History of the study of engineering and mechanical engineering in Slovenia

The beginnings of higher education in Ljubljana go back a long way, to 1619.

Later, the technical branches can be traced back to 1785, when technical studies were temporarily abolished under the auspices of the Faculty of Arts. It is found again in 1813, during the time of the Illyrian provinces, and then not again since 1919. Officially, the mechanical engineering university study in Ljubljana started in 1919, when the University of Ljubljana was founded.

The Faculty has gradually developed from a purely pedagogical institution into a modern university institution, which at the same time carries out scientific and development research projects and trains professionals in the field of mechanical engineering. Another important work of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering is the training of young researchers and scientists involved in the scientific and research work of the laboratories.

Initially, mechanical engineering was under-represented in the University’s programmes. At the Faculty of Technology, with its mechanical and electrical engineering department, students could study only for the first four semesters; they had to complete their studies in Zagreb or elsewhere abroad. Ljubljana received its first comprehensive study of mechanical engineering in 1945, with Prof. Milan Vidmar, PhD, as the first full-time professor. A turning point in the development of mechanical engineering was the arrival of Prof. Felix Lobet in 1929. His perseverance led to the construction of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in 1940.

Thirty years later, a new building was constructed, giving the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering today around 14,000 m2 of lecture theatres and laboratories. Another important milestone in the history of the Faculty was the year 1960, when the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Faculty of Technology developed into an independent Faculty of Mechanical Engineering within the University of Ljubljana.

Study programmes have been frequently amended throughout the Faculty’s history. Initially, studies were only possible in the first four semesters, with completion at other universities. Eight-semester studies were in place until 1950, followed by ten-semester studies until 1959, followed by step-by-step studies until 1969. After that year, students studied separately in an eight-semester higher education course and a four-semester short-term higher education course. Today, the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering educates students at higher professional and university levels.

The beginning of postgraduate studies dates back to 1971.

Between 1945 and 1970, research work was carried out at the Institute of Mechanical Engineering. After 1970, research work at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering was reorganised into departments, which became the basic teaching and research units. These are further subdivided into laboratories; today there are thirty-four laboratories at the Faculty. Researchers also form programme groups, where appropriate.

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