The Kazakh Mining and Metallurgical Institute (KazMMI) was founded with the following educational programs: “Geology and Mineral Exploration”; “Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology”. The first director of KazMMI was Ashir Dzhanaliyevich Burkitbayev (1906-1938).

A.D. Burkitbayev
A.A. Yermekov

Two new faculties were formed: Mining faculty with the educational program “Exploitation of Field Ores” and Metallurgical faculty with the educational program “Metallurgy of Nonferrous and Precious Metals”. Also new departments were instituted for the disciplines “Electric engineering”, “Theoretical mechanics”, “General geology”, “Ore fields”, “Hydrogeology”, “Mining”, “Petrography”, “Mineralogy and Crystallography”. One of the first teachers was Alimkhan Abeuovich Yermekov (1891-1970) who was also a statesman, a graduate of the Tomsk Polytechnic Institute, a member of the Alash party, an active proponent of Kazakh autonomy and uniting of Kazakh lands, a scientist, and the first Kazakh professor-mathematician. In 1930 he was actively engaged in the development of the textbook in Mathematics in the Kazakh language.

Building of KazMMI, built in 1936

The first contract-based research on investigating the reasons of fissuring and bottom settlings of loess soil thickness in the geological zone of Alma-Ata and the research work “Shrinkage and Flood Method of the Lake Muyaldy” were carried out.


The first batch of 26 engineers, (11 geologists and 15 hydrogeologists) graduated. New departments were created, each related to the metallurgy of heavy and nonferrous metals; fundamentals of metallurgy; mining transport; rock mechanics; historical geology and paleontology; mineral processing; thermal engineering; development of ore fields and mineral resources.


New departments were created
related to physical and colloidal chemistry; exploration and maintenance of mines; mining ventilation and safety measures; mining electric engineering; metallurgical furnaces; metallurgy of light and precious metals; surveying of mines; and military science. 56 engineers, including the first 32 mining engineers, graduated. The first female mining engineer, R.M. Mukhamedzhanova, was among them. Full-time and part-time postgraduate courses were created. A notable student from this period was Akzhan Mashanov, who would go on to popularize and bring to preeminence, the works of the great scientist Abu Nasyr al-Farabi whose name was written with golden letters in the history of Kazakhstan.

O.A. Baykonurov
A.Zh. Mashanov
Ilyas Yesenberlin

88 engineers
including the first 25 metallurgical engineers graduated from the Institute during this period. New departments were instituted including “Physical electric engineering and colloidal chemistry”, “Construction, applied mechanics and graphics”, “Metallurgy of precious metals and metallurgical science”. Ilyas Essenberlin, who would later go on to gain renown as a Kazakh writer, was a notable graduate of this period.

Graduates of KazMMI of 1941. Ilyas Yesenberlin is in the middle row on the right , O.A. Baykonurov is in the lower row on the right.
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