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Kasum, Emil (ed.) / The Wisconsin engineer
Volume 52, Number 2 (November 1947)

Peterson, H. A.
Analytical engineering,   pp. 8-9


Page 9


Engineering
         by Prof. H. A. Peterson
                Chairman, EE Dept.
  Fortunately for the analytical engineer, there are "tools"
available which effectively multiply his productive power.
In effect, these tools are "seven-league boots" which make
it possible to achieve understanding of complex engineer-
         The transient network analyzer extends the
         range of engineering problem solution.
of saving time. It does not take a very complex physical
system involving only linear relationships (or conveni-
ently so assumed) to discourage the initially most enthu-
siastic slide rule artist.
  One may say at this point that in many cases only par-
tial preliminary understanding is all that is required. It is
necessary only to try out the system when it is built or
assembled to see if its behavior agrees with that predicted
from the approximate preliminary analysis. After all, the
behavior of the actual system is the truly complete solu-
tion with no assumptions or approximations. If the system
or device is small, much weight must be given to this line
of reasoning. It might well be easier and less expensive,
for example, to change the size of a small capacitor in
some electric control circuit than to change the corre-
sponding numerical value in the set of equations describ-
ing the device, and then solving the equations to deter-
mine the effect of the change. However, in the case of a
large power system, preliminary analysis even though
costly and time consuming is essential because after the
large elements are built and put together, changes other
than those of a minor corrective nature cannot usually be
made.
H. A. Peterson, e'32, MS'33 (University of Iowa), recently ap-
pointed head of the Electrical Engineering department, spent ten
years in the Analytical Division of the Central Station Engineer-
ing Divisions of General Electric as an Electrical Engineer.
Previous to this he spent three years in the Pittsfield Laboratories
of General Electric, and one year as graduate research assistant
at the University of Iowa.
ing and scientific problems with the expenditure of a rea-
sonable amount of time and manpower. The use of such
tools makes it possible to study problems of greatly in-
creased complexity-problems which could not be under-
taken otherwise because the amount of time and effort
required would simply be too great. To cite an illustration,
in one case, it was estimated that the use of a differential
analyzer in the solution of a certain problem of evaluating
stresses in the Lockheed Constellation plane during land-
ing made it possible to accomplish in ten days what would
have required 17 man years without it!
                  (continued on page 12)
NOVEMBER, 1947
9


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