Today marks the 120th anniversary of the birth of Peter V. Vasilenko (1900-1999), whose name is inscribed in golden letters in the history of domestic agricultural science and technology. Since May 2004, the Kharkiv National Technical University of Agriculture has been bearing this name, where the memory of P.M. Vasylenko and continues the best traditions of the scientific school created by him.
P. Vasylenko went down in history as a famous scientist in the field of agricultural mechanics, mechanization, electrification, and automation of agriculture, doctor of technical sciences, professor, academician of VASGNIL and UAAS. He was born on October 17, 1900, in the village of Migiya of the Pervomaisky district of the Mykolaiv area. After graduating in 1919 from Olginsko-Skarzhyn Agricultural School of the 1st category he worked as an instructor in agriculture.
In the autumn of 1920, he was sent to study at the Migiy Agricultural and Cooperative Technical School, which at that time had the status of a higher educational institution. After graduation, he received a certificate as an agronomist. In 1932, the certificate was replaced by a certificate of graduation from the Luhansk Agricultural Institute (now – Luhansk National Agrarian University).
During 1923–1928 he was a teacher of agriculture and agricultural engineering at the Mezhyritsk Secondary Agricultural School. In 1929 he entered graduate school at the Department of Agricultural Mechanics at the Main Department of Science of the People’s Commissariat of Education of the USSR, where he studied until 1932. After graduating from graduate school under the guidance of Professor DG Vilensky at the All-Ukrainian Research Institute of Agricultural Soil Science and Chemicalization of Agriculture (now – NSC “Institute of Agriculture NAAS”), investigates the mechanical and technological processes of soil deformation during tillage by tillage machines.
In 1932–1935, he was the head of the Department of Mechanization of Agricultural Production of the Zhytomyr Agricultural Institute (now the Zhytomyr National Agroeconomic University), associate professor of the Department of Mechanization of Agricultural Production of the Kyiv Engineering, Economics, and Agricultural Institutes. In 1935 he headed the Department of Agricultural Machinery of the Kyiv Institute of Mechanization and Electrification of Agriculture, continued his research, and developed a course of lectures on the theory of agricultural machinery.
By the decision of the Higher Attestation Commission of the USSR SNK in 1937, he was awarded the degree of Candidate of Technical Sciences without defending a dissertation, and he was appointed acting professor at the Department of Agricultural Mechanization. On the recommendation of the Department of Technical Sciences, headed by Academician E.O. Paton, the decision of the General Meeting of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1939, P. Vasylenko was elected a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR.
In 1948, P. Vasylenko defended his dissertation “Fundamentals of the theory of motion of material particles on the friction surfaces of agricultural machinery” for the degree of Doctor of Technical Sciences. In 1949 he was awarded the academic title of professor. During this time he worked as the head of the department of agricultural machinery of the Laboratory of Mechanical Engineering and Problems of Agricultural Mechanics, which in 1950 was reorganized into the Institute of Mechanical Engineering and Agricultural Mechanics, and part-time professor of agricultural machinery at the Kyiv Agricultural Institute. In 1953–1962, he headed the Department of Agricultural Machinery of KSGI (hereinafter the Ukrainian Agricultural Academy). In 1956 he was elected an academician of VASGNIL.
The outstanding scientist became one of the founders of the Ukrainian Academy of Agricultural Sciences (UACEG), where he worked as an academician-secretary of the Department of Mechanization and Electrification from 1957 to 1962 until its reorganization into the Southern Department of VASGNIL. On December 7, 1977, VASGNIL was awarded the Gold Medal named after VP Goryachkina.
In 1991, he was elected a full member (academician) of the Ukrainian Academy of Agrarian Sciences (now – the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine). P.M. Vasylenko established a scientific school of agricultural mechanics in Ukraine. Under his supervision, 7 doctoral and almost 60 candidate dissertations were defended. He died on April 21, 1999, in Kyiv. Buried in the village. Novosilky (outskirts of Kyiv).
Source: Vergunov VA History of agricultural research in Ukraine. At 3 o’clock / National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine, National Scientific Agricultural Library, Institute of History of Agrarian Science, Education and Technology. Kyiv: Agrarian Science, 2018. Part 1. Creators and developers (biographical essays). P. 74–77.