08-2006 Press Releases

Bridge Design wins Queen's Engineers top prize
Bridge Design Winners from Queen’s University L-R; Jon Hilditch, Richard Crymble, Ciaran Doherty and Design Tutor David Stewart receive their Certificates in London.
Bridge Design Winners from Queen’s University L-R; Jon Hilditch, Richard Crymble, Ciaran Doherty and Design Tutor David Stewart receive their Certificates in London.

Three Queen's University civil engineering graduates have taken the top prize from the UK Steel Construction Institution in their annual Student Bridge Design competition organised in conjunction with the steelmaker group, Corus.

A group of three students, Richard Crymble from Ballymoney, Ciaran Doherty from Newry and Jon Hilditch from Coalisland took time out this year while studying for their final exams to enter the Student Bridge Design Competition.

All three successfully graduated in July and were delighted to be invited to the Institute of Civil Engineers headquarters in London to be presented with their winner’s certificates, a cheque for £1,250 and now feature in the current ICE News.

The bridge design competition is an annual event open to the Civil Engineering Departments of Universities throughout the UK. This year the task was to design a bridge to provide access across a deep gorge, 210m wide, to a hotel to which access was otherwise available only via a 10km track. The problem was complicated by the difficulty of access for construction machinery to the hotel side of the gorge and this meant that the solution had to allow for virtually all the construction from one side.

The three students from the fourth year MEng class in Civil Engineering came up with an elegant solution which allowed the bridge to be constructed parallel to the gorge on one side and then, after completion, rotated into place to span the gap.

David Sloan in the School of Civil Engineering at Queen’s said: “We certainly want to congratulate our team and the course tutor Mr David Stewart. This is the third time since 2003 that Queen’s students have won first prize and we can say with some confidence that our graduates out there designing the bridges of the future, are among the best in the UK.”

For further information please contact: Brendan Heaney, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320. Winning graduates are available for interview.


Top of Page

Queen's Lecturer Selected as one of the World's Top 25 Most Innovative Architects
Queen's Architecture Lecturer Alan Jones, rom Randalstown, Co. Antrim (L) and recent B Arch graduate, Martin McCauley from Donegal Town (R) pictured at Queen's.
Queen's Architecture Lecturer Alan Jones, rom Randalstown, Co. Antrim (L) and recent B Arch graduate, Martin McCauley from Donegal Town (R) pictured at Queen's.

Queen's University Architecture Lecturer, Alan Jones, has been selected by the internationally renowned design journal, Wallpaper*, as one of the 25 most innovative architects in the World, and in an added bonus for the School of Architecture at Queen's, Martin McCauley, who graduated from the School earlier this year, has been included in Building Design magazine's Class of 2006, which features eight of the top graduates out of the UK's 37 Schools of Architecture.

Alan, who is the Final Year Co-ordinator of the BSc Architecture Course at Queen's and who lectures on Design, Theory and Construction, is the first ever Architect from Northern Ireland to have made Wallpaper's Innovative Architects list and he features in this month's Annual Design Directory besides other renowned architects from countries such as Japan, USA, Australia, Brazil, Switzerland, Germany and Italy.

A graduate of Queen's School of Architecture and an RIBA Award winner, Alan's home in Randalstown, Co. Antrim, was earlier this year featured in both UTV's Home Sweet Home programme and Grand Designs magazine and in addition he has received numerous requests from publications worldwide to feature his house, which is situated beside a Presbyterian Church and graveyard.

Speaking about his selection, Alan, who is also a Director of Alan Jones Architects on Belfast's Malone Road said: "Wallpaper* is one of the most respected design journals throughout the world, so to be included in their top 25 most innovative architects in the world is a welcome endorsement of my work and creativity.

"Also, to be the first architect from Northern Ireland to be selected for inclusion in the Wallpaper* Design Directory is a tremendous honour. Along with the selection of Martin McCauley by Building Design as one of their Class of 2006, I think both honours are proof positive that today's architecture students at Queen's are on the receiving end of a terrific education.

"They are being taught by lecturers at the top of their field, many of whom are designing and working at the cutting edge of architecture. As a result, I am pleased to say many of our graduates achieve placements in the most prestigious architecture firms in the UK and are broadly recognised by the industry as being amongst the most desirable graduates to employ."

Martin McCauley, who graduated from Queen's in July with a B Arch, was chosen by a distinguished panel of architects and academics as one of the Class of 2006 for Building Design magazine, a weekly journal sent to every architect in the UK. His final proposal Small Town: Big Ideas, for a mixed use urban quarter in his home town of Donegal, was described by the panel of judges as having spaces that have a 'convincing sense of how they would feel and work'.

Welcoming both men's achievements, Paul Harron, Architecture Specialist at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland added: "Martin McCauley’s achievement and Alan Jones selection as one of the world's top 25 most innovative architects is good news for architecture in Northern Ireland. It will raise our profile in this global industry and help bring the wealth of architectural skills existing here to a very wide audience."

Notes to Editors:

Images of Alan Jones, Martin McCauley and the Randalstown home of Alan Jones have been sent to all Picture Desks, captioned in IPTC Info.

Further details on the current edition of Wallpaper magazine can be found at www.wallpaper.com/magazine.htm

Building Design is a weekly quality journal which is posted to each architect in the UK. See http://www.bdonline.co.uk/ for further details.

Alan's work is also set to be included in a new book due out in October of this year by David Evans et al, entitled "Modern Ulster Architecture", funded by the Arts Council NI and published by UAHS, Belfast.

He will also be presenting in the refereed international conference Passive & Low Energy Architecture 2006 in Geneva in September 2006, where he will present Placing Low energy Architecture in a Low Cost Economy.

Other recent refereed conferences by Alan Jones include The Dynamics of Architectural Knowledge, Stockholm & Helsinki; Passive & Low Energy Architecture, Geneva and The Politics of Making, Oxford and he has also been a guest critic and lecturer in Cambridge, 2001, TU Delft, 2002, Bath, 2004, DIT Dublin and North London University, 2006.

Alan Jones has also held several roles within the Royal Institute of British Architects including: RIBA Awards judge 2006, RIBA Competitions Assessor since 2003, RIBA Education Committee since 2000, RSUA council from 1998-2006, Local branch of the RIBA and RIBA International Validation, 2002-present, Maryland, Alexandria, Cairo.

For further information please contact, Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office. Tel: 00 44 (0) 28 90 97 5384



Top of Page

World-leading scientists meet at Queen's

Cutting-edge advances in cancer tumour therapy, new energy sources and our understanding of some of the drivers of global climate change are among the issues to be discussed by around 200 world-leading scientists at Queen's University next week.

Distinguished delegates from over 20 countries around the world, including many participants from Germany, Japan and the United States, will gather at Queen’s for the 13th International Conference on the Physics of Highly Charged Ions. The prestigious event, which will be held on the campus from Monday 28 August to Friday 1 September, is taking place in Ireland for the first time.

Keynote speakers include Professor John D Gillaspy from the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Maryland. and Professor Melvyn Folkard from the Gray Cancer Institute in England. Professor Gillaspy will talk about how the use of highly charged ions in radiotherapy can lead to more effective cancer treatment, while Professor Folkard will present the latest research findings on the effects of exposure of cells and tissue to cancer-causing ionising radiation.

To address these issues, radiobiological research seeks to improve our understanding of how ionising radiation interacts with living systems and to assess the risks associated with occupational and environmental levels of radiation, which are presently not well understood.

The Chairman of the Austrian Academy of Sciences working group on Fusion Energy, Professor Hannspeter Winter, will update delegates on plans for a research collaboration between Europe, the United States and Japan to build a fusion reactor, ITER, at Cadarache, France. Electricity generation from fusion, which is essentially similar to the processes occurring in the Sun, will lead the way to an environmentally benign and sustainable world energy supply towards the end of this century.

Queen's University astrophysicist Dr Damian Christian will discuss how the rapidly changing and expanding field of x-ray emission from comets appears to be able to lead us to a better understanding of a number of physical phenomena such as the structure of the solar wind which affects the Earth's atmosphere and global weather.

The programme also includes a public lecture by Queen's Professor Mike Baillie who will describe how climate change over the centuries has been induced by phenomena such as comets and volcanic eruptions. Entitled "The re-discovered hazard: why humans have always feared comets", his lecture will explain how tree-ring research has shown that past environmental events may have been due to impacts from space and that nature's records of the past may prove to be more accurate than written history.

 The conference has been organised by academics from Queen's in partnership with colleagues from University College Dublin and Dublin City University. Co-chair of the organising committee Queen's Professor Bob McCullough said: "At Queen’s research in the field of highly-charged ions is a major part of the research programme of our new International Research Centre for Experimental Physics, IRCEP, which was opened just last year and we are therefore delighted to be hosting this conference.

"International collaborative research in highly charged ions is playing a major role in extending the frontiers of knowledge and generating exciting new discoveries and avenues of investigation. This is illustrated by our programme here at Queen's University which is now part of a major EU programme on the applications of highly charged ions in medicine and engineering."

The event has been part-funded by the International Fund for Ireland through financial assistance administered by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and is supported by the Journal of Physics B: a journal of the Institute of Physics.

For further information contact: Anne Langford, Tel 028 9097 5310 Professor Bob McCullough, Tel 028 9097 3941

Notes for editors: The 13th International Conference on the Physics of Highly Charged Ions will take place at Queen's University from Monday to Friday, 28 August to 1 September.

Media facilities will be available. Full programme details are available on the conference webpage at http://www.hci2006.qub.ac.uk/HCI2006.html

Interview arrangements can be made by calling Anne Langford on the above number.


Top of Page

To Stay or Not to Stay: Report Explores Young People’s Knowledge of EMA in NI

A report exploring young people's knowledge of the Educational Maintenance Allowance, EMA, in Northern Ireland, along with how much its existence influences their decisions about staying on in education is published today by ARK, Northern Ireland Social and Political Archive, a joint project between Queen's University and the University of Ulster.

The report, entitled 'To Stay or Not to Stay: That is the Question', uses data from the 2005 Young Life and Times Survey, an annual Northern Ireland-wide survey of 16-year olds and was compiled by Katrina Lloyd and Paula Devine, Research Directors at ARK.

The EMA was introduced in Northern Ireland in 2004, as an incentive for pupils to stay on in education after completion of their GCSE's and the 2005 survey took place in August of last year when respondents had finished their compulsory education and were making, or had made, decisions about their future.

Key points from the survey include the fact that the majority of respondents had heard of the EMA and that awareness was highest amongst those living in urban areas, those continuing their education and those attending grammar schools.

For 30 per cent of respondents, the existence of the EMA did influence their decision to stay in education. This was especially true for those students from families who were not financially well off. Many more young people from poorer families, 51 per cent, said EMA influenced their decision about staying on in school than those from well-off families, 10 per cent. Four times as many young people from poorer families, 20 per cent, as those from well-off families, 5 per cent, did not intend to stay on in school after the compulsory leaving age.

The report also indicates that the vast majority of young people, 88 per cent, agreed with the statement 'staying on in full-time education seriously improves career prospects'. However, just over one half of young people, 52 per cent, agreed or strongly agreed that 'people who stay on in full-time education longer will eventually earn substantially more money', 14 per cent disagreed. Commenting on the survey, report author, Paula Devine, said: "Many research studies have shown that income is related to levels of education. However, as EMA was only introduced in Northern Ireland in 2004, it is difficult to draw any firm conclusions about its effectiveness as yet. It is interesting to note though, that statistics on the participation in full-time education/vocational training in schools and Further Education colleges by 16 year olds between 2001 and 2005 do show a larger increase in 2004/05 than in previous years."

Her colleague Katrina Lloyd added: "In general, the increase across years has been between one and two percentage points, while in 2004/05 the increase was four percentage points over the previous year. Future monitoring of these statistics in conjunction with further research into the impact of EMA on participation rates, particularly among young people from poorer family backgrounds will help identify any cause and effect relationships."

Young people will have another chance to highlight what's important to them this week, when all those who celebrated their 16th birthday in February will receive a copy of the 2006 Young Life and Terms survey in the post.

The full report is available for download from the ARK website at www.ark.ac.uk/publications.

Notes for Editors

1. Katrina Lloyd and Paula Devine are Research Directors of ARK, based in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work at Queen's University.

2. The report uses data from the 2005 Young Life and Times survey, which records the attitudes of 16 year olds living in Northern Ireland and aims to provide an independent source of information on what young people think of the social issues of the day. For more information see www.ark.ac.uk/ylt

3. The 2005 Young Life and Times survey was funded by the Carnegie UK Trust. 4.

ARK is a joint project between Queen’s University Belfast and University of Ulster.

5. The full report can be found on the ARK website at www.ark.ac.uk/publications

For further information please contact Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office. Tel: 028 9097 5384


Top of Page

Prince's Trust Gets Set to Rock Whitla Hall at Queen's
Getting ready for the Prince's Trust Sound Live gig which takes place at the Whitla Hall on Friday, 25 August.
Helping move equipment at Queen's for the 2006 Prince's Trust NI Sound Live event which runs this week in North Down and Ards Institute before culminating with a concert in the Whitla Hall at Queen's on Friday night are, standing L to R: Compere for the evening, Cool FM's Sonya Mac, Sound Live participant Kelly Kane from East Belfast, Mervyn Farrell, Special Projects Officer at Queen's, Sound Live participant Steven McCann from Finn Square, Belfast, Siobhan Caulfield, Head of Operations with the Prince's Trust and Brian Henry, Chief Executive and Director of NDAI and the BBC's Ralph McLean.
Getting ready for the Prince's Trust Sound Live gig which takes place at the Whitla Hall on Friday, 25 August.
Rolling out the banner for the 2006 Prince's Trust NI Sound Live event which runs this week in North Down and Ards Institute before culminating with a concert in the Whitla Hall at Queen's on Friday night are: Standing L to R: Siobhan Caulfield, Head of Operations with the Prince's Trust, Mervyn Farrell, Special Projects Officer at Queen's and Sound Live participant Steven McCann from Finn Square, Belfast. Kneeling: Sound Live participant Kelly Kane from East Belfast, Cool FM's Sonya Mac, Brian Henry, Chief Executive and Director of NDAI and the BBC's Ralph McLean

Belfast and Bangor will be filled with the sound of music this week thanks to the Prince's Trust Sound Live programme. Thirty two young unemployed people, aged between 18 and 25, will today, Monday, 21 August,  begin a six-day residential course aimed at helping them launch a career in music, culminating in a dazzling musical performance on Friday night in the Whitla Hall at Queen's University.

In front of a 200 strong audience, all 32 participants will take to the stage in a showcase of their original material, having only met each other six days previously. Cool FM's Sonia Mac will act as compere for the evening, whilst Meteor music award winning singer, Juliet Turner, will present the young people with certificates.

Now in its ninth year, Sound Live is a highly successful and innovative partnership between The Prince's Trust, Queen's University and North Down and Ards Institute of Further & Higher Education, NDAI, which aims to help young people launch a career in music. Led by award-winning local composer Brian Irvine and using music as its hook, Sound Live aims to improve young people's confidence and help encourage them into education, training or employment whilst offering the opportunity to work with professional musicians, tutors and other young people.

During the programme, the participants will stay in Queen's Elms Village and will travel to NDAI each day for expert tuition on a range of subjects, including specialist instruction, song writing, improvisation, the music business, music technology and playing live. The young people will also receive top tips on personal and career planning and will produce an action plan for their future.

Figures on last year's Sound Live participants show how 19 per cent have gained employment, 20 per cent have obtained full time self employment within the music industry, while a further 30 per cent are now studying music at colleges and universities across the UK.

Head of Operations with The Prince's Trust, Siobhan Caulfield explained: "This week is about the young people's personal development and musical creativity. We want to assist all involved to boost their confidence and help them move forward with their lives. That's what The Prince's Trust is all about.

"The Sound Live personal development programme is one example of how The Prince's Trust helps young people to get their lives working. We encourage and support them to get the skills, confidence and the opportunity to get back on track. Friday the 25th August promises to be a night to remember. What I find truly remarkable is watching a group of young people who didn't know each other at the start of the week come together and then perform live to a packed audience. What these young people share is a passion for music and this course will encourage them to develop their skills and move their lives forward."

Mervyn Farrell, Special Projects Officer at Queen's University added: "The University has supported this initiative since 1999 and to date we have welcomed over 150 young musicians on to the stage in the Whitla Hall.

"Every year we are impressed with the young people's ability and enthusiasm and Sound Live has become a key part of our Outreach Programme, Queen's in the Community. I’d also like to take this opportunity to remind those who can’t make it to the concert on Friday night that our Queen's University spinout company Streamon.net will again be supporting Sound Live by streaming the concert live around the world on the web at www.princes-trust.org.uk."

The live concert, containing original material from all the participants, takes place on Friday 25 August, from 7.30 p.m. to 11.00 p.m. in The Whitla Hall at Queen's. Admission is free and tickets are available by contacting Ciara Devlin of The Prince's Trust on 028 90 758105 or email ciara.devlin@princes-trust.org.uk.

Notes to editors

The Prince's Trust Youth charity, The Prince's Trust, helps change young lives in the UK. It gives practical and financial support, developing skills such as confidence and motivation. It works with 14-30 year olds who have struggled at school, have been in care, are long-term unemployed or have been in trouble with the law. In 30 years, The Prince of Wales’s charity has helped over half a million young people and continues to support 100 more every day. In Northern Ireland, the charity will support over 2000 young people this year & help to start over 200 businesses by providing financial and mentoring support to young entrepreneurs.

For further information please contact Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office, Queen's University. Tel: 028 90 97 5384.


Top of Page

Queen's Advises 'A' level Students on Results

The Admissions Office at Queen's University has issued advice to students who will receive their 'A' level results this week. The University receives A, AS, AVCE and Key Skills results directly from UCAS and these candidates do not need to communicate their results to the University.

Decisions made by Queen's, the University of Ulster, and Stranmillis University College are posted on a website hosted by Queen’s on the morning of Thursday 17 August and updated twice each day. The website address is www.qub.ac.uk/ucas-decisions. Information is also published on the UCAS website www.ucas.ac.uk although the decisions from the local institutions will appear more quickly on the local website. The quickest and simplest way to find out about the status of an application and clearing vacancies is to consult the website.

You will be asked for your UCAS application number and, in the case of the UCAS website, your PIN, so that you should make sure that you have these to hand.

Applicants who have met the exact grades or points in their offer for admission should have their offer of a place confirmed by UCAS during the week following the publication of results. These applicants should not telephone the University or College. The only official notification is sent by UCAS and, if accepted, you should respond to the appropriate university as soon as possible using the AS 12 reply slip.

If you have narrowly missed the grades, you may still be accepted although you probably will have to be patient for a few days. It will depend on the availability of places after the university concerned has accepted all candidates who precisely meet the grades or tariff points.

Queen's provided all students holding offers with a Change of Course Enquiry Slip which should be returned to the University as soon as possible if you want to be considered for an alternative course.

If you are unable to gain admission to either of your choices and are not offered an acceptable alternative course, you will be eligible to participate in the Clearing process.

Details of Clearing vacancies appear in National Press and also on university, UCAS and other websites. Make contact with the universities which declare vacancies as soon as possible since Clearing vacancies can disappear fast. Remember that as well as Degree courses, HNDs and Foundation Degrees are also available. Some of you who are still keen to pursue your original course may decide to repeat your subjects and reapply for 2007 entry. However it is worth checking with the institutions concerned that you would be likely to receive an offer as a repeat candidate.

It is important to make decisions sensibly at this time of year and not to accept alternative courses or Clearing places without careful consideration so do think seriously about any such courses before accepting them. Discuss your situation carefully with your parents, your school or the Careers Service of the Department for Education and Learning.

The quickest and simplest way to find out about the status of your application and clearing vacancies is to consult the website www.qub.ac.uk/ucas-decisions. For those who need to contact the Admissions Office telephone 028 9097 5081. Contact on Thursday 17 August between 10.00am and 1.00pm or 2.00pm to 5.00pm. Contact on Friday 18 August between 9.30am and 1.00pm or 2.00pm to 5.00pm.

A personal advice session will be delivered on Monday 21 August in the Whitla Hall 2.00pm-5.00pm. A separate session for Medical/Dental applicants will be held in the Larmour Lecture Theatre (Physics Building) at 2.30pm also on Monday 21.

Telephone calls on Tuesday 22, Thursday and Friday 24/25 August will be answered between 2.00pm and 5.00pm on Tel: 028 9097 5081.

For more information contact: Brendan Heaney, Communications Office, Tel: 02890975320


Top of Page

Queen's Researchers Collaborate With China on Car Pollution

Researchers from the Intelligent Systems and Control Group at Queen's University are co-organising a major conference on Intelligent Computing with the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The conference will be held from 16-19 August in the city of Kunming in south-west China.

The ICIC event provides an annual forum for emerging and challenging topics in artificial intelligence. China has major concerns over pollution linked to its rapid industrialisation and rising prosperity which could take car ownership to 200 million.

Uwe Kruger is one of the researchers attending the event where thirty six countries will hear about advances in computer software being developed at Queen's to help reduce car pollution for the future. Doctor Kruger said: "Every activity within a car affects emissions and our research at Queen's involving collaboration between electrical, mechanical and engineering disciplines, is aimed at reducing harmful emissions and car pollution. The software programmes we are developing in the Virtual Engineering Centre are becoming increasingly sophisticated and that is what we will be sharing with the conference."

Professor George Irwin, Director of the Virtual Engineering Centre said, "Motorists today are increasingly aware of the electronic systems in their car. It is the software programme in the engine control unit or on-board-diagnostics which alerts a driver to go to the garage allowing the mechanic to link to a computer and quickly diagnose the problem.

"There is world-wide interest in the further development of clever software to improve diagnostics for detecting faults and through that reduce car pollution. More intelligent machines below the bonnet can help us do that," the Professor of Control Engineering said.

The invitation for Queen's to co-organise this year's event was made by the Institute of Intelligent Machines of the Chinese Academy of Science. Professor D-S Huang of IIM has only recently returned to China having been awarded an International Fellowship by Queen's to support a 3 year programme of study visits to Belfast to facilitate closer collaboration between the higher education research centres. The Conference in China brings together researchers and practitioners from both academia and industry.

For further information contact: Brendan Heaney, Communications Office, Tel: 028 90975320


Top of Page

Kids Dig History as Queen's Launches Belfast Branch of YAC

A Saturday club with a difference has been launched by Queen's University with the formation of the Belfast Branch of the Young Archaeologist's Club. Designed for children aged six to sixteen, the Young Archaeologists Club, YAC, provides an opportunity for children to share in archaeological research and discover just how much fun it can be to learn about the past.

An official Queen's Outreach Programme, the Club is run by Naomi Carver, Dr. Eileen Murphy and Brian Sloan of the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology at Queen's and forms part of the UK-wide Young Archaeologist's Club which is a component of the Council for British Archaeology.

Speaking about the Club, Dr Eileen Murphy of Queen's said: "For a joining fee of only £5 and a nominal fee for each field trip, children are introduced to a fascinating world of heritage and history. They are able to get a taste of what archaeology is all about and engage in activities such as fieldwalks, mini-excavations on real prehistoric sites, study real archaeological animal skulls, reconstruct jigsaws from a replica human skeletons and measure and draw real pieces of archaeological pottery and flint tools."

Her colleague Naomi Carver added: "We have over 20 avid young archaeologists already signed up for the Club and they and their parents are really enjoying it. At their first field-walking venture in Comber, the children and their parents worked on a real prehistoric site, collecting and identifying hundreds of pieces of flint including several flint flakes from the Mesolithic (7000-4000 BC) and Neolithic (c. 3000 BC) eras. Their finds also included an arrowhead and several retouched flakes and scrapers and our members are certainly finding it a change from the usual Saturday morning kids club."

The Belfast Branch of the Young Archaeologists Club meets on the second Saturday of every month and the next meeting will take place in Queen's on Saturday, 9 September at 2.00pm, when members will be learning about pottery through time and also getting the opportunity to try their own hand at making some special clay creations.

Members of the Belfast branch of the YAC also have the opportunity to join the overall YAC and in doing so they will receive a membership pack containing a certificate, a badge, a membership card and the latest issue of the quarterly magazine Young Archaeologist, which is packed with stories of recent discoveries, news items, reports from the YAC's junior correspondents, competitions, questions and answers and lots of things to make and do.

Members also get the opportunity to take part in one of the very popular residential holidays, for members aged 9-16 only, the chance to enter the Young Archaeologist of the Year Award competition, details of the National Archaeology Week and Scottish Archaeology Month and the YAC Pass - a passport to the past which gives free entry to all English Heritage, Cadw, Historic Scotland and the Environment and Heritage Service sites and discounted/free entry to selected museums across the UK.

Some of the historical sites members can use their card to gain free entry to in Northern Ireland include The Palace Stables Heritage Centre and St Patrick's Trian Visitor Complex in Armagh, while at The Navan Centre and Fort, also in Armagh, you can get two entries for the price of one.

Tony Robinson, is the Club's honorary President and he, along with the rest of the Time Team, regularly meet YAC members when they give talks to local YAC Branches, schools and universities and during public excavations. The Time Team has a regular page in the Young Archaeologist magazine where members can find out information about their latest digs, what they have discovered and what they're going to do next.

Further information about the Belfast Branch of the YAC can be found at http://www.qub.ac.uk/home/QueensintheCommunity/OutreachDirectory/ or by contacting Naomi Carver n.carver@qub.ac.uk  or  Eileen Murphy eileen.murphy@qub.ac.uk at Queen's University or by telephoning 028 90 97 3979. Kids can also check out http://www.britarch.ac.uk/yac/ for further details and downloadable factsheets on investigating Historic Buildings to support the 2006 Young Archaeologist of the Year Award.

For further information please contact Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office. Tel: 028 9097 5384.



Top of Page

Rural Sustainability Foundation Degree a first for Northern Ireland
Omagh College's new state of the art £20M facility which was opened in October of 2005 and has an area of 15,000 square metres.
Omagh College's new state of the art £20M facility which was opened in October of 2005 and has an area of 15,000 square metres.
Harvesting Willow for Biomass to burn in the Boiler at Omagh College. Biomass is a term used to describe products which have been grown on the land and will be burnt or used for energy as an alternative to conventional fossil fuel derived heating oil.
Harvesting Willow for Biomass to burn in the Boiler at Omagh College. Biomass is a term used to describe products which have been grown on the land and will be burnt or used for energy as an alternative to conventional fossil fuel derived heating oil.

A new Foundation Degree in Rural Sustainability (FdSc), the first of its kind in Northern Ireland, has been launched by Omagh College. Validated by Queen's University, the part-time course, available from September 2006, has been developed to meet the needs of local rural and land based business sectors.

Aiming to attract students wishing to gain valuable knowledge on sustainability, renewable energy and diversification issues, the Foundation Degree represents an important step towards meeting a local critical skills gap in the area of rural sustainability.

As well as gaining an understanding of the renewable energy sector, students will also be able to develop a sound understanding of current waste management systems, their future development and the legislation surrounding changes in farming practice.

Some of the subjects covered in the new course are: Renewable Energy Applications, Rural Business & the Environment; Rural Diversification; Business & Environmental Entrepreneurship; Environmental Engineering, Farm Waste Management and Legislation and Regulations.

The course will also focus on case studies and demonstrations of innovative land based practices such as growth and utilisation of energy crops, farm nutrient recycling, renewable energies, biofuels and alternative land use applications.

Announcing the course, which will be delivered during one full day and one evening per week in order to enable a variety of students access, Dr. John Moore, Course Co-ordinator at Omagh College said: “With the increasing costs associated with fossil fuel, the focus of the energy sector is moving steadily towards renewable energy applications. Therefore, the development of this course is very timely as it meets the needs of those interested in renewable energy sources.

“Omagh College is already recognised as a centre for rural sustainability, leading a range of innovative projects. It is well positioned to provide this course due to its rural location and its current project and training work in renewable energy applications and rural diversification.

“Employers within the sector not only look for applicants with the relevant qualifications but those displaying a clear understanding and practical knowledge of their subject area. With the course validation from Queen’s University, students on the new Foundation Degree can look forward to a positive and ultimately very valuable and worthwhile learning experience.”

Dr Karen King, Director of Education in the Institute of Agri-Food & Land Use at Queen’s added: “Queen’s is delighted to be involved in this innovative and important Foundation Degree programme. With the increasing pressure to assure rural sustainability and the developing potential for agricultural land to be used for renewable energy supply, the programme will be an important source of practical and theoretical information for those with an interest in these areas.

“The School of Biological Sciences at Queen’s now offers seamless educational provision in Land Use Sustainability, enabling students to progress from the Foundation degree, to the Honours degree programme in Land Use and Environmental Management and then to the MSc course Leadership in Sustainable Development offered through the Gibson Institute at Queen’s.”

Those with any queries concerning the new Rural Sustainability Foundation Degree can contact the Course Co-ordinator at Omagh College, Dr. John Moore on 028 822 45433 (main switch board) or 0800 73 16 138 (enrolment hotline).


The website for the Institute of Agri-Food and Land Use at Queen’s is http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofAgri-FoodLandUse/ while the website for Omagh College can be found at www.omagh.ac.uk.

For further information please contact Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office, 028 9097 5384 or Dr John Moore, Omagh College on 028 822 45433.


Top of Page

Famous Japanese Aikido Instructor at Queen's

Practitioners of Aikido from across the UK and Ireland are at Queen's University for two days to be tutored by a group of senior Japanese instructors. The event has been organised by the Northern Ireland Aikido Association and Paul Bradley of the Queen’s Aikido Club said: “The presence of Nariyama Shihan as one of the senior Japanese instructors is a major coup for us. It is only on the rarest occasions that Nariyama has ever held courses outside of Japan and there are 60 people signed up for the two evening workshops at the Physical Education Centre (PEC).”

Aikido is a modern, non aggressive Japanese martial art with over 1 million participants worldwide. As a defensive technique, it is widely used in the training of police and frontline health care professionals. Properly executed, some techniques are spectacular, sending a partner flying through the air. Others are small, deft movements that immobilise an aggressor. There has been an Aikido Club at Queen’s since 1971 when the PEC first opened, and it remains popular with health care professions and a range of staff interested in a martial art that is cooperative rather than antagonistic in nature.

For more information contact: Brendan Heaney, Communications Office, Tel: 02890975320 or Paul Bradley Mobile No: 07870676889 Photo Opportunity

There will be a Photo Opportunity at 7.00 pm on Wednesday 09 August, in the Minor Hall of Queen’s University PEC, involving Nariyama Shihan with three fellow Japanese instructors and 60 Course participants.

Top of Page

Queen's University Helps Host European Dwarf Athletic Games at PEC

Queen's University will be one of several venues helping to host Northern Ireland's first ever European Dwarf Athletic Games. Almost 100 athletes from 6 different countries will visit Belfast this August to compete in the three day event.

Aimed at athletes with restricted growth conditions, the Games have attracted an array of talent, including current and future Paralympians. Speaking about the event, which is being held from friday 04 - Sunday 06 August, 2006 Chairman of the Dwarf Athletics Association Northern Ireland, Eugene McVeigh said: “Over the weekend athletes will compete in seven different sports at the Mary Peters Track, Queens PEC and the Grove Leisure Centre.

“This will be the first time a restricted growth event has been available locally for Irish athletes and it’s a great opportunity for us to showcase local talent while raising awareness for the DAA NI and restricted growth sport. “The DAA NI is a relatively new organisation so the hosting of the Games would not have been possible without the support of Belfast City Council who provided the financial backing through the Support for Sport scheme, the venues and of course the practical support of Disability Sports NI.

Speaking on behalf of Belfast City Council, The Lord Mayor, Councillor Pat McCarthy explained, “Belfast City Council are very pleased to be able to bring such a unique and high profile event to the City. Not only will it provide local athletes with the opportunity to compete against the best in Europe it will also allow visiting athletes and spectators to experience and enjoy the sites and hospitality of the City.”

It is hoped that the weekend of events will help raise awareness of restricted growth sport and encourage more local people to get involved as explained by DSNI’s Competition and Performance Officer Elaine Alexander: “Sporting opportunities for people with restricted growth are still relatively limited in Northern Ireland and it is often a disability group that is forgotten about. The Games are going to be a great opportunity for people to see just how competitive and talented the participants are, which will hopefully encourage more people to take part and think about including restricted growth athletes in mainstream sport.”

In the lead up to the August Games a Launch and training session for the Irish squad is being held at the Mary Peters Track on Friday 30 June from 12 noon to 1.00pm. Local athletes will be coached by Jackie McKernan in a series of athletic disciplines.

For further information contact Eugene McVeigh on 07814128800.


Top of Page

New students begin to arrive at Queen's

New international students began arriving this week to join Queen's University and will be guests at a welcome dinner on Wednesday evening in the Great Hall.

A total of eighty students from China, Taiwan, Russia, Ecuador, South Korea, Japan Sudan, Libya, Thailand, Egypt, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Iran, France, Greece, Spain and Brazil have enrolled in Pre-Sessional courses to improve their English and will be at the event.

In the next six weeks the students will attend specialist courses and also receive a comprehensive social and orientation programme. The six week course involves the use of English in academic writing, speaking, and reading with a refresher in study skills. Students will be assessed at the end of the programme using the internationally recognised IELTS test before taking up degree or postgraduate courses in late September.

The programme organised by the English Language Support Unit in the School of English, will also provide information and advice on accommodation, health care, banking, shopping and personal safety designed to help international students settle quickly into life at Queen’s. Early arrivals have already visited the Marble Arch Caves and the Giants Causeway and the eighty students at the Welcome Dinner will compliment the 1,000 international students studying at Queen’s in the new academic year.

For more information, please contact: Brendan Heaney, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320 Or Judith Pollock, ELSU, 028 9097 5376


Top of Page