History

For over 60 years, Imperial College London has inspired the world’s best business minds

Statue of Queen Victoria

The Great Exhibition of 1851, a Victorian global fair of culture and industry, provides the impetus for the formation of several educational colleges in South Kensington. Prince Albert took a great interest in the exhibition and supported the idea of South Kensington becoming a hub for science, the arts and industry.

The City and Guilds College, the Royal School of Mines and the Royal College of Science merge and create one university, the Imperial College of Science and Technology.

The Royal School of Mines building, designed by Sir Ashton Webb, is now part of the current day Business School facilities. The building has been featured in several films and has been seamlessly incorporated into the modern frontage of the Imperial’s main entrance.

Owen Saunders, Head of the Mechanical Engineering Department with strong support from Imperial College Rector, Sir Patrick Linstead discuss plans to launch production engineering and management studies as a part of a significant expansion of postgraduate education at the College.

The Mechanical Engineering Department launches an MSc in Production Engineering and Management, appointing Sam Eilon (Alumni, 1955) to lead the programme with a focus on Production Technology and Production Management.

Nicol Gross appointed first Reader in Production Engineering

Imperial appoints Nicol Gross as the first Reader in Production Engineering in the Mechanical Engineering Department to develop an MSc in Production Engineering.

Imperial establishes the Production Engineering section at 14 Prince’s Gardens and appoints Sam Eilon to head the section.

Joan Woodward joins the Production Engineering section as a lecturer in industrial sociology.

Sam Eilon is appointed Reader in Production Engineering and returns to Imperial to head the Production Engineering section. He oversees growth of the MSc and a research programme in operational research.

Imperial launches MSc in Operational Research and Management Studies. The Production Engineering section is renamed the Production Engineering and Management Studies section.

Production Engineering and Management section launches first short courses in Operational Research for managers from industry.

The Production Engineering and Management Studies section moves into the new Mechanical Engineering building due to growth in teaching and research.

Dorothy Wedderburn appointed

Dorothy Wedderburn at the instigation of Joan Woodward joins the Industrial Sociology unit as a lecturer in industrial sociology. The pair successfully attract significant research funds from research councils and organisations such as Fords, ICI, and government bodies, including the Post Office. 

Imperial and the LSE co-sponsor the founding of London Business School

At the request of the UK government Imperial’s Rector, as a sponsoring institution (with LSE) joined the founding governing body of The London Graduate School of Business Studies (later renamed the London Business School) in order to guide and help the new school. Roger Hall was seconded from the Production Engineering and Management Studies section and became one of the original seven members of the academic staff at London Business School.

Production technology moves to the Applied Mechanics section, leaving Production Engineering and Management Studies section to be renamed the Management Science section.

Social Science and Business Studies splits from Management Science section (Operational Research) to form the Industrial Sociology unit with Joan Woodward as its Director. The new unit moves to 11 Prince’s Gate

Management Science section launches business seminars for industry

Eilon launches Business Policy seminars at Imperial which included industrialists who came to talk about their companies and their strategic problems

Joan Woodward appointed first Reader in Industrial Sociology

Joan Woodward becomes the second woman to hold a Chair at the College when she is appointed Professor of Industrial Sociology. Joan was one of the world’s foremost organisation theorists. She was invited to join a group of the top 7 theorists which called itself the Magnificent Seven. This international recognition was a huge achievement for a woman in the 1960’s.

MSc in Industrial Sociology launched

The Industrial Sociology unit launches an MSc in Industrial Sociology.

Dorothy Griffiths appointed

Dorothy (Dot) Griffiths and Sandra Dawson join the Industrial Sociology unit as research assistants.

The Management Science section achieves departmental status with Imperial recognising Operational Research had moved beyond inventory control and scheduling of manufacturing operations to cover applications in nonmanufacturing activities and in service industries, including banking and finance.

Joan Woodward passed away

Joan Woodward, at the early age of 54, tragically succumbs to breast cancer. Her colleagues and collaborators felt her loss acutely and in her memory endowed under-graduate and post-graduate prizes and a memorial lecture series in her name.

Dorothy Wedderburn is appointed Director of the Industrial Sociology unit by new Rector, Sir Brian Flowers.

The Industrial Sociology Unit achieves departmental status and is renamed the Department of Social and Economic Studies. The new department is headed by Dorothy Wedderburn.

Aubrey Silberston appointed first Reader in Economics

Aubrey Silberston (CBE) appointed Imperial’s first Chair of Economics.

Aubrey Silberston appointed to head the Department of Social and Economic Studies.

The Department of Management Science and Department of Social and Economic Studies merge to form the Management School with David Norburn as its Director and Sandra Dawson as Deputy Director. The new School moves to remodeled facilities in 53 Prince’s Gate and is charged to compete with the best business schools in the UK. The School focuses on the integration of management, new technology and entrepreneurship.

Executive MBA Programme launched

Sue Birley FRSS is appointed Professor of Entrepreneurship, Director of Research and also leads the MBA’s, 120-hour specialisation in entrepreneurship and innovation.

Sandra Dawson is appointed first Professor of Organisation Behaviour.

Sandra Dawson is appointed first Professor of Organisation Behaviour.

 

Joint Honours Programme launched with some science Departments

MSc Finance Programme launched

BSc Pathway in Management launched in the Medical School

MSc International Health Management launched

Sue Birley is appointed the Director of the Entrepreneurship Centre after a £2 million government award won from the University Challenge Fund competition.

 

The School’s position in the College was officially recognised, alongside the Faculties of Natural Science, Medicine and Engineering. David Begg is appointed Principal of the Business School.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group launched
David Gann appointed to head the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group. The Group strives to be a centre of excellence in innovation and entrepreneurship, influencing policy and practice by working at the interface of science, engineering and business management.

A dramatic modern building to house the College’s main entrance and the School was designed by Lord Norman Foster, including 7 lecture theatres in a ‘drum’ shaped metal core. It was officially opened by Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of York, on 24 June 2004.

MSc Management Science merges with the MSc in Technology and Industrial Organisation (formally MSc in Social and Psychological Aspects of Science, Technology and Industry) to form the MSc in Management.

Part-time MSc Risk Management and Financial Engineering launched. Weekend Executive MBA launched. Part-time sponsored MSc Actuarial Finance Programme launched.

School first accredited by EQUIS.

Business School celebrates Imperial Centenary with Alumni Reunion. The first ever Business School Alumni Reunion brings together over 150 alumni from as far away as Russia, Egypt, Brazil and India to celebrate the College’s Centenary year.
View the photo gallery from the event

Full-Time MSc Risk Management and Financial Engineering launched

The Imperial College mission was changed to incorporate the word ‘business’, confirming the greater esteem in which the School is held.

MSc Strategic Marketing and MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Management launched.

The School decides to launch an Executive Education Open Enrolment Programme, with the ‘Managing the Strategic Value of Innovation’ being the first course in the portfolio.

Dot Griffiths is appointed as Dean following David Beggs retirement after 10 years as Principal.

School achieved triple accreditation with EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA.

MSc Economics and Strategy for Business was launched.

Anand G. Anandalingam joins Imperial College London as Dean of the Business School.

The Business School launched its first Summer School programme in Strategic Marketing.

New research centre launched after one of the largest donations in business education history, £20.1 million. The gift comes from Brevan Howard, the world’s third largest hedge fund, at the behest of its co-founder Alan Howard, an Imperial alumnus (MEng Chemical Engineering & Chemical Technology 1986).

The Centre is headed by Professor Franklin Allen and Professor Douglas Gale. Read more

Finance suite expanding
MSc Investment & Wealth Management and MSc Accounting and Finance launched.

ELITE Programme launched
In partnership with the London Stock Exchange, Imperial provides support for high growth Small and Medium sized Enterprises via the new ELITE Programme. Read more

Woodward Buildings, located in North Acton, is named after Professor Joan Woodward, a leading academic in Organisation Theory. She is the second woman to ever receive a chair at Imperial College and the first to have a building named in her honour. Woodward was a pioneer for empirical research in organisational structures and analytical frameworks that establish the link between technology and production systems.