SUSU Researchers: The Path to Success of the Head of the SUSU Laboratory of Experimental Mechanics

There are many unique spaces at South Ural State University where engineering students are gaining quality experience by working on modern equipment. One such space is the Laboratory of Experimental Mechanics of the Mechanical Engineering Research Institute, headed by Pavel Taranenko. He talks about how his career began, what inspires him to work towards scientific achievements, and what the team of the Laboratory of Experimental Mechanics does.

 - For how many years have you been connected with the university?

- I have been connected with SUSU for 26 years: from 1994 to 1996 I attended classes at the School of Physics and Mathematics on Sundays, in 1996 I enrolled in the university, and in 2002 I graduated with a degree in Dynamics and Strength of Machines. After that I entered postgraduate studies, in 2011 I defended my thesis, and at present I am continuing to work at the university as the head of the Laboratory of Experimental Mechanics of the Mechanical Engineering Research Institute.

- What can you say about the SUSU of today, what inspires you in your work (opportunities, interesting students, equipment, etc.)?

- First of all, I am inspired by the modern testing equipment that’s concentrated in our laboratory. Modern measuring system, vibration stands, and Instron testing machines allow us to carry out research within grants and orders from industrial enterprises at a completely different, higher level. And the most interesting thing is that we receive completely different tasks every time! And each of these is like a detective novel: we don’t know in advance what the answer will be to the causes of failure or damage to products and structural elements. Here are just a few of the tasks: determining the causes of damage to the coupling element of a tram car; selecting vibration isolation elements for a satellite which is transported by rail to a launch site and must not be damaged during transportation; determining the causes of increased vibration of an induction motor; and many others. This is what attracts me—solving various engineering and scientific problems for enterprises using modern high-tech equipment.

- Please, tell us more about your scientific interests.

- I am very interested in mechanical vibrations. The dynamics of rotors, the vibrations of Coriolis flowmeters, calculating and conducting experiments on the dynamic properties of spacecraft and satellites, and the construction of calculation models based on the results of experiments to determine their dynamic properties — it is so interesting! The last few years, my scientific work has been connected with the study of Coriolis flowmeters: we are trying to improve the operation of these devices in such a way as to reduce the effect of gas bubbles on the mass flow rate readings. In December 2019, my first postgraduate student, Alexander Yaushev, defended his thesis. Another field that interests me is the experimental determination of the dynamic properties of aerospace engineering products. In this case, we use a special hammer to strike different points of the structure several times, use accelerometers to record the response of the structure, and from the test results we determine the frequencies and forms of resonant vibrations. Further, by adjusting the model, we can achieve the calculation results which closely coincide with the experimental data. The science of mechanical vibrations is in a whole new and very interesting world!

- What qualities/people/online posts led you to your field of research?

- They say that students relate to the subject they are studying in the same way as their teacher relates to it. I am very grateful to my academic advisor, Oleg Slive. Immersion in the problem to be solved, analysis of the patterns of the investigated design, thorough and painstaking work on the text of reports and articles, highly professional knowledge in the field of mechanical vibrations... Thanks to my academic advisor, I became interested in tasks related to mechanical vibrations and formed as a scientist and a researcher.

- Who supports you in your endeavours, do you have any successors?

- Yes, there are young candidates of sciences who wrote their dissertations using the equipment of the Laboratory of Experimental Mechanics, defended their dissertations, and remained at the university. They make up my work group alongside senior-year students. It is really great to have a team made up of students who grew up before my eyes and under my leadership. It is very pleasant to see how, by solving problems for enterprises through using modern research equipment, my students mature as scientists and engineers and remain to work at the university.

-In your opinion, what needs to be done to achieve great success in this direction?

- Success in any field is directly proportional to the time you spend on it. It is necessary to devote all your time to your favourite field, and success will come as a result!

Marina Kovyazina
Contact person: 
Evgeniy Zagoskin, Office of Internet Portals and Social Media, 267-92-86
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