History of the institute
The Institute (originally called “Institute of Theoretical Foundations of Chemical Technology – ÚTZCHT”) was formally established in the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences in 1960 by two existing teams, which already had a longer tradition at the time. The first one was the Department of Chemical Technology at the Institute of Chemistry headed by Professor Vladimír Bažant and the other was the Department of Chemical Engineering headed by Professor George Standart. Professor Bažant worked in the field of organosilicon compounds and heterogeneous catalysis, while Prof. Standart continued his research of distillation and extraction processes. In 1964, a group from the Institute of Physical Chemistry dealing with thermodynamics and phase equilibria headed by Prof. Hála joined the new institute. The founder and the first director of the institute was Prof. Bažant until his passing in 1973. Another personality who achieved great recognition and co-created the “image” of the institute was Prof. Eduard Hála.
In 1964, the institute moved to a new campus in the northwestern suburbs of Prague (on the border of Suchdol and Lysolaje area). The new, more spacious buildings allowed for the hiring of new employees, bringing the number of employees to 330 at the end of the 1960s. In addition, other fields of chemical engineering and chemical technology have been newly introduced, such as reactor engineering, homogeneous catalysis, the study of non-Newtonian fluids, sublimation, separation processes, dynamics and control of chemical systems, and others. Most of these new sub-areas have been introduced as needed support for a large multi-year project of development of a complete technology for the production of terephthalic acid and other polyesters.
Since 1989, several reorganizations have taken place, which have led to a gradual reduction in the number of employees by approximately 50%. Heterogeneous and fragmented multidisciplinary research has been rationally integrated, which is reflected in the current structure of the institute. The name was also changed to the more apt “Institute of Chemical Processes”; the traditional English name – “Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals” has been retained.
Since 2007, the status of the institute has been changed in accordance with Act No. 341/2005 Sb. to a “public research institution (v.v.i.)” with appropriate adjustments of the governing and scientific bodies.