“Our Alumni Build Successful Careers”: Vyacheslav Avdin on Advantages of the SUSU Faculty of Chemistry

The last Sunday of May is the professional holiday of all working in the chemical and petrochemical industry. The holiday was established by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR dated October 1 of 1980. Workers of the chemical industry are constantly demanded in science, in industry, and in business. One can become a world-class specialist by graduating from the Faculty of Chemistry at South Ural State University.

SUSU’s Faculty of Chemistry was established in September of 2007. In the process of the university’s restructuring, it became an important part of the Institute of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in 2016. Nowadays, it consists of the Department of Theoretical and Applied Chemistry and the Department of Ecology and Chemical Technology. The Faculty performs training of highly qualified specialists in the sphere of chemistry, chemical technology, ecology, power- and resource-saving, supervised by the Dean, Doctor of Sciences (Chemistry), Vyacheslav Avdin. Academic team includes 8 professors, doctors of sciences, and 35 associate professors, candidates of sciences.

Vyacheslav Avdin considers the most important advantage of the Faculty of Chemistry to be its strong orientation at research activity. This is proved by the fact that the Faculty is one of the most frequently published one at the university. Research articles of students and academic staff of the Faculty get published in journals being reviewed in the largest international databases, such as Scopus and Web of Science.

“We actively conduct research activity. This allowed us forming five research groups of the international level. We are working in cooperation with our foreign partners and implement projects that play a serious role on the world’s agenda. As a result, research articles of our scientists get published in recognized scientific journals of level TOP 25, TOP 10 and even TOP 1.”

The level of practical training of students at the Faculty of Chemistry is provided by laboratories at SUSU. In particular, Nanotechnology Research and Education Centre, established at the university, includes six laboratories equipped with brand-new equipment intended for solving a wide range of scientific problems.

“Students of the Faculty of Chemistry can master high technology not just online but in practice. Those who are at the senior years of study work with infrared and ultraviolet spectrometers practically independently. They also have a chance to use precision gauges, particularly the scales that allow measuring an object’s mass with an accuracy of five decimal places. I think there are no such gauges in Chelyabinsk. In the majority of labs, scales can only determine the mass to the fourth decimal place, and, for example, jewelers use scales with precision to the third decimal place. Quality of the equipment allows us carrying out serious research,” notes Professor Vyacheslav Avdin.

Students of the Faculty do not just master competencies predetermined by their majors; here they acquire fundamental knowledge in many spheres of natural sciences due to research projects. In particular, within project-based learning, Master’s degree students of the INSM take part in a project targeted at development of a new technology of removal of organic substances resistant to oxidation out of water through their oxidation on a catalyst, and their further transformation into elementary harmless compounds. Students learn working in a team, put their knowledge into practice, and solve a serious environmental problem. Such projects allow them becoming specialists demanded in all spheres of the chemical industry.

“For many years, the industry has been quite slowly developing in the direction of research, and average age of research fellows at laboratories of the majority of enterprises was older than 50. Therefore, when our alumni, young specialists, come to an enterprise, they build successful careers quite fast and become directors of laboratories,” says Vyacheslav Avdin. “At that, it happens so that graduates in the sphere of chemistry get employed for a position connected with chemical technology, and wise versa. Among them, there are ecologists working as chemists, and chemists working in departments connected with ecology. Our alumni have all the possibilities and knowledge to quickly retrain if they feel that a related profession is more interesting for them.”

Specialist who graduated from the SUSU Faculty of Chemistry get employed to research institutes and laboratories, as well as to supervising bodies and industrial enterprises. Among employers are: Rosprirodnadzor, Centre of Laboratory Analysis and Technical Measurements for the Ural Federal District, the region’s Ministry of Ecology, Centre of Hygiene and Epidemiology for the Chelyabinsk region, Centre of Labor Protection and Environmental Security, BVK JSC, VSMPO-AVISMA Corporation, Signal JSC — Aleksandrinskaya Gorno-Rudnaya Companiya (Aleksandrinsk Mining Company) JSC, Chelyabinsk Electrode Plant, general education institutions, etc. In the number of industrial giants, they are ChTPZ, KONAR, ChEMK, Metran, etc. Moreover, many alumni work in consulting and project agencies, such as Ekoresheniya (Environmental Solutions) and YuzhUralPKB.

Azaliya Sharafutdinova, photo by: Oleg Igoshin, photo collection of the INSM
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