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!

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/).