History

Subjects in engineering were first offered as early as 1854 at The University of Mississippi, but a complete schedule leading to an engineering degree was not established until much later. In 1900, the School of Engineering was organized and courses of study were offered covering four years of college work leading to a professional degree in engineering. Courses in electrical engineering were initiated this time and an electrical engineering program was established in 1907, but was discontinued in 1933. The electrical engineering program was reinstated in 1957 with Professor Robert A. Herring, Jr. as its chair. For a number of years the electrical engineering program was small and in 1965 the program had three full-time faculty members. Around this time and under the leadership of a new dean, a decision was made to further develop the electrical engineering program.

Prof. Chalmers M. Butler became the second chair of the department in 1965 and a strong engineering science-oriented undergraduate program was developed along with a focused graduate program. The undergraduate program was developed as an engineering-science oriented program with a broad base of mathematics, physics, engineering, and electrical engineering coursework. The electrical engineering program was accredited by the Engineers’ Council for Professional Development (later ABET) in 1969. The Electrical Engineering Department grew to eight full time faculty members by 1970 and had developed a national and international reputation for quality research in electromagnetic theory. Prof. Charles E. Smith became the department’s third chair in 1974 and served in that position until 2002. The Center for Wireless Communications joined with the Department of Electrical Engineering in 2000, bringing the number of full-time teaching faculty in the department to eleven. Allen W. Glisson served as the chair of the department until his retirement in 2012. Under new initiatives, the Department added a faculty specializing in biomedical engineering and a faculty specializing in computer engineering.