THE history of instruction in ship design at the University of Michigan is closely associated with the growth and development of the College of Engineering. When Mortimer Cooley, assistant engineer in the United States Navy, was detailed to the University as Professor of Steam Engineering and Iron Shipbuilding in 1881, twenty-five students were enrolled in civil engineering; in the following year more than sixty were enrolled. Courses in naval architecture were established and taught during alternate semesters by Cooley and were first listed in the Calendar for 1881-82 as follows:
Naval Architecture. — The instruction in this branch comprises a course of lectures on the nature of the resistance of ships, the computation of augmented surface, probable resistance, the power necessary to secure a given speed, buoyancy, stability, wave motion, steadiness, determination of centre of gravity and metacentre, causes of rolling, causes of stability, and similar topics.
The growing importance of instruction in marine design from 1883 to 1893 — at which time three courses, Naval Architecture, Marine Engines, and Ship Building, were given — resulted from the increased enrollment in engineering, a demand for technically trained designers in the marine field, in which the trend was toward larger and faster ships, and a realization of the coming expansion of shipping on the Great Lakes. Michigan has a shoreline of 2,213 miles on the lakes and connecting rivers, and a tremendous amount of water-borne commerce annually passes through her waters. In 1952 tonnage on the Detroit River was five times the normal foreign tonnage of New York Harbor and greater than the combined tonnage of Hamburg, Liverpool, and London.
At the February, 1898, meeting of the Regents President Angell presented Page 1278a communication from Cooley, asking the Board to consider the advisability of establishing instruction in marine engineering and naval architecture. In June, 1899, the Finance Committee was requested to provide in the budget $2,000 for the establishment of a course in marine engineering. Cooley immediately began searching for a capable naval architect to take charge of this work, and in 1900 Herbert Charles Sadler (Glasgow '93, D.Sc. hon. ibid. '02, LL.D. ibid. '27) came to Ann Arbor from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, as Junior Professor of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. The following item appeared that year in the Michigan Technic:
It is gratifying to know that the Mechanical Laboratory is to be considerably enlarged the coming summer, and among the apparatus which is to be placed in it is a compound marine engine, now being designed by some of the students, to be used in some of the courses in the recently established Department of Marine Engineering. The offer to become Junior Professor of Naval Architecture has been accepted by Mr. H. C. Sadler, of Glasgow, Scotland.
A communication from the engineering faculty dated October 8, 1901, outlined the course of study for the Department of Marine Engineering and recommended that a degree be granted in this field. The first graduate was Ernest Charles Stroebe in 1902. The degree program was described in the Announcement of the Department of Engineering for 1902-3, and in the University Calendar for 1903-4 appears a description of the Naval Tank, built in the north wing of the new Engineering Building (now the West Engineering Building). In 1916-17 the program was listed as Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering.
Early in the history of the department certain ideas were introduced which differed from those of similar programs in this country and abroad. The underlying principle that, in order to fit himself for the profession of shipbuilding, a student should have a thorough grounding in mechanical engineering was established, and the course consisted, therefore, of preliminary training in such scientific subjects as mathematics, physics, and chemistry, followed by the general courses required of all engineering students. In the third year mechanical and some civil and electrical engineering instruction was given, while the purely naval architecture and marine engineering work was confined largely to the fourth year. English, foreign languages, and other nontechnical subjects were also included in the preliminary work.
In 1913, following the procedure adopted by other departments, two options were established in the department: (A) naval architecture and (B) marine engineering. In actual practice the tendency was to differentiate between these branches of the profession; hence the opportunity was given the student to fit himself for whichever field he preferred. Minute specialization was avoided, however, and training in each branch was given to all.
The growing interest in aeronautics led to the introduction of courses in this subject in 1915. Owing to the close connection in many of the fundamental principles of this science with that of naval architecture and marine engineering, the new branch was attached to the latter department, and in 1916 a third option, (C) aeronautical engineering, was established. The budget for the work in aeronautics was included in that of the Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering until the year 1930, when aeronautics was established as a separate department.
In 1925-26 option (D) water transportation, was added. This appears as option D in the Announcement for that Page 1279year and as option C subsequently. This group of studies permitted a student to acquire additional training in economics and accounting and eliminated some of the specialized work in naval architecture and marine engineering.
For a degree in 1940 the minimum requirements for eight semesters were:
|Secondary and technical courses||49|
In 1952 the departmental curriculum included five groups of professional studies. Option A was offered for students of naval architecture and option B for those specializing in marine engineering. The work included introductory courses and the essentials of form calculations, structural design and strength analysis; ship design, stability, rolling, steering, and preliminary design, contracts, specifications, yard production methods, and estimating; marine machinery, boilers, and auxiliaries; and resistance, power, propellers, model testing in the naval tank, and navigation.
In conjunction with the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, in 1940 the Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering offered advanced work leading to the degrees of master of science, master of science in engineering, and doctor of science. The enrollment for the advanced degree as a rule is made up largely of graduates from foreign institutions and other American universities. Many students from abroad come to study under sponsorship of their governments. Turkey, Argentina, Chile, Canada, Puerto Rico, China, Norway, India, Brazil, Japan, and other nations have been represented. Undergraduate enrollment has shown an annual increase, having risen from sixteen in 1927 to eighty-four in 1952.
The placement of graduates in industry has been facilitated through close contact maintained by the staff with leading shipyards, designers, and steamship companies. The success and advancement attained in the profession by former students is an indication of the sound fundamental training received at the University. Past graduates have held high ranks in the United States Coast Guard, and in times of national emergency the department has been unable to supply the demand by the Navy and other services for trained men in ship design and construction.
The Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering has been fortunate in its staff. Dean Cooley's interest as well as his encouragement and advice contributed much to the development of the work. Sadler continued as head of the department until 1928, when he became Dean of the College. He died in 1948. His career as a teacher and his contributions in the field of research are noteworthy. He wrote for various professional societies and during World War I acted as naval architect for the United States Shipping Board. His services as consultant on problems of power and stability were in constant demand, and in association with Frank Kirby he helped design many vessels for the Great Lakes. Herbert Sadler, of Michigan, George Baker, of England, and Admiral David Watson Taylor, U.S.N., were the men who developed the scientific principles of ship form and resistance, originally outlined in the latter part of the nineteenth century by William Froude, the marine engineering pioneer.
In 1903 Edward Milton Bragg (Massachusetts Institute of Technology '96) was appointed Instructor in the department. Although at first he devoted some of his time to mechanical engineering, his main interest was in naval architecture and marine engineering. In 1915 he Page 1280was appointed to a professorship and in 1928 he became chairman of the department. A distinguished scholar and teacher, Bragg achieved an international reputation through his research work and publications. He was concerned more with theory and fundamentals than with commercial applications, and his lectures reflected his clear understanding of his subject. His major interest was in propellers and paddle wheels, but he also contributed much to the present theory of hull form and resistance.
During World War I Sadler was called into government service, and in 1918 Anders Fredrik Lindblad (Chalmers Institute of Technology [Sweden] '13, Sc.D. Michigan '23) was appointed Assistant Professor. Lindblad had been connected with the American Shipbuilding Company of Cleveland, and he maintained an interest in Great Lakes shipping throughout his academic career. He was made Associate Professor in 1928, but in 1933 he resigned to take the chair of naval architecture at his alma mater, the Chalmers Institute in Gothenburg, Sweden.
In 1928 Henry Carter Adams II ('13, M.S. '15) was added to the staff as Assistant Professor. Previously, his experience had included employment with Gibbs and Cox, Naval Architects, and work as technical adviser to the Load Line Commission. His field of specialization has centered in damaged stability and in structural design and strength. He became Professor in 1953.
Upon Anders Lindblad's resignation, Louis Arthur Baier ('14e, Nav. Arch. '33) was appointed Assistant Professor. He brought to the department an extensive experience in commercial ship design, and his professional contacts have assisted in the placement of graduates and in keeping the department aware of modern practice. Because of his special interest in the field of resistance and powering, he was placed in charge of the Naval Tank. He became Professor in 1943.
The construction of models for use in the Naval Tank requires mechanical skill and the ability to read ship drawings. The first few models were made by Sadler with the help of student assistants. In 1907, Hermann Graf was appointed Model Maker and continued in that position until his death in 1927. A mechanic of the highest order, he was responsible for the construction of various instruments, and he made many improvements in the tank facilities. Arthur A. Limpert, of the Buildings and Grounds Department, succeeded Graf. An excellent mechanic in wood and metal, his rich experience in boat-building, pattern-making, and allied fields had prepared him well for the variety of work arising in a model-testing tank. Until he died in 1945 "Art" Limpert was one of the first staff members visited by alumni on their return to the campus. Douglas Van Aken held the position of Model Maker from 1946 to 1950 and was succeeded by Phillip A. Schnell.
The unique feature of the department's physical equipment is the Naval Tank, or experimental model basin. On the ground floor of the West Engineering Building and running north and south for a length of 360 feet, the Naval Tank is a popular point of interest to visitors, especially to the children of Ann Arbor.
In addition to the usual classrooms, the department has its own draftingroom, equipped with necessary instruments such as integrators, calculating machines, battens, and "ducks." Half models and photographs, donated by shipyards and steamship companies, help the student to recognize various types of ships. In addition, complete plans and specifications in hull and machinery are on file for reference by students who are developing their own designs. Page 1281Well-equipped shops are provided for the construction and preparation of models and appendages to be tested in the tank. The three principal functions of the laboratory are demonstration of hydraulic phenomena and principles to supplement classroom theory, pure research work, and testing designs for governmental services, shipyards, steamship operators, and consulting engineers. The Tank and its functions are described more in detail later in this account.
Members of the staff have always been active as consultants in design, powering, propellers, stability, Admiralty Court cases, and in other phases of ship construction and operation. Particular interest has been maintained in Great Lakes freight and passenger shipping.
Publications by the faculty have been limited by the nature of much of the work carried out in connection with the Naval Tank. Although important papers have been delivered before the national professional societies, much of the research and testing done for governmental or private interests is of a restricted nature and, in wartime, confidential. Reports of projects on which staff members have acted as consultants seldom are available or even suitable for general publication, although the experience and the results have been of great value to the department. These contacts with the profession, however, have proved to be another means by which students are placed in responsible positions upon graduation.
By 1940 Sadler, Bragg, Lindblad, Baier, and Adams had contributed numerous papers. Since then Bragg has published "The Quasi-Wake Factor" and "The Quasi-Propulsive Coefficient"; Baier has published "The Resistance of Barges and Flotillas," "Diesel Engines on the Great Lakes and Inland Waterways," and "The Great Lakes Bulk Cargo Carrier: Design and Power"; Baier and A. D. Maxwell, The Navigator's Handbook; Baier and Jesse Ormondroyd, "Fantail Vibration in High Powered Single Screw Vessels"; and H. C. Adams with C. M. Adams, "Vessel Unloading with Air-activator Conveyers."
During 1942 and in the years which followed, the department assisted in the war effort. Various experiments were carried out, and designs of floating dry docks and amphibious tanks were refined. Baier served as consultant to the Chief of Transportation of the War Department and to the Bureau of Yards and Docks. Bragg retired in 1944, and Baier was appointed chairman of the department. Assistant Professor Charles Willett Spooner, Jr. (M.E. Cornell '34, M.S. Michigan '35) was borrowed from the Department of Mechanical Engineering to take over instruction in marine engineering. He was promoted to Associate Professor of Mechanical and Marine Engineering in 1949.
A training course program was given during the war by the department in Cincinnati, Ohio, for the engineering staff of the Army Transportation Corps. In June, 1943, the Navy Department transferred the Reserve Officers Naval Architecture Group from Annapolis to the University of Michigan for training under the direction of the staff of the department.
Assistant Professor Glenn H. Easton (U. S. Naval Academy '15, M.S. Massachusetts Institute of Technology '21) was a member of the department from 1944 to 1946, when the Reserve Officers Naval Architecture Group training program for the Navy Department was completed, providing some 227 officers for Construction Corps duty.
In 1948 Harry Bell Benford ('40e [Nav. Arch. and Mar. Eng.]) was appointed Assistant Professor of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, Page 1282coming to the department from the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company. He had had a valuable background in all the practical phases of shipbuilding.
During the past decade the curriculums have been strengthened and emphasis has been placed on design details and fundamental heat balance. Graduate work attracts an increasing number of foreign students. The department serves state and federal government agencies in various consulting and research capacities. Improvements in propeller design, stern flow, and vibration control have contributed to increased tonnage movement on the Great Lakes.
The modern 7,000 shaft horsepower ore and stone carriers, currently under construction for the Great Lakes, were developed by Baier, who also acted as consultant to the state of Michigan in the design and construction of "Vacationland," the ferry recently completed for service at the Straits of Mackinac.