Our History From 1954 to Today

James Klouda founded Elite Electronic Engineering, Inc., in 1954 in Chicago, Illinois. Today, we serve manufacturers around the world over 80 employees and a 70,000 sq ft campus.

It began with an EMC problem no one else could fix

In many ways, Elite Electronic Engineering began aboard a United States Air Force bomber. Flying out of Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, the bomber is equipped for the first time with a new, aerial camera. That camera could produce consistent photographic intelligence by adjusting automatically to the plane’s altitude and speed.

As soon as the camera turned on and began to function, its electronics began to interfere with the bomber’s autopilot programming. In no time, the camera was turned off and the bomber was back on the ground. An urgent call was placed to the manufacturer’s new young engineer in Chicago, James C. Klouda—Elite’s founder.

Jim Klouda’s technical instincts served him well. He investigated and found that the camera’s electronics were interfering with the autopilot’s electronics, causing the altitude changes. With a little sleuthing—and a little shielding – he made adjustments to the camera prototype, changing shielding and circuitry, and returned it to the Air Force. The interference was gone and the in-flight test went off without a hitch.

Jim Klouda knew he was on to something and worked to expand his knowledge —and understanding the application—of EMC testing technology.

About five years later, he approached the military about creating an engineering firm with a testing focus on EMC. Those in the defense industry who knew of his talents encouraged him to do so.

That company, Elite Electronic Engineering, has grown exponentially since then, expanding services to include testing for Environmental Stress, Wireless Certification, Photometry, and a host of other conformity assessment areas.

Ray, Jim, Joe, and Tom Klouda

Family owned and operated

Generations later, the Klouda family’s commitment to expertise, trusted results, and on-schedule service continues to drive Elite’s success and its customers’ confidence.

Those principles have helped Elite become a leader in the testing and certification industry—and have helped the company grow consistently. In 1954, Elite had two employees and operated out of a 2,500 square foot storefront in south Chicago.

By 1973, the company had 20 employees and occupied 22,000 square feet.

Ray, Tom, and Joe Klouda (2020)

Today, with over 80 employees, and more than 70,000 square feet, Elite offers unmatched expertise, capability, and equipment.

Elite remains a family-owned business operated by Jim Klouda’s sons, Ray, Tom, and Joe Klouda.

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