Obituary: Prof. Ivan Gutzow

The Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) and the international scientific community in the field of the glassy state recently lost one of its most prominent and respected members.

Ivan Gutzow (31.05.1933 – 23.03.2020) loved glass science from his earliest school-days, just like his father, who was Director of the first Bulgarian glass production factory in Beloslav (near Varna) and later Professor and Head of the Department of Silicate Science at the Technical University of Chemistry  in Sofia. Ivan Gutzow graduated from this University in 1958 and in the same year began working at the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (IPC-BAS) firstly as a Researcher, then as an Associate Professor, a Full Professor and finally from 2002 as a Real Member (Academician).

He began his studies following his teacher Academician Rostislaw Kaischew into the new field of glass nucleation and crystallization. The quality of his Doctoral Thesis was so high, that it led directly to a DSc. Award (1972). In 1997, he founded the Department of Amorphous materials at IPC-BAS. His main scientific contributions are in the fields of: thermodynamics of non-equilibrium systems; kinetics of relaxation and vitrification; as well as structure and crystallization of matter in the glassy state. He worked hard and invested tremendous energy into an extremely precise theory of crystallization in a viscoelastic medium. He succeeded in developing a new treatment for various processes involving heterogeneous nucleation. He experimented on diamond synthesis, kidney stone formation and crystallization in space. Academician Ivan Gutzow has authored and co-authored more than three hundred authentic scientific papers in the international literature and his works have been widely recognised among the scientific community worldwide.

Together with Dr J. W. P. Schmelzer, he wrote the monograph “The Vitreous State” (Springer Publ., 1st Ed. in 1995 and 2nd ed. in 2013). He also submitted 13 patents mainly concerning the synthesis of glassy-crystalline materials. He led various national and international projects, was an invited and plenary speaker at many important international scientific conferences. Under his supervision, fifteen PhD students successfully defended their Doctoral Theses.

Academician Ivan Gutzow was nominated for numerous awards among which where: the National Prize with a Golden Medal of the Union of the Scientists in Bulgaria (SBU); a Golden Medal for contributions to BAS; the International Humboldt Prize; the Honor Sign “Marin Drinov” of BAS; the President’s Award of the International Commission on Glass (ICG), and many others.

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