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Rector’s Grants just awarded. Over 1.5 million for research clubs’ projects

Image of a group of students posing for the photo in a funny, relaxed way

Photo source: AGH University

Rector’s Grants just awarded. Over 1.5 million for research clubs’ projects

The results of this year’s edition of the Rector’s Grants competition are in. Over a hundred ambitious, visionary projects by Student Research Clubs are to receive funding in the total amount of PLN 1,538,752.22.

Nine of them were considered strategic, i.e. the effect of which will be noticeable in the long run and they seem to guarantee scientific and construction success, thus promote the university. These are:

  • The project and construction of a new power unit, modernisation of the flight control system and increase in the range of the Celka racing solar boat (AGH Solar Boat),
  • The construction of a 4x4 electric vehicle and participation in competitions (KINEMATICS)
  • E-Moto AGH Smart Systems – Modernisation of motorcycles for new competition standards (Spectrum),
  • The development of research modules for the analysis of the composition of the surface of planets, enhancement of  the Kalman rover construction, participation in University Rover Challenge 2024, and organisation of a space conference (AGH Space Systems),
  • Energy-efficient bucket conveyor of variable route  geometry for transporting Moon regolith (SpaceTeam AGH),
  • The implementation and application of reinforcement learning algorithms and a motion capture system for operating a racing drone (AGH Drone Engineering),
  • The development of work on modularity of a multi-purpose unmanned aircraft (AGH Solar Plane),
  • E-Moto AGH –  project and construction of a racing motorcycle participating in the MotoStudent competition, 8th Edition (Physical Metallurgists' Student Research Club),
  • The project and construction of a modular underwater robot and participation in the MATE ROV Competition (AGH Marines).

The imagination and ideas of the AGH University students active in research clubs are very impressive. Some of the projects are presented below.

The Hefajstos Student Research Club is going to produce prototype jewellery pieces under laboratory conditions from bimetallic production waste containing for example titanium generated in the explosive compounding process.
The project includes, among other things, an analysis of the potential application of these materials in jewellery production, the preparation of schematics and performance of tests related to processes that enable the colouring of steel and titanium materials by means of oxide and anodic coatings, the manufacture of prototype jewellery pieces from production waste generated in the process of explosive compounding of materials.The jewellery projects and models will be created in cooperation with the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wroclaw.
title of the project: The processing of bimetal production waste with plastic shaping and anodising titanium alloys [Przetwarzanie bimetalowych odpadów produkcyjnych z uwzględnieniem kształtowania plastycznego i anodowania stopów tytanu]
club’s supervisor: dr inż. Łukasz Lisiecki, Faculty of Metals Engineering and Industrial Computer Science

AGH Medical Technology (AGH Techmed) is going to create an interactive robot torso capable of interacting with the environment based on preset control demands.Due to the interdisciplinarity of the project the students will have contact with various scientific disciplines: biomechanics, machine learning, electronics, IT technologies. The humanoid machine will be enhanced by the following years of students. One of the goals of the project is to test the construction in practice in healthcare fields such as interactions with patients and assistance to the medical personnel. In the future, the robot will be presented in selected hospitals, for example in the Medical University of Silesia in Katowice.
title of the project: Creation of a prototype of a humanoid robot torso with 3D print for educational and scientific purposes [Budowa prototypu torsu robota humanoidalnego z wykorzystaniem technologii druku 3D do celów edukacyjnych i naukowych]
club’s supervisor: dr hab. inż. Piotr Kijanka, AGH University associate professor, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics

The Biometr Student Research Club is going to create a prototype of a device supporting rehabilitation based on EMG biofeedback. It will be possible to apply the obtained technology, for example, in trainers for preparing to use myoelectric prostheses in case of people who lost fragments of their upper limbs. The solution will help to develop the efficiency of muscles vital for operating or as a system speeding up the rehabilitation. An additional result of the project will be the development of a method for automatic description of hand movements for the purpose of deep learning in the classification and regression of the state of finger flexion.
title of the project: Development of a method supporting the rehabilitation of upper limbs with EMG signals and deep learning [Opracowanie metody wspomagającej rehabilitację kończyn górnych z wykorzystaniem sygnałów elektromiograficznych i uczenia głębokiego]
club’s supervisors: dr hab. inż. Andrzej Skalski, AGH University associate professor, and dr inż. Daria Hemmerling, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Automatics, Computer Science, and Biomedical Engineering,

The Physical Metallurgists' Student Research Club has a goal to select, create, and then study properties of materials which may be used for producing drills working in extreme Martial conditions. The result of the project will be a set of tests allowing for the determination whether the selected materials comply with the established properties. If yes, then the club will be able to decide whether to continue and develop a process for creating the drill. The project involves research on samples made of ceramic powders with the addition of diamond. The materials will undergo the process of hot pressing and then detailed tests of their properties. The students want to understand how these unique materials can behave in Martian conditions and what can be their potential application in future space missions.
title of the project: Galaxy’s tools: selection of materials for drills used in Martian conditions [Narzędzia galaktyki: dobór materiałów do produkcji wierteł używanych w warunkach marsjańskich]
club’s supervisor: dr inż. Dorota Tyrała, Faculty of Metals Engineering and Industrial Computer Science

The aim of the Bio-logika Student Research Club is to obtain chitosan from waste products and/or insects common in Poland. Students will use it along with biocarbon and char to make dressings as well as synthesize adsorptive ultrafiltration membranes that have the ability to remove anionic forms of heavy metals from water. After passing laboratory tests, it will be possible to use the membranes for filtration of real samples, such as industrial wastewater, or tests on the recovery of adsorbed metals. Another important aspect of the project is the comparison of parameters and properties of sorbents based on chars and chitosan-modified carbons of natural and commercial origin.
title of the project: Naturally-sourced chitosan – modifier of biocarbon and char from car tyres as a membrane for the sorption of heavy metal ions from aqueous solutions and the design of a bio-waste-based dressing film [Chitozan pochodzący z naturalnych źródeł – modyfikator biowęgla i karbonizatu z opon samochodowych jako membrana do sorpcji jonów metali ciężkich z roztworów wodnych oraz projekt foli opatrunkowej bazującej na bioodpadach]
club's supervisor: dr inż. Grzegorz Stefan Jodłowski, Faculty of Energy and Fuels

Directed to the AGH University Student Research Clubs, the Rector’s Grant competition is aimed at supporting students in developing practical knowledge, competencies, and skills as well as improving qualifications by engaging in developing creative solutions, perspective work, concepts and projects of scientific character.

There were as many as 111 applications in this year’s edition. AGH University Student Research Clubs applied for the total amount of PLN 3,476,576.77.

Participants of the competition committee: Vice-Rector for Student Affairs, prof. Rafał Dańko (head of the committee); Rector's Proxies for Student Research Clubs: dr inż. Joanna Augustyn-Nadzieja, dr hab. inż. Paweł Bogacz, AGH University associate professor, dr inż. Paweł Janowski; representatives of the AGH University Student Government: Anna Rypel, Kamila Kochan, Anna Materka; Director of the Student Affairs Centre, Karolina Sochacka.

The applications were examined in two categories:

  • construction grant – for an engineering project (e.g., structures, research/laboratory stations, etc.),
  • research grant – for a science and research project.

Significant in the evaluation of the applications was the project's compliance with at least one National Smart Specialization and/or programmes of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, at least one Regional Smart Specialization and/or Culture and Heritage programmes of the Małopolska region, or whether it is in scope of at least one Priority Research Area implemented at the AGH University. The chance of scientific publication and/or commercialisation as well as the promotional potential were also taken into account.