Professional engineering education in Singapore had its humble beginnings at the University of Malaya campus in 1955. When the Department of Engineering was transferred to Kuala Lumpur in 1958, there was a hiatus in professional degree engineering courses in Singapore, and Singapore students went to Kuala Lumpur for their B.Eng. degree. Then in 1964, a School of Engineering was established in the campus of the Singapore Polytechnic to offer degree courses in Engineering, with the University of Singapore overseeing standards and awarding the B.Eng. degree.
The first batch of 37 Engineering students under this scheme graduated in June 1968. In 1969, the School of Engineering in the Singapore Polytechnic was constituted as the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Singapore. However, it remained in the Prince Edward Road campus of the polytechnic until the Kent Ridge campus was built and ready to receive it. The Faculty then comprised the Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering departments. In 1972, the Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering was established. The undergraduate degree programme in Chemical Engineering which started in the Department of Chemistry in the Faculty of Science in 1975 was transferred to the Faculty of Engineering (NUS Engineering) in 1979.
NUS Engineering, within the National University of Singapore, was reconstituted in August 1980 with the merger between the University of Singapore and Nanyang University. In response to the nation’s needs, an undergraduate degree programme in environmental engineering was initiated by the Department of Chemical Engineering, which subsequently changed its name to the Department of Chemical & Environmental Engineering in 1998. In 2003, the Faculty decided to consolidate and enhance the research and educational activities in environmental science and engineering in the Chemical & Environmental Engineering and Civil Engineering departments into a separate Division of Environmental Science & Engineering. In January 2004, the Chemical Engineering department became the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering which gives due recognition to the strong biomolecular research and educational activities in the department, and to acknowledge the role of biology as an enabling science in chemical engineering.
In July 2000, the Department of Electrical Engineering changed its name to the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering to reflect its strong research and educational activities in the computer engineering and related areas. The Division of Bioengineering was formed in 2002 and admitted its first batch of bioengineering students in AY2002/03. The Department of Materials Science in the Faculty of Science was transferred to NUS Engineering in April 2005. It was renamed as the Department of Materials Science & Engineering and admitted its first batch of students for its Bachelor of Engineering degree in Materials Science & Engineering in AY2005/06. NUS Engineering has teamed up with the Faculty of Science to offer a multidisciplinary programme — the Engineering Science Programme from AY2006/07.