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Oral-History:Ernst Weber (1988)

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About Ernst Weber

The interview begins with a discussion of the impetus toward early contact between AIEE and IRE--namely, the development during WWII of service systems which made large machine control through electronics possible. Weber goes on to recount Pat Haggerty's inquiry as to Weber's interest in being IEEE's first president. He discusses the multitude of problems and complications concerning the status of professional groups and societies during and after the merger. The interview continues with a discussion of the initial goals of IEEE, particularly in creating an integrated organization, the question of publication, and the search for a general manager. Weber comments upon his commitment to the concept of "scientific engineering," particularly in the context of his early teaching experiences in the United States. This leads to a discussion of Weber and Segar's report on physics and engineering education in the 1950s and the eventual revision of pre-college physics textbooks. The interview then turns to a discussion of professionalization within engineering. Here, Weber discusses the various roles of NSPE, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, the NRC and the EJC. The interview concludes with comments on the US Activities Board, the changing public perception of engineers, and the relationship between status and education and professionalization within engineering.

About the Interview