Improving skills

SIBUR keeps fostering professional development.

Last year, SIBUR supported a professional development course for railway sector specialists at MIIT, and now it is helping launch expanded polystyrene (EPS) course at the Moscow State University of Civil Engineering (MGSU). This project is a joint initiative of SIBUR and EPS Producers and Suppliers Association with key market players among its members.

Until recently, construction systems with EPS heat insulation have not enjoyed much, if any, spotlight in education. This has resulted in large amounts of often inconsistent, inaccurate or incomplete information available in public sources.

The Application of EPS Materials and Products in Construction course at MGSU will help engineers to upgrade their skills in structural engineering. The programme is taught in modules that are dedicated to EPS application in heat insulation, the material's special properties, and quality control methods. The course will include 16 classroom sessions each lasting one academic hour. Attendance is open to both professionals and other interested individuals. The programme is being implemented by the Scientific Research Institute of Building Materials and Technologies.

It took about a year to give shape to this project with its curriculum formed virtually from scratch. Until recently, construction systems with EPS heat insulation have not enjoyed much, if any, spotlight in education. This has resulted in large amounts of often inconsistent, inaccurate or incomplete information available in public sources, which can mislead engineers, builders and consumers as to the features, physical and mechanical properties and application of modern expanded polystyrene. In addition, over the last two years we saw major changes in legislation related to the standards and regulatory requirements for EPS products, which became the deciding factor for starting the project.

According to professor Andrey Pustovgar, Vice-Rector of MGSU and PhD in Engineering, the course will not require special knowledge and qualifies as general engineering. It can be attended by students who are second year and above, as well as post-graduates. In addition to MGSU professors, the lecturers will include representatives of the business community and SIBUR in particular, who will share their hands-on experience of using the materials.

“SIBUR was also actively involved in the preparation of the curriculum, which fully complies with federal educational standards and makes sure the graduates meet the demands of the professional community,” says Andrey Pustovgar, “we plan to continue collaborating with the business community to keep up with market trends and train in-demand professionals. Our graduates will possess the latest industry knowledge, which will allow them to distinguish between high-quality expanded polystyrene and subpar fake products, the latter being widespread in the market and carrying a degree of risk. In the long term, this should improve the perception of expanded polystyrene and EPS products.”

The programme is taught in modules that are dedicated to EPS application in heat insulation.

“The curriculum covers the most up-to-date trends, standards and technologies in safe, energy efficient and high-quality thermal insulation of residential and commercial buildings with EPS blocks,” says Yuri Savkin, Director of the EPS Producers and Suppliers Association.

“Through supporting the course, SIBUR demonstrates the effectiveness of modern polymers in construction with regard to their lifecycle. The launch of this module will promote correct application of the high-quality and energy-efficient product in the engineering and construction of industrial and residential facilities. As for the students and engineers, who wish to upgrade their skills, they will have the opportunity to learn more about the advantages of using expanded polystyrene panels in construction. The most important thing is that specialists will be able to gain first-hand experience in installation-ready facade system tests in the climatic chamber against various external influences, see structural strength in impact tests, estimate adhesion of layers, thermal conductivity and much more that is worth understanding when engineering energy-efficient and sustainable constructions,” says Vladimir Proskuryakov, Head of Marketing, Plastics, Elastomers and Organic Synthesis Division.

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