Greetings! The commemoration of the 50th anniversary
of the IEEE EMC Society is fast upon us. In a few weeks, we will
be celebrating this milestone event at the 2007 International
Symposium on EMC in Honolulu, Hawaii on 8-13 July. I would like
to dedicate the majority of my message here in anticipation of
this landmark occasion for the Society.
In the Beginning…
To put things into a broader worldwide historical perspective,
around the time that our Society was formed in 1957 the following
other events took place:
• The Cavern Club opens in Liverpool, England and John Lennon
and Paul McCartney of the Beatles meet for the first time.
• The Soviet Union closes Peter the Great Bay, which provided
access to Vladivostok, to foreign ships.
• The International Atomic Energy Agency was established
by the United Nations.
• USS Nautilus, the first nuclear-powered submarine, logged
her 60,000th nautical mile, matching the endurance of the fictional
Nautilus described in Jules Verne's novel "20,000 Leagues
Under the Sea," and the first submarine designed to fire
guided missiles was launched.
• Pope Pius XII publishes encyclical Le Pelerinage de Lourdes.
• Lew Hoad beat Ashley J. Cooper in the 71st Wimbledon Men’s
Tennis Championship Tournament.
• Althea Gibson beat Darlene Hard in the 64th Wimbledon
Women’s Tennis Championship Tournament.
• The Harry S. Truman Library was established in Independence,
• A strong summer storm ravaged the Belgian coast.
• The discovery of element 102 (Nobelium) was announced.
• Dwight D. Eisenhower became the first US President to
fly in a helicopter.
• Soviet steamer “Eshghbad” sank in the Caspian
• The US performed a series of nuclear tests at the Nevada
Test Site and the first rocket with a nuclear warhead was fired
in Yucca Flat, Nevada.
• US Marine Major John Glenn flew a F8U supersonic jet from
California to New York in 3 hours, 23 minutes and 8 seconds setting
a new transcontinental speed record.
• Athlete Don Bowden became the first American to break
a four-minute mile run.
• Monarchy rule in Tunisia was abolished in favor of a republic.
• Baseball legend Mickey Mantle hit his career home run
• The USSR launched its first intercontinental multistage
• The famed St. James’ Theater in London closed.
• Singer Jerry Lee Lewis made his very first television
• Boxer Floyd Patterson TKO’d Tommy Jackson in the
10th round for the heavyweight boxing title.
• Jack Paar’s Tonight Show premiered.
• Egypt gained control of the Suez Canal.
• Israel withdrew its troops from the Sinai Peninsula.
• The Hamilton Watch Company introduced the first electric
• The Wham-O Company produced the first Frisbee.
• The European Economic Community was established (consisting
of West Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg).
• Walter O’Malley, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers,
agreed to move the team from Brooklyn, New York, to Los Angeles,
• Britain tested its first hydrogen bomb.
• First ascent of Broad Peak, the 12th highest mountain,
• Eindhoven University of Technology was founded.
• Ellen Louks Fairclough was sworn in as Canada's first
woman Cabinet Minister.
• Hurricane Audrey killed 500 people in Louisiana and Texas.
• The US and Canada formed the North American Air Defense
• The Federation of Malaya gained its independence from
the United Kingdom.
• The Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel.
• Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story”
opened on Broadway.
• The words “In God We Trust” first appeared
on US paper currency.
• The movie Jailhouse Rock, starring Elvis Presley, opened.
• The Soviet Union launched Sputnik 2 with a dog named Laika
on board, becoming the first country to launch a living creature
• Félix Gaillard became the Prime Minister of France.
• In the US, the Gaither Report calls for more American
missiles and fallout shelters in response to the Cold War situation.
• A launch pad explosion thwarts the first US attempt to
launch a satellite (Project Vanguard).
• The IEEE EMC Society was formed.
Wow! It seems like a lot happened in 1957 - some good, some tragic,
and some pace setting. [By the way, as a test, can you identify
any other historical events in 1957 of major importance that are
not listed above and that continue to impact us even today? Hint:
Think of broadcast media and technologies for the information
There were many “firsts” that year. Comparatively
speaking, 1957 was not an inordinately tumultuous or “earth-shaking”
time as events within a given year go. Nonetheless, it had its
share of moments. The Cold War, a somewhat dubious period in our
history, was approaching its height. Whereas the down side of
the Cold War is obvious, some positive things did come out of
it. For instance, it gave rise to important technological advances
in the military realm. It raised awareness of the role that technology
could play in our daily lives. Indeed, certain events of 1957
put in motion the technological revolution that reverberates even
today, harkening back to such inventions as the integrated circuit,
modern radar and RF communications systems as we know them today,
and eventually the personal computer.
The early pioneers of the EMC Society clearly understood the benefit
of establishing a tight-knit group of concerned, dedicated experts
working together for a common cause; that is, to assure EMC in
electrical, electronic, and mechanical product designs. These
experts were highly cognizant of the military and civilian EMC
issues relevant to RF communications and radar systems at the
time. They anticipated the potential EMI issues that could arise
due to modern technological advancements and the development of
increasingly more complex devices and systems, including integrated
packaging. Our founders knew the importance of balancing good
EMC design practices, along with analysis and measurement, and
the generation of meaningful standards to address the myriad EMI/C
issues that could surface, including such concerns as electronic
and personnel safety. Although the EMI issues early on may have
been largely influenced by the military and its applications,
it soon became apparent that civilian technologies, products,
and applications could equally benefit by the intervention of
this group of experts. With that, the EMC Society was born and
the rest is history.
Yes, we are fifty years young and certainly going strong! One
of our Society’s esteemed colleagues, Clayton Paul, recently
said it best - “a time for celebrating our past and preparing
for the future.” Our 50th anniversary celebration will be
a time for reminiscing about our Society’s early days and
how it unfolded into a robust and vibrant organization over the
past fifty years, but it is also a time for looking ahead to the
next fifty years and beyond. On a personal note, when I was born
the EMC Society was a little less than a year away from being
formed. As I approach my 25th year of being an IEEE and EMC Society
member, I recall how lucky I was to have met some of the “greats”
of the Society, including several of our founders, some of whom
are still active and contributing to the common cause. I also
think of those Society veterans who encouraged me to be an active
volunteer and become a catalyst for change for the better. I hope
I have and continue to do them justice at least in some modest
way. I feel a strong connection to our founders and early leaders.
They instilled in me a desire to honor our rich history and tradition,
to carry the torch and to pass it on to the next generation of
leaders and volunteers.
What role did our founders themselves play as catalysts for change
for the better? For one, they nurtured their vision of a technical/professional
society built upon the cornerstones of volunteerism, leadership,
professional development, and technical excellence, all in support
of raising awareness of the importance of EMC in our world. Their
vision was and continues to be that of a Society that effects
changes for the benefit of our profession and mankind globally.
So to the founders and early leaders of the EMC Society who contributed
selflessly to launch an organization that has grown significantly
over the past fifty years and that is highly respected today by
the EMC community worldwide, we salute you!
Many thanks to Dan Hoolihan for heading a project to develop an
EMC history booklet which will chronicle the formation of the
Society along with a series of fitting tributes on a number of
our founders and Society pioneers. I hope you enjoy the content
of this booklet when it is completed and remember that we would
not be here without their efforts, vision, and leadership.
Enclosed along with this issue of the Newsletter is the 2007 Hawaii
EMC Symposium Advance Program. In it you will find a diverse agenda
of paper session topics, special session themes, workshops and
tutorials, and the 50th anniversary events that are planned. The
2007 Hawaii EMC Symposium Committee headed by Janet O’Neil
has gone to great lengths to ensure a very special and unique
program. One of the unique aspects of this year’s symposium
is the Global EMC University Program, which will no doubt be of
much interest to new EMC engineers. The instructors are leading
experts from all over the world that will be giving in-depth lectures
in one place, at one time. I encourage new EMC engineers to participate
in this special opportunity to learn about EMC and its many facets.
Remember that our 50th Anniversary Award Celebration will be held
on Friday, 13 July in Turtle Bay on the North Shore of Oahu. Round
trip bus transportation will be provided from/to the various hotels.
It is important that you make your plane reservations in advance
to stay over Friday and into the weekend if possible to be a part
of all the festivities.
Incidentally, an EMC Chapter retreat will be held in Hawaii on
Monday, July 9. This replaces the traditional Chapter Chair’s
Luncheon, to be held mid-week during the EMC Symposium. Francesca
Maradei and Vice President of Member Services, Dave Staggs, will
moderate this retreat. Please see the invitation for this retreat
in the EMC 2007 Advance Program mailed with this Newsletter.
A reminder: as I mentioned in the last issue of the Newsletter,
we plan to have a number of very special guests at the 2007 Hawaii
EMC Symposium. Among them will be several of our founders and
EMC Society past presidents (I won’t spoil the surprise!).
Recall that IEEE President Dr. Leah Jamieson will deliver the
Plenary session keynote address titled, “Engineering in
the Changing World.” Her talk will address 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. We look forward to her view on
this topic and exploring how we will respond to these challenges
in the future.
The Plenary session will also feature invited guest speaker Dr.
Tapan Sarkar of Syracuse University, who will give a presentation
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 technology will discuss Maxwell
from a historical perspective focusing on some of his works that
many are not familiar with beyond his classical electromagnetic
equations (a review of this book by Vice President of Technical
Services, John Norgard, appears in this Newsletter).
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. His influence is everywhere, which
surprisingly is quite unknown to most scientists and engineers.
The talk will describe 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 color
blind 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
feed back 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 will also be described.
Amidst all the planning for another world-class symposium and
the preparation for our 50th anniversary celebration, there have
been a few other interesting developments recently and additional
items of interest.
First, continuing along the Maxwell theme, included in this edition
of the Newsletter is a reprint of an article written by Dr. James
C. Rautio of Sonnet Technology which originally appeared in the
IEEE Microwave Magazine for the Microwaves & Wireless Engineer
on the theme “Maxwell’s Stamp on History” and
“Maxwell’s Legacy.” Clayton Paul contributed
a forward to this article. What is really interesting beyond that
is Dr. Rautio’s commitment to restore the original Maxwell
house. He is gathering donations and investing some of his own
funds to help restore the Edinburgh, Scotland home of James Clerk
Maxwell back to its original condition. This is an effort in process
and we wish him luck. The EMC Society will explore ways of contributing
to this restoration project in the near term.
Next, let’s talk about conferences technically co-sponsored
by the EMC Society. At the time of writing this message, Vice
President of Conferences Barry Wallen, along with John Norgard
and I were in attendance at the 2007 Dynamic Spectrum Access Networks
(DYSPAN) Conference in Dublin, Ireland on 17-20 April 2007. Also
in attendance was Stephen Berger, EMC Society Standards Development
Committee (SDCom) Chair and DYSPAN Executive Committee member.
Our technical co-sponsorship of this relatively new conference
represents a commitment by the EMC Society to get more involved
in burgeoning next generation wireless system technologies. This
ties in nicely with the work being done by TC-6 on spectrum management.
A detailed report on this conference is forthcoming. For now,
the conference had on the order of 200 attendees and included
vendor exhibits and demonstrations of new mobile wireless systems
and related applications. This is one of the horizon technologies
that we are closely tracking.
Next, we have formulated an agenda of topics for a special session
on Waveform Diversity and EMC that will be held at the 2007 3rd
International Waveform Diversity and Design (WDD) Conference in
Pisa, Italy on 4-8 June 2007. The co-chairs of this special session
are Maria Sabrina Greco and me. This continues to be part of our
intended strategy to expand our Society’s presence and incorporate
EMC topics of interest at non-traditional or non-EMC conferences.
Also, we are continuing to explore ways of improving our automated
symposium paper review system for prospective authors. The TAC
is currently in the process of reviewing alternative software-based
systems that show potential promise. One such system that is under
evaluation has been provided to us courtesy of the MTT Society.
More on the progress of this evaluation will be provided at a
Now on to new chapters and chapter support. I am happy to report
that we have recently inducted a new EMC Chapter in Colombia,
South America. Our presence in Region 9 is steadily growing, from
Brazil to Mexico City (in chapter formation status) and now Colombia.
By my count, that makes 65 chapters on our books. I want to express
my personal thanks to Chapter Chair Andres Pavas and the rest
of the Colombian EMC Chapter Board, which includes Francisco Román,
Ernesto Pérez, and Region 9 Membership Coordinator María
Alejandra Mora. In early April, we were invited to participate
in the Colombian EMC Chapter inauguration activities. As Chapter
Chair Pavas stated, “The hope was that this is would be
the beginning of a very prolific relationship in terms of cooperation,
technical, and academic interchange.” John Norgard was sent
as our delegate to support the inauguration activities which were
scheduled in Bogota. John gave presentations on the EMC Society
organization, activities, and current perspectives of EMC (technical,
academic, research, standards, etc.). Additional meetings were
held with the PAAS-UN Research Group and discussions took place
on the 4th International Symposium on Power Quality – SICEL.
The SICEL-2007 will be held in November.
Lastly, I want to acknowledge the recent passing of several of
our members. As of the start of this year, we have lost Leonard
Thomas, Sr., John Renner, and Robert (Bob) Brook. Unfortunately,
I did not know these gentlemen very well personally. I knew Bob
Brook best of all and he was a gentleman in every sense of the
word. Their contributions to the EMC Society are recognized and
appreciated. You will find a tribute to these individuals in this
Newsletter. I point out that Leonard Thomas Sr. was one of the
EMC Society’s founders. He was an electrical engineer whose
expertise in radio helped solve electronic interference problems
for the US military during World War II. Bob Brook was our representative/liaison
for the Society for the Social Implications of Technology (SSIT).
They will be missed, but never forgotten for all they have done
for the EMC Society over the years.
We never want to overlook the passing of one of our own. If you
become aware of the passing of a member, please contact Janet
O’Neil. Occasionally, we are not informed on a timely basis
on the passing of one of our members. We want to make sure we
properly acknowledge and recognize deceased members for service
to the Society and because they are one of us.
One More Thing!
The abbreviated follow-up cover story on ‘Electromagnetic
Diversity’ that I mentioned in my last message has been
deferred to a later Newsletter edition in order for us to focus
on the 50th anniversary theme in this edition. I also plan to
share some additional thoughts on leadership for the future and
our push to get members of all ages from the student, chapter,
and society ranks to actively pursue leadership opportunities
within the EMC Society. That is also being saved for a later Newsletter
issue. In the meantime, I welcome your comments and suggestions.
Please feel free to contact me at
Until the next time…EMC