Rochester Engineering Society...1897 - 1969
by Lee M. Loomis
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” (March 1969) Transportation Planning was the subject of a first-of-its-kind meeting of interested local engineers and Henry L. Pereybrune of the NYSDOT’s Urban Transportation Planning Dept., sponsored by the RES, Monroe Professional Engineers and the Rochester Section of the ASCE. The topics to be reviewed included a potential 72 miles of rapid transit facilities, broad new transportation corridors around the County, new bridges across the Genesee River, and a downtown multi-facility transportation terminal. The RES luncheon series for this month was to include “Securities of Local Industries”, by Warren F. Wallace of George D. B. Bondbright & Co., “A New Concept – A New Company”, by Thomas A. Tuety, VP & Treasurer of R D Products, “Kodak’s New Colorado Plant”, by Howard E. Smith, Manager at Kodak Colorado, “Developing an Integrated Product Line”, by Howard R. Jaquith of Taylor Process Control of the Sybron Corp., and “Training the Undereducated”, by Frederic C. Libby, Supervisor of Vocational Training at Kodak Park. Dr. Edward T. Kirkpatrick, RES President, and Dean of RIT’s College of Applied Science, announced that RIT would be adding a program in Industrial Engineering to its five-year, work-study curriculum. This program would offer concentrations in manufacturing sciences, numerical control, computer methodology and simulation.
April 2, 1969 (Board of Directors Meeting, RIT Engineering Building) The Board approved the applications of nine Regular Members, one Associate Member and two Junior Members. The RES Finance Committee reported that, by having moved the checking account, and associated RES finances, from Marine Midland to Lincoln Rochester Trust Company, the interest rate on the Society’s outstanding loan had been reduced from 8.25% to 8.0%. It was reported that the Metropolitan Transportation Study meeting at RIT, sponsored by the RES, MPES and ASCE, was attended by 135 local engineers. A report from the RES Task Force P-1, Survey of Educational Needs, had identified three major concerns; current solvency of the RES, the financing future RES programs and the financing of an Engineers’ Center. The Board approved a proposal, authored by RES member John Schickler, making the RES magazine available to the RES Affiliates, for news items, announcements, and meeting notices, for a rate of ½ the cost of an equivalent amount of advertising space.
“The Rochester Engineer” (April 1969) In his monthly column, RES President Edward T. Kirkpatrick, proposed an alternative to current “continuing education and professional development” programs wherein “moonlighting” instructors from academia and industry in expensive and not-well-thought-out short courses. Instead, Dr. Kirkpatrick proposed the establishment of formal, part-time programs leading to a “diploma of attendance”. These programs, to be taught by regular faculty and industry trainers, would require as much as ten hours per week of study time, sanctioned and supported by employers. The result would be to ensure that the participant would be exposed to upgraded material, currently be given to undergraduates. Dr. Kirkpatrick argued that, with the rapidly developing technology in all engineering fields, employers would see that a better informed and educated engineering staff will lead to greater profitability of their respective companies. The announced April RES luncheon series topics included, “Community Efforts to Solve the Problems of the Disadvantaged”, by Edward S. Croft, Executive Director of Rochester Jobs, Inc., “On Track – The Apollo Instrumentation Ships”, by Gerard L. Abrams, Product Manager of Space Electronics, Electronics Division of General Dynamics, and “Law Enforcement in Rochester”, by William M. Lombard, Rochester’s Chief of Police. A slate of RES Officers for the 1969-70 year was presented to the general membership, for approval at the RES Annual Meeting including, Alexander M. Beebee, Jr. (GM Rochester Products) – President, Gordon S. Rugg (EKCo) – 1st VP, G. Robert Leavitt (Taylor Instrument Companies) – 2nd VP, James A. Clark (Bausch & Lomb) – Secretary, Edwin L. Anthony (Erdman Anthony, PC) – Treasurer, Orlando J. Feorene (EKCo), John D. Cooper (Rochester Telephone Corp.), Paul F. Pagery (Taylor Instrument Companies) & Melvin J. Corson (RG&E) – Directors.
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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