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Emmett Finley Carter (July 1, 1901 - February 18, 1979) was an electrical engineer that worked at several companies; most notably, he was in upper management of Sylvania Electric Products and was the director, and later president, of SRI International from 1956 to 1963.

E. Finley Carter
Born(1901-07-01)July 1, 1901
DiedJanuary 18, 1979(1979-01-18) (aged 77)
Alma materRice Institute
AwardsIEEE Fellow
IEEE Founders Medal (1969)
Scientific career
InstitutionsGeneral Electric
United Research Corporation
Sylvania Electric Products
SRI International

Early life and educationEdit

Carter was born on July 1, 1901 in Elgin, Texas to Alfred Hinds Carter and Jimmie Lucretia Stevens.[1][2] He graduated from Rice Institute (in Houston, Texas) in 1922 with a degree in electrical engineering.[3]

Early careerEdit

After graduation, he joined General Electric in Schenectady, New York, where he developed high-power broadcast transmitters for WGY in Schenectady; KGO in Oakland; and KOA in Denver. He held a variety of positions, particularly in research and development, leaving the company in charge of a division.[3]

In 1929, Carter became the director of the radio division of United Research Corporation in New York, which was part of Warner Pictures. In this position, he designed Brunswick radios, circuits, and receivers, and held several patents covering his work during this period.[3][4]

He joined Sylvania Electric Products in September 1932 as a consulting engineer, and would eventually become assistant chief engineer; in February 1941, he organized a new industrial relations department of Sylvania, and was elected director of Sylvania in March, 1943.[3][5] In 1945, Carter was named Vice President of Engineering and in 1952 he was named Vice President and Technical Director.[4]

Later careerEdit

In 1954, Carter joined the Sanford Research Institute (SRI), now known as SRI International, as a Manager of Research Operations, reporting to director Jesse E. Hobson; his duties focused on coordinating interdisciplinary research efforts, particularly the ones that involved both physical and life sciences, or both economics and engineering.[4]

In 1956, Carter became the director of SRI, and a member of its board of directors. In 1959, SRI reorganized its leadership structure, and Carter was named the organization's first president. In 1958, SRI established its Life Sciences division under Bruce Graham.[6] Carter was president until 1963, and retired from SRI in 1965.[4]

Awards and membershipsEdit

Carter was a member of the IEEE, American Radio Relay League, Sigma Xi, Eta Kappa Nu, and Tau Beta Pi. He was a fellow of the Institute of Radio Engineers, and served on its board of directors.[3]

He was named an IEEE Fellow in 1949,[7] and received the IEEE Founders Medal in 1969 "for outstanding contributions to the electrical engineering profession and to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers through wise and imaginative leadership in the planning and administration of technical developments in electronics and telecommunications".[8]


  1. ^ "Alfred Carter Genealogy". Genealogy of Ken Hinds. Hinds Site. Retrieved 2012-04-22.
  2. ^ James Aitcheson. "Descendants of Fearchar McFinlay". Retrieved 2012-04-22.
  3. ^ a b c d e "E. Finley Carter". Proceedings of the I.R.E. IEEE: 444. August 1944.
  4. ^ a b c d "E. Finley Carter". Global History Network. IEEE. Retrieved 2012-04-22.
  5. ^ "Contributors". Proceedings of the I.R.E.: 728. October 1945.
  6. ^ "Alumni Hall of Fame: Bruce Graham". SRI International. Retrieved 2013-06-13.
  7. ^ "Awards to Staff by Professional Societies". SRI International. Retrieved 2013-07-01.
  8. ^ "IEEE Founders Medal Recipients" (PDF). IEEE. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 21, 2012. Retrieved November 23, 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)