Unusual defense: the student defended his final research paper in French

On the 19th of June Nosov Magnitogorsk State Technical University witnessed a successful defense of the graduation thesis in French. This was the second case in history of the Department of Automated Electric Drives and Mechatronics and the third one in history of NMSTU.

Maxim Anikushin, a participant of the double diploma program established between NMSTU and Jean Monnet University (Saint-Étienne, France), majoring in mechatronics and robotics, presented his graduation thesis on the studies on a hard zinc removal robot system installed on a hot dip galvanizing line (supervised by A.A. Nikolaev, Head of the Department of Automated Electric Drives and Mechatronics, NMSTU, and advised by S.S. Enin, a senior lecturer of the same department, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, professor of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Industrial Informatics, Jean Monnet University).

In 2018-2020 Maxim twice undertook a semester study at Jean Monnet University. Therefore, he was eligible for two bachelor’s diplomas issued by the Russian and European universities. The thesis graduation was online in a special room of the NMSTU Department of Distance Learning Technologies.

“The thesis defense was on a decent level in terms of the content and the language of the presentation.  Maxim was delivering the report within an hour and did not look into his notes, and, unfortunately, this is a rare occasion even when the theses is defended in Russian. Maxim answered all the questions using technical French and showed an example that when there was a motivation, there was a will to learn the language and freely communicate with foreign teachers”, commented Alexey Korchunov, Vice Rector for International Affairs, NMSTU.

Regarding the graduation thesis, the student carried out studies on operation modes of KUKA KR 150 R2700 extra F, a sophisticated robotic machine used to remove hard zinc from the surface in a bath of molten zinc on hot dip galvanizing line No. 3 at Rolling Shop No. 11, PJSC MMK.

“This industrial robot was introduced into operation this spring and now even technical specialists of the shop know little about control algorithms. Thanks to the collection and analysis of the technical documentation and the studies performed, Maxim Anikushin made a definite contribution to the improvement of operation modes of this robot. His recommendations aimed at saving electrical power consumed for cyclic operations may be introduced at the existing facilities and will be submitted to the technical specialists of Rolling Shop No. 11”, explained Alexander Nikolaev, a research supervisor, Head of the Department of Automated Electric Drives and Mechatronics.

In spite of the existing restrictions due to COVID-19, the parties managed to organize the industrial practical training for Maxim. Following the requirements from the French university, the duration of the practical training was 10 weeks and involved e-learning technologies.

“I would like to thank the specialists of Rolling Shop No. 11 of PJSC MMK for the provided technical data about the machine under study and their important technical consultations within a period of the practical training”, said Alexander Nikolaev.

The examination board from the French university consisting of Professor Rousseau and Elodie Masson highly marked the level of the graduation thesis.

“The thesis defense may be deemed to have passed successfully as the committee members expressed a positive opinion about the research performed and the presentation. I want to continue my study in France at one of engineering schools to level up in the French education system. I intend to apply for study in France as soon as possible. Besides, I am going to apply for the master’s degree program at NMSTU”, shared his impressions Maxim.

“Jean Monnet University is our most reliable partner since 2012 and we continue our collaboration despite the limitations due to COVID-19. We will continue to implement academic mobility under the Erasmus+ program, which is valid until 2022, and hope that we will see such thesis defense in future”, added Alexey Korchunov.

Summarizing the results of his study in Russia and France, Maxim Anikushin says that he gained invaluable and unique experience and the thesis defended in French was a high destination point of a long trip.

“Thanks to two semesters of my study at the French university on the major, which is very close to the one I study at NMSTU, I learnt the courses and technical terms that proved to be useful for writing and defending my thesis in French. Understanding the logic of the language, skills of constructing sentences and answering questions were very helpful, and to a considerable extent I gained these skills thanks to real life communications with my friends from France. Now I go only further, towards new knowledge!”

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