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Living Scenes - Celebrating Ten Years of Intergenerational Learning
Wednesday, 20 May 2009
A groundbreaking educational programme, which brings teenagers and retirees together in the classroom, celebrated 10 years of success last night. Originating from NUI Galway's Adult and Continuing Education Office, 'Living Scenes' is an intergenerational programme of learning involving Transition Year students and local retired adults. It is the pioneering programme of its kind in Ireland and Europe, possibly even worldwide. Through weekly art, music, drama and creative writing workshops, Living Scenes allows teenagers and older adults to learn together, share experiences and build bonds of mutual respect and understanding. A strong emphasis is placed on the holistic development of the participants, promoting equality, personal development and confidence building in both the younger and older adults. The innovative programme was first piloted in Galway City's Presentation Secondary School in 1999, and quickly became established in as part of its Transition Year. Living Scenes has since developed and expanded through partnerships between NUI Galway and five further secondary schools: Calasanctius College, Oranmore, Co. Galway; Millstreet Community School, Millstreet, Co. Cork; St Flannan's College, Ennis, Co. Clare; St Joseph's Secondary School, Charlestown, Co. Mayo; and St Joseph's Secondary School, Tulla, Co. Clare. A major entertainment production was staged in the Ardilaun Hotel last night involving all of the current participants in Living Scenes, representing the six schools. Clíona Ní Néill, Principal of Presentation Secondary School, Galway, praised the programme: "Living Scenes is a highly valued project in Presentation Secondary School. It has taught young people to value an older generation, and conversely it has given the older generation a new and positive lens to understand and enjoy teenagers. Students have benefited hugely in the areas of personal development, communication and confidence building skills. It has enriched our students understanding of life, given them a broader perspective, and it has created a sense of community in the school. We are delighted as a staff and as a school to be associated and involved with NUI Galway in this programme". In the course of its ten year history, the programme has been instrumental in cultivating a strong relationship between the University and schools, older and younger adults, and has a key objective of promoting the school as a focal point for community regeneration. NUI Galway's Dr Mary Surlis is the Living Scenes Programme Director, and the has been involved since its inception: "At a time when there is a serious erosion of social fabric evident in Irish society, Living Scenes aims to respond to the growing need for communication and trust in both the school and in the local community. What we are trying to do is to regenerate relationships both in schools and communities and, perhaps more importantly, between our older and our younger generations". Extensive research has been carried out by Dr Surlis on Living Scenes to evaluate the project in a developmental curricular capacity and to identify its contribution in an overall educational context. Dr Surlis says: "The findings of this research have implications for policy makers, as well as school and community groups interested in initiating change in a curricular and social context". President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne: "NUI Galway is committed to a strong ethos of civic engagement. We develop this by fostering a sense of social responsibility and citizenship amongst students and by working to share the knowledge resources of the University with the wider community. The Living Scenes programme of intergenerational learning is the embodiment of that ethos – reaching from the University into the heart of the community to work with schools and with older people. As President, I am proud of the unique and pioneering work which NUI Galway has led, through Living Scenes, in building social cohesion in Ireland". -ends-
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New Research to Look at Young Carers in Ireland
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
A nation-wide research study into young carers in Ireland has begun at NUI Galway's Child and Family Research Centre. The research will look at the impact that providing care to a family member has upon a young person's life and will explore ways of better supporting these young carers. The study has been commissioned by the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. NUI Galway researchers involved in the study are trying to identify children and young people, aged 5-17, who provide care to a family member in the home, perhaps due to disability or illness. The research team has already begun to interview young carers about their experiences and hope to identify more who would be willing to take part in the study. All information will be treated confidentially according to strict ethical guidelines and interviews should take no more than an hour to complete at a venue to suit the young person. According to Dr Allyn Fives, a member of the research team at NUI Galway: "We don't have accurate data on just how many young people care for a member of their family. While the most recent census tells us that approximately 3,000 young people between the ages of 15 and 17 are carers, it does not give a figure for the many young people below that age group. Also, very little is known about their day to day experiences, or the kinds of help and assistance that would benefit them. This is partly because not many studies have focused on the experiences of young carers in Ireland, and also because there is a wide variety of caring situations and experiences". Dr Fives added: "Young carers are asked to do different kinds of tasks and they have different levels of responsibility. Their caring has different impacts on other parts of their lives, including school work, sports and other recreational activities, and their friendships and family life. These young people contribute so much to their families that we hope this research will show us how they themselves can be supported in their vital role". Those interested in getting in touch with researchers at the NUI Galway Child and Family Research Centre can call Dr Fives on 091 495732 or email email@example.com -ends-
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The Making of Galway Bay – A Tale of Earthquakes, Tsunami, Great Storms and Clim
Monday, 18 May 2009
To celebrate the arrival of the Volvo Ocean Race in Galway a free public talk entitled 'The Making of Galway Bay' will be held at 6pm on Monday, 25 May, in the Cairnes Lecture Theatre, Arts/Science Concourse, NUI Galway. Delivering the lecture will be Professor Mike Williams, Head of Earth and Ocean Sciences at NUI Galway, who has spent many years researching the natural history of Galway Bay and the Aran Islands. According to Professor Williams, "The talk will be a tale of earthquakes, tsunami, great storms and climate change that have, over thousands of years, shaped Galway Bay into what it is today. While Galway Bay has been romanticised in song, natural forces have been far from loving. In 1755, the Lisbon earthquake triggered a tsunami which swept up the Bay, damaging the Spanish Arch and drowning many citizens. Our brave city, perched on the Atlantic coast, also took the brunt of the one of the biggest storms Europe has ever known in 1839. It was referred to at the time, in understated fashion, as 'the night of the big wind'. Much of the Professor's work centres on identifying the sedimentary fingerprints of tsunami and extreme storm waves along Ireland's cliff faces. He comments: "Ridges preserved on the cliffs of the Aran Islands and Co. Clare are up to 50 metres above sea level, and offer a perfect natural laboratory in which to study the natural history of Galway Bay". Professor Williams has published papers on wave, climate, and coastal erosion. During his talk he will outline some recent discoveries on the history of Galway Bay, which stretches back over 15,000 years. As the talk is being held on Africa Day of the Volvo Ocean Race, it is also supporting Zikomo Ireland, a Galway-based African charity group. -ends-
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NUI Galway to Mark 'Say No to Ageism Week'
Monday, 18 May 2009
The Irish Centre for Social Gerontology (ICSG) is organising two free public events to mark 'Say No to Ageism Week', 18-22 May. The ICSG is Ireland's first multi-disciplinary research centre dedicated to the study of the economic and social aspects of ageing in Ireland. Ageism is a set of attitudes and practices that are based on stereotyped, usually negative, assumptions about older people. For example, older people may be assumed to be inflexible in their attitudes, uninterested in their work, physically and/or mentally incapable, unattractive or sexually inactive simply because of their age. These attitudes may be held by key individuals such as employers, managers and service-providers. They may simply be practices that develop over time as opposed to being a deliberate attempt to discriminate. Professor Eamon O'Shea, Director of the ICSG at NUI Galway, says: "Ageism makes no sense economically, culturally or socially. Let's challenge and defeat it so that all citizens can reach their economic and social potential no matter what their age". In terms of employment practices, ageism can mean that older people are not seen as serious contenders for promotion, leading to age discrimination. The idea that people are 'too old to be promoted' at 50, 45 or even 40 is prevalent in some large organisations. Áine Ní Léime is a researcher with the ICSG at NUI Galway, and comments: "There is increasing evidence that ageism exists in Irish society. Ageism was the most common ground for complaint to the Equality Authority, under the Employment Equality Acts, in 2007. The events planned for "Say No to Ageism Week" are designed to highlight awareness of and discussion about attitudes to older people in Ireland, with a view to ultimately helping to combat ageism in Irish society". On Tuesday, 19 May, a seminar in NUI Galway's Moore Institute at 1pm entitled 'An Age-friendly Society in a time of Recession' will feature Niall Crowley, former CEO of the Equality Authority. All are welcome to come along. In the same venue, on 21 May at 11am, a three-hour AgeWise workshop run by trainers from Age & Opportunity will take place. This participatory workshop aims to provide information on older people and ageing in Ireland and to challenge myths and stereotypes. The workshop will enable participants to understand the personal, cultural and structural effects of ageism. It will also serve to identify instances of discrimination against older people and help devise strategies to counter discrimination in their workplace or community. The workshop is organised by the ICSG and the Equality Office at NUI Galway, to register for this free event, please contact NUI Galway's Brenda Fallon by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org -ends-
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Highest Honour for NUI Galway Academic Admitted to the Royal Irish Academy
Monday, 18 May 2009
(Leagan Gaeilge) Today (15 May 2009), Dr Nollaig Ó Muraíle of NUI Galway, will be admitted as a Member of the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) in a special ceremony in Dublin. Election to the Royal Irish Academy is the highest honour available to a scholar working on the island of Ireland. Nollaig Ó Muraíle is Senior Lecturer in the School of Irish at NUI Galway. He has made a unique contribution to the study of Irish genealogies through his edition and translation of Leabhar Mór na nGenealach or "The Great Book of Irish Genealogies", which has been described as one of the most unique contributions to Irish history ever. Professor Nicholas Canny, President of the Royal Irish Academy, said: "The Academy s new members are amongst a small group of academics in Ireland that set the international hallmark of excellence in their fields of study". Professor Canny is former Vice President for Research at NUI Galway (2005-2008). Dr Noel Dorr was also admitted as a Member of the RIA today. Dr Dorr is Chair of the NUI Galway Governing Authority and former Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs (1987-1995). He received an honorary doctorate from NUI Galway in 2001. Interestingly, both Dr Ó Muraíle and Dr Dorr are former pupils of St Nathy's College, Co Roscommon. The criterion for election to membership is a significant contribution to scholarly or scientific research as shown in the candidate's published academic work. Membership of the Academy, which is by peer nomination and election, is limited to those scientists and scholars normally resident in Ireland. About the Royal Irish Academy The Royal Irish Academy is an all-Ireland, independent, academic body that promotes study and excellence in the sciences, humanities and social sciences. It is the principal learned society in Ireland. For 224 years membership of the Royal Irish Academy has been keenly competed for, as it is the highest academic honour in Ireland and a public recognition of academic achievement. There are now over 420 Members of the Academy, in disciplines from the sciences, humanities and social sciences. Those elected are entitled to use the designation MRIA after their name. Among the membership of the Academy are many of Ireland s leading scholars, the best known of whom include: Professor Seamus Heaney, Nobel Laureate; Professor Patrick Cunningham, geneticist and the government s Chief Scientific Adviser; Professor Frances Ruane, economist; Dr Garret FitzGerald, economist and former Taoiseach; and Dr Peter Harbison, archaeologist. The Academy has also more than 60 distinguished Honorary Members, who in the past have included J.W. Von Goethe, Maria Edgeworth, Albert Einstein and Max Born. Today the Honorary Members include Nobel Laureates, Murray Gell-Mann, Steven Weinberg and Sir Andrew Huxley. Further information can be found on www.ria.ie Comhalta Foirne OÉ Gaillimh ina Bhall Nua d'Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann (View in English) Inniu (15 Bealtaine 2009) ag searmanas speisialta i mBaile Átha Cliath glacfar leis an Dr Nollaig Ó Muraíle ó OÉ Gaillimh mar Bhall d'Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann (RIA). Is é seo an onóir acadúil is mó is féidir a bhronnadh ar scoláire atá i mbun oibre ar oileán na hÉireann. Tá Nollaig Ó Muraíle ag obair mar Léachtóir Sinsearach i Scoil na Gaeilge in OÉ Gaillimh. Chuir saothar an Dr Ó Muraíle Leabhar Mór na nGenealach go mór lenár dtuiscint ar ghinealas na hÉireann agus go deimhin deirtear go bhfuil an leabhar áirithe seo ar cheann de na saothair is tábhachtaí a foilsíodh riamh i stair na hÉireann. Ba é an Dr Ó Muraíle a chuir an saothar in eagar agus a rinne an t-aistriúchán. Dúirt an tOllamh Nicholas Canny, Uachtarán Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann: "Áirítear baill nua an Acadaimh i measc grúpa beag acadóirí atá ag obair in Éirinn, daoine a bhfuil ag éirí leo saothar ar ardchaighdeán a sholáthar ina réimsí léinn féin". Bhí an tOllamh Canny ag obair mar Leas-Uachtarán um Thaighde in OÉ Gaillimh idir 2005-2008. Glacadh leis an Dr Noel Dorr mar bhall d'Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann inniu freisin. Is é an Dr Dorr Cathaoirleach Údarás na hOllscoile in OÉ Gaillimh agus chaith sé na blianta idir 1987-1995 ag obair mar Ard-Rúnaí sa Roinn Gnóthaí Eachtracha. Bhronn OÉ Gaillimh dochtúireacht oinigh air in 2001. Spéisiúil go leor, is iarscoláirí de chuid Choláiste Nathaí i gCo. Ros Comáin an Dr Ó Muraíle agus an Dr Dorr. Roghnaítear baill d'Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann bunaithe ar shaothar scolártha nó ar thaighde eolaíoch a léirítear in obair acadúil foilsithe an iarrthóra. Eolaithe agus scoláirí a bhfuil cónaí orthu in Éirinn a bhíonn ina mbaill den Acadamh, agus is bunaithe ar ainmniúchán ó phiaraí agus toghchán a roghnaítear baill nua d'Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann. Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann Comhlacht neamhspleách, acadúil, uile-Éireann é Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann a bhfuil sé mar aidhm leis staidéar agus ardchaighdeán a chothú sna heolaíochtaí, sna daonnachtaí agus sna heolaíochtaí sóisialta. Is é Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann príomhchumann léannta na hÉireann. Le 224 bliain anuas tá iomaíocht ghéar ann le ballraíocht a bhaint amach in Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann, agus is ionann ballraíocht san Acadamh agus an onóir acadúil is airde is féidir a fháil in Éirinn mar aon le haitheantas poiblí ar éachtaí acadúla. Tá breis is 420 Ball ag Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann anois, scoláirí a bhfuil a gcuid taighde dírithe ar na heolaíochtaí, ar na daonnachtaí nó ar na heolaíochtaí sóisialta. Tá cead ag baill thofa Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann 'MRIA' a scríobh i ndiaidh a n-ainm. Áirítear go leor de scoláirí mór le rá na hÉireann i measc bhaill Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann, An tOllamh Seamus Heaney, Buaiteoir Duais Nobel; An tOllamh Patrick Cunningham, géineolaí agus Príomhchomhairleoir Eolaíochta an Rialtais; An tOllamh Frances Ruane, eacnamaí; An Dr Garret FitzGerald, eacnamaí agus iar-Thaoiseach; agus an Dr Peter Harbison, seandálaí, ina measc. Tá breis is 60 Comhalta Oinigh ag an Acadamh, J.W. Von Goethe, Maria Edgeworth, Albert Einstein agus Max Born ina measc in imeacht na mblianta. I measc na gComhaltaí Oinigh reatha tá Buaiteoirí Duais Nobel Murray Gell-Mann, Steven Weinberg agus Sir Andrew Huxley. Tá tuilleadh eolais le fáil ag www.ria.ie -Críoch-
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Tánaiste Announces BioSpark to Create 180 New Green Jobs
Friday, 15 May 2009
The Energy Research Centre at NUI Galway to Support New Product Development BioSpark, the newly-formed joint venture between Imperative Energy Ltd and Sustainable BioPolymers Ltd, is today announcing its intention to invest €40 million in the development of a next generation bio-processing research, innovation and manufacturing centre at Claremorris, County Mayo, which will create 180 new high value jobs within the local and regional economy with the realistic potential to grow to 300 jobs within three years. The BioSpark development, which is to be located at a 22-acre site close to the town of Claremorris, will incorporate the following elements: 20,000 tonne per annum bio-processing facility, utilising next generation technologies and techniques for the conversion of organic material such as straw and wood biomass into multiple high value bio-based products such as ethanol, lactic acid, lignin, methane and hydrogen state-of-the-art laboratory facilities for bio-processing research and innovation 60,000 tonne per annum wood pellet production facility, which will be the largest and most advanced on the island of Ireland 20MWth/5MWe CHP plant which will be fired on biomass and connected to the national grid via a sub-station in close proximity to the site 17 commercial units to house a cluster of related business ventures. The co-location of all of these elements is specifically designed to extract the maximum value from locally produced biomass in a model that is completely sustainable from both an environmental and an economic point of view. The biomass is used to produce industrial bulk and speciality bio-based compounds, which today are predominantly derived from the refining of oil, and which form essential inputs for a wide range of major global industries from pharmaceuticals to paints and plastics. At the same time, the biomass is also used to generate large quantities of renewable heat and power, making the whole facility not only completely self-sufficient in terms of its energy use, but also providing enough green energy to support district heating and cooling systems for the Claremorris area. Making the announcement The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan T.D., said: The impact of 180 high level jobs in County Mayo cannot be over emphasised. Certainly the construction jobs during the building phase will be a boost to the local economy; however, it is the sustainable jobs of the ultimate workforce that will be a real driver to the local and regional economy." "The BioSpark project is not just impressive at a County Mayo level, this is a project that will impress on an international scale and sends a strong message that the conditions are right for new businesses to setup in Ireland. Bioprocessing has been talked about for some time but this is the first real manifestation of a commercial scale facility with such a strong focus on innovation and R&D", the Tánaiste added. The total development will cost €40m and will be constructed over the next two years, subject to planning approval. The regional and national impact of the development will be: 120 jobs during construction 80 full-time positions post-construction – mostly high skilled, engineering roles engaged in R&D, manufacturing and operations management 100 upstream jobs in harvesting, transportation and supply chain management a further potential 120 high value jobs at the BioSpark Claremorris centre within three years of its completion, as new business ventures are spun off €18m yearly spend on locally sourced goods and services significant Intellectual Property (IP) relating to process enhancements as well as new product developments, which will be primarily coordinated through the Energy Research Centre at NUI Galway significant displacement of imported fossil fuels and fossil fuel derived products ready availability of green energy to the Claremorris area to support further inward investment in commercial, industrial and residential developments, similar to well-established district heating schemes in countries like Sweden and Finland. Professor Vincent O'Flaherty is Director of the Energy Research Centre at NUI Galway and says there are many future returns to be had from today's announcement: "Ireland's geographical location, our natural resources and our existing research base put us in a very strong position to take full advantage of the emerging green knowledge economy. This project is world-class and the ideal platform for Ireland to develop high-tech solutions for the global sustainable energy market. Our research centre's multi-disciplinary team looks forward to working with BioSpark to maximize its R&D potential". Bio-processing builds on one of Ireland's natural competitive advantages – our ability to grow biomass quicker and more productively than anywhere else in Europe – and BioSpark is designed to maximise the value that be gained from that fact. The BioSpark development at Claremorris is the first of a number of similar facilities that the promoters of the project – Imperative Energy Ltd and Sustainable Biopolymers Ltd - are planning to replicate across Ireland, the UK and North America. -ends-
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NUI Galway Students Win Prestigious National Logistics and Transport Awards
Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Four NUI Galway students have managed to secure all of this year's Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport national awards. The national 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. The winners were announced at a special ceremony at NUI Galway and presented by Senator Rónán Mullen. The winners announced were: · Natasha O'Farrell from Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, winner of the Safety & Environment Category. · Lt. David Kiely a serving Army Officer from Dromree, Macroom, Co Cork, winner of the Logistics and Transport Category. · Lauren Paul from Marquette University, winner of the Air Category. · Tristin Hatch, from University of Southern California, winner of the Road Category. Both Lauren and Tristin are international students participating in a European study programme. Professor Padraic O'Donoghue, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: "I would like to warmly congratulate all four winners of these prestigious awards. This reflects well on the quality of the student body at NUI Galway, the supervision of the lecturing staff and the range of relevant educational programmes that we provide. It is particularly noteworthy that two of the winners are visiting students from well known US universities and this illustrates the international nature of the educational experience at NUI Galway". Ms Mary Dempsey, College of Engineering and Informatics, who taught the Logistics and Transportation module taken by the winning students said: "The students' abilities to innovate are reflected in the attainment of these prestigious Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport awards. I am extremely proud of our students and I acknowledge the hard work, dedication and commitment that each student makes in the Logistics and Transport area. University education continues in its mission to develop innovative skills and talent which is vital to the development of our economy". -ends-
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NUI Galway Lecturer Awarded First Annual Crossland Medal for Engineering Innovat
Tuesday, 12 May 2009
(Leagan Gaeilge) NUI Galway's Dr Conchúr Ó Brádaigh has been awarded the very first annual Crossland Medal for Engineering Innovation by Engineers Ireland. A part-time Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at NUI Galway, Dr Ó Brádaigh is also Joint Managing Director of ÉireComposites Teoranta in Indreabhán, Co. Galway. The Crossland Medal was presented to Dr Ó Brádaigh by Sir Bernard Crossland in recognition of his outstanding and innovative contribution to manufacturing processes within the aerospace and energy generation industries. The award was presented at a special event held recently at Queen's University Belfast. In presenting the Medal, Sir Bernard Crossland stated that Dr Ó Brádaigh was a worthy recipient of the First Crossland Medal for Engineering Innovation which is named in his honour. Sir Crossland noted that he has a proven track record of exploiting research in developing hi-tech industry in Ireland and his achievements are an example to young entrepreneurs. Following the presentation, Dr Ó Brádaigh delivered a keynote lecture on his work, entitled 'Development of thermoplastic composite manufacturing processes for aircraft and large wind turbine blades'. Dr Ó Brádaigh holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Centre for Composite Materials at the University of Delaware, USA, and M.EngSc. and B.E. degrees from NUI Galway. The focus of ÉireComposites Teoranta, which he jointly founded and developed, is the manufacture of thermoplastic composite components for the industrial sector and today it employs some 60 people including 20 graduate engineers. Dr Ó Brádaigh's innovations in the manufacture of large scale wind turbine blades are highly significant in the rapidly expanding area of energy generation by wind power that is of huge industrial and environmental importance to the west of Ireland. He has also made a very strong contribution to the field of mechanical engineering generally and to the development of strong and productive alliances between industry and academia, in particular NUI Galway. President of NUI Galway Dr Jim Browne, who is also President of Engineers Ireland, congratulated Dr Ó Brádaigh on this well deserved honour, saying that it reflects very well on the University. Sir Bernard Crossland, who sponsored the award, is former Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Queen's University Belfast, and has himself made an enormous contribution to the development of the mechanical engineering field in academia and in industry in Ireland, both north and south. An Chéad Bhonn Bliantúil Crossland do Nuálaíocht Innealtóireachta bronnta ar Léachtóir as OÉ Gaillimh (View in English) Tá an chéad bhonn bliantúil Crossland do Nuálaíocht Innealtóireachta bronnta ag Innealtóirí Éireann ar an Dr Conchúr Ó Brádaigh ó OÉ Gaillimh. Oibríonn an Dr Ó Brádaigh mar Léachtóir Sinsearach páirtaimseartha le hInnealtóireacht Mheicniúil in OÉ Gaillimh agus tá sé ag obair mar Chomhstiúrthóir Bainistíochta ar ÉireComposites Teoranta in Indreabhán, Co. na Gaillimhe freisin. Ba é Sior Bernard Crossland a bhronn Bonn Crossland ar an Dr Ó Brádaigh mar aitheantas ar an tsárobair agus ar an nuálaíocht atá léirithe aige i ndáil le próisis déantúsaíochta sa tionscal aeraspáis agus sa tionscal ginte fuinnimh. Bronnadh Bonn Crossland ar an Dr Ó Brádaigh ag searmanas speisialta a bhí ar siúl in Ollscoil na Banríona, Béal Feirste le déanaí. Dúirt Sior Bernard Crossland go raibh an-áthas air an Chéad Bhonn Crossland do Nuálaíocht Innealtóireachta a bhronnadh ar an Dr Ó Brádaigh. Ainmníodh an gradam áirithe seo in onóir Sior Bernard Crossland. Dúirt Sior Crossland go n-éiríonn leis an Dr Ó Brádaigh taighde a spreagadh agus tionscal ardteicneolaíochta a fhorbairt in Éirinn agus gur dea-shampla d'fhiontraithe óga a bhfuil bainte amach aige go dtí seo. I ndiaidh an tsearmanais, thug an Dr Ó Brádaigh léacht faoina chuid oibre dar teideal 'Development of thermoplastic composite manufacturing processes for aircraft and large wind turbine blades'. Tá Ph.D. in Innealtóireacht Mheicniúil ó Ionad na nÁbhar Ilchodach in Ollscoil Delaware, SAM, agus M.EngSc. agus B.E. ó OÉ Gaillimh ag an Dr Ó Brádaigh. Tá ÉireComposites Teoranta, a raibh sé ina chomhbhunaitheoir agus ina chomhfhorbróir air, dírithe ar ilchodaigh ilchodacha theirmeaplaisteacha a dhéanamh don earnáil thionsclaíoch agus tá 60 duine fostaithe ag an gcuideachta anois, 20 céimí innealtóireachta san áireamh. Ábhar suntais go háirithe an dul chun cinn atá déanta ag an Dr Ó Brádaigh i ndéantús lanna tuirbíní gaoithe móra ó tharla borradh a bheith faoi ghiniúint fuinnimh ó chumhacht na gaoithe i láthair na huaire agus tábhacht thionsclaíoch agus chomhshaoil a bheith ag baint leis seo in iarthar na hÉireann. Chomh maith leis sin, d'éirigh leis an-dul chun cinn a dhéanamh san innealtóireacht mheicniúil go ginearálta agus d'éirigh leis comhpháirtíochtaí láidre, bisiúla a fhorbairt idir an saol tionsclaíoch agus an saol acadúil, le OÉ Gaillimh go háirithe. Thréaslaigh Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh agus Uachtarán Innealtóirí Éireann, an Dr Jim Browne, leis an Dr Ó Brádaigh agus dúirt sé go gcuireann a leithéid d'aitheantas le dea-cháil na hOllscoile freisin. Iar-Ollamh le hInnealtóireacht Mheicniúil in Ollscoil na Banríona, Béal Feirste é Sior Bernard Crossland, urraitheoir an ghradaim, fear a chuir go mór le forbairt na hinnealtóireachta meicniúla sa saol acadúil agus sa saol tionsclaíoch in Éirinn, ó thuaidh agus ó dheas. -Críoch-
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NUI Galway Entrepreneur Wins Technology Development Competition
Tuesday, 12 May 2009
The winner of this year's Inter-college Technology Development Competition is Eoghan Clifford, Research Engineer from NUI Galway's College of Engineering and Informatics. The winning technology is based on developing a novel integrated process technology to convert organic carbon, solids, nitrogen, phosphorus, odours and greenhouse gases (present in municipal, industrial and agricultural biosolids) to high-value useful products in a market worth about € 3.5 billion per annum in Europe alone. The Inter-College Technology Development Competition is a collaborative programme between NUI Galway, TCD and UCC and is funded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) under the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) which includes multidisciplinary teams and cross-university teams working together on the commercialisation of research and technology transfer. One of the competition organisers Fiona Neary of the Ignite Technology Transfer Office, NUI Galway said: "The standards were very high and the expert panel made up of Venture Capitalists, funding agencies, business and academic professionals were extremely impressed by the level of technologies showcased. It was an exciting event where feedback from the experts revealed that more entrepreneurial training with a strong focus on market validation and financial strategy is critical to deliver successful commercial opportunities". Throughout the programme participants from NUI Galway, TCD and UCC were given training and mentoring to assist them prepare and present their commercial opportunities to an experienced panel. The variety of technologies ranged from a bartering system for online services, the next Google, solar technologies, knowledge transfer algorithm and minute batteries. Ms Neary added: "These emerging technologies with the convergence of innovation, training and commercialisation will help deliver Irelands Smart Economy of the future". Dr Michael Rodgers from NUI Galway's College of Engineering and Informatics, and supervisor for the winning project, said: "It is very exciting to be part of the winning team. There is an urgent need to develop new technologies that can sustainably process increasing volumes of biosolids generated during the treatment of municipal, agricultural and industrial wastes. I would like to extend my congratulation to Eoghan and the other members of the team, Edmond O'Reilly, Eimear Ruane, Kathy Carney and Dr Aoife Keady". -ends-
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New Software Company Spins Out of NUI Galway
Monday, 11 May 2009
(Leagan Gaeilge) NUI Galway has announced details of a new spin-off company, Qpercom Ltd. The software and services company, based in the University's business incubation facilities, provides an online assessment tool to replace any kind of paper-based form or check list. The company's initial target market is medical schools across Europe, of which there are almost 140, with well over one million students. Qpercom Ltd. has already secured as customers the Medical School at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, and NUI Galway's School of Medicine and its School of Nursing and Midwifery. NUI Galway's Dr Thomas Kropmans is one of the founders of the company and developed the technology with his colleagues at the University's Medical Informatics and Education group in the School of Medicine. He comments: "Quality assurance in medical education and assessment is an absolute necessity. This innovative web platform allows electronic data capturing and real-time data analysis. Therefore, improved quality assurance and appropriate educational decision making can be achieved. The financial benefits are also very compelling, as our customers are realising savings of up to 70% in administrative costs, not to mention savings on paper and printing". Until now, the performance of medical students during their clinical examinations has been recorded on paper forms by the assessor. A cohort of 600 medical students produces at least 8,600 forms. Those forms would then have to be compiled, manually calculated and keyed into a database, resulting in a delay before results could be viewed. Such paper marking sheets can now be replaced by Qpercom's online Assessment Management System* with results compiled instantly. Last month, medical students at NUI Galway were successfully examined using Qpercom's technology. NUI Galway's Dr Barry O'Donovan, a lecturer in General Practice, said: "This is a really exciting development. The innovative software was a complete success and the laborious tick boxing is now all gone. Even more importantly, we can now analyse station and examiner performance. We can now ensure that the only variable in the exam is the student. This software is going to be of great interest to medical schools in Ireland and internationally". Qpercom's products and services also have huge potential in other markets where instantaneous results from forms or check-lists would be of benefit. Such markets include industrial education, sports education, agriculture and health and safety. Reflecting Qpercom's broad appeal, the new company has secured In Tense Safety Training & Assessment in the Netherlands as a customer. Radmer de Jong of In Tense comments: "Qpercom has delivered a great custom-made product to meet our requirements, because they took the time to investigate the demands needed in our field and specified by our company. An online interface was designed to score our outdoor training sessions to ensure validation of our assessment tool". NUI Galway has a long standing involvement with the promotion of indigenous enterprise and a strong record of start-up companies. Other innovative spin-out companies are in the pipeline and are currently at late stage negotiation. Seach-Chuideachta Bogearraí Nua Bunaithe in OÉ Gaillimh (View in English) Tá sonraí fógartha ag OÉ Gaillimh maidir le seach-chuideachta nua, Qpercom Ltd. Soláthraíonn an chuideachta bogearraí agus seirbhísí seo, atá lonnaithe i ngorlann ghnó na hOllscoile, uirlis measúnachta ar líne a bheidh in úsáid in ionad foirmeacha agus seicliostaí páipéir. Is iad scoileanna leighis ar fud na hEorpa an spriocmhargadh a bheidh ag an gcuideachta ag an tús. Tá beagnach 140 scoil leighis ar fad ann, agus breis is milliún mac léinn. I measc na gcustaiméirí atá aimsithe ag Qpercom Ltd. cheana féin tá Scoil Leighis Ollscoil Erasmus in Rotterdam, Scoil an Leighis, agus Scoil an Altranais agus an Chnáimhseachais in OÉ Gaillimh. Tá an Dr Thomas Kropmans ó OÉ Gaillimh ar dhuine de bhunaitheoirí na cuideachta agus d'fhorbair sé an teicneolaíocht seo i dteannta a chomhghleacaithe i nGrúpa Ionformaitice agus Oideachais Leighis na hOllscoile, Grúpa atá lonnaithe i Scoil an Leighis. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá aige: "Tá géarghá le dearbhú cáilíochta in oideachas agus i measúnacht leighis. Ciallaíonn an t-ardán gréasáin nuálach seo gur féidir sonraí a ghabháil go leictreonach agus gur féidir anailís fíor-ama a dhéanamh ar shonraí. Is é an buntáiste a bhaineann leis seo gur féidir dearbhú cáilíochta a fheabhsú agus cinntí oideachais cuí a dhéanamh. Baineann buntáistí suntasacha airgeadais leis seo freisin, tuigeann ár gcustaiméirí gur féidir suas le 70% a shábháil ar chostais riaracháin, le cois airgead a shábháil ar pháipéar agus ar phriontáil". Go dtí le blianta beaga anuas, ba é an measúnóir a choimeád taifead ar pháipéar d'obair na mac léinn leighis le linn dóibh a bheith i mbun scrúduithe cliniciúla. Bíonn thart ar 8,600 foirm i gceist le cohórt 600 mac léinn leighis. Ansin bheadh na foirmeacha ar fad le tiomsú, na marcanna le suimiú agus le hiontráil ar bhunachar sonraí. Thógfadh sé seo ar fad roinnt ama sula mbeadh na torthaí ar fáil. Is féidir Córas Bainistíochta Measúnachta ar líne Qpercom* a úsáid anois in ionad na mbileog marcála páipéir rud a chiallaíonn go mbíonn torthaí ar fáil láithreach bonn. An mhí seo caite, baineadh leas as teicneolaíocht Qpercom le mic léinn in OÉ Gaillimh a chur faoi scrúdú. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Barry O'Donovan, léachtóir ó Roinn na Dochúireachta Teaghlaigh: "Is cinnte gur forbairt thar a bheith spéisiúil é seo. D'éirigh thar cionn ar fad leis an mbogearra nuálach seo agus tá deireadh anois le ré na mboscaí beaga agus na dticeanna. Níos tábhachtaí ná sin, táimid anois in ann anailís a dhéanamh ar obair stáisiúin agus ar fheidhmiú na scrúdaitheoirí. Féadaimid a chinntiú anois nach mbeidh ach athróg amháin sa scrúdú feasta – an mac léinn. Níl aon amhras orm ach go mbeidh an-spéis ag scoileanna leighis in Éirinn agus scoileanna leighis ar fud na cruinne sa teicneolaíocht seo". Tá neart deiseanna eile ann freisin táirgí agus seirbhísí Qpercom a fhorbairt i margaí eile ina mbainfeadh tairbhe le torthaí a fháil láithreach bonn ó fhoirmeacha agus ó sheicliostaí. I measc na margaí sin tá oideachas tionsclaíoch, oideachas spóirt, talmhaíocht, agus sláinte agus sábháilteacht. Cruthúnas eile fós ar an tóir a bheidh ar an gcuideachta nua seo is ea gur éirigh le Qpercom cuideachta atá lonnaithe san Ísiltír ar a dtugtar In Tense Safety & Assessment a fháil mar chustaiméir. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Radmer de Jong ó In Tense Safety & Assessment: "Tá táirge shaincheaptha den chéad scoth deartha ag Qpercom a chomhlíonann na riachtanais atá againn mar go raibh siad sásta an t-am a chaitheamh i mbun scrúdaithe ar ár riachtanais agus ar na riachtanais a shonraíomar. Dearadh comhéadan ar líne a chur ar ár gcumas scóir a choinneáil dár seisiúin oiliúna allamuigh d'fhonn a chinntiú go raibh ár n-uirlis measúnachta oiriúnach". Tá baint ag OÉ Gaillimh le fada an lá le fiontar dúchasach a chur chun cinn agus cuidiú le cuideachtaí nua. Tá seach-chuideachtaí nuálacha eile á bhforbairt i láthair na huaire agus críoch curtha beagnach leis na hidirbheartaíochtaí ina lán cásanna. -Críoch-
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