EMC Society Donates 50th Anniversary Plaque to the IEEE
(From left) EMC Society Board members Dan Hoolihan, Barry Wallen, Andy Drozd, and Don Heirman, IEEE President Lewis Terman, EMC Society Board member John Norgard, 2008 IEEE President-Elect John Vig, and EMC Society cofounder Warren Kesselman show off the 50th Anniversary plaque at a ceremony at the IEEE Operations Center, in Piscataway, New Jersey.


On Monday, January 14, the EMC Society donated an original commemorative plaque to the IEEE Operations Center in Piscataway, New Jersey. The plaque contained a lapel-pin celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the EMC Society that had been “flown” on a National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) shuttle in 2007. Andy Drozd, the immediate Past-President of the EMC Society, organized the unique donation ceremony held in the lobby of the IEEE Operation Headquarters building at 445 Hoes Lane in Piscataway, New Jersey.
Past-President Drozd initiated the ceremony with a short speech where he thanked the IEEE staff members who helped make the ceremony happen and introduced the EMC Society delegation members present, including Warren Kesselman (Original Founder of the EMCS, current Treasurer, and Past-President), Don Heirman (Vice-President of Standards Services and Past-President), Barry Wallen (Vice-President of Conference Services), John Norgard (Vice-President of Technical Services), and Dan Hoolihan (Chair of the 50th Anniversary Committee and Past-President). He noted that Robert Scully, an EMC Society Board of Directors Member and a Senior Scientist at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Texas, was unable to attend the ceremony. Mr. Scully was instrumental in arranging the lapel-pin’s inclusion on the NASA shuttle. Also, Elya Joffe, the current President of the EMC Society, was unable to participate due to other commitments but he extended his best wishes to everyone present at the ceremony.

EMC Board member Bob Scully of NASA proudly shows the plaque created by NASA to commemorate the EMC Society’s 50th Anniversary. The Society’s 50th Anniversary lapel pin was included on a space shuttle flight in August 2007.

Andy highlighted the fact that Bob Scully was primarily responsible for making the administrative arrangements to fly the 50th Anniversary lapel pin on the Space Shuttle Endeavour Flight SS-118 on 8-21 August 2007.
Andy read a written statement from Bob that said:
At first, the thought was to fly one of our large, fluffy, oversized 50th Anniversary towels. That idea was quickly dashed upon discovery that each of the astronauts only had a portion of what is a container approximately the size of a large cigar box in which to carry “personal” items. Without too much consideration, it seemed that we could get one of our 50th Anniversary lapel pins on board instead. As it turned out, many small trinkets of a sentimental nature, such as watches, rings, lapel pins, tie clips, and so forth, are regularly flown on Shuttle Missions.
The next challenge was in getting the lapel pin included in the proposed manifest. Absolutely everything that goes up on a flight has to be accounted for on some list that ultimately is reviewed, approved, and the weight added to the overall payload calculations. As one might imagine, the competition is rather fierce to get just a small item like a lapel pin on board! In fact, it was the small size of our pin that worked to our best advantage, and we were very fortunate to pass muster with the astronaut corps and the Shuttle Program and Johnson Space Center Senior Management Team.
Once the lapel pin was approved, it was simply a matter of being included in the lot that went into the “cigar-box-sized” container. Because everything is reviewed and approved so carefully, the owner of each item that flies receives a plaque afterwards, which commemorates the event and is signed by the astronaut crew. In our case, we got a bonus United States Flag that was also flown on the mission; the lapel pin and flag are on the plaque as well as the pictures of the astronauts and other items.
It was my privilege to have been able to coordinate this and I am proud to return this plaque with its lapel pin and flag to the EMC Society and the IEEE for placement in the history files.

Andy then introduced Dan Hoolihan, Chair of the 50th Anniversary Committee of the EMC Society. Dan briefly reviewed the history and work of the Committee. The EMC Society Board of Directors formed the Committee in the year 2000 during the presidency of Joe Butler.
Some of the accomplishments of the Committee noted by Dan included:
• A series of articles were written over the past three years highlighting different aspects of the History of the EMCS; in general, at least one article was published in each of the quarterly EMC Newsletters.
• A logo was developed, with the help of the Creative Services Department of the IEEE, which was coordinated with the logo of the 2007 IEEE International Symposium on EMC, the symposium occurring during the 50th Anniversary year.
• Ten oral histories were created including interviews of Founders and other significant long time EMC Society members with the help of the IEEE History Center. These oral histories are available on the IEEE web page.
• A 28-page booklet was created, entitled “50 Years of Electromagnetic Compatibility – The IEEE EMC Society and its Technologies.” This booklet was created with the help of the IEEE History Center and the Creative Services Department. Note – At this point in his speech, Mr. Hoolihan made a point of thanking Mike Geselowitz and Rik Nebeker of the IEEE History Center and Lauren Hall and her co-workers from Creative Services for their significant contributions to the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the EMC Society. Mike and Lauren were present for the ceremony and they received a warm round of applause.
• A CD was created consisting of a Power Point Presentation on “EMC History Through the Decades” plus additional historical photos of EMC Society interest. Jerry Ramie, an EMC Society member and volunteer, was cited for contributing hundreds of hours of effort to the CD’s preparation.
• A DVD was created containing “Founders’ War Stories” which was a video compilation of speeches given by the six Founders of the EMC Society who attended the 2007 IEEE International Symposium on EMC in Hawaii. The speeches were given on Thursday morning of the Symposium week in the History Museum in the exhibition area of the Symposium.
NOTE – The booklet was distributed to all members of the EMC Society; the CDs and DVDs were distributed to the Board of Directors to the Chapter Chairpersons of the EMC Society.
• The 2007 IEEE International Symposium on EMC was the culmination of the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the EMC Society. The Symposium was held in the “50th” state of the USA in July of 2007. We had special sessions on EMC Society history. We sponsored unique luncheons where the six invited Founders exchanged ideas with graduate students in EMC engineering. We instituted an EMC History Museum that contained antique EMC test equipment, both operational and non-operational, along with numerous pictures of past-presidents, past symposium program covers, and other noted individuals in the EMC Society. We had a one-day mini-tour of Oahu Island on the way to a celebratory lunch at the famous Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore of Oahu. At the luncheon, we gave anniversary awards to selected individuals who had made significant contributions to the EMC Society over the past 50 years. We inducted the six Founders into the EMC Society’s Inaugural Hall of Fame; this virtual Hall of Fame is available for viewing on the EMC Society’s web page.
• And, of course, we developed the 50th Anniversary Lapel Pin that is prominently displayed on the plaque that was presented to the IEEE on this special occasion.
Andy Drozd then presented the plaque to Lew Terman, the current President of the IEEE. Mr. Terman graciously accepted the plaque and thanked the EMC Society for their efforts and congratulated the EMC Society on its 50th Anniversary.
Also present for the ceremony was John Vig, President-Elect of the IEEE; Jeffry Raynes, Executive Director and COO of the IEEE; Lew Terman’s wife, and a reporter from the IEEE Institute, Anna Bogdanowicz. EMC

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