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2nd GRIAT Summer School, August 18 – September 1, 2019
«The Future of Smart Cities in Russia»



Most of tomorrow’s engineers will be doing jobs that do not even exist yet. Exponential technological change and thought transformation concerning our ecosystem are disrupting old career certainties. It becomes increasingly difficult to assess, which skills will be a passport to a much-needed and fulfilling job. The trick for tomorrow’s engineers is to start today to develop the necessary skills in order to ensure a solid future career in their fields.

The concept of “Tomorrow’s Smart Cities” demonstrates a whole new world that is sustainable and environmentally friendly due to the potential applications of technologies and practices we already use today. We envision astonishing and comfortable areas of urban living, while eliminating hazardous agents from the comfort of our own life or work places. These are Tomorrow’s Smart Cities, and they also require new approaches to educational training and career planning. It calls for an interdisciplinary design, so that current students can achieve a specialization by combining fundamental academic knowledge with environmental and management skills.

The planned summer school program «The Future of Smart Cities in Russia» focuses on engineering and environment through a «working with nature» approach right from the beginning. Our program seeks to introduce future engineers to synergetic thinking about ecosystems, when working on the development of smart cities. Such an approach combines ecological and biological aspects with an understanding of the interrelations of humans, animals, and nature. It takes into consideration that future city designers need to understand in depths how exactly human beings interact with their surroundings and clarify the environmental role of humans.

Many existing cities are nowadays situated in landscapes, which are strained and under pressure with activities and processes that are environmentally unfriendly and ecologically harmful. A modern city is a highly artificial and complex technical system with often a minimum level of resistance to any form of stress. As the American city planner James Rouse has observed, in every modernized city exists, side by side, a second city – a city of poor people struggling to survive in unsuitable housing conditions, where a lack of work places, education, happiness and hope predominate. It seems like two different countries, sharing the same air but not the same opportunities, merged into one. The solution to that can be a city, which is a smart, stable and beautiful ecosystem due to the interdisciplinary environmental approach of engineers from different fields.

The main goal of the program «The Future of Smart Cities in Russia» is to raise awareness and understanding that tomorrow’s engineers will be located at major crossroads to install significant contributions to the future social and economic activity of cities and regions. Therefore, academic activities of the summer school include analyses of the challenges of modern cities as well as the opportunities of a city as an ecosystem (Smart Cities) and the ways of realizing such a vision. The goal can best be realized if there is a conceptual basis for developing synergetic ecosystem’s thinking and by translating and applying learning outcomes to the external environment. Priority is given to introducing new academic technologies into the study’s process.


General Information

Off-campus activities


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2nd GRIAT Summer School video presentation

General Information

Basic Program Requirements

The basic program requirements for learning and extending knowledge are:

  • - practice orientation, namely «the ability to select and use the necessary equipment, tools and technologies, which are based on synergetic ecosystem’s thinking and environmental thought with regard to economic, environmental, social and other constraints
  • - orientation towards the labor market and its perspectives, namely «the demonstration of synergetic approaches to match different competencies and skills for realizing urban-embedded activities»
  • - individual project work and teamwork, namely «skills of effective responsibility both in individual and interdisciplinary team work»
  • - social responsibility, namely «a demonstration of the principles of tolerance and an awareness for the legal, social, environmental and cultural aspects of city life»
  • - ethics and impartiality, namely «honesty at work, affirming the vision and the meaning of life in a world of technologies, trust and loyalty»
  • - entrepreneurial and business context, namely «the perception of different entrepreneurial cultures, the exponential evaluation of available techniques and technologies»


Main Modules

The implementation of the program’s concept is achieved through the inclusion of practice tasks during academic training sessions. The program consists of 4 main modules:

  1. The city as an ecosystem

  2. Big hidden life of small systems

  3. From cradle to grave: waste history

  4. Presumption of guilt in environmental legacy

The program’s content correlates with the life and work tasks an engineer faces, as society demands clear value orientations, which are in this case connected to the technocratic orientation of professional activities.


Expected Results

The expected result of the summer school program is to provide students with a clear idea of the concept of sustainable development in future cities, and how it can be applied in the Russian context. This includes environmental management, energy efficiency, resource efficiency, «zero waste», risk management, and the currently best use of available technology. We would like to invite students to reflect on existing conditions, which most urban areas are facing today and show in case studies how to implement change to a degree that the development offers access to all citizens. Therefore, the schedule offers a variety of practical content and seeks to modify existing forms and methods of teaching and monitoring, creating conditions and an atmosphere of learning, which will benefit the students in many ways. Through the knowledge they obtain, we want to encourage them to stay or become active members of society.



The educational methodology is rooted in person-oriented learning on the basis of experience. This means that the focus is not so much on mastering knowledge theoretically but on acquiring it through practical activity. This approach assumes that successfully solving situations in professional activity presupposes a clear understanding of where and how the acquired knowledge is going to be used. Training settings and model cases thus help to lay the basis for future implementation in professional environments. We want to encourage collaboration and teamwork for students from different engineering backgrounds and provide challenges and tasks that require and train students’ ability to adequately assess the current situation of implementation of the case, the flexibility in approaches and options for solving the case and the responsibility for the result of the training.

Participating researchers in the summer school have been involved with the international educational project TEMPUS NETCENG (2013-2017) and have created new academic modules for 3rd year students, in particular in the field of engineering business training. The results of the project were highly appreciated by EU experts in May 2017. The experience of participating in the TEMPUS NETCENG project has led to modifications in the academic program guided by the provisions of the concept of sustainable development. Methodological innovations concern implementing, managing and evaluating project activities in changing economic, political and social realities in a systemic way. It is fostered through a flexible combination and differentiation of reproductive, informational and productive forms of instruction that include group communication with or without a mentor and teacher as well as progressive guidance for students according to their level of knowledge, abilities and professional interests.


Students’ requirements

Masters’ general requirements

A Bachelor’s degree (B. Sc.) with a grade of «good» (German grading of at least 2.5) or higher, from the fields of natural sciences and mathematics, computer sciences, environmental planning, civil engineering, process engineering, computer engineering, engineering with particular relevance to the environment, or an equivalent degree in a related degree program.

Bachelors’ general requirement

Good level from the fields of natural sciences and mathematics, computer sciences, engineering with particular relevance to the environment.

Language requirements

As all classes are given in English, a good (intermediate or higher) level of English (written and spoken) is necessary.



List of planned lectures and short description (remark: these hours (column L) can be divided into lectures and practical cases:


Preliminary daily schedule of the summer school

Off-campus activities

The Summer School pays attention to local languages and cultures (Russian and Tatar) by offering a Russian class for German students of 90 min/day. It also includes a variety of activities to explore Kazan, i.e., a city tour and a picnic on the Volga river banks. With a major Tatar holiday – Kurban Bajram – in the middle of the program schedule, students will have a chance to witness how Muslims respect traditional customs and celebrate this religious feast together with Russian Orthodox Christians.


Kazan Kremlin

For more than a thousand years of its history, the white-stone, symbolic and legendary Kazan Kremlin has heard almost every language of the world and hosted common tourists, ministers and presidents alike. Imperious-looking and powerful, it calls Muslims to the prayer in mosques and at the same time lets Orthodox church bells ring loud. By becoming a home to numerous museums, it invites guests from all over the planet every day. This architectural and historic monument was rightly included in UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage List as early as in 2000.

* Text from resource http://visit-tatarstan.com



Innopolis (Russian: Иннополис) is a town in Verkhneuslonsky District of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia, a satellite of Kazan, the capital of the republic. This is the smallest town in Russia with 96 inhabitants according to the 2016 estimate. The basis of the housing stock of Innopolis is 4 blocks of multi-storey apartment houses - 16 houses for 840 apartments - built by the State Housing Fund under the President of the Republic of Tatarstan and intended for leasing to residents of Innopolis and students. As of the end of 2016, there was a kindergarten, a school, an IT lyceum, a sports and medical center, post offices, client offices of AK Bars and Sberbank, a beauty salon, a coffee shop and a supermarket in Innopolis.

* Text from resource http://visit-tatarstan.com, picture from https://vk.com/innopolis


Great Bolgar 

“The Great Bolgar” – this is how they often call this world-famous museum preserve, and rightly so. The site of the ancient settlement of Bolgar, registered by UNESCO and renowned for its history and legends, attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world every year. There are indeed many good reasons to see this wonderful place.

* Text from resource http://visit-tatarstan.com. Image from resource http://old.sntat.ru


Island town of Sviyazhsk

The island town of Sziyazhsk is that same fairy-tale island of Buyan, that magical land which Pushkin wrote about in his story of Prince Gvidon. Everything on the island simply breathes history. People come here to enjoy the truly mythical atmosphere, learn more about the history and admire the local architecture.

* Picture from resource https://gelio.livejournal.com/



Why do I have to send all these documents?

Due to many questions related to obtaining a Russian visa, we would like to emphasize, that the official invitation letter, which you will need for visa application, will be provided by KNRTU-KAI international office. Therefore, we need the completely filled application form. The official invitation will be sent to you via email after we have selected all participants.

Do I take care of my own travel arrangements?


Yes, please do. When you purchase your tickets, let us know about you route – airways, flight number, time of arrival or railway station, train number, time of arrival. That will help us organizing to meet you.

Where will participants from abroad live?

Our summer school participants from outside Kazan stay in KNRTU-KAI dormitory №3 on Akademika Kirpichnikova str.11. This is a renovated 5-floor-building, located 5km away from campus with several connecting bus and tram lines.

Should I provide a language certificate about knowing English?

A language certificate like IELTS or TOEFL is nice to have, however, it is not mandatory. We expect an intermediate language level (B1/B2) of English.

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Application, registration, deadlines:

Application and registration for the 2nd GRIAT Summer School: Opening date - March 1, 2019.

Deadline for submitting applications is May 31, 2019.

Application requirements:

Masters’ general requirements

A Bachelor’s degree (B. Sc.) with a grade of «good» (German grading of at least 2.5) or higher, from the fields of natural sciences and mathematics, computer sciences, environmental planning, civil engineering, process engineering, computer engineering, engineering with particular relevance to the environment, or an equivalent degree in a related degree program.

Bachelors’ general requirement

Good level from the fields of natural sciences and mathematics, computer sciences, engineering with particular relevance to the environment.

Language requirements

As all classes are given in English, a good (intermediate or higher) level of English (written and spoken) is necessary.


Application process:

Please send your application to the summer school office here: summerschool@griat.kai.ru

Please attach the following documents:

  1. Attached and filled web-form
  2. Attached CV
  3. Attached motivation letter (1 – 1 ½ page)
  4. Attached copy of your scanned passport page with a photo and info about the place, date of issue (ALL pages, including empty! ones for issuing an official invitation.)

Please note! 

* Note documents (1-3) should be in English and (1-4) in PDF format.

* Please note! Foreign participants may need to apply for a visa no later than 1 month before the start of the course

Participation fees:

The participation fee is 650 €. The fee is to be paid in cash (in Rubles) on the first day of the summer school. You will be accompanied to the bank to exchange your currency into Rubles.

  1. DAAD provides scholarships to students enrolled at German universities that will cover the following expenses: Travel, accommodation, and participation fees for the course (see above).
  2. The participation fee for international students from other countries, who are willing to travel by their own funds, is 650 €, 
  3. The fee for students in and from Russia is 8.900 RUR.

The participation fee includes:

  1. Lectures / Lab work
  2. Scripts and copies
  3. Meals (lunch and coffee breaks), please, let us know if you have any dietary restrictions
  4. Accommodation
  5. Free use of the library and internet access
  6. Cultural program*
  7. Excursions*
  8. Experts’ fees

* entry ticket to the sight, bus transfer to and from the sight, tour guide fees are included, unless using public transportation or walking is faster and more convenient option

Important details:

  1. The summer school is being supported by the DAAD Go East Stipend Program. Link: DAAD Go East Summer School Program
  2. German students can apply if they are currently enrolled at a German university and have a German citizenship or an equivalent (more information on application criteria here).
  3. Non-German students also may apply if they are enrolled at a German university and intend to graduate from there.
  4. Graduates with an MA degree, as well as PhD candidates, are excluded from the application process.
  5. The DAAD stipend covers travel and participation fees.
  6. The double-track application process requires that interested students apply in parallel for admission to the summer school and for a stipend to DAAD.


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