Selected Facts about Civil Engineering at RPI

Posted by Amy the Archivist on October 14, 2010 in

Today we celebrate 175 Years of Civil Engineering at Rensselaer!

  • the C.E. degree was first awarded on October 14, 1835
  • the course could be completed in one calendar year
  • the C.E. degree was virtually the only degree granted at RPI from 1850 to 1911
  • the course was extended to a three year program in 1850 then a four year program in 1861
  • beginning in 1897, a summer survey course was required for all third year students
  • beginning in 1908, the summer survey requirement consisted of a three-week topographical survey at the end of the second year and a three-week railroad survey after the third year
  • the summer survey requirement was discontinued after 1957
  • a master's degree in civil engineering was first awarded in 1917
  • a doctor of civil engineering (D.C.E.) degree was first awarded in 1933
  • a Ph.D. in civil engineering was first awarded in 1956
  • Environmental Engineering was part of the Civil Engineering department from 1958 to 1967
  • the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering was created in 1992

If you have any other interesting facts about CE at RPI, leave a comment!


Albert Bromberg
Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:45 Permalink

During my tenure at RPI, 1955 - 1959, the environmental engrg. program in the Civil Engrg. Dept. was called the "Sanitary Engineering Option". Our advisor was Dr. Killcawley and there were one or two other instructors. I was one of 4-5 students that took this option.

It included courses such as communicable diseases, biology and bacteriology, water and waste water treatment design, basic stream modeling for wasteload allocation of BOD and suspended solids, and a smattering of other topics like radiological health and air pollution.

It became a full fledged Environmental program in the mid-60s when the NYS Dept. of Health sent many of its engineers to RPI to receive Master's degrees to run the rapidly expanding state environmental programs.

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