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Full text of "National defense and the engineer."

NATIONAL DEFENSE AND THE ENGINEER 



3Y 



ARTHUR . CHARLES . I 'BERING. 



SUMMARY 

In a comparitively short time national defense has 
"become an Important factor in the lives of Americans. The 
engineering profession has felt the impact of this urgent 
national factor for it has affected the engineer by greatly 
increasing the demand for engineers and by increasing the 
prestige of the engineering profession. The demand for engineers 
is becoming serious because of the limited supply of 
engine ers. While America has been developing engineering 
for the industrial use the totalitarian states have used 
engineering for the production of implements of war. Thus the 
task imposed upon the engineering profession will be super- 
human. American engineering which has made us industrially 
powerful can surely demonstrate its superority in the arts 
of war as it has in the arts of peace. 



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NATIOKAL DEFENSE AND THE ENGINEER 

Defense, defense of America. That Is the all important 
task before America today. America has awakened to the fact 
that its defenses are inadequate. The preparedness drive was 
initiated by President Roosevelt on May 16,1941 by a message 
to Congress In which he asked for an appropriation of the sum 
of 5096,000,000, As reports from Europe became more and more 
serious these amounts were subsequently stepped up until 
today, April 1941, they reach the staggering total of 

■: ,000,000,000. in appropriations and authorizations for the 
defense of America. 

THE EFFECT OK THE ENGI1-.EER 
Vhile we have been developing the potentialities of 
engineering to further the industrial prosperity of America, 
in the totalitarian states these potentialities have been 
focused on the production of weapons of destruction. Thus 
American engineering will have to accomplish by superhuman 
effort in months the task that took years to be accomplished 
in the totalitarian countries. How will this affect the engineer? 
First, the demand for engineers will be greater than ever 
before in the history of the United States. This is true because 
modern war is no longer a war of man arrainst man but rather 
of machine against machine. To 'produce a great defense army 
and navy will require the services of every engineer available 
because engineers cannot be produced quickly but become qualified 



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for the requirements of their work only through a long period 
of educational preparation followed by years of practical 
experience. Second, probably the most important effect on the 
engineering profession will be to increase its future prestige 
and importance. For while the demand for engineers may cease 
when the present crisis ends, the- present crisis is dramatically 
presenting to the people of America the importance and useful- 
ness of the engineer, 

THE SUPPLY OF ENGINEERS 

What are we going to do to get enough engineers to assure 
maintaining the production required in the defense program? 
We are now overdrawing our available supply of engineers. 
Not only are all available experienced engineers now employed, 
but the senior graduating engineering students are practically 
all engaged for positions - in industry or for army or navy work 
immediately upon graduation. As to the future, present indi- 
cations are such as to give importance to the question of what 
to plan for the men now in their junior years at engineering 
college. The engineering colleges are now considering a 
program for accelerating the education of student engineers 
by omitting summer vacation periods. 

MAINTAINING THE SUPPLY OF ENGINEERS 

What are we going to do to assure the necessary 
and continuing supply of engineers? First and most impor- 
tant, not knowing for how long the acutely vital defense 
program must continue, we must be prepared to augment our 



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present supply of engineers through the medium of a program 
of education and training of qualified young men. Next, 
because of the present great preponderance of demand over 
supply, it is our first duty to assure that men qualified 
to do engineering work are not assigned to or permitted to 
assume defense duties that can he performed by persons not 
qualified by education and training to do engineering work. 

American engineering, aided by American research, 
has made us industrially by far the most powerful nation in 
the world. That same engineering ability can surely demon- 
strate its superiority in the arts of war as it already has 
in the arts of peace. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 

Electrical Engineering - Research For American Defense 



by L.A.Hawkins, September 1940 pages 355to 557. 

Washington Sunday Star March 29,1941. 

Electrical Engineering - Draft and Overdraft by R.Sorensen 
March 1941 pages 127 to 128.