Yu M Lakhtin 1910-95
The series comprised three lectures:
- First delivered at the 11th Congress in Florence in 1998 (Prof. T Bell, Birmingham University UK)
- Second delivered at the 7th Seminar in Budapest in 1999 (Prof. H-J Spies, TU Freiberg Germany)
- Third delivered at the 9th Seminar in Warsaw in September 2003 (Prof. V Ya Syropyatov, Polyteg-Met Russia)
The three Lakhtin Lecturers together in Warsaw in 2003; left to right: Syropyatov, Bell, Spies
Yu M Lakhtin: biographical note
Born in Moscow on 6 May 1910, he began the work for which he was to become famous in 1930, while still a student. In 1931, after graduation from the Institute of Gold and Non-Ferrous Metals, Lakhtin worked in production plants and research establishments of the Ministry of the Aviation Industry. From 1940 to 1942 he was Dean of the Faculty of Technology of the Moscow Institute of Aviation Technology and from 1942 to 1948 he held the chair of Heat Treatment of Metals at the Moscow Aviation Institute. From 1949 until the end of his life, Lakhtin worked at the Moscow Road Transport Institute; at first as Dean and then, for a period of thirty years, as Academic Vice-Rector of the Institute. In 1957 he founded and led the department 'Metals science and heat treatment'.
His contributions were wide ranging. His work on nitriding of steel was of fundamental importance, and in many ways made possible the introduction and application of this advanced process in the aviation industry and in many other branches of engineering. The basic principles on which the work was based are described in the books 'Physics of the nitriding process, 'Steel nitrogenation' and 'Steel nitriding'. Under his leadership, considerable progress was also made in the development of other technologies such as low-temperature nitrocarburising, gas boronising, nitriding of steels and alloys using glow discharge, high-temperature nitriding of heat-resistant steels and alloys, nitriding of high-melting point metals, sintered iron-based alloys, and electrolytic coating. He developed new procedures and test equipment for the nitriding process, the related automatic control equipment, and the basis for the mathematical modeling of diffusion processes in low-temperature thermochemical treatment.
Lakhtin also exerted a profound influence on the development of higher education in his country. For many years he was president of the Scientific Methods Council of the Ministry of Higher Educati on in the field of engineering materials technology and materials science. As a teacher, Lakhtin was responsible for the education of a very large number of engineers. Under his guidance, more than 60 graduates defended their dissertations and doctorate theses and many of those became national leaders in metals science.
Lakhtin published some 400 contributions to the literature including monographs and textbooks. The textbooks 'Engineering physical metallurgy and heat treatment' and 'Materials science', in particular, have seen widespread use in higher educational establishments in Russia and other CIS countries; translated into English, French, and Spanish they have also had extensive international exposure.
Lakhtin has more than 60 patents to his credit and his awards include the Gold and (twice) Silver Medals of the Exhibition of National Economic Achievement and the D K Chernov and N A Minkevich Prizes. Lakhtin's successful and fruitful work and his contributions to teaching were recognised by the award of national honours.
Over a period of more than forty years, Lakhtin was chairman of the section 'Metals Science and Heat Treatment' of the Central Directorate of NTO MASHPROM, was chairman of the Scientific Methods Council of the University for Technical Progress in Engineering, was a member of the Editorial Board of the journal 'Metals Science and Treatment’ (Metallovedeniye i termicheskaya obrabotka metallov), and was active in the publishing houses Mashinostroenie, Metallurgiya, and Mir. In 1994, in connexion with the reorganisation of NTO MASHPROM and the consequent foundation of the Russian Metallurgists Association (RASMET), he was elected Honorary President of the new body.
Lakhtin maintained a constant effort to present Russian science on the international stage in congresses, conferences, and symposia. Meetings of the IFHTSE were numbered among these and it is especially noteworthy that in Florence, at the 2nd Congress of IFHTSE in September 1982, he presented his paper on ‘Prospects for the development of the nitriding process’.
In the last year of his life and despite the poor state of his health, he continued his work and completed his last paper only a very short time before his death at the age of 86 on 28 September 1995; he is buried in the Vvedenskii Cemetery in Moscow.