The magazine “Business square”
Looking into the past for knowing the future
Sustainable development is a model of the use of resources available for humanity with improving quality of life without compromising that for future generations. Discussion of the concept at the international level was initiated by the UN in 1970-es. A significant contribution to its formation was made by Gro Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and Director General of the World Health Organization, which in 2014 became the first recipient of the Tang prize – Taiwan’s analog of the Nobel prize in the category “sustainable development”. It should be noted that among the participants of the contest Committee, nominating for the award, was Professor Valery Nikulin. The member of the International Council was President of RAE and IAE Professor Boris Gusev. In modern conditions, sustainable development should become a priority of state policy in all sectors and spheres of activity. And the creation of a system that is sustainable to the inevitable changes in the parameters that determine the proportions of the development must be undertaken with the involvement of academia. Today, this process has intensified, and a prominent role in it belongs to the Russian engineering Academy.
In June 18-19, in Izhevsk, on the base of International Open Department of innovative technologies in education, science and industry of Kama Institute of Humanitarian and Engineering technologies (KIGIT), there was held a meeting (conference) with international participation on issues of sustainable development. Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the event and moderator of the discussion was the corresponding member of RAS, Professor, President of International and Russian academies of engineering (IAE and RAE), Professor-consultant of KIGIT in the Department of technology of construction and housing, Boris Gusev. Organizational issues was entrusted to Vice-President RAE and IAE, the rector of KIGIT Valery Nikulin. The meeting was attended by representatives of Russian and foreign enterprises and organizations, educational and research institutions.
In the framework of the visit to Udmurtia of members of the RAE Presidium, there was also held working meetings with the Head of Udmurtia, A. V. Soloviev, Chairman of the government of the Udmurtia, Doctor of technical sciences, academician of IAE V. A. Savelyev, Minister of education and science of Udmurt Republic, Professor A. A. Miroshnichenko, Minister of construction of Udmurt Republic I. G. Novikov, the General Director of “Specgazavtotrans” of Gazprom”, academician of RAE A A. V. Farafontov, and a number of leading specialists of industrial enterprises of Udmurt Republic.
Reinforced concrete history
In the introductory report prepared by Boris Gusev, the topic of sustainable development was presented on the example of creation of a technological platform for the production of precast concrete in the USSR.
Thanks to the implementation of its activities in 1985-1987, the Soviet Union became a world leader in the field of precast concrete structures. And not only on volumes, but also in the field of scientific research and production organization.
– This topic is close to me, because in those years I was one of the leading manufacturers of Scientific-research Institute of concrete and reinforced concrete (NIIZHB) and was involved in the development of this platform, – said Boris Gusev. – Comprehensive work on the development of industry, concentration of resources, the integration of the programmes of development resulted in a great achievement that allowed the USSR to take first place in the world for the production of precast concrete.
Among the first of solved questions was reduction of raw material consumpton. Then there came the understanding that further development of the industry requires the creation of a highly mechanized and automated assembly lines for the production of concrete products, in the previous five years, 11 million people came to the industry, and there were no additional human resources needed to expand production in the country. Therefore, teams were created for the automation of production lines, which has set a goal to increase labour productivity by 2.5 times.
At the same time, there was research work related to improving the performance of products and structures. There were developed technologies for production of prestressed lightweight concrete. Unfortunately, some areas have remained in the category of uncompleted and perspective. For example, by improvement of technological and constructive solutions, it is possible to increase the service life of concrete sleepers from 25 to 50 years, removing the need for repairs. In road construction, concrete structures, according to statistics, serve only three years, although this period was supposed to increase to at least 20 years. By developing these technologies then, we could provide higher quality today!
When the environmental issues arose, we undertook the development of technologies for utilization of concrete. The first line was intended for the production of graded aggregate of secondary use. Then, instead of this aggregate, we started to get cement M250-M300. The process temperature was about 700 degrees, which is two times lower than required in the production of cement from raw materials. Reinforced concrete almost completely processed, and this has been proven.
Today’s construction industry has made the choice mostly in favor of the monolithic reinforced concrete, and the technology of precast concrete was put to the second place, although in the world they develop and successfully used.
Sustainable development takes place in oil and gas complex. It develops more or less harmoniously, increasing the pace. And the fact that from time to time there is a decrease, is not so important. The main thing is to keep the technical structure, the system of sustainable development – all that allows to do the following steps when it is necessary.
Engineers are more important than economists
Sustainable development cannot be achieved without continuous improvement of the system of training specialists, engineers, and scientists. It gives the knowledge necessary for solving problems in the present and allow us to predict the challenges posed by the future.
- This year the Ministry of education and science of the Russian Federation established a working group, which included 8 rectors of non-state universities and leading employees of the Ministry, said rector of KIGIT Valery Nikulin. – The first meeting Deputy Minister Alexander Klimov held just before our meeting. The task of the group, designated by the Minister of education and science of the Russian Federation Dmitry Livanov, – to define the place and role of non-state education sector in the overall higher education system of the country. We were requested to develop, by 15 September, a draft document, which will include activities necessary to ensure that public and private universities worked on a parity basis, a kind of “road map” for private universities.
It should be noted that at this meeting, Kama Institute of humanitarian and engineering technologies gave an example of the course which must follow the non-government universities. Today’s policy in the field of education is the following:
- private universities will be reduced if they are, as before,will deal only with the economy and law,
- supported will be provided to those who associate their future with the development of technical, knowledge-based engineering specialties.
Our University for 22 years has produced more than 10 thousand specialists. Currently there are over two thousand students in it, including about four hundred people on a budgetary basis, and hundreds of other students on programs of additional professional education. This year we received 150 of budgetary places for reception and more than two hundred places for 2016 – they are all mostly on technically demanded areas.
Today, the leading in the number of students, have become the directions associated with the oil and gas business, technosphere safety and construction. This year we graduated 350 specialists and bachelors only from the Department of oil and gas technologies. 85 percent of graduates, according to the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation, are employed in the industry. This is a very high figure. The most rapidly developing areas are computer science and information security, design and architecture. Among the most promising areas, which develops the University, further vocational education and the applied bachelor programs. Currently technical staff are required every two years to undergo refreshing training. And for the past three years, we’re winning contests on programs of additional vocational training, announced by OAO Gazprom for its subsidiaries. Our experts conduct courses throughout the country – from Astrakhan to Nadym and Yamburg.
On the basis of DOAO “Spetsgazavtotrans” of OAO Gazprom, there were created a basic department for the construction and repair of main gas pipelines and production training site for obtaining of the professions on imported road-building machinery.
This year KIGIT successfully passed the monitoring the effectiveness of universities, re-registered the license on the new bachelor, master, and postgraduate school. Next year another accreditation will take place, and we make the necessary efforts in order to prepare and successfully pass. And, among the number of strategic challenges facing the University, there are improving the level of cooperation with enterprises of the Udmurt Republic and regions, an increase of number of foreign students – today it is one of the key criteria by which activities of the universities are being assessed.
Our man in Europe
Expansion of international cooperation in the field of scientific research, education, engineering, high-tech manufacturing is also one of the priorities in the system of sustainable development. Professor of the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), chair of the engineering Committee of Science in Europe, head of the Slovenian branch of the International engineering Academy Igor Emri emphasised that the discussion of new ideas of cooperation in scientific and industrial fields is always very helpful and noble, especially in a time when new engineering problems appear.
- Success in the future depends greatly on what we do to achieve our goals today, said Igor Emri. – I am optimistic, enthusiastic and confident that the way of Russia is full of opportunities, since the future belongs to those who possess theoretical knowledge of a high level and knows how to apply it in real situations.
The European Union is entering a new 7-year period of funding innovation and research programmes. The developed projects are considered in both areas of complex infrastructures and modern science.
I speak on behalf of the Institute for sustainable innovative technologies, which is representative of IAE in Slovenia. We seek to link the achievements of Russia and countries of the EU, because the best solutions can only be found in the integration of knowledge. And currently the best solution is impossible without Russian science. In this aspect, we just filed with one of the Russian universities joint application in the amount of 50 million euros for a research project in the field of medicine and medical supplies. And this is just the beginning of our cooperation.
Currently we are in the process of looking for a Russian partner for the project for the construction of the second tunnel between Austria and Slovenia, in the framework of a large-scale programme to upgrade transport infrastructure of Slovenia with total cost of 1 billion euros.
The potential of our cooperation in scientific and economic spheres can be developed even further. Our initiatives and projects have been strongly supported by the participation of RAE and IAE in the reorganization of the International school of postgraduate education in Slovenia. It is a way to add knowledge of the highest level into everything we do in practice. This will also push the boundaries of our innovative community and will ensure the preparation of the scientific elite of the next generation needed to achieve the scientific and economic dominance in strategic areas of science and industry.
The discussion that arose after the keynote presentations passed beyond the topic of construction. The meeting participants discussed the perspective directions of development of science and technology in V and VI waves of innovation. Technological structures, mentioned by Anatoly Speransky, Vice-President of the RAE, include ecology, human technology, materials science and nanotechnology, energy, networking, robotics, transport and communication.
- Sixth wave of innovation, is a field where talent of our country may be greatly manifested, because the available reserve is very large, – said Anatoly Speransky.
The discussion was participated by PhD Professor of KIGIT N. P. Kuznetsov, S. V. Spiridonov, V. A. Tumaev, V.V. Kasatkin, N.V. Mityukov. In the second part of the conference there were reports by experts and teachers, scientists and engineers, including talented young people – graduate students and students.
Organizations within the Russian Academy of Engineering, are ready to offer for investors a range of technologies with high degree of preparedness.
In conclusion of the meeting, Boris Gusev noted that the topic of sustainable development is a long-term topic.
- Stability is the first important thing for a man. Even when a person gets a job, he thinks, whether he will continue this work, is it worth to develop in it. I read a book about Japan, where man is supported at all stages, and the level of wages depends not only on professional skills, but also on the number of years he worked for the company. In Israel, there is the same system. And, this is probably correct. Sustainability should determine the state of society, of production, of the man himself.
Russian Academy of engineering will continue the practice started today of events dedicated to sustainable development. These topics should be discussed, the achievements should be noted, and to bring the information to the engineering community. And I think KIGIT will be one of the basic grounds for such meetings. We have already planned the next conference, which will be dedicated to waste recycling and technosphere safety, an area important on a global scale. The whole world is now in search of optimal solutions in this area. And I am sure that Russia’s participation in this process will accelerate the achievement of sustainable development.