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.

The Former Rector Of University Of Bergamo Gives A Keynote Speech At The Week Of The Italian Language In The World

From October 10 to 14, the 22nd Week of the Italian Language in the World took place in Latvia, with the theme of “The Italian Language and the Youth”, focusing on emerging vocabulary commonly used by young Italians, the bilateral relations between Italy and Latvia, and Italian cinema. The event was organized by the Embassy of Italy in Riga and Riga Technical University (RTU).

On the occasion of this event, on October 13, the former Rector of University of Bergamo and the Vice-president of the Italian National School of Public Administration Prof. Remo Morzenti Pellegrini gave a keynote speech “The Young Generation And The New Knowledge In The Contemporary Society”.

On October 14, Prof. Remo Morzenti Pellegrini has also delivered a keynote speech titled “The Third Mission of the Modern University: Opportunities And New Challenges” at the 63rd International Scientific Conference dedicated to the 160th anniversary of RTU.

Both activities took place with the presence of His Excellency Ambassador of Italy to Latvia Mr Alessandro Monti.

The culmination of the week was awarding a diploma of Honorable Doctor of RTU to the Prof. Remo Morzenti Pellegrini for his input to advancing the cooperation between RTU and University of Bergamo, followed by his address to Senators and guests.

The Week of the Italian Language in the World has been held every year since 2001 in the third week of October, under the patronage of the President of the Italian Republic, and involves multiple entities and subjects, including: associations of Italians abroad, chairs of Italianistics and Romanistics at universities, committees of the Dante Alighieri Society, Accademia della Crusca, Istituto dell’Enciclopedia Italiana Treccani, Italian consulates, Italian cultural institutes abroad, and to the Government of the Helvetic Confederation.

The President Of The Academy Of Sciences Of Moldova Visits RTU

On October 17, the President of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova (ASM) Prof. Prof. Ion Tiginyanu paid a visit to the Riga Technical University (RTU), in order to meet with the Vice-Rector for Research Prof. Tālis Juhna, Deputy Rector for International Academic Cooperation and Studies Prof. Igors Tipāns and Project manager of the International Cooperation Unit Mr Ēriks Badamšins.

During the meeting, T. Juhna introduced Prof. Ion Tiginyanu and the Head of ASM International Relations Department Mr Tudor Braniste with RTU’s achievements in studies, science, technology transfer, innovation, infrastructure modernization and internationalization of the study environment. The guests were particularly interested in RTU’s experience in the development process of the European University of Technology (EUt+).

At the end of the visit, our guests visited RTU Institute of Water Systems and Biotechnology, Science and Innovation Centre and Fiber Optical Transmission Systems laboratory, where they acquired more in-depth insight into the technical supply employed in the implementation process of study and international research activities, as well as in the creation of innovations, high value-added products and services.

RTU And Michigan Technological University Discuss Cooperation In Transport Mobility Research

Riga Technical University (RTU) has started cooperation with Michigan Technological University (Michigan Tech), having reached an agreement on a joint research project aiming to resolve land transport mobility challenges in off-road conditions.

Talks about cooperation between RTU, Michigan Tech and Michigan Army National Guard were started during the Michigan delegation’s visit to RTU, when the guests visited Ķīpsala Campus and RTU scientific laboratories and familiarised with research interests and fields of RTU scientists. During the talks, an idea of creating a joint project crystallised by involving researchers from the RTU Institute of Transport Infrastructure Engineering of the Faculty of Civil Engineering, who could bring their contribution in developing proposals for land transport mobility in off-road conditions. RTU researchers have specific knowledge about Latvia, for example, its soil conditions, and competence in road construction, whereas, Michigan Tech researchers have experience in mobility issues, as some of them are primarily engaged in off-road mobility studies. The results of this research project can be used for both military and civil needs.

At present, both universities have agreed to develop a joint research project and search for its funding. At RTU, this project is included in the research platform “Safety and Protection”, which aims to promote cross-disciplinary research in fields related to safety of an individual and the state. Alongside with it, an agreement between Michigan Tech and RTU is being developed that would enable to build cooperation also in other research areas in the future, as well as in the study and valorisation process.

When visiting Latvia, representatives of Michigan Tech and Michigan Army National Guard also met with the National Guard research unit, headed by the RTU Defence and Military Technology Research Centre Juris Ķiploks, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Defence.

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

Waste Management. Clearwater Technologies

In late July and early August, the RTU Foreign Students Foundation and Short-Term Courses Unit, in cooperation with colleagues from the RTU Institute of Water Systems and Biotechnology, held a summer school “Waste Management. Clearwater Technologies”.

Twelve students from nine countries (Germany, Ukraine, Turkey, Greece, Mexico, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Lithuania, and Uzbekistan) participated in the summer school. During two exciting weeks, from 25.07 to 05.08, the participants of the summer school looked at many topics in lectures and practical work, dedicated to the issues of drinking water, its distribution and storage, pollution, and purification.

The organizers of the summer school “Waste Management. Clearwater Technologies”, willing to provide students with a broader insight into the school’s subject matter, also provided educational tours in the companies. Students visited the company’s “Rīgas Ūdens” Baltezers pumping station and the Riga Water Supply Museum, went on an excursion to the sewage treatment station “Daugavgrīva”, and looked into the production process of the high-performance polymer pipe system at the company “Evopipes” in Jelgava.

Since no summer school can be imagined without entertainment and cultural events, the students of the summer school “Waste Management. Clearwater Technologies” were provided with a sightseeing tour of Riga both on foot and by water, an afternoon of water sports was organized, and a small hiking-expedition along Kurzeme seaside was held.

Summer school organizers want to say thank you to the companies “Rīgas ūdens” and “Evopipes” for supporting the summer school. Also RTU Foreign Students Foundation and Short-Term Courses Unit would like to express thankfulness to the State Education Development Agency for providing 10 summer school participants with the Latvian state scholarship.

Summer School: Introduction in Deep Learning for Cybersecurity

In mid-July, RTU Foreign Students Foundation and Short-Term Courses Unit launched the summer school “Introduction in Deep Learning for Cybersecurity”. For two weeks from July 18 to 29, students were introduced to deep learning methods that are being used in the cybersecurity field.

During summer school 15 participants from 10 countries (Germany, Poland, Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Moldova, Spain, Greece, Serbia, France, and Romania) were able to acquire linear algebra and calculus, information theory, anomaly detection in network traffic, breaking image-based captchas using deep learning methods, and probability theory for cybersecurity-related tasks.

The organizers of the summer school specially designed the program so that the participants not only spent many hours in the auditoriums but also got to know Riga and Latvia. That is why the students were provided with a city tour to get to know Riga, a free day was planned in Koknese, where the participants discovered both the culture and traditions of Latvia, as well as the beauty of our nature, could test their courage in the adventure park “Mežakaķis”, as well as appreciate the beauty of the capital, going in the evening on a boat trip on the route Mežaparks – Ķīpsala.

Thanks to the State Education Development Agency 10 summer school participants received Latvian state financial support and received the opportunity to improve their knowledge in the field of cyber security and to get to know Riga and Latvia in person, in an exciting way.

Summer School: Fracture Structures: Material Stress Resistance

In the period from July 18 to 29, the RTU Foreign Students Foundation and Short-Term Courses Unit together with specialists from the RTU Department of Theoretical Mechanics and Resistance of Materials conducted the summer school “Fracture Structures: Material Stress Resistance” for the first time.

Fifteen students from 13 different countries (Azerbaijan, Spain, Iran, Uzbekistan, Czech Republic, India, Singapore, Mexico, Poland, China, Germany, Turkey, and Lithuania) participated in the summer school.

RTU Foreign Students Foundation and Short-Term Courses Unit developed an interactive, practical approach-based summer school program that was tended on material durability, and their resistance to cracks, empirical determination of the effect of different coatings on the strength properties of materials.

During the summer school, participants had lectures and practical classes that allowed them to compare the endurance of materials such as wood, concrete, metal., etc. Besides the educational part, summer school included also industry field trips, which provided participants a unique chance to get an insight into material and product manufacturing processes, and also ensured an opportunity for students to have thorough discussions with industry professionals.

The summer school organizers provided the participants also with a wide range of cultural and leisure time activities so students can enjoy the summer while they are in Latvia. Students participated in the Riga Sightseeing tour on bicycles, discovered the capital of Latvia during a leisurely trip along the river Daugava, and spent memorable free days in Koknese where participants were able to get acquainted with Latvian culture and traditions, and experienced fun during a lot’s of free time activities. The participants of the summer school had the opportunity to test their own strength, endurance, and resilience in high-stress situations at the “Mežakaķis” adventure park in Riga.

We want to say thank you to companies Aerones, Gamechanger Audio, Knauf, Latvijas Finieris, Dores for helping our summer school happen. We greatly appreciate your support!

We would also like to express our gratitude to the State Education Development Agency, which provided 10 summer school participants with the Latvian state scholarships for participation.

The Summer School «Nonlinear Life» Concludes Its Virtual Activity

On July 29, the virtual activity of the international summer school «Nonlinear Life» jointly organized by Riga Technical University and University of Bergamo (UniBg) in Italy had come to its end, gathering 50 students and young researchers from 16 countries and 27 faculty members and industry representatives from Austria, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Spain, Turkey and the USA. The virtual activity focused on new electronic devices and digital solutions for health care. At the end of August and the beginning of September, the summer schools will continue with two 1-week internships at the laboratories of UniBg and RTU.

By organizing this summer school, UniBg and RTU aim to help prepare specialists in inter-disciplinary fields, capable of not only developing high-tech products, but also successfully integrating themselves within the working environment of international companies and implementing different inter-disciplinary projects in a team. This year’s event is attended by 50 participants from 16 countries – Austria, Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey and the USA.

Rector of RTU Academician Leonīds Ribickis, Rector of UniBg Professor Sergio Cavalieri, the Ambassador of Latvia to Italy H.E. Mrs Solvita Āboltiņa and Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Italy in Latvia Mr. Luigi Giovinazzi gave speeches as part of the conclusion of the virtual activity of the summer school.

Speakers together with the event moderator – Vice-Rector for Internationalization of UniBg Professor Flaminia Nicora – gave an insight into the joint activities in studies, research and culture implemented by both universities, giving significant importance to the Latvian Embassy in Italy and the Italian Embassy in Latvia in the development of this cooperation.

During the speeches, both Rectors and the representatives of the diplomatic corps of both countries gladly acknowledged that there have been accomplished significant development gains during the institutional visits led by both Rectors in Bergamo (April 2022) and in Riga (July 2022).

During the visit in Bergamo, have been signed both the Memorandum of Understanding between both universities and the Patronage Agreement for the summer school «Nonlinear Life» between RTU, UniBg, the Embassy of Latvia in Italy and the Embassy of Latvia in Italy.

S. Cavalieri and F. Nicora, RTU 160th Anniversary celebration event on 1st July 2022 in Riga, Latvia. During the visit, the representatives of UniBg held a meeting with His Excellency Ambassador of Italy to Latvia Mr. Alessandro Monti, RTU Vice-Rector for Research Academician Tālis Juhna, Deputy Rector for International Academic Cooperation and Studies Prof. Igors Tipāns, and Project Manager of International Cooperation Unit Mr. Ēriks Badamšins.

«Nonlinear Life» is the summer school with an interdisciplinary approach on engineering themes related to human health, promoted by the Riga Technical University in collaboration with the University of Bergamo. This year the summer school reaches its 5th Edition: the first two took place in Riga, Latvia and the third in Trieste, Italy, both with successful participation of students from all over Europe. During the Covid-19 pandemic the 4th Edition was carried out in virtual (online) mode, with more than 70 participants from 17 different countries in Europe, Asia and South America.