As part of the EMC Societys celebration of its 50 years
of existence, the History Committee of the EMCS has been reviewing
past EMC Newsletters and other Society material for interesting
and informative aspects of the Societys past. One of the
items investigated was the origin of two of the EMC Societys
major awards; the Stoddart Award and the Cummings Award. In this
issue, we will cover the origin and history behind the Stoddart
Award. In a future issue, we will cover the Cummings Award.
Richard R. Stoddart Award for Outstanding
The Stoddart Award is named after Richard R. Stoddart, the founder
of Stoddart Aircraft Radio Company. The Stoddart Award is given
annually to recognize the outstanding performance of an
EMC Society member in contributing to the advancement of EMC technology
or in contributing to the solution of a socio-technological problem.
The prize is $1000 US plus a plaque. A member can only win the
award once and the winner must be a member of the EMC Society.
The award was first presented in 1979 to Dr. Ralph Showers and,
most recently, to Marcello DAmore (2003).
Background on Richard R. Stoddart
He was born in New York City on December 1, 1900. He began his
electronics career at the age of 15 working for the Telefunken
Wireless Company and, several years later, he built and operated
one of the first spark transmitters in the New York area. He also
served as a radio operator on merchant ships crossing the Atlantic
Ocean to South America.
In his 20s, he was one of the first to receive a commercial pilots
license and spent time barnstorming with light aircraft
in and around the Poughkeepsie, New York airport. In the 1930s,
he was a field engineer for the National Broadcasting Corporation
in New York and became well acquainted with radio celebrities
of the day.
In 1938, he became one of the five-man crew accompanying Howard
Hughes on his record-breaking flight around the world in a two-engine
aircraft. As radio operator, Dick arranged all the contacts in
the countries visited and was applauded for his skill and organization
of his part in the flights success.
In 1940, Dick organized Stoddart Aircraft Radio Company which
designed and manufactured radio receivers and transmitters for
aircraft, principally the aircraft which were being ferried to
Europe to assist the British in World War II. With the help of
an Air Force contract in 1944, Dick and several of his engineers
designed and manufactured the first Very High Frequency (VHF)
receiver which was continuously tunable over the range 100 MHz
to 400 MHz. The instrument utilized the average detector and the
quasi-peak detector and was used to measure narrowband emissions
and the nuisance value of broadband emanations. A
year later the slide-back peak detector was added and broadband
calibration was expressed in present-day terms microvolts-per-meter-per-kilocycle.
Based on this revolutionary instrument, Dick negotiated with the
Navy Bureau of Ships for contracts which resulted in the development
of the URM-6 (NM-10A) in 1948, the PRM-1 (NM-20A) in 1949, and
the URM-17 (NM-50A) in 1950. In the decade from 1950 to 1960,
The URM-47 (NM-30A), the NM-40A and the NM-62A instruments were
completed, thus providing EMI Instrumentation over the range 20
Hz to 10 GHz without a gap. Much of this equipment graced a large
number of EMC labs in the United States and beyond in the 50s,
60s, and 70s. The development of these receivers was the principal
reason the Stoddart Award of the EMC Society is given for technical
Dick was made a Fellow of the IEEE in 1958 to recognize his important
contribution to the field of electromagnetic interference instrumentation.
Dick lived to be 72 years of age and flew his own twin-engine
airplane until he was 70.
It can be clearly seen that the Stoddart Award in the EMC Society
for technical excellence is aptly named and has a significant
history behind it.
IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Group Newsletter, Issue No.
76 January, 1973, Robert D. Goldblum Editor, Richard
R. Stoddart Deceased, Page 8. EMC
Stoddart had Famous Friends
Dick Stoddart had famous friends; one of which was Howard
Hughes, the notoriously famous recluse in the 1960s
and 1970s. Stoddart and Hughes and some other individuals
set a world record in July of 1938 by flying a Lockheed
Model 14 Super Electra around the world in 3 days, 19
hours, and 8 minutes. The flight covered 14,791 miles
and started in New York with stops in Paris, Moscow, Omsk,
Yakutsk, Fairbanks, and Minneapolis before returning to
New York. There is a picture available of the flight crew,
including Mr. Stoddart, on the web page at http://www.goldbergcoins.net/catalogarchive/20011201/chap2002.shtml#034135
and it is available for purchase for 3 or 4 thousand dollars