All 2011

Sea2Sky- Galway’s European Researchers Night 2011

Monday, 8 August 2011

Everyone can be a Scientist for a day! On Friday, 23 September, 2011Irelandwill host ‘Sea2Sky’ - its first ever European Researchers Night - in Salthill,Galway. This one day celebration of science in inner and outer space is being organised by NUI Galway in collaboration with the Marine Institute and Galway Atlantaquaria, and is funded under the European Union’s Marie Curie Programme and Discover Science & Engineering. Sea2Sky is a free event open to the all ages and will take place in Leisureland and Galway Atlantaquaria, Salthill on Friday, 23 September from 11am-11pm.  The Galway European Researchers Night offers the opportunity to discover research facilities that are usually not open to the public (laboratories, research centres, museum collections); use some of the most recent technologies and instruments, with the guidance of our expert scientists; participate in experiments, competitions and quizzes, watch demonstrations and simulations, exchange ideas and party with the researchers! For one day only, these ‘ordinary people with unusual occupations’ will come into contact with visitors and will present their research work to the general public. Everyone can be a scientist! Different exhibits exploring marine science, atmospheric science and astronomy will be set up throughout the venue. Participants will have a chance to learn more about whales and dolphins in Irish waters, see a mini-sea exploration vehicle, take a 3-D tour of the universe, check out live demonstrations, take part in a host of hands-on activities, and much more. In the lead up to the event the organisers are running an art competition for the 8 – 18 year- old age group. Entrants are asked to design a new Research Vessel for the Sea2Sky scientists for the year 2040. Information on the competition can be obtained on their website Researchers’ Night is a Europe-wide event bringing together the public at large and researchers once a year on the fourth Friday of September. This is the first time that a European Researchers’ Night event is being held inIreland. Sea2Sky is a free event that does not require tickets or advanced booking. Visit Leisureland and Galway Atlantaquaria anytime from 11am-11pm on Friday, 23 September to take part. For further information visit ENDS

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NUI Galway Offers Leaving Cert Students Second Chance with Special Maths Exam

Monday, 8 August 2011

The College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway has announced details of a Special Entrance Maths Examination which will give students a second chance to pursue a career in Engineering. The exam, which takes place on Wednesday, 24 August, is for students who achieve the CAO points for an undergraduate Engineering Degree courses at NUI Galway but have not met the obligatory maths requirement. In advance of this exam NUI Galway will hold an intensive preparatory course for applicants intending to sit the exam. This free course will run for five days, from Thursday, 18 August to Tuesday, 23 August. In addition to preparing students for the Special Entrance Examination, lecturers will demonstrate the relevance and application of mathematics to Engineering and will highlight the applicability of mathematics to some illustrative engineering examples. The aim of the preparatory course is to bridge the gap between the Leaving Certificate lower level and that required to be successful in the entrance exam; this will be achieved by tackling a variety of problems of increasing difficulty. Learning how to approach a problem and apply the knowledge available will be emphasised.For more than 20 years, NUI Galway has provided this special entrance exam to help applicants who did not achieve the required grade C3 or better in Higher Level Mathematics. Those who took lower level Maths in the Leaving Cert may also apply for the exam. Students who pass this examination will be deemed to have satisfied the maths requirement and providing they have the necessary points, will receive an additional CAO offer at Round Two. Dr Mike Hartnett, Vice-Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, says: “Each year a cohort of students gain entry to our Engineering programmes based on their results in our Special Entrance Maths Examination. These students are often high-achievers and as a result, have very successful careers in Engineering.” Demand for Engineering programmes at NUI Galway continues to rise year on year and theCollege ofEngineering has expanded its degree programs to meet this rising demand. Engineering is at the heart of the emerging 'Smart Economy' and NUI Galway realises its role in providing world-class graduates to meet the needs of Industry and the Smart Economy. The new four-story EngineeringBuilding, opening in September, is the largest Schoolof Engineeringin the country and will accommodate some 1,100 students and 110 staff with its 400 rooms. The 14,250 sqm building will support an emerging generation of engineers, engaged in a new wave of technologies, embracing innovation and entrepreneurship. The building has been designed to be a teaching tool in itself, with exposed construction techniques and an array of ecological building methods.New courses such as Energy Systems Engineering, which is designed in response to a growing demand for professional engineers to work in the energy sector have continued to meet this growing demand. NUI Galway also offers students an 'undenominated' entry to Engineering which allows them to delay their choice of final discipline. NUI Galway also offers unique Engineering courses such as Sports and Exercise Engineering, designed to develop the skills and expertise to design sports and exercise equipment of the future and Engineering Innovation – Electronic which is designed to prepare engineers of the future, with the unique mix of engineering, innovation and business skills. Applications for the Special Maths Examination will be accepted at the Undergraduate Admissions Office reception desk up to 5pm on Monday, 22 August. Those interested in the revision maths course and the examination should call 091 492101 or visit for further detail. ENDS

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NUI Galway First Year Student Hotline Opens for Second Consecutive Year

Monday, 8 August 2011

Due to demand, the NUI Galway dedicated First Year Student Hotline will be open for calls from Tuesday, 16 August. The hotline will be open to students, their parents and their advisers and will run until 23 September, 2011. The initiative, which was launched in summer 2010 and was the first of its kind across the sector, has been specially designed to help incoming first year students make the transition to third level education. In its first year, the NUI Galway First Year Student Hotline received in the region of 3,000 calls.With NUI Galway anticipating an intake of over 3,200 new students in September, a team of specially-trained students will service the hotline Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, and Saturday 20 and 27 August, 10am to 1pm. The availability of the hotline coincides with the period of frantic activity and decision making that immediately follows the release of the Leaving Certificate results. The hotline will be active throughout first year orientation on 10 and 11 September and will remain in service for two weeks after lectures begin on September 12, providing students with a place to direct any conceivable query they encounter as they embark on their journey to NUI Galway. The hotline team will provide an efficient, responsive service to callers and are expected to deal with numerous issues that are of concern to incoming first year students. Anticipated queries include: points requirements for courses; first round offers; registering as a student of the University; start dates; fees and accommodation options. A designated website for first years will also update on a daily basis detailing the information sought and fed through the new hotline. It will be a portal of specific information aimed at demystifying the first few weeks of university life. Dr Martina Ní Chúlain, Admissions Officer at NUI Galway, says: “A lot happens from the time the Leaving Certificate results are issued to when a student commences lectures - it is an exciting but yet daunting time.  Our hotline will act as a key resource to students, parents and their advisors, addressing a wide range of queries, which are entirely focused on the transition to third-level education.” Students, parents and advisers can contact the First Year Student Hotline at 091-493999 or visit -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Marine Biologist Part of Major Scientific Discovery on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Irish and UK Scientists Explore Uncharted Deep Sea Vent Field. New Life Forms Filmed for Upcoming National Geographic Channel Series NUI Galway’s Patrick Collins, of the University’s Ryan Institute, is part of the Irish-led VENTuRE scientific expedition aboard the national research vessel RV Celtic Explorer who discovered a previously uncharted field of hydrothermal vents along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge – the first to be explored north of the Azores. The mission, led by Dr Andy Wheeler of University College, Cork (UCC), together with scientists from the National Oceanography Centre and the University of Southampton in the UK, NUI Galway and the Geological Survey of Ireland, returned to Cork today (August 4th) from an investigation 3,000 metres below the surface of the sea using the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Holland 1. Hydrothermal vents, which spew mineral-rich seawater heated to boiling point by volcanic rock in the Earth’s crust below, are home to a rich variety of marine life that thrives in complete darkness on bacteria fed by chemicals. The investigation was supported by the Marine Institute under the 2011 Ship-Time Programme of the National Development Plan and by the National Geographic Society, who filmed the work for inclusion in an upcoming National Geographic Channel series, “Alien Deep,” premiering globally in 2012.   “On the first dive, we found the edge of the vent field within two hours of arriving on the seafloor,” said Dr Wheeler. “The ROV descended a seemingly bottomless underwater cliff into the abyss. We never reached the bottom, but rising up from below were these chimneys of metal sulphides belching black plumes of mineral-rich superheated water. Often the search for vents takes much longer, and our success is a testament to the hard work and skill of everyone on board.”   Speaking from the RV Celtic Explorer in Cork, Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Mr Simon Coveney said "This work is an example of an exciting new discovery made with the Celtic Explorer and its present crew of Irish and international scientists. Through vessels like the Celtic Explorer, Irish academics and scientists can work with other international experts to explore the seabed in the Atlantic and make groundbreaking new discoveries. Ireland is positioning itself as a centre for marine research from a European and international perspective and this work should be supported and welcomed." Dr Bramley Murton of the National Oceanography Centre in the UK, who first saw clues for possible vents on an expedition aboard the UK research vessel RRS James Cook in 2008 and who led the mineralisation study on the expedition, said, “Our discovery is the first deep-sea vent field known on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge north of the Azores. Although people have been crossing this ocean for centuries, we are the first to reach this spot beneath the waves and witness this natural wonder. The sense of awe at what we are seeing does not fade, and now we are working hard to understand what our discovery tells us about how our planet works.” Patrick Collins from NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute, who led Ireland's marine biological team investigating this unique ecosystem, is working in collaboration with Jon Copley of the University of Southampton to catalogue and characterise the species found at the vents.      “Everyone on board is proud of this Irish discovery, which we have called the ‘Moytirra Vent Field,’ said Collins. “Moytirra is the name of a battlefield in Irish mythology, and appropriately means ‘Plain of the Pillars.’ The largest chimney we have found is huge – more than ten metres tall – and we have named it ‘Balor’ after a legendary giant.  In comparison with other vent fields, Moytirra contains some monstrous chimneys and is in an unusual setting at the bottom of a cliff—a real beauty.”   “Using the ROV’s high-definition video camera, we’ve watched unusual orange-bodied shrimp crawling around the chimneys, among clusters of tiny green limpets,” said Jon Copley. “Elsewhere there are writhing scale-worms, swirling mats of bacteria and eel-like fish – a riot of life in this unlikely haven on the ocean floor.”   The mission carried geochemists, marine biologists, marine geologists, marine geneticists and technicians from Ireland and the UK as well as a TV crew from National Geographic. It was supported by the Marine Institute under the 2011 Ship-Time Programme of the National Development Plan.   “This project clearly demonstrates Ireland’s capacity to undertake world-class marine research on a significant scale, a capacity created through strategic national investments in facilities such as the Celtic Explorer and the Holland 1,” said Dr Peter Heffernan, Chief Executive of the Marine Institute. “This targeted use of research funding by our organisation, which has enabled senior Irish scientists to lead this survey in partnership with international colleagues, has resulted in scientific discoveries of global interest which will enhance Ireland’s growing reputation in deep-sea exploration.” ENDS 

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NUI Galway Announces Scholarship Scheme for Unemployed and Low Income Groups

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

This year, as a further effort to enhance access and participation opportunities for unemployed and low income groups, NUI Galway has approved a Scholarship Scheme to reduce fees for applicants in receipt of Job Seekers Benefit, Job Seekers Allowance and One-Parent Family Payment, who wish to enrol for part-time degree and diploma courses provided by the University, and who meet Department of Social Protection income thresholds.   One of the programmes to benefit from this welcome announcement is the BA in Community and Family Studies. This distance learning programme is a four year, part-time honours degree programme in Community and Family Studies.  Community Education Officer at NUI Galway, Deirdre Hardiman, says: “It is designed to enable participants to further develop and enhance their knowledge and skills relevant to Family and Community work practice and policy in Ireland or abroad. This includes a study of the community, voluntary and Irish state sector’s roles in supporting community and family life in a rapidly changing Irish society.  Areas of study include community development, family support, adolescence, childcare, health, political and general socio-economic studies.”   Students are awarded a Diploma in Arts in Community and Family Studies on successful completion of the first two years of the programme and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Community and Family Studies on completion of the four-year cycle.   Helen Casey, Community Education Officer, NUI Galway, also added: “To accommodate the work and family commitments of adult learners, the course will be delivered through distance learning, which is a combination of workshops, assignments and learning materials.  Students will attend around six workshops per year. The workshops (held Friday/ Saturday) will be provided at a number of geographic locations throughout Ireland.”   Formal academic qualifications are not required to commence the BA in Community and Family Studies but applicants must meet the University’s requirements for mature students entering higher education.   Other programmes to benefit from the scheme for the unemployed and low-income groups include part-time blended learning programmes in the Science and Technology area of Medical Device Design, Environmental Sustainability, Lean and Quality Systems, Software Engineering and Database Technologies, Technology Management and a number of part-time Diploma programmes in French, Italian and Spanish.   Further information and application forms on the BA Community & Family Studies are available from the Programme Administrator, Community Education Centre, Hygeia Office Block, Nuns Island , NUI Galway Tel: 091 495472/495786 and may also be downloaded from:   A full list of all part-time Adult Education Programmes is available at:   As closing dates vary, prospective students are encouraged to apply immediately.   ENDS 

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