The Altshuller Institute

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TRIZ Feature

Alexander Selyutsky - a key figure in the history of TRIZ!

Alexander Selyutsky

Selyutsky Alexander Borisovich was born April 6, 1933 to an intelligent Jewish family residing in Leningrad. During the World War II the plant where his father was working was evacuated to the Urals, and the family (the parents and Alexander) moved to Chelyabinsk. Here, Alexander graduated from high school. He wanted to go to a military school, but didn’t pass vision test and entered the Chelyabinsk Polytechnic Institute. In his first year he was forced to learn boxing (because of frequent anti-Semitic attacks) and became a Komsomol activist.

After graduation, he was sent to Petrozavodsk Onega tractor plant, where he worked as a designer. He continued leading a very active social life, organized and led voluntary militia patrolling the streets of the city because the situation was very criminal. In the search for more satisfying work he became interested in patenting, completed appropriate courses and became a patent agent.

In 1960, Alexander married Dolly Naumovna Audleys, and had a daughter Alla in 1961. The same year G.S Altshuller published a book " “Learn how to invent"[1] . After reading this book in 1965 Selyutsky wrote a letter to Altshuller. This letter started their acquaintance by correspondence. Since then, Alexander became one of the most dedicated Altshuller’s disciples and an active promoter of the emerging new science.

They finally met in 1968 in Dzintary (near Riga), at the seminar organized by the Central Board of VOIR (state leading inventors’ and innovators’ society) that invited Altshuller and several of his associates. It was the first time that Alexander and others got a chance to work under the direct guidance of Altshuller and to learn from him. Later, in 1983, Alexander participated as one of the instructors in the seminar conducted by G.S. Altshuller in Moscow at the Institute for continuous education for chemical and petroleum industries.

In the late 1960s, Alexander becomes a patent agent for a brand new paper production equipment plant in Petrozavodsk. Here he starts teaching ARIZ (The Algorithm for Inventive Problem Solving). In 1968 he publishes a collection of important problems that required solutions with selected TRIZ materials and an album with TRIZ 40 principles that besides plant workers and engineers, was also used by many TRIZ colleagues..

In early 1TRIZ Salutsky.713970s, Alexander started 10-day ARIZ sessions at his plant and a furniture factory. At this time he utilizes ARIZ to solve a very important plant problem and receives a patent for his solution.

This one and other solutions were described in the book published together with a colleague GennadySlugin , "Inspiration on demand" - one of the first books on TRIZ, published by Karelia Publishing house in 1977.

In 1979, Selyutsky established Public University for Technical creativity, teaching TRIZ to engineers, workers, students and physicians. University was offering 2-year course (TRIZ, Creative Imagination Development, Lifetime strategy for creative individuals, patenting, etc.). He worked in close collaboration with Leningrad TRIZ University. The majority of TRIZ instructors from Petrozavodsk came from Selyutsky’s school.

In 1980, Alexander organized the first conference for TRIZ developers and instructors in Petrozavodsk presided by Altshuller. Since then, these conferences became regular events organized by Selyutsky and his close colleagues (1982, 85, 87, 89, 91, 93, 95, 97, 99)[2].

In 1989, the situation in Baku, the city Altshuller was residing in for the most of his life became very violent, and Alexander helped Altshuller to relocate to Petrozavodsk, which was a real miracle given the realities of life in the Soviet Union at that time. Alexander turned every stone to make it happen. Since then, Petrozavodsk became “TRIZ capital."

Selyutsky was actively engaged in TRIZ publications. After the "Inspiration on demand” in 1980 he published the book "Wings for Ikarus” by G.S. Altshuller and A.B. Selyutsky. Since 1988, Alexander organized publishing of 5 books with TRIZ materials of various authors in the series "Technology-Youth-Creativity".

During Perestroika years (1987) Alexander leaves the plant and becomes a TRIZ professional involved in teaching and consulting.

Alexander Selyutsky is a TRIZ Master; he is working on TRIZ history, teaching adults, college students and schoolchildren. He has got involved in TRIZ his daughter (Alla Nesterenko is one of the leading specialists in teaching TRIZ to kids of various age) and grandchildren. Alexander’ role in TRIZ is unique, he became the first TRIZ business administrator and devoted TRIZ promoter. Without him, TRIZ today will be quite different.



List of works on TRIZ

  1. Selyutsky, Alexander, and Gennadii Slugin. Inspiration on Demand. Petrozavodsk: Karelia Publishing House, 1977.
  2. Altshuller, Genrich, and Alexander Selyutsky. Wings for Ikarus: How to Solve Inventive Problems. Petrozavodsk: Karelia Publishing House, 1980.
  3. Selyutsky, A., ed. Daring Formulas of Creativity. Technology – Youth – Creativity Series. Petrozavodsk: Karelia Publishing House, 1987.
  4. Selyutsky, A., ed. A Clue to the Labyrinth. Technology–Youth–Creativity Series. Petrozavodsk: Karelia Publishing House, 1988.
  5. Selyutsky, A., ed. Rules for the Game that Has No Rules. Technology–Youth–Creativity Series. Petrozavodsk: Karelia Publishing House, 1989.


[1] Algorithm of Invention was published later, in 1969 (first edition)

[2] From 1991 these conferences became MATRIZ congresses.



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