The Department of Machine and Product Design is the successor of the previous Department of Machine Elements and Department of Agricultural Machinery. Most famous professors of the Department of Machine Elements include Miksa Bielek, Donát Bánki, Miksa Herrmann and Imre Vörös. The curriculum of the major in Machine Design was worked out in 1969, and the training began in the specialization Machine Design under the leadership of József Magyar.
The most distingushed professors of Department of Agricultural Machinery formed in 1889 were Pál Lázár, Gusztáv Szabó and Imre Rázsó. Under the leadership of Professor Rázsó, agricultural mechanical engineers were trained within an independent major from 1950. From the Department of Machine Elements and Department of Agricultural Machinery, the Institute of Machine Design headed by László Varga was established 1976. As of 1990, János Marosfalvi became Director of the institute making a great contribution to the introduction of education of product design engineers at BME. 1997-2008 the institute worked under leadership of Director Tibor Bercsey who established the present department headed by Károly Váradi since 2008.
The mission of the Department of Machine and Product Design at BME is to provide students with knowledge and skills in the field of machine and product design enabling them to solve their engineering tasks using a scientific approach and to the benefit of the society as well as to prepare the future engineers for their social responsibility as members of the future elite of the country.
The BUDAPEST UNIVERSITY of TECHNOLOGY and ECONOMICS operates 8 faculties and has about 15000 students totally. The Institutum Geometricum Hydrotechnicum, the University’s predecessor, was established by emperor Joseph II. in the year 1782 and it worked as a unit of the Royal University in Buda teaching Mechanics as a basic- and Agriculture as an elective subject.
From 1793 Agriculture and Technology became compulsory subjects. The necessary knowledge in mechanical engineering was taught in the frame of the subject Theory of Power Stations according to the program of the Economic Faculty valid from 1844. This Institute was granted the rank of university in 1871 and it operated under the name of The Hungarian Royal Joseph Technical University. At the same time the university rank entitled the institute issuing diplomas for its students fulfilling successfully their exams in engineering studies. Obviously both the organisation and nominations of its institutes and chairs have been changed several times during the past centuries.
The subjects Machine Drawing and Machine Structures, according to historic papers, had already been taught in 1856 at the Joseph Industrial College, later at the Joseph Polytechnicum.
The subjects Machine Structures and Mechanics were taught by the lecturer of Theory of Power Stations. A separate lecturer – Miksa Bielek – was nominated for these subjects only later in 1867. In 1871 the Branch of Mechanical Engineering at the Hungarian Royal Joseph Technical University was established and within its frame the Chair of Machine Structures which can be regarded as the predecessor of the present Institute of Machine Design.
The first professors were Miksa Bielek up to 1893 and Emil Asboth up to 1899. They introduced the subject Machine Elements at the Technical University. Subjects Agricultural Machinery and Agricultural Industrial Machinery were available from the year 1882. The Chair Agricultural Machinery was founded in 1889 and lead by Pál Lázár from the start up to 1917.
Donát Bánki, one of the outstanding geniuses among Hungarian mechanical engineers, took over the subject and became the head of Machine Structures Department in 1899. His name is related to great many patents and novelty promoting mechanical engineering in that age. His preciseness was legendary, besides that he is the author of the first lecture note published in Hungarian as Machine Elements presenting numerous up to date constructions. As Donát Bánki had always been attracted by new challenges he took over as leader of the newly founded Hydraulics and Hydraulic Machines Department in 1900. Meanwhile Emil Schimanek became the head of the Machine Structure Department and he was lecturing the subject Machine Elements. Similar to professor Bánki he emphasised also teaching ways how to convert knowledge into engineering practice. His name is linked to serial production of the first home made small capacity petrol engine and designing a type of friction clutch. In 1905 professor Schimanek was followed by Jenő Cserháti who made his name famous by research activity on the fields of rolling bearings and surface contact pressure of engaging gear tooth flanks. After the unexpected death of professor Cserháti in 1910 temporarily Emil Vidéky took over the lectures of the subject. He was the first in the world dealing with gear dimensioning on Hertz’s stresses. His theories regarding gearing was really an up to date novelty of that time.
In 1911 professor Miksa Hermann was appointed to Department Head and remained in this position till 1940. Several lecture notes, textbooks and series of educational reforms characterise his activity. He acted as Dean of the Mechanical Engineering Faculty for two years and later as Rector Magnificus of the University. Interrupting his career at the Technical University he became Minister of Foreign Trade for a period from 1926 to 1929. Within this mentioned period Ábrahám Géza Pattantyús took over the lectures of the subject temporarily.
The Department of Agricultural Machines was headed by Gusztáv Szabó for more then 30 yeas from 1918 till 1949. It was in 1933 when the University’s name had been changed Palatine Joseph University of Technology and Economics and the name of the Department Machine Structures had been changed to Department of Machine Elements.
Professor Imre Vörös became the head of Machine Elements Department and lecturer of the subject Machine Elements in 1940. After World War II. in 1949 professor Imre Rázsó took over the Department of Agricultural Machines and as soon as 1950 the Department started the education of mechanical engineers for agriculture. The post war years was a characteristic prosperous period for the Department of Machine Elements too. A series of lecture notes were published for graduate courses and for Postgraduate Education of Graduated Engineers, scientific publications both in Hungarian and in English, then textbooks like the Machine Drawing and three volumes of Machine Elements. All these publications are connected to the name of professor Vörös. These textbooks became milestones of this field even today. The professional reputation of professor Vörös has been acknowledged by grate many international and national awards. Later he became Rector Magnificus of the Budapest Technical University. Then the highly increasing number of students kept him busy in all fields of activity: teaching, education and publishing lecture notes as well.
In 1969 József Magyar, a former student of professor Vörös, was appointed Department Head and took over the lectures of the subject Machine Elements. His lectures were energeticly introducing a basically new aspect what attracted hundreds of students. He was formulated the first design projects to be solved by computer; he realized laboratory classes for students and developed the program for designers of mechanical engineering. As a direct consequence of his efforts the education of designers for agricultural machines was started. He established the subjects Systematic Machine Design and Machine Structures. Moreover he was successful in issuing final project theses too.
Professor László Varga became Department Head in 1976. He had a significant role in organizing the Institute of Machine Design involving the Department of Machine Elements and the Department of Agricultural Machinery. He was the first director of the Institute in 1978 and Vilmos Thernesz became the Head of the Department of Agricultural Machines.
As lecturer of the subject Machine Structures professor Varga introduced a basically new aspect in dimensioning for strength. He strove on widening the number of computers at the Department to keep abreast of the times and parallel to it step by step introduced newer and newer softwares both in research and teaching programs. He was successful to establish the hydraulic and PC laboratories too.
In 1990 Dr. János Marosfalvi became director of the Institute and head of Machine Elements Department. While István Mészáros took over the Department of Agricultural Machinery who, in 1995, was followed by, professor J. István Jóri as department head. Dr. János Marosfalvi took significant role in initiation of the modular teaching in Hungary and also in the formation of the Product Engineering Branch at the Technical University. This became an independent branch within the Mechanical Engineering Faculty from 1996. During this time the model preparing workshop for the branch and establishing a basic laboratory to investigate long-term characteristics of polymers were realized.
In 1997 the new Industrial Design Engineering programme gets a department, when due to organizational changes under the leadership of Bercsey Tibor the Department of Product Engineering and Agricultural Machinery. Besides he continued to lead a successful and scrupulous activity on the fields of design theory and gear transmissions to a number of mechanical engineer and industrial design engineer generations.
The Institute of Machine Design consisted of those two departments from 01/07/1997: The Department of Machine Elements and the newly formed Department of Product Engineering and Agricultural Machinery. From 1999 the Department Head of Product Engineering and Agricultural Machinery as well as, the director of the Institute is Associate Professor Dr. Tibor Bercsey. In 2002 professor Mihály Kozma became the Head of Department of Machine Elements taking over this position from Associate Professor Dr. János Marosfalvi. From 2006 Károly Váradi was the Department Head for one year, when due to Faculty organizational changes, the former Institute of Machine Design became one Department, therefore the two former departments have joined in one Department of Machine and Product Design. The Heads were: Tibor Bercsey (2007-2008), Károly Váradi (2008 – nowadays).
Teaching activity at the former Institute and today’s Department is characterized by teaching in several levels and in different languages. The staff take part in all possible levels of teaching at the University. Basic subjects (like Fundamentals of Machine Drawing, Technical Drawing, Machine and Structural Elements, Fundamentals of CAD/CAM etc…) are taught both in university and in college levels at the Mechanical Engineering Faculty. Compulsory subject (like Methodology of Designing, Applied CAD/CAM Methods, Optimisation of Structures, Mechanical Automatization, Console Structures, Designing of Polymer Products, Tribology, etc….) as well as Elective subjects (a part of them are obligatory, another part freely selected ones, like Environment Friedly Design, Agricultural Machines, Tractors, etc….) are taught at the modules General Designer of Mechanical Engineering, Designer for Agricultural Machines and Product Engineering.
The Department has always played a significant role in education of the Industrial Product Designer Branch, both in its operation and development. Beside these teaching activities the staff of the Institute take also part in education of the following branches: Energetic Engineers, Technical Managers and Economists. Furthermore it has a decisive role in education of Ph.D. students and other postgraduate programs for engineers. Institute offers courses in German and in English for engineers as well as taking part in robotics engineering education held in Russian.
Our students are regularly involved in scientific research and industrial design activities of the Institute. This work can be the basis of final projects or papers written in the frame of the Scientific Student Cirles activity. All these above mentioned works form a strong base for our research and development activities through several projects (OTKA, MKM, OM, PHARE, FEFA, TéT, etc.) making possible a really strong basis of the up to date machine- and product design and supporting the efficient teaching of our subjects.
For being able to reset the education according to the Bolognian bi-level system the Institute of Machine Design and its successor the Department of Machine and Product Design has developed and is teaching the subjects of both the Engineering Design and Design of Agricultural Machines specialisations of the Mechanical Engineering BSc and on MSc as well. The Department of Machine and Product Design proudly hosts and takes care of the Industrial Design Engineering BSc and MSc programmes.