News & Events

08 May 2020

University Affairs

Webinar strengthens strategic partnership between Fudan University and University of Vienna


In June 2019, Fudan University signed a strategic partnership agreement with University of Vienna, mapping out prospective areas of cooperation that prioritizes research. Despite COVID-19, Fudan’s research collaborations with itspartner universities continue in digital ways.

About 30 scientists joined the webinar with over 600 guests in attendance.

In line with the agreement, in April 2020, the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering at Fudan University hosted a research webinar with the Center of Microbiology and Environmental Systems Science at the University of Vienna. Initiated by Prof. Zimeng Wang from Fudan University and Prof. Thilo Hofmann from the University of Vienna, the event had around 30 invited scientists from various regions of the world, including Prof. Daniel Giammar, from Washington University in St. Louis, another partner institution of Fudan University. More than 600 guests attended the seminar via live streaming.

Artificial Intelligence in Environmental Sciences

Coronavirus has shut down our wet lab, but we still have matlab, Prof Zimeng Wang opened the webinar with a joke, highlighting the power of using artificial intelligence to study environmental geoscience problems. Themed on the implication of machine learning approaches to predict the sorption of polar and ionizable organic contaminants to carbonaceous materials, the webinar’s main speech was given by Dr. Gabriel Sigmund from the University of Vienna together with his collaborator Dr. Mehdi Gharasoo from the University of Waterloo, Canada.

“This webinar was an important step towards fostering shared research interests and laying down future plans to intensify collaborations with our colleagues from Fudan University,” said Prof. Hofmann after a very fruitful discussion.

Interfacial adsorption processes have generated tons of data in the literature. It is imperative to re-synthesize the data and bring in multidisciplinary techniques, including data science, to rejuvenate this topic and better serve practical environmental applications, ” said Prof. Wang, underlining the importance of the study by Dr. Gabriel Sigmund and his colleagues, recently published in Environmental Science and Technology, a flagship journal of the field.

Prof. Wang stressed the shared research interests between Fudan University and the University of Vienna could point towards future joint collaborations. He said, “Through our interactions, we look forward to collaborations where we can contribute more chemical robustness to pure data-driven models, for example through chemical speciation calculations.”

Future Cooperation in Environmental Geosciences

The main building of the University of Vienna

Boasting strong environmental geosciences programs, the pair is planning to step up joint research and make use of synergies between their respective research interests.

As two leading scientists of the area, Prof. Wang and Prof. Hofmann expressed their visionson the research cooperation between the two universities at the end of the webinar. Prof. Hofmann said, “I look forward to intensifying our cooperation and foster our mutually beneficial collaborative framework.” Prof. Wang said, “Our universities have been enjoying a strategic partnership since 2019 and we look forward to further exploring the map of environmental geosciences within this collaborative framework.”

Source: Department of Environmental Science and Engineering

Editor: Deng Jianguo, Li Yijie