Andrey Averyanovich Vasilenko is a Ukrainian and Soviet scientist who created in 1929 the research department of agricultural mechanics under the Main Science of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR, who stood at the origins of the creation of all agricultural equipment in the Soviet Union.
Andrei Vasilenko is a native of the Yekaterinoslav province, where he was born in the fall of 1891 in a small village called Belenkoe. A large peasant family did not live well, but tried to give their children an education and a desire for a better life. After graduating from a rural school, in 1904 Andrei entered the mechanical and technical school in the city of Alexandrovsk.
At that time, there were no schools for students, and the tuition fees were quite high. Vasilenko had to earn extra money at various enterprises and rent private apartments, work a lot, having no personal life. Having passed the exams for a mechanical technician, Andrey got the opportunity to continue his studies at the Kiev Polytechnic Institute.
There he, together with other students, was already engaged in scientific work. During the First World War, friends developed projects for woodworking workshops, founded several large workshops for the repair of agricultural machinery, and in 1917, on the instructions of the new government, Vasilenko founded an agricultural machinery plant on the basis of these same workshops and became its head.
The young country of the Soviets rose with great difficulty after the devastation. The NEP made it possible to develop agriculture, and this required a serious technical base and the reconstruction of old enterprises. The People's Commissariat of Heavy Industry was looking for enthusiastic engineers who were ready to take on a large-scale and complex project, and it was Vasilenko who became the central figure in the state project.
The test site was chosen a plant in Zaporozhye, where before the revolution they produced plows, which were previously owned by Abraham Koop. The plant was part of the enterprises of Glavselmash, and it was there that the creation of a new combine, called "Kommunar", began, and the best examples of American technology supplied to the young Soviets as assistance were taken as a basis.
In September 1929, the first Soviet combine "Kommunar K-4-6" was produced, a technique that allowed to completely restore agriculture, refuse to export food and demonstrate to the whole world the advanced achievements of Soviet engineering.
In the thirties, under the leadership of Vasilenko, other agricultural machines were created, in particular, beet-harvesting units. Having started on the Dnieper bank, advanced combine building was adopted throughout the Soviet Union, and already in 1958 the Kommunar plant was redesigned for the production of small cars. This is how the legendary Zaporozhets was born.
Until World War II, Vasilenko was engaged in the development of more and more efficient machines for agriculture, received a degree, led the development of advanced technologies for agricultural activities, and independently created a new system of soil and grain cultivation.
During the Great Patriotic War, the famous scientist-technologist lived in evacuation in Alma-Ata, supervised and modernized the republic's agriculture. In 1944 he created the "Laboratory of Agricultural Mechanics" on the basis of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR.
Death and legacy
After the war, he was engaged in science and taught at agricultural institutes: Alma-Ata, Kiev, Kharkov and others, having trained several dozen excellent scientists. Until his death in 1963, Vasilenko was engaged in scientific activities and created many fundamentally new developments in the field of agriculture.
On his account there are more than 150 scientific works, for which Andrei Averyanovich received the Stalin Prize, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, many medals and certificates of honor. The scientist is buried in Kiev. A memorial plaque is installed in the house where Vasilenko worked.