University of Calgary
UofC Navigation

Department History

The Department of Mechanical Engineering was established in 1966 and graduated its first class in 1969. Over the years minors have been introduced in Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Mechatronics Engineering, and Pipeline Engineering as well as specializations in Biomedical Engineering and Energy and Environment.

The Division of Manufacturing Engineering was established within the Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1990. In 1998 the Department was renamed the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, incorporating the Division of Manufacturing Engineering.

Numerous Chairs have been housed in the department over the years and currently the Westaim Nucryst / NSERC Biofilm Research Chair, the Canada Research Chair in Biomedical Engineering, the Canada Research Chair in Interfacial Phenomena, and the Canada Research Chair in Pipeline Engineering reside in the department.

Historical Timeline

1965 Faculty of Engineering status granted at the University of Calgary.
1966 Department of Mechanical Engineering established.
1968 First fourth-year class - 20 students.

CIL Explosives and High Pressure Research Laboratory established.

1969 First BSc graduating class in Mechanical Engineering – 18 BSc.

Photoelasticity laboratory equipped.

1972 Completion of the Boundary Layer / Environmental Wind Tunnel. 

Installation of a Universal Engine Test Bed, Gas Turbine and Rotary Compression Rigs.

1976 Rubber Lugger Design Competition introduced. Challenge was to design a single rubber-band powered machine for maximum travel distance. 

1982 Alumnus Dr. Robert B. Thirsk selected as one of the first six Canadian astronauts. 

1983 Opening of the CAD/CAG/CAM graphics facility and the CNC Matsuura Machining Centre.
1989 Minor in Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) introduced.

Faculty’s Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Machining Centre transferred to the Department.

1990 First BSc graduates from CIM minor.

Division of Manufacturing Engineering established within the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

1991 Mechanical Engineering Department relocates to a leased Petro Canada building in Research Park, north of the main campus.
1998 Department renamed Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, incorporating the Division of Manufacturing Engineering.

First graduates of BSc in Manufacturing Engineering.

First graduates of Petroleum Minor.

Introduction of a full-year design course for all fourth-year students.

2002 Minor in Mechatronics introduced.
2005 Department Graduate totals: BSc 143, MSc 15, MEng 4, PhD 4.