History

One of the oldest. One of the best.

From T.U. Taylor’s first college engineering course, to the renaming of the College of Engineering in honor of the Cockrell Family, to the grand opening of the one-of-a-kind Engineering Education and Research Center, Texas Engineering has experienced many milestones on its path to becoming one of the world’s highest ranked and most respected engineering schools. 

A Brief Timeline of Texas Engineering History

1880s

  • Thomas U. (T.U.) Taylor begins teaching engineering courses at UT
  • William H.P. Hunnicut receives the first UT engineering degree

1890s

  • UT College of Engineering officially established

1900s

  • Department of Civil Engineering officially established
  • Department of Mining Engineering officially established
  • Department of Electrical Engineering officially established
  • T.U. Taylor becomes the inaugural dean of the College of Engineering

1910s

  • Department of Mechanical Engineering officially established
  • Division of Engineering Research established
  • Department of Chemical Engineering officially established
  • First female engineering student, Alma Giesecke, graduates with a bachelor’s degree from UT

1930s

  • Department of Petroleum Engineering officially established
  • Willis R. Woolrich becomes dean of the College of Engineering

1940s

  • Department of Aeronautical Engineering officially established
  • UT’s first female engineering faculty member, Edith Clarke, hired to teach electrical engineering
  • Department of Engineering Mechanics officially established
  • Department of Architectural Engineering officially established
  • Engineering Placement Center (now called the Engineering Career Assistance Center) established
  • Petroleum Extension Program (PETEX) officially established

1950s

  • William W. Hagerty becomes dean of the College of Engineering

1960s

  • John J. McKetta Jr. becomes dean of the College of Engineering
  • Engineering professor Ervin S. Perry becomes the first African American faculty member hired at UT
  • Engineering Cooperative Education Program established

1970s

  • Earnest F. Gloyna becomes dean of the College of Engineering
  • Equal Opportunity in Engineering program established
  • Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall (ECJ) completed and opened on the UT campus

1980s

  • Alumnus Robert L. Crippon pilots NASA’s first space shuttle
  • Engineering Teaching Center II building (ETC) completed and opened on the UT campus
  • Chemical and Petroleum Engineering building (CPE) completed and opened on the UT campus
  • Herbert H. Woodson becomes dean of the College of Engineering

1990s

  • Women in Engineering Program established
  • Alumna Jean M. Flynn becomes the first woman fighter pilot in the history of the U.S. Air Force
  • Ben G. Streetman becomes dean of the College of Engineering

2000s

  • Department of Biomedical Engineering officially established
  • For the first time, engineering research expenditures exceed $100 million, making Texas Engineering one of the top research enterprises in the nation
  • Texas Engineering makes its first appearance in the U.S. News & World Report’s top-ten national ranking of engineering programs
  • Department of Civil Engineering officially renamed the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
  • College of Engineering officially renamed the Cockrell School of Engineering in honor of the Cockrell family’s transformative philanthropic support
  • Biomedical Engineering Building (BME) completed and opened on the UT campus
  • Gregory L. Fenves becomes dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering
  • Texas Engineering professors Adam Heller and C. Grant Willson awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by The White House

2010s

  • Department of Chemical Engineering officially named the John J. McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering in honor of McKetta’s decades of outstanding service to Texas Engineering and the chemical engineering community
  • Texas engineering professor John B. Goodenough awarded the National Medal of Science by The White House
  • Cockrell School Dean Gregory L. Fenves becomes UT Executive Vice President and Provost
  • Sharon L. Wood becomes dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering
  • Former dean Gregory L. Fenves becomes president of The University of Texas at Austin
  • Texas Engineering rises to No. 5 in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) global ranking, establishing the Cockrell School as one of the world’s elite centers of engineering education and research
  • Engineering Education and Research Center (EER) completed and opened on the engineering campus
  • Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering officially named the Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering in honor of the transformative philanthropic support from alumni Jeffery Hildebrand and Mindy Hildebrand
  • Gary L. Thomas Energy Engineering Building (GLT) receives final approval from UT System Board of Regents to commence construction as the school’s newest cutting-edge facility dedicated to education, research and innovation
  • Department of Mechanical Engineering officially named the J. Mike Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering in honor of Walker's transformative philanthropic support