October 27th was the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Instrumentation Engineering Faculty (Faculty of Computer Technologies, Control, and Radioengineering), which presently is part of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
The history of the Instrumentation Engineering Faculty is stages of establishment and dynamic development, closely tied to the history of one of the largest universities in Russia – South Ural State University. Over the years of its existence, the faculty went from a department of the Power Engineering Faculty to one of the most prestigious and authoritative schools at SUSU.
School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science of Yesterday
Stage I: FOUNDING.
In August 1954, two groups were chosen for the degree program titled “Automated, Telemechanical Control and Measurement Instruments and Devices” at the Power Engineering Faculty of the Chelyabinsk Polytechnic Institute. The first admission to CPI competition broke all the records – 11 applicants per place. In November 1956, the Department of Automation and Telemechanics was created at the Power Engineering Faculty, headed by Candidate of Sciences (Engineering) Georgiy Chernorutskiy. Then, the Instrumentation Engineering Faculty, created by order of the CPI Rector Aleksey Sychev on 23 October 1957, became the center for training engineers and researchers in a wide range of degree specialties. The first Dean of the IEF was Lev Silchenko, who headed the faculty for 25 years. The main goal of the first few years of the faculty’s existence was to form a teaching team and the laboratory base necessary for starting up the academic process.
The appearance of a new faculty, which coincided with a “thaw” in the country’s political life, was greeted by great enthusiasm. Young people strived to move science forward, and the best graduates stayed at the faculty, becoming leading researchers as a result. Studying at the Instrumentation Engineering Faculty was difficult, but very prestigious. The first graduation for the Instrument Engineering Faculty (47 people) was held in 1959.
Stage II: ESTABLISHMENT (from 1959)
From 1959 till 1962, a number of departments for instrument engineering specialties was created to support the workers of the fast-growing Chelyabinsk Radio Factory, including: Construction and Techniques for Manufacturing Radio Equipment (later the Department of Design and Production of Radio Technology); Electrical Measurement Technologies (later the Department of Informational and Measuring Technology); Instrument Engineering Technologies; Gyroscopic Instruments and Equipment (later the Department of Instrumentation Engineering).
In August 1962, the Rector of CPI appointed Vitaliy Melnikov the Dean of the Faculty of Radiotechnology for the Ural Polytechnical Institute (UPI). An established researcher and talented organizer, and head of large research projects and postgraduate programs, Vitaliy Melnikov significantly improved the speed of development for the IEF. With him, a whole group of teachers and researchers in radiotechnology appeared at the faculty. To organize research projects in radiolocation, radio position finding, and radio communications surveillance and countermeasures, Viktor Vasilievich founded the Electron Research Laboratory, which then turned in to the Research Institute of Digital Systems (RIDS), and the Department of Radiotechnical Systems (DRS).
In 1964 the Department of Mathematics and Computation Instruments and Devices was founded, which received a new name in 1969 – the Department of Electronic Computing Machines. The department became the center of computer training at CPI and was the first to begin using computational technology in the academic process and in research.
The legendary CPI radiosports team, whose callsign UK9AAN was known all around the world, deserves a separate page in the book of achievements by the IEF. The team included graduates and students of the IEF – masters of sport international class. This team became world champions seven times, and earned medals at fifty international competitions.
In 1981, the staff of the Electron Research laboratory, headed by Yuri Karmanov, was awarded a first-degree Prize for the Council of Ministers of the USSR for best work in radioelectronics. In the future, many developments of this team became prototypes for military technology used in weapons in the air force.
In this same year, the IEF moved to a new academic building and had 6,000 square meters of space. A highly qualified teaching staff had been collected by this time. Among the 204 members of the teaching staff there were honored workers of science and technology of the RSFSR. A new Dean of the IEF was chosen – Candidate of Sciences (Engineering), Associate Professor of the Department of Gyroscopic Instruments and Equipment Nikolay Vinichenko, who served in this capacity from 1981 to 1996. Under his leadership, computing technology was widely implemented in to the academic and research processes; many laboratories were equipped with modern equipment and computers.
In 1987, the Department of Automation and Control opened the Sistema Research Laboratory under the guidance of Doctor of Sciences (Engineering) Professor Arnold Sibrin. The main area of research was simulation stands and star trackers. One of the laboratory’s projects was a multi-step dynamic stand which simulates wind loads on the Russian space ship Buran. This stand made it possible to determine more than 20 errors in the Buran navigation system in laboratory conditions.
Stage III: TRANSFORMATION (since the late 1980s)
The turmoil that occurred in the country’s political and economic life at the end of the 1980s had an inevitable effect on the higher education system as a whole, and on SUSU in particular. The financing of research reduced sharply, including military research, which always dominated the faculty. The research teams which had been formed began to crumble, an outflow of talented engineers and researchers in to business and abroad began. In this period, the leadership of the university and faculty did a great deal of work to diversify and convert the faculty’s areas of research and created the conditions necessary for scientific and technological partnership with all forms of businesses. The faculty began to accept students on contract. In 1994, the IEF was the first faculty at SUSU to begin teaching students under the multi-level education system (Bachelor’s – Master’s).
From 1996 to 1999, Alexander Shestakov, now the SUSU Rector, worked as Dean of the faculty. The main scientific interests of Alexander Leonidovich were focused on theories of dynamic measurement. He developed new structures for dynamic measurement systems, including dynamic models for channels of error evaluation of these systems, proposed a structure for a self-regulating dynamic measurement system, and obtained algorithms for setting system parameters with criteria for the minimum level of dynamic errors. In 2003, Alexander Leonidovich was awarded the title Honored Higher Education Worker, and for his work in rocket and space equipment he was awarded a Viktor Makeev Medal.
On December 1st, 1999 the faculty earned a new name: Faculty of Computer Technologies, Control and Radioengineering.
In 2000 Lev Kazarinov, Head of the Department of Automation and Control, Doctor of Sciences (Engineering), Professor, Honored Higher Education Worker of the Russian Federation, Honorable Worker of Higher Professional Education of the Russian Federation, became the Dean of the faculty. Lev Sergeevich completed a large amount of research throughout the whole period of working at the university. From the 1990s, under Professor Lev Kazarinov’s guidance, and with his active participation across the Chelyabinsk Region, research in energy conservation was launched at SUSU. Under his guidance, projects for energy conservation were successfully executed in Chelyabinsk and at Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works.
In 2006 Metran Manufacturing Group, along with the Department of Automated Control Systems, the Department of Automation and Control, and the Department of Information Communication Technology at SUSU, created a unique PlantWeb laboratory based on equipment by the EMERSON Corporation. The laboratory complex imitates the most widespread processes in manufacturing and in the housing and utility sector. The complex uses a scalable system for controlling technological processes based on the PlantWeb intelligent technology.
The School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (SEECS) was founded in 2016 as part of the project for improving SUSU’s competitiveness among the leading international research centers (Project 5-100) as a combination of two faculties: the Instrument Engineering Faculty, which this year is celebrating the 60th anniversary of its creation, and the Faculty of Computational Mathematics and High Performance Computing. The SEECS is headed by Candidate of Sciences (Physics and Mathematics), Associate Professor Gleb Radchenko. The creation of the school made it possible to bring together the strength of these faculties’ research teams to realize interdisciplinary research, focus the university’s academic fields on automation, electronics, and informational technologies, ensuring transparency for the selection of degree programs by potential applicants.
The School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science includes 10 departments, offering education under Bachelor's, Specialist, and Master's programs and programs for candidates of sciences in the fields of Instrument Engineering and Automated Control, Radioelectronics, and Computer Sciences.
Presently more than 200 people work at the SEECS. The SEECS staff are highly qualified – more than half of the teaching staff has their Candidate of Sciences Degree, and 13% are Professors and Doctors of Sciences. One more point of pride for the SEECS is our young researchers. Today, more than 30% of the staff of the SEECS are under 35.
Today, the school is continuing the traditions of classical technical education, focusing on the creation of an advanced environment for training researchers and engineers at the highest level. To this end, more internationally-renowned researchers are being attracted to research and academic work, the faculty staff participates in the realization of international research projects, and they actively study foreign languages. For 5 years already, groups of international students have been gathering for the Fundamental Computer Sciences and Informational Technologies Master’s programs, and the training of these students is held in English. In addition, as part of the development under Project 5-100, all of the academic areas at the SEECS include advanced study of English which begins from the first year of study and ends with an international exam.
Currently the SEECS offers education in the following areas: Instrument Engineering; Aircraft Control Systems; Management in Engineering Systems; Infocommunication Technologies and Communication Systems; Radio Electronic Systems and Complexes; Computer Science and Computer Engineering; Fundamental Informatics and Information Technology; Program Engineering; and Information Security.
SEECS of the Future
The plans of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science include increasing the number of partners for creating Dual-Degree Programs and student internships, and also holding joint academic and research events, which will allow SUSU to stand alongside famous universities abroad. In a relatively short period of time being involved in international activities, the School of Electrical Engineering has achieved significant results, acquired internationally-renowned professors, and expanded the boundaries of research.
The School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science is doing a large amount of work dedicated to strengthening bonds with international universities. This area of work involves many aspects – not just the individual mobility of students and post-graduate students of the SEECS, but also deeper activities at the academic level.
The SEECS includes 10 departments and more than 30 laboratories and research centers fitted with unique radioelectronic equipment, control systems, automation systems, and computers. Supercomputers, laboratories on industrial control systems and measuring systems, automation platforms, network and telecommunications equipment – all of these are available to our students, postgraduates, and teachers for their successful education and research. These resources allow the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at SUSU to do high-quality work and broaden the boundaries of their technical and research potential.