Romanian Pioneers in science and technics

Grigore Antipa, naturalist (1864-1944)

A world renowned museum curator, he invented and applied for the first time the exhibition of animals in their natural environment (dioramas). He is the founder of the Romanian school of Hydrobiology, he laid the foundations of the Natural History Museum in Bucharest as a sequence of dioramas, and he mapped and studied the largest delta in Europe.


Ana Aslan, geriatrist (1897-1988)

She studied at the Faculty of Medicine in Bucharest (1915-1922). Between 1945 and 1949, she was Professor of Cardiology at the Faculty of Medicine in Timişoara. From 1949 until 1952, she was Head of Department at the Institute of Endocrinology in Bucharest. From 1952, she led the first Institute of Geriatrics. As one of the pioneering scientists in the field of gerontology, she was also interested in studying social gerontology; she proposed a series of social measures designed to create a system for stimulating the activities of elderly people. Ana Aslan became aware of the long-term biotrophic action of Procaine and introduced it as prophylactic medication that could be taken for long periods. The first original biotrophic product (Gerovital H3) and the first medicine designed to delay human aging processes came out in 1956. This product was developed between 1946 and 1956, as a result of numerous clinical studies conducted with Elena Polovrageanu. The results were presented together with C. I. Parhon, another prominent neuropsychiatrist, endocrinologist, in the paper entitled “Novocaine – a Eutrophic and Antiaging Factor,” published by the Romanian Academy in 1955. In 1956, “Gerovital” was introduced to the international medical world at the Therapiewoche Congress in Karlsruhe, and then at the Congress of Gerontology from Basel. Regarded with scepticism at first, her research and contributions are now widely accepted. Famous personalities, such as Charles De Gaulle, John F. Kennedy, Tito, Khrushchev, Mao Zedong, Indira Gandhi, Konrad Adenauer, or Ho Chi Minh, came to Romania to benefit from this anti-aging therapy. Other well-known people, including Marlene Dietrich, Lillian Gish, Charlie Chaplin, Kirk Douglas and Salvador Dalí, were treated at the Institute of Geriatrics in Bucharest.


Dan Barbilian, mathematician and poet (1895-1961)

He created a new school of axiom-oriented mathematical thought, a trend that had extensions in the theory of functions and in mechanics. The new concepts he introduced in science are called Barbilian spaces. He also wrote hermetic poetry, under the penname Ion Barbu.


Ion Șt. Basgan, inventor in the field of drilling technology (1902-1980),

Ion Basgan became known worldwide for oil field drilling, where he applied the theory of sonics (see Gogu Constantinescu), and for discovering the effect named after him, the “Basgan effect.” Ion Basgan’s research in petroleum drilling started in 1932. His most important patents in the field of oil drilling are: “Method for Improving the Efficiency and Perfecting Rotary Drilling, by Rotary Percussive Drilling and Hydraulic Pressure Damping,” patented in Romania under no. 22,789 in 1934, and then in the U.S.; “Rotary Well Drilling Apparatus,” under no. 2103137/1937. The method was perfected later in Romania when, under no. 37743/1945, a new patent was registered, “Drilling with a Rotary Hammer.” These inventions revolutionised oil drilling technology, increasing the drilling depth and the drilling efficiency. Initially, these inventions were used in the country. Not incidentally, Romania was one of the first exporters of oil field equipment in the world. After 1937, his inventions were also implemented in the U.S. During World War II, the Romanian engineer’s inventions were seized, being released only in 1965, by Order 838/ 10.13.1965 of the U.S. Department of Justice. Although he undertook many actions, Ion Basgan failed to retrieve his copyrights resulting from the use of his discoveries and inventions by U.S. companies. Ion Basgan’s royalties have been evaluated by a panel of independent experts to over 8 billion dollars. In 1967, Ion Basgan patented in France, the USA, Portugal and the United Arab Emirates his last invention in the field of oil drilling: “Rotary and Percussive Drilling System with Sonic Frequencies, Limiting the Archimedes Effect, as well as the Respective Installation and Equipment,” whereby the critical barrier 8,000 m in depth was exceeded. Throughout life, Ion Basgan published over a dozen papers, delivered conferences and moderated scientific debates about the drilling technique.


Gheorghe Benga, phycisist, discovered the protein water channel (1944-)

Benga is a professor in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology of the “Iuliu Haţieganu” University of Medicine and Pharmacy from Cluj-Napoca. In 1986, together with his collaborators Octavian Popescu and Victor I. Pop, Benga showed the existence of a protein water channel in the red blood cell membrane. The discovery was published in 1986 in the journals Biochemistry 25, 1535-1538 under the title “Chloro mercuri benzene-Sulfonate Binding by Membrane Proteins and the Inhibition of Water Transport in Human Erythrocytes,” and in the European Journal of Cell Biology 41, 252-162 under the title “The Water Permeability of Human Erythrocytes. The Idendification of Membrane Proteins Involved in Water Transport.” Two years later, in 1988, Peter Agre discovered and isolated the same protein which he named aquaporin. In 2003 Agre received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, shared with Roderick MacKinnon.


Grigore Brişcu, inventor in the field of helicopter flight (1884-1965)

In 1903, he began his studies at the National School of Bridges and Roads in Bucharest. At the same time, he attended the Faculty of Law in Iaşi, where he earned a degree in legal sciences. In issues no. 48 of 1909 and no. 53 of 1910 of Car Magazine, he published the study entitled “Helicopters,” which showed that helicopters were “practical, economic, safe to operate and will be widely used by the general public.” He was the first engineer who in 1909 began experimenting with the cyclic variation of a rotor blade pitch in order to ensure horizontal flight and stability in piloting helicopters. It should be mentioned that Paul Cornu, the French engineer (1881-1963), published in the same year, 1909, the draft of a similar system for rotor blade pitch variation. Moreover, in November 1907, Paul Cornu lifted into air to a 30-cm height for 20 seconds in the helicopter he built with a 24-HP engine, which was nonetheless too weak for more. The Cornu helicopter was not manoeuvrable, however, and its construction was abandoned after a few attempts. Grigore Brişcu is one of the most important theorists of mechanical flight, who made a helicopter model that had all the features of today’s helicopters. It was equipped with two coaxial propellers rotating in contrary directions, whose angle of incidence of the blades could vary during rotation, to gain lift force and propulsion. The Brişcu rotary engine was patented by the Romanian Office for Inventions (patent no. 2323/2046 -1912) and was immediately produced by the Gnome engine plant in France.


George de Bothezat, helicopter and aircraft stability engineer (1882-1940),

He was born in 1882, into a family of landlords from Bessarabia, which was incorporated in the Russian Empire at that time. After graduating from a school located in the capital of Bessarabia, Chişinău, in 1902, he attended the Electrotechnical Institute in Belgium between 1905 and 1907, graduated from Kharkov (Ukraine) in 1908, and continued his graduate studies in Göttingen and Berlin. He obtained his PhD from the University of Paris, for a study on aircraft stability. He was one of the pioneers in helicopter design. He managed the design team of an aircraft plant in Saint Petersburg, and was credited with the design of a single-engine aircraft. This engine was tested in 1917. George Bothezat fled to the United States to escape the Bolshevik Revolution. In June 1918, he was hired by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. He lectured at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at Columbia University. In 1921 the US Army Air Service hired George de Bothezat to build a prototype helicopter. He constructed a quadro rotor craft, known as the Bothezat helicopter. The first flight, on 18 December 1922, turned out to be surprisingly successful; the engine lifted straight up, vertically, for more than one minute. But the US Army, which considered this craft to be too slow, to fly at too low an altitude and to have a precarious flight control, cancelled the contract. De Bothezat returned to building helicopters later, in 1938. His new craft presented a coaxial design, with the engine mounted between two rotors. This new helicopter, SV-2, was built and tested only in 1938; after the tests, de Bothezat rebuilt it (1939-1940) into a heavier one, but he died before the new tests took place. George de Bothezat had also been designing a one-man “personal helicopter” for the infantry.


Constantin Budeanu, physicist (1886-1959),

He discovered and described reactive energy, at that time called distorting energy, in the power lines that were being developed then. He was among the organisers of the first international conference on “Large Electric Networks.”


Elie Carafoli, aircraft designer (1901-1983)

He is considered a pioneering contributor to the field of aerodynamics. Carafoli was of Macedo-Romanian (Aromanian) descent. In 1915, he left Bitolia (present-day Greece) for Bucharest, where he studied. In 1919 he entered the Polytechnic School of Bucharest, graduating it with a degree in electrical engineering. He pursued his studies at the University of Paris, while also working at the Institut Aérotechnique in Saint-Cyr. He obtained a PhD in 1928, with a thesis entitled Contribution to the Theory of Aerodynamic Lift. In 1928, Carafoli returned to Bucharest, where he joined the faculty of the Polytechnic University, and founded the Department of Aerodynamics; it was here that he built the first wind tunnel in Eastern Europe, and elaborated a theory on which the calculations of wing profiles in supersonic aircraft are based. The category of aerodynamic profiles he developed is referred to in aerodynamic literature as the “Carafoli profiles.” From 1930 to 1937, Carafoli worked at IAR Braşov. Here together with his team, he designed the IAR CV-11, a single-seat, low-wing monoplane fighter. A prototype was flown in 1931, in an attempt to break the flight airspeed record. Carafoli also designed the IAR 14 and the IAR 15 aircraft, and later, in 1937, he initiated the development of the legendary IAR 80 fighter aircraft.


Ion (Iancu) C. Constantinescu,the inventor of the teleprinter (1884-1963)

He was a telecommunications engineer. As a professor at the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest (1924-1950), he founded higher education in the field of telecommunications in Romania. In 1919, Iancu Constantinescu patented in France the teleprinter, known as the teletypographic device (French patent no. 111710/1919). He conducted research on electromagnetic wave propagation, establishing the conditions for obtaining complementary dipoles (dipole complementary equation, 1925). He is one who, in 1927, designed the first Romanian automatic telephone exchange.


George Cosmovici, mechanical engineer (1859-1920)

He invented and built several devices for streamlining railway equipment. He built an original type of fuel oil spray, used in the engine furnaces. In 1906, he invented the gearbox with continuous lubrication for railway wagon wheels, avoiding the overheating and ignition of the axles. These inventions were quickly adopted in all the European countries.


Emil Crăciun, physician, anatomo-pathologist (1896-1976)

He founded a Department of Methodology and Organisation at the Victor Babeş Pathology Institute, aimed at guiding and controlling the pathology laboratories across the country. Regarding the activity of the pathology laboratory, the professor introduced, besides the usual investigation techniques, the techniques of histochemistry and histoenzymology, for diagnostic and research purposes. It is also to Professor Crăciun that we owe the introduction of tissue cultures as a subject of research: he is the author of a prestigious monograph, La culture des tissues en histolgie experimentale (Paris, Masson Publishing, 1931), the first work in this field published in French, which, besides the comprehensive presentation of the data extant at the time, expounded on the author’s original contributions, such as the use of environments with heparin plasma and with freeze-dried embryo extracts. Until the introduction of synthetic environments in practice, Professor Crăciun’s Romanian method remained the fundamental technique for tissue cultures. It was also Professor Crăciun’s great merit that he carried out, for the first time in our country, a renal biopsy puncture (E.C. Craciun et A. Muresanu: “Biopuncture renale - biopsie per aspiration,” the Romanian Archive of Pathology Exp., 1948).


Anastase Dragomir, inventor of catapultable cockpit (1896-1966)

He is most famous for his “catapultable cockpit” patent (with Tănase Dobrescu). He worked at several aircraft factories in France, where he perfected a system for saving pilots and passengers in case of accidents. On 3 November 1928, he applied for a patent in France with “Nouveau système de montage des parachutes dans les appareils de locomotion aérienne.” The invention was “a new system of parachuting from an air locomotion device, each passenger having his own parachute that allows, at critical moments, the assembly to detach from the plane, so that the parachute with the seated passenger may escape through an opening.”  After Dragomir obtained financing, he began the construction of his flying cockpit. His cockpit was tested on 28 August 1929, on a Farman airplane at Paris-Orly, in the presence of pilots, officials and newspaper reporters. The Paris newspapers reported on the invention’s success. Dragomir returned home to Romania, where, together with the Romanian aviation engineer Constantin Nicolau, he successfully repeated the experiment in an Avia airplane at Băneasa Airport in Bucharest, Romania, on 26 October 1929.


Teodor Dragu, inventor of the fuel oil-injection system (1848-1925)

He was one of the founders of mechanical engineering in Romania. Between1863 and 1871, he studied at undergraduate level at Academia Mihăileană in Iaşi, after which he studied engineering at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in Paris, where he received his engineering degree (1876). After a year of practice in Paris, he returned to Romania and laid the foundations of the Polytechnic Society (1881). In 1886, he was appointed Head of the Workshop and Rolling Stock Service of the Romanian Railway Company. Between1880 and 1915, he was a Professor of Steam Machine Manufacturing at the National School of Bridges and Roads. He built several steam locomotives and in 1887, he introduced the steam train heating system for the trains in the Romanian railway network. In 1892, he introduced the mechanism of automatic airbrake, the Westinghouse system. He initiated the use of locomotives that were powered by liquid fuel and invented for them a fuel oil injection systemfor boiler furnaces. The system was perfected by the British after World War I.


Lazăr Edeleanu, chemist, inventor(1861-1941)

He was the first chemist to synthesise amphetamine at the University of Berlin and he invented the modern method of refiningcrude oil. He studied at the prestigious St. Sava College in Bucharest, where he received his Baccalaureate in 1882. After graduating from high school, he studied chemistry at Berlin University. In 1887, he received the title of Doctor in Chemistry with a thesis “On the Derivatives of Fatty Phenylmethacrylic and Phenylisobutyric Acids,” in which he described phenylisopropylamine, also known as amphetamine or benzedrine. After receiving his doctorate, Edeleanu worked for a time at the Royal College of Artillery in London. Back in Romania, he was hired by the chemist Constantin I. Istrati as an assistant, and then as a lecturer at the Faculty of Sciences in Bucharest, the Organic Chemistry Department. In 1906, he was appointed Head of the Chemistry Laboratory at the Geology Institute (founded that year) and Director of the Vega Refinery near Ploieşti. In 1907, he co-organised the Petroleum Congress in Bucharest and co-authored, with Ion Tănăsescu, a monograph on the physical and technical properties of Romanian crude oil. 1908 was the year of his most significant invention, the Edeleanu process, whereby petroleum is refined with liquid sulphur dioxide to selectively extract aromatic hydrocarbons ( benzene, toluene, xylene, etc.). The procedure was first applied experimentally in Romania at the Vega Refinery, then at Rouen, France, and subsequently throughout the entire world.


George Fernic, engineer, inventator of the canard wing (1900-1930),

Atthe age of only 17, he participated in aerial reconnaissance missions in support of the battles of Mărăşeşti and for this he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. He graduated from the Polytechnic School of Vienna, worked in an aircraft building shop and bought Deutscher Lloyd Luft Flugzeugewerke in Germany. At Deutscher Lloyd Flugzeugewerke, Fernic carried out the project of​​ his first plane (1921-1922), as well an automobile, simply named Fernic. In 1927, when Germany was in full turmoil, Fernic wanted to move the factory to Romania and required a land plot from the state. Turned down by the Romanian state, he sold the company in Germany and went to America, where he was employed by the company Bellanca. In 1928, he bought this company too and renamed it as the Fernic Aircraft Corporation, based in Richmond Terrace, Arlington, New York. He began work on his project called “aircraft with wings in tandem", which featured new principles for that time. The project was materialised in 1929 in the prototype FT-9 (the Fernic Tandem model 9). FT-9 was a twin-engine aircraft with 8 seats on which Fernic introduced, as a premiere, a smaller auxiliary wing, mounted in front of the main wing. This wing,similar to the horizontal empennage, increased longitudinal stability, reducing also the landing speed and the area necessary for manoeuvring. He died at the age of 30, at an aviation rally in the U.S. His legacy endures to this day, the auxiliary wing Fernic introduced being known as the “canard empennage” and being fitted in many modern aircraft, including the fighter aircraft Eurofighter, SAAB37 “Grippen” or Sukhoi SU-32, SU-33 and SU-34.


Nicolae Florescu,  doctor, physiologist,the first to have made an organ transplant (1862-1939)

The first man who made an organ transplant, a kidney, to a dog. He studied medicine at the Sorbonne University.


Spiru C. Haret, mathematician, astronomer and politician (1851-1912)

He made a fundamental contribution to the n-body problem in celestial mechanics by proving that the use of a third-degree approximation for the disturbing forces entailed the instability of the major axes of the orbits; he introduced the concept of secular perturbations in relation to the major axes of the planets’ orbits. A century before, Laplace (1773) and Lagrange (1776) had studied the problem by using a first-degree approximation of the perturbing forces, showing that the major axes of the orbits were stable. Moreover, in 1808, another French mathematician, Poisson, had confirmed the previous results by using second-degree approximations. At the time, as it was accepted that the planets disturbed each other’s orbits, thus deviating from the elliptic motion described by Kepler‘s First Law, the understanding was that the major axes of the orbits were stable. However, in his thesis, Spiru Haret proved, by using third-degree approximations, that these axes were not stable as previously believed. Since then, it has been acknowledged that planetary motion is not absolutely stable. Poincaré considered this to be the result of a great surprise and continued Haret’s work, which eventually led him to create a chaotic deterministic system, which laid the foundations of modern chaos theory. Another French scientist, F. Tisserand , recommended that Haret’s scientific method should also be applied in the case of other astronomic doubts and dilemmas. As a politician and Minister of Education, Haret conducted structural reforms, building the modern education system. In 1910, he published Social Mechanics, which used mathematics for the first time to explain social behaviour (somehow anticipating the fictional “psychohistorical” branch of mathematics developed by Hari Seldon .


Horea Hulubei, nuclear physicist (1896-1972)

He was the first to discover and produce X-ray spectra in gases. He built, together with Yvette Cauchois, an X-ray spectrometer with a curved crystal. In Romania, he contributed to the development of the School of Atomic Physics. He led several laboratories and research teams at the Sorbonne. He was one of the main organisers of the “Palace of Discoveries” in Paris (1937). He built the first nuclear reactor in Eastern Europe.


Dragomir Hurmusecu, phisician (1865 – 1954)

From 1887-1896 he was studying in Paris for his PhD in Physics, attending the research laboratory of Professor Lippman, alongside Louis Benoist and Maria Sklodowska. Louis Benoist continued to be his  collaborator in the study of X rays.  Hurmuzescu build the electroscope, as the first attempt to measure the X rays. This electroscope will become known worldwide as “Hurmuzescu’s electroscope” and for over a quarter of a century, it will be acquired by all radiology laboratories, including the ones overseas. With this apparatus he and Gheorghe Marinescu, the neurologist, achieved the first skill radiography in the world,


Traian Lalescu,  mathematician (1882-1929)

He was one of the world founders of integral equations. He also contributed to research in the areas of functional equations, trigonometric series, mathematical physics, geometry, mechanics, and algebra. Traian Lalescu earned his PhD in Mathematics from the University of Paris in 1908, with the dissertation Sur les équations de Volterra, under the supervision of Émile Picard. In 1911, he published Introduction to the Theory of Integral Equations, the first book ever on the subject of integral equations. He researched linear integral equations of infinite order or with resolving nuclei (1910), lopsided symmetrical (1910), non-orthogonal (1912), compound and remarkable (1915), studying their algebra and introducing broken (1915) or symmetrisable nuclei (1917). Tr. Lalescu also studied the problems of mathematical physics, such as trigonometric series; here he introduced the periodical polygon functions and 2 methods concerning non-sinusoidal periodical waves. He was a Professor at the University of Bucharest, the Polytechnic University of Timişoara (whose first rector he was in 1920), and the Polytechnic University of Bucharest.


Gheorghe Marinescu,neurologist, father of cinematography(1863-1938)

After acquiring his higher education at the Medical School of the University of Bucharest, Marinescu worked in the Histology Laboratory from Brâncoveanu Hospital and as an assistant in the Laboratory of Pathological Anatomy and Bacteriology, under the guidance of Victor Babeş, at whose recommendation, in 1889, he received a grant that allowed him to continue his studies abroad. In Paris, he worked in the field of neurology under the supervision of Jean-Martin Charcot at the Salpêtrière Hospital, and later with Carl Weigert and Emil du Bois-Raymond, in Germany. Immediately following the X rays discovery, in the first months of 1896, he heads towards the Sorbonne to collaborate with his younger friend Dragomir Hurmuzescu, achieving the radiography of some interesting cases (acromegaly and polydactily) by means of the latter’s apparatus. Theyachieved the  first skill radiography in the world, and consequently Gheorghe Marinescu emphasizes the Turkish saddle enlargement, determining the role of the hypophysis in bone developmentIn 1897, he successfully presented his doctoral thesis at the Faculty of Medicine in Paris. That same year, he returned to Bucharest, where he was appointed as Chief Physician at the newly founded the Department of Nervous Disorders from Pantelimon Hospital. A year later, a chair of Clinical Neurology was created for him at the University of Bucharest, where he continued to work as a professor for 41 years. He is rightly regarded as the founder of the Romanian School of Neurology. In addition, he is credited with making the first science film in the world, The Walking Troubles of Organic Paraplegies (1899), a fact that was acknowledged by the father of cinematography himself, Auguste Lumière, in a letter from 1924.


Emil Mărdărescu,  inventor of rotary drilling (1880-1935),

He graduated from the flight school of Bucharest and invented a plane propeller with a variable tilt angle, with which he equipped an aircraft prototype that he piloted in 1911. After World War I, he turned to the oil industry, owning wells and oilfields. He is the inventor of rotary drilling, which he patented in the country and in France< in 1920. He is to be considers as a precursor of Ion St. Basgan’s.


Radu Emil Mărdărescu,   aircraft engineer, inventor (1907-1968)

He was the son of Emil Mărdărescu and the grandson of General Gheorghe Mărdărescu. He graduated from Technische Hochschule in Dresden and worked in the IAR factories from Braşov. Here he was concerned with optimizing the IAR-1000A engine intake, an engine with 14 cylinders in a double star. He built new series of engines with 7 and 9 cylinders in a star, with powers of 250CP and, respectively, 400CP. In 1938, he designed and proposed to the Ministry of Air and Navy the building of the 1500CP engine with 14 cylinders in a double star. The narrow-minded corrupted officials of the time refused to grant him the budget for its entry into production. The engine was produced at the Gnome-Rhone plant. After the dismantling of the IAR


Constantin I. Parhon, phycisian, founder of endocrinology (1874 – 1969)

Protagonist of  endocrinology and gerontology and founder of the Romanian school of neurology. His work Les secretations internes, Paris, 1919, was the world’s first treaty on endocrinology.


Aurel Persu, engineer and inventor (1890-1977) 

He was the first to apply the principles of aerodynamics to automobiles. After many calculations, Aurel Persu came to the conclusion that the perfectly aerodynamic automobile had the shape of a falling water-drop. The invention that made him famous was the “Aerodynamically-Shaped Car with Four Wheels Fitted inside the Aerodynamic Shape.” The patent was obtained in Germany on 19 September 1924, following the patent application submitted on 13 November 1922. He implemented his idea in Berlin, in 1922-1923, building an automobile that could reach very high speeds for that time. It was the first car to have the wheels fitted inside its aerodynamic line, which we take for granted today.


Dimitrie Pompeiu, mathematician  (1873-1954) 

After studying in Dorohoi and Bucharest, he went to France, where he studied mathematics at the University of Paris. He obtained a PhD degree in mathematics in 1905 with a thesis On the Continuity of Complex Variable Functions, written under the direction of Henri Poincaré. After returning to Romania, he was named Professor of Mechanics at the University of Iaşi. In 1912, he assumed a chair at the University of Bucharest. In 1934, he was elected as a member of the Romanian Academy. His most important discovery and foundation resided in analytic functions which are uniformly continuous on the set of singularities (1905). D. Pompeiu introduced the notion of the areolar derivative at a point in the domain of definition of the neomorphic function (1912); the areolar derivative is one of the fundamental notions of mathematical analysis with applications in the applied sciences. In the theory of functions, he built an exact derived, limited function, cancelling itself at any range and not being identically void in any range, having the property of being a constant sign throughout its entire range of definition-called Pompeiu’s function. This class of functions is of interest to the study of topology and of differential equations. In the theory of sets, he studied closed sets introducing the notions of reducible first-class set and the distance between two closed sets. The distance between two closed sets has become a classic notion used in topology, in functional analysis. In functional computing, among other things, he replaced solving differential equations with that of functional equations obtained by relations between discrete points on the integral curves; he gave a general solution to Poinsot’s functional equation n and other similar functions (1938). In fluid theory, among others, he gave an interpretation of the areolar derivative in hydromechanics, a form that is independent of any system of coordinates of velocity condition in an incompressible liquid (1928-1929).


Tiberiu Popoviciu, mathematician (1906-1975)

Tiberiu Popoviciu’s research approached Functional Analysis, Approximation Theory, Convexity Theory, Numerical Analysis, the Theory of Equations and Computation Theory. Through his doctoral thesis from Paris, Sur quelques proprietes des fonctions d’ une ou deux variables reeles, and the work Les Fonctions convexes, he laid the foundations of a new chapter in modern mathematics. The road Tiberiu Popoviciu opened in the Constructive Theory of Functions and Functional Analysis allowed the establishment of linear functionals that intervene in the expression of the remainder in approximation operations. Obviously, all the results referring to the evaluation of the approximation order by positive and linear operators are included here, as are the convergence criteria for sequences of such operators, the study of remainders in linear methods of approximation, the comparative theory of different ways of organising computations in interpolation, the criteria whose certain satisfaction engenders representations of special forms, and many other results. Why is it important to highlight all these things? Because Tiberiu Popoviciu’s very outlook on Computation Practice transformed what was referred as Numerical Calculation before into a new discipline, Numerical Analysis, in the modern sense of this concept. This point of view was understood and assumed by Tiberiu Popoviciu’s students and underlies the foundation of what is now known as the Romanian School of Numerical Analysis and Approximation Theory. In addition, we should add the observation that some of Tiberiu Popoviciu’s research represented the first investigations pertaining to Interval Analysis (Ramon Moore called it Intervall Aritmetik).


Anghel Saligny,  engineer, inventor of precast concrete (1854-1925)

He was famous for designing the Feteşti-Cernavodă railway bridge (1895) across the Danube, the longest bridge in Europe and the third longest in the world at that time. The bridge has five openings, four being 140m wide, and the central one spanning 190 m. To allow ships to pass under the bridge, it was raised 30 m above water. The bridge structure was so famous in its time that it competed against Gustave Eiffel‘s engineering works in France. Saligny also designed the storage facilities in seaport of Constanţa, one of the earliest examples of reinforced concrete architecture in Europe. He was the first in the world to use precast concrete in these storage facilities. In all of his works (bridges, roads, silos, ports, etc.), new elements are to be found, many of them being considered great technological breakthroughs at the time. He was a founding member of the Bucharest Polytechnic Society (the precursor of today’s Bucharest Polytechnic University) and was even appointed Minister of Public Works. In 1892, he was elected as a member of the Romanian Academy, and he served as its President between 1907 and 1910.


Nicolae Sterca and Marin Oriţă, technicians

The 9mm Oriţă Submachine Gun (M1941 cartridge: 9x19mm Parabellum, rate fire: 600rounds/min, feed system: 32 round detachable box, effective range: 200m) was produced at Cugir Arsenal in 1941. In 1948, a new version (M1948) was produced. It was used by Romanian Army from 1942 until 1970. The Oriţă SMG was the result of a team: Nicolae Sterca, Marin Oriţă and Leopold Jaska (Czech). Nicolae Sterca added a great technical contribution to this project. He was an exceptionally skilled and highly esteemed technician, with many original ideas. He became a genuine legend among the weapon experts in Romania. This weapon is one of the highest quality SMGs ever manufactured during World War II (9mm Beretta M1938A - Italy, 9mm ZK383 -Czechoslovakia, 9mm M31 - Finland, 9mm MP 28/II and MP 34/I - Germany, and 0.45-inch Thompson - U.S.A.. Although the history of these weapons is kept, objectively and subjectively, secret, and we will not find out the truth soon, it is known that on 15 June 1943, the Soviets considered producing a replica of the assault rifles captured on the front, among them probably a Werhmacht Sturmgewehr with a 7.93 × 33mm bullet. Meanwhile, the Soviets developed their own 7.62 mm cartridge after the German 7.93 mm cartridge. They formed several design teams for the development of this assault rifle with a 7.62 mm calibre. On 10 January 1948, the Soviets chose, from three models of machine guns, the one developed by Kalashnikov, 7.62mm AK47.



Simion Stoilov,   mathematician (1887-1961)

He is one of the creators of the topological theory of functions. He established at theorem (1926) of derived numbers that bears his name. This theorem is at the basis of other subsequently obtained theorems, such as Branach, Saks. The theory of the topology of analytic functions has enabled the classification of Riemann surfaces. In mathematical terminology, the Iversen-Stoilov surfaces and the Kerekjarto-Stoilov frontier are well known.


Nicolae Teclu, chemist (1839 – 1916)

He built an apparatus for the measurements of atmospheric electricity, the Teclu burners besides many other chemical apparatus; he is creator of methods of chemical analysis and he, also, conceived an aircraft with engine.


Gheorghe Ţiţeica, mathematician (1873-1939)

He was the founder of centro-affine differential geometry. He produced outstanding works in the fields of the projective differential geometry of networks and congruences and introduced new classes of surfaces, curves and networks that bear his name today.                          

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