News In Brief

L&H Team reaches World Debating Semi Finals

Auditor of the Literary and Historical Society, Christine Simpson and debating partner Michael O’Dwyer, reached the semi finals of The World Universities’ Debating Championships 2012, which was held at De La Salle University, Manila, in which 396 teams competed. This is the first time an Irish team has progressed so far in the competition in over a decade.

“Over the course of the tournament we debated a variety of topics across the spectrum of social policy, economics, politics, and international relations,” explains Simpson.

The motion debated on for the semi final was “This House Believes That Images Designed to Even Slightly Sexually Attract/Arouse Viewers Should be Restricted to Specialist Adult Shops/.XXX domains.”

Speaking of the team’s performance in the tournament, Simpson stated that “we are thrilled with our success. It’s an honour to represent the Society and University at an international level and to be able to direct attention towards the strength of Irish debating, especially within the L&H and UCD.”

The society plans to send more teams to the championships again next year, when it will be taking place in Berlin.

Four academics awarded UCD Honorary Degrees

Irish novelist, Joseph O’Connor; Italian novelist, Andrea Camilleri; Irish-American novelist, Mary Gordon; and journalist and broadcaster, Olivia O’Leary have all been awarded honorary degrees of Doctor of Literature from University College Dublin.

Joseph O’Connor is author of the much-praised novel, Star of the Sea, the first in a trilogy which has placed the author in high esteem amongst contemporary Irish writing circles. “Some of the happiest years of my life were spent as a student in UCD,” says O’ Connor, “so I am deeply grateful and honoured by this homecoming.”

Andrea Camilleri’s best known works are his Inspector Montalbano detective novels, which have been translated into numerous languages and sold millions of copies worldwide.

“Mary Gordon is among America’s most admired prose writers. I have long since marvelled at both the scale and depth of her fiction” said James Ryan, lecturer at the UCD School of English, Drama and Film, who read the citation at the ceremony. Gordon’s works include: Final Payments, The Company of Women, The Other Side, and The Love of My Youth.

Olivia O’ Leary is one of Ireland’s most well respected journalists and commentators. Her speech at the National Convention Centre to honour the Queen’s visit has been highly praised by many as an accurate summation of national feeling.

APC wins NovaUCD 2011 Start-Up Award

APC Ltd, a new pharmaceutical research and technologies company, has won the NovaUCD 2011 Start-Up Award.

APC provides pharmaceutical processing technologies whose products allow its clients to reduce the risk, cost, and time to market for new and existing pharmaceutical medicines.

The company was founded last year by Dr Mark Barrett and Professor Brian Glennon as a spin-out from the UCD School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering. APC already boasts a number of the top ten pharmaceutical companies in the world as its clients.

Speaking about the companies that participated in last year’s NovaUCD Campus Company Development Programme (CCDP), UCD Vice-President for Innovation, Professor Peter Clinch, said that, “These ventures will in time also lead to the generation of highly-skilled employment opportunities and I am delighted to see that APC, the overall winner, plans to generate twenty such jobs by 2013.”

The NovaUCD CCDP, which is supported by Enterprise Ireland, has been run annually since 1996. HPSU Department Manager, Life Sciences, John O’Dea, has stated that “Enterprise Ireland looks forward to supporting the success of this year’s participants and assisting them to realise their full commercial potential.”

185 new ventures and 290 individuals have now completed the NovaUCD Campus Company Development Programme.

Newman Building and James Joyce Library undergoing renovations

The renovations currently taking place in the Newman Building are, according to a University spokesperson, part of its ongoing refurbishment: “It has been envisaged that the construction of a major atrium entrance sited between the Newman and library buildings could provide an appropriate joint entrance to both buildings as well as enhanced circulation and public engagement spaces.

“In anticipation of the commencement of the project, a master-planning exercise is currently underway within the library to consider alternative layouts within the existing fabric of the library building. This project is being led by the Librarian with the assistance of the Buildings Office.

“A second project is also underway to consider means by which a greater number of teaching spaces can be provided within the Newman building. This project has raised access and fire safety issues within the Newman building that will need to be addressed as part of the greater Newman/Library atrium project and more immediately.”

In 2008, the ‘Newman and Humanities Regeneration Project’ had to be postponed due to lack of funds and the current economic climate.