The History of the Department
The construction of machinery and equipment that is focused on textile machinery was among the first subjects that the Faculty of Engineering established after the faculty itself was founded in 1953. The Department of Weaving, Knitting, and Textile Machinery was set up in 1958, which ensured the tuition of the specialised subject of textile technology, machinery, and equipment. The first head of this department was Professor František Pompe. In 1960, the construction of textile machinery was separated from textile technology, which soon began to be taught in the newly established Faculty of Textiles. The independent Department of Textile Machinery was then founded on November 1, 1968. The first head of this department was Ing. Oldřich Talavášek, CSc. However, he had to leave the college in 1971 because of political reasons brought about by the events of 1968. The temporary administration of the department was once again entrusted to Professor Pompe, who held the position until 1973, when Ing. Jaroslav Charvát, CSc. was appointed Head of the Department. It was also at this time that the name of the department was changed to become the Department of Textile Machinery and the Theory of Mechanisms. The department returned to the Faculty of Engineering in 1980 under the name of the Department of Textile and Clothing Machinery. After the retirement of Dr. Charvát, it was the turn of Professor Vladimír Prášil, DrSc. to become Head of the Department, a position he held between 1984 and 1991. The arrival of Professor Prášil had a positive influence on the department’s construction focus. It was under his administration that there was more noticeable orientation on the practical implementation of the results of scientific-research activities and the deepening of the department’s cooperation with industry, which has continued to this day. The Head of the Department between 1991 and 2000 was Dr. Ing. Jiří Mrázek, CSc. His term in charge witnessed a more in-depth approach towards the use of computer-aided design, which was reflected in both the tuition process in the innovation of the study content and in the range of new subjects on offer and also in scientific-research work, which brought with it higher quality. The department moved from building "B" to the newly reconstructed Building "F" on Husova Street in 1993, where it is based to this day. Dr. Ing. Jaroslav Beran, CSc then took over the running of the department in June 2000. The department began to expand at this time, the textile machinery laboratory was established, and the construction of the digital prototype laboratory was completed. In 2006 the department was renamed as the Department of Textile and Single-purpose Machines.
The department has taught more than 700 graduates over the term of its existence. Many of these have remained faithful to their field and have been glad to take up prominent positions in the management of engineering or textile enterprises. An important part of the pedagogical activity of the department has been to educate doctorands, previously postgraduate engineering scientists. This demanding study programme has thus far been successfully completed by around thirty students.
The most prominent personalities at the department
Undoubtedly among the most prominent personalities at the department is prof. Ing. Vladimír Prášil, DrSc., a leading figure in Czech textile engineering and a specialist in the field of weaving preparation machinery. His outstanding career in design began with the Textile Engineering Research Institute at their branch in Brno. He later moved to the Institute’s main centre in Liberec. The Professor headed the design work on a number of new weaving preparation machines, the design and construction of the AUTOSUK winding frame with a cross, the licence for which was sold to the Mayer Company in the Federal Republic of Germany during the 1970s, perhaps among his most significant results. In 1980, he began to pass on his knowledge at the College of Engineering and Textiles in Liberec by becoming a professor of textile technology and textile machinery. He held a number of academic posts here, including Head of the Department of Textile and Clothing Machinery. He is currently working in this department on a part-time basis as professor emeritus. The list of technical designs created by him is considerable indeed. The results of his intensive long-term work contributed to the promotion of Czech engineering throughout the world. His publishing activities are also well known, in that he has written around 30 publications. He is also the author or co-author of textbooks and has participated in a number of conferences and symposiums both at home and abroad. He is the designer of a staggering 145 patents, around a third of which have been put into operation. The name of Vladimír Prášil will always be associated with the most illustrious period in the history of Czech textile engineering.
Another prominent character to have worked at the department is doc. Ing. Jaroslav Charvát, CSc., a leading specialist in mechanical engineering and the theory of mechanisms. His professional career began as an assistant professor with Professor Šrejtr at the Prague Technical College. He moved to the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Elasticity, and Durability after the founding of the Faculty of Engineering in Liberec, where he remained until 1973 as the Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His scientific-research activity concentrated primarily on the mechanisms of textile machinery, which led to his appointment as the Head of the Department of Textile Machinery in 1973. Here he remained virtually until his retirement. Not only was he a recognised expert in the field of the theory of mechanisms, but also an outstanding teacher and a promoter of mechanical engineering among both experts and the general public alike. At his lectures, he managed to interest and fascinate the students in the subject being examined. Of no less importance, however, was his activity as a supervisor in scientific education, to which he devoted a great deal of time. He educated a whole range of postgraduate engineering scientists during his time at the College of Engineering and Textiles in Liberec and regularly contributed to specialist magazines. He is the author of a number of monographs and textbooks and actively took part in conferences and seminars. Dr. Ing. Jaroslav Charvát played an important role in the education of young engineering intellectuals and contributed to the development of mechanical engineering of textile machinery as a subject itself.