On the 3rd of September, 2020, EACH master students successfully defended their master’s theses!

On the picture from left to right: Nhung, Çigdem, Kim, Dariya, Aizhan, Jeewan, Jocelyn, and Marvy.

The topics of the theses demonstrated the wide scope of the field of EACH studies. They ranged from the application of near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy to liquid chromatography (LC) coupled with a fluorescence detector. The samples, that were analyzed, ranged from pharmaceutical ingredients to bituminous binders. Also, various chemical processes were studied, for example, saccharification, co-fermentation, and even monitoring of industrial processes were performed.

Full list of students and thesis topics:

  • Jocelyn CardenasFeasibility study on the use of near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy for the continuous monitoring of ethanol and propan-2-ol in amine mixture from ARKEMA La Chambre site
  • Kim EscrupuloRaman spectroscopy for online monitoring of high-pressure hydrogenation reaction in synthesis of an active pharmaceutical ingredient intermediate
  • Jeewan Babu RijalMethod development and validation for the analysis of avermectins in water, soil, and dung matrix using high-performance liquid chromatography and fluorescence detector for the application to study the dissipation of organic micro-pollutants in the environmen
  • Marvy GirgisMulticriteria analysis and relationship/models between chemical structure, rheology and standard characterization on novel bituminous binders
  • Aizhan KazmaganbetovaDetermination of ClO2 in the process of betaine bleaching
  • Nhung DangEvaluation of Raman spectroscopy for online measurement and monitoring of industrial processes
  • Dariya TukhmetovaOnline monitoring of simultaneous saccharification and co-fermentation (SSCF) process with mid-IR and low-field NMR spectroscopic methods

Congratulations and wishing you all the best for your future!

This week is the first study week for the new students of Applied Measurement Science and EACH Erasmus Mundus Joint Programme. Altogether 21 students started their studies. The countries of origin of the students are very diverse: Vietnam, Philippines, USA, Dominican Republic, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Yemen, Taiwan, Nigeria, Moldova, and Bangladesh.

This year the studies start very differently from previous years, because of the COVID-19. As of now, the majority of students are still not in Estonia. However, the programme team has made extensive preparations for providing e-learning possibilities and we are confident that in spite of the late arrival of many students we will be able to successfully carry out all the necessary teaching activities. The “group photo” on the left (from the introductory session) illustrates the situation.

During the online introductory meeting on Monday 31.08.20 an overview of both programmes was given (see the slides), the autumn semester timetable was explained in detail and a large number of questions were asked and answered.

We wish successful studies to all new students!

 

We are glad to announce that the EACH programme received the Erasmus Mundus grant for the next four intakes (starting from intake 2021).

More information about the admission process and dates will be available on this web page (in section “Admission information”).

On the 8th of June, 2020, eight EACH master students successfully defended their master’s theses via the web.

The defenders and the members of the committee were caught on a screenshot. Defenders: Varun Vashneel Sharma, Hark Karkee, Larissa Silva Maciel, Bhawana Thapa, Evelyn Coenen, Patcharida Kanjanwongpaisan, Estida Vezi, Mark Dennis Chico Retrato. Members of the committee: Prof. Jonas Bergquist, Prof. Mikael Widersten, Prof. Magnus Palmblad and Prof. Ivo Leito.

The topics of the theses demonstrated the wide scope of the field of EACH studies. For example, the samples of their analyses inlcuded steroids, human blood plasma and drugs. In their experiments various mass spectrometric techniques were applied from liquid chromatography – mass spectrometry (LC-MS) to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS).

Full list of students and thesis topics:

  • Varun Vashneel Sharma: Direct tandem mass spectrometric analysis of hormonal steroids by silver cationization
  • Hark Karkee: Online-reactive chemistries for sensitive and selective direct mass spectrometric analysis of metabolites with electrospray ionization
  • Larissa Silva Maciel: Evaluation of a workflow for protein quantification in plasma by liquid chromatography – mass spectrometry
  • Bhawana Thapa: Comparison of the fecal metabolome of different sample preparation strategies for metabolomics-based investigation of microbiota metabolism
  • Evelyn Coenen: A simple validated supercritical fluid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry method for determination of endogenous tocopherols in human plasma
  • Patcharida Kanjanwongpaisan: Determination of paclitaxel and doxorubicin by liquid chromatography – mass spectrometry in stability studies and release kinetics of polyglutamic acid- drug cojugates
  • Estida Vezi: Study of microwave-assisted digestion efficiency of biological samples using diluted acids and trace elemental determination by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer
  • Mark Dennis Chico Retrato: Analytical method development for analysis of oxytocin in human blood plasma samples using ultra-performance liquid chromatography–orbitrap mass spectrometry (UPLC-Orbitrap MS)

Congratulations and wishing you all the best for your future!

On May 12, 2020 the on-line course (MOOC) Estimation of measurement uncertainty in chemical analysis offered by University of Tartu finished successfully.
Eventually altogether 843 people registered (270 in 2014, 489 in 2015, 757 in 2016, 363 in 2017, 521 in 2018, 590 in 2019) from 95 countries (a number of participants joined after the start of the course). 600 participants actually started the course (i.e. tried at least one graded test at least once) and out of them 464 successfully completed the course (141 in 2014, 169 in 2015, 308 in 2016, 148 in 2017, 358 in 2018, 238 in 2019). The overall completion rate was 55% (52% in 2014, 34% in 2015, 40% in 2016, 41% in 2017, 42% in 2018, 40% in 2019). The completion rate of participants who started the studies was 77% (67% in 2014, 60% in 2015, 67% in 2016, 68% in 2017, 61% in 2018, 62% in 2019). The completion rate this year is the best we have seen and can be considered excellent for a MOOC, especially one that has quite difficult calculation exercises, which need to be done correctly for completing the course.

The participants were very active and asked lots of questions. The questions were often very much to the point and addressed things that are really important to analysts in their everyday work. The course has several forums (general and by topic) and during the course period the overall number of forum posts was close to 600 (!) (overall number of posts, both from participants and from teachers) and the forums are still active and posts are still coming in.

This active participation made teaching of this MOOC a great experience also for us, the teachers. The discussion threads gave a lot of added value to the course and some of them triggered making important modifications to the course materials, even during the course.

We want to thank all participants for helping to make this course a success!

We plan to repeat this course again in Spring 2021.

 

The UT Analytical Chemistry group is well known for its acid-base studies, especially pKa measurements, in non-aqueous media. Up to recent time the measured data have been scattered among a number of publications containing pKa measurements.

Now the pKa data of acids and bases in different solvents – acids in MeCN and 1,2-Dichloroethane; bases in THF, MeCN and 1,2-dichloroethane – are compiled into collections of experimental acidity and basicity data in non-aqueous media measured by the UT analytical chemistry group are now up to date on group’s webpage.

Both tables include the compounds name, CAS number and SMILES code. The acidity collection contains 190 compounds, where the compounds available experimentally measured pKa in acetonitrile (MeCN) and pKip in 1,2-dichloroethane (DCE) are given. The pKa in DCE is calculated/estimated based on pKip value.

The basicity data collection includes 353 compounds and their pKip in tetrahydrofuran (THF) and in DCE. The pKa values in MeCN were re-evaluated taking into account all (close to 700) measurements of 279 bases. Therefore, these pKa values can be considered the most reliable pKa values measured in MeCN available!

We welcome everybody to use the pKa values and propose other compounds for which pKa values should be measured.

 

On Tuesday, March 24, 2020 the web course Estimation of Measurement Uncertainty in Chemical Analysis was launched the seventh time as a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course)!

Currently 828 participants from 92 countries are registered – the largest audience the course has ever had! As was the case in the previous years, the majority of participants are from analytical laboratories. This once again demonstrates the continuing need for training in measurement uncertainty estimation for practicing analytical chemists.

The full course material is accessible from the web page https://sisu.ut.ee/measurement/uncertainty. The course materials include videos, schemes, calculation files and numerous self-tests (among them also full-fledged measurement uncertainty calculation exercises). In order to pass the course the registered participants have to pass six graded tests and get higher than 50% score from each of them. These tests are available to registered participants via the Moodle e-learning platform.

This course is run under the umbrella of the Estonian Center of Analytical chemistry (https://www.akki.ee/) and forms a part of the measurements and chemical analysis related master programmes at UT: Applied Measurement Science (https://ams.ut.ee/) and Excellence in Analytical Chemistry (https://www.analyticalchemistry.eu/).

 

The 2020 edition of the web course (MOOC) Estimation of Measurement Uncertainty in Chemical Analysis will be running during Mar 24 – May 5, 2020. Registration is open for one week!

The full course material (as well as the registration link) is accessible from the web page https://sisu.ut.ee/measurement/uncertainty. The course materials include videos, schemes, calculation files and numerous self-tests (among them also full-fledged measurement uncertainty calculation exercises) and examples. Almost all areas of analytical chemistry are addressed, ranging from simple titrations to sophisticated instrumental analysis, such as determining pesticide residues by LC-MS.

In order to pass the course, the registered participants have to take six graded tests and get higher than 50% score in every graded test. These tests are available to registered participants via the Moodle e-learning platform.

Participants who successfully pass the course will get a certificate from University of Tartu. A digital certificate of completion is free of charge. A certificate of completion on paper can be requested for a fee of 60 euros.

You are welcome to distribute this message to potentially interested people!

 

On Feb 14, 2020 our LC-MS Method Validation web course (MOOC) finished successfully!
Altogether 515 (426 in 2019, 424 in 2018, 303 in 2017) people were registered from 77 (70 in 2019, 71 in 2018, 61 in 2017) countries. 267 (227 in 2019, 236 in 2018, 224 in 2017) participants actually started the course (i.e. tried at least one graded test at least once) and out of them 161 (125 in 2019, 159 in 2018, 168 in 2017) successfully completed the course. The overall completion rate was 31% (29% in 2019, 37% in 2018, 55% in 2017). The completion rate of participants who actually started the studies was 60% (55% in 2019, 67% in 2018, 75% in 2017). It is pleasant to see that the completion rate of the of the course seems to be stabilizing (as opposed to the clearly negative trend observed last year) and in fact more than 50% completion rate of people who actually started the course can be considered very good by any measure.

As has been the usual case with our online courses, the questions from the participants were often very interesting, often addressed things that are really important to analysts in their everyday work. Such discussions made teaching this course a great experience also for us, the teachers!

We want to thank all participants for helping to make this course a success!

We plan to repeat this course again in Autumn-Winter 2020-2021.

Besides XRF, the two important topics at the 2020 Winter school were Capillary electrophoresis, coupled with mass spectrometry (CE-MS), taught by prof. Christian Neusüß, and practitioner’s view on working in a GMP/GLP compliant facility, taught by Dr. Masahiko Shimmo.

Although the current world of separation science is heavily dominated by chromatography (and mass spectrometry), CE (and CE-MS) does have its place and occasionally can provide separation selectivity and efficiency, which no chromatographic technique can match. This was explained by prof. Neusüß (photo on the left), using a number of practical examples.

In any GMP/GLP compliant facility – such as e.g. chemical and pharmaceutical plants – this compliance to a large extent determines the whole way of working and imposes several obligations on personnel. You can be a skillful chemist with very good knowledge and yet, if you do not respect the requirements your company is in trouble. Dr. Shimmo (photo on the right) explained the practical aspects on the example of his company – Cambrex Tallinn, a small biopharma company in Estonia.

The last educational activity of the Winter school was the session where student teams presented their findings from the Tuesday’s work with hand-held XRF spectrometers. Although measuring with these devices is seemingly straightforward, the physics behind is far form simple and, as was demonstrated during the session, quite some knowledge is needed to interpret the obtained results. (Photo on the left: Student team no 5 presenting their XRF results)

We hope that all participants enjoyed the Winter School and look forward to the next one, in Sweden, 2021!