This academic year opens up a new opportunity for those ITMO University students who would like to try their hand at a career in the energy industry. In cooperation with Gazprom Neft, the university has founded a student Energy Club – a new open self-regulating platform for future developers in the field of traditional and renewable energy.
“The club is created primarily for those students who develop projects in the energy sector and want to try themselves as specialists in leading Russian oil and gas companies,” says Kirill Plugin, the club's mentor and head of the Center for Entrepreneurship. “Today, companies are actively developing and focusing even more on IT solutions. And our university can provide them with top projects and experts.”
At the opening ceremony, Vladimir Vasilyev, Rector of ITMO University, and representatives of Gazprom Neft told the prospective club members about their future projects and the importance of IT solutions for energy companies.
“You will be given tasks that will be achieved through different means like hackathons or accelerations,” said Vladimir Vasilyev. “It was Gazprom Neft’s idea to introduce such a club at the university. I am sure that both the company’s representatives and students will not be disappointed – this partnership will bring benefits to both sides.”
What does the Energy Club offer?
The club’s organizers place a special emphasis on the direct interaction between students and energy experts.
“It will be practical work with students: we will offer internships, industrial on-site training, thesis topics, and various events. Our colleagues might even teach in some specific fields,” explains Nikolay Vyatkin, head of the innovation ecosystem development department at Gazprom Neft. “All this is aimed at synergistic work in the future and the search for young talents. Most of the projects that we will consider will be developed by our tech centers and have practical applications.”
Today, the company operates several technology centers working in different fields for the digital transformation of the company: blockchain technologies, artificial intelligence, video analytics, industrial Internet of Things, augmented and virtual reality, and drones and robotics. In all these areas, the company is interested in finding solutions and young experts who will help the company develop.
The club also plans to hold tours of Gazprom Neft facilities and organize different student forums. Bachelor’s students can write their theses based on their work for Gazprom Neft. The next stage is to provide such an opportunity for Master’s students. Also, the organizers of the club are currently holding negotiations on expanding the club’s partnership with other industrial companies.
What events will the club host?
Gazprom Neft, the club’s management, and its members will jointly work on the development of the Energy Club program.
“Our approach is to let students themselves decide what to do; they’ll be able to offer options for activities and receive financial aid for their projects,” explains Kirill Plugin.
The next major event, scheduled for October, will be a large hackathon on the use of blockchain in the fuel and energy complex. The possibility of organizing joint events with similar clubs in other universities is also currently being considered.
“Gazprom Neft is striving to create an entire network of energy clubs,” says Ilya Dementyev, Rector of the Gazprom Neft Corporate University. “Today, four universities of St. Petersburg are creating such clubs – these are SPbPU, SUAI, and Saint-Petersburg State Institute of Technology. We hope there will be networking between them. We will support this initiative as there are fewer and fewer highly specialized tasks left on the agenda.”
Who is welcome to the club?
The organizers welcome all ITMO students regardless of their entry level, as long as their scientific and inventive initiatives can interest the company.
“Our club will help develop the student community and improve the professional competence of our students,” says Nikolai Drachev, an ITMO University student and head of the club. “The club’s highlight is that we are interested in tech startups. Students with a minimum set of competencies can come to us and participation in our events will help them develop and become middle and then senior specialists.”
One of the guests of the opening was Agata Kravchenko, a second-year student of ITMO’s Technological Innovations Management program.
“This club is related to my specialization,” says Agata Kravchenko. “Of all the areas I was most interested in analytics and analytical calculations, but I still think about what exactly I want to do. It is also interesting that the club offers cooperation with Gazprom Neft, I would like to learn more about these opportunities.”
Sergey Arkhipov, head of Technological Partnerships and Import Substitution at Gazprom Neft and a representative of the MIT Alumni Association in Russia gave a pep talk to the club members.
“You are all engineers, and I hope you are proud of this title,” said Sergey Arkhipov. “Engineers today are not only thinking about how to make energy cheaper and more affordable but also about how to make it cleaner. We present technological challenges as well as the mentorship and support that will help you tackle them. Engineers are the creators of progress, and our task is to support your boldest engineering ideas and dreams.”