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Soren Hanson Mortensen

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Biography

1953 HKN Award Dinner/Annual Banquet at Henry Hudson Hall, pictured is L to R: Titus G. LeClair, Mrs. LeClair (?), G. Staats, Soren H. Mortensen, John V. N. Granger
1953 HKN Award Dinner/Annual Banquet at Henry Hudson Hall, pictured is L to R: Titus G. LeClair, Mrs. LeClair (?), G. Staats, Soren H. Mortensen, John V. N. Granger

Soren Hanson Mortensen was born in Eskelund, Denmark on November 4, 1879. He graduated from the Polytechnicum of Mittweida, Germany in 1902 with the degrees of electrical and mechanical engineer. Previously, from 1896 to 1898, he had gained experience as apprentice to various Danish firms and attended technical schools in Thisted and Aarhus and had served as a second lieutenant in the Danish army. Leaving Denmark for the United States, he was employed from 1903 to 1905 as draftsman and mechanical engineer by the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company, Pittsburgh, PA. In 1905 he joined the Bullock works (then the Bullock Electric Company of the Allis-Chalmers Company, Cincinnati, Ohio) as draftsman and designer of d-c motors and turbogenerators and in 1908 was transferred to Milwaukee. In the latter year also he was naturalized in the United States. After shifting his work to a-c turbo-generators in 1909, he was made design electrical engineer in charge of synchronous motors and generators in 1911. He was named engineer in charge of the company's a-c design in 1932 and chief electrical engineer in 1942.

Mr. Mortensen held number of patents for specific design features of large salient-pole machines and large air and hydrogen-cooled turbo-generators. In 1944 he received the honorary degree of doctor of engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology. He was the author of a textbook, “Electrical Machine Design” in the section on " A-C Generators and Motors" of the McGraw-Hill “Standard Handbook for Electrical Engineers." Mr. Mortensen was a long-time member of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE, now IEEE) and a member of International Electrical Manufacturers Association committees and represented that body on several committees of the American Standards Association. In 1944 he was awarded the AIEE Lamme Medal "for his pioneer work in the development of self-starting synchronous motors and for his contributions to the development of large hydraulic and steam turbine-driven generators."