Dean's Corner

S. P. E. E. study of engineering education

 by O. J. Ferguson

You are to be investigated!

It isn't a matter of campaign funds—it isn't a matter of oil.   The faculty of the College of Engineering has voted to cooperate with the S. P. E. E. in a study which the latter is undertaking. The S. P. E. E. has asserted that you need investigating, or at least that we need to investigate you. On the latter point the faculty has agreed.

The most far-reaching study of engineering education ever planned is now under way upon a basis of cooperation of all engineering schools of the country. The basic needs of engineering schools, the effectiveness of processes of education, the materials with which we deal as represented by incoming students, the results we obtain in training men, the way in which graduates and ex-students fit themselves into professional engineering activities are all to be considered. The local studies will be made by the faculties themselves. The correlation of the reports is the office of the central committee and will make available to all schools much more general conclusions than they could obtain locally. We shall require your assistance in gathering data and we hope to have prompt and hearty cooperation on your part.

Some very valuable material is being supplied to the College of Engineering in the way of engineering drawings and photographs of bridges buildings and other structures. These are being used as illustrations and reference material in our courses of structural engineering. They include:

From Mr. Albert Reichmann, District Engineer of the American Bridge Co., sets of drawings of (a) Mill buildings for the Gary Tube Company, (b) Addition to the Hotel Sherman, Chicago, (c) Standard railway plate girder bridges, (d) New riveted truss bridge of 185 ft. span on the D. & R. G. Western R. R. (e) New highway bridge across Missouri River near Wheeler, S. D.—six spans of 256 ft. each.

From Mr. F. L. Simmons, Bridge Engineer of the Chicago Rock Island & Pacific Railway, sets of drawings of (a) railway bridge over Sylvan Slough, in Illinois—plate girder spans, total length 500 ft. (b) Standard 150 ft. through; riveted truss bridges as now built by the Rock Island Railway.

From Mr. Thomas G. Pihifeldt, City Bridge Engineer of Chicago, a set of sixteen Vxll" photographs of the modern movadle bridges of Chicago.

From Mr. D. A. Leach, of the Chicago office of the Chicago Bridge & Iron Works, a set of photographs of modern steel stand pipes, pressure tanks, spherical and elliptical bottom elevated tanks.
 From Mr. Clement Chase, Principal Assistant Engineer and Mr. M. B. Case, Senior Resident Engineer, plans and specifications for thirteen contracts covering successive parts of the Delaware River Bridge being erected between Philadelphia and Camden.

From Louis Meyer, President of the Concrete Engineering Company, of Omaha, all plans and drawings of the Nebraska Memorial Stadium, built by the Parsons Construction Company, of Omaha.
We are very happy to note that in an article in the October Nebraska Alumnus Chancellor Avery has pointed out what should be the next forward step in University progress. His article is a recognition of the inadequacy of our present building program and a demand for a revision of our plans.

Certainly any person who has ever been a student at the University of Nebraska has realized the limitations set by our lack of buildings and facilities. I must quote Dr. Avery in part:

"Our gymnasium cost half what one of the small denominational schools now spend for a gymnasium erected by private subscription. Our library was built for a school about one-tenth the size of the present University. Our museum is inadequate to house more than one-quarter of the valuable material that should be displayed.   Our Engineering College with its long list of eminent engineers has only one worthwhile permanent building in its collection. We have no auditorium capable of seating more than about one-fifth of the student body. Our Dental College is in rented rooms in the oldest theatre building in town. It has a long record of worthy graduates, but its physical equipment compared with other dental colleges is distressing. The Agricultural College has no place for housing the gatherings of farmers who wish to attend the meetings of Organized Agriculture. It also needs facilities for physical education The Medical College needs more hospital service and laboratories. The entire cost of the plant in Omaha has been only a small fraction of what the University of Iowa received last winter for new medical buildings alone.

With the improvements in the high schools of the state the average of the freshmen class becomes younger. Hence the need of dormitories, particularly women's dormitories, is urgent The best educational thought in the country realizes that provision should be made as fast as possible for housing the freshmen in quarters under the University's direct control."

Each individual who has had a place in Nebraska's class rooms, whether he is an alumnus or a first year student, can have a part in creating the sentiment which will determine the answer to the question—"What are you going to do about it?"