Partners From the Beginning: The IEEE and Elite

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June 28, 2023

Elite’s origin story goes back to 1954, when Jim Klouda, a young engineer working for an Air Force contractor, fixed an aerial camera that disrupted an aircraft’s autopilot system. He had found a radiofrequency interference (RFI) problem, something poorly understood at the time except as a radio nuisance during thunderstorms.

Around that same time, other engineers working on military equipment began chasing RFI problems. Like many common-interest groups, they began meeting and comparing notes on what was then called radio interference reduction (RIR). The military sponsored a formal conference at Chicago’s Armour Institute. Similar technical groups met in Los Angeles and in New York, and in 1957, the Professional Group on RFI (PGRFI) was made part of the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE).

ire to ieee logosYears passed and technology passed right alongside. Jim Klouda started Elite Electronic Engineering after solving the Air Force’s RFI problem. The IRE merged with the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) in 1963 to form the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). In 1978, the PGRFI was renamed the Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Society. RFI took on the more technically accurate name Electromagnetic Interference (EMI). And since 1957 the PGRFI/EMC Society has published research papers and held annual symposia.

2023 ieee international symposiumThis year the IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility – Signal Integrity and Power Integrity (EMC-SIPI) Symposium will be held in Grand Rapids, Michigan July 31-August 4. The annual symposium is home to research paper presentations, workshops and tutorials on EMC practices, an industry trade show, and standards committee meetings.

Elite will be a major presence there as part of the trade show and in standards committee leadership:

ray klouda elite electronic engineeringElite President Ray Klouda is the IEEE EMC Society Chicago Chapter Treasurer and is involved in the symposium’s meeting of chapter officers.

craig fanning elite electronic engineeringEMC Lab Manager Craig Fanning chairs the CISPR/D committee dealing with vehicular EMC and will lead its related meetings at the symposium, along with multiple technical programs on automotive EMC. Craig is also the Chicago Chapter Publicity Chair.

tom braxton elite electronic engineeringElite’s Tom Braxton chairs Technical Committee TC1 on EMC Management and is a member of the Standards Development and Education Committee and will make presentations at multiple workshops. He also chairs C63 Subcommittee 5 on immunity testing and is the Chicago Chapter Vice-Chair.

Elite’s sales team will be working directly with customers attending the symposium, answering questions and planning customers’ compliance tests.

The Armour Institute, host of that first RFI/EMC conference, grew to become the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), where Jim Klouda earned his degree. The Chicago Chapter of the IEEE EMC Society has been heavily supported by Elite since its inception in the 1970s.

Elite’s generations-long support of the IEEE and the EMC Society parallels IEEE’s mission to “foster technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity.” Elite’s work in product testing, standards development, and education are common threads shared with the IEEE and the collaborative work with other standards organizations.

The engineers involved with the military’s EMC work in the 1950s set the pattern. Their work gave rise to the EMC Society and the standards development that continues now, as work is being done by volunteer engineers who review and draft both new and evolving standards. The process moves with urgency, but also at a pace that allows for careful deliberation.

In the coming years, higher-speed and higher-frequency wireless electronics will dominate the focus on EMC across the industry. If you’re not already a member of the IEEE, consider joining hundreds of thousands of technical professionals who move technology forward. Standards and practices developed by the IEEE EMC Society will continue to pace the technology. And the IEEE, supported by Elite and other technology leaders, will be there as it evolves.

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