Monday, 27 February 2023

University of Galway is calling all wannabe engineers to participate in a free family event ‘Engineering Our Future: Family Fun Day.   The Family Fun Day takes place on Saturday March 4 from 10am–4pm in the Alice Perry Engineering Building on the University campus.   Organised as part of Engineers Week 2023, which celebrates engineering across Ireland, the event will provide plenty of science and engineering shows, movie screenings, workshops and hands-on activities that will inspire both the young and the old. Families can attend two movie screenings - Dream Big: Engineering Our World and John Phillip Holland: Submarine Inventor. Dream Big: Engineering Our World is narrated by Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges. The documentary celebrates the human creativity behind engineering marvels big and small, from the Great Wall of China and the world’s tallest buildings to underwater robots, solar cars and smart, sustainable cities, and show how engineers push the limits of innovation in unexpected and amazing ways. John Phillip Holland: Submarine Inventor delves into the life of a revolutionary Irish engineer, who was behind the first fully functioning modern submarine. Professor Jamie Goggins, School of Engineering at University of Galway, said: “Children are natural engineers. They love to design and build things, using whatever they can get their hands on. With knowledge, innovation and creativity, engineers change the reality and future of all human beings. We want to see as many families join us for the day-long events to help mark and celebrate Engineers Week and explore engineering through exciting and fun, hands-on activities and shows, as well as meeting with practising engineers to better learn about the world around us, understand the role of engineering in our lives and its impact on our future.” Among the events at University of Galway Engineering Our Future: Family Fun Day are: :: Young and older attendees can engage with the ‘Eccentric Energy Show’ show with Dr Naomi Lavelle from the award winning science website Dr How’s Science Wows. There will be balls bouncing, sticks leaping, fireworks popping and toilet rolls flying all over the place! This is an interactive show, aiming to get the audience as hands-on as possible while they learn about all the different types of energy, what wacky things we can do with them and how they are transferred. To finish it all off you can watch Dr How set her custom-built Eccentric Energy Machine in motion and see how many different types of energy will be used to pop one single balloon. :: In ‘Fun Fantastic Physics’ show by Anyone4Science, children will use physics to do unbelievable things - escape from jail, make a mechanism to lift an adult, sit comfortably on a bed of nails, stand on balloons, see if they are full of hot air, make a teabag fly and much more! :: Families are encouraged to come and build their own wind turbine, investigate the fantastic DNA with Cell Explorers, have fun with 3D printing, explore bicycle mechanics with An Mheitheal Rothar, build a biomaterial using slime, see the world differently through cameras, explore the GEEC: Galway Energy Efficient Car, free-play in LEGO play area or learn about our rich engineering heritage. :: Attendees can practice their driving and hazard perception skills on state-of the art car, motorbike or bicycle simulators provided by Road Safety Authority. :: For the first time this year, there will be a sensory room available for our youngest engineers and all those who would like some timeout in peace and quiet. These and many other activities showing the world of civil, environmental, mechanical, biomedical, electronic, energy systems and computer engineering will be available on the day. All details about the Family Fun Day available at Tickets are free and they can be booked for some shows in advance through the website. Families are also advised that they can turn up on the day, on a first come, first served, basis. For further information on ‘Engineering Our Future: Family Fun Day’ contact Ends

Friday, 24 February 2023

Government, media, professionals, churches and the public can learn how to avoid stigmatising and compounding hurt  Researchers at University of Galway have compiled a report on terminology and language associated with institutions historically known as “Mother and Baby Homes”, “County Homes” and related institutions.   The project sets out guidance for those in power - including government departments, professionals, the media, the churches - and for the general public in relation to education, awareness, and actions which can be taken in response to hurt and offence caused and learning for the future. The research project - Language, Terminology and Representation Relating to Ireland’s Institutions Historically Known as ‘Mother and Baby Homes’, ‘County Homes’ and Related Institutions - was undertaken by researchers from the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at University of Galway.  The report states: “Changing how we use language and terminology and radically reviewing how past experiences have so often been misrepresented will not in itself achieve the justice so many people still need regarding their experiences in institutions run by state and church, together or in parallel. However, such change represents one of many steps needed to achieve historical justice.” The project was commissioned through the COALESCE Irish Research Council Funding scheme and jointly funded by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth. It is a direct response to recommendations made in the first report of the Collaborative Forum of Former Residents of Mother and Baby Homes and Related Institutions in relation to language, terminology and representation. The study is also part of the Government’s response to the Final Report of Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes. The purpose of the research was to build on the work of the Collaborative Forum to highlight the need for special attention in relation to the use and misuse of language, terminology and misrepresentation related to the former institutions.  Based mostly on the testimonies of people who have direct experience of the institutions, either as mothers or from their childhood, the report provides guidance to tackle and eradicate the use of stigmatising language like “unmarried mother” and “illegitimate child” which still causes hurt and offence today even though no longer officially in use.  The study identified many other words that should not be used like describing the institutions as “homes” or people who spent time there as “residents”. The study found terminology of “victim” and “survivor” very contested and complicated, with some people identifying with this and others finding it offensive. Many saw the need to have an alternative terminology, with one suggestion referring to persons as “separated” using the Gaelic term “scaradh” and the word “citizen” promoted as a more acceptable term.  Highlighting the complex and diverse views of people, many different words that are used to describe mothers, and those who spent time in institutions in their childhood, are criticised.  The report has many examples of how use and misuse of stigmatising language by those in power has such an impact and needed to be changed. It shows how those with power to influence often misrepresented, disrespected and reinforced stigma by their use of language. Welcoming the launch of the report, authors Caroline McGregor, Carmel Devaney and Sarah-Anne Buckley commended the participants who contributed to the study.  Professor Caroline McGregor said: “Participants who contributed to this research project have given us unique and in-depth understanding of the power of words and the hurt they can cause. As one person put it: ‘words are like weapons’. We thank all of the participants and steering group members especially the collaborative forum representatives for their significant contribution to this project.” Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley said: “Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to change past experiences but there is a huge amount we can do in the present to acknowledge the trauma and stigma still imposed on individuals through the use of stigmatizing language and historical labels.” Dr Carmel Devaney said: “As highlighted in this report, listening, being mindful about how we speak, and taking affirmative action based on what we hear or read is a responsibility for all. We hope this research will be widely used to inform the use of more appropriate language, terminology and representation in the future.” The report and a summary report are available at University of Galway - Unesco Child and Family Research Centre Ends

Friday, 24 February 2023

CÚRAM SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices researchers have published in Nature Communications a key study establishing a new pre-clinical model to develop clinically relevant treatments for heart attacks.  Heart attacks (myocardial infarction (MI)) occur due to an acute complication of coronary artery disease and are a major cause of global mortality. The two main types of heart attack are ST-elevation (STEMI) and Non-ST elevation (NSTEMI). A non-ST-elevation is a type of heart attack that usually happens when your heart's oxygen needs are unmet. This condition gets its name because it doesn't have an easily identifiable electrical pattern like with an ST elevation that can be read from an electrocardiogram (ECG). Patients who survive a heart attack have variable degrees of damage to their cardiac tissue, which can lead to heart failure in a significant proportion of these patients. In the last two decades, NSTEMIs have markedly risen in hospitalised patients. This subtype of heart attack results in a smaller amount of tissue damage compared to STEMIs. Still, importantly, recent clinical registry data shows that NSTEMIs are associated with higher long-term mortality than STEMIs. Currently, preclinical models of heart attack mimic only full-thickness STEMI and hence cater only for an investigation into therapeutics and interventions directed at the NSTEMI subset of heart attack. In this new study, researchers have developed a preclinical model of NSTEMI by adopting a novel surgical procedure that closely resembles the complexity of clinical cases in humans. Researchers validated the presented model by comparing it with an established method to achieve STEMIs. They performed a detailed analysis at the main acute and late time points after the induction of NSTEMI, at 7 and 28 days, respectively.  Dr Paolo Contessotto and Dr Renza Spelat said: "Advanced analyses on the affected heart tissue highlighted a distinctive pattern of alterations in the tissue, especially in the sugar moieties (glycans) which compose cardiac cell membranes and extracellular matrix (the network of proteins and other molecules that surround, support, and give structure to cells and tissues in the body). Identifying such changes in molecular elements that can be accessed and treated with injectable drugs sheds light on how we can develop targeted pharmacological solutions to correct these changes." This research resulted from an established collaboration of CÚRAM with European institutions in Italy (University of Milano-Bicocca), France (University of Paris Est Créteil), Sweden (University of Gothenburg) and Lithuania (Lithuanian University of Health Sciences). Professor Abhay Pandit, CÚRAM Scientific Director and senior author of the study, said: "There is a need in the field to adopt clinically relevant models to study NSTEMI pathophysiology and reveal its functional differences with STEMI induction. This new model will facilitate the translation of future research in the field, enabling the discovery of new clinically relevant treatments for patients." Mr Mark Da Costa, Clinical Investigator at CÚRAM and senior author of the study, said: "Currently, NSTEMI is the most common presentation of acute heart attack. The concern is that NSTEMI patients have lower in-patient (during their admission for the primary NSTEMI) and short-term mortality rates but significantly higher long-term mortality than those of STEMI patients. A Danish registry study of 8,889 patients showed that the 5-year mortality after NSTEMI was 16%, and another registry study highlighted a 10-year survival rate of only around 50%. To the best of our knowledge, there are currently no models that can reproduce both the functional and histological characteristics of NSTEMIs. This novel model may specifically serve as a preclinical foundation to study interventions that could combat the short and long-term effects of NSTEMI." Ends

Friday, 24 February 2023

 University of Galway celebrates Irish Traveller Ethnicity Day with a series of events taking place across campus from Monday February 27, to Thursday March 2, 2023. Irish Traveller Ethnicity Day marks the anniversary of Irish Travellers gaining ethnic status, while celebrating the community’s culture and heritage including music, craft traditions and language. This year, the annual celebration at the University will be launched by comedian and writer, and former University of Galway Access student, Martin Beanz Warde on Monday February 27. Highlights from the programme of events include: Traveller Living Exhibition Monday February 27 from 10am – 2.30pm outside Áras na Mac Léinn. The exhibition, which is open to the public, showcases the rich cultural heritage of Irish Travellers, as a recreation of Traveller life in the 1950s. It includes a fully restored barrel-top wagon, a traditional tent, a flat cart, a working tinsmith, a storyteller, and a campfire. Irish traditional music and Sean-nós dancing will also feature.  In Memory of Johnny Doherty A master fiddler and tinsmith from an Irish Traveller family in Donegal. Contributors include Senator Eileen Flynn, Professor Alun Evans, Queen’s University Belfast, and An tOllamh Breandán Mac Suibhne, University of Galway. Monday February 27 from 4pm, Hardiman Building.  Public Workshops Disability Awareness and Mental Health Awareness in conjunction with Galway Traveller Movement. The Disability Awareness workshop will take place on Tuesday February 28 at 11am and the Mental Health Awareness will run on Thursday March 2 at 11am. Both workshops will take place in the Hardiman Building. Access Centre Information Session highlighting pathways into university and the multiple supports available to potential students will take place on Wednesday March 1 at 11am in the Hardiman Building. Special Screenings The documentary series Misneach – Tome Insuirt Grani - Neart San Eolas, which first aired on TG4 in early January, will feature at a special screening in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society Building, North Campus, on Wednesday March 1 from 3-5pm. This documentary followed four University of Galway students for a full academic year and explored the barriers to participation in education faced by Irish Traveller students. There will be a panel discussion afterwards with participating students.  Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of University of Galway, said: “Each year this event marks our commitment to openness, diversity, and inclusion as we build and strengthen connections with the wider community.  We welcome and encourage all students, including Irish Traveller students, to seize the opportunities that education offers.   This University is open to all and works to ensure equality for all our students by providing supports to overcome barriers and establish a sense of belonging.” Imelda Byrne, Head of University of Galway’s Access Centre, said: “The Access Centre is proud to host University of Galway’s Irish Traveller Ethnicity Day activities and to collaborate with our students, the Office of the Vice-President for Equality and Diversity, and Irish Traveller Organisations in the region. Year on year we see the progress that is being made to increase the diversity of our student population and the increased commitment to providing supports, resources, and a welcoming sense of community to ensure that all of our students, including Irish Traveller students, have an equal opportunity to participate and succeed.” The week of events to mark Irish Traveller Ethnicity Day are organised by University of Galway’s Access Centre, in collaboration with Irish Traveller Organisations, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Cell Explorers and local schools. To view the full programme of events, or to register an event, visit or email for further details. Ends

Thursday, 23 February 2023

Vincent Wildlife Trust is appealing to the public for help to record the presence of the Irish stoat throughout Ireland. This new survey is in partnership with University of Galway, the National Biodiversity Data Centre, and the Centre for Environmental Data and Recording in Northern Ireland. This survey will start in February 2023 and run until the end of 2025. Information on how to participate is available on the Data Centre’s website or by emailing The Irish stoat occurs only in Ireland and on the Isle of Man. Stoat fossil bones found in caves in County Cork date back to 27-35,000 years ago so it is one of Ireland’s oldest mammal species. Ruth Hanniffy, the Trust’s Species Conservation Officer, said: “Despite its long history on the island, currently there are only 2,000 records for it in our national database. We hope this survey will encourage people to submit sightings of live and dead stoats so we can fill in the gaps in the distribution and possibly learn more about stoat ecology. Stoats are some of the most elusive small mammals and finding a way to estimate their population is the Holy Grail of mammal recording!” The Irish stoat is related to the otter, badger and pine marten but is the smallest of these, being similar in size to a rat. Its fur is chestnut brown on the back and head and creamy-white on the belly. It has a long thin sinuous body, short legs and a distinctive black tip to the tail. It occurs in a wide variety of habitats but prefers woodland or scrub. It is active day and night and can kill prey several times its own weight, such as rabbits. Dr Colin Lawton of the School of Natural Sciences in the University of Galway, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to find out more about the distribution and habitat requirements of one of our native species. We are hoping to tap into the wealth of knowledge of our citizen scientists and we encourage everyone to keep an eye out for these fascinating animals.” Dr Liam Lysaght, Director of the National Biodiversity Data Centre, said: “The National Biodiversity Data Centre is very pleased to be providing support for this citizen-science survey which involves partnership collaboration across the island of Ireland and the Isle of Man. The Irish Stoat is one of Ireland’s most special mammal species, about which there is still so much to learn. We hope that by encouraging observations from the general public that we can greatly improve our knowledge on this elusive species.” All records from Northern Ireland should be submitted to the Centre for Environmental Data and Recording (CEDaR). Financial assistance for this survey was provided by the Irish Environmental Network and National Parks and Wildlife Service. Follow the Irish Stoat Survey social media pages at Facebook and Twitter @IrishStoatSurv Ends

Wednesday, 22 February 2023

University of Galway has presented first year Bachelor of Commerce student Chloe Gardiner with the Séamus McDermott Entrepreneurial Scholarship for 2023. Established in 2022 and funded through philanthropic support of the Liffey Trust, the Séamus McDermott Entrepreneurial Scholarship supports students in the University’s student innovation and entrepreneurship hub, IdeasLab. It also helps to promote the concepts of job creation, entrepreneurial development and education for life for undergraduate students commencing their studies.  Originally from Edenderry, Co. Offaly and now living in Galway City, Chloe founded The Wonky Woolins at the age of 15 after she found a collection of wonky knitted creatures in her granny's attic which had been passed through her family for generations. Inspired by the knitted creatures, Chloe began to create her own Wonky Woolins for others with the hopes that they too could be cherished for a lifetime.  During lockdown she created social media accounts and a website where she began to sell her products. In 2020 Chloe recognised another gap in the market and founded Baa Baa Bandits which sells yarns for arm knitting, a technique using your arms instead of knitting needles to make stitches. The Wonky Woolins is now a multi-award-winning business that provides early-stage children's toys and baby gifts that are all ethically handmade by marginalized and jobless women in Morocco. Chloe said: “It is such a huge honour to be selected as the 2023 recipient of the Seamus McDermott Entrepreneurial Scholarship, it means so much to have my entrepreneurial efforts recognised by the trust. I have been very fortunate to have been supported by so many incredible entrepreneurs and mentors who have guided me on my journey with Wonky Woolins and I look forward to further developing my knowledge at the University of Galway and networking with other recipients of this scholarship across Ireland.” Chairman of The Liffey Trust, Aidan Corless said: “We are delighted to welcome Chloe Gardiner as our second University of Galway Scholar. Having met Chloe in person I have to say she is every bit as impressive as her business Wonky Woolins. It is not surprising that she tells us that she has a very busy life managing her studies alongside her companies.  “Hard work is one of the most important traits of an entrepreneur and Chloe is only getting started. As one of the Liffey Trust Scholars Chloe will be able to network with our scholars from Trinity College, UCD, DCU and soon to be UCC. I would like to thank Dr Natalie Walsh and Professor Jonathan Levie and the team for encouraging the students to take part in the ideaslab where future businesses can start.” The Liffey Trust was established more than 30 years ago and has been supporting entrepreneurs to establish and grow new businesses since then. The University of Galway scholarship is named in honour of the founder of the Liffey Trust, Galway native Séamus McDermott, in recognition of his contribution to entrepreneurship in Ireland.    First year undergraduate students at University of Galway can apply for a scholarship valued at up to €9,000 for the duration of their studies at the University. The next call for applicants will commence in October 2023.  For further information on the scholarship contact Ends

Tuesday, 21 February 2023

The pygmy shrew – a protected mammal - captured on spider’s web on a bedroom window, then paralysed and hoisted to its doom by the invasive spider  Scientists at University of Galway have published the first record of a noble false widow spider feeding on a pygmy shrew, a species of tiny mammal protected in Ireland. The new study, recently published in the international journal Ecosphere, demonstrates further the potentially negative impact of the invasive and venomous noble false widow spider on native species.  A recording by Dawn Sturgess showing the spider interacting with the pygmy be downloaded at  It is the first time a member of this family of spiders, called ‘Theridiidae,’ has been recorded preying on a shrew in Ireland or in Britain. It is also the first time for any species of false widow spider to prey on shrews anywhere in the world. The extraordinary discovery was made by Dawn Sturgess at a home in Chichester, West Sussex, southern England when, a small mammal was found entangled in a spider’s web constructed on the outside of a bedroom window. The ensnared creature was later identified by the lengths of tooth rows as a pygmy shrew Sorex minutus. The shrew was still alive, but the spider’s highly potent neurotoxic venom was evidently taking effect as the shrew became increasingly incapacitated. The spider was observed hoisting the shrew upwards into the rafters where it wrapped it in silk and fed off its meal for three days. In Ireland the pygmy shrew is protected under the Wildlife Act (1976) and Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000. In the UK, the species is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. This is the third case in recent years of a protected vertebrate species falling prey to the noble false widow in Ireland or the UK, and this represents the eighth species of vertebrate known to fall prey to members of the false widow genus Steatoda. The noble false widow now appears to be a regular vertebrate-eating spider.  In a previous study published in the journal Food Webs in 2021, researchers at University of Galway’s Venom Lab provided video evidence of a false widow spider lifting a significantly larger gecko off the ground with exceptional ease using its silk threads as a pully system. It appears that the noble false widow spider used an identical method to hoist the shrew higher up the web. Over the past seven years, the research team, led by Dr Michel Dugon at University of Galway’s Ryan Institute, have been studying a wide range of characteristics specific to the species including its venom, symptoms associated with their venomous bite, ecology and behaviour.  Dr Michel Dugon, Head of the Venom Systems Lab, Ryan Institute, University of Galway and lead author of the study, said: “This observation demonstrates further that the noble false widow is perfectly adapted to take down large prey, combining potent venom, extremely strong silk, and complex hunting behaviour.” Dr John Dunbar, Irish Research Council Post-Doctoral fellow, Venom Systems Lab, Ryan Institute, University of Galway, and senior author of the study said: “The noble false widow is a very intriguing spider, and we have much to learn about it still. We are very grateful to the members of the public who share their observations with us. This allows us to understand better how this invasive species may impact us and our environment.” The scientists at University of Galway are encouraging members of the public to email them at to report sightings of the noble false widow spider. Read the full study in Ecosphere here: Ends

Monday, 20 February 2023

Two new outdoor gyms have been unveiled on University of Galway campus.  Funded as part of a dedicated Government grant programme for 2022/23 to support Higher Education Institutions, the gym equipment forms part of a wider Sports For All initiative which is being rolled out to provide modern, outdoor fitness facilities for students, staff, members of the public and visitors to campus.  Two outdoor gym areas have been created - one on College Green, opposite the Quadrangle; and a second in front of the Arts Millennium Building. The all-weather gyms include exercise bikes, leg press, chest press and shoulder press, pull down rowing machine, cross trainers, walkers, stepper, hand bikes and shoulder wheel station, along with seating areas and water fountains.  A quarter of the fitness equipment has been specially designed to accommodate the needs and requirements of people with a physical disability.  President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “In line with our value of openness, we want to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to improve their physical health while making our campus a more open and inviting environment for everyone. The space is accessible to all, is for everyone to share, and it will offer people a welcome opportunity to improve their health, fitness and wellbeing. We hope our university community and the wider community makes the most of the facilities as we develop plans to build on this across campus.” Sai Gujulla, President of University of Galway Students’ Union said: “Outdoor Gyms are a fantastic way of staying active and at the same time spending time with your friends. It's a great initiative by University of Galway offering this facility for free for students on campus.” Ends

Tuesday, 14 February 2023

Two student from the US are to attend University of Galway under the Mitchell Scholarship programme for 2023/24.  The George J. Mitchell Scholarships are highly competitive prizes awarded to twelve student by the US-Ireland Alliance. They are aimed at supporting distinguished graduate students from the US who wish to pursue one year of study in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Professor Becky Whay, University of Galway’s Vice President International, said: “We are delighted that such talented young people saw fit to choose University of Galway as the venue for their graduate studies, and that we have an opportunity to host such distinguished scholars. We are very conscious of the prestige attached to the George J. Mitchell Scholarship programme and it reflects our strong academic portfolio, as well as the supportive and welcoming environment we provide to students from all over the world." The two University of Galway Mitchell Scholars have distinguished academic and civic careers to date. Alexander Firestine - a senior at the University of Pittsburgh where he studies Finance, Accounting, and Business Information Systems. Alex is the recipient of a Chancellor’s Scholarship, the most prestigious undergraduate scholarship at University of Pittsburgh.  His interest is in food insecurity and how data analytics, may be used to alleviate the problem. Involved with Food21, a non-profit committed to building resilient food systems, Alex co-led a project that developed a digital tool using data to measure regional food insecurity and identify areas where food apartheids may exist in Pittsburgh.  He is investigating the relationship between accessibility of food outlets via public transportation and rates of food insecurity and is identifying pickup areas for the implementation of a virtual grocery store, bringing sustainable food to thousands in need. Alex served as Corporate Relations Manager of Enactus, a national organization that promotes social entrepreneurship.  As President of the League of Emerging Analytics Professionals, Alex led an organisation of more than 120 members who teach entry level workshops for programs like Python and Tableau. He also designed a university-accredited extracurricular institute that now teaches analytics to 300+ students as a core class. During his time as President, the organisation was awarded #1 student organisation at Pittsburgh. He is heavily involved in service work and personally contact-less delivered more than 10,000 meals during the Covid pandemic.  At University of Galway, Alexander will study MSc in Climate Change, Agriculture. Alexa Mohsenzadeh - senior at Emory University studying Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology and Ethics. She received Emory’s most prestigious merit scholarship, the Robert W. Woodruff Scholarship, for demonstrating outstanding achievement in academics and music.  As the Co-Founder and CEO of the non-profit Her Drive, Alexa has led the distribution of 1.1 million period and hygiene products globally, including 45 states across the US, as well as the UK, Canada, and Mexico since 2020. Through this work, she has mentored more than  1,200 volunteers and supported a diverse range of populations, including immigrant detainees and refugees, low-income students, rural and Indigenous communities, LGBT+ youth, and survivors of domestic violence. Recognised as 1 of “50 Period Heroes” nationwide, Her Drive is partnering with Always and Walmart this year to distribute 50,000 period products to people in need in Georgia, Illinois, and Louisiana.  At Emory, Alexa has conducted research in neuroethics, compassion-based ethics, and feminist neuroscience with aims to integrate feminist, cross-cultural perspectives into our scientific and legal awareness. This past year, she also worked for the non-profit, New American Pathways, where she supported newly arriving refugees in Georgia by improving their access to community resources as they underwent the resettlement process.  She is the principal percussionist of the Emory University Symphony Orchestra and is proficient in Persian and French. Long-term, Alexa is driven to improve women’s health outcomes through rights advocacy and reform and will study MA in Gender, Globalisation, and Rights at the University of Galway. Ends

Tuesday, 14 February 2023

University of Galway will lead on seven research projects and partner on four funded by the Environmental Protection Agency Eleven research projects from University of Galway have been awarded funding from the Environmental Protection Agency to support academics endeavouring to address climate change and other emerging, complex environmental problems.  University of Galway had the highest success rate in the call for projects, receiving more than €2.3 million in grants. The researchers are focused on addressing issues related to greenhouse gas emissions, ozone levels, radon, human biomonitoring and earth observation. The funding was awarded across four thematic areas: addressing climate change evidence needs; delivering a healthy environment; facilitating a green and circular economy; and protecting and restoring our natural environment. The seven funded projects led by University of Galway researchers under the EPA categories are: Addressing climate change evidence needs  Professor Colin O’Dowd will develop a Nitrous Oxide emissions verification system for Ireland. The two critical components are an operational network of precise long-term Nitrous Oxide measurements and a model, which can generate accurate estimates of emissions of the gas. Dr Liz Coleman will assess knowledge regarding factors influencing ozone pollution relative to the Irish atmosphere. The project aims to improve the understanding of ozone levels and trends in Ireland, with a particular focus on the contribution of methane to the formation of ozone and the interplay between climate policy and air pollution policy and potential for targeted policy to limit ozone pollution in a changing climate.  Delivering a Healthy Environment Dr James McGrath and Dr Miriam Byrne will deliver a comprehensive and scientifically-robust assessment of the implications of radon in deep-retrofitted dwellings. It will also develop a tool to estimate renovation measures on pre/post radon concentrations. This will help to strategically inform national policies on protecting citizens from indoor radon in homes undergoing deep retrofitting and ensure that national retrofits commitments remain achievable. Facilitating a green and circular economy   Dr Liam Heaphy’s project will make a strategic contribution to recent initiatives to bring back town centre living by comparing the carbon costs of new build versus restoration. Building on the Town Centre Living Initiative pilot scheme, the project aims to advance analysis of the costs and barriers to adaptive reuse of buildings by including embodied emissions and life cycle analysis into cost-benefit analysis, while also connecting to strategic initiatives to reinvigorate rural villages and towns. It therefore extends the discussion on end-of-life and upcycling in life-cycle analysis to expand into wholesale reuse of existing buildings, relevant for Ireland with its particularly high rate of vacancy and dereliction in urban centres of all scales. Protecting and Restoring our Natural Environment Alastair McKinstry’s project aims to build data infrastructure which will makes it easier and more affordable to access Earth Observation and climate data. The project will also focus on statistics of land use change from 1990 to present, and also generate statistics of flood occurrences in Ireland. Dr Agnieszka Indiana Olbert’s project aims to use Copernicus data to improve efficiency, accuracy and implementation of coastal water monitoring programmes. It will allow deeper understanding of nutrient cycling, water quality problems and environmental stressors/pressures in our waters related to human activities including climate change.  Dr David Styles will develop a model framework to generate key indicators of land use sustainability across air emissions (greenhouse gases and ammonia), nutrient losses to water at catchment scale and economic outcomes at farm and national scale. Researchers from University of Galway will partner with other institutions on four projects including:  Dr Liam Morrison - Occurrence and sources of Persistent, Mobile and Toxic substances in Irish waters  Dr Liam Heaphy - Fire, Land and Atmospheric Remote Sensing of Emission-Projections, Policy and Land use and cover Synthesis Professor Dearbhaile Morris and Dr Georgios Miliotis - Investigating integrated constructed wetlands as a means to reduce antimicrobial resistance and carbon emissions in the environment Professor Chaosheng Zhang - Characterising the relationship between soil geochemistry and biodiversity in Ireland Professor Jim Livesey, Vice-President Research and Innovation at University of Galway, said: “This investment by the EPA is a testament to the success of research across higher education in Ireland. It is a huge bonus to see such a high level of achievement for our researchers in University of Galway, where we lead eight of the EPA-backed projects and partner on another four. The focus of this funding on environmental research further demonstrates the drive among our researchers to collaborate for the public good and the ambition to respond to the challenges facing humanity and society, now and in the years ahead.” The EPA Research Programme is a Government of Ireland initiative funded by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications.  Ends

Thursday, 9 February 2023

Students at Claddagh National School in Galway paint mural inspired by Galway’s marine, medtech and football culture CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices based at University of Galway, has partnered with local artists Birgit and Peter Lochmann, to create a large-scale mural with students from Claddagh National School. The mural, funded by Claddagh Credit Union, was tailor-made to reflect the spirit of the school and community. Incorporating themes of the Galway community is at the heart of the mural, which was designed to reflect the students’ talents and interests. Galway’s marine culture and medtech industry are represented by the marine materials scientists research to identify new ways to heal the body.  In keeping with the school’s love of football, the mural was installed on the Astro pitch and features the late Eamonn “Chick” Deacy, a local Galway football legend. Through a cross-curricular co-creation process, students became aware of their locality and its link to scientific achievements, conservation, and the role of their community. CÚRAM researchers and the artists gave a series of art science workshops through which students learned how scientists use marine-inspired materials to discover ways of developing cures to treat various illnesses. This helped illustrate the importance of keeping our oceans healthy to keep our bodies healthy as well. The workshops reflected CÚRAM’s “Marine Meets Medtech” exhibit developed and hosted in partnership with Galway Atlantaquaria, National Aquarium of Ireland. The mural was officially launched on Wednesday, February 8 by players from the Galway United men's and women's squads: Conor O'Keeffe, Mikie Rowe, Abbie Callanan, Anna Fahey. Mark Langtry (‘Mark the Science Guy’) also performed his “Football Physics” show to teach students how science can enhance their sports performance. Gabriel Farragher, 6th class teacher at Claddagh National School, said: “We were delighted to participate in the project as it provided the pupils with an exciting opportunity to get involved in hands-on, cross-curricular workshops, on a weekly basis, incorporating the areas of Science and Art. The football angle added an even greater interest in the project for the pupils. The icing on the cake is the colourful mural that now brightens up our Astro pitch.” Louise Shields, CEO of Claddagh Credit Union, said of the project: “With community at the centre of this incredible project, reflecting community at the heart of our credit union, we were delighted to support this mural project. We are so impressed to see the outcome of this collaboration in the mural in Claddagh National School.” Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM, said: "We are always trying new ways for our researchers to collaborate with community partners to create a better understanding and awareness of our research and its importance for society. This collaboration with the Claddagh Credit Union and students of the Claddagh National School promotes the idea of transdisciplinary research and showcases the value of bringing the worlds of art and science together.” Ends

Wednesday, 8 February 2023

University of Galway has outlined plans for a new Water Sports Centre following the approval for planning by Galway City Council.  The proposed Water Sports Centre will primarily aim to offer first-class facilities for Rowing, Kayak and Sub Aqua clubs at the University and their 150-plus members. The new development will also house a gym, which will be open to other athletic clubs on campus, with the potential to cater for members of all other athletic clubs in the University. President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “At University of Galway, investment of this nature enables us to support our students and our coaches, their achievements and their sporting endeavours. As a university on the Corrib, with longstanding, outstanding success on the water, it is our hope that enhanced facilities will empower excellence, further success and the wellbeing of our students.” University of Galway Director of Sport Mike Heskin said: “This new Water Sports Centre is designed to provide state of the art training facilities for watersports that University of Galway has excelled in, both at national and international level.  “In 2022 our rowing club took home the biggest medal haul from the nationals. We are proud to have had two Olympians on our teams in recent years – Fiona Murtagh and Aifric Keogh. Now we have an opportunity to provide top grade facilities to help others excel.” The development has been approved for planning permission on a site on the western bank of the River Corrib, near the Alice Perry Engineering Building on the North Campus. It will offer more secure facilities for water sports and also enhance safety for water users.  It includes:   :: Reception; first aid; changing rooms and bathrooms; gym; training room; comms room; offices; test room; café; mother and baby room. :: Drying room; plant room; function room kitchenette; equipment storage facilities; a new storage shed for rowing.  :: Two floating pontoons on the bank of the Corrib.  :: A pedestrian and cycling riverside greenway.  Ends

Tuesday, 7 February 2023

Fort Wayne Metals to support students with overseas study and internships University of Galway has announced a new partnership with Fort Wayne Metals, a world leading manufacturer of medical grade wire and components, to provide scholarships and bursaries to engineering students.  The five year partnership will be open to high-achieving students of Mechanical Engineering, while it will also provide internship opportunities for exceptional female students. Welcoming the partnership, President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “Meitheal is an Irish word used to describe the old practice of people coming together pooling talent and resources to complete the harvest. Working closely with our industry partners, we are confident of our capacity to inspire and lead a Meitheal to the benefit of our region, our country, and our world. I am delighted that the Meitheal approach is evident in Engineering at University of Galway, driven as it is by close collaboration between us and industry to solve shared problems, and enhance outcomes and I thank all our colleagues who contribute to making it so.” The Fort Wayne Metals Scholarship will facilitate travel for two outstanding students in Mechanical Engineering to study at Purdue University (August to May each year), and intern with Fort Wayne Metals Ireland (May to September each year). Separately, the Fort Wayne Metals Bursary will recognise and reward the potential of exceptional female students with an annual award to one student who is selected to complete their internship at Fort Wayne Metals Ireland. The Fort Wayne Metals Scholarship will be open to all third year Mechanical Engineering students. The Fort Wayne Metals Bursary will be open to all third year female Mechanical Engineering students for the academic year 2022/23. Michael O’Donnell, Managing Director, Fort Wayne Metals Ireland, said: “Fort Wayne Metals are delighted to partner with the University of Galway on these scholarship and bursary programmes for engineering students. Key to the success of our Industry is the development of talented Engineers and we are proud to be able to collaborate with the University of Galway in making this funding available.” Shauna Crossan, Strategy Development Manager, said: “Fort Wayne Metals has a successful relationship established with Purdue University over many years, with our Headquarters based in Indiana. It is great for Fort Wayne Metals Ireland to be part of this association in the future, to provide funding and industrial experience for talented engineers.” Mary Dempsey, Vice Dean for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the College of Science and Engineering, said: “Working in partnership with our industry partners, we are better able to attract the best and brightest students and support them in their learning to become global citizens in an engineering ecosystem. The mobility and placements offer a rewarding environment which supports diversity, innovation and excellence. It will also accelerate our undergraduate students’ capacity for leadership and global curiosity.” Ends 

Tuesday, 7 February 2023

Fort Wayne Metals chun tacú le mic léinn tabhairt faoi staidéar agus intéirneachtaí thar lear  Tá comhpháirtíocht nua fógartha ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe le Fort Wayne Metals, déantóir ceannródaíoch sreinge agus comhpháirteanna de ghrád leighis, chun scoláireachtaí agus sparánachtaí a chur ar fáil do mhic léinn innealtóireachta. Beidh an chomhpháirtíocht cúig bliana oscailte do mhic léinn ardfheabhais san Innealtóireacht Mheicniúil, agus beidh deiseanna intéirneachta ar fáil freisin do mhic léinn bhaineanna thar barr. Agus é ag cur fáilte roimh an gcomhpháirtíocht, bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Is focal Gaeilge é Meitheal a úsáidtear chun cur síos a dhéanamh ar an tsean-nós a bhíodh ann nuair a thiocfadh daoine le chéile ag roinnt a gcuid scileanna agus acmhainní chun an fómhar a bhaint. Ag obair go dlúth lenár gcomhpháirtithe tionscail, táimid muiníneach as ár gcumas Meitheal a spreagadh agus a threorú chun leas ár réigiúin, na tíre agus an domhain. Tá lúcháir orm go bhfuil cur chuige na Meithle le sonrú san Innealtóireacht in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, agus é á thiomáint ag dlúth-chomhoibriú eadrainn féin agus an tionscal chun fadhbanna comhroinnte a réiteach, agus torthaí a fheabhsú agus gabhaim buíochas lenár gcomhghleacaithe go léir a chuidíonn ina leith.” Éascóidh Scoláireacht Fort Wayne Metals taisteal do bheirt mhac léinn den scoth san Innealtóireacht Mheicniúil chun staidéar a dhéanamh in Ollscoil Purdue (Lúnasa go Bealtaine gach bliain), agus intéirneacht a dhéanamh le Fort Wayne Metals Ireland (Bealtaine go Meán Fómhair gach bliain). Anuas air sin, tabharfaidh Sparánacht Fort Wayne Metals aitheantas agus luach saothair d’acmhainneacht na mac léinn baineann thar barr trí dhámhachtain bhliantúil a bhronnadh ar mhac léinn amháin a roghnaítear chun a hintéirneacht a dhéanamh in Fort Wayne Metals Ireland. Beidh Scoláireacht Fort Wayne Metals oscailte do gach mac léinn sa tríú bliain atá i mbun na hInnealtóireachta Meicniúla. Beidh Sparánacht Fort Wayne Metals ar oscailt do gach mac léinn baineann sa tríú bliain atá i mbun na hInnealtóireachta Meicniúla don bhliain acadúil 2022/23. Dúirt Michael O'Donnell, Stiúrthóir Bainistíochta, Fort Wayne Metals Ireland: “Tá áthas ar Fort Wayne Metals dul i gcomhpháirtíocht le hOllscoil na Gaillimhe ar na cláir scoláireachtaí agus sparánachtaí seo do mhic léinn innealtóireachta. Tá forbairt Innealtóirí cumasacha ríthábhachtach do rathúlacht ár dTionscail agus táimid bródúil as bheith in ann comhoibriú le hOllscoil na Gaillimhe chun an maoiniú seo a chur ar fáil.” Dúirt Shauna Crossan, an Bainisteoir Forbartha Straitéise: “Tá caidreamh rathúil bunaithe ag Fort Wayne Metals le hOllscoil Purdue le blianta fada anuas, agus tá ár gCeanncheathrú lonnaithe in Indiana. Is iontach an rud é go mbeidh Fort Wayne Metals Ireland mar chuid den chomhlachas seo amach anseo, chun maoiniú agus taithí thionsclaíoch a sholáthar d’innealtóirí cumasacha.” Dúirt Mary Dempsey, an Leas-Déan Comhionannais, Éagsúlachta agus Cuimsithe i gColáiste na hEolaíochta agus na hInnealtóireachta: “Agus sinn ag obair i gcomhar lenár gcomhpháirtithe tionscail, táimid in ann na mic léinn is fearr agus is éirimiúla a mhealladh agus tacú leo ina gcuid foghlama le bheith ina saoránaigh dhomhanda in éiceachóras innealtóireachta. Cuireann an tsoghluaisteacht agus na socrúcháin timpeallacht fhiúntach ar fáil a thacaíonn le héagsúlacht, nuálaíocht agus barr feabhais. Cuirfidh sé dlús freisin le cumas ceannaireachta agus fiosrachta domhanda ár gcuid mac léinn fochéime.” Críoch 

Tuesday, 7 February 2023

University of Galway’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences will hold an interactive taster programme for transition year students, offering hands-on experience of how healthcare teams work together. The Health Professional Taster Day takes place on Saturday April 1 and Saturday April 22 in the University’s new state-of-the-art simulation facility, located at the Clinical Science Institute on the grounds of Galway University Hospital. The facility – the Irish Centre for Applied Patient Safety and Simulation at the School of Medicine - opened in 2022 and is recognised as an international centre for excellence in education. The taster programme is open to post-primary students in the 41 schools in Galway city and county. It is the first of its kind to bring healthcare professions together to demonstrate all skill sets across multiple degrees - Medicine, Nursing, Midwifery, Occupational Therapy, Podiatric Medicine and Speech and Language Therapy.   Dr Dara Byrne, Professor of Simulation at University of Galway said: “In the Simulation facility we will recreate realistic clinical experiences for Transition Year students, and will give them a flavour of what is on offer for those who choose to study at University of Galway. It will also give a sense of what a career as a healthcare provider is like. “The students will see how simulation recreates real-life medical procedures and scenarios such as endoscopy, childbirth and medical emergencies in a safe environment. We are excited to give the students hands-on experience and they will also get an opportunity to try suturing, cannulation, fixing fractures and much more. While this is a simulated environment it is also very real and students should be aware of that when they come along.” Registration is now open for the Taster Day and applications will be accepted from February 7 until February 24 at 5pm. For further information or to register visit Professor Byrne explained the rationale for this event: “The theme for these taster days is community. It is a community outreach event, delivered by a community of practice- our multiprofessional team. Through this event we are reaching out to our Galway county and city transition year students, including those who traditionally would not have envisaged a career in healthcare. “Widening participation is a key component of our College strategy. With that in mind we are offering the same number of places on the programme to each and every school. We particularly welcome applications from DEIS schools and from students taking QQI (FETAC or NCVA) qualifications. We are also looking forward to introducing the concept of inter-professional teams and to showing how key team-work is part of the education of health professionals.” “Parents are also welcome to accompany the students, and there will be a specific information talk at the start of each session for parents and students.” Ends

Thursday, 2 February 2023

University of Galway researcher Dr Erin McCarthy has been awarded a €1.86million grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for a unique project to analyse poetry. Dr McCarthy, a Senior Research Fellow with the University’s Moore Institute, is one of 321 researchers in the EU to benefit from a €657million fund under the EU Horizon Europe programme. The researchers are being supported with ERC Consolidator Grants which are aimed at distinguished scientists who have between seven and 12 years’ experience after their PhDs, to help them to pursue their most promising ideas. Dr McCarthy’s project - Systems of Transmitting Early Modern Manuscript Verse, 1475–1700 (STEMMA) - will run over five years, offering the first large-scale quantitative analysis of the circulation of early modern English poetry in manuscript over more than two centuries. “Scholars have tended to address individual manuscripts as case studies. Through my research project, STEMMA, our aim is to revolutionise the study of manuscript poetry by taking a data-driven approach to identify patterns and trends at scale,” Dr McCarthy said. At its centre is the poet John Donne, whose reluctance to circulate his verse makes the survival of at least 4,249 manuscripts of his work all the more puzzling; the poems of his next most-circulated contemporary survive in fewer than 1,000 witnesses. Dr McCarthy added: “Initially what we’re doing is looking at handwritten collections of poems called manuscript miscellanies to see where there are overlaps in their contents that suggest shared sources or copying. This kind of work has been hard to do for small groups of manuscripts because we often don’t know much about the people who copied them or, in many cases, the poets they’re copying.” Dr McCarthy has secured permission to use six of the most comprehensive datasets about the contents of early modern manuscripts, about 1 million records in total, in order to understand how poetry circulated in the English-speaking world. “The idea is that we’ll combine and clean these datasets, assign each poem a unique identifier, and then run network analysis on the poems and manuscripts rather than the people. This may then turn up people, whether or not we know their names,” she said. Dr McCarthy added: “This research will allow us to see how surviving manuscripts connect, but it will also show us where documents may be missing or overlooked, all of which should change our understanding of who shared early modern English verse in manuscript, how, and to what ends.” Dr McCarthy first joined University of Galway as a Postdoctoral researcher on Professor Marie-Louise Coolahan’s RECIRC project in 2014. After working as a lecturer and later a senior lecturer in Australia, she return to the University in 2022 as an IRC Consolidator Laureate. The ERC Consolidator Grant will enable Dr McCarthy to build an interdisciplinary team of three postdocs and a PhD student to conduct archival research and computational analysis. Ends

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