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Although I have a little experience in the educational field, I am not an educator. I have had a great deal of experience in the design of high-duty machinery and much contact with the materials problems involved. When I was invited to speak, it seemed that my greatest service would be to attempt to organize and to present the challenges that the modern design engineer and his chief—the manager of industries dealing with high-duty machinery—are presenting daily to the metals engineers and to point out some of the areas in which they should have a greater understanding of each other's problems. We should then be able to draw some inferences as to the meaning of this in the education of the engineer who hopes to specialize in materials, whether or not those materials are limited to metals. It has become almost trite to say that on every side the mechanical engineer is limited by the materials with which he must work, but nevertheless it is true. At almost every turn, he must resort to ingenuity and subterfuge to develop the high-duty machines being demanded of him. He must use the best materials available at the time even though better ones may be available tomorrow. I think I can illustrate this best if I describe the four phases through which it seems the demands of the design engineer on the metals engineer run. Perhaps you will think these out of order, but with a little more discussion you will, I believe, see why I have grouped them so. 1. The design engineer needs materials to increase the reliability or life of existing machine designs. 2. He needs materials to permit an increase in the power, efficiency, and range of application of existing machine designs. 3. He needs materials and fabrication processes that will permit reduced costs or lower-cost designs to be made. 4. He needs new materials and concepts, and promises of these, to permit innovations—the building of new machines, devices, and processes never possible or dreamed of before.
Warren, Glenn B.
Vice-PresidentPresident, General Electric Co.The American Society of Mechanical Engineers,