Necrology - dr. Peter Inzelt, former director of the MTA SZTAKI deceased in his 75th year

On the 23rd of June, 2019, dr. Peter Inzelt, former director of the Institute for Computer Science and Control, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA SZTAKI), honorary Professor of the ELTE University deceased in his 75th year.

Peter was born in Budapest, on 8th of October, 1944. After finishing his grammar school he pursued his studies in 1962 at the Mendeleev Institute of Chemical Technology, Moscow, which he completed in 1968 with a degree in chemical cybernetics. In 1988 he obtained a post-graduate degree in economics of engineering at the Budapest Technical University, in 1992 an MBA degree at the Purdue University, Indiana, later in 1994 he became a certified accountant and finally, in 1995 a chartered auditor, too. He has acquired his candidate of technical sciences’ title in 1987.

After his graduation his first place of work became the then Research Institute for Automation, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA AKI), where he worked at the Department of Control of Continuous Processes. In 1973 MTA SZTAKI has been established by the merger of MTA AKI and the Computer Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Here, Peter Inzelt acted as head of scientific department from 1981 on, later, from 1987 as CFO of SZTAKI and in 1993 was appointed to director of SZTAKI after the previous director, László Keviczky was elected to Secretary General of MTA. He was leading the Institute successfully for 21 years, up to his age of 70. During his long directorate period the Institute managed to strengthen its professional reputation both at home and in the international scientific community.

Besides his activities in research and development and also as director of the Institute, Peter participated very actively in numerous scientific and social organisations as well. He was Chairman of the Asset Management Committee of MTA, Secretary of its Budget Committee and also member the Council of Directors of the Academic Research Institutions as well as of the Scientific Committee of Automation and Computing. He acted as member and, later, for 16 years as Chairman, of the Supervisory Board of the John von Neumann Computer Society. He worked also as member of the Presidium of the Hungarian Innovation Association and the Board of Trustees of the Novofer Foundation. From 1998 on, for some time he was the elected Chairman of the Budapest Tennis Association.   

For his achievements he was honoured several awards: 

  • 2003: Officer’s Cross of the Order of Honour of the Republic of Hungary
  • 2007: Széchenyi Prize
  • 2014: Pro Scientia Medal of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  • 2015: Middle Cross of the Hungarian Order of Honour, civil section
  • 2015: Neumann Prize of the John von Neumann Computer Science Society

His leadership habitude was always strongly characterised by managerial innovation, fairness in financial affairs, anti-corruption attitude and social sensitivity. He introduced a new motivation system, launched a voluntary pension fund for the SZTAKI employees and their family members, purchased for the Institute holiday apartments, thus ensuring the summer recreation of many families and supported sporting activities within and outside the Institute. He also provided financial assistance to families suffering from grieving health problems. And this list is far from being complete.

Last, I would like to cite his own words he said in the book published for the 50-year anniversary of SZTAKI:

“As for me, it was a pleasure for me to act here for 21 years, up to the limit of the legally possible age, as director and my endeavour was always to serve the Institute in the best way. I hope there are some colleagues of mine sharing this view. I wish much success to my successor, to the Institute, all its managers and employees.”

MTA SZTAKI considers Peter Inzelt his own dead, his memory will be kept in honour!

László Monostori
Director, MTA SZTAKI

dr. Inzelt Péter