Science and Technology

Engineering a future for southern Queensland and beyond

Throughout its 50 year history, USQ Engineering and Surveying has built a reputation of excellence and expansion, emphasising quality education and contribution to community.

It has grown from a selection of diploma courses taught by a handful of staff in 1967, to a robust study discipline encompassing two schools with more than 4000 students currently enrolled.

In a year of birthdays for USQ, the 50th anniversary of Engineering and Surveying at the University was marked with a celebration event at USQ Toowoomba (September 28 2017).

The function merged the past and present, bringing together current and former staff such as the University’s foundation Dean of Engineering, Professor Emeritus Tom Ledwidge, and incumbent heads of school Professor Kevin McDougall (Civil Engineering and Surveying) and Associate Professor Tony Ahfock (Mechanical and Electrical Engineering).

All were welcomed by Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie, who opened the celebration with remarks on the achievements of USQ Engineering and Surveying over the previous five decades.

“Engineering was a foundation discipline when USQ, then known as the Queensland Institute of Technology Darling Downs, commenced in 1967,” Professor Mackenzie said.

“Since then, the University’s alumni in engineering, surveying, urban and regional planning and construction management have influenced and contributed to business, government and communities across Australia and internationally.”

In 1967, the Engineering Departments of Mechanical, Agricultural, Electrical and Civil Engineering were based at the Technical College at the corner of Margaret and Hume Streets.

The professional degree program was recognised by the Institution of Engineers Australia in 1971 and the first graduates from the degree program graduated in 1975. The Associate Diploma programs flourished and by 1977, around 80 students were enrolling in the programs each year. Surveying was added to the program list in 1971.

By the mid-1980s, Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education (DDIAE) Engineering and Surveying was graduating more than 100 students a year and commenced its first Masters program.

Engineering offers commenced in Springfield in 2007 and programs in Construction Management followed soon after in 2011. In 2013, a new Civil Engineering Laboratory was built in Springfield to accommodate the growing student numbers.

In 2016, surveying programs commenced at Springfield and in 2017, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering was offered at Springfield for the first time.

Looking forward, Professor Mackenzie said USQ would continue to deliver Engineering and Surveying graduates with the skills and knowledge to succeed in their chosen specialisation.

“Our predecessors have laid a strong foundation for us to educate future generations of engineers, agricultural scientists, surveyors, and urban and regional planners,” she said.

“Our Engineering degrees are fully-accredited through Engineers Australia, and are recognised worldwide.”

Source: USQ

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