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IEEE Alabama Section History

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Past presidents of the Alabama section at the 75th anniversary celebration
Past presidents of the Alabama section at the 75th anniversary celebration

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Contents

Early History

In the Spring of 1929, a small group of engineers, mainly from Southern Bell Telephone and local power companies, petitioned for the formation of a local section of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE). On May 22, 1929, the Board of Directors of the AIEE authorized the organization of a section to be known as the Birmingham Section of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and to have as its territory 21 counties in north central Alabama. General W. E. Bare of the Southern Bell Telephone Co. called an organization meeting on June 21, 1929, and acted as temporary Chairman. Several leadership changes took place during the first year as a result of personnel transfers, and the Birmingham Section was suddenly confronted with the deadening effect of the Great Depression. During this time there was little interest and the section activities practically came to a halt. By September 1932 an effort was made to revive the Section and new officers were elected. In May of 1934 a petition was made to AIEE Headquarters to change the Section’s name to the Alabama Section and to increase its territory to include the entire state.

Reorganization at the Local and National Levels

Early in 1938 the Muscle Shoals Section was formed to include seven counties in northern Alabama, and several counties in Mississippi and Tennessee. Later that year the new section petitioned for and obtained the transfer of Madison and Marshall counties from the Alabama Section. In 1953 this organization apparently combined with the Huntsville Subsection of the East Tennessee Section of AIEE to form the North Alabama Section. About the same time the Huntsville Subsection of the Atlanta Section of the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) was elevated to Section status.

In 1949 the Mobile-Pensacola Subsection was formed with counties from southern Alabama and part of the Florida panhandle. Then in 1953, this Subsection set out on its own as a Section, leaving the Alabama Section. The Montgomery Subsection was formed in 1953 to represent 26 counties in central Alabama.

On January 1, 1963 the IRE and the AIEE merged to form the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The Alabama Section and other units of each of these two organizations then became units of IEEE.

Major Events

Major conferences hosted by the Alabama Section include: National Telecommunications Conference (1978), Southeastcon (1992), IAS Pulp & Paper Conference (1996), Vehicular Technology Conference (2002).

In 2004, the section celebrated its 75th anniversary with a dinner and speech by W. Cleon Anderson.

In August 2013, the section established a Life Members Affinity group.

Partial List of Past Presidents of the IEEE Alabama Section:

Presidents of the Birmingham Section of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE)

W.E. Bare, 1929-1933

W.W. Ballow. 1933-1934

H.J. Scholz, 1934-1936

C.S. Thorn, 1936-1937

L.M. Smith, 1937-1938

Fred R. Maxwell, Jr., 1938-1939

W.W. Hill,  1939-1940

T.H. Mawson, 1940-1941

W.J. Miller, 1941-1942

G.W. McCraken, 1942-1943

E.R. Coulborn, 1943-1944

F.G. Hammer, 1944-1945

F.C. Weiss, 1945-1946

C.F. Sittloh, 1946-1947

E.W. Robinson, 1947-1948

H.J. Scholz, 1948-1949

J.W. Davis, 1949-1950

M.M. Collins, 1950-1951

T.S. Birdsong, 1951-1952

J.W. Graff, 1952-1953

E. C. Gentle, Jr., 1953-1954

D. D. Wendel, 1954-1955

R. E. Williams, Jr., 1955-1956

L. B. Murray, 1956-1957

S. W. Reese, 1957-1958

George Hoffman, 1958-1959

Warren Turner, 1959-1960

M. E. Bosworth, 1960-1961

Wylie Johnson, 1962-1963

In 1963, the AIEE merged with the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) to form the IEEE and changed the geographic name to the Alabama Section.

Elmer Bomke, 1963-1964

J. H. Bohannon, 1964-1965

Charles Jager, 1965-1966

Pro Elam, 1966-1967

W. M. Feaster, 1967-1968

J. E. Spencer, 1968-1969

T. Harry Stavros, 1969-1970

Don Speer, 1970-1971

O. P. McDuff, 1971-1972

J. E. Chapman, 1972-1973

S. R. Hart, 1973-1974

A. B. McMillon, 1974-1975

G. C. Jones, 1975-1976

Jerry Vandegrift, 1976-1977

C. L. Rogers, 1977-1978

C. S. Alexander, 1978-1979

W. A. Owen, 1979-1980

S. D. Moorer, 1980-1981

R. O. Usry, 1981-1982

David A. Conner, 1982-1983

James O. Patton, Jr., 1983-1984

J. Carroll Hastings, 1984-1985

Russell A. Alford, Jr., 1985-1986

James D. Gregory, 1986-1987

J. J. Thomley, 1987-1988

Harold P. Ward, 1988-1989

Dick P. Dodd, 1989-1990

Amy T. Dobbs, 1990-1991

George Larry Clark, 1991-1992

John E. Spencer, Jr., 1992-1993

Greg Bendall, 1993-1994

Perry Wheless, 1994-1995

Darrell Piatt, 1995-1996

Don Parker, 1996-1997

Ken Bishop, 1997-1998

Vince Stewart, 1998-1999

Preston Jackson, 1999-2000

Gregg Vaughn, 2001

Charles Hickman, 2002

John Krupsky, 2003

Steve Daniel, 2004

Elizabeth Kuhn, 2005

David V. Conner, 2006.


AIEE Alabama Section Officers

Year Chair Secretary
1934-1935 H.J. Scholz H.M. Woodward
1936 C.S. Thorn
1937 L.M. Smith F.R. Maxwell, Jr.
1938 Fred R. Maxwell, Jr. T.H. Mawson
1939 W.W. Hill T.H. Mawson
1940 T.H. Mawson W.W.R. Purcell
1941 W.J. Miller R.E. Williams, Jr.
1942 G.W. McCracken M.V. Zimmerman
1943 E.R. Coulbourn C.F. Sittloh
1944 F.G. Hamner T.E. Curtis
1945 F.C. Weiss Robert S. Morrison
1946 C.F. Sittloh M.M. Collins
1947 E.W. Robinson T.S. Birdsong
1948 H.J. Scholz J.I. Greenhill
1949 J.W. Davis Gayle Riley
1950 M.M. Collins J.F. Webb
1951 T.S. Birdsong E.C. Gentle, Jr.
1952 J.W. Graff J.E. Spencer
1953 E.C. Gentle, Jr. G.B. Campbell
1954 D.D. Wendel J.D. Sharp, Jr.
1955 R.E. Williams, Jr. W.R. Booth
1956 Leon B. Murray D.E. Straley
1957 S.W. Reese G.H. Hoffman
1958 G.H. Hoffman H.T. Uthlaut, Jr.
1959 W.C. Turner D.E. Straley
1960-1961 M.E. Bosworth W.P. Johnson
1962 W.P. Johnson J.H. Bohannon

IEEE Geographic Unit Organizing Document - Alabama