Watson School History

The Watson School was founded in 1983 and named for IBM Corporation founder Thomas J. Watson. While the school's official presence may seem relatively young, its legacy encompasses a long-standing history of learning and research based on its foundations that can be traced to the graduate programs of the School of Advanced Technology and the undergraduate computer science and engineering technology offerings of the School of General Studies and Professional Education.

In establishing the Watson School, Binghamton University created an organization that could offer comprehensive undergraduate and graduate engineering programs. The Watson School programs respond and lead -- not only in the Southern Tier and New York state -- but across the nation and around the globe.

Watson School Leaders — A Historical Review

  • Hari Srihari, Dean, 2009–present
  • Seshu Desu, Dean, 2007–2009
  • Charles Roger Westgate, Dean, 2001–2007
  • Lyle D. Feisel, Founding Dean, 1983–2001

Pre-Watson Leaders

  • Walter Lowen, Founding Dean, School of Advanced Technology
  • John Granito, Dean, School of General Studies and Professional Education when engineering technology programs transferred
  • James C. Votruba, Dean, School of General Studies and Professional Education/Graduate School of Education and Human Development when computer science programs transferred

Watson School Milestones

1983

  • Founding of Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Appointment of Watson School Founding Dean Lyle D. Feisel
  • First graduate engineering students admitted

1984

  • First undergraduate Electrical Engineering junior level students admitted

1985

  • First undergraduate Mechanical Engineering junior level students admitted

1986

  • First class of Electrical Engineering students graduate
  • First graduate Industrial Engineering students admitted
  • Watson School Advisory Committee established

1987

  • First class of Mechanical Engineering students graduate
  • Electrical Engineering program accredited retroactive to first graduation
  • Computer Science undergraduate program transferred to Watson
  • Master of Science in Computer Science degree authorized

1988

  • Mechanical Engineering program accredited retroactive to first graduation
  • Institute for Research in Electronics Packaging formed

1989

  • Computer Science accredited

1990

  • Integrated Electronics Engineering Consortium formed
  • Center for Computing Technologies established

1991

  • National Science Foundation approves State/Industry University
  • Cooperative Research Center to establish Integrated Electronics Engineering Center (IEEC)
  • Tau Beta Pi engineering honors society founded on campus

1993

  • National Society of Black Engineers student chapter formed

1994

  • System Science merged with Industrial Engineering
  • Strategic Partnership for Industrial Resurgence (SPIR) established
  • EngiNet distance education graduate engineering program established

1995

  • First freshmen engineering class admitted
  • Division of Engineering Design common lower division program launched
  • International Studies Certificate program introduced

1996

  • Center for Intelligent Systems established

1997

  • Master of Engineering degree offered
  • National Science Foundation Alliance for Minority Participation grant establishes Binghamton Success Program

1998

  • Original Watson School Founders honored
  • Patrick A. Toole Lectures on Engineering Leadership launched
  • J. Donald Ahearn provides first "named gift" to establish electrical engineering instructional laboratories

1999

  • First undergraduate Computer Engineering students admitted
  • First undergraduate Industrial & Systems Engineering students admitted
  • Watson School Founders Awards launched

2000

  • Gary and Natasha Kunis donate University's first $1 million alumni gift for students, facilities and infrastructure
  • BAE's William Berical named chair of Watson School Advisory Committee

2001

  • First class of undergraduate Computer Engineering students graduate
  • First class of undergraduate Industrial & Systems Engineering students graduate
  • Founding Dean Lyle D. Feisel retires
  • Charles R. Westgate joins the Watson School as Dean
  • Computer Engineering program accredited
  • Industrial & Systems Engineering program accredited
  • Materials Engineering program launched

2002

  • Department of Electrical Engineering renamed Electrical and Computing Engineering
  • Division of Engineering Design renamed Engineering Discovery and Design
  • Department of Bioengineering launched

2003

  • The Watson School celebrates 20 years

2009

  • Distinguished professor Dr. Krishnaswami "Hari" Srihari  named dean of the Watson School.

2010

  • Gary Kunis '73 names Seymour Kunis Media Core in upcoming Engineering and Science Building with gift to Watson School equipment endowment in memory of his father.

2011

  • Dr. Hugo J. Uyttenhove, MS '75, PhD '78 and wife Kristin Conrad name Hugo Uyttenhove, PhD '78 Conference Room in upcoming Engineering and Science Building with gift to Watson School equipment endowment.
  • New Computer-Aided Engineering Instructional Laboratory opens in Engineering Building at center of campus.
  • Joseph H. "Harry" Boyer names Boyer Innovation Executive Boardroom in upcoming Engineering and Science Building with gift to Watson School equipment endowment.New Engineering and Science Building opens at Innovative Technologies Complex.
  • Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering relocated to ITC with office of the Dean.

Last Updated: 11/26/13