About McKelvey Engineering

We are McKelvey!

"The McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis is a leader in providing scientific insights and enabling technologies critical to solving fundamental research challenges of the world today and in preparing students for the rapidly changing world of tomorrow."

— Dean Aaron Bobick

No better name than McKelvey

The name McKelvey has a long history and bright future in engineering's role at Washington University in St. Louis.

The mission of the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis is to promote independent inquiry in engineering research and education with an emphasis on scientific excellence, innovation and collaboration without boundaries.

McKelvey Engineers produce new knowledge that changes the world, and our faculty are educating students to explore and create in a world we cannot yet imagine. Through research and education, we are making a positive impact on the local community, the country and the world.

What lies ahead

As an engineering school, we need to adapt to the changing environment and to prepare our students to explore, create, and succeed in a world we cannot yet imagine. To address these needs, we have embarked on a five-year strategic plan that draws on our existing strengths to prepare students for the challenges ahead. Among the steps we’ve taken are launching new interdisciplinary programs in highly relevant areas including imaging sciences, data sciences, materials science, cybersecurity and combined programs with math and business.

McKelvey Engineering by the numbers

Full-time faculty


Engineering alumni


$57 million
in research awards (FY23)

About Jim McKelvey Jr.

Jim McKelvey Jr. is a successful serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Square, a revolutionary financial services and mobile payment company credited with empowering businesses of all sizes around the globe. As a child, McKelvey Jr. spent formative time at the Engineering school with his father during his tenure as dean. He applied early decision to Washington University and enrolled in 1983, graduating in 1987 with degrees in economics and computer science. 

Read more about Jim McKelvey

View the Year in Review 2022-23

History of Engineering at Washington University


old photo of Brookings Hall
Washington University founded.


The School of Engineering & Applied Science is inaugurated as the scientific department of the University.


Calvin M. Woodward
Calvin M. Woodward serves as first dean. Woodward played a key role in developing engineering into a major academic division.


Edmund A. Engler
Edmund A. Engler serves as dean.


WashU campus in 1910
The School of Engineering becomes the School of Engineering & Architecture; the School was separately organized in 1910.


Calvin Woodward
Calvin M. Woodward serves as dean. This was Woodward’s second deanship.


Alexander Langsdorf
Alexander S. Langsdorf serves as dean.


Walter E. McCourt
Walter E. McCourt serves as dean. 


Alexander Langsdorf
Alexander S. Langsdorf serves as dean again, after working in industry for six years.


Sever Hall
The Sever Institute of Technology (Engineering graduate school) is founded as Sever Hall opens on the Hilltop Campus (now Danforth Campus).


Lawrence E. Stout
Lawrence E. Stout serves as dean. He was influential in plans for collaborative research efforts between the School and industry.


Donald A. Fisher
Donald A. Fisher serves as dean. An expert in patent law, Fisher practiced law in St. Louis before joining the University as an instructor of electronic engineering.


Urbauer Hall
Urbauer Hall
 is completed.


To help practicing engineers stay current with the profession through specialized courses, seminars and conferences; The Institute for Continuing Studies was founded.


Laboratory Instrument Computer
Jerome R. Cox Jr. brought LINC (The Laboratory Instrument Computer) and its development team to WashU from MIT. LINC transformed biomedical research by integrating computer science with medicine, allowing researchers to program data analysis on the fly.


James M. McKelvey
James M. McKelvey serves as dean.


Bryan Hall
Bryan Hall completed.


The Dual Degree Program is established with a select group of colleges.


Lopata Hall
Lopata Hall
 is completed.


Jolley Hall
Jolley Hall is completed.


Christopher I. Byrnes
Christopher I. Byrnes serves as dean.


UMSL Campus
Partnership with the University of Missouri-St. Louis is established to offer evening classes.


inside Whitaker Hall
The Department of Biomedical Engineering is founded.


Whitaker hall
Whitaker Hall
 is completed. 


The Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering and the Department of Computer Science & Engineering are formed following mergers.


Mary J. Sansalone
Mary J. Sansalone serves as the school’s ninth dean.


The first of its kind in the U.S., the Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering is founded through a merger of the graduate Engineering Environmental Science program and the Department of Chemical Engineering.


McKelvey Scholars
Inspired by the legacy of former Dean McKelvey, The McKelvey Undergraduate Research Scholars Program is created for students to work on cutting-edge research projects with faculty from Engineering, Medicine, or the Sciences. 


Salvatore P. Sutera
Salvatore P. Sutera serves as interim dean.


The Department of Mechanical, Aerospace & Structural Engineering becomes the Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science.


Ralph S. Quatrano
Ralph S. Quatrano serves as dean.


Brauer Hall
Brauer Hall completed.


Green Hall
Green Hall completed.


W.E. Moerner
W.E. Moerner (EN ’75) wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry.


Aaron Bobick
Aaron F. Bobick named dean.


National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center for Engineering MechanoBiology (CEMB) is formed to investigate biology’s mechanics.


James McKelvey Jr.
The School of Engineering & Applied Science renamed the James McKelvey School of Engineering in honor of trustee and distinguished alumnus Jim McKelvey Jr., who made an unprecedented and transformative investment in the school.

Jubel Hall is completed and the East End of the Danforth Campus is dedicated