The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 50
The School of Engineering is designed to furnish the students the means of acquiring a thorough knowledge, theoretical and practical, of those sciences and arts which are playing the most important parts in the development of the material resources of our country, and the advancement of our civilization.
Besides the application of the higher analysis to engineering investigation, the professional preparation of the students comprises the following subjects: The location and construction roads, railroads, canals and water-works; the surveys and improvements of coasts, harbors, rivers and lakes; the determination of astronomical and geographical co-ordinates on land and at sea; the design and construction of roofs and trusses, girders and suspension bridges; drawing and constructing the various kinds of arches; the design, application and construction of wind and hydraulic motors, air and steam engines; blow-pipe analyses of minerals, and economic geology, mineralogy, chemistry, elementary and applied; the art of war; the preparation of the various kinds of projections and drawings used by the military, topographical, civil and mine engineer, and the selection, tests and application of materials used in constructions, and papers and essays on professional subjects.'
The great subdivisions of engineering, which are embodied in these courses, are road and railroad engineering, hydraulic engineering, bridge architecture and construction, topographical engineering, and, as prerequisite to and auxiliaries of these, engineering eodesy and practical astronomy.
The course in civil engineering is designed for those who wish to make either road and railroad engineering, bridge construction, or river improvement, a specialty.
We especially ask the attention of those young men who desire to fit themselves for the duties of county surveyor and of government land surveyor, to the fact, that every effort will be made to enable them to accomplish this within a short time. To this end, at the beginning of each year, a class will be organized and instructed (theoretically and practically) in land surveying, with compass, theodolite and solar compass; in the surveys for, and location and construction of, roads; and in the surveys for and location of, and in the designs for, and construction of wooden bridges, and in locating and surveying base lines, meridians, and township and section lines, and in retracing old government, township and section lines-This class will also be instructed in drawing. This course can be completed in thirty-eight weeks; and the degree of surveyor (with its diploma) will be conferred upon those who complete this course.
The Professor of Engineering is the sworn deputy of the county surveyor of Boone for the corporate limits of the city of Columbia, and hence the surveys he here makes are legal—they are accurately made, carefully computed and plotted, and properly recorded on the records of the county. The fees received for the work are regulated by statute (see General Statutes of Missouri).
These surveys not only serve as means of instruction for the Surveying and Engineering classes, but they are also a source of financial aid to the students. The students assisting in these surveys will receive the fees provided by law for such work.
The methods of instruction embrace the use of text-books, which are changed from time to time, lectures (ilustrated by diagrams of the great engineering and surveying operations and results of the present age) and actual field and observatory practice. And recognizing the truth of what Dr. Laws so well expresses, that "the primary aim of the academic schools of science and language is culture; that of the professional schools is practice; that self is the end of culture, but self is the instrument of practice," the field and observatory practice and work in the chart room are made to bear a large proportion to the theoretical instruction. The data thus obtained, by actual field surveys and practice in the observatory, serve both to elucidate the principles and formula, and insure their ready and accurate application in professional life.
In addition to the field, class room, observatory and chart room work, the engineering students have access from 8 a. m. to 6 p. m., each day, except Sunday, to the University Library, and also to the private library of the Professor of Engineering, page 110 which together contain nearly all the standard works on surveying, engineering geodesy and astronomy. These they are expected to make constant use of and thus enlarge, by careful reference and judicious reading, their acquaintance with the subjects presented in the text-books and lectures.
We desire to call special attention to the increased facilities which this University now enjoys for teaching astronomy. It offers facilities for instruction in theoretical and practical observatory and sextant astronomy, equal to any in the United States. The most refined astronomical methods of the U. S. Engineer Corps and the U. S. Coast Survey, are taught by the head of the mathematical department, assisted by those who have had years of instruction and training at West Point and on the Coast Survey. With these facilities, young men can prepare themselves for efficient service on the astronomical parties of the great geodetic surveys of our States and nation; and can also acquire the nautical astronomy required in navigating a ship.
The attention of those interested in engineering and astronomy, is specially asked to the reports of Professors Schweitzer and Ficklin (in this catalogue).
Our present professional force, and the increased facilities in apparatus and room furnished the departments of Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Astronomy and Engineering, by the enlightened liberality of the Thirty-second General Assembly, will be such that we can now offer a complete theoretical and practical treatment of the above great subdivisions of Engineering, Surveying and Astronomy.
During the summer of 1881 we visited the U. S. Military Academy, the Rensallear Polytechnic Institute, School of Mines Columbia College, Stevens Institute of Technology, Mass. Institute of Technology, Lawrence Scientific School. West Point, Troy, Sheffield Scientific School, Johns Hopkins University, the U. S. Naval Academy, and Washington University, almost all of the first class Engineering Schools in the United States; and had the pleasure of gaining an insight into the internal workings of these schools, i. e., as to what they were doing, and how. And after a careful survey of the field of American Engineering, and a critical consideration of the work of our co-laborers in these schools, we found reason for few and very slight changes, indeed, in our course.