The new leader of the Faculty of Engineering is planning to profit from the experience gained through the distance-learning mode, to launch new majors, to expand industrial relations and to complete the construction of a new wing to the faculty building.Géza Husi will be the new dean for three year.
It was in a difficult time period, in a situation heavily inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic, and not too long after the launching of the distance-learning mode of instruction, that Géza Husi, who had been a member of the faculty management for 12 years, took over the responsibility of heading the entire faculty.
A decade ago, we inherited a faculty from the previous management that offered only BSc programs. The number of these programs has risen from 6 to 9 since, and we could also launch the corresponding MSc programs practically in all the relevant areas. In addition, where there was an international demand for it, we also introduced majors and programs offered in English. This means an immense development in the educational activities of our faculty. As enrolment and student numbers have increased, we have constructed a new wing to our building, and initiated a significant growth in the number of academic staff with doctoral degrees as well as those who have passed their complex exam for habilitating themselves to become lecturers. We have established contacts with industrial companies and nurtured good relations with corporations located and operating in Debrecen. Partly due this latter effort, we can offer several specializations in our programs that generate experts specifically for individual companies or fields of industry. The development of the Faculty of Engineering has been steady for the past more than ten years, and it is a priority for us to continue along this path in the future as well,” said Géza Husi in summary of the most recent achievements.
Just two weeks before taking over the dean’s position, distance learning had to be introduced at the faculty due to the coronavirus pandemic, which made it clear what would be the most imminent and important task: to continue working and to complete the requirements for the rest of the academic year, ending with the smooth implementation of an exam period.
“This task was more or less taken care of successfully, which is what we have seen on the electronic surfaces available for both Hungarian and international student feedback in case they encounter a problem. I am sure that we will be able to profit from the experience gained in the past semester. There are as many as 600 international students enrolled in the Faculty of Engineering, some of whom might have left Debrecen and returned home. In addition, we have also registered another 310 new international students as freshers. Therefore, we need to prepare for providing distance education channels for those who have been registered but cannot for some reason related to travel restrictions come to Debrecen in person,” said the Dean.
For one of the first tasks to be completed during the upcoming dean’s cycle, Géza Husi identified the construction of the new wing to the faculty building, the designing part for which has already been started by the instructors at the Department of Architecture.
“This means extension on the one hand. On the other hand, though, we also plan to implement a full-scale reconstruction of the building complex as a whole. On top of all this, we are going to start another construction in the industrial park of the university, where we plan to establish a research center for our vehicle engineering program. The entire development package is expected to be implemented with the support of funding from the national government in compliance and concord with the so-called Debrecen 2030 development strategy and the requirements and expectations of the industrial corporations investing in our city. Nevertheless, it is also an organic part of the development strategy of the university, too, because our faculty is important for the entire institution besides the traditional and older academic programs as well,” said Géza Husi.
As we can see, the extent of industrial relations around our city is steadily on the growth, which means that there is surely going to be a need for a reliable supply of well-trained engineers.
“Our faculty can certainly take care of this challenge. Therefore, we are going to launch programs in vehicle engineering this September and also in aviation engineering as of September 2021, first in Hungarian and later in English, too. Since the number of companies specializing in industrial and production logistics is continuously growing in our city, which also means an increasing demand for well-trained specialists in these fields, we are going to launch a program in logistics engineering. In addition, we also plan to introduce majors in sports engineering and in health engineering but the actual form and framework for these would be still under preparation and planning,” added the new dean.
In order to be able to do all this, the teaching staff would also need to develop and expand because practice-oriented training seems to be of essential importance, without which applicable knowledge cannot possibly be handed down to new generations of students.
“The Faculty of Engineering is in an exceptional, even almost fortunate, position as 80% of its instructors come from industrial companies and not directly from the university after graduation. Thus, they have the appropriate professional experience that can safely guarantee that we will be able satisfy the requirements imposed by the individual companies,” pointed out Géza Husi.
However, as regards the potential increase in enrolment and student numbers, the new dean did not seem to be too optimistic. For this token, he considered it the most important task in recruiting to try and make sure that, out of all the young people who choose the engineering field for their studies, we should be able to “attract” as many students to the University of Debrecen as possible.
During the upcoming three-year dean’s cycle, the efforts of Dean Géza Husi at the head of the Faculty of Engineering will be aided by a team of deputy deans consisting of Associate Professor Judit T. Kiss and College Professor Imre Kocsis.