Milestones of the History of CTU and FME

1707  Rescript issued of the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire – Joseph I. The Estates´ Engineering School established in Prague.

1795    Emperor Francis I. established a "Study Commission of the Court" the purpose of which was to audit public schools (training establishments).
1806   A regional technical school called "Königliche Bömische Lehranstalt zu Prag (Royal Czech Estates Technical School in Prague) with František Josef Gerstner as its head which had a task to "elevate domestic patriotic industry by scientific education". Study was organized over a period of 3 years and curricula were approved on July 3, 1806. Courses were opened in November 1806 for 106 students.
1836   Karl W e r s i n (1803-1876) appointed first professor of an independent department of machine construction. Professor Wersin also lectured in physics. In academic year 1869/70 he became the first rector of the newly established German Polytechnic Institute in Prague, called Deutsches polytechnisches Landesinstitut des Königreichs Böhmen.
1862   Professors Kořistka (1825 - 1906), Skuherský (1828 -1863) and Jelínek (1822 - 1876) proposed that physics should be separated from mechanics and courses in mechanics extended to two years in such a way that theoretical mechanics was to be lectured in the first and practical "constructive" mechanics in the second year. In the academic year 1862/1863 only the first of these proposals was accomplished – Karel Václav Z e n g e r was appointed professor of physics.
1863   "Organic Statute of the Czech Polytechnic Institute of the Czech Kingdom" approved. The institute, which changed its name since 1806 already several times and in 1863 was called officially "Königliches Böhmisches polytechnisches Landesinstitut in Prag (Royal Czech Regional Polytechnic Institute in Prague) continually expanded. The statute ultimately defined the institute as a university. The Czech and German languages became equal and for the first time the university was headed by a rector. Four study departments, forerunners of todays faculties, were established : waterworks and road construction, land construction, mechanical engineering and technical chemistry. In compliance with the new Statute courses in all departments started in academic year 1864/1865. 1864 is thus with justification recognized as the year of the inception of mechanical engineering studies on a university level at the Polytechnic Institute. Hence 1864 is considered as the year of the establishment of a school the direct successor of which is our Faculty. The first head of the department of mechanical engineering to be appointed was Gustav S c h m i d t, professor of mechanics, mechanical engineering and machine design. Great emphasis was laid on " experience in mechanical engineering (excursions to factories, work experience in the school´s mechanical workshops and in factories)". Lectures were delivered in two buildings – Dominican (Husova) Street and in Odkolek´s mill in the Kampa. A new building was planned on Charles´ Square on the site of a block of buildings of the former Charles´ barracks on todays Resslova Street.
1864  Prof. PhDr. Karel K o ř i s t k a (1825 – 1906) was appointed first rector. The Polytechnic Institute was divided into 4 study departments. Professor Gustav S k ř i v a n (1831 – 1866), professor of mathematics was appointed head of Dept. I. – waterworks and road construction, Professor Josef Z í t e k (1832 – 1909), professor of architecture head of Dept. II. – land construction, Professor Gustav S c h m i d t (1826 – 1883), professor of mechanics, mechanical engineering and machine design head of Dept. III. – mechanical engineering and Professor Karl Balling ( 1805 – 1868), professor of chemistry head of Dept. IV. – technical chemistry. The Polytechnic Institute was managed by a Board of Professors and both languages used in the courses and administration – Czech and German – were equal. Only applicants with a school leaving exam (equivalent to British A-levels) or those who successfully passed entrance exams could enrol. Study of mechanical engineering lasted 4 years. Courses were divided into two groups. The first group comprised courses on mechanical engineering (theoretical mechanics, machinery construction, machine design, mechanical engineering encyclopedia) and mechanical technology. The second group comprised special courses on mechanical engineering technology, statistics and accounting. Gustav Schmidt lectured in German on machine design, Čeněk Hausmann (1826 - 1896) in Czech on machinery construction and Jan Tille (1833 – 1898) on mechanical technology. Selection of courses by students was not obligatory, it depended only on which course the student wished to finish by an exam. State exams at that time were not yet introduced. In 1866/1867 lectures were either in Czech or in German, e.g. in 1864/1865 there were no lectures in Czech on machine construction and encyclopedia of mechanics. In 1866/1867 machine construction was divided into two separate courses and again lectured only in German.
1868   The formerly bilingual Polytechnic Institute was split into two separate independent institutes - a Czech and a German one (the above mentioned Deutsches polytechnisches Landesinstitut des Königreichs Böhmen). The division of the technical university was also conditioned by complete separation of the premises of both newly established institutions.
1869  Two separate Boards of Professors were established marking the outset of an independent era of the Czech Polytechnic Institute of the Czech Kingdom. Professor Čeněk Hausmann was elected first rector. Two professors lectured at the department of mechanical engineering – Professor Hausmann lectured on technical mechanics and machinery construction and Professor Tille on mechanical technology. In the same year they were joined by young Professor Salaba who came from the Zürich Polytechnic and lectured on machinery construction and encyclopedia of mechanics, subjects up till then taught only in the German language. Although the first years of independence were marked by surmounting of difficult obstacles they also meant the outset of an independent era of Czech technology.
1869   The Association of Engineering Students associating students from all study departments of the Polytechnic was established.
1872   Construction started of a new building for the Czech Polytechnic on Charles´ Square (design by architect I. Ullmann, facade decoration by Arnošt Popp – allegoric statues of Science and Labour). Teaching started from the academic year 1874/1875. Premises of the Czech Polytechnic comprised the site of the newly planned building on Charles´s Square and that on the corner of Resslova Street, buildings of the former Charles´s barracks on Resslova Street and on the corner of Na Zderaze Street including the church of St. Charles of Bormio and the unfinished yard bounded in the north by St. Peter and Paul´s church and resident houses and in the west by the building of the former provostry. The construction of the new building on Charles´s Square had to be accelerated. However the original project designed by architect Ullmann did not take into account the division of the university and consequently in this sense had to be modified. The construction was planned to last 3 years and this was the main reason for an accelerated adaptation of the former Charles´ barracks. Lectures started already in academic year 1870/1871. The new building was opened two years later – the block with its facade facing Charles´ Square – which survives in its original appearance up till now. This was only part of a more ambicious project – a monumental staircase, vestibule and a number of large lecture halls – unfortunately never completed. In spite of this the buildings that were available were fully sufficient for students of all four study departments and the department of mechanical engineering  had enough space both for its lecture rooms and collections.
1875   Both universities – the Czech and the German one – were nationalized. The name of the Czech university was now – Imperial-Royal (i.-r.) Czech Polytechnic Institute in Prague.
1878   State exams were introduced and subjects for the first and second (final) state exams determined. The second (final) exam had two parts – a theoretical and a practical one.
1883  The following courses were available at the department of mechanical engineering : mathematics, graphic geometry, physics, drawing, geodesy, statics and dynamics, hydraulics, strength of materials, theoretical machinery design, machinery construction, mechanical technology, encyclopedia of organic and inorganic chemistry, encyclopedia of land civil lengineering, encyclopedia of civil engineering, accounting.
1893   Association of Mechanical Engineers was established and named SPSI (Association of Students of Mechanical Engineering).
1901    Courses were opened on electrical engineering.
1909   The former study department was split into two separate ones : mechanical engineering and electrical engineering.
1914    Association of Students of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering was established (SPSEI).
1917   By an Imperial decree conferment was approved of the academic degree "engineer" (abbr. "Ing." – written before the name).
1919   Women gained right to enrol in universities
1920   New structural Statute approved. The Czech Technical University was renamed to The Czech Technical University in Prague (CTU) comprising individual colleges (faculties) among them the College of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering with Professor Dr.Ing. Viktor F e l b e r as dean. The colleges of the CTU were meant to : ".... lead their students to independent technical investigative and creative work within the scope of the particular fields of study and thus to prepare them for independent technical work in the fieds of design, organization, business, law and management and at the same time to cultivate their character“.
1925   The first female graduate among mechanical engineers was Ms. Albina Aloyová.
1925    The foundation stone was laid of the future university premises in Prague-Dejvice.
1929  A two-semester course on aviation was opened at the College of Mechanical and Electrical engineering.
1937   A one-semester course on radio engineering was opened at the College of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering.
1939  After the occupation of Czechoslovakia by the Germans (15.3.1939) the German authorities closed all Czech universities in retaliation against a student demonstration against the occupation on November 17, 1939 – at first for a period of 3 years but actually until the end of World War II (1945). During the war allegedly for "illegal political activities" Professor Viktor Felber together with his son and assistant lecturers Oldřich Mirtes and Oldřich Runa were shot and a lot more imprisoned or sent to concentration camps.
1945   Summer semester at the CTU started on June 1, 1945, the ceremonial opening of courses was on June 4, 1945.
1947-1948  The Ministry of Education opened a seminar on "mass physics" (nuclear physics) at the College of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering.
1948   After the communist putsch in February vetting proceeded at all universities, 20% of students of the College of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering were expelled from the school as a result of the purges. Purging was not only a politically oriented selection but also the completion of one phase of the transformation of our society after the communist putsch. An analysis of personal data from this period of students of the College of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering showed unambiguously that the college, compared with other universities, came off even in this tough period of purges relatively  well.
1948-1949   New rules came into effect for newly enrolled students. The study programme was split into a basic and complementary section and was extended to 9 semesters, the last semester reserved for the elaboration of a diploma paper. The total number of hours per class and practical training courses was reduced to 30 – 35 hours which assumed a reduction of the contents of curricula and an appropriately controlled system of self study. Terms of exams were stipulated in a way to enable students to finish their study in the prescribed period. The system of study was step by step reorganized. Later the study programme was extended to 10 semesters and the curriculum of full-time study stipulated a joint basic study programme in the first eight semesters . The study programme in the 9th and 10th semester was split into at that time 12 specialized fields of study. Practical work experience in factories was organized as an integral part of the study programme during summer holidays for student who successfully passed their 1st year (manual work experience) and 3rd year (design and technology experience). Students worked for 4 weeks in selected factories in Prague and elsewhere in the country in groups led by members of the academic staff. Their stay in factories was remunerated in the form of scholarships and maintenance allowances but not by wages since the original purpose of these work experience courses was not to help factories in their production (factories were nationalized, not privately owned) but solely to complete the knowledge and skills gained at the faculty.
1949-1950  Courses on Social Sciences (actually the official communist political doctrine) were introduced in all years of study.
1950   The first Act on Higher Education was published followed by a new Statute of the Czech Technical University in Prague (CTU) which up till then comprised individual colleges and among them also the College of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, which was split into the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (FSI and in English FME) and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering (FEI). Professor Dr.Ing. Josef Šrejtr was appointed first dean of FME.
1951    Obligatory military courses were introduced. A military department was established.
1951-1952     Evening courses were opened with 30 students enrolled in the first year.
1952-1953  Part-time courses were opened in and outside Prague with altogether 8 consultation centres.
1960-1961  All fields of study  of the Faculty of Engineering Economics according to their specific content were distributed among other faculties of the CTU and the Faculty closed.
1961-1962  A system of departments was created at the FME.
1963-1964   Basic study orientations were established: design, design of thermal equipment, technology and economics. The study programme was divided into basic (1st and 2nd year) and special.
1964    Part of the FME moved to the new premises in Dejvice.
1966-1967  The study programme at the FME comprised 2 main subprogrammes – General Mechanical Engineering (F1) and Machinery Production (F2) both with fields of study.
1967     Premises in Dejvice were completely finished.
1968     Strike of CTU students in favour of the "Prague Spring".
1974-1975   Differentiated study programmes for exceptionally talented students were introduced. Differentiation was performed either within the scope of an existing field of study in the form of individual curricula or by introduction of a field not yet officially accredited.
1977-1978   New fields of study were accredited starting from the first study year.
1980    The Czech name of the Faculty was slightly changed (abbr. FS instead of former FSI). English name remained "Faculty of Mechanical Engineering" (FME).
1981-1982   Four and five year study introduced each with a different curriculum. Fields of study were divided into those for the 4-year and those for the 5-year study programme.
1988-1989   Evening courses closed.
1991-1992  Four year and evening study progremmes were terminated. A credit system complying with ECTS and a unit system for measuring study achievements were introduced. Obligatory, optional obligatory, optional and recommended courses were introduced. In the course of the 3rd year study was split into fields of study.
1993-1994  Bachelor and Master (Engineering) study programmes were introduced. A compensating year was introduced enabling transfer from Bachelor to Master study programme.
1994-1995  Courses lectured in English were opened (basic study and selected fields of study).
1997     The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the CTU in Prague was officially accredited.
1997-1998   Newly organized faculty departments werre established.
1998    The Act on Higher Education No. 111/1998 Sb was published.
1999   Fields of study  available for higher doctorate qualification  were accredited.
1999  Statute of the FME (CTU) was approved – The hitherto system of faculty departments was terminated and a new system crated.
1999   Involvement of FME in the "Research Plan" project.
2000   Act No. 210/2000 Sb – amendments to Act. No. 111/1998 Sb on Higher Education.
2000   Involvement of FME in the "Research Centres" project.
2001   Act No. 147/2001 Sb – amendments to Act. No. 111/1998 Sb on Higher Education.
2001  Study programmes and fields of study  at the FME (CTU) were accredited. A structured study programme was introduced. Fields of study within the Master study programme were integrated. The content of more fields of study merged into a single one.
2004  Celebration of the 140th anniversary of the establishment of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (1864)
2005  The 5.5-year Master study programme not opened for new students. 4-year Bachelor study programme graduates can from now on continue their study in a 2-year Master study programme for Bachelor graduates with the same fields of study  as in the former 5.5-year Master study programme.
    Newly were accredited 3 Bachelor study programmes : "Engineering" (4-year; 8-semester) ; "Theoretical Fundamentals of Mechanical Engineering" (3-year; 6-semester); "Production and Economics in Engineering" (3-year; 6-semester). 4 Master study programmes (2-year; 4 semester) : "Mechanical Engineering"; "Intelligent Buildings", "Nuclear Power Energy Equipment" and "Master of Automotive Engineering" (In this master study programme lectures are only in English). Doctoral study programme (4-year).
2012   3 new Centres of Competence (CoC) established at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering : Josef Božek CoC of Automotive Industry, CoC of Advanced Technologies for the Production of Heat and Electricity, CoC of Manufacturing Technologies.
Sources: private, CTU archive, Česká Technika, ČVUT 2002 (mag.), PhDr. Jiřina Masnerová
Translated, completed and updated, 2005, 2012