Selden B. Crary


Selden B. Crary
Selden B. Crary
Marquette, MI, USA
Associated organizations
General Electric (GE)
Fields of study
IEEE William M. Habirshaw Award


Selden B. Crary was born May 17, 1905 in Marquette, Michigan. He received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University in 1927 and his Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Union College, Schenectady, 1931. This past May he was awarded an honorary degree of D.S. in Engineering from Wayne State University. He was elected to Tau Beta Pi and Sigma Xi at Michigan State and Eta Kappa Nu at Illinois Institute of Technology.

While attending college he was assistant to the chief test engineer for the Board of Water and Electric Light Commissioners, Lansing, Michigan.

He joined General Electric (GE) in 1927 on its Test Course. After assignments in Schenectady, Philadelphia, and Pittsfield, MA, he was transferred to the Specialty Transformer Design at Fort Wayne, Indiana. In 1929, he returned to Schenectady and the Central Station Engineering Department. From 1941 until 1946 he was Engineer, Analytical Division, and later became Manager, Analytical Engineering Section. In 1958, he assumed a position of System Analysis Engineer in the Company's Electric Utility Engineering Section.

Mr. Crary's early work involved the determination of the characteristics and performance of synchronous machines applied on extensive electric transmission systems. As a result of this work he became an internationally known authority in the field of electric utility system design with a wide knowledge of the characteristics and requirements of equipment used in these systems.

In later years Mr. Crary became a leader not only in applying advanced methods of analysis in problems of power system design but also in applying such methods to other fields. In 1949 Mr. Crary was named manager of a newly established Analytical Engineering Section within the General Electric Company devoted to the analysis of engineering problems.

He held 22 patents in such varied fields as synchronous machinery, surge voltages on power systems, power system stability, control equipment (generator voltage regulators and prime mover speed governors), circuit breaker performance, and aircraft electrical systems. In addition to the 22 patents which he held in his own name, he was co-holder of five patents with others.

Mr Crary was the author of 36 technical papers and articles in the field of transmission and generation.

He has two books published: "Power System Stability - Vol. 1: Steady State Stability" and "Power System Stability - Vol. II: Transient Stability."

In 1937, Mr. Crary received the General Electric Company's Coffin Award, which is the highest honor conferred by the company upon its employees, for his work with others on the pulling into step of synchronous motors.

Mr. Crary has long been active in national and international technical organizations. He was a Fellow of the AIEE and a Member of the ASME. In AIEE, since 1941, he has been member and chairman of the Transmiss ion and Distribution Committee, member of the Systems Engineering Committee, Technical Program Committee and Power Division. In 1952-1955 he was a member and then chairman of the Lamme Medal Committee. In the field of international technical committee work, Mr. Crary has been Chairman of the C.I.G.R.E. Study Committee No. 13 (Power System Planning and Operation) from 1948 to the present. He also is a member of the U.S. National Committee and U.S. Technical Subcommittee of C.I.G.R.E.

Mr. Crary has been actively interested in the education of engineers since he joined the General Electric Company. Early in his career he taught power courses to the engineers of the New York Power and Light Company and the American Gas and Electric Corporation, as well as to cooperative students of MIT in Schenectady. One of Mr. Crary's greatest contributions to the education program of the General Electric Company was his development of the Power Systems Engineering Course. This was a thirty-week course of advanced study in power systems engineering for selected men in the electric utility industry. It assists in the training of personnel needed for development of technical training programs within the participating utility companies.

From 1953 to 1958 he was a member of the American Society for Engineering Education.

Mr. Crary was well known as a tennis and basketball player. In 1937 he was winner of the AIEE Mershon tennis singles at Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Mr. Crary was active in the early formation of a centralized school district in the Town of Niskayuna where he resides.