Despite having been introduced only recently, terms like the Internet of Things (IoT), Industry 4.0 and smart technology have already become part of our everyday lives. Today, digital technology is used not only to optimise our everyday environment but also to improve production automation and the urban environment as well as to ensure the security of information.
In this regard, South Ural State National Research University (Chelyabinsk, Russia) is carrying out a number of scientific projects.
"We recently introduced a system for model predictive control of steam boilers at the central power plant in Magnitogorsk, Russia, which provides the city, plus the plant itself, with power", Gleb Radchenko, Director at SUSU's School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, said. "It will help conserve natural gas. This system controls the operation of the steam boilers with sensor data. The economic benefit per single power plant was estimated at almost 50 million rubles per year, and this can be increased".
Moreover, with over 500 temperature sensors installed in the processing line for steel casting, SUSU researchers managed to better control the process parameters as well as learn to manage it. Researchers believe that this efficient and reliable technology will ensure the stabilisation of the process for obtaining high-quality steel.
SUSU's research team is also developing methods to ensure information security in cloud systems. As a rule, maximum security can be ensured by dividing data into segments and storing it in multiple clouds; this prevents hackers from accessing the full content of classified information. Nonetheless, cloud providers have the option to collaborate to obtain the most number of data segments, and, therefore, gain access to classified information.
"Today, we have methods that can prevent access to data in case providers conspire," said Andrei Tchernykh, Head of the Problem-Oriented Cloud Computing Environment International Laboratory at SUSU. "We proved our developed algorithm to satisfy the definition of computer security. Unless the conspiring providers have a special secret key, there is a minimal chance that they will ever gain access to classified information. It is a sustainable solution to protect data from being accessed by insiders since even if some data segments become available to insiders, there still will be no access to the rest of it".
The list of other scientific fields that the university is actively involving their students in includes IoT technologies and methods for big data mining. In 2018, along with Samsung, SUSU launched a unique project called the Samsung IoT Academy under its School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Foreign students are also participating in the university's scientific development projects. SUSU is collaborating with world-renowned scientists from a number of countries including the UK, Germany, Finland, Denmark and others. The list of the university's priorities includes not only promoting digitalisation but also creating international scientific collaborations that result in significant scientific breakthroughs.
"I chose SUSU because it promotes communication between foreigners and the Russian people. That is what makes this university unique", said a Nigerian student at SUSU's School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science Adelaja Oluwaseun Adebayo. "When I first came to Russia, I had trouble with the language barrier as well as the weather. However, I had friends that helped me improve my speech and understanding of it. I sometimes watch Russian movies on the internet to improve my language proficiency. After graduating from the master's degree programme, I am planning to enrol in a computer science-related postgraduate programme".