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FAQ History Who was Jaroslav Černi?
Who was Jaroslav Černi? PDF Print E-mail

Jaroslav Černi was born in Sarajevo on 1 March 1909. His father was a civil engineer who moved from Bohemia (now the Czech Republic) to Bosnia in the 1890's. His mother was Serbian (née Mitričević). Černi Senior was Sarajevo’s City Engineer. He helped build all of the water supply facilities which were constructed there before the year 1920.  

In 1927, young Jaroslav finished high school at the top of his class and went to Prague for his university education. He graduated on 15 December 1933; his Bachelor’s thesis: «Proposal for the Training of the Bilino River and its Use for Water Supply and Electric Power Generation» received the highest marks. After completing his studies, Jaroslav got a job at the Sarajevo Waterworks. In early 1942, he was hired by the Bogatići HPP, but in April 1942 was arrested by the Croatian Ustasha and sent to the notorious Jasenovac Concentration Camp.  

Černi survived World War II and returned to Sarajevo, to work in the Hydraulic Engineering Department of the Ministry of Construction of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1946, he became Manager of the Hydraulic Engineering Bureau in Sarajevo, where he worked on a number of major hydraulic engineering projects: hydroelectric power plants, water supply systems, and hydraulic reclamation systems.

In 1947, he moved to Belgrade and soon assumed the position of Director of the Federal Water Bureau. A re-organization of the Water Bureau resulted in the creation of Hidroelektroprojekt, a large centralized organization for the design of hydroelectric power plants and related investigations, headed by Černi.

Under Jaroslav Černi's leadership, Hidroelektroprojekt implemented a number of extensive projects, including the country's first large hydroelectric power plants (HPP’s):  Zvornik, Mavrovo, Jablanica, Vlasina, Vinodo... Černi introduced advanced scientific methods for hydroelectric power plant design to the organization. He set up a technical documentation service, organized monitoring of international literature, and made sure that professionals were regularly and rapidly apprised of the latest achievements in international science and technology. Following the re-organization of the electric power industry, Černi became Chief HPP Engineer for the Energy and Extraction Industry Council and Head of its Expert Group.

His paper «Tunnels: Pressurized Water Conduits», published in «Our Construction Industry» Journal (nos. 1 and 2, 1948), established the groundwork for addressing problems associated with pressurized hydraulic tunnels in our country. With the help of Professor Hacar, he performed the first in situ rock test domestically, with the goal of determining the modulus of elasticity.  

Černi was awarded a number of recognitions. In February 1950, he was awarded the First-Class Order of Merit for the design and construction of hydroelectric power plants, particularly the Jablanica HPP. In January 1950, he received the Federal Government 1949 Award for exceptional contributions to the design and construction of hydroelectric power plants.

Jaroslav Černi passed away on 29 December 1950. In recognition of his extraordinary contributions to the development of Yugoslavia, the Institute of Hydropower and the Avala Hydraulics Laboratory were named after Jaroslav Černi following his death.  We continue to bear his honorable name today, as the Jaroslav Černi Institute for the Development of Water Resources.

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