January, 1933


Inspection Trips


THE faculty of the College of Engineering here-by officially announces that the requirement of the inspection trip and report fur the school year 1932-33 are waived. The inference of this exemption is that no one graduating in January. June or August 1933, or in January 1934 need fulfill the standard requirement of the inspection trip.

It is expected that the custom will be resumed in the spring of 1934, in time to affect those graduating thereafter.

In presenting this statement, it may be of interest to students and alumni to have a few comments upon our trip program of former years.

The present requirement, as announced by the catalog, reads as follows:

"Trips of inspection to points of engineering interest are made each year under faculty supervision. Participation in one of these trips and a written report upon the same are required for graduation. As a prerequisite to enrollment the student must be of junior or senior standing."

This statement was first published in our bulletin in April, 1916. The erection of this requirement came about as an affirmative response by the faculty of the College of Engineering, acting upon a petition by engineering students.

Prior to this action, trips had been arranged more or less spontaneously, sometimes by depart-ments and sometimes by the college. Participation was wholly voluntary, and so far as I recall no reports were expected. At the present moment I have before me a list of places visited clear back to 1913, with a question mark as to the authenticity of the 1914 itinerary. The trips themselves, how-ever, extended away back of this, for I recall that I went on one myself, under the leadership of Professor George H. Morse, of the Department of Electrical Engineering, in the fall of 1901, when "that football excursion to Minneapolis" gave us opportunity to see some uf the engineering achievements of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Coming back to the official list, we have:
1913—Omaha ah a.
1914—Omaha (?); Ag. E's— Chicago; Elecs.— Milford.
1916—Kansas City (Nov., 1915).
1918—Lincoln and environs,
1921—Omaha and Blue River.               ,
1923—Omaha and Blue River.
1925—Kansas City.
1927—Kansas City.
1931—Kansas City.
1932—St. Louis.

It will be noted that there has been a tendency to take first a "long trip," and then a "short trip."

This was definitely planned in, order that the financial burden might be lessened for those students who were under the necessity of the strictest economy. Inasmuch as a man could go in his Junior or in his Senior year, he might choose the short trip if necessary.

The Nebraska Blue Prints of many years past have published occasionally copies of the reports written by students, and we find some first-class material in them. The first one of these published reports was written by Clyde Dempster, Mech., 17. and appears in the February, 1916 issue.

In general, our 75 to 100 reports annually received have been well written and evidence a satisfactory ability of students to observe and to profit by that observation. It is peculiarly valuable to our fellows to make these trips because ordinarily they do not have the opportunity to see engineering structures, plants or projects of note, and thus gain actual contact with the things about which they are studying". These experiences are carried back into the class room and the laboratory, and strongly influence the practical aspects of their work.

In interrupting this very important series, the faculty is moved by several considerations. This is a time for the utmost economy on the part of the University and students alike. We know
of many men who absolutely cannot pay for such a trip.

Factories, engineering offices, construction projects, etc., are running on minimum schedules. There is much less to be seen this year than usual. Officials of engineering organizations, while always most cordial and helpful, can scarcely feel very anxious to exhibit their present inactivity.

The usual contacts between seniors and prospective employers would have no particular value this year.
And so, the Inspection Trip Committee, after careful deliberation, recommended the action with which this article begins. We do not in any way minimize the value of a normal inspection trip, we simply find that a trip in 1932-33 would be un-timely.