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How can a first-year student become an inventor?

Як першокурснику стати винахідником

The author of a new model of the innovation process, known as "triple helix" (university – business sector – an innovative development of the country), a professor of Stanford University and enterprise research centre of Business school of Edinburgh University, Henry Inkovits, regards the university as a main center of innovative policy or entrepreneurial business. Rector of NTUU “KPI”, academician M. Zgurovsky, supporting the author of the new model, emphasizes that thousands, or even tens of thousands of students with new ideas which should be introduced in the industry and entered into the markets, attend the universities, especially scientific research ones. After all, the greatest world innovative projects in due time were created by such young inventors as Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, Bill Hewlett and David Packard, Mark Zuckerberg and others.

Most of our university students know the story of a deviser who has made an invention, patented it, and then he became famous and rich: bought a car, cottage, yacht and so on. For many everything ends after hearing this “story”, since a dream of becoming the inventor for KPI students is not always continued. Unfortunately, many of them even cannot imagine what a huge importance such a thing as a patent has in the economic, scientific and technical development of each country.

So, getting a professional education, KPI students have to raise to a new level scientific and technical work, which has crucial importance both for the further development of the society and for the student‘s future. It is necessary to involve learners in research and innovation work at the first stages of learning, i.e. at the first year. This approach allows to wake up research and innovation activity, provides a formation of a young engineer, further development of his knowledge and future use of his creative and scientific potential. This way was passed by the author of this article when after graduation from the engineering college in Berdichev, he started to work on the department at his first year.

It is quite difficult to discover future inventors and scientists among first-year students, i.e. school graduates. We should take into account the fact that not all learners are seeking to become devisers, since everyone has his or her own aspirations.

From practical experience of native and foreign universities it is known that providing quality education is possible only on the assumption of an organic combination of academic and research work of teachers and students. This difficult task can be solved only with the help of some order in getting new knowledge, new levels and methods of thinking, abilities, skills and algorithms for obtaining these categories of experience. Unfortunately, based on the analysis of the scientific work of students in Ukrainian universities we see that there is no clear system of providing of creative overall training of future professionals, especially taking into consideration the significant reduction in economic contractual work, owing to which an older generation of teachers and researchers was creatively grown.

I want the newspaper to share experience of research work which involved first-year students of PMF, including the department of descriptive geometry, engineering and computer graphics. Clearly, mostly of them were learners of such scientific and technical disciplines as "Descriptive Geometry", "Engineering and Computer Graphics", "Computer Graphics". These subjects are important for career guidance for future processing engineers, design engineers, etc., since they are basic for the development both of the theory and methods of images and also spatial reasoning of future engineers. In the future it will be easier for students to acquire knowledge on such subjects as "Analytic Geometry", "Technical Mechanics", "Machine components", "Strength of Materials", "Mechanical Engineering" and others. It is also important for various types of designing, reading and preparing drafts with the help of a universal graphics system AutoCAD and other computer programs.

So how can we make the inventor out of first-year students? Delivering the first lectures on the above subjects for students of ICF, I briefly tell that there are creative students who already become inventors at the first year, and show several patents, whose co-designers they are. Since our university is attended by creative learners who understand what the invention represents, 10-15 or even more people from an audience immediately arrange for detailed examination of these works and patents. Of course, that is done by best students, who show high knowledge and skills at workshops, can work out of the lecture-hall and find time for performing research work. The teachers who take classes in other groups and on other faculties: IME, TEF, FEL, FAM, etc, help to find such students.

Research community "Applied geometry, design and innovation policy", founded on PMF in September 2011, works with interested students and helps them in research work, official registration and filing of patent applications and so on. At present the investigations of economic contracts for PA "Ternopil combine plant", "Dnepropetrovsk combine plant", Institute for sugarbeet growing, OJSC "Budshlyahmash" and other enterprises are carried out.

Based on this experience (more than 100 patents for inventions) and taking into consideration the experience of publications of famous inventors – Y. Salamatov, H. Altshuller and others, I present a procedure of getting patents which was introduced on the department of descriptive geometry, engineering and computer graphics on PMF in recent years.

The algorithm of getting patents

  1. Find the idea or object for study and discovering something new (a student can do it himself or with the help of the teacher, sometimes students bring previously received inventors certificates of their parents or grandparents).
  2. Determine and set a goal which performs new settings of our subject of inquiry.
  3. Determine, owing to which operations this can be achieved: by deformation of a working surface, by changing a movement parameter, etc.
  4. Determine the section where our object is placed: library, search engines of the Internet or directly in the Republican Patent Fund (Google Patent).
  5. Find advisably several similar patents and make sure that we invent something new, rather than "bicycle".
  6. Determine analogues and prototypes and make a construction of the new solution. Prepare a draft of the new design.
  7. Write a subject of invention which is the basis for further description and registration of a claim for the discovery.
  8. Provide the description of the invention, revealing all the necessary sections and write the essay on known samples.
  9. Apply to university patent agents and fill the claim for the discovery, and all other required documents (a set of documents is in the department of patent ownership in Science Park "Kyiv Polytechnic").

It will take a little while after filing for the patent and you cannot imagine a face of the first-year student, who gets the first patent, his first scientific publication! Invaluable experience is already received by him and teachers on the older years should only maintain and use the scientific potential. We are not parting with these students because they are receiving patents during the further learning. For the period of writing the bachelor's and master's degree they already have several patents, i.e. the creative process captured them and they know what the scientific and technical creativity is and what joy of received result they can get.

There are more than thirty students who received patents at the first year. Some of them have become candidates of engineering sciences, docents (O.L.Sokolsky, V.M.Lukashova, V.M. Derkach, P.M.Yablonsky), now they teach their students scientific and technical creativity. Formation of inventors out of first-year students allows them to become promising scientific and technical worker, researcher or teacher in the future. In conclusion, I would like to name students who have received patents and have such prospect: Alexander Roslov, Alexander Ponomarenko, Irina Chernyak, Anatoly Abayev, Alexey Goncharenko, Maxim Hotynetsky, Dmitry Bruyev, Nikolai Vorontsov, Dasha Stepaniuk, Inna Pogrebna (ICF ), Maria Hubych (PMF), Andrew Grynyuk (FW), Vladimir Karpyuk (TEF), Dmitry Targan (IME) and others.

I wish such students to achieve much success in scientific, technical and innovation creativity!

V.P.Yurchuk, Professor of PMF


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