Joint Foundation of Tainan Hydraulics Laboratory and First Harbor Engineering Model in Taiwan
Early in the 19th century, hydraulic engineering became an emerging science that used accurate model tests to verify water flow problems and theories and ensure the quality and effectiveness of future construction. In 1950, the National Hydraulic Research Institute of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) respectively worked with National Taiwan University and the Taiwan Provincial Tainan Junior College of Technology to found a hydraulics laboratory in Northern Taiwan and one in Southern Taiwan. The two schools allocated offices and personnel, whereas the National Hydraulic Research Institute provided the equipment and printed resources.
The Tainan Hydraulics Laboratory is located south of the Civil Engineering Building. While unremarkable on the outside, its interior is exceptional. There are no columns, forming a spacious hall, 30×12 m2 in area and 4.6 m in height, for various hydraulic engineering model tests. (This building is now the Historical Gallery of the Department of Civil Engineering, and the building itself is listed as a cultural asset for preservation)
Since its foundation, the Tainan Hydraulics Laboratory has hosted a multitude of experiments and studies regarding hydraulic engineering problems, served as a venue for teaching and practicum in civil engineering, and even undertaken cooperative education projects with the industry to aid in various hydraulic engineering works throughout Taiwan. For instance, the Laboratory worked with the Keelung Harbor Bureau on its outer harbor expansion project in 1957 and constructed a 1/100 model of the outer harbor for tests. This was the first successful experiment completed based on the model scaling theorem in Eastern Asia outside of Japan and was the first successful harbor engineering model test in Taiwan.
The Tainan Hydraulics Laboratory has thus also become a pioneer in hydraulic model research. In the following years, the Laboratory has coordinated with national economic development, solved various problems, assisted in the completion of major hydraulic and marine engineering projects, and protected the lives and home safety of people in Taiwan.
Water flow experiments in Tainan Hydraulics Laboratory (Provided by the NCKU Museum / TPCE Catalogue 1955-1956)
Director Hsu of Keelung Harbor Bureau inspecting outer harbor model tests in person (Provided by Tainan Hydraulics Laboratory)
Exterior of Tainan Hydraulics Laboratory in 1955 (Provided by the NCKU Museum / 1955 Yearbook of Taiwan Provincial Tainan Junior College of Technology)