History of the Faculty

 

In 1897, in Berlin, Danzig Research Society submitted application for the funds and obtained approval for founding of the long desired technical university. The opening ceremony was held on 6 October 1904, in the presence of the Emperor Wilhelm II.

From the very beginning of the activity of the Hochschule zu Danzig, mechanics occupied a respectful position. In the first period of the activity, mechanics and electrotechnology were combined to the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Electrotechnology. In 1922 the faculty was separated and, under the name of Department of Machine Technology, became a part of the combined Faculty of Machine Technology, Ship Technology and Electrotechnology. In 1926 the name of the department was changed into the Faculty of Machine Construction, Electrotechnology and Ship and Aircraft Technology, however, since 1938 the department had functioned as the Faculty of Machine Technology.

The decree of the State National Council of 24 May 1945 legitimized the existence of Gdańsk University of Technology as a Polish national academic school. Under the provisions of the decree, the university was divided into four departments including also the Faculty of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering.

The date of 22 October 1945 is very important in the history of the faculty. On this day, the first lectures after the end of World War II were initiated. The post of the first dean of the faculty was given to Professor Karol Taylor, formerly a long-standing dean of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Warsaw University of Technology. Professor Taylor also became the head of the Department of Combustion Engines in the faculty.

Four hundred and four students – one fourth of all the number of students of Gdańsk University of Technology - started the education at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in the first academic year. It was the time when many respectful scientists, experts of industry and experienced lecturers initiated their careers at the faculty and university. Between 1945 and 1949 Gdańsk University of Technology and the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering was proud to employ Professor Maksymilian Tytus Huber, a renowned scientist specializing in the theory of elasticity. The very first Polish ship-based steam engine installed in the engine room of the first seagoing ship completed in Poland after World War II, coal and ore freighter, S/S Sołdek was designed by Professor Adolf Polak. First Polish lorry, Star 20 (load capacity: 3,5t) produced in Starachowice was designed and developed by the team led by Professor Mieczysław Dębicki. Also, the first post-war machine tool produced by H. Cegielski Factory in Poznań was designed and developed by Professor Edward Geisler. The list of other great and unforgettable professors of those days also includes such names as: Michał Broszko, Władysław Florjański, Antoni Kozłowski, Marian Piątek, Marian Sienkowski, Wiktor Wiśniowski and many, many more. In 1957 the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering was relocated to the new separate building.

In 1956 the faculty was divided into two faculties: Faculty of Machinery, whose name was changed into the Faculty of Machine Construction in 1965, and Faculty of Machine Technology, later to be called Faculty of Production Engineering (from 1965) and Faculty of Technology and Production Planning (1990-1991). 35 years after the division into two faculties, the time come to combine them under the original name. This gave rise to a didactic and scientific body with significantly increased creative possibilities.

The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering has always been one of the largest faculties within the Gdańsk University of Technology and has significantly contributed to its development by means of important scientific and implementation achievements. On numerous occasions the employees of the faculty have been awarded the highest prizes, such as Johannes Hevelius Gdansk Scientific Prize awarded to Professor Edmund Wittbrodt who held the post of the Rector of Gdańsk University of Technology in 1990-1993 and 1993-1996, served as a Member of Polish Senate (since 1997) as well as a Minister of Education (2000-2001). The post of the Rector of Gdańsk University of Technology was also held by three professors associated with our faculty: Stanisław Łukasiewicz (1945-1946), Stanisław Turski (1946-1950) and Marian Cichy (1978-1981).

In 1992, the Branch of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Elbląg was included in the structure of the faculty. The decision to establish the branch became a great success for the whole region, producing the engineering staff for the various units of local and national industry, the number of the graduates of this institution exceeded 750. In 1998 the tradition of the technical education in Elbląg was taken up by the State University of Applied Sciences (PWSZ). The graduates of PWSZ are entitled to continue the MSc studies in Gdańsk.

Nowadays, the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering is dedicated to improve the system of studies through high-quality education, introduction of the flexible organization and preparing an international offer for students. In compliance with the key objectives listed in the Faculty Strategy for 2013-2020, we want to introduce the research support mechanisms, academic teachers’ development support and increase the efficiency of doctoral studies. We also strive to introduce innovative solutions benefiting the faculty, the university and the region.