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Rostislav M. Kamensky, D.Sc. Eng.
Honored Science Worker of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Full Member of the International and Russian Engineering Academies, Honored Engineer of the Russian Federation, member of the Presidium of the SB RAS Yakutian Scientific Centre, Director of the Melnikov Permafrost Institute in 1988-2002
Rostislav M. Kamensky was born on 7 April 1936 in Orenburg, Russia. In 1953 he graduated from a high school and entered the Kuybyshev Institute of Engineering at Moscow. For 50 years, his life was inseparably associated with Yakutia, permafrost science and the Permafrost Institute where he began to work in 1958 as a graduate student. During these years Dr. Kamensky established himself as one of the leading permafrost researchers in this country and internationally.
R.M. Kamensky made significant contribution to permafrost engineering. He pioneered field and theoretical research on the thermal interaction of engineering structures with frozen soils and environment, pipeline laying methods in permafrost, and refrigeration systems in northern construction. He authored over 150 scientific publications, including four monographs and two reference books.
In 1965, R. M. Kamensky founded the Vilyui Permafrost Research Station, a regional department of the Permafrost Institute, in Chernyshevsky, the site of the first major hydropower project on permafrost. He established an integrated observational program to monitor the thermal regime in the Vilyui dams and reservoir. His theoretical investigations on northern dam design were incorporated into the buildings codes and textbooks. Under his guidance the Vilyui station conducted permafrost investigations all over the West Yakutian Diamond District.
Between 1977 and 1988 R.M. Kamensky headed the Igarka Permafrost Station of the Permafrost Institute. While at Igarka, he conducted pioneering experiments that led him to the development of construction and maintenance methods for ice platforms used in oil/gas exploratory and production drilling in the offshore Arctic seas. Successful investigations were conducted in support of the gas pipeline projects in shallow waters of western Yamal.
From 1988 to 2003 R.M. Kamensky was director of the Permafrost Institute. At this position, he showed himself as a talented science administrator. His wise and able leadership helped the Institute go, with minimum losses, through the period of the toughest socio-economic crisis that hit the country in the 1990s.
R.M. Kamensky trained many of the current generation of permafrost scientists and engineers. He was a scientific advisor to many Doctor and Candidate of Science awardees. He was a member of the Russian Permafrost Association, the International Permafrost Association’s Working Group, the Russian Academy of Sciences Council on Earth Cryology, the Thesis Council on Doctor of Science degree in engineering geology, permafrost science and soil engineering, and the editorial board of Earth’s Cryosphere and Permafrost and Periglacial Processes. R.M. Kamensky received three medals and the Golden Sigma with Diamonds award from the Russian Academy of Sciences Siberian Branch in recognition for his outstanding contributions to science and education.