The competition has been held since 2017 within the framework of the project of the same name by the interregional public organization ‘The League of Teachers of Higher Education’ with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation and the Presidential Grants Fund. It is run among university teachers who have achieved strong results in education and science as well as social and educative activities.
The competition received 1,098 applications. The age of the participants ranged from 22 to 90 years old, among them both Candidates and Doctors of Science as well as those without scientific degrees. One in five represented the technical sciences.
The competition included ten main and one special nomination. The winner in the category ‘For the Development of International Cooperation in the Field of Higher Education’ was Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor Eugene Semenkin, scientific supervisor of SibIASA.
The award ceremony will take place on November 18th at the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation. Winners will be awarded diplomas and badges, and their names will be entered into the book of honour of university teachers ‘Golden Names of Higher Education’. Essays about the winners will be published on the project website.
Information about the winner:
‘A PROFESSIONAL OPTIMIST WHO RESPECTS NATURE’
Eugene Semenkin is a Doctor of Science and Professor whose area of scientific research is self-adaptive bionic optimization algorithms and their application for complex systems modelling and optimization. This allows him to jokingly call himself a ‘professional optimist who respects nature’.
E. S. Semenkin graduated with honours from the Faculty of Mathematics of Kemerovo State University in 1982. After serving in the Soviet Army, he commenced his postgraduate studies at his alma mater, upon completion of which he was assigned as a senior lecturer at the Department of Higher Mathematics at the Krasnoyarsk Plant VTUZ (the University of Applied Engineering, subsequently – the Siberian State Aerospace University, SibSAU, since 2017 – the Siberian State University of Science and Technology, SibSU) at the Scientific Production Association ‘Krasmash’, the only aerospace university in the USSR located beyond the Urals. Within 10 years, he had gone all the way from senior teacher to professor. He defended his Ph.D. thesis in the field of discrete optimization at Leningrad State University and his Dr.Sc. dissertation on adaptive search optimization and its applications in the design of spacecraft control systems in collaboration with the Scientific Production Association of Applied Mechanics at SibSAU in 1997. He has been awarded badges of honour by the Ministry of Science and Education of the Russian Federation, Roscosmos and the Russian Cosmonautics Federation. He speaks English and German. He is the founder and head of the Krasnoyarsk scientific and pedagogical school ‘Evolutionary Methods for the Modelling and Optimization of Complex Systems.’ He is the author of more than a dozen monographs and several textbooks as well as more than 500 published scientific papers, including dozens with foreign co-authors. He is the head of more than two dozen scientific projects within the framework of the Federal Target Programme and the State Assignment Projects as well as grants from Russian and foreign foundations.
In 1992, E. S. Semenkin together with his supervisor, Professor A. N. Antamoshkin created the Department of Systems Analysis and Operations Research (SAOR) at SibSAU with the teaching of all disciplines in English ‘with the aim of the earliest possible inclusion of the aerospace university in the international scientific and educational process.’
International cooperation activity organized by the department has included the exchange of teachers and students and joint scientific and educational projects both within the framework of various international programmes (including ERASMUS+, the Leonard Euler Programme and the Strategic Partnership Programme of the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD as well as scholarships from the Land of Baden- Württemberg and Eastern Finland), grants from various foreign foundations (the Frankfurt am Main Airport Foundation, the Slovenian Academy of Sciences, the Austrian Science Foundation and the Finnish Academy of Sciences among others), and with the support of Russian foundations and programmes (Russian Presidential Scholarships, Scholarships of the Russian Government, Russian Foundation for Basic Research grants, Krasnoyarsk Science Foundation). As early as 1993, the first students of the department underwent scientific internships at the University of Michigan (USA) and the Research Institute for Applied Knowledge Processing in Ulm (Germany). The joint supervision of candidate and master’s theses with foreign professors continues at the present time as well.
On the foundation of the SAOR department, E. S. Semenkin created the student ‘Experimental Laboratory of Intelligent Technologies and Adaptation’ (‘Student ELITE’), within which he implements original integrated multi-level technology for training specialists in the field of information and analytical activities based on adaptive individual educational trajectories through early inclusion in scientific research and involvement in international scientific and educational activities (students talk about ELITE).
Thanks to the implementation of this technology, dozens of undergraduate and postgraduate students of Krasnoyarsk (both SibSU and other universities) have engaged in exchange education and scientific internships abroad in Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Finland, the Czech Republic and Japan, and more than 20 of Professor E. S. Semenkin’s postgraduate students have defended their Ph.D. dissertations between the ages of 23 and 25. One of the indicators of the effectiveness of the implementation of educational technology and the involvement of students in international cooperation is the number of special status scholarships of all levels presented to talented and gifted students, awards, grants and other achievements of his undergraduate and postgraduate students, which he himself has lost count of, but which exceeds 60.
More than 30 scientists of the SAOR department who have defended Ph.D. dissertations and more than ten who have defended Dr. Sc. dissertations are currently working as associate professors and professors at the universities of Krasnoyarsk, in turn educating young scientific and pedagogical specialists and implementing new world-class scientific directions. Others have made successful careers in industry and science in the Krasnoyarsk Territory and other Russian cities as well as abroad.
In 2017, the Siberian Institute of Applied System Analysis named after A.N. Antamoshkin (SibIASA) was established in Krasnoyarsk with the participation of these specialists. SibIASA employees are specialists well known in Russia and around the world in the fields of optimization methods and mathematical modelling of complex systems, machine learning and artificial intelligence. The scientific group of the institute develops original scientific directions in these areas related to the automated creation of methods that allow complex (holistic) models of complex systems to be built to support decision-making without or with minimal participation of a human user.
The level of international cooperation and the quality of scientific and educational processes organized and led by Professor E. S. Semenkin is well illustrated by the victory in the competition of Russian-German scientific and educational partnerships held in 2020 under the patronage of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and the Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany with the project of SibIASA and Ulm University ‘Youth, science, artificial intelligence: Ulm-Krasnoyarsk – 20 years together’. For the last ten years, Professor E. S. Semenkin has organized and conducted in Krasnoyarsk the annual international conference ‘International Workshop on Mathematical Models and their Applications’, IWMMA’2012-2022, whose proceedings are published in editions indexed on the Web of Science and Scopus platforms, and selected works in a special issue of the highly-rated journal ‘Algorithms’ (Switzerland). The programme committee of the conference includes representatives of more than 15 countries, including partners of Professor E. S. Semenkin on scientific and educational projects. A feature of this conference is the organization of a special students’ session, the works of which are evaluated by an international committee. Thanks to this conference, it is possible to annually attract foreign scientists with plenary and sectional lectures and tutorials, thus enabling the young scientists of Krasnoyarsk universities to acquire world-class knowledge and enhance their involvement in science and international cooperation.
In the words of Professor E.S. Semenkin’s colleagues:
‘All significant successes of Professor Semenkin in science, teaching and the development of international cooperation of the university were achieved by him in the position of an ordinary lecturer. He has never held administrative positions with a commanding role in the management of university staff. All his achievements are based on his personal authority and the well-deserved respect of colleagues, including the teaching and research staff and undergraduate and postgraduate students of our university as well as the respect of foreign partners for his scientific achievements and dedication to educating young people.’Professor I. V. Kovalev, rector of SibSAU in 2010-2017
‘Throughout the 30 years of our cooperation, he has been a constant driving force and an energetic think-tank thanks to his communicative qualities and a compelling model of international cooperation, in which he has attracted a significant number of research scientists and given many students an excellent chance to start a good career in science.’Dr. Reinhold Lücker, Ulm University, Germany
‘To be honest, the geographical position of Krasnoyarsk itself does not make it easy for local students and scientists to establish international contacts. Understanding this, Eugene Semenkin tirelessly, persistently and ultimately successfully attracts recognized foreign scientists and provides a professional international environment for his students and staff.’Professor Michael Affenzeller, Copernicus University in Linz, Austria