Long Island’s Electrical and Electronic History – January 2018

Uranus, Image by NASA

We continue our survey of issues of Pulse from over 30 years ago. The December 1986 Pulse described a Section meeting on ” Electronic Job Hunting – 1986”. The speaker was Ira Teich, who was a marketing consultant. The internet was new then but employers were posting their job needs and mechanisms were already in place for job seekers to send in their resumes.

The issue then, as it is today, was whether this would speed up to the process. I believe that online systems do spread up the hiring process but time has shown that personal contacts and networking may be the key to job seeking success.

The MTT Society presented a talk on “Voyage to Uranus and Beyond” given by Dr. James D. Sullivan of the MIT Plasma Fusion Lab. He described how satellites could obtain atmospheric date and telemeter it to earth. Apparently, this technology was already well developed at that time. Since then, space probes have sent signals from Pluto and Saturn (the Cassini Project).

This issue was notable by several companies advertising AUTOCAD services. The min-1980’s was a period when traditional drafting with pencils and T squares was rapidly becoming obsolete. Computers were now equipped with software that enabled the designer to make the drawings process much more efficient. This had a big effect on engineering educators by virtually eliminating the need for mechanical drawing courses.

The January 1987 Section meeting was held jointly with the AI Committee. Two talks were presented “Catching the Next Wave in Mechanical Design Systems” by Abraham Hirsch and “Complexity Reduction in Engineering Applications” by Stuart D. Green. Both speakers were from ICAD. They.described a knowledge-based design system approach that can assist in the development and manufacture of new products.

The MTT Society had a meeting that featured a talk on “Receiver Technology for the Millimeter and Sub-Millimeter Regions.” It was given by Dr. Brian J. Clifton of MIT Lincoln Laboratory. The technology that he described was state of the art then, but it was before MMIC technology reached those frequencies. Since then, much of what was described would be obsolete.

This issue also advertised a one-day symposium “Computer Aided Engineering Design Manufacturing and Test” that was organized by our MTT Society. The emphasis on using newly developed software that aided the design of microwave circuits. It also presented the latest in computer-aided manufacturing and automated test equipment. This was a period where design software offered engineers opportunities to simulate their designs. It was the beginning of a new way of doing microwave engineering that still exists.

Notice of an optoelectronic Seminar Series was in the issue. It was a three-day series of talks on optical communication systems and the latest technology related to it.
In summary, many new techniques that are now taken for granted in AI, microwaves, and optoelectronics were new then. Looking at these old issues of Pulse gives you a broader perspective of where we came from and perhaps an insight into the future of these technologies.

As always, I thank Jim Colotti, our former Webmaster and Second Vice-President and Rod Loman our former Historian for saving these issues of Pulse.

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