IEEE Pikes Peak Section History
Notable Section Events and Milestones
- Section Founded in May 1978 by Al Rosa (First Chair) and Burt Bittner (Former Denver Subsection Chair).
- Solid State Society Chapter Established in 1981 by Roger Pierce and John Meredith (First Chair).
- Section Hosted First Region 5 S-PAC at UCCS in 1982.
- Computer Society Chapter Established in 1983 by Frank Hartsell (First Chair).
- Communications Society Chapter Established in 1992 by Jack McIlnay (First Chair).
- Section Awarded "Best Small Section" Award by Region 5 in 1993.
- Joint Denver-Pikes Peak Reliability Society Chapter Established in 1993 by Gene Bagenstos.
- Section Hosted "Region 5 Conference" at Antler's Hotel in 1994.
- Electromagnetic Compatibility Society Chapter Established in 1994 by John Will (First Chair).
- GOLD Affinity group established in November 2010.
25th Anniversary Presentation
By Jean M. Eason, IEEE Director, Region 5.
Colorado Springs in the late 19th – early 20th century looked a lot different than today – no cars, just horses, no phones, no airplanes, no air force. Mostly oil and gas lighting. But, the use of electricity had spread quickly from New York through the populated areas of the country and Colorado Springs was right there with the pioneers. Electric lighting was introduced here in 1890 and greatly expanded in 1900. In 1891, the Ames Hydroelectric Generating Plant demonstrated the practical value of transmitting electrical power – not quite 3 miles.
In 1899-1900, Nikola Tesla worked in Colorado Springs to prove this theory of wireless communication by conduction of electricity through natural media – and succeeded in proving that the earth was a conductor. He also produced artificial lightning in flashes of millions of volts that were up to 135 feet long – a feat that has never been equaled.
In 1901, George R. Buckman of Colorado Springs wrote on the history of heating and lighting for the time capsule they buried in August. He said: “What the heating and the lighting of a century hence will be is an interesting though I fear an idle speculation. Long before that time the rapid exhaustion of the coal beds of the world will have become a serious question. The marvellous results recently obtained in so-called wireless telegraphy point to the possibility of the perfecting of a system where-by electricity generated in enormous quantities at points where vast water power is available, will be so cheaply transmitted over distances now impossible, that it can be used both for heating and lighting. We look to electricity then which has already revolutionized modern industry in many of its departments, to solve this problem for the 21st century.”
AIEE’s origins were New York City, but it quickly spread to other areas of the country with the first Sections formed in 1902 in Ithaca, NY and Chicago. The next year, many other Sections started including Philadelphia, Atlanta, Seattle, Toronto and, in Region 5, St. Louis. The Section in Denver was formed in 1915.
To get from AIEE and IRE to IEEE, you have to go forward to 1963. How many of you in here remember the merger? And, probably some of you will remember the start of the Pikes Peak Section 25 years ago in May. Maybe you were a part of that effort – if so, I’d like to commend you. And, to all of the members here, my thanks and congratulations. It’s my pleasure to present you with the 25-year anniversary banner.