“Metallurgy has Never Been an Easy Profession!”: SUSU Graduate Georgiy Tselykh


One of the divisions of South Ural State University is the Polytechnic Institute. Annually, hundreds of specialists, ready to work in factories and combines for our city and region, graduate from the institute’s technical programs.

We spoke with Georgiy Tselykh, graduate of the Faculty of Metallurgy and head of the office of aftersale services at ChMK PAO, and found out what his career as a metallurgist began with and what stages he had to go through to achieve his position.

– Why did you choose SUSU for the future profession of metallurgist? What department/program did you study in and in what year did you graduate?

– I chose my profession from the experience of my parents, who worked at Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant (ChMK), but while studying in school I went to steel-smelting shops and spoke with the steel founders and masters. Their work really impressed me. Our family is tied to the plant for many generations. My grandma, working at Chelyabgipromez, led the design of the power building for ChMK’s L.D. plant, for which she received a Lenin Prize.

My father worked at KKTs as the deputy shop foreman, then deputy chief power engineer, and my mother as the head of the bureau of the Design and Estimate Department.

I enrolled in Chelyabinsk Polytechnical Institute in the Faculty of Metallurgy in the Ferrous Metals Metallurgy program, and graduated from Chelyabinsk State Technical University in 1994. Immediately after graduating university, almost all of the graduating class who studied in the military department were taken in to the army as lieutenants.

– What knowledge from university courses became most helpful to you in your work?

– In 1996, returning from the army, I got a job at the ChMK L.D. plant as a furnace helper, then I worked as a master, senior master, deputy shop foreman, head of the Electric-Furnace Melting Shop #2, and head steelworker.

For understanding the processes occurring in the metallurgical machines, knowledge from physical chemistry was helpful on the first day. For this I say thank you to professors Vladimir Shishkov, Yuri Kuznetsov, and Grigoriy Ryss. And of course, the special professional knowledge - the equipment and the theory of smelting in steelmaking machines and electric furnace and converters. To this day at work, I keep lectures from Oleg Tokovoy and Yuri Gudim, and once a year, to this day, I must glance at them.

Further, in working as the deputy shop foreman I needed knowledge about metallurgical science, and once again the lectures and textbooks helped me remember what we learned at the institute.

– Why is this profession interesting to you? What are it’s unique features or difficulties?

– The metallurgical profession was always difficult physical work, high temperatures, and dustiness. Of course, now, there is a lot of new equipment, the controls are equipped with air conditioning, but the physical labor hasn’t disappeared.

It is interesting, working in leading positions, to work on the development of manufacturing, develop new technologies, and master smelting, ladle refining, and casting new stamps. Sometimes by the type of slag or steel temperature, you have to understand what processes have occurred in the metal, which elements have oxidized, which have restored. It is especially difficult to work with steels where they use many elements for alloying, here the knowledge and experience of the steelmaker or master decides a lot.

This is why I have tried to pass many university graduates working as deputies or shop chiefs through myself. I check their knowledge on the basics of metallurgy, and if someone has not learned something or forgotten it, I have to make him get a textbook and remember the necessary knowledge.

We organize courses for increasing qualifications for masters and steelmakers, and invite professors and specialists from SUSU, but mostly professors with good experience working with combines, who have worked in the steel metallurgy department previously.

– What is metallurgy? What different kinds of metallurgy are there? Which of them have you had to work with, and which have you not yet worked with?

– I began working in the L.D. plant. When I began working, the plant had 3 converters and poured killed, semikilled, and open steel in the pouring areas.

From 2002, large-scale reconstruction of the plant began, and they built the first Ladle-furnace installation. I was the senior installation master for the building and launch of it. Launching the installation, I had to remember my electric metallurgy lectures, how electro-arcs burn, and how this affects slag. In 2004 we launched the first continuous-casting machine and the second Ladle-furnace installation. The launch of the CCM was difficult since we didn’t have experience working with CCM or experience preparing metals with ladle refining for open jet pouring at the combine. But over the course of a year, specialists of the plant and the Research and Technology Center of the combine made changes to the techniques of smelting steel with ladle treatment, and pouring with open jets on the CCM was not an issue for us.

Working as the head of the Electric-Furnace Melting Shop #2 I had to deeply study the work of open arc steel smelting furnaces. At that time there was no description and theory of the work of electric furnaces with oxygen lancing and using liquid iron in the textbooks, so we adopted the experience of specialists working in the combine. At the same time, changes in the charge materials, increased percentage of the use of cast iron led us to need to make serious changes in smelting techniques.

– Do you celebrate Metallurgists’ Day? Maybe there is a special event held at work?

– Yes, we definitely celebrate this holiday at work. We usually organize special events, awards ceremonies, and prizes for the workers and management who deserve it. And the finale of the ceremonies is a concert at the ChMK stadium in the O.I. Tishenko Park of Culture.


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