« AnteriorContinuar »
At the present time the New Mexico College of Agriculture is carrying on somewhat similar tests. The University of California is also assisting us in making investigations on the waste of water in irrigation such as deep percolation, evaporation and the like.
Then, as Professor House, of Colorado, will tell you better than I can, we were fortunate in entering into co-operation with the Agricultural College of Colorado for the purpose of studying, among other things, the measurement of water.
We are rather proud of the hydraulic laboratory that has been established there. It is small, but we have a capacity ranging from a few miner's inches up to fifteen second feet. Prof. V. M. Cone, our representative in charge of the laboratory, has made over 2,000 separate and distinct experiments on the flow of water, principally in weirs, submerged orifices, etc.
You will recall the fact that the object held in view by James B. Francis, who did such excellent work in Massachusetts more than half a century ago, was different from ours. He began with the four-foot weir and ran up in capacity to something like ten-foot weirs and over, intending, of course, to measure large volumes of water for power purposes. The use of water in irrigation is different. We want to begin where Mr. Francis began, but work the other way, and determine with accuracy a weir table for weirs running from four and five feet in length down to weirs twelve inches in length, and we have found that there is considerable discrepancy between the tables that are now published and used, based, of course, on Francis' formula, and the results of the tests that we have carried on.
CHAIRMAN HASKELL-We shall be very glad indeed to hear from Professor House.
PROFESSOR HOUSE.—I thank you, but I have nothing particularly to add to the remarks of Dr. Fortier. The work is in progress at the present time, and has been going on now for some two and a half years, and the data has not as yet been published. We are expecting soon to issue the first bulletin upon the weir flow.
I might add simply this, if it would not be telling too much at the present time: Not only have we found some discrepancy in the weir table for the rectangular weir, but especially so for the trapezoidal weir. It seems to indicate that the slope of a quarter to one is not right at all, but that the side slopes should not be straight lines, but should be curves. That, however, I think will be covered entirely in the bulletin that is to come out.
Not only have we taken standard weirs, but we have taken weirs under all conditions, with varying end contractions, velocity of approach, variable bottoms; that is, testing different depths of water below, and we are now working on submerged weirs and orifices. It is a long work, and takes a good deal of time.
The calibration tanks are all of concrete, rectangular, and are so connected that a number can be thrown together, or any one used separately. The flow from the supply tank is regulated to a nicety, so that there is no difficulty in one man sitting at the hook and gate and holding the head-well, as far as you can see, constant.
We think that the data will be new, will be accurate, and we think that they will show, perhaps, some startling discrepancies in our old tables.
CHAIRMAN HASKELL.-I have the feeling that we should go back to the question which was raised by Dean Orton in regard to the ethics of our service in testing work. It does not seem to me that that has been thoroughly threshed out.
I may state that at Cornell we get frequent requests to do testing work for nothing, and that we have absolutely refused, with the exception of where the material was such that we could use it in connection with instruction work, and then at our own convenience. I think we ought to hear from others here present on this subject.
DEAN BENJAMIN.-I believe that the position taken by the agricultural people, as alluded to by Dean Randolph, has somewhat complicated the situation.
It is a fact that in agricultural extension and experiment station work there has been much done for the farmer for which he has paid nothing, which he has received free, and it seems to me that this has established a bad precedent.
At Purdue University, in the engineering work we have done, we have always charged as nearly as possible the same price that would be charged by other testing plants, by commercial stations; and we have only done work free when it was apparent that the published result would be of general public benefit, when the scientific value of the tests was such that we considered we were doing a public service by making the experiments.
We have done a large amount of work for the railroads of the country. The Master Car Builders' testing apparatus is located at the university, and when we do work for the Master Car Builders we do work at cost, because we are using their apparatus, and we have made that arrangement with the association.
When we use that same apparatus for members of the association, various railroads in their private or corporate capacity, we charge them the same as we would charge other people; and that is well understood. If a railroad wishes a certain series of tests made, and made at cost, it must present them to the committee of the Master Car Builders' Association, have the tests approved by the committee, and the results published in the proceedings of the association for the public benefit.
It seems to me that the distinction be very readily and ethically made. Work which is done for the corporation or for the individual, which is for his benefit and profit, should be charged for at commercial rates. Work which is for the public service can be conscientiously done at cost, or free, as the case may be.
CHAIRMAN HASKELL.-I am sure there are others here who can throw some light on this question, and we shall be glad to hear from any other member of the society.
DEAN MARSTON.-I stopped at Pittsburgh on my way to Washington this week, and visited at the University of Pittsburgh, and found there a development in the line of experiment station work which was new and interesting to me. This development was the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research and School of Specific Industries. It is an endowed establishment. I believe $550,000 was contributed by Mr. Mellon for endowing it, including the cost of construction of a new building which they are erecting.
I believe Professor Duncan, of Kansas, has the credit of originating the idea. The idea, as I understand it, is that the industries endow or establish temporary research fellowships in their specific lines.
I understand that twenty or more such fellowships are in existence at the present time.
The industry which establishes the fellowship, and which they call the “donor," provides the fund for the salary of the fellow, and provides for all other expenses, as I understand it.
I understand that a contract is executed between the donor and the Institute and the fellow, by which there is a proper sharing of
the financial profits of any discoveries or improvements, which, however, are patented in the name of the donor.
It was represented to me that remarkable results have been secured in certain lines. In the matter of the use of yeast, for example, in baking, it was represented to me that in a commercial way the costs had been reduced fifty per cent. by improvements made by such research.
CHAIRMAN HASKELL-We shall be very glad to hear from others.
DEAN TURNEAURE.—The University of Wisconsin's policy is very much the same as that described by Dean Benjamin. We do not do a great deal of commercial work; we do not encourage its coming to the university, if it is anything that can be done in other laboratories, unless it can be made a part of our scientific investigation.
We offer to do certain lines of testing free of cost providing they are such as we think will be of benefit to the public, and of course in such case the results are the property of the university for publication, but charges are made for all commercial work, whether it is testing or whether it is advice, excepting such incidental advice as a man would naturally give in reply to a brief letter about certain matters.
Advice is a personal matter with the members of the faculty concerned. The university has nothing to do with it as far as the engineering college is concerned.
In the extension division there is a certain amount of general direction or advice, or suggestions—whatever you may call it—that is often given by members of the extension division to small towns and villages in connection with public discussions of their local problems; mostly, perhaps, of sewage; but those suggestions are in the direction of helping people make progress with their problems, in focussing attention on the proper way of getting at it, and will lead generally to the employment of consulting engineers.
DEAN ORTON.—When tests are charged for, do the proceeds go to to the university ?
DEAN TURNEAURE.—Only a portion. We have so little of that that we have not established any hard and fast rule; but where apparatus is involved, as in testing, a portion of it goes to the laboratory for the use of the apparatus.
PROFESSOR GWINNER.—The question of charges for testing information have been seriously considered in the division of engineering of the Agricultural College of Maryland. It is getting to be a serious condition in that college, because we receive requests at times not only to send men out to give advice on engineering problems, but we receive letters which contain a great deal of effrontery in the way of asking us for sets of blue prints of sewage disposal, without sending any money or giving any intimation that they will be paid for.
If we offend the person who writes the letter, it means that this person will, through the representatives from his district or ward, bring the matter to the attention of the legislature, and it is bound to react against the college to some extent.
Time and time again have we received, as I have stated already, requests for blue prints of our sewage disposal plant-which, by the way, is one of the nicest small plants in this country.
We have gotten around that to some extent by stating that that particular plant is a private design, and that plans of it may be secured and the advice given from the party who designed that plant.
Another thing: We have received quite a number of inquiries as to which is the best cement on the market, or which is the best gaso
line engine on the market. Requests of that kind are very frequent.
In this connection, from the agricultural college side, of which Dean Randolph spoke, one of the members of the agricultural department was good enough, in his belief in humanity, to say that a certain spraying apparatus was the best on the market. In two weeks he had four representatives down to see him, wanting to know why that particular spraying apparatus was the best on the market.
MR. CURTIS (Universal Portland Cement Co.).—I am interested in learning whether any of the land grant colleges carry on research work in conjunction with commercial interests. Many people have realized for some time that research work was not receiving the attention it should, and this fact has been generally recognized by the colleges. However, the pressure of instructional work and the lack of definite means of supporting research have militated seriously against it in the colleges. This has been true in work pertaining to concrete.
During the last year the trustees of Lewis Institute, Chicago, entered into an agreement with the Universal Portland Cement Company by which the latter equipped a structural materials research laboratory at the school, giving the equipment with the right to replace it with more modern devices at any time. The company maintains the laboratory.
By this agreement the school gets a first class laboratory, with whatever advantage there may be in drawing commercial testing and research work to the institution, and the cement company has a laboratory near at hand which meets its requirements.
Students are being encouraged to take up research work in concrete, and I believe both the regular courses and the research work of the students is benefited by the opportunity for comparing the commercial work being done alongside of the theoretical. The agreement so far has been satisfactory all around. I have been wondering whether similar arrangements have ever been made elsewhere.
(President Marston resumed the chair.)
PRESIDENT MARSTON.—This subject is open for further discussion, and we shall be glad to hear from any one.
DEAN TALIAFERRO.—In the latter part of the last century, in the neighborhood of 1900, there was some desultory work on the part of commercial houses and corporations in giving scholarships or fellowships to the Pennsylvania State College to carry out work very much in the nature of that which Dean Marston has just spoken of. I would like to ask Dean Walker if that is still carried on at that college.
DEAN WALKER.-So far as I know, nothing of that kind exists at present. My connection with the Pennsylvania State College began in the fall of 1904, and whatever there was of the nature that Dean Taliaferro has mentioned was before my connection with the institution. I know of nothing of that kind there at the present.
DEAN BENJAMIN.—Something analogous to what has been mentioned by the recent speaker has existed at Purdue University for a long time; that is, the establishment at Purdue of the laboratory of the Master Car Builders' Association. This apparatus was bought before my time, but I assume that it was purchased by the association and installed at the university and is still the property of the association. The consideration is that the university shall carry on such experiments as the association desires in the way of the testing of various railway appliances and parts at cost and that is the arrangement with the association. This has worked eminently well in this particular case, because the association is a national affair and its findings and publications are open. Any such arrangement with a private corporation, it seems to me, would be more or less of a dangerous experiment.
DEAN BOARDMAN.—This morning, Mr. President, you mentioned a course in pulp and paper which is being established at the University of Maine. It is interesting to note that a complete paper plant is being installed and that a part of the equipment is the gift of an association composed of pulp and paper concerns. I understand that it is the intention to have more or less experimental work conducted by this plant, at the suggestion of the donors.
DEAN W. H. GLADSON, (Arkansas.)-Speaking of the question raised by Dean Orton, we have had a little experience in that line down in Arkansas. A number of years ago our legislature passed a law providing that the chemical department should analyze all samples of any kind of material that was sent in through the office of the Commissioner of Mines, Manufacture and Agriculture. We soon discovered that the chemical laboratory would have to go out of the business of teaching. We were absolutely swamped with samples and requests for every kind of free analysis.
The board of trustees absolutely refused to put that law into operation, and afterwards a state chemist was provided to do the work. Since our experience in that line we have been called on a great many times for free work and free advice. We have adopted a principle or . plan something like this:
When a request comes from the state authorities or officers, we do the work for the state government free of charge. For all services to private parties and for private corporations, we make a charge for the work as nearly as we can equal to the charges which would be made by a consulting engineer. So far this work has been done in each department of engineering by the engineering teachers independently. The University has no fixed rule for making charges for engineering services, but we have learned the lesson that we cannot do the work free of charge for everyone.
DEAN O. V. P. STOUT, (Nebraska.)—I am not right sure that the time is ripe for the suggestion that I want to make; still I feel that it is, and that is this: That at the right time during this series of meetings of ours, after we know whether we are an independent organization or a section of the other, a committee be appointed to prepare a thoroughly well considered and digested series of recommendations in regard to the points that have been discussed here, especially the ethics of charges for tests and advice emanating from the engineering schools. It would seem to me that a fairly large committee, thoroughly well selected, sho be appointed for that purpose, including some of the presidents of our institutions.
PRESIDENT MARSTON.-If there is no objection, we will add that to our subjects to be considered at the session tomorrow morning.
I think that the question of Mr. Curtis has perhaps not been answered directly. As I understand it, a number of reports have been made of cases where some private corporation had installed certain apparatus at one of the colleges of mechanic arts. The chair is of the impression that there are several where locomotives, or some at least, where locomotives have been put in by railroad companies in connection with the locomotive laboratory. I know that that is the case in the Iowa State College, and I think it is true at Purdue, and I do not know how many other places.
PROFESSOR GWINNER.—Columbia has one also.
MR. CURTIS.–At any of these schools do the private interests and the college carry on a co-operative line of research at the same time?