Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Cutting greenhouse gas emissions from milk and meat production is a major challenge for Ireland. To help address this and other related challenges, Teagasc and NUI Galway today announced the establishment of a Strategic Research and Training Alliance on Carbon-Neutral Agriculture. The new partnership will accelerate an inter-disciplinary portfolio of training and research approaches and innovations. Building from existing collaborative activities between both institutions, the Strategic Alliance will see new postgraduate courses come on stream, and a range of new research projects aimed at transitioning our agriculture and food systems to a lower carbon footprint. Recent analyses have revealed that current agricultural interventions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the global level will only deliver 21-40% of target, indicating need for transformative technical and policy options. The agri-food sector in Ireland is our largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. The targets to dramatically grow the Irish agrifood sector by 2020/2025 are likely to result in Ireland exceeding its national targets for greenhouse gas emissions triggering major fines. Denis Naughten, TD, Minister for Communications, Climate Change and Natural Resources, stressed that: “The Climate Change agenda presents many challenges for Ireland in transitioning to a low carbon climate resilient economy not least of which will be how we manage our overall emissions profile. These challenges are well understood by Government as reflected in the National Policy Position on Climate Action which envisages an approach to carbon neutrality in the agriculture and land-use sector, which does not compromise capacity for sustainable food production. The role of research and innovation in informing the implementation of such policy is a key consideration and I am therefore delighted to see this Alliance launched today and look forward seeing outcomes which can inform our thinking on the most appropriate pathways towards supporting both climate change adaptation and mitigation for the Irish agri-food sector.” The Teagasc and NUI Galway Strategic Alliance will combine the expertise and strengths of both institutions to foster the research and training necessary for both climate change adaptation and mitigation for the Irish agri-food sector. Today’s agreement builds on the existing MoU between Teagasc and the inter-disciplinary Plant and AgriBiosciences Research Centre (PABC) in NUI Galway. The Director of Teagasc Professor Gerry Boyle and the President of NUI Galway President Jim Browne agreed that the combined research and training efforts of both organisations will support both climate change adaptation and mitigation for the Irish agri-food sector. Head of the NUI Galway PABC, Professor Charles Spillane indicates that: “FAO indicates that over half of farming’s direct climate impact is currently caused by methane released by livestock and from their manure. Climate change concerns combined with dietary guideline drivers are now major challenges for the agri-food sector, particularly for higher carbon-footprint milk and meat products. There is a need, and indeed an opportunity, for NUI Galway, Teagasc and our other partners across Ireland to develop the next-generation of innovations to reduce the carbon-footprint of agriculture.” To generate impact and promote an inter-disciplinary approach, the Teagasc and NUI Galway Strategic Alliance will bring together research and researchers across many subject areas ranging from agri-biosciences, engineering, informatics, economics, marketing and agri-business. The Alliance will have a particular focus on postgraduate (PhD and Masters) research and training, with the launch of a new jointly-developed Structured PhD Programme in Plant and AgriBiosciences, and a new Structured Masters degree in AgriBiosciences. Both of the new programs contain advanced training modules that are jointly designed and delivered by leading experts from NUI Galway, Teagasc, industry and stakeholder groups. These new qualifications are in addition to the Masters degree in Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (MScCCAFS) which NUI Galway is running in collaboration with the global CCAFS programme and national partners such as Teagasc. Dr Frank O’Mara, Director of Research at Teagasc said: “We are excited by the prospect of the new structured PhD researcher programme between NUI Galway and Teagasc having tailor-made modules on the Irish Agri-Food Sector, Agri-Sustainability, Agri-Business and Agri-Communications delivered jointly by Teagasc and NUI Galway staff.” The new structured PhD program will build upon existing activities between both institutions. Since 2000, Teagasc has supported 63 Walsh Fellowship PhD researchers at NUI Galway with an investment of over €5.5 million, and is engaged in a wide range of collaborative research projects with NUI Galway PABC research groups. To deepen the integration of research and training activities between the two institutions, Teagasc has appointed five leading NUI Galway experts as Adjunct members of Teagasc, while leading Teagasc experts are being appointed as Adjunct Faculty of the NUI Galway Plant and AgriBiosciences Research Centre (PABC). One such expert is Professor Colin O’Dowd who runs NUI Galway’s Mace Head Climate Observatory. He highlighted that: “There are emerging inter-disciplinary opportunities for more accurate measurement and management of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture arising from advances in satellite remote sensing and informatics, that NUI Galway and Teagasc will combine efforts on.”   The Head of the Teagasc Rural Economy and Development Programme, Professor Cathal O’Donoghue further indicated that: “The Strategic Alliance also includes a new Executive Education Program between Teagasc, SFSI (Sustainable Food Systems Ireland) and NUI Galway which is aimed at agri-food managers and leaders and aims to transfer the lessons from Ireland’s experience in developing and implementing a sustainability strategy within the agri-food sector.”  -ends- 

Monday, 4 July 2016

Company to create 20 new roles over next two years DiaNia Technologies, an innovative materials technology company based in NUI Galway’s Business Innovation Centre, has secured €2 million in seed-funding to utilise materials science to facilitate the development of disruptive catheter based medical devices. The investment was led by four key investors - Helen Ryan, Liam Farrissey, Ian Quinn and Gearóid Faherty - and also included the HBAN’s Medtech Business Angel Syndicate and Enterprise Ireland. The funding will allow DiaNia Technologies to develop and commercialise the first application of its proprietary materials science technology which will enhance the performance and functionality of medical devices resulting in increased patient safety and improved product performance. The technology works by providing in-built low friction at the surface of an extrusion, delivering a paradigm shift in the manipulation of friction on both the inside and outside surface of extruded catheter shafts. This inherent lubricity in the main component of a catheter will eliminate the industry’s need for expensive liners and coatings.  It is estimated that the global market potential for this material science technology is in excess of €250 million. DiaNia Technologies expects to create 20 new jobs over the next two years. These will include a number of specialised materials science and extrusion positions as well as roles in quality assurance, regulatory affairs, manufacturing, marketing and finance. DiaNia Technologies was founded in 2013 by Sinéad Kenny and Mark Mellett, who both have extensive experience in the medical device industry. Sinéad, who has a degree in Materials Science, and a PhD in Biomedical Cements, has previously worked with a host of multinational companies, consultancies and start-ups including Cook Medical, Boston Scientific, Altran and Creganna Medical, developing devices for a wide variety of applications. Mark, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, has held a variety of senior roles in various international companies including Deloitte, Kerry Group, Oracle and more recently Alere, where he is Director of Toll Manufacturing. Sinead Kenny, CEO of DiaNia Technologies, said:“This €2million investment will accelerate the product arriving to market and will be of benefit to manufacturers and ultimately clients, around the world. Delivering a technology which has the ability to both improve the experience and outcome for the patient as well as making the end device safer and more efficient to produce are the drivers behind our extensive R&D programme.  We are excited to be supported by such a knowledgeable group of investors who share our vision of advancing the next generation of medical devices through innovative materials technology.” Helen Ryan, one of the lead investors in DiaNia Technologies, said: “We are delighted to announce this investment for Galway. There is a strong med-tech knowledge base in the West of Ireland and we’re looking forward to developing the technology to build a long term sustainable company. This is a unique opportunity for materials scientists to show how significant their knowledge is in enabling innovation in the industry.” Find out more about DiaNia Technologies at www.dianiatechnologies.com Ends

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Over 40 second level students attended the annual Computer Science and Information Technology Summer School in NUI Galway recently. The students were treated to a host of guest lectures and workshop activities across a range of exciting themes. One of the many highlights throughout the day was a practical demonstration of corporate security vulnerability through secret message encryption which was led by Dr Michael Schukat. Students learned of the historical significance of cyphers from early Roman times through to World War 2 and the Cold War. The students got to encrypt secret messages during the session by embedding hidden codes within software files that might appear to be simply basic images but can actually contain hidden information in encrypted format using an approach called steganography. The implications for modern day organisations for this type of communication are huge when dealing with sensitive trading data or intellectual property.  Academic Coordinator Dr Enda Howley said: “The event was another huge success, with a wide range of schools in the region in attendance from Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork, Roscommon and Longford. We always look forward to the opportunity of welcoming second level students onto the campus and giving them a sense of university life alongside the huge potential of studying Information Technology. The job opportunities are limitless and industry employers simply cannot get enough software developers at the moment. The enthusiasm and energy of these mostly Transition Year students is almost infectious and we are already looking forward to our 2017 Summer School. ” -Ends-

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Over 170 Galway homeowners and landlords attended a recent Student Accommodation Information Evening hosted by NUI Galway. The event was organised by the University to share advice and best practice on arranging and managing student tenancies. The information evening included advice on ‘renting a room’ from John Hannon, Director of Student Services, NUI Galway, a legal briefing from Diarmuid O’Sullivan  from Threshold, and advice on what to expect from student tenants from Jimmy McGovern, President, NUI Galway Students’ Union. The information evening also focused on how the University could work in partnership with those attending to ensure a positive experience for landlords, students and the wider community. Talks were followed by a lively question-and-answer session that covered many topics, including advertising accommodation to students, managing tenants, financial issues, and supports available from the University. It was proposed that active management is the key to providing a positive experience for both landlords and tenants. It was agreed that the potential financial gain of up to €12,000 tax-free income was not the only benefit of the ‘rent a room’ initiative. John Hannon, Director of Student Services, NUI Galway, said: “The social benefits such as company for the house owner, and the provision of semi-structured accommodation for students leaving home for the first time, result in a “win-win” situation for all involved.” Feedback from the evening was very positive and a large number of homeowners have since availed of free advertising on the NUI Galway Accommodation and Welfare website, StudentPad, which is available at www.nuigstudentpad.ie. For those considering renting a room or a house to students, or you would like further information, including advice sheets and sample tenancy agreements, please contact the NUI Galway Accommodation and Welfare Office on 091 492364. ENDS

Friday, 8 July 2016

NUI Galway students’ car excels in international energy-efficiency competition Last week the Geec 2.0 (Galway energy-efficient car), designed and built by NUI Galway engineering students, competed at the Shell Eco-marathon Europe in London. Fourteen students, from first year to PhD, travelled with three university staff members and a sponsor to prepare and drive the car on an 8-lap 18-km course around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Shell Eco-marathon is a competition in vehicle fuel-efficiency, not speed, where the winner is the team that completes the course using the least amount of energy at an average speed of at least 25 km/h. The competition includes six categories of vehicles based on different fuel types and energy sources. The Geec 2.0 competed in the battery-electric category for the second year running. It has one wheel at the back, driven by an electric motor, two wheels at the front, and an extremely low profile with the driver in a lying position. This was the first year of the competition took place in London. The Geec 2.0 successfully completed 4 full runs out of 5 attempts around the track. On the final attempt the score jumped from 157 km/kWh to 236 km/kWh. This placed the Geec 21st out of 50 competitors in its category, an advance on last year’s 23rd position, and ensured that it retained its position as Ireland’s most energy-efficient car. Dr Maeve Duffy, Lecturer in Electrical & Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway and one of the Academic Mentors for the Geec, said: “Shell Eco-marathon Europe is truly a festival of engineering where teams work on their cars in full view of each other and the visiting public. It’s a hugely rewarding experience for all involved, with students getting to road-test designs they’ve brought to life in a car, while we as academic supervisors see them develop into fully-fledged engineers to take full ownership of their project. Our students were excellent representatives of NUI Galway and Ireland. We are proud of how they gelled as a team and raised their game under pressure this past week.” The mission of the Geec is to show what young engineers at Irish universities are capable of when faced with a major challenge. Work on the Geec has been incorporated into student engineering projects at NUI Galway, and as well as the technical experience of designing and building the car, it develops students’ skills in teamwork, communication, project management, health and safety, ergonomics and logistics. Annual participation at Shell Eco-marathon provides a platform for rigorous testing of the student-built vehicles in a real-world, internationally competitive setting, with a primary focus on energy efficiency. To experience a snippet of Shell Eco-marathon 2016, the Geec team featured in a live Facebook video from the event on 1 July at www.facebook.com/nuigalway, and the full story of the Geec’s week at Shell Eco-marathon 2016 is available at www.theGeec.ie/blog. -Ends-

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Ireland’s thriving trade in books in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries depended on strong networks linking the country with Great Britain. An international group of researchers will meet in NUI Galway’s Moore Institute from 11-12 July to discuss how texts, authors, and workers moved between the two locations across the period. Topics under discussion include circulating libraries, publishing by subscription, the effects of the Act of Union in 1801 on integrating the book trade in Britain and Ireland, periodicals, and poetry publishing. Professor Daniel Carey, Director of the Moore Institute, said: “Research on the history of the book trade in Ireland is revealing new networks and exchanges of labour and publishing projects between Ireland and Britain. Brexit has reminded us how close these countries are economically. But the pattern has been in place for the three centuries.” Scholars from London, Oxford, Edinburgh, and Birmingham will join academics from NUI Galway and other Irish institutions for two days of discussion. For further information contact Martha Shaughnessy in the Moore Institute at Martha.shaughnessy@nuigalway.ie or 091 493902. -Ends-

Friday, 1 July 2016

Includes a virtual tour of Galway Bay above and below the waves SeaScience, an educational app developed by the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway in partnership with Galway City Museum, has now been launched. The app was designed as a companion for the SeaScience exhibition, permanently housed in the Galway City Museum, and provides the visitor with a virtually-guided tour of the exhibits. It can also be used independently without having to physically visit the museum itself. The app interactively encourages the user to learn about the marine environment by teaching in a fun way using text, audio and video content about the value and benefits of the oceans to all life on the planet. Some of the topics covered include marine pollution, the generation of renewable electricity from the sea, marine zoology, the sounds of the ocean, and effects of climate change on marine environments. “The SeaScience app can be used by adults or children all over the world. It’s a wonderful classroom resource and showcases the internationally-recognised work of our researchers across disciplines as disparate as Civil Engineering, Earth and Ocean Science, Physics, Information and Communication Technology, Modelling and Zoology. All of these disciplines worked closely together to produce the content for app,” said Professor Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute, who spearheaded the creation of the SeaScience exhibition and the development of the app with Galway City Museum. “The SeaScience app also provides a virtual tour of Galway Bay above and below the waves. It really shines the spotlight on the city of Galway, its people and their relationship with the sea.” Eithne Verling, Director of Galway City Museum said: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity of working with the Ryan Institute on this project. Our Sea Science exhibition is extremely popular with all our visitors - it gives people a great understanding of the richness and value of Galway Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.” The app was designed by Gerald Glynn of Gesture Media and is designed to work across all platforms. It is free to download from the Apple app store and will be available shortly in the Google play store for android. Just search for “sea science”.    -ends-

Thursday, 30 June 2016

CÚRAM researchers involved in the coordination of three major EU funded projects; ‘AngioMatTrain’, ‘Tendon Therapy Train’ and ‘Neurograft’, are hosting three symposia at the prestigious TERMIS-EU 2016 conference in Uppsala, Sweden this week. Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director at CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices, based at NUI Galway, will also present a keynote talk. The Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) is one of the most prominent organisations in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine globally and attracts interest from the highest levels of the scientific community in biomedical research. The projects featured at the conference are coordinated by CÚRAM and funded by the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme and the Horizon 2020 programme. CÚRAM investigators are currently coordinating eight large scale research consortia funded by the EU FP7 and Horizon 2020 programmes. Another CÚRAM researcher, Dilip Thomas, is Chair-Elect for the EU Student and Young Investigator section (SYIS) of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS). SYIS provides a platform for the next generation of scientists and engineers in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine to interact. SYIS aims to further the professional and scientific development of its members. Professor Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM, stated: “Our strong presence at TERMIS-EU 2016 is an indication of the relevance of CÚRAM’s research within Europe. We will continue to initiate collaborative research, with partners from outside of Ireland and look towards funding opportunities within Horizon 2020.” AngioMatTrain focuses on understanding ischemic diseases, from basics to translation, and is supported by eight full partners (five universities, one hospital and two SMEs). The AngioMatTrain symposium at TERMIS; “Biomaterial-Based Treatments for Ischemic Diseases” is being chaired by Professor Andrea Banfi, Principal Investigator on the project and a leader in the field of angiogenesis from the University Hospital Basal Switzerland. Dr Renza Spelat, a postdoctoral researcher on the project, based at CÚRAM, is chairing the session while three postgraduate researchers will give oral presentations and an additional five will present posters at the conference. The NeuroGraft Project focuses on injuries and degenerative diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) which constitute a bottleneck in medical and surgical practice for which no therapy currently exists. NeuroGraft aims to develop stem cell seeded functionalised bio-artificial organs. This exciting concept will be realised through the NeuroGraft consortium, consisting of one academic and four industrial partners (four SMEs), across four countries. This week’s NeuroGraft symposium at TERMIS, ‘Biomaterial-Based Treatments for Repair After Nerve/ Spinal cord Injury’ will be chaired by Dr Siobhan MacMahon, Investigator within CÚRAM and a Lecturer in Anatomy at NUI Galway and will feature Dr James Phillips, Senior Lecturer, Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, Eastman Dental Institute, University College London, and Rachel Ronan, PhD candidate at CÚRAM. Tendon Therapy Train will develop the world’s first three-dimensional, cell-assembled prototype for human and equine patients suffering tendon injuries. The Tendon Therapy Train consortium is led by Dr Dimitrios Zeugolis at CÚRAM at NUI Galway and is further comprised of six academic, three clinical and seven industry partners. Dr Zeugolis will chair two sessions this week at TERMIS, titled ‘Clinical Tissue Engineering’ and ‘Tendon Biology: A Blueprint to Engineer Functional Tissue’ with presentations to be given by visiting researcher Diana Pereira and doctoral candidate Christina Ryan. The goal of the conference is to bring together leading experts within the tissue engineering and regenerative medicine community to present and discuss their latest scientific and clinical developments. Sessions this year are focused on biomaterials and intelligent scaffolds, stem cells, growth factors, activation of developmental and regenerative pathways, and translation of research to the clinic and industry. -ends-

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

NUI Galway Mechanical Engineering Student, Patrick Costello was a finalist and received a Merit Award at the recent 2016 Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur Awards ceremony. The project ‘Agricultural Safety Solutions’ was a joint initiative between Patrick, who is from Oranmore, Co. Galway, and GMIT student Brian Melia. The students came up with the idea of a safety device which is installed in agricultural trailers, the Livestock Trailer Restrainer. Opening the gates of a livestock trailer can be hazardous due to the fact the animals can place excessive force on the gates, with the risk of potential injury to the operator. The Livestock Trailer Restrainer is essentially a gate with a release mechanism that can be operated from the side of the livestock trailer. It puts a barrier between an operator and livestock to allow them to exit the boundaries of the danger zone which is the ramp. The device can then be released from a safe zone to the side of the trailer putting the operator out of the trample path of the livestock. Professor Sean Leen, Head of Mechanical Engineering, NUI Galway: “This successful design is an excellent example of the initiative of many Irish engineering students and originated as part of the Community Awareness Initiatives Responsibly Directed by Engineers (CAIRDE) second year engineering group design projects at NUI Galway. We ask students to work directly with community partners to conceive, design, make and test prototype solutions to real-world problems. It is highly rewarding to see this type of initiative getting due recognition.” -Ends-

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

A free screening of the documentary film, Stem Cell Revolutions takes place on 4 July at the Clinical Science Institute, NUI Galway, from 7pm. With the tag line ‘You’ve heard so much about stem cells. But what do they really do?’ it has been described as a truly entertaining documentary. According to reviews, it provides a ‘fascinating, unsensationalised and complete guide for anyone who wants an informed appreciation of stem cell science and an understanding of what all the fuss is about’. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with Professors Timothy O’Brien and Matt Griffin, both of University Hospitals Galway and NUI Galway. Professors O’Brien and Griffin are among the many scientists and physicians in Galway who are involved in cutting edge research and clinical trials using bone marrow-derived stem cells in Galway. Through the Health Research Board (HRB) Clinical Research Facility Galway (CRFG), Professors O’Brien and Griffin will be conducting a clinical trial using bone marrow derived stem cells to offset diabetic kidney disease as part of a Horizon 2020 project called NEPHSTROM. Other clinical studies that involve stem cell treatments are also underway at the HRB CRFG. Stem Cell Revolutions Featuring beautiful hand-drawn animations and interviews with leading stem cell scientists, Stem Cell Revolutions charts the history and scientific evolution of stem cell research - from the earliest experiments that first revealed stem cells in the body, to leading current scientific and clinical developments. Stem Cell Revolutions features eminent international scientists in stem cell research, including 2012 Nobel Laureates Shinya Yamanaka and Sir John Gurdon, Nobel Laureate Sir Martin Evans, as well as Sir Ian Wilmut, creator of Dolly the sheep. Acclaimed novelist Margaret Atwood serves as a non-scientific commentator in the film. This screening is part of the ‘It’s OK to ask about clinical research’ public awareness campaign that aims to encourage patients, carers, and the public to ask healthcare professionals if there is a clinical trial study they might be suitable for. The documentary is aimed at adults with a general interest in science and medicine and transition year students upward. Watch the trailer here https://youtu.be/uhfBaZSkiMQ Please reserve seats for the screening through Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/stem-cell-revolutions-documentary-screening-tickets-25954474532?aff=ebrowse or email Danielle.nicholson@nuigalway.ie -ends - 

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

NUI Galway will hold a free public conference on the theme of ‘Place, Identity, Conflict: War and Revolution in the West of Ireland, 1913-18’ on 1-2 July. The conference will be hosted by the University’s 1916-Scholar-in-Residence, Dr Conor McNamara and take place in the Aula Maxima. The conference will showcase the most up-to-date research on the period, and will feature speakers from a number of universities, as well as from civic and community groups in the west. Dr John Cunningham, a historian at NUI Galway, said: “There will be a particular focus over the two days on the  newly-available resources – especially digital resources – which have been transforming our understanding both of the impact of the First World War on Irish society, and the pressures that drove a generation into revolution. The level of detail in military pension applications and in compensation claims, for example, can be quite remarkable, and they assist in providing a rounded picture of the impact of conflict at the level of the family and the local community.” The conference programme includes talks on contrasting perspectives of the period from the world of the ‘big house', the lives of rural women, the Irish in America, the urban poor and a range of competing narratives. The crucial issues of land, recruitment to the military, the emergence of the Irish Volunteers, the Irish language, the Easter Rising in Galway and the social history of ordinary peoples’ lives will all be examined. In association with the conference, there will also be an event in the Galway Mechanics Institute on Middle Street on Friday, 1 July at 9 pm, entitled ‘Songs of Labour, War and Revolution’, curated by Therese McIntyre of the 1916 Song project. For a full programme email history@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The latest incarnation of Ireland’s most energy-efficient car, the Geec (Galway energy-efficient car), was recently launched at NUI Galway by Dr Jim Browne, the University’s President, and Dr John Conroy, Head of Regulatory Affairs at Shell E&P Ireland. The Geec and its team of NUI Galway students travelled to London at the weekend to compete in the prestigious 2016 Shell Eco-marathon (SEM) Europe, which takes place 30 June to 3 July. The Geec, which has been designed, built, driven and tested entirely by NUI Galway students, became the first-ever Irish entry to the Europe-wide event in 2015. The car finished 23rd out of 51 teams in the battery electric prototype category, with an efficiency score of 287 kilometres per kilowatt-hour, equivalent to 8,000 miles per gallon. Driving the 2015 Geec from Galway to Dublin would use just 13 cents worth of electricity. The Geec 2.0 aims to improve on this performance through an aggressive campaign of vehicle weight reduction, aerodynamic improvements, electric drive optimisation, data gathering and analysis, and driver training. As part of this effort, the Geec 2.0 teamed up recently with Mondello Park International Racing Circuit, the home of motor racing in Ireland, to put the car’s electrical, electronic and mechanical systems, as well as its drivers, through their paces before travelling to London. The team behind the Geec comprises 19 undergraduate students from NUI Galway’s disciplines of Energy Systems Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Commerce. The students have responsibilities for all aspects crucial for the success of the Geec; the chassis, braking and steering systems, the electromechanical drive-train, the power electronics control system, the data acquisition system, the aerodynamic shell, and marketing and communications. Assisting and advising the students are two postgraduate advisors and three academic mentors from across NUI Galway’s engineering disciplines. The mission of the Geec is not only to place highly on the leader board at SEM Europe, but also to show what young engineers at Irish universities are capable of when faced with a major interdisciplinary challenge. Work on the Geec has been incorporated into engineering project work at NUI Galway. The students’ work also illustrates the roles engineers can play to tackle some of the biggest problems currently facing Ireland and the world, such as climate change, the need to find alternatives to fossil fuels, and sustainable transportation. Nearly 40% of energy use in Ireland is for transportation, with 97% of this figure delivered by imported oil products. The widespread use of fossil fuels in transportation is responsible for the release of about one quarter of Ireland’s climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions from transportation are second only to those of agriculture. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “It is wonderful to see the strides that the Geec has made in the last year since becoming the first ever entry from an Irish university to compete at the Shell Eco-marathon. This illustrates the creativity, dedication and initiative of our young engineers when they are given the right guidance, education and access to world-class engineering facilities.” Sorcha Tarpey, a fourth year Energy Systems Engineering student and one of the Geec team leaders, said: “Working on the Geec at NUI Galway has given the team members invaluable insight into real-life engineering, where diverse teams have to work together to deliver solutions to complex problems in time and on budget. It has been an incredible learning experience and we can’t wait to put our theory into practice in London!” Ronan Deasy, Managing Director at Shell Ireland said: “Shell Ireland is delighted to partner with NUI Galway on the enhanced GEEC. The team have worked incredibly hard and have made vast strides in the performance of this year’s model. We are very proud to partner with such ingenuity and tenacity. We wish them all the best for the event in London and look forward to hearing of their success.” Dr Rory Monaghan, Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at NUI Galway and one of the Academic Mentors for the Geec, said: “At NUI Galway, we believe that having a high-profile flagship project like the Geec gives us a real edge in attracting top students from around the country to study engineering. Working on the Geec encompasses all aspects of engineering, which is a truly creative profession, from concept design, detailed analysis and mathematical modelling, all the way to component manufacturing and assembly, vehicle testing and team marketing. We believe the Geec produces truly rounded engineers who are able to take on any challenge thrown at them.”  -Ends-

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

NUI Galway has launched a new sustainability initiative which aims to make the campus one of the greenest, smartest, healthiest and community-focused in the world.   The initiative is based on a Learn Live Lead approach where NUI Galway focuses on its core strength in teaching and research to learn about sustainability, analyses building performance and campus operations to live more sustainability, and connects to broader society to lead in translating sustainability to the wider community.  As part of the initiative, NUI Galway becomes the first university in Ireland to join the Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI) Sustainable Energy Communities Network. This ambitious initiative also includes a ‘Battle of the Buildings’ energy-efficiency competition and a new website to showcase sustainability teaching and research and to engage the campus community. Commenting at the launch, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Registrar and Deputy President of NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to be the first university in Ireland to sign up for this initiative. After my appointment in early 2014 as Registrar and Deputy President, I initiated a university-wide discussion on the future of NUI Galway among senior academics and senior administrators. One of the key themes identified in this process was to move the University towards the greenest, smartest, healthiest and community-focused third-level campus in Ireland with an ambition to be internationally recognised by 2025 for its culture and practice of sustainability. ” Professor Ó Dochartaigh continued: “The SEAI Sustainable Energy Communities Network is timely and fits very well with strategic developments in NUI Galway. For example, the NUI Galway Strategic Plan 2015-2020, Vision 2020 embraces the ideas of ‘creating a sustainable campus where all resources are used efficiently and where facilities are managed and services consolidated as efficiently as possible’ and recognises the need for ‘external engagement with an openness to partnership and a spirit of collaboration to define the NUI Galway approach’.” The Sustainable Energy Communities Network embraces an inclusive and community approach, across all sectors, to develop a sustainable energy system. To achieve this goal, SECs aim to be energy efficient, to use renewable energy where feasible and to develop decentralised energy supplies. By joining the SEC Network, NUI Galway commits to knowledge sharing with SEC members and to developing and implementing energy-saving initiatives. Membership of the SEC network offers many benefits to the University and its community partners, including the potential for energy and financial savings, community building through a partnership approach, and developing renewable energy technologies. Battle of the Buildings The first major project of the University’s sustainability initiative is the ‘Battle of the Buildings’, inspired by a similar competition run by the US Environmental Protection Agency. It aims to make students, academics and staff more aware of the energy use of campus buildings and to encourage energy-efficient behaviour through collegial competition. The first departments to battle off are engineering, nursing and business, all located in the north of the Newcastle campus. Details of daily energy use of buildings will be available online as well as on dashboards throughout campus. An energy training and awareness campaign will encourage students, academics and staff to make informed decisions about energy use that will reduce energy costs. Professor Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, said: “We have made great progress over the last 10 years in introducing clean and green systems into our buildings and thanks to the leadership of the Buildings Office we are becoming much more efficient in how we use energy and what types of energies we use. This launch recognises that to progress a sustainable energy system, a collaborative and concerted campus and community-wide commitment to energy efficiency and sustainable energy use is needed.” Professor Brown continued: “NUI Galway recognises the role of a sustainable third-level campus in the transition towards a sustainable community encompassing environment health, economy, community and culture. Sustainable energy use is a central pillar of campus energy policy and is the foundation for NUI Galway to become recognised internationally as one of the greenest, smartest and healthiest campuses.” Phelim Kelly, President of the Students’ Union, added: “This is a fantastic initiative where we can see a real partnership between students, staff and indeed the external community. I would like to thank everyone involved in their efforts to make people more consciously aware of the environment. It is brilliant to see staff and students collaborate with an aim to see a healthier, green campus and in doing so giving the University and wider communities an insight into the value of sustainable technologies.” NUI Galway has also launched a new website to collect all existing research, teaching, outreach and management relating to sustainability. This website includes dedicated pages for each sustainability project, a feedback mechanism for ideas for campus improvements, and links to teaching and research centres. New data platforms will be integrated in the website demonstrate key performance indicators relating to campus performance, such as energy use in each building. For more details on sustainability at NUI Galway, visit: www.nuigalway.ie/sustainability ENDS

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The QS World University Rankings By Subject 2016 has placed Earth and Ocean Sciences in the School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway as the highest ranked subject across the entire university. The University are placed 2nd in Ireland in the category of Earth and Marine Sciences and has maintained the position of 151-200 in the world, in this particular subject area. For the second year running, Earth and Ocean Sciences have graduated the largest earth science class ever across all of the Irish universities. Dr Tiernan Henry, Lecturer in Environmental Geology at Earth and Ocean Sciences in NUI Galway, said: “We are really delighted that earth sciences is the highest ranking subject at the University. This is a reflection of the dedication of all of our staff to excellence in both teaching and research. Our graduates are going to excellent post graduate destinations in Ireland and elsewhere and many are now working in the broad geoscience field.” The QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016 highlight the world’s top universities in 42 subjects, based on academic reputation, employer reputation and research impact. Earth and Ocean Sciences at NUI Galway involves the study of the physical and chemical processes that affect planet Earth and its oceans. In this field, students study topical subjects, such as climate change, natural resources and the management and conservation of our oceans. Four sub-disciplines are involved: geology, geophysics, hydrogeology and oceanography, which, in different ways, look at various workings of the planet, from the atmosphere to the seabed. Earth and Ocean Sciences provide a wide range of disciplines such as mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry, geophysics, hydrogeology, physical and chemical oceanography, marine biogeochemistry, palaeobiology, sedimentology and plate tectonics. And includes the study of earthquakes, tectonics, volcanoes, ocean productivity, ocean currents, mass extinctions, climate change, energy or environmental pollution, the most productive insights into these phenomena often arise from interactions amongst the different disciplines. To view the full QS World Rankings visit: http://www.topuniversities.com/universities/national-university-ireland-galway#subject ENDS

Friday, 24 June 2016

US Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O’Malley and Ireland’s Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resources, Seán Kyne TD, announced 39 new Fulbright Irish Awardees at the Ambassador’s Residence in Dublin recently. Since 1957, the Fulbright Awards are given annually by the Irish and U.S. governments and provide Irish students, scholars, and professionals with the opportunity to study, lecture, and research at top universities and institutions throughout the United States. Among the 39 awardees were nine winners from NUI Galway including mother and daughter Rita and Ruth Melia from Athenry, Co. Galway. This is the first mother and daughter pair to win Fulbright Irish Awards in the same year. The NUI Galway recipients include: Ruth Cormican, from Oranmore, Co. Galway, is currently completing her LLB at NUI Galway. She will be taking up the Fulbright-University of Notre Dame LLM Award in International Human Rights Law, focusing in particular on human rights issues arising in the context of international and internal armed conflict. Jason Finnerty graduated from NUI Galway in 2014 with a BA in Irish, History and Irish Studies. In 2016 he completed a Professional Masters in Education at NUI Galway, while working as a teacher in St. Raphael's College, Loughrea, Co. Galway. Jason, from Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, will be a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at Davidson County Community College, North Carolina. Dr Kate McDonnell-Dowling, from Doolin, Co. Clare, is a recent graduate from the NUI Galway in the field of Neuroscience and Neuropharmacology. As a Fulbright Scholar, Kate will be hosted by Tufts University, Boston to carry out research on the consequences of early-life stress and drug exposure and focusing on how these experiences can lead to addiction in later life. Rita Melia is a Doctoral Researcher at UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galway, an early childhood specialist with Early Childhood Ireland, and an Irish Research Council Scholar. As a Fulbright Student Awardee at Project Zero in the Harvard Graduate School of Education Boston, Rita will explore the preschool educators image of the child as a learner. Dr Ruth Melia is a Clinical Psychologist who collaborates on a joint research project with the IT Department at NUI Galway where she is also Adjunct Lecturer in Clinical Psychology. Ruth works with the HSE West and is co-founder of CAATCH, a suicide prevention initiative. As a Fulbright TechImpact Scholar, Ruth will research the use of mHealth technologies in suicide prevention at the Suicide Prevention Research Laboratory, Stanford University. Anna Ní Choirbín graduated with a BA in Modern Irish and English, a Dioplóma Iarchéime san Oideachas and an MA from NUI Galway. Originally from Corr na Móna, Co. Galway, has been a secondary school teacher for the past 6 years and will be a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at Elms College, Chicopee, Massachusetts. Áine Ní Shúilleabháin has completed a BA International in English and French, a Diploma in Irish, and an MA in Advanced Language Skills at NUI Galway. Áine, from Tralee, Co. Kerry, has worked as an Irish teacher and translator and is currently employed in at a translation company. She will be a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at Idaho State University.  Sylvia Soldatou is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemistry at NUI Galway after moving to Ireland from Greece. As a Fulbright Student Awardee, Sylvia will focus on a chemical ecology project comparing the chemistry produced by Irish algal and mollusk samples. She will conduct her research at the University of South Florida. Rosa Shine graduated from NUI Galway in 2014 with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. From Athlone, Co. Roscommon, Rosa is currently a PhD candidate in the Biomechanics Research Centre, NUI Galway. As a Fulbright Student Awardee she will be performing advanced experimental testing on bioresorbable polymeric stents at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Kevin O’Malley, US Ambassador to Ireland, said: “I warmly congratulate the 2016-2017 cohort of Awardees. The Fulbright Awards are highly competitive, globally recognised, and associated with excellence and prestige, so this is a real accomplishment. We are proud to have such bright minds embarking on educational and cultural exchanges to the US, and we look forward to seeing the fruits of their studies and research when they return to Ireland.” Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resources, Seán Kyne TD said: “I am thrilled with the level of prowess we see in this year’s Fulbright Irish Awardees. While in the US, they will not only gain knowledge and expertise in their fields, they will also act as Ambassadors for Ireland. For us, promotion of the Irish language is a key element of this goal to share knowledge beyond borders. With the support of the Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the National Lottery, the Fulbright Commission will send nine Foreign Language Teaching Assistants (FLTAs) to the US this August to teach Irish language and culture. We will also welcome 62 US citizens to Ireland as Summer Gaeltacht Awardees shortly where they will stay in Gaeltacht regions for 4-6 weeks to learn more about Irish culture and language. Indeed, many of these Awardees were introduced to the Irish language by former Fulbright FLTAs who taught at their US universities.” The next round of applications for Irish Fulbright Awardees will open on Wednesday, 31 August, 2016. Interested applicants from all disciplines are encouraged to visit the Fulbright Commission’s website www.fulbright.ie for more information. Applications for the 2017-2018 academic year will be due on Friday, 28 October, 2016. -Ends-

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Her Excellency Ms Mari Miyoshi, the Ambassador of Japan to Ireland and Professor Nobuo Ueno, Director of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science London, will attend the NUI Galway led ‘Ireland - Japan Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Meeting’ on the 22-23 June in the Hotel Meyrick, Galway. Led by Dr Dimitrios Zeugolis, Director of the Regenerative, Modular & Developmental Engineering Laboratory (REMODEL), and Investigator within CÚRAM, SFI Centre for Research in Medical Devices, the Conference is being held as part of the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) International Strategic Cooperation Award (ISCA) Japan programme, which aims to strengthen and improve relationships between researchers in Ireland and Japan. The Meeting will open with an address from Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway. Seven Japanese scientists with expertise in functional biomaterials, tissue engineering, nanotechnology and stem cell technology will be in attendance. They represent prestigious Japanese institutions including the University of Tokyo, Kyoto University and RIKEN. Also in attendance will be a delegation from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) in London and from Science Foundation Ireland, who will be presenting on joint funding opportunities between Ireland and Japan. This will be complemented by presentations from leading researchers from NUI Galway and other Irish institutions. Dr Dimitrios Zeugolis said: “Researchers from NUI Galway visited Japan for industry-academia seminars in May 2015 and this week’s meeting is a follow up to those efforts. The Meeting represents an excellent opportunity for Irish researchers to meet world leading scientists and develop new relationships.” The ISCA Japan programme was established in March 2014 after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Taoiseach Enda Kenny exchanged visits and decided to increase cooperative efforts between the two countries, issuing the Joint Declaration for Partnership and Growth. Cooperation in Research and Development is a key element of the Partnership. The Programme has been strengthening relationships between Ireland and Japan by providing a framework for interaction between Irish and Japanese researchers, as the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries approaches in 2017. Eleven Irish institutes came together to form a consortium, which is led by NUI Galway. A range of medium and large seminars and conferences have been held since March 2014, with a total of over 100 researchers and visiting partners, travelling in both directions. Ultimately, the aims of the ISCA Japan Programme are threefold: To increase the number of joint research projects between Irish and Japanese researchers To increase the number of joint funding proposals To increase the number of Japanese PhD students, Post-doctoral researchers, and academics choosing Ireland as a destination for research For further information about the Meeting visit: http://www.curamdevices.ie/curam/news-and-events/events-calendar/events/2016/name-111147-en.html For more about the ISCA Japan Programme visit: www.irelandjapanresearch.com ENDS

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Now in its fifth year, the partnership focuses on several initiatives supporting new work, volunteering, the SELECTED internship programme, and hosting major productions on-campus NUI Galway has announced details of their 2016 partnership with Galway International Arts Festival. The partnership will see the University support two world-class theatre productions, play host to First Thought talks and a major visual art exhibition, and continue to support the Festival’s SELECTED and Volunteer Programmes. This year NUI Galway is supporting two major theatre productions at the Festival. The world premiere of Death at Intervals, new Irish work featuring Olwen Fouéré, one of the country’s greatest performance artists. It is also supporting the Irish premiere of Song From Far Away, a new production by one of the world’s most exciting theatre companies, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, and directed by Ivo van Hove, the internationally acclaimed director whose recent productions include the Broadway hits The Crucible (featuring Saoirse Ronan), Lazarus (by Enda Walsh and David Bowie) and Antigone (featuring Juliette Binoche).  Theatre post-show talks at the Festival will be moderated by Professor Patrick Lonergan and Thomas Conway from NUI Galway. The University will also play host to key events during this year’s Festival, including its First Thought programme, which examines the theme of Identity, and the campus will house Making Ireland Modern, a major exhibition that explores the relationship between architecture, infrastructure and technology in independent Ireland. Galway International Arts Festival and NUI Galway will continue its SELECTED internship programme. Exclusively available to NUI Galway students in the Creative Arts (Film, Drama, Arts Policy and Practice), SELECTED is a unique initiative which gives a limited number of students full access behind-the-scenes to many aspects of the Festival. The two-week, whirlwind academy offers students the opportunity to see how a Festival of this magnitude is put together by offering in person meetings with Festival organisers, international and Irish producers, and participating artists.  NUI Galway will also partner the Festival’s Volunteer Programme where the University is one of the leaders in the field of volunteerism through its ALIVE programme. Commenting on the partnership, Patrick Lonergan, Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway, stated that the relationship with Galway International Arts Festival plays a key role in the University’s mission of producing the next generation of creative artists and producers. “SELECTED has been a huge success during its five years, giving emerging artists and producers their first steps into the professional world of the creative industries. We are delighted to be able to continue to offer our undergraduate and postgraduate students the opportunity to put their knowledge into practice in the vibrant setting of one of Europe’s leading Arts Festivals.” Professor Lonergan added that the University’s support of theatre productions in the Festival was an important element of the partnership. “We want our students to aspire to excellence, so it is hugely important that they can encounter a new production by a brilliant Irish artist such as Olwen Fouéré, while also having a chance to see new work by the world’s most in-demand director Ivo van Hove. This work shows that Galway is a leading centre for the creation of new theatre, and a leading location for the production of international work.” John Crumlish, CEO of Galway International Arts Festival said: “The partnership with NUI Galway is hugely important to us and we are very grateful to the University for its continuing support. Over the last number of years, the relationship has grown significantly and now impacts across a number of different areas of the festival. All of this is hugely important to the ability to deliver a world class event here in the West of Ireland.” Mr Crumlish added, “The SELECTED programme is now established as a great learning experience for young artists and producers who wish to forge a career in the creative industries while NUI Galway’s support for the theatre programme ensures we can continue to produce new Irish work while presenting the very best of international theatre in Galway. In addition, the University generously shares its physical resources with us to provide additional festival venues and its human resources to support the Volunteer Programme.” Celebrating five years of SELECTED, former participant Rachel Ní Fhionnáin said: “Being part of the programme surpassed all of my expectations. We met with the Festival’s directors and were introduced to artists, producers, musicians and background staff, and saw how GIAF works both financially and practically. The programme gave me the opportunity to meet encouraging, inspiring artists and creative minds such as Olwen Fouéré, Enda Walsh and David Mach. Following this unique experience I have gone on to join the committee of Féile na Bealtaine Arts Festival in Dingle and have directed the play An Filleadh by Alan Titley in the Abbey Theatre.”   Galway International Arts Festival will run from the 11-24 July 2016. For bookings and further details visit www.giaf.ie or follow #giaf16 For more information on NUI Galway’s Creative Arts visit: www.nuigalway.ie/creativearts ENDS

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

NUI Galway, in collaboration with 19 software industry partners, is offering a limited number of free places on its award winning, innovative Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development Programme – Industry Stream. This programme was recently awarded the accolade of ‘Postgraduate Programme of the Year in Information Technology’ by Grad Ireland. 90% of graduates of the Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development programme have secured immediate employment in software development roles. Many of the graduates are employed with some of Ireland’s leading software companies. NUI Galway has designed this one year conversion programme in conjunction with 19 leading IT employers which enables graduates to reskill for employment in the software development area. Student fees for the course are funded by the Higher Education Authority given the strategic importance of developing skills in this area. Successful applicants therefore, pay no fees, only a student levy of €224. The overall goal of this postgraduate conversion programme is to strategically increase the supply of skilled graduates to meet the needs of Ireland’s high-growth software industry. It will provide graduates with a fast track, focused computing qualification, and presents them with an opportunity to obtain valuable industry work experience. Applicants are paired with an industry partner from the start of the programme and are then trained in key technologies for that employer’s needs, so they are then able to maximise the impact of a paid industry internship towards the end of the programme. The Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development builds on the existing strengths of collaborative academic-industry interaction in the Galway region, and will provide graduates with a solid foundation in key areas of software design, a choice of software architecture specialisations in either .NET or Java Enterprise. The final aspect of the course involves a guaranteed three-month paid internship to gain industry experience, and as a result provides the opportunity to kick-start your career as a software developer. Each student progresses through the course will have their training content determined by their associated industry partner. On completion of the course, these students will have transformed their employability in the current economy, with a range of great options opening up to them for further progression either in industry or via more specialisation through a masters.  The industry partners include Avaya, IBM, Cisco, Fidelity Investments, INSIGHT, Storm Technologies, Aspect Software, The Marine Institute, Solano Tech Ltd, NetFort Technologies and Schneider Electric. Dr Enda Howley, Course Director, said: “We are delighted to again offer free places on this unique programme due to funding from the Higher Education Authority and their Springboard initiative. This is a super opportunity for highly motivated analytical graduates particularly from engineering, maths and science backgrounds. We have had huge success with graduates from these areas due to their natural problem solving capacity. By investing just one year of their time in further education, and, through placement experience with our Industry partners; they will have an excellent prospect for recruitment as software developers in Ireland’s high tech ICT sector. This sector is experiencing rapid expansion at the moment, and there is a growing skills shortage for ICT graduate roles that these students are ideally suited to fill. “The highly intensive programme is designed to begin software development from scratch, but we are particularly keen to receive applications from those who have had some exposure to code and realise that this is something they potentially have a flare for. People with technical or strong numerical backgrounds often perform best in these types of programmes and we strongly encourage applicants who have strong maths skills. This could be a strong maths result from their leaving cert or from certain modules in their undergraduate degree. This is not essential, but often indicates a strong problem solving and logical skillset”, continued Dr Howley. The programme is open to all those who have a level 8 degree or alternatively those with a level 7 degree and has some relevant industry work experience. The programme is ideal for those from a Mathematics, Science or Engineering background, and who enjoy challenges along the lines of problem solving or project work. Dr Howley added: “The career prospects for our graduates are extremely strong and demand is dramatically outstripping supply. The programme is highly respected among many of Irelands leading software companies with many who specifically want to recruit graduates who have come through our unique programme. Many of our graduates are receiving multiple job offers before they even complete the programme. Our recognition as ‘Postgraduate Programme of the Year in Information Technology’ has propelled both the programme and our graduates to the front of the list for many recruiters and we are delighted with the feedback and positivity we have been receiving from our past graduates and their employers alike.” NUI Galway is now processing applications and those interested can make their application through www.springboardcourses.ie, or seek more information via the twitter account @hdipindustry.  Significant interest in this free course is expected and early application is advisable as we will process applications and hold interviews on a rolling basis. Deadline for final applications is Friday, 15 July. For further information contact the Programme Director, Dr Enda Howley at ehowley@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Landscape Values: Place and Praxis NUI Galway’s Centre for Landscape Studies will host the UNISCAPE General Assembly and International Conference, Landscape Values: Place and Praxis from 29 June to 2 July. The conference takes place on the first anniversary of the publication of Government of Ireland’s National Landscape Strategy 2015-2025, issued as part of its commitments under the European Landscape Convention which Ireland ratified in 2002. Working in association with the Heritage Council of Ireland and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the conference aims to reflect on how values attached to landscape get expressed at local and community level which in turn can be mobilised to shape national and European policy in the future. With 95 papers from 130 international experts, including colleagues from North America, Japan, China and Australia, the conference will explore innovative ways in which values associated with place are shaped and made. Papers range from landscapes of wellbeing, the material culture of the Galway Hooker, to sustainable food tourism. Sessions on policy and governance will also highlight new models of spatial planning and decision-making that honour the full suite of values associated with places in which communities live across Europe today. Delegates will also participate in four full-day site visits to community-led projects in the West of Ireland, across counties Galway, Mayo, Clare and Offaly as part of the conference programme. UNISCAPE is the European network of universities especially dedicated to the implementation of the European Landscape Convention (Council of Europe, Florence 2000). The aim of its 53 constituent institutions is to support and reinforce interdisciplinary co-operation within and among European universities regarding landscape issues, especially in the areas of research and education. On the importance of hosting the UNISCAPE General Assembly in Ireland, Chairman of the Heritage Council of Ireland, Conor Newman said: “The presence here of UNISCAPE sends out a strong signal about the role that universities across Europe are playing in the delivery of the European Landscape Convention. UNISCAPE is a key partner of the Council of Europe’s Committee for Culture, Heritage and Landscape. This committee met in Strasbourg recently to sign off on the European Cultural Heritage Strategy for the 21st century, foregrounding the connection between the Landscape Convention and the Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society. This conference is an opportunity to tune in to this wider, international dialogue, to learn from the experience of others, and to showcase the Irish situation.” Professor Bas Pedroli, Director of UNISCAPE, said : “We are really looking forward to meeting our international delegates of various disciplinary backgrounds in Galway this summer. The engagement of the Centre for Landscape Studies of the NUI Galway promises an excellent working atmosphere both in the University and out on site with the field-visits to community projects in the region. This will certainly enhance a better understanding of the Irish landscape within its own particular parameters while also discussing broader European contexts as well.” Other events associated with the conference include, a screening of Fís na Fuiseoige, a documentary film exploring the connection between people and place which won Best Cinematography at the San Francisco Earth Day Film Festival, and the launch of Gearóid Ó hAllmhúráin’s new work in Irish Music Studies, Flowing Tides: History and Memory in an Irish Soundscape, published by Oxford University Press. The opening night of the conference will also see the launch of Iarsma: Fragments from an Archive, the Artist-in-the-Archive Project at the Tim Robinson Archive now housed in the James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway. Devised by Dr Nessa Cronin at NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies, Iarsma is the culmination of the collaborative work of visual artist Deirdre O’Mahony, choreographer Ríonach Ní Néill, and composer Tim Collins. All are welcome to attend the performance at 8pm Wednesday, 29 June in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society, NUI Galway. For further information see http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=448 or contact placeandpraxis@gmail.com. -Ends-

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

A major three-day international symposium focusing on improving health outcomes for young adults with type 1 diabetes will take place at NUI Galway from 22-24 June. Type 1 diabetes affects 14,000-16,000 people in Ireland and requires intensive self-management, including monitoring blood glucose, administering insulin, carbohydrate counting, and regulating exercise, to maintain good diabetes control. This daily self-management routine is challenging for most, but is especially difficult for young adults whose lives are often characterised by transition, independence and unpredictability. The Irish Young Adult Type 1 Diabetes Study team, based in NUI Galway, have been working since 2011 to better understand the needs and perspectives of young adults with type 1 diabetes and this three-day event is the culmination of that work. On the first day, Dr Molly Byrne, Health Behaviour Change Research Group, NUI Galway, will bring together expert researchers and clinicians to agree a standardised set of outcomes for use in future research with young adults with type 1 diabetes. The highpoint of this three-day event will be the a major international expert conference ‘Strength In Numbers: Teaming up to improve the health of young adult with type 1 diabetes’ on Thursday, 23 June. This innovative, multi-disciplinary conference is not an information event for people with diabetes but will be of interest to young adults who would like to learn more about different approaches to supporting type 1 diabetes self-management and the research going on in this area. The free conference, which is funded by the Health Research Board through a Knowledge Exchange and Dissemination Scheme, may also be of interest to healthcare professionals, researchers and policy makers. Headed by Professor Seán Dinneen, Consultant Physician at Galway University Hospitals and Head of NUI Galway’s School of Medicine, the conference will see national and international experts presenting to a multi-disciplinary audience on service provision and technology for supporting self-management in young adults with type 1 diabetes. The final day will involve two parallel sessions: an ‘Expert Panel’ and a ‘Hackathon’. The Expert Panel will be focused, and people will be specifically chosen to attend based on their skills and experience. This panel meeting will involve feedback sessions and workshops to reach a consensus on the final protocol for an intervention to improve health outcomes for young adults with type 1 diabetes in Ireland. The Hackathon will bring together software developers, health-focused start-up businesses, people with type 1 diabetes and healthcare professionals to focus on possible technology solutions which could be applied in a future young adult intervention. Professor Seán Dinneen said: “We at NUI Galway are very excited at the prospect of bringing together a group of over 100 people interested in young adult diabetes care including healthcare professionals, researchers, policy makers and especially young adults living with type 1 diabetes. With your help we hope to gain real insight into new ways of delivering care to this group of patients.” For further information contact Dr Lisa Hynes in NUI Galway’s School of Psychology on 091 494458. -Ends-

Friday, 17 June 2016

NUI Galway announces scheme that targets high-achieving, school leavers from ‘new’ communities, particularly those who are living in or exiting from direct provision Conference to underline the importance of access to third-level education Conference to recognise and celebrate Ireland’s diversity in 2016 Mary Robinson, David Stanton TD, Minister of State for Justice with responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration and former Justice Bryan McMahon are among the line-up of keynote speakers at the Inclusive Centenaries conference today (Friday, 17 June) at NUI Galway. Inclusive Centenaries, which takes place ahead of World Refugee Day on Monday, 20 June, aims to be a space for reflection on the meaning and significance today of the ideals set out in the 1916 Proclamation from the perspective of Ireland’s newest communities. In a spirit of dialogue and celebration of Ireland’s diversity in 2016, Inclusive Centenaries will bring together people living in direct provision – especially women and young people – as well as members of other immigrant and local communities, elected representatives, policy advocates and NUI Galway leaders and decision makers. As part of the conference, and to mark Ireland’s Decade of Centenaries and celebrate the diversity of Irish society in 2016, NUI Galway is pleased to announce and launch a new, merit-based Inclusive Centenaries Scholarship Schemewith support from Galway University Foundation. This national pilot scheme aims to assist high-achieving, second-level school leavers from Ireland’s newest communities to pursue their third-level educational goals at NUI Galway, to realise their full potential, and to contribute to shaping Ireland of today and tomorrow. Minister David Stanton TD, the newly appointed Minister of State for Justice with responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration, during his address said that the Government is committed to further improving the living conditions in the State provided accommodation through the provision of enhanced catering facilities and increased living space for families and children. The Minister also noted that the accommodation system would come within the remit of the Ombudsman and the Office of the Ombudsman of Children. The opening conference keynote address will be delivered by former Justice Bryan McMahon, Chairperson of the Government’s Working Group on the Protection Process, including reform of direct provision. Three other sessions will take place throughout the conference, which include “Cherishing all the Children of the Nation: Voices of Young People Living in Direct Provision”. This features a presentation by a group of young people currently living in direct provision in Galway, entitled “Endless Possibilities” through which the young people express their aspiration to be allowed to partake in third-level education and improve their living conditions within direct provision, as well to raise awareness of the inequalities of the system.  The group will premiere their original song “Shaping Futures” about educational inequality, under their group name “The Key” as part of this presentation. The session on “Inclusive Centenaries, Women’s Voices” features presentations by Mercedes Varona an entrepreneur originally from Cuba, Ludmila Snigireva, representing Russian speaking migrants and Simmy Ndlovu, from Zimbabwe, reflecting on her journey from seeking asylum to integration. A Lunch time performance, “Women Voices” is coordinated by Blessing Siphathisiwe Moyo and performed by women living in direct provision in the Eglinton Hotel. The performance also includes students from St. Enda's College in Galway Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, currently UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change will deliver  the closing address and which will also see the launch of the Galway Intercultural Forum Resource Booklet 2016. In addressing the conference Mary Robinson, said: “The new scholarship launched by NUI Galway today is a very fitting expression of the Inclusive Centenaries theme – it captures the traditional value placed on education in Ireland while looking forward and supporting young people in new communities to follow their educational dreams.” The Inclusive Centenaries conference is funded by the Irish Research Council New Foundations scheme. It is organised jointly by the Centre for Global Women’s Studies, School of Political Science and Sociology, the School of Law, and the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance at NUI Galway in partnership with The Mary Robinson Centre, Ballina and local partners: Galway County Council, Galway County Council Intercultural Forum, Youth Work Ireland, Galway and Galway City Partnership Intercultural Consortium. Speaking on behalf of the organisers, Drs Niamh Reilly and Ciara Smyth said: “Today’s presentations and performances by members of ‘new’ communities, especially young people, have reminded us that realising the values of the 1916 Proclamation is something that we all wish for and that education can be a shared journey that gets us there together.” For details on the Inclusive Centenaries Scholarship please see http://www.nuigalway.ie/scholarships/ ENDS

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Dr Iain Mac Labhrainn, Director of NUI Galway’s Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, has been invited to attend the 2016 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Ministerial Meeting. The Meeting will take place in Cancun, Mexico from 21-23 June. Dr Mac Labhrainn will participate in a panel discussion on ‘Jobs and Skills’. The invitation is following on from his presentation at last year’s OECD Higher Education meeting in Singapore, and reflecting on the growing international interest in the national project ‘All Aboard: Enabling and Empowering staff and students to flourish in the digital age’ which has produced a national digital skills framework and a wide range of supporting materials and activities. The 2016 OECD Ministerial Meeting on ‘The Digital Economy: Innovation, Growth and Social Prosperity’ will be attended by current and former government ministers, advisors, representatives of business and industry, trade union organisations, educational bodies, and civil society organisations. The debates and discussions will explore a wide range of items spanning the economy and society, technology and communications, and training and education. The event will conclude with the publication of the Cancun Declaration on Thursday, 23 June. For more information on the Meeting visit www.oecd.org/internet/ministerial/. -Ends-

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Tibetan Buddhist Monk to deliver public mindfulness classes at NUI Galway as part of the University’s ongoing initiative towards integrating a mindful culture As part of its ongoing initiative towards integrating mindfulness into the University’s culture, NUI Galway will host a day of Mindfulness classes with Tibetan Buddhist Monk, Gelong Thubten. The classes are free and will take place in NUI Galway’s Aula Maxima Lower on Friday, 24 June, throughout the day from 8.15am to 5pm.   This month’s classes will focus on Transforming Emotional Reactions through Mindfulness. This will be followed by a reflection practice that looks at methods for gaining more freedom from limiting emotional patterns, as well as how to develop greater tolerance and mental resilience. Training in compassion will also be emphasised. Classes are open to all university staff and students, the general public, researchers, student counsellors and advisors, healthcare professionals, mindfulness practitioners, and anyone with an interest in mindfulness. The June class is the fifth in a series of monthly classes, which will continue over the coming months at the University. The purpose of the classes is to provide a thorough training in mindfulness, teaching new themes and reflection practices each month, which should be practiced in between modules. For those attending for the first time, there is an opportunity to cover the previous three sessions at the 12pm class. Tibetan Buddhist Monk, Gelong Thubten is based at the Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery in Dumfriesshire in Scotland and works with businesses, hospitals, schools, prisons and addiction centres, and counts among his clients such organisations as the NHS, Google, Morrisons, Clifford Chance and Linklaters. He has lectured on Buddhism and meditation at the universities of Oxford, Helsinki and Cardiff.  Commenting on what people can expect from the Mindfulness classes Gelong Thubten said: “The mindfulness training has been very well supported at NUI Galway and people are finding real benefit in their lives. It is great to see so many people gaining such a lot from these classes.” Class Schedule for Friday, 24 June, 2016: 8.15am – 9:00am 10.45am – 11.30am 12:00pm – 12.45pm (Beginners) 13.15pm – 14:00pm 17: 00pm – 17:45pm For more about NUI Galway’s Mindful Way visit: www.nuigalway.ie/mindfulway ENDS

Thursday, 16 June 2016

NUI Galway is involved with Ireland’s first ever Autism Registry, which was recently launched by Minister for Children Katherine Zappone. The Registry will help identify the exact service needs for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by gathering vital information on a child’s diagnosis, development, medical and educational history. NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin and Autism Speaks are leading the initiative in response to a call for a registry from affected families. The pilot phase of the Registry will begin in Kildare/West Wicklow with hopes to extend it nationally later this year.  The data gathered will not only map out gaps in occupational health, speech & language and educational services but will also offer an important insight into the day-to-day realities for families living with autism. The Registry will also inform future academic research into the causes of autism and improved interventions. Dr Geraldine Leader, Director of the Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Research at NUI Galway said: “The benefits of this Registry are far reaching, and it will allow us not only to demonstrate how widespread the condition is but to identify where extra medical and educational resources should be targeted. The Irish Autism Registry will serve as a national resource, targeted at the social, health, educational and long term needs of the Irish autism community.” Professor Louise Gallagher, School of Medicine at Trinity College Dublin said:“I work with parents every day and know the immense challenges they face when it comes to access to the services they need for their child. The information gathered will allow us to identify the services that are lacking and to pinpoint exactly where they are needed. This will be the first step in helping children reach their full potential and in turn improve their quality of life.” An estimated one in 68 people worldwide has ASD, which makes it more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and paediatric AIDs combined. Parents and guardians across Kildare/West Wicklow are encouraged to support the project by registering their child on the Autism Registry. To sign up, please email Sarah-Marie Feighan on feighans@tcd.ie or call 01 8962315 For more information visit www.iarb.ie ENDS

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Minister of State for Health Promotion, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy to deliver opening conference address NUI Galway will hold the 20th annual Health Promotion Research Centre Summer Conference on Wednesday, 15 June in Áras Moyola. The conference will explore the use of research evidence in developing and implementing inter-sectoral policy and innovative practice for health promotion.  Minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Minister of State for Health Promotion at the Department of Health will deliver the opening address. Minister Corcoran Kennedy said: “The Healthy Ireland Framework is the blueprint for how we will promote, protect and improve the health and wellbeing of our people. Health promotion research and practice will play a key role in empowering individuals, families and communities to look after their own health and wellbeing and make positive choices. They are also a key part of the cross-sectoral partnerships we need to build to address the determinants of health.” The conference will bring together policy, research and practice perspectives on the use of more effective methods of translating evidence into effective health promotion action. Bridging the gap between ‘what works’ and ‘what happens in practice’ will be a key focus of the conference. This meeting also marks 30 years since the publication of the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion (WHO, 1986) and celebrates 20 years of NUI Galway hosting the annual Health Promotion conference. Professor Don Nutbeam, Professor of Public Health, Sydney School of Public Health in the University of Sydney, will deliver the a keynote lecture on optimising the transfer of research evidence into healthy public policy and health promotion practice. Professor Nutbeam said: “We need to work with policy makers to understand more clearly the type of questions that need answering, and to continue to develop the research methods that deliver the best possible answers to questions of greatest public health importance.” Dr Gauden Galea, Director of the Division of Noncommunicable Diseases and Promoting Health through the Life-course, WHO Regional Office for Europe will present on strengthening the evidence base for action on health promotion in Europe. Other speakers will include Professor Corey Keyes, Department of Sociology, Emory University, Atlanta, United States, who will deliver a lecture on the need for the promotion and protection of positive mental health throughout the lifespan, with a particular focus on youth and students. Professor Jan de Maeseneer, Head of Department of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care, Ghent University will discuss community oriented primary care and provide examples of the integration of health promotion into public health and primary health care. Professor de Maeseneer said: “Community Oriented Primary Care blends daily activities in primary health care with the aspirations of health promotion in the context of public health.” Workshops on using research in policy and practice will also feature and include topics such as alcohol, mental wellbeing, child and adolescent health, partnerships for health, behavior change and health inequalities. Oral and poster presentations related to the conference theme will also be delivered, and together with the workshops provide every delegate a chance to network and meet with speakers and colleagues. A riverside walk or spin on a ‘Pedal Power’ bike is also on offer to enable delegates easy and accessible active opportunities. Professor Margaret Barry, Chair of the 2016 Conference and Established Professor at NUI Galway, said: “This conference brings together key players in health promotion policy, research and practice and together we will reflect on the impact of health promotion since the publication of the Ottawa Charter, consider successes and current challenges, and envision how we can shape the future of health promotion and strengthen evidence-based action for improved population health.” Since NUI Galway’s postgraduate Health Promotion programme had its first entry in 1993, there have been over 600 graduates from the Master’s and Postgraduate Diploma programme and a recent survey of past graduates indicated that the vast majority are working in Health Promotion posts or in related work. NUI Galway has also seen a significant increase in the number of PhD students in Health Promotion in recent years, including overseas students, with 21 currently registered on a full or part-time basis.  -Ends-

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Scaling: building a business through sustainable growth in the West of Ireland is the focus of an entrepreneurship course in NUI Galway aimed at, and structured to, facilitate entrepreneurs Robert (Bob) Rosenberg of the Chicago Booth School of Business and the Polsky Centre for Innovation, ranked number 4 in innovation in the US, will spend the week of June 11-17 working with Irish companies working on ‘Scaling a Business’ in NUI Galway. There will be an additional event, which is open to the public and hosted in the PorterShed in Galway city on Wednesday, 15 June in association with StartUp Galway.   The newly established Atlantic Centre for Entrepreneurship & Executive Development aims to develop a sustainable partnership between proven entrepreneurs and experienced academics and bring globally-leading talent to Galway and the West of Ireland to offer the necessary skills to sustain and grow indigenous industry. This first course, ‘Scaling a Business’ and subsequent courses will be held at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway. Dr Tom Acton, Head of the School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway and Caitríona Lynch, entrepreneur and adjunct Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at NUI Galway have been working together to put in place a set of programmes in entrepreneurship. These are not training courses, not one-off workshops, but a structure for university accredited qualifications. Tom and Caitríona see it as the future of coalface education, a public-private partnership leveraging expertise from the University and others, and the entrepreneurship community. Describing how she convinced Bob Rosenberg to come to Galway, Caitríona Lynch said: “I went to Chicago with the aim of knocking on Bob’s door and asking him to come to Ireland. Building the next billion dollar company in Ireland depends on having the skill set to scale a business from a start-up and our focus is putting the structure and the skills in place now, to allow that to happen. It’s a privilege to work with someone of the calibre and expertise of Bob, and to draw from the vast skills and experience that he brings.” It’s a visit Bob Rosenberg is looking forward to and said: “The Atlantic Centre is a brave experiment, an effort to transform promising startups into economic drivers for the region and the country. Tom and Caitríona deserve full marks for their ambition and vision. The Atlantic Centre is a necessary and brave step, an effort to transform promising ideas and companies into economic drivers for the region and the country.” A chartered accountant and entrepreneur, Caitríona Lynch sold her business C Infinity a number of years ago and is now working with entrepreneurs, start-ups and early stage companies at the Atlantic Centre for Entrepreneurship & Executive Development. It’s ‘Scaling a Business’ is the first of many courses. According to Tom Acton, “The course targets entrepreneurs beyond the startup stage, persons in a company seeking to grow a team or product, service, or someone who wants to learn more about expanding an existing business in which they play a role. Facilitating growth is the key focus.” The June ‘Scaling a Business’ course is full, but it is just the first. Dr Acton encourages anyone who is interested in future courses to register their interest and added, “This is a first step towards building a network across the region to move ideas from the entrepreneur’s mind to the global market, and to that end we will be hosting a number of additional events during the week for participants. One of these will be open to the public and hosted in the PorterShed in Galway city on Wednesday, 15 June in association with StartUp Galway.” This course has been made possible with the generous support of Deloitte and Bank of Ireland. To register and for further information visit www.aceatlantic.com and follow @atlanticcentre ENDS  

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The Mayo Medical Academy has been awarded the ‘Conservation Project of the Year’ at the recent Irish Construction Industry Awards 2016. The Academy is an NUI Galway partnership with Saolta University Health Care Group and Mayo University Hospital for the training of doctors. The Irish Construction Industry Awards recognise, encourage and celebrate original and innovative contractors, businesses, teams, consultants and projects that demonstrate excellence in the built environment. The Mayo Medical Academy was officially opened by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny in December 2015 and is housed in a purpose-designed facility located in the former chapel on the grounds of Mayo University Hospital. The original structure was built in the early 20th century and was used for religious purposes during the period 1902 to 2010. This building has been sensitively restored into a multipurpose teaching facility. As the original building was subject to a historic preservation order, all aspects of the church were carefully retained during the heritage restoration project. The design team was Taylor Architects, Castlebar, Co. Mayo and the work was undertaken by the local construction firm Mountain View Securities. The entire project was funded by NUI Galway at a cost in the region of €2.2 million. The final result comprises a stunning and innovative architectural design, combining the best of old and new. The building encompasses many features that facilitate a flexible approach to teaching and the various spaces within the building are designed to accommodate different student group sizes simultaneously. John Gibney, Director of Physical Resources at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted with the award for this very fine addition to the University’s facilities for medical education. The project was successfully delivered due to a positive collaboration between the design team, the main contractor, NUI Galway, Saolta University Health Care Group and Mayo University Hospital.” The Academy allows future doctors to fine tune their clinical skills under the watchful eyes of tutors and lecturers covering all medical specialties. 60 students per semester from third, fourth and final medical years rotate through Mayo University Hospital for one year clinical training. The co-location of the Academy with the hospital allows students to attend didactic teaching in the Academy and also bedside teaching in the hospital. One of the strengths of the NUI Galway Medical School Academies is the ratio of both tutors to students and also of students to patients. -Ends-

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

NUI Galway has received Horizon 2020 EU funding for ‘ROCSAFE’ ICT and Security software that will use robotics and intelligent reasoning to gather forensic evidence in the event of a chemical, biological or nuclear incident A team led by NUI Galway has been awarded €4.8 Million in Horizon 2020 EU funding for their project ROCSAFE (Remotely Operated CBRNe Scene Assessment & Forensic Examination), which will use robotics and intelligent reasoning to gather forensic evidence in the event of a chemical, biological or nuclear incident. Led by Dr Michael Madden from the College of Engineering & Informatics at NUI Galway, the ROCSAFE project will focus on developing ICT and Security software to gather forensic intelligence in the event of a terrorist attack. ROCSAFE’s overall goal is to fundamentally change how CBRNe (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense events) are assessed, and ensure the safety of crime scene investigators, by reducing the need for them to enter dangerous scenes to gather evidence. The overall project budget is €4.8 million, of which almost €1 million has been awarded to NUI Galway. The project includes five other Irish entities and additional funding will be awarded to Tyndall, the Defence Forces (specifically ordinance disposal), the Inter-Agency Emergency Management Office, and two Irish companies, Reamda and SBN. There are 13 partners in total involved in the ROCSAFE project across Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Germany, along with a wider set of advisory board members. CBRNe accidents or terrorist attacks are a low probability but of high consequence. In the aftermath of a CBRNe event, the principles that govern the response mission are: Protection of Life Elimination/Reduction of Threat Protection of Property Preservation of Evidence Restoration of Normal Activities Speaking about the project, Dr Michael Madden at NUI Galway, said: “ROCSAFE focuses specifically on three of these principles: the protection of life, the elimination/reduction of the threat, and the preservation of evidence. By building a mobile remotely operated system, ROCSAFE can protect personnel by removing the need for them to go on-scene to identify threats, detect the presence of forensic material, and collect forensic material.” In order to safely respond to a threat, it must first be identified. To do this, the scientific team will adapt robotic air and ground vehicles to carry cameras and innovative sensors for the identification of CBRNe materials. To preserve evidence, they will equip the vehicles with tools to enable the careful and methodical collection of forensic materials and will develop procedures that are appropriate to remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), to preserve the integrity of the evidence chain. Using robotic aerial vehicles (RAVs) that will be remotely managed and semi-autonomous, ROCSAFE will quickly gain a visual overview of the scene and identify hotspots. This will enable responders to quickly set up a perimeter to protect bystanders and start managing the scene. The RAVs will be equipped with cameras (operating in the visible and infra-red ranges) and sensors for detection of radiation/nuclear, chemical and biological threats. Data from these will be relayed to a Central Decision Management unit in real-time. The Central Decision Management will provide data analytics and decision support software to ensure all available data is presented in the Command Centre, which will be located in a safe zone near the periphery of the incident, to the on-scene commanders in an intuitive and easy to assimilate manner. The Central Decision Management will include an innovative approach, which will be able to adapt to the evolving situation over time as information arrives from sensors and cameras, and the people on the scene provide inputs. ROCSAFE will use state-of-the-art ground vehicles that are specifically designed for hazardous scenes, and will include the development of tools and procedures for gathering forensic material and evidence. The challenges in forensic evidence collection are to remove the possibility of cross-contamination and to ensure the integrity of the evidence chain. This process will ensure that CBRNe scenes are assessed more rapidly and thoroughly than is currently possible, and that forensic evidence and material is collected in a manner that stands up in court, and all without sending personnel into zones of high risk. The ROCSAFE project is the most recent in a series of security-related research successes by the Research Office. NUI Galway has recently established a National Centre for Security Research to draw together the multiple strands of security-related research in the University, and to facilitate growth of this activity into the future. For further information about ROCSAFE visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/remoteforensics/ ENDS

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

NUI Galway today (14 June) conferred degrees on over 350 students. Among that number, 64 were conferred with doctoral degrees. The largest cohort of students to graduate was over 210 future doctors who received their Honours Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and Bachelor of Obstetrics (MB, BCh, BAO) degree. Among the cohort of medical students, Clodagh Flannery McDermott from Breffy, Co. Mayo received 7 out of 14 Final Medical Medals for her outstanding academic performance. Every year, NUI Galway awards the Final Medical Medals to the student who receives the highest mark in each subject area. Dr John Greally, originally from Galway City but now living in New York, was also conferred with a Doctor of Medicine on Published Work (DMed).Degrees on published work are higher doctorates and are the highest qualifications awarded by the University. They are awarded to scholars who have, over a sustained period, published a substantial body of ground-breaking and influential work in a field of specialisation and who have achieved outstanding distinction internationally in that field. Speaking at the ceremony, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “On behalf of NUI Galway, I congratulate each of today’s graduates. It is very encouraging to see the number of research and graduate degrees which we are conferring today. These graduate numbers continue to grow. From a base of about 50 doctorates per year at the turn of the millennium, we now confer up to four times that number annually.” -Ends- Bronnann OÉ Gaillimh Céim ar bhreis is 350 Mac Léinn ag Searmanas Bronnta an tSamhraidh   Dé Máirt, 14 Meitheamh 2016: Inniu (14 Meitheamh) bhronn OÉ Gaillimh céimeanna ar bhreis is 350 mac léinn. Ina measc siúd, bronnadh céimeanna dochtúireachta ar 64 mac léinn.  Ar an ngrúpa is mó díobh bronnadh Baitsiléir Onóracha sa Leigheas, Baitsiléir sa Mháinliacht agus Baitsiléir sa Chnáimhseachas (MB, BCh, BAO) ar bhreis is 210 ábhar dochtúra. Fuair Clodagh Flannery McDermott as Bréachmhaigh, Co. Mhaigh Eo, duine de na mic léinn leighis, 7 mBonn don Bhliain Deiridh Leighis as 14 Bhonn as a feidhmíocht acadúil den scoth. Gach bliain, bronnann OÉ Gaillimh Boinn Deiridh Leighis ar an mac léinn leis an marc is airde i ngach ábhar. Bronnadh Dochtúireacht Leighis as Saothar Foilsithe (DMed) ar an Dr John Greally chomh maith.Is ard-dochtúireachtaí iad céimeanna a bhronntar as saothar foilsithe, agus is iad na cáilíochtaí is airde a bhronntar san Ollscoil iad. Bronntar iad ar scoláirí a bhfuil bailiúchán de shaothar úrnua agus cumhachtach i réimse speisialtóireachta foilsithe acu, thar thréimhse áirithe, agus a bhfuil aitheantas den scoth bainte amach acu go hidirnáisiúnta sa réimse sin. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne le linn an tsearmanais: “Thar ceann OÉ Gaillimh, tréaslaím le gach duine agaibh. Ábhar misnigh dúinn ar fad is ea go bhfuil an oiread sin céimeanna taighde agus iarchéimeanna á mbronnadh againn inniu. Tá níos mó agus níos mó céimeanna á mbronnadh againn bliain i ndiaidh bliana. Bhíodh 50 céim dhochtúireachta in aghaidh na bliana á mbronnadh againn ag tús an chéid ach anois bronntar a cheithre oiread sin gach bliain.” -Críoch-

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Eric Van Lente, a researcher with NUI Galway’s School of Psychology, is seeking participants for a study to explore the experience of oneness in meditators, including people with experience of any form of sitting or moving meditation practice. Throughout history, people all over the world have sought to understand their relationship with others, the world, and the cosmos - and in every religious and philosophical tradition there has been an attempt to understand feelings of oneness that arise in these relationships. People often report feeling at one with others, nature, or the universe – either as a temporary or ongoing experience. But where do these feelings come from and how can we best understand them? Researchers in the field of psychology have noted that feelings of oneness sometimes come from practicing different forms of meditation, and researchers at NUI Galway are seeking to understand how people with experience of mediation describe their experience of oneness.  Commenting on the study, Eric said: “We are particularly interested in the collective intelligence of meditators and are running a series of workshops with groups of meditators over the coming weeks. This work will be used to develop a new measure of oneness experience – a measure that will be used to examine the relationship between oneness and wellbeing outcomes. We’re interested in all forms of meditation and all perspectives on the oneness experiences that people have had.” A number of workshops are scheduled for the study, two for short-term mediators for those who have three months to one year of some daily meditation practice over their lifetime. The first will take place on Thursday, 30 June from 2-5pm and the second on Saturday, 2 July from 10am-1pm. There are also two workshops for long-term mediators, those who have five or more years of some daily meditation practice over their lifetime. The first will take place on Saturday, 25 June from 10am-1pm and the second on Saturday 9 July from 10am-1pm. The results will be published in academic publications and will form part of a PhD thesis. To participate in this research contact Eric at evanlente@gmail.com or at 087 9393100. -Ends-