History of the Department of Physics

The study of physics in Osijek started as a part – time study in 1958/59. The Educational center of the Teachers Training College Zagreb was founded and the first generation of teachers, who taught mathematics and physics at primary schools, was enrolled. In 1961/62 the Pedagogical Academy was established and it included the studies of Mathematics and Physics and from the year 1964/65 the studies of Physics and Basic Techniques and Production. The Pedagogical Academy became the Faculty of Education in 1977/78 and Osijek got a Teachers Training College, which enrolled students in the same academic year to study Production and Technical Education (PTO). The first students were enrolled to courses of Mathematics and Physics in 1978/79 and physics was studied as a subject equal to mathematics. After graduating, students were awarded the title of professors and could teach physics at elementary schools or high schools.

In the beginning, physics teachers at both studies were professors from the Faculty of Science in Zagreb, the Ruđer Bošković Institute and the Institute of Physics in Zagreb. The study of physics kept the premises, practicums and equipment from the Teachers Training College. Gradually, it was supplemented with all necessary equipment for classes and practicums. For the purposes of the study of PTO, a special lab called Measurements in Science and Engineering was established. In 1989 the enrollment of students in the study group PTO was stopped because the programme was canceled in secondary schools. In the academic year 1989/90 another study was established – the study of Physics and Polytechnics. In the academic year 2000/01 that study changed its name to Physics and Technical Education with Computer Science and opened the possibility for students to teach the subject Technical Education at primary schools. In the same academic year, the students of Mathematics and Physics moved from the Teachers Training College to the newly established University Department of Mathematics. The Senate of the Josip Juraj Strossmayer University established on the 13th of December 2004 the Department of Physics as a scientific-educational component of the University. The Department opened it’s doors on April 1st, 2005, and today it takes part in the performance of university undergraduate and graduate studies as well as the development of scientific and technical work in the scientific field of physics. The establishment of the Department of Physics has ensured the continuity of university teaching in natural sciences, in the field of physics, as well as the training of teachers of physics and computer science, for teaching at primary and secondary schools in the Republic of Croatia.

In the academic year 2005/2006 the Department of Physics started with a new program that complies with the Bologna Process and the Law of Scientific Activities and Higher Education. The Department of Physics has a license for a three-year university undergraduate study of physics (180 ECTS, for the academic title university Bachelor (baccalaureus / baccalaurea physics), and a licence for a two-year university graduate study of Physics and Computer Science – educational specialization (120 ECTS , for the academic title of Master of Education in Physics and Computer Science). These two studies are currently being taught at the Department of Physics. In near future we plan to start with a new five-year integrated university study of physics and engineering. We are also thinking about another study that would prepare students for future doctoral studies in physics.

Today 17 teachers and assistants are permanently employed at the Department of Physics. There are four associate professors, four assistant professors, two senior assistants (one in the election process for the position of an assistant professor), six associates (assistants, lecturers), one junior researcher and eleven persons who serve as technical and administrative staff: one laboratory technician and ten people in the administration (QA Office, Carnet system engineer, ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE, accounting (2), Office of the Head of the Department, Student’s Administration Office (2), janitor, cleaning personnel). Teachers and assistants who are employed full time at the Department of Physics, are fully employed at the study programs mentioned above, as well as at other faculties of Josip Juraj Strossmayer University.

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