Happy New Year, we have re-branded and moved!

Dear IEEE Young Professionals,

Happy New Year!

2015 was a record breaking year for the IEEE Young Professionals publication and I would like to thank you all for all of your contributions. In 2015 we officially re-branded our publication from GOLDRush to IMPACT by IEEE Young Professionals.


The official IMPACT by IEEE Young Professionals logo

In 2015 we published over 70 unique articles and we grew our reach via social media to beyond 11,000 followers. We received over 100,000 individual views and more than 5,000 comments/likes through our social media. We covered stories based on geographic location to highlight wonderful work our young professional members are undertaking in their respective sections. We covered IEEE volunteers involved in major global events such as the earthquakes in Nepal and the war in Iraq. Our editors interviewed world experts and provided tech reviews of cutting edge research and development. We profiled over a dozen IEEE members who have made big impact through their volunteer and leadership.

Listed below are a few of our high impact articles.





2016 and beyond

In 2016 we commence a new chapter in our publication evolution. We have officially incorporated the IMPACT by IEEE Young Professional publication into the brand new IEEE Young Professionals website. From now on you will be able to read all the wonderful stories through http://yp.ieee.org/impact/ 

You will also be able to follow our publications through the official Young Professional facebook page www.facebook.com/ieeeyp

Want to become and editor or contributor?

We are actively seeking editors and contributors. To become an editor you must be highly proficient in the English language with writing, editing and proofreading experience being highly desirable skills. Contributors of articles are welcome with all levels of English as our editors will strive to assist you in getting the article publication ready. To become an editor or active contributors please email Eddie Custovic.




Eddie Custovic

Editor-in-Chief, IMPACT by IEEE Young Professionals 

Email: e.custovic@ieee.org

YP Member Spotlight – Anthony Deese

IEEE PES Young Professionals is an international community of enthusiastic, dynamic, and innovative members and volunteers. A spotlight on selected PES YP members is provided here to provide insight into this great community. These members provide unique insight into their education, career goals and progression, and personal lives.


Anthony please tell us about yourself 

I am currently an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The College of New Jersey as well as director of the NSF-funded Smart Electric Power System (SEPS) Laboratory.  I teach a number of courses on power system analysis, power electronics, electronics, circuits and systems, as well as differential equations.  My research areas include field-programmable analog array (FPAA) technology, artificial neural networks, measurement-based load modeling, demand response, and state estimation in distribution systems.  Much of my work examines applications to power system planning and operation.  I completed both my undergraduate and graduate work at Drexel University, working on my doctorate as a research assistant within the Center for Electric Power Engineering (CEPE) under advisors Dr. Chika Nwankpa, Ph.D. and Dr. Karen Miu, Ph.D.  I am a member of the IEEE Power and Energy Society as well as IEEE IEEE Young Professionals Committee.  My hobbies include running as well as playing piano and guitar.  Please refer to my website: www.anthonydeese.com for further information.

Dr. Deese with students during a hydroelectric power plant visit

Dr. Deese with students during a hydroelectric power plant visit

What professional achievements are you most proud of?

I am very happy that I have had the opportunity to establish a power engineering laboratory at The College of New Jersey.  Not many undergraduate institutions have a facility like SEPS.  It has been a great asset in both teaching and research.  I look forward to further expanding the capability of the laboratory in coming years.

What were your early career goals (first 10 years in industry)? Which have you accomplished? How did you plan/execute these goals?

My early career goals included acquiring a tenure-track faculty position at a highly-regarded institution of higher learning as well as starting my own laboratory.  I have been able to achieve these goals through hard work and the assistance of many colleagues from Drexel University, The College of New Jersey, and the IEEE.  I cannot overstate the importance of IEEE and PES involvement; the resources it provides are invaluable to young electrical engineers.


What are you career goals moving forward?

One of my primary career goals moving forward is the acquisition of additional research funds that 1) allow more undergraduate students to participate in research and 2) provide students and faculty at TCNJ with more robust power engineering research and educational facilities.  I am also interested in learning more about the utilization of artificial neural networks and machine learning in power system planning and operation.  I hope to include these topics in both my future teaching and research.

How are you involved in PES?

I serve on the IEEE PES Young Professionals Committee.  Additionally, I have attended the IEEE PES General Meeting every year for the past 5 – 7 years.  It is a great opportunity to present work, learn about emerging topics in the field of power engineering, and connect with others in the power community.

Do you have any advice for Young Professionals getting involved in PES?

First, I would advise YP members to learn about and take advantages of all the opportunities the IEEE provides.  There many sources of scholarship, travel funding, and job placement assistance that go under-used.  Subscribe to IEEE Spectrum as well as IEEE Power and Energy Magazine, and make time to read them monthly.  The IEEE uses these publications to communicate with its membership and inform them of new and exciting opportunities.  Second, I would advise YP members to always maintain a five-year career plan, formal or informal.  It is important for young engineers to ask themselves important questions regarding: 1) technical areas to focus on, 2) interest in graduate education, 3) desire to work in academia vs. industry, as well as 4) expectations for income and lifestyle.  I have always maintained an informal five-year plan.  And, although it’s constantly changing, this vision for the future encourages me to devote some time to career development in spite of more pressing / immediate tasks.


You have been in the power industry for approximately ten years, what was the biggest challenge you faced in your career? How did you deal with this challenge?

The biggest challenge I have faced in my career is learning how to turn negatives into positives.  Almost everyone faces setbacks in their career.  However, it is important to realize that these setbacks are invaluable learning experiences essential to self-improvement and long-term career success.

In your experiences, how important has/is continuing education to career advancement and personal development?

No one succeeds in their chosen profession without devoting time to continued education and personal development.  This education may take place in the university classroom, research laboratory, or corporate / industrial environment.  However, it is essential that professionals look ahead and obtain the skills that will be needed in the future, especially in a fast-changing technical field like engineering.

What advice do you have for newly graduated power engineers?

I strongly believe that you (aka. the recent graduate) have chosen the right field to enter at the right time.  I suggest that you use the early years of your career to gain as much experience and as many skills as possible.  They will pay high dividends in the future.

Profile was provided by the Young Professionals of Power & Energy Society (PES)

Life on Oil and Gas rigs: An IEEE insider view

Today we bring you an exciting inside view of what it is like to be an engineer on oil and gas rigs. We interview Loai Khalayli an active IEEE member who provides us with detailed information about his life and how he ended up working in this exciting industry.

Woodside Petroleum gas find off Australia's west coast.

Woodside Petroleum gas find off Australia’s west coast. Image courtesy: Couriermail

1.       Loai Please tell us a little about yourself?


I was born in a little town called Al Ain, in the United Arab Emirates. Having spent the majority of my life (22 years) in the UAE, I completed all my schooling, and my bachelor degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering at the American University of Sharjah (AUS). After that, I decided to cross the Indian ocean and went to Melbourne University for a master degree in Mechatronics Engineering.


2.       What prompted you to move to Australia?


Australia is a beautiful country: its nature, people, lifestyle, standard of living, culture (or multi-culture) are unique. When I got my offer to study in Melbourne, at Australia’s top university, I couldn’t reject it, and decided it was time to move to another part of the world.

Loai receives award - HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashed Al Maktoum in Dubai

Loai receives award – HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashed Al Maktoum in Dubai


3.       Please tell us about your involvement with the IEEE? 


Without exaggeration, the IEEE has shaped my life. It all started when I was a freshman student exploring student clubs at a club fair at AUS. I joined the “sub-committee” as a volunteer for the IEEE student branch. It wasn’t long before I realized that I had joined one of the most important technical organizations in the world. We were organising international conferences, technical workshops with major companies, social events, and lots of other great events. The hard work immediately paid off with the networking opportunities and the lifelong friends I made from companies and universities around the world. It was one thing that brought us altogether – our passion for IEEE.


Two semesters after my join date, I was offered the opportunity to join the team for a partially sponsored study tour to France. That was a one-of-a-kind experience: a highlight of that trip was a visit to the Airbus manufacturing facility in Toulouse, at which we saw the A380 being assembled. The most impressive aspect of the study tour was that it was completely organized by students for students.

Loai, the rig and nothing but ocean as far as the eye can see

Loai, the rig and nothing but ocean as far as the eye can see

Over the next years, I held different positions in the committees of IEEE student branches at AUS and University of Melbourne. Over the course of 6 years volunteering for the IEEE, I was exposed to many different projects which developed my professionalism. It provided me with a wide spectrum of skills: technical (from conferences, publications, etc.), and organizational/leadership/social skills (from our committee projects). Most importantly, it exposed me to difficult situations, and taught me how to deal with people, as well manage my time as I juggled volunteering around my studies and part-time work. 


Another notable experience I’ve had with the IEEE is when my undergraduate senior project won the second prize in the IEEE Myron Zucker Student Design Competition. As a result, my team and I were flown to Las Vegas, Nevada to present our project at the IEEE Industry Application Society AGM. People from all around the world were present to showcase their work.


4.       You were recently employed by Woodside Petroleum. Please tell us about your journey of employment.


I started working with Woodside in February 2015 (not long ago!). So far, it has been a very rewarding journey. Working in this sector requires a very strong focus on safety – a requirement for all employees travelling to offshore platforms is the completion of the TBOSIET, which stands for Tropical (water) Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training. This entails fire-fighting, escaping a smoke-filled room (with zero visibility), escaping an upside down submerged helicopter, survival at sea, first-aid and lots of other aspects. It can be a bit daunting at first, but then once the safety culture is built into your mind, you can never think differently – the first thing you would do at arrival to any place (even if it’s a cinema, or a hotel) is identify emergency exits and map your escape routes.


Another part of the job that I have enjoyed learning is specialised knowledge in hazardous areas (all our electrical devices must be explosion-proof). Woodside provides its graduates many opportunities to learn on-the-job, while allowing graduates to be creative in solving the toughest problems! It has been very challenging to learn about hazardous areas, while being presented with non-conventional problems. I feel like I’m breaking new boundaries every single day.


5.       Woodside is the largest operator of Oil & Gas in Australia. Tell us about some of the major projects you have been involved in?


Currently, I’m working on the North West Shelf Project, Australia’s largest resource development project. Specifically, I am working on the offshore gas processing platforms. These platforms are some of the largest in the world in size and gas processing capacity. Visiting the sites is not an ordinary visit – many of our projects have held or hold world records.

Northwest Shelf - Australia

Northwest Shelf – Australia

Being part of the frontline engineering team that keeps the plant up and running is a very interesting experience. The plant runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and if a fault occurs, it needs immediately attention. Being called into the office on a weekend/public holiday/weeknight is not unexpected (of course, employees follow fatigue management plans that allow them to take a day off in certain cases)!


6.       You travel a lot as part of your work and spend time in remote sites including oil/gas rigs. What is it like to work on a rig? Can you describe what a typical day will consist of?


I do get to travel to sites in the North West of Australia, off the coast of the town of Karratha. It takes about 5 to 6 hours to get there from Perth (Capital of the Western Australian state) between a fixed wing flight, a helicopter ride, and airport waiting times. Once you arrive there, you are briefed with safety instructions, and are allowed to start work afterwards.


A working day on-site is about 12 hours, with regular scheduled breaks for re-energizing. The day starts early, with a 6 am start, and goes ahead with the morning meeting: this covers information on the different work on site, the weather conditions, and the plan for the day. All those are talked about with relevance to safety: how can all the work be done such that everyone can return home safely. After that, everyone heads off to their job, which can be very different from one person to another. On some days, I find people calibrating sensors, and on others I see turbines being dismantled.

Loai undertaking his duties on the rig during a typical day

Loai undertaking his duties on the rig during a typical day

I guess the most interesting part about working offshore is the people you meet – great characters, and lots of technical experience. More importantly, the safety culture that people live and breathe is quite impressive. People look after each other all the time. Another very important learning curve is the Permit-to-Work system: this system essentially prevents conflicting works (in terms of safety, or for functionality of the plant) from happening at the same time. There are several other aspects covered by this system, such as electrical isolations, process isolations, etc. depending on the work being undertaken. 


7.       What advice can you offer to other Young Professional members looking to get into this sector of work?


I strongly recommend any engineer who is considering joining this industry to explore it – it’s a world of its own, and it holds great learning opportunities. The work is never monotonous – one day you’re in the office meeting engineers, the next day you’re testing equipment in a lab. Other days you find yourself on a helicopter on your way to site. One thing I’d like to stress on is joining a company that looks after the safety of its employees. The reality is it’s a hazardous industry, and having many people working on the same plant requires a lot of management, planning, and knowledge of the plant structure for everyone to be safe. One thing that I’m proud to say is that Woodside has great safety accomplishments.


8.       Anything else you want to add?


Yes. I’d just like to mention one thought that always came to my mind. Every transition stage of one’s life is like hitting a ‘reset’ button, or perhaps, a step applied to one’s system – whether it’s a new city you move to, a new job/industry, a new degree/university, etc. Change is something that one always has to embrace to be successful. People can handle change differently – but it may be a good idea to take changes in small steps – this ensures that you are always stable (excuse my control systems terminology!). Nevertheless, my advice to everyone is to move outside of their comfort zones, reach the unreachable, and work their way smartly to success!


Interview and editing – Dr. Eddie Custovic, Editor-in-Chief, IEEE IMPACT

IEEE President Elect Candidates speak to Young Professionals


Today we bring you an IEEE IMPACT exclusive interview with the 2016 IEEE President Elect candidates.

The IEEE Board of Directors has nominated Senior Member Karen Bartleson and Life Fellow Frederick “Fred” Mintzer as candidates for 2016 IEEE president-elect. They are set to face off in the annual election later this year. The winner will serve as IEEE president in 2017.

Karen Bartleson (www.KarenBartleson.net)


Karen Bartleson is a Senior Director at Synopsys, an electronic design automation company.

“Karen Bartleson is a Senior Director at Synopsys, an electronic design automation company. Her responsibilities include technical standards development, software tool interoperability, relationships with universities and research institutions worldwide, and customer engagement through social media. Karen was 2013-2014 President of the IEEE Standards Association. As President, she led their new strategic plan, furthered the OpenStand™ market-driven standardization paradigm, and finalized IEEE’s membership in the Global Standards Collaboration. She chaired the IEEE Internet Initiative, whose charter is to raise IEEE’s influence in Internet governance, cyber-security, and cyber-privacy policy. She was also a member of IEEE’s strategy committee, overseeing the role of IEEE in global public policy. She received the 2003 Marie R. Pistilli Women in Electronic Design Automation Achievement Award and authored The Ten Commandments for Effective Standards: Practical Insights for Creating Technical Standards. She holds a BS in engineering science with an electronic engineering concentration from California Polytechnic State University.”


  1. What prompted you to become an IEEE member and volunteer?

I became an IEEE member the same way many of you did. While I was in engineering school, one of my professors encouraged me to join. He told me that it was important to be part of a professional organization, and it could help my career. Like you, I remained a member after I went to work. My in-depth volunteering began when I became involved in technical standards development. It was a perfect blend of volunteering for the IEEE Standards Association and doing my job for my employers. I have been asked how members can balance volunteering and their “day job”. I suggest finding activities in the IEEE that complement your work. That is a secret to success.

  1. If elected, how do you see yourself positively affecting IEEE Young Professionals?

I see positive effects in both directions. You should know that you, as IEEE’s Young Professionals, truly inspire me. Your enthusiasm for technology and your passion to make the world a better place give me much optimism for the future. The way you connect with and support each other is something I want to do on a daily basis, and I can learn a lot from you. In return, I would like to offer you my experience of three decades as an engineer. I would like to be a role model for what you can achieve in your careers and your lives. I want to get you more involved in the leadership and governance of the IEEE. And I want to make IEEE so valuable to you that someday you call yourselves Life Members.

  1. Outside of your professional work, what are your hobbies and interests?

My favorite thing to do at the end of the day is to cook a fancy dinner. I enjoy international cuisines and make dishes from recipes in my cookbooks and ones I find online. Once I made an Ethiopian feast, complete with injera. I prepared “safari steak for the hunter” from my African cookbook. I like to make Thai, Indian, Mediterranean, and other kinds of food from all over the world. I have yet to produce a Brazilian barbeque, but that is on my list. Before I became so busy with work and the IEEE, I loved to go camping and fly fishing. Maybe in a few years, I will have time to do these again. Having a garden and backyard chickens, like I had when I was in college, is a future goal of mine.

  1. What advice can you offer to IEEE Young Professionals?

Please, Young Professionals, never lose your bright spirit or your sense of confidence. You will likely face challenges both at work and at home. During those times, remember that you are not alone. Connect with your colleagues, your friends, your family, and your mentors for the support that will help you overcome difficulties. Be sure to take time to celebrate your successes. If you look back at the end of each year and recall all your great accomplishments, you will be enthusiastic about the year to come. Do not be afraid to try new things. Ask yourself this question that my mother taught me to ask when you face a tough decision, “What is the worst thing that could happen?” Often, the worst thing is something not so terrible, and it is well worth the risk to take on a new, exciting adventure. Finally, keep learning – not only technically, but also socially. The world will continue to change, and if you embrace it, you will be amazed.

Frederick “Fred” Mintzer (www.FredMintzer.net)


Fred Mintzer was the program director for IBM’s Blue Gene Watson supercomputer facility and associate director of its Deep Computing Institute, both at the company’s T.J. Watson Research Center, in Yorktown Heights, N.Y from 2005 to 2013. He retired on 1 January 2014.

“Fred Mintzer received a BSEE from Rutgers University and a PhD in EECS from Princeton University. He joined IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center in 1978. Beginning in the middle 1980s, he managed a team that developed new technologies for image database applications and validated them in projects with cultural institutions that included the Vatican Library, Russia’s Hermitage Museum, and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. From 2001 until 2005, he managed the Visual Technologies Department which developed new technologies for digital imaging, computer graphics and data visualization. From 2005 until retirement in 2013, he was the Program Director for IBM’s Blue Gene Watson facility, which once included the world’s second fastest supercomputer. He produced over fifty publications, twenty-five patents, and key features of several IBM offerings. His honors include recognition as an IEEE Fellow, membership in the IBM Academy of Technology and twice being named an IBM Research Master Inventor.”


  1. What prompted you to become an IEEE member and volunteer?

My first professional job was with a small operating telephone company in northeastern Pennsylvania.  While it generously provided me with continuing education in telephony, there were only a few professional colleagues in the workplace – and no real technical community. Near that work location, there were few electrical engineers – and no IEEE activities.  After a few years there, I felt something was lacking. I decided to move on and advance technically. I resigned that position and entered graduate school at Princeton.

At Princeton, there was a lively community of graduate students who read papers, mostly IEEE papers, and talked tech. It was a great experience. As I advanced through graduate school, I had the opportunity to attend IEEE conferences and network with some of the pioneers of my field – signal processing.  Another great experience.

Interacting with Princeton professors and IEEE conference attendees taught me much about being a professional. It includes being part of a professional community; learning from the community; observing standards of the community; and contributing to the community. This is something I desired to be. I recognized that becoming an IEEE member could greatly help me to become a professional. That is why I became an IEEE member.

After graduate school, I joined IBM’s TJ Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY.   There, I found an active signal processing community that was in many ways connected to the IEEE. One of my IBM colleagues, Harvey Silverman, told me there was an opening on an IEEE technical committee (Digital Signal Processing) – and asked whether I would I like to join.  I did – and I was soon able to network more broadly, discuss the state of the art of my field, and contribute to the IEEE signal processing community. This was very satisfying. So … you might say I became an IEEE volunteer because of a fortuitous invitation, found it very satisfying, and have continued to be one. Like many other IEEE volunteers, I am indebted to the colleague who gave me that first opportunity to volunteer.

  1. If elected, how do you see yourself positively affecting IEEE Young Professionals?

I believe today’s young professionals differ from more senior IEEE members in some significant ways.  They communicate differently – having grown up with the Internet, smart phones and social media. They live in a more dynamic work environment – where they will change jobs more frequently. And they have a stronger interest in social responsibility.

The IEEE needs to recognize these differences and embrace them, if the IEEE is to be vital in the future.  To do so, we need to integrate more Young Professionals into IEEE leadership so they can represent their needs and interests. Furthermore, it is not adequate to just give Young Professionals seats at the table. When surrounded and outnumbered by more senior members, they can be reluctant to speak. We must also solicit their opinions – and listen to them. When I was the Vice President of Technical Activities, I recruited Young Professionals to join important Ad Hocs – and I solicited their opinions.  I found this very beneficial – and would continue doing it.

The old means of e-communication – e-mail and web sites – are slow, cumbersome, and lacking in interactivity. (Forgive me for stating the obvious.) We must broadly adopt, exploit, and evolve social media to support members with more interactive communication.  It is for that reason that I joined with other leaders to advocate the IEEE’s new networking and collaboration platform – Collabratec ™.  I believe Collabratec, as it evolves, will become fundament to IEEE operation.

But, beyond just providing collaboration technology, the IEEE needs to learn how to effectively use it. We need to learn how to share interesting and appropriate information – at an appropriate flow rate. We need to learn how to effectively lead on-line discussions. Our Young Professionals are often much more adept at this, given their lifelong immersion in social media – so they are natural leaders in this area.  This provides the IEEE with new opportunities to create new communication positions and recruit Young Professionals – who are very well qualified – to fill them.  By working together as peers, Young Professionals and our senior leaders can learn much from each other.

To address the changes in the more dynamic work environment, there are many things we must do.  One is to quickly and effectively identify and embrace emerging technologies, which are the homes of tomorrow’s jobs. When I was the Vice President of Technical Activities (TA), we defined a lifecycle for the emerging technology activities managed in TA’s Future Directions Committee – so more mature technologies would cycle out and create openings for newly emerging technologies.

Broadly sharing information about emerging technologies is especially important to members in the private sector so they can prepare for tomorrow’s jobs.  When I was VP of TA, we also created on-line communities centered on Future Directions’ emerging technology activities; we created an e-zine, IEEE Technical Community Spotlight that republished articles on emerging technologies; and we offered them free to all members.  In additional, the IEEE needs to ensure that funding for IEEE emerging technologies is consistent – so it does not decline when other interests emerge.

To address the changes in the work environment, we also need more effective continuing education for our members who work in the private sector.  I favor reinvigorating our Bodies of Knowledge (BOKs) by forming communities that interact around their content; Collabratec could be a piece of their infrastructure. Lastly, I believe we need to step up our support for consultants and entrepreneurs.  With shorter job durations come more frequent job transitions. Between jobs, members often consider starting their own businesses. We should support them in this by stepping up our support of consultant and entrepreneur networks

To better support IEEE social responsibility, our humanitarian activities should be revitalized – and more consistently supported. There is an IEEE Ad Hoc Committee now working on this. I personally think we need more high-visibility projects – especially humanitarian, Smart Cities, and Smart Villages, and in more Regions, as they visibly demonstrate our commitment to our mission.  As we do so, we need to ensure that these efforts are sustainable – so that we do not create any broken dreams.

In my IBM career, I managed some projects that had deliverables in places that lacked consistent power, repair parts, and readily available communication.  These problems often appear – and with greater magnitude – in IEEE humanitarian projects. The IEEE is fortunate to have the technical expertise – especially local technical expertise – to address them. However, we need to develop the organizational infrastructure to provide the sustainable support these projects need.

  1. Outside of your professional work, what are your hobbies and interests?

I enjoy outdoor activities, visiting museums, and interesting food – to name just a few. It’s a great joy for me to lace up my hiking boots and take to a nearby wooded trail on a sunny day.  Although I live in Westchester County NY, not far from New York City, there are many excellent trails in this area. Both the Clarence Fahnstock and Harriman State parks contain extensive pieces of the Appalachian Trail. There are also many shorter, but closer, trails that feature excellent scenic views. My wife Suzanne and I own a small cottage on a small lake in the Poconos Mountains of Pennsylvania – which also have some pleasant places to hike. The scenic views there are often fewer, but there is more wildlife to see. Sometimes, I see wild turkeys, herons, osprey, and occasionally even eagles.  I love to see them.

I worked on a number of projects with museums and libraries during my professional career – and learned to appreciate their charms. The Metropolitan in New York City is spectacular – but it can be somewhat overwhelming. Smaller museums also have their charms. In the Poconos, we found museums with a full-size replica of the first steam engine in the US, John Roebling’s oldest suspension bridge, a museum of the local coal industry, paintings from the Hudson River school, and 19th century glassware made for US Presidents. They provide interesting down-to-earth views of art and history.

My visits to Region 9 meetings, these past two years, have enabled me to see the gold museum in Bogota Colombia and a “living museum” steel mill in Monterrey Mexico. At the Region 10 meeting in Kuching, I was able to visit a Malaysian native village. Near meetings in Region 8, I was able to see the

Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and Greek ruins in Limassol Cyprus. These provide a view of art and history that is beyond interesting.

Suzanne and I are foodies; we enjoy interesting foods. We eat at a restaurant, perhaps once a week. Beyond just enjoying our meals, Suzanne picks up cooking tips that she uses in her own cooking. There are a variety of interesting restaurants near our home in New York. We have a favorite Indian restaurant, two favorite Italian restaurants, a favorite Mexican restaurant, a favorite Latin restaurant, a favorite Asian restaurant and a favorite fusion restaurant that combines elements of different kinds of cuisine to form interesting dishes such as Peking duck quesadillas. When in the Poconos, I like to grill on a charcoal grill. Barbequed Buffalo wings, “Fred burgers,” veggie kabobs, grilled corn, and grilled Kielbasa are among my specialties.

  1. What advice can you offer to IEEE Young Professionals?
  1. Be proud of your chosen profession. Tech professionals create the innovations that make life better for everyone – and create jobs. We have a significant positive impact on daily life.
  1. Recognize that your career is your responsibility. It is up to you to maintain marketable skills – and you should use your IEEE membership to do this. I have had colleagues tell me “I need this job. I have nowhere else to go.” This is tragic. I never want to hear you say this.
  1. Your network will help you remain technically current and will ground you in the reality of your technical environment. And it may someday help you find a job.
  1. Keep abreast of emerging technologies. The tech world is changing rapidly. Some jobs disappear because commercial interest disappears. If you need to change fields someday, emerging technologies will be good candidates to have job openings.
  1. Be venturesome. Go for the gold ring. Sometimes “crazy” projects provide the greatest opportunities. At IBM I once built a “small computer system” to store images of paintings of a famous artist (Andrew Wyeth). This project seemed to have limited follow-on potential – until the Internet arrived and museums all over the world wanted the kinds of technologies we had developed. Hundreds of thousands of people have since seen images of artwork that I helped put on museum web sites. I remember these contributions very fondly.
  1. Look for opportunities to make the world a better place. Volunteer. You will receive more than you give. And you may find that you have skills and abilities of which you are unaware.
  1. Vote for me in the IEEE Presidential election. It may not make you feel better, but it will make me feel better

Interview with president elect candidates was conducted by Dr. Eddie Custovic, Editor-in-Chief IEEE IMPACT

NASA and IEEE Young Professionals

As an initiative taken by IEEE Southern Alberta section and Astronomy Teacher Training Institute (ATTI), a solar evening was held at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada on 4th February’ 15. Dr. Philip Scherrer, Professor, Stanford University and Dr. Deborah Scherrer, Director, Stanford Solar Center were the guest speakers at the event. The main focus of the lecture was to promote the engagement of graduate students in the Space Weather Program and Stanford’s Sudden Ionosphere Disturbance Monitors, an initiative by the Stanford Solar Centre, NSF, NASA, and United Nations.


Dr. Deborah elaborated the importance of space education among youth and how can students use the weather monitors designed by Stanford University’s Solar Center. This was to promote space and astronomy education among student. These weather monitors, which are easy to assemble, can be used by the students in their schools to study the effects of solar flares on the ionosphere.


Dr. Philip’s talk was more on the technical aspects of space education and provided a detailed overview of the research conducted by NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). SDO studies the effects of solar variation on the earth by collecting useful data. By using effective visualization tools, solar variations of the sun and coronal mass ejections were shown in the presentation. The talks by the speakers were followed by an informative question and answer session. A quiz was conducted by the ATTI and prizes were distributed. Drinks and snacks were also served. This evening was a very useful opportunity for students to understand the importance and various aspects of space education and works conducted by the SDO.


Following this, Professors Deborah and Philip Scherrer gave a talk titled “Fingerprints of the Sun” to three classes of Calgary school children on 5th February at the Telus Science Centre. The talk was sponsored by the ATTI and formed part of Stanford University’s science outreach program.


Dr. Deborah Scherrer spoke for half an hour, showing slides of spectroscopy and explaining atomic interactions with light and the principles of spectral absorption and emission in terms, which the grade six students understood and enjoyed. Following her talk, Dr. Scherrer was inundated with questions from the students who were eager to learn more.


Dr. Philip Scherrer talked about the orbital solar observatory and the research he has done studying the Sun. He had a number of fascinating film clips of solar mass ejections, sunspot activity and magnetic field fluctuations. One of the highlights of the two talks was a film clip of the rocket carrying the solar observatory to space breaking the sound barrier just after lift-off. Both Deborah and Philip said they thoroughly enjoyed their stay in Calgary and talking about solar research among professionals and amateurs while in the city.


Technology and Engineering Management

The Society has gone through a major change this year, beginning from its conversion from a council to a society, and has undergone a major review of its services and products offered to the members. Based on this review last year, a need for programs targeted towards our Young Professional members was recognized and work has already started under a ‘Young Professionals Sub-Committee’ to deliver a portfolio of programs to this category of our members.

The Young Professionals (YP) Sub-Committee is headed by Sohaib Sheikh from the UK and Ireland Section and falls under the Membership Activities of the Society.

The YP programs portfolio has a major focus on providing value to our members through initiatives related to education, networking and helping the student members transition to the job market.

Under an ambitious program, a ten-member YP team has been established and plans to launch the following programs.

  1. A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) titled ‘Engineering Management for Young Professionals’ is being created to provide the basics of management to our Student and Early Career YPs. The MOOC lectures will be available from mid-2016 on IEEEx (https://www.edx.org/school/ieeex)
  2. A webinar series has been developed to keep our members abreast with the ever-evolving world of Engineering Management. By the time of the publication of this magazine, the first webinar titled ‘The Role of Management & Challenges in Entrepreneurship’ would have been organized. There shall be one webinar every two months related to TEMS fields of interest.
  3. The YP team has created a new section in the Engineering Management Review journal specifically for Young Professionals. The section is will provide thought provoking articles on topics which affects the day-to-day professional life of our YP members across the world.

Along with these initiatives, a massive campaign has also been initiated to promote TEMS to YPs all across the world through internal IEEE partnerships, use of social media and networking events. In the upcoming months, TEMS sessions are being organized in Croatia, Jordan, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom.


The ten-member multi-national team of YP volunteers hails from five regions of IEEE, and focus on different aspects of our programs.


How you can contribute:

At IEEE TEMS YP, “You” is always and shall be the first priority for team. All the programs have been designed to satisfy needs of Young professionals but we understand that there is always room for improvement and therefore, call on you all, our members, to send in ideas or feedback related to our programs.

Furthermore, we would like to request the following:

  • If you believe that your experience/ wisdom and opinion, in the form of an article, can be beneficial to aspiring Students and Young Professionals, kindly write to us at sarangshayk@gmail.com.
  • If you want to introduce IEEE TEMS to some program or activity that is still missing in the development plan, please share us with your ideas on: sohaibqamer@ieee.org.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Today’s story is about a group of talented IEEE Young Professionals from the Technical College of Kirkuk (Iraq), who, amidst all the instability, invested their attention to developing future leaders. IEEE Senior Member Hussein Al-Bayati along with the Member Development Officer Ahmad Alaiady and the Deputy Chairman of Iraq Sections Dr. Sattar Sadkhan delivered an inspirational and interactive lecture on ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’.

IEEE Senior member Hussein Al-Bayati delivering the lecture

IEEE Senior member Hussein Al-Bayati delivering the lecture


Although motivation for Young Professionals around the world to tackle global problems is not lacking, they are not always equipped with the knowledge they need. They must take initiative in developing the skills and attributes to succeed in life. This was the intent behind organizing a lecture on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

It is commendable, something most of us may never fully comprehend, that the IEEE Young Professionals team in Iraq is striving to produce future leaders, better leaders to lead their nation towards a conflict free country. The lecture was based on the famous Dr. Stephen Covey’s book – The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Dr. Stephen Covey is a well-known author who has inspired millions around the world to lead a life of principles. His message for leading a meaningful and successful life is woven in the 7 habits of highly effective people. As David Starr Jordon, the Founding President of Stanford University, states in the very first lines of the book that there is no real excellence in all this world which can be separated from right living. And that is how the author sets out to attempt to change our deepest paradigms.

Dr. Stephen Covey

Dr. Stephen Covey

“Most people’s lives run on auto-pilot and there is no self-awareness about their daily habits. This results in the absence of a plan for life, and that they do not get the opportunity to lead their lives. Most people’s lives are affected by external factors like the environment, community, family and friends” says Hussein Al-Bayati.

HABIT 1: Be proactive – Because we are humans, we have the ability to see ourselves, our attitudes and behaviours as though we were someone else. This ability called ‘self-awareness’ has helped us advance as a race in the most significant ways. As long as we are self-aware, we can see the consequences of our words and actions and say and do the right things, we can choose. In the words of the author, our basic nature is to act and not be acted upon. Each of the 6 habits depends on the ability of being proactive. It assists in creating a balance between P(Production) and PC (Production Capacity).

HABIT 2: Start with the end in mind – The most fundamental application of this habit is to imagine the end of your life as a reference against which all life’s experience will be marked. This helps to significantly contribute daily to our lives. To start with the end in mind also means clearly knowing the destination for without that knowledge, one is lost. We either design our lives or we operate in the default mode. The most effective way to start the end in mind is to develop a personal mission statement. In essence, habit 1 lets you be the creator and habit 2 is your final creation.

HABIT 3: Put first things first – Contrary to belief, the third habit points that the key is not to prioritize what’s on schedule, but to schedule your priorities. The first step towards developing habit 3 is to make a list of roles that you play, say, in a week. Once the roles are defined, goals need to be defined and then each goal must be translated into a task. Prioritizing activities even before knowing if they will help achieve your personal mission is disastrous as you might prioritize and achieve goals which you never needed. Using a computer metaphor, habit 1 says “You are the program”, habit 2 says “Write the program” and habit 3 says “Run the program”.

HABIT 4: Think Win-Win – Win-Win is a mindset which constantly seeks to mutual benefit for all parties involved. In the words of the author, win-win sees life as a cooperative, not a competitive arena. Win-Win is a paradigm based on the fundamental principle that there is enough for everyone in this world. There are three character traits essential to the win-win paradigm which is Integrity, Maturity and the Abundance mentality.

HABIT 5: Seek First to Understand and then to be understood – Trying to understand other people’s points of views is very important as it assists us in being empathetic towards them. Not all emotions can be heard in words and hence trying to first understand other people gives us the reference we need to make them understand our point of view. This is a powerful habit of interdependence.

HABIT 6: Synergize – The exercise of all the above habits help in the habit of synergy. In the words of the author, Synergy is the essence of Principle centred leadership. It catalyses, unifies and unleashes the greatest power in people. The definition of synergy is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. If you plant two plants close together, their roots will combine and make the soil fertile so as to benefit both the plants. The whole is better than its parts or one plus one equals three or more.

HABIT 7: Sharpen the Saw – Habit 7 is the principle of balanced self-renewal. In the words of the author, habit 7 is taking the time to sharpen the saw instead of wasting time and energy sawing with an unsharpened saw. It’s enhancing the greatest asset we have – us. We need to replenish our body, our soul, and our minds to ensure we work effectively. Daily exercises for the physical body, nourishment for the soul by doing things we love and our minds by self-analysing daily can be powerful tools to sharpen the saw.


The lecture on the 7 habits of highly effective people saw a very good turnout which is just proof of the direction in which positive minded IEEE Young Professionals in Iraq are moving towards.

Lastly, the IEEE GOLDRush team would like to congratulate the IEEE Young Professionals team in Iraq for organizing some outstanding events amidst such unrest. We are proud to present this article to the world in the hope that Iraq can be seen in new light, in the light of hope and courage and a strong willingness to create better future leaders.

Article edited by Sneha Kangralkar, Assistant Editor, GOLDRush

Getting SOCIAL with Devon Ryan

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.

Mr. Devon Ryan, Region 5 Young Professional Chair, IEEE USA Young Professionals Representative

Mr. Devon Ryan, Region 5 Young Professional Chair, IEEE USA Young Professionals Representative

Who is Devon Ryan?

Mr. Devon Ryan is a Young Professionals Representative and an IEEE-USA Board Member. He is the current Region 5 Young Professionals Chair and Co-Founder of Lion Mobile LLC, an innovative inventing mobile applications team.

Suggestion – Do you have any suggestions for the IEEE?

Entrepreneurship is steadily growing. As more and more people gain access to the internet, the more people will have access to tools and resources to start their own businesses. With that being said, I believe entrepreneurship can help accelerate an individual’s development and amplify their abilities. My suggestion for IEEE is to provide more entrepreneurial resources and initiatives. For example, funding, incubators, tools & resources, collaborative workspaces, etc.

Opinion – Provide an opinion on any IEEE related topic.

In my opinion, IEEE has numerous channels and it can be overwhelming from the member and volunteer viewpoint. Perhaps, we can hyper-focus efforts on the top 20% of IEEE that provides 80% of the value for both members and volunteers. This sort of defragmentation could help IEEE be very efficient from both a business and customer perspective.

Concern – Express a major concern related to IEEE

I am concerned that there is not enough emphasis on leadership amongst Young Professional members and volunteers.


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

IEEE does not have the best track record when it comes to branding and marketing; however, it has improved nonetheless. The Young Professionals are the future and my idea is to focus our efforts on reaching them with the right message.

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

IEEE has helped me accelerate my career by providing me with a larger and more diverse professional network. IEEE also helped me develop and polish my professional brand. It not only helped my resume, but IEEE enabled me to create unique opportunities to be more impactful in my industry. Accelerate your growth with IEEE and position yourself to create unique opportunities.

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

The lesson I learn as a result of IEEE would have to be that technology and people combined will help you do far more greater things in life. Embrace people, embrace new technology, and always strive to challenge yourself and great things will happen. You can only do so much alone. When you put yourself in a room with different people from all over the world really cool ideas come to life.

Want to get SOCIAL with IEEE GOLDRush? Send us your response: GOLDRush@ieee.org

Want to get in touch with Devon? devon.ryan@ieee.org

IEEE Academic – An interview with founder Mr. Rui Costa

It is with much excitement that we bring an IEEE GOLDRush exclusive interview with the founder of IEEE Academic, Mr. Rui Costa.

Mr Rui Costa delivering the concept of IEEE Academic

Mr Rui Costa delivering the concept of IEEE Academic in 2013. Several years later and IEEE Academic is growing at a rapid rate.

How did you come up with the concept for IEEE Academic?

The IEEE Academic concept started when a group of students in one of the universities in Portugal understood that, despite all the available online contents, most of them failed to prepare students for their classes and examinations. The problems were that the majority of the videos were English based and establishing a relation between what was being watched and what was being taught in classes was very difficult. That was due not only to the fact that the teaching language was different but also the technical jargon was sometimes hard to compare. We then had the idea of inviting a few academics from our university to create video modules about the most difficult topics and make those available in an online platform so that our community could watch and use those videos in their studies for free. This quickly became a big success and that was the very beginning of what today know as IEEE Academic, a project were students and academics work together to create community-relevant video modules in multiple languages all over the world.

IEEE Academic Poland website

IEEE Academic Poland website

What is the vision for IEEE Academic and how do you and your team plan to achieve it?

The goal of IEEE Academic is to become a fully sustainable project that is a global reference for multi-lingual online educational content based on multimedia. By creating a vast library of high-quality contents in multiple languages, students all over the world will recognise IEEE Academic as the go-to place for the videos created in their language. The way we are working to achieve that goal is by capturing the efforts of many volunteers and academics all over the world, that in a distributed fashion create video modules for their communities and make those available using the global platform of IEEE Academic.

IEEE Academic teaching algorithms

IEEE Academic teaching algorithms

What are some of the biggest achievement of the program to date?

At IEEE Academic we dont like to isolate individual achievements yet focus on the overall impact of our program. Our achievements are measured through positive and encouraging student feedback from around the globe. Students from many countries thank us and all the volunteers for the effort that is put into making online educational video modules available for free, which enhance their academic achievements. Every time a new university or a new country joins the program and launches a new video tutorial a new IEEE Academic milestone is reached. As we grow our community of content producers and enthusiastic learners, new and amazing achievements will start to stand out.

Tell us a little about the IEEE Academic team, a little about the volunteers, their careers, residing country and so on.

IEEE Academic is composed by a core-team of 5 volunteers from students, to researchers, professors and people working in the industry. These volunteers are very organised and plan well ahead the next steps of the project to ensure that quality content is kept flowing. A team of ambassadors organize and foster the growth of the project in many countries by working closely with the volunteers in various universities. We have ambassadors and project support scattered all over the world including; Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey, Greece, India, Portugal, Colombia, Tunisia, Brasil and many more, a truly global team!

IEEE Academic on your mobile phone

IEEE Academic on your mobile phone

Tell us about the next big thing in regards to IEEE Academic

We have much planned for the remainder of 2015. IEEE Academic will make available more innovative video modules that will approach and teach  various topics using more creative techniques. Also, an improvement in the quality of the website along with some exciting key-partnerships to make IEEE Academic a more global and interesting platform for online education.

Tell us about the most memorable moment while you have been involved with IEEE Academic.

The most memorable moment with IEEE Academic was when I received the first email from a student sending his gratitude to everyone involved in the project, for creating video modules that actually helped him reach academic success in a course he was trying to pass for several semesters. The excitement did not stem from the fact it was the first email, but because it made me understand that with some effort and dedication to this project we could positively impact the lives of many. This was more than enough to fuel the IEEE Academic team.

IEEE Academic Pakistan

IEEE Academic Pakistan

Can you provide us with any facts, figures and statistics in regards to IEEE Academic?

As of today, IEEE Academic has published more than 380 video modules in 6 languages. We have 16 ambassadors from 16 countries working to make more videos available. The website received more than 90 000 hits from over 32 500 unique users and IEEE Academic video modules have been watched more than 102 000 times (equivalent of 230 days of continuous video viewing).

Who is Rui Costa?

Rui Costa is a MSc. Network and Communications Engineering graduate from Instituto Superior Técnico, Portugal. Rui Costa has a research focus on Vehicular Networks and Intelligent Transportation Systems which was developed as part of his Masters thesis titled He is currently developing cutting-edge systems and technologies to build up vehicular-network enhanced cities as Senior Systems Engineer at Veniam Works. Rui Costa is the founder and coordinator of IEEE Academic, international non-for-profit educational project, based on online multimedia resources developed in close collaboration with several universities to deliver free, high quality contents, in the local languages.

Rui Costa, Founder of IEEE Academic

Rui Costa, Founder of IEEE Academic

He is an experienced and creative presenter, having led several presentations to different targets on several topics, such as vehicular networks, team management/motivation, entrepreneurship and usage of technologies within education. Rui Costa was awarded the Larry K Wilson Student Activities Award in Region 8 for his outstanding contributions

Interview conducted by Sarang Shaikh, Senior Assistant Editor, GOLDRush

Article edited by Dr. Eddie Custovic, Editor In Chief, GOLDRush

From star gazing to rising stars

Wrapping up a solid year of growth and community contribution, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Young Professionals Southern Alberta Chapter has recently been awarded best Canadian Young Professionals group for 2014. The team’s vision – to cater to the professional and overall development of their fellow young professionals – has made them role models for young professionals.

Electrical and geomatics engineering students on the IEEE Young Professionals Southern Alberta Team. Front row (l to r): Yuting He, Mohsin Aziz, Piyush Rawat, Jatin Chatrath. Back row: Yuhong Liu, Neha Dawar, Tushar Sharma, Hani Badaway and Zhixing Zhao. Photo courtesy IEEE Young Professionals, Southern Alberta Section, Region 7

Electrical and geomatics engineering students on the IEEE Young Professionals Southern Alberta Team. Front row (l to r): Yuting He, Mohsin Aziz, Piyush Rawat, Jatin Chatrath. Back row: Yuhong Liu, Neha Dawar, Tushar Sharma, Hani Badaway and Zhixing Zhao. Photo courtesy IEEE Young Professionals, Southern Alberta Section, Region 7

Under the leaderships of current chair Tushar Sharma, a graduate student in the iRadio Lab at the Schulich School of Engineering, the chapter has undertaken a number of academic exchange, industry engagement and educational activities.

In the 2013-14 season, the chapter held several technical lectures aimed at increasing research and knowledge exchange among different areas in engineering, physics and education. Special focus was given to professional and career development in the form of mixers, panel discussion, and networking sessions, with the goal of assisting members in the transition from undergraduate to graduate student or to joining the workforce.

University of Calgary students, faculty, staff and industry at the IEEE Holiday Mixer.

University of Calgary students, faculty, staff and industry at the IEEE Holiday Mixer.

In collaboration with the Astronomy Teacher Training Institute, the Young Professionals created a students, teachers and researchers (STAR) initiative to spread awareness of radio and microwave education to schools across Alberta. The group hosted a star gazing session at All-Star Telescopes outside Calgary, where IEEE members, students, and Mitacs interns from around the globe witnessed phenomenon like saturn rings and meteors. Plans for 2015 include an extension of the 2014 lectures series and the creation of a continuing education centre in Siksika Nation.

Sharma will receive the award on behalf of the Southern Alberta Section during the IEEE Canada regional meeting in Vaudreuil-Dorion, Québec this April.

Article contributed by Tushar Sharma, IEEE Young Professionals Chair of Southern Alberta, Canada