Latvia 2016 – Riga Technical University

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Date: 14 October 2016
Place of Ceremony: Ziedonis Hall, National Library of Latvia
Host Institution: Riga Technical University
Host Country: Riga, Latvia

The 33rd Award Ceremony took place on Friday 14th of October 2016. It was held in conjunction with the celebrations of the 154th anniversary of Riga Technical University.
Professor Edward Witten, Charles Simonyi Professor, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, USA, received the 2016 Albert Einstein World Award of Science and Professor Kalevi Ekman, School of Engineering, Aalto University, Finland received the 2016 José Vasconcelos World Award of Education from Leonīds Ribickis, Rector, Riga Technical University, Prof. Sir Colin Blakemore, President, World Cultural Council and Esteban Meszaros Wild, Executive Director World Cultural Council.

“Thank you, and thanks as well to the World Cultural Council for this wonderful award….
…For one who has the passion for science and mathematics, to be able to work in those fields professionally is a dream come true — the best life that one can imagine. And the opportunities are still there for today’s young people. When I talk to students, I like to say that the continents have been explored, but in science and mathematics there are still wide open horizons for discoveries.”
Professor Edward Witten

“I would first like to thank the World Cultural Council for this beautiful and exciting moment. University education has a history of thousand years, but never before changes over just a human lifetime have been so radical, numerous and fast. Jose Vasconcelos World Award of Education gives a strong signal for all the educators to continue their work, despite how hard and hopeless it sometimes can feel.”
Professor Kalevi Ekman

“…I wish all the award receivers much of success, and I celebrate every name mentioned in the evening for their achievements and work… And thank you also for the possibility to organise a ceremony in the National Library of Latvia, which is our symbol of knowledge, the Castle of Light, and one of the greatest cultural projects of the 21st century in Latvia. May the Light of Knowledge lead all of you to further outstanding achievements and moments.”
Professor Leonīds Ribickis
Rector, Riga Technical University

“May I say on behalf of all my colleagues from the World Cultural Council how grateful we are for your generous reception and for hosting this Award Ceremony this evening. Thank you for letting us share your celebration for your 154th Anniversary of Riga Technical University.
“The World Cultural Council is an organisation devoted really to supporting and honouring the greatest of the achievements of human culture, and also to recognising the importance of those who study with the leaders of those fields and those who support those fields. So it is a great opportunity for us to celebrate with you, recognising this university as being such an excellent representative of all of the aspirations of the World Cultural Council.”
Professor Sir Colin Blakemore
President, World Cultural Council

“…With all the current turbulence and unrest in the world, never has such leadership and thought be more important than today. Our world needs a change in the mindset of the people. We need to promote a mindset that is inquisitive, one that listens and brings innovation into action, thus enabling communities to benefit from scientific research and all the technological possibilities. We need scientific research and evolution of thought that brings not only simple progress to mankind but also peace in the minds of all humans. ”
Dace Melbārde
Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia

“We must consider the existing difficult juncture as an opportunity. We live in one of history’s great periods of transition, in which we have the possibility to lay the foundations for the rise of more compassionate human beings – more evolved in social awareness, more in tune with the times and expressing higher doses of altruism. The effort required to better serve mankind implicitly entails an evolution of our consciousness.
“As educators we have the right to think that the true and steadfast solution is to prepare the leaders of tomorrow, those who will emerge from university campuses not only as competent professionals but also as exemplary citizens with a deep sense of ethics.”
Rafael Estrada
Founder and President Emeritus
World Cultural Council

Special Recognitions Diplomas were presented to nine distinguished Latvian scholars that have made outstanding contributions in different fields of science:

Elīna Gaile-Sarkane, Professor, Faculty of Engineering Economics and Management, Riga Technical University.
Jānis Grundspeņķis, Dean of the Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, Riga Technical University.
– Tālis Juhna, Vice-Rector for Research; Institute for Heating, Gas and Water Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Riga Technical University.
Kaspars Kalniņš, Leading researcher, Institute of Materials and Structures, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Riga Technical University.
Jānis Krastiņš, Academician of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, Professor Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Riga Technical University.
Oskars Krievs, Dean of Faculty of Power and Electrical Engineering, Lead Researcher at Institute of Industrial Electronics and Electrical Engineering, Riga Technical University.
Guntis Kuļikovskis, Head of the Design Factory, Riga Technical University.
Igors Tipāns, Professor of Mechanics Institute, Deputy Rector, International Cooperation and Studies, Director of the Department of Foreign Students, Riga Technical University.
Māris Turks, Director of the Institute of Technology of Organic Chemistry, Faculty of Materials Science and Applied Chemistry, Riga Technical University.

For more information see: http://wcc2016.rtu.lv

Programme

Welcome Speech
Leonīds Ribickis, Rector, Riga Technical University

Salutatory Address
Sir Colin Blakemore, President, World Cultural Council

Opening Address
Dace Melbārde, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia

Message from President Emeritus & Founder of the WCC, Maestro Rafael Estrada

Presentation of the 2016 Albert Einstein World Award of Science to Professor Edward Witten, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, USA by Professor Andris Ozols, member of the Latvian Academy of Science, Head of Optics chair at Riga Technical University.

Acceptance Speech by Professor Edward Witten

Presentation of the 2016 José Vasconcelos World Award of Education to Professor Kalevi Ekman, School of Engineering, Aalto University, Finland by Professor Gary Marquis, Dean, School of Engineering, Aalto University.

Acceptance Speech by Professor Kalevi Ekman

Presentation of the Winners Book by Dr René Asomoza Palacio, Member of the WCC and Director General, Latin American Institute for Educational Communication (ILCE), Mexico.

Presentation of the 2016 Special Recognitions Diplomas by Leonīds Ribickis, Rector, Riga Technical University

Closing Remarks
Leonīds Ribickis, Rector, Riga Technical University

Musical performances by:

  • Two-time world choral competition gold medallist RTU Men’s Choir “GAUDEAMUS”.
  • International contest laureate RTU Brass Band “SPO”
  • Final music performance: RTU Men’s Choir GAUDEAMUS, Women’s Choir “DELTA” and Mixed Choir ”VIVERE”-World premiere for-“Veni Creator Spiritus” composed specially for this event by Latvian Music Academy Prof. Selga Mence, words by Rabanus Maurus and Rainis.

Gallery