75th Anniversary of the Faculties of Engineering Sciences at VMU Agriculture Academy
This year is marked by the 75th anniversary of the Faculties of Engineering Sciences at Vytautas Magnus University Agriculture Academy (VMU Agriculture Academy) counting over 20 thousand of alumni. The celebrated period saw the evolution of the science areas at the Faculties in response to the relevant priorities and technological advancement. At present, the Faculties represent the science field that address the most recent global and national challenges such as environmentally friendly construction; technologies of renewable energy resources and biomass engineering; innovative aquaculture technologies; smart soil and water engineering; smart agricultural and mobile machine systems; tribological processes in mechanical and biological systems; sustainable engineering systems, and mitigation of the effect on climate change.
The Faculty of Engineering Sciences was founded at the VMU Agriculture Academy on 25 June 1946. In autumn of the same year, 50 students were admitted to study under the specialities of hydromelioration, land management, and agricultural mechanization each.
Four Departments were established along with the Faculty of Engineering Sciences: Geodesy, Physics, Hydromelioration and Agricultural Mechanization. In 1947, the Department of Engineering Structures and Department of Tractors and Automobiles were established.
On 1 May 1948, the Faculty of Engineering Sciences was reorganised into individual Faculties of Hydromelioration, Land Management and Agricultural Mechanization.
In 1949, the Departments of Hydraulic Structures and Mathematics and Mechanics were established at the Faculty of Hydromelioration and the Department of Land Use Planning was established at the Faculty of Land Management. In 1950, the Faculty of Hydromelioration and Faculty of Land Management were merged into a single Faculty. In 1961, the Department of Land Use Planning and Department of Geodesy were merged. In 1967, the Department of Descriptive Geometry and Graphics was established at the Faculty, and the Department of Mathematics was transferred to the Faculty of Agricultural Mechanization. In 1977, the Department of Operation of Hydromelioration Systems (subsequently renamed into the Department of Water Management) was established.
In the early periods of restored independence, the scope of competence of hydraulic engineering specialists was expanding and covering more water engineering related areas. In response to the developments, in 1990, the Faculty was renamed into the Faculty of Water and Land Management. In 1996, the Faculty had 6 departments: the Department of Physics, Hydraulic Engineering, Land Reclamation, Building Structures, Water Management and Land Management. As a result of national reorganization of the research and education institutions, the Lithuanian Water Management Institute (former Lithuanian Research Institute for Hydraulic Engineering and Land Reclamation) in Vilainiai, Kėdainiai district was integrated into the faculty structure in 2010. In 2012, following the structural reorganisation of Aleksandras Stulginskis University, three institutes were established at the faculty: the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering, Water Resource Engineering, and Land Management and Geomatics. In 2014, the Aquaculture Centre was established at the Faculty.
In 1949, the Department of Machinery Servicing and Department of Thermal Equipment and Agricultural Electrification, in 1961 – the Department of Machinery Operation were established at the Faculty of Agricultural Mechanization. The period 1966–1976 gave rise to the Departments
of Occupational Safety and Practical Training, Animal Husbandry Mechanization and Thermal Technology, Machine Parts, and Department of Electrical Machines, and the Department of Mathematics was assigned to the Faculty. In response to the growing number of students, the Faculty of Agricultural Electrification was established in 1976. In 1985, the Department of Education and Teaching Methodology was opened at the Faculty. In 1994, after the reduction in the number of students, the Faculty of Agricultural Electrification was reunited with the Faculty of Agricultural Mechanization, and the Faculty was renamed into the Faculty of Agricultural Engineering. In 1996, the Faculty had 6 departments: the Department of Energy in Agriculture, Department of Mechanics, Department of Occupational Safety and Engineering Management, Department of Thermal and Biotechnology Engineering, Department of Transport and Power Machinery, Department of Agricultural Machinery. In 2010, the Institute of Agricultural Engineering became an individual unit of the Faculty. In 2012, the former 6 departments and the Institute of Agricultural Engineering were merged to form 3 Institutes: the Institute of Energy and Biotechnologies, the Institute of Power and Transport Machinery, and the Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Safety.
Within the 75-year period, the both Faculties had more than 20,000 alumni. At present, the engineering faculties have 55 teacher and researcher positions, of which 11 are the professors. There are three doctorship schools in the science area of Technologies: Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Transport Engineering, with 30 PhD students in total. High school graduates are invited to pursue the Bachelor degree in Smart Engineering, Agricultural Mechanical Engineering, Water and Land Engineering (offering three specializations: Aquaculture Engineering, Water Resources Engineering, Land Use Planning). Graduates of the Bachelor study programmes are offered to choose one of the 6 Master degree programmes: Hydraulic Engineering, Transport Engineering, Sustainable Energy, Agricultural Engineering and Management, Agricultural Mechanical Engineering, and Land Use Planning.