The University of Ottawa was founded in 1848 and chartered in 1866; science and engineering were rapidly included in its fields of instruction. As early as 1874, the University bolstered the mathematics and science components of its classical studies program which, however, had to be abolished shortly afterwards. After the Second World War, the University kept in step with the new rise in popularity of the pure and applied sciences by establishing the School of Applied Sciences.
In 1953, it created the School of Pure and Applied Sciences, which was given faculty status in 1962. This first faculty was composed of seven departments, two of which in engineering. Ten years later, it counted four engineering departments and its name was changed to Faculty of Science and Engineering.
On July 1, 1986, the University opted for the establishment of both a Faculty of Science and a Faculty of Engineering, each with its own dean, professors, and programs. The Faculty of Engineering was then made up of four departments: Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.
On May 1, 1997, the Department of Computer Science joined the Faculty of Engineering from the Faculty of Science and was merged with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering to form the School of Information Technology and Engineering (SITE). The Faculty of Engineering is currently composed of three departments (Chemical and biological, Civil, and Mechanical Engineering) and of the School of Information Technology and Engineering.
The Faculty of Engineering is governed by a council made up of professors and students from each academic unit and chaired by the Dean, who is also the chief executive officer of the Faculty. The Dean is assisted by the Vice-Dean – Research and Development, the Vice-Dean - Academic, the Secretary of the Faculty, the Chairs (3) of the departments, the Director of SITE, and the Chief Administrative Officer of the Faculty. Over 110 tenured or tenure-track professors, 65 support staff, a number of part-time and adjunct professors and other contractual personnel are engaged in the education of about 2,000 undergraduate students and more than 650 graduate students.
At the undergraduate level, the Faculty offers programs in: Biomedical Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Computing Technology, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Software Engineering. The Computing Technology program is offered concurrently with the Chemical, Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering programs while the Biotechnology program is a joint program (biochemistry and chemical engineering). All the undergraduate programs are offered in regular or co-op mode.
A number of graduate programs leading to graduate certificates and diplomas and to M.Eng., M.A.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees are offered in a vast array of engineering and computer science disciplines, including many interdisciplinary programs.