Dmitry Bernt

graduated from MEPhI in 2013

Deputy Operations Manager – Head of R&D, Pilkington Glass Russia&CIS, Ramenskoe, Moscow Oblast

My road to success has started in 2007, as I enrolled at MEPhI. At that moment, it was obvious for me to choose this university and the Faculty of Theoretical and Experimental Physics among all other options. Initially, I wanted to study computer programming or applied mathematics. However, in order to boost my chances of enrolling at university and relax after the prom night instead of passing entrance exams, just as my classmates would do, I took additional lessons of physics and mathematics from Viktor A. Kharbrov, the employee of the Plasma Physics Department of MEPhI and the design engineer of the first-ever ion-plasma spacecraft engines.  I was always fascinated by space exploration and aeronautics, and liked science fiction, so our communication with Mr. Khrabrov really convinced me to become engineer and physicist and graduate from MEPhI.

Also, it was Mr. Khrabrov who introduced me to the Plasma Physics Department after I became one of MEPhI students. At about the same time, the society was getting more and more interested in nanotechnology, the government was expanding funding for research in this field of knowledge, and Rosnano was created. Given all these factors, in the end of my 2nd year of study I decided to continue my education at the Plasma Physics Department, studying plasma-assisted surface modification and thin film precipitation.

I liked studying at the Department, perhaps more than I liked the first two years of education with their non-specialized courses. It was due to the fact the courses became more relevant, and we were given more opportunities to work with plasma facilities and physical process modelling on PC. What I liked even more was the way the department staff and teachers addressed us – more like future colleagues, not just ordinary students. I highly appreciated how closely department activity was integrated with the international one, and the experience of joint research with other Russian and foreign institutes and students. Of course, there were some courses not so useful as regards the current state of scientific development. Still I treated them as another opportunity to develop skills in independent goal prioritization and resource allocation. Now, as the years passed, I understand it was a good decision, since it would be more difficult to develop such skills being already fully engaged in professional activity.

Between 2010 and 2013, I not only studied, but worked at the Plasma Physics Department. Under the supervision of Alexander A. Pisarev and in collaboration with Joint Institute for High Temperatures of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Illinois Institute of Technology, I had a personal project on modification of supercondenser current collectors by precipitating functional coatings from magnetron charge plasma on its surface.

In 2012, I studied abroad for a bit more than 3 months in Kyushu University, Japan, undertaking an internship in the field of Statistical and synergetic conceptions of plasma physics. The memories about that training course are incredible, and I’ll keep them for the rest of my life. Asked about that time, I can talk for hours. In a few words, Japan is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in its common life and experience of collaboration with the Japanese colleagues while conducting research on the Steady-state Spherical Tokamak (QUEST) of Institute for Thermonuclear Research TRIAM.

Having graduated from the university, I was invited to work for NSG Pilkington Glass (Great Britain), as it started up a new plant for production of architectural glass with energy-saving thin film coating in the Moscow Oblast. I returned to Russia at the same time construction of buildings and equipment supply were started, and continued working there after the plant started operating, having gone from a Process Engineer to Deputy Operations Manager – Head of R&D, as I am now.

I’m keeping develop my professional skills, and here goes the list of some of my career achievements:

  • successful management of projects on start-up and modernization of thin film sector production sites, development of new products and production processes, industrial scaling and technological transfer, business development within the framework of the full product lifecycle management processes;
  • authorship of ten invention patents, publications in Russian and international cross-sector scientific journals;
  • participation in various conferences, symposiums and exhibitions as an invited speaker.

Due to the mentioned achievements, I have become:

  • a current member of The European Society of Thin Films (EFDS e.V.) since 2015;
  • a subject matter expert in KPGM U.S. (in the field of Analytical laboratory Equipment since 2015) and Expert Network Group LLC (in the field of Industrial Thin Film Technologies since 2016);

and entered the Board of Directors of International Council for Coatings on Glass and Plastics in 2016, having become the Chairman of the Department “Conversion and storage of light and energy, and display technologies” in 2017.

My scientific research is currently centered on hydro- and lipophobic thin film and optical coatings, formation of ordered structures in thin films, accumulation and transfer of gaseous phase in thin films.

I’m sure opportunities for such professional achievements were given me by MEPhI. Graduation from MEPhI, and the Plasma Physics Department in particular, gives a powerful impetus for quick career development from the very beginning. MEPhI teaches you to think properly, analyze things, and systematically find ways to solve a problem, whatever its causes, without putting you under rigid constraints of formally acquired profession. The most important thing, however, is that there you learn not only to combine previous decisions to obtain relatively new results, but to create something brand new. The fact that it is not so easy to encounter such skills in our modern world makes them particularly valuable. Based on previous and current experience, I would like to emphasize that MEPhI is one of few Russian higher education institutions training completely prepared graduates that are ready to get to work as soon as they are employed, rather than acquire needed skills during professional activity.