Call for Proposals Open for the First Annual Conference of the European Culture and Technology Lab (ECT Lab+)

The European Culture and Technology Lab (ECT Lab+) is a structural unit within the European University of Technology (EUt+) with a mission to develop research in the Arts, Humanities and Social Science within EUt+ and to develop Science, Technology, Studies including philosophy of technology. In December 2021, ECT Lab+ is organizing its first annual conference, hosted by Technological University Dublin, (Ireland).

The call for proposals is open until 31st August 2021. More information on the conference topics and submission of abstracts can be found here.

Experience the University at RTU Open Day

International Cooperation and Foreign Students Department of Riga Technical University is pleased to invite prospective international students to A Virtual RTU Open Day 2021, which will take place on Thursday, July 14, at 4:00 PM (Helsinki GTM +3), aiming to take them to a journey through a whole study experience taking place at RTU Ķīpsala Campus – the most modern engineering study center in the Baltic States.

Register in advance for this webinar:

Participants of RTU Open day will have opportunity to meet our international admission team members, who will introduce you to RTU study offer and explain admission requirements. Additionally our partners from University of Strathclyde, UK will be there to talk about double degree opportunities between the two universities.

RTU International Cooperation and Foreign Students Department is the university’s structural unit, which has been working with international students coming from all around the world for more than 25 years. Our international community gathers 3525 foreign students (full-time and exchange) representing 90 countries. International students can choose from a wide range of courses taught in English within 57 study programs – international.rtu.lv.

What better way to stay connected with us than through the images and stories we are sharing on Instagram and Facebook.

Ministry of Education and Science has developed proposals for studies in the new academic year

The Ministry of Education and Science (IZM) has developed conceptual proposals to organise a secure study process in the new academic year on-site at higher education institutions.

Studies at all levels of higher education from 1 September can be organised on-site. The RTU will choose the most optimal forms and combinations of studies, so that on-site studies can take place in accordance with epidemiological safety requirements.

The IZM indicate that in the new academic year 2021./2022. the academic and administrative staff of higher education institutions and students will be able to visit the university in-person by presenting a digital Covid-19 certificate, stating that the person has vaccinated against Covid-19, had been diagnosed with Covid-19 or had a negative Covid-19 test. Tests funded by the State budget will be available to persons with medical contraindications approved by the doctor for vaccination. Other non-vaccinated individuals will have to carry out Covid-19 tests with their own funds in order to obtain a digital Covid-19 certificate.

We call for all to take advantage of the freely available vaccination facilities provided by the State, so that in the autumn the study process can be resumed on site in conditions safe from Covid-19, according to the study forms selected by the RTU.

The IZM point out that, at the same time, consideration should be given to reducing restrictions on education, depending on the views expressed by health experts. The IZM shall also develop action scenarios for conducting studies in epidemiologically safe conditions if the conditions for the implementation of studies are to be adjusted as the situation changes.

In case of any questions about vaccination or vaccine certificates find more info here: https://manavakcina.lv/, contact manavakcina@vmnvd.gov.lv or by phone by phone 8989.

The President of the EC Gets Acquainted with the Green Technologies Created by Scientists at the RTU

During her visit to Latvia, the President of the European Commission (EC) Ursula von der Leyen met with the management of the Riga Technical University (RTU), RTU scientists and students, get acquainted with RTU-created technologies that promote climate neutrality and have been supported by the European Union (EU) funds. Climate neutrality and green technologies are a priority for RTU, as a strategic decision has been made to achieve a very low carbon emission by 2030.

The President of the EC met with Rector of RTU Leonīds Ribickis and Vice-Rector for Research Tālis Juhna, as well as with three teams of scientists. Scientists from the Institute of Environmental Protection and Heating Systems of RTU Faculty of Electrical and Environmental Engineering will present solutions for renewable energy consumption and energy efficiency improvement to Ursula von der Leyen – a prototype of a facade panel that provides solar energy storage in the building during warm weather and heating in cold weather.

RTU Faculty of Materials Science and Applied Chemistry (FMSAC) research group presented the Baltic Biomaterials Centre of Excellence project launched a year ago, founded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme, which promotes the biomaterials industry in the region. Scientists develop and commercialize new biomaterials for bone regeneration, facial, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthopaedics and other fields.

Another group of FMSAC scientists presented their own creation – innovative bioreactor, in which it is possible to grow the valuable tropical microalgae spirulina despite the cool Latvian climate. Spirulina is an excellent source of antioxidants and various vitamins, as well as contains all essential amino acids. Researchers have used the support tools of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) to develop the idea, creating a start-up company, SpirulinaNord, which has already started commercial activities.

RTU has been actively working since 2015 to mitigate the environmental impact of its activities. Three years ago, the concept of Green Ķīpsala came into force, which aims to implement sustainable resource management at its campus Ķīpsala, raising RTU employees and students awareness of the environmental issues and promoting the creation and use of environmentally friendly technologies.

The Green aspect and the UN Sustainable Development Goals are also included in the RTU Sustainable Development Strategy approved in 2020. RTU decision to aim for CO2 neutrality confirms the understanding that every organization and consumer, even if they do not feel it directly on a daily basis, make their negative contribution to climate change. Therefore, the sooner each organisation and the consumer will become aware of their environmental impact, the more change-oriented we will be.

The President of the EC Ursula von der Leyen visited Latvia in the context of the EU Recovery and Resilience Mechanism, the Next Generation EU initiative and Latvian National Recovery Plan.

Eiropas Komisijas priekšsēdētājas Urzulas fon der Leienas vizīte RTU

Third Seminar of the ‘Thinking Human First’ Seminar Series to be hosted by Technical University of Cartagena

“Human First… and humans in the end” is the motto of the cauldron in which we are going to mix a selection of technological developments concocted in Cartagena, which will be served up in a two-course menu for the summer solstice. First: Human First. Technology devoted to help people with visual and hearing impairment, specifically in a learning context. BeMyVega aims at a more inclusive education, and this intervention will move beyond technical details to discuss researchers’motivation and rewards, social impact and feedback from final users. Second: the curse for the environment that we may represent, seasoned with a caring technology as a second chance to redeem ourselves and remedy environmental damage. From the use of light as a language tool for plant-human communication in the fight against global warming, to the local recovery of our Mar Menor coastal saltwater lagoon, remarkable contributions by UPCT researchers through nature-based solutions will be displayed. As a dessert, the UPCT-Bloopbusters team will tell us about their experience teaching Physics for engineers, while making the most of their passion for the Seventh Art. Scientific mistakes in films and hands-on experiments are used to help our students with complex aspects of their courses, develop critical thinking and rise awareness of their responsibility towards global challenges for their future professional career.

 

FIRST WITCH: When shall we meet again?

In thunder, lightning, or in rain?

(Macbeth, Act I, Scene I)

 

Schedule

17:00-17:15 ECTLab Introduction. Noel Fitzpatrick – TU Dublin (English) and Local host introduction: José Luis Serrano – UPCT (Spanish/English).

17:15-17:30. Maria Carmen Martínez – Assistant Professor at the Department of Agronomical Engineering. “Light as a language tool for plant-human communication”

17:30-17:45 María Nazaret González – Biologist, PhD, Contract Researcher (Saavedra Fajardo program). “Nature based solutions can help us, but only if we help them:the case of the Mar Menor Coastal lagoon”.

17:45-18:00 Ángel Molina – Professor at the Department of Electric Engineering. “Use of Technology to improve accesibility and inclusion in education: BeMyVega”

18:00-18:15 UPCT Bloopbusters – Enrique Castro y Juan Francisco Sánchez Assistant Professors at the Department of Applied Physic “A methodology of teaching physics and technology concepts using movie scenes and related experiments”

18:15 Q/A in local host language and/or English.

18:25 Wrap up: José Luis Serrano –UPCT (Spanish)

18:30 Conclusion: Noel Fitzpatrick – TU Dublin (English)

 

Join from the meeting link

Second Seminar of the European Culture and Technology Lab+ ‘Thinking Human First’ Seminar Series to Take Place

The discussion of the second seminar within the ECT Lab+ ‘Thinking Human First’ seminar series will focus on the quality of interpersonal relationships in the context of social media. The patterns of behavior projected in the cyberspace and the “colonization” of the human cognitive world with outer content, manipulation, idealization and /or omnipresent commercial messages are important factors in this context. To what extent, despite the advantages of digital communication, does it reproduce the preconditions for emotional alienation and difficulties in maintaining of full value relationships is the main question of the discussion. It is an attempt to clarify the benefits and harms of online communication and to explore new forms and ways of emotional experience of the technologically engaged individual in order to offer opportunities for prevention of counterproductive influences.

Date and time: Thursday the 27th of May, 17:00 CET

Webex link: https://utt.webex.com/utt-en/j.php?MTID=m2e4f6aa9412b02b69f3ced3d8a97a317

 

 

Leave No One Behind: B+NESDG: Bhutan + Nepal Higher Education for Accomplishing the Sustainable Development Goals

The International Projects Unit (IPU) of the International Cooperation and Foreign Students Department (ICFSD), RTU, has started implementing a new Erasmus+ capacity building project with partner universities from Spain, Greece, Nepal and Bhutan – B+NESDG. The aim of the project is to apply the Principles of Sustainable Development in two developing countries (Nepal and Bhutan) through:

1) Creating “integral institutions” that foment sustainability, inclusion and social responsibility in every part of the institutions.

2) Integrating education in Sustainable Development into Institutions of Higher Education using a quality-based, inclusive and equitable approach

3) Modernizing the current pedagogical framework to instill in students the knowledge, capabilities, values and attitudes necessary to become responsible citizens

4) Developing extended capabilities through training of the entire university community

5) Generating a new, flexible curricular framework through non-perspective nature of its content.

The activities and trainings foreseen in the B+NESDG project are centered on the Education, having as the main objective inclusion of sustainability principles within all aspects of institutional operations. In that way the project aims to strengthen the capacity of the higher education institutions from Bhutan and Nepal involved in the project (Royal University of Bhutan (RUB); Nepal Engineering College (NEC); Sagarmatha Engineering College (SEC); Kathmandu University (KU); Pokhara University (PU); Far-western University (FU) to support the process of achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs) on a national level.

The project is coordinated by Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena (Spain) – one of RTU’s partner universities within the European University of Technology (EUt+) initiative.

For more information about the project, please contact the International Projects Unit of RTU: Agnieszka Maj (Agnieszka-Kamila.Maj@rtu.lv)

https://bnesdg.eu/

RTU has started work on a new Erasmus+ Capacity Building project SMARTI

From April 2021 Erasmus+ Capacity Building project ‘‘Support for Innovative Methodology, Approaches and Tools for Teaching through the Medium of English in order to improve Educational Yield, Sustainability and Internationalization’’ (SMARTI) has started it’s implementation. Project team includes 15 partners from 6 countries and RTU is one of the four European partners that will help promote the excellence of education in a number of higher education institutions of Armenia and Russia by developing and implementing EMI educational programs and establishing EMI centers.

Partners of the SMARTI Project:
1. Technische Universität Dresden (Germany)- Project Lead Partner
2. Riga Technical University (Latvia)
3. Liverpool John Moores University (UK)
4. Universidade Catolica Portuguesa- Faculty of Biotechnology (Portugal)
5. Ogarev Mordovia State University (RF) –Lead Partner Russia
6. Irkutsk National Research Technical University (Russia)
7. Kazan Federal University (Russia)
8. Petrozavodsk State University (Russia)
9. Certification Association Russian Register (Russia)
10. Public Administration Academy of the Republic of Armenia (Armenia) – Lead Partner Armenia
11. Vanadzor State University after H. Toumanyan (Armenia)
12. Armenian National Argrarian University (Armenia)
13. Nalbandyan State University of Shirak (Armenia)
14. Goris State University (Armenia)
15. National Centre for Professional Education Quality Assurance (Armenia)

The activities of this project are aimed at the formation of a sustainable and effective teaching environment in English in higher education. The project involves the development of methodology and practical tools, as well as direct training of faculty to work in English as a teaching environment.

One of the key planned results of the project will be an establishment of corresponding preparatory centers within the Russian and Armenian universities, whose area of responsibility will include activities for additional training of teaching staff, consulting, methodological and linguistic support for teachers teaching in English.

In the three-day online kick-off meeting representatives from all of the 15 member universities of the Project Consortium presented heir universities and project teams, as well as the importance of EMI in terms of the internationalization of universities. A number of working issues were discussed, management was clarified, as well as changes conditioned by COVID-19.

The duration of the Project is three years (2021 – 2024) and RTU in the project will participate in consultations during development of teacher competence descriptors, and will be involved into tuning of the monitoring methodology for PC universities. RTU will also organise a 10 days EMI training for EMI participants, as well as develop EMI training modules for them. RTU together with partners from Certification Association Russian Register (Russia) and National Centre for Professional Education Quality Assurance (Armenia) will manage the WP3 – Quality assurance and will lead a quality assurance seminar in the 3rd year of the project. Moreover, RTU will contribute to all planning and regular work management procedures and will be involved in all international project meetings, the key interim and final conference of the project.

For more information about the SMARTI project, please, contact the International Projects Unit of RTU: Ieva Ziemele, ieva.ziemele@rtu.lv.

Erasmus+ Capacity Building Project MEGA Seminar Results

Year 2021 marks the end of several Erasmus+ Capacity Building projects that the International Projects Unit (IPU) of RTU started implementing in 2017. The COVID-19 pandemic slowed down the implementation processes slightly, but fortunately all the projects were able to tackle these difficulties. One of the projects that managed to successfully complete its activities was MEGA – a project focusing on building capacity by implementing mhGAP mobile intervention in SADC countries. On May 7th the MEGA final conference – “New Dawn for Mental Health in Southern Africa” – took place, during which the main outcomes were presented to seminar participants.

RTU team was honored to present the MEGA mobile application designed for mental health screening and its development process. Also, other presentations given during the MEGA final conference displayed strong evidence that the MEGA application has already had a positive impact on the daily work of primary healthcare specialists in South Africa and Zambia. This is the reason why the MEGA application will be publicly available on Google Store after the project lifespan, thus supporting the sustainability of the project and the project outcomes.

All the consortium partners are extremely satisfied with the results achieved and hope that they will have the opportunity to continue the fruitful cooperation within the fields of health care, mental health and beyond. More information about the MEGA project is available on the project website: https://mega.turkuamk.fi/

   

EthiCo – Project Focusing on Ethics and Ecology in Technological Education

As a member of the European University of Technology (EUt+), Riga Technical University (RTU) is committed to strengthening its relations with all EUt+ partners not only within the European Universities initiative, but also by implementing other joint research and cooperation projects. One of the projects aimed at broadening cooperation among all EUt+ partners is EthiCo – an Erasmus Strategic Partnership (KA203) project with the aim to develop new approaches to ethics and ecology in technology education. The project is coordinated by Professor Noel Fitzpatrick from Technological University Dublin (Ireland) who is also leading a structural unit within EUt+ – the European Culture and Technology Lab (ECT Lab+). All ECT Lab+ partners are also actively involved in the EthiCo 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. EthiCo is the first ECT Lab+ project that has received funding and its importance is explained by Prof. N. Fitzpatrick as follows: “With the advent of ecological transition, ethical and ecological questions have tended to converge in relation to the development and impact of technologies; the focus of the project will be to develop ethical frameworks in order to better understand the ethical implications of technological development in and for society in a time of transition.”

ECT Lab+ partners are currently developing a new project application that will add an additional dimension to the topics addressed by EthiCo and focus on the study of aesthetics. For more information about the EthiCo project and the work of the ECT Lab+, please contact the International Projects Unit of RTU: Anete Beinarovica (anete.beinarovica@rtu.lv)