Thursday, June 21, 2018

Yekaterinburg remembers Oleg Esin on 110th birthday

The city of Yekaterinburg included a biographical feature of Oleg Esin, the founder of the Ural Scientific School of Physical Chemistry of Metallurgical Melts, on its website this week to commemorate the 110th anniversary of his birth.

Esin was born September 7, 1904, in Yekaterinburg to a working-class family. His mother was a migrant farm worker and his father was a traveling salesman from St. Petersburg. Esin was raised almost entirely by his mother in a two-story home on Krasnoarmejsky Street, following his father's permanent return to St. Petersburg when he was five. His mother was able to support the family by renting out the first floor of their home, allowing Esin to attend private schools where he learned German, Greek and Latin, reports.

In 1920, Esin graduated from Ural State University where he received his technical training. Shortly after graduation, he enrolled in the university's chemistry and metallurgy graduate program to pursue doctoral studies in electrolysis chromate. Esin received his doctorate from what is now called Ural Polytechnic Institute in May of 1925.

Esin began his professional career as an intern in Germany for renown electrochemist Erich Mueller. Under Mueller, the young scientist explored the field of joint ion discharge and the theory of the electric double layer. From 1935 to 1940, Esin served as head of the Department of Physical Chemistry at the University of the Urals, according to

"[To] Esin we listened with pleasure," a statement from one of Esin's former students at University of the Urals said, reports. "In 1935, there were no textbooks full of electrochemistry. Therefore, [the] lectures Oleg prepared using the results of electrochemical studies, which were published in the Soviet and foreign journals. Because of this, students received a complete picture of the current state of theoretical electrochemistry and the issues that still need research. Material he expounded beautifully and clearly, wittily. When he saw that we were getting tired, distracted, he called a student to the board and ask something from this lesson."

Following his departure from the University of the Urals, Esin spent the remainder of his career as a scientist at the Pyshma Electrolytic Copper Plant. At the plant, he developed breakthrough processes that eliminated the marriage of bimetallic copper-iron which helped in the creation of copper powder tank and aircraft engines for the Soviet Union.

Esin died in 1979 and was posthumously awarded the USSR State Prize for his final academic paper on the study and interactions of metallurgical melts, according to reports.