Erik Mauritz Pellwas born in Rattvik, Sweden on September 22, 1923. He attended public schools in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, followed by Deep Springs Junior College, California. He obtained a B.S. in electrical engineering from Marquette University in 1944 during duty in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1943 to 1946. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from Cornell University in 1951.
Dr. Pell worked for ten years at the General Electric Research Laboratory as a research physicist in phenomena related to semiconductors, particularly Ge and Si. Electrical characteristics of n-p junctions and ionic interactions in solids leading to invention of the lithium-drift nuclear particle detector were areas of contribution resulting in 29 publications and 8 patents.
He moved to the Joseph C. Wilson Technology Center of Xerox Corporation in 1961, assuming various R&D management capacities. At the time of his presidency, he was Director of Research Planning for Xerox. He was organizing Chairman and Co-editor for the 1968 International Conference on Electrophotography, as Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on Electrography for the IEEE in 1969, and Editor of the Proceedings of the 1969 Third International Conference on Photoconductivity.
Dr. Pell joined The Electrochemical Society in 1969. He immediately became active within the Electronics Division, serving as Vice-Chairman for General Electronics in 1969-1970 and as Division Chairman in 1971-1972. He served on the Technical Affairs Committee in 1973-1976 and again as Chairman in 1978-1979. He was Chairman of the Honors and Awards Committee in 1974-1977. He was elected Vice-President of the Society in 1977 and President for the term 1980-1981.
Dr. Pell was made an Honorary Member of the Society in 1983. He received the Edward Goodrich Acheson Award in 1986.
Dr. Pell was active in many other societies. He was a Fellow of the American Physical Society, Senior Member of the IEEE, and a member of SPSE, AAAS, N.Y. Acad. Sciences, Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi, Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu, and Sigma Pi Sigma. He served on the Cornell Council and was Chairman of the Cornell Graduate School Fund. He was a Trustee of The Harley School of Rochester, and President of the Alumni of Deep Springs and Telluride Association, and Trustee of Deep Springs, a junior college for boys in the California-Nevada desert.
He retired from Xerox in 1989 and has been engaged in the writing of a history of Xerox research, as well as serving as President of the Rochester Torch Club.