Povijest nastave na Zavodu

      The Technical College in Zagreb was founded by the decree of the State Commissioners' Council on 10th of December 1918 and welcomed its first students on 1st of October 1919. It was one of the first technical high education schools in the South-east Europe. Among other departments, the College had the Department of Electrical Engineering. On 31st of March 1926 the Technical College was transformed into a faculty, joined with University of Zagreb and renamed to College of Engineering. Already in academic year 1921/22. the first power engineering subjects appeared when honorary teachers Ing. Edgar Montina lectured the subject “Decree of the Electrical Centers and the Network”, and in the academic year 1926/27. Ing Miroslav Plohl lectured the subject “Transmission and Distribution of Electricity and High-Voltage Techniques”. It is interesting to mention that from the beginning of the studies until the early 60s, under the influence of the German study methodology, the study programme was divided into two basic profiles: the High-Voltage Current profile and the Low-Voltage Current profile.

      The Technical College in Zagreb was founded by the decree of the State Commissioners' Council on 10th of December 1918 and welcomed its first students on 1st of October 1919. It was one of the first technical high education schools in the South-east Europe. Among other departments, the College had the Department of Electrical Engineering. On 31st of March 1926 the Technical College was transformed into a faculty, joined with University of Zagreb and renamed to College of Engineering. Already in academic year 1921/22. the first power engineering subjects appeared when honorary teachers Ing. Edgar Montina lectured the subject “Decree of the Electrical Centers and the Network”, and in the academic year 1926/27. Ing Miroslav Plohl lectured the subject “Transmission and Distribution of Electricity and High-Voltage Techniques”. It is interesting to mention that from the beginning of the studies until the early 60s, under the influence of the German study methodology, the study programme was divided into two basic profiles: the High-Voltage Current profile and the Low-Voltage Current profile.

Juro Horvat, dipl. ing, was born on 17th of April 1882 in Gospić, where he finished elementary school. He finished high school in Vinkovci in 1900 and electromechanical engineering graduate studies at the Graz Technical High School in 1904. After graduating, he worked in factories around Stuttgart, Geneva and eventually as director of the company "Energos" in Vienna. He worked on the first Slovenian HPP "Fala" on Drava river. From 1924 he was a lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering in Ljubljana and from 1932 at the Faculty of Engineering in Zagreb. He was the founder of the High voltage department in 1934. He in parallel dealt with problems of electrification and published papers in the respected journals of that time such as Electrotechnik und Maschinenbau. He was one of the founders of the Banovinski Electrical Engineering Company in 1937 in Zagreb. He retired in 1947 and passed away in Zagreb on 18th April 1954.

       The arrival of prof. Horvat fulfilled the preconditions for establishment of The Department of Energy and Power Systems, which was established by the Faculty council of the Technical College on its 129th regular session held on June 26th, 1934. Under item 13 of the agenda (Figure 1) the proposal of prof. ing. Jure Horvat to establish a Laboratory for High voltage engineering was accepted, which todays Department of Energy and Power Systems originates from. As a Head of the Chair of Electricity Generation, Transmission and Distribution prof. Horvat founded the Department to enable laboratory work for the students, as well as to enable scientific research and professional work of the staff. He was the first Head of the Department (Table I). Through his work, some of the instruments and equipment were acquired, together with technical magazines and books, which were the foundation for the establishment of the Department’s laboratories and libraries.

Table I           Department’s Heads


Head of the Department


  • Since its establishment, the Department has been led by 14 Department Heads
  • The founder of the Department and its first Head was prof. ing. Juro Horvat.
  • The longest mandate as a Head of the Department belongs to prof. dr. sc. Božidar Stefanini who led the Department for 24 years. In ac. year 1958/59. at the same time he served as the Faculty Dean and as the Head of the Department
  • In ac. year 2002/03 the function of  Head’s assistant was introduced. Four lecturers have been performing this function so far.


Prof. ing. Juro Horvat



Prof. ing. Vladimir Žepić



Prof. dr. sc. Božidar Stefanini



Academic  dr. sc. Hrvoje Požar



Prof. dr. sc. Mario Padelin



Doc. Željko Zlatar



Prof. dr. sc. Danilo Feretić



Prof. dr. sc. Vladimir Mikuličić



Prof. dr. sc. Vjekoslav Filipović



Prof. dr. sc. Zdravko Hebel


Head’s assistant


Prof. dr. sc. Slavko Krajcar


Prof. dr. sc. Nenad Debrecin


Prof. dr. sc. Nenad Debrecin


Prof. dr. sc. Tomislav Tomiša


Prof. dr. sc. Tomislav Tomiša


Prof. dr. sc. Igor Kuzle


Prof. dr. sc. Igor Kuzle

2014.- today

Prof. dr. sc. Davor Grgić

Figure 1.       Agenda of the 129th regular session of the Technical College on which the Department foundations were set

       The beginning of the 2nd World War marks the beginning of the stagnation of Department activities. Prof. Horvat travels abroad, for which he was unwillingly retired later in 1943. After the end of the War, he returned to Zagreb, attempted to re-activate at the Faculty, but did not succeed and finally retired at the beginning of 1947.

       After the 2nd World War the Department was consequently left with only two honorary lecturers: Mladen Dokmanić, dipl. ing., from academic year 1945/46, and Fedor Jelušić, dipl.ing. from academic year 1946/47. Everything had to be reinitiated from the start at a time when large number of students entered University and when the need for engineers was rapidly increasing in the developing country.

       In academic year 1948/49 as a permanent teacher in the position of the associate professor Vladimir Žepić, dipl. ing. was selected. Vladimir Žepić leter also becomes the Head of the Department.

Vladimir Žepić was born in 1894 in Zagreb, and before being admitted to the Department, he worked as an engineer at the municipal power station and was a prominent member of Rotary Club Zagreb. In 1945 he became the first technical manager of the Electrical Company of Croatia (ELPOH). He became the member of the Department in 1948. He was forced from the Faculty as a politically unsuited by the government at the end of the winter semester 1951/52.

       At the end of the 1940s new members come to the Department, members that will later be the bearers of development and will bring the Department international recognition. At the beginning of the summer semester 1949/50 the position of assistant professor in the Department was trusted to Božidar Stefanini, dipl. ing., and in academic year 1950/51. Hrvoje Požar, dipl. ing. was elected as the assistant and honorary professor. After the forced departure of prof. Žepić from the Faculty, Head of the Department at the beginning of ac. year 1952/53 becomes Božidar Stefanini.

Božidar Stefanini, PhD was born in Split on October 18, 1913. He graduated in 1937 at the Technical College of Zagreb. Until 1950 he worked on high voltage network implementation in Yugoslavia’s power utility company and then moved to the Technical Faculty of Zagreb where he obtained his PhD in 1954. He was elected full professor in 1959 at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering. He was the head of the High-Voltage Department (from 1952 to 1976) and Dean of Faculty in 1958/59. He is one of the founders of the University Computing Center (SRCE) and the most prominent person for procurement, installation and implementation of IBM1130, first Computing System at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering. He taught the courses of Electric Power Transmission, High Voltage Engineering and Power System Stability. He wrote the first books on Fortran IV programming language and co-authored book “Matrix methods in power system network analysis” (1975). He received “Nikola Tesla” award for scientific work in 1972. He died in Zagreb in March 1991.

       Since the beginning of the 1950's, the Departments intensive development has begun, which was enabled by more available laboratory space. The Department was first located in one, and later in two rooms at Rooswelt Square no. 6. In 1950 it moved to the first floor of the building in Vukotinovićeva Street no. 2, where it got enough space for laboratories, from which the most important is the High-voltage laboratory established in 1954. The great credit for that goes to Boris Markovčić, dipl. ing. As the laboratory was established practicum for students was introduced in a form of 6 experimental exercises. In 1953, a photo-laboratory for slides production was installed at the Department, which were used for lectures. The study of High-voltage currents was nine- semester long and elective courses were introduced with the purpose of more focused student specialization.

       As part of the study of High-Voltage Currents in the academic year 1950/51 two study profiles were established: Electro-industrial profile and Electric Power profile. The Department for High Voltage becomes the bearer of teachings in the Electric Power profile.

Hrvoje Požar, PhD was born in Knin on July 5, 1916. He graduated in 1939 at the Technical Faculty of Zagreb. He started his career as power systems designer and dispatcher (1946-51) and then moved to Electrical department on the Technical Faculty (that later became Faculty of Electrical Engineering) where he obtained his PhD in 1955. He was elected full professor in 1960 and performed duty of a Dean in 1960/1962 and 1968/1970. He was the head of Department for High Voltage and Energy and the founder of the Zagreb Energy School.  He was Yugoslavian Academy of Science and Arts associate member from 1965, full member from 1975 and secretary-General from 1978.  From 1970 to 1972 he was the Vice-Rector of the University of Zagreb. Since 1976 he was Editor-in-Chief for Technical Encyclopedia (volumes V-XII). He also worked at the Institute for Electric Power from which todays Energy Institute “Hrvoje Požar” originates. He was a member of Croatian Constitutional Commission in 1990. He received numerous awards and acknowledgments.  He received “Nikola Tesla” award for scientific work in 1963.



         Special attention was also given to the professional work, which was carried out with extensive cooperation with the economy and industry sectors. At that time, scientific work was done not only by individual members of the Department but also by the Department as a whole with the extensive usage of expanding laboratory equipment and libraries. At that time Branko Jermić, long-term director of the TEŽ factory, joins the Department as a honorary professor of the subject “Electric Lighting”.


1956: Faculty of Electrical Engineering (ETF)

       By the decision of the Parliament of the People's Republic of Croatia, on 26th of April 1956, the former College of Engineering of the University of Zagreb was divided into four new faculties, one of them becoming the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, which started its independent existence on 1st of July 1956.

       This was the start of the third, modern stage in the development of electrical engineering in Croatia, characterized by a turbulent development in electronics, electrical power engineering, automation, communication technology and computing. First independent curriculum (ETF-1) started its application from academic year 1959/60 in which profiles of High-voltage currents and Low-voltage currents are still present. The most significant change is reduction of direct lectures student engagement from 40 hours/week (according to curriculum from 1950/51) to 30 hours/week. The average student engagement of 30 hours/week has not changed till today which serves as a confirmation of forethought of professors of that time who managed to recognize the right amount of weekly student obligations already 60 years ago.

In order to respond to fundamental goals of academic education and social requirements Faculty changed its curriculum seven times from its beginnings. The 8th change of curriculum is now planned for academic year 2018/19 (FER-3). All curriculums with according subjects of the Power engineering profile are listed in the appendix section (Appendix I).

       After the gain of independency of the Faculty the working conditions for the Department improved significantly, especially after the transfer to the 6th floor of the newly built Faculty building “C”. The Faculty buildings "A", "B" and "C" at the present location (Unska 3, Zagreb) were completed and equipped by the year 1965 (building “A” in 1961, building “C” in 1963. and building “B” in 1965) and were fully operational.

       In that time (after 1965.) the Department equipped, alongside already mentioned high-voltage laboratory, power facilities laboratory, electric lighting laboratory and relay protection laboratory. The high-voltage laboratory and power facilities laboratory were been located in adequately large facilities in the newly built building “B” (High-voltage laboratory on 300 m2 and Power facilities laboratory on 200 m2). Furthermore, available space in the Department premises was used for establishment of well-equipped Department library. Library contained more than 2000 books and was monthly receiving more than 40 different technical journals and magazines. Furthermore, at that time the Department already utilizes digital computers for solving problems in power engineering. Therefore, the installation of IBM 1130 computer in the University computing center had an even further positive impact both on the computer aided teaching and professional and scientific activities. The biggest contribution in that regard goes to prof. Božidar Stefanini and prof. Hrvoje Požar who were both constantly improving the curriculum with the latest international scientific achievements.

       Postgraduate studies (Master of Science (Mr. sc.) degree) started from the academic year 1964/65. In the initial part of High-current postgraduate studies Department had lectures: “Machine operation”, “Frequency and voltage regulation”, “Power system scheduling”, “Power system construction”, “High voltage network construction and design”, “Power network analysis”, “Relay protection”, “Transmission stability”, “Overhead lines”, “Power network overvoltage”, “High voltage impulse testing”, “Hydro power plant operation” and “Thermal power plant operation”.

       In academic year 1967/68 Faculty introduced new curriculum (ETF-2) with three-way studies: Power engineering, Electronics and Electrical machines and automation. Study duration was four years with initial two years the same for all the students. Courses were divided in lectures and exercises. New curriculum reduced lectures from professors from Faculty of mechanical engineering and naval architecture and increased number of lectures in the field of electrical engineering. New courses held by the Department include: “Overvoltage protection” and “Relay protection”. “Electrical grids and installations” course changed the name to “Electric power distribution”. There were also various new elective courses established and taught by Department members. New department professors were Marko Padelin, Milan Šodan and Željko Zlatar.

       After only three years of application of ETF-2 the new curriculum change followed in academic year 1970/71 (ETF-3). Power engineering became one of the 3 study profiles. There was an increase in number of required courses held by Department. New courses were: “Energy fundamentals” and “Electric power systems” while the course “Electric power transmission” was divided into “Electrical power lines” and “High voltage networks” courses. “Low voltage grids and installations” became required course of the study profile and “Nuclear power engineering” became the new elective course. With other three elective courses on nuclear power engineering they were the foundation of future Nuclear Power Engineering sub-profile. Number of elective courses in the field of electric power networks also increased. Basic (required) courses were lectured by aforementioned professors and by new professors: Vjekoslav Filipović, Srđan Babić, Mirjana Urbiha-Feuerbach and Vjekoslav Srb (honorary professor) who were all representative of the new generation of Department members. ETF-3 separated laboratory and auditorium exercises and introduced practical student projects.

Danilo Feretić, PhD was born in Omišalj on October 13, 1930. He graduated in 1954 at the Technical Faculty of Zagreb. He finished postgraduate studies in England and received his PhD in 1967. at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Belgrade. He worked at the Power Engineering Institute in Zagreb, 1954-55, Institute for Nuclear Science "Boris Kidrič" in Vinča 1959-63, Energoinvest in Sarajevo 1963-67, Institute for Nuclear Research in Egypt 1967-74, in Zagreb Electric Power Utility 1974 -82. He was the Technical director of Krško nuclear power plant under construction. In 1968 he worked at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture in Zagreb, where he became a full professor in 1979. In the same year he moved to the Faculty of Electrical Engineering (now Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing) where he served as a Dean for the 1992-1994 mandate and became Professor emeritus in 2002. He is engaged in nuclear power and the influence of nuclear power plants on the environment and power plant construction and design. He worked as an expert for the International Atomic Energy Agency. He has published several books and won many awards, some of which are: "Nikola Tesla" (1991), "Fran Bošnjaković" (1997), "Ruđer Bošković" (1998), and the State Lifetime Achievement Award (2007).

1978: Department of Power Systems (ZVNE)

       In 1978, the department changed its name from High-voltage Department to the Department of Energy and Power Systems (in Croatian: Zavod za visoki napon i energetiku). The research work at the Department was significantly improved with the acquisition of an electronic computer in 1980. The computer was regularly used in three shifts according to its usage schedule.

       In ac. year 1978/79.  a new ETF-4 curriculum was introduced, where Power Engineering became one out of eight study profiles. It is important to emphasize that Nuclear Power Engineering profile was introduced to the Faculty’s curriculum for the purpose of education of engineers in nuclear energy field, as the NPP Krško was under the construction. Professor Danilo Feretić was highly creditable for the development of this profile. In the Power Engineering profile a new course “Energy Processes” was introduced. Power engineering study profile on the fourth year was branched into three specialization programs:

  • Power System Construction and Operation
  • Power System Management and Control
  • General Power Engineering

       Profile Power System Construction and Operation varies the least from the previous ETF-3 curriculum. In profile Power System Management  and Control several new courses from the field of regulation, automatization and digital electronics were introduced: “Regulation in Electric Power System”, “Control in Electric Power System” and “Digital Control”. General Power Engineering profile introduced subjects which studied matter that is not only related to electricity issues but also to all forms of energy: “Energy Sources”, “Energy Systems and Balance”, “Economy in Energy”. Nuclear Power Engineering profile was transformed into Energy Technology profile in ac. year 1990/91.

       During the 80s, the Department developed with the increase in the number of young teachers who took over the courses: Zdravko Hebel, Vladimir Tuk, Vladimir Mikuličić, Sejid Tešnjak, Slavko Krajcar, Nikola Čavlina and Ivo Uglešić. The development is particularly reflected in more extensive professional and scientific work, cooperation with the industry sector and international professional and scientific cooperation. International exchanges and visits of expert, especially with regard to the expansion of activities in the field of nuclear energy further increase the relevance of the Department. All these activities also resulted in a considerable increase in the number of staff members, most of whom have achieved scientific their titles in the Department.

       With the support of the industry and government new building (building "D") was built and inaugurated in 1989 where Department of Energy and Power moved in and stayed up to today. Building construction was led by ex-Dean and Department employee Professor Milan Šodan. During year 1991 significant number of modern software packages for electric power system analysis and measurement equipment have been acquired, which significantly improved Department scientific work capabilities and enabled introduction of modern teaching techniques. Since then, every member of the Department had a computer, and thanks to that, more diversified collaboration with the economy was established. This led to further acquisition of new and modern computers, which contributed to further advancements in the work of the Department. The Department library of that time had more than 5,000 books and was receiving over 50 different journals.

       During the Croatian War of Independence (1991-1995) there were difficulties in performing the work and teaching, primarily due to frequent danger alarms. Despite the hardship, during this period a new curriculum was formed which received the name FER-1 after (1995) the Faculty changed its name to Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing.


1995: Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER)

       The Faculty of Electrical Engineering (ETF - Elektrotehnički fakultet, in Croatian) existed under this name until 7 March 1995 when it was renamed to Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER - Fakultet elektrotehnike i računarstva, in Croatian). Faculty was renamed to follow the global trends characterized by the rapid development in the field of computing.

       The first generation of students enrolled FER-1 curriculum in the academic year 1994-95. The general characteristic of this curriculum is a significantly higher choice of courses (in the study profile Power Engineering students had to engage 40 hours of courses instead of the previous 13 hours of elective courses). A certain number of elective subjects were from other study profiles. In the organizational sense, the following changes have been made - instead of the previous profiles Power Engineering and Energy Technologies, which were chaired by the Department of Energy and Power Systems, a unique study of Power Engineering with two profiles was introduced: profile Energy Systems and profile Energy Technologies, while the ETF-4 curriculum profiles mentioned before was abolished.

       The Department staff was significantly expanded by employing new associates: Ante Marušić, Tomislav Tomiša, Davor Škrlec, Nenad Debrecin and Ivica Pavić.

       The Department continued its development with a commitment to the permanent improvement of its curriculum. Soon, the curriculum was changed again (to be named FER-2) due to the Bologna declaration. The Bologna Declaration was signed by 29 European countries in 1999, adopting the new three-step university education system: bachelor, master, and doctoral studies. Today, the Bologna Process is implemented in national qualification frameworks of 47 European countries, including Croatia. At the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER), University of Zagreb, this involves a 3-year bachelor program, followed by a 2-year master program and a 3-year doctoral program. The master program at FER covers three fields: Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies, Information and Communication Technologies, and Computer Science. Each field was divided to profiles, and Power Systems was a study profile within the Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies field [8].

       Since the individualization of the classes that students attend is one of the main objectives of the Bologna reform, each profile consisted of five mandatory courses, one laboratory course, and a minimum of 13 elective courses (Appendix I). Additional motivation for introducing this laboratory-only course is to increase the importance of laboratory exercises in master studies. When laboratory exercises were just a part of theoretical courses, the students were mostly focused on the theory-based exams since these accrued most points towards the overall grade. The low amount of points students could accumulate at laboratory exercises marginalized their significance.

       Introduction of the laboratory-only course rectified this shortcoming of the previous master program FER-1 and recognized three shortcomings of today’s engineering education: a need for more general engineering technical knowledge, a need for more hands-on experience, and a need for higher level of professional awareness.

       The main goal of laboratory focused teaching is to enable students to apply and test theoretical knowledge they mastered in previous years of studies. The laboratory courses enable them to develop practical skills in various fields of power engineering in a controlled environment. Furthermore, students are provided with the possibility of performing experiments and tests that would otherwise be either too expensive or nearly impossible to carry out in a real power system.

       The Department, within the curriculum FER-2, introduced a number of new subjects for the study profile of Electrical Power Engineering. Furthermore, transversal subjects serving the educational needs of the whole Faculty were also introduced and included: “Sustainable Development and Environment”, “Economics and Managerial Decision Making” (in joint organization with ZOEM), “Management in Engineering” (in joint organization with ZOEM and ZTEL) and “Risk Management”. For all students of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology there is also the subject “Energy Technology” being taught on the second year of bachelor study.