Our history

UNSWTV's Lee Henderson and Tolmie MacRae found a selection of Max Dupain photographs of UNSW Australia in its infancy and matched them shot for shot with the campus as it is in 2014.

Since its establishment in 1949 as the then University of Technology, the University of New South Wales (UNSW) has continued to be a leader in the fields of engineering, science and technology. Over 60 years, the Faculty of Engineering has accomplished an amazing transformation from four founding schools in the traditional disciplines of Civil, Electrical, Mechanical and Mining Engineering to eight schools. These include:

The creation of the Faculty owes much to the efforts and foresight of the first Dean and Head of Electrical Engineering, Professor Harold Brown, and the Heads of the other three founding Schools: Professor Crawford Munro (Civil Engineering), and Professors John Wood and the later Dean, Al Willis (Mechanical Engineering), and Professor David Phillips (Mining Engineering), also a later Dean. The Faculty also received very strong support from the University's first Vice-Chancellor, the long serving Professor Sir Philip Baxter, and the sustained encouragement of government and industry. 

The Faculty's rapid growth was stimulated by some of the most dramatic changes of the information technology revolution - and often challenged by the financial restrictions of a dwindling government funding base. Throughout it all, from its founding staff to today's Faculty members, the Faculty has applied innovation and a willingness to step up to significant challenges in its efforts to train good engineers and solve the technological problems of the day. 

For many years the Faculty of Engineering has been the major centre for engineering studies and research in Australia, with the widest choice of engineering disciplines and internationally renowned research programs. The Faculty's graduates are consistently in high demand by industry and government. The Faculty of Engineering at UNSW continues its traditional international focus, with staff and students coming from all parts of the world and extremely strong research collaborations with leading universities and research institutions globally.

Since they were established, the Faculty has always been highly placed in the international rankings published in the Times Higher Education Supplement and the Shanghai Jiao Tong Index. This outstanding international recognition has been achieved by the excellent contributions to teaching and research by its staff and the success of its graduates, in Australia and around the world.