First Class of NSU OCSiAl Nanocomposite Materials Program Graduates

The first graduates of NSU and OCSiAl Master’s Degree Program in Nanocomposite Materials defended their dissertations. This unique Program provides graduates with international qualifications in the development and study of nanocomposite materials, as well as experience in the research center of an international company during their studies. OCSiAl provides students access to their prototyping center with more than 150 units of modern equipment for the creation and research of new materials. The students’ scientific advisors are employees in the OCSiAl R & D center, SB RAS scientific institutes, and Academpark resident companies

Three members of the first graduating class will continue to work on the development of new materials with graphene nanotubes in the OCSiAl research center. Other graduates were offered jobs in OCSiAl partner enterprises working with TUBALL ™ nanotubes in different Russian regions.

Anastasia Krasulina, Master’s Degree recipient, described the impact of this program on the University,

Of course this new field was a good thing for the University Physics and Natural Sciences Departments. New courses were developed quickly and the knowledge provided corresponded to the level expected of an NSU graduate. The University was able to produce qualified specialists working at the crossroads of physics, chemistry, and materials science who will be in demand in not only in our country, but internationally. This Program was special because we were not only engaged in the study of carbon nanotubes, but also in their practical application. This distinguishes a Nanocomposite Materials Program based in a commercial company from other programs.

In addition, Krasulina said that OCSiAl provided support to students who did not get a job in their company by sending recommendations and resumes to partner companies.

According to Mikhail Predtechensky, RAS Academician, OCSiAl supervisor and Head of the Section, a shortage of specialists at the intersection of physics, chemistry, and materials science is the main problem in the search for qualified personnel to work with nanomaterials. This Master's Program was developed in response to this problem.

Alexander Hasin, Deputy Head of the Section and leading OCSiAl researcher, described the process,

After two years of training the first set of graduates, we understood that we were able to teach all aspects of the physical chemistry of nanocarbon materials (including carbon nanotubes) and composite materials with nanoscale fillers and to develop and successfully conduct engineering courses including the design of test methods for composite materials.

In addition to their MA, graduates received certificates from OCSiAl, confirming their successful completion of the "Nanocomposite Materials" Program. The certificate will provide an additional advantage in seeking employment opportunities as OCSiAl has more than 600 companies as customers worldwide and there are hundreds of scientific organizations working with TUBALL ™ nanotubes.

In the meantime, the competition for a new group of students has begun. Students who have earned a BA in “Physics” or “Chemistry” at any university can apply for the MA Program. To enroll in the OCSiAl curriculum, they need to apply for an MA in the NSU Physics or Natural Sciences Departments. The Company will consider paying tuition for some candidates based on the results of the interview. During the Program, students who complete their internships at OCSiAl, will receive a special scholarship.

OCSiAl is an international company with offices in Luxembourg, Russia, USA, China, Hong Kong, Korea, and India. The Company developed and launched the first industrial technology for the production of graphene nanotubes based on the research of Mikhail Predtechensky. Predtechensky received a post-graduate degree from NSU in 1985, and was named Head of the NSU Nanocomposite Materials Section in 2017.

OCSiAl is the only company licensed in Europe to manufacture and sell single-walled nanotubes in industrial volumes, up to 10 tons per year. In 2019, the capitalization of OCSiAl exceeded $1 billion.