The history of the Department of Engineering Cybernetics

The history of the Department of Engineering Cybernetics

Department of Engineering Cybernetics was established in 1954. Since then, the department changed its name twice. The first year was the designation Control engineering laboratory. In 1963 it was renamed the Department of Control Engineering and since 1972 has been named the Department of Engineering Cybernetics.

The Department of Engineering Cybernetics founder was Jens Glad Balchen. Balchen has with his visions, imagination and enthusiasm much of the credit for bringing the department to the position it has today.

MIC: Jens Glad Balchen

Modeling, Identification and Control, Vol. 30, No. 3, 2009, pp. 101-125:

Jens Glad Balchen: A Norwegian Pioneer in Engineering Cybernetics

Jens lecturing on block diagrams in 1956.This paper tells the story of Jens Glad Balchen (1926-2009), a Norwegian research scientist and engineer who is widely regarded as the father of Engineering Cybernetics in Norway. In 1954, he founded what would later become the Department of Automatic Control at the Norwegian Institute of Technology in Trondheim. This name was changed to the Department of Engineering Cybernetics in 1972 to reflect the broader efforts being made, not only within the purely technical disciplines, but also within biology, oceanography and medicine. Balchen established an advanced research community in cybernetics in postwar Norway, whose applications span everything from the process industry and positioning of ships to control of fish and lobster farming.