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Oral-History:Ivan A. Getting (1995)

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== About Ivan A. Getting  ==
 
== About Ivan A. Getting  ==
  
<p>[[Image:Web Ivan Getting photo (IEEE -1623 - copyright listed as 'unknown').jpg|thumb|left|Ivan A. Getting]] </p>
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[[Image:Web Ivan Getting photo (IEEE -1623 - copyright listed as 'unknown').jpg|thumb|left|Ivan A. Getting]]  
  
<p>[[Ivan Getting|Ivan Getting]] received his BS from MIT and got his PhD in astrophysics at Oxford. As a junior fellow at Harvard he shifted towards nuclear physics research. A Czechoslovak, Getting was very anti-Hitler, and was happy to be recruited for the [[MIT Rad Lab|MIT Radiation Laboratory]]. He worked on [[Radar|radar]] fire control, and had an unusual amount of responsibility for a young man in getting his project through the military bureaucracy, since his superiors were focused on rushing airborne intercept radars to Britain. </p>
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[[Ivan Getting|Ivan Getting]] received his BS from MIT and got his PhD in astrophysics at Oxford. As a junior fellow at Harvard he shifted towards nuclear physics research. A Czechoslovak, Getting was very anti-Hitler, and was happy to be recruited for the [[MIT Rad Lab|MIT Radiation Laboratory]]. He worked on [[Radar|radar]] fire control, and had an unusual amount of responsibility for a young man in getting his project through the military bureaucracy, since his superiors were focused on rushing airborne intercept radars to Britain.  
  
<p>This interview details Getting’s involvement in the IEEE, particularly his presidency. Discussing events such as his election – including debates with Irwin Feerst – and the many issues of his presidency – such as engineer opportunities, pensions and wage busting – Getting details the history of the IEEE in the 1970s. Getting also talks about considering himself both a physicist and electrical engineer, and the special problems that surround that double title. The interview also discusses Getting’s time at the Lincoln Laboratory, as well as his opinion on what the IEEE should be and do – its status as a transnational member society. </p>
+
This interview details Getting’s involvement in the IEEE, particularly his presidency. Discussing events such as his election – including debates with Irwin Feerst – and the many issues of his presidency – such as engineer opportunities, pensions and wage busting – Getting details the history of the IEEE in the 1970s. Getting also talks about considering himself both a physicist and electrical engineer, and the special problems that surround that double title. The interview also discusses Getting’s time at the Lincoln Laboratory, as well as his opinion on what the IEEE should be and do – its status as a transnational member society.  
  
<p>[[Oral-History:Ivan A. Getting (1991)|See also: Ivan A. Getting Oral History (1991)]] for Getting's recollections of his work in the 1940s at the MIT Radiation Laboratory.&nbsp; </p>
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[[Oral-History:Ivan A. Getting (1991)|See also: Ivan A. Getting Oral History (1991)]] for Getting's recollections of his work in the 1940s at the MIT Radiation Laboratory.&nbsp;  
  
 
== About the Interview  ==
 
== About the Interview  ==
  
<p>IVAN A. GETTING: An Interview Conducted by Frederik Nebeker, IEEE History Center, February 25 1995 </p>
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IVAN A. GETTING: An Interview Conducted by Frederik Nebeker, IEEE History Center, February 25 1995  
  
<p>Interview #245 for the IEEE History Center, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. </p>
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Interview #245 for the IEEE History Center, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.  
  
 
== Copyright Statement  ==
 
== Copyright Statement  ==
  
<p>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. </p>
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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.  
  
<p>Request for permission to quote for publication should be addressed to the IEEE History Center Oral History Program, Rutgers - the State University, 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. </p>
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Request for permission to quote for publication should be addressed to the IEEE History Center Oral History Program, Rutgers - the State University, 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.  
  
<p>It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows: </p>
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It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows:  
  
<p>Ivan A. Getting, Electrical Engineer, an oral history conducted in 1995 by Frederik Nebeker, IEEE History Center, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA. </p>
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Ivan A. Getting, Electrical Engineer, an oral history conducted in 1995 by Frederik Nebeker, IEEE History Center, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.  
  
 
== Interview  ==
 
== Interview  ==
  
<p>Interview: Ivan A. Getting </p>
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Interview: Ivan A. Getting  
  
<p>Interviewer: Frederik Nebeker </p>
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Interviewer: Frederik Nebeker  
  
<p>Date: February 25 1995 </p>
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Date: February 25 1995  
  
<p>Location: Coronado, California </p>
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Location: Coronado, California  
  
 
=== Getting as Physicist and Electrical Engineer  ===
 
=== Getting as Physicist and Electrical Engineer  ===
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
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'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>I'm talking with Ivan Getting, at his home in Coronado. The first question I wanted to ask was if you regard yourself as electrical engineer, physicist, or both? </p>
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I'm talking with Ivan Getting, at his home in Coronado. The first question I wanted to ask was if you regard yourself as electrical engineer, physicist, or both?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
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'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I regard myself as both a physicist and an electrical engineer. There is no sharp transition between one and the other. For example, my doctorate degree is in astrophysics. I worked on electrical products during World War II, I became a professor of electrical engineering at MIT, and I am registered in Massachusetts as such. On the other hand, in the National Academy of Engineering, I'm listed as an aeronautical engineer because of my seventeen years as President of The Aerospace Corporation. </p>
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I regard myself as both a physicist and an electrical engineer. There is no sharp transition between one and the other. For example, my doctorate degree is in astrophysics. I worked on electrical products during World War II, I became a professor of electrical engineering at MIT, and I am registered in Massachusetts as such. On the other hand, in the National Academy of Engineering, I'm listed as an aeronautical engineer because of my seventeen years as President of The Aerospace Corporation.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
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'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Was it unusual at the time you became a professor at MIT for an electrical engineering professor to have a physics D. Phil.? </p>
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Was it unusual at the time you became a professor at MIT for an electrical engineering professor to have a physics D. Phil.?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
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'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>No, I don't think that was unusual at all... it did create some problems. Let me explain that a little bit. As members of IEEE know, if you take electrical engineering in an accredited university, it's much easier to get an electrical engineering license. Since my degrees were all in physics, I had a very difficult time, (using the grandfather clause in Massachusetts), with getting an electrical engineering license. However, the chairman of the review committee was an employee of [[General Electric (GE)|General Electric]] at Pittsfield, MA, and I pointed out to him that I had given approximately five hundred million dollars’ worth of business to the GE plant in Pittsfield, and owned the patent to the gun-fire control system Mark 56 (Patent No. 3,144, 644; issued Sept. 11, 1962 - Title: “Gun Fire Control”) which they were manufacturing for the Navy. That seemed to have some effect on my getting the grandfather clause approved. </p>
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No, I don't think that was unusual at all... it did create some problems. Let me explain that a little bit. As members of IEEE know, if you take electrical engineering in an accredited university, it's much easier to get an electrical engineering license. Since my degrees were all in physics, I had a very difficult time, (using the grandfather clause in Massachusetts), with getting an electrical engineering license. However, the chairman of the review committee was an employee of [[General Electric (GE)|General Electric]] at Pittsfield, MA, and I pointed out to him that I had given approximately five hundred million dollars’ worth of business to the GE plant in Pittsfield, and owned the patent to the gun-fire control system Mark 56 (Patent No. 3,144, 644; issued Sept. 11, 1962 - Title: “Gun Fire Control”) which they were manufacturing for the Navy. That seemed to have some effect on my getting the grandfather clause approved.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
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'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>During World War II, a great many physicists functioned as electrical engineers, designing systems, and did an excellent job of it. </p>
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During World War II, a great many physicists functioned as electrical engineers, designing systems, and did an excellent job of it.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
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'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I think that's very true. I can't remember the exact number, but there must have been approximately 2000 professional people in the Radiation Laboratory in MIT working on microwave [[Radar during World War II|radar]], and of those I would assume that around ninety percent were physicists in their normal background. The reasons for that were several. One was that a physicist's education in the fundamentals of electromagnetic theory and associated subjects, even in understanding transient properties of electrical circuits, was more widely embedded than it was in the professional electrical engineer at that time. Professional electrical engineers generally spent time working on sixty-cycle power equipment or power transmission or transformers, or worked in radio waves modulated at sound frequencies, say up to ten kilocycles. They were not versed in microwaves at all. It may also be that the electrical engineers were all busy doing what they were doing and were less easily displaced than the physicists, who were at universities. </p>
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I think that's very true. I can't remember the exact number, but there must have been approximately 2000 professional people in the Radiation Laboratory in MIT working on microwave [[Radar during World War II|radar]], and of those I would assume that around ninety percent were physicists in their normal background. The reasons for that were several. One was that a physicist's education in the fundamentals of electromagnetic theory and associated subjects, even in understanding transient properties of electrical circuits, was more widely embedded than it was in the professional electrical engineer at that time. Professional electrical engineers generally spent time working on sixty-cycle power equipment or power transmission or transformers, or worked in radio waves modulated at sound frequencies, say up to ten kilocycles. They were not versed in microwaves at all. It may also be that the electrical engineers were all busy doing what they were doing and were less easily displaced than the physicists, who were at universities.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
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'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>They were more likely to be in some defense-related work already. </p>
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They were more likely to be in some defense-related work already.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
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'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Not so much defense related, but communications or power. </p>
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Not so much defense related, but communications or power.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
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'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Essential services. </p>
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Essential services.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' Yes, essential services. </p>
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'''Getting:''' Yes, essential services.  
  
 
=== Hiring Practices and Current Engineer Education  ===
 
=== Hiring Practices and Current Engineer Education  ===
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
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'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>In your time at Raytheon and Aerospace, has it changed in the sense that you're less likely to hire a physicist, a physics Ph.D., to do engineering of systems? </p>
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In your time at [[Raytheon]] and Aerospace, has it changed in the sense that you're less likely to hire a physicist, a physics Ph.D., to do engineering of systems?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
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'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I've always said it's easier to ask a question, it's not easy to answer it. I think you'll hire a person in industry nowadays where of course a license is not mandatory in accordance with what your requirements are. If you need a software expert you'll hire a software expert, and that software is likely to be much more closely associated with mathematics and logic than it is with either physics or with electrical engineering as we knew it back in the days that you're mentioning. </p>
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I've always said it's easier to ask a question, it's not easy to answer it. I think you'll hire a person in industry nowadays where of course a license is not mandatory in accordance with what your requirements are. If you need a software expert you'll hire a software expert, and that software is likely to be much more closely associated with mathematics and logic than it is with either physics or with electrical engineering as we knew it back in the days that you're mentioning.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
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'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>One difference might be that the Ph.D. electrical engineer today is more likely to have a solid physics background. There weren't that many electrical engineering Ph.D.s then. </p>
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One difference might be that the Ph.D. electrical engineer today is more likely to have a solid physics background. There weren't that many electrical engineering Ph.D.s then.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
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'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>You will find I have a comment on almost any question you ask, but my most recent activity was as a member of the board of Northrup. I was chairman of a management review committee on the development of the B-2. I got to know the people who were working in that field. As you may recall, the B-2 is a stealth airplane and made a major advance not only in stealth, but also in aerodynamics. When they wanted to hire engineers to work on stealth features, they ran into this situation that the current training of a graduate in electrical engineering does not normally include electromagnetic theory. To fully understand how to produce an airplane or any other device that is stealthy from the viewpoint of radar, one had to understand electromagnetic theory. So, Northrup actually set up scholarships at the local universities to get electrical engineers trained in electromagnetic theory or antenna theory, as distinguished from the normal run of electrical engineering. I could give you other examples of that. </p>
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You will find I have a comment on almost any question you ask, but my most recent activity was as a member of the board of Northrup. I was chairman of a management review committee on the development of the B-2. I got to know the people who were working in that field. As you may recall, the B-2 is a stealth airplane and made a major advance not only in stealth, but also in aerodynamics. When they wanted to hire engineers to work on stealth features, they ran into this situation that the current training of a graduate in electrical engineering does not normally include electromagnetic theory. To fully understand how to produce an airplane or any other device that is stealthy from the viewpoint of radar, one had to understand electromagnetic theory. So, Northrup actually set up scholarships at the local universities to get electrical engineers trained in electromagnetic theory or antenna theory, as distinguished from the normal run of electrical engineering. I could give you other examples of that.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>That is an example similar to radar in that it's a new area of technology. </p>
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That is an example similar to radar in that it's a new area of technology.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
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'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>It's a new area of engineering. </p>
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It's a new area of engineering.  
  
 
=== Experimental Physicist and Innovative Engineer  ===
 
=== Experimental Physicist and Innovative Engineer  ===
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>In such areas it's easy to understand that a physicist might have an advantage. </p>
+
In such areas it's easy to understand that a physicist might have an advantage.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>That is a very good point. At least in the thirties and forties, experimental physicists had to design and build their own experimental equipment. For example, I was in cosmic rays. I had published a paper together with Arthur Compton on the effect of galactic rotation on the intensity of [[Cosmic Background Radiation|cosmic radiation]]. Now that was pure physics, mostly relativistic. When I wanted to do an experiment to measure accurately the slight variations in the sidereal correlation of cosmic ray intensity, of the penetrating part of it, I had to design large Geiger counters and counting equipment. There was no existing equipment that would satisfy that requirement, so lo and behold, I developed and designed, and published the first paper on high-speed flip- flop (A Vacuum Tube Circuit for scaling Down Counting Rates; E.C. Stevenson and I. A. Getting; Review of Scientific Instruments, Vol. 8, pp 414-416, Nov. 1937). High-speed flip-flop is now the basis of the arithmetic element of all modern digital computers. But I was not an electrical engineer at that time. On the other hand, I will admit that I got some advice from Professor Hunt at Harvard--I was then at Harvard--who developed the multivibrator circuit as a frequency measuring device. By starting at that point after discussions with Professor Hunt, I was able to develop my bistatic multivibrator, which then developed into the flip-flop. One reason I was dragged into the Radiation Laboratory - I was amongst the first two or three employees - was that I had worked not only on high-speed multivibrators, but also on recording cosmic rays. These are all high-frequency pulse circuits. That is, as compared to audio frequency, they were more in the television type of one to ten megacycles. You would find it difficult to run into more “run of the mill” electrical engineer, (if I can use that expression), who had designed circuits and abused vacuum tubes way beyond their specifications to design circuits that went up to the ten megacycle range. </p>
+
That is a very good point. At least in the thirties and forties, experimental physicists had to design and build their own experimental equipment. For example, I was in cosmic rays. I had published a paper together with Arthur Compton on the effect of galactic rotation on the intensity of [[Cosmic Background Radiation|cosmic radiation]]. Now that was pure physics, mostly relativistic. When I wanted to do an experiment to measure accurately the slight variations in the sidereal correlation of cosmic ray intensity, of the penetrating part of it, I had to design large Geiger counters and counting equipment. There was no existing equipment that would satisfy that requirement, so lo and behold, I developed and designed, and published the first paper on high-speed flip- flop (A Vacuum Tube Circuit for scaling Down Counting Rates; E.C. Stevenson and I. A. Getting; Review of Scientific Instruments, Vol. 8, pp 414-416, Nov. 1937). High-speed flip-flop is now the basis of the arithmetic element of all modern digital computers. But I was not an electrical engineer at that time. On the other hand, I will admit that I got some advice from Professor Hunt at Harvard--I was then at Harvard--who developed the multivibrator circuit as a frequency measuring device. By starting at that point after discussions with Professor Hunt, I was able to develop my bistatic multivibrator, which then developed into the flip-flop. One reason I was dragged into the Radiation Laboratory - I was amongst the first two or three employees - was that I had worked not only on high-speed multivibrators, but also on recording cosmic rays. These are all high-frequency pulse circuits. That is, as compared to audio frequency, they were more in the television type of one to ten megacycles. You would find it difficult to run into more “run of the mill” electrical engineer, (if I can use that expression), who had designed circuits and abused vacuum tubes way beyond their specifications to design circuits that went up to the ten megacycle range.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>So you're an example of an experimental physicist who is doing innovative electrical engineering, really, as part of your physics research. </p>
+
So you're an example of an experimental physicist who is doing innovative electrical engineering, really, as part of your physics research.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Absolutely. Let me point out that after the war, my first responsibility at MIT was to build a three hundred and fifty million volt electron synchrotron. That required new technology, and in fact if you go into the modern physics world and look at the large accelerators; that field is mostly done by physicists. If it's a routine thing, like setting up power lines or other things, they naturally turn to licensed electrical engineers. But electrical engineers do not design superconducting magnets. That's done by a special subset of physicists who work on high-energy accelerators. </p>
+
Absolutely. Let me point out that after the war, my first responsibility at MIT was to build a three hundred and fifty million volt electron synchrotron. That required new technology, and in fact if you go into the modern physics world and look at the large accelerators; that field is mostly done by physicists. If it's a routine thing, like setting up power lines or other things, they naturally turn to licensed electrical engineers. But electrical engineers do not design superconducting magnets. That's done by a special subset of physicists who work on high-energy accelerators.  
  
 
=== Rad Lab  ===
 
=== Rad Lab  ===
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>In your own career, you were functioning as a physicist until Rad Lab. You were doing some engineering of course, for the instrumentation. </p>
+
In your own career, you were functioning as a physicist until Rad Lab. You were doing some engineering of course, for the instrumentation.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I was also glassblowing. </p>
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I was also glassblowing.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
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'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Another skill that a physicist had to know. But always your objective was new knowledge. </p>
+
Another skill that a physicist had to know. But always your objective was new knowledge.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>New knowledge, right. </p>
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New knowledge, right.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
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'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Now, at Rad Lab, and I think during most of your work afterwards, you were functioning more as an engineer; you were trying to get systems to work. It's not to gain new knowledge, although that may come along the way with some of these things, but your principal function was as an engineer, wasn't it? </p>
+
Now, at Rad Lab, and I think during most of your work afterwards, you were functioning more as an engineer; you were trying to get systems to work. It's not to gain new knowledge, although that may come along the way with some of these things, but your principal function was as an engineer, wasn't it?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
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'''Getting:'''  
  
 
<flashmp3>245 - getting - clip 1.mp3</flashmp3>
 
<flashmp3>245 - getting - clip 1.mp3</flashmp3>
  
<p>I think you've stated it quite accurately; I would only modify it slightly. At the Radiation Laboratory, while my first assignment was to make modulators, to drive magnetrons, my principal experience was as head of the fire control division. The first thing I did, essentially with my own hands and the assistance of a few associates, was to build the XT-1, which stood for “Experimental Truck Number One.” We took that labeling system from the Air Force, which labeled pursuit airplanes P-1, and if it was an experimental model, it was an XP-1. At the Rad Lab, there were many divisions and sections, so there was one section that did nothing but magnetrons and another which did nothing but receivers in the broad bandwidth required. There was another section that did nothing but antennas. My division, Division Eight on fire control radars and Army radars, was a systems division. We would call on all these other divisions and panels for support. Our principal job was in systems design, and to do such development as necessary, for which there weren't specialized groups. </p>
+
I think you've stated it quite accurately; I would only modify it slightly. At the Radiation Laboratory, while my first assignment was to make modulators, to drive magnetrons, my principal experience was as head of the fire control division. The first thing I did, essentially with my own hands and the assistance of a few associates, was to build the XT-1, which stood for “Experimental Truck Number One.” We took that labeling system from the Air Force, which labeled pursuit airplanes P-1, and if it was an experimental model, it was an XP-1. At the Rad Lab, there were many divisions and sections, so there was one section that did nothing but magnetrons and another which did nothing but receivers in the broad bandwidth required. There was another section that did nothing but antennas. My division, Division Eight on fire control radars and Army radars, was a systems division. We would call on all these other divisions and panels for support. Our principal job was in systems design, and to do such development as necessary, for which there weren't specialized groups.  
  
<p>Now I'll explain that. The first system task which I was given by Dubridge and the executive committee was to demonstrate automatic radar tracking of aircraft. That required servomechanisms, for which there was then no standing practice. It required engineering of very skilled, very specialized mechanical antenna mounts. It required the detailed analysis of tracking characteristics, and how to build an optimum servomechanism which was dynamically responsive to the problems of fire control yet would not lose the target by having too long a time constant, to put it in the vernacular. As we progressed, not only did we build a demonstration model on the roof, but also the XT-1 mobile unit, and we demonstrated that to the military. We also built brass board models, and had, for example, a company like Shoe Machinery build the antenna mounts to essentially our specifications. Because the Signal Corps was so busy on its own low-frequency radars, and carrying out the maintenance and training for existing radars, my division had to find the manufacturers who would put it into production, train them, qualify all their designs in detail, check them out. We had to also feed information from the other portions of the Radiation Laboratory as the microwave art kept improving. So, when the SCR-584 came out, Signal Corps Radio Number 584, it was really up to date; it had the most modern designs of all the electronics which came through my division as our function as the engineering program responsible group. The principal design of the system to meet a military requirement was the responsibility of my division. </p>
+
Now I'll explain that. The first system task which I was given by Dubridge and the executive committee was to demonstrate automatic radar tracking of aircraft. That required servomechanisms, for which there was then no standing practice. It required engineering of very skilled, very specialized mechanical antenna mounts. It required the detailed analysis of tracking characteristics, and how to build an optimum servomechanism which was dynamically responsive to the problems of fire control yet would not lose the target by having too long a time constant, to put it in the vernacular. As we progressed, not only did we build a demonstration model on the roof, but also the XT-1 mobile unit, and we demonstrated that to the military. We also built brass board models, and had, for example, a company like Shoe Machinery build the antenna mounts to essentially our specifications. Because the Signal Corps was so busy on its own low-frequency radars, and carrying out the maintenance and training for existing radars, my division had to find the manufacturers who would put it into production, train them, qualify all their designs in detail, check them out. We had to also feed information from the other portions of the Radiation Laboratory as the microwave art kept improving. So, when the SCR-584 came out, Signal Corps Radio Number 584, it was really up to date; it had the most modern designs of all the electronics which came through my division as our function as the engineering program responsible group. The principal design of the system to meet a military requirement was the responsibility of my division.  
  
 
=== Joining IRE, Publications and Societies  ===
 
=== Joining IRE, Publications and Societies  ===
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>I read that you joined the [IRE History 1912-1963|Institute of Radio Engineers]] in 1946. Does that mesh with your recollection? </p>
+
I read that you joined the [IRE History 1912-1963|Institute of Radio Engineers]] in 1946. Does that mesh with your recollection?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Yes it does, because by 1946 I was a professor of engineering at MIT. </p>
+
Yes it does, because by 1946 I was a professor of engineering at MIT.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>[laughs] You'd better join the professional society! What do you remember of IRE in those days? </p>
+
[laughs] You'd better join the professional society! What do you remember of IRE in those days?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>It didn't last very long, as I recall. When did IRE [[Formation of IEEE by the Merger of AIEE and IRE|merge]] with [[AIEE History 1884-1963|AIEE]]? </p>
+
It didn't last very long, as I recall. When did IRE [[Formation of IEEE by the Merger of AIEE and IRE|merge]] with [[AIEE History 1884-1963|AIEE]]?  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>That was in ‘62, it went into effect on the 1st of January 1963. </p>
+
That was in ‘62, it went into effect on the 1st of January 1963.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I guess that was quite a while, but as I explained to you before we got into our interview, I was so over-committed in that period that I had very little energy and time left for the formal activities of IRE. </p>
+
I guess that was quite a while, but as I explained to you before we got into our interview, I was so over-committed in that period that I had very little energy and time left for the formal activities of IRE.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Right. Do you remember the publications? Proceedings was the best-known of the IRE publications. </p>
+
Right. Do you remember the publications? Proceedings was the best-known of the IRE publications.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Do I remember them? </p>
+
Do I remember them?  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Were they an important source? </p>
+
Were they an important source?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>They were important in the sense that I kept up with what was going on in the radio frequency field. I believe it was around that time (September 1975) that I got the Pioneer Award from the [[IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society History|IEEE Aerospace and Electronics Society]] of IEEE. And I was very proud of that. Of course, also I knew the people. I knew the people in the radar business very well. </p>
+
They were important in the sense that I kept up with what was going on in the radio frequency field. I believe it was around that time (September 1975) that I got the Pioneer Award from the [[IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society History|IEEE Aerospace and Electronics Society]] of IEEE. And I was very proud of that. Of course, also I knew the people. I knew the people in the radar business very well.  
  
 
=== Military Systems and the Lincoln Laboratory  ===
 
=== Military Systems and the Lincoln Laboratory  ===
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>What became the [[IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society History|Microwave Theory and Technique Society]] in the IEEE was a technical group I guess, in IRE, and you knew all those people. </p>
+
What became the [[IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society History|Microwave Theory and Technique Society]] in the IEEE was a technical group I guess, in IRE, and you knew all those people.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I wouldn't say I knew all of them. I was as interested in the specifics of the microwave art as I was in applications, to military systems, because as chairman of the DOD radar panel of the research and development board (RDB), I was briefed, together with the members of the panel, by the Army, by the Navy and by the Air Force, and had to write reports and make recommendations. When was the merger? </p>
+
I wouldn't say I knew all of them. I was as interested in the specifics of the microwave art as I was in applications, to military systems, because as chairman of the DOD radar panel of the research and development board (RDB), I was briefed, together with the members of the panel, by the Army, by the Navy and by the Air Force, and had to write reports and make recommendations. When was the merger?  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>1963. </p>
+
1963.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Up to the Korean War in 1950, the three services were recovering from the transition from World War II to peace. They were going through a phase similar to what they're going through now, of organizing, except it was even more serious. The Air Force did not have any technical support of its own. Other than Wright Field, the Air Force was entirely dependent on the Army Signal Corps for communications and radar, and even airborne radars at that time. They were dependent on the Army Ordnance for machine guns and ammunition and bombs. It took time for the Air Force, and for the Department of Defense, and for the Navy, and for the Army, to establish the technical laboratories and approaches. Let me give you an example. When I was in the Pentagon as the Assistant for Development Planning, this occurred not only soon after the outbreak of the Korean War, but it also came right after the Soviet demonstration of the atomic bomb, we were in what I would describe as a national crisis. The Korean War was about to explode into a third world war with the Chinese coming in, and the Soviets were about to bomb us with their long-range bombers. We were no longer a safe island, isolated from the rest of the world. It was a revolutionary time. One of the things for which I claim a major responsibility was the establishment of the Lincoln Laboratory. This was an answer to the Soviet [[Nuclear Bombs|nuclear bomb]] threat. I might point out that since I was on leave from MIT to prevent any possible conflict of interest, I resigned from MIT, and after my stint in the Air Staff, I went to work at Raytheon. </p>
+
Up to the Korean War in 1950, the three services were recovering from the transition from World War II to peace. They were going through a phase similar to what they're going through now, of organizing, except it was even more serious. The Air Force did not have any technical support of its own. Other than Wright Field, the Air Force was entirely dependent on the Army Signal Corps for communications and radar, and even airborne radars at that time. They were dependent on the Army Ordnance for machine guns and ammunition and bombs. It took time for the Air Force, and for the Department of Defense, and for the Navy, and for the Army, to establish the technical laboratories and approaches. Let me give you an example. When I was in the Pentagon as the Assistant for Development Planning, this occurred not only soon after the outbreak of the Korean War, but it also came right after the Soviet demonstration of the atomic bomb, we were in what I would describe as a national crisis. The Korean War was about to explode into a third world war with the Chinese coming in, and the Soviets were about to bomb us with their long-range bombers. We were no longer a safe island, isolated from the rest of the world. It was a revolutionary time. One of the things for which I claim a major responsibility was the establishment of the Lincoln Laboratory. This was an answer to the Soviet [[Nuclear Bombs|nuclear bomb]] threat. I might point out that since I was on leave from MIT to prevent any possible conflict of interest, I resigned from MIT, and after my stint in the Air Staff, I went to work at Raytheon.  
  
 
=== Merger, IEEE Reorganization and the Space Race  ===
 
=== Merger, IEEE Reorganization and the Space Race  ===
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>You were a member of IRE from 1946 on, I assume, and in 1954 you were elected a fellow of IRE. Do you remember anything about the merger in ‘63? There were some members for whom that was an unpleasant experience. Many of course welcomed it. </p>
+
You were a member of IRE from 1946 on, I assume, and in 1954 you were elected a fellow of IRE. Do you remember anything about the merger in ‘63? There were some members for whom that was an unpleasant experience. Many of course welcomed it.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Oh, I think if I had to make a specific answer I would have welcomed it, for the reasons we were discussing. There was no sharp transition between electrical engineering as a technology, and physics. </p>
+
Oh, I think if I had to make a specific answer I would have welcomed it, for the reasons we were discussing. There was no sharp transition between electrical engineering as a technology, and physics.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>And so it didn't make sense for electronics and electrical engineers to have separate organizations. </p>
+
And so it didn't make sense for electronics and electrical engineers to have separate organizations.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>That is correct. </p>
+
That is correct.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>I'm sticking just to your IEEE activities at the moment. In the period from 1963 to the early 1970s, IEEE was undergoing quite a reorganization. There were two separate organizations that had merged. They had their own technical structures and other organizational structures. In that ten-year period after 1963, parts of IEEE like the Regional Activities Board, the Educational Activities Board, the Technical Activities Board, and then in the early 1970s USAB, the United States Activities Board, were formed. One of the major forces on the IEEE at that time was the winding down of the space race. </p>
+
I'm sticking just to your IEEE activities at the moment. In the period from 1963 to the early 1970s, IEEE was undergoing quite a reorganization. There were two separate organizations that had merged. They had their own technical structures and other organizational structures. In that ten-year period after 1963, parts of IEEE like the Regional Activities Board, the Educational Activities Board, the Technical Activities Board, and then in the early 1970s USAB, the United States Activities Board, were formed. One of the major forces on the IEEE at that time was the winding down of the space race.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Winding down of what? </p>
+
Winding down of what?  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Of the space race, after the landing on the moon. </p>
+
Of the space race, after the landing on the moon.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>May I interject? </p>
+
May I interject?  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Please. </p>
+
Please.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>In 1960, I was invited to become the president of a new corporation, to support principally the Air Force, in ballistic missiles and in space systems. You might say somebody was looking under the bed to find where the hell the space program was. There was very little effort going on at that time. The Army at Huntsville had its intermediate range ballistic missiles, the Navy was given the assignment by President Eisenhower to do the first satellite for the geophysical year, and the Air Force was very busy trying to close the gap with the intercontinental ballistic missile; that program was started in 1954. The Navy started their first ballistic missile in a serious way in 1956, largely because of the NAS-NOBSKA report, of which I was the associate chairman. By 1960, we had a very marginal beginning of the space program in this country. As you know, the Navy effort was not successful, and the Army effort was only successful in putting a small ball up because the Redstone missile did not have adequate lift for full-scale satellites. The Air Force had been forbidden by President Eisenhower to get into the space age, because of the so-called missile gap. They had to devote all their attention to the intercontinental ballistic missile. But those very missiles were the only ones which had the lift capability to put up a meaningful load into orbit. So it was the Air Force, by modifying the Atlas missile, that first put up meaningful satellites. It was the Air Force Titan that followed with bigger payloads, and so on. In 1960, when I became president of The Aerospace Corporation, I also found myself holding the bag for launching the Mercury astronauts, and a year or two later, the Gemini astronauts. NASA did not launch the Mercury or Gemini astronauts. They were launched by the Air Force, Aerospace system engineers, and associate contractors. I don't know why we brought this matter up. </p>
+
In 1960, I was invited to become the president of a new corporation, to support principally the Air Force, in ballistic missiles and in space systems. You might say somebody was looking under the bed to find where the hell the space program was. There was very little effort going on at that time. The Army at Huntsville had its intermediate range ballistic missiles, the Navy was given the assignment by President Eisenhower to do the first satellite for the geophysical year, and the Air Force was very busy trying to close the gap with the intercontinental ballistic missile; that program was started in 1954. The Navy started their first ballistic missile in a serious way in 1956, largely because of the NAS-NOBSKA report, of which I was the associate chairman. By 1960, we had a very marginal beginning of the space program in this country. As you know, the Navy effort was not successful, and the Army effort was only successful in putting a small ball up because the Redstone missile did not have adequate lift for full-scale satellites. The Air Force had been forbidden by President Eisenhower to get into the space age, because of the so-called missile gap. They had to devote all their attention to the intercontinental ballistic missile. But those very missiles were the only ones which had the lift capability to put up a meaningful load into orbit. So it was the Air Force, by modifying the Atlas missile, that first put up meaningful satellites. It was the Air Force Titan that followed with bigger payloads, and so on. In 1960, when I became president of The Aerospace Corporation, I also found myself holding the bag for launching the Mercury astronauts, and a year or two later, the Gemini astronauts. NASA did not launch the Mercury or Gemini astronauts. They were launched by the Air Force, Aerospace system engineers, and associate contractors. I don't know why we brought this matter up.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>I was referring to the merger. Around 1970 or thereabouts, there was a reduction in expenditure for the space program. </p>
+
I was referring to the merger. Around 1970 or thereabouts, there was a reduction in expenditure for the space program.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I'm very emotional about this. The reduction you're talking about was NASA. By 1970, after the Apollo program had essentially achieved it's function. </p>
+
I'm very emotional about this. The reduction you're talking about was NASA. By 1970, after the Apollo program had essentially achieved it's function.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Right. </p>
+
Right.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>The expenditures for space systems by the Air Force, and by the DOD, together, were larger than the expenditures of NASA, and the DOD expenditures did not go down. They kept going up, because many of the satellite systems that had been developed between 1960 and 1970 became operational. Frankly, when I say operational I mean that: the weather satellites, the warning satellites which were so critical in the Persian Gulf War, the [[Communications Satellites|communications satellites]]. You see, NASA never developed any operational system as such. The Apollo you might say approached it, and NASA did develop the shuttle, which is another long story; and don't get me going on that one as an operational device. You can read the papers as well as I can. The problems they've had in making the shuttle approach operational use. In fact there's no follow-on. </p>
+
The expenditures for space systems by the Air Force, and by the DOD, together, were larger than the expenditures of NASA, and the DOD expenditures did not go down. They kept going up, because many of the satellite systems that had been developed between 1960 and 1970 became operational. Frankly, when I say operational I mean that: the weather satellites, the warning satellites which were so critical in the Persian Gulf War, the [[Communications Satellites|communications satellites]]. You see, NASA never developed any operational system as such. The Apollo you might say approached it, and NASA did develop the shuttle, which is another long story; and don't get me going on that one as an operational device. You can read the papers as well as I can. The problems they've had in making the shuttle approach operational use. In fact there's no follow-on.  
  
 
=== Engineer Perceptions in the 1970s  ===
 
=== Engineer Perceptions in the 1970s  ===
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>What I was leading to was at least the perception among electrical engineers in the early 1970s that there were fewer opportunities, that many of them were being laid off. Not only because of space cuts, but also defense contracting after the winding down in Vietnam may also have been part of it. </p>
+
What I was leading to was at least the perception among electrical engineers in the early 1970s that there were fewer opportunities, that many of them were being laid off. Not only because of space cuts, but also defense contracting after the winding down in Vietnam may also have been part of it.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>It depends on which area you're speaking of. By 1970 the Minuteman III was operational, and that was winding down. It is true that there was a gap in the support by Congress of what later became called the Peacekeeper, the Minuteman X. So that was the only missile under design, and the question of going into production was always hanging in the air, as you probably know. Even today, only a couple of hundred, maybe two hundred, were built. So there was a winding down in that field. In the big bomber field, there was also a slowdown. After the B-52, there were about three aborted efforts on the part of the Air Force to make a bomber, the B-70 Supersonic, that fell on its face, Congress canceled it. The B-1 was developed, a sort of semi-supersonic bomber, and that was canceled through Congress by the Air Force. Actually, if I can brag a little bit, I was asked by the Air Force to conduct a review by a Scientific Advisory Board Committee, what was called the “long range combat aircraft,” LRCA. That was a summer study held in Monterey by the SAB, and it included a lot of military people and a lot of co-operation from the Air Force laboratories. We came up with a modified B-1, which Congress then approved. There was also the Advanced Technology Airplane, which was already on the books, and on which we commented. It became the B-2. Now, in the meantime the number of fighters being developed had also dropped. The whole aircraft industry was beginning to be cut back. There were no new fighters on the books after the F-16 in the Air Force, and a similar situation existed in the Navy. That situation has not improved now that the Cold War is over. </p>
+
It depends on which area you're speaking of. By 1970 the Minuteman III was operational, and that was winding down. It is true that there was a gap in the support by Congress of what later became called the Peacekeeper, the Minuteman X. So that was the only missile under design, and the question of going into production was always hanging in the air, as you probably know. Even today, only a couple of hundred, maybe two hundred, were built. So there was a winding down in that field. In the big bomber field, there was also a slowdown. After the B-52, there were about three aborted efforts on the part of the Air Force to make a bomber, the B-70 Supersonic, that fell on its face, Congress canceled it. The B-1 was developed, a sort of semi-supersonic bomber, and that was canceled through Congress by the Air Force. Actually, if I can brag a little bit, I was asked by the Air Force to conduct a review by a Scientific Advisory Board Committee, what was called the “long range combat aircraft,” LRCA. That was a summer study held in Monterey by the SAB, and it included a lot of military people and a lot of co-operation from the Air Force laboratories. We came up with a modified B-1, which Congress then approved. There was also the Advanced Technology Airplane, which was already on the books, and on which we commented. It became the B-2. Now, in the meantime the number of fighters being developed had also dropped. The whole aircraft industry was beginning to be cut back. There were no new fighters on the books after the F-16 in the Air Force, and a similar situation existed in the Navy. That situation has not improved now that the Cold War is over.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Many IEEE members in the early 1970s felt that these were hard times for getting and holding jobs. They thought the IEEE ought to act more like a labor union in lobbying Congress for favorable legislation, in helping people find jobs, in doing something about pensions, because people often changed jobs, these kinds of issues. One of the people who talked in this way, and sort of took advantage of this, was Irwin Feerst, who in the early 1970s started arguing that IEEE should really function as a labor union in a way, to help its US members. He wanted to stop immigration of engineers to this country, and restrict leadership positions in IEEE to US citizens, and so on. What do you remember of that period in the 1970s and this discussion of what IEEE should be doing? </p>
+
Many IEEE members in the early 1970s felt that these were hard times for getting and holding jobs. They thought the IEEE ought to act more like a labor union in lobbying Congress for favorable legislation, in helping people find jobs, in doing something about pensions, because people often changed jobs, these kinds of issues. One of the people who talked in this way, and sort of took advantage of this, was Irwin Feerst, who in the early 1970s started arguing that IEEE should really function as a labor union in a way, to help its US members. He wanted to stop immigration of engineers to this country, and restrict leadership positions in IEEE to US citizens, and so on. What do you remember of that period in the 1970s and this discussion of what IEEE should be doing?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
 
<flashmp3>245 - getting - clip 2.mp3</flashmp3>
 
<flashmp3>245 - getting - clip 2.mp3</flashmp3>
  
<p>I have to answer that in a rather complicated way, but it will be quite direct. In 1977, members of the IEEE board asked whether I would be willing to run for the presidency of IEEE. Until that point since, I was so heavily occupied in my major responsibilities, in The Aerospace Corporation and in Washington - I was on committees in the White House, like the Vietnam Committee, making recommendations to the US President. I frankly didn't have time for IEEE. So this invitation to me, whether I would consider running for president, was sort of a rude awakening. The fact that I was then sixty-five years old and considering retirement from Aerospace made me wonder, “Well, is this an opportunity where I can be of use? Why did they come to me and ask me if I wanted to be a candidate for president?” I looked into it, and of course I went to several meetings with the board, and discussed it with the senior leadership of IEEE, and I came across these problems which you mentioned. There's no question that Feerst had a platform which would appeal to many electrical engineers. Principally what I would call the employed working engineer, as distinguished from the university engineer or the research engineer, or an engineer at management levels in some of the larger corporations. </p>
+
I have to answer that in a rather complicated way, but it will be quite direct. In 1977, members of the IEEE board asked whether I would be willing to run for the presidency of IEEE. Until that point since, I was so heavily occupied in my major responsibilities, in The Aerospace Corporation and in Washington - I was on committees in the White House, like the Vietnam Committee, making recommendations to the US President. I frankly didn't have time for IEEE. So this invitation to me, whether I would consider running for president, was sort of a rude awakening. The fact that I was then sixty-five years old and considering retirement from Aerospace made me wonder, “Well, is this an opportunity where I can be of use? Why did they come to me and ask me if I wanted to be a candidate for president?” I looked into it, and of course I went to several meetings with the board, and discussed it with the senior leadership of IEEE, and I came across these problems which you mentioned. There's no question that Feerst had a platform which would appeal to many electrical engineers. Principally what I would call the employed working engineer, as distinguished from the university engineer or the research engineer, or an engineer at management levels in some of the larger corporations.  
  
 
=== Military Contracts and Engineers  ===
 
=== Military Contracts and Engineers  ===
  
<p>Let me make a few comments about that. The Department of Defense in connection with military contracts was involved in two major issues that affected electrical engineers. One was that the Department of Defense generally was the sole contractor in military products - big systems, like communications systems, satellites, airplanes, electronics, and so on. It placed large contracts, but infrequently. Because they were forced at that time to do everything by competitive bidding, no company could ever be sure when they finished their current contract that the next one in that field would come to them. Before World War II there was no electronics in the aircraft industry, but after WWII these companies probably hired more electronic engineers than aeronautical engineers. In fact, more than half the cost of a modern military airplane is in electronics. So there would be frequent major disruptions, not only in production, but also in research and development contracts. The aircraft companies tried very hard to maintain their engineering base, because they needed desperately to get, if not the next contract, the contract after that or at least sub-contract after that. Naturally they would lay off production engineers, quality control engineers, inspection engineers, and that class, but they kept their research and development engineers, who were normally the cream of the crop from a technical viewpoint. So there was a major instability in the electronic portions of the aerospace military business. </p>
+
Let me make a few comments about that. The Department of Defense in connection with military contracts was involved in two major issues that affected electrical engineers. One was that the Department of Defense generally was the sole contractor in military products - big systems, like communications systems, satellites, airplanes, electronics, and so on. It placed large contracts, but infrequently. Because they were forced at that time to do everything by competitive bidding, no company could ever be sure when they finished their current contract that the next one in that field would come to them. Before World War II there was no electronics in the aircraft industry, but after WWII these companies probably hired more electronic engineers than aeronautical engineers. In fact, more than half the cost of a modern military airplane is in electronics. So there would be frequent major disruptions, not only in production, but also in research and development contracts. The aircraft companies tried very hard to maintain their engineering base, because they needed desperately to get, if not the next contract, the contract after that or at least sub-contract after that. Naturally they would lay off production engineers, quality control engineers, inspection engineers, and that class, but they kept their research and development engineers, who were normally the cream of the crop from a technical viewpoint. So there was a major instability in the electronic portions of the aerospace military business.  
  
<p>When I was in the Pentagon during the Korean War, my immediate boss, General Gordon Saville, who was the top policy guy in research and development, would take me on trips to the aircraft companies. He and I would visit with the president of North American, or the president of what was then I guess, General Dynamics, and so forth. We'd all sit around the table and discuss their financial position, we'd discuss their production schedules, their workload, and what they thought was going to happen in the next few years. We would informally carry that information back and influence the contracting of follow-ons or improvement programs, or we would even set up negotiation to take over some capital equipment and make it government-owned so that we could free up money for the companies to continue with research and development without a contract, so they would stay alive. In other words, in 1950, at least between the Air Force and the aircraft companies, there was dialogue to try and establish some stability, which impacted on engineers in the electronics industry that did not exist. The electronics business grew out of the hayloft operations of the 1930s, of radio and power, and out of the companies like [[General Electric (GE)|General Electric]], Westinghouse, and Allis-Chalmers. There was no government industry planning in the 1950s and 1960s to try and produce stability in the electronics business as far as the military procurement was concerned. By the time we're now talking about, 1970s and on, both the aircraft industry and the electronics and electrical industry were on this arms-length contract negotiating with wide fluctuations. Obviously it was fertile ground for engineers in the factories and the kind of jobs I've described, to look for stability. Feerst represented, acted as the spokesman, for that set of issues. It was a legitimate set of issues, and he reacted to it, but perhaps not always in a manner which was acceptable to other members of the IEEE. As you pointed out, he wanted to limit the number of electrical engineers. He wanted to have everybody licensed, so that everybody belonged to a “profession.” Just before you came I looked up in my dictionary what a profession is, and it does not describe a lot of the things which currently are considered qualifications of a profession. In fact, I can't find a good definition of a profession anywhere. Webster’s doesn't give it. Feerst also wanted to limit the competition from foreign engineers. There was lots of inflow of very good European-trained engineers, or even later engineers from India, Japan, and other foreign countries, who were trained in our universities and were supposed to go back to their countries but didn't. Let's say there were lots of reasons Feerst could appeal to a large fraction of the membership of IEEE. </p>
+
When I was in the Pentagon during the Korean War, my immediate boss, General Gordon Saville, who was the top policy guy in research and development, would take me on trips to the aircraft companies. He and I would visit with the president of North American, or the president of what was then I guess, General Dynamics, and so forth. We'd all sit around the table and discuss their financial position, we'd discuss their production schedules, their workload, and what they thought was going to happen in the next few years. We would informally carry that information back and influence the contracting of follow-ons or improvement programs, or we would even set up negotiation to take over some capital equipment and make it government-owned so that we could free up money for the companies to continue with research and development without a contract, so they would stay alive. In other words, in 1950, at least between the Air Force and the aircraft companies, there was dialogue to try and establish some stability, which impacted on engineers in the electronics industry that did not exist. The electronics business grew out of the hayloft operations of the 1930s, of radio and power, and out of the companies like [[General Electric (GE)|General Electric]], Westinghouse, and Allis-Chalmers. There was no government industry planning in the 1950s and 1960s to try and produce stability in the electronics business as far as the military procurement was concerned. By the time we're now talking about, 1970s and on, both the aircraft industry and the electronics and electrical industry were on this arms-length contract negotiating with wide fluctuations. Obviously it was fertile ground for engineers in the factories and the kind of jobs I've described, to look for stability. Feerst represented, acted as the spokesman, for that set of issues. It was a legitimate set of issues, and he reacted to it, but perhaps not always in a manner which was acceptable to other members of the IEEE. As you pointed out, he wanted to limit the number of electrical engineers. He wanted to have everybody licensed, so that everybody belonged to a “profession.” Just before you came I looked up in my dictionary what a profession is, and it does not describe a lot of the things which currently are considered qualifications of a profession. In fact, I can't find a good definition of a profession anywhere. Webster’s doesn't give it. Feerst also wanted to limit the competition from foreign engineers. There was lots of inflow of very good European-trained engineers, or even later engineers from India, Japan, and other foreign countries, who were trained in our universities and were supposed to go back to their countries but didn't. Let's say there were lots of reasons Feerst could appeal to a large fraction of the membership of IEEE.  
  
 
=== Feerst’s Popularity and Getting’s Presidency  ===
 
=== Feerst’s Popularity and Getting’s Presidency  ===
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>As you know, he did increasingly well in a couple of elections, up to the 1977 election. He came very close to Saunders' vote; Saunders was president in 1977. </p>
+
As you know, he did increasingly well in a couple of elections, up to the 1977 election. He came very close to Saunders' vote; Saunders was president in 1977.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>One of the characteristics of IEEE which I admire is that it is a member society. It's really a democracy at work. It's not as bad as the Republican or Democratic parties of the United States where most of the effort seems to be in getting re-elected. Fortunately, in IEEE you can only serve as president for one year, and most of the board members have to be elected to some other job. No one person dominates or controls. It has many societies, it has many regions, it has many other things like Wescon and Electro which are sort of loosely tied in, but not under direct control of the president or the board. It has all these foreign entanglements, if I can call it that. So no one person can ruin IEEE. They can damage it, but they can't scuttle it. On the other hand, it could be very disturbing if someone who took the position of Feerst were to become the president. Let me enlarge a little bit. If you look at the various professional societies, AIAA is dominated by the management of the profession, if I can use that word. The vice president of an aircraft company is almost always the president of the AIAA. They always meet in Washington because they depend so heavily on political interaction with Congress and the Department of Defense. IEEE never meets in Washington, as far as I know. It meets out in various parts of the country, Canada sometimes, but never meets in Washington. AIAA is what I would call a professional society largely dominated by the industry leaders. The medical profession is very disparate, that is it has members, but it's closely knit in the political structure and positions. The Physical Society used to be, and I think still is, dominated by the universities. They're entirely different. In fact, when the National Academy of Engineering wanted to get going in Washington, the National Academy of Science objected, because the National Academy of Science was essentially a university-controlled organization. They were afraid that if the National Academy of Engineering were to become an integral part of the National Academy of Science, they would dominate it both by numbers of people and by the financial support that the Academy of Engineering would be expected to get from industry. So you have these various sensitivities, and one must recognize their existence, and one must respond in an appropriate way in an organization like IEEE. </p>
+
One of the characteristics of IEEE which I admire is that it is a member society. It's really a democracy at work. It's not as bad as the Republican or Democratic parties of the United States where most of the effort seems to be in getting re-elected. Fortunately, in IEEE you can only serve as president for one year, and most of the board members have to be elected to some other job. No one person dominates or controls. It has many societies, it has many regions, it has many other things like Wescon and Electro which are sort of loosely tied in, but not under direct control of the president or the board. It has all these foreign entanglements, if I can call it that. So no one person can ruin IEEE. They can damage it, but they can't scuttle it. On the other hand, it could be very disturbing if someone who took the position of Feerst were to become the president. Let me enlarge a little bit. If you look at the various professional societies, AIAA is dominated by the management of the profession, if I can use that word. The vice president of an aircraft company is almost always the president of the AIAA. They always meet in Washington because they depend so heavily on political interaction with Congress and the Department of Defense. IEEE never meets in Washington, as far as I know. It meets out in various parts of the country, Canada sometimes, but never meets in Washington. AIAA is what I would call a professional society largely dominated by the industry leaders. The medical profession is very disparate, that is it has members, but it's closely knit in the political structure and positions. The Physical Society used to be, and I think still is, dominated by the universities. They're entirely different. In fact, when the National Academy of Engineering wanted to get going in Washington, the National Academy of Science objected, because the National Academy of Science was essentially a university-controlled organization. They were afraid that if the National Academy of Engineering were to become an integral part of the National Academy of Science, they would dominate it both by numbers of people and by the financial support that the Academy of Engineering would be expected to get from industry. So you have these various sensitivities, and one must recognize their existence, and one must respond in an appropriate way in an organization like IEEE.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Feerst appealed to many people because he argued that IEEE was being controlled [by] an elite. Many of them were academics. This elite was controlling the board, and many of them were vice presidents in some corporation or were academics, not representing the working engineers. </p>
+
Feerst appealed to many people because he argued that IEEE was being controlled [by] an elite. Many of them were academics. This elite was controlling the board, and many of them were vice presidents in some corporation or were academics, not representing the working engineers.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>That is correct. During my year as president I established a series of meetings with industry. I believe we had the first one in Boston, and I think we had three or four of them, and we had the presidents of practically every major electronics company meet with me and Emberson, who had been in Rad Lab during World War II. I would sort of act as the host and policy person, and Emberson then would give the facts of the IEEE and its interactions, and then we'd open it to discussion. </p>
+
That is correct. During my year as president I established a series of meetings with industry. I believe we had the first one in Boston, and I think we had three or four of them, and we had the presidents of practically every major electronics company meet with me and Emberson, who had been in Rad Lab during World War II. I would sort of act as the host and policy person, and Emberson then would give the facts of the IEEE and its interactions, and then we'd open it to discussion.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>What was the purpose of these meetings? </p>
+
What was the purpose of these meetings?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>The purpose was partly to offset Feerst's propaganda. Industry was beginning to think, as you pointed out, that IEEE was becoming a trade union and not a learned society. </p>
+
The purpose was partly to offset Feerst's propaganda. Industry was beginning to think, as you pointed out, that IEEE was becoming a trade union and not a learned society.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>IEEE was trying to span learned society to trade union, and these various functions. </p>
+
IEEE was trying to span learned society to trade union, and these various functions.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Industrial leaders felt that IEEE was becoming more like a trade union, when in the beginning it was a learned society. Now because IEEE is a real democratic organization, responding to the requirements of its members, it had covered the whole spectrum. It was trying to advance the art through its technical publications. It was trying to influence policy in Washington by having USAB and having fellows who would be made available to Congressmen, so Congressmen, who were mostly lawyers, would have some technical input. But it was also trying to impact on things like retirements, and job stability, and wage busting. It's hard to say that wage busting and retirements are a function of a learned society. But it had become that way. The job I had as president at that time was to try to be responsive to the requirements of the membership without upsetting the apple cart. Industry was getting fed up. Pensions, for example. It was understandable why some members of IEEE wanted mobile pensions. Not the university professors, who had tenure. But on the working level, particularly the engineer in the plants who was working on incoming inspection and quality control, and that sort of thing, was interested in portable pensions, because he had to go from North American to Northrup to General Dynamics, to Lockheed, and so on. On the other side, as a member of the board of directors, I was very familiar with the problems that portable pensions would create for Northrup. This is later. Northrup could not have a separate pension system for every job assignment in the company, and if they did they would have trouble assigning people from one area to another with no clear definition of where the boundaries were. When I set up Aerospace, I got around the pension problem, having had broad experience in this stuff, by setting up a very short time for vesting. After a few years a person was vested, and if he wanted to change jobs, he didn't lose that much. When I was at Raytheon, you had to be there twenty years before you were fully vested, and after ten years you were vested only fifty percent. So today after being vice president of Raytheon for ten years and, I think, leading it from what I might refer to as a loft-type operation to a major industrial giant, I get two hundred and sixty-two dollars and twenty-six cents monthly pension! </p>
+
Industrial leaders felt that IEEE was becoming more like a trade union, when in the beginning it was a learned society. Now because IEEE is a real democratic organization, responding to the requirements of its members, it had covered the whole spectrum. It was trying to advance the art through its technical publications. It was trying to influence policy in Washington by having USAB and having fellows who would be made available to Congressmen, so Congressmen, who were mostly lawyers, would have some technical input. But it was also trying to impact on things like retirements, and job stability, and wage busting. It's hard to say that wage busting and retirements are a function of a learned society. But it had become that way. The job I had as president at that time was to try to be responsive to the requirements of the membership without upsetting the apple cart. Industry was getting fed up. Pensions, for example. It was understandable why some members of IEEE wanted mobile pensions. Not the university professors, who had tenure. But on the working level, particularly the engineer in the plants who was working on incoming inspection and quality control, and that sort of thing, was interested in portable pensions, because he had to go from North American to Northrup to General Dynamics, to Lockheed, and so on. On the other side, as a member of the board of directors, I was very familiar with the problems that portable pensions would create for Northrup. This is later. Northrup could not have a separate pension system for every job assignment in the company, and if they did they would have trouble assigning people from one area to another with no clear definition of where the boundaries were. When I set up Aerospace, I got around the pension problem, having had broad experience in this stuff, by setting up a very short time for vesting. After a few years a person was vested, and if he wanted to change jobs, he didn't lose that much. When I was at Raytheon, you had to be there twenty years before you were fully vested, and after ten years you were vested only fifty percent. So today after being vice president of Raytheon for ten years and, I think, leading it from what I might refer to as a loft-type operation to a major industrial giant, I get two hundred and sixty-two dollars and twenty-six cents monthly pension!  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Yes. </p>
+
Yes.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>So you see, the universities had portable pensions, and they do it through TIA-CREF. Are you familiar with those? </p>
+
So you see, the universities had portable pensions, and they do it through TIA-CREF. Are you familiar with those?  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Yes. I know of those. </p>
+
Yes. I know of those.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Since a large part of the membership (the academics) of IEEE had portable pensions, why shouldn't the other people have portable pensions? From their viewpoint? From the industry viewpoint, portable pensions were anathema. The idea that their engineers would want to become unionized was anathema. Some of the large companies are unionized. One morning I woke up to find that Aerospace scientists and engineers were unionized. I thought I knew everything, but I didn't know that there was a reasonable unhappiness over the stability of their jobs. As the DOD space programs increased, Congress began establishing limits on how much the Department of Defense could spend at Aerospace. The fact that we were competent and doing a good job indicated why we were growing, but the congressional politics, and the pressure from local companies in their districts, finally resulted in Congress putting a ceiling on the amount of DOD dollars that could be contracted with Aerospace. Many working engineers and scientists didn't like it, and they were able to form a union. They didn't end up in an aggressive way because they'd learned that they really couldn't strike against the management because the management couldn't get more money out of the DOD, so who were they striking against? </p>
+
Since a large part of the membership (the academics) of IEEE had portable pensions, why shouldn't the other people have portable pensions? From their viewpoint? From the industry viewpoint, portable pensions were anathema. The idea that their engineers would want to become unionized was anathema. Some of the large companies are unionized. One morning I woke up to find that Aerospace scientists and engineers were unionized. I thought I knew everything, but I didn't know that there was a reasonable unhappiness over the stability of their jobs. As the DOD space programs increased, Congress began establishing limits on how much the Department of Defense could spend at Aerospace. The fact that we were competent and doing a good job indicated why we were growing, but the congressional politics, and the pressure from local companies in their districts, finally resulted in Congress putting a ceiling on the amount of DOD dollars that could be contracted with Aerospace. Many working engineers and scientists didn't like it, and they were able to form a union. They didn't end up in an aggressive way because they'd learned that they really couldn't strike against the management because the management couldn't get more money out of the DOD, so who were they striking against?  
  
 
=== Debating Feerst and Public Policy  ===
 
=== Debating Feerst and Public Policy  ===
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>You say you were approached by some members of the board of directors of IEEE in 1977. </p>
+
You say you were approached by some members of the board of directors of IEEE in 1977.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Yes. </p>
+
Yes.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Did you have friends on the board at the time? Do you care to identify the people who approached you? </p>
+
Did you have friends on the board at the time? Do you care to identify the people who approached you?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I was afraid you were going to ask me that, and I've been searching my mind. Dick Emberson of course knew me very well, and [[Donald Fink|Fink]] knew me very well. </p>
+
I was afraid you were going to ask me that, and I've been searching my mind. Dick Emberson of course knew me very well, and [[Donald Fink|Fink]] knew me very well.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Donald Fink, yes. He was general manager. </p>
+
Donald Fink, yes. He was general manager.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Although he was never close to me, I probably was approached by [[Robert M. Saunders|Saunders]]. Though I think he approached me as the president, after discussions with the board. </p>
+
Although he was never close to me, I probably was approached by [[Robert M. Saunders|Saunders]]. Though I think he approached me as the president, after discussions with the board.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Right, the board members. You told me before that you did some debating with Feerst, and at sections before they elected you. </p>
+
Right, the board members. You told me before that you did some debating with Feerst, and at sections before they elected you.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Oh, yeah. They were very fierce, too. </p>
+
Oh, yeah. They were very fierce, too.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>After you agreed to run as the board candidate, some sections here and there asked you if you would come to debate Feerst? </p>
+
After you agreed to run as the board candidate, some sections here and there asked you if you would come to debate Feerst?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Yes. </p>
+
Yes.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>You told me that they were well attended, these debates? </p>
+
You told me that they were well attended, these debates?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Yes. I don't remember all of them. I particularly remember the one in New Hampshire that was close to Feerst's home base. I had to travel all the way across the country to debate him, but it so happened that there were a fair number of engineers who knew me personally and were employed by companies in that area. There was one company that had broken off from Raytheon, for example. There were also several companies that had hired people who had worked for me at Aerospace. The meetings were well attended. </p>
+
Yes. I don't remember all of them. I particularly remember the one in New Hampshire that was close to Feerst's home base. I had to travel all the way across the country to debate him, but it so happened that there were a fair number of engineers who knew me personally and were employed by companies in that area. There was one company that had broken off from Raytheon, for example. There were also several companies that had hired people who had worked for me at Aerospace. The meetings were well attended.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Can you describe the nature of the debate? Was it calm and reasoned? </p>
+
Can you describe the nature of the debate? Was it calm and reasoned?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Yes. Feerst gave his points, which appear in the - </p>
+
Yes. Feerst gave his points, which appear in the -  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>In his letters. </p>
+
In his letters.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Yes. I tried to respond to his statements very much as I've been responding to your questions, about the role of IEEE, about the various issues that were being raised and how they might impact the future of IEEE. Let me define the word prejudice, if I may. When I was in the Society of Fellows at Harvard I used to have supper every Monday night with the other junior and senior Fellows, and one of them was A. Lawrence Lowell, as the famous president of Harvard for a very long time, and brother of Amy Lowell the poet. He could repeat himself; he was old enough then to do that, and he said that a person is prejudiced if he's lived long enough, and has had enough experience to be able to form a reasonable judgment. So, I expressed my prejudice about what IEEE should be: principally first, a learned society to push the advancement of the scientific application to electrical engineering. To publish those results, and also to look after the general well being of its members, but not to take on things which were not within its field. Now let me give you my prejudice on an example of that. I’m not sure that IEEE as a professional society should try to express its views on political issues. One might be the use of the A-bomb. </p>
+
Yes. I tried to respond to his statements very much as I've been responding to your questions, about the role of IEEE, about the various issues that were being raised and how they might impact the future of IEEE. Let me define the word prejudice, if I may. When I was in the Society of Fellows at Harvard I used to have supper every Monday night with the other junior and senior Fellows, and one of them was A. Lawrence Lowell, as the famous president of Harvard for a very long time, and brother of Amy Lowell the poet. He could repeat himself; he was old enough then to do that, and he said that a person is prejudiced if he's lived long enough, and has had enough experience to be able to form a reasonable judgment. So, I expressed my prejudice about what IEEE should be: principally first, a learned society to push the advancement of the scientific application to electrical engineering. To publish those results, and also to look after the general well being of its members, but not to take on things which were not within its field. Now let me give you my prejudice on an example of that. I’m not sure that IEEE as a professional society should try to express its views on political issues. One might be the use of the A-bomb.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>In the mid-1970s, IEEE did make a policy statement about nuclear energy. </p>
+
In the mid-1970s, IEEE did make a policy statement about nuclear energy.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>That's right. </p>
+
That's right.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>They came out saying that this should be developed, and that caused a lot of controversy. </p>
+
They came out saying that this should be developed, and that caused a lot of controversy.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>It should have. It isn't clear to me that the electrical and electronic profession, IEEE, qualifies people to try to establish policy on nuclear things. While they may know about it, most of them have not been trained in it. </p>
+
It should have. It isn't clear to me that the electrical and electronic profession, IEEE, qualifies people to try to establish policy on nuclear things. While they may know about it, most of them have not been trained in it.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Are you saying in general the IEEE ought to stay out of public policy issues? </p>
+
Are you saying in general the IEEE ought to stay out of public policy issues?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>We ought to stay out of public policy issues except to the extent that when a professional aspect is involved, we explain the professional implications. </p>
+
We ought to stay out of public policy issues except to the extent that when a professional aspect is involved, we explain the professional implications.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>I think many members of IEEE, people in the power industries, would have argued that there was a misconception about nuclear energy, and the electrical engineers dealing with it were in a position to say, "This is something that can be safely developed". </p>
+
I think many members of IEEE, people in the power industries, would have argued that there was a misconception about nuclear energy, and the electrical engineers dealing with it were in a position to say, "This is something that can be safely developed".  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Okay, what do you mean, “safely developed”? </p>
+
Okay, what do you mean, “safely developed”?  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>That's a difficult matter, but many engineers felt that the public perception of atomic energy didn't accord with the real risks involved. </p>
+
That's a difficult matter, but many engineers felt that the public perception of atomic energy didn't accord with the real risks involved.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I suspect that the public was probably right, and I think that IEEE was probably wrong. But that isn't the point I'm trying to get across. IEEE can express its views on such items as, “Can you design enough reliability into the electrical controls of the rods to ensure that it would be safe under all conditions?” I don't think that they should try to answer the question of, “Can you dispose of the radioactive debris that is produced in the process?” I would leave that to experts in that field. </p>
+
I suspect that the public was probably right, and I think that IEEE was probably wrong. But that isn't the point I'm trying to get across. IEEE can express its views on such items as, “Can you design enough reliability into the electrical controls of the rods to ensure that it would be safe under all conditions?” I don't think that they should try to answer the question of, “Can you dispose of the radioactive debris that is produced in the process?” I would leave that to experts in that field.  
  
<p>So they shouldn't make a general policy statement, "We should develop nuclear energy." They should restrict themselves to particular things such as control of the reactor on which they're experts. But a lot of policy questions can be answered by any intelligent person if they're given the facts. There are lots of borderline cases in public policy for which there are no simple answers. For example, one of the technical issues while I was president was the safe dosage of radio waves. As a matter of fact, when I was at Raytheon and we developed our Radar Range, which is now a copyright name so we have to call it a microwave oven, what was the safe radiation limit from a microwave oven? Electrical engineers were qualified to make measurements, they were qualified to say what the results of different levels of power are, but they should have limited their statements where they were not qualified. Let me explain. Most of us in the business, and certainly I as vice president of engineering and research at Raytheon, were very much interested in that problem. At that time there were no specifications in the government agency that licenses radio frequencies and everything else. </p>
+
So they shouldn't make a general policy statement, "We should develop nuclear energy." They should restrict themselves to particular things such as control of the reactor on which they're experts. But a lot of policy questions can be answered by any intelligent person if they're given the facts. There are lots of borderline cases in public policy for which there are no simple answers. For example, one of the technical issues while I was president was the safe dosage of radio waves. As a matter of fact, when I was at Raytheon and we developed our Radar Range, which is now a copyright name so we have to call it a microwave oven, what was the safe radiation limit from a microwave oven? Electrical engineers were qualified to make measurements, they were qualified to say what the results of different levels of power are, but they should have limited their statements where they were not qualified. Let me explain. Most of us in the business, and certainly I as vice president of engineering and research at Raytheon, were very much interested in that problem. At that time there were no specifications in the government agency that licenses radio frequencies and everything else.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>FCC? </p>
+
FCC?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I guess it was FCC, but they received licensing from a standpoint of mutual interference, and we were discussing health. You could certainly make measurements on how much energy you could radiate before you start melting something, and working with medical people on how much energy you could put on the eye before you start cooking it or damaging it, but there are always reservations. The Russians, for example, have a limit which is I think a thousand times lower than our specification. But we enforce our specification; they don't. There are people in the medical field, the biology field, who feel that energy levels should be much lower than the spec which is based on heating. </p>
+
I guess it was FCC, but they received licensing from a standpoint of mutual interference, and we were discussing health. You could certainly make measurements on how much energy you could radiate before you start melting something, and working with medical people on how much energy you could put on the eye before you start cooking it or damaging it, but there are always reservations. The Russians, for example, have a limit which is I think a thousand times lower than our specification. But we enforce our specification; they don't. There are people in the medical field, the biology field, who feel that energy levels should be much lower than the spec which is based on heating.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>The thermal effects. </p>
+
The thermal effects.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>The material effects can damage the brain. I don't know. Again, that becomes a very delicate issue. There is no hard answer to that. But IEEE took an official position, which I certainly endorsed. I forget now how many milliwatts per square centimeter, and for how long, was safe. You need to have some limit, so you do the best you can, but there's a caveat. </p>
+
The material effects can damage the brain. I don't know. Again, that becomes a very delicate issue. There is no hard answer to that. But IEEE took an official position, which I certainly endorsed. I forget now how many milliwatts per square centimeter, and for how long, was safe. You need to have some limit, so you do the best you can, but there's a caveat.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Someone I talked to just this week, [[C. Kumar Patel|Kumar Patel]], argued that IEEE ought to do a lot more in this area of public policy. </p>
+
Someone I talked to just this week, [[C. Kumar Patel|Kumar Patel]], argued that IEEE ought to do a lot more in this area of public policy.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Patel? </p>
+
Patel?  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Yes. </p>
+
Yes.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I know him quite well, and I respect him. </p>
+
I know him quite well, and I respect him.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>He pointed out that the American Physical Society - he's currently president of the APS - has done more of these studies and issuing public policy statements than IEEE has. </p>
+
He pointed out that the American Physical Society - he's currently president of the APS - has done more of these studies and issuing public policy statements than IEEE has.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>That may be, because the Physical Society can claim to be in biophysics as well as what I would call material physics, and they have experts in the field. </p>
+
That may be, because the Physical Society can claim to be in biophysics as well as what I would call material physics, and they have experts in the field.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>There are a whole range of issues, Patel was arguing, that IEEE is reluctant to get into. </p>
+
There are a whole range of issues, Patel was arguing, that IEEE is reluctant to get into.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>It should be reluctant. </p>
+
It should be reluctant.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>That's what you're saying; you think they should be. . . </p>
+
That's what you're saying; you think they should be. . .  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I think they should limit their inputs to their area of expertise, and not necessarily make judgments. Anybody has the right to have a judgment. But let's go back to this radiation bit. People put the [[Cell Phones|portable phones]] they have now right close to the head, so their radiation coupling is pretty close, and they use them all day, in the car. Now does that cause any damage? I don't know. My brother is a physician; he's now officially retired, but he was the Director of Public Health in Massachusetts, and then professor at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, in the medical school. There may be subtle effects, cumulative effects. It's hard to prove. Frankly I would not want at this point - from what I know, which is limited - to hold a tenth of a watt transmitter next to my head for eight hours a day. I've been exposed to everything, microwaves, gamma rays, neutrons, everything else. </p>
+
I think they should limit their inputs to their area of expertise, and not necessarily make judgments. Anybody has the right to have a judgment. But let's go back to this radiation bit. People put the [[Cell Phones|portable phones]] they have now right close to the head, so their radiation coupling is pretty close, and they use them all day, in the car. Now does that cause any damage? I don't know. My brother is a physician; he's now officially retired, but he was the Director of Public Health in Massachusetts, and then professor at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, in the medical school. There may be subtle effects, cumulative effects. It's hard to prove. Frankly I would not want at this point - from what I know, which is limited - to hold a tenth of a watt transmitter next to my head for eight hours a day. I've been exposed to everything, microwaves, gamma rays, neutrons, everything else.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>I think you've stated your view quite well on that issue. Maybe we can look at some of the other issues in the time that you were president. Is there anything else about the campaign that you wanted to say? You went to a number of sections and debated, you made statements that were published. </p>
+
I think you've stated your view quite well on that issue. Maybe we can look at some of the other issues in the time that you were president. Is there anything else about the campaign that you wanted to say? You went to a number of sections and debated, you made statements that were published.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Yes, and Feerst acted with a reasonable degree of decorum during that period of time. What he did after I left I don't know, because I wasn't that close anymore. </p>
+
Yes, and Feerst acted with a reasonable degree of decorum during that period of time. What he did after I left I don't know, because I wasn't that close anymore.  
  
 
=== Getting Elected President  ===
 
=== Getting Elected President  ===
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>The election came out in your favor, a fair margin of victory. </p>
+
The election came out in your favor, a fair margin of victory.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>And do you know what was the first thing I did? The first thing I did after I went to a meeting? Was to get a copy of the rules of order. </p>
+
And do you know what was the first thing I did? The first thing I did after I went to a meeting? Was to get a copy of the rules of order.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Roberts' Rules of Order. </p>
+
Roberts' Rules of Order.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Of Roberts' Rules of Order. I had to become more skilled in the proper application of proper rules of order than anybody on the board! This may sound strange and funny, but as I said, one thing I liked about IEEE, was that it was really a democratic organization. I couldn't control it except through legitimate process. </p>
+
Of Roberts' Rules of Order. I had to become more skilled in the proper application of proper rules of order than anybody on the board! This may sound strange and funny, but as I said, one thing I liked about IEEE, was that it was really a democratic organization. I couldn't control it except through legitimate process.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>I see. I know that Saunders is a stickler about proper procedure. </p>
+
I see. I know that Saunders is a stickler about proper procedure.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>You want to see my worn copy? I took it everywhere I went. </p>
+
You want to see my worn copy? I took it everywhere I went.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Oh, your Roberts' Rules of Order. </p>
+
Oh, your Roberts' Rules of Order.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Do you know where Roberts wrote that? </p>
+
Do you know where Roberts wrote that?  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>No. </p>
+
No.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>On Friday Harbor, up in the Seattle area, on the island. He was an engineer doing the fortifications on Friday Harbor during the Pig War with the Canadians, and he had time on his hands, so he wrote the book up there. He was an Army engineer. </p>
+
On Friday Harbor, up in the Seattle area, on the island. He was an engineer doing the fortifications on Friday Harbor during the Pig War with the Canadians, and he had time on his hands, so he wrote the book up there. He was an Army engineer.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>I didn't know that. So you were informed, was it December of 1977, that you were elected? </p>
+
I didn't know that. So you were informed, was it December of 1977, that you were elected?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Yes. I retired from Aerospace about that time. Being president of IEEE means a lot of meetings, among other things. It's almost a full-time job. </p>
+
Yes. I retired from Aerospace about that time. Being president of IEEE means a lot of meetings, among other things. It's almost a full-time job.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Maybe I should ask these general questions now before flipping through these minutes. Did it surprise you how much time it required? </p>
+
Maybe I should ask these general questions now before flipping through these minutes. Did it surprise you how much time it required?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Not really. I guess the answer should be yes and no. Once you get going on something, and you have the time, which I managed to have, then you spend as much time as necessary. It took a lot of time. You may recall that [[Robert W. Lucky|Bob Lucky]] was considered for the presidency later on. He was told by his management that he could be the president of IEEE but he couldn't be vice president of [[Bell Labs|Bell Labs]] at the same time. </p>
+
Not really. I guess the answer should be yes and no. Once you get going on something, and you have the time, which I managed to have, then you spend as much time as necessary. It took a lot of time. You may recall that [[Robert W. Lucky|Bob Lucky]] was considered for the presidency later on. He was told by his management that he could be the president of IEEE but he couldn't be vice president of [[Bell Labs|Bell Labs]] at the same time.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>It's often felt by people on the West Coast that IEEE has this strong east coast bias, that more of the people are on the East Coast, and many of the meetings were there, and so on. Did it seem so to you at the time? </p>
+
It's often felt by people on the West Coast that IEEE has this strong east coast bias, that more of the people are on the East Coast, and many of the meetings were there, and so on. Did it seem so to you at the time?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Well, I would think so, but that's historical. There was a time when Boston was the center of all electronics, and then it spread out to the New York area, New Jersey area, Delaware and all of New England, then down to Philadelphia. </p>
+
Well, I would think so, but that's historical. There was a time when Boston was the center of all electronics, and then it spread out to the New York area, New Jersey area, Delaware and all of New England, then down to Philadelphia.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Then it wasn't the case that there's an East Coast clique. </p>
+
Then it wasn't the case that there's an East Coast clique.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>No, I think it's purely historical, where the members are. </p>
+
No, I think it's purely historical, where the members are.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>You've already mentioned some of the issues of that time... the portable pensions was one matter. </p>
+
You've already mentioned some of the issues of that time... the portable pensions was one matter.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>The wage busting was another. </p>
+
The wage busting was another.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>The wage busting when a contract was, I guess, given to another contractor for a continued service. </p>
+
The wage busting when a contract was, I guess, given to another contractor for a continued service.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Yes, they were usually limited to service contracts, like down at Cape Kennedy, or Vandenberg, or some military base or something. You'd take a place that was remote, like some of the military stations out in Texas or New Mexico, where there is not a big indigenous supply of engineers. A company could come in and underbid the current company and offer less pensions, even reduced salary, and people were there. They had their house there, their family there, their kids at school there, and they would be employed at a lower salary and lose their accruing pensions. </p>
+
Yes, they were usually limited to service contracts, like down at Cape Kennedy, or Vandenberg, or some military base or something. You'd take a place that was remote, like some of the military stations out in Texas or New Mexico, where there is not a big indigenous supply of engineers. A company could come in and underbid the current company and offer less pensions, even reduced salary, and people were there. They had their house there, their family there, their kids at school there, and they would be employed at a lower salary and lose their accruing pensions.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Was any progress made on that score in your year? </p>
+
Was any progress made on that score in your year?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>There was a little progress made while I was president, but my recollection is that there were bills before congress that were pending, and I can't say what happened afterwards. </p>
+
There was a little progress made while I was president, but my recollection is that there were bills before congress that were pending, and I can't say what happened afterwards.  
  
 
=== Eric Herz and Changes in Presidential Elections  ===
 
=== Eric Herz and Changes in Presidential Elections  ===
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Okay. In Saunders' year as president H. A. Shulke resigned as general manager of IEEE. Then Emberson, I guess, was acting manager general for a while - </p>
+
Okay. In Saunders' year as president H. A. Shulke resigned as general manager of IEEE. Then Emberson, I guess, was acting manager general for a while -  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Yes. </p>
+
Yes.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>And then Eric Herz was hired. </p>
+
And then Eric Herz was hired.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I take credit for Eric Herz. The biggest contribution that I made to IEEE was convincing Eric Herz to take on that job. </p>
+
I take credit for Eric Herz. The biggest contribution that I made to IEEE was convincing Eric Herz to take on that job.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>How did you know Eric? </p>
+
How did you know Eric?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Well it was a strange thing. I think it was before I was formally president; I had been elected. I was living in L.A., and there was a meeting out here in San Diego, and it was held in a hotel out on Mission Bay. I wanted to find out how these regional meetings were conducted, and what went on, so I came down here. Eric Herz was in charge of the program and the whole damn meeting and the set-up, and the banquets and the speeches and everything else. I was very impressed by his personality and his ability to work with people, to get things done. He had a lot of the qualities that I didn't have. Didn't Donald Fink have that job? </p>
+
Well it was a strange thing. I think it was before I was formally president; I had been elected. I was living in L.A., and there was a meeting out here in San Diego, and it was held in a hotel out on Mission Bay. I wanted to find out how these regional meetings were conducted, and what went on, so I came down here. Eric Herz was in charge of the program and the whole damn meeting and the set-up, and the banquets and the speeches and everything else. I was very impressed by his personality and his ability to work with people, to get things done. He had a lot of the qualities that I didn't have. Didn't Donald Fink have that job?  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Well Donald Fink was the original general manager from the merger until 1975, I think it was, and then it was Schulke, but just for two years. </p>
+
Well Donald Fink was the original general manager from the merger until 1975, I think it was, and then it was Schulke, but just for two years.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I knew Dick Emberson. I knew he was a sweet guy, a gentleman. Quite competent technically - did you know him? But he was not a gung-ho type. I knew that they were looking for someone other than Dick Emberson at that time. As I say, I was very much attracted to Eric Herz. I think he had me out to his house somewhere in Mission Valley for supper, and I met his wife, and I was impressed also by her, as the type of woman who would support her husband in these difficult interactions where there is a large number of people. So they had the qualifications. Frankly, until I read some of the notes and minutes that you sent me, I thought I hired him, just having foisted him on the rest of the people! </p>
+
I knew Dick Emberson. I knew he was a sweet guy, a gentleman. Quite competent technically - did you know him? But he was not a gung-ho type. I knew that they were looking for someone other than Dick Emberson at that time. As I say, I was very much attracted to Eric Herz. I think he had me out to his house somewhere in Mission Valley for supper, and I met his wife, and I was impressed also by her, as the type of woman who would support her husband in these difficult interactions where there is a large number of people. So they had the qualifications. Frankly, until I read some of the notes and minutes that you sent me, I thought I hired him, just having foisted him on the rest of the people!  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>You were his main champion among the board. </p>
+
You were his main champion among the board.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Yes, but I didn't have any problems. I mean it wasn't as though I pushed him down the throats of a lot of hardheaded, obstreperous members of the board. </p>
+
Yes, but I didn't have any problems. I mean it wasn't as though I pushed him down the throats of a lot of hardheaded, obstreperous members of the board.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>I'm curious about the resignation of Schulke. That happened the year before you became president. </p>
+
I'm curious about the resignation of Schulke. That happened the year before you became president.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I don't know anything about that. </p>
+
I don't know anything about that.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>I think you certainly can take credit for having convinced Eric Herz to take the job. </p>
+
I think you certainly can take credit for having convinced Eric Herz to take the job.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I can’t take the credit for that; I'll let anybody else who wants to. I didn't have enough votes to elect him; I only had one vote. </p>
+
I can’t take the credit for that; I'll let anybody else who wants to. I didn't have enough votes to elect him; I only had one vote.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>I think it worked out very well. Another issue that came up in your year as president was changing the way the president was elected so that the president-elect would serve one year as executive vice president before becoming president. It was proposed during your year, and I think was voted on by the members the following year. </p>
+
I think it worked out very well. Another issue that came up in your year as president was changing the way the president was elected so that the president-elect would serve one year as executive vice president before becoming president. It was proposed during your year, and I think was voted on by the members the following year.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>In the subsequent years? </p>
+
In the subsequent years?  
  
 
=== Les Hogan as Vice President  ===
 
=== Les Hogan as Vice President  ===
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Right. So you came in cold, so to speak, and you were suddenly president. Was that very difficult? </p>
+
Right. So you came in cold, so to speak, and you were suddenly president. Was that very difficult?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>The answer is yes. Let me say, I had a pretty good vice president, Hogan. Hogan had been more active in IEEE than I had; in fact he had objected to many of the issues. Are you familiar with Les Hogan? </p>
+
The answer is yes. Let me say, I had a pretty good vice president, Hogan. Hogan had been more active in IEEE than I had; in fact he had objected to many of the issues. Are you familiar with Les Hogan?  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>I know who he is, yes. </p>
+
I know who he is, yes.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I happened to know him, but that had nothing to do with his coming in as vice president. Hogan was a professor at Harvard when I was vice president at Raytheon, and he was an expert on [[Ferrites|ferrites]]. Are you familiar with the ferrite materials? </p>
+
I happened to know him, but that had nothing to do with his coming in as vice president. Hogan was a professor at Harvard when I was vice president at Raytheon, and he was an expert on [[Ferrites|ferrites]]. Are you familiar with the ferrite materials?  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Yes. </p>
+
Yes.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I thought you were a historian, not a scientist. </p>
+
I thought you were a historian, not a scientist.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Well, I have some math and physics. </p>
+
Well, I have some math and physics.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I went out of my way to convince him to come and consult for Raytheon. Ferrites are needed to do phase shifting and wave guides; you can do it other ways, but that's the good way. I got Raytheon into the ferrite business. They're still the major supplier of ferrites, and that's what makes Raytheon able to make these huge antennas, and all kinds of things. So I knew Hogan. </p>
+
I went out of my way to convince him to come and consult for Raytheon. Ferrites are needed to do phase shifting and wave guides; you can do it other ways, but that's the good way. I got Raytheon into the ferrite business. They're still the major supplier of ferrites, and that's what makes Raytheon able to make these huge antennas, and all kinds of things. So I knew Hogan.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>So you knew Hogan. </p>
+
So you knew Hogan.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>But I did not have anything to do whatsoever with his coming in as a candidate for executive VP. I think that was done outside the normal process for nominations. </p>
+
But I did not have anything to do whatsoever with his coming in as a candidate for executive VP. I think that was done outside the normal process for nominations.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Normally the board has its nominee for president. </p>
+
Normally the board has its nominee for president.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Normally it does. You might check on this one. All I know is that I woke up one morning to find out that my executive vice president was Les Hogan! Now by that time he had left Harvard and gone to Motorola. He had set up Motorola as one of the prime companies in silicon transistors. Then he went to the Bay area and set up a company there, and he was up there when he was elected as executive VP. </p>
+
Normally it does. You might check on this one. All I know is that I woke up one morning to find out that my executive vice president was Les Hogan! Now by that time he had left Harvard and gone to Motorola. He had set up Motorola as one of the prime companies in silicon transistors. Then he went to the Bay area and set up a company there, and he was up there when he was elected as executive VP.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>I just saw the answer to that. The board candidate was called Bayless. Les Hogan was a petition candidate. </p>
+
I just saw the answer to that. The board candidate was called Bayless. Les Hogan was a petition candidate.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>That's right. So he was a petition candidate, but that surprises me a little. My recollection is that he was deeply disturbed by the - unionization, I'll call it that way - of IEEE rather than as a learned society, and he was determined to fix it. </p>
+
That's right. So he was a petition candidate, but that surprises me a little. My recollection is that he was deeply disturbed by the - unionization, I'll call it that way - of IEEE rather than as a learned society, and he was determined to fix it.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>You mean to say he didn't want it to become so much of a union. </p>
+
You mean to say he didn't want it to become so much of a union.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>That's right. In other words, he was, I think, totally opposed to Feerst. So he was a great help to me, in the sense that if I left town I could trust who was left in town. By the way, he was at the meeting up here, and I asked if he would be willing, if you prepared a typed version of my interview, to go over it and make sure that nothing I said was so wrong that even he couldn't take it. </p>
+
That's right. In other words, he was, I think, totally opposed to Feerst. So he was a great help to me, in the sense that if I left town I could trust who was left in town. By the way, he was at the meeting up here, and I asked if he would be willing, if you prepared a typed version of my interview, to go over it and make sure that nothing I said was so wrong that even he couldn't take it.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Was he willing to look at it? </p>
+
Was he willing to look at it?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Yes, so if you want to either interview him, or send him a copy of the typed transcription for his comments, he'd be willing to read it, and I have his telephone number and address. </p>
+
Yes, so if you want to either interview him, or send him a copy of the typed transcription for his comments, he'd be willing to read it, and I have his telephone number and address.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>If he's an IEEE member, then I should be able to get - </p>
+
If he's an IEEE member, then I should be able to get -  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Les Hogan is a very positive, very strong guy. Very successful, very smart. Now to come back to your question, I think it was a good idea, and it's a system that many of the other societies have. But you are correct: that was not enacted while I was president. </p>
+
Les Hogan is a very positive, very strong guy. Very successful, very smart. Now to come back to your question, I think it was a good idea, and it's a system that many of the other societies have. But you are correct: that was not enacted while I was president.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>It was proposed, and I assume you favored it? </p>
+
It was proposed, and I assume you favored it?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>As I said, IEEE is a democratic organization, and it moved slowly sometimes. That's a good example. </p>
+
As I said, IEEE is a democratic organization, and it moved slowly sometimes. That's a good example.  
  
 
=== IEEE Staff and Transnational Character  ===
 
=== IEEE Staff and Transnational Character  ===
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Another matter that was maybe reaching conclusion in your year was the setting up of the IEEE Foundation to be 501(c)(3)? </p>
+
Another matter that was maybe reaching conclusion in your year was the setting up of the IEEE Foundation to be 501(c)(3)?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Aerospace was 501(c)(3). </p>
+
Aerospace was 501(c)(3).  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>[[John Guarrera|John Guarrera]] told me the other day that he thinks IEEE received bad advice from its lawyers, that it wasn't ever necessary to change the tax status of IEEE itself, even when it got into the professional activities. Did you get enough involved in that to have a comment? </p>
+
[[John Guarrera|John Guarrera]] told me the other day that he thinks IEEE received bad advice from its lawyers, that it wasn't ever necessary to change the tax status of IEEE itself, even when it got into the professional activities. Did you get enough involved in that to have a comment?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Well I got somewhat involved. Again, my recollection is that, before I became president, IEEE had started with the USAB, and they had started appearing essentially as lobbyists, and the interpretation by the lawyers was that this disqualified them as a 501(c)(3). On the other hand, IEEE wanted to be able to receive gifts and donations to be used for scientific and appropriate use, and to get around that they set up the foundation. I couldn't see anything wrong with it at that time, and as you know it was established - according to what you've sent me I think in December of 1978 while I was president still. </p>
+
Well I got somewhat involved. Again, my recollection is that, before I became president, IEEE had started with the USAB, and they had started appearing essentially as lobbyists, and the interpretation by the lawyers was that this disqualified them as a 501(c)(3). On the other hand, IEEE wanted to be able to receive gifts and donations to be used for scientific and appropriate use, and to get around that they set up the foundation. I couldn't see anything wrong with it at that time, and as you know it was established - according to what you've sent me I think in December of 1978 while I was president still.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>I suppose it functioned as it was intended to? </p>
+
I suppose it functioned as it was intended to?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>As far as I know it has been functioning as it was intended to, and it certainly made it possible for USAB to operate without getting into some legal problem. </p>
+
As far as I know it has been functioning as it was intended to, and it certainly made it possible for USAB to operate without getting into some legal problem.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Did you get good support from the IEEE staff? </p>
+
Did you get good support from the IEEE staff?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Yes. What was the name of the lady who was in Piscataway? </p>
+
Yes. What was the name of the lady who was in Piscataway?  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Was it Emily Surjane? </p>
+
Was it Emily Surjane?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Yes. She was just fantastic. </p>
+
Yes. She was just fantastic.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Did you very often visit, New York or Piscataway? </p>
+
Did you very often visit, New York or Piscataway?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>As much as I could. If I'd lived in that area I would have been there much more frequently. But with Emily Surjane there, and with Dick Emberson there, I had good ties. I had good communications on the phone very frequently. </p>
+
As much as I could. If I'd lived in that area I would have been there much more frequently. But with Emily Surjane there, and with Dick Emberson there, I had good ties. I had good communications on the phone very frequently.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>And you got the support you needed. </p>
+
And you got the support you needed.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I had absolutely no complaints about any of the support, even that bunch of lawyers they hired, who were there before I came, were very constructive and helpful. I had no problems whatsoever. </p>
+
I had absolutely no complaints about any of the support, even that bunch of lawyers they hired, who were there before I came, were very constructive and helpful. I had no problems whatsoever.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>The Piscataway facility was fairly new then. I think it was established in 1974. </p>
+
The Piscataway facility was fairly new then. I think it was established in 1974.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Well I visited there, and went through it thoroughly, and they were doing as far as I could tell a good job. </p>
+
Well I visited there, and went through it thoroughly, and they were doing as far as I could tell a good job.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>There weren't any glaring problems with the staff. </p>
+
There weren't any glaring problems with the staff.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Not that I was aware of. </p>
+
Not that I was aware of.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Well let's see, we've already talked about the service contract industry wage busting. </p>
+
Well let's see, we've already talked about the service contract industry wage busting.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I remember something else about the Founders Society. The question was raised several times that year as to whether the headquarters should stay in New York. You'll recall that the Founders Society was a gift from Carnegie? </p>
+
I remember something else about the Founders Society. The question was raised several times that year as to whether the headquarters should stay in New York. You'll recall that the Founders Society was a gift from Carnegie?  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Yes. </p>
+
Yes.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>And it went back to the turn of the century when New York was the center of gravity. I think some of us felt that New York was no longer the center of gravity, from the standpoint of logistics. It was all the way to one end of the country; it was far to travel. It would be better from that viewpoint if you were - what is the center of the country, Denver? Omaha? </p>
+
And it went back to the turn of the century when New York was the center of gravity. I think some of us felt that New York was no longer the center of gravity, from the standpoint of logistics. It was all the way to one end of the country; it was far to travel. It would be better from that viewpoint if you were - what is the center of the country, Denver? Omaha?  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Somewhere around there; that sounds right. </p>
+
Somewhere around there; that sounds right.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>It would have been better if it were there. If you like beef, that's okay. But then the center of activities is Washington D.C., and as you know the American Institute of Physics has moved to Washington, and AIA is in Washington, and the National Academy of Science and Engineering is in Washington. We did look into the possibility of moving, but not very much, because it looked impossible. I think we came to the conclusion that we had to keep New York like a nominal headquarters, because of good will. </p>
+
It would have been better if it were there. If you like beef, that's okay. But then the center of activities is Washington D.C., and as you know the American Institute of Physics has moved to Washington, and AIA is in Washington, and the National Academy of Science and Engineering is in Washington. We did look into the possibility of moving, but not very much, because it looked impossible. I think we came to the conclusion that we had to keep New York like a nominal headquarters, because of good will.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>As you know, more and more of IEEE's operations have moved to Piscataway, so there's much less now in New York City. </p>
+
As you know, more and more of IEEE's operations have moved to Piscataway, so there's much less now in New York City.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>But then there was also the question of transnational character. You didn't bring that up as a problem, but that was a problem. It was a problem in many ways. I did some soul-searching at the time. I was used to national security, because of World War II, and the whole Korean episode, the Vietnam episode, the Cold War, and I was deeply interested in national security. Here we were working with [[History of IEEE in India|India]], and India was one of the biggest supporters of IEEE, yet India refused to co-operate with the United States' foreign policy. It was really bad. Pakistan was much better that way. It seemed to me we were treading on Jello instead of on firm ground. But I firmly believed in the transnational nature of science. I had firm feelings that we were getting enough back out of it. The issue kept coming up about dues when I went to India, and I was aware of the poverty there. </p>
+
But then there was also the question of transnational character. You didn't bring that up as a problem, but that was a problem. It was a problem in many ways. I did some soul-searching at the time. I was used to national security, because of World War II, and the whole Korean episode, the Vietnam episode, the Cold War, and I was deeply interested in national security. Here we were working with [[History of IEEE in India|India]], and India was one of the biggest supporters of IEEE, yet India refused to co-operate with the United States' foreign policy. It was really bad. Pakistan was much better that way. It seemed to me we were treading on Jello instead of on firm ground. But I firmly believed in the transnational nature of science. I had firm feelings that we were getting enough back out of it. The issue kept coming up about dues when I went to India, and I was aware of the poverty there.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>You went to India as IEEE president? </p>
+
You went to India as IEEE president?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Yes. The question of dues came up. The Indian engineers couldn't really afford to pay our dues. I think the IEEE dues are about the same as one month's salary. So there was always this issue; could we give them smaller dues? Of course Feerst fought that. He'd just as soon get rid of them. So that was another issue at that time. </p>
+
Yes. The question of dues came up. The Indian engineers couldn't really afford to pay our dues. I think the IEEE dues are about the same as one month's salary. So there was always this issue; could we give them smaller dues? Of course Feerst fought that. He'd just as soon get rid of them. So that was another issue at that time.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>And you said you had somewhat mixed feelings on how international the organization should be? </p>
+
And you said you had somewhat mixed feelings on how international the organization should be?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Well, I supported the transnational characteristics of IEEE, but I also felt that it was a mixed blessing. Take the British Institute. The British Institute of Electrical Engineering consider themselves - because England is old, and Oxford is wonderful and Cambridge is wonderful, and the London school, the Institute of Technology or whatever it's called, and the Empire... When I got to Singapore, and I met with the chairman and vice chairman of the IEEE chapter of [[IEEE Singapore Section History|Singapore]], I found that they were nearly thrown in jail, because they wanted to set up a formal section in Singapore. Are you familiar with the government of Singapore? </p>
+
Well, I supported the transnational characteristics of IEEE, but I also felt that it was a mixed blessing. Take the British Institute. The British Institute of Electrical Engineering consider themselves - because England is old, and Oxford is wonderful and Cambridge is wonderful, and the London school, the Institute of Technology or whatever it's called, and the Empire... When I got to Singapore, and I met with the chairman and vice chairman of the IEEE chapter of [[IEEE Singapore Section History|Singapore]], I found that they were nearly thrown in jail, because they wanted to set up a formal section in Singapore. Are you familiar with the government of Singapore?  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Yeah, I know what it is. </p>
+
Yeah, I know what it is.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>It's an oligarchy, dictatorial; they run the cleanest city in the world, but they run it. They forbade IEEE setting up a section in Singapore, because the British Institute of Engineers already had a section there, and that was enough. There were problems of that type. On the other hand, in [[IEEE Australia Council History|Australia]] and [[IEEE New Zealand Council History|New Zealand]], and in India, they welcomed you with open arms. It was just wonderful. </p>
+
It's an oligarchy, dictatorial; they run the cleanest city in the world, but they run it. They forbade IEEE setting up a section in Singapore, because the British Institute of Engineers already had a section there, and that was enough. There were problems of that type. On the other hand, in [[IEEE Australia Council History|Australia]] and [[IEEE New Zealand Council History|New Zealand]], and in India, they welcomed you with open arms. It was just wonderful.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>I don't have the figures at hand, but something like ninety percent, if not higher, of IEEE's membership in the 1970s was made up of U.S. citizens. It's since become much more international: almost a third of IEEE members. </p>
+
I don't have the figures at hand, but something like ninety percent, if not higher, of IEEE's membership in the 1970s was made up of U.S. citizens. It's since become much more international: almost a third of IEEE members.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>In 1978, India launched five different sections. They had an annual meeting that lasted a week. They gave scholarships to students at their universities. I had to give a speech at that meeting. I also had to go on national television the morning I arrived, when I hadn't slept for two nights. India looked entirely to the United States as far as electrical engineering was concerned. Not to England. It was the same way in Australia and New Zealand. [[IEEE Japan Council History|Japan]] was a funny one. </p>
+
In 1978, India launched five different sections. They had an annual meeting that lasted a week. They gave scholarships to students at their universities. I had to give a speech at that meeting. I also had to go on national television the morning I arrived, when I hadn't slept for two nights. India looked entirely to the United States as far as electrical engineering was concerned. Not to England. It was the same way in Australia and New Zealand. [[IEEE Japan Council History|Japan]] was a funny one.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Did you visit Japan when you were president? </p>
+
Did you visit Japan when you were president?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Yes. Something happened in the communications link, and they didn't realize I was supposed to be there until the day I arrived. I think the IEEE representative had changed responsibilities - I won't say changed companies, but changed responsibilities, and in the process, the letters got lost in the mail. But they quickly rectified the situation after a few long distance calls from me to New York, and New York to them, and they had an official dinner for Helen and me in what was the successor’s palace, like the Prince of Wales. </p>
+
Yes. Something happened in the communications link, and they didn't realize I was supposed to be there until the day I arrived. I think the IEEE representative had changed responsibilities - I won't say changed companies, but changed responsibilities, and in the process, the letters got lost in the mail. But they quickly rectified the situation after a few long distance calls from me to New York, and New York to them, and they had an official dinner for Helen and me in what was the successor’s palace, like the Prince of Wales.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>The crown prince. </p>
+
The crown prince.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>The crown prince. They even had Kobe beef, and they invited the wives of all the big shots of Japanese industry. </p>
+
The crown prince. They even had Kobe beef, and they invited the wives of all the big shots of Japanese industry.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>They don't normally do that? </p>
+
They don't normally do that?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>They don't normally do that. Because I had my wife with me, I paid for her way everywhere. </p>
+
They don't normally do that. Because I had my wife with me, I paid for her way everywhere.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>I know now Japan is very active in IEEE. Was it already that in 1978? </p>
+
I know now Japan is very active in IEEE. Was it already that in 1978?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Because of this peculiar circumstance, the fact that communications had broken down, there was no programmed set of meetings, except for the one that they set up as an emergency, with twenty-four hours’ notice. There were, as I recall, no formal speeches or programs. </p>
+
Because of this peculiar circumstance, the fact that communications had broken down, there was no programmed set of meetings, except for the one that they set up as an emergency, with twenty-four hours’ notice. There were, as I recall, no formal speeches or programs.  
  
 
=== History Center Proposed and Standards  ===
 
=== History Center Proposed and Standards  ===
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Fine. Another matter which came up in your year as president has a particular connection to me. </p>
+
Fine. Another matter which came up in your year as president has a particular connection to me.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Boy, you do your homework. </p>
+
Boy, you do your homework.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>The History Center was proposed. Do you remember that, the discussion of establishing a history center? </p>
+
The History Center was proposed. Do you remember that, the discussion of establishing a history center?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Frankly, I'm a great believer in any major organization having some form of archive preservation, and of history. I don't recall that it was a major issue at all. I think it was proposed by someone and it was approved by the board, and I think it went ahead smoothly. </p>
+
Frankly, I'm a great believer in any major organization having some form of archive preservation, and of history. I don't recall that it was a major issue at all. I think it was proposed by someone and it was approved by the board, and I think it went ahead smoothly.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Yes, that's true. At the December board of directors meeting, there was a resolution on voluntary standards. It said, "Be it resolved that we the presidents of the societies and the Association for Co-operation in Engineering do declare our confidence in" - I'm trying to just read the important part - "the nation's voluntary consensus standards activities, and the voluntary management and co-ordination of the American National Standards Institution". Do you wonder what the issue was there? Was there legislation that was going to enforce standards of a certain type? </p>
+
Yes, that's true. At the December board of directors meeting, there was a resolution on voluntary standards. It said, "Be it resolved that we the presidents of the societies and the Association for Co-operation in Engineering do declare our confidence in" - I'm trying to just read the important part - "the nation's voluntary consensus standards activities, and the voluntary management and co-ordination of the American National Standards Institution". Do you wonder what the issue was there? Was there legislation that was going to enforce standards of a certain type?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I must apologize to you on the standards issue. There were so many of these other issues that needed attention that I gave that less attention than it deserved. My recollection was that IEEE had a standards board. But it was not a major board. On the other hand, it had made major contributions to the whole standards business. There was a United States standards board, which I believe had been set up by act of Congress. </p>
+
I must apologize to you on the standards issue. There were so many of these other issues that needed attention that I gave that less attention than it deserved. My recollection was that IEEE had a standards board. But it was not a major board. On the other hand, it had made major contributions to the whole standards business. There was a United States standards board, which I believe had been set up by act of Congress.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Right, around the turn of the century. </p>
+
Right, around the turn of the century.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>In effect from a legal viewpoint, they, rather than any of the societies, were responsible for getting up standards, and for setting with other countries to set up international standards. I also knew because of my background, principally as vice president for engineering and research at Raytheon, that a lot of countries had deliberately set up standards to make American products incompatible in their markets. For example, all of Europe's on fifty cycles instead of sixty cycles; they're on 220 volts instead of 115 volts. There was a need for - if you wanted to have worldwide trade - not only low tariffs, but also standards. So I was in favor of anything we could do to support that, but I don't believe that during my year any specific issue came up, except that the IEEE standards board was working in a voluntary way with that US standards board, and was being accepted in their inputs. </p>
+
In effect from a legal viewpoint, they, rather than any of the societies, were responsible for getting up standards, and for setting with other countries to set up international standards. I also knew because of my background, principally as vice president for engineering and research at Raytheon, that a lot of countries had deliberately set up standards to make American products incompatible in their markets. For example, all of Europe's on fifty cycles instead of sixty cycles; they're on 220 volts instead of 115 volts. There was a need for - if you wanted to have worldwide trade - not only low tariffs, but also standards. So I was in favor of anything we could do to support that, but I don't believe that during my year any specific issue came up, except that the IEEE standards board was working in a voluntary way with that US standards board, and was being accepted in their inputs.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>My guess was that there was some threat to that continued activity, or at least that there might have been some compulsion, and IEEE was expressing its confidence in the voluntary standards operation. </p>
+
My guess was that there was some threat to that continued activity, or at least that there might have been some compulsion, and IEEE was expressing its confidence in the voluntary standards operation.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I think what you've said is what I would have said, but I can't say it any clearer. I haven't followed on that, but I am aware that for example today there is a standard on information buses. I think that's a voluntary standard. </p>
+
I think what you've said is what I would have said, but I can't say it any clearer. I haven't followed on that, but I am aware that for example today there is a standard on information buses. I think that's a voluntary standard.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Yes, I think these are typically IEEE standards. </p>
+
Yes, I think these are typically IEEE standards.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>These activities for the most part existed, and IEEE would take the initiative, in a vacuum. Being accepted, for example, they would be taken over. Now currently I know there's a hell of a big fight going on over the portable telephone that we now use. </p>
+
These activities for the most part existed, and IEEE would take the initiative, in a vacuum. Being accepted, for example, they would be taken over. Now currently I know there's a hell of a big fight going on over the portable telephone that we now use.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Cellular phone? </p>
+
Cellular phone?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>The cellular phone. It seems that it's going to be replaced by other systems which are called PC - personal communications. Anyhow, it's growing all over the world, and the European standard, for example, is different from the CDMA standard being developed in the U.S. So that's a big area that IEEE might want to get involved in. </p>
+
The cellular phone. It seems that it's going to be replaced by other systems which are called PC - personal communications. Anyhow, it's growing all over the world, and the European standard, for example, is different from the CDMA standard being developed in the U.S. So that's a big area that IEEE might want to get involved in.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>The standards activity is an important part of IEEE's work. </p>
+
The standards activity is an important part of IEEE's work.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>The point I'm making is that IEEE has the people who can do that, and I doubt if the federal organization that's been set up has the quality of people to keep up with the fast-changing art. </p>
+
The point I'm making is that IEEE has the people who can do that, and I doubt if the federal organization that's been set up has the quality of people to keep up with the fast-changing art.  
  
 
=== Issues of Insurance  ===
 
=== Issues of Insurance  ===
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>One thing that was also discussed when you were president was whether IEEE should get into the business of technology forecasting, manpower forecasting. What do you recall of that? </p>
+
One thing that was also discussed when you were president was whether IEEE should get into the business of technology forecasting, manpower forecasting. What do you recall of that?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I don't think my opinion then would have been any different than it is today. Forecasting science and technology is a dubious way of spending your time, unproductive. General Arnold asked Von Karmon, who was an aeronautical type, to set up a group to forecast the future of technology and its impact on the Air Force. In Von Karmon's section, he did say we'd have supersonic flight and have ballistic missiles to look forward to, but the rest of it was just immediate extrapolation of what we were then doing. Now this year, the secretary of the Air Force, Widnall, from MIT, has asked the SAB to make another forecast, and I'm supposed to be in that, but I'm too old to be bold enough to forecast the technology of the future. </p>
+
I don't think my opinion then would have been any different than it is today. Forecasting science and technology is a dubious way of spending your time, unproductive. General Arnold asked Von Karmon, who was an aeronautical type, to set up a group to forecast the future of technology and its impact on the Air Force. In Von Karmon's section, he did say we'd have supersonic flight and have ballistic missiles to look forward to, but the rest of it was just immediate extrapolation of what we were then doing. Now this year, the secretary of the Air Force, Widnall, from MIT, has asked the SAB to make another forecast, and I'm supposed to be in that, but I'm too old to be bold enough to forecast the technology of the future.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>You're in general a little skeptical of the value of those? </p>
+
You're in general a little skeptical of the value of those?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Yes I am. I think the IEEE Spectrum had a pretty good article on forecasting the future, didn't it, recently? That could have been the AIAA. I think they even had a section on electronics, which I thought was as good as anything I've seen. </p>
+
Yes I am. I think the IEEE Spectrum had a pretty good article on forecasting the future, didn't it, recently? That could have been the AIAA. I think they even had a section on electronics, which I thought was as good as anything I've seen.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>I'm looking right now at this two-page chart of pending and unfinished business that the executive committee drew-up. </p>
+
I'm looking right now at this two-page chart of pending and unfinished business that the executive committee drew-up.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I brought that up. At that time many of us thought we should move out of New York, and that was the legal way of doing it. </p>
+
I brought that up. At that time many of us thought we should move out of New York, and that was the legal way of doing it.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Most of these things I won’t mention, unless you want to comment on them--the Committee on Registration, that was much discussed. </p>
+
Most of these things I won’t mention, unless you want to comment on them--the Committee on Registration, that was much discussed.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Let's see. My feelings on that are described in one of these things, quite accurately. </p>
+
Let's see. My feelings on that are described in one of these things, quite accurately.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>That looks like something from the Institute. </p>
+
That looks like something from the Institute.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>You sent this to me. I've always felt that registration was necessary for those engineers who interact directly with the public, and where the public is not qualified to pass judgment on the qualification of the person they're hiring. I see nothing wrong with the way it is now being administered. I object to requiring every person who is knowledgeable about anything to do with electricity to register if it doesn't interact directly with the public. Are you familiar with aeronautical engineering? </p>
+
You sent this to me. I've always felt that registration was necessary for those engineers who interact directly with the public, and where the public is not qualified to pass judgment on the qualification of the person they're hiring. I see nothing wrong with the way it is now being administered. I object to requiring every person who is knowledgeable about anything to do with electricity to register if it doesn't interact directly with the public. Are you familiar with aeronautical engineering?  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Yes. </p>
+
Yes.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>There is no registering in aeronautical engineering. You can say, “Oh, they interact with the public, they design airplanes.” But the answer is, you can be registered as a mechanical engineer, because mechanical engineers build bridges and they build buildings, and you don't want them to collapse. The interaction with the public is through a contractor or something like that, who is not necessarily qualified in structural design. But in the case of airplanes, airplanes are only built by the large companies that have to stand behind their product. Even if you buy a Cessna, Cessna has to stand behind their product. I think it's for twenty-five years and I think they're trying to cut it down to fifteen years, and it's up to them to hire engineers who are qualified. </p>
+
There is no registering in aeronautical engineering. You can say, “Oh, they interact with the public, they design airplanes.” But the answer is, you can be registered as a mechanical engineer, because mechanical engineers build bridges and they build buildings, and you don't want them to collapse. The interaction with the public is through a contractor or something like that, who is not necessarily qualified in structural design. But in the case of airplanes, airplanes are only built by the large companies that have to stand behind their product. Even if you buy a Cessna, Cessna has to stand behind their product. I think it's for twenty-five years and I think they're trying to cut it down to fifteen years, and it's up to them to hire engineers who are qualified.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Right, and they're in a position to judge. </p>
+
Right, and they're in a position to judge.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>There is no such thing as a registered aeronautical engineer. </p>
+
There is no such thing as a registered aeronautical engineer.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>I didn't know that. Many of these matters are of limited importance; the new regulations on non-US travel, the deciding whether to keep Electrical Engineering, which was the management newsletter. They evidently decided to keep it at the time you were president, but it soon ended after that. I think most of these things are of very little lasting significance. Do you recall this insurance for insurability issue? </p>
+
I didn't know that. Many of these matters are of limited importance; the new regulations on non-US travel, the deciding whether to keep Electrical Engineering, which was the management newsletter. They evidently decided to keep it at the time you were president, but it soon ended after that. I think most of these things are of very little lasting significance. Do you recall this insurance for insurability issue?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>What issue was that? </p>
+
What issue was that?  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>It's called member insurance for insurability. It had to do, I'm sure, with members being able to get insurance. </p>
+
It's called member insurance for insurability. It had to do, I'm sure, with members being able to get insurance.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Life insurance? </p>
+
Life insurance?  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>I would have thought maybe health insurance. </p>
+
I would have thought maybe health insurance.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I think it was health insurance. No I don't, at that time it was not a big issue. </p>
+
I think it was health insurance. No I don't, at that time it was not a big issue.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Les Hogan was the one assigned to look into that matter. </p>
+
Les Hogan was the one assigned to look into that matter.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I believe that his report was not due until the next year, or something like that. </p>
+
I believe that his report was not due until the next year, or something like that.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Have you made notes on any issues that I haven't raised? </p>
+
Have you made notes on any issues that I haven't raised?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>No, I think we covered them all. You do a fantastic job with your homework. </p>
+
No, I think we covered them all. You do a fantastic job with your homework.  
  
 
=== Professional Opportunities and Patent Rights  ===
 
=== Professional Opportunities and Patent Rights  ===
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Let me just glance through this and see if there are any other things that I wanted to ask about. One of the things that were quite active during your year was this committee on professional opportunities for women. </p>
+
Let me just glance through this and see if there are any other things that I wanted to ask about. One of the things that were quite active during your year was this committee on professional opportunities for women.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Was that an issue during my period? </p>
+
Was that an issue during my period?  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>It was continuing during your period. I think it started before, but it was going on during your period. </p>
+
It was continuing during your period. I think it started before, but it was going on during your period.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I don't recall that there was any specific action that IEEE took. </p>
+
I don't recall that there was any specific action that IEEE took.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Well it was - </p>
+
Well it was -  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Except that I corrected my ways. </p>
+
Except that I corrected my ways.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>I know that there was in 1978, a program at Electro specifically for women engineers, and I wondered if you had any comment. </p>
+
I know that there was in 1978, a program at Electro specifically for women engineers, and I wondered if you had any comment.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>No. Accreditation was always an issue. I did not, while I was president, take any active position on accreditation. It was closely related to registration, you know. I was aware that at MIT, my alma mater, if you took electrical engineering, that course was accredited, but if you took physics, that course was not accredited. And that seemed to be a little strange. On the other hand, Harvard refused to take accreditation steps in any engineering, except one. What do you think that was? Sanitary! That's because the sanitary engineering employees were employed by cities and towns and states; those governments, who didn't have any competency in that field, would not hire anybody who was not a licensed sanitary engineer. </p>
+
No. Accreditation was always an issue. I did not, while I was president, take any active position on accreditation. It was closely related to registration, you know. I was aware that at MIT, my alma mater, if you took electrical engineering, that course was accredited, but if you took physics, that course was not accredited. And that seemed to be a little strange. On the other hand, Harvard refused to take accreditation steps in any engineering, except one. What do you think that was? Sanitary! That's because the sanitary engineering employees were employed by cities and towns and states; those governments, who didn't have any competency in that field, would not hire anybody who was not a licensed sanitary engineer.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Otherwise the Harvard degree would do it. </p>
+
Otherwise the Harvard degree would do it.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>The Harvard degree wouldn't work there! </p>
+
The Harvard degree wouldn't work there!  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Another matter that was discussed in your time - and again, it's only if you had involvement in this or cared to comment on it - was age discrimination. </p>
+
Another matter that was discussed in your time - and again, it's only if you had involvement in this or cared to comment on it - was age discrimination.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>It kept coming up. That was one of Feerst's continuous things. </p>
+
It kept coming up. That was one of Feerst's continuous things.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>I don't know if any specific actions were proposed when you were president. </p>
+
I don't know if any specific actions were proposed when you were president.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I don't believe there were in my year. The situation wasn't so much age as - well, let's put it this way: if you were a registered engineer and working on designing a building, and the building was more than certain floors or a certain size, than you had a registered engineer who had to sign off on the electrical distribution system. That was not affected by age but by the jobs in the big aircraft-type companies, big programs for the DOD. That wasn't so much age. If you'd ever seen the curves on age versus income on electrical engineers, they always go up. At one point they divide. Let me just draw my point; it's easier than describing it. If you were an electrical engineer, and here's years since BS, or whatever your degree was, and here was your pay. If you were an engineer who started out, say, here, and went on into management, the older you got, the more you got paid. If you were strictly an electrical engineer, then at some point you would taper off. </p>
+
I don't believe there were in my year. The situation wasn't so much age as - well, let's put it this way: if you were a registered engineer and working on designing a building, and the building was more than certain floors or a certain size, than you had a registered engineer who had to sign off on the electrical distribution system. That was not affected by age but by the jobs in the big aircraft-type companies, big programs for the DOD. That wasn't so much age. If you'd ever seen the curves on age versus income on electrical engineers, they always go up. At one point they divide. Let me just draw my point; it's easier than describing it. If you were an electrical engineer, and here's years since BS, or whatever your degree was, and here was your pay. If you were an engineer who started out, say, here, and went on into management, the older you got, the more you got paid. If you were strictly an electrical engineer, then at some point you would taper off.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Plateau, yeah. </p>
+
Plateau, yeah.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>But this pay was higher than that pay, and if they had to fire someone they could save this amount of money. In management you probably would not be fired, unless it was really desperate like it has been over the last year. You got paid more, because you were there in the class with the lawyers and the accountants and the president, making big decisions. </p>
+
But this pay was higher than that pay, and if they had to fire someone they could save this amount of money. In management you probably would not be fired, unless it was really desperate like it has been over the last year. You got paid more, because you were there in the class with the lawyers and the accountants and the president, making big decisions.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>One other matter that was discussed at that time was patent rights for engineers. </p>
+
One other matter that was discussed at that time was patent rights for engineers.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>There again, if you were working in a company that was doing business with the government, the government contracts always specified that the government had the rights to own the patent. The only way the company could deliver that ownership was to get every employee to sign an agreement, that everything they invented belonged to the company. That got to be ingrained, but that was the way it was. Now in Raytheon, where I had the responsibilities for all patent policies and related issues, we always required such agreements. We always required a person working at Raytheon, even though he invented something at home, to submit that invention to our patent committee, and the patent committee would decide whether it had nothing to do with Raytheon. If it was in a different field, they would automatically grant the employee the rights to that patent. But if it was related to the work for which Raytheon had contracts, we would have to then submit it to the government. If the government decided they didn't want to patent it, then we would have another review. If the company needed that for its own use, for its own markets, we would do one of two things. If it was a little bit disjointed we would give the patent to the guy with a license to use it ourselves, and to license other people. When I was at Raytheon [[RCA (Radio Corporation of America)|RCA]] - are you familiar with RCA? You know how they were set up and why? </p>
+
There again, if you were working in a company that was doing business with the government, the government contracts always specified that the government had the rights to own the patent. The only way the company could deliver that ownership was to get every employee to sign an agreement, that everything they invented belonged to the company. That got to be ingrained, but that was the way it was. Now in Raytheon, where I had the responsibilities for all patent policies and related issues, we always required such agreements. We always required a person working at Raytheon, even though he invented something at home, to submit that invention to our patent committee, and the patent committee would decide whether it had nothing to do with Raytheon. If it was in a different field, they would automatically grant the employee the rights to that patent. But if it was related to the work for which Raytheon had contracts, we would have to then submit it to the government. If the government decided they didn't want to patent it, then we would have another review. If the company needed that for its own use, for its own markets, we would do one of two things. If it was a little bit disjointed we would give the patent to the guy with a license to use it ourselves, and to license other people. When I was at Raytheon [[RCA (Radio Corporation of America)|RCA]] - are you familiar with RCA? You know how they were set up and why?  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>I know how they were established, when after World War I the US government didn't want a foreign company to be dominating communications. </p>
+
I know how they were established, when after World War I the US government didn't want a foreign company to be dominating communications.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Well that may be true. My recollection is that it was set up by General Electric, Westinghouse and AT&amp;T as a patent pool, because none of them could do anything in the radio field without using those patents and they didn't want to forever spend all their time in court or paying lawyers. So they pooled their patents and set up the Radio Corporation of America. </p>
+
Well that may be true. My recollection is that it was set up by General Electric, Westinghouse and AT&amp;T as a patent pool, because none of them could do anything in the radio field without using those patents and they didn't want to forever spend all their time in court or paying lawyers. So they pooled their patents and set up the Radio Corporation of America.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>It was because Marconi was the strongest company at the time, and Marconi was about to acquire the next two years’ production of GE's Alexanderson alternator. The government's worried that some foreign company is going to be completely dominating the field. </p>
+
It was because Marconi was the strongest company at the time, and Marconi was about to acquire the next two years’ production of GE's Alexanderson alternator. The government's worried that some foreign company is going to be completely dominating the field.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I think it was a combination of those things. </p>
+
I think it was a combination of those things.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Right, it was both of them. </p>
+
Right, it was both of them.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>But I had to deal with the consequences. The consequences were that RCA owned practically all the patents in radio and TV. You couldn't move without a license. Now, there was one other company that you had to get licenses from, who had a few patents that were not in the pool. I think it was Hazeltine. But 99 percent were owned by RCA, hook or crook. Every year I had to sit down with the RCA top people and negotiate how much we owed them, and how much they owed us for their using our patents. We would host them at a dinner downtown, at a restaurant, which was famous in Boston (Loch Ober). After a few drinks, a good meal, a few more drinks, I would say, “Well, it's obvious that we can't go through your ten thousand patents and claims, and that you can't go through our one thousand patents and claims that you may or may not be using, so why don't we just negotiate a settlement?” And they'd say, “What do you suggest?” Since I knew what we had been doing, I'd say, “We'll pay you two million dollars, and you give us a license to use all your patents, and we'll give you a license to use all our patents, but you're not allowed to sell them to others. You have to go back to direct source.” One more drink, and they'd say okay and we'd sign a document. So much for patents. Now, how did we get onto that? </p>
+
But I had to deal with the consequences. The consequences were that RCA owned practically all the patents in radio and TV. You couldn't move without a license. Now, there was one other company that you had to get licenses from, who had a few patents that were not in the pool. I think it was Hazeltine. But 99 percent were owned by RCA, hook or crook. Every year I had to sit down with the RCA top people and negotiate how much we owed them, and how much they owed us for their using our patents. We would host them at a dinner downtown, at a restaurant, which was famous in Boston (Loch Ober). After a few drinks, a good meal, a few more drinks, I would say, “Well, it's obvious that we can't go through your ten thousand patents and claims, and that you can't go through our one thousand patents and claims that you may or may not be using, so why don't we just negotiate a settlement?” And they'd say, “What do you suggest?” Since I knew what we had been doing, I'd say, “We'll pay you two million dollars, and you give us a license to use all your patents, and we'll give you a license to use all our patents, but you're not allowed to sell them to others. You have to go back to direct source.” One more drink, and they'd say okay and we'd sign a document. So much for patents. Now, how did we get onto that?  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Well, because patents - </p>
+
Well, because patents -  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Oh, employees. But I already told you how Raytheon did it, and I thought that was pretty wise, and to the extent that I could I thought that was a good model. Now you see, Feerst tried to say that an employee, a licensed engineer if you wanted everything, was entitled to the patents, whether he did them at work or not. And that was legally impossible. </p>
+
Oh, employees. But I already told you how Raytheon did it, and I thought that was pretty wise, and to the extent that I could I thought that was a good model. Now you see, Feerst tried to say that an employee, a licensed engineer if you wanted everything, was entitled to the patents, whether he did them at work or not. And that was legally impossible.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>With government contracting as it then was, but one might hope for a change in - </p>
+
With government contracting as it then was, but one might hope for a change in -  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>My opinion was no. If an employee was paid to design an invention, then those patents belonged to the company. If those inventions were made prior to his coming to the company, or partly dependent on the work, then it had to be negotiated on the merits. If it was a government contract, then I explained that to you. The simple idea Feerst had was that any person who worked for a company was entitled to the patent rights and was then entitled to be paid for it. I couldn't see that. </p>
+
My opinion was no. If an employee was paid to design an invention, then those patents belonged to the company. If those inventions were made prior to his coming to the company, or partly dependent on the work, then it had to be negotiated on the merits. If it was a government contract, then I explained that to you. The simple idea Feerst had was that any person who worked for a company was entitled to the patent rights and was then entitled to be paid for it. I couldn't see that.  
  
 
=== IEEE and the Engineering Profession  ===
 
=== IEEE and the Engineering Profession  ===
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>1978 was a good year for IEEE in terms of membership. It continued its increase, especially in student members. What's your feeling in looking back at that time? Were you satisfied with how things went? </p>
+
1978 was a good year for IEEE in terms of membership. It continued its increase, especially in student members. What's your feeling in looking back at that time? Were you satisfied with how things went?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Yes, I was, because we kept the support of industry, which was important. Take Bayless. He worked at GE. I don't know what he did at GE, if anything. He spent all his time on IEEE. General Electric paid his salary, paid his travel, and that was a contribution. I don't know what he got paid, but in today's terms he probably got paid a hundred thousand, ninety thousand. Many companies wanted to keep their foot in the door, but not if it became a union. One of the big series of events was establishing these meetings, using my reputation. Aerospace was partly set up because [[Simon Ramo|Si Ramo]]'s and Dean Wooldridge's organization - Space Technology Lab, which was a wholly owned subsidiary, had got in trouble with industry. They all went to their congressmen and said, “This has got to stop. They have access to our know-how and they turn right around and go to NASA and get a contract on a communications satellite. “They're stealing our know-how, they're stealing everything.” I first had to hire people, set up retirement plans and patent policies and all the other programs which a company has to have. But as soon as I could, I arranged visits with the major associate contractors like General Electric, Pratt Whitney, Lockheed, and everybody else. I sat down with the chief executives and said, “What didn't you like about the way Ramo-Wooldridge was acting when they were the systems engineers for the Air Force? What were your objections?” Because I wanted to avoid problems; I wanted to work cooperatively. They would give me their complaints. Someone would say, “Look, Ramo-Wooldridge takes the credit for everything. This demoralizes our engineers and people.” They'd say, “We do the work and they get the credit.” So, based on that experience, when I was president of IEEE, I set up these meetings. I don't think the associate contractors continued to complain. </p>
+
Yes, I was, because we kept the support of industry, which was important. Take Bayless. He worked at GE. I don't know what he did at GE, if anything. He spent all his time on IEEE. General Electric paid his salary, paid his travel, and that was a contribution. I don't know what he got paid, but in today's terms he probably got paid a hundred thousand, ninety thousand. Many companies wanted to keep their foot in the door, but not if it became a union. One of the big series of events was establishing these meetings, using my reputation. Aerospace was partly set up because [[Simon Ramo|Si Ramo]]'s and Dean Wooldridge's organization - Space Technology Lab, which was a wholly owned subsidiary, had got in trouble with industry. They all went to their congressmen and said, “This has got to stop. They have access to our know-how and they turn right around and go to NASA and get a contract on a communications satellite. “They're stealing our know-how, they're stealing everything.” I first had to hire people, set up retirement plans and patent policies and all the other programs which a company has to have. But as soon as I could, I arranged visits with the major associate contractors like General Electric, Pratt Whitney, Lockheed, and everybody else. I sat down with the chief executives and said, “What didn't you like about the way Ramo-Wooldridge was acting when they were the systems engineers for the Air Force? What were your objections?” Because I wanted to avoid problems; I wanted to work cooperatively. They would give me their complaints. Someone would say, “Look, Ramo-Wooldridge takes the credit for everything. This demoralizes our engineers and people.” They'd say, “We do the work and they get the credit.” So, based on that experience, when I was president of IEEE, I set up these meetings. I don't think the associate contractors continued to complain.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>I don't know. </p>
+
I don't know.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>But that year we met with all the major electronic and electrical R&amp;D companies. In fact, in the things you sent me there's a list of some of them. That dented the system. They went back and they were perfectly willing to work with IEEE, to let “Baylesses” continue. </p>
+
But that year we met with all the major electronic and electrical R&amp;D companies. In fact, in the things you sent me there's a list of some of them. That dented the system. They went back and they were perfectly willing to work with IEEE, to let “Baylesses” continue.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Well that's a very important point. </p>
+
Well that's a very important point.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>It is an important point. </p>
+
It is an important point.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>We talked to [[Arthur P. Stern|Arthur Stern]], whom you may know, who was president in the mid-’70s. </p>
+
We talked to [[Arthur P. Stern|Arthur Stern]], whom you may know, who was president in the mid-’70s.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Yes, I know him. Of course, he was in industry. </p>
+
Yes, I know him. Of course, he was in industry.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Yes. He said that he himself always encouraged his employees to join IEEE, and that it's important to have industry's support for this organization. But he also said that IEEE is not serving the interests of the young engineer the way IRE was when he was young. He feels that IEEE over the years has come to be an organization primarily for older engineers, for research engineers, for the elite academic engineers. How do you see the situation? </p>
+
Yes. He said that he himself always encouraged his employees to join IEEE, and that it's important to have industry's support for this organization. But he also said that IEEE is not serving the interests of the young engineer the way IRE was when he was young. He feels that IEEE over the years has come to be an organization primarily for older engineers, for research engineers, for the elite academic engineers. How do you see the situation?  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>I don't know. I'd have to give it a little thought. I respect Stern's opinions, and it may be there was something in his education which was lacking, and so he was unable to read the articles. </p>
+
I don't know. I'd have to give it a little thought. I respect Stern's opinions, and it may be there was something in his education which was lacking, and so he was unable to read the articles.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>He said that when he was a young engineer, IRE was a very good organization for him, with the publications and so on, and the connections he made, whereas today that's not true. </p>
+
He said that when he was a young engineer, IRE was a very good organization for him, with the publications and so on, and the connections he made, whereas today that's not true.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>The world has changed. When he was very young, the whole radio industry was a loft industry. My oldest brother made a radio when we lived in Pittsburgh. You took a Quaker Oats Box, emptied it, wrapped it with a coil for an inductance got a crystal, and you made a radio! If you could buy a vacuum tube you could make an amplifier. When he was young the situation was different. Everything will change with time. I think in the 1930s IRE was not a very sophisticated organization. Neither was the American Institute of, what was the AIEE. All that changed in World War II. Remember, Bush was a pioneer when he set up in the late 1930s his differential analyzer so they could do some analysis of transient in electrical power lines. Before that it was sixty cycles, not sixty cycles with a bandwidth. It was given by God, and it wasn't sixty cycles plus or minus one; it was sixty cycles. </p>
+
The world has changed. When he was very young, the whole radio industry was a loft industry. My oldest brother made a radio when we lived in Pittsburgh. You took a Quaker Oats Box, emptied it, wrapped it with a coil for an inductance got a crystal, and you made a radio! If you could buy a vacuum tube you could make an amplifier. When he was young the situation was different. Everything will change with time. I think in the 1930s IRE was not a very sophisticated organization. Neither was the American Institute of, what was the AIEE. All that changed in World War II. Remember, Bush was a pioneer when he set up in the late 1930s his differential analyzer so they could do some analysis of transient in electrical power lines. Before that it was sixty cycles, not sixty cycles with a bandwidth. It was given by God, and it wasn't sixty cycles plus or minus one; it was sixty cycles.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>So you're saying that the scientific level of the engineering is so much higher today. </p>
+
So you're saying that the scientific level of the engineering is so much higher today.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Yes, all the difference in the world. Our friend Feerst essentially wants articles at the level of Scientific American at most, and sort of handbooks. </p>
+
Yes, all the difference in the world. Our friend Feerst essentially wants articles at the level of Scientific American at most, and sort of handbooks.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Yeah, to serve the working engineer. </p>
+
Yeah, to serve the working engineer.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>Let me read you the definition of professional, just for the hell of it. Profession. Now the first one is, "After taking the vows of a religious community". That doesn't apply. Second one: "As a protestation". Doesn't apply. Third one: "An avowed religious faith". Doesn't apply. Four, this applies - "Calling, requiring specialized knowledge, and often long and intensive academic preparation". And that's it. The next one is "A principle calling, like a vocation or employment". In other words, if you're an amateur athlete and you become a professional that means you get paid for it. </p>
+
Let me read you the definition of professional, just for the hell of it. Profession. Now the first one is, "After taking the vows of a religious community". That doesn't apply. Second one: "As a protestation". Doesn't apply. Third one: "An avowed religious faith". Doesn't apply. Four, this applies - "Calling, requiring specialized knowledge, and often long and intensive academic preparation". And that's it. The next one is "A principle calling, like a vocation or employment". In other words, if you're an amateur athlete and you become a professional that means you get paid for it.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>I think very often it's the law, medicine, maybe the clergy, that are seen as these professions. </p>
+
I think very often it's the law, medicine, maybe the clergy, that are seen as these professions.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>It has nothing to do with pensions. </p>
+
It has nothing to do with pensions.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Right. </p>
+
Right.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>It has nothing to do with advocacy of a political situation. Then you look up the word professionalism: "The conduct, aims or qualities following of a profession, as athletics, for gain or livelihood". So you see it can be almost anything. </p>
+
It has nothing to do with advocacy of a political situation. Then you look up the word professionalism: "The conduct, aims or qualities following of a profession, as athletics, for gain or livelihood". So you see it can be almost anything.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Are there any other comments you'd care to make? I think I've asked what I wanted to ask. </p>
+
Are there any other comments you'd care to make? I think I've asked what I wanted to ask.  
  
<p>'''Getting:''' </p>
+
'''Getting:'''  
  
<p>No, I'm really quite pleased and amazed at your approach to this problem. You've restored my faith - I think - in the value of an interview. I've had many interviews in my life where the person doing the interviewing didn't know anything about the subject. And that can lead to the weird misunderstandings, as you can imagine. </p>
+
No, I'm really quite pleased and amazed at your approach to this problem. You've restored my faith - I think - in the value of an interview. I've had many interviews in my life where the person doing the interviewing didn't know anything about the subject. And that can lead to the weird misunderstandings, as you can imagine.  
  
<p>'''Nebeker:''' </p>
+
'''Nebeker:'''  
  
<p>Thank you very much. </p>
+
Thank you very much.  
  
 
[[Category:Nuclear physics|Getting]] [[Category:People and organizations|Getting]] [[Category:Scientists|Getting]] [[Category:Fields, waves & electromagnetics|Getting]] [[Category:Engineering education|Getting]] [[Category:Engineering disciplines|Getting]] [[Category:Legal factors|Getting]] [[Category:Standardization|Getting]] [[Category:Scientific disciplines|Getting]] [[Category:Radar|Getting]] [[Category:IEEE|Getting]] [[Category:Awards & fellow activities|Getting]] [[Category:Governance|Getting]] [[Category:History & heritage|Getting]] [[Category:Radiation|Getting]] [[Category:Engineers|Getting]]
 
[[Category:Nuclear physics|Getting]] [[Category:People and organizations|Getting]] [[Category:Scientists|Getting]] [[Category:Fields, waves & electromagnetics|Getting]] [[Category:Engineering education|Getting]] [[Category:Engineering disciplines|Getting]] [[Category:Legal factors|Getting]] [[Category:Standardization|Getting]] [[Category:Scientific disciplines|Getting]] [[Category:Radar|Getting]] [[Category:IEEE|Getting]] [[Category:Awards & fellow activities|Getting]] [[Category:Governance|Getting]] [[Category:History & heritage|Getting]] [[Category:Radiation|Getting]] [[Category:Engineers|Getting]]

Revision as of 14:09, 7 March 2014

Contents

About Ivan A. Getting

Ivan A. Getting
Ivan A. Getting

Ivan Getting received his BS from MIT and got his PhD in astrophysics at Oxford. As a junior fellow at Harvard he shifted towards nuclear physics research. A Czechoslovak, Getting was very anti-Hitler, and was happy to be recruited for the MIT Radiation Laboratory. He worked on radar fire control, and had an unusual amount of responsibility for a young man in getting his project through the military bureaucracy, since his superiors were focused on rushing airborne intercept radars to Britain.

This interview details Getting’s involvement in the IEEE, particularly his presidency. Discussing events such as his election – including debates with Irwin Feerst – and the many issues of his presidency – such as engineer opportunities, pensions and wage busting – Getting details the history of the IEEE in the 1970s. Getting also talks about considering himself both a physicist and electrical engineer, and the special problems that surround that double title. The interview also discusses Getting’s time at the Lincoln Laboratory, as well as his opinion on what the IEEE should be and do – its status as a transnational member society.

See also: Ivan A. Getting Oral History (1991) for Getting's recollections of his work in the 1940s at the MIT Radiation Laboratory. 

About the Interview

IVAN A. GETTING: An Interview Conducted by Frederik Nebeker, IEEE History Center, February 25 1995

Interview #245 for the IEEE History Center, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.

Copyright Statement

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, Rutgers - the State University, 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:

Ivan A. Getting, Electrical Engineer, an oral history conducted in 1995 by Frederik Nebeker, IEEE History Center, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.

Interview

Interview: Ivan A. Getting

Interviewer: Frederik Nebeker

Date: February 25 1995

Location: Coronado, California

Getting as Physicist and Electrical Engineer

Nebeker:

I'm talking with Ivan Getting, at his home in Coronado. The first question I wanted to ask was if you regard yourself as electrical engineer, physicist, or both?

Getting:

I regard myself as both a physicist and an electrical engineer. There is no sharp transition between one and the other. For example, my doctorate degree is in astrophysics. I worked on electrical products during World War II, I became a professor of electrical engineering at MIT, and I am registered in Massachusetts as such. On the other hand, in the National Academy of Engineering, I'm listed as an aeronautical engineer because of my seventeen years as President of The Aerospace Corporation.

Nebeker:

Was it unusual at the time you became a professor at MIT for an electrical engineering professor to have a physics D. Phil.?

Getting:

No, I don't think that was unusual at all... it did create some problems. Let me explain that a little bit. As members of IEEE know, if you take electrical engineering in an accredited university, it's much easier to get an electrical engineering license. Since my degrees were all in physics, I had a very difficult time, (using the grandfather clause in Massachusetts), with getting an electrical engineering license. However, the chairman of the review committee was an employee of General Electric at Pittsfield, MA, and I pointed out to him that I had given approximately five hundred million dollars’ worth of business to the GE plant in Pittsfield, and owned the patent to the gun-fire control system Mark 56 (Patent No. 3,144, 644; issued Sept. 11, 1962 - Title: “Gun Fire Control”) which they were manufacturing for the Navy. That seemed to have some effect on my getting the grandfather clause approved.

Nebeker:

During World War II, a great many physicists functioned as electrical engineers, designing systems, and did an excellent job of it.

Getting:

I think that's very true. I can't remember the exact number, but there must have been approximately 2000 professional people in the Radiation Laboratory in MIT working on microwave radar, and of those I would assume that around ninety percent were physicists in their normal background. The reasons for that were several. One was that a physicist's education in the fundamentals of electromagnetic theory and associated subjects, even in understanding transient properties of electrical circuits, was more widely embedded than it was in the professional electrical engineer at that time. Professional electrical engineers generally spent time working on sixty-cycle power equipment or power transmission or transformers, or worked in radio waves modulated at sound frequencies, say up to ten kilocycles. They were not versed in microwaves at all. It may also be that the electrical engineers were all busy doing what they were doing and were less easily displaced than the physicists, who were at universities.

Nebeker:

They were more likely to be in some defense-related work already.

Getting:

Not so much defense related, but communications or power.

Nebeker:

Essential services.

Getting: Yes, essential services.

Hiring Practices and Current Engineer Education

Nebeker:

In your time at Raytheon and Aerospace, has it changed in the sense that you're less likely to hire a physicist, a physics Ph.D., to do engineering of systems?

Getting:

I've always said it's easier to ask a question, it's not easy to answer it. I think you'll hire a person in industry nowadays where of course a license is not mandatory in accordance with what your requirements are. If you need a software expert you'll hire a software expert, and that software is likely to be much more closely associated with mathematics and logic than it is with either physics or with electrical engineering as we knew it back in the days that you're mentioning.

Nebeker:

One difference might be that the Ph.D. electrical engineer today is more likely to have a solid physics background. There weren't that many electrical engineering Ph.D.s then.

Getting:

You will find I have a comment on almost any question you ask, but my most recent activity was as a member of the board of Northrup. I was chairman of a management review committee on the development of the B-2. I got to know the people who were working in that field. As you may recall, the B-2 is a stealth airplane and made a major advance not only in stealth, but also in aerodynamics. When they wanted to hire engineers to work on stealth features, they ran into this situation that the current training of a graduate in electrical engineering does not normally include electromagnetic theory. To fully understand how to produce an airplane or any other device that is stealthy from the viewpoint of radar, one had to understand electromagnetic theory. So, Northrup actually set up scholarships at the local universities to get electrical engineers trained in electromagnetic theory or antenna theory, as distinguished from the normal run of electrical engineering. I could give you other examples of that.

Nebeker:

That is an example similar to radar in that it's a new area of technology.

Getting:

It's a new area of engineering.

Experimental Physicist and Innovative Engineer

Nebeker:

In such areas it's easy to understand that a physicist might have an advantage.

Getting:

That is a very good point. At least in the thirties and forties, experimental physicists had to design and build their own experimental equipment. For example, I was in cosmic rays. I had published a paper together with Arthur Compton on the effect of galactic rotation on the intensity of cosmic radiation. Now that was pure physics, mostly relativistic. When I wanted to do an experiment to measure accurately the slight variations in the sidereal correlation of cosmic ray intensity, of the penetrating part of it, I had to design large Geiger counters and counting equipment. There was no existing equipment that would satisfy that requirement, so lo and behold, I developed and designed, and published the first paper on high-speed flip- flop (A Vacuum Tube Circuit for scaling Down Counting Rates; E.C. Stevenson and I. A. Getting; Review of Scientific Instruments, Vol. 8, pp 414-416, Nov. 1937). High-speed flip-flop is now the basis of the arithmetic element of all modern digital computers. But I was not an electrical engineer at that time. On the other hand, I will admit that I got some advice from Professor Hunt at Harvard--I was then at Harvard--who developed the multivibrator circuit as a frequency measuring device. By starting at that point after discussions with Professor Hunt, I was able to develop my bistatic multivibrator, which then developed into the flip-flop. One reason I was dragged into the Radiation Laboratory - I was amongst the first two or three employees - was that I had worked not only on high-speed multivibrators, but also on recording cosmic rays. These are all high-frequency pulse circuits. That is, as compared to audio frequency, they were more in the television type of one to ten megacycles. You would find it difficult to run into more “run of the mill” electrical engineer, (if I can use that expression), who had designed circuits and abused vacuum tubes way beyond their specifications to design circuits that went up to the ten megacycle range.

Nebeker:

So you're an example of an experimental physicist who is doing innovative electrical engineering, really, as part of your physics research.

Getting:

Absolutely. Let me point out that after the war, my first responsibility at MIT was to build a three hundred and fifty million volt electron synchrotron. That required new technology, and in fact if you go into the modern physics world and look at the large accelerators; that field is mostly done by physicists. If it's a routine thing, like setting up power lines or other things, they naturally turn to licensed electrical engineers. But electrical engineers do not design superconducting magnets. That's done by a special subset of physicists who work on high-energy accelerators.

Rad Lab

Nebeker:

In your own career, you were functioning as a physicist until Rad Lab. You were doing some engineering of course, for the instrumentation.

Getting:

I was also glassblowing.

Nebeker:

Another skill that a physicist had to know. But always your objective was new knowledge.

Getting:

New knowledge, right.

Nebeker:

Now, at Rad Lab, and I think during most of your work afterwards, you were functioning more as an engineer; you were trying to get systems to work. It's not to gain new knowledge, although that may come along the way with some of these things, but your principal function was as an engineer, wasn't it?

Getting:

I think you've stated it quite accurately; I would only modify it slightly. At the Radiation Laboratory, while my first assignment was to make modulators, to drive magnetrons, my principal experience was as head of the fire control division. The first thing I did, essentially with my own hands and the assistance of a few associates, was to build the XT-1, which stood for “Experimental Truck Number One.” We took that labeling system from the Air Force, which labeled pursuit airplanes P-1, and if it was an experimental model, it was an XP-1. At the Rad Lab, there were many divisions and sections, so there was one section that did nothing but magnetrons and another which did nothing but receivers in the broad bandwidth required. There was another section that did nothing but antennas. My division, Division Eight on fire control radars and Army radars, was a systems division. We would call on all these other divisions and panels for support. Our principal job was in systems design, and to do such development as necessary, for which there weren't specialized groups.

Now I'll explain that. The first system task which I was given by Dubridge and the executive committee was to demonstrate automatic radar tracking of aircraft. That required servomechanisms, for which there was then no standing practice. It required engineering of very skilled, very specialized mechanical antenna mounts. It required the detailed analysis of tracking characteristics, and how to build an optimum servomechanism which was dynamically responsive to the problems of fire control yet would not lose the target by having too long a time constant, to put it in the vernacular. As we progressed, not only did we build a demonstration model on the roof, but also the XT-1 mobile unit, and we demonstrated that to the military. We also built brass board models, and had, for example, a company like Shoe Machinery build the antenna mounts to essentially our specifications. Because the Signal Corps was so busy on its own low-frequency radars, and carrying out the maintenance and training for existing radars, my division had to find the manufacturers who would put it into production, train them, qualify all their designs in detail, check them out. We had to also feed information from the other portions of the Radiation Laboratory as the microwave art kept improving. So, when the SCR-584 came out, Signal Corps Radio Number 584, it was really up to date; it had the most modern designs of all the electronics which came through my division as our function as the engineering program responsible group. The principal design of the system to meet a military requirement was the responsibility of my division.

Joining IRE, Publications and Societies

Nebeker:

I read that you joined the [IRE History 1912-1963|Institute of Radio Engineers]] in 1946. Does that mesh with your recollection?

Getting:

Yes it does, because by 1946 I was a professor of engineering at MIT.

Nebeker:

[laughs] You'd better join the professional society! What do you remember of IRE in those days?

Getting:

It didn't last very long, as I recall. When did IRE merge with AIEE?

Nebeker:

That was in ‘62, it went into effect on the 1st of January 1963.

Getting:

I guess that was quite a while, but as I explained to you before we got into our interview, I was so over-committed in that period that I had very little energy and time left for the formal activities of IRE.

Nebeker:

Right. Do you remember the publications? Proceedings was the best-known of the IRE publications.

Getting:

Do I remember them?

Nebeker:

Were they an important source?

Getting:

They were important in the sense that I kept up with what was going on in the radio frequency field. I believe it was around that time (September 1975) that I got the Pioneer Award from the IEEE Aerospace and Electronics Society of IEEE. And I was very proud of that. Of course, also I knew the people. I knew the people in the radar business very well.

Military Systems and the Lincoln Laboratory

Nebeker:

What became the Microwave Theory and Technique Society in the IEEE was a technical group I guess, in IRE, and you knew all those people.

Getting:

I wouldn't say I knew all of them. I was as interested in the specifics of the microwave art as I was in applications, to military systems, because as chairman of the DOD radar panel of the research and development board (RDB), I was briefed, together with the members of the panel, by the Army, by the Navy and by the Air Force, and had to write reports and make recommendations. When was the merger?

Nebeker:

1963.

Getting:

Up to the Korean War in 1950, the three services were recovering from the transition from World War II to peace. They were going through a phase similar to what they're going through now, of organizing, except it was even more serious. The Air Force did not have any technical support of its own. Other than Wright Field, the Air Force was entirely dependent on the Army Signal Corps for communications and radar, and even airborne radars at that time. They were dependent on the Army Ordnance for machine guns and ammunition and bombs. It took time for the Air Force, and for the Department of Defense, and for the Navy, and for the Army, to establish the technical laboratories and approaches. Let me give you an example. When I was in the Pentagon as the Assistant for Development Planning, this occurred not only soon after the outbreak of the Korean War, but it also came right after the Soviet demonstration of the atomic bomb, we were in what I would describe as a national crisis. The Korean War was about to explode into a third world war with the Chinese coming in, and the Soviets were about to bomb us with their long-range bombers. We were no longer a safe island, isolated from the rest of the world. It was a revolutionary time. One of the things for which I claim a major responsibility was the establishment of the Lincoln Laboratory. This was an answer to the Soviet nuclear bomb threat. I might point out that since I was on leave from MIT to prevent any possible conflict of interest, I resigned from MIT, and after my stint in the Air Staff, I went to work at Raytheon.

Merger, IEEE Reorganization and the Space Race

Nebeker:

You were a member of IRE from 1946 on, I assume, and in 1954 you were elected a fellow of IRE. Do you remember anything about the merger in ‘63? There were some members for whom that was an unpleasant experience. Many of course welcomed it.

Getting:

Oh, I think if I had to make a specific answer I would have welcomed it, for the reasons we were discussing. There was no sharp transition between electrical engineering as a technology, and physics.

Nebeker:

And so it didn't make sense for electronics and electrical engineers to have separate organizations.

Getting:

That is correct.

Nebeker:

I'm sticking just to your IEEE activities at the moment. In the period from 1963 to the early 1970s, IEEE was undergoing quite a reorganization. There were two separate organizations that had merged. They had their own technical structures and other organizational structures. In that ten-year period after 1963, parts of IEEE like the Regional Activities Board, the Educational Activities Board, the Technical Activities Board, and then in the early 1970s USAB, the United States Activities Board, were formed. One of the major forces on the IEEE at that time was the winding down of the space race.

Getting:

Winding down of what?

Nebeker:

Of the space race, after the landing on the moon.

Getting:

May I interject?

Nebeker:

Please.

Getting:

In 1960, I was invited to become the president of a new corporation, to support principally the Air Force, in ballistic missiles and in space systems. You might say somebody was looking under the bed to find where the hell the space program was. There was very little effort going on at that time. The Army at Huntsville had its intermediate range ballistic missiles, the Navy was given the assignment by President Eisenhower to do the first satellite for the geophysical year, and the Air Force was very busy trying to close the gap with the intercontinental ballistic missile; that program was started in 1954. The Navy started their first ballistic missile in a serious way in 1956, largely because of the NAS-NOBSKA report, of which I was the associate chairman. By 1960, we had a very marginal beginning of the space program in this country. As you know, the Navy effort was not successful, and the Army effort was only successful in putting a small ball up because the Redstone missile did not have adequate lift for full-scale satellites. The Air Force had been forbidden by President Eisenhower to get into the space age, because of the so-called missile gap. They had to devote all their attention to the intercontinental ballistic missile. But those very missiles were the only ones which had the lift capability to put up a meaningful load into orbit. So it was the Air Force, by modifying the Atlas missile, that first put up meaningful satellites. It was the Air Force Titan that followed with bigger payloads, and so on. In 1960, when I became president of The Aerospace Corporation, I also found myself holding the bag for launching the Mercury astronauts, and a year or two later, the Gemini astronauts. NASA did not launch the Mercury or Gemini astronauts. They were launched by the Air Force, Aerospace system engineers, and associate contractors. I don't know why we brought this matter up.

Nebeker:

I was referring to the merger. Around 1970 or thereabouts, there was a reduction in expenditure for the space program.

Getting:

I'm very emotional about this. The reduction you're talking about was NASA. By 1970, after the Apollo program had essentially achieved it's function.

Nebeker:

Right.

Getting:

The expenditures for space systems by the Air Force, and by the DOD, together, were larger than the expenditures of NASA, and the DOD expenditures did not go down. They kept going up, because many of the satellite systems that had been developed between 1960 and 1970 became operational. Frankly, when I say operational I mean that: the weather satellites, the warning satellites which were so critical in the Persian Gulf War, the communications satellites. You see, NASA never developed any operational system as such. The Apollo you might say approached it, and NASA did develop the shuttle, which is another long story; and don't get me going on that one as an operational device. You can read the papers as well as I can. The problems they've had in making the shuttle approach operational use. In fact there's no follow-on.

Engineer Perceptions in the 1970s

Nebeker:

What I was leading to was at least the perception among electrical engineers in the early 1970s that there were fewer opportunities, that many of them were being laid off. Not only because of space cuts, but also defense contracting after the winding down in Vietnam may also have been part of it.

Getting:

It depends on which area you're speaking of. By 1970 the Minuteman III was operational, and that was winding down. It is true that there was a gap in the support by Congress of what later became called the Peacekeeper, the Minuteman X. So that was the only missile under design, and the question of going into production was always hanging in the air, as you probably know. Even today, only a couple of hundred, maybe two hundred, were built. So there was a winding down in that field. In the big bomber field, there was also a slowdown. After the B-52, there were about three aborted efforts on the part of the Air Force to make a bomber, the B-70 Supersonic, that fell on its face, Congress canceled it. The B-1 was developed, a sort of semi-supersonic bomber, and that was canceled through Congress by the Air Force. Actually, if I can brag a little bit, I was asked by the Air Force to conduct a review by a Scientific Advisory Board Committee, what was called the “long range combat aircraft,” LRCA. That was a summer study held in Monterey by the SAB, and it included a lot of military people and a lot of co-operation from the Air Force laboratories. We came up with a modified B-1, which Congress then approved. There was also the Advanced Technology Airplane, which was already on the books, and on which we commented. It became the B-2. Now, in the meantime the number of fighters being developed had also dropped. The whole aircraft industry was beginning to be cut back. There were no new fighters on the books after the F-16 in the Air Force, and a similar situation existed in the Navy. That situation has not improved now that the Cold War is over.

Nebeker:

Many IEEE members in the early 1970s felt that these were hard times for getting and holding jobs. They thought the IEEE ought to act more like a labor union in lobbying Congress for favorable legislation, in helping people find jobs, in doing something about pensions, because people often changed jobs, these kinds of issues. One of the people who talked in this way, and sort of took advantage of this, was Irwin Feerst, who in the early 1970s started arguing that IEEE should really function as a labor union in a way, to help its US members. He wanted to stop immigration of engineers to this country, and restrict leadership positions in IEEE to US citizens, and so on. What do you remember of that period in the 1970s and this discussion of what IEEE should be doing?

Getting:

I have to answer that in a rather complicated way, but it will be quite direct. In 1977, members of the IEEE board asked whether I would be willing to run for the presidency of IEEE. Until that point since, I was so heavily occupied in my major responsibilities, in The Aerospace Corporation and in Washington - I was on committees in the White House, like the Vietnam Committee, making recommendations to the US President. I frankly didn't have time for IEEE. So this invitation to me, whether I would consider running for president, was sort of a rude awakening. The fact that I was then sixty-five years old and considering retirement from Aerospace made me wonder, “Well, is this an opportunity where I can be of use? Why did they come to me and ask me if I wanted to be a candidate for president?” I looked into it, and of course I went to several meetings with the board, and discussed it with the senior leadership of IEEE, and I came across these problems which you mentioned. There's no question that Feerst had a platform which would appeal to many electrical engineers. Principally what I would call the employed working engineer, as distinguished from the university engineer or the research engineer, or an engineer at management levels in some of the larger corporations.

Military Contracts and Engineers

Let me make a few comments about that. The Department of Defense in connection with military contracts was involved in two major issues that affected electrical engineers. One was that the Department of Defense generally was the sole contractor in military products - big systems, like communications systems, satellites, airplanes, electronics, and so on. It placed large contracts, but infrequently. Because they were forced at that time to do everything by competitive bidding, no company could ever be sure when they finished their current contract that the next one in that field would come to them. Before World War II there was no electronics in the aircraft industry, but after WWII these companies probably hired more electronic engineers than aeronautical engineers. In fact, more than half the cost of a modern military airplane is in electronics. So there would be frequent major disruptions, not only in production, but also in research and development contracts. The aircraft companies tried very hard to maintain their engineering base, because they needed desperately to get, if not the next contract, the contract after that or at least sub-contract after that. Naturally they would lay off production engineers, quality control engineers, inspection engineers, and that class, but they kept their research and development engineers, who were normally the cream of the crop from a technical viewpoint. So there was a major instability in the electronic portions of the aerospace military business.

When I was in the Pentagon during the Korean War, my immediate boss, General Gordon Saville, who was the top policy guy in research and development, would take me on trips to the aircraft companies. He and I would visit with the president of North American, or the president of what was then I guess, General Dynamics, and so forth. We'd all sit around the table and discuss their financial position, we'd discuss their production schedules, their workload, and what they thought was going to happen in the next few years. We would informally carry that information back and influence the contracting of follow-ons or improvement programs, or we would even set up negotiation to take over some capital equipment and make it government-owned so that we could free up money for the companies to continue with research and development without a contract, so they would stay alive. In other words, in 1950, at least between the Air Force and the aircraft companies, there was dialogue to try and establish some stability, which impacted on engineers in the electronics industry that did not exist. The electronics business grew out of the hayloft operations of the 1930s, of radio and power, and out of the companies like General Electric, Westinghouse, and Allis-Chalmers. There was no government industry planning in the 1950s and 1960s to try and produce stability in the electronics business as far as the military procurement was concerned. By the time we're now talking about, 1970s and on, both the aircraft industry and the electronics and electrical industry were on this arms-length contract negotiating with wide fluctuations. Obviously it was fertile ground for engineers in the factories and the kind of jobs I've described, to look for stability. Feerst represented, acted as the spokesman, for that set of issues. It was a legitimate set of issues, and he reacted to it, but perhaps not always in a manner which was acceptable to other members of the IEEE. As you pointed out, he wanted to limit the number of electrical engineers. He wanted to have everybody licensed, so that everybody belonged to a “profession.” Just before you came I looked up in my dictionary what a profession is, and it does not describe a lot of the things which currently are considered qualifications of a profession. In fact, I can't find a good definition of a profession anywhere. Webster’s doesn't give it. Feerst also wanted to limit the competition from foreign engineers. There was lots of inflow of very good European-trained engineers, or even later engineers from India, Japan, and other foreign countries, who were trained in our universities and were supposed to go back to their countries but didn't. Let's say there were lots of reasons Feerst could appeal to a large fraction of the membership of IEEE.

Feerst’s Popularity and Getting’s Presidency

Nebeker:

As you know, he did increasingly well in a couple of elections, up to the 1977 election. He came very close to Saunders' vote; Saunders was president in 1977.

Getting:

One of the characteristics of IEEE which I admire is that it is a member society. It's really a democracy at work. It's not as bad as the Republican or Democratic parties of the United States where most of the effort seems to be in getting re-elected. Fortunately, in IEEE you can only serve as president for one year, and most of the board members have to be elected to some other job. No one person dominates or controls. It has many societies, it has many regions, it has many other things like Wescon and Electro which are sort of loosely tied in, but not under direct control of the president or the board. It has all these foreign entanglements, if I can call it that. So no one person can ruin IEEE. They can damage it, but they can't scuttle it. On the other hand, it could be very disturbing if someone who took the position of Feerst were to become the president. Let me enlarge a little bit. If you look at the various professional societies, AIAA is dominated by the management of the profession, if I can use that word. The vice president of an aircraft company is almost always the president of the AIAA. They always meet in Washington because they depend so heavily on political interaction with Congress and the Department of Defense. IEEE never meets in Washington, as far as I know. It meets out in various parts of the country, Canada sometimes, but never meets in Washington. AIAA is what I would call a professional society largely dominated by the industry leaders. The medical profession is very disparate, that is it has members, but it's closely knit in the political structure and positions. The Physical Society used to be, and I think still is, dominated by the universities. They're entirely different. In fact, when the National Academy of Engineering wanted to get going in Washington, the National Academy of Science objected, because the National Academy of Science was essentially a university-controlled organization. They were afraid that if the National Academy of Engineering were to become an integral part of the National Academy of Science, they would dominate it both by numbers of people and by the financial support that the Academy of Engineering would be expected to get from industry. So you have these various sensitivities, and one must recognize their existence, and one must respond in an appropriate way in an organization like IEEE.

Nebeker:

Feerst appealed to many people because he argued that IEEE was being controlled [by] an elite. Many of them were academics. This elite was controlling the board, and many of them were vice presidents in some corporation or were academics, not representing the working engineers.

Getting:

That is correct. During my year as president I established a series of meetings with industry. I believe we had the first one in Boston, and I think we had three or four of them, and we had the presidents of practically every major electronics company meet with me and Emberson, who had been in Rad Lab during World War II. I would sort of act as the host and policy person, and Emberson then would give the facts of the IEEE and its interactions, and then we'd open it to discussion.

Nebeker:

What was the purpose of these meetings?

Getting:

The purpose was partly to offset Feerst's propaganda. Industry was beginning to think, as you pointed out, that IEEE was becoming a trade union and not a learned society.

Nebeker:

IEEE was trying to span learned society to trade union, and these various functions.

Getting:

Industrial leaders felt that IEEE was becoming more like a trade union, when in the beginning it was a learned society. Now because IEEE is a real democratic organization, responding to the requirements of its members, it had covered the whole spectrum. It was trying to advance the art through its technical publications. It was trying to influence policy in Washington by having USAB and having fellows who would be made available to Congressmen, so Congressmen, who were mostly lawyers, would have some technical input. But it was also trying to impact on things like retirements, and job stability, and wage busting. It's hard to say that wage busting and retirements are a function of a learned society. But it had become that way. The job I had as president at that time was to try to be responsive to the requirements of the membership without upsetting the apple cart. Industry was getting fed up. Pensions, for example. It was understandable why some members of IEEE wanted mobile pensions. Not the university professors, who had tenure. But on the working level, particularly the engineer in the plants who was working on incoming inspection and quality control, and that sort of thing, was interested in portable pensions, because he had to go from North American to Northrup to General Dynamics, to Lockheed, and so on. On the other side, as a member of the board of directors, I was very familiar with the problems that portable pensions would create for Northrup. This is later. Northrup could not have a separate pension system for every job assignment in the company, and if they did they would have trouble assigning people from one area to another with no clear definition of where the boundaries were. When I set up Aerospace, I got around the pension problem, having had broad experience in this stuff, by setting up a very short time for vesting. After a few years a person was vested, and if he wanted to change jobs, he didn't lose that much. When I was at Raytheon, you had to be there twenty years before you were fully vested, and after ten years you were vested only fifty percent. So today after being vice president of Raytheon for ten years and, I think, leading it from what I might refer to as a loft-type operation to a major industrial giant, I get two hundred and sixty-two dollars and twenty-six cents monthly pension!

Nebeker:

Yes.

Getting:

So you see, the universities had portable pensions, and they do it through TIA-CREF. Are you familiar with those?

Nebeker:

Yes. I know of those.

Getting:

Since a large part of the membership (the academics) of IEEE had portable pensions, why shouldn't the other people have portable pensions? From their viewpoint? From the industry viewpoint, portable pensions were anathema. The idea that their engineers would want to become unionized was anathema. Some of the large companies are unionized. One morning I woke up to find that Aerospace scientists and engineers were unionized. I thought I knew everything, but I didn't know that there was a reasonable unhappiness over the stability of their jobs. As the DOD space programs increased, Congress began establishing limits on how much the Department of Defense could spend at Aerospace. The fact that we were competent and doing a good job indicated why we were growing, but the congressional politics, and the pressure from local companies in their districts, finally resulted in Congress putting a ceiling on the amount of DOD dollars that could be contracted with Aerospace. Many working engineers and scientists didn't like it, and they were able to form a union. They didn't end up in an aggressive way because they'd learned that they really couldn't strike against the management because the management couldn't get more money out of the DOD, so who were they striking against?

Debating Feerst and Public Policy

Nebeker:

You say you were approached by some members of the board of directors of IEEE in 1977.

Getting:

Yes.

Nebeker:

Did you have friends on the board at the time? Do you care to identify the people who approached you?

Getting:

I was afraid you were going to ask me that, and I've been searching my mind. Dick Emberson of course knew me very well, and Fink knew me very well.

Nebeker:

Donald Fink, yes. He was general manager.

Getting:

Although he was never close to me, I probably was approached by Saunders. Though I think he approached me as the president, after discussions with the board.

Nebeker:

Right, the board members. You told me before that you did some debating with Feerst, and at sections before they elected you.

Getting:

Oh, yeah. They were very fierce, too.

Nebeker:

After you agreed to run as the board candidate, some sections here and there asked you if you would come to debate Feerst?

Getting:

Yes.

Nebeker:

You told me that they were well attended, these debates?

Getting:

Yes. I don't remember all of them. I particularly remember the one in New Hampshire that was close to Feerst's home base. I had to travel all the way across the country to debate him, but it so happened that there were a fair number of engineers who knew me personally and were employed by companies in that area. There was one company that had broken off from Raytheon, for example. There were also several companies that had hired people who had worked for me at Aerospace. The meetings were well attended.

Nebeker:

Can you describe the nature of the debate? Was it calm and reasoned?

Getting:

Yes. Feerst gave his points, which appear in the -

Nebeker:

In his letters.

Getting:

Yes. I tried to respond to his statements very much as I've been responding to your questions, about the role of IEEE, about the various issues that were being raised and how they might impact the future of IEEE. Let me define the word prejudice, if I may. When I was in the Society of Fellows at Harvard I used to have supper every Monday night with the other junior and senior Fellows, and one of them was A. Lawrence Lowell, as the famous president of Harvard for a very long time, and brother of Amy Lowell the poet. He could repeat himself; he was old enough then to do that, and he said that a person is prejudiced if he's lived long enough, and has had enough experience to be able to form a reasonable judgment. So, I expressed my prejudice about what IEEE should be: principally first, a learned society to push the advancement of the scientific application to electrical engineering. To publish those results, and also to look after the general well being of its members, but not to take on things which were not within its field. Now let me give you my prejudice on an example of that. I’m not sure that IEEE as a professional society should try to express its views on political issues. One might be the use of the A-bomb.

Nebeker:

In the mid-1970s, IEEE did make a policy statement about nuclear energy.

Getting:

That's right.

Nebeker:

They came out saying that this should be developed, and that caused a lot of controversy.

Getting:

It should have. It isn't clear to me that the electrical and electronic profession, IEEE, qualifies people to try to establish policy on nuclear things. While they may know about it, most of them have not been trained in it.

Nebeker:

Are you saying in general the IEEE ought to stay out of public policy issues?

Getting:

We ought to stay out of public policy issues except to the extent that when a professional aspect is involved, we explain the professional implications.

Nebeker:

I think many members of IEEE, people in the power industries, would have argued that there was a misconception about nuclear energy, and the electrical engineers dealing with it were in a position to say, "This is something that can be safely developed".

Getting:

Okay, what do you mean, “safely developed”?

Nebeker:

That's a difficult matter, but many engineers felt that the public perception of atomic energy didn't accord with the real risks involved.

Getting:

I suspect that the public was probably right, and I think that IEEE was probably wrong. But that isn't the point I'm trying to get across. IEEE can express its views on such items as, “Can you design enough reliability into the electrical controls of the rods to ensure that it would be safe under all conditions?” I don't think that they should try to answer the question of, “Can you dispose of the radioactive debris that is produced in the process?” I would leave that to experts in that field.

So they shouldn't make a general policy statement, "We should develop nuclear energy." They should restrict themselves to particular things such as control of the reactor on which they're experts. But a lot of policy questions can be answered by any intelligent person if they're given the facts. There are lots of borderline cases in public policy for which there are no simple answers. For example, one of the technical issues while I was president was the safe dosage of radio waves. As a matter of fact, when I was at Raytheon and we developed our Radar Range, which is now a copyright name so we have to call it a microwave oven, what was the safe radiation limit from a microwave oven? Electrical engineers were qualified to make measurements, they were qualified to say what the results of different levels of power are, but they should have limited their statements where they were not qualified. Let me explain. Most of us in the business, and certainly I as vice president of engineering and research at Raytheon, were very much interested in that problem. At that time there were no specifications in the government agency that licenses radio frequencies and everything else.

Nebeker:

FCC?

Getting:

I guess it was FCC, but they received licensing from a standpoint of mutual interference, and we were discussing health. You could certainly make measurements on how much energy you could radiate before you start melting something, and working with medical people on how much energy you could put on the eye before you start cooking it or damaging it, but there are always reservations. The Russians, for example, have a limit which is I think a thousand times lower than our specification. But we enforce our specification; they don't. There are people in the medical field, the biology field, who feel that energy levels should be much lower than the spec which is based on heating.

Nebeker:

The thermal effects.

Getting:

The material effects can damage the brain. I don't know. Again, that becomes a very delicate issue. There is no hard answer to that. But IEEE took an official position, which I certainly endorsed. I forget now how many milliwatts per square centimeter, and for how long, was safe. You need to have some limit, so you do the best you can, but there's a caveat.

Nebeker:

Someone I talked to just this week, Kumar Patel, argued that IEEE ought to do a lot more in this area of public policy.

Getting:

Patel?

Nebeker:

Yes.

Getting:

I know him quite well, and I respect him.

Nebeker:

He pointed out that the American Physical Society - he's currently president of the APS - has done more of these studies and issuing public policy statements than IEEE has.

Getting:

That may be, because the Physical Society can claim to be in biophysics as well as what I would call material physics, and they have experts in the field.

Nebeker:

There are a whole range of issues, Patel was arguing, that IEEE is reluctant to get into.

Getting:

It should be reluctant.

Nebeker:

That's what you're saying; you think they should be. . .

Getting:

I think they should limit their inputs to their area of expertise, and not necessarily make judgments. Anybody has the right to have a judgment. But let's go back to this radiation bit. People put the portable phones they have now right close to the head, so their radiation coupling is pretty close, and they use them all day, in the car. Now does that cause any damage? I don't know. My brother is a physician; he's now officially retired, but he was the Director of Public Health in Massachusetts, and then professor at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, in the medical school. There may be subtle effects, cumulative effects. It's hard to prove. Frankly I would not want at this point - from what I know, which is limited - to hold a tenth of a watt transmitter next to my head for eight hours a day. I've been exposed to everything, microwaves, gamma rays, neutrons, everything else.

Nebeker:

I think you've stated your view quite well on that issue. Maybe we can look at some of the other issues in the time that you were president. Is there anything else about the campaign that you wanted to say? You went to a number of sections and debated, you made statements that were published.

Getting:

Yes, and Feerst acted with a reasonable degree of decorum during that period of time. What he did after I left I don't know, because I wasn't that close anymore.

Getting Elected President

Nebeker:

The election came out in your favor, a fair margin of victory.

Getting:

And do you know what was the first thing I did? The first thing I did after I went to a meeting? Was to get a copy of the rules of order.

Nebeker:

Roberts' Rules of Order.

Getting:

Of Roberts' Rules of Order. I had to become more skilled in the proper application of proper rules of order than anybody on the board! This may sound strange and funny, but as I said, one thing I liked about IEEE, was that it was really a democratic organization. I couldn't control it except through legitimate process.

Nebeker:

I see. I know that Saunders is a stickler about proper procedure.

Getting:

You want to see my worn copy? I took it everywhere I went.

Nebeker:

Oh, your Roberts' Rules of Order.

Getting:

Do you know where Roberts wrote that?

Nebeker:

No.

Getting:

On Friday Harbor, up in the Seattle area, on the island. He was an engineer doing the fortifications on Friday Harbor during the Pig War with the Canadians, and he had time on his hands, so he wrote the book up there. He was an Army engineer.

Nebeker:

I didn't know that. So you were informed, was it December of 1977, that you were elected?

Getting:

Yes. I retired from Aerospace about that time. Being president of IEEE means a lot of meetings, among other things. It's almost a full-time job.

Nebeker:

Maybe I should ask these general questions now before flipping through these minutes. Did it surprise you how much time it required?

Getting:

Not really. I guess the answer should be yes and no. Once you get going on something, and you have the time, which I managed to have, then you spend as much time as necessary. It took a lot of time. You may recall that Bob Lucky was considered for the presidency later on. He was told by his management that he could be the president of IEEE but he couldn't be vice president of Bell Labs at the same time.

Nebeker:

It's often felt by people on the West Coast that IEEE has this strong east coast bias, that more of the people are on the East Coast, and many of the meetings were there, and so on. Did it seem so to you at the time?

Getting:

Well, I would think so, but that's historical. There was a time when Boston was the center of all electronics, and then it spread out to the New York area, New Jersey area, Delaware and all of New England, then down to Philadelphia.

Nebeker:

Then it wasn't the case that there's an East Coast clique.

Getting:

No, I think it's purely historical, where the members are.

Nebeker:

You've already mentioned some of the issues of that time... the portable pensions was one matter.

Getting:

The wage busting was another.

Nebeker:

The wage busting when a contract was, I guess, given to another contractor for a continued service.

Getting:

Yes, they were usually limited to service contracts, like down at Cape Kennedy, or Vandenberg, or some military base or something. You'd take a place that was remote, like some of the military stations out in Texas or New Mexico, where there is not a big indigenous supply of engineers. A company could come in and underbid the current company and offer less pensions, even reduced salary, and people were there. They had their house there, their family there, their kids at school there, and they would be employed at a lower salary and lose their accruing pensions.

Nebeker:

Was any progress made on that score in your year?

Getting:

There was a little progress made while I was president, but my recollection is that there were bills before congress that were pending, and I can't say what happened afterwards.

Eric Herz and Changes in Presidential Elections

Nebeker:

Okay. In Saunders' year as president H. A. Shulke resigned as general manager of IEEE. Then Emberson, I guess, was acting manager general for a while -

Getting:

Yes.

Nebeker:

And then Eric Herz was hired.

Getting:

I take credit for Eric Herz. The biggest contribution that I made to IEEE was convincing Eric Herz to take on that job.

Nebeker:

How did you know Eric?

Getting:

Well it was a strange thing. I think it was before I was formally president; I had been elected. I was living in L.A., and there was a meeting out here in San Diego, and it was held in a hotel out on Mission Bay. I wanted to find out how these regional meetings were conducted, and what went on, so I came down here. Eric Herz was in charge of the program and the whole damn meeting and the set-up, and the banquets and the speeches and everything else. I was very impressed by his personality and his ability to work with people, to get things done. He had a lot of the qualities that I didn't have. Didn't Donald Fink have that job?

Nebeker:

Well Donald Fink was the original general manager from the merger until 1975, I think it was, and then it was Schulke, but just for two years.

Getting:

I knew Dick Emberson. I knew he was a sweet guy, a gentleman. Quite competent technically - did you know him? But he was not a gung-ho type. I knew that they were looking for someone other than Dick Emberson at that time. As I say, I was very much attracted to Eric Herz. I think he had me out to his house somewhere in Mission Valley for supper, and I met his wife, and I was impressed also by her, as the type of woman who would support her husband in these difficult interactions where there is a large number of people. So they had the qualifications. Frankly, until I read some of the notes and minutes that you sent me, I thought I hired him, just having foisted him on the rest of the people!

Nebeker:

You were his main champion among the board.

Getting:

Yes, but I didn't have any problems. I mean it wasn't as though I pushed him down the throats of a lot of hardheaded, obstreperous members of the board.

Nebeker:

I'm curious about the resignation of Schulke. That happened the year before you became president.

Getting:

I don't know anything about that.

Nebeker:

I think you certainly can take credit for having convinced Eric Herz to take the job.

Getting:

I can’t take the credit for that; I'll let anybody else who wants to. I didn't have enough votes to elect him; I only had one vote.

Nebeker:

I think it worked out very well. Another issue that came up in your year as president was changing the way the president was elected so that the president-elect would serve one year as executive vice president before becoming president. It was proposed during your year, and I think was voted on by the members the following year.

Getting:

In the subsequent years?

Les Hogan as Vice President

Nebeker:

Right. So you came in cold, so to speak, and you were suddenly president. Was that very difficult?

Getting:

The answer is yes. Let me say, I had a pretty good vice president, Hogan. Hogan had been more active in IEEE than I had; in fact he had objected to many of the issues. Are you familiar with Les Hogan?

Nebeker:

I know who he is, yes.

Getting:

I happened to know him, but that had nothing to do with his coming in as vice president. Hogan was a professor at Harvard when I was vice president at Raytheon, and he was an expert on ferrites. Are you familiar with the ferrite materials?

Nebeker:

Yes.

Getting:

I thought you were a historian, not a scientist.

Nebeker:

Well, I have some math and physics.

Getting:

I went out of my way to convince him to come and consult for Raytheon. Ferrites are needed to do phase shifting and wave guides; you can do it other ways, but that's the good way. I got Raytheon into the ferrite business. They're still the major supplier of ferrites, and that's what makes Raytheon able to make these huge antennas, and all kinds of things. So I knew Hogan.

Nebeker:

So you knew Hogan.

Getting:

But I did not have anything to do whatsoever with his coming in as a candidate for executive VP. I think that was done outside the normal process for nominations.

Nebeker:

Normally the board has its nominee for president.

Getting:

Normally it does. You might check on this one. All I know is that I woke up one morning to find out that my executive vice president was Les Hogan! Now by that time he had left Harvard and gone to Motorola. He had set up Motorola as one of the prime companies in silicon transistors. Then he went to the Bay area and set up a company there, and he was up there when he was elected as executive VP.

Nebeker:

I just saw the answer to that. The board candidate was called Bayless. Les Hogan was a petition candidate.

Getting:

That's right. So he was a petition candidate, but that surprises me a little. My recollection is that he was deeply disturbed by the - unionization, I'll call it that way - of IEEE rather than as a learned society, and he was determined to fix it.

Nebeker:

You mean to say he didn't want it to become so much of a union.

Getting:

That's right. In other words, he was, I think, totally opposed to Feerst. So he was a great help to me, in the sense that if I left town I could trust who was left in town. By the way, he was at the meeting up here, and I asked if he would be willing, if you prepared a typed version of my interview, to go over it and make sure that nothing I said was so wrong that even he couldn't take it.

Nebeker:

Was he willing to look at it?

Getting:

Yes, so if you want to either interview him, or send him a copy of the typed transcription for his comments, he'd be willing to read it, and I have his telephone number and address.

Nebeker:

If he's an IEEE member, then I should be able to get -

Getting:

Les Hogan is a very positive, very strong guy. Very successful, very smart. Now to come back to your question, I think it was a good idea, and it's a system that many of the other societies have. But you are correct: that was not enacted while I was president.

Nebeker:

It was proposed, and I assume you favored it?

Getting:

As I said, IEEE is a democratic organization, and it moved slowly sometimes. That's a good example.

IEEE Staff and Transnational Character

Nebeker:

Another matter that was maybe reaching conclusion in your year was the setting up of the IEEE Foundation to be 501(c)(3)?

Getting:

Aerospace was 501(c)(3).

Nebeker:

John Guarrera told me the other day that he thinks IEEE received bad advice from its lawyers, that it wasn't ever necessary to change the tax status of IEEE itself, even when it got into the professional activities. Did you get enough involved in that to have a comment?

Getting:

Well I got somewhat involved. Again, my recollection is that, before I became president, IEEE had started with the USAB, and they had started appearing essentially as lobbyists, and the interpretation by the lawyers was that this disqualified them as a 501(c)(3). On the other hand, IEEE wanted to be able to receive gifts and donations to be used for scientific and appropriate use, and to get around that they set up the foundation. I couldn't see anything wrong with it at that time, and as you know it was established - according to what you've sent me I think in December of 1978 while I was president still.

Nebeker:

I suppose it functioned as it was intended to?

Getting:

As far as I know it has been functioning as it was intended to, and it certainly made it possible for USAB to operate without getting into some legal problem.

Nebeker:

Did you get good support from the IEEE staff?

Getting:

Yes. What was the name of the lady who was in Piscataway?

Nebeker:

Was it Emily Surjane?

Getting:

Yes. She was just fantastic.

Nebeker:

Did you very often visit, New York or Piscataway?

Getting:

As much as I could. If I'd lived in that area I would have been there much more frequently. But with Emily Surjane there, and with Dick Emberson there, I had good ties. I had good communications on the phone very frequently.

Nebeker:

And you got the support you needed.

Getting:

I had absolutely no complaints about any of the support, even that bunch of lawyers they hired, who were there before I came, were very constructive and helpful. I had no problems whatsoever.

Nebeker:

The Piscataway facility was fairly new then. I think it was established in 1974.

Getting:

Well I visited there, and went through it thoroughly, and they were doing as far as I could tell a good job.

Nebeker:

There weren't any glaring problems with the staff.

Getting:

Not that I was aware of.

Nebeker:

Well let's see, we've already talked about the service contract industry wage busting.

Getting:

I remember something else about the Founders Society. The question was raised several times that year as to whether the headquarters should stay in New York. You'll recall that the Founders Society was a gift from Carnegie?

Nebeker:

Yes.

Getting:

And it went back to the turn of the century when New York was the center of gravity. I think some of us felt that New York was no longer the center of gravity, from the standpoint of logistics. It was all the way to one end of the country; it was far to travel. It would be better from that viewpoint if you were - what is the center of the country, Denver? Omaha?

Nebeker:

Somewhere around there; that sounds right.

Getting:

It would have been better if it were there. If you like beef, that's okay. But then the center of activities is Washington D.C., and as you know the American Institute of Physics has moved to Washington, and AIA is in Washington, and the National Academy of Science and Engineering is in Washington. We did look into the possibility of moving, but not very much, because it looked impossible. I think we came to the conclusion that we had to keep New York like a nominal headquarters, because of good will.

Nebeker:

As you know, more and more of IEEE's operations have moved to Piscataway, so there's much less now in New York City.

Getting:

But then there was also the question of transnational character. You didn't bring that up as a problem, but that was a problem. It was a problem in many ways. I did some soul-searching at the time. I was used to national security, because of World War II, and the whole Korean episode, the Vietnam episode, the Cold War, and I was deeply interested in national security. Here we were working with India, and India was one of the biggest supporters of IEEE, yet India refused to co-operate with the United States' foreign policy. It was really bad. Pakistan was much better that way. It seemed to me we were treading on Jello instead of on firm ground. But I firmly believed in the transnational nature of science. I had firm feelings that we were getting enough back out of it. The issue kept coming up about dues when I went to India, and I was aware of the poverty there.

Nebeker:

You went to India as IEEE president?

Getting:

Yes. The question of dues came up. The Indian engineers couldn't really afford to pay our dues. I think the IEEE dues are about the same as one month's salary. So there was always this issue; could we give them smaller dues? Of course Feerst fought that. He'd just as soon get rid of them. So that was another issue at that time.

Nebeker:

And you said you had somewhat mixed feelings on how international the organization should be?

Getting:

Well, I supported the transnational characteristics of IEEE, but I also felt that it was a mixed blessing. Take the British Institute. The British Institute of Electrical Engineering consider themselves - because England is old, and Oxford is wonderful and Cambridge is wonderful, and the London school, the Institute of Technology or whatever it's called, and the Empire... When I got to Singapore, and I met with the chairman and vice chairman of the IEEE chapter of Singapore, I found that they were nearly thrown in jail, because they wanted to set up a formal section in Singapore. Are you familiar with the government of Singapore?

Nebeker:

Yeah, I know what it is.

Getting:

It's an oligarchy, dictatorial; they run the cleanest city in the world, but they run it. They forbade IEEE setting up a section in Singapore, because the British Institute of Engineers already had a section there, and that was enough. There were problems of that type. On the other hand, in Australia and New Zealand, and in India, they welcomed you with open arms. It was just wonderful.

Nebeker:

I don't have the figures at hand, but something like ninety percent, if not higher, of IEEE's membership in the 1970s was made up of U.S. citizens. It's since become much more international: almost a third of IEEE members.

Getting:

In 1978, India launched five different sections. They had an annual meeting that lasted a week. They gave scholarships to students at their universities. I had to give a speech at that meeting. I also had to go on national television the morning I arrived, when I hadn't slept for two nights. India looked entirely to the United States as far as electrical engineering was concerned. Not to England. It was the same way in Australia and New Zealand. Japan was a funny one.

Nebeker:

Did you visit Japan when you were president?

Getting:

Yes. Something happened in the communications link, and they didn't realize I was supposed to be there until the day I arrived. I think the IEEE representative had changed responsibilities - I won't say changed companies, but changed responsibilities, and in the process, the letters got lost in the mail. But they quickly rectified the situation after a few long distance calls from me to New York, and New York to them, and they had an official dinner for Helen and me in what was the successor’s palace, like the Prince of Wales.

Nebeker:

The crown prince.

Getting:

The crown prince. They even had Kobe beef, and they invited the wives of all the big shots of Japanese industry.

Nebeker:

They don't normally do that?

Getting:

They don't normally do that. Because I had my wife with me, I paid for her way everywhere.

Nebeker:

I know now Japan is very active in IEEE. Was it already that in 1978?

Getting:

Because of this peculiar circumstance, the fact that communications had broken down, there was no programmed set of meetings, except for the one that they set up as an emergency, with twenty-four hours’ notice. There were, as I recall, no formal speeches or programs.

History Center Proposed and Standards

Nebeker:

Fine. Another matter which came up in your year as president has a particular connection to me.

Getting:

Boy, you do your homework.

Nebeker:

The History Center was proposed. Do you remember that, the discussion of establishing a history center?

Getting:

Frankly, I'm a great believer in any major organization having some form of archive preservation, and of history. I don't recall that it was a major issue at all. I think it was proposed by someone and it was approved by the board, and I think it went ahead smoothly.

Nebeker:

Yes, that's true. At the December board of directors meeting, there was a resolution on voluntary standards. It said, "Be it resolved that we the presidents of the societies and the Association for Co-operation in Engineering do declare our confidence in" - I'm trying to just read the important part - "the nation's voluntary consensus standards activities, and the voluntary management and co-ordination of the American National Standards Institution". Do you wonder what the issue was there? Was there legislation that was going to enforce standards of a certain type?

Getting:

I must apologize to you on the standards issue. There were so many of these other issues that needed attention that I gave that less attention than it deserved. My recollection was that IEEE had a standards board. But it was not a major board. On the other hand, it had made major contributions to the whole standards business. There was a United States standards board, which I believe had been set up by act of Congress.

Nebeker:

Right, around the turn of the century.

Getting:

In effect from a legal viewpoint, they, rather than any of the societies, were responsible for getting up standards, and for setting with other countries to set up international standards. I also knew because of my background, principally as vice president for engineering and research at Raytheon, that a lot of countries had deliberately set up standards to make American products incompatible in their markets. For example, all of Europe's on fifty cycles instead of sixty cycles; they're on 220 volts instead of 115 volts. There was a need for - if you wanted to have worldwide trade - not only low tariffs, but also standards. So I was in favor of anything we could do to support that, but I don't believe that during my year any specific issue came up, except that the IEEE standards board was working in a voluntary way with that US standards board, and was being accepted in their inputs.

Nebeker:

My guess was that there was some threat to that continued activity, or at least that there might have been some compulsion, and IEEE was expressing its confidence in the voluntary standards operation.

Getting:

I think what you've said is what I would have said, but I can't say it any clearer. I haven't followed on that, but I am aware that for example today there is a standard on information buses. I think that's a voluntary standard.

Nebeker:

Yes, I think these are typically IEEE standards.

Getting:

These activities for the most part existed, and IEEE would take the initiative, in a vacuum. Being accepted, for example, they would be taken over. Now currently I know there's a hell of a big fight going on over the portable telephone that we now use.

Nebeker:

Cellular phone?

Getting:

The cellular phone. It seems that it's going to be replaced by other systems which are called PC - personal communications. Anyhow, it's growing all over the world, and the European standard, for example, is different from the CDMA standard being developed in the U.S. So that's a big area that IEEE might want to get involved in.

Nebeker:

The standards activity is an important part of IEEE's work.

Getting:

The point I'm making is that IEEE has the people who can do that, and I doubt if the federal organization that's been set up has the quality of people to keep up with the fast-changing art.

Issues of Insurance

Nebeker:

One thing that was also discussed when you were president was whether IEEE should get into the business of technology forecasting, manpower forecasting. What do you recall of that?

Getting:

I don't think my opinion then would have been any different than it is today. Forecasting science and technology is a dubious way of spending your time, unproductive. General Arnold asked Von Karmon, who was an aeronautical type, to set up a group to forecast the future of technology and its impact on the Air Force. In Von Karmon's section, he did say we'd have supersonic flight and have ballistic missiles to look forward to, but the rest of it was just immediate extrapolation of what we were then doing. Now this year, the secretary of the Air Force, Widnall, from MIT, has asked the SAB to make another forecast, and I'm supposed to be in that, but I'm too old to be bold enough to forecast the technology of the future.

Nebeker:

You're in general a little skeptical of the value of those?

Getting:

Yes I am. I think the IEEE Spectrum had a pretty good article on forecasting the future, didn't it, recently? That could have been the AIAA. I think they even had a section on electronics, which I thought was as good as anything I've seen.

Nebeker:

I'm looking right now at this two-page chart of pending and unfinished business that the executive committee drew-up.

Getting:

I brought that up. At that time many of us thought we should move out of New York, and that was the legal way of doing it.

Nebeker:

Most of these things I won’t mention, unless you want to comment on them--the Committee on Registration, that was much discussed.

Getting:

Let's see. My feelings on that are described in one of these things, quite accurately.

Nebeker:

That looks like something from the Institute.

Getting:

You sent this to me. I've always felt that registration was necessary for those engineers who interact directly with the public, and where the public is not qualified to pass judgment on the qualification of the person they're hiring. I see nothing wrong with the way it is now being administered. I object to requiring every person who is knowledgeable about anything to do with electricity to register if it doesn't interact directly with the public. Are you familiar with aeronautical engineering?

Nebeker:

Yes.

Getting:

There is no registering in aeronautical engineering. You can say, “Oh, they interact with the public, they design airplanes.” But the answer is, you can be registered as a mechanical engineer, because mechanical engineers build bridges and they build buildings, and you don't want them to collapse. The interaction with the public is through a contractor or something like that, who is not necessarily qualified in structural design. But in the case of airplanes, airplanes are only built by the large companies that have to stand behind their product. Even if you buy a Cessna, Cessna has to stand behind their product. I think it's for twenty-five years and I think they're trying to cut it down to fifteen years, and it's up to them to hire engineers who are qualified.

Nebeker:

Right, and they're in a position to judge.

Getting:

There is no such thing as a registered aeronautical engineer.

Nebeker:

I didn't know that. Many of these matters are of limited importance; the new regulations on non-US travel, the deciding whether to keep Electrical Engineering, which was the management newsletter. They evidently decided to keep it at the time you were president, but it soon ended after that. I think most of these things are of very little lasting significance. Do you recall this insurance for insurability issue?

Getting:

What issue was that?

Nebeker:

It's called member insurance for insurability. It had to do, I'm sure, with members being able to get insurance.

Getting:

Life insurance?

Nebeker:

I would have thought maybe health insurance.

Getting:

I think it was health insurance. No I don't, at that time it was not a big issue.

Nebeker:

Les Hogan was the one assigned to look into that matter.

Getting:

I believe that his report was not due until the next year, or something like that.

Nebeker:

Have you made notes on any issues that I haven't raised?

Getting:

No, I think we covered them all. You do a fantastic job with your homework.

Professional Opportunities and Patent Rights

Nebeker:

Let me just glance through this and see if there are any other things that I wanted to ask about. One of the things that were quite active during your year was this committee on professional opportunities for women.

Getting:

Was that an issue during my period?

Nebeker:

It was continuing during your period. I think it started before, but it was going on during your period.

Getting:

I don't recall that there was any specific action that IEEE took.

Nebeker:

Well it was -

Getting:

Except that I corrected my ways.

Nebeker:

I know that there was in 1978, a program at Electro specifically for women engineers, and I wondered if you had any comment.

Getting:

No. Accreditation was always an issue. I did not, while I was president, take any active position on accreditation. It was closely related to registration, you know. I was aware that at MIT, my alma mater, if you took electrical engineering, that course was accredited, but if you took physics, that course was not accredited. And that seemed to be a little strange. On the other hand, Harvard refused to take accreditation steps in any engineering, except one. What do you think that was? Sanitary! That's because the sanitary engineering employees were employed by cities and towns and states; those governments, who didn't have any competency in that field, would not hire anybody who was not a licensed sanitary engineer.

Nebeker:

Otherwise the Harvard degree would do it.

Getting:

The Harvard degree wouldn't work there!

Nebeker:

Another matter that was discussed in your time - and again, it's only if you had involvement in this or cared to comment on it - was age discrimination.

Getting:

It kept coming up. That was one of Feerst's continuous things.

Nebeker:

I don't know if any specific actions were proposed when you were president.

Getting:

I don't believe there were in my year. The situation wasn't so much age as - well, let's put it this way: if you were a registered engineer and working on designing a building, and the building was more than certain floors or a certain size, than you had a registered engineer who had to sign off on the electrical distribution system. That was not affected by age but by the jobs in the big aircraft-type companies, big programs for the DOD. That wasn't so much age. If you'd ever seen the curves on age versus income on electrical engineers, they always go up. At one point they divide. Let me just draw my point; it's easier than describing it. If you were an electrical engineer, and here's years since BS, or whatever your degree was, and here was your pay. If you were an engineer who started out, say, here, and went on into management, the older you got, the more you got paid. If you were strictly an electrical engineer, then at some point you would taper off.

Nebeker:

Plateau, yeah.

Getting:

But this pay was higher than that pay, and if they had to fire someone they could save this amount of money. In management you probably would not be fired, unless it was really desperate like it has been over the last year. You got paid more, because you were there in the class with the lawyers and the accountants and the president, making big decisions.

Nebeker:

One other matter that was discussed at that time was patent rights for engineers.

Getting:

There again, if you were working in a company that was doing business with the government, the government contracts always specified that the government had the rights to own the patent. The only way the company could deliver that ownership was to get every employee to sign an agreement, that everything they invented belonged to the company. That got to be ingrained, but that was the way it was. Now in Raytheon, where I had the responsibilities for all patent policies and related issues, we always required such agreements. We always required a person working at Raytheon, even though he invented something at home, to submit that invention to our patent committee, and the patent committee would decide whether it had nothing to do with Raytheon. If it was in a different field, they would automatically grant the employee the rights to that patent. But if it was related to the work for which Raytheon had contracts, we would have to then submit it to the government. If the government decided they didn't want to patent it, then we would have another review. If the company needed that for its own use, for its own markets, we would do one of two things. If it was a little bit disjointed we would give the patent to the guy with a license to use it ourselves, and to license other people. When I was at Raytheon RCA - are you familiar with RCA? You know how they were set up and why?

Nebeker:

I know how they were established, when after World War I the US government didn't want a foreign company to be dominating communications.

Getting:

Well that may be true. My recollection is that it was set up by General Electric, Westinghouse and AT&T as a patent pool, because none of them could do anything in the radio field without using those patents and they didn't want to forever spend all their time in court or paying lawyers. So they pooled their patents and set up the Radio Corporation of America.

Nebeker:

It was because Marconi was the strongest company at the time, and Marconi was about to acquire the next two years’ production of GE's Alexanderson alternator. The government's worried that some foreign company is going to be completely dominating the field.

Getting:

I think it was a combination of those things.

Nebeker:

Right, it was both of them.

Getting:

But I had to deal with the consequences. The consequences were that RCA owned practically all the patents in radio and TV. You couldn't move without a license. Now, there was one other company that you had to get licenses from, who had a few patents that were not in the pool. I think it was Hazeltine. But 99 percent were owned by RCA, hook or crook. Every year I had to sit down with the RCA top people and negotiate how much we owed them, and how much they owed us for their using our patents. We would host them at a dinner downtown, at a restaurant, which was famous in Boston (Loch Ober). After a few drinks, a good meal, a few more drinks, I would say, “Well, it's obvious that we can't go through your ten thousand patents and claims, and that you can't go through our one thousand patents and claims that you may or may not be using, so why don't we just negotiate a settlement?” And they'd say, “What do you suggest?” Since I knew what we had been doing, I'd say, “We'll pay you two million dollars, and you give us a license to use all your patents, and we'll give you a license to use all our patents, but you're not allowed to sell them to others. You have to go back to direct source.” One more drink, and they'd say okay and we'd sign a document. So much for patents. Now, how did we get onto that?

Nebeker:

Well, because patents -

Getting:

Oh, employees. But I already told you how Raytheon did it, and I thought that was pretty wise, and to the extent that I could I thought that was a good model. Now you see, Feerst tried to say that an employee, a licensed engineer if you wanted everything, was entitled to the patents, whether he did them at work or not. And that was legally impossible.

Nebeker:

With government contracting as it then was, but one might hope for a change in -

Getting:

My opinion was no. If an employee was paid to design an invention, then those patents belonged to the company. If those inventions were made prior to his coming to the company, or partly dependent on the work, then it had to be negotiated on the merits. If it was a government contract, then I explained that to you. The simple idea Feerst had was that any person who worked for a company was entitled to the patent rights and was then entitled to be paid for it. I couldn't see that.

IEEE and the Engineering Profession

Nebeker:

1978 was a good year for IEEE in terms of membership. It continued its increase, especially in student members. What's your feeling in looking back at that time? Were you satisfied with how things went?

Getting:

Yes, I was, because we kept the support of industry, which was important. Take Bayless. He worked at GE. I don't know what he did at GE, if anything. He spent all his time on IEEE. General Electric paid his salary, paid his travel, and that was a contribution. I don't know what he got paid, but in today's terms he probably got paid a hundred thousand, ninety thousand. Many companies wanted to keep their foot in the door, but not if it became a union. One of the big series of events was establishing these meetings, using my reputation. Aerospace was partly set up because Si Ramo's and Dean Wooldridge's organization - Space Technology Lab, which was a wholly owned subsidiary, had got in trouble with industry. They all went to their congressmen and said, “This has got to stop. They have access to our know-how and they turn right around and go to NASA and get a contract on a communications satellite. “They're stealing our know-how, they're stealing everything.” I first had to hire people, set up retirement plans and patent policies and all the other programs which a company has to have. But as soon as I could, I arranged visits with the major associate contractors like General Electric, Pratt Whitney, Lockheed, and everybody else. I sat down with the chief executives and said, “What didn't you like about the way Ramo-Wooldridge was acting when they were the systems engineers for the Air Force? What were your objections?” Because I wanted to avoid problems; I wanted to work cooperatively. They would give me their complaints. Someone would say, “Look, Ramo-Wooldridge takes the credit for everything. This demoralizes our engineers and people.” They'd say, “We do the work and they get the credit.” So, based on that experience, when I was president of IEEE, I set up these meetings. I don't think the associate contractors continued to complain.

Nebeker:

I don't know.

Getting:

But that year we met with all the major electronic and electrical R&D companies. In fact, in the things you sent me there's a list of some of them. That dented the system. They went back and they were perfectly willing to work with IEEE, to let “Baylesses” continue.

Nebeker:

Well that's a very important point.

Getting:

It is an important point.

Nebeker:

We talked to Arthur Stern, whom you may know, who was president in the mid-’70s.

Getting:

Yes, I know him. Of course, he was in industry.

Nebeker:

Yes. He said that he himself always encouraged his employees to join IEEE, and that it's important to have industry's support for this organization. But he also said that IEEE is not serving the interests of the young engineer the way IRE was when he was young. He feels that IEEE over the years has come to be an organization primarily for older engineers, for research engineers, for the elite academic engineers. How do you see the situation?

Getting:

I don't know. I'd have to give it a little thought. I respect Stern's opinions, and it may be there was something in his education which was lacking, and so he was unable to read the articles.

Nebeker:

He said that when he was a young engineer, IRE was a very good organization for him, with the publications and so on, and the connections he made, whereas today that's not true.

Getting:

The world has changed. When he was very young, the whole radio industry was a loft industry. My oldest brother made a radio when we lived in Pittsburgh. You took a Quaker Oats Box, emptied it, wrapped it with a coil for an inductance got a crystal, and you made a radio! If you could buy a vacuum tube you could make an amplifier. When he was young the situation was different. Everything will change with time. I think in the 1930s IRE was not a very sophisticated organization. Neither was the American Institute of, what was the AIEE. All that changed in World War II. Remember, Bush was a pioneer when he set up in the late 1930s his differential analyzer so they could do some analysis of transient in electrical power lines. Before that it was sixty cycles, not sixty cycles with a bandwidth. It was given by God, and it wasn't sixty cycles plus or minus one; it was sixty cycles.

Nebeker:

So you're saying that the scientific level of the engineering is so much higher today.

Getting:

Yes, all the difference in the world. Our friend Feerst essentially wants articles at the level of Scientific American at most, and sort of handbooks.

Nebeker:

Yeah, to serve the working engineer.

Getting:

Let me read you the definition of professional, just for the hell of it. Profession. Now the first one is, "After taking the vows of a religious community". That doesn't apply. Second one: "As a protestation". Doesn't apply. Third one: "An avowed religious faith". Doesn't apply. Four, this applies - "Calling, requiring specialized knowledge, and often long and intensive academic preparation". And that's it. The next one is "A principle calling, like a vocation or employment". In other words, if you're an amateur athlete and you become a professional that means you get paid for it.

Nebeker:

I think very often it's the law, medicine, maybe the clergy, that are seen as these professions.

Getting:

It has nothing to do with pensions.

Nebeker:

Right.

Getting:

It has nothing to do with advocacy of a political situation. Then you look up the word professionalism: "The conduct, aims or qualities following of a profession, as athletics, for gain or livelihood". So you see it can be almost anything.

Nebeker:

Are there any other comments you'd care to make? I think I've asked what I wanted to ask.

Getting:

No, I'm really quite pleased and amazed at your approach to this problem. You've restored my faith - I think - in the value of an interview. I've had many interviews in my life where the person doing the interviewing didn't know anything about the subject. And that can lead to the weird misunderstandings, as you can imagine.

Nebeker:

Thank you very much.