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NUWEE Ukraine Summer School

Summer School fosters collaboration with Ukrainian researchers

Published on: 28 July 2023

Ukrainian academics and PhD students explored common research topics with Newcastle University colleagues as part of a Summer School initiative.

Newcastle University welcomed 29 guests from the National University of Water and Environmental Engineering, Rivne (NUWEE) to explore various aspects of research and collaboration between the two institutions.

The Summer School was launched by a reception at the Civic Centre, with the participation of the Lord Mayor of Newcastle and the University Vice-Chancellor and President. Both dignitaries gave heartfelt speeches to express the city and the University solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

The Summer School, organised as a Centre for Water event, featured tours of Newcastle University laboratories and facilities, with highlights including the re-developed Stephenson Building, which will be the School of Engineering hub for research, learning and engagement, and the Language Learning Centre in the majestic Old Library building, which is already involved in the Peer Assisted Learning for Ukrainian students.

The activity-packed programme included a visit to BEWISe (Biological Engineering: Wastewater Innovation at Scale). The delegates were given a tour of the facility, which is the first of its type in Europe in large-scale wastewater treatment research. Professor Russell Davenport, BEWISe academic lead, presented how BEWISe can host other researchers from around the world to help speed up the translation and uptake of new innovations by the water sector.

Thematic discussions focussed on the built environment, integrated catchment management, and hydraulic constructions, while a poster display showcased the work of early-career researchers from the two universities.

The NUWEE delegates experienced first-hand the rich local culture with trips to Cragside, Lindisfarne and Bamburgh Castle.

NUWEE sumemr school - Stephenson Building visit
The visitors were given a tour of the re-developed Stephenson Building

Building lasting international partnerships

Funded by Universities UK International's (UUKi) UK-Ukraine R&I twinning grants, the Summer School was part of the PEACE-R2UK (Programme to Enhance Academic Collaboration for Enabling Regenerative Reconstruction in Ukraine) initiative.

The project is led by Dr Dana Ofiteru, with the support of Prof Claire Walsh and Prof Jaime Amezaga in the School of Engineering, and Prof Ruth Morrow, Head of School X and Prof Ben Bridgens in the School of Architecture.

Dr Dana Ofiteru, Senior Lecturer at Newcastle University's School of Engineering and the academic lead for NU-NUWEE partnership, said: "We were delighted to welcome colleagues from NUWEE to the Summer School, which provided an excellent platform to foster research collaboration between our institutions. The successful visit strengthens our commitment to empowering researchers and building lasting international partnerships and we are already planning our next projects.”

The collaboration between Newcastle University and NUWEE was initiated in January 2023, with Professor Ievgenii Gerasimov, the NUWEE project lead, and his colleagues delivering a research seminar to identify shared research interests and challenges. The Summer School further expanded on these common areas, strengthening the bonds between the academic communities of both universities.

Professor Gerasimov said: “The sustainable European future must be based on safety. Firstly - war security and we are deeply grateful for all kinds of help that Great Britain has been doing. Next - food security, flood security, drought security, and energy security. But all these security directions are based on the main resource - water. After more than half a year of cooperation, we researched common scientific directions. We believe that using the experience of Newcastle University colleagues we will apply modern methods and approaches to the processes of rebuilding Ukraine not only after the war but also in the nearest months.”

As part of the enhanced support for Ukrainian researchers, Newcastle University is offering a PhD position on a water engineering topic to an appointable NUWEE student, starting in September 2023.


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