All 2012

Simulation in Irish Medical Education Seminar at NUI Galway

Friday, 22 June 2012

The first national seminar on medical simulation, entitled Simulation in Irish medical Education: Where are we and Where Should we be Going?, will take place at NUI Galway on Monday, 2 July. Simulators are radically changing the way that medical professionals are being trained. Simulation provides a method for building expertise in clinical and non-clinical skills, for example team-working and communication, in a safe environment. The purpose of the seminar is to provide an overview of medical simulation in Ireland in order to make better use of the assets that are available, allow people who are experienced in the use of simulators to share their knowledge; and discuss how simulators can be most effectively used to improve medical education, patient safety and quality of care. Delegates will hear from speakers from the two main Irish medical simulator centres, ASSET Centre, University College Cork and St James’ Hospital Dublin, and the Australian Centre for Health Innovation in Melbourne. Presenters from the airline industry and specific medical specialties will discuss how simulation is used, how to evaluate the performance of trainees, and the challenges with setting up a simulation training programme. Delegates will also participate in hand-on demonstrations of the latest high-tech simulators by the ASSET centre and Cardiac Services. Dr Paul O’Connor, Senior Research Fellow with the Institute for Business, Social Sciences, and Public Policy at NUI Galway, said: “The use of medical simulators to train healthcare professionals is becoming increasingly common. Simulators provide a safe environment for healthcare professionals to build expertise in both clinical and nontechnical skills such as team-working and communication. The purpose of the seminar is to get Irish medical educators together to share knowledge and expertise in simulation and learn from national and international experts.” The seminar is sponsored by the Irish Network of Medical Educators (INMED) and the Institute for Business, Social Sciences, and Public Policy at NUI Galway. For further details contact Dr Paul O’Connor at 091 492897 or -ENDS-

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NUI Galway PhD Student Receives Award at International Conference in Egypt

Friday, 22 June 2012

Declan Gavigan, a PhD student from NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics and the Ryan Institute, recently received the Top Young Engineers’ Award. A native of Ardara, Co. Donegal, Declan was awarded the prize for a paper he presented on ‘Strength and durability performance of stabilised soil block masonry units’ at the International Association of Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE) Conference. This conference attracted 120 delegates from around 30 countries and included sessions on Sustainable Development and Structural Engineering; Structural Engineering and Renewable Energy Sources; Smart Structures, New Materials and Construction Techniques. Dr Jamie Goggins, Chartered Engineer and Principle Investigator for this research project at NUI Galway, said: “I would like to congratulate Declan on winning this prestigious international award that recognises his significant contribution as a young research engineer to sustainable development and structural engineering. Declan’s paper on ‘Strength and durability performance of stabilised soil block masonry units’ is an important document in the research into stabilised soil blocks or SSBs as they are commonly known. Although there is ample literature on the application of SSBs in tropical countries, their potential use in a European climate has not been fully investigated. Declan is part of an NUI Galway Sustainability and the Built Environment research group, which is currently investigating the feasibility and suitability of SSBs for use in a European context through extensive testing in terms of durability, strength and appearance.” Stabilised soil blocks are cost-effective masonry blocks formed by compressing a suitable mixture of soil, cement and water into a mould. These masonry units have a low impact on the environment, as their main component, the soil, is often sourced directly from the site of construction. SSBs are extensively used in the construction of both structural and non-structural elements in many developing countries. SSBs have less negative impact on the environment than alternative masonry technologies, such as clay fired bricks or concrete masonry blocks. The most commonly-used stabiliser used in the manufacture of SSBs is Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC), which is their most expensive and energy-intensive ingredient. Replacing OPC with alternative waste materials and by‐products is a cost‐effective process, and their use in SSBs can benefit the environment, especially where disposal to landfill is the alternative. The ability of blocks to resist prevailing rain, wetting and drying cycles, freezing and thawing cycles, and chemical attack are critical if there are to be applicable in a European climate. The extensive laboratory studies carried out as part of this research projects indicate that SSBs have adequate durability for typical use in the construction of buildings in Europe. In addition, the research has shown that SSBs containing waste materials and by-products as cement replacements can have adequate, and sometime superior performance to specimens containing OPC only as a stabiliser. On the other hand, utilising waste products in the manufacture of the blocks such as pulverised fuel ash (pfa) from peat-fired power plants have been shown to reduce the performance of SSBs. As an output from this research project, the development of a comprehensive code of practice and design guidelines on the manufacturing and use of SSBs is envisaged to aid the future commercial development of SSBs. This research project is associated with the priority thematic area ‘Sustainability and the Built Environment’ of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway. -ENDS-

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Success for NUI Galway Students in the Ireland Fund Business Plan Competition

Friday, 22 June 2012

Four NUI Galway PhD students Paul Lohan, Ana Cimpian, Sean Gaynard and Fiona Griffin, reached the final of the Ireland Fund Business Plan competition held at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Tuesday, 19 June, 2012. Their innovative medical device business proposition, created as part of their participation in the BioInnovate Ireland programme, secured the team joint third place. BioInnovate Ireland is a specialist training and collaboration programme in medical device innovation. It is modelled on Stanford University’s prestigious Biodesign Programme. This competition seeks out the best business ideas from nine Universities across Ireland. The team of four who worked on this project since last November are first-year PhD students in the Structured PhD Programme in Biomedical Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (BMERM). For the competition, 19 teams were shortlisted for the semi-finals, from a large pool of applicants, from which four teams were selected for the final based on their business plan sales pitch to the judging panel. Professor Peter McHugh, Director of BMERM at NUI Galway, commented: “This is a fantastic achievement for the students, the BioInnovate and BMERM programmes and the University. It really shows the synergy that can be achieved between programmes to deliver a ‘best in class’ graduate and further demonstrates NUI Galway’s leadership position in the medical technology area.” Dr Mark Bruzzi BioInnovate Ireland Programme Director added that the interaction between the postgraduate multi-disciplinary teams and the BioInnovate Ireland Fellows, Academics, Clinicians and Industry Experts has produced a class of students who will have a significant long-term impact on the graduate medical technology market place in Ireland. The BioInnovate Ireland programme offers a unique medical device innovation training opportunity. It has achieved unparalleled access to Ireland’s leading academic researchers, clinicians, and industry experts, while the activity is underpinned by world-class facilities available through the support network.  BMERM is an inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional structured PhD programme, led by NUI Galway, that is funded under the Programme for Research in Third-Level Institutions (PRTLI) Cycle 5 and co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). -ends-

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Part-Time Diploma in Irish Music Studies at NUI Galway

Monday, 25 June 2012

NUI Galway is taking applications for the redesigned Diploma in Irish Music Studies. The programme will give an interdisciplinary introduction to the ways in which Irish traditional music, song and dance have contributed to the creation of identity amongst Irish communities on the island of Ireland and beyond. The Diploma in Irish Music Studies will give students an opportunity to explore Irish music and dance in a classroom environment. Topics studied will include: transmission of Irish traditional music; diaspora and Irish music, song and dance; negotiating identity through Irish traditional music; and Irish traditional music and commodification, which examines the production and consumption of Irish music and how something that is perceived to be 'old' and 'traditional' functions successfully in the 21st century. Dr Louis de Paor, Director of the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway, said: “The practical element of this diploma offers numerous benefits to participants. We provide unrivalled access to contemporary sean-nós practitioners and the chance to engage and learn from both their performance and educational methods. This course enables participants to draw on the wellspring of traditional culture in Connemara, a rich resource on the doorstep of NUI Galway.” The Diploma in Irish Music Studies also includes a practical element, offering participants the opportunity to engage with ‘masters’ of the sean-nós singing and dancing tradition, in a workshop environment. In conjunction with the Sean-nós Performer-in-Residence Scheme and Comhrá Ceoil at the Centre for Irish Studies, this practical element reflects the wider commitment of the University to Irish traditional music, song and dance. The course runs on a part-time basis over two years, taking place one night a week. It begins in September 2012 and the deadline for registration is Friday, 13 July. Further information can be found at or contact Samantha Williams in the Centre for Irish Studies at 091 492051 or ENDS   Dioplóma Páirtaimseartha i Staidéar Cheol na hÉireann ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh Tá OÉ Gaillimh ag glacadh le hiarratais ar an Dioplóma athdheartha i Staidéar Ceoil na hÉireann. Cuirfear tús idirdhisciplíneach leis an gclár le cur síos ar na bealaí ar chuir ceol, amhránaíocht agus damhsa traidisiúnta na hÉireann le féiniúlacht mhuintir na hÉireann ar oileán na hÉireann agus thar lear. Gheobhaidh mic léinn ar an Diploma in Irish Music Studies an deis staidéar a dhéanamh ar cheol agus ar dhamhsa na hÉireann sa seomra ranga. I measc na dtopaicí a bheidh ar bun beidh: ceol traidisiúnta na hÉireann á sheinm; an diaspóra agus ceol na hÉireann, amhránaíocht agus damhsa; féiniúlacht a aimsiú trí cheol traidisiúnta na hÉireann; agus ceol traidisiúnta na hÉireann agus tráchtearrú, anseo scrúdaítear léiriú agus úsáid cheol na hÉireann agus an chaoi a bhfeidhmíonn ní atá ‘sean' agus ‘traidisiúnta' chomh maith sin san 21ú haois. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Louis de Paor, Stiúrthóir Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh in OÉ Gaillimh: “Ó tharla go bhfuil an dioplóma seo praiticiúil is iomaí leas atá le baint ag na rannpháirtithe as. Bíonn fáil éasca ar lucht comhaimseartha sean-nóis agus bíonn an deis ag na mic léinn páirt a ghlacadh ina gceird agus foghlaim ó na modhanna oideachais. Ar an gcúrsa seo beidh na mic léinn in ann tarraingt as tobar an chultúir thraidisiúnta i gConamara, ar leic an dorais ag OÉ Gaillimh.” Tá gné phraiticiúil ag an Diploma in Irish Music Studies chomh maith. Faigheann na mic léinn an deis ceardlanna a dhéanamh le ‘máistrí’ an damhsa agus na hamhránaíochta ar an sean-nós. I gcomhar le Scéim an Cheoltóra/Damhsóra Chónaithigh ar an Sean-nós agus le Comhrá Ceoil in Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh, léiríonn an ghné phraiticiúil seo tiomantas na hOllscoile don cheol, don amhránaíocht agus don damhsa traidisiúnta. Cúrsa páirtaimseartha é seo a mhaireann dhá bhliain, agus bíonn sé ar siúl oíche amháin sa tseachtain. Cuirfear tús leis an gcúrsa i Meán Fómhair 2012 agus is é an spriocdháta le clárú Dé hAoine, an 13 Iúil. Tá eolas breise le fáil ar nó téigh i dteagmháil le Samantha Williams in Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh ag 091 492051 nó CRÍOCH

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NUI Galway’s Computing Summer Camp

Monday, 25 June 2012

NUI Galway recently held their third annual Computing Summer Camp. Due to the high demand for places, this year the Computing Summer Camp ran over a two-week period with 80 students participating. Students ranged in age from 13 to 17, and came from secondary schools across Galway City and County, as well as from Clare and Donegal. Throughout the camp students participated in a number of activities including writing computer games, creating web animations, building and programming autonomous robots, and making 3D computer models. Students were also awarded prizes for their work throughout the camp. For the robotics competition, students have to design and program a robot to shoot or knock over paper aliens as quickly as possible. Dr Michael Madden, Head of the Information Technology Discipline at NUI Galway, said: “We are very impressed with the high quality of students’ projects at the Computing Summer Camp this year, and the speed at which they are able to pick up new technologies. It appears that recent initiatives such as CoderDojo are having a positive effect on young people’s digital literacy. The huge interest in this year’s Computing Summer Camp is mirrored by the increasing number of applications for computing degree programmes, such as the BSc in Computer Science and Information Technology at NUI Galway.” Dr Madden is also involved in an initiative to introduce computer science as a secondary school subject, through a pilot programme for short courses in the Junior Cycle that being run by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. Several schools, led by Gairmscoil Mhuire Vocational School in Athenry, are preparing to offer for a Short Course in Computer Science, to begin in September 2012. -ENDS-

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