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YUFE, Veni's and the Einstein telescope

YUFE, Veni's and the Einstein telescope

Photographer:Fotograaf: Archief YUFE


Five million for YUFE

University alliance YUFE (Young Universities for the Future of Europe), which is led by UM Executive President Martin Paul, is to receive five million euro from the European Commission to set up a ‘European University’. The first YUFE students will start in September 2020.

YUFE is one of the seventeen university collaboration projects to receive funding from the European Commission in order to put their ideas into practice. YUFE received 97 of the hundred points. The highest score of all 54 applications.

Priorities in the project are education and mobility, Paul said to Observant in March. Students will put together their own study programme with subjects from their own universities or from any of the other seven YUFE institutes. Employees will also be given the opportunity to take a look elsewhere. YUFE will arrange housing for the students among ‘regular’ citizens; the alliance is considering free student accommodation. This will enable the students to discover new cultures and learn new languages.

Accessibility is also important, Paul emphasised at the time. “We don't want to become an exclusive club, but be open to everyone in Europe, even though quality and talent are of course of primary importance.” In addition to the regular courses offered, part-time students and other interested parties may take courses using the virtual campus.

Eight Veni grants

This Summer, Maastricht has managed to obtain eight Veni grants from research funding organisation NWO. Six of those will go to the Faculty of Health, Medicine & Life Sciences. Among them is Marlies Gijs, who is researching whether tears can be used to diagnose Alzheimer's disease. The other FHML laureates are Christian Herff (speech prosthesis), Kei Long Cheung (digital health), Sarah-Anna Hescham (remote deep brain stimulation), Alma Mingels (detecting a heart attack), and Rachel ter Bekke (cardiac arrhythmia).

The other two grants were awarded to Conny Quadvlieg (stress and fear), from the Faculty of Psychology and Neurosciences and to Lilian Tsourdi (migration), from the Faculty of Law.

This time, 166 young researchers received a grant, among them significantly more women (93) than men (73). A total of 1,151 researchers submitted a research proposal. With the Veni grants (a maximum of 250 thousand euro), they can work out their own research ideas over a period of three years.

Einstein Telescope

The test lab for the Einstein Telescope, which can detect gravitational waves, will be at the black building on the Duboisdomein 30. The group of nine researchers, led by the new German professor Stefan Hild, has recently moved in.

Having rented the building - where at one time the newspaper De Limburger was made - for some years, the UM bought it in July. The telescope will be replicated on a small scale (named ET Pathfinder) in the extension, the former supply hall. At the beginning of 2020, the space will first be fitted with a new supporting structure and a floor unsusceptible to vibration.

Whether the Einstein Telescope will come to Limburg or not, will become clear in 2021 or 2022. That is when it will be decided where the triangular subterranean laser, with three sides measuring ten kilometres each, is to be installed. South Limburg is one of the potential regions, together with Sardinia. Hungary was also a candidate, but is no longer in the running.

From the start, South Limburg was in a prominent position because of Jo van den Brand, born in Limburg and professor at the VU in Amsterdam. Since a few weeks ago, he is also connected the UM, as professor of Gravitational Waves. Van den Brand is lobbying to bring the detector to South Limburg.



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