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Memorial Tributes: Volume 3 (1989)

Chapter:Edward Wilson Kimbark

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Suggested Citation:"Edward Wilson Kimbark." National Academy of Engineering. 1989. Memorial Tributes: Volume 3. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1384.
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Page232
Suggested Citation:"Edward Wilson Kimbark." National Academy of Engineering. 1989. Memorial Tributes: Volume 3. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1384.
×
Page233
Suggested Citation:"Edward Wilson Kimbark." National Academy of Engineering. 1989. Memorial Tributes: Volume 3. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1384.
×
Page234
Suggested Citation:"Edward Wilson Kimbark." National Academy of Engineering. 1989. Memorial Tributes: Volume 3. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1384.
×
Page235

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EDWARD WILSON KIMBARK 1902-1982 BY EUGENE C. STARR EDWARD WILSON KIMBARK an internationally known electri- cal engineer, author, and educator, died February 8, 1982, at the age of seventy-nine. Although he hac! formally retired in 1976, at the time of his death he was serving as a part-time consulting engineer with the Bonneville Power Administra- tion in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Kimbark was born in Chicago on September 2 l, 1902. He earned a B.S. in electrical engineering in 1924 from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and an M.S. and Ph.D., also in electrical engineering, in 1933 and 1937 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His noteworthy accomplishments extended over forty years. From 1963 until his retirement, Dr. Kimbark was em- ployed by the Bonneville Power Administration in the Pacific Northwest. There he developed and guiclect the use of a large network analyzer that was used to plan for system power flow and stability. As head of the Bonneville's Systems Analysis Unit, he and his staff developecI the funciamental performance requirements of many stability controls that are still in use today. These controls included those used to reg- ulate series capacitator switching, dynamic braking, ctirect current (DC) line power boosting, generator dropping, load rejection, anct single-pole switching. 233

234 MEMORIAL TRIBUTES In 1976, based on the studies of Dr. Kimbark and his unit, a modulation control was added to the Pacific Intertie high- voltage DC line that allowed the damping of a chronic re- gional power oscillation. Owing to the upgraded transfer ca- pabilities of the parallel high-voltage alternating current intertie that were provided by this control, substantial eco- nomic benefits were felt throughout the western region. During the last years of his life, Dr. Kimbark investigated the wider uses of single-pole switching. In recognition of his work, he receiver] the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' (IEEE) Best Paper Award (19751. Other awards included the U.S. Department of the Interior's Gold Mecial for Distinguished Service (1974) and IEEE's Habirshaw Award (1980) for the "advancement of electric power trans- mission through innovative research, classic textbooks, and inspirational teaching." Dr. Kimbark's earlier career included positions in acade- mia ant! industry. He was professor of electrical engineering at MIT from 1939 to 1950; assistant professor of electrical engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn from 1937 to 1939; a teacher of electrical engineering and graclu- ate subjects at MIT from 1933 to 1937; assistant curator of the Division of Power at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago from 1929 to 1932; an instructor in electrical en- gineering at the University of California from 1927 to 1929; and, from 1925 to 1927, a substation operator and assistant in the testing laboratory of the Public Service Company of Northern Illinois, in Evanston, Illinois. From 1950 until 1955, he was professor of electrical engi- neering at the Instituto Tecnol6gico cle Aeronautica at Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he taught classes using his fluent Portu- guese. On his return to the United States, Dr. Kimbark served as the clean of engineering at Seattle University in Se- attIe, Washington, from 1955 to 1962. He was instrumental in securing accreditation of the school by the Engineering Council for Professional Development in 1962. Dr. Kimbark was widely recognized as a leacler in the ad-

EDWARD WILSON KIMBARK 235 vancement of power system practices. His three books on power system stability, which were completed in 194S, 1950, and 1956, and his volume on direct current transmission, completed in 1971, continue to be basic power system refer- ences. He also wrote or coauthored three other notable pub- lications, in addition to definitive papers in his field. Dr. Kim- bark's principal fielcis of interest were electric power transmission, including high-voltage DC transmission; sym- metrical components and the related transformation of var- iables; single-pole switching; subsynchronous resonance; and power system stability. Dr. Kimbark was elected to the National Academy of En- gineering in 1979. He was a fellow and life member of IEEE and its Power Engineering Society. He was also a member of the Conference Internationale cles Grands Reseaux Elect- riques a Haute Tension, the National Society of Professional Engineers, and the American Society for Engineering Edu- cation. In addition, he belonged to the Eta Kappa Nu and Sigma Xi fraternities and the Phi Beta Kappa honorary so- ciety. Dr. Kimbark and his wife Iris, who survives him, shared an avid interest in cultural affairs. As a matter of fact, at the time of his death, he was active as chairman of the Chamber Music Society of Oregon. His cheerful personality and graciously helpful attitude endeared him to his students, associates, and many friends.

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