How ‘WorldServe Education’ is Transforming Lives Daily

Today we have the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Sudhir Rao Rupanagudi. Mr Rupanagudi and his team have worked tirelessly to help develop ‘WorldServe Education’, helping students and providing quality education to those around the world. WorldServe Education also caters to the worlds of research, design and development, particularly in the fields of FPGA Design, Image Processing and Web Design and Development.

1. Briefly tell us about yourself;

My name is Mr. Sudhir Rao Rupanagudi, founder and Managing Director of WorldServe Education, Bengaluru, India. I completed my education in Electronics and Communication from Atria Institute of Technology, Bengaluru in 2006 and found an extreme liking toward communication and the world of FPGA’s during my Bachelor’s degree. In order to further pursue my dream, I moved to Sweden and completed my Masters in System on Chip at LTH where I majored in Communications and developed a low power decoder for wireless communication systems. Upon completion in 2008 and arriving back to India, I joined the Indian Institute of Science as a Research associate in the ECE department. Within this department my major role twas to work on baseband architectures for Wireless Sensor Networks on FPGA. It was during this time, over numerous coffee sessions with my like minded friend and co-founder – Miss. Ranjani B. S., we realized that there was a huge vacuum in India for students to turn their technological dreams into reality. The question of “Why not create an organization, wherein a student having an idea can just walk in, discuss and turn his/her idea into actuality with the help of guidance from highly experienced individuals?” sprung into our minds and thus WorldServe was born.

Sudhir Rao Rupanagudi - Founder and Managing Director, WorldServe Education gives a lecture on advancements in Image Processing

Sudhir Rao Rupanagudi – Founder and Managing Director, WorldServe Education gives a lecture on advancements in Image Processing

2. What is WorldServe Education and what inspired you to develop this concept?

As I mentioned earlier, WorldServe Education is an organization with a sole intent of guiding students and people who want to learn new things, innovate and create technologies to make a difference to the world. We started off in 2008 with just six students, and after that there was no turning back! Currently, we have catered to more than 1000 students worldwide, teaming up with them and innovating more than 100 projects related to humanitarian causes, agriculture and lifestyle.

I feel the main inspiration to start this organization are the very students themselves! They come to us with a varying multitude of ideas – from low cost automated conveyor belts (in order to segregate produce for the farmers of India) to humanitarian based concepts such as automated Braille to English converters… It’s amazing to see young innovators in each and every one of them and moulding them brings great joy to us at the end of the day.

Our various students at work and showcasing their projects

Our various students at work and showcasing their projects

3. What are some of the key achievement of WorldServe today? Can you give us examples of how your work has affected others?

I guess the major achievement of our organization is the fact that our students have been able to prototype their project ideas at such low costs! For instance, a project of ours wherein a patient suffering from motor neuron disease can communicate through blinks or move a wheelchair with just his eye gaze, has been designed for approximately $100 The students, who have developed this prototype, could then later market their product and this in turn would be an economically viable solution to people, especially in developing countries.

Apart from this, WorldServe has also been effective in providing several job opportunities for our students both inside our organization and also outside. A fine example of this would be our Senior Research Associate – Ms. Varsha G Bhat, who started off as a student two years ago and has now completed guiding more than 100 students at our organization. It’s very encouraging when students call us back, after their course, with a good job offer or a word of recognition from a University abroad, for their project.

The team of WorldServe at work

The team of WorldServe at work

4. How has the IEEE influenced you career path and what you have achieved?

Come to think of it, if I plot a timeline of WorldServe Education’s growth from what it was in 2009 to what it is in 2015, we would be able to see IEEE in that timeline at every major juncture! I feel one of the main motivational factors for our students to complete their projects has been the IEEE. Writing a conference paper, submitting it to an IEEE sponsored conference and finally seeing it enlist on the IEEExplore website has been a thrilling experience for all our students. To date we have around 14 papers enlisted over on the webpage. Apart from that, I am proud to state that our projects were shortlisted twice, once in 2013 and again in 2014, for the IEEE Humanitarian challenge – a competition held every year by the IEEE. In 2013, our student group led by Sachin S K went on to win the 3rd Place at the Demo – IT competition held at Hyderabad as part of the AISC – IEEE. It doesn’t end there. IEEE also funded three of our projects last year as part of the “IEEE standards programme”. Three groups utilized various engineering standards in their projects and were very appreciative in receiving this amount.

In this way I could say IEEE has always been a steady support for our work without which we would not be able to probably achieve or reach the heights we have today!

Various students presenting their papers at IEEE conferences. Highlight - Dr. Peter Staecker, President, IEEE with Sachin S K at the Demo - IT competition, Hyderabad, India (Bottom row, second from right)

Various students presenting their papers at IEEE conferences. Highlight – Dr. Peter Staecker, President, IEEE with Sachin S K at the Demo – IT competition, Hyderabad, India (Bottom row, second from right)

5. Where do you see WorldServe Education in the next 10 years and do you have anything big planned that you would like to share with our readers?

That’s a very interesting question! I guess our major goal at this point of time would be to expand our services to as many students as possible worldwide. Even though we have a good web presence, a physical presence across the world would assist in catering to them quite easily. In 2012, we were the first to host an International workshop on a major programming software online. We now plan to host similar workshops at several locations around the world. This would be possible with the support of Universities and also sponsoring organizations like the IEEE. We also are on the lookout towards funding agencies or investors who could take this dream further ahead.

Apart from project guidance, WorldServe recently collaborated with the ICTS-TIFR (International Centre of Theoretical Sciences – Tata Institute of Fundamental Research), to develop a video processing based game to understand mathematical functions better. This exhibit was a part of the Mathematics of Planet Earth 2012, Bengaluru and was received with great appreciation. We look forward to developing many such applications in the future as well.

6. Do you have any words of advice for Young Professionals wanting to make a change?

Absolutely! My father always says – “Learn from other’s experience, rather than your own”.  I really feel any young professional who has a great idea and a plan to make a difference to people, should really not think twice in starting up their enterprise. They should have self-belief and take the plunge. Taking my own example, if I look back, I was an introvert, a person who could not face crowds or give a speech on the stage. When I meet my teachers now, they feel “Is this the same guy?” The main reason for this change was self-belief in the idea – “If you gotta do it, you gotta do it”. Another important aspect required to start a movement like ours, is patience! Things will happen eventually but they shall take time. Also, you will meet a whole lot of people during the process of setting up – a few encouraging and a few who might downplay your ideas! Simple solution – DO NOT GIVE UP. Take bad reviews with positivity and see how you can solve them, but if you feel you were not at fault – there’s always that recycle bin! At the end of day make sure you stick to your plan, focus and remember it’s not always about reaching your destination… don’t forget to enjoy the journey!

 I would be extremely happy if people would like join us or give us any advice. Those interested could directly send me a mail to sudhir@worldserve.in, visit our website – www.worldserve.in or find latest information on our programs on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/WorldServe-Education/188151774563301?sk=infoon

Article edited by Michael Gough, Assistant Editor, GOLDRush

 

 

“Afro-tech-girls” Breaking down traditional barriers

Today, we have the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Adeola Shasanya from Lagos, Nigeria. Adeola is currently an Electrical Engineering and Renewable Consultant with the Lagos State Electricity Board. She has worked tirelessly with young girls throughout Lagos State and surrounds to raise awareness and promote STEM careers through the organisation, “Afro-Tech Girls”.

Adeola Shasanya (left) and Morenike Johnson (Afro-Tech Girl Founders)

Adeola Shasanya (left) and Morenike Johnson (Afro-Tech Girl Founders)

1. Tell us a little about yourself and your work history, particularly focusing around the current energy industry and challenges faced in Nigeria.

I was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria and have always had a keen interest in the sciences and technology. As a child I gravitated toward activities that had “STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics” at its core, such as puzzles, jigsaws and Lego. Even my cartoons of choice were technology themed; ‘Dexter’s Laboratory’ being my favourite. Having that inclination from an early age, studying Engineering was the natural progression for me. I have a Bachelor Degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and a Masters in Renewable Energy and Clean Technology from the University of Manchester.

On-site during an energy audit exercise at a Lagos State School

On-site during an energy audit exercise at a Lagos State School

My work experience to date has been quite diverse within the engineering field. I have worked in construction, technology consulting and energy research which has enabled me to gain a multi-facet view of the industry.

At present I work within the Lagos State Electricity Board. I have been privileged to work on various projects in my time there, focusing primarily on the Lagos Solar Project. This project provides state owned schools and health centres with solar plants as an alternative source of energy. This project was set up to relieve the supply from the national grid, creating more power to consumers.

2.  How did you get involved with the IEEE or hear about the IEEE and what benefits has this had on your career?

I first became involved with the IEEE during my undergraduate degree at Covenant University, Ogun State, Nigeria, being a key member of the student chapter. Being a part of the IEEE has impacted me greatly, enabling me to draw on the skills and values I have gained not only in my studies, but also in my work. It has helped me in my research of ‘smart grids’ and renewable energy during my dissertation. During my postgraduate studies I had the pleasure of meeting other IEEE students and professionals through various chapter meetings. This provided me with the opportunity to network with like-minded professionals and call on support for advice.

3. The IEEE is thrilled to see your detailed work engaging particularly females to take up STEM careers. Could you please highlight the challenges you have identified that young females have experienced and what you believe can be done to make STEM careers more inclusive?

Growing up, engineering was always perceived to be a ‘male dominated’ field. The struggle, however, lies in difficulties and challenges facing young women trying to break into industry. Luckily, I was raised around women in my family that had done well in STEM industries despite the various barriers imposed in their time.

In my short career, I have observed numerous challenges to women in STEM careers.

Namely, one of these is the concept of ‘tokenism’. A lot of the time, entire teams or departments will have only one token woman, or just one female representation at senior management level. This often results to a feeling of isolation and a hostile working environment; a direct result of a lack of mentoring. The lack of female representation in the STEM field has meant that many in the coming generations will have no direct pathway on how to achieve their career goals and no one accessible to turn to for such guidance.

Pic3

To make STEM careers more inclusive, I believe the battle begins in the classroom from the ages as early as five and six. Girls and boys should be given equal encouragement and equal opportunities to take up STEM subjects.

More scholarships and funding of extra-curricular programs and workshops should be made available to encourage female participation. I would love to see such initiatives included on the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) programmes of leading firms. I also believe one on one mentoring programs with women in STEM would go a long way to seeing the playing field become more even. This way, girls will have direct access to first-hand information of what it takes to work in the industry and they can better equip themselves for a successful career.


4. You and your colleagues have tirelessly worked with the setup of the Afro-Tech Girls non-governmental organisation over the last couple of years. Could you please outline what initiatives this group does and perhaps what programs and events the group undertakes.

‘Afro-tech Girls’ was created to inspire young girls to become interested in STEM through creativity, art and innovation.  We have had various “meet and greet” sessions with some of the Lagos State schools. This was undertaken to gain an insight on how girls see women in technology and also to build a longstanding and meaningful relationship with the girls that we meet.

Earlier this year, we ran a competition called ‘Sciletes’ for senior secondary school girls from various schools across Lagos State. The competition was a quiz based on math, physics, chemistry and biology.  Our findings showed that the Lagos state school system provided a genuine pool of intelligent and talented young girls, who with the proper motivation and guidance could develop into valuable contributors within the STEM industry.

We are currently working on a logo competition where girls can design the Afro-Tech girl logo from what they feel a woman in STEM should be like. Later this year, we are planning a full career day which will involve key notes by accomplished women in STEM as well engaging practical exercises.

Pic45. What advice can you provide to IEEE Young Professionals seeking to make their mark in the world of engineering and technology?

I have always believed that anyone can do anything with the right mental attitude and given the necessary tools and opportunities. I would tell any young lady seeking to build a career in engineering and technology, or in fact anyone who enquires, that hard work and drive cannot be compromised.  Focus on your abilities and the opportunities around you, and maximise those rather than looking at what seemingly limits you. Be ever learning and improving. Prepare for opportunities through self-education. There is too much free information through the wonder of the internet to stay uninformed. I would say find a mentor. It doesn’t have to be someone you have access to. It can be a well known public figure, or a CEO, or even a woman you discovered on Linkedin. But it should be someone you can relate to and who is a good example so that you can study their journey.

Do not be limited by anything. The way to overcome fears and limitations is to attempt, so always have a ‘go for it’ attitude. The worst you can be told is no. But rest assured the more you attempt, the better you’re getting and the more you increase your capacity and ability.  And finally, never get discouraged. You may encounter lots of trials and knock backs along the way, but gear yourself not to quit and to be in it for the long haul.

The Afro-Tech Girls Team

The Afro-Tech Girls Team

For more information on Adeola’s work with ‘Afro-Tech Girls’ please like their Facebook page at; https://www.facebook.com/afrotechgirls

Article edited by Michael Gough, Assistant Editor, GOLDRush 

Getting SOCIAL with Muhammad Rabeet Sagri

Who is Muhammad Rabeet Sagri?

Muhammad is Young Professionals Chair of Karachi Section and a software engineer at Wavetec.

Mr Muhammad Rabeet Sagri

Mr Muhammad Rabeet Sagri

Suggestion – Do you have any suggestions for the IEEE? 

IEEE Educational Activities Board (EAB) is undertaking really exciting projects such as EPICS-In-IEEE, TISP, SIGHT and many more. Yet, most of the IEEE humanitarian activities and its services are executed at Section level. My suggestion is to let the IEEE Student Branches and High Schools (Pre-University) experience the humanitarian challenges more closely and encourage them to participate by providing possible solutions for these challenges. These projects will not only help the students to get involved in humanitarian activities but also become aware of the challenges faced by our local community.

Opinion – Provide an opinion on any IEEE related topic. 

In my opinion, IEEE doesn’t emphasize career development and leadership building sufficiently amongst the membership. As a results of that, IEEE faces a challenge in retaining IEEE Student membership upon graduation. IEEE should focus on developing IEEE Young Professionals, providing services such as career counseling, assisting in getting the right job, conducting more leadership and entrepreneurship workshops etc. These activities help not only to retain IEEE Student members but will provide IEEE members opportunities  to pursue a successful career.

Concern – Express a major concern related to IEEE 

I have a concern that apart from the interaction within the IEEE Section, IEEE is not providing any local benefits to its members which could be materialized. All benefits provided by IEEE are in electronic form, which cannot provide much value to its members in the local area.

Idea – Do you have any great idea for the IEEE? 

IEEE could consider providing some local benefits to its members. This idea emerged from one of the active IEEE student members. The idea of providing local benefits is to provide value to its members. I started working on this idea (named as ‘IEEE Local Benefits’ project) at the platform of IEEE YP Karachi, in which we have corporate partners in the local area joining to provide benefits to our IEEE Karachi Section members, such as discounts on travel and food. This is just an idea to value our IEEE members and this idea can be reflected in other IEEE Sections also.

Advice – What advice can you provide to IEEE or IEEE members? 

IEEE Sections and IEEE Young Professionals groups should provide a platform in bridging the IEEE student branches with corporate organizations. This bridge can be developed in several ways; organizing various study and field trips by students to different companies, arranging tech-talks of professionals at IEEE student branches where they can share their experiences with students and train them, conducting job hunting and other activities that can make the universities interact with the organizations etc. These activities will successfully create a better industry–academia relationship.

Lesson – Describe a lesson you have learnt as a result of the IEEE 

IEEE is always providing me life changing experiences. After joining the IEEE, I was able to interact with other IEEE student branch members. I started sharing ideas, building a great ‘technology’ network with the people having the same passion, striving towards the same goal. IEEE is always helpful when building my professional network. I started making friends within the IEEE Karachi Section and now I have IEEE friends from all over the IEEE Region 10 (Asia Pacific). Thank you IEEE for helping me out in growing my network with professional executives of corporate organizations.

Article edited by Nadee Seneviratne, Junior Assistant Editor, GOLDRush 

Getting SOCIAL with Kavinga Ekanayake

Who is Kavinga Ekanayake?

Kavinga Ekanayake is the Chair of the Sri Lanka Young Professionals Affinity Group and a research assistant at University of Moratuwa.

Kavinga

 

Suggestion – Do you have any suggestions for the IEEE? 

IEEE is a great platform to utilize the skills of bright minds across the world for the betterment of humanity. However, due to lack of awareness, I feel that sometimes these brilliant skills of IEEE volunteers are not fully optimized. If IEEE can devise an effective plan to create awareness about the vast number of opportunities available in the career path from the student branch member level to the IEEE President, both parties will benefit through increased motivation towards IEEE and optimal contribution attracted from the skilled volunteers, while helping their professional development.

Opinion – Provide an opinion on any IEEE related topic. 

IEEE is currently more focused on academia, whereas organizations like IET have more industrial relations. IEEE should focus more on getting the industrial personnel involved to their activities and committees. People should be able to use IEEE as a great platform to bridge the gap between industry and academia which are a bit more separated at the moment, especially in region 10. Academic researches should reach the public through industry in order to advance humanity through technology.

Concern – Express a major concern related to IEEE 

Huge percentage of student members and volunteers of IEEE are not retaining their membership after the graduation and this is a major concern. IEEE should concentrate more on this issue through the entities like Young Professionals groups to retain the members and volunteers with a clear motivation. IEEE Young Professionals is a great platform to bridge the gap between student members and sectional level.

Idea – Do you have any great idea for the IEEE 

Media can play a major role in shaping attitudes of people in any part of the world. I suggest that IEEE should invest more time into IEEE TV and bring it to the level of a satellite channel to reach out to every corner of the world, capturing a wider audience. Investments could be obtained from industrial partnerships, especially from Multinational organizations, allowing their brand to be promoted through this. It will showcase the all the IEEE activities, adding more value to IEEE and volunteers and members could easily learn from each other improving effectiveness of all IEEE activities.

Advice – What advice can you provide to IEEE or IEEE members? 

All IEEE members should try to hold an effective volunteer position as long as they can. IEEE is the greatest platform to develop interpersonal skills such as leadership, management etc. through volunteering. It’s a rare opportunity to create local as well as international connections with a community of higher caliber. Sharing experiences among the people of different regions will help to make the world a much better place to the humanity.

Kavinga 2

Lesson – Describe a lesson you have learnt as a result of the IEEE 

I was attracted to IEEE because of its tagline – “Advancing technology for Humanity”. It helps me to use my skills towards the betterment of humanity, which has been my very own ambition since childhood. I was lagging behind in leadership and public communication skills in earlier days. IEEE helped me a lot to improve leadership  and communication skills through a variety of volunteer positions. One of the greatest aspects is the opportunity to create an international network of friends. I learnt how to deal with different people and different situations. I owe all of this to the IEEE since it has unveiled my true potential.

What is SOCIAL?

Suggestion, Opinion, Concern, Idea, Advice, Lesson (SOCIAL) is a new initiative of the IEEE GOLDRush publication team to connect with Young Professional volunteers world-wide. The SOCIAL questionnaire provides members with a “voice” that can be shared with our entire membership by answering a few simple questions.

Article edited by Nadee Seneviratne, Junior Assistant Editor, GOLDRush 

An IEEE beacon of light in Iraq

Today’s story is a very sad one, but also one filled with a sense of pride and hope. The once beautiful country of Iraq has experienced much hardship in recent times, going from one conflict to another. Following the withdraws of foreign troops in 2011, the country has plunged into unrest which has led to deep division. With the current difficulties in Iraq, we have had the pleasure of speaking with one of the beacons of hope, a dedicated IEEE volunteer, Saad Jasim, the IEEE Young Professional Chair of Iraq. Saad and his IEEE volunteers see no division and no barriers in educating others, even in the hardest of times. Currently there are over 3 million displaced people in Iraq as a result of the attack of terrorism forces (ISIS), amongst them many IEEE members and their loved ones. These families are distributed in many cities and the IEEE Iraq Section is continuously visiting these families to offer them any kind of support possible.

Dr. Sattar with student and local volunteers

Dr. Sattar with student and local volunteers

An overview of IEEE Young Professional activity in Iraq

IEEE has been in operation in Iraq since 2008 and since then has taken major steps in expanded IEEE offerings from conferences, workshops, specific lessons, and many social activities. This has been highly beneficial to the entire Iraqi society and in particular to educational bodies such as universities and colleges. The IEEE Iraqi volunteers support the educational bodies by introducing the core values and objectives of the IEEE and the scientific activities which assist in promoting the engineering profession. Iraq has 18 cities and many rural regions which are not easy to access. As such, a major effort is required to distribute the activities throughout the country. The dedication of the IEEE volunteers has made this possible. The IEEE in Iraq have an active Communication and Computer society as well as enthusiastic YP and WIE affinity groups.  Since 2012, the IEEE Young Professionals of Iraq have run many valuable events supported in many instances financially by volunteers in times of hardship. Some of their activities are listed below:

  • Social gatherings to introduce the vast interests of IEEE to students, professionals and communities
  • Lessons on wireless communications (2G,3G and evolution of 4G) for many companies.
  • Robotic lessons supported by professional experts
  • IEEE day celebrations on an annual basis with other volunteers and share it with non-members like children.
  • Dinner meetings and discussing for future direction
  • Management of IEEE Iraq section elections

In the words of Saad Jasim

Before the ISIS conflicts, the education in Iraq was normal but the internal conflicts heavily impeded on the progress of education. For example the road between Baghdad and the northern cities has been extremely dangerous, preventing students from travelling freely. As a result of the country status, permission for thousands of students to complete higher education outside of the country was given and this has complicated the lives for the families due to displacements, cost of living and education is high and the economy and salaries not sufficient. I can say that in Iraq we have the ability to live through the hardest of times because hard times such as this turn your heart to “iron”.

Dr. Sattar encouraging students to think positively

Dr. Sattar encouraging students to think positively

 

When ISIS occupied some cities of Iraq and applied their rules on the citizens there, the link with the central education system was destroyed. ISIS authorities insisted in radically altering the teaching methodology and content for primary and secondary schools because of their views and objections on existing techniques. The Iraqi students in these regions have become extremely confused and the current situation does not support them in their learning requirements. Many of these students have lost family members, their homes and their freedom.  Their history and their future being destroyed in front of their eyes. It is the most dearest wish of all of the IEEE Young Professionals and ordinary citizens that we live in peace and prosperity.

Dr. Sattar helping students

Dr. Sattar helping students

 

Lastly, I would like to share the details of a small IEEE event during the times of conflict. Dr. Sattar, an active IEEE member, recently visited one of schools that is assigned for displaced students from Mosul, Anbar and Tal’afer in (Babil City – Zuhair School). He spent much of his day listening to their hardship, educating them and providing them with words of inspiration that this will all pass and that they have a bright future ahead of the.  “They are our little angles, and all of our wishes are directed at providing them with shelter and security. To give them the happiness and so that they can go back to their homes which they see only in dreams.” says Dr. Sattar.

Last words

“I do apologise that I can not share any more with your readers and that we are not able to document every effort to help others. Please accept this simple report as a means of telling our fellow IEEE members that we are experiencing difficulties and that your support means the world to us. I am sure I’ll be in touch with you in the future since we are all part of the greater IEEE family” says Saad Jasim.

“I have visited many places in and around Babylon offering any assistance I areas between. In all these areas, we have thousands of families who have been expelled or left in fear their homes in northern and western Iraq. The Iraq section has attempted to visit these areas on a regular basis to provide a good picture about the status of these families. We have also made big efforts to visit schools as the pictures show. The last IEEE day was solely dedicated to all the students who are displaced from their homes.  Many of our IEEE Iraq Section members and their families have been collecting “financial support” to help these students. This is our “Social and Human ” responsibility as IEEE members inside our country.” says Dr. Sattar.

Dr. Sattar with future IEEE engineers

Dr. Sattar with future IEEE engineers

Article contributed by Saad Jasim, Chair of the Iraqi IEEE Young Professionals in correspondence with Dr. Eddie Custovic, GOLDRush Editor-in-Chief 

Professional Awareness Conference: Smart Cities

“Smart Cities” is a buzz phrase that is often heard, so it makes sense that IEEE Young Professionals are engaged at the core of this theme. Today’s report comes from Nigeria, where the Young Professionals and Students have put together a two day awareness conference in Nigeria themed around Smart Cities on the 19th and 20th of March 2015.

Smart Cities utilise readily available and emerging digital technologies to improve  performance and wellbeing, to reduce costs and resource consumption, and to engage more effectively and actively with its citizens. There is a myriad of  ‘smart’ sectors which include energy, transport, health care, waste management, water. 

The conference was made of up of exciting technological exhibitions and keynote presentations. Day one featured exhibitions from special guests Prof. M. O Omoigui and representatives from the Great FM Radio Station, Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) and EEESS Officials.

A total of 17 project were showcased, including; Yellow foot – a piezo electrically powered smart shoe for the blind, Artifind – an application to help visitors to a city where art can be viewed, Voissapp – an application designed to network students and teachers within the campus, Security systems for home appliances and many others.

Day two featured industry guest speakers and exhibitors including; Mr. Adeyinka Aderombi (Konga.com), Mr. Ifeayin Odoh (Schneider Electric), Mr. Samuel Enoch-Oghene (TAHMO), Mr. Oloma Ibrahim (Center4tech), Mr. Richards Boyewa (Sanwo), Mr. Femi Omoniyi  (Topupextra) and Mr. Harry Enahoro (Mettalloids).

Students and Young Professionals at the Smart Cities Conference

Students and Young Professionals at the Smart Cities Conference

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few key highlights include the presentation/demonstrations from Mr. Aderombi who highlighted the importance of e-commerce and smart cities, Mr. Boyewa Richards who demonstrated “Sanwo.me” an offline payment system and Mr. Odoh from Schneider Electric who presented on innovations in Smart Grid Networks.

TopUpExtra – TopUpExtra is a web and mobile application that avails you the opportunity to recharge your mobile phone with vouchers accessed via a very intuitive, simple to use and innovative system to make the process seamless. Mr Enoch Enoch-Oghene from TAHMO examined Green Energy and Renewables for Smart Cities while Mr Oloma Ibrahim from Center4tech delved into the Transportation and Environmental Health.

Over 200 students, staff and industry personnel attended the two day event. The organisers, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) hope that this event will serve as a platform for students and Young Professionals of Nigeria to consider how they can make their city a smarter city. 

Article contributed by Tobi Taiwo, IEEE OAUSB Chair  and Abdullateef Aliyu, Chair of the Nigerian IEEE Young Professionals

IEEE Adventures in Croatia

Today’s story comes to us from a small country situated on the beautiful Adriatic Coast, Croatia. While this may be one of the smaller sections in the IEEE world, it is very passionate with volunteers who strive for perfection. On another note, you may recall that Nikola Tesla, arguably the world’s greatest thinker was also born in Croatia.

IEEE Day 2014, annual Croatian Student Branch and Young Professionals Congress

IEEE Day 2014, annual Croatian Student Branch and Young Professionals Congress

As IEEE Young Professionals Croatia team is preparing to host the Central European Student and Young Professionals Congress (IEEE CEuSYP), organized together with Student Branch Zagreb University, they are taking a moment to reflect on 2014 which was a huge success for the group.

In 2014 the IEEE Young Professionals Croatia Affinity Group organized four events as part of IEEE Elevate, a program that was initiated in 2013 as a series of lectures gathering young engineers, students, professionals and scientists. It was started by Young Professionals Croatia with the intention to instigate networking between young enthusiasts and visionaries in the ambiance of attractive innovation and emerging technology lectures. They have hosted seven such events to date and brought together a mixture of technology, entrepreneurship and networking. Topics of recent Elevate events include: electronic money, online games industry, fusion of art and science, developing software for space industry, etc.

Step event - Career skills

Step event – Career skills

Furthermore, the YP Croatia group organised and hosted a STEP event in October. Fran Mikulicic (MBA, Vanderbilt University), one of the best public speech coaches in the region, presented on the art of public speaking, job hunting, verbal persuasion and business negotiations – skills crucial for career development. The event was intended to raise the awareness of attendees on the important of self-presentation for their future career. They were expected to learn how to get rid of the usual jitters when standing in front of the audience, focus on the participants, their attention, needs and expectation, how to accomplish the individual communication approach with each one of them and finally achieve best possible outcomes.

One of the year’s highlight was the celebration of the IEEE Day in the form of an annual Croatian Student Branch and Young Professionals Congress. Last year, 4th in a row, it was held in the city of Rijeka, Croatia, on 4-5th of October, hosted by the University of Rijeka student branch in cooperation with IEEE Croatia Section and Young Professionals Croatia. The event was attended by 25 representatives from all Croatian student branches. The program focus was based around workshops on  technical and administrative nature, presentations about organized activities, and lots of team building. The congress enabled exchange of ideas, knowledge transfer to the new volunteers, and finally, enabling the students’ transition to active Young Professionals volunteers.

Meeting with Region 8 Young Professionals Subcommittee

Meeting with Region 8 Young Professionals Subcommittee

The year was rounded up with the Region 8 Young Professionals Subcommittee meeting that took place in Zagreb, Croatia on December 13-14, 2015. The Young Professionals Croatia Affinity Group officials had the chance to participate in the meeting by contributing to the preparation of the SYP Congress Organization Manual with their experience from previous congress attendances and filed application for organization of SYP Congress in 2014. During the meeting, the Outstanding Volunteer Award was given to Young Professionals Croatia Affinity Group Vice-Chair Ivana Stupar.

If you would like to find out more check out the Young Professionals Croatia activities at www.ieee.hr/ieeesection/yp and www.facebook.com/IEEEYPCroatia, and meet them at the Central European Student and Young Professionals Congress in Zagreb, on May 8-10, 2015. To find out more about the Congress please visit http://www.ceusyp2015.org/

Central European Student and Young Professionals Congress, Zagreb, May 8-10 2015

Central European Student and Young Professionals Congress,
Zagreb, May 8-10 2015

The editorial team thanks the Croatian Young Professionals and wish them the best of luck in 2015.

Article contributed by Vinko Lesic, Young Professionals Chair of Croatia.

Building extended professional networks through the YP of Germany

Professional and social networking is one of the most important tasks in the early career of an engineer. Therefore, the IEEE Young Professionals Affinity Group of Germany provides numerous networking opportunities for its members. Getting in contact with peers from your field across the globe is most relevant, and IEEE can provide this better than most professional organisations. Two major pillars of networking opportunities have been identified:

Conference Event (Power and Energy Student Summit 2015 in Dortmund)

Conference Event (Power and Energy Student Summit 2015 in Dortmund)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Young Professionals Metropolitan Area Groups (MAG) – There is no better way of communicating than doing it face-to-face. The Young Professionals Metropolitan Area Groups provide an excellent opportunity to get in touch with other engineers from your area. Workshops, Company Visits, Q&A-sessions with senior experts or simply meeting up in a pub to help broaden one’s personal and professional horizon. Three MAGs have been organised so far (Munich, Berlin, Rhine-Ruhr) with more to come.
  2. Young Professionals Conference Events -Joining a technical conference as a young professional sometimes feels like being merely tolerated and a little overwhelming at times. Young Professionals Conference Events provide a great opportunity to get in touch with those that share the same fate. Here, substantial conversation can easily be achieved with a much greater depth than the occasional small talk in the conference hallways. Interesting workshops, guided city tours and dinner events provide an adequate setting. Many of these events in different conference fields have been held during the last two years in Germany, which certainly will be continued because of a lot of encouraging feedback.
YP Germany Team from left to right - Sebastian Sichelschmidt, Ana Cigaran Romeroc, Arne Redl

YP Germany Team from left to right – Sebastian Sichelschmidt, Ana Cigaran Romeroc, Arne Redl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article contributed by Sebastian Sichelschmidt, Young Professionals Chair of Germany.

A word from Young Professionals of Poland

The Young Professionals of Poland had a very successful 2014 which they hope will be the backbone of another big year ahead.

Opening Ceremony

Opening Ceremony

The affinity group was responsible for organising the IEEE Region 8 Student & Young Professional Congress which was held in Krakow from 6th – 10th of August 2014. The participants of the congress were students, graduate students and young professionals from universities of Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

 

The aim of the Congress was to exchange ideas and experiences among young scientists representing broad fields of science related to electronics and electrical engineering, establishing international cooperation between young engineers, as well as to help students in choosing a career path.”  says Jacek Kołodziej, the YP Chair of Poland.

Key presenters and topics:

  • Zbigniew  Kąkol  –  Vice-­‐Rector  AGH  -­‐  University  of  Science  and  Technology
  • Jacek  Guliński  –  Under-­‐Secretary  of  State  at  the  Ministry  of  Science  and  Higher  Education  − Andrzej  Jajszczyk  -­‐  Director  of  the  National  Science  Centre
  • Leszek  Grabarczyk  –  Deputy  Director  of  the  National  Centre  for  Research  and  Development
  • Martin  Bastiaans  –  IEEE  Region  8  Director  − Ryszard  Jachowicz  -­‐  IEEE  Poland  Section  Chair
  • Rafal  Sliz  –  Region  8  Young  Professionals  Coordinator
  • Pablo  Herrero –  Vice-­‐Chair,  Student  Activities  (OpCom)
One of many workshops

One of many workshops

The  official  launch  of  the  Congress  took  place  at  the  Wawel  Castle  courtyard.  The  Opening Ceremony  gathered  Congress  participants  including  IEEE  authorities,  local  government  officials  and  invited  guests.

Plenary  sessions  formed the core focus of  the  Congress.  They  were  conducted  by  IEEE  representatives  and  focused  on  topics  of  students  and  young  scientists  and  their  role  in  the  organization  of  the  IEEE,  career  opportunities,  successes  and  future  in  IEEE.  Discussion  panels  were  held  along  with  sessions  including  president  elect  debate.

Interaction with Industry

Interaction with Industry

Organizing of such a congress was a great challenge, mainly logistically, but thanks to the passion and drive of local Students and YP’s,  this meeting as a huge success. This event had a significant impact of the support for the scientific, educational, and professional activities of IEEE organization and spreading of its ideas.

 

Article contributed by Jacek Kołodziej, the YP Chair of Poland.

There is somethIEEEng about Norway

A recently established IEEE Young Professionals affinity group in Norway is the focus of today’s article. The group quickly set out some goals to create awareness about its purposes and activities between IEEE members and non-members. In order to achieve that, a STEP event titled “Opportunities for Young Professionals in IEEE” which took place on October 7th in Trondheim at NTNU, the main university for higher education in engineering and technology in Norway.

IEEE Day in Norway

IEEE Day in Norway

The event tried to answer the following questions:

  • Who is considered a Young Professional in IEEE?
  • What exactly is this Young Professional Affinity Group about?
  • Why should I be active in IEEE as a Young Professional?
  • How do I get involved?

Mixing short informative presentations with group activities, it was possible to show to the 31 participants (17 IEEE members and 14 non-members) that there are myriad of opportunities within the IEEE to assist with evaluation of their career goals, polishing their professional image, and creating the building blocks of a lifelong and diverse professional network.

Human IEEE

Human IEEE

In addition, IEEE Day was also celebrated. The main teamwork activity challenged participants to take pictures that best represent the theme of IEEE Day 2014: “Leveraging Technology for a Better Tomorrow”. All groups were extremely creative and the cooperative work produced high quality pictures. Afterwards, it was a hard job for the organization the selection of just a few pictures to be posted in the IEEE Day photo contest.

IEEE Human Jack

IEEE Human Jack

All in all, the event was very successful in its main goal. The evaluations have shown that most of participants were not aware of IEEE programs and tools of special interest to YPs, such as ResumeLab, MentorCentre, E-learning tools, and some of the community and humanitarian activities. Moreover, some of participants became new members and others volunteered to contribute with the AG activities and to promote IEEE in their network.

News contributed by Erick Alves, Chair – IEEE Young Professionals, Norway