EMC Society History
Introduction to History Section
For the Summer 2010 issue of the EMC Newsletter, we have three historically-oriented articles.
     The first is the standard “50–25–10 Years Ago” article which looks at Newsletter information from 50 years ago, 25 years ago and 10 years ago.
     The second article reviews the obituaries that have been published in the EMC Newsletter. Over the years, a number of EMC Society Members have had their deaths noted in the pages of the Newsletter. A complete list, alphabetized by last name, is shown at the end of this article.
     The third article is titled, “History of Military EMC Specifications.” This was written by long time members of the EMC Society, Herb Mertel and Warren Kesselman. It appeared in Issue No. 186, the Summer 2000 issue of the EMC Newsletter as part of Don Heirman’s EMC Standards Activities column. With the surge of interest in the military EMC standards these days, it seems appropriate to look back and see the commonalities of what we are still addressing today and yet see how far we’ve come with these specifications.
     Enjoy the history, both modern and ancient, of the EMC Society!                                                                      EMC

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

July – 1960 – Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE)

Professional Group on Radio Frequency Interference (PGRFI)

Newsletter – Number 12. The IRE PGRFI was the engineering

organization that evolved into the present-day IEEE EMC Society
The Cover Stories of the July-1960 Newsletter included “Highlights of the Second National Symposium” and an article on the recently released Department of Defense Directive on a “Radio Frequency Compatibility Program.”
     The Second National Symposium on Radio Frequency Interference was held in Washington, DC on June 13 and 14, 1960. Total attendance was 406 people. The Best Technical Paper was given by Donald McClenon from the Naval Research Laboratory; its title was “Strong Signal Receiver Problems.” Extra copies of the Digest of the National Symposium were available through the PGRFI for a price of $2 per copy.
     MIL-STD 449 on “Measurement of Radio Frequency Spectrum Characteristics” was released for special distribution at the National Symposium.
     The Keynote speech of the Symposium was given by Henry Randall on the topic of “Getting on Top of the Nation’s RFI Prediction and Measurement Efforts.”
     The “Radio Frequency Compatibility Program” Directive established “A comprehensive program to cope with radio interference between electronic equipments and systems and, particularly, to ensure that, to the maximum practicable extent, electronic systems will not suffer operational degradation due to the absence of appropriate means for rejecting interference and for achieving radio frequency compatibility.”
Specific objectives included:

  • Research and Development Area
    • Engineering Standards
    • Measurement Techniques and Test Procedures
    • Test Equipment
    • Equipment and System Characteristics
    • Tubes and Components
    • Education in Electronic Compatibility
    • Administration
  • Operational (Frequency Management) Area
    • Library of Spectrum Signatures
    • Environment File
    • Analysis Program
    • Allocation Procedures and Planning
    • Personnel
    • Administration

     Additional articles in the Newsletter included one on “AN/SPQ-5 RF Radiation Hazard Distance” and “Interference Makes News.”
     The Bureau of Ships Journal in June of 1960 made the following announcement: “Recent measurements of the AN/SPQ-5 radar have shown the maximum RF radiation hazard (RAD-HAZ) distance to the safe tolerance level (10 mW/cm²) is 10 feet from the AN/SPQ-5 antenna. Where RAD-HAZ warnings have been posted on the basis of any previous ­distance, they are to be relocated in accordance with the new 10-foot distance.”
     For the “Interference Makes News” article, Time magazine reported on June 4, 1960 the following news item: “Blue Network – In Lithgow, Australia, taxi drivers agreed to watch their language after some of their two-way radio communications were accidentally broadcast over the loudspeaker in Our Lady of Fatima Church.”
     Rexford Daniels was the editor of the Newsletter.

Twenty-Five Years Ago –
Issue No. 126 – Summer-1985

The Cover Story of this Newsletter was the “1985 IEEE International Symposium on EMC.” The symposium was to be held August 20–22, 1985 at the Colonial Hilton in Wakefield, Massachusetts. The theme of the Symposium was “EMC – A Universal Goal.” Dr. Chester L. “Chet” Smith was the Symposium Chairman.
     Eugene Knowles was President of the EMC Society, the Secretary was Don Clark, and the Treasurer was Len Carlson. Bob Haislmaier was Technical Director for Communications Services, Ed Bronaugh was Technical Director for Technical Services, Fred Nichols was Technical Director for Member Services, and Dr. Sato was Technical Director for Professional Services.
     Terry Cantine was the EMC Personality Profile. Chapter Chatter included reports from Atlanta, Central New England, Chicago, Littleton (Colorado), Los Angeles, New Jersey Coast, San Diego, Santa Clara Valley, Seattle, Tokyo, and a new Chapter from the Twin Cities of Minnesota!
     Gilda Haskins was selected as “1984 Young EMC Engineer of the Year.” She was a member of the Board of Directors of the EMC Society.
     Institutional Listings on the back cover of the Newsletter included: Electro-Metrics (a Division of Penril Corp); Tecknit EMI Shielding Products; Radiation Sciences, Inc.; Spectrum Control, Inc.; LectroMagnetics, Inc.; Amador Corporation; Genisco Technology Corporation; Chomerics, Inc.; Schaffner EMC, Inc.; Don White Consultants, Inc.; Universal Shielding Corporation; Honeywell, Inc.; and G&H Technology, Inc.
     Robert D. Goldblum was the Editor of the Newsletter; Associate Editors included Charles F.W. Anderson (Chapter Chatter), James S. Hill (Book Reviews), William G. Duff (Personality Profiles), Dr. G. Robert Redinbo (Sequency Union), Melvin J. Johnson (Abstracts), Fred J. Nichols (Photographer), Richard B. Schulz (EMC Standards Activities), Henry Ott (EMC Society Education Committee), Donald N. Heirman (EMC Society BOD Activities), Anthony G. Zimbalatti (Point and Counterpoint), Edwin Bronaugh (Short Papers, Articles, and Application Notes), and Walt McKerchar (Inter-Society Activities).

Ten Years Ago – Issue No. 186 –

The cover story of this issue of the EMC Newsletter was an obituary for Motohisa Kanda who was born on September 10, 1943 and passed away on June 12, 2000. Moto was most well-known to EMC members in his role as Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on EMC for 12 years. He was also an IEEE Fellow. He was the group leader for the Fields and Interference Group of NIST in Boulder, Colorado for fifteen years. He was also an adjunct Professor in the Department of Computer Engineering at the University of Colorado. He received many IEEE Awards (including the EMC Society’s Laurence G. Cumming Award for Outstanding Service to the Society in 1999) and other United States Department of Commerce awards during his career. The Newsletter included a one-page tribute from Atsuya Maeda to his friend and professional colleague, Dr. Moto Kanda.
     The Newsletter also contained an article on “EMC Chapter Funds Scholarship Endowment for San Francisco State University.” This was a story written by Franz Gisin, a Santa Clara Valley Chapter Member, on how the Santa Clara Valley Chapter donated $16,000 to the San Francisco State University to “Promote EMC Education.” The interest from the Endowment will be used to sponsor scholarships for outstanding electrical engineering students who are focusing their area of specialization in the fields of EMC and EMI. The story included a picture of Dr. Zorica Pantic-Tanner, chair of the Santa Clara Valley EMC Chapter, delivering a check to Joy Morimoto, Senior Development Officer, Office of University Development, at San Francisco State University.
     Bob Rothenberg, the Associate Editor of “Practical Papers, Articles, and Application Notes”, had two short articles in his area of the Newsletter. The first was “On No! Where’s the Grounding Post? – An Early Japanese Polar EMC Story” by Takeo Yoshino. This article talked about Dr. Yoshino’s experiences with grounding electronic systems and power systems in the harsh environment of Antarctica. The story of how he developed a unique “counter-poise” grounding system to solve interference issues is very informative. The second article was a story by Douglas C. Smith on “A Resistive Current Probe.” The story highlights a simple, but effective, troubleshooting tool for analyzing emissions and ESD events at the circuit board level.
     The Personality Profile in this issue is Elya Bernard Joffe.
     The EMC Standards Activities article, as edited by Donald Heirman was titled “The History of Military EMC Specifications” by Warren Kesselman and Herbert Mertel. The article has been reprinted in this issue of the Newsletter.
     The Editor of the Newsletter was Janet O’Neil.                                                                                               EMC

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