February 2017

IEEE-MSN Newsletter


Madison Section Newsletter

Vol. 20, No. 2 Serving IEEE Members of South Central Wisconsin February 2017
    • Upcoming Events

      • January LMAG Meeting: “Stellarator Talk and Tour”

        HSX Lab

        • Speaker:  Dr. David Anderson, UW-Madison ECE Department
        • Topic:  Optimized Stellarators in the Path toward Fusion Energy
        • Tour: HSX Plasma Laboratory
        • Date/Time: Tuesday, January 31,  from 5:30 PM until 7:00 PM
          • Fee: None
          • Location: 
                University of Wisconsin
                1415 Engineering Drive, Madison, Wisconsin
                Engineering Hall
                Room: 2534 
          • RSVP: Please Register at the IEEE Madison Section event page.
          • Non-member guests are always welcome.
          • Parking:  Lot 17 is the closest. Check this link for space availability. 
          Talk: Controlled thermonuclear fusion presents the possibility of virtually limitless energy with no greenhouse gas emissions. The challenges to making this a reality are daunting. Never-the-less, over 20 MW of fusion power has been released in laboratory experiments and an international effort (ITER) is underway to produce 500 MW of fusion power for periods up to ½ hour to study “burning plasmas” (predominantly self-heated). ITER is based upon the tokamak concept, which has achieved the highest plasma parameters to date. An alternative concept to the tokamak, the stellarator, possesses significant engineering advantages when considered as a power-producing reactor, and recent work in “optimized” stellarators shows great promise. HSX (the Helicaly Symmetric Experiment) is the first of this new generation of optimized stellarators. This talk will focus on the present state of fusion research and the role of the stellarator in addressing open issues, and HSX contributions to the program. We will conclude with a tour of the HSX facility in Engineering Hall.
          Bio: David Anderson received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1984 with a major in Electrical Engineering. He was employed as a scientist there from 1980-1999, and has been a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering since that time, currently holding the Jim and Anne Sorden professorship. He also holds an affiliate appointment as a professor in the Physics Department. His main interests are in experimental plasma physics research focused on controlled thermonuclear fusion and teaches predominantly in this area and electromagnetics. He has served on numerous advisory and review committees for national laboratories and international programs and is the Director of the HSX Plasma Laboratory.
      • February ECN Meeting: “Elevator Speech and Discussion”

        IEEE-Madison ECN

        • Topic:  Your Activities
        • Thursday, February 2nd, 11:45-1:00 PM
          • Social/Professional Meeting
        • Fee: Free
          • Location: 
                2100 Winnebago Street
                Madison,  WI
        • Snacks and Drinks are available at Sector67
        • Please Register at the IEEE-Madison  event page.
        • Non-member guests are always welcome.

          Talk: Be prepared to give give a brief introduction to what you do (“Elevator Speech”).  This is your opportunity to discuss your company, or your consulting expertise.

      • February Section Meeting: “Transforming The Electric Grid”


        • Speaker:  Dr. Thomas Jahns, UW-Madison ECE Department
        • Topic:  Transforming the Electric Grid from the Distribution System Out
        • Date/Time: Thursday, February 16,  from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM
          • Fee: Pizza and a Drink for $5 Members, $10 Non-Members, Students Free
          • Location: 
                University of Wisconsin
               1513 Engineering Drive, Madison, Wisconsin
               Mechanical Engineering Building
               Room:  ME 1152
          • RSVP: Please Register at the IEEE Madison Section event page. Non-member guests are always welcome.
          • Parking:  Lot 17 is the closest. Check this link for space availability. 

            Talk: Multiple forces are combining to encourage significant expansions in the use of distributed energy resources in the electric grid, including the declining cost of distributed renewable energy sources and major initiatives in some states to significantly reduce their carbon emissions. These drivers, combined with advances in key technologies including microgrids and energy storage, are resulting in rapid increases in the installed electric power production in industrial plants as well as in commercial and residential buildings. This new distribution system architecture provides a promising framework for distributed energy resources to deliver the same same services as we now receive from our current grid system at competitive rates, with reduced power losses, lower emissions, and improved reliability. The challenges and opportunities associated with this re-imagined distribution system architecture will be reviewed, drawing attention to progress that has already been achieved and the substantial work that remains to be done.

            Speaker: Prof. Thomas M. Jahns received his bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees from MIT, all in electrical engineering. Dr. Jahns joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998 as a Grainger Professor of Power Electronics and Electric Machines in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is a Co-Director of the Wisconsin Electric Machines and Power Electronics Consortium (WEMPEC), an industrial consortium with over 85 international sponsors. Dr. Jahns is also the Research Director of the Integrated Energy Systems Laboratory (IESL) at the UW Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI).

            Dr. Jahns is a Fellow of IEEE. He received the 2005 IEEE Nikola Tesla Technical Field Award “for pioneering contributions to the design and application of AC permanentmagnet machines”. Dr. Jahns is a Past President of the IEEE Power Electronics Society and the recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Achievement Award presented by the IEEE Industry Applications Society.

    • Section News

      • Meetings Reviews

        January Section Meeting: Dr. Bethany Stadler gave and excellent talk on the current state of research on magnetic Nanowires.  This fascinating talk showed how her lab advanced the state of the art in naowire research by growing wires of different materials using elecrochemistry with new substrates.    Wires with 10-nanometer diameters and length to width ratios of over 10,000:1 can be made using her techniques.  Some of the more interesting results were “striped” wires with copper interspersed with magnetic materials.  By controlling the length of each section, the magneto-resistive properties can be controlled.  Arrays of these wires are being adapted to read a number of simultaneous tracks on disk drives to separate the desired track from the adjacent “noise” tracks. By proper selection of materials, flagella-like hairs could be made to vibrate in a magnetic field for nano-bot locomotion.

        One interesting aspect of Dr. Stadler’s talk was the use of nano-wires coupled to bio-active compounds.  Such wires can be readily absorbed (actually “eaten”) by cells, allowing new uses of the materials for biological systems research.  One novel use was to have the wires absorbed into cancer cells.  Since the viscosity of cancer cells was more water-like than the viscosity of animal tissue cells, an applied magnetic field would cause the wires to spin, destroying cancer cells.  The animal tissue cells, being more solid, wold not allow the wires to spin, just vibrate. Stadler’s talk was not recorded, but a related Distinguished Lecture is posted by the Magnetics Society “IEEE-TV” at this link.

        Magnetic Nanowires Talk

      • Upcoming Meetings

        The Life Member and February Section Meetings will be held at UW-Madison College of Engineering Campus.  Note that they are both evening meetings to help with the on-campus parking problems.  Use the link posted to see what parking is available.  Note also that there is often parking on Breeze Terrace adjacent to the CoE and Camp Randall areas. These meetings will discuss research at two of the world-renowned facilities on campus — the the HSX Plasma Lab and the WEMPEC/IESL/WEI facilities.

        The March IEEE-Section Meeting is slated to be a talk by Anton Kapella of 5Nines on a topic related to networked radio communications.  Tony engineered a New York to Chicago over-the-air radio link, the purpose of which was to “beat” the velocity of propagation of single-mode fiber by using free-space radio waves, relaying across some 17
        tower sites, landing on either end atop tall buildings in each metro area. Tony also will touch on NSF-supported primary mobility networking research, via connection
        with the UW “WiNGS” lab. Quoting Tony: “It’s sure to be a whirlwind tour of all the raw, broken, and nasty crap we call “mobility networking” today!”   Stay tuned for the time and place for that talk.

        The IEEE-Madison LMAG is not planning a March meeting but is working on an April event at the Madison Science Museum to be sponsored by the Section and held as a joint LMAG/Madison Section event.  It will feature results from the UW-Madison “Ice Cube” facility in Antarctica.

      • IEEE-Madison Facebook Page/New Web Site Planned

        Thanks to volunteer, Nate Toth, the IEEE-Madison Section recently launched a Facebook page.  It is located at IEEE-Madsion Facebook link.  Feel free to “like” and/or “follow” this page, as it is a great place to share information on the happenings of IEEE Madison.  Events will be posted there, as well as some interesting things that folks are working on.  So, if you are working on interesting projects, conducting research, or doing anything else that is related to the activities of IEEE, please post.  Nate has also agreed to take over the IEEE-Madison Web site.  The new site is in the planning stages and will have the licensed Domain Name “ieee-msn.org”.  If you are interested in helping with the design/testing/rollout, please let us know.

      • IEEE Sections Congress 2017

        The IEEE International Sections Congress  for 2017 will be held August 11-13 Sydney, Australia.  The IEEE-MGA will pay the full cost of one, and partial cost of a second delegate from the Madison Section.  We are sending Clark Johnson, a long term volunteer with the IEEE-Madison Section, and Nate Toth, a new volunteer and Young Professional. The primary purpose of the Sections Congress is to vote on directions for the IEEE and to help with leadership training. We hope both will bring back new ideas to re-envigorate the IEEE-Madison Section.

      • 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 membership.

    • 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.

      • Life Member Affinity Group

        The first Thursday of January, March, May, September and November is reserved for a meeting on a topic selected from a broad range including such areas as technology, science, history, culture and leisure.

      • 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 Madison)
        • 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.
    • 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)cgervasi.com. 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


        The 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:


    • 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 2016 Officers and Board Members are Tom Kaminski – Chair, Scott Olsen – Vice Chair, Charles Gervasi – Treasurer, Steve Schultheis – Secretary, Timothy Chapman – Webmaster, Tom Kaminski – ECN Chair, Dennis Bahr – Engineering in Medicine and Biology Chapter Chair,  Charles Cowie – Life Member Affinity Group Chair, Chuck Kime – Life Member Affinity Group Vice Chair, Members at Large: Clark Johnson, Craig Heilman, Dennis Bahr, Sandy Rotter.

    • Job Openings

      Check out WIEES.com 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 WIEES.com site.

    • Sponsored Content

      EMC Testing Experts

Madison Science Museum

    • 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 tjkaminski(at)ieee.org.