More than a century of history…more than a century of excellence.
Engineering instruction at Oregon State dates back to the 1880s, when mathematics professors incorporated engineering concepts as a part of their teaching of math. In 1889, Grant Adelbert Covell was appointed to the first professorship exclusively devoted to engineering. Soon after, he formed the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the first recorded engineering classes. In 1893, the first two graduates received degrees in mechanical engineering.
The college established instructional departments in three other branches of engineering: electrical (1897), mining (1904), and civil (1905). Until 1915, students could qualify to enter the engineering program after just two years of high school. The requirement was raised to four years in 1915.
The first building constructed specifically to serve the needs of engineering students and faculty was Mechanical Hall, erected in 1889 and expanded significantly in 1893. But it burned down in 1898 and was rebuilt in 1900. That building was renamed Apperson Hall in 1920 and, after an extensive remodel in 2008, was renamed Kearney Hall.
In 1908, a School of Engineering was formed to bring the four engineering departments together under a single administrative umbrella. Covell served as the school's first dean. Chemical Engineering, which was established in 1917 as an independent department reporting to the president's office, was later incorporated into the school in 1932.
Other engineering curricula established at Oregon State included industrial engineering (1943), nuclear engineering (1968), and computer science (1974).
Important milestones for the college included the 1945 establishment of the School of Engineering’s doctoral program, and the upgrade of the school to the status of a college in 1983.
Students can now pursue some engineering degrees remotely through the university’s Ecampus, which is recognized as one of the best in the nation.
Since the inception of engineering coursework in 1889, it is estimated that more than 30,000 students have received degrees in engineering at Oregon State.
The College of Engineering also administers a number of research center and institutes, including the Institute for Natural Resources-Water Resources Research Institute, the O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory, the Kiewit Center for Infrastructure and Transportation, the Western Regional Hazardous Substance Research Center, the Space Grant Program, the National Center for Accessible Transportation, and the Energy Resource Research Laboratory.
To accommodate the rapid expansion of engineering research and instruction at Oregon State throughout the 20th century and into the the 21st, other buildings were built to satisfy the growing demand for space among the various engineering disciplines: Merryfield Hall (1909), Batcheller Hall (1913), Graf Hall (1920), Covell Hall (1928), Dearborn Hall (1949), Gleeson Hall (1955), the Radiation Center (1963), Rogers Hall (1967), Owen Hall (1988), and the Kelley Engineering Center (2006).
Graf and Merryfield Halls recently underwent extensive renovations to bring them in line with the needs of the college’s flourishing engineering program, which continues to adapt to a world where talented engineers are needed more than ever to address many of today’s challenges.
Chemical Engineering Lab Equipment
Oregon State College Electronic Analog Computer (OSCEAC)
Mechanical Engineering Hall