On the occasion of the 120th anniversary, BUT awarded two honorary doctorates
From Wednesday, June 19, 2019 the Mexican Sebastián Díaz de la Torre and American Arvid C. Johnson can newly use the titles doctor honoris causa. Both academics received these honorary degrees for their long-term cooperation with the Brno University of Technology. The University awards this honorary degree at annual celebrations, this year on occasion of the 120th anniversary of its existence.
Sebastián Díaz de la Torre completed chemical and metallurgical engineering studies in Mexico and then received a doctorate from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Japanese University in Kyoto. Since 2017, he has been the Director of the Research Center of the Institute of Innovation and Technology, Instituto Politécnico Nacional in Mexico. He has been cooperating with the CEITEC BUT research center for a long time, as well as with the Faculty of Civil Engineering and its AdMaS scientific center. “Research and development of advanced materials continues to be very important, as the production of these industrial materials is in great demand in a variety of international markets. I think the professional focus I have chosen makes the best trampoline to make a positive impact on the whole society,” Díaz de la Torre said during his speech.
One of his students was also Mariano Casas Luna, who subsequently transferred his doctoral studies to CEITEC BUT under the supervision of Ladislav Čelko, and successfully participated in the Brno Ph.D. Talent competition in 2015. Thanks to this Mexican expert several students from major Mexican universities or research institutes gained internships in Brno. Doctor Díaz has published more than 70 scientific articles, which were subsequently cited in more than six hundred international publications.
The second award winner was the American Arvid C. Johnson, Rector of the University of St. Francis, Joliet, Illinois. Doctor Johnson has been cooperating with the Faculty of Business and Management of BUT for a long time, where he was the founder of a joint MBA postgraduate study program, which was subsequently completed by a number of top managers, not only from the Czech Republic. Arvid C. Johnson has been teaching Strategic Business Management as a part of this Czech-American study program. He makes use of his experience gained both in the academic sphere and also in the corporate field, since he has worked in various managerial positions for more than 20 years, among others in Northrop Grumman Corporation, one of the world's largest manufacturers of marine vessels.
“Needless to say that this award is not about me, but it is a celebration of mutual partnership between BUT and the representatives from the USA, specifically from the Chicago metropolitan area. I myself had the pleasure to spend some time in Brno as a teacher,” said Mr. Arvid Johnson on occasion of his award. Besides physics and electrical engineering he also completed the study of management. He is an owner of a number of foreign and American patents, author of more than 20 articles in peer-reviewed journals, 20 textbook chapters and of more than 40 reviewed anthologies. In his speech, he also highlighted the importance of leadership as a service that is not oriented on power and influence of the leader, but on the people he or she leads.
In its 120 years of history, BUT has awarded a total of 67 honorary doctorates. The first doctor honoris causa was awarded by then Imperial Czech Technical University in Brno in 1909. At that time, the patron of the university, the Count Václav Kounic, became an honorary doctor. Other awarded include Nikola Tesla, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, Edvard Beneš, Tomáš Baťa, Armin Delong, Eva Jiřičná, Viktor Rudiš, Sir Frank Lampl and Josef Dadok. Honorary doctorate was also awarded to Jan Antonín Baťa, however, the body of professors revoked his degree in 1948 as a result of the charge with crimes against the state brought by the the People's Court. However, in 2007, the Baťa's family cleared his name and the original judgment was canceled. Therefore, BUT management is taking steps to abolish this historical verdict so that Jan Antonín Baťa could recover the title of dr. h. c.