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In May of 1912 in a President’s Address to the University of Sydney Engineering Society JPVM set out his ideas on the effective manner in which Engineers should be trained. He believed teaching of engineering was more than just technical matters & to his mind included character, clearness of thought & expression, general knowledge, tastes, discipline & contact with men of vastly different interests. There should be a liberal arrangement of the syllabus by doing away with individual years & place only a minimum limit of four years on the course so that the student can take as long as he pleased with certain essential subjects leaving a certain number as options. He did not believe that the Matriculation test in languages & literature was essential for entrance to an Engineering course. The course of instruction needs to be geared to Australian needs with more emphasis on applications compared to finer points of design. A sound quantitative knowledge of portions of science which directly concern his professional work should be provided. The system of training is to consist of a clear exposition of the fundamental principles of science & then a study of the methods of application of these principles. As soon as the principles are understood in a general way then he must be then shown the practical application-there is a tendency to remember the applications & forget the principles. Such a defect can arise if students are given principles in one course & it is then left for him to deal with applications at a later stage. There is also a need for short graduate courses of 6-10 lectures. The need for an Australian physical Measurements Laboratory such as in Germany, London, Washington & Japan was raised at this time.

In 1914 in his Presidential Address to the Electrical Association of NSW JPVM again raised the need for Australia to participate in international comparisons of physical measurements & pointed to the role in Germany where the Physicalische Reichsansalt had become a very important institution. In conclusion JPVM referred to the loss of service due to the death of George Westinghouse one of the pioneers of the electrical industry.

At the outbreak of WW1 JPVM had been Captain of the Sydney University Rifle club & although he volunteered for active service was retained as the Chief Instructor & Officer Commanding the Commonwealth Engineer Officers Training School at Moore Park & then Roseville. The trainees at the School were all selected men with high engineering qualifications & courses of instruction were adapted to suit the requirements of these men. He was a tiger for physical fitness & maintained a mixture of hard discipline during work periods & at other times a smiling ease & warm friendliness.

Beyond 1914 - The University of Sydney and the Great War

eie-history/1912-1918.txt · Last modified: 2017/06/05 17:29 by superuser
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