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Presidents of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE)

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AIEE Presidents, 1884-1961

Norvin Green, 1884-86

Norvin Green became the president of Western Union in 1878. He later was one of the founders of the AIEE in the early 1880s.

Franklin L. Pope, 1886-87

Franklin L. Pope was one of America’s first practicing electrical engineers. In addition to his inventions and patents, which greatly contributed to the field of electrical engineering, he authored several books in the genres of literature, history, and genealogy.

T. Commerford Martin, 1887-88

T. Commerford Martin was an editor of electrical magazines and an author. He also worked for the U.S. Census Office from 1900-1915, where he wrote reports about electrical industries and utilities.

Edward Weston, 1888-89

Edward Weston improved electrical instruments so that they would be more portable and that their measurements would become more accurate. In 1908, his standard cell became the universal standard of electromotive force.

Elihu Thomson, 1889-90

Elihu Thomson’s invention of the 3 coil dynamo was the foundation to a successful electric lighting system that he and colleague E. J. Houston produced in 1879 through their company Thomson-Houston Electric Company. This company merged with Edison General Electric Company in 1892 to form General Electric Company.

William A. Anthony, 1890-91

William A. Anthony was a professor of physics and mechanics at many U.S. universities. In addition to teaching, he also contributed articles to many electrical engineering magazines, and was an electric engineer consultant in New York City.

Alexander Graham Bell, 1891-92

Alexander Graham Bell is most known for his invention of the telephone in 1876.

Frank Julian Sprague, 1892-93

Frank J. Sprague founded the Sprague Electric Railway and Motor Company, which later developed an electric railway system in Richmond, Virginia using electric traction.

Edwin J. Houston, 1893-95

Edwin J. Houston collaborated with Elihu Thomson to create a successful electric lighting system. In addition to his inventions, Houston was also a university professor, author, and engineering consultant.

Louis Duncan, 1895-97

Louis Duncan served as an electrical engineering professor at Johns Hopkins University for 14 years. After retiring from his career in academia, Duncan was an engineering consultant for many traction, utility, and railway companies.

Francis B. Crocker, 1897-98

Francis B. Crocker pioneered the design for commercially successful motors. Crocker also supported the national and international standardization of electrical equipment.

Arthur E. Kennelly, 1898-1900

Arthur E. Kennelly co-founded the Heaviside-Kennelly layer in the ionosphere with Oliver Heaviside in 1901, which contributed to the study of radio waves.

AIEE presidents, including Steinmetz at center
AIEE presidents, including Steinmetz at center
Carl Hering, 1900-01

Carl Hering was an electrical engineer who researched storage batteries, designed and improved the electric furnace, and made discoveries regarding electromagnetic force. Hering also published works about mechanical and electrical engineering.

Charles P. Steinmetz, 1901-02

Charles P. Steinmetz worked on inventions for electric motors, generators, and street cars. In addition to his research, he was an electrophysics professor at Union University.

Charles F. Scott, 1902-03

Charles F. Scott created a new method for phase transformation called the “Scott Connection.” In 1911, Scott became an electrical engineering professor at Yale University, and he served as the head of the Electrical Engineering Program at the university.

Bion J. Arnold, 1903-04

Bion J. Arnold pioneered street railways in numerous cities across the United States, and he helped to bring electricity to New York’s Grand Central Station. In addition to his work on railways, Arnold also invented a magnetic clutch and improved storage batteries.

John W. Lieb, 1904-05

John W. Leib experimented with the Brush arc light system in the fall of 1877, which led him to work at the Brush Electric Company and later the Edison Electric Company. Leib also worked in Italy, where he directed the completion of Milan’s first electric trolley line in 1893.

Schuyler Skaats Wheeler, 1905-06

Schuyler Wheeler, along with Francis B. Crocker, were pioneers of small electric motors. Wheeler invented the electric fire engine, the electric elevator, and the electric fan among other inventions.

Samuel Sheldon, 1906-07

Samuel Sheldon was a physics and electrical engineering professor at Polytechnic Institute in Brooklyn, New York. While at the university, he expanded their laboratories to include physical, mechanical, and electrical engineering research.

Henry G. Stott, 1907-08

Henry G. Stott was the assistant engineer of Buffalo, New York’s underground cable and conduit system. In 1901, he became the supervisor for the Interborough Rapid Transit System in New York City.

Louis A. Ferguson, 1908-09

Louis A. Ferguson recommended the 3 phase a-c system for substations, and has made important contributions to the development of low voltage distribution.

Lewis B. Stillwell, 1909-10

Lewis B. Stillwell was the director of the Niagara Falls Power Company in 1897, and he became the director of the Rapid Transit Subway Company of New York City in 1900. In addition to his work as an engineer and a consultant, Stillwell was also an advocate for energy conservation.

A group of past presidents at the AIEE Chicago Convention, June 29, 1911. Photo appears on page 1773 of the 50th Anniversary special issue of "Electrical Engineering." Back row (l-r) Gano Dunn, Dugald C. Jackson, Louis A. Ferguson, Schulyer S. Wheeler, John W. Lied, and Bion J. Arnold.  Front row (l-r) Francis C. Crocker, T. Commeford Martin, Frank J. Sprague and Charles P. Steinmetz.
A group of past presidents at the AIEE Chicago Convention, June 29, 1911. Photo appears on page 1773 of the 50th Anniversary special issue of "Electrical Engineering." Back row (l-r) Gano Dunn, Dugald C. Jackson, Louis A. Ferguson, Schulyer S. Wheeler, John W. Lied, and Bion J. Arnold. Front row (l-r) Francis C. Crocker, T. Commeford Martin, Frank J. Sprague and Charles P. Steinmetz.

Dugald C. Jackson, 1910-11

Dugald C. Jackson supervised the design and construction of several railway and power plants when he worked as an engineer at Sprague Electric Railway and Motor Company and later as an engineer for Edison General Electric Company.

Gano Dunn, 1911-12

Gano Dunn became president of the J. G. White Engineering Corporation in 1913. Included among the company’s projects were the United States Naval Oil Base at Pearl Harbor, 13 transoceanic radio stations, and the first long-distance natural gas pipeline in California.

Ralph D. Mershon, 1912-13

Ralph D. Mershon’s most notable contribution to engineering is his work with high voltage transmission. Mershon also invented a 6-phase rotary converter, the compounded rotary converter, and a compensating voltmeter among other inventions.

C. O. Mailloux, 1913-14

C.O. Mailloux was the editor of Electric World, and he supported the standardization of technical terms.

Paul M. Lincoln, 1914-15

Paul M. Lincoln invented the synchroscope. He also worked as an electrical engineer, and taught electrical engineering at Cornell University.

John J. Carty, 1915-16

John J. Carty designed the “bridging bell”, which allowed extended telephone use to rural areas of the United States. Carty also announced AT & T’s intention to complete a transcontinental telephone line.

Harold W. Buck, 1916-17

Harold W. Buck supervised the experimental work that led to the development of the oil circuit breaker and other high voltage devices while working at General Electric Company. He also worked as the chief electrical engineer at the Niagara Falls Power Company, where he worked on the distribution of power across the U.S.-Canada border.

Edwin W. Rice, Jr., 1917-18

Edwin W. Rice, Jr. is considered one of the three fathers of General Electric. Rice filed over 100 patents for his inventions, which include oil switches of high capacity, arc lamps, and synchronous converters among other creations.

Comfort A. Adams, 1918-19

Comfort A. Adams worked as an electrical engineering professor at Harvard University. His interest in welding technology led him to design the first alternating-current transformer, which allowed him to maintain contact with “real world” engineering work.

Calvert Townley, 1919-1920

Calvert Townley was an electrical engineer who worked on the installation and equipment maintenance of transit systems in the Northeast. Two of his most notable projects were working with electrical equipment in Boston’s South Terminal and the electrification of railroad lines leaving New York City.

Arthur W. Berresford, 1920-21

Arthur Berresford worked as an engineer for the Brooklyn City Railroad Company where he overhauled motors and assisted with trolley line construction. He later worked for the Riker Electric Company, which manufactured rheostats and electric controlling devices.

William McClellan, 1921-22

William McClellan supervised the layout and installation of a high-voltage substation and the car equipment for the Erie Railroad. He also worked at University of Pennsylvania as a university professor and dean.

Frank B. Jewett, 1922-23

Frank B. Jewett worked as an engineer for AT&T, where his work demonstrated transatlantic radio telephony using a vacuum-tube transmitter.

Harris J. Ryan, 1923-24

Harris J. Ryan was a university professor at Cornell University and later Stanford University, where he researched high voltage phenomena.

Farley Osgood, 1924-25

Farley Osgood was a traveling engineer who made inspections and installations for the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company. He also served as vice president and general manager of Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G).

Michael I. Pupin, 1925-26

Michael I. Pupin taught mathematical physics at Columbia University. He also studied wave propagation, and applied his findings to long distance telephony experiments and research.

Cummings C. Chesney, 1926-27

Cummings C. Chesney was a member of the Stanley Electric Manufacturing Company, which built the first revolving field type of alternator used in the United States.

Bancroft Gherardi, 1927-28

One of Bancroft Gherardi’s most notable contributions is improving telephone transmission circuits by demonstrating that telephone transmission followed the same laws of attenuation as lower frequency telegraph.

Rudolph F. Schuchardt, 1928-29

Rudolph F. Schuchardt was the chief electrical engineer at Chicago Edison Company.

Harold B. Smith, 1929-30

Harold B. Smith was one of the pioneers in developing high-voltage power transmission systems and equipment.

William S. Lee, 1930-31

William S. Lee was president of W.S. Lee Engineering Corporation of New York and Charlotte. He also worked with James B. Duke in developing hydroelectric resources in the southern United States.

Charles E. Skinner, 1931-32

Harry P. Charlesworth, 1932-33

John B. Whitehead, 1933-34

J. Allen Johnson, 1934-35

Edward B. Meyer, 1935-36

Alexander M. MacCutcheon, 1936-37

William H. Harrison, 1937-38

John Castlereagh Parker, 1938-39

F. Malcolm Farmer, 1939-40

Royal W. Sorensen, 1940-41

David C. Prince, 1941-42

Harold S. Osborne, 1942-43

Nevin E. Funk, 1943-44

Charles A. Powel, 1944-45

William E. Wickenden, 1945-46

J. Elmer Housley, 1946-47

Blake D. Hull, 1947-48

Everett S. Lee, 1948-49

James F. Fairman, 1949-50

Titus G. LeClair, 1950-51

Fred O. McMillan, 1951-52

Donald A. Quarles, 1952-53

Elgin B. Robertson, 1953-54

Alexander C. Monteith, 1954-55

Morris D. Hooven, 1955-56

Mervin S. Coover, 1956-57

Walter J. Barrett, 1957-58

L. F. Hickernell, 1958-59

James H. Foote, 1959-60

Clarence H. Linder, 1960-61

Warren J. Chase, 1961-62

B. Richard Teare, Jr., 1962-63



See also Presidents of the IRE and Presidents of the IEEE.