The Evolution of Military and Civil Engineering Education
The Brazilian Army is undoubtedly the vanguard in the country's scientific and technological development. Since the creation of the Royal Academy of Artillery, Fortification and Design, in 1792, through its successors, the teaching of engineering in Brazil has made possible fundamental expansions in the combat power of Brazilian Army, promoting, at the same time, progress in the fields of science and technology in the country.
In this context, it is important to emphasize the historical changes that have taken place in Brazil and in the world, especially those of a scientific nature that have led to the transformation of the field of engineering education. As a result, faithful to its unusual pioneering spirit, Brazilian Army followed this evolution, which can be seen from the history of its schools - from Praia Vermelha Military School (1874 to 1904), later to Army Technical School (1933), and finally, from 1949 onwards, Engineering Military Institute (IME) - where new engineering courses in Brazil began.
Among the courses created, we highlight the Aeronautical Engineering Course, authorized by the Ministerial Notice of January 14th, 1939, which operated at the Army Technical School until 1950. This course resulted in the creation of Aeronautical Technological Institute, on January 16th, 1950, a historic landmark of innovation and an important vector for the development of Brazil.
As well as the Aeronautics course, the Metallurgy course was created in 1938 and the Communications course was created in 1939, which were important milestones in the history of engineering education in Brazil. The human resources trained in these courses played a decisive role in the implementation of National Siderurgic Company (CSN), the first large base industry in the country, and the National Telecommunications System.
Still in view of the developments in progress at the time, Military Geographical Institute, which operated at the Polytechnic School since 1934, began to function at Army Technical School, with the name of Geodesy and Topography Course, from February 14th, 1941, origin of the current Cartographic Engineering Course of IME.
As a more recent phenomenon, the result of a debate connected with the issues resulting from the Second World War (1939-1945), we highlight the creation of Introduction to Nuclear Engineering courses, in 1954, and the first postgraduate course in Nuclear Engineering in Brazil, created in 1957 at the IME.
Likewise, in line with the technological advances of the new times, notably with regard to cyber defense, Brazilian Army created the Cyber Security Laboratory (LaSC) at IME. This scientific nucleus is focused on studies on cyber security of infrastructures such as factories and power plants. The presence of military engineers carrying out research and development of cyber security systems through simulations and real-time monitoring contribute to the defense of critical infrastructures in the national territory, such as ITAIPU plant.
Still in the face of the most recent challenges, the Mechatronics Laboratory emerged from the need to concentrate existing skills in Electronics, Mechanics, Computing, Automation and Control, in order to carry out teaching, research, development and innovation in Mechatronic Systems with dual application.
Finally, it can be seen that, throughout the history of engineering education in Brazil, the Army has always been present, innovating and contributing to the formation of highly qualified human resources for the country. Its teaching of excellence, heritage and legacy that marks its tradition, will remain aligned with the needs of the Brazilian Army, aiming to meet the demands of the new times, characterized by vertiginous technological advances.