President’s Message

Greetings! In writing this article on a recent autumn weekend in Upstate New York, I was reminded that my term as President of the EMC Society has nearly reached its midpoint. I guess the shorter days that come along with the season and the recent bout of several inches of snow (prematurely I might add!) put me in somewhat of a pensive mood. I must say that 2006 thus far has been a very enjoyable and rewarding year for me, both on a professional and personal level. Speaking for myself, business has been generally good. The economy seems to be making a turn for the better at least in part. The unprecedented highs in gasoline prices in the US have come down significantly. Hybrid vehicles along with wind and solar power seem to be gaining in popularity to alleviate our dependence on petroleum and to offset any harmful effects on our environment. Of course, certain events of a political nature and on an international scale are not all as positive and present many challenges to technologists, politicians, sociologists and economists, but that’s another story for another day. Suffice it to say we are challenged perhaps more today than at any other time in history and in so many different ways. Challenge is good whether it be on a small or large scale. For example, where would EMC be without EMI whether it is related to a small device or a large, complex system? But forgive me, I digress…
Let’s dwell for the time being on some good things both recent and upcoming. Over the past year, I have had many excellent opportunities for personal outreach to our members around the world and to engage in fruitful discussions of issues as well as new ideas that would benefit the EMC Society. One of the best opportunities for this exchange was at the 2006 International IEEE Symposium on EMC in Portland, Oregon this past August.
As the cover of the Newsletter shows, this issue is devoted to the 2006 EMC Symposium. In keeping with tradition, I would like to largely dedicate this article to the same theme, but rather than focus on the technical issues, the best practices, and membership statistics, allow me to offer instead a few of my own personal reflections about the Symposium and my brief tour of the Portland area. I promise to address the EMC Society related issues, concerns, and potential solutions as part of my outreach efforts in a future article! So, more to come on that later.
I will, however, bring to your attention below some important topics covered in this edition of the newsletter and other news items which I hope will be of interest to you.

Another World-Class EMC Symposium!
Every IEEE EMC symposium held since our Society’s inception has had its own special “character” and stamp of distinction. Portland was no exception. As Henry Benitez, the Symposium Chairman put it, “…‘Exploring EMC Frontiers’ as we step into the future of EMC, while recognizing the 200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the 300th birthday of the great Benjamin Franklin...” The Symposium theme very nicely interweaved the rich history, heritage, pageantry and “local” flavor of the Pacific Northwest with a soulful nod to the future. The technical and social programs were excellent. Please see Henry’s extended article in this Newsletter edition which covers the Portland Symposium activities in greater detail. I would like to acknowledge Henry and his steering committee, including Vita Feuerstein of IEEE Conference Management Services and Barry Wallen, our Vice President of Conference Services, for their efforts in making this a successful event.
There is so much activity during the symposium week that it is often a challenge, for me at least, to keep track of the potpourri of technical presentations, committee meetings, social as well as private events, and tours that are scheduled. When I reflect on the week as a whole, a few memorable events stand out. Let me take a moment to highlight several of these standout moments from the Symposium and my visit to the Portland area…
Perhaps the one Symposium event that really knocked my socks off was this year’s Children’s Program. This program was started several years ago and really took off at our Montréal EMC Symposium in 2001. This is an event that is geared at making EMC engineering fun for children and young adults who may be aspiring (EMC) engineers. The theme this year was “Calling All Young Engineers! Boats, Boats, Boats.” The young people who participated were tasked with building a hydroplane and then entering their boats into a race. It was enjoyable and encouraging to see the youngsters hard at work installing simple circuits with motors, batteries, and wires. The finished products were then tested and raced on the makeshift “Lake EMC” in the main Exhibit Hall of the Oregon Convention Center. “Captain” Gayla Burns was the inspiration for all this in front of and behind the scenes. She capably led the youths on their quest to win the race in team effort fashion. Along the way, the children learned a great deal about basic EMI and how to “build” EMC into their hydroplanes. Yours truly was extremely proud to be part of the “skipper’s team” judging the contests and spurring on the children during the race trials. You can read more about this program on page 39 of this Newsletter. Thank you Gayla for a job well done and for sparking the interest in our future EMC engineers and technologists!
Next, on to Wednesday’s Gala event. Over the past several years, each symposium committee has gone to great lengths to assure us a memorable social program, in particular, the Wednesday evening gala. Sometimes they try to outdo each other from year to year. Competition is good. Oftentimes, arrangements are made to take us to a special place (e.g., Smithsonian Air and Space Museum) or offer us an entertaining show (e.g., Cirque de Soleil). This year in Portland we sort of went back to basics and it worked well. Instead of arranging for an outside venue and busses, the gala was held at the Oregon Convention Center, the hub of the main Symposium activities. Classic entertainment was provided courtesy of Henrik Bothe aka “Neon Man” who did some outstanding juggling, told some risqué jokes, and did a balancing act on a unicycle in addition to the Neon Man show, which mere words cannot adequately describe, but which nonetheless was cool and you just had to be there. This was extra special for me because my son Evan was enlisted as an unwitting participant by Henrik to assist him during his unicycle juggling/balancing trick. I’ll never forget the amusing banter between Henrik and Evan and the plain fun in watching man and boy interact on stage. The evening was rounded out by the Trail Band which did a rendition of folk songs in tribute to the Lewis and Clark trek. Local volunteers and actors were costumed in the accoutrements of the Lewis and Clark era, which added yet another touch of class to an already memorable event.
Thursday’s EMC Symposium Awards Luncheon offered us another opportunity to recognize many of our Society’s leaders and technical contributors for 2005-2006, as well as acknowledge several of our recently deceased members. The details of the awards and our worthy recipients are included in this Newsletter edition. As I mentioned in my previous message and on a personal note, we bestowed the President’s Memorial Award this year in honor of Jose Perini who passed away on 2 June 2006. The award was made to Vignesh Rajamani of Oklahoma State University. Many of Jose’s family members and friends were there to share in a tribute to honor him and Vignesh. It was a heartwarming tribute and set the tone for what I felt was one of the best awards luncheons I had ever attended or been part of. My compliments to Bruce Archambeault, Awards Chairman, for his professionalism and occasional humor sprinkled in during the luncheon.
During the latter part of the week, I had a chance to visit the Pittock Mansion where the EMC 2007 Symposium Committee dinner meeting was held. The mansion is a fully furnished, magnificent, turn-of-the century, architectural treasure offering a sweeping view of the surrounding Cascade Mountains and the city of Portland. The mansion was home to Portland pioneers Henry and Georgiana Pittock from 1914 to 1919. We learned some interesting history about the original occupants. Henry Pittock, a consummate businessman, took ownership of the Weekly Oregonian in 1860, changing its format to the daily paper that is read today. From humble beginnings, he went on to build an empire incorporating real estate, banking, railroads, steamboats, sheep ranching, silver mining, and the pulp and paper industry. His wife Georgiana dedicated herself to improving the lives of the community’s women and children. Together, Henry and Georgiana began a long life of work, community service, and devotion to family, which would last 58 years. With its eclectic architectural design and richly decorated interior, including family artifacts, the Pittock Mansion stands today as a living memorial of this family’s contributions to the blossoming of Portland and its people.
Lastly, I had the opportunity amidst the busy schedule and frenetic pace of the symposium week to take an excursion with my family to Mount St. Helens. Needless to say, we were awe struck by the stark beauty and grandeur of the mountain and its environs, harkening back to the time of the last major eruption and nature’s fury unleashed. At the risk of waxing philosophic, this encounter with the mountain evoked contemplations on science and nature intertwined, and put my world into the perspective of greater things, events, and experiences. I appreciated the opportunity and the chance to be with my family in a more relaxed mode during an otherwise hectic week.
While there was so much more going on during symposium week in Portland, as the song goes, …these were a few of my favorite things…

Through the Looking Glass
Upon inspecting the Newsletter, readers will find that we have added several new features and associate editors. We now have a “Design Tips” column. Bruce Archambeault is our Associate Editor for this new column and he is looking for your inputs. Also, Bob Nelson, who is the new Chair of the Education and Student Activities Committee (ESAC), will be providing periodic coverage of ESAC activities starting in this issue with an overview on student activities in Portland. Please join me in welcoming these two fine Associate Editors! Bob replaces Maqsood Mohd who for many years ably led the ESAC, and built up its activity recently to an unprecedented level. Today, the ESAC is one of most vibrant and active committees thanks to Maqsood. I would like to acknowledge him for all he has done as ESAC Chair and for his lasting contributions to the EMC Society and in promoting EMC education. A job well done and a legacy to be proud of!
Also in this edition of the Newsletter, you will find a new round of practical EMC papers. The Practical Papers column of the Newsletter is intended to disseminate practical information to the EMC community. Bob Olsen, who is the Technical Editor of the Practical Papers column, will be stepping down from his position at the end of this year. We wish him well and thank him for his past six years of service as Technical Editor. Succeeding him will be Flavio Canavero of the Politecnico di Torino in Italy. We also wish Flavio a successful term as the incoming Technical Editor of the Newsletter.
Readers will also find a tribute article in the Newsletter to the late Albert A. Smith, Jr., beloved member of the EMC Society who recently passed away. Contributors include his daughter Denise Wynters and other family members as well as Don Heirman, Barry Pate, and Bob German. We will miss him, but he will never be forgotten for his selfless pioneer work and leadership on behalf of the EMC Society.
Next, as part of a new tradition, Vice President of Member Services, Elya Joffe, recognizes new EMC Society Members and newly-elevated IEEE Senior Members who were sponsored by the Society. Elya has taken important steps towards promoting active and personal outreach to our membership at large. This type of personalized approach is part of a conscious effort to facilitate access and direct contact between our members and the Society leadership for the exchange of ideas and best practices on behalf of ongoing membership and chapter development efforts.
You will also find an article on the EMC Europe Symposium in this Newsletter, which was held in Barcelona, Spain during September 2006. This was one of the events that the EMC Society technically co-sponsored in 2006. I had the privilege and distinct honor to be part of the opening ceremonies held at the campus of the Technical University of Catelonia in Barcelona. Joining me as part of a delegation of EMC Society Board representatives was Kimball Williams, Elya Joffe, Barry Wallen, and John Norgard. I was impressed by the quality and diversity of the technical program. It was also very well attended (nearly 500 registered I am told!). I wish to recognize Ferran Silva, Chairman of the EMC Europe 2006 Local Organizing Committee, and Johan Catrysse, Chairman of the EMC Europe International Steering Committee, for their efforts in assuring a successful symposium and for the hospitality they extended to our visiting delegation.
Also on the news front, several standing committee positions were filled by new officers since the Portland EMC Symposium. As mentioned above, Bob Nelson succeeded Maqsood Mohd as ESAC Chair. Also, Bob Scully succeeded Bill Strauss as Chairman of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and Bruce Archambeault has accepted the position of TAC Secretary. Additionally, Jim Drewniak has taken over as the Distinguished Lecturer Program Chair succeeding Lee Hill. Of course, many other personnel changes have occurred recently which will be covered in more detail in upcoming columns by our Vice Presidents of Technical Services and Conference Services. Our thanks and appreciation go out to Bill, Lee, and the other individuals who have served the Society well and dutifully executed their responsibilities in their various capacities over the years.

Chapter 64
If we’re not there yet, we’re very close to getting there; that is, the total number of EMC and joint EMC Chapters worldwide is at/near 64 to date. This is a tremendous accomplishment in view of the fact that as recent as the year 2000, we had only some 45 active chapters. Over the past year or so, we have seen the formation of new EMC Chapters in Pittsburgh, Australia, Czech Republic, Poland, and Hong Kong, in addition to others. This is once again due to the hard work of people such as Elya Joffe and EMC Society Board Member and Chapter Coordinator Francesca Maradei. New chapters are developing in Mexico (Region 9) and elsewhere throughout parts of Regions 8 and 10. I am hoping to report on the formation of at least two more chapters in the coming few months. This is really great news! We should be proud of our accomplishments here and in further spreading the EMC word, but this is an ongoing process and efforts continue.

More on Blending New Technologies and EMC – Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk
Each time I give a talk about the State of the EMC Society or solicit feedback from our members, they all seem to respond with one affirmative voice when it comes to the idea of embracing new technologies – Go for it!! I am encouraged that we all share a common vision for our Society that is built upon an adaptive model and a forward looking philosophy in order to strengthen our relevance in the future. That is how we will grow and continue to thrive as an organization. Take for example the last issue of the Newsletter, which ran a cover story on the role of EMC in Waveform Diversity and Design. This is a new technology area, but not a problem that hasn’t surfaced before. The responses I received to date on this have been very positive. This represents one of the technical directions that I hope and expect our Society to follow as part of a long-range strategy for embracing new technologies and applications on the horizon that include EMC. So I will continue along with the other leaders of our Society, in particular, our Vice President of Technical Services, to pave the way and keep vigilant of new and evolving technologies where EMC may play a crucial role.

Looking ahead to 2007, I am in anticipation of the many wonderful and exciting things to come especially as we get closer to our 50th anniversary celebration in Hawaii. This past year has given me, along with the Board of Directors, many opportunities to develop new plans and strategies for taking us into the next fifty years and beyond. I am very honored to be your President at this most exciting time in the Society’s history and we (the Board and Officers) will do our best to keep the EMC Society vibrant and responsive to the needs of our members!
Beyond 2007, we have symposia scheduled in Detroit, MI (2008), Austin, TX (2009), and Ft. Lauderdale, FL (2010). We will soon announce the venue to be selected for 2011. We are also embarking on a plan to hold more than one symposium in a given year, where you may recall we would hold one symposium within the North American continent and a second in Region 8, 9 or 10. The latter could be done on a rotational basis; for instance, an international symposium would be held in Region 8 one year, Region 9 the next, and so forth. The options are presently being studied and discussed to identify the various pros and cons. In any case, the idea will be to further expand our presence globally in this or some similar way in the next few years. This plan is expected to assist in achieving our goals for accelerated Society growth and expansion in new areas, both technically and regionally.
As usual, I invite your feedback. Please feel free to contact me at I always look forward to hearing from you. Until the next time…EMC

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