IEEE Johnstown Section History
IEEE Johnstown Section History and Officers
Johnstown Section (USA, Pennsylvania) IEEE History
Compiled by M. Ed Brandau III, Johnstown Section Chair 1997-2000, 2004-2009, 2012-2014. February 20, 2014
The Johnstown Section IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) comprises about 200 active members, students, and affiliates. Our members are scattered across Pennsylvania to Maryland from Brookville to Altoona Mount Union to Somerset in Pennsylvania, down to Cumberland Maryland. The Johnstown Section includes the counties of Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon, Indiana and Somerset (from Brookville to Altoona to Johnstown to Somerset) in Pennsylvania, to the counties of Allegany and Garrett (Cumberland to Accident) in Maryland.
The Section has about 100 members near Johnstown (159XX zips), 60 near Altoona (166XX zips), 20 near Brookville/Clearfield, and 26 near Cumberland. The other members are scattered throughout areas in the Brookville-Altoona-Bedford-Johnstown-Cumberland polygon.
The Section started in 1948 with members in the AIEE, the American Institute for Electrical Engineers.
"The American Institute of Electrical Engineers was a United States based organization of electrical engineers that existed between 1884 and 1963 (when it merged with the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE)). The 1884 founders of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) included some of the most prominent inventors and innovators in the then new field of electrical engineering, among them Thomas Alva Edison, Elihu Thomson, Edwin J. Houston, and Edward Weston. The purpose of the AIEE was stated "to promote the Arts and Sciences connected with the production and utilization of electricity and the welfare of those employed in these Industries: by means of social intercourse, the reading and discussion of professional papers and the circulation by means of publication among members and associates of information thus obtained." The first president of AIEE was Norvin Green, president of the Western Union Telegraph Company. Other notable AIEE presidents were Alexander Graham Bell (1891-1892), Charles Proteus Steinmetz (1901-1902), Schuyler S. Wheeler (1905-1906), Dugald C. Jackson (1910-1911), Michael I. Pupin (1925-1926), and Titus G. LeClair (1950-1951).
The early technical areas of interest of AIEE were electric power, lighting, and wired communications. Radio and wireless communications became the major focus of a rival organization, the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE, established 1912). The dynamic growth of radio technology and the emergence of the new discipline of Electronics in the 1940s led to stiff competition between AIEE and IRE, with IRE showing faster growth in the 1950s and early 1960s, and attracting more students. In 1957, IRE, with approximately 55,500 members, surpassed AIEE in membership size; in 1962 IRE had 96,500 members to AIEE’s 57,000. AIEE and IRE merged in (July 11) 1963 to form the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)." (Direct quote from Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIEE)
The Johnstown Section IEEE members from the IRE were originally part of the Pittsburgh IRE. The Section revised its By-Laws on August 22, 1968 to further reflect the changes from this merger.
Johnstown Section Challenges
The Johnstown Section was very active up through the 90’s, with active members from across industry, with a large participation from the local electric utility who employed many engineers, and heavy influence from academia. Chairmen included utility and heavy industry employees as well as professors from the local university. The Section had over a dozen Committee Chairman managing thriving areas of education, fellowship, programs, and student members.
In 1994, the local large steel mill finally closed its doors, resulting in the loss of many industry and mining members. The Johnstown Section’s Members, Directors, and Officers began to see a decline in participation.
The Section obtained a web presence in February 1998, with a web site announcing meetings, technical tidbits, job openings, lighter fare, and officer announcements. Student participation at the local university varied from year to year with the student officers and their interest, but efforts were made every year to support them financially at the school and at local meetings. Scholarships were given to deserving students to help encourage student involvement, awards were given for senior projects of merit, and funding was provided to student member activities. Budgeting made provisions to grow a reserve fund to help pay for a conference or training seminar.
As a result of a trend away from technical organizations, membership in IEEE declined, and local participation was tough to come by. Other local professional organizations also experienced dramatic reductions, partly due to a lack of interest in time away from families.
Meetings were changed from a heavy business meeting or technical nature to one of more of a lighter nature with tours of local industry to help give members a break from the technical day to day work and encourage participation. Technical presentations were still held perhaps once or twice a year as well to help keep members informed.
In October 1997, The Allegheny Mountain Section IEEE was dissolved due to inactivity, with members from Jefferson and Clearfield counties merging into the Johnstown Section IEEE. The Section picked up a couple dozen members from this merger.
In 1999 electric deregulation resulted in the local utility selling its generating assets to another company who subsequently pulled operations from the Johnstown area. Additional Section officers and members discontinued their participation and or membership in the Section. This year an oil-filled equipment training program was sponsored by the Section in 1999 to help about 35 members comply with regulations and understand the issues with this type of equipment.
In 2013 government spending and the continued economic slump resulted in the loss of several officers, members, and supporting companies. The Section officers changed once again mid year, but remain committed to a survival instinct.
Setting a Course for the Future
On January 15, 2002, the Section Executive Committee had to review the By-Laws to comply with a corporate IEEE change. During this change, Johnstown streamlined Section management, including making Directors optional, allowing the Secretary and Treasurer to be combined, and allowing an officer to hold office for up to three consecutive years.
Members seemed to appreciate a lighter fare from the local Section, but most were still using membership more for the technical information provided by corporate. Local Section management continued to offer get-togethers and tours to help build a social event and bond the members, even if only a few attended. This networking proved to be a vital piece of the Section’s growth through years of waning corporate support.
This lighter management structure served the Section well for several years while industry in the area began to shift and diversify. The Johnstown area picked up employers from defense, electronics, and new heavy industry that began to improve the Section membership and attendance. New members were brought into the Section management and encouraged to try new things to remain an on-going asset. Members began to express an interest in Section management positions.
In 2008 the Section added a GOLD (Graduates Of the Last Decade) Chairman to help keep the recent graduate members, and again added a Student Liaison to enhance our student relationship. Work was also begun on a Chapter and an Affinity Group at a large local employer with many IEEE members. 2008 also was a year when the Section branched out to help with a Teacher In Service Program, developing engineering projects for the secondary classroom while hoping to spark an interest in engineering as a career. Over the years we continued to help the students in our nearby engineering school and in 2014 we added an officer who was a new graduate...a sign hopefully of new future growth!
Career positions are advertised in the Section newsletter to provide yet another IEEE member benefit during tough economic times. Section membership remains stable, and attendance is steady.
In 2014 the IEEE turned 130, and the Johnstown Section IEEE will celebrate its 65th birthday in 2015! The Johnstown Section is planning to reach out to the press and developing ways to help celebrate these anniversaries. The Section believes it has prepared a foundation to continue to grow into a vital tool for local engineers and their employers.
Johnstown Section Chairmen and Directors...
|A. M. Baker||None||1948-1949|
|W. R. Wood||None||1949-1950|
|B. H. Drum||None||1950-1951|
|R. S. Bogar||None||1951-1952|
|A. M. Dawson||None||1952-1953|
|J. D. Pryce||None||1953-1954|
|R. H. Barnes||None||1954-1955|
|G. W. Murdock||None||1955-1956|
|Alan E. Molinski||None||1956-1957|
|G. T. Evans||None||1957-1958|
|R. D. Good||None||1958-1959|
|J. F. Worden||None||1959-1960|
|T. C. Pitzer||None||1960-1961|
|M. L. Swanson||None||1962-1963|
|G. F. Shumaker||None||1963-1964|
|R. H. Ressey||None||1964-1965|
|Ralph J. Bacha||None||1965-1966|
|Herman W. Ober||None||1966-1967|
|Charles H. McCullough||None||1967-1968|
|Howard A. Hiltz||None||1968-1969|
|Raymond M. Frank||None||1969-1970|
|Charles E. Murphey||None||1970-1971|
|Eugene F. Carter||A. H. Baker, F. A. Bartlett, J. Robert Jones||1971-1972|
|Thomas J. Gallus||A. M. Dawson, F. A. Bartlett, J. Robert Jones, Raymond M. Frank R. E. Shostek||1972-1973|
|Harry W. Donahue||G. W. Murdock, Raymond M. Frank, R. E. Shostek, Ralph J. Bacha, Charles E. Murphey||1973-1974|
|Kenneth E. Johnson, Jr.||Alan E. Molinski, Ralph J. Bacha, Charles E. Murphey, G. F. Shumaker, Charles H. Mccullough||1974-1975|
|Gerald I. Erway||R. D. Good, G. F. Shumaker, Charles H. Mccullough, Thomas J. Gallus, W. W. Turner||1975-1976|
|J. Robert Jones||T. C. Pitzer, Thomas J. Gallus, W. W. Turner, Kenneth E. Johnson Jr., M. L. Swanson||1976-1977|
|Thomas F. Kennedy||P. Pasternak, Kenneth E. Johnson Jr., M. L. Swanson, Harry W. Donahue, Gerald I. Erway||1977-1978|
|Daniel A. Hydock||M. L. Swanson, Harry W. Donahue, Gerald I. Erway, J. Robert Jones, Charles E. Murphey||1978-1979|
|Donald R. Boore||G. F. Shumaker, J. Robert Jones, Charles E. Murphey, R. E. Shostek, R. M. Ressey||1979-1980|
|James V. Kopriva||Ralph J. Bacha, R. E. Shostek, R. M. Ressey, Thomas F. Kennedy, George A. Mostoller||1980-1981|
|Stephen T. Jarabak||Herman W. Ober, Thomas F. Kennedy, George A. Mostoller, Daniel A. Hydock, Kenneth E. Johnson, Jr.||1981-1982|
|James L. Hales||Charles H. Mccullough, Daniel A. Hydock, Kenneth E. Johnson, Jr., M. L. Swanson, R. D. Good||1982-1983|
|Bruce R. Hulburt||Howard A. Hiltz, M. L. Swanson, R. D. Good, Raymond M. Frank, Alan E. Molinski||1983-1984|
|J. E. Davidson||Raymond M. Frank, Alan E. Molinski, James V. Kopriva, Harry W. Donahue||1984-1485|
|Raymond C. Himes||Charles E. Murphey, James V. Kopriva, Harry W. Donahue, Stephen T. Jarabak, James L. Hales||1985-1986|
|Thomas R. Woleslagle||Kenneth E. Johnson , Jr., Stephen T. Jarabak, James L. Hales, Bruce R. Hulburt, Charles J. Neuhoff||1986-1987|
|William P. Siska||P. L. Lumnitzer, Bruce R. Hulburt, Charles J. Neuhoff, J. E. Davidson, Raymond C. Himes||1987-1988|
|David E. Watters||David J. Bechtold, J. E. Davidson, Raymond C. Himes, Kenneth E. Johnson, Jr., Raymond M. Frank||1988-1989|
|John A. Cernetich||R. E. Nevarre, Kenneth E. Johnson, Jr., Raymond M. Frank, Daniel A. Hydock, James V. Kopriva||1989-1990|
|Edward J. Gilles||R. F. Pfister, Daniel A. Hydock, James V. Kopriva, James L. Hales, William P. Siska||1990-1991|
|Stephen T. Jarabak||Charles J. Neuhoff, James L. Hales, William P. Siska, Bruce R. Hulburt, Harry W. Donahue||1991-1992|
|George A. Mostoller||F. A. Bartlett, Bruce R. Hulburt, Harry W. Donahue, David E. Watters, Edward J. Gilles||1992-1993|
|Raymond C. Himes||J. Robert Jones, David E. Watters, Edward J. Gilles, Daniel A. Hydock, James V. Kopriva, R. E. Shostek, G. J. Toth, D. G. Varmecky, J. Senuta||1993-1994|
|Terry L. Conrad||Daniel A. Hydock, James V. Kopriva, Gregory M. Dick, Stanley J. Kieta Jr.||1994-1995|
|Robert G. Chumrik, Jr.||None||1995-1997|
|M. Edward Brandau, III||John Grumling, William R. Wieserman||1997-1999|
|M. Edward Brandau, III||None||1999-2000|
|Terry L. Conrad||None||2001-2005|
|M. Edward Brandau,III||None||2006-2008|
|R. Dennis Molly||None||2009-2010|
|Doug Atterbury||M. Edward Brandau III, Edward Olshefski, William Wieserman||2010-2011|
|R. Dennis Molly||M. Edward Brandau III, Edward Olshefski, William Wieserman||2011-2012|
|M. Edward Brandau, III||Doug Atterbury, Edward Olshefski, William Wieserman||2012-2013|
|M. Edward Brandau, III||Edward Olshefski, William Wieserman||2013-2014|
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