Soviet Mechanic and Mathematician, Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences (1943), Lenin Prize Laureate (1960). One of the Founders of Kazan Aviation Institute (KAI) in 1932.
Nikolay G. Chetaev was born in 1902 in the Republic of Tatarstan. In 1920, he entered the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics at Kazan University.
In 1926, Nikolay Chetaev, during his postgraduate studies, carried out a number of studies on the stability of equilibrium figures of a rotating liquid mass, the equations of dynamics in the Poincaré form.
In 1929, N. Chetaev came to Germany to work at the University of Göttingen. In Germany, he mastered the advanced aerodynamic school of L. Prandtl, at the same time he continued his research in the field of dynamical stability.
In 1930, N.G. Chetaev was appointed assistant professor at Kazan State University (KSU). In September 1930, he was approved as a professor, head of the Department of Mechanics, Physics and Mathematics Faculty of KSU.
In 1931, the Department of Aerodynamics was created at KSU; almost immediately, it was reorganized as an independent Kazan Aviation Institute (KAI), and Nikolay G. Chetaev was appointed its Deputy Director for Scientific and Educational Affairs.
Nikolay G. Chetaev, as a lecturer at KSU and deputy director at KAI, in 1933-1937, headed the Department of Aerodynamics of the new institutions. At KSU and KAI, he gave series of lectures to students, teachers, and graduate students on theoretical mechanics, hydrodynamics, wing theory, analytical mechanics, dynamic stability, Kronecker's theory of characteristics, integral invariants, the principle of relativity, etc.
In 1940, N.G. Chetaev moved to Moscow to work at the USSR Academy of Sciences, and subsequently he became the head of the Department of Theoretical Mechanics at the Institute of Mechanics of the USSR Academy of Sciences. From 1945 to 1953, he was the director of this institute. Moreover, he headed the Department of Theoretical Mechanics at Moscow State University. In Moscow, he completed his works, wrote a number of new articles, as well as a monograph on dynamic stability.
As well as in Kazan, Chetaev conducted seminars at the Institute of Mechanics of the USSR Academy of Sciences and Moscow State University. Since 1945, Chetaev had been appointed the executive editor of the Journal of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics.
The scientific field created by N.G. Chetaev, his students and participants of his seminars, known as the Kazan School or Chetaev School of stability theory, received a huge recognition among scientific community. He became a member of the USSR National Committee for Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (1956).
In 1940, Nikolay G. Chetaev was awarded the Honored Worker of Science of the Tatar ASSR title; in 1943, he was elected as a corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences; in 1945, he was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor; in 1953 – the Order of Lenin.
In Kazan, a memorial plaque in honor of Nikolay G. Chetaev was installed, which was unveiled during the first Chetaev conference in 1962.
Furthermore, one of the streets in Kazan, where one of KNRTU-KAI’s campus buildings is located, is named after the scientist. Since 2016, the Scientific and Technical Library of KNRTU-KAI has been named after N.G. Chetaev.