Passages and Personal
At the risk of starting this message out on a somewhat somber
note, I am sure that many of you have heard of the recent passing
of several of our esteemed EMC Society members, professional colleagues
and friends. I refer to the untimely loss of Jose Perini, Delbert
“Andy” Hish, and Joseph James Fisher. It goes without
saying that we value all of our members. Nonetheless, these individuals
in particular, have in one way or another affected most of us
in very special ways over their long and illustrious careers.
I’d like to take a moment to offer some of my own personal
reflections about these individuals and highlight their unique
contributions to our Society and to our EMC community in general.
I’ll start with Jose Perini, Professor Emeritus, as this
one hit me hard at a personal level.
I first met Jose Perini in 1978 following my student internship
at the Rome Air Development Center in Rome, New York. I subsequently
took graduate-level courses in advanced signal processing, communications,
and control system theory, which he taught at Syracuse University
at the time. Those who took his courses were aware of his rather
interesting teaching style, self-dubbed the “ah ha method!”
Jose rarely taught or encouraged learning by rote and dispelled
the traditional notion of teaching “by the book.”
Instead, he resorted to a teaching style in which he derived the
theory and explained its physical meaning using a series of practical
problems over and over until things became clear and a bit more
intuitive to the student. The meaning of his lessons became quickly
apparent, as the student would begin to naturally exclaim those
words “ah ha, I’ve got it,” just as Jose had
anticipated. I guess this was analogous to Archimedes, the Greek
mathematician discovering the principle of buoyancy while bathing
and then shouting the infamous “Eureka (I have found it)!”
This became Jose’s trademark style and underscored his special
ability to transfer his knowledge into concepts that the novice
could grasp relatively quickly. I’ll always remember Jose’s
facial expression when he looked at the group waiting for one
of us to pronounce those words. It became a sort of fun ritual.
Then Jose would smile and say something along the lines of, “See!
You’ve reached the “ah ha state of awareness!”
It was a thought provoking and enjoyable way of learning from
a master. My hats off to him for all he has done for so many during
his long teaching career. He was certainly one of my mentors.
Jose’s work and reputation went far beyond the halls of
academia. He also worked as a consultant to the Navy, Air Force,
Army, and industry during his 29 years at Syracuse University.
He published and presented over 100 papers in international conferences
and published numerous journal papers. He was a Distinguished
Lecturer for the EMC Society until 1998 and was a past member
of the EMC Society Board of Directors until 2003. He was also
a Fellow of the IEEE.
Jose retired from Syracuse University in 1991. He loved to spend
time with his wife and they loved to play tennis, dance, and traveled
the world to visit family and friends. Last summer they celebrated
their 50th wedding anniversary with all of their children and
grandchildren on a cruise.
I am proud to say that the 2006 President’s Memorial Award
to be conferred in Portland at the EMC Symposium Awards Luncheon
has been named in honor of Jose Perini. This is a fitting tribute
to one of the finest individuals in our profession. Jose leaves
us a rich legacy in his wake. He will be missed, but never forgotten.
Next, allow me to share a few facts and personal reflections about
Joseph James Fisher. “Joe” was an electronics engineer’s
engineer and was extremely well respected by those in our profession.
He was always known for his friendly manner and his ability to
communicate ideas. He had a very rich career. He worked for the
Navy, retiring in 1984 after 21 years as the head of the electromagnetic
control branch at the Naval Air Systems Command. He was also a
director of the Weapons Interference Reduction Effort, a naval
program to reduce electromagnetic interference in the Atlantic
Fleet. He served in the Navy during World War II as an electronics
engineer aboard the heavy cruiser Tuscaloosa. Post-war he taught
for several years before going to work as a civilian for the Navy
and worked as an engineering consultant during the twilight of
his career. He served two terms on the Board of Directors of the
EMC Society and was a founding member of the dB Society.
Joe will be remembered for his many contributions to EMC and the
electronics engineering community, and of course, for his dedicated
service to our country. He will be missed, but never forgotten.
Last, but certainly not least, I would like to express some thoughts
in honor of our friend Andy Hish. It goes without saying that
Andy, as he was known to all, also had a very full and rewarding
career. He rubbed elbows with some of the best in the business.
He began his career when EMI was known as radio interference.
Prior to receiving his degree in electrical engineering from UCLA,
he entered the US Maritime services after being commissioned as
an officer and served in the Pacific Theatre. When the United
States entered World War II, Andy worked as a radio operator.
Following the war, he worked as a radio mechanic with Western
Airlines and then for Stoddart Aircraft Radio in Los Angeles as
an engineer, after being offered a position by Al Parker, the
company’s chief engineer at the time. Recall that Stoddart
Aircraft Radio had been formed in the late 1930s by Richard (Dick)
Stoddart, who had served as radioman for Howard Hughes when he
achieved a “Round the World” record in 1937. He was
also connected with the infamous “Skunk Works” and
Kelly Johnson after the war. During his tenure with Stoddart,
Andy worked on the design of one of the first battery-operated
field intensity measuring receivers, the Model PRM-1, developed
for the US Navy’s Bureau of Ships that operated from 150
KHz to 30 MHz. When Andy left Stoddart Aircraft Radio he, along
with several other engineers and technicians, formed a new company,
EMC Instrumentation of North Hollywood, California. This company
developed the Model EMA-910 microwave field intensity-measuring
receiver that operated from 1-40 GHz. When EMC Instrumentation
was purchased by the Singer Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut,
Andy stayed on as the Chief Engineer of the North Hollywood Division.
After retiring from Singer, Andy formed his own company, Andy
Hish Associates in Van Nuys, California. Over the years, his company
developed various products such as an impulse generator calibrator,
a broadband EMI detector, and an ELT direction finder as well
as several other products.
For the last 25 years, he primarily worked in the area of Electrostatic
Discharge (ESD) instrumentation. Andy was considered one of the
pioneers in high frequency measurement techniques, EMC, and the
modern definition of the ESD event and the methods of reproducing
those events. This led to his work in developing the ESD-254 and
ESD-255 ESD generators.
During his long career, Andy contributed generously to the engineering
profession. He helped found the first Professional Group on Radio
Frequency Interference (PGRFI) in Los Angeles. Today these are
called EMC Chapters. Andy served in many capacities within both
the EMC Society and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).
He retired in 1994. While his colleagues will profoundly miss
him, his many contributions will always be remembered.
I offer a final salute here to these individuals and to others
within our ranks that have recently passed on. We will still look
to them all for advice through their rich legacy of publications,
inventions and many other works. Hopefully, we will cross paths
again at some point, some time in the future. Each will be missed,
but never forgotten!
Within this Newsletter are additional tributes to our fallen comrades
and friends by our Editor in Chief Janet O’Neil and by Bill
Duff, our Personality Profile Associate Editor. You will find
them to be a fitting and soothing tribute.
Recent Travels and Spreading the EMC Message
(State of the Society)
I recently had the pleasure and distinct honor of visiting several
of our long-standing EMC Chapters as well as ones that are in
the process of formation.
This past February, I was invited to give a President’s
State of the EMC Society Message to the Singapore EMC Chapter
at their meeting held during the highly successful EMC Zurich
in Singapore Symposium and Technical Exhibition. This was followed
by an outstanding presentation given by our own Dr. Todd Hubing
on the topics of printed circuit board capacitive decoupling and
other EMI mitigation schemes. Todd fully engaged the audience
as usual with his anecdotal, witty style and technical savvy of
the subject at hand. The Chapter meeting was very well attended.
The audience warmly received us. I personally enjoyed the lively
discussions and the chance to meet the kind people of Singapore.
I would like to in particular thank Dr. Li Erping and the Singapore
EMC Chapter for their hospitality during my visit to Singapore.
In brief, my message was that the EMC Society, as a whole, is
quite healthy in comparison to other IEEE societies and their
activities, and in terms of relative number of members as well
as the various initiatives we have on the table. This is not to
say that all the other societies are not doing as well in terms
of activities, membership numbers and initiatives; in fact, the
majority of the societies are doing overall very well in their
membership development, planning and execution of their various
programs despite the economic times. Most societies are experiencing
a downturn in membership, some more than others, whereas several
are actually experiencing steady growth. However, as a median
society, we are holding our own in ways technical, financial,
membership wise, and in the sense of strategic plans. We have
also been quite successful in enacting new strategies for increasing
the membership growth rate and in new Chapter development, which
is certainly coming along, and in passing new initiatives that
will align us with new technology areas and trends in the future.
Yes, we have experienced a decline in membership over the past
several years, but the trend seems to be flattening out somewhat
and I am hopeful of a slow, but steady rebound in our membership
numbers in the next 2-3 years. I won’t delve into all the
detailed reasons for these fluctuating trends, but suffice it
to say that several things seem to be the catalyst for this change:
(i) global economic factors, (ii) new models and technologies
that enable ready access to IEEE publications by non-members of
a society, (iii) competition with non-IEEE open access and open
source materials on the Internet, (iv) the escalating cost of
membership, and (v) eroding corporate support. Our key strong
points as a Society are that we provide high quality technical
publications, and sponsor symposia and conferences that facilitate
networking with the experts, among other reasons, of course. These
are just several of many factors that affect our standing as a
professional and technical society. I hope to address these more
in the future to give everyone a better understanding and perspective
on all this. All in all, we are healthy and continue to excel.
Now, more on spreading the message...
A similar President’s State of the EMC Society Message was
made to the EMC Chapter in Hannover, Germany in May, which was
followed by a highly captivating talk given by Dr. John Norgard,
our Vice President of Technical Services, on the subject of applying
infrared/thermal measurement techniques to predict electromagnetic
field effects for large, complex systems. This event was also
extremely well attended. This Chapter meeting took place in conjunction
with our Board of Directors meeting, which was also held in the
historic city of Hannover. I would like to especially thank Dr.
Frank Sabath and Dr. Heyno Garbe for the warm welcome they extended
to us in Germany, and for hosting the Chapter and Board meetings
including a memorable tour of Berlin. I believe that our message
was well received, the information exchanges were fruitful, and
the overall experience was wonderful.
In June, I gave the same message along with additional talks of
a more technical nature on behalf of an EMC Regional Colloquium
in Mexico City, Mexico arranged by our own Janet O’Neil.
One of the Society’s goals over the past few years has been
to cultivate membership and Chapter development across Region
9. Our participation in Mexico City was another in a series of
efforts to achieve this goal and it was a successful one at that.
The attendance was appreciable. The message and talks were again
well received and I felt privileged to be able to meet and talk
with our members and colleagues in Mexico City. I would like to
thank Dr. Roberto Linares y Miranda who has led the Mexico City
EMC Chapter formation process together with Elya Joffe, our Vice
President of Member Services. We are further along in establishing
our Society’s presence in Region 9 thanks to their selfless
In addition, I dispatched delegates of the EMC Society Board of
Directors to represent us at major EMC conferences and related
events in India and Poland. Namely, Elya Joffe attended the International
Conference on Electromagnetic Interference and Compatibility (INCEMIC)
2006 and Workshop in Bangalore, India which was held in February.
Also, Barry Wallen, Vice President of Conferences, and John Norgard
both represented the EMC Society at the 18th International Wroclaw
Symposium and Technical Exhibition on EMC in June. The purpose
of sending these mini-delegations was to support these events
as well as develop closer ties with the conference organizers.
This encourages more cooperation in the future and furthers the
goals of increasing EMC awareness, EMC Society membership, and
There are many more visits planned to EMC Chapters and major EMC
conference events during this year and next, including those in
Los Angeles, the Mohawk Valley, Barcelona, UK, and other locations.
I eagerly look forward to these opportunities to meet our members,
support the Chapter and conference activities, and explore new
ideas that will help our Society grow and flourish in the future.
That is my hope.
|Andy Drozd, President of the IEEE
EMC Society (left), speaks to the audience at EMC Mexico 2006,
a two day seminar held in Mexico City. Roberto Linares (right)
is leading the formation of a new EMC Chapter in Mexico. This
seminar was a catalyst for the new chapter formation.
New Technologies and EMC
In this Newsletter issue, we begin a two-part cover story devoted
to a topic of growing interest: the role of EMC in Waveform Diversity
and Design (WDD). I would like to leave the details of the various
aspects of WDD technology to the articles included in this edition
of the Newsletter. I will say that the articles provide a nice
background discussion on WDD technologies highlighting relevant
EMC concerns at the system of systems level (centered on the application
of cooperative radar and RF communications systems) and that’s
the focus of our interest. The WDD community has approached us
to develop a stronger tie between their community and the EMC
Society. The idea is to involve our Society in addressing common
EMI/C problems of interest particularly within the context of
large, complex and distributed systems. In fact, the EMC Society
has technically co-sponsored the last two WDD Conferences held
in Edinburgh, Scotland in November 2004 (its premiere) and in
Kauai, Hawaii in January 2006. Both were very successful conferences
and interest in systems of systems EMC issues has significantly
grown. Also participating as co-sponsors in this area have been
the Department of Defense (DoD – US Air Force, Army, Navy,
and DARPA) as well as the IEEE Aerospace Electronics Systems (AES)
Society, Antennas and Propagation Society (APS), Signal Processing,
and Communications Societies, including the European Association
for Signal Processing (EURASIP) and other non-for-profit organizations.
We are in good company here and ready to explore new territories.
I think we are at an important crossroads where we must decide
to intentionally move ahead to build such bridges to other technical
communities and cutting-edge technologies, and to foster a sense
of mutual cooperation with outside organizations. This will help
in our ability to adapt to new technologies, stay relevant and
viable in the future, promote the ongoing exchange of ideas, and
fight the good fight. I don’t think anyone will argue with
the rationality of this notion as far as the future of our Society
To that end, we are striving towards establishing a new technical
committee (TC) of the EMC Society that focuses on “Electromagnetic
Diversity,” a point I alluded to in my very first President’s
Message at the start of my term. I have asked our Vice President
of Technical Services to lead the effort of exploring the possibility
of creating this new TC.
Thank you for your time and attention. I invite your feedback.
Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to your inputs.
Until the next time…Peace, love, harmony and all good things!