Chemists know how the world is arranged

Today Russia celebrates the Day of the Chemist. This holiday was established to honor specialists who provide functioning of chemical industry. This is a perfect reason to remind everyone, what an important role chemistry plays in our life. We discussed this amazing science with Vyacheslav Avdin, the Dean of the Institute of Natural Sciences and Mathematics’ Faculty of Chemistry, Director of Nanotechnology Research and Education Center, Doctor of Chemistry, Professor of the Department of Ecology and Chemical Engineering.

– What knowledge and professional qualities should a chemist have?

– A chemist should understand how the world is arranged. In this part, the chemist’s objectives comply with the objectives of representatives of other natural sciences. The distinction of the chemist is in the fact that he must know how substances are arranged, how they interact with one another and what comes out of it. There is another expression of this same thought: the main goal of chemistry is finding the bond “structure – property”. In other words, its goal is to obtain new materials in all spheres: in physics, medicine, biology, etc. It is for a reason that M.V. Lomonosov said that chemistry widely covers humans’ lives. All subjects around us are products of chemical processing of natural raw material. Professional qualities of a chemist are the ability to find connection between structure and properties and then obtain necessary structures which would possess the required properties.

– Where are alumni of the Faculty of Chemistry in demand?

– In the 1990s – the beginning of the 2000s, many alumni had to work in the specialties they were not trained in because of economic situation. Therefore, there is a huge deficit of cadre who has proper education in the sphere of chemistry and related sciences (our Faculty performs training in practically all of them) at enterprises of the entire country. That is why our alumni are in-demand all around Russia (from Kaliningrad to Kamchatka) as well as all around the world (USA, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Finland, etc.). Among industrial giants of Chelyabinsk there are ChTPZ, ChTZ, Mechel, Metran, KONAR, etc.

– How is the Faculty going to celebrate its 11th anniversary?

– This isn’t a round anniversary, so I think we will celebrate it quietly. Moreover, ahead of us is the 75th anniversary of the university, and we all are working for the well-being of the entire university. Of course, we are going to congratulate students and Faculty staff, determine the best ones and reward them with honorary credentials.

– What achievement did the Faculty have in this academic year?

– Our achievements are connected with the goals that our leadership sets for us. One of the priorities is an increase in quantity and quality of publications. Last academic year, the mentioned indicator of the publications’ number in Scopus and Web of Science international databases increased two times. The quality was good as well. One of our colleagues who has the most high-quality publications – Igor Krivtsov – in 2017/18 years published 3 articles which are not just included in the Top-10 of Scopus and Web of Science databases but are holding first places in their ranking list.

Nowadays the Faculty of Chemistry, just like the entire university, is switching to project-based education. And even though such formalities as study plans and other documents are still applicable, the number of students involved into research groups of the international level, i.e. involved in projects, increases. The number of junior year students interested in project work increased as well. This makes us feel optimistic.

Tatiana Stroganova
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