History

The Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering has a rich history which has seen many changes since its beginnings in 1920. These changes reflect the advances seen in science, industry and technology as we move further and further from an agrarian society.

  • 1921 Activation of the Department of Agricultural Engineering, which had been authorized at the University of Arkansas in 1920. In its early years, the department was housed in Gray Hall, located on the UA campus where Mullins Library now stands. The primary function of the department was to teach service courses and conduct applied research.
  • 1950 First Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Engineering conferred.
  • 1952 First Master of Science degree in Agricultural Engineering conferred.
  • 1966 The department moved to a building nicknamed “the old agriculture building,” that had served as the campus infirmary. This 1905 building was renamed the Agricultural Engineering Building and housed the department until its move to Engineering Hall in 1990. The former infirmary is now named the Agricultural Annex. Construction completed for the Agricultural Engineering Research laboratory to replace facilities that were located initially on the site of the present Administration Building and later at the former Washington County Fair Grounds on the southwestern edge of campus.
  • 1981 The High Bay building was constructed and other teaching facilities at the Engineering Research Center (Engineering South) were obtained beginning in 1981.
  • 1984 First departmental Ph.D. in Engineering conferred.
  • 1988 The department name changed to Biological and Agricultural Engineering.
  • 1990 With renovations complete in Engineering Hall, the department moved to its present location [on the second floor] in Engineering Hall. The B.S. and M.S. degree names were changed to Biological and Agricultural Engineering to reflect the curriculum and the new name of the department.
  • 1992 A major research project called the HiDEC (High-Density Electronics Center) purchased the High-Bay building from the department, providing funds for the expansion of the Agricultural Engineering Research Lab in order to accommodate the activities that had been going on at E South (now known as the Engineering Research Center).
  • 2002 The B.S. and M.S. degree names were changed to Biological Engineering.
  • 2003 Received approval for the Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering degree from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.