IMS2023 Plenary Session

Monday, 12 June 2023
17:30 - 19:00 

Ballroom 20, San Diego Convention Center

"The Role of the Transmission Lines in Connecting People"

Ed Godshalk, PhD
Consultant and Engineer in Residence, George Fox University

Abstract: This presentation traces the formative years of electrical engineering and the evolution of transmission line engineering that enabled a global communications network over 120 years ago.  The story begins with the invention of the “Victorian internet”, the telegraph, generally regarded as the first practical use of electronics. This is followed by transatlantic telegraph cable, which some historians equate as the 19th century equivalent of landing a man on the moon.  These were a catalyst for technologies such as improved battery design, insulated wire, coaxial cable, modulation schemes, and using the earth as a conductor.  The transatlantic cable gave engineers a rude introduction to the concept of the RC time constant, which had a detrimental effect on data rate.  Many great minds of the 19th century worked to understand and solve the telegraph data rate problem, resulting in the Telegrapher’s equations that enable increased data rates and long distance telephone service.   The author has replicated some of the original systems to illustrate the data rate problems.  The culmination is the modern transoceanic fiber optic cable, which form the backbone of the global communications network, having data rates of over 500 Tbps (terabits per second).

Speaker Bio: Ed has been an Electrical Engineer for over 40 years and worked at several startups, Tektronix and Maxim Integrated. While at Cascade Microtech (1989-94), he invented the world’s first waveguide input wafer probe and later the Air Coplanar Probe (ACP), which has been widely imitated. During his 22 years at Maxim, from which he retired in 2019, he created the Electromagnetics Group.  He has over a dozen issued patents.
In 2020 he was elevated to the grade of Fellow by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) “For the development of microwave on-wafer probing and measurement techniques” which helped to enable microwave integrated circuits for commercial use.
Ed finds great pleasure in mentoring students and helping them achieve success in engineering and life. Helping students understand the origin of technical ideas is important to him, since he believes that this helps them to innovate and have a deeper understanding of the profession. 
He also restores vintage sports cars and enjoys backcountry skiing and being in the mountains.  In his younger days he was a climbing guide and organized an expedition that successfully climbed Denali, the tallest peak in North America (20,310’).  He also climbed Kilimanjaro (19,341’) in Africa, and numerous other peaks in North America.  

Check out this great video featuring IMS2022 Keynote Speakers!