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April 24, 1955 - Image 9

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1955-04-24

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SPRING, 1955





-Daily-John IHirtzel
Willow Run Lbs
XMove to New Sie

An attempt to bring facilities
for the study of aeronautical en-
gineering closer together has re-
sulted in plans for the new Aero-
nautical Engineering Laboratories
on the North Campus.
Now located at Willow Run, the
laboratories are spread on both
sides of the air field, and are dif-
ficult to reach because of dis-
tance from the campus. Some of
the laboratories burned down last
April, making facilities there even
more crowded and inconvenient.
Construction began on the
buildings March 1, 1955 and
should be completed about No-
vember 1, 1955. The State Legisla-
ture granted $639,000 for con-
struction and additional research
funds have brought the total to
Since most of the equipment is
being moved directly from Willow
Run, the cost is merely in the con-
struction of the buildings to house
this equipment.
Chairman of the planning com-
Prof. Flinn
Plans New
Materials Lab
Because of the rapid growth of
the fields of materials, metallurgy,
and structures, a new laboratory1
is being planned for North Cam-
pus to provide an area for con-
solidating and expanding instruc-
tion and research.
The estimated cost of the lab-
oratory is 5 million dollars.
Head of the planning committee
for the laboratory is Prof. Rich-
ard A. Flinn of metallurgical and
production engineering.
Prof. Flinn explains that the
facilities for study in this area are
scattered at the present time.
Present quarters are very cramp-
ed. In the past 20 to 30 years new
materials have been developed and
many fields have expanded. Space
is needed to provide facilities for
instruction and research for stu-
dents and faculty.
At the present time, some stu-
dents work nights regularly, Prof.
Flinn pointed out. "The equip-
ment must be taken down each
time so that room is availbale for
other experiments. This makes
work exceedingly difficult for the
"The development of the repu-
tation of the University depends
on the quality of research and in-
struction. Many of these research
experiments become routine class-
room experiments, so we are de-
veloping instruction through the
research program," Prof. Flinn
continued. Containing only lab-
oratories, the new building will
have no classrooms. It will con-
tain a foundry to keep pace with
the automobile industry. Here the
effects of melting metal in vac-
uum furnaces, shell molding,
powder metallurgy, thermal fa-
tigue and other such projects will
be studied.
Highway Lab Set
For North Campus
For the study of soil mechanics
and highway problems, a new
Highway Laboratory will be con-
structed on the North Campus.
A shift of the highway depart-
ment from its present location to
the new building to enable more
intensive study to be carried on
with better facilities.
At an estimated cost of two mil-
lion dollars the building is under
the direction of Prof. Richard A.
Flinn, of metallurgical and pro-
duction engineering and Prof.

William S. Housel of civil engi-

mittee for the proect is Prof. Wil-
bur C. Nelson, chairman of ther
teronautical engineering depart-1
ment. s
The buildings will include two
supersonic wind tunnels, which
are being moved from the airport.t
Also there will be a new low tur-f
bulance wind tunnel which will be
used to test airplane wings, guided
missiles, and various rockets. Re-
search will also be carried on con-s
cerning gust effects in the atmos-i
phere on airplane wings.
Beside other small portable(
wind tunnels, there will also ber
two testing areas which will con-~
tain personnel offices.
Testing jet engines and jet en-
gine conponents, the aircraft pro-
pulsion laboratory will have anr
inside and outside testinghareas.
There will be a special test cell
for radioactive tests to determine
the effect of radioactivity on com-
bustion processes.
The pumping station will con-t
tain vacuum pumps, the heating
unit for the buildings, and ther
pumps to send high pressure air
to both the laboratories and the
wind tunnels.
Primarily for instruction, thet
new laboratories will enable stu-
dents to pull test facilities togeth-t
er. This was not possible with the
facilities at Willow Run. Research
projects will be available for both'f
undergraduate and graduate stu-
New Building
Will House'U'
Plans for a new building on the
North Campus to house the Uni-
versity's synchrotron and cyclo-
tron are well under way.
Engineers are now awaiting ap-
proval of requested funds for con-
struction from the Legislature.
An expected $925,000 will be
used to build the structure which
will house the machines and lab-
oratories where work with the
machines Will be done.
Prof. H. R. Crane of the Physics
department is in charge of theI
planning committee for the build-
ing. He pointed out that the fa-
cilities of the present location of
the machines in the Randall Lab-
oratory are inadequate for the
progfam of research that is now
being carried out. Machines are
crowding out instructional and
other work in the Randall Labora-
tory. The machines also produce
radiation which is a hazard in
such small quarters.
Larger Program
He added that it would be pos-
sible to carry out a larger program
of graduate instruction and re-
search. There are at least six stu-
dents working on their doctorate
degrees on each machine at the
present time. Prof. Crane went on
to say that part-time help is large-
ly from undergraduate .students
who are able to gain experience
The cyclotron, which was the
largest in the world at the time
it was built in 1935, is housed in
the first basement of Randall Lab-
oratory at the present time. It is
constructed largely of iron, and
was built with funds from the
Rackham Graduate School. The
Atomic Energy Commission is sup-
porting the cyclotron at the pres-
ent time.
.The cyclotron uses deuterons,
which are particles of heavy hy-
drogen. These bombard the nu-
clei under study to determine the
structure of these nuclei.
Construction was begun in 1946,
and the synchrotron began oper-

ating in 1949. Improvements were

Fluids Lab
Set for '60
Replacing two laboratories, one
built in 1904 and the other in
1923, the proposed Fluids Engi-
neering Laboratory should begin
to go up in the spring of 1956.
Providing that requests of ap-
propriations that have been made
to the Legislature are granted, the
building, which will provide ac-
commodations for joint use by
several departments, will become
a part of the North Campus.
Present Accommodations
Present accommodations in-
clude, besides the labs mentioned
above, converted classrooms and
lecture halls in the engineering
school. This has hampered in-
struction in this field considerably.
The laboratory will provide fa-
cilities for the study of fluids
for seven departments in the en-
gineering school and including the
chemical, civil engineering, mech-
anical engineering, engineering
mechanics, aeronautical engineer-
ing, marine and electrical engi-
neering departments.
The building will also provide
added facilities for study as ap-
plied to chemical processes, fluid
handling, machinery study, marine
studies, harbor beach, and break-
water studies among others. The
building will include a minimum
number of offices being, designed
mainly for undergraduate labora-
tory instruction and graduate and
faculty research.
Planning Committee
Chairman of the planning com-
mittee is Prof. Glenn V. Edmon-
son of the mechanical engineer-
ing department. Cooperating with
this committee is the Industrial
Committee which is made up of
men from industry who are work-
ing for, the Engineering Labora-
tory Program independently. They
are acquainting citizens of the
state with the needs of the engi-
neering collece.
Estimated cost of the building is
about four million dollars. $80,-
000 is being requested from the
state in 1955-56 for planning
money for the building. From
then on requests of approximately
$2 million will be made each year
until 1960 in order that the com-
pletion of the 3 units may be car-
ried out. One of these units is the
Materials, Metallurgy and Struc-
tures Laboratory.
Tentative plans state that the
fluids laboratory should be com-
pleted in 1958. This is the first
year that this has been before
the Legislature for consideration.
Planned to be in harmony with
the rest of the buildings on the
North Campus, the laboratory will
consist of 120,000 square feet.

--Daily-John ilrtzel
Nuclear Reactor Slated
rnCopFor Sprig letion
O) -___________________________


Work on the construction of a
one-million-watt nuclear reactor
for research will be completed in
the spring of 1956.
Work on the reactor and the
structure to house it will begin
early in 1955. The building will
be an extension. of the north end
of the Phoenix Memorial Labora-
tory now under construction on
the North Campus.
Initial operation of the reactor
will be at 100 kilowatts average
power over eight hours with a
peak of 1,000,000 kilowatts. This
will provide the most intense
source of neutrons and gamma
rays in operation by a non-gov-
ernmental agency open to scien-
tific and industrial research on an
unclassified basis, according to
Dean Ralph A. Sawyer, Director
of the Phoenix Memorial Project.
Also figuring prominently in the
University's training program for
nuclear engineers and scientists,
the windowless, three-story addi-
tion and reactor will be financed
from a grant of $1,000,000 made
by the Ford Motor Company Fund
to the Phoenix Project.
The reactor building will be a
40-feet high, 70-feet square box
with concrete walls a footathick.
Within the structure will be a
40,000 gallon tank of water, 26
feet high. Its walls will be of
special high-density concrete six
feet thick at the base.
The active lattice of the reactor
itself will be about two feet long
one each side and will be sus-
pended under 20 feet of water
from a bridge at the top of the
tank. The fuel supply will be made
up of 20 aluminum cans each con-

taining 18 alumninum-uranium al-
oy strips.
Safety provisions for the re-
actor have been approved by the
Atomic Energy Commission. Dean
Sawyer has announced receipt of
a letter from Dr. Thomas H. John-
son, Director of the Research Div-'
ision of the A.E.C. setting the'
operatingsconditions and safety
precautions to be followed in the
proposed installation.
The heavy concrete and water
in the tank will protect research
workers and observers from the
intense radiation generated by
the reactors. Operations may be
observed through the open top
of the reactor. Materials to be
irradiated in the reactor radia-
tion field may also be lowered
through this window.
Beams of neutrons, gamma rays
or both may safely be brought out
into the laboratory through special
"beam ports" which can be closed
to provide complete protection
from radiation.
In the realm of safety, visitors
will be permitted in the reactor
building on a conducted tour basis.
Access to the reactor will not be
restricted by security regulations.
A uranium fuel supply was as-
sured by the A.E.C. last June
through a letter from A.E.C.
Chairman Lewis L. Strauss to Uni-
versity President Harlan H. Hatch-
Prof. Henry J. Gomberg, as-
sistant director of the Phoenix
Project and chairman of the Nu-
clear Engineering Committee of
the engineering college has out-

lined the services that the react-
or will provide.
First, he began, the reactor will
serve as a primary radiation
source for research on the utiliza-
tion of radiation in engineering,
physics, chemistry, biology, medi-
cine and other sciences.
"Second, it will be used as a
major teaching laboratory in the
theory, construction and opera-
tion of nuclear reactors, which
now promise to develop as a
major source of energy for in-
dustry. It will permit the Univer-
sity to add substantially to the
supply of men needed in this new
technology, both here and in
friendly nations abroad," added
Prof. Gomberg.

been entirely from conibutions
made to the project by industry,
alumni, friends and students.
There have been no requests to
the Legislature for funds.
Two carefully designed rooms,
or "caves," will be on the first
floor of the building. The walls of
these caves will be three feet
thick and of particularly heavy
concrete, sandwiched b e t w e e n
steel plates. This will provide for
the storage and handling of ex-
tremely hot radioactive materials.
Access to the caves will be through
solid steel doors, fourteen inches
thick, weighing nine tons each.
Here and in adjacent special
purpose laboratories, high level
chemical experiments, and biolog-
ical experiments will be carried on.
There will also be a counting room
and a health-physics area to
check personnel for radioactivity
as they are leaving the building
or engaged in their work.

A nuclear reactor, a gift of the
Ford Motor Company, will be con-
structed on one side of the build-
ing. A greenhouse, 1840 feet in
size, adjoining the building, will
be one of the few in this country
built for the study of plant nutri-
tion and metabolism including the
utilization by plants of fertilizers
and leaf foods, and the effect of
direct radiation or radioactivity
on growing plants.
There are eventual plans for a
third story which will include an-
imal living and operating quar-
ters, special purpose darkrooms,
an aquarium, and an antiradio-
graphy lab.
Facilities and staff are being
planned for detecting any pos-
sible safety hazards and for check-
ing the health of the workers. The
laboratories will be equipped with
special ventilating systems to re-
move radioactivity before the air
is released to the atmosphere.


Lab Dedication
Set for June-9
Begun in the spring of 1954, the '
Phoenix Memorial Project Labor- On the second floor of the
atory will be dedicated on June 9 [building will be the offices and
of this year. the Mason Memorial Library
Although obstacles inevitably which will be a repository for non-
result when building from an en- classified atomic information. The
tirely new design, incorporating library is in memory of the late
many elaborate and difficult fea- George W. Mason.
tures, construction of the labora- There will also be laboratories
tory is moving along at a good designed specifically for research
pace. on particular aspects of peace-
The laboratory will be one of time atomic energy. Research
the very few privately owned lab- rooms for the continuing studies
oratories built especially for re- on the effects on chemical pro-
search using high-level radiation. cesses of very high levels of rad-
Funds iation will be included.
Funds for the laboratory have Reactor

Engin College Dates to 1853


Dean of the College of Engineering
The engineering educational
program at the University of
Michigan was inaugurated in 1853
and became one of the most pop-
ular in the country.
With more than 22,000 living
graduates and former students, its
influence is felt throughout the
world in all fields of engineering.
At one time the largest engi-
neering college in the country, it
has always maintained high stand-
ards and a leading position in en-
gineering education.
Faculty Autonomy
The autonomy of its faculty
gives the Engineering College
many of the advantages that
might be supposed to rest with a
technical school or institute while
retaining the advantages of being
a part of the University.
The early and rapid growth of
the Engineering College means
that many of its laboratories are
much older than those of newer
institutions and require replace-
ment by modern facilities. Labora-
tory work also becomes more im-
portant and more extensive as the
problems of the engineer become
more complex.
A woodsman or carpenter can
construct a satisfactory footbridge
an a creek fifteen or twenty
feet inwidth without making any
particular tests or laboratory in-
Before designing a modern sus-
pension bridge, as for the Straits
of Mackinac many elaborate in-
vestigations are necessary in the
laboratory. The properties of the
soil and rock must be determined
in the laboratory to see if they
can bear the load of the towers. A
model of the structure may be
tested in a wind tunnel to see if it
is stable and will not fail as did
the Tacoma Bridge.
No Simple Formulae
No longer are the simple formu-
lae found in textbooks adequate
for the design of modern complex
structures, machinery or process-
es. The properties of new mate-
rials must be determined and new
materials developed. All of these
activities require ever expanding
laboratory space and equipment.
Engineering' Expansion
Five years ago it became per-
fectly apparent that such space
could not be economically provid-
ed adjacent to the campus of that
time and the Engineering Re-
search Council of February 6, 1950,
recommended that "space outside
the campus area and in its imme-
diate environs probably outside
the city, will have to be procured
to permit an appreciable extension
of the research activities of the
The North Campus was acquired
soon thereafter and the Engineer-
ing College is committed to a step-
wide transfer of its laboratory and
research activities, at least, to the
North Campus. The primary phys-
ical need of the Engineering Col-
lege is laboratory space.
This must be provided by state
funds in support of engineering



-Daily-John Hirtzel
AoO i

With the nearness of the Uni-
versity to the heart of the auto-j
motive industry, a student can!
best equip himself for this in-
dustry through not only text book
training, but actual visits to the
In view of this fact, the Univer-
sity is constructing a new Auto-
motive Laboratory on the North!
Campus. Begun in the fall of
1954, completion of the laboratory
is slated for about January 1956.
Replacing the building which
has been used for an Automotive
Laboratory, which was built in,
1885, the new lab will provide
space for undergraduate training
and advanced research that has
been hampered by inadequate fa-'
cilities and space in the present
Crowded Conditions
Lack of space in the present
building, crowding of machines
and apparatus, particularly haz-
ardous conditions, the absence of
suitable lecture halls, auditoriums,
and research facilities has placed
a severe handicap on struction in
this field of engineering.
Cost of the building is to be
$1.850.000. with the funds coming'

struction and research for vehicle
power plants. This will include
facilities for work on present type
piston engines currently used in
vehicles as well as facilities and
rooms for instruction and re-
search in gas turbine types of en-
gines. These will undoubtedly
come into increasing use in the
future, according to Prof. Jay A.
Bolt, of the mechanical engineer-
ing department.
He added that additional space
and facilities will be provided for
a limited amount of work concern-
ing the body and chassis compo-
nents of automobiles, tractors,
trucks, and other automotive
equipment. Space is also provided
for offices and computing rooms
in the new baroatory building.
Automotive Program
Plans are being made for a new
program in automotive body en-
gineering." There is a need in the
United States for suitable train-
ing in this field," according to
Prof. Bolt. "There is now no such
program available in the country.
With the proximity of the Uni-
versity to the heart of the auto-
mobile industry, this is the logi-

students and staff in contact with
the real problems of industry.
Contact with industrial problems
is particularly important to pro-
viding an adequate graduate pro-
gram of education.
An enlargement of the current
academic program will result from
the additional facilities offered by
this laboratory. Additional course'
offerings are anticipated accord-
ing to Bolt. The new automotive
laboratory will also provide facili-
ties for instruction and research
in automotive topics under much
more favorable and safe condi-
Increasing numbers of students,
both undergraduates and grad-
uates, are expected to be attracted
to the University as a result of
these added facilities.
The laboratory will enable these
students to receive a better edu-
cation which will equip them to
help to maintain the automotive
industry in Michigan.
East, West En gin
T IIte Cot Floriitr

is now in the planning stage withi
a hope of completion in 1957 ona
the North Campus.
It is hoped that this will be fol-e
lowed by a Materials and Metal-c
lurgy Building which will provides
facilities for determining the prop-t
erties of material. and their ap-v
plication in various structures ands
If these buildings can be com-
pleted by 1958 the College willr
have adequate space to handle thet
expected enrollment for the nexta
five or six years.r
Special facilities for work atk
high pressure, low temperaturec
and other important fields of re-r
search must also be provided on
the North Campus if the Engineer-i
ing College is to maintain a posi-i
tion of leadership in graduate workl
and research.
All of these structures will mean
a total investment of about $12,-#
Future Expansion Plans
East. Hall should be torn down
and additional classrooms and of-
fices provided in so far as possible
in areas in the present engineeringY
buildings devoted to laboratory ac-
tivities which may be transferred
to the North Campus. However,
the demand for space on the.
South Campus for other activities
of the University may make it de-7
sirable to move the offices, thej
classrooms and drawing rooms re-
quired for junior and senior work,)
at least, to the North Campus in
six or eight years.
For the future it is expected,
that the engineering laboratory
classes wherein a student works
continuously for about four hours,;
will be first transferred to the,
North Campus. This will be fol-
lowed by upperclass and graduate
courses of the usual hour duration.
It would appear that these
classes could be scheduled by be-
ginning on the half hour while
the classes on the South Campus
begin at the even hour thereby al-
lowing sufficient time for trans-
portation without undue loss in
time. In this way the stepwise
transfer of engineering activities
can be made over a period of years
to the North Campus.

This development has taken
place at an accelerating rate dur-
ng the past twenty-five years and
the faculty of the Engineering
College believe it is now time to
nake corresponding changes in
our engineering educational pro-
In cooperation with members
of the mathematics, physics and
chemistry departments of the Lit-
erary College a committee of the
Engineering College has developed
a program designated Science En-
gineering as a first step in this
direction. This program leading to
the degree BSE (Science) is of-
fered for the first time in the fall
of 1955.
Engineering Sciences
The program will emphasize the
engineering sciences rather than
the specific application of engi-
neering principles and practices
in special fields. It also takes a new
approach in the educational pro-
grams in the' mathematics and sci-
ences with an early introduction to
calculus and physics in the first
semester of the freshman year,
thereby making it possible to ad-
vance the work in the engineering
sciences which develop from me-
chanics and mathematics.
if this trend continues as seems
reasonable to expect, we may find
the undergraduate engineering
and science curricula becoming
more similar with differentiation
between the fields of application
of science and engineering largely
reserved for post-graduate work.
This is a plan which has developed
in other professions, such as, med-
icine and law and may well be fol-
lowed to a greater degree in engi-
Last year the engineering facul-
ty presented to the Development
Council a report of its needs which
included the buildings mentioned
above, among others, and the de-
sire for new equipment which is
always needed to keep up with
modern developments.
Trasportation Studies
There was also presented the
needs for the zupport of the
Transportation Institute. Trans-
portation is one of our major prob-
lems in which sometimes we make
little or no advance. It is reported
that one can now go across Man-
hattan Island in a time interval
not much longer than one half
hour greater than that required to
cross Manhattan Island in 1850.
_ There exists today a critical
need for the unbiased scientific
study and exposition of the prin-
ciples fundamental to all forms of
transportation and specific stud-
ies to determine whether or not
we can materially improve our
present highway transportation by
improving the methods of controL
The Transportation Institute in-
cludes i n t e r e s t in activities
throughout the University and is
a broad field in which support is
urgently needed.
Then there is the whole problem
of maintaining close contact with
all modern developments in en-
gineering throughout industry and

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