Colorado State University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering to Celebrate 100 Years on May 1

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The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Colorado State University will celebrate a century of innovation this May, marking 100 years since the first bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering were awarded at the university.

The college will pay tribute to the people and projects that have made an impact over the years with a reception and program from 4-6 p.m. Saturday, May 1 in the Cherokee Park Ballroom of the Lory Student Center. Reservations are required no later than Monday, April 26, by contacting Andrea Leland, ECE alumni relations coordinator, at or (970) 491-1033.

The event will feature a panel presentation from a team of alumni who led the successful 2008 Phoenix Mars Mission. Panel members, with graduation year in parentheses, are:

• Jeff Coyne (1986), Phoenix Electrical Power Subsystem lead
• Larry Ellis (1981), Phoenix Software manager
• Ed Sedivy (1979), Phoenix Program manager

Highlights of the department’s last 100 years:

1902/1903: First electrical engineering courses appear in the university catalogue.

1903: An independent electrical engineering building is established under the administration of President Aylesworth.

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

1920: First course for women offered in the 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.

1941: 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.

1957: Construction is completed on the new Engineering Building which has housed the university’s engineering divisions to the present day.

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

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.

1984: The Department of Electrical Engineering was ranked ninth in the nation among electrical engineering programs at Carnegie I Universities.

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

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

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