One among diamonds
Associate Professor of the Chair for Design and Manufacture of Devices, at the Belarusian National Technical University, Alexey Drozdov, can distinguish natural diamonds from artificial with great precision. With a PhD in Technical Sciences, he knows how to cut gems with minimum loss and recently won an award from the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.
By Polina Lokhmanenko
“It’s a question of creating an effective cutting tool for processing super-hard materials, such as diamonds,” notes Prof. Drozdov. “Our chair has been engaged in this since its foundation, building upon groundwork, under the direction of the Head of the Chair, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor Mikhail Kiselev.”
Prof. Kiselev has played an important role in the life of the younger scientist, taking him under his wing and encouraging his involvement in science. Having completed his Candidate’s work and finished his postgraduate courses, Alexey now works under Mikhail. He tells us that one of his missions is to create a tool with high cutting characteristics and a wide spectrum of application: from jewellery gem cutting to medicine. The technology can be used to cut gems used in artificial hearts. From pure theory, Alexey helps ideas take the leap to real-life innovations, liaising with Planar: the State Research and Production Association of Precision Engineering.
Few people associate Belarus with oil extraction or diamond processing, but Alexey asserts, “Since Soviet times, the country has enjoyed a strong tradition in processing diamonds, maintaining old ties with Indian firms working with these raw materials. We have some well-known names and, for a small country, we boast a surprising degree of technology in cultivating artificial diamonds, as well as enterprises for processing. We are ‘old hands’.”