All 2012

NUI Galway’s Energy Management System to be Certified to ISO 50001

Monday, 27 August 2012

NUI Galway has announced its Energy Management System (EnMS) will be certified to International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 50001. The certification, which will be completed in September 2012, will cover the University campus in Galway, including more than 110,000sqm of facilities, including teaching, leisure and sports, conference, laboratory and cutting-edge research facilities. Energy is one of the biggest recurring costs NUI Galway face annually. The implementation of an energy management system will not only help to manage and monitor energy consumption, but also to reduce it. This maximizes energy efficiency and reduces annual energy consumption and resulting expenditure on critical utilities. Savings made in this way will help to fund ongoing expenditure in other energy reduction programs and to invest in new energy efficient technologies. Noel O’Connor, Buildings Services Engineer at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway has focused on energy management for many years. We chose to have our EnMS certified to give us, and our stakeholders, confidence that we are managing energy use efficiently in all our operations. We also believe that the regular audits will help us to keep energy at the top of our management agenda and help us to focus on continual improvement. NUI Galway intends to build on lessons learned from the ISO 50001 certification process into our fundamental design criteria for new buildings. We are also conscious of our role as a research-based university and we will share relevant data gleaned from our EnMS and improvement projects as an educational resource for our students and researchers; particularly those in the Environmental, Engineering and Economics programs.” NUI Galway has an annual replacement program for existing building stock to install energy efficient lighting, heating, ventilation and cooling systems. The capital building program is heavily influenced by a focus and philosophy of improving the energy efficiency of buildings, beyond present day regulations and planning standards.  A case in point is the newly opened Engineering Building. The building contains a wide- range of technologies such as large-scale rainwater harvesting for grey water use, combined heat and power plant, biomass boiler, solar thermal system, insulation and glazing properties in excess of planning requirements, intelligent control systems low-embodied energy materials such as zinc, grass roofs for water attenuation, and many other cutting-edge technologies. The structure is among the first in Ireland to employ the use of voided slab systems. The innovation introduces ‘plastic bubbles’ into the concrete, reducing the weight and quantity of concrete used. ISO’s portfolio of over 18,600 standards provides business, government and society with practical tools for all three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, environmental and social. ISO standards make a positive contribution to the world we live in facilitating trade, spread knowledge, disseminate innovative advances in technology, and share good management and conformity assessment practices. ISO 50001 is based on the management system model that is already understood and implemented by organisations worldwide. It can make a positive difference for organisations of all types in the very near future, while supporting longer term efforts for improved energy technologies. NUI Galway has engaged the services of Casey Technology and CICS to certify its EnMS to ISO 50001. -ENDS-

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Rapid Diagnosis of Pneumonia Vital for Best Possible Outcome

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Researchers at NUI Galway are involved in a new European project which hopes to deliver a cost effective tool for the speedy diagnosis of infections such as pneumonia.  The test would reduce diagnosis time from days to hours, so that the appropriate treatments can be administered as early as possible for the best possible outcome. Respiratory tract infections, such as pneumonia, are amongst the top four major causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. According to the World Health Organisation, pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children, killing an estimated 1.4 million children under the age of five each year. “There is an urgent need for rapid diagnostic tests capable of identifying the large range of microorganisms and antibiotic resistances involved with infection”, explains Dr Thomas Barry of the Molecular Diagnostics Research Group at NUI Galway.  “Speed and accuracy are key to appropriate therapy and survival of the patient. The ultimate objective is to develop new cost effective, user-friendly products that will be routinely used in hospitals.  This could replace time-consuming and labour-intensive methods so that a diagnosis can be achieved within a couple of hours, rather than days or weeks.” The diagnostic products for the rapid diagnosis of Respiratory Tract Infections, specifically pneumonia, will be based on a novel ‘sample-in, result-out’ technology platform. The Molecular Diagnostics Research Group (MDRG) at NUI Galway is part of an international consortium involved in the project, funded by the EU's Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Development (FP7). A total grant of €6 million was awarded with the contribution to NUI Galway close to €1 million. The project, Rapid Identification of Respiratory Tract Infections (RiD-RTI), represents a unique partnership of SMEs, universities and hospitals from four European countries. The MDRG at NUI Galway joins University College London, the French diagnostic company Genewave, the Finnish Biotech company Mobidiag, and Assistance Publique Hopitaux de Paris in this consortium. The NUI Galway project component is led by Dr Thomas Barry, Principal Investigator of the MDRG which is based in Microbiology along with Dr’s Nina Tuite and Kate Reddington. -ends- 

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Culture Night 2012 at NUI Galway’s James Hardiman Library

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Culture Night 2012 will take place on Friday, 21 September with cultural institutions from across the country opening their doors to stage a series of special events to mark the occasion. Among those hosting events for this national evening of celebration is the Archives and Special Collections services in NUI Galway’s James Hardiman Library. The Library holds numerous unique archival collections dating from the 15th century to the present day across a range of disciplines. Throughout the night, the James Hardiman Library will be showcasing many of these archival treasures. The programme of events will begin with an overview of the literary archive, life and legacy of the celebrated Irish playwright Tom Kilroy. This will be followed by an exhibition and talk on Pomes Penyeach and Nora Barnacle archived letters. This exhibition will allow the public to view an original edition of the James Joyce written collection of poems, donated by Joyce to the Special Collections of the James Hardiman Library. To complete the event a special film screening of The Dead will also take place. Adapted from James Joyce’s classic story, The Dead was the last film directed by John Huston in 1987. Prior to the screening, Professor Rod Stoneman, Director of the Huston School of Film and Digital Media will give a short introduction on the John Huston archive. NUI Galway Librarian, John Cox, said: “Culture Night offers an ideal opportunity to engage the public with some of the treasures in the James Hardiman Library’s archives and special collections and the public are very welcome to attend all or part of our events.” All events, which are free and open to the public, will take place at the Huston School of Film and Digital Media, NUI Galway with doors opening at 5.30pm. For more information or to RSVP contact Barry Houlihan in the James Hardiman Library at 091 493353 or email    -ENDS-

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Researchers Get Their Claws into Prawn Research

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Enhancing the survival of discards and developing hatchery technologies Researchers at NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute are part of a new of €2.4 million EU project that aims to develop and enhance the sustainability of the prawn fishery. The research will focus on developing hatchery and ranching technologies, and enhancing the survival of discards. The latter is a contentious issue in ongoing EU Common Fisheries Policy negotiations. Nephrops norvegicus, also known as ‘Dublin Bay prawn’, ‘langoustine’ or ‘scampi’ will be the specific focus of the ‘NEPHROPS’ project. It is being led by NUI Galway and the Orkney Fisheries Association, and will bring together expertise from the fishing industry, technologists and academia across Europe to explore the potential for enhancing the sustainability of inshore fisheries. “The mortality of prawns is generally the result of poor handling and inappropriate discard protocols,” explains Dr Anne Marie Power, a Lecturer in Zoology at NUI Galway. As part of this project we will be developing ways of enhancing the survival of discards from fisheries.” After capture by trawl or creel undersized prawns (often as much as 45% of the catch) may be thrown back and it is estimated that 75% of discards from trawl fishing may die. Another aspect of the project is to develop hatchery technology suitable for use by groups of local fishermen interested in enhancing their fishery by releasing juveniles onto suitable grounds. “In order for this research to be successful, we will need to understand better what makes good grounds for prawns, how they behave when they are released and what can be done to enhance survival at the critical release stage”, said Dr Power. The main areas of work for researchers at the Ryan Institute are the identification of suitable inshore prawn habitats, as well as mapping and tagging studies to examine movement of animals. Growth trials will be conducted at the University’s Carna Aquaculture Research facility. The project leaders within NUI Galway are Dr Anne Marie Power and Professor Mark Johnson, who is also overall scientific leader for the NEPHROPS consortium. Professor Johnson commented: “Nephrops is a really important fishery in Ireland due to its economic value. This is a great opportunity to work with industrial partners, especially pot fishermen, to provide more opportunities to sustainably develop the resource.” The project will also include close liaison with Dr Colm Lordan of the Marine Institute. The University’s element of the project is worth €540,000. Other research institutions involved are University of Hull, Swansea University, Goteborg University and the Technology Institute in Norway.The research has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme managed by REA Research Executive Agency under grant agreement no. 286903.   For more information and a full list of contacts visit: ENDS

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Former NUI Galway Student to Present Channel 4 Coverage of the Paralympics in London

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Daráine Mulvihill a former student of the Ard-Dioplóma i gCumarsáid Fheidhmeach, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge will this week form part of Channel 4’s Paralympics coverage of the London Games which began on 29 August. Daráine, who hails from Ashbourne, Co. Meath was awarded the ESB/Rehab Young Person of the Year Award in 2002 and was a member of the State Council, working in an advisory capacity to the President.   In 2006 while completing her postgraduate studies with NUI Galway, Daráine was awarded the RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta Gold Medal for achieving the highest standard on the Ard-Dioplóma i gCumarsáid Fheidhmeach.  While commenting on her time at NUI Galway, Daráine said: “I very much enjoyed my year with Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, learning many new and invaluable skills which are now central to my new role with Channel 4.” After finishing the Ard-Dioplóma i gCumarsáid Fheidhmeach, Daráine worked in the RTÉ children’s programming department as well as the BBC and the international sports channel ESPN.  Viewers can tune into Channel 4’s Paralympics coverage, featuring Daráine from the 29th August through until the 9th of September. ENDS Iar-mhac Léinn de chuid OÉ Gaillimh mar Láithreoir ag Channel 4 do na Cluichí Paralimpeacha Beidh Daráine Mulvihill, iar-mhac léinn de chuid Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge mar láithreoir leis an gcainéal teilifíse, Channel 4, le linn na gcluichí Paralimpeacha a thosaigh an 29 Lúnasa. Is as Baile Trasna, Cill Dhéagláin, Co. na Mí, do Dharáine.  Bronnadh Gradam BSL/Rehab Ghaiscíoch Óg na Bliana uirthi in 2002 agus bhí sí ina ball den Chomhairle Stáit, údarás comhairle a thugann cúnamh don Uachtarán. D’fhreastal Daráine ar an tArd-Dioplóma i gCumarsáid Fheidhmeach, OÉ, Gaillimh in 2005 – 2006 agus bronnadh Bonn Óir Raidió na Gaeltachta uirthi don té is fearr a bhain caighdeán amach ar an gcúrsa.  Agus í ag tagairt don tréimhse a chaith sí leis an Acadamh, dúirt Daráine gur: “Thaitin an bhliain a chaith mé san Acadamh go mór liom, bhain mé scileanna den scoth amach agus gan an cúrsa ní bheadh mé ag tabhairt faoin ról atá agam anois.” D’éirigh le Daráine obair a fháil in RTÉ tar éis di an cúrsa a chur i gcrích agus  tá obair déanta ag Daráine ó shin i leith leis an BBC agus leis an gcainéal spóirt, ESPN, i measc go leor eile.  Beidh Daráine le feiceáil ar an scáileán agus í i mbun tráchtaireachta le Channel 4 do na cluichí Paralimpeacha atá ar siúl ón 29 Lúnasa – 09 Meán Fómhair i Londain. CRÍOCH

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