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Faculty of Natural Sciences (Savaria Campus)
The Faculty of Natural and Technical Sciences was established in 2002 at the Berzsenyi Dániel College, (today the Savaria Campus of the University of West Hungary).
Although the Institute of Natural Sciences, its predecessor, started work in 1992, teaching in most courses had begun much earlier. Students choosing education as their profession were taught maths from 1972, technical subjects and physics from 1983, and biology, geography and chemistry from 1984 on. For the present the spectrum of training offered by the faculty has been expanded with courses on the environment, business management, industrial products and design in applied arts and also technical management.
The faculty intends to offer fundamentals for natural, technical and economic sciences for master courses in teacher-training and other types of education for M.Sc. degrees, also to add an interdisciplinary school for a doctoral program. It aims at educating specialists who can manage industry, agriculture, education civil or institutional areas of society, or can get along as business entrepreneurs with suitable fundamental knowledge of natural and technical sciences, in the field of informatics and business studies.
The faculty created wide ranging connections to private companies of the West Transdanubian region to enhance practice-oriented education of the fundamental courses, and for the practical training of the students. The students can do their professional practice at 16 companies: e.g. Bükfürdő Curative Thermal Bath, Markusovszky Hospital, BPW Hungária, General Motors Powertrain, and Isel Hungária Automatisation, etc.
Instructors and researchers of the faculty’s four institutes (the Institute of Biology; the Institute of Geography and Environmental Sciences; the Institute of Mathematics and Information Sciences; and the Institute of Technical and Economic Sciences and Informatics) are always active and are surrounded with busy students. Students in the different courses organize special days and nights and participate in field practices, study tours and astronomical observations. Students interested in research work are involved in the students’ scientific clubs, guided by their instructors.
Many scientific conferences and other special events organized by the faculty are linked to its vibrant research activity, including regional conferences on natural sciences and on karst formation, sessions of the Hungarian Society of Ornithology, or a congress of European Arachnology, and a settlement geography conference.
The mainstream of scientific work on fundamental levels is represented by karst formation research and ecological investigation, while applied research on the faculty includes anthropology, neurobiology, plant biology, environment protection and land development, information technology, company planning and management.
Besides the faculty’s own scientific publication, titled “Scientific Proceedings of Savaria Campus – on Natural Sciences,” the individual departments also have their own periodicals, such as “Karst Development,” “Kanitzia,” and “Folia Anthropologica.” They play an important role in the regular exchange of information with other partner institutions.
Many instructors of the faculty participate in doctoral programs of other Hungarian universities (ELTE, SZIE, PTE), and are members or heads of several national and international scientific groups, take part in scientific research cooperation, such as the Hungarian Society for Geography, BirdLife Hungary, and the South-East Bird Migration Research Network.
The faculty has scientific cooperation with European and overseas institutions (Department of Applied Geography, University of Bordeaux, France; Department of Human Biology, University of Punjab, India; Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, USA; Astronomical Observatory of Hurbanovo, University of Lodz, Poland; Nanoscience Technology Center and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Central Florida, USA).
Since 2000, the faculty has spent more than 200 million Hungarian Forints (gained from tenders) on infrastructure development. The funding was mostly allotted to providing background facilities for teaching new technical and business courses, and information technology. An astronomical observatory station, a laboratory for geology and mineralogy and one for neurobiology were also established at that time. Facilities for several special classrooms have also been improved.
Besides teaching astronomy and propagating science, the Kövesligethy Radó Educational Observatory, located in the attic of the faculty building, serves the instructors’ scientific work, in particular the joint research program with the Slovakian Central Observatory (SUH) on solar physics. After the faculty’s laboratory is developed, it will be involved in the program for observation of small planets. (The traditional visual direct observation is made possible by means of a 6” and f”/16 D&G achromatic refractor, on a FORNAX 50 with a coordinator 2000 drive, while the surface details of the sun, the moon and other planets are taken by a special USB camera.)