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Kyiv Polytechnic Foundation: Lessons for the present

1902. Велика хімічна аудиторія

Traditionally it is believed that the level of national education in the natural sciences and in applied fields, until recently, was extremely high. In general - it was so: in many industries and disciplines graduates and scholars of our universities not only were competitive in the world, but they took the leading positions.

However, in some ways, our scientists and frankly behind: a number of disciplines for purely subjective reasons, was pushed to the USSR Marginesy science, which, in turn, was reflected on the state of preparation of such specialists. A textbook example in this regard is the artificially created situation with the development of genetics. Consequences unceremonious interference in science from the ignorant ideology affected for many years.

However, against the backdrop of today's country's priorities, or, to be precise, almost there is no priority for the education and science in Ukraine, they have become almost invisible - too much we have lost in this field in recent years. But the most important thing is that a significant portion of current officials today not even aware of the depth of the problem.

No matter understands that someone or not, the world in which we live is, to a certain extent, is the world of technology and scientific advances. Modern technologies have a significant impact on the development of civilization. The degree of civilization of individual states depends on them. It is well known that in countries where the level of technological development and scientific research is low, the majority of the population does not have access not only to the achievements of modern material and spiritual culture, but often suffers from a lack of basic things and or food products. What kind of civilization we can speak in such conditions?

Therefore, among the main criteria for evaluating the achievement of individual states in the world, a worthy place is occupied by the economic standard of living and level of education of the nation. These are things related, which is a clear demonstration of our life today. And how will successfully develop our high school will depend on how quickly our fellow countrymen feel themselves Europeans not only in a geographical sense.

National high school, too technical, met today with the problems of the successful solution of which depends the future of not only itself, but also of our country. Because the country's economy cannot be self-sufficient, if it is based on outdated technological structures. Therefore, the state with such economy will always catch up with neighbors only by imitating and mechanically repeating only that will allow her to copy the leading countries.

Note that the national science and higher education meet with such problems not for the first time. And in the end they always successfully overcome the difficulties. So, perhaps, you should use the experience of predecessors. Of course, it should not be considered an acceptable today's realities of our time, but looking at the past and given its lessons can be successful and the future. Enough food for thought and, in certain terms, the role model in this regard can give an attentive contemporary history of creation and the first steps of the Kiev Polytechnic. Especially because this year we celebrate the one hundred and tenth anniversary of the founding of the Institute and one hundred and fifth anniversary of its first issue.

Economists estimate that the growth rate of production in Russia in the last decade of the XIX century and the beginning of the twentieth century were the highest in Europe. The Russian Empire quickly lost archaic patriarchal agricultural traits and was on the way of the transition for the industrial development. It immediately gave the results: the average annual growth of the Russian economy for the whole quarter of a century was ahead of the development of other economies of other developed countries, amounting to 8% in 1889-1899, respectively, and 6.25% in the 1900-1913 years. I should add that in the period between 1890 and 1913 the country's industry increased its production by almost four times. A growth rate of the manufacturing industry in the country for, say, 1893-1897 years were four times higher than in the previous five years, and six times higher than in the 1878-1887. A prominent place among the leaders of this growth owned industrial enterprises, which were on the territory of Ukraine.

Not surprisingly, therefore, the need for qualified personnel to the domestic industry every year increased. Especially because in the development of new techniques and technologies there are increasingly used the science achievements, both fundamental and applied. Therefore, only limited practical skills and intuition workers were not enough. From now on basic and technical expertise needed not only for the development and implementation of original products, but even to just use the latest equipment.

Do not take this into account meant to condemn the case to the defeat in the competition and lost profits. However, the engineering staff in Russia was lacked. Only one example: according to official data in 1892, only 7.5% of managers all the factories and mills of Russia had technical education, and higher professional education - only 1%!

But where could take professionals if at the end of the XIX century in the Empire there were acted only 9 higher technical educational institutions?

This situation was very well known abroad - not for nothing that in the early nineties of the XIX century in Germany, the opening of new technical schools was motivated by the construction of the Siberian (!) Of railways in Russia. Moreover, the proportion of young Russian nationals who sought the profession of engineer, due to the lack of higher educational institutions of technical profile were forced to travel abroad to study. It is known, for example, that in 1896 only in the Saxon higher technical schools there were studied about 400 Russian citizens.

So, it was time to open new schools technical profile. It was quickly realized by the owners of industrial enterprises, who had to involve foreign experts, even at the cost of their services. No less important was the fact that the urgency to address the issue of domestic training of engineers and technicians was clear and to some far-sighted officials, who saw that ignoring this problem dooms the country to economic backwardness and dependence on far-reaching neighbors.

For Ukraine, or the Southwestern region, as it was called in those days our land in official and semi-official documents, the problem of training of domestic engineering staff was particularly acute. Despite the fact that the growth in industrial production took place here especially rapidly, intellectual and organizational, so to speak, to ensure this process is carried out by foreigners, because the relevant experts to 1898 were prepared only in Kharkov Practical Institute of Technology. Department of Technology, which produces engineers were existed in the universities of Kiev, Kharkov and Odessa, but it was not enough. Therefore, the theme of the opening of new higher technical educational institutions in the largest industrial center of the region representatives of the local business community raised for any reason.

Among the main industrial centers at the end of the XIX century there was Kiev. In the Russian Empire, it became the capital of this sugar, trade and milling industry. With the rest of the country it is connected by network traffic arteries - in fact the beginning of the development of the country's railway communication Kiev very quickly turned into a powerful transportation hub: it crossed the South-West, Moscow-Kiev-Voronezh, Poltava, Kovel railway. Transport capacity Kiev successfully complements its location on the banks of the main by water transport artery - the Dnieper. Therefore, the machine-building enterprises were growing like mushrooms after rain.

On the dynamics of development and concentration of industrial production in Kiev it was witnessed the fact, for example, that only from 1890 to 1900, the total number of large enterprises, employing between 500 and 1,000 or more workers, more than doubled, and the small semi-handicraft workshops - decreased more than four times. The number of factory workers doubled. A number of merchants (today's language - entrepreneurs) here was the highest among the other settlements of Ukraine - according to the 1897 census is still state owned more than 5,000 people of Kiev.

The first attempts at opening in Kyiv Technical School were made in 1880. This year was the anniversary for the ruling dynasty – it marked the 25th anniversary of the reign of Emperor Alexander II. Members of the Kiev Exchange Society and the owners of sugar mills have decided that this date is a good enough reason to start in Kiev its own technical educational institution and announced a subscription to its organization. The first action in favor of financial technical school gave 20,800 rubles. Then the process slowed down a bit, but the raising funds for a new school did not stop. In 1895, the capital together with interest reached almost 70 000 rubles.

Interestingly, among the contributors to the new deal were not only the people directly related to the industry and trade. There were also those who, in modern logic, the question of technical education would not get, for example, a prominent marine painter Ivan Aivazovsky, transfered 300 rubles, the proceeds from the exhibition of paintings, arranged in the building of the Exchange.

But really practical level the issue of opening a new school got in the late nineties of the XIX century. At that time the matter was joined by the Kiev government in the face of the vowels of the City Council and its then chairman Stepan Solski, and the power of the state, represented by the Minister of Finance of the Russian Empire 1892 until 1903, and then Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers Sergei Witte.

The initiators of the technical school in Kiev met a senior comprehensive understanding of their intentions. The issue of creating Kiev technical educational institution was considered by the tsar, who gave an undertaking legitimacy by defining responsibility for its implementation. Development and approval by law and statute states the Kiev Polytechnic Institute was entrusted to the Ministry of Finance headed by S.Vitte. In Kiev, to collect donations for the institute and organization structures necessary for this institution houses under the direction of Kiev, Podolia and Volyn Governor-General it had be arranged the organizing committee (had already been made by enthusiasts this case).

City officials also allocated land and pretty much money at the time (300,000 rubles) to the construction of the institute.

It should be noted that Sergei Witte in general played a prominent role in the development of technical and economic education in the country. During his tenure as Minister of Finance, on his initiative, the promotion and direct participation there were founded three polytechnics (Warsaw, Kiev and St. Petersburg), 73 commercial schools, 35 schools of the merchant fleet, and even some industrial and art schools. And it was his idea to open in Kiev a narrow profile technical school, European polytechnic level similar to the famous L'Ecole Politechnique - Polytechnic School, founded in 1795 by the Convention of the French Republic. It was the first higher technical educational institution of a new type, where students receive the skills in narrow specialization and deep natural science basic training in mathematics, physics, chemistry and other disciplines that are combined with general engineering courses and professional practical work in manufacturing, construction and in research laboratories. On this system it was built training in Aachen, Vienna, Magdeburg Technical University, the Imperial Higher Technical School (now the Moscow State Technical University. Bauman), and others.

In the active phase of the implementation of plans to open a new high school passed in spring 1897, when the Committee on the construcion of the Polytechnic Institute received official status and officially it was determined that the institution will submit to the Ministry of Finance. Direct management of all aspects of the Polytechnic in Kiev and its further activities was entrusted to the Department of Commerce and Manufactures, who led V.I.Kovalevsky.

In November of the same year, the Kiev governor-general Ignatiev transferred to the Ministry of Finance the draft Charter of the KPI developed by the Committee members: professor at Kiev University of St. Vladimir M.K.Rennenkampf, D.I.Pihno, M.A.Bunge, F.YA .Fortinsky. This document formed the basis of the Regulation on the institute approved by the tsar of six months after - in July 1898 year. Incidentally, it was envisaged that the government allocated for the needs of the state educational institution annually 350 000 rubles. Regulations have also been determined that the Institute will provide training in four areas, which correspond to mechanical, chemical, engineering (ie, in modern language, construction) and agricultural department.

At the end of November 1897 it was announced a competition for preliminary designs structures KPI. It was allocated 1000 rubles for the draft and, in addition 4000 rubles to the authors acknowledge the best project after correction by the author according to the comments received." And in March of next year the competition commission reviewed the projects of buildings of Kiev Polytechnic Institute has decided on the winner of the contest. Of the eight projects submitted to it was recognized as the best development of the famous architect Kitner. The project was presented under the eloquent motto "Prestissimo" ("very fast"), and in fact, the pace of its implementation were very high: in May began excavation, and in September next, in 1899, it was consecrated the first institute building. They were the Chemical Corps and houses for teachers. A whole complex of college buildings, which lie on a fairly large area of 38 tithes (over 41 hectares), designed specifically as an educational complex, a kind of student-professor's town. In it the idea of polytechnic education, whose task is not only the accumulation of future specialists certain amount of knowledge, but also the formation of skills of independent activity, could be brought to life to the fullest. Students had the opportunity to not only listen to lectures, but also to work in laboratories, production workshops, in the end - at the training farm with an experienced field and sheep barns. Of course, in such conditions provide an opportunity for active research activities, especially as the basis for all personnel thirty-five departments became again the then outstanding scientists from St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kharkov and Kiev, which were not only experienced teachers, but also actively worked scientists in their respective industries.

Form a powerful pedagogical scientific staff of the institute it was managed primarily through the efforts of its first director Victor Kirpichiov. He was the Chairman of the Southern Society Technologies, a famous scientist in the field of mechanics and strength of materials, the author of the first Russian textbook "Machine parts". V.Kirpichev was the organizer and permanent (since 1885 ) director of the Kharkov practical technological institute. V.Kirpichov not only fully shared the idea founders of Kyiv Polytechnic Institute on the principles of providing training in the new institution of higher technical education, but at the time was one of the sponsors of the draft general integrated development plan for industrial and professional training in Russia, which was developed at the initiative of and with the participation of the predecessor Witte as Minister of Finance, the eminent scientist Professor I.O.Vishegradsky. The basis of this project were the idea of the rational organization of the higher technical school, which became one of the cornerstones of a broad program of development, come to life in the late XIX - early XX centuries.

To work in the new institute there came such well-known scholars in their fields, as chairman of the Mathematical Society of Europe, the first mathematician of Kiev, a corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, Professor Vasily Ermakov; Founder of domestic steam turbines industry Alexander Radtsig; one of the founders of the theory of metal cutting and also a well-known expert on mills and flour milling technology Professor Konstantin Zworykin; outstanding chemist Professor Mikhail Konovalov; founder of the Russian school of animal science professor Nicholas Chervinskiy; one of the most famous in the country expert in the field of tillage equipment professor Camille Schindler; famous Ukrainian painter Nicholas Pimonenko; later - an outstanding scientist and engineer, constructer of bridges Eugene Paton; recognized, despite the then young age, asn expert in the field of applied mechanics, strength of materials and the stability of mechanical systems Stepan Tymoshenko and many other equally significant figures.

It should be noted that from the very first hours of his appointment V.L.Kirpichov engaged not only in the selection of teachers and curriculum development, but all the problems of building the campus purchases in Germany, England, France, and the best domestic factories advanced equipment for laboratories, workshops and case cabinets, the formation of the institute's library, and in the end, the first set of students organizations and introduction of an integrated system of training for industry, construction and agriculture, which combined a thorough theoretical training, particularly in-depth study of mathematics, physics, chemistry, experimental work in the laboratory and mandatory production practices.

The first students of the Kiev Polytechnic Institute started their studies in September 1898. Prior to the completion of the first own educational building classes were held in the premises of the new Commercial School in the street boulevard-Kudryavsky provided by the Polytechnic Institute in rent for 1 year for 25,000 rubles for this well-known businessman, donated shugar mamufacturer Lazar Brodsky. This year was marked not only by "running" courses, but also a lot of work on arrangement of laboratories, workshops and professional collections, so a year later institute had more than 20 laboratories and workshops, which in terms of equipment was not inferior to the best foreign institutions.

The second school year began in the new academic building chemistry department. In this case, the construction work carried out in parallel with the educational process and did not stop even for a day - it was soon completed the construction of the main building and it started interior finishing work, the house is built mechanical workshops, performed planning and paved areas of the pavement was almost complete arrangement of barnyard and services .

And in April 1902, the members of the Board of KPI signed the Act of acceptance of the whole complex of the institute. Building your own "house of the institute" was completed.

105 years ago, in January 1903, the first graduation of students of the institute. Specialists, who have received diplomas of Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, brilliantly confirmed the correctness of the concept that underlies the organization of educational process at the institute. This was witnessed in a memo addressed to the Minister of Finance, wrote, in particular, luminary of domestic science Dmitri Mendeleev, who headed the state examination board:

"With 35 years of experience in certification in higher education, I venture to say that such a common set of special works of students graduating (course) I've seen the students of the first issue of the Kiev Polytechnic can not be found in the well-known universities and me Institutes of Technology ...

So I'm happy to have the opportunity to bring to the attention of your Excellency on excellent results of the first release of the KPI, they promise much for the future ... ".

Currently, the institute has already started to form its own schools, which for many years have identified the development of Ukrainian applied science and technology. Note that most teachers KPI successfully combines teaching-research with practical activities. Among these is sufficient, for example to remember the name Paton, who in the early years of his work at the Institute has designed bridges in Tbilisi, two bridges over the bridge across Ros and Peter the mall in Kiev, the construction of which have been implemented ideas that were immediately picked up by the bridge builders across the country. It shoud be noted K.O.Zvorikin, with his projects there have been created not only a few mills Kiev, but Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod mill plants. G.D.Dubelira supervised the construction of the first bridge in Kiev on Khreschatyk Street and Fundukleyev (now - B.Khmel'nicky). He was the chief technical adviser of the Company Kiev Railway (ie Kiev trams). O.Ya.Stupina’s results of research in the field of heat which had of great practical importance for the development of energy and other industries in Ukraine. M.A.Artemev created the institute first-class electrical laboratory, where he conducted experiments and tests of protective equipment for workers power. S.P.Timoshenko not only has updated training on strength of materials, began teaching a course at the Institute of elasticity theory, expanded and new equipment pereustatkuvav mechanical laboratory, but also solved a number of new challenges to the stability of compressed bars, rectangular plate bending lateral stability of beams and demonstrated the practical usefulness of the proposed methods. M.I.Konovalov developed methods for oxides, alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, developed methods for isolation and purification of various naphthenes and the like. K.G.Shindlercreated in the KPI machine-research station for testing of agricultural machines and implements, in which successfully combines the activities to prepare practical recommendations for designers to improve agricultural machines and implements with the educational process, and many others.

In the early twentieth century in KPI there were scientific and technological groups, playing a significant role in the training of qualified engineers. There evolved a system of scientific and technical thinking of students, to deepen their knowledge in some (though most modern!) branches of science imparted a taste for self-search and design activities. Members of the groups sometimes become true pioneers in their fields, the most striking example of which was the work of Ballooning groop KPI.

Among those who went through the school Ballooning group KPI, we should mention the outstanding aircraft designers I.Sikorsky and D. Grigorovich. It is impossible not to remember and no less famous designer of aircraft engines O.Mikulin. And the groupe became the cradle for several dozen well-known domestic aircraft designers of the first generation whose names forever were recorded in the history of domestic aircraft industry: F.Anders, brothers Eugene, Ivan and Andrei Kasyanenko, F.Tereschenko, F.Bilinkin, Adler, B. Jordan and many others. The group was the first in Ukraine avia-designer school, formed the basis for the development of the Ukrainian aerospace industry. Circle actually served as the country's first experimental educational institution aerotechnical profile.

In general, many technical industries owe the beginning of its development in Ukraine Kiev Polytechnic. Moreover, the departments KPI became the basis of many public institutions of higher education later: the National Agrarian University (1922), Odessa State Maritime University (1930), Kiev State Technical University of Construction and Architecture (1930), Kiev National University of Technology and Design (1930) , Dnipropetrovsk National Technical University of Railway Transport (1930), National University of Food Technologies (1930), Kharkiv State Automobile and Road Technical University (1930), the National Aviation University (1933), Vinnytsia National Technical University (1974), Cherkasy State Technological University ( 1991.), Zhytomyr Engineering and Technological Institute (1991).. In addition, developmental division KPI became the basis for the creation of two well-known companies in the world - the collective enterprise "Kievtraktorodetal" and joint-stock company "Sprout" (former factory "Tochelektropribor").

Can experience the first years of the Kiev Polytechnic be useful today? Certainly. Interesting, for example, can be a way to achieve synergies between the state and private founders in organizing activities and identify areas and volumes of preparation of students. And it is interesting not only for the current officials that determine the main ways of development of higher education and science, and, above all, for entrepreneurs engaged in the real economy. Already, staff shortages in the industry becomes a problem. And the phrase that a particular product is "no one can do it," in some enterprises has become almost habitual. It is likely that if privatization of entire sectors, the personnel problem should be solved primarily by the new owners.

Another aspect - research. In high school, now gathered the best experts on certain scientific and applied disciplines. In most developed countries of the world it is carried out in high school, not only applications, but also basic research in various fields of science and technology. In addition, teachers who are active in science, have the ability to replace the existing reproductive system of education innovation and motivate their students' work.

The effectiveness of this approach was witnessed by the results of KPI activities in the first years of its activity, when scientists and engineers whose names were known far outside the country came to teach in the institute. Actually, in the following years it was characteristic of the KPI, and therefore never broke ties with the production of the Institute. Today, it is especially important for us, because the decline in production has led to a weakening of the factory sector of science and reduce the number of factory scientific institutions - research organizations and industrial enterprises, design institutions, design organizations. This is clearly illustrates the relationship between the number of scientific personnel of higher qualification (PhDs), which operate in different sectors of science: Industrial and factory - up to 18%, in the academic - about 28%, the rest - in education.

By the way, nothing unusual is in such a ratio : given the saturation indices of scientific personnel correspond to the level of developed countries, Europe, first and foremost. Higher education institutions - the main source of new knowledge, and knowledge is becoming an increasingly important factor in the development of the European economy. Therefore more attention is payed by our neighbors - the EU - research universities - schools where there are enhanced fundamental components in learning, and in research. Because today's technology can not be created without a deep understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological processes at the molecular level and at the nanoscale, and at the same time without the possession of practical skills and abilities, without which there can be held a full-fledged specialist. All this is not only at the undergraduate, and not so much in the classroom as in laboratories, in test benches, while working on modern equipment, in the end - during the actual research and development.

The prototype of a research university in the country was the Kiev Polytechnic Institute since his creation. So it remained for many years. Now it takes the first steps to get closer to such a status in its modern sense. Modernistic development industries and technologies are impossible without serious interdisciplinary research.

In the organization of the withdrawal of our science, higher education and, if greater, the whole country from the current turmoil, we can with some reservations and use the experience of countries that have crossed the path of total destruction to the flourishing - Germany, Japan, South Korea and others. In a deep, sometimes tragic crisis these countries have concentrated their efforts on the organization of science and the use of innovative technologies and management practices, training and education of the youth, on the formation and approval of the national idea. And if such a system of priorities has justified itself there that, except, of course, subjective factors that may be on her way with us? But even borrowing the interesting experience of neighbors, we should not forget the legacy that left us great predecessors, whose experience, even a hundred years ago, can also serve the future.

Michael Zgurovsky Rector NTUU "KPI", academician of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine


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