Machine-Building and Instrument-Making Education

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Machine-Building and Instrument-Making Education


a branch of technical education; a system for training engineers, technicians, and skilled workers of various fields in research and the design, manufacturing technology, testing, and operation of machines, instruments, apparatus, and equipment.

The origins of education in machine building and instrument-making in Russia date to the early 18th century. At that time (1701) the School of Mathematical and Navigation Sciences was established in Moscow. The foundations of theory and practice of machine building and instrument-making were laid by M. V. Lomonosov and the mechanical engineers and inventors I. I. Polzunov, K. D. Frolov, P. K. Frolov, I. P. Kulibin, E. A. Cherepanov, and M. E. Cherepanov. A leading role in the establishment of machine-building and instrument-making education in Russia in the 19th century was played by the Moscow Technical School (founded 1830; present full name, N. E. Bauman Moscow Higher Technical School), where the scientific method of training mechanical engineers was developed. The progress of education in machine building and instrument-making is closely associated with such scientists as M. V. Ostrogradskii, P. L. Chebyshev, I. A. Vyshnegradskii, N. E. Zhukovskii, S. A. Chaplygin, A. S. Ershov, V. L. Kirpichev, A. P. Gavrilenko, N. P. Petrov, I. P. Balashov, F. N. Korolev, S. A. Akimov, P. N. Pogorel’skii, N. A. Liubimov, N. A. Zernov, P. V. Fedorov, D. K. Sovetkin, A. M. Mikhailov, and M. Ia. Kittary.

A congress of engineering educators held in St. Petersburg in 1895 was of great importance for development of machine-building and instrument-making education. In the late 19th and the early 20th centuries several polytechnic institutes were established in which machine building and instrument-making became the leading specialties—for example, the institutes in L’vov (1844), Kiev (1898), St. Petersburg (1902), and Tomsk (1896) and the Don Polytechnic Institute (Novocherkassk, 1907).

After the Great October Socialist Revolution, machine building and instrument-making became one of the main branches of technical education. Under Soviet power more than 200 higher educational institutions and more than 1,000 technicums were established for education in machine building and instrument-making. The largest higher educational institutions as of 1973 were the N. E. Bauman Moscow Higher Technical School; polytechnic institutes of Azerbaijan (Baku), Byelorussia (Minsk), Cheliabinsk, the Far East (Vladivostok), Yrevan, Georgia (Tbilisi), Irkutsk, Kazakhstan (Alma-Ata), Kaunas, Kiev, Krasnoiarsk, Kuibyshev, Leningrad, L’vov, Novocherkassk, Odessa, Penza, rIGA, Tallinn, Tashkent, Tomsk, the Urals (Sverdlovsk), and Volgograd; the All-Union (Moscow) and Northwest (Leningrad) polytechnic correspondence institutes; the Izhevsk and Leningrad mechanical institutes; aviation institutes in Kuibyshev, Kazan, Moscow, and Kharkov; the Moscow institutes of power engineering, automotive engineering, highway engineering, engineering physics, printing, machine tools and instruments, physics and technology, electronic engineering, and electronic machine building; the Rostov Institute of Agricultural Machine Building; the Leningrad institutes of aviation instrument-making and precision mechanics and optics; and the institute for radio engineering in Riazan’.

The group of fields in machine-building and instrument-making education is the largest branch of technical education. It is divided into the following subgroups: machines; equipment and technology for machine-building factories; machines and equipment for mining, metallurgy, construction, highway engineering, chemical engineering, and food and light industry; power-engineering and transportation machine building; and the design, manufacture, and study of instruments for electron optics, quantum electronics, automation and remote control, computer equipment, automatic control systems gyroscopes, radio engineering, and medicine, as well as various unique instruments for research in physics, mathematics, engineering sciences, biology, chemistry, and astronomy.

Machine-building and instrument-making education requires thorough general scientific study and engineering training, including the study of general engineering and science and a group of specialized disciplines, as well as independent work in laboratories and industry and completion of course projects and a thesis. Specialists are assigned to work as design and research engineers and as industrial engineers in design offices, research or technological departments, industrial shops, or research institutions.

The study of general educational and basic technical subjects occupies a significant place in the curricula of technicums. The general technical subjects and specialized disciplines generally correspond to those offered in the curricula of higher educational institutions. Students receive their practical training during laboratory sessions and during a period of practice in industrial work (with a mandatory qualifying examination for a worker’s rating in one of the trades). As in the higher educational institutions, the students complete several course projects and a thesis. Both higher and secondary education usually have daytime instruction; however, individual specialized subjects are also taught in evening and correspondence institutions, departments, or divisions. Workers in widespread machine-building and instrument-making trades (operators of lathes, grinders, and milling machines; welders; and electricians) are also trained in vocational-technical schools.

In 1972 there were more than 920,000 students studying machine building and instrument-making in higher educational institutions and about 750,000 in technicums; about 190,000 new students were admitted to higher educational institutions and about 200,000 to technicums. The number of graduates was about 130,000 and more than 170,000, respectively.

Scientific and teaching personnel are trained in graduate schools at most higher educational institutions and research institutions in this specialty. Higher educational institutions confer doctoral and candidate’s degrees in machine building and instrument-making.

In foreign countries, education in machine building and instrument-making is provided by polytechnic institutes, institutes of machine building and instrument-making, universities, technical universities, and colleges of engineering and technology. In socialist countries the largest schools of machine building and instrument-making are the polytechnic institutes in Belgrade, Budapest, Warsaw, Prague, and Sofia and the technical universities in Dresden and Magdeburg; in capitalist countries the largest polytechnic and technological institutes are in Brooklyn, Brussels, California, Edinburgh, Illinois, Liege, Massachusetts, Milan, Paris, Vienna, Washington, and Zurich; and the largest universities are Washington University, Harvard, the University of California, Cambridge, and Oxford.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.