The College of Engineering

The University of Delaware College of Engineering traces its beginnings to 1837, when a class in “surveying and leveling” was first taught at Newark College. Civil engineering became part of the science curriculum in 1850, but degree programs were not established until 1889 for Civil Engineering, 1891 for Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, and 1914 for Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. In the early 1920s, the University of Delaware was known primarily for its engineering school, with more than half of the institution’s entire student body enrolled in one of the four engineering disciplines. Long recognized for its emphasis on teaching, the College of Engineering endeavored to establish strong research and graduate programs as well. World War II brought the first significant funding for research, setting a new pattern for the institution. By 1960, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering’s graduate education and research initiatives had earned the department national prominence. In the early 1970s, the Mechanical Engineering department became one of the first in the country to teach composite materials, leading to the creation of the internationally recognized Center for Composite Materials. The interdisciplinary research center created a unique model for industry cooperation and led the College to establish eight more research centers over the next 30 years. Materials Science, founded in 1960 as a program, was established as the College’s fifth department in 1998. Today, the College of Engineering continues a proud tradition of excellence in research, teaching and service that has brought prestigious national accolades to both faculty and students.

Departmental History:

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