UzhNU scientists have conducted research in Italy as volunteers
Recently Professor of the Department of Solid-state Electronics of the Physics Faculty and Professor of the Department of Computer Science and Physico-mathematical disciplines of the Faculty of Information Technology Volodymyr Mitsa returned from Italy, where he conducted research with a group of his employees. Mr. Volodymyr gladly shares with us his impressions of how research activity is organized in this country.
Please, tell us about the members of your research group and their achievements. Did they satisfy their curiosity in Italy at public expense?
- Our group consisted of candidates of science Roman Golomb, Olexandr Kondrat and Natalia Popovych, who are productive scholars. They have won 5 international grants for research in Synchrotron-Trieste since 2010. Synchrotron is a type of resonant cyclic accelerator, quite large in size. Synchrotrons are used in X-ray analysis, lithography and investigation of solid substance surface, etc. During the recent trip we investigated the surface of the films of graphene like materials. There are only 16 synchrotrons in Europe and about 40 in the world.
We managed to win the grants due to high qualification of our group members. Roman Golomb, for example, belongs to top thirty young scientists in Ukraine. The quality of his research is evidenced by the fact that during an internship at a leading spectroscopic laboratory of Sweden, he was delegated by the host-side to Nobel Prize Award Ceremony.
I regret that another member of our group – a post-graduate student Stepan Petretskyy could not participate in the research. At that time he was in Slovakia, working on the grant he had recently won. The information on research ranking of our group members can be found on the website www.researchgate.net.
With regard to the second part of the question, there is nothing to boast with as foreign business trips have not been funded in our country since 1991. It should be mentioned, however, that now in the MES of Ukraine there is the period of formation and improvement of methods of competitive selection of research projects on the basis of the index of quoting of applicants’ papers. So there is hope for better changes in the nearest future.
Then what helped and contributed to your trip?
- After each grant won by us and during the preparation of the next one the authority of our publications based on the analysis of the results of previous research in top-rated journals was working for our benefit. Regular presentations outlining the status of our research results made to scientific audiences in Italy by our group members also contributed to our authority.
Travel expenses and daily allowance for the first two grants won by our group were reimbursed by the host side. With regard to later grants the host side allocated only time for taking measurements: 24 hours a day for 6-8 days. All other expenses have been covered by us since 2012.
In 2012 international organization UNESCO included Ukraine into the list of developed countries, therefore they stopped reimbursing travel expenses and daily allowance. It’s nice that this year our Czech colleagues helped us with the accommodation for a symbolic price and management of Synchronotrone provided us with a lunch voucher for the person invited to make a presentation.
It’s worth mentioning that it’s a significant contribution because the price of lunch was 10-12 Euros. So we had to share every meal. The food we brought and possibility to cook in our accommodation helped us a lot. Clear division of responsibilities allowed us to withstand stressful 12-14-hour working day for 8 days.
Is it worth spending so much time and money on research volunteering?
- The answer is simple: of course, it is. Your rank and status are worth nothing in life if you are not able to help your post-graduate students, students and colleagues...
Today, in the period of crisis, it is very important that the first person of the University revives science in our institution, being himself an example of the person organizing conferences and conducting research at home and abroad.
How competitive will our graduates be in this field in Europe?
-Why will be? They already are! For example, three graduates of the faculty Natalia Tsud, Oksana Plekan and Vitaliy Feyer work on the synchrotron in Italy (Trieste, Elettra), two others work in Germany: Victor Lyamayev (Hamburg, European XFEL GmbH, Hamburg), Yevhen Ovcharenko (Berlin, Department of Optics and Atomic Physics Technische Universität Berlin).
Natalia Tsud’s Hirsch index is 17. With the help of the Internet it can be easily verified that with such indicator she could be one of the best in the list of the top scientists of Ukraine and also members of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.
You can easily find graduates of the Faculty of Physics of UzhNU working in research laboratories of academic institutions in Prague, Budapest, Debrecen and other European cities.
Taking the opportunity, we congratulate Professor Volodymyr Mitsa on his 65th birthday anniversary. We wish him good health and a lot of success in research activities!
Head of the Department of Informatics and Physico-mathematical Sciences Associate Professor O.H.Laver
Media center of UzhNU