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200 Anos de Ciência e Tecnologia no Brasil logo
IME's night view.
Source: IME's photo collection.
IME's aerial view.
Source: IME's photo collection.

IME - Tradition and Quality


On January 15th, 1699, the King of Portugal sanctioned a Royal Charter, creating a training course for technical soldiers in Colonial Brazil. The objective was to train men in the art of building fortifications in order to promote the defense of the Colony against the incursions of other nations. Captain Engineer Gregório Gomes Henriques taught the first Fortification Class in Brazilian territory.

From 1710 to 1829, the Saint Peter Fort, in the city of Salvador, hosted the Fortification and Artillery Class. The Sergeant Major Engineer José Antonio Caldas was one of the teachers. Meanwhile, in 1718, in Recife, there was a Fortification Class in which the essential parts of a mathematics course were taught. In 1795, a Geometry Class was created in Recife, added, in 1809, to the study of Integral Calculus, Mechanics and Hydrodynamics, taught by Captain Antonio Francisco Bastos. This class existed until 1812.

In 1738, an Artillery Classroom was created in Rio de Janeiro, expanding the existing one in 1699. Sergeant Major José Fernandes Pinto Alpoim was responsible for it and, under his command, the Governors Palaces were built in Rio de Janeiro and in Minas Gerais.

In 1774, the Artillery Classroom was added to the Military Architecture course, becoming the Artillery Regiment Military Classroom, considered the "initial milestone in the formation of Military Engineers in Brazil", with the dual purpose of "preparing artillerymen and training officers for the exercise of Engineering".

Creation of Real Academia

The history of the Engineering Military Institute (IME) dates back to 1792, when, by order of the Queen of Portugal, Mary I, the Royal Academy of Artillery, Fortification and Design was installed in Rio de Janeiro City. This was the first engineering school in the Americas and the third in the world.

Its objective was to train Army Military Officers and Engineers for Colonial Brazil. Infantry and Cavalry Courses lasted three years and Artillery courses lasted five years. Engineering course lasted six years, and in the last year the subjects of Civil Architecture, Construction Materials, Paths and Sidewalks, Hydraulics, Bridges, Canals, Dikes and Gates were taught.

The Royal Academy became the basis for implementing the Royal Military Academy, created on April 23rd, 1811, by order of John VI.

Only Engineering School in the Country

The Royal Military Academy changed its name four times: Imperial Military Academy, in 1822; Court Military Academy, in 1832; Military School, in 1840; and, in 1858, Central School, that was the only engineering school in Brazil and responsible for trainee Military Officers and graduate military or civilian engineers.

In 1874, Central School was disconnected from military purposes, starting graduate only civilian engineers. The training of Military Engineers, as well as the Military Officers in general, took place at Praia Vermelha Military School from 1874 to 1904.

The Foreign Influence

In the 1920's, French Military Mission inspired the creation of the School of Military Engineering whose mission was: training engineers, artillerymen, electrical technicians, chemists, and fortification and construction, being inaugurated in 1930.

In 1933, it was renamed to Army Technical School. Already under North American influence, the Military Institute of Technology was created in 1949.

Center of Excellence

Anticipating the country's future needs in the nuclear sector, Army Technical School started a Postgraduate Course in Nuclear Engineering in 1958. From the merger of Army Technical School with Military Institute of Technology, in 1959, the current Engineering Military Institute (IME) was born.

The Institute stands out for having trained countless generations of civilian and military engineers who have deeply contributed to national development in various engineering fields, including educating or even founding educational institutions throughout the world.

Recognized as a center of excellence in engineering education, IME has an undeniable commitment to training highly qualified human resources to meet national needs. Teaching and research activities developed by IME are strategic and vital for a country dedicated to being a world power.

To carry out this arduous task, IME counts on teaching staff of the highest level, composed of professors, masters and doctors of recognized academic reputation, many of them postgraduates in foreign institutions.

Due to its potential, the Institute is often called upon to participate in studies and research in the governmental and private spheres, aiming at the development of the most varied projects.

Admission of Civilians and Women

After 1964, IME began to admit civilians who achieved the status of reserve corp officer at the end of the course. In October 1995, Brazilian Army issued a directive to restructure Military Engineers' careers, bringing important changes in its wake.

Currently, IME trains military engineers to active corp and reserve corp. The engineering undergraduate course is 5 years long. The Institute also admits engineers whose degrees were earned in other colleges, these professionals join Military Engineering Corp after one 1-year military training.

In 1997, the first women were admitted at IME, both high school graduates and engineering bachelors under absolute equality of conditions between men and women.

The option for active service enables the trainee to follow a military career to the rank of Lieutenant General. At the end of the course, trainees who opt for the reserve corp may undertake an internship of up to six years as summoned Reserve Officers. After this period, they return to the job market, with important professional backgrounds.

In this way, Brazilian Army contributes to the creation of real job opportunities for an increasingly demanding and qualified market.

National Heritage

The synthesis of modern thinking indicates that institutions that are not concerned with mastering technology and social communication will be doomed to failure in the 21st century. In this sense, IME has sought to train human resources to meet the growing national demands in the field of science and technology, aiming to narrow the technological gap that separates Brazil from developed countries.

Current generations of military engineers are inspired by their predecessors' past achievements to maintain their legacy as a cornerstone of technical culture, in partnership with the national and international academic communities. Supported by a secular tradition and in constant search for modernity, IME constitutes a fundamental piece of Military Engineering's commitment overcoming the challenges to national technology development.

Praia Vermelha and IME's view.
Source: IME's photo collection.
IME's front view.
Source: IME's photo collection.
Source: IME TV.

"Engineering Military Institute: Cradle of Brazilian Engineering, Center of Excellence, National Heritage."
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