Cornerstone Centennial: Technion Israel Institute of Technology
This is the story of a single stone that helped shape a nation...
On April 11, 1912, 36 years before the State of Israel declared its independence, a ceremony was held on the barren slopes of Mount Carmel near the port of Haifa. None of the finely dressed participants could have imagined that the laying of the cornerstone for the “Technikum” would be a historic milestone in realizing the implausible vision of creating a world-class institute of scientific and technological education in this remote corner of the Ottoman Empire.
The story of the “Technikum” - the original German name of the Technion - is the tale of the last century. The second industrial revolution created the printing press and new communications infrastructure, which allowed Jews who were scattered across the globe to organize in face of rising anti-Semitism. As Jews were often barred from technical education at that time, the establishment of a technical school was a top priority along the road to building a Jewish homeland.
That educational institution came into being as the Technion, which has a unique place in history as the university that built and shaped the agriculture, industry, infrastructure, security, advanced technology and essentially the economy of an entire country. It would transform Israel's icons from the Jaffa orange to the microchip.
The cornerstone laid in 1912 set a century of progress and development in motion, responding to national and global needs. Technion would become a global pioneer in fields such as biotechnology, stem cell research, space, computer science, nanotechnology, energy and robotics.
Three Technion scientists, Professors Avram Hershko, Aaron Ciechanover and Dan Shechtman, have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. As it celebrates its cornerstone centennial in 2012, Technion is a thriving world center of scientifictechnological research and teaching, with more than 12,000 students and tens of thousands of alumni leading the hi-tech revolution that drives Israel's economy and so greatly benefits humanity.
Professor Peretz Lavie
Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
Description of the Stamp and First Day Cover
This stamp encompasses the past, present and future, not only of Technion, but of the State of Israel, which has become a world leader in science and technology.
The stamp features the original rendering of the building’s façade, designed by the Jewish-German architect Alexander Baerwald, a pioneer of modern Israeli architecture.
A 'nano-parachute', developed by Technion professors Daniel Weihs, Alexander Yarin and Eyal Zussman, stems from the building. The design of this prototype is based on floating dandelion seeds and it serves as a sophisticated detector of airborne toxins. Thousands of nano-parachutes, made of nano-fibers, are released over a site suspected of being contaminated, changing color in the presence of toxic gases, thus providing critical information regarding the type of toxins present, preventing injuries and saving lives.
Technion conducts research in nanoelectronics, nano-optics, nanomaterials and their interface with life sciences. Such endeavors involve cooperation among scientists from various disciplines. The nano-parachute featured on the stamp is an excellent example of such collaboration.
The stamp tab features the invitation to the cornerstone laying ceremony, held at 3 p.m. on April 11, 1912 in the “Technikum” courtyard.
Technical DetailsIssue Date: 07.02.2012
Designer: Naama Tumarkin
Printer: Cartor Security Printing, France
Size: 30 mm x 40 mm