All 2012

Engineering in Hurling Focus of Next NUI Galway Sports Technology Talk

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The next public talk in the NUI Galway public talk series on Sports Technology will take place on Tuesday, 14 February, at 6pm. Entitled Engineering in Hurling – Hurleys, Sliotars and Helmets, the talk will be delivered by Dr Conchúr Ó Brádaigh, Lecturer with the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway.The talk will focus on the application of engineering principles to the ancient game of hurling. Important advances have been made in the last 15 years in the equipment used by hurlers. This includes test standards with minimum performance levels for sliotars and helmets, and the introduction of composite hurleys.The second half of the talk will give an overview of the engineering research work carried out at NUI Galway and at other Irish third-level institutions in hurling, much of which has been funded by the GAA and Enterprise Ireland. Current standards and trends in the development of hurling equipment will also be discussed.Dr Conchúr Ó Brádaigh is a Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at NUI Galway, and an internationally-renowned expert in the field of composite materials. He is also Research and Development Manager of ÉireComposites Teo., Indreabhán, Co. Galway. His current interests are in the application of lightweight composites in the fields of aerospace, automotive, and renewable energy.The free public talk will take place in room 3035 of the Engineering Building at NUI Galway.The series of Sports Technology talks is being organised as part of NUI Galway’s degree programme in Sports & Exercise Engineering, whose students are being educated to design the next generation of sports and exercise systems and devices.For more information on the Sports Technology talks, which are supported by Engineers Ireland (West) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, visit or call 091 492728.-ENDS-

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NUI Galway Research Produces Guidelines for Communication between GPs and Migrants

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

NUI Galway has published guidelines to support communication between general practitioners (GPs) and migrants who have limited English language skills. The research is a direct and practical response to the ongoing reality in Ireland that many service users from migrant communities and their GPs face significant communication challenges because of language and cultural differences.Funding for the research was provided by the Health Research Board (HRB) and the Health Service Executive (HSE).A key finding from this extensive, participatory research process is that the recommended best practice is to use a trained, accredited interpreter or to consult with a general practitioner who has fluency in the language of the service user. These supports increase the chances that information is shared accurately and effectively during a consultation.Ms Mary O’Reilly-de Brún, Senior Researcher in the Discipline of General Practice, School of Medicine, NUI Galway, points out: “Using children and other family members or friends as interpreters is not considered best practice by migrants, general practice staff, professional interpreters or HSE service planners involved in this project. The use of visual or computer aids such as phrase books or on-line translation programmes are also not considered best practice.”Ms. Mary O’Reilly-de Brún worked with project leader Anne MacFarlane, Professor of Primary Healthcare Research, University of Limerick, and colleagues in the Health Service Executive National Social Inclusion Unit and the Centre for Participatory Strategies, Galway to produce the report entitled ‘Guideline for Communication in Cross-Cultural General Practice Consultations’.The importance of the research was highlighted by Diane Nurse from the HSE National Social Inclusion Unit: “This participatory research process progresses recommendations in the HSE National Intercultural Health Strategy 2007-2012 by taking a multi-stakeholder approach to clarifying what kinds of supports work best for whom and in what circumstances.”An important feature of the participatory research process was the involvement of Service User Peer Researchers (SUPERS). These included Khalid Ahmed, Jean Samuel Bonsenge Bokanga, Maria Manuela De Almeida Silva, Aga Mierzejewska, Lovina Nnadi, Florence Ogbebor and Katya Okonkwo. The group trained in participatory research methods with the Centre for Participatory Strategies, Galway.This training enabled the SUPERS to give members of their wider communities an opportunity to ‘have a voice’, in their own languages and with people from their own cultural groups, in the development of the guidelines. In total, fifty-one members of the migrant community from Polish, Russian, Portuguese, Urdu, French Congolese speaking and Nigerian communities in the Galway region, participated in this research along with representatives from general practices, professional interpreting and the HSE.Speaking about her experience of being trained as a peer researcher Maria Manuela De Almeida Silva said: “The most exciting and important experience was the PLA training provided, it was excellent training. I use it all the time now, with lots of different groups and in lots of different project. ”This research was funded by the Health Research Board and the Health Service Executive National Social Inclusion Unit through a Health Research Board Partnership Award. -ends-

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NUI Galway Nurtures Next Generation of Technology Users

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

NUI Galway saw huge numbers attending the first ever Galway CoderDojo event held on campus recently. CoderDojo, an Irish led global network of computer clubs where young people come to learn to code, develop websites, apps, games and more, is hosted and supported by NUI Galway.Topics covered in CoderDojo Galway include web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and Javascript and programming languages such as Scratch. There are also plans to cover other languages such as Python and Java, as well as Databases, and Mobile Apps and Games as the CoderDojo develops in future classes.The Head of Discipline of Information Technology at NUI Galway, Dr Michael Madden, said:  “We are very excited to have CoderDojo come to Galway. It is vital for young people to understand how our digital world works, and CoderDojo provides a unique environment to exchange knowledge and learn from each other how to write software, particularly in the absence of a computer science curriculum in Secondary Schools.”Adrian Bannon, one of the organisers of CoderDojo, said: “Illiteracy of the 21st century will not be those who cannot just read and write but those who cannot program and code. Coderdojo seeks to address this deficit.”NUI Galway’s Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) is also supporting CoderDojo and is looking for volunteers, especially IT students, who will assist and supervise the young people during the classes. Volunteers will be presented with an ALIVE certification as recognition of their work.According to Brendan Smith, Education Officer at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) of NUI Galway, “The high attendance at last weekend’s registration shows that there is an appetite amongst the general public for our school-going population to learn the skills that will transform Ireland from a nation of digital users into a nation of digital creators. Thankfully Coderdojo also proves that there is also an army of volunteer mentors drawn from the third level education sector, industry and elsewhere who are prepared to give their time free of charge to help educate our children in computer coding.”CoderDojo, a free event, will take place every Saturday from 12 to 3:30pm, with groups in both the DERI Building in IDA Business Park and in Lab 102 in the Information Technology Building at NUI Galway.Interested parties are asked to bring lunch, a laptop (if they have one) and attendees under 12 years are asked to bring a parent along.Due to the large demand, those interested are asked to register before attending. For further information visit or email

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President Browne Pays Tribute to John Cunningham

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, has paid tribute to the late John Cunningham, former Editor of the Connacht Tribune.A Tuam native, Mr Cunningham was editor of the Connacht Tribune newspaper from 1984 to 2007. He had worked as editor for the Waterford News and Star from 1982 to 1984. He also contributed to broadcast journalism as a commentator on RTÉ current affairs programmes. He was conferred with an Honorary Master of Arts, honoris causa, degree on 23 October, 2006 by NUI Galway for his contribution to regional and national journalism and for his role as an Adjunct Lecturer in journalism at the University.Dr Jim Browne, NUI Galway President, said: "The University offers its sincere condolences to John’s family, particularly his wife Nuala and his four sons Shane, Gary, Ivor and Enda, along with his many friends and colleagues. John was an inspirational figure in Irish journalism.  In his career with the Connacht Tribune and as an Adjunct Lecturer in NUI Galway he fostered the talents of some of the leading figures in the worlds of Irish media and journalism.  Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.”

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Development Education Day at NUI Galway

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The School of Education at NUI Galway will hold a Development Education Day on Wednesday, 15 February. Organised in partnership with Self Help Africa and with support from Irish Aid, the event is the first step towards integrating Development Education as a much more significant component across all Initial Teacher Education programmes offered at the University.NUI Galway students on the Professional Diploma in Education, Dioplóma Gairmiúil san Oideachas and the BA in Mathematics and Education programmes, as well as some practicing teachers from cooperating partner schools, will also participate in the event. The Development Education Day will involve 26 expert speakers hosting 33 sessions, promoting awareness among the teachers. The event will also provide attendees with some knowledge on the main emerging issues within Development Education and ideas on how to bring development issues into the classrooms.Keynote speakers at the Development Education Day will include: Sydney Chisi, Director of Youth Initiative for Democracy in Zimbabwe and Ray Jordan, CEO of Self Help Africa.Development Education themes covered throughout the event will include Global Interdependence, Climate Change, Food Security and Irelands Bilateral Aid Programme, and group workshops will focus on how to integrate Development Education in specific areas across the curriculum.Event Organiser, Seán Ó Grádaigh from the NUI Galway School of Education, said: “Development Education plays a key role in the curriculum in Irish second level schools. Through a series of workshops, presentations and seminars, this event will provide our student teachers with a broad understanding of current development education issues. Participants will gain an understanding of the skills required to embed development education topics into their subject teaching.”For further information contact Seán Ó Grádaigh in the School of Education, NUI Galway, at or 091 494072/495985. -ENDS-

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