31/10/2005: Queen's academic presents the peoples' views as part of peace process for Kosovo and Serbia
28/10/2005: Queen's University to Host Media Careers Day
28/10/2005: Queen's kidney research gets a boost at Belfast City Hospital
27/10/2005: Queen's to offer new post-graduate engineering course
27/10/2005: Queen's researchers to examine Belfast's contested spaces
27/10/2005: Major peace makers exhibition comes to Queen's
25/10/2005: Positive psychology explored at Queen's
25/10/2005: Queen's academics on new Agri-Food Research and Education Advisory Panel
21/10/2005: Queen's aims to foster closer links with the north-west
21/10/2005: Northern birds make better mates
20/10/2005: Queen's to host Accountable Governance colloquium
19/10/2005: Queen's re-invests in APT
19/10/2005: Queen's appoints distinguished research scientist as new Dean
19/10/2005: Belfast Students sing for your heart
17/10/2005: Queen's teams up with tech leader
17/10/2005: Conflict explored by Institute of Irish Studies at Queen's
14/10/2005: Queen's students 'dig' for victory
13/10/2005: Poverty at Home
12/10/2005: QUBIS Ltd appoints new chairman
12/10/2005: School of Nursing and Midwifery Jobs Fair
12/10/2005: Report on parenting in Northern Ireland launched at Queen's University
12/10/2005: Developing a languages strategy for Northern Ireland
11/10/2005: Queen's Innovation Lecture examines 'Tomorrow's People'
11/10/2005: Northern Ireland researchers lead multi-million European research project to make food safer
10/10/2005: Cardinal Daly to attend sustainable development seminar at Queen's
07/10/2005: CBI Director-General to address Queen's Chief Executives' Club
05/10/2005: New book on Bloody Sunday launched
04/10/2005: OMMIC launches a new Centre of Excellence in Belfast
04/10/2005: Three Centres for Excellence at Queen's announced
04/10/2005: New Zealand Girl Power Comes To Belfast
03/10/2005: RTE Vanbrugh Quartet to play work of Queen's composer
03/10/2005: Schools team compete for O'Farrell Cup at Queen's
03/10/2005: Belfast pupils reach for the stars at Queen's03/10/2005: Belfast pupils reach for the stars at Queen's
A Queen's University Belfast academic has presented the findings of a public opinion 'peace poll' carried out in a bid to encourage dialogue between Kosovar Albanians and Serbs in one of the most volatile parts of Europe.
Dr Colin Irwin, a Visiting Research Fellow in the Queen's Institute of Governance, Public Policy and Social Research and a Northern Ireland polling expert, carried out the survey to find out what the people believe needs to be done to bring lasting peace and stability to their region. He presented the survey findings recently in Belgrade and Pristina.
Dr Irwin travelled for over a month in Serbia and Kosova to develop questions for the public opinion poll. The questionnaire was administered to 1,200 people from Serbia and 1,200 people from Kosovo to give representative samples in terms of age, gender, social class, political and ethnic affiliation. Topics covered included the problems faced by the people, their politicians and the international community in the region, what will happen if these problems are not properly addressed and a range of solutions to deal with these problems.
Dr Irwin has carried out many opinion polls in Northern Ireland in connection with the peace process and gauging public reaction to it. Relating this to his latest project he said: "The survey approach taken that extended across the political spectrum to all the major parties, civil society and the public at large helped to build a consensus for the Belfast Agreement that led to a successful referendum and subsequent period of increasing stability and peace. The Northern Ireland methods can and have been applied successfully elsewhere. The poll implemented in Kosova and Serbia used a unique methodology that proved successful in the peace process in Northern Ireland. The report provides a basis for much rich and fruitful discussion for the people, their elected representatives and the negotiating teams who must now shoulder the responsibility of their respective communities' future security and prosperity."
The poll results, available in an article entitled, Coming to Terms with the Problem of Kosovo: The Peoples' Views from Kosovo and Serbia, exposes what the citizens of this area really think, and most importantly, what are the areas around which consensus can be built.
The opinion poll is part of a project entitled, The Albanian Serb Information Exchange Forum, by the Centre for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe, KosovaLive in Pristina, and Beta Media Center in Belgrade. The core of the project is a dialogue forum with the aim of opening channels of communication between Albanians and Serbs to foster constructive dialogue.
"The potential for the success of peace processes can be greatly increased when all sections of society are provided with opportunities to become active partners in their own peace process. Imposed solutions and deals done 'behind closed doors' and backed up with international pressure and force may bring temporary relief to apparently intractable problems. But 'home grown' solutions that have the widest possible support amongst the various elements that make up a society are essential for progress towards long-term stability and peace," Dr Irwin commented.
For further information, please contact: Communications, Marketing and Recruitment, 028 9097 3087
Additional information on The Albanian Serb Information Exchange Forum is available on the project web site, www.kosovakosovo.com
Dr Colin Irwin's report may be downloaded from Centre for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe web site, http://www.cdsee.org/
Hundreds of media industry hopefuls will descend on the Whitla Hall at Queen's University Belfast on Wednesday 09 November 2005, for one of the largest media careers events Northern Ireland has ever seen.
The Media Careers Information Day is an event for everyone interested in finding out about career opportunities in the media. It is sponsored and organised through a partnership between the BBC, UTV, Skillset, Avid, the Careers Services of Queen's University Belfast, University of Ulster and the Northern Ireland Film & Television Commission. With around 40 exhibiting organisations, from large broadcasters to independent production companies, the event aims to give visitors the chance to find out more about working in TV, film, radio, print and multimedia.
As well as exhibitors ranging from broadcasters and production companies to training providers, the event will have seminars with panels made up of industry professionals giving hopefuls the lowdown on what they need to know to improve their chances of breaking into this competitive industry. Hands-on demonstrations will offer visitors a chance to see first-hand what is involved in the practical aspects of media careers. There is also the opportunity to meet "In Conversation" a number of well known presenters including the BBC's Stephen Watson, Jim Fitzpatrick and Stephen Nolan and UTV's Pamela Ballantine, Frank Mitchell and Julian Simmons.
The event is open to anyone aged 16+ interested in a career in the media industry and is especially aimed at sixth-formers, students in further and higher education and job changers.
The BBC's Head of Recruitment Communications, Roger Hammett, says; "No matter what aspect of the media industry you're interested in, you will find it here. It is the only event that will bring together as many and varied representatives of the media under one roof in this area this year. So there will be no better opportunity to get your career in the media off to a great head start."
UTV's Group Human Resources Director, Mairéad Regan, says; "Once again we are delighted to be involved in The Media Careers Information Day which has been hugely successful in providing young people with relevant information about the industry. What makes a difference is that people get a chance to talk to practitioners in the area - so the information is relevant, focused and practical. This year UTV will also be covering radio as well as TV and new media, as our new radio station will be launching in Belfast and the surrounding area the following Monday."
Head of Education at the Northern Ireland Film & Television Commission, Bernard McCloskey, adds; "We are dedicated to encouraging and supporting a vibrant screen industry in Northern Ireland. An important part of our strategy is to provide relevant information and guidance for those seeking a career in the industry. We work closely with all the major players in this exciting industry. The Belfast Media Careers Information Day provides the perfect setting for young people making those all important decisions about their careers. We are delighted to be involved."
Jean Stirrup, Head of Careers Service at Queen's University Belfast, says; "Queen's University Belfast is delighted to co-organise and host the Belfast Media Careers Information Day. This is a key event for anyone interested in accessing in-depth information about opportunities across the media sector as well as making contact with and learning from industry professionals."
The event runs from 10.30am until 4.30pm and tickets can be ordered on line at www.mediacareersday.co.uk at a price of £4.00 in advance. Depending on demand, a limited number of tickets will be available on the day (£5.00).
For further information, please contact:
Roger Hammett, Head of Recruitment Communications, BBC on 0208 008 4216, 07801 760715 or by e-mailing email@example.com
Nicola Bothwell, Press and PR Officer, UTV on 028 9026 2187, 07766 740926 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
A high quality research facility to investigate the genetic causes of kidney disease and diabetes was opened today (Friday 28 October) at the Belfast City Hospital by the acclaimed writer Sue Townsend.
Speaking at the event Ms Townsend, who is best known for her Adrian Mole Diaries, said: "I have first hand experience of the impact of diabetes and renal failure and will be beginning dialysis treatment next year, so I am absolutely delighted to be here to support the opening of this facility and the very important research that will be undertaken into this condition and its genetic causes."
The research, which is a joint project with the Belfast City Hospital Trust and Queen's University, is being led by Professor Peter Maxwell and Dr David Savage.
Commenting on the lab opening Professor Maxwell said: "We are working to identify why persons with diabetes are at high risk of kidney failure. The long-term aim of this research is to prevent kidney failure developing. At least 60,000 people have diabetes in Northern Ireland.
"Diabetes can be associated with serious complications including loss of sight, heart and kidney disease. Unfortunately diabetic kidney disease is increasing and is now the commonest cause of renal failure requiring dialysis or transplantation affecting 1 in 4 dialysis patients in Northern Ireland and 1 in 2 dialysis patients in the USA."
"Dialysis is expensive with treatment costing up to £30,000 per person per year. There are over 700 dialysis patients in Northern Ireland this year and the number is predicted to be more than 1100 by 2010."
The lab was created with significant investment from local charity, the Northern Ireland Kidney Research Fund.
Contact: Michelle Cassidy (028) 9066 6322 or 0773 963 1704
- Professor Peter Maxwell, Consultant Nephrologist, Belfast City Hospital and Dr David Savage, Senior Lecturer in Genetic Epidemiology, Queen's University Belfast
- Worldwide the number of persons with diabetes is growing annually. Risk factors for developing diabetes include obesity and sedentary lifestyle. A family history of diabetes is often present indicating that genetic risk factors also play a part in this disorder.
- Chronic kidney failure due to diabetes develops gradually over months to years and may go unrecognised unless picked up by screening tests of blood and urine. Everyone with diabetes should have at least an annual check up to see if kidney disease is developing. Advanced kidney failure is associated with fatigue, breathlessness, high blood pressure and a higher risk of heart disease. The rate of deterioration can be slowed by careful adjustment of the diet and drug treatment of high blood pressure. There is no cure for kidney failure and treatment with dialysis (or in some circumstances renal transplantation) is the only effective management for persons with end-stage kidney failure.
- There is a genetic predisposition to kidney disease. By carefully analysing the genetic variation between persons with and without kidney disease it is possible to identify the genetic risk factors for kidney failure. Once these risk factors are known it should be possible to design new treatments to prevent kidney disease and to ensure those persons at highest risk get the most effective care possible.
- The research team at the Belfast City Hospital are collaborating with investigators in the UK, Ireland, USA and Finland to study large numbers of persons with and without diabetic kidney disease. Samples of patients' genetic material (DNA) are screened to detect subtle but important differences in the structures of their genes. These genetic variations explain why kidney disease affects some but not all persons with diabetes.
- The researchers at the Belfast City Hospital and Queen’s University are funded by Northern Ireland Kidney Research Fund, Diabetes UK, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation (USA), Kidney Research UK, DHSS Research and Development Office and Renal Unit Fund, BCH.
A new four year post-graduate degree course, offering a radical alternative to the traditional PhD, is now on offer at Queen's University Belfast.
The Systems Engineering Doctorate (EngD) is aimed at providing a more vocationally-oriented doctorate in engineering, better suited to the needs of industry with the research engineers spending around three-quarters of their time working directly with their collaborating company.
The new doctorate funded by EPSRC and worth £4.5 million, has been set up under the Systems Engineering Doctorate Centre (SEDC), involving a five-strong consortium of universities including will Queen's, Loughborough, Bath, Leicester and Strathclyde and a number of industry organisations.
The key industry partners are Bombardier, F G Wilson and BAE Systems, which further strengths the collaboration with Loughborough, while a number of other partners are already "signed up" to provide a wide industrial support base including defence, aerospace, automotive, shipbuilding, power generation and process control.
The Engineering Doctorate Scheme will bring a new dimension to the research activities in the Centre of Excellence for Integrated Aircraft Technologies (CEIAT) at Queen's, where the research is focused on designing the next generation of aircraft with enhanced performance, safety, reduced environmental impact and cost.
The SEDC proposal succeeded in competition with bids from seven other UK groups.
Professor Srinivasan Raghunathan, who holds the Bombardier-Royal Academy Chair, and will head the Queen's Engineering Doctorate Centre Programme, said: "It will help enhance and accelerate the delivery of a national systems engineering capability and provide the multi-disciplinary skills and leveraged knowledge necessary to deal with the challenges in Aerospace, namely reduction in cost, noise and pollution by 50 per cent and enhancement of safety by five-fold by the year 2020.
For further information, please contact: Professor Srinivasan Raghunathan, (028) 9097 5607
The Queen's team who have been awarded £250,000 to carry out research on the nature of Belfast's conflict and how a university can help with the city's future development.
Research examining the nature of Belfast's conflict and how a university can help with the city's future development is currently being carried out at Queen's University.
The initiative, known as Contested Cities- Urban Universities' or CU2 for short, is a partnership between the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering (SPACE) and Belfast Local Strategy Partnership (BLSP) set up to investigate a range of issues focusing on how Belfast remains a contested city and what needs to be done to bring about regeneration and reconciliation.
The Queen's team, which has been awarded £250,000 to undertake the research, will look at the main factors that have created and shaped the city, its contemporary characteristics and its future. As part of the work meetings will be held with key Belfast stakeholders and policymakers in a bid to look at issues impacting on the effectiveness of social and planning intervention in the city's contested spaces. Research in real-world situations will also be carried out in an effort to create positive social change and improve the practice of policy formation and planning.
According to the team's project co-ordinator, Dr Frank Gaffikin, Belfast continues to be a contested city, despite sustained financial investment.
"This suggests that there is a need for an integrated approach that connects the improvement of social need with local economic development, physical regeneration and effective reconciliation. Ultimately tackling regeneration and reconciliation has to be seen as a twin process," he said.
Turning to the role of an urban university, Dr Gaffikin said that while it was crucial that the contemporary university faced the challenge of being global in both its reach and reputation, it was equally important that it did not pursue this goal to the neglect of the development of the city within which it resided. "
Although urban universities, such as Queen's, have international linkages, one of its most important assets is the local environment and people within which it is situated, the city and inhabitants of Belfast. The working and building of a partnership between the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering (SPACE) at Queen's and the Belfast Local Strategy Partnership will help assess the potential and impact of a university-community partnership in Belfast," he said.
Other members of the research team include Dr Mike Morrissey, Dr Ken Sterrett, Professor Malachy McEldowney, Dr Ralf Brand, Gavan Rafferty, Louise McNeill, Alan Jones and Joanne Jordan.
Since the project is taking an international perspective on the issue of contested cities and the specific role of the engaged academy, it is collaborating with academic colleagues elsewhere and in particular it is working closely with Professor David Perry, director of the Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
For further information, please contact: Dr Frank Gaffikin, (028) 9097 4753 Dr Ken Sterrett, (028) 9097 4365
Dr Lawrence Carter, who officially launched the "Gandhi, King, Ikeda peace builders exhibition" at Queen’s University, with a bust of Gandhi, which is part of the University collection.
A major international exhibition highlighting the work of the world's best known peace makers is to open at Queen's University Belfast today.
Entitled "Gandhi, King, Ikeda: Peacebuilders Exhibition", it will be launched on Thursday October 27 in the Visitors' Centre at Queen's where it will run until 21 December.
The exhibition has been seen by 350,000 people in 80 cities around the globe. It profiles the lives and contribution of three personalities - India's Mahatma Gandhi, the American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jnr and Japan's Daisaku Ikeda - who have each made a significant impact through peaceful protest for the cause of human rights.
These men from three different cultures and continents have followed a common path of profound dedication and achievement in improving the lives of all people. Matahama Gandhi's ideals of non-violence helped shape the destiny of India and these same ideals formed the backbone for Martin Luther King's commitment to peace and justice. Daisaku Ikeda, an international peace advocate and a leader of authentic grassroots peace movement in 181 countries has initiated and inspired community level initiatives through upholding the philosophy of humanism and non-violence.
The exhibition, which features a variety of panels of colour photographs, inspiring quotations and factual information about all three men, was originally conceived and designed by Dr Lawrence Edward Carter Sr, Dean of Martin Luther King Jnr International Chapel of Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia, who will officially launch the exhibition.
A contemporary of Martin Luther King, Dr Carter is on his first visit to Northern Ireland during which time he will deliver a public lecture at Queen's on "Human Rights and the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr", and will confer the Gandhi-King-Ikeda: Community Builder's Prize on John Hume during a ceremony in the Wellington Park Hotel at 2pm on 28 October.
The exhibition is being brought to the University courtesy of SGI-UK. SGI is a global association of 'engaged' lay Buddhists, recognised by the United Nations as a non-governmental organisation, which co-operates in a variety of humanitarian and public information programmes around the world under the aegis of the UN. Their main aim is to promote peace through culture and education.
Queen's Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson said he was delighted that the University was hosting the exhibition, which also features artefacts from Dr Ikeda's personal collection from Japan. Among them is an original letter written by Mahatma Gandhi, while in prison.
Professor Gregson said: "The ideals of equality and tolerance, which are highlighted in this exhibition, resonate very closely with the ethos of Queen's.
"The exhibition celebrates those human virtues which transcend differences of race and culture. It is very appropriate that we should be hosting it here in Northern Ireland, as we emerge from years of conflict and strive towards a future of peace and reconciliation based on mutual respect."
The exhibition has been supported by Belfast City Council, the Belfast Community Relations Council and the SGI-UK.
Dean Lawrence Carter will deliver a public lecture "Human Rights and the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr", in G06, Peter Froggatt Centre, Queen's University, on Friday 28 October at 5.30pm.
Mahatama Gandhi 1869-1948
Mohandas K Gandhi was an Indian Hindu who dedicated his life to non-violent principles and led a movement for liberating India from colonial rule.
Martin Luther King Jr 1929 - 1968
Martin Luther King Jnr was an African American Christian who infused non-violent principles with love and broke the iron grip of racial segregation and intolerance that dominated the American social system.
Daisaku Ikeda 1928 -
Japanese-born Daisaku Ikdeda, a prolific writer, poet and peace activist, is recognised as the world's leading interpreter of Buddhist philosophy. He is deeply committed to the principles of internationalism and espouses the principle of inner reformation by individuals as the basis for social action for peace. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honorary doctorates from around the world, which includes the United Nations Peace Award, the International Tolerance Award for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Rosa Parks Humanitarian Award, and the UNHCR Humanitarian Award.
For further information, please contact:
Dr Satish Kumar, 028 9097 3479 or mobile: 0777 918 2849 or
Marketing, Recruitment and Communications Office, 028 9097 5384
Positive psychology, popularly termed the science of happiness, is a hot topic of debate currently. Full pages have been devoted to its exploration recently in the national press. Next month a television documentary is to be aired that covers an unusual social experiment to see whether or not a group of experts can make people happier.
Just what is all the fuss about?
At Queen's University Belfast, the Institute of Lifelong Learning is offering a new course on positive psychology, sub-titled 'the study of human happiness and well-being'. It considers the scientific basis of this relatively new discipline.
Course Tutor Dr John Copelton has no doubts about positive psychology's scientific credentials. "Positive psychology is not really all that new," he comments. "Psychologists have been studying well-being for at least 50 years but there has been a snowballing of interest as more and more of the key findings have appeared in the popular press."
The weekly two-hour positive psychology sessions on Mondays combine a series of lectures introducing the extensive research that has been conducted into human behaviour, thoughts and emotions as related to happiness and well-being, with the opportunity for participants to discuss the application of positive psychology to everyday life. Among the topics covered are:
- How do we define happiness?
- What are the psychological influences on happiness?
- Learned optimism.
- Stress, relaxation and happiness, and
- Putting positive psychology theory into practice.
"Positive psychology is founded on the belief that well-being is more than the absence of misery," John Copelton suggests. "It is concerned with what makes life satisfying and the promotion of positive emotions rather than negative."
The new course proved an "overnight success" with the public, and was oversubscribed soon after first appearing in the Institute's Autumn Open Learning Programme.
Comments on the course put forward by students at this week's session include:
- "A very enjoyable thought-provoking course with just the right balance of science, theory and self-thought."
- "If you want a class to really make you think about how to improve your thinking on life happiness, this is it."
- "Very stimulating, both in terms of content and teaching style. Relevant research was made very accessible and helped me to reflect positively on my own well-being."
The Institute of Lifelong Learning within the School of Education at Queen's will be offering another chance to sign up for happiness studies after Christmas in its New Year Open Learning programme.
For further information, please contact: Dr John Copelton, 028 9097 4209; or Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320
Notes: * BBC2 will air in November, the documentary Making Slough Happy.
Two Queen's University academics have been appointed to a new body aimed at providing independent expert advice to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development on agri-food education and research policy.
Among the 10 members of the new Research and Education Advisory Panel (REAP) are Professor Bertus Rima, Professor of Molecular Biology and head of the School of Biomedical Science, and Dr Sally Shortall, director of the Gibson Institute for Land, Food and Environment.
The new panel, set up in response to a recommendation of the independent O'Hare Report on Education and Research and Development in Agriculture and Food Science, will be chaired by Dr Alan Lennon, chairman of the NI Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment.
For further information, please contact: Marketing, Recruitment & Communications, Queen's University, 028 9097 5384.
Queen's University aims to build on its academic and business connections with the north-west, Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson said today.
The Vice-Chancellor was speaking at an event hosted by Queen's for the area's business, community, education and political representatives. The university roadshow to Londonderry also included visits to Altnagelvin Hospital and North West Institute.
Professor Gregson said: "Queen's already has strong links with Derry and the north-west, and we want to build on these.
"In particular, we want to see even more of our doctors and nurses taking placements in this region. We want to further strengthen our links with the North West Institute and providers of post-primary education here in the north-west."
The Vice-Chancellor added that commitment to the community has been central to the ethos of Queen's for more than 150 years and outreach is a core component of the University's new Vision for the Future.
He said: "There are countless day-to-day collaborations between staff at Queen's and people in education, healthcare and business here in the north-west. Together we have many important connections. It's my desire to see these continue to grow and flourish."
Currently more than 600 students from Derry are enrolled at Queen's, which also has links with major employers in the area, notably Seagate and DuPont.
A Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Art Glass Ltd and the University's Polymer Processing Research Centre is just under way. And the Northern Ireland Science Shop provides research support to a number of community and voluntary organisations in this region.
For further information, please contact:
Kevin Mulhern, Tel 07813 015431
Anne Langford, Tel 028 9097 5310
Notes for editors:
Photo opportunities will be available during the Vice-Chancellor's visit to Ward 31, Altnagelvin Hospital at 10.45am and in the Alexander Suite, City Hotel at 12.30pm.
Research from Queen's University Belfast, published today in the journal Science, has given new meaning to the 'north-south divide'. It has shown that one breed of European songbird is bucking the trend to travel south for the winter and is opting to migrate to the chillier climes of Britain and Ireland instead. The research also indicates that birds over-wintering in the British Isles produce larger clutches and more young than those migrating further south.
Led by Dr Stuart Bearhop, from the University's School of Biological and Food Sciences, the researchers analysed the chemical patterns in toenails clipped from migrating blackcaps in a bid to find out what they had been eating - and hence find where they had been spending the winter.
Dr Bearhop said, "It has proved very difficult to investigate the reasons behind this change because these birds are hard to follow all year around. By analysing the chemical patterns in toenail clippings my team has been able to discover where the birds arriving at their summer breeding grounds in Austria and Germany have spent the winter.
"We found that birds which spent the winter in Britain are more successful breeders than their counterparts which travelled to southern Iberia and North Africa - the more usual winter habitats for the blackcaps. We also found that the 'British' birds tend to arrive on the breeding grounds earlier than the southern ones, allowing them to gain access to the best territories - a bit like getting their towels on the best sun-loungers first," he said.
The research uncovered a new migration and mating pattern for these birds, finding that blackcaps that head north for the winter are more likely to mate with each other during the summer breeding season than with birds that winter in the south. Known as assortative mating, this could shed new light on the gradual evolution of species.
Dr Bearhop believes that the results also indicate a way in which migratory species can respond to climate change.
"Our findings may provide hope for some species since such migratory shifts may be one way in which birds might find more suitable conditions in which to breed or spend the winter," he said.
Funding for the research was provided by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).
The research team includes colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Radolfzell, Scottish Universities Environmental Research Center, Universities of Glasgow and Plymouth.
For further information, please contact:
Dr Stuart Bearhop, (028) 9097 2278, or email: email@example.com Mobile number: 078 8181 8150
Marion O’Sullivan, Senior Press Officer, NERC. tel. 01793 411727 or mobile 07917 086369
An international colloquium at Queen's University later this week will examine the importance of accountability for democracy and public administration.
Organised by Professor Melvin Dubnick, senior visiting fellow at the Institute of Governance, Public Policy and Social Research at Queen's and Professor of Politics at the University of New Hampshire, the three day "Accountable Governance" conference will run in the Institute from Thursday 20 to Saturday 22 October.
The theme of the conference is of particular relevance to Northern Ireland, coming as it does during the Review of Public Administration.
"Accountability is central to good governance in Northern Ireland and elsewhere, but we have only started to understand what this important concept means for democracy and effective public administration," says Professor Dubnick.
Among the scheduled speakers will be John Dowdall, Comptroller and Auditor General at the Northern Ireland Audit Office; Paul Posner, managing director of the US Government Accountability Office; Nikki Tinsley, Inspector General of the US Environmental Protection Agency and Sir Robert Coleman, former director-general of the European Commission's Health and Consumer Protection Directorate.
Scholars from the United States, Australia and throughout Europe will present their research on accountable governance. Among the range of topics addressed will be how to enhance accountability in different contexts from local government to corporations to regional governments such as the European Union.
For further information, please contact: Dr Ciarán O’Kelly, 028 9097 1127, email: firstname.lastname@example.org; or Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320 (07980 013362)
Queen's venture spin-out company QUBIS Ltd has re-invested in Audio Processing Technology (APT), one of the earliest companies to emerge from the University's research, purchasing five per cent of the shares.
Established to commercialise the University's research and development activities, QUBIS was instrumental in assisting APT set up in business in the late 1980s. It remained a major shareholder until 1996 when Oxford-based Solid State Logic acquired the company. As a result of the recent management buyout in May, QUBIS decided to re-invest in the company.
QUBIS Chief Executive Panos Lioulias said: "APT has been one of our major success stories. We believe in the APT team; they are committed and they deliver. We backed them in the past and we back them now."
Specialising in digital audio compression technology, APT has gone on to achieve international success, establishing itself at an industry leader and building a global customer base encompassing international broadcasters, telecommunications companies, local and national radio stations, post-production, music and film studios as well as a number of security agencies.
In addition to the recent venture capital funding provided by Crescent Capital and Trinity Venture Capital, the QUBIS investment will enable APT to achieve its longer term growth objectives and also to forge closer working relationships with the Advanced Technology groups within the university. The company is hoping to work closely with two of Queen's flagship research initiatives - the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC), which is led by Professor Michael Alcorn, and ECIT (the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology) headed up by John McCanny. Professor McCanny was one of the original founders of APT back in 1988.
Commenting on the deal, Noel McKenna, Managing Director of APT, said: "This is an exciting development for APT and we feel privileged that QUBIS has decided to reinvest in APT's future. We are delighted to have the opportunity to form closer links with Panos and his team. We hope to be able to link in closely with research at the University and also provide a route to market for some of the audio related projects."
Since its management buy-out, APT has seen considerable success with its latest line of audio codec products. New staff have been appointed to key roles within the sales and development teams and the company will continue to strengthen its Belfast-based team over the coming months and years.
Professor Tom Millar, who has been appointed Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences.
Queen's University has announced the appointment of distinguished research scientist Professor Tom Millar as Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences. He takes up the post on 01 January 2006.
Originally from Belfast, Professor Millar is currently Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Manchester and was a Pro-Vice-Chancellor at UMIST from 2001 to 2004.
A graduate of UMIST, he has been the recipient of many major grants for his research on the physics and chemistry of the interstellar medium and is the author of some 200 scientific papers, including several relating to astronomical observations using telescopes in Hawaii, Chile, Japan and Sweden.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and a member of the International Astronomical Union.
Welcoming the appointment, Queen's Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson said: "With an impressive track record both as a researcher and teacher and in academic and administrative leadership, Professor Millar is superbly equipped to meet the challenges and opportunities of this new post and to lead the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences during the next stage of its development. We look forward to welcoming Tom and his family to Queen's in the New Year."
Professor Millar said: "I am delighted to have been appointed Dean of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Queen's. I have been impressed by the enthusiasm with which staff have embraced the new Vision for Queen's and look forward to working with colleagues to enhance the University's role in the world as a leader in education and research and as an economic and cultural force in Northern Ireland and beyond."
As Dean, Professor Millar will be a member of the University Management Board and Operating Board and will be responsible for managing seven new academic Schools. He will play an active role in the strategic development of the University and in developing and implementing University policy.
For further information, please contact: Professor Tom Millar, Tel 0161 306 3677 or Anne Langford, Tel 028 9097 5310
Christmas came early to Belfast when a group of students entertained passers-by at Queen's University Belfast recently, giving a virtuoso performance to launch the Heart Research UK's 'Sing for your Heart' campaign. Pictured (l-r) at the entrance to the Queen's University Lanyon Building are students Maeve Johnson, Hannah Crawford, Mark Elliott.
Christmas comes early to Belfast today (Wednesday 19 October) as a group of students entertain passers-by at Queen's University in a bid to encourage people across Northern Ireland to organise a charity singing event in the run up to Christmas. The early-bird carol singers are supporting Heart Research UK's fundraising event, 'Sing for your Heart', which takes place 8-15 December 2005.
One of the singers, 17-year-old Tim Jones, has a particular reason for supporting 'Sing for your Heart' as his mother, Professor Barbara McDermott, is currently overseeing a Heart Research UK-funded project at Queen's University. She and colleague Dr David Bell are looking into how to protect the heart from the damaging effects of high blood pressure.
The 12 carol singers, students from Queen's University Belfast and local schools, are to sing Christmas songs, wearing Santa hats, at the entrance to the University's Lanyon Building at 4pm.
Dan McGeown, a first-year Queen's medical student, said, "It does feel a bit strange wearing a Santa hat and we are certainly getting a lot of attention, but it's all in a good cause. We are starting early so that people who want to take part in the event have plenty of time to organise something and I hope that the people of Belfast will contact Heart Research UK to request a 'Sing for your Heart' fundraising pack and make our humiliation worthwhile!"
Sing for your Heart is a fundraising event organised by Heart Research UK. Members of the public are encouraged to get involved by organising a singing event in the run up to Christmas such as carol singing, getting sponsored to sing a solo, or organising a karaoke evening or concert to raise money for research into heart disease, Britain's biggest killer. Heart Research UK provides a list of ideas for singing events, guidelines to help supporters get organised and resources such as posters, stickers and sponsorship forms.
Heart Research UK National Director, Barbara Harpham added, "Singing is a fun way to raise money for charity and a fantastic opportunity to get into the Christmas spirit. Hopefully people around the Belfast region will be singing in their canteen at work, at school or even in public places. It is really easy to organise a sing-song at your Christmas party and collect donations for Heart Research UK. Heart disease has touched most of us and projects like Professor McDermott's help people to live longer, healthier lives. We hope that the people of Belfast will help support us in our work to prevent, treat and cure heart disease."
For nearly 40 years, Heart Research UK has funded groundbreaking, medical research into the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease, including six of the first eight UK heart transplants at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge. Funds raised through 'Sing for your Heart' will help the charity to continue to fund pioneering medical research projects around the UK.
To request a Sing for your Heart information pack please contact Heart Research UK on 0113 234 7474 or email email@example.com
Notes to Editor:
Heart Research UK
Heart Research UK is a visionary charity founded in 1967 by Mr Watson, a working heart surgeon, who realised that patients were dying unnecessarily because of the lack of research in heart disease, especially surgical techniques. Having funded six of the first eight UK heart transplants the charity leads the way funding ground breaking, medical research projects into the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease. There is a strong emphasis on supporting clinical and surgical projects and young researchers on their first steps into research. The Charity currently funds over £1.8 million of research projects at 40 hospitals and universities across the UK. In addition over £100,000 has been awarded to community-based lifestyle projects that aim to prevent or reduce the risks of heart disease.
Heart disease is the main cause of death in the UK
More than a third of all deaths in the UK are caused by diseases of the heart and circulatory system.
The UK has the third highest rates of heart disease in Western Europe (after Finland and Ireland).
In 2002, cardiovascular disease (CVD) killed just under 238,000 people.
2.7 million people are currently living with coronary heart disease in the UK and this figure increases as treatment improves and more people survive.
Coronary heart disease can often be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle, eating a diet low in saturated fat and salt, not smoking and taking regular exercise.
The level of obesity has trebled over the last 20 years. 1 in 5 adults is clinically obese and more than half are overweight.
For further information, please contact: Wendy Carter at Heart Research UK on 0113 297 6207 or 07946 314038, or Dolores Vischer, Queen's University Communications Office, 028 9097 5320 (07980 013362).
World leading design software used by Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier, Mercedes, BMW and Toyota is now available to researchers and students in Belfast following a strategic partnership formed by Queen's University and Dassault Systemes (DS), the market leader in 3D software for new product design and engineering.
The partnership, which has been signed with DS by the Northern Ireland Technology Centre (NITC) at Queen's, will benefit local companies by providing a supply of graduates and postgraduates with experience of and skilled in the same digital design software used by most of the world's biggest and most successful manufacturers.
In addition, NITC will help companies to upgrade and develop the skills of existing engineers using the DS software through the university's range of training programmes. Further technology transfer benefits will also flow to Northern Ireland industry from NITC's position as an integral part of an international academic Network of Excellence formed by DS.
Under the partnership agreement, DS's Product Lifecycle Management software products for digital design and engineering, such as Catia, Delmia and Smartteam, have been installed at the NITC building in Cloreen Park, Belfast.
NITC is able to access DS's expert consultancy services in its research activities and those undertaken by local companies.
Announcing the new academic partnership, Tom Edgar, NITC Director, said: "Digital technology developed by DS is today driving the pursuit by key industries, such as manufacturing and construction, of innovative products and processes.
"This is a strategically important partnership for Queen's University and the wider economy. It supports efforts to transform Northern Ireland into an innovation economy by providing access for companies, students and researchers to the most up-to-date technology products and international knowledge transfer network developed by the acknowledged industry leader.
"The partnership will also facilitate the university's curriculum development in engineering. Our goal is to provide undergraduate and postgraduate students with innovative and best in class education that will help them in their careers. They will gain expertise in conceptual design through to manufacturing, giving them complete product lifecycle knowledge. This will promote innovation by enabling students to master simulation techniques for product design, engineering and manufacturing."
For further information, please contact: Tom Edgar, Northern Ireland Technology Centre, Queen's University, (028) 9097 5433
A new series of seminars run by the Institute of Irish Studies at Queen's University Belfast to explore different aspects of conflict in Ireland in the 20th Century is set to begin on Tuesday 18 October.
The weekly seminar programme is a key feature of the work of the Institute of Irish Studies and was initiated when the Institute was first set up back in 1965. The seminars are open to the public, free of charge, and give opportunities for members of the community to hear and debate with speakers presenting new research findings in the field of Irish Studies, and for academics to communicate the results of their research to a wider audience.
Director of the Institute of Irish Studies, Dr Dominic Bryan, commented: "Building on the success of last year's seminar series that was run jointly with Save the Children on the theme of the rights of the child, the current seminar series is being run in association with the Irish Network for Nonviolent Action Training and Education (INNATE).
"The 'Directions through Conflict' series explores how society in Ireland has dealt with different types of conflict. It ranges from the international to the local, critically examining concepts such as neutrality, mediation and reconciliation. A number of eminent speakers from a range of institutions will lead each seminar. We hope that the series will be of wide interest to academics and non-academics alike," Dr Bryan added.
Rob Fairmichael of INNATE will lead the first seminar considering 'Nonviolence: the possible dream' next Tuesday (18 October). Subsequent seminars in the series will explore:
- 25 October: 'Finding peace in Northern Ireland: The dark side of community', led by Dr Dominic Bryan.
- 8 November: 'Nice, NATO and Neutrality', with Michael Kennedy of the Royal Irish Academy.
- 15 November: 'Borders and security, 1923-1956', with Professor Eunan O'Halpin of Trinity College Dublin.
- 22nd November: 'A place for reconciliation? Conflict and locality in Northern Ireland', with Dr Brandon Hamber of Healing Through Remembering and Grainne Kelly.
- 30 November (Wednesday): 'Mediation in Northern Ireland' with Brendan McAllister of Mediation Northern Ireland.
- 6 December: 'Dealing with the past', led by Professor Paul Arthur of the University of Ulster.
The seminars will take place on Tuesdays at 4.00pm in the Institute of Irish Studies at 53-67 University Road.
For further information, telephone Belfast 028 9097 3386 or visit the web site for details of the programme at http://www.qub.ac.uk/iis/for-researchers/for-researchers-seminarprog.htm
For further information, please contact: Dr Dominic Bryan, Institute of Irish Studies 028 9097 3386; or Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320
A Queen's student team from the School of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering has scooped a special undergraduate award in Northern Ireland's annual £25K Awards.
The judges awarded the £3000 prize to the TerrainWave team for their Detection While Digging system. This innovative device will increase safety in the construction and excavation industries by providing an excavator operator with an early warning of underground cables.
A Queen's team also received a £2,500 runner-up prize in the main competition category.
X Stream from ECIT invented a revolutionary new technology that optimises the internet for emerging services such as video and speech.
The awards were announced at the sixth annual £25K Awards at Belfast City Hall.
The £25K Awards are organised by Investment Belfast and sponsored by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Invest Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Science Park and NICENT. The Awards encourage students and researchers from the University of Ulster, Queen's University and Loughry College to focus their research on business solutions.
Congratulating the winners, Stephen Kingon, Managing Partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, said: "Identifying and exploiting innovation is vital if we are to create an internationally competitive, outward-looking economy.
"Rewarding innovation stimulates competition and creativity and these awards are a key element in turning innovative ideas into real businesses that can contribute to the future prosperity of Northern Ireland.”
Poverty is not only 'out there' in far off hot dusty countries. It's at home too affecting as much as a third of the population.
To mark the occasion of UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty and Hunger on Monday 17 October 2005, there will be an exhibition at Queen's University Belfast of research on 'Poverty At Home' carried out by staff in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work.
Speaking before the School's research exhibition in the Peter Froggart Centre, Queen's University Belfast Professor of Social Policy, Eithne McLaughlin, commented: "The sociologist Zygmunt Bauman famously referred to the poor at home as 'flawed consumers'. As the Government prepares to launch its long awaited and much overdue anti-poverty strategy for Northern Ireland, this is a timely moment for us all to reflect on the reality of poverty at home."
Professor McLaughlin added: "Although the worst excesses of poverty - deadly hunger and disease - have been eradicated by the Welfare State and economic development in western countries, the different but also damaging impact of being poor amid great affluence and wealth receives much less attention than it should given the scale of the problem and the relationship between poverty and other social problems."
Five research projects in The School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work have recently explored the extent and impact of 'poverty at home:
- The Poverty and Social Exclusion Study Northern Ireland: the first large-scale study to provide a reliable measurement of poverty and social exclusion, carried out for the Office for the First Minister and Deputy First Minister and UK Exchequer, by Eithne McLaughlin, Paddy Hillyard and Mike Tomlinson.
- The Bottom Line For Save the Children Northern Ireland: by Marina Monteith and Eithne McLaughlin, examined the level of severe poverty and deprivation in Northern Ireland compared with Britain.
- Family Poverty in Ireland: by Madeleine Leonard and Mary Daly, documented the experiences of parents and children living in low-income households in order to contribute to family-related policy in Ireland.
- Poverty and Conflict in Ireland, an International Review: by Paddy Hillyard and Mike Tomlinson assessed the relationships between anti-poverty and social inclusion measures and conflict resolution processes, drawing on national and international experiences for Combat Poverty.
- Equality and Social Inclusion in Ireland: applies leading scholarship on equality to peace-building and social development in Ireland, for the Special European programmes Board under Peace II.
Findings from the these projects will be exhibited in Peter Froggart Centre lobby, Queen's University of Belfast, on Monday 17 October from 12 noon to 2.30pm.
For further information, please contact: Professors Eithne McLaughlin, Paddy Hillyard or Mike Tomlinson 028 9097 5117; or Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320
Professor Bryan Keating, new chairman of QUBIS Ltd
One of Northern Ireland's leading business figures, Professor Bryan Keating, has been appointed chairman of Queen's University's venture spin-out company QUBIS Ltd. He succeeds Professor Peter McKie, formerly managing director of DuPont UK, who has retired.
Currently chairman of one of Queen's most successful spin-outs, Andor Technology, which was successfully floated on the Alternative Investment Market in December 2004, Professor Keating has an impressive background in hi-tech industrial development and wealth creation in Northern Ireland.
He is a member of the Board of the University Challenge Fund, a joint venture between Queen's and the University of Ulster to commercialise university research, and of the Advisory Board of the Northern Ireland Centre for Entrepreneurship, a Queen's-UU initiative which aims to promote entrepreneurship in all aspects of university life. He has been a member of the Board of QUBIS since October 2001.
He is also a director of Investment Belfast and Chairman of halo - a business angel network run by Investment Belfast and supported by InterTrade Ireland, Invest NI and the Northern Ireland Bankers' Association.
Along with his partner, he established one of the first independent computer companies in Northern Ireland, CEM Computers. Professor Keating is a founder director of the Software Industry Foundation and a former Chairman of the ICT Forum for Belfast.
Welcoming the appointment, Queen's Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson said: "Professor Keating brings to the role a wealth of invaluable experience and a proven track record in enhancing entrepreneurship and promoting innovation in Northern Ireland. We recognise that harnessing our innovative spirit and converting it to business success is vital to Northern Ireland's economic development, and Queen's is committed to this process.
"Professor Keating has a keen understanding of the factors which lead to successful business start-ups. His appointment, following Professor McKie's distinguished service as QUBIS's longest-serving chairman, will reinforce the University's role as one of the most dynamic forces in creating jobs and wealth for Northern Ireland."
Professor Keating said: "To be part of an organisation dedicated to wealth creation through spin-out activity is a great privilege and a pleasure. We are very excited about the possibilities that lie for QUBIS over the coming years and our role as an integral part of Queen's continued commitment to be a significant contributor to the economic life of Northern Ireland."
Queen's stands fourth in the league table of the UK universities most active in spin-out activity, alongside Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College and University College London.
QUBIS, which this year celebrates its 21st anniversary, currently has 43 high value, high technology, globally trading spin-out companies employing more than 750 staff and generating around £50 million per annum in export sales. These companies, in industry sectors such as software, chemicals and engineering, represent a significant proportion of the high technology companies in Northern Ireland and have a growing wealth creation role in the economy.
For further information, please contact: Panos Lioulias, Tel 028 9097 5031 Anne Langford, Tel 028 9097 5310
The School of School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen's University will host its biannual Jobs' Fair on Monday 17 October in the William Whitla Hall between 9.30am and 12.30pm.
This is an opportunity for final year nursing students from Queen's who commenced the course in March 2003 to meet up with front-line nursing staff from across Northern Ireland and discuss with them the varied career options that are available.
These final year Queen's students will be meeting representatives from over 30 of Northern Ireland's hospital and community Trusts and some of the larger independent sector employers. Competition is keen amongst the Trusts to attract these soon-to-qualify students, and their value is such that many of the organisations will interview on the day, five months before they even complete the course.
Queen's is the leading provider of nursing and midwifery education in Northern Ireland, offering undergraduate nurse education in Adult, Mental Health, Children's and Learning Disability nursing. The School of Nursing and Midwifery is one of the largest in the University, with around 3,500 full and part-time students.
Professor Jean Orr, Head of the School said: "This Jobs Fair will enable students completing Adult and Learning Disability nursing to meet with employers. As in the past we expect competition for students to be high and are delighted to facilitate the HPSS Trusts in their recruitment process."
For further information, please contact: Mrs Sharon Barr, School of Nursing and Midwifery, (028) 9097 2398
A new report launched today (Wednesday 2005) at a seminar in Queen's University Belfast highlights how parents in Northern Ireland bring up their children today.
The Bringing up Baby report uses data from Wave 3 of the Northern Ireland Household Panel Survey which was undertaken in 2003. The report authors, Queen's researchers Paula Devine and Katrina Lloyd, explore the different ways in which parents and children interact with one another in their daily lives. Included in this is the use physical punishment.
The key results presented during the seminar organised by ARK, the Northern Ireland Social and Political Archive show that:
- Two thirds of parents and children talk most days about things that matter to the child, although teenagers are less likely to do so than younger children.
- One third of parents and children never quarrel with each other.
- 71% of parents praise their children most days, especially mothers. While 86% of children under four years of age are praised every day, only half of 12-15 year olds are.
- Teenage boys are the group least likely to be hugged or cuddled, especially by fathers.
- Three out of five parents do not slap or spank their children.
- Physical punishment is used more on boys than girls across all ages.
Importantly, the seminar also links practice with policy. Alison Loughlin from Parenting Forum NI will discuss the significance of these survey findings within the current legislative and policy context in Northern Ireland.
Paula Devine and Katrina Lloyd of the ARK team at Queen's University's Institute of Governance, Public Policy and Social Research commented: "In recent years there has been a rise in the number of parenting programmes on television, most of which endorse non-physical discipline. There has also been an increased emphasis on the involvement of fathers with their children. It will be interesting to see if these have any influence on attitudes and behaviour in years to come."
Alison Loughlin noted that "The survey has provided an interesting snapshot of parent and child relationships, and highlights some worrying patterns of behaviour. These findings emphasise the need to raise awareness among parents of the impact that parenting has on children. Most parents want to do their best and it is recognised that parents can benefit from support. Government need to ensure that this is available and accessible to all parents."
Notes for editors
1. The seminar takes place at 12 noon, on Wednesday 12 October 2005, in seminar room 1, Institute of Governance, 63 University Road.
2. The Northern Ireland Household Panel Survey is carried out annually and documents public opinion on a wide range of social issues.
3. ARK is a joint project between Queen's University Belfast and University of Ulster.
4. The full report can be found on the ARK website at www.ark.ac.uk/publications
5. The Parenting Forum NI (http://www.pachelp.org/parforum.html) is a network of individuals and organisations interested in parenting and promotes the well being of parent and child. It provides a platform for the needs and aspirations of parents to be heard. One of the key roles of the Forum is to facilitate parent consultations and feed back the findings to policy makers.
For further information contact: Paula Devine or Katrina Lloyd, ARK, Institute of Governance, Public Policy and Social Research, Queen's University Belfast, 028 9097 3034 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; k.Lloyd@qub.ac.uk. Alison Loughlin, Parenting Forum NI, Tel: 028 9031 0891 Email: Alison@pachelp.org
The development of a languages strategy for Northern Ireland will be the focus of a seminar at Queen's University on Wednesday 12 October.
The joint University of Ulster and Queen's University initiative aims to focus on the strategic role of languages and on the need to develop a fully-developed languages strategy for Northern Ireland which will take account of various aspects of the local situation – economic, social and educational.
During the launch Professor Michael Kelly, Director of the Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Areas Studies, will launch the Northern Ireland Subject Centre - a cross-institutional body which will initially be based at the University of Ulster's Coleraine campus and led by Professor John Gillespie. After two years the Centre will move to Queen's and continue thereafter on a rotating basis.
The event's keynote speaker will be Dr Lid King, the National Director for Languages within the Department for Education and Skills.
Professor Gerry McCormac, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Community and Communications at Queen's, who will welcome delegates, said the development of a languages policy for Northern Ireland was timely.
"Our offshore attitude has been exacerbated here by problems from which we are now steadily emerging. As we engage with each other we are also inevitably engaging with other cultures and as we engage with the outside world, either in commerce or tourism or cultural activity, it is clear that we are sadly lacking in foreign language competence.
"The Northern Ireland Subject Centre is well positioned to provide a successful forum for pushing forward the languages agenda with new concentration. Foreign language competence is essential if we wish to take our place in the globalised market place, but language learning is also the basis for our modern citizenship; it is key in achieving the objectives of co-operation between states, respect for others who are different from ourselves and the promotion of mutual understanding and cross-cultural awareness," he said.
Professor Gillespie stressed the need for government in the Province to develop a languages strategy for Northern Ireland which takes into account all aspects of our local situation.
Among those attending the launch will be academics, language teachers and representatives from the Department of Education, the Department of Employment and Learning, the Council for Curriculum Examinations and Assessment and the Education and Library Boards.
For further information, please contact: Professor John Gillespie, Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies (NI), (028) 7032 4636 or Pam McIntyre, Language Centre, Queen's University, (028) 9097 3418
The distinguished neuroscientist described by Harpers and Queen magazine as one of the 50 most inspirational women in the world will deliver a major lecture for the local business community at Queen's University on Monday 24 October.
In a First Trust Bank Innovation Lecture entitled 'Tomorrow's People', Baroness Susan Greenfield will examine how science and technology will soon come to transform not just the way we live, but the way we think and feel.
In her talk, she will discuss the prospect of a world free of pain and disease, where we can manipulate our bodies with machinery, our moods with 'smart drugs' and our innate nature with gene therapy - where virtually all human activity will be transformed by technology.
Baroness Greenfield is a research scientist, an entrepreneur, a communicator of science and policy adviser. She is Director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, and Professor of Pharmacology at Oxford University, where she heads a multi-disciplinary research group.
Her scientific career has taken her to top institutions in France and the USA as well as the UK. She has been awarded 26 honorary degrees from British universities. In 2000 she was elected to an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians. She recently led a Government task force, investigating the problem of women in science, and she has been a Forum Fellow at the World Economic Conference at Davos for the last 4 years. Baroness Greenfield was appointed Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University in 2005.
Sponsored by First Trust Bank and Invest NI, the Chair of Innovation initiative brings world experts in innovation to Northern Ireland to share their insights and knowledge with local business audiences.
Baroness Greenfield's innovation lecture will be held in G9, Lanyon North at 6.00pm on Monday 24 October. Anyone wishing to attend should contact Claire McGivern at Queen's University on 028 9097 1145 or e-mail email@example.com.
For further information, please contact: Anne Langford, Tel 028 9097 5310
A multi-million pound research project on the topic of chemical food safety will be launched today by the European Commission in London. Headed by Queen's University in close association with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD)*, the project will help ease consumers' minds about the safety of food on their plate.
The BioCop initiative, led by Professor Chris Elliott from the Veterinary Sciences Division at Stormont, has received EU funding of £6.7 million to screen a variety of foodstuffs for multiple chemical contaminants, including pesticides, toxins and drugs. It is believed this is the largest food safety project of its kind in the world.
The research team from Northern Ireland will be joined in the five-year project by 32 partners from 15 European countries as well as Canada in an effort to develop new technologies which will help ensure that any hidden dangers in many foods are detected long before being consumed by the public.
According to Professor Elliott, the unique initiative involves the use of highly novel techniques aimed at 'finger printing' foodstuffs to discover if they contain any chemical contaminants.
"We'll be looking for both manmade and natural contaminants, such as pesticides, endocrine disruptors and natural toxins, which can also affect the quality and safety of food. We will also be focusing on chemical contaminants in their totality, rather than looking for individual contaminants.
"An abnormal finger print will point to the presence of something in the food that shouldn't be there. Once this initial screening is carried out second line testing will identify and quantify the compound," he said.
The European Director of Biotechnology, Agriculture and Food, Dr Christian Patermann will attend the launch event of behalf of the European Commission.
*From 1 April 2006, DARD Science Service and the Agricultural Research Institute of Northern Ireland will combine to form a new DARD non-departmental public body, the Agric-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI).
Cardinal Cathal Daly, who recently published a book on ethics and the environment, took part in a seminar on sustainable development at the Gibson Institute for Land, Food and Environment. With him is Dr Peter Doran, who co-ordinates the Institute's MSc in Leadership for Sustainable Development.
The retired Primate of all Ireland Cardinal Cathal Daly, who recently published a book on ethics and the environment, will be taking part in a panel discussion focusing on sustainable development at Queen's University this afternoon.
Cardinal Daly's book "The Minding of Planet Earth", calls for urgent action at local, national and international level to stop the degradation of the environment.
Cardinal Daly's focus on environmental concerns reflects a lifelong interest in the relationship between Christian faith and modern science. In the book he challenges the widespread assumption that faith and science are incompatible, pointing out that Christian philosophy was at the foundation of the modern scientific method.
The discussion in the Gibson Institute for Land, Food and Environment, entitled "Sustainable Development and Ethics" will be chaired by Dr John Barry, Director of the Institute of Governance at Queen's, and will also feature contributions from Dr Gareth Higgins of Sero28, a Belfast-based network.
The event is part of the new MSc in Leadership for Sustainable Development, on which the first 12 students have now registered. The programme will be launched at an event in the University's Canada Room on 02 November.
Dr Peter Doran, who is co-ordinates the Masters programme, said: "With the globalisation of economic exclusion and environmental destruction comes a globalisation of responsibility. The challenges of climate change and world poverty are signs of the times...signs that invite a profound ethical response from everyone.
"Clearly, faith communities of all traditions can find a role here in providing leadership and direction on issues such as fair trade and ethical consumption. Sustainable development is about justice, peace and the integrity of creation. It is about demanding more change when we go shopping," he said.
For further information, please contact: Dr Peter Doran, Gibson Institute for Land, Environment and Food, 028 9097 5569 or Communications, 028 9097 5384.
Sir Digby Jones, the Director-General of the CBI, will address the Chief Executives' Club at Queen's University on Tuesday 11 October.
He will be the guest speaker at the joint event organised by the Club and CBI Northern Ireland, and sponsored by the Ulster Bank. His address is entitled "The Business of a University and a University's Business".
Queen's Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson said: "We are delighted to have joined forces with CBI Northern Ireland in attracting a speaker of Sir Digby Jones' calibre to Queen's and we very much look forward to his address. He is the latest in a list of distinguished speakers to have addressed our Chief Executives' Club which is an important element of our ongoing commitment to the economic development of Northern Ireland.
"The Club is a forum for discussion and debate about the way ahead and it provides an invaluable opportunity to build and strengthen partnerships between the University and business, as well as business to business."
As the Chief Executive of the United Kingdom's 'voice of business', Sir Digby regularly and repeatedly visits businesses around the UK and across the world, taking their views back to those who make the rules. He appears frequently in the media, promoting the interests of wealth and job creation in the UK, the rest of Europe and beyond. He has taken the British business message to over 58 different countries since he was appointed.
Previous speakers at Queen's Chief Executives' Club have included Mervyn King, Governor, Bank of England; Mary Davis, National Director, Special Olympics Ireland and Professor Patrick Johnston, Director of the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen's.
Details about membership and future events can be obtained by contacting Sharon Devlin, telephone 028 9097 1139 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information, please contact: Sharon Devlin, Tel 028 9097 1139 or Anne Langford, Tel 028 9097 5310
Patrick Joseph Hayes and Jim Campbell (right), authors of Bloody Sunday, Trauma, Pain and Politics, with their new book that will be launched at Queen's University Belfast on Thursday 06 October.
The launch of an important new book on Bloody Sunday takes place at Queen's University on Thursday 06 October at 6.30pm in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work.
Bloody Sunday, Trauma, Pain and Politics, appears on bookshelves just before the Saville Inquiry, the longest and most expensive public inquiry to date, publishes its findings on what happened before, during and after the events of 30 January 1972 in Derry.
Although there have been many accounts of events on Bloody Sunday, this book tackles the subject from a new angle: it focuses on extensive interviews with family members whose relatives had been killed by British soldiers on the day.
The book's authors are Patrick Hayes, who carried out the interviews for the book as part of his PhD thesis at Queen's University Belfast, and Jim Campbell who is a senior lecturer at the Queen's School of Social Work. Patrick Hayes is a clinical social worker and has worked for 20 years in private practice as a psychotherapist. Much of his work involves the treatment of trauma related disorders. Jim Campbell teaches and publishes on mental health social work and the impact of 'the Troubles' on service delivery.
Patrick Hayes argues in the book that anger, pain and traumatic memories continue to affect adversely both the first and, to some extent, the second generations. As he puts it, "In carrying out these interviews and analysing what the narratives seemed to mean for family members, it became apparent that there was a great deal of unresolved grief and loss which had not been dealt with. The traumatic after-effect, even three decades later, was palpable." A central part of the book is structured around these verbatim accounts.
The authors, however, were also interested in trying to make sense of the stories of those involved in Bloody Sunday within the context of wider historical, sociological and political factors. The book includes, for example, chapters on the history of the conflict, the way in which the state responded, or did not respond to the needs of the families and other victims of 'the Troubles', and the purpose and process of the Saville Inquiry.
Author Jim Campbell argues that those, like the Bloody Sunday families, who are victims or survivors of such violence, must have their needs addressed by a variety of methods. These include strategies which deliver social justice and healing as well as quality health and social care services. "People who have suffered in this way are only recently having their voices heard: what they need are processes which acknowledge their pain and enable them to find resolution and help them rebuild their lives," he said.
Bloody Sunday, Trauma Pain and Politics is published by Pluto Press and is now on sale in the Bookshop at Queen's and other outlets in Northern Ireland.
For further information, please contact: Jim Campbell, 028 9097 4588; or Dolores Vischer, 07980 013362
Notes: The launch of Bloody Sunday, Trauma, Pain and Politics will take place 6.30 -8.30pm at the Queen's University School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, 7 Lennoxvale, Belfast BT9 5BY. Media opportunities available.
OMMIC announces the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Queen's University Belfast's High Frequency Electronics Research Group (HFE), which will act as an OMMIC European Centre of Excellence for MMIC Research and Design.
The purpose of these Centres of Excellence is to jointly extend the development capacity of the Industrial and University Communities by enhancing the interface between Research, Design, Fabrication and Measurement.
Professor Vincent Fusco, Director of High Frequency Research, said "This agreement represents a significant development which will permit joint opportunities for innovation in key areas of advanced microwave telecommunication technology and will grant access to OMMIC's most advanced processes."
Derek Smith, OMMIC Marketing and Sales Director, said: "Queen's HFE Group has a significant research, design and prototyping resource and has already demonstrated its ability to successfully design MMIC products using OMMIC's processes. This collaboration will improve time to market, provide additional support for customers and enhance our joint research efforts."
Note to Editors:
OMMIC, a part of the Philips Group of Companies, is a leading supplier of MMIC circuits, Foundry Service and Epitaxial Wafers based on III-V materials. As a leader in advanced technologies, OMMIC provides its customers with cutting edge performance in Telecommunication, Space and Defence. The design and manufacturing facilities of OMMIC are based near Paris, France and have obtained the International ISO9001:2000 and ISO14001:2004 Quality Awards.
About Queen's High Frequency Research Group
The High Frequency Electronics (HFE) Research group, located within the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) at Queen's University Belfast, is focused on developing novel generic solutions to advanced problems associated with wireless front-end technology. Its work covers many related aspects including custom high performance Gallium Arsenide integrated circuits and self-adapting antenna solutions, monolithic packaging strategies and analytical/computational electromagnetics.
The major research projects aligned with these areas of activities aim to provide associated enabling solutions for next generation mobile wireless products. Funding is derived from a variety of national and international industrial and government sources.
For more information, please contact:
Derek Smith, Marketing & Sales Director,
OMMIC Telephone: +33(0) 1 45 10 67 31
or email: Information@ommic.com
Professor Vincent Fusco, Director of High Frequency Research Group, Queen's University Belfast
Telephone: +44 (0) 28 9097 1806
or email: email@example.com
Three areas at Queen's University Belfast are today recognised as Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning under a new Department for Employment and Learning initiative.
The Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning programme (CETLs (NI)) aims to increase and deepen the impact of teaching excellence across the wider teaching and learning community. The initiative will strengthen the focus on teaching and learning by directing funds to institutions that value and apply high quality teaching standards. The Northern Ireland initiative builds upon the model provided by the Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning which were established under a programme developed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
Queen's University has been successful with bids to create three Centres for Excellence within the University:
- Centre for Excellence in Inter-professional Education (NI): Curriculum and Assessment Development
The Centre is developing programmes of learning and assessment which will improve team working practices and communication between different healthcare professions and services.
- Centre for Excellence in the Creative and Performing Arts (NI)
The Centre is developing interdisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning through the staging of diverse cultural events and the introduction of an MA in Creative and Performing Arts.
- Centre for Excellence in Active and Interactive Learning (NI): Developing and Embedding new Pedagogical Models.
The Centre is developing new teaching models for curriculum design and delivery, initially in engineering and biosciences disciplines.
"This initiative celebrates, promotes and rewards excellence in teaching, and the award of three CETLs (NI) is a strong endorsement of our reputation as a provider of high quality education," Professor Ken Bell, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Students and Learning at Queen's University commented. "With this extra commitment from the Department for Employment and Learning, I have no doubt that Queen's will be able to develop still further its innovative strategies for teaching and learning."
Professor Bell added, "The CETLs (NI) at Queen's offer possibilities for strengthening our links with higher education institutions in the UK and beyond, with professional bodies and with the Higher Education Academy. Over the next few years, you can expect to hear and see much more from the CETLs (NI) at Queen's, as their excellent work is further developed and disseminated for the benefit of students and staff, and, ultimately, of the Northern Ireland economy."
For further information, please contact: Dr Michelle Evans, CETL Project Manager, 028 9097 1323; or Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320
- Seven successful bids (including the three by Queen's) for Department for Employment and Learning funding new CETLs (NI) were put forward by the four Northern Ireland Higher Education Institutions.
- The new Centres are to be launched at Parliament Buildings today (Tuesday 04 October) at 1.30pm.
The way women are portrayed in the media will be explored at a seminar to take place at Queen's University on Wednesday 05 October.
Leading the Seminar entitled: "Who's the boss? The girl power frame in New Zealand newspapers" will be Dr Susan Fountaine a Visiting Professor in the Centre for Advancement of Women in Politics (CAWP) at Queens.
Dr Fountaine is also a Lecturer in Gender politics, news media, and political communication at Massey University, Palmerston, New Zealand.
Speaking about her research, Dr Fountaine argues that the "New Zealand media, through selection and salience, contribute to a cultural "myth" about the prevalence of women in positions of power. This ignores or downplays the wider political and social context, notably, that fewer women were elected in the 2002 General Election than in 1999 and the centre right National Party's male dominated front bench."
She further contends that "the media, by framing the successes of high profile women as evidence of "girl power", provide a convenient but potentially misleading reference point for public and political discussion of diverse events. These range from the educational performance of young men and women to the much publicised "man drought" and undermines further attempts to address the issue of women's equity in New Zealand".
The seminar has been organised by The School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy and the CAWP at Queen's University. CAWP was formed in October 2000 with the aim of fostering an appreciation of women's contribution to politics, government and public decision making in the UK and Ireland.
The event will take place in the Conference Room, 21 University Square, Queen's University on Wednesday 05 October at 4.00pm.
For further information, please contact: Press Office on 028 9097 3091
In an exciting innovation for Music at Queen's, the internationally acclaimed RTE Vanbrugh Quartet will play a series of three concerts at the University. The first performance in the series takes place today (Tuesday 04 October) at 7.30pm in the Harty Room at the School of Music and Sonic Arts.
The concert is one of the first in a full and varied schedule of regular Thursday lunchtime concerts and a series of celebrity evening performances for the new academic year in the Music at Queen's programme from the School of Music and Sonic Arts.
Piers Hellawell is Professor of Composition with the School of Music and Sonic Arts at Queen's and is also a composer of international reputation. His own work, Driftwood on Sand will be performed by the Quartet as part of their first concert.
"A full concert series from the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet at Queen's is long overdue, and we are grateful to our colleagues in RTÉ for this new collaboration," Professor Hellawell commented.
"The RTÉ Vanbrugh is one of Europe's leading string quartets and is the premiere chamber ensemble to be based in Ireland. Since 1988 they have drawn consistent acclaim for their live performances, broadcasts and distinguished catalogue of recordings. Their service to Ireland's composers has been tremendous, and it is a great joy for me that they will bring my work, Driftwood on Sand to the first of our concerts as part of a tour of Ireland. We record this work for CD in October, as a follow-up to my earlier work The Still Dancers, which we committed to disc in 2001 using the professional resources of The Harty Room in Queen's," Professor Hellawell said.
As well as presenting the core string quartet repertoire, the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet has consistently championed the work of Irish composers in concerts and broadcasts in Ireland and abroad, and has premiered new works by many contemporary Irish composers.
The Vanbrugh series in Queen's will also include classic Vanbrugh repertoire by Beethoven and Debussy in Tuesday's concert. The two later concerts in the series will take place on Tuesday 01 November and Tuesday 06 December. Franck's Piano Quintet will be on the programme for the December concert when the Quartet will be joined by Leeds Piano Competition winner Antti Siirala, one of today's most acclaimed young artists. Northern Ireland's own Stephen Gardner will be represented by his own new quartet, intriguingly titled Don't Shove Your Granny When She's Shaving.
"Undoubtedly this chamber series includes something for everyone, and we are delighted to be collaborating with 2005 Belfast at Queen's on the second of the three concerts," Professor Hellawell added.
Tickets for all three events are available from the School of Music and Sonic Arts (Tel: 028 9097 5337), and tickets for the November concert are also available from the Festival Box Office (Tel: 9097 1197).
For further information, please contact: Communications Office, 9097 3091, or the Office, School of Music and Sonic Arts, 028 9097 5337
Patrick O’Farrell, son of the late Martin, presents the winning captain from St Patrick's Academy with the Martin O’Farrell Cup.
The 3rd annual Queen's Gaelic Football School Sevens, in association Club Energise and O’Neill's, took place on Saturday at the Malone Playing Fields. School teams from across Ulster competed for the Martin O'Farrell Cup. This trophy is named in honour of a former MacRory Cup and Hogan Cup winning manager who also won a Sigerson Cup medal with Queen's in 1971.
Three years ago, Queen's Gaelic Football Club initiated the competition in conjunction with Sport and Recreation Services and Queen's in the Community as a means of welcoming school students to the University, as well as providing a novel opportunity for teams and managers in advance of the MacRory Cup and McLarnon Cup season.
A well drilled St Patrick's Academy, Dungannon emerged victorious after a hard fought route to the final defeating Rathmore Grammar to lift the trophy for the second time. Judging by the standard of play on Saturday, Tyrone underage teams keep getting stronger and will no doubt produce the next generation of footballing stars. Who knows, we may have witnessed the next Mulligan, McGuigan or Canavan.
Queen's University astronomer Dr Stephen Smartt gives St Colm's High School pupils Theresa McConnell and Michael Cassidy a few tips on how to stargaze during World Space Week. The children were among 200 who will visit the University this week during the Discovering Queen's initiative aimed at encouraging young people to find out more about space.
Around 200 pupils across Belfast will get the chance to stargaze at Queen's University this week.
The first and second year pupils from six schools will each be spending half a day at the University, with access to a state-of-the-art computer suite where they will be able to view images of Belfast and the surrounding area using image processing software created by the European Space Agency and learn for themselves how scientists use satellites to study our world and the environment for the benefit for all mankind.
The "Discovery and Imagination" event, organised by the Discovering Queen's initiative in conjunction with Armagh Planetarium, is part of World Space Week, which runs from October 4 - 10.
Children from six Belfast schools - St Colm's High School, Twinbrook; Hazelwood Integrated College; St Genevieve's High, St Louise's Comprehensive College, Little Flower Girls' School and Glengormley High School - will attend the workshops, which run until Thursday, where they will also have the chance to remotely control the huge two metre Faulkes telescope 'live' from Hawaii to take their own images of celestial objects such as the planets Mars and Saturn.
It is hoped that these activities will help the pupils discover the link between looking 'down' at earth with satellites and 'up' at the universe with the largest telescope in the world devoted to education.
The Discovering Queen's initiative provides a programme of teaching, seminars and practical experiments and aims to encourage students from non-selecting secondary schools to progress to higher education at Queen's or another higher education institution.
For further information, please contact: Stephanie Wilson, Discovering Queen's, (028) 9097 5512