"Piston engines" department as well as speciality "Internal combustion engines" were found in 1907 by the outstanding scientist V.I. Grinevetsky. At present, it prepares specialists for the development, research and maintenance of highly efficient, environmentally friendly reciprocating and combined internal combustion engines and ones with an external heat source for overland, waterborne and air transport vehicles and power plants, as well as for small tools and equipment. The department has started to prepare bachelors and masters since 2004 (one of the firsts in BMSTU).
Internal combustion engines form the basis of transport and small stationary energy due to the best fuel efficiency and minimal primary cost. Piston engines are available in a wide range of power outputs, from a few watts (miniature motors) to 80,000 kW (powerful marine diesel engines). The efficiency of modern ICE has reached 56% and has potential for further improvements.
In combined systems using internal combustion engines for producing electrical energy, heat and cold, the thermal utilization factor is 80-90%. In total, there exists more than a billion reciprocating engines used in vehicles and power plants to meet the needs of humanity in mechanical, thermal and electrical energy.
Graduates of this department work in Russian and foreign companies involved in designing, producing and servicing piston and combined engines, as well as vehicles and power plants (Bosh, Siemens, Deutz AG, Ricardo, AVL, Cummins, Caterpillar, Reno , Gazprom VNIIGAZ, Kolomensky zavod, YMZ etc.). Due to the worldwide use of reciprocating engines, graduates of the department will always have employment opportunities. They work in Germany, England, USA, Egypt, Syria, China, Canada, India, Australia etc.
The department faculty consists of leading experts in the field of engine building, including 8 Doctors of Technical Sciences (V.A. Markov, N.D. Chainov, L.V. Grekhov, Yu.A. Grishin, R.Z. Kavtaradze, S.V. Putintsev, A.S. Kuleshov, D.O. Onishchenko), 2 Honoured Science Workers of the Russian Federation, and 8 Candidates of Technical Sciences. The head of the department is V.A. Markov, Doctor of Technical Sciences, professor.
Students of the department study thermophysics, fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, fuel injection, mixing and combustion processes in engines, engine systems, means of computer aided simulation, investigation and development of new-generation engines, physical and mathematic modeling, control and scientific research automation of engines and their systems, design principles of environmentally friendly engines and power plants, scientific approaches to engine health assessment and service maintenance, marketing and management, modern IT solutions to provide the entire life cycle of engines and power plants, including software with remote access capabilities designed at the department.
The students gain practical knowledge in laboratories and computer classrooms with state-of-the-art equipment, do internships in scientific centers and engine plants in Russia and foreign countries. They also participate in the department's scientific researches for Russian engine manufacturers, as well as for firms and scientific centers of Germany, Austria, South Korea, and China. They take an active part in the student’s scientific and technical society (STTO), conferences andscience competitions where they win awards. The students, who successfully conducted their science projects, are chosen for the post-graduate education and recommended to proceed their higher education in the world best technical universities. The department trains students and postgraduates from China, the United States and other countries.
Professors and research staff members of the department have published multi-volume textbooks on internal combustion engines. They have gone through several editions and translated into foreign languages. Over 2100 articles, 36 monographs and collections of scientific papers have been published, 8 All-Russia and International Science and Technical conferences, including three conferences for students, were held.
Over 100 years of existence the department has prepared more than 272 candidates of technical sciences and 49 doctors of technical sciences. Among its graduates are 6 academicians of the Russian Academy of Sciences (V.A. Dobrynin, V.Ya. Klimov, A.A. Mikulin, B.S. Stechkin, E.A. Chudakov, N.R. Briling), 8 Heroes of Socialist Labor, 28 Laureates of the Lenin, Stalin and State Prizes, 4 Laureates of the Council of Ministers, Government of the Russian Federation, 24 Honoured Workers of Science and Technology of the RSFSR and Science of the Russian Federation.
The department has prepared over 3000 highly qualified engineers, many of whom became design managers, managers of engine plants, state figures (S.A. Stepanov, V.A. Malyshev, P.M. Zernov, V.M. Pyatov, A.S. Orlin, M.G. Kruglov, N.P. Kozlov, V.I. Krutov).
More than 30 graduates of the department have worked and continue to work as rectors, pro-rectors and heads of departments of technical universities of the country.