“Smart Industry”: SUSU Students Learn Professions of the Future Already Today

South Ural State University, as a participant of Project 5-100, is focused on developing research studies integrating computer sciences and engineering, related to active implementation of the Internet of Things into industry, and aimed at responding to global challenges alongside the leading companies of the Ural region. For these purposes, Smart Industry strategic academic unit (SAU) was created in the university.

Collaboration with Industrial Partners

The development of the Smart Industry SAU is radically transforming the university, having allowed it to significantly increase the expertise needed to become a world-class research university. Modern equipment and close collaboration with big industrial enterprises makes it possible to solve difficult research issues and enables the transition to Industry 4.0.

“An excellent example of the mutually beneficial partnership that resulted from the Smart Industry SAU is the model of cooperation with Emerson Corporation (USA). Already today Emerson Corporation is participating in the fulfilment of the SUSU’s academic programs thanks to the implementation of a practice-oriented approach to education. In addition, Emerson orders research within the SAU fields of activity: for example SUSU has fulfilled a number of big research projects for the corporation, including the tasks on creating virtual test benches for their products,” says Director of the SUSU School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Gleb Radchenko.

Photo: Director of the SUSU School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Gleb Radchenko

The advantages of developing SAU for outside organisations are illustrated by the SUSU’s joint projects with the SMS Group corporation (Germany) and the National Engineering School of Saint-Etienne (France), with the University of Oxford, Siemens Company, Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works, Kaspersky Laboratory, and others. Together with its industrial partners, the university opened new teaching and research laboratories, for instance, Emerson PlantWeb Laboratory; Laboratory for Mechanics, Laser Processing, and Digital Technology; Endress+Hauser Laboratory; Information Security Research and Education Centre, and more.

Photo: Emerson PlantWeb Laboratory

New Academic Programmes for Specialists of the Future

Currently more than 1,700 Bachelor’s and Master’s SUSU students are studying under the Smart Industry SAU, including students from abroad. In all of the engineering programmes, Master’s students are taught the basics of applying supercomputer technologies for solving engineering tasks.

“Among the existing academic programmes, I’d like to note the flagship SAU programs. These include the Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes on Instrumentation Engineering, the Master’s programme on Development of Systems for Databases Managing being fulfilled jointly with Lappeenranta University of Technology (Finland), and the Master’s programme on Control in Engineering Systems. A significant percent of the graduates of these programmes are working in the leading Russian and international companies,” notes Gleb Radchenko.

The Bachelor’s and Master’s programme on Instrumentation Engineering is being fulfilled under the university’s own academic standard, which was elaborated based on the analysis of the unique experience of the 10-year partnership with the international corporation Emerson Process Management. A special feature of the program is the in-depth practical training for future specialists based on the complex of research and teaching laboratories fitted with unique modern equipment.

The Master’s programme on Development of Systems for Databases Managing is being successfully fulfilled jointly with Lappeenranta University of Technology for 4 years already, and it was one of the first Master’s programmes of SUSU for English-speaking students. Over 4 years, more than 30 Master’s students have graduated from: Software Engineering, and Intelligent Computing programmes under the Computer Vision field.

The Master’s programme on Control in Engineering Systems uses the unique Endress+Hauzer Laboratory complex, which is meant for teaching students the creation and commissioning of automated process control system through using real equipment and sensors. Also, to do their research projects, students and staff of SUSU can be granted access to the distributed system for managing energy consumption on the university campus, which is unique among Russian universities.

Photo: Endress+Hauser Laboratory

Practice and Working for World Leaders

The majority of partner organisations are interested in training future specialists and are happy to offer their spaces for internships. Among them are Emerson Corporation, Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works, Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant, Russian Federal Nuclear Centre, PF SKB Kontur, Russian Railways, and others.

Computer and engineering sciences graduates of South Ural State University are competitive in the national and international labour markets. They are co-founders and leading specialists of international IT companies, including Google (USA), Rakuten (Japan), Huawei Technologies (China), SonarSource (Switzerland), Yandex (Russia), and Lyft (USA).

Olga Romanovskaia; photo: Oleg Igoshin
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