Home / News / News and Events / Professor Dr. habil Stoyko Fakirov of the University of Oakland, New Zealand was conferred the honorary title of Doctor honoris causa of Sofia University

Professor Dr. habil Stoyko Fakirov of the University of Oakland, New Zealand was conferred the honorary title of Doctor honoris causa of Sofia University

At a solemn ceremony, which took place at Aula magna of Alma mater Professor Dr habil Styko Fakirov was conferred the honorary degree of Doctor honoris causa of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. The proposal for the conferment of the degree of the oldest and most prestigious high academic institution in this country comes from the Faculty of Pharmacy and Chemistry and is to mark the substantial contribution of Professor Dr habil Stoyko Fakirov for the development and the technologies of the science of the polymers in this country.

The ceremony was opened by the Dean of the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy Professor Dr habil Petur Kralchevski, Member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, who presented a brief CV of Professor Stoyko Fakirov.

Professor Fakirov is an eminent Bulgarian scholar in the domain of the polymer sciences who for the past 17 years have been working successfully at the Center for Modern Composite Materials at the University of Oakland, New Zealand. He has made substantial contribution to the development of science and the technologies of the polymers in Bulgaria.


According to Web of Science Professor Fakirov has h-factor 33, more than 300 articles cited more than 4000 times and is the author of 11 patents registered in the USA and of 36 patents registered in this country.

The Dean of the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy pointed out that Professor Fakirov was a fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 1971-1972 and in 1989, and in 2000 he was awarded the Humboldt Research Award – the highest distinction for science in Germany. He is the laureate of a number of national and international prizes and has delivered 126 lectures as visiting professor in the whole world.


Professor Kralchevski reminded the audience of Professor Fakirov’s award – the Medal for outstanding research of modern materials by the International Association for Advanced Materials (IAAM). The Association is more than 50000 member strong in more than 140 countries and the medal was given at a special ceremony on August, 22nd, 2017 during the European Congress for Advanced Materials held at Stockholm, Sweden. The IAAM Medal – 2017 is a recognition of Professor Fakirov’s achievements in the creation of new polymer nanomaterials, one-componential nano-febrile polymer-polymer nanocomposites and also his new technology allowing for the transformation of every polymer into a bulk of nanomaterial with controlled morphology.

Professor Kralchevski stressed that in his series of internationally acknowledged achievements Professor Fakirov never failed pointing out his appurtenance to Bulgarian science and specifically to Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. “He has donated copies of all his books to the Library of the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy and keeps on maintaining good relations and active contacts with his colleagues with faculty staff. Many of his students have been working successfully as scholars both in this country and abroad”, Academician Kralchevski pointed out..


Professor Fakirov’s scientific and academic activities went through the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy at Sofia University where he held the position of a lecturer in physics of the polymers. He is the co-author of the textbook which is still being used in the teaching of the discipline at the Faculty.

Professor Fakirov was the tutor of a number of M. Sc. Theses and Ph. D. dissertatations. He was a visiting lecturer and research worker at universities in Germany, the USA, Turkey, Spain, Portugal and New Zealand. He is a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, the European Physics Society, the Union of Scientists in Bulgaria, the Bulgarian Polymer Society.


Professor Fakirov is one of the most successful and established Bulgarian scholars abroad, and member of staff of the Department of Pharmaceutical and Applied Organic Chemistry at the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy. He has made significant contributions to the development of the Department; he was the founder and head of the Laboratory for the Structure and Properties of Polymers (from 1984 to his retirement in 2005). Professor Fakirov has also participated in the running of the administrative structure of Sofia University in his capacity as Vice-Rector for 1987-1989.. In 2016 Professor Stoyko Fakirov was awarded with the written entrance of his name in the Book of Honour of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”.

After the act of the conferral of the honorary degree Doctor honoris causa by the Rector of Sofia University Professor Dr habil Anastas Gerdzhikov, Professor Stoyko Fakirov expressed his excitement of being in the main Bulgarian temple of knowledge and education. He added that when he was a student at school, when hearing the word “chemistry”, he made up his mind to become a chemist and to study chemistry at Sofia University. Professor Fakirov recollected the days of his University admission examinations, his professors and the evolution of his scientific activities.


He delivered an academic speech on the topic of: "The Science of Polymers and Stoyko Fakirov (Where, What and with Whom Did He Do Research?)".

In his speech Professor Stotko Fakirov gave an answer to the question “Is the study of polymers an old science?“ and pointed out that, despite the fact that with reference to the subject matter of research – live matter, it belongs to the oldest of sciences, as an autonomous one it was formed in the 1920-1930’s. He spoke about the “father” of polymer science – Professor Hermann Staudinger -- and the inventions of Wallace Carrothers. Professor Fakirov presented interesting facts about the length of the macromolecules and showed how small 1 nanometer is.


He also touched on his pioneer steps in science, his study period in Moscow, his work with Professor E. V. Fischer as a Humboldt Fellow and stressed the important role of the Humboldt Foundation in his professional career.

A substantial part of his speech was dedicated to his joint work on projects with Professor D. Schulz, his work on microsolidity of the polymers with Professor F. H. Baltha-Kaecha and his research with Professor K. Friedrich.

Professor Fakirov talked about the microfebrile accelerated polymer-polymer composites, and the focus in his lecture was on the polymer nanocomposites obtained by “transformation instead of addition” and the nanofebrile polymer-polymer composites.

At the end of his speech Professor Stoyko Fakirov expressed his gratitude to the members of the Academic Council of Sofia University, to the Rector Professor Dr habil Anastas Gerdzhikov, the members of the Faculty Council at the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy and personally to the Dean Professor Petur Kralchevski, to his undergraduates, his Ph D students and co-research workers who turned the ideas he described into real-life facts.


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