Starting in the next academic year, ITMO University will begin to offer yet another corporate Master’s program. The company Schneider Electric, a manufacturer of power equipment for production facilities, data processing centers, and residential buildings, has signed a collaboration agreement making it one of the key partners of the Industrial Cyber-Physical Systems Master's program.
“Schneider Electric can be rightfully called a champion company; it invests over a million euros annually in its own research and inventions,” comments Anton Pyrkin, the dean of ITMO’s Faculty of Control Systems and Robotics. “The company has offices all across the world; for example, we have a plant of theirs here in the Gatchinsky District, in the town Kommunar. The first steps to collaboration between ITMO and Schneider Electric were made several years ago. At that time, we came to them with a proposition to develop a joint educational program for which the company would’ve helped us formulate the competency requirements and tasks for our future graduates so that our students would be sure that they would be able to apply the knowledge they got, working for companies on the level of Schneider Electric.”
Schneider Electric will give special attention to one of the program’s specializations. Its experts are already actively participating in the development of the curriculum and introducing instruments and resources of their own.
“Such a collaboration will primarily allow us to offer our students internship positions at a high tech company, support the educational process, conduct workshops with the company’s top specialists, give thesis topics that are associated with real projects, and train specialists familiar with the company’s tasks,” explains Yury Andreev, vice dean of the Faculty of Control Systems and Robotics.
HR for smart production
In 2020, there will be 30 student positions at the Industrial Cyber-Physical Systems Master's program, and about a half of them will belong to the specialization that’s being supervised by Schneider Electric. ITMO lecturers in collaboration with the company’s experts will train specialists for smart production, which will gradually replace old factories in the process of the transition to Industry 4.0. What’s more, the program’s authors note that it is its graduates who will become the creators of the new high-productivity factories built with the use of artificial intelligence, IoT and 3D visualization technologies.
“Today, enterprises require specialists who can introduce modern production technologies and processes,” says Evgeny Yablochnikov, the program’s head and associate professor at the Faculty of Control Systems and Robotics. “Our students must become the heads of such projects and understand the interdisciplinary nature of the technologies of the Industry 4.0 era. We are expecting applicants who majored in Automation of Technological and Production Processes, but we’ll be glad to welcome those who specialized in computer science, instrumentation technology, or engineering. On the whole, this program has to bring together various specialists and become a basis for the creation of project teams for specific enterprises.”
In the course of their studies, students will master such fields as digital design and modeling, digital production, additive and hybrid technologies, robotics, industrial sensors, industrial IoT, service-oriented architecture (SOA), Big Data processing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, information management systems. Schneider Electric will provide specialists who’ll reinforce both the theoretical and practical components of the Master’s program.
“During the first semester, students will acquire key competencies that will prepare them for working in teams and get them acquainted with digital technologies and the digital culture,” explains Evgeny Yablochnikov. “At the end of the semester, every student will choose a specialization and start to improve their knowledge in a chosen field, and therefore create an educational path of their own. We also expect our students to actively participate in academic mobility programs, including ones with the Emden/Leer University of Applied Sciences.”