The Elisabeth Mann Borgese (EMB) Bursary of the International Ocean Institute (IOI) was established as a means of demonstrating recognition to the host country of the IOI – Malta – for hosting the IOI Headquarters and for providing facilities for staff and offices at the University of Malta’s Msida Campus. The Bursary is financed through the IOI and constitutes a further recognition and acknowledgement of the role of Prof. E. Mann Borgese, founder of IOI, and of her considerable achievements.
The 2023 EMB Bursary is being awarded to Mr Jake Bonello to carry out an investigation on the anti-fouling performance of a novel PMMA/TiO2 nanocomposite coating and shall form part of a Master of Science with the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Malta. The study aims to determine if such a coating can further improve the lifetime of maritime vessels in an environmentally compatible manner. The coating consisting of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) loaded with titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanotubes is hypothesised to provide corrosion resistance, self-cleaning and anti-fouling properties that are beneficial for the application. The EMB Bursary funds will be utilised to enhance the current research work by supporting a research trip to Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, materials and consumables necessary for the research trip as well as open-access publications.
The 2022 EMB Bursary awarded to Mr Ede Kossári-Tarnik to carry out a study on the current extent of plastic polymer contamination within Maltese coastal waters, as well as the variability in distribution of microplastics in different layers of the water column, has now come to a fruitful end. EMB Bursary funds were used to enhance the research work by supporting additional sampling and to extend the scope of planned chemical analysis.
The award ceremony for this year’s Bursary was held on the 29th September, hosted under the hospitable auspices of the Pro-Rector’s Office. Present at the Ceremony were Pro-Rector Professor Joseph Cacciattolo, Professor Louis Cassar, Dr Sophie Briffa (main supervisor) and Dr Ing Anthea Agius Anastasi (co-supervisor), Ms Antonella Vassallo (IOI Managing Director), Jake Bonello (EMB2023 awardee) and Mr Ede Kossári-Tarnik (EMB2022 awardee).