Elected in 1978
“For contributions in the field of analysis of rotating equipment and power systems performance, control, and reliability.”
BY PAUL DE MELLO
CHARLES CONCORDIA, one of the world’s best-known power systems engineers, passed away in Venice, Florida, on Christmas night 2003 at the age of 95.
In July 2003, I was the recipient of the Charles Concordia Power Systems Award, an award sponsored by the General Electric Company in honor of one of its greatest engineers, Charles Concordia. “Charlie,” as he was known, presented the award himself—an act of unusual dedication since at that point in his long career he was almost completely blind. He was assisted by his nephew and namesake, who accompanied his uncle.
At that meeting in Toronto, Charlie also addressed the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Power Engineering Society’s System Dynamic Performance Committee, and he did so with great clarity, touching on the major milestones achieved by the power industry in the past century.
Charles Concordia was born in Schenectady, New York, on June 20, 1908, the youngest of three brothers. His father was a music teacher who imbued the family with music skills and appreciation. The family lost their father when Charlie was 6, after which he and his brothers grew up in a one-parent family with all the struggles this implies. Charlie was uncommonly interested in science and mechanical gadgets as a child, particularly radio and TV in their embryonic years. He became