- 16/05/2013: Queen’s to help build Northern Ireland ‘Food Fortress’
- 15/05/2013: Queen’s scientists develop ‘magic bullet’ nanomedicine for Acute Lung Injury
- 13/05/2013: Queen’s ranked among the world’s best universities
- 10/05/2013: Queen’s leads €5M European effort to ReNEW approach to waste
- 09/05/2013: New Director of Belfast Festival at Queen’s appointed
- 07/05/2013: Queen’s appoints CERN Director as Honorary Professor
- 02/05/2013: New report reveals 70,000 people living with cancer in Northern Ireland today
- 02/05/2013: CSIT donation supports Belfast CoderDojo
- 30/04/2013: ‘Big Bang’ machine comes to Belfast
A global food safety expert has called on the government to work together with Queen’s University and local food producers to build a Northern Ireland ‘Food Fortress’.
The call follows the publication today of the Agri-Food Strategy Board’s report on the future of the Northern Ireland agri-food sector. The report has strongly endorsed a ‘Food Fortress’ approach from Queen’s Institute for Global Food Security, recommending that the Institute be commissioned to review the Northern Ireland food supply chain.
Professor Chris Elliott, a world authority on food safety and Director of the Institute for Global Food Security, says the report presents a golden opportunity for the Northern Ireland government to work together with Queen’s world-leading scientists, local farmers and food producers to help secure the future of the industry.
Warmly welcoming the Agri-Food Strategy Board’s report, Professor Elliott said: “Northern Ireland has a strong and proud agricultural heritage, but years of problems such as BSE, foot and mouth disease, low prices and food scares, have taken their toll. Today’s report outlines the vision for our agri-food industry to compete in an ever-growing global market by creating 15,000 new jobs and increasing our agri-food industy by 60 per cent and our exports by 70 per cent. As stakeholders in the Northern Ireland economy, we must all insist that action is taken to make that vision a reality.
“Central to that is the building of a Northern Ireland ‘Food Fortress’. The ‘Food Fortress’ will ensure that everything we import – from the feeds given to our farm animals to the raw materials we use to manufacture foods – is of the highest quality, and that everything we sell locally and internationally is 100 per cent safe, nutritious and authentic.
“This will require a joined up approach from industry, government and academia. It is a huge challenge, but one that Queen’s Institute for Global Food Security is ready to meet head-on. Our world-leading researchers are already working closely with industry to improve the security of the agri-food chain. We are developing cutting-edge techniques to identify food fraud and contamination and have unique risk identification and management systems developed, and that has been acknowledged in today’s report.
“By building the ‘Food Fortress’ we can secure and further build Northern Ireland’s reputation for producing high quality, safe and authentic foods. As consumers around the world increasingly question the source and safety of the food they eat, that reputation will be key to our competitiveness in the global marketplace. The ‘Food Fortress’ will not only protect consumers, it will create much-needed jobs in our agri-food sector and help secure the future of our farmers and food producers.”
Queen’s Institute for Global Food Security is a £33 Million centre which plays a leading role in making sure that the world’s growing population has a sustainable, safe and secure supply of high quality food. It was launched by Tesco CEO Philip Clarke in March when he announced the supermarket would double the amount it spends on buying fresh beef, pork and chicken from Northern Ireland farmers. In April 2014 the Institute will welcome experts from around the world for the second Food Integrity and Traceability Conference.
Follow the Institute for Global Food Security on Twitter @IGFS_Official or visit www.qub.ac.uk/igfs
Media inquiries to Communications Office on +44 (0)28 9097 5310 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast have devised a ‘magic bullet’ nanomedicine which could become the first effective treatment for Acute Lung Injury or ALI, a condition affecting 20 per cent of all patients in intensive care.
There are 15,000 cases of ALI every year in the UK. The main causes are road traffic accidents and infections, and many with the condition die as a result of lung failure.
ALI patients can become critically ill and develop problems with breathing when their lungs become inflamed and fill with fluid. These patients frequently require ventilators to aid breathing within an ICU hospital unit. An ICU bed costs the NHS in excess of £1800 per day.
There are currently no effective treatments for this serious condition, but in a joint collaboration between the School of Pharmacy and Centre for Infection and Immunity at Queen’s, a team of scientists and clinicians have developed a new drug that could revolutionise clinical management of patients in intensive care units.
Their new drug is a nanoparticle, measuring around one billionth of a metre. The patient can inhale it, taking the drug directly into the lungs and to the point of inflammation. Current treatments are unable to target directly the inflammation and can result in unpleasant side effects.
Speaking about the development, Professor Chris Scott from the School of Pharmacy, who is leading the research, said: “Nanoparticles are perhaps one of the most exciting new approaches to drug development. Most research in the area focuses on how the delivery of drugs to the disease site can be improved in these minute carriers. Our own research in this area focuses on how nanoparticles interact with cells and how this can be exploited to produce therapeutic effects both in respiratory disease and cancer.”
The new nanoparticle from Queen’s has a surface which allows it to recognize and bind to immune cells called macrophages in the lungs - key to the uncontrolled inflammation that occurs in ALI. This binding induces a rapid reduction in the inflammation, and has the potential to prevent the damaging effects that will otherwise occur in the lungs of ALI patients.
The project is developing the new nanomedicine towards clinical evaluation within the next three years, and is currently sponsored by a £505,000 grant for two years from the Medical Research Council Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme.
Professor Danny McAuley from the Centre for Infection and Immunity, a partner in developing the new nanomedicine, added: “This funding allows us to evaluate a completely novel therapeutic approach to the treatment of ALI and if successful, this nanomedicine could also have application in other common lung disorders such as COPD and Cystic Fibrosis.”
Further information on the School of Pharmacy is available online at http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofPharmacy/, while further information on Queen’s Centre for Infection and Immunity can be found online at http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/CentreforInfectionandImmunity/
For media inquiries please contact the Communications Office on 02890975391 or email email@example.com
Queen’s University Belfast has been ranked in the top 1% of universities in the world according to a new report by the QS World University Rankings by Subject.
Out of 30 subjects evaluated, Queen’s now has 5 subjects in the top 100; English, History, Geography, Law, and Politics and International Studies, with a further 13 in the top 200.
For these rankings, QS Intelligence Unit (QSIU), evaluated 2,858 universities and ranked 678 institutions in total. Now in its 3rd year, the QS World University Rankings by Subject series takes into the account the opinion of academics and employers via a global survey.
Professor Shane O’Neill, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Queen’s said: “It is a marvellous accolade for the University to have so many key subjects in the Faculty confirmed externally as being in the world’s top 100. This recognition demonstrates that the courses we offer and the research we do are of the highest international quality. It adds a premium to the value and global standing of the degrees we award to our students.”
Professor Keith Bennett, Head of Queen’s School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology added: “We are delighted about the international recognition for Geography and for the work of our staff, it is testament that what we are doing is of the highest quality. Geography’s rankings at Queen’s have improved steadily over the past few years, and we must now build upon this global top 100 recognition.”
In addition to the top 100 rankings, Queen’s also has 13 subjects in the top 200. Agriculture, Environmental Sciences, Mechanical Engineering, Philosophy, and Statistics and Operational Research have all entered the list.
The rankings series is the only international evaluation that allows prospective students to compare universities in their particular area of interest. The by-subject categories are designed to provide comparative information at discipline level and to highlight the excellence of institutions in specialist areas. Six indicators are used to calculate the rankings - academic reputation, employer reputation, citations per faculty, faculty-student ratio, proportion of international students and proportion of international faculty.
Media inquiries to Kevin Mulhern, Head of Communications and External Affairs at Queen’s Communications Office on +44 (0)28 9097 3259 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
A new €4.88 million research project at Queen’s University Belfast is aiming to recover valuable materials from the estimated 5.2 tonnes of waste we generate per person each year.
Known as ReNEW, the QUESTOR Centre at Queen’s is leading the project and is working with the Department of the Environment and Belfast City Council to identify the needs of Northern Ireland’s waste management industry and facilitate innovation among SMEs in the waste sector. Through the project the DoE will fund a new member of staff for WRAP, the Waste Resources Action Programme to develop policy areas related to resource recovery.
ReNEW (Resource Innovation Network for European Waste) is a European initiative to bring together researchers, public authorities and businesses to explore new ways to extract valuable resources – such as metals, nutrients and chemicals – from household and industrial waste.
Dr Elaine Groom at Queen’s is General Manager of QUESTOR, which next year will celebrate 25 years as an industry-collaborative centre for world-leading environmental research. She said: “Europe produces an estimated 5.2 tonnes of waste per person each year. This includes around 600-700kg per person of domestic waste, and 17kg per person of electrical goods waste. Much of this waste contains valuable resources, so we are missing a huge opportunity by simply disposing of it and sending it to landfill.
“Mobile phones, for example, are a valuable source of gold. Per gram, mobile phones contain more gold than gold ore - the average household has 22g of gold lying around in old mobiles. Similarly, valuable chemicals can be extracted from food waste and used to make bioplastics; while the extraction of phosphorus – a key ingredient in fertilisers - from food waste is becoming more and more important due to the depletion of natural phosphorus sources and increased mining costs.
“Waste is big business, and the recovery of valuable resources from waste presents huge opportunities for SMEs in Northern Ireland and across Europe. Many, however, face barriers in their efforts to develop new techniques for resource recovery. The best ideas require input and support from many disciplines - industry, entrepreneurs and scientists. ReNEW aims to bring these disciplines together to facilitate partnership working in the development of new technologies that will benefit the environment, the economy and society.”
Dr Groom has recently returned from Germany where she led a series of ReNEW engagement events with businesses who are keen to get ahead in the global market for raw materials derived from waste. Tomorrow (14 May), she will speak at the ATWARM Conference (Advanced Technologies for Water Resource Management) in Dublin about research and innovation and will meet companies at the ATWARM brokerage event on 15 May, which will be opened by Environment Minister Alex Attwood.
Dr Groom continued: “Waste represents a problem and an opportunity. While many businesses are aware of this, the limited options for processing waste present huge challenges which they cannot overcome by themselves. Through the ReNEW project, QUESTOR and partners will work with companies across Europe to raise awareness of the opportunities in this area, and to showcase and further develop new techniques for resource recovery. Ultimately, waste companies will become providers of raw materials, and we at QUESTOR will help them to be at the forefront of that journey.”
ReNEW is part-funded (€2.44Million) by the European Union’s INTERREG IVB North West Europe scheme. Partners were required to provide 50% matched funding – this was mainly provided from local government agencies or in-house.
Commenting on the ReNew project Environment Minister Alex Attwood said: "It is essential we are an integral part of European projects such as ReNEW. Northern Ireland’s involvement in this innovative project which is bringing together organisations from across the island of Ireland and Europe, by our own Queen’s University Belfast. This project will develop our knowledge base and skills to attract investment and allow our businesses to compete globally. We need to move faster and be decisive in accessing EU funding opportunities. Queen's are one of our best examples of what can be done. Government must be full-square behind this type of organisation. We have to escalate what we do.
“The ReNEW project yet again highlights the potential value of waste when it arises. Considering waste as a resource will assist in making our society more sustainable and resource efficient resulting in jobs and benefits to our economy and the environment.”
Councillor Pat McCarthy, chairman of Belfast City Council’s Health and Environmental Services Committee, said: “Belfast City Council recognises the importance that resource management will have for the future economy both for the city and the north as a whole. This programme offers the opportunity for ‘green’ growth in the economy and will provide opportunities to reap the benefits of state-of-the-art thinking. The council will always seek to promote opportunities in this sector and it is fantastic to see one of our local universities leading the way in this field.”
The QUESTOR centre has also been awarded €3.8 Million to lead a four year project to develop research and training for the European biogas industry. ATBEST (Advanced Technologies for Biogas Efficiency, Sustainability and Transport), is funded by Marie Curie ITN and involves research and industry partners in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Sweden. It will develop new technologies for the biogas sector to enable Europe to implement its Energy 2020 strategy and to address the challenges of increasing energy demands and costs.
Media inquiries to Anne-Marie Clarke at Queen’s University Communications Office on +44 (0)28 9097 5320 email email@example.com
Internationally renowned arts programmer and producer Richard Wakely has been appointed as Director of the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s.
Formerly Managing Director of the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, Richard is a member of the Board of Directors of Dance Ireland and regularly produces for Junk Ensemble (Ireland) and Claire Cunningham (Scotland). He has a breadth of experience across the genres including dance, drama and film and has produced and co-produced 18 productions into London’s West-End and Broadway.
Internationally, his role as Commissioner for the China-Ireland Cultural Exchange Programme for the Irish Government saw him work with over 500 artists from China and Ireland, and he has toured his award-winning work, throughout Europe, the UK and South America.
Speaking about his new role, Richard said: “Being appointed Director of the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s is both an honour and a privilege. The Festival is respected and acknowledged globally as offering a world-class mix of arts and entertainment and also holds a very special place in the history of Belfast and its people.
“My mission is to continue to bring the world’s best performers, known and unknown, to the stages of Belfast, to challenge preconceptions about the arts, create compelling new experiences, and, to ensure Festival can increasingly open its arms to audiences at home and across the world. I also want to take this opportunity to welcome Susan McCleary, who joins us from the Theatre at the Mill, Newtownabbey as Marketing Manager.”
Congratulating Richard on his new appointment, Queen’s University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Peter Gregson, said: “Richard is one of the most creative, driven and well-respected individuals working on the international arts scene, and we welcome him as the new Director of the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s. Festival makes a substantial contribution, not only to arts and culture in Northern Ireland, but also economically and socially to the city of Belfast, generating around £5million each year.”
In recent years, Richard has also worked as an arts management consultant to the Lyric Theatre in Belfast and the Lyceum and Traverse Theatres in Edinburgh. His next production is the world premiere of Egg Charade at the 2013 Dublin Dance Festival in May 2013 for Aoife McAtamney (Ireland) and Nina Vallon (Germany). A Queen’s graduate, his past engagements also include curating and producing stage programmes for Cork and Liverpool during their time as European Capital of Culture.
Ellvena Graham, Head of Ulster Bank Northern Ireland, said: "We are delighted to welcome Richard to his new role as Festival Director of the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s. Richard’s significant profile and experience in the international arts scene will be a further boost to this already vibrant and thriving Festival, which we are proud to support.”
Roísín McDonough Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added: “The Arts Council welcome the appointment of Richard as the new Director of the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s. His creativity, extensive knowledge and significant experience with international arts, will bring a further rich dimension to one of Northern Ireland’s premier festivals. I wish Richard every success in his new role.”
For media inquiries please contact Kevin Mulhern, Head of Communications.Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 3259 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Steve Myers
Queen’s University has appointed the Director of Accelerators and Technology at CERN, Dr Steve Myers, as an Honorary Professor.
Professor Myers, who is also a Queen’s graduate, has been appointed Honorary Professor in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. He will visit the University twice a year giving presentations to undergraduates and masters classes and will advise on research opportunities and will contribute to the University’s strategic research plans.
Professor Myers, as Director of Accelerators and Technology at CERN, currently has one of the most prominent engineering positions in the world with complete charge of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.
He has been at the forefront of engineering that has enabled many of the advances in physics over the last 20 years. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the American Physical Society and the European Physical Society, and the recipient of Honorary Doctorates from the University of Geneva and Queen’s University. In 2012 he received the EPS Edison Volta Prize for outstanding achievements in physics.
Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s, Professor Sir Peter Gregson, said: “An outstanding leader in the most challenging engineering endeavours, Professor Myers is a renowned international figure in engineering and physics. He is unquestionably one of the leading engineers in the world helping physicists probe the nature of reality. We are honoured to appoint him as an Honorary Professor at Queen’s and are confident that his successes and expertise will inspire and inform students and staff in engineering and the sciences across the University.”
Speaking about his appointment, Professor Steve Myers said: “I am delighted to return to my alma mater, Queen’s University, as an Honorary Professor. Queen’s, as one of the UK’s leading research universities, gave me as a student the platform and opportunity to go on and make a contribution to global science. I hope that through my experience and expertise I can inspire and inform the next generation of engineers and scientists.”
Professor Myers’ appointment comes ahead of his lecture at Queen’s this week as part of the Large Hadron Collider exhibition taking place at the University. Professor Myers will discuss his role in the world’s largest science experiment at his lecture on Thursday.
For media inquiries please contact Claire O’Callaghan on 00 44 (0) 28 9097 5391 / 07814 415 451 or email@example.com
The world’s largest science experiment, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), and the man behind the Higgs particle theory, are coming to Belfast as part of a week-long public exhibition hosted by Queen’s University.
Over the May bank holiday weekend and for the rest of the week Queen’s is inviting members of the public to walk through a full-size replica of a section of the LHC tunnel as well as having the chance to meet physicists involved in answering some of the biggest mysteries of the universe by re-creating conditions just after the Big Bang. Visitors will also be able to get hands-on with a number of interactive exhibits collectively creating a feel for what it's like to be a particle physicist working on the world’s most powerful atom smasher.
Developed by the Science and Technology Facilities Council, the week-long exhibition will also feature a lecture from Physicist Professor Peter Higgs, the man behind the Higgs Boson, and Queen’s graduate Dr Steve Myers, who is Director for Accelerators and Technology at CERN, the organisation that built and operates the LHC in Switzerland.
Speaking ahead of the event, Dr Myers said: “As a Queen’s graduate I’m delighted to return to the University for such a special event. For many people it will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the real life application of physics and science in such a setting. Queen’s is one of the UK’s leading research universities and it gave me the skillset, foundation and opportunity to go on and become a key part of the world’s largest science experiment, so I am honoured not only to return but to also share the platform with Professor Peter Higgs.”
Professor Alan Fitzsimmons, from the School of Mathematics and Physics at Queen’s, said: “This is the first time a major exhibition on the work on the LHC has come to Northern Ireland. It is a unique opportunity for members of the public, young and old, to get an insight into what takes place in the Large Hadron Collider and to meet those physicists and scientists who are having a huge impact around the world. Queen’s graduates have gone on to work at CERN as well as other major scientific organisations like NASA and the European Space Agency. This is an opportunity for potential students and the public alike to see how Queen’s and physics is having a real impact and where a career in the subject could take them.”
STFC Chief Executive Professor John Womersley said: "This visit by the life-sized model of the LHC to Belfast is a wonderful way to remind the people of Northern Ireland of just how big a part Northern Irish scientists, researchers and engineers have contributed to the work at CERN that recreates the conditions that existed just milliseconds after the Big Bang.
"The visit is also a great way to recognise the work of Queen’s in producing very successful physics graduates. Graduates such as Steve Myers, the man who leads the department at CERN with the responsibility to make the LHC work. Steve is currently leading the team that is undertaking the major maintenance and upgrade work of the LHC to enable it to run at twice the energy when it turns back on in 2015."
For further information on the exhibition and how to get involved visit: http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofMathematicsandPhysics/
For media inquiries please contact Claire O’Callaghan on 00 44 (0) 28 9097 5391 / 07814 415 451 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Anna Gavin from Queen's NI Cancer Registry, Professor Sir Peter Gregson Vice-Chancellor of Queen's and Helen Monteverde General Manager of NI Macmillan Cancer Support at the launch of the new report which reveals 70,000 people are living with cancer in Northern Ireland today.
Some 70,000 people in Northern Ireland are living with a diagnosis of cancer made within the last 18 years (69,377 people as of 31st December 2010), according to a report being launched today by Queen’s University’s Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, in association with Macmillan Cancer Support.
Living with and beyond cancer provides the first ever detailed picture of cancer prevalence in Northern Ireland, which is defined as the number of living people who have ever had a cancer diagnosis.
The report reveals that the number of people living with cancer in Northern Ireland has risen by 3.5 per cent annually since 1993.
Excluding the rarely fatal Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer (NMSC), the number of people who are living in Northern Ireland following a diagnosis made within the last 18 years was 45,265.
The report also analyses the change in prevalence over time. It noted that the number of male cancer survivors (excluding NMSC) increased by 6.2 per cent per year between 2002 and 2010, while for females it was 3.2 per cent per year.
Most common prevalence
The cancer that most people are living with is NMSC due to its high incidence and excellent survival rates. After this, prostate cancer is the most prevalent among men (6,646 persons) while 11,393 women are living in Northern Ireland having had a diagnosis of breast cancer. Lung cancer, which is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers, is only the ninth most prevalent cancer due to its poor survival rate.
The greatest percentage increase in ten year prevalence between 2002 and 2010 was among male prostate and oesophageal cancer patients, both of which saw the number of survivors more than double over the eight year period. Among females the greatest percentage increase was for uterine and kidney cancers.
- Ten year prevalence of cervical cancer is increasing among women, rising from 550 survivors in 2002 to 695 survivors in 2010
- Ten year prevalence of female breast cancer is increasing, rising from 6,304 female survivors in 2002 to 8,216 in 2010
- Ten year prevalence of uterine cancer is increasing among women, rising from 845 survivors in 2002 to 1,391 in 2010.
- Ten year prevalence of prostate cancer is increasing rapidly, rising from 2,707 survivors in 2002 to 5,976 survivors in 2010.Improved treatments, an ageing population and increased diagnosis of cases followed the increased use of PSA are factors.
Most common cause of cancer death
The report highlights that lung cancer was the most common cause of cancer death between 2006-2010, with an average of 887 people dying from the disease in each of those years, out of a total of 1,030 cases diagnosed per year.
For breast cancer during the same time period, there was an average of 1,155 breast cancers diagnosed each year, with an average of 301 people dying. Survival from breast cancer is rated very good, with 94.9 per cent of women diagnosed in 2001-2005 surviving one year, and five-year relative survival for female patients standing at 81.3 per cent.
Speaking about the report, Dr Anna Gavin, Director of Queen’s University’s Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, said: “This report lets us see that cancer is no longer a death sentence for everyone who receives a diagnosis. There are many people in Northern Ireland with cancer who live their normal lifespan. Importantly the information in this report will help those working to improve services for those living with cancer.
“The increases in cancer prevalence can be attributed to several factors, including an increasing numbers of cancers diagnosed as the population ages, the increasing rise in lifestyle-related risk factors including obesity, and also changes in diagnostic procedures for example the rise in diagnosis of prostate cancer due to PSA testing. In addition, improvements in survival related to treatment advances and screening and also reductions in the number of deaths from other diseases such as heart disease have also contributed to the increase in the number of cancer survivors.”
Heather Monteverde, general manager of NI Macmillan Cancer Support said: ““Cancer remains a major public health issue in Northern Ireland but the cancer story is changing. It used to be the case that either people were cured of their cancer or they died, often very quickly. With the number of cancer survivors increasing, we now know that many people need more support after treatment to meet their ongoing needs and to live with cancer as a long term illness.”
A report on the care of ovarian and cervical cancer patients diagnosed in Northern Ireland 2010, with comparisons to 1996 and 2001 will also be launched by Queen’s Northern Ireland Cancer Registry today. This highlights late diagnosis as a problem with ovarian cancer and poor uptake of cervical screening as a risk factor for cervical cancer, a preventable disease, young women are also encouraged to take up the offer of the cervical cancer vaccine against HPV.
The report on ovarian cancer, funded by Guidelines and Audit Implementation Network (GAIN) and the Public Health Agency (PHA) it will allow Northern Ireland to provide local data for the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership which includes eleven other countries examining reasons for cancer survival differences.
Both reports are available online ‘Living with and Beyond Cancer: A report on cancer prevalence in Northern Ireland 2010’ is available from http://go.qub.ac.uk/h2bbc
while ‘Care of ovarian and cervical cancer patients diagnosed in Northern Ireland 2010’ is available from http://go.qub.ac.uk/j2bbc
Media inquiries to Lisa McElroy, Senior Communications Officer, Queen’s University Tel: 028 9097 5384 email@example.com or Stewart Finn, Campaigns and Communications Officer, Macmillan. M07977 864 121
Staff at the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen’s are supporting the next generation of software and electronic researchers and engineers by donating funds collected from attendees at its recent annual World Cyber Security Technology Research Summit.
The donation will be used to purchase new Lego® Mindstorms® NXT equipment, further enhancing the software and electronic engineering learning opportunities for children attending the CoderDojo. The LEGO Mindstorm series of kits contain software and hardware to create small, customizable and programmable robots.
Speaking after donating the money David Crozier, Technical Marketing Manager at CSIT, said: “CSIT, its member companies and the global cyber security industry depend on a steady stream of bright, enthusiastic, practically minded researchers and engineers to support this rapidly growing and strategically important industry.”
“The work that CoderDojo Belfast is doing in stimulating the innovative and inquisitive instincts in young people on our doorstep here in the Titanic Quarter is amazing. I was keen that we would highlight that work and seek donations from our global industry partners while we had them in Belfast for our recent World Cyber Security Technology Research Summit to grow it further.”
“I would like to specifically highlight the support of CSIT advisor Mark Crosbie, Head of Information Security, EMEA at Facebook, Editor of thinkbricks.net and member of the LEGO Mindstorms Community Partner (MCP) program who leveraged support from Lego HQ in Denmark to match donations given by summit attendees.”
Commenting on the donation Peter Doherty from Belfast Metropolitan College, who founded CoderDojo Belfast, said: “CoderDojo is a great opportunity for young people to learn valuable programming & IT skills which are in high demand in the current job market.
“CoderDojo is a free computing club which is run by Belfast Metropolitan College along with volunteer industry mentors and support from various local, national and international organisations. The donations from CSIT and Lego will enable us to further explore the area of robotics and programming and engage with a younger audience in fun and exciting ways.”
For further information on CoderDojo Belfast please visit www.coderdojobelfast.com or follow on twitter – @CoderDojoBMC.
For further information on CSIT, its member companies and annual summit please visit www.csit.qub.ac.uk of follow on twitter @csit_qub.
Media inquiries to David Crozier on 028 9097 1754 or firstname.lastname@example.org