Interview with Director of the International Aerospace Summer School of MAI

2 August 2018

Interview with Director of the International Aerospace Summer School of MAI

From July 23 to July 30, the International Aerospace Summer School of MAI 2018 was held for the first time at Moscow Aviation Institute. Director of the International Aerospace Summer School of MAI Alexander Khvan told about the organization of this educational program, as well as shared his vision of the prospects for the development of international activities of MAI.

Alexander, in your opinion, how this kind of projects contribute to the development of MAI international activities?

Since the time of the Soviet Union, Moscow Aviation Institute trained specialists for the military industry and was closed. Only since the 2000s our university has opened its doors to international students. "International Aerospace Summer School of MAI" - this is indeed one of the most accumulating projects to attract more foreign students. This year, the first 50 students fr om the People's Republic of China came to visit us. Basically these were bachelors of 1-4 courses, but also masters.

One week to get new knowledge for future aerospace engineers is really a bold statement. Tell us, how did the days of the participants of MAI Summer School 2018 pass?

Our Summer School is really a unique educational project, because only MAI provides a real opportunity for international students to take an intensive course in a week fr om some design basics to complex specific sections of aircraft construction. For this week, the students had certainly very busy program. I originally said that if a student was going to pay for a Summer School, he should be busy and involved in any activity from 9 am to 9 pm. Therefore, we divided our day into 3 parts. The first part is educational, wh ere to students were given lectures. Next, the project part, - students solved cases of various kinds of issues and problems. Entertaining part - excursions, walks around the city center, flight practice at the aerodrome Alferevo.

What disciplines are included in the theoretical and practical course of the program?

Within the framework of the course, students have listened various lectures on the Basics of Polymer Composite Materials Design, Mathematical Modeling, Certification of Aircraft, Product Lifecycle Management. Really important and promising directions in the aircraft industry of the 21st century were affected by. Also students saw MAI laboratories, wh ere students could work on a real aviation simulator. In addition, we organized a trip to our aerodrome in Alferevo, wh ere all participants of the Summer School learned how to collect and use the Russian landing parachute, flew on the AN-2TD and even sat in the cockpit of the pilot directly during the flight. I believe that the abundance of practical tasks really distinguishes our project from all others.

Really very rich program. What impressions did the participants have from this week, in your opinion?

We are striving to ensure that every international student, returned to homeland, could tell his relatives, friends and that MAI is a really cool place, and Russia is a wonderful country with very kind and sympathetic people. Many students, in particular from China, shared their impressions with me and expressed a great desire to return to Russia and to continue an acquaintance with our country with full confidence that this will be a truly unforgettable journey. I collected a lot of comments on the organization of MAI Summer School and I can say with full confidence that this project will become an annual one. Moscow Aviation Institute in one week can give any international student a certain amount of knowledge, experience, and, most importantly, emotions.

In your opinion, such educational programs as the International Aerospace Summer School of MAI 2018 are able to change the status of Russia in the eyes of foreign citizens?

I'm just sure that all foreign students who came to our Summer School had a pattern interrupt. The trend of recent years shows clearly to the whole world that Russia is not only bears, vodka and balalaika. Take for example 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia and 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi . Summer School of MAI is an opportunity for students from different countries to come to our country and learn something new, to get a unique experience. These are the goals that we set for ourselves, when we were creating this project. I am sure that all participants of the International Aerospace Summer School of MAI 2018 will fly away with a smile on their faces.

Anastasia Zubova

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