Dr. László Dunai, dean of the Faculty of Civil Engineering, became a civil engineer because of an accidentally found document in the library. And he had many twist during his career:
„There was no civil engineer preview in my family. I was a secondary student in Gyula, with specializations in mathematics and physics, I was learning statics at that time, and in the library I found a brochure about the Faculty of Civil Engineering. I was sure about it before that I would like to be an engineer, and would study at the Technical University of Budapest (but my maths teacher wanted me to go studying maths and physics teaching in Szeged).
I preferred architecture that time, but I did not know the real difference between architecture and civil engineering. But fortunately I had an hour off in the library, when I found that brochure about the Faculty of Civil Engineering, and got some information on what structures a structural engineer designs. Then I realized that this is my way: I prefer application of physics in construction of structures, not architectural design. Later I hesitated again, because I liked thermodynamics, and I had a mechanical engineer role model in my family. But finally, when it came to filling the university application form, I have chosen those structures seen in the brochure.
My good relationship with education started during my university years, when I had more roommates and teammates from abroad, and we became good friends; they had to work harder on learning, because of language issues, and I was happy to help them. I prepared for my exams during explaining them the curriculum, so I also profited from this situation. When I developed the themes for the exams, I tried to help others with my detailed descriptions, and later many other students used my notes. Teaching interested me even better, but my dream was being a structural engineer. A design company waited for me to start my structural engineer career there after university. But when I did my thesis, the new academic scholarship system of MTA (Hungarian Academy of Sciences) was introduced. My mentor, professor Ottó Halász recommended me to apply for it, I did so and won a three year long postgraduate scholarship. I did not prepare for that, but I have started scientific research with pleasure, besides teaching at the university. I went back to the contact person at the company that offered me a job to tell him that I got this great opportunity, and I could not come at that moment, but three years later… He said: „My dear friend, you won’t come back here.” – and he was right.
So I did not become a company person, I am very grateful that after some unexpected twist my career covers all the fields: research, education and also practical engineering."
Those high school students, who are interested in being a civil engineer, can find more information about our Faculty here.