School History Book

School History Book

All School alumni from 1952 - 2010 are listed in the History, which can be ordered from the School at

From its humble yet visionary beginnings, the School has grown into the premier centre of civil, environmental and geospatial engineering education and research in Australasia. The School was the first in the country to offer a postgraduate coursework masters, the first to design a BE environmental engineering degree, and the first to provide a BE Civil with Architecture degree program. Its publication and research ‘firsts’ are just as impressive.

As one of the eight foundation Schools of UNSW, the School can rightfully be proud of the role it has played in establishing UNSW in the forefront of Australian universities. It has done this through the efforts, enthusiasm and dedication of generations of academic, professional and technical staff and thousands of hardworking students.

The recently published School History is both a record and a celebration of their collective endeavour. Staff and student experiences of each decade is featured, along with departmental histories, PhD students and research topics, BE program outlines over the decades, and fascinating vignettes on topics such as student pranks, women in engineering, social justice, the innovative postgraduate coursework degrees and a section devoted entirely to the Future.

You can also view sample text. A Section of the 60s chapters is available here. And 1980s

The History of the UNSW School of Surveying and Spatial Information Systems was published in 2007 and can also be ordered online with accompanying email to It also lists all Surveying alumni from first BSurv graduates in 1962 to date of publication 2007. The first independent undergraduate degree in surveying was established in 1957 in the UNSW School of Civil Engineering. Significant growth in the field led in 1970 to the establishment of an independent School of Surveying under founding Professor Peter Angus-Leppan.  In 1978, the launch of the first GPS satellite saw a revolution in the way position is measured. GPS research commenced at the School in 1984 and in the early 1990s, under Professor Chris Rizos, all GPS-related research was organised under the Satellite Navigation and Positioning (SNAP) group and was expanded to encompass other navigation technologies and applications. It became the School of Surveying and Geospatial Engineering in 2012 and was re-integrated into the alma mater in 2013, where it is now a thriving research and teaching hub.

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