Oral-History:Walter Elden

From ETHW

AUDIO, WRITTEN AND GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE "PROFESSIONALISM, ETHICS AND LIFE HISTORY INTERVIEW" OF WALTER L ELDEN, PE (RET FL-97)[edit | edit source]

PRELUDE[edit | edit source]

My history, herein, through the application of using multi-media forms of telling my history, such as Written, Audio Voice Recordings and numerous Photo and Graphic Figures, are used to tell my several stories which occurred in my life. Starting with early in my growing up, became educated, became skilled in several forms of performing music, with the goal aimed to become a Conductor of Orchestra, Mixed Chorus and/or Band. But then, the Korean War, starting 3 weeks after graduating from High School in 1950, changed most of that, but for the better. One which was not so good for me, was when I found out my first wife, Anne, had developed a terminal disease; one I knew knothing of or about, Alcoholism; when we first dated and then married.[edit | edit source]

The positive aspect of serving in the Aviation Branch of the Navy, over 4 years, was both the elctronicd training and hands on experience I received maintaining 3 major equipments in my assigned squadron. That experience caused me to switch from a career in Music Conducting to that of becoming an engineering, designing and then becoming very active in promoting promoting Professionalism and Ethics in engineering practice. Along the way, I was fortunate some excellent colleagues during my practice, which I carried on later into retirement.[edit | edit source]

RECOGNITION OF INDIVIDUALS WHO HELPED ME ALONG MY LIFE'S WAY[edit | edit source]

A. GROWING UP[edit | edit source]

B. RELIGION, EDUCATION, LIFE VALUES[edit | edit source]

C. MUSIC DEVELPOMENT[edit | edit source]

D. KEY FIGURES WHO INFLUENCED ME[edit | edit source]

E. SERVING, MAINTAINING HANDS ON, KEY PERSONS, DURING 4 YEARS IN NAVAL AVIATION[edit | edit source]

F. BACHELOR AND MASTERS OF ELECTRONICS ENGINEERING EDUCATION[edit | edit source]

G. PRACTICING ENGINEERING CAREER IN A VARIETY OF INDUSTRIES[edit | edit source]

H. OVERCOMING LIVING WITH AN ACTIVE THEN IN-ACTIVE[edit | edit source]

I. MY ACTIVE DEVOTION TO ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALISM, ETHICS AND SUPPORTING PROFESSIONALS[edit | edit source]

INTRODUCTION[edit | edit source]

Kathy PINretz, Chief Editor of IEEE’s INSTITUTE, conducted a raw interview of IEEE Life Senior Member Walter L. Elden, P.E. (RET) on April 23, 2021 to prepare for a 06 July 2021 article in IEEE's Institute. The subject matter focused on his views and past experiences in Professionalism and Ethics.[edit | edit source]

Walter L. Elden, PE (Ret FL-'97

A-Passionate-Proponent-of-Professional-Ethics-for-Engineers[edit | edit source]

Walter Elden has been an advocate for ethics advice and support programs for members since he led the USAB proposals for creating the original IEEE MEMBER CONDUCT COMMITTEE in 1978, THEN SERVED ON IT 1996-1998, AS ADVOCATE FOE ETHICS ADVICE AND SUPPORT. He then created and led the IEEE CONCERNED ETHICS VOLUNTEERS, the CEV, to restore Advice and Support, which was restored in 2022.

Here is the link to the final published article in the JULY 06, 2021 INSTITUTE ː[edit | edit source]

https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-institute/ieee-member-news/a-passionate-proponent-of-professional-ethics-for-engineers

ADDED AUDIO #11- IMPORTANT "NON WIN-NON WIN" Cases; NASA, VW, BOEINGː[edit | edit source]

SUGGESTIONː Listen to each audio while following the original unedited text, as in the audios, new comments of Elden have been added. Answers to 5,6,9 and 11 are particularly important. But is is recommended to start listening to Audio # 11 first, as it sets the foundation for why Walter has been so devoted advocating for IEEE's Ethical Advice and Support for its members.[edit | edit source]

DROPBOX Link of the Expanded Recorded Audio Made by Walter Elden:[edit | edit source]

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Audio File
MP3 Audio
(Elden OH - Interview ADDED ITEM Number 11.mp3)

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QUESTION 1. TELL ME ABOUT YOUR ENGINEERING CAREER.[edit | edit source]

DROPBOX Link of the Expanded Recorded Audio Made by Walter Elden:

Audio File
MP3 Audio
(Elden OH - Interview Question Number 1.mp3)


THE IMPACT OF MY FIRST VISIT TO THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING 1954[edit | edit source]

a. In 1954, I Visited the campus of U of Florida while serving in the Navy, where I spoke with a professor about the school of Engineering, I was impressed by what I saw and learned, then enrolled at the University of Florida; THE GATORS.

b. Being a Korean War Veteran of the US Navy, the GI Bill paid for my education and living expenses

c. Completed Engineering in 3 years, earning a BEE (With Honors) degree. 50 years later, in 2008, Walter was inducted into the Florida Alumni Association's "50 YEAR GRADUATES GATOR GUARD"; WITNESSED BY HIS WIFE KAREN, PhD AND DAUGHTER MARIANNE, MS.

50 YEAR GRADUATE GATOR GUARD U of F
U OF FLORIDA ALUMNI ASSOC 50 YEAR GATOR GUARD MEDAL 1958-2008







The University of Florida Century Tower 1853-1953
Florida GATORS Mascots Albert and Alberta 2000


MY 1st ENGINEERING EMPLOYMENT-THE MARTIN CO, ORLANDO, FL 1958-60[edit | edit source]

d. My first assignment as an Engineer was with the Martin Co, in Orlando, Fl with a Systems Engineering assignment where I was responsible for specifying requirements, selecting 2 subcontractors, and then overseeing the development by subcontractors, (Dresser Electronics of Houston, Texas and Texas Instruments of Dallas, Texas) to develop a suite of Signal Conditioning modules of various real time vehicle measurements for flight testing the Army’s new Solid Propellant Pershing Short Range missile. Each Pershing tested carried 80 of these Modules in 8 Racks.

A Family of Signal Conditioning Modules for Testing the Army Pershing Missile 1958-60
Example of 1 of 8 Racks Flown Onboard Tested Pershing. Missiles Housing 80 Signal Conditioning Modules Were Onboard 1959-60
Example of One of the Signal Conditioning Modules I Had Developed, 1959-60


A Pershing Missile Ready to be Launched and Evaluated. All Telemetry Equipment Was Housed in Middle Black Section, 1960-63


On one occasion, my Supervisor, Walt Hane, and I were tasked to go over to Cape Canaveral to test a noise condition reported to be in this equipment. As shown in the figure, our Telemetry equipment was located half-way up the Pershing missile in a black colored section.

We each accessed our modules; he from one side and I from the other. We needed to get our upper bodies inside the compartment, from waist and arms upward.

Without any warning, another missile nearby was launched. Knowing ours may have been loaded with its Solid Propellant Rocket motor, and with both the noise that nearby missile and vibration made, we looked up across at each other believing we were going to go into space. Of course, that did not happen. But it scared the xyxy out of the both of us.

e. Later, once the Army Pershing Missiles were deployed along the Eastern Front of Europe, Nuclear Tipped, to hold the Russians back from invading Europe


MY 2nd ENGINEERING EMPLOYMENT WAS WITH DRESSER ELECTRONICS, HOUSTON, TX 1960-62[edit | edit source]

f. After working 2 years at the Martin Co. I decided that I needed to get actual experience designing and developing various electronics equipment.

g. So I moved to Houston, TX with one of my Sub Contractors for the Pershing program, Dresser Electronics. There I was assigned and developed one of the Signal Conditioning Modules used to test the new Air Force ICBM Missiles, the Minuteman.

A Frequency Deviation Converter Developed for the Martin Denver Minuteman Missile 1960-61
The Frequency Deviation Converter was Miniaturized and the Basis of my Masters Degree Thesis Investigation 1961-62










h. I took advantage of nearby U of Houston, enrolled and obtained MSEE degree, attending night school classes.

MY 3rd ENGINEERING EMPLOYMENT WAS WITH DYNATRONICS, INC, ORLANDO, FL 1962-65[edit | edit source]

i. Then I moved back to Orlando, FL, where a new, small Ground and Airborne developer of Telemetry Systems and Equipment, Dynatronics, hired me into their Airborne Section.

High Altitude Balloon Research Telemetry Data Acquisition System 1963
Telemetry Signal Conditioner for the ELDO 2nd Stage W. German Satellite Launcher


Amplifier Card for an F-̩4 Air Force Fighter Development
An Analog to Digital Converter in a Data Logger for the Air Force Centaur Program

j. There at Dynatronics, I was a Project Engineer with total responsibility for the proposal writing to compete, then after winning the contract, leading and doing the design, development, final testing and shipping to customers telemetry and data acquisition equipment.

Walter Elden, Dynatronics Project Engineer, 34.jpg

These for testing in High Altitude Research Balloons for the Air Force, Amplifiers for the F-4 Air Force Fighter, A 250 Channel System for testing the West German 2nd Stage Satellite Launcher.

This was a 40 Channel Data Acquisition System, called HICAT or HIGH-ALTITUDE CLEAR AIR TURBULENCE, developed for the Lockheed Aircraft Co and the Air Force, 1965. It was flown all around the world for over 2 years. it was then retired to the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio.

My final and largest project which I led was for a 40 Channel Data Acquisition system for flight testing High Altitude Clear Air Turbulence, or HICAT, flown in an Air Force U-2 Research Aircraft. I delivered it to Lockheed Burbank, trained them and then assisted and witnessed the first test flight in a U-2 at Edwards Air Force Base. Later, the system was flown all around the world for 2 years, testing HICAT.

The Air Force U-2 in which was flown the Dynatronics HICAT Data Acquisition System. Later, this U-2 was retired to and resides in the Air Force Museum at Dayton, Ohio.

The Super Sonic Transport, or SST, for which HICAT was developed and gathered high altitude turbulence data.[edit | edit source]

MY 4th ENGINEERING ASSIGNMENT WAS WITH THE MARTIN CO, ORLANDO, FL - A 2nd TIME- 1965-67[edit | edit source]

k. I rejoined Martin Co in 1966 where I switched back to Systems Engineering for the remainder of my career. At Martin I was engaged in conducting studies, conducting research on new communications technologies, and had one work proposed for a Patent on Voice Encoding.

MY 5th ENGINEERING ASSIGNME T WAS WITH HONEYWELL COMMUNICATIONS DIVISION, ST PETERSBURG, FL 1967-70[edit | edit source]

l. Then I moved to Honeywell in St. Petersburg, Fl, in 1968 where I continued my work and interest in Systems Engineering, wrote proposals, conducted studies, and won a Systems Contract for Automating the Air Forces Technical Control Systems for Communications. This contract involved a one week visit to the Air Force’s communications systems in the Tokyo, Japan area.

MY 6th ENGINEERING ASSIGNMENT WAS RETURNING TO THE MARTIN CO-COMMUNICATIONS DIVISION, A 3RD TIME, ORLANDO, FL 1970-1973[edit | edit source]

m. Returning to Martin Co in 1970, I conducted technology studies in the new Packet Switching form of Networking, led the Systems Engineering part of a proposal for upgrading the FAA’s Enroute Air Traffic Control Systems around the US. At Martin Co I became active in Engineering Professionalism and Ethics and became very acting in the local Orlando Section of IEEE, causing me to be separated from Martin (more on this later).

n. After becoming a Licensed Professional Engineer in Florida, I was engaged in a Mobile Home fire, which killed 2 children. Appearing as an Expert Witness and being deposed by 2 Defendant Companies, the case was settled in favor of the children’s parents (more on this later).

1974 IEEE Orlando Section Engineer of the Year Award for Professionalism
















A-Passionate-Proponent-of-Professional-Ethics-for-Engineers[edit | edit source]

Walter Elden has been an advocate for ethics advice and support programs for members since he led the USAB proposals for creating the original IEEE MEMBER CONDUCT COMMITTEE in 1978, THEN SERVED ON IT 1996-1998, AS ADVOCATE FOE ETHICS ADVICE AND SUPPORT. He then created and led the IEEE CONCERNED ETHICS VOLUNTEERS, the CEV, to restore Advice and Support, which was restored in 2022.

MY 7TH ENGINEERING ASSIGNMENT WAS WITH NASA AT THE KENNEDY SPACE CENTER HEADQUARTERS, FL 1975[edit | edit source]

o. I then worked at the NASA Kennedy Space Center Headquarters in 1995, where I conducted surveys of KSC"s existing voice communications systems and drafted preliminary requirements for voice communications to support the Space Shuttle program NASA was developing.

MY 8TH ENGINEERING ASSIGNMENT WAS WITH NCR ADVANCED SYSTEMS IN COLUMBIA, SC 1975-1980[edit | edit source]

p. I then joined NCR in Columbia, SC in mid-1975 in their Advanced Systems department. There I conducted Networking studies, joined the ANSI Committee developing standards for the new packet switching public data networks. I contributed to both ANSI and intra-NCR networking standards development for interfacing with Public Data Networks, later to be known as the INTERNET.

MY 9TH ENGINEERING ASSIGNMENT WAS WITH THE HARRIS CORP INFORMATION SYSTEMS DIVISION IN MELBOURNE, FL 1980 - 1996 RETIREMENT[edit | edit source]

q. I was offered a position with Harris Corp in Melbourne, FL, in 1980, where the remaining career years I conducted studies, led/wrote proposals for new business, and my final job was as the System Architect of the proposal for the upgrading the Defense Messaging System, or DMS. With Harris one of the competing Prime Contractors, the team consisted of numerous Subcontractors. The system design had to employ Commercial Off the Shelf Technology and products and conform to the X.25/400 and 500 standards for message switching. The Harris proposal was rated #1 Technically and its proposal value was $1 Billion.

r. I retired in 1996 and then devoted my free time to advancing IEEE’s Professional and Ethics activities (more bout this later)

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HAPPIER HIGHLIGHTS OF ANNE AND MY FAMILY LIFE[edit | edit source]

Marianne Alice Elden Baptized a Catholic Sponsored by Uncle Chuck and Aunt Marge 1963

DAUGHTER MARIANNE JUST PICKED UP AT THE HOSPITAL TO BE ADOPTED -1963


Marianne Received Her First Holy Communion in 1970
New Adoptive Parents Walter and Anne with Daughter Marianne and Butch 1964
Young Marianne with Dad, Walter 1967







DAUGHTER MARIANNE-PLAYED IN HIGH SCHOOL BAND 1978-80
MARIANNE WITH MOTHER ANNA MARIE AT WEDDING 1986
Walter Dancing with Marianne at Her Wedding
Walter and Anne at Marianne's Wedding




The New Wedding Couple, Edward and Marianne 1996


Anne, Marianne and Her Aunt Margie 1999


Eldens Family Burial Headstone 2005

QUESTION 2. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PURSUE ENGINEERING?[edit | edit source]

DROPBOX Link of the Expanded Recorded Audio Made by Walter Elden:


Audio File
MP3 Audio
(Elden OH - Interview Question Number 2.mp3)

Dad and Mom
Brothers Walter, Guy, Jr and Harry, Jr with Sister Jeanette, 2001
The 4 Elden Desperados.jpg


a. I was raised in a Blue-Collar Catholic family of 6 where both my father and mother only had the first 8 years of schooling, but they emphasized religion, education, to work hard, music and to engage in school sports, where mine were basketball, track and volleyball. My father, an immmigrant from the Bahamas Islands, progressed in his working life progressing from being a Chauffeur, Fence Builder, Power Company Electric Lineman to a Diesal Engine Maintenance Man for ocean ships. He told me tho, that he alwsays wanted to become a Certified Public Accountant. Mom, her family had moved from Louisianna, was busy raising us 4.

b. I was given a violin at age 11 and took formal lessons from the 6th thru the 12th grade; as a result, I served as the Concert Master all thru Junior and Senior high school

Walter's 6 Grade Pinewood Elementary Class (He in all White, Front Row) 1944
Walter Performed as 1st Chair Concertmaster 7-9th Grades 1944-47


Walter's 7th Grade Orchestra Where He Was Concertmaster 7-9 th Grades 1944-47


Early in the late 1940's our family became active in marching and performing in the Miami Drum and Fife Corps. My brother Guy and I played the Colonial styled drums.

Example of a 1940's Drum and Fife (both are still in original good condition)
Example of a Drum and Fife Corps.


Beginning in the 7th grade through the 9th grade of Junior High school, I played violin in the orchestra, sang in the Mixed Chorus, played 1st team Center on the basketball team, ran track (100 Yard Dash and 400 Yard Relays), and was elected President of the Student Council where each morning from the Principal's Office would lead the Student Body recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, over the Public Address System and officiate at Assemblies of the Student Body. I succeeded in proposing and getting approved a new Pep Song for the school, to be sung at sporting occasions.

In Addition to the Violin, Walter Played the Tuba in the Band.
Walter Elden Played a Violin Solo at his Senior High School Class Graduation in 1950
Walter Marching in 1950 Orange Bowl Halftime Show


MIAMI EDISON SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL BAND AND ORCHESTRA WALTER PERFORMED IN.


Walter Also Sang in the MEHS Mixed Chorus
Walter and Band Friends in Havana, Cuba Where the Band Marched in Havana's Mardi Gras Parade 1950


Walter, with date Jane Berry at their Prom, and each were awarded "Most Talented" in Orchestra and Band, Respectfully 1950




c. I decided in the 12th grade to enroll in Orchestra, Band and Chorus and that I wanted to become a High School/College Director of Music, In Orchestra, Chorus and Band, which I patterned after my high school Director of Music, J Howard Reynolds.

High School Director of Band and Orchestra, J Howard Reynolds 1950

I wish to highlight Mr. Reynolds here, as he had a profound influence on the positive direction my life took, starting meeting him in the Miami Edison High School Band and Orchestra experiences, and then how his being and mannerisms shaped my philosophy about life, beginning then. Some of the characteristics he exhibited which influenced me were these, most of which I applied during my Engineering career:



1. I was greatly impressed that at age 24 he had achieved marriage, a Navy Commission and tour of duty, both BS and MS degrees from LSU and Michigan, respectively, appreciation of Country music, and a home high fidelity system (first one I saw and heard; later after my tour of the Navy I built one).

Some years later while I was watching a football bowl game on New Years day, around 1998, at the halftime in which Iowa State's band was on the field performing, the Band Director was announced as being "J Howard Reynolds", my former 12th grade band and Orchestra Director himself. Soon after that, I made contact with him and we exchanged emails until his death.

2. He demanded excellence in our performance of music

3. He demanded that we dress well and looked good in our band uniforms

4. He was a disciplinarian, and that appealed to me

5. He was organized and projected that he knew what needed to be done and led us to achieve it

6. I loved his music conducting style. The way he used his hands and arms to bring out music effects

7. Lastly, he was a young man at the time, 24 years, dressed extremely well and look good. A leader to be proud of.

Since last seeing him, back in 1950, (then I spoke with him one last time by phone around 2013, months before he passed) I can look back and see that I applied many of these traits in my engineering career work. I wonder how many other students he had a similar positive effect upon. Many I expect.

OTHER DIRECTORS WHO HAD IMPACTS UPON ME[edit | edit source]

When i was in the 7th-9th grades, my Orchestra and Mixed Chorus Music Director was Mrs. Ayres. She had herself played the violin as i did and assigned me to the 1st Chair Concertmaster position, which lasted 7th thru 9th grades. We never dis ussed my moving on to attend the 10th thru 12th grades at Miami Edison Senior High School. I mention that because during my first entire week at Miami Edison there had been a mixup in my schedule for attending classes and as a result, I missed attending Orchestra practice that entirer week.

When I finally walked on the stage to be seated, I met our Conductor for the first time; Fred McCall. i told my name and all he said was, "We have been looking for you. "Please sit here in the First Chair Concertmaster's seat". I nearly fainted. I sat in that Chair thru the 10th, 11th and 12th grades. I attributed that to Mrs Ayres must have advised him to expect me and that she felt I was qualified for that honor. Mr McCall completed that year at Miami Edison then moved on to become the Bandmaster of the University of Miami Hurricanes "Band of the Hour" band.


Bach Festival Choir at Rollins College Winter Park, FL 1958-59
Stetson University Choral Union and Orchestra Performed Handels Messiah 2020
Our Lady of Hope Catholic Choir Christmas 2021


d. Finally, I believed my 12th Grade Band and orchestra Director, J Howard Reynolads, was instrumental in my being awarded that Music Scholarship to the University of Miami, a condition being that I play violin in the Orchestra.

e. Three weeks after graduating from high School, the Korean War started

f. I completed my Freshman year at Miami but was assured by my Draft Board that I would soon be drafted into the

Army. I enlisted in the Navy instead, May 5, 1955.

Walter Elden Served in the US Navy Aviation Branch '51-'55 during the Korean War Conflict
Walter Elden in 1955 as a Naval Recruit, San Diego

g. I was given an intelligence test and was told that I did well enough that I would serve in the Aviation Branch plus be guaranteed to attend 33 weeks of aviation electronics maintenance

h. It was the effects of the Korean War which gave me the opportunity to pursue engineering rather than music

i. I eventually received a year of schooling and was trained in Naval Aviation electronics, and SONAR

j. I spent most of my 4 year Navy career in Airborne Squadron VX-1, which was devoted to Anti-Submarine Warfare Development, as an Aviation Electronics Technician. In this capacity, I maintained all of the squadron's IFF, Loran and Radar Altimeter equipments on a variety of aircraft (TBF Torpedo Bomber, B-17 Bomber, Corsair, P2V, jets and Blimps). Three of the newest Grumman S-2F twin-engine anti-submarine hunter-killer prototype planes were flight tested in his squad

Vx1c - Copy.jpg
New Gruman S2F Anti-Submarine Hunter Prototype
Vx1d - Copy.jpg


Vx1.jpg
A Boeing B-17 Bomber


VX1 Navy Blimp


Walter Elden Violin Solo at Midnight Mass 1954
Walter Elden Conducting Choir in Navy at Mass


k. I Assisted a Field Engineer install and test the new APN-22 Radar Altimeter in planes and blimps of our squadron

l. That experience convinced me to switch to engineering from music and to become educated to design the equipment rather than just test and maintain them as a Technician


AN/APN-22 Radar Altimeter
LORAN
Identificationː Friend or Foe, IFF Equipment


QUESTION 3. WHY DID YOU JOIN IEEE AND WHY DO YOU CONTINUE TO VOLUNTEER FOR THE ORGANIZATION?[edit | edit source]

DROPBOX Link of the Expanded Recorded Audio Made by Walter Elden:


Audio File
MP3 Audio
(Elden OH - Interview Question Number 3.mp3)

a. A course taken at U of F on Engineering Professionalism and Ethics in 1957 convinced me to become a licensed Professional Engineer later in my career as for me that would be the mark for what an Engineer should look like

b. I joined the AIEE and IRE in my Junior year of 1957

c. Was inducted into the Sigma Tau Engineering Honorary 1958

Walter Elden a new Graduate of the University of Florida.jpg

d. Received the BEE (With Honors) degree in 1958

e. Took Engineer-Intern exam week of Graduation, step 1 to becoming a PE

f. My early involvement with Pre IEEE, the IRE, was in the Society on Space Electronics and Telemetry, my working field

g. I presented papers at IRE and IEEE conferences about the equipment I developed

h. Later I got very involved in promoting Professionalism and Ethics, serving on the IEEE Member Conduct Committee, MCC, which I helped form. The Employment Guidelines Task Force, published charts showing results of the IEEE Salary Surveys

i. I served on the MCC from 1996-98 and have been working to support and restore Ethics Advice and Ethical Support ever since

QUESTION 4. WHAT LED YOU TO LAKE UP THE CAUSE OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS?[edit | edit source]

DROPBOX Link of the Expanded Recorded Audio Made by Walter Elden:


Audio File
MP3 Audio
(Elden OH - Interview Question Number 4.mp3)

a. Working long hours designing airborne telemetry equipment without extra compensation made me question if I was truly a professional or just another worker

b. Lack of being recognized as the Professional Image I had developed of a PE from the U of F course on Engineering Professionalism and Ethics

c. I then switched from Product to Systems Engineering at advice from a more senior engineer who interviewed me

d. Then in the early 1970’s, there developed the BART Case, led by Dr. Stephen Unger and the CSIT (CLICK LINK)

e. I began reading the CSIT Newsletter published under Dr Steve Unger on professional activities starting in IEEE.

f. The Amendment of IEEE’s Constitution adding Professional and Ethical Activities in 1973

g. My joining the Florida state branch of the NSPE, FES, and becoming the State Vice Chair of PEI

h. My proposing and creating the first Professional Activities Committee In IEEE in the Orlando Section in 1973

i. I attended UCLA in 1974 for a one week course on “System Safety and Product Liability” conducted by Attorney-Engineer George Peters, joined the SSS and had papers published about engineers working in industry

j. Getting a Professional Activities Session established for the first time at the 1974 SOUTHEASTCON and my presenting papers about Professionalism, Ethics, Licensure, Product Safety

k. I became a licensed Profession Engineer in Florida in January of 1974

l. My being pressured by my Engineering Manager (a Licensed PE and Senior Member of IEEE) to not present them, as it would be too extreme to do he said, but I did present them

m. The Orlando Section awarded me an “Engineer of the Year” for my Professional Activities in the Orlando Section

n. Then my being “Forced to Resign” in 1974 for allegedly Missing Schedules (but was untrue) and having been forced to read out loud a 3 page performance appraisal with 3 others present which was 85% false

o. I was “forced to resign under coercion” on August 24, 1974. I was unprepared emotionally for this event so much that for the next 6 months I was not able to even try to get employed somewhere else. Plus our daughter was just entering the 6th grade and I did not want to cause her to have to complete that last year of Elementary Studies at a new school. We lived off our savings for that time period.

p. Then around March of 1975, I was able to find employment over on the Atlantic Coast at the Kennedy Space Center of NASA. It was over an hour drive each way. Being an experienced Systems Engineer, I was tasked with establishing the Systems and Performance Requirements for the Voice Communications Systems in support of the new Space Shuttle program.

q. The technical part of that work was great, but the pay was not. By June I found an opportunity with NCR at their new facility in Columbia, SC, which I accepted in the Advanced Systems Department, which introduced me to a new field; Public Data Networking and the first elements of today’s INTERNET.

r. At the same time the BART Case Amicus Curiae filing by IEEE in 1975 on behalf of the 3 fired engineers led me to re-think that I was more than just a worker.

s. I attended the FES State meeting at Marco Island in 1975 and debated against engineers in industry being exempt from holding a PE License as it worked against them being treated as a Professional

t. In 1975 also, I was asked, being a PE, to investigate the probable cause of a fire in a mobile home which killed 2 young children.

u. I conducted an investigation, obtained technical materials and reports on Aluminum wiring causing fires, and was deposed by 2 manufacturer’s attorneys for 8 hours. I testified that both could have failed and caused the fire, but it had not been able to examine the mobile home, so I could only give my opinion.

v. The case ended that weekend in favor of the Parents, whose attorney had retained me

w. That experience caused me to have greater respect for avoiding possible product liability in poor or defective designs by engineers and manufacturers, thus causing harm to the public users

QUESTION 5. WHY ARE YOU SO PASSIONATE ABOUT MAKING IEEE ADDRESS "ETHICS ADVICE AND ETHICAL SUPPORT" FOR ITS MEMBERS?[edit | edit source]

DROPBOX Link of the Expanded Recorded Audio Made by Walter Elden:


Audio File
MP3 Audio
(Elden OH - Interview Question Number 5.mp3)

a. Having experienced being forced to resign in 1974, debating against exempting engineers in industry from being required to hold PE licenses in 1975, and the experience in the mobile home fire deaths case, convinced me to get involved professionally in IEEE and work to support my fellow engineer members be supported in practicing ethically

b. I then contacted Dr. Steve Unger, of the CSIT, to see how I could contribute to his ethics efforts.

c. That led me to being appointed to a new USAB Ethics Task Force charged with developing a proposal and procedures for IEEE to form a Member Conduct Committee. The Task Force met in New York in the Spring of 1977 to begin that work.

d. Steve led the group develop procedures for Disciplining Members who violated the Code of Ethics. I then led the same group develop procesures for Providing Ethics Advice and Ethical Support. Then USAB President John Guerrera asked me to go to San Diego and present its proposal for creating a MCC. I did that and also Jim Fairman presented one proposal of the Board for just Disciplining Members. These were then combined and at the February 1978 meeting, the Board created the first MCC and approved each of the 3 proposed services to be provided.

e. Later, just after the first Member Conduct Committee was formed in 1978, I filed what may have been the first MCC Misconduct Complaint against my former Engineering Director, a Texas PE and and IEEE Senior Member, charging several misconduct actions he took in getting me forced to resign, but the MCC would not accept it as a case.

f. My wife urged me to “just let it go” and with MCC not accepting it as a case, I did just that.

QUESTION 6. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR IEEE TO OFFER THESE SERVICES TO MEMBERS?[edit | edit source]

DROPBOX Link of the Expanded Recorded Audio Made by Walter Elden:


Audio File
MP3 Audio
(Elden OH - Interview Question Number 6.mp3)

a. In order to answer this, I feel it is important to review what the IEEE Attorneys in the BART case argued in the Amicus Curiae brief they entered in that case, along with 2 other IEEE cases, Virginia Edgerton and Salvador Castro:

“Based upon the foregoing, we submit and we urge this Court to acknowledge that an engineer has an overriding obligation to protect the public. Specifically, we urge this Court:

(1) To rule that evidence of professional ethics is relevant, material and admissible in this case; and

(2) To rule, as to any motions for judgment or any jury instructions, that an engineer is obligated to protect the public safety, that an engineer’s contract of employment includes as a matter of law, an implied term that such engineer will protect the public safety, and that a discharge of an engineer solely or in substantial part because he acted to protect the public safety constitutes a breach of such implied term.”

b. In addition to the BART case of the 3 engineers being fired for trying to get design defects corrected, in both the Edgerton and Castro cases, there was one common thread; first, in each instance, Edgerton and Castro uncovered technical conditions, which, if left unchecked, could/would cause harm to the users and the public. Then when each attempted to get their supervisors to respond responsibly to try to correct the defects reported, they were not in favor of rectifying them. Then when each went one step further to inform a higher authority of the defect(s), their respective supervisors retaliated by firing them. These incidents are the same as what occurred in the above BART case to the 3 engineers.

c. There can be no question which has the greater power in these situations, as since the late 1880’s the so called at-will employment law has allowed the employer to be able to dismiss or fire an employee for “any cause-just or unjust”. And for that reason and that in the BART Case Amicus Curiae, IEEE Attorneys pleaded that “the engineer’s overriding duty is the protection of the public”, the IEEE must offer Ethical Support when called upon and justified.

QUESTION 7. WHAT DID YOU LEARN IN UPDATING THE 2017 VERSION OF THE PAGE 2 OF THE "IEEE ETHICS HISTORY REPOSITORY"?[edit | edit source]

DROPBOX Link of the Expanded Recorded Audio Made by Walter Elden:


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(Elden OH - Interview Question Number 7.mp3)

a. When I undertook to update the IEHR, it was done at the request of IEEE History Center Dr. Michael Geselowitz. Further, he issued a memo that my work was being done under his request and asked for full cooperation in providing me materials I sought.

b. Well, things started out on the right track, but over a period of a year’s work, I found that even though high-level Executive Staff promised cooperation, essentially I received nothing from my numerous requests. Eventually I began to feel there had been a large cloak that was placed over my work such that no one dared cooperate and supply me materials. So I had to rely on First Hand papers, of members such as Dsr. Steve Unger, Joe Herkert, and Greg Adamson.

c. The best example was when I sought to get copies of the Board Minutes from the 1998 closed session where the Board voted to eliminate the Ethics Committee and all its programs along with the authorization to deny members Ethics Advice and Ethical Support. To this day that has not seen the light of day.

d. Further, I contended that “In the IEEE, less than 1 % of its nearly 450,000 members worldwide even know there is an EMCC, and that under the Code of Ethics, Canon 10, the IEEE is obligated to provide them Ethical Support. I still believe that.

e. While the EMCC is required by the Board to issue an Annual Report, but to only the Board, members over the years have learned almost nothing about its activities. I contend its Annual Reports should be made public to the members

f. The young members of IEEE seem to not be involved in promoting Professionalism, Ethics Advice and/or Ethical Support, but need to learn more about them and become active in their purposes.

g. One important thing I learned from doing the updating, is that residing in the hands of all the IEEE members, young and experienced, is that they can fix this on their own, like over 83% who voted YES in 1972 to Amend the IEEE Constitution to add Professional Activities and Ethics for the first time since AIEE was formed in 1884. Yes, I am saying these members can, if succeeding Boards do not fix it, can by Amending the Constitution once again and guarantee that in addition to the EMCC Disciplining Conduct in violation of the Code of Ethics, that both Ethics Advice and Ethical Support “SHALL BE PROVIDED”. But, it will be up to the members to choose to do this, if necessary.

QUESTION 8. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THE RECENT ACTIONS THE IEEE BOARD HAS TAKEN TO ADDRESS PROFESSIONAL ETHICS?[edit | edit source]

DROPBOX Link of the Expanded Recorded Audio Made by Walter Elden:


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(Elden OH - Interview Question Number 8.mp3)

a. The only thing I was able to find on this was adding to the EMCC Ops Manual an Appendix which establishes a new Committee under the EMCC with now specific procedures for handling Member Discipline complaints. What’s new here is that for the first time since the MCC was first established in 1978, the specific EMCC procedures have been made public. But it does nothing to recognize that Ethics Advice and Ethical Support are still valid under continued Governance Bylaw, Policy and Procedures. So, it is more a negative than a positive action, but overall, for what it addresses, it is a positive. My issue with it is that it still does not recognize Advice and Support and they are the real Professional Ethics policies. I have addressed this in my latest paper, titled:

“EMCC TOPICS NEEDING TO BE CONSIDERED BY THE GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE”

QUESTION 9. WHY SHOULD YOUNG PROFESSIONALS CARE ABOUT PROFESSIONAL ETHICS?[edit | edit source]

DROPBOX Link of the Expanded Recorded Audio Made by Walter Elden:


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(Elden OH - Interview Question Number 9.mp3)

a. Their future careers will depend upon it.

b. I am glad you raised this topic. When I organized the Concerned Ethics Volunteers, the CEV, in 2017, most of us were Life Senior or Fellow Members. But one was a young woman, working at the Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, ERAU. She got very involved with our efforts and could see on her own what we were trying to achieve and bought into it all. I wished there were more like her we could have tapped.

c. While in a few years most of us will be gone, she and all the other younger members have their futures ahead of them. They need to see how important it will be to know that their IEEE will be there to support them, and in turn, will be helping to keep the public and society safer from the products they will help create.

d. I feel the EMCC should be tasked with creating Professional and Ethical Educational materials for all members. This could consist of a packet of materials which are included with the New/Renewal Membership Materials sent out each year to members upon joining and/or re-joining containing:

1. Copies of the parts of the Constitution, Bylaws, Policies/Procedures, Code of Ethics pertaining to Member Discipline, Ethics Advice and Ethical Support performed by the EMCC, the EMCC Ops Manual with Appendices

2. Copies of the EMCC Annual Report, particularly what cases were handled and their final results

3. Pleadings from the IEEE Amicus Curiae in the BART Case on the ultimate responsibility of engineers to protect the public

4. More TBD

QUESTION 10. TELL ME MORE ABOUT YOUR SUGGESTION FOR A REGIONALIZED ETHICS AND MEMBER CONDUCT COMMITTEE.[edit | edit source]

DROPBOX Link of the Expanded Recorded Audio Made by Walter Elden:


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(Elden OH - Interview Question Number 10.mp3)

a. Breakout EC and MCC Committees from today’s single EMCC

(1) An Independent Ethics Committee, EC

(a) Serve the Institute as a whole

(b) Perform a Legislative function

(c) Maintain Code of Ethics current and up todate

(d) Assist TAB Societies prepare/maintain and interpret Application Guidelines

(2) Regionalized Member Conduct Committees, MCCs

(a) At least one per Region with more TBD

(b) Perform a Judicial function of hearing cases, requests for support

(c) Interpret local laws, customs, norms, language effects on Code of Ethics

(d) Seek assistance from Ethics Committee where needed

(3) Board of Directors and Executive Staff

(a) These bodies will continue to perform Executive functions

11. ADDED AUDIO - 3 (NON WIN-NON WIN) CASES ABOUT NASA, VW, BOEING[edit | edit source]

DROPBOX Link of the Expanded Recorded Audio Made by Walter Elden:


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(Elden OH - Interview ADDED ITEM Number 11.mp3)

a. In the 198X NASA disaster, when Space Shuttle Challenger blew up after Thiokol Engineering (Roger Boisjoly) predicted that an O Ring would fail under extreme cold weather experienced, killing the entire crew, could have been avoided if Managers and politicians had listened and acted on the advice of Engineering, and it would have achieved one of the greatest WIN WIN outcomes to that date.

b. Discuss the VW EMISSIONS SCANDAL where Corporate level Executives and Managers were convicted and sent to jail in the 2015 scandal where if enough VW Professional Engineers and Supervisors had stood up and took steps to counter their Managers policy to produce a cheating software to deceive the Regulators, it may have saved those Executives from jail

c. Discuss the Boeing 737 MAX accidents and design flaws, etc. cite clash in differences in business vrs engineering values, priorities. Cite Herkert Et al authors raising issue of Industry Exemption playing what role in disaster.

d. Discuss that in internal conflicts between engineering and business elements, bringing the issues out in the open to be maturely examined by all affected parties, could lead to WIN WIN results, like in the case I brought to Program Manager getting a solution internally. These need non confrontation, open business members and to work together to resolve the issues. WIN WIN outcomes benefits all parties

e. In BART, Edgerton and Castro if a WIN WIN outcome could have been achieved, truly TECHNOLOGY WOULD HAVE BEEN ADVANCED, BENEFITING HUMANITY (Public and Business)

f. Cite what Elden/Stefanik learned from former Dean of Engineering Joseph Weil, of how Industry Exemption got established in Florida PE FS 471 law

12. INTERVIEW ADDED AUDIO - A MIXED ASSORTMENT OF TOPICS WHICH I LATER REMEMBERED[edit | edit source]

DROPBOX Link of the Expanded Recorded Audio Made by Walter Elden:


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(Elden OH - Interview ADDED ITEM Number 12.mp3)

a. Cite the Ethical Support request case which came from Central Africa between a Professor and his Superior and its handling and the need to Regionalize MCCs close to where National and Local laws and norms differ

b. Cite that I got Edgerton in touch with Unger in her Support Case

c. Cite in Wally Read’s actions, DIRECTORS of IEEE, a 501 C3 Non Profit Corporation are legally obligated to serve the interests of its members over that of outside business or self interests

d. Cite that IEEE’s ETHICS HOTLINE, which was shut down, never encountered any legal liability to IEEE, that later it was operated successfully for several years under the Online Ethics Center, then later transferred under the NAE

e. Being a Licensed PE in conflict situations, like those discussed herein, there should be a second source for supporting one’s legal Code of Professional Conduct by being enforced and supported by one’s State PE Board, protecting the public under the law

f. Cite that in the WIN WIN event I previously commented on, it’s important to share that when I was confronted with my subordinate’s situation of uneven evaluation allocated time, I as an Engineering Supervisor immediately realized that if left unadjusted and if our team was awarded that contract, if Vendor B’s product were not selected, it might raise a financial penalty liability for my company. A lesson here is for Supervisors to be sensitive to what their subordinates raise in those kind of issues may very well be in the company’s interest to listen carefully and do the right thing both ethics and business wise, to avoid liability damages. Another WIN WIN.

g. Industry Bodies I Served Onː

Served on NIEE Board of Directors Served on the original IEEE 802 Local Area Networks Standards Committee Chairing the Network Management Task Group Served on and Chaired the SAE High Speed Avionics Data Bus Standards Committee Served on the ANSI PUBLIC DATA NETWORKS STANDARDS COMMITTEE and Chaired the Datagram Task Group Served on NSPE/FES PEI Practice Group as State V Pres. At annual FES meeting debated against exempting engineers from holding PE license in industry h. At NASA/KSC conducted study of the System Requirements for the Audio Telephone System supporting the SPACE Shuttle program

i. Role of Steve Unger on my IEEE career as an ethics mentor and role model. I consider him as “The Father of IEEE ETHICS”

j. In MEMORY of Joe Wujek who was another active IEEE ethics proponent but was killed in a car accident

k. The Dilemma employed Engineers in Industry face practicing ethicall

Topicsː - held accountable to protect the public as paramount #1 responsibility on the one hand - while employed under at-will law on the other hand - while one’s professional society (IEEE) will not provide ethical support but touts its Tag Line of “Advancing Technology For Humanity” - but, would holding a PE license provide access to State legal Ethical Support? - how can a single “at-will” employed engineer, with no written contract, be expected to uphold one’s professional responsibility against the power of the employer in a design/safety dispute? -what protections are there for the employee engineer in these kind of situations?

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