By Peter Tase
Every year on December 31st, the global community of scientists celebrates the birthday of a great Azerbaijani academician and former Chairman of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan SSR, Yusif Haydar oglu Mammadaliyev. He was born in the historic city of Ordubad in the Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan (Azerbaijan) on December 31st, 1905. Mammadaliyev (Azerbaijani language: Yusif Heydər oğlu Məmmədəliyev) was a Doctor of Chemistry and academician of the National Academy of Sciences, an institution in which he was elected president on two different occasions: 1947–1950 and 1958–1961.
In 1923, Mammadaliyev entered the higher Pedagogical Institute of Baku. In 1926, after successfuly graduating from this institution he became a teacher at the secondary school for 3 years. In 1929 he became a second-year student of the Faculty of Chemistry at the Moscow State University, from which he graduated in 1932. He was one of the students of N. D. Zelinsky and A. A. Balandin and one of the first seniors of the laboratory of organic chemistry of the Faculty of Organic Chemistry Department under the specialty of “organocatalysis”. Upon completing his studies in Moscow, he continued to stay in Moscow and worked at the chemical plant No.1, and then was transferred to Azerbaijan, where he managed the Department of Organic Chemistry of the Agricultural University of Azerbaijan. Then he worked (1933–1945) at the Azerbaijan Research Institute of Oil, where he became the manager of laboratory. It was in this laboratory where the discovery of a great talent had taken place. Most of his contributions were dedicated to the scientific problems of petro chemistry and organocatalysis research and in the field of Organic Chemistry. Mammadaliyev has been closely associated with Azerbaijan’s development of domestic industry of oil-refining and petrochemical industry. Some of these developments were embraced as the basis of new industrial processes.
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