Murray Joslin


Murray Joslin
Murray Joslin
Independence, IA, USA
Associated organizations
Commonwealth Edison Company, General Electric (GE)
Fields of study
IEEE Edison Medal


Murray Joslin was born in Independence, Iowa, on 21 November 1901. Joslin obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University in 1923. In the same year he began a career in the electric power industry that spanned nearly a half of a century before he retired to private life in 1972.

Most of this career was spent in executive capacities with Commonwealth Edison Company and its former subsidiary, Public Service Company of Northern Illinois, which he joined soon after leaving Iowa State. He became a vice-president of Commonwealth Edison in 1953 and subsequently headed various activities of the company, becoming best known, for his leadership role in Commonwealth Edison's association with the early development of nuclear power. This association began in 1951 when he was chosen to head the nuclear study group formed by his company. Later he directed the construction and early operation of Dresden nuclear power station, the nation's first privately financed nuclear power plant. Known as Dresden I, this 210 megawatt research and development unit produced electricity for Commonwealth Edison customers from 1960 to 1978. Since Dresden I was retired, the company has used Dresden II and III which together are capable of powering a million American homes.

Following his retirement from Commonwealth Edison Company in 1966, Joslin joined General Electric Company as a consultant and served in this capacity until 1972. From 1960 until 1975, he also served as a member of the Illinois Legislative Commission on Atomic Energy.

Joslin served as Executive Director of the Ad Hoc Committee on Research and Development which was formed in 1963 to create an industry-wide research organization. Out of this committee emerged the Electric Research Council, forerunner of the Electric Power Research Institute. From 1966 to 1971 he was chairman of the Standards Committee N-45, American National Standards Institute. In this role he was instrumental in developing standards and criteria for nuclear power plants.

For his many contributions to the nuclear power industry, Joslin received a citation from the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission in 1968. He was also cited by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for his service on the National Academy of Science Advisory Board on Hardened Electric Power Systems during development of electric power plants for the NIKE-X anti-ballistic missile system. Joslin received the Marston Medal from Iowa State University, an award made to alumni for outstanding achievements in the field of engineering; and the IEEE Edison Medal in 1976 "For his leadership in overcoming technical and financial obstacles to nuclear power generation and for managerial guidance and foresight in the planning, building and operating the early Dresden Nuclear Power Station."

During his long career, Joslin was also active in civic and charitable affairs. He served as a director of the Catholic Charities of Chicago, as a member of the civic committees of Marquette and Loyola Universities and in various capacities with the Chicago Metropolitan Crusade of Mercy. He also was Chairman of the Research and Development Council for the Chicago area and served as Trustee of Argonne Universities Association and member of its executive committee for Argonne National Laboratory Affairs.