There were many elements to the planning of Monash University. Part of it was about the physical elements of the campus – lecture theatres, tutorial rooms, laboratories, amenities, sports facilities, offices and leisure spaces. Another critical part of it was the non-physical side of the new University. What faculties would be created and in what order? Which courses would be offered first and how many students would be accepted into each? How would the new faculties be structured and how many staff would be needed? These decisions were critical.
From the very beginning, the Faculty of Engineering was to be an integral part of Monash. The education and training it would offer and the research it would engage in met a clearly identified need in post-war Victoria and Australia. As a result, as soon as the Monash University Act 1958 was passed, the Interim Council immediately set about breathing life into Engineering at Monash.
Ken Hunt, the first Professor of Engineering at Monash, worked tirelessly to recruit and hire the foundation staff members who would help him establish the Faculty. With them, Hunt readied Engineering for its first student intake. Research activity and teaching exploded as the Faculty came into being. By 1970 all of the Foundation Professors had been employed and five departments had emerged – it was a period of major growth.
By the end of his time as Dean, Ken Hunt had established a strong leadership structure and the Faculty was thriving. In the mid 1970s Hunt resigned as Dean and the Faculty moved into a phase of consolidation and new leadership. The 1970s gave way to the 1980s, by the end of which the Faculty of Engineering had emerged to become one of the strongest Engineering faculties in the country. It was time for new directions and once again, new leadership.
Changes in higher education policy brought about a series of amalgamations and mergers that brought new challenges for the Faculty. As the 1990s gave way to the new century a new period of strategic planning and globalisation had emerged − one that the Faculty of Engineering transitioned into effortlessly thanks to its strong foundations and dynamic leadership over the past 50 years.