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1925 Technion Founded in Haifa - History

4th Aliyah

Located in Haifa, the Technion was originally established to teach civil engineering. Today it is a world-renowned school of technology.

The concept of founding a technical school in Palestine originated at the beginning of the century, and in 1912, the first ground was broken to build such a school in Haifa. World War I delayed the task, and the first class was not inaugurated until 1924. The Technion grew slowly, with a student population of 600 in 1948. After independence, it became clear that Israel would need a modern engineering school. The government donated the land on Mt. Carmel, and the overseas Friends of the Technion were able to raise the money needed to build a new campus, as well as fully equipped labs, thus giving Israel an engineering school unrivaled in the Middle East.

Old Technion Building

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Uzia Galil – Founding Father of the Innovation Nation

The Technion mourns the passing of Uzia Galil, founding father of Israeli high-tech, Technion alumnus and lifetime friend, supporter, and collaborator of Technion.

“Uzia was a visionary who contributed greatly to the Technion, to industry, and to Israeli society,” said Technion President Prof. Uri Sivan in a Eulogy to him. “He was one of the Technion’s most prominent graduates and a true friend to the Technion.”

The life of Uzia Galil tells the tale of a century, including Israel’s journey from destitution to prosperity and the regenerating power of the innovative spirit embodied by Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. According to Prof. Sivan, Technion graduate Uzia Galil was: “an entrepreneur in every fiber of his being.”

Uzia Galil (1925-2021): “An entrepreneur, in every fiber of his being.”

Uzia Galil was born in 1925 in Bucharest. Fleeing the Nazi takeover of Romania, he arrived at age 16 in British-run Palestine. In 1943 he enrolled at the Technion in electrical engineering, and after his studies – he served in the navy. After postgraduate studies at Purdue University in Indiana, he worked for Motorola on the development of colored television, and then returned to Israel and the navy as head of the electronics R&D department. In 1957 he joined the Technion as a lecturer and became director of the electronics department at the Faculty of Physics. As part of his research in the Technion, he developed complex electronic systems for use in physics.

Alongside his work at the Technion, Galil established “Elron” in 1962, which spawned over 25 technological companies, including Elscint and Zoran. “The Elron company, which Uzia founded, was the first successful realization of entrepreneurship in a science-based industry to grow out of a technical institute in Israel,” said Technion President Prof. Uri Sivan. “Galil was ahead of his time in many areas. He laid the foundations for the Israeli Startup Nation, anticipating the essential combination of technology and medicine in service of mankind.”

Galil was a key initiator of the country’s first industrial park, which today is the flourishing MATAM Scientific Industries Center, home to R&D offices of Intel, Yahoo!, Google, Philips, and Microsoft. With 50 years under its belt and scores of spin-offs numbering tens of thousands of employees, Elron has been one of the pillars of the Israeli economy and its high-tech “miracle.” And Technion graduates were key to its success – not just as engineers but as managers and executives. “If you look at our companies – the engineering teams, the software people – the majority are Technion graduates,” said Galil. He later founded the “Galil Centre for medical informatics and telemedicine” adjacent to the Technion’s Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine in order to harness technology for the benefit of human health through the integration of different technological systems.

In 1977, the Technion awarded Galil an honorary doctorate. In 1980 he became the first Technion graduate to become Chairman of the Board of Governors, a position which he held until 1990. He continued as a member of the Technion Council until his passing. In 1997 Galil received the Technion Medal and was awarded the Israel Prize for his contribution to the development of the Israeli high-tech industry. “His contribution to the Technion as head of the Board of Governors and member of the Technion Council for many years was immense,” said Technion President Prof. Uri Sivan.

“In my life, I always thought ahead. I said – OK, what we’ve done – we’ve done. The question is, what are we going to do tomorrow?” said Galil in December 2007 in a keynote speech at a conference on next-generation medical products. “And here we have to understand what is expected from us, where we can really excel, where we can maintain our position. The first and foremost in my opinion is to clearly identify where our relative advantages are. It is recognized that one of the strongest characteristics of Israel is the innovative power and the desire for knowledge both in academia and in the industry.”

“On behalf of the Technion, I share the family’s grief and offer our sincere condolences,” said Technion President Prof. Uri Sivan.

May his memory be a blessing.

The History and Development of the Technion Library System​

The Technion Library, comprising a collection of 2000 books, was founded in 1924, on the old Technion campus in Hadar ha-Carmel, Haifa. Over the years the library grew slowly but steadily and by 1952 it held approximately 32,000 volumes, thanks to gifts from a large number of donors.

A turning point in the history of the library was its relocation, in 1965, to its new building, bearing the name of Col. J.R. Elyachar, in the Technion City. At the same time, most of the Technion faculties also moved to the new campus. The widespread location of the various academic units led to a proliferation of departmental libraries as research libraries.

In the eighties and nineties, the technical and readers’ services were computerized. This process, in spite of the widespread location of the various academic units, created a virtually united bibliographic system, available on the campus network, with one central catalog, one readers’ file and one set of rules.

The “Aleph” software, developed by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was chosen by the Technion and all Israeli University libraries for computerizing all library services.

At first, the library offered Technion users searches in databases on CD-ROMS connected to the Novell network. Later, the library opened its own homepage and started linking to it databases and electronic journals with full-text articles that are available via the Internet.

In 2015, new portal was developed, uniting all Technion libraries offering: information search (books, scientific journals and articles etc), library information and services and relevant links.

Today there are 14 departmental/faculty libraries at the Technion in addition to the Central Library.

The Archive Collection

Contents- documents, letters, meeting minutes and photocopies of journal articles:

Time period- from the beginning of the 20th century when the idea of establishing a Jewish technical university was raised, through the “language wars”, the establishment of the Technion, WW I and WW II, up to the 1980’s.

Historical picture and photograph collection -from the Technion’s first years to the 1970’s

Historical picture and photograph collection -from the Technion’s first years to the 1970’s

The Alexander Baerwald Collection (a partial bequest):

Alexander Baerwald, 1878-1930, a Jewish-German architect and artist, was among the pioneers of modern Israeli eclectic architecture. He designed the original Technion building, The Reali School and various public buildings in Hadar, Haifa. He was among those who established the Technion Faculty of Architecture and was the head of the Faculty from 1925-1929. The collection includes plans for Technion buildings in Hadar, Haifa, The Reali School, houses in Haifa, synagogues and schools throughout the country, a power station, public buildings in the country, pictures of Baerwald and some of the projects he undertook while still in Germany.

An oil painting on canvas painted by the artist Leonid Pasternak in 1925.

This painting is one of a series of portraits painted by the Jewish-Russian artist Leonid Pasternak (1862-1945) in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The subjects include famous, Jewish scientists and humanists.

Leonid Pasternak presented the painting to Baerwald. Baerwald died in 1930 and in 1942 part of his estate was bequeathed to the Technion.

The painting hangs in the Technion Central Library (on the Technion campus), in the Nessyahu Archive, in optimal climate conditions.

The Collection of Prof. Yohanan Ratner’s Military Plans:

Yohanan Ratner, 1891-1965, was an architect and a professor of architecture in the Technion. In the archive are his military plans from the 1930’s for the defense of the Jewish settlements in pre-state Israel.

Ratner was active in the Haganah and helped to set up the Palmach. He served in the British army during WW II. Just before Israel’s independence he became a member of the Haganah High Command.

The Gottlieb Schumacher Collection of Maps:

Gottlieb Schumacher, 1857-1925, was a civil engineer, an architect and an archeologist. He was an American of German descent. In the 1860’s he came to Israel and settled in the Templar community in Haifa. He made his mark as a significant map-maker and archeologist in the Land of Israel and neighboring countries.

The Schumacher Collection includes maps of Haifa that Schumacher drew in 1896-1911, 58 maps of the Land of Israel (Palestina) and neighboring countries, maps of the Golan and the Hermon and maps drawn by Schumacher and others of Israeli archeological sites like Megiddo, Sebastia and Tabha.


BAERWALD, ALEX (1878–1930), one of the first Jewish architects in Ereẓ Israel. He was born in Berlin, and studied architecture at Charlottenburg. In 1910, he was invited by the Hilfsverein to plan the Technion buildings and the Reali school in Haifa. In these buildings, Baerwald tried to create a Jewish style of architecture, based on Muslim architecture.

Baerwald settled in Palestine in 1925, when he was appointed a lecturer at the Technion (which had been opened in 1924), and founded its Faculty of Architecture. He built many buildings in Haifa, Tel Aviv, and elsewhere in Palestine, in the same style that he developed in the Technion buildings (Bet Struck, the Anglo-Palestine Bank in Haifa). In spite of the quality of these buildings and their high architectural standard their influence on the development of architecture in Jewish Palestine was very limited. Baerwald himself designed a number of buildings in the contemporary modern European style. These include the Central Jezreel Valley Hospital and the Electricity Company's power stations at Haifa and Tiberias. He also planned two buildings in kibbutz Merḥavyah, combining rural European architecture with Middle Eastern motifs.

1925 Technion Founded in Haifa - History

1100 July 25, HAIFA (Eretz Israel)

Jewish residents joined with the Fatimids of Egypt in defending the city. Tancred, who unsuccessfully attacked Haifa, was reprimanded for his lack of success and told that he made "a mockery of the God of the Christians." Once the city fell, the remaining Jews were massacred by the crusading forces.

1109 TIBERIAS (Eretz Israel)

Fell to the Crusaders. As a rule, once the military conquest ended the Jewish inhabitants were left alone. The notable exceptions were Haifa and Jerusalem (see 1099).


This marked the greatest extent of Napoleon's conquest of Eretz Israel. The next day the French reached Acre. It was sucessfully defended by both British warships and local towns people, including the Jewish inhabitants. By June, Napoleon gave up and returned to Egypt.

1824 - 1904 KALONYMUS ZE'EV WISSOTZKY (Russia)

Merchant and philanthropist. Wissotzky was one of the earliest supporters of the Zionist movement. He established a successful tea house which still bears his name. Upon his death, he left his share of the business (one million Rubles) to charity, part of which went to found the Technion in Haifa.

Ten years after the first Zionist Congress there were approximately 80,000 Jewish inhabitants in Eretz Israel: 45,000 in Jerusalem, 8000 in Jaffa, 8000 in Safed, 2000 in Haifa, 2000 in Tiberias, and 1000 in Hebron. In addition, there were 14,000 people living in over 30 villages and underdeveloped land.


Was established. Later known as the Israel Land Development Authority (ILDC), the authority was in charge of purchasing and cultivating land for the Jewish National Fund and for private individuals. Its first Chairman was Otto Warburg and its first director Arthur Ruppin. The company was instrumental in establishing settlements such as Nahalal, Tel Yosef, Ein Harod, and the first kibbutz, Degania. Many of its purchases were in the Sharon Plain, and the Hula valley. They also played a major role in developing Tel Aviv and the Hadar Carmel section of Haifa.

1912 April 11, Technikum (Technion) (Haifa, Eretz Israel)

Was founded with the help of Paul Nathan of the Hilfsverein der Deutschen Juden ("Relief Organization of German Jews") and Jacob Schiff. The Technikum Institute of Technology, later to be known as the Technion,was struck the following year (see 1913), by both teachers and students when they tried to institute German as the school's language instead of Hebrew. Due to both the strike and the approaching war the school did not actually begin classes until 1924.


The "Battle of the Languages" was fought as the opening of the Technion, also then known as the Technikum, approached. Although the majority of the governing board voted for German, mass protests were held with major figures, including Ben Yehuda, threatening a boycott if Hebrew wasn't used as the language of instruction. This battle also gave impetus for the establishment of Hebrew as the official language of Eretz Israel in all spheres.

1915 April, ERETZ ISRAEL - NILI (Hebrew initials for Netzah Israel Lo Yeshaker )

Was organized by Avshalom Feinberg and Aaron Aaronsohn to spy against the Turks for the British. Based in Zichron Yaakov and locally run by Aaronsohn's sister Sarah, they passed messages regarding Turkish troop maneuvers around the Haifa area. In 1917 the Turks broke the spy ring. Sarah was arrested October 1, and after being tortured for three days, managed to commit suicide. Most of the other members were captured and killed.


France and Britain (with the agreement of Russia) divided up the Ottoman Empire. France was assured of Lebanon, Syria and Northern Iraq, and Britain was given control of Northern Arabia, Central Mesopotamia (Iraq), and much of the Western Persian Gulf. Russia also received some Armenian and Kurdish territory. Eretz Israel was divided, with France controlling the Galilee, Britain the Haifa area, and the rest of the country under international control.

1920 January 4, METULLA (Eretz Israel)

Bedouin attacks on the north forced the French at a fort near Metulla to retreat. The 120 members of the settlement were forced to flee to Sidon, where they boarded a ship to Haifa.

1925 February 10, THE TECHNION (The Israel Institute of Technology) (Eretz Israel)

Was opened in Haifa, making it the first institute of higher education to be opened in Eretz Israel. Its first head was Shlomo Kaplansky whose goal was to train engineers to the highest of European standards. By 1952 the Technion was offering Masters and Doctorates. Today the Technion remains Israel's main training center for its high tech industries.

Of the 750 Arab employees at the ports, only 50 were native Arabs the remainder included 200 Egyptians and 500 Hauranis from Syria.


An expert on soil conservation, arrived in the Middle East to examine the causes of Desert encroaching. He concluded that Eretz Israel could absorb four million Jewish refugees if it used modern methods for conservation and recommended the establishment of a Jordan Valley Authority. His report was instrumental in the Truman's administration decision to include the Negev region within the boundaries of Israel. In 1954, Lowdermilk established a school of agricultural engineering at the Haifa Technion, where he served as a visiting professor of soil conservation until 1957.

1940 November 25, SINKING OF THE PATRIA (Haifa, Eretz Israel)

In Haifa harbor. The French refugee ship, the Patria carried 1,771 "illegal" immigrants. The British decided to add other "illegals" and deport them all to Mauritius, a British colony east of Madagascar. To prevent this move, members of the Haganah decided to disable the ship. Unfortunately, the explosive charge was too large or the hull was too weak, and the ship sunk, drowning 257 people. The survivors were allowed to remain in Eretz Israel and were interned for a while at the Athlit detention camp near Haifa.


A month later, the Italian air forces began bombing Haifa and Tel Aviv. Almost 200 people were killed with hundreds wounded.


Twelve people were killed in a Tel Aviv old age home.

Began its revolt against British rule. The two limitations it set for itself was not to attack military targets until the end of the war and not to attack individuals. On February 12, they attacked the British immigration offices in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa.

1945 November 1, NIGHT OF THE RAILWAYS (Eretz Israel)

In the first cooperative effort between the rnHaganah, rn Etzel, and Lehi, railroad tracks all over the country were blown up. This unification was known as Tnuat HaMeri Ha'ivri (The Hebrew (Jewish) Resistance Movement. The Haganah sabotaged railway tracks in 153 places throughout the country, as well as targets in Jaffa and Haifa ports. The Irgun-Lehi unit, commanded by Eitan Livni, attacked the main railway station at Lydda (Lod). The movement included two representatives of the Haganah (Yisrael Galili and Moshe Sneh), an Irgun delegate (Menahem Begin) and a rn Lehi delegate (Nathan Yellin-Mor). All operations were authorized by the Haganah command, which had the right of veto based on strategic, or political considerations.

1947 March 31, HAIFA OIL REFINERY (Eretz Israel)

Was severely damaged by Lehi fighters.

1947 July 18, EXODUS 1947 (Eretz Israel)

Was towed to Haifa. The refugees were forced off the boat into three other boats. The Exodus (originally the President Warfield) carried 4,515 survivors and was stopped at sea by the British Navy. During the struggle, three Jews were killed and 28 injured. The passengers were forcibly removed and sent first to France. The Exodus was destined to become the symbol for all Jews prevented from being able to leave the slaughterhouse of Europe and immigrate to Israel.

1947 December 29, HAIFA (Eretz Israel)

Arabs attacked Jewish workers at the oil refinery in Haifa, 39 were killed. Two days later, the Haganah attacked the village of Balad a Sheich in a retaliatory raid.

1948 April 23, HAIFA CAPTURED (Eretz Israel)

By the Haganah. Although loudspeakers called on the Arabs to stay, they fled in mass, urged to do so by leaders of the Arab High Command. Many of these leaders believed that the upcoming war would be helped by masses of Arab refugees whose presence would encourage them to join in the attack. The refugees were promised that they would only be away for a short time and would be able to return when the attacking armies "drive the Jews into the sea". They were also promised compensation for their property.

1948 April 28, IRGUN ATTACKED HAIFA (Eretz Israel)

After its initial success at capturing the Menasiya quarter, the British prevented the Irgun from continuing. At the same time the Haganah began Operation Chometz (unleavened bread) to take the areas around the city.

Technion international

The Technion International (TI) is a department in the Technion, offering courses taught entirely in English. The TI began its first year in 2009, and now offers a full BSc in Civil Engineering, BSc in Chemical Engineering as well as various study abroad options, all taught in English. Student come from all over the globe – Asia, Africa, North and South America, Europe and Israel. They live on campus and enjoy trips around Israel and activities throughout the year.

The Technion

The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology is an institute of higher education in Haifa. Founded in 1924, the Technion began with an emphasis on the natural sciences, engineering, and architecture, but has since also became one of the top medical schools in the world.

The Technion was conceived in the early 1900s by the German-Jewish fund Ezrah, as a school of engineering and sciences, and the only higher learning institution, in then Ottoman Palestine – other than the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem (founded 1907). The cornerstone was laid in 1912, but studies began only 12 years later, following an intense debate over the language of instruction. Ezrah deemed the then-developing Modern Hebrew inappropriate for scientific instruction, and demanded that German be used instead. However, in the result of World War I and the decline of Germany’s influence as a European superpower, Hebrew was adopted.

The historical Technicum building

The Technion was opened in 1924, but the official opening ceremony took place in February 6th, 1925. The first class had 16 students, majoring in civil engineering and architecture, and 6 senior staff. During the 1930s, the Technion absorbed many Jewish scientists fleeing Nazi Germany and its neighboring countries. At the time the Technion was the only institution in the country offering engineering degrees until the opening of the school of engineering in the Ben-Gurion University in the early 1970s. The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, the largest Faculty at the Technion, has been ranked among the top fifteen electrical engineering departments in the world, while its engineering/technology and computer sciences faculties have been ranked among the top forty worldwide.

The Faculty of Industrial Engineering & Management at the Technion is the oldest such department in Israel. IE&M (Industrial Engineering & Management) was launched as a Technion academic Department in 1958. The Department grew under the visionary leadership of the late Professor Pinchas Naor, who served as its founding Dean. Naor’s vision was to combine IE with management by creating a large, inherently multi-disciplinary unit covering a wide spectrum of activities, from applied engineering to mathematical modeling from economics and behavioral sciences to operations research and statistics.

The Bruce and Ruth Rappaport Faculty of Medicine is one of three state sponsored medical schools in Israel. It was founded in 1969 and is active in basic science research and preclinical medical training in anatomy, biochemistry, biophysics, immunology, microbiology, physiology, pharmacology. Other facilities on the Faculty of Medicine campus include teaching laboratories, an exhaustive medical library, lecture halls and seminar rooms. Academic programs are offered at the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine leading to the Master of Science (M.S.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), and Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degrees.

Albert Einstein visiting the Technion in 1934

They have developed collaborative research and medical education programs with the world’s leading institutions in medicine and bio-medical engineering including Johns Hopkins University and Mayo Medical School. Similarly, the Technion American Medical Students (TEAMS) program at the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine offers an American-styled, four-year, graduate medical training program geared towared American & Canadian students that wish to take advantage of the academic resources of the Technion, but plan to return to North America to practice medicine. The instruction and testing of TEAMS program is entirely in English.

Exceptional Academic Achievements

  • Professors Avram Hershko and Aaron Ciechanover of the Faculty of Medicine received the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their discovery of the crucial role of ubiquitin in the process of protein breakdown in cells.
  • Professors Uri Sivan, Erez Braun and Yoav Eichen have used DNA strands to assemble a conductive wire 1,000 times thinner than a human hair.
  • Professor Dan Shechtman of the Materials Engineering Faculty received world class acclaim for his discovery of Quasiperiodic Crystals – a new class of materials.
  • The Technion is one of a handful of universities worldwide with a student program to design, build, and launch their own satellites. The Gurwin TechSat II microsatellite has successfully been in orbit since July 1998.
  • The Lempel/Ziv Algorithm, developed by Professor Abraham Lempel from Computer Science and Professor Jacob Ziv from Electrical Engineering, has become an international standard for data compression, and an IEEE Milestone.
  • Professor Karl Skorecki discovered genetic proof that all Jews belonging to the Cohen lineage are descendants of the biblical high priest Aaron Hacohen.
  • Professor Emeritus Dan Zaslavsky developed an alternative low-cost method for electricity production and water desalination based on cooling hot desert air in a 1,000-meter high, 500-meter diameter tower.
  • Professors Moussa Youdim and John Finberg from the Faculty of Medicine, together with Teva Pharmaceuticals, have developed rasagaline, a new anti-Parkinson’s disease drug.
  • Professors Gedaliah Shelef and Yoram Zimmels from the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering are developing coal ash-based artificial islands under joint Dutch and Israeli funding.
  • A team headed by Dr. Assaf Schuster developed ‘Millipede’, a software program using clusters of personal computers connected via a network to perform complex calculations.

Some more facts…

The Technion Emblem

Technion graduates comprise the majority of Israeli-educated scientists and engineers, constituting over 70% of the country’s founders and managers of high-tech industries. Due to the ingenuity of Technion alumni, Israel is now home to the greatest concentration of high-tech start up companies anywhere outside of the Silicon Valley.

High-tech industry now accounts for more than 54% of Israel’s industrial exports, and over 26% of the country’s exports. 135 out of every 10,000 workers in Israel are scientists and engineers, compared to the USA, in second place with 85 out of every 10,000 workers. Nine out of every 1,000 workers are engaged in R&D, nearly double the rate of the USA and Japan. 74% of managers in Israel’s electronic industries hold Technion degrees.

  • In 1982, Dan Shechtman discovered a Quasicrystal structure. This is a structure with a Symmetry in the order of 5 – a phenomenon considered impossible until then by the then-current prevailing theories of Crystallography. In 2011 he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this discovery.
  • In 2004, two Technion professors, Avram Hershko and Aaron Ciechanover, won the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the biological system responsible for disassembling protein in the cell.
    , 37, was chosen by Scientific American magazine as one of the leading scientists in 2006 for the discovery of a method to transplant skin in a way the body does not reject.
  • In the 1970s, computer scientists Abraham Lempel and Jacob Ziv developed the Lempel-Ziv-Welch algorithm for compression. In 2007 and 1995 respectively, they won a IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal for pioneering work in data compression and especially for developing the algorithm.
  • Moussa Youdim developed Rasagiline, a drug used in early Parkinson's disease.
  • In 1998, Technion successfully launched the "Gurwin TechSat II" microsatellite, making Technion one of five universities with a student program that designs, builds, and launches its own satellite. The satellite stayed in orbit until 2010 [ 12 ]


    , cryptanalyst and cryptographer , theoretical physicist and philosopher of the mind , President and Aaron Ciechanover, recipients of the 2004 Nobel Prize in chemistry for the discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation , former President, former Chairman of Rafael member of the Israeli Turkel Commission of Inquiry into the Gaza flotilla raid and Jacob Ziv, developers of the Lempel-Ziv (LZW) compression algorithm , hero of the Virginia Tech massacre , biotechnology and food engineering , computer scientist , co-discoverer of quantum teleportation, awarded the 2004 Rothschild Prize in Physics , co-author with Albert Einstein and Boris Podolsky of physics paper about the EPR paradox in quantum mechanics , first woman engineer in Israel , first observer of quasicrystals and winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in chemistry , electrical information information theorist , computer scientist and mathematician , Professor for aeronautics from 1957 to 1962.


Technion graduates constitute over 70 percent of the founders and managers of high-tech businesses in Israel. Sixty-eight percent of Israeli NASDAQ companies were founded and/or are led by Technion graduates, and 74 percent of managers in Israel's electronic industries hold Technion degrees. [ 13 ]

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Watch the video: The Department of Materials Engineering at the Technion, Haifa, Israel (January 2022).