The future role of robots in industry, healthcare, the entertainment and service industries is under the spotlight at a leading scientific conference in the University of Ulster. International experts have gathered at the Magee campus for a closer look at the latest developments in the design and operation of mobile "intelligent robots". The Cognitive Robotics Team (CRT), based at Magee’s £20 million Intelligent Systems Research Centre (ISRC), has been bringing the once futuristic world of robots into the present by combining professional expertise and premier range research facilities that are the UK’s best.
Around 70 scientists, researchers and students from a dozen countries have travelled to the Londonderry campus for the 10th conference of TAROS (Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems), the UK’s foremost forum on the subject which is being held for the first time in Northern Ireland. With keynote speeches from world-renowned speakers, they are exploring scientific advances and future directions for robotics during the three day event.
CRT, which is hosting the conference at the ultra modern ISRC complex, is one of nine ISRC teams researching intelligent systems - developing software that enables robots, smart devices and sensor-based computer applications to mimic aspects of the brain and, so, replicate human reasoning, learning and autonomous behaviour.
Professor Ulrich Nehmzow, who leads the CRT, explained: "We are not trying to build artificial human beings. "Our robots are machines that will stay machines but they have the ability to function on the basis of programmed biological behavioural coding that mirrors elements of human activity."
IRSC Director Professor Martin McGinnity said the choice of Magee for TAROS ’09 was recognition of the CRT’s leading role in the science of robotics and also reflected the ISRC’s growing stature and importance to efforts to boost Derry’s economy. He added: "International links are pivotal to maintaining the ISRC’s momentum in helping to build a knowledge intensive, high technology focus for the North-West’s economy and to develop job opportunities by creating a strong research base in selected strategic areas."
A total of 39 research papers are being presented during the conference and keynote speeches are being delivered by three leading scientists - Munich-based Nobel laureate Bert Sakmann who is also a Professor of Biomedical Science at Ulster; Roger Hubbold, Professor of Virtual Environments at the University of Manchester and Raymond Tallis, gerontologist, philosopher, poet, novelist and cultural critic and Emeritus Professor of Geriatric medicine at the University of Manchester.
Dublin, Ireland – 19/06/09 MCI Dublin is proud to announce that its PCO Division carried off the Best Professional Conference Organiser Award at the prestigious Irish Independent Event Industry Awards Dinner at the Burlington Hotel, Dublin 18th June 2009. In front of an audience of 400 of their industry peers, Jean Evans, Head of Conferences, Colm McGahern, Association Conference Sales Manager and Rachel O’Hare, Project Manager delightedly accepted the accolade on behalf of the entire, Dun Laoghaire based PCO & Events Team, including Jackie McGann, Siobhan O’Hare, David Shirley, Joanne Stout, Rob Allidine and Fionnuala O’Dwyer, to name but a few of the organizational team that managed this conference.
MCI Dublin emerged victorious based on their full service management of the highly successful World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Congress which took place at the RDS, Dublin in August 2008. The Congress attracted over 3000 delegates from 70 countries to the capital and generated in the region of €4-6 million for the Irish economy.
Ms Evans said ‘We are thrilled to receive this prestigious award as it demonstrates how success is achieved when Associations such as Veterinary Ireland partner with Professional Conference Organisers such as MCI to ensure the best and most efficient delivery of an event.
Ms Evans continued ’To be selected as the Best Professional Conference Organiser in this highly competitive sector in Ireland by a panel of such esteemed and knowledgeable judges including David Pegler, Managing Director of ExCel London and Gerard O’Neill, Chairman of the Amárach Group, is indeed an honour and one we do not take lightly. We will continue to strive for excellence, to deliver value for our clients in innovative and creative ways and to become thought-leaders in our field of expertise.’
Some of the upcoming conferences that MCI Dublin’s PCO Division are working on this year include the European Health Management Association (EHMA) Annual Conference in Innsbruck from 24-26 June, BICSI – Advancing Information Transport Systems in Dublin from 22-24 June, the Canadian Bar Association CLC in Dublin from the 16-18 August and EACTA Echo in Loughborough, UK from the 5-8 September.
For further information, please contact:
Director of Conferences
T: +353 1 2802641
MCI Dublin has been shortlisted for the Best Professional Conference Organiser Award at the Event Industry Awards 2009! The PCO Division was selected as a finalist on the basis of their full service management of the highly successful World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) World Congress which took place at the RDS, Dublin in August 2008. The Congress attracted 3000 delegates from 70 countries all over the globe to the capital and generated in the region of €4-6 million for the economy.
Jean Evans, Director of Conferences at MCI Dublin said ’We are thrilled with our selection as a finalist in this highly competitive category, it really reflects the amount of work, passion and commitment that went into winning, planning and managing WSAVA over a five year period from the initial bid proposal right through to the post conference wrap up.’
Ms Evans continued ‘WSAVA was incredibly challenging in various ways. It was the largest congress to take place in Ireland last year, it had a scientific programme that encompassed 28 streams and 266 speakers over four days, the largest exhibition that we had ever managed to date, a large gala dinner and the staging of various live animal events such as sheepdog trials, duck herding and a display from the Irish Pony Club! The excellent professional relationship that we developed with the client, which was based on constant communication, flexibility and trust, certainly helped us to meet these challenges together and the positive feedback received from delegates, accompanying partners, exhibitors, sponsors and the client indicated that WSAVA 2008 was a truly resounding success and possibly ‘the best to date!’.
Ms Evans concluded ‘We are keeping our fingers crossed for the final decision at the awards ceremony on the 18th June in the Burlington Hotel but we know that competition will be stiff. To win would without doubt be the icing on the cake of what was an exciting, inspiring and satisfying management experience for our whole PCO team but we’re certainly not counting our chickens, if you’ll pardon the pun!’
MCI Dublin is a member of the Association of Irish Professional Conference Organisers (AIPCO), IAPCO, ICCA, MPI, PCMA and was the only PCO voted in the top 50 Best Companies to Work For in Ireland in 2006 and 2009.
MCI Dublin’s other divisions include Ovation Ireland, MCI Events, Ovation Global DMC and Meeting and Venue Finding and together the company encompasses the full range of meetings, events and incentives services.
For more information, contact:
Director of Conferences
T: 353 1 2802641
Patrick Delaney, Co Founder / Managing Director of Ovation Global DMC and Managing Director of MCI Dublin was honoured with an IMEX Academy Award during the recent IMEX tradeshow in Frankfurt.
The IMEX Academy Awards are presented every year to outstanding individuals in four geographical regions who are judged to have served the meetings and incentive travel industry exceptionally well. Each of the winners has to have achieved consistently high standards within their chosen profession and, in most cases, candidates are recommended by their colleagues.
Delaney received the award for the European region based on his longstanding commitment to driving quality standards within the industry and doing so, according to IMEX Managing Director, Paul Flackett, “with more than a little Irish charm, good humour and infectious exuberance.”
Director of Conferences
T: 353 1 2802641
The legacy of Florence Nightingale will be celebrated at the University of Ulster’s Magee Campus today in the run up to the centenary anniversary of her death. Ulster’s School of Nursing will play host to members of the Florence Nightingale Foundation who will present a special centenary rose to the University of Ulster, Derry City Council and Queen’s University.
The rose, which has been named after the pioneering ‘lady of the lamp’, was launched this year to mark the beginning of the anniversary celebrations. The Magee Visitor’s Book will also be on public display which contains Florence Nightingale’s signature. It is thought that she visited the former college in 1867 during a trip to see her friend and fellow nursing pioneer, Agnes ‘Oonagh’ Jones who lived in near-by Fahan, County Donegal. Nightingale also had a close association with Sir John Laurence, the Viceroy of India, whose family home is now the Foyle Arts Building in Magee.
Mary Spinks, Director of the Foundation and a Visiting Professor at Ulster’s School of Nursing will also deliver a lecture to students entitled: Florence Nightingale; Legacy for the Present and announce details of a weekend of celebration to mark the centenary anniversary of her death, including a major nursing conference that will be held at Magee in May 2010. Professor Spinks said: "Events will be held all over the world next year to mark the centenary anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s death. Nurses in Northern Ireland will celebrate the life and work of this pioneering nurse at a major conference which will examine the future of the profession in today’s modern society. Indeed, many of Florence Nightingale’s ideas are as relevant today as they were in the 1800s"
The City of Derry and Magee in particular has poignant links with Florence Nightingale through her protégé Agnes Jones. Agnes trained at the Nightingale Training School in St Thomas’s Hospital, London and inspired by her mentor, went on to pioneer a trained nursing service in the Liverpool Workhouse Infirmary.
Dr Owen Barr, Head of the School of Nursing at Ulster, added: "The School of Nursing is proud to be associated with the celebration of Florence Nightingale’s contribution to nursing. The celebrations will provide an opportunity to reflect on Nightingale’s work and recognise the significance of its development for nursing to date and the insight it could provide in the future development of nursing across hospitals, communities and wider public health settings."
Pat Deeny, senior lecturer at Ulster’s School of Nursing, added: "This is a momentous event for the nursing profession in Northern Ireland and engages us with the international community of nurses as they prepare for the Florence Nightingale anniversary year."