INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION IN THE FIELD OF AEROSPACE EDUCATION
TRADITIONS AND STATE-OF-ART OF THE RUSSIAN ENGINEERING EDUCATION
National system of engineering education is about 150 years old, but its initial beginnings is more distanced in time. There are many points of view on this subject, but if historical events can be compared with attendant practical responds, a very close connection between war, production and specialists requirement in different countries can be revealed. There is a quite cynical expression describing it that unfortunately has a very strong ground: war - is a driving force of a progress. That is why advanced breakthroughs in science and technology and technical innovations in design and technology in Russia are very often connected with military tragedies. Let's make a reservation here that this chain of events is "bilateral" (technical development is also caused by a general historic development, intellectual progress, engineering decisions and production) i.e. as a rule, wars also have economic, political and social roots. However during all stages of engineering education development, especially at the earliest stage, the engineering education in different countries, including Russia, was "mixed" with military education. There are many examples of such a combination of engineering science and art with military purposes. It is enough to remember glorious and tragic to some extent cases in the life of Rutherford and Kurchatov, Bore and Sakharov, Einstein and Korolev. The first technological University of Russia was St. Petersburg Practical Technological Institute, later - St. Petersburg Technological Institute, that was founded in 1828. The purpose of technological education was formulated in a resolution from November 28, 1828: "technological institutes have an aim to prepare people with enough practical and theoretical knowledge for management of factories and their parts". Moreover, a "technological pioneer", St. Petersburg Technological Institute, also bears the palm in development and implementation of practical training in real industrial environment to accompany education. But there was no system of higher technical education in Russia by the middle of the 19th century. It has become clear that Russia should overcome industrial backwardness only after the defeat in the Crimean war of 1853-1856. Development of manufacturing demanded development a system of staff training and engineering education in the first turn. The higher technical school was orienting on preparation of engineers of encyclopaedic knowledge during the first stage of its development. The programmes of education included disciplines related to applied and technical mechanics additionally to exact and natural sciences. Technology as a science appeared later, closer to the border of the 19th and 20th centuries, due to machinery development and enterprises equipped, that gave a start to technological education. It was reflected in the curriculum of engineering education: a lot of specialised disciplines appeared that had different contents but were connected with a final goal. These approaches have been preserved and are successfully used up to the present days. There are many traditions of engineering and technological education in Russia that were founded last century and have survived to our days. The most important that will be worth noting are the following:
- a high level of teaching and a large volume (about 25% of the total time to assimilate the majority of educational programmes) of fundamental mathematics and natural sciences;
- a high level of fundamental engineering education;
- a high level of specialised training, providing readiness of a graduate to a scientific, research, design, manufacturing and managing activity;
- a high level of practical training (a 7 months-long practical training in total ).
Unfortunately, there are some worse traditions. First of all, it relates to a humanitarian component of the engineering education. Educational programmes of technical universities had almost no social, political and economic disciplines as well as law and philosophy, that is why fundamentality of graduate engineers education was incomplete. In the Soviet period the volume of the humanitarian component of the engineering education approached to the educational programmes of advanced developed countries, but its contents was too politicised. Another tradition, that has no basis to be proud of, is a permanent gap in technical facilities and social setting of students and teaching staff relative to the modern requirements and civilised standards. This gap is becoming worrisome in terms of the current situation in Russia, which could be negatively reflected on the quality of education in 5 - 7 years. So what is the present status of the higher technical education in Russia? In general, it corresponds to the status of the whole system, but there are some peculiarities and facts that are worth noting:
- In Russia there are 14 non-technical specialists relative to each 10 engineers, in Germany this figure is - 39 specialists and in USA - 114 correspondingly;
- Within the period from 1965 till 1999 the segment of graduates of engineering institutions relative to all specialists with a higher education in Russia has increased for one percent (from 40 to 41), while in USA it has increased to 10,4% (from 7,5 to 17,9%);
- The share of engineers among the able-bodied citizens in the USA is 1,3%, in France - 1,7%, in Japan - 1,9% and in Russia - 4,6%.
An aspect of society's saturation with higher education specialists is very important. A very dangerous symptom for the society's progress has appeared by mid nineties of the present century in Russia: the years of stagnation have touched not only economics. In so many words they have been reflected on the structure of the society in terms of educational qualification. Only 15,7% of the able-bodied citizens with a specialised education are the citizens with a higher education. Thus, compared with Russia, this level in USA reached 45% and almost 50% in Japan. Summarising the present of the engineering education in Russia it is possible to conclude the following:
1. Periodic fluctuations of youth's demand for engineering education and for the general higher education have a character that is practically identical to the general situation in higher education.
2. Even during recession of industrial manufacturing the graduates of engineering institutions have a very high percent of demand on enrolment in industry (65 - 85%).
3. The engineering education of Russia remains the largest and the most highly developed educational complex. 215 higher institutions deal with engineers' preparation. 203 of them are engineering universities and 102 - technical universities and academies with a total number of students more than 610 thousands. More than 5,5 thousands professors and doctors and around 33 thousand Ph. Ds work there.
CO-OPERATION OF RUSSIAN UNIVERSITIES AND ENTERPRISES
A peculiarity of the Russian system of engineering and technological education is a close relationship and co-operation with the leading Russian enterprises and R&D Centres. It is particularly effective in aerospace industry. May be it is the reason for Russia to maintain strong positions in the world economics up to the present moment, in spite of the total economic recession and close of production in a number of industries. That is why I would like to emphasis on a specific character of co-operation of Russian technical universities with aerospace enterprises. Traditions of co-operation of aerospace universities and aviation enterprises (later - aerospace enterprises) were founded in 30-40s of this century, when a war with Nazi Germany became inevitable. It was that very time when Moscow Aviation Technology Institute (State Technological University at nowadays) was established on the base of Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI) and Moscow State Technical Academy (MGTU). It was an institution that had a goal to prepare engineers (mostly technologists) for aviation enterprises of Russia. Since that time MATI has become one of the leading universities of Russia, which graduates successfully work not only for the aerospace industry but in other areas as well. For the last years an effective system of co-operation between universities and enterprises has been established. For the time being almost all technical universities of Russia have their branches at the leading enterprises, corresponding to the profile of specialists training by the University. Thus, Russian aerospace universities have their branches at Khrunichev Space Centre, MAPO "MIG", Sukhoy DB, Cosmonauts Training Centre, National Institute of Aviation Materials, Institute of Medical and Biological Problems, etc. This old tradition has well recommended itself as an effective integration. It is vital for a modern aerospace company to have an ability of fast adaptation to permanently varying engineering and new technologies. Therefore concepts of "production" and "personnel training system " are inseparable. A perfect system of personnel training is impossible without a developed production and vice versa. Let's examine the role of an industrial component in a modern educational programme of a future engineer in Russia on an example of aerospace universities. Traditionally, an educational programme of a future engineer taking course of "Aerospace Constructions and Technologies" or "Materials Sciences and Technology" include several types of industrial training. Each type of training solves its own educational purposes. As a result of such co-operation an enterprise gets a specialist able to adapt to real production and definite engineering tasks within a very short period. As it was already mentioned, the total time of industrial training reaches 7 months for a student taking an engineering course. Since the place of industrial training changes every time, graduates have an opportunity to accumulate the best of available in the aerospace industry. At the beginning of nineties a personnel shortage of the age of 30-45 years happened due to the crisis in the Russian economy. It is the most creative age, but because of an intensive staff flow during that period a withdrawal of youth and experts of this very age happened. That is why a complex programme of work with youth was worked out by the company in order to provide succession of generations and engaging young experts with high education. An experience of the Khrunichev Space Centre co-operation with a number of technical universities is very indicative from this point of view. Khrunichev Space Centre is a leader of the national space industry. The history of this company is the history of development of the Russian strategic aviation and intercontinental ballistic missiles, advanced space technologies, launch vehicles, orbital stations "Salute", "MIR", space modules "Quantum", "Quantum-2", "Crystal", "Spektr", "Priroda", first module of the International Space Station. The Centre has been permanently expending its presence in the market of commercial launches. It actively works on development of "Rokot" middle class launcher and the family of "Angara" launch vehicles and successfully implements contracts on commercial launches from the largest corporations for different space programmes. However the enterprise also had to review its policy of qualified specialists training in nineties. The lack of high level experts forced to establish a specialised educational institution - Aerospace University of Specialised Training. The University was established on the basis of several faculties of the leading Russian aerospace Universities: MATI, MAI and MGTU. Co-operation of the company with the Universities has proved its mutual benefit. The company has provided the Universities its specialised educational, industrial and research facilities. A financial support that the company has been providing is also very important. As a result of such co-operation, the problem of engineers training was solved. Graduates of the University are engineers with a high level of fundamental knowledge, capable to work with strategic problems of the Space Centre. That is why principal designers and experts of the Centre are the heads of the University Departments. For example, prof. A. Nedaivoda, the General Designer of the "Salute" Design Bureau is the Head of Department "Test and Launch Complexes", Department of "Satellites technology and telecommunication" is headed by professor A. Medvedev - Director of the Space Centre and so on.
Departments of MATI, MAI and MGTU have developed educational curriculum for the University taking into account the main industrial problems of the Centre. The main idea of these new programmes is to add an industrial training to the educational standard of higher institutions. This addition includes practical training and research straight at the real working places and Centre's research labs. It allows to expand an engineering outlook of the students and to familiarise the students with the urgent problems, which exist in the Space Centre. The programme of industrial training, which was designed on the basis of the approved concept of industrial training, also assumes training during education on real workplaces, which require engineering education.
INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION IN STAFF TRAINING FOR AEROSPACE INDUSTRY
Modern and especially future aerospace projects will be impossible without a wide international co-operation. Today the majority of space programmes requires a high level of international co-operation in all spheres, including design, research, production, marketing, service, maintenance, repair and finance. The European aerospace industry has already demonstrated a successful development of international co-operation in a wide range of civil and military projects. Typical examples of such co-operation are development of Jaguar, Concorde, Tornado, Airbus, EH101 and Eurofighter. The Airbus project was probably the most significant among the others. There are also good examples of such co-operation in Space projects. Typical examples are "MIR" Space Station, International Space Station (ISS) currently under construction and the "Sea-Launch" project. To be competitive in the future a majority of the companies should have not only high quality technical specialists, but also specialists providing effective international co-operation in production and technology. It radically changes the approach to personnel training. It is obvious therefore, that the system of personnel training should be developed appropriate to the solution of modern problems. The preparation of engineering staff changes from a narrow national problem to an international one, which will be particularly important in the future. There are number of prerequisites for broad international co-operation in the field of aerospace education: - an existing system of international co-operation in the field of personnel training for the space industry in Russia, USA, Western Europe and other countries - international projects on space development, particularly in the field of future satellite telecommunication systems - international scientific and technological co-operation. The Russian higher school system and leading Russian universities have established and are successfully developing joint programmes with universities in Western Europe and USA. These countries have achieved the greatest success in aerospace engineering. Typical features of modern Russia are an open policy and willingness to support closer international co-operation. They are also present in the system of education. The brightest examples of co-operation of the Russian universities with their international partners are participation in European programmes, such as: TEMPUS in education, INTAS and COPERNICUS in scientific and technical co-operation, REAP - environment protection, etc. However there are some good examples of co-operation in the areas that traditionally used to be the matter of competition. In particular, it is a Russian-British programme of "International Aerospace School" developed by MATI and Kingston University for students and experts from the Western Europe and Russia. Within the framework of the programme, representatives from Western Europe and Russia have a unique opportunity to become familiar not only with the newest theoretical approaches, but also to familiarise with real technologies and to observe the application of this knowledge in advanced production facilities. For ten years, about 250 students and young specialists from European aerospace companies and 150 from Russia have participated in the programme of training within the framework of the "International Space School" programme in Russia and in the UK respectively. It means that nearly 400 representatives from our countries have expanded their outlook and understanding of modern capabilities within the space sector of the economies of our countries. They have enriched not only technological knowledge, but have also experienced national and cultural traditions of Russia and Great Britain. An undoubted achievement of this project is involvement of not only academic universities into the programme but industrial representatives of Russia and the UK as well. Such companies as Khrunichev Space Centre, MAPO-MIG, Sukhoy Design Bureau, Cosmonaut Training Centre, British Airways, British Aerospace, Rolls Royce, Matra Marconi Space Systems, etc. have united their efforts in order to solve a joint educational goal. The participants of this project could step beyond the frameworks of narrow national interests and tried to look into the future. There is no doubt that in the ХХI century mankind will have to solve the problem that already cries out for its solution - the problem of mankind's survival or at least provision of a civilised existence for a highly industrialised society without any dangerous effects for a human being. We have to take into account the fact that the effects of any ecological catastrophe cross over the boundaries of any country and cause disasters on an international scale. Monitoring and control of such ecological situations is impossible with the use of on-ground or aviation engineering equipment only. An International Agreement on the establishment of a new Consortium of the leading aerospace enterprises of Europe and Russia was signed in 1997. The agreement is aimed at the development of a new programme on satellite ecological monitoring in Europe. Khrunichev Space Centre will be participating in this project on behalf of Russia. It is supposed according to the programme that a part of the satellites will be delivered by "Proton" or newly developed and tested "Rockot" launch vehicle. However, the international community should prepare not only to technological solutions of these problems, but also give a start to an appropriate philosophy for the development of new educational programmes. This is the focus of a new joint project of our universities. Thus our participation in a project of REAP run by the British Council is a logical continuation of the MATI-Kingston programme. Specialists of the two universities have united their efforts in development of educational and scientific backgrounds of ecological monitoring using satellite technologies. There is another important result of international co-operation of the universities and industrial enterprises of our countries. Having tested each other, the participants of such projects come to joint scientific research, using specific national advantages. For example, during 1997-1999 a joint research project was carried out to determine the effect of the space environment on polymers and composite materials. An experimental procedure was devised and a number of specimen samples were then tested on the "MIR" space station. The results of this joint research will be available to the scientific teams of all the universities and companies involved in this project. British and Russian aerospace companies have received a unique information permitting a new approach to the solution of problems relating to the prediction of the durability of materials and construction methods used in outer space. The information obtained from this research programme will certainly be used in developments for the International Space Station, where Russia and Europe have made very significant technological contributions.
PERSPECTIVES OF INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION OF ACADEMIC AND INDUSTRIAL PARTNERS
There are some other areas where universities and enterprises of different countries can be mutually beneficial. For example, a major element of higher engineering education is fulfilment of individual and group projects. Modern information technologies and the capabilities of the Internet can give an international dimension to this type of activity. A full advantage of our national educational programmes can be taken in this case. Group projects (such as on hypersonic aircraft or spacecraft development, etc.) will allow students from different countries and universities to obtain the experience of work in an international team and to gain new knowledge from compilation of separate activities into a final project report. It is worth noting that traditionally this stage of education has been always involved in a very close co-operation with industrial companies. We hope that the experience obtained by our universities within the framework of the international educational programmes will help in increasing the effectiveness of industrial training of foreign students at the departments of the aerospace companies. Including industrial companies into the system of specialists training and a close co-operation of aerospace universities of our countries with national aerospace manufacturers is very attractive for students not only from Russia and Great Britain but for many key universities of Western Europe and the world.
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