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Special Collections: Guide to the Walter W. Turner Papers

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves
Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department
March 2005
 
Introduction and Summary Information
 
Collection Title: Walter W. Turner Papers.
Dates of the Collection: 1960-1995 (inclusive); 1982-1988 (bulk).
Provenance: Gift of Walter W. Turner in June, 1995.
Collection Number: MS 512.
Box Numbers: 1 (formerly Box 894).
Size and Arrangement: The collection consists of one document box of material (0.5 cubic feet).
Conservation Note: The collection has been re-housed in acid-free folders and an acid-free box.
Preferred Citation: Walter W. Turner Papers, Special Collections, Raymond H. Fogler Library, University of Maine.
Restrictions on Access and Use:  Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice required for retrieval.

Biography
 
Walter Weeks Turner was born in 1922 in Augusta, Maine. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from M.I.T. in 1947. He was a professor at the University of Maine at Orono in the Department of Electrical Engineering from 1947 until his retirement as Professor Emeritus in 1990. His major teaching fields were in wire communications, feedback control systems, electrical machinery, and instrumentation. In 1986 he received the Ashley S. Campbell Award, established by the College of Engineering and Science in 1979 to recognize faculty members who brought distinction to the education of engineering and science students. He was also a member of the Maine Board of Registration for Professional Engineers from 1974 to 1988.
 
In 1959 and 1960 Professor Turner was a member of the Special Committee of Maine Engineers appointed to study engineering and economic aspects of the 1959 report by the International Passamaquoddy Engineering Board to the International Joint Commission. The Board had been authorized by the U.S. and Canadian governments in 1956 to survey the desirability and feasibility of the proposed Passamaquoddy Tidal Power Project and to estimate the cost of developing the tidal power potential of Passamaquoddy Bay in the state of Maine and the province of New Brunswick. The Committee of Maine Engineers, sponsored by the Maine Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Maine Section of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, and the Maine Association of Engineers, considered the Passamaquoddy project proposal from an engineering standpoint. They concluded in their report that it was not economically justified for the United States and would result in a waste of the country’s materials and money.
 
Professor Turner also served in 1985 and 1986 on a committee to begin the planning process for an undergraduate program in electrical engineering at the University of Southern Maine. The proposal was supported by a number of technical companies in the Portland area but met with considerable resistance from the faculty in electrical engineering at the University of Maine at Orono. After much discussion, the program was approved by the University’s Board of Trustees and began in 1988; it received accreditation from the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology in 1992.
 
Professor Turner died on November 18, 2004.
 
Scope and Content Note
 
The collection contains papers of Walter W. Turner, a professor in electrical engineering at the University of Maine at Orono, from his work on two committees: the Special Committee of Maine Engineers appointed to study the 1959 report by the International Passamaquoddy Engineering Board to the International Joint Commission, and the Baccalaureate Electrical Engineering Planning Committee formed in 1985 to begin the planning process for an undergraduate program in electrical engineering at the University of Southern Maine.
 
The files from the Special Committee of Maine Engineers contain correspondence among Committee members, from the sponsoring organizations, and from other interested citizens; these letters stress that the Committee approached the Passamaquoddy project proposal from an engineering rather than a political basis. Also included are drafts and final copies of the Committee’s report, minutes of meetings, etc.
 
The files concerning the proposed electrical engineering program at the University of Southern Maine make up the bulk of the collection. They focus on the discussions and meetings held in 1985 and 1986 concerning establishing the program and include background notes, histories of the planning process, memoranda, correspondence, reports, and proposals. The files also contain information from 1987-1988 detailing the start of the program at USM after its approval by the University’s Board of Trustees.
 
Box List

Box 1
 
Folder
 
1-2 Special Committee of Maine Engineers to study 1959 Passamaquoddy report, 1959-1960
3-11 USM electrical engineering program: planning strategies, drafts, etc., Sept., 1982-Jan., 1988
12 USM electrical engineering program: Chancellor’s newsletter article, June 17, 1988
13 USM electrical engineering program: position paper, 1986 (draft)
14 USM electrical engineering program history [draft of article?]
15 USM electrical engineering program: Arthur D. Little report and reaction, Jan., 1986
16 History of electrical engineering education at the University of Maine, by Walter Turner, 1995
17 Miscellaneous reports

Finding Aids for selected manuscript collections in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library are accessible online in URSUS, in a browsable Guide to Manuscript Collections. Please contact Special Collections at spc@umit.maine.edu or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

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Special Collections Staff: spc@umit.maine.edu | Revised: 01/10/2014
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