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ArticleName Mining scientist A. S. Popov and his heritage
DOI 10.17580/gzh.2022.03.15
ArticleAuthor Melnichuk G. A., Stepanova N. V., Belyankina O. V., Altukhova I. D.

Shatsk Society of Regional Ethnography, Shatsk, Russia:

G. A. Melnichuk, Metallurgical Engineer, Historian and Archivist, Regional Ethnographer, Member of the Union of Russian Writers,


Ryazan Region Nation in Moscow, Moscow, Russia:

N. V. Stepanova, Candidate of Engineering Sciences, Member of the Russian Union of Journalists


NUST MISIS, Moscow, Russia:

O. V. Belyankina, Associate Professor, Candidate of Engineering Sciences


Gubkin Museum of Regional Ethnography, Gubkin, Russia:

I. D. Altukhova, Chief Curator


The study reconstructs biography and professional life of a prominent Soviet scientist in mining–Alexander S. Popov (1891–1974), Doctor in Engineering, Professor and Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR. Various reference sources helped describe different periods of life of the scientist. Alexander S. Popov was born to the family of a merchant on December 21(9), 1891 in the town of Shatsk in the Tambov Province (today the Ryazan Region). Having graduated from the Shatsk Real School, A.S. Popov entered the Mining Institute of Empress Catherine II. Even being a student, he worked at exploration and mining plants in Khiva and Dzhezkazgan in 1914, and his first scientific publications came out that time. In 1919 he graduated from the Institute. Popov started his pedagogical activities in 1921 at the Courses for Mine Foremen at the Moscow Mining Academy which trained master workmen and superintendents for mines. In 1923 he was offered by a future Academician of the Gubkin USSR Academy of Sciences to head the iron ore appraisal survey in the area of the Kursk Magnetic Anomaly. On April 7, 1923 the efforts of Engineer Popov were rewarded with success in pioneer sampling of magnetic iron ore, which proved the world’s largest occurrence of the mineral. That date was the beginning of history of the Kursk Magnetic Anomaly. In 1926 A.S. Popov published 10000 copies of a textbook meant for schools of entry and prof levels in mining – Course on Material Science. In 1927 he was elected as a professor. His book Mine Ventilation Design with Diagonal Airways enjoyed three editions (in 1926, 1927 and 1930). In the 1930s, Popov published a series of scientific guidelines in the area of technical and economic analysis in mining. In 1937 he became a doctor in engineering. In 1938 up to 1948 Popov worked in Tashkent (Uzbek SSR) at the Central Asian Industrial Institute, where he headed the Coal Mining Department and engaged himself in scientific consulting services provide to large plants in the Republic: Sredazugol, Sredazshakhtstroi, Uzbekshakhtstroi, Uzbekugol, Mining and Survey Bureau, etc. In 1948 the name of A.S. Popov stood in the same line with the names of the internationally recognized scientists in mining, such as Academicians of the USSR Academy of Sciences A. A. Skochinsky (1874–1960), A. M. Terpigorev (1873–1959) and L. D. Shevaykov (1889–1963), and was invited to Alma-Ata, to the Kazakh Mining and Metallurgy Institute where the Stratified Deposit Mining Department was founded. That was the time when his pedagogical talent was revealed and let Popov to prepare thousands of mining engineers and around 100 of candidates and doctors of sciences in engineering. Many of his disciples became academicians and scientific prizewinners, including Academicians of the Kazakhstan Academy of Sciences (Kazakh SSR) Sh. A. Altaev, O. A. Baikonurov, Sh. A. Balgozhin, R. R. Bayan, Zh. S. Erzhanov, D. A. Kunaev, A. Ch. Musin and S. A. Saginov, as well as Dr. Sci. A. M. Beysebaev, V. A. Brenner, Z. K. Kargazhanov, O. V. Kim, M. M. Mukushev, A. D. Spitsyn and V. Sh. Sharipov. Professor Alexander S. Popov became Academician of the Kazakh SSR Academy of Sciences in 1954 and was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1961.

keywords A. S. Popov, scientist and miner, research area, technical and economic analysis, Kursk Magnetic Anomaly, theory and practice

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