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2nd Nov 2012

UU Students Sweep The Board At Exhalted Architecture Awards

GRADUATE FOCUS FROM AROUND THE PROVINCE

UNIVERSITY OF ULSTER

Students from the School of Architecture and Design at the University of Ulster have swept the board in a prestigious competition organised by the Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA).

Hugh Magee and Ray McNally beat off stiff competition from students across Northern Ireland to take Bronze and Silver medals.

The winners were selected for their outstanding quality of design and imagination and have been recognised by the judging panel for producing work of an ‘exceptional standard’.

Hugh Magee, from the undergraduate BA Architecture course, won the RSUA Bronze Medal for the top undergraduate architectural design project in Northern Ireland.

Working with Dermot McIroy a world-class guitar maker based in Antrim, he designed a sophisticated living/working space for McIlroy Guitars in the centre of Dublin.

“Dermot’s easy-going nature combined with his passion for materials and quality of craft in guitar making gave me great inspiration,” said Hugh.

“Together with the high level of one-to-one tutoring provided at Ulster’s School of Architecture, this made for an immensely interesting and rewarding experience.”

Ray McNally, a Masters of Architecture student who won the Silver Medal for the top postgraduate project, originally trained as a scientist before studying architecture.

For his winning project he combined his art and science skills in a unique and innovative dialogue to create a complex building for a Belfast city centre site.

Ray who travelled from Sligo to study at the University said: “The Masters programme in architecture at Ulster is a demanding but exciting course.

“During our final year we are given a once in a lifetime opportunity to spend time exploring our own building ideas, under the expert guidance of our outstanding tutors and award winning visiting architects who support the studio at the University of Ulster.”

Commenting on the success, Head of School of Architecture, Professor Peter Walker said: “The School of Architecture and Design at the University of Ulster has its roots in the Belfast College of Art and it is wonderful to see how the work of our two winning students captures all the imagination, ambition, poetry and sense of style you would expect from the ‘Art College’.”

QUEEN'S

QUEEN'S University has secured £32 million to establish a world-leading Centre for Experimental Medicine.

This centre will revolutionise health care in Northern Ireland and beyond and will specialise in scientific research into finding cures for eye disease, diabetes and developing a global programme into understanding the genetics of complex chronic diseases.

Queen's vice chancellor Professor Sir Peter Gregson said: "Queen's is celebrating this announcement today, but so too should the citizens of Northern Ireland as they will be the real winners from improved diagnosis and treatments of debilitating diseases."

The new centre, located at the Belfast City Hospital campus, will specialise in scientific research into eye disease and diabetes. It will also provide for the development of a global programme into understanding the genetics of complex chronic diseases.

The Atlantic Philanthropies has donated £15 million towards the project - the largest gift ever received by Queen's. Funding also came from the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund.

Professor Patrick Johnston, dean of medicine, dentistry and biomedical sciences at Queen's, said: "The Centre for Experimental Medicine will allow the expansion of the vision sciences programme and the establishment of two new programmes in diabetes and genomics. It will also stimulate additional investment, lead to further global collaborations and create more opportunities for new health and biotech companies."

Five new biotech companies, employing more than 200 people in Northern Ireland, have already been set up by investigators within the Institute of Health Sciences at Queen's.

Professor Johnston added: "To achieve this vision, over £90 million has already been invested with a further £85 million expenditure anticipated over the next five years in academic leadership, research, buildings, equipment and facilities.

"Today's announcement will take us further along this journey and help provide a synergy between clinicians and scientists, ensuring that laboratory discoveries translate into advances in patient diagnosis and treatment."

Queen's has established an Institute of Health Sciences made up of a number of dedicated research centres focused on cancer, infectious disease, public health and population genetics. The institute will see the number of scientists and clinician scientists double from 500 to 1,000 over the next five years.

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