The University of the Philippines was established on June 18, 1908 with the opening of the College of Medicine. In the following years, other units were similarly opened.
The College of Engineering is the fifth college unit to be established on the realization that the development of the nation could be best pursued with professional engineers amongst the population. During the early years of the American regime, scores of engineers from abroad had to imported to carry out the engineering work of the government as well as plan and manage the vast construction program of the government. There were very few Filipino engineers at that time, all of them having had their education and training abroad. As later succinctly enunciated: it is the purpose of the College of Engineering to train engineers in all branches of the profession to meet the needs of the industry and the nation.
- The First Decade (1910-1920)
- The Second Decade (1920-1930)
- The Third Decade (1930-1940)
- The Fourth Decade (1940-1950)
- The Fifth Decade (1950-1960)
- The Sixth Decade (1960-1970)
- The Seventh Decade (1970-1980)
- The Eighth Decade (1980-1990)
The First Decade (1910-1920)
The Board of Regents of the University, in a resolution passed on June 3, 1910, appointed Mr. W.J. Colbert as acting Dean of the College of Engineering. His appointment was set to effect on June 13, 1910 thereby creating the College of Engineering. Dean Colbert was authorized to prepare the curriculum and select the necessary teaching personnel for the new course. Initially, a four-year course leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science with an additional degree of Civil Engineer upon completion of an extra year of study was approved. The first instructor to be appointed was Mr. Jose P. Katigbak of the City Engineer’s Office of Manila, as instructor in graphics (drawing) on a part-time basis.
Twenty-two high school graduates from all over the country registered in engineering when classes opened in June 1910. The students enjoyed free tuition in the college. The classes were held at a two-story building, the O’brien residence, at the corner of Isaac Peral (now United Nations Avenue) and Florida (now Maria Y. Orosa) streets in Ermita, Manila. The offices of the University were on the ground floor. Engineering and liberal arts classes alternated in using the rooms on the second floor. Mathematics and physics were taken under the College of Engineering. The classes in drawing were held at the Manila High School building along Calle Victoria in Intramuros. The O’brien house was formally turned over to the College in September, 1910, and became known as the “College of Engineering.”
Later on, as the Engineering Building and shops were constructed along the Florida side of the U.P. Campus in Ermita, that building became the Home Economics Building of the College of Education.
In an interview in 1960 with Mr. Ricardo Nostratis of Cavite, one of the first enrollees (he graduated with degree of Bachelor of Science in 1914, and Civil Engineer in 1915), he reminisced that among his engineering classmates were Vidal A. Tan, Ricardo Paras, Aurelio L. Corcuera and Domingo Guanio. They used to trudge across Nazoleda Park (present Rizal Park) from Ermita to Intramuros for their drawing classes. Vidal Tan obtained a degree in liberal arts , took his degree in civil engineering at Cornell University, became dean of the College of Engineering (1940 to 1949), and later on President of the University. Ricardo Paras shifted to law; Corcuera and Guanio completed the bachelor of science degree in 1914 and civil engineering afterwards, the former becoming the head of the department of physics of the University for a long time. Only thirteen out of the original twenty-two came back for the second year engineering course in June 1911. Before the college was one year old, the Board of Regents decided to require a two-year preparatory work in liberal arts as a requirement for admission in engineering. The curriculum in engineering was for four years of purely professional studies after the two-year preparatory work. The preparatory curriculum was given by the College of Liberal Arts (then known as the College of Philosophy, Science and Letters). This change took effect in June 1911, thus there were no first year engineering students that year. Twenty-eight students registered in the first year of the preparatory engineering curriculum.
Of the thirteen second year students, nine switched to the new curriculum to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree. In the revision of the engineering curriculum and in the preparation of the two-year preparatory work, the University secured the services of Mr. Clarence G. Wrentmore of the Bureau of Public Works, an engineer and a teacher from the University of Michigan. For the academic year of 1911-1912, Dr. Lawrence E. Griffin was designated acting Dean of the College; and Mr. Ambrosio Magsaysay was appointed instructor in graphics to succeed Mr. Katigbak who had been designated City Engineer of the City of Manila. On October 9, 1911, Mr. Wrentmore was appointed professor of Civil Engineering and Dean of the College effective at the opening of the school year 1912-1913.
A summer surveying course which lasts eight weeks and conducted during the vacation period following the second year of the preparatory curriculum, as required in the new plan of study, was held in Los Baños for the first time in 1912. The following year this summer surveying class was held in Baguio, the result was reported satisfactory and it was recommended that it be held there permanently.
For the school year 1912-1913, five students enrolled in the third year of the old five-year curriculum. These were the remnants of the original 22 of 1910. Mr. Roy S. Swinton was appointed instructor in surveying on July 12, 1912. (Mr. Swinton returned to the College as professor of civil engineering in 1941 until the outbreak of World war II.) On October 13, 1913, Mr. Herman W. Reynolds, from the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the University of California, was appointed Associate Professor to give instruction in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering to the Civil Engineering students. Also appointed was Mr. E.L. Driggs as instructor in surveying and later Associate Professor of Civil Engineering.
Three students graduated at the end of 1913-1914 with the degree of Bachelor of Science. These were the remainder of the original 22; they all enrolled for another year to obtain the degree of Civil Engineer. These were Aurelio L. Corcuera of Manila, Domingo Guanio of Nueva Ecija and Ricardo Nostratis of Cavite.
The need for more engineers and the paucity of students taking up engineering despite the free tuition, made it advisable to offer further inducement by shortening the course. The President of the University recommended this step in his annual reports. Accordingly, in 1914-1915, the preparatory engineering course was made optional but it was recommended in the announcements that those who could afford its inclusion should take it. From that year on, high school graduates accredited in solid geometry could enter the College without the two years of college preparatory formerly required, and at the end of four years these students could graduate with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. The completion of a one-year prescribed post graduate course led to the degree of Master of Civil Engineering.
As a result of this curriculum innovation, 46 students registered in the first year (1914-1915) regular course and 13 in the first year preparatory engineering course. On the commencement day of 1915, two students graduated with the degree of Civil Engineer. Dean Wrentmore recommended the institution of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering courses in keeping with the industrial development of the country; it would not appreciably increase the operating expenses of the college.
Accordingly, the Board of Regents approved on January 10, 1916, the curricula leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mining Engineering. Additional one year of study led to the degree of Master of Science in the respective fields. Announcements were made for opening these courses at the start of the academic year 1916-1917. Professor H.W. Reynolds was made head of the departments of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering.
Mr. Mariano Salas was appointed instructor in the same department. Substantial appropriations were earmarked for laboratory equipment to augment the engines and motors that were installed in 1915. A one-story reinforced concrete building was constructed facing Calle Florida. It was designed similarly with the building that housed the chemistry laboratory along the same street. In this new building were the offices of the mechanical and electrical engineering departments. It also contained the laboratory facilities: a steam boiler, two steam engines, a gasoline engine, a crude oil engine, direct current and alternating current motors, generators, transformers and testing apparatuses. In the hydraulics laboratory, there were equipment for testing the flow of water and other fluids in pipes and open channels, through orifices and wires; also for testing of water meters, pumps and hydraulic motors. However, classes in wood working and machine shop were held at the School of Arts and Trades along Ayala Blvd.
In 1916, Professor Driggs was authorized to retire, while Professor Magsaysay transferred to the Bureau of Public Works. However, Professor Driggs was prevailed to stay until July 15, 1918. Mr. Fernando dela Cantera replaced Prof. Magsaysay with the appointment of Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering. Additions to the faculty in 1918 were Hermenegildo B. Reyes, a Cornell University graduate in electrical engineering, who was appointed Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. Messrs. Justo Arrastia and Prudencio Esquivel were appointed instructors in drawing.
In April 1919, Dean Clarence Wrentmore retired which left vacant the deanship and head of the Department of Civil Engineering. Wrentmore was connected with the College during the formative years (1912-1919) and accomplished much for the College. He was succeeded to the deanship by a member of the faculty who proved equal to the task of continuing the work so far accomplished – Professor Herman W. Reynolds was appointed Dean beginning the academic year 1919-1920.
The Second Decade (1920-1930)
The enrollment in 1920-1921 totalled one hundred and ninety five. This necessitated the construction of additional classrooms, the purchase of equipment and the hiring of new faculty members. Appointed were Messrs. Mariano F. Manguerra, Edward R. Hyde and Alex R. Webb who was named acting head of the department of civil engineering. E.R. Hyde later in 1921 assumed the headship of the department.
Additions to the faculty at the start of the academic year 1921-1922 were: Messrs. Felipe Roman, Leo S. Eaton and Lloyd Miller, all of Mechanical Engineering; and Mr. Teofilo Reyes for Civil Engineering.
About this time, the curricula in Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering were revised chiefly in the apportionment of the units of study per semester for all the four years. The summer surveying course for Civil Engineering students was abolished, instead the students were required to obtain a pre-arranged temporary employment at the Bureau of Public Works during the summer vacation after the junior year. The curriculum in Mining Engineering was omitted from the engineering prospectus.
These changes took effect in 1922-1923. And since industrial development was in focus that time, the Board of Regents authorized in optional course in Industrial Engineering leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. These new courses were optional for Mechanical Engineering students who were interested in the commercial side of engineering or who were interested in industrial organization and administration. The courses took up such topics as cost accounting, business, law, financing, time and motion studies and factory operation. The courses in Mechanical Engineering and Mechanical-Industrial Engineering were identical except in the fourth year.
The faculty staff of the College in 1923 were as follows: President of the University – Guy Potter Benton; Dean of Engineering – H.W. Reynolds (on leave); Acting Dean – Edward R. Hyde; Department of Civil Engineering – Head & Professor – Edward R. Hyde; Professor – Alex R. Webb; Associate Professor – Teofilo Reyes; Assistant Professor – Mariano F. Manguerra; Instructor – Justo Arrastia Department of Mechanical Engineering – Head & Professor – H.W. Reynolds (on leave); Acting Head & Professor – Leon S. Eaton; Associate Professor – Ramon Mariano; Assistant Professor – Lloyd Miller & Felipe R. Roman; Instructor – Estanislao P. Angeles; Department of Electrical Engineering – Head & Professor – H.W. Reynolds (on leave); Acting Head & Asst. Prof. – Hermenegildo B. Reyes; Associate Professor – Henry L. Reich; Instructor – Juan L. Tiongson.
The enrollment in engineering reached 475 in 1923-1924. The need for more shop facilities were satisfied with the addition to the south wing of the engineering shops. Also, the Board of Regents decided to charge, as in other colleges, a tuition of P25.00 per semester. The office of the secretary of the College was created on January 1, 1925 and Professor H.B. Reyes was appointed to the position.
When the school year 1925-1926 opened, the enrollment rose to 561 students. There was the inauguration of new laboratories, the acquisition of more equipment, and the appointment of new faculty members. Also, the School of Surveying of the Bureau of Lands was incorporated as a unit of the College.
Under the arrangement, surveying students of the Bureau of Lands took courses in the University, on the other hand, instructors in surveying courses in the College were provided by the Bureau of Lands. Students who completed the two-year surveying course were granted the title of Associate in Surveying. Heretofore, the surveying school was incorporated with the Trade School. In the engineering shops, there was a new boiler house, a current meter rating tank, and newly installed wood, machine and forge shops. Mr. Alejandro Melchor was appointed instructor in the department of civil engineering; Messrs. Meneleo G. Carlos and Cornelio German, instructors in electrical engineering. Messrs. Numeriano Montes and Casimiro Panajon were detailed in the College by their Bureau as instructors in surveying. It was starting in 1925 that Social Science was substituted for the Spanish course required in the first year, pursuant to the recommendation of the Monroe Commission which made an assessment of the Philippine Educational System.
In 1926-1927 saw the resignation of Dean H.W. Reynolds due to continued ill health. Reynolds joined the engineering faculty in 1913 and was dean since 1919. During his incumbency, the College grew from a small unit to one of the largest in the University. Professor Edward R. Hyde was designated Acting Dean to succeed Reynolds.
The enrollment for the 1926-1927 dropped to 406 due to the institution of a rigid entrance requirements. Applicants for admission had to pass the entrance tests for mathematics and physics. The policy was adopted in order to partly reduce the number of students which was getting too large for the College to efficiently accommodate and partly to prevent weaker students from enrollment who would at any rate drop out before they reached the junior year. It has been observed that out of the enrollees in a given year, only 12% graduated within four years and only 25% were able to finish the engineering course.
In 1926, professor Justo Arrastia resigned from the faculty and Prof. Ambrosio Magsaysay was reappointed as Professor of Civil Engineering. Mr. Crisosotomo A. Ortigas joined the faculty as an assistant professor in mechanical engineering. Also, that year, Professor L. Tiongson was appointed university fellow to study in the United States. In 1927-1928, Mr. Cornelio German of the electrical engineering department resigned and his position was filled in by Mr. Francisco T. Sunico who had been special lecturer since 1926. A proposal to establish a school of architecture as part of the College of Engineering was disapproved by the Board of Regents on Jan. 14, 1928. Later that year, the College learned of the death of Dean H.W. Reynolds; the University and the College passed resolutions of condolence; the College held a necrological service.
The plans for the construction of a three-storey reinforced concrete Engineering Building were drafted starting 1927 for which P210,000 was appropriated. The design of the building was under the supervision and guidance of Dean Hyde. Criteria for earthquake resistance were incorporated in the design. It was of simple architecture with a portico at the front facing Florida Street. The contract for the construction was awarded in October 22, 1929. The building was occupied in May 1930.
The Third Decade (1930-1940)
The number of freshmen admitted to the College was limited to only 150, starting in 1930-1931. This was in accordance with the resolution adopted by the engineering faculty. This limit was however relaxed in 1934 with the opening of the mining engineering house which drew an influx of would-be miners. There was a mining boom in the country then; and Jan Marsman, a mining magnate, donated in 1936 an assaying laboratory which was constructed in the quadrangle of the engineering shop complex.
New appointments to the faculty staff in the early thirties to replace resignations were Messrs. Maximo P. Lachica, Angel Tronqued, Antonio Albert, Juan M. Ramos, Pedro Ebalo, Jose G. Montelibano and Leopoldo Toralballa. Professor Estanislao P. Angeles was sent as a university fellow to the United States for advanced studies in mechanical engineering. Special lecturers of the College were Dr. Pablo de Jesus in sanitary engineering, Numeriano D. Carreon and Clodualdo Garcia in land laws, Dionisio Facelo in surveying accounting, Ambrosio Magsaysay in civil engineering and Hermenegildo B. Reyes in electrical engineering. The Engineering Library was transferred from a one-bay room adjacent to the office of the clerical staff to the former study hall on the first floor of the engineering building. Book shelves and a counter were constructed on the west end of the hall and a mezzanine floor. The remaining space became the library reading room.
The year 1935 was the Silver Jubilee of the College. The College by then, had an imposing main building on the west side of the U.P. Ermita campus along Calle Florida with the engineering shops and laboratories in a one-story U-shaped building northside. The office and drafting room of the School of Surveying were also in that building.
The dean of the College was Edward R. Hyde, a tall and beak-nosed American civil engineer who had taught at West Point. Hyde first came to the College in 1920. He taught upper class Civil Engineering courses including structural design, surveying, astronomy, contracts and ethics. A kindly and liberal fellow, he munched chocolate even in classes. He designed the engineering building and the huge floral sundial in the middle of the Ermita campus. It was an incongruous sight to see him flanked by Professors Alejandro Melchor and E.P. Angeles, both drapper fellows, as they tramped across the campus to inspect the construction of the sundial project which the three of them collaborated in the design.
The secretary of the College was Alejandro Melchor from Ibajay, Aklan, who graduated in civil engineering with highest honors in 1924. He was a brilliant mathematician, and later, became the head of the mathematics department of the Philippine Military in Baguio. He was sent to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston just before World War II, and is also known for designing the pontoon bridges used by the American Army during the war, and holding the position of Secretary of National Defense in President Manuel L. Quezon’s cabinet of the Philippine government in exile.
In 1935, six hundred fifty three students enrolled in the five courses now offered by the College. These courses are Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Mining Engineering, and surveying. There were 18 full-time faculty members and 6 lecturers. The various laboratories were equipped with machines, apparatuses and instruments sufficient in quantity to give each student opportunity to do individual laboratory work.
In 1936, new faces in the faculty were Messrs. Oscar Baguio, Raymundo Heredia, Gregorio Imperial, Felipe Encarnacion, Eduardo E. Chanco, and Felipe Santillan. Professor Justo Arrastia also reappointed. In June 1937, the four-year geodetic engineering curriculum was opened to supplant the two-year surveying course. Also in that year the first female student, Miss Lydia Monzon from Cebu enrolled in Civil Engineering.
The Fourth Decade (1940-1950)
Dean Edward R. Hyde died in February, 1940. There was also change in the presidency of the University, leading to the change in the composition of the faculty. Dr. Vidal A. Tan, then dean of the College of Arts and Science in Baguio City, was designated the new dean and head of the department of the mechanics and drawing. The peak enrollment of over one thousand was reached in 1940. At that time, entrance examinations were not required in all university units.
In 1941, thirty-one years after its establishment, the College of Engineering had thirty-three full-time faculty members, five professorial lecturers and some 900 students. It was offering five curricula in engineering. It was the top and best equipped engineering school in the country.
Then the tides of war in the Pacific came in December 1941 and thereby interrupted the normal operations of the College. By order of the President of the Philippines, all schools were closed. When the Japanese forces entered Manila in January 1942, they occupied the College buildings. Consequently, when the Philippine Commission under Chairman Jorge Vargas came into operation and permitted reopening of classes in the University, it was in January 1943 that classes were resumed.
During the war years, engineering classes were conducted in the Pharmacy building on Herran (now Pedro Gil) street. Offices of the faculty members where in the shacks behind the College of Medicine building. Despite the hardships of the times, a handful of students enrolled in the various disciplines. A total of 101 students graduated during the war years. The faculty and students kept going to classes until February 3, 1945, when the American army entered Manila from the Northern outskirts of Manila.
Once more classes were interrupted. The Battle of Manila practically demolished all the University buildings in the Padre Faura campus which had been occupied by the Japanese army forces.
The College and few other units of the University reopened in August 1945 under very trying conditions on account of the destruction of the engineering building, shops and laboratories. Classes were held at the Cancer Institute Building facing Padre Faura street. Twelve members of the faculty were recalled. Three hundred forty seven (347) students enrolled, 127 of whom were freshmen.
The task of rehabilitating the College started immediately after. Repair work of the Engineering Building along Calle Florida was started in 1946, and was reoccupied in August 1946. To accommodate the increasing enrollment, more pre-war faculty members were recalled and there were new appointees. The Dean was still Dr. Vidal A. Tan and the Secretary was Prof. Ernesto T. Mendoza. Negotiations were made with the Government Procurement Commission for the purchase of machinery and equipment for the engineering laboratories. Also in 1946, the School of Surveying, which heretofore was a distinct unit of the University under the College of Engineering, was officially converted into the Department of Geodetic Engineering. Early in that year two heads of departments died. Professor Justo Arrastia of Civil Engineering and Professor Maximo P. Lachica of geodetic engineering. Professor Angel Martinez and Professor Angel Tronqued succeeded to the positions, respectively. Addition of full-time faculty members included Enrique Ostrea, Rodolfo Bulatao, Cristy R. Hernandez, Angel Villasor, Norberto S. Vila, Jose Ma. Segovia, Perfecto K. Guerrero. Professorial lecturers were Homobono Gonzales, Alejandro Villanueva, Francisco Banawa, and Angel Esguerra.
The rehabilitation of the Physical Plant of the College was carried on in the following years including the Engineering Library which received donations of books from the U.P. Alumni Engineers as well as from universities abroad. Equipment for the various engineering laboratories and shops were acquired from the Surplus Property Commission, the Japanese Reparation Commission and the Bureau of Lands. The College of Law occupied the third floor of the rehabilitated engineering building as the University Hall had not yet been repaired.
At the start of school year 1948-1949 there were 23 members of the faculty and ten lecturers. The enrollment numbered 500. After classes closed for Christmas recess in 1948, the University moved to the Diliman campus which heretofore had been occupied by the U.S. Army. The College of Engineering was assigned to occupy the Quonset huts and temporary buildings in the blocks bounded by North Avenue, North 1st street, Broadway and Bataan Road. (These streets are presently Osmeña Avenue, G. Apacible, Magsaysay Avenue and Emilio Jacinto Streets.) A Quonset hut which housed bowling alleys was converted into engineering offices. A small Quonset hut was repaired for the Library. Equipment and machines acquired for the various laboratories in Florida Street were hauled to the new campus and installed in the makeshift buildings.
In the new Diliman Campus, despite the fact that most students commuted from Manila (at that time via España, Sta. Mesa and Katipunan Road), the Enrollment in the University steadily increased. The University, however, started the huge construction program of college building, laboratories, dormitories and other facilities. The only permanent building then were the College of Education (Benitez Hall) and the College of Law (Malcolm Hall). The construction of the Engineering building on the northside of the Campus was begun in 1949 along with other buildings. In the meanwhile, laboratory equipment were being acquired from various sources.
The Fifth Decade (1950-1960)
In 1951 the College moved into the new four-story building along Osmeña Avenue, a mirror image of the Liberal Arts Building across the wide, dampy University Quadrangle. However, the east wing of the building was not yet constructed where the old University Theater was located. In June of that year the first two years of the curriculum leading to the degree of bachelor of science in chemical engineering was approved. Also in that year aid from PHILCUSAMSA in the form of equipment and technical advice started to come. The first college unit to receive this aid were the Civil Engineering and Mining Engineering departments. Professor Leo Ritter of the University of Florida was detailed with the civil engineering department to help set up the course in the laboratory for soil mechanics. The mining engineering department received substantial aid in the form of equipment. In succeeding years, this aid, variously known as PHILCUSA-MSA, PHILCUSA-FOA, and NEC-ICA, included not only buildings, equipment and services of visiting professor but also training grants abroad to engineering faculty members.
In 1953, the college started on the five-year curricula in its courses. With the advance of technology and the inclusion of several social sciences and humanity course and the legislated requirement of twelve units of Spanish, four years could not adequately accommodate all the courses for the training of the engineer. Notwithstanding the fact that all other engineering schools in the country continued to operate on the four-year curricula, the freshmen enrollment in the college shoot up to 329. The total enrollment in June of that year was 847.
Large quantities of equipment for the various laboratories, particularly for the Power Laboratory, Flotation Laboratory, Metallurgy Laboratory, Material Testing Laboratory, Electronics Laboratory, Chemical Engineering Laboratory, Hydraulics Laboratory, and Soil Mechanics Laboratory were received as FOA aid. The Hydraulics Laboratory building was completed in November of 1953, in which a model of the Ambuklao flood spillway was immediately constructed for model testing.
In the faculty, Professor Crisostomo A. Ortigas was designated Dean to replace Juan L. Tiongson who retired from public service. Messrs. Jose B. Cruz, Rosalino R. Reyes, Jr., Jose Fernandez, and Angel Alejandrino were the new faculty appointees. Four visiting professors under the FOA programs were assigned to engineering. This group called the Stanford Group, was headed by Prof. Edward L. Eriksen. Others in the group were Prof. Joseph Canon, Dr. William Van Vorst and Professor J.F. Williams. The latter replaced Prof. W.W. Staley who was with the mining engineering department. Dr. Hunter Rousse of the Iowa Institute of Hydraulics Research came to the College as special technical adviser under the UP Stanford contract to look over the newly completed hydraulics laboratory. Dr. Rouse had been commissioned to design the laboratory equipment in this building.
The U.P Engineer, a semi-technical quarterly publication of the faculty and students of the College had its inaugural issue in August 1953, with Professor Dominador I. Ilio, the incumbent secretary of the college. Cesar Concio Jr. was managing editor. The College turned out its first graduates (three of them) in chemical engineering in April 1954.
The school year 1954-1955 was a big year for the College. The total enrollment exceeded 1,000 – 68 of them were female, mostly enrolled in Chemical Engineering. Nineteen (19) new faculty members were appointed. Out of the 51 faculty members, thirteen were abroad on FOA fellowships. More equipment were received for the various laboratories. The chemical engineering building was completed. Through the efforts of then Congressman Florencio Moreno, an engineering alumnus, who later became Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Communications, funds were secured for the painting of the Engineering Building. The Engineering Library acquired about 2,500 volumes through PHILCUSA-FOA aid. The agricultural engineering curriculum was approved (the first 4 years in Diliman, the 5th year at Los Baños).
In October 1954, a resolution of the Board of Regents created the U.P Industrial Research Center, a non-profit unit operated by the College to avail of the expertise of the faculty and the use of facilities in the various laboratories. Important jobs undertaken by the UPIRC during the year were the design and construction supervision of the water supply system of U.P. at Los Baños and the metallurgical analyses of ores for the Philippine Iron Mines and the Hixbar Gold Company.
Enrollment in the College continued to increase. In the first semester of 1955-56, it totaled 1,179. To cope up with this increased enrollment and to replace those who resigned, five new members of the faculty were appointed. For the physical plant of the college, the following buildings were constructed: (a) the Engineering Library Annex; (b) the Current Meter Rating Station; (c) the filtration plant for the men’s swimming pool. Also extensive repair work was done on the engineering shops which were still housed in old Quonset huts occupied by Engineering when it first transferred to Diliman in 1949. And the grounds surrounding the Engineering Building were landscaped.
The U.P. Industrial Research Center continued to render services to government entities and the general public, including a research job for the Philippine Coconut administration. During the year, several scholarship grants donated by private entities were made available to engineering students for the first time. Among them: the STANVAC scholarship, Tide-water Oil Company scholarship; ten grants for mining students from various mining companies, and the Philippine Packing Corporation scholarship.
A major event took place in the College on March 19-21, 1956. This event was the holding of the 1956 Engineering Conference in which delegates from industrial firms, government corporations, engineering schools and societies, as well as ICA & NEC officials and other government officials, gathered to discuss engineering problems of the country. Some one hundred and forty guests and delegates attended the three-day conference.
It was in the same year that the University began offering a curriculum in architecture. The significant feature of this 5-year course is the presence of stronger background subjects in mathematics, physics, chemistry and mechanics than what is offered in private schools. The architecture course was at the time under the College. It is to be remembered that School of Architecture had been proposed for the College in 1928 but was disapproved by the Board of Regents.
Three participating architects, Aurelio T. Juguilon (also a UP civil engineering graduate), Victor Tiotuyco and Efren Hernandez, were appointed as members of the faculty. In June 1956, thirty-two students registered as freshmen in architecture. These were among the total engineering enrollment of 1,270. There were also 23 students registered for the newly opened curriculum in agricultural engineering. Aside from these two new curricula, 2-year courses in both mining and metallurgical engineering were instituted to meet the acute shortage of technically competent men in the mineral industry. These special curricula however were designed for degree holders in engineering other than mining and metallurgy.
Rehabilitation of engineering laboratories still continued during this school year, particularly the hydraulics laboratory, which received equipment manufactured by the Hawkeye Company of Davenport, Iowa. In this laboratory, a model of the Binga spillway was constructed and tested for the National Power Corporation. Under the U.P.-Stanford Contract, three visiting professors were still in service in the persons of Profs. E.L. Eriksen, George W. Duncan and Donald M. Hanson.
The Geodetic Engineering personnel who heretofore had been receiving salaries from the Bureau of Lands by virtue of the old UP-Bureau of Lands arrangement were transferred to the U.P. along with their budgetary items. Professor Angel Tronqued, head of the department since 1946, retired from government service early in the semester; Professor Norberto S. Vila was designated to the position.
In the latter part of the second semester, April 4-7, 1957, the Second Engineering conference was held with the following theme: “Identification of the Technological Problems of the Country.” For purposes of orienting the discussions, the following areas were defined; technological problems in private industry; technological problems in government corporations; and problems in technological education. The fourth day of the conference, the formal inauguration of the engineering laboratories, took place with Col. Harry A. Brenn, director of ICA presenting a symbolic model building to President Enrique T. Virata, through the NEC Executive Director, Andres O. Hizon.
In June 1957, the enrollment in the College rose to 1,360 of which 117 were female. Six new faculty members were recruited to replace resignations and to reinforce the staff, six of whom were sent for advanced training in the United States under the ICA-NEC training program. During the school year 1957-1958, the UPIRC, which had been receiving ICA-NEC aid, continued to serve the general public. In the Center several engineering professors had been able to conduct research, particularly on Philippine timber, and solar energy utilization.
The Electronics Training Project for instructors in electronic courses started on September 2, 1957. The ICA-NEC sponsored program conducted instruction in the operation of microwave equipment to two groups of trainees. Three RCA engineers and technicians joined the engineering staff to conduct the course. Some $60,000 worth of equipment for instruction were acquired for this purpose.
A peak enrollment of 1,282 students, with an unprecedented number of female students (191) occured in June 1958. In the faculty, six members resigned for various reasons. Professor Jose M. Segovia, head of the electrical engineering department, was among those who resigned; Professor Mamerto Nepomuceno was designated in his place. Professor Ernesto T. Mendoza retired in July 1958 after serving the University continuously for 34 years. Of the visiting professors, the three RCA field staff members continued to conduct the Electronics Training Program. Dr. Paul R. Byerly, Jr., a specialist in nuclear science arrived to help set up the training program in nuclear engineering leading to Master of Engineering (Atomic Energy) as well as in setting up the Atomic Energy Laboratory which was housed in the newly completed Textile Laboratory and General Purpose Pilot Plant building. One of the significant additions to the facilities of the College in 1953 was the setting up of the Radio Broadcasting Station, DZUP, and the electronics Communications Laboratory, DUIUP, atop the engineering building. The station and the laboratory provided training to electrical engineering students as well as serve the University for disseminating information of its activities to the public. Likewise, the College set up for the University a wireless communication network between UP Diliman and UP Los Baños, Iloilo and Basilan.
Other events that transpired during the academic year 1958-1959 were the creation of the Department of Engineering Sciences to supersede the old department of mechanics and drawing, the holding of the 3rd Engineering conference, the setting up of the photo-elastic laboratory, and the completion of the wind tunnel building to house the wind tunnel unit of the hydraulics laboratory. Under a new setup for graduate studies in engineering, now being handled by the College, the first student with a Master of Engineering degree graduated. During the summer of 1958, eleven graduate students enrolled in the course leading to the degree of Master of Engineering (Atomic Energy). Also, by virtue of a resolution of the Board of Regents, the course in architecture was transferred to the Fine Arts to form the College of Architecture and Fine Arts.
The Sixth Decade (1960-1970)
To celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the founding of the College, a grand affair was held on June 12, 1960, at the College premises under the sponsorship of the U.P. Alumni Engineers, the engineering alumni association. A motorcade started from the old engineering building in Manila to Diliman; the engineering flag was hoisted up the flagpole in front of the College building; there were fireworks displays; and the program and dinner to culminate the celebration was held at the General Purpose and Textile Plant building.
During the school year 1960-1961, the enrollment dropped abruptly to 884 students. This was due to the establishment of the University College in which all incoming U.P. students were required to go through the two years of general education before entering the professional colleges. There was also a change in the deanship of the College at the start of the academic year. Professor Oscar Baguio took over the position replacing Dean C.A. Ortigas who remained Project Director of the ICA-NEC sponsored Physics teachers training program. Other changes in the faculty staff included the appointment of Prof. Cristy R. Hernandez as secretary of the College, vice Prof. Eusebio L. Koh who with Professor Dominador I. Ilio headed the Department of Engineering Sciences; and the sending of Profs. Alberto Villares and Delfin R. Zapanta abroad for specialized graduate studies under the ICA-NEC training program. A death of the faculty occurred during the year, that of Prof. Pablo Hamoy, Hr. of the Department of Electrical Engineering. It was during this school year also that the U.P. Alumni Engineers started the construction of an alumni headquarters and faculty lounge on the deck roof the wing connected with the main building and hydraulics laboratory.
With the full implementation of the policy in which the first two years of engineering to be in the University College, the third to fifth year enrollment in June 1961 came up to only 630 students. In order to adjust the setup, the various engineering curricula had to be revised and the subjects rearranged, there were several resignations from the faculty and new appointments among them being Moises dela Cruz Jr., Roman Sirilan, Alberto Ramos, Marianito Cruz and Sergio Cabinum.
The trend of decreasing enrollment in the engineering proper continued during the academic year 1962-1963 with 484 students; however, for 1963-64, the enrollment rose slightly to 554 which included the 70 students in the graduate division. Graduate courses offered in the evenings in Manila during the first semester of 1963-64. The Board of Regents under the sponsorship of Regent H.R. Reyes allocated funds for the honoraria of teaching personnel. Graduate courses in Atomic Energy, Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Metallurgical Engineering were offered. The classes were held at the NSDB premises on Pedro Gil (Herran) Street in Manila.
During these two academic years, the turnover in the lower ranks of the faculty staff were quite appreciable, most of the resignations were for the purpose of pursuing advance studies in the United States. Among the members of the faculty on permanent status sent abroad for further studies were: Profs. C.R. Hernandez, Luz Salonga, Salvador F. Reyes, Ibarra E. Cruz, and Juan B. Uy. Prof. Rodolfo M. Casiple and Messrs. Amado San Mateo, Marino Mena, Gerardo Alinsod and Marianito Cruz who were granted A.I.D. fellowship for Master/Doctorate Degrees.
Among the other events of significance during the 1962-1964 academic years: (1) the approval of the new graduate courses in various fields of engineering; (2) the approval of the curriculum in Industrial Engineering; (3) the establishment of the Foundry Research Project sponsored by NSDB; (4) the completion and inauguration the Engineering Alumni Center; (5) the start of the construction of the East Wing of the engineering building to house the training Center for Applied Geodesy and Photogrammetry; and (6) the revival of the Engineering Smoker sponsored jointly by the Engineering Association Council and the U.P. Alumni Engineers.
During the 1963 U.P. Alumni Engineers Homecoming, the Engineering Building was named Melchor Hall in honor of the late Col. Alejandro Melchor. He was an engineering alumnus, former member of the engineering faculty and the U.P. Board of Regents, Secretary of National Defense in the Philippine Cabinet in exile during World War II, and a researcher whose studies on pontoon bridges contributed significantly in winning the war for the Allied Forces. Dedication Ceremonies were held and a plaque was unveiled at the portico of the edifice with President Romulo as guest speaker and the family of Alejandro Melchor present.
In the 1964 homecoming, the cornerstone of the U.P. Alumni Engineers building – a project funded by contributions from engineering alumni and friends – was laid at the corner of Magsaysay Avenue and Galicano Apacible Street in Diliman. Also, the portrait of Alejandro Melchor was unveiled at the Engineering Alumni Center. The Fourth Engineering conference was held at the same day of the Alumni homecoming.
The first month of 1965 saw the inauguration of the Training Center for Applied Geodesy and Photogrammetry. Construction of the East Wing of the Melchor Hall had been completed which house thereafter the TCAGP and the Department of Geodetic Engineering. Funds for the Center were provided for by the Department of Agrarian Reform in as much as most of its activities would be mapping by photogrammetry of lands under the agrarian reform program of the government. On February 27 of that year, former Dean C.A. Ortigas died of heart failure while he was in Iloilo City. During the Alumni Engineers Homecoming in May, Regent H.R. Reyes was presented a special award for outstanding service in the promotion of engineering education and President C. P. Romulo was presented a special plaque. In June, the curriculum in Industrial engineering was implemented under the auspices of the department of mechanical engineering. One of the significant activities of the year was the involvement of the engineering faculty in the ad hoc group known as the Office of Campus Planning for drafting the overall design of the campus utilities: building locations and zoning, infrastructure works, water and electric utilities, drainage, landscaping and campus beautification. Professor Alfredo L. Juinio headed the office.
In 1966, the curricula in the various engineering disciplines were updated; also the graduate program in industrial engineering was started which attracted many enrollees. The graduate programs in engineering, which used to be conducted at the NSBD building on Herran St. in Manila, and transferred later to the dentistry building in Padre Faura St. were now conducted in Diliman and a graduate division was created with Dr. Ibarra E Cruz as Director. Along with the Master of engineering curriculum, a parallel curriculum for master of science was also established. The Ford Foundation Grant was implemented with the sending, initially, of eight senior faculty members for doctorate studies abroad. The grant also provided for visiting professorships, books and equipment and local graduate student fellowships. Model studies of the Angat Dam leakage problem was undertaken by the UPIRC at the hydraulics laboratory. Early in the year, the UP Alumni Engineers Building was completed, was turned over to the University of the Philippines in appropriate ceremonies for housing the University Computer installation. That year, Professor Francisco T. Sunico retired from government service. Also Professor Alfredo L. Juinio was tapped to be the administrator of the National Irrigation Administration concurrently with his U.P. position.
Six more faculty fellows were sent abroad for doctorate studies under the Ford Foundation Grant. Fourteen local graduate fellowships were also awarded under the same program, mostly for engineering teachers from local schools. A central air conditioning system was installed for the engineering library and faculty offices. That year, Roman B. Ramos of the mining engineering department retired from the service.
The Seventh Decade (1970-1980)
In 1970, Professor Alfredo L. Juinio assumed the deanship of the College following the expiration of the term of Dean Oscar Baguio. The Board of Regents approved the formation of the Board of Trustees for the administration of the Engineering Endowment Fund which had been renamed U.P. Engineering Research and Development Foundation, Inc. (UPERDFI). Dean Juinio was elected Chairman of the Board. The initial trust funds of the foundation were donated by Hydro Resources Contractors Corporation whose incorporators were all U.P. Engineering alumni. The Ford Foundation also gave financial aid for this. Subsequent donations came from UP engineering alumni and from private engineering firms with engineering alumni in their management. Earnings of the funds of UPERDFI has been used for establishing professorial chairs, funding of graduate student fellowships, undergraduate scholarships and general development of the college.
Typhoon Yoling passed Manila and immediate vicinities of the storm season during this year and caused destruction of campus residences and buildings. In the College, the new east wing and the engineering theater were partially unroofed. Many acacia trees around the building were uprooted. But the most visible evidence of the force of the typhoon winds was the dislocation of the steel engineering sundial on the west front of the building. The heavy gnomon was wrenched from its foundations and carried some distance away toward the street.
In 1971, the Department of Industrial Engineering was created with Dr. Luis Pascual as chairman. The industrial engineering course had become popular and it needed to be weaned away from mechanical engineering. Graduate courses in Geodesy and Photogrammetry were instituted . Under the Ford Foundation program, Dr. George Town of the Iowa State University arrived as a visiting consultant for the development of the college. Model Studies of the Pantabangan Dam spillway were conducted at the hydraulics laboratory. After one year of operation, the optional attendance experiment was reviewed and extended for another year.
When student activism was intense in the University, even in Manila colleges and universities, the student succeeded in interrupting classes with the establishment of the so-called commune in the University campus. The activist group was able to occupy the radio transmitting section atop the engineering roof garden for a few days. The U.P. Campus was sequestered at that time with little traffic to and from the campus area. However, there were no other destruction of U.P. property in the college except for some activist graffiti on the outside walls of the building which were readily cleaned up.
The heirs of German A. Yia, through his widow, Mrs. Pura Yia, donated a sizeable sum to finance the construction of the German A. Yia Hall. The building had been used for additional electrical laboratories. The building is situated at the corner of Magsaysay Avenue and Agoncillo Street. The late German A. Yia belonged to the mechanical engineering class of 1928. After graduation, he continuously worked for the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Company. He served as a President of U.P. Alumni engineers for two terms, from 1960-1962.
One significant innovation in the operation in the operation of the hydraulics laboratory was its conversion into the National Hydraulics Research Center under the UPERDFI with Professor Angel S. Alejandrino as the Director. Funding came from the National Water Resources Council, the MWSS, the NIA, and the NPC. Smooth operating procedures have been achieved, and water resources development projects have been implemented under the Center. The UPERDFI funded the first seven professorial chairs in the College. Scholarship funds were received from Asia Industries and alumni of the College. To assist the incumbent Dean of Engineering who had duties with the National Irrigation Administration the position of Associate Dean of the Collage was established and Dr. Leopoldo V. Abis was appointed to the position.
Just before the summer of 1973, the first Engineering Faculty Conference was held at the Development Academy of the Philippines in Tagaytay City. Problems of the college were discussed, aside from the more leisurely sightseeing by the attending faculty, as well as getting acquainted with their peers. In the College, the academic program was reinforced with the institution of graduate courses in computer science and environmental engineering.Aside from this, the Association of Engineering Education for Southeast Asia was also organized in which the Dean of Engineering Dr. Ibarra E. Cruz served as editor of the technical journal of the organization.
The UP Alumni Engineers started the construction of the sundial to replace the one destroyed by typhoon Yoling. However, the location was moved from the front of the Engineering Building to the space between the east wing and the UP Alumni Engineers building, along G. Apacible Street.
In 1974, UP College of Engineering sponsored a seminar for engineering deans and educators. Textbook writing was given impetus with grants from the UPERDFI Research projects. The college faculty members who participated were initiated by design and transportation personnel in the various aspects of transportation industry. The Transport Training Center (TTC) was established with funding from the Japanese government and the Department of Public Highways. Dr. Salvador F. Reyes was designated the first director. The TTC building was built in the area between the UP Alumni Engineers building and the East wing of Melchor Hall.
The UP Alumni Engineers donated funds necessary for the furnishing of the German Yia Hall. The Second Engineering Conference was held on the damsite of Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija. Aside from the discussion of college problems, the faculty had an educational tour of the newly completed water resources project.
During the year 1975, the nuclear engineering in the graduate level was revived to train engineers for the proposed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. Visiting professors in computer science and environmental engineering arrived from the U.S.A. – Dr. Oscar H. Ibarra, a U.P. engineering alumnus and faculty member from University of Minnesota, and Dr. K. Keshavan from Worshester University, respectively. Various faculty workers were also working on individual researches on solar energy utilization and gasification for internal combustion engines.
Notable events in 1976 and 1977 were the institution of multi-disciplinary courses in environmental engineering in the undergraduate level. Three faculty members were sent abroad for graduate work under the UNDP Grant. The Third Engineering Conference was held in Caliraya, Laguna. The diploma course in water resources was instituted which was shorter than the M.S. Program. The Science Equipment Project for secondary schools supported by UNDP and NSDB was transferred to Engineering and housed at the German Yia Hall.
In 1978, The National Engineering Center (NEC) was established as per P.D. No. 1295. It is an agency supported by the National Government and by the UNDP. The NEC will be an umbrella body under which the non-teaching activities of the college will be administered. These units include: The National Hydraulics Research Center (NHRC), the Training Center for Applied Geodesy and Photogrammetry (TCAGP), the UP Industrial Research Center (UPIRC), and the Transport Training Center (TTC), and the Building Research Services (BRS). The multi-million peso building of NEC located in the area between Melchor Hall in the same block as the German Yia Hall, was started. Since its establishment, the NEC had sponsored various seminars in strategic cities in the country for upgrading engineering educators, a project funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and EDPITAF. The NEC publishes a regular pamphlet, the Philippine Engineering Journal. Dr. Leopoldo V. Abis is presently the NEC Director. During the previous year, the annual engineering Faculty Conference was held at Sun Valley in La Union.
Also starting in 1978, the UNDP Assistance Program was implemented, consisting of acquisition of books and equipment, fellowship grants to faculty members of masteral/doctoral studies abroad and services of engineering education consultants. In 1978, seven faculty members were sent abroad under the program. The Engineering Student Council was restored in 1978; also the student publication, “Engineering Logscript”, was revived. The Annual Engineering Faculty Conference was held at Legaspi City. Professor Dominador I. Ilio retired from teaching; thus ending his UP College of Engineering carreer that he had begun in 1935 as a student assistant.
Professor Marino M. Mena was appointed Dean of Engineering at the expiration of the term of Dean Alfredo Juinio in 1979. The NEC building was still under construction together with the laboratory annex to German Yia Hall. Thirteen faculty members were sent abroad for advanced studies under the UNDP Grant. Substitutes were taken in the faculty under the counterpart UNDP Peso Fund. For academic year 1979-1980, the enrollment in Engineering totaled 1,222 in the undergraduate level and 375 in the graduate level. These numbers do not include the pre-engineering students enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences who had to apply for admission to engineering after completing a pre-engineering course. The enrollment in the graduate division had been increasing steadily, within the masteral curricula of environmental engineering, nuclear engineering, engineering education, computer science, and water resources engineering aside from the regular fields which have undergraduate curricula.
Fourteen faculty members were sent abroad for advanced degrees during the year. Professor Norberto S. Villa of the Department of Geodetic Engineering retired early in that year. The Sixth Annual Conference was held at Kamaya Point in Bataan.
The Eighth Decade (1980-1990)
As of 1980-1981, the faculty staff totaled 100 members; 18 with doctorate degrees, 31 with masters degrees. There were 21 with the rank of Professors, 8 Associate Professors, 15 Assistant Professors, and 55 instructors. Professional lectures totaled 44.
During the Academic year 1981-82, another eleven faculty members left for abroad while six returned with advanced degrees and rejoined the staff. As of December 1981, 24 faculty members were on fellowships abroad. Three more were scheduled to leave in 1982. In response to the urgent needs of the government, computer and energy programs have been initiated. A bachelor program in Computer Science and a masteral and Doctorate program in Energy engineering have been developed for implementation in 1983. In the expansion and improvement of physical facilities, laboratory equipment worth about $190,000 has been acquired through the UNDP grant. Additional laboratory and office equipment have been received from the ADB/EDPITAF grant. Microcomputers have been acquired for the use of faculty and students. Old chairs in the Engineering Theater were replaced , and a public telephone system was installed for general use. At the end of the academic year 1981-82, 254 students were graduated in the various curricular openings making a total of 5,742 graduates of UP Engineering since its establishment in 1910.