EACH Winter School 2017 Started!

On Jan 23, 2017, the second Winter School of the EACH programme started in Erken Laboratory (Erken, Sweden). Altogether 34 students from more than 20 countries participate.
The Winter School offers a diverse set of activities to the participants. There are lectures on advanced analytical chemistry topics by top experts, group works and entertainment. Several sessions are presented by industry practitioners. The intense working is counterbalanced by social activities.



Traditionally an important activity in the Winter school is selecting first year students to study tracks. In order to give one more piece of information what the study tracks are about, there was a session of presentations on the first day by second year students on their master thesis topics.

Full information about the Winter School activities is available at the EACH Winter School web page.

Group Photo (Jayaruwan Gunathilake): in front of the main building of the Erken Laboratory; Photos in the middle (Ivo Leito): Uppsala students presenting their master theses and prof. Jonas Bergquist enjoying their presentation; Photo on bottom left (Ivo Leito): Vietnamese students following the presentation.

This is a Golden Age of Measurement Science!

This is a Golden Age of Measurement ScienceThe American Chemical Society (the world’s largest scientific society by membership!) has recently published a document titled Top Ten Trends Driving Science, which summarizes in an intelligent and engaging way the main processes and trends in the contemporary society that drive the scientific research. The explanations are supported by numerous quotes from leading scientists.

Of specific interest for our study programme is the trend No 2: Big data is more essential than ever, which supported by quote from Jonathan Sweedler, Editor-in-Chief of Analytical Chemistry, stating among other things: This is a Golden Age of Measurement Science!

All the best wishes to all measurement scientists – both chemical and physical – everywhere in the world!


Challenging developments in the field of textile analysis

Pilleriin_PeetsAmong the analytical chemistry research directions at UT are studies of materials, especially materials with artistic and/or historic relevance. Textiles have a prominent place among these materials and the leading force of textile analysis in our group is PhD student Pilleriin Peets.

We have the pleasure to announce that her master’s thesis defended in June 2016 “Method development for textile dye analysis on the example of red dyes” was awarded with the 1st prize in the Estonian National Contest for University Students supported by Estonian Research Council. Congratulations, Pilleriin!
This very interesting and challenging master’s thesis involved development of methodologies using complementary techniques – FT-ICR-MS with ESI and MALDI sources, LC-QQQ-MS, SEM-EDS – for thoroughgoing investigation of composition of red dyes.

Natural dyes (extracted from plants and insects) are complex mixtures of sophisticated organic compounds and their chemical composition is still not fully known. Dyes can be divided into different groups (anthraquinones, flavonoids etc) but within a group, they can be quite similar. In order to fix dyes on fabrics mordants (alum, tannic acid etc) are commonly used. Identifying dyes and mordants in textiles is challenging: samples are very small, analyte concentrations are low, objects consist of many components (incl. impurities) and their decomposition products. So, accurate methods that can work with small amounts of sample and very low analyte contents in samples, are still needed.

Pilleriin_Peets_taking_textile_samplesDuring her master’s studies Pilleriin Peets managed to overcome all these difficulties and developed a useful methodology for dye analysis. At first, Pilleriin collected different red dyes (madder, cochineal etc), dyed pure wool pieces and then extracted the dyes from dyed wool. During dyeing, she adjusted different recipes and developed suitable dyeing procedure. After that she analysed all these dye standard solutions and fibre extracts, using HPLC-QQQ-MS, ESI- and MALDI-FT-ICR-MS methods and developed a suitable measurement methodology for every dye. Additionally, different mordants were analysed from known mordanted samples and unknown real samples using SEM-EDS. The developed methodology was applied to real samples from the Estonian National Museum and private collections (photo on the right: Pilleriin taking textile samples at the Estonian National Museum).

These developed methodologies are right now being extended to the analysis of other colours and dyes: Pilleriin continues this investigation during her PhD studies and in the future there will be coming much more interesting research developments in this topic.

Pilleriin started with serious scientific research already in the bachelor’s studies: she developed an approach of classification of single- and two-component textile materials using ATR-FT-IR spectra and chemometric methods, principal component analysis (PCA) and discriminant analysis on the basis of altogether 89 textile samples belonging to 26 different types (11 one- and 15 two-component textiles). This work has been published in Spectrochimica Acta Part A 2017, 173, 175-181.


EACH students meeting Nobel laureate Sir Fraser Stoddart

each-students-meeting-prof-fraser-stoddartOn Monday 12.12.2016 the 2nd year EACH students studying at Uppsala had the wonderful opportunity to meet Sir J. Fraser Stoddart, one of the three 2016 Chemistry Nobel prize laureates. The 2016 Chemistry Nobel prize was awarded for the contributions to design and synthesis of molecular machines.

On the photo Prof. Stoddart is in the middle of the second row. In the first row on the right is prof. Jonas Bergquist (the EACH coordinator at Uppsala) who organized the meeting.


LC-MS Method Validation online course (MOOC): 301 participants from 61 countries!

UT_LC_MS_Validation_MOOC_Participants_2016On Monday, November 28, 2016 the web course LC-MS Method Validation was launched for the first time as a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course). There are 301 registered participants from 61 countries, ranging from Vietnam to Peru and from Norway to Zambia. Image on the left shows the countries where the participants come from.

This is a practice-oriented on-line course on validation of analytical methods, specifically using LC-MS as technique. The course introduces the main concepts and mathematical apparatus of validation covers the most important method performance parameters and ways of estimating them. The course follows the tradition set by the course Estimation of Measurement Uncertainty in Chemical Analysis launched in 2014. Differently, from the uncertainty course, the LC-MS validation course is delivered by a team of 8 teachers, each with their own specific area of competence. This way it is expected to offer the best possible knowledge in the different subtopics of analytical method validation.

The full course material is accessible from the web page https://sisu.ut.ee/lcms_method_validation/. The course materials include videos, schemes, calculation files and numerous self-tests (among them also full-fledged calculation exercises). In order to pass the course, the registered participants have to take all tests and get higher than 50% score from each of them. These tests are available to registered participants via the Moodle e-learning platform. Participants who successfully pass the course will get a certificate from the University of Tartu.

It is planned to run this course as MOOC again in autumn 2017.

(Image: Wikimedia Commons)


EACH Programme – A Good Practice Example!

ut_each_leito_vilnius_251116_good_practice_exampleOn 25.11.2016, in the framework of the Erasmus+ International Dimension Information Days 2016 event (Vilnius, Lithuania) Ivo Leito from UT made a presentation on the Practical experience of applying for and managing the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree Programme Excellence in Analytical Chemistry (EACH). In recognition of its quality the EACH programme was selected as a “Good Practice Example” by the organizers. The presentation triggered a large number of questions and intensive discussion about funding the studies of the students who do not have the Erasmus Mundus scholarships.


Admission to the EACH programme is open!

EACH_Erasmus_Mundus_JMDWe are glad to announce that the 2017 admission is officially open to the Excellence in Analytical Chemistry (EACH) Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree programme!

This international two-year joint master degree programme educates specialists in analytical chemistry well qualified to work in industry (food, pharmaceutical, materials, energy, etc) and chemical analysis laboratories (environment, food, health, etc) worldwide. EACH provides knowledge and practical skills in both fundamental and applied aspects of modern analytical chemistry. Practical internship placement in industry or laboratories is an important part of the training.

The programme is suitable both for students who have finished their bachelor’s studies and want to continue in master’s studies, as well as for working analytical chemistry practitioners wishing to spend couple of years to bring their knowledge and skills to a new level.

The programme features generous scholarships as detailed in the Scholarships and tuition fees page.

The programme is taught by four universities: University of Tartu (UT, coordinator), Estonia; Uppsala University (UU), Sweden; University Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (UCBL), France; and Åbo Akademi University (AAU), Finland. The language of instruction is English, but students will also learn to communicate in one of the languages of the countries involved.

The online application form, admission requirements, deadlines, list of necessary documents, instructions/explanations, as well as contact data for questions are available from the EACH Admission information page.



Online Course: LC-MS Method Validation

esikaas_2We are glad to announce the online course LC-MS Method Validation!

It has been set up at University of Tartu during 2015-2016 and its version 1 is now accessible from the address https://sisu.ut.ee/lcms_method_validation/

The course will be offered as a Massive Open On-line Course (MOOC) during Nov 28, 2016 – Feb 09, 2017 and it is now open for registration via the above address. The course is free of charge. This is the first edition of this MOOC and it will be offered to a limited number of participants.

This is a practice-oriented on-line course on validation of analytical methods, specifically using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry as technique, mostly (but not limited to) using the electrospray (ESI) ion source. The course introduces the main concepts and mathematical apparatus of validation, covers the most important method performance parameters and ways of estimating them. The course is largely based on the recently published two-part tutorial review:

The course contains lectures, practical exercises and numerous tests for self-testing. In spite of being introductory, the course intends to offer sufficient knowledge and skills for carrying out validation for most of the common LC-MS analyses in routine laboratory environment. The real-life analysis situations for which there are either examples or self-tests are for example pesticide analyses in fruits and vegetables, perfluororalkyl acids in water, antibiotics in blood serum, glyphosate and AMPA in surface water, etc. It is important to stress, that for successful validation experience (both in analytical chemistry as such and also specifically in validation) is crucial and this can be acquired only through practice.

This course material is available from the above address all the time and can be used via web by anyone who wishes to improve the knowledge and skills in analytical method validation (especially when using LC-ESI-MS).