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									                                                             AITLife	   Volume	3	Number	1	   1	   >




                                           Life
                                 Volume 3 | Number 1 | January 2011




AIT – FORTY YEARS A GROWIN’
A	look	back	at	the	significant	events	in	AIT’s	history	over	the	past	four	
decades

AN ARTS DEGREE FOR THE MODERN ERA
Fifty	years	since	Athlone	was	at	the	centre	of	a	literary	storm,	a	new	arts	
degree	combines	our	creative	heritage	with	our	communications	future

BREAKTHROUGH IN BATTLE AGAINST MRSA
Research	into	the	use	of	novel	pulsed	light	technology	in	the	fight	against	
hospital	infections	is	showing	positive	results

NEW INDOOR SPORTING ARENA
AIT’s	new	indoor	sports	arena	represents	a	major	investment	in	the	
educational	and	sporting	infrastructure	of	the	region


                                 www.ait.ie
>	   2	   AITLife	   Volume	3	Number	1




                                         Table of Contents
AITLife                                  3	   Welcome	from	the	President	    15	 AIT	Selects	Team	to	
Volume	3	Number	1                             of	AIT                             Participate	in	Newstalk	
                                                                                 Student	Enterprise	
AITLife                                  4	   AIT	–	Forty	Years	a	Growin’        Competition
Athlone	Institute	of	Technology
Dublin	Road                              6	   An	Arts	Degree	for	the	        16	 Focus	on	Alumni
Athlone                                       Modern	Era
Co	Westmeath                                                                 18	 AIT	Amongst	Top	Performing	
Tel	+	353	(0)90	646	8000                 7	   New	Degree	in	Tourism	and	         Colleges	for	Innovation	
Web	www.ait.ie                                Guest	Services	Management          Partnerships
                                         	    Smart	Thinking	in	Tourism      	   Knot	a	Problem!
Editor
Brian	Lynch                              8	   Engineers	Ireland	Accredits	   19	 Learning	the	Business	of	
Tel	+	353	(0)90	644	2595                      Civil	Engineering	Honours	         Sport
Email	brianlynch@ait.ie                       Degree
                                                                             	   Partnership	between	AIT	and	
Cover photograph                                                                 Allianz	Worldwide	Care
                                         9	   Novel	Means	of	Delivery	of	
Students	walking	in	the	link	                 Drugs	Being	Investigated	at	
corridor	towards	the	Business	                                               20	 Experience	of	Third-Level	
                                              AIT
School                                                                           Students	with	Disability	
                                         10	 AIT	Relaunches	its	Degree	in	       Published	in	Report
                                             Pharmaceutical	Sciences
                                                                             21	 Exploring	what	China	has	to	
                                         11	 New	Application	to	Reduce	          Offer
                                             Infection	in	Health	Care	
                                             Settings	Tested	at	AIT          22	 New	Indoor	Sporting	Arena:	
                                                                                 A	Major	Investment	for	AIT
                                         12	 Inside	the	Art	Collection
                                                                             23	 Ensuring	Winning	Ways
                                         14	 AIT	Recognises	Excellence	
                                             in	Business	among	Junior	
                                             Certificate	Students
                                                                                              AITLife	   Volume	3	Number	1	     3	   >




Welcome from the President
Recent months have offered little escape from an unrelenting diet of doom and gloom. It seems that
for every corner turned, there is an unpleasant surprise waiting to rob us of any creeping sense of
confidence. Despite the negativity, however, there is still much to be positive about in this country.
Not least in this counter narrative is the story of higher education and the impact which it is having
on many people’s lives.




Anyone	who	has	visited	our	campus	over	the	past	couple	
of	years	will	have	been	struck	by	the	changing	nature	of	the	
student	population.	Firstly,	there	are	more	students	here	than	
at	any	time	in	the	past.	Secondly,	the	student	population	is	
much	more	diverse	than	has	ever	been	the	case.	Over	20	
per	cent	of	our	students	is	classified	as	mature,	and	these	
‘returned’	learners	bring	with	them	an	experience	of	the	
workplace	that	is	to	the	benefit	of	all.	The	third	change	
is	in	relation	to	the	growing	population	of	international	
students	at	AIT.	This	number	has	been	increasing	steadily	
since	2000,	and	now	accounts	for	some	400	learners	drawn	
from	the	four	corners	of	the	globe.	In	tandem	with	this,	we	
are	offering	an	increasing	number	of	opportunities	for	our	
Irish	students	to	study	at	one	of	our	international	partner	
colleges.                                                       President of AIT, Prof. Ciarán Ó Catháin pictured with the Governor of
                                                                     TVTC, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Dr Ali Al-Ghafis
As	always,	each	spring	brings	with	it	the	pressure	of	college	
and	course	choices.	These	are	not	easy	decisions	to	make	
                                                                     Finally,	in	this	our	fortieth	year,	I	would	like	to	express	my	
and	it	is	understandable	that	prospective	students	and	their	
                                                                     personal	gratitude	to	all	those	who	have	supported	the	
parents/families,	guidance	counsellors	and	all	education	
                                                                     institute	since	our	foundation.	Countless	thousands	have	
professionals,	want	to	do	all	that	is	possible	to	make	sure	
                                                                     passed	through	these	halls,	each	contributing	in	their	own	
that	the	‘right’	decisions	are	made.	For	this	reason,	we	have	
                                                                     way	to	making	AIT	a	success	story	of	Irish	higher	education.	
focused	in	the	current	issue	of	AIT Life	on	some	our	new	
                                                                     Let	us	continue	to	make	history,	conscious	of	the	lasting	
and	innovative	degree	programmes.	These	represent	just	
                                                                     impact	of	the	work	that	we	do.
a	handful	of	the	courses	that	are	on	offer	through	the	
CAO,	but	I	hope	that	they	give	you	a	flavour	of	what	these	
                                                                     Beir	bua.
particular	programmes	entail.

There	is	obviously	much	else	here	besides,	including	a	look	
back	at	four	decades	of	AIT	in	the	Midlands,	information	
about	some	of	our	research	activity,	an	update	on	what	a	
                                                                     Professor	Ciarán	Ó	Catháin
number	of	our	graduates	are	doing,	and	a	look	ahead	to	the	
new	indoor	sports	arena.
>	   4	   AITLife	   Volume	3	Number	1




                             AIT – Forty Years a Growin’
                             Dr	Harman	Murtagh,	visiting	fellow	and	retired	law	lecturer,	retraces	in	brief	the	
                             history	of	Athlone	Institute	of	Technology




                             A         thlone	Institute	        At	the	outset	the	work	          and	honours	levels	and	
                                       of	Technology	           of	the	college	was	divided	      were	soon	widely	available.	
                                       began	life	in	1970	      between	three	departments,	      These	laid	the	foundation	
                             as	a	regional	technical	           tasked	with	the	provision	       for	awards	at	master’s	and	
                             college.	It	was	the	first	         of	a	suite	of	certificate	and	   doctoral	levels,	as	research	
                             to	open	of	a	dozen	such	           diploma	programmes	in	           activity	grew,	most	notably	
                             institutions	established	by	       the	disciplines	of	business,	    (but	not	exclusively)	in	
                             the	government	to	‘fill	gaps	      engineering	and	science.	The	    bioscience,	materials	and	
                             in	the	industrial	manpower	        structure	and	content	of	        software	engineering.	
                             structure,	particularly	in	        programmes	was	developed	
                             the	technician	area’.	Initially	   in	close	consultation	with	      Name Change
                             the	college	was	under	the	         industry	and	professional	       In	1998	these	developments	
                             management	of	the	County	          bodies.	Each	programme	          were	recognised	by	a	name	
                             Westmeath	Vocational	              was	then	validated	by	an	        change	to	Athlone	Institute	
                             Educational	Committee,	but	        expert	panel,	appointed	by	      of	Technology.	In	2004	
                             with	its	own	management	           the	National	Council	for	        the	Higher	Education	and	
                             board.	The	founding	director,	     Educational	Awards,	the	         Training	Awards	Council,	
                             Dr	David	Fenton,	brought	          body	that	also	appointed	        which	had	superseded	
                             great	drive	and	enthusiasm	        external	examiners	and	          NCEA	in	1999,	delegated	
                             to	his	task	and	laid	down	         conferred	qualifications.	       to	AIT	the	power	to	confer	
                             firm	and	enduring	quality	                                          its	own	HETAC-accredited,	
                             standards,	not	least	in	           Revised Structures               primary	degree	awards.	The	
                             the	maintenance	and	           As	the	college	grew	                 growth	in	student	numbers	
                             presentation	of	buildings	     and	matured,	these	                  and	the	proliferation	of	
                             and	grounds.	Additional	       early	arrangements	                  programmes	necessitated	
                             enhancement	was	provided	      were	gradually	replaced	             the	re-designation	of	the	
                             by	the	establishment	of	an	    by	revised	structures.	              three	original	departments	
                             art	collection	in	1975.        VEC	control	ended	in	                as	schools,	each	subdivided	
                                                            1993,	when	the	college	              into	a	number	of	
                             In	the	first	decade	student	   became	an	autonomous	                departments.	A	new	School	
                             numbers	grew	slowly,	but	      institution.	Administration	         of	Humanities	was	added	in	
                             in	the	1980s,	with	the	        was	strengthened	by	the	             2001.	
                             introduction	of	financial	     creation	of	the	offices	of	
                             support	from	the	European	 registrar,	financial	controller	         Growth	and	increased	
                             Social	Fund	and	increased	     and	head	of	development.	            specialisation	necessitated	
                             awareness	of	the	value	of	     Programmes	were	revised	             considerable	remodeling	
                             third-level	education	as	      and	laboratories	equipped	           and	enlargement	of	the	
                             preparation	for	a	worthwhile	 to	take	full	account	of	the	          original	1970	campus,	
                             career,	there	was	a	dramatic	 information	technology	               and	the	provision	of	new	
                             and	sustained	increase	in	     revolution.	While	the	               purpose-built	buildings	for	
                             enrolment,	bringing	the	       commitment	to	technical	             sport	and	recreation	(1991),	
                             current	student	body	to	       and	technological	education	         hospitality	studies	(2003),	
                             more	than	6,000.	Staff	        was	retained,	the	college	in	        nursing	and	healthcare	
                             numbers	at	all	levels	also	    many	areas	had	advanced	             (2005)	and	engineering	and	
                             increased	from	an	initial	     well	beyond	the	provision	           informatics	(2010).		Sports	
                             handful	to	a	current	total	of	 of	technicians.	Primary	             facilities	were	enhanced	by	
                             almost	700.	                   degree	programmes	were	              the	development	of	football	
                                                            introduced	at	ordinary	              pitches,	a	fitness	suite	and	
                                                                                              AITLife	   Volume	3	Number	1	    5	   >


the	addition	in	2008	of	a	
high-quality	athletics	arena	
that	immediately	became	
the	venue	for	the	national	
finals	of	the	HSE	Community	
Games.	Institute	teams	have	
enjoyed	many	successes.	
Student	services	were	put	in	
place	or	improved,	including	
library,	IT,	dining,	chaplaincy,	
counselling,	catering,	health,	
disability	support,	peer	
mentoring	and	careers.	A	
social	centre	was	built.

The	institute	was	again	
fortunate	in	its	second	
director,	now	president,	
Professor	Ciarán	Ó	Catháin.	
An	acknowledged	expert	on	
the	management	of	change,	
he	brought	both	energy	and	
adeptness	to	the	institute’s	
never-ending	engagement	
with	the	processes	of	
renewal,	modernisation	and	
development.	One	of	his	
most	successful	initiatives	
has	been	to	increase	the	
enrolment	of	overseas	                scholars	of	Clonmacnois,	         cohort	comes	from	the	
students,	especially	Chinese,	        Oliver	Goldsmith,	the	3rd	        midlands.	The	institute	also	
who	now	approach	ten	per	             Earl	of	Rosse,	Douglas	Hyde	      provides	a	range	of	part-
cent	of	the	full-time	student	        and	John	Count	McCormack	         time	adult	and	continuing	
cohort.                               is	acknowledged	on	the	           education	programmes,	
                                      campus.	The	presence	of	          evening	and	daytime,	to	
Regional Role                         the	institute	is	a	significant	   facilitate	students	who	are	
AIT	has	always	emphasized	            engine	of	economic	growth	        at	work.	The	demand	for	
its	regional	obligations.	The	        in	the	region	and	a	stimulus	     these	programmes	has	
achievement	of	famous	                to	investment.	Approximately	     continued	to	grow,	reflecting	
midlanders,	such	as	the	              half	its	full-time	student	       a	greater	awareness	of	the	
                                                                        value	of	lifelong	learning.	
                                                                        In	2005	a	dedicated	facility	         Dates for the
                                                                        for	collaborating	with	                  Diary
                                                                        high-potential,	start-up	
                                                                        businesses	was	opened	
                                                                        on	campus,	making	
                                                                        available	the	resources	and	
                                                                                                            11 February 2011
                                                                                                            Fortieth anniversary
                                                                        expertise	of	the	institute	to	
                                                                                                            black tie dinner
                                                                        support	client	companies.	
                                                                        In	numerous	ways,	staff	
                                                                        and	graduates	have	                 29 March 2011
                                                                        contributed	enormously	to	          Distinguished
                                                                        the	economic,	social	and	           fellowship conferral
                                                                        cultural	life	of	the	region	        ceremony
                                                                        and	participated	in	its	
                                                                        contribution	to	national,	and	
                                                                        indeed	international,	life.
Group of catering supervisors, 1975
>	   6	    AITLife	   Volume	3	Number	1




An Arts Degree for the Modern Era
Dr Marian Fitzgibbon
Head of School of Humanities




I
     t	will	be	50	years	in	2011	           Unique as an Arts Degree                     Employers	have	highly	commended	
     since	Athlone	was	thrown	into	        The	BA	in	Society	and	                       the	skill	set	provided	by	this	BA	saying	
     the	literary	spotlight	with	the	      Communications	can	claim	to	be	              that	it	will	improve	the	quality	of	new	
publication	of	John	Broderick’s	The        unique	as	an	arts	degree	in	that	            entrants	to	the	workforce	and	will	
Pilgrimage	which	was	banned	by	the	        as	well	as	covering	many	of	the	             provide	them	with	smart,	adaptable,	
Censorship	Board.	Broderick	is	just	one	   traditional	strengths	of	broad-based	        cultured	and	socially	adept	people	who	
of	a	number	of	artists	whose	works	        courses	aimed	at	the	development	            will	be	an	asset	in	any	number	of	roles.	
will	feature	in	the	new	BA	(Hons)	         of	graduates	with	strong	transferable	       The	skill	set	also	corresponds	strongly	
in	Society	and	Communications,	to	         skills,	those	accepted	on	the	course	        with	those	recently	projected	by	Forfás	
commence	in	AIT	in	September	2011.		       will	also	benefit	from	the	practical	        and	other	state	agencies	as	vital	to	
                                           orientation	more	commonly	associated	        economic	recovery.
The	Midlands	has	not	figured	in	the	       with	the	education	provided	by	
literary	or	artistic	pantheon	in	the	same	 institutes	of	technology.	Graduates	
way	as	the	West	of	Ireland,	but	AIT	is	    will	be	highly	polished	in	all	aspects	        Surf directly to the web page for this
determined	that	the	graduates	of	this	     of	communication,	expert	in	the	               degree using the QR code below
innovative	new	BA	programme	will	          use	of	the	new	social	media,	trained	
be	conversant	with	the	writers,	film-      in	problem	solving	and	team	work,	
makers	and	artists	who	have	shaped	        exposed	to	the	psychology	of	
their	own	area,	from	Goldsmith	in	         interpersonal	relations	and	especially,	
the	18th	century	to	the	new	talents	       grounded	through	practical	experience	
of	artists	like	Ken	Wardrop,	director	     of	the	workplace	by	virtue	of	an	
of	the	highly	acclaimed	His & Hers.	       extensive	placement	element	in	the	
This	appreciation	will	help	to	inculcate	 third	year	of	the	programme.	They	will	
confidence,	pride	and	a	sense	of	          also	benefit	from	the	highly	favourable	       > AL055 Bachelor of Arts
community	in	the	Midlands	heritage,	       staff-student	ratio	of	the	IoT	sector	and	     (Honours) in Society and
elements	which	have	long	been	lacking	 will	thus	be	less	likely	to	suffer	the	fate	       Communications
in	the	less	favoured	Border,	Midlands	     of	many	university	arts	students	who	
and	West	(BMW)	region	and	which	are	 can	lose	their	way	in	overly	large	class	
regarded	as	fundamental	to	innovation,	 groups.		
social	and	economic	revival.
                                                                                        AITLife	   Volume	3	Number	1	   7	   >



NEW DEGREE IN
TOURISM AND
GUEST SERVICES
MANAGEMENT
Successive	reports	have	pointed	to	the	importance	of	
management	training	in	the	tourism	industry	in	Ireland.	
AIT	has	a	very	important	role	to	play	in	the	education	and	
training	of	future	managers	for	the	tourism	and	hospitality	
industry	in	the	Midlands	and	further	afield.	The	Department	
of	Hospitality,	Tourism	and	Leisure	Studies	is	introducing	
a	new	three-year	BA	in	Tourism	and	Guest	Services	
Management,	which	will	commence	in	September	2011.

This	programme	builds	on	key	strengths	of	the	department	
where	expertise	and	strong	synergies	in	tourism/hospitality,	
sport,	recreation	and	leisure,	have	been	developed	over	
the	years.	The	department	already	offers	a	number	of	
niche	programmes	in	spa	management	and	in	hotel	and	
leisure	management.	Additionally,	it	meets	the	needs	of	local	
industry	by	providing	a	number	of	day-release	initiatives.	
Coupled	with	this,	the	department	has	strong	links	with	
industry	through	its	extensive	programme	of	placements.

The	Bachelor	of	Arts	in	Tourism	and	Guest	Services	
Management	(Level	7)	will	give	students	the	knowledge,	
skills	and	competencies	necessary	for	employment	
in	management	and/or	support	positions	in	the	front	
office,	hospitality	and	tourism	industry.	It	also	opens	up	
opportunities	for	further	academic	study	in	this	or	related	
areas.	

This	programme	provides	a	modern,	academically	rigorous	
                                                                    SMART THINKING IN
and	industry	relevant	educational	experience.	The	scope	                TOURISM
of	the	programme	covers	customer	service,	operations,	
and	management	of	tourism	resources,	enterprises	and/
or	resorts	in	a	modern	dynamic	business	environment.	            On	15	June,	AIT	will	host	the	annual	Tourism	Hospitality	
This	new	course	is	creative	and	has	taken	cognisance	            Research	in	Ireland	Conference	(THRIC).	The	theme	of	the	
of	developments	in	the	industry,	education	and	student	          conference	this	year	is	‘Smart	thinking	in	tourism’.
diversity.
                                                                 The	conference	will	explore	a	variety	of	sub-themes,	
                                                                 including	business	management,	SMTEs	including	family-
  Surf directly to the web page for this degree using the QR     run	tourism	and	hospitality	businesses,	e-tourism,	tourism	
  code below                                                     partnerships	and	networking,	the	new	tourism	consumer	
                                                                 and	destination	brand	management	and	tourism	marketing.

                                                                 The	keynote	speaker	is	Melanie	Smith,	Associate	Professor	
                                                                 at	Corvinus	University,	Budapest.	Her	address	will	focus	on	
                                                                 the	development	of	more	creative	and	experiential	forms	of	
                                                                 tourism,	with	an	emphasis	on	niche	forms	of	tourism.


  > AL045 Bachelor of Arts in Tourism and
  Guest Services Management                                      thric.ait@gmail.com	       	        #thric.ait
>	   8	    AITLife	    Volume	3	Number	1




Engineers Ireland Accredits
Civil Engineering Honours Degree

E
        ducation	in	civil	        was	developed	in	2006	as	        Accord	–	a	major	                Hanley,	Head	of	School	of	
        engineering	received	     a	two-year	add-on	to	the	        international	agreement	         Engineering,	commented:	
        a	timely	boost	with	      existing	level	7	programmes	     covering	mutual	recognition	     ‘This	is	a	proud	day	for	
the	news	that	AIT’s	Bachelor	     offered	by	the	Department	       of	third	level	engineering	      not	only	the	Department	
of	Engineering	(Honours)	         of	Civil,	Construction	          qualifications	–	and	thus	       of	Civil,	Construction	and	
in	Civil	Engineering	             &	Mineral	Engineering.	          offers	greater	employment	       Mineral	Engineering,	but	for	
programme	has	received	full	      Notwithstanding	the	well-        potential	to	graduates.          the	School	of	Engineering	
accreditation	from	Engineers	     publicised	current	downturn	                                      and	the	institute	as	a	whole.	
Ireland.	This	recognition	from	   in	construction	and	related	     New Faculty Building             It	puts	the	programme	
the	professional	body	deems	      professions,	this	particular	    The	announcement	of	the	         on	a	par	with	universities	
successful	graduates	from	        course	is	going	against	         achievement	of	accreditation	 and	ensures	worldwide	
the	course	to	have	achieved	      national	trends	in	increasing	   from	Engineers	Ireland	comes	 professional	recognition.	It	
the	educational	requirement	      its	student	numbers	year	on	     hot	on	the	heels	of	the	move	 will	provide	our	gradates	
necessary	for	the	title	          year.	From	seven	students	in	    by	the	School	of	Engineering	 with	even	more	confidence	
‘Chartered	Engineer’	and	is	      2006,	there	are	currently	33	    to	a	brand	new	state-of-the-     that	their	qualifications	will	
a	significant	milestone	in	the	   students	enrolled	full-time	     art	10,500sq.	m.	dedicated	      be	recognised	by	employers	
delivery	of	civil	engineering	    on	the	programme.	               faculty	building.	The	lecturing	 both	at	home	and	abroad.	
education	in	the	midlands	                                         and	laboratory	facilities	       Particular	thanks	is	due	
region.	                          International Recognition        offered	in	this	new	home	        to	the	programme	leader,	
                                  This	recognition	from	           for	engineering	are	among	       Dr	Paul	Archbold	and	all	
The	granting	of	the	              Engineers	Ireland	is	            the	finest	in	the	country	       the	staff	involved	in	the	
accreditation	is	for	a	five-      particularly	important	          and	facilitate	world	class	      development	and	delivery	of	
year	term	and	will	also	apply	    to	graduates	in	times	of	        teaching	and	research,	a	fact	   this	programme.’
retrospectively	to	graduates	     increasing	competition	for	      acknowledged	by	the	visiting	
from	the	course	since	2008.       jobs	in	Ireland.	Moreover,	      panel	from	Engineers	Ireland. The	Department	of	Civil,	
                                  this	offers	international	                                        Construction	and	Mineral	
The	BEng	(Honours)	in	            recognition	worldwide	           Welcoming	the	                   Engineering	has	developed	
Civil	Engineering	degree	         through	the	Washington	          announcement,	Austin	            considerably	in	recent	years	
                                                                                              AITLife	    Volume	3	Number	1	        9	     >


and	currently	offers	programmes	
in	civil	engineering	and	
                                          NOVEL MEANS OF DELIVERY OF
construction-related	disciplines	at	
all	levels,	from	higher	certificate	up	
                                          DRUGS BEING INVESTIGATED
to	Master’s	and	PhD.                      AT AIT
Fergal	Sweeney,	Head	of	
Department,	hopes	that	the	
announcement	will	encourage	
prospective	students	to	consider	
civil	engineering	and	construction	
programmes	when	deciding	on	
their	college	options	despite	
recent	negative	coverage	of	the	
industry.

He	said:	‘Civil	engineers	and	
construction	professionals	will	
always	be	required	in	order	to	
design,	construct	and	manage	
infrastructural	developments,	
which	are	necessary	in	any	
functioning	society.	A	qualification	
in	civil	engineering	or	construction	     An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen TD, is pictured at the opening of Freund Pharmatec’s European hub in
                                          Tullamore last year. Also pictured are representatives of the company, the IDA and AIT’s President,
management	can	prepare	
                                          Prof. Ó Catháin.
graduates	for	successful	careers	
within	the	industry	or	in	other	
chosen	fields.	Further,	highly	                                 Improving Patient Care
qualified	professionals	will	
contribute	substantially	to	the	          Research	at	AIT	into	novel	means	of	        Dr	Nugent	explained:	‘If	a	person	is	
government’s	feted	knowledge	             delivery	of	drugs	has	the	potential	        suffering	from	a	medical	condition	and	
economy	through	direct	industry	          to	make	treatment	of	patients	more	         the	doctor	prescribes	drugs,	this	drug	
involvement	and	through	carrying	         effective	and	reduce	unpleasant	side	       will	be	a	higher	concentration	than	
out	cutting	edge	research.	Here	          effects.                                    required	because	the	body	will	break	
at	AIT,	we	can	offer	internationally	                                                 down	the	drug	before	it	reaches	its	
recognised	taught	programmes	at	          Principal	investigator	Dr	Michael	Nugent	 target.	Targeted	drug	delivery	means	
all	levels	and	are	well-positioned	to	    is	currently	leading	a	collaborative	       that	the	drug	concentration	can	be	at	
build	on	our	current	status	as	one	       research	project	between	AIT	and	           lower	levels	and	the	treatment	can	be	
of	the	prime	research	institutes	in	      Freund	Pharmatec	to	develop	a	              more	effective.	Lower	concentrations	of	
the	civil	engineering	domain.’            commercially	viable	drug	release	system.	 drugs	means	a	reduction	in	unpleasant	
                                          The	project	is	part-funded	by	Enterprise	 side	effects.’
                                          Ireland.
  Surf directly to the web page for                                                   Freund	Corporation	is	the	leading	
  this degree using the QR code           According	to	Dr	Nugent:	‘The	smart	         pharmaceutical	equipment	supplier	in	
  below                                   economy	needs	smart	materials;	AIT’s	       Japan,	employing	over	300	people	in	
                                          technology	can	be	defined	as	smart	in	      Japan	and	the	US.	Freund	Pharmatec	
                                          the	sense	that	it	reacts	in	a	distinctive	  opened	its	new	European	hub	in	
                                          manner	to	diverse	situations.	In	much	      Tullamore,	Co	Offaly	in	2010,	with	
                                          the	same	way	as	plants	open	and	            the	creation	of	25	high	quality	jobs.	
                                          close	their	leaves	with	changing	light	     The	primary	focus	of	the	jobs	
                                          conditions,	we	can	manipulate	our	          created	in	Tullamore	is	in	new	drug	
                                          materials’	behaviour	in	different	parts	of	 delivery	technologies	and	clinical	trial	
                                          the	body.	This	has	applications	in	terms	   manufacturing,	as	well	as	a	number	
  > Bachelor of                           of	drug	delivery	technology	and	builds	     of	positions	in	marketing/sales	of	
  Engineering (Honours)                   on	the	know-how	and	expertise	present	 pharmaceutical	equipment	and	
  in Civil Engineering                    in	both	AIT	and	Freund	Pharmatec.’          excipients.
>	   10	   AITLife	    Volume	3	Number	1




                AIT Relaunches its Degree in
                Pharmaceutical Sciences
                James Roche
                Lecturer, Department of Life and Physical Science




T
          he	PharmaChem	industry	is	          •	 Uncover	the	challenges	faced	daily	
          undoubtedly	Ireland’s	most	            by	industry	scientists	and	present	          A Case Study
          valuable	and	stable	industrial	        solutions,	as	well	as	methodologies	   Would Aspirin Pass Muster
sector.	It	had	exports	of	€42	billion	in	        to	apply	the	optimal	experimental	              Today?
2009	and	employed	more	than	25,000	              designs	to	address	such	challenges
directly,	with	a	similar	number	in	support	   •	 Accept	applications	from	holders	      In an early expression of ethno-
roles.	With	eight	of	the	top	ten	global	         of	appropriate	Level	6	and	Level	7	    pharmacology, a version of aspirin
PharmaChem	companies	located	here,	              awards	for	entry	to	year	3	and	year	   was extracted from the bark of
the	industry	has	an	ongoing	demand	for	          4	as	appropriate                       the willow in medieval times for
graduates,	frequently	offering	starting	                                                use as a painkiller. But this form
salaries	of	c€28,000.	Based	on	the	           Learn answers to fundamental              was overly acidic for many uses
increasing	demand	for	graduates	who	          questions such as:                        and a more benign version is now
are	qualified	in	pharmacology,	biological	
                                        •	 Why	are	some	drugs	addictive	and	            chemically synthesized since the
sciences	and	chemistry,	Athlone	Institute	 others	create	no	such	dependency?            late 1890s. Aspirin is a widely used
of	Technology	(AIT)	has	revamped	       •	 How	are	drugs	named?                         analgesic (painkiller) and also has
its	honours	degree	in	pharmaceutical	   •	 What	does	strength	or	potency	               antipyretic (fever reducing) and
sciences.                                  mean?                                        anti-inflammatory properties.
                                        •	 How	is	aspirin	made?                         Despite its longevity and simplicity
The	BSc	(Honours)	in	Pharmaceutical	    •	 How	is	it	made	into	a	tablet	or	             (it is structurally one of the smallest
Sciences	will	now:                         other	dosage	form?                           drugs), it continues to surprise and
•	 Feature	novel	student-centred	       •	 How	does	aspirin	differ	from	                was recently cited to have certain
    teaching	approaches                    ibuprofen	or	paracetamol?                    anti-cancer (colon) effects, to go
•	 Integrate	teaching	with	the	         •	 How	does	aspirin	know	where	to	              with earlier reports of anti-stroke
    research	activity	of	AIT	and	          go	after	the	patient	swallows	it?            properties. It is something of an
    industry	researchers                •	 If	I	take	aspirin	for	a	headache	or	         anachronism in that many experts
•	 Utilise	new	state-of-the-art	           my	Gran	takes	it	for	rheumatism	in	          in toxicology would agree that were
    laboratory	facilities                  her	leg	does	the	painful	place	call	it	      aspirin to be discovered today, it
•	 Comprehensively	impart	all	aspects	     to	its	site?	                                would possibly fail to satisfy the
    of	product	development	activities	  •	 How	is	it	tested	and	certified	for	          strict safety criteria laid down and
•	 Impart	hands-on,	life-long	skill	       safety?                                      requiring to be satisfied prior to
    sets	in	synthesis,	formulation	and	 •	 Why	are	some	other	therapies	so	             drug approval.
    analysis	of	all	pharmaceutical	        expensive?
    ingredients
                                                                                      AITLife	   Volume	3	Number	1	     11	   >


AIT’s	BSc	(Hons)	in	Pharmaceutical	
Sciences	will	comprehensively	equip	
                                           New Application to Reduce
graduates	from	the	course	with	the	
technicial,	analytical	and	supervisory	
                                           Infection in Health Care
skills	required	to	meet	the	challanges	    Settings Tested at AIT
to	the	Irish	multinational	and	SME	
pharmaceutical	sector	over	the	
coming	decade	and	beyond.	This	
course	is	unique	in	providing	an	          A	collaborative	research	team	from	         Researchers	tested	the	response	of	a	
integrated	platform	for	the	study	of	      Athlone	Institute	of	Technology	(AIT)	      variety	of	germs,	including	MRSA,	to	
the	preparation	and	fate	of	drugs	in	      and	National	University	of	Ireland,	        the	pulsed	power	technology	under	
the	body.                                  Galway	(NUIG)	have	tested	a	pulsed	         fixed	conditions	in	a	lab.	This	provided	
                                           light	approach	that	could	disinfect	and	    a	good	baseline	against	which	they	
                                           sterilise	medical	instruments,	devices	     could	test	how	the	germs	responded	
What Career Paths are Open
                                           and	surfaces.	                              to	pulsed	light	under	different	physical,	
for Graduates of Pharmaceutical                                                        chemical	and	biological	conditions.
Sciences?                                  This	is	the	first	time	such	a	
Previous	graduates	are	currently	          technology	has	been	applied	in	a	           There	was	a	rapid	and	repeated	
conducting	PhD	and	MSc	research	in:        healthcare	setting.	It	is	particularly	     reduction	of	all	germs	on	contact	
•	 Pharmacognosy	                          effective	at	killing	MRSA	strains.          surfaces	and	in	the	air	in	comparison	
•	 Forensic	anthropology                                                               to	conventional	disinfection	methods.	
•	 Formulation	development                                                             The	team	went	on	to	discover	that	
•	 Pharmaceutical	analysis                                                             once	treated	with	the	pulsed	power	
                                                                                       germs	were	not	able	to	infect	human	
They	are	also	in	full-time	employment	                                                 cell	lines.
as:
•	 Synthetic	chemists                                                                  This	technique	has	major	potential	
•	 Active	pharmaceutical	ingredient	                                                   as	a	method	of	sterilisation	and	
    characterisation                                                                   disinfection	in	hospital	settings.	
•	 Preformulation	screening                                                            According	to	Dr	Rowan:	‘It	could	help	
•	 Chromatographic	scientists                                                          to	prevent	infection	which	would	
•	 Toxicology	and	bioanalytical	                                                       impact	positively	on	patient	outcomes	
    specialists                                                                        and	reduce	costs	associated	with	the	
                                                                                       consequences	of	treating	infection.’	

  Surf directly to the web page for this
  degree using the QR code below


                                           According	to	the	director	of	the	
                                           biomedical	and	health	science	
                                           research	group,	Dr	Neil	Rowan,	
                                           “The	growing	prevalence	of	hospital-
                                           acquired	infections	increases	the	
                                           need	to	examine	new	approaches	to	
  > AL053 Bachelor of                      sterilise	and	disinfect.	While	pulsed	
  Science (Honours) in                     light	has	been	used	before	as	a	means	
  Pharmaceutical Sciences                  of	decontaminating	food,	packaging,	
                                           air	and	water,	it	was	never	applied	        The	research	project	is	funded	by	
                                           in	the	health	care	setting.	This	is	a	      the	Health	Research	Board	and	is	
                                           significant	development	and	a	major	        profiled	in	the	current	issue	of	Picture
                                           public	health	research	project.”	           of Health 2010,	which	has	just	been	
                                                                                       published	and	can	be	accessed	at	
                                           Pulsed-power	technologies	are	a	            www.hrb.ie.
                                           new	approach	to	targeted	delivery	of	
                                           energy.	They	can	use	that	energy	as	a	
                                           light	or	gas	in	order	to	kill	germs.
>	   12	   AITLife	    Volume	3	Number	1




W
             ith	over	170	works	by	           observer,	while	posing	–	at	every	turn	
             modern	Irish	artists,	Athlone	   –	intellectual,	aesthetic	and	sensual	
             Institute	of	Technology	         challenges	to	those	who	choose	to	
has	the	largest	art	collection	of	any	        look	more	closely.	
institute	of	technology	in	the	country.	

                                                                                         Inside the Ar
Established	in	1975,	the	collection	has	      Amongst	the	largest	and	most	striking	
been	generously	supported	by	the	             works	are	the	external	sculptures:	
Arts	Council’s	joint-purchase	scheme,	        Eileen	McDonagh’s	limestone	Allegory	
the	government’s	per-cent-for-art	            and	John	Behan’s	totemic	metal	Fish.	
programme,	and	private	and	corporate	         Major	interior	works,	commissioned	
                                                                                         Dr	Harman	Murtagh,	visiting	fello
donors,	including	AIT	Students’	Union.        through	open	competition,	include	         collection
                                                  Douglas	Mooney’s	light-
                                                   responsive	glass	and	steel	
                                                   sculpture	Dichroic planes,	
                                                   James	Hayes’	three-
                                                    part	hanging	sculpture	
                                                    Sierpinski’s growth	in	the	
                                                    new	Engineering	and	
                                                    Informatics	Building	and	
                                                     Alice	Maher’s	Landmark,	
                                                     a	giant	golden	axe	
                                                     buried	in	the	wall	of	the	
                                                     Hospitality,	Tourism	and	
                                                     Leisure	Studies	Building.	

                                                     Painters	represented	
                         The	stark,	          include	Barry	Cooke,	with	
modernist	interiors	of	the	institute’s	       a	somber	and	introspective	
main	buildings	offer	an	ideal	hanging	        Sleeping figure,	Martin	Gale	
space	that	is	particularly	hospitable	        with	three	iconic	oils,	The
to	contemporary	art.	The	collection	          artichoke window,	Outback	
is	methodically	integrated	into	the	          and	a	rare	interior,	Armchair
institute’s	bustling	and	crowded	             traveller,	and	the	technically	
environment,	offering	colour	and	             accomplished	Carey	Clarke,	
visual	stimulation	to	the	most	casual	        with	the	atmospheric	and	
                                              beautiful	June morning
                                              Bourgougnague Lot-et-
                                              Garonne.	Louis	le	Brocquy,	
                                              now	in	his	ninety-fifth	year,	
                                              is	represented	by	essential	
                                              images	of	our	greatest	writers	
                                              –	his	‘head’	series	-	including	
                                              Joyce,	Synge,	Yeats	and	
                                              Beckett.	Urban	landscapes	are	
                                              provided	by	such	works	as	
                                              John	Doherty’s	brilliantly	crisp	
                                              Angles,	Donal	Teskey’s	multi-
                                              faceted	and	expressionist	
                                              Polling day	and	Bernadette	
                                              Madden’s	delicately	coloured	
                                              batik,	Lower Baggot Street.	

                                              Other	important	artists	represented	
                                              include	George	Campbell,	Robert	
                                              Ballagh,	Constance	Short	(whose	work	
                                              here	incorporates	a	poem	handwritten	
                                              by	its	author,	Paul	Durcan),	Mick	O’Dea	
                                                                              AITLife	   Volume	3	Number	1	     13	     >


                             (whose	portrait	of	Micheal	Ó	Siadhail	
                             also	incorporates	a	
                             poem	by	the	sitter),	
                             William	Crozier,	Colin	
                             Middleton,	Charles	


rt Collection
                             Harper,	Jane	O’Malley,	
                             Patrick	Harris,	Jaqueline	
                             Stanley,	Paul	Funge,	Felim	
                             Egan,	James	Hanley,	the	
ow	and	curator	of	the	art	   explosively	gifted	Michael	
                             Mulcahy	and	the	brilliant	
                                        printmaker,	the	
                                        late	Mary	Farl	
                                        Powers.	What	
                                        enlivens	this	
                                        by-no-means	exhaustive	list	
                                        is	the	opportunity	to	see	           A	revised	edition	of	The Modern Irish
                                        work	by	rarely	seen	painters	        Art Collection,	a	catalogue	of	AIT’s	
                                        such	as	Rosaleen	Davey	–	the	        art	collection,	edited	by	Dr	Harman	
                                        pastel	called	Maternity	is	a	fine	   Murtagh	and	Kate	Bateman	will	be	
                                        example	of	her	metaphysical	         published	in	February	2011.
                                        style.	There	is	also	a	large	
                                        print	called	Cumulus	by	
                                        Brendan	Neiland,	former	
                                        Keeper	of	the	Royal	Academy	
                                        in	London.	Up	and	coming	
                                        artists	include	Paul	Doran,	
                                        Mark	O’Kelly	and	Corban	
                                        Walker.

                                        Amongst	the	pictures	on	loan	
                                        from	Luke	Whitington	is	a	
                                        large	Construction	by	Neil	Gall,	
                                        recently	re-hung	in	the	new	
                                        Engineering	Building.

                                        Local	professional	artists	
                                        are	also	represented	in	the	         Image credits:
                                        collection:	Michael	Casey,	          Centre:	Outback	by	Martin	Gale
                                        Anna	Marie	Leavy,	Margo	             Top	left:	Poppies II	by	William	Crozier
                                        McNulty,	Sheila	Hough,	Anne	         Bottom	left:	Aphrodite figure by Yannis	
                                        Rigney	and	Maree	Bannon.	            Soutvatzogolou
                                                                             Top	right:	Untitled	by	Paul	Doran
                                         Recent	additions	to	the	
                                         collection	include	Pauline	
                                         Bewick’s	sensual	Visual
                                         translation of Brian Merriman’s
                                         The Midnight Court,	Yannis	
                                         Soutvatzogolou’s	sculpture	
                                        Aphrodite figure	donated	in	
                             memory	of	Caoimhe	Feerick-Ryan,	
                             a	student	who	died	tragically	in	a	
                             motor	accident,	and	six	works	by	Sean	
                             Fingleton,	formerly	on	loan	to	IMMA,	
                             and	now	generously	lent	to	AIT	by	Mr	
                             Whitington.
>	   14	    AITLife	     Volume	3	Number	1




 AIT Recognises Excellence in Business
   among Junior Certificate Students




Students from Athlone Community College:
Back Row Jack Quilty (Athlone Credit Union), Louise Connolly (Teacher), John Finnerty, Dermot Donnelly, Robert, Eastwood, Laura Finneran, Chris-
topher Chong, Niamh Campbell, Sorcha Mc Manus, Caoilainn Scouler, Claire Connaughton, Eileen Donohoe (Principal), David Keane, Rebecca
Wilson, Kellie Sheriff
Front Row: Luke Fannon, Azeez Adagun, Shane Lennon, Fiachra Lennon, Niamh Watson, Mairead Mulry, Aoife Coyle, Aine Brennan, Caroline Dowl-
ing, Conal Sheeran, Brian Murphy, Rory O Sullivan, Eoin Langan




T
         hree	year	ago,	AIT’s	       schools	with	194	students.	          At	the	ceremony,	Head	of	            commended	the	students	
         Business	School	            The	occasion	has	been	very	          the	Department	of	Business	          on	their	achievements.	She	
         introduced	the	             successful	with	positive	            Studies,	Peter	Melinn,	said	         spoke	about	the	value	and	
Junior	Certificate	Awards,	          feedback	for	all	involved.           that:	‘In	congratulating	the	        importance	of	studying	
an	initiative	that	recognises	       Guest	speaker	at	the	2010	           award	recipients,	AIT	also	          business	at	second	level	and	
academic	excellence	                 ceremony	was	Brenda	                 wishes	to	acknowledge	the	           how	it	offered	the	potential	
in	Junior	Certificate	               Shanahan,	winner	of	the	             part	played	in	their	success	        for	exciting	and	rewarding	
examinations	for	second	             first	series	of	The Apprentice	      by	parents	and	guardians,	           careers.
level	students.	Students	            on	TV3.	Drawing	on	her	              other	family	members	and	
who	received	an	A	grade	             business	experience,	                the	teachers	who	guided	             According	to	Edel	Daly,	
in	the	Business	Studies	             Brenda	spoke	about	the	              their	learning	and	helped	           a	student	at	Moate	
(Higher)	subject	in	the	Junior	      importance	of	motivation	            to	motivate	the	students	            Community	College:	‘I	was	
Certificate	are	recognised	at	       and	taking	the	initiative	           towards	their	achievement	           very	happy	to	receive	the	
a	special	awards	ceremony	           in	order	to	be	successful.	          in	the	business	studies	             Junior	Cert	Business	Studies	
hosted	by	the	institute.		           Originally	from	Portumna,	           exam.’	He	hoped	the	                 Award	from	AIT,	as	I	have	
                                     Co	Galway,	she	studied	              excellent	result	which	the	          an	interest	in	the	subject,	
In	the	first	year,	25	schools	       front	office	management	             students	gained	in	the	Junior	       and	am	considering	a	career	
and	118	students,	together	          in	AIT	in	the	early	nineties,	       Certificate	would	‘inspire	          in	business	when	I	finish	
with	their	parents,	business	        before	entering	the	world	           them	to	continue	to	do	their	        school.	On	the	night	of	
studies	teachers	and	school	         of	employment	with	a	                best	and	fulfil	their	potential	     the	awards,	guest	speaker	
principals	attended	the	             Galway	hotel.	Having	won	            in	the	years	ahead’.                 Brenda	Shanahan	talked	of	
awards	ceremony	and	were	            the	popular	business	skills	                                              her	own	experiences	and	
presented	with	a	scroll/             competition	in	2008,	Brenda	         The	President	of	the	                the	hard	work	needed	to	
certificate	of	achievement.	         is	now	Chief	Operations	             Business	Studies	Teachers	           be	successful.	I	also	found	
In	2010,	that	number	had	            Director	with	Bill	Cullen’s	         Association	of	Ireland,	             out	about	the	facilities	and	
risen	to	40	participating	           Glencullen	Group.                    Mary	O’Sullivan,	also	               courses	AIT	has	to	offer.’
                                                                                       AITLife	   Volume	3	Number	1	       15	   >



                                                                   AIT SELECTS TEAM
                                                                   TO PARTICIPATE IN
                                                                   NEWSTALK STUDENT
                                                                   ENTERPRISE
                                                                   COMPETITION
                                                                   Following	the	local	final	of	the	Newstalk	Student	
                                                                   Enterprise	Competition	at	AIT,	a	team	of	students	has	
                                                                   been	chosen	to	represent	the	institute	at	the	national	
                                                                   semi-final	of	the	competition	in	February.	
Students from St Mel’s, Longford
Back row: Damien Cunningham (Principal), Mark Neville, Dermot      The	students	that	make	up	the	winning	team	are	Nikita	
Brady, Hugh Farrell, Matt Hynes (Business Studies Teacher), Eoin
                                                                   Dementiev,	Ellen	Rodekuhr,	Inken	Rodekuhr	and	Ardan	
Langan
                                                                   Hennessy.	The	four	students	are	all	undertaking	the	
Front row: Stephen Mc Loughlin, Brenda Shanahan and Daniel
Sullivan                                                           Bachelor	of	Business	(Honours)	degree.	Nikita	and	
                                                                   Ardan	had	both	attended	secondary	school	at	St	Finian’s,	
                                                                   Mullingar,	while	twins	Ellen	and	Inken	attended	Cnoc	
 The	full	listing	of	schools	who	participated	in	2010	is:          Mhuire	Secondary	School	in	Granard.
 Cavan:	Bailieborough	Community	College;	Royal	                    Now	in	its	fifth	year,	the	competition	is	designed	to	
 School,	Cavan;	and	Loreto	College,	Cavan.                         develop	an	understanding	of	business	management	and	
                                                                   promote	early-stage	entrepreneurship	among	third	level	
 Galway:	Árdscoil	Mhuire,	Ballinasloe;	Gort	Community	             students.	Using	a	case	study	format,	the	competition	
 School;	Holy	Rosary	College,	Mountbellew;	Mercy	                  encourages	participants	to	research	companies	and,	
 College,	Woodford;	Portumna	Community	School;	                    as	part	of	a	team,	devise	solutions	to	real	life	business	
 Presentation	College,	Athenry;	Presentation	College,	             scenarios.	
 Tuam;	St	Brigid’s	Vocational	School,	Loughrea;	St	
 Brigid’s,	Convent	of	Mercy,	Tuam;	St	Jarlath’s	College,	          During	the	local	final,	each	team	received	the	same	
 Tuam	and	St	Killian’s,	New	Inn,	Ballinasloe.                      case	study	for	which	they	had	to	develop	a	solution.	
                                                                   The	team	then	had	to	give	a	30	minute	presentation	
 Longford:	Cnoc	Mhuire	Secondary	School,	Granard;	                 on	their	solutions	to	a	panel	of	judges.	The	judging	
 Lanesboro	Community	College;	Meánscoil	Mhuire,	                   panel	was	comprised	of	local	business	people,	as	well	as	
 Longford;	and	St	Mel’s	College,	Longford.                         representatives	from	AIT’s	Business	School
 Offaly:	Árd	Scoil	Chiaráin	Naofa,	Clara;	Banagher	                The	overall	prize	for	the	winning	team	and	its	team	coach	
 College/Coláiste	na	Sionna;	Coláiste	Naomh	Cormac,	               is	a	study	trip	to	the	Caribbean	where	they	will	shadow	
 Kilcormac;	Gallen	Community	School,	Ferbane;	Killina	             senior	executives	in	leading	telecommunications	company,	
 Presentation	Secondary	School,	Rahan;	Sacred	Heart	               Digicel	Group.
 School,	Tullamore;	and	St	Brendan’s	Community	
 School,	Birr.

 Roscommon: Abbey	Community	College,	Boyle;	
 Castlerea	Community	School;	CBS,	Roscommon;	
 Convent	of	Mercy,	Roscommon	and	Scoil	Mhuire,	
 Strokestown.

 Westmeath: Athlone	Community	College;	Coláiste	
 Mhuire,	Mullingar;	Loreto	College,	Mullingar;	Marist	
 College,	Athlone;	Moate	Community	School;	Our	
 Lady’s	Bower,	Athlone;	St	Aloysius	College,	Athlone;	St	
 Joseph’s	College,	Summerhill;	St	Joseph’s	Secondary	
 School,	Rochfortbridge;	and	Wilson’s	Hospital	School,	
 Multyfarnham.                                                      Nikita Dementiev, Ellen Rodekuhr, Inken Rodekuhr and
                                                                    Ardan Hennessy
>	   16	    AITLife	    Volume	3	Number	1




Focus on ...

AIT alumni are entitled to free
and automatic membership
of the alumni association and
are also able to apply for a
dedicated AIT credit card and
discounted health insurance.



                                                                                              ... Alumni
                                                                                      www.facebook.com/aitalumniassociation



CHRIS MOLLOY                      celebrity	restaurant	owned	         ALAN                             African	asset	management	
                                  by	film	director	Guy	Ritchie.	                                       company,	working	in	both	
Culinary Arts                                                         REYNOLDS
                                                                                                       their	Dublin	and	Cape	
                                                                      Accounting and Finance
                                  Having	won	the	National	                                             Town	offices	which	gave	me	
                                  Skills	Competition,	as	a	                                            superb	experience	in	terms	
                                  student,	Chris’	first	job	                                           of	fund	administration	and	
                                  after	graduating	was	in	The	                                         accounting	operations.	
                                  Wineport	restaurant	in	
                                  Glasson,	Westmeath.	Next	                                           ‘At	that	stage	of	my	
                                  up	was	Derry	Clarke’s	                                              career,	I	decided	I	wanted	
                                  Michelin	star	restaurant	in	                                        to	concentrate	solely	
                                  Dublin,	L’Ecrivain;	after	which	                                    on	financial	reporting.	I	
                                  he	moved	to	London	and	                                             then	joined	J.P.	Morgan	
                                  worked	for	Gordon	Ramsey,	                                          Bank	Ireland	as	a	financial	
From	his	childhood	days,	         at	just	the	age	of	23.                                              reporting	associate	and	
Banagher’s	Chris	Molloy	was	                                                                          have	been	promoted	in	
                                                                      Alan	Reynolds	graduated	
passionate	about	cooking.	        He	then	took	a	job	in	                                              successive	years	to	my	
                                                                      with	an	honours	degree	
Having	served	an	early	           Maze,	another	Michelin	                                             current	position	of	assistant	
                                                                      in	accounting	and	finance	
apprenticeship	helping	his	       restaurant,	and	also	worked	                                        manager	in	the	financial	and	
                                                                      from	AIT.	After	taking	a	
mother	to	bake	scones,	           at	Arsenal	FC’s	Diamond	                                            regulatory	reporting	team.	
                                                                      break	from	studying	for	a	
when	it	came	to	making	           Club.	Throughout	these	                                             Working	with	J.P.	Morgan,	
                                                                      number	of	years,	he	decided	
a	choice	about	where	to	          stints,	Chris	was	building	a	                                       in	a	financial	reporting	
                                                                      to	pursue	the	ACCA	
attend	college,	AIT	was	          reputation	as	a	top-class	                                          team	with	vast	industry	
                                                                      qualification.	He	outlines	his	
top	of	the	list.	He	studied	      chef,	so	it	was	little	surprise,	                                   and	technical	knowledge,	
                                                                      career	and	what	having	an	
the	three-year	culinary	          when	a	restaurant	of	the	                                           I	have	gained	excellent	
                                                                      accounting	qualification	has	
arts	course,	from	which	          calibre	of	The	Punchbowl	                                           experience	across	an	array	
                                                                      meant:
he	graduated	in	2004	with	        wanted	him	to	head	their	                                           of	international	clients,	legal	
distinction	and	won	the	          kitchens.	                                                          structures	and	accounting	
                                                                      ‘I	commenced	my	career	
student	of	the	year	award.	                                                                           conventions,	engaging	with	
                                                                      in	a	small	to	medium	sized	
                                  Chris’	long-term	ambition	                                          our	many	stakeholders	in	
                                                                      practice,	and	having	spent	a	
That	passion	and	drive	has	       is	to	open	up	his	own	                                              delivering	a	best	in	class	
                                                                      year	there,	decided	I	would	
served	Chris	well,	as	he	has	     restaurant,	while	he	says	                                          service	to	our	clients.’
                                                                      prefer	to	pursue	a	career	
now	risen	to	the	role	of	         that	he	wouldn’t	refuse	the	
                                                                      in	the	financial	services	
head	chef	at	The	Punchbowl	       chance	to	do	his	own	TV	
                                                                      industry.	I	spent	three	
in	Mayfair,	London,	the	          show.	
                                                                      years	with	a	leading	South	
                                                                                             AITLife	   Volume	3	Number	1	      17	   >


KELSEY McEVOY                                 DAVID BRAY                                     MAEVE BERRY
Veterinary Nursing                            Civil Engineering                              Business and Languages




Kelsey	McEvoy,	a	graduate	of	the	BSc	           Civil	engineering	graduate	and	Meath	        According	to	public	relations	
in	Veterinary	Nursing	and	the	BSc	              man,	David	Bray,	was	one	of	those	           professional,	Maeve	Berry,	she	‘loved’	
(Hons)	in	Agricultural	Studies	at	AIT	          involved	in	the	building	of	the	M3	          her	three	years	in	AIT.	‘It	gave	me	great	
was	successful	in	the	Irish	Research	           motorway	through	his	native	county.	         grounding	for	life	–	the	campus	was	
Council	for	Science,	Engineering	and	           The	inter-county	footballer	says	he	         fantastic	and	student	accommodation	
Technology	(IRCSET)	‘Embark	Initiative’	        was	just	one	member	of	a	big	group	of	       the	most	superior	to	any	other	
Postgraduate	Scholarship	scheme	2010.           engineers,	surveyors,	technicians	and	       colleges	that	I	had	visited.	A	cliché,	but	
                                                trades	people	involved	in	one	of	the	        I	made	friends	for	life,	and	the	clubs	
Kelsey	is	currently	undertaking	doctoral	 largest	infrastructure	projects	in	Ireland.	       and	societies	were	so	proactive	that	
research	into	how	to	stop	a	particular	                                                      it	made	integration	into	student	life	–	
bacteria	(Cronobacter	malonaticus)	             One	of	the	more	satisfying	aspects	of	       for	someone	that	didn’t	know	anyone	
from	causing	disease,	under	the	                a	road	engineer’s	job,	he	says,	is	seeing	   when	first	attending	–	very	easy.
supervision	of	Dr	Damien	Brady,	Dept	 how	something	can	be	transformed	
of	Life	and	Physical	Science	at	AIT.            from	a	plan	on	paper	to	the	finished	        ‘Not	knowing	what	path	to	follow	after	
                                                article.	                                    I	finished	my	diploma,	it	was	one	of	
This	bacteria	is	most	often	found	                                                           my	lecturers	in	AIT	who	introduced	
in	powdered	milk	formulas	used	to	              David	is	employed	by	Roadstone,	the	         me	to	the	world	of	public	relations.	
feed	infants	and	causes	very	serious	           company	charged	with	putting	the	            As	our	classes	were	smaller,	it	allowed	
problems	such	as	meningitis,	and	               finished	tar	surface	on	the	M3	from	         lecturers	to	really	get	to	know	students’	
infection	can	cause	death.	The	bacteria	 Dunshaughlin	as	far	as	Clonee,	including	           strengths	and	weaknesses.	Studying	
works	by	infecting	cells	in	the	intestines	 numerous	side	roads	and	roundabouts.	            under	her	in	the	marketing	stream	
and	then	travels	to	the	brain	or	other	                                                      of	the	course,	she	recognised	that	
parts	of	the	body.	                             According	to	David,	‘There	are	three	        my	forte	was	in	marketing	and	more	
                                                or	four	technicians	who	work	with	me	        specifically	PR	(a	term	or	career	I	had	
Kelsey	is	researching	how	to	find	a	way	 and,	basically,	we	give	the	lads	the	levels,	       never	heard	of!).
of	stopping	the	bacteria	from	invading	         they’ll	come	behind	us	and	bring	it	up	
the	intestinal	cells,	cutting	it	off	before	it	 with	each	layer	of	tar,.’                    ‘It	was	then	the	career	guidance	
can	even	begin	to	cause	disease.                                                             department	of	the	college	that	guided	
                                                Before	coming	to	work	for	Roadstone	         me	on	my	academic	path	to	eventually	
Kelsey,	who	is	from	Athy,	Co	Kildare,	          four	years	ago,	David	worked	for	            completing	a	Master’s	in	public	relations	
graduated	with	a	first	class	honours	           Meath	County	Council.	Never	one	who	         and	now,	six	years	after	leaving	AIT,	I	
degree,	BSc	in	Veterinary	Nursing,	and	         envisaged	working	in	an	office,	David	       run	a	successful	PR	company	which	
received	the	best	student	award,	a	             enjoys	working	outdoors,	playing	his	        services	clients	all	over	Ireland.’
prize	sponsored	by	Bayer.                       part	in	overcoming	various	logistical	
                                                problems	posed	by	such	a	challenging	
IRCSET’s	‘Embark	Initiative’	supports	          venture.	
basic	research	in	the	broad	areas	of	
science,	engineering	and	technology.	
>	   18	   AITLife	    Volume	3	Number	1



                                                                                              KNOT A
                                                                                             PROBLEM!


                                                                                         The	majority	of	enquiries	to	
                                                                                         AIT’s	Midlands	Innovation	and	
                                                                                         Research	Centre	(MIRC)	come	
                                                                                         from	entrepreneurs	and	companies	
                                                                                         looking	to	undertake	collaborative	
                                                                                         research.

                                                                                         However,	a	group	of	Transition	
                                                                                         Year	students	from	St	Wolstans	
                                                                                         Community	School,	Celbridge	
                                                                                         brought	their	business	idea	to	
                                                                                         Athlone,	when	they	contacted	the	


Innovation News
                                                                                         MIRC	about	a	proposal	for	a	device	
                                                                                         that	would	detangle	tight	knots.	

                                                                                         According	to	the	students,	the	pen-

AIT AMONGST TOP
                                                                                         knife	shaped	device	would	open	
                                                                                         knots	in	items	such	as	shoelaces,	
PERFORMING COLLEGES FOR                                                                  necklaces	and	earphone	wires.	

INNOVATION PARTNERSHIPS                                                                  When	the	students	visited	Athlone	
                                                                                         in	November,	they	met	with	MIRC	
                                                                                         manager,	Michael	Lonergan,	as	well	
AIT	has	been	named	in	the	top	three	         committed	to	undertaking	research	
                                                                                         as	with	Ann-Marie	Durkan	(founder	
institutes	of	technology	participating	in	   that	delivers	genuine	benefits	for	
                                                                                         of	Shasta),	Dr	James	Kennedy	and	
the	Innovation	Partnership	Programme	        industry	partners	and	the	State.	
                                                                                         Conor	Hayes	from	the	Materials	
(IPP)	from	2007	to	2010.                     AIT	has	a	long	track	record	in	R&D	
                                                                                         Research	Institute	at	AIT.
                                             collaborations	and	this	partnership	
Details	released	by	Enterprise	Ireland	      approach	continues	to	deliver	benefits	
                                                                                         James	and	Conor	discussed	the	
show	that	AIT	came	in	joint	second	          in	these	challenging	times.’
                                                                                         students’	design	with	them	and	
place	with	DIT,	have	completed	nine	
                                                                                         proposed	ways	of	improving	it.	The	
projects	over	the	past	four	years.	WIT	      Three	innovation	partnerships	were	
                                                                                         students	also	got	to	see	some	of	
topped	the	institute	of	technology	          undertaken	in	Athlone	in	2010	up	from	
                                                                                         the	high-tech	machines	used	in	the	
ranking	with	14	projects	completed	          one	in	2009	and	two	in	2008.	Three	
                                                                                         institute	for	prototyping.	
over	the	period.                             IPPs	were	also	undertaken	in	2007.
                                                                                         After	the	meeting,	the	students	
According	to	Breda	Lynch,	Industry	          The	Innovation	Partnership	Programme	
                                                                                         realised	that	a	design	change	was	
Programmes	Manager	in	AIT’s	Office	          encourages	Irish-based	companies	to	
                                                                                         necessary	as	the	original	proposal	
of	Research:	‘This	is	an	impressive	         work	with	Irish	third	level	colleges	to	
                                                                                         was	too	complex	and	would	cost	
performance	in	difficult	economic	           access	their	expertise	and	resources	to	
                                                                                         too	much.	In	collaboration	with	
times	given	that	the	programme	is	           develop	new	and	improved	products,	
                                                                                         Conor,	the	group	decided	on	a	new	
part-funded	by	the	collaborating	            processes,	services,	and	generate	new	
                                                                                         design	and	Conor	proceeded	to	
companies.	It	reflects	the	confidence	       knowledge	and	know-how.	
                                                                                         make	a	prototype.	The	final	device	
the	participating	companies	have	in	
                                                                                         features	one	pointed	end	and	one	
the	applied	nature	of	the	work	by	the	       Enterprise	Ireland	provides	grants	of	up	
                                                                                         hooked	end	and	is	attached	to	a	
research	community	at	AIT.’                  to	80	per	cent	towards	eligible	costs	of	
                                                                                         key-ring.	
                                             the	research	project.	
AIT’s	President,	Professor	Ciarán	Ó	
                                                                                         So,	‘Knot	a	Problem’,	remember	
Catháin,	said	that:	‘The	institute	is	
                                                                                         where	you	heard	of	it	first!
                                                                                        AITLife	   Volume	3	Number	1	    19	   >



LEARNING THE
BUSINESS OF
SPORT
A	group	of	19	students	are	
currently	completing	their	first	
semester	on	a	new	Certificate	in	
Sports	Administration	for	camogie	
administrators	at	AIT.

The	ten-week	course	introduces	
participants,	who	are	drawn	from	club	
and	county	administrative	positions	
in	the	Camogie	Association,	to	the	
principles	and	practices	of	administering	
a	sports	club	with	particular	reference	
to	assisting	the	development	of	the	
Camogie	Association.                       O’Flynn,	said:	‘Our	administrators	have	     that	people	need	to	access	third	level	
                                           identified	a	need	for	training	to	us	as	     education	in	a	manner	that	suits	their	
Course	participants	are	covering	          an	association.	This	course	provides	a	      professional	and	personal	lifestyles.	
a	number	of	topics	including	an	           fantastic	opportunity	to	those	intending	    We	are	offering	an	increasing	number	
introduction	to	financial	management;	     to	improve	their	existing	skills	and	        of	flexible	programmes	in	Athlone	
ethics	and	legal	issues	in	sports	         knowledge	in	their	roles	while	also	         that	reflect	the	needs	of	learners	and	
administration;	introduction	to	training	 receiving	a	recognised	qualification	         organisations.’
and	methods	of	instruction	skills	and	     from	AIT	–	one	of	the	country’s	
leadership	and	management	skills.	The	     leading	institutes	for	sports	and	related	   Course	participant,	Belinda	Dooley	
certificate	is	a	level	six	single	module	  programmes.’                                 from	Padraig	Pearse’s	Club	in	
award	on	the	National	Framework	of	                                                     Roscommon,	added:	‘This	course	has	
Qualifications.                            AIT	President,	Professor	Ciarán	Ó	           been	absolutely	fantastic.	It	has	been	
                                           Catháin,	noted	that	the	programme	           a	great	experience	to	meet	and	learn	
Speaking	about	the	Certificate	in	         reflected	the	institute’s	commitment	        with	fellow	members	of	the	camogie	
Sports	Administration,	President	          to	the	flexible	delivery	of	higher	          community	from	all	over	the	country.’	
of	the	Camogie	Association,	Joan	          education.	‘AIT	has	long	recognised	



PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN AIT AND
ALLIANZ WORLDWIDE CARE
The	Department	of	Business	Studies	at	AIT	is	to	undertake	       support	our	growing	business	and	to	meet	future	challenges.	
a	substantial	workplace	learning	partnership	with	Alliance	      Conscious	of	our	competency	model,	it	incorporates	
Worldwide	Care	(AWC),	Parkwest,	Dublin.	The	Diploma	in	          Allianz	Group’s	Global	Talent	Management	Strategy	and	
Leadership	programme	has	been	co-developed	in	response	          emphasises	Performance	Management	and	Development.	
to	a	request	from	Allianz	Worldwide	Care	who	specialise	         It	reaffirms	and	enhances	our	commitment	to	Excellence	
in	providing	international	health	insurance	for	employees,	      Through	People	Standards.	All	participants	are	high	potential	
individuals	and	their	dependants.	                               professionals	eager	to	make	a	greater	impact	as	a	manager.’	

The	programme	will	be	delivered	on-site	and	on	completion	 Head	of	the	Department	of	Business	Studies	at	AIT,	
participants	will	receive	a	Level	8	60	credit	Special	Purpose	 Peter	Melinn	added:	‘The	Level	8	Special	Purpose	
Award	in	Leadership.	                                          Award	is	a	professional	qualification	with	a	syllabus	that	
                                                               comprehensively	covers	all	aspects	of	the	participant’s	role	
Commenting	on	the	programme,	Claire	Cusack,	Head	of	           and	is	based	around	practical	experience	and	reflective	
Human	Resources	and	Training	in	AWC,	said	‘This	unique	        practice.	We	are	delighted	to	work	with	AWC	in	this	
programme	enables	Allianz	Worldwide	Care	to	develop	           substantial	work	place	learning	project.’
leaders	and	ensure	we	have	the	right	people	in	place	to	
>	   20	    AITLife	    Volume	3	Number	1




Experience of Third-Level Students
with Disability Published in Report
M
            ore	than	three-        text,	text-to-speech	and	      are	completing	the	courses	       Assessment	&	Resource	
            quarters	of	           mind	mapping	software.	        at	a	greater	rate;	they’re	       Centre	was	established	
            college	students	      Specialised	hardware	used	     getting	as	good	if	not	better	    in	2007	under	the	
with	a	disability	or	specific	     in	the	colleges	includes	      first	and	second	class	           Strategic	Innovation	Fund	
learning	difficulty	use	           dictaphones,	reading	pens	     honours	degrees.	This	is	a	       (SIF).	Since	its	opening,	
technology	to	help	them	           and	talking	dictionaries.      really	important	message	         the	partners	have	
with	their	situation.	The	                                        for	employers	who	want	           collaboratively	developed	
finding	is	contained	in	a	      The	Ascent	project	aims	to	       the	best	employees.	They	         and	improved	screening,	
report,	Assessment & Support    increase	the	participation	       want	the	best	and	students	       assessment,	learning	
Services for Students with      and	retention	of	students	        with	disabilities	can	deliver	    support,	examination	
Specific Learning Difficulties,	with	specific	learning	           the	best.	In	fact,	they	often	    accommodations,	inclusive	
launched	recently	in	the	       difficulties	at	third	level.	     bring	a	broader	way	of	           teaching	and	learning	and	
Ascent	Regional	Assessment	     This	is	achieved	through	         thinking,	more	resilience	and	    assistive	technology	services	
&	Resource	Centre,	AIT.         the	provision	of	assessment	      problem-solving	because	          for	students.
                                services	and	research	to	         that	has	been	their	life	and	
The	students	use	a	             inform	and	support	the	use	       college	experience.’              The	SIF	2-funded	REACH	
combination	of	specialised	     of	interventions	for	students.	                                     project	builds	upon	the	
assistive	technology	(AT),	     The	project	partners	are	         Patricia	Kearney,	Disability	     earlier	work	by	promoting	
as	well	as	general	purpose	     the	five	higher	education	        Liaison	Officer	at	AIT,	said	     the	progression	of	students	
technology,	such	as	Microsoft	 institutions	in	the	Border,	       that	‘The	greater	use	of	         with	disabilities	and	specific	
Word	and	Adobe.	Two-            Midland	and	West	(BMW)	           inclusive	technologies	within	 learning	difficulties	to	higher	
thirds	of	students	use	the	     region:	AIT,	GMIT,	IT	Sligo,	     the	teaching	environment	         education	through	the	
technology	on	a	daily	basis,	   LyIT	and	NUIG.                    means	that	education	is	          transfer	of	expertise	and	
with	three-quarters	using	                                        now	much	more	accessible	         resources	from	third	level	
the	assistive	technology	most	 Ann	Heelan,	Executive	             for	all	students.	Facilities	for	 to	second	level	and	further	
frequently	at	home.	Fifty-nine	 Director	of	AHEAD	                students	with	disabilities	and	 education	colleges.	The	
per	cent	of	learners	use	the	 (Association	for	Higher	            specific	learning	difficulties	   project	provides	teacher	
AT	least	frequently	in	class.   Education	Access	and	             are	integrated	to	a	much	         training	in	student	needs	
                                Disability),	said:	‘Students	     greater	extent	within	            assessment,	and	advice	
Amongst	the	assistive	          with	disabilities	across	the	     mainstream	teaching,	and	this	 and	support	in	the	use	
technologies	used	at	           country	are	doing	as	well	        is	a	positive	development.’       of	assistive	technology	by	
third	level	are	voice	          as	other	students	where	                                            students	in	second	level	and	
recognition,	speech-to-         they	get	the	support.	They	       The	Ascent	Regional	              further	education.	
                                                                                         AITLife	   Volume	3	Number	1	   21	     >




A
        s	the	third	largest	
        country	in	the	world	                                                                             CHINA:
        and	with	a	population	                                                                             SOME
exceeding	1.3	billion,	it	is	                                                                           INTERESTING
universally	agreed	that	China	
                                                                                                       INFORMATION
is	a	major	global	player.	
Over	the	past	ten	years,	
                                                                                                     The Chinese year is based
AIT	has	established	a	series	
                                                                                                     on the cycles of the
of	strategic	partnerships	
                                                                                                     moon. A complete cycle
and	agreements	with	some	
                                                                                                     of the Chinese calendar
of	the	country’s	leading	
                                                                                                     takes 60 years. The
teaching	and	research	
                                                                                                     Chinese calendar dates
universities.
                                                                                                     back to 2600 BC and is
                                                                                                     the oldest known calendar.
One	of	the	most	recent	
                                                                                                     Each year is represented
to	be	signed	was	with	
                                                                                                     by an animal.
the	Capital	University	of	
Economics	and	Business	
                                                                                                     Red is considered a lucky
(CUEB),	a	state	university,	
                                                                                                     colour in China. At one
located	in	Beijing,	with	a	
                                                                                                     time, wedding dresses
current	enrolment	of	some	
                                                                                                     were red. New Year’s
20,000	students.	CUEB	
                                                                                                     banners, clothing, and
offers	undergraduate	and	
                                                                                                     lucky money envelopes are
postgraduate	programmes	
                                                                                                     still red.
in	economics,	management,	
law,	literature,	science	and	
                                                                                                     Ten-year-old children are
engineering.
                                                                                                     expected to know 2,000
                                                                                                     of the over 40,000 written
One	of	the	benefits	of	
                                                                                                     Chinese characters. By
the	new	agreement	for	
                                                                                                     the time Chinese students
AIT	students	is	that	they	
                                                                                                     leave college, they know
can	complete	a	semester	

                                    Exploring what
                                                                                                     4,000 to 5,000 characters.
or	summer	programme	
                                                                                                     Each character is learned
at	CUEB	specialising	in	a	
                                                                                                     by looking at it and
number	of	different	areas.	


                                   China has to Offer
                                                                                                     memorising it. Unlike the
The	programme	options	
                                                                                                     26 letters of alphabet,
are:	the	Chinese	language,	
                                                                                                     words cannot be sounded
China’s	economy	and	
                                                                                                     out letter by letter.
development,	Chinese	
culture	and	Chinese	
                                                                                                     In 1979, three years after
calligraphy,	martial	arts	and	
                                                                                                     Mao’s death, a one-child
culinary	arts.                   studying	on	the	Bachelor	of	       decade,	with	some	400	           policy was introduced to
                                 International	Business	at	AIT.		   students	from	overseas	          reduce China’s burgeoning
The	Business	School	is	                                             currently	attending	the	         population. This policy is
currently	assessing	interest	    In	June	2010,	a	delegation	        institute.	Since	the	launch	     still in effect today.
from	students	in	studying	       from	AIT,	accompanied	             of	the	government’s	Asia	
Mandarin	as	part	of	their	       by	representatives	from	           strategy	in	1999,	AIT	has	       China is 8 hours ahead of
full-time	programme	             CUEB	met	with	President	           been	active	in	developing	       Irish time.
of	studies	at	AIT.	The	          McAleese	at	the	Irish	             links	with	universities	in	
Department	of	Adult	and	         Consulate	in	Shanghai,	as	         China	and	has	partnerships	      The Chinese currency is
Continuing	Education	            part	of	her	state	visit	to	the	    with	higher	education	           the Chinese yuan.
successfully	launched	a	         country.	                          institutions	in	Beijing,	
part-time	programme	in	the	                                         Shanghai,	Dalian,	Nanjing,	      Mandarin is the main
Chinese	language	in	2010.	       AIT	has	experienced	               amongst	others.                  language. There are a
                                 a	significant	growth	in	                                            number of dialects in
There	are	currently	five	        international	student	                                              China.
students	from	CUEB	              numbers	over	the	past	
>	   22	   AITLife	    Volume	3	Number	1




New Indoor Sporting Arena:
A Major Investment for AIT




A
         IT’s	new	indoor	         the	existing	athletics	track.	    volleyball,	badminton	and	       including	rainwater	
         sports	arena	            In	addition,	the	complex	         multiple	other	sports.	It	too	   harvesting	and	high	degrees	
         represents	a	            will	house	changing	room	         will	have	spectator	seating	     of	insulation.	The	main	
significant	investment	in	the	    facilities,	a	gymnasium,	high-    for	1,500	persons,	which	        athletics	arena	is	naturally	
educational	and	sporting	         performance	training	rooms,	      can	be	increased	to	3,500	       lit	to	reduce	running	costs,	
infrastructure	of	the	            a	recovery	suite,	medical	        spectators	in	concert	setting.   with	lights	used	rarely.	
Midlands.	With	construction	      centre	and	support	rooms.                                          The	auditoria	are	naturally	
work	due	to	commence	in	                                            The	building	will	primarily	     ventilated,	and	the	preferred	
the	spring,	it	is	planned	that	   The	indoor	athletics	track	       comprise	a	palette	of	           ambient	temperature	of	a	
the	new	facility	will	open	in	    and	field	auditorium	             three	high	quality	materials:	   sports	centre	–16	degrees	–	
early	2012,	just	in	time	to	      comprises	a	200m-banked	          Portland	concrete	panel	         facilitates	the	lowest	possible	
attract	athletes	competing	in	    running	track,	spectator	         (similar	to	Athlone	Civic	       energy	use	for	a	building	of	
the	London	Olympics.              seating	for	1,500	persons,	as	    Centre),	green	copper	panel	     this	type.	The	building	will	be	
                                  well	as	an	elevated	athlete	      and	thermally	broken,	solar	     fully	accessible	for	persons	
The	12,000m2	building	            warm-up	area	with	an	80m	         glare-reducing	double	glazing.   with	disabilities.
comprises	three	distinct	         sprint	track.	The	separate	
areas:	a	6-lane	athletics	arena,	 multipurpose	indoor	sports	       The	building	incorporates	       Further	information	can	be	
a	multi-sport	arena,	and	         auditorium	will	cater	for	        all	accepted	passive	and	        accessed	at	
an	outdoor	stand	to	serve	        basketball,	futsal;	as	well	as	   sustainable	technology,	         www.ait.ie/campus.
                                                                                             AITLife	   Volume	3	Number	1	   23	   >




Ensuring Winning Ways
Gordon	Brett,	Sports	and	Recreation	Manager,	reflects	on	positive	sporting	times	for	AIT	teams




W
             hen	it	comes	to	college	                                                       Under	the	scheme,	approximately	
             sporting	facilities,	few	                                                      30	full	and	half	scholarships	are	
             campuses	in	Ireland	can	                                                       awarded	each	year,	up	to	the	value	of	
boast	of	an	infrastructure	as	fine	as	is	                                                   €4,800	over	four	years.	The	2009/10	
available	at	AIT.	Having	invested	€2.5	                                                     scholarship	recipients	included	Paul	
million	in	an	IAAF-approved	athletics	                                                      Harte	(Buccaneers	RFC	AIL	Division	1	
track	and	a	FIFA	2-star	astro-turf	pitch	                                                   &	Irish	Colleges),	Ray	Galligan	(Cavan	
in	recent	years,	the	institute	now	has	its	                                                 senior	footballer),	Neil	Harney	(St	
sights	firmly	set	on	upgrading	its	indoor	                                                  Patrick’s	Athletic	and	former	Irish	
facilities.                                                                                 schools	player),	Gary	Connaughton	
                                                                                            (former	All-Star	and	Westmeath	senior	
That	reputation	has	positioned	the	                                                         footballer),	and	Aisling	Egan	(Irish	
institute	as	the	venue	of	choice	for	                                                       colleges	soccer	and	Bealnamulla	FC).
the	HSE	Community	Games	National	
Finals,	the	Celtic	Games,	as	well	as	
numerous	other	sporting	codes	and	
events.	The	institute	is	the	current	         At	the	elite	level,	AIT	students	and	
Irish	Rugby	Colleges	Union	Division	1	        graduates	are	to	be	found	representing	
champions	and	was	a	semi-finalist	in	         their	country	on	the	Olympic	stage,	
last	year’s	Sigerson	Cup.                     competing	in	the	Airtricity	League,	
                                              participating	in	the	GAA	All-Ireland	
It	is	worth	pointing	out,	however,	that	      series,	playing	for	their	province	in	the	
despite	a	major	focus	being	placed	           Heineken	Cup	and	winning	the	Irish	
on	the	sporting	headline-makers,	             Open.	That	is	an	impressive	legacy	and	
AIT	caters	for	all	levels	of	sporting	        indicates	the	supportive	environment	
interest	and	ability,	from	the	occasional	    and	professional	assistance	which	is	
participant	to	the	international	             available	in	Athlone	to	help	sportsmen	
competitor.	One	of	our	core	objectives	       and	women	achieve	their	very	best.
is	to	have	as	many	people	as	possible	
participating	in	sporting	activity,	because	 An	attractive	sports	scholarship	              For further information about
the	health	benefits	to	individuals	and	to	 scheme	is	also	on	offer	in	AIT	for	              sporting opportunities at AIT contact
society	in	general	are	incalculable.         students	who	have	reached,	or	have	the	        the Sports Office on tel 090 644 2565
                                             potential	to	reach,	a	very	high	standard	      or by email to gbrett@ait.ie.
                                             of	performance	in	their	chosen	sport.	




                                      Champions of the Irish Rugby Colleges Union Division 1 2010
>	   24	   AITLife	   Volume	3	Number	1

								
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