Limited Places Still Available for NUI Galway Engineering Summer School

Limited Places Still Available for NUI Galway Engineering Summer School-image

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics still has a few spaces available on their one-day Engineering Summer School. The summer school is specially designed to give prospective students a real taste of university life through a wide range of hands-on practical activities and students interested in attending have a choice of two different days to participate, Thursday, 27 June, or Friday, 28 June. The summer school, which will take place in the new state-of-the-art Engineering Building on campus, is a free event which provides second-level students the opportunity to learn more about the various fields of engineering which can be studied in NUI Galway.  “We have seen a huge interest once again this year amongst both senior and junior cycle second-level students in our Engineering Summer School, but we have a few remaining spaces which students can apply for”, according to Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway. “The places in the free summer school are competitively awarded so we would invite any students who would be interested in learning more about Electronic, Mechanical, Civil, Biomedical or Energy Systems Engineering to apply for these last few places.” Interested students, particularly those undertaking Higher level Maths, can find out more information at and can apply by email to before Monday, 17 June. Applicants should indicate what year they have just completed at second level and what level of Maths they are undertaking for the Junior or Leaving Certificate. -ENDS-

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2013 Honorary Degrees at NUI Galway

2013 Honorary Degrees at NUI Galway-image

Friday, 14 June 2013

Enda Walsh, Professor Rita Colwell, Leonard Moran NUI Galway will today confer three outstanding individuals with the 2013 honorary degrees. Those to be conferred are multi-award winning Irish playwright, Enda Walsh; Professor Rita Colwell, Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland at College Park and at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and Chairperson of Canon US Life Sciences, Inc.; and Mr Leonard Moran, biomedical industry entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Ovagen, based in Ballina, Co. Mayo. Speaking in advance of the the conferring ceremony, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne said:  “NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history and those being honoured this year form a particularly distinguished group. Each one has made an outstanding and distinctive contribution to the diverse fields of science, biomedical innovation and literature. NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals.” Dr Rita Colwell will be conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Science (honoris causa). She is Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland at College Park and at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and Chairperson of Canon US Life Sciences, Inc. Dr Colwell has served as Director of the US National Science Foundation (NSF) from 1998-2004. During her term she oversaw a budget increase and a consolidation of the support levels provided to scientists and engineers with NSF grants. In addition she broadened the NSF range of programmes with special interaction in K-12 science and mathematics education, graduate science and engineering education and the increased participation of women and minorities in science and engineering. Born in Beverly, Massachusetts, Dr Colwell holds a B.S. in Bacteriology and an M.S. in Genetics from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in Oceanography from the University of Washington. She is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and serves on science advisory boards worldwide. She received the National Medal of Science from the US President in 2006. Mr Enda Walsh will be conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Literature (honoris causa). Enda Walsh is a multi-award winning Irish playwright.  His work has been translated into over 20 languages and has been performed internationally since 1998. His recent plays include Misterman, performed in Ireland, America and Britain, 2010 – 2011; The New Electric Ballroom, which toured Ireland, Australia, Edinburgh, London, New York and LA 2008-2009; and The Walworth Farce, which played Ireland, Edinburgh, London and New York, as well as an American and Australian tour 2007-2010. All of these plays were produced by Druid Theatre. His other plays include Delirium; Chatroom, The Small Thing, Bedbound and Disco Pigs. He has written the Tony Award-winning book for the musical Once, which is currently playing on Broadway. His film work includes Disco Pigs (Temple Films/Renaissance) and Hunger (Blast/FILM4) and the forthcoming, Weightless (Smuggler Films, New York). Mr Leonard Moran will be conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Science (honoris causa). Leonard Moran is a biomedical industry entrepreneur based in Ballina, Co. Mayo. He is the founder and CEO of Ovagen, the world's first economically sustainable producers of germ-free eggs and antibodies. Prior to establishing Ovagen, Leonard founded Biological Laboratories Europe Limited (Biolabs) which was acquired in 2002 by Charles River Laboratories. Previously he spent 8 years with the British Medical Research Council (MRC) from 1968-76 where he focused on clinical research. In addition he has a wealth of practical operational and construction experience associated with biological facilities. These four graduands join the ranks of previous honorary alumni which include, among many others, Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Christy O’Connor Snr and Jnr, Enya, Anjelica Huston, Fionnuala Flanagan and Margaret Atwood. -ends-    

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Irish International Golfer Cycles to Irish Open to Raise Funds for Irish Heart Foundation

Irish International Golfer Cycles to Irish Open to Raise Funds for Irish Heart Foundation-image

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Joe Lyons to play 18 holes in 9 golf clubs along cycle route, 24-26 June NUI Galway student and former Irish International golfer, Joe Lyons, will be swapping the green for country roads as he gets ready to embark on a three-day cycle challenge from Galway to the Irish Open (24-26 June) in aid of the Irish Heart Foundation. As part of his journey to Mullingar, the former West of Ireland winner, will be calling into nine golf clubs and playing 18 holes along the way, to raise vital funds for the national charity fighting heart disease and stroke. The unique challenge will also launch the golfer’s new campaign, which aims to generate a national database of defibrillator locations. Clubs and organisations across the country are being asked to register the location of their defibrillator at the campaign’s website to facilitate the development of a smartphone application which can help the public identify the nearest defibrillator in an emergency. Lyons is studying for an MA in Digital Media in the Huston School of Film and Digital Media at NUI Galway and the campaign is his final project and thesis. NUI Galway is fully supportive of the initiative which Lyons decided to embark on after attending a recent first aid course for his work with Galway Simon Community. “When attending training I asked ‘where can I locate a defibrillator in times of crises?’ It seemed obvious to me there was a need for this. What better way to kick of the campaign other than running a fundraiser for the Irish Heart Foundation?” The Golf Cycle will commence in Galway Golf Club on Monday, 24 June, when Joe will begin by cycling to Athenry and Loughrea Golf Clubs. The second day of the challenge will take in Athlone, Moate and Birr Golf Clubs before finally calling to Tullamore and Esker Hills, then finishing up in Mullingar Golf Club. Two holes will be played in each club to make a total of 18 holes played. The public is urged to support Joe’s Golf Cycle challenge and raise funds for the Irish Heart Foundation by logging on to and guessing how many shots it will take Joe to cross the county. Golf club members across the country will also have a chance to win some great prizes provided by Revive Active and the Carlton Hotel, by taking part in their own club’s weekly medal, many of which are being run as a Golf Cycle fundraiser this June. Winners of the competition will be announced on Thursday, 27 June at the Irish Open. Competition prizes: First Prize (individual): Revive Active, has sponsored a weekend golf break for four to the fantastic Amendeoire Golf Resort in The Algarve. The prize includes three rounds of golf, including B& B accommodation for four. To be in with a chance to win, play your club’s golf cycle fundraiser or enter the competition on Second Prize (individual): Courtesy of North and West Coast Links and Ballyliffin Golf Club is a fourball in the World Renowned Ballyliffin. First Prize (club): The Carlton Hotel group has sponsored a weekend break for four to any one of the Group hotels. The winner of this prize will be drawn from the club that generates the largest number of unique donations to the competition via a fundraiser at their club or online at Second Prize (club) The Carlton Group has also sponsored a spa day for four at any of its Health Spas Nationwide. The winner of this prize will be drawn from the club that generates the second most unique donations. The winners of these fantastic prizes will be announced at The North and West Coast Links stand at the Irish Open on Thursday 27 June. More details on the event can be found at -ends-

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Galway Children ‘Graduate’ From NUI Galway

Galway Children ‘Graduate’ From NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

NUI Galway recently conferred the third cohort of graduates from its Youth Academy. At the special ceremony held at the University, 158 primary school children from across Galway City and County were presented with certificates of participation by President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, with more than 800 attending the ceremony. Established in 2012, the Youth Academy aims to inspire entry to university by introducing children and their families to university life. Since its foundation, over 400 children have graduated from a range of specially designed courses including English, Engineering, Information Technology, Psychology, Science Exploration, Mandarin, Philosophical Discovery, Italian language and culture, Physics and Irish History. The Youth Academy runs for a six-week period on a Saturday morning from 10am to 12.30pm, and works with high ability fourth and fifth class primary school children to support their learning and academic development, in partnership with their primary schools. The programme is free to attend due to funding received through the Office of the Vice-President for Innovation and Performance at NUI Galway. Speaking at the event, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “NUI Galway is committed to sharing knowledge with the wider community and ensuring that the pathways to university are open to all. I would like to pay tribute to the commitment and support of the parents gathered, for encouraging a culture of learning and knowledge among some of the youngest members of the community, who will go onto to fuel the knowledge economy.” The Youth Academy was founded by NUI Galway colleagues, Mary Dempsey, College of Engineering and Informatics, Dr Caroline Heary, School of Psychology, and Lorraine McIlrath, Community Knowledge Initiative, and is supported by Vice-President for Innovation and Performance, Professor Chris Curtin. The Irish Centre for Talented Youth, based in Dublin City University, has supported and helped guide the activity. On behalf of the founding members, Mary Dempsey said: “I believe that the combination of forward thinking, enthusiastic and energetic youth academy children linked through structured modules together with encouraging academics can indeed be a recipe for success. It can create and encourage an environment of innovation and self directed learning to meet the future needs of the knowledge economy.” For further information on the programme please contact Geraldine Marley, the Youth Academy Coordinator, at -ENDS-

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Prestigious EU Appointment for NUI Galway Professor

Prestigious EU Appointment for NUI Galway Professor-image

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Gerard Quinn, Professor at the School of Law at NUI Galway and Director of its Centre for Disability Law and Policy, has been appointed to the Scientific Committee of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) which is headquartered in Vienna. The EU FRA is one of the specialised agencies of the EU which was set up in 2007 to provide expert advice to the EU and its Member States to ensure that the fundamental rights of people living in the EU are respected.  It helps to inform EU law and policy and to ensure that its power is properly harnessed to respect fundamental rights. The Scientific Committee oversees the quality of the research of the FRA across a broad range of topics (e.g. racism, the rights of older people, privacy, the quality of the democratic process, etc.). This June, Professor Quinn joins eleven other widely renowned experts from across Europe for a five year term. Speaking on his appointment, Professor Quinn said: “Europe is at a historic turning point away from failed economic and social models. It has a chance to reinvent itself as a force for good in its own citizens’ lives and around the world. This turn is by no means assured. But bodies like the EU FRA are at the fore of helping to redefine the EU of the future. That's why I am involved.”   The Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, Professor Donncha O’Connell, said: “I would like to warmly congratulate Professor Quinn on this prestigious international appointment. It speaks directly to his impressive track record as an engaged scholar animated by impact in the domain of public policy, something to which the School of Law at NUI Galway is deeply committed.” -ENDS-

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New CAO Hotline for Leaving Cert Students

New CAO Hotline for Leaving Cert Students-image

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Just finished the Leaving Cert and unsure of your CAO choices? Thinking about the change of mind deadline but need more information on your course choices? NUI Galway has opened a dedicated CAO Hotline to provide information and advice to students planning to start University in September.  A dedicated Hotline Team will provide detailed information on NUI Galway’s 60 undergraduate degree courses, as well as on other aspects of University life. Students, parents and guardians interested in getting further information on NUI Galway should call (091) 49 44 99, Monday to Friday, to speak to an expert. NUI Galway offers a wide range of courses across most subject areas, including Arts, Business, Law, Medicine, Nursing and Healthcare courses, Science, IT and Engineering. As well as the full suite of traditional broad-based degree programmes, which allow students to keep their options open until the later stages of study, NUI Galway also offers a wide range of specialist degree courses in areas where the University has unique strengths. Popular choices at NUI Galway include Biomedical Science, Marine Science, Engineering, IT and Drama and Theatre Studies. New courses for 2013 include a Journalism degree and a new Physics programme. With such a broad range of choice on offer, it’s not surprising that CAO applicants are looking for advice and information. Commenting on the new CAO Hotline, Director of Marketing and Communications, Caroline Loughnane, said: “Every year, more and more students are availing of the Change of Mind option to revise their course choices. Choosing the right course for you is the most important decision a Leaving Cert student has to make. So it’s important to research all of your options carefully before making that final decision. Our CAO Hotline aims to provide students with all of the practical information they need to make informed decisions about courses at NUI Galway.” Call NUI Galway on (091) 49 44 99 between 10am and 3pm, Monday to Friday, to speak to an expert and get all of your questions answered.

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New Approach in Tackling Global Threat to Bees

New Approach in Tackling Global Threat to Bees-image

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

NUI Galway and Advance Science join forces to help save the honey bee Irish company Advance Science and NUI Galway are bringing together beekeepers from around Ireland for a workshop to help tackle a disease threatening bee hives. The free workshop on 27 June, will be the first in a series helping beekeepers identify the Nosema parasite that causes a disease known as Nosemosis.  The Nosemosis disease is strongly linked with Colony Collapse Disorder with the result that honey bee colonies are under threat around the world. On average, one in every three hives are dying each year, with up to 90% losses being experienced by some apiaries. Currently, as a result of disease, there are no wild honey bees in Ireland. It is now recognised that this decline in bee colonies is having a significant negative impact on the natural pollination of plant species, including many crops that are sources of global food. Apart from biodiversity decline this also has a potential catastrophic knock-on effect on the global food economy. The University is bringing its expertise in combining microscopy and DNA sequencing to a research collaboration with Advance Science, which develops natural nutritional products to help support bee health.  Advance Science is part of a cluster of innovative research and development companies based in the Inagh Valley Trust in Connemara, supported by NUI Galway. In collaboration with NUI Galway and with support from Údarás na Gaeltachta, Advance Science has developed HiveAliveTM, a unique blend of bio-active extracts from both land and marine organisms. HiveAliveTM is designed to help strengthen the honey bee against stress factors such as pesticides, diseases and parasites. As Dara Scott, Managing Director of Advance Science, explains “The honey bee produces nearly 1.5 million tonnes of honey worldwide each year and pollinates up to one third of the plants generating the food we eat. As an avid beekeeper myself, I can see first-hand that the risks to the honey bee colonies are increasing and a natural solution was needed.” Dr Grace McCormack is head of Zoology at NUI Galway. Her research group uses a combination of approaches including microscopy and DNA sequencing to identify, and investigate diversity in, animals and the organisms that cause animal disease. Dr Grace McCormack commented “It will be great to bring together beekeepers from around the country and assist them in being able to identify this new disease.” There are plans being discussed to set up a dedicated Bee Research Centre at NUI Galway to further work on bee diseases, education and bee sustainability. Collaborating with other groups, both north and south of the border, the goal is to allow the Native Irish bee to return to the wild - helping not only the bees but the flowers they pollinate and the biodiversity this brings.         

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Open Society Foundations Supports Cinema and Human Rights Theme at NUI Galway

Open Society Foundations Supports Cinema and Human Rights Theme at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

An intense ten-day summer school at NUI Galway will help filmakers engage with pressing human rights issues. The Cinema, Human Rights and Advocacy (CHRA) Summer School, from 27 June - 6 July, is funded by Open Society Foundations. The Foundation, backed by investor and philanthropist George Soros, has this year doubled its funding to CHRA projects through its Open Society Media Programme and Youth Initiative. Now in its seventh year, the CHRA Summer School is organised by the NUI Galway’s Huston School of Film & Digital Media and the Irish Centre for Human Rights. Students and talented young filmmakers will attend from Burkina Faso, India, Myanmar, Jordan, Palestine, Hong Kong, Australia, Ethiopia and several European countries. Rod Stoneman is Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media: “Film is a key tool in communicating across borders and cultures, and it can be a very powerful tool for highlighting the struggles people face on a daily basis. Because of this, it can play a critical role in highlighting key human rights issues and promoting basic freedom around the world.” Summer school participants will broaden their understanding of film, media and human rights, while strengthening their filmmaking skills. The event also provides an opportunity to develop ideas on film projects with fellow participants and internationally acclaimed experts in of film, television, photography and human rights. In the last six months, CHRA has travelled to Burkina Faso, London and Hong Kong to deliver seminars and workshops in collaboration with local universities, film schools and human rights film festivals. “Thanks to support from Open Society Foundations, the summer school plans to extend its training activities in the future to new regions where human rights are crucial and urgent,” explains Rod Stoneman. “For example, our recent workshops in Hong Kong proved relevant for participants from mainland China, where universities have recently been instructed not to discuss press freedom, human rights or ‘previous mistakes of the Communist Party’.” The Summer School will coincide with Films That Matter , a three-day human rights film event organised in Galway by Amnesty Ireland and One World Centre in order to give participants the chance to assist human rights films which forms a basis for critical discussion.

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Summer School on Human Rights, Migration and Globalization at NUI Galway

Summer School on Human Rights, Migration and Globalization at NUI Galway -image

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway will host its inaugural Summer School on ‘Human Rights, Migration and Globalization’ from 8-12 July. This year’s focus is ‘Defining and Promoting Human Rights of Migrants in an Era of Globalization’. The five days of intensive sessions will be led by experts including Professor Francois Crépeau, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants. Open to those interested in the contemporary challenges of migration and human rights protection, including practitioners, journalists, NGO representatives, government officials and students, the Summer School will familiarise participants with the sources of migrants’ rights and the available protection mechanisms. It will provide participants with an understanding of the major tensions underlying the issue of the protection of migrants’ rights and of how globalization shapes these tensions. The programme will include social activities that will allow participants to network with each other and the panel of experts in a relaxed environment. According to Dr Ekaterina Yahyaoui, Director of the Summer School and Lecturer at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway: “Migration is an integral part of humanity’s history. However, it becomes increasingly more complex and multifaceted today. No country can avoid dealing with migration. Ireland is no exception. And perhaps challenges Ireland is facing are more pressing because within the Irish political and social landscape immigration is often regarded as a new and unfamiliar issue. The Summer School aims at filling this gap.” Speakers for this inaugural year’s summer school include: Professor Francois Crépeau, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants Professor Tomoya Obokata, Professor of International Law and Human Rights, School of Law, Keele University Professor Michael O'Flaherty, Co-director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights and Chief Commissioner at the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission Mariette Grange, Senior Researcher at the Global Detention Project of the Program for the Study of Global Migration at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva Helen Lowry, Director of the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland Maria Stavropoulou, Director of the Greek Asylum Services Dr Ekaterina Yahyaoui, Lecturer and LLM Director, Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway Dr Noelle Higgins, Lecturer, Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway Peter Fitzmaurice, Visiting Lecturer, Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway For more information, including details on how to register visit For additional queries, email -ENDS-

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Research to Help Replicate Success of Great Western Greenway for Cyclists

Research to Help Replicate Success of Great Western Greenway for Cyclists-image

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

A research team from Civil Engineering at NUI Galway has launched a survey of the Great Western Greenway to aid the design of similar cycling routes nationwide. The greenway, which runs from Westport to Achill Sound, has proven a major success since the full length of track was opened two years ago. Recent studies have shown that 400 people use the greenway every day during the summer and the route contributes €1.1 million to the local economy each year. There are plans to create a 2,000km National Cycle Network, to replicate the success of the Great Western Greenway around the country. To create the best design, the NUI Galway survey asks a series of questions about users’ impressions of the Mayo greenway design and provision of facilities. Other questions request feedback on how the greenway could be improved and how cycling can be promoted. PhD student in Civil Engineering, Richard Manton, said: “The Great Western Greenway is the first of its kind in Ireland and is a great resource for commuting, recreation and tourism. To encourage more people to walk and cycle, we need many more of these routes nationwide. Our survey will estimate the economic and environmental impact of the greenway and provide design guidance for other greenways up and down the country.” Dr Eoghan Clifford, lecturer in Civil Engineering and a member of the Ryan Institue at NUI Galway, said: “Cycling and walking are key components of national and international transport, tourism, health and environmental strategies. This research at NUI Galway is developing new tools that enable national and local governments develop sustainable and cost effective infrastructure and maximise active forms of transport and increase ‘green’ tourism.” The survey has been launched following the very successful Bike Week 2013, which encouraged people to cycle to work, to school and for recreation. The greenway survey is available online at and hardcopies are available in most bike shops and hotels along the route. For further information, please contact ENDs

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