The 40's

The President,
Memorial University College.

I have the honour to submit the following report of the Engineering Department during the university year 1944-1945.

General. The registration was the largest in the history of the department and all classes were correspondingly large. The student-body was made up of young men from all parts of the country and it is interesting to note that 30% were from out of town.

The Doyle engineering scholarships were awarded for the first time this year and the four winners showed by their mid-term results that they well deserved the help. It is hoped that in the future a special engineering fund can be set up for the use of the students at this University College and also in the continuation of their course abroad.

During the past year at least seventeen engineering graduates of the College attended Canadian Universities. Six of that number recently received their engineering degrees, one receiving two scholarships. Last year Mr. W. Ball, a graduate of this College, received the Governor General's medal for highest standing in his two years at Nova Scotia Technical College, Halifax.

During the present year a new office was provided for the Professor of Engineering, a welcome improvement. It is situated in the drafting-room annex and during its construction the balance-room was portioned off from the drafting room.

Student activities conducted through their society included smokers, weekly seminars, a banquet and participation in all forms of college activities. My discussion with you, Sir, during the year concerning changes in the three-year engineering course, as you will remember, were along the lines of proposed changes in all the colleges affiliated with the Nova Scotia Technical College. Certain additions and omissions were considered and are to be found in a further section of this report.

For the first time in many years new surveying equipment was obtainable and additions were made which will improve the work of the surveying camp.

Registration. Fifty-three students registered in the Engineering Department this year. Twenty-seven were first year men, nine second year men, seven special students and ten third-year men. Four students dropped the course during the year, one to join one of the Armed Forces.

Field Trips. Two geological field-trips were made, one to Manuel's river area and the other to the Talcville quarry and mill. During these trips the students examined the geology in the two areas and mapped the contacts. They brought back tabulated rock specimens for later identification in the laboratory. Both trips began in the morning and included an enjoyable out-door lunch. The strength of materials class had two field trips of much interest, one to the United Nail and Foundry Co., where Mr. J. B. Angel, B.Sc., the manager, arranged an interesting and instructive tour. The students witnessed the foundry "pour" with much interest.

At the Nfld. Light and Power Company's plant, Mr. Howe, M.Sc., in charge of field operations, outlined in a simplified drawing the city's lighting system, illustrating the main and King's Bridge Road Power Sub-stations. This was followed by a visit to both stations. A further study of their hydro-plant was planned for a later date.

Films. Thanks to the Chairman of the Newfoundland Film Board and with the help of Mr. D. Marshall, in charge of film equipment and distribution, we had two showings of technical films in the classroom during the year. At the first showing, films on the use of the steel rule in the machine shop, the making of steel, the method of dehydrating foods and the construction of the Alcan highway were shown. At the second, some time later, two geological films and one film on the Diesel engine were shown. The film on the Diesel was especially good and the animated drawings lent themselves well to illustrating the operation of an engine. At the invitation of Mr. Cochrane a list of technical film titles, suited to the engineering work at the college, was selected from a catalogue and passed over to him as a guide for future purchases. It is hoped to make greater use of this teaching medium when films are available.

Student Activities. The students carried on their regular extra-curricular activities during the year. The Students Engineering Society arranged a successful programme of smokers, at which the following gave addresses: Mr. H. Forbes-Roberts, manager of the Nfld. Light and Power Company; Mr. A. E. Searles, Consulting Engineer with the St. John's Housing Corp.; Mr. J. B. Angel, manager, United Nail and Foundry Co.; and Mr. Douglas Fraser, Refrigeration Engineer with the Department of Natural Resources. Each spoke on engineering problems met in his respective field and gladly answered the many questions asked by the students.

The seminars held during the term were well attended. At these gatherings the students practiced public speaking by giving short talks. In turn they act as chairman, introduce the speaker, criticize the speeches and propose votes of thanks. As honorary president I have attended all the seminars and offered suggestions in the discussion period which follows each talk. This year the seminars were held in the men's common room and smoking was permitted. This informality gave the gathering a more friendly atmosphere.

The banquet this year was the eighth in an unbroken line. After an enjoyable dinner the usual toast list was honoured. Dr. A. G. Hatcher, President of the College, Dr. A. C. Hunter, Vice-president, Mr. S. J. Carew, Associate Professor of Engineering, and Lieut. O. Coish, R.C.N.V.R., a graduate of the College, together with Messrs. Brown, Quigley and Ivany gave talks which were a fitting farewell to the third-year men. Mr. R. H. Blackmore made a good toastmaster and Mr. Howe, of the Light and Power Company, as guest speaker brought the proceedings to a close with an illustrated talk on Bolivia, where he had been for two years. Mr. Howe's talk was so vivid and his account of life in that country so exciting that it will not be surprising if some of our future graduates seek their fortune in the southern continent. Among the guests was Mr. G. S. Doyle, donor of the Doyle Scholarships and Mr. T. H. Winter, first lecturer in Engineering at the College. A feature of this year's banquet was the presence of former graduates who are now fully qualified engineers. It is hoped that in the future they will form the nucleus of an engineering society in this country and as part of their activities that they might hold an annual convention at which the students of the college might be guests.

Summer Employment. Last year with the help of the department, all students were employed in work of an engineering nature. They worked in various parts of the Island from St. Lawrence to Labrador. We are again indebted to the firms and government departments this year as all but four or five of the students have been placed for this summer. It is expected that all will have positions before the term ends. This work besides bringing a needed remuneration to the students helps them get the necessary experience required by Canadian universities before they can graduate. It also helps the student select the branch of engineering they intend to follow.

The Light and Power Company have become interested in some of our students, who have worked for them in vacation periods, and have offered them the opportunity of the test course of the Montreal Engineering Company, their parent company, after the students graduate.

The Course. The following suggested changes in the engineering course are offered for your consideration:

  • Drawing 1, a first year subject to be reduced to two lectures and one laboratory period for the first semester and a second laboratory period added in the second semester in place of two laboratory periods for the full year as given at present.
  • Mechanics 5, a course in materials of construction to be dropped from the third year course after next year
  • .
  • The course in Surveying 2 to be taken only by students intending to go in for mining and civil engineering.
  • Engineering Problems a new course to be substituted for surveying 2 for the other students.

Acknowledgements. The department wishes to thank the following who have helped in the work during the past year. Dr. A. G. Hatcher, President of the College for direction and help in all phases of the work; Miss M. Mansfield, Registrar and Dean of Women, a friend of long standing with the department; Dr. A. C. Hunter, Vice-president of the College, and other members of the Faculty, Mr. H. Forbes-Roberts, manager of the Light and Power Company for kindnesses outlined elsewhere; Mr. J. B. Angel, a graduate of the College and an active friend ever since; Mr. A. E. Searles, Consulting Engineer with the St. John's Housing Corp.; Mr. J. H. Burridge of the Department of Natural Resources; Mr. Lloyd Hopkins, Superintendent of Public Works; Mr. J. A. Cochrane, Chairman of the Film Board; Captain C. Carter, Educational Officer with the Canadian Army; and all the firms who have helped in any way to further the work of the department. I should like to thank also Mr. D. B. Brown and Mr. H. Tucker, present students, for their work as laboratory assistants, which they carried out in a capable manner.

Respectfully submitted,
Associate Professor of Engineering
May 23rd, 1945

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