Khashayar Sadeghi: “At Polytechnic University they speak the language of science”
Khashayar Sadeghi is an associate professor at the Higher School of Technosphere Safety and the Higher School of Atomic and Thermal Power Engineering. He completed his master’s degree in Iran and almost seven years ago came to Russia for postgraduate studies. He first enrolled in the preparatory faculty, where he studied Russian. Then he began teaching. First as an assistant, then as a senior lecturer. Today he is an associate professor in two higher schools.
— Khashayar, why did you choose to study at Polytechnic University?
— After my master’s degree program, I’d got the opportunity to continue my studies in Russia. I read a lot about the programs in my field, I chose from several options of postgraduate studies, including in Moscow. SPbPU is one of the best universities in Russia with a nuclear power program, and this was a decisive factor.
— How did you start teaching?
— After postgraduate studies, I was invited to the Polytechnic University of Milan. However, there was no opportunity to develop there, only on strictly defined topics. But I wanted to grow in different directions and SPbPU gave me such an opportunity: I became a teaching assistant, but I could do scientific work in peace. I wrote my thesis and simultaneously worked on several other topics. I was offered to work with students and was given an office. It was very motivating. I could stay up till night working on my research. I published more than 20 scientific articles. I felt that I was trusted and I tried to show results.
— Do you enjoy teaching or is it a temporary phase?
— I started teaching math and physics almost 10 years ago. And, I also felt that I was truly passionate about research. I really enjoy passing on my knowledge to others, especially when I see that students are interested in the subject.
— Did you experience the lockdown in St. Petersburg? How did it affect your work?
— I remember that period. I lived in a dormitory then, and despite the situation in the world at large, it was a very productive period for me. I wrote scientific articles every day without any distractions. More than 10 publications were made during that period.
— Tell us about your research.
— When I finished my master’s degree, I published my first article. It was a very difficult paper: «A set of time correlations for a fast and unprotected loss-of-flow accident in a VVER-1000 reactor using a single-heated channel approach and Gene Expression Programming». I had been writing it for almost a year. Now I am mainly researching hybrid clean energy sources and cogeneration plants equipped with heat storage systems to achieve zero emission goals. One of my latest publications is titled «Towards net-zero emissions through the hybrid SMR-solar cogeneration plant equipped with modular PCM storage system for seawater desalination».
— Was it difficult for you to adapt in Russia at first?
— At first it was difficult because I didn’t know Russian, because I didn’t understand a word. English helped a little, but it didn’t help much, let’s say, at the polyclinic. After 4 or 5 months it became easier.
— How do you spend your free time, if you have any? Is our weather not fearsome?
— Every morning I open the window and enjoy the weather. It is very hot in Tehran, in summer the temperature reaches 40-45 degrees Celsius. I like to walk around St. Petersburg and go to nature. I like people. I have been very lucky. Everyone with whom I had to communicate turned out to be nice and responsive. For example, at university. The Polytechnic University team and my mentors create professional relationships, making it easier for foreign scientists and students to study and live. At Polytechnic University, it doesn’t matter what country you are from, the language of science is spoken here.
— What can you say about today’s students, since you were a student not so long ago?
— I am lucky that many of my students are good guys. I have students from Russia, Turkey, Africa and other countries. Most of them are serious about their studies, eager to gain knowledge. There are, of course, exceptions. But if at least one out of 10 undergraduates wants to continue his path in graduate school, then I do everything right. And it is worth it.