Baikonurov Omirkhan Aimagambetovich

(14.09.1912 - 15.03.1980)

He was born on September 14, 1912 in the village of Somka (now the Ulutau state farm) of the Ulytau district of the Dzhezkazgan region in the family of a poor peasant who worked as a metallurgist at the Karsakpai, Shymkent and Karaganda metallurgical plants from 1925 to the end of his life.

Baikonurov O.A. graduated from the Kazakh primary school in the village.

From 1931 to 1932, he studied at the Federal State Educational Institution (Factory School), from which he graduated in May 1932 with a degree in Drilling foreman. Specialists of the enterprise were invited to conduct classes at the school, among whom was the future first president of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR Satpayev K.I. – at that time the chief geologist of the plant. The meeting with this outstanding man determined the main direction of Baikonurov’s activity.

Baikonurov O.A. began his career at the construction of the Karsakpai Copper Plant, the firstborn of non–ferrous metallurgy of the USSR: from 1927 to 1930 he worked as an apprentice carpenter at the construction of the Karsakpai copper smelter. In 1932-1933, under the leadership of K.I. Satpayev, he worked in the Geological Department of the Karsakpai Copper Plant as a senior collector.

In Karsakpai, while working at a factory, he continued his studies at school on the job. In 1933, the Karsakpai Copper Combine and the district committee sent him to study at the Semipalatinsk Geological Exploration Institute. But due to the illness of his father, who worked at the Shymkent lead plant at that time, Baikonurov was forced to stay in Shymkent, where he worked as a draftsman-designer of the mechanical workshop of the Shymkent Lead Plant (ChSZ).

On the recommendation of K.I. Satpayev, the ChSZ Party Committee in 1934 sent Baikonurov to study in Alma-Ata, where, until the end of 1935, he studied at preparatory courses, and then entered the Kazakh Mining and Metallurgical Institute (now K.I. Satpayev Kazakh National Technical University), which he graduated in June 1940 in as a mining engineer specializing in the development of mineral deposits.

After graduating from the institute in June 1940, O.A. Baikonurov received a referral to his native Dzhezkazgan. Having started his career as a shift foreman, he passed all the stages of administrative and engineering activities. Until 1941, he worked as a shift supervisor at mine No. 31, head of mine No. 32, and then head of mine No. 13. In November 1943, he was appointed head of the mine department “31-32”, where he worked until 1952.

In October 1952, O.A. Baikonurov was appointed director of the Kazakh Mining and Metallurgical Institute, which in 1960 was reorganized into the Polytechnic, of which he worked as rector until June 1962. In May 1962, he was elected academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR and at the same time – academician-secretary.

In 1964, he was transferred to the Kazakh Polytechnic Institute, where he worked until the end of his life as head of the Department of Technology and Integrated Mechanization of mining.

Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR (now the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan), Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor Baikonurov Omirkhan Aimagambetovich is an outstanding scientist–encyclopedist in the field of mining, whose fundamental works have been widely recognized by the world scientific community, a major mining engineer and organizer of production, a brilliant teacher and educator of students, a prominent public figure, propagandist of knowledge, patriot of his Homeland, disciple and associate of the great K.I. Satpayev.

The beginning of the young mining engineer’s career took place during the difficult years of the Great Patriotic War. He was tasked with restoring the old mine No. 13, which had been abandoned by the British before the revolution. Time required to increase the mining front and the volume of copper ore extraction quickly and at low cost. Extremely stressful days and sleepless nights of labor and search came: the organization of labor was thought out, new work schedules were drawn up, existing mechanisms were widely used. The search for engineer Baikonurov was crowned with success. Under his leadership, surface structures, a mine shaft and underground workings were restored. Here, the young specialist proved himself to be a knowledgeable, proactive engineer who knows how to apply new methods of mining. And after three or four months, the country began to receive new hundreds of tons of copper, which the military industry needed so much. The feat of mining engineer A.O. Baikonurov in achieving victory over Nazi Germany is invaluable!

As a result of the measures taken, mine management No. 31-32 began to exceed the state plan a year later and won the passing banner. The Dzhezkazgan copper Plant won the Red Banner of the USSR State Defense Committee 16 times, which was left for eternal storage in Dzhezkazgan. Since that time, it has been an advanced enterprise of the combine for 10 years, where new mining methods have been constantly tested. So, in Zhezkazgan, Baikonurov carried out work on the organization of high-speed sinking of workings, mechanization of sinking and cleaning operations. For the first time, powerful 2- and 3-drum scraper rigs were widely used in mines, self-propelled drilling, loading and delivery machines were tested. A self-propelled drilling carriage and an electric dump truck were lowered into the mine, which were designed by the mine’s forces under the leadership of O.A. Baikonurov.

Baikonurov O.A., as a professional mining engineer, made a significant contribution to the development and updating of all technological processes, starting from drilling and blasting operations and ending with the improvement of the development system for various conditions of occurrence and capacities of the ore body. All the work he did served as the basis for his PhD thesis, which he defended on-the-job in 1951. The results of the work were implemented in production. The scientific supervisor of the dissertation was a prominent scientist in the field of mining, academician A.S. Popov. During this period, O.A. Baikonurov. He proposed a new version of the open face system, called by him “A chamber-column development system with a combined soil-ceiling excavation with advanced deep drilling of wells.” The proposed system was tested by the USSR State Technical Committee with the issuance of an author’s certificate (No. 11697).

In 1959, O.A. Baikonurov was awarded the academic title of professor in the department of “Development of ore deposits”. The main scientific activity is aimed at improving the systems of mining by underground and open-pit methods.

Omirkhan Aimagambetovich was ahead of his time in many ways. He understood perfectly well that Kazakhstan is a developing republic, which will need specialists of various profiles. As the head of the institute, Baikonurov contributed to the discovery of new, and the most necessary specialties for the country. Specialties appeared in KazGMI: “Construction”, “Architecture” and even “Oil business”, although Kazakhstan was not yet an oil power at that time. And he especially advocated for new specialties related to computing and computer science.

Academician O.A. Baikonurov, being the leader of the technical intelligentsia of Kazakhstan, made an invaluable contribution to the formation and development, professional growth of the technical elite of Kazakhstan. He was the initiator of the organization of branches and faculties of the Institute directly on the basis of large enterprises in Kazakhstan. At his insistence, the Mining Institute (1953) in Karaganda, the Ust-Kamenogorsk Road Construction Institute (1958), the Rudnensky Evening Faculty (1959), the evening Mechanical Engineering Faculty in Alma-Ata at the Kirov Plant (1962) and many other university structures were opened. Many of the above-mentioned institutions then received the status of universities.

Baikonurov O.A. has done a lot to transform the mono-directional institute into a polytechnic. Thanks to the efforts of Academician Baikonurov O.A., a completely new technical university has appeared in Kazakhstan, which has produced tens of thousands of specialists occupying key positions in science and industry in Kazakhstan. The day of KazPTI’s formation on July 8, 1960 entered the history of the university as a significant date.

In 1962, on the recommendation of the President of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR Satpayev K.I., Professor Baikonurov O.A. after the successful completion of the elections to the academicians, he was elected a full member and academician-secretary of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR. 

The scientist was constantly busy solving new theoretical problems. Laboratories of mining geophysics and dynamic photoelasticity were established at the Scientific Research Institute of Mining under his leadership. The study of the properties of the massif by studying the physical fields, fields of static and dynamic stresses that occur during mining operations, allows you to make the right choice of safe and effective parameters of technological processes.

Baikonurov successfully combined scientific and pedagogical work with active social activity, was elected deputy of the Supreme Council of the Kazakh SSR (1951-1954), deputy of the Almaty City Council, member of the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR, Board of MB and MTR of the Kazakh SSR, Chairman of the Central Council of the Society for Labor Protection, member of the Presidium of the society “Knowledge” of the Kazakh SSR, Bureau of the Department of Health Sciences The Universe and about the earth of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR, member of the Presidium of the Republican Scientific and Technical Society of Non-ferrous Metallurgy, Chairman of the mining section of the Scientific and Methodological Council of the MB and MTR of the Kazakh SSR, a member of the main editorial board of the Kazakh Soviet Encyclopedia, a member of the commission for the preparation of the draft Fundamentals of legislation of the USSR and the Union Republics on subsoil, a member of the Academic Council of the Kazakh Polytechnic Institute and the Institute of Mining of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR, etc.

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