Professor SCHWARZ: “You Should Know What You Want”

22 December 2017 Education 215

43 visiting professors joint teaching community of SPbPU in 2017. For instance, Professor, Dr.Eng. Harald SCHWARZ from Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg) came to Institute of Energy and Transport Systems (IETS of SPbPU) to lecture on Electrical Power Engineering. In his interview Professor SCHWARZ told about the importance of Smart Grids, shared his opinion about online educational courses and marked three things which make students’ studying successful.

Professor SCHWARZ:  You Should Know What You Want

- Professor SCHWARZ, how often do you visit Russia?

- For the first time I came to your country in 2009 or 2010, when BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg began to look for partners in Double Degree Programs at other universities. Together with Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University we implement two Master's Double Degree Programs. Since 2010 I’ve been Russia for 8 or 9 times. I love St. Petersburg, and visit it with pleasure.

- What is the best advantage of Double Degree Program?

- I think it’s an optimized exchange. Normally you can make exchange one semester to any university and any place in the world. When you go there, you can take some subjects, and when you go back to your university you have to ask to get acceptance for all these grades and marks and points. If you have Double Degree Program, it means, that both universities agreed to organize the study in the such a way, that students could study for 2 semesters at a partner university, then return back, and their university would automatically accept all the subjects they had already studied. That makes it much easier to get better results, to concentrate on studies.

- As we know, BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg conducts researches in Smart Grids and Micro Smart Grids. Could you tell us some words about it?

- It is important to note that a nowadays a lot of countries want to move to renewables. That means photovoltaics, wind energy, hydro power, biomass. So now the question is how to balance these energy sources? All of them are intermittent energy sources, and they need more complex control system. Smart Grid allows to manage energy from renewable sources effectively. In addition, it enables us to predict energy production from renewable sources, store energy using a lithium-ion batteries, track energy consumption.

- Besides Smart Grids there are Micro Smart Grids. Where can we use them?

- There is no difference between Smart Grids and Micro Smart Grids except its size. If you use a Smart Grid for some local territory, it is a Micro Smart Grid. If you use it for some special house - it would be a Nano Grid.

- We've heard that there were launched online courses for students at your university. What are their advantages?

- They are aimed to help students to support them in their educational process. And it is not only for my university - for example, I gave a course in Electro Magnetic Compatibility at SPbPU, and we recognized that some of the students had problems to absorb all this information in a short period of time. So we decided to make a video with my lectures, and if the students want, they can download it and repeat the whole lecture before, for example, an examination. Also we have a series of small videos with experiments so the students can watch it and understand its results, and when they go to the laboratory they will be better prepared for the experiments.

- What teaching approaches do you find the most effective?

- I prefer classical way of teaching: give lectures to my students, then test them. Of course, I appreciate discussions, and considering the fact that I often work with international groups of students, their thoughts and arguments sometimes can lead to really surprising results!

- What is the better motivation for the students?

- According to my opinion, it depends on a person. Someone's motivation is a degree. For someone it is an educational process and knowledge. For others it is a science in general. It's complicated!

- And our traditional question: name three things which make the students studying successful!

- First: you should know what you want. If you know what you want you can focus on that. If you don’t, you are always jumping between different options. Second: you should be able to organize yourself. And third: you have to organize how to learn.

- Professor SCHWARZ, thank you very much for the interesting interview! Wish you success with your scientific work!

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