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Centennial - Timeline


1900 - 1909


1902-1903 - First Electrical Engineering courses appear in the university catalogue and efforts to organize a department are made by L.D. Crain.

1903 - An independent electrical engineering building is established under the administration of President Aylsworth.

1904 - Under the guidance of L.D. Crain, the Colorado State College establishes its own branch of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers.

1906-1907 - Electrical Engineering is removed from the course catalogue for one year.

1907 - Westinghouse and General Electric offer their services to install machinery and equipment for Colorado State College's electrical engineering students.

1907-1908 - Course catalogs first acknowledge the availability of a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering, following the department's reorganization by Charles A. Lory.

1908 - The department of electrical engineering designs a model three bedroom home to compare and contrast the efficiency of different types of stoves. The home was among the department's first experimental projects.

Lory 1908 - Prof. Charles A. Lory gives a talk before the Woman's Club of Fort Collins to explain the uses of electricity in the home.

1909 - Charles Lory becomes college president.


1910 - 1919


1910 - F.A. Delay becomes department head.

1910 - First students graduate from the Department of Electrical Engineering at Colorado Agricultural College. Six students are awarded their degrees.

1913 - Prof. Delay leaves his position as department head. Fred G. Person becomes the new department head.

1917 - The Department offers to train telegraphers for free as a contribution to the war effort.

1918 - Over 40 enlisted men are trained in telegraphy and communication on the ether by C.A.C.'s Department of Electrical Engineering.

1919 - At the time the Departments of Physics and Electricity were united. In 1919, the two departments officially split. L.S. Foltz becomes the new department head of Electrical Engineering.


1920 - 1929


1920 - First course for women offered in department of Electrical Engineering. Like many of the college courses designed for women during this period, the course emphasized the application of knowledge in the domestic setting, and was offered as a supplementary course to the Domestic Science major at the College..

1921, Jan - Prof. Foltz resigns as department head and G.B. Rolson becomes interim department head.

1921, Aug - Colorado Agricultural College is recognized as a "Distinguished College" by the War Department for their contributions to military branch training programs. This includes the efforts of electrical engineers who trained soldiers during the First World War in telegraphy and communication on the ether.

1921, Sept - Henry Jordan is appointed by the Colorado State Board of Agriculture as department head. He remains in this position without interruption for 32 years, until 1953.

1924, Feb - The various engineering departments of Colorado Agricultural College organize an exhibit at the National Western Stock Show in Denver emphasizing electricity on the farm.

1925/26 - Under the direction of Henry Jordan, North and South Wings are added to the Electrical Engineering Building. These additions function as student labs.

1929 - Fourteen undergraduate students are awarded their degrees from the Electrical Engineering Department - the largest graduating class in the department's history thus far.


1930 - 1939


1930, Oct 1 - Henry Jordan, Department Head of Electrical Engineering, Travels to the Massachussettes Institute of Technology to train in a nine-month engineering master's degree program.

1930, Oct 22 - 1,362 students enroll at Colorado Agricultural College, breaking all previous records for enrollment. 311 are engineers.

1932, Sept - Electrical Engineers Club is founded.

1932, Mar 16 - W.L. Wallace, Secretary of National Engineering Council, speaks to engineers on campus

1935 - National Youth Administration is formed under New Deal to provide financial support through employment for college students The program helps hundreds of Colorado A&M students, many of them engineers, fund their education.

1935, Oct 2 - Colorado State receives $122,000 in grants to build a new Student Union building.

1935, Oct 23 - Dr. Flanders speaks to all engineering students about the national role of engineers in smoothing the economic cycle and the importance of licensing and expansion of the profession.

1936, Mar 20 - Alpha Alpha chapter of Sigma Tau, national engineering honors society, is founded at Colorado State.

1938, Sept - The worst flood in College's history to date does considerable damage to Colorado State Campus.

1938, Oct - Colorado State receives $117,000 in grants to build new educational facilities including a veterinary building, an agricultural building, and an expanded heating plant.

1939, Sept - Second World War begins in Europe.

1939, Oct - All engineering departments are accredited by the Engineering Council for Professional Development.

1939 - College wide registration records are broken once again - over 1,800 students enroll for classes in the fall.


1940 - 1949


1941, Dec. 4 - Colorado State is one of a number of Land Grant Colleges that is awarded a portion of a $17.5 million government grant to develop and expand enrollment in courses deemed necessary for National Defense. Courses in electrical engineering - such as elements of electrical circuits and machinery - qualified for funding under the program, and students were given the opportunity to register for such courses free of charge.

1941, Dec 11 - In response to Pearl Harbor and America's entry into the war, parts of campus were almost immediately put under the authority of the United States Army and placed under armed guard.

1942, Jan 8 - The campus holds its first scrap iron drive under supervision of the Colorado State College Extension Service.

1942, Jan 20 - President Green announces an all-men's assembly to discuss the war and the enrollment status of students drafted for military service.

1942, Jan 29 - The dollar amount of Defense Bonds purchased by faculty and College employees surpasses $3,000.

1942, Feb 12 - 140 of Colorado State's female students enroll in nurses aid courses sponsered by the Red Cross.

1942, Oct 15 - 800 enlisted men arrive at Colorado State for training in civilian clerical work.

1942, Oct 29 - Colorado State students are dismissed for a day to assist with the Colorado State sugar beet harvest.

1942, Dec 3 - An obstacle course is built at Colorado State to provide strength straining for the 1,031 men receiving training at the university.

1942, Dec 10 - The engineering department begins developing an accelerated 12-week course for women engineers. It is designed to prepare them for work in civil service positions. At the same time the Curtiss-Wright Corporation begins a national campaign to train a large number of women in engineering at prestigious schools. Nine Colorado State students are selected to participate.

1943, Sept 3 - Enrollment figures exceed expectations at Colorado State - over 1,400 military personnel and 570 civilians (mostly women) register for courses. Soldiers are offered engineering education at a Basic Engineering Training Unit established on campus.

1944, Mar 9 - With the assistance of the Disabled Veteran's Administration, President Green and the College Building Committee begin plans for future development of the campus to accommodate war vets. Plans for the construction of new classroom buildings and an auditorium costing $250,000 are discussed.

1945, Feb 8 - Colorado State celebrates its 75th anniversary.

1945, Oct - The first semester held following the war's conclusion begins. Enrollment doubles compared to 1944.

1945, Sept - Dec - The campus is faced with housing shortages as a result of the large influx of war veterans. Temporary housing units are installed on campus, but fail to fully accommodate all the new Colorado A & M students.

1946, Oct 4 - Enrollment figures surpass all historic records by 80%. More than 3,600 students register for courses.

1946, Oct 25 - The first edition of the Engineering Publication, The Slide Rule, is published.

1947, Oct - The college receives surplus radar equipment from the military. The equipment is used by electrical engineers for study and research.

1948, May 7 - During its evaluation of the Colorado A & M's engineering divisions, the Engineering Committee for Professional Development commends the Department of Electrical Engineering for the quality of its programs.

1948, Oct - Henry Jordan, head of the Department of Electrical Engineering, is appointed Dean of the Division of Engineering - a capacity he had served in on two occasions in the past.


1950 - 1959


1951, Aug - The campus is damaged by the worst flood in its history to date. The Student Union is inundated with two feet of water. The Electrical Engineering Building was damaged, and valuable scientific equipment was lost.

1952, Apr 22 - John Dean replaces Henry Jordan as department head of Electrical Engineering.

1952, Apr 25 - "Elmer," a robot designed by Electrical Engineering, is unveiled at the annual Engineer's Day. Built in 1949, he was controlled on a single panel and was able to walk, sit, and even talk by making various noises.

1953, Dec - The engineering newspaper, The Slide Rule, reappears after an absence of two years. It was published intermittently over the next 4 years until it was reworked into a more professional magazine format in 1957.

1956 - Rex Sjostrom and Umar Dabbagh are the first two students to receive the Master of Electrical Engineering degree at Colorado State University.

1957, May 1 - Colorado Agricultural and Mechanical College officially becomes Colorado State University.

1957, Sept - Construction is completed on the new Engineering Building which has housed the University's engineering divisions to the present day.

1957, Sept - An atomic reactor is installed within the new Engineering Building at Colorado State University. It was purchased with a grant from the United States Atomic Energy Commission.

1958 - A new library annex is opened within the recently completed Engineering Building.

1959 - Spring Registration figures surpass all prior records - 5,021 students enroll at Colorado State University.


1960 - 1969


1960 - 152 students enroll for coursework as electrical engineering majors. Electrical engineering hosts the largest student body in the College of Engineering.

1961 - Based on enrollment, the College of Engineering becomes the largest professional college at Colorado State University.

1963 - The American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) and the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE), the two professional societies which had until then served electrical engineers, combined into one organization, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).

1963 - The Department of Electrical Engineering awards its first master's of science degree to Pen Chao Chou.

Maxwell1964 - Lee Maxwell is hired. He was the first professor with a Ph.D. to remain with the Department of Electrical Engineering for more than a year.

1967 - The Electrical Engineering department brings in over $190,000 for research programs.

1967 - The SURGE program is implemented by the College of Engineering and several Electrical Engineering professors - including Lee Maxwell and Aram Budak - are closely involved in the program's direction. The program forges a close relationship between Colorado State University's engineering departments and local industries.

1968 - The Department of Electrical Engineering hires Carl Wilmsen whose research in Solid State Materials attracted funding from NASA and contributed to the expansion of the department's research facilities in the late 1960s. Wilmsen remained with the department until retirement in 2003.

1968 - Studying under Lee Maxwell, Lawrence Elsswroth Colip is the first student to receive his Ph.D. from the Department of Electrical Engineering.

1968 - Project CO-TIE (Cooperation Via Televised Instruction in Education) is initiated by Colorado State University in cooperation with Colorado's junior colleges. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the program provided engineering instruction through videotapes and computer networks to interested students at the state's junior colleges.

1969 - Another enrollment record is set. 16,300 students enroll for coursework at Colorado State University - 5,000 are incoming freshmen.


1970 - 1979


1970, May - Old Main, an iconic landmark at Colorado State University, is burned to the ground. Arson is suspected, but no suspects are ever identified.

1970 - The first ever engineering dorm is established at Green Hall under the guidance of Charles Britton. The dorm provided engineering students with a unique living and study environment designed to facilitate their academic needs. The dorm was moved to Allison Hall in 1972.

1970 - Professor Churchill receives a five-year $800,000 grant from the United States Department of Defense for his work on project THEMIS, which studied the environmental effects on aerospace sensor systems. It is one of the largest grants received by the department to date.

1971 - The Computer Managed Learning System (CML) becomes operational. Designed by Electrical Engineering professors, the system was one of the earliest implementations of computers for educational purposes and allowed students to take courses - such as basic algebra - at their own pace.

1974 - A long tradition of Colorado State University's E-Days - the selection of E-Days royalty - was ended. Presiding over the festivities in 1973, Nancy Novinger was the final E-Days Queen.

1975 - Professor Daniel Graupe receives $150,000 in funding from the Veteran's Administration to conduct research on mobilizing artificial limbs through electric signals.

1977 - The EPA granted funds to the department for research in air pollution detection. Electromagnetics researchers - including professors T.B. Jones, William Lord, P.W. Chan, and C.Y. She - participated in the study, and explored the possibilities of utilizing electromagnetic scattering from laser sources to identify the concentration of microscopic polluting particles in the air.

1977 - During the 1977-78 academic year, the departments research expenditures rose dramatically and, for the first time in its history, the department attracted over $1 million in funding in one academic year.

1978 - Colorado State University's student chapter of IEEE is recognized as the best in the Rocky Mountain Region.

1978, Spring - Charles Britton, Assistant Dean and Professor of Electrical Engineering, directs the first summer minority work-study program. The program was implemented in order to attract and retain more women and minorities within the College of Engineering.


1980 - 1989


1981 - Not held since the early 1960s, The Engineers' Ball is revived as a part of the E-Day's celebrations in 1981.

1984 - The department of Electrical Engineering was ranked 9th in the nation among electrical engineering programs at Carnegie I Universities.

1984 - An electrical engineering computer lab was constructed with the assistance of Hewlett-Packard, needed its own computer lab, which generously donated $200,000 worth of equipment to the department.

1984, Oct - The renovated Glover Building opens for use by the College of Engineering.

1985, Sept - Electrical Engineering was able to unveil a new Robotics, Motors, and Power Laboratory that was funded and equipped by six industrial firms.

1985 - Over 550 students are registered for classes with the department of electrical engineering. High student/faculty ratios raise concerns about the sustainability of continued growth of the student body, forcing the department to implement higher enrollment standards and limit future enrollment.

1986 - Organized by IEEE students, phonathon fundraises successfully generate $46,000 from over 4,200 engineering alums.

1987 - The National Science Foundation awarded $14.6 million to the development and operation of the Center for Optoelectronic Computing Systems, a joint venture with the University of Colorado.

1987-88 - Department of Electrical Engineering research budgets rose to record levels. In the 1987-88 fiscal year, over $2.8 million worth of funding for research is acquired by the department.

1988 - As of 1988, the SURGE program has awarded over 300 master of science degrees in electrical engineering. The 1980s were a period of record enrollments in the program; in 1981 alone 599 non-traditional students took coursework through SURGE.


1990 - 1999


1990 - Made possible through National Science Foundation funding, the CSU-CHILL Doppler radar - was installed in Greeley, Colorado and came under the operational supervision of Colorado State University. The Departments of Electrical Engineering and Atmospheric Science cooperatively utilized the facility for educational and research purposes.

1992 - The Optoelectronics Center was recognized as one of four Colorado Programs of Excellence by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education.

1994 - Dr. Chen develops a self-repairing silicon CMOS chip. The chip was designed to diagnose and repair itself should it contain any defects as a result of the manufacturing process. At the time, faulty chips caused some companies to discard as many as 50 percent of their production load during the manufacturing process and Chen's design allowed manufacturers to improve production ratios.

1995 - Dr. Jorge Rocca is recognized for developing the world's first table-top-sized soft x-ray laser. The device could be used with advanced microscopes to produce images with higher resolutions than other optical instruments. Other applications for the instrument include the study of dense plasmas, gas phase and surface photochemistry, and photophysics.

1997 - The Department of Electrical Engineering initiated the ‘CONNECT' (Creation of a network for new Engineers by Creating a Team) program. CONNECT was part of the department's efforts to assist incoming freshman adjust to college life by pairing them with mentors.

1999 - After two years of construction, a newly renovated Engineering Building is unveiled.

1999, Sept - In the 1999/2000 academic year, the Department of Electrical Engineering became the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.


2000 - 2009


2000, March - The "dot-com bubble" climaxed, with the NASDAQ peaking at 5132.52. ECE enrollments are believed to be affected by the dot-com boom and bust. The department experienced a drop in enrollments in subsequent years.

2002 - The CSU-CHILL radar facility was awarded an additional five year grant worth more than $3.3 million dollars from the NSF.

2003 - The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering acquires two National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Centers: the Extreme Ultraviolet Science and Technology Center and the Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere.

2003 - Professor Tony Maciejewski becomes department head.

2004 - Dr. Randy Bartels was awarded both the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award and the Optical Society of America Adolph Lomb Medal.

2005 - Emeritus Professor Aram Budak was honored for lifetime achievements by the ECE department in October. A Fellowship endowment was created in his honor. The endowed fund has generated more than $70,000.

2005 - ECE Professor Louis Scharf received the highly prestigious IEEE Society Award from the Signal Processing Society.

2006 - ECE Professor Chandra was elected Fellow of the American Meteorological Society; Professor Rocca was named a Fellow of American Physical Society.

2006/07 - In a 2006-2007 Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index, Academic Analytics and Stony-Brook University ranked Colorado State University's ECE Department 10th in the nation among institutions offering both an electrical engineering and computer engineering major.

2007 - Professor Jorge Rocca was named a University Distinguished Professor by Colorado State University - the highest recognition awarded by CSU for outstanding accomplishments in research and scholarship.

2007 - At 31, Dr. Randy Bartels, ECE assistant professor, was awarded a Presidential Early Career Award - the U.S. government's highest honor for outstanding up-and-coming scientists and engineers.

2008 - The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering's annual research expenditures approached $10 million for the first time - a record breaking figure.

2008 - As of 2008, Colorado State University was home to eight individuals who have been awarded the distinction of IEEE Fellow. They are: Professors Venkatachalam Chandrasekar, Edwin Chong, George Collins, Anthony Maciejewski, Jorge Rocca, Louis Scharf, Ronald Sega, and Howard Siegel.

2008 - Professor Menoni was elected Fellow of American Physical Society, Optical Society of America

2009 - The department again set a record for annual research expenditures: $9,988,967. This figure surpasses the 2008 record.

2010, May- Colorado State University's Department of Electrical Engineering will celebrate the centennial anniversary of its first graduating class.