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Oral-History:Dan Hoolihan

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And we had a pretty good technology mix there in the Twin Cities. The computer guys at that time were Control Data and Unisys, UNIVAC at that time. Honeywell had a large computer contingent. Of course, we had IBM Rochester 80 miles away. Those guys would come up and help us out. And, and then in 1972, Cray Research spun off from Control Data. So, Cray Research guys. And then we had other companies that were more into Mil-Standard-461. Various divisions of Honeywell and Rosemount and some of these others, actually companies that had their origin in the University of Minnesota. The University of Minnesota was pretty good at spinning off technology companies. Medtronic is a classic case. . And then we had the medical companies, which grew rapidly, even faster than the computer companies after the computer companies started going downhill in the Twin Cities area.  
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And we had a pretty good technology mix there in the Twin Cities. The computer guys at that time were Control Data and Unisys, [[UNIVAC]] at that time. Honeywell had a large computer contingent. Of course, we had IBM Rochester 80 miles away. Those guys would come up and help us out. And, and then in 1972, Cray Research spun off from Control Data. So, Cray Research guys. And then we had other companies that were more into Mil-Standard-461. Various divisions of Honeywell and Rosemount and some of these others, actually companies that had their origin in the University of Minnesota. The University of Minnesota was pretty good at spinning off technology companies. Medtronic is a classic case. . And then we had the medical companies, which grew rapidly, even faster than the computer companies after the computer companies started going downhill in the Twin Cities area.  
  
 
===Greater Involvement in EMC===
 
===Greater Involvement in EMC===

Revision as of 15:53, 24 February 2014

Contents

About Dan Hoolihan

Dan Hoolihan is currently President of Hoolihan EMC Consulting. His formal education includes a Bachelors Degree in Physics from Saint John’s University (Minnesota), a Masters Degree in Physics from Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge), and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis)

He has been on the Board of Directors of the Electromagnetic Compatibility Society (EMCS) of the IEEE almost continuously since 1987. He is the past-president of the EMCS (1998-1999) and has many positions with the EMCS Board. He served as the Chair of the 2002 IEEE International Symposium on EMC. He helped found the EMC chapter of the Twin Cities Section in 1985 and has been active in the local chapter since that time.

In this interview Hoolihan discusses his early career in EMC. Initially, he began his career as physicist. As he career progressed, he began identifying as an engineer joined the IEEE. He created an EMCS chapter in the Twin Cities. Furthermore, he discusses the details of his presidency of the EMCS. Throughout the whole interview, he talks about the evolution of EMC technology and the development of EMC safety standards.

About the Interview

DAN HOOLIHAN: An interview conducted by Sheldon Hochheiser for the IEEE History Center, August 9, 2012

Interview #621 for the IEEE History Center, The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Inc.

Copyright Statement

This manuscript is being made available for research purposes only. All literary rights in the manuscript, including the right to publish, are reserved to the IEEE History Center. No part of the manuscript may be quoted for publication without the written permission of the Director of IEEE History Center.

Request for permission to quote for publication should be addressed to the IEEE History Center Oral History Program, 39 Union Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8538 USA. It should include identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated use of the passages, and identification of the user.

It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows:

Dan Hoolihan, an oral history conducted in 2012 by Sheldon Hochheiser, IEEE History Center, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.

Interview

INTERVIEW: Dan Hoolihan
INTERVIEWER: Sheldon Hochheiser
DATE: 9 August 2012
PLACE: EMC Symposium at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Early Years and College

Hochheiser:

This is Sheldon Hochheiser of the IEEE History Center. It is the 9th of August 2012. I'm here in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the EMC Symposium with Dan Hoolihan, past President of the Society. Good afternoon.

Hoolihan:

Hi, Sheldon, good to see you.

Hochheiser:

Likewise. We could start with a bit of background. Where were you born and raised?

Hoolihan:

Sure. I was born in Alexandria, Louisiana. And the only reason that happened is that my father was in World War II, and he was training down there and my mother followed him around. And so, I was born at five in the morning and the doctors and nurses were unhappy with me because Louisiana and July 13th, 1944, it was a little hot all night long, and that's the only time it cooled off. But, shortly after that, I moved to California and then Minnesota. My dad went to fight in the European Theater of war in January of 1945 and my Mother moved back to Minnesota at that time and that is where I grew up.

Hochheiser:

Was that where your folk’s families were from?

Hoolihan:

My family was from a small town in Northern Minnesota called Grand Rapids, Minnesota, not Grand Rapids, Michigan, which everybody gets it mixed up with. Small town, 5,000-6,000 people. And so that's where I grew up. And then went to a Catholic college, a four year college in Minnesota called St. John's University.

Hochheiser:

Yes, I've heard of it.

Hoolihan:

Graduated in physics. Went down to — went back to Louisiana. Went down to Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and got a Master's degree in Physics. And then came back — go ahead.

Hochheiser:

Can we back up, a little more detail?

Hoolihan:

Yes.

Hochheiser:

Were you interested in science and technology and things like that as a youth?

Hoolihan:

I think, when I was growing up, I realized that I was pretty good at math. That was my first indication. Then I think really the thing that set me off was Sputnik. You know, as an American, I was unhappy that the Soviet Union had launched a satellite and we hadn't done that yet. And I was in like seventh grade. And so, that was enough to at least drive me into — I thought I wanted to be an aeronautical engineer. It turned out that when I went to St. John's, at that time they had an arrangement with the University of Minnesota where you could go two years to St. John's, then you had to transfer to University of Minnesota for an engineering degree and spend three years there to earn a bachelors degree.

Hochheiser:

Right. I guess that's typical of liberal arts colleges.

Hoolihan:

It is. Now there are a number of schools in Minnesota where you can go get a four-year degree in engineering. But at that time, the University of Minnesota was it. But after the first year at St. John's I kind of liked the place and so I went and talked to my physics professor and decided to, major in physics and stay four years at St. John's. And I really wanted to be an aeronautical engineer, because everybody was, "We're going to the moon," in the 60's. But I ended up getting a Master's degree in physics. And then ended up working in electrical engineering my whole career. And as I tell people,” it's easy to get into EMC, but it's hard to get out.” So here I am 43 years later, almost to the day, when I started with the Control Data.

Hochheiser:

Yes, you're not the first person who has told me that in one set of words or another.

Hoolihan:

Yes.

Hochheiser:

What led you to LSU for your Master's?

Hoolihan:

Primarily they offered me a Fellowship, some money.

Hochheiser:

That works.

Hoolihan:

Yes. I got accepted at a couple of other schools but they gave me the best financial deal, so I went down there. And I had a nice tenure down there.

Early Career and joining the Control Data Corporation

Hochheiser:

And then what led you to take a position with Control Data?

Hoolihan:

Well, when I got out of graduate school in '69, I had three job offers. One with the Army at Fort Belvoir (Virginia), because I worked for them one summer, while I was in graduate school, sort of planning ahead a little bit. In the Army, Army Engineering Research and Development Center.

Hochheiser:

Was this a civilian appointment?

Hoolihan:

It would've been a civilian appointment.

Hochheiser:

Because I know there are, at these research centers there's a mix of civilians and people in the Army.

Hoolihan:

And of course, at the time, everybody had Vietnam on their mind too. In the winter of '68 I happened to come home at Christmas time and as a result of a snowmobile accident, I injured my neck and ended up 4F. So that ended my concerns about going to Vietnam. When I graduated, I had another job offer from 3M and then one from Control Data. And I chose Control Data, quite frankly, because they offered me $200.00 a year more than 3M. And back in those days, that's just the way it was. So I think my starting salary was a little over $11,000 with a Master's degree.

Hochheiser:

Sure, of course those are 1969 dollars.

Hoolihan:

1969, August, August 18th, 1969, you always had to remember your start date at Control Data. You had to put it on all the forms. So I can remember the date today.

Hochheiser:

And what were you hired to do at Control Data?

Hoolihan:

I was hired to come into, at the time they called it the RFI group. And when I interviewed there they showed me the shielded room and some of their equipment and I hardly knew what it was, you know, it was pretty typical. And so then I started working, we did mil-standard testing on Control Data products. We also got into Tempest testing. I got into that quite a bit the first two or three years.

Hochheiser:

Now had you had any exposure to that before?

Hoolihan:

None. None whatsoever. I wasn't a ham radio guy. I wasn't necessarily interested in electronics. But physics is a good fit because you're doing fields and everything else. So it was a good fit. But then you learn on the job, like many other jobs.

Hochheiser:

Sure.

Hoolihan:

And, and before long, it was only a year or 18 months later I ended up teaching a lot. They liked, they liked the way I taught, I guess.

Hochheiser:

Was this teaching internal at Control Data?

Hoolihan:

Teaching internally at Control Data. Teaching everybody about, grounding, bonding, shielding and filtering and all the usual suspects of EMC.

Hochheiser:

And so, a year or a year and a half after starting, you're now an expert.

Hoolihan:

Yes, already teaching, yes. Pretty typical.

Hochheiser:

Do you recall any particularly interesting problems you faced during your early years there?

Tempest

Hoolihan:

Well, I think because I was in Tempest quite a bit.

Hochheiser:

And Tempest is?

Hoolihan:

Tempest is when a hardware product is handling classified government information. You want to protect it — shielding and filtering, special design characteristics, so that the bad guys couldn't pick up the information that was being processed. So, we had challenges with teaching the mechanical engineers all the extremes of shielding securely enough so that the cabinets would not leak, so to speak. Then the bad guys couldn't pick up the leaks. So that was the biggest concern I had to begin with. And then later on I decided to switch my emphasis from Tempest to more commercial and military testing. I was much more interested in product testing and compliance with emission and immunity and susceptibility rules. So I switched. I got out of Tempest. And then the challenge became, in the mid 1970's, the FCC realized that these computers had the potential to interfere with TV and radio.

Hochheiser:

Right.

Hoolihan:

They began to make noises about putting some very severe, stringent limits on the computer companies. So at the time, there was a computer business association, the Computer Business Equipment Manufacturers Association, CBEMA. They formed a committee to start to respond to the FCC hints that they might put rules on us. We started meeting in 1974 and 1975 and I represented Control Data. And in 1977 we published a seminal paper really. And that then became the basis for the FCC rules in 1979 on computers for both Class A equipment, large equipment, like Control Data made primarily, and Class B equipment, which as we all know in the 1980's became the PC. The personal computer exploded in the 1980's. I mean, the use of personal computers grew very rapidly after it passed the mid-1970's. So then the challenge was how were we going to test our products? How were we going to design them? How were we going to bring all our engineers up to the fact that they now had to meet these requirements? And I can still remember the look on the first project engineer's face when we told him he failed radiated and conducted emission, and this time we couldn't waiver it, that it was a government rule. He actually had to meet it this time. Because for many years we had rules, but if you failed conducted radiated emission, "Well, we'll just waiver that." You know, it's not really a requirement, it's kind of a — "It would be nice to have," type thing. So when that first project engineer and project manager realized that he couldn't do that anymore, it was a big surprise. A quantum leap all of a sudden, in the fact that he would have to actually make some design changes to meet FCC requirements. Nobody had a test facility big enough to test our large mainframes, because Control Data was known for super computers.

Hochheiser:

Right.

Hoolihan:

Very large, liquid cooled, 400 hertz power machines that could run, even with the loss of power, they could run for two and a half seconds, long enough for the machine to dump all the critical data into a secure data storage location. So I got into the building business. We designed and built a test facility that could handle a super computer and nobody else had it at the time. We found out later that, of course, IBM did have one that could test super computers, but nobody else. So then I ended up, over the course of my career, designing and building three or four of those things. The first one was the biggest, but after that, we designed other buildings. I didn't realize I was getting into civil engineering when I got into electrical engineering.

Shift to Engineering

Hochheiser:

Did you come to consider yourself an engineer at some point?

Hoolihan:

Yes, I did. And that was a little bit of a struggle actually.

Hochheiser:

I suspect so.

Hoolihan:

Yes. It was, because I was always an American Institute of Physics guy. I read Physics Today magazine

Hochheiser:

Sure.

Hoolihan:

And then, I started reading IEEE stuff and, and it took me about, let’s see, 1983, what is that? Almost 15, 14 or 15 years before it finally dawned on me that, you know what, I'm really an electrical engineer. My career is really electrical engineering. So that's when I joined the IEEE, 1983. That's my anniversary date and, so that's when the little switch clicked in my head, I guess. Yes, there's always a little elitist-physicist-attitude versus the engineer, you know?

Hochheiser:

I have known a few IEEE people who made that switch as far as what they did but didn't make that switch in how they identified themselves. So I was curious about it.

Hoolihan:

I think I managed to make the switch.

Hochheiser:

When I see someone who took a career path, even vaguely like yours, started out in physics, I always wonder.

Hoolihan:

Yes. I think I made the switch successfully. It took me a few years.

Hochheiser:

Yes.

Hoolihan:

So then I got into the IEEE and then I got very active in the EMC Society. And —

Hochheiser:

One more thing on your career before we do that. I noticed that also not long after that you left Control Data?

Hoolihan:

No, I was with Control Data about 15 years. And then I could begin to see the handwriting on the wall. I could see they were getting into trouble. And we had one Vice President to tell us honestly that he didn't know if we would survive. That the little black boxes were going to take the place of super computers. And so then, actually the CEO of Control Data Corporation, Bill Norris, came and said to my Vice President that we want to spin off the EMC group. And especially this special building we had built 40 miles north of the Twin Cities to provide a low electromagnetic ambient, so we could make good-quality measurements.

Hochheiser:

Right.

Hoolihan:

We were in a river valley between Minnesota and Wisconsin, St. Croix River, a beautiful site, by the way.

Hochheiser:

I know the area.

Hoolihan:

Yes. So they spun us off and, and they went and found an investor. I became a minority owner and he was the majority owner. And we grew from six people to 46 people in about eight years. And then we sold to a German testing company, TUV Product Service, and they still run the building.

Joining IEEE and EMC

Hochheiser:

So around '83 you joined IEEE.

Hoolihan:

Correct.

Hochheiser:

And I assume you also joined EMC at that, around that time?

Hoolihan:

Yes, I think so. I think I joined the EMC Society right away, that's a good question. I'd have to go back and check my records, but I think you're correct on that, Yes.

Hochheiser:

Do you recall when you started attending the EMC Symposia?

Hoolihan:

Oh Yes, that's a funny story. In 1973, I believe, there was an EMC Symposium in New York City. Number one, I had never been to New York City. Number two, I had never been to an EMC Symposium. So, Control Data would send one engineer every year and my number came up and off I went. I was actually a little amazed, I guess, because as a young guy, I was what, 28 years old, I guess, 29, I thought everybody was old which is not an uncommon reaction. New York City was just amazing, of course. And I was just overwhelmed. I had trouble meeting people that had something in common. There were a couple guys there from Medtronic, because pacemakers were hot then. Pacemakers and microwave ovens, the interference from those two were red hot topics. So I got to know a couple guys from Medtronic, but there were a couple of funny incidents there. Because it was in New York City, they had union guys running the projectors. They're giving these talks on very specific technical topics and they had to hit the slide movement button and the projector guy fell asleep. So they had to wake him up in order to move the next slide! So I said, well, that's good. That's kind of different. So then the next guy that got up there, they had an elevated platform. I guess it's relatively funny, but he walked over to point something out on the screen and forgot that he was 12 inches above the floor and fell flat on his face. Fortunately, he didn't hurt himself, but I mean as a young guy I said, "What in the world is going on here?" So then the next afternoon we had a panel session right after lunch. That's a tough time to stay awake anyway. At the panel session, one of the guys in the audience, sitting right next to me, fell asleep, which is not uncommon, but then he started to snore so loudly, he interrupted the panel session. They had to come over and ask him to leave. So, I didn't have a very good impression of EMC Symposiums after the first one. It took me another ten years to go to one. I think it was 1984, San Antonio e, before I went again.

Hochheiser:

So the second time would have been right after you joined.

Hoolihan:

Yes, right. And, since then, I've been to one I think every year. I don't think I've missed since then.

Hochheiser:

I take it your impression of the 1984 Symposium was more positive?

Hoolihan:

Much better. Of course, I was a little older and I knew a few guys in the industry. I knew the technology and the field itself, I was much better acquainted with, so much, much more comfortable at the Symposium. .

Hochheiser:

In what ways did you first become active in the Society?

Hoolihan:

I met, I think Bob Hofmann, another Past President from Chicago. And he encouraged me to become more active at the international level. Once I started going to the symposiums and I attended one board meeting, and showed some interest, it sort of grew after that. And then, in 1985 I formed the Twin Cities Chapter of the EMC Society. I got the necessary signatures, submitted the paperwork to IEEE and then we started having meetings at least once every two or three months or so.

Hochheiser:

Right, enough EMC engineers in the area were interested.

Hoolihan:

And we had a pretty good technology mix there in the Twin Cities. The computer guys at that time were Control Data and Unisys, UNIVAC at that time. Honeywell had a large computer contingent. Of course, we had IBM Rochester 80 miles away. Those guys would come up and help us out. And, and then in 1972, Cray Research spun off from Control Data. So, Cray Research guys. And then we had other companies that were more into Mil-Standard-461. Various divisions of Honeywell and Rosemount and some of these others, actually companies that had their origin in the University of Minnesota. The University of Minnesota was pretty good at spinning off technology companies. Medtronic is a classic case. . And then we had the medical companies, which grew rapidly, even faster than the computer companies after the computer companies started going downhill in the Twin Cities area.

Greater Involvement in EMC

Hochheiser:

You mentioned one of the ways you first got involved was attending board meetings and talking to Bob Hofmann?

Hoolihan:

Yes, and then Leonard (Len) Carlson, I got to know, and Don Clark. Then somebody on the board decided that they had to resign and the President of the board had the right to name somebody in their place and so Don Clark named me. And then I got more involved. And then pretty soon I was the Director of Member Services and in the early '90s, went on to become Vice President and then President of the society in '98 and '99.

Hochheiser:

If we could take each of those positions in turn.

Hoolihan:

Okay.

Hochheiser:

So the first one was simply joining the board.

Hoolihan:

Joining the board, Yes.

Hochheiser:

Yes. Any impressions? You had attended board meetings. Did they look different from the other side of the table?

Hoolihan:

No not so much, because when I first got involved, of course, it was at a lower level. I think Bob Hofmann, again, was the Director of Member Services. I was responsible for communicating with some of the chapters. And then I would report to Bob how they were doing. So it kind of started slowly. And then, I think Bob got promoted to Vice President of the Society and I got promoted to his Director of Member Services position.

Hochheiser:

What did you do as Director of Member Services?

Hoolihan:

Well, at that time, I think we had maybe 20 or 25 chapters. We tried to make sure that the chapters were active. I don't remember when we started the Distinguished Lecture Program. Sometime in there we realized that the chapters needed a source of high quality speakers. So the society started doing the Distinguished Lecture Program, where we would make them available and the society would pick up the cost. So that became a program. One of the jobs was just keeping track of the directory of everybody on the EMC Society Board. What their positions were. And then each of the chapters, who was the chair, what was their address, that kind of a thing. That was all paper at that time. That was kind of a big job. And just keeping addresses up to date, even with only — I don't think we had more than about 25 chapters at that time. So, that was it. It was more administrative. I would not necessarily travel to a chapter or anything, if I happened to be in a town on business or something and I realized there was a chapter meeting, of course, I'd try and stop in. But there was no specific funding or mission for the Director of Member Services to go out and actively attend the chapter meetings. Still isn't, to this day.

President of the EMC Society

Hochheiser:

And then your next position after that?

Hoolihan:

And then I got elected to President-Elect or Vice President of the Board of Directors of the EMC Society.

Hochheiser:

How did you decide that you wanted to be President of the EMC Society?

Hoolihan:

I'm not adverse to responsibility. I have a certain, shall we say, Type A part of my personality, where you want to exceed — you want to do well, and I thought I could do a good job. So I ran for it and the Board agreed that they thought I could do it.

Hochheiser:

And it was the Board who chose the President Elect?

Hoolihan:

The Board of Directors chooses the President Elect. Every other year they have an election. It gets a little contentious sometimes, but mine wasn't very much contentious. It happens sometimes, when you have two strong candidates, trying to decide which one to choose. . And of course, the person who doesn't get selected always feels slighted. Doesn't matter what you say or do.

Hochheiser:

I guess if he doesn't get too slighted, he might get considered again two years down the road.

Hoolihan:

Oh Yes, that's typically what happens.

Hochheiser:

Were there any particular things that after being President-Elect that you wanted to accomplish when you were President?

Hoolihan:

Yes. I think it was a continuation of what we were trying to do. We were trying to grow the society. As Director of Member services I was always trying to encourage people to join the society. We were trying to grow the number of chapters we had, which we did. That was part of it. And then as I came into the Presidency, one of my goals was to try to become more international, so I pushed for having a board meeting in regions outside the United States.

Hochheiser:

There had never been one before?

Hoolihan:

We had one meeting in '97 in Zurich, at the Zurich EMC Symposium. So that was the year before I became President. - I think there was one other one relative to Japan, Tokyo, because we had a symposium that was considered the International Symposium in '84 and I think they had a board meeting as part of that. That's just going from memory on that, but I think that's true.

Hochheiser:

And, and, so then the symposium was in Zurich in '97?

Hoolihan:

Well, there, there was a Zurich EMC Symposium held every odd year for a number of years in the '80s and '90s. And so we met with them and had a board meeting. We went to the symposium and then we had a board meeting and in’97 we invited some of the participants to come and join us at the board meeting. So that's what we did. And then in '98, we went to Rome. EMC Roma was a symposium that was held and we decided to have a board meeting there, which we did, and then we attended the symposium. And then in '99 we went back to Tokyo and had a board meeting there as part of a symposium. In '98, I did not give a keynote speech, but in '99 I gave, as President of the EMC Society, the keynote speech on the opening day at Tokyo. I think that was the first time that was ever done by an EMC Society President. Just to give you some membership numbers, in 1991, we had approximately 4,000 members. By 1998 and '99, when I was President, we were over 5,000. Now, a part of that was my leadership, of course, and part of it was the fact that the '90s were pretty good for EMC, not only because business was good, but because the Europeans released what is called the EMC Directive. It was released in 1989, but they didn't fully implement it until January 1st, '96. For the first time, commercial electronic equipment, commercial products, computers and medical equipment, had to meet immunity requirements. For some time they'd been meeting emission requirements, so they wouldn't interfere with, for example, European TV and radio. That was under control. And of course, in the United States the FCC since 1979 had that under control. But for the first time, people had to meet these immunity requirements. Now that doesn't mean some companies didn't, they weren't starting from scratch, because a lot of companies thought that immunity was a quality assurance requirement.

Hochheiser:

Right.

Hoolihan:

You did not want your product to fail when somebody with ESD shuffling across a carpet touched your computer. You didn't want your computer to get wiped out. So it became a quality issue for many companies. But right smack in the middle of the '90s is when that deadline came on and there was just all kinds of EMC activity. So the growth was very high in our society membership. Now, unfortunately, in the next five years, after the turn of the century, we lost about 1,000. And we have not really regained those. Even today we're at about 4,000; we're struggling to get past the 4,000 mark. And that's just the way the membership has been.

Hochheiser:

Was there an increase in chapter activity with the growth in the numbers?

Hoolihan:

Yes, we've actually increased the chapters quite a bit. I think the numbers, they told me today, I think we're up to 71 chapters. But the membership's still 4,000. So that says that we just have a bunch of smaller chapters, or the members back when we had 5,000 members were not members of a chapter. It's probably the latter case

Hochheiser:

You've probably got lots and lots of members who are nowhere near a chapter.

Hoolihan:

Yes. So that's probably what happened. Now we have more chapters, but we have fewer members. That's a real challenge for us. And of course, our big event every year is the IEEE International Symposium. It's when we get together. That's what we're doing here in Pittsburgh.

Hochheiser:

Right.

Hoolihan:

And just to give you some kind of growth numbers on that. In the '90s we went from in '94, 875 registrants. In 1999, we were up to around 1,400. The number of technical papers, went from around 100 to 220 papers. And typically, we would have an acceptance ratio of around 75 to 80%. with our papers. Number of exhibitors, we always did very well on exhibitors, but we showed a steady growth from around 100 to 200 in that '94 to '99 timeframe. Exhibition booths went from 147 to 286. So you can see everything was growing very well for us. Not only exhibitors, but people at the symposium.

Hochheiser:

Did that change the sort of venues that were appropriate?

Hoolihan:

Didn't seem to matter. It didn't seem to matter where we went. There were so many people out there that wanted to know about the European rules and how to handle them and everything. Companies were funding travel and it just didn't really make much difference where it was.

Hochheiser:

Well, the other side of that is size, the amount of space you need. With the growth in the number of papers and the growth in the number of exhibitors, and the growth in the number of attendees, spaces that would've worked at the beginning of this period, might no longer work.

Hoolihan:

Yes, we found that out. We found out basically that instead of being able to go to a hotel with excellent meeting space, we needed to go to a hotel next to a convention center.

Hochheiser:

Right.

Hoolihan:

That started sort at the end of the '90s and more into the 2000 timeframe. I think the latest numbers here today, our attendance is back down; the number of registrants is below what we had in '99. The number of exhibitors is back down to around 150. The number of booths is below 200, I guess 202 is what I heard. So we’re below what we were in 1999. That's not a negative comment on our leadership at all. It's just a comment on what's happened in the industry. The fact that everybody is much more comfortable dealing with the European rules, dealing with the FCC rules, and that they don't need as much education, so to speak, to handle that.

Hochheiser:

Do you recall any particular crises? You were President during a period when things were growing very nicely.

Hoolihan:

Yes. Of course, that's always nice.

Hochheiser:

Yes, but that doesn't necessarily mean there weren't any glitches along the way.

Hoolihan:

Yes, actually when it comes to crises, the two years that I was President, quite frankly, I cannot remember any crises. I think that because there was such a period of growth that if there were crises, they seemed to be hidden underneath the coverage of growth. And then, I think as our society turned more international, with more members from outside the United States, we began to see more challenges and issues about was it fair that there was no travel subsidies for members of the board that came from across the ocean, so to speak.

Hochheiser:

Right.

Hoolihan:

And so we changed some policies there and began to provide some financial support to members of the board that came from outside regions one through seven and that's worked very well. Then we actually did the reverse, when we went to Rome, we helped fund some of the board members from the U.S.A. to go to Rome. So it was fair on both sides. But of course, most board meetings are in the United States. So the members in regions seven and eight through ten tend to get some subsidy help on travel.

Hochheiser:

How many times a year did the board meet at that point, besides the meeting at the symposium?

Hoolihan:

We tended to meet three or four times a year. It depended on the schedule, on where the symposium was, because what the board tried to do was meet in the symposium location the year before. So that was one meeting, and then of course we always met at the symposium. So that was two meetings a year right away, and then the other two meetings would depend on the President, on whether he thought that four meetings were required, or three meetings were sufficient that particular year. Usually every other year the elections were in November. So then that would tend to drive four meetings a year because you needed more time to do that. So it was either three or four meetings a year.

Hochheiser:

Were there any issues that you recall with publications, with the Transactions or the newsletter?

Hoolihan:

The publications, the transactions, I don't remember any difficulties with the transactions at the time. Moto Kanda from NIST Boulder was the editor. He ran a very tight ship, and he had been in there quite a while, so he had his associate editors all educated so it was smoothly functioning. I think every now and then we might have a special article, a special transaction, a special issue on some topic, like lightning or EMP or something like that. The newsletter was the most prevalent or popular in the sense that it came out regularly every three months and had many pictures. We had a change in editors around 1997-'98. We went from Bob Goldblum, who we just gave a Hall of Fame award to today for 30 years of service as newsletter editor, to Janet O'Neil and Janet began to grow the newsletter. I think her long range plan was to grow it into a magazine, which she finally made last year. So it took a while, but each issue got bigger with more photos, and it started to look like a magazine. So that took many, many years to make that accomplishment. And now the Transactions has grown also. We have more issues every year. And it's always driven by how long it takes to get a paper published. If it takes too long, then the transactions editor comes to the Board and says, "I think we should increase the number of transactions." But nothing major. No lawsuits about articles not being published or anything like that. I suppose there were some authors whose papers got rejected the first time around and may have complained. But nothing major.

Hochheiser:

Standards activities?

Hoolihan:

Standards Activities were pretty steady. We've got a guy named Don Heirman who has had his finger in standards for years and years. So standards were fairly steady. We had quite a few standards for a medium-sized society, and quite an active standards group. This is still true today.

Hochheiser:

Yes. Were you ever involved in the Standards?

Hoolihan:

Yes, I joined the Standards Committee and got involved in a couple of them, but not to the extent that Don did.

Hochheiser:

Of course, one thing that one does as the president of a society, is actually run the board meetings.

Hoolihan:

Yes.

Hochheiser:

And how did you manage that?

Hoolihan:

Well, I had been in other leadership positions, so it wasn't uncomfortable for me at all to be in charge of the meeting. I brushed up on my Roberts Rules of Order, made sure that the vice presidents or the directors, were prepared. We made a change somewhere along the line, instead of calling them directors, we ended up calling them vice presidents, Vice President of Publications, Vice President of Standards. And so once you realized you had those Vice Presidents in place, you delegated certain things to them, and tried to follow up with them and make sure that everything was getting done. And the meeting itself was typically 20 to 25 people on the board, depending on what regions we had represented, so then it was clearly a case of just running the meetings as per Roberts Rule of Order, making sure nobody dominated the meeting, and making sure everybody had a chance to speak who wanted to speak. There were always time constraints so you made the appropriate choices on that, and didn't have any huge blow ups from anybody or anything, so yes, it was a reasonably easy board to chair.

Hochheiser:

The board got done the things that it needed to get done.

Hoolihan:

Yes. I was lucky that we were growing, and you know when you are growing, sometimes that hides problems. Some of those problems came out, I think, in the early 2000s, some of those Presidents.

Hochheiser:

Right, after the economy went downhill

Hoolihan:

Some of those guys, Joe Butler and Todd Hubing and those guys maybe had to deal with more of those problems. When you interview them they can tell you all about it.

Hochheiser:

And of course, they are both being interviewed this week.

Hoolihan:

Yes.

Hochheiser:

Now, as — I'm sorry, did I interrupt you?

Hoolihan:

No.

IEEE Technical Activities Board

Hochheiser:

Okay. As the President of the Society-that also put you on the IEEE TAB, Technical Activities Board. What recollections do you have of TAB?

Hoolihan:

TAB — it is huge meetings, you know? Just so many people, it is just kind of like you are overwhelmed by it, you know, and so I wasn't overly aggressive at the TAB meetings, I pretty much represented the EMC Society and if we had an issue I would bring it up, but I wasn't the kind that fell in love with TAB and wanted to grow to the top and be the TAB President. I said, "No, I don't think that is my bag." So I represented the society for two years at the TAB meetings and carried all the messages and information from TAB back to the society, and carried any information or problems we were having up to the TAB level, but in general, I didn't have a lot of problems, so I didn't have much to say, actually.

Hochheiser:

Did you find your interactions with TAB useful, with useful information that you could bring back to the society?

Hoolihan:

Yes, I think you learn a lot from other Presidents, you listen to the issues they have, you listen to some of the things they are doing, you try to remember the good ideas that they had. I think IEEE staff always seemed to be very organized, they ran the meetings and the information was promulgated or disseminated in a good way. Whatever I thought should be brought back the society leaders and the members, I brought it back. So again, a comfortable relationship, as far as I was concerned, from my presidency to TAB.

Hochheiser:

Was this your first exposure to the overall IEEE?

Hoolihan:

Yes, I think that is correct. That would be a correct way of putting it. Again, I have always been more society-oriented; I have never really been that involved with the Twin Cities section. When I was chairing the Twin Cities - EMC chapter initially in the '85, '86, '87 time-period, I would go to the section meetings, and participate in those, but as soon as the next guy got elected as chair of the Twin Cities EMC chapter, I stopped going to the section meetings, and I became more interested in the society and the board of directors. That is where my interest was, so that is where I spent my time, and everybody makes those choices, Yes?

Hochheiser:

Any other things about your term as president?

Hoolihan:

I enjoyed it, I went to the '98 Symposium in Denver, and I think they treated the president to the biggest room in the hotel. I thought it took up the whole top floor. Those kinds of things are nice to take advantage of when you are president. It doesn't last very long. The next year in Seattle, the Symposium Chair didn't give me nearly as big a room, so it has been downhill ever since. Yes, so some of those perks of being chair are nice, but along with it goes the responsibility. And again, I will say it for the third or fourth time, I was lucky. Times were good when I was president

Hochheiser:

How time consuming was being the president?

Hoolihan:

I worked at TUV Product Service at that time, so I had some administrative support, which helped a lot. If I had been a consultant, on my own, then I think it would have been a lot tougher, but I could turn some things over to my secretary and other administrative people and have them make some phone calls and, do some follow up and stuff that otherwise as a consultant, which I became in January 2000, and you are doing all that yourself, you don't have anybody to do that. As far as percentage of time goes, it is kind of hard to tell, but it would go from zero percent some weeks to 10 percent to 15 percent of your time as you approached either a meeting or a symposium.

Hochheiser:

Was your management supportive of it?

Hoolihan:

They were very supportive. I told them that I was running for it, so they knew that a certain amount of my time would be going to that. And yes, they supported it, so that helped, too.

Hochheiser:

In what ways have you continued to be active since your presidential term?

Hoolihan:

Well, the first two years after, you are Past President, so you have certain duties with respect to the policies and procedures and bylaws. You are responsible for those, so the next two years, 2000 and 2001 I did that. Then I realized that we were coming up on our 50th Anniversary as a society, so I mentioned to Joe Butler, the president at the time, that I might be interested in chairing the History Committee. We had a guy named Chet Smith who was very, very good at doing history stuff, but he wanted to retire from the job, and I said, I think I would be interested in that job, and especially because I am seeing five years out that we are going to be doing this 50th Anniversary and somebody needs to start thinking about that. So he jumped at that and he appointed me as chair of the History Committee, and that is really when I started getting involved in the History of the IEEE. That was 2002 or 2003, somewhere in that timeframe, and I was chairing the special committee on the 50th Anniversary. I got some funding from the board, arranged to have a special journal made, arranged to have our founders come to Hawaii in 2007, arranged to have a special CD-ROM made. It was kind of fun going back and digging up the history of the EMC Society And trying to capture it somehow.

Hochheiser:

Yes.

Hoolihan:

I guess people still like it. I had one of my booklets in the booth down in the exhibits area the other day, and I wrote on it, "Booth Copy Only". It only lasted a few hours before somebody stole it, so I guess some people out there are still interested in our history.

Hochheiser:

And if you look on the Global History Network, on the EMC Society Page, what you will find is basically the text from the booklet you put together.

Hoolihan:

Okay, so they might have stolen that one copy, but it is still there, right? I mean, the information is still there.

Hochheiser:

And of course there is a file hard copy at the History Center.

Hoolihan:

I've got a bunch of copies at home, I only brought a couple with me.

2002 EMC Symposium

Hochheiser:

Now, did you chair the Symposium at some point?

Hoolihan:

I did, yes, thank you. I forgot about that, 2002.

Hochheiser:

That is why I write notes on these cards.

Hoolihan:

Yes, the 2002 Symposium. You're right, that is a better translation of my time. I went from being President to Past President to being Chairman of the 2002 Symposium, and then I got involved in history. I had never done that before, and Minneapolis had never hosted it, so we got a committee going and started meeting every three months, and then every two months, and then every month. We had a very good turnout. It was the first year after 9/11, and our attendance was somewhat down, I think because of that. Also the economy wasn't the best in 2002. But we had a very good Symposium, we had a great social program, we had a wonderful technical program. Financially we had an 18 percent surplus, the board wanted 20 percent, so a couple of guys looked at me funny, but I felt very comfortable with an 18 percent surplus, so overall it was very good, and it was quite challenging, actually, to lead the Symposium. By the end of the week I knew I was very tired, because everybody wants to request this and request that, a lot of demands on the chair. I am glad I did it, but I don't want to do it again.

Hochheiser:

It sounds like in some ways a more challenging job than being the president.

Hoolihan:

It is, it is more intense for a while, but it is a shorter period of time. But it is a lot of pressures, financial, technical, social, administrative, they all come together in one week, they all culminated in one week, really.

Hochheiser:

Yes.

Chair of the EMC History Committee

Hoolihan:

So then after that I got involved in the 50th History Committee, I said we should be doing something, and then after 2007, I took over the chairmanship of the History Committee, that is a more correct delineation of my assumption of responsibilities.

Hochheiser:

What activities has the History Committee undertaken since the 50th Anniversary, under your chairmanship?

Hoolihan:

Let's see, we've tried to have a more regular communication channel in the newsletter, the magazine. We try to write at least one or two articles every newsletter. We tried a history workshop a couple of years ago at the Symposium; it wasn't overly successful, we had maybe eight to 10 people show up, with some interest, and we gave them some information on the history of the EMC Society and the Symposiums. Then I started collecting some old hardware that people didn't know what to do with. I said, "Well, I don't want you to throw it away." I have had a second garage for the last 15 years, and now part of that second garage is stacked with old EMC receivers and other EMC test equipment, and I keep telling the board we need a more permanent storage location for it. Then I also became interested in how could we store records. We have had over the years some agreements with Southwest Research Institute, for example, Georgia Tech Research Institute, and some other institutions about trying to store EMC records, but what I found, over the years, was that if you had somebody there that was still working there, and was active in EMC, the you were okay. But as soon as that person retired, then you were in trouble, because you didn't know what happened to the records and you didn't know who was taking care of them. With the growth of electronics and what IEEE was doing with Xplore, we really needed to look at digitizing things. That is really the way to store it. So we have been more active in that. The EMC Society purchased a high-speed scanner for me last year, so I have been starting to scan some old newsletters and some other things into the Global History Network. And so we started on the digitizing. We are a long ways from being anywhere near complete in digitizing our records.

Hochheiser:

But you have the records?

Hoolihan:

We have the records. We actually did a project that cost us like $60,000, back in like '97, where we made a four-disc CD set that had 40 years of symposium records and we sold it to our members for—“40 years for 40 bucks” was our deal. We sold a number of them. I don't know if we ever covered our costs, of $60,000. Those are still available, but of course the newer technologies won't read them, the newest PCs won't read them.

This is one of the big problems with digitizing material, the formats keep changing.

So we have actually got one of those CD sets into the IEEE headquarters, and we are trying to decide whether they are going to be able to capture all that information or whether they are going to have to re-scan it. We are waiting for kind of them to do an analysis of that.

Recent EMC Activities

Hochheiser:

Any other EMC activities?

Hoolihan:

Well, let's see. Telecom has kind of also grown into EMC or vice versa, so I became involved with some telecom activities, and sat on a board of directors out in Massachusetts that was starting a training program in telecom and got involved with that for a couple of years. I think that in terms of organizations, I never have been involved with SAE, Society of Automotive Engineers; they do more military. And I have not got involved with RTCA, which would handle the DO160 EMC Requirements for commercial aircraft. It has been pretty much IEEE EMC versus any other organization. The company I worked for was of course instrumental in funding whatever I did. So you take care of the company's business and then you did the volunteer work. By the time I did the national and the Board of Directors work, and the local chapter work, that was enough to keep me pretty busy just for IEEE EMC Society, so that is how I spent my time. I didn't branch out to SAE or other areas.

And we have run, for some time, a one-day show called the Minnesota EMC Event. We usually run it in the fall, actually a couple of consultants named Bill Kimmel and Daryl Gerke started it back in like 1987 and then the corporation that I helped cofound, Amador Corporation, started working with them, and then we took it over. When TUV Product Service bought Amador, they took over the show for a couple of years, and then they wanted to give it back, and so myself and another fellow took it over, and we have been running it now for about 10 years. It is a local show; it is not an IEEE show. It actually has always been a for-profit show. We have about 100 people that come, and we have exhibits. We used to have just one track of speakers and now we have gone to three tracks. It is fairly successful. We hold it at a hotel, right across the parking lot from the Mall of America, so we try to encourage the guys to bring their wives, and the wives go shopping and the guys go to the seminar.

Hochheiser:

That could make it a very expensive trip.

Hoolihan:

Yes, but it is fairly successful, it is kind of an ancillary attraction? So that is coming up in September. I've been doing it for a number of years, over 25 years total, I guess.

Hochheiser:

How did you decide to leave TUV Americas and become a consultant?

Hoolihan:

Well, again, I could see where my role was diminishing at TUV, and they had other people that they wanted to move into positions and I was 55-years-old, and I said, "I think I will try the consulting gig and see how that works for me." So I started operating out of my house, and it has been very successful for me. I started out very well, the second year I did even better, the third year better, and then fourth and fifth year I didn't do so well and then it started coming up again, so it is sort of a typical business cycle.

Hochheiser:

Did you serve as chair of any EMC Technical Committee?

Hoolihan:

Never. I have always been more administrative. The only committee I chaired was TC1, which is management. I have always been stronger, I think, in managing technical people than I was actually known as a technical expert. I was good at what I did. I knew testing and grounding and bonding and shielding, and I lectured on it, but I never was the type that really wanted to do a lot of research. I found that one of my strengths was managing technical people. And so, you play to your strengths. We all do.

Hochheiser:

Now, when I was looking at your membership record, I noticed one other IEEE appointment, on the Tellers Committee?

Hoolihan:

I forgot about that. I am not sure how I got into that. But it was interesting, because the company that the IEEE uses is in the Twin Cities, in Eden Prairie, a suburb of Minneapolis. I was on that four years maybe. I think I was actually chair of the Teller's Committee for a while, if I remember right. That was always interesting. I never thought about that. How do you count them (ballots)? How do you make sure they are accurate? That kind of a thing. And now I am an assessor for the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program out of NIST. I started in EMC and telecom but they were looking for somebody who could help them on the quality issues, for voting system test labs, so I said, "Wow, I know a little bit about voting, I was on the IEEE Tellers Committee. So pretty soon I am starting to do assessments on voting system test labs, for NIST NVLAP, because I was on the Teller's Committee for IEEE. So be careful what you volunteer for. It might grow into a career. Voting, and how do you maintain voting security, and whether it is paper or electronic, it is a huge issue. We think we have things under control here, but other countries and I am not so sure we have got them under control here either, Also, I did attend Sections Congress a couple of times, as director of member services, and then in 1999 we had a Sections Congress in Minneapolis, and I was Vice-Chair for that, and so I got involved a couple of years. I was actually planning ahead, I knew I was going to be chairman of the 2002 Symposium, so I said, "I will join this committee and kind of get a feel for how things go for a large operation." So that was a good experience for me to be the Vice Chair

Hochheiser:

That’s kind of interesting, since you haven't much really been involved on the geographical side of the IEEE.

Hoolihan:

I think I attended the '93 Sections Congress in Toronto, again as director of member services. They wanted me to go and make a report so I had been to one before and new what they were. Since then I haven't really been active, so that is pretty much it.

Hochheiser:

Any other EMCS activities that we haven't covered?

Hoolihan:

One thing I'd like to mention is that we did a membership survey and our policy was to do it every five years, and we actually hired the IEEE — what is his first name? Stein was his last name. We did a scientific survey, we sent out requests for information, in a systematic way, and analyzed the data when it came back, and that allowed us to really get a good look at our membership. We had historically surveyed the attendees at the Symposium. But that is a rather select group when you actually think about it. That was something we did in '95 and 2000, so I was very active in the '95 one, and fairly active in the 2000 one.

Hochheiser:

Right.

Hoolihan:

Like many societies, we are always trying to grow our members. We actively worked on that. I tried to — as I mentioned — during my presidency, reach out to regions seven through 10. I had an opportunity to replace someone on the board who had retired, and I appointed someone from Region 9, and that was our first member on the board that we ever had from Region 9. That was one thing that I remember that I specifically did, you had your choice, you went and looked in voting to see who was the next highest vote getter, but you didn’t necessarily have to select that person, so I selected the person I wanted, rather than the next highest vote getter. So again, that was my goal, was to increase the international participation at the society level. And I encouraged EMC Standards, I was a believer in EMC Standards and tried to encourage more of that. EMC books were never very successful. We tried to get the guys interested in writing some books. We had limited success with that. There are not a whole lot of EMC books that the EMC Society Members have written specifically for IEEE or anything like that. And again, the membership was an area of interest for us during the time I have been involved.

Hochheiser:

Mm-hmm.

IEEE as an Transnational Organization

Hoolihan:

I might want to mention again some of our interactions with the other symposiums. We have had a very strong relationship with the Zurich EMC Symposium, which was always held in Zurich during most of the years that it was very strong. We had a technical cooperation with them and they would always invite the president to make a few remarks at the opening session, so I got to do that in '99. We always had a lot of respect for the Zurich EMC Symposium, because the quality of their papers was very high. Their exhibits were smaller than ours, but, their technical papers were very high quality, so we were always very comfortable being associated with them. The Rome EMC Symposium was independent of that, and was held in '98, which would have been an even year, versus the odd years of the Zurich, and there was actually a little competition between the two. It is not uncommon to have a competition in the symposium area. Now I think there has been quite a proliferation of symposiums, especially in Asia, with the growth of China, and so it is growing into an issue of how do you technically cooperate, or do you just cooperate with them? If you cooperate with them fully, then you have got financial responsibility so we avoid that. But technical cooperation becomes a challenge, too, because you don't really want to have a situation where you have technical cooperation, but you don't have a chance to impact the papers, comment on them or reject them or whatever.

Hochheiser:

Right.

Yes, as far as membership goes, Region 9 is also fairly small.

Hoolihan:

Yes, overall membership. This year we went down to Brazil in April, four or five of us from the EMC Society, and we helped give a one-day seminar at Sao Paulo University. That was very successful; we had about 100 people, mostly from Brazil, but also from Argentina and all the other countries around. I think is the third time I have been to Brazil with the IEEE, the other two times were in, I don't know, 2002 and 2006, and just trying to promote the IEEE and the EMC Society in Brazil, because it has got so much potential.

Hochheiser:

Yes.

Hoolihan:

You just see all the potential down there. That is a little bit of an outreach program we have had with IEEE Brazil. I don't know what else I can talk about here. Field of interests, nothing interesting on that. One of the things I say about the EMC Society is that we are 4,000 members, while we have got 400,000 members in the IEEE.

Hochheiser:

Yes.


Hoolihan:

That makes us one percent, and what I have seen in large companies and everywhere else is that one percent holds pretty true, that about one percent of electrical engineers end up in EMC, and as a result of that, we are always educating the other 99 percent along with the mechanical engineers and everybody else who has any interest, project managers, anybody else who needs to get a product to comply with regulations on EMC around the world. So we have a strong education segment in the EMC Society, and we always encouraged that. We just lost one of our great educators, Clayton Paul, who has written a very famous book, Fundamentals of EMC. We have had many other people active in EMC Education that have helped us do that.

Relationship between EMC and Industry

Hochheiser:

Well, one thing I have noticed about this society, compared to some of the other IEEE societies, is that there seems to be a much higher percentage of practitioners as opposed to academics than I know is the case elsewhere.

Hoolihan:

I think I agree with you, though I think that we do get our share of professors and their game is to produce papers. And they do a good job of that, and a lot of times the papers can help us - the practitioners. Then we have the testing labs; of course. Most of my career was really testing lab oriented.

Hochheiser:

Right.

Hoolihan:

You can tell me how great your product is, but, sooner or later, you are going to come into the lab and I am going to tell you how great your product is. It is a pretty simple test. It is pass/fail. It is not so funny for some young engineers, especially as an independent test lab, as young engineers come in and they had this milestone on their chart; they have got to pass the EMC test. They were not very educated, it is not normally taught as a college course, and then they find out that their product fails, and they have to do a redesign. All of the sudden for the first time they realize they have to tell their project manager that the project is going to be delayed, and that is not a pleasant situation for that young engineer to have to do that. I have seen that a few times in my career. So yes, education and we always tried to fix the problem in the lab, show the engineer what he needed to do. We often times laughed about some of the construction materials we used, like aluminum foil and copper tape. We would show them how it needed to be shielded in this area, and what would happen once they shielded it. They would watch the spectrum analyzer, the EMC receiver, and the levels would go down, and, "Oh, that is what I need to do," and so then they would go back and manufacture something. Even the use of filters, a lot of times young engineers wouldn't understand the proper way to use filters. They knew what a filter was. It was just the details of how to use a filter, where to locate it, how to install it, what size (amperage) filter. Some filters are more effective in some frequency ranges. That kind of thing. You just did a lot of teaching on the fly. I like to teach, so it was fun for me to teach and then see that they understood it. And the second time they came through the lab, boy, they were a lot better. Yes, people learn.

Hochheiser:

Yes.

Hoolihan:

Engineers tend to learn fairly quickly, too, because they tend to be efficient. One of the groups that we have got involved with lately is a group called International Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers (iNARTE). They wanted to do some work with us for personnel certification for EMC. There were really no existing formal certification programs for EMC Engineers. We have had a long history of working with them. They give a test And the Symposium is one place that they give it. They usually give a course at the Symposium, and try to teach people enough so that they can take the test. We have helped them with generating questions and answers, because it is a multiple choice test, so our technical committees have worked with them. They changed their name to iNARTE, it used to be N-A-R-T-E, now it is iNARTE, International — and now they just got taken over by RABQSA, which is a subsidiary of the American Society of Quality out of Milwaukee they just had some of kind of a buyout there, so that they are involved with a larger corporation, I guess. So there again, it is education, it is personnel certification.

Hochheiser:

Right.

Hoolihan:

There is an international standard, ISO IEC 17024 that gets into all that criteria, so we have had to sort of educate ourselves a little bit along those lines. I got involved in Society awards, I always like awards and I tried to readdress some of our awards that we have for the EMC Society, especially, I developed a Hall of Fame award for people who have been around for a while. We give that for the first time in 2007 as part of our 50th anniversary celebration and now we have it up on our EMC Society website. We try to make it look, on the website, like you are going down a Hall of Fame. We have the individuals there, and you can click on the individual and “why they got their award” pops up. It is really quite nice. I am glad that we did that and I am happy that it came out well, and it is one of those awards that I hope will last for many years. I am running out of topics.

The Evolution of EMC over the Years

Hochheiser:

Okay. I've got a few more questions for you. In what ways has the field of EMC evolved over your many years of activity?

Hoolihan:

I think initially for military standards we always had emission requirements and susceptibility requirements, as we called it, so when I was at Control Data and we got involved with a military project, I knew that we would have to pass both types of tests, and the engineers all knew it too. I mean, it was no surprise. But, then I got more involved with the commercial equipment in the 1970s, and FCC rules. The German rules on computer emissions impacted us first. We had, in 1971, a computer made by Control Data that had a glass cabinet (equipment enclosure), pretty blue glass, so you could see the blinking lights behind it. Beautiful — it was in a couple of movies, because the marketing guys loved it. But we had a computer like that in a data center in Frankfurt and the TV repair shop across the street couldn't do his work because the signals from the computer kept interfering with his electronic circuitry

Hochheiser:

Oops.

Hoolihan:

So, that was a big project. We hauled one of the computers into the lab, tried to fix it, and realized after spending weeks on it that it was just way too expensive to try and fix the computer itself; it would have been exorbitantly expensive to fix all those systems that we had in Germany. So what we did was, we went and built a shielded room for the TV repairman, so he could do his work inside his own shielded room, and then we told the German government that the next generation of computers that we developed would meet their rules. So, we had an immediate situation where we had to make our computer commercial equipment meet emission laws in Europe. Then, of course, the FCC rules came on and that just reinforced that whole thing. So the emphasis early in my career was on electromagnetic emission.

Hochheiser:

Yes.

Hoolihan:

And then, as I mentioned, in the mid-1990s, the emphasis switched — it didn't switch, it just became two-sided, the other side of the coin came up, immunity. So we then had to become more focused on how you helped your customers meet immunity requirements. We had to upgrade the laboratory equipment to make sure we could run all the tests that were coming out of Europe. It became again a two-edged sword, both emission and immunity, just like it had been for MIL-STD-461 for a number of years. That is the way it is today, all the products have to meet both emission and immunity. That hasn't changed much over the last 15 years. The requirements haven't changed that much and so it is pretty stable, from that point of view, technical point of view.

Hochheiser:

In what ways has the EMC Society evolved in your many years of activities?

Hoolihan:

Well, obviously we have more international members. It used to be a lot of our documentation was focused on the U.S., and over the years we have become more aware that half of our members I think today are outside regions one through six. The Board of Directors itself really hasn't changed that much, the number we have on the board, maybe the consistency, the makeup of the board has changed, as we have added more international members, but in terms of what we do, I think one major change we made somewhere in the 90s was we had four Vice Presidents, and the one Vice President had both Communications and the Symposiums underneath him and I know, myself, I looked at that and I said, "You know, about 80 percent of the revenue of this society is coming through that one Vice President. I said, "He is pretty overloaded," I could tell, so I don't know if it was me, but I know that — I think it was me — but the board, I think I made a motion to split that And to have one Vice President for Communications, which would have the Transactions and the newsletter, which was a revenue source for us, the Transactions, and another Vice President for Conferences, which was even a bigger source of revenue for us. The board agreed to that, so all of the sudden we had five Vice Presidents, but I think it was the right move; we still have that setup today. I think I can claim at least partial responsibility for that. But other than that, the board hasn't changed much, Vice President, President, and President Elect, I guess, and five Vice Presidents and technical committees and education committees. Those things haven't changed much. We always have a challenge as some of the technical committees are undermanned, and I think it is a constant challenge to develop leadership.

Engineers sometimes are very, very good engineers and not very good leaders. Sometimes you can teach them how to be a good leader, and sometimes you just flat out can't teach them. . Some guys are just good engineers And they are not that good at management, so you have to work around that.

Hochheiser:

Well, I started with a bunch of cards face up and now I have one card left. Is there anything you would like to add that I neglected to ask you about?

Hoolihan:

You think about transition and planning, as you get older. How much longer am I going to be active in this engineering Society, am I going to continue to do that? And in one way, when you are a strong leader, maybe that suppresses other guys from developing leadership. "Oh, Hoolihan will take care of it," type thing, but on the other hand, I am concerned not only with the Twin Cities chapter but with the society itself. Do we have the right people in place? Do we have the right plans in place? Are we going the right direction? Are we spending our resources appropriately? As I get older, I think more about that transition, and long-range planning, because not everybody is going to be Ralph Showers and coming into these things at 94 years of age. God bless, Ralph. Yes. No, I think that is it.

Hochheiser:

Let me thank you for your time, and your recollections.

Hoolihan:

Thank you.