Cockrell School of Engineering

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The Cockrell School of Engineering
Cockrell School of Engineering logo.png
Established 1894
Type Public
Parent institution
University of Texas at Austin
Endowment $144 million
Dean Sharon Wood
Academic staff
Undergraduates 5,765
Postgraduates 2,035
Location Austin, Texas, USA

The Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin has more than 7,800 students enrolled in nine undergraduate degrees and thirteen graduate programs. The college is ranked fourth in the world according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities[1] and eighth nationally by U.S. News & World Report,[2] while all graduate programs are ranked in the top twenty nationally.[3] Annual research expenditures are over $150 million and the school has the fourth-largest number of faculty in the National Academy of Engineering.[4][5]

Previously known as the College of Engineering, on July 11, 2007, the University of Texas at Austin renamed the College after 1936 graduate Ernest Cockrell Jr., whose family has over the past 30 years helped to build a $140 million endowment for the College.[6]

Undergraduate departments[edit]

Robert Lee Moore Hall, Engineering Science Building, and Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall as seen from east of the campus.

Rankings, in parentheses, taken from the 2010 edition of U.S. News & World Report unless otherwise specified.

  • Aerospace (7th)*
  • Architectural (1st)
  • Biomedical (19th)
  • Chemical (4th)*
  • Civil (12th)*
  • Computer (8th)*
  • Electrical/Electronic (8th)*
  • Environmental (6th)
  • Mechanical (8th)*
  • Petroleum/Geosystems (1st)

*from 2012 edition of U.S. News & World Report

Graduate departments[edit]

Overall: 8th[7]

  • Petroleum Engineering (1st)
  • Civil Engineering (3rd)
  • Environmental Engineering (4th)
  • Architectural Engineering (2nd)
  • Chemical Engineering (7th)
  • Aerospace/Aeronautical Engineering (10th)
  • Computer Engineering (5th)[8]
  • Electrical/Electronic Engineering (9th)
  • Mechanical Engineering (11th)
  • Biomedical Engineering (17th)


The Ramshorn[edit]

The Ramshorn is one of the most prominent symbols associated with the College of Engineering. Its origins as such can be traced back to over a century ago, when T.U. Taylor, the first engineering faculty member and first dean of the College, began drawing the elaborate checkmark on students' work. A mark reserved for perfect papers, Taylor overheard a student remark he had received a "ramshorn" in 1905, from which the symbol took on its current interpretation and significance. For current engineering students, it is a reminder of the high quality standards associated with all UT Austin engineers, past and present.

Alexander Frederick Claire[edit]

Alec is one of the most well-known traditions known of the College of Engineering. Over nearly 100 years, Alec has had his share of adventures; however, his beginnings as the patron saint of the College came as the byproduct of the efforts of a group of clever, mischievous sophomore engineers back in 1908.

Joe H. Gill and his engineering friends thoughtfully considered how to make a holiday of April Fool's Day. After an unsuccessful attempt involving tying cans around dogs' tails and releasing them to disrupt class, the group of students saw a wooden statue about five feet high while getting refreshments, which they requested to borrow. The next day, Gill presented the statue as their patron saint and traced his ancestry back to ancient times between classes. The presentation successfully broke up classes, and led to his christening as Alexander Frederick Claire, patron saint of UT engineers, exactly one year later. Alec was at the center of a friendly rivalry between law and engineering students for many years, and was subject to numerous escapades such as kidnappings and amputations. Today, what is left of the original wooden statue is safely preserved in the engineering library.

Every year, engineering groups on campus build new Alecs which are then voted on by the students. The winner is announced on April 1 during Alec's birthday party.

Notable faculty[edit]

Research centers[edit]

The Cockrell School of Engineering has formal organized research units that coordinate and promote faculty and student research. These units provide and maintain specialized research facilities for faculty within a designated field.[10]

Student organizations[edit]

The Cockrell School of Engineering is home to over 80 student organizations under the supervision of the Engineering Student Life Office. These organizations offer a wide variety of student groups that provide academic, professional development, service, and social opportunities. The majority are student chapters of national and international professional engineering organizations. Among the organizations are:[11]

  • The Student Engineering Council (SEC) is the umbrella organization of all the engineering student organizations, with over thirty engineering organizations affiliated. The SEC is responsible for acting as the official voice of all engineering students in the school and putting on events that benefit the engineering students including the Fall Engineering EXPO, which is the 2nd largest student-run career fair in the United States.
  • Omega Chi Epsilon (OXE) is the Chemical Engineering honor society. Candidates are invited each semester to undergo a pledge process which involves service events, social events, and faculty firesides. OXE's meetings feature high-profile industry partners and are open to all engineering students.
  • The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AICHE) is the primary professional student organization within the Chemical Engineering Department at the University.
  • The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is the primary professional student organization within the Civil Engineering Department at the University.
  • The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) is the primary professional student organization within the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University.
  • The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is the primary professional student organization within the Electrical Engineering Department at the University.
  • The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) is the primary professional student organization within the Petroleum Engineering Department at the University.
  • The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) are two professional student organizations who represent minority student engineers at the University.
  • The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is a professional student organization who represents women engineers at the University.
  • Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) is a professional student organization whose aim is to improve the sustainability at the University.
  • The Business Engineering Association (BEA) is Cockrell School of Engineering's newest professional student organization. It aims to connect business and engineering students interested in working in industries where business and engineering people work together.


  1. ^ "ARWU 2013 Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences". Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  2. ^ Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs | Rankings | US News
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Cockrell School of Engineering Facts & Figures". Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  5. ^ "Cockrell School of Engineering Research". Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  6. ^ News Releases - Cockrell School of Engineering
  7. ^ Best Engineering School Rankings | Engineering Program Rankings | US News
  8. ^ Best Computer Engineering Programs | Top Engineering Schools | US News Graduate Schools
  9. ^ "The Legend of Bob Metcalfe". Wired. November 1998. Retrieved 2007-12-07. 
  10. ^ Research Centers - Cockrell School of Engineering
  11. ^ Learn about Student Organizations - Cockrell School of Engineering

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°17′19″N 97°44′08″W / 30.2885°N 97.7355°W / 30.2885; -97.7355