Mikhail Zakharovich Kolovsky is an outstanding researcher of mechanics of complex modern machines. His non-linear theory of vibration isolation systems helped to solve the most important problem of protecting electronic equipment of missile systems. He developed a unified and clear methodology for analyzing the dynamics of machines considered as linked dynamic complexes, including the drive, transmission and actuating mechanisms and the control system. Introduced by M.Z. Kolovski, the new definition of the structural group, in which the Assur group is considered as a special case, allowed the development of the theory of L.V. Assur and the study of the modern mechanisms on a single methodological basis, which did not exist in the epoch of L.V. Assur. The methodology developed by M.Z. Kolovski became the foundation for development of such modern academic courses as machine dynamics, the mechanism and machine theory, etc. The given paper presents brief biographical information from the life of M.Z. Kolovsky, and considers scientific ideas developed in his works.