Frank Bromilow: A Biography

In Honor of Frank Bromilow

Frank Bromilow came to New Mexico State University in 1951 as Professor and Head of Civil Engineering.  He was appointed Associate Director of the Engineering Experiment Station in 1957, which had no documented activity since 1930, and rapidly established it as a source of funding for engineering research.  In 1961 he became Dean of the College of Engineering and Director of the Engineering Experiment Station (Engineering Research Center), positions he held until his untimely death in 1974.

While he was dean, the college grew from 40 faculty members, 12 with doctorates, to 59 faculty members, 45 with doctorates. During his tenure as dean, doctorial programs for civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, plus master’s degrees in chemical and industrial engineering were added.  He established the Department of Engineering Technology in 1963 and then created the Industrial Engineering Department in 1969.  As an additional duty, in the 1970s he was the university’s lobbyist at the state legislature, promoting increased funding for both facilities and faculty.  In recognition of Dean Bromilow’s numerous contributions to NMSU, the area in the center of the engineering complex was named the Bromilow Mall in 1975.

Dean Bromilow earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering (structures and soil mechanics) from the University of Pittsburgh cum laude in 1937 and his master’s degree in 1939.  He pursued additional graduate studies at Carnegie Tech in 1941 and 1942, while teaching at the University of Pittsburgh.

He served the engineering profession tirelessly for all of his adult life in multiple roles: a practicing engineer registered as a Professional Engineer in Pennsylvania, Florida and New Mexico; member of the State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors of New Mexico for 10 years; Director of the National Society of Professional Engineers; Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers; and President of the New Mexico Society of Professional Engineers.  In addition to teaching, he worked after hours to create structural designs for multiple buildings throughout the state.

In 1978, the Bromilow endowed awards for faculty and staff excellence were established to perpetuate the high standard of excellence that Dean Bromilow strove to maintain.  The faculty award is given alternately for excellence in teaching or research, and the staff excellence award is awarded yearly.  Recipients for these awards are selected by the College of Engineering Awards Committee from nominees submitted by the engineering faculty and staff respectively.  Funding for these awards is based on donations from family, friends and alumni.  The President of the Engineer’s Council is also recognized with the Bromilow Scholarship during the Bromilow Lecture each spring. 

No more fitting tribute could be made to Dean Frank Bromilow than to gather each year to honor those who continue to provide the highest standards of engineering education including the faculty, staff and students.