Politehnica University Timisoara

Engineering ATU

Engineering ATU

Engineering ATU

21 September 2022






Assoc. Prof. Dr. Eng. Florin Drăgan, Ph.D.
Rector, Politehnica University Timișoara


Two years ago, the universities in Timișoara had the ambition and drive to build the Timișoara University Alliance (Alianța Timișoara Universitară – ATU), which set out to help consolidate Timișoara as a strong university city and grow Timiș county and the entire region.

The project started in a difficult time, marked by the pandemic, when face-to-face meeting, so necessary for such a project, were challenging to organize. Despite all that, a few joint projects were started, especially for research, several online meetings were organized and a joint research hub was established.

The moment I took over the ATU presidency, on July 1, 2021, I realized the great responsibility that meant, especially given that the expectations were high from the rector of Politehnica University, the first university in the city, the cradle of higher education in Timișoara and the driver for the economic growth of the region. There was a need for a new vision and an engineering approach that would put into practice, through concrete actions, as many of the objectives set when the alliance was founded. The first ATU meeting hosted by Politehnica University Timișoara set itself apart through its pragmatism, the concrete actions that were took, the establishing of work teams and topics on research, digitization, internationalization and educational marketing.

As I stated in the beginning, one of the important steps of this year was making Timișoara more attractive as a university city and, during the “University and the city” meeting, multiple solutions were found for reaching that objective. Furthermore, a first success of the thematic debates UPT initiated was producing a modern presentation video for Timișoara as a university city under the coordination of TeleU, a video that was played at Expo Duabi, where ATU members alongside culture institutions and business representatives promoted Timișoara and Timis county.

In my opinion, city growth without a partnership between universities, the business sector and administration is no longer possible. To that end, I tried to develop the working process of UPT’s Steering Board within the Alliance. Both the authorities, and the administration’s representatives appreciated the idea to bring together all the stakeholders that can boost Timișoara’s growth such that we can have a coherent vision for the city and region’s development. This vision was materialized through the Strategy for Transforming and Updating Life in Timișoara (Strategia de Transformare și Actualizare a Realității Timișorene – S.T.A.R.T) in the May 6, 2022 event ATUTM 1.0. S.T.A.R.T. – accelerate change.

The strategy also includes precise measures for helping not only the TM2023 project work, but also what comes next in terms of culture in Timișoara. We considered it was essential to assume the role of consolidating the actions undertaken in the context of Timișoara being the European Capital of Culture. The city needed and still needs a model of collaboration and we can provide it.

Politehnica University Timișoara has a solid strategy on the science and arts segment, in agreement with Politehnica’s tradition of being a cultural pillar, being at the same time open to collaboration with other universities and the artistic and cultural sectors. To that end, I wish that after 2023, we will have, besides museums, the MV arts center and other projects, a masters degree at the Faculty of Architecture and City Planning in the field of arts and science, in partnership with the other universities in the city. I strongly believe in the strategic development of multidisciplinary study programs implemented in partnership by ATU members.

We did not forget about the students and, after a break of two years, this spring, we offered them two days of music, activities and a lot of fun – the Timișoara Student Days, an event attended by thousands of students from all the universities in Timișoara. The project was backed by Politehnica University Timișoara and the Timișoara University Alliance and represented a special opportunity for final-year students, who were only used to only school, to enjoy a few moments of rest and fun.

What comes next? I wish that us, the universities within the Timișoara University Alliance, would succeed in creating a local ecosystem together with the administration and the business environment, and that this trio, consolidated with partnership with the civil society became the solution for the European future we all want.

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