How Students Can Work at ITMO’s Labs?

Your dream student job is closer than it looks! If you want to challenge yourself you could try working on a project at one ITMO’s laboratories.

Autonomous charging drone station. Photo courtesy of the author.

I am a Bachelor’s student in Robotics, and a few years ago I was wondering if I could do something practical connected to my degree. For the past two years, I’ve been working as a design engineer in the Autonomous drone laboratory (ADL). However, not many students know that they can start working on a project connected to their degree at ITMO University even in the first year of studies, so in this article, you will learn some useful facts about it.

One of the main questions is "How can I find and join a project which will be interesting and valuable for me?" And the answer to that is simple. First of all, you should go and search for information about laboratories in your field of studies. You can ask your teachers or go to open laboratories, for instance, FabLab or OLIMP Open Laboratory. I tried both ways but the first one proved more effective and I joined a small but ambitious student laboratory ADL after a conversation with my robotics teacher.

I started with simple tasks and gradually took more and more complex ones. After a few months, I joined my first large project on an autonomous charging drone station for quadcopters. I had been working on it with our team of students until this winter, we had also done other projects but they were less interesting.

Chemical manipulators. Photo courtesy of the author.
Chemical manipulators. Photo courtesy of the author.

Another good example of a laboratory at ITMO is the infochemistry laboratory where chemists and robotic engineers are trying to solve chemical problems by using robots. For example, our team has been working on chemical manipulators, which automatically mix chemical reagents, and a chemical platform, which works like a 3D printer for liquids, for more than half a year. So even specialists in other fields, which are not directly connected to the laboratory, can be in demand for projects.

The main idea is that you can find an interesting job at one of ITMO’s labs while studying and it doesn’t matter how well you are prepared for it right now because after several months of experience you will be more than ready for a real project.

I started working at the laboratory with three of my groupmates and back then we were like empty sheets of paper, but after these two and a half years I feel like we are a team of professionals, who really know what they are doing. Even if our projects aren’t very famous or won’t make us a ton of money right now, this experience can play a significant role in our studies and future work.

Written by Ivan Kirilenko