Odd educational week


Saint-Petersburg State Institute of Technology
One of the most prestigious universities in Russia in the field of chemistry, chemical engineering, biotechnology, nanotechnology, engineering, information technology, management and economics. Russia's leading university is a modern training center of higher education.Founded in 1828.
ENHistory of St.Petersburg State Institute of Technology

History of St.Petersburg State Institute of Technology


History of the Saint-Petersburg State Institute of Technology

The Saint Petersburg State Technological Institute (Technical University) is one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions of higher education in Russia. Historically devoted to scholarly excellence, the university boasts an enduring tradition of scientific innovation and remarkable contributions to the world of science. The university has served as a nucleus for applied technical sciences in Russia for nearly 200 years now.

Today’s Technical University was founded on November 28, 1828 as Saint Petersburg Practical Technological Institute during the reign of Emperor Nicholas the I. To commemorate the emperor’s 100th birthday anniversary in 1896, nearly a century later, the institute was renamed in his honor as the Imperial Petersburg Institute of Technology. Before it came to be known by its current name of the Saint Petersburg State Technological Institute (SPSIT), the university’s name would change on many occasions, particularly during the Soviet era, mirroring epoch-making events in the history of the nation.




The institute’s grand opening took place on October 11, 1831. It first served as a boarding school for 132 government-appointed educatees all recruited from neighboring provinces. Its primary goal was to train competent factory managers who would later work in the industrial complexes in the Saint Petersburg area. Despite that, the institute also accepted students on a fee-paying basis. Since many of the students lacked previous education, the curriculum included a vast array of subjects ranging from theology, design and political theory to metallurgy, chemistry, mathematics, physics, mineralogy and accounting. Education at the institute included practical training operating locomotives and steam engines.

The mid-19th century abolition of serfdom in the Russian Empire as well as the burgeoning industrialization of the country necessitated the training of highly qualified specialists on a much bigger scale than before. Beside factory managers and rank-and-file technical operators, workforce productivity depended on engineers, machinery operators, technical instructors and other staff specializing in the minutiae of manufacturing.  In order to secure a body of trained personnel, in 1862 the institute was granted the status of institution of higher education. In the years to come, it would double and triple the number of students it accepted every year, and it would train them in a variety of specializations. By its 15th anniversary in 1878, the Institute had grown into a leading higher education facility, the source of numerous inventions and pioneering ideas in the area of technology.



Shifting the focus to the training of high-level cadres brought about many changes to the curriculum. The institute’s core divisions, the mechanical and chemical departments were created during that time which initiated the construction of modernized laboratory complexes and equipment.      




The chemical department was famously headed by one of the world’s top chemists in history Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleyev—the discoverer of the periodic law, creator of the periodic table of elements and author of The Principles of Chemistry. His direct successor was Friedrich Konrad Beilstein the world-renowned chemist and author of the seminal Handbook on Organic Chemistry. Other achievements of the chemical laboratory included unique developments of art glass, producing coatings for spaceship observation windows, commercial rubber blocks, as well as creating the first Soviet aluminum technology in 1929. Various anticancer and immune system medicines were developed in the laboratory, such as Dibazol, Vitamedin, Polyrem, Novoembikhin, Dopan.

In the 1930s and 1940s more departments would be added to train specialists in the fields of the technology of solids, explosives, jet fuel components, and nuclear engineering—a department organized by a distinguished professor K. A. Petrzhak

The SPSIT is proud of its eminent scholars and their invaluable contribution to the development of science. Among those most valued for their work are:

  • the Russian cement industry founder A.R Shuliachenko.,
  • the author of automatic control theory I.A. Vyshnegradsky,
  • the author of hydrodynamic theory of lubrication N.P. Petrov,
  • the founder of cracking processes A.A. Letniy,
  • the author of processes and apparatuses in the chemical engineering doctrine A.K. Krupsky,
  • the organic chemistry national school founder A.E. Favorsky,
  • the artificial rubber industrial engineering and production creators S.V. Lebedev and B.V. Byzov,
  • the Russian electrochemistry and electrometallurgy school founder P.P. Fedotiev,
  • the electronic television originator B.L. Rosing,
  • the acetylene chemistry school founder A.A Petrov,
  • the Russian electrothermics school founder M.S. Maximenko.

Some of our eminent alumni include:

  • the aeromobile and aerosleigh creators Y. Maxarev and B. Kuznetsov,
  • one of the American Television founders V.K. Zvorykin,
  • the creator of the new metallurgy and metallography school D.K. Tchernov,
  • the first laureate of the Russian Ludwig Nobel Prize A.I. Stepanov,
  • the Soviet dye-making and dye-using industries founder A.E. Porai-Koshitz,
  • the physics national school creator A.F. Yoffe,
  • the high-frequency industrial electronics creator V.P. Vologdin,
  • the founder of the modern science of metals D.K. Chernov.

It is noteworthy to mention that the institute’s collective flair for innovation and adaptability allowed its scientists and students to contribute greatly to the war effort during World War II. Despite wartime conditions, the staff continued their work in the institute’s workshops and laboratories creating technologies not only to aid the military, but also to save lives in the besieged Leningrad. As professor Mendeleyev once said, What has been sown for the field of science will grow up for the people's welfare.



Some of those inventions were anti-personnel mines, powder for phone’s diaphragm, smolder matches, anesthetic ether and powdered iron. A well-known processes and apparatuses expert, Romankov, developed a soymilk production technology that saved many children from famine during the blockade. A.K. Silnitsky developed industrial methods of local fuel combustion, which made bread making possible despite shortages of power. Another significant contribution to the country’s defense was the creation and development of rocket propellants and engines by V.S. Shpak and E.A. Sivolodsky. National prize laureates S.V. Golubkov and B.V. Gidaspov designed a technology of energy-stored organic and nonorganic compounds.



Since its inception, whether it was due to the developing industrialization, the looming revolutions or the two world wars, the institute had to innovate and adapt continually. For this reason, on a par with its well-documented history of scientific progress, the SPSIT enjoys a rich architectural history as well. First designed by the architect A. I. Postnikov between 1829 and 1831 and spread on an area of nearly 32 thousand square meters, the structure would be continuously redesigned and enlarged to include new building units. Mid-19th century brought about many expansions as new wings were incorporated to house modernized laboratories and equipment. Subsequent additions included building infrastructure such as central heating and ventilation, as well as new cultural and spiritual segments such as the museum and a chapel. In the 20th century more focus was on modernizing equipment, adding lecture halls, and housing students—a trend that continued throughout the 90s when many new facilities, dormitories and scientific lab units were built.     

Today, the SPSIT takes great pride in its history. The pentagon-shaped building of the institute with its characteristically light-beige façade is situated in the historical center of Saint Petersburg. Numerous monuments and commemorative plaques have been established around the premises in order to tell about the remarkable deeds of the past. The institute’s museum founded in 1850 now stores over 15 thousand exhibits and items, many of them unique specimens and industrial prototypes, documenting the history of science through the discoveries and inventions of our accomplished colleagues.The elaborate and unique architecture of the institute is yet another way to chart its history of vigorous development. As of 2001, the SPSIT is registered as an object of historical and cultural heritage of federal significance 















































Written by  | K2_CREATED_ON Thursday, 11 April 2013 13:34 | Last modified on Tuesday, 16 February 2021 14:53


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