History

In September 1940, with the sound of sirens announcing the beginning of the bombing raids in London, a group of Polish engineers met to found the Institution of Polish Engineers in Great Britain. Initially, the main goal of the Institution was to unite Polish technical forces for victory over Germany. Later, the activity was extended to preserve and deepen technical knowledge for post-war use in the country and to multiply the engineering staff. Select individual tabs to learn more.

40's

7 September 1940

Founding Meeting – Polish Hearth Club in London – the first general meeting was held at the sound of alarm siren announcing the daily bombardment of London, 220 members

1941-43

Number of members increases to 1000, there are 11 specialist branches and Association of Polish Electricians, SARP, Polish Engineers Clubs  in Scotland and Teheran are formed.

1945

2nd Corps soldiers form engineers Association in Rome. Total number of Institution members increases above 1500.

Role of the Institution during war time:

  • Catalogue of Polish Engineers in countries like USA, Canada, Palestine, Turkey, Iran, Brazil (5500 names)
  • Offices in Belgium Switzerland, Algiers, Rodesia, New Zealand
  • Close collaboration with polish engineers associations in France and Italy

Main wartime accomplishments 

  • Organisation of Polish engineers for war effort
  • Polish Army Radio Workshop – Enigma
  • Inventions, and improvements to war equipment
  • Foundation of Army Institute of Technology, Department of Aviation and other important technological institutions
  • More than 800 members of the Institutions were working in British industry

In 1942, the new Constitution of the Institution was proposed. In addition to war-related activities, the Board established commissions whose task was to work on issues related to life in post-war Poland, including higher education. This is how the Council for Academic Higher Education – RAST was established, and the Polish Polytechnic was launched – with the faculties of mechanical, engineering, electrical, chemical, mining and steel, architecture and economics. Until 1947, RAST issued 180 engineering diplomas.

After 1947, the Polish Polytechnic was transformed into Polish University College Association Limited – PUCAL. By the end of its existence PUCAL issued 750 diplomas. In 1948, STP, for formal reasons, transformed into The Institution of Polish Engineers in Great Britain and purchased from the resources declared by members its first home – the house at 148 Holland Road W14. Since then, the “Technik House” has been gathering all the professional sections and the secretariat of the STP until 1953. The wartime and post-war period is also the time of defining the STP mission, which has remained unchanged to this day.

Objectives of the Association:

  • Maintaining bonds between Polish and British engineers and technicians of Polish descent working in the United Kingdom.
  • Maintaining ties based on the principles of professional, cultural and national solidarity, through social meetings, technical conferences, visiting industrial facilities and publishing information materials.
  • Protection of common interests of engineers and Polish technicians in UK and Europe, thanks to representation in various state and European organizations.
  • Maintaining ties with engineers and technicians in Poland, assistance in exchanging technical information and continuous activity for science and promotion of the latest knowledge, care for trainees. technical, scientific and economic issues aimed at the market in Poland.
  • Help to the members of the Association in need through the Sickness and Benevolent Fund.
  • TP is not a commercial non-profit organization.

50's

In 1952, STP started the organization of drawing courses – one-, two- and three-year-long for graduates of high schools and people without technical education. In total, about 750 participants completed them, most of whom found employment in industry and service enterprises.

In 1954, the Association contributed to saving the Polish Library, which the British authorities wanted to liquidate after the closure of PUCAL. Public action in defense of the Library, organized by STP, saved the collection of books and documents that found shelter in the PUCAL building at 5 Princess Garden in South Kensington. There, the new headquarters was also found by STP.

In September 1958, the Association released the first issue of the quarterly “Science and Technology” in over a thousand copies. The magazine consisted, of articles, reports, reviews, monographs, reprints from other magazines. Among the authors were prof. dr J. Mazur (physicist) and engineers: B. Budziński (architect), T. Tchórzewski (electrician), S. Ziębiński (mechanic) and T. Prus-Chąciński (lander). Their short biographies were also included.

60's

The 1960s was the initiative of building the Polish Social and Cultural Center in London (POSK) in 1963. PUCAL joined in support of this initiative. Both of these organizations were the founders of POSK. The General Meeting of STP on June 12, 1964, resolved to transfer all STP’s assets to POSK, guaranteeing itself  minimal services in the resulting center. PUCAL handed over his property to similar conditions, together a large estate consisting of a number of large houses in the central districts of London was handed over. As a result of these decisions, many STP members got involved in the work on the construction of POSK, while other activity fell to the 2nd plan.

In March 1965, the construction started. Out of 100 initial members of POSK, 35 belonged to STP. The engineers felt that they were particularly responsible for the implementation of the initiative. POSK was built – from the moment the decision was made – for over ten years. There were various difficulties, related to public safety regulations, as a result some plans had to be redesigned.

The determination of the members of the Association and especially its Chair, tireless professor Roman Wajda, who later became the first chairman of POSK, helped them to overcome all the difficulties associated with the Center’s construction. A lot of money, effort and health of the founders was sacrificed in the process. Professor Roman Wajda died prematurely before STP moved to POSK.

70's

The 30th anniversary of the STP took place in September 1970 and coincided with the Congress of Contemporary Polish Science and Culture in Abkhazia, at which there were several hundred scientists and representatives of the Polonia in almost all parts of the world. The deliberations and numerous exhibitions took place in the premises of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College London. Preparatory work for the Congress, which lasted for years, was chaired by the then president of STP and the president of POSK, prof. Roman Wajda. The organizing committee worked in the upcoming POSK, where it also accompanied the congress and exhibition of historical collections of the Polish Library in London.

A few years later in 1974, the Association organized a public exhibition of projects and works made by Polish technicians and engineers. The main goal of the project was the desire that work and achievements of Polish engineers outside of the country would not be forgotten. Since 1977, STP has its own room in POSK – room on the third floor, next to the PUNO lecture hall. Thanks to the efforts of the Board and members of the Association, the life of the organization, which focused its efforts and assets on the construction of the Polish center for ten years, began again – readings, social events, monthly and occasional meetings are again the main activity of STP.

80's

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the STP, on 30 May-1 June 1980, the congress of members of the Association and invited guests in London took place, attended by about 150 people. As part of the Congress program, an exhibition of works (around 50 boards) of STP members was opened at POSK illustrating the achievements of Polish engineers in exile, showing their contribution to the economic and cultural life of the countries in which they found themselves. Among nearly 50 exhibitors from the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, were representatives of almost all branches of industry, engineering, construction, research institutes and education. The main “signpost” of the exhibition was a board showing the stages of the Association’s development during its 40-year existence.

90's

The celebration of the 50th anniversary of STP took place on Sunday, September 23, 1990. On this occasion, the extended number (60) “Technika i Nauka” was published. The jubilee issue contained the initial word from the chairman of the Association inż. Adam Ostrowski:

The Golden Jubilee closes the period of great achievements of the Polish engineer. Those who were consumed by the mobilization of 1939 deserved faithfully in Poland. By whatever paths fate led them, with their technical education and practical approach to the issues they stood out at every opportunity. (…) And today, it would seem that the Association has reached the end of its initiative, like a fruit tree that is dying for the winter.

Association Chairs

1940 – 1941
prof. dr inż. Stanisław Płużański
1941 – 1942
inż. J Barcikowski
1942 – 1944
prof. inż. Feliks Olszak
1944 – 1950
inż. Józef Zenon Różański
1950 – 1952
inż. Antoni Wasiutyński
1952 – 1954
inż. Marian Antoni Batkowski
1954 – 1957
prof. inż. Roman Wajda
1957 – 1958
inż. Henryk Mateusz Hajducki
1958 – 1960
prof. inż. Roman Wajda
1960 – 1961
inż. Marian Antoni Batkowski
1961 – 1962
inż. Czesław Woyno
1962 – 1963
dr inż. Stanisław Kazimierz Liszka
1963 – 1966
dr inż. Stanisław Wyrobek
1966 – 1967
inż. Zbigniew Świdziński
1967 – 1970
dr inż. Stanisław Wyrobek
1970 – 1972
inż. Henryk Mateusz Hajducki
1972 – 1973
inż. Jerzy Stanisław Kucięba
1973 – 1975
prof. dr inż. Mieczysław Sas-Skowroński
1975 – 1980
inż. Jerzy Anatol Reicher
1980 – 1981
gen. dypl. inż. Jerzy Przemysław Morawicz

1981 – 1985
inż. Józef P. Baraniecki

1985 – 1988
dr inż Jan Dzienisiewicz
​​1988 – 2000
inż. Adam Ostrowski
2000 – 2004
prof. dr inż. Ryszard Chmielowiec
2004 – 2006
dr inż. Andrzej Fórmaniak
2006 – 2009
mgr inż. Krzysztof Ruszczyński
2009-2012
prof. dr inż. Ryszard Chmielowiec​
2012-2015
mgr inż Piotr Dudek
2015-2018
dr inż. Marian Zastawny
2018-
mgr inż. Piotr Świeboda