Engineering Economics, Education In

Engineering Economics, Education In

 

the process of training engineer-economists for industry, construction, transportation, and other sectors of the economy.

Engineering economics as a separate branch of higher economic education began to take shape in the USSR in the first years of Soviet power. Alongside the existing commerce institutes (departments), a number of departments were set up by higher educational institutions to train economic cadres in both technical subjects and economics; these included the engineering economics department at the Moscow Industrial Economics Institute (founded in 1923) and the industrial departments at the Kharkov (1921) and Leningrad (1926) institutes of the national economy. In 1930 the Moscow Industrial Economics Institute and the industrial departments of the Kharkov and Leningrad institutes of the national economy were reorganized into specialized higher educational institutions (now the Sergo Ordzho-nikidze Moscow Engineering Economics Institute, the Palmiro Togliatti Leningrad Engineering Economics Institute, and the Kharkov Engineering Economics Institute). In 1972, in addition to the three specialized institutes, departments (divisions) at more than 40 specialized higher educational institutions in the USSR were training specialists for sectors of engineering economics.

Engineering economics includes the training of engineers in economics and production organization for particular sectors of industry (such as machine building, chemistry, radio electronics, metallurgy, mining, petroleum and gas, forestry, printing, and light industry), transportation (railroads, motor vehicles, air and water transportation), power, construction, communications, municipal services, and the organization of mechanized processing of economic data (engineer-economists with this specialization are used in all sectors of industry and transportation).

Curricula in the engineering economics specializations provide for study of the social sciences with an expanded course of political economy; courses in higher mathematics, physics, and chemistry; and a group of technical disciplines in the chosen specialization (such as resistance of materials, mechanics, production technology, and machinery and equipment). The economics cycle includes courses in statistics, bookkeeping, finance, and the economics of the appropriate sector of the national economy. Along with general scientific, technical, and general economic training, students receive adequate knowledge in the fields of production technology and engineering, the organization and planning of production and labor, and management of production in a particular economic sector. Students in all specializations take courses in computers, programming, and machine data processing (or the use of mathematical methods in production planning and management). The period of study for daytime divisions is five years; for correspondence and evening departments it is six years. Study concludes with the defense of a graduation thesis.

In 1971–72,186,000 students were studying in the engineering economics specializations. Each year about 11,000 specialists graduate.

Teachers in engineering economics specializations are trained through the system of graduate study at the Leningrad, Moscow, and Kharkov engineering economics institutes and in the sub-departments of economics and production organization at a number of higher technical educational institutions (the Bauman Moscow Higher Technical School, the Moscow Aviation Institute, the Leningrad and Ural’sk polytechnic institutes, and others). The Moscow and Leningrad engineering economics institutes have been given the right to accept candidate and doctoral dissertations for defense; the Kharkov institute can accept candidate dissertations. At the engineering economics institutes and the Ural’sk Polytechnic Institute, departments have been established to train organizers for industry and construction (from specialists who have received a higher education).

In foreign countries there are no specialized engineering economics institutes. In the other socialist countries, specialists in engineering economics are trained in departments specializing in particular economic sectors of higher technical educational institutions and universities. Economic education of engineers through various forms of advanced qualification has become common in many countries.

K. I. SHNITKO

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