques are faced with a number of challenges. These include interference between measurement systems, integration of measurement outputs, and integration of theoretical foundations to support measurement integration, to name a few. Nevertheless, rapid advances are being made at the levels of theory, measurement, and computational analysis systems that are furthering our understanding of brain functions in states of health and disease. There is great scope for the development of novel brain imaging techniques and technologies and my hope is that NUI Galway will lead the way by establishing strong links across discipline areas within the University and new networks of excellence both nationally and internationally." The meeting is organised by Dr Michael Hogan, NUI Galway, in collaboration with Joshua Balsters, Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, Dublin; Jacinta O Shea, Oxford University; and Steven Jackson, Nottingham University. It is supported by the European Science Foundation (ESF) and the Health Research Board (HRB). Academics, post-doctoral and postgraduate researchers in basic and clinical neuroscience are encouraged to attend. Registration is free and bursaries are available for students and junior scientists. To register and obtain further information, visit www.erni-hsf.eu. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Students Fighting Fit for Entrepreneurship

NUI Galway Students Fighting Fit for Entrepreneurship-image

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

A two-day 'Entrepreneurship Boot Camp' was held recently at NUI Galway, to widen and deepen the enterprise know-how and employability of students. The boot camp presented a challenging and dynamic experience with games, activities, lectures, competitions and mentoring by academic staff, industry practitioners, knowledge experts and representatives from state agencies. Over 25 students, from all disciplines, were encouraged to fully participate in the boot camp experience by leaving inhibitions at the door and engaging in the process with an open mind. Student Paul Curley described the boot camp as "a completely fresh and life changing experience". In very personal and tangible ways, the boot camp immersed students in the skills, attitude and insights needed to link their entrepreneurial ideas to a commercially viable end. The event was organised by the Student Enterprise Exchange Network (SEEN) which is NUI Galway's student run and focused enterprise support service. Paddy Melia, from the SEEN team describes the event: "One of the outcomes was to realise that in the rubble of this recession lies opportunity. Our most talented young people on campus came forward to get booted into shape and take up the enterprise call. The boot camp brought three important ingredients for opportunity together. Motivated students, industry experts and funding representatives. The resulting outcome was something very special. The participants not only enhanced their entrepreneurial and life skills but also made an impression and took advantage by networking with on and off campus movers and shakers." Seamus Bree, Regional Director, Businesses and Enterprise Ireland commented on his experience at the boot camp, "The energy and commitment on the NUI Galway Entrepreneurship boot camp demonstrated that Ireland s best days lie ahead of us not behind us!" SEEN is part of the SIF ACE project and is supported by NUI Galway's Technology Transfer Office. -Ends-

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Strategic Research Agreement into Road Safety Technology announced at NUI Galway

Strategic Research Agreement into Road Safety Technology announced at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

The Connaught Automotive Research (CAR) Group at NUI Galway has announced a strategic research agreement with Valeo Vision Systems, one of the world's leading manufacturers of automotive vision systems. The CAR Group at NUI Galway researches topics related to automotive vision systems to help improve road safety by allowing drivers to see blind spots around vehicles. The ultimate aim of such research is to develop intelligent cars that have a greater 'awareness' of their environment and a greater ability to avoid crashes, for example.  Valeo has a presence in 27 countries, with its Irish operations based in Tuam, Co. Galway, where it recently announced a significant increase in its Research and Development activities. Its partnership with NUI Galway is already making an impact according to Peter Reilly, R&D Director at Valeo Vision Systems: "Having access to a world class research group such as CAR means that we have a pool of new technology, ideas and potential employees right on our doorstep. We already have a number of NUI postgraduates who have been involved with the CAR Group working at our R&D offices in Tuam and they are really making an impact on our engineering capabilities." Under the directorship of Dr Martin Glavin and Dr Edward Jones, the CAR Group is based in the discipline of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway. It comprises of a team of researchers who work in close collaboration with industry on the development of the image processing systems. Dr Glavin commented: "Having a market leader as a research partner provides the CAR Group with a breadth and depth of knowledge of the requirements of industry that we might not otherwise be able to access. We have a fantastic working relationship with Valeo Vision Systems and they have been extremely supportive of our work at NUI Galway over the years. Our researchers gain invaluable experience by learning about the industry first-hand from people who work in that market every day." Dr Jones added: "Our research with Valeo allows us to exploit our expertise in signal processing and related technologies in a very relevant way. Furthermore, the fact that our Masters and PhD-level graduates are already being employed in significant numbers by companies like Valeo is a tangible example of the value of investment in University research, and with Valeo's recent announcement of 100 new jobs, we see a growing demand for highly qualified graduates". Over the years, the CAR Group at NUI Galway has received funding from Enterprise Ireland, IRCSET and directly from industry. Dr Neil Ferguson, Acting Director of the NUI Galway Technology Transfer Office, says the partnership with Valeo Vision Systems is very much alingned to the University's core mission of supporting regional developoment. He states: "Valeo is an excellent example of a knowledge-intensive company who are successfully competing in a very competitive market. We hope to contribute to this success through the provision of experienced PhD graduates and innovative technologies." -Ends-

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International Award for NUI Galway Graduate Student

International Award for NUI Galway Graduate Student-image

Monday, 11 April 2011

NUI Galway research student, David Byrne was recently awarded second place for his poster presentation at the Institute of Structural Engineers Young Researchers Conference held at the Institute's headquarters in London. The conference, now in its 13th year, provides a platform for research students to present their work and exchange ideas with their peers and industry leaders. David, a PhD student from Wicklow town, was presented with the award for his poster, entitled The analysis of shear transfer in void formed flat slabs, including in-situ measurements from a building. David's entry was shortlisted from over 60 abstracts submitted from PhD students throughout the UK and Ireland, and was judged by a panel of selected members from the Institution. "This is a great achievement for an NUI Galway graduate student at the early stages of his research", said Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway. "This award confirms that our standards of engineering education and research in NUI Galway are at the very top in international standings. We are very proud of David." David's project relates to shear and load transfer in void form flat slab systems. These are an innovative and novel form of flat slab system, which allow a reduction in self-weight of the concrete and savings in construction materials. Central to his project is the instrumentation of the new Engineering Building at NUI Galway and its development as a teaching tool. The Engineering Building at NUI Galway is one of the largest engineering schools in the country at 14,000m2 and opens in September 2011. It will consolidate education and research activities in the various engineering disciplines. Among many innovative and notable features, it is among the first buildings in Ireland to employ the use of void form flat slab systems. One of the slab bays within the new Engineering Building has been instrumented with over 160 gauges across fifteen different sections. Sensors have been installed both in the concrete and on the steel reinforcement bars to monitor the geometric and material properties of the slab system during construction and throughout the building's lifetime. They are providing valuable data as to how the slab system behaves in-situ and responds to different loadings. David's research strategy will combine numerical simulation using finite element models and field measurements. The finite element models of the instrumented slab system will be validated by comparison and continual updating of data obtained from measurements on site. The principal investigator for this project is Dr Jamie Goggins, School of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, and was co-supervised by NUI Galway's Eamonn Cannon. The research project is co-funded by the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) and Arup Consulting Engineers under an Enterprise Partnership Scheme. It forms part of an initiative to develop the new Engineering Building at NUI Galway as a 'living laboratory' for engineering, where live data sets from numerous types of sensors will be used to illustrate structural engineering and building performance concepts in undergraduate teaching and in the development of full-scale research in structural engineering and energy. -Ends-

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