Bruce Jameyson, Civil Engineering: Berkeley


1891-1978
Professor Emeritus

Bruce Jameyson died on October 24, 1978 at the age of 87, after a full life of teaching and professional activity. His wife, Alice Dixon Jameyson, whom he had married on July 29, 1919, died some 10 months prior to his passing. His son, Bert, and his daughters, Bobby Ann Browne and Frances Conn, still live in northern California.

Bruce Jameyson was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on September 18, 1891. He received his early education through high school in Colorado. After graduation from high school, he obtained some early experience on construction projects, which whetted his interest in engineering. He entered the University of California at Berkeley in 1913 and obtained the B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1917--just in time to enter the U.S. Army in World War I.

In 1919, after completing his military service as a 2nd Lieutenant, he served in a professional capacity on civil and structural engineering projects. In 1920 he was brought into the civil engineering faculty at UC Berkeley by Charles Derleth, then Dean of the College of Civil Engineering. He thus began an active teaching career with the University, giving instruction in structural and highway engineering, which continued for 36 years until his retirement in 1956.

As was the custom at the time, he also began an association with the (now) Department of Public Works of the County of Alameda as a consultant/advisor for activities relating to structural works (bridges, etc.). In this activity he came to play a key role in the concepts and design of structures such as the High Street, Park Street, and Bay Farm Island bridges, and the Posey Tube. (Members of the county public works staff estimate that he probably was responsible for critical design decisions for some 100 bridges in Alameda County during the years of his association with that activity.)

In a day when there was relatively little laboratory research activity to augment engineering instruction, this extramural kind of association provided


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an important source for the introduction of constantly advancing theory and practice into the teaching process. (This was also a two-way street, in that Jameyson's bent towards teaching tended to introduce new concepts into the thinking of practitioners in the public works field.)

Through his membership in important professional engineering societies (American Society of Civil Engineers, American Concrete Institute, Structural Engineers Association, Highway Research Board of the National Research Council, etc.), and through his avid reading of the professional literature, he was also able to bring to his teaching pertinent new analytical concepts and processes.

As one of the early instructors with a driving interest in structural engineering, he was probably responsible for many graduates finding careers in that general field.

Bruce Jameyson was a thorough and demanding teacher, but he always stood ready to help students in a kindly way. Regardless of extramural activity, the University always came first. He was generous with his time, serving willingly on committees of the Department and College. He served as Chairman of the Division of Civil Engineering from 1946 to 1949, and also as Vice Chairman of the Faculty of the College of Engineering in 1953-54. During the period of reorganization of the Division of Civil Engineering, and its transition into the Department of Civil Engineering, he again served as Vice Chairman of Civil Engineering in 1954-56.

When Bruce Jameyson decided to retire as of July, 1956, then Dean O'Brien succinctly capsulized Jameyson's contributions to the Civil Engineering Department and to the College of Engineering in the words:

“... we will miss your ever-ready help and good counsel.”

Harmer E. Davis Alexander Scordelis