Robert A. Rivers
Robert A. Rivers was born on September 5, 1923, in Phillipston, Massachusetts. Prior to receiving the B.S.E.E. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he was a flight radio officer for Pan American Airways. As a design engineer at General Electronics Lab he worked on early microwave telemetering transmitters. In 1954 he organized Aircom, Inc., to research, develop and manufacture microwave products. He has continued as President since that time. The company presently offers over 1300 catalog components.
Mr. Rivers began his IEEE activities as a student and went on to become Secretary-Treasurer, vice chairman, and Chairman of the Boston Section's Microwave Theory and Techniques (MTT) Chapter. A member of the MTT Administrative Committee for fifteen years, he served in many capacities including MTT Secretary-Treasurer, Vice President and President. Division IV members elected him to the IEEE Board of Directors, where he served for two years. He chaired a Committee that generated an Engineers' Professional Needs Statement and carried it through to acceptance as an Institute policy. He also ran for the IEEE Presidency as a petition candidate and has been a member of such Institute organizations as the Long Range Planning Committee, the Educational Activities Board, the Ethics Review Committee, and (at present) the Board of Directors' Committee for the Five-Year Review of the Tellers Committee. In addition, Mr. Rivers was a founder of the Professional Activities Board and a creative leader in the development of its programs. His MTT and Division IV Professional Action Committees helped the IEEE respond to the needs of the membership by supporting professional goals in a constitutional amendment.
Beginning with his term on the Board of Directors, he served as a member of the U.S. Activities Board (USAB), and chaired the effort to generate inter-society approved employment guidelines. A contributing member of the Manpower Committee, he has published three papers: "Manpower Report on Supply and Demand in Action," "Engineering Employment Practices," and “Age Discrimination Patterns in Engineering Employment." For close to a decade, he has published a monthly "Engineering Manpower Newsletter," aimed at providing supply demand information for the committee and the press. In addition he chaired a Patent Policy Committee and (on the Workforce Committee) developed forecasting models to predict engineering unemployment. A Life Fellow of the IEEE, he has received the IEEE Centennial Medal, the USAB Citation of Honor, and the USAB Professional Achievement Award.
Mr. Rivers won the 1997 IEEE Haraden Pratt Award 'For leadership and service in the professional and technical activities of the Institute.'