Promoting and Celebrating 
 Engineering in Rochester
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January 2018

11-Jan-2018 7:48 PM | Greg Gdowski (Administrator)

Continuing with the historical sampling of the earlier writings on behalf of the Rochester Engineering Society, the years following "The Great War," into and through the “Great Depression,” continued to be a time of reaching out for the maturing Society, both locally and nationally.  The meeting minutes describe a series of technical discussions and presentations intended to broaden the technical horizons of the membership (especially the CE's, ME's and EE's).  The RES affiliated itself with a number of National technical societies, adopted local Affiliated Societies, frequently held joint meetings with them and continued taking action on a growing list of public matters. Certain issues of standardization, some crucial to public safety, became the responsibility of the RES and its affiliates. In the pervasive economic downturn of the “Great Depression,” the magazine offered classified advertising for unemployed engineers, technicians and draftsmen and took other steps to try to deal with the crisis. Still, it continued its effort to shape the function, purpose and infrastructure of the City of Rochester, and beyond. Soon, war would again affect the Society, taking away many of its leaders while providing opportunities for others to step forward to fill these vacancies.  In an effort to provide even greater perspective on the happenings and concerns of the day, a synopsis, featuring selected items from "The Rochester Engineer" has become an integral part of this series. The Second World War and the Korean Conflict are now history. These experiences have changed the face and, no doubt, the future of the community. The Rochester municipal leadership and the industrial community have become immersed in the cold-war, growth economy.

“The Rochester Engineer” (February 1967) (continued) This issue provided the seventh article in its series, “Our Affiliates,” this time featuring the Rochester Section, ASME. Having become one of the first RES Affiliates, the Rochester Section, one of over 150 such ASME groups, had grown to over 450 members by 1967. RES Affiliates, and other technical organizations’ activities for the month included: American Society for Metals - “The F-111 Aircraft”, American Society for Quality Control – “Liars, Engineers & Statisticians” and American Institute of Chemical Engineers – “Happiness is Assuming Everyone is Ethical.” This issue also provided information on five public sector engineering position openings, including four opportunities at the City of Rochester Bureau of Buildings and an airport engineer at the County of Monroe.

March 1, 1967 (Board of Directors Meeting - U of R Faculty Club) The Board approved nine new membership applications. The Board received a report on a survey of the interests and needs in the Rochester area for an Engineers’ Center. A recommendation was made that the RES seek professional with for funding and membership campaigns. An additional suggestion was made that a project manager be selected for such a project. Questions were raised regarding location, renovation costs, adequacy of meeting facilities and the challenge of increasing membership (by over 2000), in such a short timeframe. This resulted in a brief review of several possible locations/facilities in the Rochester area, considered in recent years, all of which had been rejected by the Executive Committee, for various reasons. There then ensued an extended discussion of the procedure to be followed in this project, culminating in a single decision; to design and produce a brochure describing the Engineers’ Center Project, for use in soliciting support. A motion was then made, and passed, that a delegation from the RES be appointed to visit at least six similar engineers’ centers, toward gathering input from others’ experiences. The Awards Committee reported, presenting a  motion, proposing several changes to the guidelines/requirements for selecting the “Engineer of the Year,” including participation in local (or national) engineering societies, full- time practice (or management) in engineering, residents of Monroe (or adjacent) Counties, nominations could come from RES Affiliates or RES individual members, and that no posthumous awards should be made. The Publications Committee reported that a discussion had been held and an offer made to a possible vendor, regarding hiring them to publish The Rochester Engineer, but that it had been declined. Instead, the Board decided that the current revenue shortfalls could be overcome with a concerted effort to increase advertising.

March 29, 1967 (Special Meeting of the Board of Directors – Chamber of Commerce) The Board approved a slate of RES officers for 1967-68 including: President – John L. Wheeler (Xerox), 1st VP – Dr. Edward Kirkpatrick (RIT), 2nd VP – Alexander M. Beebee (GM), Jr., Secretary – Gordon S. Rugg (EKCo), Treasurer – E. Philip Kron (EKCo), Directors – Cecil L. Wilder (Xerox) & G. Robert Leavitt (Taylor Instrument).

“The Rochester Engineer” (March 1967)
At the annual Engineers’ Joint Dinner, the Leo H. East Memorial Award for “1966 Engineer of the Year” was presented to Harold S. Mosher, director of engineering at Kodak Park. Architect Kevin Walsh’s rendering of the remodeled RIT Krenzer Barn as the proposed RES Engineers’ Center, was revealed by RES Engineers’ Center Committee Chair, Alexander M. Beebee, Jr., at this dinner, held at the Rochester Chamber of Commerce. Further planning, including methods of financing the estimated $300,000 development cost would be undertaken by the RES Board of Directors.

April 5, 1967 (Board of Directors Meeting - U of R Faculty Club) The Board heard a report from an RES delegation that had recently visited the Cleveland Engineering & Scientific Center. There was consensus that, of paramount importance to the success of such a facility in Rochester would be a set of well-defined goals for its purpose and use. The Board approved a motion to increase RES annual dues to $25. Eleven new applications for RES membership were approved, including Phil T. Elliott, Ernest E. Mohr and Francis S. Nayman. The Civic Affairs Committee reported on two urgent issues; air pollution and monumentation in Monroe County.  It was further explained that air quality in Rochester and Monroe County had decreased alarmingly in the past decade, and that land surveyors had reported that many permanent monuments had been destroyed by extensive recent construction work, without being replaced. The Publications Committee reported that it was considering a format change in The Rochester Engineer. Specifically, local industry would be asked to supply a cover photo, with an appropriate article of interest to be published in the same issue, and the calendar of engineering meetings and events would be moved to the center of the magazine.

Subsequent articles in this series will describe the RES' continuing outreach to other technical societies as it considered its role in this and the larger community, along with more of the activities of the RES as it moved to be of greater service to its membership, especially those suffering from current economic crises, and adopted a greater role in shaping the future of the City and its environs. Noted also, will be the contributions made by RES members in the struggle to meet the challenges coming out of World War\ II, as well as a hoped-for period of post-war growth and prosperity. These articles will also feature an impressive array of RES activities in support of post-war re-emergence of Rochester area industry.

We welcome your questions and comments on this series.


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