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BIOGRAPHY of Prof. Alexandru ROGOJAN, Eng.D.

Born on the 13th of May 1914 in Razbuneni commune, Cluj County, he was the son of Emilia Pop and Priest Alexandru Rogojan. He became an orphan when he was only three months old as his mother passed away due to septicaemia. After several years, his elder sister, Vilica, perished too, torn apart by the tremendous grief of having lost her mother.
Priest Alexandru Rogojan remarried. As the father-son relationship gradually deteriorated, the future professor cut ties with his new family from an early age.
He pursued his own path, studying exact sciences with passion and devotion.

From 1919 to 1923, he has attended elementary school in his native village. The high school he chose later on and which he has attended from 1923 to 1930 was "Andrei Muresanu" from Dej, a well-known school in Ardeal at that time, which is still being proud of having had him as a student, among other outstanding personalities.

He attended his first academic year at the University of Cluj. However, from 1931 to 1939, with certain interruptions due to military service, he attended the Faculty of Electrical Engineering within the Polytechnic School of Timisoara where, in 1941, he passed with highest grade the bachelor’s degree examination. Even before graduation, he worked as assistant at the Electrical Measurement Laboratory within the Polytechnic School of Timisoara.

Since high school, Alexandru Rogojan focused his attention to radiophony. Using the schemes available in different technical magazines of that time, he built several crystal sets. The knowledge acquired during the college years allowed him to have a better understanding of the wireless telephony phenomena and thus, his degree diploma approached the design and construction of a measuring transmitter.

He married in December 1941.

After the award of the Engineer degree, he worked at the Dura Factory of Timisoara, AEG Bucharest and until 1942, when he was conscripted and sent to the battlefront, he worked again as a graduate assistant at the Electrical Measurement Laboratory within the Polytechnic School of Timisoara.

After the war ended, he came back to his country and applied for a position at the Standard Telephone Factory of Bucharest. From December 1943 until 1951, he worked in Arad, at the Telecommunication Section of the CFR (Romanian Railroad Network). He organized the first telecommunication laboratory under the CFR Management in Timisoara, where he distinguished himself by several outstanding inventions such as: "Electrical welding of telecommunication wires" and "Installation of telephonic teleconference" - the first of the kind in Romania. Both inventions were awarded in 1949.

Besides these innovations, he designed and installed carrier-current systems in several cities from the country, he set up three schools of technical development for the engineers and technicians of the CFR Telecommunication Department, he worked as a faculty and wrote two textbooks for these schools (link on photo: Lecture on carrier currents, 1946). One of his students was Edmond Nicolau who, several years later, was to become the coordinator of Alexandru Rogojan’s Ph.D thesis at the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest.

In 1948 he was appointed, in addition to his position at CFR, as tutoring professor of "Weak currents technique", at the School of Electrical Engineering within the Polytechnic Institute of Timisoara. At Acad. Remus Radulet’s advise, Prof. Alexandru Rogojan wrote, during one single year, a lithographed course and organized a laboratory dedicated to the subject he taught.

His daughter is born in 1948.

In 1952, Prof. Alexandru Rogojan was appointed as the head of the Electrical Measurement Department. During 1948-1960, he taught several subjects such as "Technique of weak currents", "Electrical Measurements", "Industrial Electronics, Automation and Remote Control", at the Electromechanics Department of the School of Electrical Engineering.

During his first years of activity at the Polytechnic Institute, Prof. Alexandru Rogojan approached research numerous themes among which we may mention those related to "High Power Mercury Rectifier" and "Tension stabilization with magnetic amplifiers".

In 1960, Prof. Alexandru Rogojan put aside his previous preoccupations and, with an amazing passion and energy, he dedicated to a new field: electronic computers.

He set up a small working group and he approached – in the technology of electronic tubes – the research, design and practical construction of circuits which are in fact the very basis of numeric computers: bistable, monostable, astable circuits, registers, counter circuits, adders and others.

As ferrite memories were already eliminating the magnetic cylinder memories, he developed within the Department an exhaustive research to produce ferrite cores. By modifying several standard sewing machines, he obtained machines capable to form ferrite cores by pressing the ferrite powder. Using these equipments as well as the ovens for core agglomeration required to obtain a minimum mechanical rigidity, he managed to equip the Department workshops. As a chief achievement of Prof. Alexandru Rogojan, we can also mention the installation to test ferrite cores behavior after being submitted to impulse trains in a certain succession and to the responses thereof in a reading spire. The installation, contribution of several exceptional technicians, is a part of the micro-museum of the Computer Department within the Polytechnic University of Timisoara.

Prof. Alexandru Rogojan built the first ferrite memory in the country. Subsequently, his has been expanded as a response from other research groups which required ferrite memories.

In 1963, he delivered his first lecture on "Automated Computers and Programming" at the School of Electrical Engineering.

In 1965, as a consequence of the national acknowledgement of his outstanding achievements, the Ministry of Education approved that one of the groups of the Section of Electromechanics within the School of Electrical Engineer lead to the "Electronic Computers" specialization. Moreover, the Ministry of Education agreed to add four new courses to this group, starting with the 4th year of study, reducing consequently the number of hours assigned for the other courses.

One year later, after the repeated requests of Prof. Alexandru Rogojan, the Ministry of Education approved the official setting up of the "Electronic Computers" specialisation at the Polytechnic University. This specialisation had a distinct curriculum starting with the 1st academic year. Consequently, the faculty had the possibility to introduce brand new subjects which completed and complemented the rigorous training of students in this field. At that time, the "Electronic Computers" Section was the only one in the country and one of the few sections available worldwide.

In 1965, Prof. Alexandru Rogojan became the first head of the recently established Department of Electronics and Computers. In 1967, the Department Electronics and Computers became the Department of Computers, Electronics and Automation, and in 1975, due to a spin-off procedure, the department was known as the Department of Computers. As a matter of fact, Prof. Alexandru Rogojan has acted as the head of this department (irrespective of the forms of organization of the Department of Computers) for 34 years, until 1983, when he retired.

Prof. Alexandru Rogojan’s permanent preoccupation to create to his students a deeper sense of engineering was materialized by the appropriate equipment of the laboratories with the necessary devices and instruments. He also dedicated his efforts to build the second generation transistorized computer, CETA (Automated Transistorized Electronic Computer), designed based on a method developed by the Professor himself and called by his students as the "clear and thorough method". The CETA, provided with an architecture similar to the PDP minicomputer was completed in 1972, giving thus the students the possibility to closely follow-up development process of the programmes.

Besides his interest in the scientific research (interest which was materialized in over 70 works, inventions and innovations), Prof. Alexandru Rogojan has always been concerned to equip the Department with new and complex courses, lab tutorials and collections of problems designed to help the students to consolidate their knowledge. To facilitate and materialize the process of understanding the computers, Prof. Alexandru Rogojan wrote, in 1970, the laboratory tutorial referred to as "Technique of impulses and commutation circuits", and, in 1973, the lithographed course, in three volumes, titled "Digital computers".

The fact that during those years, almost no updated technical documentations were available in Romania and the few papers and studies at hand, brought from the Soviet Union, were in fact Russian translations of the latest books published in the USA, Great Britain, France and Germany, determined Prof. Alexandru Rogojan to study Russian in a very short time so that he could have access to the information contained in those books.

In 1966, Prof. Alexandru Rogojan was granted the right to coordinate PhD. theses. Under his competent and exigent guidance, numerous engineers from both the educational system and the production field managed to earn their PhDs.

In 1974, Prof. Alexandru Rogojan defended his own PhD. thesis - "Method for the logical scheme synthesis of a digital computer" - where he formulated a clear and systematic method to describe and design the logical scheme of a digital computer. The method was illustrated by means of a complete example of designing a real and not virtual parallel computer.

In 1979, under the coordination of Prof. Alexandru Rogojan, the construction of the CETA -16 Computer was completed at the Department of Computers. The CETA -16 Computer was conceived to operate as the process computer. Designed to complement the structure of a battery tester, it was built based on a contract entered into between the Department of Computers within the Polytechnic University of Timisoara and the "Electrobanat" Factory. It operated at ELBA until 1992. "The Electric Battery Tester", an exceptional achievement for that time, was based on the module technology used in C-256 Felix Computer.

Preoccupied by Romanian language, he tried to apply it to the language of information technology, which, along decades, became know worldwide in English. The charm of his "Digital computers" lecture stood also in the translations of several consecrated terms, for the purpose of facilitating the learning process. We offer only two examples in this direction: bus = information code rails, fetch = cycle to bring operation code.

With a high regard to ’the good engineering sense’, he correctly inferred the exact students would have a remarkable professional development.

He died, due to a gastric haemorrhage, in 1984.

After his death, the acknowledgment of his achievements was materialized by the public authorities as follows:

  • A street in Timisoara has been named after him (
  • The software competition at the Polytechnic University of Timisoara is taking place under the name of Prof. Alexandru Rogojan (
  • The professor’s name given to the new Amphitheatre of the Faculty of Automation and Computers of the Polytechnic University of Timisoara, where the bust of the professor was erected by sculptor Andrei Gal, – November 2008.

All achievements signed by Prof. Alexandru Rogojan are characterized by vision, enthusiasm and principles. It is the opinion of the author of these lines now, 100 years after his birth, that if he had looked back to what he had left behind, besides the sadness of ascertaining the early passing into eternity, Prof. Alexandru Rogojan would have been rightfully pleased and proud with the life he lived.


  1. Prof. Alexandru Rogojan EngD, Autobiography (up to 1974)
  2. Prof. Vladimir Creţu EngD, "Comemorarea a 25 de ani de la trecerea în eternitate a Profesorului Alexandru Rogojan". Revista ASTR, Timişoara, 2009 (Anniversary of 25 years from the passing into nothingness of Professor Alexandru Rogojan), ASTR Magazine, Timisoara, 2009.
  3. Prof. Vasile Baltac EngD,
  4. Prof. Crişan Strugaru RngD, "Comemorarea a 25 de ani de la trecerea În eternitate a Profesorului Alexandru Rogojan, fondatorul primei Şcoli de Calculatoare din România", pliant (Anniversary of 25 years from the passing into eternity of Professor Alexandru Rogojan, founder of the first Computer School in Romani), prospectus.
  5. Prof. Crişan Strugaru EngD, "Monografia Catedrei de calculatoare", manuscris neterminat (Monography of Computer Teaching Staff), the manuscript was not finished.
  6. Prof. Vasile Pop EngD, "O importantă contribuţie la progresul învăţământului şi ştiinţei româneşti - profesorul Al. Rogojan la 70 de ani!", articol în ziarul "Drapelul Roşu", 10 august 1984 (An important contribution to the Romanian education and science – Professor Alexandru Rogojan reaching the age of 70), article in "Drapelul Roşu" newspaper, the 10th of August 1984.