UGA Heritage:

Driftmier Engineering Center

Driftmier Engineering Center


This expansive facility on UGA’s South Campus was built in 1966 and is named for Rudolf H. Driftmier, better known as “Rudie.” Driftmier was head of the Department of Agricultural Engineering at UGA from 1930 until 1965.

Today, the center houses the College of Engineering and the Department of Agricultural Engineering, and includes offices, laboratories for research and design, and a small auditorium.

The Iowa native oversaw the campus building boom of the1930s, and was put in charge of school expansion throughout the Georgia System of Higher Education. He organized the first student branch of the American Society of Agricultural Engineering, which eventually became a nationwide organization. He was the first Chairman of the national society, and a member of the State Building Authority. He received many state, regional and national professional awards, and was the recipient of the UGA Alumni Distinguished Professor Award.

Driftmier established an annual award for the most outstanding engineering senior. He was a member of the Athens First Presbyterian Church, where he served as Chairman of the Board of Deacons and Chairman of the Board of Education of Athens and Clarke County.

Driftmier married Helen Spry, and was the father of two sons and two daughters. He died in 1979, fourteen years after his retirement.

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