Andres Tennus

Piret Pikma elected as Head of the Institute of Chemistry

On 6 November, the council of the Institute of Chemistry elected Research Fellow of Physical Chemistry Piret Pikma as the new head of the institute. Pikma will start work on 1 January 2024, when the term of office of the current director, Professor Enn Lust, ends.

Research Fellow of Physical Chemistry Piret Pikma
Research Fellow of Physical Chemistry Piret Pikma (author: Katrin Smaragensson)

Piret Pikma wants to make the institute’s governance as transparent and inclusive as possible. She considers sustainable research and ensuring the next generation of researchers very important both at the Institute of Chemistry and at the level of specialisation. To achieve her goals, Pikma wants to broaden research funding and increase cooperation between chairs.

In her election platform, she emphasised that the Institute of Chemistry’s most important asset is its employees and promised to stand for a motivating and high-quality learning and working environment. She attaches equal importance to promoting chemistry education in society in general.

Piret Pikma obtained her PhD in 2015, and she works at the Institute of Chemistry as a Research Fellow of Physical Chemistry. She conducted postdoctoral research at Temple University in the United States of America. In 2022, she defended a master’s thesis in Entrepreneurship and Technology Management, “Researchers' Perception of Cognitive Distance in University-Industry Collaboration”. She is a council member of several enterprises and is actively involved in international research organisations. Since the beginning of 2023, she has been the Vice Dean for Research and Development of the Faculty of Science and Technology.

The council elects the head of the institute by secret ballot for a term of three years. Candidates may be submitted by the dean, jointly by at least five academic staff members of the institute, and by the student council of the Faculty of Science and Technology.

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