THE TRIUNE WAY -- The Main Trends of the Development of Engineering Education at Donetsk State Technical University at the Edge of Centuries


A.A. Minayev, Rector
Donetsk State Technical University, 58, Artyom Str.
83000, Donetsk, Ukraine

Lecture delivered at the International Workshop: Engineering Education in the Global World, devoted to 80th Anniversary Celebration of the University
June 1, 2001


The history of our university, which is the oldest educational establishment of the Donbass Region, is closely connected with coming into being and development of the industrial base of Ukraine. The University was founded in May 1921. For its 80 years history more than 110,000 specialists were trained for the national economy. For the years of independence the University trained about 23,000 specialists. The country’s, region’s, and industrial enterprises’ leaders, famous politicians, and scientists are among them.

Donetsk State Technical University (DonSTU) is the founder of the high technical and economic education in the Donetsk Region. It gave assistance in organization, staff, and science methods to a number of research institutes and education establishments which were being founded. Such note-worthy institutions as Donetsk Institute of Coal and Donetsk Institute of Coal Mines Design have their roots at DonSTU. Donetsk Regional State Manufacturing Academy (Kramatorsk) and Donetsk Regional Academy of Construction and Architecture (Maeyevka) are based on the Technical University branches. Now Donetsk State Technical University is a powerful science and cultural center the subdivisions of which are located in 5 towns of the Donetsk Region.

Donetsk State Technical University is looked upon by the Region State Administration as the regional center of engineering and economic education on the basis of which a great number of complexes of all accreditation levels and general, not specialized, schools of a new type (lyceums, and technical colleges) has been established. Collaboration within the complex frames makes it possible to implement the system of continuous multi-step education.

The University trains specialists on 25 orientations which include 60 professions and 17 specializations. Now more than 23,000 students are being trained at the University. The University has 1,300 faculty members, with 2 correspondent members of the Science Academy of Ukraine, 30 academicians and correspondent members of the branch academies, 29 honoured scientists and educators of Ukraine, 5 honoured investigators and 4 honoured sports coaches of the Ukraine, 125 Doctors of Science professors, more than 650 Candidates of Science and associate professors. They work in 89 departments and 40 structural subdivisions of the IV accreditation level.

At present the University is playing the leading role in the development of new directions for higher education in the Donetsk Region, involving:

as the main directions of the University in this new century.


Integration of Ukraine into the European Community requires training and retraining specialists of a new generation who are oriented to the modern development in science and engineering, are aware of the technical level of the leading companies, and have good command of foreign languages. The integration of higher engineering establishments of Ukraine into the European system of engineering education is one of the necessary terms of the development of the country in the new economic and political environment.

The University is solving the problem with the help of a complex programme which stipulates:

Being aware of the responsibility to support the reforms, Donetsk State Technical University was the first to establish the engineering faculties with foreign language being the main medium of special disciplinary training. Today the German (electric and mechanical engineering profile), English (computer engineering), and French (mechanical engineering profile) Engineering Faculties are quite successful. The most difficult stages of the formation of the Faculties have been overcome. The staff was trained and retrained to improve its command in foreign languages. Business contacts with some foreign universities were established. Leading scientists of Europe and USA constantly come to deliver lectures. The University library is enriched with text-books written in foreign languages. Ukrainian students diploma projects development at foreign partner universities has been worked-out.

Worth noting is the collaboration of Donetsk State Technical University with universities in Germany. First of all, it concerns Magdeburg and Stuttgart Universities, the development history of which relating to the state and economic processes renovation is instructive. They successfully solved such university problems as: forming new specialities and trends in engineering and technological education; establishment of new departments, institutes and faculties; transformation of high technical schools into technical universities; integration of science findings and training process as the main factor of training engineering and science staff for the economy which is competitive in the world market; collaboration with companies and state organizations; students and staff involvement in social problems solving, etc.

The German Engineering Faculty (GEF) established at Donetsk State Technical University together with Otto-von Gerike Magdeburg University in 1992, supported by the Siemens company, is a result of long-standing and fruitful work of integration of engineering education of Ukraine into the European education system. The conception of training special engineering disciplines in the native language and special disciplines in German is the basis for training students at this faculty. It allows for conducting the training process by our own strength with the maximum usage of German technical literature and experience of the leading German professors.

Furthermore, joint research on modern trends of electric power systems is constantly conducted. The practice of training specialists in the field of electric drive and automation systems is spread to other specialities, with 85 students from different faculties being enrolled annually.

About 300 students will be studying at the Faculty within the next 2 years. This puts forward new requirements on the level of future engineers training. The plan for the GEF students training was made up and courses for training special disciplines for studying in Magdeburg were developed together with the staff of the Electrical Engineering Department of Magdeburg University. With the support of the Siemens company the GEF laboratories are equipped with modern systems of electric drive and technological process programming control.

Integration of Ukraine into the European Community and globalization of the international labour market gives rise to a strategy issue both in the economics and the higher education system of Ukraine. What place can Ukraine occupy in the international labour sharing? The only trump card we have in this international competition is advanced knowledge level. Ideas and creative power is the future export product. Sociological analysis indicates that intellectual potential is the biggest asset for Ukraine. On the other hand the intellectual product is of great demand in the West. This opens the way to create the conveyer for the first stage training of the ”intellectual half-stock” which is in short supply in the market. By concentrating its financial and human reserves on the education system improvement, Ukraine can pass to the second stage – supply of highly qualified specialists, especially in the sphere of information technologies, to the international labor market.

It is necessary to develop the legislative mechanism for both the state and a person to have economically based interest in engineering service abroad. It should be taken into account that the developed countries would make investments into the development of the intellectual manufacturing in Ukraine if the problems of the education level dynamic development were successfully solved. This scenario is favorable for the country as the intellect revival is possible only under a high level of education which is provided by the high level of the society welfare.

The successful joint work of Donetsk State Technical University and the Siemens company made it possible to establish the Engineering and Technical Center of the Siemens - Ukraine branch in Donetsk in 1998. The German Engineering Faculty graduates form its engineering staff. The engineering service in the field of information technologies in the Ukraine and abroad is the main activity of the Engineering and Technical Center.

DonSTU and Siemens developed and implemented a new conception of interactivity at the labour market. The economic profit for all the participants of the process is the basis of it. The German company gets the highly qualified specialists at a lower price. This makes the company more competitive and there is a chance to offer the bigger volume of engineering service which, in its turn, allows not only to preserve the working places, but also to widen the employment at the inner market. Ukraine obtains the currency without material resources spending.

The Ukrainian employee of the Engineering and Technical Center is guaranteed placement in accordance with the specialty obtained at the University, a good salary, high social status and a working place at leading companies of the world using the most modern information technologies.

The organizing of joint ventures with German companies to offer service outside Ukraine is the best way for legal implementation of this concept. Besides the economic advantages, the concept has positive social results both for young specialists and further development of highly technical enterprises in Ukraine. The new conception solves not only the problem of brain-drain from Ukraine, but also provides ”know-how” transfer into Ukraine under the process of implementation of the projects to modernize Ukrainian companies carried out by the Centre’s specialists. The experience of the Engineering and Technical Center made it possible to create 70 jobs for University graduates for the last 2 years. The first positive steps for the integration of the specialists of Donetsk Center into the Siemens projects in Ukraine have been made.


Training of advanced specialists, which will be required especially in the next 5-10 years, is the basis for forming the intellectual environment for future development of engineering education. For example, the development of the manufacturing complex is one of the priority trends of structural reconstruction of the economy of Ukraine. Analysis of the information from abroad shows that manufacturing develops into mechatronics. Mechatronics is an interdisciplinary engineering science, which has been formed at the crossroads of manufacturing, electrical engineering and information science during the last 10 years. Mechatronics allows to be considered the highly technical manufacturing process as a total process when the requirements are formed, methods are practiced at different analysis stages, as well as under design, manufacturing and operation. The technology integration, manufacturing, and information processing in the very beginning of the system project are of essential importance. The integration in this case means the synergy of separate components, when the single whole is not only new, but requires the change of the components because of the demands of the mechanisms of system co-ordination and all subsystems transformation.

Important industry branches (such as automobile, aircraft construction, and machine-tool construction, rolling equipment, domestic machines and drive machinery) passed significant innovation cycles based on highly productive mechatronics articles. The division into special subdivisions with strictly specialized experts was abolished. Interdisciplinary oriented design teams were organized instead. Their task is to optimize the products manufacturing under single well-ordered points of view. The advantage of the mechatronics approach under the design and manufacturing of modern equipment lies in change of conception of the machines improvement, diagnostics, and maintenance.

The principally new possibilities to integrate the equipment into a single automated system arise due to the integration of the microelectronics into mechanical engineering, hydraulics, pneumatics, and electric drive. It gives the consumer of the mechatronics equipment a chance to provide the quality and the equipment condition control, the quick search and accident prevention, and the system efficiency as a whole. The mechatronics equipment manufacturer has access to information on equipment operation, its weak points under different application conditions. The mechatronics equipment manufacturer has a chance to improve his products constantly and react quickly on the international market due to the integration into the single information system. Moreover, it is the principal new level of the manufacturing development in the 21st century. The Universities can’t ignore this new leap of the scientific and technical progress.

That is why Donetsk State Technical University (along with Magdeburg University) started training students in mechatronics. The special disciplinary curricula and programs are coordinated with the curriculum of the Mechatronics Department of Magdeburg University in such a way that the students have a chance to study and do the diploma work using modern science and methodical basis and laboratory equipment of the universities of Germany. The synergy of the efforts of Ukrainian and German academics in coming into being and development of the new science trend in the manufacturing complex is considered to be very important at this stage.

One more example. The more active transition to the industrial nontraditional energy sources such as wind, the sun, hydrogen, is one of the peculiar features of the new millennium. Ukraine is making its first steps in this direction. That is why it is very important to do fundamental research work as to these new energy sources in order to use the strategically right trends of the ecologically friendly energy and find the proper place in the international division of the research by taking into account the world experience. The University has the Energy Nontraditional Sources Center which conducts research in solar electric drive regimes optimization, wind devices operation optimization and their interaction with the power supply network. The university trains specialists in this important field. DonSTU collaborates with Vetroenergoprom, and it presents new possibilities in both training specialists and improvement of the operation of Donetsk regional windmill electric generating plants.


Information technologies development and their real implementation (which is more important) are the determinant of the successful competition between the higher education of Ukraine and the reality on the verge of the new century. The University staff introduces computer and information technologies into all the process of the University vital activity. The following issues should be stressed:

Implementation of modern computer and information technologies is made by taking into account the Ukraine Supreme Council Resolution called ”The National Program Informatizing on the Period of 2000 – 2002”, according to which the Ministry of Education and Science is to create the computer network of education, science, and culture.

To fulfil the task, the University takes an active part in the establishment of the Ukrainian scientific and educational network URAN which is the joint initiative of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine. This initiative was supported by a number of foreign funds and organizations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization science program and German research network being among them. The project Ukrainian Academic and Research Data Network, Part 1 (UARDN-1) implemented by Kiev Polytechnic Institute, leading universities and research institutes of Ukraine, including DonSTU, with the support of the NATO science program (Grant NIG –97-1779) in 1998-1999 was the actual beginning of the network spreading.

The URAN network is the basic one for the educational, science and cultural establishments. More than that, it is the basis for the national network for giving information service to the majority of the organizations mentioned above. The organization and technical principles of network operation are based on equal access by the establishments mentioned above. At present the URAN infrastructure is presented by 6 regional centres one of which is established at DonSTU.

At the first stage the regional URAN network unit which is situated in Donetsk City unites the present networks of Donetsk State Technical University (DonSTU) and Donetsk National University (DonNU) into a single network through the exchange unit which is placed at the Donetsk Office of the Ukrtelecom company. The exchange unit is being built in order to provide future enhancement and connection to 25 institutions of education, science and culture in Donetsk and about 6 customers in the regional towns of Kramatorsk, Mariupol, Makeyevka, Gorlovka, Slavyansk.

The intensive coordinated development of the whole regional science and educational infrastructure of the INTERNET should be the next stage. The construction of the computer and information network of the institutions of science, education, and culture based on the science centers of the National Academy of Science of the Ukraine and the leading universities of Dnepropetrovsk, Donetsk, Kiev, Lvov, Odessa, Kharkov is being planned. The Eastern Unit of the URAN network is supposed to be established on the base of DonSTU and Donetsk Office of Ukrtelecom.

Some words about distance learning. We are aware of all the distance learning advantages. First of all, it is:

The combination of distance learning with the traditional form of training, based on full time and correspondence instruction, will be the main feature of the future Donetsk State Technical University. The University has the maximum technical development potential without which it is impossible to form the new education system. The development of such structures as business-incubators, special zones for technical development which in synthesis with the education programs could be the most important innovative development issues in the region.


Besides the development and strategy trends mentioned above, engineering education has a need for humanizing the education process, and the incorporation of social, economic, and innovation orientation in the education process. Let me not touch on the problems as they will be discussed in details at the conference sessions.

The world transition from the financially oriented economics to the intellectually oriented one gives the University a unique chance to force its way to the future. I hope that the University is making its first, correct and confident steps in this direction. We look to the future of DonSTU with confidence, the foundation of which is being laid today.

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