In 1982, he graduated with honors from the Leningrad Mining Institute with a degree in Mineral Deposit Exploration Technology and Engineering. In 1987 he defended his PhD thesis and in 1992 his doctoral thesis on "Theoretical and Experimental Fundamentals of Fusion Rock Drilling."
He did his military service in the Soviet Army and has practical experience of working in exploration crews. He is a full member of the International Academy of Science and Higher Education, member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, the Russian Academy of Humanitarian Sciences, and the International International Academy of Ecology and Life Protection Sciences.
He began his career at the Mining University in 1984 as Vice-Rector. In June 1994, he was elected Rector of the university and re-elected to the post five times in a row. In 2000, 2004, 2012 and 2018, he headed the electoral headquarters of presidential candidate Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg.