James J. Doland
Outstanding educator, author, hydraulic engineer
By Professors Emeritus W. J. Hall and J. D. Haltiwanger
James Doland graduated from the University of Colorado (Boulder) with a B.S. degree in 1914. He earned his M.S. degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in 1932 and received an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from St. John's University, Collegeville, Minn. in 1945. He retired in 1958 with the rank of Professor Emeritus of Hydraulic Engineering.
Upon graduation from the University of Colorado he became a hydrographer with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and shortly thereafter became an Instructor of Mathematics at the University of Colorado during 1914 to 1916. From 1916 through 1923 he was employed as an engineer with the W.J. Hoy Co., St. Paul, Minnesota, although this position was interrupted by military service in World War I. From 1923 until 1926 he was employed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and in 1926 he joined the UIUC staff faculty.
During WWI (1918-1919), he was a 1st Lt.first lieutenant in the Construction Division of the War Department, and later (1919-1935) rose to the rank of captain in the Corps of Engineers Reserve. He held special military posts at various times as noted below.
For thirty-two years, Doland was on the faculty of the University of Illinois Department of Civil Engineering; he was made a Professor of Hydraulic Engineering Emeritus in 1958. Mr. Doland worked with the Bureau of Reclamation for twelve 12 years; also served as consultant to the National resources Planning Board from 1936 to 1944; was the principal engineer for the United States Engineering Department on several lend-lease bases in 1941, one being in the West Indies; and from 1943 to 1944 he was consultant for the War Production Board. He was president of the Illinois Union Board; Engineer engineer in charge of the University of Illinois Airport; Chairman of the University Senate Committee on Student Affairs; and was served on the Board of Trustees of Burnham Hospital in Champaign from 1941 to 1948, serving as its President during the last two years.
As testimonial to this fact, in his Doland's College of Engineering Memoir, quotes were taken from two letters, one of which was written by J.B. Tiffany, Technical Director of Waterways Experiment Station and recognized nationally as one of the more prominent engineers of the nation. Tiffany who stated in part, "When I was a student at the University about 30 years ago the Civil Engineering staff was recognized as probably the best in the country, but among all those other outstanding men Jimmie was always the top of them all, almost from the first week that I entered Illinois and went into one of his classes. He was not only a wonderful school teacher, but he was much more than that; he had the unique character of making everybody in his class feel somehow that he was somebody Jimmie was personally interested in, and he certainly gave me that feeling from the start . I am sure that there are hundreds of others of his former students who share the same feelings that I have in that respect."
Doland was a member of many engineering and scientific societies and the author or co-author of three books, numerous technical articles and papers. He was the author of Hydro Power Engineering and a co-author of Water Supply Engineering and Low Dams. He is noted also for being an author with Hardy Cross of the Cross-Doland method of analysis of flow in water distribution systems. In the last 15 years before his retirement his interest was confined mostly to the area of hydraulic engineering, in which capacity he was responsible for the development of courses on water power engineering, hydrology, and water resources planning and development.
Doland married Mary Ellen Hoy in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1917. He died on December 23, 1960, bringing to a close the long career of one of the most notable members of the engineering faculty of the University of Illinois.