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125 TPU Facts

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1. Mendeleev and TPU

Dmitri Mendeleev was a member of the committees for the construction of Tomsk Technological Institute. He helped to equip the laboratories and study offices of the Chemical Department and selected academic staff. He also recommended his disciple Efim Zubashev for the position of rector.

In early 1906, Mendeleev’s spouse Anna Popova painted his portrait at the request of Efim Zubashev. Nowadays, it is reposited in the TPU Museum.

Dmitri Mendeleev
Dmitri Mendeleev
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2. TPI Set Out to Settle down Engineers in Siberia

In the explanatory note to the Ministry of Public Education, Efim Zubshev stood upon the foundation of an academic institution of a polytechnic type with four departments instead of two in Siberia.

Zubashev considered that Tomsk Technological Institute would attract attendees from European Russia and they, having settled down in Siberia for the time of their study, would willingly be employed as technicians.


3. All Students Study Construction Engineering

The students of all TTI departments studied construction engineering, designed industrial and civil architecture projects.

At that time, Siberia was rapidly developing since the railroad construction had been completed. There was a demand for specialists to prospect natural resources and develop manufacturing.

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4. First Non-Matriculated Female Students at TPI

In 1906, twelve women were enrolled in TPI as non-matriculated students. Women became full-time students at TPI in 1917, when the change in the political system led to the reform of higher education.

TPI non-matriculated students
TPI non-matriculated students
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5. TPI Saves Career of Nobel Laureate

Among Russian scientists, only one was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. It was Nikolay Semyonov, one of the founders of chemical physics. TPI gave him an opportunity to return to science.

Nilolay Semyonov arrived in Tomsk in 1918, having completed his military service in the White Army. Professor Boris Weinberg gave him an opportunity to work in the laboratories of the technological institute.

In May 1920, the scientist moved to Petrograd at the invitation of Abram Ioffe. In 1927, he wrote: “It is safe to say that Tomsk takes the first place by its significance and its works in physics among all the provincial centers of the USSR…”

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6. First Scientific Research Institute in Siberia

In 1923, the first Scientific Research Institute in Siberia or the Institute of Applied Physics was established in the TPI Physical Department Building. This is where a trackless air-cushion train and the first Siberian plane were constructed 50 years earlier than in America and Japan. In 1952, the equipment for the first television center in Siberia was manufactured there as well.

First Scientific Research Institute in Siberia
First Scientific Research Institute in Siberia
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7. Mining Department Building Designed by Obruchev

In 1899, Efim Zubashev, the first Rector of TTI, while developing a curriculum, concluded that besides the Mechanical and Chemical Departments, the institute lacked two more: Mining and Construction Engineering Departments.

Vladimir Obruchev, a famous geological scientist and explorer of Siberia and Central Asia was invited for the position of Dean. He participated in design and construction of a new academic building, performed calculations, defined functions, sizes and layout of premises. Later, Petr Fedorovsky, an architect, was invited to the project.

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8. Other Siberian Institutes Originate from TPI

In 1930, the Tomsk Technological Institute was divided into five institutes. Siberian Mechanical Engineering Institute, Siberian Chemical Engineering Institute and Tomsk Electromechanical Institute of Transport Engineers remained in Tomsk. Siberian Construction Institute was transferred to Novosibirsk (currently Novosibirsk State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering (SIBSTRIN). Siberian Metallurgic Institute was transferred to Novokuznetsk (currently Siberian State Industrial University).

Later, in the 1960s, Tomsk Electromechanical Institute of Transport Engineers was transferred to Omsk (currently Omsk State Transport University).

Tomsk State University of Control Systems and Radio-Electronics also brunched out from TPI. On April 21, 1962, Tomsk Institute of Radioelectronics and Electronic Engineering was founded.

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9. Copy of TPU Main Building in Germany

The main building of the university was designed by a German architect Robert Marfeld in an eclectic style with a monumental facade and unpretentious decor. Its interiors with sophisticated ornamental stucco mouldings, niches and bas-reliefs are considered some of the most magnificent ones in Tomsk.

There is a copy of the TPU main building in Karlsruhe, Germany. It was constructed after a while by Marfeld but badly damaged during World War II.

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10. Most Mysterious Academic Building No. 4

The building, designed by Guth and constructed in 1904-1907, has undergone multiple changes. It was originally composed of three buildings constructed before the Russian revolution of 1917: a boiler house, laboratory of steam generators and hydraulics laboratory. Later, a dwelling wing, powerhouse and heat engine laboratory were adjoined to the building.

Under the boiler house, there is a network of technological passages and an underground pedestrian gallery. It is a system boiler uptakes of the university power station. Earlier, the underground pedestrian gallery connected the buildings of the Construction Engineering and Mechanical Departments.


11. Metallurgy Studied at Chemical Department

Each of the four departments of TTI consisted of sub-departments:

Mechanical Department consisted of Mechanical Engineering, Railway, Electrical Engineering sub-departments;
Chemical Department consisted of Technology of Organic and Inorganic Compounds, Agroprocessing, Metallurgy sub-departments;
Mining Department consisted of Mining and Metallurgy, Geological Prospecting, Mining, Mine Surveying sub-departments;
Construction Engineering Department consisted of Ground Communications and Waterways, Construction of Bridges and Access Routes, Urban Engineering and Architecture sub-departments.

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12. Rector’s Vision

The institute began its classes on October 9, 1900 (October 22, 1900, by the Gregorian calendar). Dmitry Belikov, a theology teacher, held a prayer service in one of the drafting rooms. Leonid Lavrentiev, the trustee of the Western Academic District, officially announced the opening of Tomsk Technological Institute. Efim Zubashev, the institute rector, addressed his speech on the importance of establishing traditions to students: “I would like the awareness of the need for constant regular work to be the first seed giving rise to the traditions of the educational institution”.


13. Opening Ceremony of TTI, All-Siberia Festivity

The festive opening ceremony of TTI was held on December 6, 1900 (December 18, 1900, by the Gregorian calendar). It was timed to coincide with the name day of Nicholas II. Long before the scheduled date, Andrey Karnakov, municipal head of Tomsk, sent invitations to municipal heads of other Siberian cities to take part in “the greatest all-Siberia festivity”. As a result, the representatives of 67 governing bodies of Siberian cities attended the opening ceremony.

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14. Almost Two Applicants per Place

In summer 1900, the institute announced a student admission and received more than 370 applications. Seventy-three applicants were admitted without competitive exams, including one person with a diploma of higher education. Besides, 133 applicants were enrolled based on the exam results in Russian, Mathematics and Physics. Three people did not submit the required documents and were expelled. Therefore, the acceptance rate of the first admission was 1.8 applicants per place.

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15. TTI Students Recognized by Uniform

TTI students wore a green uniform with a monogram of three intertwined TTI letters on their shoulder marks, or with the N-II monogram (Nicholas II, whose name was given to the institute). Having been enrolled in TTI, a student had his uniform made to measure. The uniform consisted of an overcoat, a mess jacket, trousers, a peaked cap with a cockade and boots. It was quite expensive, that is why freshmen bought the uniforms from graduates. Students had to attend classes and appear in public places only in the uniform.


16. Cossacks and Clergies among First Students

The Mechanical and Chemical Departments were established in October 1900. The Mining Department and the Construction Engineering Department were opened in August 1901 and in August 1902 respectively. The first admission totaled 203 students, including 11.3% of the children of noblemen, 23% of civil servants, 17.4% of merchants, 5.6% of clergies, 31.1% of bourgeois, 9.2% of taxed estate and 1% of Cossacks.


17. Literate Locals Enrolled Without Exams

The natives of Asian Russia were eligible for enrollment privileges. If their school grades in Russian, Maths and Physics were good and higher in the certificate of secondary general education, the applicant was enrolled without entrance exams and competitive selection. Other enrollees in this category were admitted without a competitive selection as well, provided that they had successfully passed the exams.

The privileges were also extended to Caucasus natives. Until 1917, the share of Caucasus natives was 13 percent on average.

TPI students
TPI students
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18. 93 Siberians

As of January 1, 1901, 102 students were originally from European Russia, 93 students were from Siberia (42.6 percent) out of total 195 students. Besides, 95 of them finished non-classical secondary schools, 62 students finished gymnasiums, 14 students finished vocational schools, 8 students finished theological seminaries, 3 students finished cadet corpses, 5 students finished commercial schools and 3 students finished other educational institutions.

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19. University Instead of Ironclad Warship

Tomsk Polytechnic University was opened with the funds intended for an ironclad warship construction. Count Sergey Witte, Minister of Finance, himself crossed out the ironclad warship from the state expenditure sheet and allocated the money for the construction of a technological institute in Tomsk.


20. Affordable Education at TTI

Tuition fee at TTI was 50 rubles per year, which was twice cheaper than at the other universities of Russia.


21. Not All Students Receive Scholarship

Municipal authorities of Tomsk, Omsk, Krasnoyarsk, Yeniseysk and Petropavlovsk established scholarships for students, who had finished local secondary schools. The scholarships in the amount of about 300-360 rubles per year were paid from the municipal treasury. The Erlanger firm in Moscow donated 100 rubles to cover tuition fees for the poorest students.

There were 50 governmental scholarships set up for academically well-performing students. Hence, 50 students were exempt from tuition fees upon recommendations of student organizations.

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22. European Quarter

In the early twentieth century, the complex of first academic buildings of Tomsk Technological Institute, constructed in the classical style, namely the main building, Mining Department building No. 1, Physical Department building No. 3, Chemical Department building No. 2 and Engineering Department building No.4 was called the European Quarter. There were innovative facilities for a merchant city in the quarter, such as gas supply, water supply, sewerage in buildings, paved streets and electric street lighting.

TPU academic building No. 1
TPU academic building No. 1

23. Lion: Imperial Symbol

Images of lions frequently appear in the architecture of TPI. The sculptures of the king of beasts are located near academic building No. 2. The images of lion heads decorate the doors of the assembly hall and the university museum as well as the interiors of old academic buildings.

A lion symbolizes strength, power and generosity. This animal is a symbol of the imperial style (the institute was named after Emperor Nicholas II).

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24. Specific Decorations of Engineering University

The main building was planned as a main lecture building of the institute. The construction plan was designed in 1895. A year later, the construction began under the supervision of a civil engineer Fortunat Guth. In 1900, the construction was completed. The interiors of the main building are truly considered some of the most beautiful in Tomsk. A keen observer would find very specific details there. For instance, profile planes on the central avant-corps at the third-floor level are decorated with stucco wreaths with entwined images of a hammer and caliper.

TPU main building
TPU main building

25. First Rector Lives in His Office

Since the opening of the main building, the rector’s office was on the first floor in the northern wing. At that time, the rector’s office was equipped so that he could not only work but also live there. However, Efim Zubashev, probably, was the only rector, who could live in the main building. Other directors and rectors lived in the dwelling wings for academic staff, constructed next to the Physical and Chemical Department buildings.

Around 1944, when Alexandr Vorobyev became the rector of the institute, the main building was renovated and the rector’s office moved to its current place on the second floor.

Efim Zubashev
Efim Zubashev
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26. Students Married Solely upon University Director’s Permission

Until the Russian revolution in 1917, students of TTI could not get married without a permission of the university Director and an agreement of the Trustee of the Western Academic District. They also were not allowed to leave the city without prior notice, even during holidays. Academic and personal matters of students were considered by the Committee for Student Matters and Professors’ Disciplinary Court.


27. Four Deans and Theology Teacher

Initially, the staff of the technological institute included, besides the director, four deans, a council secretary and department secretaries, 19 full (in-ordinary) and 11 extraordinary professors, a theology teacher, 16 laboratory assistants (8 senior and 8 junior laboratory assistants), an inspector and his 4 assistants, a librarian and his assistant.


28. Unordinary In-Ordinary

In Russia, any person holding an academic degree of a Doctor of Sciences could apply for a position of a professor-in-ordinary (professor ordinarius); those holding a master’s academic degree could apply for a position of an extraordinary professor (professor extraordinarius).

However, exceptions were made for newly opened and remote from Central Russia universities, as was TTI. People, without academic degrees but with rich practical experience and academic publications, were selected as extraordinary professors and even as professors-in-ordinary. Thus, in 1901, Vladimir Obruchev, a leading explorer of Central Asia, a geologist of the Irkutsk Mining District, was appointed a Professor-in-Ordinary of the Geology Department.

Vladimir Obruchev
Vladimir Obruchev
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29. First Three Professors

In May 1899, a Master of Chemistry Dmitry Turbaba, mechanical engineer Nikolay Kartashev and engineering technologist Valentin Jones were invited to be the first professors at TTI.

In early June 1899, mechanical engineers Alexander Krylov, Alexander Potebnya, Grigory Tiraspolsky, and Alexey Shutkov were appointed as professors. They were mainly graduates of Kharkiv universities, who knew Professor Zubashev well for his work in Kharkiv Practical Technological Institute.

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30. Greetings from Leo Tolstoy

Valentin Jones personally knew the great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy and frequently communicated with him when visiting his family estate Yasenki (the Tula region), which was located near Tolstoy’s estate Yasnaya Polyana.

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31. Young and Ambitious

The TTI academic staff differed from other technical universities in Russia. In the beginning, there were no leading and prominent scientists there as in Saint Petersburg, Moscow or Kazan universities. Mainly young people, who just started pursuing their careers in science, worked at TTI. There were also several middle-aged professors. The oldest of them was in his early 40s.

By January 1, 1903, three Doctors of Sciences and two Master’s Degree holders worked at the institute. Other professors did not hold any academic degrees.


32. Early Retirement

It was challenging to recruit the TTI staff as scientists did not want to move to Siberia. To motivate the academic staff, one and one-half times the regular rate of pay, as compared to other Russian universities, was set. Moreover, the incentives included an increase in salary for working in Siberia provided after 5 and 10 years of work in the amount of 20 percent and 40 percent respectively, as well as a reduction of retirement age by 5 years.


33. International Trips since First Days

From the very beginning, long-term scientific trips for advance training purposes at the expense of the Ministry of Public Education and the institute itself were commonly practiced at the institute. The TTI scientists travelled to other universities, large industrial enterprises, scientific meetings and congresses abroad and domestically. From 1902 to 1914, there were 54 international and 73 domestic scientific trips.

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34. TTI Nearly Became Agricultural University

In 1910, Pyotr Stolypin, Chairman of the Council of Ministers, visited TTI. During his visit, he noted: “Yes, an Agricultural Department should be opened here. Tomsk sealed its fame as a scientific center in Siberia, ‘Siberian Athens’. Unfortunately, the railroad was constructed bypassing the city, therefore, there is a need to strengthen its scientific fame”.

Vladimir Alekseevsky, Director of the institute, trained as a mechanical engineer, gave a note to the Minister, concerning the opening of an Agricultural Department. However, in 1918, an agricultural institute was opened in Omsk.

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35. 17 Rectors for 125 Years

Efim Zubashev
Vladimir Alekseevsky
Nikolay Kartashev
Ivan Bobarykov
Alexander Ugarov
Yakov Mikhailenko
Nikolay Gutovsky
Alexey Kashkin
Alexander Nesterov
Dmitry Garshenin
Konstantin Shmargunov
Alexandr Vorobyev
Ivan Kalyatsky
Ivan Chuchalin
Yury Pokholkov
Petr Chubik
Andrey Yakovlev
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36. TPU Renamed Five Times

Until 1923, the institute was called Tomsk Technological Institute.

In 1923, the institute was renamed Siberian Technological Institute (STI).

In 1930, it was divided into five institutes, three of which remained in Tomsk (Siberian Mechanical Engineering Institute, Siberian Chemical Engineering Institute, Tomsk Electromechanical Institute of Transport Engineers). In 1934, they were merged into Tomsk Industrial Institute.

In 1944, the institute was renamed Tomsk Polytechnic Institute.

In 1991, it was awarded university status, prompting a name change to Tomsk Polytechnic University.


37. Kirov’s Name

From 1934 to 1991, the institute bore the name of Sergei Kirov. Actually, the revolutionary was never a student of TTI. In 1904, he attended evening general education classes at TTI to get prepared for admission. However, it did not happen.

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38. Designer of First Russian Automobile

Dmitry Bondarev, 1906 graduate of the Mechanical Department, became one of the designers of the first domestically made Russo-Balt automobile. It was the first automobile in the world to use aluminium pistons in the engine. The only remaining in the world Russo-Balt passenger car is exhibited at the Moscow Polytechnic Museum.

Russo-Balt automobile
Russo-Balt automobile
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39. Nikolay Kamov – Youngest Student

A legendary graduate of TTI, aerospace engineer, constructor of Russian helicopters, Nikolay Kamov left his mark in the university history as the youngest student ever. In 1918, Kamov was enrolled in the Mechanical Faculty with the second highest admission scores, when he did not even turn 16.

Nikolay Kamov, a TPI student
Nikolay Kamov, a TPI student

40. Kamov Coins Word “Vertolet”

It was due to Kamov, that the Russian language gained the word “vertolet”. In 1929, he used this word for the first time. Earlier, a rotary-wing aircraft was called “gelikopter” in Russian.


41. Two Aviators, Two Legends

Nikolay Kamov shared the same desk with a pilot Khariton Slavorossov, another legendary student of TTI. Presumably, it was Slavorossov who instilled his passion for aviation in Kamov. In 1920, Nikolay Kamov attempted joining a squadron but was not enrolled due to his hand injury received at birth. Then, he made a decision to construct his own airplanes. He studied aviation books, experimented with propellers and took an active part in the work of the aero club.

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42. Pilot of World War I

In 1918-1920, Khariton Slavorossov was studying at TTI, and then he received an assignment to study at Zhukovsky Air Force Engineering Academy. In 1912, in Poland, Slavorossov, piloting a small airplane, began to descend fast and subsequently flew under a bridge. He is considered the first pilot to perform such a stunt.

In Italy, Khariton Slavorossov set a world record for speed with a passenger. He was awarded the highest French military decorations for his feats in the skies of France during World War I. He was married to a daughter of a Tomsk doctor Alexander Gratsianov.

Khariton Slavorossov
Khariton Slavorossov
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43. First Two-Seat Aircraft

Mikhail Mil, a designer of Russian Mi-series helicopters, studied at TTI. In 1925, he was admitted to the institute, but in the second year of his study, he was expelled for a denunciation of a non-proletarian origin. In 1939, Mil became a Deputy Director of an autogyro plant headed by Nikolay Kamov, a TTI graduate as well.

Both Mil and Kamov were disciples of an outstanding scientist Boris Weinberg. In 1909, Weinberg initiated the creation of the Aeronautics Department, Aero Technical laboratory and a flight test aerodrome at TTI. In 1912, the members of the aero club created the first two-seat glider in Russia.


44. Weinberg: 100 Years Ahead of Hyperloop

In the early twentieth century, Boris Weinberg developed a vactrain concept set forth in his Motion without Friction work. The scientist created an airless experimental road on an air-cushion.

A hundred years later, Russian and American engineers would try to bring the idea to life. The project of a maglev would be designed in Japan. One of the maglev concepts, offered by Elon Musk, received the name of Hyperloop.


45. Siberian Da Vinci

Boris Weinberg is often called a Siberian Da Vinci, as he was a brilliant inventor and pioneering scientist. In 1909, he created a weather station that played an important role in studying the weather conditions of Western Siberia. Weinberg became a pioneer in the geomagnetic survey of Siberia. He also stood at the origins of astronomical observations in Tomsk.

During World War II, Boris Weinberg as a glaciologist took part in the construction of the Road of Life in the besieged Leningrad.

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46. Artist at TTI

In 1920, an artist Vadim Mizerov settled in Tomsk. Three years later, upon the recommendation of an architect Konstantin Lygin, he was appointed an art professor and lecturer of Shadows and Perspective course at the Construction Engineering Faculty. The experts call Mizerov a “Tomsk artist of European significance” and “maestro of watercolour”.

Among the students of Vadim Mizerov there was a chief architect of Moscow Mikhail Posokhin, a non-matriculated student of Siberian Technological Institute.

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47. TPU and Moon

Oleg Alimov, a graduate of the TPI Mechanical Faculty, contributed greatly to the development of drilling rigs and robots for exploration of the Moon and other planets. Alimov’s drilling machine for the Luna 16 and Luna 24 space probes collected and transported the moon soil samples to the Earth for the first time.

Lev Saruyev, Professor of the Analytical and Applied Mechanics Department also conducted his research on the methods of rotary-percussion drilling. In the 1970s, he worked to construct the Luna 24 automated station. Its scale model is installed in the Museum of TPU History.

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48. Our Inoplanetyane

The word “inoplanetyanin” (the Russian for “alien”) was introduced in the Russian language by a world-famous science fiction writer and inventor of land torpedoes Alexander Kazantsev, a 1930 graduate of the STI Mechanical Department.

Alexander Kazantsev
Alexander Kazantsev

49. Obruchev: Scientist and Writer

Vladimir Obruchev worked at TTI for 11 years. He was a geologist, paleontologist, geographer, science fiction writer, author of Sannikov Land science fiction novel. In 1973, an eponymous film was shot based on the book. In 2004, a French artist and writer Benoît Sokal created Syberia II video game, inspired by the Obruchev’s novel.

For about 30 years, Obruched worked on the History of Geological Exploration of Siberia voluminous monograph, containing more than 2 700 pages. No other country in the world has a historical monograph of that kind.


50. First Siberian Academician

Vladimir Obruchev and his student Mikhail Usov are the fathers of the Siberian geological school. Usov became the first academician in Siberia. The scientists shared the same office. Today, it is a museum where antique microscopes and a compass, which were used by the scientists, are exhibited. There is also a world globe without Antarctica in the museum.

Vladimir Obruchev in his office
Vladimir Obruchev in his office
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51. Graduate’s Planet

The satpaevite mineral was named after Kanysh Satpayev, a 1926 graduate of the Mining Faculty, Soviet geological scientist, one of the founders of metallogeny. He became the first President of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic. The year of his 100th anniversary, 1999, was declared the Year of Kanysh Satpayev by UNESCO. Nowadays, the name of Satpayev is perpetuated in the names of streets and universities. The 2402 Satpaev planet courses at hundreds of millions of kilometers away from the Earth.

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52. TTI Graduates Discover Oil in Siberia

Mikhail Korovin, a geologist, Doctor of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences, a 1914 graduate of the Mining Department became a discoverer of Siberian oil. He was the first to prove scientifically the existence of a petroleum reservoir in Western Siberia in the 1940s.


53. Beginning of Turbo Drilling History

In 1922, Matvei Kapelyushnikov, a graduate of the TTI Mechanical Department, together with the engineers Semyon Volokh and Nikolay Kornev patented the first in the world single-stage downhole turbodrill motor for oil extraction. This invention marked the beginning of wells turbo drilling history.


54. inister of White Movement in Siberia

In spring 1918, Admiral Alexander Kolchak, Head of the White Movement in Siberia, gave a speech at Tomsk State University. He addressed the audience with a request to select the most respectable citizens as members of the Provisional Government of Siberia. The name of the TTI professor Pavel Gudkov was mentioned among the first candidates.

At the insistence of his colleagues, Gudkov accepted the position of the Minister of Industry and Trade and achieved the creation of the Siberian Geological Committee. In 1919, he moved to the USA, where he discovered several large deposits of gold and oil and arranged the first in the world microanalysis laboratory in Los Angeles.

TTI professor Pavel Gudkov
TTI professor Pavel Gudkov
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55. Norilsk Founder

Nikolay Urvantsev, who graduated from the TTI Mining Department in 1918, became one of the discoverers of Norilsk ore region and founders of Norilsk.


56. Designer of Ostankino Tower

Nikolay Nikitin, a structural designer of Ostankino tower, headed a student design studio during his study at the TPI Architecture Department. The design studio developed comprehensive calculation methods of reinforced standard concrete structures for Novokuznetsk Iron and Steel Plant. One of the methodology sections was the Numerical Analysis of Lateral Displacement for Frame Design, the first calculations for high-altitude reinforced concrete structures.


57. Where is Balcony of Main Building?

Everyone knows and can see that the classical buildings of TPU were built without balconies. Nonetheless, there are two.

If you enter the courtyard of the main building, you can spot two tiny balconettes. According to the construction plan, there must have been a large lecture hall for 150 students located on the second floor in the right wing. However, two geodetic laboratories and a professor’s office were arranged there instead of the lecture hall.

In 1908, the balconies were constructed in one of the geodetic laboratories. Most likely, they were used for geodetic and topographic surveying for educational purposes.


58. Students Correspond in Books

The Department of Rare Books of the TPU Scientific and Technical Library keeps the books with the messages left behind on their pages by the students of the early twentieth century.

A student wrote in Boris Weinberg’s General Physics book: “Everything is wrong. You seem to be looking at the book, but your thoughts, your thoughts are hovering over an abyss. Why? Where is it taking us? But the poor heart must survive the beaten wounded path...” “Plague on him! He made up the formulae and you have to learn them now!” “Learn, learn them, but who is born a fool is never cured.” “Kosachev, absolutely agree with you!”

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59. 440-Year-Old Book in Library

The TPU Scientific and Technical Library keeps a book, written by a German mine foreman and metallurgist Lazarus Ercker, Treatise on Ores and Assaying published in 1580.

Among the rare books of the TPU Library, there are editions of the Imperial Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences, Sergey Kulibin’s library, who was a grandson of the a famous inventor Ivan Kulibin, as well as lifetime editions of Mikhail Lomonosov, Stepan Krasheninnikov, Leonhard Euler, Carl Friedrich Gauss and Joseph-Louis Lagrange.

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60. Chimney with Staircase

There is a brick chimney, 32 meters high, next to the TPU Engineering Department building. It was constructed together with the heating plant and designed for four steam generators. One of the generators installed in the heating plant under the chimney was designed by a prominent Russian engineer Vladimir Shukhov.

There is a spiral staircase built around the chimney. Mechanical students could climb it and explore gas properties all along the way up to their emission.

Chimney with a spiral staircase
Chimney with a spiral staircase
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61. Name of Reaction

Nikolai Kischner worked at TTI from 1901 to 1913. He significantly contributed to the chemistry of synthetic dyes and creation of the dyestuff industry. In 1910, he described the catalytic decomposition of alcylidenhydrazines, which alowed to discover the structure of such complex hormones as polyterpenes. Later, it was named the Wolff–Kishner reduction.

TPU keeps a copy of a letter to Kischner from a German chemist Ludwig Wolff. Wolff published his research work 18 months later than Kischner. However, Kischner’s article in Russian did not receive proper attention. Wolff apologized to Kischner and noted that he had not been aware of his research.


62. Energy Loss Perceived as Crime against Motherland

During World War II, more than 70 defense enterprises, institutes, state institutions and hospitals were evacuated to Tomsk. The only heat and power station in the city, CHP No. 1, generated only one-third of the required power supply.

The institute professors and students, headed by Innokenty Butakov, set up a movement for energy saving. Electric energy losses were announced a crime against the Motherland and saved 2.8 million kW-h. The students and professors reconstructed an institute power station by assembling two additional Shukhov boilers and a 500 kW turbo generator.


63. Foreign Students at Institute

Even in the harsh 1930s, foreign people studied at Tomsk Industrial Institute. In March 1937, the institute Director Alexander Nesterov in response to an inquiry from the Higher School Committee sent the information that six foreign citizens were studying at the institute, including two citizens of Czechoslovakia (Stefan Krcmarik and Eliza Gampel), a citizen of the USA (Stefan Lazuga), a citizen of Argentina (Joseph Hawlasek), a citizen of Greece (Konstantin Haripullo) and a citizen of Poland (Elizaveta Stefanska).

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64. Electronic Metal Detector for Kremlin

In 1942, an electronic metal detector, a device for finding bullets and fragments in the bodies of injured soldiers, designed by a fellow of Siberian Physical Technical Institute Boris Kashkin and a laboratory assistant of Tomsk Industrial Institute Pavel Odintsov, was in high demand. Moreover, the TII administration received a telegram from the Kremlin Medical and Sanitary Department with an urgent order for an electronic mine detector.

Newspapers wrote: “Just as the radio intercepts sound on airwaves, so this device detects the presence of foreign metals in a human body by receiving signals.”


65. Avietta for Siberia

Until 1927, domestic planes were equipped with the engines of foreign manufacture. The first independently designed engine was presented by Professor Alexander Kvasnikov and his students. A two-seat monoplane was named Avietta or STI-1 in honour of the institute renamed into Siberian Technological Institute (STI) in the 1920s.

Avietta wings folded easily and the plane was moved by a regular one-horse thrust. Two or three people were enough to move the aircraft to the start point. The funds to construct the plane were collected from the entire university, in particular through organizing a charity masquerade ball.

Avietta or STI-1
Avietta or STI-1

66. First USSR Tractor Gas Generator

In 1928, a student Alexey Vvedensky created the first USSR tractor gas generator. A gas-generator unit allowed automobiles and tractors to run on the gas produced from woodchips. This invention played a major role during World War II, when Siberia became isolated from Caucasian oil wells but local gas deposits had not been discovered yet.

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67. Revolution in Coal Mining

A revolution in coal mining was made by a jackhammer, invented in 1934 by a research fellow Konstantin Shmargunov, who later headed the institute in the austere wartime years. The capacity of a TTI research fellow’s jackhammer was higher than that of a pneumatic drill and at the same time it reduced the cost of the consumed energy by ten folds.

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68. Passenger All-Terrain Vehicle

A TTI graduate Vitaly Grachev was an outstanding engineer of automobiles and armored vehicles. In 1938-1939, it was Grachev, who designed the first Soviet passenger all-terrain vehicle GAZ-61. The GAZ-61-73 version is the world’s first four-wheel drive passenger sedan type car. During World War II, GAZ-61-73 was widely used as a command vehicle for senior military officers.


69. Mini-Collider

Betatrons, particle accelerators generating fluorescent X-rays (Large Hadron Collider in miniature) are among the earliest innovative developments of TPU. The first betatron was created in 1940-1941 and the manufacturing started in the 1960s. Nowadays, betatrons are used to control the strength of welding and casting as well as in inspection systems capable of testing up to 350-mm steel.

First domestically made high-current betatron
First domestically made high-current betatron

70. Sirius Synchrotron

Since the creation of a betatron, a new research field has received further development at TPU. This scientific field involves the development and production of a pool of unique accelerating equipment, including the Sirius Synchrotron (Siberian resonant pulse accelerator), a 1.5 GeV electron accelerator (1 billion eV).

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71. Betatron for Putin

When visiting TPU in January 2021, Vladimir Putin received a prototype of a vacuum accelerating chamber of the most compact betatron in the world from the laboratory of the School of Non-Destructive Testing. The chamber, which is basically the heart of a betatron, was made of molybdenum glass.


72. Molybdenum-99 for Medicine

The technology for the production of molybdenum-99 from enriched molybdenum-98 by the reaction of radiative capture was invented at the TPU Nuclear Research Reactor. The technology allows to reduce radioactive waste and, consequently, solves the problem of its disposal.

As a result of this development, TPU physical engineers launched the production of radionuclide generators for radiopharmaceuticals used in medicine to diagnose cardiovascular, oncological, endocrine and other diseases.


73. Creators of Nuclear Shield

A 1941 TTI graduate Boris Brokhovich, one of the creators of the Russian nuclear shield, stood at the origins of the first Russian industrial complex for the production of weapons-grade plutonium. Brokhovich graduated from TTI with a degree in Power Stations, Power Grids and Power Supply Systems. Several years later, he took part in the construction of Mayak, a huge radiochemical plant, was appointed its chief power engineer and eventually headed the enterprise.

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74. Thanks to Trans-Siberian Railway

The decision to establish a technological institute in Tomsk was made in 1896 (hence the 125th anniversary is celebrated in 2021). At that time, the Russian Empire government came to an understanding that the railway construction, which was not just important for Siberia, but vital, required maintenance by practical engineers.

The Trans-Siberian Railway covers 9,298.2 km, being the longest railway in the world. Historically, the Trans-Siberian Railway refers only its eastern section extending from Miass (the Southern Urals, Chelyabinsk Region) to Vladivostok. The length of this section is about 7,000 km. It took 25 years to construct his section, from 1891 to 1916.

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75. How to Recognize Great Russian Chemists

David Lewis, Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire visited TPU several years ago to collect material about Professor Nikolai Kischner. Lewis specializes in organic synthesis and applied organic chemistry, being the holder of 16 patents in the USA alone.

“In the early 1990s, I had to write a textbook on organic chemistry. There were a lot of name reactions and rules in organic chemistry, for instance, Markovnikov's and Zaitsev’s rules, Wolff–Kishner reduction. The reactions, we studied in the first years of study, bore the names of Russian scientists, although we thought they were German. This misunderstanding occurred because many Russian scientists published their research findings in the German language and in German journals. Therefore, the last names of Russian scientists were often transliterated in German in Europe”.

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76. TPU Dwellings

The construction project of the first TPU buildings provided not only for classrooms and workshops but also for accommodation. The apartments for the invited professors were located in dwelling wings. Over time, TTI left all the empire universities behind by the number and sizes of dwelling buildings. Those were the most comfortable apartments of that time: big rooms with high ceilings, spacious kitchens and bathrooms equipped with hot water supply.

Today, people still live in some parts of the dwelling wings. At present, the majority of professors’ apartments are located in the Chemical building.


77. Floor Tiles from Kharkiv, Door Handles from Tula

Construction materials for the university were brought from all over the Russian Empire. Floor tiles were delivered from the Partnership plant of Baron Edward Bergenheim located in Kharkiv. Door handles were delivered from Tula. They were made at the hardware factory of Teplov Brothers, whose products were in brisk demand in St. Petersburg and Moscow. Branded door handles with the double-headed eagle, the mark of the highest quality, can be seen in the Mining building, main building and other ancient buildings of TPU.


78. Cat Lives in Library for 17 Years

One day, a kitten wandered into the TPU Scientific and Technical Library and stayed there for 17 years, having become a true library symbol. There was a superstition: if you met Vasily the cat before an exam, you would pass the exam successfully.

When in summer 2019, Vasily the cat died, the TPU volunteer organization set up a monument to the cat in form of a money box near the library. The monument was printed with a 3D printer by the TPU School of Non-Destructive Testing. All the collected money is transferred to animal rights organizations.

Monument to Vasily the cat in the TPU Scientific and Technical Library
Monument to Vasily the cat in the TPU Scientific and Technical Library

79. Kirov’s Boots – Most Famous Tradition of TPU

There is a monument to Sergey Kirov at the intersection of Lenin and Kirov Avenues. The most famous tradition of TPU is associated with this monument: TPU graduates paint Kirov’s boots every year. First-year students, living in residence halls, kiss these boots at their matriculation ceremony.

Kirov’s Boots
Kirov’s Boots
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80. Miner and Dowser

One of the most interesting monuments on the campus, a monument to a miner and dowser Fedor Eremeev, is located next to the Mining building. The opening of the monument was timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the first graduation of Siberian mining engineers in 2008. In 1623, Fedor Eremeev discovered iron ore deposits near Tomsk and 2 years later the first cannon was made of Siberian iron.


81. Former Prison

Academic building No. 9 at Ivanov Street is a former provincial prison. It is one of the first three-store and one of the largest buildings, constructed in Tomsk in the first part of the ninetieth century (construction was carried out from 1833 to 1838 and most likely by replication). At that time, the street was called Tyuremnaya.


82. Only One Research Reactor in Russia

The TPU Nuclear Research Reactor is the one operating nuclear university reactor in Russia. It was launched in 1967 and since that time, it was upgraded numerous times. Annually, more than 400 students, including international ones learn to control a real nuclear power plant. Scientists produce radiopharmaceuticals at the reactor, medical drugs containing radionuclides.

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83. Technical Superintendent of Satellite Launch

A 1941 TPU graduate Alexander Nosov was a technical superintendent of the launch of the first artificial Earth satellite in 1957, as well as was a technical superintendent of combat and ballistic missiles. He was Deputy Director for Test and Research of Scientific Research Test Range No. 5 of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR (future the Baikonur Cosmodrome).

Alexander Nosov
Alexander Nosov

84. First Satellite Printed with 3D Printer

A satellite was printed with a 3D printer at TPU the first time. A CubeSat nanosatellite sized 300*100*100 mm were equipped with temperature and other sensors. August 17, 2017, the Tomsk-TPU-120 satellite was launched from the International Space Station. The satellite transmitted voice messages, an address to the Earth peoples, recorded by TPU students in 11 languages.

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85. Technologies for Space

TPU is developing a 3D printer for printing with metals and polymers in a zero-gravity state, illuminator glasses for spacecraft, materials for extreme conditions in the interplanetary space. These technologies can be used on the Earth too, for instance, in the Arctic.

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86. Hospitals and Evacuated Universities Work at TPU during World War II

During World War II, six out of eight institute buildings were given to locate hospitals, military academies and evacuated universities. In 1941-1945, Leningrad Artillery Equipment School located in the main building. Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys, Novocherkassk Industrial Institute, All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Medicinal Plants and a military academy were located in four institute buildings.

Not more than 15 percent of academic areas remained in the university management. Most of the academic departments, workrooms and laboratories were perpetuated.

Army men at hospital Source: Tomsky obzor
Army men at hospital Source: Tomsky obzor
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87. National Research University

In 2009, TPU was conferred with the National Research University status. Shortly afterwards, the university structure was changed: faculties and research institutes were united into new divisions, which became academic institutes. In 2013, TPU became a winner of The Russian Academic Excellence Project 5-100, the federal competition to receive state support for promotion in TOP-100 best universities of the world.


88. International Scientific Council with Nobel Prize Winner

Since 2014, there is the International Scientific Council at the university. It is headed by an Israeli chemist and physics Dan Shechtman, a winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The Council gives an expert assessment of the largest projects of TPU, consults Russian scientists and promotes the brand of TPU abroad.

Dan Shechtman
Dan Shechtman

89. 170,000 specialists

During its history, Tomsk Polytechnic University has been training about 170,000 specialists.

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90. Committee of Scientists

During World War II, research work was coordinated by the Committee of Scientists, including more than 300 people, created in 1941. It included TPU Professors: Innokenty Butakov, Innokenty Gebler and Mikhail Korovin. Konstantin Shmargunov, TII Rector and Professor, became Vice Chairman of the Committee.

Members of the Tomsk Committee of Scientists
Members of the Tomsk Committee of Scientists
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91. More Coal

One of the essential tasks of research work during World War II was support to Kuzbass (the Kemerovo Region) that became the main fuel base and centre of chemico-metallurgical industry. Scientist teams were formed at TPU to develop coal deposits, to supply mines and ore deposits with electricity, to maintain equipment.

In 1943, the institute professors were conferred with state prizes: Konstantin Radugin for the discover of the Usinskoe mine, Nikolay Chinakal for the creation and implementation of the back connected method of development of Kuzbass thick coalbeds, Leonid Kulev for the development of a new method of gas analysis.


92. New Name, New Goals

In 1944, the university changed its name to Tomsk Polytechnic University and legendary Alexandr Vorobyov became Rector. At that period, TPI began to train nuclear physicists, who were in high demand in the USSR. Thus, 10 new faculties were opened: Electrophysical (1946), Maritime Transport (1948), Physicotechnical (1950), Radioengineering (1950), Automation and Electromechanics (1951), Mechanization and Wood Industry (1954), Automation and Computing (1968), Power Engineering and Heat Power Engineering (1956). In 1968, the first USSR Organizer of Industrial Production Faculty was opened at TPI.


93. Faculty Where Ministers were Trained

Vladimir Listov, Minister of Chemical Industry of the USSR (1980-1986) graduated from the TPI Physicotechnical Faculty. Victor Ivanov, Minister of Chemical and Petrochemical Industries of the Russian Federation (1992-1997) also graduated from this faculty. Some deputy ministers graduated from the TPU Physicotechnical Faculty as well: Leonid Zabelin, Deputy Minister of Mechanical Engineering (1975-1989) and Deputy Minister of the Defense Industry of the USSR (1989-1991), as well as Valery Tikhomirov, Deputy Minister of Taxation of the Russian Federation (1999-2002).

Victor Ivanov, Minister of Chemical and Petrochemical Industries of the Russian Federation (1992-1997)
Victor Ivanov, Minister of Chemical and Petrochemical Industries of the Russian Federation (1992-1997)
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94. Engineers and Researchers

In 1956, the first time in the system of higher education, students’ research work was included in the curriculum at the TPI Physicotechnical Faculty. Students, obtained fundamental knowledge, solved engineering problems. This experience was extended to not only other TPI faculties but also other Russian universities. During the first years after opening the faculty, only young men were enrolled. The necessary condition of enrolment was excellent health condition and physical conditioning.

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95. It is All about Plasma

One of the exclusive developments of the TPU School of Nuclear Science and Engineering is solid surface modification technologies on the base of magnetron plasma sources.

Nowadays, plasma generators to produce optical solar reflectors for Earth satellites and equipment for the deposition of transparent conductive coatings on the surface of plastic films used as a material of spacecraft hulls operate successfully at the enterprises of the Roscosmos State Space Corporation.

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96. Changes in Petroleum Industry

The early 2000s were critical for the Russian petroleum industry, companies became to adopt the experience of western companies and introduce a modern approach to business. The next generation of managers must have become drivers of these changes. Heriot-Watt Petroleum Engineering Approved Support Centre was opened at TPU. It is the one branch of the prestigious petroleum university of Scotland in Russia.

Russians, that means TPU graduates, are many more among all graduates of Herriot-Watt University in all countries: Great Britain, Malaysia, the UAE, Spain and Russia.

Heriot-Watt graduates at the graduation ceremony
Heriot-Watt graduates at the graduation ceremony
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97. Best Petroleum University

In 2020, QS World University Rankings by Subject for Engineering – Petroleum was released the first time, 76 universities entered the ranking. TPU ranked the 26th that is the best result among Russian universities. TPU became 6th in the world due to the employer reputation indicator. The topping universities were National University of Singapore, Heriot-Watt University (Great Britain), Middle East Technical University (Turkey), the University of Texas at Austin (the USA) and Petronas University of Technology (Malaysia).


98. 450 TB Data

More than 150 digital systems and services operate at TPU. The total amount of stored database is about 450 TB and storage volume is almost 1 PB.


99. Construction of First Residence Halls

TPI campus was constructed under Rector Alexandr Vorobyev. The first residence hall was established in 1948. At that time, 10 academic buildings and buildings for research institutes, 12 residence halls, a building for Scientific and Technical Library and dwelling units for university staff were also constructed.

TPU campus
TPU campus
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100. University

In 1990, Professor Yury Pokholkov headed the university. Under his management, Concept on Transformation a Technical Institute into Technical University was developed. On October 18, 1991, Tomsk Polytechnic University officially became a university.

In 1995, educational standard was developed at TPU the first time. Entering the global academic environment and internationalization of educational and research work of the university was defined as one of the strategic directions.

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101. English for Engineers

Good knowledge of English became one of the main features of TPU graduates. In 1998, the concept was formalized, when Program on Excellence of Foreign Language Proficiency of Engineers was developed at TPU. In 2002, Institute of Language Communication was created at the university.

International graduates
International graduates

102. Before Star Wars

George Lucas conceived Star Wars when he watched Planeta Bur based on the namesake novella of a TPI graduate Alexander Kazantsev. He graduated from TPI in 1930, was a chief mechanical engineer, Director of Scientific Research Institute. During World War II, he invented a land torpedo or a tankette that was stuffed with explosive material and sent out to the enemy positions right from the defensive fighting positions.

One of the first in the USSR, Kazantsev began to develop a topic of the presence of extraterrestrials on the Earth. He was an author of the hypothesis that the Tunguska event was a spaceship (A Visitor From Outer Space (1958) book tells about it).


103. From Experimental Design Bureau into General Officer

Alexander Kazantsev mentioned a Zosimych in his books. It was his friend, a TTI graduate Nikolay Zosimovich Poddyakov. He ended up in an Experimental Design Bureau (a so-called sharashka). At the end of World War II, he was set free and during 3 days promoted to the rank of General officer. While a tailor stitched a full dress uniform, a messenger came to Zosimych every 3 hours and delivered orders on promotion from Private to Major general.

General officer Poddyakov took part in Germany demilitarization, reconstruction of the Dnieper Hydroelectric Station and was a trust manager of Soyuzzapchermet.

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104. Professors in Siberia

Before opening the institute, only 70 fully-trained engineers, including 10 mining engineers worked in Siberia. Obruchev, Dean of the Mining Department found a solution to the staff problem. He invited Alexey Zaitsev, Doctor of Mineralogy and Geology, who was Head of Geology Department at the Medicine Faculty of Siberian Imperial University.

The Geology course was short and Professor Zaitsev had a lot of free time for research. He was a specialist in gold deposits in Taiga near Mariinsk and Yeniseysk. The professor took concurrent management of the Mineralogy Department and established the Mineralogical Museum.

Exhibit in the TPU Paleontological Museum
Exhibit in the TPU Paleontological Museum
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105. Source of Global Warming

Igor Semiletov, TPU Professor, Head of the Laboratory for Arctic Research of The Pacific Oceanological Institute (POI) of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Science, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, took part in 49 Arctic expeditions. Due to these expeditions, it became possible to prove that the concentration of atmospheric methane above the Arctic is around 10 percent higher than somewhere on our planet, including middle latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, where human activity is mainly concentrated.

According to Semiletov’s conservative estimation, the annual methane emission for the Eastern Arctic sea shelves is about 17 mln t, that is consummated with the annual man-made emission in the USA.

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106. Isaac Babel’s Literary Legacy

A 1930 STI graduate Antonina Pirozhkova was one of the first, who designed Moscow underground, including the most beautiful stations: Mayakovskaya, Paveletskaya, Arbatskaya, Kiyevskaya and Ploshchad Revolyutsii. She is best known as a widow of Isaac Babel. She met the writer in 1932 and in 1937, their daughter Lydia was born.

Antoniana Pirozhkova made a huge contribution to the preservation of the memory of her husband. She was a compiler of the collection of memoirs, a member of the commission on Babel’s literary legacy. In the USA, where she lived from the 1990s, she published a memoir that in 2001 was published in Russian titled Seven Years with Isaac Babel.

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107. One of MAI Founders

A 1918 TPI graduate Alexander Kvasnikov created the first in the world Department of Engines for Flying Vehicles at Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI). He is called one of the founders of MAI.

In 1933, under his management, a laboratory was created at the university. Where they conducted experiments on the combustion theory of gasoline-air mixtures in the cylinder of an aircraft engine, particularly the detonation theory and its control methods. According to the task of the aircraft industry, anti-flaming, a system of flash suppressors was successfully designed.

Kvasnikov kept a correspondence with Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and worked together with Sergey Korolev.


108. Emeritus Professor, Honorary Member and Honorary Graduate

An outstanding Russian physicist Gennady Mesyats is the one person conferred with all three honorary titles of TPU: Emeritus Professor, Honorary Member and Honorary Graduate.

In 1953, he was enrolled at the university and already in 1966, defended a PhD thesis. Mesyats is an author of about 600 research works, two scientific discoveries, possesses more than 40 inventor's certificates. Gennady’s research started in Tomsk laid the foundation of high-power nanosecond electronics, a new scientific field and a new technological industry. Gennady Mesyats was Vice President of the Russian Academy of Sciences for 26 years.


109. Hero of World War II

A wooden sculpture of a graduate of the Power Engineering Faculty Vadim Shamritsky made by a sculptor Leonty Usov is kept in the Russian Arctic Convoy Museum (Aultbea, Scotland).

Shamritsky is a naval engineer, recipient of four Orders, participant of many military operations in the north of Europe during World War II, including security and escort of marine vessels shipping goods according to the Lend-Lease program for the USSR (artic convoys) in the area between Scotland and the seaports of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk. Winston Churchill called this route the most dangerous travel in the world.

Sculptures of Victor Walker (left) and Vadim Shamritsky (right) in the Russian Arctic Convoy Museum (Aultbea, Scotland)
Sculptures of Victor Walker (left) and Vadim Shamritsky (right) in the Russian Arctic Convoy Museum (Aultbea, Scotland)
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110. Bison from All Siberia

The TPU Paleontological Museum keeps a skeleton of a steppe bison (Bison priscus) that became extinct around 8,000 years ago. A skull was found on the territory of the Tomsk Region, while other fragments of the skeleton were delivered from Khakassia, the Krasnoyarsk Territory, the Kemerovo Region and other regions.

In 1901, the TPU Paleontological Museum was created by Mikhail Yanishevsky. A cabinet for exhibits of 1904 is kept in the museum.

Mikhail Yanishevsky, geologist and palaeontologist. In 1902, he was invited by Vladimir Obruchev to create Department of Paleontology at Tomsk Technological Institute
Mikhail Yanishevsky, geologist and palaeontologist. In 1902, he was invited by Vladimir Obruchev to create Department of Paleontology at Tomsk Technological Institute

111. Awarding Nobel Prize

TPU indirectly took part in the nomination for the Nobel Prize in the middle of the 2000s. The Nobel Committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences addressed a proposal to the university to present the candidacies of professors, who made significant discoveries in physics and chemistry so that they would take on the roles of experts in selection candidacies deserved to be awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize.


112. Scientia Libertas Prosperitas

Everyone, who has been to the main building of TPU, saw these words, which are carved on the central staircase. These words are a university motto, reflecting its mission: to transfer knowledge and experience to the world, allowing a personality, the society and the state to use the best practices of training specialists, innovations in science and higher education.


113. Space in Laboratory

Research of the Interstellar medium, detection of exoplanets, Solar System exploration, these all happen in the laboratories where the data from space probes or large space telescopes are processed. The methods of information processing, developed by TPU physicists, help researches to analyze a spectrum of molecules and their features. Having deciphered the data, astrophysicists draw a conclusion about the temperature, speed, pressure, chemical composition of planets and other space objects.

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114. TOP-100

In 2019, being one of the first Tomsk universities, TPU entered TOP-100 of the international university ranking: the university ranked 76-100th in the ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2019 - Mechanical Engineering.

In 2019, being one of the first Tomsk universities, TPU entered TOP-100 of the international university ranking: the university ranked 76-100th in the ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2019 - Mechanical Engineering.

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115. Antiepileptic Drugs

Leonid Kulev, TII Professor became a winner of the State Stalin Prize for the development of indicators of chemical warfare during World War II. After the war, under his supervision, TPI chemists created biologically-active compounds and seizure medication to treat epilepsy, which are called Benzonal and Benzobamilum and still used in medicine.

Leonid Kulev, a Soviet chemist
Leonid Kulev, a Soviet chemist

116. Engineers for Russia

Most TPU enrollees are Tomsk citizens, the next numerous group is enrollees from the Kemerovo Region. The analysis conducted using artificial intelligence showed that in 2020, most straight-A students (23) were enrolled at the TPU School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, five of them were Novosibirsk citizens. Students excellent passed the Unified State Exams (240 scores and higher) often come from Tatarstan and the Krasnodar Territory.


117. Crash Tests on Supercomputer

The AURUS Russian President Limousine was completely designed and tested in digital and after the engineers created a real model. TPU scientists possess the same opportunity. Developed a new combustion chamber that would increase the power of boilers without changing their sizes, the scientists did not do any prototypes, instead of it, a special software calculated virtual models during 603 days.

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118. Betatron Saves Lives

Since 1989, for more than 30 years, a TPU produced betatron has been working at the Research Institute of Oncology of Tomsk National Research Medical Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Using the betatron, targeted intra-operative radiotherapy (IORT) is conducted. It works in the following way: a high dose of ionizing radiation generated by a betatron is addressed at either a targeted part of cancer or its bed during the carcinectomy operation and the remained after the operation cancer cells die. Thus, the possibility of relapse reduces. As a rule, healthy tissues are not damaged (what happens under the conventional methods of radiation therapy).

IORT treatment has been provided to more than 3,500 patients with malignant neoplasms in a head, neck, lungs, bones and soft tissues, mammary glands, a body of a uterus and other localizations.

Betatrons are particle accelerators, generating fluorescent X-rays. In-house development of TPU scientists
Betatrons are particle accelerators, generating fluorescent X-rays. In-house development of TPU scientists
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119. Usov’s Period

Due to a graduate and subsequently TPU Professor Mikhail Usov, Kuzbass (the Kemerovo Region) developed as an industrial centre. Usov was an author of the most important works on the geological structure of Kuzbass coal districts and derivation of ore fields. Vladimir Obruchev emphasized “…From 1919 to 1938, in history of exploration of the West Siberia Krai, these twenty years of geological prospecting headed by Mikhail Usov must be rightfully called ‘Usov’s Period’…”

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120. Engineers’ Culture

A 1953 TPI graduate Mikhail Kurlenya, academician, Director of Institute of Mining of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences remembered as he being a countryside little boy loved classical music due to the regular concerts of the Tomsk symphony orchestra held in the TPI assembly hall.

There were a folk opera school, an orchestra of folk instruments, student theatre of a variety of miniatures and student literary associations working at the university. Young engineer poets published their poems with the help of literary associations.


121. Physicists’ Small Pipe Organ

In 2002, renovating TPU Physical building No. 3, a lot of interesting things of the early twentieth century were found: a small pipe organ, a torsion spring, a wave machine, a Stirling engine of the late ninetieth – early twentieth centuries. The pipe organ was found in pieces under the bowl and then, it was repaired and it is possible to play it now. The findings formed the basis of the TPU Museum of Physics.

Pipe Organ, found during renovating TPU Physical building No. 3, has been repaired and stays operational
Pipe Organ, found during renovating TPU Physical building No. 3, has been repaired and stays operational
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122. How to Make Nuclear Fusion Reactor Safe

The first in the world nuclear fusion reactor is being constructed in the south of France by the efforts of several countries. TPU entered the project to create a robotic ultrasound system to control the quality of parts at the reactor. In particular, a TPU developed complex will control weld seams on radiators using eddy current testing.

TPU developments also will be used to illuminate large parts weighing 1 t to find out hidden defects. These parts are used in the reactor systems, which confine the high-temperature plasma.


123. Upgrade of Collider

Why did contraterrene matter vanish during the evolution of the Universe? An international collaboration of scientists of the Large Hadron Collider beauty experiment (LHCb), studying b-hadrons, is looking for an answer to this engrossing question. In 2016, TPU joined the LHCb experiment as designing engineers of the SciFi Tracker positioning system, a positioning system for one of the detectors. Since that time, TPU scientists and engineers have been engaged in its upgrade. TPU is an active member of five more collaborations: the NA64 experiment, the RD51 collaboration, the CMS experiment, the ATLAS experiment and the Сompass experiment. Each of these collaborations conducts its own experiments. At the request of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the TPU scientists are developing the newest methods of diagnosis and control of proton fluxes of the Large Hadron Collider, as well as analyzing diamond detectors.

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124. Capabilities of New Materials

During the last years, TPU researchers in materials science became one ofthe most cited. Thus, every article, written by Roman Surmenev, Director of the TPU Research Center for Physical Materials Science and Composite Materials, is quoted on average 7.3 times. While one of the 2019 articles was cited 50 times. The materials created by his research team allow solving a lot of problems, including medical ones. In 2020, TPU won a mega-grant to develop piezoelectric and magnetoelectric materials, which will be capable to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, regenerate lesional tissues and treat atherosclerosis.

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125. New Technologies in Energy

The hydrogen economy is one of the sought-after and future-oriented topics of sustainable energy. The university has been engaging in the topic for a long time, the first overall research of hydrogen started at TPU in 2004. While individual research was conducted already in the 1970s.

In 2020, TPU initiated the creation of a consortium for the development of hydrogen technologies. The members of the consortium will jointly develop technologies involving the entire “hydrogen chain” from formalization to utilization.