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BUP PhD thesis award winners 2021

2021-12-09

The announcement of the winners of the BUP PhD thesis award, has been published in the BUP Weekly. There, we proudly presented the winners of the BUP PhD thesis award, defended during 2020. 

To support talented students from the network more directly, the BUP Board decided in 2013 to introduce a PhD Award that would find its first laureates in 2014. Since then, young researchers writing a highquality thesis that promote sustainable development in a Baltic Sea region context has received the distinction. The award is established in two research areas. Winners of the PhD Award receive a distinction in the form of a diploma, a statuette and financial support for either attending a scientific conference or publishing in a peer-review scientific journal. In 2021 The Baltic University Programme decided to grant two PhD students.

Winner in the category of Social Sciences and Humanities, is Huriye Armagan Dogan, from Kaunas University of Technology. The thesis is titled: The Role of Cultural Memory in the Strategies of Adaptive Re-Use of Built Heritage. The committee’s motivation for the selection of winner is:

The BUP PhD thesis award 2020 goes to The Role of Cultural Memory in the Strategies of Adaptive Re-Use of Built Heritage, by Huriye Armagan Dogan (Kaunas 2020). Over the past decades, a substantial amount of research has been conducted across different disciplines that focuses on memory. Drawing on memory studies, cognitive science, as well as research on architecture, Dogan takes an interest in the relation between public perceptions and memories and the notion of “cultural heritage”, as something that deserves protection. In practice, this becomes related to sustainability and adaptive re-use of historical buildings. More specifically, it is a very sophisticated study of architecture (from the Modern Movement of the 20th century) in Ankara and Kaunas, a style perhaps more appreciated by experts/researchers than ordinary people. Using both social surveys and experiments (based on eye tracking technology), Dogan demonstrates in a novel way that assessments of cultural heritage is related to memories and associations; and that facades of historical buildings are assessed by people using a set of basic criteria: ornaments, lines, material/texture, interventions, patina, color, and expressive architectural elements. In all, it is an ambitious attempt to understand why some historical buildings (and not others) are perceived as part of the cultural heritage, worthy of protection and preservation.

The winner in the category of Natural Sciences and Engineering is Karīna Bāliņa, Riga Technical University, under the supervision of Professor Francesco Romagnoli. The thesis is titled: Baltic Seaweed Biorefinery. The committee’s motivation for the selection of winner is:

The over-exploitation of natural resources is coupled with degradation of ecosystems and the decrease in economic growth and human wellbeing. The PhD thesis by Karīna Bāliņa (Latvia, Riga Technical University, Faculty of Electrical and Environmental Engineering entitled “Baltic Seaweed Biorefinery”, elaborated under supervision of Professor Francesco Romagnoli, presents a holistic conceptual model of biorefinery using seaweed biomass to produce a sequence of valuable products including bioenergy at the final stage of the conversion. The focus of the dissertation on seaweeds places the research in the centre of the ongoing policy framework for development of the future materials for bio-based products and new markets. Karina Balina’s research is carefully planned and executed, the findings are of great importance to the development of bioeconomy. Dissertation provides an original concept for seaweed products and associated conversion processes together with an assessment of potential biomass acquisition and implementation in the context of local and global economy. Therefore, the research for new renewable resources like seaweeds meets the current EU and global policy towards sustainable development.

Last modified: 2022-05-23