Dedication to the mental activity

Viktor Lvovych Kyrpychov was an ideologist and a creator of the Russian Empire's higher technical educational system, a founder and the first Director of Kharkiv and Kyiv Polytechnic Institutes, a Chairman of the Construction Commission and «the best lecturer» of St. Petersburg Polytechnic Institute; a founder of the Scientific School of Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering, which many world-famous scientists graduated from; one of the hundred outstanding Ukrainians ever; Chairman of the All-Russian Union of engineers and technicians (the first trade Union in Russia). For 45 years he was engaged in scientific and pedagogical work, teaching thousands of specialists, most of them became great scientists, engineers and leaders. From Professor D. S. Zernov’s point of view, the engineering world of Russia saw him as a leader.

V. L. Kyrpychov was the first scientist who suggested the similarity theory of physical processes and developed the similarity conditions for elastic phenomena.

On July 3, 1885, V. L. Kyrpychov was appointed as Director of Kharkiv Practical Technological Institute (KhPTI), the second in the Russian Empire.

V. L. Kyrpychov created the Model Higher Technical School at KhPTI. For the first time, the principles of higher technical education laid by him were fundamental and logical, because they were based on a thorough synthesis of various systems for training specialists in Europe and America. V. L. Kyrpychov developed the ideology of integrated and multi-sided training of engineers. Establishing the Institute, for the first time in Russia, he applied a new progressive approach to the formation of the educational process, which harmoniously combined theoretical and practical trainings, laboratory practicals and workshop practice. Formation of the teaching staff, development of the curriculum, organizing and equipping laboratories became the most important thing for V. L. Kyrpychov. This work was facilitated by the fact that V. L. Kyrpychov had close ties with the scientific community. He had a keen scent for the student's gift as a teacher and scientist.

V. L. Kyrpychov sought to apply new mathematical and physical methods for complex technical problems solving and sought to use engineering approaches in setting up a scientific experiment. He worked towards the highest level of teaching mathematics, as the foundation for all sciences. Kyrpychov was one of the most active participants and a companion (Vice-Chairman) of the Kharkiv Mathematical Society (KhMS) which turned into an internationally recognized scientific center.

In 1888 V. L. Kyrpychov received the title of honorary member of the Moscow Polytechnic Association along with P. L. Chebyshov, I. O. Vyshnehradskyi, D. I. Mendeleev and others.

At the institute, V. L. Kyrpychov prepared and lectured a number of training courses from 1886 to 1898: strength of materials, graphic statics, machine parts, thermodynamics, theoretical mechanics, etc. In 1897 V. L. Kyrpychov's textbook «Osnovaniya graficheskoy statiki» [Graphic statics fundamental principles] was published in Kharkiv. The first typographic edition of the famous textbook by V. L. Kyrpychov «Soprotivleniye materialov. Chast I. Ucheniye o prochnosti postroyek i mashin» [Strength of Materials. Part I. The doctrine of the structures and machines strength] was published in 1898 in Kharkiv. This work became a handbook of many students and engineers generations. V. L. Kyrpychov was the author of well-known scientific and pedagogical papers: «Lishniye neizvestnye v stroitelnoy mekhanike» [Redundant unknowns in structural mechanics], «Detali mashin» [Machine parts], etc., which were used by several generations of students and engineers. The sixth edition of V. L. Kyrpychov's book «Besedy o mekhanike» [Conversations about mechanics] was published in the series «Fiziko-matematicheskoye naslediye» [Physical and mathematical heritage] 101 years after the first one.

The groundwork for the largest Scientific School of Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering was laid at the institute at that time. The leading figure of the Scientific School was its leader — V. L. Kyrpychov, an outstanding and reputable scientist, who generated relevant ideas (new fields of research) and rallied like-minded followers and their students around him. In the activities of V. L. Kyrpychov's scientific school, such functions as production of new scientific knowledge and training of gifted scientists and specialists were implemented.

From the beginning, V. L. Kyrpychov organized his activities on the close links between science and industry. This was a new step in comparison with the system of engineering personnel training abroad.

Kyrpychov purchased the steam turbine, invented by the Swedish engineer Laval, presented at the exhibition for the first time. This was the first steam turbine in Russia. In the future, V. M. Makovskyi, his student, a graduate of KhPTI, was Rector of Dnipropetrovsk Mining Institute (the predecessor of National Mining University and the National Metallurgical Academy of Ukraine), founder of the Department of Turbine Construction at Kharkiv Mechanical and Machine Engineering Institute and the first gas turbine laboratory in the USSR, Chairman of the Ukrainian SETS (Scientific Engineering and Technical Society) of power industry. Industrial Energy Institute, Turbine Plant, the Energy Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Problems of Mechanical Engineering of the NAS of Ukraine were founded in Kharkiv. Kharkiv became the largest center of power mechanical engineering.

The station for testing of agricultural machines at KhPTI was the first in the Russian Empire. It was opened 18 years earlier than the station of V. P. Horiachkin, honorary academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences and academician of the Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VASKhNIL) at Moscow Agricultural Institute. The Department laid the basis allowed Kharkiv to become the largest center of agricultural mechanical engineering.

V. L. Kyrpychov was one of the founders of the South Russian Society of Technologists, which aimed to promote the development of science, technology and industry, and was its Chairman from 1895 to 1898. The members of the society were mainly scientists, lecturers and graduates of KhPTI. The potential of KhTI turned out to be so enormous that later a dozen of new institutions separated from it, and it continued to exist independently and develop as the largest University in Eastern Ukraine.

He wanted engineers studied at KhPTI to be scientists, technical experts and industrial production organizers. A number of V. L. Kyrpychov's students wrote their names in history of science, technology and culture.

The establishment of Kyiv Mechanical Scientific School was directly associated with the creation of the Department of Strength of Materials in KPI and the activities of Professor V. L. Kyrpychov. A pleiad of mechanicians grew professionally and worked at the Department. Each of them made a great contribution to various branches of deformable solid body mechanics through their scientific studies. Among them were Academicians of the USSR Academy of Sciences: O. M. Dynnyk, S. P. Tymoshenko; Academicians of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine: F. P. Bieliankin, M. M. Davydenkov, A. D. Kovalenko, M. V. Kornoukhov, A. O. Lebediev, V. V. Matvieiev, M. V. Novikov, Ye. O. Paton, S. V. Serensen, K. K. Syminskyi, H. Y. Sukhomel, V. T. Troshchenko; Corresponding Members of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine: B. M. Horbunov, I. Ya. Shtaierman, V. O. Stryzhalo, A. Ya. Krasovskyi, etc.

S. Yu. Vitte having high regard for V. L. Kyrpychov's executive talent, appointed him as the Chairman of the Construction Commission to complete the construction of SPbPI in early 1903. The group of buildings and the park of Saint Petersburg State Technical University was included by the Office of the State Inspection and Protection of Historic and Cultural Monuments of Saint Petersburg to the «List of historical and cultural heritage objects of federal significance» approved by the Russian Federation Presidential decree No. 176 of 20.02.1995, and «is part of the most valuable cultural heritage sites of the peoples of the Russian Federation as a complex of historical, cultural, architectural ensembles and structures and as a natural and landscape monument which represents material, intellectual and artistic values in terms of the history, culture, architecture, science and art».

At the end of 1903, V. L. Kyrpychov became the first lecturer of applied and structural mechanics at SPbPI and gave a course of lectures for students of three technical departments. V. L. Kyrpychov became the initiator and ideologist of creation of new departments of SPbPI — engineering and construction and mechanical.

The best-known scientist V. L. Kyrpychov, in fact, was the Head of St. Petersburg Mechanicians School, which was concentrated mainly in SPbPI. O. M. Krylov and K. P. Boklevskyi, scientists and shipbuilders, joined the community of mechanicians.

In 1903, V. L. Kyrpychov was the founder and for ten years, the Head of the scientific and technical club of lecturers of theoretical and applied mechanics, strength of materials, thermodynamics, etc., where various problems of mechanics and allied sciences were creatively discussed (where creative discussion of various problems of mechanics and allied sciences was conducted). Similar seminars were considered the basis of internationally recognized scientific schools.

V. L. Kyrpychov could provide real assistance to his students, as he was an influential man in the Educational Department of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, which controlled all Polytechnic institutes of the Russian Empire.

V. L. Kyrpychov was among the first Russian scientists to introduce the engineering kinematics and statics graphical analytic methods, the template methods, methods of real and false velocity and accelerator diagrams for invariable and similarly variable systems to the educational system, to improve and popularize the «rigid lever» method and to study the machines movement.

V. L. Kyrpychov was the first scientist in Russia to apply an optical stress analysis method. He was the author of a special method of space trusses calculation by using the so-called stereographic projection.

In 1917, a collection of Kyrpychov's works was published in Petrograd, edited by Yoffe, Radtsih and Tymoshenko, the closest like-minded colleagues to him. And here are the words of D. S. Zernov contained there: «We will all remember the charm of his personality for the rest of our lives. And after us — his name will pass to the later generation of engineers. Not only his works will be read by them as classic. Viktor Lvovych will live in grateful memory forever as the embodiment of an ideal, as a person who combined the power of scientific creative thought, high moral authority and impeccable community spirit in an amazing harmony».

V. L. Kyrpychov, a major organizer of the Higher Technical School, one of the founders and leading representatives of the new scientific field of theoretical mechanical engineering, was a true person of natural gifts who moved up the social ladder only because of his own talents and dedication to the universal human values.

V. L. Kyrpychov, the outstanding scientist and organizer, took an active part in the establishment of Polytechnic institutes in Kharkiv, Riga, Tomsk, Kyiv and St. Petersburg, creating the preconditions for the formation of large research centers where scientists and engineers studied or taught. Later they had a strong influence on the world science and engineering education in emigration and founded Soviet research institutes on the pre-revolutionary groundwork.

The mechanics teaching methods developed by V. L. Kyrpychov, as well as his study guides were highly influential on the mechanicians and engineers training all over the world. He managed to achieve not only fundamental scientific results, but also to form new teaching methods and create textbooks focused on «bringing the mechanics teaching closer to the requirements of engineers», and later, thanks to his students, these textbooks became the basis of the educational process in Soviet and foreign engineering schools.

In the entrance hall of Rector's Building of the National Technical University «Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute» has installed a monument to V. L. Kyrpychov. There is also a memorial tablet to the founder of this far-famed University on the wall of the Main Classroom Building.

In his speech at the meeting of the Kharkiv branch of the Russian Technical Society on May 27, 1895, dedicated to the memory of his teacher I. O. Vyshnehradskyi, V. L. Kyrpychov emphasized: «In the scientific sphere, like in other areas of human spiritual activity, there is a heritage transfer of spiritual gifts from teacher to student, something like dedication to the mental activity.» V. L. Kyrpychov gained such experience from I. O. Vyshnehradskyi. Such parting request from V. L. Kyrpychov got S. P. Tymoshenko, D. S. Zernov, I. I. Bobarykov, B. H. Halorkin, O. M. Dynnyk, O. O. Radtsih, M. M. Davydenkov, L. M. Matsiievych, H. F. Burakov, P. M. Mukhachov, H. M. Khotkevych, M. I. Kartashov, V. M. Makovskyi, L. V. Assur and many others.

Much of the development of scientific schools of Polytechnic universities in Kharkiv, St. Petersburg and Kyiv and their worldwide authority were owed to V. L. Kyrpychov's activity. The Scientific School of Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering, founded by V. L. Kyrpychov, continues to operate successfully at the National Technical University «Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute». In the Soviet period, his research on dynamics and strength of machines were successfully continued by Filippov A. P., Pidhornyi A. M., Matsevytyi Yu. M., Academicians of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine; Maizel V. M., Bozhko O. Ye., Сorresponding Members of the Academy of Sciences of USSR; Babakov I. M., Bohomolov S. I., Burlakov A. V., Holoskokov Ye. H., Bortovyi V. V., Volmyr A. S., Dabahian A. V., Ilovaiskyi O. S., Skramtaiev B. H., Vorobiov Yu. S., Kantor B. Ya., Simson E. A., Shulzhenko M. H., Honored Workers of Higher School, Science and Technology, Laureates of State Prizes; Serebrovskyi V. M., Stoliarov Ya. V., Blokh V. I., Shteinvolf L. I., Karaban V. M., Zhovdak V. O., Lavinskyi V. I., Lvov H. I., Morachkovskyi O. K., Breslavskyi D. V., Professors, and many others.

In tribute to the memory of this Man, Teacher and Scientist, who «created engineering as a science», the National Technical University «Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute» holds annual scientific «Kyrpychovski chytannia» [Kyrpychov’s readings].