ISE History

This timeline was researched by William Gillespie and Chelsey Coombs. Much assistance was provided by College of Engineering archival specialist Bethany Anderson, and Jerry Dobrovolny's History of the Department of General Engineering 1868-1995 (facsimile PDF / searchable PDF). (We have found no similar document for Industrial Engineering but have worked from archived newsletters).  This timeline is a work in progress. This was originally posted in ISE Annual Report.  

Interactive Historical Timeline

Staff moved to DCL; work on facilities begins in earnest

Staff moved to DCL; work on facilities begins in earnest

2023

ISE (and its building) recognize 100th birthday

ISE (and its building) recognize 100th birthday

2021

Jeff Shamma appointed Head and Dobrovolny Chair

Jeff Shamma appointed Head and Dobrovolny Chair

2021

Master of Science in Health Technology Program launches

Master of Science in Health Technology Program launches

2020

Deborah Thurston appointed Interim Head

Deborah Thurston appointed Interim Head

2020

New Department Head

Deborah Thurston becomes head of ISE.

2019

ISE introduces online degree programs, including a certificate in Advanced Analytics

ISE introduces online degree programs, including a certificate in Advanced Analytics

2017

General Engineering major's name changes to Systems Engineering and Design

General Engineering major's name changes to Systems Engineering and Design

2016

Building upgrades

$250,000 of changes to Transportation Building approved.

2014

New Department Head

Rakesh Nagi becomes head of ISE.

2013

New Program

Master of Science in Financial Engineering approved.

2009

Lab Renovation

Senior Engineering Project lab undergoes $1.1 million renovation.

2008

New Department Head

Jong-Shi Pang becomes department head.

2007

First two Systems and Entrepreneurial Engineering Ph.D.s granted

First two Systems and Entrepreneurial Engineering Ph.D.s granted.

2006

Departments Merge

Industrial Engineering and General Engineering merge to become IESE, later renamed ISE.

2006

Mark Spong becomes Department Head

2003

Research Park

Research Park opens.

2001

Harry Cook becomes Department Head

Department Head Harry Cook (1998)

1998

New Lab

Mechatronics Lab established by Professors Tsao and Spong with grant from John Deere.

1998

Grainger Engineering Library

Grainger Library, the largest engineering library in the United States, opens.

1994

Department of Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering moves out

Department of Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering moves out, leaving General Engineering the only tenant of Transportation Building.

1993

New Research Lab

Henrique Reis builds Nondestructive Testing and Evaluation Research Laboratory.

1987

New Department Head

Thomas F. Conry becomes department head.

1987

Robotics

Mark Spong introduces a course on robotics.

1986

1st Super Computer

First supercomputer installed in Illinois.

1985

End of IE?

University considers terminating IE for budgetary reasons and is flooded by letters of protest from many esteemed sources, including Republic Steel, Anahuser-Busch, Eastman Kodak, General Dynamics, Illinois Power, United Airlines, International Business Machines, Fort Motor Company, United States Steel, along with other University of Illinois departments, including Accountancy and Civil Engineering.

1982

Computer Labs

Fourth floor of Transportation Building converted to computer labs.

1981

First MSGE students graduate.

First Master of Science Degree in General Engineering (MSGE)

1981

Birth of the Capstone Senior Design Project

Ford Foundation grant runs out; Senior Engineering Project continues as a corporate-sponsored endeavor. ABET will eventually recommend that all engineering curricula adopt such a capstone senior design project, and institutions nationwide emulate it.

1971

Boneyard Creek beautification project

Inspired by a visit to San Antonio, Dobrovolny inspires a student-led project to beautify the polluted Boneyard Creek, which the City of Champaign had planned to pave over. The fruits of this 100-year project can be enjoyed today.

1969

CAD introduced

Michael Pleck introduces CAD in GE 103

1968

Senior Engineering Projects

Ford Foundation grant creates industry collaboration that would become the Senior Engineering Project, then GE 242.

1966

Design sequence

Design sequence introduced into GE curriculum

1961

Departments Merge

Industrial Engineering merges with Mechanical Science and Engineering to become MechSE/IE

1960

New department head

Jerry S. Dobrovolny becomes department head

1959

Randolph P. Hoelscher retires. Department continues on.

Randolph P. Hoelscher retires; university decides to continue Department of General Engineering after publishing a study entitled the Luke Report (p17).

1959

Department renamed

Department renamed Department of General Engineering

1953

Industrial Engineering BS program

Industrial Engineering is established as a BS program

1952

Mechanical Engineering building opens

Mechanical Engineering building opens

1950

New Department Head

Randolph P. Hoelscher named head of the Department of General Engineering Drawing

1949

Secondary field options activated

Secondary field options activated on a petition basis; initial options were management, marketing, technical writing, and mining–numerous others would follow, notably law and accounting.

1949

Grace Wilson 1st female engineering instructor

Grace Wilson becomes first female engineering instructor, becoming a full professor in 1972.

1946

First College of Engineering Parade

First College of Engineering Parade

1924

New Department Head

Harvey H. Jordan becomes department head

1921

General Engineering Drawing becomes a department

Harvey H. Jordan took the reins of the newly designated Department of General Engineering Drawing.

1921

Transportation Building Finished

Transportation Building finished, the total cost was $168,000.

1921

Harvey Halordan becomes head of general engineering drawing curriculum.

Harvey Halordan becomes head of general engineering drawing curriculum.

1917

1st half of Transportation Building Completed

First half of Transportation Building completed in 4 months for $86,000; third floor dedicated to General Engineering Drawing; building houses Department of Railway Engineering--railway motifs can still be found in exterior and banister designs, notably winged locomotive wheels on upper exterior corners.

 

1912

Harry W. Miller placed in charge of general engineering

Harry W. Miller placed in charge of general engineering drawing curriculum; in 1912 he publishes two textbooks: Mechanical Drafting and Descriptive Geometry.

1908

Assistant Dean Fred Duane Crawshaw in charge

Assistant Dean Fred Duane Crawshaw in charge of general engineering drawing curriculum, vesting responsibility for this program in the Office of the Associate Dean.

1908

New GE Department

General Engineering Drawing Department requested

 

1904

Engineering Experiment Station

First Engineering Experiment Station in America established at Illinois, it’s first experiments are an investigation of reinforced concrete.

1903

First African-American Student Graduates from Illinois

Illinois graduates its first African-American student.

1900

Engineering Hall completed

1894

1st Professor of General Engineering

James Davio Phillips first professor tasked to coordinate general engineering drawing curriculum.

1893

Graduate School

Graduate school and Extension program established.

1893

1st General Engineering Curriculum

General engineering drawing curriculum founded–the roots of ISE

1887

1st African American student admitted

Illinois admits first African-American student

1887

University Renamed

Illinois Industrial University renamed University of Illinois

1885

Women in Department

Trustees allow women to attend.

1870

Instructional program in engineering created with four departments

Instructional program in engineering created with four departments: Mechanical Science and Art, Civil Engineering, Mining Engineering and Metallurgy, and Architecture and Fine Arts. Stillman Williams Robinson, Illinois’ first professor and later dean of Engineering, designs an innovative engineering curriculum that includes both science-based lectures and experimental laboratory practice.

1870

University's first student

James Newton Matthews becomes the University's first student

1868

Illinois Industrial University

Illinois Industrial University, as it was first called, opens
Engineering curriculum founded

1867

Lincoln signs Morrill Act

Abraham Lincoln signs Morrill Act establishing 37 public land-grant institutions.

1862