History of Institute of Chemistry

The University was founded on May 12, 1635, by Cardinal Péter Pázmány (1570-1637) as a Catholic institution. Its original location was in Northwest Hungary, Nagyszombat (now Trnava in Slovakia), since large areas of Hungary were at that time the subject of continual dispute with the Ottoman Empire. The original faculties were Theology and Philosophy, where teaching began in the academic year 1635-1636. Though the University had a strong Catholic character, the curriculum from the very beginning included mathematics and natural sciences, like physics and cartography. 1667 saw the foundation of the Faculty of Law, and Medicine followed more than a century later, in 1769. Thus established with the classical European university structure of four faculties, state control was introduced in the same year by Empress Maria Theresia, who gave it the new name of the Royal Hungarian University (Magyar Királyi Tudományegyetem).

The first chemistry department was established in 1770 by JAKAB J. WINTERL a physician-botanical-chemist. The language of the education become Hungarian in 1860, and KÁROLY THAN was appointed as the head of the department. He established in 1871 the Institute of Chemistry. Due to his activities over almost half a century the institute has become the Hungarian center of chemistry education (for teachers, physicians, pharmacists), as well as the center for graduate studies in chemistry at that time. Several internationally recognized scientists have laid the ground for the different branches of chemistry: LAJOS WINKLER (classical chemical analysis, pharmacological chemistry), GUSZTÁV BUCHBÖCK (phyisical chemistry), BÉLA LENGYEL (anorganic and analytical chemistry), TIBOR SZÉKI and GYŐZŐ BRUCKNER (organic chemistry), GYULA GRÓH (kinetics), LÁSZLÓ SZEBELLÉDY and ELEMÉR SCHULEK (pharmacutical analysis), ALADÁR BUZÁGH (colloid chemistry), TIBOR ERDEY-GRÚZ (electrochemistry), ÁRPÁD GERECS (chemical technology), ATTILA VÉRTES (nuclear chemistry), PÉTER PULAY (quantum chemistry). These activities resulted in 8 different chemistry department for the 80s.

Accreditation for awarding the chemistry MSc was received by the Institute in 1946 (earlier only chemistry teachers have been awarded a diploma). The Chemistry Graduate School was established in 2000, giving a newly organized form for graduate education.

Integration of the departments started in 1990, when the new building was completed. The centralized Chemistry Institute was established in 2005, and has been operating according to its new structure since April 2006.

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