29/11/2006: Computer Game Legend appointed Visiting Fellow at Queen's
29/11/2006: A 'green and pleasant land'? Public attitudes to Farming and Countryside in NI
28/11/2006: Queen's Lecture examines role of the individual in corporate success
21/11/06: Historical Hansards: 50 Years of NI Parliamentary Papers Available Online for the First Time
20/11/2006: Philip Larkin commemorated at Queen's
17/11/2006: Queen's Sport Teams up with Local Schools and Community
17/11/2006: Queen's University celebrates Enterprise Week with Chief Executives’ Gala Dinner
16/11/2006: Queen's graduate entrepreneur takes a risk to improve firearm safety
16/11/2006: Unique Hospital-Wide Programme to Improve Communication between Future Doctors and Nurses
15/11/2006: Increased patient demand for prostate test has serious implications for cancer services
15/11/2006: Europe looks at the future of villages
15/11/2006: Social Services Minister praises social work education at Queen's
14/11/2006: Caterpillar Foundation's $100,000 donation to new Queen's Library
13/11/2006: Queen's Engineer Announced as Finalist in the Young Woman of the Year Awards
13/11/2006: Queen's opens new School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work
08/11/2006: Queen's Seminar on faith-based schools
07/11/2006: Preparations Well Underway for Queen's Gaelic Football Club's 75th Anniversary Banquet
06/11/2006: Russell Group invitation acknowledges Queen's world-class role - Gregson
02/11/2006: Queen's poets take flight in major new anthology
With many farmers in Northern Ireland having stated they would be unable to survive economically without subsidies, findings just released from a Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey Module reveal 68 per cent of people in Northern Ireland believe farming in Northern Ireland should be subsidised to some degree. The survey also shows that 45 per cent of respondents disagree that farmers are subsidised too much, while another 23 per cent agreed, 21 per cent neither agreed or disagreed and 13 per cent didn’t know.
Carried out by ARK or the Northern Ireland Social and Political Archive, a joint research project between Queen's University and the University of Ulster, the survey on public attitudes towards the countryside in Northern Ireland, also reveals that 89 per cent of those surveyed perceive farms and farming families as keeping the countryside alive. They also have a positive view about rural living, consider it to provide a healthy environment and to be a good place to bring up children.
Other key points arising from the survey are:
Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Ulster Farmers’ Union, the findings will be presented today by Dr Sally Shortall from Queen’s University Belfast, at a seminar in NICVA, Duncairn Gardens, Belfast. Speaking about the survey, Dr Shortall said: “Given the current policy emphasis on subsidising farmers to produce goods of public benefit, the module aimed to identify public perceptions of farming.
“Almost 40 per cent of the EU budget is accounted for by the Common Agricultural Policy. The survey provides an analysis of knowledge of, and attitudes towards, the countryside, that will inform public and policy debates on rural life, particularly, the reform of the CAP.”
The survey also asked respondents for their opinion on the statement ‘There is more community spirit in the countryside’, with 70 per cent either agreeing or strongly agreeing.
Commenting on these findings, Dr Shortall added: “While there is clearly a perception that there is more community spirit in the countryside as agreed by 70 per cent of our respondents, interestingly, a later Life and Times Survey Module on Democratic Participation, does not provide evidence to support this perception.
“That particular survey found that urban dwellers were more active in civic and social activities than rural dwellers, while rural dwellers were less likely to have taken part in a political campaign, discussed politics or political news with someone else or contacted the local council. They were also less likely to have done voluntary work, helped organise a charity event or taken part in a sponsored event”.
Full results of all the questions from the Life and Times Survey are available on the website on www.ark.ac.uk/nilt as is the report, A ‘green and pleasant land’? Public attitudes to the countryside in Northern Ireland, at www.ark.ac.uk/publications
Notes to Editor
Media Opportunities will be available at 11.45am at NICVA, 61 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast, on Wednesday, 29 November. The Life and Times Survey is a constituent part of ARK – Northern Ireland Social and Political Archive (www.ark.ac.uk) – which makes social and political material based on Northern Ireland available to the widest possible audience.
The module was funded by the ESRC with additional funding provided by the Ulster Farmers’ Union and the survey on public attitudes towards the countryside in Northern Ireland was carried out in 2004.
ARK is a joint research project between Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Ulster.
For further information please contact Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office. 028 9097 5384 or m0781 44 22 572
The innovative power of individuals in achieving corporate success will be the theme of a major lecture to the local business community at Queen's University on Wednesday 6 December.
In a First Trust Bank Innovation Lecture entitled ‘The Innovative Power of Individuals”, Michael McGrath of Stena Line will put forward the premise that the true lifeblood for the development of any organisation is the innovative power of the individuals within it.
Michael McGrath is Area Director responsible for Stena Lines Irish Sea operations, having recently moved from the position of Managing Director of Stena Line Freight, based in Sweden. His lecture will draw on his experience to contend that the proper environment for innovative thinking can only develop within a corporate culture founded on individual entrepreneurial drive, clarity of objectives and direction, enforced and efficient channels of communication, and a focus on maintaining high levels of individual staff.
Stena Line Freight is now established as the clear market leader in freight ferry services in Europe. With beginnings as a one ship operation trading between Sweden and Denmark, Stena Line has developed into the world’s largest ferry company with extensive operations on the Irish Sea, the North Sea and throughout Scandinavia.
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.
Michael McGrath's innovation lecture will be held in G9, Lanyon North at 6pm on Wednesday 06 December. Anyone wishing to attend should contact Claire McGivern at Queen's University on 028 9097 1145 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information contact:
Anne Langford, Tel 028 9097 5310
Notes for editors:
Media facilities will be available at the lecture. Arrangements to interview Michael McGrath can be made by calling the above number.
As the 24 November deadline for the restoration of devolved government in Northern Ireland looms, a new website being launched today at Parliament Buildings, has made all 92,000 pages of Hansard of the House of Commons for the Stormont-based Government of Northern Ireland, between 1921 and 1972, available online for the first time. It has been created by the Centre for Data Digitisation Analysis (CDDA) at Queen's University Belfast and the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS) at King’s College London.
Casting a unique and valuable light on political, social, and economic developments within Northern Ireland, these important papers were previously held by very few institutions as reference only copies, and with no comprehensive subject index they were inaccessible and difficult to use.
Now http://stormont-papers.ahds.ac.uk will offer users the opportunity to access this important and intriguing collection of papers and the ability to search by key subjects or people, many of whom are still involved in the ongoing political discussions today.
The website has been indexed by subject heading and an introduction to the political figures has also been provided.
Explaining the rationale behind the project, Dr Paul Ell, Director of the CDDA at Queen’s said: “The 92,000 pages of Hansard on Northern Ireland, from post-partition in 1921 to the establishment of Direct Rule in 1972, were a vast virtually untapped resource that paid specific attention to social and economic matters of importance and debate, many of which remain of great significance today.
“Access to the papers was very limited and, as the resource is one of the primary sources for following the development of Northern Ireland, the CDDA at Queen’s felt it was vital that it be made available to the wider community.
“There is no wider community than that offered by the Internet and now anyone can access this site to find out how issues such as health, education, social services, local trade, agriculture, law and order, planning and industry have developed in Northern Ireland. I would like to pay tribute to the Arts and Humanities Research Council for their support, without which this project would not have been possible.”
Sheila Anderson, Director of the Arts and Humanities Data Service added “I congratulate the CDDA at Queen’s for this timely new website will brings both the history of Northern Ireland to life and makes it available to a whole new audience. A myriad of colourful information is available on political figures and their opinions, several of whom are still featuring strongly on the political scene today.”
Commenting on the importance of the new website, Eileen Bell, MLA, Speaker of the Assembly, who helped officially launch the resource said: "This is a significant and very exciting project. The papers from the old Stormont Parliament are a unique and hugely important source of information on the history and development of Northern Ireland. They help us to understand exactly how and why previous generations made decisions that, in one way or another, have helped shape the way we live today.
"However, until today, that rich archive has not been widely available. Now, thanks to the CDDA and AHDS, that has changed and people all over the world will be able to access the information. The period covered by the papers includes not only some of the most crucial times and events in local history, but in world history. By learning from the contents of the papers, I believe that we will all be better informed and equipped to make decisions that will benefit all the people of Northern Ireland, not just today, but in the future”
Preparing the data for the website took over two years and during that time the project also assisted five young people gain NVQ level II and III qualifications in IT and administration. CDDA has contributed to this Government Scheme for the past eight years working closely with the Belfast Centre of Learning.
Further information on the work of the CDDA, which, with project partners both nationally and internationally, has secured close to £6m of funding over the last few years, is available by visiting www.qub.ac.uk/cdda. Information on the Arts and Humanities Data Service is available at www.ahds.ac.uk
Notes to Editor
1. http://stormont-papers.ahds.ac.uk is being launched in the Long Gallery at Parliament Buildings today (Tuesday, 21 November). Media Opportunities are available from 11.15am.
2. The Centre for Data Digitisation Analysis at Queen’s is a research unit with interests in temporal Geographical Information Systems, the development of electronic research resources, e-Science and Grid technologies. It provides a comprehensive digitisation service to create key e-resources including capture of material, quality assurance, data post-processing and data delivery to user requirements and also offers NVQ full-time work experience training opportunities for suitable candidates.
3. The Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS) is a UK national digital library aiding the discovery, creation and preservation of digital resources in and for research, teaching and learning in the arts and humanities. Its executive office is based at King’s College London. It is funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
4. The Arts and Humanities Research Council supports research within a huge subject domain from traditional humanities subjects, such as history, modern languages and English literature, to the creative and performing arts. The AHRC funds research and postgraduate study within the UK's higher education institutions. In addition, on behalf of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, it provides funding for museums, galleries and collections that are based in, or attached to, higher education institutions in England. For further information please contact Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office, 028 9097 5384 or m0781 44 22 572.
Several of Northern Ireland’s top sports stars will today join pupils from four local primary schools and members of local community sports groups in the South Belfast area to officially open a new state-of-the-art Outdoor Training Facility and accompanying ‘PE and Sport Programme’ at Queen’s University.
Supported by The Big Lottery Fund and Queen’s Sport the new 80m x 40m facility at the Physical Education Centre (PEC) in Botanic Park, costing just over £500,000, will transform sporting opportunities for pupils at Botanic, St Bride’s, St Matthew’s and St Malachy’s Primary Schools. All of the schools, as well as over a thousand members of nine local community sports groups, have traditionally had little or no access to such facilities.
The Big Lottery Fund has also provided funding for a Sports Development Officer, who will co-ordinate and develop a wide range of activity and coaching opportunities to the local area, with a special focus on those not currently participating in sport. Kevin Murray is the PE & Sport Project Development Officer with Queen’s Sport. Explaining the importance of the new initiative to the local community he said: “In addition to the new facility, the Sports Development Programme is at the heart of this whole project. The supporting programme of coaching and inter-school events do make a real difference to the quality of life enjoyed by the children. Quite simply it offers them and the wider South Belfast Community an opportunity to stay active and have fun.”
The new facility, which can accommodate up to three sporting groups at the same time, is the result of a unique partnership approach between Queen’s Sport and the local partners. Speaking about the partnership approach adopted, Maureen Cusdin, Director Queen’s Sport said: “This Big Lottery funded programme will enable Queen’s Sport to support students in obtaining the relevant coaching qualifications, and in turn, pass on the benefit of their skills and knowledge to the local children and community. To see so many young children enjoying the fantastic facilities is a heart-warming sight and I would like to pay tribute to the Big Lottery for their foresight in supporting the development which I am sure thousands of people, young and old alike, will enjoy for many years to come.”
Carol Gardner, Teacher at Botanic Primary School, stated: “The sports programme and facilities have already enhanced and extended the teaching of physical education in our school.”
Bobby McCambridge, Secretary of Aquinas FC added: “As a local sports club working in the South Belfast area, with over 200 members, this new facility and sports development programme will greatly enhance our aim of getting more young people involved in sport.”
Walter Rader, NI Director of the Big Lottery Fund, said: “This award shows how investing National Lottery money in sports facilities can transform the quality of life in communities. The PE and Sport programme is already having a major impact on communities and is bringing positive changes to people of all ages across Northern Ireland. This new facility will bring greater access to physical activity to many more people in Belfast.
“It is clear that with these superb facilities the Big Lottery Fund and Queen's University Belfast has addressed a real need in the community and has helped provide people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to participate in a wide range of sporting activities. I feel that this facility will have a real and lasting benefit to the people of Belfast for any years to come."
Further information and booking details for the new facility and PE & Sport Programme are available from www.qub.ac.uk/sport or by telephoning 028 9068 1126.
Notes to Editor:
Media Opportunities will be available from 10:45am to 11:15am on Friday, 17 November at Queen’s PEC Outdoor Training Facility (Entrance via PEC Car Park, Ormeau Embankment). Children will be in attendance from all four Primary Schools as will members of local community groups and sports stars Northern Ireland Soccer Internationals Peter Thompson and Maeve McLaughlin, Down GAA and Queen’s Sigerson Cup Team manager, James McCartan and Rugby’s Suzanne Fleming.
For further information please contact: Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office, 028 9097 5384 or m0781 44 22 572 or Debbie McLorinan, Queen’s Sport. Tel: 02890 387660 or email@example.com ENDS.
In conjunction with the Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and Nursing and Midwifery at Queen's University Belfast, the Mater Hospital will today (Thursday, 16 November), launch a new inter-professional education (IPE) programme aimed at fostering a greater understanding between undergraduate medicine and nursing students with regards to their professional roles and responsibilities.
The first programme of its kind in Northern Ireland, it is hoped the initiative will engender a spirit of increased appreciation and respect between the two professions at undergraduate level by offering medical and nursing students on placement in the Mater Hospital new opportunities to learn from and about each other’s profession.
The programme will initially involve up to 75 undergraduates per year who will be working on wards involving care of the elderly and mental health. Additional wards will be included and developed for IPE in early 2007. The programme will see each student assigned a number of key learning opportunities, in addition to those essential elements already on their curriculum, for which they must seek help from their counterparts. Special care has been taken to ensure that Mater Hospital staff can be involved where necessary to help facilitate the process. This programme will lead the way in developing an IPE template which will be rolled out to all teaching hospitals within Northern Ireland over the next two years.
Explaining the rationale behind the programme, Dr Melissa McCullough, a lecturer from the School of Medicine who co-ordinates Interprofessional Education activities at Queen’s, and who is behind the initiative said: “While we would all like to think that Doctors and Nurses fully appreciate each other’s professional roles, the reality of the situation is that the daily demands on both professions often result in them having little time to appreciate the other’s responsibilities.
“Previous research and a number of enquiries such as the Bristol Enquiry have shown that a lack of communication between our healthcare teams can sometimes result in less than optimum treatment and outcomes for patients.
“This important student-led programme, which is the first in Northern Ireland to be adopted on a hospital-wide basis thanks to the co-operation of the staff at the Mater Hospital, is aimed at increasing communication and understanding between both professions at the undergraduate level which will ultimately lead to better patient care.”
Lynn Fee, Learning and Development Facilitator with the Mater Hospital Trust added: “Queen’s University and the Mater Hospital are committed to the aims of interprofessional education. The Mater Hospital Trust views this programme as creating an environment of openness and collaboration which will enhance the team working and communications skills of tomorrow’s doctors and nurses, both of which are essential to a modern health service.”
The new programme is the latest in a series of IPE initiatives from the School of Medicine & Dentistry and the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen’s. Other successful schemes have included the paediatric IPE placement, a drama based IPE project and an interprofessional simulation pilot programme among other modules and initiatives. Additionally, The Centre for Excellence in Interprofesssional Education (CEIPE) group is currently carrying out a five year research project which will inform interprofessional education and practice.
Notes to Editor
The launch will take place in the Atrium Mater Hospital at 12.00 noon on 16 November 2006.
For further information please contact Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office. Tel: 028 9097 5384 or Brian Laughlin/Lynn Fee Mater Hospital Tel: 028 90802277
Male patients are increasingly demanding PSA tests for prostate cancer, despite lack of evidence that they are effective, according to a survey of more than 700 family doctors published in the November issue of the urology journal BJU International.
Researchers from Queen's University Belfast and the Eastern Health and Social Services Board discovered that more than two-thirds of doctors (65 per cent) said that they provided PSA tests on request.
They did this despite the fact that the UK National Health Service Executive and the UK’s National Screening Committee don’t recommend routine screening for prostate cancer, in the absence of symptoms, using PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) blood tests. “Increased on-demand PSA testing represents a major pressure on family doctors and has serious implications for prostate cancer investigation and treatment” says co-author Dr Jackie McCall, Specialist Registrar in Public Health Medicine at the Eastern Health and Social Services Board.
“Clinical evidence suggests that PSA testing may not improve survival or quality of life and might cause more harm than good, to patients and services alike.”
The team surveyed all 1067 family doctor practices in Northern Ireland and matched their responses with a regional PSA testing database. More than two-thirds of the doctors surveyed (704) responded to the postal questionnaire, which explored their personal profile, the profile of their practice and their PSA testing behaviour.
A detailed analysis of the results revealed that there were a range of complex factors that influenced whether family doctors carried out PSA screening.
· 49 per cent of doctors were aware of the national guidelines for PSA testing, but that awareness did not influence testing levels.
· Tests were more likely to be ordered by full-time male doctors who had been practising for 21 to 30 years and by those who worked in rural practices.
· 13 per cent of doctors had held a postgraduate post in urology, but this did not affect their testing behaviour. And working in an accredited training practice was associated with lower testing levels.
· Opportunistic PSA testing is being carried out on men who consult their family doctor about unrelated complaints. 47 per cent of doctors reported that PSA testing had previously picked up prostate cancer in patients with no symptoms and 51 per cent said this influenced their practice.
· Doctors were also more likely to test men with a positive family history of prostate cancer.
· Only half a per cent of the doctors surveyed reported a specialist interest in male health, despite prostate cancer being the commonest male cancer and current drives to improve awareness of the disease in primary care.
Data from all the first PSA tests ordered by doctors during the survey period (2003-2004) were matched with the questionnaire responses and analysed to investigate their association with variables such as gender, age, location of practice and awareness of guidelines.
More than 15,000 PSA tests had been ordered – an average of 11 per doctor.
34 per cent of the respondents worked in an urban practice, 24 per cent in a rural setting and 42 per cent in a mixture of the two. Seven per cent worked on their own and 32 per cent had five or more partners.
“Our research shows that merely providing family doctors with guidance is not sufficient to influence patterns of PSA testing” adds co-author Dr Gerard Gormley, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of General Practice at Queen's University Belfast. “They need better training in this area so that testing can be targeted more effectively and that patients can be kept better informed and counselled if testing is indicated.
“Finding out what makes family doctors carry out PSA tests is an important step in this process. Cutting the number of unnecessary PSA tests carried out by family doctors will lead to more effective referrals and this will play a key role in reducing hospital waiting lists so that urgent cases receive the priority they deserve.”
BJU International’s editor Professor John Fitzpatrick, from University College Dublin, Ireland, says that that the paper makes an important contribution to the ongoing debate on PSA screening.
"This is an excellent study which looks scientifically at the problems that may develop in the UK with the increase in PSA screening" he says.
For further information please contact Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office and for press copies of the paper please contact Annette Whibley, Wizard Communications +44 (0)1926 330504 firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
· Prostate-specific antigen testing: uncovering primary care influences. Gormley et al. BJU International. Volume 98, pages 996 to 1000. (November 2006).
· Established in 1929, BJU International is published 12 times a year by Blackwell Publishing and edited by Professor John Fitzpatrick from University College Dublin, Ireland. It provides its international readership with invaluable practical information on all aspects of urology, including original and investigative articles and illustrated surgery. www.bjui.org
A major Conference at Queen's University, Belfast on the future planning of villages (Thursday 16 November) will impact throughout the European Union.
Funded by the EU INTERREG 111B programme, ‘Village Futures’ is part of a 4.1 million Euro transnational research initiative called SPAN, exploring the relationship between spatial planning and local development, including rural social and economic regeneration.
Over 170 delegates from across Ireland have registered for the event, with keynote contributions being made by rural planning and development experts from England, France, Belgium, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Presentations at the event will include an analysis of the Vibrant Villages initiative currently being carried out by the Northern Ireland Rural Development Council. This focuses on community-led regeneration in Ballyhornan (County Down), Dromore (County Tyrone) and Portballintrae (County Antrim).
Dr Michael Murray from the Institute of Spatial and Environmental Planning at Queen's who are hosting the event, said:” The Conference is certainly timely. There are issues of potential overdevelopment, housing affordability and poor design that we know we already need to address in some villages in Northern Ireland. At the same time there are wider challenges related to the need for social and economic investment in disadvantaged and rural communities. We want to build on substantial efforts already underway to harness existing research and secure on-going regeneration for villages and rural communities.
“The speakers at our Conference will offer insights into how we can positively influence the village planning process here in Northern Ireland, based on good practice elsewhere, and then extend those lessons through this European funded programme,” the Project Co-ordinator at Queen's explained.
The Conference theme ‘Village Futures’ recognises that village planning is set to become a prominent issue for local communities, public and private sector providers, and developers across Europe over the next decade. The conference contributors will offer an international perspective on what has already worked well, aiming to signpost new directions for planning practice throughout the European Union.
Dr Murray said: “The next round of the EU funded Rural Development Programme for Northern Ireland to 2013, includes a measure to promote village development and this event will explore experiences in the Republic of Ireland, England, France and Belgium alongside our own, to take stock and inform implementation of future village developments and their planning processes, to improve quality of life.”
For further information please contact: Brendan Heaney, Communications Office Tel: 0289097 5320
Further details on the SPAN Project are available on the website – http://www.qub.ac.uk/ep/ or from Dr Michael Murray, Project Co-ordinator at Queen’s email@example.com
Notes for Editors: The Strategic Planning Action Network (SPAN) Project is a 4.1 million Euro transnational research initiative exploring the relationship between spatial planning and local development and funded by the EU INTERREG 111B programme.
The project partners are Queen's University Belfast and Rural Community Network in Northern Ireland, National University of Ireland Maynooth and Southside Partnership in the Republic of Ireland, Universitie Libre de Bruxelles and the foundation Rurale de Wallonie in Belgium, and Universitie de Reims and Reims Management School in France.
The Conference will be held in the Great Hall at Queen's University on Thursday 16 November.
Queen's University Engineer, Maire McLoone, 28, has today been announced as a finalist in the prestigious Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards organised by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).
The IET is the largest professional engineering society in Europe and Maire, who works at Queen's world-renowned Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT), secured her place in the Final following a rigorous round of interviews and presentations. She will be one of only five finalists on the night and the winner of the Young Woman of the Year Award will be announced on 25 January 2007 at a ceremony in London.
Originally from Glenties in Co. Donegal, Maire is currently a lecturer and Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow, leading a research team of PhD students and research Fellows at ECIT who are looking at security in modern communications applications such as email, online shopping and banking.
During her time at ECIT, Maire has secured £400k of funding to support her current research which has led to the employment of a research fellow, a PhD student and has also funded her salary for five years. Maire has also developed numerous important national and international collaborative links at ECIT.
Actively involved in promoting science, engineering and technology to students for many years, Maire’s work has involved participation in various schemes including acting as a role model for WISE Women in Science, Engineering and Construction. Her achievements have also been recognised and awarded on numerous occasions, and she has previously won the Science, Engineering and Technology Student of the Year 1999 and the Vodafone Award for her research at the Young Engineer for Britain Awards. In addition, Maire has authored one book and over 35 international conference and journal papers.
Speaking about her nomination Maire said: "I am very pleased to have been selected as a finalist for such a prestigious award. I really enjoy my job in engineering research at ECIT, and I would strongly encourage female students to consider electronic engineering as a choice of career."
Dr Alf Roberts, Chief Executive of the IET said: "We have had an excellent response for this year’s awards and the standard of entries has been particularly high. I would like to congratulate all the finalists who have achieved many great things in their careers to date. All of the finalists are fantastic role models for other young women who may be considering a career in engineering. The Institution is committed to raising the profile of engineering to young people and we hope that the awards will help to address the shortage of women within the profession."
The winner of the Young Woman Engineer of the Year award will receive a cheque for £1,000 and an engraved trophy. The runner-up will receive the WES prize of £500 (WES – Women’s Engineering Society). In addition to this, The Mary George Memorial Prize will be presented to a candidate who has completed her academic studies and shows great promise and potential within the profession. The Young Woman Engineer of the Year Award is the most prestigious honour of its kind in the UK and attracts prominent supporters and sponsors including BT and Cosmopolitan magazine, who share with the IET a concern that only eight per cent of the UK’s engineers are women.
Notes to Editor
1. Maire’s current research involves bridging the gap between security algorithms and the applications which require security. In terms of providing very high-speed data security, she has designed one of the fastest security algorithm architectures currently available, which runs at 26 Gigabits/sec and she is also carrying out research into Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag security. RFID tags are set to replace the common barcode. The advantage of RFID tags is that they can contain more information about the product and they can be read from a distance. However, this leads to security risks such as consumer tracking and product cloning. Maire is currently carrying out research into how to include strong security techniques on these very small and low-power devices.
2. The Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) is a £40M world-class centre with a unique focus on blue skies, strategic and industrial research projects. ECIT brings together, in one building, internationally renowned research groups from Queen’s University specialising in key areas of advanced digital and communications technology. The Institute extends the significant links Queen’s has already developed with major industrial partners and research centres throughout the world. In addition, it provides hot-housing and incubation facilities and supports the establishment and development of new companies and jobs.
3. The Institution of Engineering and Technology is the largest professional engineering society in Europe and reflects the interdisciplinary, global and inclusive nature of engineering and technology. With a worldwide membership of more than 150,000, the Institution aims to lead in the advancement of engineering and technology by facilitating the exchange of knowledge and ideas at a local and global level and promoting best practice, ensuring that its members are thoroughly equipped to meet the needs of today's rapidly changing technological world. Membership comprises of individuals from a diverse range of technical backgrounds including IT, communications technology, electronics, electrical, power engineering, software, control, informatics and manufacturing and range from students to leading figures in industry, research and development and education. The IET was formed in 2006 by the Institution of Electrical Engineers and the Institution of Incorporated Engineers. For more information about the IET please visit www.theiet.org
For further information please contact Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office. Tel: 028 9097 5384 or m0781 44 22 572.
Queen's University Gaelic Football will host their much anticipated 75th Anniversary Gala Dinner on Friday evening in the Armagh City Hotel. Among the guests at the event will be President of Ireland, Mary McAleese and husband Martin, who are both honorary life members of the Club, Queen's University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Gregson and GAA President Nicky Brennan.
Queen's Gaelic Football Club has emerged from rather humble beginnings to play an ever-increasing part in the overall development of the GAA at Queen's and Ulster. While a team had been formed in the early twenties, it was moves to establish an actual club in the 1931/32 season that initiated Gaelic Games permanently at the College.
For all those attending the black-tie Banquet, the organising committee would like to remind guests a drinks reception begins at 7pm and guests must be seated by 7:45pm for the arrival of President McAleese.
For further information please contact Karl Oakes, Development Co-Ordinator, GAA Academy. Tel: 028 90 387688 or Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office. Tel: 028 90 97 5384
Queen's University's and Northern Ireland's tradition of poetic excellence – exemplified by world-famous names like Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney and Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Muldoon – is to be celebrated in a major new anthology.
‘The Blackbird's Nest’, which will be launched at the University later today, reflects the richness and diversity of poetry at Queen's since the early 20th century. Among the poets featured are Helen Waddell, John Hewitt, Philip Larkin, Michael Longley and Medbh McGuckian, as well as many others who have made a vital contribution to the development of poetry at the University and in Northern Ireland.
Queen's was at the heart of the remarkable flowering of poetry in Northern Ireland in the 1960s, a flowering that saw poets such as Seamus Heaney and Paul Muldoon take Irish poetry to an international audience, and the University continues to be a rich seedbed for poetic talent. Queen's Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson said: “Queen's has many assets, but our reputation as a centre for poetry is one that we particularly prize. Few other universities in Britain and Ireland can point to such a wealth of talent, and such a single contribution to modern poetry.
“‘The Blackbird's Nest' is a fitting showcase of the work of Queen's poets over the generations and celebrates our contribution to literature in Northern Ireland and further afield.”
Published by Blackstaff Press under the auspices of the University's Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, ‘The Blackbird's Nest’ is edited by the critically acclaimed poet and anthologist Frank Ormsby, who said: “The commissioning of ‘The Blackbird's Nest’ is a significant event in the cultural history of Queen's. It represents the University acknowledging and celebrating the international repute of its sons and daughters in the field of poetry."
The book takes its title from the logo of the Seamus Heaney Centre – the blackbird. It is generally accepted that the earliest reference to the Belfast area in Irish poetry is a doodle by a ninth-century scribe, possibly a monk, in the margin of the text he was transcribing. His spirits are lifted by the singing of a blackbird across the nearby lough and he records the moment in a short, joyful flourish. The Blackbird of Belfast Lough, as it is often known, has become an iconic presence in poetry from this part of the world.
Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre Professor Ciaran Carson said: “The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry was established in 2003 to build on and consolidate the international reputation that Queen's has gained since the 1960s. This anthology, with its strong representation of young poets, is tangible proof that poetry in Queen's is alive and well."
The launch of ‘The Blackbird’s Nest’ will also be marked by a gala evening taking place as the closing event of this year's Belfast Festival at Queen's.
Possibly the most important poetry reading ever in Northern Ireland, the event on Saturday 04 November will bring together a wide range of Queen's poets, including Michael Longley, Frank Ormsby, Ciaran Carson, Medbh McGuckian, Jean Bleakney, Sinead Morrissey, Gearóid Mac Lochlainn, Alan Gillis and Leontia Flynn.
The evening also sees the launch the of the second issue of ‘The Yellow Nib’, the annual journal of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, also published by Blackstaff Press.
‘The Blackbird’s Nest’, priced at £14.99 (hardback) £9.99 (paperback), is now available from all good bookshops.
For further information contact:
Anne Langford, Tel 028 9097 5310
Notes for editors:
The official launch of ‘The Blackbird’s Nest’ will take place at 6pm on Thursday 02 November in the Great Hall, Queen's University. Media facilities will be available.
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