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Oral-History:Irving Engelson

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== About Irving Engelson  ==
 
== About Irving Engelson  ==
  
<p>Dr. Irving Engelson comes from a family of Holocaust survivors from Lithuania, who moved to the United States after the Second World War. After briefly serving in the US Army, Engelson completed his education and taught briefly in colleges in New Jersey, before taking up a position at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He later transitioned from academia to several administrative positions at the [[IEEE History|IEEE]] including Director for Technical Activities and Managing Director for Corporate Activities. He then went on to become [[Region 1 (Northeastern U.S.) History|Region One]] Director of the IEEE and President of the Engineering Management Society, before he oversaw its closure. In this interview, Engelson describes his long career and close association with the IEEE, peppering the interview with reviews of his interactions with important personalities in the world of Engineering. Among the many interesting details he contributes through this interview are reflections on the composition and management of governing bodies at the IEEE, including the details of everyday management and the membership of professional societies. He also reflects on the conflicts that emerge from running such a huge body as the IEEE in an increasingly interconnected and globalized world. </p>
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<p>Dr. Irving Engelson, a native of Lithuania,&nbsp; moved to the United States after the Second World War. After briefly serving in the US Army,&nbsp; Engelson took a position with RCA, most notably as a teacher at the RCA Institute. After he completed his education he taught briefly in colleges in New Jersey, before taking up a position as an engineering Dean at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He later transitioned from academia to several administrative positions at the [[IEEE History|IEEE]] including Director for Technical Activities and Managing Director for Corporate Activities. He then went on to become [[Region 1 (Northeastern U.S.) History|Region One]] Director of the IEEE and President of the IEEE Engineering Management Society, before he oversaw its transformation into the IEEE Engineering Management Council.&nbsp; In this interview, Engelson describes his long career and close association with the IEEE,, peppering the interview with reviews of his interactions with important personalities in the world of engineering, including Alfred Goldsmith, his mentor while at RCA. Among the many interesting details he contributes through this interview are reflections on the composition and management of governing bodies at the IEEE, including the details of everyday management and the membership of professional societies. He also reflects on the conflicts that emerge from running such a huge body as the IEEE in an increasingly interconnected and globalized world.</p>
  
 
== About the Interview  ==
 
== About the Interview  ==
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<p>Dr. Irving Engelson, An Interview Conducted by Sheldon Hochheiser, IEEE History Center, July 1, 2009 </p>
 
<p>Dr. Irving Engelson, An Interview Conducted by Sheldon Hochheiser, IEEE History Center, July 1, 2009 </p>
  
<p>Interview #507 for the IEEE History Center, The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Inc. and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. </p>
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<p>Interview #507 for the IEEE History Center, The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Inc.</p>
  
<p><br> </p>
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<p><br></p>
  
 
== Copyright Statement  ==
 
== Copyright Statement  ==
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<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
 
<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
  
<p>That’s a very good question; there were a number of things. First, my parents lived in New York, and they were elderly. I have one brother, a younger brother who lived in Oregon. He still lives there. He became a General Manager at a company called Tectronix. He was the General Manager of the Division of Instrumentation there. And so he was there, and I was in Nebraska. And my wife did not like the Nebraska weather. The winters are very bad. I have two daughters, and daughter number one, the older one, Iris, was about to graduate high school in Nebraska. She was ready to go to college. She went to Princeton. When we consulted with the children, she said I don’t care where you go to. You know, I’m going to college, and I can visit you no matter where you are. The younger one, Delia, was finishing tenth grade at the time, and she was very unhappy with my move. She became a mid-westerner. Originally, we lived in New Jersey, but we thought if I come back to New Jersey, in Edison, New Jersey, she will still have some of her old friends and so on. We’ll be close to my parents. My wife will not be complaining about the weather in Nebraska, and besides as the dean of the college I was doing administrative work. </p>
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<p>That’s a very good question; there were a number of things. First, my parents lived in New York, and they were elderly. I have one brother, a younger brother who lived in Oregon. He still lives there. He became a General Manager at a company called Tektronix. He was the General Manager of the Division of Instrumentation there. And so he was there, and I was in Nebraska. And my wife did not like the Nebraska weather. The winters are very bad. I have two daughters, and daughter number one, the older one, Iris, was about to graduate high school in Nebraska. She was ready to go to college. She went to Princeton. When we consulted with the children, she said I don’t care where you go to. You know, I’m going to college, and I can visit you no matter where you are. The younger one, Delia, was finishing tenth grade at the time, and she was very unhappy with my move. She became a mid-westerner. Originally, we lived in New Jersey, but we thought if I come back to New Jersey, in Edison, New Jersey, she will still have some of her old friends and so on. We’ll be close to my parents. My wife will not be complaining about the weather in Nebraska, and besides as the dean of the college I was doing administrative work. </p>
  
 
<p>I used to teach one course per year or per semester just to keep in touch with students, but most of my work was administrative work, attending meetings concerned with budgets, concerned with schedules and so on. So while my rank was full professor, I was really doing administrative work rather than professorial work. The professorial grade was a necessary pre-requisite to be a dean, but I was not doing what professors normally do. So I saw this job not much different from what I was doing before. I was doing administrative work running a college, having faculties, staff and so on, concerned about budgeting, concerned about interfaces with governmental agencies. So, I did not see this as a major discontinuity, and I knew many of the people who were involved with IEEE. It was a smooth, seamless kind of transition for me. </p>
 
<p>I used to teach one course per year or per semester just to keep in touch with students, but most of my work was administrative work, attending meetings concerned with budgets, concerned with schedules and so on. So while my rank was full professor, I was really doing administrative work rather than professorial work. The professorial grade was a necessary pre-requisite to be a dean, but I was not doing what professors normally do. So I saw this job not much different from what I was doing before. I was doing administrative work running a college, having faculties, staff and so on, concerned about budgeting, concerned about interfaces with governmental agencies. So, I did not see this as a major discontinuity, and I knew many of the people who were involved with IEEE. It was a smooth, seamless kind of transition for me. </p>
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<p>And it’s like in a corporation sometimes things are not very clear, but the person is maybe CEO and President. Chief Executive Officer and President, and the question is what does the person do as President? What does the person do as Chief Executive Officer? And they have to define it, but here there was this conflict, and the conclusion was, well, first let’s get rid of the title General Manager, and we’ll fall into place with the other engineering organizations so let's call our chief officer Executive Director. I said, yes you can call him Executive Director. It’s no problem. We’ll need a bylaw change because I was consulted how we can do it legally. It’s no problem, but that person cannot be on the Board and the question that some people asked me, why can’t he be on the Board? I said, well, he may have the title Executive Director but he is not a director because to sit on the Board as a Director he has to be elected by the Assembly representing the members. And they said, yeah, but we don’t want him to have to stand for re-election on an annual basis. It’s too much pressure, too much whatever. So, the conclusion was, look, just call him Executive Director, and eliminate the requirement for elections. That person then is not a member of the Board but he can attend Board meetings and by courtesy of the President who presides over meetings, the President can give him an opportunity to speak. And if he wants to speak, I am sure that the President will honor his request because if the President of the board doesn’t want to listen to what the chief staff executive officer wants to say, then the Executive Director may have a real problem, Now some people feel that they like it, and others who remember the history of how it came about, may feel that they don’t like it because the Assembly then lost this, power. And they said, look, what is happening here is that the Executive Committee who hired the General Manager has all the power and control but we, the Assembly, the people who were elected by the membership don’t have a say. And this is where the debate started that the Executive Committee is taking on more powers </p>
 
<p>And it’s like in a corporation sometimes things are not very clear, but the person is maybe CEO and President. Chief Executive Officer and President, and the question is what does the person do as President? What does the person do as Chief Executive Officer? And they have to define it, but here there was this conflict, and the conclusion was, well, first let’s get rid of the title General Manager, and we’ll fall into place with the other engineering organizations so let's call our chief officer Executive Director. I said, yes you can call him Executive Director. It’s no problem. We’ll need a bylaw change because I was consulted how we can do it legally. It’s no problem, but that person cannot be on the Board and the question that some people asked me, why can’t he be on the Board? I said, well, he may have the title Executive Director but he is not a director because to sit on the Board as a Director he has to be elected by the Assembly representing the members. And they said, yeah, but we don’t want him to have to stand for re-election on an annual basis. It’s too much pressure, too much whatever. So, the conclusion was, look, just call him Executive Director, and eliminate the requirement for elections. That person then is not a member of the Board but he can attend Board meetings and by courtesy of the President who presides over meetings, the President can give him an opportunity to speak. And if he wants to speak, I am sure that the President will honor his request because if the President of the board doesn’t want to listen to what the chief staff executive officer wants to say, then the Executive Director may have a real problem, Now some people feel that they like it, and others who remember the history of how it came about, may feel that they don’t like it because the Assembly then lost this, power. And they said, look, what is happening here is that the Executive Committee who hired the General Manager has all the power and control but we, the Assembly, the people who were elected by the membership don’t have a say. And this is where the debate started that the Executive Committee is taking on more powers </p>
  
<p>'''Hochheiser:''' </p>
 
 
<p>[interposing] We have to stop for a second to change the tape. </p>
 
  
 
<p>[End of Tape 1; begin Tape 2.]</p>
 
<p>[End of Tape 1; begin Tape 2.]</p>
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<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
 
<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
  
<p>Another division director, later vice president, was a gentleman who became good friends and our wives became good friends, was Don Bolle, B-o-l-l-e. Don at one time was a vice president at Brooklyn Poly and later on he went to another university in Pennsylvania. What is the school in—in Pennsylvania, in Allentown? </p>
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<p>Another division director, later vice president, was a gentleman who became good friends and our wives became good friends, was [[Donald Bolle|Don Bolle]], B-o-l-l-e. Don at one time was a vice president at Brooklyn Poly and later on he went to another university in Pennsylvania. What is the school in—in Pennsylvania, in Allentown? </p>
  
 
<p>'''Hochheiser:''' </p>
 
<p>'''Hochheiser:''' </p>
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<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
 
<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
  
<p>Not really. Sure, the kinds of articles that are being published are different because the technology moves. They’re different in nature, but societies had journals and magazines. And they now have journals and magazines. There’s a large marketing activity right now that markets publications, of course. Right now we have also all the publications in Explore, which is an electronic database and we didn't have it then because we had computers but we were not computerized. So the scope of the publication enterprise is a lot bigger. I did serve as an ex officio member of the Publications Board. So, I was heavily involved in publications. The head of the publications activity then in my days was a gentleman by the name of Woody Gannett. </p>
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<p>Not really. Sure, the kinds of articles that are being published are different because the technology moves. They’re different in nature, but societies had journals and magazines. And they now have journals and magazines. There’s a large marketing activity right now that markets publications, of course. Right now we have also all the publications in [IEEE] Xplore, which is an electronic database and we didn't have it then because we had computers but we were not computerized. So the scope of the publication enterprise is a lot bigger. I did serve as an ex officio member of the Publications Board. So, I was heavily involved in publications. The head of the publications activity then in my days was a gentleman by the name of Woody Gannett. </p>
  
<p>Woody Gannett was a marvelous individual, and hard working. He was an IEEE member, and very knowledgeable in the publications field and did a great job. He was an electrical engineer by education. So, the scope, the distribution process changed substantially, but the basic things haven’t changed much. Every society, every council, has one or more publications, and they have their volunteers; the editor, the editor-in-chief with a lot of [other] editors. Of course the Publication Department has increased tremendously. And they’re helping out in the production and some of the editorial and layout work.. So, this changed a lot, but the basic concept has not really changed much. </p>
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<p>Woody Gannett was a marvelous individual, and hard working. He was an IEEE member, and very knowledgeable in the publications field and did a great job. He was an electrical engineer by education. So, the scope, the distribution process changed substantially, but the basic things haven’t changed much. Every society, every council, has one or more publications, and they have their volunteers; the editor, the editor-in-chief with a lot of [other] editors. Of course the Publication Department has increased tremendously. And they’re helping out in the production and some of the editorial and layout work.. So, this changed a lot, but the basic concept has not really changed much.</p>
  
 
=== Globalization and IEEE Membership Issues  ===
 
=== Globalization and IEEE Membership Issues  ===
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<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
 
<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
  
<p>And if we were going to look at percentages, their membership is substantially, substantially less than 10%. They wouldn’t have at all a regional representation. So, therefore I think the trans-national nature or the global nature is in the fact that we do have people elected from other regions. Last year the vice president for technical activities was a gentleman, a professor, Dr. Roberto Boisson de Marca who is from Brazil. And percentage wise a very small number of members are in Brazil. But he was elected as vice president. And in fact he is one of three candidates in this year’s election for president of IEEE. Now, whether he will win or not, we don’t know, and I don’t think that people are voting ethnically or geographically right now in IEEE. I think they are selecting the best possible person, so we do have a trans-national membership, a global membership, and to answer your question. Yes, the number of leaders and activities outside of the United States has increased so we do feel that there is this increase. But to give a measure whether IEEE is more trans-national in 2009 than it was in 1979, we would have to define precisely what we mean by globalization, trans-nationalization before we can quantify it and answer the question. So, yes, I think we are. We have a greater outreach. We are operating in more countries now than we did before. We have an increasingly large membership in China. Certainly, the Indian membership is growing; Russia is growing but not as fast as some of the other countries even though they have capabilities. So, if this is what you mean by globalization—that more members and more leaders have an opportunity to participate from outside the United States, the answer is yes. We are becoming more global, more trans-national, more international. </p>
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<p>And if we were going to look at percentages, their membership is substantially, substantially less than 10%. They wouldn’t have at all a regional representation. So, therefore I think the trans-national nature or the global nature is in the fact that we do have people elected from other regions. Last year the vice president for technical activities was a gentleman, a professor, Dr. Roberto Boisson de Marca who is from Brazil. And percentage wise a very small number of members are in Brazil. But he was elected as vice president. And in fact he is one of three candidates in this year’s election for president of IEEE. Now, whether he will win or not, we don’t know, and I don’t think that people are voting ethnically or geographically right now in IEEE. I think they are selecting the best possible person, so we do have a trans-national membership, a global membership, and to answer your question. Yes, the number of leaders and activities outside of the United States has increased so we do feel that there is this increase. But to give a measure whether IEEE is more trans-national in 2009 than it was in 1979, we would have to define precisely what we mean by globalization, trans-nationalization before we can quantify it and answer the question. So, yes, I think we are. We have a greater outreach. We are operating in more countries now than we did before. We have an increasingly large membership in China. Certainly, the Indian membership is growing; Russia is growing but not as fast as some of the other countries even though they have capabilities. So, if this is what you mean by globalization—that more members and more leaders have an opportunity to participate from outside the United States, the answer is yes. We are becoming more global, more trans-national, more international.</p>
  
 
=== Dynamics of Volunteer and Staff Membership at the IEEE  ===
 
=== Dynamics of Volunteer and Staff Membership at the IEEE  ===
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<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
 
<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
  
<p>When I retired? In 1996, and then I immediately went and was elected as Region One director. I didn’t come back exerting my dictatorial powers, especially since I knew what’s what and so on because I knew things as a staff person about what’s going on that the average volunteer doesn’t know. And I wanted to make very, very sure that I did not overstep that fine line and to do unto staff what I did not as a staff person want the volunteers to do unto me. So there is this fine line, and one has to—this is what I said where one stands depends upon where one sits. I keep reminding myself this, and therefore you have to play the role that you’re responsible for and not to at the same time—not to over blow the importance of your position because we all have our responsibilities, and as long as we do them properly, everything works. And we should not—we should not exaggerate the contributions or our importance because in the big scheme of things we are not as important as we may want to think we are. </p>
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<p>When I retired? In 1996, and then I immediately went and was elected as Region One director. I didn’t come back exerting my dictatorial powers, especially since I knew what’s what and so on because I knew things as a staff person about what’s going on that the average volunteer doesn’t know. And I wanted to make very, very sure that I did not overstep that fine line and to do unto staff what I did not as a staff person want the volunteers to do unto me. So there is this fine line, and one has to—this is what I said where one stands depends upon where one sits. I keep reminding myself this, and therefore you have to play the role that you’re responsible for and not to at the same time—not to over blow the importance of your position because we all have our responsibilities, and as long as we do them properly, everything works. And we should not—we should not exaggerate the contributions or our importance because in the big scheme of things we are not as important as we may want to think we are.</p>
  
 
=== Travel and Encounters with Important Personalities  ===
 
=== Travel and Encounters with Important Personalities  ===
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<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
 
<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
  
<p>Quite a bit. The vice presidents wanted me to accompany them to various places. For example a few years back we had a president and this was during my first year in corporate activities. The president was Martha Sloan. Martha was president in 1993, and I knew Martha before because she was president of the Computer Society and I was involved and so I knew her. Something interesting happened in 1993. We had a volunteer, he’s still very active, who came to me and said, hey, Irv, I discovered, or we discovered that Yeltsin, the head of the Soviet Union at the time, was by education an engineer. And I want you to work on it to make Yeltsin into an IEEE member. Now, it so happened that I had connections with Russia because I was the second foreigner to be elected an honorary member of the Russian Popov Society, which is like the equivalent of IEEE in Russia and part of the Academy of Sciences of Russia, which is very highly regarded. And honorary membership is the highest honor that they can bestow for anyone, and they elected me as the second foreigner. And I know the president, who is a good friend of mine. Yuri Gulyaev was under Yeltsin, a Member of Parliament, the Russian Parliament. So, I had some in. So, to make a long story short, we prepared a certificate and made Yeltsin a member here. But then we had to deliver the certificate to Yeltsin. And Martha Sloan said, “Irv, how about you making arrangements to go to Russia, and go to the Kremlin to deliver the certificate to Yeltsin.” This was my assignment. Talk about mission impossible. </p>
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<p>Quite a bit. The vice presidents wanted me to accompany them to various places. For example a few years back we had a president and this was during my first year in corporate activities. The president was [[Martha Sloan|Martha Sloan]]. Martha was president in 1993, and I knew Martha before because she was president of the Computer Society and I was involved and so I knew her. Something interesting happened in 1993. We had a volunteer, he’s still very active, who came to me and said, hey, Irv, I discovered, or we discovered that Yeltsin, the head of the Soviet Union at the time, was by education an engineer. And I want you to work on it to make Yeltsin into an IEEE member. Now, it so happened that I had connections with Russia because I was the second foreigner to be elected an honorary member of the Russian [[Aleksandr Popov|Popov]] Society, which is like the equivalent of IEEE in Russia and part of the Academy of Sciences of Russia, which is very highly regarded. And honorary membership is the highest honor that they can bestow for anyone, and they elected me as the second foreigner. And I know the president, who is a good friend of mine. Yuri Gulyaev was under Yeltsin, a Member of Parliament, the Russian Parliament. So, I had some in. So, to make a long story short, we prepared a certificate and made Yeltsin a member here. But then we had to deliver the certificate to Yeltsin. And Martha Sloan said, “Irv, how about you making arrangements to go to Russia, and go to the Kremlin to deliver the certificate to Yeltsin.” This was my assignment. Talk about mission impossible. </p>
  
<p>So, I was in touch with my friend Academician Yuri Gulyaev who was also what in Russian is called Nerodny Deputat which is a national deputy, which is like a Congressman, under Yeltsin. And I told him what I wanted to accomplish, and he visited me several times in the United States, and slept in my home. He knows my family, and I was in his home. And because of his position there, he arranged for Martha and me to go to the Kremlin and go to Yeltsin’s office. And he wasn't there, but he sent a representative of one of his people to accept the certificate on his behalf, and we made him a member of IEEE. So—so, yes, I got to travel and to do those things, and because I’m also fluent in Russian, it helped. Sometimes I felt that I’m traveling too much. Because I used to come back and my neighbor used to say, oh, Irv, where were you now? And I would tell him and he said, oh, how exciting. And I said, look I want you to know that one trip most of the time one trip is the same thing as another trip. The road from the airport to the hotel is in most places the same no matter where you are. You have gas stations on the right and gas stations on the left, and then you arrive in the hotel and you have a meeting. And the meeting is in a big room with no windows, so you sit there for two days in a room with no windows. And then you hop into the cab and again gas stations on the left, gas stations on the right, and they bring you back to the airport and you fly back. I could have saved all of this travel, if we had the meeting in Piscataway. I wouldn’t have to do all this travel, but sometimes you do things and you get exposure. Yes, I did a lot of travel. I went around the world in fact, and met some very, very good friends, great luminaries of the profession that I would have never been able to meet if it was not for IEEE. One thing which is very memorable to me is 1984, this was the centennial year of IEEE, and we had a centennial dinner, a big celebration. Dick Gowen, Dr. Gowen was the centennial president, and also friends before, good friends. I know him and his wife, and I assume at his request every table—it was assigned seating. And every table was assigned a host. I was assigned to hosting one particular table and they had some of the profession’s greats assigned to my table. One of the people sitting at my table came from AT&amp;T or from Bell Labs, the father of modern information theory. </p>
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<p>So, I was in touch with my friend Academician Yuri Gulyaev who was also what in Russian is called Nerodny Deputat which is a national deputy, which is like a Congressman, under Yeltsin. And I told him what I wanted to accomplish, and he visited me several times in the United States, and slept in my home. He knows my family, and I was in his home. And because of his position there, he arranged for Martha and me to go to the Kremlin and go to Yeltsin’s office. And he wasn't there, but he sent a representative of one of his people to accept the certificate on his behalf, and we made him a member of IEEE. So—so, yes, I got to travel and to do those things, and because I’m also fluent in Russian, it helped. Sometimes I felt that I’m traveling too much. Because I used to come back and my neighbor used to say, oh, Irv, where were you now? And I would tell him and he said, oh, how exciting. And I said, look I want you to know that one trip most of the time one trip is the same thing as another trip. The road from the airport to the hotel is in most places the same no matter where you are. You have gas stations on the right and gas stations on the left, and then you arrive in the hotel and you have a meeting. And the meeting is in a big room with no windows, so you sit there for two days in a room with no windows. And then you hop into the cab and again gas stations on the left, gas stations on the right, and they bring you back to the airport and you fly back. I could have saved all of this travel, if we had the meeting in Piscataway. I wouldn’t have to do all this travel, but sometimes you do things and you get exposure. Yes, I did a lot of travel. I went around the world in fact, and met some very, very good friends, great luminaries of the profession that I would have never been able to meet if it was not for IEEE. One thing which is very memorable to me is 1984, this was the centennial year of IEEE, and we had a centennial dinner, a big celebration. [[Richard Gowen|Dick Gowen]], Dr. Gowen was the centennial president, and also friends before, good friends. I know him and his wife, and I assume at his request every table—it was assigned seating. And every table was assigned a host. I was assigned to hosting one particular table and they had some of the profession’s greats assigned to my table. One of the people sitting at my table came from AT&amp;T or from Bell Labs, the father of modern information theory. </p>
  
 
<p>'''Hochheiser:''' </p>
 
<p>'''Hochheiser:''' </p>
  
<p>Claude Shannon? </p>
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<p>[[Claude Shannon|Claude Shannon]]? </p>
  
 
<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
 
<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
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<p>And in my teaching days I also taught some information theory so of course I knew about Claude Shannon. He didn’t know me, but I knew him. And I was sitting in the audience when he accepted the award. And I’ll never forget his very short acceptance speech and comment. He said that he hoped that the megabytes will have a greater effect on humanity than the megatons. What a statement, information theory as opposed to nuclear destruction and so forth. And it made a great impression on me. Skip forward one year, to 1984, and I’m the host of the table. And who is sitting there? Claude Shannon and his wife, and several other luminaries. The first thing that I had was a manual with a program written out, and the first thing I did, I said let’s take and all sign all the programs so we all walk away with the signatures. I have at home someplace the program where I signed and everyone else signed and Claude Shannon signed. So, while we were sitting there, and I was sitting near Dr. Shannon. I said to him, Dr. Shannon, last year when you accepted that award at IEEE, it was tremendously emotional and impressive to me when you said that you hoped that the effect on humanity of the megabytes will be more important or significant than the megatons. And he turned to me and said “I don’t remember having said that,” and his wife turned around and said, “Yes, Claude dear, you said it.” She remembered. You see it was an extemporaneous comment he made, which wasn’t planned. But I never forgot this thing. So, where else could someone coming from my humble beginnings wind up at a table sitting with Claude Shannon and others that I met, great governmental leaders from various countries, and Nobel prize winners and so on. So, IEEE was very good to me and very good for me. </p>
 
<p>And in my teaching days I also taught some information theory so of course I knew about Claude Shannon. He didn’t know me, but I knew him. And I was sitting in the audience when he accepted the award. And I’ll never forget his very short acceptance speech and comment. He said that he hoped that the megabytes will have a greater effect on humanity than the megatons. What a statement, information theory as opposed to nuclear destruction and so forth. And it made a great impression on me. Skip forward one year, to 1984, and I’m the host of the table. And who is sitting there? Claude Shannon and his wife, and several other luminaries. The first thing that I had was a manual with a program written out, and the first thing I did, I said let’s take and all sign all the programs so we all walk away with the signatures. I have at home someplace the program where I signed and everyone else signed and Claude Shannon signed. So, while we were sitting there, and I was sitting near Dr. Shannon. I said to him, Dr. Shannon, last year when you accepted that award at IEEE, it was tremendously emotional and impressive to me when you said that you hoped that the effect on humanity of the megabytes will be more important or significant than the megatons. And he turned to me and said “I don’t remember having said that,” and his wife turned around and said, “Yes, Claude dear, you said it.” She remembered. You see it was an extemporaneous comment he made, which wasn’t planned. But I never forgot this thing. So, where else could someone coming from my humble beginnings wind up at a table sitting with Claude Shannon and others that I met, great governmental leaders from various countries, and Nobel prize winners and so on. So, IEEE was very good to me and very good for me. </p>
  
<p>And I made so many friends all over the world, and when I retired Fern and Julie Cozin sent out [a note] to people saying if you want to write some notes for Irv, we’ll put together a book. They presented me with a book of letters from various people who had some very nice things to say. Of course, those who had ugly things to say didn’t write, you see, otherwise the book would have been too big. But, so I made some very good friends. Last year in December I had a major medical operation and it became known. And I got all sorts of letters and cards from all over the world, because you make friends. So I consider IEEE—I remember that my younger daughter, Delia, (who years later became the research editor of an IEEE historical book) one time as a young girl asked me a question. I used to come home and do some work for IEEE at night. And she came over. I don’t know how old she was at the time. And she said, “Hey Dad how come you finish dinner and then you take out papers and do this work for IEEE.” And I said, well Delia, when you own the company you have to work all the time. She said, Dad, I didn't know that you owned IEEE. And I said “Don’t you know what it stands for?” and she said no. I said it stands for Irv Engelson, Electrical Engineer. And she said, “Oh, okay” and she walked away and never questioned it again. Years later as a student at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia she worked one summer for IEEE assembling a book on all the Fellows that was published for the IEEE centennial. She received credit as the book’s researcher. The book was called A Century of Honors. Of course, by the time she did the research for the book she knew better about what IEEE stands for, but— I claim that I really feel that IEEE is family—I’m part of IEEE and all the IEEE staff and volunteers are a part of this family. I don’t want to put it in religious terms, but I was really blessed in having had the opportunity and continue to have the opportunity to work for and with IEEE. It’s a great organization. </p>
+
<p>And I made so many friends all over the world, and when I retired Fern and Julie Cozin sent out [a note] to people saying if you want to write some notes for Irv, we’ll put together a book. They presented me with a book of letters from various people who had some very nice things to say. Of course, those who had ugly things to say didn’t write, you see, otherwise the book would have been too big. But, so I made some very good friends. Last year in December I had a major medical operation and it became known. And I got all sorts of letters and cards from all over the world, because you make friends. So I consider IEEE—I remember that my younger daughter, Delia, (who years later became the research editor of an IEEE historical book) one time as a young girl asked me a question. I used to come home and do some work for IEEE at night. And she came over. I don’t know how old she was at the time. And she said, “Hey Dad how come you finish dinner and then you take out papers and do this work for IEEE.” And I said, well Delia, when you own the company you have to work all the time. She said, Dad, I didn't know that you owned IEEE. And I said “Don’t you know what it stands for?” and she said no. I said it stands for Irv Engelson, Electrical Engineer. And she said, “Oh, okay” and she walked away and never questioned it again. Years later as a student at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia she worked one summer for IEEE assembling a book on all the Fellows that was published for the IEEE centennial. She received credit as the book’s researcher. The book was called A Century of Honors. Of course, by the time she did the research for the book she knew better about what IEEE stands for, but— I claim that I really feel that IEEE is family—I’m part of IEEE and all the IEEE staff and volunteers are a part of this family. I don’t want to put it in religious terms, but I was really blessed in having had the opportunity and continue to have the opportunity to work for and with IEEE. It’s a great organization.</p>
  
 
=== Relocation from New York to New Jersey  ===
 
=== Relocation from New York to New Jersey  ===
Line 783: Line 780:
 
<p>'''Hochheiser:''' </p>
 
<p>'''Hochheiser:''' </p>
  
<p>One of the things that happened while you were here was much of the move of the operations from New York out here to Piscataway. Do you have any recollections on — </p>
+
<p>One of the things that happened while you were here was much of the move of the operations from New York out here to Piscataway. Do you have any recollections on —<br> </p>
 
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<p><br> </p>
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<p><br> </p>
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<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
 
<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
Line 807: Line 800:
 
<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
 
<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
  
<p>When they said they were moving technical activities, I was very much opposed to it because I figured that I’m going to lose most of my staff because they’re New Yorkers. But we did it in stages, and it worked out. And most of my key people came with me. Fern worked for me in New York City, and eventually she moved to New Jersey. Julie Cozin was in New York. She moved to New Jersey. James Taylor, you know who he is? He is the computer chief in technical activities. Still lives in New York, and works here. So, most of my key people moved with me. And I encouraged them and they did, and I greatly appreciate it. And it was a lot of work, but it was a smooth move in the sense that it was transparent for the volunteers. The volunteers did not see any discontinuity during the move of the technical activities from New York to New Jersey. But it wasn’t easy. </p>
+
<p>When they said they were moving technical activities, I was very much opposed to it because I figured that I’m going to lose most of my staff because they’re New Yorkers. But we did it in stages, and it worked out. And most of my key people came with me. Fern worked for me in New York City, and eventually she moved to New Jersey. Julie Cozin was in New York. She moved to New Jersey. James Taylor, you know who he is? He is the computer chief in technical activities. Still lives in New York, and works here. So, most of my key people moved with me. And I encouraged them and they did, and I greatly appreciate it. And it was a lot of work, but it was a smooth move in the sense that it was transparent for the volunteers. The volunteers did not see any discontinuity during the move of the technical activities from New York to New Jersey. But it wasn’t easy.</p>
  
 
=== Appointment as Presidential Advisor  ===
 
=== Appointment as Presidential Advisor  ===
Line 813: Line 806:
 
<p>'''Hochheiser:''' </p>
 
<p>'''Hochheiser:''' </p>
  
<p>One of the things I noted in the list of various things you’ve done but 1997 you were formal presidential advisor to Charles Alexander. </p>
+
<p>One of the things I noted in the list of various things you’ve done but 1997 you were formal presidential advisor to [[Charles K. Alexander|Charles Alexander]]. </p>
  
 
<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
 
<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
Line 833: Line 826:
 
<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
 
<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
  
<p>Chuck wrote me a letter saying I, Charles Alexander was elected to be president of IEEE. And there’s a lot of work to be done, I’ve been a volunteer for many years and I know a lot of what’s going on in the world of IEEE. But I trust you and I value your opinion, so subject to your acceptance if you sign, I’m appointing you officially as the presidential advisor. And your responsibility will be to travel where I travel, to go where I go, to be my ears and so on and to advise me what to do and how to do it and attend all the meetings of the Executive Committee and executive session meetings and so forth, whatever I do, which is exactly what I did. He announced it and the board blessed it. So, it’s on the record that this was an official title. </p>
+
<p>Chuck wrote me a letter saying I, Charles Alexander was elected to be president of IEEE. And there’s a lot of work to be done, I’ve been a volunteer for many years and I know a lot of what’s going on in the world of IEEE. But I trust you and I value your opinion, so subject to your acceptance if you sign, I’m appointing you officially as the presidential advisor. And your responsibility will be to travel where I travel, to go where I go, to be my ears and so on and to advise me what to do and how to do it and attend all the meetings of the Executive Committee and executive session meetings and so forth, whatever I do, which is exactly what I did. He announced it and the board blessed it. So, it’s on the record that this was an official title.<br> </p>
 
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<p><br> </p>
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<p>'''Hochheiser:''' </p>
 
<p>'''Hochheiser:''' </p>
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<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
 
<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
  
<p>Okay. </p>
+
<p>Okay.</p>
  
 
=== Election as Region One Director of the IEEE  ===
 
=== Election as Region One Director of the IEEE  ===
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<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
 
<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
  
<p>Yes, I served on all the boards, but now since I finished my board duty last year, this year I am above board. </p>
+
<p>Yes, I served on all the boards, but now since I finished my board duty last year, this year I am above board.</p>
  
 
=== Closure of the Engineering Management Society  ===
 
=== Closure of the Engineering Management Society  ===
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<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
 
<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
  
<p>As members, so we made the proposal and announced it. Some people objected because this means as a society going out of business, and people want to hold on to what they have. They don’t like to change or to get rid of their society. But we did it, and it was approved. And the council now has 14 societies that joined the council and the council Board of Governors is composed of representatives from these 14 societies. Gus Gaynor is serving this year as the president of the council. I am vice president for operations of the council, and we are providing services to a much broader clientele potentially who are subscribing to our publications. We have two great publications—first, the Transactions on Engineering Management, which is a scholarly peer-reviewed kind of thing. But, the real very popular publication is called the Engineering Management Review, which is a reprint journal where we have an editor with a group that reviews hundreds of management-oriented publications, selects the best papers in the publications that relate and may be of interest to the IEEE membership. And we publish a quarterly review of very, very interesting papers. You may want to take a look at it. You don’t have to be a management specialist, it has some very good stuff. So, this is—so we are getting what the Sloan people are doing the MIT group is doing, and the Moore School in Pennsylvania and so on. It’s an excellent publication. It gets high ratings in terms of usefulness and practicality. </p>
+
<p>As members, so we made the proposal and announced it. Some people objected because this means as a society going out of business, and people want to hold on to what they have. They don’t like to change or to get rid of their society. But we did it, and it was approved. And the council now has 14 societies that joined the council and the council Board of Governors is composed of representatives from these 14 societies. Gus Gaynor is serving this year as the president of the council. I am vice president for operations of the council, and we are providing services to a much broader clientele potentially who are subscribing to our publications. We have two great publications—first, the Transactions on Engineering Management, which is a scholarly peer-reviewed kind of thing. But, the real very popular publication is called the Engineering Management Review, which is a reprint journal where we have an editor with a group that reviews hundreds of management-oriented publications, selects the best papers in the publications that relate and may be of interest to the IEEE membership. And we publish a quarterly review of very, very interesting papers. You may want to take a look at it. You don’t have to be a management specialist, it has some very good stuff. So, this is—so we are getting what the Sloan people are doing the MIT group is doing, and the Moore School in Pennsylvania and so on. It’s an excellent publication. It gets high ratings in terms of usefulness and practicality.</p>
  
 
=== Discussions of IEEE Management Personalities (Contd.)  ===
 
=== Discussions of IEEE Management Personalities (Contd.)  ===
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<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
 
<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
  
<p>Following Dick Damon was a good friend of mine actually, a person named Bob Larson. </p>
+
<p>Following Dick Damon was a good friend of mine actually, a person named [[Robert Larson|Bob Larson]]. </p>
  
 
<p>'''Hochheiser:''' </p>
 
<p>'''Hochheiser:''' </p>
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<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
 
<p>'''Engelson:''' </p>
  
<p>And Bob Larson became an entrepreneur and made a lot, a lot of money. I was in his home, many years ago, and it’s built on a mountain there in California with a terrific view. And he was—the way I met Bob was I was very active in Eta Kappa Nu, which is the electrical engineering honor society and I was chairman of the awards organization committee for the selection of the young electrical engineer of the year award. And Bob was one of our winners, and so was George Heilmeier the fellow from RCA I told you about. So, Bob Larson became president, and I had the pleasure of working with him very, very closely. I met through IEEE Dave Packard of HP. And what is interesting in those days I remember Dr. Packard coming and giving a talk to some of our IEEE committees. He was very active, and if he was invited, he would come. This very busy man would come and was active in IEEE. Bill Hewlett was not that active but David Packard was very, very active. And when you had someone like Dr. Packard, being active in IEEE, you can imagine that people who worked for him at HP felt that IEEE is the place to be since he himself is active. Well, things have changed because we are not attracting—maybe it’s more difficult, the economic conditions have changed, but we’re not attracting the kind of leadership in IEEE, I mean we have good leaders in IEEE, but the kind of people, the quality of a Dave Packard and so on who are showing commitment and involvement. </p>
+
<p>And Bob Larson became an entrepreneur and made a lot, a lot of money. I was in his home, many years ago, and it’s built on a mountain there in California with a terrific view. And he was—the way I met Bob was I was very active in [[Eta Kappa Nu|Eta Kappa Nu]], which is the electrical engineering honor society and I was chairman of the awards organization committee for the selection of the young electrical engineer of the year award. And Bob was one of our winners, and so was George Heilmeier the fellow from RCA I told you about. So, Bob Larson became president, and I had the pleasure of working with him very, very closely. I met through IEEE [[David Packard|Dave Packard]] of HP. And what is interesting in those days I remember Dr. Packard coming and giving a talk to some of our IEEE committees. He was very active, and if he was invited, he would come. This very busy man would come and was active in IEEE. Bill Hewlett was not that active but David Packard was very, very active. And when you had someone like Dr. Packard, being active in IEEE, you can imagine that people who worked for him at HP felt that IEEE is the place to be since he himself is active. Well, things have changed because we are not attracting—maybe it’s more difficult, the economic conditions have changed, but we’re not attracting the kind of leadership in IEEE, I mean we have good leaders in IEEE, but the kind of people, the quality of a Dave Packard and so on who are showing commitment and involvement. </p>
  
 
<p>But, look, times change and conditions change, and we cannot expect in 2009 to have the same kind of thing that happened 30 years ago. So that’s different, but we still have good penetration in industry. I think we have to involve more industry people in IEEE, and we also have to make our publications more industry friendly because most of our publications are academically oriented. It is for academics by academics because they have to publish or perish, and I understand this having been an academic. And I’m not suggesting that we should get rid of the highly peer-reviewed journals. We need them. So, my criticism, if it’s a criticism is not on what we are doing but what we are not doing. We also need journals that are more practically oriented like the one I told you about from the Technology Management Council called the Engineering Management Review. You may want to take a look at it. This is something that you may be interested in. This is a very good publication, and I’m not saying because I’m associated with the organization it’s because they—if you have this, I don’t have to subscribe to a dozen other publications because most of the great articles are there. And if out of all these articles I find one or two that really are of interest to me, it’s—it’s worth what I’m paying, which is nothing because I’m a life member. And, life members don’t pay anything, so it’s always worth what I pay. Okay, anything else? </p>
 
<p>But, look, times change and conditions change, and we cannot expect in 2009 to have the same kind of thing that happened 30 years ago. So that’s different, but we still have good penetration in industry. I think we have to involve more industry people in IEEE, and we also have to make our publications more industry friendly because most of our publications are academically oriented. It is for academics by academics because they have to publish or perish, and I understand this having been an academic. And I’m not suggesting that we should get rid of the highly peer-reviewed journals. We need them. So, my criticism, if it’s a criticism is not on what we are doing but what we are not doing. We also need journals that are more practically oriented like the one I told you about from the Technology Management Council called the Engineering Management Review. You may want to take a look at it. This is something that you may be interested in. This is a very good publication, and I’m not saying because I’m associated with the organization it’s because they—if you have this, I don’t have to subscribe to a dozen other publications because most of the great articles are there. And if out of all these articles I find one or two that really are of interest to me, it’s—it’s worth what I’m paying, which is nothing because I’m a life member. And, life members don’t pay anything, so it’s always worth what I pay. Okay, anything else? </p>
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<p>Okay.</p>
 
<p>Okay.</p>
  
<p></p>
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[[Category:Business, management & industry|Engelson]] [[Category:Management|Engelson]] [[Category:Decision making|Engelson]] [[Category:Human resource management|Engelson]] [[Category:Organizational aspects|Engelson]] [[Category:Resource management|Engelson]] [[Category:Culture and society|Engelson]] [[Category:Defense & security|Engelson]] [[Category:World War II|Engelson]] [[Category:Home & family|Engelson]] [[Category:Workplace|Engelson]] [[Category:Education|Engelson]] [[Category:Educational institutions|Engelson]] [[Category:International affairs & development|Engelson]] [[Category:International affairs & development|Engelson]] [[Category:Engineering profession|Engelson]] [[Category:Scientific tools and discoveries|Engelson]] [[Category:IEEE|Engelson]] [[Category:Awards & fellow activities|Engelson]] [[Category:Geographical units|Engelson]] [[Category:Regions|Engelson]] [[Category:Governance|Engelson]] [[Category:Boards|Engelson]] [[Category:Committees|Engelson]] [[Category:Nominations, elections & appointments|Engelson]] [[Category:Policies & procedures|Engelson]] [[Category:Staff|Engelson]] [[Category:Historical activities|Engelson]] [[Category:Prominent members|Engelson]] [[Category:Publications|Engelson]] [[Category:People and organizations|Engelson]] [[Category:Engineers|Engelson]] [[Category:Corporations|Engelson]] [[Category:Government|Engelson]] [[Category:Universities|Engelson]]
 
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Revision as of 17:50, 9 May 2014

Contents

About Irving Engelson

Dr. Irving Engelson, a native of Lithuania,  moved to the United States after the Second World War. After briefly serving in the US Army,  Engelson took a position with RCA, most notably as a teacher at the RCA Institute. After he completed his education he taught briefly in colleges in New Jersey, before taking up a position as an engineering Dean at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He later transitioned from academia to several administrative positions at the IEEE including Director for Technical Activities and Managing Director for Corporate Activities. He then went on to become Region One Director of the IEEE and President of the IEEE Engineering Management Society, before he oversaw its transformation into the IEEE Engineering Management Council.  In this interview, Engelson describes his long career and close association with the IEEE,, peppering the interview with reviews of his interactions with important personalities in the world of engineering, including Alfred Goldsmith, his mentor while at RCA. Among the many interesting details he contributes through this interview are reflections on the composition and management of governing bodies at the IEEE, including the details of everyday management and the membership of professional societies. He also reflects on the conflicts that emerge from running such a huge body as the IEEE in an increasingly interconnected and globalized world.

About the Interview

Dr. Irving Engelson, An Interview Conducted by Sheldon Hochheiser, IEEE History Center, July 1, 2009

Interview #507 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:

Dr. Irving Engelson, an oral history conducted in 2009 by Sheldon Hochheiser, IEEE History Center, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.


Interview

INTERVIEWEE: Irving Engelson

INTERVIEWER: Sheldon Hochheiser

DATE: 1 July 2009

PLACE: Piscataway, NJ

Education and Early Life

Hochheiser:

Good afternoon. It's July 1st, 2009. I'm here at IEEE headquarters in Piscataway, NJ with Dr. Irving Engelson.

Engelson:

I'm pleased to be here.

Hochheiser:

Delighted to have you here. As I said when we talked earlier, while the focus is going to be on IEEE, I do want to ask you some questions about your life and career to put things in context. So, if we could go on, if we could start—where were you born and raised?

Engelson:

I was born in Poland in a city that is now the capital of Lithuania and is now called Vilnius. I’m a Holocaust survivor. I survived the war under German occupation. My whole family was saved by Polish Catholic friends of the family who risked their lives and protected us. So, my story is similar but with a lot happier ending than what’s her name in the Netherlands.

Hochheiser:

Anne Frank.

Engelson:

Yes, Anne Frank. Then my family we came to the States after the war. From 1946 we were in Germany in displaced persons camps, and from there I went to Switzerland to study, and my parents and brother came here to the United States. I joined them later in America, and joined the US Army during the Korean War and served as a U.S. Army soldier. Because I was always interested in languages and also studied languages, I passed various tests in the service and I was classified as a linguist in addition to being a field wireman, because I became a junior engineer when I arrived from Switzerland and worked for a company in New York City. So, they also classified me as a field wireman working with telephones in the Army, but also as a linguist. At that time the army needed linguists so they shipped me back to Europe as a linguist with the U.S. Army. When I came back from Europe, thanks to the GI Bill of Rights, I continued my education. I worked full-time, and went to school almost full-time and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. It was a very well known and prestigious engineering school. It is now part of NYU.

Later on I continued working full time and made a Master’s Degree in electrical engineering at Rutgers University. By then I was married with two daughters, so I kept working: full time teaching and also went for a PhD. I received an NSF faculty fellowship, which helped, and I got my PhD at WPI, Worcester Polytechnic Institute. I did some teaching at what was then called Trenton Junior College. It was a junior college in Trenton, New Jersey, and from there I went and became an associate professor and assistant dean at what was then Newark College of Engineering and is now called New Jersey Institute of Technology. From there I was hired and went to the University of Nebraska. No, my accent is obviously not the midwestern speech. For people who are listening to me please don’t be confused. My accent has elements of the seven languages that I speak. At the university I was promoted to full professor, and became the dean of the College of Engineering and Technology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and concurrently an associate dean of the College of Engineering and Technology at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. Later in 1978 I had a phone call and I was recruited to come to work for IEEE . I joined IEEE as a staff person in New York City in December of 1978.

Hochheiser:

If we can just back up a bit. What did you study in Switzerland when you went back to school there?

Engelson:

Both electrical engineering and education and philosophy. It was all in French, a language that I had to learn concurrently with the other subjects.

Hochheiser:

Had you always been interested in engineering, and gadgets, and science, and things like that as a kid?

Engelson:

Well, as a kid I was interested in surviving, since sixty members of my family were killed – including grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins. But after the war as a young kid, I became interested in math and science. I took a course in Morse Code and this led me into the electrical area and developed my interest in that field.

Hochheiser:

When did you first join IEEE, or rather one of its predecessors?

Engelson:

Well, I joined the IRE, the Institute of Radio Engineers, which is a predecessor of IEEE. As you know IEEE was created as a merger of the AIEE, the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, which started a little bit before my time, I think in 1884, and the IRE in 1963. But I joined the IRE as a student in 1955.

Hochheiser:

While you were a student at Brooklyn Poly ?

Engelson:

No, actually there was a school that was owned by RCA called the RCA Institute. David Sarnoff was an alumnus of that school. I started studying there first, and they had a student branch of the IRE. And I joined the IRE and later on this was very fortuitous for me.

Work for the Radio Corporation of America (RCA)

Engelson:

I was hired, by RCA and worked at RCA. And I went to Brooklyn Poly part-time although it was almost on a full-time schedule while working for RCA. This is where I met Dr. Alfred N. Goldsmith who was one of the three people who organized the IRE in 1912/1913, and he took me under his wings, and he became my mentor. I didn’t realize at the time how lucky I was having Dr. Goldsmith as my mentor. I took it sort of naturally. I was not very excited or impressed by this, but in retrospect, it was a tremendous opportunity. Anyone who knows anything about the IRE and the IEEE knows about Alfred N. Goldsmith. He was also the first editor-in-chief of the IEEE Proceedings. It was the IRE Proceedings initially.

He was also the editor and the chairman of the publications committee for the RCA Review, which was as I call it a poor man’s Bell Journal. The Bell Labs published a very highly technical journal called the Bell Labs Technical Journal. And there was this RCA Review, which was something similar, and Dr. Alfred N. Goldsmith was the leader of that particular journal. He brought me in to serve on the committee, and frankly in retrospect I don’t think I was qualified to be there because I was sitting with all the greats of RCA. And there I was, this young kid—young employee sitting with all the greats. I was brave enough or maybe dumb enough to ask questions and to speak up. And to my surprise they listened, which did not speak so much about what I had to say, but it speaks a lot about the fact that great people are very tolerant of young and inexperienced people, and they give them a chance to express themselves and to contribute. And this is a lesson for people in professions that as they get up the ladder they should be tolerant of younger people and give them an opportunity.

Hochheiser:

Where at RCA did you work? Were you on the staff at the RCA Institute?

Engelson:

Yes, I was on staff at the RCA Institute. I eventually became, an education director; the title was administrative dean. The RCA Institute was a highly professional school. They provided a regular four-year college type education in electrical or electronics engineering less the liberal arts. So if you strip from a regular baccalaureate program the liberal arts and you concentrate on the mathematics, physics and the technical areas you can accomplish it all in about 2.5 or 3 years. So, it was not like a community college with lower level subjects because the mathematics was based on differential and integral calculus and differential equations and high-level physics. It was an ECPD accredited program, and in fact Brooklyn Poly, at the time a leading school in New York City, gave full credit for the courses taken at RCA. So, this speaks of the equivalency. And so with this and some of the liberal arts that I had from prior education in Switzerland, I received advanced standing and could work full-time and completed my education at Brooklyn Poly on a part-time basis in about 2.5 years, while I took almost a full schedule of courses.

Hochheiser:

When did you leave RCA?

Engelson:

I left—well, actually, when I first came to the States I worked for several companies. One was called Induction Motors Corporation where I was in charge of designing test equipment to test special motors that we were building for the Navy. And I was also with the Austin Special Devices Division, which is another company. We were building control systems, but I left RCA in 1964.

Appointments in Academia

Engelson:

I decided since in Switzerland I also studied education and the history of education and pedagogical philosophy, maybe I should teach at a college. So I left RCA and I was hired as an associate professor at what was then the Trenton Junior College. Later it evolved into a community college here in New Jersey, called Middlesex Community College, which absorbed Trenton Junior College. But I left Trenton Junior in 1971 and was hired by Newark College of Engineering as an associate professor and assistant dean to develop a series of baccalaureate programs in engineering technology I was there until 1976 when I was recruited and then hired by the University of Nebraska, and from the University of Nebraska came to IEEE. This is when my last employment in academia.

Process of becoming involved with the IEEE

Hochheiser:

Can you say something about your involvement with IEEE over the years before you joined the staff?

Engelson:

Right.

Hochheiser:

Publications, conferences, working with student branches, in whatever ways you participated

Engelson:

Because Dr. Goldsmith was obviously very much involved with the IRE, my involvement was initially through the IRE. He encouraged me to attend IRE meetings and I helped him out in various ways in an informal capacity, not a formal capacity. So I was heavily involved, and then of course when the IEEE came about in 1963 I continued in the same way and often attended what used to the IRE conference called the IRE Show, which was held in the coliseum, what was called the New York City Coliseum, at what was the circle there?

Hochheiser:

Columbus Circle.

Engelson:

Yes Columbus Circle, and this is where we had an annual show, and I used to attend it regularly. It had a very excellent program with exhibits and lectures. I learned a lot there. Later on when I was with the universities and colleges I was involved with the student branches and encouraged students to join the IEEE and to be active. I acted as advisor in various ways to them. So, yes I was involved with IEEE and knew many of the IEEE people and they knew me. This is how it came about that when IEEE was looking for a staff person, I got a telephone call and the person who hired me was an individual by the name of Dr. Richard Emberson. We can talk about him later. He was initially the director for education, technical activities, and standards at IEEE. The three groups fell under one director with offices in New York City. Dr. Emberson was looking for someone to work with him, and someone who was active in IEEE mentioned my name, and so I had this telephone call and —

Hochheiser:

From Dick Emberson?

Engelson:

Well, the telephone call actually came from Neil Pundit who was temporarily director for technical activities, because Dick Emberson became the acting General Manager of IEEE, a job Dick Emberson didn’t want. He was the director of technical activities, educational and standards, and particularly liked technical activities. This is what he was doing at the IRE, and this was his love and commitment. But IEEE needed a new General Manager because the person right before him was a person by the name of [Judd] Schulke. Schulke was hired and he was General Manager for two years or so. He was a retired U.S. army general, and when he arrived here, so the story goes, meaning to IEEE, not here in Piscataway.

Hochheiser:

Right, IEEE was in New York.

Engelson:

And when he arrived (speaking to many of the staff people later on about the Schulke years), he instituted in IEEE what sounded to him the logical thing to do, a military type discipline, having been a general most of his life. And in fact he designed a special blazer, a uniform that he expected everyone to wear. And as a matter of fact, one of our people, Tommy Bartlett, who—which is another story, a success story, because he became the Chief Financial Manager of IEEE.—Tommy, who retired from IEEE, had this jacket until recently. Maybe he still has the jacket that Schulke developed. But the conclusion was that General Schulke and the IEEE volunteers and staff decided that it would be best if he was doing other things. And he also felt that he was in the wrong place. He came from the military and the IEEE environment was not what he was used to.

So, they came to Dr. Emberson, to Dick Emberson, and asked him to take over temporarily the position of General Manager. Dr. Emberson didn’t like the idea. He wanted to work with the technical people. He did not want all this administrative work; he resisted it. So the volunteer leaders said okay we’ll appoint you as a temporary acting General Manager and eventually when we get someone more permanent we’ll let you go back doing what you want to do. So, during this interim they had Dr. Pundit. They got him in to fill in temporarily while Dick Emberson was waiting to be released from his temporary duties that he didn’t like. So, it was Dr. Pundit who called me in my office at the University of Nebraska. But this was at the recommendation of someone else in IEEE who talked to Emberson. They were looking for someone to come to IEEE, and so Pundit called me at Emberson’s request. Later Emberson spoke with me. At that time the IEEE Executive Committee had made Dick’s position as General Manager permanent but by that time he was already planning to retire.

In 1978 Eric Herz was the vice president for technical activities. He was a volunteer at that time. He got also involved in my case because it was related to technical activities. I had a call from Eric Herz who called my home in Omaha, Nebraska and spoke with me. It was a mini interview over the phone by a volunteer. He was a volunteer, and he interviewed me. It wasn’t formally an interview, but it was obvious that it was an interview. He had that conversation with me and gave Dick Emberson the stamp of approval. But while I’m speaking about Dr. Emberson I should mention he was one of the most devoted people to the IRE and the IEEE, that I’ve ever known. He was also a genius. This man was a genius. He grew up I believe in Kansas and was walking five miles as a child to go to school, walking five miles one way and five miles the other way. By the age of 18 he had his PhD in physics; when other kids were still struggling graduating from high school, he had his PhD in physics. I believe that my recollection, what I understood, is correct that it was at the age of 18. But you probably have in the History Center more detailed information, but I believe this is the case.


So, he was a genius, but he was also a very practical, down-to-earth kind of person having grown up on a farm where you have to be very practical. So he found his niche, and he wanted to remain in technical activities. The Board of Directors was looking for someone more permanent as a long term General Manager, but they couldn’t find one. And they thought that Dick Emberson certainly can do the job. So, they put him in a position where he couldn't refuse, and essentially they forced him to become the permanently General Manager rather than being Acting General Manager as he agreed to because. He realized they wouldn’t let him go back to be the director for technical activities. And this is where they started looking for—this was after one year because he—he took his acting position in ’77 and by ’78 when he was there already, — they gave him sort of marching orders. They realized that they had to find a replacement for him in technical activities. Dr. Pundit was there only on a temporary basis. He was not hired to be the program’s replacement for Dick Emberson. In fact, when he was hired, it was clear that Dr. Emberson would be coming back. So at this point they said, look, we have to look for someone permanent, and this is where they approached me. So, when I first came, Dr. Pundit was still technically the Director for Technical Activities. And I was given the position of Manager of Committees and Special Projects.

Hochheiser:

I saw that in the documents.

Engelson:

Right, so this was—this was my position, and then in January—I came in December 2008.

Hochheiser:

1978.

Engelson:

I keep on saying 2008; keep on correcting me. Okay, that’s good.

Hochheiser:

You know I’m paying attention.

Engelson:

Good, this is what I used to tell my students when I used to make a mistake and they would say, oh, Dr. Engelson you made a mistake. This is on the blackboard, and my response was usually, well, I always make an occasional mistake just to make sure that you guys are awake and not asleep. But, no, this would not work with you, right, by saying that I made the mistake just to check if you’re paying attention. But in January or in the beginning of 1979, Eric Herz came to become General Manager. In ’78 he was as I said Vice-President of Technical Activities.

Hochheiser:

Right.

Engelson:

The President of IEEE was a fellow by the name of Hogan, Lester Hogan, and the story goes that Dr. Hogan said that Eric Herz is the proper person for the job because he’s dumb enough to take it and smart enough to be able to do it. And if you talk to Eric, he’ll probably confirm that this is true because it’s not an easy job. So, by the time around November or October when they started recruiting me, Eric Herz already knew that he was the heir apparent, that he will come over as General Manager because Dick Emberson is retiring. And so this is why he called me and talked to me. I didn’t know at the time that he would become the General Manager, but he talked to me because he realized that I’d be essentially taking over what Dick Emberson used to do, in the technical activities area, while he was going to take over what Dick Emberson was doing as General Manager. So, this is how I wound up in IEEE.

Transitioning from Academia to the IEEE

Hochheiser:

What led you to take the position? You’re building up a career in academics —

Engelson:

Yes.

Hochheiser:

— and now you’re shifting to something else.


Engelson:

That’s a very good question; there were a number of things. First, my parents lived in New York, and they were elderly. I have one brother, a younger brother who lived in Oregon. He still lives there. He became a General Manager at a company called Tektronix. He was the General Manager of the Division of Instrumentation there. And so he was there, and I was in Nebraska. And my wife did not like the Nebraska weather. The winters are very bad. I have two daughters, and daughter number one, the older one, Iris, was about to graduate high school in Nebraska. She was ready to go to college. She went to Princeton. When we consulted with the children, she said I don’t care where you go to. You know, I’m going to college, and I can visit you no matter where you are. The younger one, Delia, was finishing tenth grade at the time, and she was very unhappy with my move. She became a mid-westerner. Originally, we lived in New Jersey, but we thought if I come back to New Jersey, in Edison, New Jersey, she will still have some of her old friends and so on. We’ll be close to my parents. My wife will not be complaining about the weather in Nebraska, and besides as the dean of the college I was doing administrative work.

I used to teach one course per year or per semester just to keep in touch with students, but most of my work was administrative work, attending meetings concerned with budgets, concerned with schedules and so on. So while my rank was full professor, I was really doing administrative work rather than professorial work. The professorial grade was a necessary pre-requisite to be a dean, but I was not doing what professors normally do. So I saw this job not much different from what I was doing before. I was doing administrative work running a college, having faculties, staff and so on, concerned about budgeting, concerned about interfaces with governmental agencies. So, I did not see this as a major discontinuity, and I knew many of the people who were involved with IEEE. It was a smooth, seamless kind of transition for me.

Work as Director for Technical Activities

Hochheiser:

So you arrived here in December of ’78?

Engelson:

Yes, I started mid-December of ’78.

Hochheiser:

Let’s see, had Eric started yet?

Engelson:

Eric started in January of ’79.

Hochheiser:

That’s what I thought. So you beat him here by a couple of weeks.

Engelson:

Well, maybe by ten days or something, that’s right.

Hochheiser:

And now Dr. Pundit was still here when you started?

Engelson:

Right, still here when I started. He knew that he’d be looking for something else. So I was there for about maybe around six months or what have you until he left. I don’t remember where he went to. This is when I was at first appointed Acting Director for Technical Activities and moved into what used to be Dick Emberson’s office in New York in the engineering building. The engineering or collective organizations had a building there. I was in an acting position under Eric. And about six or eight months later Eric apparently consulted with the people in the Technical Activities Board, with the Board of Directors and so on. At that point they knew me already, and so they appointed me to the regular position as the Director for Technical Activities.

Hochheiser:

And then you held that position for your entire tenure here, is that correct?

Engelson:

No, I held that position until 19—I have to be careful what the year is now, right?

Hochheiser:

That’s okay. We can always go back and edit it.

Engelson:

Until 1993.

Hochheiser:

Right.

Engelson:

Now, what happened in 1993—we have to go through a little of the history.

Hochheiser:

Right. So it’s now the middle of 1979. You now are in the position.

Engelson:

I was up to 1993 in that position. I also moved the whole department from New York to Piscataway. In the meantime, but I was still the Director for Technical Activities, and I also hired several Executive Directors for societies. One of the directors that I hired was a gentleman by the name of Robert Wangemann for LEOS, the Laser and Electro-Optics Society, (which has changed its name now. They call themselves the Photonics Society.) They approached me because I helped them negotiate and start a new journal on electro-optical devices jointly with OSA, the Optical Society of America. So, they knew me. They concluded that they need an Executive Director to help them run their activity. And because I was the Director for Technical Activities for the IEEE, it was clear that that person would be working under me. He would be part of my staff but with the title of Executive Director for LEOS. But they gave me very difficult requirements. They wanted that person to be a professional in their field who knows the laser and electro-optics business and also has a PhD and good administrative experience.

[Tape stops, then resumes; some of the conversation was not recorded]

Hochheiser:

So you were talking about hiring a director for LEOS.

Engelson:

As I said they had very special requirements. They wanted a professional in the area of laser and electro-optics. They also wanted someone who has a PhD in the field so they can relate to that individual collegially and visa versa, and also one who has strong administrative experience. I advertised and reviewed many applications and so on. And eventually I identified an excellent person for them by the name of Bob Wangemann. Dr. Wangemann was a recently retired colonel of the U.S. Army where he was in charge of doing laser research and laser work. And in fact during the U.S. bicentennial while he was still in the Army, it was his project, or his job to have arranged a laser show in Washington, DC over Lincoln’s monument and whatever. There was a big laser show during the bicentennial, and Dr. Wangemann is the one who did it.

So I interviewed him, and there was a committee from LEOS that also interviewed him. And we hired Bob Wangemann to become the Executive Director of LEOS, and he did a great job. Contrary to some of the issues and philosophies that were faced by General Schulke who was used to running things as a military general in a military form, this is not a criticism just an observation because this is where he spent most of his life, while Bob Wangemann retired officially from the Army as a full colonel but he was—his job was mostly as a scientist in the laser area. So, primarily he was a scientist and a laser expert and not a military person per se although he was military. And consequently he fit in very well with the LEOS constituency as a professional.

Relationship with Eric Herz

Engelson:

Following Dr. Emberson as Executive Director and General Manager, Eric Herz took over. And as I mentioned, I came in late December 1978, and Eric came immediately in January of 1979. IEEE even then was a very generous employer, and even though he came aboard as an employee, he immediately in 1979 began the first day off as a holiday on January 1 so just to show you the generosity of IEEE to employees that even though he didn’t work yet and already he started off with a day off. This is my humor. But he did start officially on January 1 but showed up in the office on January 2nd. And of course Eric knew the IEEE well because he spent many years before as volunteer and as a Director on the IEEE Board, and right prior to this, as I mentioned it earlier, he was the Vice President for Technical Activities.

Hochheiser:

I imagine you worked very closely with Eric over the years.

Engelson:

Yes, I worked with him very, very closely, and—and he was—I would call him my mentor here in IEEE. He ran a committee of top administrators, and I served under him. I was fortunate that when Dick Emberson hired me, Eric Herz while being Vice President called me in Nebraska and had a little discussion with me. In retrospect I think it was an interview, and he gave Dick Emberson the seal of approval because at that time he already knew and Dick Emberson probably knew, that Eric Herz was going to take over as General Manager. It was not announced, but he knew this and Dick knew. So, I guess Dick Emberson, wanted to make sure that his incoming replacement would approve of my being here. This was good also for me later because I knew that I had Eric’s support in being here and as the Bible says about Joseph in Egypt — And a Pharaoh arose in Egypt that didn’t know Joseph. When Joseph was in the court, in the royal court of Pharaoh, he was a big man and a great leader. And then a new Pharaoh arose, and he got into trouble. So when you get a new boss, you never know how it will work out. It was fortunate for me, that before I arrived it already had the approval of what became my future boss, even though I didn’t know at the time that I was hired that this was going to happen. But what I started saying also is about the dichotomy—when we’re talking about the General Manager, we no longer have a General Manager in IEEE. Right now the chief staff officer is called “Executive Director.”

Hochheiser:

Right.

Engelson:

General Managers prior to this title change including Eric Herz had the title of General Manager, and they were also annually elected by the Assembly as Executive Directors and served on the Board in this capacity. When Eric planned his retirement he continued as Executive Director while another fellow by the name of John Powers was named General Manager.

Composition and Roles of IEEE Management Bodies and Functionaries

Engelson:

The chief staff officer’s title was General Manager, and it was the Executive Committee of IEEE that hired or named the General Managers. We don’t have any more an Executive Committee, last year the Board eliminated the Executive Committee. So, until 2008 there was a Board of Directors and an Executive Committee. The Executive Committee was composed of the president of IEEE, the immediate past president, the president-elect, the secretary, the treasurer, and the various vice presidents, including the president of IEEE-USA who is like a vice president. Okay, so this was the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee was the group that hired the General Manager. So, the three presidents, or the three P’s - president, past president and the president-elect - were actively involved in hiring the General Manager. Of course, a person serves only three years in a presidential position because the person serves one year as president-elect, then one year as president, then one year as past president. So, it’s a three-year commitment, and after three years there was no one of the presidents that were part of the hiring process of the sitting General Manager if the General Manager was there more than three years. But the positions of the one, because the General Manager was not a member of the Board of Directors, he could sit in and listen to what’s happening, but he had no right to speak unless he was asked to three presidents were actively involved in hiring any new General Manager. Later speak or what have you. And the feeling was that it would be advantageous for the General Manager also to have a position on the Board in order to be able to formally interact with other Board members. But it could not be done because the person was not elected as a Director.

Now, on the board there are two types of directors. There are ten division directors and ten region directors who are elected by their respective constituencies. These are members from the societies within the division who elect a division director and also members of the various regions who elect a region director. And there are a number of officers, like Vice President of Publications, for example, or Vice President of Regional Activities, now called Member and Geographic Activities, MGA, the Geographic Board. These people are elected by what is called the Assembly. The Assembly is a subset of the Board of Director composed of the ten region directors, ten division directors who were in turn elected by the membership, and the three presidents, president-elect, past president and current president, who are also elected by the membership. So the Assembly is composed of 23 people, all of whom are or were elected directly by specified member constituencies.

When these people are sitting as the Assembly, their title is delegate. When the same people sit on the Board of Directors, their title is Director so that the 23 delegates become 23 directors when they sit on the Board of Directors, but there are also other directors who are not delegates. Now, when they serve on the Board as Directors, their obligation is to represent IEEE as a whole. They do not represent any one particular constituency. In a sense, and this is my way of describing it, that when a director walks into the boardroom as a member of the Board, he or she has to leave their passports and their birth certificates behind. When they’re walking into the Assembly, they have to bring their documentation because they represent that particular constituency. So when I was Region One Director, when I was on the Assembly as a delegate, as Region One delegate, my responsibility was to represent the members of Region One. When I was sitting on the Board of Directors, my obligation was to represent all of IEEE.

Hochheiser:

Right.

Engelson:

So what happened was that according to the bylaws and the agreement that a General Manager who was the chief staff officer was brought, or his or her name, it was always his because we didn’t have any women as General Managers (Presidents yes, but not General Managers) that particular individual’s name was brought before the Assembly. And in executive session, like all Assembly elections that take place, the Assembly elected that individual to be Executive Director. So, because the individual then was an Assembly-elected Director, that placed the individual as a member of the Board of Directors with all the rights of other board members, but because the individual was also a member of staff, chief staff officer, there is another bylaw that staff could not vote. So, the person could make motions, could second motions, could debate motions and amend the proposed amendments and so on, and could do everything that other directors do, but they couldn’t vote, but they were members of the board. And that had some advantages because the board viewed this person more in a collegial way because the Executive Director was a colleague director. And not only this but the individual was re-elected on an annual basis. The name came before the Assembly annually, and therefore it was known to everyone that that person has the approval of the Assembly.

Now, remember that there are only 23 people on the Assembly, and if 13 people were for him and 10 people were against him, that’s a majority, and the election passed. So, it doesn’t mean that everyone was necessarily for the individual. Theoretically you could have half minus one being against him, but it’s a democratic process, and if the majority said, yes, we are electing that individual as Executive Director, it is not unreasonable to say that that the Executive Director had the approval of the Assembly, obviously. But the difficult part for the Executive Director was probably—and I say probably because I was never Executive Director so I cannot claim that I know how they felt–but they had to be sitting outside of the Assembly room waiting to see what the outcome was. Did they elect him or not? Now, of course, usually the person was re-elected. If the Assembly were not to re-elect someone to be Executive Director, the person is still General Manager, but there is a certain message, which tells the General Manager, look many of these Directors who sit on the Assembly did not approve of you for whatever reason. Right, it could be political, it could be rational or irrational, but whatever it is, ultimately they did not approve of you. And if that were to happen there is a message to the guy, look you better start looking for another position because if it continues like this, maybe you’ll be told to look for another position. There’s a hint there when they do not elect the individual to be Executive Director.

Conflict between the roles of Executive Director and General Manager of the IEEE

Engelson:

So, that created problems at one point where there were some disputes or what have you. By the time we had Dan Sense who was hired as Executive Director, the president of IEEE was a gentleman by the name of Wally Read. And Wally Read, who is a good friend, he’s a wonderful individual, this is on a personal level, he is from Newfoundland, Canada although when he was born it was independent of Canada. But Wally spoke with me and because there were some concerns in the past about some Executive Directors he asked how we can eliminate this thing where the assembly has to re-elect this person on an annual basis? Why can’t we have the General Manager sit on the board as a board member, and I explained to Wally, and I explained to others who talked to me that according to the rules to be a Director you have to be elected. You just cannot be a non-elected Director. Wally said, well, there are other organizations, the ASME, the American Society of Civil Engineers, Mechanical Engineers and others where their chief staff officer is called Executive Director. Their chief staff officer is not called General Manager. He only has one title, and in our case the individual had two titles, General Manager and Executive Director. Now, depending upon what he did, in some cases he acted as General Manager. In some cases he acted as Executive Director because the responsibilities were different.

And it’s like in a corporation sometimes things are not very clear, but the person is maybe CEO and President. Chief Executive Officer and President, and the question is what does the person do as President? What does the person do as Chief Executive Officer? And they have to define it, but here there was this conflict, and the conclusion was, well, first let’s get rid of the title General Manager, and we’ll fall into place with the other engineering organizations so let's call our chief officer Executive Director. I said, yes you can call him Executive Director. It’s no problem. We’ll need a bylaw change because I was consulted how we can do it legally. It’s no problem, but that person cannot be on the Board and the question that some people asked me, why can’t he be on the Board? I said, well, he may have the title Executive Director but he is not a director because to sit on the Board as a Director he has to be elected by the Assembly representing the members. And they said, yeah, but we don’t want him to have to stand for re-election on an annual basis. It’s too much pressure, too much whatever. So, the conclusion was, look, just call him Executive Director, and eliminate the requirement for elections. That person then is not a member of the Board but he can attend Board meetings and by courtesy of the President who presides over meetings, the President can give him an opportunity to speak. And if he wants to speak, I am sure that the President will honor his request because if the President of the board doesn’t want to listen to what the chief staff executive officer wants to say, then the Executive Director may have a real problem, Now some people feel that they like it, and others who remember the history of how it came about, may feel that they don’t like it because the Assembly then lost this, power. And they said, look, what is happening here is that the Executive Committee who hired the General Manager has all the power and control but we, the Assembly, the people who were elected by the membership don’t have a say. And this is where the debate started that the Executive Committee is taking on more powers


[End of Tape 1; begin Tape 2.]

Conflicts between Decision-making Bodies at the IEEE

Engelson:

So, as I was saying there were concerns that if the Assembly doesn’t have a say anymore over the General Manager/Executive Director, the people who—the officers, the directors that were elected by the membership, don’t have a say over the future of the Executive Director, General Manager, and that individual is hired by the Executive Committee. And the Executive Committee has the three presidents who are also on the Assembly as delegates but the ten division directors and ten region directors are not involved because they’re not part of the Executive Committee. So, the Executive Committee has powers, which go beyond what the Board has. And not only this, the Executive Committee has taken on itself other powers and doing things, which the Board was unhappy with. So, there was an accumulation of concerns about the powers of the board and the powers of the three presidents, which they call themselves the three P’s, and they took on certain responsibilities. The ten division directors and the ten regional directors were unhappy —there was a lot of other unhappiness. The conclusion was, look — ultimately the Board of Directors is the one that is empowered on behalf of the membership to make the decisions. And when you have an Executive Committee or other group that becomes so powerful that they are making decisions without consulting the Board of Directors, this is bad.

And there was a debate about how to do it, maybe establishing an operating committee, which would report to the Board and not having an Executive Committee. And the conclusion was as the poet said, “A rose by any other name smells just as sweet.” If you don’t have an Executive Committee, but you have something you call an operating committee, and if the powers and responsibilities are basically the same, then it’s an Executive Committee by another name, and there is no need for an Executive Committee. So, last year in 2008, the Board of Directors voted to eliminate the Executive Committee, and this is the first year that there continues to be an IEEE Board of Directors, but it doesn’t have an Executive Committee. And consequently, the Executive Directors and other decisions of hiring or other important decisions that used to be made by the Executive Committee, now become the responsibility of the Board of Directors. So, this is some of the historical, political, emotional, organizational issues that evolved to where we are right now in terms of the board, the Executive Director, and the General Manager. But going back to the early days of 1979 —

Hochheiser:

Yes, I was about to ask you if you could circle back.

Appointment of John Powers as General Manager and Executive Director

Engelson:

1979. This is when Dick Emberson retired and the Assembly elected him to be Director Emeritus. Again, he had to be elected by the Assembly because if he’s a director—well there are two types of directors emeriti, you can have the title Director Emeritus, a title that the board can confer on you but you’re not a member of the board. But if you’re a Director Emeritus and you sit on the board and therefore you have all the rights of Board members but without a vote in this particular case, then it has to be elected by the Assembly, so Dick Emberson just like past Directors Emeriti like Donald Fink were and Eric Herz right now were elected—by the Assembly. So when Eric Herz became General Manager, the Assembly elected him as Executive Director, and they kept on re-electing him on an annual basis. Eric Herz was planning to retire in 1993, because he reached the age of 65 in 1993. So they started looking for a replacement for Eric Herz, and they identified a fellow by the name of John Powers. John Powers was a past president of a society and he had some credentials, and they were in a hurry. And they hired John Powers and he became General Manager. I don’t recall if he became Executive Director immediately or maybe not, but the feeling was, I believe, that they didn't have time to make an exhaustive search.

And they hired him as a stop gap measure until they’ll have someone more permanent. Now, John Powers on the other hand also realized that he does not, I think he realized, I’m saying it based upon the decisions that he made and judgments that he displayed rather than what he said, that he needed some strong assistance with the corporate activities, how to run the corporation, that he was not as familiar with as he should be. So when he assumed the position in 1993, there were lots of little staff groups that were part of corporate activity. So he centralized some of it, and there was more centralization later. And he asked me, I was at the time staff director for technical activities. (Right now the head of technical activities has the title is Managing Director, but at that time there were no Managing Directors.) But I was appointed Staff Director for Corporate Activities, and I was in charge of several departments, which are important in support of the Board of Directors and also to the then General Manager. So, I could help him out with what was needed, but at the same time there was a search for a more permanent General Manager.

Hochheiser:

Was there a feeling that Powers was not working out?

Engelson:

Well, he was sort of hired quickly as the stop gap staff measure after Eric Herz, and I think the Board felt that he did not quite have the qualifications that they wanted. But they needed someone in a hurry, and I believe, I cannot speak for the Board —

Hochheiser:

[interposing] Obviously, I’m asking you for your observations.

Engelson:

Yes, I think the conclusion was we don’t see him as a long-term General Manager, but if the choice is between not having one and waiting for a couple of years or having one, let’s put him in for a little while, which they did. And eventually, by the end of ’94, which was maybe a year and a half after he was General Manager, John himself decided that he really didn’t want that particular job, that it was a bad fit. It didn’t fit from both sides. He felt that the job was not exactly what he expected it to be, and it did not meet his hopes and requirements, and I think that the same thing happened on the Board’s side. So, John Powers resigned.

Other Appointments to IEEE Management

Engelson:

So, now again we wind up with a situation where we don’t have a General Manager, and this time they said, well, we have to take our time. We don’t want to keep on hiring stop-gap General Managers for a year or two. We want something more permanent, but in the mean time, how do we run IEEE? We need someone who is in charge of the staff, and we need an Executive Director and so on. So, they came up with a solution. And they said what we’ll do is, we know one person on the staff who is familiar with all the business aspects of IEEE. And that particular person has the title is staff executive, and this is Dick Schwartz. I don’t know if you met Dick.

Hochheiser:

I have met him a couple of times. He is still very much here.

Engelson:

Right, he is here. So, they said let’s appoint Dick temporarily as acting General Manager. And he is a logical person because he is in charge of all the finances and all the administrative work, and this is basically what drives an organization. So, we’ll appoint him to run that part of the activity, but we will need someone to interface with the board. And Dick traditionally has not been interfacing with the board. So, we need someone who can act as Executive Director. There was still an Executive Director position at that time to interface with the board, but there wasn’t any individual by this title. Eric Herz was retiring, and he became Director Emeritus. Well, we had a past director of the board, a volunteer, who has been around a long time, and very—a very active individual who served on various committees by the name of Ted Hissey. Theodore Hissey. And so they decided let’s ask Ted Hissey since he’s a volunteer and fully qualified to sit on the board to take on the Executive Directorship for the time being that Dick Schwarz is acting General Manager. And it was agreed, and the Assembly elected Ted to be Executive Director. And since they have to re-elect him every year, they figured they’ll keep on re-electing him until they find the permanent individual. So, this is what happened. Now, when Dick Schwartz took over as acting General Manager, and they never planned for him to be a regular General Manager, they realized again that, yes, we have Ted Hissey who was a volunteer. He’d be interfacing with the board. But Dick Schwarz, being the General Manager in charge of staff, realized that he also needs someone whom he can rely on interfacing with the corporate structure a little bit better. And since he knew me because we were colleagues, and I was staff director for corporate activities at the time, it was Dick who changed my title and gave me essentially a promotion to Managing Director, and combined several of the areas that were floating around into a more major directorship, if you wish, the corporate directorship that I was running.

Now, going back a few years, when I took on the job, when John Powers arrived, and I became Staff Director for Corporate Activities, he took me out of the technical activities area and put me in corporate activities. But this created a vacancy in the technical activities area, and the Technical Activities Board was very much involved as to whom they want in that position. They wanted a colleague that they could rely on who is technically qualified and so on. They had their criteria, and because I had a very good relationship with all of these people, they also consulted with me and said, hey Irv, now that you are pulled out from technical activities, whom do you recommend should take over your job. And I said, well, the only one who is very familiar with what I was doing and worked closely with me and is qualified is Bob Wangemann, Dr. Wangemann, whom I hired as Executive Director for LEOS. So, they agreed, and they made an offer to Bob Wangemann. Then Wangemann accepted, and I told Bob, look, you take the job and I’ll be glad to help you out with anything you need and so on. And Dr. Wangemann was appointed staff director for technical activities. At that point there was a vacancy created in LEOS because Bob Wangemann was the Executive Director for LEOS, the Laser and Electro-Optics Society. Well, the editor of a journal that I helped with in LEOS was a fellow by the name of Paul Shumate, Dr. Shumate, who was a volunteer for many years and worked in industry and so on, and we very quickly agreed that Paul, because he was involved with the publications area, he used to come here to the office quite often, and he knew everyone. The result was that Paul should take over for Bob Wangemann, and the LEOS people fully agreed because they knew him. So, Paul Shumate became the Executive Director for LEOS, and he continued until a few years ago when he retired.. Then they had someone in between, and now there is a new person because the other one also retired. Bob Wangemann took over as staff director of technical activities, and unfortunately he became ill, and he passed away. And this is when Mary Ward-Callan who is the current [Managing Director for Technical Activities]; you see the title was changed to Managing Director under Senese.

Change of Titles of IEEE Management Functionaries

Engelson:

Under Senese, and I don’t know if this is a criticism or a laudatory comment, there was a great inflation of titles and positions. There were more directorships created under Dan Senese than ever before. Anyone, almost anyone— I’m exaggerating, whose title was Manager became a Director and those who were Directors, became Staff Directors. And some Staff Directors became Managing Directors, so it became this inflation. But anyway, this is how that happened. Dick Schwarz and Ted Hissey operated from about mid-1995 to mid-1996, when they hired Dan Senese. And when Dan Senese started and the Executive Committee realized the Executive Director issue, this is when the question came up that President Wally Read was concerned about the situation we had. We had one fellow by the name of John Powers, and with Assembly problems let’s clean it up so we don’t need a General Manager who will be reviewed on an annual basis by an Assembly that can act politically and capriciously. And it’s true, I was on the Assembly, and I acted maybe politically and capriciously on the Assembly. And so this is when we eliminated the title, of General Manager and made it into Executive Director. And Dan Senese became the Executive Director without being a Board member, and he continued until his retirement. I think for maybe a year or two he still was General Manager and Executive Director and then the GM title was eliminated.

Hochheiser:

The General Manager title was just dropped?

Engelson:

Just dropped. When Dan Senese retired in 2004, again there was a question—what do we do? We have to have a search, and it’s complicated. And the conclusion was we want something more permanent. We want a good search, and we’re not going to appoint this time anyone in an acting capacity because we keep on doing this thing continuously. So, the conclusion was that in 2005 the three P’s, past president, president and president-elect, will collectively act as a troika managing the activity of the Executive Director both for the staff and so on and they used to take turns and visit here. And things worked out, but then they started looking for a new Executive Director, and the feeling was that—look, Dan Senese was a technical person. He came from a technical area, and worked for Bellcore for a while.

Other Appointments to IEEE Management (Contd.)

Engelson:

And I know because the chairman, George H. Heilmeier, the president and CEO of Bellcore, is a friend of mine. He is retired now. I knew George. He came out of the RCA labs, and he was the person who developed, invented, what is known as the liquid crystal [display.]

Hochheiser:

Right, right, I’m familiar with that.

Engelson:

And then what happened was RCA congratulated him on this invention/development, but the leadership in RCA didn’t think that this had a great future so they didn’t do anything about it. The Japanese felt otherwise, and they developed it into a big industry. And George was not very happy that RCA ignored his invention so he left RCA and went to Texas Instruments, TI, and became the senior vice president for technology and development there. And later on when the Bell System collapsed and Bellcore got into trouble because they were an outfit that was supporting the Baby Bells providing them with research support and the Baby Bells didn’t give them any work because they were in competition with one another and they didn’t want to give work to the same outfit that does development work for the competitor because there could be some leakage of ideas. So, they hired George Hellmeier from TI to run it, and he was the first person that was hired who did not come from the telephone industry.

Dan Senese came also from the technical area and worked at Bellcore and worked in other areas and had some definite ideas about how to run organizations. And he thought that this would be a good place to try some of the ideas out. And some people when they started looking for a new person decided that maybe we should not—we don’t want a strong technical person. We want someone who is an administrator; I served on some committees at the time, and I was opposed to this idea. I thought that the chief staff officer of IEEE should be a technical person with a technical background—that if that person walks into the offices of the CEO of a major technical company, he should be able to talk technology as a colleague and while the person has administrative work and it’s true there is a story that when a good engineer gets promoted to management, the company loses a good engineer and gains a poor manager.

Hochheiser:

It’s two different skill sets.

Engelson:

Two skill sets.

Hochheiser:

Some people may have both.

Engelson:

However, we are an organization with 350 plus thousand members, and out of them if one-tenth of one percent have both skill sets, all we need is one, right?

Hochheiser:

Yes.

Engelson:

But they didn’t listen to me, and they hired Jeff Raynes, who was a good administrator, but he did not speak the language of technology. His body language was not that of technology, so there was a mismatch. When he was making presentations to the board, he was making very good presentations, but it was not packaged in the way that the audience understood or appreciated because technical people look at things in one way and other people look at things a different way. And it’s like if you say the right words but in the wrong language you can be misunderstood. So, there was some unhappiness about him, and he also realized that he came into an organization, he had worked for an organization before, but never for a bunch of engineers and technologists and physicists. And he realized that he can’t communicate with them, and they did speak a different language. So, he realized that this was bad mistake. He made a bad mistake in accepting the job, and I think IEEE made a mistake offering the job. The person who was chairing the committee was Arthur Winston who was a past president. He had a small committee called the presidential advisory committee. I was on it, and we used to meet in executive session and discuss many of these issues. And the conclusion was that the original decision, and Arthur was involved in hiring Raynes, was that these people who did not want a technical person made a mistake. They weren’t going to make the same mistake again.

So after Raynes left, again the presidents took over on a temporary basis, and they started looking. And Lew Terman , Dr. Terman was president last year, and he was involved, and he asked me, but I’m sure I was not the only one, if I could write out specifications—what kind of person they need, what kind of background and what kind of this and that. And I did. I was happy to see that when my two or three-page description was sent to him and the committee, they had a search firm and they translated it into legalese, but all my requirements were met. And I’m happy to say that Dr. Prendergast who is the current Executive Director and started on April 6th and when I saw his bio before he even signed his agreement, I said this is wonderful because it met all my specifications. And I hope that he will work out well. I haven’t met him yet. I have an appointment with him next week. We have about an hour where we’ll be getting together and talk. So, this is going around in circles, but we have someone who comes—he has industrial experience, he has educational experience and has administrative management experience. And I think that he has all of the prerequisites of what I think we need in an Executive Director. Now, this is in a nutshell the global history, but we spoke very little about the technical activities.

Hochheiser:

There were basically two areas I wanted to ask you about. One is its overall history. The second thing is I want to ask you about your career at IEEE. We haven’t done that yet.

Engelson:

I was anticipating that. Let’s start with the technical activities.

Hochheiser:

Please.

Work as Director for Technical Activities (Contd.)

Engelson:

It’s not what my career is but what I observed and witnessed and made a little contribution. The success of being a staff person partly is to be not too visible and work behind the scenes. I discovered this a long time ago, that you can accomplish a lot. And you can accomplish often most of the things that you want if you’re willing to let someone else take the credit for it. See, if you want to accomplish something, and you want to push it through and get the credit for it, it may not work. But if you let someone else take the credit for it, it more often than not does work, and you benefit also from it because that person knows that you fed him the idea. So, he knows it, and he appreciates it, right, and you let him get the credit for it. So, in a sense it’s a win/win situation. Right?

Anyway, when I came to technical activities initially, and when Eric took over, I told him my position was as Acting Director for Technical Activities, and I moved into the office that used to be Dick Emberson’s office as director of technical activities. And Dick used to come and visit me periodically and help me out and give me some ideas and so on, and this man, as I said, was a genius, and very knowledgeable and I really appreciated the fact that he tried to help me out. I understand, and I think that Eric told me this, that initially Eric wanted to very quickly finalize my position to be permanent. There were some volunteers who expressed concern that I was too mild-mannered, maybe not aggressive enough, and Eric told me that he told them — I don’t think that he wanted me to make it public, but after all these years I can say it. — But Eric told them, he said, don’t confuse politeness with assertiveness. And simply because Irv is polite doesn't mean that he cannot be assertive, and a few months later they came over and said “we dealt with Irv and you’re right. He can be assertive.”

So I became Director of Technical Activities and had a very good relationship with all my colleagues on the board, the volunteers because I had an industrial background and I interfaced with the RCA people and so on, and I had an academic background, so I knew all of this. And because I speak seven languages I could interface well on a global scale with volunteers from different places and different countries that I could address them sometimes in their own language and interface with them and know something about their history and so on. This was helpful.

Organization of IEEE Societies

Engelson:

The IEEE is divided in an over-simplified way into two worlds. There is the geographic world that we live in and the technical world. So, it’s like a person having dual citizenship. We carry our geographic passport, and some of us also carry a technical passport. Geographically, we are divided into ten regions, and each region elects a regional director who is selected by the voting members in this region. About 60%, and it varies up and down by a few percentage points, but about 60% of the IEEE membership belong to one or more societies, technical societies, because we have over 30 of them. They keep on changing. They grew since I left. By the time I left, the membership doubled in technical activities. As a matter of fact they gave me an illuminated plaque recognizing my contributions to it, but it grew even further. But, however, the numbers who belong to societies is approximately 60% plus/minus 5, which means that 40% of the membership belongs to no technical society but they are technical people. Otherwise why should they join IEEE? Some join IEEE, and there are very, very few of those because we have a good life insurance program. And they feel that they can pay the $100 or $150 in dues, and because they’re getting a very good life insurance policy, which is a lot lower in cost, if you add on the $100, $150 it’s still a bargain. This is why they join, but there are few of those.

Hochheiser:

Right.

Engelson:

But most of them are joining because they are technical people, and they don’t have a need to join a society because their employer may be subscribing to all the publications anyway. If they are in academia, the university library has all the publications so they don’t have to pay an additional fee to one, or two, or three, or five societies. So they get the publication by going to the library. Large corporations—you used to work with AT&T right and the library in AT&T and in other places had all the publications.

Hochheiser:

Yes, certainly the Bell Labs library had everything you could want.

Engelson:

Right, but some people subscribed and joined anyway maybe because out of loyalty to the profession, maybe because they wanted to be active in the technical activities of the particular society, which goes beyond getting the journal to interfacing with people that are like-minded. So, about 60% of the people belong to societies. Some time ago there were only seven technical divisions.

Hochheiser:

These are divisions? These are the groupings of societies.

Engelson:

The grouping of societies.

Hochheiser:

For representation on the Board.

Engelson:

Right, seven technical divisions who elected seven technical directors. So, percentage wise since only about 60% of the members belonged to the technical divisions, that sounded like it’s not a bad percentage, but there were complaints on the technical side of the house that, look, without the technical activities there is no IEEE. We need all of these other activities, but basically technical activities is the main raison d’etre why we created an IEEE, why we created an AIEE or an IRE, If we don’t have the technical activities, there’s no reason for this organization. And yet we don’t have that. By the time I arrived and became really active, we had eight divisions. But then there were still complaints that we need more divisions. For example, the computer society that had many, many members complained, why are we a single division with 80,000 members when other divisions have less than half of that and they have a division director? So, the conclusion was after debate, and discussion, and a lot of politicking, the bottom line was that we gave the computer society, by we, I don’t mean I, the board, the powers, gave them another division, and they made it so that they became a two-division society, which they are right now.

Hochheiser:

Right.

Engelson:

Division Three, which is now the communication society, which is a single society division or a single-division society, they had others in the division. For example, the information theory group was there because it’s related to information. But the Communications Society felt that they also deserved a stand-alone division so another division was created. So instead of having the nine divisions, another division was created. Now we have ten divisions, so we have ten regions and ten divisions and therefore ten regional directors and ten division directors. One could argue that there is parity. Well, the statistics change and the society memberships tend to drop a little because during difficult economic times people tend to drop; they don’t want to drop the Institute, the IEEE membership, so they maybe drop a society membership. But in my days about 60% of the members belonged to one or more society. On the average, a member that belonged to a society belonged to on average two societies. At one point it was 2.2, but let’s say two. So, if you take 60% of the members belonging on average to two societies, the number of society memberships, not individuals, but memberships is 120%. Therefore, if the technical memberships counting memberships is 120% of the number of IEEE members, and if the regions have ten directors, with their 100% memberships, clearly it depends upon what side of my trifocals I look through when I count the constituents. So we now have ten divisions. We have ten division directors and ten region directors. Now, in ‘82 to ‘83, the Vice President for Technical Activities was a gentleman who became a good friend, and was a professor in various schools, Joe Cruz, Jose B. Cruz, who became vice president technical activities. As a matter of fact, did you see the Awards reception this year? They were on IEEE TV.

Hochheiser:

No, I haven’t.

Engelson:

Joe Cruz received an award. But I wasn’t there. I looked at it at home. He was a wonderfully dedicated vice president of technical activities. And he and I had a very, very good relationship. He relied a lot on me, and he listened, and he helped, and we looked and I made a recommendation to him and he accepted it. This is one of those things where I said you can accomplish a lot more if you’ll get someone else to take the credit. The ten regions have names. For example, region one is called the Northeast and so region eight is Europe and whatever. Region ten is Asia and the Pacific Rim. They all have names.

Hochheiser:

Right.

Engelson:

So, if you have names, you see — Region nine is South America. Region seven is Canada. Now, if you go somewhere and say Region Seven, it’s just a number, but if you say Region Seven, Canada, you know what we’re talking about, right? Region Nine is central and south or Latin America. So right there you’re identifying something but here you have numbered divisions. The only difference is that for the regions they’re using Arabic numerals. For the divisions, we’re using Roman numerals. So, Region Ten is 10; division 10 is X Roman X, but it has no meaning. So, I was talking to Joe Cruz. I said, look, the way the divisions are grouped, and we can fine tune it if necessary, let’s group them in ways where there is some technical affinity between the societies and between the divisions. Now, at that time there were only had six divisions left to consider, because power engineering is Division Seven, one society, one division. Communications became Division Three; it is Division Three, right? Then they have two divisions for the Computer Society, so there were four divisions left, and we said, well, we can give them names. The two divisions for the Computer Society, we will call them Computers, Computer A, Computer B, They used to elect directors separately. We divided them, half of the people elected one director, half the people elected the other director. The conclusion was this is ridiculous. Let everyone elect and vote for two directors. Division Three was called the Communication Division.

Division Seven, which was the power engineering division. This is what I said to Joe Cruz, and we’ll call them Power and Energy Division. Last year they decided to change the name of the society, and they felt that Power and Energy was a better name. So, it’s still the same thing, but the Society changed from calling itself simply the Power Engineering Society to the Power and Energy Society, which was the name of the division that I initially suggested. So, Joe Cruz and I worked, and we named all the divisions. We gave them names. Four years ago someone reviewed this thing and said new societies have come about. And some societies moved from one division to another division, and they changed their fields of interest or what have you. The conclusion was that the technical cohesiveness that divisions used to have no longer exists. It still exists for the four divisions that are single-society divisions but not for the others. So, the conclusions was, let’s drop the division names. I didn’t like it because it’s like getting rid of one of my children, but the conclusion was, yes, let’s do it. And they did drop the names so now the divisions are without names. They said, well, we’ll make it optional. If you want to call yourselves still by a name, you can call yourselves. So, the computer society’s division still maintained the name. COMSOC maintains the name, and Power and Energy still maintains the name. But the others really dropped the names and only go by numbers. But the original naming was done with the help and under the leadership of Joe Cruz. He accomplished many other things.

Discussions of IEEE Management Personalities

Engelson:

Another division director, later vice president, was a gentleman who became good friends and our wives became good friends, was Don Bolle, B-o-l-l-e. Don at one time was a vice president at Brooklyn Poly and later on he went to another university in Pennsylvania. What is the school in—in Pennsylvania, in Allentown?

Hochheiser:

Lehigh?

Engelson:

Lehigh, right. He was also an officer at Lehigh and a professor. Don and I talked about strategic planning, because I was always interested in management because in RCA I was doing a lot of management, and then I was at the university, we had institutional research, an Office of Institutional Research and we didn’t have any here at IEEE. So, he said we need a strategic planning office or institutional research office. This had to be promoted at the board level. It had to be promoted at TAB. They had to fund it because ultimately it’s a budget thing. And Don agreed and he became the champion, and he pushed for it. And as a result of this, I opened an office for strategic planning, and I hired the first director or manager of strategic planning who reported to me. This was part of this large corporate directorship that I had, and eventually when the director left, after my retirement, what’s her name was hired?

Hochheiser:

Elena Gerstmann.

Engelson:

Right. I think that maybe she came to work for him for a while and then he left and she took over. She’s very good.

Hochheiser:

Yes, she is.

Engelson:

But this activity was moved out of corporate, and it is now under Matt Loeb.

Hochheiser:

Correct.

Engelson:

This activity, but this whole activity with what Matt Loeb is running and what Fern Katronetsky is running, I don’t know if you know Fern.

Hochheiser:

Yes, I report to Mike Gesolowitz, who is the director of the History Center. He reports to Fern. She reports to Matt.

Engelson:

Okay, and there’s also Julie Cozin who is the director who supports the board.

Hochheiser:

Okay.

Engelson:

Julie, I hired Julie. Fern worked for me. When I came to IEEE we were on the fourteenth floor in IEEE. She started working for IEEE a year or two earlier, and she worked for the educational activities department. We had offices on the same floor, and one time, one day, I remembered this young woman. Her name was not Fern Katronetsky then. It was Fern Cohen. She came and talked to me, she introduced herself. She worked for the education department, and she heard good things about the technical activities department, about me, and so on, and said if I have an opening, she’d like to come to work for me. So, very quickly I talked to her and I hired her, and she worked for me in technical activities. And then when I moved from technical activities to corporate, Fern and Julie, who is also a director now, decided that wherever thou goest I shall go – note my 2nd biblical quote. And they also came with me to corporate activities. Previously they moved with me from New York City to Piscataway. They moved with me, and did well. Well, the relationship between Michael Geselowitz and Fern is only because of the foundation, because Fern really doesn’t have any administrative say over the History Center activities. But administratively, it comes—money comes from the foundation, and she became the Executive Director for the foundation so there is this relationship. Fern is a very, very good person, very dedicated, very honest, and very committed.

Changing Nature Publications at the IEEE

Hochheiser:

Let me ask you about some of the major functions and technical activities and how they changed over your years of involvement. The first one I guess is probably publications. Were publications in any way different by the 90s than they were in the 70s?

Engelson:

Not really. Sure, the kinds of articles that are being published are different because the technology moves. They’re different in nature, but societies had journals and magazines. And they now have journals and magazines. There’s a large marketing activity right now that markets publications, of course. Right now we have also all the publications in [IEEE] Xplore, which is an electronic database and we didn't have it then because we had computers but we were not computerized. So the scope of the publication enterprise is a lot bigger. I did serve as an ex officio member of the Publications Board. So, I was heavily involved in publications. The head of the publications activity then in my days was a gentleman by the name of Woody Gannett.

Woody Gannett was a marvelous individual, and hard working. He was an IEEE member, and very knowledgeable in the publications field and did a great job. He was an electrical engineer by education. So, the scope, the distribution process changed substantially, but the basic things haven’t changed much. Every society, every council, has one or more publications, and they have their volunteers; the editor, the editor-in-chief with a lot of [other] editors. Of course the Publication Department has increased tremendously. And they’re helping out in the production and some of the editorial and layout work.. So, this changed a lot, but the basic concept has not really changed much.

Globalization and IEEE Membership Issues

Hochheiser:

How has the increasing globalization of IEEE since you but came on staff in the late 70s changed the organization?

Engelson:

This is a question that I am asked often or talked to about often, and the first thing is it’s a question of semantics. What do we mean by globalization? Unless we agree on a definition what we mean by globalization, then, how can we discuss it? I don’t know what globalization is.

[End of Tape 2, beginning of Tape 3]

Hochheiser:

Let me put it this way. When you joined the IEEE staff in 1978 the percentage of members from outside the United States was less than 20%. Today it’s getting darn close to 50/50.

Engelson:

Okay, all right. You see there are three issues here. Is IEEE an American organization? Is it a global organization? Is it a trans-national organization? Is it an international organization?

Hochheiser:

And has that changed over the years?

Engelson:

And has that changed over the years? Well, first of all I’m giving you—this is my personal biased view.

Hochheiser:

And that’s what I’m asking for.

Engelson:

We are not an international organization because the word “international” implies a joint venture of many nations. We’re not a joint venture of many nations. IEEE, and some people don’t like to hear that, is a U.S., an American, corporation. We’re incorporated in the State of New York, so we’re a U.S. corporation with a global membership. And we have to abide by all the laws and so forth of the United States. So, in that sense from a corporate point of view, we are an American organization but with a global or international membership. Now, there are questions, which are being raised right now that maybe since the United States has six regions and the rest of the world has four more because there are ten regions that maybe this is lopsided, that maybe now that we are approaching 50/50 should we have five regions in the United States and five regions elsewhere. Now, this implies, and I know you did not ask that question, but I’m raising it. This implies that the representation on the board should be proportional to membership. It turns out the IEEE like its predecessor, the AIEE, and less so the IRE, which were also American organizations, and the model that they used naturally is a U.S. type of model.

Now, in the United States we have a Congress, which is composed of two houses. One is called the House of Representatives. The other is called the Senate. The House of Representatives has a membership, which is more or less proportional to the number of citizens, but in the Senate every state has two senators. So the little State of Rhode Island has two senators, and the huge State of California has two senators, and the State of Texas has two senators, and it’s not proportional. So, are we like the House of Representatives in IEEE, everything should be proportional to membership? Or are we like the Senate where we identified certain groupings, and every grouping, every region has one regional director? Because when we go back to the time where you say when the ratio was 20% non-U.S. and 80% U.S. based on this we should have had eight regional directors from the U.S. and only two directors from the non-U.S. regions if the division was 20/80. But we didn’t, and—and why didn't we do it? Because it was not conceived to be based on membership, but it was based on regional differences and so on. And this is how it was based. So, in those days, the U.S. membership dominated by 80% the non-U.S., a minority membership of 20%, but they still had four regions. So, now when the crossover will happen, why should we all of the sudden decide that we are going to structure IEEE with a different algorithm, which is proportional to membership. And if we’re making it proportional to membership, Region Nine, which is Mexico, Central and South America, has very few members. And if we are going by this, what do they have under 10,000 members, 7,000 members, whatever.

Hochheiser:

I don’t know.

Engelson:

They have a small membership.

Hochheiser:

Right.

Engelson:

And if we were going to look at percentages, their membership is substantially, substantially less than 10%. They wouldn’t have at all a regional representation. So, therefore I think the trans-national nature or the global nature is in the fact that we do have people elected from other regions. Last year the vice president for technical activities was a gentleman, a professor, Dr. Roberto Boisson de Marca who is from Brazil. And percentage wise a very small number of members are in Brazil. But he was elected as vice president. And in fact he is one of three candidates in this year’s election for president of IEEE. Now, whether he will win or not, we don’t know, and I don’t think that people are voting ethnically or geographically right now in IEEE. I think they are selecting the best possible person, so we do have a trans-national membership, a global membership, and to answer your question. Yes, the number of leaders and activities outside of the United States has increased so we do feel that there is this increase. But to give a measure whether IEEE is more trans-national in 2009 than it was in 1979, we would have to define precisely what we mean by globalization, trans-nationalization before we can quantify it and answer the question. So, yes, I think we are. We have a greater outreach. We are operating in more countries now than we did before. We have an increasingly large membership in China. Certainly, the Indian membership is growing; Russia is growing but not as fast as some of the other countries even though they have capabilities. So, if this is what you mean by globalization—that more members and more leaders have an opportunity to participate from outside the United States, the answer is yes. We are becoming more global, more trans-national, more international.

Dynamics of Volunteer and Staff Membership at the IEEE

Hochheiser:

If I could go to a different sort of question. Earlier in your career you worked at a major corporation, RCA.

Engelson:

Yes.

Hochheiser:

You worked in several academic institutions, and then you came to IEEE. One of the things I’ve been noticing is that there’s different things about it because it’s a volunteer organization. The leaders, the heads, the ultimate authority is with the volunteers who tend to in many cases be a rotating cast of characters though there are some people who are active volunteers for many years. And then you’ve got this permanent staff.

Engelson:

Right.

Hochheiser:

And you having been on both sides of that table over the years —

Engelson:

First of all, there’s no such thing as a permanent staff.

Hochheiser:

Everybody retires.

Engelson:

There’s no tenure.

Hochheiser:

No, but you know what I mean. There are people like Fern who have been here over 30 years as staff members.

Engelson:

Right.

Hochheiser:

How does that shape the nature of this institution in ways different from other sorts of institutions where you worked where that’s not the case.

Engelson:

Well, IEEE is a volunteer-driven organization.

Hochheiser:

Right.

Engelson:

With a very capable staff whose charge is to implement the vision and the mission the volunteers are providing. And so there is this symbiotic relationship that the staff cannot function without the volunteers defining the direction, and the volunteers cannot function without having the staff to implement it. And the two go hand in hand. There is a partnership with different responsibilities, but ultimately it’s the Board of Directors that is composed of volunteers who legally have the fiduciary responsibility for the corporation known as IEEE Incorporated. That’s their responsibility. They have the legal responsibility, but we all have our individual roles. When I was a staff director for technical activities or managing director for corporate activities, there was also the relationship between me and my staff. And I viewed myself, taking a model from the musical world, a conductor. If you go to a concert, the conductor does not make the music. He sets the pace, but the various instrumentalists, the various musicians are playing the music. And they cannot play on their own without having the conductor with the baton setting the pace. So, they need the conductor and the conductor needs them and together they make music. And the same thing here where the volunteers on their own cannot do what the staff does and the staff cannot do without the volunteers. Yes, and I was on both sides of the fence, and one has to be very careful in realizing the differences because where one stands depends upon where one sits. By this I mean that the stand that one takes depends upon the position that one occupies. So, when I was a staff person, some of the stands that I took and some of the positions that I took depended upon and were driven by the position that I occupied on the staff. And I knew my limitations, and I knew my authority, and I had to balance the two not to overstep them. And the same thing as a volunteer. I’m a volunteer. Last year I was on the board. Before I was on the board, I served on the board also as a region director. I knew that I, as a board member, have the fiduciary responsibility together with the other board members to run the organization. But at the same time, I knew my limitations and also my limited obligations not to interfere with what staff is doing. So, for example, when I left technical activities

Hochheiser:

In 1993.

Engelson:

Right, and went to corporate activities, Bob Wangemann took over. I told Bob if he needed any help or any questions to come to see me, but I did not go there to check, and I did not go to criticize, because this was not my responsibility, and when I left corporate activities and retired.

Hochheiser:

And when was that?

Engelson:

When I retired? In 1996, and then I immediately went and was elected as Region One director. I didn’t come back exerting my dictatorial powers, especially since I knew what’s what and so on because I knew things as a staff person about what’s going on that the average volunteer doesn’t know. And I wanted to make very, very sure that I did not overstep that fine line and to do unto staff what I did not as a staff person want the volunteers to do unto me. So there is this fine line, and one has to—this is what I said where one stands depends upon where one sits. I keep reminding myself this, and therefore you have to play the role that you’re responsible for and not to at the same time—not to over blow the importance of your position because we all have our responsibilities, and as long as we do them properly, everything works. And we should not—we should not exaggerate the contributions or our importance because in the big scheme of things we are not as important as we may want to think we are.

Travel and Encounters with Important Personalities

Hochheiser:

True, true. How much travel did you do as a staff member?

Engelson:

Quite a bit. The vice presidents wanted me to accompany them to various places. For example a few years back we had a president and this was during my first year in corporate activities. The president was Martha Sloan. Martha was president in 1993, and I knew Martha before because she was president of the Computer Society and I was involved and so I knew her. Something interesting happened in 1993. We had a volunteer, he’s still very active, who came to me and said, hey, Irv, I discovered, or we discovered that Yeltsin, the head of the Soviet Union at the time, was by education an engineer. And I want you to work on it to make Yeltsin into an IEEE member. Now, it so happened that I had connections with Russia because I was the second foreigner to be elected an honorary member of the Russian Popov Society, which is like the equivalent of IEEE in Russia and part of the Academy of Sciences of Russia, which is very highly regarded. And honorary membership is the highest honor that they can bestow for anyone, and they elected me as the second foreigner. And I know the president, who is a good friend of mine. Yuri Gulyaev was under Yeltsin, a Member of Parliament, the Russian Parliament. So, I had some in. So, to make a long story short, we prepared a certificate and made Yeltsin a member here. But then we had to deliver the certificate to Yeltsin. And Martha Sloan said, “Irv, how about you making arrangements to go to Russia, and go to the Kremlin to deliver the certificate to Yeltsin.” This was my assignment. Talk about mission impossible.

So, I was in touch with my friend Academician Yuri Gulyaev who was also what in Russian is called Nerodny Deputat which is a national deputy, which is like a Congressman, under Yeltsin. And I told him what I wanted to accomplish, and he visited me several times in the United States, and slept in my home. He knows my family, and I was in his home. And because of his position there, he arranged for Martha and me to go to the Kremlin and go to Yeltsin’s office. And he wasn't there, but he sent a representative of one of his people to accept the certificate on his behalf, and we made him a member of IEEE. So—so, yes, I got to travel and to do those things, and because I’m also fluent in Russian, it helped. Sometimes I felt that I’m traveling too much. Because I used to come back and my neighbor used to say, oh, Irv, where were you now? And I would tell him and he said, oh, how exciting. And I said, look I want you to know that one trip most of the time one trip is the same thing as another trip. The road from the airport to the hotel is in most places the same no matter where you are. You have gas stations on the right and gas stations on the left, and then you arrive in the hotel and you have a meeting. And the meeting is in a big room with no windows, so you sit there for two days in a room with no windows. And then you hop into the cab and again gas stations on the left, gas stations on the right, and they bring you back to the airport and you fly back. I could have saved all of this travel, if we had the meeting in Piscataway. I wouldn’t have to do all this travel, but sometimes you do things and you get exposure. Yes, I did a lot of travel. I went around the world in fact, and met some very, very good friends, great luminaries of the profession that I would have never been able to meet if it was not for IEEE. One thing which is very memorable to me is 1984, this was the centennial year of IEEE, and we had a centennial dinner, a big celebration. Dick Gowen, Dr. Gowen was the centennial president, and also friends before, good friends. I know him and his wife, and I assume at his request every table—it was assigned seating. And every table was assigned a host. I was assigned to hosting one particular table and they had some of the profession’s greats assigned to my table. One of the people sitting at my table came from AT&T or from Bell Labs, the father of modern information theory.

Hochheiser:

Claude Shannon?

Engelson:

Yes Claude Shannon. Claude Shannon, the year before, in 1983 received a major IEEE award. Look, he received many awards, right.

Hochheiser:

Right.

Engelson:

And in my teaching days I also taught some information theory so of course I knew about Claude Shannon. He didn’t know me, but I knew him. And I was sitting in the audience when he accepted the award. And I’ll never forget his very short acceptance speech and comment. He said that he hoped that the megabytes will have a greater effect on humanity than the megatons. What a statement, information theory as opposed to nuclear destruction and so forth. And it made a great impression on me. Skip forward one year, to 1984, and I’m the host of the table. And who is sitting there? Claude Shannon and his wife, and several other luminaries. The first thing that I had was a manual with a program written out, and the first thing I did, I said let’s take and all sign all the programs so we all walk away with the signatures. I have at home someplace the program where I signed and everyone else signed and Claude Shannon signed. So, while we were sitting there, and I was sitting near Dr. Shannon. I said to him, Dr. Shannon, last year when you accepted that award at IEEE, it was tremendously emotional and impressive to me when you said that you hoped that the effect on humanity of the megabytes will be more important or significant than the megatons. And he turned to me and said “I don’t remember having said that,” and his wife turned around and said, “Yes, Claude dear, you said it.” She remembered. You see it was an extemporaneous comment he made, which wasn’t planned. But I never forgot this thing. So, where else could someone coming from my humble beginnings wind up at a table sitting with Claude Shannon and others that I met, great governmental leaders from various countries, and Nobel prize winners and so on. So, IEEE was very good to me and very good for me.

And I made so many friends all over the world, and when I retired Fern and Julie Cozin sent out [a note] to people saying if you want to write some notes for Irv, we’ll put together a book. They presented me with a book of letters from various people who had some very nice things to say. Of course, those who had ugly things to say didn’t write, you see, otherwise the book would have been too big. But, so I made some very good friends. Last year in December I had a major medical operation and it became known. And I got all sorts of letters and cards from all over the world, because you make friends. So I consider IEEE—I remember that my younger daughter, Delia, (who years later became the research editor of an IEEE historical book) one time as a young girl asked me a question. I used to come home and do some work for IEEE at night. And she came over. I don’t know how old she was at the time. And she said, “Hey Dad how come you finish dinner and then you take out papers and do this work for IEEE.” And I said, well Delia, when you own the company you have to work all the time. She said, Dad, I didn't know that you owned IEEE. And I said “Don’t you know what it stands for?” and she said no. I said it stands for Irv Engelson, Electrical Engineer. And she said, “Oh, okay” and she walked away and never questioned it again. Years later as a student at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia she worked one summer for IEEE assembling a book on all the Fellows that was published for the IEEE centennial. She received credit as the book’s researcher. The book was called A Century of Honors. Of course, by the time she did the research for the book she knew better about what IEEE stands for, but— I claim that I really feel that IEEE is family—I’m part of IEEE and all the IEEE staff and volunteers are a part of this family. I don’t want to put it in religious terms, but I was really blessed in having had the opportunity and continue to have the opportunity to work for and with IEEE. It’s a great organization.

Relocation from New York to New Jersey

Hochheiser:

One of the things that happened while you were here was much of the move of the operations from New York out here to Piscataway. Do you have any recollections on —

Engelson:

[interposing] Do I have any recollections? You have to remind me. I lived at the time in Edison, New Jersey, which is not far from here.

Hochheiser:

Right.

Engelson:

And I was very much opposed to technical activities moving here. This [The IEEE Piscataway facility] was built before.

Hochheiser:

Oh, I know.

Engelson:

When they said they were moving technical activities, I was very much opposed to it because I figured that I’m going to lose most of my staff because they’re New Yorkers. But we did it in stages, and it worked out. And most of my key people came with me. Fern worked for me in New York City, and eventually she moved to New Jersey. Julie Cozin was in New York. She moved to New Jersey. James Taylor, you know who he is? He is the computer chief in technical activities. Still lives in New York, and works here. So, most of my key people moved with me. And I encouraged them and they did, and I greatly appreciate it. And it was a lot of work, but it was a smooth move in the sense that it was transparent for the volunteers. The volunteers did not see any discontinuity during the move of the technical activities from New York to New Jersey. But it wasn’t easy.

Appointment as Presidential Advisor

Hochheiser:

One of the things I noted in the list of various things you’ve done but 1997 you were formal presidential advisor to Charles Alexander.

Engelson:

Yes.

Hochheiser:

I have no idea what that means. Could you explain it?

Engelson:

I didn’t know what it means either.

Hochheiser:

Ah, well what did you do then?

Engelson:

Chuck wrote me a letter saying I, Charles Alexander was elected to be president of IEEE. And there’s a lot of work to be done, I’ve been a volunteer for many years and I know a lot of what’s going on in the world of IEEE. But I trust you and I value your opinion, so subject to your acceptance if you sign, I’m appointing you officially as the presidential advisor. And your responsibility will be to travel where I travel, to go where I go, to be my ears and so on and to advise me what to do and how to do it and attend all the meetings of the Executive Committee and executive session meetings and so forth, whatever I do, which is exactly what I did. He announced it and the board blessed it. So, it’s on the record that this was an official title.

Hochheiser:

No, I saw that, and I’ve never heard of—never heard of this title before.

Engelson:

No, because it was never before, and it hasn’t been ever since, ever and I have my business cards and so forth still there. And at the end of his presidency he commented that one of the best things that he did during his presidency was to appoint Irv Engelson as presidential advisor right off the bat. Are you interviewing also past presidents?

Hochheiser:

Oh, yes.

Engelson:

Have you interviewed him?

Hochheiser:

No.

Engelson:

Well, you can ask him.

Hochheiser:

I am interviewing him in August.

Engelson:

Okay, so if you do this, why don’t you ask him so Irv Engelson was his presidential advisor? What was it all about?

Hochheiser:

I certainly will.

Engelson:

Let’s see what he will tell you, okay?

Hochheiser:

I certainly will.

Engelson:

Okay, then you can tell me what he said.

Hochheiser:

I’ll be happy to do that.

Engelson:

Okay.

Election as Region One Director of the IEEE

Hochheiser:

How did you come within a few years of retirement to be Region One director?

Engelson:

That’s a very good question. My last year before retirement, the immediate past Region One director, whose job it was to get candidates for Region One Director came to me and said that he and his committee spoke about it. And because they knew me and they heard that I’m about to retire and therefore I would be eligible, they would like me to be a candidate for Region One director. They thought that I’d make a great Region One director because of my knowledge and so on. Would I agree to be a candidate? I agreed. So, they put me on the ballot, and I won and became Region One director. Well, I was one year I think director-elect and then I became the director. They recruited me for that job. They scraped the barrel and they couldn’t find anything, and on the bottom there was Irv Engelson.

Hochheiser:

Now, as Region One director does that mean you were also on the IEEE USA board?

Engelson:

Yes, I served on all the boards, but now since I finished my board duty last year, this year I am above board.

Closure of the Engineering Management Society

Hochheiser:

[laughs] Another position I see that you held was as president of the Engineering Management Society.

Engelson:

Yes, the Engineering Management Society, and I was there first as a vice president. And then ran for office, and I was elected. And I was president of the Engineering Management Society. And later on my successor was Tariq Durrani who is from Scotland, a professor. And he was my follow up, and then we decided to phase out the Engineering Management Society.

Hochheiser:

That’s exactly what I was going to ask you is how did that decision —

Engelson:

I was heavily involved. There were many people that were involved, but the primary mover was a fellow by the name of Gus Gaynor. Gus is currently the president of the Technology Management Council. We decided that the Engineering Management Society was serving primarily a membership of the members that belonged to the society. But engineering management and technology management should be of interest to all the members because the Engineering Management Society is a society for every IEEE member who is managing but is also for every member who is being managed. And as a result of this, every member of IEEE should be a member of the Engineering Management Society, but we only had 7,000 members. And I said if we agree with the basic premise that—because everyone who is being managed should understand something about management because they have to know how they can relate to the boss and to upper management. So, if we agree that as an Engineering Management Society we have an obligation to serve those who are managing and those who are being managed, then our potential group is the 350,000 members of IEEE, and we only have 7,000. The penetration if we go by this is such that we’re a failure if we can only recruit 7,000 members out of 350,000 when we say, 350,000 should really essentially belong. So we said, well, what we have to do is we have to change who we are. And a technical council acts like a society but instead of having individuals as members; a technical council has societies as members.

Hochheiser:

Right.

Engelson:

As members, so we made the proposal and announced it. Some people objected because this means as a society going out of business, and people want to hold on to what they have. They don’t like to change or to get rid of their society. But we did it, and it was approved. And the council now has 14 societies that joined the council and the council Board of Governors is composed of representatives from these 14 societies. Gus Gaynor is serving this year as the president of the council. I am vice president for operations of the council, and we are providing services to a much broader clientele potentially who are subscribing to our publications. We have two great publications—first, the Transactions on Engineering Management, which is a scholarly peer-reviewed kind of thing. But, the real very popular publication is called the Engineering Management Review, which is a reprint journal where we have an editor with a group that reviews hundreds of management-oriented publications, selects the best papers in the publications that relate and may be of interest to the IEEE membership. And we publish a quarterly review of very, very interesting papers. You may want to take a look at it. You don’t have to be a management specialist, it has some very good stuff. So, this is—so we are getting what the Sloan people are doing the MIT group is doing, and the Moore School in Pennsylvania and so on. It’s an excellent publication. It gets high ratings in terms of usefulness and practicality.

Discussions of IEEE Management Personalities (Contd.)

Hochheiser:

Can you think of anything that we might have covered that we didn’t that you’d like to add? I know you came with a list of some things too.

Engelson:

Yeah. No, simply to review some great presidents.

Hochheiser:

I’d be happy to have any recollection.

Engelson:

I mentioned Don Fink earlier. He was a great leader. He had a great background in the technologies working industry and became General Manager in the seventies or maybe a little earlier. He was extremely well known. This is the kind of person when I talked about hiring a new General Manager or Executive Director, I was thinking of the model of—along the lines of Don Fink or Dick Emberson or Eric Herz, someone who came from the profession, is very knowledgeable, exerts leadership, knows the technology, who can come into the office of any CEO, and the person should know that he or she is talking to a peer and a colleague. They can communicate both on a management side and on the technical side, and this is why I mentioned that I am happy with Dr. James Prendergast. I’ll be seeing him next week. I saw his bio and so forth, which I had an opportunity to review before I came to work. And I am very impressed, and I am happy that he has all the qualifications I can think of. How it’s going to play out only time will tell, but I think we have a good person there. We had some great presidents. A fellow by the name of Dick Damon who died, he was in charge at Sperry of the Research Laboratory, great leader, when he came to IEEE, they gave him a year off to be IEEE president. They don’t do those things any more, but they did for Dick Damon, who was president in 1981. The tragedy was that when he finished as president of IEEE and he would came back to Sperry. But, they didn’t keep his job open, so someone else took it over —But Dick was given another job but—he did not suffer financially.

Hochheiser:

But not the job that he had left that he thought he was going back to.

Engelson:

Following Dick Damon was a good friend of mine actually, a person named Bob Larson.

Hochheiser:

Yes.

Engelson:

And Bob Larson became an entrepreneur and made a lot, a lot of money. I was in his home, many years ago, and it’s built on a mountain there in California with a terrific view. And he was—the way I met Bob was I was very active in Eta Kappa Nu, which is the electrical engineering honor society and I was chairman of the awards organization committee for the selection of the young electrical engineer of the year award. And Bob was one of our winners, and so was George Heilmeier the fellow from RCA I told you about. So, Bob Larson became president, and I had the pleasure of working with him very, very closely. I met through IEEE Dave Packard of HP. And what is interesting in those days I remember Dr. Packard coming and giving a talk to some of our IEEE committees. He was very active, and if he was invited, he would come. This very busy man would come and was active in IEEE. Bill Hewlett was not that active but David Packard was very, very active. And when you had someone like Dr. Packard, being active in IEEE, you can imagine that people who worked for him at HP felt that IEEE is the place to be since he himself is active. Well, things have changed because we are not attracting—maybe it’s more difficult, the economic conditions have changed, but we’re not attracting the kind of leadership in IEEE, I mean we have good leaders in IEEE, but the kind of people, the quality of a Dave Packard and so on who are showing commitment and involvement.

But, look, times change and conditions change, and we cannot expect in 2009 to have the same kind of thing that happened 30 years ago. So that’s different, but we still have good penetration in industry. I think we have to involve more industry people in IEEE, and we also have to make our publications more industry friendly because most of our publications are academically oriented. It is for academics by academics because they have to publish or perish, and I understand this having been an academic. And I’m not suggesting that we should get rid of the highly peer-reviewed journals. We need them. So, my criticism, if it’s a criticism is not on what we are doing but what we are not doing. We also need journals that are more practically oriented like the one I told you about from the Technology Management Council called the Engineering Management Review. You may want to take a look at it. This is something that you may be interested in. This is a very good publication, and I’m not saying because I’m associated with the organization it’s because they—if you have this, I don’t have to subscribe to a dozen other publications because most of the great articles are there. And if out of all these articles I find one or two that really are of interest to me, it’s—it’s worth what I’m paying, which is nothing because I’m a life member. And, life members don’t pay anything, so it’s always worth what I pay. Okay, anything else?

Hochheiser:

Unless you have anything else you want to add, I think we’ve covered the things I’d hoped to cover.

Engelson:

Okay.