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This is the eighth volume in the series of Memorial Tributes compiled by the National Academy of Engineering as a personal remembrance of the lives and outstanding achievements of its members and international members. These volumes are intended to stand as an enduring record of the many contributions of engineers and engineering to the benefit of humankind. In most cases, the authors of the tributes are contemporaries or colleagues who had personal knowledge of the interests and the engineering accomplishments of the deceased.
BY CHARLES F. AVILA
Andrew F. Corry, an international management consultant, died December 22, 1994, at his home in West Hyannisport, Massachusetts. He was seventy-two. Born October 28, 1922, in West Lynn, Massachusetts, Andy lived for many years in Newton, Massachusetts, before moving to Cape Cod.
Andy had over forty-five years of experience in electric utility engineering and management. At the time of his death, he was a principal in Corry Associates. As a consultant, he provided counsel to various utilities throughout the United States and abroad.
He had been for many years an active member of the International Conference on Large High-Voltage Electric Systems (CIGRE)—an international study organization based in Paris—both as an author and as a participant in its committee work. He was the United States representative to the CIGRE study committee on high-voltage insulated cables from 1971 to 1978 and chairman of the United States technical committee from 1980 to 1985. From 1985 to shortly before his death, he was general manager of the United States National Committee on CIGRE. He became an Atwood Associate of CIGRE in 1993.
He was an internationally recognized expert in underground electric transmission and distribution systems. In 1978 he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He was a life fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and was honored with the Habirshaw Award in 1983 and the Centennial Medal in 1984. He was a member of the Insulated Conductors Committee of the IEEE for eighteen years, including secretary, vice- chairman, and chairman. He also served as chairman of the Underground Transmission Steering Committee of the Electric Power Research Council and chairman of the Cable Engineering Section of the Association of Edison Illuminating Companies.
Fourteen of his publications treat subjects related to his engineering specialties. These were written as guidance to other utilities, manufacturers, or policymaking organizations that have similar needs to develop practices beneficial to the public.
Although Andy's expertise was diverse, he had a special affection for high- voltage cables. These usually consist of three large copper conductors with compacted strands. Paper tape is applied to each conductor to a thickness of about a half inch. Then the conductors are placed in a vacuum tank where any water vapor and atmospheric gases are removed. Insulating oil is then applied at high pressure, saturating the insulation. Metallic shielding, protective tapes, and a skid wire are added for shipping and pulling the three conductors into eight-inch pipe welded into lengths up to several thousand feet. Each such cable set is joined in manholes that are air-conditioned for the work. Finally, a full vacuum again removes any gases before the pipe is filled with degasified oil and operated at 200 pounds per square inch of oil pressure. Such cable can carry up to half a million volts. Andy enjoyed the meticulous attention to detail required for the installation of such cable, including adapting to inevitable problems.
Andy donated his time and expertise to the National Research Council Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems. He served as chairman of the Committee on Electric Energy Systems from 1985 to 1986, reviewing the Department of Energy research and development programs, and as a member of the Committee on State and Federal Roles in Energy Emergency Preparedness from 1988 to 1989.
Before going into the consulting business, Andy was employed for thirty-six years by Boston Edison Company. Throughout his career, he was closely involved with all aspects of electric utility engineering, construction, operations, planning, and research and development.
In the rapid expansion in the electric utility industry after World War II, Andy joined a division of Edison that had been formed not only to develop or gather rapidly changing technologies but to review any already in use. This included a wide range of engineering in specifications for purchasing, construction designs, maintenance practices, and reductions in service outages. An example was the development of rectifiers to serve dc power to concentrations of customers that had equipment such as printing presses or elevators too expensive to change to ac. The rectifiers continued to serve customers while permitting many tons of copper to be salvaged at favorable prices from the old dc network and substations and released miles of vacated duct lines for new circuits.
Andy became head of that division, continued his effectiveness, and rose in the company ranks. He became assistant to the executive vice-president in 1969; director of engineering, planning, and systems operations in 1973; director of engineering, planning, nuclear, and systems operations in 1974; vice-president, electric, in 1975; and senior vice-president in 1979. He retired from Edison in 1983.
A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Andy was active in alumni matters. He participated in planning for the twenty-fifth to fiftieth reunions and served as chairman of the fortieth reunion. He was cosecretary of his class for ten years and a member of the Alumni Advisory Council. He completed the fiftieth Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School and was a member of the Harvard Club of Boston. He interrupted his undergraduate education to serve in the Army Signal Corps during World War II.
He was the husband of Diane Kinch Corry. His first wife, Mildred (Dunn) Corry, died in 1977. He is survived by his wife, Diane; a son, James Corry of Houston, Texas; two daughters, Andrea Kantaros of Peabody, Massachusetts, and Janice Luongo of Wakefield, Massachusetts; a stepdaughter, Melissa Tritter of West Hyannisport, Massachusetts; and one granddaughter and four grandsons.
Andy had a fine sense of humor. He never mixed it with an important discussion, but one knew it was there and it kept matters down to earth. At other times he could wield it with a twinkling eye. His friends and associates remember that joie de vivre as well as his diverse knowledge and interests; from history to opera, baseball to mathematics, wildlife to art. His warmth, wisdom, leadership, and friendship will be greatly missed.