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A plaque commemorates the life and work of William Henry Warren, first Professor of Engineering at Sydney University. 

In 1881 Warren migrated to Sydney where on 9 May he began work in the roads and bridges branch of the Department of Public Works; he taught applied mechanics at Sydney Technical College in the evenings. Next year he was appointed lecturer in engineering in the Department of Physics at the University of Sydney with salary of £500; in 1884 he became professor of engineering and in 1890 (J.H. Challis) professor with salary of £900.

Supported by W.C. Kernot in Melbourne, Warren worked to gain recognition for the place of engineering in universities. Popular, but not an outstanding lecturer, he required students to work from technical papers and textbooks, developing their abilities by personal guidance and example. At Sydney he built up a great engineering school. In 1900 senate approved the first four-year engineering course, and later introduced a requirement of practical experience during the third year. By 1910 courses in the three major branches of engineering were established in a form that remained essentially unchanged until the 1950s.

The Warren Laboratory was initiated by the ordering of the Greenwood and Batley testing machine in 1884. Warren continually added to the equipment in his laboratory, and by the early 1920`s was one of the most complete of its kind in the world. He used the equipment for teaching, and in his research on a very wide range of structural materials and components. Warren retired in 1925 at the age of 73, and died suddenly in 1926.



Address:Shepherd Street, J.W.Roderick Laboratory, School of Civil Engineering, University of Sydney, Darlington, 2008
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.890881
Long: 151.193388
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1926
Front Inscription

The Warren Laboratory for Testing of Materials

This tablet commemorates the life and work of William Henry Warren, LL.D., M. Inst. C.E., Dean of the Faculty and first Professor of Engineering in this university 1884-1925, and records the gratitude and affection of his students, appreciation of his work in the cause of engineering education, and his life-long devotion to investigation of the properties and use of the materials employed by the engineer.

Source: MA, ADB
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