Professor Dmitrii Nikolaevich Garkunov

For his achievements in tribology, especially in the fields of selective transfer and of metal hydrogen wear.

Professor Garkunov was born on 24th November 1919 in the village of Rožki in the Kirov district of Russia. In 1941 he graduated from the Physo-Mathematical Faculty of the Tomsk State University, his special subject being metal physics. He continued his studies at the Zhukovskii Air Force Engineering Academy and he received his doctorate in 1962. After graduation and until 1970 he worked in the Aviation Research Institute. His research was on problems of improving the wear resistance and lifetime of aircraft parts.

Since 1970 he has lectured on problems of tribology and materials science in the Gomel State University, the Russian Academy of Consumer Service, the Moscow Agro Engineering Institute and other Institutes. He is at present a Professor of the Russian Academy of Quality Problems.

Professor Garkunov’s scientific ideas were new and original. He is the founder of a new direction in tribology, based on two discoveries. They are the “No-wear effect” (selective transfer phenomena) and the phenomenon of hydrogen wear of metals. The early stages (1956) of his work were in conjunction with Tribology Gold Medallist, the late Professor I.V. Kragelski.

The explanation of the no wear effect mechanism is understood to be a principle of the evolution of biological systems (from chaos to spontaneous self-organisation) which has found its counterpart in the inanimate tribological system, in which a “self-ordered structure is built from chaos and a lack of thermodynamic equilibrium is the origin of order”.

His inventions have found wide application in aviation technology and in light and heavy, as well as chemical industries, agriculture and others, increasing service life, reliability and reduction of lubricants and yielding considerable economic benefits.

Since 1969 Professor Garkunov has made significant contributions in the educational field. He was the first to develop a course in “Tribology Essentials” viz: friction, wear and lubrication and the physiochemical mechanisms of selective transfer (no wear effect). He was the first in the then USSR to publish a textbook on Tribology.

His article on “Stages of teaching of tribology” in 1974 was printed in 1.5 million copies and his book “Tribotechnology – a designer’s manual” is recommended for students of higher technical colleges and universities. In addition, and to inform and reach a wide audience, Prof. Garkunov made three popular science films on scientific and technological achievements of tribology.

Prof. Garkunov is author and co-author of more than 200 publications, including 8 manuals, personally written by him, nearly all on his scientific discoveries “The No-Wear Effect” and “Metal Hydrogen” wear. He has published 10 books, 150 scientific papers and articles and holds 15 patents. He is scientific advisor to several industrial undertakings.

Professor Garkunov has received many recognitions of his achievements and the valuable impact on science and technology. Amongst these are:

• The Achievement Prize of the Government of the Russian Federation (2002)
• The Russian Federation President Prize (2003)

He is now a member of the Russian Academy of Quality Problems and an Honorary Academician of the Russian Academy of Engineers.

Prof. Garkunov has been described as a scientist and man having an outstanding personality, formed by his ethical, moral and humanitarian basis who, in addition to his outstanding scientific work has, during the major part of his life, been engaged in cultural, social and philosophical problems for the benefit of fellow human beings.

Dmitrii Nikolaevich Garkunov is indeed a worthy recipient of Tribology’s Highest Honour for 2005: The Tribology Gold Medal.