January 2019

Madison Section Newsletter

Vol. 22, No. 1             Serving IEEE Members of South Central Wisconsin               January 2019
Newsletters are archived online at IEEE-Madison Web Site.


Upcoming Meetings

January LMAG/Section Meeting: "Astronomical Photometry at Washburn Observatory"

Date/Time: January 24th 5:30-7:00PM

Location: UW Space Place - 2300 South Park St, Suite 100 Atrium Lower Level, Madison, WI

Meeting Info

ECN Meeting: "LENR Event and Discussion"

Date/Time: January 31st 7:45am -10am

Location: Sector 67, 56 Cory Street, Madison, WI

Meeting Info


Elections are complete!  See the results below

It's time to Renew you IEEE Membership!

Past Meetings

Review of December EMB Meeting

Gregg Miklashek gave a great talk!  See the review below

Review of the December PES-IAS Chapter Meeting

Dan Ludois gave a talk on the motors that his firm C-Motive is developing.  See the review below

Review of December ECN/YP  Meeting

ECN and YP groups met at Sector 67 for a tour and discussion.  See the review below


January LMAG/Section Meeting: "Astronomical Photometry at Washburn Observatory"

Presentation Title: Astronomical Photometry at Washburn Observatory: Development of Electronic Light Measurement.

  Quantitative measurement of starlight came of age at Washburn Observatory in the decades just before the second World War. UW astronomers exploited the photoelectric effect along with the rapidly developing technologies of electronics to put stellar astronomy on a firm foundation and produce great advances in our understanding of galaxies, including our own. This talk will explore the Wisconsin contributions to the technology of astronomical photometry and its scientific fruits.

Bio: Dr. James Lattis is a historian of astronomy.  He is a faculty associate in the UW-Madison Dept. of Astronomy and director of UW Space Place.  His specialties include astronomy in the age of Galileo and the history of astronomy in Wisconsin.  He is currently writing a book on the history of Washburn Observatory.

ECN Meeting: "LENR Event and Discussion"


This Entrepreneurs and Consultants Network Meeting is specifically to view a presentation on novel LENR technology in a commercial setting.  The event will first view a live streaming event unveiling the latest device that uses LENR (Low Energy Nuclear Reactions) Technology dubbed E-cat SK developed by Leonardo Corporation. Opportunities for interactive questions will follow the viewing.  A post viewing opportunity to discuss the technology will happen for those attending the local viewing.

The E-Cat SK device is one of several similar devices under development by competing corporations. Hints of the possibility of LENR reactions have been traced as far back as Ben Franklin with his lightning experiments. Fleischman and Pons investigated it and announced their research as "Cold Fusion" in 1989.  It was immediately debunked as "junk science". However since then, careful research has shown that the reaction did in fact generate more energy as heat than the input energy. In addition, the Department of Defense has offered commercialization patents for related reactions. In the past few months, several periodicals have published articles about LENR.

One article titled “Scientists in the U.S. and Japan Get Serious About Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions: It’s absolutely, definitely, seriously not cold fusion” was published in IEEE Spectrum here

The author, Michael Koziol points to one event that he finds significant:

  • A paper from Japanese researchers reporting excess heat production in hydrogen/deuterium loaded nanocomposites here

For background on the original Fleischman and Pons research, see this Youtube video from "60 Minutes"  here


Italian-American inventor Andrea Rossi will be demonstrating a 27 kW E-Cat heater in operation, which he claims produces more energy than it consumes. He will show a test of the E-Cat which will include measurements of energy consumed and energy produced. Dr. Rossi will also discuss his business plan of providing industrial customers with E-Cat powered heat priced at a significant discount to current energy sources used in industry. During the event will be taking questions from the audience. We will forward any questions we have to the moderator.

If you are interested, but can't make the meeting, the Streaming Video will start at this link.


  • Madison Elections Results:  Congratulations Section Officers Nate Toth (Chair), Hugh Schmidt (Vice Chair), Michael Stemper (Secretary) and Tom Kaminski (Treasurer).  Congratulations also to the At-Large members, Clark Johnson, Dennis Bahr, San Rotter and Craig Heilman. Congratulations to the newly elected PES-IAS Chapter Officers, Dan Ludios (Chair), Eric Seversin (Vice Chair) and Michael Stemper (Secretary/Treasurer) and to the LMAG Chair (San Rotter) and Vice Chair (Charles Cowie).  Thanks also to those other volunteers who help out: Charles Gervasi: 2018 Treasurer and FaceBook contributor, Nate Toth - Webmaster, Scott Olsen - Membership Development Chair, Tom Kaminski - Newsletter Editor.
  • Renew your IEEE Membership:  It is that time of year to renew your IEEE Membership and help support the Madison Section.  A portion of your dues goes to financially support the Section, allowing us to host events with little or no cost to members.  To renew your membership, click on this RENEW NOW link.
  • First Tech Challange Donation to Sector67: The IEEE-Madison Section has donated $500 to help sponsor an East High team via Sector67.  The competition is discussed here. According to Chris Meyer, This is the 3rd year of hosting an East High team and they are excited and happy for our support of East High in this endeavor.  Our donation allows them to host the team for free and cover costs for the students to participate in the Fox Valley tournament (as well as the FIRST registration and parts they need to continue to build their machine). Anyone interested in VOLUNTEERING is welcome to get in touch, as they are always seeking mentors for the students learning programming, fabrication, electronics, machining, and so forth -- essential skills for today's technicians. Sector67 also partners with Tormach to provide a machine shop at the WI state and national competitions as shown here.

Reviews of Past Meetings

Review of December EMB Meeting

Gregg Miklashek lived up to the title of the talk, giving a laid-back presentation that hit on a number of points. Greg used  the knowledge that primitive societies and remaining isolated societies living in a sustainable, stress-free way do not suffer from modern diseases, such as cardio-vascular problems.  He briefly discussed the brain and how stress leads to neuro-chemical imbalances that definitely affect health. He discussed how he now lives reasonably stress free, hiking on the lovely local trails and how he avoids stressful situations, like air travel.  Gregg said that he frequently meditates and lowers stress and suggested that everyone should meditate frequently.

Review of the December PES-IAS Chapter Meeting

(Review by Mike Stemper) On Tuesday, December 11, the newly-formed Madison chapter of the PES (Power & Energy Society) and the IAS (Industrial Applications Society) held its inaugural meeting in Engineering Hall on the UW (University of Wisconsin) campus. After introductions, Tom Kaminski, 2018 Chair of the Madison Section, put forth a slate of officer candidates for PES/IAS proposed by the Executive Committee of the Madison Section. The slate was approved by a show of hands. The new officers are: Chair: Dan Ludois Vice Chair: Eric Severson Secretary/Treasurer: Mike Stemper,

After the election, Dan Ludois gave a talk on his experience of starting up a new firm. The firm is C-Motive, which builds capacitive (electro-static) motors. The motivation for these devices is primarily the reduction of energy consumption. He led us from the theory of these motors through the process of development. He noted that although software startups are quite common now, hardware startups are less so, leading to potential investors having obstacles to their understanding. Eventually, a first prototype was produced. Given its slight advantages over existing technology (electro-magnetic motors), the market was unimpressed. Continued development gave several orders of magnitude more improvements, and led to an industry-university collaboration, led by WARF (the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation). Continuous fund-raising is necessary to keep a startup thriving. At the end of the talk, he answered questions and passed around some of C-Motive's motors.

Review of December ECN/YP Meeting

Chris Meyer gave a brief talk on the new facility.  He showed us an incredible time-lapse video of the facility as they raised the whole roof one full story.  Sector67 constructed all of the grid-iron work needed to raise the roof.  After the roof was raised, Sector67 contracted to have a pre-cast concrete floor installed, effectively doubling the facility's space. Currently the second floor is only used for storage, but future upgrades will make it part of the habitable space.

IEEE Madison Leadership

  • Section Chair – Nate Toth
  • Section Vice Chair – Hugh Schmidt
  • Section Treasurer – Tom Kaminski
  • Section Secretary – Mike Stemper
  • Webmaster – Nate Toth
  • PES/IAS Chair – Dan Ludois
  • PES/IAS Vice Chair – Eric Severson
  • PES/IAS Secretary/Treasurer- Mike Stemper
  • EMB Chapter Chair – Dennis Bahr
  • Life Member Affinity Group Chair – San Rotter
  • Life Member Affinity Group Vice Chair – Charles Cowie
  • ECN Chair – Tom Kaminski
  • Young Professionals Chair – Nate Toth
  • Members at Large: Clark Johnson, Craig Heilman, Dennis Bahr, San Rotter.


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 thinformal networking portion of the monthly Section meetings (starting at 11:30am) to meet the Section Board members and discuss intentions.


About IEEE

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