Spring STEP in Hyderabad

IEEE Young Professionals Hyderabad, in association with the IEEE Student Branch at Vignana Bharathi Institute of Technology (VBIT), conducted their first STEP of the year in March.

The STEP (Student Transition andSTEP in Hyderabad March 2014 Elevation Partnership) program assists student members as they graduate and transition to higher levels of IEEE membership. This session of STEP featured career development talks from the industry leaders, with an emphasis on the benefits of IEEE and the benefits of volunteering.

STEP in Hyderabad March 2014The event was held in the campus auditorium and attracted around 165 participants, making it one of the largest STEP events held in Hyderabad. A majority of the audience (around 90 people) were not IEEE members, offering a ripe opportunity to encourage students to join IEEE.

The event began with a welcome and opening remarks by Preeti Kovvali (IEEE YP Hyderabad Chair) and Sowmya Mekala (IEEE YP Hyderabad Secretary).

This was followed by a presentation from Mr. Aditya Rao of Oracle India on “The power of volunteering and how it makes you a leader.” Mr. Aditya served as Chair of the IEEE Computer Society chapter in Hyderabad Section and is now a part of that chapter’s Membership Development Committee. During his talk, he discussed the importance of volunteering and how a volunteer can enhance his or her career by being part of a professional organization like IEEE. Using examples from his personal experience, he emphasized how volunteering helps a person become a professional and a leader.

STEP in Hyderabad March 2014The second presentation, from Mr. Hari Prasad Devarapalli of Tata Consultancy Services’ Business Systems and Cybernetics Center, was titled “Professionalism.” Mr. Prasad, shared thoughts from his extensive industry and volunteering experience as one of the senior members of the IEEE Hyderabad. He underscored the tremendous, daily effort required for a person to develop and sustain a professional bearing. He also highlighted the advantages of being professional in the workplace, including being in sync with the goals of the company and enhancing one’s ability to set and reach personal goals.

STEP in Hyderabad March 2014Following the presentations, the program transitioned to networking and social activities. Participants were divided into teams and given tasks to be completed in a stipulated time. The students received this quite well, and it turned out to be the highlight of the event.

At the conclusion of the program, we recognized volunteers from the IEEE Hyderabad section to thank them for their outstanding contributions to the section and the IEEE R10 Congress conducted last year.

We are grateful to the volunteersSTEP in Hyderabad March 2014 from the student branch for helping us organize such a wonderful and fruitful event. We would also like to thank Elie Rosen from the IEEE YP STEP team, who has encouraged and supported us in organizing this event. Finally, we would like to thank Ms. Mounika Molagara for her exemplary leadership as the VBIT Student Branch Chair.

STEP in Hyderabad March 2014

Article contributed by Preeti Kovvali, IEEE Hyderabad Section Young Professionals Chair

More photos from the event are posted on Facebook.

IEEE Electron Devices Society Announces 2014 Graduate Student Fellowship Winners

The IEEE Electron Devices Society is pleased to announce its 2014 Student Fellowship winners!

The winners of the PhD fellowship are:
Peng Huang – Peking University (Beijing, China)
Amit Trivedi – Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia, USA)
Sam Vaziri – KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Kista, Sweden)

The winners of the Masters fellowship are:
Yexin Deng – Purdue University (Indiana, USA)
Siu Sik Lam – The University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong, China)

The PhD fellowship winners will be honored on December 14, 2014 at the IEEE Electron Devices Society Board of Governors awards ceremony in San Francisco, CA, USA. The award consists of a plaque and a check for US $5,000 to each student. The Masters fellowship winners will receive a plaque and a check for US $2,000 each. This award is presented annually to promote, recognize and support PhD- and Masters-level study and research within the IEEE EDS field of interest. For more information, please visit the EDS website.

Article contributed by Kellie Gilbert, CAP, IEEE EDS Committee Administrator

Multi-Day STEP Event in Rio De Janeiro

The IEEE Rio de Janeiro Young Professionals organized a 2-day STEP program in December of 2013. The event was held in the amphitheater of the Department of Electrical Engineering at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Open to all undergraduate senior students including non-IEEE members, the main objective of the event was to inform students about the various career paths they could choose after graduation.

First-day panelists at the IEEE STEP event in Rio de Janeiro

First-day panelists at the IEEE STEP event in Rio de Janeiro

The event was organized as panel sessions, with each panelist given 15 to 20 minutes to talk about his or her professional journey. After the speeches completed, the event became an open forum where students could ask questions.

On the first day of the event, three young entrepreneurs were invited to discuss  their careers and their reasons for choosing those careers. The main discussion point was “why and how did you become an entrepreneur?” The panelists  also discussed the challenges they faced in their careers. The following speakers were invited: Ms. Andressa Sivolella, owner of the Twist Company; Mr. Ricardo Clemente, patron of the Intelie Company; and Dr. Mamour Sop Ndiaye, owner of Africa Arte.

Second-day panelists at the IEEE STEP event in Rio de Janeiro

Second-day panelists at the IEEE STEP event in Rio de Janeiro

On the second day, the session comprised four young researchers, two from the GE Global Research Centre in Brazil and two from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). All of them discussed their careers in detail and highlighted the differences between academia and industry. The second-day panelists were: Dr. Debora Reis from the GE Global Research Centre, Dr. Rodrigo Salim from the GE Global Research Centre, Dr. Guilherme Rolim from UFRJ, and Dr. Robson Dias from UFRJ.

Overall, the event was a success and we are looking forward to organizing our next STEP event.

Article contributed by Robson Dias, IEEE Rio de Janeiro Section Young Professionals Chair

Need Help With An Event? Region 8 Has the Answer

In order to increase collaboration within the region and help Affinity Groups organize new and exciting events, the Region 8 Young Professionals subcommittee is launching a new program called the Event Exchange Program across the region (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa).

The concept of the program is simple: Affinity Groups send the Region 8 Young Professionals subcommittee information about the events they have organized, and this information is then published at http://yp.ieeer8.org. Submissions typically include the title of the event, a short abstract, aims, main challenges and how they were overcome, outcomes, and suggested improvements, but they can differ depending on the nature of the event. While the amount of information and materials provided are decided by the members submitting them, the more content is shared, the more useful the program will be. Any publicity materials or other content used for the event can also be submitted.

By participating in this program, members will help other Young Professional Affinity Groups around Region 8, create a closer sense of community, and offer the ability to engage with YP members from all over Region 8. It is not just a great opportunity for individual Affinity Groups to show the world the great events they organize, but also to help other Affinity Groups while obtaining new ideas for innovative activities they can run themselves. Affinity Groups who submit event materials will receive Region 8 Young Professionals t-shirts as a token of our subcommittee’s gratitude.

We hope the Event Exchange Program will prove to be a valuable and useful tool for all Young Professional Affinity Groups in Region 8, and we look forward to achieving this goal with your help.

Contributed by Flavia Dinca, Region 8 Young Professionals Subcommittee Member

2014 IEEE YP Affinity Group Hall of Fame Awards Announced

We are pleased to announce this year’s winners of the IEEE Young Professionals Affinity Group Hall of Fame Award! Entries were evaluated based on their 2013 activities. A very competitive contest this year, the judges commented that it’s never an easy choice to choose from all of our great affinity groups worldwide.
This year the two inductees into the Hall of Fame are Santa Clara Valley (Region 6) and Croatia (Region 8). If you didn’t win this year, we highly encourage you to apply again next year. We will be providing feedback on your applications to help you plan for greater success in 2015!

The 2014 IEEE Young Professionals Committee

Mixing it up in Toronto

IEEE YP's mixing it up in TorontoMore than 150 early-career professionals from a broad range of industries turned out to raise a glass and make new connections at Toronto IEEE Young Professionals’ latest networking social on May 6, 2014. The event at The Three Brewers microbrewery was co-hosted with IEEE Women in Engineering and scheduled to coincide with the Canadian Conference on Electrical & Computer Engineering at nearby Ryerson University.

The goal of the event was to introduce conference attendees to the local IEEE Toronto community, and bring together students and early-career professionals in a broad range of industries, including engineering, science, business, marketing, arts and media. The venue was packed all night.

“Speaking with young professionals at our events is always an invigorating experience,” said Mario Milicevic, chair of IEEE Young Professionals Toronto. “In just a couple of hours, I can have an in-depth discussion about CAD tool design for electrical engineers, the state of the economy and political trends, MBA opportunities in Canada and abroad, the challenge of selling men’s pants, interactive virtual gaming platforms, implantable bio-devices, and of course, IEEE volunteer opportunities.”

Click here for the full gallery of photos from the event.

Toronto IEEE Young Professionals is coordinating a professional development series of events for September, featuring workshops on dressing for success, dining etiquette and networking skills. Look out for a half-day mini-conference on entrepreneurship slated for Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014 at Hart House at the University of Toronto to bring together technical innovators and early-career professionals through keynote talks, workshops, panels and networking.

Post contributed by Marit Mitchell, IEEE YP Toronto Senior Communications Officer

Tunisia YP STEP Event on Green Power and Renewable Energy

The Tunisia IEEE Young Professionals affinity group (AG) conducted its 3rd IEEE Student Transition & Elevation Partnership (STEP) program at the National Engineering School of Sfax (ENIS) on the 16th of November, 2013, which was attended by 60 students and young professionals. The event was held in cooperation with the Tunisia chapter of the Power and Energy Society (PES) and the PES student chapter at ENIS.

The event began with the presentation of the 2013 IEEE YP Hall of Fame award to the Tunisian YP AG, after which the AG Chairwoman Chiraz Walha discussed the challenges of transitioning from student life to professional life and explained various aspects of IEEE’s support during this transition. This talk was an opportunity to encourage recently-graduated student members to renew their memberships as professionals.

The second talk was presented by Professor Bruno Meyer, IEEE Fellow, CEO of ARTERIA (RTE Group) in France, and 2013 IEEE PES President-Elect candidate. Prof. Meyer presented an overview of PES and its benefits for members, especially those applicable to students and young professionals.

Prof. Bruno Meyer presents his distinguished lecture at the Tunisia IEEE YP STEP event

Prof. Bruno Meyer presents his distinguished lecture at the Tunisia IEEE YP STEP event

Following this, Prof. Meyer presented his distinguished lecture on key research and development challenges for European transmission system operators. He explained the struggles of adapting transmission systems to cope with new green technologies, and emphasized the importance of smart grids to industry in the current energy market. He also outlined a few projects implemented by the European network of transmission system operators, including the French transmission system operator (RTE). Finally, Prof. Meyer shared his experiences working with various organizations, outlined his career path, and detailed his relationship with the university.

The talk was followed by a networking reception, also used as an occasion for student and young professional volunteers to share their experiences working with IEEE and its contributions to their professional career.

In the closing, certificates of accomplishment and official Tunisia IEEE YP AG t-shirts were presented to congratulate the graduating IEEE student members.

Tunisia IEEE YP AG Chairwoman Chiraz Walha presents a certificate of appreciation to Prof. Bruno Meyer

Tunisia IEEE YP AG Chairwoman Chiraz Walha presents a certificate of appreciation to Prof. Bruno Meyer

Article contributed by Chiraz Walha, Habib M. Kammoun, Soufien Kammoun, and Mouna Baklouti of the Tunisia Young Professionals AG Executive Committee

Young Scientists From Around the Globe Gather in Singapore

How would you like to pick the brains of thirteen Nobel Laureates, three Fields Medalists, winners of the Millennium Technology Prize, and recipients of IEEE’s own Medal of Honor? In Singapore, at the second installment of the Global Young Scientists Summit (GYSS) in January, five hundred attendees were given the opportunity to do just that. Of these attendees, 350 were PhD and postdoctoral researchers under the age of 35 nominated by universities, research institutes, and corporate laboratories around the world, while the remaining 150 were invited guests from Singapore’s tech community.

The GYSS, organized by the National Research Foundation of Singapore, is inspired by the annual Lindau Nobel Meetings but features a greater focus on participation from the Asia-Pacific region. Singaporeans comprise 19% of the participants, Asians and Australians 47%, the US and Europe 20%, and researchers from multinational corporations make up the remaining 13%.

The theme of the Summit was “Advancing Science and Creating Technologies for a Better World” and the speakers discussed a wide variety of topics, including biochemistry, physics, medicine, mathematics, and engineering. Some told stories of the discoveries they were most recognized for, while others shared their latest research. With some of the lectures making deep dives into specialized disciplines, sometimes it was a challenge to keep up. Notably, the audience members were not shy about asking questions even if they were not experts in the topic at hand.

In one of the talks, IEEE’s 2013 Medal of Honor winner, Dr. Irwin Jacobs, shared his experience transitioning from academic to entrepreneur, first founding Linkabit, then Qualcomm. Qualcomm has grown to prominence as the world’s largest semiconductor supplier for wireless products and for 15 consecutive years was included in Fortune’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For. Not bad for a company started because he was bored three months into early retirement!

The organizers also held several panel discussions on topics such as challenges in a STEM career, the role of science in society, technology entrepreneurship, and the relationship between science and the arts. Some of these sessions were open to the general public as well.

A design competition called Singapore Challenge was held in conjunction with the GYSS. The participants were invited to submit proposals that addressed challenges related to urban development. The theme of this year’s competition was “From Sensing to Solution: Leveraging ICT to Build Sustainable Cities,” resulting in a grand total of 35 proposals submitted. Among the 10 finalists was IEEE member Jason Gu, whose proposal is an open platform called “the Idea Store” which facilitates contributions from both city planners and residents. The intent is for the platform to integrate raw data sensing, data processing, and big data analytics with built in block programming functionality, so even an average resident without prior programming training would be able to use it.

We spoke to Jason in more detail about his Singapore Challenge proposal and how IEEE has played an important role in his career development so far. This interview will appear in Part 2 of this series in GOLDRush.

To learn more about the GYSS and find out how you might be able to attend in the future, visit the official GYSS website.

To see photos from GYSS 2014, visit the IEEE Region 10 Facebook album.

Article contributed by Helene Fung, Senior Strategy and Business Development Manager, IEEE Singapore

Fine Arts and Four Presidents at the R10 SGW Congress

This article is part I in a two-part series on last year’s Region 10 Student/WIE/GOLD Congress.

A performance in the Kuchipudi art form by the Pallavi Academy of Fine Arts at the 2013 IEEE Region 10 Student / WIE / GOLD Congress

A performance in the Kuchipudi art form by the Pallavi Academy of Fine Arts at the 2013 IEEE Region 10 Student / WIE / GOLD Congress

Young volunteers from Hyderabad, India teamed up to organize Asia Pacific’s largest gathering of leaders, the Region 10 Student/WIE/GOLD Congress from July 11th, 2013 – July 14th, 2013. The goal of this volunteer team was to create a platform for conversations and partnerships through a curated set of sessions, designed around the theme  “Empowering Women and Youth to create a better tomorrow.” It took eight months of meticulous planning and effort to realise the final result.

The core objective of the Congress was to gather IEEE volunteer leaders from the Asia Pacific region to network, share best practices, and learn about what’s new in IEEE. A diversified mix of 250 delegates attended the Congress. Notably, the event was distinguished by the presence of 4 IEEE Presidents, a first for any regional Congress: 2013 IEEE President & CEO, Peter Staecker; 2014 IEEE President, Roberto De Marca; 2011 IEEE President, Moshe Kam; and 2006 IEEE President, Michael Lightner.

The first day brought the Congress to order and created a networking-friendly environment for the delegates, featuring a team activity to acquaint attendees with each other. Day Two started with the Congress co-chairs (Prashant Venkatasubban and T L Prasanna Venkatesan) addressing the audience on the what and why of the conference, including a brief overview of the schedule for the next 3 days. Then the formal sessions began with Peter Staecker (2013 IEEE President & CEO) presenting the opportunities & impact created by being a volunteer and explaining the four priorities for IEEE discussed by the Board of Directors. Michael Lightner (2006 IEEE President & 2013 VP EAB) followed with a lively session that included a survey to understand the current educational system and live questions from the audience on the subject of educational activities taken up by the IEEE. John Day (IEEE Staff Director of Member Engagement) gave an overview of the IEEE Member and Geographic Activities (MGA) from a member engagement perspective. There were parallel sessions by various student, GOLD, and WIE (SGW) groups highlighting their plans and talks from leaders of the individual tracks.

Later that evening, the delegates dressed in their best for the Awards Ceremony and Gala Night dinner, which commenced with a welcome message by the Congress Chair Prashant Venkatasubban and Co-Chair Prasanna Venkatesan followed by a scintillating talk by Moshe Kam (2011 IEEE President) on “the top seven reasons to be proud you’re an IEEE Member.” A topnotch performance in the Kuchipudi art form by the Pallavi Academy of Fine Arts took the audience’s breath away with a beautiful showcase of local culture. The evening ended with the awards ceremony and requisite photo sessions.

The second day began with a keynote session by Professor D. B. Phatak of IIT Mumbai, leader of the Aakash Tablet project. Later, along with Michael Lightner, Dr. Attendees at the 2013 IEEE R10 SGW CongressPathak announced an app development competition for Aakash tablets, followed by another exciting announcement: the Aakash Tablet project presented a tablet to every student delegate participating in the Congress to help them participate in the competition and test the apps they develop. Following Dr. Pathak’s talk, Dr. Moshe Kam delivered a keynote session on humanitarian activities and challenges. A technical poster competition was organized in parallel, sponsored by the Lab X Foundation and judged by the IEEE presidents. The top five winners shared a cash prize of US $1000.

The Congress also emphasized active participation from societies by providing a platform for collaborative discussions between experts. The societies represented were the Computer Society (by Aditya Rao), EMBS (by Subhamoy Mundal), PES (by Mini Thomas), and HKN (by Douglas Graham). These sessions included a focus on Educational Activities. Additionally, a TISP workshop was hosted by Douglas Graham and a WIE workshop by Sandhya Kode. For the WIE track, Nita Patel (IEEE WIE Chair) outlined the challenges and opportunities for Women in Engineering in IEEE.

Attendees at the 2013 IEEE R10 SGW CongressOn the third day, the Congress was inspired by the warm personality of IEEE Region 10 Director Toshi Fukuda, an author of more than 200 technical papers and books. His talk on Multi Scale Robotic Systems included a few lively anecdotes about Japanese anime, manga magazines, and his pet dog. That evening, the delegates arranged a spectacular display of native traditions and cultures during the Multicultural Night. All the delegates dressed in their ethnic attire and organized stalls with local artefacts and food items to reflect their country’s heritage.

The last day began with a keynote by Roberto De Marca (2014 IEEE President) on IEEE Technical Activities, followed by a second keynote session by Raju Pandeya, Senior Project Executive of the Gujarat Energy Development Agency. After this came the highlight of the day: the presidential forum moderated by T.L.Prasanna Venkatesan, where the four IEEE presidents took to the stage to provide their insights on IEEE and address questions from the audience.

As the day drew to a close, the stage was set for the closing ceremony with final remarks by the 2013 IEEE R10 Director Elect, Ramakrishna Kappagantu. The Attendees at the 2013 IEEE R10 SGW Congressawards for all the competitions hosted during the Congress were presented during this ceremony. A remarkable and emotional expression of thanks was presented by the Congress Chair, Prashant Venkatasubban. The crowd broke into huge applause for the entire Congress team as they congregated onto the dais.

More photos from the event are viewable at https://www.facebook.com/ieee2013.

Article contributed by Prashant Venkatasubban (Chair, R10 SGW Congress)
and Preeti Kovvali (Secretary, R10 SGW Congress)