Additional materials related to all events can be found in the section Useful documents and links
IAM-2014 conference,St. Petersburg,18-19 September 2014
IAM-2014 conference, St. Petersburg,18-19 September 2014
IAM-2014 conference held in St. Petersburg

The international research and practical conference "Cooperation of European Union, Russian and Ukrainian universities on Masters' training in the field of automation and mechatronics" (IAM-2014) was held in St. Petersburg State Electrotechnical University from 18 to 19 September 2014.

The event included presentations of representatives of a number of Russian universities, Blaise Pascal University (Clermont-Ferrand, France), Liberec Technical University (Czech Republic), Technical University of Sofia (Bulgaria), Ukrainian universities from Kharkov, Zhitomir and Kiev. Participants shared their experiences in student exchange, development of virtual laboratories and systems of testing. The guests visited the Department of Automatic Control Systems (ACS), where they were shown educational resources in the field of mechatronics and automation systems.

"We have laid the foundations for cooperation even when our institution was created. First educational programs were based on the symbiosis and integration of experience of the best European universities of the XIX century. Because of this even in those days our university has become a center of attraction for many scientists. Nowadays we do not see the development of our university without integration into the world educational area" - said V. M. Kutuzov, rector of St. Petersburg State Electrotechnical University at the opening ceremony.

"This is the last meeting within the framework of our project. I would sincerely like to see we have not lost relations with our colleagues. To do this we need to find ways to prepare new joint projects. I hope that we will be able to find a new place for meeting and continue to work together for the sake of our students,"- says Petr Tůma, the coordinator of the TEMPUS project, head of the Institute of Nanomaterials, Advanced Technology and Innovation (Czech Republic).

The main objective of the "Dual Master's Degree in Automation and Mechatronics" project is harmonization of Russian and Ukrainian engineering education with the European and provision of the mutual recognition of degrees through the development and introduction of double degree program for masters in automation and mechatronics.

The conference ended with a cultural program: participants visited the main sights of St. Petersburg and visited the Yusupov Palace.

Summer school in BPU,Clermont-Ferrand, 19-23 May 2014
Summer school in BPU,Clermont-Ferrand, 19-23 May 2014
Meeting on the double degree program TEMPUS-MPAM in BPU

On 19-23d May, 2014 in Blaise Pascal University (Clermont-Ferrand, France) a regular meeting on the double degree program TEMPUS-MPAM was held. The reports on preparation of interactive laboratory works and tests were made; published teaching manuals and a collaborative monograph were presented.

The project head B.B. Samotokin made a report on the project implementation, and appreciated its current outcomes very highly. In spite of the difficult political situation, all the main planned activities had been implemented with a due quality and in time.

Special mentions were made of Tambov University for its lead in interactive laboratory works, Kharkov University for its adoption of the Claroline system for organization of the united education area. NSTU led in the number of teaching manuals, Saint-Petersburg State Technical University - in its preparedness to present interactive works for the participants of the meeting.

The high quality of students learning, the need to continue their education in the joint PhD program was manifested by the NSTU and Liberec University's (Czech Republic) representatives. In the next academic year two more students from NSTU are supposed to study in Liberec in the developed double diplomas program.

Sevastopol University's representatives could not attend the meeting due to the existing circumstances. However, they exchanged greetings and best wishes with the participants by Skype.

The meeting was held in a warm atmosphere, all the discussions were businesslike, professional and informal. The representatives from the Universities of Sofia (L.Vankov and Petrov) and Liberec (P.Tuma) told about the study of graduate students from Russia and Ukraine in their universities.

NSTU offered to use its journal "Automation and Software Engineering" (presumably - issue 2 in 2014) for covering the program and publication of articles from the universities-participants of the program.

The next meeting is scheduled for autumn of this year in St. Petersburg.

Project 5<sup>th</sup> Coordination meeting,3-5 February 2014
ZSTU regional seminars in Automation/ Mechatronics
ZSTU regional seminars in Automation/Mechatronics

Zhytomyr State Technical University is an active participant of regional seminars in Automation/Mechatronics of MPAM project. Four of the six planned seminars have already been held.

The first seminar "Automation:problems, ideas, decisions" was held on 9 - 13 September, 2013. The seminar was held in format of a round table. The seminar involved 55 participants, including doctors of sciences, candidates of science and students. Among the participants, there were representatives of MPAM project partnership - KPI and SevNTU.

The second event - International seminar in the format of round table. It was held on December 12, 2013, and involved 28 participants - teachers, Ph.D students and master students.

The third seminar "Piezoelectric gravimeter of automation aviation" department "Industrial robots accuracy automated control in flexible integravimetric system" was combined with a videoconference. The event was held on 21 January 2014 and involved 26 participants, including KPI representatives.

The fourth seminar was a round table at an International scientific conference ICIT 2014 "Information and communication technologies in science, manufacturing and education", held on 28 January 2014. It involved about 20 participants of ZSTU and about 30 of another MPAM project partner - Saratov State Technical University.

Project 5<sup>th</sup> Coordination meeting,3-5 February 2014
Project 5th Coordination meeting, 3-5 February 2014
Project 5th Coordination meeting

Project coordination meeting (5th meeting of the PMC) was held at Technical University of Liberec, 3-5 February 2014, at the presence of all university partners' representatives. The following issues have been discussed:

  • teaching materials development and revision of teaching materials by EU partners;
  • format of information about authors and their photo;
  • provision of information for Material on Modern methods of students' training;
  • possibility to hold an additional seminar on Hybrid learning space;
  • project promotion materials, in particular, possibilities to produce video­material instead of printed;
  • development of descriptions of remote access laboratory works by partners;
  • program for remote access laboratory works' evaluation proposed by KPI;
  • deadlines for arrangements for students participating in JMP with TU Liberec;
  • revision of DDST Guides and involvement of students - participants of Joint Master Program;
  • development of e-Library courses (in particular, reducing their number, avoiding duplication and focusing on practical mechatronics subjects);
  • completion of Quality Assurance System implementation reporting;
  • suitable time for monitoring by national Tempus offices;
  • importance of having Tempus stickers on the project equipment as well as financial and documents' translation issues.

The agreed dates for the third Summer school for teachers, hosted by NSTU, are July 1-5th 2014. The Summer school should be combined with NSTU Masters' defence, video-conference, and demonstration of remote access laboratory. NSTU may organise edition of a collection of participating teachers' abstracts on Mechatronics. Number of SS3 participants should be reduced from 4 to 3 (as students do not participate). Lists of SS3 participants should be adopted by May 2014, due to difficulties with hotel booking. SS3 will not be combined with coordination meeting.

It is planned to discuss project progress at additional IHLS seminar. The dates of Final project conference, hosted by LETI, agreed on September 17-19 2014. Coordination meeting participants have also met with SSTU and NSTU students who are on study at TU Liberec, to discuss their study, practical issues and experiences.

The coordination meeting was combined with Project external evaluation mission, which was held by two external experts - Ukrainian expert Viktor Mizernyy, Professor, Vice Rector on Scientific and Pedagogical Work at Vinnytsia National Technical University and Russian expert Evgenii Matcuev, leading engineer of Electropult-ASU Enterprise. Experts were present at all coordination meetings, held interviews with key persons and a questionnaire survey. They also met with the 6 students who are currently studying in TU Liberec on MPAM Joint Master Program. A monitoring report is expected.

Faculty of Automation and Computer Engineering, NSTU
NSTU regional seminars in Automation/ Mechatronics
NSTU regional seminars in Automation/Mechatronics

Novosibirsk State Technical University (NSTU) is an active participant of regional seminars on Automation/mechatronics, planned in the MPAM project. Five seminars are planned, and four of them are already conducted or scheduled. The first seminar was held in format of conference with competitions, it was held in the period from 1st to 18th March 2013 and titled "Scientific Session NSTU and the Days of Student Science NSTU 2013". There were 42 participants of the seminar, including teachers, students and Ph.D. candidates. Following the competition results, three master students received yearly NSTU grants.

The second seminar was held as sections of an international conference on the dates 28 June - 1 July 2013, titled the 8th International Forum on Strategic Technology - 2013 (IFOST - 2013). There were 132 participants, including faculty members, students and academic researchers. There were 9 sections of the conference, including "Applied engineering sciences" and "Informational and communication technologies". On these sections, a lot of presentations of MPAM specialisation topics were made,for example: Fractional order PID-regulators and method of their simplification with the increase of the controlling effect; Modification of software for the control of laser measurer of super small deformations; Numerical optimisation of PID-regulators using the improper moving detector in cost function; Training and researching robotic platform with servomotor controlling on the base of Lego Mindstorms NXT2.0. All presentations were published jointly with IEEE (the edition was indexed in Scopus database).

The third seminar was held as a conference Scientific Conference of Students and Young Scientists "Science. Technology. Innovation" (STI-2013) on 21 - 24 November 2013. 61 faculty members and students participated in the two sections: "Electric drive and automation of industrial units and technological systems" and "Informatics,automation, computing and measuring technics". The Tempus program was presented during the events, and MPAM leaflets were disseminated. The fourth event will be held in March 2014 - Scientific Session and the Days of Student Science.

SSTU regional seminars in Automation/Mechatronics
SSTU regional seminars in Automation/ Mechatronics
SSTU regional seminars in Automation/Mechatronics

Saratov State Technical University (SSTU) is an active participant of regional seminars on Automation/mechatronics, planned in the MPAM project, and has already conducted all scheduled seminars.

The first seminar "Automation and Control Systems Tools from World-Wide Software and Hardware Manufacturers Festo and Siemens" was held on October 12, 2012, in format of seminar/exhibition, and gathered 160 participants, including teachers (about 20 persons), students (90) and representatives of enterprises and companies (50). The topics of presentations included modern software and hardware facilities and units of automation and management of technological processes and mechatronic systems, including: pneumatic drives, electromechanical drives, vacuum technique, systems of transporting, distributors, valve terminals, sensors, technical vision.

The second seminar Saratov Young Scientists School of XXVI International Scientific Conference "Mathematical Methods of Technique and Technologies MMTT-26" was held on 20-26 April 2013 in format of a conference. It involved more then 400 participants, including teachers (about 70 persons), researchers (30), students (210), Ph.D. candidates (60) and representatives of enterprises (30). MPAM project partners were also involved - National Technical University "Kyiv Polytechnic Institute" and Tambov State Technical University.

The third seminar "Preparation and Participation in Super Final Competition on V All-Russian Youth Robotics Festival RoboFest-2013" was held on 23-25 May 2013 in format of a round table, with a master class and competitions. It involved 50 participants: teachers - 5, students - 30, Ph.D. candidates - 5, university administration - 10. Among topics discussed there were: rules of robots competition of "Robofest-2013", modelling projects for competitions and requirements, application of automated development systems in operational modelling of robotechnical and mechatronics units.

The fourth seminar was a section of a conference "Intelligent Control Systems,Robotics and Mechatronics" of III International Scientific Conference "Problems of Control, Information Processing and Transmission ATM-2013", held 23 - 26 September 2013. It involved 130 participants: teachers - 50, researchers - 10, students - 30, Ph.D. candidates - 30, representatives of enterprises - 10. Among them, there were representatives of MPAM project partner universities - Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University "LETI" and Tambov State Technical University.

The fifth seminar was held as a Saratov Stage of III All-Russian Festival of Sciences - 2013. It was held on October 12, 2013, and included seminars, master classes, exhibition of robots. It involved 450 participants, including teachers (about 50 persons), university researchers (10), students (150), school pupils (200), representatives of enterprises (30) and representatives of the Ministry of Industry (10).

MPAM students start studying at EU partner universities
MPAM students start studying at EU universities,October 2013
MPAM students of Automation & Mechatronics start studying at EU partner universities

The first MPAM students went to EU partner universities for Joint Master Program studies. Technical University of Liberec received six students - maximum number for 2013/2014 Double degree study programme "Mechatronics" (taught in English in cooperation with University of Applied Science Zittau). The MPAM students will study in TU Liberec, supported by MPAM scholarships, and in Zittau University, supported by Erasmus program.

TU Liberec received three students of Saratov State Technical University and three more - of Novosibirsk State Technical University, Russia. In February 2014, they will be joined by two more students of National Technical University of Ukraine "KPI" (Ukraine) and three students of Tambov State Technical University (Russia).

Technical University of Sofia received eleven students - one from Tambov State Technical University, one from National Technical University of Ukraine "KPI", three from Zhytomyr State Technological University, three from NTU "Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute" and three from Sevastopol National Technical University, Ukraine. In January 2014 they will defend their Master thesis and complete education. In spring semester, more MPAM students will come to Sofia - three students from Saint-Petersburg State Electrotechnical University "LETI".

Second Regional seminar on Automation/Mechatronics,TSTU,September 24<sup>th</sup>,2013
2nd Regional seminar on Automation/ Mechatronics, TSTU, September 2013.
Second Regional seminar on Automation/Mechatronics at TSTU

Second Regional seminar on Automation/Mechatronics was held at Tambov State Technical University (TSTU) on September 24th,2013.

The seminar “Perspectives of educational robotechnics and lego-construction” involved teachers and students of TSTU, as well as specialists of oblast career development centre, school teachers, altogether 47 participants. The seminar topic included: robotechnics competitions, peculiarities of lego-robots programming, organisation of cooperation with higher education institutions in the sphere of educational robo-technics, master class. Seminar materials are available at Useful documents and links section

  Regional Seminars in Automation & Mechatronics

Plans of the seminars are being developed and first events conducted at Russian and Ukrainian universities. On the third year of the MPAM project realisation, a new line of action is introduced. As part of comprehensive task of Russian and Ukrainian teachers’ skills upgrading and methodological support of the teaching process, Regional Seminars in Automation & Mechatronics will be quarterly conducted in each of eight partner country universities. The seminars will involve experts, PhD and Master students, and will be directed on discussion of the up-to-date scientific, experimental and practical problems of Automation & Mechatronics.

The very first MPAM regional seminar in Automation & Mechatronics was held at Tambov State Technical University (TSTU), Russia. The seminar was held in format of an educational platform - a Camp "IT-technology and innovation" on 22-23 of August 2013. It involved 15 representatives of enterprises, 37 representatives of Tambov universities (including TSTU teachers, Master and Bachelor students of basic MPAM speciality Mechatronics and Robotics), scientific and innovative institutions, state administration institutions, senior school children, and also representative of Bulgarian school of robotechnics Robopartan - altogether 191 participants.

The main topics were tasks of Lego Mindstorms NXT robots and practicum of robot mounting. Seminar participants received certificates. Tempus program and MPAM project were presented, project leaflets were disseminated. The first regional seminar in Automation & Mechatronics was also held by National Technical University "Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute" (KhPI), Ukraine on 16-21 of September 2013. the seminar was organised as a roundtable section of a XX annual international conference "Problems of automated electric drive. Theory and practice". More then 100 participants took part in the event. Materials of the seminar were published in special edition of KhPI newsletter.

  Autonomous moving platform was tested at NSTU

Autonomous moving platform was tested at Novosibirsk State Technical University, Automatics Department on September 6th 2013 on basis of control module STM32VLDISCOVERY (ST Microelectronics). Movement control was operated in real time with protocol XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol, known before as Jabber, based on XML, open and free protocol for instant exchange of messages and information and Bluetooth). The Autonomous moving platform was placed in room 505 VII of NSTU building. Movement control was operated from laboratory in Berdsk city, 33 kilometres from the platform. Movement of the platform was observed with a help of video-camera (Skype). The testing was done under supervision of Prof. Vadim Zhmud.

MPAM 4 th Coordination meeting
MPAM 4th Coordination meeting,31 July-2 August 2013, Sofia
MPAM 4th Coordination meeting

The fourth MPAM project Coordination meeting was held on 31 July-2 August in Sofia, Bulgaria, at Technical University of Sofia. The program included discussion of the aims of the Coordination meeting, Internal monitoring report of project realisation, plan of further project realisation, planning of the next coordination meeting, discussion of project financial management issues as well as specific issues of project realization. Among the coordination meeting decisions there were:

  • Adoption of the Plan of Quality Assurance System implementation;
  • Adoption of the updated plan of IHLS development;
  • Adoption of the updated Guides on DDST, Russian and Ukrainian;
  • Adoption of Plan of Electronic learning resources development;
  • Distribution of staff costs according to amount of work;
  • Financial issues of student mobility clarified;
  • Issues of co-financing clarified,further plans developed.

Besides, issues of Teaching Materials for the Joint Master Program teaching were discussed, along with printing and publishing, Newsletters development and dissemination, reporting obligations, Guide on Modern methods of students training development and future Regional Seminars on Automation & Mechatronics. Five Regional Seminars on Automation & Mechatronics should be realized and reported by PC partners according to the schedule, starting from September. Practical issues of students’ mobility were also discussed. Technical University of Sofia will host as many as 15 Russian and Ukrainian students in 2013-2014. The meeting was held at presence of all Russian and Ukrainian academic partners representatives, all EU partners representatives and Grant Coordinator. The next coordination meeting is scheduled for February 2014, to be held at TU Liberec.

Summer school in Sevastopol, July 2013
Summer school in Sevastopol, July 2013
2013 MPAM Summer School for teachers

The MPAM second Summer school for teacher was held on July 1-5th at Sevastopol Technical University (SevNTU), Ukraine. Each Russian and Ukrainian university was represented by three teachers of Mechatronics, involved in teaching of Joint Master Programs. Various trainings were held and presentations made by specialists of both EU and partner countries universities for them. Besides, the teachers discussed topical issues of project development, including preparation of teaching materials, preparation of Guide on modern methods of students training, drafted plan on Quality Assurance System implementation etc., preparing issues for discussion at upcoming project Coordination meeting. Blaise Pascal University (France) trainers Adela Oukaci and Theirry Chateau held very intensive workshops on International Hybryd Learning Space development and work in Learning management System Claroline. Teachers discussed various options of remote access to laboratories, and also improved their skills of work in Claroline system, creating and modifying learning courses, different types of evaluation tests and assignments.

National Technical University "Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute" trainer Alexandr Suk held workshop on Development and usage of e­learning resources of Joint Virtual Library, based on previously developed e-Library Guide. Based on the workshop results and discussions, a draft Workplan of the development and use of electronic learning resources was developed after the Summer school, to be discussed and adopted at the Coordination meeting. The participants of the workshops were one representative of each partner university, responsible for JVS development (academic coordinator) and also one representative,responsible for teaching materials development.

Tambov State Technical University trainer Sergey Ponomarev held parallel three-day workshop on Quality Assurance System and its practical implementation in Russian and Ukrainian universities. Sergey Ponomarev explained in details the previously developed QAS Guide and shared his training materials, that may be used by further trainers at their home universities. Besides, a draft plan on Quality Assurance System implementation was developed in cooperation with the workshop participants and then discussed with all participants of the Summer school. The draft plan was approved for further discussion at the upcoming Coordination meeting.

Each partner university was represented at the workshop by a teacher, to be responsible for further QAS implementation. Jaroslav Nosek of Technical University of Liberec and Lubomir Dimitrov of Technical University of Sofia made presentations on methods of students training at TU Liberec and TU Sofia correspondingly, the differences with Russian and Ukrainian universities, and answered questions. Practical issues of students' placement at TU Sofia and TU Liberec were discussed with them. A tour through SevNTU laboratories was held for Summer school participants, demonstrating training sensing equipment, hydraulic and pneumatic instrumentation, electrodrives, computer-driven control systems, robotics.

Guidebooks on Double Degree Students Training technology
Guidebooks on Double Degree Students Training technology
Guidebooks on Double Degree Students Training technology

The Guide on Double Degree Students Training (DDST) is addressed primarily to students of MPAM partner universities who are going to be enrolled in Joint Master Program, but also to students and administration of other PC universities potentially interested in development of joint study programs with Technical university of Sofia and Technical University of Liberec. The Guide was developed in two versions - for Russian partners (in Russian language) and Ukrainian partners (in Ukrainian language). The difference between the two versions is in national regulations - for documents legalization, visa procedures, etc. The Guide consist of both narrative sections and document templates.

The development of the Guide was started in December 2012, when specification of the content of future Guide, schedule of development and distribution of roles between partners were initiated. The development was assigned to members of a working group, including representatives of all partner countries universities, prof. Lubomir Dimitrov of Technical University of Sofia and prof. Jaroslav Nosek of Technical University of Liberec. Representatives of NTU KPI (Ukraine) and LETI (Russia) acted as editors of Ukrainian and Russian versions of the Guides, correspondingly.

It is planned that the first draft will be used by students who participate in Joint master program in 2013-2014 academic year, and then updated based on their experience for the next generation of students.

The Guides’ include the following main sections:

  • Background of the project;
  • Calendar with months and deadlines for each step of application, studying, legalization);
  • How to become enrolled in JMP. Entry conditions;
  • Practical issues: list of necessary documents, nostrification of Diploma and Diploma supplement, getting visa, travel;
  • Studying abroad: residence,health insurance, financial issues;
  • Legalization of the EU diploma in Russia/Ukraine;
  • What if studying does not lead to obtaining a diploma;
  • Annexes: agreements between PC and EU universities, JMP Curriculums, JMP Syllabuses, course descriptions, sample documents: application forms, translation of diploma and supplement, recommendation letter, etc., useful contacts and addresses.
    (DDST guide available in Useful documents and links section)
  Virtual Library Guidebook developed

A practical Guide on technical aspects of development and support of integrated virtual library on basis of Learning management system Claroline 1.11.5 has been developed according to the project plan of realization. The guide is intended for managers, teachers and students of partner universities involved in MPAM project realization. It was developed at National Technical University "Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute" (KhPI), based at previous experience of study visits and teachers’ retraining sessions in EU partner universities and workshops on International hybrid learning space. The Joint virtual library is developed in framework of MPAM project as a pedagogical service of International Hybrid Learning Space, IHLS) on the platform of learning management system Claroline, installed by KhPI with advisory support of Blaise Pascal University and with due consideration of methodical recommendations of BPU 6 practical Guides.

The library is hosted at KhPI for all the Russian and Ukrainian university members of the consortium, with academic coordinators and teachers having access to the system. The language versions of the library include English, Ukrainian and Russian. The main task of the joint virtual library is to provide and support methodical, informational and technical database for education of master students in Automation/Mechatronics.

The main functions of JVL include:

  • Storage and free access to the high quality educational web- resources in Mechatronics;
  • Storage and limited access (for MPAM project participants) to electronic learning resources in Mechatronics, including lections, laboratory works, multimedia materials etc.;
  • Technological support of devevelopment and tutoring of distance courses for disciplines of joint Curriculum with EU partners Technical University of Liberec and Technical University of Sofia.

The Guide operates concepts of electronic learning resources, virtual library, traditional learning, e-learning, distance learning, blended learning, distance course etc. The draft Guide, circulated in April 2013, will be further developed and updated according to comments and recommendations of the partners. An updated version of the Guide will be presented at the second MPAM Summer School for teachers, to be held in June 2013 at Sevastopol National Technical University. At the Sumer School, the Guide will be a basis for intensive training on electronic learning resources development and management. The Guide includes the following main chapters:

  • Terms and notions;
  • Aims and structure of Joint virtual library;
  • Brief overview of main services of platform Claroline 1.11.5;
  • Rules for Joint virtual library users;
  • Development and usage of electronic learning resources of free access;
  • Development and usage of electronic learning resources of limited access;
  • Overview of main stages for development using Claroline platform services;
  • Brief description of JVL distant courses tutoring using Claroline platform services.
Teacher's second retraining session in BPU, Clermont-Ferrand, April 2013
Teacher's 2nd retraining session in BPU, April 2013

Teacher's second retraining session in BPU, Clermont-Ferrand, April 2013
Teacher's 2nd retraining session in TUL, April 2013
Second retraining session for teachers at EU universities

In April 2013, teachers of Russian and Ukrainian universities participated in the second retraining session in EU partner universities. In Technical University of Sofia, Bulgaria, the session included such main activities:

  1. Conference opening and keynote speech from Lubomir Dimitrov, dean of Mechanical Engineering faculty at Technical University of Sofia.
  2. Thematic laboratories visiting: automation and assembling laboratory, virtual reality laboratory, mechatronics systems laboratory, split-second measurements laboratory with Ivo Malakov, head of Automation of Discrete production department. Acquaintance with technical resources of mechatronics equipment at Technical University of Sofia in general and Mechanical Engineering faculty in particular.
  3. "Mechatronics and intelligent manufacturing systems" presentation by Todor Neshkov. Also discussions on Technical University of Sofia, Ukrainian and Russian universities double degree masters training curricula bottlenecks were held.
  4. Technical equipment analysis of several laboratories used for masters training in "Automation - Mechatronics - Robotics" at Technical University of Sofia was performed.
  5. As a conclusion for the visit, a meeting with Technical University of Sofia took place for signing contracts and curricula of Ukraine, Russia and Bulgaria, which allow to implement a possibility for students to learn in terms of double degree master program in "Mechatronics".

According to PC teachers feedback, thematic laboratories visits, curricula bottlenecks arrangement and collaboration contracts signing were the most important events during mobility. Besides, participants highly evaluated opportunity to visit an open defence of master’s diploma projects. This event made it possible to make a comparative analysis of masters training in TU Sofia and home universities. At Blaise Pascal university, retraining session was mainly focused on training of academic coordinators on the creation of main IHLS components: Joint Virtual Library on the platform Claroline and Laboratory on Mechatronics using labs with remote access and other possibilities (virtual labs, video demonstrations of processes, etc.).

Participants received theoretical knowledge and practical skills on methodology and technology to create Joint Virtual Library on the platform Claroline and Laboratory on Mechatronics using labs with remote access. They could become acquainted with practical implementation of learning units including use of IT tool OPALE/Scenari and organization of remote access to labs with the IT tool TimeViewer. Besides obvious importance of training session events, a considerable progress was reached in bringing understanding to the IHLS development, as well as dealing with practical issues of project management. Draft plan of IHLS realisation was discussed, elaborated and finally approved as minutes of WG4.

It is positive that responsibilities were distributed among absolutely all partners. Thanks to good communication with partners not represented at the seminar, understanding and support for IHLS realisation plan was quickly achieved. At the seminar with universities' representatives understanding was reached that one can differentiate "remote access" and "remote control", where "access" may include different instruments such as access to PCs with specific software for labs, video-conferening, or even offline video-teaching. Tasks and criteria for fulfilment were thoroughly discussed and agreed - what specific work should be done for each deliverable, to be accepted as eligible.

During the retraining session at technical University of Liberec,Russian and Ukrainian participants benefited from the presentation and discussion of double degree master program variants, application steps and benefits for students by Jaroslav Nosek; visiting of CxI institute and campus laboratories; the demonstration of abilities of industrial robots, mobile wheel based platform and their programming as mechatronics systems, control problems and solutions discussion, mechatronic systems creation and control for complex rundown processes etc. It have to be noted, what most of all demonstrated equipment and laboratory stand are high-end and actively used in master’s study as a parts of mechatronics.

Among the most interesting presentations, the participants named presentation of FEM methods for engineering by Dalibor Frydrych where the most interesting units of study are image recognition, modeling and image processing; presentation of speechLAB and teaching experience by Jan Nouza - a powerful engine of speech recognition can be used as a voice-command control for mechatronic devices; experience in study of programmable controllers, presented by Martin Diblik: analyze of tasks, signal conversion describing, design of algorithms, evaluation; maintenance; description of modeling of control-logic tasks, industrial busses communications, design of human interface, synchronization with actuators. Control systems in mechatronis was presented by Osvald Mondrak.

Classical methods of linear system analysis and additional tasks of robust control, uncertainty, multi-input systems design and special methods of analysis are described. The studying and implementation of Fuzzy control. The popular topics of master works are measurement of flow, servo control, robotics (automobile industry),power engineering (generation). Participants received an experience of teaching, laboratory organizing and studying, subjects content comparison etc.

Guide on modern methods of students training

Development of a Guide on modern methods of students training is on the way. As proposed by coordinating partner - Saratov State Technical University (SSTU) and agreed with all participants,the Guide will be issued as a collection of publication in a multi-author book, officially published with ISBN. The publication will be made in English, to be available not only for Russian and Ukrainian partner universities, but for international Tempus and educational community.

Every Ukrainian and Russian university is responsible to provide an article describing modern methods of students training for teaching mechatronics (robotics technologies) and related subjects. In their developments, authors will use experience gained during two retraining sessions for teachers held in EU partner universities in October 2012 and April 2013, as well as during project summer schools for teachers. Deadline for submission of articles, developed and formatted according to the requirements, to SSTU is June 30th

  Development of Guide on double degree students' training technologies

The Guide will be addressed primarily to students of MPAM partner universities who are going to be enrolled in Joint Master Program. Besides, it will be also addressed to students and administration of other PC universities potentially interested in development of joint study programs with Technical university of Sofia and Technical University of Liberec.

It was decided, that the Guide will be developed in two versions - for Russian partners (in Russian and English language) and Ukrainian partners (in Ukrainian and English language). The difference between the two versions is in national regulations - for documents legalization, visa procedures, etc. The Guide will consist of both narrative sections and documents.

According to the planned timeline, a draft version will be developed by September 2013 and disseminated electronically. The final version will be issued by September 2014. The Guide will be disseminated in electronic format and published in e-library, updated annually.

International Hybrid learning Space

As agreed by MPAM project partners, International Hybrid Learning Space (IHLS) includes e-Library with materials developed in the framework of the project and other relevant materials in Automation/Mechatronics, learning management system (Claroline) with interactive assignments, self-evaluation exercises,tests etc., and also system of remote inter-university access to laboratories. Blaise Pascal University (BPU) coordinates responsible working group (WG4) activities.

All PC university partners participate by delivering to BPU their comments and propositions,in particular their vision of system of remote inter-university access to laboratories. BPU produces guidelines e-Library and learning management system management: technical guide to pedagogical resources, guide to documents’ metadata indexing, guide to the creation of innovative resources, guide to the creation of placement and self evaluation exercises, short guide on intellectual property management in Claroline.

According to recommendations of the Third coordination meeting in Kharkiv, a guide to the creation of placement and self-evaluation exercises should come one the first. PC teachers responsible for development of teaching materials for JMP develop not only text part of teaching materials, but also interactive exercises for Claroline according to the guide recommendations.

Future Claroline administrators are being selected at PC universities to be sent to BPU for specific training during retraining session (RS2). As agreed by partners, hosting of Claroline management system and e-Library for the consortium is realised by National Technical University "Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute" (NTU KhPI), Ukraine.

  Progress in quality assurance system guide development

Intensive work was done to develop a Guide on Quality Assurance System. Quality Assurance Guide for Masters in areas of "Automation / Mechatronics" includes the following sections:

  1. Purpose and sphere of application.
  2. General provisions.
  3. Organization and planning of processes (work) of life cycle of educational services in the preparation of master's areas of "Automation / Mechatronics."
  4. Provision of a three-level quality assurance procedures for Master degree in "Automation / Mechatronics."
  5. The quality assurance system of Master in areas of "Automation / Mechatronics" in the framework of the Tempus project TEMPUS / TACIS "EU-PC Double Degree Master Program in Automation / Mechatronic (MPAM)"

The Guide was updated and reworked twice, after two series of consultations with project partners. On the first stage of the Guide upgrade, the text was considerably reduced from 150 to 81 pages due to reduction of Annexes, substituted with links on materials available in the Internet. Besides, a number of changes was done to edit the text. On the second stage, the text was further reduced to 50 pages.

Wide discussions were held whether to leave annexes to sections 5.8, 5.10, 5.11 or to substitute them with links on each PC university's regulations. However, it was decided to leave annexes in the Guide, because not all partners have acting system of quality monitoring.

It was recommended that on further stages, the Guide should be supplemented with a table on specialties in Automation/Mechatronicts teaching involved in MPAM project, as well as links on national normative documents on quality assurance for Ukrainian universities. Besides, the Guide will be further discussed during Retraining session.

Preparations for the second retraining session at EU partner universities (RS2) are on the way in both partner countries' and EU universities. At Russian and Ukrainian universities, lists of teachers previously selected for participation in the second retraining session at EU partner universities are updated. Preparations are made for organisation of English language training for the selected teachers and, in some cases, backup list.

It is planned that up to three teachers from each PC university will participate in RS2. The same as during the first retraining session, three EU partner universities will host the trainings. PC participants reports and feedback is analysed to update the programs.

Coordination meeting and conference in Kharkiv, November 2012
Coordination meeting and conference in Kharkiv, November 2012
Project Coordination meeting and conference held

MPAM Project coordination meeting, as well as well as project conference were held on November 5 — November 10, 2012 at National Technical University "Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute" (Ukraine).

During the event, the following topics were discussed:

  • Liberec Technical University (Czech Republic) and Sofia Technical University (Bulgaria) master curricula;
  • Presentation of Double Degree Technology, practical issues by head of working group 2 (WG2) Lubomir Dimitrov,studying models for teaching Russian and Ukrainian students at partner universities: Liberec Technical University (Czech Republic) and Sofia Technical University (Bulgaria);
  • summarizing currently finished work on the project - reports of project managers and universities' representatives;
  • harmonizing schedule of planned activities;
  • development of recommendations for project advertisement and project web site content, report on web-site implementation by Novosibirsk State Technical University representatives;
  • quality assurance management system structure and discussion of draft quality assurance guide for Joint master programs in Mechatronics;
  • harmonization of methodological guides preparations,that were being developed for the project;
  • activities on learning space creation;
  • criteria for students and teachers' selection for participation in retraining and training sessions at EU partner universities;
  • video conference held by representatives of BPU (Blaise Pascal University);
  • project financial management discussion and other issues;
  • fee for foreign students introduced in Bulgaria after the project adoption;
  • variants for deployment and templates creation based on Claroline LMS - e-learning and e-working platform were discussed.

Those templates let teachers creating effective online courses and manage learning process via web interface. A possibility to get acquainted with university learning process was also provided. Conference organisers from NTU "KhPI" organised a study tour to FED factory to share their experience of implementing mechatronics and robotic systems. The events were combined with one day regular monitoring by National Tempus Office of National Tempus Office of Ukraine.

Recommendations were made on how to improve project visibility, inter-project coaching on issues related to quality assurance,reporting by PC partners and other issues. The monitoring was conducted by Svitlana Shytikova, Project Manager and NTO Director and Zhanna Talanova, NTO Analytic and Administrative Manager.

The events were also combined with presentation of project developments for university community and broad public. The conference was visited by local TV channel representatives, interviews were made on MPAM project goals and content, roles of partners, Double Degree Technology, Quality Assurance System, Hybrid Learning Space concept etc.

Teacher's retraining session in TUL
Teacher's retraining session in TUL, Liberec,October 2012

Teacher's retraining session in BPU, Clermont-Ferrand
Teacher's retraining session in BPU, October 2012
First Retraining session for teachers held

13 Ukrainian and 12 Russian teachers received training at EU partner universities during the first retraining session (RS1). In Technical university TU Sofia (Bulgaria) participants became familiar with to the TU and the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, analyzed analyses of the teaching plans and curricula for special master courses in Mechatronics at the FME-TUS and also preparation of teaching materials for the special courses for the Double Degree Master Program in Automation and Mechatronics.

Study visits to the department of Automation of discrete production and department of Precision technique and instrument-making had been made. These departments take part in bachelor and master study according to such specialty as Mechatronics, Machine-building and instrument-making, Technical legislation and quality control, Metrology and measuring equipment. The basic study labs, equipment that students use for education and executing researches for diploma project had been demonstrated, as well as study labs of Electrical machines and Microelectronics and electronic techniques departments,and also Information center and Technical library of TU Sofia.

Study curriculums of TU Sofia had been analyzed by participants, regulatory disciplines had been identified, also exchange of study materials that connected with regulatory disciplines (work programs) and acquaintance with leading teachers had been made. Studying literature, methodical works that linked with according disciplines and study methodic had been studied. For example employments of TUS had shown themes and samples of diploma projects for master program students, listed requirements for its execution including formalization. The participants of session had visited some lectures conducted by leading teachers of Machine-building faculty for Mechatronics specialization.

The participants of session discussed problems, that rise at the process of reconciling of curriculums and signing of double-diploma contracts. The participant’s working program had been supplemented by next events: a study visit to "Denima" enterprise, that specializes on automated production of lighting devices and also a visit to the job fair "Days of Career", where famous Bulgarian and foreign companies help graduates with job placement.

During RS1 in Technical university of Liberec (Czech Republic) Informatics and Interdisciplinary Studies, Double degree programs, faculty of mechatronics, information science and interdisciplinary research processes were demonstrated to the participants, as well as master programs "Automatic Control and Computer Engineering" and "Mechatronics. Ukrainian and Russian teachers became acquainted with TUL experience in teaching courses of Drivers and Servomechanisms, Programmable Controllers, System Identification, Control System in Mechatronics, Fuzzy Control, Speech Processing in the Human-Machine Interaction, Image Analysis, Electric Drives, Continuum Mechanics and Thermodynamics, Nonlinear Systems, Mathematics etc. Study visits to laboratories of Intelligent Robots, Electric Drives, Control EL3 and TK4, Cx1 laboratories, Cooperation with industry laboratory etc. were made, participants became familiar with existing equipment.

System of TUL E-learning was also demonstrated. Final meeting on discussion about the next steps in realization of WP1 "Joint EU-PC Master Program in Automation/ Mechatronics & Technology of Double Degree students' training",in particular Desk and Field Study of existent experience, Draft of the Master Program Curriculum, Technology of Double Degree students' training helped to define the main tasks, responsibilities and establishing deadlines.

The program of the study visit to Blaise Pascal University (France) included acquaintance with the Master's degree programs in Electronics and Energy, mechanical engineering, Civil Engineering, Automation and Robotics, and others. Russian and Ukrainian teachers had visited the scientific-and-technical laboratories of mechatronics and automation organized on the basis of the BPU, as well as classrooms and laboratories of University Institutes of Technology (IUT) in the cities of Clermont-Ferrand and Montlucon.

Participants had a study visit to the international relations department of BPU, where they learned about its role and mission in the university's life, welcoming policy of BPU aimed to facilitating incoming student's mobility. Participants also visited the Center for languages and multimedia of BPU, where they had an opportunity to learn about practical examples of all distant and e-learning technologies in BPU. They saw the learning management system (LMS Claroline) used in the Blaise Pascal university and received access to Claroline installation in BPU in order to familiarize with all of it features. Considerable amount of the time was devoted to the study of the principles of construction and filling of E-library, developed in the BPU in the framework of the concept of creating an international hybrid learning space (IHLS).

Participants were asked to do a number of practical tasks on creation of the electronic documents to the E-library. At the end of the RS1 visit it was decided to use the BPU experience in the employment of learning management systems and other closely-related technologies that can be integrated with it to achieve the project objectives in the development of IHLS for training of master's degrees in our double degree programs.

PC and EU evaluation held after RS1 showed that both logistics and content of the session were highly valued by participants. EU partners have also confirmed proper selection of PC participants by home universities and their adequate level of readiness for the training, as well as enough fluency in working language - English.

WG3 seminar in Zhytomir,September 2012
WG3 seminar in Zhytomir,September 2012
Quality system development seminar brings understanding of further system development

A progress seminar of the working group 3 (WG3), responsible for development of Quality Assurance System and related documents (Gide on its use) was held in Zhytomyr, Ukraine. The seminar was hosted by Zhytomyr State Technological University (ZSTU).

Representatives of all partner countries' members of WG3 were present: National Technical University "Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute" (Ukraine), National Technical University of Ukraine "KPI" (Ukraine), Novosibirsk State Technical University (Russia), Tambov State Technical University (Russia) and also Saint-Petersburg State Electrotechnical University "LETI".

Present situation with quality assurance at Ukrainian and Russian partner universities were discussed, and similarities were found.

All WG3 members agreed WG3: that effective Quality Assurance System is of vital importance for the joint master programs in mechatronics as well as for PC universities to improve general quality assurance.WG3 members experience with study visit to EU partner universities was discussed. Each representative presented his/her developments and vision of QAS system, mechanisms and criteria of the education quality assurance.

Decisions were made on important issues regarding future work of persons responsible to summarise the WG3 developments in a Guide on Quality Assurance System - Sergey Ponomarev (TSTU) and Lyubov Evgrafova (NSTU);management of WG3 work;dates for draft circulation and general discussion; ways of Guide adoption at partner universities;dissemination of QAS Guide.

Besides, the seminar was useful for intensification of cooperation with harmonisation of Russian and Ukrainian curricula with curricula's of TU Lieberec (Czech Republic) and TU-Sofia (Bulgaria), and a decision was to recommend all Ukrainian and Russian partners to work intensively not only on study plans with TU-Sofia, but also on plans with TU Liberec.

Structure of the Future Quality Assurance Guide: According to the WG3 conclusions, the system of internal QAS of each university’s master program in Automation / Mechatronics must take into the consideration the following topics:

  • Policy and procedures for quality assurance;
  • Approval, monitoring and periodic review of programs and awards;
  • Assessment of students;
  • Quality assurance of teaching staff;
  • Learning resources and student support;
  • Information system;
  • Public information.

QAS should correspond to recommendations of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) regulatory document "Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Education Area".

Conference in Saratov, June 2012
Conference in Saratov, June 2012
Major project events held in Saratov

In June 2012 the most large-scale events of the Tempus project EU-PC Double Degree Master Program in Automation/Mechatronics (MPAM) have been successfully realized. The events, held in Saratov State Technical University (Russian Federation) have combined four important directions of the project realization:

  1. Second project coordination meeting;
  2. Summer School on Mechatronics/Automation for teachers and students of Ukrainian and Russian Universities participated in the project;
  3. Seminars of WG1 responsible for development Curriculum, Syllabi and teaching materials of the Mechatronics Master Program and WG2 responsible for development technology of Double degree students' training in the Russian/Ukrainian Universities and Technical University of Liberec (Czech Republic) or Technical University of Sofia (Bulgaria);
  4. Participation in an International Congress on Information Technologies - 2012 (ICIT-2012)

Project second coordination meeting was held 4-5 June 2012 at the presence of partners' representatives from Technical University of Liberec (Czech Republic), Technical University of Sofia (Bulgaria), Novosibirsk State Technical University (Russian Federation), Saint-Petersburg State Electrotechnical University "LETI" (Russian Federation), Saratov State Technical University (Russian Federation), Tambov State Technical University (Russian Federation), National Technical University of Ukraine "KPI" (Ukraine), National Technical University "Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute" (Ukraine), Sevastopol National Technical University (Ukraine), National Technical University "Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute" (Ukraine), Zhytomyr State Technological University (Ukraine). The coordination meeting have summarised intermediate results of project realisation and specifying tasks till the end of a year 2012.

The coordination meeting was combined with 4-9 June Summer School on Mechatronics/Automation for teachers and students of Ukrainian and Russian Universities participated in the project and also WGs seminars 4,5,7 June 2012: seminars of WG1 responsible for development Curriculum, Syllabi and teaching materials of the Mechatronics Master Program and WG2 responsible for development technology of Double degree students' training in the Russian/Ukrainian Universities and Technical University of Liberec (Czech Republic) or Technical University of Sofia (Bulgaria).

Participation in the ICIT-2012 conference provided opportunities for dissemination of information about the project and the Tempus program, extension of the Summer School content regarding use of information technology tools in the sphere of higher education as a whole and mechatronics in particular, and also establishment of networking among universities.

The hosting Saratov State Technical University Faculty of Electronics and Instrumentation has demonstrated its most recent developments in mechatronics and automation system. Active participation of young teachers, staff, students and graduate students is worth mentioning.

Realization of the above mentioned activities resulted in a raise of educational and methodical level of Summer School participants - participants of the project realization; agreement of the main principles of study plan modernization and the plan of providing opportunities for students of Ukrainian and Russian partner universities to continue education in Technical University of Liberec and Technical University of Sofia; coordinate the plan of upcoming project events' realization - in particular, teachers' retraining in European universities in October 2012; project popularization among field-specific audience. At the WG1/WG2 seminars the project participants have agreed on Double degree study plans' structure of both Russian/Ukrainian and European partner universities. The project ideas have excited interest of the International Congress ICIT-2012 participants, and contacts for future cooperation and experience exchange have been established.

Study visit to BPU
Study visit to BPU, March,2012
Study visits of partner countries' representatives to European universities

In March 2012, realization of a Tempus project EU-PC Double Degree Master Program in Automation / Mechatronics (MPAM) received a powerful impulse in its development from implementation of one of the first and most important activities - study visits of partner countries' representatives to European universities. Altogether, 43 representatives of four Russian, four Ukrainian universities and a Ukrainian enterprise has participated in the study visits.

Technical University of Liberec, Czech Republic (Grant holder) has received 12 participants of working groups (WGs) during March 12-18 visit, Technical University Sofia, Bulgaria - 14 participants during March 12-18 visit, and Blaise Pascal University, France - 17 participants during March 5-11 visit. Members of WG1 and WG2, responsible for Curriculum, Syllabi and teaching materials of the Mechatronics Master Program and development of a technology for Double degree students' training have benefited from learning about curriculum and syllabi of EU partners' Master courses. In Blaise Pascal University, WGs members have benefited from visits to Center of Technology Transfer – Engineering school on the technological campus (CTT/IFMA), Pascal Institute and VIPALab, getting acquainted with the technological base of the university.

An important stage of project team work at Technical University Sofia was a visit to university laboratories Low Cost Automation, Mechatronics, SKF, Live cycle. It showed the depth of the teaching of certain subjects, the relationship of theoretical and practical knowledge in this area and their compliance with the requirements of modern industry.

In Technical University of Liberec, a visits to three laboratories of mechatronic engineering has contributed to analysis of the laboratory facilities for teaching of masters in mechatronics and possible International Hybrid Learning Space development.

Members of WG3, responsible for develop EU based Quality Assurance System (QAS), has benefited from intensive workshops on Quality, including presentations of EU representatives on different aspects of quality assurance system, role of international relations department and examples of quality assurance in international projects. Members of WG4, responsible for develop an International Hybrid Learning Space (IHLS) interlinked the real and virtual learning spaces for training the JMP students, has benefited from an intensive workshop on IHLS, including a study visit to BPU Center for languages and Multimedia, as well as presentation of different tools for distance learning and hybrid learning.

In Technical University of Liberec, participants learned about TUL achievements with Advanced Learning Space Project, which is an example of strong e-learning portal with a system for lecturers streaming in advanced format (richmedia) and improving students - teacher dialogue. Conduction of study visits has provided conditions for intensive communication and experience exchange, uniting partner countries and European members of working group in a professional and highly motivated team, aimed at achievement of common goals. The experience, obtained by PC representatives during the study visits, helps working groups members in realization of further activities, including development of draft Curriculums of Joint EU-PC Master Program in Automation/Mechatronics.

Initial Conference of the MPAM Project Team and the 1st Coordination Meeting,Kyiv,January 2012
Initial Conference of the MPAM Project Team and the 1st Coordination Meeting
Start of the Project

Initial Conference of the MPAM Project Team and the 1st Coordination Meeting of the PMC was held in January 2012. Initial Conference of EU-PC Double Degree Master Program in Automation / Mechatronics (MPAM) Project Team as well as the 1st Coordination Meeting of the PMC was held 19-20 January 2012 in Kyiv, Ukraine. The project event brought together representatives of EU, Russian and Ukrainian universities and production enterprises. The hosting institution was National Technical University of Ukraine "Kyiv Polytechnic Institute".

At the meeting, the MPAM project realisation plan for three years and for the next six month were discussed, wide and specific objectives were clarified. It was agreed, that the project proposal corresponds with participating institutions' goals and values, is well planned and needs minimum adjustment for realisation. Contact persons of participating institutions were agreed as Project local coordinators at their institutions. Project management council includes Project Coordinator, Project local coordinators and also Technical University of Liberec (TUL) Project manager and Zhytomyr State Technological University (ZSTU) Project managers.

Lists of project working groups members as well as participants of study visits were approved. Among the topics discussed, there were: Consortium architecture; roles of partners; financial administration of the project; calendar plan of project realisation; next mobility events - study visits of PC members of working groups to TUL,TU-Sofia and BPU; the next PMC coordination meeting. National Tempus Office monitoring in Ukraine was recommended for 14th project month, for the second project team Conference combined with 3rd PMC to be held in Kharkiv in November 2012.

The coordination meeting was held at the presence of Svitlana Shytikova, Project Manager and NTO Director of National Tempus Office in Ukraine, who informed Consortium members of Tempus monitoring procedures and recommendations on project visibility, and also provided consultations on project coordination.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author,
and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein