History of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Electronics

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A new book details the history of the University’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Electronics (EEE).

Researched, written and produced by Emeritus Professor David Parsons, who twice served as Head of Department as well as Dean of Engineering and Pro-Vice-Chancellor, the book provides a comprehensive and detailed account of the department from its very beginnings all the way through to present day.

Its origins can be traced back to the establishment of the “Electrotechnics” Laboratory in 1892, which led to the sub-Department of Electrotechnics in 1893 within the Department of Physics.

After becoming part of the Faculty of Engineering and appointing its first Professor in 1903, the Department would change its name to `Electrical Engineering` in 1908 with `and Electronics' being added in the 1960s.

The book covers the Department's early years alongside that of the University.  The post war period is reported in the chapter `Arcs and Sparks’ and spans 1946 to 1982, a time of significant growth and development in both teaching and research programmes, in addition to the opening of the EEE  building in 1965 which it still occupies today.

The 1980s and 1990s witnessed changes to funding streams for Higher Education, the introduction of a national assessment of research and the expansion of education programmes. New and exciting opportunities to engage with industry, and in particular SMEs, came through the Objective One programme for Merseyside which supported the Department’s Centre for Intelligent Monitoring Systems led by Professor Gordon Jones.

After the millennium, EEE played an important role in the establishment in 2006 of the University’s joint venture University, XJTLU, through Professor Michael Fang, Head of Department from 1998 to 2001.

Notable alumni include James Quincey, CEO and Chairman at The Coca-Cola Company, who graduated in Electronics Engineering in 1986 and tech entrepreneur and Visiting Professor, Sir Robin Saxby, who graduated with a BEng Electronics in 1968.

A great friend of the Department and the University, Sir Robin Saxby supported the refurbishment of the EEE building in 2012. More recently, Sir Robin officially opened the Digital Innovation Facility, a new state of the art facility for digital technologies.

If you wish to obtain a copy of `Electrical Engineering and Electronics at the University of Liverpool’, then please contact Jacqui Cowan in EEE.

Image: Courtesy of the University of Liverpool Library, Special Collections and Archives,  reference number D71/24/35/6.