I gave a paper at this conference entitled “Control engineering and the professional societies”. An abstract is below. The visit to Philly also gave me an opportunity to visit the American Philosophical Society, founded by Benjamin Franklin. Conference attendees were able to see (and handle) a variety of rare Franklin memorabilia, and attend the awarding of an “IEEE Milestone” there to commemorate Franklin’s early experiments on electricity. There’s also a fascinating Franklin museum (not to be confused with the Franklin Institute museum of science and technology) in the historical district, not far from Independence Hall, where Frankin was one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence.
By the time control engineering emerged as a coherent body of knowledge and practise (during and just after WW2) professional engineering bodies had existed for many decades. Since control engineering is an interdisciplinary branch of the profession, new sections devoted to control were quickly established within the various existing technical societies. In addition, some new bodies devoted specifically or primarily to control were established. This paper presented in outline the history of how control engineering as a distinct branch of engineering became represented in technical societies in the USA, UK, USSR, Germany and France.