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History

 

THE URAL BRANCH OF THE RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES (UB RAS) is a research and development complex of diversified structure that embraces 38 scientific institutes, a library, which is the largest in the Urals, a science and engineering center, and a network of research stations. The academic science centers are located in Ekaterinburg, Syktyvkar, Izhevsk, Perm, Chelyabinsk, Arkhangelsk, and Orenburg.  The Ural Branch has more than 3,300 employees, of which 673 are Doctors of Science, and 1,800 are holders of Candidate of Science Degree. The research institutes are directed by 31 full members (academicians) and 52 corresponding members of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Doctorate courses are available and post-graduate studies are specialized in 83 branches of science.

 

 

The principal areas of research are related to theoretical and applied mathematics and mechanics, control processes, physics and chemistry of solids, electrophysics and thermal physics, power engineering, mechanical engineering, metallurgical process theory, high temperature electrochemistry, chemistry of organic synthesis, population ecology, immunology, genetics,  integrated studies of flora, fauna, water and soil resources, conservation of natural resources, geological and geophysical studies of the Ural geological province and the adjacent regions, and social sciences. These areas of research have been formed due to the specifics of the historical development of science in the Urals and in response to the industrial demands of this large region.

 

 

Academician A. E. Fersman and Chairman of USSR Academy of Sciences academician A. P. Karpinsky (dated of around 1930)

The decision to establish in the Urals a complex research base for the USSR Academy of Sciences was taken by the Secretariat of the USSR General Executive Committee on 13 January 1932.  A traveling session of the Academy’s Presidium, which was held in 1932 in Sverdlovsk, outlined the major directions of research. In 1932 in Sverdlovsk a resolution was adopted to establish scientific institutions of chemical, geological and geophysical research. Thus formed, the Ural Subsidiary of the USSR Academy of Sciences (in Russian UFAN) was headed by academician А.Е. Fersman. In 1935 the Ilmen Reserve, which had been established in 1920, was incorporated into the Ural Subsidiary.  Founded in 1932, the Ural Physicotechnical Institute became part of UFAN in 1939.  Schools of thought arose and research flourished in the fields of mining and processing of ore and rock products of the Urals, in the area of oil and mineral chemistry, physical metallurgy, thermal treatment of steel and some others, which have now received wide recognition both nationally and abroad. By early 1940s, the UFAN employed 140 researchers, and post-graduate courses were provided to train scientific personnel.

 

 



Academician I.P Bardin, Chairman of UFAN in1937-1953


 

During the Second World War the defense industry demanded a strict control by the National Mobilization Commission that allocated resources of the Urals to the war needs. The UFAN, directed by academician I.P.Bardin in 1937-1957, was part of the defense efforts, and this work received the National State Award in 1942.  Among the works for defense procurement needs, the following technologies were developed: methods for high quality steel production, methods for high octane petrol production of high-sulfur fuel oils, sulfonamide compounds for medicinal applications, sunk ships detection systems, quality control instruments for military products, etc.

 

 

Over the war and post-war periods a number of sections and institutes were founded and incorporated into the UFAN, such as the Section of Engineering and Economic Studies (1942), the Institute of Biology (1944) and, as a result of reorganization, the Institute of Metals Physics (1945), the Institute of Metallurgy (1953), the Institute of Chemistry (1955), the Institute of Electrochemistry (1957), and the Institute of Geophysics (1958). In 1959 the Department of Power Engineering and Automation was organized, and the Sverdlovsk branch of Steklov Mathematical Institute was founded in 1956.

 



Acadeimcian S. V. Vonsovsky

The UFAN grew to become a center of complex scientific research.  Contributions made by scientists obtained wide public acknowledgement.  Research flourished in a number of directions headed by outstanding scientists: in the field of theoretical physics (S. V. Vonsovsky), physical metallurgy (V.D. Sadovsky), structure and properties of liquid metal alloys (O.A. Yesin), physical chemistry (G.I. Chufarov and M.V.Smirnov), organic and inorganic chemistry (I.Y. Postovsky, V,G, Plusnin, V.N. Kozlov, S.S. Spassky,

Sharova), plant and animal ecology (S.S. Shvarts), and nuclear geophysics (Y.P. Bulashevich).

On 28 August 1969 a decree was adopted by the CPSU Central Committee and the USSR Council of Ministers ‘On the development of scientific institutions in separate economic regions of the Russian Soviet Federative Republic’, and in 1971 the Ural Scientific Center (USC) was established according to this decree on the premises of the Ural Subsidiary of the USSR Academy of Sciences (UFAN).

 

The foundation of the Ural Branch gave an impetus for major developments in economics, philosophy, history, archaeology and social science research. Efforts were made to substantiate the main ways of development and placement of the region’s productive forces. The work connected with the study and preservation of the ethnic culture of the Urals native people is particularly important. New scientific fields, such as industrial archaeology, and theory of state and law, are rapidly developing. Social scientists have produced the Sverdlovsk region regulations that were adopted by the Regional Duma as an official document. The establishment of the Ural Branch increased the number of international contacts. Connections with scientists from over 50 countries have been established. Every year, more than 650 people go abroad, while the Branch hosts over 350. The various forms of cooperation include: participation in international conferences, symposia, field scientific expeditions; conducting research as a part of long-term agreements, taking part in international projects in the most promising scientific areas, attending lectures, signing sci-tech production contracts, creating new technologies, etc.

 

One of the main goals for the Urals academic science is still direct influence on the development of the region, provision of the scientific support to conversion tasks and technical re-equipment, search and development of raw material sources, stabilization of the environmental conditions, and updating the social infrastructure. The academic science in the Urals has always initiated the systematic approach to the regional development: a program, “intensification of the Urals’ industry” and a program, “scientific researches of the complex utility of the natural resources and the development of the productive forces of the Urals” have been developed and partly accomplished. They are succeeded by a complex science and technology program “Scientific and sci-tech basics of structural reformation of the national economy in the Urals with priority solutions of social and environmental problems” that was adapted to the modern day conditions.

 

Many of the socio-economic problems, as well as the problems in metallurgy, geology, mechanics, calculus mathematics and programming, metal working, non-destructive quality control and other fields are solved in close cooperation with institutes of higher education, industrial companies, branch institutes and the military-industrial complex. The staff of the united scientific councils of UB RAS includes eminent scientists and specialists of the region. This way, the work in the major scientific fields is coordinated, and the issues of national economy are dealt with. In the year of 1993, the UB, supported by the regional authorities revived the Demidov Foundation, which had given start to the nation-wide non-governmental awards for the outstanding personalities of Russian science. Three/four people are awarded annually; in addition, there are grants for young scientists.

 





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