Wednesday, 26 May 2021

REPLACE Project from Horizon Europe: Third Primorska-Goranska County Renewable Energy Meeting Held in Rijeka

May 26, 2021 - With Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar (EIHP) being the lead partner, the REPLACE Project from Horizon Europe steadily continues the progress of renewable energy for the Kvarner region.

Earlier in January, TCN wrote about Croatian energy development, whose goal is to be based on clean technologies. And that it's not all empty talk, as shown by the third meeting of a local workgroup enrolled in the REPLACE Project. As Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar (EIHP) reports on its website, the REPLACE Project has a goal of supporting European energetic, climate, environmental, economic, and social goals with the deadline until 2030 and 2050.

As part of the OBZOR 2020 (Horizon Europe) EU program for research and innovations in the 2014-2020 time frame, the REPLACE Project receives EU funding. Twelve partners from nine countries participate in the project, and EIHP is in charge of the project activities in Primorska-Goranska county. In support of European goals, the plan of REPLACE Project is to gradually switch the current ineffective and outdated heating and cooling systems with new efficient systems which rely on renewable energy.

The meeting held at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Rijeka saw Dražen Balić, Antonia Tomas Stanković, and Lea Leopoldović from EIHP hold lectures presenting results of the first period of the project, but also the plans for future activities. The accent was put on implementing campaigns and collective actions supported by the members of the local workgroup. Energetic poverty, gender aspects, and „lock-in effect“ (an economic practice, where a company makes it extremely hard for their customers to leave them, even if the customer wants to) are the obstacles the project runners are aware of and were explained in greater detail. Another thing that stood out in the presentation was the presentation „Technology of Blue Energy in Croatia“, which presented modern technologies used in heating and cooling in coastal areas, and applicable to the Primorska -Goranska county.

Key institutions in the regions such as REA Kvarner (regional energy agency), Energo Rijeka (gas and heat energy provider), representatives of the Primorska-Goranska county, OIE Hrvatska (The economic-interest association The Renewable Energy Sources of Croatia - RES), and Rijeka Consumer Centre were present at the meeting, showing that the motivation to bring energy efficiency in Primorska-Goranska County is in its full strength. Both on corporal, political, and expert levels. 

Learn more about Rijeka on our TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Faculty of Science (PMF) Donation: Five New Laptops For Faculty of Metallurgy in Sisak

May 25, 2021 - Following the issues caused by the earthquake in Petrinja, a Faculty of Science (PMF) donation o the Faculty of Metallurgy in Sisak ensured five laptops for students that need them the most.

The devastating 6.3 earthquake that hit Banovina / Banija on December 29 saw Croatia still have a troubling situation in Petrinja, Baranja, Glina, and other places, which also attracted huge public interest regarding voters mood in those areas on local elections.

The need for help and donations is still for rebuilding and restoring functional infrastructure is still needed, and on top of it all, it's one of the poorest regions in the whole country. Sadly, that also goes for the students of the Faculty of Metallurgy, the University of Zagreb, which is based in Sisak.

As reported by the official website of the Faculty of Science (PMF) at the University of Zagreb, the Metallurgy Faculty dean, dr. Zdenka Zovko Brodarac wrote to PMF asking for a donation for five functional computers for their students of weaker economic status, coming from quake-hit areas. Computers are even more needed due to the coronavirus pandemic; online classes are ever-present in the education of the new generations of Croatian experts and intellectuals.

„PMF knows that the big demands of online learning are put before students, and it's very challenging to deal with that form of learning, particularly for families with lower incomes. To ensure quality participation in online learning, PMF decided to donate five laptops“, informed PMF.

Student representatives and the deans of two faculties were present while receiving computers. Zovko Brodarac thanked them for the computers promising they will find their way to those who need them the most, while PMF dean dr. Mirko Planinić pointed out that he supports all activities regarding education and youth, and overall raising the living standards of people in the area.

PMF is the home to the geophysical department, whose domain of scientific interest also includes earthquakes. Furthermore, within the department operates a Croatian Seismological Survey that collects and analyzes these powerful forces of nature in Croatia – both in their most destructive editions and in unnoticeable ones too. The shocking aftermath saw Croatian authorities taking the threat more seriously, and as TCN reported earlier in 2021, acquiring new equipment for measuring seismic activity that was placed on Petrinja cemetery.

The Metallurgy Faculty in Sisak saw its constitution as an independent unit within the Zagreb University on February first, 1979, while its scientific-educational council was established a year earlier, specifically on November 3rd, 1978. This was an answer to the educational need to meet the industrial development of Sisak, which in Croatia remains a synonym for the heavy industry even today.

The faculty offers education for metallurgy (specializations for metallurgical engineering and industrial ecology on bachelor level), as well as workplace security and health studies (major level), and the course on metallurgy engineering (machinery. shipbuilding, and aircraft).

Did you know that an hour and five minutes drive from Sisak is Lonjsko Polje Nature Park? Learn more on our TC page.

For more about education in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 21 May 2021

E-Matematika: New Online Instruction Developing Business That Helps Pupils

May 21, 2021 - With math seeing more and more appreciation, it's still, quite rightfully, a challenging discipline that not everyone can comprehend. Quality lessons, additional instructions, and motivated lecturers and teachers are the obvious recipe to both help those who struggle with math and those who are good at it to achieve their best possible potential.

However, the coronavirus pandemic is still present and is still causing difficulties in the Croatian education system, forcing pupils and professors to switch from online to live lectures or a mix of the two, putting additional pressure on sharing knowledge on any imaginable subject. With math being a discipline that requires lots of practice and explanations, it's perhaps the subject which has suffered the most.

Still, as Srednja.hr reports, a great potential solution to this issue appeared back in October 2020 when Robert Pavlik started E-Matematika, a website, for online math instructions.

''The site is focused on all students that need help with math, whether it's about fixing a bad grade or preparing for an exam“, writes Srednja.hr.

E-Matematika currently offers 45 minutes of lessons, offering solved mathematical tasks with the procedure detailed, as well as a video explanation.

These instructions are paid for simply through the ''order instructions''check-out process, and it's all quite automated. However, phone and videocalls for arranging instructions are an option for the safety of kids so that parents can see with whom they'll be communicating. Reliable platforms for communication such as Zoom, Google Meet, and MS Teams are also used, and two conditions need to be satisfied for the instructions to work: easy platform access for the student and an uninterrupted video connection. Each instruction ends with the service sending a questionnaire to the students to see how happy they are with the whole experience, as well as a receipt. The questionnaire builds the personal rating of the instructor.

There are four levels of instructions: lower elementary classes, higher elementary classes, high schools, and faculties, which offer more effective services as some instructors prefer to work with teens, and others are specialised working with younger kids. The site so far boasts 100 instructors, and in addition to maths, Croatian pupils can also find instructions from the subjects of physics and chemistry. Srednja.hr adds that students from field-related faculties recognised the work of E-Matematika and want to participate.

The site welcomes anyone interested to apply to become the next instructor, as long as they satisfy the following conditions: two years of instructing experience as a minimum, excellent communication skills, reliability, flexibility in organising instructions, along with patience and the ability to focus on a student.

It's also worth mentioning that the first concept of online instructions in Croatia (again, for math, but also for statistics) appeared in 2011, when a mathematics professor at the Faculty of Science (PMF), University of Zagreb, Toni Milun, started posting videos explaining the curriculum online and for free. And you guessed it; it was a huge hit.

Despite Milun offering additional mathematics lessons for free, E-Matematika having more than 500 registered users and 2000 orders, it seems it can justify the paid offer with its value and use.

However, it will be interesting to see will this trend continue when the pandemic is over and the face-to-face instructions return as normal. Currently, the Croatian media landscape is seeing more and more pupils and parents stepping out and saying that nothing can replace face-to-face classes.

Learn more about Croatian inventions & discoveries: from Tesla to Rimac on our TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 20 May 2021

Croatian Mathematical Society (HMD) Has a New President, Dr. Vesna Županović

May 20, 2021 - Earlier in May, the Croatian Mathematical Society (HMD) elected a new president, Dr. Vesna Županović.

As Vedran Pavlić wrote for TCN back in 2016, Croatian students were then better in math than in 2011. Fantastic results were also accomplished in 2018 when Croatian students scored medals at the mathematical olympiad. Good results didn't go amiss in 2020, and initiatives for promoting science (such as the one of the Local History Museum in the central town of Ogulin that introduced kindergarten kids with quantum physics), appear all over the country.

Scientists do have their own professional associations, representing them and with more engaging, less engaging, with bigger, or smaller success, work on the promotion of their respective fields. Mathematicians are no exception, and it's worth noting that the Croatian Mathematical Society (HMD) recently has a new president, Dr. Vesna Županović. Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER) at the University of Zagreb reported on its website, an online assembly of HMD voted that Županović be the new president on May 14, replacing dr. Hrvoje Kraljević was the president for the past 14 years.

vesna_zupanovic.jpg

Vesna Županović, screenshot / Treći element

Apart from her new function, Županović is the professor at FER's department for applied mathematics.

Being the faculty that expects excellent mathematical knowledge, FER is quite happy with this decision of HMD, and they also explained the importance of the aforementioned society.

„HMD goal is to enhance and promote mathematical sciences, math education on all levels, math applying in other fields, as well as enhancing the social status of mathematicians in general“, said FER on their website while congratulating. Županović on being elected.


They added that HMD has five departments: education, scientific, engineering, professional, and student department, along with a youth section that gathers pupils on lower levels of the education system. Publishing scientific and professional magazines and books on math is in the domain of the organization too.


Before being president, Dr. Županović was the Head of the Engineering department on HMD. Born in Split in 1965, she graduated from Mathematical Gymnasium in Split and went on to Zagreb to study math at the Faculty of Science (PMF), University of Zagreb. Her competence in math includes Nonlinear equations, Bifurcation, Fractals, Limit-cycles, Nonlinear dynamical systems, and Spirals.

Croatian Mathematical Society stated on its website that they are organizing conferences, math competitions, participation in math Olympics and other international contests, summer schools, and more.

In 1994, HMD also started a Mathematical Foundation For Science with a goal to award young scientists for their contribution. The receiver of the award can't be more than 35 years old, and concluding with 2015; five awards have been given in total since the first award in 1996.

Learn more about Croatian inventions & discoveries: from Tesla to Rimac on our TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

European Conference for Social Work Research: Croatian And Swiss Scientists Participate in Social Work Symposium

May 19, 2021 - Held in Bucharest, Romania, the European Conference For Social Work Research saw Croatian and Swiss scientists jointly participate in scientific issues of social work in Croatia and Switzerland.

Earlier in May, the University of Bucharest, located after the biggest city and capital of Romania, held an online edition of the European Conference For Social Work Research (ECSWR).
Swiss and Croatian teams jointly participated in the symposium „Opportunities and Obstacles in the Evaluation of Homelessness from a Lifeworld-oriented International Social Work Perspective“, which saw prof. Matthias Drilling and dr. Zsolt Temesvary represent their University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW), and dr. Lynette Šikić Mićanović represent the Croatian Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute. The conference was organized by The European Social Work Research Association (ESWRA)

As stated by ESWRA's official website, the association was founded in 2014 with a goal to create social work research development, collaboration, and exchange across Europe. As the ECSWR conference saw overwhelming levels of engagement, the ESWRA association today counts 600 members from across more than 33 countries.

„ESWRA’s vision is to take forward the development, practice, and utilization of social work research to enhance knowledge about individual and social problems, and to promote just and equitable societies“, says ESWRA.

While Dr. Lynette Šikić Mićanović presented Croatia at the conference, she is also a member of the team that includes Suzana Sakić and Paula Greiner. Along with the aforementioned Swiss team, the Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute informed that the Croatian team participated in a joint research project called "Exploring Homelessness and Pathways to Social Inclusion: A Comparative Study of Contexts and Challenges in Swiss and Croatian Cities (No. IZHRZO_180631/1).

„This work is financed within the Croatian-Swiss Research Program of the Croatian Science Foundation and the Swiss National Science Foundation with funds obtained from the Swiss-Croatian Cooperation Program”, says the Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute on its website.

Looking at the „Homelessness and Social Exclusion in Croatia“ science paper whose author is Lynette Šikić-Mićanović from 2010, its abstract suggests that „homelessness is a relatively new phenomenon in most Croatian cities and has been largely ignored by policymakers and social scientists“. So, Šikić-Mičanović's paper aimed to research and contribute new data on a previously unresearched social group to answer the urgent need for a fuller understanding of the perceptions and experiences of homeless people in Croatia.

„Based on the research findings of this study, a number of recommendations can be made for the provision of comprehensive information, services, and assistance to lessen social exclusion among homeless persons as well as to facilitate their routes out of homelessness“, says the paper. Based on scientific research, there are overall five recommendations, as follows:
1.) Special attention – apart from accommodation – needs to be paid to the quality (or lack) of services that homeless people urgently require, such as medical, counseling, legal, supportive holistic assistance from professional qualified and sensitised staff, and so on.
2.) Continual and systematic evaluation is required at shelters and among the wider homeless population by teams of qualified persons, researchers, and/or non-governmental organisations for the assessment and articulation of their needs, abilities, aspirations, and problems.
3.) Programmes need to be developed at the local level to meet different contextual needs. These could include more accessible (less public) soup kitchens, perhaps with special menus (e.g., for diabetics); the introduction of public bathhouses, day centres, doctor’s/dentist’s surgery, or subsidised accommodation for homeless persons, depending on the context.
4.) Volunteers from all age groups should be found and trained with a view to increasing public awareness of homelessness and social exclusion and dispelling the myths and stereotypes about homeless people.
5.) Former shelter users should be monitored and assisted with accommodation and other support services (e.g., utility bills, furniture, therapy, financial aid, help with education) to prevent them from becoming homeless again.

These recommendations are directly quoted from the scientific paper for the sake of accuracy, and hopefully, for a better tomorrow, the policies of the state will follow the scientific findings and discoveries in social sciences.

Learn more about Croatia: location, facts, economy, and more on our TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

  

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Rovinj Sea Research Centre Celebrating 130 Years of Work

May 18, 2021 - The Rovinj Sea Research Centre turns 130 in 2021. It is the place in Croatia for oceanographic research and all things science related to the preservation of the sea and maritime life.

Established back in 1891 as Berlin's Aquarium Zoological Station, the research Institute is known today as the Rovinj Sea Research Centre (CIM), and last week it celebrated 130 years of work. An affiliate of the Ruđer Bošković Science Institute (IRB), that institute recently reported that CIM currently has 54 employees working in four laboratories, and the centre is heavily involved in numerous impressive scientific projects.

''This includes five projects of the Croatian Science Foundation (HrZZ), worth 5,855 635 HRK, three projects financed within the INTERREG cross border programme (worth 1,326 000 euros), three projects with European structural and investment funds (7,189 531 HRK), and two projects financed within the EU programme for research and innovations, OBZOR 2020, valued at 179,360 euros,“ says the IRB official website.

The section of the IRB page dedicated to CIM adds that the centre offers a multidisciplinary take on the research of the sea, offering both basic and applicable oceanographic research. This includes six areas of interest: processes and dynamics in the food chain, examining the dynamics of water masses, ecology (species and the interrelations of species in both clean and in polluted waters), sea organism research (ecological, physiological, and genetic features of organisms, and a pollution effects study), the monitoring of pollution and sea quality, and finally, the monitoring of eutrophication (a process in which the environment becomes enriched with nutrients which can trigger the development of algae and cause an imbalance in the ecosystem).

Set in the beautiful town of Rovinj on the Istrian peninsula because of the clear waters of the Adriatic sea, CIM is on a mission to preserve marine life and its biodiversity.

CIM truly has a rich tradition, having conducted international systematic research and monitoring of the marine ecosystem of the Northern Adriatic for over 30 years. ''This approach became a model for the regional organisation of the European systematic monitoring of the coastal sea,'' says IRB.

IRB adds that in this long tradition, the Croatian science programme of monitoring the Northern Adriatic played a huge role. Having begun fifty years ago, it developed into the Jadran Project, making Croatia one of the first countries in all of Europe to have developed a systematic approach to the monitoring of the sea.

''Additional confirmation of the tradition and scientific quality of CIM can also be seen in the recent joining of CIM to JERICO – the Joint European Research Infrastructure network for Coastal Observatory, making CIM a partner of some of the most famous European Institutes“, concluded the IRB's explanation.

Learn more about Beaches in Croatia on our TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 14 May 2021

Ruđer Bošković Institute (IRB) Open Doors in 2021: Virtual Event To Present Science to Public in May

May 15, 2021 -The Ruđer Bošković Institute of Science (IRB), the top science facility in Croatia, is hosting a public event. Despite the event being online, the educational and entertaining side of the 17-year-old manifestation won't go amiss.  

With the pandemic still causing havoc, events happen either with a limited number of visitors or in the virtual world. And with Ruđer Bošković Science Institute (IRB) being both socially responsible and brilliant in using modern technologies in the best possible matter - chose the latter. The doors of the Ruđer Bošković Science Insitute, from May 18th until May 22nd, unlike previous years, will not be as open as they were before for the public, but the scientific platforms which will be launched on the ODI2021 website aim to ensure an educational and fun experience.

The doors will be open to ''children of all ages, their parents, teachers, students, professors and everyone with a curious and open mind and an adventurous spirit“, IRB stated, welcoming people to join the platform in the description of their Facebook event announcement.

All the content will be available on social media under the following hashtags: #odi2021hibrid, #odi2021, and #istraziplatforme.

Additionally, you can follow the event on Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter.

Rudjer_Boskovic.jpg

Ruđer Bošković, painted by R. Edge Pine in London, 1760 © public domain

The Ruđer Bošković Institute is named after Ruđer Bošković, a famous Croatian scientist and philosopher (May 18, 1711, in Dubrovnik - February 13, 1787, in Milan).  

The online edition of the Croatian Encyclopedia describes Ruđer Bošković as a universal mind that enrolled in various branches of science, was an excellent mathematician, and even a writer, and a poet who also dealt with practical problems such as swamp drainages and more.

''Bošković was the first person in the history of science to introduce the method of the equation of measurement by setting up two conditions that P.S Laplace later explained in a mathematical form, which is why it's called Laplace's method (in recent times it has been referred to as the Bošković.Laplace method)“, according to the Croatian Encyclopedia.

As Biografija.hr states, the IRB Institute was established back in 1950 and was originally focused on atomic physics. Today, however, IRB is the largest scientific research institution in all of Croatia.

''With its size, scientific productivity, international recognition in research, and the quality of scientific personnel and research equipment, it's the leading scientific institution for nature and biomedical sciences, as well as in the research of the sea and the environment“, says the IRB website.  

Ratko_Mavar_Institut_Ruđer_Bošković.jpg

© Ratko Mavar / Institut Ruđer Bošković

The aforementioned success and recognition saw the Ruđer Bošković Institute's open door day, which has been being held since back in 2004, and attracts huge public attention. Three thousand people attended the event back in 2019, making it an excellent opportunity to popularise and introduce science to people of all ages, in the hope society will appreciate scientists' hard work more on the one hand, and attract new generations to pursue scientific or research careers on the other.  

Learn more about Croatian inventions & discoveries: from Tesla to Rimac on our TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 14 May 2021

Zagreb to be Included in Producing DNA Templates

ZAGREB, 14 May, 2021 - The head of the Zagreb-based Hospital for Infectious Diseases, Alemka Markotić,  said on Friday that the European Commission would in future be authorised for the purchase and distribution of the Pfizer vaccine and that Zagreb would be one of the centres included in producing DNA templates.

That means that only mRNA vaccines will be used in the EU, not because the AstraZeneca vaccine is not of a good quality but to ensure secure production and the possibility of responding quickly to new variants of the virus given that a vaccine can be produced within 100 days, said Markotić.

In addition to a high level of antibodies that remain for about six months, it is worthwhile developing cell immunity, which need not be the case with certain vaccines, she said.

"In 2022 and 2023, Zagreb will be one of the centres that will be included in the phase of producing DNA templates, which is important for Croatia's tradition and for Zagreb regarding the production of vaccines," she underscored.

For more about health in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 14 May 2021

European Archaeology Days (EAD) at Archaeological Museum Zagreb from June 18-20

May 14, 2021 -The European Archaeology Days (EAD) at the Archaeological Museum Zagreb, held on June 18-20 and organised by the French Culture Ministry, and the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP), brings all things archaeological to the Croatian capital.

The heavy blow of the 2020 Zagreb earthquake affected the Archaeological Museum Zagreb, as did the one back in 1880. However, as the Museum continued to stand the test of time past the 19th-century tragedy, it's great to see that it resisted last year's troubles as well. Not only is it open, but it will also host European Archaeology Days (EAD) for 2021 from June 18-20.

As the Museum's official website informs its readers, the goal of the manifestation is to popularise and present archaeology as a science, and the rich programme will include workshops, lectures, exhibitions, presentations of publications and projects, as well as expert guides, virtual content, and many other types of activities.

Archaeological departments of the highest educational institutions from Zagreb, Pula, Zadar as well as the Croatian Archaeological Society, the Croatian Archaeological Institute, Institute for underwater archaeology in Zadar, Kaptol county, and museums from Zadar, Sisak, Vinkovci, and Rijeka that are dedicated to the field of archaeology and history, are all partners of the event.

The organisers of this spectacle for anyone curious about mankind's past are the Culture Ministry of the French Republic and the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP).

As a non-profit Organisation on Archaeological Open-Air Museums, Experimental Archaeology, Ancient Technology and Interpretation, EXARC reports on its website that EAD was established in France back in 2008 and coordinated by INRAP (The National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research), as a national event, but in 2019, the manifestation of this event opened up on a larger, European scale. Today, the EAD aspires to become a European concept that benefits the general public, museums, and culture.

Young as an international manifestation, it managed to be organised in 2020, but of course, under specific circumstances and with respect to all of the epidemiological measures. It was different but successful thanks to the 1,000 initiatives and 28 European countries taking part last year, all of them adapting to the virtual activities over physical ones.

''The EAD is a long weekend dedicated to archaeology in all its forms. We raise awareness and familiarise European audiences with all aspects of archaeology. A variety of events will be organised, aiming at engaging families, schools, students, history enthusiasts, museum visitors, as well as merely curious participants to discover this multifaceted discipline and their archaeological heritage.

Despite the challenging times that Europe is going through on several levels, there are still things that bring us together. Looking for common ground, for cohesion and reciprocity, while all countries continue to preserve their cultural identity and diversity, European Archaeology Days aim at sharing archaeological heritage throughout Europe and make culture accessible to all“ elaborated Exarc, on its website. They add that INRAP welcomes everybody wanting to take part in the manifestation to join and further enrich the programme.

It might be worth nothing what the difference between history and archaeology actually is. History focuses on written sources, while archaeology focuses on physical ones, such as items, but they both explore the past. For those wanting to learn more about how we as humankind progressed to the stage where we are at today, they can find joy in informing themselves about these respective fields.

Speaking of the old, the historical, and of course the physical, there are very many interesting sites across Croatia protected by UNESCO. Learn more on our TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Croatian European Research Council (ERC) Fund Receiver: Meet Brilliant Dr. Vernesa Smolčić

May 13, 2021 - With Croatian scientists' reputation on the rise on the world stage, dr. Vernessa Smolčić is now the Croatian European Research Council (ERC) Fund Receiver. 

Croatian scientists continue to impact the European science scene. As the Faculty of Science (PMF) at the University of Zagreb reports on its website, their scientist and professor, dr. Vernesa Smolčić is one of the 10,000 receivers of non-returnable funds by the European Research Council (ERC). As PMF states, the excellence of research work is the only criteria to get these funds.

„Scientists compete in a very strong international competition in which the European Commission from the total number of applications picks up only 8-15% of the best. Projects founded by the ERC are the best researches in all of Europe, and working on ERC projects increase international recognition of the research, and cooperation with the elite global universities“, says PMF.

An online ceremony saw representatives of ERC welcoming all 10,000 receivers with particularly pointing out the top 15 who contributed to the transformation of science and research.

One of them was, you guessed it, dr. Vernessa Smolčić.

„Vernesa Smolčić studied physics at the University of Zagreb, where she is now a full professor at the Department of Physics in the Faculty of Science. She obtained her Ph.D. in 2007 from the University of Heidelberg, Germany, followed by a postdoctoral position at Caltech in California, USA. In 2009, she obtained an independent ESO ALMA COFUND Fellowship from the European Southern Observatory. In 2013, she won one of the first ERC Starting Grants in Croatia“, says the ERC website.

vernesa_smolcic.jpg

screenshot / Astroučionica

The website also offers more details on how Smolčić (and other scientists, for that matter) made an incredible contribution in expanding human knowledge.

As Smolčić explained for the ERC website, there were more than a few unknowns in the astrophysics field due, primarily to instrumental limitations at the time. But, in 2014, „Smolčić’s team was one of the first to use new and upgraded radio telescopes in Chile, USA, Australia, and India. These telescopes offered a higher level of accuracy for tracing star formations and detecting galaxies, stretching back to when the universe was very young“, writes ERC.

„While the observation phase was very time consuming, Smolčić was immediately taken aback by the extent of the data. She was not only probing new areas of Space, but she was observing radio wavelengths that no other scientist had been able to see through a telescope lens in such detail, or for so many galaxies. Three years down the line, her team had over 850 hours of data. They analyzed and assembled datasets (radio sky mosaics, data collections) on various types of galaxies, their sources, and physical properties. These datasets were made publicly available to the broader astronomy community, to be used by other scientists to explore more of the universe’s unknowns“, concludes ERC.

„ERC funding really allowed me to conduct my research at the highest competitive levels“, said Smolčić. And you can learn more about her work in this interesting podcast.

European Research Council was established in 2007. As they say themselves, their mission is to encourage the highest quality research in Europe through competitive funding and to support investigator-driven frontier research across all fields, based on scientific excellence.

„The ERC complements other funding activities in Europe such as those of the national research funding agencies, and is a flagship component of Horizon Europe, the European Union's Research Framework Programme for 2021 to 2027“, they said.

Learn more about Croatian inventions & discoveries: from Tesla to Rimac on our TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Page 7 of 8

Search