IEEE Orlando Section History

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Origins of the Orlando Section

The beginnings of the Orlando section date back over fifty years. An IRE section was chartered in late spring, 1959, and an AIEE section chartered on Sept. 26, 1960. Records of the initial chairman of the IRE have eluded the editor, as have the names of the AIEE chairman for 1962-63, but for those of you who may be able to fill the missing names, the list on page 5 identifies most of the chairs and award recipients through the years.

The drive for forming the AIEE section was led by R.R. Rowell, Jim Layne, J.O. (Bill) Lucius and A.J. Faron. From its inception, the section included two technical groups. The Power group was led by J.L. Munroe, Vic Gardner, A.J. Faron, K. Canell and Bill Lucius; the Communications group was led by W.E. Hahn, Bill Jamieson and M.C. Loper. There were also a Missile Elecrical Systems-East Coast Group and a Missile Electronics Systems-Central Group, but we have no record of their activities.

In 1963, IRE and AIEE were merged nationally. At the section level, E.O. Houseman, John Tracy and Jim Walter from IRE and Jim Layne, Bob Rowell and Bill Jamieson from AIEE had a series of meetings to form a joint section, the Orlando Section of the IEEE. Just as there was at the national level, the local groups were each unsure whether merger was in the best interest of their membership. However, since the merger, the Orlando section has progressed to the point that much of the Florida Council looks to our section for its leadership and for ideas on maintaining a healthy and active section.

For more information about the Orlando section, visit their homepage.  Link to Section Homepage

Orlando Section Chairmen and Honored Engineers
Year Chairmen

1959-60 N/A

1960-61 IRE Al Gray AIEE Robert R. Rowell
1961-62 IRE Bob Matzinger AIEE Robert R. Rowell
1962 IRE W.L. Arbuckle
1963 IRE Wes Eddy
1963-64 IEEE Ernest Houseman
1964-65 IEEE Robert R. Rowell
1965-66 Bill Jamieson
1966-67 Jim Walter
1967-68 John Tracey
1968-69 J.W. Dees
1969-70 M.J. Taylor Engineer of the Year Outstanding Service Award
1970-71 Joe Pullara
1971-72 Jim Gay Bruce Matthews
1972-73 E.V. Dashiell Tom Bayston
1973-74 Karl Lohman John Boynton John Tracey
1974-75 J.C. Wiltse Ed McCarter Joe Pullara
1975-76 H.E. Downing Dick Harden Joe Pullara
1976-77 Ed McCarter George McClure Russ Theisen
1977-78 BIll Rhoden Herb Towle Bill Cran
1978-79 Russ Theisen Russ Theisen George McClure
1979-80 Ernie Erickson Ben Patz Bill Rhoden
1980-81 George McClure Don Mendorf Mannie Connell
1981-82 Ben Patz Ernie Erickson
1982-83 Mannie Connell Dave Flinchbaugh Joe Massett
1983-84 Ed Ellis Don Malocha
1984-85 Frank Fluet

Life Members in the Orlando Section

As of September 15, 1984, the Orlando Section of IEEE has 69 Life Members. The breakdown under various categories is as follows:
Life Fellows = 6
Life Senior Members = 33
Life Members = 29
Life Associates = 1

Life membership is granted retired members of IEEE if the sum of their age and years of membership equals or exceeds 100. These qualifications automatically imply that in our life members we have a great wealth of history, of experience, and of interesting stories. We attempted to gather information from as many of these 69 members as could be reached.

Some of these Life Members have provided us a brief write up of their major professional accomplishments and contributions. We have summarized these here for general interest.

Roberts L. Batts, Sr. Designed the first successful mobile police radio. It was built for the Detroit Police Department and was first on the air April 7, 1928. Mr. Batts’ first major career was with the Indianapolis Police and Fire Communication (22 years) and his second major career was with Motorola (21 years).

Archival Documents

IEEE Geographic Unit Organizing Document - Orlando

Orlando Section Notes, Volume XX, Number 2, October 1984, Centennial Special Edition