Full Department History

Classroom 1916
A typical electrical engineering classroom at Iowa State in 1916

The story of Iowa State University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering began in 1907, when Iowa State College (now Iowa State University) President Albert B. Storms recommended to the State of Iowa Board of Trustees that a separate Department of Electrical Engineering (EE) be organized with Professor Fred A. Fish as its head. Although the Department of Physics and Illuminating Engineering had offered electrical engineering courses and degrees since 1891, the new, independent EE department formally was approved and construction of the department’s home—the Engineering Annex—began in 1909.

Throughout the years, the ECpE department has remained committed to research and education excellence. The department’s success has relied on the leadership of its chairpersons, experience of talented faculty, collaborations with industry, and support and success of its students and alumni. Department chairs have provided expert guidance and commitment to the department. Faculty have brought expertise and passion. Industry has supported—and continues to support—research. Students have excelled in their studies and research while at Iowa State, and alumni have helped continue the department’s tradition of excellence in their careers and through support of the department.

Read more about the department’s history:

Credit: The ECpE Department History was written by Jason B. Chrystal, a postdoctoral associate in the Iowa State University History Department. Many photos were provided by the Iowa State University Parks Library/Special Collections.