Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

The Beginnings of This TRANSACTIONS



Dylan F. Williams, Admir Mortazawi


In July, 1951, Ben Warriner (chairman, 1952-1953) circulated a petition to begin the Microwave Theory and Techniques Society under the auspices of the Institute of Radio Engineers. Despite an initial lack of support from the IRE, the roots of the Transactions were laid and grew from that small act. The first issue of the Transactions was published in March of 1953. In the opening, T.S. Saad (chairman, 1958-1959) stated, ''we are certain that the TRANSACTIONS will become one of the most important publications in the field of Microwave Theory and Techniques'. Those early words were prophetic. In 1953, the cost of a membership in the Microwave Theory and Techniques Society was only $2.00, with each copy of the journal costing $1.65 each. The annual budget was set at $2,144.56. Most of the journal's early articles were submissions from the United States. Initially each article was directly hand-typed by the author; it wasn't until 1955 that copies of the journal were typeset. The transition to typesetting was a big step for the Transactions and was accompanied by much fanfare. As the Administrative Committee had hoped, this led to a sharp increase in subscriptions. Each early issue featured a distinguished microwave personality; this included a photo, biography, and essay by that author. These essays treated a wide range of topics including history, mathematics, engineering challenges, and even a plea for industrial support for universities. In one early essay entitled, 'Wired vs. Wireless,' another important issue of the day, Clavier quipped, ''at times we wondered whether General Ferrie, our boss, was not right when he would jokingly tell us that 'had wireless communication come first, wire would have been considered a great improvement.'' Some things never change. The tradition of this feature was so valued that in the July, 1955 'Message from the Editor,' T.S. Saad apologizes, 'The omission from this issue of our distinguished microwave personality is regrettable. This feature has evoked much favorable comment and it is planned to continue it in all regular issues.' In honor of that tradition, and to reconnect to the origins of TMTT, we now reprint one of these featured essays by George C. Southworth, along with the original photo and biography. In the essay entitled 'The Challenge,' Southworth expounds on the obstacles circumvented and resolved in a never-ending push to higher frequencies, exhorting his colleagues to meet the '100,000 mc challenge,' where 'Your new frontiers are poised temporarily...' We leave it to you to determine how far we have come since 1955! Amir M. Mortazawi and Dylan F. Williams, Editors, IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech.
IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques


Williams, D. and Mortazawi, A. (2008), The Beginnings of This TRANSACTIONS, IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, [online], (Accessed June 15, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created March 1, 2008, Updated January 27, 2020