SCUA

University of Massachusetts Amherst. College of Engineering

University of Massachusetts Amherst. College of Engineering, 1938-2007.

(17 linear feet).
Call no.: RG 014

As early as 1867, Massachusetts Agricultural College offered engineering courses in surveying and the construction of roads and bridges — practical skills that would be valuable to farmers. After the establishment of a separate Department of Agricultural Engineering in 1914, and merger with the Department of Mathematics and Civil Engineering in 1938, UMass began to offer broader education in engineering. The Division of Engineering was created in 1945 to coordinate the expected post-war expansion. Since 1985, the College of Engineering has been organized in four academic departments: Chemical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.

This record group documents the varied efforts to provide an applied technical education to students at UMass and its predecessors. In addition to the College’s annual reports and records of the Executive Council and Engineering Research Council; curriculum and program materials; reports and publications; the record group includes materials from the first four deans of the College of Engineering.

Historical Note

Beginning in 1867, Massachusetts Agricultural College offered engineering courses in surveying and the construction of roads and bridges – practical skills that might frequently be used as part of any farming routine. These courses, offered by the Mathematics Department, were the only classes offered in engineering for almost fifty years.

In 1914, the department of Agricultural Engineering was established within the Division of Agriculture. Christian I. Gunness taught courses in farm structures and farm machinery. In 1938, the Department of Mathematics and Civil Engineering combined with the Department of Agricultural Engineering to form General Engineering. Professor Gunness and the other Agricultural Engineering faculty offered six specialized courses; George A. Marston and John D. Swenson brought to the new department a program of eighteen courses in general engineering that had been developed in the Department of Mathematics.

In the fall of 1945, the Division of Engineering was created. In 1946, the Division split into two departments, Agricultural Engineering and Civil Engineering. The School of Engineering was established one year later. The school originally had four departments: Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, and Agricultural, with each offering a four-year undergraduate curriculum leading to a bachelor of science degree. In addition, the Mechanical Engineering Department administered an optional curriculum in Industrial Engineering.

In 1952, the Department of Chemical Engineering was added to the School of Engineering. The roots of this new department lay in the Department of Chemistry in the School of Science. The School of Engineering became the College of Engineering in 1985. The College of Engineering majors are organized in four academic departments: Chemical Engineering; Civil and Environmental Engineering; Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.

Scope and Content

This record group contains annual reports and meeting minutes; Executive Council and Engineering Research Council records; dean’s records; curriculum and program materials; proposals and accreditation reports; reports and publications; curriculum for summer short courses; brochures and pamphlets; and newsletters and publicity files. Deans’ records contain materials representing the first four deans of the College of Engineering:

  • George A. Marston (1947-1963)
  • E. E. Lindsey (1963-1966)
  • Kenneth Picha (1966-1976)
  • Joseph Marcus (1976)
00. Publications (except as noted below)
1. Dean
2. Commonwealth Technical Resource Service (COMTECH)
3. Applied Technology Center
4. Research Institute
5. Office of Extended Engineering Education
6. Minority Engineering Program (MEP)

Contributors

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. College of Engineering
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