Site: Institute of Fine Mechanics and Optics
Department of Computer Technology
14 Sablinskaya Street
St. Petersburg 197101
Telephone: (812) 238-8769
Fax: (812) 232-7622

Date of Visit: October 28, 1993

Report Author: J. Larimer



J. Larimer
E.C. Urban


Professor Vladimir Vasilyev

Head of the Department of Computer Technology


The Institute of Fine Mechanics and Optics was founded in 1930. The institute has a student body of 4,000, a teaching staff of 500 (including 50 professors, 250 associate professors, and 200 assistant professors), and a research staff of 400.

The Department of Computer Technology was created in 1991. The curriculum emphasis is on applied mathematics, physics, and computer science. The department has a staff of fifty-six, most of whom are under 40 years old. The department accepts approximately thirty-five new students each year for a program of education that takes three years to complete. Positions in the program are highly competitive and there is a high rejection rate of applicants for admission. The department draws its students primarily from the St. Petersburg area and the formerly closed cities around St. Petersburg.

In 1993, the state (in conjunction with grants from Holland, Germany, and England) provided funds for the purchase of $180,000 dollars worth of computer equipment. The department currently houses seventy machines of the 386/486 PC variety, twelve Macintoshes, and two Sun SPARC1 (IPC) workstations.

Between 1992 and 1994, the Department of Computer Technology was operating fourteen main projects, ten of which are described below.

Computerization of the Universities of Russia

This project is carried out under the state program called Universities of Russia. The project is an elaboration of the concept of the development and installation of LAN-based computer centers at universities. In 1993 more than fifty computer centers were installed.

Intellectual Technology Scheme

The main objective of the Intellectual Technology project is the selection and development of a new generation of Russian professionals in the fields of applied mathematics, physics, and computer science.

Simulation of CVD Technologies

The department, in conjunction with scientific research and industrial organizations, has developed computer codes for modeling and optimizing chemical vapor deposition processes. These codes have been specifically developed to model the following:

CAD for Thermal Analysis

Computer codes have been developed to model heat conduction for solid bodies and fluid flows for boundary conditions, including radiative, convective, or conduction interactions among a number of elements. These codes have been used to model electronic equipment, optical devices, and solid-state lasers. The main features of the modeling system are the following:

Computational Engineering

Work is carried out in computer communications, software engineering and educational software.

Controlling Systems Group

A set of input/output cards for the IBM PC have been developed to interface a PC to various sensors and control systems.

Technology for Long-Sized Products

Algorithms have been developed to control and optimize the drawing process for optical fibers, wires, capillaries, and thin glass sheets. These algorithms have been applied to the manufacturing of X-ray lens capillaries, LCD spacers, and medical capillaries.

Technology and Industry Equipment for Producing High- Precision Capillary and Flat-Panels for Liquid Crystal Displays

The department owns the know-how and all the equipment for drawing an uninterrupted capillary from a glass block. The system's can produce up to 60 tons of high-quality capillary glass per year. The process includes continuous measuring and control of external and internal diameters of product with accuracy of 5 microns. Nomenclatures of glass capillary are available. Work continues on the problem of technology and equipment for manufacturing thin glass flat-panels, with width up to 250 mm and thickness from 400 up to 1,200 microns. At present the experimental machine for drawing thin glass flat-panels is being developed within the department.

Geometric Dimension and Shape Measurement of Transparent, Reflecting, and Diffusive Objects

Devices have been constructed for the measurement and control of quartz tube wall thickness and thin-film deposition during manufacturing.

Optical Instruments

This group makes a variety of optical components and devices such as lens, mirrors, objectives, binoculars, objectives for fiber optics, and quasi-elastic light scattering spectrometers.

The Department of Computer Technology operates four additional projects. They are Stochastic Adaptive Control Methods, Technology for High-Temperature Superconductive Materials Manufacturing, Contactless Temperature Measurement (Optical Pyrometry), and Multi Spectrum Photometric Components.


The department has formed three private enterprises with a goal of providing funding for the department's activities. These ventures are as follows:

In 1988 the group formed a joint venture with a German firm to manufacture a device for measuring manufactured machine parts, such as automobile engine components. The device has a measurement accuracy of 100 to 1 m. The device has been patented in Canada, Japan, and Finland. Lasers for this device were originally obtained from Sharp Corporation, but now can be obtained in Russia. The joint venture closed this year after $900,000 in sales. The primary reason for the company's failure was its inability to service the devices once they were in the field. The rise in Aeroflot airfares was a large contributor to this problem.

The department's representatives are actively seeking opportunities for collaborations and business formation. They are ready to customize the technologies they have developed to suit the needs of interested parties. They are also ready to consider participating in any development project connected with the activities described above.


Fedorov, B.A., B.A. Fedorov, and P.W. Schmidt. "An Analysis of the Fractal Properties of the Surfaces of Globular Proteins." Submitted to J. Chem. Phys.

Published: December 1994; WTEC Hyper-Librarian