Nanosatellites, Leadership and Contemporary Art
Arzu Kurgan, MSc student/ Advanced Manufacturing Technologies
Meet Arzu Kurgan, 1st year Master student of the Advanced Manufacturing Technologies program at Skoltech. Arzu took her choice of Masters University very seriously and after attending several information sessions and interviews, chose Skoltech. She told us about her experience during the admissions process, her 1st year projects and plans for the next academic year (there's a lot!).
Here is Arzu's story:
about me

I graduated from Kaliningrad State Technical University. I learned about Skoltech from a family friend; I was considering other universities in Russia and abroad for a Master's Program. After Selection weekends at Skoltech, I realized that I want to be a part of Skoltech and decided to make my final decision to stay and study here. Never regretted this decision.

I thought about the place where I was going to continue my education seriously, so I applied in the first selection round of Skoltech.

First, I was pleasantly surprised about the atmosphere in Skoltech. Everyone was nice and supportive: student volunteers, the admissions team, professors. I was quite nervous before my interview, and one of the Skoltech students who was volunteering that day helped me emotionally. He listened to my speech, gave me some advice and cheered me up. For me, it was a great example of the Skoltech community.

In general, I enjoyed the whole process of Selection, even though it wasn't so traditional and habitual compared to the other universities. I remember that during my interview, Professor Ighor Uzhinsky told about the Cyber-Physical laboratory's activities and courses. His speech impressed me a lot, and exactly right after this interview, I realized that I wanted to join the CPS lab (however, my initial plan was to work in another lab).

The whole process of admission was interesting, challenging and for sure it was worth it. Looking back, I remember these two days of selection with a smile.
studies at Skoltech
At Skoltech we take a lot of interesting projects during our courses. For instance, in this term, I have two courses: PLM and Space Sector. In the Product Lifecycle Management course, we develop High-Altitude Pseudo Satellite or Truss-Braced wing aircraft and in the Space Sector course, we need to create our own space-related startup. Usually, I spend almost my day at Skoltech, working on the projects, assignments and also spending my free time communicating with other Skoltech students.

A significant fact about my study program is that all of our courses are very practical and help to develop essential skills for engineers. At the beginning of the academic year, we had an Introduction to Advanced Manufacturing Technologies course, during which our group had a chance to apply our theoretical knowledge in practice. We managed to make a composite material using various techniques during laboratory work with our own hands.

Advanced Manufacturing Technologies
The program is established with a focus on development and implementation of new simulation-driven design and manufacturing paradigms for development of advanced materials, structures, and engineering systems with enhanced lifecycle, mechanical and physical characteristics demanded in high-tech industries. The program is created to prepare the next generation of researchers, engineers, and practitioners to assume a role of technical leadership in research and innovation of high-tech sector.

Learn more>>

My research, which is a part of my master thesis, is dedicated to the industrialization of nanosatellites platforms. In this project, we want to identify the most relevant tradeoffs between performance and cost of the satellite platform and its industrial system for manufacturing, assembly, integration, and testing (AIT) by formulating effective strategies of the serial manufacturing process to the CubeSat production.

free time in moscow

I enjoy visiting museums, and I am a big fan of contemporary art. In case if you share my interest I suggest you visit the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, they have a lot of various exhibitions of the greatest artists. In addition to learning activities, it is interesting for me to gather with other students from Skoltech to play board games, take part in various intellectual competitions, or have a good time talking or exploring new places in Moscow.

next steps
I have not yet made a final decision on what I will do after graduating from the Skoltech. There are several thoughts and options, in a year we will find out which of them will become reality :)

Nevertheless, I can say with confidence that Skoltech has already played a huge role in my life, taught me a lot and presented a huge amount of experience and emotions. All projects in which I participated here, people with whom I worked will always have a special place in my memory.
advice to applicants & new students
First of all, in my opinion, you need to be responsible for choosing the program that you are going to apply to. If possible, find as much information as possible before entering: courses, priority areas of research, and so on. Spend your time on preliminary research (it will be advantageous; I guarantee). This information will help you make the right and appropriate choice for you, as well as help you prepare for the interview because you will already have a clearly formed "picture" of what you can do at Skoltech. What is pretty obvious is you should seriously prepare for the Skoltech entrance exams, but I think that those who want to be part of Skoltech are already aware of this.

And I want to give this kind of advice to new students: be active, take initiative, be passionate about studying here, because Skoltech has an incredible amount of opportunities for exciting studies and personal growth both as a specialist in your field and as an individual.