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History of the College of Engineering

CoE History
CoE History
CoE History
CoE History

College of Engineering at Michigan State University Timeline


Year Historical Event
1855 Agricultural College of the State of Michigan founded in East Lansing
1857

Classes begin

Photo circa 1857 of a Chemical Engineering lab with students doing a fuel test

1861 College renamed the State Agricultural College of Michigan
1862 Passage of Morrill Land-Grant College Act establishes colleges of agriculture and mechanic arts
1885

College renamed Michigan Agricultural College

Original Mechanical Laboratory designed by Rolla Carpenter and constructed

1888 First undergraduate degrees granted to four engineering students
1892 Student chapter of Tau Beta Pi is founded by Lancaster P. Breckenridge
1901

College renamed Michigan State Agricultural College

Departments of Civil and Electrical Engineering are established, with master's degrees available in Electrical Engineering

1902

Master's program in Civil Engineering established

First Senior Engineering Society organized to discuss mechanical, civil and electrical engineering. Weekly meetings held; papers read and discussed

1907

The State Board of Agriculture begins awarding professional degrees in mechanical, civil and electrical engineering for those engineers who have five years of practical service in the field

George Bissel is appointed as the first Dean of Engineering

1908 Engineering Hall is dedicated
1909

College renamed Michigan Agricultural College

Division of Engineering is established with departments in civil engineering, drawing and design, mechanical engineering, physics and electrical engineering

1916

Engineering Building and Mechanical Building destroyed by fire (click each of the thumbnails for a larger image)

Thumbnail image of the Engineering building fire in 1916.   Photo of Engineering Building and Mechanical Building destroyed by fire in 1916  Photo of Engineering Building and Mechanical Building destroyed by fire in 1916  Photo of Engineering Building and Mechanical Building destroyed by fire in 1916  Photo of the Engineering Building and Mechanical Building destroyed by fire in 1916

 

  Photo of the Engineering Building and Mechanical Building destroyed by fire in 1916  Photo of the Engineering Building and Mechanical Building destroyed by fire in 1916  Photo of the Engineering Building and Mechanical Building destroyed by fire in 1916  Photo of the Engineering Building and Mechanical Building destroyed by fire in 1916  Photo of the Engineering Building and Mechanical Building destroyed by fire in 1916

1917 R. E. Olds Hall of Engineering is built on the old foundation of the former Engineering Building
1918 War Service work begins; Student Army Training Corps for auto mechanics is established
1924 Engineering Experiment Station established
1925 College renamed Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science
1927 Michigan's first rural electrical power line, reaching from Mason to Dansville, is placed in service with the cooperation from the college
1929

G. W. Bissel retires, H. B. Dirks appointed dean

1932

Photo of Ethel V. Lyon who was the first female granted permission to enroll in engineeringEthel V. Lyon is the first female granted permission to enroll in engineering

Photo of the Pi Kappa Delta members

Department of Chemical Engineering joins the Division of Engineering

1936 Seven academic departments receive accreditation that is continuous to the present
1940 Flat fee system adopted by college
1946 Doctoral Program in Electrical Engineering approved
1947 The Electrical Engineering Building is constructed (now the Computer Center)
1948

Dedication of Farrall Hall, the agricultural engineering building (now called Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering BAE)

First annual College of Engineering Exposition

H. B. Dirks retires and Lorin G. Miller, chairperson of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, appointed dean

1949 Department of Metallurgy established
1950 JETS, Junior Engineering Training for Schools, is organized
1951 Department of Applied Mechanics established
1953
Photo of Oldsmobile Display in 1953
Department of Applied Mechanics, Oldsmobile Display, 1953


L. G. Miller retires and J. D. Ryder, head of Electrical Engineering at University of Illinois, appointed dean

1954 Doctoral Program in Civil Engineering approved
1955 Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science renamed as Michigan State University of Agriculture and Applied Science
1956

The MSU Computer Laboratory was created to provide centralized academic computing functions

1957

MSU's first computing system, called Michigan State Integral Computer (MISTIC), began operation

Photo of Lawrence W. Von Tersch and Julian Kateley working on the MISTIC computer.
Left to right: Lawrence W. Von Tersch and Julian Kateley working on the MISTIC computer.
1958 Engineering Experiment Station renamed Division of Engineering Research
1962 Engineering Building is constructed where it is now, 428 S. Shaw Lane
1963 Photo of the Tau Beta Pi symbol replicaTau Beta Pi dedicates seven-foot replica of society's symbol, The Bent, to chapter founder Lester P. Breckenridge
1964

Engineering program reduced to 180 hours including Natural Science and Physical Education

Michigan State University of Agriculture and Applied Science renamed as Michigan State University

1966 Engineering Science program established
1968 J. D. Ryder retires, Lawrence W. Von Tersch, associate dean, appointed dean
1969

Department of Computer Science established and graduate program approved

MiSTriga reactor becomes operational

1971 Material Science graduate degree program approved
1973

Engineering Arts major approved

Society of Women Engineering student chapter established

1975 Engineering Cooperative Education Program established
1978 A. H. Case Center for Computer-Aided Engineering and Manufacturing established
1981

MSU purchases Jolly Road Research Facility

Department of Civil & Sanitary Engineering renamed Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

1988

Photo of the College of EngineeringDedication of Research Complex - Engineering

Ground breaking ceremony for Engineering Building addition and renovation

Composite Materials and Structures Center established

1989

Lawrence W. Von Tersch retires, Theodore A. Bickart, Dean of Engineering at Syracuse University, appointed dean

$34.5 million addition and renovation to the Engineering Building adds 167,000 square feet of space

The Crop and Food Bioprocessing Center established

1990 MSU purchases Hulett Road Research Facility
1997 $14 million, 46,000 square foot addition to the Engineering Building from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Institute for Materials Research
1998 Theodore Bickart retires, George Van Dusen named acting dean
1999 Janie Fouke, division director, Bioengineering and Environmental Systems at the National Science Foundation, is appointed dean
2005 Janie Fouke leaves MSU to become provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of Florida, Satish Udpa is appointed dean
2013 Satish Udpa named MSU executive vice president for administrative services, Leo Kempel, associate dean for research, is named acting dean
Photo of the construction of the 130,000-square-foot Bio Engineering Facility
Construction began in June 2013 on the 130,000-square-foot Bio Engineering Facility to house interdisciplinary research on biomedical sciences and engineering
2014

Leo Kempel is appointed dean

MSU establishes Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME)

2015 Department of Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering establishedArt graphic of three overlapping circles, green, red and blue with the letters "CMSE" below
2016

Photo of the Michigan State University Bio Engineering FacilityMSU's new $69.8 million Bio Engineering Facility opens