Latin America in focus
In 2015 European Commission expanded the scope of the Erasmus programme over non-European countries providing an excellent tool for initiating university cooperation in distant regions of the world. The Rzeszów University of Technology took that opportunity right from the start. The first project in 2015 was carried out with our neighbouring country Ukraine but the following years brought new partners to the table, among others from Latin America: in 2016 Brazilian Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, in 2018 Universidade de São Paulo, and a Colombian partner in 2019 Universidad Antonio Nariño.
The project realization was held back by the pandemic but in May 2022 the staff exchanges got back on track.
Prof. Guilherme Jorge Brigolini Silva, Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto (UFOP), Brazil hosted by Bernardeta Dębska, PhD, Eng. at the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture.
The cooperation with the professor’s research group was initiated in 2019 as a result of the Erasmus staff exchange to our university. Its core from the start was to modify resinous composite structure to reach demanded utility properties. In our labs samples were prepared and sent to UFOP for structure testing. So far the results of the joint work were described in scientific publications that appeared in renowned, highly scored journals: Construction and Building Materials, Elsevier – IF = 6,141, 140p; and Materials, MDPI – IF = 3,623, 140p:
- Dębska B., Lichołai L., Brigolini Silva G.J., Caetano M., Assessment of the Mechanical Parameters of Resin Composites with the Addition of Various Types of Fibres, 2020, MATERIALS, t.1378, z.13(6), s.1–20, ISBN/ISSN: 1996-1944
- Dębska B., Lichołai L., Brigolini Silva G.J., Effects of waste glass as aggregate on the properties of resin composites, 2020, CONSTRUCTION AND BUILDING MATERIALS, t.258, s.1–11, ISBN/ISSN: 0950-0618
- Dębska B., Brigolini Silva G.J., Mechanical Properties and Microstructure of Epoxy Mortars Made with Polyethylene and Poly(Ethylene Terephthalate) Waste, 2021, MATERIALS, 14(9), 2203, s.1–18, ISBN/ISSN: 1996-1944
In 2020 I was invited by prof. Brigolini to participate in the research project financed by Brazilian side focusing on receiving geopolimers with addition of steal ash and designing flooring systems with the use of waste materials in synthetic resins. The current visit of the professor allowed to plan and to further joint investigation as well as determine points to focus on that is ageing processes of composites in question. Prof. Brigolini declared to set off research work on materials in line with assumptions of low-carbon economy.
Prof. Gilmar Ferreira Batalha , Universidade de São Paulo (USP), Brazil hosted by Wiesław Graboń, PhD, Eng. at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics.
The professor’s stay started off with a lecture for students titled „New challenges for the modern industry in materials and manufacturing engineering: additive manufacturing and Industry 4.0”. Thanks to the courtesy of local companies and the university units professor visited:
- Rawplug company in Łańcut. A series of research work was completed as a base for an article prepared jointly with prof. Batalha,
- Goodrich Aerospace Poland (Collins Aerospace) production process was followed in the context of Industry 4.0,
- Aviation Training Centre where the professor was familiarised with the training flight fleet and had the opportunity to take over the steers of a flight simulator,
- Dept of Materials Science and Research and Development Laboratory for Aerospace Materials to cater for prof. Batalha’s interest in layers and protective coatings on hot construction parts in aircraft engines.
The professor was invited to participate in preparing special edition of „Surface Topography Description as a Determinant of Quality and Functionality" in the journal Materials that is run under my supervision.
Juana Patricia Sanchez Villamil, PhD Universidad Antonio Nariño (UAN), Colombia hosted by prof. Mirosław Tyrka at the Faculty of Chemistry.
Ms Villamil lectures concentrated on „Oxidative stress and antioxidants in oral disease”. Research done in the faculty laboratories aimed at expressing thirteen genes responsible for creating biofilm and stress reaction of Enterococcus faecalis under influence of naringenin and silver nanoparticles. Ms Villamil set an experiment on bacteria, isolated RNA, done reverse transcription and all reactions to mark changes of genes expressions. The analyses ended up with success and the results will be described in a joint publication. Future research cooperation will concentrate on protein engineering collaboratively with Andrzej Łysowski, PhD.
Erasmus exchanges give beneficiaries a unique occasion to start scientific cooperation which in the case of incoming mobilities was reached 100%.
Other points of the visit
The plan for the visiting professors included also the meeting with the Vice-Rector for Student Affairs prof. Grzegorz Ostasz during which current cooperation with the partner universities was summed up. Wiesław Graboń, PhD Eng. taking the opportunity related to current cooperation with UFOP and USP and plans for future publications with prof. Batalha. As a part of promoting local cultural heritage the professors were offered a tour around Łańcut Castle Museum. Well-kept interiors, beautifully restored buildings and rose garden in bloom magnetized our guests.