Oleg Vsevolodovich Mazurin, a world-renowned Russian glass scientist, died in May 2021 at the age of 93. He was awarded ACerS Honorary Membership during the 2019 International Congress on Glass with the Annual Meeting of the Glass and Optical Materials Division in Boston, Mass. The ACerS Board of Directors awards Honorary Membership to individuals who are not Society members but have made extraordinary contributions to the arts and sciences.

Mazurin grew up in the U.S.S.R and earned his M.S. in glass technology followed by a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1962 from the Lensovet Leningrad Institute of Technology. From there he led glass research groups at the I.V. Grebenshchikov Institute of Silicate Chemistry, Academy of Sciences USSR as head of the Laboratory of Glass Chemistry and head of the Laboratory of Physical and Chemical Properties of Glass. He was chief editor of Fizika I Khimiya Stekla (Glass Physics and Chemistry) and regional editor of the Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids.

As a researcher, he made significant contributions to the understanding of phase separation in glass, viscosity in the nearly solid range, viscoelastic and structural relaxation and the glass transition range, and electrical conductivity and glass-to-metal seals. He was the first to accurately draw the immiscibility diagram in the Na2O-B2O3-SiO2 system.

His interest in unlocking the secrets driving thermophysical properties of glasses naturally led to Mazurin collecting and curating composition and property data on a wide range of glass compositions, which was compiled into the Handbook of Glass Data,2 which was considered by many to be the most comprehensive source of glass property data. Mazurin was interested in all glass forming systems, and the Handbook covered silicates, phosphates, borates, tellurites, halides, chalcogenides, and more.

“Mazurin was truly a pioneer in the Big Data approach to materials modeling,” says Penn State professor John Mauro.  “He spent countless hours scouring the literature and meticulously compiling glass data into his handbook, well before modern computer databases became available.”

With the emergence of the internet, Mazurin led the development of the SciGlass Information System,3 which contains data from the Handbook and new data, along with built-in modeling tools. Today SciGlass contains property data on more than 425,000 glass compositions, all painstakingly curated from journal articles, patents, conference proceedings, books, and student theses.

“SciGlass is still the most comprehensive collection of glass property data in the world,” says Mauro.  “It has provided the basis for new machine learning-based modeling of glass composition-property relationships and has enabled the optimized design of new industrial glass compositions.”

Mazurin was well-known and respected in his homeland and throughout the world. “He embraced the cultures of thought and development of sciences for the benefit of mankind that many of us dream about. He led the organization of the XVth International Congress on Glass in Leningrad in July 1989, a first for the Soviet bloc, which brought many in the international glass community to behind the Iron Curtain for the first time,” recalls Arun Varshneya, Alfred University professor emeritus.

As the Iron Curtain gave way, Mazurin was able to travel more freely and was a welcome guest in every glass community around the world, and especially at Alfred University, where he had a special relationship with the students and faculty.

“Oleg had a very close relationship with students and faculty at Alfred University during his two visits in 1990 and 1992. His classroom style lectures on phase separation and relaxation phenomena in glass to students and interaction with me during the preparation of my first edition textbook were simply invaluable,” says Varshneya. “I was honored to be his friend. It was a particular pleasure for me to teach him his first ever lesson on driving an automobile!”

His charisma was infectious. After the work was done for the day, he enjoyed the camaraderie of social time with colleagues. He even translated and taught his American hosts the “Hymn of Glass-Makers,” (by M. Serebryakova), which includes the apt phrase, “Our love is just enormous; To the material, that is called The Glass!”

Alfred University dean emeritus David Pye says, “Make no mistake, glass science and engineering has lost a giant upon whose shoulders many good things came forward.”

[1] S.M. Rekhson, “On the 90th birthday of Oleg V. Mazurin, scholar and teacher,”.Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids (2017), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jnoncrysol.2017.06.028

[2] O.V. Mazurin, M.V. Streltsina, T.P. Shvaiko-Shvaikovskaya, Handbook of Glass Data, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1983.

[3] SciGlass Information System, https://github.com/epam/SciGlass (accessed 21 June 2021)