Sayfadaki görseller
PDF
ePub

must be largely an individual development after graduation, but he is also of the opinion that the best results in engineering education are to be obtained by giving a proper number of special technical or professional courses in undergraduate work which shall direct the attention from generalities to details, illustrate principles already presented, and start the student along the lines of work he intends to take up in future practice. Such a course of study in municipal and sanitary engineering may best be made by modifying the general curriculum in civil engineering and substituting a moderate number of special municipal and sanitary engineering subjects.

It is not necessary to show that the student in municipal and sanitary engineering should have the thorough grounding in mathematics, in theoretical and applied mechanics, including hydraulics, and in general engineering drawing, that is commonly accepted as desirable in engineering courses. The general culture studies should not be omitted. Training should be given in surveying—a course sufficiently general to prepare for street, park and construction work, as well as for land and lot surveying. The elements of bridge and structural work should be taught, and the course in masonry construction is important. The latter should be especially complete in the treatment of cement, concrete, ordinary foundations and substructures.

Of the special subjects, water supply engineering, sewerage, and street and road engineering, are the most important. There has been a great development in each of these subjects recently, and our smaller growing cities are keen to avail themselves of new methods. In water supply engineering, the improvements in methods of filtration and purification, and the advance of knowledge on standards of purity of potable water and on the relation between the condition of public water supplies and the health of the people, has made this subject of prime importance.

importance. Sources and storage of water, the design of distribution systems, reservoirs, tanks and pumping stations, the principles of fire protection, and a discussion of many of the details of construction are essential to a complete course.

The science of sewerage is still in its infancy. Present methods are an advance over those of the past, but it is probable that this branch of engineering is far behind most branches of engineering in its development. This remark applies to the design and construction of the system as well as to the methods of disposal of sewage. The relation of rainfall to stormwater flow, the determination of size and capacity of sewers, the design and methods of construction of sewers and sewer appurtenances, the study of modern methods of sewage purification and disposal, are among the topics to be included. Garbage disposal, street cleaning, general sanitation and sanitary plumbing, are also important parts. For both sewerage and water supply engineering the preliminary training in hydraulics should be thorough.

Street and road engineering, including the improvement and maintenance of city streets, highways, park drives, walks, etc., is a branch requiring special and judicious training. The annual expenditures for these improvements in our cities is so great, and the results in so many cases so poor, that there is an opportunity for the exercise of the best efforts of the engineer. In such a course there must be considered not only the construction of pavements, but questions of grades, drainage, cross sections, crossings, and methods of maintenance. The testing and inspection of materials and the supervision of construction is important. The improvement of parks and boulevards, so far as engineering features are concerned, and to a limited extent the improvement of the surface of parks and pleasure grounds, are parts of this subject. A minor item which may be mentioned is the fixing of the grade lines of streets so as to add to the beauty of the street, give proper drainage, and yet benefit abutting property.

It is urged that instruction in the foregoing three subjects should cover more than the vague general principles given under the name sanitary engineering in many engineering courses. A proper study of details is as necessary here as in the study of bridge design or of surveying.

Many of the topics involved in water supply and sewerage require previous preparation in chemistry and bacteriology, and the science work should be arranged to include these subjects. The special investigator will require more time on these subjects than the ordinary student will be able to give.

The course in physics should be supplemented with some elementary work in the generation and transmission of electrical energy, and a study of the steam engine and boiler should be given.

But may enough subjects be omitted from the general civil engineering course to permit the substitution of the subjects described? In the courses given in many schools it seems to the writer that this arrangement may easily be made. · Generally a curtailment of the work in geodesy and astronomy, bridge and structural work, railroad engineering and some subject in science, will permit the arrangement of a course of study which will meet the demands of such work.

Such a course of study will tend to place city engineering work on a higher plane. More intelligent thought will be given to the design and construction of municipal public works. With the growth of our cities must come a more rational system of control of the construction and maintenance of such works, and the municipal engineer not only must aid in placing the department of public works on a different political basis, but must take a high place in promoting the health, comfort and pleasure of the people and in advancing municipal public works to a higher degree of perfection.

DISCUSSION.

THE PRESIDENT remarked that, so far as he was aware, the University of Illinois is the only institution which has a separate, distinct course of study in municipal and sanitary engineering. It is possible, however, that there may be others, and if such is the case, it is desirable to have the facts brought out.

PROFESSOR C. F. ALLEN said that it seemed to him that there is a good field for such a course as is outlined here. The engineering work in smaller cities has not been done as well as it ought to be done.

a

If men are provided who are well fitted for such work, there would, in his judgment, be a definite demand for them. He believed that the far greater demand for engineers that unquestionably exists at present in the extreme east, is due in large part to the fact that men are provided who can fill places in engineering that could not readily be filled twenty-five years ago.

PROFESSOR W. K. HATT desired to call attention of the society to the fact that in Purdue University there is a professor of sanitary science. The course given includes work in the filtration of water supplies, disposal of sewage and like topics, although it does not include many of those listed in Professor Talbot's paper. In Cornell University, too, there is a graduate course in municipal and sanitary engineering.

PROFESSOR ROBERT FLETCHER said that it seemed to him that the claim of the author that some attention be given those subjects that relate to municipal engineering is a good one. At the same time there is danger here again that there may be an attempt to do some things that the school need not do. As has been said already, the office of the college is to teach those things that the student will not be likely to study when he gets out, subjects that he cannot very well attend to when out of college on account of lack of time, opportunity, or facilities for study and investigation. It seemed to him that this field of municipal engineering is something that each graduate who is called into that line of work must largely develop for himself, according to his environment, and that while some topics which have been mentioned

« ÖncekiDevam »