October 26, 2022

Problems of lighting engineering education were discussed at a joint seminar of the BL GROUP and the Polytechnic Museum

On October 25, a scientific and practical seminar "The History of Lighting education in Russia" was held at the Polytechnic Museum within the framework of a joint project with the Moscow Art Institute "BL GROUP" "The History of Lighting Technologies". The seminar was timed to coincide with the 90th anniversary of the formation of the first lighting engineering department in Russia at the Moscow Power Engineering Institute (now NRU "MEI"), which has been headed by the President of BL GROUP Georgy Boos since 2014.

The seminar was moderated by the Scientific Secretary of the Polytechnic Museum, Honored Worker of Culture of the Russian Federation Stella Morozova and the GR-director of the BL GROUP, a member of the Expert Council of the Polytechnic Museum "Monuments of Science and Technology of Russia" Evgeny Dolin. The seminar was attended by representatives of the lighting engineering education system (including online), as well as students of the Lighting Engineering Department of the NRU "MEI".

Opening the seminar, Evgeny Dolin noted: "Many thanks to the museum for showing interest in lighting topics. We were glad to add LED light sources to the museum's collection. Now we have decided to turn to the topic of lighting engineering education, from its origins and its founders to today's cutting edge – lighting design. A wide geography of teaching lighting engineering is presented at our seminar today – Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tomsk, Kazan."

Irina Merkulova, a senior researcher at the Polytechnic Museum, in her report told about the history of lighting engineering and education in this field, starting with the invention of the incandescent luminaire in 1872 by the Russian engineer and founder of lighting education Alexander Lodygin. She also drew attention to the fact that this year marks the 150th anniversary of its invention, that is, electric lighting and, accordingly, the lighting industry.

Professor of the Department of Lighting Engineering of the NRU "MEI", editor-in-chief of the scientific journal "Lighting Engineering" Vladimir Budak made a report dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the department, as well as scientific research and publishing activities in the field of lighting engineering. He spoke about the significance of the invention of electric lighting, about the formation of the discipline "lighting engineering", about innovations that changed lighting technology (LEDs, computer graphics, digital lighting control systems), as well as about the influence of light on a person, about innovations in the system of lighting education.

"If we talk about the role and importance of lighting technology in the life of mankind, the victory of light over darkness has enabled a person to plan his time regardless of the time of day and time of year for work, rest, education. This determined the tremendous progress that took place in the 20th century for all mankind," Vladimir Budak noted, "And the change in the design paradigm of lighting installations made it possible to create human-centric lighting."

Regarding new methods in lighting engineering education, he explained that the focus is now shifting from lectures to master classes using 3D models and computer graphics, to practical classes and independent work with subsequent presentation of projects.

Anton Grimailo, a graduate student of the Department of Lighting Engineering of the NRU "MEI", presented the report "The Monte Carlo Method. New possibilities of lighting engineering". Professor of Tomsk Polytechnic University, Honored Scientist of the Russian Federation, full member of the International Academy of Sciences of Higher Education Viktor Lisitsyn in his report spoke about the formation and development of lighting education in Siberia, about the cooperation of the Department of Lighting Engineering of the NRU "MEI" with a similar, but younger department of Tomsk University, about its research and scientific works. Natalia Bystryantseva, the head of the creative association of lighting designers RULD, the Higher School of Lighting Design and the International Laboratory of Urban Environment Lighting Design at ITMO University, presented a report on the history of the Higher School of Lighting Design and the areas of training specialists.

During the discussion, experts, teachers of lighting engineering departments, students presented their assessments of the significance, state and development of lighting education and science.

Following the results of the seminar, Evgeny Dolin outlined the problem that has arisen in modern lighting education: "Are we teaching to use a light source or are we teaching to make it more perfect? It seems to me that the problem of education now is this duality. What to teach next – whether to do, or use what has been done, or even to construct some new relationship between man and the environment, the use of biological objects with the help of light. It seems to me that over the past 30 years there has been a serious gap between educational schools and institutions. And to solve the problem, the initiative of the Department of Lighting Engineering of the NRU "MEI" is very important - interuniversity cooperation, consolidation of different universities and departments in order to keep the bar, not to lose the school. If we pushed this with our seminar, then we are very happy."

Stella Morozova also noted that during the discussion important problems of the development of modern basic lighting education were raised: "The scientific community should consolidate and solve these problems. Maybe our historical and cultural, not very strictly scientific seminar will help this." She assessed the joint project of holding seminars on lighting technologies with the Corporation as a "very capacious" direction, since engineers, architects, urbanists, psychologists, and doctors are involved in this area, which is also important from the point of view of education.

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