University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The School of Engineering and Applied Science, also known as SEAS, is one of the four undergraduate schools of the University of Pennsylvania. The School offers programs that emphasize hands-on study of engineering fundamentals (with an offering of approximately 300 courses) while encouraging students to leverage the educational offerings of the broader University. Engineering students can also take advantage of research opportunities through interactions with Penn’s School of Medicine, School of Arts and Sciences and the Wharton School.

The School of Engineering and Applied Science offers bachelors, masters and PhD degree programs in contemporary fields of engineering study. The nationally ranked bioengineering department offers the School’s most popular undergraduate degree program. The Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology, offered in partnership with the Wharton School, allows students to simultaneously earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering. The School of Engineering and Applied Science also offers several masters programs, which include: Executive Master’s in Technology Management, Master of Biotechnology, Master of Computer and Information Technology, Master of Computer and Information Science and a Master of Science in Engineering in Telecommunications and Networking.

The Towne building, part of the SEAS campus.

SEAS History[edit]

The study of engineering at the University of Pennsylvania can be traced back to 1850 when the University Trustees adopted a resolution providing for a “Professorship of ‘Chemistry as Applied to the Arts’.” [1] In 1852, the study of engineering was further formalized with the establishment of the School of Mines, Arts and Manufactures. The first Professor of Civil and Mining Engineering was appointed in 1852. The first graduate of the School received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1854. Since that time, the School has grown to six departments. In 1973, the school was renamed as the College of Engineering and Applied Science.[2]

The early growth of the School benefited from the generosity of two Philadelphians: John Henry Towne and Alfred Fitler Moore. Towne, a mechanical engineer and railroad developer, bequeathed the school a gift of half a million dollars upon his death in 1875.[3] The main administration building for the School still bears his name. Moore was a successful entrepreneur who made his fortune manufacturing telegraph cable. A 1923 gift from Moore established the Moore School of Electrical Engineering, which is the birthplace of the first electronic general-purpose Turing-complete digital computer, ENIAC, in 1946.

During the later half of the 20th century the School continued to break new ground. In 1958, Barbara G. Mandell became the first woman to enroll as an undergraduate in the School of Engineering. In 1965, the University acquired two sites that were formerly used as U.S. Army Nike Missile Base (PH 82L and PH 82R) and created the Valley Forge Research Center. In 1976, the Management and Technology Program was created. In 1990, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Biomedical Science and Bachelor of Applied Science in Environmental Science were first offered, followed by a Master’s Degree in Biotechnology in 1997.

The School continues to expand with the addition of the Melvin and Claire Levine Hall for computer science in 1996, Skirkanich Hall for bioengineering in 2006 and the Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology in 2013.

Academic departments[edit]

Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science is organized into six departments:[4]

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Computer and Information Science
  • Electrical and Systems Engineering
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics

The school’s Department of Bioengineering, originally named Biomedical Electronic Engineering, consistently garners a top-ten ranking at both the undergraduate and graduate level from U.S. News & World Report.[5]

Founded in 1893, the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering is “America’s oldest continuously operating degree-granting program in chemical engineering.” [6]

The Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering is recognized for its research in electroscience, systems science and network systems and telecommunications.

Originally established in 1946 as the School of Metallurgical Engineering, the Materials Science and Engineering Department “includes cutting edge programs in nanoscience and nanotechnology, biomaterials, ceramics, polymers, and metals.”[7]

The Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics draws its roots from the Department of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, which was established in 1876.


Penn's School of Engineering and Applied Science is a research institution. SEAS research strives to advance science and engineering and to achieve a positive impact on society. Faculty at Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science have created several centers for advanced study including:

Centers and Institutes for Advanced Studies[8]
  • Centers
    • Center for Engineering Cells and Regeneration (CECR)
    • Center for Human Modeling and Simulation (HMS)
    • General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab
    • Nano/Bio Interface Center (NBIC)
    • Penn Center for Bioinformatics (PCBi)
    • Penn Center for Molecular Discovery (PCMD)
    • Penn Center for Energy Innovation (Pennergy)
    • Penn Research in Embedded Computing and Integrated Systems Engineering (PRECISE)
    • Penn Research in Machine Learning (PRiML)
  • Institutes
    • Institute For Medicine and Engineering (IME)
    • Institute for Research in Cognitive Science (IRCS)
    • Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM)
    • Penn Genome Frontiers Institute (PGFI)

Engineering Alumni Society[edit]

The Penn Engineering community enjoys an alumni community who organize a variety of activities throughout the year. Playing a critical role in the alumni network is the Penn Engineering Alumni Society,[9] which is chartered to:

  • Connect Penn Engineering Alumni with each other
  • Strengthen the bond between Penn Engineering Alumni and the School of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Provide educational programming for current Penn Engineering students

Regular events hosted by the Engineering Alumni Society include:[10]

Career Panels: These panels give students the opportunity to interact with engineering professionals from both traditional and non-traditional career paths. The panels are intended to help students evaluate career options.

Senior Design Competition: The Engineering Alumni Society sponsors this annual event for graduating undergraduate seniors. The event gives students the opportunity to showcase their year-long projects to a group of practicing professional engineers, who represent diverse technology disciplines. In addition to the technical merits of the project, an emphasis is placed on the student's ability to effectively communicate the objective, approach and conclusion of the project. Cash prizes are awarded to the top 3 finishing teams.

Summer Barbecue for Graduate Students: For over 10 years, the Engineering Alumni Society has been sponsoring a summer barbecue for graduate students in order to give them a break from their research and to give them an opportunity to socialize with other students.

D. Robert Yarnall Award Presentation: A recipient for the Yarnall Award is selected annually by the Engineering Alumni Society.


D. Robert Yarnall Award[edit]

At the conclusion of the academic year, Penn's Engineering Alumni Society selects an alum to receive the Yarnall Award. The award is named after industrialist D. Robert Yarnall, who was instrumental in driving the growth of Yarnall Waring Company (later known as Yarway) into a multinational producer of specialty powerplant valves. The Yarnall Award is presented in recognition of "an outstanding contribution in the field of engineering to society, either in public service, private industry, or education.” [11] Recipients to date are:

Year Recipient
1968 Francis G. Tatnall ME'18
1969 Sarkes Tarzian EE'24, GEE'27, HON'74
1970 Houston R. Paxson EE'23
1971 Carl C. Chambers GRE'34
1972 Robert D. Bent CHE'35
1973 J. Presper Eckert, Jr. EE'41,GEE'43,HON'64
1974 Robert E. Derby ME'38,GME'49
1975 Raymond L. Smith GR'53 (MSE)
1976 S. Reid Warren, Jr. EE'28, GRE'37
1977 Adolph O. Schaefer CHE'22
1978 Walter J. Kinderman ME'25
1979 Alfred R. Golze' CE'30
1980 Russell P. Heuer, Jr. CHE'55,GCH'57
1981 Richard A. Mulford ME'52, GME'57
1982 Harry J. Woll GRE'53 (EE)
1983 Serge Gratch CHE'46
1984 Nathaniel C. Wyeth ME'36
1985 Kenneth A. Roe GME '46
1986 Howard H. Sheppard EE'32, GEE'33
1987 John P. Mulroney CHE'57, GCH'59
1988 Paul E. Wright GME'60
1989 Richard H. Gabel ME'32
1990 Joseph Bordogna EE'55, GRE'64
1991 Harry R. Halloran, Jr. CE'61
1992 Leon Riebman EE'43, GRE'51
1993 Robert K. Raisler ME'26
1994 Juan J. Amodei GEE'61, GRE'68
1997 William K. Gemmill ME'73, GME'74, WG'78
1999 Michael D. Zisman GEE'73, GR'77
2000 Bernard S Baker.jpg Bernard S. Baker CHE'57, GCH'59
2001 Oliver C. Boileau, Jr. EE'51, GEE'53
2002 Bernard V. Vonderschmitt, GEE'56
2003 George H. Heilmeier, EE'58
2004 Suzanne Bushinsky Rowland, CHE'83
2005 Thomas A. V. Cassel, ME'68, GME'73, GR'79
2006 Jack Keil Wolf EE'56
2007 Krishna P. Singh MSE '69
2008 Robert G. Gallager EE '53
2009 Walter Korn EE '57 GEE '58
2010 Katherine Crothall EE '71
2011 Hital R Meswani ENG'90 W'90
2012 Richard D. Forman BSE '87
2013 John R. Casani, EE’55, Hon ’92
2014 David Magerman BSE '90

Award for Research Excellence in Nanotechnology[edit]

The Award for Research Excellence in Nanotechnology is given by the Nano/Bio Interface Center each year to an outstanding researcher in nanotechnology.[12]

Year Recipient Institution Rationale
2005 Horst Störmer cropped.jpg Horst Störmer Columbia University "[for having] worked extensively on the properties of two-dimensional electron sheets in semiconductors"
2006 Block banjo small.jpg Steven M. Block Stanford University "[for having] pioneered the use of laser-based optical traps (or “optical tweezers”) to study the nanoscale motions of individual biomolecules"
2007 Charles M. Lieber Harvard University "[for having] pioneered the synthesis of a broad range of nanoscale materials, the characterization of the unique physical properties of these materials and the development of methods of hierarchical assembly of nanoscale wires, together with the demonstration of applications of these materials in nanoelectronics, nanocomputing, biological and chemical sensing, neurobiology, and nanophotonics"
Christoph Gerber University of Basal "[for having] focused on nanoscale science as a pioneer in scanning probe microscopy, making major contributions to the invention of the scanning tunneling microscope and the atomic force microscope (AFM)"
2008 Naomi J. Halas Rice University "[for] inventing nanoshells, a new type of nanoparticle with tunable optical properties"
2009 Harold Craighead Cornell University "[for having] been a pioneer in nanofabrication methods and the application of engineered nanosystems for research and device applications"
2010 Angela Belcher Massachusetts Institute of Technology [13]
2011 Don Eigler Neon Argon.jpg Don Eigler "[for having] specialized in the development and use of low temperature scanning tunneling microscopes"
2012 Toshio Ando Kanazawa University "[for] developing high-speed atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM)

techniques to directly visualize protein molecules in action at high spatiotemporal resolution"[14]

2013 Joseph W. Lyding University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Silicon-based nanotechnology and scanning tunneling microscopy[15][16]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°57′06″N 75°11′25″W / 39.951775°N 75.190217°W / 39.951775; -75.190217