As we approach the culmination of our 50th Anniversary as a Technical
Society of the IEEE, we grow more appreciative of the early work
done by the Founders of our Society.
It took a group of special individuals in 1957 to organize the
“interference engineers” into a cohesive unit capable
of producing “interference reduction” symposiums,
Transactions on Radio Frequency Interference, and the first newsletters
of the organization. This group of organizing engineers is called
the “Founders” of the EMC Society.
Rexford Daniels was one of those founding engineers. It is appropriate,
as we approach our 50th Anniversary as a Society, to examine his
contributions to the Society as an example of the type of person
our “Founders” were.
Rex, as his friends called him, lived a long life; he was born
on June 16, 1898 and passed away on January 2, 1987. So, when
he helped found the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) Professional
Group on Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) in 1957; he was already
59 years old. The IRE Professional Group on RFI eventually evolved
into the IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Society.
Three years before the origin of the EMC Group, Rex had started
a newsletter whereby interference engineers could exchange information.
This newsletter was called “Quasies and Peaks” and
it was circulated to anyone requesting it at no charge. Rex was
both the editor and publisher of the “Quasies and Peaks”
newsletter. Rex became the first newsletter editor of the IRE
Professional Group on RFI and continued as newsletter editor for
13 years until 1969.
Rex was born in Indiana but spent his adult life in New York and
Massachusetts. He graduated from Yale (the Sheffield Scientific
School) in 1920 with a PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering. As
a member of the U. S. Navy Reserve, he was called up in 1940 as
a Lt. Commander in the intelligence office. This was followed
by a stint at the MIT RadLab, where he organized and managed Group
39 of the Transition Department.
In 1946, he set up a partnership, Henderson and Daniels, to develop
new products and techniques resulting from research done at the
MIT RadLab. Then, in 1952, he founded The Interference Testing
and Research Laboratory with offices in Boston. This laboratory
offered complete technical supervision and administration of contracts
and surveys as well as development and testing of radio frequency
interference instrumentation. He changed the name of the company
in 1960 to Interference Consultants, Inc.
As the importance of spectrum engineering gained recognition,
Rex was requested by the Executive Office of the President to
act with the Joint Technical Advisory Committee (JTAC) in establishing
a group to study the “side effects” caused by electromagnetic
energy. During the four-year course of this work, Rex made many
personal contributions and, as a result, a central database was
established in the President’s Office of Telecommunications
Policy and an Electromagnetic Radiation Management Council (ERMAC)
was setup to coordinate the study of side effects of EM emissions.
As an output of this project, Rex edited a two-volume report on
Electromagnetic Side Effects published by the Office of Telecommunication
Management, Executive Office of the President, in 1968. Rex was
a walking encyclopedia of Electromagnetic Energy side effects.
An example of his extensive writing on EM Side-Effects can be
found in Volume EMC-6 of the EMCS Transactions (October, 1964
– Number 3) where he wrote an article entitled “The
Impacts on Management of Electromagnetic Compatibility.”
Rex served on the IRE Professional Group on RFI’s Administrative
Committee (equivalent to the present-day EMC Society’s Board
of Directors) for two terms: 1960 -1962 and 1964 – 1966.
He was Vice-Chairman of the Administrative Committee in 1962.
He was the first recipient of the Certificate of Appreciation
from the Professional Group on RFI in 1962 and, in 1968, he received
the Certificate of Recognition. In 1970, he was the first Society
member to be awarded the Honorary Life Membership.
In 1980, he was elected to Fellow Grade by the IEEE “for
innovative concepts and leadership in the beneficial uses of nonionizing
electromagnetic energy and its potential dangers.”
For over 30 years, until the mid-1980s, Rex was internationally
recognized for outstanding contributions to the technical aspects
of electromagnetic compatibility, instrumentation, and EMC effects.
In addition, his outstanding and unselfish contributions to the
Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) and the Professional Group
on Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) over the years, as well
as to the IEEE EMC Society, made him so well known as to earn
him the nickname “Mr. EMC.”
(NOTE – Much of the above material was gleaned from the
cover page article on Mr. Daniels in the EMC Society Newsletter
dated Spring of 1987 – Issue No. 133.) EMC