University of Pennsylvania, Lambda Chapter
The Eta Kappa Nu Lambda Chapter was established at the University of Pennsylvania on March 12, 1913. During the 1920s, the Eta Kappa Nu Lambda Chapter at the University of Pennsylvania was entering its first decade of existence. Established on March 12, 1913, the HKN Lambda Chapter was established nine years after the founding of the national organization, and one year before the official establishment of the Department of Electrical Engineering at Penn. Ten years later in 1923, Alfred Fitler Moore endowed the Department of Electrical Engineering, leading to the formation of the Moore School of Electrical Engineering.
During the 1930s, the University of Pennsylvania, through the Moore School of Electrical Engineering, became a leading center of technological innovation. For instance, the Differential Analyzer was completed in 1935, which at the time was the world’s largest mechanical computing machine. Members of the Eta Kappa Nu Lambda Chapter would have a first-hand look at these breakthroughs. In the 1940s, the Engineering Department of the University of Pennsylvania was the center of the ENIAC project, the world’s first programmable electronic large-scale digital computer. The EE department also offered the first ever computer course. Eta Kappa Nu adopted a new induction policy, where class standing became a required qualification for new members.
During the 1950s, the UPenn Engineering Department grew significantly with the addition of new majors. Women were also admitted for the first time into undergraduate programs in the School of Engineering. In the coming years, women would pursue electrical engineering and computer science degrees, and be inducted in the Eta Kappa Nu Lambda Chapter. In the 1960s, the School of Engineering took part in a widespread increase in scientific research funded by the national government. The first Ph.D. program in Biomedical Electronic Engineering was also established. The 1960s were also the time Eta Kappa Nu adopted public induction ceremonies, a change from the traditional secret gatherings which were strictly custom in the past. During the 1970s, a separate undergraduate program in Computer Science was established (expanded out of the Electrical Engineering Department), the Management and Technology Program was established, and the GRASP lab was founded.
Since our founding, the Lambda Chapter and its members have been at the forefront of leadership, camaraderie, and innovation.