University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering


University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering
Sandford Fleming Building 2011 Toronto.jpg
The Sandford Fleming Building is the traditionally main building of the faculty.
Former name
School of Practical Science
Parent institution
University of Toronto
DeanChristopher Yip
Academic staff
266 (2018)
Administrative staff
345 (2018)
Undergraduates5,235 (2018)
Postgraduates2,498 (2018)

The Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering is an academic division of the University of Toronto devoted to study and research in engineering. Founded in 1873 as the School of Practical Science, it is still known today by the longtime nickname of Skule. The faculty is based primarily across 16 buildings on the southern side of the university campus in Downtown Toronto, in addition to operating the Institute for Aerospace Studies facility. The faculty administers undergraduate, master's and doctoral degree programs, as well as a dual-degree program with the Rotman School of Management.


The Mining Building

The School of Practical Science (S.P.S.) was created in 1873 by an act of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. The school was to serve the needs of a growing economy at a time marked by rapidly evolving sciences and technologies. In 1878, the school enrolled its first class for a three-year curriculum in the subjects of mining, engineering, mechanics and manufacturing.

The school was established as an affiliate of the University of Toronto, but operated as a separate institution. The first classes were held in a red-brick building that was known as the "Little Red Skulehouse" by attending students. The school was renamed as the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering on June 20, 1906, when it officially became part of the university.[1] In 1949, the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies opened for graduate studies and research in aeronautical and space sciences. In 1962, the Institute of Biomedical Electronics (now Institute of Biomedical Engineering) was established for graduate studies. The original Skulehouse was finally demolished in 1966, by which time the faculty had already expanded to occupy a dozen other buildings that formed an engineering precinct in the southern part of campus.

The Bahen Centre for Information Technology was completed in 2002 for the electrical and computer engineering department, as well as the division of Engineering Science. Designed by Diamond + Schmitt Architects, the $111 million facility contains 20,000 gross square metres and is named for John Bahen, the president of Peter Kiewit and Sons. The centre was described by Canadian Architect magazine as "a complex interweaving of urbanity, public space and sustainability", and it won the Ontario Association of Architects Award, the City of Toronto Architecture and Urban Design Award, and bronze in the environmental category of the National Post Design Exchange Award.[2]


Sundial at the engineering precinct
Engineering & Computer Science Library

There are 5,090 undergraduate students and 1,842 graduate students enrolled in the faculty, with 43,000 living Skule alumni worldwide.[3] The undergraduate programs are conducted by the departments of chemical, civil, computer, electrical, industrial, materials, mechanical, and mineral engineering. The faculty awards Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) degrees for all undergraduate engineering programs, with the exception of the Engineering Science program, in which a Bachelor of Applied Science in Engineering Science is awarded. The faculty also offers graduate degrees. The Master of Engineering (MEng) degree consists of 1 year of full-time study, primarily requiring the completion of coursework and/or a major project. The Master of Applied Science (MASc) degree consists of 2 years of full-time study, and requires the completion of course work and a major thesis. Unlike the MASc, which leads to a PhD degree, the MEng is a terminal degree.

Courses in several majors overlap: the electrical engineering curriculum shares courses with the computer engineering curriculum in the first two years, while chemical engineering shares a set of courses with the environmental engineering option of the civil engineering department. The undergraduate engineering science program consists of courses from a broad range of departments and places greater emphasis on theory than in a traditional engineering curriculum.[4] In the final two years of the program, each student specializes in one of several concentration options, including biomedical engineering, aerospace engineering, and machine learning.

The faculty requires undergraduate students to accumulate 600 hours of engineering work experience, commonly obtained through employment in between academic terms.[5] Students may also choose to participate in a paid internship program called the Professional Experience Year, which involves employment at an engineering company for a period of 12 to 16 months. The Jeffrey Skoll program allows engineering students to earn a bachelor's degree in engineering from the faculty followed by a Master of Business Administration degree from the Rotman School of Management.[6]

Admissions standards are specific to each department, and the faculty had an entry average of 93.7%.[7][8][9] In 2010-2011, Engineering Science had an entry average of 93%, and averages have been increasing yearly since then.[10][11]


  • Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry (Chem)
  • Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering (Civ/Min)
  • The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE)
  • Department of Materials Science & Engineering (MSE)
  • Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering (MIE)


  • Division of Engineering Science (EngSci)
  • Division of Environmental Engineering & Energy Systems (DEEES)

Specialized institutes

  • University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS)
  • Institute of Biomedical Engineering (BME)

Affiliated research institutes and centres

  • BioZone
  • Centre for Advanced Coating Technologies (CACT)
  • Centre for Advanced Diffusion-Wave Technologies (CADIFT)
  • Centre for Advanced Nanotechnology Centre for Global Engineering (CGEN)
  • Centre for Maintenance Optimization & Reliability Engineering (C-MORE)
  • Centre for Management of Technology & Entrepreneurship (CMTE)
  • Centre for Research in Healthcare Engineering (CRHE)
  • Centre for the Resilience of Critical Infrastructure (RCI)
  • Centre for Technology & Social Development Emerging Communications Technology Institute (ECTI)
  • Identity, Privacy & Security Institute (IPSI)
  • Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering (ILead)
  • Institute for Multidisciplinary Design & Innovation (UT-IMDI)
  • Institute for Optical Sciences Institute for Robotics & Mechatronics (IRM)
  • Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE)
  • Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Centre & Test Bed
  • Lassonde Institute of Mining
  • Pulp & Paper Centre
  • Southern Ontario Centre for Atmospheric Aerosol Research (SOCAAR)
  • Terrence Donnelly Centre for Cellular & Biomolecular Research
  • Ontario Centre for the Characterisation of Advanced Materials (OCCAM)

Traditions and student life

Founded in 1885, The University of Toronto Engineering Society is the oldest engineering society in Canada, comprising all undergraduate students in the faculty, and serving as its student government. The Society has been the trademark holder for the Skule nickname since 1984.[12] Usage of the nickname began in the founding years of the School of Practical Science, when students used "skule" as a deliberate misspelling of "school".

The Skule mascot is known as the Ye Olde Mighty Skule Cannon, which began as a cannon stolen from in front of the Parliament Buildings in the fall of 1898, and has since been rebuilt in several incarnations.[13] Students serving as "Cannon Guards" are led by a "Chief Attiliator" to protect the Cannon, which has been historically a target for attempted theft by other engineering schools. The Cannon is often fired (empty-shelled) during orientation events, and can also be heard during various events promoting Skule Spirit.

Social events

Skule Brass Quintet (also known as the "Brass Ring"), during a concert at Knox College, led by Malcolm McGrath

The Skule Orchestra, founded in 2006, is a full symphonic orchestra of engineering students. It organises Moment, the Valentine's Ball. Every year the Skule Choir, led by Malcolm McGrath, puts on a Christmas concert, usually located in Knox College Chapel with Malcolm McGrath on the main pipe organ and the Skule Brass Quintet.

The Lady Godiva Memorial Bnad (sic) and "White Noise Brigade" draws its name from the Godiva tradition.[14] Like several other universities, Skule students frequently sing Godiva's Hymn (or the Engineer's Hymn) and revere Lady Godiva. The first week of classes in January following Christmas holidays is designated Godiva Week, and features numerous events, competitions and activities.[15]

The Skule community hosts events, parties, activities, inter-faculty sports, a yearly musical production entitled Skule Nite and special interest lectures throughout the year.[16]

Toike Oike

The phrase Toike Oike, variously pronounced toy-kee-oyk or toyk-oyk, is derived from an Irish janitor named Graham who was employed in the original School of Practical Science building. When students worked late in the labs and he had to close up the building, he would tell them to "take a hike", which sounded like "toike oike" due to his Irish accent. The phrase is used as the name of the engineering society's humour newspaper, in print since 1911. It is also the inspiration for the lyrics of the Skule Yell, the cheer of the engineering society and likely the oldest surviving Skule tradition:

Toike Oike! Toike Oike!
Ollum te Chollum te Chay!
Skule of Science, Skule of Science
Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
We Are (we are!), We Are (we are!), We Are the Engineers!
We Can (we can!), We Can (we can!), Demolish Forty Beers!
Drink Rum (straight!) Drink Rum (straight!) And Come Along With Us,
For We Don’t Give a Damn For Any Damn Man Who Don’t Give a Damn For Us!
The Brute Force Committee

Before the adoption of the Skule Yell, the original cheer was significantly shorter:

Who are we? Can’t you guess?
We are from the S.P.S.

Both Skule and the rest of the university recognized the original cheer as inadequate, so the first four lines of the new yell were proposed by A. G. Piper and adopted in 1897. The new yell was first performed that year at Theatre Night, a major campus-wide event for all faculties held on Halloween. The last four lines of the yell are essentially the chorus of Godiva's Hymn, and were first added on November 25, 1905, during the procession from Rosedale Field to the King Edward Hotel following a victory of the Toronto Varsity Blues rugby team over the Ottawa Rough Riders. During the game, Casey Baldwin, a Skuleman, had made a spectacular play in the last minutes to win the dominion championship for the university.

Notable alumni


  1. ^ "Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering: Facts and Figures". Archived from the original on 2007-04-04. Retrieved 2007-04-08.
  2. ^ Polo, Marco (January 2003). "Green Giant". Canadian Architect. Retrieved 2007-03-03.
  3. ^ "Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering: Facts and Figures". Archived from the original on 2007-04-04. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
  4. ^ "Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering: Academic Units". Archived from the original on 2007-04-04. Retrieved 2007-04-08.
  5. ^ "Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering: Academic Units". Archived from the original on 2007-04-04. Retrieved 2007-04-08.
  6. ^ "Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering: Skoll program via Internet archive". Archived from the original on 2007-01-01. Retrieved 2007-04-08.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Canadian Intellectual Property Office Trade-marks Database
  13. ^ "Skule History". Retrieved 2007-04-08.
  14. ^ "Skule Traditions". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-04-08.
  15. ^ Godiva Week website
  16. ^ "Skule FAQ". Retrieved 2007-04-08.

Further reading

  • Robin Sutton Harris, Ian Montagnes. Cold Iron and Lady Godiva: Engineering Education at Toronto, 1920-1972. University of Toronto Press, 1973. ISBN 0-8020-2062-3.
  • Richard White. The Skule Story: The University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering. University of Toronto Press, 2000. ISBN 0-7727-6704-1.
  • Catherine Moriarty. John Galbraith, 1846-1914: Engineer and Educator. University of Toronto Press, 1989. ISBN 0-7727-6700-9.

External links

  • University of Toronto, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
  • Skule, the University of Toronto Engineering Society
  • Skule Traditions
  • Skulepedia, a repository of Skule history by alumni and students
  • Archival papers of Vernon Russell Davies, lecturer at the faculty who ran Vernon Davies Tutorial School, are held at the University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services
  • Archival papers of Barry French, Professor (1961-?) and Associate Director of University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (1982-1985), held at the University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services

Coordinates: 43°39′36″N 79°23′41″W / 43.660057°N 79.394829°W / 43.660057; -79.394829