The ribbon cutting ceremony was entrusted to the people who have played an important role in the success of the construction of the centre. Ex-Rector of RTA, Professor Edmunds Teirumnieks, Rector of RTA, Professor Iveta Mietule, representative of the construction company ARMS Group, project manager Ainārs Turcinovičs, were those who have supported the project technically and taken responsibility, and supervised it from the very beginnings of the realisation of the idea. They were followed by the cooperation partners who may be referred to as scientific god-fathers of the project: Professor Horst Exner and Professor Lyubomir Lazov, they both had brought their experience and knowledge in laser technologies to Rezekne. A crucial role in the development of the Laser Technology Center have also played Physical Processes and Laser Technologies Research Center in the guidance of Dr. phys. Pāvels Narica, Project technical manager Oskars Babris, as well as Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Ērika Teirumnieka and Director of Institute of Engineering Sergejs Kodors who will be responsible for monitoring the work of the Laser Technology Center.
During the event, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Ērika Teirumnieka informed the guests about the origins of the idea to develop the centre, and administration and guests` addresses interlaced with the musical performance by Ērika Matule and Jānis Mežinskis. Later, the staff of Physical Processes and Laser Technologies Research Center: Professor L. Lazov, Dr. phys. P. Narica, engineer Pāvels Cacivkins, and laboratory assistants Antons Pacejs, Imants Adijāns, Kristiāns Geršebeks and Aleksandrs Okuņevs, demonstrated the capacity of the centre.
The milestone of the development of the centre has been the study programme “Mechatronics” implemented at RTA which (when it was launched) was new in Latvia but already known in Europe. Since this programme has been started at RTA almost 20 years ago, the academy has become the best higher education institution in terms of the training of professional mechatronics engineers.
The programme has been developed in the guidance of Professor Andris Martinovs working together with the durable collaboration partners- Jade University of Applied Sciences and Professor Josef Timmerberg. Thanks to the European Regional Development Fund, new and modern building of the Faculty of Engineering has been built in the summer of 2014.
The next major milestone in the development of the centre was the initiative by Professor L. Lazov from the Technical University of Gabrovo who came up with an idea to develop laser technology also in Rezekne. Professor L. Lazov has been the leading researched at RTA for seven years already and he has also introduced the use of laser in the bachelor`s level study programme “Mechatronics” as well as promoted the development of the master`s level study programme “Laser Technology”. Thanks to him, a close collaboration has developed between RTA and Mittweida University of Applied Sciences. It must be noted that, to date, together with international colleagues, RTA is working on the development of a doctoral programme “Laser Technology”.
After the opening event, a present by Mittweida University of Applied Sciences was presented at the Faculty of Engineering. According to Professor H. Exner, the present - three photos engraved on steel and representing Professor E. Teirumnieks, Professor L. Lazov, and Professor H. Exner, who have made a significant contribution to the development of laser technologies in Rezekne and Latvia- is made thanks to the latest laser marking technologies.
Under the pictures, there is an epigraph in four languages (German, Bulgarian, Latvian, and English) which reads, “The field of study Laser Technology at Rezekne Academy of Technologies is the result of cooperation between scientists and professionals from Germany, Bulgaria, and Latvia.” It should be noted that, when viewed from different angles, hologram effect is visible. The present is unique because, for the first time anywhere in the world, a hologram is made on steel.
“The new Laser Technology Center will open up more opportunities for collaboration with companies in the region to develop new products, and young people from the academy will be able to use the potential of the centre to implement their ideas in interdisciplinary research. A lot has really been done to set up the Laser Technology Center, but future challenges are much more complicated to fulfil scientific tasks and become recognizable in Europe,” says Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Ērika Teirumnieka.
The Laser Centre is built within the framework of the operational programme “Growth and Employment”, 8.1.1. specific support aim “Increase of the number of modernised STEM programmes, including in Medicine and Creative Industry”, project “Modernisation of the study programmes in Laser Technology, Mechatronics, and Mechanical Engineering at Rezekne Academy of Technologies”, agreement on the implementation of the project of European Union Fund No. 126.96.36.199/17/I/011. Project cooperation authority is the Central Finance and Contracts Unit. The estimated costs of the project 964917.00 EUR, out of which 85% is funded by the ERDF, 15% financed from the state budget. The project implemented from 16.03.2018. until 31.12.2018.
RTA Public Relations Department
Photo by Māris Justs