Transportation Education

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Transportation Education


the system for training engineers, technicians, and skilled workers in the planning, design, construction, and operation of various types of transportation (rail, motor-vehicle, maritime, river, air, pipeline, industrial, and urban).

Transportation education took shape in Russia in the early 18th century. The School of Mathematical and Navigational Sciences was founded in Moscow in 1701, and the Naval Academy was established in St. Petersburg in 1715. A nautical school in Kholmogory opened in 1781. In 1782 the special Corps of Hydraulic Engineers was organized to meet the need for specialists to maintain and operate man-made structures on land and water routes. The Moscow and Vyshnii Volok lower technical schools of water communications were established somewhat later. The Administration of Water and Land Communications was established in 1809, concurrent with the founding of the Communications Institute of the Corps of Engineers in St. Petersburg. The Military Communications Construction School was established under the institute in 1820 to train construction engineers. Among the graduates of the institute were P. P. Mel’nikov, N. O. Kraft, S. V. Kerbedz, M. S. Volkov, la. A. Sevast’ianov, L. F. Nikolai, la. N. Gordeenko, P. I. Sobko, and F. S. Iasinskii, who later became the founders of the Russian school of construction and transportation sciences. The Communications Institute of the Corps of Engineers was responsible for developing the Russian system of transportation education and the foundations of the science of communications. The Higher Naval Engineering School was established in St. Petersburg in 1876; and in 1896 the Moscow Engineering School was founded. In 1913 the name of the latter was changed to the Moscow Institute of Railroad Engineers. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, railroad engineers were trained at the St. Petersburg Institute of Technology, the Moscow Higher Technical School, the Kharkov and Tomsk technological institutes, and the Kiev Polytechnic Institute. Technical schools of railroad transportation appeared in the second half of the 19th century; the first of them was established in Elets in 1869.

During the first years of Soviet power, special departments for individual types of transportation were organized at higher technical schools of transportation. As early as 1920, the Petrograd Institute of Communications opened departments of land and water communications, which were followed by departments of motor-vehicle transportation and air communications, and the Moscow Institute of Railroad Engineers organized departments of land and water communications and an operations division in the land communications department. In 1918 a school of communications was established at the Petrograd institute, and it was there that the foundations of the Soviet system of secondary specialized transportation education took shape. The school today is known as the F. E. Dzerzhinskii Leningrad Railroad Transportation Technicum.

Further specialization of transportation education led to the creation of a network of institutes of rail, water, motor-vehicle, and air transportation in the period 1929–33. Departments of the Leningrad and Moscow institutes served as the basis for the establishment of institutes of railroad engineers and road transportation institutes in Leningrad (1929) and Moscow (1930), as well as institutes of civil aviation (1929) and water transportation engineers (1930) and the Moscow Electromechanical Institute of Railroad Transportation Engineers (1931). Higher technical educational institutions of transportation opened in major economic centers. The Rostov Institute of Railroad Transportation opened in 1929, and the Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Tbilisi, and Tomsk institutes of railroad transportation opened in 1930. Other institutions established in 1930 were the Odessa and Gorky institutes of water transportation, the road transportation institutes in Kharkov, Saratov, and Omsk, and the aviation institutes in Moscow and Kharkov.

Many more schools were established from the 1930’s to the 1950’s. Institutes of railroad engineers were founded in Tashkent in 1931, Novosibirsk in 1932, and Khabarovsk in 1939. The All-Union Correspondence Institute of Railroad Engineers opened in Moscow in 1951, the Byelorussian institute in Gomel’ in 1953, and the Urals institute in Sverdlovsk in 1956. Higher naval engineering schools were opened in Odessa and Vladivostok in 1944 and in Leningrad in 1954. The Higher School of Marine Engineering, located in Murmansk, opened in 1956, and the Novosibirsk Institute of Water Transportation Engineering was founded in 1951. Institutes of aviation and civil aviation were established in Kazan and Ufa in 1932, in Kiev in 1933, in Kuibyshev in 1942, and in Leningrad in 1955.

Engineers for railroad, motor-vehicle, maritime, and river transportation and civil aviation are trained (1976) at 130 higher educational institutions, including 45 specialized and 95 polytechnic, machine-building, construction engineering, shipbuilding, and other institutions. Among the specialized institutions are 13 institutes of railroad transportation, two in Moscow and one each in Leningrad, Dnepropetrovsk, Gomel’, Rostov-on-Don, Kharkov, Sverdlovsk, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Khabarovsk, Kuibyshev, and Tashkent. The primary specializations at these institutes are (1) railroad operations, (2) automation, remote control, and communications in railroad transportation, (3) electrification of railroads, (4) diesel engines and systems, (5) electric and diesel locomotive construction, (6) railroad car construction and car systems, (7) railroad construction and routes and route maintenance, (8) bridges and tunnels, (9) the economics and organization of rail transportation, and (10) construction and reading machines and equipment. The leading institutions are the Moscow, Leningrad, and All-Union correspondence (Moscow) institutes of railroad engineers.

Engineers for motor-vehicle transportation graduate from the Moscow, Kiev, Siberian (Omsk), Kharkov, and Tashkent motor-vehicle institutes. The primary specializations at these institutes are (1) motor vehicles and motor-vehicle systems, (2) the operation of motor-vehicle transportation, (3) highway traffic engineering, (4) internal-combustion engines, (5) vehicle roads, (6) bridges and tunnels, (7) construction and reading machinery and equipment, and (8) the economics and organization of motor vehicle transportation. The leading institution is the Moscow Road Transportation Institute. Seventy other higher educational institutions, including 38 polytechnic institutes, 15 construction engineering institutes, and the factory branch of the I. A. Likhachev Moscow Automotive Plant, also train engineers in motor-vehicle and road-transportation specializations.

Specialists with advanced training in maritime and river transportation are trained at the Odessa Institute of Naval Engineers, the higher naval engineering schools in Vladivostok, Leningrad, Kaliningrad, Murmansk, Novorossiisk, and Odessa, and the Gorky, Novosibirsk, and Leningrad institutes of engineers of water transportation. The main areas of specialization are (1) navigation on maritime and internal routes, (2) operation of water transportation, (3) shipbuilding and ship repair, (4) hy-droengineering construction of waterways and ports, (5) ship’s machinery and mechanisms, and (6) the economics and organization of water transportation. Water transportation engineers are also trained at the Leningrad and Nikolaev shipbuilding institutes, the Astrakhan, Far Eastern, and Kaliningrad institutes of the fishing industry, and the Gorky, Far Eastern, and Komso-mol’sk-na-Amure polytechnic institutes.

Engineers for air transportation in the operations specializations (operation of air transportation, engines, aviation instruments, and aircraft electrical equipment) are trained at the Academy of Civil Aviation in Leningrad, the Kiev, Riga, and Moscow institutes of civil aviation, and the Aktiubinsk Advanced Flight School of Civil Aviation. In the specializations of aircraft construction, aviation engines, the dynamics and strength of machines, and hydroaerodynamics, training is provided by the Moscow, Kazan, Kuibyshev, Ufa, and Kharkov aviation institutes and the Moscow and Rybinsk aviation-technological institutes, as well as by certain polytechnic, electrical engineering, and other institutes in Voronezh, Irkutsk, Komsomol’sk-na-Amure, Tashkent, and Novosibirsk. The leading higher technical school and scientific research center is the S. Ordzhonikidze Moscow Institute of Aviation.

Engineers for pipeline transportation are trained at the Moscow Institute of the Petrochemical and Gas Industry, the Ivano-Frankovsk Institute of Petroleum and Gas, the Ufa Institute of Petroleum, the Tiumen’ Industrial Institute, and the All-Union Correspondence Polytechnic Institute. The main areas of specialization are the design, construction, and operation of petroleum and natural-gas pipelines and storage facilities.

Engineers for urban transportation graduate from the Moscow Power Engineering Institute, the Kharkov Institute of Municipal Construction, the Kiev Road Transportation Institute (primarily for electrical transportation), and the Moscow and Leningrad institutes of railroad engineers (for the planning and construction of subways).

The curricula of the transportation specializations envision the study of general scientific disciplines, such as the social sciences, a foreign language, higher mathematics, physics, chemistry, and theoretical mechanics, combined with such general engineering disciplines as descriptive geometry and drafting, strength of materials, electrical engineering, hydraulics, heat engineering, and the theory of machines and mechanisms. In addition, the curricula also include special disciplines that depend on the area of concentration. For example, for those specializing in motor-vehicle roads the special disciplines include reading machinery, motor vehicles and tractors, road surveying and planning, bridges and structures on roads, road operations, bases and foundations, and structural components. Special training includes study of the organization, planning, management, and economics of the appropriate sector, encompassing, for example, automatic control systems and computer technology in engineering and economic calculations. In addition to the compulsory disciplines, the curricula include alternative and optional disciplines, which allow the student to pursue further knowledge in a chosen field of science and technology. During the term of study students do five to 15 course projects, depending on their area of specialization, and go through 24 weeks of practical work in the classroom and at the production site. The course of study concludes with a state examination in scientific communism and defense of the diploma project. The term of study is five to six years. Graduates of these higher educational institutions undertake up to one year of on-the-job training at their place of work.

The USSR has (1975) more than 400 secondary specialized educational institutions training technicians for transportation. Among them are 268 specialized technicums in fields such as railroads, highways, motor-vehicle transportation, transportation construction, navigation, arctic regions, and rivers. Secondary specialized education offers more than 60 transportation specializations, which are narrower than those at the level of higher educational institutions. Students may study in the daytime, in the evening, or by correspondence.

The sharp increase in the scale and rate of development of transportation has produced an improvement in the system of transportation education and expanded training of engineers and technicians. In 1950, enrollment in transportation specializations at higher educational institutions was 23,700, and there were 3,100 graduates; the corresponding figures for 1965 were 112,600 and 9,600; and the 1974 figures were 142,000 and 16,500. Technicums had a 1950 enrollment of 48,700, with 11,100 graduates; the’ corresponding figures were 233,900 and 33,600 in 1965 and 287,900 and 63,200 in 1974.

Vocational-technical education in transportation is provided in more than 50 occupations, including locomotive engineer, motor-man, ship’s pilot, radio assembler, mechanic, electrician, metalworker for repair of rolling stock, trolleybus driver, and streetcar driver. In 1975 more than 300 vocational-technical educational institutions, with about 150,000 students, were training skilled transportation workers; the graduating class in that year was 66,000.

In other socialist countries, the general principles of organization of transportation education are similar to those adopted in the USSR. Among the institutions providing such training are the Higher School (Győr) in Hungary, the F. Liszt Higher Transportation School (Dresden) and the University of Rostock in the German Democratic Republic, and the polytechnic institutes in Warsaw, Lódź, Sopot, Poznań, and Szczecin and the University of Gdansk in Poland. Transportation education is also provided at the V. I. Lenin Higher Machine-building Institute (Sofia), the Naval Academy (Varna), and the Higher School for the Training of Air Transportation Engineers (Shumen) in Bulgaria, the Bucharest Polytechnic Institute in Rumania, the University of Belgrade in Yugoslavia, and the Higher Transportation School (Zilina) in Czechoslovakia. These countries also have secondary specialized schools and vocational-technical schools that train technicians and skilled workers for various types of transportation.

In the capitalist countries, the best-known centers of transportation education are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA, the universities of London and Birmingham, Lough-borough University of Technology, Cranfield Institute of Technology, and the City of London Polytechnic in Great Britain, the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (Paris) and the Ecole Technique d’Aéronautique et de Construction Automobile in France, the technical universities in Darmstadt and Hanover and the University of Stuttgart in the Federal Republic of Germany, and the universities of Tokyo, Hokkaido, Kyoto, and Kyushu in Japan.

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