Focus on a Career Engineer
A man who devotes more than six decades applying a theoretical science (physics) to the practice of electrical engineering makes a special gift to civilization and is worthy of note. Physicists often enjoy refuge from practical considerations. They abide in university laboratories; they collect handsome fees for “consultations”; they take up residencies in “Think Tanks” or Research Institutes. Their contributions to the real world, while often rewarded, remain esoteric to most of us. Engineers, on the other hand, seldom embrace theories, as such. They work with practical materials and problems, applying theories only when absolutely necessary.
My father, Edward W. Herold, who has spent a lifetime amalgamating theory with practice, recently completed his autobiography. In it, he recounts the experiences he had while being active in the forefront of an electronic world we have come to accept as part of our daily existence . . . radio, stereophonic sound, television, transistors, radar . . . all the building blocks that form the foundation of an ever faster growing technological environment . . . micro-chips, pocket calculators, mini-computers, earth satellites, and voyages into outer space.
Thus, in my view, he is noteworthy. He is also realistic. He has accepted each award granted him resulting from his persistent, albeit innovative, hard work with the spirit of, “I did it, and I deserved it.” But he has never been mean-spirited about the rewards — and awards — his contemporaries have received.
Included in his autobiography, “Bygone Days,” are recollections of his family, former colleagues, geographical moves, vacation trips, and, here-and-there, a political or socio-economic viewpoint that he particularly espouses. He also bound, with his personally typed 190 pages, photographs and reprints of articles.
I thought to excerpt the science-career aspects of his volume because I felt they might be more interesting to persons other than family members. In fact, as a family member, (his daughter), I find his dedication to his career, and the history of it, really fascinating — but, then, I lived through a large part of the other stuff, never understanding a thing about “‘Superheterodyne Converter System Considerations in Television Receivers.”
These excerpts are my salute to bygone days that will not be “bygone” to future engineer-scientists who embark upon careers in Research and Development.
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