An Overview of the first 25 IEEE International Symposiums on EMC

Almost from its beginning in 1957, the EMC Society has sponsored an IEEE International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility. The first of these were held in the United States and later they were sponsored outside the USA.
The primary purpose of the International Symposiums has been to provide a forum for presentation of technical papers to advance the science of electromagnetic compatibility engineering. The symposiums also provided opportunities for engineering committee meetings, equipment exhibitions, and peer-to-peer networking.
Finally, there were always social opportunities for all concerned during the symposiums; both planned and spontaneous.

The First 25 Years of Symposiums
The first symposium sponsored by the EMC Society occurred in 1959 in New York City. It ran for two days (June 15-16) and the chairman was Samuel J. Burruano. It was called a “Radio Frequency Interference Seminar” and it was attended by about 250 people. The first day was devoted to unclassified sessions while the second day concentrated on United States Government classified subjects. It was the first classified seminar held on the subject of radio interference in the USA. (Click to see the excerpt from the IRE Newsletter.)
The second national symposium sponsored by the Professional Group on Radio Frequency Interference was held June 13 and 14, 1960 in Washington, DC. Approximately 400 people were in attendance. The keynote speaker was Henry Randall and his topic was “Getting on Top of the Nation’s RFI Prediction and Measurement Efforts.”
In 1964, the symposium title was changed to “National Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility.” That year it was held in Los Angeles, California and was attended by about 470 people. Approximately 250 of those were paid attendees; then there were about 150 exhibitor personnel and an additional 70 “involved with the technical program.”
In 1968, the symposium name was changed to “IEEE Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility.” And, in 1969, the symposium added the word international in its title and it was called the “IEEE International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility.” In 1970, it was called the “12th Annual International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility.” And in 1971, it reverted to the title of “1971 IEEE International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility.” Thus, the basic title we know the symposium as (IEEE International Symposium on EMC) has been stable since around 1971.
Washington, DC had the honor of hosting five of the first 25 symposiums (1960, 1961, 1967, 1976, and 1983) while New York City (1959, 1965, and 1973) and San Francisco (1962, 1966, and 1974) each hosted it three times. Philadelphia and Seattle each hosted it twice. A complete list of the locations and times of the first 25 years of EMC Symposiums is shown in Table 1.

Table 1 – The First 25 Symposiums on EMC Sponsored by the EMC Society
Year Dates Location Chairman
1959 June 15-16 New York, NY Samuel J. Burruano
1960 June 13-14 Washington, DC James S. Hill
1961 June 12-13 Washington, DC Donald R. J. White
1962 June 28-29 San Francisco, CA P. F. Spencer
1963 June 4-5 Philadelphia, PA C. J. Fowler
1964 June 9-11 Los Angeles, CA Richard R. Stoddart
1965 June 28-30 New York, NY Milton Kant
1966 July 11-13 San Francisco, CA G. Ottinger, Richard B. Schulz
1967 July 18-20 Washington, DC R. L. Clark
1968 July 23-25 Seattle, WA Richard B. Schulz, George R. Ufen
1969 June 17-19 Asbury Park, NJ John J. O’Neil
1970 July 14-16 Anaheim, CA George R. Ufen
1971 July 13-15 Philadelphia, PA Robert D. Goldblum
1972 July 18-20 Arlington Heights, IL Howard L. Wolfman
1973 June 20-22 New York, NY S. Perry
1974 July 16-18 San Francisco, CA V. Siegfried
1975 October 7-9 San Antonio, TX W. E. (Gene) Cory
1976 July 13-15 Washington, DC William C. Green
1977 August 2-4 Seattle, WA B. L. (Len) Carlson
1978 June 20-22 Atlanta, GA James C. Toler
1979 October 9-11 San Diego, CA Fred J. Nichols
1980 October 7-9 Baltimore, MD Andrew Farrar
1981 August 18-20 Boulder, CO H. E. (Bud) Taggart
1982 September 8-10 Santa Clara, CA A. Nalbandian
1983 August 23-25 Washington, DC A. H. Sullivan, Jr.

The symposiums sponsored by the EMC Society have grown over the years but they owe their existence and success to the modest “Seminars” in the late 1950s and 1960s. The topics of interest have changed over the years, although some have stayed the same, and the purpose of bringing engineers and technical people together to discuss advances in theory and practice is still valid in the 21st century. EMC

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