Student Enterprise Awards presented at NUI Galway

Student Enterprise Awards presented at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 8 January 2007

08 January 2007: A number of innovative awards designed to encourage entrepreneurial awareness among students have been presented in NUI Galway. The annual awards are presented to students who participate in the Introduction to Business Module that has been running at NUI Galway for the past 17 years. The module is designed to foster an awareness of businesses and how they operate. The overall objective is to introduce students to the fundamental concepts of Marketing, Management and Accountancy and to examine their application in Irish and international business situations. Students who participated in the module were required to develop a business plan for a start-up enterprise related to their primary area of study, which includes community development, biotechnology, microbiology, biomedical science, biochemistry and chemistry. The prizes are sponsored by Bank of Ireland, and are awarded to the best overall business plan for a start-up enterprise, 2nd and 3rd runner up, and "the most bankable business plan" as chosen by Bank or Ireland. Bank of Ireland, Most Bankable Business Plan – Advanced Ocular Clinic MSc. in Biomedical Science students Evan Brick, Martin Canavan, Aisling Donoghue and Norah O'Brien planned to establish a clinic specialising in corrective eye surgery. The Advanced Ocular Clinic (AOC) would use the innovative technology of intra-ocular lenses (IOLs) to restore good vision acuity to its prospective patients with a minimally invasive procedure carried out on an out-patient basis. 1st Place DOGene Laboratories Ltd. MSc. in Biotechnology students Sinead Darcy, Andrew Douglas, and Ann Smyth aimed to provide a DNA profiling service to the canine industry. Their company intended to initially target the pedigree dog market and the greyhound industry for DNA profiling and in the long term conduct genetic testing for hereditary diseases in dogs. 2nd Place SOUPlus+ SOUPlus+, backed by MSc. in Biomedical Science students Karly Burke, Joan Fitzgibbon, Elaine Gleeson and Louise Lilly identified a gap in the market for a fresh ready-to-serve soup that contained an added bonus of vitamins and dietary supplements to boost the immune system. They planned to base their business in Galway, source the vegetables for their product locally, and sell in farmers markets and independent grocery stores. 3rd Place Biogum Ltd. BSc. in Biotechnology students Julie Collins, Rebecca Finn, Hannah O'Keefe and James O'Malley planned to launch a symbiotic chewing gum. The sugar-free gum which would be fortified with vitamin C and calcium would be available in a range of flavours and combines the features of a regular chewing gum with added nutritional benefits. The Introduction to Business Module was developed to respond to an increasing demand for entrepreneurial awareness among students in various undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Currently, the module facilitates over seventy students, in seven academic programmes. -ends-

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NUI Galway Awarded €2 Million for Bio-fuel Research

NUI Galway Awarded €2 Million for Bio-fuel Research-image

Monday, 8 January 2007

08 January 2007: NUI Galway has been awarded over €2 million for bio-fuel research under a seven year programme from the prestigious Charles Parsons Research Funding Awards scheme, announced by the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Mr Noel Dempsey, T.D.. This injection of funding will enable the University to put highly skilled fourth level graduates to work at addressing some of the most pressing energy issues facing Ireland today. Following the award, the Microbial Bioenergy Group at the NUI Galway's Environmental Change Institute will recruit twenty new researchers at postgraduate and postdoctoral level. The team will aim to produce improved bio-fuels from organic wastes such as domestic sewage. It will also research highly novel microbial and bio-fuel cells, which produce electricity through the action of naturally occurring bacteria. These new technologies have the potential to accomplish both large-scale wastewater treatment and electricity generation, with sanitation and energy benefits for both developed and developing countries. The Microbial Bioenergy research group is jointly led by Dr. Vincent O'Flaherty and Dr. Dónal Leech, from the Departments of Microbiology and Chemistry, respectively. The project coordinator, Dr. O'Flaherty said, "The Charles Parsons Award will help NUI Galway to develop and deploy new energy technologies which are essential to deliver security of supply, sustainability and competitiveness to Ireland. There is a particular and urgent need for research into producing viable alternative energy sources to tackle Ireland's reliance on fossil fuels". The Charles Parsons Research Funding Awards scheme was named after Irishman Charles Parsons (1854-1931) who, in 1884, invented the steam turbine, which made affordable electricity readily available for the first time. The competition was open to institutes and groups from all thirty-two counties and applicants were evaluated by an international panel of experts, as part of the highly competitive process in which only seven awards were made nationally to cutting-edge research groups. -ends- Notes to editors: About Microbial Fuel Cells Microbial fuel cells (MFC) produce electricity through the action of naturally occurring bacteria that drive power production by breaking down organic substrates in, for example, wastewater and then transporting electrons from their cell surface to the anode, the negative electrode of a fuel cell. The electrons flow from the anode through a wire to a cathode, the positive electrode of a fuel cell, where they generate electrical potential and combine with oxygen to form water. An added benefit of the approach is that as the bacteria generate electricity, pollutants are also removed, cleaning the wastewater. The power outputs reported thus far from MFC are usually small, but this is expected to change in the coming years as research continues. In addition, MFCs can be used to produce hydrogen directly from organic wastes for use as an alternative vehicle fuel. The project team leader, Dr. Vincent O'Flaherty, noted that "there is real potential for MFCs to accomplish both wastewater treatment and electricity generation at large-scale in the future, with sanitation and energy benefits for both developed and developing countries".

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February 2007

Opportunities abound at NUI Galway's largest Science and Technology Fair

Opportunities abound at NUI Galway's largest Science and Technology Fair-image

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

NUI Galway is to host its largest Science and Technology Careers Fair on Wednesday, March 7th 2007, at Áras na Mac Léinn from 4.00pm to 6.30 pm. Students and graduates are invited to avail of valuable career opportunities with a host of national and international companies, which will be actively recruiting on the day. Among those exhibiting at the fair are: Allergan Pharmaceuticals, Aquafact International, Berkley Pharmaceutical, Boston Scientific, Environmental Change Institute, Intel, SAP SSC (Ireland) Ltd, Schwarz Pharma Ltd., Science Recruitment Ireland, Stiefel Laboratories (Irl) Ltd, The Western Regional Fisheries Board, O' Neill & Brennan Recruitment Specialists, PharmaChemical Ireland, Irish Medical Devices Association, Oracle Corporation, Health Service Executive, St. Michael's House, Medical Recruitment Specialists, The National Rehabilitation Hospital, Fás, IntertradeIreland (Fusion) & Valent (an IBM company). This year's fair is a unique opportunity for students and graduates to explore job opportunities in the Science, Technology & Health Science sectors. According to research conducted by the University's Careers Service, over 89% of 2005 science graduates were in employment or further study by 2006. The survey also found that the science fair proved to be a key link in matching many 2005 Science students with their employers. Angela Teahan, Careers Adviser at NUI Galway said, "In order to fully maximise use of the Science & Technology Fair, it is important to arrive well prepared for the event. Decide on the companies you wish to target in advance and crucially research the ones that are of interest to you. Be focused and know your objectives." This year the Careers Service is providing a C.V. seminar geared specifically for students and graduates of the Science and Technology sector. The seminar is given by Human Resources professionals and it is an ideal forum to find out what an employer looks for in an application or Curriculum Vitae. Ms Teahen also advises: "Be ready to network with employers and endeavour to make a positive and lasting impression! Employers are looking for a wide range of skills as well as a strong academic background hence the importance of presenting the employer with an impressive CV." Other exhibitors to attend the fair include The Institute of Geologists and The Geological Survey of Ireland. - ENDS - Further information: Angela Teahan, Careers Service, NUI Galway Tel: 091 492133

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NUI Galway workshop to help put Galwegians on Campaigning Path

NUI Galway workshop to help put Galwegians on Campaigning Path-image

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

The Huston School for Film and Digital Media, NUI Galway is to hold a public workshop to help local campaigners become even more successful in their public advocacy endeavours. The free workshop is being hosted in conjunction with the London based campaigners' charity, the Sheila McKechnie Foundation on Saturday, 10 March at Earl's Island from 10.00am to 3.00pm. The workshop will feature political, media and campaign experts, who will give direct feedback on how to influence TDs, get the most from the media and adopt the most suitable tactics to achieve an outcome. Rod Stoneman, Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media says: "Since we introduced the new Masters Degree in Public Advocacy and Activism last year, we have seen first hand how involved Galway is in the public advocacy arena. "The workshop we have developed with the Sheila McKechnie Foundation will provide intensive training for those who may not be available to take a Masters programme but would like to improve and hone their skills. I also think this is a great networking opportunity and will further strengthen the solidarity of campaigners in Galway." Claire McMaster, Chief Executive of the Sheila McKechnie Foundation says: "Great campaigns have enabled us to close the gap between the powerful and the powerless, to fight injustice at a local, national and global level. We are delighted to work in partnership with the Huston School of Film and Digital Media and admire their creative and innovative approach." If you are currently involved in or wish to become involved in public advocacy, the Galway Campaign Skills Workshop will help you create effective, successful campaigns. Spaces are limited to a maximum of 25 people and will be allocated on a first come, first served. For more information and to register, email Emily Buchanan at the Sheila McKechnie Foundation, or call 0044.207.7707822 -ENDS- Notes to the Editor The Huston School of Film & Digital Media The Huston School of Film & Digital Media offers a unique suite of courses with a single starting point – the centrality of cultural creativity. Well recognised as a education authority on production, direction and screenwriting, the school pioneers both creative and academic courses alike. Last year the school introduced a new Masters Degree in Public Advocacy and Activism. This programme is designed specifically for those working, or intending to work, in international or local advocacy; including community organization, development, labour, rights, health, and environment. The development of this innovative new masters degree was prompted by the realisation that while there are many Management, Communications, and Public Relations courses, none offers a focus on the issues and skills central to the role of those working in organisations which seek to shift attitudes and understandings in order to initiate change. For more information, please visit , telephone +353 (0)91 512 469 | or email The Sheila McKechnie Foundation The Sheila McKechnie Foundation is a new charity, established in 2005. The Foundation exists to equip campaigners with the skills they need to make a greater impact. It was formed in memory of Scottish Campaigner Sheila McKechnie, the former head of Shelter and Consumers' Association, who died in January 2004. More information about the Foundation's work can be found at The Foundation is currently being incubated in the London-based offices of Which? (formerly the Consumers' Association). The Chief Executive Claire McMaster has a long history of high profile campaigning from the Anti-Apartheid Movement, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Commission for Racial Equality. Patrons include Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP, Alan Grant, Lord Howe of Aberavon, Baroness Morgan of Drefelin and Jon Snow. For more information of the Foundation please email

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Construction begins on Landmark NUI Galway Sport Centre Complex

Construction begins on Landmark NUI Galway Sport Centre Complex-image

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Site works have commenced at NUI Galway, on a €21 million, 6,500sqm Sports Centre Complex. When completed the new sport and recreation complex will include a 25m, 6-lane swimming pool, gym, weights room, handball and squash courts, climbing wall, sports hall with three basketball courts, an aerobics/dance studio and multi-purpose activity spaces. Commenting on the new development, President of NUI Galway Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh said: "Sports and recreation play a major role in improving the quality of campus life, and as such we are committed to providing top-class sports facilities. The University's Sports Complex, will serve a broad range of competitive and recreational sport and active leisure pursuits for the University and the region." The Sports Centre Complex is part of a major €400 million "Campus of the Future" programme project, announced by NUI Galway last December. The capital investment programme project will see almost 20 large infrastructural projects undertaken on the 260-acre campus, continuing the dramatic re-orientation of the campus to face the River Corrib. Galway-based building works firm Glenman Corporation have commenced work on the Sports Centre and are currently on-schedule to complete this landmark project in April 2008. Project managers KSNPM lead the internationally renowned architectural firm Faulkner Brown Ltd, in partnership with Holohan Architects on this project. -ENDS- Further information: Jacqueline Hogge, Press Office, NUI Galway Tel: 00353 91 493361 Email:

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Prestigious Human Rights Appointments for NUI Galway Law Professor

Prestigious Human Rights Appointments for NUI Galway Law Professor-image

Monday, 26 February 2007

The Law Faculty at NUI Galway is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Gerard Quinn to two prestigious committees in recognition of his work on international disability law. Professor Quinn, who is a member of the Irish Human Rights Commission, has been made the 'focal point' for the work of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) on disability. NHRIs are composed of human rights commissions or similar bodies from around the world and are co-ordinated by an International Coordinating Committee based in the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. In his new capacity, Professor Quinn has already convened a major conference of human rights commissions from four continents at Harvard Law School to discuss how commissions can step up their collaboration in ensuring proper implementation of the new UN disability treaty around the world. Professor Quinn was also recently appointed to the prestigious Advisory Council of the London-based NGO Interights which specialises in mounting test cases around the world on discrimination issues. He joins former President Mary Robinson, Lord Anthony Lester QC, Dean Harold Koh (Yale) and Professor Philip Alston (NYU) among others on the incoming Council. Professor Quinn said: "This is an honour for me but also for the Faculty of Law at NUI Galway. For some time now we have been developing and encouraging socially useful research as well as orienting students toward public interest law. I intend to use these new openings to advance my own interests in disability law and social justice but also to mentor younger colleagues to open up more public interest outlets in their careers". -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Professor to Discuss Nuclear Power Options in Public Lecture

NUI Galway Professor to Discuss Nuclear Power Options in Public Lecture-image

Monday, 26 February 2007

Global warming and the world's depleting fossil fuels reserves are the focus of a public lecture to be given by Professor Philip Walton at NUI Galway on Wednesday, 28 February 2007. The lecture, 'The Nuclear Power Debate – Fact and Fiction,' which is free and open to the general public, will address the ongoing public concerns over global warming and the continuing debate over nuclear energy. "Two major problems are facing the world; global warming and the peaking and subsequent decline of oil and gas reserves," said Prof. Walton, Emeritus Professor of Applied Physics at NUI Galway. "In Ireland we have the additional problem that 90% of our energy comes from imported fossil fuels whose supply is not secure and which are rapidly increasing in price. We can help the situation with strict conservation measures and by using renewables but these alone will not suffice. "Nuclear power, with no greenhouse gas emissions and with very good and secure reserves, should be seriously considered as it can help solve these problems." Hosted by the University's Physics Society, 'The Nuclear Power Debate – Fact and Fiction' takes place in lecture theatre IT250 in the IT building at 7.00pm. -ENDS-

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Drama le Biddy Jenkinson á léiriú ag an gcúrsa Ard-Dioplóma sa Dramaíocht ag OÉ

Drama le Biddy Jenkinson á léiriú ag an gcúrsa Ard-Dioplóma sa Dramaíocht ag OÉ -image

Monday, 26 February 2007

Beidh dráma nua Crosántacht leis an scríbhneoir iomráiteach Biddy Jenkinson á léiriú ag an gcúrsa Ard-Dioplóma sa Drámaíocht, faoi stiúir Dharach Mhic Con Iomaire, i Seanscoil Sailearna, Dé Sathairn agus Dé Domhnaigh, 10 - 11 Márta 2007, ag a 8.00 i.n. Is ócáid ar leith é léiriú an dráma seo mar gurb é seo léiriú cinn chúrsa an Ard-Dioplóma sa Drámaíocht, cúrsa nua atá á reáchtáil ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge i gcomhar le Scoil na Gaeilge, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh. "Tugann an dráma deis do na mic léinn na scileanna a d'fhoghlaim siad i rith an chúrsa a tharraingt le chéile agus tugann sé deis dóibh freisin oibriú in éineacht le léiritheoir proifisiúnta agus scríbhneoir iomráiteach. Tá gach duine idir chliar agus chriú ag obair go dian chun an dráma a chur ar an stáitse" a deir stiúrthóir an chúrsa, Nora Nic Con Ultaigh. Dráma dúthshlánach, fisiciúil agus dána é Crosántacht a dhéanann cur síos ar a thárlaíonn do Ghráinne, Iníon Chormaic Mhic Airt, nuair a shocraíonn sí filleadh ar Theamhair, den chéad uair le cúig bliana déag, tar éis di éalú le Diarmuid Ó Duibhne. Níl Crosáin Charna róshásta nuair a thuigeann siad go bhfuil Ailbhe, leasdeirfiúr Ghráinne, ag pósadh ag breacadh an lae agus gan scéala faighte acu faoi bhainis ar bith – ainneoin iad ag troid i gcoinne na nAllmhúrach atá tagtha i dtír i Ros An Mhíl agus atá ag bánú Conamara leis an Dragan Tine atá acu. Tá sé in am acu Crosáin Dhuibhlinne a chur ina gceart… Ochtar aisteoirí, iliomad carachtair, diabhlaíocht, dánacht, damhsa agus drúis, corrdhuine bocht - ag Crosántacht! Beidh luach €10.00 an ceann ar na ticéid agus is féidir ticéid a chur in áirithe nó breis eolais a fháil faoin dráma ach glaoch ar Nóirín in oifig Sheanscoil Sailearna ar 091 593017. -Críoch– Tuilleadh eolais: Bríd Seoige, Acadamh na hOllscolaiochta, OÉ Gaillimh 091-495302 nó 087-1266353

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NUI Galway seeks public support for second Buy-a-Book Fundraiser

NUI Galway seeks public support for second Buy-a-Book Fundraiser-image

Monday, 19 February 2007

19 February 2007: Following on from its huge inaugural success last year, NUI Galway is to hold its second Buy a Book Day on Thursday 1st March, 2007 from 10.30am to 6.00pm in the Aula Maxima. It is hoped that as well as attending the sale, the public will donate material to the event, which is sure to offer the most avid reader an exciting and diverse range of books. Last year's event raised almost €6,000, half of which was donated to international, national and local charities through the University's United Charities Group (UCG). Formed in 2004, UCG consolidates the fundraising efforts of the three University based charitable committees: the Third World Appeal Committee, the IFUT Charitable Committee and Medicus Mundi. The remainder was used to purchase items of interest for Special Collections at the James Hardiman Library. NUI Galway Librarian, and co-ordinator of the Buy-a-Book event, Marie Reddan said: "Last year's event was very worth while – raising money for both Special Collections in the Library and for a variety of charities. It was a great example of cross-campus collaboration – supported enthusiastically by staff and students alike. Most importantly, it was an event for the university and the citizens of Galway who were so very generous in their support of the day. Hopefully, this year's sale will be bigger and better and it will become an annual feature on the University's calendar." The event is one of the more novel ideas to emanate from the University's Staff Suggestion Scheme - Úrsmaointe – and has received generous support from local businesses. Books remaining at the end of the day will go to local charity shops. -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Engineering students making a difference to their communities

NUI Galway Engineering students making a difference to their communities-image

Monday, 19 February 2007

19 February 2007: An exhibition of posters by Engineering students at NUI Galway have proved that the priorities of a student extend beyond a healthy social life and passing exams. As part of an Engineering in Society module offered to third-year Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering students, participants developed devices for the physically impaired, a road safety initiative on roundabouts and provided engineering workshops for children with learning disabilities. The poster exhibition entitled "Engineering in Society and Community Outreach", describing the projects takes place this week in the Arts Millennium Building. The Engineering in Society module is an intrinsic part of the academic programme taken by students in the third-year Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering programme. It is designed to encourage students to commit some of their time and energy to the benefit of local communities. Professor Abhay Pandit, Department of Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering and co-ordinator of the initiative says: "This is a wonderful opportunity for the students to put something back into their communities. 'Service Learning,' where students use their skills to see how they can be of use to the community is commonplace in most American universities but is a relatively new concept in Ireland. In our programme, students identify a need in their locality and provide a service, with the input from the local community, towards assisting with that need. The program is designed to foster a partnership for the next generation of citizens to engage in social partnerships, specifically in the skill set they know best; i.e. Engineering." The module is supported by the University's Centre for Excellence in Learning and Training (CELT). Lorraine McIlrath, Academic Staff Developer at CELT, describes the projects as "a massive achievement and a great inspiration to staff and students locally and nationally". In one of the projects a simple boiled egg top remover, 'The Egg Chopper Off'r' was designed for people with limited or no use of one arm, such as those suffering from arthritis, stroke victims or amputees. "We researched the idea and designed a prototype which was a success but needs continued development in order to make it more user-friendly and accessible to those who need it." said Kiel McCool, who designed the device along with Aoife Heneghan. In another project, a group of four students facilitated engineering workshops with students at the Galway Association's St Joseph training centre. The Engineering students introduced methods of engineering drawing and spatial awareness through the workshops which proved intellectually stimulating to those involved. "We chose to focus our project on helping students with intellectual disabilities," said Lorna Ryan. "We showed them how to visualise a 3-D object from different views and represent this in a technical drawing." The poster exhibition is open to the public from Friday 23rd February to Friday 2nd March 2007. -Ends-

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