Pursuing a research vision for close-to a decade, Vidar Jensen and co-authors Marco Foscato and Vishwesh Venkatraman were happy to release the DENOPTIM software into the Open Source realm for everybody to use and to extend.
DENOPTIM is the only available general-purpose de novo design software for molecules. It may be used to design all kinds of functional molecules, ranging from pharmaceuticals to organometallic catalysts. It may thus be used, and make an impact, across chemistry. The usage of DENOPTIM is also likely to be promoted by the fact that it is freely available as Open Source from the GitHub project. The authors have documented some of the key methods implemented in DENOPTIM in the scientific literature already. (1, 2, 3).
In addition to providing the world with a useful tool, the launch is also about positioning the research group on the international arena. From this perspective, a fitting and catching logo is of considerable value, and Inger Johanne pitched in with creative twists! All involved parties are congratulated!
Ugleprisen, the University of Bergen’s annual prize for high quality in education, was yesterday awarded to INF100/101 for Anya Helene Bagge’s efforts to develop a new and student-activizing tool for learning computer programming. Anya is addicted to quality in education — some of you may remember that in 2017 she received the distinction as Lecturer of the Year at our faculty. At that point, she advised her fellow teachers to show that their subject is relevant and useful for the students, and to let them use their knowledge and skills for something they find interesting. The importance of activating students was emphasized also at the university leadership conference at Solstrand yesterday. Quoting Anya’s boss at the informatics department, «there seems to be a general agreement that regular lectures where the professor talks for 90 minutes are not the way to continue. The same is true for exercise sessions. We have to make sure that the students are actively learning throughout these sessions, and not just passively receiving new material or solutions to exercises. This requires all of us to think in new ways.» These thoughts resonate well with our discussions over educational topics at the HSE-Day last Wednesday.
We congratulate Anya and the Department of Informatics, and are pleased to note that all freshman students at our faculty will benefit from the good work put into developing INF100 from the fall of 2020, as part of the phasing-in of transferable skills in all programs!
I would like to thank everybody for their pleasant company and valuable contributions and suggestions during the HSE event yesterday! Special thanks go to Kristin, Lisbeth and Reidun for taking part in planning the event, and to Svein for his many good suggestions for group tasks!
Each and one of us will be going on and off vacation at different dates during the next one-and-a-half months. Hope that you all get a nice and well-deserved summer vacation, with even more of the lovely sun we had on the pier and better-looking crab than we saw at IMR.
Although the MSc ceremony has already been held, reality is that quite a few of the master exams at the department come up the next couple of weeks. Each master exam starts by the candidate giving a presentation of the research project. This presentation is open to the public and you are encouraged to attend and thus to contribute to creating a nice framework for the event. You have a lot of interesting topics to choose from: (Date time @ Room: Candidate: Thesis title)
June 21 09h15 @ 2018: Lena Helvik – A study in environmental chemistry: natural and anthropogenic radionuclides in sediment cores from the Norwegian Trench and the Vefsnfjord
June 24 10h15 @ Tripletten: Tora Skarvatun – Synthetic studies toward substrates and inhibitors for N-terminal acetyltransferases
June 17 9h00 @ 2018: Ingrid Trydal Rønsberg – New insights on equilibrium forms of anthocyanins – Complete characterization of hemiketal forms of pigments isolated from grape skins
June 17 14h15 @ 2018: Mohammed Zakarya Alhaji – An Experimental Study of Bulk Foam Properties with Commercial Surfactants in Saline Environments
June 18 10h00 @ Tripletten: Carina Yeeka Wu – Antisolvent precipitation method to synthesize nanoparticles of psychotropic drugs
June 18 10h15 @ Grupperom 6: Nina Marselie Nilsen – Kartlegging av metoder innen høyfelts MRI og NMR-spektroskopi for bestemmelse av fuktegenskaper i porøse medium
June 18 11h00 @ 2018: Gunhild Haustveit – pH indikatorar: Inkorporering av pH-indikatorar i porøse silikastrukturar, som er syntetisert direkte på substrat, og hydrogelar med pH-avhengig ekspansjon
June 20 08h15 @ Tripletten: Øyvind Brandtzæg – Multivariat analyse av CO2-absorbsjon ved bruk av ulike aminblandingsforhold
June 20 10h15 @ 2018: Simen Prang Følkner – Synthesis and Characterization of Metal Oxide-Supported Nanoparticles for Hydrodeoxygenation of Phenols and Phenyl Ethers
June 20 11h00 @ Reagensglaset: Ann Kristin Danielsen Jacobsen – Hvordan løser elever i videregående skole beregningsoppgaver i kjemi? En kvalitativ studie av elevers prøvebesvarelser og oppgavebaserte intervjuer
June 20 11h15 @ Tripletten: Merethe Birkeland – A Study of Salmon Pituitary Tissue using Magic Angle Spinning 1H-NMR
EXPO2019 is a big happening running all day (until 4 pm) at Campus Kronstad, where all the new engineers present their bachelor and master projects through creative stands. This is a great opportunity for insight into the research activities at the Faculty of Engineering and Science at the Western Norway University of Applied Science (aka Høgskulen på Vestlandet). A number of the chemistry projects hold an impressive level of quality — hope to see many of the new engineers as MSc students at our department when the new semester starts up!
Last Thursday the MN faculty celebrated the BSc and MSc candidates that are graduating this spring. Both events offered insightful speeches and beautiful trumpet music (including Triumphal March from Aida!)
The BSc ceremony was a first, and it was great to welcome 12 BSc candidates from chemistry on stage — Good job! Next year all programs will surely have a strong presence.
The University Aula was completely crammed during the MSc ceremony. In only few years this event has become a must for both graduates and their guests. It makes a very nice frame around the completion of a Master’s education in Science!
Professor Tanja Barth and UNESCO Chair for Sustainable heritage and environmental management Inger Elisabeth Måren have won a strategic PhD project within the UiB priority research area Climate and energy transition. This is one of only two PhD positions in the pot this time around, allotted on the basis of the project’s potential importance to the research priority area and multi-disciplinarity. Congratulations!
The project is titled Utilisation of woody biomass and residues for production of energy products and high-value natural compounds – a case study using biomass from costal forestry resources. This project will address the valorisation of forestry residues in a biorefinery approach, combining extraction of high-value-added products with biofuel/biobased chemicals production from the bulk materials. The core research is within chemistry and will be conducted using the knowledge and equipment available at the Department of Chemistry, in the research groups of Tanja Barth, Vidar Jensen and Erwan Le Roux. Associate professor Inger Elisabeth Måren at the Department of Biology will be co-supervisor for the PhD student, with a focus on sustainable area use.
Yesterday’s Chemical Wasteday offered simple disposal of old chemicals and at a minimum of paperwork. Faculty and student members of the department seized the opportunity with both hands (wearing proper gloves and goggles, of course) and handed in 443 kg of outdated and insufficiently labelled chemicals, organized into 150 red plastic boxes. The chemicals sorted into 18 different waste categories, covering all kinds of compounds. The list even includes mercury, which is something of a mystery given that we disposed of all liquid mercury that existed at the department last year (and the year before that!). Anyhow, a big Thank you! for the communal effort, and an even bigger one to Lisbeth for organizing and overseeing the whole event. During the Vernerunde in about four months´ time, verifying that (i) all chemicals in use are properly labelled, and (ii) that each lab has an updated inventory of chemicals available in that lab, will be a priority.
The NanoDay is the final leg in the Nano100 introductory course in nanotechnology and, at the same time, an opportunity for all of us to get a brief overview of and tidbits from ongoing research projects in nano science at the University of Bergen.
After having given oral presentations of their projects, the students presented posters of impressive quality over the same topics. Course responsible Mali has reworked the project-oriented part of the course this term, and she was thrilled to see that the poster exhibition held up the same high standard as in previous years! The posters will be on display in the corridor outside Dean’s office and Nanos´ den. If you missed the NanoDay this spring, I suggest you go and take a look there in the early fall.