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Civil Engineering at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering

A brief history focusing on important dates, people, and mergers that shaped the department.

Lindsay Anderberg

on 20 July 2016

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Transcript of Civil Engineering at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Civil Engineering
A brief history of the department at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering
BS in Civil Engineering, 1862-1869
PIB Engineering Drafting Room circa 1890
First PIB C.E. Graduate, 1871
Frederick Slate, Jr.
BS with a Course in Civil Engineering
Henry C. Goldmark, 1874 PIB
Polytechnic Reporter
, October 15, 1931
Arthur V. Abbott, 1875 PIB
After graduating from the Scientific Course in Civil Engineering in 1875, Abbott was appointed assistant engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge. Abbott's Testing Machine was used throughout bridge construction. He also invented a coupling system for the bridge cables, which provided increased strength and support.
PIB's general "Scientific Course" is refined
into subdivisions of:

Civil Engineering
Applied Chemistry
Electrical Engineering

- First Civil Engineering Professor
at PIB

- Professor of Physical Science
and Engineering

- Professor of Engineering &
Architecture (1897-1899)

- Professor of Civil Engineering

George W. Plympton
1900: PIB Civil Department formed
- The split of B.C.P.I into Poly Prep and P.I.B. allowed each discipline to become an independent department

- Civil breaks away from the general "Scientific Course"

- The New York Regents approve Poly to grant professional degrees in Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering
1901: Master of Science for
Civil majors offered
1920: Student chapter of ASCE formed
Squire (front, center) is named Head of the Civil Engineering Department in 1938. This is the first time the terms "head" and "department" are used.
Nomer Gray, 1939 PIB
Partner-in-charge of activities for the Verrazano-Narrows, Throgs Neck, and Triborough bridges.
PIB 1950s
During this time, research was focused on hydraulics, sanitary engineering, transportation engineering, and surveying. The department was quite proud of the fact that 100% of graduates passed the professional engineer’s license exam.
PIB 1960s: Courses in Computer Techniques in Engineering
A CE student uses Auto Trol, an early CAD machine
PhD in Civil Engineering, PIB
1963: PhD course is
offered for the first time

1968: First PhD awarded
to James Newell O'Gorman
PINY, 1980s-1990s
Civil lab circa 1979
PIB C.E. Leadership
1900-1906 George W. Plympton

1906-1910 Charles M. Spofford

1910-1927 Clarence W. Hudson

1927-1930 Henry P. Hammond

1930-1937 Henry R. Codwise
C.E. Department Heads
PINY, Poly U.,
NYU-Poly, NYU Tandon

1970-1982 Henry F. Soehngen

1983-1985 Carl J. Turkstra

1986-1990 Alvin S. Goodman

1992-1998 Ilan Juran

1998-2001 John Falcocchio

2001-2003 Fletcher (Bud) H. Griffis

2003-2009 Roger Roess

2009-2013 Lawrence Chiarelli

2013-2016 Magued Iskander
Edward Jacob Squire, PIB
Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute founded
First Civil Engineering courses taught at NYU
1862 C.E. degrees first offered at NYU;
this year is often considered the
beginning of the College of Engineering

1869 Board of Regents authorizes
conferral of BS degrees at PIB
NYU's College of Engineering and College of Arts & Pure Science move uptown to the new University Heights campus
NYU College of Engineering changes its name to the NYU School of Applied Science.
Civil labs included: Cement Testing, Steam Engineering, Compressed Air, Surveying, Hydraulics, Drawing, Geology, and Testing
NYU C.E. water testing lab
NYU Heights Campus
C.E. students surveying in front of the The Heights library
1920: Name changes back to the College of Engineering

1937: MS in C.E. first offered

1938: PhD in C.E. first offered

1939: PhD awarded to Samuel Lubkin, "Stability of Columns under
Periodically Varying Loads"
Bridge load capacity study
NYU, 1970s
The NYU C.E. Dept. uses models to study salt water cooling tower plume characteristics, 1971
NYU Heights Campus
Transportation Planning, PIB
MS in Urban Transportation
Planning introduced

PhD in Transportation
Planning first offered

Engineer in Transportation
Planning first offered

Transportation Research
Institute (TRI) founded
NYU sells the Heights campus. NYU's College of Engineering and PIB merge, forming the Polytechnic Institute of New York (PINY)
Name change to
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Top sponsored research: environmental engineering and waste water systems, bridge construction, geotechnical engineering, transportation research, and fuzzy sets.
Geotechnical engineering lab upgraded
Transportation Research Consortium projects with City College and Princeton
Department Leaders
Department Heads
1938-1956 Edward J. Squire

1957-1968 Robert B. Moorman

1968-1970 John G. Duba

1970-1982 Henry F. Soehngen
NYU C.E. Leadership
1892-1896 Charles B. Brush

1897-1930 Charles H. Snow
Director of the College of Engineering/Professor of Civil Engineering
Chairman of the Civil Engineering Department
1931-1936 Dean Saville

1937-1948 Dr. Wessman

1948-1949 Douglas Trowbridge (acting)

1949-1950 Robert L. Lewis

1950-1951 Douglas Trowbridge (acting)

1951-1954 Thomas Kavanagh

1955-1972 James Michalos
NYU-Poly taking first place in the concrete canoe competition, 2013
Majors and Programs offered in the
Department of Civil and Urban Engineering and Construction Management

BS Civil Engineering PhD Civil Engineering
BS Construction Management PhD Transportation Planning and
MS Civil Engineering
MS Construction Management CT Traffic Engineering
MS Environmental Engineering CT Construction Management
MS Environmental Science CT Transportation Management
MS Transportation Management CT Transportation Planning
MS Transportation Planning and Engineering
MS Urban Systems Engineering and Management
C.E. Quick Facts
1854 Established

1869 BS offered

1871 BS in C.E. awarded

1900 C.E. Dept. formed

1901 MS in C.E. offered

1963 PhD in C.E. offered

1968 PhD in C.E. awarded
1831 Established

1862 BS in C.E. offered

1894 Heights Campus

1937 MS in C.E. offered

1938 PhD in C.E. offered

1939 PhD in C.E. awarded
1973 Merger creates the Polytechnic Institute of New York

2014 Merger creates the NYU Polytechnic School of

2016 School is re-named as the NYU Tandon School of
Presentation by:
Lindsay Anderberg

Archivist & User Services Librarian
Bern Dibner Library, Poly Archives
All images courtesy of the Poly Archives and NYU University Archives
Works Cited
Abbott, Arthur Vaughan.
Testing Machines: Their history, construction and use.
New York: D. Van Nostrand. 1884.

Alumni News.
The Polytechnic
. March 1895, vol. 5, no. 6.

Archives H, Engineering. Box 2, Folders 1-8. NYU University Archives.

Berkeley: Departments and Programs. University of California History: Digital archives. The Regents of the University of California. 2004.

Brooklyn Review: A non-profit publication and the voice for the Better Brooklyn Committee and the Brooklyn Hall of Fame, 1964.

Catalogues of the Polytechnic Institute
- 1854-1864
- 1865-1875
- 1900-1905
- 1930-1931
- 1962-1963
- 1968-1969
- 1970-1971
- 1993-1995
- 1999-2001

Guide to the Frederick Slate Papers, 1862-1937. Collection number BANC MSS C-B 1051. The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. 1997.

NYU College of Engineering Bulletins
- 1892-1908
- 1936-1943
- 1940-1948

Aronovitz, Revben. “A Short History of the Department of Civil Engineering.”
NYU Quadrangle,
Centennial Issue, Jan. 1955.

- 1921
- 1922
- 1955

Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn Commencement binder, 1963-1968

The Polytechnic Reporter
- October 15, 1931
- October 21, 1931

“Honor Men at Polytechnic Institute.”
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle
. June 15, 1939.

Raymond, R.W. “George Washington Plympton: Tribute of Justice and Friendship.”
The Engineering and Mining Journal
, January 11, 1908.

Full transcript