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BY ABE SILVERSTEIN
John A. Logan, a noted educator and internationally known environmental engineer, died February 16, 1989, at age seventy-eight. He served as president of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology from 1962 until 1976, guiding the ...
John A. Logan, a noted educator and internationally known environmental engineer, died February 16, 1989, at age seventy-eight. He served as president of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology from 1962 until 1976, guiding the private engineering and science college through a period of significant renovation and academic restructuring during his fourteen-year tenure.
Logan earned a B.Sc. and B.Eng. from the University of Saskatchewan in 1929 and 1934, respectively, and an M.Sc. in 1935 and a D.Sc. (environmental engineering) in 1942 from Harvard University. He also received honorary doctorate degrees from Wabash and Franklin Colleges, the University of Evansville, Indiana University, and Indiana State University.
After serving as a major in the U.S. Army, Logan was employed for eight years in Europe by the International Health Division of the Rockefeller Foundation. He was named chairman of the Department of Civil Engineering at Northwestern University in 1954, and served there until he was named president of Rose Polytechnic Institute, as Rose-Hulman was known in 1962.
Logan served for nearly forty years as a consultant and member of several committees of the World Health Organization. In addition, he was a consultant to the government of Guatamala on waste disposal and food production and to the Epidemiological Board of Waste Disposal in Alaska.
Before assuming the presidency of Rose-Hulman, Logan had been involved in several international environmental engineering projects for which he won praise from the United States, Italy, and Brazil. As superintendent of Ente Regionale Lotts Antianofelica en Sardegna, he was in charge of one of the largest experiments ever carried out in the field of malaria and mosquito eradication and reclamation. The problem was to determine whether developed technology in the eradication of an invading malaria vector (Gambia) in Brazil could be used against an indigenous species (Labranchiae) in the island of Sardinia. Malaria was successfully eradicated, new technology was developed, the mosquito population was reduced to the vanishing point but not eradicated, and land was reclaimed and made habitable. The techniques, administrative and logistical procedures, and engineering innovations developed by Logan were adopted and had a major impact on the World Health Organization's international project for the worldwide eradication of malaria.
As chief engineer of the Amazon Valley Project while an officer in the U.S. Army Core of Sanitary Engineers (Office of Inter-American Affairs) from 1943 to 1946, he successfully demonstrated the widespread application of sanitary engineering programs (malaria control, water supply, waste disposal, health centers, and hospitals) to public health and area development. This large engineering program contributed greatly to the Point Four philosophy later adopted by President Truman, and Logan was honored by the American and Brazilian governments for bringing sanitation to the Amazon basin.
He was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 1968 and was one of only six Americans with a membership in the British Institution of Civil Engineers, the oldest engineering society in the world.
Honors also included membership in Tau Beta Pi. He was a fellow in the American Society of Civil Engineers and a member of Sigma Xi, the American Society of Professional Engineers, the American Public Works Association, and the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. In 1974 Logan was selected the Indiana Engineer of the Year. He served as president of the Association of Independent Engineering Colleges, Associated Colleges of Indiana, and the Indiana Conference on Higher Education.
Logan and his first wife, who was killed in an automobile accident, had three sons, Douglas, Jack, and Carlo. In 1972 Logan married Norma Addison Schlenz.
The special interest of John Logan was in the development of a rational approach to the conservation and control of Man's environment. His overseas assignments for the United States Army, Rockefeller Foundation, and U.S. State Department helped him to develop an appreciation of the interrelationships between man and his environment, and a firm conviction that civil engineers, with a broad understanding of their professional responsibilities, could provide leadership in making the world a more attractive, convenient, and healthy place to live.