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The Past and the Present of the Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague

The Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT), Prague is a public university providing education and pursuing scientific, research, development and implementation activities. It is a member of the family of 28 public and state universities in the Czech Republic, a member of EUA (European University Association), FEANI (European Federation of National Engineering Associations) and IGIP (Gesellschaft für Ingenieurpädagogik). The ICT Prague is known for both the depth and broadness of its educational and research activities in almost all branches of chemistry, chemical engineering, food chemistry and technology, biochemistry, refining, water-treatment, power and biological sciences and technologies, as well as environment protection, materials sciences and other chemistry-based fields of study. The ICT was founded in 1952, but its roots date back to 1807 when the first course in chemistry was delivered at the Prague Polytechnic. The reorganization of the polytechnic in 1920 resulted in the transformation of the chemical department into the School of Chemical Technology, one of the seven sections of the Czech Technical University.

The ICT Prague turned out a number of outstanding chemists, among them Professor Otto Wichterle, the inventor of soft contact lenses in the 1950s. Vladimír Prelog, professor at the ETH Zürich who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1975, graduated from the School of Chemical Technology in 1928, and he gained his PhD degree there several years later.

The ICT Prague consists of four faculties, Faculty of Chemical Technology, Faculty of Environmental Technology, Faculty of Food and Biochemical Technology, Faculty of Chemical Engineering, and departments accommodating the needs of all ICT Faculties.

The ICT Prague currently comprises almost 780 staff, including about 40 professors, 100 associate professors, and 280 assistant professors and assistants. The Faculties of the ICT are accredited to provide three-year Bachelor programmes, two-year Master programmes (ending with the award of the academic title Engineer), and PhD programmes. The total enrolment at the ICT Prague is about 2500 Master and Bachelor students and more than 600 PhD students.

The ICT Prague cooperates with more than 100 universities and institutions mostly in Europe, but also in the USA, Canada, Japan and other countries. The ICT Prague is the most active among Czech universities in the SOCRATES/ERASMUS student exchange programme. In addition, it also collaborates within other programmes, such as the 5th and 6th framework programme, COST, EUREKA, Leonardo da Vinci, programmes of overseas grant agencies.

The ICT Prague maintains a high standard of computer equipment with fully switched gigabit network. Computers, connected through Internet to network information services, are available to students and teachers in almost each of several hundred of laboratories and workrooms.

The ICT Prague operates a superbly equipped Central Library, which contains more than 100,000 volumes of books, handbooks, encyclopaedias, periodicals, and other publications. The Library subscribes to some 300 professional periodicals and has an electronic access to scientific journals. Over 2500 titles of prestigious scientific publishing houses issued over the last five years are currently available in the electronic form. The SciFinder SCHOLAR programme on the web, an on-line access to the Chemical Abstracts Service, is available in the Library, allowing for tracing scientific information since 1907 up to the present. The complete collection of the "Beilsteins Handbuch der organischen Chemie", and "Gmelins Handbuch der anorganischen Chemie", both in printed and electronic forms, is also available.

Several unique and most up-to-date scientific equipments are located in the Central Laboratories, which provide services to all Faculties in implementing scientific projects as well as in teaching postgraduate students. The very high technical level of the equipment is represented for example by the FTIR spectrometer BRUKER IFS 66v with microscope, high resolution Micro Raman spectrometer LABRAM HR, XRD - diffractometer Bruker AXS D8, mass spectrometer Autospec Ultima (Micromass), connected with GC HP 6890, mass spectrometer Q-TOF (Micromass), connected with HPLC, Bruker Avance DRX 500 high performance Fourier NMR spectrometer.