Emil Raya: "As a child I dreamed of constructing an airplane"
In 2005 Emil Raya entered Samara State Aerospace University. He came to study from Lebanon to Russia. Today Emil is working as an engineer in the world-famous British enterprise Rolls-Royce.
A year after his employment Emil Raya thanked Samara State Aerospace University and his research adviser Professor Aleksandr Yermakov for the received experience and knowledge: "I suspected that SSAU gives high level of education, but I had no idea to what extent. I passed the competitive selection and got hired by such a prestigious company and then I realized what a good education I received in Samara".
In Lebanon, Emile Raya approved himself in mathematics: hit the top three in the mathematical competition among schoolchildren of the country. As an incentive, the young talent was offered a scholarship to study in Russia.
"I could choose any engineering specialty - says Emil Raya. - And then I remembered my childhood dream. My family is very big, and the relatives live all over the world. And for some time I even wanted to construct an airplane to visit my relatives. So I always loved aviation. Choosing a specialty, I decided at once that I wanted to be an aircraft engines designer. I consider happy coincidence that the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation has sent me to study namely at SSAU. I am confident that my skills obtained in Samara helped me to find my dream job".
It became clear at once, that Emil was a brighter student: from the first years he drew the attention of professors, trying to solve problems unconventionally. From 2006 to 2009 he took part in student competitions in higher mathematics, strength of materials, applied mechanics and the theory of mechanisms and machines, each time making a significant contribution to achievements of SSAU team. So nobody was surprised that, despite the language and cultural barriers, the student from Lebanon got only high grades.
"Emil Raya studied in the group in which training was organized in such a way that the student from year to year takes on the end-to-end design of engine elements in the most complicated software packages and to the final year he develops a project of the virtual engine, made in 3D-models with unique calculations, - told Professor Aleksandr Yermakov, Director of the Institute of Engines and Power Plants and Emil’s research adviser. – Only the most purposeful people can meet the challenges".
According to Aleksandr Yermakov, in addition to serious knowledge in mathematics future designers- engine building specialists should be well-versed in physics of the processes occurring in the engine to cope with a study program of the Institute of Engines and Power Plants. "I usually conduct an examination for a long time, - recalls Aleksandr Ivanovich. – I allow using the lecture notes, but I require demonstrating a deep understanding of the subject. So, Emil always got high grades at the examinations.
Emil Raya performed two course projects at a very high level. In the first one, he modelled torsional critical speed of a rotor, in the second he designed an impeller (disk, blades). This course projects became part of his graduation project.
"At that time it was a new and very challenging problem for us, - said Aleksandr Yermakov. - In fact, we were engaged in conjugate designing, when simultaneously several problems can be solved: structural strength was calculated taking into account the loads from the stream (gas dynamics) and provision of bearing capacity of the blade and the dynamics was resolved - the resonance grading and at the same time the blade efficiency upgrading".
Emil managed to do this work. Representatives of JSC "Kuznetsov" paid attention to the talented graduate student defending the project. However, the desire of the enterprise to invite the student to work was broken by reality: under Russian law, foreign graduates cannot go to work for the domestic enterprises of the defence complex.
Emil decided to work in the UK, in the engine-building company Rolls-Royce on his last years of study in SSAU. He saw an engine of this manufacturer in SSAU for the first time.
Before he was employed by Rolls-Royce, Emil in addition had to complete a one-year Master's degree in one of the British universities, which had a corporate program of Rolls-Royce for the graduates.
"I cannot say that it was really necessary for me (with relation to additional engineering knowledge. – Editor’s note). But as a student of this university, I participated in a joint research work on the topics of Rolls-Royce, in other words I have started to work for this corporation before my graduation", - noted Emil.
Emil was one of the 250 lucky people who have got a job in Rolls-Royce after all. Totally, the competition was attended by over 15 thousand of people. That is, only one of 60 applicants obtained employment. Emil is sure that he has won thanks to the knowledge gained in SSAU.
"I suspected that SSAU gives high level of education, but I had no idea to what extent. Thanks to the excellent knowledge of the theory of design and engines manufacturing I passed the competitive selection easily and realized that I could work in different engineering departments of the corporation. Later it became clear that engineering thinking skills engrained in Samara and ability to work in a software packages for workflow modelling in the engine, such as CFD, were much more useful to me".
Soon after Emil Raya was employed by Rolls-Royce, he phoned his research adviser in SSAU Professor Aleksandr Yermakov and thanked him for the experience and knowledge that he received in Samara State Aerospace University.
"In that conversation Emil noted consistency of our education, study of the entire engine, and his competitors for the position did not have such training, - recalled Aleksandr Yermakov. - They could not imagine how the changes in one system (for example, the fuel injection system) will respond to the work of the entire engine. Many of our graduates note this fundamentality. And they showed themself to good advantage both in the domestic enterprises and in engine-building companies around the world. For example, Ivan Zhdanov is employed by the Swiss company ASNE, besides CEO of this company is also our graduate.
All this suggests that our education system is excellent, it has great virtues. But we forge ahead. For example, in the near future we are going to transform the educational process by the mathematical standards of Cambridge: we will seriously increase number of academic hours for mathematics and physics in the first year of study. In this regard we need applicants having high grades in the Unified State Examination on these subjects. To be adequately prepared for the 3D-modeling in the design, the students must have a deep understanding of physics and have an extensive mathematical tool".
Nowadays Emil Raya is working in the main design department of Rolls-Royce PLC, which is located in Derby, England. As a SSAU diploma student, he worked on the issues of design optimization, solving conjugated problems, which took in account gas dynamics, efficiency, and the load of the flow on the blade. Now he is also facing with similar tasks in Britain that require to see the engine all the processes taking place therein as a whole system.
"My current task is optimization of cooling system of the turbine blades, - told Emil Raya. - We work by the order of Airbus, optimizing the engine Trent XWB, the most economical engine, which is being developed in Rolls-Royce. I have to find a solution how to change the design and maybe to use new materials to reach a certain level of engine thrust".
Meanwhile, new gifted people in engineering appear in Samara in SSAU, which will "fly" as the new "stars" in a few years to the aerospace, engine building and other high-tech companies around the world, like Emil Raya.