All 2011

Meteor Expert to Speak at NUI Galway

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

On Friday, 4 March, Dr Mathew Parkes, Natural History Museum Dublin, will present a public talk entitled Meteorites and Famous Irish Falls at NUI Galway. Hosted by the NUI Galway Centre of Astronomy and the Galway Astronomy Club, this free event will take place at 8pm in the Dillon Theatre, NUI Galway, accompanied by a display of meteorites from the Irish collection of the Natural History Museum. Meteorites are natural objects from outer space that survived their impact on Earth and can be very large or very small. When they enter the Earth's atmosphere, impact pressure causes them to heat up forming a fireball or meteor. Meteorites recovered after being observed as they transited the atmosphere or impacted the Earth are called falls. At the event, members of the public will also get a rare chance to examine recently purchased rock fragments from Mars or the Moon, and others that have landed on Irish soil including the two which smashed through the roof of an RUC barracks in Northern Ireland in 1969, one that fell in Carlow in 1999 and the famous Limerick Meteorite of 1815. Professor Markus Woerner of the Galway Astronomy Club said: "Co-operation between professional and amateur astronomers in Galway and Ireland provides the general public with exciting 'hands-on' experience of the most recent research at the forefront of international research in Astronomy and Geophysics. Dr Parkes' lecture will prove it to everyone. Those in doubt will still be able to touch the objects made of material from which our Solar System is made." Dr Parkes is responsible for the Earth Science collections at the Natural History Museum. He is a contributor to the Geological Survey of Ireland and founder member of the Mining Heritage Trust of Ireland. Dr Parkes has a long interest in exploring old mine sites as well as rocks originating in the Solar System. Speaking about the upcoming lecture, Dr Andrew Shearer, Director of the Centre of Astronomy at NUI Galway, said: "The Centre for Astronomy is delighted to host this public lecture. Meteorites give us a unique insight into the type of material which made up the early solar system. From this we can understand how our planet evolved and importantly they can give clues as to how planets around other stars can evolve." For more information contact Professor Markus Woerner at or 091 553353, or Dr Andy Shearer at or 091 493114. -Ends-

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Engineering Students Win Prestigious Transport Awards

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Six NUI Galway students are among the winners of the transport industry's national Student Idea of the Year Awards. The awards are presented annually to the originators innovative ideas which could make the most significant contribution to some aspect of transport in Ireland. The students from NUI Galway's College of Engineering and Informatics were presented with their awards by RTÉ s Duncan Stewart at a special ceremony organised by the Eastern Section of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport Ireland (CILT). NUI Galway students Olgierd Gosztowtt from Poland, Peter Istenes from Riverside, Galway, and Paul Jacobsen from Castlegar, Co Galway, won the Safety Category. Their project 'Galway Traffic Garden' was to design a leisure park where children can learn the rules of road in a safe environment. Targeted at primary school children, the park would allow a safe and practical environment to learn the rules of the road. As part of the activities in the park, children would drive go-carts, cycle bikes or act as pedestrians, while learning about all aspects of road safety. The prize in the Marine Category was awarded to NUI Galway students Cathal McCormack from Oranmore, Co Galway, Jason McDonagh from Moyola Park, Galway, and Kieran McDonnell, from Mullingar, Co Westmeath. Their project, 'Shock Mitigation Seating', seeks to improve suspension seating in boats in order to reduce the forces exerted along the body when a vessel hits a powerful wave at a high speed. Mary Dempsey, of the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: "I am very proud of our students. I believe that engineering and innovation are key to economic recovery. NUI Galway provides students with opportunity and a platform through which each of them can express their innovativeness. This output is reflected in the attainment of these prestigious awards." This is the fifteenth year in which NUI Galway students have taken home CILT awards, reflecting the University's strong reputation in engineering education. Over 1400 people study engineering at the University, and in recent years new undergraduate courses have been offered in Energy Engineering, Sports and Exercise Engineering, and Innovation Engineering. To serve the growing number of students, a new Engineering Building, which will be the largest School of Engineering in the country, opens in September 2011. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Students Win Biomedical Awards

Monday, 21 February 2011

Two Biomedical Engineering PhD Students at NUI Galway recently won prestigious research awards at both national and international level. Enda Dowling, third year PhD student in Biomedical Engineering, is the 2011 winner of the Engineers Ireland Biomedical Research Medal. Enda is the first ever NUI Galway student to win this award. This prestigious medal won by Enda, who is from Kilkenny, is awarded annually to a PhD student deemed to be making a significant contribution to the field of biomedical engineering research and at an advanced stage in their studies. The national competition attracted a record 40 entrants and is sponsored DePuy Orthopaedics. Engineers Ireland is a representative body for all sectors of engineering since 1835. Enda's winning paper was entitled Influence of Actin Cytoskeletal Remodelling on the Shear Resistance of Single Chondrocytes: A Computational and Experimental Investigation. It uncovers the role of active remodelling and contractility of chondrocyte cell substructures in response to shear deformation using experimental and computer modelling techniques. The winning paper was co-authored by Dr. Patrick McGarry and William Ronan of NUI Galway and collaborator Professor Kyriacos Athanasiou from UC Davis in California. Emer Feerick, third year PhD student in Biomedical Engineering, was recently awarded the prize for Best Presentation at the 19th Annual Symposium on Computational Methods in Orthopaedic Biomechanics, held in Long Beach, California. It is the premier international forum on the use of a new breed of computer-based tools in orthopaedic biomechanics. This award is an acknowledgement of the internationally leading research being performed by Emer, who is from Milltown, Co Galway. Emer's winning paper was entitled Computational Investigation of Cortical Bone Failure Mechanisms during Screw Pullout. Advanced computer simulations were performed to uncover the process of bone failure due to stresses caused by orthopaedic fixation devices. The analysis techniques can be used to predict and prevent mechanical failure of orthopaedic devices and offers a powerful tool for future device design. Dr. Patrick McGarry, of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway and PhD supervisor of both successful students says, "Emer's computational predictions of the mechanisms of bone failure can now be used to design improved orthopaedic devices and will be of significant relevance to the medical device industry. Enda's research improves our understanding of the role of mechanical loading in development of degenerative disease in cartilage. Both students demonstrate the high standard of research within the school of Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway and the importance of continued support for such research." Both Enda and Emer are funded by Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) scholarships. Enda's work is also supported by Science Foundation Ireland (Research Frontiers Programme and a Short Term Travel Fellowship). Dr McGarry also acknowledges the Irish Centre for High End Computing (ICHEC) for the provision of internationally leading computing resources, without which, such advanced computational modelling would not be possible. -Ends-

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New Book Confirms Multinationals and Talent are Key to Economic Recovery

Monday, 21 February 2011

A new book, entitled Global Talent Management, by Professor Hugh Scullion and Dr David Collings at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway, was recently launched by Jack Golden, Group HR Director of CRH. Published by Routledge, this is one of the first books published globally on this important topic and draws on contributions from leading scholars around the globe. In the context of the challenges emerging from the current global economic downturn, managers around the globe are increasingly looking to their key talent to ensure the survival and growth of their organisations. This text will provide some useful insights on how some of the best performing organisations around the globe engage with this challenge. Commenting on the book Professor John Slocum, Editor of the Journal of World Business, said, "Professor Scullion and Dr Collings have written the definitive book on global talent management. Their experience and compelling selection of articles written by renowned scholars create a delightful journey. Their masterpiece develops a mind-set for all managers who are concerned with designing practices for the war on global talent." 'The war for talent' is a battle cry frequently heard in corporate boardrooms around the globe. Organisations are in constant competition to attract and retain the best and the brightest talent. Indeed, Ireland's high quality workforce is an oft cited reason why key multinationals locate here. However, the relocation of this employment to developing economies particularly in the east, is a major challenge. Commenting on these trends, Dr David Collings, noted, "One of the key attractions of Ireland as a location for FDI is the quality of the workforce here. From excellent technical competence to superior managerial talent, Ireland has punched well about its weight in attracting top multinationals to locate here. Global Talent Management provides guidance to managers on how best to manage their talent systems to ensure the ongoing success and performance of their organisations in the global context." Jack Golden, Group HR Director of CRH, who launched Global Talent Management, is acutely aware of the challenges of managing global talent. CRH employs over 80,000 people across 35 countries with the vast majority employed outside of Ireland. Mr Golden commented on the timeliness of the book and the quality of the contributions in helping to frame the key issues which organisations faced with regard to managing talent on the global basis. He also commented on the resonance of many of the issues discussed in the contributions on talent management in the emerging economies of India, China and Eastern Europe in the context of CRH's growth in these regions. Professor Scullion and Dr Collings are considered to be two of the leading international experts in the area of global talent and global staffing more generally. Both have conducted extensive research in these areas and are working with leading international organisations on these issues. They are regular speakers at industry events including at the Danish Federation of Industry and the Global Mobility Summit London. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Professor Key Organiser at International Science Meeting

Friday, 18 February 2011

An NUI Galway Professor is one of the key organisers at the Annual American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting held in Washington D.C recently. Professor of Applied Physics at NUI Galway, Christopher Dainty introduced a special symposium on the use of adaptive optics to produce sharper images in Astronomy, Microscopy and the human retina. Professor Dainty's meeting was entitled Sharper Images in Astronomy, Microscopy, and Vision Science Using Adaptive Optics. It examined how adaptive optics was developed originally to compensate for the turbulent effects of the atmosphere by using deformable mirrors that provide much sharper images from spy satellites and astronomical telescopes. The methods now are being applied to the microcosmos as well, giving high-resolution images of the human retina and promising unprecedented real-time imagery of fundamental processes within body tissues. The speakers described how phases of light can be manipulated to remove the distortions of an intervening medium, whether the upper atmosphere, the interior fluids of the eyeball or the cellular material in brain tissue. Speaking after the Annual American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting, Professor Dainty said, "Adaptive Optics, more than 50 years after its invention, is finally entering the mainstream of research. This conference highlighted three of its most successful applications to date but there will be new applications in the future." For further information please contact Professor Christopher Dainty at 091 492826 or email ENDS

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