Prof. Dr h.c. mult. József Karger-Kocsis, professor of the Department of Polymer Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, BME; honorary doctor of BME; the most cited researcher of BME passed away on 13 December 2018.
József Karger-Kocsis was born in 1950 and attended the Benedictine High School of Pannonhalma (Pannonhalmi Bencés Gimnázium), from where he went straight to the Technical University of Budapest, where he graduated as a chemical engineer in 1974. He obtained all levels of doctorate in Hungary between 1977 and 1991. His first job was at the Plastic Industry Research Institute. After this, he became the chief engineer of the TAURUS Rubber Factory. From 1988 to 2009, he worked in Germany, first at the Hamburg University of Technology, then from 1990 at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern. During this period of 20 years, he considered it a very important mission to provide a possibility for Hungarian teachers, researchers and students to take part in foreign projects and teaching programs. From 2009, he worked at the Department of Polymer Engineering of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at BME, and in the MTA-BME Research Group for Composite Science and Technology.
His area of research included testing, improving the properties and the application of natural and artificial polymers and their composites; developing materials testing methods; investigating matrix/reinforcement interphase interactions, recycling plastic and rubber waste; Hybrid multifunctional materials, Shape-memory and intelligent polymers.
He achieved considerable success in the research of functional or intelligent polymers, investigating shape-memory and self-healing polymers. He developed and patented new kinds of shape-memory polyurethanes. He found that the shape-memory and self-healing functions can be combined if the linear and cross-linked hybrid resins are co-continuous phase, since the thermoplastic (linear) phase is capable of self-healing. He also achieved significant success in making polymers “greener”. In many of his papers, he investigated the curing of functionalized vegetable oils, and the thermal and mechanical properties of the resulting polymer. He pointed out that one obstacle in recycling polymer composites is the difference of the fibre and the matrix, which can be overcome with self-reinforced composites, as these can be recycled with conventional technologies. His team was the first to use fibre Bragg grating optical fibres to measure the curing and the shrinkage of resins used in composites. He successfully improved the toughness of thermoset vinyl ester based resins. He did pioneering work in investigating the morphology of interpenetrating network thermoset resins.
His work in basic and applied research and innovation was also outstanding, and he was able to unite these areas, which is proved by his 35 patents, his Gábor Dénes prize awarded in 2014 and the Innovation prize he received in 2016.
The publication of 4 technical books, 50 book chapters, and nearly 500 journal articles and countless invitations as guest lecturer hallmark his career. The quality of his professional work is proved by the more than 20000 citations of his articles, with which he was one of the most cited researchers of Hungary; his h-index is 72. He was an honorary doctor of several universities, the leader of many international research projects, an international expert, and a member of the editorial team of high-quality journals, who held lectures in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Russian as well. He was an influential and esteemed researcher of his field with many followers in Hungary and abroad. 23 PhD students of his got their PhD degree and among his students are distinguished professionals, such as company leaders, rectors, deans and academicians.
His professional heritage is considerable all over the world; we will preserve and continue it.
Dr Tibor Czigány dean
Dr Tamás Bárány department head
© 2014 BME Department of Polymer Engineering - Created by: Dr. Romhány Gábor