How students start doing science and research at MAI: guide for beginners
The research activities of the Moscow Aviation Institute are highly demanded by leading high-tech companies. This is due to the fact that MAI is not just a University, but a large scientific and educational center, it comprises more than 140 research sub-centers and laboratories, as well as 20 design bureaus, including those for students. It creates new technologies in the field of aerospace engineering, UAVs, mathematical modeling, superconductivity, composite materials, 3D design, additive technologies, as well as artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning, internet of things, product lifecycle management, engineering systems electrification, robotics, and others.
Therefore, it is not surprising that so many students of MAI from the first course are seriously interested in science, plunge into it with their heads and make breakthrough discoveries. This area of the University activities is supervised by the Department of research work (R&D Department), whose main task is to create conditions for the development of students as researchers and future young scientists.
How does the path to science begin?
The R&D Department informs students about the opportunities for development in the field of scientific activity at MAI by holding meetings in Institutes with the participation of representatives of departments, laboratories, research departments, and student design bureaus. Students get acquainted with research topics, material and technical resources and opportunities, and find those areas of research that are interesting to them.
"At school I spent about 4 years studying in technical creativity center, so after entering the first semester, I started looking for how and where to do research at MAI. I was sent to NIO-301, where students can implement their ideas. The NIO team supports all our projects: from the development of stands for practicing aircraft control skills to a hybrid multi-rotor flying platform developed with my classmates under the guidance of Vladimir Chemodanov. The platform, by the way, was included in the „100 best inventions“ rating for 2019 and the first half of 2020!" says Ilya Klimov, a 5th-year student of the specialty Department 301 "aircraft control systems".
The path to science begins with the desire to create and explore new things, to implement the most daring ideas. The scientific supervisor plays a huge role. Each student can find a mentor or research platform (laboratory, SKB, competence center, etc.) based on their area of interest. For example, you can use the list of research sites and supervisors posted on the site. Students can also get advice about the possibilities of scientific activity in their institutes from the chairmen of the student research councils or from the staff of the R&D Department located in the 316 office of the main administrative building of the MAI.
"Everyone starts doing science and research in his own way and at his own time. Someone is already interested in a particular topic at school and then comes to the University with ideas and best practices. And someone begins to manifest itself at thesis. Everything depends on many factors, such as the fundamental knowledge required for research or the presence of like-minded people. You can start your path to science by choosing a research platform that corresponds to the direction of training of a student of MAI or related to it." says Ekaterina Chernikova, head of the R&D Department.
In addition, Ekaterina advises to monitor what is happening in the world of student science. It’s not that hard: the Department covers all the major news. In order to get convenience communication with students, the Department has its pages in Vkontakte and Instagram. The Vkontakte group has created thematic newsletters, as well as special chats for institutions.
Opportunities provided in MAI
Students publish the results of their research activities in scientific publications, cover scientific conferences, forums and other thematic events, both in Russia and abroad, in which they are supported by the Department of R&D.
Financial support for students who devote a lot of time to research is also one of the most important tasks. The R& D Department forms lists of candidates for scholarships for achievements in research and other types of incentives (grants, industry awards, etc.).
"Our Institute participates in all major projects of its partners, interacts with leading foreign and Russian corporations. All MAI sites are also open to students who wish to engage in scientific activities. For financial support of students engaged in research, MAI has 7 types of scholarships for achievements in research activities" says assistant Vice-rector for research Margarita Gordeeva.
In 2019, more than a thousand students were involved in research work, they presented about 700 reports at conferences of national and international level, published more than 1000 scientific articles and participated in more than 100 scientific events in total.
"When I came to the Institute, I believed, and I still do believe, that the main thing a student should do is study! After focusing on learning, I eventually realized that it was much easier for me to learn new material, and decided to dive into science. Alexander Romanenkov, a teacher who later became my first research supervisor, told me about the scientific environment at MAI, as well as about the opportunities for development in it in my first year. Among my achievements, I particularly highlight the project „Optimizing the use of locomotives and wagons at a major railway junction with a complex topology and logistics“. I had to study materials from various sources, try different methods to solve the problem, combine or modify these methods, each time analyzing the result obtained earlier, " says Dmitry Loskutov, a 1st-year master’s student of the Department 319″ Informatics and computer engineering " of MAI.
Summing up, it is worth noting that the research activities of students at MAI contribute to a deeper development of the educational program, the development of thinking, broadening horizons, as well as career development and the opportunity to make breakthrough, creation of something new for the sake of the whole humanity.
Start your scientific path today!