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Promoting and Celebrating Engineering in Rochester 

Serving the Rochester Community for over 120 years!     

February 2020

02-Feb-2020 5:16 PM | Greg Gdowski, PhD (Administrator)

Continuing with the historical sampling of the earlier
writings on behalf of the RES

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. World War again affected 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, and the Vietnam War has recently become a focal point. 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” (May 1971)

“What You’ve Always Wanted to Know about Engineers (But Were Afraid to Ask)”, was the title of the RES Annual Meeting presentation by Dr. Lane H. Riland, Director of Psychological Research & Services, Eastman Kodak Company. This being the annual “RES Ladies’ Night” event, Dr. Riland’s address promised to include a psychological profile of the typical engineer, and the ramifications with regard to his roles (Editor’s note: Yes, that’s what the article says!) as practitioner, consultant, supervisor, subordinate – and husband! In the spirit of the RES’ recent “Operation RESOURCE” initiative, the first in a series of public forums, on May 10th, at Monroe Community College, was announced. The featured speaker, Pliny Fisk, inventor and founder of the Waste Conversion Foundation of Croton-on Hudson, was billed as a man to whom “every pollutant is a waste asset,” who claimed to have been working on sensible techniques for waste management for the past 24 years. His organization was currently building a waste conversion plant in Secaucus, NJ, “a fully-automated complex of machines which take sewage solids, unseparated garbage and rubbish and grinds them together. Then it separates inorganic parts, washes them for industrial use, and re-grinds the biodegradable into organic soil concentrate.” RES President, G. Robert Leavitt, announced that subsequent meetings would be focused on other processes and methods of waste management. It was announced that another meeting, this one on incineration, had been scheduled for May 20th, also at MCC.

June 2, 1971 (RES Annual Meeting, Rochester Yacht Club - Attendance - 33)

The assembled membership heard a summary of the important contributions made by RES Past President, Dr. Edward Kirkpatrick, whose recent promotion to President of the Wentworth Institute, Boston, MA would be taking him away from Rochester, where he had been serving the academic and engineering communities for the past seven years. RES Director, George Landberg, then introduced Dr. Lane Riland of Eastman Kodak Company who delivered a witty and provocative presentation on the special qualities, and idiosyncracies, of engineers.

June 9, 1971 (Board Meeting, Treadway Inn)

The Board approved six new applications for Regular Membership and three for Junior Membership. A proposal by Dr. Harry Sine of the Rochester Committee for Scientific Information, that the RES consider sponsoring an all-day symposium on successfully run solid waste landfills, received considerable discussion, following which the Board approved $750 in funding to support the inclusion of several experts on this subject.

“The Rochester Engineer” (June 1971)

In thanking the RES staff and membership for their efforts during the past year, outgoing President, G. Robert Leavitt pointed out some recent successes of the Society, including Operation RESOURCE, the upcoming Fall 1972 “Info Expo”, establishment of a very successful RES Explorer Post, and the continuing work of the Education Committee in bringing a variety of inspiring technical presentations to the Engineering Community. An article celebrating the life-long contributions of RES Executive Secretary O. Laurence Angevine to the Rochester Engineering Community also announced the establishment of a memorial fund in his honor. The RES announced the establishment of a relationship with the NYS Department of Labor and the California Department of Human Resources for the purpose of matching engineers, scientists and employers in the Rochester area with employment opportunities through the use of computers programmed for this purpose. Candidate Registration Forms for accessing this service would be available, upon request to the RES office, without regard to an individual’s RES membership status.

September 8, 1971 (Board Meeting, Bausch & Lomb)

The Board approved four new Regular Membership applications, one upgrade from Junior Member and one Associate Membership. Disappointing sales of booth space to local commerce and industry, despite consultation with several local public relations and advertising agencies, caused the Executive Committee to recommend the postponement of the Fall 1971 “Info Expo” to next year, 1972, the RES’s 75th Anniversary. The Board also approved the establishment of a $500 discretionary fund for use by the Planning Committee. A progress report by the Civic Affairs Committee on the status of Operation RESOURCE included the announcement that they would be making a preliminary presentation to the Monroe County Environmental Management Council on September 15th, in advance of the planned November 11th public presentation and recommendation. There was much discussion, in which concern was expressed that the RES must make it clear that the Society is NOT in competition with consulting engineering firms. It was emphasized that the RES would continue to work with ANY consulting firm engaged by the County to develop a proposal for solid waste management, and that ALL materials developed by Operation RESOURCE would be made available to any such firm.

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 and the the Korean Conflict, 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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