TRADITION AND QUALITY
On January 15, 1699, the King of Portugal sanctioned a Royal Charter, creating a training course for technical soldiers in Colonial Brazil. The purpose was to enable them to construct forts to defend the colony against the incursions from other nations. In the same year, Captain Engineer Gregório Gomes Henriques, taught the first Fortification Class in Brazilian territory.
Other episodes that occurred before 1699 are worthy of note. The first refers to the Dutchman Miguel Timermans, "fire engineer", who was in Brazil from 1648 to 1650, "in charge of training disciples fit for fortification works". The other was that of Captain Engineer Gregorio Gomes Henriques, sent to Brazil in 1694 to give classes to the commander of small units or head of gunners and gunners of Rio de Janeiro.
From 1710 to 1829, Fort São Pedro, in the city of Salvador, hosted the Fortification and Artillery Class, taught by Engineer Sergeant José Antonio Caldas. In Recife, meanwhile, the essential parts of a math course were taught in a Fortification Class in 1718. A Class of Geometry was created in 1795, and, from 1809 to 1812, Calculus, Mechanics and Hydrodynamics, taught by Captain Antonio Francisco Bastos, would also be included.
In 1738, an Artillery Class, a progression of the training course started in 1699, was established in Rio de Janeiro. It was taught by Master Sergeant José Fernandes Pinto Alpoim, who managed the construction site of the Palace of the Governors of Rio de Janeiro, in Praça XV, and a similar building in the city of Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais.
In 1774, a Military Architecture discipline was added to the Artillery Class, and both were named Military Class of the Artillery Regiment, considered by Pirassununga (O Ensino Militar no Brasil, page 27) as the "starting point of the education of Military Engineers in Brazil. It had a dual purpose: "to prepare artillerymen and to train officers for the exercise of the Engineering profession”.
THE CREATION OF THE REAL ACADEMY (PREDECESSOR OF IME)
It all started in 1792 with the establishment of the first engineering school of the Americas, and the third in the world, by order of Queen of Portugal, Dona Maria I: the Royal Academy of Artillery, Fortification and Drawing. It was located in the Ammunition Depot in Ponta do Calabouço (Calaboose Point), where the National Historical Museum is currently set.
It sought to graduate combat arms, combat support officers and engineers for the Colonial Brazil. Infantry and Cavalry courses took three years, and Artillery five. The Engineering one took six years. The following disciplines were taught in the last year: Civil Architecture, Construction Materials, Roads and Sidewalks, Hydraulics, Bridges, Channels, Dams and Floodgates.
The Royal Academy became the basis for the implantation of the Royal Military Academy, created on April 23, 1811, by order of King John VI.
THE ONLY SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING IN BRAZIL
The Royal Military Academy (1811) had its name changed four times: Imperial Military Academy, in 1822, Court Military Academy in 1832, Military School in 1840 and Central School in 1858. There were not only Army Officers, but mainly military or civilian engineers as the Central School was then the only engineering college in Brazil.
In 1874, the Central School, which then was placed under the jurisdiction of the Secretariat of the Empire, turned into an institution strictly for civilian students seeking a civil engineering graduation. The training of military engineers, as well as that of officers in general, was held at the Military School of Praia Vermelha (1874 to 1904). In that last year, the School was transferred to Realengo, where the Engineering and Artillery officers graduated. The Infantry and Cavalry officers were trained in Porto Alegre.
Under German influence, the Brazilian Army discontinued the college course for military engineers. Artillery and Engineering technical courses held abroad were planned. In a second phase, a military school would be established, with instructors being Brazilian officers trained abroad.
The French Military Mission, begun in the 1920s, inspired the foundation of the School of Military Engineering. Decree 5632, of December 31, 1928, established its mission: to trainartillerymen as well as electronic, chemical and civil engineers. The School of Military Engineering began operating in 1930. It was located on Barão de Mesquita Street, in a quarter further occupied by the Military Police Battalion.
In 1933, it changed its denomination to Technical School of the Army. In 1934, the Technical School of the Army was situated on Moncorvo Filho Street, downtown Rio de Janeiro, and in 1942, in the present building of Praia Vermelha.
Under American influence, the Military Institute of Technology (1949) was founded. Study programs, research, and materials control for the industry began.
CENTER OF EXCELLENCE
In anticipation of the country's future needs in the nuclear sector, the Technical School of the Army began a Graduate Program in Nuclear Engineering in 1958.
In 1959, the current Military Institute of Engineering (IME) was created from the merging of the Technical School of the Army with the Military Institute of Technology.
The Institute stands out since it has graduated many generations of civil and military engineers. They greatly contributed to national development not only in the performance of their occupation, but also as teachers or even founders of educational institutions spread throughout the immense country.
Mastering the most varied technologies has become a determining factor in the development and sovereignty of nations. Therefore, the educational and research activities developed by IME are strategic and vital for a country destined to be a world power. Recognized as a center of excellence in engineering education, IME has an inalienable commitment to train highly qualified human resources to meet national needs.
To carry out this arduous task, IME counts on a highest level faculty, composed of professors, masters and doctors of recognized academic reputation, many of them with postgraduate degrees in foreign institutions.
Due to its potential, the Institute is often called upon to participate in studies and research in the governmental and private spheres to develop various types of projects.
ADMISSION OF CIVILIANS AND WOMEN
From 1964 on, IME began admitting civilians who, at the end of the course, became commissioned temporary officers. In October 1995, the Ministry of the Army issued a guideline, which brought important changes, to restructure the career of the officers from the Military Engineers Branch (QEM).
Currently, IME offers a five-year undergraduate degree in engineering and military training for the same period for the ones who will continue their Army career, and a one-year military training for the ones who will become reserve officers afterwards. Moreover, IME also admits engineers who graduated in civilian colleges and will join QEM after a one-year course.
1997 marked the beginning of women's participation for high school diploma holders and graduates in engineering. The courses offered by IME are carried out in equal conditions between men and women.
After graduating, the ones who continue their Army career in the active duty can reach the rank of Lieutenant General. The ones who graduate and are temporary officers can have an internship of up to six years. After this period, they return to the labor market, with an important professional background.
In this way, the Army contributes to real job creation growth for an increasingly demanding and qualified market.
The synthesis of modern thought indicates that institutions that are not concerned with the field of technology, public relations and social media will be doomed to failure in the twenty-first century. In this regard, IME has sought to train human resources to meet the growing national demands in the field of Science and Technology to bridge the technological gap that separates Brazil from the great powers.
The current generations of military engineers take inspiration from their predecessors to continue their past achievements and maintain the distinguished position of important producing and radiating technical culture in partnership with the national and international academic communities.
Backed by a secular tradition and the constant pursuit of modernity, IME is a fundamental piece for Military Engineering in its commitment to overcome the limitations to national technology development.
"Military Institute of Engineering: Root of the Brazilian Engineering, Center of Excellence, National Heritage".
For further information about IME, click here (only in Portuguese).