The Second Fifty Years…Some
Words of Wisdom
Well we’ve arrived at my final President’s
Message for this venerable Newsletter. My term as President is
winding down. In my first message nearly two years ago, I stressed
the theme endings lead to new beginnings. That same theme applies
here in my closing message.
I had the fortune of being in the position to commemorate our
first fifty years as a Society and to be at the threshold of the
Society’s next fifty years. With that, I want to begin my
final message by welcoming our incoming President, Elya Joffe,
whose term begins on January 1, 2008. Those familiar with Elya
know him as one of the most enthusiastic and hardest working volunteers,
and certainly a driving force dedicated to the growth, long-term
success, and longevity of our Society. His term as President marks
the beginning of our Society’s second fifty years and beyond.
As he navigates the course ahead, he will surely make his mark
on the EMC Society in very positive ways. I ask each of you to
give him your full support and encouragement just as you have
done so for me and for our past Presidents over the years. I certainly
will be there to help him as immediate Past President just as
Kimball Williams helped me when I took over the reigns from him
just a mere couple of years ago. We will be there for each other!
Let us never forget that the EMC Society IS you – our members
worldwide. One of the key lessons I learned over the past two
years has been the importance of being sensitive to the needs
of the members and working as a team to get things accomplished.
Although I may have had my own pet projects and personal ideas
of what I thought worth pursuing, these had to be weighed against
what the members really wanted and needed as well as how best
to fulfill these needs. This focuses attention and our Society
resources on matters of real importance. The majority has spoken,
we listened and we worked together as a team to get things done.
Certain initiatives had to be reprioritized and some deferred
to a later time in order to address immediate concerns and issues.
At other times, I went with my instincts and proposed new directions
for us to actively pursue, such as my vision of a Society that
continues to strengthen its position in the future by adapting
to the broad realm of new, cutting-edge technologies and applications.
This vision has been shared and eagerly embraced by the vast majority
of EMC Society members. I am gratified by the support.
Someone once told me that the EMC Society is all about politics.
I vehemently disagree with that statement. Although we have diversified
views and many voices, we are not a multi-party system prone to
pushing political agendas for personal gain or otherwise, or at
least we shouldn’t be. The EMC Society is not really about
politics, ideological platforms and personal agendas even though
some may have you believe that. Rather, it is and should continue
to be about serving its members in the best way possible by pursuing
scientific studies and technical advancements for the benefit
of mankind. It’s that simple.
Why do I raise these points? Carpe diem. I want to seize this
opportunity to impart some nuggets of wisdom (hopefully!) to future
leaders of the EMC Society based on my own experience and impressions.
A position of Society leader comes with certain responsibilities
and insights to be gained. The first is to be sensitive to what
our members want and dwell less on what leadership thinks they
need. This means actively reaching out to the members and eliciting
feedback. Next, one must be willing to listen, interpret, and
decide more often than not by committee. I have espoused the philosophy
of leadership with a unified front, but with a multitude of voices,
keeping in mind that our accomplishments will be realized so long
as we function as a cohesive team with a single-minded purpose
– to benefit our members! As we are often reminded, there
is no “I” in “TEAM.” Finally, be unselfish
and expect your reward to be a feeling of satisfaction for a job
well done no matter what the outcome. Do your best and have fun
doing it! Be proud, but be humble.
Legacy…Accomplishments Then and Now
As I look back over the past two years, the EMC
Society has realized a number of important accomplishments. A
report on progress includes:
• Development of a long-range plan to maintain the visibility
and importance of EMC in new, emerging technologies (building
upon the efforts of Past President Dan Hoolihan and his work on
the IEEE New Technologies Committee). John Norgard, Vice President
of Technical Services, was charged with establishing and appointing
members of a newly formed Emerging Technologies Committee (ETC)
to identify the role of EMC in cutting-edge technologies and applications.
o New Technical Committee on Nanotechnology and EMC (TC-11) was
• An accelerated global outreach initiative was instituted
(based on the plan originally developed by Past Presidents Joe
Butler, Kimball Williams and Dan Hoolihan) which assembled delegates
from our EMC-S Executive Committee and Board of Directors (BoD)
to support technically-co-sponsored conferences and chapter activities
worldwide. Since the beginning of 2006, the following global outreach-related
activities took place at which EMC-S presence was evident (Note:
nearly all personal outreach and support activities were held
outside the North American continent):
o 2006 Waveform Diversity and Design Conference, Lihue, Hawaii
o 2006 EMC Zurich in Singapore Symposium & Technical Exhibition,
o 2006 International Conference on EMI/C (INCEMIC) and Workshop,
o German EMC Chapter visit (May 2006 EMC-S BoD meeting, Hannover,
o Region 9 EMC Colloquium & Exhibition, Mexico City, Mexico
o 2006 EMC Europe Symposium, Barcelona, Spain
o 2007 Waveform Diversity and Design Conference, Pisa, Italy
o Colombian EMC Chapter Inauguration, Colombia, South America
o 2007 Dynamic Spectrum Access Networks (DYSPAN) Conference, Dublin,
o 2007 EMC Europe Workshop, Paris, France
o Victoria Section EMC Chapter Inauguration, Melbourne, Australia
o Hong Kong EMC Chapter visit, Hong Kong, China (2007)
o 2007 SoftCOM Symposium, Split-Dubrovnik, Croatia
o EMC Workshop at the International Symposium on Power Quality
(SICEL2007), Manizales, South America.
• The EMC Society celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2007.
An event to remember!!
• A new Society Member Digital Library (SMDL) benefit was
added allowing members to download published papers from both
the EMC symposia proceedings back to 1988 as well as EMC Transactions
via IEEE Xplore (first year free unlimited downloads beginning
in 2008 and then optionally at nominal cost for subsequent years).
• At least four new chapters were formed or were in the
process of formation including major chapter inauguration activities
in Hong Kong, Romania, Melbourne (Australia), Colombia (South
America) and the Czech Republic (all thanks largely to the efforts
of Francesca Maradei, Society Chapter Coordinator and Elya Joffe).
• Membership continued to rebound ever so slightly, but
steadily. We still have a ways to go to regain and exceed the
membership numbers from the year 2000.
• A Distinguished Lecturer Program presence was extended
in Regions 8 and 10. We are working on Region 9.
• A new automated (online) paper submission and review system
was adopted to facilitate improved reviewer-author communications
during the paper acceptance process for symposia.
• A new short-range plan was developed to hold multiple
EMC-S symposia in a given year. The plan will be implemented within
the next three years and will involve holding one symposium in
the North American continent and one in another IEEE Region (8-10)
that same year.
• We raised the bar on the importance of proper ethical
conduct by members of our Society to new heights.
• Three brand new sites for future EMC international symposia
were selected (Fort Lauderdale, FL in 2010, Long Beach, CA in
2011 and Pittsburgh, PA in 2012). Our presence is expanding!
There have been other important accomplishments of a somewhat
smaller scale behind the scenes. Overall, I feel we have made
significant strides in making our mark on the history of the Society
and in advancing our cause. Time will tell as to the impact this
legacy of achievements will have on the future, but I am hopeful
it will be a positive one.
Another Week to Remember!
Let’s switch gears.
Traditionally, the fall edition of the Newsletter is our so-called
symposium issue. Pretty much everything you wanted to know about
the 2007 EMC Symposium can be found in this issue. I would like
to offer a few of my own personal reflections on this year’s
symposium. Whereas I could write volumes on my time in Hawaii
during symposium week, I will highlight only my “top 5”
most memorable moments here. Before I discuss these, I want to
take the opportunity to thank Janet O’Neil, 2007 EMC Symposium
General Chair and her symposium committee for arranging such a
wonderful, high-quality and extremely enjoyable event. Most will
agree that the technical and social programs were outstanding!
Being in Hawaii wasn’t so shabby either.
The first most memorable event for me was the opening plenary
session of the symposium. Those who attended the plenary session
and with whom I spoke afterwards, found this to be one of the
best and most informative forums, let alone a highly entertaining
IEEE President Dr. Leah Jamieson delivered the keynote address
titled, “Engineering in the Changing World.” Her talk
addressed global and technological trends that are driving change
both in the engineering profession and in engineering education,
including what attributes will define success in 21st century
careers. Her perspective on this topic and exploring how we will
need to respond to these challenges in the future provided food
for thought. An article written by Dr. Jamieson on the subject
will be published in the next Newsletter.
Also, invited guest speaker Dr. Tapan Sarkar of Syracuse University
gave a colorful talk titled, “Who Was James Clerk Maxwell
and What Is/Was His Electromagnetic Theory?” This talk,
based on a book co-written by him on the history of wireless technology1
discussed Maxwell from a historical perspective focusing on some
of his works that many are not familiar with beyond his classical
electromagnetic equations. According to Dr. Sarkar, Maxwell can
be considered as one of the world’s greatest scientists
even if he had never worked on electricity and magnetism. The
talk described some of that research including, for example, the
ophthalmoscope and the Maxwell’s yellow spot test for macular
degeneration, the three colors used in color television, as inventor
of the concept of ensemble averaging and the developer of the
concept of entropy which was expounded by Leo Szilard and others
as information theory. He took the first color photograph, laid
the basic foundation on the choice of three primary colors in
characterizing any color, and developed accessories for colorblind
people, which are still used today. He developed general laws
of optical instruments and even developed a theory on the composition
of Saturn’s rings. He created a standard for electrical
resistance. He also wrote the first paper on negative feedback,
which was the cornerstone of Norbert Wiener’s work on cybernetics.
Additionally, he improved the system of dimensional analysis which
led him to predict that light was electromagnetic in nature and
surprisingly the method of solving the loop currents as the ratio
of determinants, to name a few. He developed a coherent set of
units of measurement of electricity and magnetism, which became
misleadingly known as the Gaussian system. Even though Maxwell
has influenced development in many areas of physical sciences
and had started a revolution in the way physicists look at the
world, he is not very well known for these accomplishments, unfortunately,
outside some selected scientific communities. The reasons for
that were also presented. Tapan covered it all elegantly and with
much wit and humor.
The second most memorable event for me (obviously!) was the weeklong
celebration of the Society’s 50th anniversary. The Founder’s
appreciation luncheon held during the week (arrangements courtesy
of Dan Hoolihan) was very enjoyable and a classy affair. I had
a chance to meet several founders and past presidents. Seated
at each table was a student or new member of the EMC Society.
It was a nice pairing of EMC Society veteran and EMC journeyman.
It was also a great opportunity to share past EMC war stories
and other recollections.
The 50th Anniversary Awards Banquet was held at the end of symposium
week at the picturesque Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore of
Oahu. This was another prime opportunity to meet several of our
founding fathers and past presidents of the EMC Society. It was
a time to reminisce and hear more wonderful stories of the past
as told by our guest founders. I especially thought Tony Zimbalati’s
extended reminiscences were very interesting, highly colorful
and certainly entertaining. Founder Milt Kant’s suggestion
for the Society to fund the continuation of the EMC History Museum
and artifact collection was well received and is now on the Board’s
agenda for consideration.
My third most memorable recollection was touring the EMC History
Museum, showcased at the 2007 EMC Symposium at the Hawaii Convention
Center. Once again, I would like to personally thank Dan Hoolihan
for his efforts on behalf of the EMC History Museum display. He
collected various memorabilia; photos and vintage hardware, taking
us on a time machine ride into to the past and back to the present.
We will continue to maintain and augment this display in the coming
years in preparation for our next anniversary event to be sure!
By the way, an article by Dan Hoolihan is included in this Newsletter
covering all of the different activities related to our recent
50th anniversary celebration and upcoming plans, including the
EMC History Museum.
Memorable event number four was the Children’s program.
This program was started back in 2001 at our Montreal EMC Symposium.
This is an event that is geared at making EMC engineering fun
for children and young adults who may be aspiring (EMC) engineers.
Racing cars and EMC was the theme of this year’s Children’s
program. The young people who participated were tasked with building
a racing car and then entering their cars into a race. It was
enjoyable and encouraging to see the youngsters hard at work installing
simple circuits with motors, batteries, and wires. My son Evan
was among them. The finished products were then tested and raced
on the makeshift track in the main Exhibit Hall. Gayla Burns was
the inspiration for 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
cars. Yours truly was extremely proud to be part of the “driver’s
team” judging the contests and spurring on the children
during the race trials. Thank you Gayla for a job well done and
for sparking interest in our future EMC engineers and technologists!
See the article by Gayla included in this Newsletter for more
The fifth most memorable event for me was the Wednesday night
luau at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. In typical Hawaiian-Polynesian
fashion, the food and entertainment were in abundance. Words alone
can’t describe the charming beauty of the Royal Hawaiian
Hotel and its scenic shoreline, so I’ll let the many pictures
within this Newsletter do the talking. I think it’s safe
to say that a good time was had by all. It was just the right
mix of family, friends, food and great entertainment. If there
had been more time in the evening, both Dan Hoolihan and I would
have done the Polynesian fire dance, but I’ll leave that
to your imaginations.
I’ll cheat and mention here that there were a couple of
other high points for me: Thursday’s Awards Luncheon and
the Global EMC University Program.
The Awards Luncheon offered us another opportunity to recognize
many of our Society’s leaders and technical contributors
for 2006-2007, as well as acknowledge several of our members who
recently passed away. I had the pleasure of congratulating the
winners and getting photos taken with them. The details of the
awards and a listing of our worthy recipients are included in
this Newsletter. My compliments to Bruce Archambeault, Awards
Chairman, for a job well done and to Ken Wyatt, Society Photographer,
for the great photos!
Additionally, I want to acknowledge the efforts of Clayton Paul
on behalf of the Global EMC University and congratulate him for
making this all happen so smoothly and successfully the first
time around. Go Global EMC University!
Sadly, we have lost several of our members since the symposium
in Hawaii. These include the passing of Mike Hart, Ken Hall and
EMC Society Founders John J. O’Neil and Fred Haber. A tribute
piece on Ken and Fred is included in this Newsletter edition.
May they rest in peace. Our thoughts are with them and their families.
Into the Sunset…
We continue to enjoy a yearlong celebration of our Society’s
50th anniversary. Enjoy it. You can all be very proud of belonging
to the EMC Society and for being part of its rich legacy and especially
for the significant impact you will have on the world and our
profession in the future.
In closing, my term as President is winding down. As my time nears
to step aside, I want to say that it has been an honor to serve
you, our members, over the past two years and I look forward to
the years to come. Even though my term is coming to a close, my
commitment and active involvement in the EMC Society will continue.
I appreciate all of your support and the courtesy you have extended
to me over the years. This has been a ‘captain’s log’
of my personal journey. I thank God and the many others who helped
show me the way, and especially for the support of my family during
those many trips and to my pillars of strength on the Executive
Committee, namely Don Heirman, Barry Wallen, John Norgard, Kimball
Williams, Elya Joffe, Dave Staggs, Ghery Pettit, Janet O’Neil,
and Warren Kesselman! EMC