NUI Galway Students and Lecturer Win Prestigious National Award

NUI Galway Students and Lecturer Win Prestigious National Award-image

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Six students from NUI Galway's newest degree programme, Energy Systems Engineering, have scooped first and second prize in the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport Ireland Student Idea of the Year Awards. The winners were announced at a special ceremony in Dublin and presented by the Minister for Education and Science, Batt O'Keeffe T.D.. The awards are presented to the originators of the most innovative ideas which could make the most significant contribution to some aspect of the transport industry in Ireland. NUI Galway also scooped the inaugural 'Lecturer of the Year' Award which was presented to Mary Dempsey of NUI Galway. The award recognises the work of a lecturer who aims to promote innovation and creativity in the areas of Logistics, Transport and Commerce. Mary Dempsey, College of Engineering and Informatics, NUI Galway said: "The students' abilities to innovate are reflected in the attainment of these prestigious awards. I acknowledge the hard work, dedication and commitment that each student has made and their success reflects favourably on the new B.E. in Energy Systems Engineering". NUI Galway students Kane O'Shea from Cratloe, Co. Clare, John Mitchell from Blarney, Co. Cork, and Eoin Leonard from Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, were announced as the overall winners. Their innovative project was 'Electronic warnings on dangerous bends'. The runner-up prize was awarded to NUI Galway students Joseph Martyn from Kilrush, Co. Clare, Richie Walsh from Tramore, Co. Waterford, and Edward Tynan from Longford Town, for their project entitled 'Inter-vehicle communication system'. Professor Gerard Lyons, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: "We are delighted that our students have featured so prominently in this year's Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport Awards. As an island nation, the transport sector has a huge impact on Ireland's economic performance. These awards clearly demonstrate that university-based innovation can directly contribute to improved efficiency and safety standards for road freight hauliers. These awards also highlight the importance of industry/university collaboration for the successful development of Ireland as a 'Smart Economy'". The students are all part of the first cohort to undertake the B.E. in Energy Systems Engineering at NUI Galway, a multidisciplinary degree programme integrating energy sources, energy conversion and energy utilisation. All aspects of energy are covered in the programme, including renewable energy, power generation, buildings, transportation, information technology, smart grids and power systems. -ends-

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Exoplanets Focus of NUI Galway's Astronomy Lecture

Exoplanets Focus of NUI Galway's Astronomy Lecture-image

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

The next in a series of public talks organised by NUI Galway's Centre of Astronomy will focus on exoplanets. The free event takes place at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 24 February, in the McMunn Lecture Theatre, Arts & Science Building, NUI Galway. The lecture, which will be presented by NUI Galway's Leon Harding, will concentrate on exploring and observing exoplanets, which are planets outside our solar system. Since their initial discovery in 1995, the population of detected exoplanets, or extrasolar planets as they are also known, has increased significantly, with over 400 such planets being discovered to date. Initially, the majority of discoveries were giant planets, sometimes hundreds of times the size of Earth, but in recent years smaller exoplanets have been discovered. Speaking about the lecture, NUI Galway's Leon Harding, said: "Astronomical observations from the surface of the Earth will never be as precise as space based observations and it is via space telescopes that we hope to find true Earth-like planets that can sustain life. With the launch of the Kepler and CoRoT space telescopes in the last decade, which are dedicated to exoplanetary detection and research, astronomers expect to see a large number of discoveries in the coming years. A new telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to be launched in June 2014, will expand the frontiers of discoveries beyond what is possible today". More details of all the talks can be found on http://astro.nuigalway.ie/outreach.php. -Ends-

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€7.5million funding for new Clinical Research Facility

€7.5million funding for new Clinical Research Facility-image

Friday, 12 February 2010

NUI Galway's Professor Larry Egan, Interim Director of the Health Research Board (HRB) Clinical Research Facility, Galway today (February 12th 2010) welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Health & Children Mary Harney TD that €7.5m in capital funding is being provided for the construction of a new Clinical Research Facility on the grounds of University Hospital Galway. The HRB Clinical Research Facility Galway is a joint venture between Galway University Hospitals and NUI Galway. The facility is supported by funding from the Health Research Board and has been operating since March of 2008. The purpose of the Clinical Research Facility (CRF) is to improve human health through the generation of new medical knowledge from patient based research. The guiding philosophy of the CRF is to stimulate, engage and support health care professionals from diverse areas of expertise to undertake high quality clinical research. Commenting Professor Egan said, "The benefits of this facility include the ability to provide access to cutting-edge clinical trials and access to novel therapies for patients in the West of Ireland. Clinical care provided in a research-intensive environment has been proven internationally to result in the best patient outcomes. With the development of the Clinical Research Facility in Galway, our ability to provide this level of service to our patients will be significantly enhanced. As a result, patient care will improve, and the ability of our hospital to attract and retain the very best medical and allied health staff would be improved. Moreover, the capabilities for investigation at this facility will provide an important and highly valuable opportunity for Irish companies operating in the biomedical research area such as pharmaceuticals and biomedical device companies to add value to their products through high quality clinical research". Professor Timothy O Brien, Consultant Endocrinologist at GUH, Professor of Medicine at NUI Galway and Director of the SFI-funded CSET Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) thanked the HRB for support for this initiative. "The Galway CRF will form part of an Irish Network of Clinical Research Facilities which will allow Irish patients access to state of the art clinical research. The Galway facility will also serve as the translational arm of REMEDI and will allow findings from basic research in stem cells, gene therapy, biomaterials and immunology to be brought to the clinic. The facility will have space specially designed for clinical research in regenerative medicine. It will also have important advantages for the progression of research and development in the Medical Device Industry which is so important to the economy of the West of Ireland". Mr. Pat Commins Acting General Manager Galway University Hospitals added, "The development of this Clinical Research Facility on the grounds of the Hospital is a very significant milestone which will allow staff to contribute to shaping advances in health care science, and to bring the benefits of those advances to patients at the earliest opportunity. The establishment of the CRF will further enhance our academic links with NUI Galway in line with our hospital strategy". The CRF will be built along with translational research laboratories funded by NUI Galway in a new, approximately 5000m² building on the campus of University Hospital Galway. This joint clinical and translational research facility will comprise state of the art facilities for patient-based research and for the processing and analysis of bio-specimens such as blood samples from those patients. Planning permission has been received and it is expected construction of the facility will begin shortly. Ends

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NUI Galway Connects Medical Education and the Arts

NUI Galway Connects Medical Education and the Arts-image

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

An innovative programme connecting medical education and the arts has been launched by NUI Galway. The new Medicine in the Arts Programme is the first of its kind in Irish Universities, and has been introduced into the undergraduate curriculum of the University's School of Medicine. The launch featured a flagship lecture by Dr Jane Edwards, Director of the MA in Music Therapy in the University of Limerick, entitled 'History of Music in Medicine; including its use in hospitals 1980-1940'.The initiative is available to current First Year medical students, introducing a semester-long syllabus of structured engagement with literature, performance and visual arts. The programme will highlight the therapeutic clinical benefits for patients which the Arts can provide and focus on the personal development of students as future medical practitioners. Medicine and the Arts will consist of a series of events incorporating music, mime, and dance, which are offered in the wider Arts in Action programme provided to all students at NUI Galway. There will also be a rich range of bespoke events which focus on the Arts in therapeutic clinical settings for the particular needs of the medical student. Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of the Medical School at NUI Galway, said: "This is a valuable and important innovation which will benefit our students greatly. It will give them an appreciation of the richness which the Arts can bring to them as future doctors, to their patients and within the healthcare system generally. While this will undoubtedly be a very enjoyable experience for students, it also has a clear focus on student learning and self-development". -Ends-

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Official Opening of EPA-funded NUI Galway Water Research Facility

Official Opening of EPA-funded NUI Galway Water Research Facility-image

Monday, 8 February 2010

The new NUI Galway Water Research Facility at Tuam, Co. Galway was officially opened today by Michael Finneran, Minister for Housing & Local Services and TD for Roscommon-South Leitrim. Core funding to establish the facility was provided by the EPA through its STRIVE Research Programme, and by NUI Galway. Located on the site of Tuam Waste Water Treatment Plant the facility is a full-scale test-bed for novel waste water and water treatment technologies. There are already a range of NUI Galway research projects on new green technologies underway at the Water Research Facility. EPA Director, Laura Burke said: "With a rising population and increasing requirements for improved water quality, there is a real need to develop and optimise waste water treatment systems, especially for villages and small towns. I expect that this facility will play a strong role in developing new indigenous solutions to protect the environment and deliver economic growth." In order to minimise the environmental impact of sewage discharges, effective systems are required to treat waste water and ensure clean and safe waters. By using influent taken from Tuam town waste water, the facility provides researchers and manufacturers with opportunities to evaluate novel technologies under realistic conditions. Effluent from the research facility is returned to the main Tuam WWTP ensuring there is no risk to the environment from the development work. Operating at a scale equivalent to a village with a population of 400, this system offers high performance at low operating costs. It is estimated that this new technology will allow the plant to operate at approximately 25% of typical running costs for a conventional activated sludge plant of similar size. Speaking at the opening of the facility, Minister Finneran said: "Work funded through the EPA STRIVE Research programme is continuing to deliver new and innovative responses to environmental problems, while also making a significant contribution to the development of Ireland's Smart Economy. The Tuam Water Research Facility is an excellent example of this, employing solutions generated by Irish researchers to deliver high performance results at low operating costs. As work progresses at the facility, it will also contribute towards implementation of the Water Framework Directive in Ireland." Commenting on the work carried out to date, Professor Terry Smith, Vice-President of Research at NUI Galway, noted: "The Tuam Water Research Facility provides a world-class facility for carrying out collaborative cutting-edge research for research institutions and industry on full-scale, smart green technologies that purify water and wastewater. The Water Research Facility has great potential to give Irish companies an innovative advantage in increasing its share of the international environmental technologies market, worth €227 billion per year in the EU alone." Jim Cullen, Director of Service, Environment & Water Services Unit at Galway County Council explained: "This plant demonstrates the value of co-operation between researchers and government bodies working in the same area. By working closely with local researchers, Galway County Council is pleased to have supported the establishment of this impressive facility, which we expect to deliver working solutions that will assist us in meeting our water treatment needs." Whilst core funding was provided by the EPA and NUI Galway, additional critical support came from Galway County Council, who provided the site and carried out civil engineering works. A range of industrial partners, including the main contractors Response Group Ltd, also contributed resources and equipment. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Re-Energises City with a Free Family Event

NUI Galway Re-Energises City with a Free Family Event-image

Monday, 8 February 2010

Two eight foot tall, talking and dancing semi-animatronic Polar Bears will visit the Re-Energising Galway Family Day, organised by NUI Galway, on Saturday, 13 February. The campaigning bears are coming to Galway to highlight the importance of saving energy and cutting emissions, as part of the 10:10 national carbon reduction campaign tour to help cut Ireland's carbon footprint. The Re-Energising Galway Family Day will take place between 11am and 5pm in the Galway City Museum and all are welcome to attend this free event. At the event visitors will have a chance to explore the engineering behind renewable energy technologies, with different stands, each exploring sustainable energy from a different perspective, set up throughout the museum. Highlights of the event will include building model wind and wave turbines, playing Guzzler's Energy Challenge, and viewing demonstration models for renewable energy devices. Re-Energising Galway Family Day is organised by the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) and the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at NUI Galway with support from Junior Achievement, GMIT, and Sustainable Energy Ireland. The Family Day is part of national Engineers Week, from 8-13 February, which aims to showcase the diversity of engineering and to celebrate the role of engineers in Ireland. Speaking about the event, Dr Colin Brown, Director of the ECI at NUI Galway, said: "It will be a fun, free, family-friendly day out and will provide insight to the new era of low-carbon energy in Ireland – key knowledge for the next generation of Irish engineers". Re-Energising Galway Family Day is a free event that does not require tickets or advanced booking. For further information contact Lindsay Cody, Communications Officer, NCBES, NUI Galway at 091 495701 or email lindsay.cody@nuigalway.ie. For further information on events taking place during Engineers Week visit www.engineersweek.ie -Ends-

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NUI Galway Celebrate the Arts with the 10th Múscailt Festival

NUI Galway Celebrate the Arts with the 10th Múscailt Festival-image

Monday, 8 February 2010

Múscailt, NUI Galway's week-long Spring Arts Festival, opened today (Monday, 8 February) and will run until Friday, 12 February. Now celebrating its 10th year, Múscailt will transform the campus with its vast programme of music, theatre, art exhibitions, film and live performances. Múscailt, which is organised by the NUI Galway Arts and Theatre Office, will feature emerging artists and entertainers performing through the medium of Irish and English. Highlights of the Festival will include Galway University Musical Society's own version of the musical, The WIZ, and a Gaeilge night of rap and comedy in An Cheathrú Rua. Music will feature strongly during the Festival with a variety of performances from classical music from pianist James Lisney to traditional from the University's Traditional Irish Music Society. A selection of new performing art shows and visual art exhibitions will also be on offer throughout the week. Also featuring at the Festival will be Kathleen O'Rourke, writer and voice of Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty, which has been nominated for an Oscar in the Best Animated Short Film category. Speaking about the Festival, Fionnuala Gallagher, Arts Officer, NUI Galway, said: "The Arts Office is proud to have identified young artists who are breaking the mould in Ireland. Múscailt promises huge fun this year. Bubba Shakespeare and GMC will be charming the audience into thinking and feeling in Irish; Kathleen O Rourke will be making them laugh, as Gaeilge; and chameleon-like comedian John Colleary is like 20 comics rolled into one. Even Aideen Barry, visual artist, celebrates her obsessive-compulsive order in a humorous way". All events are open to the public and almost all are free, with the exception of the James Lisney piano recitals in the Aula Maxima (tel: 091 705962 / info@musicforgalway.ie) and The WIZ at the Black Box (tel: 091 569777 / www.tht.ie). For further details about the festival please visit www.muscailt.nuigalway.ie, or telephone the NUI Galway Arts and Theatre Office at 091 493766 for a brochure. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Opens New Nursing and Midwifery Library

NUI Galway Opens New Nursing and Midwifery Library-image

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

NUI Galway's President, Dr James J. Browne, today opened the University's new Nursing and Midwifery Library (Wednesday, 3 February). The new library, which adjoins the James Hardiman Library on the main campus, has been open for business since July 2009. It provides a modern learning environment for over 700 nursing and midwifery students with group study rooms, computer suites, laptop-enabled study spaces, and wireless access to the University's networked services. The need for a new, purpose-built library was driven by changes in nursing education and the increase in student numbers, which resulted in greater pressure on space as well as a need for new types of learning resources. The new library has over 100 study places, and has been heavily used and much appreciated by students and staff since it opened. Over 700 Nursing and Midwifery students now have access to the full resources of the University Library, including a wide range of information sources and extensive opening hours, in a central location on campus. Previously, NUI Galway's Nursing Library was located on the site of the former Nurses' Home at University College Hospital and it relocated temporarily to the IDA Business Park in Dangan in 2004. Dr Browne noted: "The new Nursing and Midwifery Library represents a modern learning centre which provides access to all of the information, online and in print, needed to deliver high quality graduates". The Nursing and Midwifery Library was developed at a total cost of €2 million. Of this total, a sum of €1 million was provided by the Department of Health and Children. The balance has been provided from the University's own resources. The Nursing and Midwifery Library was designed by award-winning architects, Scott Tallon Walker, and the project was led by Mr Paul Mannion who is based at their Galway office. This 650square metre building, which was completed within a twelve month period, was built by Michael McNamara & Company. ENDS

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NUI Galway 'Interview with Michael D. Higgins' in Aid of COPE Galway

NUI Galway 'Interview with Michael D. Higgins' in Aid of COPE Galway-image

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

The NUI Galway Alumni Group will present Michael D. Higgins T.D., Labour Party President and Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and NUI Galway graduate, in conversation with Harry McGee of The Irish Times. The event will take place on Friday, 12 February at 7.30pm in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway, in aid of COPE Galway. The interview will give NUI Galway graduates and friends access to the life, passions, interests, and writings of Michael D. Higgins. Guests will enjoy recitals of his poetry chosen especially for this occasion. Among his many distinctions, Michael D. Higgins was honoured in 2003 by his alma mater with the NUI Galway AIB Award for Literature Communication and the Arts. In 2006 he was appointed Adjunct Professor to the University's Irish Centre for Human Rights. He was also the inaugural winner of the McBride Peace Prize awarded by International Peace Bureau in Helsinki in 1991. The interview is open to all and entry is €10, with all proceeds to go to COPE Galway. COPE Galway provides services to the most isolated in the community including a refuge for women and children affected by domestic violence, accommodation for those experiencing homelessness and sustenance and social supports for older people at home. Booking for this event is essential, contact Justin or Bríd in COPE Galway on (091) 778750, or email fundraising@copegalway.ie. Early booking is advised. This is first event of the year for the NUI Galway Alumni Club following a highly successful calendar of events in 2009. For information on future events visit: www.nuigalway.ie/alumni/upcomingevents.html -ends-

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NUI Galway Hosts 'The Faces of Corporate Responsibility, Ireland' Exhibition

NUI Galway Hosts 'The Faces of Corporate Responsibility, Ireland' Exhibition-image

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

NUI Galway, in partnership with Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI), has announced that the BITCI's Portrait Exhibition, entitled 'The Face of Corporate Responsibility, Ireland' will go on display at the University. The free photography exhibition will be open daily to the public, from 9-14 February, in the Orbsen Building at NUI Galway. The exhibition will be officially opened by the President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, and the Chief Executive of BITCI, Tina Roche on Tuesday, 9 February, at 2pm. The opening will also feature short talks by representatives from two of BITCI's local member companies, IBM and Boots. Each speaker will highlight the importance of corporate responsibility from their own perspectives, giving an interesting insight into the perception of socially responsible business practice from each sector. BITCI is a national non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting corporate responsibility in Ireland. A business driven network, with major social initiatives, membership is drawn from Ireland s most progressive companies. Corporate responsibility is about companies continually improving the impact they have on society, specifically in the community, environment, marketplace and workplace. The photo exhibition showcases employees from some of Ireland's largest companies who epitomise corporate responsibility in their day to day roles. The exhibition consists of unique portraits taken by photographer Kevin Fox in the studios of the National Gallery of Photography. Each portrait is accompanied by a caption explaining the reasons why this particular employee was nominated to take part in the exhibition. NUI Galway, through the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI), is committed to corporate responsibility whereby civic engagement opportunities are embedded into mainstream teaching and research activities. According to the Project Coordinator of CKI, Lorraine McIlrath: "To date over 25 degree programmes offer students a service learning experience whereby they use their knowledge to enhance the capacity of community. In addition, over 700 students volunteer every year in local, national and international communities through the NUI Galway ALIVE Student Volunteering Programme". Lorraine McIlrath added: "Through these activities NUI Galway strides to create civic minded graduates and professionals that will continue their commitment to community and society. The BITCI's exhibition further demonstrates the potential for students to maintain their civic engagement endeavours throughout their working lives". Speaking about the partnership on the exhibition with NUI Galway, Tina Roche, CEO for Business in the Community, Ireland said: "BITCI wants to show university graduates that a responsible attitude towards society and the environment can continue well after they have graduated. The exhibition, therefore, portrays to students and the community alike that extraordinary contributions to society can be made and are being made by thousands of employees nationwide". -ends-

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