College of Engineering History

College of engineering

Sixty Years of Engineering at UTA

For 60 years, UTA’s College of Engineering has served North Texas as the most comprehensive engineering school in the region. From its humble beginnings, the College has grown to a significant factor in UTA's designation as a Carnegie Foundation Research-1 powerhouse, offering 11 bachelor’s, 14 master’s and 9 doctoral degree programs in seven departments.

Our History

1959

Wendell Nedderman, founding dean of the UTA College of Engineering and longtime UTA president

1959

Arlington State College (later renamed The University of Texas at Arlington) elevated to senior-college status and specifically calls for the creation of a new School of Engineering offering five baccalaureate degrees: aeronautical (later changed to aerospace), civil, electrical, industrial and mechanical engineering. Dr. Wendell Nedderman becomes founding dean of the School of Engineering (later elevated to the College of Engineering.) Dr. Jack Woolf, an engineer, becomes president of Arlington State College. Junior year in electrical engineering and mechanical engineering phased in.

1960

Woolf Hall was constructed to alleviate space problems

1960

Woolf Hall is constructed. Junior year in Civil Engineering phased in.

1961

The College purchased its first computer in 1961

1961

First baccalaureate degrees conferred in electrical engineering and mechanical engineering, with 23 graduates in the first graduating class. The first computer, an IBM 1620, was purchased for the computer science engineering program. Junior year in industrial engineering phased in. Pilot Student Technical Groups formed in baccalaureate degree area. Student Branch Chapter of Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) forms.

1962

A student adjusts equipment

1962

First baccalaureate degrees in civil engineering conferred. Student Chapter of Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) forms and is the largest chapter in the nation for some time. Joint Council of Student Engineers forms to advise the dean on student matters.

1963

Aerospace engineering students test their design

1963

First baccalaureate degrees in industrial engineering conferred. Junior year in aerospace engineering phased in. Student Chapter of American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) forms.

1964

1964

Student Chapter of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) forms.

1965

Students working a problem in class

1965

First baccalaureate degrees in aerospace engineering conferred. Arlington State College becomes part of The University of Texas System. Student Chapter of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) forms. Student Chapter of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) forms.

1966

Members of the first Society of Women Engineers chapter at UTA with Dr. Wendell Nedderman

1966

UTA's first master's degree programs are approved, in electrical engineering and engineering mechanics. Graduate program in materials science added within the Department of Engineering Mechanics. Student Chapter of Eta Kappa Nu (HKN), an electrical engineering honor society, forms. Student Chapter of Society of Women Engineers (SWE) forms.

1967

Engineers discuss an experiment

1967

Arlington State College's name changes to The University of Texas at Arlington. Student Chapter of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) forms. Student Chapter of American Helicopter Society forms. It is the first student chapter in the nation. Student Chapter of American Institute of Industrial Engineers (AIIE) forms. Penny Lee Carlisle becomes the first woman to earn an engineering bachelor's degree at UTA.

1968

Industrial engineers work on an efficient plant layout

1968

All five baccalaureate degree programs are accredited by the Engineering Council of Professional Development. Master's programs approved for civil, industrial and mechanical engineering. Proposal submitted for Ph.D. program in engineering. 75% of faculty hold doctorates from 21 different universities. At least 128 graduates are placed in graduate schools at 27 universities from coast to coast. First master's degrees in engineering conferred. The College of Engineering hosts 13 student honor societies and technical society chapters. Dr. Frank Harrison takes office as president of UT Arlington.

1969

Dean of Engineering Andrew Salis

1969

Dr. Andrew Salis becomes dean of engineering. Coordinating Board approves Ph.D. program in engineering. Texas Eta Chapter of Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society, chartered. Juliet Hancock-Russey in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department becomes the first woman to earn an engineering Master's degree.

1971

Civil Engineering students in a lab

1971

UTA students adopt the Mavericks nickname in 1971 after controversy over the former Rebel theme and Old South symbols. First master's degree in computer science approved. First Ph.D. degrees conferred.

1972

Wendell Nedderman, founding dean of the UTA College of Engineering and longtime UTA president

1972

Dr. Wendell Nedderman becomes president of UTA.

1974

A student smiles as she works on a concrete canoe

1974

Graduate degree in bioengineering established as a joint program with UT Southwestern Medical School First master's degrees in computer science conferred.

1975

Students hanging out on the steps of an engineering building

1975

The College's enrollment surpasses 2,000 students, including 1,691 undergraduate, 320 master's and 44 doctoral students.

1976

Students investigating their work

1976

Ph.D. in computer science established under the engineering umbrella.

1979

Civil engineering students check their work on a pipe

1979

First baccalaureate degree in computer science and engineering conferred. Judith Corley from the Civil Engineering Department becomes the first woman to earn a doctoral degree in engineering at UTA.

1980

Engineering students polish the Chi Epsilon key

1980

Computer Science and Engineering Department established. Enrollment surpasses 3,000 students, including 2,433 undergraduate, 522 Master's and 54 doctoral students.

1981

Dr. John Rouse, dean of engineering

1981

Dr. John Rouse becomes dean of engineering. Formula SAE team debuts in Mini Baja competition and wins national championship.

1982

Dr. Bob Woods and a mechanical engineering student inspect a Formula SAE engine

1982

Doctoral programs in aerospace, civil, computer science, computer science and engineering, electrical, engineering mechanics, industrial, materials science and mechanical engineering are approved. Formula SAE team wins second national championship in Mini Baja competition.

1983

A student inspects a machine

1983

Computer science and engineering baccalaureate program accredited by ABET.

1984

Robert L. Stewart, a NASA astronaut and College of Engineering alumnus

1984

Robert L. Stewart ('72 MS, Aerospace Engineering) is one of two NASA astronauts to participate in the first untethered space walks during mission STS-41B (Challenger). He also flew on STS-51J, the first flight of Space Shuttle Atlantis, in 1985.

1985

Engineering students compete in a chili cook-off

1985

UT System Board of Regents appropriates nearly $40 million for the construction of two new buildings: Nedderman Hall (244,000 square feet) and the Aerospace Research Building (10,000 square feet), as well as a total renovation and considerable reconstruction of the first engineering building, Woolf Hall (130,000 square feet). Formula SAE team wins third national championship and first with a Formula car.

1986

UTA's Automation and Robotics Research Institute

1986

A $10 million gift from the Fort Worth Chamber Foundation and Newell & Newell Developers created the 48,000-square-foot Advanced Robotics Research Institute (later renamed the Automation & Robotics Research Institute). Groundbreaking occurs on Nedderman Hall and the Aerospace Research Building in April. Formula SAE team wins fourth national championship.

1987

Dr. John McElroy, dean of engineering

1987

Dr. John McElroy becomes dean of engineering.

1988

Nedderman Hall

1988

Nedderman Hall dedicated.

1989

Formula SAE baja car

1989

Formula SAE team wins national championship.

1990

An engineering student watches as a robot arm draws on a page

1990

Formula SAE team wins national championship.

1991

A wind tunnel in the Aerodynamics Research Center

1991

The College surpasses 10,000 alumni.

1992

laser beam

1992

Dr. Ryan Amacher becomes president of UTA.

1995

A student focuses on a computer printout

1995

Formula SAE team wins national championship. Dr. Robert Witt becomes president of UT Arlington.

1996

Dr. Ron Bailey, dean of engineering

1996

Dr. J. Ronald Bailey becomes dean of engineering. Formula SAE team wins national championship.

1997

Kalpana Chawla, NASA astronaut, first Indian woman to fly to space and College alumna

1997

Kalpana Chawla ('84 MS, Aerospace Engineering) becomes the first Indian-born woman to fly in space aboard STS-87 (Columbia). She later perishes aboard STS-107 (Columbia) on February 1, 2003, when the orbiter breaks apart on re-entry to the Earth's atmosphere.

1998

1998 Formula SAE car and team members

1998

Dr. John McElroy, former dean of engineering and a professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, is elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Formula SAE team wins first international championship at Formula Student competition in England.

2000

Dr. Bill Carroll, dean of engineering

2000

Dr. Bill Carroll becomes dean of engineering. Formula SAE team wins Formula SAE Australasia competition in the international category.

2001

An microelectronic component

2001

Nanotechnology Research and Teaching Facility opens.

2002

An industrial engineering student takes notes in a factory

2002

First baccalaureate degree in computer science conferred. First baccalaureate degree in software engineering conferred.

2003

The Aerodynamics Research Center

2003

Dr. Charles Sorber, a civil engineer, becomes interim president of UT Arlington.

2004

Engineering Laboratory Building

2004

Baccalaureate programs in computer science and software engineering accredited by ABET. Formula SAE team wins third international title at Formula SAE Japan. James Spaniolo becomes president of UT Arlington.

2005

Optical Imaging Lab

2005

Bioengineering program becomes a department within the College of Engineering.

2006

Materials Science and Engineering student at furnace

2006

Materials science and engineering program elevated to a department within the College of Engineering. The College surpasses 20,000 alumni.

2008

Student working with concrete in the Civil Engineering Laboratory Building

2008

The 26,000-square-foot, $10 million, Civil Engineering Laboratory Building opens on the west side of campus near Maverick Stadium. A $3 million Optical Medical Imaging Lab facility consisting of four lab bays operated by UTA bioengineering opens at UT Southwestern. A groundbreaking is held for the new Engineering Research Complex, which will consist of a 234,000-square-foot Engineering Research Building; 35,000 square feet of additions to and renovations of the existing Engineering Lab Building and the addition of a wide pedestrian mall and new gateway to the campus from the north. Baccalaureate program in computer science and engineering changed to computer engineering.

2009

Engineering Research Building Groundbreaking

2009

College of Engineering celebrates its 50th anniversary with a kickoff event and ribbon cutting of the newly expanded and renovated Engineering Laboratory Building.

2010

Engineering Research Building at night

2011

The College's enrollment reaches 4,000 for the first time, including 2,460 undergraduate, 1,053 master's and 497 doctoral students. Engineering Research Building opens. Nai Yuen Chen, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, is hired as a Distinguished University Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department.

2012

Dr. Jean-Pierre Bardet, dean of engineering

2012

Dr. Jean Pierre Bardet becomes dean of engineering. Bioengineering Department adds baccalaureate program in Biomedical Engineering. Four faculty members – Khosrow Behbehani, N.Y. Chen, George Kondraske and Robert Magnusson – are named Charter Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors. UTA's Automation & Robotics Research Institute is renamed UT Arlington Research Institute (UTARI).

2013

Dr. Khosrow Behbehani, dean of engineering

2013

Dr. Khosrow Behbehani becomes dean of engineering. Dr. Vistasp Karbhari, an engineer, becomes president of UTA. He holds faculty appointments in the Civil and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Departments. Dr. Vistasp Karbhari and Dr. Frank Lewis are named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors.

2014

Engineering Research Building

2014

Enrollment in the College surpasses 5,000 for the first time, including 3,316 undergraduate, 2,135 Master's and 522 doctoral students. Civil Engineering Department adds Master of Construction Management degree program. Graduate and undergraduate certificate programs in unmanned vehicle systems are added in the Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial, Manufacturing and Systems Engineering, and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Departments. Formula SAE team is ranked #5 in the world and #1 in the United States in the Formula Student Combustion World Rankings.

2015

Wendy Okolo

2015

Wendy Okolo (Ph.D. Aerospace Engineering, BS '10) becomes the first African-American woman at UTA to earn a doctoral degree in aerospace engineering. Civil Engineering Department adds baccalaureate program in architectural engineering. The College's enrollment reaches 6,000 for the first time, including 3,591 undergraduate, 2,783 master's and 549 doctoral students. Dr. Kenneth Reifsnider, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, is hired as a presidential distinguished professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department. Dr. Duane Dimos and Dr. Kenneth Reifsnider are named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors.

2016

Dr. Peter Crouch, dean of engineering

2016

Dr. Peter Crouch becomes dean of engineering. The College's enrollment surpasses 7,000 for the first time, including 3,865 undergraduate, 2,688 Master's and 564 doctoral students.

2017

Construction Management students on a tour of the Globe Life Field construction site

2017

Civil Engineering Department adds a baccalaureate degree in construction management. Baccalaureate program in bioengineering accredited by ABET. Dr. Dereje Agonafer is named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. Dr. Teik Lim is hired as UTA's Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. He also holds a faculty appointment in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department. The College surpasses 30,000 alumni.

2018

Science & Engineering Innovation & Research Building

2018

Science & Engineering Innovation & Research (SEIR) Building opens. Researchers in the building focus on health-related issues, and several faculty from the Computer Science and Engineering and Bioengineering Departments move into SEIR labs. Dr. Teik Lim and Dr. Lalit Mestha are named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors.

2019

Hypersonic wind tunnel in Aerodynamics Research Center

2019

The country's only university-based, arc-heated hypersonic wind tunnel is brought online at the Aerodynamics Research Center. Dr. Dereje Agonafer, professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, is elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Dr. Surendra Shah, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, is hired as a presidential distinguished professor with joint appointments in the Civil and Materials Science and Engineering Departments.