Four Galway students to visit Austria for prestigious International Summer Academy

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NUI Galway students Emma Urquhart and Aoife Prendergast from Galway

Four NUI Galway students are preparing to visit Austria next month to participate in the International Summer Academy in Engineering for Women.

Computer Science student, Emma Urquuhart from Co. Galway, and Engineering students, Niamh Hennigan from Co. Clare, Aoife Roche from Co. Wexford, and Aoife Prendergast from Co. Galway, were awarded scholarships to attend the academy last year – but their plans were put on hold due to the global pandemic.

Niamh Hennigan
Aoife Roche

NUI Galway has put in place rigorous travel arrangements, meaning the students are able to travel to the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria in July to attend the academy.

The Academy, offered to only 30 female students from 15 different countries, is a two-and-a-half-week programme com­bining theory with hands-on practical experience in engineering, informatics and natural sciences.

Mary Dempsey, Vice Dean in the College of Science and Engineering at NUI Galway, said that while students have demonstrated extraordinary resilience in adapting to remote learning over the last 15 months, peer learning opportunities have been limited.

“Following a rigorous outgoing mobility assessment process, Emma, Aoife, Niamh and Aoife will be the first Science and Engineering students from NUI Galway to travel abroad for study since 2020,” said Mary Dempsey.

“They will have an opportunity to work with other students in STEM fields, broaden their technical and scientific knowledge and once again experience learning in a collegiate environment.”

Computer Science student, Emma Urquuhart said: “We are really looking forward to embarking on our trip to Upper Austria to participate in the Summer Academy.

“After our initial applications to the Academy was accepted, we completed outward mobility assessments in NUI Galway to ensure that we are prepared for our first foreign excursion since the beginning of the pandemic.

“We are eager to embrace this opportunity to broaden our knowledge of our respective fields of study, and hope to learn about how different areas of engineering can complement each other through the teamwork projects and variety of workshops we will be partaking in.

“The unique cultural experience will undoubtedly be a highlight of the trip for us. We are excited to explore the region of Wels, make friends from different countries and gain new perspectives on engineering on the global scale.

“We appreciate the support of the scholarships and are very grateful to NUI Galway for granting us this wonderful opportunity.”