University of Tartu awards Skytte medal to Ene Ergma
On 24 March, on the occasion of Johan Skytte memorial day, the UT Rector Professor Volli Kalm awards the Skytte medal to Professor emeritus Academician Ene Ergma. The medal acknowledges Ene Ergma’s devotion to the wellbeing of Estonian higher education and research and development activities as well as her contribution to the development of Estonia as a space nation.
“Ene Ergma has made a significant personal contribution to the shaping of the Estonian research policy and taken care to make the organisation of our social life and business increasingly research-based. Considering her dedication to advancing Estonian research and education, there is no doubt she truly deserves the Skytte medal,” said Kalm.
Being a member of the Advisory Council of the European Space Policy Institute, Ergma has helped Estonia become a space nation. As a member of the Estonian Space Policy Working Group since 2006, she has worked for the purpose that Estonia could develop high-tech fields of research and participate in the global space industry.
Her efforts also helped ESTCube-1 – the student satellite of the University of Tartu – reach the space. As a result of that, on 4 February 2015, Estonia signed the Accession Agreement to the Estonian Space Agency (ESA) Convention. After its ratification, Estonia will become the 21st ESA Member State.
“The activities of Ergma also give Estonian students – future researchers, space technology specialists, engineers and entrepreneurs – an opportunity to study and participate in the internationally recognised education programmes of the European Union and the ESA,” emphasised Kalm, adding that the Estonian society has a lot to benefit from the fact that our research and development institutions can participate in the research-intensive development work related to the space sector and that Estonian enterprises can get research-intensive contracts.
Johan Skytte was a Swedish politician and public figure who initiated the establishment of Academia Gustaviana in Tartu in 1632. The University of Tartu awards the Skytte medal to a statesperson or other public figure who, in the opinion of the Senate of the University of Tartu, has contributed the most to the development of the University of Tartu and higher education in Estonia in general during the recent years.
The last time the medal was awarded was in 2012. Skytte medal has been awarded to Tõnis Lukas, Rein Taagepera, Dag Hartelius, Andres Lipstok, Jüri Raidla, Andrus Ansip, Lennart Meri, Katarina Brodina, Jacques Faure, Kai Lie, Svend Roed Nielsen, Mihkel Pärnoja, Marju Lauristin and Mart Laar.
This year, Skytte day is celebrated on 24 March at 16 in the White Hall of the University of Tartu Museum. On the occasion, participants will hear presentations (in Estonian) by Ene Ergma (“Some thoughts on the development of Estonian higher education”), Senior Research Fellow of Tartu Observatory Tõnu Viik (“Is satellite TV really thanks to Struve?”) and Associate Professor of Optical Metrology of the UT Institute of Physics Mart Noorma (“Motivators of the development of space technology”).