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School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering

An old wheel device in the MACE labs

History and heritage

The School has a long and celebrated history; Manchester was the world's first industrial city and we were the first English university to offer an engineering degree.

Sketch of the Manchester Mechanics' Institute in 1825
The Manchester Mechanics' Institute (1825)

The history of engineering at Manchester dates back to the establishment of The Manchester Mechanics' Institution (MMI) in 1824 and stretches forward to what we now know as the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering.

The MMI was created from the need to educate working men in the basic principles of science, while Owens College was opened in 1851 for the education of males on non-sectarian lines. The Victoria University of Manchester was to develop out of Owens College and the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) had direct links back to the MMI.

In 2004 the Victoria University of Manchester and UMIST merged to form The University of Manchester.

Key dates

  • 1824 A rapid increase in the town's population created a need to educate working men in basic principles of science prompted Manchester wealthy manufacturers and industrialists to establish the Mechanics' Institute. Later renamed the Manchester Municipal Technical School.
  • 1851 Owens College was founded for the education of males on non-sectarian lines. 1880 Owens College was given a status of the England's first civic university, The Victoria University of Manchester.
  • 1905 The Victoria University of Manchester establishes a Faculty of Technology at the Technical School to teach university-level courses in technology. In 1918 renamed Manchester Municipal College of Technology.
  • 1956 The Faculty of Technology achieved independent university status. Establishment of the Manchester College of Science and Technology that in 1966 was renamed The University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, UMIST.
  • 2004 The Victoria University of Manchester and UMIST merged to form The University of Manchester.