MGSU and TUB: Fifty Years of Cooperation
The cooperation between the Technical University of Berlin (TUB) and the National Research Moscow State University of Civil Engineering (NRU MGSU) was initiated fifty years ago.
On May 10, 1969, an agreement was signed in Moscow by professor Hans Wever, Rector, Technical University of West Berlin, and Nikolai Strelchuk, Rector, Moscow Institute of Civil Engineering named after V.V. Kuibyshev. This partnership can be regarded as the continuation of the centuries-old tradition that consists in the intensive research collaboration between Germany and Russia. The execution of such an agreement in the days of the so-called “cold war” was a courageous move made by both universities, and it has proven that science is dozens of years ahead of politics.
This year the partners celebrate the 50th anniversary of their joint work. This cooperation encompasses varied areas of research and practice: urban planning, structural engineering, materials and technologies, information technology in civil engineering and simulation, soil mechanics, hydraulic engineering, engineering systems and infrastructure, architecture and restoration, environmental protection and safety. Recently, our cooperation has ended in the qualitative development of information technologies in civil engineering and in the implementation of the joint educational programme entitled “Information Technology in Civil Engineering”.
On May 17, TUB held a solemn ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of our cooperation. The delegation from NRU MGSU, composed of A.A. Volkov, Rector, V.I. Telichenko, President, E.S. Gogina, Vice-rector, N.V. Samotesova, Head, Department for Coordination of International Cooperation, N.D. Cherednichenko, Director, Institute of Civil Engineering and Architecture, and E.A. Davydov, Associate Professor, Department of Information Systems, Technologies and Automation in Civil Engineering, visited TUB and participated in the special events. The delegation of NRU MGSU was greeted by Prof. Dr. Christian Thomsen, President, TUB, Alexander Sergeevich Rusinov, Head of Group in charge of research, technology and education, Embassy of Russia in the Federal Republic of Germany, Prof. Dr.-Eng. Frank Rackwitz, Director, Institute and Chair of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Prof. Dr.Sc. Mike Schlaich, Director, Chair of Conceptual and Structural Design, Prof. Dr.-Eng. Reinhard Hinkelmann, Director, Chair of Water Resources Management and Modeling of Hydrosystems, Prof. Dr.-Eng. Matthias Barjenbruch, Chair of Urban Water Management, Prof. Dr.-Eng. Wolfgang Huhnt, Chair of Civil Engineering at the Institute of Civil Engineering of Department of Information Science, Dr. Ulrike Hillemann-Delaney, Director, Office for International Affairs, Evelina Skurski, Head of Division for International Scientific Cooperation, and Sibylle Groth, Deputy Head of Division for International Cooperation. The event was also attended by the TUB professors P.J. Pahl and Kohendorfer, who had made a proactive contribution into the implementation of this cooperation several years ago.
As part of the visit, the delegation from NRU MGSU made a tour of the TUB research laboratories and learned more about the most recent research attainments in the area of engineering structures, construction materials, construction technologies, and water resources at TUB. A solemn event and a research seminar were conducted in collaboration with the colleagues. Further cooperation actions in the area of research and education were outlined in the course of the discussion.
This visit has proven that the areas of research, educational programmes of the two partner universities are as close as they were in the past. The cooperation will continue in such areas as information technologies in civil engineering (Smart City, Smart Home, BIM technologies in civil engineering), protection of water resources, water ecology in cities and at industrial enterprises, urban construction and architecture, energy saving and energy efficiency, production and application of construction materials, products and structures.
The cooperation agreement was initially signed on May 10, 1969.
Relevant problems of the civil engineering education were initially identified and later solved by the partner universities.
The Moscow Institute of Civil Engineering launched a course of the Russian language for German students, as well as a student exchange programme.
The Institute for Urban and Regional Planning of TUB initiated proactive cooperation with the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning of the Moscow Institute of Civil Engineering in the field of large-scale construction in major cities (exemplified by Moscow and West Berlin). As part of this cooperation effort, both universities launched a student exchange programme, involving students of the faculties of industrial and civil engineering, urban development of MGSU, on the one hand, and students of TUB, on the other hand.
Another important milestone in this cooperation consisted in the urban design development for the town of Aruch in Armenia, which had suffered from a disastrous earthquake in 1988. This design project was developed by prof. Georgy Nedelkov, TUB, together with professor V.V. Kholschevnikov and associate professor L.I. Pavlova, Moscow Institute of Civil Engineering. Together with the MGSU colleagues, professor Nedelkov held contests of graduate papers in industrial and civil engineering, urban planning, heat and power supply for many years in succession.
Within the framework of the joint research project on methods of automation of the architectural and structural design, TUB prepared and launched a course of teaching advanced methods of automated design for a group of young specialists employed with the department of automated design systems in civil engineering at MGSU, and drafted a textbook entitled “Fundamentals of automated design” for students of institutions of higher education specializing in civil engineering.
In 2007, MGSU and TUB executed a cooperation programme on “The Assessment of the Technical Condition and Examination of Constructivist Architectural Monuments in the 20s - 30s of the 20th century.” This programme also encompassed a student/lecturer exchange project. The technical condition of the building of the Rusakov club in Moscow was assessed, and the condition of Constructivist buildings was also assessed in Berlin within the framework of this programme.
In the early 90ies, Moscow Institute of Civil Engineering, together with Hochtief, a German company, launched Giprocon, an engineering bureau, which facilitated the introduction of computer equipment and software into the research activities and project development. Thus, lecturers, postgraduates and students of the Moscow Institute of Civil Engineering were involved in the implementation of practical projects; they implemented joint research projects, launched an exchange programme for professors, young researchers and students of the Moscow Institute of Civil Engineering and TUB.
In 2000, an agreement was executed between the two universities to further their cooperation in information technologies for civil engineering within the framework of the cooperation agreement.
In December 2000, International Academic Centre for Information Science in Civil Engineering was launched at the Moscow State University of Civil Engineering within the framework of the most recent cooperation agreement. The main objectives of the Centre included the development and formulation of theoretical provisions and practical methods, university-level educational programmes and courseware, the launch of an international research school of information technologies for civil engineering. The Centre has implemented major research projects, exchange programmes designated for professors, young researchers and postgraduates. Two doctor-of-science level dissertations and four candidate-of-science level dissertations were defended at MGSU by the German researchers.
In 2002, MGSU launched Department of Information Technologies for Civil Engineering with the support from the executives of MGSU and P.J. Pahl, Director of Chair for Theoretical Methods of Construction and Transport at TUB. The new Department was headed by professor G.G. Malykha. The launch of this department was a milestone in the cooperation between the two universities. On the Russian side, this cooperation was supervised personally by V. Ya. Karelin, Rector, MGSU, and later by V.I. Telichenko, Rector, MGSU.
Several conferences and seminars on relevant problems of information technologies and their development were held in Moscow and Berlin. The most prominent ones include the International Russian – German Symposium “Application of Information Technologies in Civil Engineering and Educational Processes” in 2004. At the invitation of MGSU, the majority of the top German professors, specializing on the information technology for civil engineering, participated in the Symposium.
At the support from the Berlin Technology Fund, both universities implemented the project entitled “An Information Channel for Civil Engineering”. This project served to provide the researchers from both universities with the practical knowledge of the course of implementation of international construction projects with the help of computer communications. On the Berlin side, this project was implemented by D. Ilyeva. On the Moscow side – by professors G.G. Malykha, A.S. Pavlov, and D.V. Pikhterev. Professors P.J. Pahl and G.G. Malykha conducted regular research and educational exchange programmes on civil engineering informatics for students, postgraduates and lecturers of MGSU for six years at the support from DAAD, the German Service for Academic Exchanges. In excess of 25 Russian participants of this programme had an opportunity to make multiple visits to Berlin where joint research projects were implemented.
For example, in 2003 – 2005, I.L. Bilchuk, Candidate of Technical Sciences, lecturer of Department of Information Technologies for Civil Engineering, implemented a research project of the German Research Society (DFG) entitled “Structures of Informational Sets for Civil Engineering” under the supervision of P.J. Pahl. Yu.N. Perevalova, Candidate of Technical Sciences, lecturer at Department of Information Technologies for Civil Engineering, also made a contribution into this project. The project mission was to update extensive databases. The project materials served as the basis for the candidate’s theses of I.L. Belchuk and Yu.N. Perevalova. These researchers have carried on the tradition of professor G.G. Malykha, who cooperated with the German colleagues when preparing the doctoral thesis.
The cooperation in construction technologies for civil engineering was continued by the launch of the programme for the inclusive training of students, initiated on the Russian side by G.G. Malykha, Director, Department of Information Technologies for Civil Engineering, and professor D.V. Pikhterev, and by professor P.J. Pahl on the Berlin side. At MGSU, this project was supervised by V.I. Telichenko, Rector, MGSU, V.I. Gagin, Vice-rector for innovative educational activities.
This programme was intensively applied to develop the “Information Technology in Civil Engineering” educational programme in accordance with the double-level course of training in pursuance with the Federal state standards. Enormous efforts were exerted by professor A.S. Pavlov, associate professor I.L. Belchuk and other lecturers of Department of Information Technologies for Civil Engineering. Later, this work was performed within the framework of an innovative educational programme “The training of advanced specialists in civil engineering, capable of developing a safe and comfortable living environment.” The concept of a mutually agreed bachelor level educational programme was developed; this programme enabled students to obtain higher education at the partner universities and to study at the partner universities for one semester. These specialists are particularly popular in the Russian construction market, where the percentage of foreign investors and companies keeps going up.
On July 24, 2008, a cooperation agreement was signed by V.I. Telichenko, Rector, MGSU, and K. Kutzler, President, TUB, in a solemn ceremony held at TUB.
It contains the following main provisions:
- the admission of students to be majoring in information technologies in civil engineering. The students are offered advanced courses of German and English languages, needed for their studies at TUB;
- student training in pursuance of the mutually agreed programme at MGSU for seven semesters, inter alia, to be performed by the visiting lecturers from TUB;
- student training at TUB for one semester.
Since 2007, this cooperation has been developing in the area of water supply and discharge. NRU MGSU and TUB lecturers launched annual seminars on the relevant issues of water supply and discharge; postgraduates and lecturers take internships at the partner universities. Presently, applications for joint research projects are being drafted.
NRU MGSU and TUB have implemented annual exchange programmes for practical training sessions, preparation of term and graduation papers and inclusive studies at the partner universities. These programmes have been traditionally organized and implemented at the top organizational level; they have always been interesting and useful for the students.
The information is provided by NRU MGSU
Department for Coordination of International Cooperation