Introduction: Uncovering Ukraine is a series of short stories about Ukrainians who’ve advanced technology, art, and science to new heights. Check out our other articles in this series.
Known for his many inventions, Boris Paton was a statesman, engineer, and renowned scientist in the field of welding, metallurgy, and metal technology.
Born in Kyiv in 1918, Paton developed technologies that enabled welding in space and underwater environments for the first time. He also guided the world’s first welding of living tissues and the technology is now used for many medical procedures.
Paton spent his childhood within the walls of the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, as he was born into the family of one of its most famous teachers, Professor Evgeny Oskarovich Paton. Paton’s family lived in a house for the teaching staff that was nearby the Ukrainian mathematician and Kyiv Polytechnic Institute professor Mikhail Kravchuk.
Born into an atmosphere of incredible creativity and ingenuity, he developed a remarkable discipline and dedication to the people around him. This atmosphere was a dominant force in cultivating his talents and interests.
In 1941, Paton graduated from the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute and became an engineer.
During the Second World War, Paton worked and designed electrical circuits at the Krasno-Sormovsky Plant No. 112 in Gorky. His developments there helped increase the production of Soviet tanks.
In 1953, he began leading the Paton Institute of Electric Welding, the institute founded by his father.
Under his leadership, he led the creation of electro-slag welding, which became a fundamentally new welding method. Paton led research on the use of welding heat sources to improve the quality of the smelted metal.
Through this research, he developed a new branch of metallurgy: Electrometallurgy and its related fields of plasma-arc welding, and electron beam remelting. He was the first researcher to start intensive research into the use of welding and related technologies in space. He later created an electro-welding technique for bonding soft tissue.
Paton entered the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in 1958. Paton was appointed chairman of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in 1962 and held this position until his death.
Paton authored more than 1,000 publications, including 20 monographs and created more than 400 inventions. In 1998, Paton was the first person to have been awarded the title of the Hero of Ukraine.
Paton died on Aug. 19, 2020, at the age of 101.
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