A BRIEF HISTORY OF COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND COMPUTER SCIENCE at CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, NORTHRIDGE
1956 - 1959 Division of Engineering Created
The California State University, Northridge campus was first established as the San Fernando Valley campus of the Los Angeles State College in 1956. In 1958 the campus became San Fernando Valley State College. George Harness came from the University of Southern California to plan the engineering program in 1959. A Division of Engineering was formed with Dr. George Harness appointed as chairman. He was the founding dean of what is now known as the College of Engineering and Computer Science.
1960 Division of Engineering Admitted First Students
The first freshman engineering class entered the school. The Engineering program was designed as an interdisciplinary program organized into three Departments: Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Mechanics and Materials, and Thermodynamics and Transport Engineering. This departmental structure supported the interdisciplinary nature of the original engineering program. The Division of Engineering was originally housed in the Science Building.
1965 New Engineering Building Completed
The Division of Engineering moved into the new Engineering Building, built at a cost of $4,135,000, in the Fall of 1965. The Computer Center was also housed in this building.
1965 School of Engineering Named
The Division of Engineering was renamed to the School of Engineering.
1966 Engineering Program Accredited
The engineering program was accredited by the Engineers' Council for Professional Development. The program has been continuously reaccredited since.
1966 M.S. in Engineering offered
The Division of Engineering began offering a selection of graduate courses in 1962, and in 1966 initiated the interdisciplinary Master of Science in Engineering program. By 1970, graduate course offerings were sufficiently diverse that students could pursue an area of specialization within the program, although specializations were not indicated on the diploma.
1969 Department of Thermodynamics and Transport Engineering Renamed
The Thermodynamics and Transport Engineering Department was renamed to the Department of Thermal-Fluid Systems.
1972 New Dean Named
Dr. George Harness retired as dean in 1972, and Dr. Charles Sanders was named acting dean. In this same year San Fernando Valley State College was officially renamed to California State University, Northridge. In 1975 Dr. Sanders was appointed dean of the School of Engineering, a position he held until August of 1981.
1973 Computer Science Program Established
An inter-disciplinary Computer Science program was added to the curriculum.
1975 M.S. in Computer Science Offered
The M.S. in Computer Science was initiated with a core of advanced courses and complemented by a set of electives, a seminar and a project or thesis.
1976 School of Engineering and Computer Science Formed
The interdisciplinary computer science program became its own department and the School of Engineering was renamed School of Engineering and Computer Science.
1978 Three Departments Renamed
The Department of Mechanics and Materials was renamed to the Department of Mechanics, Civil and Industrial Engineering (MCI). The Department of Thermal-Fluid Systems was renamed to the Department of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering. An option to pursue a specialty in Chemical Engineering was added. The Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering was renamed to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
1981 New Dean Appointed
Dr. Alfonso (Rick) Ratcliffe was appointed Acting Dean as a successor to Dr. Charles Sanders Dr. Ratcliffe was appointed Dean in 1983 and served as dean until 1992.
1982 MCI Department Renamed
The Department of Mechanics, Civil and Industrial Engineering was renamed to the Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering and Applied Mechanics (CIAM).
1987 B.S. in Computer Science Accredited
The B.S. in Computer Science program was accredited by the Computer Science Accreditation Board (CSAB). The CSAB was eventually merged into the Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET).
1987 Department of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering Renamed
The Department of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering was renamed to the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The option to pursue a specialty in Chemical Engineering was dropped.
1989 M.S. Options in Engineering Established
The following five options in the M.S. in Engineering program were formally approved in 1989: Applied Mechanics, Electrical Engineering, General Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Structural Engineering. These degrees were offered through the existing departments.
1992 Dean Ratcliffe Retires
Dean Ratcliffe retired after serving 11 years in the capacity of Dean. Dr. Diane Schwartz was appointed interim dean from 1992 to 1994.
1994 New Dean Appointed, New Engineering Wing Completed, and New Programmatic Changes
Dr. Charles Alexander was appointed dean of the School of Engineering and Computer Science. He served from 1994 to 1996. A new two-story wing of the Engineering Building (Engineering Addition) was completed in September 1994, after the Northridge Earthquake. The total cost was $16,584,000. Formal options in Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering were offered as degree programs for the B.S. in Engineering.
1996 Administrative and Programmatic Changes
The School of Engineering and Computer Science was renamed as College of Engineering and Computer Science. Dr. Dorothy Miller was appointed as interim dean and served until the end of 1997. The Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering and Applied Mechanics was renamed to the Department of Civil and Manufacturing Engineering (CME). The B.S. in Engineering with options in Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering were accredited as separate programs in 1996. The B.S. in Manufacturing Systems Engineering option was established.
1998 New Dean Appointed and Additional M.S. Options Established
Dr. Larry Caretto was appointed dean. He served until 2001. M.S. options in Automation Engineering, Engineering Management, and Materials Engineering were established.
2000 B.S. in Separate Fields Established
Separate B.S. degree programs were established in Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Manufacturing Systems Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. These degree programs replaced the options available within the B.S. in Engineering degree.
2001 CME Department Restructured
In the Fall of 2001, the Department of Manufacturing Systems Engineering and Management was created to host the B.S. in Manufacturing Systems Engineering, M.S. in Engineering Options in Automation Engineering, Materials Engineering, and Engineering Management programs. The Civil and Manufacturing Engineering Department was renamed to the Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics (CEAM), awarding a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an M.S. in Engineering with options in Applied Mechanics and Structural Engineering. Dr. Diane Schwartz was appointed for a second time as interim dean of the College and served in this capacity until 2002.
2002 B.S. Degrees Accredited and New Dean Appointed
The separate B.S. degree programs in Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering were accredited by ABET. Dr. S. T. Mau was appointed dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science. He Served from 2002 until 2006.
2003 M.S. in Electrical Engineering and M.S. in Engineering Management Established
Separate M.S. in Electrical Engineering and M.S. in Engineering Management were established to replace the existing M.S. in Engineering options.
2003 B.S in MSE Accredited
The B.S. in Manufacturing Systems Engineering program was accredited by ABET.
2005 Separate M.S. Program Established
M.S. in Materials Engineering degree program was established to replace the existing M.S. in Engineering with option in materials engineering program.
2005 Construction Management Technology Program Established
B.S. in Construction Management Technology began admitting upper division transfer students.
2006 Renovation Completed and New Dean Appointed
The old wing of the engineering building was renovated at a cost of $20 million and the building complex was renamed Jacaranda Hall. Dr. S.K. Ramesh was appointed dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science.
2007 M.S. in Software Engineering Established and New Outreach Program
A new Master of Science program in Software Engineering was approved beginning in fall 2007. This program was designed to meet the software engineering needs of working professionals and local industry and covers new and emerging concepts in software engineering.
A new outreach program was launched in fall 2007 called ACCESS (Accelerated Coursework in Computer science and Engineering for Student Success) and enabled 71 students from 8 area high schools to enroll in the Introduction to Engineering course (MSE 101) at CSUN. The course was delivered online and labs were performed at individual school sites with selected high school teachers who served as adjunct lab instructors.
Also six of the undergraduate programs in the college were reviewed by ABET in October 2007.
2008 Bachelors Degree Programs Accredited by ABET
The bachelors degree programs in Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Manufacturing Systems Engineering were reaccredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. The bachelors degree program in Computer Science was reaccredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. Also accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET was the bachelors degree program in Computer Engineering that was reviewed for the first time in 2007.
The ACCESS program expanded to include 122 high school students from 11 high schools including California Partnership Academies at Monroe HS and Chatsworth HS with small learning communities focused on engineering and design.
Enrollment in the college exceeded 2,400 students in fall 2008 including a 21% increase in freshmen enrollment and an increase of 29% in graduate enrollment.
2009 Engineering Management Degree Program Established
A new bachelors degree program in Engineering Management was approved to begin in spring 2009. An interdisciplinary self-supported Masters Degree program in Assistive and Rehabilitative Technologies with collaboration from the Colleges of Health and Human Development and the Tseng College of Extended Learning was approved to begin in spring 2010. This was recognized as a Professional Science Masters degree program by the Council on Graduate Schools.