ITMO University

ITMO University
Санкт-Петербургский национальный исследовательский университет информационных технологий, механики и оптики
Former names
See: Chronology of Names
Type Public
Established 1900
Academic affiliation
Rector Vladimir Vasilyev
Academic staff
Students 12,000
Address Kronverksky prospekt, Saint Petersburg, 197101, Russian Federation
59°57′23″N 30°18′36″E / 59.9564°N 30.31°E / 59.9564; 30.31Coordinates: 59°57′23″N 30°18′36″E / 59.9564°N 30.31°E / 59.9564; 30.31
Campus Urban
Sports 28 varsity teams
Nickname Kronverk Leopards
Mascot Tim the Leopard
Sporting affiliations
Association of Student Sports Clubs of Russia

ITMO University (Russian: Университет ИТМО) is a large state university in Saint Petersburg and is one of Russia’s National Research Universities.[1] ITMO University is one of 15 Russian universities that were selected to participate in Russian Academic Excellence Project 5-100[2] by the government of the Russian Federation to improve their international competitiveness among the world’s leading research and educational centers.[3]

Research priorities of ITMO University are concentrated in information and photonic technologies.

The university consists of 18 departments, 7 research institutes and one academy, with a total of 119 chairs. As of April 1, 2014, the total number of students is 13,890, with over 900 being foreign nationals. The university employs 1,163 instructors, including over 800 PhDs.[4] Many of its staff members and researchers have received government awards and designations of “honored science worker,” the highest in Russia. Vladimir Vasilyev has been the university’s Rector since 1996.


The University’s birthday is considered to be 26 March 1900, when a Mechanics, Optics and Watchmaking Department was opened in the Prince Nicholas Vocational School. At the time it was the only school in the Russian Empire that prepared specialists in these areas. The first year, some 65 applications were received for 30 places. Eighteen students were admitted to Watchmaking and 18 to Mechanics and Optics sections.[5]

1917 – 1941

Advertising production bureau College TMO, 1927

In 1917 the Mechanics, Optics and Watchmaking Department became its own entity - Petrograd Technical College for Mechanics, Optics and Watchmaking. Norbert Boleslavovich Zavodsky became its headmaster.[5] In 1920, most of its classes were transformed into Petrograd College for Fine Mechanics and Optics (later – Leningrad). The municipalities allocated a building for it in Demidov Pereulok (Pereulok Grivtzova).[5] The colleges’ manufacturing facilities made a variety of complex optical and fine mechanics products.[6] The first in USSR group of instrument engineers graduated here in 1931.

In 1930, the college was transformed into Leningrad Training Center, and in 1933, Leningrad Institute of Fine Mechanics and Optics (LIFMO) became a separate college. Its first research laboratory was established in the Department of Optical Glass Technologies. Thanks to research here the USSR could get away from importing expensive foreign abrasives.

The first main building LIFMO, Demidov Pereulok (Pereulok Grivtzova), 10. 2006

In 1937, LITMO opened the first in the USSR laboratory for calculating machinery that was later transformed into the Department of Mathematical and Computing Devices. By the autumn of 1939 it became one of the institute’s top departments and focused on developing electromechanical computing devices and control devices. By 1940, it had over 1,400 students and employed 27 professors as well as 80 associated professors and PhDs.[5]

1941 – 1945

With the beginning of the Second World War, 189 students and 85 staff members went to the front lines, while over 450 joined the People’s Militia. Classes continued and only at the end of 1942 the students and instructors were evacuated to the town of Cherapanovo by Novosibirsk.[5]

During the Siege of Leningrad, LIFMO continued to operate a military repair facility for the Leningrad front. It was established in the first days of war and it fabricated test and measurement instruments for army and navy units. During the Siege, the facility developed improved optical sights, fixed artillery binoculars, gun panoramas, anti-aircraft sighting telescopes, periscopes, machined “cups” for anti-aircraft shells and parts for land and sea mines.

After the Siege was lifted, the re-evacuation document was signed on August 10, 1944. The students and instructors returned to the city, and classes started again that October.[5]

1945 – 1992

The main building ITMO University, Kronverksky prospect, 49. 2015

The university began to actively develop after the war. In the fall of 1945 it opened a new faculty – Electrical Instrumentation, which was soon reorganized into Radio Engineering. Here was established one of the first in the country Department of Quantum Radio Electronics, which began to train specialists in this field. It became an important milestone in the development of lasers in the USSR. Engineering Physics Department was established here in 1946 on the initiative of the president and several members of the USSR Academy of Sciences. From this department in 1954 graduated Dr. Yuri Denisjuk, a future renowned scientist, author of several discoveries in holography, and laureate of the state award.

In 1956, the researchers of the Computing Devices Department began to work on the first calculating machine “LITMO-1” that was finished in 1958. It did binary engineering calculations but the data was entered and the results were presented in the familiar decimal system.

A laboratory for laser technologies was opened in the 1960s. The building on Sablinskaya Street, which is now the main campus, was built in the 1970s. The following decade saw the beginning of microprocessor technology research and the opening of the Interdisciplinary Institute of Advanced Studies to train manufacturing professionals in new areas of engineering and technology.

1992 - Present day

In 1992, LIFMO became Saint Petersburg Institute of Fine Mechanics and Optics, and in 1994 it acquired the university status. The Faculty of Computer Technologies and Controls, the largest at the university, opened in 1994.

In 1994 the institute was the initiator and key developer of RUNNET, an IP network that unites all large research and education centers in Russia. The work was overseen by Dr. Vasilyev.[7] The institute placed satellite dishes “Russia’ Rainbow,” rented from the military, on other universities.[8] In 1995, the research center “Computer Optics” was established.[7]

In 2003 the institute was renamed into Saint Petersburg State University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics.[9]

Over the last decade Academy of Management Methods and Technologies (LIMTU) was added to the ITMO structure as well as Interdisciplinary Institute of Professional Training in New Areas of Science and Technology and the State Scientific Center of Computer Telecommunication Networks of Higher Education, followed by St. Petersburg College of Marine Instrument Making, St. Petersburg State University of Refrigeration and Biotechnology[10] and St. Petersburg Economic and Technological College of D.I. Mendeleev.

In 2009 the university gained the status of National Research University[1][11] and was renamed National Research University ITMO in 2011.[5] In 2013 it was selected to join the Project 5-100.

Since 2014 the university holds the name of ITMO University.

Chronology of Names


The best graduates on the bastion of the Peter and Paul Fortress, 2014

The university has a multi-level system of higher education: bachelor – 4 years, specialist – 5 years, master – 2 years, post-graduate – 3–4 years.

Since 2013/14 ITMO is partnering with universities in Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Finland, France, among others, to participate in “double degree” international educational programs. ITMO graduates of these programs receive a second degree from a partner university.

The university collaborates with large St. Petersburg companies, including Elektropribor, LOMO, Mendeleev Institute for Metrology, where students can get internships and seek future employment.

The university supports a variety of scholarships: President of the Russian Federation, The Government of the Russian Federation, the Government of St. Petersburg, special scholarships in math, physics, IT, Research Council scholarship, name scholarship by LOMO and other companies.

Students and staff carry out research and project activities on their own and as part of programs funded by the state and international contracts, federal and industry targeted programs (Federal targeted program “Researchers and Science Instructors of Innovative Russia for 2009 – 2013,” Federal targeted program “Research and Development in Priority Areas for Russia’s Technology and Science Complex for 2007 – 2013,” State request by the Russian Ministry of Education and Science for 2013) research grants, etc.

The university organizes and hosts competitions, congresses (for example, the annual “Young Scientists Congress”), forums, research conferences, including international (“Sensorica,” “Fundamental Problems of Optics,” etc. In 2013, the university was one of the key venues for the Russian National Student Forum.

The university participates in several student and instructor exchange programs financed by organizations, including the Center for International Mobility, DAAD, etc. ITMO is a member of the Association of European Universities, Baltic Sea Region University Network (BSRUN). It also collaborates with several foreign universities, including UCLA[12] and ITESM.[13]

ITMO University is one of two St. Petersburg universities - members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.[14] SCO University offers involved learning where students work based on individual plans, learn about life in a different country and thus add to their education at their “home” university. At graduation, SCO University students receive a regular diploma and a special certificate.[15]

The university is part of the Association of Technical Universities of Russia and China, founded in 2011, and participates in joint educational programs with the leading universities in China.[16] This non-commercial organization unites technical universities of both countries and facilities student and instructor exchange. It was originally established at Harbin Institute of Technology and Bauman Technical University in Moscow.[17]

Several times ITMO University students won “Yandex.Algorithm” programming championship, organized by one of Russia’s top internet companies. It’s not a student competition per se but open to participants over 17. In 2013, it welcomed over 3,000 programmers from 84 countries and several large companies, including Google, Facebook and Vkontakte. That same year ITMO students took gold and silver,[18] and in 2014 – gold again, followed by another gold in 2015.[19]

ITMO team also regularly participates in ACM ICPC programming championship under the general sponsorship by IBM since 1997.[20] In 2013, the university hosted the 37th championship and its student won the top prize. ITMO students received medals in this championship since 1999 and from 2004 till 2015 became absolute winners six times.[21][22][23]

Of memorial to Steve Jobs

In 2013, after their fifth win, Russia’s Ministry of Defense signed a contract with ITMO University[24] to develop software for unmanned airplanes and robotics,[25] to name a few. The same year Minister Sergey Shoygu offered talented students jobs in scientific military units as an alternative to mandatory military service.[26]

ITMO University maintains ties with the leading IT companies. In 2011, Dmitry Grishin, the general director of Mail.Ru, became the head of the department of internet technologies founded by the company.[27] Later it was reorganized. In 2012, Russian programmers working for Facebook held a series of lectures at the leading technical universities in Russia, including ITMO.[28] In 2015, Nobel Prize winner Zhores Alferov opened the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies in St. Petersburg and held an open lecture at the university.[29]

From January 9, 2013 to November 3, 2014, a tribute to Steve Jobs in a form of a giant iPhone graced the courtyard of the university’s building on Birzhevaya Linija.[30][31]

In November 2014, the association of software manufacturers Russoft published a ranking of Russian universities by the level of success in training of the IT specialists. ITMO University placed first.[32] Around the same time the university held a conference together with the association about the advantages of successful performance at international programming competitions.[33]

On November 26, 2014, the university opened its representative office in Brussels.[34]

In 2015, the Ministry of Education offered several universities, including ITMO to participate in the “National Platform for Open Education” Association and develop a pilot for online education with an opportunity to graduate at the completion of the courses.[35] Currently this project still requires changes when it comes to licenses and university accreditations. Every participating university has to present no fewer than four online courses by September 2015.[36]

Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated the team of ITMO University with its sixth victory in ACM ICPC programming championship at the plenary session during the second day of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in May 2015.[37]

University Rankings

ITMO University is one of the 15 universities-participants of the Russian Academic Excellence Project 5-100, aimed at maximizing the competitive position of a group of leading Russian universities in the global research and education market. It was launched in 2013. The success of the project will be measured by performance in the two of the most authoritative rankings – QS and Times Higher Education.[2] All participants got about 600 – 700 million rubles in state funding at the first stage after considering the proposed “roadmaps” for universities’ development.[38][39] In March 2015 ITMO became one of the top four leaders of the Project.[40] The Ministry of Science and Education plans to increase the subsidies to the leading schools up to 1 billion rubles.[41]

International Ranking 2013 2014 2015
4 International Colleges & Universities 977
Interfax: joint ranking for universities of the Newly Independent States, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia[42] 32-36
Webometrics[43] 1399 985 1049
QS University Rankings: BRICS 2014 111-120 99
Rankings of Russian universities 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
4 International Colleges & Universities, Russian universities 8 8 4
Webometrics, Russian universities 13 9 9
Interfax 27-29 18-22 17 17 15
Ranking agency “Expert” 23 23 22 22
Ranking of universities’ research results by the Russian Scientific Humanitarian Fund[44] 6

Structure. University Institutes and Departments

  • Department of Higher Qualification Expert Training
  • Department of Computer Technologies and Control Systems
    • Department of Control Systems and Industrial Robotics
    • Department of Software Engineering and Computer Systems
    • Department of Information Security and Computer Technologies
  • Information Technologies and Programming Department
  • Department of Infocommunication Technologies
  • Department of Photonics and Optical Information
  • Department of Laser and Light Engineering
  • Department of Technological Management and Innovations
  • Institute of International Development and Partnership
  • Department of Cryogenic Techniques and Air Conditioning

  • Department of Food Biotechnologies and Engineering
  • Department of International Business and Law
  • Department of Management and Automation Controls
  • Department of Natural Sciences
  • Department of Integrated Military Education
  • Department of Distance Education
  • Department of Secondary Vocational Education
  • Department of Career Development and Pre-Entry Preparatory Training
  • Department of Advanced Training of Teachers


Rector Vladimir Vasilyev at the presentation of diplomas, 2013

Since 1996, the Rector of the university is the Honored Scientist of the Russian Federation, Chairman of the Council of Rectors of St. Petersburg (2004), vice-president of the Russian Union of Rectors (2006), corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Education, corresponding member Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor Vladimir Vasilyev.[45]

Research and Partnerships

ITMO University collaborates on research and innovations projects with several large Russian companies, including LOMO, D.I. Mendeleyev Institute for Metrology (VNIIM), “Techpribor,” “Elektropribor,” etc.[4] The university has signed an agreement to create the Northwestern Center for Technology Transfer that will become one of 12 nano-centers around Russia. Originally it was supposed to be in the town of Gatchina. In 2015 it was opened in St. Petersburg on Malookhtenskii Prospect.[46] Another joint project with Rusnano is “Innograd of Science and Technologies.” It is expected to open by 2019 in the satellite city “Yuzhni”. Rusnano is investing 690 million rubles in its equipment.[47] Construction is scheduled to begin in 2015 in the town of Pushkin, near St. Petersburg.[48]

Graduation ceremony masters and specialists, 2013

In 2012, a “Skolkovo” communications center was supposed to open on the campus of the former Institute of Refrigeration and Biotechnologies of ITMO,[49][50] but the plans were altered. That same year the university signed a memorandum with RSV Venture Partners Foundation[51] to establish a $6 million fund for IT startups.[52] In 2013, Internet Initiatives Development Fund offered ITMO University to collaborate in opening regional accelerators to support commercially promising internet startups.[53] ITMO University is also a venture partner of Russian Venture Company since 2013.

University’s list of international partners over the years includes General Motors Corp., PPG, Samsung Electro-Mechanics, Nokia and others.[54]

Research and development work is carried out in the university’s own research departments: Research Institute of Nanophotonics and Optical Information Technology, Research Institute of High-Tech Computer Technology, Institute of Laser Physics, Research Institute of Testing and Monitoring in Scientific and Technical Centers, "Optical Information Technologies and Systems" and "Information Optical Technologies", as well as in the educational, scientific and production center" Russar "and others. By 2014, the university has 49 international research centers.

Research Institute “Information and Control Systems” participated in several international seminars and conferences in 2014, including:

Students and staff members of over 80 departments participate in research. Many of them are working in “small innovative enterprises,” or startups, located at ITMO Technopark on Birzhevaya Liniya, offering access to high-tech equipment.

As part of the Project 5-100, Technopark opened a coworking space called FabLab[55] in 2015, which also offers facilities and resources, including a 3D printer, a laser engraver, a milling machine, etc.[56] The equipment is offered free of charge to the ITMO University specialists and students.[57]

National Research University Program

Anechoic chamber of the lab "Metamaterials". 2015

In 2009, the university was granted the status of National Research University.[58] It implies carrying out research in areas considered key to the development of Russia’s economy, including IT, photonics, optoinformatics, and urban science.[59]

International Research Centers

As part of the Project 5-100, the university created international research centers to carry out joint research between scientists at ITMO and their peers at foreign research and education centers. By 2014 the university had established 49 such entities with co-heads from USA, UK, Germany, Australia, China, etc.[60]

In order to strengthen governmental support for the development of science and innovations in higher education and to improve the quality of higher education, on April 9, 2010, the Government of the Russian Federation instituted monetary grants that are made available on a competitive basis to support of scientific research projects implemented by the world’s leading scientists at Russian institutions of higher learning. From some 507 applications, 39 were awarded funding, including two from ITMO University.[61] In 2013 ITMO University won two more mega-grants from the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia Federation.[62][63]

Year Country Leading scientist Field of science Research field
2010  Australia Prof. Yuri S. Kivshar Physics Metamaterials
2010  Netherlands Prof. Peter Sloot Information Technologies and Computational Science Promising Computational Science
2013  France Prof. Romeo Ortega Computational and Information Sciences Robust and adaptive control system, communication and computing
2013  Ireland Prof Yurii Gun'ko Nanotechnologies Anisotropic and optically active nanostrucutres

Small Innovative Enterprises (Start-ups)

3D printer ITMO University

Since 15 August 2009 Russian universities are able to form small innovative enterprises according to Federal Law №217 of August 2, 2009 N 217-FZ "On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation on the establishment of budget scientific and educational institutions, business entities for the purpose of practical application (implementation) of the results of intellectual activity".[64]

By 2015 ITMO University has become the Launchpad for 43 small innovative enterprises.[65]

A special department is designated to helping them find funding, offers legal support for registering, partner search, placement in university’s Technopark and business incubator. Other types of support include education initiatives: classes in social entrepreneurship and projects, fundraising school FundIT, soft skill training, lectures in marketing and management, interdisciplinary seminars Brainexplain, as well as lectures by guest experts.[66]

The university holds an annual international forum where its partners and business stakeholders discuss issues in technology transfer and development of innovations ecosystem. Other events are festival of social entrepreneurship, a competition of socially valuable projects “People need you!”,[67] and a business game “Innovations marketing”».[68]

ITMO University is developing a network of startup accelerators in Russia’s regions as part of the program for development of research and entrepreneurship potential of Russian universities “EURECA” and in partnership with the U.S. Russia Foundation and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).[69] To promote building an innovation ecosystem from the ground up, ITMO partnered with "Xmas Ventures" and St. Petersburg Polytechnic University to establish a Demola Innovations Center in St. Petersburg, the only one in Russia.[70]

German company SAP SE has also been instrumental in supporting the university’s startups. What started with joint business incubator events and accelerator programs in 2013 has grown into a close partnership, where by 2015 ITMO University students will be able to have access to SAP solutions, industry expertise and support in bringing innovative solutions to market.[71]


In spring of 2015, ITMO University launched Future Technologies accelerator for startups in instrumentation, robotics, optics and photonics, biotechnologies and energy efficiency. In the future, the organizers are also hoping to attract companies working in new materials and alternative energy. The participants receive a three-month training course as well as free office space, supplies and consultations with experts in research and business.[72] On top of that, they can apply for a 300,000 ruble grant that covers expenses for research and development. In the first session, 10 companies were selected to participate out of 70 that applied.[73] At the end of June, the startups presented their projects at the international conference Russia-EU Startup Match-making Event in Brussels.[74]

SUMIT startup accelerator takes place at the university every six months since 2012. The top ten teams from the previous sessions from Russia, Finland, France and USA secured funding from $20,000 to $200,000[75] and several have settled in the startup accelerator iDealMachine.[76] The total number of mentors and experts at SUMIT exceeds 50. In 2015, SUMIT participated in a global research of university incubators and accelerators UBI Global Benchmark among over 500 incubators from 73 countries. For most criteria SUMIT placed in the 50 to 42 range.

World Programming Championship

Students at the University ITMO - Six-time absolute world champion in programming, 2015

In 2004, ITMO University scored its first victory in the International Collegiate Programming Contest ACM-ICPC,[77] and by 2015 it became the first in history six-time winner of the competition.

In 2013, ITMO University was the first Russian university to host the ACM-ICPC Finals.[78] Some 120 teams representing 2,322 universities from 36 countries participated in selection rounds.[79] Russia was represented by 15 student teams. ITMO University scored a victory in the finals.[79][80]

Year Venue of the final Venue Team Trainer
2015  Morocco, Marrakesh 1st place, Gold medal[81] Gennady Korotkevich, Boris Minaev, Artem Vasil'ev Andrei Stankevich
2014  Russia, Yekaterinburg Bronze medal[82] Boris Minaev, Artem Vasil'ev, Adam Bardashevich Andrei Stankevich
2013  Russia, St. Petersburg 1st place, Gold medal Mihail Kever, Gennady Korotkevich, Niyaz Nigmatullin Andrei Stankevich
2012  Poland, Warsaw 1st place, Gold medal Evgenii Kapun, Mihail Kever, Niyaz Nigmatullin Andrei Stankevich
2009  Sweden, Stockholm 1st place, Gold medal Vladislav Isenbaev, Maksim Buzdalov, Evgenii Kapun Andrei Stankevich
2008  Canada, Banff 1st place, Gold medal Dmitrii Abdrashitov, Dmitrii Paraschenko, Fedor Carev Andrei Stankevich
2007  Japan, Tokyo 3rd place, Gold medal Iskander Akishev, Mihail Dvorkin, Roman Satyukov
2005  China, Shanghai 3rd place, Gold medal Pavel Mavrin, Sergei Orshanskii, Dmitrii Pavlov Andrei Stankevich
2004  Czech Republic, Prague 1st place, Gold medal Dmitrii Pavlov, Pavel Mavrin, Sergei Orshanskii Andrei Stankevich
2003  USA, Beverly Hills 3rd place, Gold medal Timofei Borodin, Aleksandr Shtuchkin, Evgenii Yujakov
2001  Canada, Vancouver 3rd place, Gold medal Georgii Korneev, Denis Kuznecov, Andrei Stankevich
2000  USA, Orlando Silver medal Georgii Korneev, Denis Kuznecov, Andrei Stankevich
1999  Netherlands, Eindhoven 3rd place, Gold medal Aleksandr Volkov, Matvei Kazakov, Vladimir Levkin

Publishing, Library, Museum


Along with training aids, ITMO University produces a variety of publications. To celebrate the university’s 100 anniversary in 2000 it launched two series of books: “National Research University ITMO: Years and People,” and monographs “Outstanding People of ITMO University.”

The official newspaper “ITMO University” has been in print since 1931. Launched as “New Talent,” it has changed its name several times over the eras: “For Precise Instrumentation,” “Instrument Builder,” “New Talent for Instrumentation.” In 1956 it was halted due to budget cuts and reemerged in 1994 as “Technical University ITMO” but wasn’t produced on a regular basis. In 2013, it came out twice a year. Since 2015 it became a monthly, with the exception of summer months, and offers an extended version online.[83]

Scientific Journals


The university is a member of the Library Association of Russia, St. Petersburg Library Society, National Electronic Information Consortium, and the Association of Regional Library Consortiums. The ITMO University library offers access to Russian and foreign full-text and reference electronic resources, including Web of Science, Conference Proceedings Citation, Journal Citation Reports, Scopus, ScienceDirect, Springer, ACM, OSA, SPIE, eLibrary, etc.[4]

The year 1900 is considered the library’s foundation year. By 1925, it contained 2,600 books and by 1945 – over 90,000. Initially the library was situated in a building on Pereulok Grivtzova. During the WWII it was evacuated to Cherepanovo and returned with re-evacuation. In 1970 it got a dedicated space in the University’s main building on Ulitza Sablina.[88]

In 1998 the library created a department for computerization of library processes and adopted “Irbis” library information system. In 2002 the university got a grant from the National Fund for Personnel Development for “Improving management of library resources and forming an open educational environment of the university.” The library is currently working on forming an electronic catalogue.[88]

The library of the Faculty of Associate Level Education became a department of the main library in 2003 and contains the books from the former Mechanical College #1 that merged with the university that same year. The readers who had been in Leningrad during the Siege of the WWII donated the first books to the college in 1945. By 2000, it contained over 44,000 books and grew to 56,000 by 2008 with the addition of the library of the Marine Instrumentation College.[88]

In 2005 the library absorbed the collection from the library of the State Optical Institute, which dates back to 1918. In 1974 the State Optical Institute library was granted a status of a collection on optics and optical instrumentation of state importance and became a resource for several university libraries as well as industry.[88]

In 2006 the library received over 10,000 books from the Academy of Management that also became part of the university. In 2011 it also got the books from the library of the Institute of Refrigeration and Food Processing that dates back to 1931, survived the Siege and by 1980 contained over 550,000 books and over a million by the time of merger.[88]


Exhibition «Magic of Light» at the ITMO University. 2015

ITMO University has three museums. “Museum of ITMO University History” is located in the building on Pereulok Grivtzova.

The Museum of Optics was established in 2006 and is located on the first floor of the Eliseev House on Birzhevaya Linia. With support from the Hellenic Institute of Holography, ITMO University opened an exhibition “Magic of Light” in July 2015. The Eliseev House was selected for the exhibition because it used to house the office of Prof. Denisuk, the founder of image holography. It features over 200 holograms, including OptoClones of Imperial Fabergé eggs, Oculus Rift virtual reality glasses and much more. The inner courtyard houses Lux Aeterna Laser Theater.[89]

The Museum of the Institute of Refrigeration and Biotechnologies, dating back to 1936, is located in a historic building on Lomonosova Street.[5]

In 2012 the university won a competition by a Committee on Investments to come up with a concept of an interactive museum of science and technology that will be built on the grounds of the former tram park on Vasilyevsky Island.[90]

In Lakhta Center, ITMO University is building one of the largest children’s science museums in the country, around 7,000 sq. m., with support of Saint Petersburg government.[91]

Student Life

Students ITMO University are participants of the project "Student Spring", 2013

The university has a variety of student organizations: student unions, including those for foreign students, student clubs, a student orchestra, student radio, a student scientific society, volunteer center and others.[7]

Many of these organizations get together in coworking spaces around the campus. The students can use these spaces for their own projects, but some, such as SumIT, require a prior interview.[92]

The university has two assembly halls that can hold up to 500 people each. Other activity spaces include a soundproof room for singing lessons, an audio recording studio, a studio for “Megabyte” internet radio and editorial office of “NewTone” magazine.[93]


The university offers accommodations in six dorms. Depending on a student’s individual circumstances, accommodation may also be provided at the Inter-university student campus on Novoizmailovskii Prospect, 16.[94]

ITMO University Main Building

University Campus and Dorms
  • Kronverksky prospect, d. 49
  • Birzhevaya linia, d. 4
  • Birzhevaya linia, d. 16
  • Birzhevaya linia, d. 14
  • Grivtsova per.,d. 14-16
  • Pesochnaya nab., d. 14
  • Chaikovskogo ul., d. 11/2
  • Gastello ul., d. 12
  • Kadetskaya Linia V.О., d. 3,k.2
  • Novoizmailovsky prospect, d. 34, k. 3

  • Vyazemsky per., d. 5-7
  • 2 Komsomolskaya ul., d. 5
  • 2 Komsomolskaya ul, d. 7, k. 1
  • Serebristiy bul., d. 29, k. 1
  • Khrustalnaya ul, d. 14
  • Lomonosova ul, d. 9
  • Alpiysky per., d. 15,k.2
  • Belorusskaya ul, d. 6
  • Lensoveta ul, d.23


University hockey team

The university has its own sporting infrastructure. Sports clubs are located on Vjazemsky Pereulok and Lomonosova Street, and there’s also a sportsground by the main building. The university also owns a recreational facility “Yagodnoe” located by the Berestovoe Lake, in the suburb of Saint Petersburg. There students can do windsurfing, kayaking, biking and rock climbing.

One of student organizations is “Kronverksky Leopards” sports club. It offers 21 activities, including basketball, volleyball, mountain skiing, tennis, swimming, cheerleading and others. The university also rents “Petrogradetz” sports club, swimming pools, ice rinks and gyms.

The university’s mini football team got a silver medal at 2013 “Golden League” championship[95] and took bronze in 2015.[96]

In July 2015, university’s rector Vladimir Vasilyev led several bike rides on Elagin Island.[97]

Honored Doctors

Famous Alumni


  1. 1 2 "Список победителей первого конкурсного отбора программ развития университетов, в отношении которых устанавливается категория "Национальный исследовательский университет"" (in Russian). Ministry of Education and Science of Russian Federation. 2009-10-07. Retrieved 2015-07-23.
  2. 1 2 "Вузы Томска, Москвы и Петербурга вошли в число лидеров проекта "5-100"" (in Russian). RIA Novosti. 2015-03-21. Retrieved 2015-07-23.
  3. "15 Russian University − participants in Project 5-100 and winners of the contest for government support". Project 5-100.
  4. 1 2 3 "Отчёт о самообследовании Университета ИТМО по состоянию на 1 апреля 2014 года" (PDF) (in Russian). ITMO University. 2014-04-01. Retrieved 2015-07-23.
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  6. Весь Ленинград на 1927 год. Адресная и справочная книга г. Ленинграда (in Russian). Leningrad: Издание орготдела Ленинградского губисполкома. p. 14 inset.
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