Engineer and co-founder of Karfidov Lab: Russia's top industrial design company
Dmitry Vasilev, MSc Alumnus / Advanced Manufacturing Technologies
about me
I graduated from Skoltech in 2015 with a Master's degree in Advanced Manufacturing and Materials (now: Advanced Manufacturing Technologies). I came to Skoltech with a specific goal: to expand on my entrepreneurship and innovation skills to start my company, Karfidov Lab. It turned out to be an invaluable experience. Today Karfidov Lab is one of the most successful engineering consultancy and product design companies in Russia with a vast portfolio of projects, including the Olympic Torch for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, a variety of industrial and consumer 3D printers, medical devices and more.
where it all began
I earned my Bachelor's degree in engineering and metallurgy from the Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys State Technological University (MISIS). I met my future business partner Alexey Karfidov during a research competition at MISIS, where we took first and second places. As we got to know each other more, it turned out we had a common passion: computer-aided design (CAD).

The concept of CAD is to use computers in the creation and optimization of product designs. We began to learn the accompanying software, SolidWorks (which they use to this day), and practiced making various mechanisms as side projects to our studies. Our professors supported us by providing laboratories, equipment and even clients.

That's how the concept for Karfidov Lab was born.

Dmitry Vasilev and his business partner, Alexey Karfidov
studies at Skoltech
I was set on starting Karfidov Lab strategically right. I saw that Skoltech offers strong training and support in entrepreneurship for the engineering industry, so I took the leap and joined Skoltech to earn a Master's degree in Advanced Manufacturing and Materials program in 2012.

I was always afraid in my life of ending up as a shop assistant or something like that, so I worked hard and dreamed of building a strong national engineering company and actually built a little one. I will keep going, but one has to keep in mind that the aim should be intagible and more philosophical. To keep it simple, I just want to be happy and I feel happy at this moment in my life. Happinness is a combination of what you want and what you get, I think I am balancing quite well.

Advanced Manufacturing Technologies
This Master's program prepares the next generation of researchers, engineers, and practitioners to assume a role of technical leadership in research and innovation of high-tech sector. Learn more >>
value of Skoltech on my career
Skoltech is not a regular university. It's a tech accelerator in some sense. It's a place where you can find an easy-access assistance whether you need to conduct a research or to find an investment for the startup - that makes it special. I would say that mixture of people with right attitude, great background and bright vision made my experience.

During my studies, I had a chance to learn the necessary skills in engineering and industrial design, build a major network of clients and investors, study abroad at MIT and learn how to run a business from the world's top experts. Specifically, my academic mobility experience gave me an opportunity to examine the industrial design market in the US and apply it to the development of Karfidov Lab.
Karfidov Lab
Karfidov Lab specializes in engineering consultancy and product design services. The company's clients are medium size technological companies in sectors such as medical devices, personal electronics, industrial and lab equipment.

Since its creation, Karifdov Lab has produced more than 100 consumer-oriented, industrial and exclusive projects never seen by the world. For instance, take a look at the ExoChair - a prototype of an industrial exoskeleton for the lower body, which increases individual labor productivity by reducing fatigue among workers. Or sneakers with portable chargers, a cordless coffee machine. We even had the honor to design the Olympic Torch carried in the 2014 Winter Olympics.
looking ahead
Today Karfidov Lab is Russia's leading company in Product Design and Development. They have three offices: in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Ekaterinburg, with more than 30 employees. Now my fearless co-leader and I are taking the company on an international level, establishing relations with European partners and clients. I serve as the Director of Development, applying the entrepreneurship and innovation skills I learned over the years to my work every day.

Last year in September, Karfidov Lab made a generous gift in the amount of 1 000 000 Rubles to the Skoltech Endowment Foundation, aimed to support Skolkovo ecosystem and Skoltech students.
advice to Skoltech students
- Understand Skoltech and its structure;
- Discover Skoltech management;
- Meet Skoltech faculty and talk to them;
- Find an appropriate advisor asap;
- Make new friends;
- Start your extracurricular project or activity asap;
- Always make something tangible;
- Practice to present;
- Conduct industrial intelligence;
- Research the clusters, technopark, residents,etc.;
- Be appreciative, contribute.

Karfidov Lab Scholarship
This year Dmitry Vasilev and Alexey Karfidov announced a scholarship contest for the best prototype among Skoltech students. The winner will receive a 150K RUB cash prize.

The contest is aimed at supporting students in their research and applying it in the real world, similarly to how Dmitry applied his experience at Skoltech to his company:

"We at Karfidov Lab want to see the real impact of research at Skoltech and its transition from a lab to a real world. To support this, we announce the annual Karfidov Lab Best Prototype Prize for Skoltech MSc and PhD students who built a hardware prototype and (preferably) introduced it somewhere". - Dmitry Vasilev and Alexey Karfidov.

There are a few simple rules:
  • The applicant must be either a current MSc or PhD student.
  • The prototype should be created at Skoltech and during the applicant's time at Skoltech.
  • The applicant must be among the leaders/authors of the project.
  • The prototype should be a physical device (not software or service).
The deadline for submissions is October 7th at 10 am. Decisions will be announced on Monday, October 14th.

Good luck!