The research activities of the University are classified into four main fields of knowledge and breakthrough research areas, for the development of which the University concentrates its efforts:
- In the field of engineering the major breakthrough area is the Korona project on the development of shuttle launch vehicles (Engineering)
- Materials for solar batteries (Natural sciences)
- Business intelligence (Supercomputers)
- Molecular mechanisms of long-lasting psychological stress development (Human sciences)
Shuttle launch vehicle allows launching objects into the Earth’s orbit at minimum expenses. This project is one of the striking examples of interdisciplinary research of SUSU, as it requires mutual efforts of mathematicians, material engineers, physicists, specialists in instrument engineering and human physiology, supercomputer modelling. The developments are based on the unique experience of SUSU in the field of missilery and conducted together with “Academician V.P. Makeyev State Rocket Centre”, Central Scientific Research Institute of Machine Building and Khristianovich Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics of Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences. Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA), ESA and NASA can be considered as potential partners.
In the field of engineering SUSU has considerable competence in the field of instrument engineering, production of diesel engines and design of microelectromechanical systems. The scientific studies in these fields are in high demand for leaders of Russian mechanical engineering, such as KAMAZ, Autovaz, Uralvagonzavod, Ural Diesel-Motor Factory, ChTZ-URALTRAC, Ural Design Engineering Department of Transport Engineering, Ural Automobile Works, Kurganmashzavod and others. In 2014 the total volume of developments in the interests of the industry increased to more than triple in comparison with the year of 2010 and amounted approximately 500 million rubles.
One of the most important research studies of SUSU in the field of natural sciences is material engineering. The University works on the production of materials for solar batteries (photosensitizers), which allow increasing the effectiveness of solar batteries and reducing costs per unit for power generation. At present, the research team of SUSU has obtained results that are of scientific and practical value.
Photosensitizers are just one of the research areas of the University in the sphere of material engineering. Besides, SUSU concentrates on additive technologies of composite materials (3D printing), sorbents, metal-oxide monocrystals and other materials which are in high demand on the market.
The Supercomputer is at the core of a scientific life of the University. It makes calculations for computation in the field of engineering, natural sciences and IT technology. Due to the supercomputer scientific and educational problems are solved, and commercial computations are performed for SUSU partners.
The supercomputer of SUSU is ranked number 349 in the rating of the most powerful supercomputers according to the TOP100 data. The University intends to intensify investment in the supercomputer cluster in the sum of more than 1 billion dollars, as a result of which the supercomputer of SUSU will be included in the top100 rating by 2020. It’s planned to carry out further development of the supercomputer in cooperation with high-tech industrial enterprises, which makes it possible to invest around 250 million rubles per year.
In the field of human sciences the breakthrough area is research on molecular mechanisms of long-lasting psychological stress development. They are of considerable interest for the society owing to widespread occurrence in the modern world and the lack of effective remedies. According to this relatively new for SUSU topic there are publications in top-rated journals. The study on stress is one of interdisciplinary research areas of the University, i.e. joint work of psychologists, biologists, specialists in metering and instrument engineering.
SUSU has enormous material and technical resources, including scientific and educational centers and world-class laboratories with state-of-the-art scientific equipment. SUSU produces 80% of laboratory equipment of Russia and has the most complete and modern laboratory facilities within the country.
Centers of Aerospace Technology and “Experimental Mechanics” include unique scientific and technological equipment which provides mastering progressive methodology of resistant to vibration testing of satellite equipment, conduction of modelling of items of aerospace technology. The equipment is used, for instance, when modelling the start of booster rocket, production of dynamic models of rocket and space equipment for State Rocket Center named after Academician V.P. Makeev and other enterprises of defense industry complex of Russia.
“Energy and Resource Efficient Technologies in Diesel Engine Manufacturing for Armored Equipment and Engineer Vehicles” Scientific and Educational Center gives an opportunity to carry out resources related tests, tests of engines, different applied tests. The laboratory has test-benches for all types of engines, such as engines of automobile and agricultural machines, tanks and engineering machines, industrial power and energy plants.
Centers of Composite Materials and Nanotechnology conduct a wide range of researches and developments of not only nanomaterials, but other widely used materials, such as metals and alloys, ceramics and glasses, constructional, polymer, composite materials and so on. Today they carry out a number of large-scale projects with industrial enterprises and hold researches on grants aimed at the production of constructional materials and nanotechnology.
Innovative studies and projects by the order of the Government of the Chelyabinsk region are held by “Geoinformation Systems” Scientific and Educational Center. It includes the decipher of multispectral satellite images and conduction of geospatial analysis for needs of agriculture and forestry; the optimization of united geocoordinated space of area for the implementation of highly-precise geodetic, engineering and prospecting works and so on.
“Mechanic Engineering” and “Metallurgy” Centers are equipped with the most up-to-date processing and foundry facilities, including “Gleeble 3800” research facility, which allows conducting unique physical modelling of thermomechanical processes as the result of which cross-cutting technologies of development and production of machine details become possible.
The equipage of the University with modern unique scientific and research basis, as well as the highest capacity of human resources allows conducting a wide range of scientific researches and experimental design works for the development of production and import substitution.
The University has been being the leader of regional development throughout decades, the heart of economic and social infrastructure of the region, providing the development of differential economy and the growth of quality of the population’s life. In the year ahead SUSU sets the objective of maximization of the following effects for the regional economy:
- attraction of investments in the region from large-scale international companies;
- creation of new high-technology productions by the University’s graduates;
- creation of innovative environment in the University and development of small businesses.
The attraction of investments in the region from large-scale international companies is the most important prerogative of the University’s activity. At the present time SUSU cooperates with more than 200 enterprises of the South Ural and Russia, including the largest Russian and international industrial corporations.
The best example is the development of instrument-making cluster around the University. Emerson Company is the partner-university which places large-scale research centers in the region, invests in industrial capacities. On the 15th of June a new industrial complex “Metran” was opened. The University is also a competitive advantage for traditional residents of the region, such as leading Russian enterprises of metallurgical and machine-building cluster, which invest actively in the Chelyabinsk region and Russia in the whole.
The research results of SUSU scientists in improving diesel generator units have formed the basis for the development of the Energy Strategy of Russia for the period till 2030, the system of industry standards of RJSC ‘Unified Energy System of Russia’, the program ‘Diesel and Gas Piston Power Plants’. SUSU scientists have developed workflow of a gas and diesel cycle, adopted more than 10 industry standards and specifications for a variety of diesel fuels, and developed technical specifications for fuel equipment for work at gas condensate fuel for automotive engines produced in the CIS.
University scientists have successfully completed a three-year project with the Federal State Unitary Enterprise ‘Functional Device Plant’ on creation of intelligent automated technological complex of administration of power system of buildings using the concept of intelligent devices and methods of distributed management for the value of 390 million rubles.
Within the framework of the Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 218 in connection with leading domestic manufacturers the university carries out projects on establishing high-tech production of a model range of energy-efficient low-floor tram cars of modular design, high-tech production of antennas and hardware modules for dual-frequency radio-beacon complex landing system of VHF band for aerodromes of civil aviation, and high-tech production of energy-efficient micro-gas-turbine installations.
Together with the Russian instrument-making corporation ‘System of Management’ the university conducts research on the topic ‘Energy Efficient Real-Time GIS for Optimal Control of Thermal Hydraulic Modes of Heat Supply Systems of a Municipal Institution’. The project aims at improving the quality of municipal systems of central heating using technologies that do not require capital investments and obtaining savings of heat and electricity by optimizing operating modes of heating network and reducing energy losses by consumers.
A significant role in the development of innovative belt of the Ural is played by the creation of new high-tech industries by SUSU graduates. Engineering companies created by university graduates fulfill orders in many regions of Russia and abroad collaborating with such leading international companies FUCHS, LINCOLN, Siemens VAI, SMS-Group, BoschRexroth, FORTUM, Konar.
An important priority of SUSU is the creation of the innovation environment and the development of small business at the university. At the moment the university operates an innovative infrastructure thanks to which 58 small innovative companies for the commercialization of intellectual property of the university have been created the last five years. To enhance this trend an innovative accelerator is planned to be created. The total annual income of the innovation belt of SUSU is already 500 million roubles. One of the specialties of the innovative belt of SUSU is the production of educational equipment for schools and institutions of higher education in Russia. The aggregate share of the university in the national market reaches 80%.
Developments of SUSU contribute to sustainable development of the Ural region. For example, in recent years the university has created sorbents irreversibly binding ions of heavy metals and radionuclides. Sorbents provide a cost effective protection from process contamination which is one of the major problems of industrial pollution areas.
Another example of research for sustainable development is a sensor of heat consumption which is to keep records of individual consumption of thermal energy at a minimal cost. The pilot implementation of this technology in a residential complex in Chelyabinsk will reduce the cost of thermal energy by 20%.