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Chuzaburo Shiba

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Chuzaburo Shiba (1873-1934)


1934 Obituary [1]

Baron CHUZABURO SHIBA, D.Eng., D.Sc., exercised a remarkable influence upon the engineering and industrial life of Japan. In addition to his pioneer work in marine engineering in his native country, he was connected with the Imperial University of Tokyo for thirty-seven years, during which period about 3,000 students passed through his hands.

Baron Shiba was born in 1873, and succeeded to the barony in 1906. He studied engineering at the Imperial University of Tokyo from 1887 to 1891, after which he joined Messrs. Kawasaki, shipbuilders, of Kobe, and was employed in the drawing office, later becoming assistant superintendent in the shipbuilding yard.

In 1894 he was appointed assistant professor in the Engineering College at Tokyo.

He was sent to Europe in 1899, where he studied engineering for two years, and also inspected the machinery under construction in Glasgow and Haarlem for Osaka harbour works.

On returning to Tokyo he was appointed professor of mechanical engineering in the University, and held this position until his retirement in 1932, shortly after which he was made honorary professor by imperial decree. He recommended the adoption of the first geared turbine installation in Japan, for the Anyo Maru, and later recommended the adoption of steam turbines for the high-speed vessels Tenyo Maru and Chiyo Maru in 1905, and for many years afterwards acted as technical adviser to the Oriental Steam Ship Company. He was also lecturer in marine engineering at Kyushu Imperial University. In addition, he acted as engineer of the Patent Bureau of the Japanese Government from 1912.

In 1923 he was appointed first president of the Aviation Research Institute; although the building was destroyed in the earthquake of that year, Baron Shiba was largely instrumental in effecting its reconstruction. His invaluable work in connexion with the World Engineering Congress of 1929, of which he was vice-president, will be remembered especially by members who attended the meetings.

In 1931 he was appointed adviser and chief engineer to the South Manchurian Railway. As a member of the House of Peers, Baron Shiba made many important suggestions regarding the national industrial policy. Honorary degrees were conferred upon him by several European and American universities. He was past-president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers of Japan, and took a leading part in the industrial development of a large number of engineering, mining, chemical, and electrical firms in Japan and Manchuria.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1899, and was transferred to Membership in 1917. In 1930 he was elected an Honorary Life Member. He was also a Member of the Institution of Naval Architects, to whom he contributed a number of papers.

His death occurred on 3rd October 1934, in his sixty-second year.


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