Radio Engineering Education

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Radio Engineering Education


(higher and secondary education), the training of engineers and technicians who specialize in radio engineering, electronics, and telecommunications for work in industry, transport and communications, scientific institutions, and cultural organizations and institutions. Radio engineering education arose with the appearance and development of telecommunications (telegraph in the 1840’s, telephone in the 1870’s and the radio in 1895).

In prerevolutionary Russia, communication technicians were trained in the St. Petersburg Technical School of the Post and Telegraph Department (founded in 1886; from 1891 known as the St. Petersburg Electrical Engineering Institute; today known as the V. I. Ul’ianov [Lenin] Leningrad Electrical Engineering Institute). In 1905, A. S. Popov introduced a course into the institute’s curriculum entitled Electric Oscillations and Electromagnetic Waves. The St. Petersburg Electrical Engineering Institute and the St. Petersburg Polytechnic Institute trained the engineers and scientists who designed the first science courses in radio engineering, for example, the course Scientific Fundamentals of Wireless Telegraphy designed by Professor A. A. Petrovskii in 1907. Courses in radio engineering were given at the St. Petersburg Military Engineering School (later named the Military Electrotechnological Academy). M. A. Bonch-Bruevich, who was to play an important role in the development of Soviet radio engineering education, graduated from this school in 1914.

In the first years of Soviet power, a telegraphy school and a radio school were opened in Moscow. In 1920 these schools were combined in the Electrical Technicum for People’s Communications (from 1921 known as the Moscow Electrical Engineering Institute of Communications). The schools established during the 1930’s included the Leningrad Electrical Engineering Institute of Communications, the Moscow Power Engineering Institute (with a department of radio engineering) and the Odessa Electrotechnical Institute of Communications. From the 1930’s through the 1950’s, many technical colleges and institutes created departments of radio engineering, and new radio engineering institutes were established.

Specialization made its appearance in the 1930’s. Electron tubes, which earlier had become the basis of various systems in radio engineering, also found use with the advent in the 1920’s of multichannel systems for wired telephone communication. Thus, the special branch of electrical engineering known as telephone and telegraph communications grew closer to the special branches of radio engineering.

As of 1974, there were approximately 100 higher educational institutions in the USSR engaged in radio engineering education, among them seven institutes of radio engineering and electronics and seven institutes of communications. Approximately 40 institutes were training engineers in the various specialties constituting the field known as radio engineering. Training includes a thorough study of physics, mathematics, and the general principles of radio engineering. (Approximately 7,000 of these engineers are graduated annually.) Students are familiarized with the principles and technology of radio equipment designed for various purposes, such as satellite and radio-relay communications, radar, radio navigation, and radio control.

One educational specialty, known as design and manufacture of radio apparatus, prepares engineers for the development of designs and technological processes used in the manufacture of apparatus. This specialty also enables engineers to ensure the reliability, reparability, and interchangeability of articles and to mechanize production processes. In a number of universities, polytechnic institutes, and specialized institutes, students specialize in an area called radio physics and electronics. This specialty enables students to take part in physical investigations that employ microwave devices, electronic devices, and quantum optical generators and to develop the instruments required for such investigations. The number of engineers graduating each year in this specialty is 2,000–2,500.

Engineers who specialize in communications engineering design, develop, and operate the complex equipment that provides local and long-distance communication. This equipment includes cables, radio relays, satellites, and wave guides. Another specialty, known as automatic telecommunications, includes the automation of telephone and telegraph communications and the construction of communications networks that are capable of transmitting information of all kinds correctly, reliably, and rapidly. The specialty known as multichannel telecommunications came into being as a result of the development of modern high-capacity systems. Radio communications and broadcasting is also considered a specialty and includes all forms of radio communications and radio and television broadcasting.

The curricula in all these specialties of radio engineering include the study of science, engineering, social sciences, and special subjects. This last category includes a study of the latest advances in engineering in such fields as microelectronics, digital communications, and computer technology. The total number of engineers graduating in all specialty areas of radio engineering and communications exceeds 20,000 a year. More than one-half of these students attend daytime divisions.

The training of specialists in electronics accompanied the introduction of electron tubes in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The training of engineers specializing in semiconductor electron devices began in the 1950’s. Advances in the use of electron and quantum processes in solids required the training of specialists in the materials used in electronics. This specialty was introduced in a number of polytechnic and electrical engineering institutes and in some universities. During the 1960’s, there was a marked increase in the number of engineers specializing in applied electronics. This specialty occupies an intermediate position between the specialties of radio engineering and those of electrical engineering. The 1960’s also saw an increase in the number of specialists in electronic computer technology and electronic control equipment.

Technicians are trained in radio engineering at specialized secondary educational institutions. Examples of the 19 narrower specialties that are offered include construction of radio apparatus, television technology and radio-relay communications, wired communications, radio communications and broadcasting, and radio engineering measurements. The number of technicians graduating each year is 30,000–35,000.

In the 1973–74 academic year, there were 146,600 students in higher educational institutions in the various specialties of radio engineering and communications. Graduates that year numbered 21,500, and 28,600 new students were admitted. The corresponding numbers for technicums were, respectively, 136,200, 29,800, and 38,700 students. Qualified factory workers are trained in radio engineering and communications through a system of vocational technical education.

In many socialist countries, radio engineering education follows the same curricula and includes the same specialties as in the USSR. In some countries, for example, the German Democratic Republic, the specialty is somewhat broader and may be called high-frequency engineering or telecommunications. The specialization is narrowed, however, during the student’s period of industrial training and in preparing diploma work.

In the higher educational institutions of capitalist countries, the basic curriculum of radio engineering is not combined with specialization.

In the socialist countries, major centers for radio engineering education include the V. I. Lenin Higher Institute of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering in Sofia, Bulgaria, the Technical University of Budapest in Hungary, the Friedrich List Hoch-schule of Transport and Communications and the Technical University of Dresden in the German Democratic Republic, the Gdańsk Technical University, the Wroclaw Technical University, and the Technical University of Warsaw in Poland, the Polytechnic Institute in Bucharest, Rumania, and the Slovak Technical College in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia.

In the capitalist countries, major centers for radio engineering education include Stanford University, the University of Illinois, Princeton University, West Virginia University, the University of Wisconsin, Columbia University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States, the University of Tokyo and Hokkaido University in Japan, the Victoria University of Manchester, the universities of Southampton, Birmingham, and Salford, and Brighton Polytechnic in Great Britain, the University of Paris, and the University of Rome.


Iz istorii otechestvennoi radiopromyshlennosti. [Moscow] 1962.
Chistiakov, N. I. “Radiotekhnicheskoe inzhenernoe obrazovanie v SSSR za 50 let” Izvestiia vysshikh uchebnykh zavedenii: Radioelektronika, 1967, vol. 10, no. 12.
“LETI za 50 let Sovetskoi vlasti.” Izvestiia Leningradskogo elektrotekhnicheskogo in-ta, 1968, collection 76.
Chistiakov, N. J. “The Training of Telecommunication Engineers in the USSR.” Telecommunication Journal, 1970, vol. 37, no. 7.


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