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little concern in the past with the commercial or even community use of their design or construction. The steady drift away from the narrow specialization of the technical engineer in the direction of the commercial engineer is giving to industry and commerce men capable of applying the principles of engineering to the progressive needs of business and a changing economic society; men capable of regionally grouping the economic resources of the world so that they can be at all times recovered and assembled in proper places for manufacture and use by the most direct routes in the most effective and least costly manner. The commercial engineer is not the engineer become a business man. He must be prepared for his work by a course of study so framed as to afford the technique, the principles, and knowledge required in industry and commerce, by a newer and better combination of physical and mathematical science with the subjects of business and commerce. The tendency of business is more and more to direct selling, even direct financing in certain types. Knowledge of production processes and methods is becoming necessary as supplementary or even basic knowledge in marketing and finance. Schools of commerce of university grade have attempted to meet this situation by developing courses in accountancy, organization, and management. Their courses can be strengthened in the preparation for management, however, by some emphasis upon subjects dealing with the materials and means or agencies of commerce from the engineering point of view.
The problems of community or city management are such as a commercial engineer can best solve. He should be able to coordinate efficiently all broadly economic factors of the modern city, in itself a gigantic engineering project, a colossal industrial enterprise. The commercial engineer has an even greater opportunity which potentially presents itself in every county throughout the United States. The scientific conduct of the Nation's business is impossible without full knowledge of the sources of materials, manufacturing centers, and consuming markets, the relations of these to labor, credit supply, and transportation facilities. To secure and make that information understandingly avaliable for our business men, we must begin with our smallest economic unit, the county. Rural communities must be changed scientifically into industrial units; industrial units must be similarly guided on their way to a more rapid return to truck or farming communities. Economic community guidance is imperative in view of world-trade competition. Many communities to-day are supporting industries that are by their location a liability to the community and a greater one to the Nation. Counsel and guidance of commercially trained engineers in every county will aid these counties to solve their problems relating to unwise employment and care of labor, seasonal and rotary; wrong standards of living, therefore, uneconomic; improper transportation outlets; standards and kinds of production; marketing opportunities; available credits; and above all to solve problems relating to housing and health, to the proper balance between the individual's duties to society and his own economic rights.
Major Topic of the First Session: Current Practices in Colleges and Universi
ties relating to Business Training for Engineers and Engineering Training for Business Men
The three speakers based their remarks upon data secured in advance of the meeting by the chairman of the committee on commercial engineering. Deans of engineering were asked to supply the following information for the engineering divisions, mechanical, civil, electrical, mining, chemical and industrial, or commercial: Number of semester hours offered and required in business law, business organization, corporation management and finance, cost accounting, general economics, labor and employment problems, marketing--including advertising and salesmanship, political science, psychology, scientific management, statistics, and transportation. Deans of commerce were asked to state, if offered, the number of semester hours, elective or required, of business students in shopwork, properties and strength of materials, drawing and machinery analysis, applied mechanics—including hydraulics, general course in mechanical engineering, civil engineering, or in electrical engineering. Dean Walker discussed practices in State institutions to the west of the Mississippi River and Dean Sackett those to the east. Professor Jackson discussed practices in non-State higher institutions. A statement on current practices in colleges and universities relating to business training for engineers has been prepared since the conference by the chairman of the committee and is printed as part of this report, pages 15–22.
P. F. WALKER, dean of engineering, University of Kansas, Since the 1919 conference, changes in a considerable number of institutions have been brought about. The causes which have led to those changes have probably been many, the major one being the trend in industry toward a recognition of the need for men who have learned to think in broad terms of production on a nation-wide scale. The consideration of international problems associated with foreign trade has also led to calls for men fitted to take on the duties of foreign assignments. Several of our institutions recognize the need for work of this character and the benefit that will accrue to individuals and to the Nation through the meeting of such needs.
The recommendations made at the Washington conference of 1919 stimulated the study of business subjects by engineering students. In several of the western institutions it is reported that the inclu
sion of economics, either as requirements or option, in the curriculum has been brought about since 1919. Some work in economics is required in 25 of the 29 schools which have furnished information on which this report is based. In two of the others economics is optional and quite commonly elected. The second recommendation, however, that would include a considerable amount of optional courses in economics and business, is provided for in only a few instances.
The important part of this report is here given in diagrammatic form.
ENGINEERING STUDENTS REPORTED.
SEMESTER HOURS OF
IOWA STATE COLLEGE.......
The part on the right shows the number of students affected by the requirements. These requirements are shown to scale in the heavy lines in the right portion. The institutions represented are arranged in the order of number of students reported on, starting with Iowa State College at Ames, with something over 1,110 students in engineering. The requirements on the left side indicate in each case the average of the hours of work in the standard courses in mechanical,
civil, electrical, chemical, and mining engineering, and architecture.
Where an institution reported on several groups-mechanical engineering, for instance, seven hours; civil engineering, five hours; electrical engineering, five hours—there was no effort made to weight. These requirements represent the simple time average of the reporting groups, whatever that number may have been.
In several of the institutions the requirement in these lines is considerably greater for the mechanical group than for the others. The heavy vertical line shown on the diagram is the weighted average for the entire group of 29 institutions—that is, it is found by taking the number of students, multiplying this by the number of hours required, and dividing the total of the products by the total number of students. This total number of students is 9,897.
For the first four institutions the requirements fall between limits of 5 hours and 11 hours. The requirements at the University of Kansas are almost the average, namely, 6.6 hours. The uniformity shown in the requirements of these 14 institutions, which represent so large a majority of the total number of students considered, indicates that the institutions in the western Mississippi and Missouri Valleys are bringing their requirements together on a very satisfactory basis. The smaller institutions show a greater tendency to fluctuate in their requirements.
The subjects within the group of courses involved in this general study which have been required in the greatest number of institutions are: General economics, usually a three-hour course; business law, in amount varying from one to three hours; business organization, frequently united with business law for about the same amount of attention; corporation finance, in the same manner but in somewhat less degree; scientific management, in seven institutions, for two or three hours. Business law, business organization, and corporation finance seem to be grouped in a number of institutions into a single course, which may be required or optional for engineering students. It is, of course, a hasty course and can only give the out
3 Data sheets were not received from the University of California, the University of Washington, and others.
The following excerpt is from a letter of the vice chairman of the faculty of engineering of the University of California received subsequent to the conference by the chairman of the committee on commercial engineering: Prescribed subjects practically include nothing like business law, business organization, etc. Students are encouraged to use their electives for such subjects as economics, law of contracts, etc. Within the engineering departments courses on marketing, labor and employment problems, scientific management, etc., are not offered, except in so far as these subjects are dealt with in announced subjects in the curriculum. The following statement, also received since the conference, relates to business training for engineers at the University of New Mexico : Six semester hours each in general economics and cost accounting have been offered since 1920 in civil, electrical, mining, and chemical engineering. The engineering students are required to take either 4 semesters' work in economics and accounting, or in some foreign language.
line of contract principles and the principles underlying the organization of the corporation.
Cost accounting, political science, and psychology appear as required subjects twice each, although political science is an optional subject in a considerably larger number. It is only an occasional institution which goes outside of the above-mentioned branches for students in the standard engineering courses. The catalogue of the University of Washington shows an average graduation requirement of two semester hours in business law. The University of California and Leland Stanford University have their requirements for graduation indicated on a plan showing a large number of elective hours, but very little actually required. For these institutions it is undoubtedly true that students in large numbers include subjects of this general character in their work schedule, but it is difficult to determine with accuracy from the catalogues.
The tendency to permit students to select optional subjects to a considerable extent makes it difficult to arrive at positive conclusions. The general resultant is slightly toward an increase in the time given to business subjects, but the tendency is not especially marked, and it is probable that the limit will be reached very soon.
Only three institutions west of the Mississippi make specific provision for carrying out the second recommendation of the conference committee.
Two of these schools, the Universities of Kansas and of Utah, have established courses under the name of industrial engineering. These are for the regular four-year course and call for the completion of a considerable amount of work in economics. At the University of Kansas 21 hours in general economics and accounting are required, with 10 additional hours in scientific management, transportation, and business law. At the University of Utah a general requirement of 25 hours in this group of topics is required. These courses in industrial engineering correspond in a general way with those offered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Pennsylvania State College, Sheffield Scientific School, Columbia University, New York University, and several others. It is essentially a course in mechanical engineering with the business courses substituted for a corresponding amount of the more highly specialized work. At the University of Kansas the general degree of bachelor of science is given, while the degree of bachelor of science in engineering is given on completion of the standard courses.
The University of Nebraska has adopted a plan whereby students may remain for a fifth year, to be given over largely to work in the school of economics and business, following which another degree of the baccalaureate grade is awarded.