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I am delighted to advise you that the Governing Body has sanctioned the appointment of the Institutes next President, Dr. Ruaidhr Neavyn. Dr. Neavyn is currently President in the Institute of Technology, Carlow. It is expected that he will take up his new role early in the New Year. I have worked closely with him over recent months as we progressed the Technological University for the South East. It remains for me to wish him every success in his new role.
One of the more enjoyable aspects of being President (Acting), over the past few months, has been to represent the Institute at important events. One such event was the recent official opening of the Robert Boyle Science Festival at Lismore Castle in November. Robert Boyle remains one of Waterfords most famous sons and is widely regarded as the Father of Modern Chemistry. The main objective of the Festival was to promote science to a varied audience: children, students, academics and the general public.
The Institute was delighted to be involved with the Festival, as its objectives closely mirrored those of the Centre for the Advancement of Learning of Maths, Science And Technology (CALMAST) which has been working for almost ten years now to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.
It is fitting in a county that boasts the birthplace of two of the best known Irish Scientists Robert Boyle and Ernest Walton that the Institute is now working closely with Waterford City and County Councils to see Waterford recognised as a European region of Science. I was particularly pleased to hear
the Minister for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock, T.D., in his keynote address, acknowledge the work of Dr. Sheila Donegan and Eoin Gill, the founders of CALMAST; Sheila and Eoin were members of the Festivals organising committee.
I was delighted to be invited by the Head of Department of Architecture, Mire Henry, to attend an official celebration marking the relocation of the Architecture Department from the recently decommissioned T block on the Main Campus, to the Granary building in the City centre. The Mayor, Cllr. Pat Hayes, delivered an inspirational speech, acknowledging the spirit of collaboration between the City Council and the Institute to make the move possible. It is important to commend the support of all staff and students within the Department of Architecture, as well as other staff members who facilitated such a smooth transition.
As we come to the end of the first semester the focus turns to the student community as they face into their end-of-semester examinations. This is a time of great stress but I know that they will do their best. I would like to wish all students well in their examinations.
Finally, after a very tough and challenging first semester, I wish to extend Christmas greetings to all members of the Institute community and their families. I know the overall climate is difficult, but Christmas is a time to enjoy with family and friends. May 2012 provide some rays of light.
Mr. Tony McFeely
2011/2012 Issue 3
Science Week 2011
Science Week was a great success this year with over 50 events spanning a two week period, culminating in the Robert Boyle Festival in
Lismore Castle. Coordinated by CALMAST, the festival attracted attendances of more than 5,000 in Waterford, Lismore and New Ross.
Many WIT lecturers gave lectures, workshops and presentations. There were events designed specifically for primary, secondary schools
and the general public. The inaugural Robert Boyle
festival took place during the last weekend of Science
Week in Lismore Castle, where Irelands most famous
Scientist was born. The festival, organised by
WIT, Lismore Heritage Centre and UCC, brought
together the local and scientific communities to
enjoy a range of events combining lectures on
the history of Science at the time of Robert
Boyle, current research on climate change and
a family fun day of science activities.
Department of Architecture moves downtown to the Granary
On Wednesday, November 30th last, a relocation event was held to mark the Granary as the new City Centre home for the Dept. of Architecture. Tony McFeely and Mayor of Waterford, Pat Hayes spoke of the advantages of having a creative discipline such as Architecture in a downtown location.
An exhibition of student work was displayed including the national award winning projects of two fourth year Architecture students. MC for the night was Darragh OKeeffe, Chairman of the successful students Architectural Society. Music and entertainment was provided by both staff and students of the Department. The City Manager, along with many Councillors, were also in attendance to support the event. We wish Mire Henry and her team continued success in their new premises.
WIT Architecture team visits Shanghai Institute of Technology
Mire Henry and Sharon OBrien from the Department of Architecture, accompanied by Hellen Kang Griffith from the International Office, had a very successful trip to Shanghai, China recently. They presented their Architectural programmes to enthusiastic staff and students at the Shanghai Institute of Technology, who are interested in developing links with WIT.
The visiting WIT team were pleased to discover that there are many job opportunities for architectural graduates in Shanghai, where the population has grown from 800,000 to 23 million in less than 30 years.
Awards for WIT architecture students
John Walsh, a WIT 5th year Architecture student, was announced the joint winner of the annual RIAI Travelling Scholarship in Dublin on Tuesday, 22nd November last. John received his award at an RIAI reception attended by staff and students from all 7 schools of architecture in Ireland. The award will be used to finance a years travel and study.
At the Awards ceremony, a second WIT student, Francis Ryan, was awarded the honour of being highly commended.
This competition is open to all fourth year students of Architecture from all seven schools in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Both awards represent tremendous recognition for John and Francis, and also reflect very highly on the commitment and dedication invested by staff in the fourth year architecture students, under the leadership of Sharon OBrien.
It is the first time that a WIT student has won this national award, although our students have been highly commended since WIT first entered this competition three years ago.
John (left) and Francis (right) with their proud mums
at the RIAI reception.
L-R: Brian Kehoe, Kieran Chestnutt, Darragh OKeeffe, Tadhg Casey, Niamh Murphy and Mire Henry enjoying the
relocation celebrations at the Granary.Photographer Noel Browne .
3RESEARCH BENEFITTING THE ENVIRONMENT
ASTRAL Cuts Energy Costs for Business
Centralised management system monitors and controls devices
A team of researchers from the Institutes Telecommunications Software and Systems
Group (TSSG) has created ASTRAL, a new energy management system that can
drastically reduce spending on electricity while increasing operational efficiency.
As global energy prices continue to rise, there is greater pressure on enterprises
to cut spending on wasted energy. ASTRAL, developed over five years in TSSG, is a
flexible management system that can reduce energy spending by monitoring the
use of all devices in a building. Using sensors, it can determine which devices are
using the most electricity and can turn off computers, phones, lighting, heating and
ventilation systems when not required.
According to Kevin Quinn, Researcher, TSSG (pictured right): We have developed
a centralised system for light, heating and IT that matches energy requirements to
usage, he said.
Studies show that in the US alone it costs $2.8 billion per annum to power PCs
when they are not in use. We estimate that ASTRAL can provide savings of up to 53
per computer per year by simply powering down unused PCs. This is a considerable
energy saving for any PC-heavy business, even before you take into account additional savings on lighting, heating, ventilation,
The ASTRAL system involves attaching a sensor to each device, which is controlled from a central hub. It integrates easily and
seamlessly with the existing power infrastructure and it doesnt require costly upgrades or interfere with daily work routines. It can
transform buildings into energy-efficient ecosystems without the need for changes to corporate culture or policies., he said.
For more information visit: www.astral-energy-saver.com.
Smart Grid research for a Renewable Ireland5 million for EU collaboration to develop smart energy solutions
Leading European energy and ICT companies, R&D centres and universities, including ESB, Intune Networks and the TSSG has teamed-up to develop innovative smart grid energy solutions and services for homes, buildings, industry and the transport infrastructure.
The project aims to identify the requirements of a smart grid ICT system. Smart grids provide a balance between the supply of energy generated and demand. They can integrate advanced information and communication technology (ICT) into the energy distribution network so that electricity delivery is remotely controlled and automatically optimised.
The need for smart energy systems is driven by climate change and limited fossil fuel resources. These systems also need to efficiently manage traditional and renewable energy sources and to cater for new energy uses such as electric vehicles (EV). This is particularly relevant in Ireland, which has committed to reducing its carbon emission by 20% and which aims to have 10% of all vehicles to be electric by 2020.
The ESB, Intune Networks and the TSSG are working together
to deliver a smarter, more efficient energy grid for Ireland. The
project focuses on developing enhanced services for electric
vehicles, by intelligently combining data, such as web and in-
car usage information, to optimise the driving experience.
Miguel Ponce de Leon, Chief Technologist at TSSG, said, Smart
grids are more intelligent, which makes them more efficient. We
hope that this work will deliver a reduction in operating costs
and will make new energy products and services, like electric
vehicles, more accessible to consumers.
The TSSG have already used bio-inspired and autonomic
processes to advance energy management control systems in
schools, offices and high capacity data centres. The FINSENY
project will build on this knowledge and enable us to refine
the smart grid infrastructure to support the energy loads that
electric vehicles will need.
High school visit-Taipei
Ms. Hellen Kang Griffith, Chief Representative-China, International Office, WIT attended the 2011 European Education Fair Taiwan (EEFT) in Taipei in October 2011. Pictured (above) are
Hellen and two assistants from the EEFT organisation.
Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School in Taiwan is a high school for boys. Established in 1898 during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan, the school was the Taipei First High School, the first public high school in Taiwanese history. JGHS is frequently cited as one of the most prestigious high schools for boys in Taiwan, requiring the highest scores on the national senior high school entrance exams.
Only the top 1% of scorers on the Basic Competence Test for Junior High School Students receive admission. A large portion of graduates go on to attend prestigious universities locally and worldwide. The school has graduated over 100,000 students in its history and students from Jianguo are chosen to represent Taiwan in many international science and math competitions (e.g. the International Science Olympiad).
Hellen visited Jianguo High School in October 2011. The Principal, Mr. Chen Wei-Hung, welcomed Hellen and invited her to also meet with some students and their teacher.
Ms. Hellen Kang Griffith and three students with their teacher (right) who visited WIT in January 2011.
Signing of MOU with Gyeongju University, South Korea
(L-R) Dr Paul Barry; Larry Chong; Tony McFeely, Acting President, WIT; Dr Soonja Lee, President, Gyeongju University; Don ONeill,
International Manager and Dr Sanghoon Han.
On October 24th Acting President, Tony McFeely, hosted a visit by President Soonja Lee and staff from Gyeongju University, South Korea. A memorandum of understanding was signed with a view to developing further cooperation particularly in the areas of Tourism and Hospitality.
Colleges Ontario Presidents visit
Pictured are three WIT students from the School of Business who spent time studying at Ontario colleges. Also included (left to right) are Dr
Peter McLoughlin; Dr Paul Barry; Miriam Ryan (IOTI); Dr Chris Whitaker, President, St Lawerence College; Dr Dan Patterson, President, Niagara
College; Patricia Lang, President College Ontario; Ray Cullen; Don ONeill; Dermot Moore and James Redmond.
Staff from the Schools of Business, Humanities and Science met with three visiting Presidents from Colleges Ontario.
The visit, which took place on the 16th November, is part of an initiative supported by the IOTI and Presidents in the IOT sector. Work is currently underway to map progression routes for Ontario students to come to Ireland to study on degree programmes. WIT hopes to receive its first students from the initiative in 2012.
Visit of Beijing Education Examinations Authority
In October, WIT was the only Higher Education institution in Ireland visited by the Beijing Education Examinations Authority (BEEA) as part of a European tour of Higher Education institutions. The delegation discussed WIT examination and assessment policy with Dr Paul Barry and Don ONeill. In 2010 the BEEA organised examinations for 203 million students in China.
Photo to right: Dr Paul Barry, Head of School of Science and Don ONeill, International Manager with the delegation from the Beijing Education Examinations Authority.
More than 270 Mercy students benefit from WIT/Genzyme Buddy Programme
Students from the Mercy Senior Primary School who are participating in the Genzyme Buddy Programme a
collaboration between WIT Access service and Genzyme.
In the three years since it was set up, the Genzyme Buddy Programme has involved more than 270 students from Mercy Senior Primary School in an innovative programme of learning.
Maria Doyle, Principal of the Mercy Senior Primary School, said: The relationship established between our school and Genzyme Waterford provides the girls with a unique opportunity to experience an educational dimension which they would not have access to under normal circumstances. The vision of the management in liaising with WIT and our school promotes a model of good practice which complements the school curriculum objectives and translates into an enjoyable and stimulating experience for the children.
Providing an opportunity to see first-hand how a third level institution works makes future access attainable and desirable for so many of our pupils. The comfortable relationship established with the students gives the children a real sense of belonging and enhances the desire to achieve their goals.
The Genzyme Buddy Programme provides the primary school students with a greater understanding of better learning strategies and fosters a greater civic awareness among them. At the same time, the WIT Science and Engineering students buddies, get an opportunity to develop the skills required to
act as positive role models for young people enrolled on the WIT Junior Access Programmes.
One of the WIT Buddies, Dylan Conway, commented: It gave me a great insight into how primary kids view third-level education. It was a great learning experience, having to work closely with another team mate on a project that could potentially influence somebodys future.
Mary OSullivan, Organisation Development Manager, Genzyme, said: I see huge value in this programme and the results it has delivered for the primary pupils and the third-level students to date. Also the enjoyment and development gained by our own staff as a result of the programme have been great. I see real potential for supporting pupils through to third-level.
Genzyme supports the programme which incorporates a number of different teaching and learning strategies. Group work is a significant element of the training and the programme is designed to ensure that, throughout the training process, participants feel comfortable and respected in the training environment.
The Programme provides students with a greater awareness of educational opportunities and exposes them to alternative learning methods. In particular Genzyme values the opportunity to engage with the wider educational community and to strengthen links between local employers and these educational establishments.
Martina Harte, Head of Student Life and Learning at WIT, said: The Genzyme Buddy Programme reflects WITs strategic commitment to regional development, by engaging in collaborative initiatives like this, which involve local schools, industry and WIT. It also highlights the Institutes fostering of lifelong learning which spans primary education to the world of work. This particular initiative widens participation in higher education and promotes engagement with the sciences which forms the cornerstone of our economic recovery. Most importantly, our own WIT students who act as Buddies/mentors in the project develop key transferrable skills, like leadership, teamwork and reflection which increase their employability and deepen their civic engagement.
WIT Student Scoops Gold in The Netherlands
Team Ireland, consisting of students studying Filte Ireland funded and developed programmes in Institutes of Technology around Ireland, have scooped a well-deserved gold medal in the Culinary Arts competition, at the Association of European Hotel and Tourism Schools Annual Conference and Competitions, which was held recently in The Hague, Netherlands. With over 800 students and lecturers from over 40 countries around Europe participating, Tracey Nolan, a Waterford IT student from Kilkenny who works in Kilkennys Zuni restaurant, fended off tough competition from some of Europes best culinary nations to win the Associations biggest prize, a gold medal in the Culinary Arts competition.
(L-R: Robert Hyde, Founder and Godfather of the AEHT; Lorraine Walsh, mentor to winner for this event; Gold medalist, Tracey Nolan; and Ireland
team manager, Tony Barry, WIT.
Dublin Contemporary / Three Views
Organised by the Visual Arts Society and tutor Susan Connelly
Nicola Chestnutt, 1st Year Visual Arts: Where to start when visiting Dublin Contemporary 2011? Between the National Gallery, Earlsfort Terrace, Hugh Lane, Royal Hibernian Academy and Douglas Hyde, there was a huge amount of art to experience. Our trip to DC11 opened our minds and proved equally inspiring, entertaining and educational for us as first year Visual Arts students.
This wonderful trip began with a talk by internationally known artist Dexter Dalwood at the National Gallery giving us insight into his creative process. Then Earlsfort Terrace left us overwhelmed and inspired by the array of artwork in terms of content, form and medium. To mention a few, the interactive piece by Cleary and Connelly brought out the inner child, a much needed rest was enjoyed in Wang Dus cradle and we were left struck by Teresa Margolles emotionally charged work, where bubbles were made from water used to wash corpses in Mexico.
Dublin Contemporary was truly memorable. Dexter Dalwoods reminder that you must love art as well as hate it rang true for us throughout the trip and we commented on this after being exposed to so much work over the two days. We eagerly await the next trip with the Visual Arts Society!
Frances Stynes, 3rd Year Visual Arts: The works I liked best were the ones with information, because then I could understand them. The Beast of Yucca Flats and Others was created by Dublin based artist Wendy Judge. It was made of foam, plasticine, sand, concrete and tins installed in a very dark room, only lit by two spotlights covered by black paper.
One section was a scale replica of The Yucca Flats, in Nevada desert; it is where the Americans have buried all their nuclear waste. Beside this was a scaled replica of the concrete buildings used to blow up nuclear bombs. The title of the work is in fact the name of a horror film, which is reputed to be one of the worst horror films ever made. I am assuming there is relevance to the piece because it is about a man wandering in the Nevada desert with the KGB after him. Good stuff.
Denice Hutchinson, 3rd Year Visual Arts: The Visual Arts Society did a great job organising an excellent trip to DC11. Everything we learned from our lecturers about contemporary art seemed to be realised during our visits to Earlsford Terrace.
One highlight was Experience the Meaning of Artworks a talk in Earlsford Terrace by Professor Dermot Moran, Professor of Philosophy, UCD. He suggested art has become more philosophical and conceptual and questioned the definition of its boundaries. Questioning arts role, he asked, was it about pleasure? Beauty? Its intention to move us? Educate us? Or is it even good for us? After this talk we found ourselves in a debate, which made us decide to return to Dublin Contemporary a week later for a second look. It was a wonderful experience overall.
To whom it may concern . . . its the Late Late Toy Show
Congratulations to the Waterford Larks Choir and Waterford Boy Singers (pictured right with Ryan Tubridy) from the WIT Music School Choral programme on their wonderful performance of I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday on the Late Late Toy Show broadcast on Friday, 2nd December.
Ms Liz Pope, Examiner of Titles with the Property Registration Authority, Waterford, delivered a guest lecture to law students in WIT on 22nd of November last entitled An overview of Property Registration: Current Position and Future Developments
Pictured right is Marian Flavin, Law student, BA(Ordinary) Legal Studies, WIT presenting a piece by fine art printmaker, Ann Mc Donnell
(Kite Design Studios, Waterford), to Liz Pope. Included in the photo are Carmel Brennan, Lecturer in Land Law at WIT and Erin OHagan
BA (Ordinary) Legal Studies along with Colin Siu (BA Law) and Benjamin Martin (BA Law)
Huizingas classic anthropological and historical work Homo Ludens suggests that play is the foundation of human culture. Play is at once serious and light, separate from ordinary existence and yet has a higher significance for all existence. Play is at once a representative competition, a test or trial played out within certain limits, and a competition for representation, an attempt to embody or symbolise the truth. Interestingly, competition and representation are both at the heart of modern democratic politics, in terms of electoral races and governmental representation of the will of the people. Furthermore, these two also form the core of the contemporary nexus of capitalism and consumerism; competition for resources, jobs and markets; representation of brands and visible identities.
According to Huizinga the spirit of play is greatly diminished in modernity, but before that even, the corruption of play can be seen in Batesons study of the Naven ritual. Amongst the Iatmul, ceremonial, ritualistic and symbolic behaviour became normal, that is, play became constant. Another clear example could be Elias study of the court society, where etiquette, strategy and performance became a normal mode of life. Thus, the problem is not with play itself, but the loss of distinction between playful and mundane life; or the permanence of liminality. Indeed, the absence of distinction between play and other forms of life can even be seen within dramaturgical social theories such as Goffman or Butler.
Recent sociological research has shown that play and creativity have become idealised, incorporated and re-deployed by businesses, corporations and institutions. In education, play has been identified as vitally important, but sometimes as a
means to other developmental ends. While there is no point in puritanically rejecting play, it is important to approach the modern uses of play with caution. Although play is a vital creative and rejuvenating force, it cannot be forced.
Modern politics also has a peculiar relationship to play; it is utterly serious, formulaic, bureaucratic and flat, yet also a constant performance of a role or a play with masks for a media saturated public sphere. Simultaneously, the sense of politics as a representative competition/competition for representation has been almost eclipsed by the technical management of supra or non-human factors such as environmental risks, natural resources, demographic trends and markets. Yet, these economic crises might also be understood as an endless game without limits.
The workshop will revisit the relevant literature and concepts on play and link these with issues in politics, society and art in the contemporary scene and in the emergence of modernity.
We are inviting plenary and session papers that address the relationship of play to:
l work, economics and organisations
l politics, the public sphere and protest,
l culture, ritual and recreation,
l art, heritage, creativity and tradition.
Deadline for abstracts is Friday February 3rd.
Please feel free to contact the convenors earlier for consultation and information: www.politicalanthropology.com
Call for Papers: Fifth International Political Anthropology Workshop in Ireland
Play: The creation of culture and the modern world
24-25 February, 2012
Waterford Institute of TechnologyOrganised by the Department of Applied Arts, WIT, the International Political Anthropology journal and the School of
Sociology & Philosophy, University College Cork
Ted Lynch, Institute Librarian, shares his favourites with us this month.
Just when you thought it was safe . . . my favourites: Six films (I especially like films, but who doesnt?) and five pieces of music. I update my favourite books too often to tell you anything useful, but Ill tell you about some books Im reading at the moment - I keep a few on the go.
1. Jackie Brown (1997)
My favourite Tarantino film by a country mile. I can watch this any time. Its built around strong characters, slick dialogue, a gorgeous R&B sound track and a quirky plot that makes you pay attention.
2. Tully (2000)
This is a little gem that doesnt seem that well known. I think Julianne Nicholson
is very strong in this small town but universal drama.
3. Le vent souffle o il veut (1956)
The best prison break film I know. Crackles with intelligent tension and moral drama.
4. Fateless (2005)
Holocaust experienced by a young Hungarian boy. I prefer this treatment of the Holocaust to Spielbergs Schindlers List because, while powerful, it doesnt bully your emotions. Its also strangely uplifting and streets ahead of the stupid and mendacious Boy in Stripped Pyjamas.
5. Cal (1984)
Written by Bernard Mc Laverty. A beautiful and unusual modern Irish film in that it has a credible story and real emotional truth instead of absurd caricatures and overworked, phoney dialogue. OK!
6. Oliver! (1967)
Well, I like Leans and Polanskis Twists (1948 and 2005) almost as much. Polanski in particular has a genius for evocation but Lionel Blairs Oliver! is my earliest memory of watching a film at Christmas so its got tons of happy associations.
changes so often, but Anne Phelan has ordered me to list five favourites and I would not like to cross her! They dont need much commentary: they can be checked out on You Tube to see if you like them too - at home, needless to say
1. The Adagietto from Mahlers Fifth Symphony. No comment necessary.
2. If I Can Help Somebody (sung by Mahalia Jackson). Also no comment necessary.
3. Mache dich, mein Herze, rein, J.S. Bach. Like Shakespeare there is the world before and after Bach.
4. Guter Mond (sung by Rudi Schuricke). My dad liked German Schlager music from the thirties he used to get crackly records from a German customer. I always liked this old tune from (I think) Berlin.
5. Alternative Ulster by Stiff Little Fingers. Guilty pleasure. Exhilarating though.
So, Im reading Olga Grushins, The Dream Life of Sukhanov which is a novel about artists truth and inspiration. Im also reading Death in Breslau by Marek Krajewski which is a dark, dark detective thriller. I am completely absorbed in Professor Brendan Purcells new book, From Big Bang to Big Mystery. I like his style (engaging but not dumbed down) and his subject matter: it is the antidote to our mindless materialist assumptions about the origins of us and our world
Read it and start to wonder again!
The 30th Think outside the Box Awards competition was launched by Enterprise Ireland in November. This is a great opportunity for enterprising students to build a real-world business venture and be in with a chance to win a prize from the overall 30,000 cash prize fund and 30,000 consultancy fund, which includes a 10,000 first prize.
The Think outside the Box competition is open to all full-time third level students in Ireland. The priority is to get students thinking now about starting their own business as a viable career option once they graduate.
Features of the competition include a website, facebook page and podcasts. Students can come together and pool their ideas and energies. The facebook page features a team-up icon, so they can link with other students from their college interested in entering the competition. They can use facebook to talk to other students who have participated in previous student enterprise programmes and get their advice.
The closing date for the competition is Wednesday, 25th April 2012 and the final awards ceremony will be hosted in DCU on the 13th & 14th of June 2012.
For more information visit the website on www.thinkoutsidetheboxawards.com.
Student Enterprise Competition