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Lukin Fedor Viktorovich

founder of the Zelenograd Microelectronics Centre

Lukin Fedor Viktorovich

Author Boris Malashevich

Fedor Lukin was born on the 25th of July 1908 in a noble family of small town of Glusk residents, Minsk area, Byelorussia (now the Republic of Belarus).

Unfortunately, in childhood he could not receive any proper education because of the First World War, the Civil war and the following Polish intervention. He only visited basic school for four years and was educated at home by his mother later on. Those were the times of poverty caused by almost five years of war. Byelorussia was badly affected with it. Lukin had to start earning very early, he worked as a shepherd, as a wagon boy on a ford at Berezina river and as a loader.

From 1925 to 1927 he was a fireman at a tobacco factory in Bobruisk (East Byelorussia). In 1927 he passed qualification examinations and was appointed as an engine-mechanical’s assistant at the Central Power Station of Bobruisk. While working there he spent most of his free time in self-education. In 1929 he entered the electrotechnical faculty of the Moscow High Technical School (MHTS – technical university). In April 1930 a new technical university – Moscow Power Engineering Institute (MPEI) – was formed on basis of the MHTS. Lukin graduated from MPEI in 1934 as electrotechnical engineer with radio-engineering specialization.

From 1932, in parallel with learning, he was working at the faculty's laboratory, first as an assistant, then technician, engineer and, finally, as deputy chief of the laboratory. After graduation he accepted the position of assistance lecturer at Radio-engineering department of the MPEI.

From 1934 to 1939 F.V. Lukin lectured the course on “Electrical measuring” at the MPEI and also the course on “Radio-receiving devices” at the neighboring Moscow Electrotechnical Institute of Communications (MEIC).

From 1935 to 1953 he was working at the Scientific Research Institute-10 (SRI-10) of the USSR Ministry of Shipbuilding Industry as a senior engineer, then was promoted to a task-force leader, deputy chief of a research department, chief project designer and, finally. the chief engineer of the Institute. As a collaborator of the research center engaged in military development, Lukin was not mobilized to operating army in 1941–1945.

At the institute he was basically engaged in research and design of new naval weapons. In 1943, together with some colleagues Lukin designed a new bottom-laid mine which was serially produced and actively used during the WWII (Great Patriotic War). Principally new technical solutions resulted in creation of unique hyper-sensitive devices implemented in mines, which highly increased their resistance to imploding shock waves effects as well as to trawling. These solutions have been protected by the “USSR Author's Certificate” (then, analogue to Western “patent”) and the authors have received awards of the USSR Ministry of Defense.

Lukin was also awarded by the “State Stalin Prize”[1] for invention and design of ship-radar systems “Redan-1” and “Redan-2” designed for artillery fire control at cruisers and destroyers.

In 1946, in parallel with work at the SRI-10, he headed courses on radiolocation, established for the engineering personnel and administrators of the State Committee on Radiolocation. He himself taught courses on general problems of radiolocation and on transients in components of electrical devices.

In 1946–1953 Lukin was a chief designer of complex fire control systems “Vympel” and “Fut” for the naval antiaircraft artillery. Both the systems were accepted by the navy and put into serial manufacturing. The author's rights have been protected with the “USSR Author's Certificates”.

In 1953 Lukin received his second “State Stalin Prize” for design of original instrumentation set for testing bench, and as a head of developing on-board equipment for the “air–sea” class air-based winged rocket “Kometa” (Cometh) and completing preparations for its serial production.

Political changes of 1953 in the USSR also caused administrative transformations in scientific and industrial fields. Many of leading administrators and scientific collaborators related with the former government has been dismissed from their positions. Sometimes new supreme officials could even characterize an organization as totally “useless”, therefore, it either needed reorganization or even liquidation.

The same situation was with the Design Bureau -1 (DB-1) headed by Sergo Beria. According to evidence of lieutenant-general Grigory Kisunko, “DB-1 was officially (on the “highest level”) considered as useless and its projects as unworthy”.

Fedor Lukin was put in to consider the situation with DB-1. On the 10th of November 1953 he was appointed as the deputy-chief and also the chief engineer of Design Bureau. However, for rather long time he had to de facto perform the duties of the DB-1 director, as there was nobody on that position. He managed to realize and appreciate a real importance and high level of research activities in Bureau. Due to his efforts both the personnel and projects have been saved.

Lukin also took part in development of Moscow’s anti-aircraft defense system S-25 and in creation of various missile systems. He was a real scientific leader who always participated in all works he headed. Thus, many scientific and technological problems were solved at the DB-1, what made possible design of new generation of small-size radio- and computing devices. He suggested unification of components and implementation of printed-circuit wiring system in development of missile systems, which essentially shortened design and implementation time; both circuit packaging density and its reliability grew several times and labour saving at serial production was also notable. Lukin managed to quickly conduct re-structuring of all manufacturing and technological cycles what made the DB-1 the leader among radio- and electronic enterprises. In 1955 Fedor Lukin was awarded the “Lenin Order” (the USSR highest civil decoration).

His work on design and implementation of the mobile antiaircraft-missile system S-75 was awarded with the “Lenin Prize”[2].

As a scientist with broad intellectual horizons, Lukin paid close attention to novelties of parallel research fields and quickly realized importance of emerging electronic computing facilities and computations; in 1953 he headed the State commission on technical inspection of the USSR first serial “Strela” computer, its first piece was eventually mounted at the DB-1.

Despite the opinion about impossibility of creating efficient anti-missile defense which was popular among many leading scientists of that time, Lukin insisted on the most urgent launching of research and design in this field. In 1953 he started development of the counter-missile defense (CMD) system A-35. He supported all promising proposals and projects of the DB-1 specialists on the subject and helped in their implementation. As the result, DB-1 was officially accepted as the USSR leading CMD development center.

Clearly realizing that electronic devices assembly technology based on discrete components has exhausted its potential, Lukin charged A.A. Kolosov, a DB-1 leading radio-electronics expert, with studying the microelectronics problem. At the end of the 1950s Kolosov started his research and a small monograph on this subject was published at the DB-1 in 1960. In the same year Lukin established the first microelectronics laboratory which always maintained working cooperation with numerous educational and research (academic) institutes. In such a way Lukin laid a scientific basis and began to train a personnel for the future Microelectronics Centre which he would found three years later in the town of Zelenograd near Moscow.

At the 11th of August 1960 Fedor Viktorovich Lukin was appointed as a director and scientific head of the Scientific Research Institute No 37 (SRI-37) of the USSR Ministry of Radio Industry, where long-range early warning radar stations for anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense systems have been designed and developed. There Lukin established a special department whose activity was concentrated on development of high-performance digital electronic computers for automated processing of radar signals and calculation of flying objects (aims) trajectories. Professor Davlet Islamovich Yuditskiy headed the laboratory.

Lukin was the first high-level scientific administrator in the country who noticed and realized advantages of the modular arithmetic based on the rest classes calculus system (RCCS). At the SRI-37 he initiated development of principally new RCCS-based computers, and took part in the work as a scientist.

As the result two principally new computers which implemented a new variant of RCCS worked out by  Israel Yakovlevich Akushskiy, D. I. Yuditskiy and E.S. Andrianov have been built.

The first computer,  Т-340А, was manufactured as an experimental piece, but fully completed and tested. For many years it operated as a functional part of Dunai-3UP radar system. Algorithms of the RCCS operation (including the combat ones) were proved and developed, as well as new solutions in circuitry and new principles of computer design.

Obtained results and experience have been used when designing the second RCCS computer К-340-А. Unlike the first one, K-340-A was in industrial serial production and it was incorporated in the combat radar systems “Dunai-3”. It became the basic computer for all radars which were developed at the SRI-37 at those years. For its time К-340А possessed “fantastic characteristics”, its performance reached 1.2 Mio double ops and 2.4 Mio single (common) ops. К-340А was the first computer in the world with performance exceeding 1 Mops.

At the same time, its operation performance cost was the lowest one, this characteristic was very important those years.

In 1961 Lukin declined rather lucrative offer from the minister of the radio-industry V.D. Kalmikov to accept position of the chief designer on electronics at the anti-aircraft missile defense project “DAL” (remoteness). Lukin made this decision because after thorough study of details of the project he came to conclusion that its basic principles were erroneous. The following events proved it and project “DAL” was eventually closed.

Ironically, in 1962 the same thing happened again: Lukin rejected similar proposal (this time to be in higher administrative rank) on other project “Taran” (Battering ram) – anti-missile defense system, being convinced in “low value” of its basic concept. And again, his judgement proved to be correct.

Although the Soviet economic system did not presume business competition like the “free market” one, it doesn't mean that there was no rivalry at all. The struggle between designing organizations for the government's financial and administrative support of their projects sometimes turned rougher than, say, rivalry in the Antic Roman senate.

Thus, at the end of 1962, USSR minister V.D. Kalmikov (radio) established inter-ministerial commission on missile-defense problems; F.V. Lukin was appointed as its chairman. General G.V. Kisunko – chief-designer of the anti-missile systems (AMS) mentioned in his book “Secret Zone” that, while arranging appointment for F.V. Lukin, the minister tried to make him “informal proposal” - to issue critical reports on the Moscow AMS “A-35” supported by his commission members. However, Lukin declined the minister's “idea”, as he could see advantages of the system and progressive ideas imbedded in it. Soon after Lukin left the radio ministry and got a position at some organization of another ministry.

During the years of his work in defense engineering field F.V. Lukin accumulated impressive amount of both scientific and administrative experience. The leading statesmen, such as N.S. Khrushchev, D.F. Ustinov (USSR head of defense industry), minister of electronic industry A.I. Shokin and many other officials knew him personally, paid great respect to him and always valued his expert opinion. No wonder that as soon as the pilot project of the USSR first Centre of Microelectronics (CM) subsequently renamed into Scientific Centre was just released, Lukin was unanimously nominated and confirmed as its head.

In January, 1963, F.V. Lukin was appointed as the vice-chairman of the USSR CM State Committee on Electronic Engineering (SC EE, later – USSR Ministry of Electronic Industry).

Then, in February 1963, F.V. Lukin was appointed as the first (founding) director of the Centre of Microelectronics to be organized in Moscow northern suburb Zelenograd[3]

From the very beginning Lukin was completely involved in searching for appropriate specialists, forming scientific departments, teams, task-forces, in   developing working programs, supervising all kinds of building works and even architectural projects.

Although, always being busy with administrative work Lukin never interrupted his scientific activity, he really had a talent to “bring them to balance”. Thus, he was a co-designer of the first domestic integrated circuits Tropa , Vychet, Schet.

Quite logically, Lukin tried to bring together advanced solutions in electronics and computer engineering. For this purpose he invited the designers team of Т-340А and К-340А computers to the Centre of Microelectronics (CM) and quickly turned it into a large research institute named Specialized Computing Centre (SCC).

In 1965 the three leading organizations: Centre of Microelectronics headed by F.V. Lukin, Moscow Institute of Precise Mechanics and Computer Engineering (IPMCE), director Lebedev Sergey Alekseevich, and Moscow Institute of Electronic Control Machines (director Kartsev Mikhail Alexanderovich) began to elaborate a competitive project of a new supercomputer for the second stage of the Moscow area Anti-Missile Defense System. Design of AMDS has been headed by general G.V. Kisunko.

A project of experimental computer Almaz developed by the Centre of Microelectronics under the supervision Of Lukin eventually won the competition. As the result Specialized Computing Centre received a governmental order for development of supercomputer 5E53.

This specialized computer for AMDS problems had a performance up to 40 Mops. For comparison, performance of the most advanced foreign computer of the time – CDC-6600 –did not exceed 2.5 Mops.

Experimental piece of 5E53 demonstrated promising results at all tests and was accepted for serial manufacturing at the electromechanical plant of Zagorsk (near Moscow). However, the works on the second stage of G.V. Kisunko's AMDS А- 35 were scaled down and the 5E53 production was cut too.

F.V. Lukin is demonstrating supercomputer “Almaz” to A.N. Kosigin -the USSR Council of Ministers chairman. From left to right: A.I. Shokin, D.I. Yuditskiy, A.N. Kosigin, F.V. Lukin with a fragment of “Almaz” in the back-ground

F.V. Lukin is demonstrating supercomputer “Almaz” to A.N. Kosigin -the USSR Council of Ministers chairman. From left to right: A.I. Shokin, D.I. Yuditskiy, A.N. Kosigin, F.V. Lukin with a fragment of “Almaz” in the back-ground

Within the seven years of his leadership at the CM (1963–1970) Lukin managed to perform impressive work on founding and developing a unique scientific and manufacturing complex. It included 9 scientific and research organizations, 5 pilot production plants, special educational institute, etc.

As of 1.06.1970, 12 924 researchers were employed at the institutes and design bureaus of the CM, 9 of them had “Doctor of Sciences” degree and 214 “Candidate of Sciences” degrees (approximately equal to Western PhD). 16 154 specialists were employed at special plants, which occupied industrial sites with total of 240 000 sqm.

An impressive number of scientists also became famous directors and administrators of institutes and industrial enterprises due to their working experience received under F.V. Lukin guidance, supervision and with his personal help. Among them there were Valiev Kamil Akhmetovich, Yuditskiy Davlet Islamovich, I.N. Bukreev, A.Y. Malinin, V.V. Savin, G.Y. Guskov, V.S. Sergeev, V.I. Stafeev, B.V. Tarabrin and many others.

All these people played outstanding role in development of the national electronic science and industry.

Main task of the CM's work consisted in development of new technologies, materials, technological equipment and new microelectronic components, such as integrated circuits, in making the following improvements and bringing them to serial industrial mass manufacturing.

For that reason, all the plants of Zelenograd CM were experimental ones belonging to research institutes and centers; serial production was not their task.

However, that was more “in theory” than on practice. Big industrial enterprises often couldn't timely produce necessary amount, and the CM's and experimental plants got under a shower of directives demanding of them production of electronic components in large series.

As their, relatively small, producing powers were absorbed by these -unexpected- but permanent orders, possibilities of new components experimental production and development of new technologies were essentially reduced. That caused numerous delays in production of new, more advanced, components, devices, etc.

The result was predictable – general development in electronics noticeably slowed down. Subsequently, the range of produced components reduced, more progressive integrated circuitry manufacturing technologies were implemented slower - all that negatively influenced quality (and reliability) of new devices, components and other products.

In 1970 a special governmental commission conducted detailed inspection of Lukin's scientific center. Its work was officially characterized as positive in general (although not without negative moments). Anyway, its leading role in development of the national electronics was specially mentioned in the commission's report as outstanding.

Achievements of Zelenograd Microelectronics center were awarded the “Lenin Order”, and F.V. Lukin himself was decorated with the order “October Revolution” for his personal contribution to development of the national electronic industry, design and implementation of new components, technologies. That was a one more official demonstration of his merits and obvious scientific success. He also enjoyed high administrative position and general respect from colleagues and higher officials.

However, Lukin had big health problems; his powers were really exhausted – during the eight years of work at the CM he was only two times on vocations.

F.V. Lukin died on the 18th of July 1971 after several months of a severe disease.

The Scientific Research Institute of Physical Problems was named after Fedor Viktorovich Lukin.

In different years Lukin was decorated with the orders “Sign of Honor” (1945 and 1950), “Lenin Order” (1955 and 1958), “Red Banner of Labour” (1958), and the medals “For Valiant Labour at the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945”, “In Commemoration of the 800th Anniversary of Moscow,”.

He was twice awarded the “State Stalin Premium” (1946 and 1953) and a “Lenin Premium” (1958).

In parallel with his main work Lukin always lectured at some technical institutes and universities of Moscow. In 1946 he received degree “Candidate of Technical Sciences” (analogue of PhD) and in 1959 received degree (with dissertation) “Doctor of Technical Sciences”, in 1966 he received scientific title “Professor” on microelectronics.  Lukin made numerous inventions and had many scientific publications.

As a scientist Lukin was interested in design of various large radio-control systems for defense purposes: radio-location, anti-aircraft and anti-missile ones. As the head of the CM he was engaged in development of national microelectronic engineering, for both military and civil purposes.

Lukin also did not avoid public activities. In 1953–1954 he was elected as “people's deputy” to the Council of the City of Moscow, in 1961–1962 was a member of a district in Moscow (communist) party committee administration, from 1965 till 1970 – a bureau member of Zelenograd (communist) party committee.

Fedor Lukin and his wife Margarita Lukina (Altukhova) have lived a happy long life together. Their two sons, Alexander and Vladimir, are also scientists, they both worked in the field of electronics.

In spite of his high administrative position, scientific titles and communications on ministerial levels Lukin always remained very simple, friendly and attractive person.

V.S. Sergeev, founder and the first director of the Scientific Research Institute of Precession Technologies (Zelenograd) described Lukin in his book “Pages of Life”, in the following way:

...That was a wonderful person, a competent scientist and high-qualified engineer. ... These traits he combined with outstanding organizational abilities, tranquility, commonsense, emotional balance, high communication and social skills and genuine respect to people. During the whole time of our collaboration I never heard him addressing anybody of his colleagues or subordinates in rude words, scolding or shouting (what, unfortunately, sometimes took place in a military organization, like ours, those times). All problems he solved in a systematical way, in details, without “assaults”, and only then made final decision... When he was giving somebody a task, or asked about something, Lukin conducted the talk so as if the main idea (solution) belonged not to him but to his interlocutor. That normally produced excellent results... Lukin persuaded – not “pressed”, what also provides positive consequences”.

Memory about Prof. Fedor Lukin is preserved in Zelenograd; people remember his invaluable contribution to their common cause – creation of town Zelenograd as the center of the national microelectronics – important part of the USSR scientific and technical progress.

This biography is based on F.V. Lukin's (archival) personal file at the Research Centre and also the materials kindly presented by his son Vladimir Fedorovich Lukin.





4. The Russian “Doctor of Science” degree is the highest research degree in the country. Many scientists having that degree are professors.

5. RSFSR – Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic (one of the Union republics).

Edition and translation Alexander Nitusov

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