UPG and UPET: 75 Years of University Education in Ploiesti and Petrosani

Two of Romania’s prestigious universities, which train graduates in the fields of energy, oil, gas, and mining, celebrated their 75th anniversary. The anniversary was attended by prominent guests from the academic world, alumni, and Energy minister Sebastian-Ioan Burduja. The Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti (UPG) and the University of Petrosani (UPET) are higher education institutions that, over time, have gained national and international prestige, becoming a pole of training for specialists in the energy field.

On the occasion of UPET’s 75th anniversary, an anniversary plaque was unveiled at the main entrance of the institution.

UPET has a long and beautiful tradition, being the continuation of the Mining Institute, which operated in Bucharest for over 80 years, and from the 1957 – 1958 academic year it operated in Petrosani. Only a few universities can boast of such a lineage attested by the decree of the ruler A.I. Cuza in 1864 establishing the School of Bridges and Roads, Mines and Architecture. After 1990, by diversifying the university fields and specializations, the Mining Institute of Petrosani became the Technical University (1991) and then the University of Petrosani (1995). At present, within UPET, there are 3 faculties, comprising 22 undergraduate specialisations, as many master’s specialisations (Romanian, English) and four doctoral specialisations.

“Since its foundation, the Mining Institute has benefited from an exceptional teaching staff, made up of teachers seconded from Bucharest and Timisoara, with university and doctoral studies done in the interwar period, in the West, but who, in the political conditions of that time, were exiled and marginalized in Petrosani. They had a very good scientific training, but also an exemplary moral probity, so that they did not lower themselves to the level of the first students of the institute, but raised them to their level, training specialists with national and world recognition. As a result, the prestige of the institute was immense, being a reference model for higher education in Romania. Young people from all over the country, but also from more than 20 countries on 4 continents graduated from the courses in Petrosani, being recognized as specialists in all fields and branches in which they worked, their number being over 40,000. To these must be added more than 1,000 doctoral degrees, under the guidance of 60 scientific leaders. Now, 75 years after its foundation, the university offers a modern, diversified education, permanently adapted to the requirements of the socio-economic environment, being a vanguard institution for this region, but also for Romania. Since 2020, UPET is a European university, at that time being among the ten Romanian universities with this honourable title. Membership of EURECA PRO means access to European studies, the possibility for students to study at least one year in prestigious universities in Germany, Austria, Spain, Poland, Greece, France or Belgium, the training of teachers at these universities, but also a better knowledge of the university by European partners. Our students can be found on all five continents, they have made and are making a particularly good impression on the school they graduated from. Last year, for example, 220 students benefited from Erasmus+ scholarships, with more than 60 coming to our university from European universities,” said Ph.D. Prof. Eng. Radu Sorin Mihai, rector of UPET.

Ph.D. Prof. Eng. Radu Sorin Mihai, rector of UPET | © Photo: UPET

The Energy minister pointed out two defining features of UPET and mentioned the book “Oameni si carbuni” (“People and Coal”) by Geo Bogza. “There are two words that define this beautiful reunion: meritocracy and hope. If I refer to the former, we are in an academic institution and here the best win. This is the essence of meritocracy. Hope. We are counting on you,” the official said.

Representatives of the most important consortiums of Romanian higher education presented the Rector of UPET with plaques, diplomas, and distinctions. At the same time, partners from prestigious universities in Europe (Poland, Germany, Hungary) congratulated the achievements of the University from Jiu Valley. The event was also attended by senior members of the academic community of Petrosani, as well as two of the former rectors, namely Dumitru Fodor and Nicolae Dima, and a former pro-rector, Mircea Georgescu.

The year 2023 was a remarkable historical moment for UPG, the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the first and most prestigious oil and gas institution in the country, where tradition and performance in education and research are harmoniously intertwined in the training of specialists.

The anniversary was attended by ambassadors, rectors, and teachers from universities in the country, central and local public authorities, representatives of oil, gas and energy companies, academics, graduates, and students of the UPG. It was a special occasion to mark the excellence of the development and promotion of the oil and gas industry in Romania and also to appreciate the contribution of the economic and humanistic fields to the affirmation of the academic community.

Among speakers of the event moderated by UPG Senate Chair, Ph.D. Prof. Eng. Nicolae Paraschiv, were Ph.D. Prof. Eng. Mihai Pascu Coloja – Rector of UPG, Ph.D. Prof. Eng. Stelian Dumitrescu and Ph.D. Prof. Eng. Niculae Napoleon Antonescu – Honorary Rectors of UPG, Ph.D. Prof. Ioan Stefan Groza – State Secretary within the Ministry of National Education, as well as representatives of the 5 Faculties (Oil and Gas Engineering, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Oil Technology and Petrochemistry, Letters and Sciences, Economics).

Another important event was the international conference “75 years of energy and performance in education and research”, held in scientific sessions in the five faculties, an opportunity to exchange best practices between international participants and the UPG teaching staff.

Founded in 1948, UPG celebrated 75 years of academic excellence, innovation and significant contributions to the oil and gas industry. Over the years, UPG has been a landmark of knowledge and technological progress. Students, alumni, and teachers have always been at the forefront of research and development in the fields of petroleum engineering, geology, and energy technologies. With a rigorous and constantly updated curriculum, UPG has trained generations of top specialists ready to meet the challenges of an ever-changing energy sector.

Celebrating 75 years is not only a time to look back on a rich history, but also an opportunity to look forward to the future. The University continues to be an incubator for innovation and a hub for sustainable development, adapting to the current needs of industry and placing increasing emphasis on renewable energy and green technologies.

On its anniversary, UPG is proud not only of its achievements, but also of the role it plays in shaping the future leaders of the energy industry. With a clear vision for the future and an unwavering dedication to excellence, the University of Ploiesti reaffirms its position as a leading centre for energy education and research.

“UPG is grounded in the reality of the transition to renewable energy, with the university’s specialists having the expertise and adaptability to intertwine the continued use of oil and gas with all the other components brought by green energy. The need for green energy, in relation to environmental conservation, is the principle that the university is considering for future development strategies. Whether we are developing in research on optimising existing technologies in terms of reducing carbon footprint or developing new technologies for obtaining zero-carbon energy, UPG reconfirms the important role and involvement that it has demonstrated so far and promises to have in the future in Romania,” said the Rector of UPG Ploiesti, Ph.D. Associate Professor Eng. Alin Dinita.

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