Faculty history

New Zealand's premier Engineering faculty is home to a constantly evolving community of innovators.

Early beginnings

The University of Auckland first began offering Engineering subjects in 1905. In 1948, the School of Engineering was moved from the city centre to Ardmore where it remained as a fully residential school until the late 1960s. In 1969, the school moved to its current premises at 20 Symonds Street.

The present

Today the Faculty of Engineering has grown to over 5,000 students – our undergraduate first year intake includes over 800 students every year and continues to increase. We now have over 500 postgraduate students in both research and taught programmes, many based at Newmarket Campus.

Since the development and opening of the Newmarket Campus research activities-based there include Electrical and Computer Systems, the Centre for Advanced Composite Materials, the NZ Product Accelerator, Civil Engineering and much more. These leading edge research facilities are paving the way for innovation and research excellence across many of our engineering disciplines.

The next phase

A new phase of the faculty history is now being written as construction continues on our new 11-storey purpose-built Engineering faculty, on the same site as Building 403/404 which was demolished in 2017 to make way for the new Building 405. Opening in late 2019, the new building will provide students with tailor-made spaces to support learning, accommodate larger student cohorts, and encourage multi-disciplinary collaboration.

This is an exciting chapter of our evolving role as New Zealand's top Engineering faculty.

Mission-led research

The award-winning Civil Structures Hall

Research, one of our faculty’s major strengths, continues to be a cornerstone of the school with the recent development of large scale research activities and collaborations with other schools and industry. Of course, the provision of a comprehensive learning environment remains our core activity.

We partake in interdisciplinary projects and boast notable collaborations with public and private organisations, research institutions, and industry.

Much of our work is at a world-class level, and in many research programmes, our researchers are leading the world in their discoveries and developments. The availability of this expertise plays a huge part in the ever-evolving content of our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

This is one of the steps we take to make sure that are graduates are equipped with the right knowledge to take on their career of choice.

Life beyond the classroom

We believe that student life extends beyond the classroom. The Engineering Atrium, a well-recognised area in our Central Campus, surrounds a 250-seat oval-shaped lecture theatre, a 'neon foyer' which houses many networking events, four computer laboratories, and seating areas and beanbags. This is the hub for many student activities, thanks to its relaxed environment that can be used for both study, socialising, and activities hosted by our University and faculty clubs and associations.

Our vision

Our vision continues to encompass both learning and research excellence as well as producing excellent graduates who are well equipped to make a significant impact on the world around them. The student experience they gain at our faculty will shape not only their success and the success of others.

Our illustrious alumni

Russell Coutts and Professor Ray Meyer

Our alumni include former University of Oxford Vice-Chancellor, Dr John Hood; the most successful yachtsman in America's Cup history, Russell Coutts; Oscar winner Mark Sagar; Chris Liddell, previously Chief Financial Officer of both Microsoft and General Motors, and many more.

We are proud of our history and even prouder of the future impact we are creating.