The School of Engineering.
Christchurch: Printed at the "Lyttelton Times" Office, Gloucester Street 1889.
The School of Engineering.
Memorandum for the Board of Governors of Canterbury College.
In accordance with the wishes of the Board, as expressed in the following resolution:—"That with a view of furnishing the Board with information at present required for the School of Engineering, the Chairman be requested to visit Melbourne and Sydney at an early date, and inspect the various Technical schools at those places; also, to enquire into matters connected with the Melbourne and Sydney Universities," passed by that body at a meeting held on August 23 last, I left Christchurch on August 26 for Sydney, where I arrived on Sept. 2. I placed myself in communication with the Department of Public Instruction at Sydney, and delivered the letters which the Minister of Education of this Colony had been good enough to forward to me. The Minister of Public Instruction caused me to be supplied with letters to the authorities of the University, and directed that every facility should be afforded to me by the department under his control to enable me to carry out the purpose of my visit. It is hardly necessary for me to mention in detail the steps which I took with that object. The authorities of the University very kindly gave me all the information I required. I left Sydney for Melbourne on Sept. 17, and reached there on the following day. I presented the letters I had received from the Education Department of New Zealand to the Minister of Public Instruction of Victoria, with the result that Dr Pearson at once put me in the way of obtaining the information I wanted, and at the same time supplied me with letters to the officials of the University, who were good enough to afford me the assistance I wanted. I left Melbourne on the 25th Sept., and reached Lyttelton on the 3rd Oct. I give below the substance of the result of my enquiries at the Universities of Sydney and Melbourne on the subjects upon which the Board desired information:—
School of Engineering.
New South Wales.
The first appointment made was to a lectureship in the year 1882, with a salary of £350 a year as assistant to the Professor of Physics. The salary was afterwards raised to £500 a year, and subsequently a chair was founded with a like salary and half fees. The salary is to be increased to £900 a year without fees and the chair is to be placed on the Challis endowment.
The Professor gives lectures on (a) Applied Mechanics, (b) Civil and Mechanical Engineering, (c) Surveying and (d) Drawing. There is also a lecturer on Architecture and Building Construction who delivers forty lectures a year at a salary of £100 per annum with fees. This gentleman is an architect in practice. The staff of the department of Engineering now consists of a Professor of Engineering at a salary of £900 without fees; a Lecturer in Architecture at a salary of £100 with fees; a Mechanical Instructor at a salary of £200 with fees; an attendant at a salary of £109 4s. It is proposed that the lecturer on architecture and building construction should tor the future deliver sixty lectures a year at a cost of £150 per annum, with fees; also, to relieve the Professor of the subject of surveying, and to appoint a lecturer who would deliver the same number of lectures as the lecturer on architecture. In both cases private practice would of course be allowed. The Professor is in the habit of taking the students on Satuzdays, when there are no lectures, to see any important engineering works in progress near the city, and any new machinery, such as that of the different men-of-war and large steamers that visit Sydney. The department possesses a testing machine that cost about £660; a steam engine, eight horse-power, a number of lathes, drilling and planing machines that cost about £600; models of mechanical motion and models of pumps, turbines, &c. that cost about £1000.page 2
The testing machine has been particularly useful; the iron, concrete, &c., to be used in large Government and Municipal contracts, being almost always tested at the University. A fee for each test is charged by the University, of which the Professor, who does the actual testing, receives three-fourths. A large number of tests of Australian timber have been made for the Mines Department of New South Wales without charge, and the results are recorded in a work printed by the Government. The cost of that portion of the buildings now in use by the Department of Engineering was about £1500, and the accommodation provided consists of a lecture room, private room, drawing room for students, machine room, workshop and boiler room. The sum of £1500 would cover the cost of special foundations for the machine room. The remainder of the building is in the occupation of the Professor of Biology. The entire cost of the building, which is built of brick with a slate roof, was about £3000.
There are now five regular students attending the classes. Since the establishment of the school (1882), eleven students have graduated in engineering.
School of Engineering, Victoria.
The School of Engineering was opened in 1861. A lecturer on civil engineering was appointed at a salary of £300 per annum and fees. It was not till November, 1882, that a Professorship was created—twenty-one years after the school had been established. The staff now consists of (1) a Professor, who teaches in (a) Advanced Surveying, (b) Applied Mechanics, (c) Civil Engineering; (d) Architecture, and receives a salary of £900 per annum without fees. (2.) A lecturer on surveying, levelling and mensuration, who is paid a salary of £200 a year, and lectures two hours a week during term time, and also takes his students in field work on Saturday afternoons for four hours. This appointment is made from year to year, and the lecturer practises his profession of an engineer. (3) A skilled assistant who receives £150 a year. The lecturer in surveying, &c., was only appointed in 1888, and previous to that date the work he now does was performed by the Professor. The authorities of the University recently waited upon the Government to bring under its notice the necessity for a grant being made by the Government to provide, inter alia, the funds to appoint three additional lecturers in this department—A lecturer in mechanical engineering, £250; a lecturer in architecture, £250; a lecturer in hydraulic engineering, £250. No buildings were specially erected for the School of Engineering. In all about £2000 has been spent in machinery, models, diagrams and surveying instruments. Of this sum the testing machine cost about £750, the surveying instruments £300, and the balance £950 was expended in the purchase of a cement tester, lathes, other machinery, models and diagrams. The plant, as it exists it present, is complete. Up to within the last two years the department had no testing machine with the exception of a small wooden one which cost quite a nominal sum. For years after the School had been opened the plant consisted only of about £100 worth of surveying apparatus, but the physical laboratory was well equipped. After the School had been in existence for, say, ten years, about another £100 was expended in the purchase of wooden sectional models. About three years back a grant of £1600 was made, out of which the testing machine was bought and some German models by Schroder. There are no workshops attached to the school, which is one of purely civil engineering.
For a number of years about five students have completed their course annually, and with few exceptions have followed their professions as civil engineers.
New South Walks.
The tenure of the office of Professor in this University is one of good behaviour, and the salary attached to the office is at present (except in one instance) £900 per annum, and half fees. The Senate of the University has determined that in future appointments the remuneration shall be confined to a salary without any propertion of the fees. The Senate have decided to found four new Chairs:—The Challis Chair of Logic and Mental Philosophy, the Challis Chair of History, the Challis Chair of Law, and the Challis Chair of Anatomy. In the case of the Chairs of Logic and Mental Philosophy and History, the salary is fixed at £800 a year, and in the other two cases at £900 a year, but without fees. Of the eight Professors not holding office under the University, one of them, the Professor of Engineering receives a salary of £500 a year and half fees, but the salary is to be increased to £900 without fees, and placed on the Challis endowment.
"I append a return laid on the table of the Legislative Assembly by the Minister of Public Instruction, showing the total amount of lecture and examination fees received by each of the professors and lecturers during the year 1888.page 3
I attach a copy of the terms and conditions under which the new Professorships are to be held:—
University of Sydney.
Challis Chair of Law.—1. The Professor of Law will be required to give instruction in the following subjects, viz., jurisprudence, Soman law, constitutional law, international law, and (if required) to exercise a general supervision over the teaching in the Department of Law in the University. 2. The Professor of Law will be required to give such instruction and to conduct such University examinations as the Senate may from time to time direct. 3. The salary of the Professor of Law is at the rate of £900 per annum. 4. The Professor of Law will not be entitled to any participation in the lecture fees. The tenure of office is during good behaviour but if the Professor shall become incapacitated for performing the duties of his office the Senate shall be at liberty to dispense with his services, or to appoint a substitute pro tempore, who shall be paid from the Professor's emoluments. 6. The Professor shall have no claim to any retiring allowance. 7. The Professor will not be allowed to engage in private tuition, nor in any profession or business; except with the consent of the Senate, nor to enter either Houses of Parliament. 8. The salary of the office will commence from the 1st day of March, 1890, when the Professor will be expected to enter upon his duties, or from the date of arrival in Sydney if later. 9. If the Professor appointed should come from Europe he will be allowed the sum of £100 for his expenses.
The Professors in this Colony hold their office under the same conditions—viz., that of good behaviour. The salary of the office is as follows: £750 a year, with an allowance of £100 a year if a house is not provided. After five years' service the salary is raised to £900 a year; after page 4 ten years' service the salary is raised to £1050 a year; after twenty years' service the salary is raised to £1200 a year. The fees of the students are the property of the University.
New South Walks.
The Lecturers hold their appointments subject to six months' notice. The return given above shows the salaries paid to the different Lecturers on the various subjects. In some cases the Lecturers receive the fees, and in some other cases they do not do so. Lecturers who are assistants to the Professors and demonstrators give the whole of their time to University work, and do not receive any remuneration beyond their salary. The Lecturers in the Medical School, who are medical men practising their profession, receive full fees at present, but the Senate has resolved that for the future they shall receive half fees only. In other cases, as for instance the Lecturer in Architecture, the Lecturers are paid a lump sum for a certain number of lectures, are allowed private practice, and receive the fees.
The lecturers in the Melbourne University are appointed subject to one year's notice. A salary Of £250 per annum is paid to the various lecturers, with the following exceptions:—The Classical Lecturer receives £400 per annum; the Lecturer in Surveying, £200 per annum; the Lecturer in Mining, £150 per annum; but in no instance are the Lecturers allowed to retain their fees, nor do they receive any other remuneration or allowance beyond their salary. Permission is given them to practise their respective professions, but not to coach University students in their own subjects. The Lecturers are reappointed from year to year as a matter of course unless for good cause. Two or three of the Lecturers have held their respective appointments for over a quarter of a century.
I trust the Board will not think it out of place if I make a few remarks upon the subject which it will shortly be called upon to consider; the question of what action should be taken for the maintenance of the School of Engineering which was established by the Board in April, 1887, and also for carrying out one of the purposes for which the endowment for a School of Technical Science and other educational purposes contemplated by the Canterbury Museum and Library Ordinance, 1870, was made. In order that the Board may have the whole matter before it, I think it would be well to set out the syllabus of lectures which has been adopted by the College as the course of instruction to be given in this department
"Surveying—First Year—Elementary mensuration, calculation of areas of plane and curved surfaces, and contents of solids with plane and curved surfaces. Field Work—Exercises in chaining on level and hilly ground, and in setting out simple figures without any angular instruments. Second Year—Division of earth's surface by meridians and parallels. United States and New Zealand systems of survey, traversing with chain and theodolite, principles of levelling, methods of keeping field books, calculation of areas by latitude and departure, exercises in plotting surveys and map drawing. Field Work—Use of theodolite, sextant and level. Third Year—Minor triangulation, topographical surveying, Telemetry and use of plane table, river and marine surveying, exercises in drawing maps and sections. Field work—Surveying and levelling, and keeping notes of work done. Fourth Year—Geodetic survey, primary triangulations, meridional circuits, setting out Crown Lands, engineering surveys: calculation of altitudes from barometer observations, gauging of rivers, measurement of earthwork, exercises on plotting, toposrraghical and engineering surveys. Field work—Exercises in topographical and engineering surveving.
"Building Construction—First Year—Nil. Second Year—General principles in relation to materials, foundations, walls, beams, arches, floors, and roofs. Elementary architectural drawing. Third Year-Bridge construction in timber, stone and iron; iron roof construction; constructive details in carpentry, joinery and masonry; principles of constructive design. Fourth Year—Working drawing, specification, contracts, taking out quantities and preparing estimates, conduct and supervision of work.
"Principles of Civil Engineering—First year nil. Second year—General principle of laying out roads, railways, navigable canals, and channels for drainage and irrigation. Third year—Road and railway construction, methods of working steep grades. Ruck system, horizontal driving wheels and central rail, cable traction details of canal construction, river conservation and improvement, ship canals, harbour works, lighthouses. Fourth year—Arrangement of railway stations, street page 5 tramways worked by horses, steam motors or underground cables, electric railways, water supply, warming and lighting, sewerage and surface drainage, transmission of power for manufacturing purposes, telegraphs.
"I. The Steam Engine (Elements)—Early forms of steam engines, improvements of Watt; heat, nature of, conversion of work into: experiments of Bumford, Davy and Joule; expansion of gases; expansion of steam, superheating, the steam jacket, the compound engine: various types of stationary engines, various types of boilers, the marine steam engine, the screw popeller, the locomotive engine.
"II. Steam Engine (advanced.)—Third Year.—Heat Engines, the steam engine viewed under a knowledge of the doctrine of heat: theory of the expansion of steam and the compound engine: action of the crank, diagrams of twisting moments, inertia of the moving parts; valve gears geometrically considered; general proporties and proportions of details; proportions of steam boilers; hot air, gas, and other engines.
"III. Applied Mechanics and Elements of Mechanism.—Force, matter, measurement of velocity, laws of motion, motion of falling bodies, energy, inertia, work and friction, parallelogram of forces, centre of gravity, the mechanical powers, equilibrium and pressure of fluids. Equilibrium and pressure of gases, pumps, the hydraulic press and hydraulic cranes, motion in one plane, circular motion, the conversion of motion, the teeth of wheels, use of wheels in trains, aggregate motion, link work, Paucellier's straight line motion, parallel motion, miscellaneous contrivances.
"IV. Strength of Materials—Tensile stress, compressive stress, shearing stress, transverse stress, torsional stress, elastic limit, elastic strength, strain, absolute strength, modulus of elasticity, permanent set, riveted joints, strength of pillars, pillars under transverse stress, chains, beams, girders, roofs, wrinkling strains, impact, collapse of tubes, deflection of beams, fatigue of materials, factor of safety.
"V. Practical Geometry—Practical plane geometry, practical solid geometry, intersection and projection of solids, expansion of surfaces.
"VI. Freehand Drawing—Sketching from diagrams and machines, sketching for drawings, sketching to scale.
"VII. Mechanical Drawing—Drawing office practice, copying, drawing from sketches, designing to suit special conditions.
As the result of observation in the other Colonies, I have formed the opinion that the staff (1) a Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering, and (2) a Lecturer in Civil Engineering, with which the College opened the school, is amply sufficient at present for its purposes. I might here remind the Board that though the School of Engineering in Melbourne was opened in 1861, it was not till 1882 that a professor was appointed. At Sydney the school was also opened by the establishment of a lectureship. I venture to think we may safely follow the example of those Colonies and proceed cautiously, developing the department as the success of the school warrants and our means admit. I hardly think the time has yet come for giving effect to the resolutions of the Board passed in April, 1887, by making an appointment to the Chair of Engineering. The resignation of the gentleman who was filling the post of Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering as a part-time lecturer, and the difficulty in filling his position in that way, has contributed to force upon the Board the reconsideration of the position. Moreover, the question of increased instruction, in consequence of having to provide for the second as well as the first year's students, must have been dealt with before the opening of the term in March, 1890. I think it will meet present requirements if the Board renews the appointment of the Lecturer in Civil Engineering. For the purposes of the School of Engineering, the teaching now given by the Lecturer in Civil Engineering is, I think, sufficient. Before dealing with the question of the appointment of some competent person to continue the work begun by the late lecturer in Mechanical Engineering, I would like to lay shortly before the Board one or two points that should be borne in mind in filling the office. While the Board should not lose sight of the necessity of making provision for instruction in the School of Engineering, other than that provided by the re-appointment of a lecturer in Civil Engineering to enable such of our students who desire to do so to take a degree in the School of Engineering, which covers Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Mining Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Surveying and Architecture, it should also keep in view another side of the question which I venture to think is of almost paramount importance. I allude to a system of evening classes, by which foremen in factories and workshops, mechanics, apprentices and others who are engaged during the day in or near the city may be afforded the means of page 6 perfecting themselves in their respective vocations. That, I take it, would be carrying out in a way, and in no unimportant manner, one of the purposes for which the endowment for a School of Technical Science was made. It might not be out of place if I here draw the attention of the Board to what is being done in the Working Men's College, at Melbourne—an institution that I was shown over when I was in Australia. A copy of the report and prospectus for 1887, and of the prospectus for 1889, I have caused to be laid upon the table. A reference to those pamphlets will show that a great work is being carried on in that institution, not only in the direction to which I have invited the attention of this Board, but in many other equally useful subjects, which are hardly within the province of this College. The Board, by the Ordinance, is charged with the duty of providing a liberal and regular course of education, and in founding a School of Engineering, and making due provision for its maintenance, it will have discharged in that direction one of the duties imposed upon it. But it has also cast upon it the administration of the funds of the endowment of the School of Technical Science, and this appears to me to be a fitting opportunity for the Board to consider the question from all its bearings. I think this College, looking to the experience in the other Colonies, with their large populations, of the number of students in the Schools of Engineering at Melbourne and Sydney, cannot expect any considerable number of students to attend the lectures with the object of ultimately graduating in the School of Engineering. Hence the greater necessity, while providing instruction which will enable those to take a degree who wish to do so, to establish popular classes, and, by so doing, to offer to a very large class the opportunity of profiting by a course of instruction which cannot but prove of the greatest advantage to them in their respective callings, and open to such of them as may see their way to take advantage of it, the means of obtaining a profession. I have satisfied myself that the whole of the elementary lectures could be given by means of evening classes, and thus made available not only for the students who intend to proceed to a degree, but for all others who may choose to attend them. These classes can be made to cover instruction in building construction, elementary steam engine, geometrical drawing, freehand drawing, mechanical drawing, and a proportion of the lectures in the advanced steam engine, applied mechanics, and elements of mechanism.
In order to make these classes popular in the true sense of the word the fee might be fixed at a price that would put them within the reach of all. Those who have watched the progress of events in the development of superior education in this district will remember that this College the outcome of the evening classes initiated by the "Collegiate Union." The Canterbury College, as it exists at the present day, with an attendance of 240 students at the different lectures, had a very small beginning. Therefore, there is every reason to hope that the school of engineering may be successfully established if it is launched on a proper basis, on one that will prove attractive to the very large and important class that I have already alluded to, and from which we may reasonably expect to draw a large number of students. I have referred to the fact that under any circumstances it would have been necessary for the College to provide increased instruction in the department of mechanical engineering before the commencement of the first term in March, 1890. I would therefore recommend the Board to appoint some competent person to the post of lecturer in mechanical engineering, who would devote the whole of his time to the duties of his office. The expense in the way of an increased vote for the salary of a full time lecturer is one the College must have faced under any circumstances. If the College thinks well of the suggestions I have made, steps could be taken for the extension of the system of evening classes without any additional expense to the department by way of salary over and above that which must have been incurred to provide the increased instruction by reason of the lectures to be given to first and second year students. Both in Melbourne and Sydney the services of skilled workmen are employed in the laboratories of the University, but I do not see any necessity why this Board at present should be called upon to make any provision in that way.
For the efficient establishment of the School of Engineering an outlay, though not necessarily by any means a large one, will have to be incurred for buildings. One of two ways may be followed, either by the erection of a temporary structure or by putting up a permanent building. I The authority of His Excellency the Governor might be sought, as is provided by the College Ordinance, for the raising of a small loan for the purpose, the interest! on which can be readily met out of the increased revenue of the endowment. In either case a loan would have to be page 7 raised if the College decide on the erection of buildings; it is only a question of amount. I fail to see how the work of the department can be done with advantage to the students or credit to the lecturers without the necessary buildings. The Board has before it the cost (£1500) of the buildings of brick, with a slate roof, erected by the University in Sydney and the accommodation provided. Presuming that a similar sum were spent by this College the annual charge for interest would not exceed £90 a year. I venture to think it would be better to put up a permanent building at a reasonable cost rather than erect some temporary "structure, possibly of corrugated iron. It would not only, I believe, be cheaper in the end, but would have this additional advantage which should not be lost sight of, of being, I trust, in harmony with the building in which we are now assembled. The Board, no doubt, will agree with me that on the College site we have, as it is, more than a sufficient variety in material in our buildings. A certain expenditure will also be necessary for plant, but the amount to be spent from time to time would be regulated by the Board. A total outlay of about £1500, extended over a period of say four years, would, I believe, be found sufficient for the efficient working of the department for years to come. That portion of the plant—(1) a testing machine arranged to test strength and elasticity of materials in tension and compression, (2) a transverse strength-testing machine, (3) verniers and measuring appliances—which would be required at once might be purchased out of capital, the remainder being pro-Tided out of income as the funds would allow of it.
The Board will observe that in the University at Melbourne the Professors are paid by salary only, and receive an allowance of £100 per annum in cases in which the University does not provide a residence. They do not receive any proportion of the fees. The same rule as regards fees applies to the lecturers in that University. In Sydney, in addition to their salary, the Professors now receive half the lecture fees, but in the appointments about to be made to the four professorships mentioned above the Professors will not be entitled to any proportion of the fees. I have already stated fully the practice in the matter of fees in the case of lecturers in the University of Sydney. In the Canterbury College the professors and lecturers are paid partly by salary and partly by fees. The whole of the lecture fees are received by them. Many reasons, I think, may be urged against this system of payment in part by handing over the fees or any proportion of them to the Professor or lecturer. I have drawn attention to the practice that obtains in Melbourne, and to the change which is now being made in Sydney in respect of the lecture fees, so that in the event of any fresh appointments the Board may have the subject before them. I hope the Board will not think I have occupied too much of its time with my remarks on this subject. It is one, as some members of the College are aware, in which I have taken a deep interest from the first.
F. de C. Malet.Christchurch,
October 26th, 1889.
The following resolutions were carried by the Board at the meeting at which the Chairman's report was read, viz., on the 28th October, 1889:—
1. That the thanks of the Board be accorded to the Chairman for his very excellent and exhaustive report, and for the trouble taken by him to secure the information it contains. 2. That while generally approving of the recommendations of the report, the College and Museum Committees be requested to draw up a scheme in connection with the School of Engineering, based upon the principles contained in the report, with any additions or modifications they may think desirable. 3. That the report be printed, together with any other documents or papers bearing on the subject that the Joint Committee considers would assist the Board in arriving at its decision.