The Escuela Politécnica Nacional was founded on August 27th, 1869 by the president Garcia Moreno who relied on the higher support of the Society of Jesus. The school was designed as the first center of teaching and scientific research, as an integrating body for the country, and as a generator of national development. The German division of the Jesuit Order sent a team of scholars and religious youths to the budding new school. The team comprised of individuals who possessed a relevant scientific background, an unwavering work ethic, and exemplary recognition within the country. The team included: German-born, Juan Bautista Menten, first dean—director, German-born Teodoro Wolf and Italian-born Luis Sodiro.
In the university’s primary stages, its existence was cut short. On September 15th, 1876, the President Borrero closed its doors for political reasons. It was not until February 28th, 1935, that the new President Velasco Ibarra signed a decree to reopen EPN, devoted to the studies of Mathematics, Cosmography, Physics, Applied Chemistry, Electronics, Mining and Geological Engineering. Finally on June 4th, 1946, by President Ibarra’s signed decree, during his second term, the name of the Instituto Superior Politécnico was changed to that of Escuela Politécnica Nacional, under which it has continued to operate without any interruptions until today.
Until 1960, EPN had functioned in a small building in Alameda, in an area no bigger than 600 square metres. This limited space housed classrooms, laboratories and administrative offices. This area is where the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Chemistry were located and the Institute of Nuclear Sciences took its very first steps.
Campus “Rubén Orellana” covers 15.2 hectares in Quito. It has a total constructed area of 62800 m2 and is divided into the following: 14% for classrooms, 24.1% for laboratories. A building is currently in construction for courses and relations with the external community, in an area of 33800 m2.
The campus is comprised of 20 buildings, in which their respective faculties, departments, laboratories, research centers, classrooms and offices can be found.
The central administration building, situated on the south-east side of campus, houses the President, Vice-President, Internal Evaluation Committee, Legal and Administrative Departments, Planning, Institutional Relations, Human Resources, Finance, as well as Research, Education and Expansion Committees, the Curriculum Development Unit, the Secretary General and other administrative branches.