During his visit to the Virumaa College of Tallinn University of Technology, president Alar Karis was interested in the training of the younger generation of engineers as well as the possibilities of storing hydrogen energy.
President Alar Karis, who visited Virumaa College on 16 December 2021 as part of his visit to Ida-Virumaa, got a good overview of the plans for the preparation of engineers, including the future of Higher Education in Ida-Virumaa. "Virumaa College is planning to develop curricula by adding more skills that are important for green and digital development, including circular economy, energy efficiency, and production optimization," stressed Mare Roosileht, director of the college, to the president. "Since automation specialists are not currently trained in Estonia, it is planned to open a master's programme in Industrial Robotics and Automation. In cooperation with the Institute of Materials and Environmental Technology of Tallinn University of Technology, an additional module for the green energy technologies curriculum will be developed in the near future.“ The need to train teachers of real disciplines in Ida-Virumaa was also discussed with the president, and he wished Virumaa College good and clever students.
During a tour of the college, President Alar Karis got acquainted with the Oil Shale Competence Centre, whose research and development, in addition to oil shale, is increasingly focused on other various materials and the possibilities of their direction in the circular economy. "The test bench for pyrolysis research is the heart of the green turn of our Сentre," said the head of the Centre, Kalle Pirk, presenting to the president the current applied research on the co-processing of plastic waste and oil shale into new raw materials for the chemical industry.
Looking at the utility model certificate on the wall of the Centre, the President asked about the research of the Competence Centre. The head of the laboratory, Olga Pihl, said that the patent application of the centre "A method for reducing the sulfur content in shale oil and shale oil fractions" is awaiting a decision.
The President also inquired how close we are to saving hydrogen energy. Professor Allan Niidu explained that spongy ordered materials can be used to store hydrogen energy, which increases the capacity of tanks and reduces the pressure required for storage.
Heiko Põdersalu, head of Virumaa Digital and Green Technologies Innovation Centre (ViDRIK), which is part of the college, summed up the centre's current cooperation with companies when speaking to the president. In particular, it is aimed at finding innovative solutions that are important for the development of the county.
Virumaa College was previously attended by President Toomas-Hendrik Ilves in 2013 and President Arnold Rüütel in 2004. President Alar Karis attended the college as Rector of the University of Tartu in 2009 when he signed an agreement on cooperation of the network of the Oil Shale Competence Centre.
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