Academician Georgy V. Kurdyumov (1902 – 1996)

(1902 – 1996)

Georgy V. Kurdyumov is an outstanding scientist in the field of metal science and metal physics, Hero of Socialist Labour (1969), USSR State Prize winner (1949), Academician of the UkSSR Academy of Sciences (1939), corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences (1946), Academician (since 1953), Director of the Institute of Metals Science and Physics of the Central Research Institute for Ferrous Metallurgy (Moscow, 1944 – 1978), Director of the Laboratory for Metal Physics of the UkSSR Academy of Sciences (Kiev, 1951 – 1954), member of a number of foreign Academies of Sciences and scientific societies.

In the 1930s Georgy V. Kurdyumov made a revolutionary discovery in metal physics. He has discovered and explained the diffusionless behavior of martensite transformations in steels. The achievements of Russian and Soviet sciences in this field are strongly associated with this discovery. It placed Georgy V. Kurdyumov’s name among the names of Korolev, Kurchatov, and Kapitsa. It is the presence of the martensite phase that makes steel stronger. Georgy V. Kurdyumov’s works resulted in creation of steels with a unique combination of strength and viscosity. During the Great Patriotic War Georgy V. Kurdyumov was leading in developing steels for tank parts, tank armor, and armor-piercing shells. His works are a striking example of how academic studies can rapidly result in revolutionary technological changes. Georgy V. Kurdyumov’s works on improving defence power of our country can be compared with Academician Igor V. Kurchatov’s works on investigating atomic nucleus decay.

Georgy V. Kurdyumov was Founding Director and then Director of the ISSP AS USSR (1962 – 1973).

Georgy V. Kurdyumov studied martensite structure, physical nature of martensite transformations, processes of martensite decay upon tempering, as well as hardening and softening of metals and alloys. The results of his investigations were the most important part of scientific bases for heat treatment of steels, quenching and tempering, obtaining new types of structural materials and shape-memory alloys, and new methods of strength improvement. Georgy V. Kurdyumov has founded a school of metal physicists the members of which were Yuri A. Osipyan, Vitaly N. Gridnev, Victor I. Trefilov, Moisey P. Arbuzov, Valentin T. Cherepin, Lev G. Khandros, Lev M. Utevskiy and others.