Utah State University Faculty Honor Lectures
The Faculty Associations, Utah State Agricultural College
Agriculture, Arid Regions, Irrigation Science
The engineer, like other scientists, is continuously seeking knowledge and understanding of the universe in which he lives. He is vitally interested in the control and the use of the forces and materials of nature for the benefit of man. He strives for the maximum economy in the use of these forces and materials which is consistent with safety and durability. He abhors waste and he works vigorously to increase efficiency. To the engineer, mastery of the physical obstacles of life is not only a challenge-it is also an opportunity. He knows that full understanding of the physical sciences is vital to his objectives, that the conservation and use of mechanical energy, whether it be in the form of direct solar radiation, or fixed in coal, or in oil, or in a waterfall, or in the water pressure of an artesian aquifer, contributes to his ability to meet the challenge-to embrace the opportunity.
The engineer's educational equipment is a result of centuries of progress in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and other physical sciences. His engineering formulas come from two major sources: reasoning and experiment; they are designated as rational and empirical. Because of the great number of variables encountered in nature it is, in many cases, impractical by reasoning alone, to consider all of them, and therefore the engineer conducts experiments and evaluates certain coefficients for use in his rational formulas.
Irrigation science first makes use of all rational formulas which ar,e applicable; thereafter it depends on experiment. The major motivating objective in the work of the engineer is the application of his knowledge, his formulas, his understanding and his experience to the advancement and welfare of society.
Israelsen, Orson W., "The Foundation of Permanent Agriculture in Arid Regions" (1943). USU Faculty Honor Lectures. Paper 51.