1887 - 1945
Programs in engineering and computer science have a long and distinguished history at Syracuse University. As early as 1877, courses in civil engineering were available to students through the College of Liberal Arts; electrical engineering followed in 1897, and mechanical engineering in 1900. The university, together with the vision and financial support of the noted industrialist Lyman Cornelius Smith, established a college dedicated solely to the instruction of young men and women in various areas of applied science in 1901. Programs in industrial (1911), chemical (1914), and aeronautical engineering (1927, now known as aerospace engineering) were added to respond to societal demand.
1945 - 1970
After World War II, the college faculty and staff made heroic efforts to successfully provide engineering education to hundreds of returning veterans. The College of Applied Science became the College of Engineering in 1952. Facilities were expanded to include Hinds Hall, named for William Lawyer Hinds, then chairman of the Crouse-Hinds Company of Syracuse. Link Hall, named for Edwin A. Link, the noted aviator and inventor of the Link Flight Trainer, was built in 1970 to provide for expanding undergraduate and graduate programs. A master's program in engineering administration (now known as engineering management) was established in 1957.
In 1958, the Institute for Sensory Research was established under the direction of Dr. Jozef Zwislocki (now Distinguished Research Professor of Neuroscience and a member of the National Academy of Sciences), who developed a community of faculty, staff, and students that is world-renowned for multidisciplinary studies of the structure and function of sensory systems. From this community, the undergraduate program in bioengineering was established in 1971.
1970 - 1995
Syracuse University became the second institution in the country to offer degrees in computer engineering when it established programs in this new discipline in 1971; programs in environmental engineering also were started that year. In 1985, programs in manufacturing engineering and engineering physics were established.
The Center for Advanced Technology in Computer Applications and Software Engineering was created in 1984 under the leadership of Dr. Bradley J. Strait, professor of electrical engineering who served as dean of the college from 1981-1984 and 1989-1992. The Northeast Parallel Architectures Center, an interdisciplinary center for high performance computing followed in 1987, and the Center for Hypersonics, supported by NASA to focus on studies in air and space travel, was created in 1993.
Interdisciplinary programs in computer and information science were established at Syracuse University in 1966, and the separate School of Computer and Information Science was created in 1976. In 1992, the College of Engineering and the School of Computer and Information Science were combined to create the united L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science.
1995 - Present
Among its recent achievements, the College unveiled a $4.5 million environmental systems complex in Fall 2001. This facility provides sophisticated research and teaching facilities for programs in environmental, chemical, civil, and mechanical engineering programs. In May 2001, a consortium of colleges and universities, led by the College, was awarded $15.9 million by the New York State Office of Science, Technology, and Research to fund the establishment of the New York Environmental Quality Systems Center at Syracuse University. Also in 2001, the College received a $3 million grant from NASA and the State of New York to establish the Advanced Interactive Discovery Environment for Engineering Education, a state-of-the-art virtual learning environment.
Balancing its commitment to excellence in education in engineering and computer science with the leadership role that it plays in emerging and innovative technologies, the college is recognized nationally for excellence in teaching and research.