IEEE Philadelphia Section History


IEEE Philadelphia Section History
Established date 1903-02-18
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A Brief History

Foreword from “100 Years with the IEEE in the Delaware Valley” Philadelphia Section Publication 1984

“The Philadelphia Section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated (IEEE) presents this history of the electro-technical related accomplishments by individuals and companies in the Delaware Valley during the last 100 years in tribute to the founding of IEEE. It is hoped that the collection of articles will prove to be both interesting and informative for the nontechnical reader as well as the members of the Philadelphia Section. If by reading this document, the reader’s appreciation of the tremendous impact of engineering on his or her welfare, comfort, and security is enhanced, the Philadelphia Section will feel well rewarded.

Two introductory articles document the history of the IEEE and the role played by the Franklin Institute in stimulating the founding of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE), which later merged with the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) to for the IEEE. The remaining articles have been grouped into arbitrarily broad divisions of electro-technology: Communications/Entertainment and Broadcast, power and industrial Applications, Rail Transportation, Medical Application, Computers, and Aerospace/Military. The reader will note that achievements by companies as opposed to those by individuals may extend across many or all of the divisions. To properly record the contributions of those individuals whose ideas sparked the developments described and those whose leadership brought forth and many marvelous technical accomplishments we take so much for granted today, would be worthy of several years of effort by a professional historians.

The formal history of the Philadelphia Section (or Branch, as it was then called) of the AIEE began on February 18, 1903. Dr. Carl Hering, the first Chairman, also went on to secure as president of the national AIEE and as a delegate of the U.S. Government to the Universal Exposition of 1889 held in Paris, France. The first regular meetings were held in the meeting room of the Engineer’s Club in Philadelphia, then at 1122 Girad Street.

The Philadelphia Section of the IRE was recognized in the IRE Proceeding, December, 1925. Mr. Stuart Ballantine was the first Chairman.

It is noteworthy that the Philadelphia Section of the AIEE gave birth to the following offspring: the Delaware Bay Section (1953) – territory, State of Delaware and Salem County, New Jersey; the Southern New Jersey Section (1963) – territory, Atlantic, Cape May, and Cumberland Counties; and the Princeton-Trenton Division (1961-62). This division included a subsection of the IRE organized by T. H. Story in 1945.

The Philadelphia Section of the IRE was originally assigned the geographical areas covered by Philadelphia, Camden, and Atlantic City. Later this was expanded to include all of Southern New Jersey and the counties in Southeastern Pennsylvannia as far west as Adams, Dauphin, and Perry. Subsections that spun off from the Philadelphia Section include Princeton (1945), Lancaster (1947), Lehigh Valley (1957), and Reading (1959). As noted the Princeton Subsection merged with the AIEE. However, the remaining subsections did not obtain their independence until the time of the merger of AIEE and IRE in 1963. At that time, the Princeton Subsection became an independent section.

Events leading up to the merger of the AIEE and the IRE are described in the “Capsule History of the IEEE.” The role played by the Franklin Institute as sponsor of the International Electrical Exhibition, 1884, and the National Conference of Electricians, must not be overlooked. These events emphasized the need for a national organization to represent the “practical men” such as Elihu Thompson, Edwin Houston, and Thomas Edison, and stimulated the founding of the AIEE.

On behalf of the Philadelphia Section, the Editor apologizes to those individuals or companies that may have been inadvertently omitted from this current history of significant electro-technical accomplishments with the Philadelphia Section of the IEEE. It is especially noted that the history of technical achievements in local RCA plants did not end in 1976. However, the outstanding accomplishments by this extraordinary company remain to be chronicled by some future historian.

The Section sincerely appreciates the time and effort freely given by all those who made this document possible. Specifically, the members of the Committee for the publication of this document are recognized here: G. W. Gordan (SAM’50), K. A. Fegley (F’57), W.W. Middleton (SM’61), K.A. Ringo (SM’56), A.L. Smith (M’77), and S. R. Warren (F’53).” - John C. Bry, Jr. (SM’77) Senior Member of the Engineering Staff, RCA Naval Systems Department, Moorestown, NJ. February, 1984.

"A Capsule History of the IEEE”

This document was originally printed in “100 Years with the IEEE in the Delaware Valley” Philadelphia Section Publication 1984. 

"In 1984, the Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEEE) will be celebrating an important milestone – its hundredth anniversary. As the centennial approaches, the institute’s members can look back on a century of outstanding progress and achievements and con count as colleagues, past and present, the giants of electrical technology. Thanks to the contributions of these and others, contemporary society is, in part, the product of electrical engineering. Indeed, the history of the IEEE and its predecessors, the AIEE and the IRE is part of the record of the impact o electrical science and technology on the shaping of the twentieth century.

The AIEE was born during a period of optimism and enthusiasm. By 1884, applications for electricity were rapidly increasing, progress in electrical theory and practice was accelerating, and scientists and electricians, as well as entrepreneurs and investors, saw only greater growth ahead. With such growth, electrical technology was becoming more and more complex and practitioners began to feel the need for a national forum to exchange ideas and experiences and an organization to define a new profession.

In the spring 1884, a call was issued for a meeting to form a national electrical society, and after some preliminary gatherings, the AIEE was established in New York City on 13 May. Impetus had been given to the new organization by the planning for an International Electrical Exhibition to be help by the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia later that year and the AIEE quickly gained recognition as a spokesperson for American electrical engineers.

From the beginning, wire communications and light and power systems were the major interests of the AIEE. An early and active participant in the development of standards for the electrical industry, the institute laid the foundations for all work on electrical standards done in the United States. During the first three decades of its existence, the AIEE confronted and resolved such internal concerns as locating permanent headquarters for the organization; providing mechanisms for contact with a far-flung membership and with students; and fostering new technical interested through committees that were established to meet the challenge of increasing specialization.

By 1912, however, the interests and needs of those specializing in the expanding field of radio could no longer be satisfied by a technical committee meeting two or three times a years. In that year, two large local radio organizations – The Society of the Wireless Telegraph Engineers and the Wireless Institute – merged to form a national society for the scientists and engineers involved in the development of wireless communications – the IRE. Many of the original members of the AIEE and both organization continued to have members in common until they merged in form the IEEE in 1963.

The structural development and general activities of the IRE were similar to those of the AIEE. Specialized segments were gathered into professional groups under a central governing body; geographical units and student branches were formed; the creation of extensive literature and the exchange of knowledge was facilitated through meetings and publications; membership grades were established and standards became a major concern.

The nature of radio technology meant that the interests of the IRE went beyond national boundaries. Therefore, the new organization sought and attracted members from many countries and eventually established units in several areas throughout the world.

In the 1930s, the word “electronics” became part of the vocabulary of electrical engineering. Electronics engineers tended to be come members of the IRE, but the applications of electron tube technology became so extensive that the technical boundaries differentiating the IRE and the AIEE became difficult to distinguish. After World War II, the two organizations became increasingly competitive. Problems of overlap and duplication of efforts arose, only partially resolved by joint committees and meetings.

Finally, in 1961, the leadership of both the IRE and the AIEE resolved to seek and end to these difficulties through consolidation. The next year a merger plan was formulated and approved and became effective on 1 January 1963. Plans were made for me

Almost two decades have passed since the formation of the IEEE. Today, the Institute is than largest professional association in the world with over 200,000 members (as of 1984), and its activities now extend far more widely than its forefathers could have ever foreseen. It remains, however, jut as almost a century ago, the premier spokesman for the most significant and exciting technological field of its time."

IEEE and the Philadelphia Section - Purpose and Historical Sketch

As written in the 100th Anniversary IEEE Philadelphia Section Journal, p. viii.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Inc. is the world's largest engineering society for men and women with a current membership of over 350,000 members (as of 2003). Electrical engineering began as an organized profession in the United States when the changes in our industrial, economic, and social life, highlighted by the striking advances in electrical science, culminated in the International exhibition held in Philadelphia in the fall of 1884. On this occasion a small group of men met to set up an organization that was a forerunner tot he present-day IEEE. The organization was founded under the name of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers.

The Philadelphia Section (or Branch as it was then called) of the AIEE was organized in 1903. It held its first regular meeting at the engineer's club located at 1122 Girad Street with Carl Hering as President. Twenty-eight members and forty-five visitors were present at this first meeting. Today, the Section serves over 6000 members in the Delaware Valley (as of 2003).

As the electric power industry grew, so did the AIEE. However, on May 13, 1912, another branch of the electrical profession, the radio engineers, formed the Institute of the Radio Engineers (IRE), which grew so rapidly its membership soon surpassed that of the AIEE. As early as 1922, the AIEE and the IRE discussed the possibility of merging. No serious steps were taken until 1961. One year later, the membership of the organizations approved the merger which officially took place on January 1, 1963, under the new name of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE).

Philadelphia Section Officers 1903 - 2014

AIEE and IRE Philadelphia Section Chairs 1903-63
Year Chairman
1903-04 C. Hering, AIEE
1904-05 C.E. Hewitt, AIEE
1905-06 .A. Foster, AIEE
1906-07 C.W. Pike, AIEE
1907-08 W.C.L. Egin, AIEE
1908-09 J. Stevens, AIEE
1909-10 P. Spencer, AIEE
1910-11 G. Hoadley, AIEE
1911-12 C. Young, AIEE
1912-13 .A. Homer, AIEE
1913-14 A.R. Cheney, AIEE
1914-15 . Sanville, AIEE
1915-16 J.. Tracy, AIEE
1916-17 Horace P. Liversidge, AIEE
1917-18 N. Hayward, AIEE
1918-19 W.F. Jones, AIEE
1919-20 C.E. Clemwell, AIEE
1920-21 C.E. Bonnie, AIEE
1921-22 P.. Chase, AIEE
1922-23 E. Tuttle, AIEE
1923-24 R.B. Mateer, AIEE
1924-25 C.D. Fawcett, AIEE
1925-26 S. Ballantine, IRE
1926-27 L.J. Costa, AIEE
1927-28 I.M. Stein, AIEE
1928-29 L.M. Derning, AIEE
1929-30 R.. Silbert, AIEE
1930-31 D.. Kelley, AIEE

W.R.G. Baker, IRE
1931-32 C.N. Johnson, AIEE

G.W. Carpenter, IRE
1932-33 L. Fussell, AIEE
.W. Byler, IRE
1933-34 P.S. Harkins, AIEE
W.F. Diehl, IRE
1934-35 .C. Albrecht, AIEE
E.D. Cook, IRE
1935-36 R.W. Wilbraham, AIEE
K. McIlwain, IRE
1936-37 O.C. Traver, AIEE
I.G. Wolff, IRE
1937-38 J.B. Harris, Jr., AIEE
A.F. Murray, IRE
1938-39 .S. Phelps, AIEE
.J. Schrader, IRE
1939-40 E.P. Yerkes, AIEE
R.S. Hayes, IRE
1940-41 D.C. Price, AIEE
C.M. Burrill, IRE
1941-42 W.B. Morton, AIEE
C.C. Chambers, IRE
1942-43 G.W. Bower, AIEE
J.B. Coleman, IRE
1943-44 .E. Strang, AIEE

W.P. West
1944-45 A.C. Muir, AIEE
T.A. Smith, IRE
1945-46 C.T. Pearce, AIEE
D.B. Smith, IRE
1946-47 .A. Dambly, AIEE
S. Gubin, IRE
1947-48 W.R. Clark, AIEE
P.M. Craig, IRE
1948-49 A.P. Godsho, AIEE
A.N. Curtiss, IRE
1949-50 W.F. Henn, AIEE
J.T. Brothers, IRE
1950-51 S.R. Warren, Jr., AIEE

C.A. Gunther, IRE
1951-52 .. Sheppard, AIEE
L.M. Rodgers, IRE
1952-53 L.R. Gafy, AIEE
C.M. Sinnett, IRE
1953-54 W.F. Denkhaus, AIEE
J.G. Barinerd, IRE
1954-55 A.E. Pringle, II, AIEE

S.C. Spielman, IRE
1955-56 T.E. Schieber, AIEE
C.R. Kraus, IRE
1956-57 M.J.A. Dugan, AIEE
M.S. Corington, IRE
1957-58 B.. Zacherle, AIEE
N. Johnson, IRE
1958-59 G.B. Schleicher, AIEE
I.L. Auerbach, IRE
1959-60 R.S. Hewett, AIEE
W.A. Howard, IRE
1960-61 R.L. Halberstadt, AIEE
W.T. Sumerlin, IRE
1961-62 W.O. Mascaro, AIEE
R.M. Showers, IRE
1962-63 T.. Story, AIEE/IEEE
.J. Woll, IRE/IEEE
Philadelphia Section Chairs of the IEEE (1963-2013)
Year Chairman Company
1963-64 E.W. Boehne ITE Incorporated
1964-65 K.. Emerson Philco-Ford
1965-66 W.E. Scholz PECO
1966-67 J.E. Snook
1967-68 J.E. Casey
1968-69 W.W. Middleton Bell of PA
1969-70 S. Zebrowitz Philco-Ford
1970-71 O.M. Salati U of P
1971-72 .O. Wood Ford Aero
1972-73 R. Mayer Sun Tech., G.P.
1973-74 E.F. Halfmann PECO
1974-75 Fred Haber U of P
1975-76 C. Williams Bell of PA
1976-77 D.C. Dunn PECO
1977-78 V.K. Schutz Temple
1978-79 T.L. Fagan GE
1979-80 M.W. Buckley, Jr. RCA
1980-81 J.C. Bry, Jr. RCA
1981-82 K.A. Fegley U of P
1982-83 G.W. Gordon PECO
1983-84 A.L. Smith Honeywell
1984-85 J.E. Bauer Naval Engr.
1985-86 Ned Kornfield Widener
1986-87 Marvin Rozansky RCA
1987-88 Joseph A. Bordogna U of P
1988-89 Mark S. Zimmerman Magnavox
1989-90 Bruce A. Eisenstein Drexel
1990-91 Stanley B. Disson Consultant
1991-92 Gary C. Ridge Bell Atlantic
1992-93 Walter Schoppe NADC
1993-94 Nihat Bilguaty Drexel
1994-95 Kenneth R. Laker U of P
1996 Maragert Haag PECO
1997 Stu Levy Consultant
1998 Moshe Kam Drexel
1999 Marv Weilerstein Consultant
2000 Brian Butz Temple
2001 Jim Kubeck Lockheed Martin
2002 Tassos Malapetsas Access International
2003 Janet Rochester Lockheed Martin
2004 John Sudano
2005 Fulvio Oliveto
2006 Robert Johnston Lockheed Martin
2007 Li Bai
2008 Harold Ammond
2009 Jack Nachamkin
2010 Robert Lawson
2011 Emilio Salgueiro
2012 Margaret Goodman Consultant
2013 Mark Soffa Kulicke & Soffa
2014 Philip M Gonski, PE Keystone Engineering Group
Philadelphia Section Officers
Year Chair Vice chair Secretary Treasurer
2001 James Kubeck Anastasios Malapetsas John Mc Cormack Janet Rochester
2002 Anastasios Malapetsas Janet Rochester John Sudano
2003 Janet Rochester John Sudano John Mc Cormack Narisa Nan Chu / John Mc Cormack
2004 John Sudano John Sudano John Mc Cormack
2005 F Oliveto Robert Johnston Harold Ammond Li Bai
2006 Robert Johnston Li Bai Harold Ammond Harold Ammond
2007 Li Bai Harold Ammond Robert Lawson Jack Nachamkin
2008 Harold Ammond Jack Nachamkin Emilio Salgueiro Robert Lawson
2009 Jack Nachamkin Robert Lawson Ram Achuthanandam Emilio Salgueiro
2010 Robert Lawson Emilio Salgueiro Margaret Goodman Ram Achuthanandam
2011 Emilio Salgueiro Margaret Goodman Kevin Maynard Mark Soffa
2012 Margaret Goodman Mark Soffa Frank Moscatelli / Philip Gonski Joseph Maida / Frank Moscatelli
2013 Mark Soffa Frank Moscatelli Danilo Bassi Philip Gonski
2014 Philip Gonski Adam Fontecchio Leonardo Urbano Richard Primerano
2015 Philip Gonski Adam Fontecchio Leonardo Urbano Robert Johnston
2016 Philip Gonski Peter Silverberg Tal Singer Robert Johnston
2017 Peter Silverberg Mark Soffa Christopher Vaile Robert Johnston
2018 Peter Silverberg Mark Soffa Christopher Vaile Robert Johnston
2019 Emilio Salgueiro Mark Soffa Jeffrey Gingerich Christopher Vaile
2020 Emilio Salgueiro Mark Madjar Jeffrey Gingerich Christopher Vaile
2021 Emilio Salgueiro Anastasios Malapetsas Christopher Dietsch Dennis Silage

Award Recipients of the Philadelphia Section


Field Awards

Service Award


  • Distinguished Contributions to Engineering Professionalism - W.W. Middleton 1998

Regional Activities Awards

  • William W. Middleton Award for Distinguished Contributions - W.W. Middleton 1990
  • Leadership Award - G.W. Gordon 1999
  • Achievement Award - R.B. Adler 2002
Philadelphia Section Award Recipients
Year Recipient
1961 I. L. Auerbach
1962 W.E. Bradley
1963 H.P. Schwan
1964 L. Stegg
1965 J. P. Eckhert, Jr.
1966 G.E. Beggs, Jr. 
1967 W.E. Scholz & W. M. Scott, Jr.
1968 J. G. Brainerd & Grace Hopper
1969 W.R. Clark, Jr., E.W.Boehne, & V. Cox
1970 C.T. Pearce, G.E. Heberline, S.R. Warren, & T. Travis
1971 I. Rieberman & H.J. Woll
1972 O.M. Salati, G.M. Gunther, & C. R. Kraus
1973 C.C. Chambers, P.J. Bingley, & A. Williams, Jr.
1974 M.S. Corrington & W.Middleton
1975 N. Cohn & H.R. Paxson
1976 J.F. Fisher & C.N. Weygandt
1977 R. Mayer & H.H. Sheppard
1978 K.V. Amatneck, H. Rappaport, & S. Zebrowitz
1979 F. Oliveto, Emily Sirjane, & C. Williams
1980 J.E. Bauer, R.M. Showers, & Helen Yonan
1981 G.L. Fredendall & W.R. Rowland
1982 T.L. Fagan
1983 L.T. Klauder & J.B. Owens
1984 M.W. Buckley, Jr., B. Chance, B. Fell, & K.A. Ringo
1985 J.C. Bry, Jr.
1986 G. W. Gordon & K.A. Fegley
1987 G.E. Bodenstein
1988 N. Kornfield & E.S. Wheeler
1989 W.W. Middleton
1990 J. Bordogna
1991 D. Jaron & V.K. Schutz
1992 M.W. Buckley, Jr. & H.P. Schwan
1993 B.A. Eisenstein & J.D. Rittenhouse
1994 S.B. Disson, R.G.Goldblum, S. Levy, & M. Weilerstien
1995 J. Bordogna & F. Oliverto
1996 V. Monshaw, L. Riebman, & H. Urkowitz
1997 M. Amin, B.A. Eisenstien, & K.R. Laker
1998 R.B. Adler
1999 A. Johnson. Jr. & H.H. Sheppard
2000 N. Bilgutay
2001 E.J. Podell
2002 S.R. Showdhury & D. Graham
2003 Brian Butz & Fulvio Oliveto
2004 Mark Soffa
2005 Robert Yantorno
2006 Donald Dunn
2007 Marvin Weilerstein
2008 Edmond J. Dougherty
2009 Peter Silverberg & Dr. Pritpal Singh
2010 Kent Ringo
2011 Dr. Li Bai
2012 Robert Johnston

Archival documents

Further Reading