Apprenticeships for students at the largest nanotubes manufacturer: Novosibirsk State University (NSU) establishes a unique department

OCSiAl, the world leader in the production of single wall carbon nanotubes, has announced the first enrolment of students for the new Master’s degree programme at the Department of Nanocomposites at Novosibirsk State University (NSU). In this way, OCSiAl is contributing to solving the problem of the shortage of qualified personnel in this innovative materials science field.

As Mikhail  Predtechenskiy, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), Scientific Director of OCSiAl and Head of the new Department of Nanocomposites, said at a recent meeting with NSU students, single wall carbon nanotubes have almost unlimited application potential. The most promising markets include electronics, carbon fiber composites, fiberglass, electric–chemical generators, rubberware, various construction materials, and anti-static coatings. However, there is a lack of qualified professionals able to successfully create these new materials.

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“Nanocomposites are at the junction of various fields of science. The major problem we face is the need to train physicists in chemistry and to provide physics knowledge to chemists. We have compiled the Master’s degree programme so as to combine courses in physics, chemistry and materials science in a way that standard curricula are missing. Students of the Department of Nanocomposites will have the opportunity to complete their apprenticeship at OCSiAl’s world-first nanotechnology production facility and to learn skills that are really in demand in the global market. Such multifaceted education will ensure their success in the new materials industry that is being created and is developing at great speed all around them. Among other things, they will have the opportunity to be employed by OCSiAl”, said Mikhail  Predtechenskiy.

The NSU Department established with the support of OCSiAl has undertaken the development of this Master’s degree programme and gathered together the teaching staff. Such educational programmes have proven to be effective abroad and, in recent years, have begun to appear in major Russian universities as well. However, only this OCSiAl Department at NSU will provide students with access to the world’s only nanomaterials prototyping centre. The company’s instrument base, which comprises more than 150 pieces of modern equipment for creating and studying new materials, will be used for training workshops.

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The first group of Nanocomposites Master’s degree students to be enrolled will consist of 12 people. They may be graduates with a Bachelor’s degree in physics or chemistry from any university. In order to enrol for the OCSiAl programme, they have to enter the Master’s degree programme of the Faculty of Physics or the Faculty of Natural Sciences at NSU. The company will consider covering the costs of some of the candidates following interviews with them.

The lecturers of the Department are world-class experts in the physical chemistry of nanoparticles, nanocarbon materials, composite materials, and heat and mass transfer physics. For the topics of their Master’s theses, students can choose among those that will be suggested not only by OCSiAl but also by scientific institutions of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SB RAS).