Hugo Diemer

American mechanical engineer

Hugo Diemer (November 18, 1870 – March 3, 1939) was an American engineer, management consultant, and professor at the Penn State University, who in 1910 published the first industrial engineering textbook: Factory Organization and Administration.

Hugo Diemer

Quotes Edit

  • Students are here not for service or for culture, but for the selfish end of preparing for salary to come. Constantly I hear them asking, 'If I change over to your course, what kind of a job will it help me to get when I graduate?' Students are weighing every subject they take on the scales of jobs to come.
    • Hugo Diemer, cited in: Michael Bezilla (June 1985) [1986]. "Shaping a Modern College". Penn State: An Illustrated History. Pennsylvania State University Press.

"Industrial Engineering," 1905 Edit

Hugo Diemer, "Industrial Engineering" in: Indiana Engineering Society., Proceedings of the ... Annual Meeting, (1905) Vol. 25-29; p. 66-68 ; Reprinted partly in: "Industrial Engineering Management," in: Engineering Magazine, (1906), Vol 30. p. 747-9.

  • It is the business of the production engineer to know every single item that constitutes his finished product, and every step involved in the handling of every piece. He must know what is the most advantageous manufacturing quantity of every single item so as to secure uniformity of flow as well as economy of manufacture. He must know how long each step ought to take under the best attainable working conditions. He must be able to tell at any time the exact condition as regards quantity and state of finishedness of every part involved in his manufacturing process.
    • p. 67
  • The engineer must be able not only to design, but to execute. A draftsman may be able to design, but unless he is able to execute his designs to successful operation he cannot be classed as an engineer. The production engineer must be able to execute his work as he has planned it. This requires two qualifications in addition to technical engineering ability: He must know men, and he must have creative ability in applying good statistical, accounting, and " system" methods to any particular production work he may undertake.
    • p. 67
  • With regard to men, he must know how to stimulate ambition, how to exercise discipline with firmness, and at the same time with sufficient kindness to insure the good-will and cooperation of all. The more thoroughly he is versed in questions of economics and sociology, the better prepared will he be to meet the problems that will daily confront him. As economic production depends not only on equipment and plant, but on the psychological effect of wage systems, he must be able to discriminate in regard to which wage system is best applicable to certain classes of product.
    • p. 67
  • A manufacturing organization being a live, human thing, is like a municipality. Many of our shops are as fruitful fields for riddance of graft as are many of our cities. The graft in the shop consists mostly in the distortion of the managing and planning body into a wire-pulling and influence machine with easy berths filled by incompetents or idlers. This condition often exists not because of any intentional desire to be disloyal on the part of the employees, but simply on account of the work being allowed to drift without systematic attention to departmental organization.
    • p. 67

Factory organization and administration, 1910 Edit

Hugo Diemer, Factory organization and administration. 1910, 1915, 1921, 1923, 1935, 1974, 1979

  • The Methods of Industrial Management. — A committee of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers made an extensive canvass in the fall of 1912 to determine what were the new elements in modern management as well as what the committee designated as the regulative principles of industrial management. The committee confirmed Adam Smith's statement made in 1776 in his Wealth of Nations, in which he held that the application of the principle of division of labor was the basis of manufacture. The committee also agreed with Charles Babbage, who in his work entitled Economy of Machinery and Manufacture written in 1832, added another principle, namely the transference of skill.
    • (1921, p. 10)
  • The prominent element in present-day industrial management to be: the mental attitude that consciously applies the transference of skill to all the activities of industry.
    • (1921, p. 10); Diemer quotes the ASCM committee
(a) Planning of the processes and operations in detail by a special department organized for this purpose.
(b) Functional organization by which each man superintending the workman is responsible for a single line of effort. This is distinctly opposed to the older type of military organization, where every man in the management is given a combination of executive, legislative and judicial functions.
(c) Training the worker so as to require him to do each job in what has been found to be the best method of operation.
(d) Equable payment of the workers based on quantity and quality of output of each individual. This involves scientific analysis of each operation to determine the proper time that should be required for its accomplishment and also high payment for the worker who obtains the object sought.
  • (1921, p. 10); Diemer quotes the ASCM committee

Quotes about Hugo Diemer Edit

  • Besides being in the forefront of the movement to add managerial training to the engineering curriculum, Diemer was among the first American educators to propose that manual technical skills (carpentry, metalworking, and the like) be taught in high schools and in special secondary institutions comparable to modern vocational-technical schools. He recognized that Penn State, with its long-standing two-year course in mechanic arts and its well-equipped shops, was in an ideal position to produce teachers for these manual training classes. With Dean Jackson's blessing, the Department of Industrial Engineering took over supervision of mechanic arts and renamed it the industrial education course. Seniors had the opportunity to do practice teaching in those few Pennsylvania high schools already equipped for shop instruction.
    • Michael Bezilla (June 1985) [1986]. "Shaping a Modern College". Penn State: An Illustrated History. Pennsylvania State University Press.

External links Edit

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