Tag Archives: College of Engineering

Engineering Materials Digitized and Online

Since December 2012, the University Archives has acquired over 50 new accessions of materials which have augmented the Archives’ holdings that document the College of Engineering’s rich institutional memory. These acquisitions have revealed new sources and insights into the establishment and development of Engineering’s curriculum from the University’s founding in 1867, as well as faculty research […]

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The Electrical Show: Inventions of the Past, Present, and Future Revealed

In 1907, students from the Department of Electrical Engineering participated in a campaign to raise funds to build a memorial to Robert Fulton in New York City.[1] In order to contribute to this effort, Electrical Engineering students organized exhibition that displayed their work. Attracting 1,600 visitors and raising $250 to contribute to the Fulton memorial, the […]

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The Birth of the Computer Age at Illinois

Few innovations have captured the imagination as much as the computer, and even fewer academic archives have had the opportunity to preserve its history. The University Archives houses records that chronicle not only the history of computing at the University of Illinois, but also the “campus’ past, present, and future romance with it.”[1] Indeed, the […]

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“A Very Bold and Original Device”: Donald Kerst and the Betatron

On July 17, 1940, F. Wheeler Loomis, Head of the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois, received a letter from Donald W. Kerst. The latter, a young physicist who had only begun working at the University of Illinois the prior year, penned to Loomis: Monday afternoon the electron accelerator started to work. It was […]

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Thomas Clark Shedd, Hardy Cross, and the “Broad Aspects” of Civil Engineering

In February, the University Archives acquired the papers of Thomas Clark Shedd, Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Illinois from 1925 through 1958. Comprising correspondence, publications, photographs, a field notebook, and even a slide rule, Shedd’s papers document his research on railway and bridge design as well as his interest in teaching and the development […]

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History of the Engineering Open House

“Engineers, as all citizens, have a stake in the future,” Dean Daniel Drucker wrote in his welcome letter for the 1975 Engineering Open House.[1] Echoing this sentiment a year later, he noted the global and societal importance of the work of the University of Illinois Engineering faculty, students, and alumni:

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Joseph Tykociner and the “Talking Film”

When Joseph Tykosinki-Tykociner arrived at the University of Illinois in 1921, little did the itinerant electrical engineer know that his dream of inventing sound motion pictures would reach fruition less than a year later. Tykociner, like many enterprising inventors of the early 20th century, developed his ideas during an era in which the academic discipline […]

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Capturing and Preserving Engineering’s History

In 1950, Nathan M. Newmark began work on perhaps the most important project of his career—the design and construction of the earthquake-resistant Latino-Americana Tower in Mexico City. This was to be no ordinary building, however, given the difficulties of construction on the city’s unique geological strata prone to seismic activity. As Professor of Civil Engineering, […]

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