Bruce Barrow


Bruce Barrow
Bruce Barrow
Mahoning Township, PA
Death date
IEEE Charles Proteus Steinmetz Award


Bruce B. Barrow was born in Mahoning Township, PA, in 1929. He received his B.S.E.E. and M.S.E.E. from Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie-Mellon University) in 1950, the degree ofElectrical Engineer from the Massachusetts Institute ofTechnology in 1956, and his Ph.D. (cum laude) from the Technological University al Delft (the Netherlands) in 1962. His doctoral dissertation was concerned with error probabilities in data transmission.

From 1958 until 1962 Dr. Barrow was employed at the SHAPE Technical Centre in the Hague. Upon returning to the United States, he joined GTE Sylvania (later reorganized into the GTE Laboratories) in Waltham, Mass. , where he stayed until 1973, doing original research and supervising work on topics that involved the application of communications theory to practical problems in military and civilian telecommunications.

In 1976, he joined the Defense Communications Engineering Center in Reston, VA, and subsequently transferred to the National Communications System (NCS) in Arlington, VA , where he is currently supervisory electronics engineer. His work for the government has focused on national security emergency preparedness telecommunications in the commercial carrier networks, a field that has become particularly challenging since the divestiture of AT&T. He has published more than twenty papers and has received the Meritorious Civilian Service Award from the NCS.

Dr. Barrow has served as Chairman of the IEEE Standards Board, Vice Chairman of the IEEE Technical Activities Board, Chairman of the Boston Section, and member of the IEEE Board of Directors. For many years he has chaired the IEEE Standards Coordinating Committee on Quantities, Units, and Letter Symbols, which is responsible for the primary American National Standard on Metric Practice, among others. He chairs the Metric Practice and Preferred Units Subcommittee of the government's Interagency Committee on Metric Policy. He participates actively on committees of the American Society for Testing and Materials, the American National Metric Council, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He was a Fellow of the IEEE and of the AAAS, and is a recipient of the IEEE Centennial Medal.

Dr. Barrow had two sons and a daughter. His hobbies, in addition to the metric system, include sailing (especially on the Chesapeake Bay), amateur theater, and singing.

Further Reading