Budapest, 8 December 2021 – After 34 years of successful presidency, Prof. Dr Péter Szendrő has stepped down from the National Scientific Student Council (OTDT) to hand over the leader-ship of the scientific student movement, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, to Prof. Dr Tamás Weiszburg, former vice-president. Dr Zoltán Birkner, President of the National Re-search, Development and Innovation Office, thanked Prof. Dr Péter Szendrő for his outstand-ing and dedicated work for the TDK and talent management in adult education.
Prof. Dr Péter Szendrő has been President of OTDT since 1987. As a result of his work, student academic activity in Hungarian-language higher education in Hungary and beyond the borders has grown spectacularly in the past three decades, with 18 National Conferences of Student Research Socie-ties (OTDK) organised during this period, at which a total of 56,563 papers were presented by young researchers. Under his leadership, OTDK was awarded the “Hungarian Heritage” title in 2018, while OTDT was awarded the “Bonis Bona - Outstanding Talent Management Organisation for the Nation’s Talents” title in 2021. The Pro Scientia Gold Medal, established in 1987 on his initia-tive, is a highly prestigious award for students that is also recognised abroad, and conferring the Master Teacher Gold Medal has become a tradition in recognising the activities of school masters establishing new schools of thought as subject leaders and science organisers.
Prof. Dr Péter Szendrő is a qualified agricultural mechanical engineer, who has also played a pivotal role in the management of leading institutions of higher education in Hungary, including being the founding rector of the University of Agriculture, Gödöllő from 1999, the founding rector of Szent István University from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2003, and being, from 2008 “rector emeritus”, then from 2021 “honorary rector emeritus” of the Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences. In addition to his scientific activities in the field of mechanical engineering, his achievements are known and acknowledged in the fields of the modernisation of engineering education, talent management (TDK), new types of scientist training (PhD), the establishment and quality improvement of the intro-duction of habilitation procedures, the improvement of equal opportunities in higher education, the organisation of education and research, modern teaching technology based on distance learning, and the support of Hungarian-language higher education beyond the borders of Hungary. His work is rec-ognised through numerous positively cited publications, patents, successful textbooks, notes and mul-timedia series.
Among his numerous awards, the most outstanding ones are the “Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary - Commander Cross with Star” awarded by the President of the Republic of Hungary, the Eötvös József-wreath awarded by the Presidium of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and accompa-nied with the title Laureatus Academiae, the “Bonis Bona - For the Nation'’ Talents” lifetime achievement award conferred by the Minister of Human Capacities in 2016, and the “Honoris Causa Pro Scientia Gold Medal” awarded by the OTDT in 2021.
Prof. Dr Péter Szendrő will be succeeded as President of OTDT by Prof. Dr Tamás Weiszburg from 24 November 2021. In addition to the newly elected Presidium, Prof. Dr Péter Szendrő, as honorary President of OTDT, will also assist him in performing his duties. Prof. Dr Tamás Weiszburg is a min-eralogist, Head of the Department of Mineralogy at Eötvös Loránd University, who has served as General Vice-President of the OTDT and has been committed to the building of the TDK and OTDK in Hungary and in the Carpathian Basin for 40 years.
About the OTDK
Organised online for the first time this year between 29 March and 19 May 2021, the 35th OTDK at-tracted twice as many participants as the previous one, a record number. Prior to the 35th OTDK, 1,858 institutional TDK conferences were organised, at which 12,736 papers were presented, of which a total of 4,726 papers were submitted to the OTDK (600 more than at the 34th OTDK held two years earli-er). Celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, OTDK is the most prestigious scientific event in the field of talent management in Hungary and beyond its borders, and an excellent opportunity for creative young people to introduce themselves. A priority objective of OTDK is to honour the research and creative work of talented students in higher education, to strengthen and support teacher-student pro-fessional relations, and to create national publicity for and recognise student academic activity. Young people delivering outstanding performance in scientific student associations and throughout their stu-dent career are credited for their efforts every two years by the National Scientific Student Council (OTDT). The most prestigious award for students is the Pro Scientia Gold Medal.