History of the Partnership

In the year 1967, the first contacts between Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH) and then Kalinin Polytechnic (now Peter the Great St.Petersburg Polytechnic University) (SPbSPU) were established when the Russian professors K. Selesnev and I. Kirillov met the department head from the Institute for fluid dynamics at LUH, Professor K. Bammert, at the international symposium “SYMKOM” in Poland. The cooperation between LUH and SPbPU began in 1979, in the middle of the cold war. In July of that year, a letter arrived at LUH from the Russian consulate general in Hamburg. It contained a draft contract from the Kalinin Polytechnic in Leningrad regarding the cooperation between the universities. Both universities were specifically interested in cooperation in the field of research and quickly agreed on this main focus area. However, it took some years before scientists from both universities could realize their research plans by reciprocal visits. It would take the contract partners until the year 1984 to fulfill all the necessary bureaucratic obligations due to the geo political circumstances. Only then the German-Russian cooperation agreement between the universities as well as the first work program could be signed. This was an extraordinary event of interregional significance, not only for both Universities, but also for both countries involved.

Since 1984, scientists from both universities have developed working programs every three years to deepen the research cooperation. These were put in written form and signed by both universities’ managements, which provided for the continual development of the program for many years. Based on this, the cooperation developed into a major success of scientific partnership, which is held in high regard in both Hannover and St.Peterburg.

Since the beginning of the cooperation, various professors from LUH have received an honorary doctorate title from the SPbPU: Professor Seidel (1989), Professor Stein (1995), Professor Wenzel (1995), Professor Graul (2000), Professor Zielke (2000), Professor Barke (2008).  Additionally, Professor Seume from LUH was awarded the horary professorship from SPbPU in 2010. Two professors from SPbPU hold an honorary senator from LUH: Professor Vasiliev (1989) and Professor Fedorov (2010).

In 2004 and 2010, workshops led by the International Office with participation from all the involved professors took place in Hanover. The aim of these workshops was to define the strategic goals of the program anew and to facilitate the pending change of generation as smoothly as possible. This provided the program with new strength and new energy. Numerous joint scientific projects, trainings and workshops, research stays and scientific publications provided important contributions to the current research in various subjects, particularly in continuum and structural mechanics, turbo machinery and metal forming.

Through this, the basis for an internationally visible and sustainable cooperation was established. In accordance with the profile of each university, the most joint ventures take place between the engineering scientists (students-, PhD and scientists exchange as well as joint research projects). Much attention was given to the student exchange. In the last years, students from the economic sciences were included into the exchange, in order to broaden the diversity of cooperation. Hereby, the recognition of the study credits received at the respective partner university played an important role. In addition to this, LUH and SPbPU developed a joint international Master degree in engineering science, which is accredited and started in the winter term 2013/2014 at SPbPU. Two further international Master programs in English started in winter term 2018/2019. This offers students the possibility to work and learn together interculturally and interdisciplinary. With the introduction of such a degree course, a new dimension for the international cooperation between both universities has been opened.