Engineering in an era without computers

Engineering class in 1960s

By John Kramer ’69

I was an engineering student in the 1960s and recall doing my homework calculations by hand, occasionally relying on my trusty slide rule for more complicated assignments. (The pocket calculator didn’t exist yet.)

When I graduated in 1969, it was still 12 years before the introduction of the first primitive PC – so, of course, there was no Internet for years to come. Despite of the lack of technology, we all received a solid education that led to productive careers. For seven years, I worked at a local aerospace company, where I designed flight-line test equipment, production test equipment for thick-film hybrid circuits, and a state-of-the-art mirror positioning servo system. The first laser-guided missile had my digital guidance system on board – and hit the target dead center on its first test flight. I owe all my success to the education I received at UCI.

*Image provided by AS-061. University Communications photographs. Special Collections & Archives, the UCI Libraries, Irvine, California.