The first training in aeronautical engineering provided at Illinois was in September, 1916 when "E.N. Fales came to the College of Engineering as assistant professor of Aeronautics." He scheduled instruction for the first semester of that year.1
World War I gave added impetus to this field and in 1917 the U.S. School of Military Aeronautics was established.2 In 1944, the Trustees authorized the establishment of a Department of Aeronautical Engineering.3 In 1954, the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Aeronautical Engineering was established.4 In 1962, the name of the department was changed to the Department of Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering.5 In 2003, the name was changed again to Department of Aerospace Engineering.6
The curriculum provides strong fundamental background in engineering and applied science with emphasis on aircraft and space flight. The curriculum is continually being broadened to include such related areas as noise pollution, air pollution, human factors and transportation.7
1. Ira O. Baker and Everett E. King, A History of the College of Engineering of the University of Illinois, 1868-1945, Vol. I, Urbana, 1945, p. 547.
2. Registers and Catalogs, 1918-1919, p. 419.
3. Board of Trustees Transactions, 43rd Report, July 18, 1944, p. 17.
4. Board of Trustees Transactions, 48th Report, December 20, 1954, p. 181.
5. Ibid., 51st Report, May 24, 1962, p. 1446.
6. Board of Trustees Agenda Items, May 16, 2003.
7. Undergraduate Programs Catalog, 1973-75, pp. 213-14.