July 19, 2015

Damira Smagulova from Kazakhstan: “KTU Students Get Much More Practical Experience”

Damira Smagulova, who has collected her masters in measurement engineering from Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) this June, is convinced: studies in Kaunas was a perfect choice.

“After I saw the labs of KTU Santaka Vallley I was really amazed – all the equipment is brand new, and students can get access to everything. This is the main difference between KTU and my home university. In Kaunas I got a lot more practical experience”, says Damira.

According to Smagulova, the possibility to acquire hands-on experience during the studies is of extreme importance, and she says that studying at KTU has this advantage. While carrying out her masters research at KTU Ultrasound Research Institute Damira gained plenty of practical skills. KTU Santaka Valley laboratories are among the best in Eastern Europe, the Ultrasound Research Institute has some unique equipment in the Baltics. The majority of the Institute’s projects are being carried out with international partners, and the students are appointed tasks from the actual projects.
– How did you decide to study in Kaunas?, we asked Damira.
– I got my undergraduate degree in Karaganda, which is in the very centre of Kazakhstan. It is a nice city and a good university, but I wanted to travel for my masters. During the study fair in my third year, after I spoke with the representatives of universities from many countries, I chose Lithuania and KTU, as my friends recommended this university for those who want to study technical sciences.
– What do you think about your choice now?
– I am really happy about it. Of course, after I came here I needed some time to adjust, but I didn’t have any difficulties whatsoever. People speak English or Russian, and everybody is really willing to help. Besides, I can speak a little Lithuanian now.
– What made you choose Measurement Engineering?
– I liked the curriculum: I thought the modules were more interesting than those which I studied during my undergraduate years. And I was amazed when I saw all the state-of-the-art laboratories – we don’t have such equipment at our university in Karaganda, and we don’t get as many practical tasks. KTU Santaka Valley laboratories with all the fittings, instruments and apparatuses were open to access any time and as much as I needed. This practical experience makes the huge difference between KTU and my home university. Working at the lab, the measurements that I took and data analysis is the experience, which I am sure I’ll be able to use in the future.
– How did older colleagues react to your being a student and participating in research?
– Everybody was very friendly from the first day. Of course, at the beginning I had many questions and problems, but I could always address anyone working at the Institute – people here are really friendly.
– What research you actually did for your masters?
– I was analysing joined composite and steel materials – looking for defects by ultrasonic methods in their connections. My task was to find the most effective method for the detection of those defects. It is an important task as composite materials are being used more and more in various industries to make materials lighter and less harmful to the environment, however, the connections between steel or other hard material and composite part have to be flawless.
– What would you like to do in the future?
– I haven’t decided yet. I would like to work with measurements, preferably, ultrasonic measurements in a laboratory of some metrology centre. However, I am still facing a dilemma: should I look for a job, or should I apply for PhD at KTU. Thankfully, I still have time to decide.
– What do you think about studies in Lithuania in general?
To be honest, I needed time to adjust to the weather, as in Kazakhstan we have hot summers and cold winters and here you have so much rain and the weather is more mellow during all seasons. But I like everything here, very much.
This year nearly 70 Lithuanian state scholarships will be granted for talented students to study Master’s in Lithuania. Citizens of Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine who have been admitted to Kaunas University of Technology may apply for a state funded (free of charge) study place and a monthly scholarship of 380 EUR. Whereas citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, China, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan – can apply for a monthly scholarship of 380 EUR.