Key EUt+ Conference Takes Place At Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences (h_da)

Next year the EU Commission will decide which of the consortia it will continue to fund within the framework of the ‘European Universities Initiative‘. As a result from 21 to 25 November, over 100 participants from the eight Eut+ partner insitutions are expected at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences (h_da) for series of meetings, workshops and panels.

The focus of the week will be to take stock of the progress made to date and to complete an application for the second phase of funding which is due in January 2023.

A huge amount has already been achieved by the partner institutions within a very short space of time including the establishment of five research centers (a first in the European university landscape);  joint teaching and research projects including collaborations with institutions such as FAIR/GSI and the European Space Agency ESA; progress on the development of joint degrees; and the development of a strong, recognisable brand.

This week the newly founded Education Committee, comprised of the Vice-Presidents of the respective partners, will focus on the planned joint degree programmes while the Steering Committee will develop the application for the next funding phase. In addition, the participants will discuss the next steps towards creating a joint Sustainability Office which is a key goal for the partner institutions.

Finally a visit to the ‘Darmstadt Weinhnachtsmarket‘ or Christmas Market has been arranged to round off the working week.

Short Term Student Mobility Trip To The University Of Technology Troyes (UTT) In France

At the beginning of June, a group of 8 Faculty of Materials Science and Applied Chemistry students led by professor Andra Sutka went on an experience exchange trip to Troyes University of Technology (UTT) in France. During three days, the delegation was introduced to the infrastructure of the university, paying special attention to the teaching laboratories of chemistry and physics, as well as scientific groups and their workplaces.

“I am very glad that I had the opportunity to go on a trip to Troyes University of Technology as part of EUt+. I really liked that it was possible to visit the teaching laboratories and see that the material to be learned, at least in physics and chemistry, is similar. It encourages going on exchange semesters” said one of the students in the delegation. The delegation also had the opportunity to visit the clean rooms of UTT, which, considering the small size of the university itself, both in terms of students and area, are impressive. “I liked that the trip to Troyes was multifaceted – it was possible to see both classrooms and scientific facilities, as well as student interest clubs. Although the university is relatively small, it has large scientific laboratories with spacious clean rooms, which definitely help to raise the scientific level” admitted one of the doctoral students of the delegation.

One of the main events of the exchange trip was a scientific seminar dedicated to photonics, attended by outstanding scientists from all over Europe. In this seminar, professor Andris Šutka also gave a presentation on photochromic materials and their application. After the seminar, the doctoral thesis defense of the UTT doctoral student took place, which allowed us to observe how similar thesis defenses take place both in Latvia and in France.

Our students were also introduced to the daily life of students at UTT and various extracurricular activities available on the campus. In addition, our students also got to know the UTT students themselves, who will study an exchange semester at Riga Technical University in the fall. “I thought it was interesting to get to know the TTU students and talk about everyday life. We, RTU students, have the opportunity to gain experience in scientific work from the beginning of our undergraduate studies, whereas French students have this opportunity only from the beginning of their doctoral studies. I believe that we are a step ahead in this matter” one of the students of the delegation shared his knowledge.

 

Short Term Mobility Trip Of Representatives Of RTU Environmental Protection And Heat Systems Institute (VASSI) To Cyprus University Of Technology

At the beginning of August this year, 9 students of the “Environmental Engineering” and “Environmental Science” study programs together with the lecturer went on a short-term mobility trip to the Cyprus University of Technology in order to get to know better both the university itself and the EUt+ initiative, in which RTU together with 7 other universities, including Cyprus The Technical University (CUT), is jointly working on the creation of the European University of Technology.

On the first day of the visit, the students visited the premises of the university, where they met with its teaching staff. During the meeting, the rector of the university together with the leading lecturers presented the activities of the university and were also introduced with the activities of the VASSI institute. This was followed by various campus tours. The students had the opportunity to see the university’s auditoriums and laboratories, while listening to Cypriot teaching staff talk about various research processes, some of which are also carried out at RTU, and some of which were a completely new and valuable experience. The technology center (CUTing Edge) was also visited, where virtual reality is integrated into the learning process and students with creative approaches can work with VR (virtual reality), robotics, 3D printing and other modern technologies. This department is also run by the students themselves, making the learning process more interesting.

As one of the most valuable activities of the visit, the students themselves mentioned the visit to the KEAN fruit juice factory operating in Limassol, during which the company’s representatives presented the company’s operation, the production line and showed various production stages, technologies and told about the implemented energy efficiency measures. During the tour, both theoretical knowledge about the operation of the company and the technical operation of solar collectors was provided, as well as practical – students were introduced to the operation of the entire production process, starting from raw material monitoring and quality control to the juice production process, solar collector control system and water treatment. The manager of the production process and the environmental expert gave clear and detailed answers to all questions, in general providing invaluable experience and knowledge, which young RTU researchers will be able to use later both when writing project applications and analyzing the operations of companies and looking for the best solutions for implementing renewable energy technologies.

 

As the students themselves say, this has been:

“Overall, a very valuable experience exchange trip, during which you could see various environmental technologies and solutions, compare the environmental problems in Cyprus with those in Latvia. Better understand the EUT+ idea concept and implementation plan. Get to know the representatives of the university and the local culture.”

Krista Laktuka, researcher at the Institute of Environmental Protection and Heat Systems

 

“The trip provided very valuable experience and knowledge of the academic process and laboratory work, as well as valuable knowledge of one of the leading manufacturing companies in Cyprus, where renewable energy technologies are widely used. The representatives of the University left the impression that we were welcome and the teaching staff were interested in joint cooperation with our institute, arranging to visit it already in the fall.”

RTU VASSI researcher Lauma Balode

 

“During the mobility, there was a positive overview of this type of university field trip programs, as it is possible to learn about different approaches in choosing energy production technologies, as well as the problems and opportunities that different regions face.”

VASSI Scientific assistant Jānis Krūmiņš

 

“During the exchange trip to the Cyprus University of Technology, we mainly gained contacts and got acquainted with the study directions, methods and various innovations, teaching and working approach of this university. We exchanged useful knowledge on various technical matters as well as laboratory issues. I personally really liked the trip, because in it we not only visited the university, its laboratories, local companies, but also got an insight into their culture, made new contacts abroad and got to know each other (VASSI colleagues) more, which promoted cohesion and will definitely have a positive impact on the future course of work at RTU.”

Ketija Bumbiere, M.sc.ing.,

Lecturer and researcher at the Institute of Environmental Protection and Heat Systems

 

“Overall, I was very satisfied with the EUT+ experience exchange trip where we visited the Cyprus University of Technology. It was interesting to get acquainted with the teaching methods and available infrastructure at the university, which made it possible to identify potential directions of development that could also be adopted by RTU. What I liked most was the organized trip to KEAN, the largest juice producer in Cyprus, where I had the opportunity to learn about the energy efficiency and decarbonization challenges faced by large manufacturing companies in Cyprus.”

Kristiāna Dolge, PhD candidate in the study program “Environmental Engineering”

 

“Personally, it was very interesting, because there was a lot of emphasis on the laboratories and specifically on the water purification laboratory, where they talked about the use of microbiology in it. We saw how microalgae are cultivated in flasks for water purification tests, and also, due to the fact that citrus processing is of great importance in the country, how carotenoids are tried to be recovered from orange peel waste (we ourselves will now specially grow microorganisms in the laboratory to synthesize these carotenoids in biomass as additional products for aquaculture feeding). Overall, a very pleasant impression of both the university and Cyprus. Everyone welcomed us very kindly and spoke with interest and encouraged discussions about what they are doing to improve and be more sustainable.

Indra Bērziņa, Master’s student in the “Environmental Engineering” study program

A Face-To-Face Meeting of the EUt+ Consortium Takes Place in Riga

From 28th of June to 1st of July 2021 Riga Technical University (RTU), one of the 8 members of the European University of Technology (EUt+), hosted a face-to-face meeting of the alliance for the first time since the work on its creation began in November 2020.

During the meeting, delegates discussed matters related to student and staff mobility, emphasizing the main achievements and some obstacles in the implementation of mobility within the EUt+.

As for the execution of the strategy of a single identity for global outreach, members of EUt+ held a meeting with RTU counterparts from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Jordan and Korea, in order to discuss possibilities for further cooperation in students and staff exchange, as well as for implementation of joint research projects.

Concerning to five recently launched common programs (clusters) – Civil Engineering, Telecommunications, Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Architecture, EUt+ management representatives discussed matters related to automatic recognitions of credits and provision of a sense of community on all campuses. On June 30, the panel discussion “Ethical and Responsible Innovation” took place, where distinguished guests representing EUt+ and the Latvian innovation and startup ecosystem discussed issues related to innovations from the legal, economic and political standpoint.

On the occasion of the 160th anniversary of RTU, representatives of EUt+ planted trees in RTU Ķīpsala campus, as well as enjoyed the traditional RTU Grand Graduation, a festive concert and an exhibition of products and prototypes developed by RTU scientists and students.

Meeting Of European University Of Technology For The First Time Takes Place At RTU

In the week of the 160th anniversary of Riga Technical University (RTU), the partners of the emerging European University of Technology (EUt +) are meeting for the first time in Riga – eight universities have joined forces to create a completely new internationally competitive technical university in Europe. During the meeting, the partner universities are discussing issues related to student mobility, curriculum development, university cooperation with industry, as well as a panel discussion on ethics in innovation creation will be organised.

As the global competition between higher education institutions intensifies, European universities are forming alliances and forming common higher education institutions to offer competitive content and participate in the global education market.

EUt + is formed by RTU, Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences, Technological University Dublin, Polytechnic University of Cartagena, Cyprus University of Technology, Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Technical University of Sofia and University of Technology of Troyes. The consortium has chosen the goal of creating an inclusive higher education association, not an elite one, where everyone capable of higher education in engineering. In the long run, the consortium sees itself as a federal entity with relatively close integration – the consortium is a single legal entity with common finances, common study and research processes. Work is currently underway to develop joint study programs and coordinate the scientific process.

At a working meeting in Riga, the EUt + university management is discussing the content of the new study programs and the development of a single European degree. The new degree is developed in five thematic clusters – Civil Engineering, Telecommunications, Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Architecture. It is not just the creation of joint study programs, but a completely new concept – the next generation of study programs with completely new content based on transversal competencies, collaboration with industry, the creation of student mobility maps, ethics, inclusive principles, the social dimension, sustainability.

As both the new university itself and the study programs are considered to be innovations, the EUt+ partners are discussing the ethical aspects of innovation at the Riga meeting. On the 30th of June, at 13:30 there will be a panel discussion “Ethical and responsible innovation”, where ethical aspects will be discussed from the legal, economic, as well as the institutional aspects of the state.

The EUt+ meeting in Riga is the consortium’s regular monthly meeting, as the partner universities meet every month at one of the eight universities. Approximately 100 guests from EUt+ member universities arrived in Riga for the working week. On the 1st of July, guests are invited to take part in the 160th anniversary event of RTU in Mežaparks, where both the traditional RTU Grand Graduation, a festive concert and an exhibition of products and prototypes developed by RTU scientists and students are planned.

RTU As A Partner of EUt+ Promotes Empowerment Of Society And Woman Trought A New Erasmus+ Project GREENWORAL

Riga Technical University as a partner of The European University of Technology (EUt+) promotes empowerment of society and women through a new Erasmus+ project GREENWORAL – “Training and mentorship based adult rural women empowerment in the field of green entrepreneurship”.

Researchers from Cyprus, Spain, Ireland and Latvia have come together for this project with the aim to train adult women in rural areas in the field of green entrepreneurship. The project is led by the UPCT (Polytechnic University of Cartagena) and will start with a Kickoff meeting in the beautiful city of Cartagena on the 20th of June and will finish in September 2024.

The GRENWORAL project will enable rural women to have better access to education, entrepreneurship and decision-making processes and will provide new digital and green entrepreneurship skills to adult women in rural areas. The aim is to enable environmentally beneficial and financially profitable entrepreneurial and innovative activities. These initiatives will improve people’s lives and livelihoods, contribute to redressing gender imbalances in business and enable a balance between natural resource use and income maintenance in these areas, with the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in mind.

Project will develop an innovative educational package that includes several activities, such as a mentoring programme to guide women who are willing to start their own green businesses as well as a green entrepreneurship toolkit to provide strategies and resources to any woman who wants to take the first steps with her business initiative and to provide them with knowledge on success factors, especially in rural areas.

The project involves four partners from the European University of Technology: Polytechnic University of Cartagena, Cyprus University of Technology (CUT), Technological University Dublin (TUD) and Riga Technical University (RTU). Also, the Association LIDERE (LID) from Latvia has been involved in the project for the empowerment and mentorship for the project participants.

During the Kickoff meeting from 20th to 21st of June, project participants met in UPCT to finally meet each other face to face and discuss the planned activities of the Project, timeline, administrative issues as well as the dissemination about the project, its website and other means of visual and social media communication.

For more information about the GREENWORAL project, please, contact the International Project Unit of RTU, Project manager Ieva Ziemele, Ieva.Ziemele@rtu.lv.

RTU Together With Other EUt+ Members Working On A New Erasmus Strategic Partnership (KA203) Project AesTheTiCo

From March 2022 RTU together with other EUt+ members have started working on a new Erasmus Strategic Partnership (KA203) project AesTheTiCo. 

The project is coordinated by Professor Conor McGarrigle from Technological University Dublin (Ireland) who is also actively involved in the structural unit within EUt+ – the European Culture and Technology Lab (ECT Lab+). All ECT Lab+ partners are also actively involved in the AesTheTiCo project: TU Dublin, University of Technology of Troyes (France), Hochschule Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences (Germany), Riga Technical University (Latvia), Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (Romania), Technical University Sofia (Bulgaria), Cyprus University of Technology (Cyprus) and Technical University of Cartagena (Spain). 

ECT Lab+ aims to develop research in the arts, humanities and social sciences within EUt+ and focus on science and technology that includes philosophy of technology. AesTheTiCo focuses on the study of aesthetics and is already the secong ECT Lab+ project that has received funding and thus adds an additional dimension to the topics addressed by previously already approved ECT Lab+ project EthiCo. 

AesTheTiCo project aims to expand the notion of aesthetics within traditional engineering and product design curricula to include understandings from contemporary theories of aesthetics. The project is therefore promoting the integration of arts, creative arts and humanities, into Design and Engineering.  

During the Eut+ week in Dublin participants of AesTheTiCo discussed the wicked problems of our age, eg. climate crisis, data extractivism and digital colonialism, circular economies and material reuse, ecologically sustainable technological innovation, etc. New insights related to these complex problems, and a transdiciplinary cooperation, is crucial for analysis of our teaching methods and choice of future research directions.  

During the meeting in Dublin and in the following online meetings participants work on project tasks, are preparing for the first Intensive Study Programme, workshops, etc.

For more information about the project, please, contact the researcher and main contact person for the project from RTU, Ms Alisa Koroļova from the from the Faculty of Architecture: Alisa.Korolova@rtu.lv

A Week Reviewing The Building Bricks Of The European University of Technology, EUt+, Step By Step

Delegates from across Europe travelled to Dublin for the European University of Technology (EUt+) General Task Review workshops taking place in TU Dublin this week. Over 100 attendees from the eight EUt+ partner Universities have gathered under the banner of EUt+ on TU Dublin’s campus to share their progress so far and to discuss EUT+ priorities for the future.

Presentations from Task Managers from across the Eight Working Packages permitted each one of them to share the main achievements and some obstacles encountered which of course included Covid.

The objective of promoting and supporting multiculturalism and multilinguism has been enhanced as a very important challenge that will essentially rely on long term mobilities and capacity of students to learn a second foreign language.

The ambition to create fruitfull links and strong relationships with society, industry networks have been reviewed and encouraged.

Clusters, meaning common programs, have just been launched and opened to students whoare invited to spend at least one semester within EUt+. These programmes are offering automatic recognition of credits, a feeling of belonging to a wider family and a warm welcome that make each of them feel at home on all campuses.

This has been made possible by a careful analysis of the skills and learning outcomes provided by the courses in each partner university.

The European Laboratory For Pedagogical Action – Research And Student-Centred Learning (ELaRA) has been meeting and discussing with teachers and researchers every month to nourish the future.

Research Schools Programs together with European Reasearch Institutes are actively under construction on Nanotechnology, DataScience, Sustanability and as a central element of the sipirit of EUt+, the European Culture and Technology Lab ” ‘The ECT Lab” . Its mission is to promote trans/multi-disciplinarity within the European University, to integrate humanities and social sciences into theresearch projects of the European University and create a critical mass of research in the arts, humanities and social sciences within the EuropeanUniversity of Technology.

Through the EUt+ initiative, the staff mobility is strongly encouraged and starting to accelerate.

An IT convergence plan will help to share business processes, gain in efficency and will lead to a european student card.

The EUt+ brand and identity created with the support of Havas has been reconised as an effective ‘creative commons’, a strong banner recognized by stakeholders.

This week in Dublin has been the opportunity to launch the EUt+ Academic press, which will be publishing and disseminating high-quality scholarly works using a free to read and publish open-access platform.

The group is taking dissimination of its experience very seriously to share methodology with other European universities under construction.

Led by experienced staff, the members involved in fundraising for the alliance are exchanging and mutualizing practices to contribute to the overall goal.

Interested in learning more about the EUt+, visit our website here.

ECT Lab+ and RTU Offer A Webinar Entitled “Think Human First”

The seminar series “Think Human First” is offered by the European Culture and Technology Laboratory (ECT Lab+), the European University of Technology (EUt+) and the Riga Technical University. This session will have an architectural focus on the “Cities of Tomorrow”, and it will be held on April 26, 2021, 15:00 CET (16:00, Riga).

Guest speakers:

Anna Olha, PhD Student at RTU Faculty of Architecture. “Adapting Public Space to AgeInclusive Pattern Using the Smart City Framework”.

Prof. Sandra Treija (Vice Dean for Research) and Dr. Alisa Korolova (Researcher), RTU Faculty of Architecture. “Digital Social Innovation in Public Open Space Revitalisation”.

Join Zoom Meeting:
https://rtucloud1.zoom.us/j/96393992771?pwd=NndLanBFTTNzQmtlRm5lamVlWTJlQT09

ECT Lab+, as a transdisciplinary collaborative structure, conducts cutting-edge research and in-depth investigations into the nature and function of technology. Its objective is to clarify and promote a specific European model around technology while helping legal and regulatory frameworks to evolve in a relevant direction. With this aim, the ECT Lab+ propose a seminar series “Think Human First”.

ECT Lab+ Is Looking For Volunteers To Review The Papers Presented During Its First Conference

On December 2021, the European Culture and Technology Lab (ECT Lab+) organised its first annual Conference. The ECT Lab+ is a structural unit of the European University of Technology (EUt+) whose purpose is to develop research in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences within EUt+ while focusing on science and technology that comprises philosophy of technology.

During this two days event, researchers and artists presented their papers on a large panel of topics focused on questions related to architecture, ecology, circular economy, negathropocene, artificial intelligence, noodiversity and many others.

Hence as an outcome of this event, ECT Lab+ is planning to publish the proceedings of the Conference with the new EUT Academic Press. As part of this endeavor, ECT Lab+ is looking for volunteers to join a peer reviewer panel to review submissions. Reviewers will be asked to review a maximum of two papers by February 28.

If you are interested, please send an email to Conor McGarrigle at conor.mcgarrigle@tudublin.ie – our colleague from the Technical University of Dublin – with your discipline and keywords for your area of expertise. If you would like more information on the ECT Lab+ first conference, please click here.