UT researchers looking for possibilities for sustainable growth of maritime economy in the Gulf of Finland and the Archipelago Sea

2 months 3 weeks ago

Within the Estonian-Finnish joint project Plan4Blue “Maritime Spatial Planning for Sustainable Blue Economies”, UT researchers are studying the possibilities for planning and developing marine and maritime economies in the era of high and rapidly increasing demand for maritime space.

According to Robert Aps, head of the Department of Marine Systems of the UT Estonian Marine Institute, collaboration between Estonian and Finnish scientists and authorities is an important premise for finding environmentally sound cross-border solutions for the spatial planning of the Gulf of Finland and the Archipelago Sea. “Our activities in this project rely completely on the cooperation between the two countries’ authorities, scientists and stakeholders,” said Aps.

The project is meant to support and bridge the maritime spatial planning processes of Estonia and Finland. Pursuant to the directive of the Parliament and Council of Europe, member states have to establish and implement their maritime spatial planning by the year 2020. The aim is to support the achievement of the objectives of the Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union.

Plan4Blue was launched in October 2016 and in the course of the project, the current situation of the maritime space of the Gulf of Finland and the Archipelago Sea and the maritime economy of the coastal areas will be analysed. The results allow to assess the economic potential of different sectors for regional development. As an innovative approach, the environmental dimension of planning is associated with the economic and social aspects of important ecosystem services, stipulating the achievement of the good environmental status of the sea as a requirement.

The project Plan4Blue is financed by the European Regional Development Fund (The Central Baltic Programme 2014-2020) and the Environmental Investment Centre from October 2016 to December 2019. Project participants are NGO Baltic Environmental Forum, University of Tartu (Estonian Marine Institute and School of Economics), Finnish Environment Institute, University of Turku, and the regional councils of Helsinki-Uusimaa and Southwest Finland.  The Ministry of Finance of Estonia and the county governments of Harju, Ida-Viru and Lääne-Viru participate as associated partners.

Additional information: Robert Aps, head of the Department of Marine Systems, UT Estonian Marine Institute, 506 2597, robert.aps [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp Tartu Ülikooli pressinõunik Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-post: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee



Category: ResearchPress release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

University of Tartu researchers help fusion scientists bring the sun to the earth

3 months 1 week ago

One of the major European research and development projects EUROfusion, established to achieve the production of fusion electricity, has given work to a research group consisting of Estonian and French researchers. The group will have the possibility to create radiation-resistant optical materials, which in future could be used in diagnostics equipment monitoring the operation of fusion reactors.

It is said that nuclear fusion to produce energy is always 20 years away from us. Fulfilment of this dream would metaphorically bring the sun to the earth and as a result, people could forget energy crisis for good. Production of electricity by means of nuclear fusion is desirable because compared to modern nuclear power plants, its environmental pollution would be non-existent and fuel components are abundantly available.

To achieve fusion energy production, efforts are made by several research centres all over the world, including EUROfusion, the European consortium for fusion research. The ultimate objective of EUROfusion is fusion electricity production and this should be possible in the demonstration power plant DEMO, which is in its initial stage of design. DEMO should be able to supply fusion energy to the grid in around 2050. The huge experimental reactor ITER, currently under construction in France, should according to present plans start operation in around 2025. ITER, however, is a research project, not a power plant.

Pointing out how extremely complicated it is to imitate on Earth the fusion of hydrogen nuclei, the nucleosynthesis that takes place on the sun and other stars, French physics Nobel laureate Pierre-Gilles de Gennes said, “We say that we want to put the sun into a box. The problem is, we don’t know how to make the box.”

One of the most critical issues in building the so-called “box”, the fusion reactor, is the radiation tolerance of the materials of reactor components.

“The solar simulator hidden in the reactor is able to effectively activate the turbine, but may at the same time have a devastating effect on all the reactor components that are located near the fusion process,” explained Eduard Feldbach, senior research fellow in materials science of the Institute of Physics.

According to Feldbach, building a reactor for electricity production requires materials that are much more radiation-resistant than those we are able to produce today. “Materials scientists need to team up to develop new ideas,” he said.

This is exactly what he has done for several years already with colleagues from the Laboratory of Physics of Ionic Crystals of the University of Tartu Institute of Physics and the Laboratory of Science of Processes and Materials, which belongs to the national CNRS system of France. Together they hope to create highly radiation-resistant optically transparent materials, which could be used in diagnostic devices monitoring the operation of the future reactor.

Such an optical material is to be developed on the basis of the new, so-called spinel nitrides class of materials. In terms of radiation tolerance, materials with spinel structure have a useful feature, their self-healing ability. The idea of self-healing materials may sound like science fiction, but Feldbach says a more precise description would require a whole scientific article.

European fusion research consortium EUROfusion, however, has read all the scientific papers on this subject and believes it is possible to create such new highly radiation-resistant material and use it in the fusion reactor, and has supported the Estonian and French researchers’ work from the measure Enabling Research. “We applied for a total of 540,000 euros for the period of two years to realise our idea, but we do not know yet the exact amount assigned to us. Currently, we have just received confirmation that we have been awarded the grant.”

Enabling Research is one of EUROfusion measures for finding new ideas and technologies. In the close competition in which the Estonian-French joint programme was selected for funding, grants were awarded to 26 more projects. In total, 79 applications were submitted.

Photos: http://novaator.err.ee/v/tehnika/02a4e332-2454-4dd7-a34c-7a2921382fef/tartu-teadlased-aitavad-tuumasunteesiuurijatel-paikese-maale-tuua

Additional information: Eduard Feldbach, UT senior research fellow in materials science, 737 4762, eduard.feldbach [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp Press Officer of the UT Phone: +372 737 5683
Mobile: +372 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee


Category: ResearchPress release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

Garage48 Hardware & Arts 2017 hackathon is open for registration

3 months 1 week ago

On February 17-19th the Garage48 Hardware & Arts 2017 is happening again at the Institute of Physics, University of Tartu in Tartu, Estonia. The hackathon gathers electronics, mechatronics and software engineers, UI/UX and product designers, marketers and other professionals for 48 hours under the same roof.

The goal is to turn a pitched idea into a working physical prototype. The annual event is taking place already for the 4th time, being it one of the most awaited prototyping boot-camps in the Baltic region.

No idea is too crazy or complicated - be it an air filtering helmet, a virtual reality augmented cocoon for doing sports, a music visualizing gadget block, automated camera trigger for outdoor photographers, a porridge machine, a bullet counter etc. Everything is possible to make into reality thanks to our incredible mentors and the people behind ECCOM, SPARK MakerLab and MassPortal, who will be providing the teams with valuable tools and know-how. There is also an extensive list of equipment that the product designers and engineers can enjoy and a open DigiLab for all things innovative!

Garage48 Hardware & Arts 2017 is co-organised with the University of Tartu and Estonian Academy of Arts. So whether you are a product or UI/UX designer, marketer, entrepreneur, hardware or software engineer, be ready to build the products that we all need, want and dream of! Think of robots, drones, wearables, AI, design, mixed reality, IoT, sensors, sci-fi and Elon Jobs. Or as our motto goes - You can be anything you can build to be!

Limited number of seats are available at https://en.xing-events.com/HA2017.html
Check out also our website for more info at http://garage48.org/events/hardwarearts2017
For any questions, please e-mail us at hardware [ät] garage48.org

Additional information: Alvo Aabloo, 507 8356, alvo.aabloo [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp Press Officer of the UT Phone: +372 737 5683
Mobile: +372 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee


Category: Research
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

International study programme brought 16 San Diego State University students to Estonia

3 months 2 weeks ago

From 28 December to 10 January, students from UT’s partner university participated in the continuing education programme “Russia and Estonia in the European Dimension” which gave them an overview of Estonian-Russian relations, history, cooperation and future perspectives. Particular attention was paid to security in the region.

“The international study programme takes place in the context of long-term cooperation. In earlier years, participants have highlighted our extensive programmes and competent lecturers and we hope that also in future, students from the United States of America come to study in Estonia,” said programme director for the UT International Summer University Mari-Ann Susi.

The lectures of the programme were delivered by UT faculty members Andrey Makarychev, Andres Kasekamp, Piret Ehin, Viktor Trasberg and Eoin McNamara.

Feedback to the programme has been highly positive. Students emphasised the competence of the teaching staff and noted that direct contacts make it possible to understand better what is going on in Estonia.

“I value very highly the study abroad programmes. You can learn about another culture in the classroom but to really understand people you need to communicate with them in their home town,” said Dale Bullington, student of San Diego State University. His opinion was supported by another participant Colin Campbell, who particularly appreciated the lecture “Russian-speaking minority in Estonia 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union”, especially the information it gave about the Estonia’s recent history and the relationships of the Russian- and Estonian-speaking population. “This lecture gave us insight into the Estonian perspective to international relations,” said Campbell.

In addition to academic lectures and seminars, the course included a rich and varied cultural programme in Tartu, St. Petersburg and Tallinn. The participants also visited the U.S. Embassy in Tallinn.

Additional information: Mari-Ann Susi, programme director for UT International Summer University, +372 501 4388, mari-ann.susi [ät] ut.ee, www.isu.ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp Press Officer of the UT Phone: +372 737 5683
Mobile: +372 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee


Category: International
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

Rector Volli Kalm hosts colleagues from Vilnius University and the University of Latvia

3 months 2 weeks ago

Today and tomorrow rector Volli Kalm will host colleagues from Vilnius University and the University of Latvia. The rectors are going to discuss the specific development problems and challenges faced by universities of smal countries.

Rector of the University of Latvia Professor Indrikis Muižnieks and rector of Vilnius University Professor Artūras Žukauskas are visiting Tartu to attend the annual trilateral meeting of the rectors of leading Baltic universities held since 2011. The previous meeting of this series took place last April in Vilnius. In addition to the meeting, the rectors will also visit the Maarjamõisa technology campus.

“The cooperation of the three leading universities of the Baltic countries supports on our shared responsibility for ensuring positive changes in our countries and societies,” rector of the University of Tartu Professor Volli Kalm said to point out the importance of this meeting. “Cooperation between the universities has continued for more than 25 years already, but the three national universities together can even more powerfully highlight the role of universities in educating smart generations and solving important problems of the future,” Kalm added.

In order to encourage the cross-border cooperation of the three Baltic countries and the cooperation of their leading universities in academic affairs, and to promote among students the language and culture studies of other Baltic countries, the three rectors intend to sign an agreement to establish a scholarship for students proficient in all the official languages of the three Baltic countries. The scholarship of 2000 euros will be awarded in turns by the rectors of the University of Tartu, the University of Latvia and Vilnius University. In addition, every year the rectors support three scholarship candidates from their university who reach the final round to cover their travel costs.

Additional information:
Kristi Kerge, UT head of international cooperation, 737 6123, kristi.kerge [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp Press Officer of the UT Phone: +372 737 5683
Mobile: +372 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee


Category: UniversityPress release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)
36 minutes 53 seconds ago
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