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Read this article to learn where future builders of railways and highways are taught, what transport IT specialists do, and why intelligent systems never fail.

Russian University of Transport (MIIT) – the main supplier of highly qualified personnel for the transport industry in Moscow. This year the university celebrates its 125th anniversary. And starting this week, the Serpukhovsko-Timiryazevskaya metro line runs theme train… Inside the cars are the main milestones in the development of the university: from the Imperial Moscow Engineering School to the largest industrial university in the country.

Today, over 35 thousand students are studying at the university, about five thousand of them are in the target area. Here, both future machinists, station managers and dispatchers, as well as logisticians, IT specialists and builders receive education. Rector of RTU MIIT Alexander Klimov told what large-scale urban projects students, postgraduates and university staff are involved in, and what the future holds for Moscow’s transport system.

About modern education

– Alexander Alekseevich, tell us what specialties are most in demand this year? Are there any new directions?

– I can note that this year the interest in transport education has not decreased.

The most popular among applicants are specialties related to digitalization and information technology. Thus, for the specialization “Information Security” more than two thousand applications were submitted for 21 budget places.

We have launched a new scientific and educational center – the Higher Engineering School. The first set includes more than 200 students. In the future, they will have to solve the problems facing the transport system of Moscow. These are specialists in the field of big data processing, development of communication systems, information modeling technologies (TIM). Graduates will be able to analyze traffic flows, design a transport structure in large cities, and create mobile applications. Thanks to cooperation with Department of Transport of the city of Moscowtraining programs are based on real-life situations and projects.

– Is information modeling technology an innovation for the transport industry as a whole?

– This is a very relevant topic – the creation of digital models, or digital twins, of transport objects: bridges, tunnels, railways. Using digital twins, specialists can predict the state and further changes of a real object. This allows repairs to be carried out off schedule, but when needed. According to some estimates, digital models will reduce costs by a third over the entire life cycle of the facility. I am sure that in 10 years no transport or construction project in general will be created without a digital twin. And we are already training specialists who will develop new technological solutions.

I would also like to note such a new direction for the university as transport design. In a modern city, all transport facilities should be beautiful and convenient. At the Higher School of Engineering, we are already teaching students who will be able to develop design projects for stations, transfer hubs, and vehicles.

– How did the pandemic affect the format of education at the university?

– In April last year, we switched to a distance learning format. We were greatly helped by the fact that each student has a personal electronic account, where all the necessary information is available. In 2020, students studied, passed exams and tests, and defended their graduation qualification projects remotely.

But over a year and a half of the pandemic, we once again became convinced that the traditional training format has enormous advantages. Both students and teachers need live communication. And some specialists can be trained only in full-time format, as they need to practice their skills on training complexes.

We started this academic year in the usual format. I hope we will be able to continue working in this manner, given that more than 75 percent of our employees have already been vaccinated against coronavirus.

Keep up with technology

– Moscow is actively building a metro, developing surface rail transport, and launching an MCD. Does the Moscow Department of Transport order the preparation of certain projects or specialists for you?

– RUT (MIIT) interacts on an ongoing basis with the Moscow Department of Transport. Our center for digital high-speed transport systems prepares analytical materials, calculates various scenarios, and simulates passenger flows. In the future, the analysis is taken into account in the work that determines the future appearance of the transport system of Moscow.

For example, our employees participated in work on analytical support for the creation of a new Vostochny railway station. Such projects motivate young people to creative work. Now the university is involved in a project for the development of the Moscow Central Diameters.

– The rolling stock and the entire public transport system are constantly being modernized. How is the educational process organized so that students receive relevant knowledge?

– We are primarily an engineering university. For the training of specialists, the most modern training complexes and educational and laboratory equipment are used. There is a center for multimodal transport systems, where students can practice practical skills in real situations. After such training, our students, coming to the industrial practice, find themselves in an already familiar environment. In case of renewal of the rolling stock or technology, the simulator software also changes.

– What percentage of your graduates remain in the transport sector?

– Most of our graduates associate their lives with the transport industry. Almost 100 percent of students who are targeted in their specialty are employed.

About half of our graduates work at the Moscow transport hub. Among the companies where graduates are employed are the Moscow Metro, the Department of Transport, Russian Railways, and the Central Suburban Passenger Company.

The future belongs to electric transport

– How do you see Moscow transport in the future, for example, in 5-10 years?

– Transportation systems of the future will be unmanned. In order to transport more passengers and goods, we must shorten the intervals of trains, cars and ships as much as possible. The shorter the intervals of movement, the more reason to transfer control to the digital system.

I also consider the development of unmanned technologies in road transport predetermined. This will increase security: modern computer systems do not get tired and make informed decisions in any situation. But for this it is necessary to improve the infrastructure. The roads of the future must be smart and help self-driving cars be safe.

– What else will change in the transport system of Moscow of the future?

– The massive transition to electric transport, which the Moscow Government is currently doing, will improve the environmental situation in the city. There are already 700 electric buses in Moscow. And then you can transfer to electric taxi and car sharing. Private electric vehicles are becoming popular in many countries. Russia actively supports the transition to the use of electric vehicles and has approved the concept for the development of electric transport until 2030.

Everything related to microtransportation will definitely develop. First of all, we mean electric scooters. A certain infrastructure has already been created for them. So far, this is rather entertainment. But, I think, in the future, the possibilities of micro transport will be overestimated. Of course, scooter drivers need to behave in a civilized manner. For example, the automatic speed limiting system will help to comply with the traffic rules.

– What do you think about the project of launching river transportation in Moscow?

– River transportation is considered a promising topic, they are already actively developing in Europe. And in Moscow, river transport will significantly reduce the travel time on some routes. In my opinion, the city should run all year round environmentally friendly ships. In the future, it will be possible to use autonomous navigation technologies on them.

– Why is it so necessary to develop different types of public transport in a modern city?

– The world is changing. The modern city dweller has an increasing demand for mobility. People’s preferences change: no one wants to sit in one place. Mobility is a great value for a modern person.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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