EACH_Erasmus_Mundus_JMDWe are glad to announce that the 2020 admission is officially open to the 6th intake of the Excellence in Analytical Chemistry (EACH) Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree programme!

This international two-year joint master degree programme 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 fourth 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 26, 2019 – Feb 07, 2020.

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 recently published two-part tutorial review:

The course materials include lectures, 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, which cannot be offered 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).

 

In a recent minireview, published in Eur. J. Org. Chem. an important part of our group’s acid-base chemistry research has been summarized: the pKa values of bases (pKaH values) determined over the years in acetonitrile have now been rigorously united into a single scale, whereby all the involved ΔpKa values have been considered for deriving the absolute pKaH values of the bases involved. Altogether 279 basic compounds are included in the scale from all major groups of organic bases (amines, pyridines, imidazoles, anilines, amidines, guanidines, phosphazenes, etc) and are linked with altogether 682 ΔpKa measurements. The full scale can be downloaded by clicking on the picture on the left.

The minireview also presents possibilities to predict the pKa values of bases in other media – namely water, DMSO and THF – on the basis of MeCN pKaH values. It is expected that this minireview will be a useful tool for future researchers who need pKa values of bases in nonaqueous solvents for planning their studies or for interpreting research results.

 

On September 5, 2019 the master thesis defence took place at University Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (UCBL). Mark Justine Zapanta, Giorgi Tsiklauri, Daniela Pinto Pérez, Yijiao Yao, Jovana Petrovic, Irina Diane Castaños and Nur Eka Fitriani (left to right in the first row on the photo) successfully defended their master’s theses!

Congratulations to all of you!

As is typical for the Lyon study track, the topics of the theses were very practical and linked to industrial interests – applications of spectroscopy and advanced modeling in industrial process control, spectroscopic mapping, portable instruments, etc. Most of the thesis projects were actually carried out at industry. This choice of topics and the long-standing industrial collaboration are rooted in the world-famous industrial analysis and control study direction at UCBL.

 

On August 19, 2019 the master thesis defence session of the third intake of the EACH programme took place at Åbo Akademi University (AAU)! Jose Antonio Wrzosek Cabrera, Davit Tediashvili and Hiu Mun Man successfully defended their master’s theses (third to fifth on the photo on the left, left to right). A fourth student, Nikola Obradović defended already on Jun 4 (photo on the right).

Congratulations to all of you!

The defence took place in front of an international jury – Adriana Ferancova (Slovakia/Finland), Ivo Leito (Estonia), Tomasz Sokalski (Finland), Rose-Marie Latonen (Finland), Johan Bobacka (Finland) (first and second, sixth to eight on the photo on the left, left to right) and Agnes Kütt (Estonia, participated via Skype).

The defended theses focused on development and applications of advanced electrochemical sensing devices – preparation of all-solid-state sensors and the coulometric signal transduction (invented at AAU), but also electrospinning.

Most of the students who defended their theses have already secured either a PhD position or a job in industry.

(Photo: Adriana Ferancova)

 

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, Estonia, Nepal, Thailand, Peru, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Sri Lanka, China, Italy, Serbia, Belarus, Poland, Mexico and Kazakhstan.
During the introductory meeting on Monday 02.09.18 an overview of both programmes was given (see the slides), the autumn semester timetable was explained in detail (see the timetable) and a large number of questions were asked and answered, accompanied by tea/coffee and cake.

We wish successful studies to all new students!

 

The educational section of a leading analytical chemistry journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, the ABCs of Education and Professional Development in Analytical Science has published a paper about the EACH programme: EACH (Excellence in Analytical Chemistry), an Erasmus Mundus Joint Programme: progress and success (https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-019-01988-8). The paper gives a comprehensive overview about the programme, including a detailed overview of the topics taught in the different study-tracks, extra activities, such as internship and winter school, but also, why is it necessary to have such a programme like EACH, and how to be a part of the EACH experience.

 

Impact of EACH – map of countries where EACH students of intakes 2015-2018 are coming from

The paper also has a section about the impact of the EACH programme – with the four years that the programme has accepted students, it has reached a lot of countries and the employability rate of the graduates is very high.

 

In September this year, the fifth intake of EACH students will start their studies and we are very happy to welcome each and every one of them to our programme!

Marko Bertic, an EACH graduate from intake 2016 reflects on life in Lyon:

Immediately after arriving in France, I realized that all the classes I took in Tartu would be used in one way or another. Already on the first day, the French administration showed its true face. Only for entering the dorm room, it was necessary to go to at least three different offices to fill out some forms (all the forms are conversations were in French). This trend continued through the whole year I spent in Lyon.
After some days of adaptation to a new environment, I started discovering the city and right away fell in love with its architecture, cafes and its position between 2 rivers, Rhône and Saone. Moreover, having a croissant or a pain au chocolate (chocolatine, if you wish – this is real issue in France how you call it) with coffee and a lot of cheese for other meals made me forget about all the drawbacks of administration and language limitations.

Geographical position of Lyon is great as well. It is only 2 hours from Paris and Marseille by a high-speed train TGV and 2 hours by bus to Genève in Switzerland.

Living in the student dormitory had its advantages since I needed about 5 min walking to the lectures, and yes, in France lectures are OBLIGATORY. Even though because sometimes on the lectures there were only a few international students and some professors were forgetting to speak and teach in English. It was rather a constant battle. Apart from the obligatory lectures, there were no midterm exams in general. Because of this, all the final exams were squeezed in one week (that’s right, approximately 1-2 exams per day).

Second semester gave me a great opportunity to do a 6 months’ internship in French company in industry. For me this was the best part of choosing France as a second year country. Furthermore, we were paid for this period (another positive of this study track). Working in the company was again a challenge since not all the people there spoke English, so our French skills came to the fore one more time. This period of about 1 year made us integrate into the French society and I can say for sure we are all at least 20 % French now.

À bientôt

UT_Students_at_the _MSC_Summer_School_2019On Saturday 20.07.2019 The MSC Euromaster Summer School 2019 (Lyon, France) finished. It was the 12th summer school of the Measurement Science in Chemistry consortium.

The hallmark of the MSC Summer schools is “learning by doing” and combining learning with fun, meeting new people and sharing experience. The feedback from the Tartu participants is below and it indicates that organizing these Summer schools it is worth the effort!

Larissa_Maciel_working_on_the_Project_in_MSC_Summer_School_2019

 

 

Larissa Silva Maciel:
The summer school exceeded all my expectations! Apart from getting a real-life problem in the laboratory, we were able to learn more about the standard ISO17025 and also practice our abilities on auditing. Additionally, we were in touch with many nationalities and were able to work in a multicultural team. I will always remember this experience!

Dariya_Tukhmetova_at_MSC_Summer_School_2019

 

Dariya Tukhmetova:
I highly recommend the summer school for future participants. No matter student of specialist, everyone can get new knowledge/skill from the summer school. Moreover, meeting new friends and sharing experience is very valuable. The school’s content covers major aspects of the measurement process in chemical lab: developing and validating testing procedure, calculating uncertainty, complying with standard. Also, it improves soft skills (communication, team building, conflict solving, time management, team leading)

Marvy_Girgis_at_Chamonix_MSC_Summer_School_2019

 

Marvy Girgis:
Although the summer school has finished, the memories, experience and skills that I have acquired will last years to come. After having theoretical lectures about accreditation, metrology and method validation , I put this experience into practice through developing a method in the lab, validating it and calculating the uncertainty of measurement to meet certain customer requirements together with my team. Also, I have learned a lot about ISO 17025:2017 in addition to visiting an accredited lab in Lyon. It wasn’t about the result but more about the process and how to do it. Moreover, meeting people from different countries and cultures was really invaluable and I had so much fun with all of them. In short, I am really grateful that I have participated in this school and certainly recommend it for anyone studying or working in the field of chemical analysis.

 

Nhung_Dang_Thi_Hong_at_MSC_Summer_School_2019

Nhung Dang Thi Hong:
Summer school is of my best experiences in Europe. It is stressful and enjoyable at the same time. The school is a great place to learn and practice metrology in chemistry, ISO standard. Also, the practical laboratory project is a highlight of the school, in which you apply the knowledge you have learnt to the “real-life” situation.
You probably would feel overwhelming at first because of an intense schedule full of lectures, group work, online tasks, lab work and reports. But you don’t need to face it all by yourself; you will be in a group with people from different background, experience and culture. And believe me, in every single task, you can always find the happiness and memorable moments. (On the photo: Nhung, sitting in the middle, with her team-mates)

Jeewan_Babu_Rijal_at_Chamonix_MSC_Summer_School_2019

 

Jeewan Babu Rijal:
The summer school started with a reception which was very welcoming and we get to know each other, all the professors and students from different Universities and also analytical chemists from different countries all had lot many things to share and we had lot many things to learn.
Summer School is more about learning and applying the learning in “the analytical game”. It can be stressful sometimes but you need to learn to find fun while doing your work. The creation of a virtual lab, developing a method, validating, analyzing a given sample, calculating uncertainties measuring all the required data for it by yourself and participating in Proficiency Testing was challenging but a great experience. In addition, ISO 17025 was also explained in detail in the e-course which goes along the group work. We also learned about auditing a lab and then visited water analyzing lab in Lyon where we tried to see how is it done by doing ourself. But it was not just about stress, the visit to the Mont Blanc and get at the top of Europe was an amazing experience. The view from there was overwhelming. The summer school closing party was an awesome moment which will make us nostalgic for a long period of time.

 

Starting from July 07, 2019 the MSC Summer School 2019 is taking place in Lyon (France), organized by the University Claude Bernard Lyon 1.

Five students from the University of Tartu take part in the summer school: Dariya Tukhmetova (Kazakhstan), Jeewan Babu Rijal (Nepal), Nhung Dang Thi Hong (Vietnam), Larissa Silva Maciel (Brazil) and Marvy Girgis (Egypt).

As in previous years, a core aim of the Summer school is teaching measurement science (metrology) topics related to analytical chemistry using active learning (“learning by doing”) approaches, as far as possible. Thus, efforts are made for increasing the share of discussions, hands-on work, teamwork. A key activity of the summer school is the contest of student teams (setting up virtual laboratories and interacting with customers), which tests their knowledge and skills in all areas of metrology in chemistry. This time the task is determining caffeine content in a cotton patch using UV-Vis spectrophotometry.

As always, serious studies and work are intermixed with fun. On Friday the whole group visited Chamonix and took the cable car to the top of Aiguille du Midi mountain (3842 meter height). Unforgettable experience for the participants!

We wish all the participants successful continuation of the summer school!

(Photo on the left by Dariya Tukhmetova: Dariya, Jeewan, Nhung, Larissa and Marvy at the Summer school; photo on the right by Marvy Girgis: UT participants in Chamonix)