• Cyprus Science and Research Centre

    Cyprus Science and Research Centre

    A centre of excellence for science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) education research, science communication and innovation will be established in Cyprus.
  • Our aim is to create the first interactive science centre in Cyprus

    Our aim is to create the first interactive science centre in Cyprus

    Providing education and research resources to the people of Cyprus and Eastern Mediterranean region.
  • Funded by the European Union

    Funded by the European Union

    The project (Phase I) has been funded by the European Union under the Horizon2020 “Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation-Teaming”
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Member Organizations of the Consortium

Cyprus University of Technology

P2 (Coordinator)

Overview

CUT is a newly established public university, which was founded by law in December 2003 and is a member of Cyprus National Rector’s Conference. It is one of three state universities in Cyprus. Cyprus University of Technology is a dynamic university with six schools/faculties and 14 academic departments, able to offer education and high level research, in primary branches of science and applied technology, at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Currently CUT runs a number of master courses including a Masters in Environmental Health (in English), an MSc in Interaction Design in collaboration with Tallinn University, Estonia, and a Master’s in New Technologies for Communication and Learning. The support for research in Cyprus has substantially increased in the last decade. One major step towards greater research activity has been the expansion of the university sector. Research at the Cyprus University of Technology is receiving substantial inward investment from the EU and the national government, with an increase in students, faculty numbers and laboratory facilities.

CUT has as its strategic target the design and development of research activities both within the University and in cooperation with other research Institutes in Cyprus and abroad. The research emphasis of CUT is reflected in the substantial funding provided to academics for the establishment of research groups and laboratories (for example: The Cyprus Interaction Lab, the Media, Cognition, and Learning Lab, the Remote Sensing and Geo-Environment Research Laboratory Lab and the Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy research group members of which are part of this proposal). CUT aims at transferring knowledge (education) and producing new knowledge through basic and applied research in all the academic fields of the University’s six Faculties. University research activities are realized through funding secured from two major sources: from the University’s state funded budget and from different organizations, entities or private sources at national, European and international level who award, competitive grants to research groups and/or individual members of the Academic staff. Strengthening of the research management support and infrastructure, with the aim of securing externally funded projects, is another major objective of the University. Moreover, the University has adopted principles in relation to research which conform with the European Union’s declarations relating to the creation of the European Research Area (ERA). CUT research and academic staff is involved in various Research Activities and National and European Research Programmes. CUT has managed to secure a significant number of National Research Projects funded by the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation and of European Research Projects funded under the European Research Framework Programmes (FP6, FP7 and HORIZON 2020), the LIFE and IEE Programmes, the European Territorial Cooperation Programmes and other. In detail, CUT research and academic staff is involved in 150 Projects with a total funding/contribution of over 20 million Euro, as follows: 100 approximately National Research Projects funded by the Cyprus RPF with a total funding of over 10.5m Euro, 20 European Research Projects funded under the FP7 with a total EC contribution 3.65m Euro, 15 European Territorial Cooperation Programmes such as Interreg IIIB, Archimed, Interreg IVC, Cross Border Cooperation Greece – Cyprus, MED with a total contribution 2.6m Euro, 6 Lifelong Learning Programmes such as Leonardo da Vinci / Transfer of Innovation, Multilateral Networks, etc. with a total funding 138.500 Euro, and 10 Projects under other Programmes such as EHAC, LIFE, IEE, HORIZON 2020, etc. with a total contribution 4.1m Euro.

In this project, CUT will be represented by four departments and eight researchers who have extensive expertise in technology-enhanced learning, STEM education and research, problem-based learning and ICTs, as well as fruitful interactions with business and industry. Together, they have participated in a multitude of relevant projects and initiatives (see below).

Below you will find a description of the departments of the University which are directly involved with the project, together with their sub-groups:

 

Dept. of Education

Department of Multimedia and Graphic Arts

The Department of Multimedia and Graphic Arts (MGA) participating in the project, has a unique experience of combining arts and technology in a single department. Scientific research as well as concerts, Exhibitions, Design Artefacts and Media Productions are undertaken in the 11 established state-of-the-art laboratories of MGA funded through National (e.g. Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation) and European research programs (e.g. FP-7, Erasmus +, HORIZON 2020 etc.). The Department maintains links with the industry and the public sector, offering to its students the opportunity to work on real-world projects during the Internship Placement in the 4th year. The department owns direct access to cutting-edge technological equipment including Virtual Reality equipment, Head Mounted Displays, wireless motion tracking systems, Brain-Computer Interface and Biosensors, humanoid Robots (that can be used for interaction with participants), a full surveillance system (to observe participants during experiments), eye-trackers, multi-touch interactive tables, arduinos, 3D scanner and printer, high-speed cameras and other state of the art equipment.

 

The Cyprus Interaction Lab

The Cyprus Interaction Lab of MGA, studies the interaction of people with technology in various fields. The team, led by Dr. Andri Ioannou, has experience in projects aiming to understand the significant supportive and mediating role of technology in promoting learning (including the promotion of computational thinking in STEM), communication and collaboration, and social change in varied circumstances and contexts. Members of the lab are active in the areas of Human Computer Interaction (HCI); Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL); Computer Games and their social and pedagogical dimensions; Technology-enhanced learning; Technology integration in K-20; Inclusive Design/Education; Social Aspects of Computing; and Educational Technology. In the recent years, the lab has participated in several research projects including the Network for Social Computing Research (NOTRE, 2016-2018) funded by the Horizon 2020 Twinning programme, the Enhancing Security and Privacy in the Social Web (ENCASE, 2016-2020) funded by the Horizon 2020, Marie Sklodowska Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchanges program, the Creative Multimodal Information Spaces for Problem Based Learning (InfoSpaces, 2012-2014) funded by the Cyprus Research Promotion foundation, and the Research Centre in Interactive media, Smart systems and Emerging technologies (RISE, 2015-2016) funded by the Horizon 2020 Teaming programme. More on the funded projects of the Cyprus Interaction Lab can be found here.

 

Microsoft Computer Games and Emerging Technologies Lab - GET Lab

Microsoft Computer Games and Emerging Technologies Lab - GET Lab of MGA was established in 2012 with sponsorship from Microsoft in the form of seed funding. The lab conducts basic and applied research in the areas of Visual Computing, Computer Graphics, Computer Games, Virtual & Augmented Reality and Emerging Technologies. In basic research, the lab currently focuses on algorithms development for real-time rendering, realistic rendering, real-time illumination and sound simulation. Applied research carried out by the lab includes Immersion, Presence and Embodiment in Virtual Environments using emerging technologies, Virtual & Augmented Reality for well-being especially by combining neuroscience and cognitive psychology concepts and Serious Games for educational and training purposes. GETLab Website.

 

Department of Communication and Internet Studies

Department of Communication and Internet Studies

The Department of Communication and Internet Studies (CIS) aims in the education of high level scientists and the promotion of research and relative applications in the scientific fields of education, communications, new media and the internet. The focus of the undergraduate degree is on the effect of new technologies on communication, the economy, politics, culture and society. The focus of the Master’s degree in New CSRC: Center for STEAM Education Research, Science Communication and Innovation Technologies for Communication and Learning is on innovative, technology-enhanced methods in support of learning.

 

The Media Cognition and Learning (MCL) Research Group

The Media Cognition and Learning (MCL) Research Group (http://cis.cut.ac.cy/mcl) of CIS, led by Dr. Eleni A. Kyza, focuses on research of augmented reality technologies for learning, and science education, and specifically on the development and application of technology-enhanced learning to foster rich reasoning on inquiry and socio-scientific issues. MCL has participated in three FP7 Science-in-Society projects since 2008: Project “Digital support for Inquiry, Collaboration, and Reflection on Socio-Scientific Debates”, for which CUT was the project-wide coordinator (CoReflect, Grant No:277792, http://www.coreflect.org, 2008-2011), project “Professional Reflection Oriented Focus on Inquiry-based Learning and Education through Science” (PROFILES, Grant No: 266589, http://www.profiles-project.eu, 2010-2014), and project “Promoting Attainment of Responsible Research and Innovation in Science Education” [PARRISE, Grant No: 612438, http://www.parrise.eu].

 

Department of Environmental Science and Technology

Department of Environmental Science and Technology

The Department of Environmental Science and Technology (EST) offers one undergraduate and two postgraduate programmes. The goal of the undergraduate programme in Environmental Science and Technology is to educate students in a combination of life and environmental sciences and technology to meet the pressing challenges faced by the world today. The programme includes basic topics in Environmental Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Microbiology, as well as advanced and specialized topics taught during the later semesters. After successful completion of the main courses along with practical education, students are assigned to laboratories in diverse fields during their senior year while undertaking research for their diploma thesis, under the supervision of faculty members. The postgraduate programmes offered by the Department are in Energy Resource Management and in Environmental Biosciences and Technology.

 

The 3EP (Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy) research group

The 3EP (Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy) research group was founded in 2009. Its members perform policy analyses of energy and environmental issues in an essentially interdisciplinary manner. The staff and collaborators comprise engineers, economists, physicists, hydrologists and climate modellers. Through their work, the group tries to answer questions on the trade-offs of different policy instruments to decarbonise European economies, the economic impacts of climate change in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the optimal energy mix for a country and the associated costs of attaining it in a carbon-constrained world. The group has participated in numerous national and EU-funded research projects and its staff participates in international associations and networks such as the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, the International Association for Energy Economics, the European Technology Platform on Renewable Heating & Cooling (RHC-Platform) and the Water Footprint Network.

 

The Environmental Catalysis Lab

The Environmental Catalysis Lab has extensive research experience in both traditional as well as new areas of environmental catalysis such as: (i) catalytic technologies for liquid or solid waste reduction or purification, (ii) catalysis for greenhouse gas control, (iii) use of catalysts for user-friendly technologies and reduction of indoor pollution, and (iv) reduction of the environmental impact of transport. The Lab of Environmental Catalysis participates in numerous EU-funded and national research projects since its foundation. The lab has been able to attract more than 2 million euro of external funding during the 8 years of its operation. Are senior lab staff are members of international associations and networks such as the European Federation of Catalysis Societies (EFCATS), the International Water Association (IWA), the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) and Waste-to-Energy Research and Technology Council (WTERT). Our network of academic collaborators extends globally, including partners (universities and research institutes) from Spain, Italy, France, Greece, UK, Germany, Slovenia, Latvia, Russia, Israel, Jordan and the USA. In addition, our network of cooperation includes a large number of industrial collaborators such as Linde Engineering AG (Germany-License Agreement), Wartzila (Finland – Research Cooperation), Heraeus Holding GmbH (Germany-License Agreement) and Ricardo Engineering (UK - Research Cooperation).

 

Department of Civil Engineering and Geomatics

Department of Civil Engineering and Geomatics

The aim of the Department of Civil Engineering and Geomatics (CEG) is to develop a dynamic, stimulating and challenging environment for teaching and research of the highest international standard offering our students the opportunity to develop a strong technical background, a clear appreciation of the practical significance of their subject area and strong personal and professional attributes that will enable them to make a significant contribution within their profession. The large number of research programs attracted by the academic staff along with the outstanding number of publications in prominent journals and conferences, indicate high-quality research and high level of team work. Research is undertaken in state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and is funded through National (e.g. Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation) and European research programs (e.g. Marie Curie, FP-7, FP-6, LIFE+, EUREKA, MED, ERASMUS, HORIZON 2020, JPI etc.). The Department maintains strong links with the industry and the public sector, offering to its students the opportunity to work on exciting projects during the accredited Industrial Training at the end of 2nd and 3rd year.

 

The Remote Sensing and Geo-Environment Research Laboratory

The Remote Sensing and Geo-Environment Research Laboratory (RS Lab) of CEG, lead by Prof Diofantos G. Hadjimitsis and Vice Rector of Academic Affairs, is member of the Eratosthenis Research Group (http://cyprusremotesensing.com/). The RS Lab’s main research goal is the advance understanding of the Earth system sciences using remote sensing methods and engineering techniques. The mission of the RS Lab is to conduct both basic and applied research towards improved understanding, management, and monitoring of natural resources and infrastructures and to offer expert services and products of excellent qualities in line with the latest development remote sensing and related geospatial technologies or other high-tech tools. The RS Lab with its significant experience in the field of Remote Sensing and GIS has participated in more than 50 projects funded from EC, national and industrial sources (http://cyprusremotesensing.com/research-grants/). More specifically, it has participated in several research projects funded by FP6, FP7, INTERREG, LIFE+, MED, MARIE-CURIE (ITN), EUREKA, ERASMUS+, Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation (CRPF), etc. Its research is focused in the following thematic areas: Remote Sensing; Cultural Heritage / Archaeology (http://cyprusremotesensing.com/archaeology/); Geographic Information Systems (GIS); Sustainability; Natural Hazards; Risk assessment; Climate change; Water Resources Management; Atmospheric sciences; Agriculture; Earthquake Engineering; Geology; Urban design; Civil Engineering; Transport Planning/Modelling; Construction Innovation, Life cycle assessment etc. The Lab is a member of several networks such as SPIE, EARSeL, EARLINET, ACTRIS, AERONET (NASA) and has strong links with organizations such as ESA, DLR and GEO.

 

 

 Project Team

  • Eleni A. Kyza
  • Theodoros Zachariadis
  • Costas N. Costa
  • Diofantos G. Hadjimitsis
  • Kyriacos Themistocleous
  • Katerina Kaouri
  • Andreas Lanitis
 

Relevant Publications

Sourmelis, T., Ioannou, A.,& Zaphiris. Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) and the 21st Century Skills: A comprehensive research review from 2010-2016. Computers in Human Behavior.

Ioannou, A., Vasiliou, C., Zaphiris, P., Arh. T., Klobučar, T., & Pipan, M. (2015). Creative multimodal learning environments and blended interaction during problem-based activity in HCI education. TechTrends, 59 (2), 47-56.

Zaharias, P., Michael, D., & Chrysanthou, Y. (2013). Learning through multi-touch interfaces in museum exhibits: An empirical investigation. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 16(3), 374.

Kyza, E. A. & Nicolaidou, I. (2016). Co-designing reform-based online inquiry learning environments as a situated approach to teachers’ professional development. CoDesign. DOI: 10.1080/15710882.2016.1209528.

Kyza, E. A. & Georgiou, Y. (2014). Developing in-service science teachers’ ownership of the PROFILES pedagogical framework through a technology-supported participatory design approach to professional development. Science Education International, 25(2), 55-77.

 

 

 

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