Technical University of Budapest
Faculty of Civil Engineering

by Professor György FARKAS
Dean of the Faculty of Civil Engineering
Technical University of Budapest (Hungary)


The Faculty of Civil Engineering is the oldest Faculty at the Technical University of Budapest and can trace its history back to the University’s predecessor, the Institutum Geometricum, founded by Emperor Joseph II in 1782. In the past 216 years, thousands of engineers have graduated from this Faculty to work world-wide as educators, international researchers and engineering project managers.

The faculty s most essential service - education linked closely to research and engineering work - is reflected in the scientific activities of nearly 300 engineers in 16 departments. They have contributed significantly to the scientific solution of various engineering problems.

From among the approximately 1700 students who study at this Faculty, about 90 students from abroad participate in the English language education program.

About civil engineers profession and training

Building and environment transformation: civil engineering activities, as they are called nowadays, are as old as human civilisation and have developed together with it ever since. Their denomination also expresses this in some other languages as well: e.g. génie civil.

Civil engineers are faced with new tasks as a result of modern social and economic demands such as the construction of up-to-date infrastructure (transportation facilities, communications and public utilities), the rational and optimal exploitation of natural resources, the protection and conscious formation of the environment.

Since 1993, there have been two specialities at the Faculty of Civil Engineering: unified civil engineering training is going on at the major in Civil Engineering, which was established by merging the former specialities of Structural Engineering, Hydraulic Engineering, and Transport Construction Engineering. This period of study is mostly devoted to common, obligatory, so-called core training, which is followed by much ampler and deeper special training via the wide-range offer of optional subject groups. The degree reflects the unified qualification of civil engineering, making it possible for students to be employed in traditional special fields. The major in Surveying and Geoinformatics is continued on the basis of the traditions of the former speciality of Surveying and Geodesy, with a new curriculum modified according to the requirements of our age.

In 1998 we have introduced minors as blocks of subjects to be elected by the students according to the special field they are going to get their engineering license from the Council of Engineers for their professional activity.

The Major in Civil Engineering

The education activity of the Faculty can be illustrated mainly in the traditional professional areas of this major.

Students of structural engineering learn and practise the theoretical and technological issues closely related to the design of overground and underground building construction. Graduate engineers are called structural engineers. They design and build bridges, the underpasses and flyovers of modern transport networks, they play a considerable role in the force design and construction of hydraulic engineering structures (dams, weirs, ports, etc.), and they have a decisive role in the design and construction of overground establishments requiring a high standard of structural engineering work. For instance, the support structures of sports stadiums, exhibition halls, multi-storey buildings, airports hangars as well as agricultural and food industry establishments (crane tracks, halls, cooling chambers, granaries, etc.) are also designed by them.

The tasks of hydraulic engineers include exploring and exploiting water reserves, making them suitable for consumption, transporting them to the place of consumption, sewage disposal and treatment, establishing a balance between water resources and water demands, shaping the water environment, as well as building and operating engineering structures and works required for the prevention of flood damage, the utilisation of hydraulic energy and navigation.

Besides the development of water supply, one of the urging necessities of our age is the acceleration of sewerage, sewage disposal and treatment in order to protect our water resources and our environment.

Modern railways require tracks with special tracing that meet the demands of high speed, special superstructures, as well as modern stations. They are designed and operated by engineers graduated from this speciality.

The task of building safely tracked roads and motorways as well as constructing their complicated junctions requires a high standard of engineering knowledge. The appearance of our cities is also reshaped by new traffic junctions, underpasses and flyovers. It is also the civil engineer s task to design and construct airports, urban railways, tunnels, subway lines or other subterranean establishments.

Based on these activities the following minors have been introduced for the Major in Civil Engineering:

Building construction, Bridges and other structures, Geotechnics, Roads and railways, Hydraulic engineering and water management, Urban engineering, Environmental engineering, Water quality, Engineering and architecture, Building management, Construction surveying, Geoinformatics.

The Major in Surveying and Geoinformatics

One of the most ancient types of engineering activities is that of the surveying engineers . Surveying or geodesy is a science engaged in determining the shape of the earth and the location of natural and artificial objects on the surface of the Earth.

Engineering design is impossible without adequate maps. An important application field of geodesy is the exact tracing of the location of planned engineering establishments and altered site borders. Besides traditional (Earth surface-based) measurement methods, air photogrammetry using photos taken from aeroplanes was formed at the beginning of our century, and the rise of space technology also had a substantial impact on measurement methods.

Geoinformatics is the science of collecting, processing, analysing, and displaying information related to the Earth s surface.

It is very useful to know various engineering powers in order to perform both surveying engineering and geoinformatics tasks, therefore the students of the major in Surveying and Geoinformatics study the core material of the major in Civil Engineering the same way as civil engineering students do.

Based on these activities the following minors have been introduced for the Major in Surveying and Geoinformatics:

Construction surveying, Geoinformatics, Surveying basic networks, Roads and railways, Hydraulic engineering and water management, Urban engineering, Environmental engineering, Water quality.

The engineering programs in English

The engineering programs in English for our foreign students follow the English-American pattern and lead to a B.Sc. degree in four years and to the M.Sc. degree in an additional two years. Postgraduate or Ph.D. courses are guided under individualised programs that normally take two or three years to complete.

International relations of the Faculty of Civil Engineering

Maintaining relations with quality universities abroad is one of the conditions for successful education at the Faculty and for broadening students professional attitudes. Our Faculty maintains relations including student and staff exchange opportunities with more then 30 universities abroad, having "direct relationships" providing regular co-operation with many of them (e.g. Aachen, Berlin, Bratislava, Bucharest, Delft, Dresden, Graz, Hanover, Helsinki, Karlsruhe, Krakow, Leeuwarden, London, Maribor, Munich, Paris, Prague, Vienna, etc.).

The annual number of our students participating in training courses abroad was between 40 and 50 in the recent years.

There were some 45 international guest students respectively, who studied at our Faculty for their diploma projects and in the framework of the English-language training.

For our doctoral students, it is compulsory to do research or go on a study trip abroad for at least one semester.

Student hostels, social life

Similarly to the rest of the Faculties at TUB, the Faculty of Civil Engineering can provide student hostel accommodation to about 60% of the applicants. Students of the Faculty stay in "Vásárhelyi Pál" Student hostel (Budapest XI., Kruspér u. 2-4.), the rooms are for four persons and are equipped with a shower.

The student hostel not only operates as a place of accommodation for students, but it is also the centre of the students self-government. The self-government runs a number of cultural establishments. There are video and radio studios as well as a computer network operating in the hostel. The integration of first-year students is helped by a set of programs with 30 year s tradition (hostel camp, summer camp, freshman ball, Happening, etc.). Besides these, there are activity groups (photo group, theatre group, body group), as well as cultural clubs gathering every week, providing students with cheap and decent opportunities for entertainment.

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