History

Centenary Celebration

Celebrating a Century of Engineering Excellence

On September 23, 1908, the University of Alberta opened its doors to 45 students. Five of them studied engineering. This is the story of 100 years of engineering education at the U of A.


Past, Present, and Future in Engineering at the University of Alberta

By Larissa Douglass

The 100th anniversary of the University of Alberta – and the 100th year of engineering education at the U of A, is a time of reflection on the Faculty’s past accomplishments, present contributions, and future goals. Founded in 1908, the University of Alberta provided engineering education in its first year, and established the Faculty of Applied Sciences, the forerunner to the Faculty of Engineering, in 1913. From the beginning, members of our Faculty have combined outstanding research with teaching, and community service.
Engineers from the University helped build the foundations of the province: the very first professor of Engineering, William Muir Edwards, redesigned the water treatment plant for the city of Strathcona, where the university was located. His efforts ended a typhoid outbreak plaguing the city.

Muir Edwards, a civil engineer, died of influenza in 1918 while aiding the sick during the Spanish flu pandemic, which claimed the lives of some 25 million people worldwide. Civil engineering professor Ibrahim Folinsbee Morrison evaluated structures and applied mechanics for other projects such as the Rossdale Power Plant, the 109th Street underpass, and water intake and purification for the city of Edmonton. Morrison also consulted on the construction of the Ghost Dam across the Bow River in 1929.