Purdue University College of Engineering

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Coordinates: 40°25.86′N 86°54.87′W / 40.43100°N 86.91450°W / 40.43100; -86.91450

Purdue University College of Engineering
MSEE Building
Established 1874
Dean Leah H. Jamieson
Academic staff
Undergraduates 6,139
Postgraduates 2,211[1]
Location United States West Lafayette, IN, USA
Affiliations Purdue University
Website engineering.purdue.edu

The Purdue University College of Engineering is one of eight major academic divisions, or colleges, of Purdue University. Established in 1874 with programs in Civil and Mechanical Engineering, the college now offers B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in more than a dozen disciplines.[2] Purdue's engineering program has also educated 22 of America's astronauts, including Neil Armstrong and Eugene Cernan who were the first and last astronauts to have walked on the moon, respectively.[3] Many of Purdue's engineering disciplines are recognized as top-ten programs in the U.S.[4] The college as a whole is currently ranked 9th in the U.S. of all doctorate-granting engineering schools by U.S. News & World Report.[5]


The College of Engineering contains ten Schools, one Department, and three Divisions:





Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering, named after Neil Armstrong, is the flagship of the College of Engineering and home to its administrative offices, the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the School of Materials Engineering, Engineering Projects In Community Service (EPICS), Engineering Education, the Minority Engineering Program, and the Women in Engineering Program. Many other campus buildings house faculty offices, classrooms, and laboratories for engineering programs, such as the Martin C. Jischke Hall of Biomedical Engineering, the Forney Hall of Chemical Engineering, and Potter Engineering Center.[6]


The Morrill Act, signed by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln in 1862, set the stage for the state of Indiana to establish a college for agriculture and the mechanical arts. In 1874, Purdue established four-year bachelor's degree programs in civil engineering and mechanical engineering. The School of Mechanical Engineering was created in 1882, although none of Purdue's students at the time were actually qualified to enroll in any of its courses. In 1911, the School of Chemical Engineering was founded, and in 1938 became the School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering. The Agricultural Engineering program was established in 1925; it would be renamed the Division of Agricultural and Biological Engineering in 2005. In 1942, the School of Mechanical Engineering was renamed the School of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering; the Aeronautical Engineering program would be split out into the School of Aeronautics in 1945 and the School of Aeronautical Engineering in 1953. This was also the year that Purdue established the nation's first Freshmen Engineering program, in which all first-year engineering students take fundamental courses prior to enrolling in the school for their specific discipline. That same year, the Industrial Engineering Department was founded, with some courses taught by Lillian Moller Gilbreth. In 1959, the School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering split into two separate units, the latter of which was renamed the School of Materials Engineering in 1973.

The 1960s saw the establishment of the Nuclear Engineering and Women in Engineering programs. A 1 kilowatt nuclear reactor has been in operation at the campus since 1962.[7] In 1971, the National Society of Black Engineers was founded on the Purdue campus by two undergraduates. The Construction Engineering and Management Division was created in 1976. In 1989, the Materials and Electrical Engineering Building was completed, providing much-needed space for the growing School of Materials Engineering and School of Electrical Engineering. In 1995, the Engineering Projects In Community Service program was established at Purdue. Three years later, Purdue's Biomedical Engineering program was founded; in 2004, it was expanded into the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering. Also in 2004, the College of Engineering was formed as an umbrella organization for the many Schools, Departments, and Divisions of Purdue's engineering programs. That same year (2004), the Department (now School) of Engineering Education, the first of its kind in the nation, was created. Three significant College of Engineering structures would be built over the next few years: the Birck Nanotechnology Center (2005) and the Biomedical Engineering Building (now the Martin C. Jischke Hall of Biomedical Engineering) (2006), both part of Discovery Park; and the Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering, completed in 2007.[8]


The College of Engineering's undergraduate and graduate engineering programs are highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report as some of the best engineering programs in America. Many of Purdue's engineering programs are ranked within the top 10 nationally, or near the top 10, resulting in Purdue's College of Engineering coming in 9th overall for both undergraduate and graduate programs in the United States. The 2017 rankings are listed below.[9]

Academic Unit Undergrad.
College of Engineering (overall) 9 9
Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering 4 6
Agricultural and Biological Engineering 1 1
Biomedical Engineering 18 22
Chemical Engineering 13 15
Civil Engineering 6 6
Computer Engineering 11 9
Electrical Engineering 8 8
Environmental Engineering 13 18
Industrial Engineering 3 9
Materials Engineering 11 15
Mechanical Engineering 7 8
Nuclear Engineering 4 10

Purdue's engineering program is also ranked highly internationally. The Times Higher Education Supplement (2007) ranked Purdue as the 24th best university in the world in the Technology category.[10]


Purdue's College of Engineering offers many programs to its students such as the Engineering Projects In Community Service,[11] First Year Engineering Honors Program,[12] Global Engineering Program,[13] etc. which help young engineers gain real world and international experience.

M.E.T.A.L. at Purdue is a project at Purdue University that focuses on the technical aspects of musical acoustics in guitars. METAL is an acronym for Mechanical Engineering Technology Acoustics Lab.[14] In the project, undergraduate students in the department of Mechanical Engineering Technology build their own guitar.[15]

Student organizations[edit]

  • AIAA - American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics
  • AIChE - American Institute of Chemical Engineers
  • ANS - American Nuclear Society
  • ASME - American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • BMES- Biomedical Engineering Society
  • EPICS - Engineering Projects in Community Service
  • EVC - Electric Vehicle Club
  • IEEE - Student Chapter
  • IEEE Computer Society - Student Chapter
  • IIE- Institute Of Industrial Engineers (Student Chapter)
  • MAES - The Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists
  • Material Advantage (umbrella professional organization for students in Materials Engineering)
  • NSBE - National Society of Black Engineers
  • PEM - Purdue Engineering Magazine
  • PESC - Purdue Engineering Student Council
  • PMEA - Purdue Mechanical Engineering Ambassadors
  • PSEF- Purdue Student Engineering Foundation
  • SAE - Society of Automotive Engineers
  • SEDS - Students for the Exploration and Development of Space
  • SHPE - Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
  • SWE - Society of Women Engineers
  • Eta Kappa Nu, Beta Chapter (HKN) - International Honor Society for Electrical Engineers
  • Sigma Gamma Tau, American Honor Society for Aerospace Engineers
  • Theta Tau, Fraternity for Men in Engineering
  • Phi Sigma Rho, Sorority for Women in Engineering and Engineering Technology


External links[edit]