Technion - Israel Institute of Technology

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Technion - Israel Institute of Technology

The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology (Hebrew: הטכניון – מכון טכנולוגי לישראל‎) is an institute of technology in Haifa, Israel. Originally called the Technikum, it was founded in 1912. The emphasis was on natural sciences, engineering and architecture, with a school of medicine added later. The Technion is home to Israel's first Nobel laureates in science,Avram Hershko and Aaron Ciechanover who won the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering the ubiquitin system — the mechanism responsible for disassembling protein in the cell.

In 2011, the prestigious Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked the Technion 102–150th in the world and 42nd in engineering/technology and computer sciences and 51st–75th in natural sciences and mathematics and 15th in the world in computer science.


The Technion was conceived in the early 1900s by the German-Jewish fund Ezrah, as a school of engineering and sciences. It was to be the only institution of higher learning in then-Ottoman Palestine — other than the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem (founded 1907). The cornerstone was laid in 1912, and studies began 12 years later. The Technion witnessed Israel's "battle of the languages": an intense debate over the language of instruction. Ezrah deemed Modern Hebrew inappropriate for scientific instruction, and demanded that German be used instead. However, with the majority of Technion staff insisting on Hebrew, the Hebrew language was adopted for the first time as a language for advanced scientific learning.

The Technion enrolled its first students in 1924, and the official opening ceremony took place in 1925. The first class had 16 students,including one woman, majoring in civil engineering and architecture. As Jews from across Europe were barred from technical education, Technion was the first university for young Jewish people to get the skills needed to build the fledgling State of Israel. In the 1930s, the Technion absorbed many Jewish scientists fleeing Nazi Germany and neighboring countries. In 1953, it awarded its first PhD in electrical engineering. Until the establishment of a school of engineering at Ben Gurion University in the early 1970s, the Technion was the only institution in the country offering engineering degrees.

Centers of Excellence
Technion International School of Engineering

The Technion International School of Engineering (ISE) is an undergraduate program at the Technion, taught entirely in English. The ISE began its first year in 2009, and now offers a full BSc. program in Civil Engineering as well as various study abroad options, all taught in English. The students arrive from all over the globe – Asia, Africa, North and South America, Europe and Israel. The students live on campus and enjoy trips around Israel and activities throughout the year.

The Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute (RBNI)

The Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute (RBNI) was established in January 2005 as a joint endeavour of the Russell Berrie Foundation, the government of Israel and the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. It is one of the largest academic programs in Israel and is among the largest nanotechnology centers in Europe and the US. RBNI has over 110 faculty members and approximately 300 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows under its auspices at Technion. Its multidisciplinary activities span 14 different faculties.

The Grand Technion Energy Program (GTEP)

GTEP Nancy and Stephen Grand Technion Energy Program is a multidisciplinary center of excellence bringing together Technion's top researchers in energy science and technology from over nine different faculties. Founded in 2010, GTEP's 4-point strategy targets research and development of alternative fuels; renewable energy sources; energy storage and conversion; and energy conservation. GTEP is presently the only center in Israel offering graduate studies in energy science and technology.

Rappaport Faculty of Medicine

The Bruce and Ruth Rappaport Faculty of Medicine is one of four 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, and pharmacology. Other facilities on the Faculty of Medicine campus include teaching laboratories, a 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. The medical campus is located in the neighborhood of Bat Galim, adjacent to Rambam Hospital, the largest medical center in Northern Israel.

They have developed collaborative research and medical education programs with various institutions in medicine and bio-medical engineering including Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Toronto and Mayo Medical School.

The Bruce and Ruth Rappaport Faculty of Medicine offers medical training leading to the M.D. degree to qualified American and Canadian graduates of pre-med programs under the Technion American Medical Students Program (TeAM).

Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management

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 leadership of Pinchas Naor, who served as its founding Dean. Naor's vision was to combine Industrial engineering with Management by creating a large, inherently multidisciplinary unit covering a wide spectrum of activities, from applied engineering to mathematical modeling; from economics and behavioral sciences to operations research and statistics.

Notable achievements
  • 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 currently prevailing theories of Crystallography.
  • 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.
  • Shulamit Labenberg, 37, was chosen by the 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, 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.
  • More than 70% of the founders and managers in the Israeli high tech industry are Technion graduates.
  • A group of Technion graduates created PHP (versions 3 through 5), a web programming language installed on more than 80% of the web servers worldwide.
  • 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
Youth programs

The Technion offers many after-school and summer enrichment courses for young people on subjects ranging from introductory electronics and computer programming to aerospace, architecture, biology, chemistry and physics. Two examples include Scitech and the Math Summer Camp, devoted to number theory.

Social media presence

As part of its global outreach initiative, Technion has active channels in the social media under the heading TechnionLIVE. These include an active presence on Facebook and Twitter.

Notable faculty
  • Eli Biham, cryptanalyst and cryptographer
  • David Bohm, theoretical physicist and philosopher of the mind
  • Yaakov Dori, President
  • Avram Hershko and Aaron Ciechanover, recipients of the 2004 Nobel Prize in chemistry for the discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation
  • Amos Horev, former President, former Chairman of Rafael; member of the Israeli Turkel Commission of Inquiry into the Gaza flotilla raid
  • Abraham Lempel and Jacob Ziv, developers of the Lempel-Ziv (LZW) compression algorithm
  • Liviu Librescu, hero of the Virginia Tech massacre
  • Marcelle Machluf, biotechnology and food engineering
  • Asher Peres, co-discoverer of quantum teleportation, awarded the 2004 Rothschild Prize in Physics
  • Nathan Rosen, co-author with Albert Einstein and Boris Podolsky of physics paper about the EPR paradox in quantum mechanics
  • Rachel Shalon, first woman engineer in Israel
  • Dan Shechtman, first observer of quasicrystals
Notable graduates
  • Shai Agassi — IT entrepreneur, former Executive Board member of SAP AG and founder of Better Place
  • Saul Amarel — pioneer in Artificial intelligence.
  • Itzhak Bentov — inventor and author
  • Andrei Broder — captcha developer, Vice President of Yahoo, formerly vice president of AltaVista
  • Yaron Brook — president and executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute
  • Yossi Gross — Medical devices innovator and entrepreneur; founding partner of Rainbow Medical
  • Andi Gutmans — developer of PHP and co-founder of Zend Technologies
  • Uzi Landau — politician
  • Daniel M. Lewin — co-founder and CTO of Akamai, holder of two Technion degrees, killed while resisting AA Flight 11 hijackers 9-11 Commission Report
  • Udi Manber — search engine developer and vice president of Google, formerly vice president of
  • Dov Moran — founder of M-Systems and InFone
  • Yuval Neeman — physicist - discoverer of the quark model, brigadier-general of the IDF
  • Amnon Niv - architect
  • Abe Peled — Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NDS Group plc, provider of technology solutions for the pay TV industry
  • Avraham Shochat — politician
  • Zeev Suraski — developer of PHP and co-founder of Zend Technologies
  • Hanna Swaid - former mayor of Eilaboun, Knesset member
  • Yossi Vardi — civil servant, entrepreneur
  • Joseph Wang — electrochemist, world's most cited engineer and chemist, Professor at UC San Diego
  • Avraham Yaski — architect, winner of 1982 Israel Prize for Architecture
  • Zvi Zilker — former mayor of Ashdod
  • Zohar Zisapel — founder of the Rad Group