EMC Personality Profile
Jose Perini working at the Naval Research Laboratory on instrumentation for the mode stirred chamber.


Professor Jose Perini, world class EMC engineer, IEEE Fellow and a friend to many of us in the international EMC community, passed away on June 2, 2006 from complications attendant to chemotherapy. Jose was an educator, researcher, consultant and humanitarian.
Jose (of Portuguese heritage, hence one pronounces his name with the J, not the Spanish H sound) was born on March 1, 1928 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He graduated with a BSEE from Escola Politecnica de Sao Paulo in 1952. From 1951 to 1955, he managed a Brazilian airliner radio maintenance department. From 1955 to 1962, Jose was an Assistant Professor of EE at Escola Politecnica da Universidade de San Paulo, Brazil.
In 1958, he came to the USA to study at Syracuse University (SU), Syracuse, New York, USA where he obtained a PhD in EE in 1961. From 1959 to 1961, he consulted for General Electric in Syracuse in the area of TV Transmitting Antennas, the subject of his PhD dissertation. In 1962, Jose Perini joined the Faculty of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of SU as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Associate and Full Professor in 1966 and 1971, respectively.
He retired in 1991 as an Emeritus Professor and continued a very active professional consulting career. After leaving the Syracuse area, he moved to Daytona Beach, Florida. There he loved to spend time with his wife and extended family. His social hobbies were tennis, dance, and world travel. In the summer of 2005, he and his wife Myrthes celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with all of their children and grandchildren while on a cruise. He remained active in his profession as a consultant, lecturer, and researcher until the onset of his illness last April. He just recently participated in the task force developing requirements for the future DDX Navy ships.
Most of his teaching at Syracuse University was at the graduate level because of his research involvement. His philosophy was that an educator should not specialize in one narrow area since this precluded cross-fertilization. Because of this philosophy, he taught electromagnetic field theory, EMC, communications, computers, digital signal processing, circuit theory, and applied mathematics, in addition to other courses. As an example of cross-fertilization, Jose used digital signal processing techniques to remove reflections in the measurement of antenna patterns.
For four years, he was the Academic Chairman of two of the three Syracuse University off campus Graduate Centers. In this capacity he also developed three Video Taped Courses that were transmitted live from Syracuse to all Centers and subsequently used as a Video Playback with his interactive participation. He not only taught at these centers but also advised the 800 attending students. At both the centers and the main SU campus, he guided a large number of students through their Master and PhD degree programs.
In 1968, I was one of those students that Professor Perini guided. He was my thesis advisor for my Masters Degree in EE at Syracuse University. My thesis, like many of those that Jose guided, related to EMI problems. Jose had an infectious personality and the teacher/student relationship grew into a lifelong friendship and we worked together on some interesting projects. In later years, he taught at the graduate level in EMC at Escola Politecnica de Sao Paulo. He also taught one-week short courses at the request of the Brazilian Electric Power Companies and the Brazilian Navy.
As soon as Professor Perini joined SU, he started working in research with Professor D. C. Cheng under an USAF contract. He was the first SU Faculty Member to be selected for a full time one year sabbatical in the Air Force Post Doctoral Program. Until 1975 he was a research consultant for General Electric, Syracuse, New York in the area of Television Transmitting Antennas (subject of his PhD dissertation). He was a consultant for US DoD and many companies in the USA as well as abroad. As an example, he traveled to Brazil on three occasions to help industries make the transition from design of analog to digital modems. Jose’s true genius was in bridging the gap between the academic and the practical and making very complex concepts simple. Many in the applications world knew this talent when he joined SCEEE (Southeast Center for Electrical Engineering Education). Among the goals of SCEEE were to engage academic talent from Universities to help solve some of the serious technical challenges facing the military, especially in the electromagnetics domain. Because of his gift for combining the theoretical with the practical, his consulting services were very much in demand. He was as comfortable working at sea (on a ship) or an airport tarmac (on a plane) as he was in the classroom.
Jose’s clients included the Navy, Air Force and Army, as well as industry both during and after his thirty years at SU. Some of his work was in the design, testing, and collocation of shipboard antennas for the US Navy. Among other work, he developed what came to be known as Perini wings to solve EMC problems for the Navy’s key shipboard electronic warfare system. He developed software to predict the distortion on antenna radiation patterns in ground to air communications facilities for the Air Force and the Army.
The work that he did in submarines for the Navy required the design of wide band antennas and antenna matching networks. Working with SU graduate students, he developed special software for these tasks to both model and explain the underlying physics of the problem he was working. He did research on extending the effective use of mode stirred chambers to frequencies in the kHz range. One of his latest contributions to ship topside EMC design was in the development of a technique to model broadband RAMs that can maintain the same absorption rate from normal to almost grazing angles of incidence. During his career, he published over 150 papers in professional journals, and presented close to the same number of papers in national and international technical symposiums.
From 1951 to 1955, he worked for Real Transportes Aereos, the second largest Brazilian Airline, as the Manager of the Radio Maintenance Department. In his last year, he became Assistant to the Director of General Maintenance. He started this job while still in his last year as a student at Escola Politecnica for his Engineering degree in EE and ME. He was responsible for the maintenance of all on board, ground communication, and navigation equipment of the 130 company aircraft, and over 60 ground communication and navigation stations. He supervised 32 technicians. In 1991, after retiring from SU, he participated in the design of the EMC Compliance Laboratory for the IEE (Instituto de Eletrotecnica e Energia) of Sao Paulo University and INMETRO, the equivalent of the US National Institute for Standards & Technology (NIST) in Brazil. In 1993, he helped complete the Laboratory proposal.
He held two patents on TV Transmitting Antennas (Nos. 3369246 and 3375525), generated while a consultant for GE in Syracuse, New York from 1959 until 1969. During this time, he developed software to design directional radiation patterns of TV transmitting antennas for GE. He participated in the design of more than 50 such antennas including three in the Empire State Building. He currently has two patent applications pending.

Professor Perini (left) receives his IEEE Fellow Citation from Dr. Bill Duff in 1994.

He was a technical reviewer for four IEEE Transactions: Antennas & Propagation (AP), Microwave Theory & Techniques (MTT), EMC, Education and was also a reviewer for the Broadcasting Transactions. In 1996, he was selected to be a Distinguished Lecturer for the IEEE EMC Society. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the EMC Society from 1999 until 2003. He was the Chairman of the IEEE committee that developed EMC Standard 1128 on Radar Absorbing Materials Evaluation. He was a NARTE certified EMC Engineer. In 1994, he was elected to IEEE Fellow grade. As well, he received numerous awards and certificates of merit from the IEEE and other organizations.
Very few researchers have covered such a wide range of problems as had Professor Perini.
The collocation of all electromagnetic sensors on the limited real estate of a ship topside is one of the most difficult problems in Navy ship design. Professor Perini’s contributions allowed the prediction of the effect of the ship’s topside structure on the performance of most ship sensors. Since this could be accomplished during the initial stages of design, it not only allowed the optimization of the ships’ EMC performance before its construction, but also avoided extremely costly retrofits. His contributions dealt with a wide range of areas such as antenna and transmission line coupling, equipment degradation due to electromagnetic interference, electromagnetic pulse (EMP) susceptibility due to hull penetration via cables and apertures, and broadband RAM, an extremely important tool to control shipboard intersystem interference.
Paulo Perini, one of Jose’s sons, and an EMC engineer, after reviewing a draft of this article made the following comment: “Wow, I know what my dad did, but at times I am in awe of his accomplishments.” Paulo’s comment summarizes how many of us feel about Jose’s accomplishments.
Jose Perini was very active in his community. He was a Member of the Board of Directors of the Onondaga Hill Free Library: 1966, 1967 and 1971, as well as Vice President 1968 and President 1969 and 1970. During his presidency he conducted a fund drive and built a new Library Building.
Jose was a Member of the Board of Directors of the Syracuse Flying Club from 1976 to 1986. During this time he was Vice President and President, each for one term. Also, he was an Advisor to the Syracuse University Radio Amateur Club from 1965 until 1991 and advisor to SU’s Engineering Abroad Program for the Electrical and Computer Engineering Students from 1975 until 1991. This is an exchange program where the ECE students go to the City University in London during the junior year. English students come to SU in exchange.
Jose is survived by his wife Maria Myrthes Lemos Perini, two daughters Virginia Killmore and Vivian Boudhaouia, as well as four sons Paulo Perini, Eduardo Perini, Marcelo Perini, Patrick Perini, and 13 grandchildren and many friends - who will miss him. A memorial mass was celebrated in Florida on Friday, July 7, 2006 at Epiphany Church, Port Orange, Florida. Donations in lieu of flowers can still be sent to Hospice of Volusia/Flagler, 3800 Woodbriar Trail, Port Orange, Florida, 32129 or to your local Cancer Society.
I would like to thank Dick Ford, Woody Everett, and the Perini family for providing material for this article. EMC

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