Warsaw University of Technology

Coordinates: 52°13′13″N 21°0′38″E / 52.22028°N 21.01056°E / 52.22028; 21.01056

Warsaw University of Technology
Politechnika Warszawska

Established 1826
Rector Jan Szmidt
Academic staff
2,388 [1]
Students 30,982 [1]
Undergraduates 26,284 [1]
Postgraduates 4,698 [1]
Address pl. Politechniki 1, 00-661, Warsaw, Poland
Website http://www.pw.edu.pl/engpw
University rankings
ARWU[2] < 500
QS[3] 501-550
Times[4] 501–550

The Warsaw University of Technology (Polish: Politechnika Warszawska; literally, "Warsaw Polytechnic") is one of the leading institutes of technology in Poland, and one of the largest in Central Europe. It employs 2,453 teaching faculty, with 357 professors (including 145 titular professors).[5] The student body numbers 36,156 (as of 2011), mostly full-time.[5] There are 19 faculties (divisions) covering almost all fields of science and technology. All are situated in Warsaw, except for one in Płock.

The Warsaw University of Technology has about 5,000 graduates per year. According to the 2008 "Rzeczpospolita" newspaper survey, engineers govern Polish companies. Warsaw Tech alums make up the highest percentage of Polish managers and executives. Every ninth president among the top 500 corporations in Poland is a graduate of the Warsaw University of Technology. Professor Kurnik, the rector of Warsaw Tech, explained that the school provides a solid basis for the performance of managers by equipping its students with an education at the highest level and a preparation with the necessary tools and information, including knowledge of foreign languages.[6]

The origins of Warsaw University of Technology date back to 1826 when engineering education was begun in Warsaw Institute of Technology.



The origins of Polish universities of technology go back to the 18th century. They were related to either military technology or mining, which demanded complicated technological processes as a result of the exploitation of deeper seams. The model school of technology, a university of technology, was designed by the French, who in 1794 founded the School of Technology (Ecole polytechnique) in Paris. In the beginning of the 19th century universities of technology were opened in Prague (in 1806), Vienna (1815) and in Karlsruhe (1824).

In Poland, the first multidisciplinary university of technology was the Preparatory School for the Institute of Technology, which was opened on 4 January 1826. The Warsaw University of Technology still cultivates its traditions. The man who played the most important part in creating the school and writing its charter was Stanisław Staszic. Kajetan Garbiński, a mathematician and Warsaw University professor became the director of the school. The School was closed in 1831, after the November Insurrection.


Interior of Main Auditorium
Founding date

In 1898, the Technological Section of the Warsaw Society for Russian Commerce and Industry, whose director was engineer Kazimierz Obrębowicz, collected funds for the opening of Emperor Nicolas II University of Technology. Classes, with Russian as the language of instruction, started on 5 September in the building at 81 Marszałkowska Street. They were soon moved to new buildings, built especially for the Institute. They were designed by Bronisław Rogóyski and Stefan Szyller.

On the day of the opening, the University had three faculties: the Faculty of Mathematics, Chemistry and Engineering and Construction. In June 1902, the Faculty of Mining was opened. Poles constituted the majority of students until 1905, when their number reached 1,100.


After German troops entered Warsaw on 5 August 1915, they wanted to gain the sympathy of Poles, and allowed University of Warsaw and the Warsaw University of Technology to open with Polish as the language of instruction. The grand opening of both universities was held on 15 November 1915. Zygmunt Straszewicz was the first Rector of the Warsaw University of Technology. The period of World War I, together with the events connected with the restitution of the Polish State and the Polish-Bolshevik war did not help the development of the school. Daily lectures at the university only started in November 1920. The school taught the young future engineers at several faculties: at the Faculty of Mechanics, Electrical Engineering, Chemistry, Architecture, Civil Engineering, Aquatic Engineering, and finally, at the Faculty of Geodesy (or since 1925 - of Measuring). The last three faculties were merged on the basis of the new Academic Schools Law of 13 March 1933. The Polish Cabinet issued a decree on 25 September 1933, in which the new Faculty of Engineering was created.

The number of the Warsaw University of Technology students in the period of twenty years between the wars grew from 2,540 in the 1918/1819 academic year to 4,673 just before the outbreak of the World War II. In the same period the school granted more than 6,200 diplomas, including 320 for women. The Warsaw University of Technology became the most important scientific centre of engineering in Poland and gained international prestige. At that time, 66 graduates earned Doctor of Philosophy degrees, and 50 qualified as assistant professors. The University was a centre of scientific research for people whose achievements were fundamental for world science and technology, including Karol Adamiecki, Stefan Bryła, Jan Czochralski, Tytus Maksymilian Huber, Janusz Groszkowski, Mieczysław Wolfke and many others.


During World War II, despite enormous material losses and repressive measures, the Warsaw University of Technology continued to operate underground. Teaching continued in the form of clandestine and open courses, in vocational schools, and from 1942, in a two-year State Higher Technical School. Approximately 3,000 students took part in the clandestine courses and 198 earned engineer diplomas. Scientific research was also conducted, as 20 PhD and 14 assistant-professorship qualifying theses were written. There were also many works that were to serve the reconstruction of Poland after the war and constitute the foundation for the development of science in the future. Students and professors clandestinely worked on various projects. Professors Janusz Groszkowski, Marceli Struszyński, and Józef Zawadzki conducted a detailed analysis of the radio and steering devices of the German V-2 rockets, at the request of the Polish Home Army Intelligence.


After German troops had been dislodged from Warsaw, classes started in improvised conditions on 22 January 1945, and by the end of the year all the pre-war faculties were re-opened. Old and war-damaged buildings were rebuilt quickly; as well as new ones were erected. In 1951 the Warsaw University of Technology incorporated the Wawelberg and Rotwand's School of Engineering. The Academic and Research Centre in Płock was created in 1967. In the year 1945 there were 2,148 students in 6 faculties (divisions), and in 1999 there were 22,000 students enrolled in 16 faculties. The Warsaw University of Technology granted over 104,000 Bachelor of Science and Master of Science engineer degrees between the years 1945 and 1998.

Over the years, the University was an important scientific centre, educating academic staff not only for its own purposes, but also for other Polish schools of technology. Between 1945 and 1998, 5,500 PhD theses were written in all faculties. There were almost 1,100 theses qualifying for assistant professorships. The number of academic staff grew significantly. In 1938, the University had 98 tenured professors and associate professors, as well as 307 assistant professors and teaching assistants; in 1948 there were 87 and 471; while in 1999 there were 371 professors, 1,028 tutors, 512 lecturers, and 341 teaching assistants.


University Płock Campus:


The transport faculty is engaged in research into the development of railway variable gauge axles which help overcome breaks of gauge, such as the SUW 2000 system and INTERGAUGE.

Notable alumni

See also

Notes and references

  1. 1 2 3 4 "Quacquarelli Symonds Top Universities", School Profile, undated, retrieved on 2008-09-13.
  2. "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2016". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. 2016. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
  3. "QS World University Rankings® 2016/17". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2016. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  4. "World University Rankings 2016-17". THE Education Ltd. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  5. 1 2 "Basic Facts". Warsaw University of Technology. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
  6. Błaszczak, Anita; Grochola, Anita; Cieślak-Wróblewska, Anna (2008-05-28). "Techniczne kuźnie prezesów" (in Polish). Rzeczpospolita. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
  7. Home page of WUT Business School, retrieved on 2009-11-15.
  8. Scislowska, Monika (2011-06-07). "Leading Polish architect dies in plane crash". Associated Press. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2011-06-19.
  9. Sauer, T.; Trautman, A. (2008). "Myron Mathisson: What little we know of his life". arXiv:0802.2971Freely accessible [physics.hist-ph].
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