The Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Lithuania Brian Olley received the Patronage Award of the Center for Physical Sciences and Technology (FTMC) as a symbol of respect and gratitude.
The FTMC community welcomed the British Ambassador Brian Olley at the center - the largest scientific research and technology development institution in Baltic region and thanked him for his significant contribution to the joint Lithuanian, UK and Ukrainian research project to control the spread of COVID-19 and other infections.
In the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic, the FTMC initiated the tripartite project – an evaluation of nanoparticles from a Coronavirus safety perspective. With the support and care of Ambassador Brian Olley, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office provided funding for a research study, helping purchase innovative laboratory equipment for the research stage of the project. The aerodynamic aerosol particle size spectrometer allowed researchers to evaluate the filtration efficiency of protective masks and the reliability of textile combinations in the most penetrating (~ 0.3 μm) aerosol particle size range.
‘We are very pleased and sincerely grateful to the British Ambassador Brian Olley for his goodwill in significantly accelerating our environmental research and expanding the experimental research range in our centre. By awarding the Ambassador the Patronage Award for the FTMC’s development, we not only pay respect but also symbolically open the way for a new phase of cooperation with the United Kingdom that could expand into joint work on climate change challenges or technological innovations.’ – said Academician Gintaras Valušis, Director of the FTMC at the Award ceremony.
‘International scientific collaboration is essential for our strong future as knowledge economies. The role of collaboration becomes even more crucial in times of global crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought together governments and scientists to secure the economies and to ensure health and security of the public. Similar joint efforts will be required for other global challenges especially the climate crisis and I look forward to UK and Lithuanian scientific institutions collaborating closely on this shared challenge. I am delighted to receive this award. It is a result of the combined achievement of Lithuanian, British and Ukrainian scientific institutions that took part in the successful masks’ efficiency assessment project and especially of the FTMC, who was leading and coordinating the project. This award is personally important to me as I have a scientific background and I clearly see the benefits that science brings to our daily lives and wider society,’ – emphasized British Ambassador B. Olley, accepting the award.
During the visit the FTMC community organized a study tour to the FTMC laboratories for the British Ambassador and British Embassy Vilnius representatives. FTMC researchers dr. Remigijus Juškėnas, dr. Renata Butkutė, dr. Žilvinas Ežerinskis, and dr. Algirdas Pabedinskas informed the guests about the activities of the FTMC’s Department of Characterisation of Materials Structure
, Department of Optoelectronics
, Mass Spectrometry Laboratory
and the innovations created and developed there. The UK delegation was particularly interested in presentations by dr. Steigvilė Byčenkienė and dr. Vadimas Dudoitis on how the aerodynamic aerosol particle size spectrometer and other laboratory equipment are used in the activities of the FTMC Department of Environmental Research
. Dr. S. Byčenkienė also presented a report on the Department’s aerosol scientific research addressing the problems of air pollution and climate change.
‘Industry and transport have been at the heart of industrial revolution for more than a century. This has led to climate crisis and air pollution, so today we must face an ambitious challenge of putting human industrial arrogance on the path of developing sustainable innovations and nurturing a sense of environmental humility. The British Embassy's support in acquisition of an aerodynamic aerosol particle spectrometer will allow to ensure the research quality not only in addressing COVID-19, but also air pollution and climate change issues and the publications of FTMC's research results will contribute to a global response to climate crisis.’ – said dr. S. Byčenkienė.
The new device will enable researchers to carry out a number of important research projects: addressing climate change and air pollution, developing experimental methods to develop modern environmentally friendly technologies for a sustainable future, and exploring the links between ambient air quality and human health.
The findings and recommendations of a tripartite research project (carried out from December 2020 – March 2021) were submitted to the World Health Organization (WHO). The project "Joint United Kingdom, Lithuania and Ukraine project - evaluation of nanoparticles from a Coronavirus safety perspective" was initiated and led by dr. S. Byčenkienė, Head of FTMC Department of Environmental Research. She is also the Member of the European Commission (EC) Sustainable Finance Platform and the Member of the EC's Council for the Adaptation to Climate Change, including Societal Transformation. In the project participated dr. Francis Pope, Professor at the University of Birmingham in the UK, a world-renowned expert in Atmospheric Sciences and dr. Peter Strizhak, Professor of the L. V. Pisarzhevsky Institute of Physical Chemistry of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.
Photos: Domas Jokubauskis (FTMC)