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History of Civil Engineering in UST


The University of Santo Tomas of Civil Engineering has been steadfast in its pursuit of excellence. And as we prepare for our upcoming centennial celebration, let us travel back to relive our rich history and pay tribute to those people and events that have reinforced our organization.         

May 18, 1907, a date marked in history in which the University of Santo Tomas established a new addition to the Thomasian family, “The College of Civil Engineering”. Don Ramon Irureta-Goyena then headed it. During the early years of U.S. occupation, most of the civil engineers in our country came from America. The College was patterned after the University of Havana in Cuba and was first set up at the second floor of the old UST building in Intramuros.  Today, besides its historic significance, Intramuros, the Walled City of Manila is one of the most attractive tourist destiations in the city.         

Our College was bound for greatness as it was then one of a kind here in the Philippines and in Asia. Exceptional individuals came to take part in the industrial and technological advancements in the field of Infrastructure.  In 1914, Manuel Mañosa graduated, who eventually became dean of the college in 1946.          Taking into consideration the pioneering works of the teaching staff and students, the college got its first taste of prestige as the government, under President Manuel L. Quezon gave her recognition on July 12, 1921.An Engineering student, after passing the first two years and being trained with the use of surveying instruments, was given the title  “surveyor”.           

To bridge the gap amongst students, the Engineering Student Association (ESC) was formed in 1927 followed by the first Engineering Student Council in 1928. In the 30’s other engineering courses were introduced while still offering both B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering. With the addition of the other engineering disciplines, the College of Civil Engineering eventually became the Faculty of Engineering.         

The University held classes up to 1941 but had to close when the Japanese turned it into a military camp during World War II. Sadly, it was burned down in February 8, 1944.                 I

n January 7, 1946, the University reopened at its present site in Sampaloc Manila and the Faculty of Engineering was temporarily based in the UST Main Building.         

Things started to look good as the Faculty was given a new separate home in February 1950. The four-story, E-shaped building known as the Roque Ruaño building, in honor of another great CE alumnus. Fr. Ruaño (Batch 12’) whom is responsible for the construction of the UST Main Building. It housed not only our Faculty but included the College of Architecture which earlier was under the College of Civil Engineering.  UST CE Alumni’s have already made names for themselves. Among the most prominent were Mauricio Andres, a Dominican Civil Engineering alumnus who became the Provincial Superior and Grand Vice Chancellor of Dominicans in the Philippines in 1934, Antonio Diokno was the first CE Summa Cum Laude in 1936, Jose Garrido ( Batch 12’) became the City Engineer of Manila and Domingo Poblete (Batch 32’) Owner of Poblete Construction Company and became president of the Philippine Construction Association in 1954. There are so many others that have given pride and honor to our faculty, too many to mention, but a driving force in the industry that we are in.In 1954, a growing need to increase CE education led to the extension from four to five years of study. In 1955, UST-CE produced its first batch of female graduates.         

In the 60’s projects such as the subway in Quiapo and the Pan-Phil Railways were underway. While inside the Faculty of Engineering, there were also on-going developments.  In 1960, the Thomasian Engineer was established, and for the first time there was a chronologic and valuable documentation of events in the Faculty of Engineering.  In 1965, the Association of Civil Engineering Student was established (ACES) with Antonio Silva as its first president.   During the earthquake in 68’, the collapse of a six-story condominium building known as the Ruby Tower paved way to stricter rules and policy implementation on design and construction.          

The 70’s is commonly known as the Martial Law years.  Declared in 1972, the first few years of its implementation brought about good things to our country.  But its later years proved to be the most trying times of our country.  This situation posted an enormous challenge to our graduates on how to make it big in the CE industry.  Incidentally, the construction industry in the Middle East was at its peak and civil engineers were in demand.  Job opportunities for fresh graduates were opened and student enrollees in the Department of Civil Engineering increased.         

Though times were then difficult, life went on inside the CE community.  The ACES logo that we know today was designed by Faustino Martin Jr. which was the winning entry in the ACES logo-making contest held in August 1978.  Some of the outstanding graduates of the 70’s were Jose Sy who is presently the co-owner and president of Aromin and Sy + Associates Inc., a structural firm responsible for numerous high rise buildings in the commercial and business districts in the country, and Atty. Josefin de Alban who served the department as chair for 20 years.         

In the 80’s the increase of handheld calculators revolutionized engineering, with faster and more efficient calculations leaving the old slide rule behind. This decade can be considered as another turning point in the Philippine history with the assassination of “Ninoy” and the EDSA Revolution. Today majority of our instructors belong to this decade including Engr. Jesus Fajardo, Engr. Ogden Javier, Engr. Rod Tiburcio and Engr. Peter Lim.  It also produced young achievers who conquered various quiz contests like Sergio Tan who won second place in the 4th National Student Quiz which was sponsored by PICE and another championship in the 3rd GIQC. In 1994, Pope John Paul II visited the country for the second time and held a mass in UST for the World Youth Day Celebration. In  1996 and 1997 we won in the National CE Quiz Contest and placing second in 1999. We produced several top notchers while maintaining a high passing percentage. Last 2003 we were able to produce 8 top notchers with a 92 % passing rate. Networking and computers are now just simple tools as we jive with the present technology and with the acquisition of new software’s in structural design, laboratory equipments for our subjects in hydraulics, materials and soil mechanics, we continue to be one to the most competitive schools in the Philippines Presently, the department is continuously pulling together all their efforts to keep up with the modern times. Plans on upgrading laboratory equipments, improving instructional methodology, advancing research works are on their way. The department of Civil Engineering may have journeyed 97 years of different experiences in training young minds to be competent Civil Engineers imbued with Christian values, but we (or I?) have the reason to believe that the best is yet to come. ***********************************************************************************************

Faculty of Engineering

The Faculty of Engineering of the University of Santo Tomas is the oldest engineering school in the Philippines offering undergraduate programs leading to Bachelor of Science degrees in Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering and more.

The Faculty of Engineering of the University of Santo Tomas is the oldest engineering school in the Philippines. It was established in 1907 with one program offering leading to the degree of Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE). From the faculty records, it appears that it was only in 1912 when the earliest batch of students were conferred their MSCE degrees. Today, the Faculty offers complete undergraduate programs leading to Bachelor of Science degrees in Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Communications Engineering, and Industrial Engineering.

Roque Ruaño Buliding
University of Santo Tomas
España, Manila 1008

(632) 406-1611 Loc. 8275; (632) 731-4041


1. jomaykulit - May 2, 2007

hello there,

leave a comment for improvment. thank you po.
go engg!

2. lyrebelle - July 25, 2008

pinaka-astig mga eng sa USTe!

there is no place like home. 😀

3. khaled - September 11, 2008

hi po… salamat sa site niyo magagawa ko na report ko… hehe go eng’g

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