The previous issue contained an aerial photo of Cambridge dated around 1960. Robert Johnson '66 points out that the date is slightly premature: "In the lower right corner appears a building that looks to me like MIT Eastgate (married student housing). Building Eastgate was my first job with Vappi & Co. after I graduated from MIT in Feb. 1966. When completed in 1967, it was the second tallest building in Cambridge, after the MIT Green Building (Bldg. 54), and thus cast the long shadow seen in the photo. Therefore the photo must have been taken in 1967 or later.
"I am now building MIT's 28 Osborn St. building, as my last job before retirement from Barr Barr, Inc. Earlier, I worked on the renovation of the Stratton Student Center."
Charles Sullivan of the Cambridge Historical Commission clarifies, "A close examination of the photo shows that Eastgate is topped off but still under construction. It was ready for occupancy by September 1967." Factoring in subtle evidence such as the absence of boats on the Charles and bare trees, he dates the photo from the winter of 1966-67.
Old Course 17 (Building Construction)
Many people carefully store their college class notes, however illegible or useless, for decades before rationalizing that papers left untouched for so long should be pitched. Sometimes it's too unbearable to discard anything and the cleaning task falls to the next generation. "As far as we can figure out, my father almost never threw out anything!" wrote Henry Dietz, son of Prof. Emeritus Albert Dietz '32, '36, '41, who died on April 28, 1998. Carefully typed and stored in notebooks, illustrated with exquisite pen and ink drawings and indexed by topic, a set of four fat notebooks stood on Prof. Dietz's desk throughout his long professional career and were frequently consulted judging by the dog-eared index tabs.
Weekly notes for Prof. Ross Tucker's building construction class for Oct. 27, 1929 cover excavation and removal of dirt. "A team is defined as two horses and the driver," who cost $1.50 per hour for an eight-hour day. "A good team on a good road will move about 2.5 miles per hour. Since the team cannot be worked steadily for eight hours," two miles/hr or roughly 10,000 ft "is a conservative estimate."
After the site is plowed, a drag scraper removes the topsoil. "One man drives the horses while the other manipulates the scraper which is merely a large scoop with a handle on each side for him to use in guiding it. The rated capacity of a drag scraper is five cu ft but the actual load it will move is four cu ft due to loss on the way."
A table calculates how much soil the average man will loosen and remove with a pick and shovel, depending on the type of soil, whether it is wet or dry, and whether it is plowed and loosened. In what looks like a classic arithmetic problem, six men work at loading one cart at one time with medium dry soil. If "each man loads one cu yd per hour and the cart holds two cu yds, then 6 men can load it in 20 minutes." If the dump is 1500 ft away, making a round trip of 3000 ft and the horse team moves 10,000 ft per hour, it will take 20 minutes for a round trip. Add 20 minutes to load the cart, and it takes 40 minutes to load and haul 2 cu yds.Prof. Tucker's class on Job Management (17.50) emphasizes the need for character, integrity, honesty and fairness, all qualities which Prof. Dietz contained in abundance. A section tackles the problem of alcohol, whether it's drunken workers or gifts of liquor proffered by contractors currying favor. Dating from March 1932, the notes dutifully record, "As long as Prohibition is the law of the land it should be observed, whether the man personally believes in it or not. Business ethics say no to the use of alcohol."
Any manager spends much of his energy solving problems among his workers. What we now call ethnic or nationality groups were referred to as races in 1932, as when Prof. Tucker admonishes, "Many of the trades in building are dominated by certain racial groups and it requires tact to handle them all and have them work together in harmony. Different races must be handled differently." He informs his students which nationalities "respond to kindliness," which will take advantage of kindliness "and understand only rough, sharp language," and which will "grow sullen under brutal talk. Being fair will bring a quick and warm response from the men."
Two volumes from 1957 describe the architectural evolution, engineering analysis, and structural design of the Monsanto House of the Future, which used plastics in many innovative ways. Step-by-step design, construction and assembly of the plastics pavilion of the American exhibition in Moscow in 1959 are detailed in three well-illustrated volumes by Prof. Dietz and Frank Heger '48, '49, '62. All the rounded mushroom-like plastic parts lined up before construction in Moscow look like a flying saucer invasion.
These volumes form an incredibly detailed historical account of early 20th century construction and management processes. They are also a personal tribute to Prof. Dietz's dedication to his field, and a great display of his drawing and calligraphic skills. They will be donated to the MIT Museum after the editor finishes examining them. We send profuse thanks to Henry Dietz for having taken the time and energy to mail this material. We also encourage readers who don't want to destroy their class notes or old pictures of MIT or Camp Tech to consider sending them to the MIT Museum by way of CEE.
It's a long drive from Harold Nelson's home in Newport, Maine, to E. Machias, but he and his wife Debbie recently made the trip to the Camp Tech site. "I met John and Marjorie Hoar who knew Prof. Herman Shea. Shea hired John and some others to help take the camp apart at the end. Apparently MIT graduated from wooden towers (built over the benchmark disks to see above trees), to Bilby Steel towers. MIT must have had erected some towers over their marks, as Shea hired John Hoar to take a couple of steel towers down.
"There are some new roads along the east side of Gardner Lake, and quite a few luxurious 'camps' which look like year-round residences.
"In the large building at Camp Tech near the doctor's office, at the end away from Bemis Hall, we found the following written on the wall: 'XVII, 1943: Anderson, Cabonell, Feingold, Foley, Gonzalez, Tan'.
"Although the BeViers [current owners of the Camp Tech property] could not save Bemis Hall, the tall fireplace remains standing like a silent sentinel, and it will be incorporated into a new building. Someone had stole the copper flashing off the roof, and no matter how they tried to jack the building to straighten it out and preserve it, nothing cooperated." They are hard at work changing the grounds into a large children's summer camp.
The Tech Camp Observatory building and the seismograph building are hidden from plain view by a thick undergrowth. For years this was the only seismograph located in the northeast US. Nelson wonders what kind of work students did in the observatory. If you remember, could you write in? (Levey@mit.edu or D. Levey, Rm. 1-383, 77 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139)
"It was exactly 60 years ago this summer that we were at Camp Technology," calculated Dick Feingold '43 (old Course 17). "Eugene Eisenberg '43 (old Course 17) and I often talk about it as the greatest experience we had as students at MIT. It was a mixture of a magnificent environment, rigorous study and field work, good comradeship, and fun. The local folks were warm and welcoming, and the teenage girls were wise and wily. Four of us were at our Class of 1943 50th Reunion, during which Prof. Albert Dietz (old Course XVII) joined us for an evening."
"I was weaned in Bldg. 21, the old one-story, wood-framed hydraulics lab [which was replaced by Bldg. 48, Parsons Lab]," writes Charles Carver '49 (SM) & '55 (ScD). "At night we shared it with huge cockroaches. I was able to control the population somewhat by squirting them with a syringe filled with carbon tetrachloride."
Looking at all the chaos on roads and buildings colorfully depicted on the MIT construction website (http://web.mit.edu/evolving/), Carver was reminded of the possibly apocryphal story from "several eons ago when some MIT students somehow were able to obtain four yellow DPW sawhorses which they positioned in the middle of Mass Ave in front of the 77 Mass Ave entrance.They also got hold of a jackhammer and proceeded to excavate a 6 x 6 x 6-ft hole. They then left the scene of the crime with the sawhorses still in place. It was three weeks before the Boston DPW realized this was an unauthorized project."
The new Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers sponsored the First World Water & Environmental Resources Congress in Orlando FL in May. Three people received the first EWRI Lifetime Achievement Awards, including Ross McKinney '49 & '51 (SM & ScD, Sanitary Engineering), who was recognized by the ERWI environmental group. He responded, "It is quite an honor to be recognized by your own peers for your achievements over the years."
After serving a very long tenure as chair of the Civil Engineering Dept. at Northeastern Univ., Mishac K. Yegian '76 (PhD) will "return to my full time teaching and research responsibilities, two activities that I enjoy immensely." Prof. Peter Furth '77 (SB), '80 (SM), '81 (PhD) will take over as acting chair.
For nearly 18 years, Alexander Bardow '80 has worked for the Mass. Highway Dept., including the last six years as the Mass. Highway Bridge Engineer. "I am responsible for the inspection, load rating, design and rehabilitation of all state and municipally owned bridges in Massachusetts. Being Bridge Engineer has been an exciting, challenging and always rewarding experience. I am a voting member of the Subcommittee on Bridges and Structures (SCOBS) of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), which develops the bridge design code used by bridge engineers and designers in America. I also sit on the Seismic, Welding and Timber Design Technical Committees of SCOBS. In August I received the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Citation for Outstanding Performance.
"Outside of work, I have been a member of the Boston Society of Civil Engineers (BSCE) for many years. This past June, I was elected a vice president and will be overseeing several BSCE committees: History and Heritage (which is a hobby of mine), Public Sector Employees, and Awards and Clambake.
"Over the past year I was a judge at the BSCE-sponsored Model Bridge Competition, where Boston high school students compete by designing and building model bridges out of foam core board. The winners are judged on the basis of aesthetics and how much load the bridge can carry. Moving up in complexity, I was also a judge at the Steel Bridge Competition sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction. College students design and fabricate bridges out of steel, then assemble these bridges during timed competition and test them for load. Teams earn points for speed of construction, load carrying capacity, and the weight of the bridge. Unfortunately in the three years that I have judged the Steel Bridge Competition, no MIT teams have participated.
"This past fall, I was invited to give a lecture to Prof. Jerry Connor's class on High Performance Structures. I tried to cover the relevant issues that bridge designers face in their work, including the development of the bridge design code, funding, bridge inspection, environmental and cultural issues, and future directions in bridge design and materials of construction. As an MIT grad, it was a very gratifying experience to be invited to speak at my alma mater and to be able to share my knowledge with my future fellow alumni."
Several alumni of the MEng program attended a lunch for new students in September. Jen Levine '98 works in Cambridge for Aspen Technology, an MIT spinoff company which makes software for process and chemical engineering. As a quality engineer, she describes her work as "basically breaking things for them." Frederic Chagnon '99 has embarked on the quest for a PhD at Parsons Lab under Prof. Rafael Bras. At GZA, another MIT founded company, Chad Fox '99 is involved with dams and hydrology. Mark Batho '99 continues to work on the manufacturing and marketing of Crosskates, which look much like tiny mountain bikes strapped to one's feet like skates. Photographed in color and in vigorous action with the crosskates, he almost leaps off the cover of the brochure for Gunstock mountain recreational area in New Hampshire.
Sylvia Lee (MEng. '99) received the "Savage of the Year" (i.e. employee of the year) award at the Boston office of Montgomery Watson Harza, an international environmental consulting firm. "Employees who work here are known as savages - I guess it means that we do crazy and silly things but we do whatever it takes to get the job done. I am a junior-level environmental engineer, and my main tasks are wastewater and stormwater modeling."
"I was recently selected to be the manager from New England to represent McDonald's Corp. at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah in February," announces Arthur Fitzmaurice, a double major in environmental and chemical engineering. A veteran in the fast food industry's usually transient labor force, he has worked at McDonald's ever since he was 16 years old (first real summer job), and has continued there as a second job on the weekends this past summer while he worked for the Mass. Water Resource Administration during the week.
Jeffrey Sriver '95 (SM) has moved from the planning department at the Chicago Transit Authority to serve as assistant to the president (a technical advisory position). He enclosed an article about how the CTA is suffering from its own success in attracting riders. With 25% more people on its buses and trains in the last six years, the system is struggling to meet its watchwords of "on time, clean, safe, and friendly." As a result of increased downtown housing, perpetual construction and traffic jams on the freeways, beefed up bus service, and more people with jobs in a booming economy, rail ridership leapt from 119 million in 1995 to 147 million in 2000, and 150 million is within sight this year. Overall ridership, including bus patrons, bottomed out at 418.8 million in 1997 and is on pace to hit 458 million this year. Various authorities in the article speculate on whether the CTA can muster the organization and resources to meet the increased demand.
MIT has joined the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science (CUAHSI), and has appointed Prof. Rafael Bras '72, '74, '75 as the official representative to the Consortium.
Grad student Sara Jo Elice '01 invites everyone to attend a performance of her a cappella group, Resonance, in Rm. 10-250 on December 1 at 8 PM.
Parsons Lab administrative assistant Jim Long received a Master of Fine Arts in video from Vermont College of Norwich Univ. in August.
Young woman working with instrument, from Spring '01 issue. Sheila Frankel, research associate at Parsons Lab, instantly identified her as Gail Harrison, "a postdoc who worked for Prof. François Morel. She is running one of the first flow cytometers that I ever built, in Prof. Penny Chisholm's lab. I think it might be around 1982. Furthermore, she married a graduate student of Prof. Harry Hemond and I gave the toast at their wedding!"
Students working on bridge model. The original IAP Bridge Design Contest, organized by Prof. John Slater, was held in January 1984, according to Tom Maples '84 & '85. "The bridge in the photo was built by Jesse Treger '84 (center), talking with Prof. Eduardo Kausel (left) and me (background, right)." Maples is now senior manager of construction management services with Bond Bros., Inc., in Everett, MA. A definitive confirmation came from Cecilia Lewis Kausel: "In a white shirt is my husband Eduardo Kausel in front of a model. His hair length is from the 1970s," noting that he joined the faculty in 1978. Steve Leslie '70 (SB) & '72 (SM) also wrote in to identify Kausel.
After identifying the participants and circumstances as the January 1984 IAP "Das Bridge" contest, Annette Hulse '84 writes, "The 1984 MIT Yearbook has a double page picture (inside cover, fourth page in) of Tom Maples and Jesse Treger with the bridge before it failed, during testing in the Bldg. 7 lobby. The other members of the team that constructed this bridge are in the background of that picture -- Wayne Switzer '84 and me. The testing was quite a spectacle, and attracted a large crowd of spectators as they wandered through Lobby 7."
"Civil and Environmental Engineering at