Department History

A History of Electrical Engineering Education at the University of Maine (1894-1994)
Walter W. Turner, Professor Emeritus


In compiling this short history of the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Maine, I have attempted two purposes: to identify those faculty who have had major influence on the development of the department and to demonstrate that the department, through its course offerings, was able to keep up to date with respect to developments in industry. The latter effort was accomplished either by hiring new people with necessary expertise or encouraging faculty already in residence to branch out into new fields. In more recent years, research by some faculty has been on the so called “cutting edge” of technology and has influenced industrial developments.

Much of the information about the early years is gleaned from copies of the university catalog. Since there is some delay in getting information into that publication some cited dates may be off by a year.

I have had the help and cooperation of several people. Muriel Sanford, Special Collections Librarian at the Fogler Library was very helpful. Janice Gomm, Department secretary, assisted in the typing. Lloyd Burr, an alumnus, and Professor Emeritus Waldo Libbey provided material. The contributions of all these people are gratefully acknowledged. In particular, Professor Libbey’s recollections of the war years added interesting insight. If I have omitted or not emphasized the contribution of some individual to the development of the department, I offer my apologies.

Since my tenure with the department ended in early 1990, I included events only up to that time in my first draft. I appreciate John Field’s efforts in bringing the story up to 1994, the one hundredth anniversary of the establishment of electrical engineering at the University of Maine.

Walter W. Turner
Orono, Maine 1995