New “Tobacco-Free” Zones at IT Sligo
IT Sligo is establishing three “Tobacco Free” zones outside several key buildings on its campus.
By getting people to stop smoking in the open-air zones, the Institute hopes to achieve better air quality and reduce passive smoking dangers for the benefit of students, staff and visitors. The designated areas were announced today, Ash Wednesday. They include busy entrances to teaching, administrative, canteen and students’ services buildings and the area around the Knocknarea Arena.
It is an initiative of a group of Public Health and Health Promotion students, and is part of the Institute’s new “Healthy Campus Initiative”, under the direction of Life Sciences Lecturer, Máire McCallion the Institute’s Health and Safety Officer, Yvonne Roache. Named “Breathe Easy”, the policy is being phased in with the aim of encouraging voluntary buy-in from smokers. The students developed the plan after conducting a campus survey which showed that more than half of respondents wanted an entirely smoke-free campus. The backdrop to their work is the “Tobacco Free Ireland” report, launched by the Minister for Health, Dr Reilly, last October which proposed radically reducing smoking by 2025.
Among its recommendations was promotion of “tobacco free campuses for all third-level institutions in consultation with key stakeholders”. The students received official backing when they and members of the cross-campus Healthy Campus committee met the Institute’s Executive last month. Professor Terri Scott, President of IT Sligo, said: “The new zones will make the campus a healthier and more welcoming place for the entire campus community and visitors. The students and the Healthy Campus committee deserve great praise for all their efforts. “When they outlined the ideas to Executive members, we liked what we heard. They were pushing an open door.” Initially, the students will monitor the zones’ day to day operation and if people light up they will hand them cards drawing attention to the new designation. Each card will also have details of stop-smoking advisory services. “Breathe Easy” team member Shannon Gorman said: “The project takes a positive approach by encouraging smokers not to smoke in the tobacco-free areas and getting staff and students to support the project. “This way, we hope to denormalise smoking in these areas so that people come to regard it as being, literally, out of place.”
The project is part of a three-step programme that could see the campus being entirely smoke-free by September 2015. It is planned to have a tobacco free zone at the main exits/entrances of each campus building next September. Institute officials, who say a tobacco-free campus by September 2015 is an ambitious target, emphasise that no decision on it will be taken in advance of a consultation process. The “Breathe Easy” team comprises Afric Gray, who is from Calry, Co Sligo, Daniel Simpson from Sligo, Eilis Gannon, Williamstown, Co Galway, Lorraine Moylan, Beagh, Gort, Co Galway, Rebecca Neary, Boyle, Co Roscommon and Shannon Gorman, Killybegs, Co Donegal. They are working closely with Yvonne Roache and Máire McCallion and have received support from IT Sligo Students’ Union, IT Sligo Student Health Services and Pauline Kent, HSE Smoking Cessation Co-coordinator, Sligo Regional Hospital.
Kicking the habit: At the launch of IT Sligo’s three Tobacco Free zones, students Eilis Gannon (front right) and Shannon Gorman (front left) happily boot out an an welcome “cigarette” encouraged by (left to right) Rebecca Neary, Afric Gray, Daniel Simpson and Lorraine Moylan.
IT Sligo students Rebecca Neary, Boyle, Co. Roscommon and Daniel Simpson from Sligo, grimace at the sight of a jar showing the amount of tar that builds up in the lungs if you smoke “20 a day” for a year. They were taking part in the launch of three Tobacco Free zones at the campus.
Stone Age remains from cave on Knocknarea
Archaeologists at IT Sligo have discovered bones of a Stone Age child and an adult in a tiny cave high on Knocknarea mountain near the town.
Radiocarbon dating has shown that they are some 5,500 years old, which makes them among the earliest human bones found in the county.
The find represents important fresh evidence of Knocknarea’s Neolithic (Stone Age) links and a prehistoric practice known as “excarnation”.
The researchers say they are “thrilled”.
They discovered a total of 13 small bones and bone fragments in an almost inaccessible cave last November.
Three were from the child and 10 from the adult. They included foot bones and fragments of skull.
The adult was aged 30 to 39 and the child of 4 to 6 years. It was not possible to establish gender.
“It’s an enormously exciting discovery,” said Dr Marion Dowd of IT Sligo, who is Ireland’s only specialist in the archaeology of Irish caves.
“This might see like a small quantity but it has yielded fantastic results. The interest we’ve had since we announced the results on the IT Sligo Applied Archaeology Facebook page this week has have been unprecedented.”
It was a chance discovery by IT Sligo archaeology graduate Thorsten Kahlert while he was investigating a series of little known caves on the slopes of Knocknarea.
“I was surveying one small cave when something on the cave floor caught my eye,” he said.
“I took a closer look and realised it was a human foot bone.” Further examination revealed other bones strewn on the cave floor.
Dr Catriona McKenzie of Queen’s University Belfast, who is an archaeologist specialising in the analysis of human bones, examined the remains.
After Thorsten’s initial discovery, Dr Dowd immediately contacted the National Monuments Service. It promptly funded a rescue excavation by the two IT Sligo researchers who braved wet and windy weather as they retrieved the exposed bones to protect them from possible environmental damage.
Thorsten explained: “You have to squeeze through, head first, lying on your stomach, and after a while you get into a larger passage. It is an entirely natural cave but you have to crouch down. For the most part it is not possible to stand upright”.
Dr Dowd said: “Caves have been used by people in Ireland for thousands of years and human bones in them can date to any period.
“We were hoping for a Neolithic date because Queen Maeve’s cairn on the summit of Knocknarea Mountain is a Neolithic passage tomb. And then the news came through that the cave bones dated to that period. Significantly, too, it seems the adult had been placed there about 300 years before the child, who died about 5,200 years ago.”
Dr Dowd says that the small number of bones and their small size suggest that the cave was an excarnation site.
That involved a corpse being laid in a cave and, after decomposition, the dry bones being transferred elsewhere. Fragments were sometimes accidentally left behind.
Dr Dowd, who led the rescue excavation, says Sligo – Leitrim is one of Ireland’s most important cave regions but only a few have been investigated archaeologically.
Thorsten Kahlert is currently carrying out doctoral research on cave archaeology at IT Sligo where Dr Dowd is his academic supervisor.
He said: “What most people in Sligo do not realise, is that there are 26 caves dotted around the slopes of Knocknarea. Most of them are long narrow passages but the entrances are very small, so they tend to escape attention.”
Dr Dowd said: “When people died in prehistory, their corpses were sometimes laid out in caves. After one or two years, when the flesh and soft tissue had decomposed, the dry bones were collected and removed to another location.
“So what we find at excarnation sites are small bones that were missed when the larger bones were collected and removed.”
“We can imagine, therefore, that Stone Age people in Sligo between 5,000 and 5,500 years ago carried the corpses of their dead up the mountain. After an arduous climb, they then squeezed through the narrow cave entrance, and laid the dead person on the cave floor.
“Sometime later, maybe after one or two years, people returned to the cave and collected the bones and took them to another location. Where they took them, we don’t know. But the monuments on the summit of Knocknarea are one likely possibility. All that was left behind in the cave were some small bones that had been overlooked”.
IT Sligo archaeologists Dr Marion Dowd and Thorsten Kahlert examine Neolithic human bones discovered in a small cave on Knocknarea Mountain
Dr Marion Dowd of IT Sligo who is Ireland’s only specialist in the archaeology of Irish caves, conducts a rescue excavation in a cave at Knocknarea which contained Stone Age human bones.
Thorsten Kahlert, who is carrying out doctoral research on cave archaeology at IT Sligo, surveys the Knocknarea cave which contained Neolithic period human bones.
Students Set Pace in IT Sligo ‘Healthy Campus’ Drive
IT Sligo students are leading by example in a healthy campus drive at IT Sligo.
One group is warning of the hazards of driving “the morning after the night before.”
Others have been warning about the dangers of texting while behind the wheel.
A third has been putting a spotlight on domestic violence.
The projects have been devised by 4th year students in the Health Promotion and Public Health courses and are supported by the college authorities and Students’ Union.
Last month IT Sligo announced a cross-campus “Healthy Campus Initiative” which commits the college to promoting health and wellness at all levels of its operations.
Students Jessica Coleman, Edel Corrigan and Ciara Walsh designed and developed a website (www.stillhalfcut.com) to highlight the lingering effects of alcohol on morning drivers.
“It is a website that will enable students to estimate a time that will be safe for them to drive the morning after the night before,” Jessica said.
“The website’s results give a rough estimate for the average person,” she explained. “Your actual blood alcohol concentration depends on a variety of additional factors, like genetic makeup, personal health and recent food consumption. So these results are just a guide and no-one should rely on them to decide to drive. Our basic message is: Never drink and drive.”
The second group, comprising Shauna Dempsey, Danny Keohane and Lynn O’Reilly got around 180 students to take part in an “IT Sligo Arrive Alive: Don’t Text and Drive” over a three-day period.
Participants signed on to “Gauging Your Distraction”, a virtual driver game that has been developed by the New York Times interactive team.
Shauna, who is from Ballylinan, Co Laois said: “We decided to focus on mobile phone use because it’s a huge problem and many people aren’t aware of the consequences and how much of a distraction it causes for drivers.
“It’s well documented that people using their phone behind the wheel are up to four times more likely to be involved in road traffic accidents.”
Another trio Miriam Murphy, Kelly Loftus and Tara Khan, launched the SAFE Ireland’s Ireland “Man Up” campaign in the Institute (http://www.manup.ie/ ).
SAFE Ireland is a national organisation representing frontline domestic violence service and its ManUp message is that domestic violence is wrong and can never be tolerated.
Miriam said: “The aim is to encourage men to communicate to other men that intimate partner violence is not acceptable. Men are essential allies in the campaign to end violence against women and children. It cannot be tackled without them.
“We are asking everyone to Man Up to make the campus and our communities safer places for women.”
The three groups have praised support they have received from Student Union Entertainment Officer, Don Donohoe, web designer, Joanne O’Grady, SAFE Ireland, Domestic Violence Advocacy Service – Sligo, Leitrim and Wes Cavan, IT Sligo lecturer Máire McCallion and local businesses which sponsored their initiatives.
Sligo-based Garda Louise Keogh and Dr Jerry Bird, Head of the School of Science at IT Sligo, were on hand to congratulate students (l-r) Edel Corrigan, Jessica Coleman, Ciara Walsh on the launch of their www.stillhalfcut.com anti-drink drive initiative.
At the launch of the “IT Sligo Arrive Alive: Don’t Text and Drive” project were Danny Keohane (right) and Mark McGoldrick, with Lynn O’Reilly (right) and Shauna Dempsey.
Organisers and student participants with representatives of SAFE Ireland and Domestic Violence Advocacy Service (DVAS) for Sligo, Leitrim and West Cavan at the launch of the ManUp project
Global Platforms Provide Digital Advice at IT Sligo
Social media and digital technology are part of the toolkit for success in modern business.
That was the key message from Google, Facebook and LinkedIn when the global platforms joined forces with Institute of Technology Sligo in a major campus marketing conference
As the capacity attendance heard how the internet continues to change the face of commerce, speakers stressed the importance of harnessing new technologies to boost marketing and brand objectives.
More than 150 people attended the free on-campus event, which was aimed at a target audience drawn from marketing students, lecturers and business people in the West and North West.
Ann Higgins, Head of the Department of Marketing, Tourism and Sport at IT Sligo, said: “This event delivered on two key objectives – ensuring a postive learning experience for students and staff and enabling knowledge transfer to the business community.”
She added: “Given the rapid growth in digital technologies and the internet, businesses have seen dramatic changes in the way they identify, communicate with and sell to customers.
“The replacement of traditional media by social networking sites, mobile applications, blogs, and video sharing sites has forced businesses to think innovatively about how to capture and capitalise on the opportunities of an enormous audience through digital channels.”
The key participants included speakers from academia and business and included John Heavey, Global Accounts Analyst, LinkedIn; Ivan Heneghan, who leads Facebook’s Global Shared Services Ads team in EMEA; Dr Laurent Muzellec, Academic Director for the MSc. in Digital Marketing at the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School; Jim Geraghty, Marketing Manager, Ireland, for Lucozade Sport; Carmel Doherty, Agency Education Lead, Google Canada, who took part via video link.
John Heavey highlighted the personal and business benefits LinkedIn usage, for example in showcasing professional identities and business and professional networks.
Ivan Heneghan presented a comprehensive insight into Facebook as one of the world’s most efficient marketing platforms and he explained how small to medium enterprises can utilise it to reach all the people who matter to their business. His contribution held particular signifance for two members of the audience. Ivan is from Ballymote, Co Sligo, and his parents were present to hear his presentation.
Dr Laurent Muzellec presented an overview of the connected consumer purchasing process and its implications for digital marketers.
Jim Geraghty, whose responsibilities include sponsorship and online marketing, explained how Lucozade Sport engages with its consumer base through social media and its importance in driving brand awareness and linkage.
Carmel Doherty brought fresh perspectives into how brands are weaving social media and digital technology into their marketing communications.
Dr Catherine McGuinn, who is Chair of the MSc Marketing programme at IT Sligo, said feedback was very positive.
“Each year we hold a conference about aspects of contemporary issues facing professional marketers and business owners,” she said. “It‘s an annual event which is part of the learning course for the Master of Science in Marketing. This year’s theme was ‘How Social R U?’ and we are delighted that so many found it to be relevant, timely and useful.”
Potential students interested in pursuing a career in marketing can view the programme offerings at www.itsligo.ie. There are a number of exciting programme developments currently underway, including the proposed introduction of a Bachelor of Business in Digital Media Marketing to address the increasing job opportunities in this area.
John Heavey, LinkedIn, presenting at the IT Sligo Marketing Conference.
Business people Philip O’Brien, Claire Ronan, Conor Ronan, Gillian Connolly, Ronnie O’Hara and Michael Harte at the IT Sligo Marketing Conference.
Ivan Heneghan of Facebook at the “How Social R U?” conference with IT Sligo academics Suzanne Ryan, Dr Catherine McGuinn, Ann Higgins and Nicola Lacey.
‘Bio-PolyTec’ – A Boost for Implant Research
Researchers at IT Sligo are leading a €1 million EU funded project which could pave the way for more people to receive better and cheaper medical implants faster.
The team involved in “Bio-PolyTec” says greater use of bioresorbable polymer material is set to have a significant effect on modern medicine, with important benefits for patients and manufacturers.
The main obstacle to wider use of the material has been high processing costs. Bio-PolyTec is developing monitoring and control techniques which will speed up processing methods and slash high rates of wastage of the costly material.
The two-year initiative involves partners from five nations and is funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (EU FP7) for Research and Technological Development. In addition to IT Sligo, the project partners comprise academics and polymer processing and biomaterials experts at two universities and staff in four companies. .
Bioresorbable polymers have key advantages over metal. These include improved patient recovery, fewer follow-up operations, and the prospect of new devices and therapies coming on to the market. They also have better biocompatibility than traditional implants and break down naturally into the body’s system when they are no longer needed.
The materials are being used increasingly in treatment of trauma and sports injuries, including bone injuries. Project partner, Finnish company Scaffdex OY has also developed an innovative bioresorbable product called ‘RegJoint’ for use in treating osteo and rheumatoid arthritis in small joints of the hand and foot.
Details of the Bio-Poly Tec project were released today (Wed Feb 12) at the official opening of IT Sligo’s new Centre of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing (PEM)
Dr Marion McAfee, the project’s principal investigator, said: “Bio-PolyTec aims to progress the commercial availability of bioresorbable medical implants such as tissue engineering scaffolds and bone fixation screws. We are also looking at effectively incorporating bio-active additives into the polymer. These are gradually released as the polymer breaks down inside the body and can help to regenerate the patient’s own tissue.”
Dr McAfee said: “At present manufacture of these implants is associated with high scrap rates – typically 25-30% – and the material is hugely expensive, so this can be a barrier to successful commercialisation.
“In Bio-Poly Tec we will develop novel instrumentation and control technology to rapidly optimise process set-up and reduce scrap rates to a target 5%. Using the techniques of our German partner, FOS Messtechnik, we are developing new sensors to detect product quality online during processing so manufacturers will know straight away if the product is OK or not.”
Dr McAfee lectures in the Department of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering at IT Sligo and is attached to PEM. The new Centre will focus on collaborating with the manufacturing industry in applied research areas ranging from design, manufacturing process optimisation, micro-machining and nano materials.
The partners in Bio-PolyTec are:
• Institute of Technology Sligo
• Queen’s University, Belfast
• Tampere University of Technology (Finland)
• IPC Polymers Ltd (Ireland)
• Scaffdex Oy (Finland)
• Fos-Messtechnik GmbH (Germany)
• Plasma-Biotal Ltd (UK), which provides bio-active particles for orthopaedic implants.
• Corbion Purac (Netherlands), a manufacturer of bioresorbable polymer.
Tuija Annala, Managing Director of Scaffdex, said: “Improving the manufacturing process will help us to reduce the cost of making RegJoint. It will also enable us to bring a new product to market. At present, the development and manufacturing costs of the new device are too high for the clinical end use, so patients are missing out on a potential treatment.”
Joe Molloy, Technical Director at IPC Polymers, a manufacturer of polymer compounds for the medical industry based in Kilbeggan, County Westmeath, said ability to monitor and control the dispersion of additives in a polymer is an important technological development. “Having the additive well-dispersed in the polymer is key for the performance of a medical implant but it can be expensive and time-consuming to achieve.”
He said he is confident that Bio-PolyTec will enable IPC to offer compounding services to medical device end-users with lower costs and shorter lead times.
Mark Billham, Queen’s University, Belfast, Dr David Tormey PEM -IT Sligo Centre, Mr Ray MacSharry, Chair of IT Sligo’s Governing Body, Henrik Bjoerk, IPC Polymers, Joe Molloy, IPC Oolymers and Dr Marion McAfee, at the launch of Bio-PolyTec research project and the Centre of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing.
Photo Caption: Bio-PolyTec Launch 001JC jpg: President of IT Sligo, Professor Terri Scott and Mr Ray MacSharry, Chair of IT Sligo’s Governing Body, with Dr Marion McAfee at the launch of Bio-PolyTec, an EU-funded research project in medical implant materials.
For future information: www.biopolytec.eu
Careers Showcased in ‘Engineers Week’
Career-minded students with a fascination for making things work have an opportunity for a close up look at the many faces of modern engineering during “Engineers Week” at IT Sligo.
The Institute of Technology and the professional body, Engineers Ireland, have linked up to highlight a wealth of specialised graduate career opportunities in the sector and its constantly expanding role in making Ireland a better place for all its people.
Events with interactive exhibits, question and answer sessions with practising engineers, school visits in Sligo and Leitrim, debates and lectures. They are all on the Feb 9th-15th Engineers Week menu. Most are open to the public, particularly students and family groups. See http://itsligo.ie/engineersweek/
In Sligo next Monday (Feb 10), Engineers Week will be heralded by the annual sight of engineering students collecting for charity. Last year they raised €1400 for the North West Hospice, which is the chosen charity this year again.
The impact of engineering surrounds us — from the roads and bridges we use to cars and aircraft, from design of medical monitoring devices to ensuring our water is clean and environment is protected.
Engineers today operate in a high-tech world in which new scientific, manufacturing and industrial processes spurred on by the digital revolution add new strengths to their work.
The sector’s age-old pivotal principles of precision and exactitude are enhanced each day by technological advances.
IT Sligo, academics in the School of Engineering and Design will be on hand to update visitors about degrees in areas such as Civil, Structural and Environment Engineering.
“Each year Engineers Week is the perfect learning session for young people who are thinking about a career in the various disciplines of Engineering,” according to Dr. Tomás O’Flaherty, of the Department of Civil Engineering and Construction, who is the main IT Sligo organiser.
“Crucially, too, it is a great for students who are still scouting around for options to come along and have a look. Engineering’s diversity is always an eye-opener for many of them.”
Brian Flynn, chair of the North West region of Engineers Ireland, added: “Engineers Week provides those of us working in the profession with an opportunity to assist students of all ages to learn a little more about engineering and to provide them with an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of engineers in our community.”
Highlights of the activities at IT Sligo include:
Monday Feb 10 (8pm) – Students debate: “The engineer of the future needs to be a specialist rather than a generalist”.
Tuesday Feb 11 (8pm) – “Engineering as a Career”. Meet engineers and tour IT Sligo’s Engineering facilities.
Wednesday Feb 12 (8pm) – A fast moving lecture on Games Technology.
Friday Feb 14 (1pm)–Multi-disciplinary work presentations from third-level colleges.
Saturday Feb 15 (4.30pm- 5pm) – Coder Dojo special programming event.
Other events include:
Tuesday — visits by second level students to public and private sector engineering sections;
Thursday – engineers will visit schools.
Thursday -Sligo Park Hotel (8pm), Michael Joyce lectures on “Trihalomethane Formation in Public Water Supplies – The Development of New Technical Guidelines for the EPA.” Michael lecturers annually on hydraulics and pump design at the Department of Civil Engineering at the National University Ireland, Galway.
Further info: http://www.engineersweek.ie/events/?county=Sligo&date=&category=&audience_category )
IT Sligo Launches ‘Healthy Campus’ Plan
IT Sligo is putting “workplace wellbeing” centre-stage in its day to day life.
The Institute of Technology has unveiled a “Healthy Campus” initiative, supported by an activity programme, which commits the college to promotion of good health at all levels of its operations. Professor Terri Scott, President of IT Sligo, said: “The relevance of this project has been drawn tragically into clearer focus this week by the events surrounding Neknomination activity.
“It is all too easy for young people to fall prey to internet crazes. I welcome the widespread repudiation of this so-called challenge game but I also appeal to all students, actively, to use social media to alert your friends to its dangers and to keep your college and student leaders informed if you see any similar dangers appearing online.” On behalf of IT Sligo, Professor Scott said she wished to offer her sympathy to the family of the 19-years-old Carlow man, Jonny Byrne, who died last weekend. Professor Scott launched the initiative when she officially opened a campus “Slí na Sláinte”, in association with the Irish Heart Foundation. Edel Byrne, Slí na Sláinte National Coordinator with the Irish Heart Foundation, was present at the launch.
The Healthy Campus mission statement pledges: “The pursuit of a balanced lifestyle will be valued, physical and emotional health will be fostered and all our campus community shall be encouraged to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing.” IT Sligo has 6,000 students and 500 employees. The activity programme is based on four imperatives: physical activity, good nutrition, emotional wellbeing and campus environment. Professor Scott said: “Our vision is that IT Sligo will be a leader in creating a campus culture which nurtures the health and wellbeing of our staff, students and the wider campus community.”
Healthy Campus builds on the popularity of a health promotion drive that won a bronze award in the Irish Heart Foundation’s inaugural Active@Work Awards last year. It was led by Yvonne Roache, IT Sligo’s Health and Safety Officer, who is Coordinator of the Healthy Campus team. The award scheme recognises employer achievements in encouraging a culture of physical activity among employees. IT Sligo was the only educational organisation to receive an accolade. The Slí na Sláinte opening is the high-point of “Physical Activity Week” at IT Sligo, which a is a curtain-raiser to Healthy Campus events over the next three months. They will focus on workshops, classes, practical demonstrations and information days that promote health and nutrition and emotional health. Many will be hosted and organised by students who are studying IT Sligo degree courses such as the BB in Recreation and Leisure and BSc in Health Science and Physiology.
Yvonne Roache explained: “We have the practical and teaching expertise on campus, and that enables us to be a step ahead in fostering health promotion for both staff and students.” The Healthy Campus team includes IT Sligo academics and other professionals who specialise in health promotion, exercise, emotional health and the environment. Yvonne Roache said: “People need to embrace good nutrition and exercise on a daily basis to ensure their future health. “We should all take time to talk and listen to our work colleagues and classmates. Even a word of encouragement can boost someone’s day. Walk with your friends for just 10 minutes every day on the Slí na Sláinte and you’ll feel the benefits in so many ways.”
ITSligo Walk 001JC.jpg Best foot forward. Prof. Terri Scott, President, IT Sligo, (centre) alongside Yvonne Roache, IT Sligo Health and Safety Officer, and Edel Byrne ,National Coordinator,Slí na Sláinte, Irish Heart Foundation (second from left) with some of the staff and students who joined in an inaugural walk around the new Slί na Sláinte at IT Sligo.
Yvonne Roache, IT Sligo Health and Safety Officer, Professor Terri Scott, President, IT Sligo, and Edel Byrne of the Irish Heart Foundation celebrate the opening of the campus Slί na Sláinte at IT Sligo.
Edel Byrne, (on right) National Coordinator of the Irish Heart Foundation’s Slί na Sláinte initiative, walks the walk with friends at the launch of the IT Sligo’s Slί na Sláinte
Spotlight on the Business of Rugby
Alex Saul, a leading figure in the commercial side of professional rugby, will be the guest speaker on Thursday (Feb 6th) at a networking event in IT Sligo organised by the Connaught region of ACCA, the global accountancy body, and the Institute of Technology.
As Head of Commercial and Marketing at Connacht Rugby since 2011, Alex has key responsibility for revenue generation. Over the past two years he has raised the commercial sponsorship from €500k to currently over €2 million.
Michael Barrett, Head of the Department of Business at IT Sligo, says: “Alex has a wealth of commercial experience which has enhanced the development of the professional game in the West of Ireland. Given his successful track record at the business end of professional rugby, his talk is bound to appeal to a wide audience.”
Before joining Connacht Rugby, Alex worked as Group Sponsorship and Branding Manager for the Welsh Rugby Union and Millennium Stadium companies in Cardiff. He joined the WRU from ERC, the body that organises the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup, where he worked in a number of tournaments, events and sponsorship delivery roles.
Michael Barrett added: “For IT Sligo, the event is a welcome opportunity and celebrates our long-standing relationship with ACCA and the support it gives, as a professional body, to our courses. Many of our students go on to become full members of the Association and our business and accounting programmes attract valuable exemptions from the body.”
The 6pm-8pm event which is free of charge, is open to the public but online booking is essential at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Alex Saul, Head of Commercial and Marketing at Connacht Rugby
IT Sligo Reveals Evidence of Forensic Science Success
A forensic science course at IT Sligo has become the first on the island of Ireland to be granted accreditation by the UK professional awarding body, the Forensic Science Society.
The highly prized seal of approval has been awarded to the BSc (Hons) Forensic Investigation and Analysis programme. Some 130 undergraduates currently take the course.
The Forensic Science Society (FSSoc) is an international professional body with members in more than 60 countries. Recently, it was accorded the honour of being granted a Royal Charter by Queen Elizabeth.
The FSSoc accreditation rating is a quality mark which signifies that the degree’s taught and practice components, the Institute’s scientific facilities and staff expertise meet the Society’s highest standards.
IT Sligo now joins an elite list of UK universities with FSSoc accreditation. They include King’s College London, Keele, Kent, East Anglia, Portsmouth, Abertay Dundee and South Wales.
The accolade comes as IT Sligo presses ahead with plans for a major boost to its scientific facilities as a five year €35 million expansion nears completion.
A dedicated forensic science laboratory and a microscopy suite will open in September in a new science block. It will also have a state of the art analytical science laboratory which will be used by forensic science students.
Forensic Science lecturer Dr Aodhmar Cadogan, who has been leading the accreditation drive, said: “We have been working towards Forensic Science Society Accreditation since forensic science was introduced here in 2005.”
“It is enormously important because it represents verification of the course by an expert panel of outside assessors.
“It adds even more value and prestige to the level 8 Honours degree and students have the assurance that they are getting an internationally recognised qualification that they can take anywhere in the world.”
The wide-ranging honours course covers elements such as analytical chemical techniques, crime scene management, human genetics and court room practice. It is designed to provide students with the essential components required by the FSSoc to become practising forensic scientists and analytical scientists.
The four year degree equips graduates for a variety of career opportunities. These can include policing and forensic science laboratory roles but the majority of graduates go on to jobs in industry, applying chemical analysis skills in food and beverage, pharmaceutical and other companies, while others go on to do postgraduate research.
Dr Jeremy Bird, Head of the School of Science, said: “Forensic Science Society Accreditation elevates this course to a very distinctive new level. It signifies that this internationally renowned body is satisfied that our course is suitable for students who want to undertake professional careers in areas of forensic science and analytical chemistry.
“Importantly, also, it is indicative of the regard the Forensic Science Society has for the professionalism of the lecturing staff and the top quality research and study facilities that are available at IT Sligo.”
Forensic Science: Forensic Science lecturers Dr Aodhmar Cadogan (pictured on right ) and Dr Eadaoin Tyrrell prepare drug samples for laboratory analysis at ITSligo.
Forensic Science: (l-r) Dr Aodhmar Cadogan, lecturer in Forensic Science, Dr Jeremy Bird, Head of School of Science, and Forensic Science lecturer ,Dr Eadaoin Tyrrell , in the laboratory at IT Sligo.
CUA Statement on Technological Universities Bill
The Connacht-Ulster Alliance has issued a statement welcoming the Technological Universities
Bill by the Minster for Education & Skills, that paves the way for the establishment of
The CUA was set-up in 2012 for the declared purpose of “forming the nucleus of a Technological
University and working together to achieve the required criteria”. The formation and objectives
were welcomed by the Taoiseach.
The Presidents confirmed that a merger of the three institutes will only be considered in the
context of achieving Technological University designation.