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Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

Working Group

Chair: Francesco De Anna

Francesco De Anna is a lecturer of the Institute of Mathematics at the University of Würzburg. He completed his PhD at the University of Bordeaux in 2016, working under the guidance of Marius Paicu. His doctoral research centered around the dynamics of complex fluids. Subsequently, he spent two years at Penn State University, during which time he held the position of Chowla Research Assistant Professor. His focus there revolved around collaborative work with Chun Liu, delving into variational theories related to liquid crystals. In 2018, Francesco De Anna moved to Würzburg, embarking on an independent and innovative research path. His primary research revolves around the derivation and analysis of nonlinear partial differential equations. These equations serve as foundational models for capturing the intricate dynamics of certain anisotropic fluids. The underlying analysis draws upon a diverse spectrum of methodologies, notably techniques from functional analysis, harmonic analysis and Fourier analysis.

Vice-Chair: Giulia Marina Licini

Giulia Licini is professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Padova (Italy). She got her PhD in Chemical Sciences at the University of Padova. After one-year postdoc at the Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA, she moved back to the University of Padova where she is now full professor.  At the University of Padova she has been part of several committees related to student tutoring, PhD studies, internationalization and teaching assessment. She is also active in the frame of the Italian Chemical Society activities. She has been chair/co-chair of international conferences and schools.

Her main research activities are related to homogeneous catalysis and molecular recognition for biomimetic processes and sustainable biomass valorization. She has been/is supervisor of PhD and master students, also in cotutelle. She is co-author of more than 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals and has been invited as speaker at national and international conferences and schools. She has been involved in several national/European projects also with industrial partners.

Focus of Working Group

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (in this established acronym-friendly order) have benefited, over the centuries and still today, from fundamental contributions of scholars from universities which are now members of the Coimbra Group. STEM remains a major factor of modernization and progress for society at large. As research-intensive universities, the members of the Coimbra Group are firmly committed to and constantly develop and expand their research and education in STEM, also including societal outreach related to these fields.

Priorities for 2023-2026

  • Good practices in attracting young people to STEM fields: Effective initiatives to encourage and attract young people and in particular girls to STEM fields are of fundamental importance.  We want to establish which activities are carried out in the STEM WG Universities to facilitate the entry in STEM studies of young people (national and local projects), paying particular attention to actions for gender balance. Eventually, the analysis will be expanded to all CG Universities. The initiative started, coordinated by Geneva and Kraków STEM WG representatives, will produce a compendium to be published online.
  • Promoting academic cooperation in STEM programs:  We will work for the implementation of exchanges of master students, PhD, teaching staff among CG Universities in STEM fields. Seminars and/or workshops, summer/winter schools in single STEM areas or inter-areas on topics of general interest for STEM fields will be organized.  Two topics have been already selected: Research Evaluation; Ethics and Research Integrity in STEM. 
  • New teaching & learning methodologies in STEM: STEM disciplines chronically suffer of a low number of new students and a significant drop-out, after the COVID-19 crisis.  Innovation and new teaching methodologies in STEM (active learning) can help to facilitate learning and keep regular the student carrier. We want to establish and discuss which innovative and active learning activities are carried out at local level of each CG Universities in STEM disciplines, with particular attention to training labs (virtual-experimental labs).
  • Women in STEM: There is a chronical low presence of women in STEM fields at all levels, in particular at PhD, post-docs and academic level. We will carry out an analysis (on-line surveys, interviews) at master students, PhD, post-docs levels to gain information on which are the expectations and main difficulties of early-stage female-researcher in STEM fields. There are possibilities for carrying out this project also at inter-WG level (Doctoral Studies and Equality and Diversity WGs). Furthermore, we want to collect testimonials from STEM female-reserchers as positive and successful models (interviews).

Recent highlights

  • The Jassy Summer School, Alexander Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Romania, 4-15 July 2022.
  • STEM WG Winter Meeting 2022, 22November 2022 (on-line).
  • STEM WG Spring Meeting 2023,5 April 2023 (on-line).

Ongoing / Forthcoming activities

2023 – 2024

  • Good practices in attracting young people to STEM fields: Compendium of CG good practice of initiatives to encourage and attract young people and in particular girls to STEM fields (coordinated by Geneva and Kraków representatives).  Publication of the compendium (on-line, CG website home page) and organization of a one-day workshop (back-to-back with to the STEM WG meeting) for the compendium presentation with oral contributions from CG Universities (Padova, Italy, autumn 2023).  
  • Women in STEM:  Analysis (on-line surveys, interviews) at master students, PhD, post-docs levels to gain information on which are the expectations and main difficulties of early-stage female-researcher in STEM fields. Preparation of the survey, distribution of the questionnaires, data analysis, preparation of the report (winter 2023-spring 2024). 

2024 – 2025

  • Promoting academic cooperation in STEM programs:  organization of a one-day workshop on Research Evaluation in STEM fields and in the different realities of the CG Universities (back-to-back with the STEM WG meeting).  Possible locations: Montpellier, FR or Utrecht, NL (spring-autumn 2024).
  • New teaching & learning methodologies in STEM: Survey on innovative and active learning activities carried out at local level of each CG Universities in STEM disciplines, with particular attention to training labs (virtual-experimental labs). Organization of a one-day workshop on the topic (autumn 2024-spring 2025) associated to the STEM WG meeting.

2025 – 2026

  • Promoting academic cooperation in STEM programs:  organization of a one-day workshop on Ethics and Research Integrity in STEM (back-to-back with the WG meeting) (spring-autumn 2025).
  • Women in STEM: Collection of testimonials from STEM female researchers as positive and successful models (interviews) as short videos, podcast, short reports (all along 2025-26).

Contact person at the CG Office: Catarina Moleiro (moleiro@coimbra-group.eu)