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Purdue Engineering Firsts

  • First Department of Freshman Engineering (1953)
  • First Women in Engineering Program (1969)
  • Founding site of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE, 1971-1975)
  • Founding site of EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service, 1995)
  • First department (now a school) dedicated to engineering education (2004)
  • Our alumni include Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, and Eugene Cernan, who was the last.
  • The Rolls-Royce University Technology Center in High-Mach Number Flight, a partnership between the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Rolls-Royce, is the first of its kind in the United States.
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering gave the world electronic television transmission (Dec. 24, 1931) and wireless telephony, which came with the first transmission ever broadcast to a police car (April 7, 1928).
  • Mechanical Engineering alum David Ross (BSME 1893) is the father of reflecting highway markers.
  • The School of Engineering Education is home to the world's first graduate degree programs in Engineering Education.
  • First high-voltage research lab in the United States.
  • The School of Industrial Engineering pioneered the industrial engineering discipline in the 1930s with Lillian Gilbreth on its faculty. Gilbreth was the first woman inducted into the National Academy of Engineering.
  • A Purdue alumnus created the bar code.