By publishing this special issue, we celebrate simultaneously two jubilees: the 70th birthday of Professor Oleg A. Petrii, who is now Head of the Department of Electrochemistry at Moscow State University, and the 50th anniversary of Oleg’s scientific activities that have started while he was still a student. His first paper, published in 1958, was submitted in 1957. Nobody who knows Oleg Petrii would ever have any doubts of his electrochemical erudition. He is an international celebrity and admired for his uniquely friendly style of communication. His approximately 350 papers in refereed journals, 8 textbooks, 18 monographic chapters, and 12 reviews in periodicals make hima true electrochemical classic.He has supervised 40 Ph.D. students and was the host of numerous research visitors from various countries. Oleg is a very unpretentious person, and therefore, we do not want to write a too ceremonial and formal review of his achievements but instead straight away discuss what he has given to the scientific community during the various stages of his scientific career.
All his publications
are electrochemically oriented; however, they cover several different topics,
and sometimes they are related to other disciplines, like material science,
physics, power and chemical engineering, and even environmental chemistry.
Thus, it is difficult to group his papers according to their content, as
frequently, one and the same paper is related to different fields of research.
Nevertheless, for a clearer presentation of his achievements, such
classification is justified and helpful. One can mark out at least four general
fields of Petrii’s activities. They are listed in this paper in more or less
Oleg Petrii showed extraordinary glass-blowing abilities. He can solder extremely thin capillaries and repair any glass cell himself, usually better than any professional glass blower. Another secret is that he is a gifted singer, on his own or jointly with his closest friend, Professor Boris Damaskin. He also likes to compose songs and to stimulate a relaxing social life at the Department. Probably the most known piece of art that he has created with assistance of his student Rein Marvet is a portrait of Frumkin painted in the style of Picasso and consisting of various classical electrochemical curves. Oleg is also an enthusiastic swimmer, and his participation in various scientific meetings was also stimulated by the wish to swim in all seas and oceans of the world. He is still waiting for a swim at the coast of Australia and the Antarctic. Perhaps, this wish might prompt the International Society of Electrochemistry to consider organizing meetings at these locations?
Finally, Petrii is a flesh of Frumkin’s school, and it is more than symbolic that he is working now in Frumkin’s former office, using Frumkin’s historic bureau, and sitting on Frumkin’s original chair. He creatively continues to apply Frumkin’s approaches to various problems of modern electrochemistry. These applications are always illuminated with Petrii’s ingenious creativity and optimistic foresight, a solid guarantee of the sequential development of the famous Frumkin school.
We wish Oleg Petrii to keep his elating spirit for many years to come, to be surrounded (as always) by faithful pupils and coworkers, and to overcome the problems with his usual ease resulting from his breadth of mind and views in combination with strong but well-wishing temper. We surely wish him health and many sunny days.