Departmental History

1740 - 1899

1740 Founding date for University (Trust for Charity School of Philadelphia established).

1850 Generally looked upon as the date to which Engineering at Pennsylvania can be traced (Trustees adopt resolution providing for a School of Arts with one Chair, a Professorship of "Chemistry as Applied to the Arts" with familiar lectures in Mineralogy, Geology, Theoretic and Applied Chemistry given by the professor).

1852 School of Mines, Arts and Manufactures established by Trustees as one of the Departments of the University. A "Scientific Course" was established.

college hall1872 College Hall was dedicated. The "Scientific Course" was enlarged and established as the Department of Science in the east wing of College Hall. Courses of Study in Analytical and Applied Chemistry and Mineralogy, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Geology, Metallurgy and Mining were offered.

towne school1875 The Department of Science was renamed Towne Scientific School in memory of John Towne, Esq., a Trustee of The University and Chief Engineer of his firm.

1877 William Dennis Marks was the first professor to be appointed as the Asa Whitney Professor of Dynamical Engineering (first endowed Chair at Penn).

dynamical engineering1884 A Specific Degree in Mechanical Engineering (ME) was first offered.

1886 Electrical Engineering was added as part of the Mechanical Engineering Program.

1892 The University Trustees established the Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BS in Me).

Mechanical Plant1893 A separate Department of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering was established. The term "Dynamical Engineering" was no longer used to cover both Mechanical and Electrical Engineering.

1895 The Mechanical Engineering Lab and Central Power Plant building was completed.

1900 - 1979

Towne Building1906 The Towne Building was dedicated. At the time of its dedication, it was regarded as the finest engineering building in the nation.

1912 Joseph Tintsman Rowbottom, a university "legend," earned his bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering.

1914 Provost Edgar Fahs Smith split the Department of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering into two separate departments.

Differential Analyser1935 The Differential Analyzer was completed (world's largest mechanical computing machine).

1954 The four departments of the Towne Scientific School become, with the Moore School of Electrical Engineering, the five Engineering Schools (the School of Chemical Engineering, the School of Civil Engineering, the School of Mechanical Engineering, and the School of Metallurgical Engineering). Women were first admitted as undergraduates in the School.

1960 The Towne School of Civil and Mechanical Engineering was established, merging the two previously separate schools.

women at penn1962 Mary Jane Orloski became the first woman to earn a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (Bs in Me) at Penn.

1972 The Faculties of the five Engineering Schools were reorganized into a single Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.

1973 The College of Engineering and Applied Science was formed with the Departments of Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil and Urban Engineering, Computer and Information Science, Electrical Engineering and Science, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Metallurgy and Materials Science, and Systems Engineering.

1976 The Management and Technology Program was established.

1979 The College of Engineering and Applied Science was renamed the School of Engineering and Applied Science.