The Silicon Valley Engineering Council (SVEC) was envisioned by a group of engineers belonging to the Engineers Club of San Jose and led by Mr. Joe Louis in 1988. SVEC is a cooperative educational association of local engineering and technical societies that is formed to coordinate engineering programs, sponsor and promote educational activities, promote engineering career development among young people, and increase public understanding of the impact of engineering in enhancing the quality of life. It was also intended to integrate various engineering organizations throughout the Valley and the Greater Bay Area by providing a channel of communication and to enhance community exposure to engineering and technology.
The initial planning took place in April 1989. The organizations with great interest in this effort included: ASME, ECSJ, APWA, ASCE, and SWE. The first meeting of the Council prior to its incorporation took place at San Jose State University and Dr. Dick Ehrlich was nominated as the first President of the Council. A team consisting of Mr. Jim Hill (SAMPE), Ms. Mary Rogers (SWE), and Dr. Fred Barez (ASME) took on the charter of writing the Council’s BYLAWS. By June 1989, and by nominations from the floor, the first officers of the Council were appointed. These included Dr. Jay Pinson (ECSJ) President, Mr. Jim Hill (SAMPE) Vice President, Mr. Mario Baratta (APWA) Secretary, and Dr. Fred Barez (ASME) Treasurer. Mr. Peter Giles, President and CEO of the Tech Museum of Innovation and Mr. Paul Nyberg of Silicon Engineer Magazine were early supporters of the Council.
The first two organizations submitting their annual dues of $200 were ASME and APWA. The Law Offices of Sims and Gunkel of San Jose and the generous support of Mr. Phil Sims was instrumental in establishing the Silicon Valley Engineering Council (SVEC) to be registered as a California Public Benefit Non-Profit Corporation under IRS 501 (C) (3) status in September 1989.
Member organizations suggested having a logo for the Council. Several suggestions were presented and the current logo was designed by Dr. Fred Barez selected. It shows a silicon wafer with several integrated chips. The five marked dies indicate the original five member organizations.
By September 1989, the Council had prepared a flyer describing its goals and objectives. Through the generous offer of the Tech Museum of Innovation, the Council had a mailing address, phone line, newsline, and a fax number.
By late October 1989, the Council took on the responsibility of organizing the annual Engineers’ Week Banquet. This has become a major activity of the Council over the past years. In November 1989, Dr. Jay Pinson (ECSJ) proposed establishing the Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame Award- The purpose of the award is to recognize persons within the Silicon Valley area who have earned distinction through engineering and technical achievements and who made outstanding contributions to the engineering profession and to the Silicon Valley community. The first year Hall of Fame inductees were Dr. A. Louis London, Mr. Leo Ruth, and Dr. Frederick Terman.
The Council’s first newsletter was published by February 1990 just in time for the Engineers Week Banquet. Gloria Montano (SWE) was editor of this publication. Through 1989 to June 1990, the Council membership grew to twelve organizations. Five Council Committees were formed. These included Education/Career Guidance, Special Events, Fund Development, Membership, and External Liaison.