15 March 2020
MCAST offers online learning opportunities in response to COVID-19 challenge
Following Government’s announcement on the closure of all educational institutions (L.N. 41 of 2020), MCAST will be offering online learning opportunities to students across all its institutes. This is part of the initiatives taken by the College in response to the COVID-19 situation and to ensure less disruption to student learning.
Over the past week, MCAST’s team of administrators and lecturers have been working to respond pro-actively to the challenges posed by COVID-19 to the education community. Students are being encouraged to keep focusing on their studies by accessing online resources and courses prepared by lecturers. Guidelines were sent to all MCAST students and staff to facilitate the use of online platforms. The Malta Union of Teachers has endorsed this plan of action on the voluntary use of online learning by lecturers.
In recent years, MCAST has invested in its innovative learning management system. This system enables students to attend classes from the comfort and safety of their home, while at the same time being able to see their lecturers and classmates, receive information, see presentations and submit assignments. Since 2016, e-modules in the areas of ICT, Creative Arts, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Electronics Engineering and Community Services, were already being offered free of charge to the general public through MCAST’s online platform.
In a letter to the MCAST community Principal James Joachim Calleja announced “We are confident that our lecturing staff and students will welcome this measure as an opportunity to keep sharing knowledge and information. We all miss the vibrant campus life and in-person lectures. Yet, technology allows us to stay in touch. Our connected MCAST community matters in challenging times like this.”
MCAST is communicating with its students and staff through different channels and is sending regular updates through its website and social media. The College is also emphasizing the importance of reaching out to Student Support Services to ensure student wellbeing.
15 ta’ Marzu 2020
L-MCAST joffri opportunitajiet ta’ tagħlim onlajn b’reazzjoni għal COVID-19
Wara l-aħbar tal-Gvern dwar l-għeluq tal-istituzzjonijiet edukattivi kollha (Avviż Legali 41), l-MCAST se joffri opportunitajiet ta’ tagħlim onlajn lill-istudenti fl-istituti kollha tiegħu. Din hija parti mill-inizjattivi meħuda mill-Kulleġġ b’reazzjoni għas-sitwazzjoni COVID-19 u biex jiżgura l-inqas tfixkil fit-tagħlim tal-istudenti.
Tul dawn l-aħħar ġimgħat, tim ta’ amministraturi u lekċerers fi ħdan l-MCAST ħadmu biex jieħdu azzjoni quddiem l-isfidi maħluqa minn COVID-19 lill-komunità edukattiva. L-istudenti qed jiġu mħeġġa jkomplu jiffokaw fuq l-istudji tagħhom billi jaċċessaw riżorsi onlajn, u korsijiet imħejjija mil-lekċerers. Intbagħtu linji gwida lill-istudenti u l-edukaturi kollha tal-MCAST biex jiffaċilitaw l-użu ta’ pjattaformi onlajn. L-MUT ukoll approvat dan il-pjan ta’ azzjoni dwar l-użu volontarju tat-tagħlim onlajn mill-għalliema.
Fl-dawn l-aħħar snin l-MCAST investa fis-sistema innovattiva għat-tagħlim onlajn. Din is-sistema tippermetti lill-istudenti jattendu klassijiet mill-kumdità u s-sigurtà ta’ darhom, filwaqt li fl-istess ħin ikunu jistgħu jaraw il-lekċerers u sħabhom tal-klassi, jirċievu informazzjoni, jaraw preżentazzjonijiet u jissottomettu x-xogħol tagħhom. Mill-2016, lezzjonijiet onlajn fl-oqsma tal-ICT, l-Arti Kreattivi, l-Inġinerija Mekkanika, l-Inġinerija Elettrika u l-Elettronika u s-Servizzi tal-Komunità, diġà ġew offruti bla ħlas lill-pubbliku ġenerali permezz tal-pjattaforma onlajn tal-MCAST.
F’ittra lill-komunità tal-MCAST, il-Prinċipal James Joachim Calleja qal, “Ninsabu kunfidenti li l-istaff u l-istudenti tagħna sa jilqgħu din il-miżura bħala opportunità biex ikomplu jaqsmu l-għarfien u l-informazzjoni. Aħna lkoll inħossu n-nuqqas ta’ kampus mimli attività u lezzjonijiet li jsiru wiċċ imb’wiċċ. Madankollu, it-teknoloġija tippermettilna nibqgħu f’kuntatt. Huwa importanti li l-komunità tal-MCAST tibqa’ magħquda u konnessa fi żminijiet diffiċli bħal dawn.”
L-MCAST qed jikkomunika mal-istudenti u l-istaff tiegħu permezz ta’ mezzi differenti u qed jibgħat aġġornamenti regolari permezz tal-websajt u l-midja soċjali filwaqt li jemfasizza wkoll l-importanza li wieħed juża s-Servizzi ta’ Appoġġ għall-Istudenti biex jiżgura l-benesseri tal-istudenti.
Għall-aktar informazzjoni dwar ritratti u/jew intervisti jew mistoqsijiet oħra:
Daniela Blagojevic, Director Communications
T: (+356) 23987200| M: (+356) 99884914|E: firstname.lastname@example.org
MCAST and FSWS sign MOU aimed at facilitate the education progress of vulnerable young people
MCAST and the Foundation of Social Welfare standards signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the College’s premises in Paola on the 30th January 2020.
The purpose of this memorandum is to develop and strengthen their collaborative relationship to develop the improved wellbeing of young persons at high risk of social exclusion aged between 16 and 25. The FSWS’s remit is to provide social welfare services, in particular in relation to alcohol and substance abuse and in relation to other social welfare problems prevalent in the country, especially those related to family welfare; to further and promote social and related studies and scholarship, through research, publications and education; to collaborate with other similar entities, especially, though not exclusively, on a regional and international basis.
The collaboration envisaged through this memorandum is intended to facilitate the assistance and guidance provided to young people within Opportunity Knocks (OK) project, Embark for Life (E4L), Adolescent Day Programme (ADP) and other similar initiatives/services undertaken by FSWS to access MCAST educational and professional programmes, thus ensuring their inclusion and possibility to success in life. MCAST will integrate the referred cohort into courses which it runs on a full time and part time basis while FSWS maintains its commitment to follow-up and ensure full compliance with MCAST procedures and requirements.
MCAST Principal & CEO, Prof James Calleja welcomed this partnership with FSWS and with each and every young person who accesses the College’s study programmes as a result of this agreement. Prof Calleja outlined the strategic direction of the College and the centrality of broadening the local partner network with key stakeholders. He also referred to the continued efforts to reinforce the image and build the esteem of vocational education and training, even by bringing to the forefront the achievements and success stories of its alumni. The College works to make more visible the alternative learning pedagogies that it adopts, the resources and the progression routes which it makes available to all students.
Mr Alfred Grixti, CEO of FSWS, reiterated the need for networking specifically focused upon the myriad of requirements of vulnerable young people to succeed in life. Whilst the provision of education and training is pivotal for such cohort, there are other basic needs and services that are required. Mr Grixti enlisted the various services the Foundation offers to ensure that a holistic approach supports young people at risk of social exclusion to integrate fully. He also confirmed the need that major stakeholders closely collaborate and support each other’s initiatives in line with government policies and direction. This will ensure networking and operational complementarity with higher probability of reaching collective targets.
COMMUNICATIONS AND PR OFFICE
Thursday 09 January 2020
€0.8M EU H2020 NEEMO Project on Electric Mobility Operations launched
An MCAST-led EU H2020 project worth €0.8 million has been launched this week at the MCAST main campus in Paola. The Minister for Education and Employment Hon. Evarist Bartolo, was present for the launch.
A key objective of the project is to upgrading the scientific, engineering and research performance and innovation capacity in the field of electric mobility research, related integration of technologies, modes and operations, as part of the ongoing effort of the MCAST Energy Research Group (MCAST Energy) within the Institute of Engineering and Transport to enhance its scientific excellence and increase its innovation capacity.
The NEEMO project, Networking for Excellence in Electric Mobility Operations focuses on five research themes:
(i) driving habits and islands drive cycles
(ii) electric vehicles as distributed energy sources
(iii) multi-modal full electric mobility
(iv) market strategies and tourism in electric mobility
(v) examining transport energy pathways in the Mediterranean
MCAST Energy has distinguished itself following the development of the first campus-wide micro-grid training and research facility in Malta. This effort has been supported by other structural funds for new campus development, an on-site testing laboratory, and the scaling-up of devices. The group is also leading another H2020 project JUMP2Excel and participating as partner in ERANETMED projects EDGEWISE and 3DMGrid supported by the Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST) and in seven COST Action Projects.
The project which is open to MCAST students, academics and staff as well as local and regional participants has launched its full programme of actions including workshops, schools, internships, exchanges, training, mentoring sessions, public lectures, conferences and stakeholders’ engagement. It is supported by two world-leading research centres: AIT Austrian Institute of Technology (Austria) and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) together with another community urban community member from a widening country ANEL Nicosia Development Agency in Cyprus, providing access to an extensive network of facilities and speakers.
Project coordinator Dr Inġ. Brian Azzopardi addressed the press conference.
The Hon Minister Evarist Bartolo congratulated MCAST and Dr Inġ. Azzopardi MCAST Energy team and emphasised the importance of energy research in transport for our present and future Maltese community.
MCAST Principal and CEO, Prof. James Calleja highlighted the significant contributions MCAST is making in its strategic plan, research endeavour and stressed the importance of a national participation in these projects.
Dr Inġ. Azzopardi highlighted the challenges and opportunities of electric mobility in Malta looking at the vehicle population, current use of fuel in transport, impacts on the electric utility grid, targets and typical journey distances.
The press conference was the introduction of a public event that included the first NEEMO Public Lecture and Stakeholders Discussion. The event was recorded and live streamed via NEEMO facebook page. The public lecture was delivered by Dr Matthias Prandstetter from AIT Austrian Institute of Technology on corporate emobility. The public lecture was followed by a stakeholders meeting with representatives from the Malta Energy and Water Agency and Ministry for Sustainable Development Environment and Climate Change together with projects partners. All participants had also the opportunity to experience a full electric drive into a London Cab provided gently by Gasan-Zammit Motors.
The half-day event was part of the first series of actions by the NEEMO project which also included during the week a week-long mentoring training sessions to MCAST Energy, staff and students by AIT and kick-off consortium meeting.
H2020 TWINNING Calls consist of Coordination and Support Action Projects aiming at significantly strengthening a defined field of research in a university or research organisation from a Widening country, like Malta, by linking it with internationally-leading research institutions from different EU Member States or Associated Countries. Twinning will enhance the scientific and technological capacity of the linked institutions with a principal focus on the university or research organisation from the Widening Country.
The breadth of energy research at the MCAST Energy includes Device Fabrication and on-site Testing, Energy Economics and Policy, Efficient Buildings, Power Systems, Renewables, Electrical Energy Informatics and Transportation. The group specialises in applied research techniques including optimisation, decision making and life cycle analysis. MCAST Energy offers executive courses, Masters by Research (MRes) and split-site PhD programmes with The University of Manchester.
Expression of interest for participation from interested researchers, stakeholders and the public are to reach our project manager, Renata Mikalauskiene on email@example.com and subscribe to the projects mailing list on the web portal.
The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 857484.
For more information, for related interview/photography/filming requests, or for other queries please contact project manager Renata Mikalasukiene on firstname.lastname@example.org
01 NEEMO Training Session by Dr Bin Hu, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology
02 NEEMO Training Session by Dr Bin Hu, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology
03 NEEMO Mentoring Sessions by AIT Austrian Institute of Technology Dr Matthias Prandstetter, Dr Wolfgang Ponweiser and Dr Bin Hu with Steve Zerafa Senior Lecturer I at MCAST (left to right)
04 NEEMO Mentoring Sessions by AIT Austrian Institute of Technology. Renata Mikalasukiene (MCAST Energy), Dr Bin Hu (AIT), Dr Somesh Bhattacharya (MCAST Energy), Dr Vibhu Jately (MCAST Energy), Dr Inġ. Brian Azzopardi (MCAST Energy) and Dr Matthias Prandstetter (AIT) (left to right)
05 NEEMO Public Event Launch and Press Conference
06 NEEMO Public Event Launch and Press Conference
07 NEEMO Public Event Launch and Press Conference
08 NEEMO Public Event Launch and Press Conference
09 NEEMO Public Lecture
10 NEEMO Public Lecture
11 MCAST Energy Research Group
12 NEEMO Consortium Team
Friday 06th December 2019
MCAST Energy successfully organised the first School:
Solutions for Photovoltaic Systems Integration
JUMP2Excel project, short for “Joint Universal activities for Mediterranean PV integration Excellence”, has recently completed the first School focusing on the topic of Photovoltaics (PV) integration solutions, hosted by the MCAST Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology. Throughout the School the importance of performance, reliability, high penetration, electricity grid impacts and mitigations and energy storage were highlighted by 14 key international speakers.
The School which is accredited to 9 ECTS at MQF level 7 included site visits to Enemalta PLC and SBE International Conference participation with both participants presentations and a round table forum with six local and international stakeholders’ panel on “The Future of Photovoltaics in the Mediterranean.”
More than 30 researchers, students and other trainees had the opportunity to learn about key topics for state-of-the-art solutions from JUMP2Excel members and external experts through multiple expert lectures, interactive seminars, and practical courses including conference experience and site visits.
The JUMP2Excel: Joint Universal activities for Mediterranean PV integration Excellence project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 810809. JUMP2Excel aims to step up and stimulate scientific excellence and innovation capacity of Malta in the field of PV integration including related technologies such as energy storage and ancillary services and electricity markets. JUMP2Excel activities may be also open to the Maltese research community and the public, free of charge. The next JUMP2Excel Schools are in 23-27 March 2020 and 23-27 November 2020. For further developments, activities and results of the ongoing work of the JUMP2Excel, you may access JUMP2Excel.eu or follow JUMP2Excel in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Research Gate.
The hosting of JUMP2Excel School was supported also by Conventions Malta and in collaboration with SBE19 Malta International Conference.
Multifaith and Quiet Contemplation Room
On 3rd December 2019 MCAST inaugurated a Multifaith and Quiet Contemplation Room. The room is situated at the Students’ House ground floor, a focus of students’ life, close to the Youth Hub. MCAST is sending a clear message that embracing diversity is pivotal to the College vision. MCAST is espousing religious diversity by accommodating the spiritual needs of students not only through its staff and its activities, but also through the provision of an appropriate space for a variety of religious, spiritual, and ethical practices. This room communicates inclusivity and supports a religiously diverse student population. In addition, this room brings together religiously diverse students and values the spiritual practices of the student population. It is also inclusive of individuals who do not profess any faith by creating an opportunity for them to find time and space to reflect in a calm environment.
The Multifaith and Quiet Contemplation room inauguration was a significant moment. MCAST Principal and CEO, Prof James Calleja and MCAST Chairman, Mr Frederick Schembri addressed the guests. Prof Calleja outlined the inclusive vision of the College and expressed his appreciation to HSBC who generously sponsored several items of the room. Leaders of different faiths who were present for the ceremony were also thanked for their collaboration and their contributions to the multifaith room.
Persons making use of the room will be able to utilize a range of items and sacred writings from different religious traditions. Some guidelines on how to maximise the use of the room are also available. MCAST staff members helped in the creation of the room through their time and creativity. The room will be opened daily. In case the room is closed one can contact the front office receptionist at the Student House (ground floor) in order to gain access.
Information about MCAST 2019 Graduation Mass
The Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology held its 2019 Graduation Mass at St John’s C-Cathedral on Wednesday, 27 November 2019. This mass, presided by the MCAST Chaplain, Fr Antoine Farrugia, sdb, was preceded by a formal procession, which MCAST Management and Administration, Lecturers, Staff and many graduates started from St George’s Square to St John’s. A packed-full Co-Cathedral, including parents and guests, participated in the Liturgy of the Eucharist that was animated by the Goldberg Ensemble, under the direction of Maestro Michael Laus. In the following days, graduation ceremonies will take place at MCAST’s Main Hall on the Main Campus, in Paola.
Craniometrical studies on the skull of the wild rabbit, Oryctolagus cuniculus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Mammalia Leporidae), in the Maltese archipelago
MCAST Lecturer Dr Mario Balzan is awarded with the José María Sarriegi Major Catastrophe Research Award
The scientific study “How are cities planning to respond to climate change? Assessment of local climate plans from 885 cities in the EU-28” has been awarded the José María Sarriegi Major Catastrophe Research Award in its first edition by Fundación Aon España and the Catastrophe Observatory
The “José María Sarriegi” prize was created by the Fundación Aon España and the Catastrophe Observatory to recognize the best academic research work on disaster management that was published in the two years prior to the award in a specialized journal. This year’s topic is climate change.
Dr Mario V Balzan is one of the 30 co-authors of this study where local climate action plans are analysed in 885 cities in the 28 member states of the European Union. The authors have explained that “progress is concentrated in big cities and also in northern Europe. 66% of cities have a mitigation plan and / or an adaptation plan. Mitigation plans are more popular than adaptation plans, which are only present in half of the cities analysed”. Analysing the progress in climate policy by cities is essential, since much of the responsibility, both in reducing emissions and in adapting to the impacts of climate change, relies on them. This large-scale study contributes to the generation of a reference baseline of local policies and plans at European level. For the authors “it is a great honour to be the first to receive the Jose Maria Sarriegi award and a great satisfaction for having participated in a work of such impact. The team of researchers has expanded and we continue working to analyse these policies in greater depth. This Prize helps us and motivates us to continue our efforts”.
The ceremony was delivered at the Symposium of the Catastrophe Observatory, under the honorary presidency of Her Majesty the Queen, on November 7 at the Postgraduate Campus of the University of Navarra, in Madrid.
To access the award-winning original scientific article, please visit: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.03.220
MCAST successfully hosts PEARL PV Seminar and Training School in Malta
EU COST Action PEARL PV, short for “Performance and Reliability of Photovoltaic Systems: Evaluations of Large-Scale Monitoring Data”, has recently completed a Seminar focusing on the topic of PV Reliability and Durability, hosted by the MCAST Malta C
ollege of Arts, Science, and Technology. Throughout the Seminar, the importance of performance and durability of solar PV power systems for the growth and competitiveness of the market was demonstrated.
The Seminar was followed by a four-day Training School, on the topic of “Evaluation of the performance degradation of PV-systems – influence factors, failure modes and their detectability and effect on economic viability”. More than 50 researchers, students, and other trainees had the opportunity to learn about key topics of reliability for state-of-the-art and emerging technologies from PEARL PV Working Group members and external experts through multiple expert lectures, interactive seminars, and practical courses including team action work and study day and night tours.
PEARL PV is a networking science action funded by the COST Programme of HORIZON 2020 with the aim to improve the energy performance and reliability of PV solar energy systems in Europe leading to lower costs of electricity produced by PV systems by a higher energy yield, a longer lifetime and a reduction in the perceived risk in investments in PV projects. For further developments, activities, and results of the ongoing work of the PEARL PV network, you may access https://www.pearlpv-cost.eu/ or follow PEARL PV in LinkedIn and Twitter.
PEARL PV cost action project synergises with the H2020 TWINNING JUMP2Excel: Joint Universal activities for Mediterranean PV integration Excellence project coordinated by MCAST Energy Research Group that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 810809. JUMP2Excel activities may be also open to the Maltese research community and the public, free of charge. For further information visit: JUMP2Excel.eu
The hosting of PEARL PV Seminar and Training was supported also by Conventions Malta and MCST Malta Council for Science and Technology and in collaboration with The University of Malta.
Learning foreign languages at MCAST
Since 2017 MCAST students were given the opportunity to learn foreign languages on a voluntary basis, and for free. So far, over 50 students have studied and successfully completed EQF Level 1 courses in Italian, French, German and Spanish. During the academic year 2019/20 MCAST will be adding the Chinese language to the list.
Kirsten Demanuele, a full-time MCAST student studying Early Years at the Institute of Community Services, shares her experience after successfully completing an EQF Level 1 in Italian as a Foreign Language.
I have always believed that learning foreign languages is very important. I enjoy travelling to different countries, to meet new people and to communicate with others. When I was at Sacred Heart College, I had decided to choose two foreign languages. At that time I chose German and French. I achieved Ordinary level certification in both languages. I always aspired that someday I would learn Italian too.
I have joined MCAST in 2016 and followed the course MCAST Advanced Level in Children’s Care and Development. I have moved on to MCAST Higher Diploma in Advanced Studies in Early Years. During the last academic year, I have learnt about the opportunity to learn a foreign language additional to my full-time studies and decided to take up the challenge and try to fit the course in my busy schedule. To me, learning Italian at this stage in my life became even more important for a number of reasons. Dance is my passion. I have been dancing since the age of three years. I attend Mandy’s Dance Academy in Marsascala. We are exposed to different styles of dance that include ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary and other styles. We are lucky enough to learn different styles and are taught by both local and foreign teachers. I have reached a stage in my life where communicating in Italian became a need in order to be able to communicate with teachers and other students, especially when attending courses.
Over the years at our dance school, we have had sessions delivered by Michele Nocca from Amici and Gianluca Blandi. I have attended courses both locally and abroad. While attending the dance lessons and courses I felt that the need to learn Italian in order to be able to communicate with teachers and other students attending the course. I also felt that I would benefit more from the dance courses if I learnt Italian as I would also understand the instructions and details given by teachers better.
When I heard about the opportunity at MCAST to follow foreign languages I immediately decided to apply. Little did I know that this course was going to open a world of opportunities for me. I must admit that the course was professionally run. Our teacher was very professional and catered for individual needs and attention. Being a small group made it even better to integrate with each other. Lessons were very interesting and practical. We covered areas that we need to talk about in our everyday life, including hobbies and areas of interest.
This foreign language course has helped me to pursue my dreams in dance and to be able to attend dance courses both locally and abroad. I feel more knowledgeable and confident. I am now more able to follow dance lessons delivered by Italian teachers and to make new Italian friends. It has also increased my employability skills. In Marsascala, the village I live in, the Italian community has increased radically in the past few years. I have noticed an increase in the number of Italian students who attend our dance school. I have been entrusted by our ballet school principal – Ms Mandy Pellicano to teach a class of young ballerinas and a class of musical theatre. This summer I am also working with FES at Skolasajf in Marsascala. Having a basic knowledge of Italian is an asset. I have Italian students in my class and feel privileged to be able to now communicate with them and especially the parents.
I strongly recommend that other students do like I did … to take up the challenge and study a new foreign language. Thank you MCAST for this great opportunity. I am grateful that I have made MCAST my first choice. I value that MCAST has helped me to increase my employability skills and addressed my areas of interest. I feel that now I am even more able to embark on new opportunities and adventures relating to my passion for dance and to pursue my dream to become a dance teacher.
MCAST investigates the possibility of generating Solar Energy from the Sea
MCAST is leading a major project entitled Offshore Passive Photovoltaics (OPPV), through which the possibility of setting up large scale floating PV systems in Maltese territorial waters was explored. This project investigates the feasibility of deploying PV systems in the sea in a bid to respond to the ever growing demand for renewable energy supplies.
Solar PV systems require a large footprint, which is scarce in Malta, given that the island only has a total land surface of 316 km2. PV systems also suffer a reduction in efficiency when the PV panel temperature increases. Sea water has the potential to mitigate this disadvantage and keep PV panels cooler than those in a comparable ground based PV system, improving PV systems’ efficiency.
In this project MCAST is collaborating with Econetique Ltd, a leading local organisation that deals in renewables, MIRARCO, a research organisation based in Canada, and Malta Mariculture Ltd, which is part of Azzopardi Fisheries, a major player in the Maltese fisheries industry.
The College together, with its partners, was successful in securing substantial funding for the project from the Malta Council for Science and Technology, for and on behalf of the Foundation for Science and Technology, through the FUSION: R&I Technology Development Programme.
Floating PVs on fresh water lakes have been in existence. MCAST is innovative in exploring the floating PVs on sea water. This in itself presents great challenges in terms of materials that can withstand a harsh environment such as corrosion, marine growth, strong seawater currents, high waves and strong winds. The Maltese coastal waters presented another challenge, that of heavy maritime traffic.
A number of studies were undertaken before the project took off. These included a market research exercise, a preliminary feasibility study and a patent check. The system itself was designed in house by MCAST staff and took into consideration numerous concepts and designs that were verified through the use of finite element analysis. The design stage was followed by an international procurement exercise for the sourcing of highly specialised components. This was combined with the in-house manufacturing of certain components as well as the assembly of the different components to produce the system.
The first pilot 8KW system was deployed at sea in 2018. The data obtained from this sea-borne system was benchmarked against a land system that was set up close to the sea site at Ċirkewwa. Data gathered during the pilot phase is being used to design and set up a follow up system that will be deployed at sea later on this year. It is anticipated that the results will lead to the commercialisation of the system.
MCAST welcomes 70 University of Malta Engineering students
On the 1st of July MCAST welcomed the University of Malta’s first year mechanical and electrical engineering students who will be following a specially designed practical engineering technology programme.
This programme runs every summer and generations of engineers fondly remember the time spent at MCAST as an important milestone in their training on the road to becoming professional engineers.
In this year’s programme forty-seven Mechanical Engineering students will be provided with 180 hours of practical training. A further twenty-three electrical engineering students will also be provided with 150 hours of practical training.
The programmes which the students will follow will involve hands-on modules in engine management, mechanical fitting, welding and fabrication, power electronic devices, microcontrollers, electrical technology, electrical installations, programmable logic controllers (PLC), and sheet metal work. These modules are being provided by MCAST’s highly experienced lecturers.
Students were welcomed by the Principal of the College who said that this cooperation between educational institutions augers well for the future. Building synergies between educational institutions is of mutual benefit and students are the main beneficiaries.
CPD for VET teachers in not an option anymore
In a statement at the ANESPO Annual Conference in Portugal, MCAST Principal and EfVET President said that one of the dramatic changes brought about by Industry 4.0 is that “continuous professional development for teachers is not an option anymore…the appeal to educate for lifelong learners also applies to teachers, trainers and mentors”.
Professional Calleja was addressing over 220 members at the annual conference of the Portuguese National Association of VET Colleges in Cuba, Portugal. ANESPO is an EfVET member and organisers of the forthcoming EfVET Annual Conference in Portugal in October 2019. MCAST Principal spoke about a Europe of Qualifications: dynamics and challenges. He also chaired a workshop session on education, formation and digital learning. He said that the advancements in technology are changing our lives including the way we learn and the way we support learning in formal education. In Europe, 16m unemployed and 5.5 job vacancies are eating up more than 3.5% of EU’s annual GDP.
This implies that the mismatching between what is being taught in formal education and the world of work must be bridged through a lifelong learning process for both the learner and the teacher. “The speed with which technology is changing is putting new challenges to education and training” Professor Calleja said, “and this implies that continuous professional training for teachers cannot remain an option or an occasional event but a regular feature in their profession”.
The conference organised at the Escola Profissional de Cuba, focused on the theme Education, Formation and New Methodological Paradigms. Among the speakers were former Portuguese Minister of Education Maria de Lurdes Rodrigues, the current State Secretary of the Ministry of Education Joao Costa, Joaquim Bernardo from the Ministry of Finance and the President of ANESPO Jose Luis Presa.
The MCAST Principal also stressed the importance of increasing investment in vocational education and training. “Budgets”, he said “dictate priorities”. Expecting to address the needs of low skilled workers, upskilling and reskilling the workforce requires individuals who can afford training and therefore more resources should be allocated to education and training throughout a person’s working life.
A person’s empowerment should be accompanied by the responsibility to be trained and ready for change. This applies not only to the traditional professions but to all jobs. Industry 4.0 has transformed what a person knows and is able to do to higher levels of skills and competences required. Teachers are expected to always be in an avant-garde position to prepare young people to places of work that are changing rapidly and to those that so far do not exist! “The future of work” Professor Calleja said, “is already here”.
MCAST Institute for the Creative Arts Festival 2019
Dates: Thursday 4th July – Sunday 4th August
Venue: Spazju Kreattiv
MCAST Institute for the Creative Arts launches the ICA Festival: “Distinct” that will run from Thursday 4th July till Sunday 4th August. “Distinct” is a reference to the varied skill-sets students have acquired over the period of their studies including various apprenticeships and work experiences. It was conceived by ICA students whose concept extends to the branding and overall curatorial aesthetic.
The Festival launch will be inaugurated by Hon. Dr Clifton Grima Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Sport and Voluntary Organisations, on Thursday evening, at 6.30pm at Spazju Kreattiv, Valletta, and the festival will thereafter be open to the general public from 8.00pm.
The Festival consists of a month-long exhibition open every day as follows: Monday 9am – 5pm, Tuesday – Friday 9am – 9pm, Saturday – Sunday 10am – 9pm. During the month there will also be a variety of events related to the creative arts, including a number of foreign speakers of international repute. Entrance is free.
The ICA Festival will be working towards bridging the gap between MCAST ICA and the community, resulting in a better understanding of the outcomes of the ICA’s various programmes, and acting as a launch of young practitioners into the working world. The festival will celebrate creativity and act as a platform to showcase the students’ hard work and collaboration with relevant stakeholders in the industry. These acquired skill-sets combined with each student’s personality result in individual differences and diversity that are critical to any organisation’s success in today’s competitive world.
The MCAST ICA Festival started three years ago as an alternative approach to the annual exhibition held at the MCAST Institute for the Creative Arts in Mosta.
The Festival is supported by Arts Council Malta, Spazju Kreattiv, Heritage Malta and Studio 7, amongst other sponsors.
For more information, please visit www.icafestival.com.
Scholarships in Saudi Arabia 2019/2020
Scholarships are being offered by the Ministry of Education of Saudi Arabia 2019/2020 (for Maltese Citizens only) – an initiative enabling several Saudi Universities to offer scholarships for students who achieved outstanding results in Malta. A list of the Saudi Universities involved in these scholarships is attached for ease of reference.
Prospective candidates must contact directly the Saudi Cultural Attaché Office in Rome to retrieve any useful information about the benefits and procedures for obtaining such scholarships. The contact details of the Saudi Cultural Office in Rome are:
Ph: 06-8557173 – 06-8540498
Fax: 06 8842336
The Institute of Engineering and Transport will be holding its annual project expo at the new IET building (Block N) at the MCAST Corradino Campus in Paola.
The event will be held on Tuesday, 2nd July between 17:00 – 21:00. The expo will showcase numerous projects from the various departments within the institute including Electrical & Electronics, Aviation, Mechanical, Maritime and Building and Construction.
A number of student projects will be presented from the several engineering fields including automation and control, robotics, biomedical, power electronics, electric drives and machine learning. These projects portray the students’ high technical level with the ability to integrate both theoretical and practical principles. A number of awards will also be presented to the best student projects offered by the institute at EQF Level 4 and 6. The public is invited to attend this event and enjoy the fruition of the studies and hard work of our students and staff.
The Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology has become a critical part of Malta’s industrial and economic growth. The college’s main mission is to become a key player in different economic sectors by providing training and promoting research and innovation across various fields. The engineering sector is a priority area within such a framework. The Institute of Engineering and Transport is a flagship within the MCAST structure for implementing this vision.
MCAST Principal and EfVET President seeks closer collaboration between VET training providers and the world of employers.
In two separate events held in Brussels and Padua, MCAST Principal/CEO and EfVET President Professor Calleja intensified his plea for more structured and long-term collaboration between VET training providers and employers. Speaking at the European Commission High-Level conference on Skills for Industry Strategy 2030, Professor Calleja said that industry and vocational education and training of the future have to work hand-in-hand not as stakeholders but as permanent partners. Employees and employers are feeling threatened by the speed of change and the advancements in technology. Industry 4.0 is an opportunity to merge the two traditionally separate sectors into a process of work-based learning for a wide spectrum of learners.
Digitalisation, globalisation and demographic changes are having negative as well as positive impacts on VET as well as on work-places. The two contexts cannot operate anymore in isolation from each other. On the contrary, Professor Calleja firmly believes that the two sectors should operate as one with two distinct roles: businesses must ensure that VET environments remain up-to-date in curriculum design, infrastructure, quality assurance and relevancy to new jobs; on the other hand, VET schools, colleges, and Universities have to intensify their role of producing a workforce which is equipped with soft skills, flexibility and the readiness to learn while working and working while learning. The future of work, Professor Calleja said is the future of education and training. “There is only one future for the two sectors and employers and educators should be sitting on the same desk and planning and executing education and training together but in separate contexts: the workplace and the learning home – colleges, schools and higher education institutions.
The High-Level conference had a plethora of distinguished speakers from the world of education and training and the world of businesses with high profile speakers coming from Bosch, IBM Europe, McKinsey and Company, Cisco Systems, the University of Luxembourg, Google, the EIB, AVAESEN Cluster, Le Forem and others. EfVET President insisted that the time is ripe to convene a European summit for VET Providers and Businesses to establish a set of criteria to join the two sectors in permanent statutory roles in different national and regional settings.
At the Archivio Antico, Bo Palace of the University of Padua, MCAST Principal intervened during a panel discussion on the return on investment and mobility. The discussion was part of the concluding session of the ERASMUS project on the ROI for VET International Mobility co-funded by the ERASMUS+ Programme of the EU. In his intervention, Professor Calleja said that we live in a culture of mobility both in a physical and virtual manner. As a result of technology, connectivity today is easier, more effective but equally challenging and constructive. Young people have been brought up connecting ideas and interests in a manner which any education and work establishment cannot ignore. Hence mobility has become a valuable learning process according to Professor Calleja. However, he said “the ultimate objective of mobility in the context of learning and working is employability coupled with social inclusion and a nurturing of European identity. In this respect, cooperation between businesses and training providers as well as the larger community is a step towards creating more opportunities for young people to broaden their experiences”. In an environment in which work-based learning is increasingly becoming a new way of learning, mobility will play an important part in people’s lives. Referring to the new Programme Generation ERASMUS 2021-2027 proposal by the EC, MCAST Principal/CEO said that budgets must reflect priorities.
He feels that there is still a deficit in supporting mobility (and VET in general) when considering the high levels of unemployment in Europe and the high percentages of lamenting employers and people with low skills and others not in E&T. “Mobility” Professor Calleja said, “is a win-win learning process, an opportunity to take in response to the enormous development in traveling, in connecting with different cultures and working places and in the development of quality standards in production and service provision in the various sectors”. Mobility according to the speaker is the most efficient way of producing workforce readiness, soft skills (particularly language speaking) technical skills and entrepreneurial culture. MCAST and EfVET will be at the forefront to connect businesses with VET training providers and promote mobility across all sectors of education and training. The latest introduction of Degree Apprenticeships at MCAST is a case in point.
Friday 31 May 2019
MCAST Energy Knowledge Gain in France during the first JUMP2Excel Workshop
MCAST Energy team members participated in a three-day conference organised by the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) in Cadarache, France. Dr Inġ. Brian Azzopardi, JUMP2Excel Coordinator; Renata Mikalauskiene, Projects Manager (Research); and MRes Candidates and Research Support Assistants Marina Prutianov, George Bugeja and Inġ. Albert Zerafa were among the participants. MCAST Energy is part of the MCAST Institute of Engineering and Transport and collaborates with MCAST Capital Projects Department on energy infrastructure projects.
The JUMP2Excel project participants from Malta, Spain (CENER) and France had the opportunity to meet a strong delegation of the Electricity Syndicate of Martinique Island, representatives from the Energy group at Aix-Marseille University, Aéroport Marseille Provence, Mines ParisTech, EDF-SEI Corsica and the CAPENERGIES competitive cluster.
A number of site visits were also organised to CEA outdoor solar test facilities, MEGASOL Platform 13MWp solar photovoltaic facility, Thassalia marine geothermal power plant facility (ENGIE Group) and Cité des Energies micro algae facility.
The JUMP2Excel: Joint Universal activities for Mediterranean PV integration Excellence project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 810809.
JUMP2Excel activities may be also open to the Maltese research community and the public, free of charge. For further information visit: JUMP2Excel.eu
Tuesday 28 May 2019
MCAST STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN MALTA FASHION WEEK
MFW 26 May 19 St Elmo will be an unforgettable experience for the first cohort of fashion students following MCAST’s Advanced Diploma in Fashion and Retail at the Institute for the Creative Arts.
Mr Adrian J. Mizzi Executive Director, Producer & Founder of MFW honoured our students to present their fashion creations on the prestigious catwalk. Students had the opportunity to showcase the pieces they designed and developed throughout the second year of their course. This incentive motivated students to work to their utmost, as they plan to further their development in the sector through future employment and/or more advanced studies. The audience complimented all the students’ work and their reactions were very positive. The works of Alicia Busuttil, Anthea Calleja, Martha Camilleri, Danial Gitmanovich, Dhalia Grech, Natasha Polidano and Andre Xiberras can be seen in the following link:
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