New Honorary Professors of Bialystok University of Technology

23-04-2021
The title of Honorary Professor of Bialystok University of Technology has been conferred on Prof. Li Zhongxian, prof. Volodymyr Onyshchenko and prof. David Gurgenidze.

– Awarding of the title of Honorary Professor is a form of appreciation expressed by the whole academic community of Bialystok University of Technology – says assoc. prof. Marta Kosior-Kazberuk, DSc, PhD, Eng., Rector of Bialystok University of Technology.

 

 

The title of Honorary Professor of Bialystok University of Technology has been conferred on prof. Li Zhongxian, prof. Volodymyr Onyshchenko and prof. David Gurgenidze on the 22nd of April. The hybrid ceremony of awarding the title of Honorary Professor of Bialystok University of Technology took place during the solemn session of the Senate of Bialystok University of Technology.

The following persons were present in the PlatonTV studio:

  • Her Magnificence Rector of Bialystok University of Technology,assoc. prof. Marta Kosior-Kazberuk, DSc, PhD, Eng.
  • Vice-Rector for International Cooperation assoc. prof. Dorota Anna Krawczyk, DSc, PhD, Eng.
  • Vice-Rector for Development assoc. prof. Mirosław Świercz, DSc, PhD, Eng.
  • Vice-Rector for Research, Prof. Marek Krętowski, DSc, PhD, Eng.
  • Vice-Rector for Education, assoc. prof. Agnieszka Dardzińska-Głębocka, DSc, PhD,
  • Vice-Rector for Student Affairs, assoc. prof. Jarosław Szusta, DSc, PhD, Eng.

 

Thanks to online streaming, the solemn session of the Senate was open to public.

– Today we are awarding the titles of Honorary Professor of Bialystok University of Technology to three personalities who, one can safely say, are friends of Bialystok University of Technology – said Her Magnificence Rector.

Merits and profiles of new Honorary Professors of Bialystok University of Technology were presented by Prof. Lech Dzienis:

– We are gathered today for the ceremony of awarding the title of Honorary Professor of Bialystok University of Technology to Professor Li Zhongxian the President of Tianjin Chengjian University, a recognized scientist, a specialist in prevention and mitigation of construction disasters. The scientist measure’s are his works and his students. His attitude and public service. And also what impact his works have on the development of science. In all these spheres, Professor Li Zhongxian has shown exceptional merit, of which the academic community of Bialystok University of Technology can also be proud.

Professor Li Zhongxian is a charismatic and brilliant personality, and his academic and public activities over the past 40 years are rich in significant achievements. He has carried out his research activities in academic centres around the world: the University of Basilicata in Italy, the University of Cambridge in the UK, the University of Southern California in the US, Swinburne University of Technology in Australia. He is the author and co-author of many scientific articles, monographs and patents.

In 2010, Professor Li Zhongxian was entrusted with the leadership of this outstanding university. Professor Li Zhongxian has served as the President of Tianjin Chengjian University until today.

It is with great satisfaction and gratitude to Professor Li Zhongxian that I can say that since 2013, Bialystok University of Technology has had the honour of cooperating with this outstanding institution, which conducts its activities on the Bahai Bay in northern China.

I had the honour to sign the first general agreement personally with Professor Li Zhongxian, during my visit to China on the ninth of December, 2013. An agreement bringing Bialystok University of Technology and Tianjin Chengjian University together.

Just one year later –  as a part of the implementation of this agreement – the first scientists from TCU came to Bialystok University of Technology. Professor Yu Zhang came to the Faculty of Engineering Management of Bialystok. University of Technology as a visiting professor. Meanwhile, the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences hosted Professor Yuan Zhong. In 2015, the invitation to go on a scholarship and work as a visiting professor at TCU was accepted by the current rector of Bialystok University of Technology, Professor Marta Kosior-Kazberuk and Prof. Piotr Banaszuk. Another four Polish visiting professors were invited to TCU in 2017.

In 2016, Bialystok University of Technology and Tianjin Chengjian University signed an agreement on double degree programme in the field of civil engineering for undergraduate and postgraduate students. Since then, every year Bialystok University of Technology hosts groups of Chinese students from TCU.

It is gratifying to note that our cooperation with Tianjin Chengjian University has been successfully expanded within joint Erasmus+ projects, under which, since 2017, three students and seven employees of Tianjin Chengjian University and one employee of Bialystok University of Technology have benefitted.

However, the biggest joint venture between Bialystok University of Technology and Tianjin Chengjian University was the establishment of the International School of Engineering situated in Tianjin. Work on the project began in 2017, and the grand opening was scheduled for September 2020. This is an innovative project which success is ensured by the accreditation of the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China and the full support of the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, as well as the involvement of Polish universities: Bialystok University of Technology and Cracow University of Technology.

The objective of this joint educational initiative is to enable Chinese students to pursue international studies in their home country and obtain double degrees in the fields of civil engineering, environmental engineering, architecture and landscape architecture. The study programmes have been jointly prepared by Tianjin Chengjian University, Bialystok University of Technology and Cracow University of Technology and meet the curriculum requirements of these countries. The signing of agreements for the establishment of the International School of Engineering by Bialystok University of Technology, Cracow University of Technology and Tianjin Chengjian University took place in Warsaw, Poland, in May 2017. The Chinese Ministry of Education granted its accreditation in December 2019.

All these activities are firm evidence of the mutual relations between Bialystok University of Technology and Tianjin Chengjian University. Our achievements in the process of internationalization of research and technical education would not have been possible without the extraordinary commitment, kindness and support shown, at every stage of joint projects, by President of Tianjin Chengjian University, Professor Li Zhongxian.

Thank you very much, Dear Professor, for your help and kindness. We wish you: health, prosperity and further professional success. We are proud of the fact that you have become a significant figure in the over 70-year history of Bialystok University of Technology.

Prof. Li Zhongxian, who joined the solemn meeting of the Senate of Bialystok University of Technology online from Tianjin Chengjian University in China, couldn’t hide his emotions at receiving the conferred dignity.

– I would like to express my sincere gratitude for being awarded the title of Honorary Professor of Bialystok University of Technology – said Prof. Li Zhongxian.

– I am fully aware that Bialystok University of Technology is an international institution with great achievements in higher education. I believe that under the guidance of Rector Prof. Marta Kosior-Kazberuk, Bialystok University of Technology will be even more successful and the cooperation between Tianjin Chengjian University and Bialystok University of Technology will lead to outstanding scientific achievements. I will do my best to promote the cooperation between our universities, contribute to the cultural and scientific exchange between Tianjin and Poland.

Leter from LI Zhongxian Prof. Ph.D., President of TCU

The Choir of Bialystok University of Technology added splendour to the ceremony. Under the direction of prof. Wioletta Miłkowska, it performed a Chinese traditional folk chant “Ocean, my homeland.”

Profesor Lech Dzienis used these words to introduce the scientific achievements of Professor Volodymyr Onyshchenko:

– It is with great pleasure – which stems both from the long-standing cooperation between our universities and from personal, extremely friendly contacts – that I would like to present today the profile and merits of Professor Volodymyr Onyshchenko, Rector of National University Yuri Kondratyuk Poltava Polytechnic, and from today also the Honorary Professor of Bialystok University of Technology.

It’s a great privilege and honour to introduce him as:

  • a scientist with a considerable publication and implementation achievements,
  • an excellent teacher,
  • a person with outstanding organizational skills,
  • a person known and recognized in the international academic community, who with great commitment develops strategic partnerships between the sector of science and business.

Professor Volodymyr Onyshchenko has been preparing for his current tasks of leading a national technical university by obtaining successive scientific degrees in technical sciences (specialization in civil engineering) and economics (specialization in business economics). He is the author of 26 monographs and over 250 scientific publications, as well as 15 patents. He has also had a significant impact on the development of academic teaching – he is the author of 15 academic textbooks and the supervisor of five habilitation dissertations and 30 PhD theses. For his special contribution to the development of education, Professor Volodymyr Onyshchenko has received the State Prize of Ukraine in the field of science and technology and the title of honorary employee of Ukrainian education.

It should be noted here that it was Rector Onyshchenko who initiated the agreement that gave the framework for the development of cooperation between Polish and Ukrainian universities, including Bialystok University of Technology. The agreement was signed in 2014, during the Ukrainian-Polish Forum “Technical Education – for the future of Europe” at which Rectors of Higher Technical Educational Institutions of Ukraine and Rectors of Polish Technical Universities met. The special concern of the signatories of this agreement was to equalize educational and academic mobility between Ukraine and Poland.

Between Bialystok University of Technology and National University Yuri Kondratyuk Poltava Polytechnic, an English-language mobility programme for civil engineering students has been implemented. The experience gained during its implementation was the basis for launching a double degree programme in civil engineering. At the same time, the Faculty of Engineering Management has started cooperation with Poltava University, where a group of Ukrainian students has graduated from a 2-year postgraduate course in logistics.

National University Yuri Kondratyuk Poltava Polytechnic should also be emphasized for its openness to projects that extend the international contacts already established by Bialystok University of Technology. We are talking about the unique partnership of Bialystok University of Technology, National University Yuri Kondratyuk Poltava Polytechnic and Zhejiang University Ningbo Institute of Technology in China, which resulted in the organization of the International Ukrainian-Polish-Chinese Summer School for logistics students in 2016. In this triad, we also undertook work on developing a curriculum framework for the International Summer School on Architecture.

The development of further projects connecting National University Yuri Kondratyuk Poltava Polytechnic and Bialystok University of Technology since 2017 is handled by the Ukrainian-Polish Centre, functioning within the structures of the Ukrainian university. Its activities concentrate on organizing Polish language courses for Ukrainian students and teachers who want to take part in international exchange programmes.

It is difficult to find a better spokesperson for the integration of the Ukrainian higher education system with the EU academic centres than Professor Volodymyr Onyshchenko. He presented his original perspective on a successful formula for carrying out this process, at the 2019 Regional Economic Diplomacy Summit organized by the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology of the Republic of Poland. The goals he presented then are common for Ukrainian and Polish universities. These are: internationalization, development of innovations and integration of science and business.

Therefore, by awarding Professor Onyshchenko the title of Honorary Professor of Bialystok University of Technology, we are honouring an eminent figure with an influence far beyond the scope of his own scientific community. His achievements and contribution to the development of international cooperation between Poland and Ukraine are indisputable. I would like to thank you warmly for your work and commitment which have significantly enriched the achievements of our University.

I am proud of this choice of the academic community of Bialystok University of Technology and it is with great cordiality and satisfaction that I welcome you, Dear Professor Onyshchenko among the Honorary Professors of Bialystok University of Technology.

Professor Volodymyr Onyshchenko addressed the Senate of Bialystok University of Technology and the whole academic community, who was present online:

– I would like to express my gratitude for this dose of trust – said Prof. Volodymyr Onyshchenko.

– Receiving the title of Honorary Professor is a great honour for me. The cooperation between our universities is a true example of academic cooperation and cultural diplomacy. Since 2014, when we established our cooperation, there have been very many joint academic projects, student exchanges and working visits. Thanks to the cooperation with Bialystok University of Technology, our university has become a real centre of Polish language, culture and Polish traditions in Ukraine. Thanks to this cooperation, we have started teaching Polish at our university. I am proud that from now on I will be able to say that Bialystok University of Technology is also my university and our cooperation will promote good relations between Poles and Ukrainians.

The Choir of Bialystok University of Technology performed a dazzling version of the Ukrainian ritual song “Shchedryk”.

Professor David Gurgenidze, Rector of Georgian Technical University was also awarded the title of Honorary Professor. Professor Lech Dzienis spoke in his laudation about his merits for science and strengthening cooperation between universities:

– The title of Honorary Professor is a unique distinction conferred by the academic community of Bialystok University of Technology on outstanding academics. On those who, through their scientific, didactic and public activities, have made a special contribution to science, teaching and public affairs. Professor David Gurgenidze is undoubtedly a person who perfectly meets the above characteristics.

The Honorary Professor of Bialystok University of Technology, prof. David Gurgenidze, with whom I share not only friendship but also common interest in the problems of water management is:

  • a recognized scientist, a specialist in water resources management and hydroengineering,
  • rector of Georgian Technical University – a partner of Bialystok University of Technology,
  • a member of the Scientific and Advisory Councils of the Georgian Parliament for Regional Policy, Local Government Committee, Sectoral Economy and Economic Policy, and in the past Deputy Minister for Fuel Energy of Georgia,
  • a full member of the Georgian Academy of Engineering and the Georgian Academy of Energy.

Professor David Gurgenidze passes his extensive knowledge and experience in the field of economy and hydroengineering, confirmed by scientific degrees awarded by Russian and Georgian technical universities, to the next generations of engineers. For more than a quarter century he has been engaged in educating successive generations of students and organizing teaching at Georgian Technical University. In 2020, he was entrusted with the management of this excellent technical university, the largest in Georgia, which historical roots date back to 1922.

With great satisfaction and gratitude to Prof. David Gurgenidze, I can say that for over 10 years Bialystok University of Technology has had the honour to cooperate with this outstanding institution, mainly in the disciplines of civil and environmental engineering. The first general agreement bringing Bialystok University of Technology and Georgian Technical University together was concluded in the spring of 2015. During the stay of a delegation from Bialystok University of Technology in Tbilisi, we defined a 10-year plan for cooperation between our universities regarding development of joint scientific projects and support of staff and student exchange of all teaching levels. Specialists from the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences of Bialystok University of Technology were invited to co-lead three doctoral dissertations of young scientists from GTU. All of them were successful and led to scientific advancement of Georgian environmental engineers.

Georgian Technical University became one of the most important partners of Bialystok University of Technology in efforts to obtain grants from the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange. Under the International Academic Partnerships programme 25 students and teachers from Bialystok University of Technology and Georgian Technical University have benefitted from short-term stays at partner universities.

The projects within the framework of International Academic Partnerships made it possible to ensure student mobility, as well as to organize summer schools. Combined Georgian-Polish theoretical and practical classes, as well as visits to enterprises and engineering infrastructure facilities, have brought great value to the development of young professionals. The gained experience and practices of the participating academic teachers have become the basis for the creation of an integrated textbook, which will be included in the didactic process of Bialystok University of Technology and Georgian Technical University.

Active cooperation between Bialystok University of Technology and Georgian Technical University also includes exchange within the Erasmus+ programme, thanks to which visiting professors from Poland and Georgia conducted classes for students at both partner universities.

Our cooperation means also an activity related to the exchange of ideas and experience during international conferences and seminars. The example would be the international scientific seminar organized by both universities in March 2019 in Tbilisi – ” European Innovative technologies of water supply and wastewater disposal”. The seminar was attended by representatives of 12 countries! And its result is the monograph “Environmental Ecology”.

All the activities I have mentioned above are firm evidence of the mutual good relations between Bialystok University of Technology and Georgian Technical University, and our joint achievements in the process of internationalization of research and technical education would not be possible without the commitment, kindness and support shown by Professor David Gurgenidze.

His contribution to the development of international cooperation between Poland and Georgia is unquestionable and justifies the award of the title of Honorary Professor of Bialystok University of Technology.

We would like to thank you, Dear Professor Gurgenidze, for your help and kindness. We wish you health, prosperity and further professional success and we are looking forward to continue fruitful cooperation between our universities.”

Speaking from Tbilisi, Professor David Gurgenidze reminded that Georgian Technical University is the first engineering and educational centre not only in Georgia, but also in the South Caucasus region. It was founded in 1922.

All participants of the ceremony could listen to the Choir of Bialystok University of Technology interpreting the Georgian folk song “Suliko”.

Her Magnificence Rector, Professor Marta Kosior-Kazberuk, thanked for the participation in the hybrid solemn and open session of the Senate of Bialystok University of Technology:

– On behalf of the academic community of Bialystok University of Technology I would like to congratulate the Honorary Professors of Bialystok University of Technology. In the history of our university, the title has been awarded to 11 personalities from the world of science. Today professors Li Zhongxian, Volodymyr Onyshchenko and David Gurgenidze have joined this group. I would like to thank them for their contribution to the development of our university and international cooperation, as well as for accepting the honorary distinctions awarded by our university.

(jd)

 

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