University of Tartu's Center for Migration and Urban Studies gets international director

Rector of the University of Tartu Volli Kalm (left) with Dr. Daniel B. Hess (right). (Andres Tennus/University of Tartu)
9/8/2016 3:48 PM
Category: News

Dr. Daniel B. Hess, associate professor of the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB) and urban planning research fellow at the University of Tartu, has been appointed director of the Estonian university's Center for Migration and Urban Studies (CMUS). Hess found that thanks to Estonia's small size, the research conducted at the center is of significant importance to society.

Hess decided to join the center due to its excellent international reputation.

"I am very pleased by the excellent quality of the center's reserach," said Hess in a University of Tartu press release. "Our team is young and energetic. There are currently five major EU-funded projects underway concerning with various aspects of mobility, segregation and planning. Estonia is a small country, and as a result researchers are closely linked to decision-makers, thus making research remarkably important for society."

Highlighting years of successful cooperation with Hess, professor Tiit Tammaru, CMUS' outgoing director, noted that they "...were very happy when he received a prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship from the European Commission for conducting research at the University of Tartu, which has allowed us to take our research cooperation to a higher and more competitive level."

Professor Raul Eamets, the dean of social sciences at the University of Tartu, was very pleased with Hess' new appointment, noting that one of the Estonian university's most important strategic goals was to increase its international visibility.

"Hess is the first Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow at the University of Tartu to come here from outside of the EU," said Eamets. "We welcome him as the new director of the Center for Migration and Urban Studies and hope that his time spent in Tartu is productive."

Hess is an associate professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo's (University at Buffalo, UB) School of Architecture and Planning. His research in Estonia focuses on the formation, development and problems associated with the planning of large "tower blocks," or housing estate apartment buildings that became prevalent in the decades following World War II. The objective of Hess' research is to come up with solutions for how to redesign and plan these Soviet-era housing estates.

The CMUS explores the contemporary challenges of urban areas including migration, residential mobility, changes in housing and neighborhoods as well as the integration of immigrants and ethnic minorities in different fields including residences and places of work as well as intermarriages.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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