Engineering and Applied Science

This faculty owes its creation in 1893 largely to the vision of Principal George Grant. While travelling from coast to coast in 1872 as part of CPR engineer Sandford Fleming's survey party, he became convinced of the importance of training engineers to help build Canada.

Queen's, however, could not afford a new faculty without help, and the provincial government could not support Queen's financially as long as it was a denominational university (which it remained until 1912).

But Grant and Premier Oliver Mowat (son of one of Queen's founders and brother of one of its senior professors) got around this technicality by establishing the Ontario School of Mining and Agriculture, a provincially-supported school and independent institution - one, however, which shamelessly shared the newly-built Carruthers Hall as well as its professors with Queen's Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, which was deliberately founded at the same time.

The sleight of hand was not universally appreciated. One University of Toronto professor remarked bitterly some years later that "Grant had this province on its knees."

The school opened in 1893 with Dr. W.L. Goodwin as its first Director; the Faculty was created in 1894, with Nathan Dupuis as its first Dean. There was some dispute about what to name the new faculty, and, although it was officially called the Faculty of Applied Science, it was usually referred to as the Faculty of Practical Science (then the most common term elsewhere) in its early years.

The school vanished from the campus scene in 1916 after Queen's separated from the church and the school and faculty united to become the Faculty of Applied Science. Ontario Hall, donated to Queen's by the provincial government, was originally built to house the school.

Today, the Faculty offers degree programs in a large number of fields in engineering. Students specialize in one of these fields after taking a common first-year curriculum of mathematics, science, computing, and basic engineering.

In 2010, the Senate approved a change of name for the faculty, from "Applied Science" to "Engineering and Applied Science," as potential students, international students in particular, were increasingly unclear about the kind of degrees offered by the faculty.

In 2023, the faculty was renamed "Stephen J.R. Smith Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Queen’s University​" (or "Smith Engineering" as the short name) after a transformational $100 million gift from financial-services entrepreneur and Queen’s University alumnus, Stephen J.R. Smith (Sc’72, LLD'17)

Learn more about Smith Engineering...