The history of the Faculty of Telecommunications is extremely rich due to the creative work of many individuals - managers, lecturers and employees.
1. THE BEGINNING
The beginning was set in 1942, when by the Governmental Decree of 12.06.1941, in Sofia was created the National Higher School of Technology with one faculty - Construction and Architecture. In 1945 the school was renamed State Polytechnic and a second faculty was launched - Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. In the new faculty were taught not only mechanical and electrical engineering subjects but also Low Voltage and Radio Electrotechnics.
In the 1946 begins the chronology of the first Low Voltage Department in Bulgaria. The department is the originator of five departments, which are today the heart of three of the faculties of the Technical University – Sofia: Faculty of Telecommunications, Faculty of Electronic Engineering and Technologies and the Faculty of Computer Systems and Technologies.
2. DEPARTMENT OF RADIO FREQUENCY AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY
Active teaching in Low Voltage Technology started in the autumn of 1946 when its founder, Professor Uzunov started giving lectures on Radio Frequency Techniques, Telephone and Telegraph Equipment, Theory of low voltage networks and antennas and Radio-wave Propagation.
Initially, the training period for students in the specialty Low Voltage Electrotechnics was 5 years: 9 semesters of classes and one semester internship and diploma preparation. The first graduate of the Department of High Frequency and Communication Technology defended his thesis at the end of 1949 and received the title electrical engineer in Low Voltage Electrotechnics. This was Yordan Boyanov, who later became a member of the department and professor.
The early years of the department were full of difficulties. The conditions for teaching were difficult. The number of the lecture halls was insufficient. The department did not have any laboratories. In the beginning, classes were held in the quarters of the building “Hr. Botev” school at "Dragan Tsankov" № 2 and the building of Bulgarian Engineering and Architectural Company at "Rakovski" № 108. Often some of the lectures were taught in the halls of cinemas in Sofia. There were no textbooks. Conditions for research did not exist. However, the small teaching staff and its students were optimistic. And thanks to this optimism and their talent, many of them later became well-known scientists and professionals in electronic equipment.
At the beginning of the academic year 1949/50, eight teaching halls were given to the Department in the restored building of the former State Printing House on “February 19” № 1 (at the monument of Vasil Levski): 3 – for offices, 4 - for laboratories and one - for a workshop. Since then the lectures and the laboratory exercises were conducted only at the State Polytechnic. The team made great efforts to furnish the laboratories. The students of the higher courses actively assisted with the development of the laboratory exercises. Gradually the facilities of the department and the equipment of its laboratories began to improve. The quality of education increased. Conditions for research were created.
3. THE DEPARTMENTS OF LOW VOLTAGE TECHNOLOGY FLOURISH
In 1951, the structure of the State Polytechnic changes. The departments began to proliferate. Seven new faculties were created; among them was the faculty of Electrical Engineering. The Department of High Frequency and Communication Technology was part of this faculty. From this year graduate students were included in the academic staff of the department. One of the first was Prof. Hristo Shinev known scientist, professor and head of different research teams. He joined as an assistant in the Theory of Low Voltage Networks and Antennas and Radio-wave Propagation. Two years later, second graduate student joined the department - Prof. Vasil Zlatarov (subsequently Professor, Head of the Department of Electronic Engineering), who taught the laboratory work in Radio-Transmitting Devices, Measurements in Radio Techniques, Radio-Receiving Devices and Low Frequency Amplifiers. At that time two assistants – engineers Victor Orlinov and Nacho Nachev (subsequently head of the Department of Power Electronics, and longtime rector of the Technical University) joined the department. Hence other graduates of the Department formed the academic staff of the department.
In the curriculum of the specialty of Low Voltage Radio Equipment different subjects in the field of communications technology appeared. The name of the department - Radio Frequency and Communication Technology, fully complied with its content, but there were two scientific fields. Gradually the two areas of Low Voltage Equipment were separated and in 1953 split into separate departments – Radio Technique and Telegraph and Telephone Equipment, which the next year was renamed Telecommunications equipment, and in 1973 - Communication Technique.
In 1953 the State Polytechnic was divided into 4 separate colleges: Mechanical and Electrical Institute, subsequently named Higher Mechanical and Electrical Institute (Technical University), Civil Engineering Institute, Institute of Chemical Technology, and Mining and Geology Institute.
The Mechanical and Electrical Institute (from 1967 - Technical University) remained in the building of the former State Polytechnic and continued its activity with two faculties - Mechanical and Electrical. The two departments already separated, are assigned administratively to the faculty of Electrical Engineering. Simultaneously with the establishment of the two departments two majors were created in the field of Low Voltage Technique – Radio Technique and Telephone and Telegraph Equipment. Assoc. Prof. Vassil Halachev (1953-1966) was appointed Head of the new Department of Telephone and Telegraph Equipment in 1953. As members of the department joined senior assistant Stefan Rabov, engineer Bogdan Nikolov and engineer Petar Danovski.
In July 1960 a third faculty of the Technical University was created – the Faculty of Transport and Communications, by consolidating the existing departments of Electrical and Mechanical faculties. The departments of Radio Techniques and Telecommunications Equipment became units of the Faculty of Transport and Communications.
At the beginning of academic year 1961/62, the Department of Radio Technique is separated and established as a separate department of Semiconductor and Industrial Electronics (later renamed the Department of Electronics, currently - Electronic Engineering).
4. FACULTY OF RADIO ELECTRONICS
During these years, due to the development of the economy and society in our country went through a process of specialization. This applies to the industry, science and the higher education. New institutes and faculties were created. The increased demand for specialists and a greater number of students changed the structure of the Mechanical and Electrical Institute. In 1963, two new faculties were founded – the Faculty of Power Engineering and Power Machines and Faculty of Radio Electronics.
The Department of Radio Technique became the basis for building the Faculty of Radio Electronics and later the faculty became the originator of the Faculty of Communication and Communication Technologies and the current Faculty of Telecommunications. Its primary scientific units were the Departments of Radio Technique and Telecommunications Equipment and the newly created departments of Semiconductor and Industrial Electronics and Computing, and also the departments of Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry.
In the same year 1963, Faculty of Radio Technique together with all its departments was moved to the Darvenica district. The faculty was accommodated in the current Building 1 of the Technical University, where from the academic year 1963/64 onwards are held the classes of the Faculty of Telecommunications.
The first Dean of the Faculty of Radio Electronics was Prof. DSc. Yordan Boyanov (1962-1963) and in the following mandates - Prof. DSc. Hristo Shinev (1963-1970), Prof. DSc. Bogdan Nikolov (1970-1976), Prof. DSc. Hristo Hristov (1976-1983) and Prof. Ph.D. Georgi Nenov (1983-1986).
The requirements for specialization in our country at that time lead to the development of a new curriculum for the Faculty, which came into force at the beginning of the academic year 1964/65. The specialty Radio Technique was divided into three majors: Radio and Television Technology, Radar and Radio Navigation and Audio Technique, and the specialty Telecommunications Technology - to Communication Technology and Automation and Telemetry of Railway Transport, which for some time were separate specialties. Head of the specialty Automation and Telemetry of Railway Transport was Prof. Ph.D. Peter Danovski. Later, in 1969 the specialty Technology of Electronic Equipment, electronic components and integrated circuits was created, its founder and head of department became Prof. Georgi Savov. In 1974 the subject was transformed into Technology of Radio Electronic and Communication Equipment of the specialty Telecommunications Technology. Successor to this unit is the Department of Technology of Electronics Manufacturing, which today is the specialty Technology and Management of Communication Systems. The higher education reform in Bulgaria in seventies required the development of new curriculum, which took effect in the academic year 1973/74. The period of training of students is reduced to 4,5 years.
From the beginning and the following years, the departments of the Faculty are managed as follows:
5. FACULTY OF COMMUNICATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES
Since 1987, the Faculty of Radio Electronics is divided into two faculties: Faculty of Communication and Communication Technologies and Faculty of Electronic Engineering and Technology. Later, from the latter the Faculty of of Computer Systems and Control separated.
The Faculty of Telecommunications Technologies included the Department of Telecommunications Technologies, Department of Physics (since 1989 evolved into an independent Institute of Applied Physics) and in 1988 the newly created Department of Electronic Manufacturing.
The first dean of Faculty of Communication and Communication Technologies was associate Prof. Dr. Angel Angelov (1987-1991). Subsequently deans were Assoc. Prof. Dr. Emil Altimirski (1991-2000, 2004-2007), Prof. Dr. Rumen Arnaudov (2000-2004), Prof. Dr. Vladimir Pulkov (2007-2015) and from 2015 until now - Prof. Dr. Ilia Iliev.
In 1995, the Higher Institute of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering was renamed the Technical University - Sofia, the structure of which includes 10 major faculties including Faculty of Telecommunications Technologies.
Under these conditions a new strategy was needed for the higher education and in particular for the training in Telecommunications. A waiver of specialized training of young engineers was necessary; the curriculum was previously made under state order to advance a particular job. During the first period (1991-2000), in line with the new educational degrees, the specialty - one of the first in the university - was transformed into a wide profile specialty. At that time it combined the three existing departments - Radio Communication Technology, Telecommunication Technology and Technology of Electronics Manufacturing and was renamed the "Communications Technologies." Three educational degrees were introduced: Bachelor (4 years), Master (1,5 years) and Doctor (3 years). Curricula for the three degrees were developed and adopted. In the first half of the educational period the students study mainly fundamental and general engineering subjects, thanks to which the bachelor's degree allows a wide mobility of students and young specialists. Students are taught general subjects in the first 5 semesters and then they are divided into three specialties. Their training continues mainly with specialized engineering courses and ends with preparing and defending a diploma thesis in the last semester. Constructed in this way the specializations give graduates a better chance of finding work in many related areas. At the same time they provide opportunities for greater specialization, as during the last semesters a large number of elective courses are offered to the students.
Thanks to the initiative of Prof. Dr. Rumen Arnaudov, the Science and Communication Engineering Technical Society was created. Members of this organization are national and foreign companies and branch organizations from the professional field. The International Conference of Information, Communication and Energy Systems and Technologies (ICEST) successfully started its activities, organized by the Faculty with the involvement of the Technical Faculty in Bitola and the Faculty of Electronic Engineering in Nis. Annually days of the faculty are celebrated with the participation of companies from the communications business – partners of the Faculty. The students compete for scholarships, provided by the business to the Faculty. Currently the faculty travels is recognized as a scientific and professional center of the communications in Bulgaria. The specialty received an accreditation with the highest rating by the National Assessment and Accreditation Agency.
6. THE FACULTY OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS
Since the beginning of 2008, the Faculty of Communication and Communication Technologies was renamed the Faculty of Telecommunications. The structure of Faculty of Telecommunications includes the Department of Radio communications and Video Technologies (formerly Radio Technique), the Department of Communication Networks (formerly Communications Technologies) and the Department of Technology and Management of Communication Systems (formerly Technology of Electronics Manufacturing). The change in the names of the faculty and the departments was associated with substantial renovation of the content-led courses.
For the many years of its history, the faculty has given engineering qualification of more than 10 000 Bulgarians, more than 500 foreign nationals and several hundred Ph.D. students have defended their thesis.