IEEE-USA InFocus

First Professional Activities Chair and Young Professionals Advocate are Two of 20 IEEE-USA Award Recipients

By Abby Robinson

Harold (Hal) Goldberg, the first chair of IEEE’s U.S. Activities Committee (USAC) in 1973, received IEEE-USA’s highest honor, the Robert S. Walleigh Distinguished Contributions to Engineering Professionalism Award, for his “long-term leadership in the transformation of IEEE-USA and professional activities.”

“This award is special to me because it comes from the other side of IEEE, not the society side but the professional activities side, and because it honors Bob Walleigh, a man I knew and respected,” said Goldberg.

A native New Yorker, Goldberg began volunteering with IEEE in Boston in 1962, and became the Boston Section chair in 1971. He was elected director of Region 1 in 1972, and served as the first vice president for professional activities in 1975. He was elected president of the IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Society (IMS) in 1986, was reelected to the IEEE board in 1989 as Division II director, and in 1991, served as treasurer of the IEEE Technical Activities Board. For 40 years, Goldberg was editor of the Boston Section newsletter, The Reflector, and he continues serving today as chair of the Boston Section publications committee.

In his nomination letter, Boston Section past chair Soon Wan wrote: “[Goldberg] has been a wonderful advisor, and always provided his wisdom on how we should do things by sharing his past experience and knowledge.”

As the first chair of the USAC, the predecessor organization of the IEEE U.S. Activities Board and IEEE-USA, Goldberg began incorporating professional activities into IEEE meetings. He says this was the most exciting assignment he’s had within the organization during more than 50 years of volunteering.

“I didn’t join the IEEE Board of Directors as an enthusiast for professional activities, but I was very much in favor of them when the Board voted to add them to the technical activities we were already pursuing,” said Goldberg, an IEEE Fellow and retired professional engineer. “I wanted to make engineers appear much more professional than they were in those days.”

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During his career, Goldberg developed instrumentation for military and commercial applications, and the electronics for an intra-aortic balloon pump used in cardiogenic shock therapy. He was also founder and president of Data Precision Corp., an instrumentation company that transformed electrical measurements from analog to portable digital, increasing field measurement accuracy 100 times.

He has received the John Fluke Memorial Pioneer Award, the Distinguished Service Award from IMS, a Citation of Honor from the U.S. Activities Board, and the Centennial Medal. He was also awarded the IEEE Haraden Pratt Award for “leadership in Society technical, regional and professional programs, and for his unifying contributions to the Institute’s overall programs, and the Allen Ploss Award from ELECTRO. In 2007, Goldberg, Jerome E. Levy, and 2004 IEEE President Dr. Arthur W. Winston received the $500,000 Gordon Prize from the National Academy of Engineering for creating and developing the Tufts University School of Engineering’s Master of Science in Engineering Management program.

Goldberg was one of 20 award recipients recognized for their professionalism and technical achievements at the IEEE-USA Annual Meeting in Portland, Ore., on 3 August.

Another award recipient is Robert (Rob) Vice, the Boston Section chair.

Vice will receive the Regional Professional Leadership Award for advocating the involvement of Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) in professional activities. Since he began volunteering with IEEE in 2007, Vice has served as the Boston Section GOLD chair, Professional Activities Committees for Engineers (PACE) chair, treasurer, secretary, vice chair and chair. He also served as the Region 1 Student Professional Awareness Conference (SPAC) chair in 2010 and 2011.

“When I first joined IEEE as a member in 2003, I thought everything in IEEE was technical,” said Vice, who was recently elevated to IEEE Senior Member. “By getting involved in GOLD, I saw that there were opportunities to expand IEEE’s networking, training and professional activities to further young members’ careers.”

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Through his leadership and advocacy for IEEE young professionals, Vice is credited with increasing engagement of and improving relationships among Region 1 GOLD members, and enhancing collaboration between GOLD and other organizational units, including PACE and the Student Activities Committee (SAC). He also mentored GOLD chairs, and assisted them by organizing regional GOLD activities.

“My focus has been on engaging potential IEEE members and existing young professional members by letting them know IEEE members are not just a bunch of engineers who work — we’re here to have fun and network, too, so that we have connections we can call upon when we need assistance down the road,” said Vice.

Vice, 32, received his bachelor’s degree in computer systems engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2004. Since graduating, he has been employed by Measurement Computing Corp., a data acquisition hardware and software company based in Norton, Mass., and currently works as a staff hardware engineer with project management responsibilities.

“I learned a lot of my project management and leadership skills while volunteering with IEEE,” said Vice. “I learned things like how to run meetings, deal with different types of personalities, and how to encourage volunteers to complete tasks–even though they weren’t getting paid to do them.”

In the future, Vice plans to get more involved in IEEE on the regional and national levels. He is also considering returning to school to pursue a certificate or master’s degree in project management.

IEEE-USA awards are approved by the IEEE-USA Board of Directors.

Here are the additional IEEE-USA award recipients:

Award for Distinguished Public Service
The Honorable David E. Price
For efforts leading to sustained funding of engineering education and research

Citation of Honor
Gus Gaynor
For innovative contributions to IEEE-USA in communications, leadership, training and technology management

Citation of Honor
Edward L. Kirchner
For leadership in employment and career services

Regional Professional Leadership Award
James M. (Jim) Anderson
For presenting numerous seminars on professional development to Region 3 members

Regional Professional Leadership Award
Charles R. Husbands
For development of the Small Radio Telescope Project at the Daytona Museum of Arts and Sciences

Regional Professional Leadership Award
Bernard T. Sander
For leadership in expanding the Science Kits for Libraries program in Region 4

Regional Professional Leadership Award
David C. Schoggen
For presenting professional development seminars throughout Mississippi

Regional Professional Leadership Award
Daniel P. Cowan
For leading STEM K-12 educator training and professional activities within Region 5

Divisional Professional Leadership Award
Chi-Ming Chen
For Division III contributions promoting industry participation in IEEE conferences on quality, reliability, performance and security

Professional Achievement for Individuals
Eric Burger
For sustained and collaborative support of communications technology policy

Professional Achievement for Individuals
Kenneth Reid
For pioneering undergraduate curriculum to train K-12 STEM educators

Professional Achievement for Individuals
Jerry E. Knotts
For mentoring entrepreneurs through the California Coast Venture Forum

Harry Diamond Memorial Award
Thomas Wettergren
For leadership and innovation in the area of operational informational science for undersea warfare

K-12 STEM Literacy Committee Educator-Engineer Partnership Award
Freddie Wong and Melissa Stadtfeld
For spearheading STEM Training for K-12 educators in the Houston area

IEEE-USA Entrepreneur Achievement Award for Leadership in Entrepreneurial Spirit
William Weedon
For supporting entrepreneurial small business growth

Jim Watson Student Professional Awareness Achievement Award
John Golzy
For long-term contribution to advancing professional awareness among IEEE student members

Professional Achievement for Organizations
Deere & Company (John Deere)
For strong global support of K-12 STEM education through the John Deere Inspire initiative


Abby Robinson is an IEEE Senior Member and freelance writer based in the Washington, D.C. area.

Guest Contributor

IEEE-USA is an organizational unit of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE), created in 1973 to support the career and public policy interests of IEEE’s U.S. members. IEEE-USA is primarily supported by an annual assessment paid by U.S. IEEE Members.

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