The Russian Academy of Sciences conducts annual competitions for young scientists and students in 19 research fields in the natural, technical and human sciences. The goal is to identify and support talented young researchers.
Denis Ponomarev, 4th year student in the NSU Geology and Geophysics Department, won the award and a 25,000 ruble prize in the field of geology, geophysics, geochemistry and mining sciences for his undergraduate diploma work "Mineralogical and Geochemical Research and Classification Signs of the Maslyanino Iron Meteorite". As a student, he was in a group of scientists that investigated the rare Maslyanino Meteorite, which was found in 1992. According to Ponomarev, the main purpose of his work is to study the chemical and mineralogical composition of the meteorite in detail to supplement its classification and suggest models for its formation.
The award ceremony took place in Moscow at the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Ponamarev talked about the meaning of the award,
For me, this medal primarily means that my work was not in vain. Sometimes, when you are engaged in fundamental science, you get the impression that nobody needs your work. Recognition in the form of a medal contradicts that assumption. During the ceremony, Academician Valery Kozlov told us this is the most prestigious award for students and young scientists. Only the Presidential award is more prestigious.
Ponamarev will continue with this research and write his Master’s thesis on the topic. The Maslyanino meteorite is part of a larger project at the Institute of Geology and Mineralogy SB RAS Laboratory for Theoretical and Experimental Research of High-Pressure Mineral Formation. The project goal is to study iron meteorites with silicate inclusions in order to trace the interaction between the metal and silicate parts, to supplement or change existing models of their formation, to expand the classification and, possibly, to identify common parental asteroids for these type of meteorites. An article on the results of this research was submitted to the journal “Geology and Geophysics”.