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History of UConn Engineering Deans

First Century of Excellence


Major Milestones

History of UConn Engineering Deans

Facilities from 1911 to Present


1919 – 1931 John N. Fitts

  • 1919: Division of Mechanic Arts is established.
  • Fitts is the first engineering professor (Mechanical Engineering) and first Dean.
  • The Engineering program is relocated to Mechanic Arts Building from the basement of Whitney Hall.
  • 1920: Earl Moore receives first B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.

1932 – 1940 Walter T. Edel

  • 1935: Division of Mechanical Engineering becomes the Division of Engineering and offers degrees in Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.
  • 1939: Engineering I (now the F.L. Castleman Building), is completed ($300,000 plus $130,000 in lab equipment).
  • 1939: Civil Engineering Department is launched.

9/1940 – 1945 John H. Lampe

  • 1940: UConn Board of Trustees approves the renaming of the Division of Engineering to the School of Engineering.
  • 1940: Civil Engineering and Electrical Engineering departments are accredited by the Engineers Council for Professional Development.
  • 1941: Mechanical Engineering Department receives full accreditation.
  • U.S. Army stations 1,500 men on campus for Army Specialized Training Programs (ASTPs) in various phases of engineering.
  • 1943: M.S. degree in engineering debuts in civil, electrical and mechanical engineering.

7/17/46 – 12/30/54 Francis L. Castleman, Jr.

  • After World War II, large numbers of engineering students attend college on the GI Bill.
  • 1948: to reduce overcrowding, two cinder-block annexes are constructed for classroom and lab space
  • Many freshmen and sophomores study at Fort Trumbull in New London.
  • 1950: over 230 engineering students graduate.

1/1/55 – 7/31/57 Acting Committee of Department Heads

  • 1955: General Assembly appropriates $1.3 million for construction of Engineering II.
  • 1957: Engineering II is completed.

8/1/57 – 11/5/61 Harold Torgersen

  • 1959: Ph.D. program launched doctoral degree program
  • 1959: Chemical Engineering is established

11/10/61 – 4/1/62 Edward Gant, Acting

  • Acting President of the University (three times)– 1969, 1972-73, 1978-79
  • Provost and Academic Vice President of the University—1965-1974
  • Memorialized by the University’s Edward V. Gant Science Complex

4/1/62 – 7/1/70 Arthur Bronwell

  • 1962: Charles Knapp and Taylor Booth receive first engineering Ph.D. degrees.
  • 1963: Aerospace Engineering Department is established for graduate-level instruction only.
  • 1965: Graduate program in Biomedical Engineering begins.
  • 1967: Department of Metallurgy is established.
  • 1968: Engineering III (renamed the Arthur B. Bronwell Building) is completed.

1/1/71 – 6/30/85 Peter W. McFadden

  • 1972: Aerospace Engineering Department is combined with Mechanical Engineering Department.
  • 1974: Connecticut Transportation Institute (CTI) is established.
  • Dean McFadden is instrumental in obtaining public/private funding for construction of the United Technologies Engineering Building (UTEB).
  • 1981: Computer Applications and Research Center is founded (later renamed the T.L. Booth Engineering Center for Advanced Technology).

7/1/85 – 6/30/90 Wesley L. Harris

  • First African American dean of Engineering.
  • 1986: Electrical & Computer Engineering Department splits into the Electrical & Systems Engineering Department and the Computer Science & Engineering Department.
  • 1987: United Technologies Engineering Building is completed ($4.6 million from State bonds, $1.5 million from UTC and its employees; $6 million for research equipment).
  • 1987: Environmental Research Institute (ERI) is founded (now dba Center for Environmental Science & Engineering).

7/1/90 – 6/30/91 Anthony T. DiBenedetto, Interim

  • 1990: Space is renovated in the Longley Building, Depot Campus.
  • 1991: Advanced Technology Center for Precision Manufacturing (PMC) is established (now closed).
  • 1992: Photonics Research Center is formed (now closed).

7/1/91 – 1997 Harold D. Brody

  • 1992: Photonics Research Center (PRC) is formed.
  • 1995: Engineering II is expanded, renovated and rededicated as the F.L. Castleman Building.

1997 – 1998 Lee Langston, Interim

  • 1997: Engineering Learning Center opens.
  • 1998: Used the Office of the Dean to promote  the building of a gas turbine cogeneration plant to significantly  reduce University operating energy costs.  The  $81M, 25MW  UConn Cogen Plant was subsequently constructed in 2003 and went on line in 2006,  to provide power, heating and cooling for the Storrs campus, and  become an energy laboratory for engineering students.

5/18/98 – 6/12/06 Amir Faghri

  • 2001: new B.S. programs are offered in Biomedical Engineering (BME), Computer Science (CS), Computer Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Engineering Physics (offered with the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences) and Materials Science & Engineering.
  • 2001: Connecticut Global Fuel Cell Center is founded.
  • 2003: The 110k sq. ft. Information Technologies Engineering Building is completed ($34 million in UConn 2000 funds) and the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department and Computer Science & Engineering Department assume residency.

6/13/06 – 1/1/08 Erling Smith, Interim

  • 2007: Eminent Faculty Initiative in Sustainable Energy is announced (annual State funding of $2 million with industry matching funds).
  • 2007: Connecticut Transportation Institute is selected a Department of Homeland Security National Center of Excellence in Transportation Security.

1/2/08 – 6/1/12 Mun Y. Choi

  • 2008: Engineering-led team receives USAID-Higher Education Development funding to help Ethiopia’s universities develop a water resources workforce via enhanced educational capacity.
  • 2010: National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research (CAE-R) is established in (2010-15) by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security.
  • 2010: Pratt & Whitney establishes a Center of Excellence in aviation propulsion systems at UConn.
  • 2011: State approves construction of UConn Tech Park and inaugural engineering building.

6/1/12 – present Kazem Kazerounian

  • 2012: GE invests $7.5M in UConn Engineering to support innovations in electrical distribution products.
  • 2012: Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) formally established, jointly created and administered by UConn Engineering with Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine.
  • 2013: Pratt & Whitney Additive Manufacturing Innovation Center established; Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Innovation established within C2E2; UTC Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering established
  • 2014: Comcast Center of Excellence for Security Innovation established within the Center for Hardware Assurance, Security and Engineering (CHASE)