EMC Society History
125 Years of IEEE
The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers is celebrating 125 Years of History this year, 2009. The 125-year anniversary is based upon the formation of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) on May 13th, 1884 in New York City.
     Of course, we know that the IEEE was formed with the merger of the AIEE and the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE – founded in 1912) in 1963! So, is the IEEE 46 years old or is it 125 years old? The answer is 125 years old because we have agreed the start of the IEEE was the origin of the AIEE.
     There are two historical celebrations of the IEEE that the EMC Society was involved in this year. The first one occurred on May 21 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was a combination dinner/series of presentations supported by the IEEE EMC Society’s Board of Directors and the EMC Chapter of the Philadelphia Section of the IEEE. Mike Violette has documented this event in his usual humorous but historically correct style in an accompanying article. I recommend you read and enjoy the article found on page 72.
     The second celebration also occurred in Philadelphia, by coincidence, and took place August 5–7, 2009. The first day of the conference, sessions were held in Cohen Hall of the University of Pennsylvania. The last two days, sessions were held in Bassone Hall of Drexel University. The celebration was a formal symposium-type of meeting which was titled “2009 IEEE Conference on the History of Technical Societies.” The 3-day event was highlighted by a series of historical presentations and a banquet to celebrate the 125th Anniversary on Thursday night, August 6.
     Session titles included (1) The Importance of History; (2) Telecommunications and Professional Societies, Parts 1 and 2; (3) History of IEEE Professional Activities and More; (4) Computing and Professional Societies; (5) History of IEEE Regional Organizations, Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4; (6) IEEE Societies for Signal Processing, Information Theory, and Computational Intelligence; (7) Engineering Ethics and Applied History; (8) History of National Engineering Societies; (9) IEEE Societies for Earth Sciences and Instrumentation; (10) Some Special Engineering Organizations; (11) Social and Technical Change and Engineering Societies; (12) Technical Societies and Engineering Education; (13) IEEE Societies for Management and Product Safety; (14) Accreditation in the History of the Engineering Professions; (15) Drawing on the Past to Look to the Future of Engineering; (16) Presidential Panels, 1 and 2; (17) Biomedical Engineering and Technical Societies; (18) Control Systems, Automation, and Technical Societies, Parts 1 and 2; (19) Electromagnetics, Ultrasonics, and Professional Organizations; and (20) Electric Power and Technical Societies.
     As part of the Electromagnetics, Ultrasonics, and Professional Organizations session, a presentation was given by yours truly, Daniel D. Hoolihan, which was titled “History of the IEEE EMC Society.” This presentation traced the 52-year history of the EMC Society and coordinated it with the development of the IEEE and the Electrical Engineering discipline.
     For more details on the 2009 IEEE Conference on the History of Technical Societies; please see the web page – www.ieee.org/go/historyconference.



EMC Society Newsletter Review –
50, 25, and 10 Years Ago

50 Years Ago – Institute of Radio Engineers –
Professional Group on Radio Frequency
Interference (PGRFI) Newsletter, Number 6,
July – 1959 – Edited by Rexford “Rex” Daniels

This version of the PGRFI Newsletter highlighted the FIRST Radio Frequency Seminar sponsored by the IRE Professional Group on RFI in conjunction with the Air Research and Development Command (ARDC) of the US Air Force. The attendance was over 250 engineers and it was held in New York City. The first pictures used in the Newsletter were part of this issue; one of the two pictures is shown at right; individuals in the picture, from left to right, were Samuel J. Burruano (chair of the FIRST RF Seminar), Leonard Milton (Executive Vice-President of Filtron), Colonel C. H. Lewis (Director of Electronics, ARDC), Sam Skolnik (Wright Air Development Center), William Webb (Wright Air Development Center), and J. Berliner (Rome Air Development Center).

Interference Authorities meet at Radio Interference Seminar.

     An interesting article in the Newsletter was titled “Woman’s Radio Voice Explodes Missile.” The story was written by Anita Ehrman from the Hearst Headline Service and appeared in the Hearst papers on June 12, 1959; it read like this: “Was it a woman’s voice on a short-wave radio frequency which inadvertently exploded an American missile in outer space? This is the big mystery which puzzled U.S. scientists and was divulged by American delegates to a secret mission of the UN outer-space committee. According to UN informants, American delegates to the meeting astounded attending scientists by revealing to them that a human voice on a short-wave frequency can have the same effect on the behavior of an outer-space missile as that of its assigned radio signal. After a U.S. missile had exploded prematurely after it was launched from its pad, an extensive investigation led to a taxi office in San Diego, California which had short-wave communication operated on a frequency similar to that used for the missile. Experts concluded that the voice of a woman dispatcher in the office was so pitched as to be identical to the radio signal used to explode the missile in case of emergency and that, therefore, it was her instruction to a cab driver which caused the missile to explode. On the basis of this information, the UN scientists agreed in the secret session that urgent international attention should be given to protect radio frequencies used to transmit information between spacecraft and the earth.”

25 Years Ago – IEEE Electromagnetic
Compatibility Society Newsletter,
Issue No. 122, Summer 1984 – Edited by Robert Goldblum

The headline article in the 1984 Summer Issue was the story on “Retirement for Herman Garlan.” Herman Garlan was the Chief of the RF Devices Branch of the FCC from 1953 until 1980. After stepping down as Chief in 1980, he continued as a technical advisor to the FCC for another four years for a total of 44 years of service to the Commission. The other headline article involved Jim Hill (a member of the EMC Society Board of Directors) presenting the EMC Society’s 25th Anniversary medallion to IEEE President (Richard J. Gowen) at a celebration of 100 years of the IEEE. The 100-year celebration of the IEEE, held in Boston, on May 14, 1984 was attended by 83 Learned Societies from around the world. The British IEEE presented an oil painting of Michael Faraday and the Chinese Institute of Electronics presented a large painted vase. The President of the Society was Eugene Knowles, the Secretary was Donald E. Clark, and the Treasurer was Warren Kesselman. Other members of the Board included Fred ­Nichols, C.F.W. Anderson, Risaburo Sato, Chet Smith, Len Carlson, Gene Cory, William Duff, Jim Hill, Gerard Capraro, William Parker, Ed Bronaugh, Bob Goldblum, Don ­Heirman, Henry Ott, Richard Schulz, and Art Wall. There were 23 Chapters in the EMC Society. The EMC Personality Profile was L. Gilda Haskins.

10 Years Ago – IEEE EMC Society Newsletter, Issue No. 182,
Summer 1999 – Edited by Janet O’Neil

The cover-story article involved the President’s Message by President Hoolihan on “Nurturing Chapters.” The talk emphasized the positive development of EMC Society Chapters around the world. It included the following picture:

Dan Hoolihan, President EMC Society, (left) spoke at the April meeting of the EMC Chapter in Sweden. The meeting was held at ETL SEMKO in Stockholm. Things got “exciting” following the meeting when the inventor of the first ESD gun, Lars-Olov Johansson (center), presented a few of his “toys” to Dan and fellow chapter member Dag Bjorklof. President Hoolihan actively supports EMC chapter activity whenever possible during business travel for his company, TUV Product Service.

     The Practical Papers, Articles, and Application Notes, by Bob Rothenberg – Associate Editor, focused on an article by Kevin Slattery of Daimler-Chrysler which provided descriptions and comparison of three measurement techniques for VLSI emissions. The article was titled “Measurement Techniques for the EMI Evaluation of VLSI Devices.”
     The Personality Profile, by Associate Editor William Duff, was on Dawn Trout, an EMC Engineer working for NASA.        EMC


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