National Academy of Engineering Memorial Tributes: National Academy of Engineering, Volume 10
Membership Directory
PublisherNational Academies Press
Memorial Tributes: National Academy of Engineering, Volume 10

Search this Publication

  • Previous
  •    Table of Contents
  • Next
             JOHN V.N.GRANGER                                         111
                            JOHN V.N.GRANGER
                                 BY JOHN R.WHINNERY
                JOHN VAN NUYS GRANGER, antenna and telecommunications expert,
            entrepreneur, and public servant, died December 1, 1997, in Cirencester,
            England. He was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on September 14, 1918. After
            attending the Cedar Rapids Academy of Art, he graduated from Cornell College,
            Mt. Vernon, Iowa, with a B.A. degree in mathematics and physics in 1941. He
            did graduate work at Harvard University, where he earned an M.S. degree in
            communications engineering in 1942 and a Ph.D. degree in applied physics in
            1948. From 1942 to 1946, he was a civilian employee of Harvard University in
            the Radio Research Laboratory and the American-British Laboratory and was a
            technical observer for the NDRC Division 15 with the U.S. Forces in Europe from
            1944 to 1945.
                Following completion of his doctorate, John joined the Stanford Research
            Institute in Menlo Park, California. As assistant director of engineering, he
            directed the research programs for U.S. government sponsors and prime
            contractors. His own research was concentrated on aircraft antennas, especially
            slot antennas that could be mounted flush with the aircraft surface and thus
            minimize aerodynamic drag. He was author or coauthor of numerous technical
            reports and journal articles on design and measurement of antennas of this class
            and on their integration into telecommunication systems.
             JOHN V.N.GRANGER                                         112
                In 1956 he founded Granger Associates in Palo Alto, California, and served
            as president. Initial emphasis was on antennas, especially broadband antennas of
            the log periodic type, and two unique products, ionospheric sounders to optimize
            short wave transmissions, and null-field precipitation static dischargers to
            minimize the buildup of electrostatic charge on aircraft surfaces. These
            dischargers became standard equipment on all jet aircraft made in the United
            States. A wide range of communication equipment followed. Because there was
            broad international acceptance of the systems, two subsidiaries were formed,
            Granger Associates Ltd., Weybridge, England, and Granger Associates (Pty)
            Ltd., Sydney, Australia, with John as chairman. His concern was that all Granger
            Associate products be of high quality and that all employees feel a sense of pride
            in their contribution and in the company. Indeed there was a strong sense of
            family among Granger Associate employees.
                John was active in his professional societies, serving as a director of the
            West Coast Electronics Show, WESCON, as an editorial reviewer for the Institute
            of Radio Engineers, and as editor of its Transactions on Antennas and
            Propagation. In the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), he
            was a member of the awards board, chairman of the Finance Committee, and
            treasurer. He was a member of the IEEE board of directors and executive
            committee of IEEE and was elected its president in 1970. This was a time of rapid
            growth of the institute, and to give proper attention to the issues of this growth,
            John resigned his presidency of Granger Associates.
                Following completion of his term as IEEE president, John spent the
            remainder of his career in government service with emphasis on policy
            concerning international issues of science and technology. With the Department
            of State, Washington, D.C., 1971 to 1975, he was acting director of the Bureau of
            International Scientific and Technological Affairs and deputy assistant secretary,
            Bureau of Oceans. With the National Science Foundation, 1975 to 1977, he was
            deputy director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and deputy
            assistant director for scientific, technological and international affairs. He was
            Counselor for Scientific and Technological Affairs for the U.S. Em
             JOHN V.N.GRANGER                                         113
             bassy, London, and Science Attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Paris. The issues he
             saw in these assignments led to the well-received book Technology and
             International Relations (W.H.Freeman and Company, 1979).
                On the basis of John’s technical, management, and policy contributions, he
             was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1975. Among other
             recognitions he received were the Outstanding Young Electrical Engineer Award
             of Eta Kappa Nu in 1952, the IRE’s Seventh Region Electronic Achievement
             Award in 1955, and fellow status in the IEEE.
                Following retirement in 1983, he moved with wife, Jill (Norah Frances) to a
             300-year-old stone cottage in the Cotswolds area of England, where he
             concentrated on nontechnical writing. There resulted manuscripts on A Driving
             Guide to the Cotswolds, several children’s stories, and a family history,
             Walloping Window Blind. He is survived by his wife, Jill, a daughter, Pamela
            Marks, of Woodside, California, sons, John, of Issaquah, Washington, and David
            of Golden, Colorado, and three grandchildren. Family, friends, and colleagues
            remember him for his keen intellect, his sense of humor, his breadth, and his
            insistence on quality and high ethical standards in all organizations with which he
            was associated.
    • Previous
    •    Table of Contents
    • Next