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WALTER RITTMAN, professor of commercial engineering, Carnegie Institute of Technology. The engineer connected with overseas oil development is greatly handicapped without an understanding of the new ways of financing, of race differences, and of legal problems. To train engineers for these fields is not easy. A knowledge of the foreign languages is not the main thing. To exchange goods and services successfully one must be acquainted with the spirit and customs of the people with whom one is dealing. The establishment of branch schools in foreign countries, although hardly feasible, offers one solution of the problem.
C. A. NORMAN, professor of machine design, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. Many of the leading schools have felt that engineering students do not acquire through the language training given the ability to read foreign technical literature, much less to express themselves in a foreign tongue. These schools are hard pressed to meet the demands for civic and economic training. With an overcrowded schedule there is a tendency to do away with language training altogether. American engineers should be able to read foreign literature and to deal with foreigners in their own tongue. The need often arises for knowledge of a language never taught in school; for example, Russian, Chinese, and Portuguese, languages undoubtedly of great importance in the future. One can hardly think of teaching them to engineering students generally. We should, however, develop in our students the ability to acquire knowledge in a new field rapidly and without aid when need of such knowledge arises. Foreign schools and our graduate schools develop this ability, the latter, however, at too late an age. By excessive coaching, supervising, and scheduling we kill initiative and enterprise in our undergraduates. American college education develops perhaps the most moral, generous, and decent type of man in the world; and this must not be given up; but we suppress the quality without which we will not hold our own in technical or commercial competition with foreign nations. American engineering students are of high-grade material, but they are now being trained down and fitted to become routine men and job holders at home rather than being stimulated to become energizers and vitalizers on a world scale. They must be given concrete examples of the unusual possibilities in new and undeveloped fields, where higher trained men are scare; must become imbued with enthusiasm for real individual achievement and for farreaching work. Business and Government must help in this matter. Topic of Group 3. CIVIC AND SOCIAL TRAINING OF THE ENGINEER.
L. W. WALLACE, executive secretary Federated Engineering Societies, Washington, D. C. It was recently stated that perhaps
the best way the United States could aid in the restoration of the economic equilibrium of the world would be to assist needy European countries in the creation of new capital by sending trained engineers to assist in the development of the great natural resources of those countries. It is also stated with authority that the allied debt is a legal and moral obligation, but that if the debt is paid in manufactured goods the result will be very serious to American industry. It is therefore suggested that the debt, collected on terms most favorable to the Allies, be not used in this country, but very much as the Chinese indemnity was used, namely, spent in behalf of the countries making the payments; that all money received in payment of the allied debt be used to assist the small European countries in building highways and also railways, both electric and steam; in developing hydroelectric power; in developing technical educational facilities and research; in encouraging the use of improved methods of farming and improved farm machinery; and the adoption of better principles and facilities of manufacture, to include better organization, improved personal relations, and higher intelligence in the executive group.
The proposed plan is social, economic, and scientific. It is qualitative, yet its execution would require the best of quantitative thinking; hence the need for the engineering type of mind and experience. A keen student of world affairs has remarked that the engineer of vision, of insight, and of quantitative thinking and experience is the hope of Russia and of the world.
The question now arises whether the engineer has had as a background that training which will enable him to meet his opportunity. On the quantitative side—the purely technical—the answer certainly is, yes. Perhaps, no, on the imaginative, the qualitative side. The engineer is considered a safe operator of a large industry, but not a successful business promoter because he lacks enthusiasm and vision.
By temperament, training, and experience the engineer is an individualist. He leads a quantitative existence. These qualities have brought the world to its present high state of mechanical and scientific development. The worid now needs the leadership of the quantitative mind softened by the qualitative touch. It needs the services of men who have mastered the material forces of nature and desire to use them for the benefit of man. Technical and professional business colleges must train men not only in the technical aspects of their vocations but must fill them with a zeal and an enthusiasm that will compel them to render a full measure of social and civic as well as technical service.
Colonel KEPPELE HALL, of the Joseph and Feiss Co., Cleveland, Ohio. There are to-day three or four new groups of engineers. There are many problems to be worked out along engineering lines. An engineer is a man who can tear apart a problem and by means of mathematics, mechanics, chemistry, etc., put it together to function properly. The problem of bringing together men, machines, money, materials, etc., is essentially a problem of the engineer. He is the man who coordinates. He must have something more than the fundamental engineering subjects; must be interested in psychology, the motives inciting the actions and reactions of people. He must be a real man. Men who have had no engineering experience can fill positions of such demands, but they ought to be engineers. Coal is one of the most poorly managed industries in America. Waste in industry is possible of solution and has been solved to some extent. These are things the engineer can do and must do as part of his public duty to meet his responsibility to all mankind. The seeds must be planted in his mind while he is in school. Banks are dependent on the information of the engineer. Engineers are called upon to survey industries.
Mr. Wallace stated that according to the report of the committee on waste in industry about 50 per cent of the waste could be eliminated by good management, while labor could assist in eliminating 25 per cent. The remainder was due to various causes.
G. L. SWIGGETT, chairman of the Committee on Commercial Engineering. The interest in an educational program combining engineering and commerce has now developed to a point that there is a dependable scientific approach to the problem of curriculum. Much valuable information that will assist in further development is being secured by investigation and survey. We are learning much about the fundamental factors in industry and commerce, of political, economic, and social interrelationships in domestic and foreign commerce. Regional economic developments have a direct bearing upon individual training problems, etc. This is especially true of the training designed for the engineer, since engineering must render such service to the community as road building, housing, sanitation, and the working out of all civic projects. The county is becoming the most important unit in national development, the basic unit. The civic duties of engineers in relation to county problems have not been adequately recognized. Engineers must be trained to become county managers as well as city managers. The engineer must utilize his training in a cooperative manner for the benefit of the community.
The chairman closed the discussion with a few examples to show the growing tendency of engineers to become active in civic and social affairs.
G. L. Swiggett, specialist in commercial education, United States Bureau of Education, Washington, D. C., chairman.
A. C. Bedford, chairman of board of directors, Standard Oil Co. of New York, N. Y.
Spurgeon Bell, dean school of business administration, University of Texas, Austin, Tex.
Frank H, Constant, head of civil engineering department, Princeton University, Princeton, N. J.
G. A. Covell, dean of school of engineering and mechanic arts, Oregon State Agricultural College, Corvallis.
Davis R. Dewey, professor of economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge.
A. B. Dinwiddie, president Tulane University, New Orleans, La.
Wallace B. Donham, dean of graduate school of business administration, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
George W. Dowrie, dean school of business, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn.
Coleman du Pont, New York, N. Y.
C. E. Grunsky, manager, C. E. Grunsky Co., engineers, Mechanics Institute Building, San Francisco, Calif.
John H. Finley, educational editor, New York Times, New York.
Ralph E. Heilman, dean school of commerce, Northwestern University, Evanston and Chicago, Ill.
E. M. Herr, president Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Co., East Pittsburgh, Pa.
E. H. Hooker, president Hooker Electrochemical Co., New York. N. Y.
W. L. Hotchkiss, Industrial Federation of Clothing Manufacturers, Chicago, Illi.
Samuel Insull, president Commonwealth Edison Co., Edison Building, Chicago.
Emory R. Johnson, dean Wharton School of Finance and Commerce, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
Dexter S. Kimball, dean of the college of engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y.
Everett W. Lord, dean college of business administration of Boston Univer. sity, Boston, Mass.