PES Women in Power Update: Women of Wisdom (WOW) – Webinar Series in 2020

Women of Wisdom (WOW) is an International Tech-Talk Webinar Series jointly organized by IEEE PES Women in Power (WiP) Kerala Section, IEEE PES Kerala and IEEE WIE Kerala Section, in association with IEEE Region 10 PES WiP and hosted by IEEE SB TKM College of Engineering, Kollam.

The objective of this program is to open an international gateway for the audience to interact with eminent women leaders from different parts of the world and discuss about the rapidly emerging technologies. We are aiming to encourage inter disciplinary researches in cutting edge technologies, to encourage research collaboration, to empower women to take a leadership position and to enhance the POWER of women through POWERFUL WOMEN TALKS.

The WOW Tech Talk Series began on 25th June 2020 and has hence been enlivened with vibrant and charismatic women who joined the forum to discuss the rapidly emerging technologies. We have conducted 10 such sessions in the year 2020 and have many more to come in this webinar series. The world has witnessed several successful women who seized every opportunity to prove that if a woman is educated, the entire generation is educated; and Kerala WiP opened an international gateway for them. The event is open to all professionals and students including IEEE members.

Talk 1 (25 June 2020): “Enhancing Member Engagement of Women in IEEE PES WiP and WiE to foster Research and Innovation” by Dr Celia Shahnaz

The inaugural talk was handled by Dr. Celia Shahnaz, who is the founder and coordinator of FLASH, a special interest group on Humanitarian Technology (SIGHT), Bangladesh Section. She was also a candidate for the prestigious 2021-22 IEEE R10 Director-Elect position. She is currently working as a professor in BUET, Bangladesh. She has published more than 150 international journal/conference papers. She is a recipient of the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship/Fellowship and Bangladesh Academy of Science Gold Medal for her contribution in Science and Technology. Recently, her papers have received best paper awards in Biomedical Engineering tracks at TENCON 2017 and at IEEE WIECON-ECE 2016, in Humanitarian Challenge track at R10 HTC 2017.

Talk 2 (16 July 2020): “Gender Inequality in Electricity Consumption” by Dr Zuhaina Zakaria

Participants were welcomed by Dr Meenakshi, Vice Chair of IEEE WiE, Kerala Section. Prof Sunitha Beevi introduced the speaker Dr. Zuhaina Zakaria, The talk by Dr Zuhaina Zakaria, Director of the Centre for Academic Leadership Development at the Institute of Leadership & Development, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.

She gave an insight on the gender inequality in electricity consumption. As an active volunteer in IEEE PES, we could not have opted for a more apt speaker. She started off the session by talking about her journey with IEEE and the benefits of being an IEEE volunteer followed by the statistics of electricity consumption in Malaysia over a time period of 20 years and various measures taken to conserve energy. The talk provided a new perspective in terms of how gender plays a huge role in terms of consumption of power and how electricity can be supplied accordingly to ensure efficient usage of power. A total of 50 people attended the webinar. The session ended with the vote of thanks rendered by Dr Bijuna Kunju, Staff in Charge of IEEE PES SB TKMCE.

Talk 3 (13 August 2020): “Assistive Technology: The Path to Meaningful Engineering” by Dr Ramalatha Marimuthu

The third talk was by the most eminent personality Dr Ramalatha Marimuthu. She is a senior member of IEEE and founder chair of Madras IEEE WIE AG (2007). She launched an exclusive project “Sangamam” for the transfer of technology to rural areas. Based on her work, she has received various accolades including the “WIE Inspiring Member of the Year Award 2016” from IEEE WIE Committee. As part of her strife to make a difference, she was invited to the Google Headquarters, Mountainview, California to deliver a speech on her research in assistive technology for people with special needs. In this session, she explained about the various ways by which the assistive technology promotes greater independence by enabling people to perform tasks they were formerly unable to accomplish, or had great difficulty accomplishing, by providing various social enhancements. She also talked about the impact of assistive technology in special education, health and social care. The talk helped in analysing the changing methods of interacting with the technology needed to accomplish specific tasks. The welcome note for the session was given by Dr Mini Ullanat, Chair of IEEE WIE, Kerala Section. Prof. Sunitha Beevi. K has given the introduction of the speaker. During the session, Dr Ramalatha gave a vision on how engineering can be used effectively in various technologies. The efficacious talk had 31 attendees and Vote of thanks for the talk was given by Dr Bobby Philip, Secretary of IEEE PES, Kerala Section.

Talk 4 (24th August 2020): “Classifications of Covid-19 infected lung with the help of chest radiography images” by Dr Norliza Mohd Noor

Dr. Norliza Mohd, the Head of the Electrophysiology Research Group, was the speaker for another informative session. Researching on image processing and analysis, her current work concentrates on medical image analysis for lung diseases using techniques like deep learning, calcification detection using IVUS images and handwriting recognition. She is a senior member of IEEE (since 2008) and was a candidate for the prestigious IEEE R10 Director-Elect position. She has held important positions in IEEE in Malaysia as well as in the regional level.

The welcome note for the session was given by Dr Sobha Manakkal, Vice Chair of IEEE PES, Kerala Section. Prof. Sunitha Beevi. K had given the introduction of the speaker.

Using present data collected during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, she explained how one could use radiography images to identify Covid infected lungs with the help of image classification and machine learning. She also talked about the emergence of AI for detection of various lung diseases which in turn would reduce the workload on radiologist regarding the identification of various respiratory diseases. This session helped the participants to gain an insight on image processing and its importance in medical field, especially in the current scenario. The talk had 36 attendees and the vote of thanks was rendered by Prof Deepa K, Secretary of IEEE WiE, Kerala Section.

Talk 5 (10th September 2020): “Overview of Brain Computer Interfaces and it’s Clinical Applications” by Dr R. Subasree

The welcome note for the session was given by Dr Suheir A.K. Prof. Sunitha Beevi. K had given the introduction of the eminent personality Dr. R. Subasree. She is an Additional Professor in the Dept of Neurology at NIMHANS, Bangalore. She is a Fulbright Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellow, University of Houston, and has several National and International Publications to her name. ​In the session, Dr. Subasree explained about the ongoing research relevant to Brain Computer Interfaces and the vast amount of scope existing in this field. She pointed out how Medical and Engineering research are complementary in studies involving BCI. ​She went onto show several examples of how technology brought about changes in the lives of paralysed and disabled people and pointed out several areas where research is possible. ​The session was informative and inspiring for the students and once again reminded them of their fulfilment to society as responsible engineers. The session had 58 attendees and ended with the vote of thanks rendered by Prof Sabeena Beevi.

Talk 6 (24th September 2020): “Women Empowering the Greener Future with the impact of Sustainable Development” by Simay Akar

The talk was given by Simay Akar, who is currently the Chief Commercial Officer at Innoses -Ruiyi (Shanghai) Renewable Energy Technology Co., Ltd. in the field of Energy Storage for Renewable Energy and Electric vehicles. She has been volunteering in several leadership positions in IEEE and she is also the recipient of several awards from IEEE and other organisations. Ms. Simay talked about sustainable development and its role in providing a greener future for the world. She then moved onto how the involvement of women in the same can help to accelerate the growth of sustainable development-based projects and provided examples for the same her own life and her line of work. The welcome note for the session was given by Dr Mini Ullanat. Prof. Sunitha Beevi. K gave the introduction of the speaker. A total of 30 people attended the webinar. The session ended with the vote of thanks by Fayrooz Shahana, Chair, IEEE SB TKMCE.

Talk 7 (15th Oct. 2020): “Ventilator – A Supporting system for human life” by Dr. Smita V.

This program was also associated with IEEE WIE, NSW, Australia. The informative talk was given by Dr. Smitha V, MBBS, MD, DM. She has worked as Assistant Professor in the Department of Neuroanesthesia and Neurocritical Care, NIMHANS, Bangalore and is currently working as Associate Professor in the division of Neuroanesthesia and Critical Care, Dept. of Anesthesiology in SCTIMST.  The welcome note for the session was given by Er Ajith Gopi, Program Officer, ANERT and Vice Chair of PES, Kerala Section. Prof. Sunitha Beevi. K gave the introduction of the speaker. Dr Smita took a very informative session on Ventilators, both from a medical perspective as well as from an engineering standpoint. She explained the working of a ventilator and its need in administering patient care. She explained about the important features of a ventilator, its types and its extreme importance in the medical field, especially now, owing to the pandemic scenario. She also talked about how the medical field is heavily dependent on advances in engineering and motivated the students to do meaningful projects in the biomedical field. She also gave her perspective about the feasibility of creating a ventilator and if so what are the important measures to keep in mind, to curious engineering students as well as professional members who were working on ventilator projects. A total of 30 people attended the webinar. The session ended with the vote of thanks rendered by Dr Bijuna Kunju.

Talk 8 (29th Oct. 2020): “Automation, Artificial Intelligence in Banking” by Er Dhanya Sivasankaran

This program is also associated with IEEE NSW WIE, Australia. Er. Dhanya Sivasankaran, a TKMCE Alumnus in EEE handled the talk. Her incredible career took its turn with Infosys technologies, then the Finacle core banking system where for over a decade, she worked to implement banking solutions in various leading banks. Currently, she holds the position of a Test Manager for BNP Paribas, Singapore. She started of the session by talking about the challenges of automating various aspects of banking using artificial intelligence. She then explained the evolution in banking sector from ATM to Internet banking and AI along with the benefits and its applications in financial science. She justified the usage of using AI powered solutions by financial service organizations. The talk concluded with an explanation of the exact places where the technology is used followed by a question answer session. The welcome note for the session was given by Dr. Sobha Manakkal. Prof. Sunitha Beevi. K gave the introduction of the speaker. A total of 35 people attended the webinar. The session ended with the vote of thanks by Fayrooz Shahana.

Talk 9 (12th Oct 2020): “Black Start Planning Considering Impact of Renewable Energy” by Dr. Tina Chou

The talk was given by Dr. Tina Chou, Ph.D. holder in electrical engineering from National Taiwan University in 2012. Currently, Dr. Chou is the principal consultant in InterGrid, building smart grid solutions to facilitate green energy integration and system stability. She has actively contributed to various IEEE Societies. The welcome note for the session was given by Dr. Sabeena Beevi K. Prof. Sunitha Beevi. K gave the introduction of the speaker. Dr. Tina started the session explaining about Black Start capability and its importance in our unpredictable world. She talked about black start units, optimization problems in engineering, increasing generation of renewable energy, black start planning model and the prediction model and machine learning algorithms as well as it’s simulation results. She went on to demonstrate how black start planning can be achieved using renewable energy, as more and more countries are starting to depend on renewable energy sources for their energy needs. Later she explained about the ongoing research in the field of black start planning, including early detection methods and other topics. The talk concluded with attendees clearing queries and comparisons were made on how similar methods could help in the state of Kerala, owing to its recent history of monsoon floods accompanied by blackouts in several areas. A total of 41 people attended the webinar. The session concluded with the vote of thanks by Er. Ajith Gopi.

Talk 10 (19th Nov. 2020): “Seizing Opportunities for Your Future” by Dr. Ruomei Li

The session was handled by Dr. Ruomei Li, SMIEEE. She is currently the WiP Chair of IEEE PES and an honorary member of CIGRE. She received her PhD from University of Bath, UK in 2000 and she is the initiator of women activities in the field of electrical engineering in CSEE and CIGRE. The welcome note for the session was given by Dr. Mini Ullanat. The speaker was introduced by Prof. Sunitha Beevi. K.  Dr. Li gave a very inspiring session on how people must break open from their shells and go in search of opportunities instead of waiting for it to be handed to them on a plate. She used examples from both her personal life and her career to justify the same. She also talked about her volunteering and positions held in IEEE and how the organization helped mould her into the person she is. She talked about how she never considered being a woman as a disadvantage in her professional career, and repeatedly urged the women volunteers present to actively participate in events and handle responsibilities. She concluded by explaining about the different opportunities provided by IEEE and how volunteers can seize those opportunities to elevate their professional lives as well as mould their personality. A total of 56 people attended the webinar and the session ended with the vote of thanks by Dr. Bijuna Kunju.

Prof. Sunitha Beevi. K
Coordinator, WiP, Kerala Section
Treasurer, Kerala Section