Historical Perspective

The Department of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) was founded by government decree on February 27th, 1946. According to this decree, the School of Chemical Engineering was subdivided into 3 Departments: (a) the Department of Chemical Engineering, (b) the Department of Mining Engineering, and (c) the Department of Metallurgical Engineering. The operation of the last two Departments was thus started during the academic year 1945-46.

Before the foundation of the Departments of Mining Engineering and Metallurgical Engineering, a number of courses belonging to these disciplines were taught in other Departments of NTUA. In particular, since 1878 (when NTUA was called “School of Industrial Arts”) the course “Ore Engineering and Geology” was taught in the Department of Civil Engineering, while a little later the course “Iron Metallurgy” was first offered in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. These two courses continued to be offered up to the restructuring that took place in 1914, when the current name was given to NTUA (Ethniko Metsovio Polytechneio), while in 1917 the course “Mining Works” was first offered.

In 1943, by-law 935 created the following Chairs: Mining Engineering, Iron Metallurgy, Metallurgy Engineering, and Ore Geology and Applied Geology. However, the actual functioning of the Department starts during the academic year 1945-46, with the 5-year program of studies in the Department of Mining Engineering and the Department of Metallurgical Engineering. In 1948, 3 years after the foundation of the two Departments, they are joined together in a single Department under the name “Department of Mining & Metallurgical Engineering”, which was still part of the Faculty of Chemical Engineering of NTUA. Thus, during the 1950, 1951 and 1952 years, graduating students from NTUA were designated as having a diploma in either Mining Engineering or in Metallurgical Engineering but not both. Since 1953 and until today the diploma awarded is common for both directions, i.e. a Diploma in Mining & Metallurgical Engineering.

During the 1975-76 academic year, the Department was separated from the Faculty of Chemical Engineering and formed an independent Faculty under the name “Faculty of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering”. Under the government decree 1268/82 “On the Structure and Operation of the Highest Educational Institutions” (Framework Law), the “Faculty of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering” was again renamed “Department of Mining Engineering and Metallurgy”, and the 9 existing at the time faculty chairs were split according to the new law into the following 3 departmental sections:

  • Section of Mining Engineering
  • Section of Metallurgy & Materials Technology
  • Section of Geological Sciences

Several professors have made valuable contributions in the development and direction of the Department, and in founding and setting up laboratories, especially in the areas of geology, mining engineering, metallurgy, and minerals processing. Among many, the following professors with many years of contribution to the Department can be mentioned: L. Nikolaides, E. Gounaris, M. Mitsopoulos, G. Boreades, J. Papastamatiou, S. Katrakis, K. Konofagos, Th. Florides, L. Mousoulos, K. Zahos, S. Avgoustides, J. Giannopoulos, as well as those who have retired recently: J. Economopoulos, J. Papageorgakis, Ν. Apostolides, G. Stamboltzis, K. Mastoris, A. Frangiskos, E. Badeka, Ch. Tsoutrelis, A. Economou, N. Fytrolakis, P. Tsoflias, K. Panagopoulos, N. Terezopoulos, P. Neou-Syngouna, and I. Koumantakis. Special mention is due to the great contributions made by A. Frangiskos, Professor Emeritus, during his Rectorship years (1987-1988) for the modernization of the administration services of NTUA and for the functioning of the Research Committee established at the time. Also, Professor K. Panagopoulos was elected and served twice as Vice-Rector of NTUA, and in this capacity he contributed greatly in the organization and operation of the Laurium Technological and Cultural Center. It must also be mentioned the important contributions and international reputation of Professor A. Kontopoulos, Director of the Laboratory of Metallurgy, who passed away in April 1998 at the age of 54.

The diploma awarded by the Department is still common today for the two directions, i.e. Diploma in Mining Engineering and Metallurgical Engineering. However, under presidential decree 85/1987, two specialty directions were introduced since the academic year 1987-88, i.e. the specialty of “Μining Engineer” and the specialty of “Μetallurgical Engineer”.

In 1999, and in the effort of upgrading the undergraduate curriculum, it was decided that the first 7 semesters make up the basic curriculum, while from the 8th semester there is an introduction of five (5) subject directions, which are completed as course work with the 9th semester. These five (5) subject directions are:

(a) Environmental Engineering and Geo-Environment.
(b) Mining Engineering.
(c) Geo-Engineering.
(d) Metallurgical Processes.
(e) Materials Science and Engineering.

Since the academic year 2001-2002, the new system of 5 directions is followed.

Also, since the academic year 2002-2003, the Department of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering has been renamed by law as the School of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering.

Since the foundation of the Department in 1945, there has always been a shortage of space for the installation and laboratory needs of the various departmental activities. In 1947 the decision was made to build a complex on Tositsa street in the down-town NTUA campus. This building was named the “New Building” and became the home of the Faculty of Chemical Engineering, including the chairs and laboratories of the Department of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering. Soon the space available was again inadequate. Thus the laboratories of Physical Metallurgy, Minerals Processing, and Mining Engineering were moved to the Materials Strength Building in the Zografou campus of NTUA. Today all departmental laboratories and other activities are housed in the attractive new buildings of the School of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering in the Zografou campus of NTUA.

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