Completed Careers

I reported on the recent activities of the Completed Careers Committee (CCC) at the March 2009 EMC Society Board of Directors meeting. The key accomplishments reported were the following:

  • The Fall and Winter issues of the EMC Newsletter article honored Walt McKerchar, Professor Ban-Leong Ooi and ­David Middleton.
  • The committee developed a “Letter of Condolence” template to be mailed to the family of those individuals that have passed away. The letter will be signed by the EMCS President.
  • Letters of condolence were mailed to the families of Hank Knoller, Walt McKerchar and Professor Ooi.

     The committee is presently working on establishing a subcommittee to address the action item from the November Board of Directors meeting, which was to develop the criteria for selecting recently deceased members to be honored by the EMC Society for having made significant contributions to the Society and the EMC discipline. I am presently looking for a chair for this subcommittee. If you are interested, please contact me. The committee is also looking for volunteers to help out with the committee work in general. Since I have recently been elected to the position of VP for Member Services, I am also looking for someone to replace me as Completed Careers Committee chair. You do not have to be on the Board of Directors to serve in this position and the work is very rewarding. The committee also has a new action item from the March Board of Directors meeting: to include a form in this section of the Newsletter to be completed by the Chapter Chairs in submitting the names of recently ­deceased members of their Chapters. Please note the new form that is added at the end of this column. The plan is to include this form in each issue of the Newsletter. Chapter chairs are asked to complete the form and return it to me or one of the members of the Completed Careers Committee.
     Since the printing of the Winter 2009 issue of the Newsletter, it saddens me to report that we had four long time members that passed away. They are: Andy Nalbandian, Bill Parker, Larry Toller and Ed Vance. Tributes to these fine EMC Society members are included below. Many thanks to their respective Chapter members, including Ken Renda and Jim Lukash on Andy Nalbandian, Steve Jensen on Bill Parker, and Joe Stanfield on Ed Vance, as well as family member Stephanie Toller on her father Larry Toller, for providing the tribute information.
     In closing, I would like to continue to solicit your support in helping me receive the names of EMC Society members that have recently passed away. You can either forward them directly to your local Chapter chair, or if you don’t know who that is, you can forward the names to me ( or a member of the Completed Careers Committee directly, including Don Heirman, Bruce Archambeault, Don Sweeney, and Andy Drozd. See page 3 of this Newsletter or the EMC Society website ( for contact information of these committee members.


Andy Nalbandian

Andrew (Andy) John Nalbandian Sr.; Lockheed Aerospace Engineer, Father, Musician, Humanitarian of Saratoga, California passed away on Sunday, February 22, 2009. Andy briefly attended Fresno State University and then transferred to UC Berkeley, where he studied Electrical Engineering and obtained his Bachelor of Science degree. Upon completion of his studies, he was hired by North American Aviation in Fresno, California. In 1956, while living in Fresno, he married Madelaine Tolegian of Los Angeles, California. The couple moved to Los Angeles in 1957 and Andy transferred to North American Aviation in Inglewood, California, where they started a family. In 1962, he worked for JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) in Pasadena, California, and in cooperation with his co-workers, he began to publish articles on topics such as “A Sensitive S-Band Noise Receiver Developed for the Mariner Mars 1964 Spacecraft Program.” Always curious and striving to learn more and do more within his profession, he moved his young family to the Bay Area in the mid 1960s. He discovered a lifetime of opportunity with his new employer, Lockheed Missile and Space Company, in Sunnyvale, California, where he worked for the next 42 years until his untimely retirement on February 9, 2009. While at Lockheed, Andy worked long and hard hours on many projects and programs to support Lockheed contracts with suppliers, including the US government. He was a mentor to many and took great pride in recruiting young engineers whom he groomed for Lockheed over many decades. He was described by Lockheed management as a “fountain of information and knowledge. He was a legend around here.” During his tenure at Lockheed, Andy received recognition and awards, but none so prestigious and dear to his heart as when he achieved the highly coveted title of “Fellow,” validating his years of experience, trouble-shooting abilities and vast knowledge in his specialized field of electromagnetic compatibility. Andy was involved in many professional organizations and held several key positions throughout his career. To highlight just a few: In 1975, Andy was Co-Chairman of Wescon (Western Electronic Show and Convention). He was a long-standing member of the Santa Clara Valley Chapter of the IEEE EMC Society and Chairman of the 1982 IEEE International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility, with a focus on “Radiating Technology from Silicon Valley.” Later, he was a member of the Symposium Committee for the 1996 IEEE International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility. In the late 1970s, he combined his interest in cars with his need to become an entrepreneur, and undertook a second job, having founded St. George Auto Body and Paint in San Jose, ­California. He enjoyed the hard work and success and sold the company in the mid 1980s. His ties to the Armenian community were strongly held together by his love of family, music, dance and community. While in his early 30’s he began to study an Armenian instrument called the “oud,” with master instructor, “Oudi Hrant” (Kenkulian), who was considered the “Father of the Oud” to the Armenians who valued the traditional “oudi” style of playing. Andy loved the instrument and quickly became an accomplished musician. In the early days, he played his oud and violin in a band called Mid-East Rhythms. He often jammed with other enthusiasts who appreciated Middle Eastern music and belly dancing. They performed at weddings, restaurants, dances, birthday parties, community events, and Armenian gatherings. (Those who attended the 1982 IEEE International Symposium on EMC in Santa Clara will ­remember the belly dancer and Middle Eastern music!) He is survived by his four children; Melanie Nalbandian (Ted Rosenberger), Cathy Nalbandian Kanter (Elliott Kanter), Andy Jr., (Becky Feathers Nalbandian), and Greg (Kaman Sit), and four ­grandchildren. In honoring the wishes of Mr. Nalbandian, donations in his memory may be made to the American Cancer Society and The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.


Bill Parker

William (Bill) Harvey Parker passed away peacefully at home on March 17, 2009. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Jung Ae, daughter Jennifer Parker-Ramirez, son-in-law Robins Ramirez of North Carolina, and two granddaughters, Ke’Ala Kai Ramirez age 2 and Norlani Ramirez age 7. Bill was a graduate of North Carolina State University with a BSEE degree in 1973. Shortly after his graduation, he applied for a position with Genisco Technology Corporation in Compton, California where he enjoyed a successful experience in various positions ranging from EMI filter design, EMI test engineer, and finally Manager of EMC Engineering Services and Director of Engineering for Genisco. Bill left Genisco in 1982 and began teaching seminars on a contract basis for then “Don White Consultants” until 1989. In 1989, he formed “Parker EMC Engineering” to provide a full range of EMC consulting services as well as “drive by” EMC testing services. His motto was “Have gear will travel.” He used his personal skills and airplane to travel to remote test locations and provide on-site EMI testing to MIL-STD-461, DO-160 and numerous commercial EMC standards. Bill was a genius when it came to bringing various motor-generators and engine-generator systems into compliance, and he developed a large following of clients in those industries who relied on him for support. He worked on numerous aerospace projects, including the 737 APU start system, the MD-90 electrical power system and the SSMIS, AMSU and SBIRS satellite programs. Most recently, his efforts were devoted to the new magnetic launcher for aircraft carriers. His efforts in San Diego continued on that program until the time of his passing. Bill’s professional activities included the IEEE EMC Society where he was a senior member and the “dB Society” where his obvious trademark “handle” was “Groucho”. Bill’s ever present “stinky cigars” earned him this title and they became part of his trademark good humor and ever present persona. The dB society will likely fine him posthumously for his untimely passing at the much too young age of 62 years. He was an IEEE EMC Society Distinguished Lecturer from 1992 to 1995, and Vice Chairman and Secretary of the Los Angeles Chapter of the IEEE EMC Society. He was also treasurer of the dB Society from 1988 to 1994. He was a consulting member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and contributed many useful filter design test ideas and lightning test ideas to the SAE for later incorporation into “Aerospace Recommended Practices” (ARP’s). He was also a NARTE Certified EMC Engineer and a professional engineer registered in the state of California. Bill was the co-author of “Filters and Power Conditioning,” Volume 4 of Interference Control Technologies Handbook Series on Electromagnetic Compatibility. He also published or presented over 20 technical papers in the field of EMC. Bill was a private pilot, amateur radio operator (KB6GRZ), rifle and pistol marksman, and marathon runner; he completed 27 Los Angeles Marathons and was in training for his 28th at the time of his passing. Bill had 30 years of combined active duty and reserve service in the United States Army.
     Editor’s Note: Many thanks to Steve and Linda Jensen for contributing this information on Bill Parker. We appreciate Steve’s personal note, “I was privileged to know Bill throughout his professional career. I hired him immediately after his graduation in 1973 and, in my humble view, it was one of the smartest decisions I have made in this life exceeded only by my success in convincing my then fiancée, now wife, Linda to marry me in 1975, not too long after meeting Bill. Bill continued to be a family friend as well as a colleague on numerous EMC endeavors. Linda and I will always treasure our relationship with him.”


Larry Toller

Lawrence (Larry) Joseph Toller was born on August 1, 1927 in Kansas City, Missouri to Edna Burke and Lawrence Joseph Toller. He was the third of five children with two older sisters, Mary and Laurie, and two younger brothers, Alex and John. After Larry’s father died in 1931, his mother moved the family to St. Louis where she struggled to provide the very best for them. Larry ultimately graduated from Christian Brothers High School in 1945 and then enlisted in the US Navy serving in the South Pacific. After discharge, he worked a number of jobs in St. Louis including one for the Wabash Cannonball Railway. After their mother died in 1950, Larry and three of his siblings moved west to Hollywood where he attended an electronics technical school then went to work for Stoddart Aircraft Radio Co. in 1957. There he developed an expertise in electromagnetic interference measurement and became a test department supervisor. His broad knowledge of Stoddart’s products, his friendly manner and people skills led him to the position of sales applications engineer. As a member of Jerry Rothhammer’s team, Larry was widely known in the EMC community. At every EMC Society Symposium, he worked in Eaton’s demonstration booth and hospitality suite, helping customers with their test and measurement requirements. He continued to work for successor companies until Eaton closed in 1991. After Eaton closed the Electronic ­Instrumentation Division, he contracted with Carnel Labs, providing expert field calibration and maintenance of Eaton’s products throughout the United States. He also traveled to Japan and England to help promote Carnel Labs. Larry was active in the Los Angeles Chapter of the IEEE EMC Society, serving a term as Chairman of the Chapter. In 1961, Larry married the girl next door, Sharon Caswell, with whom he had three daughters, Suzanne (1962), Stephanie (1965) and Kolleen (1969). In 1962, Larry and Sharon moved to McCadden Place where they lived for almost 40 years. In 2001, lured by the birth of their first grandchild Kelly, Larry and Sharon moved to Long Beach. He was passionate about trying to “clean up” Hollywood and was a founding member of the neighborhood watch group. Larry was an extremely generous man, using his considerable “handyman” skills to help countless friends, neighbors and family. He hated to throw anything away and given enough time could usually give a castaway a second life. Larry was a loving “Papa” to his grandchildren. He was a wonderful father; patient, kind and supportive of all that his girls wanted to achieve. He was a loving husband, worrying until the very end that Sharon would be taken care of.
     Editor’s Note: Many thanks to Jerry Ramie for sharing the following story on Larry Toller, “I met Larry early in my career, about 1982. The personal computer was just being born, and the EMC product line at Eaton was managed by Larry’s boss and friend, Jerry Rothhammer. Jerry was un-approachable by a reckless young sales engineer like me, so I took my first airplane ride (to LAX) to meet Larry Toller, who picked me up and introduced me to the luncheon delights of “The Shack” (they served the best beer and burgers). Larry was very helpful building the bridge between Sales (that wanted to sell into that emerging computer market) and EMC Engineering (who thought the military and its subcontractors made up their entire customer base). Larry was the only bridge, really. I was utterly dependent on him. Larry’s help was instrumental in getting the nervous instrument rental companies, particularly US Instrument Rentals, to stock the Eaton receivers and accessories, even co-advertising with EATON at one time. Without his constant support for my rentals, the EMC product line would never have successfully rented and sold into those computer testing applications and I wouldn’t be in the EMC industry today.”


Edward F. Vance

Edward F. Vance (IEEE Member 1957 – Senior Member 1979 – Fellow 1990), a native of Tarrant County, Texas, received the B.S.E. degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1954 and the M.S.E.E. degree from the University of Denver, Denver, Colorado, in 1958. From 1954 to 1956, he was a Design Engineer at North American Aviation (now Rockwell International). From 1956 to 1959, he was at the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Denver. From 1959 through 1994, he was with SRI International in Menlo Park, California, although since 1974 he maintained an office in Fort Worth, Texas. At SRI he performed research on electrostatic charging of aircraft and rockets, electrostatic initiation of electroexplosive devices and electrical breakdown of air and vacuum. For over 25 years he was active in research and development on nuclear EMP and other transient interaction with systems and in the application and standardization of EMP protection. He contributed to several EMP handbooks and served on Department of Defense advisory panels on system hardening. When he retired from SRI he was a Senior Principal Scientist. In 1986, Ed was elected an EMP Fellow. He is the author of the book Coupling to Shielded Cables, and is an author and co-author of numerous journal and conference papers, and over fifty SRI technical reports. Ed served as chairman for the 1993 IEEE International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility in Dallas, Texas. Ed Vance was named an IEEE Life Fellow in 1990 for contributions to the development of transient interference analysis and control. The grade of Fellow recognizes an individual for their extraordinary record of accomplishments in their field of interest. Ed was also the recipient of many IEEE EMC Society awards, including the 1981 Technical Achievement Award. He passed away on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 and is survived by his wife Gladys; son, Tom; daughters, ­Carolyn Vance, Dana Vance and Cindy Vance Paul; sister, Mary Williams; and five grandchildren. Ed will be remembered for his many technical accomplishments in the EMC discipline and missed by his family and friends.     EMC


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