Business Information Systems and Virtual Technology Focus of Major International

Friday, 6 June 2008

Over 400 delegates from 32 countries will visit NUI Galway from 9-11 June for the '16th European Conference on Information Systems'. The conference is being hosted by the University's Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC) and will address emerging technology trends in business and society. A key conference topic will be 'virtual worlds' and the extent to which such computer-based simulated environments present real opportunities for businesses and educational institutions. IBM and IRCSET (The Irish Research Council for Science and Engineering Technology), in conjunction with researchers at CISC in NUI Galway have recently embarked on a new project to leverage virtual world technology. The project's aim is to link academic researchers and industrialists for value creation through innovation and collaboration. One of the researchers on this project will be Johan Gorecki, who was a member of the start-up team at Skype, and is now pursuing a PhD within CISC at NUI Galway. Speaking about the upcoming event, conference chair Dr. Willie Golden, Director of NUI Galway's CISC, commented, "Virtual technology is a truly exciting research area as it becomes increasingly sophisticated, moving from online games such as Second Life to use in an organisational setting. Companies such as Reebok, Wells Fargo, and Toyota have begun to explore virtual worlds as a potential space for open innovation. Bringing a prestigious international conference of this magnitude to NUI Galway will help facilitate the exchange of leading edge research and ideas". According to Brian O'Donovan, Program Director of the IBM Dublin Centre for Advanced Studies, and a participant at the conference, over 20,000 IBM staff are already active in virtual worlds such as Second Life and OpenWorlds. These worlds are used as collaborative environments for learning, training, corporate announcements, conferences, alumni meetings, commerce – 'vBusiness', recruitment, simulation, visualisation, and modelling. The keynote address at the conference will be by Richard Schroth, a 2008 Fulbright Senior Scholar, Information Sciences and one of the top 25 consultants globally as named by Consulting Magazine. For further information about the conference visit -ends-

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Public Invited to Learn about Environmental Change at NUI Galway

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

The Environmental Change Institute (ECI) at NUI Galway is opening its doors to the public on Wednesday, 11 June, from 2-5.30 pm, for its second annual 'ECI Research Day'. A series of short talks will address subjects such as heavy metal pollution, storm surge extremes in Irish coastal waters, and bioelectrochemical fuel cells. Throughout the afternoon, over 40 ECI researchers will display specially prepared posters on their research in areas such as Climate Change, Energy, Biodiversity, Environment and Health, Environmental Technologies, Environmental Informatics, and the Social and Economic Impacts of Environmental Change. Because of its location on the North Western periphery of Europe, adjacent to the North Atlantic Ocean, ECI is uniquely positioned to address this very challenging field of science. The rich variety of habitats and ecosystems, recognised as being of value in a European and global context, lends itself to the study of biodiversity and of ecological interactions in a variety of pristine terrestrial and aquatic environments. At the same time, demographic, socio-economic and human impacts in recent years are affecting the rate of environmental change in ways that urgently need to be researched. Professor Gerard Jennings, Director of the ECI at NUI Galway, says, "Galway is home to a Research Centre of national importance in the field of Environmental Change, and at the ECI we are always looking to involve the local community in the work that we do here. We see the ECI Research Day as another opportunity to bridge the gap that sometimes can exist between research and society. In the area of environmental change it is essential that we all continue to learn from each other, and we welcome the chance to get feedback, and to exchange ideas, with interested members of the public." While much of the work of ECI takes place on campus, there is also a wide range of research projects happening around the country. External facilities include the Carron Field Research Station in the Burren, County Clare and the Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station, near Carna, County Galway. For more information on the ECI please visit, and if you wish to attend the ECI Research Day please contact Dr. Sarah Knight, Outreach Officer at ECI, at or on 091 495061. -ends-

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Emmy Award Winning Irish Actress among Honorary Doctorates at NUI Galway

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

NUI Galway has announced the graduands to be conferred with Honorary Degrees on Friday, 27 June, 2008. Ms Fionnula Flanagan is an Emmy Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated Irish actress. She trained in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin and has appeared in numerous films including, The Others with Nicole Kidman, Transamerica and Waking Ned Devine, as well as television series and stage productions. She also recently guest starred in the episode "Flashes Before Your Eyes" of Lost. She came to prominence in Ireland in 1965 as a result of her role as Máire in the Teilifís Éireann production of the Irish Language play, An Triail. Ms Flanagan established herself as one of the foremost interpreters of James Joyce in the 1967 film version of Ulysses. Justice Richard Goldstone served as a Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa; as the Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda; and as Chancellor of the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. He has taught at New York University, Harvard, and Fordham Law Schools. He is presently a visiting professor at Georgetown University Law Center. In 2006 Goldstone taught at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway. Professor Deirdre McCloskey, UIC Distinguished Professor of Economics, History, English and Communication at the University of Illinois, Chicago, is a leading economist, rhetorician, scholar and public intellectual. McCloskey has written 14 books one of the latest being The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce which is the first of a projected five-volume magnum opus. Before The Bourgeois Virtues her best known books were The Rhetoric of Economics (1985) and Crossing: A Memoir, published in 1999, which was a New York Times Notable Book. Mr Eugene Murtagh is the founder and Chairman of Kingspan Group Plc. Since starting in the 1960s as a small family business Kingspan has grown to become one of Ireland s most successful companies. With a turnover in excess of €1.8 billion, the Group has 43 manufacturing plants in 28 countries around the world, employing over 6,500 people. Murtagh was appointed in 2000 by the Irish and British governments as a director of the International Fund for Ireland, which has invested €849 million in projects across the island of Ireland. Mr Donagh O'Donoghue is a prominent member of the Galway business community and a member of NUI Galway Governing Authority. O'Donoghue succeeded his father as Group Managing Director of Thomas McDonagh & Sons Ltd. in 1975 and grew the company significantly over a twenty-five year period. His catalogue of directorships includes Bord na Móna, Broadcasting Commission of Ireland and Galway Airport. He has also served as board member of IBEC, Galway Chamber of Commerce and Druid Theatre Company. Mícheál Ó hUiginn, Uas. is a member of NUI Galway s Governing Authority and director of Ó hUiginn Teoranta, Galway. He has served successive terms on Galway City Council from 1964 until his retirement in 2004. During these forty years of service to the city of Galway, Mícheál Ó hUiginn has been Mayor of Galway for three terms and has made significant contributions to all aspects of civic life and local government, particularly in the area of education. Governor Martin O'Malley is the 61st Governor of Maryland. An American Democratic politician he previously served as Mayor of Baltimore from 1999 to 2007. During his two terms as Mayor, Baltimore became a national model for improvement in public safety, government efficiency, education and economic development. As Governor he is now applying his experience to the State of Maryland and has been described by The Washington Post as a "governor unafraid of government". In 2005 Business Week listed O'Malley as one of "Five Fresh Faces" to lead the Democratic Party. Commenting on the announcement of this year's graduands, Dr. James J. Browne, President of NUI Galway, said, "We are delighted to confer honorary degrees on seven outstanding individuals: Fionnula Flanagan, Justice Richard Goldstone, Professor Deirdre McCloskey, Eugene Murtagh, Donagh O Donoghue, Mícheál Ó hUiginn and Governor Martin O Malley. This University is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history and those being honoured this year form a particularly distinguished group. Their contributions in many spheres – business, the arts, public service, education and justice – have been remarkable and NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals." -ends-

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Buaiteoir Ghradam Emmy ina measc siúd a bhfuil Céimeanna Oinigh le bronnadh orth

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Tá eolas fógartha ag OÉ Gaillimh faoi na Céimeanna Oinigh a bhronnfar Dé hAoine, an 27 Meitheamh 2008. Aisteoir Éireannach í Fionnula Flanagan a bhfuil Gradam Emmy bronnta uirthi agus ainmniúchán do Ghradam Tony faighte aici. Is in Amharclann na Mainistreach a d'fhoghlaim sí a ceird agus i measc na scannán ar ghlac sí páirt iontu tá The Others le Nicole Kidman, ,Transamerica agus Waking Ned Devine, mar aon le sraith teilifíse agus léiriúcháin ar stáitse. Chomh maith leis sin, ghlac sí páirt in eagrán den tsraith teilifíse Lost – eagrán dár teideal "Flashes Before Your Eyes". Thuill sí clú agus cáil in Éirinn den chéad uair sa bhliain 1965 tráth ar thug sí léargas iontach ar a cumas aisteoireachta i bpáirt Mháire i léiriú Theilfís Éireann den dráma Gaeilge – An Triail. Léirigh Fionnula Flanagan a cumas mar aisteoir a raibh sárthuiscint aici ar scríbhinní James Joyce sa scannán a rinneadh de Ulysses sa bhliain 1967. D'oibrigh an Breitheamh Richard Goldstone mar Bhreitheamh ar Chúirt Bhunreachtáil na hAfraice Theas; mar Phríomh-Ionchúisitheoir ar Bhinsí Coiriúla Idirnáisiúnta na Náisiún Aontaithe don iar-Iúgslaiv agus Ruanda; agus mar Sheansailéir ar Ollscoil Witwatersrand, An Afraic Theas. Chaith sé tamall ag teagasc i Scoileanna Dlí Ollscoil Nua-Eabhrac, Ollscoil Harvard agus Fordham. I láthair na huaire, tá sé ag feidhmiú mar ollamh ar cuairt in Ionad Dlí Ollscoil Georgetown. In 2006, chaith Goldstone seal ag teagasc san Ionad Éireannach um Chearta an Duine in OÉ Gaillimh. Is Ollamh Oirirc le hEacnamaíocht, Stair, Béarla agus Cumarsáid in Ollscoil Illinois, Chicago í An tOllamh Deirdre McCloskey. Tá sí ar cheann de na heacnamaithe, reitricithe, scoláirí agus intleachtóirí poiblí is mó cáil sna Stáit Aontaithe. Tá 14 leabhar scríofa ag McCloskey, ina measc The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce – an chéad leabhar as magnum opus cúig imleabhar. Sular foilsíodh The Bourgeois Virtues ba iad na leabhair ba mhó cáil a scríobh sí The Rhetoric of Economics (1985) agus Crossing: A Memoir, a foilsíodh i 1999, leabhar ar tagraíodh dó sa New York Times mar Notable Book. Is é ,an tUasal Eugene Murtagh bunaitheoir agus Cathaoirleach Kingspan Group Plc. Ó cuireadh tús le Kingspan an chéad lá riamh sna 60idí mar ghnó beag teaghlaigh tá fás agus forbairt dhochreidte tagtha ar an ngnó agus anois tá sé ar cheann de na cuideachtaí is bisiúla in Éirinn. Tá láimhdeachas de bhreis is €1.8 billiún ag an nGrúpa anois, lena n-áirítear 43 monarcha dhéantúsaíochta i 28 tír ar fud an domhain. Tá breis is 6,500 duine fostaithe ag an nGrúpa ar fud na cruinne. Cheap Rialtas na hÉireann agus Rialtas na Breataine Murtagh mar stiúrthóir ar an gCiste Idirnáisiúnta d'Éirinn in 2000. Tá os cionn €849 milliún infheistithe ag an gCiste seo i dtionscadail ar fud na hÉireann. Duine aitheanta i measc phobal gnó na Gaillimhe é an tUasal Donagh O'Donoghue mar aon le comhalta d'Údarás Bainistíochta OÉ Gaillimh. Tháinig O'Donoghue i gcomharba ar a athair mar Stiúrthóir Bainistíochta Grúpa Thomas McDonagh & Sons Ltd. sa bhliain 1975 agus chinntigh sé gur tháinig fás agus forbairt ar an gcuideachta thar thréimhse 20 bliain. I measc na gcuideachtaí a raibh ról stiúrthóireachta aige iontu tá Bord na Móna, Coimisiún Craolacháin na hÉireann agus Aerphort na Gaillimhe. Chomh maith leis sin, bhí sé ina chomhalta boird de IBEC, Cumann Tráchtála agus Tionscail na Gaillimhe agus Amharclann Druid. Comhalta d'Údarás Bainistíochta OÉ Gaillimh agus stiúrthóir ar Ó hUiginn Teoranta, Gaillimh é an tUasal Mícheál Ó hUiginn. Bhí sé ina chomhalta de Chomhairle Cathrach na Gaillimhe ó 1964 go dtí go ndeachaigh sé ar scor in 2004. Chaith sé daichead bliain ag obair ar son chathair na Gaillimhe, toghadh é mar Mhéara na Gaillimhe trí théarma éagsúla agus rinne sé an-obair ar mhaithe le cur le gach gné de shaol na cathrach agus an rialtais áitiúil, go háirithe sa réimse oideachais. Is é an Gobharnóir Martin O'Malley 61ú Gobharnóir Maryland. Le linn dó a bheith ag feidhmiú mar pholaiteoir Daonlathach i Meiriceá bhí sé ina Mhéara ar Baltimore ó 1999 go dtí 2007. Le linn an dá théarma a chaith sé mar Mhéara, ainmníodh Baltimore mar shamhail náisiúnta d'fheabhas i sábháilteacht phoiblí, éifeachtacht rialtais, oideachas agus forbairt gheilleagrach. Tá sé ag feidhmiú mar Ghobharnóir anois agus ag baint leasa as an taithí atá aige chun dul chun cinn a dhéanamh i Stát Maryland. Scríobhadh in The Washington Post gur "governor unafraid of government" é Martin O'Malley. Sa Business Week in 2005, liostaíodh O'Malley mar dhuine den "Five Fresh Faces" a chinnteodh dul chun cinn an Pháirtí Dhaonlathaigh. Le linn don Dr James J. Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, a bheith ag trácht ar ócáid na bliana seo dúirt sé go bhfuil "an-áthas ar OÉ Gaillimh céimeanna oinigh a bhronnadh ar sheachtar den scoth: Fionnula Flanagan, An Breitheamh Richard Goldstone, An tOllamh Deirdre McCloskey, Eugene Murtagh, Donagh O'Donoghue, Mícheál Ó hUiginn agus an Gobharnóir Martin O'Malley. Tá an t-ádh ar an Ollscoil seo go bhfuil an oiread sin céimeanna oinigh bronnta ar chéimithe den scoth le blianta fada anuas, agus is cinnte gur grúpa ar leith iad an seachtar atá roghnaithe i mbliana. Tá an t-uafás oibre déanta acu san iliomad réimse – gnó, na healaíona, seirbhís phoiblí, oideachas agus ceartas – agus cúis áthais dúinn anseo in OÉ Gaillimh aitheantas a thabhairt don sárobair atá déanta ag na daoine seo." - críoch -

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New BA degree programme in Gaoth Dobhair recognised by the Teaching Council

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

A new and innovative Irish-medium degree programme has just received a major boost with the news that it has received recognition from the Teaching Council of Ireland. The BA Riarachán Gnó (BA Business Administration) was launched by NUI Galway and Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) earlier this year. The programme will run at the Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge centre in Gaoth Dobhair, Co Donegal, starting in September 2008. Commenting on this new development, Éamonn Mac Niallais, Administrator of Ionad an Acadaimh i nGaoth Dobhair, said: "In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the employment opportunities that are available in organisations functioning through the medium of Irish or bilingually, both inside and outside the Gaeltacht. Graduates of this degree course can therefore realistically expect to have access to excellent employment opportunities. This latest development means that the programme fulfills the degree requirements for teachers seeking to register with the Teaching Council for the purpose of teaching Business at post-primary level. This will give graduates further options in their career prospects and increases the attractiveness of the course for prospective students". The BA Riarachán Gnó will be the first degree programme to be run at the NUI Galway centre in Gaoth Dobhair and it aims to provide graduates with the practical and analytical skills needed to work in a bilingual business and administration environment. President of NUI Galway, Dr James Browne, welcomed the news and added: "We are particularly delighted to be offering the BA sa Riarachán Gnó in conjunction with the Letterkenny Institute of Technology. In effect we are pooling our resources in a spirit of cooperation and partnership to provide a very attractive Irish-medium degree programme for the North-West". Mr Paul Hannigan, President of LYIT, also emphasized the importance of the collaboration between both third-level institutions in developing this new programme: "The LYIT School of Business has steadily gained widespread recognition for the excellence of its business courses and we currently have over 1,000 students between our undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Donegal has one of the largest Gaeltacht areas in the country and we are delighted to be collaborating with NUI Galway in providing a new Irish-medium business course, at degree level". Pádraig Ó hAoláin, Chief Executive of Údarás na Gaeltachta who are supporting the programme, said that this course was further evidence of the Údaras' commitment to the economic and linguistic development of the Gaeltacht. "We have seen a steady shift away from the traditional manufacturing industries, and employment in the Gaeltacht regions has suffered heavily as a result. We have to compete now in a global environment where higher levels of knowledge and skills are the key to success. Initiatives such as this degree course will enable Gaeltacht people to better equip themselves to face these new challenges, and to not only attract higher level industries but also to set up in business themselves." The fact that the course is available locally and is supported by Údarás makes it a lot easier for people to take on the challenge of obtaining a primary degree. Éamonn Mac Niallais has seen the evidence of this so far: "The course has proven to be particularly attractive for mature students who may not have had the chance to pursue third-level education earlier in life, or who want a change of career but lack the necessary qualifications. The support provided by Údarás na Gaeltachta and the advantages of living at home while studying for a degree programme, makes this a great opportunity for people to get their third-level degree and is of particular benefit to mature students with young children". Further information about the BA sa Riarachán Gnó can be attained at or by contacting Ionad Ghaoth Dobhair at 074 9531919 or email . ENDS

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