Полоцкий государственный университет

Polotsk
State
University

Just over a month ago the second university stage of “Falling Walls” International Science Slam Competition took place at Polotsk State University. According to its results, Irina Frutskaya (Faculty of Humanities) and Egor Trambitsky (Faculty of Civil Engineering) were chosen to present PSU at the national level. And last Saturday, Belarusian State University announced the name of a young researcher, the one who is going to present Belarus in the final in Berlin.

So, the totals of “Falling Walls” provided at the republican level were rather expected. As well as last year, a student form PSU became the winner and, consequently, holder of a coveted trip ticket to Berlin! Please meet our talented and handsome winner – Egor Trambitsky and, of course, his intelligent academic supervisor – Dmitry Shabanov, PhD in Engineering, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Construction Industry!

Dmitry Shabanov and Egor Trambitsky

Reporter: Before everything else, let us congratulate you, Egor! Could you tell us about your way to success?

E. Trambitsky: Well, I am a graduate of Novopolotsk lyceum. Our program was profoundly oriented to physics and mathematics. I had no problem with history and social studies, you know. But that time I already had a clear idea of who I wanted to be – an engineer. I do not say physics and mathematics have always come easy for me. I had to work hard. And lucky me, my teachers were brilliant! For instance, there was Viacheslav Samoilovich, a teacher of physics. I suppose that was him who not only raised my love to the subject, but to the science. Now I am a fifth-year student taking “Industrial and civil engineering” course at the Faculty of Civil Engineering.

Reporter: Speaking about your entering PSU, the Faculty of Civil Engineering – is it a coincidence?

E. Trambitsky: The decision what university to enter was obvious to me. The representatives from Saint-Petersburg universities have visited our Novopolotsk lyceum. I know a lot about people who earlier studied at the lyceum, then moved to Saint-Petersburg, to the countries of Western and Central Europe for educational purposes. In my case, everything turned to be different, I did not think about going somewhere far away. I was pretty sure all I needed for getting education concerning engineering I could find in my native city. Surely, in terms of living Novopolotsk became an obvious choice. I decided to enter the Faculty of Civil Engineering. The latter seemed the most interesting and perspective for further development. All my five years being here I have never felt disappointed!

Reporter: What is your approach to scientific work?

E. Trambitsky: I was a third-year student when I started my research being supervised by Dmitryj Shabanov. He noticed me while working under the collaborative presentation devoted to 3D printer. Nowadays I consider Dmitry Shabanov, as well as Viacheslav Samoilovich, to be my Masters.

D. Shabanov: Every research is a continuation of the previous one! As an example, Egor Trambitsky follows Egor Ziabkin who presented Thesis consecrated to polymer composite materials. Having received experimental results, they modeled the procedures we needed due to IT technologies. Actually, we formed the team. We work following really perspective direction using 3D computer modeling.

As for Egor Trambitsky, he decided to pursue his own research. We chose the topic. Some time ago I also worked with resistance strain gauges. Those are special transducers which convert deformation magnitude into electrical signal convenient for measurement. I have some publications but they are devoted to surface deformation of building products. Egor, in his turn, was offered to get “deep” resistance strain gauges for deformations study and monitoring over time. His research aimed at creating such a device, “forming” it and receiving a result.

Reporter: Was it the exact issue inserted in the competition presentation?

E. Trambitsky: It was. It was entitled as “Stress-strain scanning using deep sensors”. Traditionally, the competition presupposes playing on “Falling Walls” in one`s presentation title. “Falling Walls” as such is not only a well-known image of Fall of the Berlin Wall (thus, in 2009 the very first competition dedicated to 20 years of Fall of the Berlin Wall was set). Moreover, it is a symbol of intellectual overcoming and scientific issues resolution. Therefore, on the republican stage, I, being an engineer, could not but took a chance of a word-play. And it worked, I guess. My presentation was headed as “Breaking the wall of wallsbreaking”.

Egor Trambitsky

Reporter: It looks like your topic is at the intersection of engineering besides including tool engineering and IT technology?

E. Trambitsky: Exactly! We call it our “know-how”! And nowadays, frankly speaking, we are ready to compete with universities in Minsk. Our success in the recently led competition is a living proof!

Reporter: Egor, why is it so attractive to you?

E. Trambitsky: I have always loved to create something: whether it was construction or improvement. And here I’ve found such a marvellous possibility. Above all, I am thankful to Dmitry Nikolaevich! My interest to this topic appeared just because of him. On the other hand, while working I got a try to give the answer to the most crucial problem. The thing I am talking about is for modern society to deal with it. My topic is highly important. So, we may achieve stunning results if we continue the research.

The topic possesses a considerable practical value. All of a sudden, the American bridge collapsed. People were injured. Somewhere else the wall fell down. Unfortunately, the mechanism of such a kind of structural change is not a subject of a real-time study. А real-time monitoring is a must. The reason is that any material especially that of reinforced concrete may lose its performance characteristics at any moment!

D. Shabanov: As for reinforced concrete, it shall be under constant monitoring! We are to control any sort of structural changes which may lead to breakdown. A lot of issues arise all the time. The examples are not so far to seek. Let us refer to a horrendous fate of the emergency bridge in Zhitkovichi region. One more recent example – the necessity to provide repair works of the bridge over Western Dvina in Novopolotsk.

That is the challenge not only for engineers but for the society as well. Thus, it comes to our security. The devices providing construction condition monitoring have been implemented long time ago. What matters, no one uses it widely.

E. Trambitsky: That is true, such devices exist. But as a fact, they are used only for a construction of a particular responsibility. For instance, we may mention nuclear power station. Additionally, the devices are very expensive! And here we offer both the manufacturing procedure and the device itself. The tool we create allows monitoring civil buildings and other objects. That all is necessary to take readings of a construction structural changes. Moreover, it helps to analyze the received data and thereafter take decisions. Also, we are planning to use our transducer on the road surface.

D. Shabanov: Naturally, now we are trying to get rid of obsolete asphalt concrete surfaces and moving to reinforced concrete ones. The latter require overtime monitoring.

Reporter: What was your presentation like?

E. Trambitsky: There were special regulations to follow. I had three minutes to present the material. One can show only three slides. That challenging environment presupposed a clear scientific message. Thus, as stated, you are to “sell” your ideas to the panels. As one had finished there were questions.

We had a workshop, a seminar, the day before the presentation. Anton Yarkin, the organizer of such a science slam, also participated. He revised our presentations and gave useful piece of advice and exercises.

In Minsk the number of juries in the panel varied from six to eight. As I saw it, there were no engineer who was to understand what I was talking about. I had to convey my idea to a chemical engineer or economist or even linguist.

Reporter: To participate in such competitions you are not only to present a tempting scientific issue and to propose a solution, but to speak English perfectly.

E. Trambitsky: All-in-all, I did not have difficulties with that. Anyway, you prepare for your presentation. All you need to say is spoken and improved many times. Finally, you remember your speech by heart and you ready to show it: any time, day or night. Possessing this information makes you feel secure.

The most complicating thing concerns communication and answering – whether it is juries or audience. The engineering requires special terminology which is not the easiest one. That is why it is difficult to understand, for instance, an economist or chemical engineer and to make them understand you.

D. Shabanov: Considering language barrier issues, we note this question is purely about psychology. Egor worked it out rather easy I guess. To add, the positive moment influenced this was his active participation in the Junior Research Conferences “European and National Dimension in Research”. A big part of the material Egor presented in Minsk was successfully reviewed at PSU! Egor never acted like “read the paper – sit down”. Our researchers as Egor Lazovsky and Elena Kremneva asked questions and were satisfied with the answers. And just before 50th PSU celebration the Faculty of Civil Engineering set its own interesting conference. There Egor also made a presentation in English. He walked a long way following this direction even before that slam competition university stage!

Falling Walls-2018

Reporter: What was your reaction when you knew the winner?

E. Trambitsky: After the competition part finished we received the certificates allowing further participation at the republican level. That moment I did not worry – I went through the presentation and I showed almost everything I wished. I felt comfortable sitting on the sofa and enjoyed being a participant of such a cool event. The organizers started to announce the winners` names: the third place, the second one… Then a long tempting pause followed before everyone knew the main winner. So it seemed I was forgotten and I caught a glimpse like: “Well, not today…” And then I heard my name. I was just taken aback and only when the applause raised and the audience started to turn around I realized! When I walked towards the organizers I was still impressed.

I consider there were a couple of really impressive presentations if to try to make other participants objective assessment. Their works were in full conformity with “scientific show”. The latter so-called title was given by Dmitry Glukhov while talking about the participant`s main objective at “Falling Walls”. The way those guys presented their research was excellent! I have a lot to strive for!

I suppose my presentation came to be more balanced if to dwell upon three main component correspondence. They are scientific component, spectacular value and English. Supposedly the jury panel were motivated exactly by that. During the last five month remaining, before the final in Berlin, it is far easier to put more interactive tricks to the scientific part. The most challenging is to strengthen the scientific content as such and to improve the language. So it is still a science slam. And while informal communication the organizers admitted they gave preference not to a form, but content.

“Falling Walls – 2018” winner

Reporter: Well-well, Berlin waits! Tell us the way you want to prepare for a new scientific trial? And where exactly you are going to present Belarus?

E. Trambitskij: The final is set on November 6. I anticipate many sleepless nights and lab work. Being a participant of such an international event is a huge responsibility! I intend to make every effort to present our country and the university worthily! Above all, participating in such a big junior research forum is a perfect chance to assert oneself.

According to Dmitry Nikolaevich, we have a strong team. It seems to me nowadays scientific research belongs not only to genius loners, but to a scientific team where people are united by a wideness of interdisciplinary fields. I am glad to feel this friendly atmosphere at the Faculty of Civil Engineering.

Reporter: Sooner you are going to defend your Diploma project and, consequently, there is a graduation. What kind of future do you see?

E. Trambitsky: Now I am not able to see the far future. The Diploma project defense is soon. Then I am going to prepare the presentation for Berlin. That is all I am thinking about now.

D. Shabanov: He is our future postgraduate student! Egor has already taken an appointment. We are planning an initially intensive research program. Moreover, I want to point out that Egor is one more eloquent example proving PSU (and especially the Faculty of Civil Engineering) not being just a periphery as someone somewhere may think!

E. Trambitsky: My high expectations are connected with postgraduate study. My first priority for the next two years is science. I have already done some ground work and while my preparation for “Falling Walls” final I will progress. Our faculty offers a unique postgraduate program allowing to study in Portugal and to get a double Diploma: the one is Belarusian, the another one – European. So just here my English will be a great plus and, besides, I will get something new. Alexander Bakatovich, our Dean, has already contacted his Portuguese colleagues and asked for finding a supervisor for me.

D. Shabanov: To be honest, we need these young researchers for them to be our renewal. The thing is we prepare not only civil engineers but researchers and lecturers. I suppose to allow Egor be a builder is impossible! He absorbed so much knowledge and there will be a postgraduate study stage. I hope if he keeps relating this way he will have a success!

Reporter: Dmitry Nikolaevich, let us show a big thank you for provided job! Egor, we wish you reaching new science tops! We will be rooting for you!

Group photo