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Features 2013
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Mr Carmel Azzopardi Awarded Lifetime Achievement Award

Mr Carmel Azzopardi was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mr Azzopardi started his career in the ship repair industry at Malta Drydocks which saw him consolidate his position in the marine industry over the years with roles both locally and in Libya. Eventually he assisted in setting up the Electrical Quality Control section for Malta Shipbuilding. In more recent years, he worked within the Faculty of Engineering and Industrial Electrical Power Department at the University of Malta.

Today, he is retired but continues to collaborate as a part time Senior Lab Officer on research and development of hardware for undergraduate and post graduate students’ projects. 


20 December 2013

Professor Carmel Pulé Awarded Medalja Għal Qadi tar-Repubblika

Professor Carmel Pulé
Department of Electronic Systems Engineering
Faculty of Engineering

Professor Carmel Pulé, was awarded the Medalja Għal Qadi tar-Repubblika on 13 December 2014.

Prof. Carmel Pulé was educated at De La Salle College Cottonera. He then followed a six year apprenticeship at the Royal Naval Dockyards of Malta and Chatham in Kent, UK. working on gunnery control systems and Cryptographic machines and at the Drawing Office preparing working plans for S-Class submarines. After obtaining the Ordinary and Higher National Certificate and Graduate Member of the Radio and Electronic Engineering, read for a first degree at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne gaining a First class honours. He later progressed to read for a Ph.D. and spent another three years at Newcastle working as a senior research officer on digital and switched filters. He returned back to Malta as a lecturer at MCAST where later he transferred to the University of Malta effectively initiating the Faculty of Engineering. He acts as consultant to industry and the local courts.

His interest are simulation of electronic devices and their mathematical models and methods of teaching and the synthesis of teaching applied electronic circuits (pedagogy) to study the best manner in which to transfer engineering information to the weaker students.

Other interests include the dynamics of boats and aircraft and all associated experimental and applied research appertaining to solar powered and enery saving craft.

He is married, with one daughter who is a graduate engineer.


19 December 2013

City of Mdina Chosen for EU-Funded Pilot Project

The City of Mdina has been chosen as the locality that will host the EU-funded HELAND project, which is aimed at promoting ways how innovative technological initiatives can contribute towards the enhancement of the tourist package that the locality can offer. The project will seek initiatives that guarantee a sustainable socio-economic development whilst ensuring that a balance is maintained between the needs of the residents and those of the tourist industry.

The HELAND Project kicked off over the past months and is being run by the Institute for Tourism, Travel and Culture at the University of Malta. The project, which is expected to be concluded by the end of 2015, is also enjoying an international exchange of cross-cultural information and experiences. In fact, the Heland Project is being carried out by an international consortium made up of ten partners from six different Mediterranean countries, within and outside  the European Union namely Malta, Spain, Cyprus, the Palestinian Authority, Lebanon and Jordan.

“When one takes into consideration that 95% of the tourists who visit Malta, visit Mdina, one appreciates more the crucial role that this city has in Malta’s overall tourism product. The particular qualities and specific needs of Mdina were the main factors that made this city the ideal choice for this project,” explains Dr Nadia Theuma, Director of the Institute for Tourism, Travel and Culture at the University of Malta which is coordinating this project.

Dr Theuma and Dr George Cassar, Project Manager and Deputy Project Manager respectively, spoke during the first consultation meeting organised at the Mdina Local Council for Mdina residents and business operators to introduce this project to the main stakeholders. The meeting also served as an opportunity for residents and businesses to voice their opinions and suggest ways how this project could benefit Mdina, its residents and the overall tourist package that the locality can offer.

“Through this project, we need to explore effective ways how we can strengthen Mdina’s cultural legacy and product offering in a more effective but at the same time, sustainable way. We have to ensure the balance between Mdina’s role as a prime tourist destination and its functional role as a city which is inhabited by its small community of residents and businesses with their particular demands and needs. It is indeed a very delicate balance,” added Dr Cassar.

“The tourist’s profile has changed in recent years and we need to attune our product to today’s tourist’s expectations. This pilot project is therefore an excellent opportunity for all the stakeholders involved. It is an opportunity for those operating in the tourism sector to explore and develop new projects that can improve the social and economic potential of Mdina, we can perhaps explore new initiatives that will generate more cultural jobs and hopefully, whatever initiative we choose to pursue, this will in the long-run benefit the residents and all the community of Mdina,” said Dr Theuma.

“Although the Mediterranean region is still the foremost tourist area in the world, it is progressively losing attractiveness. In order to regain competitiveness, Mediterranean countries need to modernize the management of their touristic assets, investing in new technologies and bridging the gap between research, industry and policy makers. The HELAND Project will be working in this direction and the success of this project also depends on the goodwill and contribution from all stakeholders involved,” concluded Dr Theuma.

The Heland Project is funded by European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) Programme (90% EU funds; 10% Partners' funds). The 2007-2013 ENPI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme is a multilateral Cross-Border Cooperation initiative funded by the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). The Programme objective is to promote the sustainable and harmonious cooperation process at the Mediterranean Basin level by dealing with the common challenges and enhancing its endogenous potential. It finances cooperation projects as a contribution to the economic, social, environmental and cultural development of the Mediterranean region. The following 14 countries participate in the Programme: Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Palestinian Authority, Portugal, Spain, Syria, and Tunisia. The Joint Managing Authority (JMA) is the Autonomous Region of Sardinia (Italy). Official Programme languages are Arabic, English and French.

For more information about the project and for submission of feedback and ideas please email Dr Nadia Theuma or Dr George Cassar.




18 December 2013

Unveiling of Commemorative Bust of Professor Mann Borgese

On 12th December 2013, the unveiling of the commemorative bust of Professor Elisabeth Mann Borgese, the Mother of the Oceans and the Founder of IOI, was held at the Arvid Pardo and Pacem in Maribus Study Area, University of Malta. This is an initiative of the IOI President to honour Prof. Elisabeth Mann Borgese's contribution to the sustainable governance of the ocean and future generations. The ceremony was presided by Dr Awni Behnam, IOI President, and Prof. Alfred Vella, Pro Rector, University of Malta.

Prof. Elisabeth Mann Borgese was born in Munich, Germany, on 24th April 1918, fifth of six children of Katja Pringsheim and Thomas Mann (Nobel Literature Laureate 1929). She completed her studies in Switzerland from Fries Gymnasium Zurich in 1937. In 1939, she emigrated to USA with her parents, married Giuseppe Antonio Borgese in 1939 and has two daughters, Angelica and Dominica.

She was a Professor of political science and adjunct Professor of Law at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada. Before moving to Canada, she was a senior fellow at the Centre for Democratic Institutions in Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A. It was there that she launched her ocean project, which led to the establishment of the Pacem in Maribus Conference and the International Ocean Institute (IOI).

Prof. Mann Borgese was a member of the Club of Rome and the World Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an associate member of the Third World Academy. She has served as a consultant to UNEP, UNESCO, UNIDO, and the World Bank. Among other honors, she has been awarded the United Nations Sasakawa Environment Prize, the Francis of Assisi Environment Prize, and the Order of Canada. Prof. Mann Borgese is the author of a dozen books and many research papers and editorials. She has been awarded several doctorates honoris causa.

Prof. Mann Borgese’s lifelong preoccupation had been the search for peace and justice for all. It was in 1967 that she realized that it was in the oceans that new and revolutionary concepts could be tried, tested and implemented. As she once said "The Oceans are our great laboratory for the making of a new international order, based on new forms of international cooperation and organization, on a new economic theory, on a new philosophy." She passed away on 8th February 2002.

Contact Details:
IOI Secretariat
Tel: +356 21 346528/9

Elisabeth Mann Borghese

click here to view the photos taken on the occasion the unveiling of the commemorative bust of Professor Elisabeth Mann Borgese


12 December 2013

FOOD RESCUE - for Waste Reduction and Creative Preparation

Home Economists show how to reduce food waste through education for practical and creative food preparation

Food RescueFOOD RESCUE, lunched during Discover University Open Week, attracted many visitors as HEiA members and NFCS students provided a pleasant display of savoury and sweet dishes, which were either made from leftover foods, or from foods which were past their prime or close to their use-by date. FOOD RESCUE was organised in relation to the European Week for Waste Reduction 2013.

From simple home-made baked Chicken Nuggets, to the richer Soppa tal-Armla (Widow’s Soup) or Pudina tal-Ħobż with a modern twist, the idea was to show how easy it is to prepare healthy and tasty foods with leftover, over-ripe or stale foods at hand. Another section of the stand was dedicated to demonstrating the making of fruit and ‘green’ smoothies for visitors to sample. The green smoothie, made from lettuce, spinach, kale, herbs, fruit juices, ginger and ice was quite a hit with both young and old, and local and overseas visitors.

A leaflet on Food Rescue tips and a Food Rescue recipe booklet of the displayed and demonstrated recipes were also distributed.

A frequently quoted statistic is that in developed countries about 40% of food waste occurs at the retail or consumer levels. In other words, even in our homes, food is often wasted during storage, preparation and serving.  Getting the most out of the food we buy should be a goal everyone strives for.  

With this in mind, during the month of November 2013, Nutrition, Family & Consumer Studies (NFCS) student-teachers from the University of Malta’s Faculty of Education teamed up with Home Economists in Action (HEiA) to organise a campaign promoting less food waste.

Similar stands were also set up at the Farmers Markets in Birgu and Ta' Qali on the following Saturdays –16th and 23rd November. Hundreds of visitors stopped by the stands, chatted with the Home Economics educators, shared their ideas and queries, sampled the smoothies and Pudina tal-Ħobż and went home with their own set of educational materials.  

The Food Rescue recipes have also been produced as a set of 10 videos as a collaborative three-generation initiative of NFCS / Home Economics lecturers, graduates and student-teachers. They are available on YouTube.

The Food Rescue leaflet and recipes booklet are available in English and Maltese from the HEiA website. For more information contact Dr Suzanne Piscopo.

Food Rescue

Food Rescue


12 December 2013

Research Projects at the Biology Symposium 2013

Over 100 students, professionals and researchers attended the University of Malta’s Department of Biology 2013 Symposium, held recently. This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the Biology Symposium which has been held annually since 1993.

The Hon. Leo Brincat, Minster for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change, Prof. Richard Muscat, Pro-Rector for Research and Innovation, Prof. Charles Sammut, Dean of the Faculty of Science, and Dr Joseph A. Borg, Head of the Department of Biology, contributed to the opening session. Mr Brincat acknowledged that although negotiations and decisions concerning action to mitigate climate change remain difficult, science is guiding the goalpost. He emphasised that the future of biological research for the Maltese graduate is promising, as the Ministry intends to explore opportunities for stronger links with University, and to strengthen the national capacity for implementation of environmental objectives and bridge the gap between research and policy.

As in previous years, the Symposium served to showcase undergraduate (BSc) and postgraduate (MSc and PhD) research projects undertaken at the Department. The research projects concluded in 2013 feature topics in aquaculture, botany, conservation biology, genetics, freshwater, marine and terrestrial ecology, and effects of plant extracts on biological systems, amongst others.

Projects in genetics concerned the application of molecular genetics for phylogenetic analyses of elasmo branch species, genetics of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and a study of the hypervariable regions in mitochondrial DNA of the Maltese population.

Within the area of terrestrial ecology and conservation biology, projects focused on the developing an index of naturalness for assessing coastal sites, use of the island of Comino by migrating passerines, ecology of freshwater pools, ecology of the Maltese Wall Lizard, use of the Golden Samphire Inula Crithmoides as an indicator of the coastal zone, population studies on the Maltese Everlasting Helichrysum melitense, characterisation of scrubland habitats in the Maltese Islands, and the effects of quarrying on biodiversity.

Within the area of marine biology and aquaculture, projects concerned aspects of the population ecology of the Noble Pen Shell Pinna nobilis, biomorphometric features of local rocky shores, ecology of shoreline algal carpets, ‘tropicalisation’ of the Mediterranean Sea, ecology of cobble habitat, influence of anthropogenic moficiation of shore habitat on the associated flora and fauna, physical factors influencing Neptune Grass Posidonia oceanica meadows, characterisation of deep water seabed habitats around the Maltese Islands, aspects of the population ecology of the Posidonia prawn Palaemonxiphias, and the influence of light intensity and photoperiod on the White Sea Bream Diplodussargus.

Other projects concerned the influence of biochar addition on the growth of Salad Rocket Erucasativa, the bioactivity of essential oil from the Mediterranean Cypress Cypressus sempervivens, an assessment of composting using invertebrates, and bioactivity of extracts of the microalga Arthrospira.

Abstracts of these projects, which total 25, have been published in a booklet edited by Mr David Dandria, with a foreword by the Head of the Department of Biology, Dr Joseph A. Borg. Copies of the booklet may be purchased from the Department of Biology (Tel: 23402272). The 2013 Biology Symposium was partly sponsored by the Environment Protection Directorate of the Malta Environment and Planning Authority. Several of the research projects were funded by the University’s Research Fund.

Biology Symposium
The Hon. Leo Brincat making his address during the opening session of the Biology Symposium
(Photo: Dr Sandro Lanfranco)

Biology Symposium
Participants at the Biology Symposium 2013
(Photo: Joseph A Borg)

Biology Symposium
The Maltese Everlasting Helichrysum melitense, populations of which were the focus of one of the research projects presented at the symposium
(Photo: Joelene Xiberras)


12 December 2013

Regional Seminars on the Practicum in Teacher Education

EMCER - the Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Educational Research - recently concluded two 2-week-long regional seminars which brought together educators from 10 universities in Egypt, Lebanon and Palestine.

The seminars facilitated the sharing of experience related to the practicum in teacher education programmes, and were organised in close collaboration with the Faculty of Education and the Directors General from the Ministry of Education.

Activities included workshops as well as visits to Maltese schools, with guests shadowing practicum tutors as they went about their work evaluating student teachers on teaching practice. The regional seminars are part of a larger TEMPUS project led by the American University in Cairo, which brings together partners from several universities from the global North and South in an effort to promote reform in teacher education in the region. Malta partners in the project are Professor Ronald G. Sultana (EMCER director), Dr Michelle Attard Tonna, and Dr Michael Buhagiar.



12 December 2013

MEDAC Reviewed in Leading German Newspaper

Leading German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine carries an extensive reportage on MEDAC and its students in the latest edition of its higher education magazine.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung also known as the FAZ, is a leading German newspaper, founded in 1949. F.A.Z. has a circulation of almost 400 000 copies. It is the German daily with the widest circulation abroad and has one of the world’s largest networks of correspondents.

Six times per year, the FAZ publishes a magazine for professionals and students, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Hoschschulanzeiger (Frankfurter Allgemeine Higher Education Gazette). The Higher Education Gazette is sold at kiosks, is provided to all with a student subscription, and is distributed to universities and at career fairs.
For the text of the article please click here.

The full text and photos of the article on MEDAC can be viewed online [PDF] in the volume of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Hochschulanzeiger.


12 December 2013

Art of Living – Comenius Project

A group of University Junior College students together with their international partners from Italy, Germany and the Netherlands, participated in a full week's programme as part of a multilateral Comenius Project entitled ‘The Art of Living’.

During the meetings students researched topics related to the three Rs (Reduce, Re-use and Recycle), prepared presentations on their findings and discussed mobility issues as well as the phenomenon of blogging. They also set up a ‘Rubbish Art’ exhibition in the College foyer.

The workshop was coordinated by the Junior College Eurocentre with the participation of Junior College lecturers Mr Mark Debono, Mr Riccardo Flask, Ms Liliana Maric and Ms Jacqueline Rotin.

Art of Living


10 December 2013

Courses on Solar Heating and Solar Photovoltaic System Installations

The Institute for Sustainable Energy of the University of Malta is once again offering three different courses aimed at training installers and engineers in the fields of solar heating and solar photovoltaic (PV) system installations (single and three phase systems). A description of the courses is available online.

The lectures will also be broadcast live via video conferencing to theGozo University Campus, forstudents working in Gozo.

The call for applications has now been published. Click here for the application form.


10 December 2013


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