CEO of Concern to Lead Discussion Forum at NUI Galway

CEO of Concern to Lead Discussion Forum at NUI Galway-image

Friday, 1 February 2008

Tom Arnold, CEO of Concern Worldwide and Lyndall Stein, Director of Concern UK, will lead a discussion forum at NUI Galway's Huston School of Film & Digital Media on Friday, 8 February at 6.30pm. Entitled 'Influencing Social Change', this free, public event is aimed at local charities, campaigners, activists and others who wish to influence positive social change. The event will also be of interest to current and prospective students of NUI Galway's MA/Postgraduate Diploma in Public Advocacy and Activism. Tom Arnold will discuss how Concern links its work in some 30 of the world's poorest countries to advocacy for policy change at national and international level. Lyndall Stein will discuss the role of emotions and images and their power to affect social change, drawing on her expertise and experience as Director of Concern UK. A questions and answers session will follow. Rod Stoneman, Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media which runs the MA/Postgraduate Diploma in Public Advocacy and Activism, said, "If you are currently involved in or wish to become involved in charity work, public advocacy or campaigning, this workshop promises to be a great educational, networking and social event. This is an excellent opportunity to gain feedback and advice and compare experiences with two internationally renowned charity figures. Between them, they bring a wealth of experience in humanitarian and development work, agricultural policy, advocacy and fundraising." Spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. For more information and to register email derval.mccormack@nuigalway.ie or call 091 495076 -ends-

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March 2008

NUI Galway Offers Seed Funding to Support Student Volunteering

NUI Galway Offers Seed Funding to Support Student Volunteering-image

Friday, 28 March 2008

NUI Galway students interested in starting community projects will soon be able to bid for seed funding to develop their ideas. Details of the new 'Civic Engagement Fund' will be released at the fifth annual ALIVE Certificate for Volunteering ceremony on Thursday, 10 April. At the ceremony, up to 500 students will receive the ALIVE Certificate for Volunteering, recognising their time spent volunteering this academic year. Through NUI Galway's ALIVE programme, students have volunteered with organisations including Ability West, the Gaf Youth Café, Amnesty International, Childline, Galway Simon Community, Enable Ireland and Down Syndrome Ireland. "The annual presentation of the ALIVE Certificate for Volunteering is an important opportunity to recognise students for their volunteering, and to encourage their sense of civic responsibility," said Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator for the ALIVE programme at NUI Galway. She continued, "This year we are launching the Civic Engagement Fund, which has huge potential. Our community partners and students have so many innovative ideas that simply require some seed funding to turn them into concrete projects. It might mean money to hire a venue for a fundraiser or to print posters as part of a social awareness campaign. Ultimately, the real value of the fund will be in supporting students' enthusiasm for community involvement." Katie Stack, fourth-year Occupational Therapy student at NUI Galway volunteered to befriend a person with an intellectual disability for Ability West. According to Katie, "Volunteering puts all the college work in perspective, it is important to know there is more to life. There is an impact for the service user but also for the volunteers, we love it." Over the academic year the ALIVE programme has supported over 1300 students interested in volunteering and the year now culminates with students applying for an ALIVE Certificate for Volunteering. Professor Jim Ward, Deputy-President and Registrar of NUI Galway, and Galway City Mayor Tom Costello, are expected to attend the ceremony, as well as community members, students and NUI Galway support personnel. The event takes place in the Aula Maxima, Quadrangle Building, NUI Galway, at 1pm on Thursday, 10 April. -ends-

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NUI Galway Professor Elected President of Royal Irish Academy

NUI Galway Professor Elected President of Royal Irish Academy-image

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

NUI Galway's Vice-President for Research, Professor Nicholas Canny, has been elected the 53rd President of the Royal Irish Academy. The Royal Irish Academy was founded by royal charter in 1785 as Ireland's academy for the sciences and the humanities. Not since the 4th Earl of Rosse was elected in 1896 has the Royal Irish Academy elected a President based outside of Dublin. At NUI Galway, Professor Canny is also a Professor of History and Director of the University's Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies. Commenting on the appointment, NUI Galway President, Professor Jim Browne, said, "The election of Professor Canny is a great personal honour and brings great lustre and prestige to the Moore Institute, to the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies and to NUI Galway. I have no doubt but that he will be an excellent leader of the Academy in these important times for research and scholarship in Ireland". On his election, Professor Canny said, "The decision by the Members of the Academy to look outside Dublin for a President represents a fresh determination of the Academy to assert itself as a body committed to preserving the cultural and environmental heritage of all parts of the island of Ireland". Professor Canny added that he was elected, "To continue the outstanding work of his predecessor, Professor Jim Slevin, in upholding academic excellence in all fields, in advocating the promotion of a better research environment in Ireland, and in seeing that the Royal Irish Academy meets its obligations towards its own research projects, and identifies and negotiates funding for new undertakings in science as well as in the humanities and social sciences". Professor Canny was educated at University College Galway (now NUI Galway), the University of London and the University of Pennsylvania, and is a leading authority on early modern history. His many books and articles have dealt with developments in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and include The Oxford History of the British Empire Vol. 1: The Origins of Empire (1998) and Making Ireland British, 1580-1650 (2001). He was awarded the Irish Historical Research Prize for published work in 1976 and 2003. His current academic commitment is to Atlantic History in general and more particularly to comparing French with English writing on the Natural History of the Atlantic World from 1550 to 1720. Internationally well known as a scholar, Nicholas Canny is the only Irish person to share with Séamus Heaney the distinction of being both a Fellow of the British Academy and a Member of the American Philosophical Society. Professor Canny is not the first Galway scholar to be elected President of the Royal Irish Academy. That distinction goes to Cloughballymore scientist, Richard Kirwan (1733-1812) who was elected President in 1799. Kirwan, who lived in Cregg Castle, is renowned for his study of meteorology and in particular for producing a chart showing the temperature of every latitude between the Equator and the Poles. -ends-

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Minister Hanafin Announces Investment of over €6m for NUI Galway

Minister Hanafin Announces Investment of over €6m for NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

NUI Galway has welcomed today's announcement by Minister for Education and Science, Mary Hanafin, T.D., regarding an allocation of €6,147,900 to enhance research facilities at the University. The funding has been specifically allocated to improve research space and facilities in Biomedical Science and Engineering which is one of the University's designated research priority areas. Improvement in the research space and working conditions in this area of NUI Galway's research portfolio will enhance research training and support efforts to increase the number of PhD students in an area which is not only important to the University but to the region and the country. Welcoming the funding boost, Professor Nicholas Canny, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway, said, "Researchers from the several academic disciplines associated with Biomedical Science and Engineering have succeeded beyond all expectations in raising research funding from an extraordinarily wide range of sources. This enhancement to their research space is no more than they deserve and will enable their research to attain new heights in the months and years ahead". The allocation is part of a €58m scheme being managed by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) on behalf of the Department of Education and Science, for the refurbishment of research facilities at third-level institutions. The level of funding allocated to each of 20 institutions was based on applications received and assessed by a panel representing the Department and the HEA. Announcing the funding for the successful bidding institutions, Minister Hanafin said, "Continued strong investment in research infrastructure sends a very important message that Ireland is serious about research. Attracting first class researchers and delivering world-class research in a globally competitive environment is paramount. The training of future researchers will ultimately bring economic and social benefits nationally". A recent HEA/Forfás Research Infrastructure Review had identified shortfalls in research infrastructure. "This funding will assist in addressing these shortfalls and enhance the capabilities of the institutions," said Minister Hanafin. -ends-

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Infectious Disease Under the Microscope at NUI Galway Conference

Infectious Disease Under the Microscope at NUI Galway Conference-image

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

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

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Shanghai Field Trip for NUI Galway Geography Students

Shanghai Field Trip for NUI Galway Geography Students-image

Friday, 14 March 2008

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

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NUI Galway Entrepreneurs Involved in National Collaboration

NUI Galway Entrepreneurs Involved in National Collaboration-image

Friday, 14 March 2008

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

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Business Strategy Expert Speaks at NUI Galway

Business Strategy Expert Speaks at NUI Galway-image

Thursday, 13 March 2008

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

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NUI Galway launches new Degree in Sports & Exercise Engineering

NUI Galway launches new Degree in Sports & Exercise Engineering-image

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

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

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Road Safety Campaign Rolls Out at NUI Galway

Road Safety Campaign Rolls Out at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 10 March 2008

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

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