10.07.2020

AGH UST is to become European Space University


Fot. ESA

AGH University of Science and Technology has been officially recognised as a European University during the prestigious competition “European Universities” organised by the European Commission. AGH UST will be part of  the winning consortium called UNIVERSEH European Space University for Earth and Humanity jointly with four other European universities from France, Germany, Luxembourg and Sweden. Thanks to the award, AGH UST will develop education, research and technologies connected with exploration and exploitation of outer space.

European Universities is an alliance of higher education institutions from the entire European Union. They constitute a network of universities whose aim is to integrate European citizens and contribute to the increased competitiveness of Europe’s academic institutions. The initiative is a brainchild of French president – Mr Emmanuel Macron.

AGH UST’s partners in the UNIVERSEH consortium are: the University of Toulouse (France), Luxembourg University, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (Germany) and Luleå University of Technology (Sweden). In practical terms, the European University status awarded to AGH UST will enable the university to cooperate with the other partners within the network on technologies for space industry. The consortium will not only educate but also conduct research into, among others, telecommunications, climate and sustainable development of the space industry. The universities will investigate the areas related to space engineering and space-related industries as well as social sciences, medicine and art. Thanks to the award, AGH UST has won an opportunity to contribute to the development of one of the key industry sectors of the future. 

“For us, this is an extraordinary recognition. Together with our European partners we will create a network of space universities. Developing disciplines that go beyond the planet Earth is the direction the world’s best universities are heading. I am very proud of and deeply honoured by this award. Additionally, it is a source of motivation for AGH UST to make a lasting contribution to the development of a discipline of the future – space and its closer exploration. We are entering the University’s second century with ambitious plans of developing advanced technologies for the space industry” – said Professor Jerzy Lis, AGH UST Rector-elect.

It is worth noting that AGH UST actively supports space industry in numerous projects completed by our staff and students. Innovative designs for rockets, space probes, Mars rovers and stratospheric balloons have been developed by our students – members of the AGH Space Industry Student Research Society, winner of multiple awards at international competitions. Furthermore, AGH UST is actively developing space mining research – with close cooperation between experts from the Faculty of Geology and Geoengineering (WGiG) and the Faculty of Drilling, Oil and Gas (WNiG). Additionally, AGH UST and Space Research Centre at the Polish Academy of Sciences are involved in a joint project called “LOOP – Landing Once on Phobos”. The research findings will be used for the purpose of a planned mission involving landing on one of Mars’ moons. The research conducted at AGH UST is part of a project run by the European Space Agency (ESA).

This edition of the competition has attracted 62 consortia, 24 of which boast the title of European University. This group of winning universities comprises a total of 165 European science and research institutions. Each consortium will receive up to EUR 5m under the Erasmus+ Programme and up to EUR 2m under Horizon 2020. Besides AGH UST, the list of Polish winners includes Warsaw University of Technology, Poznan University of Technology, Silesian University of Technology and the University of Silesia.