25.5.1836 Orlov/RU - 15.1.1920 Tuapse/RU
Nikolai Pavlovich Petrov graduated from the Saint Petersburg military college in 1855 to continue engineering studies until 1862 at the Saint Petersburg Academy. In 1867 he was appointed professor of applied mechanics at the Engineering Institute of Saint Petersburg. For the next four years Petrov directed the Russian State Railways Company and was one of the promoters of the Trans-Siberian Railways project. Then he took over as president the scientific-technical council of the Communication Ministry and in 1893 was elected understate secretary in that Ministry. Petrov was awarded the Gold Medal of the Russian Society for Technology in 1888, he was an Honorary Member of the Academy of Sciences of Saint Petersburg from 1894, and from 1896 to 1905 presided over the Technological Society of Russia.
Petrov's reputation as a scientist originated from theoretical studies in hydrodynamics. Arnold Sommerfeld (1868-1951), one of the authors of the Sommerfeld-Orr equation describing hydrodynamic stability, referred to Petrov as the father of the hydrodynamic lubrication theory. In total, four works were directed to this problem, of which the first was published in 1883 and awarded the Lomonosov Medal by the Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences. In 1886 Petrov published a book on lubrication in which both a theoretical and an experimental approach describe research that was only much later rediscovered in the West of Europe. After a third paper published in 1893, his final work Friction in machines was published in 1900 in the Minutes of the Academy of Saint Petersburg where eccentrically positioned bearings were investigated and means proposed to reduce damages. Petrov also invented an early model of viscosimeter which served for the determination of viscosity of a large number of natural oils, for a range of ambient temperatures.
Grigorian, A.T. (1975). Petrov, Nikolai Pavlovich. Scienziati e tecnologi 2: 519. Mondadori: Milano.
Petrov, N.P. (1883). The friction of machines and the effect of a lubricating fluid. Inzhenernyi Zhurnal Saint Petersburg 24(1): 71-140; 24(2): 227-279; 24(3): 377-436; 24(4): 535- 641 (in Russian).
Petrov, N.P. (1948). Works in theoretical hydrodynamics. Moscow (in Russian).
Zagorsky, F.N. (1978). Petrov, N.P. Great Soviet Encyclopedia 19: 509. MacMillan: New York. P

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

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