The School of Engineering in Tohoku Imperial University was founded in 1919 with three departments: Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Applied Chemistry. Four Departments of Metallurgy, Aeronautics, Electrical Communications, and Mining and Mineral Engineering, were added in 1923, 1939, 1941 and 1944, respectively.
With the introduction of the new school system in 1949 the Faculty of Engineering was restructured in a merger with the Sendai Technical College, which added the Departments of Civil Engineering and Architecture.
The rapid development of Japanese industry in the late 1950's and 1960's brought increasing demand for engineers and researchers in a variety of existing and newly developed interdisciplinary fields. In order to respond to these demands, the Departments of Electronic Engineering, Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering II, Chemical Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Applied Physics and Metal Processing were added between 1958 and 1965. Later Information Engineering was added in 1984.
In 1991, Mechanical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering II and Precision Engineering were reorganized into three new departments with specific objectives, namely, Intelligence and Systems Engineering, Mechatronics and Precision Engineering, and Aeronautics and Space Engineering, respectively. With the substantial growth of the university came the need for means and facilities for interdisciplinary cooperation in order to maximize research productivity and exploitation of multidisciplinary facilities and technology. As a result of the six-year program for the creation of a new research oriented university system, in 1993 the Graduate School of Information Sciences, a new multidisciplinary organization, was founded which incorporated activities of the Department of Information Engineering. Reorganization of the whole university and School of Engineering was carried out from the 1994 academic year, with reform of the old system being completed in 1997.
The constant changes and reorganizations are the proof that the School of Engineering is permanently seeking for means of modernization and adaptation to global demands of education and research. Department of Management of Science and Technology, and Department of Bioengineering and Robotics were founded in 2002 and 2004, respectively. The Graduate School of Environmental Studies, another multidisciplinary organization, was also established which incorporates the activities of the Departments of Geoscience and Technology, Materials Chemistry, as well as partial activities of Biomolecular Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science.
The current structure of the School of Engineering for undergraduate program is composed of 5 departments with department consisting of several courses. The School of Engineering for graduate program is composed of 17 departments, 1 research institute and 3 research centers. Teaching and research at the School of Engineering is supported by 2 multidisciplinary graduate schools and by 4 Institutes and 5 Research Centers.
The School of Engineering has been developed in the spirit of "Research First". The educational curricula are structured to enable students to acquire the fundamental principles in each field, which will give them the basis for understanding their discipline and exploring advanced technology and industry development. The curricula include laboratory work and seminars, through which students gain technical experience and learn the methodology of research and development. Final-year students are expected to participate in research projects at the School of Engineering or one of the related research institutes, and to prepare a thesis (required for fulfillment of the degree of Bachelor of Engineering). Graduate opportunities in engineering are offered in the all departments.