Success Stories

Arina VOLKOVA (Russia), Christophe CLARET (Germany) and Vahab HASIRI (Iran)
  • It is really difficult to define a moment when students' startups in the modern educational system stopped being associated with something new and unusual. Even more, ideas to make startup equivalent to traditional graduate thesis are discussed at government level, and as everything new they have their pros and cons.

    Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University is 'on trend': the University encourages students' startups, and business-ideas of young scientists are supported by Business incubator 'Polytechnic'.

    During the previous academic year Polytechnic students took part in various ambitious projects: unique discussion platform Foresight Fleet 2017, final of the track TechNet - the largest start-up accelerator GenerationS in Russia and Eastern Europe, world competition for young entrepreneurs in Hong Kong, etc.

    Short-term programs of SPbPU also correspond with the modern trends. For example, under the educational module 'Global Entrepreneurship: Design Thinking and Start-Ups', of International Polytechnic Summer School, which took part in September, 2017, the students presented their own startups at the end of their studying. Arina VOLKOVA (Russia), Christophe CLARET (Germany) and Vahab HASIRI (Iran) after the end of the program shared their impressions. They are sure: the knowledge and experience they had during the Summer school will definitely be useful for their future life. Read more …

    Arina and Christoph worked in a team where also were students from France, Italy and China

    'On a one hand, we knew plenty useful information and learnt a lot, on the other hand, there was lots of fun, - says Christoph, - we created our tool from scratch: brainstormed everything, made researches, developed business-ideas and presented out product to the audience.

    Arina's and Christopsh's team was thinking about daily problems.

    'We came to the solution that when you are in a rush, you have a problem that if you drink coffee, or eat something you can muck your clothes. So we invented a tool that can clean your clothes in any situation', - says Arina.

    Their team invented a portable cleaner. This gadget is no bigger than a smartphone, and contains both iron and cleaning substance. You can carry it in your bag, and it won't take much space – the inventors assure. The group had to do a lot: they defined a target audience (businessmen with every minute planned with precision), discussed the details with engineers (they confirmed that this product implementation was possible), planned a budget, presented ideas of market promotion of a product. And, of course, the students defined and analyzed the main competitors. A similar device exists in the real market, but the group met those portable iron with a critical eye. 'You can only iron your cellar or cuffs with this gadget. Of course, it is better than nothing, but our tool is able to iron the whole shirt or trousers, and its price would be really low', - says Arina.

    In Vahab's team there were students from Russia, France, Germany and China

    In Vahab's team there were students from Russia, France, Germany and China. All of the students were interested in sport. On a final presentation they presented a special bandage, which could protect sportsmen from injuries and even replace the necessity of doing some medical operations.

    'We are seriously keen on this device, that is why I cannot describe the entire idea: we have all the chances to implement it in a real market, - says Vahab, - the diversity of cultures created amazing working atmosphere. I was very glad to meet people from different countries, to have a teamwork with them, to create a business project together. That is one of the biggest advantages of such educational programs: people learn to understand each other, respect the opinions of each other, and listen to each other. I am grateful to International Polytechnic Summer School for such an opportunity, and without any hesitation will recommend it to my friends and acquaintances'.

    A combination of science and art paves the way for new creative and brave ideas, which have all the chances to be successfully implemented. The examples of students who had not only presented their projects, but also had proved their right to exist, show once again, that there is no harm in dreaming, but there is a lot of harm in inactivity. As an ancient Roman writer and scholar Pliny the Elder told: 'How many things, too, are looked upon as quite impossible until they have actually been effected?'

Arina VOLKOVA (Russia), Christophe CLARET (Germany) and Vahab HASIRI (Iran), Believe in Startups: SPbPU Students Told About Their Projects
R Singaram (Singaram) and NG Jui Khang Emerson (Emerson)
  • Educational module 'Space Technologies' was the bright innovation of the International Polytechnic Summer School 2017. Recently 26 students from Singapore, China, Mexico, South Korea, Greece, Bulgaria and Russia have finished their space course, and now it is time to sum up: has Polytech achieved the stated goals?

    High-level international specialists were invited to give lectures and hold seminars at SPbPU. We may say that an educational process started right at the Summer school opening ceremony: Director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau François Rancy gave an introductory lecture where he told about the global role of teleradiocommunication all around the world. Within the program of the module Counselor of ITU-R Study Groups Vadim Nozdrin introduced the students with the basics of International space law and technical basics of telecommunication satellite systems design. He also told about principles of electromagnetic compatibility for space services and space technology applications. Read more …

    Under the Summer school program the lectures were given by such world-renowned scientists as Alexander Ivanchik (SPbPU) and Vladimir Mostepanenko (Pulkovo Observatory). Director of the project management office, an associate professor from Samara University Ivan Tkachenko told about educational-scientific small satellites; researcher from Crimean Astrophysical Observatory Sergey Nazarov gave a lecture 'Active galaxy nuclei'. Denis Malygin (Space Telecommunication Systems Department, SPbPU) and Vladislav Tkachuk (Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Skoltech) told about experiments in space. Particularly, the students learnt about CubeSats:  a type of mini and midget satellites for space research. According to the module there were trips to the radio astronomical observatory 'Svetloe' and to the Pulkovo observatory.

     Educational Module Space Technologies: Successful Shoot

    Two students from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) (the partner of SPbPU) R Singaram (Singaram) and NG Jui Khang Emerson (Emerson) told the International Office representative about the events they participated during their education. Both of them said that their friends would learn about International Polytechnic Summer School!

    - The Educational Module 'Space Technologies' of International Polytechnic Summer School came to the end. It was for the first time for our school. Why did you decide to learn about space?

    Singaram: Russia is well-known for Space technologies. People in your country first launched the satellite, and then your man was the first to make a journey into outer space, and you learnt aerospace in general. In Singapore we don't have space technologies as part of the curriculum. It's a good opportunity for me to learn about space. I think it would be very useful.

    R Singaram

    Emerson: In NTU I am studying Civil Engineering. In Civil Engineering you have to do buildings. So when I saw Space Technologies, it seemed very interesting for me. I know that in the world there are many considerations that the Earth is getting very uninhabitable, and people will hardly live on the Earth soon in the next thousands of years. So they will have to do distant terraforming in space which means discovering planets or satellites where it’s possible to live. For example, that's what's happening to Mars. There are people who find some suitable environment so that other people could live. And I think that we should be interested in learning about such terraforming, because we need to build buildings on the new planet or so. And it might be very different: to build on Earth or in space, because they are two different places. This was a new revelation for me, and I was just interested in learning how space technologies can help me understand the concepts better.

    - What do you think how the knowledge you've got in Space Technologies Module can help you in your future career or in your future life?

    Singaram: I am a volunteer in a team for an independent company from Malaysia, which is participating in Google Lunar XPRIZE challenge, so they are trying to launch a lunar rover. As I am a part of a team, I am trying to contribute some programming experience for the navigation of the lunar rover.  I have not been much experienced in space, so this really gave me a lot of knowledge that the people from Malaysia have not have yet. So it has given me something necessary to contribute to the lunar rover navigation.

    Emerson: For me it's an actual understanding that we - humans - are really very small in importance. When we learn about space we realize how big our Universe is, how negligable we are and there are so many things that are more important than us. And what we are doing here is just a really little contribution, but important to mankind as whole.

    - What disciplines were the most interesting for you during the educational process?

    Singaram: I would say the subjects connected with star observations, and then there was a subject about CubeSat building. It is a type of mini and midget satellite for space research. They are used, for example, in navigation. Everything connected with it was very interesting.

    Emerson: For me it the history of Space Discovery, because what happens to space is something which is so big and so profound!  For example, people from ancient times have wondered how high the sky is, whether the Earth is round or flat, and whether the Sun goes around the Earth or our planet goes around it… There were so many questions. So I was really interested in this progression in knowledge across the centuries. At first people thought that everything revolves around the Earth: the Sun, Pluto, other planets, the Moon... But the soon progress made it clear that the Earth actually revolves around the Sun, and then more and more concepts were there, and people began to know our Universe better. It's great to see through generations that people have been doing great progress in getting more knowledge of high quality. And there is so much left to learn the ropes.

    - During your studying you had some trips. Where did you go?

    Singaram: At first we visited the Radio- astronomical observatory 'Svetloe'. A very big radio telescope of 32 meters in diameter is situated there. With its help we can research different features of celestial objects not only in the Solar System, but in galaxy and even metagalaxy.

    NG Jui Khang Emerson

    Emerson: Then we visited Pulkovo Observatory. We learnt that there are studied the key elements of modern astronomy: astrodynamics, dynamical astronomy, the Sun, solar-terrestrial relations and so on.

    - What inspired you in St. Petersburg?

    Singaram: I am fond of Hermitage. The architecture, beautiful sculptures, masterpieces of art... It's splendid!

    Emerson: I was fascinated by Peterhof. This is a very historical place, and it is a great flight of imagination when you realize that there you kings and queens were, and now you may walk in these parks and gardens.

    - What can you advise to the next students of International Polytechnic Summer School?

    Singaram: Plan you expenses properly. The program of Summer School is very extensive, and there are lots of places in St. Petersburg to go. But there are places where you can't pay with a card, so it's better if you clarify these issues with tutors.

    Emerson: Enjoy the history, the culture and the incredible atmosphere of St. Petersburg, listen to your professors and, of course, spend your time with fun!

    - Singaram, Emerson, thank you very much for the interesting interview! Wish you good luck in all your projects!

R Singaram (Singaram) and NG Jui Khang Emerson (Emerson), Educational Module 'Space Technologies': Successful Shoot!
Jordi Aerts
  • In 2019, SPbPU international students for the first time ever were learning modern SAP technologies within the frame of the International Polytechnic Winter School. For a number of years, this educational module was a success in the program of International Polytechnic Summer Schools, and therefore, it was decided to introduce it to the winter school as well.

    Jordi AERTS is a student of Thomas More University (Belgium). At his school, Jordi studies special features of information security management, and he is confident that today SAP is one of the world leaders in the enterprise application market. Read in our interview about why Jordi chose to study at the International Polytechnic Winter School and whether he plans to return to St. Petersburg again. Read more …

    - Jordi, we are glad to see you! Each year, the popularity of winter student schools is going up. Could you please tell us why did you decide to come to Russia?

    - I got to know about the International Polytechnic Winter School from my teachers. I took it right away that this would be a unique opportunity to meet other foreign students, visit St. Petersburg, and study at an interesting for me SAP module. The course just over, I am already thinking about coming back to Polytechnic University: I would like to try other educational modules. It very well might be that already next summer or next year I will come here again.

    - What would you prefer to study next time?

    - I’m considering the Russian language and culture. It would be interesting to start learning Russian from the scratch. My future profession is on demand at any place where they have the Internet, and therefore I very well might be working at an international company. Who knows, it might be positioned in Russia.

    In 2019, students of the International Polytechnic Winter School studied new educational modules

    - How are the present-day SAP technologies connected with your specialization?

    - Back at Thomas More University, I study information security management. Since virtually every large company in the world uses SAP software in its operation, I need knowledge in this area. Within the framework of the International Polytechnic Winter School, we got the basic knowledge of modern SAP technologies. The information was provided in an accessible form; there were many practical exercises. We were taking notes on the most important points, and the professors gave us recommendations on how we can continue our studies. That is, I will be able to study SAP technology in more detail at home in Belgium: I already have a plan how.

    - Jordi, everything you say sounds reasonable and logical; on can immediately sense an IT specialist talking to you! You said that you would like to work at an international company in the future. Could you be more specific about this?

    - I have no specific goal to work at a large company. The main thing for me is to be of use. At high school I was quite excited about the tourist business: I think high about understanding the world. I am going to work for a few years in Belgium after I graduate, and then head for other countries. Possibly, Russia will be one of those.  

    - Did you come to this idea after coming here or you had such thoughts before that?

    - The SPbPU Winter School contributed quite a lot to my decision. This is my first experience of taking part in such international programs. When I was discussing this trip with my parents, my dad said, “Go! This will be a unique experience. Russian culture is magnificent. You will see everything with your own eyes, talk to local people; you will discover a new country for yourself.”  St. Petersburg has impressed me immensely, and I feel I will be back.

    The SPbPU White Hall impressed students of the International Polytechnic Winter School

    - And what impressions did you get from our university?

    - Just wonderful. Teachers, coordinators, tutors were very kind. Everyone was ready to help at any time. And the university campus and its auditoriums are very well tuning for the working mood. My life was full of love and care. Thank you, the Polytechnic!

    - Jordi, thank you for your emotions and sincere words. We wish you all the success and hope to see you again at Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University!  

Jordi Aerts , A Student of the International Polytechnic Winter School: I will be back!
Yutaro HARA and Hiromi TANABE
  • Mutual interests unite SPbPU not only with leading Japanese corporations but universities as well. Thus, in a number of areas, Polytechnic University cooperates with Meiji University. In particular, this interaction concerns student exchanges. During his visit to Tokyo in April 2018, the Rector of SPbPU, Academician of RAS A.I. RUDSKOI presented the Rector of  the Meiji University Keiichiro Tsuchii with certificates for Japanese students’ studies at the  International Polytechnic Summer School, which this year proved to be very popular among students from the Land of the Rising Sun. Yutaro HARA and Sonoko ITO came from Meiji University to study modern SAP technologies and special features of business and entrepreneurship; Hiromi TANABE from Ritsumeikan University also chose the entrepreneurship module; a number of other students got to study the Russian language, culture, Smart Cities and management. Read more …

    Yutaro HARA and Hiromi TANABE completed their studies in the business module at the end of September and shared their impressions with SPbPU international services after the end of the Summer School. Their interview is about what surprised Japanese students in Russia, their project work, and culinary experiments.

    - Yutaro, Hiromi, why did you decide to come to Russia?

    Yutaro: I owe this fascinating opportunity to my university: I was lucky to get a certificate for studying at the International Polytechnic Summer School. In the future, I am planning to work as a data analysis specialist, and I consider the options of working abroad. It was extremely interesting for me to know how to run business in Russia.

    Hiromi: This is not my first time in Russia, and I knew exactly what kind of summer school I needed. I wanted to take a month-long course in business in St. Petersburg, and the International Polytechnic Summer School had perfectly met my criteria.  

    Students from various countries came to SPbPU to study business and entrepreneurship

    - Was there anything that surprised you in Russia?

    Yutaro: This is my first time in St. Petersburg, and I am absolutely impressed and charmed with your city. The metro here lies very deep. I was surprised that there was no schedule for the trains and that they ran with high frequency.

    Hiromi: I was impressed with honesty and kindness of people. Earlier, I have got this stereotype that Russian citizens are strict, serious, and hardly ever smile. But this proved to be absolutely wrong! A day before our interview, I went to the Museum of Shadows but failed to find the entrance. An ordinary lady in the street called the museum and after that escorted me right to the doors, and this was extremely nice of her; I was impressed with her kindness.

    Students of the International Polytechnic Summer School worked on their projects in international groups

    - What do you think about Polytechnic University? Which of the courses stack to you memory the most?

    Yutaro: I enjoyed absolutely everything. I would like to single out the project work and the final presentation. We studied a business model at the example of a restaurant, and we worked in groups with students from various countries. Our goal was to come up with an analysis of particular products of the restaurant, ice-cream and espresso, and suggest options how we can increase profits and expand the audience using them.

    Hiromi: I agree that the final presentation on the results of the joint project was one of the most interesting events of the module. I was in the group with guys from Germany, China, and Iran. We were to analyze such products as pizza and home-made lemonade. On the one hand, that was fun, but on the other, we got to understand many principles of entrepreneurship.  

    A rich cultural program was developed for SPbPU international students

    - Was it easy for you to find common language with students from other countries?

    Yutaro: Yes, we have got a lot of new friends. We all communicated in English, and thanks to that, we could understand each other very well. Sometimes it happened that we could not come to a joint decision, but one should always be ready to such variants: this was a very good experience of working internationally. 

    Hiromi: We had been very well communicating with each other. Of course, a certain difference of cultures could be felt: for example, punctuality is extremely important for the Japanese, while some people interpret time frames a lot more liberally. However, altogether, we had a great time and have learned a lot.

    A rich cultural program was developed for SPbPU international students

    - And what about the cultural program? By the way, what do you think about the Russian cuisine?

    Yutaro: Of course we have visited the main attractions of St. Petersburg: the Hermitage, Cathedral on Spilled Blood, Peterhof. We have been to many restaurants and bars. You would not believe me, but I was most impressed with a roll of lavash: I have already learned that here, in St. Petersburg, it is called shaverma. This is unbelievably delicious!

    Hiromi: I have a whole list of places to visit.  For example, I am going to the Museum of Water shortly. As far as the food is concerned, I got introduced to the Russian cuisine in the course of my previous visit. This time, I decided to take a few experiments. It was fun! We went to a sushi restaurant with my friends, and I ordered a sushi roll.  It was absolutely unlike the sushi in Japan but I liked it!  

    - Yutaro, Hiromi, thank you very much for the interesting interview! We wish you success in your educational and creative activities!

Yutaro HARA and Hiromi TANABE, Japanese Students Spoke about Russia
Hans Geeroms, Sebastian Biakek, Tamara Malakhov, Ricardo Munoz
  • Nowadays Russian language is in the top ten of the most widely spoken languages. In the modern world about 400 million people speak Russian, and its learning is getting more and more popular: many international students prefer to come to Russia to study Russian.

    In summer 2017 about 200 young people from more than 10 countries came to International Polytechnic Summer School to learn Russian language and culture. Some of them wanted to get some common knowledge; others were interested in business communication. Besides almost all of them joined language clubs, where international students could communicate with native speakers, which helped everyone boost his or her skills.

    The reasons why students from foreign countries decided to come to Russia had much in common, but also there were some differences. It is notable that most of them chose Summer School of SPbPU according to their friends and teachers testimonials, and also according to information on the website of the university. Read more …

    'I found information amount International Polytechnic Summer School from my teachers of my University in Belgium. I have already studied Russian language for five years, and here in St. Petersburg I can have a good practice of my Russian, for example, to improve my grammar. Also I wanted to see St. Petersburg, to walk around its streets, to visit different interesting places. I love Russian classes, and also Business culture class. It was interesting, because there we could learn something about entrepreneurship in Russia. I am sure that I can use this knowledge in my future career', - says Hans Geeroms (Ghent University, Belgium).

    Hans Geeroms

    'I have always been curious about Russian higher education. Information about International Polytechnic Summer School I found in the Internet: it was number one in the search system, and I was absolutely satisfied with its description. I like Russian language, it is very melodic for me, that is why I came here. In Poland I am studying Power Engineering, and a huge part of Polish energy industry is connected with Russia. So I am sure that in future I’ll use my Russian language knowledge effectively. I preferred educational module Exploring the Russian Heritage, - tells Sebastian Biakek (University of Silesia, Poland).

    Sebastian Biakek

    'It was easier for me to start learning Russian, because my parents are Russians. Here I just wanted to strengthen my reading and writing skills. I have done some Internet research, and I found Summer School in Russia. I think that English knowledge is not enough in the modern world, so I learn another foreign language, because I believe it will help me to make my future career. The life requires to know the second foreign language, let’s be realistic!' - says Tamara Malakhov (Southern Adventist University, the USA).

    Tamara Malakhov

    Not only students come to study to International Polytechnic Summer School: for instance, Ricardo Munoz came from Spain, where he has been working as a translator for many years.

    Ricardo Munoz

    'I have already studied Russian many years ago, and recently like a half a year ago I took a course again and I wanted to improve and to boost my Russian, and at the same time to visit St. Petersburg, so I decided to join International Polytechnic Summer School. I currently work as a translator, I mostly translate from English into Spanish, and sometimes I also have to find some information in other languages. So I think it would be quite useful for me in doing my current job. Here I am focused on a program ‘Speak Russian as a Professional’, but also I had a week of General Russian. I like them both, and I think that they are equally useful for me. ‘Speak Russian as a Professional’ provides me with specific knowledge, with specific terminology and expressions from professional speech, but I think that General Russian course is just as important as Professional Russian course, because if a person wants to speak properly in different fields, he or she has to know it', - supposes Ricardo.

Hans Geeroms, Sebastian Biakek, Tamara Malakhov, Ricardo Munoz, International Students come to Russia to learn Russian