History

 

The institution, from which the Budapest University of Technology and Economics derives, the Institutum Geometrico-Hydrotechnicum (Engineering Institute), began its work in 1782. Founded by Joseph II, the institute trained surveyors, cartographers, and civil engineers who specialized in managing the waterways and damns.

 

At the beginning of the 19th century, efforts at industrial development combined with expectations of Parliament to create a tertiary institution that would train experts in industry. On June 12, 1844, Ferdinand V. signed law founding the Industrial School. In 1846 the institution took on József Nádor's name in honor of the 50th anniversary of his election, and Mihály Karácsony became the director. Teaching began in the fall of 1846. The young instructors and students played a significant role in the revolution and struggle for freedom that took place in 1848-49.

 

In the 1850's the two engineering schools (Engineering Institute and the Industrial School) merged - and the language of instruction became German (Joseph Industrieschule). From 1856 it was known as Joseph Polytechnicum, and in 1860 they began to allow instruction in Hungarian. The director was József Stoczek, Instructor of Natural Sciences. Beginning in 1850-51, there was only the technical department, with the number of interested students increasing significantly each year. The struggle for an independent Technical University proved successful during the second term of József Eötvös, when the Parliament approved his proposal. Franz Joseph ratified this on July 10, 1871, and the Technical University started the 1871-72 school year as an independent institution. The first rector was József Stoczek.

 

As of 1871, the University established the five departments that would become today's faculties: engineering (equivalent of today's Architecture Faculty), Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Building Science engineering, and Universal Engineering.

 

As far the history of the Hungarian economy goes, the age of dualism meant an era of spectacular development for Industry and mechanization. Industrial progress required more and more highly trained experts. The department, (later faculty) of Mechanical Engineering served to meet this need.

 

In its first year, this faculty had 15 students, growing to 131 by 1881-82 and 800 in 1899-1900. In 1882-1883 the Technical University, including the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, began instruction in its own building on what is now known as Múzeum körút.

 

That the education of engineers paid serious attention to the needs of industry is proven by the specialized departments that were established.

 

At the threshold of the 20th century, the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering operated the following departments:

  • Mechanical Structures I-II-III
  • Technical and Theoretical Mechanics
  • Descriptive Geometry
  • Mechanical Drafting and Design
  • Analytical Mechanics and Theoretical Science
  • Mechanical Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Agricultural Machinery
  • Electrotechnics
  • Technical Physics
  • Civil Administration and Private Law

 

Hungary faced new challenges upon the completion of the First World War and the demise of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The reduction in territory that resulted from the Trianon Treaty disrupted the economic balance of Hungary. The stabilization of the economy - which was not without its own contradictions - brought with it the restructuring of industry. All of these factors influenced the training of mechanical engineers. Educational reforms during the latter half of the 1920's served two purposes: the modernization of the training and the easing of the overwhelming burden on students. In 1929 three programs were organized within the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering:

  1. General mechanical design and production
  2. Electrotechnics (founding what would later become the Faculty of Electronic Engineering)
  3. Agricultural Engineering

 

In 1934 re-structuring occurred, bringing about József Nádor University of Technology and Economics, becoming the countries largest university with its 98 departments. Throughout the 1930's more and more experienced experts began teaching at the university as new departments were established and laboratories and workshops were developed and expanded.

 

During World War II, fighting in Budapest caused considerable damage to the university. Several buildings suffered. The students that remained home instead of going to the front departed from the Eastern Railway Station in December of 1944. The mechanical e ngineering students went to Dresden, living through the terrible bombing that occurred there. Over 20% of the university's buildings were damaged. Most of the machines and instruments were destroyed; the laboratories became unusable. In spite of it all, though, on April 3, 1945, instruction began again with the teachers that had remained or returned. In the autumn of 1945 the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering had 918 students.

 

The political struggles of the years and decades following 1945 took their toll in the Technical University. In 1948-49 new plans were prepared for the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, allowing for instruction in the following specializations: Mechanical Production Technology, Thermal Power Engineering, Railway Engineering, Building Science Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Nautical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Textile Engineering, Hydraulic Engineering and Agricultural Engineering.

 

The year 1948 ushered in an era full of contradictions for the economy and society, which had their effect on technical higher education as well. The educational reforms following 1949 presented two problems. First of all, the sudden demand for an unrealistic increase in the number of engineers, meaning such an increase in the number of students that neither the staff nor the rooms were sufficient. Secondly, there was an increase in the number of departments, to 11 for the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. The number of full-time students was limited to 450 in 1950-51. With the establishment evening courses in 1951, the faculty's total number of students increased to 2159.

 

Significant progress took place in 1955 as far as the quality of education was concerned, as the curriculum as developed and the numbers of subjects and departments were decreased. From then on there were five departments for Mechanical Engineering: Turbine Engineering, Mechanical Production, Agricultural Engineering, Textile Engineering, and Chemical Engineering.

 

Along with the contradictions within industrial policy, there was clear uncertainty for the educated classes - especially engineers. The declining economy and the lack of transparent economic processes presented major problems for university instructors. In the spring of 1956, history began to accelerate in Hungary. On October 22, 1956, the meeting held in the Hall of the University's Central Building played a significant role in sparking the revolution.

 

In 1967, the Technical University of Construction and Transportation was consolidated with the Technical University of Budapest. After the consolidation, the Department of Automotive Engineering and the Department of Transport became parts of the Faculty of Transportation Engineering. In the early 1970's the day courses included training in the following areas: Mechanical Engineering, Mechanical Production Engineering, Power Generation, Agricultural Mechanical Engineering, Textile Technology, Chemical Engineering, and Technical Education.

 

In 1984, English language instruction was introduced for the benefit of international students, an initiative in which the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering took an active part from the very beginning. Later, the faculty added French and German language instruction to the programs that already took place in Russian.

 

Our instruction benefited from the socio-economic demands of the late 1990's. The faculty currently provides masters level education for mechanical engineers, energy engineers, and industrial design engineers. Bachelor's degrees are offered in mechanical engineering and energy engineering.

 

Doctoral (PhD) education is offered in the main research fields for Mechanical Engineering. Four sub-programs operate within the "Mechanical Engineering Sciences" hD program of the Géza Pattantyús-Ábrahám Doctoral School:

  • applied material science
  • machine and instrument analysis, design, and production
  • mechanical and energy systems and processes
  • chemical, agricultural, and food and beverage mechanical sciences

 

The departments of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering work in cooperation with more than 80 foreign universities and research institutes - cooperation that is evident in international research projects, conferences, and publications. The research that takes place in the departments serves both technological development and the training of engineers.

 

(Based on Dr. József Németh's work: 130 Years of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, published in 2003)

 

Deans of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and its Predecessors

 

Deans of the School of Mechanical Engineering: 1871 - 1934

Miksa Bielek 1871/72 - 1874/75
Dr. Vince Wartha 1875/76 - 1876/77
Dezső Nagy 1877/78 - 1881/82
Dr. Géza Ghyczy 1882/83 - 1884/85
Dr. Alajos Schuller 1885/86 - 1886/87
István Fölser 1887/88 - 1890/91
Emil Asbóth 1891/92 - 1897/98
Ödön K. Jónás 1898/99 - 1900/01
Sándor Rejtő 1901/02 - 1903/04
Pál Lázár 1904/05 - 1906/07
Dr. Ferenc Wittmann 1907/08 - 1909/10
Károly Zipernowsky 1910/11 - 1911/12
Adolf Czakó 1912/13 - 1913/14
Donát Bánki 1914/15 - 1915/16
Emil Schimanek 1916/17 - 1917/18
Miksa Herrmann 1918/19 - 1919/20
Dr. Béla Bresztovszky 1920/21 - 1921/22
1925/26 - 1926/27
Dr. Gusztáv Szabó 1922/23 - 1924/25
Dr. Farkas Heller 1927/28 - 1928/29
Dr. Vilmos Misángyi 1929/30 - 1930/31
Imre Pöschl 1931/32 - 1932/33
Dr. Béla Pogány 1933/34 - 1934/35

Deans of the Faculty of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering: 1934 - 1949

Dr. Béla Pogány 1934/35
Dr. Aladár Vendl 1935/36
Dr. László Verebély 1936/37
Dr. Elek Sigmond 1937/38
Dr. Géza Pattantyús-Á. 1938/39
Dr. Géza Zemplén 1939/40
Ödön Vajda 1940/41
1946/47
1948/49
Dr. István Náray-Szabó 1941/42
Dr. Előd Abody 1942/43
Dr. Zoltán Csűrös 1943/44
Dr. József Liska 1944/45
Dr. Jenő Plank 1945/46
1947/48

Deans of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering: 1949 -

Dr. Imre Vörös 1949/50
Dr. Imre Rázsó 1950/51 - 1952/53
1963/64 - 1964/65
Dr. József Gruber 1953/54 - 1954/55
Dr. Endre Reuss 1955/56 - 1956/57
Dr. Elemér Rácz 1957/58 - 1962/63
Kornél Kunos
1964/65
Dr. József Varga 1965/66 - 1971/72
Dr. Gyula Béda 1972/73 - 1980/81
Dr. Gyula Strommer 1981/82 - 1986/87
Dr. István Artinger 1987/88 - 1990/91
Dr. Zoltán Vajna 1990/91 - 1993/94
Dr. Károly Molnár 1994/95 - 2000/01
Dr. Antal Penninger 2001/02 - 2007/08
Dr. Gábor Stépán 2008/09 - 2011/12
Dr. Tibor Czigány 2012/13 -
 
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