Professor Antonio Andreini of University of Florence: "The Science Loves Those Who Is Steady in Purpose"
More and more new teachers come to SPbPU to share their knowledge and experiences with students of the university, and this means that the international dialogue through education and science is going on at Polytechnic University with no interruptions. Professor of University of Florence (Italy) Antonio ANDREINI came to Polytechnic University for the first time. In his interview to the international department of SPbPU, Professor Andreini shared impressions of his visit and classes he taught at the Institute of Energy and Transport Systems, told about his own research activities concerning internal-combustion engines and gas turbines, and gave a comprehensive answer to the traditional question on what helps students to get the most of their studies. Our interview is about this and not only.
- Professor Andreini, is this your first visit to St. Petersburg? Could you, please, share your impressions of our city?
- It is very impressive. Despite the many things said about the severe Russian climate, I feel quite comfortable in St. Petersburg. The only thing that is hard to get used to is the short light day. This is why I hope to come to your city again, in summer.
- And what about Polytechnic University?
- Your university has impressed me no less than St. Petersburg. University of Florence, where I serve, is also quite big, but nothing comparable with your campus. Our schools are located in various parts of the city, while the area of your university is like a small town composed of various buildings, houses, laboratories, and centers. It would be interesting to know more about your international educational programs and events which SPbPU holds for the development of international relations. In my view, each university interested in the success and strengthening of its competitiveness should develop in this sphere.
- How did your lectures go? Was everything according to the initial plan?
- More or less, yes. As I have never taught courses at SPbPU before, I had to change some parts of my talks to be able to dedicate more time to the matters which needed elaboration. Your students proved to be well organized and engaged listeners. I enjoy working in an international media, and I was glad to see students from most various countries: India, China, Bolivia, Lebanon, etc.
- Please tell more about your research activities at University of Florence.
- My research and development activities are mostly focused on the heat-transfer and combustion processes in aviation gas-turbine engines. The gas-turbine engines have high capacities and relatively low masses; however, only heat-resistant steels are used for their production because steels normally used for turbine spades cannot be used here, as we are speaking about really high temperatures. We hold experiments with a research group. In particular, we hold tests on combustion and heat transfer. Besides these researches in high-temperature regimes, we also explore the processes of cooling. Master's degree and post-graduate students participate in these researches on regular basis; we, certainly, cannot engage all of them but only the most talented. We do not let students take part in combustion experiments because those are quite hazardous. However, they do a lot of research work in all other spheres.
- Have you got your own pedagogical methods during the years of teaching?
- I would not say that I use some special pedagogical methods. In the process of education I always teach lectures; however, I am trying to provide my students with the syllabus in advance. This helps them to get better involved in the subject, identify bottlenecks, and think about their questions beforehand. In addition, my students always have a clear topical schedule of classes which does not change through the year. In the end of each course, we spare two or three days to repeat the material and clarify the unclear issues, and then, of course, we hold final tests to assess their knowledge.
- Speaking of the tests, we cannot help but ask, what are the three things that can help students to achieve the utmost results in their studies?
- I am not going to be original saying that the most important thing is student's ability for self-organization. Attend lectures, try to leave no unanswered questions, always clarify the issues you do not understand. Re-read your compendium of lectures on regular basis, study consequently, lesson after lesson. Secondly, share your knowledge with other students, discuss scientific matters, hold debates. And, lastly, do not be just passive listeners! Get out of the frames of your educational program, always be hungry for new knowledge: the science loves those who is steady in purpose!
- Professor Andreini, thank you very much for your interesting interview. We wish you success in your research activities.