Rzeszow University of Technology’s history dates from 1951, when the Engineering School was opened following the initiative of the employees of Rzeszow PZL factory, organised into the Association of Polish Engineers and Technicians. Mechanical engineers were educated in evening classes to support operations at PZL, a communications equipment maker.
The newly-created polytechnic underwent various developmental phases; in 1952 it was subordinate to the Engineering Evening School in Cracow, and in 1955 its overseer was the Cracow University of Technology. In September of that year the first class of engineers, 24 in all, graduated from the school.
In 1960, full-time studies were commenced, with local staff assuming responsibility from its overseer for instruction, administration and operations throughout the decade. During this time, the school blossomed into the Higher Engineering School of Technology and Mechanical Engineering and expanded its range of subjects with the addition of Faculties of Chemical Technology, Civil and Environmental, and Electrical Engineering. In 1972 a significant event in the development of the University took place, as the Department of Aeronautics was founded and the instruction of personnel for the aviation industry began in earnest. As a result, in 1976 Aviation Training Centre was established with the aim of providing future pilots with the practical training.
On 1st October 1974, by government decree, the school was christened the Ignacy Łukasiewicz Rzeszow University of Technology and Kazimierz Oczoś, DSc, was appointed Rector.
In 1992 the University called into being the Faculty of Marketing and Management and in 2006 owing to joining two independent departments – the Faculty of Mathematics and Applied Physics was created.
Presently, the University is the largest polytechnic in the region and continues to grow. Over its history it has educated 57 952 graduates, including 593 pilots. A great number of alumni hold important positions both in the region and country. As a matter of course, the University’s development has been accompanied by a continual increase in the number of academic staff and independent scientists.
In the current term the University has an enrolment of 17 000 students at 6 faculties and 24 courses of study. Three faculties: the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics and the Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering have the right to confer a university degree of PhD in Technology, and the Faculty of Chemistry PhD in Chemistry. The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics, the Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering have the right to confer a university degree of DSc. The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics, as the only one in Poland, has been training civil aviation pilots since 1976. Pilots receive an MSc in Aeronautical Engineering and a 2nd Class (CPL) pilot’s licence. Their training meets European requirements for receiving an airline pilot licence (ATPL), and is conducted at Jasionka (aviation) and Bezmiechowa (gliders).
The University participates in the Erasmus programme and maintains bilateral exchanges both university-wide and for particular faculties. Apart from research, the University takes part in regional affairs and development schemes. Forecasting the demands of the nation’s economy, the University provides a rich syllabus adapted to the realities and demands of the marketplace.
All of the aforementioned activities serve to reinforce the importance of the University’s instruction and research. The University strives to preserve the best of its traditions while promoting innovation in order to better equip tomorrow’s graduates with the means to rise to the new millennium’s social, economic and cultural challenges.