Give us a Welcome, Freiberg!

Khulkar Alovadinova, a postgraduate student of the Department of Heat and Power Engineering Systems guided by the professor Sergey Kartavtcev, has been awarded a Russian President’s grant enabling her to study overseas in 2016/2017. We hurried to meet and interview the recipient of this prestigious award.

– Tell us, Khulkar, if you know how many applicants there were in general and from your university in particular? And how many of them received the award?

– There were about 1,500 applications submitted. 111 applicants were awarded grants, including 46 undergraduate and 65 postgraduate students. Our university was presented by three applicants.

– What is behind your success in this competition?

– I believe modernization and the technical development of economics are the current priorities in this country, and the subject of my research – energy and resource saving in heat engineering industry, and namely Research in Heat Technology of Mould Casting – falls in this category. Our successful collaboration with the host university in Germany was another contributing factor. Displaying their characteristic accuracy and punctuality our German colleagues did all the necessary things – they reviewed the package of documentation submitted by us, approved of the cost estimate and granted their approval. I must say we started our preparation work, including the paperwork, in September 2015, i.e. quite some time before the competition, and it was a rather hard work. In this we were immensely supported by Dmitry Konstantinov from the International Affairs Office. My special thanks to him for his support! I was required to submit a list of my publications, a list of conferences that I had taken part in, as well as all my rewards, examination records, my diploma, a letter of recommendation, translations of the above and so on. And the host university in Freiburg had to send an invitation as recognition of their willingness to collaborate with us and accept my application.

– I know that you have quite a collection of various rewards. Do you think it contributed to your success with the grant?

– I think it did. When Dmitry took a look at my rewards and diplomas, he said he would be happy to help me prepare my application package because it would have a great potential for success. Such competitions are usually very popular but not all of the applicants can offer a good potential. When I was working on my application, I was the author of 25 publications. One of them was published by the Higher Attestation Commission of Russia, and one article was published in a foreign journal. I had five honorary diplomas and three certificates of merit, all of them granted by the top forums by counterpart universities.

Now that the hard work is behind and the results have come out, I feel fulfilled and at the same time uneasy. It is going to be a challenge to spend a whole term studying in a foreign land far from home. It would be good if I could also continue my thesis work during this time. What makes me feel better though is that I am going to join the Department of Flow Mechanics and Numerical Modelling, which is famous with its strong background in modelling of all processes, and I do need this knowledge.

I have never travelled to a foreign country before. This being my first trip abroad, I am looking forward to a new, important and exciting experience.

– This grant is 100% your win?

– Not only mine. This success is also due to my scientific adviser, Professor Sergey Kartavtcev. He may be the main contributor here. I have been working with him since I was an undergraduate student. All my scientific knowledge, skills and rewards, all the potential – this is all the result of his efforts. Moreover, when our university started to see regular visits by foreign students, Professor Kartavtcev would lecture to them and he would invite us as his research fellows to take part in that process. We would join a class, listen to and converse with the foreign students in English. This gradually helped me overcome both emotional and language barriers. I would often wonder to myself – if students from abroad come to us, why can’t we travel to their universities? My scientific adviser would do everything to encourage and support me in this idea. Especially it appeared one was only required to have an intermediate level of the language proficiency to qualify for the competition. I finished a six-month course offered the British Club language school and then I took up a two-month course where I passed a language test and acquired the necessary language certificate.

– What awaits you at the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology?

– First and foremost, study, which is to take place from September 1,2016 through January 31, 2017. I am going to learn some of the disciplines they teach there, especially in the area of power engineering. If they offer German language classes, I will definitely take them. I also hope to make use of their laboratory facilities if they can offer the capabilities I need for my research. I am advised to participate in conferences, which is also my plan. In other words, I will try to make most of the opportunity that is placed before me.

Elena Streltcova

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