NUI Galway Shortlisted for Three Marine Industry Awards

Jun 07 2016 Posted: 15:00 IST

NUI Galway has been shortlisted for three national Marine Industry Awards 2016. The Marine Industry Awards recognise and celebrate the most innovative companies in the Irish maritime and marine sector.

Staff members of NUI Galway’s Discipline of Geography have been shortlisted in the ‘Excellence in Marine Education and Training Award’ category for their MSc in Coastal and Marine Environments: Physical Processes, Policy and Practice programme. The NUI Galway team comprises of co-directors Dr Eugene Farrell and Dr Kevin Lynch, and Dr’s Frances Fahy, Aaron Potito, Audrey Morley, Terry Morley and Chaosheng Zhang.

The MSc in Coastal and Marine Environments: Physical Processes, Policy and Practice is a full-time, one year, taught MSc which began in September 2014. The programme was designed to deliver postgraduate training in costal and marine environments to meet the immediate and future demands in the growth in marine and costal sectors.

Two NUI Galway research institutes, the Centre for Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) and the Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU), have been shortlisted in the ‘Excellence in Marine Research Award’ category.

Professor Mike Hartnett and his Project Team at MaREI have developed the first operational wide-area Coastal/Ocean Observing System in Ireland and the UK. This is a highly sophisticated remote sensing system streaming large amounts of oceanographic data in near real-time; the data is integrated with high resolution computer models for improved forecasting of marine climate, and project has advanced the capabilities of ocean/coastal observing in Ireland. The system consists of two antenna stations; each station has a transmit and receive antenna, and associated electronic hardware and software. Digital signal processing is performed at each station on the data collected and is then wirelessly transmitted to a central server at NUI Galway. The server combines the data from individual radars to develop maps of surface ocean currents and graphs visualising characteristics of ocean waves: significant wave heights, periods and directions, and wind speeds. These data have many applications such as marine renewable energy, pollutant transport, coastal flood warning, search and rescue, and aquaculture. In particular, the team work on marine renewable energy and improving marine hindcasting/forecasting models of waves and tides though data assimilation of radar data.    

SEMRU, within the Whitaker Institute, was established through the Beaufort Award in 2008 and has developed into the foremost marine economic analysis centre in Ireland. SEMRU was established with the objective of expanding marine socio-economic research capability in Ireland, centred around a research cluster in Galway led by NUI Galway and linking with RERC, Teagasc and the Marine Institute. The main research focus of the unit involves examining the economic utility of the marine environment (e.g. transportation, recreation) and the ecological value (e.g. fisheries, aquaculture) derived from the productivity of associated ecosystems. SEMRU is perhaps best known amongst marine stakeholders for its ocean economy statistics and reports but it has also strongly influenced policy making in the marine sector, where its research has for example been used to form a baseline and to monitor progress in Ireland’s marine plan, ‘Harnessing Our Wealth – An Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland’. 

The Marine Industry Awards 2016, in association with SeaFest, provide a voice for the individuals and companies that play a significant role in the growth and development of the industry in Ireland while recognising the key functions within the industry that promote growth and sustainability.

The award winners will be announced on Thursday, 30 June at a reception in the Radisson Blu, Galway.


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