Text: Ann Sofie Kaalen
Ukraine, which historically has been highly dependent on oil, coal, and nuclear energy, has been working on ways of tapping into alternative, renewable energy sources. As Norway currently sources more than 95% of it’s electric energy from renewable sources, the two countries have been working together to help the Ukraine as part of this transition to more sustainable energy sources.
Through the SIU Eurasia Program project “Ukrainian Cooperation on Research-Based Education in Innovative, Sustainable and Energy efficient systems” USN and the National Technical University of Ukraine (NTUU) will work together to help make the Ukraine more energy independent by taking steps towards a more sustainable, environmentally friendly future.
Carlos Pfeiffer, Professor at USN and project coordinator says “Energy in Norway and Ukraine is very different. In Norway 95% or more of the electric energy produced comes from hydro power. In the Ukraine, they have to rely on different sources of energy like nuclear energy and energy from coal. The winters in Ukraine are very hard, so it’s extremely important to do research on energy efficiency and finding alternative reliable energy sources”.
Faculty and graduate students at USN currently do a lot of research within process modelling, process control, and power electronics, and part of the project is to help NTUU in the developing of a new PhD program in Ukraine. The project also aims to develop joint courses and to support students and faculty exchange.
“For us this is very interesting because we are being exposed to a bigger variety of problems than we have here in Norway. This cooperation gives us a very good opportunity to apply our research and knowledge about processing, process technologies, Co2 removal, modelling, control and bio-gas to other countries”, Carlos continues.
By working together, the two universities will create English-language courses, which historically have been banned in the Ukraine. The goal is for these courses to be aligned with the Bologna Process, a standard between European countries to ensure comparability in the standards and quality of higher-education qualifications.
In addition to helping NTUU with developing the program itself, USN is helping Ukrainian students to prepare and publish results in English. For many of them it is the first time they publish in English, and USN is providing formal training on how to prepare and publish results.
“Previously not many Norwegian students have gone to Kiev on exchange, mainly due to the lack of English courses. One of the goals of this project is to offer an intensive 2-3 weeks summer school and to increase the number of Norwegian students going to Ukraine”, says Carlos.
“Kiev is a very modern beautiful city where I felt quite safe even though the country is at war. It’s a dynamic and beautiful city with a big cultural offering.
Although the Ukraine-Russia conflict is not making headlines anymore, the conflict remain unresolved.
Liubomyr Vytvytskyi, currently doing a PhD at USN describes the situation in Ukraine as “even though some areas of Ukraine are still in conflict, other areas are peaceful where they try to build and improve the political and economic systems. Day to day we are not affected by the conflict in the Eastern part, but of course you get reminded when you have friends that are.
“Previously it was a lot of talk about dividing Ukraine into an eastern and a western part, but today we see more collaboration. I think the best thing for Ukraine is to grow economically.
“I hope I finish my PhD with good results, so in the future I can make some investments in Ukraine to create businesses that help power plants and hydro power plants to be better and more efficient. Once the economic situation is better and more reliable, I want to build my own business so I can use my knowledge there”, he continues.
About the Cooperation with National Technical University of Ukraine:
The program period is for three years (2017 – 2019) and is the the second project between NTUU and USN, which worked together on a separate project from 2010-2015. This time, and amidst significant competition, the project was granted 2,3 million NOK from SIU through the Euro-Asia program. The main goals for the project are:
- To facilitate knowledge transfer between the faculty of both institutions for the development of the new PhD program in Energy Management Systems and Smart Grids, to be offered by IEE NTUU “Igor Sikorsky KPI”, and according with the Bologna process guidelines.
- To develop joint courses (taught in English) to enhance the master and PhD programs at IEE NTUU “Igor Sikorsky KPI” and at TF-USN, and make the developed learning materials available for e-learning.
- To facilitate the exchange of students and faculty between both institutions, the co-supervision of projects and thesis, and the joint publication of research results in innovative sustainable and energy efficient systems.
About the SIU Eurasia Program
The Eurasia Program supports project cooperation between institutions in Norway and Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.