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The annual Student scientific conference (SVK) took place at UCT Prague today and Eliška Paulíková won in the Applied informatics and cybernetics session! Congratulations! Áďa Augustínová, Vojta Blahušek and Nina Nováková also represented our group in an exemplary manner. Thank you all! Keep up your hard work and enthusiasm for science!
On October 5 - 8, 2022, the teambuilding event "Běstvina 2022" took place for students of the 1st year of the Master's degree in Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering. The event was attended by 32 students who stayed for three nights at the UCT Prague camp base in Běstvina and traveled by bus on the excursion every day. The program included a total of 6 industrial excursions (Škoda Auto, Synthesia, Kemwater ProChemie, Pardubice Brewery, wastewater treatment plant in Kutna Hora) and a block of presentations by representatives of the research groups of our department. The event was organized by Jitka Čejková.
The University of chemistry and technology Prague was also participating in the European Researchers Night this year . On 30 September 2022 from 5:00 p.m. the doors of scientific workplaces, universities, museums and other participating institutions were opened and visitors were allowed to see research presentations on the subject of All the Senses. This year, however, instead of showing her laboratory, Jitka presented "her" dog Ingo to the participants. The theme was "All the senses" and so she and the representatives of SVVP dog centre Jinonice showed how the guide dogs help the blind when they lack one sense. Jitka is training future guide dogs since 2021.
The University of Chemistry and Technology Prague celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. On this occasion, a paper (in Czech) by Jitka Čejková devoted to the Faculty of Chemical Engineering was prepared. First, the history of the faculty and the development of its departments is summarized. The faculty was established as the Faculty of Chemical Production, Automation and Economics in 1960 and it was renamed to the Faculty of Chemical Engineering in 1969. Further, the key scientists, teachers and deans are introduced and their contribution to the advancement of the faculty highlighted. The current offer of study programs (bachelor, master and doctoral) in both Czech and English is also listed.
Today, we had a kick-off meeting of a new COST Action titled "Information, Coding, and Biological Function: the Dynamics of Life" in Brussels. Jitka Čejková was elected as the Work Group 4 leader and Science communication coordinator.
On September 12-13, Jitka was invited to attended an exploratory workshop which was hosted at the European Centre for LivingTechnology (ECLT) in Venice. The focus areas were: The creation and exploration of living and life-like materials and The dynamics of systems for generalized health.
COST Action Chemobrionics Pisa Meeting 2022 started today. Jitka and four students (Adriana Augustínová, Vojta Blahušek, Nina Nováková, Eliška Paulíková) attend this 3-day event full of interesting talks and discussions.
Many congratulations to Nina Nováková for successfully defending her bachelor thesis titled “Experimental study of the myelin figures growth”. Thank you, Nina, for your work and looking forward to the furter collaboration!
Myelin figures are long, thin cylindrical structures that usually grow as a dense tangle when water is added to the concentrated lamellar phase of certain surfactants. In our laboratory, we observed the growth of these figures, on the contrary, when the water evaporates from the system. The aim of this bachelor thesis was to experimentally study myelin figures growing from a decanol droplet in the presence of an aqueous solution of sodium decanoate depending on the presence of different types of salts.
It was our pleasure to host Ecaterina Laura Cioban - Erasmus student from Romania. She spent several weeks in our laboratory working on liquid marbles. And now George Loustas - an IAESTE student from Greece - will continue his experiments with liquid marbles.
Master's graduations took place on Wednesday, June 22, 2022. At the same time, the Betlemská Chapel hosted a ceremonial award with the medals of the Faculty of Chemical Engineering of three outstanding personalities who, with their scientific, pedagogical or organizational activities, contributed to the development of our faculty. Dean of the faculty prof. Michal Přibyl handed over the medal personally to doc. Pavel Chuchvalec from the Department of Physical Chemistry, doc. Jitka Čejková from the Department of Chemical Engineering and doc. Vladimír Scholtz from the Department of Physics and Measurement Technology.
Many congratulations to Vojta Blahušek for successfully defending his bachelor thesis titled “Experimental study of mechanical properties of liquid marbles”. Thank you Vojta for your work and all the best for your future!
Congratulations to Mathis Leeman, Nina Nováková and Vojta Blahušek for their great presentations at Student Scientific Conference SVK 2021. Today Mathis presented his results on chemical gardens, Nina on myelin figures and Vojta on liquid marbles. Well done, keep going!
If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need
Our interanational student Mathis Leemann from Switzerland made a short film titled "Chemobrionics". This film had a world premiere today at the 25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival in the section Fascinations: Exprmntl.cz.
The title of this 5-min length audio-visual chemobrionics related project is a quotation by Cicero and it was chosen with the aim to show, that in the same way as Roman garden was designed for thinking, philosophizing and discourse, the chemical gardens can also open the door to philosophical questions such as what life is and how it originated, how we distinguish the biological systems from their chemical counterparts. Our video focuses on showing the beauty of silicate chemical gardens composed of plant-like tubular structures made of metal salts placed in a water glass. The viewer is be puzzled by the hypnotic slow growth of the structures and the manifold of colors they can produce. Tiny aerial air bubbles, flowing inner solutions, thick and alien-like structures changing colors let the audience perplexed, dreamy, wondering why nature is presenting such delightful sight. Furthermore, extracts of Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann, The Origin of Life by John Desmond Bernal and Mechanism of life by Stéphane Leduc are added to deepen the experience. The inspiration for this audio background was taken from Julyan Cartwright’s works focused on the chemical gardens, their history and mentions in the literature.
- Director and producer: Jitka Čejková
- Editor: Mathis Leemann
- Camera operator: Mathis Leemann, Jan Havlík
- Experiments: Mathis Leemann, Jan Havlík, Saniya Ustunn
- Voice: Declan Garvey
- Music: Chopin - Raindrop Prelude (Op. 28 No. 15), performed by Petr Mazúr
This film is based upon work from COST Action CA17120, supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology). COST is a funding agency for research and innovation networks. Our Actions help connect research initiatives across Europe and enable scientists to grow their ideas by sharing them with their peers. This boosts their research, career and innovation.
Jan Spitzer, a PhD in Physical Chemistry from Queen Elizabeth College at the University of London, has had a long career in chemistry and polymer science, as Associate Professor, and Research and Development Manager in synthetic latex industry. He is the author or coauthor of numerous peer-reviewed papers, technical articles, and book chapters. He studied University of Chemistry and Technology Prague and he visited after many years his alma mater today. It was our honour to be his guide and get his recent book How Molecular Forces and Rotating Planets Create Life - The Emergence and Evolution of Prokaryotic Cells.
The International Society for Artificial Life announced the winners of the 2021 ISAL Awards. The awards were presented to recipients during the online 2021 Conference on Artificial Life organised in Prague. I am very honoured that one of the awards went to also to me!
Distinguished Early-Career Investigator Award - to recognize an individual who is early in their career, but has already made important contributions to the field of Artificial Life.
Alan Dorin said during the ceremony: "Jitka is a strong contributor to the ALife domain, both technically, and to the ALife community. This year, as you can see, she has done a fantastic job of organising a specially themed ALife conference, building on the 100th anniversary of the word "robot". She put together a fabulous book, soon to be released, of essays by a wide range of scientists, on the play RUR, and she is working hard behind the scenes to build links and bridges across the ALife community. On the technical side, she is prominent in chemical robotics, with exciting ways to apply to ALife. She applies minimal cognition principles to chemical robotics Her work has led to some creative droplet experiments, which have re-vitalized the "wet" ALife tradition."