THE DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL ENGINEERING
THE original plan of the University of Michigan, dated January 5, 1837, and made by the first superintendent of public instruction, included a professorship of civil engineering and architecture. It was not, however, until 1853, when Alexander Winchell (Wesleyan '47, LL.D. ibid. '67) accepted the appointment as Professor of Physics and Civil Engineering, that a professorship in this field was established. In the list of new subjects, surveying, taught by the Reverend George P. Williams of the Department of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, was mentioned for the first time, and it was also stated that the University possessed an excellent "suite" of scientific instruments. In 1855 Winchell was succeeded by Professor William Guy Peck (U. S. Military Academy '44, A.M. Trinity [Conn.] '53, LL.D. ibid. '63), who resigned after two years to accept a position at Columbia University. DeVolson Wood (C.E. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute '57, A.M. Hamilton '59, M.S. Michigan '59) joined the faculty in 1857 as Assistant Professor of Physics and Civil Engineering at a salary of $1,000 a year, and in 1860 the two men who constituted the first engineering class in the University and the sixth in the United States were graduated. Wood became Professor of Civil Engineering in the same year.
The official records for the next twelve years reveal Professor Wood's remarkable energy and administrative ability. He taught practically all of the engineering courses, although from time to time an assistant or instructor relieved him of certain details of his work. For one year he had the assistance of Charles DeWitt Lawton (Union College '58, C.E. ibid. '59, M.S. ibid. '61), who was appointed Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering in 1870. In later years Lawton became a Regent and rendered long and valuable service to the University.
Wood's teaching was strenuous and varied. His last report, dated June, 1872, records that in the first semester he taught courses in Resistance of Materials, Theory and Practice of the Construction of Roads and Railroads, with assistants supervising the field work, two nine-week sections in Land Surveying, and two drawing courses, Geometrical Drawing, Tinting, and Shading, and Shades, Shadows, and Linear Perspective. In the second semester he again taught the land-surveying courses and also railroad surveying, location, and construction, a course in bridge construction, one in the distribution of water in cities, and a course covering mechanical engineering, foundry, and shop. All of these did not continue throughout the semester; some were given five days a week for six or seven weeks and were followed by other courses for the remainder of the semester. In this same report on teaching, Wood defined policies which have been followed until the present day and gave some idea of the time devoted to surveying:
The Scientific Section of the Sophomore Class took up Land Surveying at the beginning of the year, and continued the study for nine consecutive weeks. The class consisted of forty-five students, and was divided into two sections for class-room exercises, and each of these into two more sections for field exercises. I conducted the class-room Page 1202exercises, which consisted of recitations from Gillespie's Land Surveying and of familiar Lectures upon the subject. The class went over all the subjects of the textbook, with the exception of a few unimportant problems in parting off and dividing up land.
The field exercises were conducted by Prof. J. Burkett Webb, my assistant at that time, who was assisted by Prof. P. R. B. DePont. The object of these exercises is not to make expert surveyors, but to lay a proper foundation for those who desire to become such, and to teach to all, in a practical way, the principles which are involved. Each student is required to do every part of the work for himself. He uses the axe, chains, carries the flag, uses the compass, the transit, and the theodolite, computes his work from his field notes, and makes a plat of it, and reports the result to the Professor in charge. Neatness and accuracy are insisted upon in these reports. The Instructor accompanies the parties in the field, and directs and criticizes their work, and teaches them how to perform the several operations which are required of them …
At the beginning of the year the Senior class in Civil Engineering began the theory and practice of the construction of Roads and Railroads, using Henck's Field-Book for Engineers and Gillespie's Roads and Railroads. I also gave a course of Lectures upon the construction of engineering instruments, and the modes of adjusting them. … The students are not only required to use the instruments in the field, but also to adjust them. They are required to do all the preliminary work of laying out a railroad. They begin with a reconnaissance, then they survey the line, locating it, re-survey it, take the levels and establish a grade, set the side stakes, compute cuts and fills, and make a finished map of the line including the profile.
(R.P., 1870-76, pp. 211-14.)
Wood's teaching problem was complicated because textbooks were few, and the information sought was often "scattered throughout many books which would cost a large sum to purchase." The best method, he believed, was "to use a good textbook for the greater part of the work, and then criticize, improve, and expand upon its contents by familiar lectures." Only in cases of absolute necessity did he resort to lectures exclusively, because he considered the lecture system comparatively slow. Another of his methods was to develop a systematic course through lectures and to interest the students in reading reference works, for in this way they became familiar with many authors. Wood's great, and now classic, work on thermodynamics was only one of his many writings. In the spring before he left Ann Arbor he was preparing his lectures on bridges and roofs for publication.
He was a man of sturdy genial character and powerful intellect. His dynamic and virile personality was effective with his students, the majority of whom later occupied positions of responsibility in business or in education. Funds for the bronze tablet presented in his memory in 1917 were given by forty-three graduates of this early period who were still living in 1915, when the project was undertaken. He resigned in 1872 to accept a chair at Stevens Institute, Hoboken, where he died in 1897. It may not be known even to the older graduates that he is buried in Ann Arbor.
His departure from Michigan ended what may be called the old regime. At the same meeting in which his resignation was accepted, the Regents appointed Charles Ezra Greene (Harvard '62, A.M. ibid. '65, Massachusetts Institute of Technology '68e [C.E.], C.E. hon. Michigan '84) as Professor of Civil Engineering. Joseph Baker Davis ('68e [C.E.], A.M. hon. '12) was appointed Assistant Professor in March, 1872. He took charge of the work in surveying and in 1874 organized the first summer camp for students of surveying. He continued to Page 1203direct the work in surveying until his retirement in 1910. Charles Simeon Denison (Vermont '70, C.E. ibid. '71, Sc.D. ibid. '07), who later became head of the Department of Drawing, was appointed Instructor in Engineering and Drawing in 1872.
Thus, it came about that in the fall of 1872 the teaching staff of the Department of Engineering consisted of three properly equipped graduate engineers, Greene, Davis, and Denison, all of whom had had both practical experience and training in theory. Greene was unable to reach Ann Arbor until late in November, and in the meantime the work of the department was carried on by Davis and Denison. These three then began a most harmonious and friendly association which extended more than thirty years to be broken only by death.
The beginning of Charles E. Greene's leadership of the department coincided with the opening of President Angell's long administration. Davis had been teaching for a year, and Denison for a semester, so that Greene was relieved of the burden of teaching surveying, drawing, descriptive geometry, stereotomy, and mechanism and could devote his whole time to structural mechanics and to the theory of structures.
Although Greene bore the reputation among his students of being a severe man, many of them spoke in later years in praise of his excellent teaching, his perfect logic, and his clear exposition of difficult classroom problems. They referred also to his intensely human qualities. He ranks as one of the greatest engineering teachers of his time, and no story of the University would be complete which did not accord him full recognition. He gave splendid and devoted service to the Department of Engineering, stood high in the estimation of his University colleagues, and had a wide reputation as a professional engineer and as author of superior works on graphics and mechanics.
His death occurred suddenly on October 16, 1903. Because of his remarkable powers and attainments, his dignity and strength of character, he had been the dominating factor in the department. A beautiful bronze tablet in the archway of the West Engineering Building bears sincere and lasting testimony to the love and regard in which he was held by both students and colleagues.
In his annual report for 1904, President Angell paid him the following tribute:
Charles Ezra Greene, A.M., C.E., Professor of Civil Engineering and Dean of the Engineering Department, died suddenly on October 16, 1903, aged 61 years. He had held the Professorship for thirty-one years, and the Deanship since 1895, when the Department of Engineering became a separate organization. He graduated at Harvard University and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and had experience in his profession before coming to us. He was distinguished by simplicity and lucidity in his teaching. His writings won reputation for himself and for the University both in this country and in Europe. His high personal and professional character exerted a most elevating influence upon his pupils and commanded the respect of all who knew him. It is most gratifying that the Chicago Engineering Alumni have presented the University with an excellent oil portrait of him, and the undergraduate engineering students are to place a bronze tablet to his memory on the wall of the New Engineering Building.
(R.P., 1901-6, pp. 395-96.)
To meet the emergency caused by his death, Greene's son, Albert Emerson Greene ('95, '96e [C.E.]), was made Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering to carry on his father's work until a successor could be found. Albert Greene had been in the employ of the Canadian Bridge Company, and he returned to the University with an excellent background Page 1204of experience to qualify him as a teacher of structural engineering. He proved to be a clear and logical teacher.
The search for a successor to the professorship of civil engineering resulted in the choice of Gardner Stewart Williams ('89e [C.E.], C.E. '99), who was at the time professor of experimental hydraulics at Cornell University. Appointed in June, 1904, he began his duties at the opening of the following semester, when his title was changed from Professor of Civil Engineering to Professor of Civil, Hydraulic, and Sanitary Engineering. At the same time Clarence George Wrentmore ('93e [C.E.], M.S. '98, C.E. '02) was transferred from the Department of Descriptive Geometry and Drawing and appointed Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering. In the second semester of 1904-5 Charles Joseph Tilden (Harvard '96e [C.E.], A.M. hon. Yale '19) came as Instructor in Civil Engineering, and George Gottlieb Stroebe (Chicago '01, Michigan '07e [C.E.]), who had resigned as Instructor in Descriptive Geometry and Drawing in 1905, became Instructor in Civil Engineering in 1906.
John Howell Griffith (Wisconsin '93, M.S. ibid. '98) was appointed Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering in 1907, and a year later Charles Alton Ellis (Wesleyan '00, C.E. Illinois '22) and Edward Dunbar Rich (C.E. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute '95) were also appointed to assistant professorships in civil engineering, and Archie Burton Pierce (California '90e [C.E.], Ph.D. Zurich '03), Assistant Professor of Mathematics, was transferred to the department without change of rank.
Wrentmore was granted leave of absence in 1908 to accept an appointment as Assistant Director of Public Works in the Philippine Islands; his leave was extended until he resigned in 1911. Stroebe left the department in 1909 to engage in outside practice, but was considered a member of the staff until 1911, when the Regents accepted his resignation. He, too, was in governmental service in the Philippines when he resigned. Arthur James Decker ('05e [C.E.]) joined the staff as Instructor in 1909 and became Professor in 1918.
In July, 1911, Dean Cooley presented a plan to the Regents for the reorganization of the Engineering Department. He proposed the creation of a separate department of engineering mechanics to teach the courses in theoretical and applied mechanics previously offered in the departments of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mathematics. The Regents established the new department and put it under the direction of Tilden, whose title was changed to Professor of Engineering Mechanics.
Because he felt that the plan for the reorganization of the department was, in part at least, unsound, Williams tendered his resignation, which was accepted with regret by the Regents in July, 1911. He had worked actively for the advancement of the Department of Civil Engineering and of the engineering profession in Michigan. He had "achieved eminence in his profession" and commanded "the highest respect of his many friends and associates in the profession and of his … students in the University" (R.P., 1910-14, pp. 200-201). Albert E. Greene was advanced to a professorship and made acting head of the department.
At the same time Assistant Professor Griffith resigned in order to accept an appointment as engineer-physicist with the United States Bureau of Standards. With his resignation the University lost the services of an able and devoted teacher who had been wholly in sympathy with the plans for expansion. His counsel and advice proved to be invaluable Page 1205in the ultimate revision of the program in civil engineering.
In the summer of 1911 a search was begun for a man to take Professor Williams' place as head of the department. Dean Cooley made a tentative offer of the position to Henry Earle Riggs (Kansas '86, C.E. Michigan '10, D.Eng. ibid. '37), of Toledo, Ohio, who had been in engineering practice for twenty-six years. At the March, 1912, meeting of the Regents, Dean Cooley discussed the reorganization of the work in civil engineering and its various ramifications and transmitted to the Board a written statement from Riggs criticizing the courses in civil engineering and suggesting a substantial broadening of the work.
Riggs maintained that the courses in civil engineering fell "woefully short of what we have a right to expect." In hydraulic engineering only four hours were offered; no attention was given to applied hydraulics except as touched upon in Johnston's course in irrigation. Courses in water supply, sewerage, and power were needed. No instruction was offered in sanitary engineering save for brief references in one four-hour course in municipal engineering:
No more important subject, or attractive one, offers in the field of science than the relation of the engineer to public health, the design of water purification and of sewerage purification plants, the control of water sheds, the destruction of city wastes, the disposal or utilization of manufacturing wastes. [As for municipal engineering]… four hours is all too little. The establishment of grades, paving, road making, the disposal of storm water, the maintenance and care of sewers, paving, and allied subjects offer opportunities for elective courses, as well as that general course that all civil engineers should have.
In the past, even before Wood's administration ended in 1872, railroad engineering courses had been offered, but in 1912 Riggs had reason to protest:
No time at all is given to railroad engineering, either steam or electric, although this field calls a very large percentage of the civil engineers of the country and the railroads constitute by far the largest industry of America, other than agriculture…
In former years, say in the '80's, railroad engineering as a science was primarily location and construction. Today  it is primarily the economic reconstruction of old roads to meet new traffic conditions, maintenance and scientific management, and a training today for preparation for railroad service should include not only construction, but also railway history and economics, maintenance and a course in railway accounting, so that a foundation is laid for a broader development than is possible in a strictly engineering department, and an ambition inculcated in the students to know the work so that the future of our men be not limited to the chief engineership of railroads.
The plan of reorganization worked out by Cooley, Riggs, and Regents Hubbard and Grant was adopted in April, 1912 (R.P., 1910-14, pp. 399-400). A general subdivision of the work was agreed upon, as indicated by the titles adopted for the five professorships within the department, as follows: civil, structural, hydraulic, municipal and sanitary, and geodetic engineering. Riggs, who was appointed Professor of Civil Engineering, to become effective May 1, 1912, was to have general charge of all Page 1206branches of the subject. At the same time, Green's title was changed from Professor of Civil Engineering to Professor of Structural Engineering, and Horace Williams King ('95e [C.E.]) was appointed Professor of Hydraulic Engineering, to become effective the following October.
Greene resigned in July of that year because he was "not in sympathy with the proposed reorganization of the work in Civil Engineering, believing that a more conservative policy should be followed" (R.P., 1910-14, p. 485). The only men remaining from the time of Williams were Rich and Decker; Riggs was therefore confronted with the task of completing the staff before school opened in the fall.
Of the five subdivisions of specialization projected in the reorganization plan two had yet to be provided, structural engineering and sanitary engineering. Geodetic engineering was for a time administered for the department by Clarence Thomas Johnston ('95e [C.E.], C.E. '99), who had been Professor of Geodesy and Surveying since February, 1911.
Riggs had a special problem in selecting his staff. It was necessary for him to act promptly in finding engineering specialists who would be satisfactory to the University. Because of the faculty salaries then prevailing, the opportunity for outside professional practice was virtually essential as an inducement to men of the desired caliber. The Regents had already established the policy favoring outside work for members of the engineering faculty (R.P., 1910-14, pp. 56-57), and this made it possible to carry into effect the reorganization plan.
The staff of the department in 1912-13 consisted of men who brought to their University work a background of engineering experience. Not only was this true of the new staff members — Riggs and King, selected the previous spring, and the two appointed during the summer, William Christian Hoad (Kansas '98e [C.E.]), Professor of Sanitary Engineering, and Lewis Merritt Gram ('01e [C.E.]), Professor of Structural Engineering — but also of Rich and Decker, who remained from the previous staff.
The reorganization was an experiment; the results were to be determined only after a period of years. Three of the newly appointed professors had done no teaching. Any skepticism as to the wisdom of the experiment, however, apparently did not extend to the students, who cordially welcomed the newcomers and even refrained from hazing them during the early months of their teaching.
The departmental policy of emphasizing steel construction almost exclusively in structural engineering was abandoned, and an equal emphasis was placed on other fields of professional activity. In 1909-10, besides the courses later transferred to the Department of Engineering Mechanics, the Department of Civil Engineering had offered twelve courses, most of them in structural engineering, but some covering the general and theoretical aspects of such subjects as hydraulics. The only two courses given in the summer session were in mechanics. In 1912-13 the department offered six courses in structural engineering, five in hydraulic engineering, six in transportation, and ten in municipal and sanitary engineering, a total of twenty-seven. The new courses included forty-six hours of work given only for students who specialized in some branch of civil engineering, fifteen hours of which were in surveying. Each student's program of one hundred and forty hours for graduation included fifteen hours which were classed as "elective," but which had to be selected from one of the five specialties already mentioned, Page 1207or, for a student of exceptional standing, from mathematics, physics, or astronomy.
The transportation program included a few economics courses as electives; the sixth program, or general engineering science group, was the only one which permitted students to take work in the fifteen-hour block of so-called "electives" outside the department. The required courses outside the department, however, covered a wide range of technical and general subjects.
Courses in highway engineering and highway laboratory work were first given in 1912-13 under Rich. In the south half of the Physical Testing Laboratory sufficient equipment was installed to permit standard tests of paving brick and cement. Space was limited, and interest in the subject was small. With the twofold purpose of stimulating student interest by contact with practical problems and of making the laboratory serviceable to the smaller cities and villages of the state, the Regents, in January, 1913, authorized testing work for Michigan municipalities at a nominal charge for wear and tear of equipment. Even this nominal charge was eliminated in July, 1913.
Assistant Professor Rich resigned in 1913 to become state sanitary engineer of Michigan, and with his resignation the University lost an effective teacher and a fine personality. John Joseph Cox (Hiram '09e [C.E.]) was then appointed Instructor in Civil Engineering.
A one-week course in highway construction for the benefit of highway commissioners, county road engineers, and other state, county, and township highway officials was first offered in 1914-15, the Regents having allocated $700 to this project in the budget. Cox had urged this "short course" as a means of bringing the State Highway Department staff and county road officials together to attend lectures and conferences without interference from commercial interests, and the credit for its origination and development goes to him and to State Highway Commissioner Frank F. Rogers. Brickmakers and asphalt and road-machinery companies offered to furnish speakers and even to finance the meeting, but their offers were refused, and no exhibits were permitted. Part of the money was spent in bringing a few outstanding highway engineers of national reputation as lecturers in the course.
The first "short course" was attended by about two hundred and was so successful that it was repeated year after year, with a rapidly increasing attendance. By the third meeting the Michigan Association of Highway Commissioners and Engineers had been formed, and eventually the name "short course" was dropped. More than four hundred and fifty persons were present at the thirteenth annual conference held in 1927, the last year of Riggs's active administration.
Provision was made in 1914 for a summer assistant in the Highway Laboratory to care for city tests. The Regents received a communication from Dean Cooley in 1915, "urging certain co-operation … with the work of the State Highway Department." The sum of $1,500 was appropriated for the proposed state highway work, "on condition that the co-operation of the University could be had without displacing or otherwise interfering with the regular work of the University" (R.P., 1914-17, p. 125). This action of the Regents was the first step in the establishment of the State Highway Laboratory, which formed another important contact between the University and the state.
The first period of development in highway engineering work closed in July, 1919, with the resignation of Associate Professor Cox and the appointment Page 1208of Arthur Horace Blanchard (Brown '99e [C.E.], A.M. Columbia '02), professor of highway engineering at Columbia University, as Professor of Highway Engineering. Blanchard resigned in 1927 because of illness. From 1921 until 1923 Herschel C. Smith ('13e [C.E.], M.S.E. '21) served as Assistant Professor of Highway Engineering.
John Henry Bateman ('15e [C.E.], C.E. '22), who had been chief engineer of the State Highway Department, was appointed Assistant Professor of Highway Engineering in 1919 to take charge of the laboratory. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1923 and resigned in the spring of 1924. He had built, from the small fairly well-equipped laboratory which Cox had established, one of the finest highway laboratories in the country. For the first three years of its existence the Highway Laboratory occupied about one-third of the space in the Physical Testing Laboratory in the basement of West Engineering Building; it was then moved to the north half of the old Heating Plant. When the East Engineering Building was built in 1923, the division of highway engineering was given the north half of the basement and shared with the division of transportation engineering the north half of the first floor, the two branches together occupying the equivalent of one full floor of the new structure.
Bateman was succeeded by Roger Leroy Morrison (Illinois '11, A.M. Columbia '14, C.E. Illinois '17), who was appointed Associate Professor of Highway Engineering in 1924 and in 1928 became Professor of Highway Engineering and Highway Transport. He also served as Director of the Michigan State Highway Laboratory from 1924 to 1927. In 1946 he was appointed Curator of the Transportation Library. Under Morrison the short-period courses were replaced in the regular curriculum by semester courses taught as a branch of civil engineering. The relationship with the State Highway Department continued.
Walter Johnson Emmons (Brown '12e [C.E.], A.M. Columbia '14) was appointed Associate Professor of Civil Engineering in 1927 and also served as Director of the State Highway Laboratory from then until 1933. In 1944 he was appointed Secretary and Assistant Dean of the College, and he became Professor in 1951.
In 1933, in order to accord with the administrative policy of Commissioner Murray Delos Van Wagoner ('21e [C.E.]), the operating agreement between the University and the State Highway Department was revised with respect to the management of the joint laboratory. Pursuant to the new agreement, Assistant Professor Housel was selected to act as research consultant, and Associate Professor Emmons, then in charge of the laboratory, was assigned other duties. The status of Instructor Edwin A. Boyd, who had been employed jointly by the state and the University in the laboratory for many years, remained unchanged. The work in highway engineering under Morrison's direction maintained its steady progress, and the Michigan Annual Highway Conference continued to be popular.
Under the leadership of Charles E. Greene the department had concentrated in structural engineering, and many alumni had attained important positions in the official ranks of the great bridge companies. With the change in policy brought about in 1912, it was feared that the instruction in structural engineering, important as it had been in contributing to the success of civil engineering graduates and thus to the reputation of the University, would be relegated to a minor position.
Teachers of structural engineering were called upon to teach the fundamental Page 1209courses in the theory and design of structures to every civil engineering student irrespective of his group option, and they also taught them to students specializing in other departments. In this way the service of the division extended to the entire College.
Because of the greater volume of work a larger staff was needed in structural engineering than in any of the other divisions, and, accordingly, more changes occurred in personnel. James Harlan Cissel (Purdue '10e [C.E.]) was appointed Instructor in 1915. When Gram became head of the department in 1928 Cissel was made Professor of Structural Engineering and head of the structural engineering division within the department and continued to serve until his death in 1949. Associate Professor Glenn Leslie Alt (Kansas '16e [C.E.], C.E. ibid. '51) came as Instructor in 1918 with a background of professional practice, and Edward Leerdrup Eriksen (Polytechnical School, Copenhagen '10e [C.E.]) transferred from the Department of Engineering Mechanics and was made Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering in 1920. He left the University three years later for Purdue University, but returned in 1930 as Professor of Engineering Mechanics and head of that department. William Stuart Housel ('23e [C.E.], M.S.E. '32) was appointed Instructor in 1924 and rapidly established himself as an authority on soils and foundations. He was promoted to Professor in 1950.
State Highway Commissioner Van Wagoner was faced in 1933 with the responsibility of budgeting a large sum of money given by the federal government for a national program of unemployment relief. A part of this sum had been designated for the construction of bridges and grade separations, and Van Wagoner called upon the University for assistance in this work. Accordingly, Cissel was given leave of absence from 1933 to 1936 in order that he might devote his entire time to the service of the Highway Department. Robert Henry Sherlock (Purdue '10e [C.E.]), who had joined the staff as Instructor in 1923, was appointed to a professorship in civil engineering in 1933 and served as head of the structural division during Cissel's absence.
For many years prior to 1912 no courses had been given in railway engineering at the University, and students had not been encouraged to seek employment in this field, although before 1887 railroad construction had attracted a large percentage of graduates. By 1912 there was a demand for such instruction on the part of foreign students, particularly those from South America and the Orient. By far the larger part of the enrollment in railroad engineering for the first ten years after the revival of these courses in 1912 was made up of foreign students, and the work was limited to courses in location, construction, and railroad economics problems.
Albert Ross Bailey ('13), who was appointed Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering in 1914, aroused active interest in railroad engineering. While he was absent on leave during the first semester of 1915-16, this work was taken over by Norman Kirkwood Sheppard ('13e [C.E.], M.S.E. '16), who was appointed Instructor in that year. William Hamilton Sellew (Massachusetts Institute of Technology '97), principal assistant engineer of the Michigan Central Railroad, was appointed nonresident Lecturer on Railway Engineering in 1915 and took a lively interest in the work. Bailey resigned in 1918 to re-enter the service of the New York Central Railroad. Alt taught railroad engineering for two years, because Riggs, who had elected to do the teaching in this field in 1912, had taken over the courses Page 1210Public Utilities and Specifications, Contracts, and Engineering Ethics.
The teaching of railroad engineering had been greatly hampered in 1913 by lack of models and adequate space for equipment. In 1916 space was acquired on the fourth floor of the West Engineering Building, released by the Department of Forestry upon completion of the Natural Science Building; this was occupied by transportation engineering until 1923, when the present quarters in the East Engineering Building became available.
During 1921-22 it became evident that the highway transport aspect of transportation engineering was somewhat overemphasized and that the students needed a better perspective of transportation as an industry and a better understanding of the relative importance of the different transportation facilities. As a result of numerous conferences the Regents in 1922 created the chair of transportation engineering in order to bring together in one division all phases of instruction in transportation in the Department of Civil Engineering not covered by the division of highway engineering. By co-operation of the Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Marine, and Aeronautical Engineering departments, a curriculum in transportation was planned, and this was approved by the Regents in 1930. In 1926 a five-year course in highway traffic and transport had been authorized.
John Stephen Worley (Kansas '04, M.S. ibid. '04, C.E. ibid. '22) was appointed Professor of Transportation Engineering in 1922, but private interests caused him to change his status to part-time Professor for 1925-26. Walter Clifford Sadler (Illinois '13e [C.E.], C.E. ibid. '27, LL.B. Michigan '30), appointed Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering in 1925, was assigned the work in railroad engineering. He became Professor in 1941. Worley resumed the professorship in 1926. It was he who conceived the plan of a special Transportation Library, and it is largely through his tireless efforts that it has grown to its present dimensions.
The organization of the division of sanitary engineering within the department in 1912, the establishment of a special sanitary engineering curriculum, and the appointment of Professor Hoad marked the beginning of a long period of highly effective work in this field. The courses Water Supply and Sewerage and Sewage Disposal were made requirements for graduation in 1918-19, and courses were established for the benefit of students specializing in sanitary engineering.
One of the first expenditures for special equipment was the construction in 1913-14 of a model sewage-disposal plant and laboratory from two old frame buildings on Fuller Street, north of the old Hospital group. An Ann Arbor city sewer was connected, and several types of disposal equipment were installed; the units although small in capacity were capable of functioning efficiently. This plant gave splendid service until World War I, but was abandoned shortly thereafter.
By arrangement with the city, the Ann Arbor sewage-disposal plant completed in 1936 was made available to the University as a laboratory for graduate student research in sewage treatment.
The co-operation of the Department of Civil Engineering and the Medical School resulted in the development of courses in public health engineering, and a program leading to the degree of doctor of public health, which permitted approach to the subject from either the medical or the engineering point of view, was established in 1911.
The United States Public Health Service, in accordance with certain provisions of the Social Security Act, gave Page 1211sufficient funds to the University to make possible an expansion in public health education. As a result, in 1936 Harry Edgar Miller ('16e [C.E.], M.S.P.H. '44) was appointed Resident Lecturer in Public Health Engineering and Sanitation in the Division of Hygiene and Public Health. This Division, which became the School of Public Health in 1941, has since provided graduate training for engineers and others entering the public health field. The School of Public Health has greatly stimulated interest in graduate work in sanitary engineering.
The work in hydraulic engineering under Horace King was carried on steadily and consistently. The preliminary instruction in theory, given by the Department of Engineering Mechanics and the structural engineering division of the Department of Civil Engineering, was supplemented by courses in hydrology, hydraulics, water-power engineering, irrigation and drainage, and the construction of hydraulic works. Floyd August Nagler (Michigan Agricultural College '14, Ph.D. Michigan '17) was appointed Teaching Assistant in Hydraulics in 1915, and Chester Owen Wisler ('13e [C.E.], M.S.E. '15), who was appointed Instructor in 1915, was transferred from Engineering Mechanics to Civil Engineering in 1917. He became Professor in 1931 and retired in 1951.
Wisler began a two-year investigation of the rainfall in the Huron River drainage basin in 1916. A hydraulic testing flume was built at Argo Dam on the Huron River with funds for the construction given by Mr. Alexander Dow, of the Detroit Edison Company. This gift made possible a series of extended studies and research investigations of the flow of large volumes of water and contributed greatly to the effectiveness of the work in hydraulics. Technical publications by King and Hydraulics by King, Wisler, and Woodburn, produced in these years, were among the notable contributions to the subject.
Before 1900-1901 no more than fifty students of upperclass and graduate rank had majored in civil engineering in any one year; this number had grown to 150 by 1903-4 and after reaching a peak of 317 had dropped to 176 in 1911-12. From that date the departmental enrollment mounted quickly and maintained an average slightly below three hundred through 1927-28. The number of graduate students ranged from twelve to twenty-four throughout most of this period, although there were none in the war year 1917-18. In each of the two years 1921-22 and 1922-23 there were more than forty.
The private practice which Riggs had maintained grew to such dimensions by the late twenties that it required his undivided attention. In 1928 he presented his resignation, but the Regents gave him leave of absence until 1930, when, instead of the usual retiring title "Professor Emeritus," the title "Honorary Professor of Civil Engineering" was conferred on him in the hope that he might continue to serve in a semiofficial capacity on special problems of University interest.
Riggs had sacrificed professional associations built up through many years of private practice in order to assume the heavy and untried responsibilities which Dean Cooley had urged upon him. The boldness and dispatch with which he had reconstructed the curriculum and built up an almost entirely new staff were recognized as a remarkable achievement. The radical "experiment" of 1912 had worked out well, and developments exceeded expectations. Riggs carried on negotiations outside the University that were of great value to it, such as, for example, the continuing state service arrangement with the State Highway Department. Although he had been selected Page 1212in the belief that he would prove a wise administrator, he manifested a marked aptitude for teaching despite his lack of experience. The fact that he had been eminently successful in the practice of the engineering principles which he expounded, together with his earnest and inspiring personality, challenged the interest and respect of his students and made his teaching most effective.
Lewis Gram began his administration as head of the department in 1928 at the peak of national prosperity and directed the department through the discouraging years of the depression that followed. By 1933-34 student enrollment had dropped to 154, the lowest point in thirty years. The department budget was cut almost one-third in 1934-35. To effect the decrease it was necessary to reduce salaries and curtail plans for departmental expansion and for research programs. Nevertheless, fundamental research by the staff increased, and publications became numerous.
The faculty maintained contact with the profession, not only through occasional consultation in practice but by active participation in technical societies. Almost all staff members were affiliated with the Michigan Engineering Society and the Engineering Society of Detroit and were registered civil engineers in accordance with Michigan law.
Michigan cities and departments of the state government have freely utilized the professional abilities of those on the staff. Highway Laboratory tests increased from 273 in 1919 to 16,215 in 1936. Individual staff members served on stream-control survey commissions, in public utilities evaluations, and as consultants for the State Highway Bridge Department. The city of Detroit requested advice on problems arising from the city's purchase of the street railway, on the Belle Isle Bridge design, on the design and construction of River Rouge Bridge and other park bridges, and on traffic surveys and studies and asked the department to conduct civil service examinations for engineers. Saginaw, Flint, Battle Creek, Pontiac, Royal Oak, and other cities have employed members of the department as arbitrators and as designers or consultants. In accordance with definite policy, the department has encouraged members of the staff to identify themselves actively with the community and with the profession and to practice as well as to teach good citizenship, including active participation in the municipal government of Ann Arbor.
The aftermath of the period of economic depression was reflected in a decreased undergraduate enrollment and an increased interest in graduate study. Undergraduate options in structures, hydraulics, soil mechanics, highways, railroads, and sanitary and municipal engineering developed as major fields of graduate work.
Active interest in municipal engineering was evidenced by a program in public administration sponsored jointly by the department and the Institute of Public Administration, which led eventually to the granting of the degree of master of science in municipal (engineering) administration. The master's degree program in public health engineering, conducted in co-operation with the School of Public Health, provided instruction in this rapidly developing field.
Increased graduate instruction created a need for research and teaching laboratories, which was partly met during the period of the increased enrollment following World War II. Professors Wisler and Brater in their hydrological investigations attempted to establish a hydrologic experiment station with the aid of a small grant from the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, Page 1213but the inability to obtain essential instruments and equipment for the station made it necessary to postpone its construction.
Research in structural engineering under the direction of Professor Cissel was conducted as part of the program of the Department of Engineering Research. These studies of the durability of lightweight steel construction provided basic design data for further development in this field during and following World War II.
During the war the program of the department was continually modified, and graduate instruction was largely replaced by special courses offered under the auspices of the Army's A.S.T.P. and the Navy's V-12 programs. In connection with the Engineering Science and Management War Training (E.S.M.W.T.) programs, for which Sherlock was appointed co-ordinator, special courses were offered by the College. Morrison taught traffic control to police officers in Highland Park, Flint, and Dearborn and assisted with a program in surveying, topographic mapping, and photogrammetry, offered primarily for women. Emmons gave a defense course, Airport Runways and Low Cost Roads, for the Wayne County Road Commission. Carey, Wisler, and Brater assisted with the surveying and mapping program on the campus. Housel taught soil mechanics and Alt aerial bombardment protection in Detroit and Grand Rapids. Hoad assisted with courses in air sanitation in industry, and Decker supervised instruction for municipal officers and engineers in industrial water supply and treatment. L. C. Maugh presented advanced structural design courses in Detroit.
Horace King retired in 1939, and Hoad, the third member of the staff as reorganized in 1912, retired in 1944. He was succeeded by Earnest Boyce (Iowa State '17e [C.E.], C.E. ibid. '30, M.S. Harvard '32), of the University of Kansas, who was appointed Professor of Municipal and Sanitary Engineering in the College of Engineering and Professor of Public Health Engineering in the School of Public Health in 1944. This dual appointment helped to integrate further the facilities of the School of Public Health with those of the College of Engineering. In 1952 Boyce received the Samuel J. Crumbine Medal of the Kansas Public Health Association for twenty years of meritorious service in public health.
In 1946 Decker retired after thirty-six years of teaching service in the field of sanitary engineering, and Professor Gram, who in addition to serving as chairman of the department was Director of Plant Extension for the University, also retired in that year, ending service to the University of the last member of the staff recruited by Riggs in 1912. John Worley also retired in 1946 with the title of Professor Emeritus of Transportation Engineering and Curator Emeritus of the Transportation Library. In addition to his other duties, from 1945 to 1947 Dean Ivan Charles Crawford (Colorado '12e [C.E.], C.E. ibid. '15, D.Sc. hon. ibid. '44) carried the responsibilities of departmental chairman.
Surveying and geodesy. — Instruction in surveying and geodesy has always been an important and basic part of the civil engineering program. Originally established as an integral part of the general engineering curriculum, this work was included with the civil engineering program until the establishment in 1911 of a professorship of geodesy and surveying to which Clarence Johnston was appointed. Consequently, the early history of surveying and geodesy is closely intertwined with that of other civil engineering subjects. Reference has Page 1214been made to Wood's early report on the teaching of surveying.
While courses may have been differently named and arranged, there is no evidence of any great change in content and emphasis from 1857-58, when Wood began teaching the subject, until the year 1880-81. At that time courses similar to those offered today were introduced, and the practice of describing them in the Catalogue was begun. Surveying was taught with the use of the transit and level. Surveys were made with compass and solar compass. The study of higher surveying with plane table and sextant was offered, as well as earthwork and field work. Except for the addition of instruction in photography and the introduction of an elementary course for mechanical engineering students, no further important changes were made until after 1890-91, when the courses were rearranged. In 1892-93 the practice of using hours of credit was introduced. The evaluation of the work in terms of fractional courses was essentially the same as that used at present. A one-fifth course to all intents and purposes was the same as what is now called a one-hour course.
Surveying in the first semester included lectures and field practice with instruments, instruction in the use of instruments, and topography. The work of the second semester covered railroad surveying, city engineering, and road-making, field work in camp, and photography. With the exception of the course in the use of instruments this work was required of all civil engineering students.
In 1895 Geodetic Methods (Course 7), an elective three-hour course given by J. B. Davis, was announced. Surveying camp work was increased from four to six weeks in 1901-2. An elementary course in the use of instruments was offered especially for mechanical engineering students in 1883-84, and for noncivil engineering students from 1898 on.
Davis carried the teaching in surveying without much help until 1890. He was assisted by Elmer Louis Allor ('92e [C.E.], LL.B. '95), Instructor in Astronomy, in 1892-93, by Fred Morley ('86e [C.E.], C.E. '90), Instructor in Descriptive Geometry and Drawing, in 1893-94, and by Clarence Wrentmore from 1893 until 1908.
Davis published many papers during his long period of service with the University. These appeared in the Annals of the Michigan Engineering Society, the Michigan Technic, and other engineering journals. He also left unpublished manuscripts to the department.
No staff list would be complete which did not include mention of Professor Howard B. Merrick ('98e [C.E.], C.E. '13) and Associate Professor Hugh Brodie ('07e [C.E.], C.E. '14). Merrick was appointed Instructor in 1903. With the exception of four years spent in China, he taught continuously until his death in 1926. For several years before Davis retired and Johnston succeeded him in 1911, Merrick was in charge of the summer surveying camp. It was under his direction in 1909 that the first use was made of the Douglas Lake site. Brodie, who was appointed Instructor in 1908, accompanied Merrick and Carey to China in the late summer of 1918, returning in February, 1920. The Hugh Brodie-Joseph B. Davis Loan Fund was established by his estate upon his death in 1932.
When Clarence Johnston was made Professor of Geodesy and Surveying, additional elective courses were organized. The curriculum leading to the bachelor's degree was designed to give better training for those students specializing in surveying. The Department of Geodesy and Surveying was established in 1921. Degrees in these subjects were first granted in 1922-23.
The development of policies in the teaching of surveying as carried out by Page 1215Wood and Davis took place during the period preceding the great expansion in the field of engineering. With the turn of the century a demand arose for men trained in special fields, and it was necessary to concentrate the teaching of surveying in order to find time in the curriculum for these specialized subjects. In 1941 Geodesy and Surveying was discontinued as a separate department, and the staff and activities were reunited with the Department of Civil Engineering.
In 1941, when Johnston retired, Bouchard assumed the direction of the work in geodesy and surveying. Harry Bouchard ('11e [C.E.]) was appointed Instructor in 1918 and served until 1925, when he accepted a three-year appointment as professor of railroad engineering at Pei Yang University in Tientsin, China. He returned to the University of Michigan in 1928 and was promoted to Professor in 1941. In 1934-35 he completed a textbook, Surveying, which has been adopted by many schools of engineering throughout the country. In 1941 he became Director of Camp Davis, the summer surveying and geology camp at Jackson, Wyoming. Associate Professor Clifton O'Neal Carey ('06e [C.E.], C.E. '14) retired in 1945. He had been appointed Instructor in Civil Engineering in 1908 and was transferred to work in geodesy and surveying in 1910, continuing in that department until it was reunited with the Department of Civil Engineering.
Three other teachers of geodesy and surveying have given long years of service, not only to the Department of Civil Engineering, but to other departments and schools that have had a need for instruction in this field. Edward Young ('21e [C.E.]) became Instructor in surveying in 1920 and Associate Professor in 1947. His special interest has been in the field of photogrammetry with associated instruction in basic optics and photography. During World War II he established a course in aerial photogrammetry in order to train personnel for various government mapping agencies. A special wartime course, Photography in Industrial Research, was given under the auspices of the E.S.M.W.T. in Detroit. George Moyer Bleekman ('16e [C.E.], M.S.E. '23) was appointed Instructor in Geodesy and Surveying in 1923 and Assistant Professor in 1930. He has specialized in the field of municipal surveying and land subdivision, particularly in the methods used by municipal governments to keep land records. Harold James McFarlan ('17e [C.E.]) became Instructor in Geodesy and Surveying in 1920 and was promoted to Assistant Professor in 1926. His work in surveying, combined with his keen interest in student problems, has earned him an outstanding place among those who have contributed years of service to the College. In this connection it should be noted that he served as an adviser and mentor for seventeen years. In addition to teaching surveying courses he assisted with the instruction in drawing and mathematics during World War II.
Post world war 11 developments. — Earnest Boyce was appointed chairman of the department in 1947. When the Department of Electrical Engineering moved into the new addition to the East Engineering Building, space in the West Engineering Building was released for the use of the Department of Civil Engineering. Laboratory facilities in hydraulics, structures, including structural models, and sanitary engineering were provided. These added greatly to the departmental resources for research work and for undergraduate instruction. Structural engineering was under the direction of Professor Cissel until his sudden death in January, 1949, when Sherlock was given charge of the work. Also in this field were Alt, who had become Associate Page 1216Professor, and Lawrence Carnahan Maugh ('21e [C.E.], Ph.D. '34), who was appointed Instructor in 1925 and promoted to a professorship in 1948. Housel, who had been on the staff since 1924, became Professor in 1950. Leo Max Legatski ('31e [C.E.], Sc.D. '37) was made Assistant Professor in 1947 and promoted to Associate Professor in 1951. Robert Blynn Harris (Colorado '40e [Arch.E.], M.S.C.E. California Institute of Technology '47) was appointed Instructor in Structural Engineering in 1947 and promoted to Assistant Professor in 1949. Bruce Gilbert Johnston (Illinois '30e [C.E.], Ph.D. Columbia '38) came to the University as Professor of Structural Engineering in 1950 from Lehigh University, where he had been professor of civil engineering and director of the Fritz Engineering Laboratory (Structural Research). His background of research in structural engineering helped to stimulate graduate study in this field. After the retirement of King in 1939 and of Wisler in 1951, Ernest Frederick Brater ('34e [C.E.], Ph.D. '38), first appointed Instructor in 1937, became senior Professor in the field of hydraulic engineering. Vladas Merkys (École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées '28, D.Eng. Technische Hochschule [Karlsruhe] '46) was appointed Resident Lecturer in Hydraulics in 1950. The development of the Lakes Laboratory by Professor Brater at Willow Run and the construction of a hydraulics laboratory in the West Engineering Building have greatly improved the teaching and research resources in this field. Model studies in the Lakes Laboratory have provided design data for several refuge harbors on the Great Lakes.
The work in transportation engineering, although co-ordinated at the level of graduate research study, logically divides itself at the undergraduate level into the fields of highway and railroad engineering. Professor Riggs's great interest in problems of railroad construction, management, and regulation was carried forward by Worley and W. C. Sadler, who became Professor in 1941 and who has been responsible for the courses in railroad engineering. In addition, his training in law and his background of engineering experience have stimulated the development of special courses in specifications, contracts, and engineering law.
The postwar program in highway engineering emphasized highway construction and traffic engineering, both of which were under the supervision of Morrison until his death in 1952. Associate Professor John Clayton Kohl ('29e [C.E.]), who was appointed Assistant Professor in 1946 to assist with the teaching program in both highway and railroad engineering, was made Associate Professor in 1949. His active interest in transportation problems culminated in 1952 in the establishment of a Transportation Institute within the College. He became its first Director.
The facilities of the State Highway Laboratory, combined with those of the Transportation Library, provide an unusual opportunity for service in this field. The work of Housel in soil mechanics, previously mentioned in connection with structural engineering, is equally associated with the work in highway engineering and with the state service of the Highway Laboratory.
In 1949 Edwin Boyd terminated a period of thirty-five years of service as Instructor in Highway Laboratory Practice (one-half time shared with the State Laboratory). The vacancy was filled by the part-time appointment of Frank Evariste Legg, Jr. ('33, M.S. '34), as Assistant Professor of Engineering Materials. From 1946 to 1951 Gerard Oscar Kerkhoff (Michigan College of Mining and Technology '31, E.M. ibid. '31) held a one-half time appointment as Assistant Professor in Soil Mechanics. In September, 1951, Robert Oscar Goetz ('49ePage 1217[C.E.], M.S.E. '50) was appointed Instructor in Soil Mechanics. After the death of Professor Morrison, Donald Nathan Cortright (Illinois '39e [C.E.], M.S.E. Michigan '51) was appointed Assistant Professor of Highway Engineering.
In 1943 the Michigan Highway Conference, because of lack of space at the University, was held in Grand Rapids. Since the war the conference has been jointly sponsored by the State Highway Department, the County Roads Association, the Michigan League of Municipalities, and the University, which continues the publication of the Proceedings. A total of 767 were registered for the 1952 meeting of the Conference.
The postwar program in sanitary engineering has been stimulated by a worldwide need for engineers qualified in this field and by the School of Public Health with its co-ordinated teaching and research facilities. After his dual appointment in engineering and public health in 1944, Boyce introduced several changes, based on a co-ordination of instruction with the School of Public Health in both the undergraduate and graduate programs. Since the degree of master of public health in the School of Public Health was granted to engineers who expected to specialize in public health, the degree of master of science in public health engineering was replaced by that of master of science in engineering (sanitary engineering).
On the retirement of Decker in 1946, Richard King (Texas A. and M. '38e [C.E.], M.S.E. Illinois Institute of Technology '40) was appointed Assistant Professor of Sanitary Engineering. The appointment of Boyce, Professor of Sanitary Engineering, as departmental chairman, with an increased teaching load incident to the development of sanitary engineering laboratory facilities, made additional help necessary, and Assistant Professor Jack Adolph Borchardt (Illinois '40e [C.E.], M.S.E. Carnegie Institute of Technology '41, Ph.D. Wisconsin '48) was added to the staff in 1948. King resigned in the summer of 1950 to accept an appointment as associate professor of sanitary engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, and Eugene Andrus Glysson (Vermont '49e [C.E.], M.S.E. Michigan '51) was appointed Instructor in Sanitary Engineering in 1951.
The history of teaching and research in engineering is partly one of staff, partly one of the students who seek instruction, and finally a story of the laboratories and other teaching resources which serve as an aid to effective instruction. During the war departmental undergraduate instruction was offered principally in programs that did not lead immediately to the bachelor of science degree, and graduate instruction was very restricted. In 1944-45 there were only nineteen graduate students, and only ten advanced degrees were granted — eight master of science or master of science in engineering degrees and two doctor of science degrees. By 1947 the undergraduate enrollment had increased to 307, and eighty-seven students were registered in the Graduate School for work in the Department of Civil Engineering. Eighty-one B.S.E. degrees were granted during the year, thirty-eight M.S.E. degrees, and one Sc.D. The fall of 1949 brought the peak enrollment with 369 students in the undergraduate program and 114 graduate students. During the year one Sc.D., sixty-one M.S.E., and 136 B.S.E. degrees were granted. The peak of postwar enrollment passed in 1949-50. During 1951-52, eighty-four bachelor's degrees, thirty-two master's degrees, and three doctoral degrees were awarded.
Increased postwar enrollment resulted in improved teaching and in better research laboratories. Much of this development, Page 1218however, came too late to be of maximum value to the veterans who created the emergency.
The future of engineering instruction in this field will depend to some extent on the ability of the staff to foresee and the University to provide the added teaching and research resources that will be needed to keep pace with technological progress. Plans are being made for continued development of the laboratory resources in the various areas of civil engineering on a basis commensurate with the demands that are made on this branch of the engineering profession. The present staff is sufficiently diversified in its research, service, and teaching interests to develop and present the broad technical foundation that each student should have as a part of his academic preparation for a career in the ever-changing field of civil engineering.
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