The year 2020 was anything but ordinary. The EACH programme, among many others also had to quickly adapt to the new situation and regulations dictated by the COVID pandemic. And it managed well! One of the best proofs for this is the high employability rate of the recent graduates of the EACH programme: in less than 6 months 16 out of 18 graduates have acquired a new position!

Out of the 16, nine graduates continue in the academic field by pursuing a PhD, the locations ranging from University of Tartu (Estonia) and University of Uppsala (Sweden) to Iowa State University (USA) and Hubert Curien Multidisciplinary Institute under the University of Strasbourg (France), etc. Seven graduates have secured a job and the positions range from technician at Eurofins PROXY (the Netherlands) to forensic chemist and toxicologist under the ministry of justice in Egypt and from senior engineer in materials science laboratory of Western Digital (Philippines) to quality control analyst at a pharmaceutical company in Kazhastan.

Here are the stories of some of the recent graduates:

Larissa Silva Maciel (UU study-track), currently PhD student at University of Tartu, Estonia:
The EACH programme deals with a wide variety of topics and provides excellent opportunities for the students. In the first year, not only analytical techniques are studied in theory and in practice, but also some other important aspects of analytical chemistry, such as uncertainty and statistical evaluation. One of the great experiences I had within the EACH programme was in the Measurement Science in Chemistry Summer School, where we were able to cover the aforementioned topics in two weeks and make friends from different parts of the world.
During my second year in Uppsala University, we had a lot of hands-on practice in the laboratory and studied the field of proteomics in more detail. I was really lucky to do my master’s thesis in a company, at Recipharm OnTarget Chemistry, where I worked with protein quantification in plasma. This was a completely new topic for me, and I am glad for all the knowledge I got from my supervisors. A minor part of my thesis was dedicated to the topic derivatization, which is now my PhD topic at the University of Tartu.

Helmi Ulrika Kirm (AAU study-track), currently working at Synlab, Estonia:
When I first learned about the EACH programme, I was beyond excited. This was exactly what I was looking for to continue my studies in analytical chemistry! Now, 2 years later, I can confirm that indeed, the EACH programme is a wonderful opportunity for aspiring chemists to immerse themselves into Analytical Chemistry, learning from leading experts all around the world.
By having a strong basis set during the first year at University of Tartu, the second year at Åbo Akademi allows to learn further about the vast world of modern electrochemistry and consolidate the principles of analytical chemistry learned during the first year. I am truly grateful for having been part of the programme.
The programme’s reach does not stop at Chemistry – graduating during a pandemic was difficult, yet I managed start my career at a microbiology lab, proving that the EACH programme is appreciated beyond the chemistry field as well.

Hark Karkee (UU study-track), currently PhD student at Iowa State University, USA
EACH programme is an excellently created programme to produce skilled personnel for current and future job market. I have achieved more than I had expected, and this programme has redefined, reshaped and recalibrated me. This exemplar programme has instilled the basic ethos of analytical chemistry and research despite my divergent precedent.
In this programme, apart from a few mandatory courses you can register to as many courses as you want and can learn as much as you want. The top-notch teaching faculties are on par with cutting-edge laboratory facilities. The chance to choose your second-year study track at the end of first semester (during WINTER SCHOOL) is very helpful to get actual preference and achieve your goals. The Winter School is one of the most exciting things of EACH programme which I will remember forever. It gives you chance learn many interesting things in great ambience, and also you have a lot of fun with all the first year and second year students together with EACH programme coordinators and administrators from all four universities. I would describe EACH programme as a complete package, and you should experience this journey if you get an opportunity.

Kim Shelly Escrupulo (UCBL study-track), currently working as R&D Analytical Chemist at Cambrex Karlskoga, Sweden:
Pursuing the EACH programme was a leap of faith for me. Looking back, I am and will be forever thankful that I did. The first year at University of Tartu strengthened and upgraded my knowledge in Analytical Chemistry. The Industrial Analysis Track at UCBL provided further learning on Data Analysis, a handful of engineering principles and incorporating different analytical techniques for online analysis. After completing the degree, I was able to land in a job as R&D Analytical Chemist in a Pharma company. Thanks to the programme, I was more confident in applying positions other than my experience as a lab analyst. Aside from the technical stuff, living and studying in Tartu for a year was one of my fondest memories spent with amazing batchmates from different parts of the world. I am very grateful for the opportunity. I would recommend this programme to anybody who is interested with Chemistry- fresh graduate or with industrial experience. It was one of the best decisions I have made.

We wish all the best for the recent graduates in their new career!

EACH Winter School 2021 Group Photo

On Jan 18, 2021, the sixth Winter School https://each.ut.ee/EACH/each-winter-school/ of the EACH programme started. Altogether 33 students from 21 countries participate.

As is typical to the COVID-19 era, this year’s Winter School takes place on-line and with a limited scope. Nevertheless, the Winter School offers several lectures-seminars on how analytical chemistry is vital for a most diverse range of human activities ranging from industrial process control (Dr. Franck Baco-Antoniali, Axel’One https://www.axel-one.org/) to synthesis of drugs and their intermediates (Dr. Piia Liigand, TBD Biodiscovery https://biodiscovery.eu/) and from renewable energy (Robert Järviste, Skeleton Technologies https://www.skeletontech.com/) to cultural heritage research (Prof. Hilkka Hiiop, Estonian Academy of Arts https://www.artun.ee/).

Traditionally an important activity in the Winter school is selecting first year students to study tracks. In order to give one more piece of information what the study tracks are about, there was a session of presentations on the first day by second year students on their master thesis topics (photo on the right).

On Tuesday, November 24, 2020 the web course LC-MS Method Validation was launched for the fifth time as a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course). There are 788 registered participants (the largest number ever in this course) from 86 countries, ranging from Bangladesh to Belize and from Sweden to Togo. Image on the left shows the countries where the participants come from.

This is a practice-oriented on-line course on validation of analytical methods, specifically using LC-MS as technique. The course introduces the main concepts and mathematical apparatus of validation, covers the most important method performance parameters and ways of estimating them. The LC-MS validation course is delivered by a team of 8 teachers, each with their own specific area of competence. This way it is expected to offer the best possible knowledge in all the different subtopics of analytical method validation.

The full set of course materials is accessible from the web page https://sisu.ut.ee/lcms_method_validation/. The course materials include videos, schemes, calculation files and numerous self-tests (among them also full-fledged calculation exercises). In order to pass the course the registered participants have to take all tests and get higher than 50% score from each of them. These tests are available to registered participants via the Moodle e-learning platform. Participants who successfully pass the course will get a certificate from the University of Tartu.

On November 6, 2020, Huian Liu, an EACH graduate from the first intake successfully defended his PhD thesis “Development of gas chromatography in high pressure condition” at Univeristy of Claud Bernard Lyon 1 under the supervision of Prof. Jérôme Randon.
Below, Huian describes the role of the EACH programme in his achievement:

I did not have a chance to say thank you to EACH program before, but it definitely was a life-changing experience to me. It opened my eyes to a wider horizon of analytical chemistry, which is not only about analytical methods and their instrumentation, there is also chemometrics, metrology and many more. Those knowledges allowed me to be competitive in the field and capable to pursue further success.

In the second year of EACH program in France, I have had the chance to do an internship of 6 months with Prof. J. Randon, on the subject of development of high pressure gas chromatography. With the interest in the continuation and the trust from the professor, I have passed the contest from the doctoral school of Univeristy Claude Bernard Lyon 1 and finally won an entrance ticket to a challenging PhD program.
Life of research is surely complicated. Sometimes you get excited about new ideas, then defeated by the fact that it does not always work, but this is the very reason why this life is vivid. This 3-year journey, neither long nor short, is a precious opportunity to gain expertise, autonomy as well as friendship. As a plus, in the case of EACH students, it also offers a chance to practice a foreign language.
Now I have successfully defended my thesis, the very first person I would like to thank is my supervisor Prof. J. Randon, for his patience on guiding me how research works, for showing me a positive attitude when things do not work out and for spending countless time on helping and correcting my publications as well as thesis writing.
And today, I look forward to future challenges in life.

Congratulations to Dr. Huian Liu and all the best for his future career!

We are glad to announce that the admission for Excellence in Analytical Chemistry (EACH) Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree programme intake 2021 is open!

EACH is an international two-year joint master degree programme that educates specialists in analytical chemistry well qualified to work in industry (food, pharmaceutical, materials, energy, etc.), chemical analysis laboratories (environment, food, health, etc.) and research (developing new analysis devices or new analysis methods) worldwide. EACH provides knowledge and practical skills in both fundamental and applied aspects of modern analytical chemistry. Practical internship placement in industry or laboratories is an important part of the training.

The programme is suitable both for students who have finished their bachelor’s studies and want to continue in master’s studies, as well as for working analytical chemistry practitioners wishing to spend couple of years to bring their knowledge and skills to a new level.

The programme features generous scholarships as detailed in the Scholarships and tuition fees page.

The programme is taught by four universities: University of Tartu (UT, coordinator), Estonia; Uppsala University (UU), Sweden; University Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (UCBL), France; and Åbo Akademi University (AAU), Finland. The language of instruction is English, but students will also learn to communicate in one of the languages of the countries involved.

The online application form, admission requirements, deadlines, list of necessary documents, instructions/explanations, as well as contact data for questions are available from the EACH Admission information page.

We wish you all the success in applying!

Validation_of_LC-MS_Methods_Online_CourseWe are glad to announce that the fifth edition of the online course LC-MS Method Validation is open for registration at the address https://sisu.ut.ee/lcms_method_validation/ !

The course will be offered as a Massive Open On-line Course (MOOC) during Nov 24, 2020 to Feb 05, 2021.

This is a practice-oriented on-line course on validation of analytical methods, specifically using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) as technique, mostly (but not limited to) using the electrospray (ESI) ion source. The course will also be of interest to chromatographists using other detector types. The course introduces the main concepts and mathematical apparatus of validation, covers the most important method performance parameters and ways of estimating them. The course is largely based on the two-part tutorial review:

The course materials include video lectures, texts, tables, schemes, practical exercises and numerous tests for self-testing. In spite of being introductory, the course intends to offer sufficient knowledge and mathematical skills for carrying out validation for most of the common LC-MS analyses in routine laboratory environment. The real-life analysis situations for which there are either examples or self-tests are for example determination of pesticides in fruits and vegetables, perfluoroalkyl acids in water, antibiotics in blood serum, glyphosate and AMPA in surface water, etc. It is important to stress, that for successfully carrying out validation, practical experience – both in analytical chemistry as such and also specifically in validation – is crucial and this can be acquired only through hands-on laboratory work, not via an on-line course.

Participation in the course is free of charge. Receiving digital certificate (in the case of successful completion) is also free of charge. Printed certificate (to be sent by post) is available for a fee of 60 EUR. Registration is possible until the start of the course. The course material is available from the above address all the time and can be used via web by anyone who wishes to improve the knowledge and skills in analytical method validation (especially when using LC-ESI-MS).

 

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!