James Foote: Biography
J. H. Foote (AM '18, F '32, Member for Life), chief engineer, Commonwealth Associates, Inc., and director of engineering, Commonwealth Services, Inc., Jackson, Mich., was AIEE president from 1959 to 1960. Mr. Foote was born in Jackson, Mich. He received a B.. degree in C.E. at Michigan State university in 1914. His engineering experience during the next 35 years included field surveying on hydroelectric projects, transmission and distribution line design and construction, electrical engineering of power systems, and from 1936, responsibility for the Northern Division of the engineering service organization of the Commonwealth and Southern Corporation (N.Y.). In 1949, this company was purchased by its employees, and Mr. Foote became a director and vice-president of this company, Commonwealth Services, Inc., and chief engineer and head of its engineering affiliate, Commonwealth Associates, Inc. He relinquished the executive direction of Commonwealth Associates, Inc., to J. R. North, retaining the position of chief engineer and assuming the position of director of engineering in addition to his office of vice-president of Commonwealth Services, Inc. He is also a director of Atomic Power Development Associates, Inc.
Mr. Foote's technical and professional society memberships include: American Society for Testing Materials, in which he served 2 ears on the Executive Committee and 3 years on the Board of Directors; American Standards Association, of which he is now a member of the Board of Directors; American Society of Mechanical Engineers; National Society of Professional Engineers; American Association for the Advancement of Science; American Society for Engineering Education; and Conference Internationale des Grands Reseaux Electriques.
In the State of Michigan, he is a member of the Engineering Society of Detroit, the Michigan Engineering Society (past president), the Economic Club of Detroit, and the Town Club and the Country Club of Jackson. Mr. Foote is a member of the honor fraternities Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu, and Pi Tau Sigma. In 1958, the degree of doctor of science in engineering was conferred on him by Wayne State University. Mr. Foote served the Institute as director, 1954-56; vice president for District No. 5, 1956-58; and is presently serving as chairman of the Administration Department. He has been a member of numerous AIEE Committees including: Power Transmission and Distribution (1929-31), Protective Devices (1932-34), Power Generation (1936-46), Domestic and Commercial Applications (1940-41), Registration of Engineers (1946-59), Standards (1947-50), Insulated Conductors (1947-49), Safety (1954-57), Planning and Co-ordination (1954-56), Edison Medal (1955-57).