EMC Society History

Introduction to History Section

There are three articles that are devoted to EMC Society History in this issue of the Newsletter. The articles are:

  1. 50-25-10 Years Ago-Articles from previous EMC Society Newsletters
  2. Presidents of the IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Society – Current Status
  3. Historical EMC Articles-How do we best preserve them?

      The first article is one that is written for every Newsletter. It goes back and looks at the most interesting articles in previous Newsletters. This month, there were two

Newsletters from 50 years ago in the Fall of 1960 (September and November) so we have four previous Newsletters that were reviewed for interesting anecdotes, historical summaries, and anecdotes. The other two Newsletters reviewed included the Fall 1985 issue and the Fall 2000 issue.
     The second article is a “Status Report” on the Past-Presidents of the EMC Society. There have been 32 Presidents of the EMC Society; 21 of them are still alive. The status of those 21 is reviewed in this article.
     The third article is an attempt to get our EMC Society members thinking about preserving important EMC documents. It is written around a technical paper that was written by Sprague Electric Company back in 1962. Questions are raised on the how, what and why we should be digitizing such articles.                             EMC



EMC Society Newsletter Review -
50–25–10 Years Ago

Number 13 – September 1960 – The Institute of Radio Engineers, Inc. (IRE)
Professional Group on Radio Frequency Interference (PGRFI) Newsletter
The cover story included a “Message from the Chairman.” The Chairman was Dr. Ralph M. Showers.
     “The Professional Group on Radio Frequency Interference has just completed its second full year of operation. In this two-year period, it has grown from an initial membership of 150 to 719. It has conducted two symposia: one in New York in 1959, with an attendance of 200 people, and one this past June in Washington, with an attendance of over 400. In addition, it has cooperated with the U.S. Signal Corps and the Armour Research Foundation on the Interference Reduction Conference held in Chicago. Two copies of the TRANSACTIONS of PGRFI have been issued and a third is in preparation. Copies of the Interference Reduction Conference Proceedings have been distributed to all members since 1958.
     It is the purpose of PGRFI to provide the means by which engineers active in radio interference work can exchange ideas and in so doing advance the field as a science. In addition, it should provide the means by which other engineers and management personnel can become familiar with the problems which characterize this field of endeavor and to anticipate them as much as possible. Radio interference considerations can contribute substantially to the cost of electronic equipment, unless they are properly taken into account at the earliest possible moment.
     To be of maximum service to the members, it is necessary to have the participation in PGRFI activities of all those interested in the field. One of the best means of exchanging information is through the TRANSACTIONS, which has been conceived as a high quality technical publication which would provide in as concise a manner as possible advances in the field on a current basis. In addition, it is planned to expand activities in the preparation of tutorial manuscripts. All members are encouraged to contribute papers describing their work in the field. In order to maintain our desired standards, these are subject to critical technical review and editorial comments, and the cooperation of the members in the procedures which have been established is appreciated. In addition, a correspondence column is available for handling brief technical notes of general interest with a minimum of publication delay.
     As an additional service to members, plans are underway to establish a complete bibliography on radio interference in the very near future.
     Please direct any suggestions you may have on the operation of PGRFI to any member of the Administrative Committee. You can be assured they will receive serious consideration.”
     Later in the Newsletter, the following announcement appeared:
     A. T. Parker Forms Own Company – A. T. Parker, formerly chief engineer of Stoddart Aircraft Radio Company, Inc., Hollywood, California, announces the formation of A. T. Parker and Associates, 5909 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood 38, California. The Parker organization states that it is oriented principally toward the broadband interference aspects, rather than the frequency allocation phase of RFI work.

Number 14 – November 1960 – The Institute of Radio Engineers, Inc. (IRE)
Professional Group on Radio Frequency Interference (PGRFI) Newsletter

Three cover stories appear in this issue: “Nominations for PGRFI Administrative Committee Membership,” “San ­Francisco Forms PGRFI Chapter,” and “Inland Empire Cooperative Interference Committee Formed to Combat Interference.”
     The first article announced that Harold E. Dinger, United States Naval Research Laboratory, had been appointed Chairman of the Nominations Committee of the PGRFI for the 1960–1961 period. The primary functions of the Nominations Committee are to prepare a slate of nominees for the Administrative Committee and to see that the election is carried out in accordance with PGRFI By-Laws. The membership of the Administrative Committee included W. Q. Crichlow, Rexford Daniels, Harold E. Dinger, John J. Egli, R. W. Fairweather, Herman Garlan, H. A. Gauper, Z. V. Grobowski, Milton Kant, Leonard Milton, O. P. Schreiber, R. B. Schultz, H. W. Schwenk, R. M. Showers, and Leonard W. Thomas.
     The second article simply announced: “A petition has been received by the IRE for the formation of a Chapter of PGRFI in the San Francisco Section of the IRE. The organizer of this Chapter is Peter F. Spencer, Assistant Chief Engineer, Filtron, Co., Inc., Culver City, California.”
     The third article was from the Newsletter of the Professional Group on VC dated September 15, 1960. The article said, in part, “Secretary Donald A. Crisp of the Inland Empire Cooperative Interference Committee (CIC) put out a ‘news release’ recently describing the formation of the CIC, operating in the Spokane, Washington area to locate and eliminate radio interference problems. Mr. Crisp, of the Washington Water Power Co., noted that the purpose of the CIC ‘is to bring together representatives of all the various services such as broadcasters, two-way radio people, manufacturers, amateurs, public safety people, military, in fact every group concerned with radio communications.’ ”
     The death of Dr. E. Vernon Potter was announced in this issue of the Newsletter; he died unexpectedly on Thursday evening, October 6, 1960, in Chicago. He was attending the Sixth Conference on Radio Interference Reduction and Electronic Compatibility at the Armour Research Foundation. Dr. Potter was Division Director of Physics and Electronics at the Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory, Port Hueneme, California.
     The editor of the above two Newsletters was Rexford Daniels.

Issue No. 127 – Fall 1985 – IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Society Newsletter
The editor of this Newsletter was Robert D. Goldblum and the cover page featured two articles.
     The first article was on the IEEE A/P-S Symposium. It announced that “The 1986 International Symposium, sponsored by the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society, and the National Radio Science Meeting, sponsored by the USNC/URSI Commissions A, B, E, F, and J, will be held jointly at the Wyndham Franklin Plaza Hotel, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 9–13, 1986. The technical sessions for IEEE AP-S and the ­National Radio Science Meeting will be coordinated to provide a comprehensive and well-balanced program. Authors are invited to submit papers on all topics of interest to the AP-S and URSI membership.”
     The second article dealt with IEEE IMTC/86. It said “The IEEE Instrumentation/Measurement Technology Conference will be held March 25–27, 1986, at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado. New and expanding technologies and related standards in instrumentation and measurements constitute the thrust of the technical program. Papers to be presented on test instruments, measurement methods, and technology in keeping with the conference theme ‘Standards of Excellence’ include: DC and Low-Frequency; Acoustic, RF, Microwave, and Thermal Noise; EMI and EMC; and Optical Electronics.”
     A report on the 6th Zurich Symposium and Technical Exhibition on Electromagnetic Compatibility was found on an inner page of the Newsletter. The results of the Symposium, which was held March 5–7, 1985, showed 850 participants from 26 countries and a total of 43 exhibitors. The technical program featured 116 papers (in 19 sessions), five workshops, two discussion panels, an exhibition, and two technical excursions. With 34 papers, the USA was the leading contributor to the technical program; 18 other countries contributed the remaining 82 papers. Members of the organizing committee included Professor Dr. P. Leuthold (Symposium President), Dr. Thomas Dvorak (Organizing Chairman), Professor Dr. Ralph M. Showers (Technical Program Chairman) and Herb Mertel (Workshops Program Chairman).

Issue No. 187 – Fall 2000 – IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Society Newsletter
The cover page of this Newsletter was titled “2000 IEEE International Symposium on EMC” and it had four pictures of various aspects of the “2000 Symposium.”
     Joe Butler wrote the “President’s Message” in the Newsletter; Todd Hubing wrote the “Chapter Chatter” column; Colin Brench had an article on “TC-9 Computational EMC;” Bob Olsen edited “Practical Papers, Articles, and Application Notes;” Don Heirman covered “EMC Standards Activities;” Elya Joffe wrote an article titled “Standards Advisory and Coordination Committee (SACCOM);” Andy Drozd handled “Membership Development: What’s in it for all of us?;” Bill Duff interviewed Benoit Nadeau for the “Personality Profile” section of the Newsletter; the “Board of Directors Activities” was summarized by Janet O’Neil; David Case detailed “Inter-Society Activities;” Andy Drozd tutored us on “EMC Society Webmaster Activity;” Maqsood Mohd wrote about the “IEEE EMC Society Education and Student Activities Committee;” Andy Drozd wrote a third article titled “2000 EMC Symposium Experiment Demonstrations in Washington, D. C. and a ‘Call for Experiments’ for the 2001 EMC Symposium in Montreal;” and EMC Abstracts were handled by Osamu Fujiwara.
     Institutional listings on the back cover included Amplifier Research, ARA, CKC Laboratories, EMC Test Systems, Fair-Rite Products Corporation, Lehman Chambers, Lindgren RF Enclosures, Patton & Associates, Schaffner EMC, and Texas Spectrum Electronics.
     The Editor of the Newsletter was Janet O’Neil.     EMC


Presidents of the IEEE Electromagnetic
Compatibility Society – Current Status

The list of past-presidents of the EMC Society is shown below. It includes, of course, the Presidents of the Professional Group on Radio Frequency Interference, the forerunner to our IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Society. Those with an asterisk by their name have passed away, but that still leaves a significant number of EMC Society Presidents around the world.
I thought it would be interesting to see what they are presently doing.


2000 –2001
2002 – 2003
2004 – 2005
2006 – 2007
2008 – 2009

*Harold R. Schwenk (20 November 1957–30 June 1959)
James P. McNaul (1 July 1959–30 June 1960)
Ralph M. Showers (1 July 1960–30 June 1961)
*Harold E. Dinger (1 July 1961–30 June 1962)
*Herman Garlan (1 July 1962–30 June 1963)
Donald R.J. White (1 July 1963–31 December 1963)
*Zigmund V. Grobowski (1 January 1964–30 June 1965)
*Aaron H. Sullivan, Jr. (1 July 1965–31 ­December 1967)
*Richard B. Schulz (1 January 1968–31 ­December 1968)
*Fred J. Nichols
*Heinz M. Schlicke
*John J. O’Neil
Joseph (Joe) F. Fischer, Jr.
William E. (Gene) Cory
James C. Toler
*Jacqueline (Jackie) R. Janoski
Donald N. Heirman
William G. Duff
*Eugene D. Knowles
B. Leonard “Len” Carlson
Donald E. Clark
Edwin L. Bronaugh
H. Robert (Bob) Hofmann
Warren A. Kesselman
William G. Gjertson
Daniel D. Hoolihan
Joseph E. Butler
Todd R. Hubing
Kimball Williams
Andrew Drozd
Elya Joff


James McNaul is happily retired and living in Nevada. He attended the 50th Anniversary Symposium and Celebration of the EMC Society in 2007 in Hawaii.
     Ralph Showers is still active in standards for EMC. He is a member of the Standards Committee of the EMC Society, he is Past-Chairman and still an active member of the ANSI-ASC C63® committee on EMC, he is chairman of the Board of Directors of the United States EMC Standards Corporation and he was last seen at the 74th International Electrical Commission General Meeting in Seattle, Washington in early October of 2010, where he represented the USA on a number of committees.
     Donald R. J. White is retired from EMC and living in Florida.
     Joseph (Joe) F. Fischer, Jr. is still active in EMC business; he helps run Fischer Custom Communications in California. He has attended the IEEE International Symposiums on EMC for many years and he is a charter and still active member of the dB Society.
     Gene Cory is mostly retired and living in Texas. He attended the 2009 International Symposium on EMC in Austin, Texas where he received the EMC Society’s Hall of Fame Award.
     James C. Toler is actively living in retirement in Atlanta, Georgia and is keeping a low-profile in the EMC world of engineering.
     Don Heirman is very active in EMC especially in Standards. He is a member of the Standards Committee of the EMC Society and Chairman of the CISPR Committee on the international level. He also serves as Chairman of the ANSI-ASC C63® committee on EMC as well as serves on many other subcommittees and working groups in EMC Standards.
     Bill Duff remains active in EMC. He still writes and edits numerous Personality Profile articles for the EMC Newsletter. He attends IEEE EMC Symposiums on a regular basis and he was awarded the Society’s prestigious Hall of Fame Award at the 2010 International Symposium on EMC held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
     Len Carlson is happily-retired from Boeing and living in the Washington-state area. He regularly attends the annual International Symposiums on EMC and contributes to the local Seattle chapter on EMC. He is an active member of the dB Society.
     Donald Clark has the distinction of being the President of the EMC Society that appointed the author (Hoolihan) to the Board of Directors back in August of 1988. He attends the annual IEEE Symposiums on EMC on a regular basis and he received the prestigious Hall of Fame Award at the 2010 International Symposium on EMC in Florida.
     Ed Bronaugh has retired from EMC and is living in Texas. He attended the 2009 IEEE International Symposium on EMC in Austin, Texas where he received the Society’s prestigious Hall of Fame Award.
     Bob Hofmann has retired from active employment but remains active in the Chicago local EMC Chapter and inputs his ideas frequently to EMC Standards Development in the EMC Society Standards Committee and for the ANSI-ASC C63® committee on EMC. He attends the IEEE International Symposium on a regular basis.
     Warren Kesselman retired from the US Army many years ago and is living in New Jersey in retirement. He is the newsletter editor for the ANSI-ASC C63® Committee on EMC. He received the Society’s prestigious Hall of Fame Award in 2009.
     William Gjertson is still active in EMC and he is still working at Boeing. He attends the IEEE International Symposiums on EMC on a regular basis.
     Joe Butler is still working for Chomerics, which is now part of Parker-Hannifin Corporation. He attends the IEEE EMC Symposium on a regular basis and contributes to the local EMC Chapter in the greater Boston area.
     Todd Hubing is the Vice-President for Communications Services on the EMC Society Board of Directors. He is also the Michelin Professor of EMC Engineering at Clemson University.
     Kimball Williams is getting ready to retire from being a Senior Manager at Denso in the Detroit area. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the EMC Society and active in the local EMC Chapter in the Detroit area. He was the Chairperson of the very successful 2008 IEEE International Symposium on EMC in Detroit.
     Andrew Drozd is working for his own firm (ANDRO Consulting) and is still active on the Board of Directors of the EMC Society. He is presently chairing the Standards Development Committee (SDCom) of the EMC Society.
     Elya Joffe is very active in the EMC Society as Past-President. He is in charge of the Nominations Committee of the EMC Society and is active in the long-range planning of the EMC Society. He is actively working and recently co-authored a book on “Grounding.”      EMC

Historical EMC Articles –
How do we best preserve them?

From time-to-time, I receive some historical materials from Bob Goldblum, the former editor of the IEEE EMC Society Newsletter. The material he sends me is sometimes related to the Newsletter and sometimes it is related to his activities in industry when he was actively working. The materials are much appreciated but my storage space in my house and garage is limited so a long-term solution is needed.
     The EMC Society’s History Committee is investigating digitizing important records and historical written documents for long-term preservation and storage purposes. One of the key issues is how do we decide what to digitize? It should be valuable and important; our budget does not allow us to just digitize every record we have.
     Another issue is should it be “key-word” searchable? This is a very valuable tool for researchers, but it is a more expensive process than just “digitizing” the records or documents.


A Recent Example
A document Bob recently sent me is titled “Sprague Technical Paper No. 62-1 - Interference Control Techniques.” It is written by the Staff of the Interference Control Field Service Department of the Sprague Electric Company located in North Adams, Massachusetts; Vandalia, Ohio; and Los Angeles, California.
     On this document; questions quickly come to mind relative to digitization. Does Sprague Electric Corporation still exist today? Who owns the rights to this “Technical Paper No. 62-1?” Is it already digitized by someone?
     The Abstract of the document reads as follows:
     The successful operation of modern electronic systems demands that information-bearing signals, error signals, navigation data, and similar types of electrical intelligence be free of all types of spurious energies. Introduction of electrical noises, transients, harmonics, and other spurious signals can cause misinterpretations of data, introduce errors in computer outputs, and prevent use of communications systems. Many electronic circuits are fed with extremely low-amplitude signals which can easily become buried beyond detection, by undesirable noises introduced into the circuit input.
     The design engineer has the task of anticipating and disposing of this electronic noise while his project is still in the design stage. To do so at this point will avoid many later difficulties after the system has become operational.
     This publication is provided as an aid to the design engineer in his work. It presents the latest techniques in interference control, and, while it does not profess to be complete, it does contain the bulk of remedies known at the present state of the art.
     If the design engineer will approach the problem as outlined herein, carrying out each step to its full measure, satisfactory results will usually follow. There will be situations where no amount of suppression, shielding, and decoupling will produce the desired result. It is at this point that a specialist in this field should be consulted.
     The Sprague Electric Company maintains an Interference Control Field Service Department, staffed with personnel and equipment to handle problems which cause difficulties to equipment designers and manufacturers. Consulting this department may prevent costly delays both in design, and production, of electronic systems.
     The content of the “Interference Control Techniques” Technical Paper is divided as follows:

  1. Definitions
  2. Interference Control Techniques
  3. Grounding
  4. Interference Control Techniques, Design Considerations
  5. Electrical Design Considerations
  6. Mechanical Design
  7. Interference Control Progress Check
  8. Summary of Design Considerations
  9. Example of Application of Interference Control Techniques

The 31-page technical paper has 19 figures in it for illustrating important points and 27 charts and graphs. There is no copyright on the document and the title (No. 62-1) indicates that it was published in 1962.
     Your thoughts are solicited on whether this is the kind of document that the EMC Society should digitize. Please call me at 651.213.0966 or send me an email to d.hoolihan@ieee.org.


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