The Department of Engineering and Computer Graphics is the same age as South Ural State University, which was created on the basis of the Stalingrad Engineering Institute (and was called the Chelyabinsk Mechanical Engineering Institute) in 1943, a difficult year for our country. Today, the Department of Engineering and Computer Graphics is part of the SUSU Institute of Architecture and Construction and is one of the leading departments of graphics among Russian universities. The department provides training in geometry and graphics for students of all SUSU technical fields and specialties.
“Graphics courses for technical specialties of the university are the first professionally oriented courses the first-year students are taught. Success in mastering these subjects serves as an indicator of the future professional qualifications of an engineer; it is impossible to imagine a technical specialist who does not speak the graphic language,” says the head of the department, Candidate of Sciences (Engineering), Associate Professor Liudmila Khmarova. “As a result of studying the courses of the geometry-graphics cycle, the knowledge and the ability to analyse and model the shape of an object according to the drawings are formed, to apply regulatory documents and state standards for managing design and engineering documentation, using modern computer technologies and software. We are happy to teach students of various SUSU technical specialties and fields, open the fundamentals of geometric and technical courses for them, and form in them the skills necessary for professional implementation.”
Students at the department learn descriptive geometry, engineering and computer graphics, computer and geometric modelling, and computer-aided design of building structures. All the taught courses are provided with original methodological developments that allow students to develop spatial and logical thinking, which is necessary for mastering other subjects.
“Being a creative person, already when I was young I decided to connect my life with the construction industry, and therefore at school I started studying descriptive geometry, wishing to understand how to express the ideas of my projects in a natural and mathematically accurate way,” says Semen Speransky, a student of the Institute of Architecture and Construction. “At present, the ability to draw alone may not be enough; therefore, the study of such courses as engineering and computer graphics, and computer geometric modelling provides serious training in the classical fields of mechanical engineering and architectural and construction drawing. Skills in modern software, drawing objects of any complexity, as well as the ability to present the ideas are truly invaluable in the modern world, form a solid foundation for further education and are the key to the competitiveness of graduates.”
The educational and methodological path of the department is aimed at expanding training in 3D computer graphics methods that meet international standards, focused on the needs of the market and trends in the development of computer-aided design systems. Courses of classical disciplines are taught using computer graphics programs: AutoCAD, KOMPAS-3D, SolidWorks, Revit, ArchiCAD, Photoshop, and others. The goal of the department is to train specialists capable of applying the latest information technologies at all stages of project activities, from theoretical and conceptual understanding of a problem to detailed design.
The teaching staff of the department conduct classes for foreign students taking training in English under the English-Taught Programs. The department has developed and conducted a computer-graphics course for elite training groups, as well as for full-time and part-time Master’s students of construction specialties.
“During my studies, I have received a lot of new knowledge that will be useful in my future professional life. There were such subjects, without the study of which it was impossible to complete coursework, semester and thesis. These are such disciplines as Engineering Graphics, and Computer Modelling. We studied the basics of AutoCAD and Photoshop, were engaged in 3D modelling, design and image editing, learned mechanical-engineering and construction drawing,” says Karen Arustamian, a graduate of the elite group of the Institute of Architecture and Construction. “At each lesson, we learned new aspects and functions of the programs, performed interesting work on construction design. We went to Moscow to the All-Russian Olympiad in Engineering and Computer Graphics; we prepared for the participation really hard, completing the tasks of the previous years. And we achieved results. Our team took the 5th place out of 25 teams from all over Russia!”
Since 1991, the department annually trains students and forms university teams to participate in all-Russian and international Olympiads in descriptive geometry, engineering and computer graphics. Over the past 29 years, about 150 students of our university took part in the Olympiads, 70 of whom won prizes.
The teaching staff of the department have published seven textbooks and teaching aids, which are used today in 500 universities in the Russian Federation. Every year staff members of the department participate in international and all-Russian conferences on teaching methods, and scientific aspects of engineering and computer graphics. Over the past five years, the teaching staff members have published more than 30 articles indexed in Scopus.
The department conducts drawing classes for applicants choosing the architectural specialties, allowing schoolchildren to prepare for the successful passing of the creative drawing exam.