Tullio Ilometsa tegevuse jälg Tartu Ülikoolis

The marks left by Tullio Ilomets' activities at the University of Tartu

  • Jaak Järv academician, UT professor for organic chemistry
  • Gerda-Johanna Raidaru UT researcher


Tullio Ilomets was a legendary person in the recent history of the
University of Tartu. He participated in the reconstruction of chemistry education and in establishing contemporary organic synthesis at
the post-war University. Initially Ilomets studied hydrocarbons with
triple bonds. Among many useful applications, these compounds were
later used as building blocks for the synthesis of plant protection
chemicals, known as pheromones. Later he became interested in the
analysis of complex mixtures of organic compounds of biological origin, including snake venoms, different types of medicinal mud samples, glycosides of plant extracts and complex mixtures of fermentation products, which can be considered precursors of contemporary
dietary supplements.
Ilomets was very deeply interested in the history of science, and
he established the excellent collection of scientific instruments exhibited at the University of Tartu Museum. Besides this academic interest in history, he actively participated in practical heritage conservation activities, for example, by studying the chemical composition
of building materials needed for the restoration of St. John’s Church
in Tartu.
Ilomets had a great influence on students, increasing their professional skills, but more importantly, he had a strong impact on their
intellectual development. This kind of mentorship shaped the minds
of many generations of students and affected the entire community
of Estonian chemists.


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