115 Years, 115 Impactful Moments

Play USC Viterbi’s 115th anniversary trivia game, support local K-12 students

In 1905, USC offered its very first engineering courses out of the physics and mathematics departments.

One hundred and fifteen years later, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering has a name and a host of accomplishments over the ensuing 11.5 decades.

This past May, Dean Yannis Yortsos, working with USC Viterbi vice deans, chairs, and select senior faculty, sought to identify 115 amazing USC Viterbi accomplishments by faculty, students and alumni over that span of time. This list would span all eight departments, the famed USC Information Sciences Institute and various programs of the school.

This list, like many of its kind, suffers from a clear recency bias. It is by no means the definitive list of all the USC Viterbi School’s noteworthy accomplishments! However, despite these limitations, perhaps it will serve as a helpful primer on what George Bekey, USC Viterbi professor emeritus, once called the school’s “remarkable trajectory.”

Test your knowledge of these USC Viterbi “wins” in a “Who Wants To be A Millionaire”-style interactive game above.

Or, for those who prefer to dive right in…the full list of 115 accomplishments for 115 years awaits.


Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

In 2016, alumna Lt. General Stayce D. Harris becomes the first African American woman to receive the rank of three star general in the U.S. Air Force.

Lt. Gen Harris served as Inspector General of the Air Force and in 2019 received the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineering (IISE) Captains of Industry Award.

In 1988, the USC Systems Architecting and Engineering program was created by ISE faculty member, Eberhardt Rechtin, the father of the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab Deep Space Network.

It becomes one of USC Viterbi’s most important DEN programs serving aerospace industries.

In 1999 and 2003, the Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering establishes two nationally-funded interdisciplinary research centers, the National Center for Metropolitan Transportation Research (METRANS), and the Center for Risk and Economic analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE).

CREATE becomes the Department of Homeland Security’s first University Center of Excellence.

In 2006, The History Channel selects Berok Khoshnevis' Contour Crafting method of robotic 3-D printed construction as one of its top 25 inventions for the network's Modern Marvels program.

The technology was selected from over 4000 candidates by The History Channel and the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

In 2018, alumna Wanda Austin becomes the first female and first African American president of USC.

She previously served as CEO of the Aerospace Corporation and as a research faculty member in the Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. In 2015 she was selected by President Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

In 2009, then President Barack Obama nominated Charles F. Bolden Jr. as NASA administrator.

The former astronaut, retired Marine general, and USC Viterbi alumnus became the first African American to hold this position.