Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

Engineering Experiment Station Records, 1904-1989

Historical Note:

The Engineering Experiment Station was established by act of the Board of Regents of the College on May 4, 1927. The purpose of the Station was to serve the state of Oregon by stimulating engineering education through research; completing investigations for state industries, utilities, professional engineers, public departments, and engineering teachers; and publishing the results of these investigations.

Born at Portland, Oregon, in August 1887, Samuel H. Graf entered Oregon Agricultural College in 1903 to study engineering. He received five engineering degrees from the college - B.S., Electrical Engineering (1907); E.E., Electrical Engineering (1908); B.S., Mechanical Engineering (1908); M.E., Mechanical Engineering (1909); and M.S., Electrical Engineering (1909). Between 1909 and 1954 Graf held several faculty appointments in engineering at Oregon State. In 1909-1912 he was an instructor in mechanical engineering and from 1912 to 1920 he was the head of experimental engineering. He also served as head of the Department of Mechanics and Materials (1920-1934) and of the Department of Mechanical Engineering (1934-1954); director of engineering research (1928-1944); and director of the Engineering Experiment Station (1944-1954).

The focus of the 1965 Technical Services Act was to transfer new technology and science to the business and industrial sectors of the country with the aim to improve the growth and competitive position of each state's industrial community. The State Department of Planning and Development partnered with an advisory committee made up of representatives from the academic community in order to design a program at OSU that would satisfy the Act. The State Technical Services Program was terminated in 1970 when federal funding was discontinued. James G. Knudsen, Assistant Dean of Engineering, acted as the Chairman of the Technical Services Committee at Oregon State; Knudsen was the Assistant Dean of Engineering in charge of the Engineering Experiment Station in the 1960s.

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