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Niles, Donald E. (ed.) / The Wisconsin engineer
Volume 48, Number 3 (November 1943)

Engler, Fred
Civil engineers,   pp. 8-[9]

Page 8

                         CIVIL ENGINEERS
                                              by Fred Engler, c'44
  Today with the world at war, the demand for men with creative minds is
at its peak. Perhaps an engineer may have
an idea, but if he cannot express himself easily, his idea is forever lost
to mankind. In the education of an engineer,
expression is important and, therefore, should be taught by live teachers
of English who do not criticize merely from
the standpoint of elegance.
  Let us examine the programs of the different engineering departments offered
here at Wisconsin. If we look close-
ly, we find that the Civil Engineering department offers many courses in
Engineering English and expression. The
C.E.'s at least upon graduation should have a smooth line. However, they
usually don't have to wait until graduation.
  In the world today many people have noticed a large gap between the viewpoints
of the engineer and of the busi-
nessman or capitalist. No matter how skillfully a railroad is laid out or
a building designed, the project will be a flop
unless the operation is sound from an economic standpoint. With close contact
between capital and engineer Ameri-
can investments will increase. Even today, in time of great emergency, the
engineer's technical ability can hardly be
doubted, but his commercial outlooks can be questioned.
  The C.E. department requires the study of economic principles and suggests
an abundance of courses in economic
  We have examined the civil engineer's ability to think along business lines,
now let us look at his technical ability.
  The theory of railroad practice, operation and design is considered one
of the major fields of study for the civil en-
gineer. Foreign students usually take all they can get, for railway development
is rising in foreign lands. Not to be
overlooked is the course in highway and airport design, which proves that
this department has its eye on many future
modes of transportation. Under the railway and highway departments comes
the design of bridges which include
steel structures and even buildings.
  Those of us who have seen the huge hydroelectric dams along our major rivers
must certainly agree that a sense of
satisfaction must come to the designing engineer. To the Civil Engineering
department is entrusted the education of
our future creators of man's greatest supply of power. Courses in water supply,
essential to successful dam operation;
hydraulics; and concrete structure design aid in developing creative minds
for this field.
  Not to be overlooked is the sanitary department which includes such courses
as sewage disposal, city water suppiy,
and the sanitary development of communities as a whole. On top of this program,
the C.E. is required to take courses
in electrical engineering and heat-power engineering, essential to power
plant design.
  We now can see why civil engineers spend most of their lives out of doors.
Most civil engineers love outdoor work
and long to be under the blue sky all day. To me, it seems that this is a
vigorous mental and physical struggle and
should appeal to men who crave adventure.
                                  To the right . . . The Brooklyn Bridge,
perhaps the most famous and highly publicized
                                  bridge in this country. Built in 1883,
it was officially opened for traffic by U. S. President
              -Courtesy Civil Engineering

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