Departmental History at NC State

Of all the departments and fields of study that North Carolina State University offers, the ECE Department has one of the longest histories. Dating back to 1893, the first Electrical Engineering course was offered, and became the first NCSU course ever labeled "engineering." In 1900, the first Electrical Engineering degrees were awarded, and the first Electrical Engineering laboratory was established. As the years progressed, so did the curriculum and prestige of the department. Through building moves, name changes, and program expansion, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has become a prominent staple in the engineering community.

A Brief Overview

This document chronicles the department from its inception to 1989. It was produced by a committee of three prominent faculty members of Dr. George B. Hoadley, former head of Electrical Engineering, Prof. Edward G. Manning, and Dr. William J. Barclay, chairman, all retired.

The preface for this document is seen below. A scanned copy of the original document can be found here.

Preface

Dr. George B. Hoadley (left) and Dr. William J. Barclay (right) Dr. George B. Hoadley (left) and Dr. William J. Barclay (right)
This work was undertaken at the suggestion of Dr. John Grainger and actively supported by Dr. Tildon Glisson, acting Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Dr. Glisson appointed a Committee of History and Memorials consisting of Dr. George B. Hoadley, former head of Electrical Engineering, Prof. Edward G. Manning, and Dr. William J. Barclay, chairman, all retired, with a combined total of over 90 years of active teaching in the ECE department. The first charge was the writing of a history of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.

A word of explanation on nomenclature. The name of the University has undergone many changes over the period covered by these notes, as has the Electrical Engineering Department. The most recent change, in 1988, was renaming the School of Engineering the College of Engineering. We will, in general, refer to the university at Raleigh as NC State, and to the Department of Electrical Engineering as either EE or ECE as appropriate at the time.

No history is the work of the authors alone, and this one is no exception. To list all who have contributed their time, talent, and memories would present a formidible task. Note must be taken of a few who have made particular contributions: Dr. Ralph E. Fadum, former Dean of Engineering who made his historical notes available; Maurice S. Toler, University Archivist, for guidance in the use of the University Archives; and Dr. Owens Hand Browne, son of the first head of Electrical Engineering, for his many reminiscences of his father and the department. Particular note should be made of the works of the late Willian Hand Browne, first head, whose historical writings of 1933 and 1940 tell much of the early days of Eletrical Engineering at NC State. Other sources of the early days came from Prof. Edwin W. Winkler, Mrs. Irene Glenn, widow of Prof. Karl B. Glenn, and Mrs. June Fouraker Clark, daughter of the late Professor Raymond S. Fouraker. Professor Manning did much of the research and word processing.

William J. Barclay
April 12, 1989