On November 23, the Information Technology Foundation for Education (HITSA) and Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications (ITL) announced the Ustus Agur scholarship holder. This year’s holder of the scholarship is the PhD candidate of computer systems curriculum, Konstantin Shibin, from the Tallinn University of Technology.


In his doctoral thesis, Konstantin Shibin is developing the method that enables to make modern complex digital systems more reliable. Cell towers on the ground and navigation satellites in space, control units in vehicles, control devices of traffic lights - many systems that we depend on and which existence we consider obvious, are relying on microchips. The quality of daily life in our ambient digital environment depends on the operability and service life of the electronic chips that is reducing with appearance of each new generation of chips. The step-by-step degradation of chips over time is expressed in failures that influence the correct operation of the electronic systems.


“My doctoral thesis will provide a new method that helps to forecast and detect fast failures in complex microchips during their operation by informing about the failures so that the system could work on - although sometimes with lower performance - instead of stopping to work. As the final result, the system becomes more reliable and durable against failures and may function longer and cheaper,” explained Konstantin Shibin. “The simplest example of that principle is the smart phone with 8 core processor. If one of the cores stops working, the mobile phone could just refuse to switch on since the system has failed. Instead of that, the smart system detects the failure and continues to work with the rest of seven cores so that the owner even does not notice that one core is not working.”


The scholarship commission brought out the practicality of the thesis as its strength. “The decisive factor for this thesis was that it was clearly related to the Estonian companies and it had a practical output in terms of cooperation with several companies, like Ericsson,” said the chairman of the Scholarship Committee, Aho Augasmägi.


ITL’s Ustus Agur Scholarship is awarded for supporting the studies of PhD candidates of the public university on the ICT curriculum. Allocation of the Scholarship considered the expected influence of the subject of the doctoral thesis of the scholarship applicant on the development of Estonian information society and his current professional activities. The scholarship amount is 2,000 euros and it is awarded in cooperation with the Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications Estonian Information Technology Foundation for Education. ITL’s Ustus Agur scholarship is awarded from 2003.