The Ministry of Education, Culture and Research of the Republic of Moldova has delegated two of UTM’s well-known personalities for the new team of the supreme forum of the Technical University of Moldova – the Council for Institutional Strategic Development (CDSI).
Doina NISTOR, whom we had the honor to meet initially (in 2009) as a PhD student in the field of management at UTM, has been working for over a decade in international assistance projects, which support the key areas of the economy for export competitiveness, among which the wine and tourism sector, the light industry, IT and the creative services industry. She returned to UTM as the director of the Moldova Competitiveness Project, funded by USAID, the Government of Sweden and UKaid.
“Our goal is to develop top quality jobs at home, and the creative industries can provide this opportunity. The Competitiveness Project of Moldova aims to capitalize on the creative ecosystem with innovative production spaces”, says Doina NISTOR, taking an important role in the development of UTM’s infrastructure.
With her support, various investment projects have been initiated, such as the creation of the Center of Excellence and Acceleration in Design and Technologies in the light industry – ZIPhouse, within UTM. Located on an area of about 800 square meters, designed in an eco-industrial style and equipped with media equipment, IT and specialized production equipment, ZIPhouse offers students, young designers and specialists in the field a creative environment, advanced technical resources and assistance in accordance with international best practices. The Center’s infrastructure includes spaces for co-working, educational and research activities, mentoring, but also for organizing workshops, creative clubs, fashion & trunk shows, photo shoots and other related events.
She also contributed significantly to the inauguration of the ultramodern laboratory platform “ICT and Systems Engineering – CIRCLE” within the Faculty of Computers, Informatics and Microelectronics of UTM, for the students of the four faculties with technical, electronic, mechanical and engineering majors.
Doina also takes care of the future generations of UTM students, coming up with an ingenious solution for their training in mathematics, physics and informatics: “Children would love to learn math and physics if, for example, we would hand them a robot to program with the help of mathematics or to build it with the help of physics. I believe that a solid source of motivation is the fact that, in 10 years, all jobs will be IT-based and that the future is focused on robotics and IT. At the same time, robotics comes with applied practical solutions, which help children to discover technology in a simple and interesting way, analogous to the real world. Apart from the theoretical disciplines, robotics helps children better understand why they need math and physics concepts. Here, they can unleash their creativity and inventiveness, exploring design, engineering and programming, assuming a multidisciplinary approach. It is what we need now in schools, for the children to be involved in applied practical and interesting projects that prepare them for the careers of the 21st century”, she considers.
This view is fully shared by her new colleague from CDSI, Ana CHIRIȚA, who is also a graduate of UTM – in 2009, she graduated from “Information Technologies” at FCIM. Together, Doina NISTOR – as Director of the Competitiveness Project in Moldova, and Ana Chirița – as Director of Strategic Projects at the National Association of ICT Companies (ATIC), contributed to the opening of FabLab (Fabrication Laboratory) – one of the largest (700 sqm) small-scale prototyping and production workshops in Eastern Europe, with spaces for co-working, 3D Printing, Electronics and loT, Woodworking and Metalworking, in which, together with engineers, designers, architects, entrepreneurs, UTM students learn to handle sophisticated equipment, used in the electronics, robotics, furniture industry, machine building industry: lathes, wood and metal processing machinery, 3D printers, laser engraving and cutting machines, rapid prototyping equipment or intended for industrial processes, with access to software offered by the famous American corporations Solidworks and Autodesk – world leaders in development of applications for three-dimensional design used in engineering, architecture, product design, etc.
The ICT Center of Excellence “Tekwill”, the educational platform and entrepreneurial hub designed to enhance the role and potential of the ICT industry in Moldova – is another work to which they have contributed jointly with other important partners of UTM. Built within the Project “Development of the Center of Excellence in ICT” and implemented by ATIC, TEKWILL covers an area of 3400 sqm and contributes to the development of competitiveness in the ICT sector through various educational initiatives. Fulfilling the role of director of the Project “Development of the Center of Excellence in ICT “Tekwill”, Ana CHIRIȚĂ claims that, in the next 10-20 years, a large part of the jobs will be completely different. That is why it is necessary to prepare young people differently, focusing on creativity, communication skills, demonstrating increased agility and flexibility in the process.”
Thus, the ideas of IT specialists were outlined in a pilot project meant to develop children’s skills – “Tekwill in every school”. 77 schools from Moldova were selected, the first in the country to offer students the opportunity to develop their digital skills and optionally study algorithm programming, web design and development, graphic design.
About her treasured project – TEKWILL, which she currently manages as a director, Ana says that, while it was being conceptualized, she saw herself as a catalyst and an engine behind the development of the IT sector in the Republic of Moldova. Nevertheless, digital education, education focused on the professions of the Future, as well as entrepreneurship lay the foundations of a strong, mature collective, oriented to change the society and the economy, and based on this idea, the students and teachers’ interest in innovative fields is growing.
– We are glad that everyone wants to complete high quality courses to become better prepared for tomorrow’s challenges, and we are proud to offer them this opportunity – lessons focused on hands-on learning, developing creativity, critical thinking, interpersonal communication skills and team spirit, but also of the skills needed to interactively apply scientific, engineering, entrepreneurial concepts. Certainly, this project will add value to the preparation and growth of the country’s human capital and, implicitly, of the future UTM generations. And the fact that TEKWILL is, like me, part of UTM, motivates and inspires me to be fully involved in its development, says Ana CHIRIȚA.
A dedication to the UTM representatives, who, thanks to the perseverance they have shown over time, earned a well-deserved place in the supreme forum of the Alma Mater – CDSI.