THIS WEEK THAT WAS – 9 January 1920

No place in the boardroom

In an address to the Midland Section of the Junior Institution of Engineers, Professor FW Burstall alluded, with a touch of regret, to the fact that the engineer, despite his technical skills, is deemed incapable of the management of a large organisation and that the person in charge is either a businessman or a lawyer.

Business is one thing and engineering another. On the whole we are disposed to think that the less the engineer has to do with business the better engineer he will be.

There is, we would suggest, not the least reason to suppose that education in science and technology fits a man for the management of affairs and it seems not much more reasonable to ask that engineers should be heads and directors of great organisations than it would be to give positions of technical responsibility to lawyers and businessmen.