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People

Sergey Witte

Sergey Witte

1849 – 1915

Russian statesman. Minister of Railway Transport (1892), Minister of Finance (1892-1903), Chairman of the Committee of Ministers (1903-1906), Member of the State Council (since 1903).

The idea of establishment of an independent institute in Tomsk belonged to Count Sergey Witte, that time being the Minister of Finance of the Russian Empire. In 1895, in his letter to the Minister of Public Education he highlighted the need to think over and address the problem of training engineers in Siberia from its natives. In 1899, Witte presented a memorandum to Nicholas II, in which he wrote that the state interests of the country urgently required a new higher technical educational institution.

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Nicholas II

Nicholas II

1868 – 1918

Emperor of All Russia, Tsar of Poland and Grand Prince of Finland, the last Emperor of the Russian Empire (20.10/01.11.1894 - 02/15.03.1917). From the imperial house of the Romanovs. Colonel (1892) from the British monarchs he had the ranks of Admiral of the Fleet (28.05. 1908) and Field Marshal of the British Army (18.12.1915).

The idea of establishment of an independent institute in Tomsk belonged to Count Sergey Witte, that time being the Minister of Finance of the Russian Empire. Alexey Yermolov, the Minister of Agriculture, expressed the same proposal in his report to Emperor Nicholas II about his trip to Siberia. Dmitri Mendeleev actively supported the initiative. On March 14, 1896, the State Council decided to establish Technological Institute of Practical Engineers in Tomsk with two departments – Mechanical and Chemical-Technical.

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Dmitri Mendeleev

Dmitri Mendeleev

1834 – 1907

Russian scientist-encyclopedist, public figure. Chemist, physicochemist, physicist, metrologist, economist, technologist, geologist, meteorologist, teacher, aeronaut, instrument maker. Professor at St. Petersburg University. Corresponding Member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. Mendeleev discovered the periodic law of chemical elements.

Mendeleev was a member of the Committee that developed a construction plan of Tomsk Technological Institute. The first Honorary Member of TTI. In early 1906, TTI Director Efim Zubashev asked Mendeleev’s spouse Anna to paint a portrait of the great scientist for the institute.

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Vasily Florinsky

Vasily Florinsky

1834 – 1899

Russian doctor, writer, archaeologist, trustee of the West Siberian Academic District, adjunct professor in the Department of Obstetrics, full professor at Kazan University in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, great authority in the field of folk medicine, one of the initiators of Siberian University in Tomsk.

Full member of the Petersburg Society of Russian Doctors (1859), Russian Geographical Society (1875), Society of Physicians at Kazan University (1878), Boston Gynecological Society (USA, 1879), honorary citizen of Tomsk.

Efim Zubashev

Efim Zubashev

1860 – 1928

First Director of Tomsk Technological Institute, chemical technologist, professional in the field of nutrient technology, public figure and political leader.

In 1899, he was appointed Director of TTI. He headed the committee responsible for the construction of buildings and structures of the institute. Zubashev came up with an initiative and pushed for the institute to include four departments instead of initially planned two, under the name of Tomsk Technological Institute of Emperor Nicholas II. Professor Zubashev initiated the first research and technical library in Siberia, and put a lot of effort to attract to the institute prominent scientists who laid the foundations for new scientific schools.

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Fortunat Guth

Fortunat Guth

1861 – 1915

Russian architect. From 1896 to 1905, Guth supervised all construction activities of TTI buildings. He built the main, Chemical and Physical Department buildings by the projects, which were designed in St. Petersburg by an academician of architecture Robert Marfeld. The Mining Department building of the institute was designed by a city architect Peter Fedorovsky.

He built the Mechanical and Engineering Buildings, dwelling wing, forge, gas holder, gas works and cool store by his projects. He designed and built the extensions to already existing buildings.

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Vladimir Obruchev

Vladimir Obruchev

1863 – 1956

Russian geologist, paleontologist, geographer, science fiction writer (author of Sannikov Land and Plutonium). Academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences (1929), Hero of Socialist Labor (1945), Stalin Prize laureate (1941, 1950).

From 1901 to 1912, Obruchev worked at TTI and was first Dean of the Mining Department. He prepared a note on the construction of the Mining Department building. He organized a geology classroom, a petrography laboratory, a geological museum at the institute. On behalf and at the expense of TTI, he arranged three scientific expeditions to explore the mountain ranges and deserts of Dzungaria (Western China).

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Peter Fedorovsky

Peter Fedorovsky

1864 – 1944

Architect and artist. In 1903, by the invitation of the trustee of the West Siberian educational district, he was temporarily acting as an architect of the institute and educational district.

He drew up a project for the TTI Mining Department building, often consulting with Professor Obruchev. Built by that project at the beginning of the last century, the Mining Department is an architectural monument and an adornment of Tomsk. Later Fedorovsky worked part-time as a professor in the Engineering and Construction Department at the institute.

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Nikolai Kischner

Nikolai Kischner

1867 – 1935

Organic chemist, professor at TTI, corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences.

Since 1901, he was a full professor at the TTI Department of Organic Chemistry and headed the department until 1913. Kischner organized and equipped the laboratory of organic chemistry at TTI.

In 1910, he discovered the catalytic decomposition of alcylidenhydrazines. This reaction, the same time described by a German chemist Ludwig Wolff and known as the Wolff–Kishner reduction, became the basis for the synthesis of individual high-purity hydrocarbons.

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Ivan Bobarykov

Ivan Bobarykov

1869 – 1928

Professor, scientist in the field of strength of materials and machine parts.

He held the post of an extraordinary professor, full professor in the Department of Applied Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering, Dean of the Mechanical Department and Engineering and Construction Departments. From 1916 to 1919, he was Director (Rector) of TTI.

He was a member of the Committee for the Construction of Buildings and Structures of TTI. Professor Bobarykov supervised the entire heating and ventilation system. He drew up a ventilation plan for the Chemical Department building, in line with all the features of chemical laboratories located in this building.

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Boris Weinberg

Boris Weinberg

1871 – 1942

Russian and Soviet geophysicist, glaciologist. In 1909–1924, Boris Weinberg headed the Physics Department and a meteorological watch station at TTI.

In 1910, the researcher arranged the Halley’s comet observations considering the fact of the anticipated Earth passing through the comet dust tail. Weinberg invented the electrically driven drilling machine to bore holes in ice due to its melting. He was an initiator of establishment the second Aero Club in Russia. In 1913, Professor Weinberg developed an airless experimental magnetic levitation road, which was far ahead of the US and Japan research in that field. Weinberg is an establisher and Director of the Siberian Research Institute (current Siberian Research Institute of Physics and Technology).

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Mikhail Yanishevsky

Mikhail Yanishevsky

1871 – 1949

Soviet geologist and paleontologist, Professor of the Paleontology Department at TTI.

He established a paleontology office and equipped it with all the necessary mineral collections, facilities and literature. In 1903, he was assigned abroad for 4 months for a research purpose, took part in the International Geology Congress in Vienna. Professor Yanishevsky purchased the necessary collections for the TTI paleontology office in Berlin and Bonn.

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Nikolay Gutovsky

Nikolay Gutovsky

1876 – 1933

Professor of the Mechanical Engineering Department, Rector (1921–1930) of Tomsk Technological University.

In 1921–1930, as Rector of TTI Professor Nikolay Gutovsky faced not only material difficulties caused by the civil war, but also an acute deficiency of qualified staff due to the departure of most professors and teachers in the central universities of Russia in the early 1920s. Gutovsky was engaged in recovering the destroyed life of the institute, radical structural transformations and introduced new teaching methods.

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Konstantin Shmargunov

Konstantin Shmargunov

1902 – 1953

Doctor of Engineering, Professor of the Mining Electrical Engineering Department, Director of Tomsk Industrial Institute in 1939 – 1944.

Professor Shmargunov took all measures to put the life of TII on a wartime footing. The institute administration managed to mobilize and organize all scientists and researchers for the development of applied studies to help the national front and economy. He was a member of the Committee of Tomsk Researchers established by the General Headquarters of Bolsheviks Party to promote the development of industrial and transport companies in wartime. He was Deputy in the committee and organized the support of TII researchers to Kuzbass.

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Alexander Vorobyev

Alexander Vorobyev

1909 – 1981

Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Rector of Tomsk Polytechnic University in 1944– 1970. One of the organizers of science in Tomsk.

Alexander Vorobyev started his professional activity with official changing the status of Tomsk Technological Institute for Tomsk Polytechnic Institute. In those years, new programs, faculties, Higher Engineering Courses and training courses were launched at TPI. During Vorobyev’s rectorship, the number of academic staff increased significantly. The institute campus was built including 10 academic buildings and buildings for research institutes, 12 residence halls, a new building of research and technological library as well as residence houses for the institute staff.

The institute ranked TOP-10 world centers for the development of problems of nuclear physics and sources of nuclear radiation. Under the supervision of Vorobyev, the first Soviet electron accelerator, the largest Soviet synchrotron accelerator SIRIUS and Research Nuclear Center were developed at TPU.

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Ivan Chuchalin

Ivan Chuchalin

Date of Birth: 1925

Doctor of Engineering, Professor of the Electronic Engineering Department of the TPU School of Non-Destructive Testing. Rector of Tomsk Polytechnic Institute in 1981 – 1990.

Under the management of Professor Chuchalin, the main improvements were aimed at the management of academic activity, research, material and technical resources of academic and research departments, the living conditions of students and academic staff. New academic programs were launched, the Oil and Gas Field Faculty was established. Within the TPI departments and research institutes, 12 research and academic and research and production complexes were developed, the branches of TPI departments were established at business companies, the specialists’ training program was introduced. Moreover, the maintenance and reconstruction facilities were improved, a sport facility and the Burevestnik stadium were built. The construction of an academic and laboratory building and a students’ resident hall was begun.

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Yury Pokholkov

Yury Pokholkov

Date of Birth: 1939

Professor of the Electroinsulation and Cable Engineering Department, Rector of Tomsk Polytechnic University in 1990 — 2008. Until 2018, he was Head of the Department for Management and Technology in Higher Education of the TPU School of Engineering Entrepreneurship. Head of the TPU Research Center for Management and Technologies in Higher Education. President of Association for Engineering Education of Russia, Member of the TPU Board of Trustees.

Under the management of Rector Pokholkov, the transformation concept of Tomsk Polytechnic Institute into Tomsk Polytechnic University was developed. The target program for IT and computer-aided technology in research, academic and organizational activities was developed and introduced. TPU launched the multi-level training of specialists. The level and role of fundamental, social and economic programs were raised. New departments (Natural Sciences and Mathematics Department, Economy and Engineering Department, Social and Humanities Department) and other organization divisions were established, new academic and training programs were developed. In 1992, the Board of Trustees was established.

Professor Pokholkov was one of the initiators, establishers and the first supervisor of the Association for Engineering Education of Russia.