Russian and Austrian Students Master Prospective Construction Technologies at Polytechnic University

On July 5, the second stage of the International Scientific and Practical Seminar on the Computer Based Construction Management (CBCM-seminar) took start. Its first part was held last spring at the Technological University of Graz (TU Graz), where ten Polytechnic students were developing construction projects with Austrians. Now it was the turn for TU Graz students to come to St. Petersburg for new knowledge and impressions.

During the seminar, students got acquainted with BIM technologies in theory and in practice. The literal meaning of BIM is Building Information Modeling. The BIM technology allows not only to fully design a building prior to its actual construction but also calculate all processes which will be taking place in it.

The two first seminar days were dedicated to the theory. Representatives of development companies told how BIM technologies are used at real sites. The list of speakers included specialists from the Renaissance Construction Company, which is developing the Lakhta Center in St. Petersburg, the major developer on the St. Petersburg market. The students even visited the construction site of a residential complex Galaxy in the Obvodny Channel. The practical part of the seminar on Saturday included the meeting with Director General of the Vysotsky Consulting Company Alexander VYSOTSKY. Under the supervision of Alexander VYSOTSKY the students learnt how to use the state-of-the-art design technologies, combine several construction objects in one design project, and many other things.

“A series of international student seminars was a pilot project of the Engineering Construction Institute,” Associate Professor of the ECI Construction of Unique Buildings and Constructions Department Marina A. ROMANOVICH commented. “Our colleagues from Austria suggested its implementation. They already had the experience of joint seminars with European universities including the Milan Technical University. For this reason, we decided to hold it here as well, all the more so that the Technological University of Graz is a strategic partner of Polytechnic University.” Besides the educational component, a rich cultural program was also on the schedule. The students had a city tour and a trip to Peterhof, watched the Swan Lake ballet and, of course, visited the FIFA fan zone in Konyushennaya Square.

Leisure time for the guests from Austria was not only the organizers’ duty. Russian participants of the Graz seminar, the first part of the present one, also took part. “We stay in touch with our fellow students on a regular basis. They are quite open and communicative; they kept asking what to bring with them and what the program would be like: this was their first visit to Russia,” an ECI freshman Anastasia SAVCHUK said. By the way, last May, she presented a project, developed at the first stage of the seminar in Austria, to the Rectors of TU Graz and Polytechnic University. The presentation took place within the frame of events timed with the extension of the Agreement on Strategic Partnership. All ECI students could take part in both parts of the seminar; they just had to fill in an application form and have a face-to-face interview.

Just like in Austria, SPbPU and TU Graz students were working on their projects together. “BIM is quite a promising technology,” TU Graz student Alexandra FUKS said. “I have already studied BIM: it is quite complex but the final result, a building model, looks great and, more importantly, contains a lot of information.”