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The road through two world wars

The hero of the next publication of the series "The Scientific Regiment" is the founder of the national road science, Professor Nikolai Ivanov, who created the foundation for almost all areas of research of the road industry in Russia. This is a scientist of world renown, a man of wide scientific erudition, a major specialist in the field of general and special road soil science, as well as soil mechanics.

The whole life of the honored worker of science and technology of the RSFSR, twice the winner of the State Prizes, Professor Ivanov was devoted to the development of road science, training of engineering staff for construction of roads. For many years he was the head of the department of construction and operation of roads at the Moscow Automobile and Road Institute.

Nikolay Nikolayevich Ivanov was born in 1888 in St. Petersburg in the family of a doctor. As a young man he decided to link his life with the profession of road engineer, and stood at its very origins. At that time the number of cars in Russia did not exceed a few hundred. The fact of driving from Moscow to Tambov or from Yekaterinburg to Kazan was worthy of coverage in Automobile magazine, the crushed stone highway was considered perfect, and the press was debating whether it was better to build cobblestone streets alone.

Having received his secondary education in a gymnasium, Nikolai Ivanov entered St. Petersburg Institute of Railway Engineers and graduated from it on the eve of the First World War, in 1912.

After graduation, the young engineer went to Turkestan to study water reservoirs in the upper Syr-Darya. There he was charged with mastering the newly appeared Zeiss instruments for ground stereometric mapping. As a result of his work, Ivanov prepared his first scientific work "Stereo photogrammetry and its application in soil reclamation", which for a long time was the only manual on ground-based stereo photogrammetric mapping.

By the will of fate Nikolai Ivanov had to become not only a witness, but also a participant of the most epochal and severe upheavals in modern history. At the age of 26 he went to the front of World War I, served in the engineering corps, built roads and fortifications.

Between the two world wars, Nikolai Ivanov worked actively. In 1924 in Leningrad was organized the country's first center of problems of road construction - the Road Research Bureau at the Leningrad Department of Local Communications (later the SoyuzDorNII). Nikolay Nikolaevich led there studies of mechanical properties of soils and methods of road pavement construction, innovatively combining engineering technologies with the achievements of the Russian school of soil science.

Nikolay Ivanov developed the theory of optimal mixture design and developed the engineering classification of soils. This research promoted him to the first ranks of specialists in soil mechanics. The results of his research are reflected in his monograph "Construction Properties of Soils" and in the first Russian textbook "Road Soil Science and Soil Mechanics," written in co-authorship with Professor V. V. Okhotin. In 1931 Nikolay Ivanov developed the original course "Soil Roads," summarizing his experience in profiling unpaved roads.

Professor Ivanov developed the first classification of improved roads and proposed a method of selection of asphalt mixtures. His book "Black Roads" became the first monograph in the country on the use of organic binders in road construction and formed the basis of the manual "Road Construction", which had several editions.

In 1936 Nikolay Ivanov headed the research department of the Moscow-Minsk highway construction management and was deeply engaged in solving problems of stability of roadbed on the marshes. He proposed a method of standard compaction of soils and developed the first requirements for their density in the roadbed.

At the same time Nikolay Nikolayevich led theoretical and experimental research on the study of the work of roadways under the influence of static and moving loads. In 1941 he proposed the "Method of calculation of non-rigid Dorniya pavements," which was known worldwide as the Method of Professor Ivanov. The method was introduced as mandatory with the order of the Chief Directorate of Highways NKVD of the USSR and was 5-10 years ahead of similar foreign studies.

When Professor Ivanov turned 53, the war caught up with him again. It came to his native city: Ivanov found himself in besieged Leningrad. During those terrible days Nikolai Nikolaevich did a lot for his city.

Being in conditions of blockade, starving and freezing, the scientist did not stop working. He proposed and justified increasing the carrying capacity of bridges in winter by freezing a layer of ice on the roadway. The result - on the old Leningrad bridges could pass heavy tanks and high-powered guns. In 1942, Ivanov developed a project for a highway on the ice across Lake Ladoga. "The Road of Life" saved hundreds of thousands of people, ensuring the delivery of food and ammunition.

For his feat Nikolay Nikolaevich was awarded with orders of the Red Banner of Labor and the Red Star. One of his most precious awards is the Medal for the Defense of Leningrad, the city where he was born and lived, studied and worked, which he defended during the Civil War and the Great Patriotic War.

After the war, from 1948, Professor Ivanov worked as head of the department of construction and operation of highways MADI, received the Stalin Prize and prepared 75 candidates and doctors of sciences.

Under the leadership of Nikolai Nikolaevich, based on his many years of research was created a theory of the strength of nonrigid road pavement and proposed a method for their design, developed methods of selection of asphalt concrete mixtures, substantiated the requirements for materials for various types of pavements, determined the methods of testing and evaluation, and outlined the limits of application of various black coatings and ways of their construction.