The university, established in 1855, is undenominational, and grants degrees in the faculties of arts, law, medicine, science, civil engineering and music; instruction in theology is left to the affiliated colleges.
The university is well-equipped with laboratories, the psychological laboratory, the laboratories of Sibley college and the hydraulic laboratory of the college of civil engineering being especially noteworthy; the last is on Fall Creek, where a curved concrete masonry dam has been built, forming Beebe Lake.
In 1764 he entered the service of the landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt at Hanau, becoming professor of mathematics at the military academy, head of the civil engineering department of the state, director of the theatre and (1774) of the mint.
On the hill was the Royal Indian Civil Engineering College, commonly called Cooper's Hill College, of which Sir George Tomkyns Chesney was the originator and first president (1871).
Macneill, working chiefly on surveys, harbours and railroads, and was appointed in 1855 to the chair of civil engineering in Glasgow, vacant by the resignation of Lewis Gordon, whose work he had undertaken during the previous session.