All 2011

Competitive Cycling Focus of next talk in Sports Technology Series

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The next talk in the NUI Galway public talk series on ‘Sports Technology’ will take place on Tuesday, 22 November, at 6pm. The talk is entitled ‘Competitive Cycling – Pushing the Boundaries of Engineering’. Cycling is a sport which pushes not only athletes but also engineers to the limit. From accommodating increasingly complex, lightweight yet strong gearing systems to the development of new battery technology to enable electronic gear shifters; from leading developments in human power measurement and engineering smart responsive clothing materials, to developing methods for monitoring human performance in real-time and with wireless data transfer. The talk will be delivered by Dr Eoghan Clifford, a lecturer in Civil Engineering at NUI Galway. His main areas of research are sustainable technology development in environmental engineering, water and wastewater treatment, sustainable transport and sustainability in the built environment. According to Dr Clifford: “When describing new and exciting developments in engineering, the term ‘Space Age Engineering’ is often used. However, it can be argued that in some ways Space Age Engineering takes its lead from engineering in bicycling. The modern professional cyclist rides a carbon fibre bicycle frame often weighing less than 1kg, attached to a pair of wheels weighing as little as 1.3kg. These aerodynamic, lightweight frames and wheels slip through the air, minimising resistance, yet are capable of supporting cyclists weighing up to 90kg travelling at 60kph over cobblestones. Meanwhile, helmets weighing 200g can save a cyclists life, be aerodynamic and also allow adequate air flow for cooling.” In addition to his academic career and achievements, Dr Clifford has a distinguished record in competitive cycling and for a number of years has been racing as an A1 level cyclist, (the top category in Ireland when not a full time professional). His first competitive cycling results came with a second placing in the intervarsity’s road race in 2001 and since then he has competed extensively in Ireland and internationally. He has successfully competed in most of the major stage and one day races in Ireland. He was Connacht Road Race Champion in 2008 and 2009 and has competed in countries including France, Italy, Germany, Austria and Norway.   The series of Sports Technology talks are organised by Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin, Course Director of NUI Galway’s degree programme in Sports & Exercise Engineering. This degree programme enables students with the skills and expertise to design innovative sports systems and devices. This talk will take place in ENG-2003 in the Engineering Building at NUI Galway and is open to the public. For more information on the Sports Technology talks, which are supported by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, visit or call 091 492728.   -ENDS-

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NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Donegal

Monday, 14 November 2011

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Donegal on Thursday, 24 November. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Radisson Hotel, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in part due to a suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market, including an Energy Engineering degree and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programme, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies which is brand new for 2012. “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to Donegal, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Letterkenny is a perfect opportunity to meet current students and our lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit”, says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. To find out more about the information evening in Donegal, contact Gráinne Dunne, Schools Liaison Office at NUI Galway, on 087 2440858 or -Ends-

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NUI Galway Lecturer Recognised at the National Academy’s 2011 Award Ceremony

Monday, 14 November 2011

NUI Galway Lecturer in English and Vice-Dean (Learning and Assessment), Dr Frances McCormack, was among give third-level teachers recognised as exemplifying excellence in teaching at the annual National Academy for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL) awards ceremony in Dublin recently. At a time when Higher Education Institutions are being challenged to achieve ever higher standards, the National Awards for Excellence in Teaching symbolise the outstanding quality of teaching which many Irish students already experience. In particular, these awards value and celebrate successful efforts at integrating research, teaching and learning. The five winners represent disciplines as diverse as anatomy, Education, English and Law and were nominated by senior staff in their institution to go forward for the highly competitive award. Minister Ruairí Quinn presented the awards at this prestigious ceremony and noted that the awardees were “Teachers who never cease in their own learning, cultivating the potential in their students, making each and every student feel recognised and valued.” John Hennessy, Chairman of the HEA, stressed the benefit of a national awards scheme stating that “The award recipients bear testimony to the quality of imagination and commitment that characterises the Higher Education community.” The NAIRTL Awards recognise higher education teachers who demonstrate outstanding dedication to their teaching and have made an exceptional impact on student learning and the five winners are: Dr Frances McCormack, Lecturer and Vice-Dean (Learning and Assessment), NUI Galway. Dr Thomas Farrell, Anatomy Department, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Dr Kathleen Horgan, Lecturer and Coordinator of Microteaching, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick Dr Marion Palmer, Head of Department of Learning Sciences, Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology Jennifer Schweppe, School of Law, University of Limerick Regardless of disciplinary background, these teachers show a common purpose and mastery of teaching. This award ceremony recognises their subject based expertise as well as their passion and interest in cultivating the potential in their students. NAIRTL was established in 2007, and its vision is one where research and teaching go hand in hand. This is the fourth year of the Awards for Excellence in Teaching and the award winners were chosen from thirty-six detailed submissions from seventeen different HEIs across Ireland. They will each receive a €5,000 award which can be used to support their teaching and research activities.    -Ends

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Major New Book Examines Celtic Tiger Cinema

Monday, 14 November 2011

Irish cinema has enjoyed unprecedented commercial and critical success over the past ten years, including Oscar nominated and winning films and box office hits internationally. A new book, Contemporary Irish Film: New Perspectives on a National Cinema, co-edited by Seán Crosson of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway with Werner Huber of the University of Austria, brings together scholars from Ireland and abroad to provide insiders’ as well as outsiders’ perspectives on the situation of Irish film in a period of a socio-economic sea change: the years of the so-called Celtic Tiger.   According to Seán Crosson: “The unprecedented economic growth and immigration that Ireland experienced between 1995 and 2007 did not only challenge national but also ethnic, social and gender identities. The contributions to this volume explore how films tackle these challenges and help to make sense of Ireland’s altered position in a globalised world.”   Included in the collection are contributions from leading and emerging researchers of Irish film, including: Ruth Barton, TCD; Tony Tracy, Huston School of Film & Digital Media; NUI Galway, Díóg O’Connell, Institute of Art, Design, Technology, Dun Laoghaire; and Eduardo Barros Grela University A Coruña, Galicia, Spain. The book is completed by an interview with award-winning director Lenny Abrahamson, and his collaborator, screenwriter and actor Mark O’Halloran.   Among the films discussed in the publication are some of the most successful Irish films of recent years, from Oscar winning and box office success Once (2006), to critically acclaimed works such as Adam & Paul (2004), Garage (2007), and The Secret of Kells (2009). The volume also includes a consideration of the work of Oscar-winning director and writer Neil Jordan.   Contemporary Irish Film: New Perspectives on a National Cinema will be launched by Lenny Abrahamson and Mark O’Halloran on Thursday, 24 November at 5pm in the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway, and all are welcome.   ENDS

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NUI Galway Home to Exclusive Archive Surrounding the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Launch of the Brendan Duddy Collection and Symposium on ‘Negotiating Peace’ During three extended periods between 1973 and 1993 the British government was involved in intensive secret contact with the IRA leadership through the same intermediary, Brendan Duddy, a businessman from Derry. During the first period Duddy’s home was the venue for a series of secret meetings in 1975 between the IRA leadership and senior British officials. During the second period, in 1980-81, Duddy was at the centre of intricate negotiations aimed at resolving the hunger strikes, and between 1990 and 1993 he was intensely active in contacts between the British government and the IRA. The launch of the Brendan Duddy Archive will take place on Tuesday, 22 November at NUI Galway following a half-day symposium Negotiating Peace.   Deposited at NUI Galway in 2009, the papers of Brendan Duddy provide a unique insight into the resolution of the ‘Troubles’. The archive includes coded diaries of contact as well as messages exchanged between the British Government and the Provisional Republican leadership.   The Duddy papers are directly related to the papers of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, former President of Sinn Féin, which are also held in the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway. Together these archives constitute one of the most important sources for understanding the attempts to resolve conflict in Ireland that culminated in the Good Friday Agreement of 1998.   Speaking about the Brendan Duddy Collection, Dr Niall Ó Dochartaigh, Lecturer in Politics at NUI Galway, said: “The papers of Brendan Duddy provide a unique insight into the resolution of the 'Troubles'. At a time when there is intense public debate on the value of negotiation with armed opponents in situations such as Afghanistan and Israel/Palestine, the Duddy papers provide a rare insight into the dynamics of back-channel negotiation that can help us to understand the role of secret negotiation in efforts to resolve conflict in other situations.”   The archive also includes several hours of filmed footage of interviews with Brendan Duddy by Dr Niall Ó Dochartaigh. The interviews cover the key historical events in which Brendan Duddy was involved. A series of articles published recently by Dr Ó Dochartaigh analyse the character of this secret communication and illustrate how the Duddy papers shed new light on key events in the Northern Ireland conflict and the peace process. They include articles recently published or shortly to be published in international academic journals including the Journal of Peace Research, International Journal of Conflict Management and Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict as well as the Field Day Review of Irish Studies.   Dr Ó Dochartaigh added: “The papers illustrate the extraordinary pressures operating at this pivotal intersection between the British Government and the Provisional Republican leadership. They show the remarkable persistence and consistency of Brendan Duddy’s conviction that the conflict could only be ended through a negotiated settlement that included the Provisionals. From the early 1970s Brendan Duddy worked determinedly and in complete secrecy to try to draw the two sides closer together, a lifetime’s work that eventually came to fruition in the negotiated settlement of the late 1990s.”   The symposium Negotiating Peace, organised in association with the launch of the private papers of Brendan Duddy, brings together prominent figures from the worlds of academia, diplomacy and the media to explore key questions surrounding the negotiated settlement of violent conflicts, drawing in particular on the experience of negotiation in the Irish peace process.   Speaking at the symposium will be BBC investigative reporter Peter Taylor, one of the most experienced and respected journalists to have reported on Northern Ireland; Seán Ó hUiginn, a former senior Irish diplomat who was deeply involved in the Irish government contribution to the peace process; former senior British government official Michael Oatley, a central figure involved in attempts to negotiate a peaceful settlement of the Northern Ireland conflict; and Professor Paul Arthur, Honorary Associate at the International Conflict Research Centre (INCORE), former Professor of Politics and Director of the Graduate Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Ulster.   Research on the papers involves collaboration between NUI Galway’s School of Political Science and Sociology and the University of Ulster’s International Conflict Research Centre (INCORE) and both institutions will collaborate to make a selection of primary documents from the collection freely available online through CAIN (the University of Ulster’s Conflict Archive on the Internet) and NUI Galway’s library website.   John Cox, University Librarian at NUI Galway, commented: “The deposit of the papers at NUI Galway is thanks to the generosity and kindness of Brendan Duddy and his family who placed a great deal of trust in the University and its archive services to take care of the papers. This is a very significant addition to our archival collections and we are delighted to make it available to researchers following a detailed process to organise and list the collection. We will ensure the safe keeping of Brendan Duddy’s papers for future generations of scholars and researchers.”   The donation will be held in the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway, home to a range of theatre, literary, historical and political archives. Collections include the archives of the Druid and Lyric Players theatres and of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe; the literary papers of John McGahern and Thomas Kilroy; the Huston Archive and original documents relating to the foundation of the Gaelic Athletic Association and the Northern Ireland 'Troubles'.   To register for the symposium see     ENDS

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