to celebrate 120th anniversary of Engineering
Mechanics in October 2007
To celebrate the mechanics program
at UW-Madison since 1887, the Department of Engineering Physics
is planning special anniversary events during Engineers Day on
Oct. 26 and 27, 2007. The celebration will include lunch, lab
tours and dinner on Friday as well as a brunch on Saturday morning
before the Badger football game.
Please add these dates to your calendar.
To help us plan, please E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
or write soon, via the addresses below, if you hope to join us.
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
12 years ago, the Department of Engineering Mechanics & Astro-nautics
merged with the Department of Nuclear Engineering & Engineering
Physics. This successful departmental merger, unique in its own right,
signaled the start of a new era for both our faculty, and it also continued
an evolutionary path for the engineering mechanics degree. In 2007,
we will be celebrating the 120th anniversary of the applied mechanics
program at UW-Madison.
If you look back into the history of UW-Madison,
you will find that key elements of the current College of Engineering
began long before the college was instituted. The academic study of
metallurgy and minerals as well as civil engineering and mechanics arts
was begun after the Civil War.
In 1887-1888, the UW Board of Regents issued
its report and “urged upon the legislature a broader and more
permanent establishment of the department of mechanic arts. Good faith
to the federal government as well as to the mechanical and manufacturing
interests of the state, requires that this department should be reorganized
with a view to larger results. The legislature met this appeal generously.
An act was passed providing that one per cent of the funds derived by
the State from license tax on transportation, telephone, and electrical
companies should be set aside to provide for needed additional facilities,
for instruction in the department of mechanic arts.”
Seven courses appeared in the UW
catalog in 1887-1888, under the title, “Pure and Applied Mechanics.”
Since that time, the academic field of mechanics at UW-Madison has seen
an interesting evolutionary history:
1887: Department of Pure and Applied Mechanics
(which eventually became the Department of Engineering Mechanics) established
with A.D. Conover serving as first chair.
1889: University reorganized again with
the College of Mechanics and Engineering being one of four colleges.
(Appropriation of one percent of the state’s railroad license
tax, for continuous use of the College of Mechanics and Engineering,
enabled college to greatly expand its work.)
1893: E.R. Maurer became chair of the department
and served in that capacity for more than 40 years.
1907: F.E. Turneaure and E.R. Maurer published
their first textbook, Principles of Reinforced Concrete Construction,
from the Department of Pure and Applied Mechanics, followed by about
20 additional textbooks in mechanics from faculty throughout the next
1938: The first PhD degree was awarded
in engineering mechanics—one of the first in the College of Engineering.
1959: Curriculum established for BS in
engineering mechanics. Previously, only graduate MS and PhD degrees
were offered in this field.
1992: Department of Engineering Mechanics
changed its name to Department of Engineering Mechanics and Astronautics.
1995: Department of Engineering Mechanics
& Astronautics merged into Department of Nuclear Engineering &
We hope you can join us in October 2007 when
we formally celebrate this great program. Learn more about our plans
by reading the details in the box above.
L. Corradini, Chair
147 Engineering Research Building
1500 Engineering Dr.
Madison, WI 53706-1687