Read a transcript of an interview with Henry Oman by the IEEE in 1999.
Henry Oman worked with Allis Chalmers on the propulsion machinery for submarines and Destroyer Escorts during the war, received a Master's degree at Oregon State University while working at Boeing on the changing of the fusible resistance link point-by-point as it approached melting temperatures, limiters, and did graduate work at Illinois Tech. He was fundamental in establishing the Power Electronics Society, which has been responsible for the power electronics now all over airplanes. This society grew out of Oman's initiative to form a conference to discuss the creation of an inverter that would make AC out of DC with solid-state parts. He also played a role in forming the Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference. Oman also worked on B-52 bombers and atomic-powered airplane, the Rail Garrison Peacekeeper, tested electromagnetic radiation emitted from transmission lines, was the secretary of the Engineering Society of Milwaukee and editor of Milwaukee Engineering, wrote for the Advanced Battery Technology magazine, and worked on battery-powered electric bicycles. He was awarded the Harry Mimmo Award by the IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine, which he edited, on the topic of the energy cost of traveling 1,000 miles comparing everything from the Queen Mary steamship to walking. Oman also worked on solar panels for spacecraft and solar power satellites. In this interview, he furthermore provides details of the major advance in aerospace electronics and aerospace power systems and the challenges to be faced in the upcoming decades.