MEPhI develops together with the nuclear industry

History of the nuclear industry in our country traces its origin to the moment when, in August 1945, First Chief Directorate of the Council of People's Commissars was established, which joined together scientists, engineers, shapers, builders, workers. In the same year, in November 1945, the order was given to organize the Faculty of Engineering and Physics in Moscow Mechanical Institute (MMI — so MEPhI was called at the time).  It was the starting point in the creation of Russian nuclear education. 

The emerging nuclear industry required highly qualified specialists; it was planned to train them at the new faculty. By the plan of creators, graduates had to receive fundamental physical and mathematical training combined with engineering knowledge and were to become unique specialists at that time - engineers-physicists.

Famous scientist A.I. Leypunsky was involved in the organizational process; he was also a team-mate of the Nuclear Project leader I.V. Kurchatov. Lectures were delivered by the foremost scientists of our time I.E. Tamm, M.A. Leontovich, E.L. Feinberg, A.B. Migdal, I.Y. Pomeranchuk,  I.K. Kikoin and other.  The first Academic Council of the Faculty of Physics and Engineering included A.I. Leipunsky, academicians A.I. Alikhanov and I.V. Kurchatov, professors L.A. Artsimovich and M.I. Kornfeld.

This approach determined the development of the university for many years: education principles for the building of "nuclear" competencies lay down by the founders, made it possible to create a system for training nuclear scientists, which is still considered one of the best in the world.

The 21st century has opened a new stage in the development of the university and nuclear education. In 2008, with the beginning of the reorganization of the Russian nuclear industry and the creation of the State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM, MEPhI was transformed into the National Research Nuclear University. In addition to the Moscow site, more than twenty educational institutions of higher and secondary professional education became part of the university. All university branches are located in the regions of the presence of nuclear industry enterprises. Today MEPhI is a leading university of ROSATOM that meets the high standards on each stage of education: university-secondary professional education-secondary school.

Among the new directions of the state corporation's development are nuclear medicine, composite materials, additive technologies, energy storage, lasers, supercomputers, desalination, water treatment, and water treatment technologies, digital products. The educational and research capabilities of MEPhI have now gone beyond the nuclear field. All MEPhI key institutes train both specialists for new directions of ROSATOM, and highly demanded professionals for promising markets.

The heart of MEPhI - the Institute of Nuclear Physics and Technology - conducts scientific research, the spectrum of which extends from fundamental problems of the structure of matter and the development of new materials to the creation of a new platform for nuclear energy. Institute prepares specialists capable of solving global problems of modern nuclear physics and the nuclear industry. Future technologies cannot be imagined without advances in the understanding of laser and plasma physic, without the creation of new accelerators and thermonuclear reactors. The Institute of Laser and Plasma Technologies of MEPhI provides the high-tech market with highly qualified specialists.

Institute of Intelligent Cybernetic Systems of MEPhI provides education in the field of cybernetics, robotics, information, and financial security, and artificial intelligence. The Engineering Physics Institute of Biomedicine of MEPhI trains personnel in the field of nuclear medicine as well as multidisciplinary specialists in the field of biomedicine and life sciences (for example, medical informatics, medical equipment architects). The main direction of the Institute of Nanotechnology in Electronics, Spintronics, and Photonics of MEPhI is the development of an electronic component base and the training of specialists in this field.

MEPhI is attended by students from all countries where ROSATOM is building nuclear power plants. Moreover, the contract for specialist training concludes at the government level. The opening of new unique, including bilingual educational programs, the involvement of scientists with a world-wide reputation in teaching, advanced scientific research — that attracts high-achieving applicants. Today students from 62 countries study at MEPhI. The list of countries is expanding: in 2019, MEPhI and the State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM opened the first foreign branch of the university in the Republic of Uzbekistan.

 Two years ago, the alley of sculptures of outstanding scientists who made a great contribution to world science and the formation of a nuclear university was laid in MEPhI. Passing by the established monuments, students and teachers of the 21st century can feel the continuity of generations and their connection with these great people. Based on the principles that were laid down by the founders, harmoniously combining traditions and advanced educational programs, producing new highly qualified, smart, creative, motivated specialists annually, the university is constantly developing together with the nuclear industry. Knowledge of students is always in demand in strategically important sectors of the economy.