Fleš Dragutin, F.C.A.

Deceased Members IX. Department of Technical Sciences
Fleš Dragutin


  • August 01, 1921, in Vukovar


  • June, 11, 2005, in Zagreb

Fleš Dragutin, F.C.A.

Deceased Members IX. Department of Technical Sciences

Academic titles:

  • Fellow of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts
  • Doctor of Science


  • full professor (retired) – Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb

Membership in Academy:

  • full member – Department of Technical Sciences (07/24/1991 – 06/11/2005)
  • extraordinary member – Department of Technical Sciences (06/04/1981 – 07/24/1991)

Curiculum Vitae

Dragutin Fleš, F.C.A. was born on August 1, 1921, in Vukovar and died on June 11, 2005, in Zagreb. He finished elementary school and gymnasium in Zemun, and in 1941 he enrolled at the Chemistry Department of the Faculty of Engineering, University of Zagreb, where he graduated in 1946. In the same year, he got a job in Pliva, a drug factory in Zagreb, in the Chemotherapeutics Produce Department.

He spent the year 1950 and the academic year 1952/53 at the University of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, MA, USA, at a postgraduate degree where he achieved very notable results in the synthesis and structure of polyenes. He received his PhD in 1952 from the Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, with a thesis in the field of sulfur optically active amino acids. In 1957/58, he resided at the University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, USA, where he worked on catalytic reactions and the absolute configuration of the Senecio alkaloids.

He spent his working life in the economy, in the Croatian chemical industry. He worked in Pliva (1946–1958), OKI – Organic-chemical industry (1958–1967) and INA (1967–1985), where he worked as a propulsion engineer, research director and advisor until his retirement in 1985.

In 1975 he was elected full professor at the Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, where he taught at undergraduate and postgraduate studies and taught the course Stereochemistry of Organic Compounds. He was one of the founders of the postgraduate study of macromolecular sciences at the University of Zagreb, where he taught the course Organic Chemistry of Synthetic Macromolecules.

As a visiting professor, he resided in 1977 at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz and in 1984 at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA, USA. The research areas for which he became known in the world of science are primarily stereospecific organic reactions and the synthesis, characterization, and application of macromolecular compounds.

Dragutin Fleš was a successful scientist and teacher. He has published more than 200 scientific papers, of which 100 publications cited in the Science Citation Index (SCI) database. He is also the author of 70 professional and review papers, 31 patents and about 100 articles published in proceedings of international and domestic scientific and professional conferences. He was a member of the editorial boards of numerous world and domestic scientific journals.

In 1981 he was elected an associate member of the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts, and in 1992 as a full member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in the Department of Mathematical, Physical, Chemical and Technical Sciences. Since 1997, he has been a member of the newly established Department of Technical Sciences and its first secretary. After the founding of the department, in 1998 he initiated and edited the Bulletin of the Department of Technical Sciences until 2002.

He is one of the initiators of The Ružička days, a scientific and professional conference held for the first time in Vukovar in 1978. Ružička Days returned to Vukovar in 1998, organized by the Croatian Society of Chemical Engineers and Technologists and the Faculty of Food Technology, J. J. Strossmayer University of Osijek.

For his scientific achievements, he has received numerous awards and recognitions, of which the most prominent are the Order of Work with a Golden Wreath, the Ruđer Bošković Award for scientific research work (1978), the State Award for Scientific Research – The Lifetime Achievement Award for 1988, the Republic Award of Technical Culture for significant inventive activity, honorary membership of the Croatian Academy of Engineering (1998) and numerous other honorary memberships. That’s how it was in 1983. The Society of Plastics and Rubber Companies has chosen  him as an honorary member, which was confirmed by the Society for Plastics and Rubber in 2000.