About CIE-USA
   Current NC Officers 
          - History in Brief
          - The Objectives
          - The Members
          - Early Honorees
          - CIE: World War II
          - CIE: Post WW II
    3. The Members

Tracing the history of the Institute in this Century, one can find all the superstars in the Chinese engineering community from the CIE records together with the story of the evolution of the Chinese society toward modernization and the progress of steady technological advancement throughout the years. It may be interesting for us to view the events chronologically and the members associated with the events in roughly each quarter century.

First Superstar
At the turn of the century, the downfall of the last feudalistic empire - Ching Dynasty had begun, the society was on the verge of corruption. Learning from the heartbreaking experiences of defeat from the various conflicts with the foreign powers (particularly the Opium War) , the government realized that China had a lot of catch-up to do with respect to the western technology in order to survive. They sent a large group of young pre-college students to the U.S. (because the American government was more friendly and sincere to the Chinese) to learn the language and then enroll in the colleges for science and technology. Next, the Ministry of Commerce was established to oversee the development of railroads, telegraph, postal services and ship building as well as shipping (
路電郵航). Two technical colleges were founded in 1896, the Nanyang College ( 南洋公學) in Shanghai and the Beiyang college in Beijing. The funding of the Nanyang schools was shared by the Shanghai-Peking Railroad ( 京滬鐵路) and the Shanghai Telegraph Office ( 上海電報局). The Beiyang college was likewi se supported by mining and ship building agencies for the training of technical supporting personnel.

Our first superstar is Zhan Tian-you
詹天佑, one of the young teenagers from the first group of exchange students. At the age of twelve, he attained the Seaside Institute for Boys in West Haven, Connecticut in 1872, and attended Hillhouse High School in West Haven. He was admitted to the Yale University in 1878 and graduated with a degree in railroad/civil engineering in 1881. He returned to China after graduation and work for seven years in the Bureau of Ships, taking the responsibility to train technicians and mapping of the Chinese Sea Coasts. In 1888 he began to work as railroad engineer in a number of small railroad constructions and established a reputation to earn an honor as member of the Royal Academy of Engineers in England. In 1905, while Russia and England were having a dispute as to who had the ‘right’ to fund and build the railroad connecting Peking 北京 and Chang-Jar-Kou 張家口 ; the Ching government decided to build it without having to borrow money from foreign country and keep the expected operating profit at home. Mr. Zhan was appointed as chief engineer in 1905 to head the construction of the railroad, he was appointed as General Director for the project as well in the following year. It was the first railroad built by a Chinese Engineering team. The road spanned 202 kilometers (350 miles) on a hilly terrain. It required four tunnels, the longest one is thirty five hundred feet under the Great Wall. He successfully completed the road in less than four years and within budget. The original budget was seven million two hundred twenty nine thousand (Chinese) ounces of silver, the actual expenditure was only six million ninety three thousand ounces.

Mr. Zhan founded the Chung-Hwa Engineers
中華工程師會 in 1911, the year that the Republic of China was found. In 1913, he merged the Chung Hwa Engineers with the Railroad Engineers Union 路工同人共濟會 and Chung-Hwa Engineering Society 中華工學會. A convention was held in Hankow, Hupei. The key members of the Associations were:

詹天佑 ZHAN Tian-You
顏德慶 YEN Teh-Cheng
徐文涓 HSU Wen-Journ
吳 健 WU Jin

The organization moved to Peking in 1914 and change the name to Chung-Hwa Institute of Engineers
中華工程師學會. Mr. Zhan served as chairman of the organization since its founding until 1918. He died in April 24, 1919 on the job as the superintendent ( Minister ) of Communication, at the age of 59.

The Other Superstars
At the age of 15, Hung-Hsun Ling
凌鴻勛 enrolled into the preparatory school of the Nanyang College in 1910. He graduated as the first in his class in railroad/civil engineering in 1915. Upon graduation, he and his classmate, the number two student in the graduating class, Te-Cheng Chen 陳體誠 were selected by the Ministry of Communication 交通部 to go to the U.S. for three years of practical training. The training was sponsored by the American Bridge Co., a subsidiary of the U.S. Steel Corporation. Their training program called for the participation in factory, machine shop, design and on-site supervision. They had the opportunity to travel and work in Philadelphia, New York City, Boston and Chicago etc. and met with their Chinese fellow student contemporaries. There were about three hundred Chinese students in the east coast of the United States, many of them were sponsored by the Ching-Hwa scholarship fund. The fund derived from the compensation Ching Dynasty paid to the U.S. Government upon defeat in the 1900 War when the United Army of eight countries ( Great Britain, Russia, France, Germany, United States of America, Japan, Italy, Austria) defeated the Ching Army. The U.S. Government used the fund to set up scholarships in the U. S. and assist education institutes in China - for the cause of humanity. The Chinese students in that era were all outstanding young men, intelligent, energetic and potential community leaders. The time was right to give birth to a professional organization whose members would help to shape the building of China in the decades to come.

The Chinese Institute of Engineers was founded in July 1917, with an initial mem-bership of 80. The key members were:

陳體誠 CHEN Te-Cheng President 1917-1919
張貽志 CHANG E. G. Vice President 1917-1918,
First Convention Aug 1918 at Cornell University.
吳承洛 WU Chen-Lor Vice President 1919-1920,
President 1921-1922
Convention Chairman Aug 1927 in Nanking
侯德榜 HOU Tek-Bong 1919 Convention Chairman
Second Convention Aug. 1919 at Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute
CHOU Chi 1920 Convention Chairman
Vice President 1928 (in Nanking)
Third Convention Aug. 1920 at Princeton University.
劉錫祺 LIU Shih-Chi Vice President 1921-1922-1923
楊承訓 YANG Cheng-Shuen 1921 Convention Chairman
Fourth Convention Sep 1921 at Lake-Village School
李熙謀 LEE Shee-Mou 1922 Convention Chairman
Fifth Convention Sep 1922 at Cornell University again
周明衡 CHOU Ming-Hun 1923 President
Sixth Convention July 6, 1923 (first in Shanghai)
徐佩璜HSU Pei-Huang 1924-1925 President
1930 Vice President in Nanking
淩鴻勛LING Hung-Hsun 1924-1925 Vice President
1937 (Kweiyang) Convention Chairman
1940 Institute Chairman
1951-1952 Chairman (in Taiwan)
Second Convention Jul 1924 in Shanghai
錢昌祚CHIEN Chong-Jer 1925 Convention Chairman at Hongchow
李垕身LI Hou-San 1926 President
薛次莘XUE Zeh-Zin 1926-1927 Vice President
茅以昇MAO Yi-Sheng 1926 Grand Reunion Chairman
Grand Reunion with Chung Hwa Institute of Engineers
Aug 1926 in Peking
陳立夫CHEN Li-Fu 1927 Convention Chairman
1940 Chairman
Aug 1927 Convention in Shanghai
胡庶華HU Shu-Hua 1929-1930 President
徐恩曾HSU Ung-Jung 1929 Vice President

Aug 26, 1931 Convention in Nanking. Merger of Chinese Institute of Engineers and Chung Hwa Institute of Engineers.

From 1931 to 1936, annual conventions were held every year. The convention sites rotated every year to facilitate the participation of the local chapters, in the following orders: Nanking
南京, Tientsin 天津, Wuhan 武漢, Chi-nan 濟南, Nan-ning 南寧, Hangchow 杭州.

The Sino-Japanese war broke out in July 1937, the original scheduled convention in Tai-yuen
太原 was canceled, instead, a general membership meeting was held at Chungking 重慶 on October 8, 1938. The general meeting set-up the priority of the national engineering projects and established many more chapters in the interior western Chinese cities such as Kunming 昆明, Chengdu 成都, Kweiyang 貴陽, Lanchow 蘭州, Kweiling 桂林 and Hangyang 衡陽to coordinate those projects.

>>> Next >>>