The Department of Automatic Control and Industrial Informatics comes from the Department of Automatics established in 1963 within the Faculty of Energetics and having as head professor Dr.Ing. Corneliu Penescu, corresponding member of the Academy. Professor Penescu's personality imposed a line of exceptional value in the evolution of the department.
The increase in the number of teachers and the establishment of the Faculty of Automatic Control led in 1966 to the separation of the department into two collectives: Automatics I and I. Prof. Corneliu Penescu remains at the head of the Department of Automatica I and coordinates the arrangement of the first specialized laboratories in the headquarters of str. Ștefan Furtuna: Measurements and transducers, Automatic systems, Telemechanics, Analog and numerical computers, Automation in the energy industry, while in the polizu premises the laboratories of hydraulic and pneumatic equipment (P-body) and automation in the machine building industry (F-building) are being developed.
In 1969, a group emerges from the department's staff, which together with other colleagues from the Faculty of Electronics will constitute the Department of Computers.
In 1972 the department moved to the New Local in Splaiul Inindependenţa (ED body), together with the other department of Automatica I and the department of computers. The new laboratories are developed primarily through self-doping efforts, through works carried out through the completion of doctoral theses and diploma projects, but also benefit from an endowment with Romanian laboratory equipment (produced by IEMI) and automation (produced by FEA) respectively, especially through the efforts of prof. D.F. Lazaroiu. Due to the changes in the curriculum, new laboratories appear: Discrete industrial automation, Hydraulic and pneumatic adjustment and actuation equipment, Microprocessor systems. In 1980, after the departure from the country of Professor Penescu (he died in 1983) the management of the Department automatica I is taken over by prof. Vlad Ionescu, the most representative academic product of the school of automatic control formed by Professor Penescu. Despite the general bad situation (blocking of posts, ban on going abroad, reduction of funds for endowment, impossibility to retain assistants) corresponding to the state at the level of the entire country, the chair continues to progress in teaching through the permanent modernization of courses – most of them published locally and through a special effort of fundamental and applied research. In 1986, for formal administrative reasons, the two departments meet under the leadership of Prof. Florea Simion, an excellent organizer and a special soul, but who unfortunately dies prematurely and dramatically after only a few months. The management of the department, now called again Automatica, has professor Vlad Ionescu, who continues, in the known harsh conditions, to maintain the representativeness of the collective nationally and internationally. After 1990, he returned to two specialized departments, the Department of Automatica I being named Automatica and Informatica Industriala. The head of the department becomes prof. dr.ing. Traian Ionescu, who leads it between 1990 and 2008. Currently the head of the department is prof.dr.ing. Dorin Carstoiu.The structure of the department undergoes some mutations, in order to respond as well as possible to the new curricula and the requirements for modernizing the teaching process.
The new name of the department suggests the orientation of the teaching and research concerns of its members towards the most dynamic offspring of the science of systems: informatics. At the same time, the theoretical substantiation courses that formed the basis for the training of specialists in automation are preserved and at the same time the permanent linking of applications to the sphere of industrial process management is constantly being tried, in an ever-growing range of specific situations. In addition, the department provides training to students in two forms of postgraduate education: Systems with open architecture and Complex information systems. Since 2004, the curricula are restructured on the system of the three cycles: I – bachelor's education for 4 years; I – master's degree of 1.5 or 2 years; III- PhD, 3 years. The offer of the department is rich and responds to any desire for overspecialization in the general field that is now called Systems Engineering, Automatics Specialty and Applied Informatics.
Endowed with a vast encyclopedic culture and an extraordinary sense of values, prof. Penescu attracted the most valuable personalities in the field and founded the Romanian school of automatic control, which in a short time has gained an undeniable prestige both nationally and internationally. We mention from this pioneering team some personalities who have linked their professional life to this field: Prof. Nicolae Racoveanu, prof. Sergiu Calin, prof. Florea Simion, prof. Gabriel Ionescu, prof. Ioan Arsenie Badea, prof. Mihai Tertisco, prof. Nicolae Sprânceană, prof. Dumitru Felician Lazaroiu, prof. Adrian Petrescu, prof. Stelian Popescu. Among the then young assistants we mention: Petre Dimo, Ivan Sipos, Ion Dumitrache, Ioan Lupaș, Mihai Ceaparu, Vasile Gaburici, Vlad Ionescu, Mariana Necula. The department also temporarily included well-known specialists from research and industry that: dr.ing. Calin Mihăileanu, eng. Marcel Sârbu, eng. Iosif Cserveni.
Many of those cited had remarkable contributions in the introduction and development of technical-scientific fields, especially in the country, but in most situations and with full international recognition. In this regard we mention on:
- Vlad Ionescu – corresponding member of the Academy, contributed to the development of the Romanian school of mathematical and structural theory of automatic systems, opened by V.M. Popov through the theory of the hyperstability of systems, with outstanding results regarding the theory of optimal systems and the theory of robustness, which have enjoyed through originality and analytical finesse a special attention in international specialized literature.
- Gabriel Ionescu – specialist with exceptional results in the field of acquisition and primary data processing, has proposed numerous original solutions of transducers, multisensor systems, field lines and numerical signal analysis equipment.
- Dumitru Felician Lazaroiu – founder of the field of reliability and technical diagnosis of automatic systems and author of solutions for the first time in the world of electric micromasins.
The school of automatic control created by Professor Penescu allowed the development of powerful research teams, currently having as leaders outstanding scientific personalities, all doctoral supervisors in the field of AUTOMATICS. The doctoral supervisors in the department are professors Traian Ionescu, Gabriel Ionescu, Dan Mihoc, Radu Dobrescu, Theodor Borangiu, Sergiu Stelian Iliescu, Aurelian Mihai Stanescu, Valentin Sgarciu.