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Management Engineering, Vol. 1

Management Engineering, Vol. 1

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Excerpt from Management Engineering, Vol. 1: The Journal of Production, July 1921

Through the formation of The Federated American Engineering Societies, the youngest of the professions has voluntarily accepted its full responsibility of service to the community, for the desire to serve now actuating American engineering has at last found expression in united action. The first outcome is the greatest engineering society in the world. While this is, as yet, but little more than a potential step, for the organization has been at work only a few months, already the widespread value of engineering thought and achievement is beginning to be appreciated by the public to an extent unthought of even a short year ago.

It stands to the credit of the 110,000 engineers, whose delegates met at the organizing conference in Washington in June of last year, that not one of their representatives cast a vote opposing the resolution that the societies should constitute "a comprehensive organization dedicated to the service of the community, state and nation," when this principle of service was moved and supported by the attending delegates as the purpose of the proposed organization.

The Engineers' Problem of the Future.

It is a commonplace observation that this century is to see many changes and readjustments, particularly in regard to the industrial structure upon which civilization rests. Engineers are destined by the very nature of their calling to be a controlling factor in the new economic and industrial conditions that must prevail. Hence it may safely be forecast that the right solution of many of our present problems will come all the sooner because of the united front now presented by men who "know what to do, and how to do it." With this prophecy in mind, it is worth while to review briefly the influences that have led to the development of an agency through which the engineering profession can speak frequently and authoritatively tendering, when necessary, its technical knowledge and mature judgment on matters of collective concern.

Less than five years ago the profession was scattered. The 120 or more societies into which it was divided had found no way to co-operate or secure common action for there were no generally accepted ideals, and objects. Those best known to the public were the four national engineering societies with their many local sections spread throughout the country. In addition, there were many state engineering societies and in a few localities what might be termed "regional" organizations. Some of these local and regional associations were complete societies within themselves, while others were a group of the local sections of national societies and, in a few cases, a combination of such local sections into state-wide organizations. The attempt to unify engineers met with varying degrees of success, but without even a minor part of the profession becoming sufficiently influential to make its voice heard in public affairs.

It was natural for the idea of co-operation and united action to spring from the headquarters of the national engineering societies. So we find that prior to the war, several efforts were made to secure united action on the part of the national societies through the instrumentality of joint committees. As a rule, each of these attempts was restricted to some phase of engineering activity of common interest to all branches of the profession. It must be confessed with all fairness that these efforts met with scant success. It remained for the war to give the impulse necessary to create a united and co-ordinated organization.

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