Pre-Engineering Curriculum

In 1930, one could attain the degree of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration by taking two years of coursework in the College of Engineering followed by two years of study in the College of Commerce and Journalism. The engineering curriculum included algebra, geometry, calculus, rhetoric and composition, mechanical drawing, wood and metalworking, surveying, accounting, economics, elements of electrical engineering, and general mechanical engineering.
This, “Curriculum for Business Administration in Combination with Engineering,” as it was denoted in the catalog, preceded the birth of Industrial Engineering at the University of Florida. As noted in the 1930 University Catalog (p. 18), the “course has been arranged for students who wish to prepare for administrative and selling positions in the fields of manufacturing, railway and public utility operation.”

The Early Years

As stated in The University Record, Bulletin of Courses for the year 1933-34 (Volume 28, Series 1, Numbers 4-7, July 1, 1933), a new “course” was developed leading to the degree of Bachelor of Industrial Engineering. “For the first time a grouping of the essential and fundamental courses in both the College of Engineering and College of Business Administration is here offered. The purpose of the curriculum is to give a student in four years as much as possible of the training of the Electrical and Mechanical Engineer and in addition about 50 credits of work in Business Administration.”
The curriculum, as published in the 1933-34 Bulletin of Courses (p. 212), consisted of 144 hours of coursework. Table 1 gives the four-year curriculum. Of the 19 hours of electives, at least half were to be taken in the College of Business Administration, with viable choices including statistics, factory and distribution cost accounting, production management, marketing, principles of transportation, and labor economics. Philip Osborn Yeaton was named the counselor for the program in the 1934 Bulletin and officially named Professor of Industrial Engineering and Head of the Department in the 1936 Bulletin. Yeaton was formerly an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering with degrees from Dartmouth (S.B.) and Harvard (B.S. in Mechanical Engineering). The department offered both the Bachelor of Industrial Engineering and Master of Science in Industrial Engineering. In the Dean’s (B. R. Van Leer) report to the President (John J. Tigert) covering July, 1934 through June, 1936 that was presented to the Board of Control, it was stated that “A curriculum leading to the degree of Bachelor of Industrial Engineering has been formulated and Professor P. O. Yeaton placed in charge. Its growth in courses, students, and interest has been almost phenomenal. This course is a basic engineering course having all the fundamentals and rigor which usually accompany an engineering curriculum, and because of its additional training in accounting and business administration it should prove a popular and useful course of study for an increasing number of young men.” According to the Bulletin, the “Industrial Engineering curriculum” is designed to give young men with engineering ability some degree of training in the fundamentals of business administration. The curriculum emphasizes men, materials, money, machining, methods, markets and management. It is especially designed for those who desire to enter the managerial fields of industry through technical avenues.” Along with slight changes to the curriculum in 1936, seven courses were designated in the department at the undergraduate level:

  • Ig 261-262: Introduction to Engineering
  • Ig 463: Specifications and Engineering Relations
  • Ig 469-470: Plant, Shop, Layout and Design
  • Ig 472: Human Engineering
  • Ig 560: Engineering Practice

These courses, or variants therein, were originally in the Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering Departments. A further four courses were developed at the graduate level:

  • Ig 661-662: Advanced Shop Layout and Design
  • Ig 663-664: Management Training

The program was officially accredited in 1936 – the first year that any engineering program in the country, regardless of major, was accredited by the Engineers’ Council for Professional Development (ECPD) which was the precursor to ABET, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (named in 1980). Alabama, Florida, Lehigh, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech were the first Industrial Engineering programs to be accredited, all in 1936. According to the Report of Enrollment bulletin, five students had declared Industrial Engineering in the first year of availability (1933-34): Raymond C. Tylander of Fort Pierce (junior), George Nelson Howe of Richmond, Virginia (sophomore), James Houston Armstrong of Plant City (sophomore), George Donifold Bridges of Wildwood (sophomore) and Harry Charles Hutchinson of Orlando (sophomore). Based on seniority, Tylander was the first student to officially declare Industrial Engineering as a major. Enrollment more than tripled the following year (1934-35) to 16 students, including nine sophomores, three juniors and four seniors. The four seniors included John Richardson Alison of Gainesville, Jay Walton Brown of Ocala, Tylander and John D. Williams of Ocala. Alison had transferred from Mechanical Engineering while Brown and Williams had transferred from Electrical Engineering. On June 10, 1935, Brown was conferred a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering, becoming the first graduate of the department. Williams received his B.S. degree later that summer, on August 30. There were a total of 52 B.S. degrees, in Chemical, Civil, Electrical, Industrial and Mechanical, conferred in the College of Engineering in 1935. Alison, Howe and Tylander graduated from the department on June 8, 1936. Armstrong, Bridges and Hutchinson, who had declared IE with Howe, did not complete the program. Alison, the oldest living ISE alumnus, went on to lead a distinguished military career as a fighter pilot, ultimately retiring as a Major General. In addition to serving as a technical advisor to multiple presidents, he was a Vice President of Northrop in Hawthorne, California. The Gainesville Airport officially bore his name for a number of years. He currently resides in Washington, D.C. In all, 17 students received undergraduate degrees in the 1930s from Industrial Engineering. The first 15 received Bachelor of Science (BSIE) degrees while the last two, starting in July of 1939, received Bachelor of Industrial Engineering (BIE) degrees. Of note, Kenneth J. D. Lister of Cantonment graduated in June of 1937 with Honors, the first to do so in the department. The curriculum was revamped in 1941 with the addition of four new courses:

  • Ig 261: Industrial Reports
  • Ig 262: Industrial Safety
  • Ig 477: Motion Study
  • Ig 478: Time Study

These new courses coincided with the development of the Motion and Time Study Laboratory. The lab was outfitted with cameras and timing devices such that students could carry out time and motion studies. The lab had been initiated under the direction of George Osborn Phelps who was named Assistant Professor in 1939. He left in 1941, but Silas Kendrick Eshleman and Edward Donald De Luca had both been added to the faculty by that time.
As the faculty grew, so did the study body and its organization. The 1936 Seminole (yearbook) was the first to publicize the “Industrial Engineering Society” as an official organization on campus. Howe, John Ellis Mickler (Tampa), Tylander, Fred John Sutterlin (Miami Springs), Alison, Harry J. Feeney, Jr. (Tampa), Cannon and Dickson were listed as inaugural members. This later became known as the Society for the Advancement of Management (first listed in 1943 Seminole). As printed, “The S.A.M. consists of those industrial engineers who believe that without good management the other engineers would do their work for nought.” Harper E. Whitaker of Tampa was listed as the first president. It was not until the 1953 Seminole that the student chapter of the American Institute of Industrial Engineers was first noted, five years after the national society’s inception. With three faculty members, the curriculum was tweaked again in 1942 with the following new courses:

  • Ig 366: Engineering Mechanics – Dynamics
  • Ig 367: Strength of Materials
  • Ig 370: Job Evaluation
  • Ig 460: Engineering Economic Analysis
  • Ig 477: Motion and Time Study

These courses represented an interesting change for the department. First, by adding Engineering Economy and Job Evaluation, the traditional curriculum in Industrial Engineering mirrored those of other schools, such as Penn State (which began the first IE program in the country, 25 years before Florida). Second, it illustrated the birth of the mechanics program at UF in Industrial Engineering.

A Brief Mechanics Moment

According to the 1947 Bulletin, Yeaton had retired and DeLuca had left the program. Two other instructors, Robert Gay Beasley and Sam Paul Goethe had already come and gone. With these changes, a dramatic, albeit short, change occurred. Howard J. Hansen was named Acting Head of Industrial Engineering and Professor of Mechanics and Professor of Industrial Engineering. Additionally, Clifton C. Hill, Stanton C.D. Lawson, Byron S. Dayne, and Ira L. King were named Professors of Mechanics (at various levels) while Fred Hirsch and Louis Horn were named Research Engineers. Robert J. Cummings, who held a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering degree, was named an Instructor of Industrial Engineering, joining Eshleman who was now an Associate Professor.
The Motion and Time Study Laboratory was renamed the Industrial Engineering Lab as it was expanded with a variety of machine tools, including a drill press, band saw, jig saw and bench lathe to permit the making of labor-saving jigs and fixtures and to provide operations analyses. In 1949, the IE Lab was joined by the Hydraulics Lab, which carried out research and teaching in Fluid Mechanics and Hydraulics. Hansen was named Interim Head of Industrial Engineering in 1949. A grand total of 12 BIE degrees were awarded in 1948 and a further 24 in 1949, bringing the program’s total to 75 for the decade and 92 since its inception.
Four Master of Science in Engineering (Industrial Engineering) degrees were awarded over that same time frame. The first was awarded to Nihat Cengiz on January 30, 1942 for a thesis entitled “A Micro-motion study.” Cengiz had earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Robert College in Turkey in 1939.

Pure Industrial Engineering

The Department returned to its roots in 1950 as the Department of Engineering Mechanics was formed, taking with it the courses in Strength of Materials and Engineering Mechanics. Furthermore, the Hydraulics Lab was moved out of IE.
Coinciding with the removal of the coursework and mechanics lab, Earl Pehr Martinson was named Professor of Industrial Engineering and Head of the Department. The Mechanics faculty also left the department, with I. D. Brown and M. R. Good remaining on the IE faculty for one year. For the next decade or so, the department grew steadily in terms of number of faculty and students. From 1950 through 1959, 359 Bachelor of Industrial Engineering and 29 Master of Industrial Engineering degrees were awarded. Amongst the 1959 graduates was Wilma Andrews Smith, the first female graduate of the department. The University went co-ed in 1947, with the college producing its first female graduate in 1951.
The faculty that joined during this period included J. O. P. Hummel, Robert Gregg, C. M. Kromp, Donald B. Wilcox, R. C. Kephart, A.C. Kleinschmidt, E. W. Kopp, E. H. Blekking, Paul M. Downey, W. R. Young, J. L. Burns, John A. Nattress, Ruddell Reed, Jr., Richard C. Vaughn, Robert J. Wimmert, Robert P. Hollis, D. C. Naehring, Albert G. Welch and James E. Deuel. Downey and Wimmert were the first professors in the department to hold doctorates. Downey’s was from Florida in Chemistry while Wimmert’s was in IE from Purdue.
The curriculum was only refined slightly during this time. Of note, courses in Plant Operations and Controls, Cost Accounting, and Quality Control were added. Also, Ig 468, Sales Engineering, was added in 1954. This course eventually blossomed into a certificate program and is now a minor, still offered through the department. The curriculum had grown to 158 hours of study to be completed over a five-year period, with 66 hours defined as lower division and 92 for upper division.
Robert P. Hollis joined the department as a Professor in 1958 and was named Interim Head in 1959. The former Brigadier General played a major role in logistics planning for Normandy in World War II. He remained in that role until 1961 when Robert John Wimmert, who had joined the faculty in 1957, was named Head of the Department.

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