History of the Faculty of Chemistry

A university of technology in Gdańsk was founded under the rule of the German Empire (Kingdom of Prussia) under the name: Königlische Technische Hochschule Danzig (1904-1918), after empire’s fall it was renamed to: Technische Hochschule zu Danzig (1918-1921) and Technische Hochschule der Freien Stadt Danzig (1921-1939). Once the city was occupied by the hitlerite Germany, the name of the university was initially changed to: Technische Hochschule Danzig (1939-1941), and later to: Reichshochschule Danzig (1941-1945). In 1945, when Gdańsk was regained by Poland, the university was named Politechnika Gdańska (official English version: Gdańsk University of Technology) as the Polish institution of higher education.

History of the university is marked by two fundamental dates, namely 6th of October 1904 and 24th of May 1945. First of these determined the beginning of academic technical education in Gdańsk, as it was the date of the first inauguration of academic year at the newly opened Royal (Prussian) Technical High School, aimed at academic technical education and elevating the level of technical knowledge in the Pomeranian region. This solemn inauguration was held in presence of the German Emperor and King of Prussia, Wilhelm II Hohenzollern.

Before 1904 four buildings had been erected: Main Building, Chemistry Buiding, Electric Faculty Building, and the Laboratory of Machines Technology (a building with high chimney) to house the four faculties formed: Faculty of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Chemistry, Faculty of Civil Engineering, and Faculty of Shipbuilding. During this first, covering almost 40 years, period of university’s existence, among the German students one could meet numerous foreigners, Lithuanians, Latvians, Ukrainians, and especially Polish. The Polish students had their organizations: social, political, scientific, and sport, which altogether constituted a noteworthy card of Polish academic society. In their respective programs, one can find, first of all, a patriotic tone; the programs aimed at fighting discrimination and insults towards Polish students, who were subject to such treatment auntil their final, illegal expulsion from the university in February 1939. The language of instruction during the 1904-1945 period was German.

The second date means foundation of Politechnika Gdańska. Two weeks after termination of WW II hostilities, a Decree of Polish National Council of 24th of May 1945 erected a Polish Gdańsk University of Technology. Inaugural lecture, delivered by professor Ignacy Adam-czewski, marked the beginning of teaching at all the four faculties. It was the first lecture in Polish language taught in these buildings. 4 faculties were established by the decree: Faculty of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Shipbuilding, and Faculty of Chemistry. Urgent need for the Faculty of Architecture was corrected on 25th of October 1945 by a decree of the Minister of Education.

After the damages of WW II, Politechnika Gdańska was rebuilt and reconstructed byPolish professors and engineers from Lwów, Wilno, and Warsaw.

The Faculty of Chemistry is currently one of the largest faculties of chemistry in Poland. There are 1416 students of the Ist and IInd cycle, 140 PhD students, 273 employees, including 158 academic teachers, including 24 titular professors and 63 DScs (with habilitation), and 70 doctors.

Over more than 74 years of its functioning (since WW II) 12 982 graduates have earned the diplomas of the Faculty of Chemistry GUT, including 5613 – engineer’s diplomas, and 7369 – master’s diplomas. PhD degree was bestowed upon 866 candidates, and DSc degree (habilitation) upon 161 candidates.

The alumni of the Faculty of Chemistry work in all branches of industry, first of all in the chemical, pharmaceutical, and food industry, as well as in many scientific and R&D institutions and universities at home and abroad.

Updated 10/01/2019