EMC Society History on Rexford Daniels – One of the Founders of the EMC Society

As we approach the culmination of our 50th Anniversary as a Technical Society of the IEEE, we grow more appreciative of the early work done by the Founders of our Society.
It took a group of special individuals in 1957 to organize the “interference engineers” into a cohesive unit capable of producing “interference reduction” symposiums, Transactions on Radio Frequency Interference, and the first newsletters of the organization. This group of organizing engineers is called the “Founders” of the EMC Society.

Rexford Daniels
Rexford Daniels was one of those founding engineers. It is appropriate, as we approach our 50th Anniversary as a Society, to examine his contributions to the Society as an example of the type of person our “Founders” were.
Rex, as his friends called him, lived a long life; he was born on June 16, 1898 and passed away on January 2, 1987. So, when he helped found the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) Professional Group on Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) in 1957; he was already 59 years old. The IRE Professional Group on RFI eventually evolved into the IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Society.
Three years before the origin of the EMC Group, Rex had started a newsletter whereby interference engineers could exchange information. This newsletter was called “Quasies and Peaks” and it was circulated to anyone requesting it at no charge. Rex was both the editor and publisher of the “Quasies and Peaks” newsletter. Rex became the first newsletter editor of the IRE Professional Group on RFI and continued as newsletter editor for 13 years until 1969.
Rex was born in Indiana but spent his adult life in New York and Massachusetts. He graduated from Yale (the Sheffield Scientific School) in 1920 with a PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering. As a member of the U. S. Navy Reserve, he was called up in 1940 as a Lt. Commander in the intelligence office. This was followed by a stint at the MIT RadLab, where he organized and managed Group 39 of the Transition Department.
In 1946, he set up a partnership, Henderson and Daniels, to develop new products and techniques resulting from research done at the MIT RadLab. Then, in 1952, he founded The Interference Testing and Research Laboratory with offices in Boston. This laboratory offered complete technical supervision and administration of contracts and surveys as well as development and testing of radio frequency interference instrumentation. He changed the name of the company in 1960 to Interference Consultants, Inc.
As the importance of spectrum engineering gained recognition, Rex was requested by the Executive Office of the President to act with the Joint Technical Advisory Committee (JTAC) in establishing a group to study the “side effects” caused by electromagnetic energy. During the four-year course of this work, Rex made many personal contributions and, as a result, a central database was established in the President’s Office of Telecommunications Policy and an Electromagnetic Radiation Management Council (ERMAC) was setup to coordinate the study of side effects of EM emissions. As an output of this project, Rex edited a two-volume report on Electromagnetic Side Effects published by the Office of Telecommunication Management, Executive Office of the President, in 1968. Rex was a walking encyclopedia of Electromagnetic Energy side effects.
An example of his extensive writing on EM Side-Effects can be found in Volume EMC-6 of the EMCS Transactions (October, 1964 – Number 3) where he wrote an article entitled “The Impacts on Management of Electromagnetic Compatibility.”
Rex served on the IRE Professional Group on RFI’s Administrative Committee (equivalent to the present-day EMC Society’s Board of Directors) for two terms: 1960 -1962 and 1964 – 1966. He was Vice-Chairman of the Administrative Committee in 1962.
He was the first recipient of the Certificate of Appreciation from the Professional Group on RFI in 1962 and, in 1968, he received the Certificate of Recognition. In 1970, he was the first Society member to be awarded the Honorary Life Membership.
In 1980, he was elected to Fellow Grade by the IEEE “for innovative concepts and leadership in the beneficial uses of nonionizing electromagnetic energy and its potential dangers.”
For over 30 years, until the mid-1980s, Rex was internationally recognized for outstanding contributions to the technical aspects of electromagnetic compatibility, instrumentation, and EMC effects. In addition, his outstanding and unselfish contributions to the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) and the Professional Group on Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) over the years, as well as to the IEEE EMC Society, made him so well known as to earn him the nickname “Mr. EMC.”
(NOTE – Much of the above material was gleaned from the cover page article on Mr. Daniels in the EMC Society Newsletter dated Spring of 1987 – Issue No. 133.) EMC

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