BRATISLAVA, 5 May 2016 - Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Director-General of the European Space Agency (ESA) and Peter Plavčan, Minister of the SR Education, Science, Research and Sport were welcomed to the Slovak University of Technology by Robert Redhammer, the STU Rector. Slovakia became "the Cooperating State" of ESA. Our scientists can thus more intensively join the ESA research projects. STU has got two "space" projects so far.
In the morning, Johann-Dietrich Wörner met with Lukáš Pařízek, State Secretary of the SR Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, and later with Peter Plavčan, Minister of Education, and Robert Redhammer, STU Rector. Rector Redhammer granted the valuable guest an honorary STU Plaque. In the afternoon, the ESA Director met with the STU students and the public. In the Lecture Theatre of Dionysius Ilkovič, he delivered a lecture on the ESA objectives, particularly the project of building the Moon Village, a permanent international research base on the Moon. STU was chosen as a place for lecture by Johann-Dietrich Wörner himself. When being a Professor and Rector of the Technische universität Darmstadt, there was a close co-operation with STU.
Slovakia signed the Cooperation Agreement with ESA in 2010. In January this year, the Agreement was ratified by Andrej Kiska, the SR President, and Slovakia thus became so called the European Cooperating State. The Slovak students, scientists as well as companies thus gained greater opportunities to participate in the tenders, mobility and grant programmes of the European Research Agency. The STU scientists have already taken the chance in the ERA grant competition, winning two grants.
The project “Space for Education, Education for Space” will prepare a training programme for the space research professionals. The vision is to open an intensive course or launch Master degree study at the University, focusing on the space technology and research. None of the Slovak Universities offers a similar educational programme so far. As a "Cooperating State", Slovakia will become a full member of ESA in 2020, when further possibilities of drawing finance for research will open up to the country, and graduates of such course will be in demand. The course/curriculum should prepare experts for both universities and scientific institutions as well as for the companies starting up new business and production. The programme should also prepare students for the space research.
Within the project of “Radiation Induced Terahertz Wave and Power Generation in Magnetic Microwires”, the STU scientists are searching for a new concept of generating electric power from alpha particles present in large quantities in space and also in nuclear reactors after nuclear reaction.
Both projects are being elaborated by the teams of scientists of the STU Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology.
"We welcome the shift of the European Space Agency research programme towards the areas of practical application. This will also provide the University with opportunities for closer cooperation and increased number of joint projects. We see potential especially in the field of satellite communication systems, satellite navigation, encryption, remote sensing of the Earth's surface, as well as in the development of new materials for space, electronics and development of specialized software. Top quality and reliable technical solutions are our top-priority", said Robert Redhammer, STU Rector.
Visit of the ESA Director General to Slovakia is also related to the forthcoming Slovak Presidency in the EU Council in the second half of 2016. Within the Framework Agreement, ESA cooperates with the European Union on the selected projects, such as Galileo, the global satellite navigation system, and Copernicus, the project of environmental monitoring of Earth. Intensive cooperation of the European Union and the European Space Agency will be a major concern of the Presidency.
Video recording of the entire lecture is available online: http://slovak.space/majova-verejna-prednaska-sefa-esa-v-bratislave/
ESA Director-General took over an honorary STU Plaque. He met with the Minister of Education and STU Rector on the University premises, then read a lecture to students.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is an inter-governmental organization supporting and promoting the space research and space technology in its member or cooperating states. After NASA and the Russian ROSKOSMOS, it is the third largest space agency in the world and the largest R&D organization in Europe. ESA was founded in the year 1975 by signing an inter-governmental Convention on Establishing the European Space Agency, based in Paris, and the technology centres in Spain, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy.
Since2015, it involves 22 Member States. The key ESA activities are: research and development in the fields of fundamental physics, astronomy and astrophysics, solar system research etc. Educational activities are intended for the students of the secondary and tertiary schools. Technological development focuses on telecommunications, satellite navigation and remote Earth observation, launchers, piloted astronautics and engineering as well as operational activities. The ESA spaceport is in the French Guiana, South America.
Translation: E. Mironovová