Eugene C. Starr


Eugene C. Starr
Eugene C. Starr
Falls City, OR, USA
Death date
Fields of study
Distinguished Service Award, Habirshaw Award, IEEE Lamme Medal


Eugene Carl Starr was born in Falls City, Oregon, August 6, 1901. He attended Oregon State University where he received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering in 1923 and later the professional degree of electrical engineer.

He was employed by General Electric Company in its Test Course and then became a member of GE's high-voltage engineering laboratory staff. In 1927 he left GE to become an electrical engineering instructor at Oregon State University, becoming a full professor in 1939. Mr. Starr served as a part-time consultant to Bonneville Power Administration from 1939 to 1954.

ln 1954 he became BPA's Chief Engineer. Since 1961 he has served Bonneville as Consulting Engineer specializing in EHV a-c and d-c transmission and in nuclear power development.

In addition, Mr. Starr attended the Bikini atomic bomb test, Operation Crossroads, in 1946. He served as a consultant to the Reactor Development Division, Atomic Energy Commission, on industrial power and was a member of the Advisory Committee to the AEC on reactor policies and programs. In 1957 he was a member of the American delegation to the World Power Conference in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. In 1959 he accepted a special five-week assignment in India, as a Consultant to the United Nations where he evaluated three engineering research grants-in-aid requests of the Government of India. He has served as a member of the Advisory Committee to the General Electric Project EHV.

Mr. Starr is a member of CIGRE, (International Conference on Large High Voltage Systems) in which he is the U. S. Representative to Study Committee No. 14 on a-c d-c converting plants. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, and former member of the Boards of Directors of AIEE and IEEE. He holds a membership in AAAS and is a member of the Professional Engineers of Oregon, and the National Society of Professional Engineers. He has been a member of several committees of the Institute, including Research, Transmission and Distribution, and Sections. He has also been a member of the Publications Board.

He has won several prizes for his research papers in the fields of high-voltage engineering and aircraft radio coordination. In 1965 he was named Engineer of the Year for Oregon.

In 1958 the Department of the Interior presented him with its highest award, the Distinguished Service Award and Gold Medal for his service to the Government in electrical engineering and nuclear power fields. In 1965 he was appointed a member of the Federal Power Commission's Alaska Power Survey and is serving as chairman of the study committee on Coordinated System Development and Interconnection.

He was a member of Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi, and Phi Kappa Phi honorary societies. His contributions to the profession of the industry are primarily in the fields of high-voltage transmission reliability, large-scale application of series capacitors and the application of hvdc transmission techniques. He has published more than 40 papers.

Mr. Starr was married to the former Oma Mae Herald. They made their home in Portland, Oregon, where Mr. Starr relaxed caring for his suburban acre and with his hobbies of big game hunting and firearms.

Mr. Starr was a fellow of the IEEE, which awarded him the Habirshaw Award in 1968 “for outstanding contributions to the development of more economical and reliable a-c and d-c transmissions,” and the Lamme Gold Medal in 1980 for his lifetime contributions to the same field. He was also a member of CIGRE and the National Academy of Engineering.

Eugene C. Starr died on February 5, 1988 in Portland, Oregon.