Regents Give OK

On January 10, 1941, the Regents authorize instruction in engineering on the Los Angeles campus.


Funding Approved

On June 8, 1943, Governor Earl Warren approves Assembly Bill 1140, appropriating $300,000 (a reduction from the requested $650,000) for “instruction in engineering with emphasis on the major disciplines fundamental to aeronautical science and engineering.”


Boelter Named Dean

On Friday afternoon of Sept. 22, 1944, following a meeting of the Regents in San Francisco, University President Robert Gordon Sproul announces the appointment of Llewellyn Michael Kraus Boelter to be Dean of the College of Engineering on the Los Angeles campus.


College Opens

In the fall of 1945, the College of Engineering opens with an enrollment of 379 students.


Torpedo Bomber

In August of 1946, a single-engine Japanese Navy torpedo bomber known as a “Jill” is delivered to the College of Engineering for use in instruction. The plane had been taken aboard the USS Lexington in the South Pacific, was stored briefly at Roosevelt Air Station, then offered to Capt. G.G. Crissman, USN, professor of naval science and tactics.

Differential Analyzer

On Nov. 16, 1946, the College of Engineering receives a General Electric Mechanical Differential Analyzer, a “mechanical brain” capable of solving in a few days mathematical problems which would take several years of work by conventional methods. This was only the sixth instrument of its kind in the United States.


Network Analyzer

On Sept. 30, 1947, the College of Engineering receives an A-C Network Analyzer from General Electric. Somewhat resembling a telephone switchboard with dials, the analyzer initially was developed by GE to study problems associated with power system design and operation. It is the second “mechanical brain” machine to be obtained by the college.

Modern Furniture

In the fall of 1947, furniture designer Charles Eames enlists the cooperation of faculty to develop a chair to be entered in the New York Museum of Modern Art’s 1948 International Competition for Low-Cost Furniture Design. The design wins a shared second prize in competition with 250 entries from the United States and nearly 500 from European countries.


First Woman Graduate

In June of 1948, Barbara Wynn of Cheviot Hills becomes the first woman to graduate from the College of Engineering.


Space Survivable

In July of 1952, Conrad J.K. Buettner and Heinz Haber from the College of Engineering suggest that conquest of space is not far off. Examining the fringes of space, which they name “aeropause,” their research determines that men in flight suits, who have already attained this near-space altitude in balloons, could expect little more danger from travel through space.

Electron Orbits

In September of 1952, professor W.D. Hershberger observes the “gyroscopic” path that electrons travel around an atom by using microwave radar to examine samples placed in the field of a 3,500 pound electromagnet.

Cargo Handling

In September of 1952, a team of professors led by Russell R. O’Neill is conducting a wide study of cargo handling to find ways to lower costs of shipping by water and increase the ability to handle greater quantities of goods.

Frost-Damaged Fruit

In September of 1952, William L. Martin and Richard E. George report development of a device that automatically rejects frost-damaged and granulated citrus fruit from fruit inspection lines. They report that frost-damaged and granulated fruits present a spotty appearance under X-ray fluorescence, and suggest a device with a mechanical or electric eye might be used to detect such spottiness and reject unwanted fruit automatically.

Shear Meter

In September of 1952, it is announced an instrument has been developed that can measure a shear force of 1/100,000th of a pound per square foot. The instrument, a shear meter, was developed by junior engineer John E. Vehrencamp to study the drag effect of air currents on the Earth’s surface and its influence on wind velocities and the transfer of heat into the air.

Space Station

In October of 1952, engineering professors Joseph Kaplan and Heinz Haber publish “Across the Space Frontier,” a book that is labeled an accurate blueprint for the establishment of a space station 1,075 miles above the Earth.

Air Pollution

The same month, assistant professor Albert Bush begins examination of particles in the atmosphere that contribute to pollution.

Muscle Control

In October of 1952, John Lyman and Donald Skilling embark on a study of kinesthesis, the muscle sense, in a program that will help in the design of controls for jet planes, where sudden forces occurring at high speeds may cause pilots to lose control of the plane. It is also related to artificial limbs research where compensation for loss of muscle sense must be developed.

Fresh Water Aquifer Dikes

In November of 1952, assistant professor Albert Bush seeks to solve problems associated with using man-made freshwater dikes to form barriers to the intrusion of sea water into coastal fresh-water aquifers. At some point, the fresh water will penetrate no deeper to complete the barrier, and Bush is examining use of chemical treatments to remove the flow impediment.

Press-Stressing Metals

In December of 1952, using principles of diffraction, Daniel Rosenthal, George Sines, and Murray Kaufman measure minute spacing of atoms of different materials by means of X-ray. Their research shows that by pre-stressing certain aluminum alloys, their strength can be doubled, which is directly applicable to the design and construction of advanced aircraft.


Early Circuit Analysis

In March 1953, Louis Pines uses mathematical methods developed by 19th Century French astronomer Henri Poincare to predict the performance of compact mineral units known as the transistor and dielectric amplifier, which are destined to revolutionize the electronics field.

Mechanical Brains Put To Work

In September of 1953, mechanical brains, whose wire nerves carry electrical impulses at rates up to 186,000 miles per second, are used to solve such knotty and diverse problems as traffic jams, manufacturing bottlenecks, rapid translation of scientific Russian, earthquake effects on buildings and the icing of airplane wings.

Burping Irrigation Pipes

In November of 1953, Arthur Pillsbury and Edward Taylor look for a cause and solution to the problem of surging in open-pipe type irrigation systems. Surging has been an increasing problem in irrigation systems. The research discovers that vents placed adjacent to overflow stands along the pipes will allow the “burping” of the buildup of air in the pipes, which was found to be the cause of the problem.


Mechanical Brains Networked

In May of 1954, engineers first connect two mechanical brains, the differential analyzer and the network analyzer, to solve the problem of accidental grounding or short circuits in large power lines, which often results in “brown outs” or power failure. The analyzers, located in separate rooms and connected by 100 feet of cable, solve the complex problem in 10 minutes.

Sea Water Conversion

In May of 1954, it is reported that Gerald Hassler has constructed a device which extracts fresh water from sea water using the selective action of an osmotic oil membrane. Hassler’s membrane is an extremely thin oil layer supported by capillary action. It has no holes as such but water molecules can diffuse through it while salt molecules are blocked.

Supersonic Cabin Heat

In June of 1954, Vincent Blockley reports that results of experiments with a heated cockpit and pilots in flight suits determined that pilots can perform effectively for about an hour in air temperatures near the boiling point of water at a cabin altitude of 24,000 feet.

Grounding Outlets And Appliances

In September of 1954, senior electrical engineer Ralph Crump suggests grounding all home appliances and using grounded three wire outlets, which are available but not yet widely used. He announces that a program is under way to equip all campus buildings with 3-wire outlets and to see that all equipment is grounded.

UCLA Engineering Milestones:

1941 – 1954
1955 – 1964
1965 – 1974
1975 – 1984
1985 – 1994
1995 – 2004
2005 – 2014
2015 – Present