Origins of the School
In March 1958 the Jamaica Institute of Technology was established and in the following year the name as changed to ‘The College of Arts, Science and Technology’ (CAST). The department of Engineering was among the first to be established and the offerings of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering programmes. Students registered for and received instruction in their desired programme in the (then) Engineering Department; however, in most of their courses, they were examined by external bodies, viz. the Union of Lancashire & Cheshire Institute to the Higher National Diploma (year 2 level), and the City & Guilds of London Institute. The Department would include in the curriculum other courses not offered by these examining bodies. Upon successful completion, the student would be awarded an Engineering Diploma in either the Electrical or Mechanical discipline.
The institution has always maintained a strategy of developing infrastructure and programmes in response to industry’s requirements for trained technical and professional manpower. Thus in AY 1984-85, the department completed the restructuring of all its full-time Diploma programmes, in response to industry needs for graduates in specialist areas (such as Electrical – Power, Electrical – Electronics, Electrical – Instrumentation & Control, Mechanical – Plant and Mechanical – Production.) As of AY 1984-85 all courses were internally examined.
With the success of the internally examined programmes, came the confidence to embark on the design and initial implementation of a post-Diploma Bachelor of Electrical Engineering programme in 1986. There was substantial support from the Engineering Advisory Committee, the Jamaica Institution of Engineers and the University of the West Indies – St. Augustine, Faculty of Engineering for the development of this programme. The programme was accredited by UCJ in 1991, with recommendations in their report that a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering programme be introduced to complement the Electrical Programme. The first cohort of Mechanical Engineering students was admitted to the University in 1992. Both Electrical and Mechanical programmes were accredited in 1996.
On September 1, 1995, by an act of parliament cited as the University of Technology, Jamaica Act the institution (CAST) was accorded its new status. The department of Computing and Engineering were merged to form the Faculty of Engineering and Computing, having two schools viz., the School of Engineering and the School of Computing and Information Technology.
Philosophy of the School of Engineering
The engineering profession requires persons who are able to apply the principles of physical sciences, economics and environmental concerns in the design, implementation and operation of products, components, processes, and operations. The basic educational philosophy of the School of Engineering is to educate its students by using a participatory, “hands-on” laboratory and design-centred approach.