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On the first day of the workshop, the representatives of Teramo University made a speech of welcome, then Armenian partners and representatives of universities presented the situation at HEIs and revealed the stage of doctoral education reforms at this very moment.

 

Moreover, at the second half of the day the YSU vice-rector for Development and Innovation Mikayel Hovhannisyan will present a report on the current situation of doctoral education reforms and undertaken activities at YSU. It should be noted that Yerevan State University is represented during the workshop by YSU Vice-Rector for Scientific Affairs Rafayel Barkhudaryan, Vice-Rector for Development and Innovations Mikayel Hovhannisyan, Head of Scientific Policy Department Yeranuhi Manukyan, Director of Doctoral Education Center Armen Sargsyan and Head of YSU-Krisp AI Lab Ashot Harutyunyan.

 

The purpose of the three-day workshop is to familiarize with the current progress of the program and identify existing obstacles in order to chart a new path for improving doctoral education with the help of research community.

Professor Djamshid Tavangarian from the University of Rostock greatly contributed to this cooperation during the program development and its further run.

 

Djamshid Tavangarian was a known and sought-after scientist in the field of informatics and information technologies, who made a notable contribution to the development of computer architecture and VLSI design, and later to the architectures and information systems for modern multimedia e-learning environments.

 

Unfortunately, recently he passed away at the age of 77.

 

Yerevan State University expresses its deep condolences to the professor's family members, multiple students, and supervisees including students from YSU.

Referring to the importance of funding science at the state level, M. Aleksanyan told us. "It is commendable that in recent years, the Science Committee of MօESCS RA regularly announces grant programs, among which I particularly emphasize the grant programs aimed at applied science. This time, our young group applied and won a project, within the framework of which we plan to prepare a nanostructured sensor with high sensitivity to hydrogen gas, which will make it possible to register extremely low concentrations of hydrogen gas in the environment."

 

According to M. Aleksanyan, in the modern world, there is a search for new, alternative energy sources. It is known that in a few decades the hydrocarbon reserves in the earth's crust will be exhausted, and from that point of view the world is engaged in the search for new types of energy sources. Mainly, the search is aimed at discovering "green" energy sources, such as solar energy, wind energy, etc. Hydrogen energy can also be included among them, because when burned, it mainly emits environmentally friendly water molecules.

 

In his speech, M. Aleksanyan also detailed the importance of the harmless use and transportation of hydrogen gas, thanking hydrogen sensors.

 

"Hydrogen is widely used in various fields of human activity: in industry and medicine, in semiconductor technologies, and elsewhere. There have been hydrogen cars in the world for a long time. On the other hand, hydrogen is considered an extremely explosive and flammable gas. It has a smaller atomic radius than other gases, which allows it to leak through incredible tiny holes. From this point of view, it is highly relevant and urgent to develop hydrogen sensors that will allow safe storage, use and transportation of hydrogen gas".

 

 

The group has already fabricated a nanostructured sensor and, using special technological equipment, obtained a film consisting of small grains with a diameter of 20-30 nanometers, which showed extremely high sensitivity to low concentrations of hydrogen.

 

Regarding the prepared sensor, our interlocutor said: "Such sensors are resistive types. This means that the resistance of our nanostructured film changes with the presence of a target gas, and that change is considered a sensor signal. From this point of view, our sensor showed incredible sensitivity to hydrogen gas. The sensor resistance changes several thousand times in the presence of a low concentration of hydrogen (ppm level)."

 

"Now, intensive work is being done to connect the sensor to the signal processing system, making it a complete detector. The final device can be placed in any environment, such as factories, vehicles, etc., that will signal when hydrogen concentrations are present. The alert of the presence of hydrogen gas can be expressed by sound, light, or message, if, for example, it is remotely attached to modern smartphones. There are many approaches, and modern technologies fully allow us to be flexible," added the head of the scientific group.

 

It should be noted that participation in conferences held abroad is also planned within the framework of the project.

 

The members of the group are Artak Sayunts, a candidate of technical sciences, a researcher at YSU Center of semiconductor devices and nanotechnologies, Gevorg Shahkhatuni, a junior researcher at the center, Zarine Simonyan, a laboratory assistant, a master's student, and other employees of the center.

 

Karine Hovhannisyan

 The research is aimed at assessing the efficiency of the local self-governance (LSG) in forest and specially protected natural areas based on both internal and external criteria.

 

At the current stage the project team has summarized the assessment of efficiency of local self-governance based on internal criteria. The efficiency assessment has been possible through application of a 3-layer analysis methodology preceded by classification of provisions of Armenian Law “On Local Self-Governance”, which allowed to distinguish 3 groups of regulations. Thus, the 1st group cover the organizational basics of the local self-governance bodies, the 2nd group includes the LSG functions and activities, and the 3rd encompasses regulations on community budget, financing and development programs.

 

Through assessing the extent of efficiency of LSG against its goals and objectives in the selected communities the research team has come to quite interesting conclusions: the community objectives related to environmental protection are not supported by relevant functions, material, human and financial resources vital for implementation thereof. The LSG functions in the sphere of forest and specially protected areas are strictly limited and lack relevant implementation tools. LSG bodies, in their turn, cannot be praised for their initiative, full-scale implementation of their functions and undertaking additional commitments. In the result of this the LSG bodies in Armenia are not capable to ensure the right of the community to benefit from the ecosystem services of forests and specially protected areas, while the rich potential of ecosystem services and the opportunity of sustainable use thereof is widely recognized by experts, public authorities and LSG representatives.

 

Assessment of the LSG efficiency based on external criteria is on the research agenda for the coming months which will greatly benefit from the planned study tour to Switzerland.

 

The outcomes of the research will be published as 2 consecutive articles in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. In parallel, a policy brief summarizing the research results will be prepared and presented to the Government of Armenia. The Policy brief building on the research will outline the possible legal and economic solutions that may be useful for communities to move towards receiving greater benefits from the ecosystems services of forests and specially protected areas, as well as engaging in the management processes thereof.

 

The relevant UN unit regularly conducts environmental performance assessments in various countries.

It was first implemented in Armenia in 2000.

 

The Government of the Republic of Armenia has applied to the UN Commission on Environmental Performance Assessment in Armenia.

To this end, a team of international experts arrived in Armenia on March 15-22 to hold meetings with government officials, civil society, national experts and business representatives.

The experts aim to improve Armenia's environmental performance by assessing developments over the past decade in air quality, water management, biodiversity, specially protected areas, soil conservation, waste, chemicals management and the "green" economy.

Marianna Bolshakova praised the results of the meeting with Geghamyan and noted that the expert team of the UN Economic Commission for Europe will take into account the recommendations of the Director of the Environmental Law Scientific-Educational Center of YSU Faculty of Law when compiling the package of proposals.