The Faculty of Aerospace Engineering: a Course on Things to Come


60 years ago, on March 1st, 1957, in the year of the launch of the Earth’s first artificial satellite, the Faculty of Mechanics of ChPI (today the SUSU Faculty of Aerospace Engineering) was created. The faculty’s dean, candidate of technical sciences, Vasiliy Salich told us about how it developed. 

– Vasiliy Leonidovich, what successes has the faculty brought to this great anniversary?

– The faculty’s main achievement is its alumni who work in space rocket, aviation, and different sectors, increasing the country’s glory.

– Are there people among them that the FAE is especially proud of?

– Yes, there are many of them – you’d get tired if you listed them all. We are proud of all of our graduates who found a respectable place in life. In terms of the official list, “Pride of the Faculty”, this includes, as a rule, leading researchers and leaders of the sector’s enterprises. This list is vast and is constantly added to. The faculty has a display with the names and portraits of the best graduates.

– What are the plans for the future?

– The faculty’s future development is intrinsically tied to the development of the space rocket sector. At this time, there is demand for the faculty’s alumni in practically every enterprise of this sphere, and not only because many of them are starved for staff. Many employers prefer to bring in alumni from our faculty in particular, noting their high level of training. In terms of research activity, in the years of the FAE’s existence, the research staff has cumulated significant experience in solving various tasks while completing R&D in enterprises and organizations tied to our sector. However, beyond R&D, the faculty needs long-term scientific partnership with the sector’s enterprises. By the way, this will allow for tomorrow’s generation to be nurtured and, as a result, significantly increase interest to academic activity among today’s student and post-graduate students. Rector Aleksandr Leonidovich Shestakov is helping us in searching for directions for such partnership. For example, last week, a SUSU delegation, headed by the rector, visited Roscosmos. The university’s competencies presented by departments (including the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering) were given high marks. As a result, Roscosmos is now working on possible areas of partnership with SUSU.

– How do you attract students to the faculty?

–  First of all, representatives of the FAE meet with school students within university events – for example, SUSU open house day. The faculty also holds an annual Open Aerospace Championship (Olympiad) for students, Young Researchers, coincides with Cosmonauts’ Day, which brings in talented youth. We must note, that school childrens’ interest to the space rocket sector grows with each year.

– How will the faculty celebrate their anniversary?

– Sport events were held within the celebration of the FAE’s 60-year anniversary. The Aerospace Championship will be held April 8th; April 9th and 11th – meetings between students and staff with the heads of enterprises and veterans of the space rocket sector. The official portion will be held on Cosmonauts’ Day – April 12th.


Ivan Zagrebin, photo by Oleg Igoshin
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