The Faculty of Engineering, University of Benin, took off formally as one of the three foundation Faculties with the establishment of the Midwest Institute of Technology in November 1970. The University’s original name as Institute of Technology was no misnomer as Engineering was the raison d’etre for the establishment of the University.
The Faculty started with a total intake of about 70 students and 5 members of academic staff at Ekehuan Campus and Iyaro temporary site. The Faculty completely moved into the Ekehuan Campus of the University in 1971.
The Faculty was structured into the following five departments during the 1973/74 session:
- Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Electrical/Electronic Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering and
- Production Technology & Industrial Engineering
In April 1972, the University’s name was formally changed to the University of Benin while the University was also taken over from the State Government by the Federal Government.
By 1973, the permanent Blocks 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 had been completed and the Faculty subsequently moved into Ugbowo Campus in August that year. This was the last major movement of the Faculty as all offices, classrooms and some laboratories were moved to the main Ugbowo Campus. The Civil, Chemical, Petroleum and Electrical/Electronic Engineering Laboratories were however, not part of this movement as the accommodation at the main campus was insufficient. The Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering was re-structured into autonomous Chemical Engineering Department and Petroleum Engineering Department in 1984.
Students admission was on Faculty basis until the 1978/79 session. The 1979/80 session, however, witnessed the introduction of direct admissions into the Departments in the Faculty. The Faculty graduated its first set of students during the 1974/75 session. Civil Engineering had 5 students while Mechanical Engineering graduated 10.
In 1984, with the completion of the Functional Block, the Departmental Offices of Chemical, Civil, Electrical/Electronic and Petroleum Engineering moved into the building while the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Production Engineering and the Dean’s Office fully occupied Block 1. During the same period, Electrical/Electronic Engineering laboratories also moved from Ekehuan campus to the functional block. In 1990, the Civil Engineering block (Block 7) was completed and this allowed for the movement of Civil Engineering laboratories from Ekehuan Campus to Ugbowo Campus. A Building Engineering degree programme was introduced in the 1981/82 session and graduated three sets of students in the 1985/86, 1986/87 and 1987/88 sessions. The programme was terminated in 1988 on the directives of the National Universities Commission (NUC).
The Faculty introduced part-time weekend Programmes for the Bachelor of Engineering during the 1995/96 session. The programme initially took off with the Departments of Civil, Electrical/Electronic and Mechanical Engineering, respectively. Similar part-time Degree Programmes in Production, Chemical, Petroleum and Computer Engineering were introduced in the 1997/98 session. However, the part-time degree programmes were terminated in the 2005/2006 session on the directives of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN).
The Diploma in Computer Engineering was also introduced in the 1997/98 session. Postgraduate Diploma (part-time) Programmes in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering came on stream during the 1995/96 session. In that same session, the M.Sc. in Engineering Management was also introduced. A full time postgraduate diploma in Electrical/Electronic Engineering had earlier been introduced in the 1981/82 session. Also, a part-time Postgraduate Diploma in Production Engineering was introduced in the 2002/2003 session. A part-timeDiploma in Chemical Engineering programme was introduced in the 2003/2004 session.
In 1995, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Guinness Nigeria PLC. and Delta Steel Company, Ovwian-Aladja, were invited and accepted membership of the Faculty Board of Studies. The companies have all been very active in the development of the Faculty since then.
The student enrollment in the Faculty during the 2011/2012 session was about 5,000 with academic staff strength of over 160 lecturers.