IEEE Central Coast News Volume 2, Number 3 (Winter 2001)

IEEE Central Coast News

Volume 2, Number 3
Winter 2001


The Official Publication of the Central Coast Section of the Los Angeles Council, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. Find us on the Web at:

Get all the latest LA area news at the IEEE Los Angeles Council Electronic Bulletin

link to past Newsletters: Volume 1, Number 1  Volume 1, Number 2  Volume 1, Number 3
Volume 2, Number 1   Volume 2, Number 2

Central Coast Greetings
by Marty Kaliski, Section Chair

Seven years ago, perhaps in a moment of inspiration, I took steps to form the San Luis Obispo Subsection of the then Santa Barbara Section of the IEEE. My motivation at the time was a simple one: we had no nexus of professional activity in the San Luis Obispo area at the time, despite a concurrently growing base of industrial and professional activity in our area of the state. The steps were indeed simple ones, in hindsight– once the required signatures were obtained, we were in business.

Our subsection proved to be a vibrant one, even from the very beginning. We held monthly meetings, with featured speakers throughout the academic year. We became engaged with the mother Santa Barbara Section and with the Los Angeles Council. We interacted with our local Cal Poly Student Branch. This vibrancy continued throughout the years, even as our subsection evolved into a key component in the Central Coast Section– and even as I assumed the mantle of leadership of this Section.

And so, seven years later, we are a modest success story. But it is time to review our goals and our experience, and to see where we want to go from here. The format of our January meeting was modified to allow for such reflection– a “speakerless” round-table discussion was held on January 9th.  Discussion at the quarterly Executive Committee meetings has focused on these broad philosophical issues.  Feedback has been sought from our Section members as well.

As for me, it is time to move on. In this issue of the Central Coast News is a call for nominations for 2001 officers. I am stepping down during the summer to pursue as yet unknown ventures. The Section is more important than any of its members. Let us use the months ahead to plan for our future.

I hope that the New Year finds you well. Please accept my wishes for one that is both healthy and happy.

Volunteers Sought for Central Coast Section Officers

In accordance with our bylaws, Dr. Kaliski has appointed the “Members-at-Large” to be our Nominating Committee for the 2001 election. We are seeking volunteers to run for all positions, but we especially invite members who are interested in helping hold technical meetings in the Santa Barbara and Vandenberg areas.
The officers to elect are:

Section Chair: Serves as Chair for all meetings of the Section and the Executive Committee (ExCom).

Treasurer: Keeps financial records and submits the Financial Operations Report.

Secretary: Keeps a membership data base, mails notices to the membership, and submits meeting reports.

PACE Coordinator: Disseminates information on the services provided by the IEEE-USA.

Computer Chapter Chair: Must be a member of the Computer Society and chairs chapter meetings.

To volunteer for one of these positions, or to serve on the ExCom in an appointed position, contact one of the members of the Nominating Committee by March 1, 2001:

John Armstrong
(805) 541-5702

Richard Griffiths
(805) 969-1103

Wally Kammer
(805) 606-8000

VPLab©– A Virtual PowerLab
by Saul Goldberg, EE Department, Cal Poly

An energy conversion course with a virtual laboratory component is now being taught at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

The virtual laboratory was developed by Saul Goldberg, William F. Horton, and Tom Agayoff, all members of the Electrical Engineering Department at Cal Poly.

The virtual power laboratory, or VPLab©, consists of a text and CD, which contain laboratory exercises in the form of 14 experiments illustrating the essential theory of power conversion. Experiments cover such power conversion devices as DC machines, AC machines, transformers, and solid-state rectifiers. The energy conversion course is offered in the following format:

  • An instructor performs a demonstration/lecture using conventional equipment.
  • Each student performs the corresponding VPLab© experiment using a PC during the week.

This has the advantage of showing students what actual equipment looks like and how the equipment is interconnected without the need of owning multiple stations. It avoids having to purchase a full complement of equipment, instrumentation, power supplies, benches and suitable safety and theft avoidance systems. The text and software will be available for purchase in the latter part of 2001; however, a sample chapter and associated experiment can be downloaded from the Web site:

Keeping You Informed
by John Armstrong, Computer Chapter Chair/Central Coast Representative

Computer Society News

Our Computer Society sponsors a large number of specialized conferences all around the world. You can access the list at Here are a few from the list that are coming up in the next few months in California, along with a Web address for additional details:

Feb. 11 -15: 4th Annual Next-Generation Internet Conference & Exhibition, San Diego, CA
Contact Erika Brown,  See

March 20-24: Game Developers Conference, San Jose, CA
Contact GDC Hotline,  See http://www.gdconf com

April 23-24: Java Virtual Machine Research & Technology Symposium, Monterey, CA

May 15-18: PADS2001, 15th Workshop on Parallel & Distributed Simulation, Lake Arrowhead, CA
Contact Rajive Bagrodia,   See

Los Angeles Council News

Even though the Fall Wescon was quite successful, the “surplus” distribution to the LA Council was barely adequate to cover the Bulletin expenses. As a result there was no distribution to the sections this year. That will make it difficult financially to continue to publish our Central Coast newsletter. Your ExCom is looking at options to cover the shortfall in income.
The ExCom has decided to continue to subscribe to the LA Bulletin, so you all can get news from the whole Southern Cal area. However, due to changes in New Jersey and illness of our editor, the Bulletin has been late or non-existent for several months. The planned balloting for new officers for the Council has been delayed as a result. Justin Biddle is taking over for me as Vice Chair/Secretary of the Council, but we will need a representative from our area to attend the monthly Council meetings.
The Council is sponsoring a Spring Wescon, February 27 – March 1, 2001 (see for more information). Volunteers are needed especially for attendance promotion (contact Justin Biddle at
The Region 6 Southern Area Meeting and Micro Mouse contest will be held at UCSB on April 28th. Put that one on your calendar and support our local Robotics teams.
Santa Barbara News from Dick Griffiths

The IEEE December meeting in Santa Barbara was held as scheduled at UCSB with a presentation by Dr. Robert Lilley. There were several interested attendees, but the turnout was somewhat sparse. There are no immediate plans for a February meeting in Santa Barbara.

 Odds and Ends

Senior Members Sought!

Did you know that becoming a Senior Member is easy if you qualify —and that it can financially help the Section?   If you think you might qualify, please notify Marty Kaliski and the Section can begin the process of nominating you.   The following Web site will be of help:

Student Branch Update – Hadim Kneizeh, Cal Poly Student Branch

Fall quarter was quite busy for the Cal Poly Student Branch, having hosted speakers from industry almost every week, including the last week of the quarter. In addition to the busy line-up of speakers for almost weekly meetings, this year the Student Branch began organizing site visits to a few companies.

The student branch continues to provide electronics parts for many lab courses and has started planning activities for Cal Poly’s annual Open House in April.

Central Coast Section Executive Committee

Jerry Skarnulis TREASURER
Richard Griffiths SANTA BARBARA M.A.L.*
Wally Kammer VANDENBERG  M.A.L.*
    *Member at Large

Meeting Summary Notes

by Ali Shaban

September 7, 2000

   Present: Martin E Kaliski (Section Chair), Ali Shaban (Secretary), Jerome Skarnulis (Treasurer), Wally Kammer (Vandenberg Member-at-Large), Richard W. Griffiths (Santa Barbara Member-at-Large), John T. Armstrong (LAC Rep. and Computer Chapter Chair), Chris Uzley (Student Branch), Nada Bagheri (Student Branch)

  • Minutes of the June 22, 2000 meeting were approved without correction.
  • The Chair's Report: (Kaliski)
    • Region 6 meeting will be in San Diego February 3, 2001.
    • Next newsletter will be mailed around October 15, 2000.
    • Jerry, John, Wally, and the IEEE Student branches of UCSB and Cal Poly will send articles to Marty to be included in the next newsletter.
    • Ali will submit brief summaries of the last ExCom meeting minutes to be included in the next newsletter.
    • We have speakers scheduled through the December meeting for San Luis Obispo. The January meeting will be a round-table discussion.
  • The Treasurer's Report: (Skarnulis)
    • Jerry distributed a hard copy of the budget for 1999 and 2000.
    • The committee approved the budget.
  • Santa Barbara Report: (Griffiths) ~
    • Scheduled speakers for October and November, 2000 Santa Barbara meetings.
  • Vandenberg Report: (Kammer)
    • No report.
  • San Luis Obispo Report:
    • No report
  • Computer Chapter Chair Report: (Armstrong)
    • No report.
  • Los Angeles Counsel Report: (Armstrong)
    • Southern area meeting is set for October 14, 2000.
    • David Braun has the maze of the Micro Mouse.
    • Spring meeting will be at UCSB. John will arrange the meeting.
  • Discussion Items:
    • National Engineering week banquet
    • Hard to get lecturers for Santa Barbara meetings
    • Distinguished lecturers program from IEEE
    • Share speakers between SB and SLO
      • Joint seminars with EE Department.
      • Wally asked the students if they are interested in what's going on in Vandenberg.
      • IEEE Central Coast Section will pay for transportation expenses.
    • Elections:
      • Elect officers every year.
      • We'll request nominations in the January issue of the newsletter.
  • Next meeting will be in San Luis Obispo in December.

Upcoming IEEE Meetings

The following speakers are scheduled for Central Coast Section meetings through April 2001:

Santa Barbara PCD
PCB Layouts & CAD LibrariesQuality, through & efficient
R&D & PD support services

Orcad, Pcad-2000, Protel, Autocad  CAD platforms
(805) 560-9021

February 6,2001: Joshua Lober, V.P. COM DEV Wireless Group, Digital and Software Systems of San Luis Obispo.
March 6, 2001: Ron Alers of EMAT Ultrasonics Inc. on “Optimization of Angle Beam EMATs by Using Finite Element Simulations.”
April 3, 2001: Bill Eklow, Manager of Embedded Test Technology, Cisco Systems, Inc.

Meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month from 7-8 p.m. in Engineering East Faculty Office Building 20, Room 206 at Cal Poly unless otherwise specified. Refreshments are available around 6:30 p.m. Meeting information will be announced via e-mail.  Please notify Carol Erickson if you are not receiving these announcements and you would like to.

Publishing Information

IEEE Central Coast News is published quarterly by the Central Coast Section of the Los Angeles Council, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. in San Luis Obispo, California. Inquiries, comments and submissions may be e-mailed to Carol Erickson or mailed to the address below. Circulation: 1,150

IEEE Central Coast Section
c/o Martin Kaliski, Section Chair
EE Department
Cal Poly State University
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407