IEEE One-Hundred Twenty-Fifth
Birthday Celebration in Philly

Indigo was the sky and bright was the mood in Ben Franklin’s home town as the EMC Society celebrated the one hundred and twenty fifth anniversary of the beginning of the IEEE. The Philadelphia EMC Society Chapter hosted a gathering of the EMC community that included several of the founders of the EMC Society and members of the EMC Society Board of Directors.
     Over one hundred guests attended the event at the Franklin Institute in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to enjoy presentations about the origins of the IEEE and the important contributions its members have made over the years.
     The IEEE was formed when the two original engineering societies, the Institute of Radio Engineers and the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, merged. The IEEE has been associated with the work of many famous scientists, engineers and inventors, including Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and Nikolai Tesla, to name a few of many. Considering that these minds were able to elaborate complex physical electrical engineering theories and devices using wood, wire, feathers and fur, it is a cause for celebration. More interesting is digging under and around some of the personalities of the scientific glitterati and the jealousies that inflamed the great early discoverers of induction, radiation and other unseen behavior.

The rooftop terrace of the Franklin Institute was the ideal location for the celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the IEEE. The Institute honors the legacy of Benjamin Franklin, whose famous kite experiment is immortalized in the IEEE logo – a nice tie in to the anniversary festivities. EMC Society History Chair Dan Hoolihan welcomes EMC Society Founders Ralph Showers and Warren Kesselman (from left).
The Anniversary Celebration Committee gathered following the event. Receiving accolades from those in attendance were (from left) Nissen Isakov, LCR; Rafik Stepanian, LCR; Jack Nachamkin, Chair, IEEE Philadelphia Section; John Zimmer, KNEX; Graham Kilshaw, ITEM Publications; Elya Joffe, EMC Society President; Joe Maiello, Retlif; Richard Reitz, Retlif; and Finbarr O’Connor, Alion.
Robert Goldblum and Elya Joffe enjoy the anniversary festivities “celebrating 125 years of engineering the future” as stated on the popular IEEE anniversary logo. Future and Past Presidents: Francesca Maradei, EMC Society President-elect and Andy Drozd, EMC Society President, 2006–2007.

     Tesla, for example, despised Edison. Apparently Edison had promised the Serbian wunderkind a bonus of some kind, but shorted him. This incident became part of a life-long feud between the two men whose views of AC and DC were out of phase, so to speak.
     But there was no such enmity at our little gathering on May 21, 2009. Old friends and colleagues celebrated a reunion.
     The EMC Society was formed just over fifty years ago to address the concerns of radio interference. Since its inception, it has grown to over 4,000 members worldwide, and counts on its roster engineers from every major company in the world.
     The meeting was presided over by Graham Kilshaw and Finn O’Connor, chairs of the Philadelphia EMC Chapter, and included welcome remarks from Elya Joffe, President of the EMC Society, and Dr. Lew Terman, past President of the IEEE.
     The event began with a rooftop reception overlooking the heart of downtown Philadelphia. In attendance were several past presidents and founding members of the Society, including Bob Goldblum, Warren Kesselman, Dan Hoolihan, Todd Hubing, Don Heirman, Dr. Ralph Showers and Andy Drozd.
     After the presentations, the Philadelphia EMC Chapter received the IEEE Philadelphia Section’s Chapter of the Year Award from its Chairman, Mr. Jack Nachamkin, and EMC Society President Joffe.
     On behalf of Washington Laboratories, I would like to congratulate the IEEE for one hundred and twenty five years of success and congratulate the Philadelphia Chapter of the EMC Society on being selected as the local chapter of the year.                                        EMC


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