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From the past to the future: the new realities of the Kiev Polytechnic

1898. Генеральний план садиби Київського політехнічного інституту

Kyiv Polytechnic, which turns 115 this year, carefully saves its history. Many famous people who had glorified our country in many fields of science and technology, entered the pantheon of great polytechnics forever. Victor Kirpichev, Evgeny Paton, Sergei Korolev, Arkhyp Pipe, Mikhail Kravchuk and many others brought fame to KPI for eternity. Now monuments to these outstanding personalities decorate the Walk of Fame of the University. The next step is to open a new monument – to Wojciech Svyentoslavskomu, the distinguished Polish scientist, former Minister of Education of Poland 1913 and a graduating student of Polytechnic Institute. By the way, funds for this monument were collected voluntarily not only in Ukraine but also in Poland.

As far as you know, Kyiv Polytechnic was established in 1898 with the Polytechnic Institute in St. Petersburg and Warsaw. . Three new universities were created at the request of the time: in the south - Kyiv, in the north - Saint Petersburg and in the west – Warsaw. There was the only decree of the king, which led to starting construction, (Tsar Nicholas II signed it in June 1898). And the initiative to establish polytechnic institutes in these cities belonged to the Minister of Finance of Russian Empire of that time, to the Count Sergei Witte. It was he who persuaded the rich men in Kiev in requirement to create not a secondary technical school, but higher. And it was a farsighted decision.

Major role in the creation and development of KPI played patrons, or now so-called sponsors. Charity was very common in the Russian Empire. Therefore, funds for a new higher educational establishment in Kiev donated such "Sugar Kings" as Nicholas Tereshchenko with his sons, Lazar Brodsky, a prominent seascape painter Konstantin Aivazovsky and others. A significant contribution to the KPI has been made by the City Council and Kyiv population, which in a short time collected over 300 thousand rubliv.

Personnel database of all thirty-five departments of the new Institute was made up of distinguished scientists from St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kharkiv and Kyiv. The first rector of the Kiev Polytechnic was Victor Kirpichev – the Head of association of technologists, a renowned scientist in the field of mechanics and resistance of materials, the author of the first textbook in the country called "Machine elements" and who until then has held the position as the director of the Kharkov Institute of Technology. Such recognized scholars and teachers as Basil Ermakov who was one of the co-organizers of the Kiev Physical and Mathematical Society and Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences, Alexander Radtsih, one of the founders of the Ukrainian school of steam turbine construction, Constantine Zworykin, an outstanding authority on the theory of cutting metals and also known as an expert of milling industry and flour-milling technologies, a distinguished scientist in the field of petrochemicals Mikhail Konovalov, a prominent expert in the field of agricultural machines and technologies Camille Shindler also had joined KPI.

Not long after, a prominent scholar and bridge-builder, who later became the founder of the Ukrainian Electric Welding School, Yevhen Paton associated himself with KP as well as one of the most respected, despite his young age, scientists in the field of applied mechanics, resistance of materials and security strength of mechanic systems Stephen Timoshenko and many others.

They not only had quickly established KPI learning process in the relevant areas, but also became the founders of scientific schools and traditions which are being preserved and developed up to now.

Soon KPI had occupied a prominent place in the Empire among group of research institutions. A work of his lecturers, staff and students quickly gained international recognition, research papers of V. P.Izhevskoho, S.P.Tymoshenka, K.A.Krasutskoho, VG Shaposhnikov and others have often been published in foreign scientific journals.

Then KPI has created an effective system of attracting students to science. It was established on the basis of scientific and technical groups that played a significant role in the training of qualified engineers. By means of those groups a system of scientific and technical thinking in students was formed, there they deepened their knowledge in specific (the latest) Scientific fields as well as acquired a taste for research work and engineering activities.

Study group sometimes became true pioneers in their fields, vivid example of this was the work of aeronautical KPI group, chaired by the Charter of the Institute, was its director, but actual principal was the Professor of mechanics Nicholas Delaunay, the pupil of ME Zhukovsky.

Among those who received training of this group, the names of the outstanding aviation engineers Igor Sikorsky and Dmitry Grigorovich, equally well-known designer of aircraft engines Alexander Mikulina and couple more of tens famous domestic air first generation of designers whose names are forever inscribed in the history of the domestic aviation - Theodore Anders, brothers Eugene, John and Andrew Kasyanenko, Theodore Tereshchenko, George Adler and many others should be mentioned.

The group became the first in Ukraine aircraft design school which led to the foundation of the entire Ukrainian aircraft building industry, and in fact served as the first experimental educational institution Aircraft profile of the country.

History does not end with the founders and first names of famous graduate students of KPI. It is never-ending and its new history is being created by the current generation.

New trends in science, technology, new laboratories, faculties and institutes are being emerged. In 1998, the KPI has got a new status – it became the National Technical University of Ukraine "Kyiv Polytechnic Institute" and in 2007 turned into the first Research Universities of Ukraine.

New conditions demanded new approaches to teaching and research methods, thus the University moved to the implementation the practice of training and conduct model called "knowledge triangle": education - science - innovation. It is worth noticing that such a model based on the science and innovation is as a crucial resource at the present stage of economic development.

It is clear that the effect of these changes was greater integration of research activities with the educational process. Now our students gain knowledge and skills in forming not only during lectures and laboratory work. From the very beginning of education they are involved in a range of scientific problems, which their teachers-researcher dealing with. This work is really serious and has tangible results; it is suitable for practical implementation and application into production.

So naturally we understand the need to create an innovative environment where faculty, staff and students should have the opportunity to collaborate with experts of investment funds, business stuctures and high-tech companies. The role of such environment is realized through the Science Park "Kyiv Politehnic."

The creation of this park was preceded by serious work of the University with the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the result of which was approved the Law of Ukraine "On the Science Park" Kyiv Polytechnic "in December 22, 2006; it is the first such law in the country!

The provisions of this legal act applicable to four groups of participants in the innovation process: the first is a research group generating ideas and know-how, the second one is represented by the faculties and departments of the University that "generate" quality "human material", and the third - the company that in the market for high-tech products, and the fourth - this investment and venture capital funds.

Thus the science park allows you to combine scientific research with business ideas and implementing them into practice. A business incubator to commercial scientific research align students with their projects, students and teachers and researchers "KPI", which, through science park are able to significantly shorten the path from idea to practical implementation. Naturally, the science park called "Kiev Polytechnic" and actively involved in solving national technically-engineering problems.

In October 2011 the Scientific Council of the University adopted a new strategy of development for the next decade. The strategy is based on the fact that KPI had acquired the status of a research university - incidentally, one of the first in the country. This led to clarify the basic principles of its activity, significantly increasing the interaction between education, research and innovation components of the entire teaching and research staff.

However, in this new model of training should not be exceptionally technical. On the contrary, high-tech job market mostly needs professionals who have a sound fundamental education and who are able to formulate complex problems, manage processes comprehensively, and systematically estimate the full impact of various management decisions. Thus, the University brings the fundamentalization into action according to the physical and technical model, which provides a synthesis of profound general knowledge of natural and engineering.

Of course, new realities require completely different approaches to the construction of Economics of the University. This is dictated by the fact that the essential feature of the present stage of development of our country is a significant slacking of state functions in supporting its own education and science. Unfortunately, the state is unable to neither politically nor financially or even organizationally to hold leading positions of these industries.

Moreover, since the time Ukraine is independent the vast majority of capital moved to the private sector. It has some advantages: industrial private companies keenly competing in their products in foreign and domestic markets require the renewment of new inventions and high-quality personnel in order to survive and keep developing. Therefore, they are increasingly focused on issues of training of engineers and become equal partners of University in the organization.

One way to establish such a partnership is to create together with leading companies and research institutions common joint teaching laboratories and centers, moreover not only national. Today at NTU "KPI" successfully operate the laboratory "Microsoft - KPI" at the Faculty of Computer Science, Academy CISCO at the Institute for Applied System Analysis and Department of Computer Science, Laboratory "FESTO" at the Institute of Mechanical Engineering, Laboratory "Motorola-KPI "at the Faculty of aviation and space systems and the Faculty of Applied Mathematics, laboratory" Press of Ukraine "at the Publishing and printing Institute; common with "Kyivenergo" center "Networks" located at the Faculty of heat and power; laboratory of "DTEK" feature to heat and power departments, electric and automation and the Institute for Energy Saving and Energy Management, Training and Research Center of "ABB" consisting of four laboratories at the faculty of Electric Power Engineering and Automation, educational and Scientific Center X-ray analysis of "KPI" - "RYHAKU" at the faculty of engineering Physics, joint Ukrainian-Japanese scientific training laboratory microscopy and rapid Scientific and educational Center "Nanoelectronics and Nanotechnology" at the Department of Electronics and many others.

In total, there are dozens of such subdivisions.

The intense and focused work gives the results: "KPI" during the sixth year in a row holds leadership positions in major national rankings, and from the 2011/2012 school year according to the international QS and Webometrics KPI is in the list of 4% best Universities in the world and is considered to be the standard-bearer of the national higher technical education.

Thus our University, which is 115 years old, is assured to have a respectable position in the future, making great efforts to provide infinity of its existence.

MZ Zgurovsky, Rector of NTU "KPI", Academician of NAS of Ukraine


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