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The Warsaw Voice » Other » August 13, 2008
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Technical University of £ód¼: In With the Times
August 13, 2008   
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The Technical University of £ód¼ is one of the largest technical colleges in Poland, with 1,550 teachers, including more than 280 professors, and 21,000 students.

Founded in 1945, the university started out with just three departments, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Chemistry. In its first year, the school had 525 students, 33 professors, 15 senior lecturers, and 53 junior lecturers. Today the university has nine faculties and a total of 70 institutes and departments, with 21,000 students, including 800 Ph.D. students. The school has a staff of around 3,000 and conducts research in 302 fields.

Key departments
The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering deals with the automation and robotization of production processes and road traffic issues such as the use of the global positioning system (GPS) for monitoring vehicles. The faculty's researchers examine the handling properties of vehicles with manual and automatic transmissions and study the road holding of vehicles equipped with four-wheel drive (4WD), anti-lock braking (ABS), anti-slip regulation (ASR), and active suspension (AS) systems.

The Faculty of Electrical, Electronic, Computer and Control Engineering focuses on a diverse range of subjects, including biomedical engineering, electronic image recognition, renewable energy, and waste recycling.

The Faculty of Chemistry runs environmental projects and deals with issues such as thermal-catalytic sewage treatment and the use of irradiation for the preservation of historical monuments and sterilization of products. It also synthesizes auxiliary agents for cosmetology and develops special-purpose colorants and new substances for household use, for example optical brighteners. It carries out research in nanotechnology, including work on polymer nanocomposites with organic conductors and nanotubes.

The Faculty of Material Technologies and Textile Design is part of the Advanced Technology Cluster of the Textile and Clothing Industries. The faculty aims to introduce modern products to the textile industry, which is well developed in the £ód¼ region. The faculty conducts the digital analysis of textiles and provides computer-aided manufacturing and design (CAM/CAD) applications for the textile industry.

The Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Sciences deals with the storage of produce, enzymatic synthesis of bio-diesel fuel, and the use of microorganism enzyme genes in medicine and business. It also designs biosensors and examines the behavior of lyophilized foodstuffs preserved by freeze-drying. The faculty is implementing the HACCP quality assurance system in selected food processing plants. The system ensures high foodstuff hygiene and safety standards for consumers.

The Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Environmental Engineering works on IT applications in urban planning, utilization of industrial waste for construction purposes, and rational water usage in industry.

The Faculty of Technical Physics, Computer Science and Applied Mathematics is active in areas such as computer modeling and simulations, and the use of these methods in engineering and technical and medical diagnostics. Many of these projects concern artificial intelligence and financial issues such as the management of financial risk in pension funds.

The Faculty of Organization and Management deals with methods for securing a competitive advantage in the small and medium-sized enterprise sector and issues such as gaining access to new technology, innovation, management of research and development operations, advanced technology, and hi-tech incubators.

A window on the world
The International Faculty of Engineering (IFE), also known as the International Education Center, was founded in 1992. It provides classes in English and French, relying on both Polish and foreign lecturers. The faculty's first foreign teacher was Prof. Daniel Lityński, dean of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY.

The International Faculty of Engineering offers courses in biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, telecommunications, biotechnology, and business and technology. There is also a French-language program called Gestion et technologie, run by teachers from the Faculty of Organization and Management.

Since its inception, the International Faculty of Engineering has participated in international student exchange programs. In 1998, the faculty launched a "mobility semester" for all majors as part of the European Union's Tempus program, offering each student an opportunity to study abroad for six months. Today, under the Socrates/Erasmus program, each sixth-semester student can additionally go to one of 60 colleges in 15 countries.

The faculty's students will soon be able to obtain dual degrees under letters of intent that the faculty has signed with foreign universities including ENSAM and ECL in France, the Odense University College of Engineering in Denmark, and Turku Polytechnic in Finland.

The Technical University of £ód¼ has joined a national project called Study in Poland and has some 50 foreign students at the moment.

International ties
The Technical University of £ód¼ has cooperation agreements with 159 foreign academic centers in 38 countries, including Algeria, Belarus, Britain, Bulgaria, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Ukraine, and the United States.

As part of these agreements, the Peptide Chemistry Unit at the Technical University of £ód¼'s Institute of Organic Chemistry has worked for 15 years with the Washington University Center for Molecular Design in St. Louis, MO, in the United States. Over the years, this cooperation has produced 60 joint publications and many long-term academic internships.

The Synthetic Fiber Institute of the Technical University of £ód¼ has obtained several patents for hi-tech fiber production together with Swedish corporation Berol Nobel A.B.

The £ód¼ Institute of Radiation Technology has developed the technology for the production of a hydrogel dressing called Aqua Gel in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency. The technology is patented in many countries, including Britain and the United States.

The £ód¼ Institute of Vehicle Research has developed a number of modern automotive technologies, with a special focus on braking systems, in collaboration with the Paris-based International Federation of Automotive Engineering Societies (FISITA).

Since June 1, 2003, the Technical University of £ód¼'s International Research Programs Office has been a contact point for European Union Framework Programs, coordinating all international academic and research programs in which the university participates.

The Technology Transfer Center, yet another component of the Technical University of £ód¼, strives to make the best possible use of the university's intellectual and technical potential to the benefit of the Polish economy. It promotes and implements the results of research and technologies developed by the university's staff. The center serves as a contact point for businesses interested in obtaining new technology and innovative designs.

Tomasz Kamiński

Pride of place

Over the years, researchers working at the Technical University of £ód¼ have clocked up a number of prestigious awards at home and abroad. Here are some of the most notable prizewinners:

  • Prof. Jerzy Kroh-Japanese Imperial Medal, Gold and Silver Star, for scientific collaboration with Japan
  • Prof. Hanna Zaorska-Silver and Bronze Medals from the International Commission for Agricultural and Food Industries (CIIA)
  • Prof. Czes³aw Strumi³³o-Procter & Gamble Award for Excellence in Drying Research
  • Team of biomaterials researchers led by Prof. Janusz Rosiak-Gold Medal and Special Award at the 1993 Brussels Eureka World Exhibition of Innovation, Research and New Technology.
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