November 2015

IEEE-MSN Newsletter


Madison Section Newsletter

Vol. 18, No. 10 Serving
IEEE Members of South Central Wisconsin
November 2015
  • Upcoming Events

    • November LMAG Meeting “Software Defined Radio”


      • Thursday November 5th, 2015, 11:30
      • Lecturer: Tom Kaminski
          • Location:Madison Central Library,
               1st Floor Conference Room (104)
               201 W Mifflin St Madison, WI
               Madison, WI 53703
      • Time: 11:30 AM to 12:55 PM
      • Bring your own lunch.   Free beverages and cookies
        will be available.
      • Please Register at the IEEE Madison Section
        event page

      • Talk: Software Defined
        Radio (SDR) technology replaces the traditional radio hardware
        systems with hardware and software that uses Digital Signal
        Processing techniques to both transmit and receive radio
        signals.  In the past, SDR technology was primarily used for
        complex military radio and radar systems, but with the advent of
        cellular phones and the high-volume RF components used in them, the
        technique is now in widespread use. Today, inexpensive ($20) USB
        dongles, designed to receive the DVB digital TV video broadcast
        signals, incorporate a front end receiver and an In-Phase and
        Quadrature Analog to digital converter. When used with a laptop,
        DVB-USB dongles utilize SDR to implement a wide range of
        products.   Tom will discuss some of the theory and will
        demonstrate available open-source software that runs on laptops,
        phones, and even small-systems like the RaspberryPi allowing you to
        experiment with SDR.  He will show how you can develop your own
        radio receivers using Gnu Radio Companion — a graphical
        drag-and-drop front end to SDR systems. Also radio direction finding
        work being done with UW students will be presented. Are you using
        SDR in your systems today? Bring them for show-and-tell!

        Bio: Tom is a retired
        instructor of Automation and Robotics at Madison College and is
        currently Treasurer of the IEEE Madison Section. He has a BSEE From
        Worcester Polytechnic Institute, a MSEE from the University of
        Michigan, and additional graduate education toward a PhD at the
        University of Wisconsin, Madison. Tom is also an Extra Class ham,

    • November EMB018 Meeting “OSTEOPROSIS: The Road To Discovery”

      UAS Images

      • Wednesday, November 11th, 11:45 AM
      • Speaker: Dr. Everett Smith, PhD, Associate Professor Emeritus,
      • Details: Lecture and Pizza and
      • Fee:
      • Joint
        meeting of IEEE-Madison Section and EMB018 Society
      • Location:  
        Tong Auditorium
        Engineering Centers
        1550 Engineering Drive
        Madison,  WI 53706
      • Please Register at the IEEE-Madison 
        event page

        Osteoporosis is a major public health problem in the
        elderly, manifested by the presence of low bone mineral density,
        lessened skeletal integrity and an increased risk of fractures.
        Loss of skeletal integrity is multifactorial. These factors
        include human genetics, diet, exercise, bed rest,
        weightlessness, cellular sensation of internal and external
        environmental forces, disease, and the aging process. The
        skeleton has two major functions in the body: it provides
        structural support and serves as a mineral reservoir. The
        strength of the structural support is dependent on a homeostatic
        balance of the systemic and local bone modulators, mechanical
        loading and nutrition. Changes in any one of these components,
        common in the elderly, can influence the modulation of systemic
        and local factors in bone turnover or cause a modulation in the
        sensitivity (set point) of bone to mechanical loading. The road
        to discovery in our research is to investigate ex vivo bone core
        response to induced mechanical loads and known biochemical
        modulators of bone turnover. We have developed the Perfusion
        Loading System to apply consistent, measurable loads to
        trabecular bone cores. The techniques for bone core collection
        have been standardized for orientation, size +/- 2um, and for
        sterility. The perfusion media flow rate, and flow pattern have
        been shown to be adequate to maintain cell viability for at
        least 31 days. In studies up to 60 days in length we have
        observed active osteoblasts, osteoid, and multiple osteoclasts
        in Howships lacunae. In preliminary studies, we have shown
        similar bone mineralization patterns in human cores through 35
        days and bovine cores at 4 days, and have chosen to use bovine
        bone samples because healthy tissue is more readily available.
        Further we have seen evidence to suggest that PGE2 levels
        transiently increase in response to loading and that the
        magnitude of the response increases with days loaded.

        Bio: Dr. Smith is
        an Associate Professor Emeritus at the UW-Madison Department of
        Preventative Medicine. He has been a Fellow, American College of
        Sports Medicine since 1978, was elected Associate Fellow, American
        Academy of Physical Educators in 1986.  In 1985, he was given
        an award from the Association of American Publishers, Professional
        and Scholarly Publishing Division, for the 1985 Best Single Issue,
        for Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation as issue editor. He was a
        member of the FICSIT trial Monitoring Board from 1991-1993. In
        addition, he is or was on the Editorial Board of Topics in
        Geriatric Rehabilitation, Calcified Tissue International, and
        Journal of Aging and Physical Activity.  He has been a
        referee for  Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise,
        Journal of Bone Mineral Research, Bone, Osteoporosis
        International, Journal of Applied Physiology, Journal of
        Gerontology, Physician and Sports medicine.  His activities
        include President, National Institute of Biogerontology 1980-2007
        and Director Biogerontology Laboratory University of Wisconsin
        1975-present. In addition to his extensive research, Dr. Smith is
        President/CEO of Regin B&C Bioengineering from 2008-present.

  • Section News

    • Review of September and
      October Events

      Madison Life Member Affinity Group Tours Epic Systems:
      September 26, the Life Members Affinity Group, Madison
      Section members and guests toured Epic Systems in Verona,
      Wisconsin. Before the tour, everyone socialized in the
      reception area of the Andromeda building. Chuck Kime
      presented an introduction including facts about Epic, tour
      guidelines and particularly interesting features of the
      upcoming tour. There were brief comments on the election of
      Life Member Affinity Group officers for 2016 (See
      “Elections” below for more details).  

Chuck Cowie led
      the one and-a-half tour through the Central Park campus,
      consisting of four buildings connected by tunnels and
      skyways, and the outdoor Central Park. The tour featured the
      themes of each of the buildings and the park including
      architecture, art and unusual fun features, such as a slide
      and swings, supporting the themes. The tour route was
      planned to include views to the outside of much of the rest
      of the Epic Campus including a two megawatt solar PV array
      and construction of two additional new themed campuses plus
      a large new cafeteria.


      Photo: LMAG Epic Tour group
      gathering in the Andromeda Sunroom

      October ECN Meeting: Patrick
      Steinnon of Stiennon & Stiennon presented a wealth of material
      about intellectual property and patent issues from the perspective
      of both a patent attorney and an engineer with patents. He also
      touched on the rising incidence of patent trolls or “non-practicing
      entities”.  Is WARF a patent Troll?  Not in most people’s
      interpretation.  He also included a large number of on-line
      references for us to use. You can access those Patent Links online HERE.

      October Section Meeting: The
      Challenges and Opportunities Using UAS Imagery
      : Paul
      Braun’s talk to our section on Oct 15 focused on practical aspects
      of geospatial mapping using unmanned aerial systems (UASs). Image
      resolution from UAS photography is much better than satellite image
      resolution.  Recording images from a camera mounted on a UAS is
      not trivial because the wind changes the orientation of the UAS.
      Image processing software cannot compensate for the camera changing
      orientation with the wind.  High-end UASs have gimbals to keep
      the camera pointed straight down. A UAS can be fitted with a laser
      imaging device that produces a “point cloud” of locations.  It
      sends short duration laser pulses and works out the distances by the
      time of the returns. If the width of the beam is larger than the
      object it hits, there can be several returns at different
      times.  The resolution is in the tenth of a foot range. The
      composite picture below shows the difference in resolution that a
      UAV can produce compared to a UAV at low altitude and shows the
      “point cloud” 3D model with overlaid color that can be produced with
      UAVs. Typical flights are ten minutes long, limited by battery
      capacity.  2GB of data per minute is typically saved.  The
      desire for longer flight times may drive battery development. One of
      our members asked if this technology will make airplane-based
      photography obsolete.  Braun says it may one day in the future
      but no time soon. 

      Braun showed us a photograph of a partially collapsed bridge. A UAS
      was able to fly right beside the failure point and photograph it at
      close range, something that would be impossible or very risky
      without a UAS. For one application they modify a camera to display
      near IR.  The images can be used for agriculture / vegetation
      analysis. Subtle changes in the type or health of crops appear
      clearly in the near-IR image.  Having this information allows
      for more surgical use of pesticides and fertilizer. Clients usually
      request high-resolution imaging and later select lower resolution to
      save money. One client specifically asked for lower resolution
      because they didn’t time to review all the images and didn’t want
      someone to discover after a failure that there were high resolution
      images that showed the problem if only someone had reviewed
      them.  As this technology becomes more common, not having
      access to high-resolution images will no longer be an excuse for
      missing safety hazards.  

      At the end of the talk Braun showed us pictures of a non-profit
      organization called Taking Autism to the Sky ( TATTS
      ). It does projects with autistic children, in which they build and
      use UAS. Often people on the autism spectrum enjoy the
      detail-oriented technical work of working with UASs. The detached
      perspective of seeing the world in a virtual reality headset from
      the point of view of a camera on a drone can be helpful for them.
      Children who are overwhelmed by contact with people can enjoy the
      detached perspective of operating a drone. 

    Paul Braun

    • Upcoming Meetings

      Madison Section Meeting:
      are planning to have Greg Taylor, a local musician who composes
      music with electronics instruments talk about the current trends
      in electronic music. We are also looking into a meeting on
      Professional Ethics that would also be suitable for P.E.
      certification requirements for the State of Wisconsin.

      December ECN Meeting: No
      plans yet — do you have any ideas? Contact Tom Kaminski
      (tjkaminsk (at)

    • IEEE Madison Elections

      Selection of 2016 officers for the IEEE Madison Life Member
      Affinity Group will occur at the November 5, 2015 meeting.
      Current candidates are Chuck Cowie for Chair and Chuck Kime for
      Vice-Chair. Additional positions to be filled include Secretary
      (primarily handling meeting minutes), Treasurer (primarily
      handling expenditures) and Meeting Planner (assisting in
      generating ideas and planning for presentations and events).
      Interested candidates for any position should contact Chuck
      Kime, Chair at 274-1402 or  or Chuck
      Cowie, Vice Chair at (608) 412-4412 or by
      November 3, 2015.

      Madison Section Officer
      You will be receiving an e-mail ballot in
      November or December for Section Officer Elections. If you are
      interested in running for office, please let Steve Shultheis
      know (email:  ss (at)

    • Volunteers Needed

      Micro Volunteers: Do you
      have some time to spare to help IEEE-Madison Section? 
      Perhaps you have a meeting topic that you would like to see us
      host and could find a speaker.   Maybe you have time to call
      a few members who might have forgotten to renew their

      Antenna Modeler: Do you
      have experience with designing and modeling antennas?  The
      UW-Madison IEEE Student Branch project team would love to have you
      help them model the RDF antennas they have built.

      Please consider sending some time helping with the Section
      activities.  Let me know (tjkaminski (at)

  • Regular Meetings

    • Section Meetings

      The third Thursday of January through May, and September through
      December is reserved for a meeting to provide recent research,
      developments, trends and/or innovations in one of our membership’s
      technical areas.

    • IEEE-MSN-ECN Networking Meetings

      • Purpose: Presentations, Discussions, networking
      • Date: First Thursday of even-numbered months
      • Time: 11:45 AM to 1:00 PM
      • Location: Sector67, 2100 Winnebago Street (East Side of
      • Parking: Park in lot or on Winnebago Street.
      • Process: Members are encouraged to make introductions,
        describe endeavors, and make request for: contacts in target
        companies, needs, resources.
      • Contact: For assistance, call Tim Chapman 2 0 6 – 2 5 7 0
  • Membership Upgrades

  • Those interested in upgrading their IEEE membership level should send
    their resumes or other information showing five years of significant
    performance in an IEEE-designated field to Charles J Gervasi via email
    at cj(at) Madison Section Board will attempt to find Senior
    IEEE members knowledgeable in the applicant’s area of practice who may
    be able to provide references. You are invited to attend the informal
    networking portion of the monthly Section meetings (starting at 11:30am)
    to meet the Section Board members and discuss intentions.

  • About IEEE

    • DrLipoThe Institute of Electrical and
      Electronics Engineers or IEEE (read Eye-Triple-E) is an international
      non-profit, professional organization dedicated to advancing
      technology innovation and excellence for the betterment of humanity.
      IEEE and its members inspire a global community through IEEE’s highly
      cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and
      professional and educational activities. It has the most members of
      any technical professional organization in the world, with more than
      300,000 members in around 150 countries. The IEEE consists of 38
      societies, organized around specialized technical fields, with more
      than 300 local organizations that hold regular meetings. Discover what
      IEEE Member Discounts can offer you. The Member Discounts portfolio
      consists of insurance products and programs for the home, office and
      travel, all at excellent group rates and reduced pricing. Visit IEEE
      Member Discounts to see what’s available in your location and enjoy
      the savings. For more information, please visit: IEEE.ORG.

  • Madison IEEE Section

    The IEEE-Madison Section of the IEEE is a section in Region 4 of the
    IEEE-USA organized to serve IEEE members in the Madison, WI area with
    over 600 members. The 2015 Officers and Board Members are Charles
    Gervasi – Chair, Steve Schultheis, Vice Chair, Tom Kaminski –
    Treasurer, Matthew Bartlett – Secretary, Timothy Chapman – Webmaster,
    Tom Kaminski – ECN Chair, Dennis Bahr – Engineering in Medicine and
    Biology Chapter Chair, Ann E. Thompson – Educational Activities Chair,
    Scott Olsen – Industrial Outreach Chair, Members at Large: Mitch
    Bradt, Clark Johnson, Craig Heilman, Sandy Rotter.

  • Job Openings

    Check out for
    electrical engineering jobs in Madison and the surrounding region.
    This site is maintained as a service for electrical engineers. Jobs
    are displayed starting with the most recent postings first. You can
    filter results by location and job type. If you are hiring an
    electrical engineer in our area, for full-time or contract work, you
    can post the job in the Contact Us
    section on the site. Here is a sampling of the new job

    • Senior Application and Configuration Engineer, Watertown
    • Software Engineer, Madison Area
  • Sponsored Content


  • Contact Us

    The IEEE-Madison Section has a number of volunteer positions open if
    you are interested in helping out. Please direct any questions or
    comments to Tom Kaminski (Newsletter Editor) via email to