It is hard to imagine the State of Victoria with only one university. However, before 1961, if a student wished to attend a local university there was only one option – the University of Melbourne. Because of post-World War II demand for places, this institution was overwhelmed. At one time in the late 1940s, many final year students had to be accommodated at a temporary campus in distant Mildura. A second problem was the urgent need for more training in science and technology as the city of Melbourne struggled to secure its place in the fast changing economy. Higher education in Victoria had reached crisis point and an Act of Parliament passed in the late 1950s sought to address this matter.
In 1958, The Monash University Act brought to life a new university – Monash University. Three years later the muddy Monash University campus in Clayton, studded with buildings in various stages of completion, opened its doors to 363 students. Of these first, pioneering students, 22 undergraduates, all male, were signed up to study engineering. Engineering staff were recruited internationally and buildings to house them were among the first to be constructed on the new campus. The history of Monash University’s Faculty of Engineering was well underway.