Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing

History and organization until 1995

[Based on the booklet Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, prepared by Darko Zubrinic in 1992.]

The present Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (or in Croatian: Fakultet elektrotehnike i racunarstva, in the sequel FER) is a continuation of the old Technical High School founded in 1919 and Technical faculty from 1926. The FER was formed as a separate unit in 1956.

During its history it played a crucial role in the electrification of former Yugoslavia.

The city of Zagreb had its first telegraph connection with Vienna in 1850. The first telephones were introduced in 1887. The first radio station both in Croatia and in the Balkans was constructed in Zagreb in 1926, only 6 years after its presentation in the USA. We had the first television broadcast in 1939, while in Europe there were only two TV stations at that time - one in London and the other in Berlin (the first television station in the world was installed in London in 1936).

The first power generator was constructed by our technical personnel, the demanding part in constructing power plants throughout former Yugoslavia was carried out by this institution.

Since its beginning FER has educated 7200 electrical engineers, 1100 masters of science and 305 doctors (the figures from 1990).

The first computer of FER was installed in 1968. Since 1991 the faculty has been well supplied with computers for the needs of students and scientists. The study of computer science and engineering started in 1970. Since then 760 students have specialized in this area, 170 masters of computer science and 34 doctors in the field of computer science have been awarded high degrees.

This faculty now has 365 employees, among them 66 masters of science and 77 doctors. Many of our professors are equally active in industry and science. About 30% of FER's financial expenditures are covered through our collaboration with industry.

Since recently FER has considerably improved its equipment, although many things are still either missing or antiquated. The overall area of buildings that FER has at its disposal is 38.000 square m.

Due to its tradition and qualified personnel, FER is the major scientific and educational institution in Croatia in the field of electrical engineering and computing. Our future students are selected by a three hour qualification exam, designed of 26 problems in mathematics and 14 in physics. Those candidates who participated in the national competition in either mathematics or physics during their secondary school education, are accepted directly.

During the last four years we had 630 newly registered students annually. About 70% of them got their degree within the average time of study equal to 5.2 years. At this moment we have 3.000 students and about 1.000 graduate students.

The duration of lectures and exercises per week should not exceed 30 hours (or 900 hours per year). In principle each exam has two parts: written (practical part) and oral (theoretical part), the marks ranging from 5 (excellent) to 2 (sufficient).

Normal duration of studies is 4.5 years (eight terms plus one term for the graduation work). Lectures and exercises are well covered with textbooks and manuals (about 400 written by our professors). FER has a very modern library with 20.000 books and a nice reading hall. It also has 2000 volumes of various international journals, covering all the areas relevant for electrical engineering and computer science. Each department has its own specialized library. A number of professional periodicals are published through the faculty. FER also has a photocopying service.

The academic year starts on the 1st October and finishes on the 30th September. It is divided into a winter term (from the 1st October to the 15th January) and a summer term (from the 16th February to the 31st May).

The first two years of study are common for all students. This is the so called `preparatory study', aiming to give a basic knowledge necessary for future specialization, which starts in the third year of study. There are eight basic branches, planned according to the present and future needs of our industry:

  • electrical power engineering
  • electrical machines and automation
  • industrial electronics
  • telecommunications and informatics
  • automatic control
  • computing
  • radiocommunications and professional electronics
  • power technologies

The `preparatory study' represents an effective filter and only hard working students can pass through.

Students are obliged to learn at least one foreign language, according to their own choice (English, German, French, Russian) with emphasize on the ability to read professional electrotechnical literature.

Students are organized in various sectional activities ranging from scientific to cultural and recreational. The Students' Club of FER is among the most popular in Zagreb, comprises a good rock band, dancing and theatre evenings, radio club, mountaineering, sports, a student journal etc. FER has a nice restaurant.

A very serious problem that since recently our faculty has to cope with is a considerable influx of students coming to Zagreb from Sarajevo, and other university centers, trying to continue their studies. Many of them are without any documentation, as it has been destroyed during the Serbian aggression. Equally difficult is the situation in Croatian primary and secondary schools. They have many exiled children, and the number of pupils per class is now from 35 to 45, and sometimes even more.

Our faculty possesses a very modern and well equiped building for sport and recreational activities. During the beginning of Serbian and Montenegrin aggression it was overcrowded with exiles from Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Many of our students continue their education at postgraduate studies (2.5 years). In the field of electrotechnics there are seven branches:

  • general electronics
  • telecommunications and informatics
  • radiocommunications and professional electronics
  • automation
  • electrical power engineering
  • electrical machines
  • electric measurements

Moreover, in the field of computer sciences there are two additional branches:

  • the kernel of computer science
  • applications of computer science

At this moment FER has about 1000 postgraduate students. Unfortunately (though we are proud of this) many of our best students continue their work in scientific and industrial institutions in the West. FER is regarded to be one of the best organized faculties in the state, and is highly appreciated abroad.

The faculty also confers the Ph.D.

We close this section with a list of former deans of FER (a corresponding school year is in parentheses). Our faculty owes them a great deal for its development.

  1. prof.dr. Anton Dolenc (1956-57),
  2. prof.dr. Danilo Blanusa (1957-58),
  3. prof.dr. Bozidar Stefanini (1958-59),
  4. prof.dr. Vatroslav Lopasic (1959-60),
  5. prof.dr. Hrvoje Pozar (1960-61, 1961-62),
  6. prof.dr. Vladimir Matkovic (1962-63, 1963-64),
  7. prof.dr. Radenko Wolf (1964-65, 1965-66),
  8. prof.dr. Vladimir Muljevic (1966-67, 1967-68),
  9. prof.dr. Hrvoje Pozar (1968-69, 1969-70),
  10. prof.dr. Vojislav Bego (1970-71, 1971-72),
  11. prof.dr. Zlatko Smrkic (1972-73, 1973-74),
  12. prof.dr. Zvonimir Sirotic (1974-75, 1975-76),
  13. prof.dr. Uros Perusko (1976-77, 1977-78),
  14. prof.dr. Ante Santic (1978-79, 1979-80),
  15. prof.dr. Berislav Jurkovic (1980-81, 1981-82),
  16. prof.dr. Milan Sodan (1982-83, 1983-84),
  17. prof.dr. Nedzat Pasalic (1984-85, 1985-86),
  18. prof.dr. Leo Budin (1986-87, 1987-88),
  19. prof.dr. Vladimir Naglic (1988-89, 1989-90),
  20. prof.dr. Ivan Ilic (1990-91, 1991-92),
  21. prof.dr. Danilo Feretic (1992-93, 1993-94),
  22. prof.dr. Stanko Tonkovich (1994-1995),

International cooperation

There is a rich international cooperation with various institutions, through the interuniversity or direct agreements:

  • International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, Austria,
  • Technische Universitat Graz, Austria,
  • Comissao Nacional de Energia Nuclear, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,
  • Guangxi University, Nanning, China,
  • Hangzhou University, Hangzhou, China,
  • Vysoka skola strojnia a elektrotechnicka v Plzni, Plzen, CSR,
  • Research Institute of Acoustics, Prague, CSR,
  • Ceske vysoke uceni technicke v Praze, Prague, CSR,
  • University of Southampton, Southampton, England,
  • Institut of Environmental Engeneering, London, England,
  • Centre National d' Etude des Telecommunication, Paris, France,
  • Technische Universitat Rostock, Sektion Informationstechnik, Dresden, Germany
  • Universitat Rostock, Sektion Technische Elektronik, Rostock, Germany,
  • Ruhr Univesitat Bochum, Institut fur Experimantalphysik, Bochum, Germany,
  • University of Aachen, Aachen, Germany,
  • Ludwig-Maximilians Universitat, Munchen, BDR,
  • Physikalisch-Technische Budesanstalt (PTB), Braunschweig, Berlin, Germany,
  • Technische Hochschule Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany,
  • Universitat Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany,
  • Gesellschaft fur Reaktorsicherheit, Garching, Germany,
  • Universitat Erlangen - Nurnberg, Institut fur Nachrichtentechnik, Erlangen, Germany
  • Technische Universitat Berlin, Germany,
  • Universitat Mainz, Mainz, Germany
  • International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy,
  • Uniwersitet Warszawski, Warszawa, Polska,
  • Central'nyj nauchno issledovatel'nyj institut morskogo flota (CNIIMF), Sankt Petersburg, Russia
  • Moskovskij energeticheskij institut (MEI), Moscow, Russia,
  • Technische Hogeschool Delft, Delft, Netherlands,
  • Royal Institute for Technology, Stockholm, Sweden,
  • Microwave Institute Foundation, Stockholm, Sweden,
  • Scweizerisches Institut fur Nuklearforschung (SIN), Viligen, Switzerland,
  • Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule, Zurich, Switzerland,
  • Paul Scherer Institut (PSI), Villigen, Switzerland,
  • Kyjiv University, Kyjiv, Ukraine,
  • Florida State University, USA,
  • Case Western Reserve University, Ohio, Cleveland, USA
  • National Bureau of Standards, Washington, DC., USA,
  • University of California, Los Angeles, USA,
  • University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
  • University of Georgia, Athens, USA,
  • University of North Carolina, Greensboro, USA
  • University of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette, USA,
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA,
  • University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA,
  • University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.

It is a pleasant feeling to know somebody who can speak Croatian for instance in Beijing or La Paz. Up to now we had students from Algeria, Angola, Austria, Bolivia, Bhurma, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Ghana, Greece, Syria, Iraq, Israel, Yordan, Columbia, Lebanon, Hungary, Morocco, Nigeria, Shri Lanka, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Venezuela, Zair, Zimbabwe.


Croatia - Overview of its History, Culture and Science