|Leo L. Beranek
A new award has been officially approved by the IEEE for the EMC
Society! The Technical Activities Board (TAB) of the IEEE approved
the new award at its meeting on 12 November 2005 upon the recommendation
of the TAB Awards and Recognition Committee (TABARC) from its
August meeting. The funding arrangement for the award comes from
outside the IEEE and the arrangements were approved by the IEEE
Foundation on 18 November 2005.
The award honors Dr. Leo L. Beranek, a pioneer in radio, acoustics,
electro-acoustics, data transmission and other IEEE related technical
issues. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and a founder of Bolt, Beranek,
and Newman. His Oral History is available on the IEEE History
Center’s catalog of oral histories of electrical engineers.
The Leo L. Beranek Student Travel Grant was presented for the
first time, unofficially, at the 2005 IEEE International Symposium
on EMC in Chicago. It will be OFFICIALLY awarded for the first
time at the 2006 IEEE International Symposium on EMC in Portland,
The sponsors of the award hope that more students in the future
will be able to come to the IEEE International EMC Symposium and
give excellent papers because their travel costs will be covered
by this award.
DETAILS ON THE AWARD
Title: Leo L. Beranek Student Travel Grant Award
Description: This Student Travel Grant is to
recognize students who are authoring and presenting exceptional
papers at the annual IEEE International Symposium on Electromagnetic
Compatibility (EMC). The award honors Leo L. Beranek, a pioneer
in the area of anechoic chambers. It is intended to reward outstanding
students in the area of EMC and support their travel to the annual
IEEE International Symposium on EMC so they can present their
Administration: The Student Travel Grant will
be administered by the IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC)
Society, the administrative details will be delegated to the EMC
Society’s Education and Student Activities Committee. The
names of the recipients will be selected by the Education and
Student Activities Committee. It is expected that from two to
six awardees will be selected each year.
Eligibility: The Student Travel Grant recipients
must be scheduled to present their papers at the annual IEEE International
Symposium on EMC. The students must have been officially registered
for the Symposium.
Prize Items: Student Travel Grants in the amount
of $500 to $1000 USD will be presented to the students presenting
exceptional papers. The actual cash award will depend upon the
number of awardees and the travel costs of the students. A check
and a certificate will be given to each student receiving the
Funds: The Fund will be established by Constance
Brown and James Beranek, family members of Leo L. Beranek. The
funds will be deposited with and administered by the IEEE Foundation.
Nominee Solicitation: The availability of the
Leo L. Beranek Student Travel Grant will be announced each year
by the annual Symposium Committee. In addition, the Education
and Student Activities Committee will encourage students to be
aware of the Travel Grant through the universities and professors
that participate in the committee.
Award Committee: A special sub-committee of the
Education and Student Activities Committee will evaluate and judge
the papers and name the recipients of the Student Travel Grants.
The sub-committee will consist of professors involved with the
Education and Student Activities Committee.
Schedule: The Student Travel Grant candidate
papers will be reviewed approximately one month before the annual
EMC symposium. The decision on the recipients will be made approximately
two weeks before the start of the annual EMC Symposium. The awards
will be given annually in conjunction with the IEEE International
Symposium on EMC.
Selection/Basis for Judging: The criteria will
be paper content, its originality, quality, and significance to
EMC theory and practice. The subcommittee of the Education and
Student Activities Committee will vote on the candidates and their
selection will be final.
Award Presentation: The Student Travel Grants
will be presented to the students and announced at the EMC Awards
function (normally a luncheon on Thursday noon of the symposium
week) during the annual IEEE International Symposium on EMC.
Publicity: The recipients of the Leo L. Beranek
Anechoic Chamber Student Travel Grant will be publicized in the
Annual EMC Symposium Awards Banquet Brochure and the subsequent
EMC Society Newsletter.
A Short Biography of Dr.
Leo L. Beranek
Leo Beranek was born in 1914 and is still active today in technology
fields including radio, acoustics, EMC, data transmission and
other related IEEE topics.
He received his BS degree in electrical engineering in 1936 from
Cornell College in Iowa and worked for Collins-Rockwell Radio
Company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where he worked on radio transmitters
and aircraft navigation equipment. He received his Ph.D from Harvard
University in 1940 where he studied radio equipment, crystal oscillators,
radio circuits and acoustics. One of his first jointly published
papers was entitled “Acoustical Analysis of Sound Decay
in Rectangular Rooms” and was published in 1939. His Ph.D.
thesis was written on a new apparatus and method for measuring
the acoustical properties of materials used for absorbing sound,
usually in rooms. His thesis represented a merger of electrical
and acoustic technologies. He used a combination of the latest
electrical equipment, a newly-designed microphone, and a loudspeaker
(newly invented for the purpose) to investigate some of the fundamental
principles of acoustic materials.
During the second World War, he was in charge of an “Electro-Acoustic
Laboratory” that looked at making the cockpits and other
personnel areas of B-17 bombers quieter for the military people
flying and manning the guns in the planes. The study then branched
into voice communications since the airplanes in WWII were not
pressurized and everyone had to wear oxygen masks above 12,000
He was active in the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) and helped
form the audio group in the Institute in 1948. He also formed
Bolt, Beranek, and Newman in 1948; a consulting firm which originally
did acoustical consulting. However, they eventually branched into
time-sharing and interconnected computing being the lead firm
on the ARPA-net for the government.
Dr. Beranek became a Fellow of the IEEE in 1952 – “For
his contributions in research, teaching, and administration in
the fields of acoustics and speech communications.”
For more information on the illustrious life of Leo Beranek, visit