Ivan Filippovich Obraztsov was a Soviet and Russian scientist in the field of structural mechanics and the strength of aircraft, statesman and public figure, organizer of higher and secondary special education. He was a full member (academician) of the USSR Academy of Sciences (then RAS) since 1974, Doctor of Technical Sciences. He was the Director, Rector of MAI (1958-1972), Minister of Higher and Secondary Special Education of the RSFSR (1972-1990), laureate of the Lenin Prize, the USSR State Prize and the USSR Council of Ministers Prize. He was a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR and a People’s Deputy of the USSR. Ivan Filippovich Obraztsov was born on July 28, 1920 in the village of Byki in the Maksatikhinsky district of the Tver region in a peasant family. After finishing school, he entered Leningrad Automobile Institute (transformed into an aviation institute in 1941). With the beginning of the Great Patriotic War in June 1941, he voluntarily joined the 68th Fighter Battalion and participated in the battles near the Chudovo station, the Leningrad region. By the decision of the State Defence Committee in September 1941, all students of institutes providing training for the defence industries were recalled from the front to continue their studies. Ivan Filippovich Obraztsov, who returned from the front in early 1942, was sent to MAI, which at that time was evacuated to Alma-Ata. After the successful graduation of MAI in 1944 Ivan Filippovich Obraztsov stayed to work at the Institute. There he passed all the stages of teaching: an assistant, senior lecturer, associate professor, professor, head of the department. Already in 1949 I. F. Obraztsov successfully defended his PhD thesis, in 1957 he became a doctor of Technical Sciences, and in 1958 he was awarded the academic title of professor. Ivan Filippovich was the successor of the school of corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences V. Z. Vlasov and made a significant personal contribution both to the development of his ideas and methods, and to their introduction into the educational process and engineering and aviation practice. In 1956, I. F. Obraztsov, at the age of thirty-six, became the Dean of the Faculty of Aircraft Engineering, where his predecessors in this post were such famous aircraft designers as N. N. Polikarpov, P. D. Grushin, A. S. Yakovlev, V. M. Myasishchev. In 1958 he was appointed as the director (and since 1961 – rector) MAI and he worked at this post until 1972. During this time, under the leadership of Ivan Filippovich Obraztsov, MAI received the status of not only an aviation, but also a rocket and space university, training specialists in the entire spectrum of specialties in these industries. In these years the task of turning MAI into a technical university was proclaimed exemplary for the first time, the first significant steps in this direction were made. Recognition of scientific merits of Ivan Filippovich Obraztsov was his election as a corresponding member (1966), and in 1974 – a full member (academician) of the USSR Academy of Sciences. February 18, 1972, taking into account the successful and fruitful work as the rector of the MAI, I. F. Obraztsov was appointed to the post of Minister of Higher and Secondary Special Education of the RSFSR, which he remained until 1990. He was a candidate for membership in the Central Committee of the CPSU (1981-1990). He was the Deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR (1967-1989), People’s Deputy of the USSR (1989-1991). Working as a minister, Academician Obraztsov continued his scientific activity. In 1982-1992, he served as the Chairman of the Russian National Committee for Theoretical and Applied Mechanics of the USSR Academy of Sciences. In 1986-2004 he was the Chairman of the Scientific Council of the Russian Academy of Sciences on the mechanics of structures made of composite materials, and in 1996-2005 he was the Adviser to the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences. I. F. Obraztsov was the editor-in-chief of the journal “Izvestia RAS. Solid State Mechanics” since 1988. On the initiative of Academician Obraztsov, the Institute of Applied Mechanics of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IPRIM RAS) was established in 1989. Ivan Filippovich Obraztsov became the director and organizer of the Institute and led it until 1998. Ivan Filippovich Obraztsov was the creator and organizer of a major project to create a spaceplane – a reusable transport air-space vehicle of universal use (MTVKA-U). In the early 1990s, prominent scientists, design engineers from TsNIIMash, TsAGI, GOSNIIAS were involved in the work on the project by Ivan Filippovich Obraztsov. The project was developed at IPRIM RAS. The projected spaceplane was a hypersonic vehicle designed for ground-based horizontal launch and landing, capable of functioning according to single-stage and two-stage schemes, both in manned and unmanned versions.
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