Research workers of LETI create a company on developing of leak indicators

Research workers of LETI create a company

Research workers of LETI create a company on developing of leak indicators. One of its active members told us how his colleagues and he came to opening of their own business.


In conditions of difficult economic situation in modern society young professionals do not always manage to find successful application of their knowledge and talents. It’s especially difficult to combine science with decent pay and career building.

However, LETI graduate Maxim Vinogradov believes that getting really good education and having support of your alma mater helps to achieve great results.

Story of Maxim is a perfect example of synergy of science and business. In his interview he told us how he started to pursue science, about his current job as a member of  research group at Department of Electron Devices and Systems and about his participation in opening of the new company.

- Maxim, at what department did you study? When did you enter and finish LETI?

 - I studied at the Faculty of Electronics, at the Department of Electron Devices and Systems. I entered in 2005, graduated in 2011 with honors. Then I continued studying at graduate course, and after two and a half years I defended my Ph.D. thesis on "Vacuum and plasma electronics."

 - Have you always been interested in this specialty?

- I've always been interested in creation of new integrated appliances ready for delivery at enterprises. Department of Electron Devices and Systems gives such knowledge. Here one learns basics of physical vacuum instrumentation and X-ray equipment, circuit design and programming controllers.

Interest in direction of "Vacuum Electronics" was formed by the third study year, when I saw that most part of modern knowledge-intensive productions use vacuum processes and requirements to control tightness of their products. I realized that engineer on vacuum technology and leek detection is in demand on many domestic and foreign enterprises.

- When did you start working within your speciality?

- I undertook my pre-graduation internship on the enterprise, which is strategic partner of our department – JSC Factory "Izmeritel". After writing my thesis I was invited to work as an engineer on vacuum technology. Large number of experiments and research were conducted on equipment of the company, the results of which were used while working in the company and when writing a dissertation.

- Do you work there now?

- At the moment I work at the Department Electron Devices and Systems in LETI. Together with my colleagues we prepare new laboratory works conducted on basis of modern vacuum equipment. In particular, we managed to collect mass spectrometer leak detector, on which laboratory training for students will be held from the next academic year.

For commercialization of our scientific results we plan to create scientific and technical company under the federal law 217. We formed a team of developers in the field of vacuum technology, established partnership with the factory "Izmeritel" and other large enterprises of vacuum industry.

- Tell me more about work of your company, please. 

- It is called LLC "Vaktron", area of ​​its activity is research and experimental development in natural sciences and engineering. For educational process appearance of the company at the Department is useful, because it will give opportunity to generate many new topics for students' and post-graduates' research, to organize students practice on modern equipment and then employ them.

 The first step towards creation of the company was initiative to develop the site It was filled with tinformation on vacuum topics: GOSTs, methods, instructions. We studied foreign devices, did market surveys and exhibitions. Then we prepared visual instructions for work and support service of domestic vacuum equipment, filmed a series of videos, published articles and proceedings of conferences of our research group.

Now this site has become the largest in the industry, it is visited by about four hundred people a day. That can cover most of engineers, metrologists, engineers and directors of enterprises using vacuum technology in Russia.

- What are your achievements in professional activity? Is there something you've invented or developed?

- Our team has developed universal probe for helium leak detectors, which allowed us to increase the sensitivity in comparison with probes of standard designs. It is suitable both for domestic and for import models of devices, the number of which is about 10 000 on Russian enterprises.

Our next innovative product is a compact helium leak detection device for searching of places of leakage in objects that may be filled with helium. All basic elements of the instrument are made in Russia, and research is conducted in conjunction with the factory "Izmeritel". The device differs from existing mass spectrometer leak detectors by its low weight (3 kg instead of 40 kg) and capability of operating on battery power.

- How do you finance your innovation?

- We present our new developments on competitions of innovation projects. Achievements were marked by experts of the Fund for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises in Science and Technology, which allocated funds to us under the program U.M.N.I.K.

Developments of our research group were presented at the competition organized by center Skolkovo. Director of Science nuclear cluster of Skolkovo Alexander Fertman offered us to become residents of the innovation center that in future will allow us to introduce our products on large enterprises in the country easier.

- What are your plans for the future?

- Our plans include expansion of course of laboratory work on the development and direction of vacuum stands for their conduction. Also production of instruments and implementation of new projects, that are in the process of patenting, are planned. In particular, we begin to start project with the State Hermitage Museum, that lies at the junction of vacuum and museum technology.

- Did knowledge gained in LETI help you in achieving professional success?

- Qualifications obtained in LETI is at  the same level with the world's best universities of technical profile. Level of competence, which graduate of LETI receives, is enough not only for working as engineer at enterprises, but after getting work experience, to organize his own enterprise operating in technical field.