Harold Pender (1879-1959):
Harold Pender was the first Dean of the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Electrical Engineering, a position he held from the founding of the School in 1923 until his retirement in 1949.
Dean Pender's academic career began in 1909 when he was appointed Professor of Electrical Engineering and Head of the Laboratories at MIT. In 1914 he left MIT and became Director of the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.
His distinguished career involved basic experimental research on electric and magnetic fields and applied research in power which was at the turn of the century, as now, a significant societal problem. His early personal research on the relationship of electric circuits to magnetic fields demonstrated quantitatively for the first time that a moving electrical charge produces a magnetic field. He was author or co-author of five technical books in the fields of electromagnetic field and circuit theory and in electrical machinery, and his various editions of Pender's Handbook for Electrical Engineers were known to practically all electrical engineers over several generations. In 1924 at the start of the radio age, Dr. Pender co-founded the International Resistance Company (IRC) and in 1932 developed and patented the composition resistor.
Dean Pender encouraged faculty research directed toward the solution of significant engineering problems. Under his direction, The Moore School constructed a differential analyzer for use in solving problems in power and ballistics. This led to the development of ENIAC, the world's first large-scale, all-electronic, general-purpose, digital computer, which was completed at The Moore School in 1946. The proof that such a machine could be built founded a new industry and marked the beginning of the Computer Revolution.
We all remember Harold Pender today for his personal engineering achievement and the role he played in establishing and directing The Moore School, and we honor his memory by annually conferring the Harold Pender Award:
"to an outstanding member of the engineering profession
who has achieved distinction by significant contributions to society."