St. Petersburg, Chechnya and UNESCO: what connects them?
For an ordinary resident of St. Petersburg, the word Chechnya associates with something criminally dangerous. Or it sounds like a Russian analogue of the Middle Eastern monarchy. But there is a university in the Northern Capital of Russia, at which its scientists are well aware that the structure of the main industrial base of the Republic is oil. And for a good we can speak about a long-term cooperation with the republic. Graduates of the university have made a significant contribution to the development of the mineral and raw materials industry in Chechnya, to the exploration and development of oil and gas fields in the North Caucasus.
The author of "Sannikov Land" Vladimir Obruchev, the first president of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Karpinsky, and the founder of the doctrine of oil Ivan Gubkin studied the structure and content of the subsoil of the region, its oil-bearing capacity and mineral saturation.
Another graduate of Mining University, Vladimir Yushkin, being a field manager of the leading company in the region, i.e. Society of Grozny Oil Production I.A.Akhverdov and Co., actively introduced the use of new drilling tools, as well as pumping operation of oil wells. The new oil production technology replaced the archaic tartan (oil extraction by scooping up with the help of special buckets). He also created a detailed “Map of the Grozny oil fields with tables of all wells, their depths, heights above sea level, the amount of oil produced, the distribution of production by areas.”
Another native of St. Petersburg Mining University, Alexander Pritula, was the Chief Engineer of the North Caucasus oil fields; he was responsible for the technical management of the design of two oil pipelines: Grozny - Tuapse (618 km long) and Baku-Batumi (820 km long). In addition, he headed the Grozny oil courses for personnel training in the maintenance of oilfield and pipeline equipment.
Over a span of almost a century and a half, these ties were interrupted only during the wars of the 1990s; however, in the past decade they have returned to an intensive level of relations. On October 15, Grozny State Oil Technological University celebrated its 100th anniversary.
In the course of storming Grozny in December 1994, the militants turned the university building into a stronghold and it was almost completely destroyed. The first president of the republic Akhmat-khadzhi Kadyrov declined the plans to build a new building on the outskirts of the city and proposed rebuilding the educational institution at its historic site. Now GSSRU has 6 and a half thousand students and four hundred teachers working in five institutes: of applied information technologies; oil and gas; energy, economics and law; advanced training and retraining of personnel; civil engineering, architecture and design, as well as at the faculty of secondary vocational education.
The university has 30 laboratories, modern computer auditoriums, an influential Vocational Training Center created with the participation of Rosneft; a new dormitory is under construction. Speaking at the jubilee meeting, the head of the Republic Ramzan Kadyrov noted on the role of the university in the current life of the Republic:
“At present, Grozny Oil University is one of the most highly developed and technologically advanced educational institutions in Russia and in the world. The university is actively developing and conducting research activities; funds are attracted for scientific research, and the department of international projects is functioning. Today we are going to officially return to the university museum a duplicate of the Order of the Red Banner of Labor of 1945, which was awarded for the feat of labor during the Great Patriotic War.”
The Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation Valery Falkov paid tribute to the quality of education provided by the university:
A new stage in the development of the university is associated with the name of the First President of the Chechen Republic, Hero of Russia Akhmat-Khadzhi Kadyrov, who defended its very existence, and during the rule of which an active revival of the educational institution began. Now there is an excellent material and technical base, students go for internships, researchers and teachers from other regions come here. The Grozny Oil Degree is a guarantee that its owner is a professional of the highest level!
RAS President Alexander Sergeyev spoke about the role of Mikhail Millionshchikov, whose name the university bears, in founding the Pugoush movement (a movement of scientists advocating for peace, disarmament and international security, for the prevention of worldwide atomic war and scientific cooperation) and the development of nuclear space engines. In addition, he announced the signing of an Agreement on assistance in the development of science, innovation and technology in the region between the leadership of the Chechen Republic and the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The university actively cooperates with the foremost specialized universities in Russia within the framework of the Nedra Consortium of Mineral Resource Universities on the main problems of developing the country's raw materials base, as well as in the field of unification of educational programs. It has a special relationship with St. Petersburg Mining University which is the lead of the consortium. GSSRU students can undergo internships at the Neftyanik drilling site in Sablino, participate in scientific developments carried out at the Faculty of Oil and Gas. At the start of the year, a large consignment of furniture for the equipment of educational buildings was sent to Grozny.
Rector of Grozny Oil University Magomed Mintsaev:
At Grozny Oil University, at all stages of its development - from college to university - there has always been a balance between quality education and scientific and technical results in demand. Taking into account the existing groundwork, the demands of business, society and the state, we have identified a number of the most promising for the university areas. Naturally, those include oil and gas, including deep processing technologies, pulse-plasma impact in oil refining, transportation of oil and oil products. Other areas embrace power production, including renewable energy of the sun, wind, hydro and geothermal resources, IT, artificial intelligence and robotics, Big Data, digital technologies in manufacturing, mechanical engineering. In addition, there also are energy efficient nutrition technologies, including the creation of new composite building materials. And the stake on multidisciplinarity pays off
At the official ceremony, the St. Petersburg delegation presented the rector of the Chechen University with a certificate on the status of a flagship university of the International Competence Center in Mining Engineering Education under the auspices of UNESCO. Previously, such certificates were awarded to the Mining University of Leoben (Austria), the Chinese University of Mining and Technology, the University of Johannesburg (South Africa), Belarusian BNTU, and Ukhta became the reference region. The status will increase the efficiency of the university's integration into the international scientific community as a full-fledged partner of projects initiated by the organization. And Chechen engineers will be able to participate in the British Technical Council certification program.
Rector of St. Petersburg Mining University Vladimir Litvinenko:
“The work is based on the principles of unification of educational standards and “threshold requirements” for specialized higher educational institutions in different countries of the world; introduction of professional certification of specialists working in the field of mining and processing of minerals. Its creation is one of the most important tasks the Competence Center is facing. In practice, it looks like follows. In order to receive the title of "Professional Mining Engineer", a graduate of a mining technical specialization must first work in production as a trainee specialist for 2 or 3 years. Then, after completing courses on professional standards programs at the Center, they pass the examination in front of the certification commission affiliated with the professional community. Let me emphasize that the exam is run not by the university, not by the rector or ministry, but by experts who are recognized by the international professional community. If the exam is successful, the name of the applicant is entered in the unified international register of specialists and managers of companies in the mineral resources sector by levels of professional qualifications.
“UNESCO is a new facet of our relations with Mining University. We have several people at the university who have studied abroad, in particular, in Germany. A certain environment is being formed around them today, which motivates young people to self-development, especially in IT-technologies, and that helps to expand the horizon of knowledge. And, of course, this is a new level to which the university rises on the day of its centenary.”
Vladimir Litvinenko specifically stressed the role of the head of the Republic Ramzan Kadyrov and rector Magomed Mintsaev in creating a productive scientific and educational environment on the basis of Grozny University. This approach allows the university to constantly improve its competitiveness and successfully participate in breakthrough projects aimed at the social and economic development of Russia.
“Science and education contribute to the humanization of society. If young people are fond of science and self-improving, then in the future they will definitely aim at self-realization in the profession, at self-development. This is extremely important for the Chechen Republic and for the country as a whole,” Litvinenko stressed.
Today's Chechnya destroys stereotypes. And while its image is still far from comfortable in the general perception, then the foundation of horizontal interuniversity relations, which is being laid today, cannot fail to produce results. The time when the Chechen Republic will again begin to be associated with a research and production hub, the event participants are sure, is not too far off. The implementation mechanisms have already been launched.