Tag Archives: The_Institute

Four Actions Engineers Can Take to Ensure Their Startup Succeeds

Post Syndicated from Kathy Pretz original https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-institute/ieee-member-news/four-actions-engineers-can-take-to-ensure-their-startup-succeeds

Venture advisor Chenyang Xu recommends staying up to date on technology and taking entrepreneurship classes

THE INSTITUTEEngineers often misunderstand what it takes to launch a successful startup, according to IEEE Fellow Chenyang Xu, who has been advising entrepreneurs and investors for 20 years.

Xu was general manager of the Siemens Technology-to-Business Center, in Berkeley, Calif., where he led a team of venture technologists who invested in and partnered with more than 50 promising disruptive-technology startups. He helped found the Silicon Valley Future Academy, a consulting company in Palo Alto, Calif., that teaches startups about design, venture capital, and cutting-edge technologies including artificial intelligence and big data. He’s now a partner at the Corporate Innovators Huddle, in Menlo Park, Calif., which provides a forum to help large companies be more innovative by investing in and partnering with startups. And he’s the managing partner at Perception Vision Medical Technologies, a fast-growing startup involved with AI, based in Guangzhou, China.

 Xu says many technologists struggle when they start their own company. “Running their own business is foreign to many engineers, because they don’t understand the process,” he says. “They fail because there are too many gaps in their knowledge.” Xu calls that gap the “entrepreneurship Grand Canyon,” with engineers on one side and entrepreneurs on the other.

“It’s a gap that feels so big that engineers feel they cannot cross it,” he says.

Xu identified four actions that engineers can take to narrow the divide.


Being an expert in a single area can cause you to lose perspective, Xu says.

“This is not to say that specialization is wrong,” he adds, “but I think that as you keep specializing, it’s also important to be aware of the speed of change of the broader engineering discipline.

“A cutting-edge technology today can become a dinosaur tomorrow. Don’t become obsolete.”


There are a host of things that engineers turned founders need to know besides technology, Xu says, such as business-model development, venture-capital processes, communication, leadership, and how to prepare pitches to investors.

“Engineers will have a far greater impact to society if they are able to understand entrepreneurship,” he says. “I’ve coached hundreds of brilliant engineers over the years, and I found they are held back because of their mindset.”

There are many entrepreneurship programs out there, he notes. One valuable resource is the IEEE Entrepreneurship program, which offers online resources and both online and in-person events for people to meet and support one another. Its IEEE N3XT event series provides startups with opportunities to connect with venture capitalists and others who might help them get their company off the ground.

Some corporations, including Cisco and Siemens, offer entrepreneurship training to their employees in the form of boot camps.

Colleges such as Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley, are doing a good job of incorporating entrepreneurship courses into their engineering programs, Xu says.


Entrepreneurs have to deal with a lot of uncertainties and unknowns. That is not easy for engineers, who often know what they have to do and prefer to stick to fundamental principles, Xu says. Startup founders have to be good communicators who can articulate ideas effectively to investors, he says.

“The stereotype for engineers is that they don’t like to work with people and only talk through computers,” Xu says. “This is indeed common. But from my experience, all engineers can learn to be good communicators if they set their mind to taking continuous-learning courses and practicing their communication skills.

“Another critical skill that entrepreneurs need is leadership, which isn’t taught in engineering school.”

IEEE offers several online career development courses, including An Introduction to Leadership: A Primer for the Practitioner, Leadership Development for Technical Professionals, Communication and Presentation Skills for Technical Professionals, and Stuff You Don’t Learn in Engineering School: Communicating Effectively.


Gender equality is an important issue for Xu.

“Women show more empathy and tend to develop relationships—which are two key attributes of effective entrepreneurs,” he says.

Xu is a member of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department industrial advisory board at UC Berkeley and a member of the Biomedical Engineering Department advisory board at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore.

These university engineering department boards are working on ways to recruit more women and attract more girls from grade school and high school to engineering, he says.

“Companies need to hire more women and promote diversity,” he says. “We are seeing some women leaders rise up through the ranks, but in general there is still a minority.

“A team with more diversity often achieves higher performance and better results.”

Why Communications Skills Are Critical To Engineers

Post Syndicated from Jennifer D. Bosavage original https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-institute/ieee-member-news/why-communications-skills-are-critical-to-engineers

Being able to clearly share ideas with others is an important quality in a leader

THE INSTITUTEEngineers are creative types. They are responsible for dreaming up and building systems that companies will implement or sell, with the goal of improving the bottom line. Because their roles require team building and leadership, engineers must be able to clearly communicate complex ideas and technical project plans. They also need to be strong persuaders to see their designs come to life. Building consensus is a giant step toward delivering a project on time and according to specifications.

Here are a few important communication skills that every engineer should possess, and tips on how to master them.

Public speaking

Many people are intimidated by public speaking. But in the working world, it is a vital skill to be able to talk in front of groups of people, as well as to larger crowds. Being able to communicate ideas freely and confidently affects everyday interactions and can impact career paths. Incorporating relatable, self-deprecating and humorous content engages the audience. Several professional groups offer coaching to help members feel more at ease with public speaking. For example, the nationwide Toastmasters organization offers tips and mentoring to improve speakers’ confidence and abilities. For engineers in particular, this talent is key to sharing ideas at staff meetings, trade shows and conferences.


Engineers need to be able to report their findings in a clear, concise manner. They will be expected to explain how their ideas evolved, why they designed a project as they did, why a project meets current needs and what makes an idea worth investment. Engineers must be able to communicate the level of effort required, the materials necessary and a time estimate of how long the solution will take — from building a prototype to designing for manufacturability to mass production. Further, some engineers’ jobs depend on their being published in prestigious industry journals. Community colleges typically offer business writing classes that can help hone a student’s writing technique.

Speaking with authority

The enemy of any speaker is the audience’s attention span. Engaging presenters have a knack for playing to their audience by being plain-spoken and knowledgeable without being dull or preachy. Understanding the power of the pause — not rushing in to fill every quiet moment with a word — is a particularly useful tactic. In addition, telling a relevant story helps draw in the audience and is effective for explaining a particularly complex subject. Engineers who can articulate their vision for a product and get support from other engineers, as well as management, will reap career benefits. Having thorough knowledge of the subject matter is the most crucial element for being viewed as an expert whose opinion is worthy of attention.

Effective communicators are more likely to be promoted than those who struggle to get their message across. Engineers who are good communicators are recognized by their supervisors and by their clients, which often leads to loyal customers and solid performance reviews.

Formula Hybrid Champions Built Their Race Car with New Drivetrain Tech

Post Syndicated from Christopher Robertson original https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-institute/ieee-news/formula-hybrid-champions-built-their-race-car-with-new-drivetrain-tech

University of Victoria students placed first in the world’s toughest hybrid car competition

THE INSTITUTEAfter months of building a high-performance hybrid vehicle, a 5,138-kilometer drive across North America, and four days of competition, the University of Victoria’s Formula Hybrid team took first place at the annual Society of Automotive Engineers competition for best overall hybrid design.

The contest, which was held this year from 28 April to 2 May, challenges undergraduates to design and build a race car with a hybrid drivetrain. The event has been hosted by Dartmouth College at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway since 2006. This year teams from 20 different schools participated. The vehicles were tested on their acceleration, endurance, maneuverability, and overall design.

Like their competitors, the winning Victoria team, from British Columbia, Canada, used electric power as well as gasoline. What set the Victoria group apart was the use of a capacitor-based system for energy storage rather than lithium-ion batteries. That allowed them to discharge energy at a faster rate, says IEEE Student Member Jules Pare, part of the Victoria team. He headed up the group working on the car’s chassis and suspension.

“The capacitor system is lighter than an equivalent lithium-ion battery pack for how much potential energy the system can deliver,” Pare says. The design choice wasn’t without drawbacks, he notes: “The capacitor system doesn’t have as much energy or capacity, so the car doesn’t get as long of a run. But it can deliver way more instant power for less weight.” And in a competition where speed is vital, weight is an important factor during the design process, the team says.

The group used regenerative braking to charge the capacitor system. “There are a lot of hills on the course,” says Tylynn Haddow, also an IEEE student member and the team’s electrical lead. When the car goes downhill, the capacitor system allows for the buildup of energy to be used going up and the same for going in and out of turns, she says.

Among other distinctions, the team received recognition for its innovative use of pneumatic antiroll technology to keep the vehicle steady during sharp turns. The team’s interim power train lead, Cayenne Chen, says the device employs dual-action pneumatic pistons that are linked across the car. Using pressurized air across the vehicle helps maintain traction while turning corners and allows for better bump absorption, Chen says.

“The use of pneumatic antiroll also allowed us to adjust the pressure of the air, he says, “and therefore, the balance of the car, really quickly.”

The car’s suspension affects how well it can grip the road. “The lighter it is, the faster the car will go,” Pare says, “and the stiffer it is, the better it resists twisting.” The design played a large role during the race’s autocross portion, which required a lot of sharp cornering, he says.


Members of the team say they joined the UVic Formula Hybrid club because they were interested in getting hands-on experience building a hybrid vehicle. Participation in the club enabled them to challenge themselves, learn from their mistakes, and collaborate with their classmates. “In the real world, and in class, it’s stressful to get things correct the first time,” Pare says. “This is a great way to learn about different roles and responsibilities that you’ll encounter in your career.”

A number of the students say they felt they’ve contributed to improving society. They believe the future is bright for hybrid technology, they say, despite hesitation among consumers who are unfamiliar with such cars’ abilities.

“Even though hybrid vehicles are more complex because they have two systems, it actually takes a lot of the strain off of the individual power systems, allowing each of them to last longer and requiring less maintenance,” Haddow says.

Any step made to reduce emissions is beneficial, Chen says: “The cars are coming down in cost, are more fuel efficient, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.”

The team is building a new vehicle, which is intended to be used in future races. According to Pare, the team plans to switch from the capacitor to a lithium-ion-based accumulator, a rechargeable battery used for moderate and short-term tasks.

The current vehicle frame has been in use since 2016, and the team intends to start from scratch with that in an attempt to reduce its size and weight and gain more creative control of its overall design. They intend to have both vehicles functioning in parallel, Pare says, to serve as teaching and testing tools for future team members.

 “Team members interested in hands-on learning or testing could work on the current car,” Chen says, “while members who are more interested in design can work on building the new one.”

 “We’ve got quite a year ahead of us,” Pare says. “This is going to be the first time in a while that we’ve done a new power train and completely different setup, so it’s going to be a huge season for us.”

General Electric Device That Revolutionized Electrical Machines Is Now an IEEE Milestone

Post Syndicated from Joanna Goodrich original https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-institute/ieee-history/general-electric-device-that-revolutionized-electrical-machines-is-now-an-ieee-milestone

The silicon-controlled rectifier, or thyristor, can be found in flash bulbs, motors and manufacturing equipment

THE INSTITUTEMore than 60 years after General Electric introduced the silicon-controlled rectifier, it is still a dominant control device in the power industry because of its efficiency. The SCR, also known as the thyristor, is a three-terminal p-n-p-n device that has an anode, a cathode, and a gate. It was introduced in 1957 and developed at a GE facility in Clyde, N.Y.

The invention of the SCR led to improvements in the control of the rectification, or conversion, of line voltage from AC to DC and became the basis of modern speed control in both AC and DC motors. The device’s application to motor control made possible the displacement of DC motors by the more efficient and reliable AC motors, particularly in trains, according to the Engineering and Technology History Wiki. SCRs also allowed for DC electrical transmission at much higher voltages and power levels than previously obtainable, says IEEE Life Senior Member Sreeram Dhurjaty, chair of the IEEE Power Electronics Society’s Rochester Section chapter.

The SCR was dedicated as an IEEE Milestone on 14 June. Administered by the IEEE History Center and supported by donors, the Milestone program recognizes outstanding technical developments around the world. The Rochester Section’s Power Electronics Society chapter was the sponsor.


Prior to 1955, triode vacuum tubes, which control the flow of electric current between electrodes, were used for machine control. They were difficult to operate and frequently failed in large machines.

To fix those issues, IEEE Member John Bardeen and Walter H. Brattain of Bell Laboratories in 1947 developed the point-contact transistor, an interconnection between two transistors.

According to IEEE Life Fellow Edward Owen, who wrote the article “SCR Is 50 Years Old” about the technology in the IEEE Industry Applications Magazine, the complexity of the point-contact transistor’s circuits and the fragile nature of the technology spurred GE power engineers Frank Gutzwiller and Gordon Hall to develop a new technology in 1956 that would improve upon Bardeen and Brattain’s device. But, as IEEE Life Fellow Gerard Hurley, history chair of the IEEE Power Electronics Society, explained during the Milestone ceremony, the two engineers encountered several issues.

Hurley said Gutzwiller and Hall did not realize until later in their research that silicon, not germanium, was the appropriate semiconductor material to use for the SCR. Germanium has a smaller band gap—which means less energy is required to pull electrons into conduction. That makes it easier for the material to heat up and degrade.

Gutzwiller and Hall also encountered problems with false triggering. Heat alone could cause the device to turn on. The device also could be triggered by induced current, when the anode to cathode voltages rose too fast. Both instances could cause leakage, which could increase power consumption or result in complete circuit failure.

The first SCRs that Gutzwiller and Hall built could tolerate only low voltages, but refinements to the manufacturing process ultimately produced devices capable of handling voltages exceeding 10 kilovolts. Gutzwiller and Hall also designed a silicon-wafer bonding process capable of better accommodating thermally induced stresses.

Modern SCRs are used for AC power control for lights and motors, AC power switching circuits, and photographic flashes.

The SCR also made an impact on manufacturing, according to IEEE Life Fellow John Kassakian, founding president of the IEEE Power Electronics Society.

“The steel, electrochemical, automotive, and welding industries, among many others, benefited greatly by the improved efficiency, more precise control, and reduced cost made possible by the application of SCR-based equipment to their processes,” Kassakian said at the Milestone ceremony.

A plaque honoring the SCR was mounted at the entrance of the Advanced Atomization Technologies headquarters, in Clyde. AAT is a joint venture between GE Aviation and Parker Aerospace.

The plaque reads:

General Electric introduced the silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR), a three-terminal p-n-p-n device, in 1957. The gas-filled tubes used previously were difficult to operate and unreliable. The symmetrical alternating-current switch (TRIAC), the gate turn-off thyristor (GTO), and the large integrated gate-commutated thyristor (IGCT) evolved from the SCR. Its development revolutionized efficient control of electric energy and electrical machines.

This article was written with assistance from the IEEE History Center, which is funded by donations to the IEEE Foundation’s Realize the Full Potential of IEEE campaign.

What “Social Good” Means to Engineers

Post Syndicated from Christopher Robertson original https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-institute/ieee-products-services/what-social-good-means-to-engineers

IEEE TechEthics panelists talk about how engineers can use their skills to contribute to making a better world

THE INSTITUTEMany engineers want to apply their skills to help improve their communities and the wider world. But sorting out how best to do that can be challenging.

According to panelists during an April webinar sponsored by the IEEE TechEthics Conversations Series, technologists shouldn’t try to define what’s good for a community. Instead, the beneficiaries of such efforts should make that determination.

On the panel were Neth Daño, Deborah G. Johnson, and IEEE Senior Member Nicholas Kirsch. Daño is a researcher for the Erosion, Technology, and Concentration (ETC) Group on issues related to agriculture, biosafety, and climate change in Southeast Asia. Johnson recently retired as a professor of applied ethics at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville. Kirsch is an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of New Hampshire in Durham and is past chair of Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) in IEEE.

The three panelists addressed the role of engineers in helping developing countries and discussed ways to improve communities, both locally and internationally. They also examined something more fundamental: what it means for an effort to be a “social good.”

Community service

There are many societal problems around the world that can be helped by engineering. Kirsch highlighted EPICS in IEEE, which is funded by the IEEE Foundation, and empowers high school and college students to use technical solutions to aid community organizations. EPICS in IEEE has provided US $500,000 in funding to more than 100 projects in the past decade, he pointed out. Because students who have an idea about how to assist their community apply for the grants, he said, the resulting projects are based on practical local need.

Kirsch pointed to one such project in the remote town of Itabocal, Brazil. Traditional telecommunication companies often don’t provide high-quality service to such rural communities because the companies don’t see the value in that, he says. The poor quality of service can make conducting commerce and accessing educational programs challenging. EPICS in IEEE funded a student project led by IEEE Member Brenda Vilas Boas to install a low-cost, 2G telecommunication system using open-source communication protocols.

Kirsch also spoke about Sun in a Bottle, an EPICS in IEEE project in the South African settlement of Kathrada Park. The community had no access to electricity, forcing people to rely on candlelight, a potential fire hazard. IEEE student members from the University of Johannesburg developed low-cost solar-powered light canisters.


Affordability can have a strong impact on a community’s ability to access helpful technologies. Daño noted that struggling communities might not even know such technologies exist. Additionally, she said, most underserved communities are at the mercy of decisions made by their governments, which might prioritize other constituents’ needs instead.

Daño explained efforts by the ETC Group to improve rice farming in the Philippines. The private nonprofit organization provided farmers with drum-seeder technology, equipment that can help sow germinated rice seeds directly in wetland fields. The farmers in the Philippines got help from retired Dutch engineers, who taught the farmers how to tailor the drum seeders to meet their needs. That increased the farmers’ output.

The farmers could have approached their government for help but, according to Daño, they already knew they couldn’t afford the drum seeder and would require additional assistance to properly deploy it.

“They needed help from others to use technologies that are both accessible and appropriate,” she said.


Not all outreach programs succeed. Daño’s research has found that community-improvement projects can fail when locals are not consulted.

“That discussion has to include the communities,” she said. “It’s like putting the cart before the horse.

 “Decades of experience shows us that the definition of social good should come from the community that will benefit.”

The role of nonprofit organizations, she added, is to help identify problems and facilitate responses.


The panelists agreed that hands-on experience is the best way to learn how technology can improve lives, especially for engineering students. A study published by IEEE shows that when students participate in community-service projects, they have a greater appreciation for the impact technology can have in solving global issues, Kirsch said.

“Students who participate have a much greater sense of satisfaction in solving the problem,” he said, “because they get to see how they are directly improving someone’s life.

“The best way to ensure social good is to get involved,” he added. If you want to help, he suggests, find a community that has a need in your field of interest.

Three Ways Engineers Are Improving the Planet

Post Syndicated from Siobhan Treacy original https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-institute/ieee-member-news/three-ways-engineering-are-improving-the-planet

Smart technology can help combat global warming and create a better future

THE INSTITUTEEarth is in a nerve-wracking phase. Global warming is a major topic and humans are starting to see the effects, like extreme weather events. In 2017, Hurricane Maria hit Caribbean communities and left millions of people without power and shelter for months. Humans are searching for ways to fix the damage being done to our environment, and engineers are making major strides towards this goal. Below are three ways engineers are improving the planet.

Clean water

Clean water is not accessible to everyone. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 785 million people did not have access to a basic clean drinking water service in 2017. Engineers are creating technology that will bring clean water to those who need.

The Warka Tower, for instance, is a 10-meter tower designed to collect and harvest potable water from the air, generate electrical energy from sunlight and even sustain a modular edible garden through an integrated irrigation system. The tower, built with biodegradable and recyclable materials, works through gravity, condensation and evaporation without the need for external power. Eventually, similar towers could provide clean water to any town that needs it.

Engineers are also working on implementing smart technology to track the health of water pumps. When a pump isn’t working, an alert is sent via smartphone app so that engineers can fix it quickly. In the absence an alert system, water pumps can go months without being serviced.

Clean energy

No matter what form it comes in, solar, wind or water, the world needs to move toward clean energy harvesting. Engineers are bringing clean energy to the forefront with inventions like solar panels, wind turbines and hydropumps. Engineers have also created grid-tie systems to go hand in hand with clean energy generation. Grid-tie systems allow consumers who harvest their own clean energy to sell the extra energy they produce to utility companies. This energy can then be used by consumers who don’t generate their own energy, creating a collaborative strategy that benefits a whole community.

Sustainable farming

As the world’s population grows, producing sufficient food is becoming increasingly difficult. Engineers are working to find solutions to avert worldwide food shortages.

One strategy is to implement sustainable farming, which comes in many forms. Hydroponic, aeroponic and aquaponic farming were all developed by engineers to make it easier to grow food. All three types allow food to be grown in an indoor environment, increasing the amount produced.

Engineers are also creating smart farms that use technology to streamline and improve farming.  Automation is one step towards smart farming; it opens the potential to speed up the farming process and eliminate human error. From tillers to sorting machines to tractors, almost every farming machine can be automated. Smart farms can also employ drones to plant seeds, spray crops and keep real-time analysis of fields.

In sum, engineers are trying to help humanity, from sustainable farming to clean energy to clean water. They are working on making the Earth a better place for everyone, now and into the future.

Candidates for 2020 IEEE President-Elect Issue Their Position Statements

Post Syndicated from Joanna Goodrich original https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-institute/ieee-news/candidates-for-2020-ieee-president-elect-issue-their-position-statements

The two candidates share their plans for increasing diversity, expanding services, and attracting more members from industry

The annual IEEE election process begins in August, so be sure to check your mailbox then for your ballot. To help you choose the 2020 IEEE president-elect, The Institute is publishing the official biographies and position statements of the two candidates, as approved by the IEEE Board of Directors. The candidates are Fellows Susan K. “Kathy” Land and Dejan Milojicic.

Fellow Susan K. “Kathy” Land

Nominated by IEEE Board of Directors

Land is an acknowledged expert and author in the field of software engineering standardization, software process improvement, and engineering project management. As 2018 Vice President of IEEE Technical Activities, Ms. Land expanded the focus on diversity, entrepreneurship, future directions, young professionals, and standards. Ms. Land has demonstrated senior executive leadership experience in a career spanning industry and government systems and software product acquisition and development.

Ms. Land is an IEEE Fellow receiving numerous awards for performance and service, which include the Northrop Grumman/TASC President’s Coin, Huntsville Professional of the Year, Huntsville Association of Technical Societies Moquin Award, IEEE Computer Society (CS) Richard E. Merwin Award and the IEEE Standards Association Standards Medallion. She served as the 2009 president of the IEEE CS, three terms on the IEEE Board of Directors, and two terms as a member of the IEEE-USA Board of Directors.

Website: https://susankathyland.com/


One of the great choices that I made over 20 years ago was to become involved in IEEE. This decision defines who I am both personally and technically. I saw how effective each person could be, how you could empower other volunteers and together collectively make positive changes to our profession, and I was hooked.  This is what I want to share with every individual working in technology.  

IEEE is a large and complex organization and individuals are motivated to come to us for our products and services, or to volunteer.  My objectives are to make practical improvements that inspire people to call IEEE their technical home. If elected, I commit to:

  • Improve the IEEE organization by increasing diversity and awareness of global issues, encouraging communication and engagement across all units of IEEE.
  • Promote and empower the next generation of technical experts by supporting STEM engagement, student chapters, and our YP and WIE affinity groups.
  • Expand our current portfolio of products and services for industry and entrepreneurs.
  • Improve the IEEE business process framework and continue my efforts to clarify financial reporting and promote fiscal responsibility.

I thank you for your support of the IEEE and for helping to make IEEE the technical professional’s lifelong network of choice. Let’s work together to make IEEE the first place people go to for the highest quality technical information. 

“Leadership is not about the next election, it’s about the next generation.” Simeon Sinek

Fellow Dejan Milojicic

Nominated by IEEE Board of Directors

Milojicic is a distinguished technologist at Hewlett Packard Labs, Palo Alto, CA (1998-) leading system software teams over 4 continents and projects with budgets of hundreds US$M. He worked at the OSF Research Institute in Cambridge, MA and at the Mihajlo Pupin Institute in Belgrade, Serbia. Milojicic received his PhD from Kaiserslautern University, Germany; and his MSc/BSc from Belgrade University, Serbia. He was a technical director of the Open Cirrus Cloud Computing Testbed, with academic, industrial and government sites in the US, Europe, and Asia. He has published 2 books and 180 papers; he has 37 granted patents. He is an IEEE Fellow (2010) and ACM Distinguished Engineer (2008). Milojicic was on 8 PhD thesis committees and taught Cloud management course at SJSU. As president of the IEEE Computer Society (2014), he started Technology Predictions, the top viewed CS news. As the industry engagement chair, he started IEEE Infrastructure’18 conference.

Website: https://dejan.milojicic.com/


IEEE is at inflection points of the changing engineering profession, global society, and membership models. The organization has a great opportunity to influence technology and benefit humanity. My three main goals are to:

  • Increase IEEE’s relevance to existing and new industry members, and connect them better with members from academia and government. Inform members of short and long-term trends affecting their profession. Help members make informed career decisions and increase their professional recognition. Broaden IEEE corporate partnership with startups. Strengthen industry events.
  • Create innovative IEEE products and services. Modernize events to be of higher practical value, for example introduce a meetup model. Offer high-end services to enterprises, governments, and non-government organizations, such as a Cyber Grand Challenge. Create light-weight, right-timed standards, for example interoperable AI.
  • Reinvigorate global membership models, from traditional pay-based (400K), to engagement (~4M authors, readers, attendees) and broader reach (18.2M software developers). Reverse growing dues trend, subsidize $10 membership fee reduction annually. Grow IEEE-USA into IEEE Global Policy and introduce IEEE-Europe and IEEE-Asia. Expand into growing regions, such as Asia, Africa, and South America while revitalizing Americas/Europe membership. Focus on globalization while honoring localization.

As an innovator from industry with strong ties to academia and government and with a global background, I have a proven track record as a catalyst of change and of getting things done in a timely manner. The changes I have introduced were inclusive in execution and embraced by those impacted. I believe that I am well suited to lead these changes as the president of IEEE.

To learn more about the candidates, read “Land and Milojicic Run for President-Elect.”

New Mobile App Brings the Power of IEEE Xplore to Your Smartphone

Post Syndicated from Casey Schwartz original https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-institute/ieee-products-services/new-mobile-app-brings-the-power-of-ieee-xplore-to-your-smartphone

Other improvements include easier access to complex searching, new author information pages, and support for research reproducibility

THE INSTITUTEIEEE Xplore recently added several features that make it easier to find what you need in its collection of nearly 5 million content items.


The free MyXplore app, available for iOS and Android phones, helps you stay current on the latest research in your field, at any time and from anywhere. MyXplore gives you the same powerful search as the desktop IEEE Xplore. Search results include article titles, abstracts, and other bibliography, along with links to the full document in IEEE Xplore.

MyXplore also lets you easily set up automatic notifications on newly published content in your areas of interest. You can download the app from the App Store or Google Play


As an added service to the IEEE author community, IEEE Xplore now provides author information pages. Each page includes the author’s photo if provided, a short biography, research interests, affiliations, a list of the author’s publications in IEEE Xplore, and links to co-authors.

The pages are optimized for indexing by Web search engines like Google and Google Scholar to help IEEE authors improve their visibility on public search engines. Author information pages can be accessed by clicking the author’s name in a search result, an abstract page, or a table of contents page.


Research reproducibility—the ability to replicate or reproduce the results of a scientific experiment or study—is a crucial element in advancing science. IEEE Xplore aids research reproducibility by enabling access to algorithms, code, datasets, and other supplemental data associated with research articles.

Through a partnership with Code Ocean, a cloud-based research collaboration platform, IEEE makes it easy for authors to submit supplemental data associated with their research. Intuitive icons in IEEE Xplore search results identify articles with accompanying code and the “Supplemental Items” filter in the left column makes it easy to isolate search results for articles with code. Abstract pages for articles with code include information about the code along with a link to the Code Ocean site.

As part of IEEE’s commitment to foster research reproducibility, IEEE Xplore includes a visual badge to indicate that submitted code or other material has been reviewed by a qualified IEEE member or volunteer.


IEEE Xplore global search now supports complex queries that use Boolean operators like AND, OR, NOT, NEAR, and ONEAR. The operators can now be included in the global search box on the homepage. Wildcards such as an asterisk or question mark can also be used when searching for two or more words.   

Contact IEEE Xplore with any feedback, comments, or questions.

Casey Schwartz is associate director for IEEE Xplore.

Electric Vehicle Manufacturers Need Engineers With AI and Robotics Skills

Post Syndicated from Kathy Pretz original https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-institute/ieee-member-news/electric-vehicle-manufacturers-need-engineers-with-ai-and-robotics-skills

University of Illinois power electronics instructor Philip Krein explains the training new hires need

THE INSTITUTEJust about every car manufacturer—including BMW, Ford, General Motors, Jaguar, and Toyota—has announced plans to build more electric vehicles and phase out cars with internal combustion engines. As of early 2018, automakers in Germany had invested US $52 billion in EVs, Chinese car companies $21 billion, and those in the United States at least $19 billion, according to Reuters. BloombergNEF’s 2019 Electric Vehicle Outlook predicts that EVs will make up 57 percent of passenger car sales globally by 2040.

Building tomorrow’s complex EVs, many with self-driving features, will require engineers who have sophisticated skills. A report from Boston Consulting Group and the Michigan Mobility Institute estimates the EV and autonomous-car industries could create up to 115,000 U.S. jobs in the coming decade, including 30,000 for graduates with computer-related degrees and 15,000 for those with traditional engineering training.

Finding such people won’t be easy, according to the report. Automakers and their suppliers are already experiencing a significant talent shortage because they are competing with technology companies.

The Institute asked IEEE Fellow Philip T. Krein, research professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, what schools are doing to prepare automotive engineering students. Krein is a power electronics expert who teaches classes about EVs and hybrid vehicles. He’s past chair of the IEEE Transportation Electrification Community.


The University of Illinois and other Midwest-region colleges, because of their proximity to Detroit, interact frequently with major car companies and their key suppliers, Krein says. As a result, the schools know about changes in the industry and the companies’ need to hire employees with the right skills.

Krein says one important skill students should be taught is systems-level thinking, so they can understand how artificial intelligence, robotics, software, and other technologies interact with one another. That type of thinking is rare in the auto industry, he says.

 “Despite its size and complexity, the auto industry really hasn’t been linked to systems engineering,” Krein says. “In other industries, like aerospace, a project is typically driven from Day One by a comprehensive view of the entire system. For example: How is it going to come together? What primary energy sources are being used? Who is responsible for managing the budget? But the auto industry tends to be much more focused on components and specific devices or subsystems. Typically, they rely on suppliers and vendors to do the systems thinking for them.”

To encourage interdisciplinary thinking, the university offers electrical engineering students courses in EVs and hybrids, as well as drive trains. Mechanical engineering students get exposed to advanced electronics for system and operation control. Krein encourages students to take classes on cybersecurity and embedded software as well.

“We need engineers with a much broader perspective. They need to understand how software, hardware, mechanical systems, and controls come together,” he says. “They also need to be able to work across many domains and communicate well with different areas.”


Because all an EV’s systems need to work together safely, Krein says, the school focuses on giving students a fundamental understanding of what a safety system is and how to design for specific operating requirements—taking into account the need for drivers to make split-second decisions.

“We teach students how a complicated electromechanical system interacts with computing and data streams,” Krein says. “They also receive training about reliability and safety, such as how to make sure the systems are really robust and to consider what a system will do under specific situations.”

The school encourages students to take courses in real-time systems, he says, especially because many cars are likely to offer self-driving features.

Real-time systems are important in all industry applications and processes, he says. They react instantly to data from sensors, computer systems, microcontrollers, and other things intended to operate a moment-to-moment process in real time. Today’s vehicles are not really fast dynamic systems, at least compared with devices such as computer disk drives and smartphones, he says. In a motor vehicle, he says, it takes tens to hundreds of milliseconds for the system to respond to any commands or changes. Physical limits on forces and motion limit the vehicle’s response time.

“The systems have a lot of inertia, and they just don’t respond very quickly,” Krein says. “An autonomous car can be made to respond much more quickly than a human driver, and in any situation there is more time than in many real-time systems to analyze data and make decisions. As data come in, the system has to make a quick decision.

“Real-time systems are not a new topic, but this is becoming increasingly important for students to have a background in.”

Humanoid Robots Teach Coping Skills to Children With Autism

Post Syndicated from Kathy Pretz original https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-institute/ieee-member-news/humanoid-robots-teach-coping-skills-to-children-with-autism

Roboticist Ayanna Howard explains what inspired her to work on assistive technologies for kids

THE INSTITUTEChildren with autism spectrum disorder can have a difficult time expressing their emotions and can be highly sensitive to sound, sight, and touch. That sometimes restricts their participation in everyday activities, leaving them socially isolated. Occupational therapists can help them cope better, but the time they’re able to spend is limited and the sessions tend to be expensive.

Roboticist Ayanna Howard, an IEEE senior member, has been using interactive androids to guide children with autism on ways to socially and emotionally engage with others—as a supplement to therapy. Howard is chair of the School of Interactive Computing and director of the Human-Automation Systems Lab at Georgia Tech. She helped found Zyrobotics, a Georgia Tech VentureLab startup that is working on AI and robotics technologies to engage children with special needs. Last year Forbes named Howard, Zyrobotics’ chief technology officer, one of the Top 50 U.S. Women in Tech.

In a recent study, Howard and other researchers explored how robots might help children navigate sensory experiences. The experiment involved 18 participants between the ages of 4 and 12; five had autism, and the rest were meeting typical developmental milestones. Two humanoid robots were programmed to express boredom, excitement, nervousness, and 17 other emotional states. As children explored stations set up for hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, and touching, the robots modeled what the socially acceptable responses should be.

“If a child’s expression is one of happiness or joy, the robot will have a corresponding response of encouragement,” Howard says. “If there are aspects of frustration or sadness, the robot will provide input to try again.” The study suggested that many children with autism exhibit stronger levels of engagement when the robots interact with them at such sensory stations.

It is one of many robotics projects Howard has tackled. She has designed robots for researching glaciers, and she is working on assistive robots for the home, as well as an exoskeleton that can help children who have motor disabilities.

 Howard spoke about her work during the Ethics in AI: Impacts of (Anti?) Social Robotics panel session held in May at the IEEE Vision, Innovation, and Challenges Summit in San Diego. You can watch the session on IEEE.tv.

In this interview with The Institute, Howard talks about how she got involved with assistive technologies, the need for a more diverse workforce, and ways IEEE has benefited her career.


Howard was inspired to work on technology that can improve accessibility in 2008 while teaching high school students at a summer camp devoted to science, technology, engineering, and math.

“A young lady with a visual impairment attended camp. The robot programming tools being used at the camp weren’t accessible to her,” Howard says. “As an engineer, I want to fix problems when I see them, so we ended up designing tools to enable access to programming tools that could be used in STEM education.

“That was my starting motivation, and this theme of accessibility has expanded to become a main focus of my research. One of the things about this world of accessibility is that when you start interacting with kids and parents, you discover another world out there of assistive technologies and how robotics can be used for good in education as well as therapy.”


The Institute asked Howard why it’s important to have a more diverse STEM workforce and what could be done to increase the number of women and others from underrepresented groups.

“The makeup of the current engineering workforce isn’t necessarily representative of the world, which is composed of different races, cultures, ages, disabilities, and socio-economic backgrounds,” Howard says. “We’re creating products used by people around the globe, so we have to ensure they’re being designed for a diverse population. As IEEE members, we also need to engage with people who aren’t engineers, and we don’t do that enough.”

Educational institutions are doing a better job of increasing diversity in areas such as gender, she says, adding that more work is needed because the enrollment numbers still aren’t representative of the population and the gains don’t necessarily carry through after graduation.

 “There has been an increase in the number of underrepresented minorities and females going into engineering and computer science,” she says, “but data has shown that their numbers are not sustained in the workforce.”


Because there are more underrepresented groups on today’s college campuses that can form a community, the lack of engineering role models—although a concern on campuses—is more extreme for preuniversity students, Howard says.

 “Depending on where you go to school, you may not know what an engineer does or even consider engineering as an option,” she says, “so there’s still a big disconnect there.”

Howard has been involved for many years in math- and science-mentoring programs for at-risk high school girls. She tells them to find what they’re passionate about and combine it with math and science to create something. She also advises them not to let anyone tell them that they can’t.

Howard’s father is an engineer. She says he never encouraged or discouraged her to become one, but when she broke something, he would show her how to fix it and talk her through the process. Along the way, he taught her a logical way of thinking she says all engineers have.

“When I would try to explain something, he would quiz me and tell me to ‘think more logically,’” she says.

Howard earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Brown University, in Providence, R.I., then she received both a master’s and doctorate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California. Before joining the faculty of Georgia Tech in 2005, she worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology for more than a decade as a senior robotics researcher and deputy manager in the Office of the Chief Scientist.


Howard’s father was also an IEEE member, but that’s not why she joined the organization. She says she signed up when she was a student because, “that was something that you just did. Plus, my student membership fee was subsidized.”

She kept the membership as a grad student because of the discounted rates members receive on conferences.

Those conferences have had an impact on her career. “They allow you to understand what the state of the art is,” she says. “Back then you received a printed conference proceeding and reading through it was brutal, but by attending it in person, you got a 15-minute snippet about the research.”

Howard is an active volunteer with the IEEE Robotics and Automation and the IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics societies, holding many positions and serving on several committees.

“I value IEEE for its community,” she says. “One of the nice things about IEEE is that it’s international.”

Seven Tips on Becoming an Effective Leader

Post Syndicated from Joanna Goodrich original https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-institute/ieee-member-news/seven-tips-on-becoming-an-effective-leader

Oracle executive Leslie Robertson shares what she has learned from nearly 30 years in the software industry

THE INSTITUTEThink about great managers you’ve had in the past. What qualities did they have that made them stand out?

Being an effective leader requires more than just conducting meetings and delegating tasks. There are certain traits and skills associated with leadership, and not every manager has them.

Leslie Griffin Robertson, vice president of user and developer experience at Oracle, in Redwood Shores, Calif., talked about the leadership lessons she has learned during her career at the IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership Conference, held on 23 and 24 May in Austin, Texas.

Robertson was promoted to a leadership role at Oracle relatively late in her career. She began working at the company in 1989 after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in professional writing and creative writing from Carnegie Mellon. She eventually left the company and, before working in managerial positions at Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Nebula, she worked for several startups. Oracle rehired her in 2015 as director of technical content strategy. Today she’s responsible for making sure the company’s cloud infrastructure products and systems are up to date and for helping to drive the engineering culture within the organization.

Here are seven tips she shared on how to be an effective leader.


Take the time to articulate why you want to be a leader and what you enjoy about your profession; jot it down. When you’re having a tough day and need some encouragement, take out that note to remind yourself of your goals and why you like your job.

 “It will refill your emotional well and strengthen your resolve to push through the tough situations,” Robertson told the conference audience.


It’s important to be genuine in your actions, Robertson said. “The best leaders are always authentic,” she said.

Being who you are also means following your passion. When Robertson began her career, she found she was most interested in working for startups, even though she acknowledged that she was sometimes nervous about joining one because of the uncertain future. She ended up spending 10 years working as a freelance technical writer for several fledgling companies. She said she enjoyed building something from nothing.

“It’s also important to remember that your path is your own,” she said. “You don’t have to have the same career path as someone else.”


Volunteer to take on tasks that aren’t in your area of expertise, she suggested. By doing that, your company can see that you are willing to tackle new challenges head on and aren’t afraid to learn.

After she was promoted last year to vice president of user and developer experience, the first item on her agenda was to build a new team. She hired eight people, then found that the company left new employees on their own to learn about the organization. She volunteered to create onboarding sessions for new hires to teach them about the company’s policies and important skills they would need to acquire. She also helped develop a boot camp for new engineers.

Thanks to those programs, she said, “instead of taking several months for new employees to get trained, it took just a few days.”


It’s all right to be scared or nervous about making a change, she said, but it’s not okay for your fears to hold you back. “It can be daunting,” she said, “but you must let go of your fears and do it anyway, because it may lead you to your next big project or job opportunity.”

She gave the example of when she first started working at Oracle, where she met her future husband. After they were married, they decided that working for the same company was risky, so she looked for another job. Robertson was hired by a startup. That’s when she discovered she enjoyed working for that type of company. She went on to join Ariba, Intuit, and Sun Microsystems when they were just starting out.


Don’t be afraid of receiving feedback, Robertson advised. Whether it’s negative or positive, feedback can be the golden ticket to success, she said.

It can be hard for some employees to draw up the courage to criticize their supervisor, but to be a strong leader, you need to be open to criticism so you can lead more efficiently.

“I try to create a safe space by reserving a conference room and asking questions about my performance to my employees,” she said. “I then leave the room and give them time to write down their answers. By doing this, I’m able to learn what I need to do better and what is working.”

Be inquisitive

If you need clarification on a point, ask questions—even in a large meeting. Even if you think you’re the only person with a particular question, it might turn out that half your colleagues are wondering the same thing, she noted.

“By asking questions, you are able to create better outcomes,” she said. “When someone is unwilling to entertain your questions, it says far more about them than you.

“Asking questions was my lifeline to understanding the requirements and delivering solid work. Relentless questioning often results in better outcomes.”


Being upfront about what you expect from an employee is an important part of the hiring process. During the interview, Robertson shares with the candidate what traits she looks for, such as open communication, honesty, and a sense of humor.

By being candid with potential new hires, you set their expectations. It also helps candidates gauge whether you are a good fit for them.

Let things go

When you learn about negative comments made about you, you can’t always take them seriously, Robertson said. She shared an experience she and one of her female colleagues went through when they were subjects of an unflattering, sexist comment on a social media platform that allows people to post anonymously about their workplace. The message stated that the two women did not deserve their leadership positions and got their jobs only because of their gender.

 We live and work in the best and the worst of times, where more women are in high-level positions but still face very real obstacles,” she told the conference audience in Austin. “You just have to laugh off these comments sometimes.”

Combating the Opioid Crisis, One Flush at a Time

Post Syndicated from Kathy Pretz original https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-institute/ieee-member-news/combating-the-opioid-crisis-one-flush-at-a-time

Startup Biobot Analytics monitors wastewater to identify at-risk neighborhoods

THE INSTITUTEMost people don’t spend time thinking about what’s in the waste they flush down the toilet. But health officials do. The urine in sewer water is a surprisingly rich source of information about the health of communities. Epidemiologists can analyze wastewater to check for viruses, chemicals, and both illegal and prescription drugs.

Armed with that information, public health officials can stock up on vaccines, equip ambulances with life-saving medications, and run awareness campaigns.

But testing wastewater samples can be an expensive, time-consuming job. Biobot Analytics, a startup in Somerville, Mass., that was spun out of MIT in 2017, is working to improve the process with its collection, measurement, and analysis service.

Biobot uses portable devices to collect wastewater samples, which it analyzes in the laboratory. The company uses the resulting data to create spatial maps and charts that can illustrate which neighborhoods have high concentrations of a particular substance.

Biobot’s approach can be used to look at lots of different compounds. But so far the company is focusing on one target: opioid metabolites from prescription pain relievers and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.

Metabolites are byproducts of the body metabolizing a drug. They are reliable indicators of whether a person has ingested or injected an opioid.

“Right now our focus is just analyzing for opioids, because opioid addiction is a major public health crisis,” says IEEE Member Irene Hu, a hardware electronics engineer at Biobot.

Around 68 percent of the more than 70,200 U.S. drug-overdose deaths in 2017 involved an opioid, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Biobot has partnered with Cary, N.C., to help town officials assess the scope of its opioid epidemic, allocate resources, and then gauge the effectiveness of their efforts over time.

Hu talked about the project at the IoT–Smart Networks and Social Innovations panel, held in May during the IEEE Vision, Innovation, and Challenges Summit in San Diego. You can watch the session on IEEE.tv.


Biobot last year began a pilot with Cary, North Carolina’s seventh-largest municipality, with about 162,000 citizens. Last year 11 people in Cary died and about 60 others overdosed on opioids—a 70 percent increase from the previous year.

Biobot works with the town to identify which catchment basins and associated manholes they want to survey. At the chosen manholes, a sampling bot is suspended by a rope so it sits just above the water. The bot houses filters, a pump, sensors, and other hardware. Sewage is pumped through a series of filters—which bind the compounds of interest—and then out again during a 24-hour period.

A city worker collects the filters, which are sent back to the company. Back in the Biobot lab, analysts use mass spectrometry and other techniques to scan the filters for 16 different opioid metabolites.

In Cary, samples were extracted from 200,000 gallons of wastewater that flowed through 10 sample areas—gathering information from neighborhoods of about roughly 5,000 homes each. The results helped researchers determine a baseline level of opioid consumption.

The reports that Biobot provides to Cary officials include, for example, comparisons of reported overdoses—which the city already collects from first responders—and the levels of opioids that were found in the sewers. Presented as spatial maps of the city with blocks corresponding to the sampled catchment areas, the comparisons allow the city to visualize and identify “hidden” areas of consumption that are not captured by the officially reported overdoses, Hu says. For example, preliminary results showed that opioids were found all throughout Cary, not just in areas with reported overdoses.

In addition, Biobot found that prescription opioids were driving much of the consumption. The town used the information to tailor outreach programs around prescription opioids, resulting in a threefold increase in people using drop-off points to dispose of their leftover prescribed opioid medication.

Biobot also measures levels of naloxone (Narcan), a medication that can rapidly reverse opioid overdose. Preliminary results showed that Narcan usage correlates with reported overdoses in Cary, but the levels found in the sewers were much higher than expected, implying many unreported overdoses. The city is now digging into potential barriers that might exist to reporting overdoses, Hu reports. And the town is conducting awareness campaigns about opioid use.

Hu says first responders have expressed interest in data about trends on emerging drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine, so Biobot is now measuring for those as well.


After graduating from Princeton with a degree in electrical engineering, Hu spent a few years working for a financial consulting company. She decided to pursue a graduate degree in environmental engineering. “I wanted to do something that helped the world,” she says, “and pursue a cause I believed in.”

She earned a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from MIT. Her research thesis involved building sensors to measure naturally occurring chemicals in water.

Hu joined IEEE as a grad student because of the discounted rates members receive on conferences. She remains a member, she says, because she finds that “IEEE isn’t just for electrical engineers; it’s very interdisciplinary. There’s a conference for everyone, and it’s nice to have this professional community.

“Being on the IoT–Smart Networks and Social Innovations panel was one of my first forays into branching out in IEEE and talking about my work to a broader audience,” she says.

A friend who works at Biobot persuaded her to join the startup. The company, which was founded by two MIT graduate students, has almost a dozen employees. “It was a really good fit for me,” Hu says.

Biobot, which plans to expand its client base to more cities, counties, and states, has raised nearly US $2.5 million in seed funding from 22 investors.

You’ve Heard of Bitcoin, But What Do You Really Know About Blockchain?

Post Syndicated from Kathy Pretz original https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-institute/ieee-member-news/youve-heard-of-bitcoin-but-what-do-you-really-know-about-blockchain

IEEE local groups help demystify the technology

THE INSTITUTE Blockchain technology, best known as the foundation of cryptocurrency transactions, has the potential to replace existing databases, providing more transparency and security. Just about every industry, including energy, finance, and health care, is looking into how it can adopt blockchain’s decentralized ledger.

To help advance the technology, IEEE launched its Blockchain Initiative last year. Something unique to the initiative are its local groups, which teach developers how the technology could help companies in their region—as the basis of a cryptocurrency, in support of smart contracts, or some other way. Twenty-five such groups have formed, in cities including Boston, Kiev, and Toronto. The groups hold forums with blockchain experts from industry and academia and provide networking opportunities for attendees who are working on blockchain projects.

“If you’re interested in getting involved with the technology or working in the industry, attending the local meetings will give you a much better understanding of how to do that,” says IEEE Member Ken Miyachi, who chairs the San Diego group along with members Joshua James and Emilio A. Cazares.

Miyachi recently launched LedgerSafe, a blockchain-based compliance-software platform. It tracks high-risk financial transactions and automates the completion of businesses’ regulatory documents.

He helped form a local group, he says, because “there’s a lot of fragmented information about blockchain on the Internet. The idea is to have industry leaders provide credible information about the technology’s current state and get their perspective. A centralized source of valid information, like IEEE, is currently lacking.”

The San Diego group, established five months ago, now has 60 members. It has held three events. One provided an overview of the IEEE Blockchain Initiative. The second one covered Ethereum, an open-source, blockchain-based distributed computing platform, which was presented by engineers of the Matryx platform.

At that session, Miyachi says, people discussed the development pipeline and how it’s different from standard software development channels. The session also covered business and development hurdles that need to be overcome.

The most recent event, held on 19 June at the University of San Diego, covered the impact of blockchain technology on legal frameworks and policy. The forum, which included a networking session, attracted about 100 people with both legal and technology backgrounds, Miyachi says—considerably more than the group’s first two events. The event culminated in a keynote presentation by James Gatto, the blockchain and digital currency team lead at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton.

“It’s in the best interest of blockchain companies to present at these local sessions, because they’re a great way to get out information about their company and product as well as demystify the technology itself,” Miyachi says. “Most of the people coming to speak are blockchain advocates. They really believe in the technology, so they’re trying to speed up its adoption so that more people will invest in it and use the technology and the platforms being built for it.”

If you’d like to start an IEEE Blockchain Initiative group in your IEEE section, email Ramesh Ramadoss, cochair of the initiative.


IEEE offers other ways to stay up to date on the technology. There’s the IEEE blockchain technical community, which anyone can join to work on the technology’s development and deployment. Participants receive notices about conferences, special events, education, publications, and standards. They also get the quarterly IEEE Blockchain Newsletter.

There’s also a blockchain community on IEEE Collabratec that includes posts from members about their projects.

IEEE offers several e-learning courses that cover blockchain fundamentals as well as the ethics, governance, and human rights issues surrounding the technology.

Several conferences are scheduled this year. The International Conference on Blockchain, to be held 14 to 17 July in Atlanta, is expected to cover game theory and performance analysis. The IEEE Global Communications Conference plans to hold a blockchain in telecommunications workshop. The session is scheduled for 13 December in Waikoloa, Hawaii.

IEEE Expands Open Access Journal Offerings

Post Syndicated from Kathy Pretz original https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-institute/ieee-news/ieee-expands-open-access-journal-offerings

Announces 14 new journals covering various technologies including biomedical engineering, computing, telecommunications, and more

THE INSTITUTEIEEE is providing more high-quality publishing options for authors and researchers. It is launching 14 gold fully open access journals. The 14 new gold open access publications will cover topics such as automotive technology, biomedical engineering, power and energy, computing, signal processing, industry applications, and telecommunications. The journals will begin accepting submissions later this year and publish their first articles early next year.

Gold open access refers to articles being made open access through the payment of a fee—called an article-processing charge (APC)—by the author. The new journals will be fully open access and will publish articles within the specialized field of interest of the sponsoring Society.

The new publications will join IEEE’s well-known and respected portfolio of other open access journals. They include IEEE Access, IEEE Journal of the Electron Devices Society, IEEE Journal on Exploratory Solid-State Computational Devices and Circuits, IEEE Power and Energy Technology Systems Journal, IEEE Journal of Translational Engineering in Health and Medicine, and IEEE Photonics Journal.

Each new journal will follow IEEE’s established high standard of peer review, drawing on expert technical communities to continue to publish the most highly cited content. Each journal will have an accomplished expert as editor-in-chief.

“IEEE’s publishing program continues to grow and evolve,” says Stephen Welby, IEEE executive director and chief operating officer. “IEEE continues to support open science and provide more options and choices to support the work and needs of all authors and researchers—those who prefer to publish in traditional subscription journals or those who prefer or need to publish in open access journals.”


IEEE Access, IEEE’s broad-scope open access journal, will soon launch discipline-specific subsections that will align with these societies: IEEE Broadcast Technology, IEEE Electronics Packaging, IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology, IEEE Photonics, IEEE Power & Energy, and IEEE Reliability.


IEEE will be transitioning the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing to a fully open access title next year.

All the new open access options will be fully compliant with funder mandates including Plan S, as all articles will be published under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY), enabling authors to retain copyright.

The new open access journals and subsections will be hosted on the IEEE Xplore Digital Library platform, which contains thousands of open access articles. More than 5 million unique users per month visit the digital library.

The titles of the new journals are:

  • IEEE Open Journal of Antennas and Propagation
  • IEEE Open Journal of Circuits and Systems
  • IEEE Open Journal of the Communications Society
  • IEEE Open Journal of the Computer Society
  • IEEE Open Journal of Engineering in Medicine and Biology
  • IEEE Open Journal of Industry Applications
  • IEEE Open Journal of the Industrial Electronics Society
  • IEEE Open Journal of Intelligent Transportation Systems
  • IEEE Open Journal of the Microwave Theory and Techniques Society
  • IEEE Open Journal of Nanotechnology
  • IEEE Open Journal of Power Electronics
  • IEEE Open Journal of Signal Processing
  • IEEE Open Journal of Solid-State Circuits
  • IEEE Open Journal of Vehicular Technology

More information on each of the titles is available at open.ieee.org.

Internet of Things Technology Will Connect Highways, Street Lights, and Vehicles

Post Syndicated from Kathy Pretz original https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-institute/ieee-products-services/internet-of-things-technology-will-connect-highways-street-lights-and-vehicles

Cars have gotten smart. Can roads catch up?

THE INSTITUTEAs more and more intelligent cars and autonomous vehicles hit the road, some engineers are thinking about what can be done to smarten up the streets on which they travel.

Doing so could allow smart cars and trucks to exchange information with other vehicles, traffic-management centers, and private companies about traffic congestion, accidents, and weather conditions. The key to making it happen is an Internet of Things system that includes sensors embedded in the roadway and on traffic lights.

Existing intelligent transportation systems provide some of those features. Information gathered by traffic-monitoring cameras, for example, is being used to adjust traffic signals in real time to ease congestion. Sensor-equipped parking lots can notify drivers of empty spots via their smartphone. And there are some IoT pilot projects, like Austria’s Autobahn, which uses Cisco’s Connected Roadways system to link 70,000 sensors and 6,500 traffic cameras to monitor traffic and road conditions.

But no comprehensive IoT-based transportation system has been fully deployed, according to IEEE Fellow Phillip A. Laplante, author of “‘Smarter’ Roads and Highways.” The IEEE Internet of Things Magazine article covers the benefits of IoT-enabled roads, security and privacy concerns, and technical standards that could ensure interoperability. Laplante is a professor of software and systems engineering at Penn State Great Valley, in Malvern, Pa.

“An IoT-enabled traffic-monitoring system uses a combination of vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-infrastructure, and infrastructure-to-infrastructure communication systems and analytics to manage traffic situations,” Laplante says. “They’ll be able to interoperate with other systems such as drones and traffic-awareness services, like Waze.”

Laplante wrote the article to help manufacturers of smart and IoT-enabled vehicles, roadway construction companies, city planners, engineers, and others accelerate the deployment of IoT-enabled roads.

The article was published in the magazine’s most recent issue. The publication, which launched in September and is sponsored by the IEEE Communications Society, is a forum for practitioners to share experiences, develop best practices, and establish guiding principles for technical, operational, and business success. You can download a complimentary digital edition.


Municipalities can start making their roadways smarter right now by deploying off-the-shelf sensors, Laplante says. Wireless or wired IoT sensors of all types can collect data about a road’s condition, the weather, and wildlife-movement patterns.

Sensors can be installed on existing traffic lights to improve the flow of traffic. Some traffic signals could communicate with each other to create a continuous sequence of green lights to keep traffic moving.


Security and privacy of information are a concern for all IoT applications, but extra care must be taken with highways, Laplante says. The physical assets of the system must be protected against damage, vandalism, and theft, he says, and the wirelessly transmitted information must be secure against eavesdropping and hacking.

Additionally, law-enforcement agencies and insurance companies could use the collected information for purposes other than its original purpose, such as monitoring someone’s driving habits or tracking a car’s location.


Laplante identified several IEEE standards that support smart highways. They include IEEE 802.11p, which standardizes vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication. The IEEE 1609 family of standards for wireless access in vehicular environments defines an architecture and a standardized set of services and interfaces for secure V2V and V2I wireless communication.

Although the challenges of building IoT-enhanced highways might seem daunting, Laplante says, “they should motivate engineers and scientists to develop new solutions, because the benefits of smarter roads and highways are so great.”

Katherine Johnson, the Hidden Figures Mathematician Who Got Astronaut John Glenn Into Space

Post Syndicated from Joanna Goodrich original https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-institute/ieee-history/katherine-johnson-the-hidden-figures-mathematician-who-got-astronaut-john-glenn-into-space

The NASA technologist received the IEEE President’s Award for her work on Apollo 11

THE INSTITUTEKatherine G. Johnson’s mathematical calculations of orbital mechanics at NASA were critical to the success of Friendship 7 and several other U.S. human spaceflights. She was one of the women featured in the 2016 Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures.

IEEE last month recognized her work with its President’s Award, “for fundamental computational contributions to the success of American’s first and subsequent manned spaceflights, including Apollo 11.” Johnson, who turned 100 in August, was unable to travel to the ceremony. Her daughters, Katherine Goble Moore and Joylette Goble Hylick, accepted the award on her behalf at the IEEE Honors Ceremony, held on 17 May in San Diego. Johnson “has a real passion for learning, and always aspired to teach others everything she knew,” Hylick said. You can watch the presentation on IEEE.tv.

As IEEE marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and spaceflight through the Footsteps: IEEE’s Commemoration of Human Space Travel effort, The Institute is highlighting IEEE members and other pioneers, like Johnson, and the technologies that helped propel the program forward.


In a 2017 interview with The Washington Post, Johnson said she always wanted to be a mathematician. She attended high school when she was 10 years old, but due to segregation at the time, she wasn’t allowed to attend her county’s high school in Greenbrier, W.Va. Her family moved to Institute, W.Va., and she attended West Virginia State College, now West Virginia State University, which offered high school courses to black students.

She finished high school at age 14 at West Virginia State, then continued taking college courses there. She graduated in 1939 summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and French. She planned on continuing her education and was selected as the first black woman in the state to attend the graduate school program at West Virginia University, in Morgantown. She withdrew from the program after one semester, however, to start a family with her husband, James Goble. Johnson worked as a math teacher at a black public school in Marion, Va.

According to her biography on the NASA website, Johnson always knew she would eventually leave teaching to become a research mathematician. In 1953 she joined NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, at its Langley laboratory, in Hampton, Va., as a pool mathematician. Those mathematicians, called computers, analyzed data collected from flight tests and airplane black boxes.

 Thanks to her understanding of analytical geometry, just two weeks after she joined NACA, she was assigned to the maneuver-loads branch of the Flight Research Division. She spent the next four years analyzing data from flight tests and plane crashes.


When the Russian satellite Sputnik was launched in 1957, the United States was already working on sending satellites into space, but Sputnik’s debut led to the formation of NASA. Due to Johnson’s work at NACA, she was among the first employees hired by NASA in 1958.

Working as a technologist for the spacecraft controls branch, she calculated the path for astronaut Alan Shepard’s Freedom 7 mission in 1961, America’s first human spaceflight.

In 1960 she became the first woman to receive credit as an author of a research report, “Determination of Azimuth Angle at Burnout for Placing a Satellite Over a Selected Earth Position.” In it, Johnson and her coauthor, engineer Ted H. Skopinski, explained the equations describing an orbital spaceflight in which the craft’s landing position is specified.

Her life changed in 1962, when astronaut John Glenn asked for Johnson to double-check the trajectory calculations for Friendship 7. Because of the mission’s complexity, the space agency collaborated with IBM in the construction of a worldwide communications network. They built and linked tracking stations to IBM computers in Bermuda, Cape Canaveral, and Washington, D.C., so engineers could follow the flight live. The computers had been programmed with orbital equations that would control the trajectory of the Friendship capsule from blastoff to landing. Glenn, however, was nervous about putting his life in the hands of machines, which he believed to be prone to mistakes, according to NASA.

According to the NASA biography on Johnson, Glenn asked engineers to “get the girl”—meaning Johnson—during the preflight check, because of her experience with trajectory analysis. He wanted her to run the same numbers that had been programmed into the computer, but by hand, on her desktop calculator. In an interview with CNN, Johnson recalls Glenn saying while she was working, “If she says they’re good, then I’m ready to go.”

For her work on Friendship 7, in 2015 she was awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. At the White House ceremony, President Barack Obama said, “No one knows that John Glenn wouldn’t fly unless Katherine Johnson checked the math.”

In 2017 NASA unveiled the Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility at the Langley Research Center, in Hampton, Va., the same location where she started her career at NACA. Earlier this year, the agency renamed a facility in Fairmont, W. Va., that housed a program that monitors the software used to track NASA’s high-profile missions. It’s now called the Katherine Johnson Independent Verification and Validation Facility.

Robert J. McEliece, Interplanetary Communications Pioneer, Dies at 77

Post Syndicated from The Institute’s Editorial Staff original https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-institute/ieee-member-news/robert-j-mceliece-interplanetary-communications-pioneer-dies-at-77

IEEE also mourns the loss of IEEE Nigeria Section’s webmaster and other members

THE INSTITUTEIEEE Life Fellow Robert J. McEliece died on 8 May at the age of 77.

McEliece contributed to the design and analysis of coded interplanetary telecommunication systems such as the Golay-coded nonimaging system for the Voyager spacecraft and the Big Viterbi Decoder used on the Galileo, Mars Pathfinder, Cassini, and Mars Exploration Rover missions. The secure McEliece cryptosystem is named after its inventor. He also contributed to the discovery of the JPL bound, the best-known upper bound made to the basic combinatorial problem of information theory. For his efforts, he received an IEEE Golden Jubilee Paper Award in 1998.

McEliece’s theorem, also named in his honor, identifies the largest power of p that divides all the weights in a p-ary cyclic code. It is one of the deepest mathematical results to come out of coding theory.

McEliece became a professor of mathematics in 1978 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He conducted research at the school’s Coordinated Science Laboratory.

In 1982 he joined the faculty at the Caltech, in Pasadena, as a professor in the electrical engineering department, and served as the department’s executive officer from 1990 to 1999. He won awards for excellence in teaching, and he mentored more than 30 Ph.D. students, four of whom are now IEEE Fellows. He also wrote three textbooks and more than 250 research articles. He retired from the university in 2007.

He received numerous IEEE awards including the 2004 IEEE Claude E. Shannon Award and the 2009 IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal.

McEliece earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1964 at Caltech, where he received a Ph.D. in mathematics in 1967.

David Tobechukwu Okereafor

IEEE Nigeria Section webmaster

Member, 29; died 17 April

Okereafor was an active volunteer for the IEEE Nigeria Section.

He served as the section’s webmaster and was secretary for the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Nigeria chapter. He was also the webmaster for this year’s IEEE Power & Energy Society Power Africa Conference, to be held in August. He designed and maintained websites for numerous IEEE conferences held in Nigeria.

Okereafor developed embedded systems and worked for several companies on such projects as the Internet of Things, robotics, and unmanned ground vehicles.

He graduated in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronic engineering from the Federal University of Technology in Owerri, Imo, Nigeria.

During his time at university, he helped organize several of the section’s student robotics competitions, gave tutorials on programming, and encouraged fellow students to participate in programming competitions.

Robert Harmon Carlstead

Electrical engineer

Life Member, 90; died 28 April

Carlstead worked for several companies in Silicon Valley. He began at Lockheed Martin and left there to join Schlumberger Technologies, formerly Fairchild Semiconductors. He worked there for 27 years in the test-equipment division, producing machines capable of performing self-automated tests. After retiring in 1994, he occasionally consulted for Schlumberger.

Carlstead received a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1952 from the University of Missouri in Columbia. He then joined the U.S. Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps, serving as a first lieutenant in the Navy for four years. His tour of duty included the Caribbean, Guantanamo Bay, the Panama Canal, and South America.

After he was discharged, he attended Oklahoma State University, in Stillwater, graduating in 1957 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. While working, he earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering at Santa Clara University, in California.

Thomas F. Gibbons Jr.

Electrical engineer

Member, 47; died 25 May

Gibbons specialized in high-speed communication technologies. He began his career with Multilink, a telecommunications startup. He left to join the semiconductor company Agere Systems, in Allentown, Pa., which through a series of mergers, became part of semiconductor developer Broadcom.

During his career, Gibbons received several U.S. patents for his inventions, including one for joint transmitter and receiver gain optimization for high-speed serial data systems and a method of transmitter training using receiver equalizer coefficients.

He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1994 from Drexel University, in Philadelphia.

GE Aviation Electrifies Airplane Engines to Meet Carbon Emission Goals

Post Syndicated from Kathy Pretz original https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-institute/ieee-member-news/ge-aviation-electrifies-airplane-engines-to-meet-carbon-emission-goals

Smaller lighter engines, 3D printed parts, and more electrical engineers are needed for the next era of flight

THE INSTITUTEThe aerospace industry is under intense pressure to reduce its impact on the environment. Between 2021 and 2035, the industry will have to offset a total of 2.6 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide under the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, an emissions mitigation approach for the industry.

GE Aviation is one company that is working to meet the mandates by increasing the electrification of the aircraft it builds. The company produces 65 percent of all commercial airplane engines. It also has a large market share of components and integrated systems for commercial, business, and general aviation aircraft. Every two seconds, an aircraft powered by GE technology takes off somewhere in the world, the company says.

Its electrical power technology chief, IEEE Fellow Hao Huang, along with his colleagues, is developing hybrid electric propulsion systems and exploring additive manufacturing of airplane parts.

Huang is an active volunteer with the IEEE Industry Applications Society and the IEEE Transportation Electrification Community.

He is the recipient of this year’s IEEE Transportation Technologies Award for his “quest to develop ‘more electric aircraft,’ with electric systems in place of today’s pneumatic and hydraulic ones for quieter, more fuel-efficient, and environmentally friendly flight.”

In this interview with The Institute, Huang discusses some of GE’s current projects that have been made public and talks about challenges facing the aerospace industry, including a shortage of skilled engineers.


Conventional jetliners have engines or propellers that rotate to move the aircraft forward or take off. In addition to the engines, there are three other systems. The hydraulic system uses pressurized fluid to move and actuate landing gear, brakes, and flight control surfaces, which are aerodynamic devices allowing a pilot to adjust and control the aircraft’s flight attitude. The pneumatic system bleeds air off the engines to power environmental control and protection from ice. The electrical system provides power to the engines as well as to equipment in the cabin.

The auxiliary power unit (APU), generally located at the rear of the aircraft, produces energy to power systems when the plane is on the ground as well as supplying energy needed to start the engines.

To make today’s planes ‘more electric’ requires changing the systems, Huang says. For example, the engine needs to be more electrical, the aircraft’s body more “actively” aerodynamic, and materials lighter to improve efficiency.

Huang points to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which uses electricity instead of pneumatics to power its environmental control system, to start its engine, and protect the wings from ice. The plane uses six generators to create more electricity. Two are located on each engine, and two are on the APU. The 787 also features a frame constructed primarily of composite materials.


Huang and his team are working on multiple electrification projects that have the potential to save fuel. One of its programs aims to eliminate the pneumatic bleed system and other parts to make planes lighter. Components such as bleedless turbo fans, high-speed generators that operate at around 270 DC volts, and high-speed solid-state DC circuit breakers are expected to reduce a plane’s weight by about 450 kilograms, Huang says.

GE has demonstrated engines that can more efficiently convert fuel to electricity. The company modified an F110 engine to generate 1 megawatt of electric power, for example. A megawatt of power is equivalent to 1,341 horsepower. The high-power-density device was tested at the company’s US $51 million Electrical Power Integrated System Center—or EPISCenter—in Dayton, Ohio, followed by additional evaluation at its test site in Peebles, Ohio, where it was used to drive a 3.4-meter-diameter Dowty propeller from a Saab 340 turboprop aircraft.

Adding electrical components can make planes heavier. Lightening the load requires new technology, materials, and design approaches, Huang says. High-voltage materials, for example, are needed to make electrical cables thinner. Another solution is to reduce the weight of parts. GE is looking into manufacturing them using additive technology such as 3D printing.

The company is working on hybrid electric aircraft concepts. Huang referenced an report published last year in Aviation Week and Space Technology on GE developing gas turbines for emerging hybrid-electric propulsion architectures, which play a big part in so-called flying cars. The electric, self-piloted, vertical-takeoff and -landing passenger aircraft are expected to replace short-range urban transportation such as cars and trains. Flying cars are projected to cost less than helicopters and be quieter to boot.

Huang expects flying cars to be used in congested cities such as San Francisco, where it can take two hours to drive 40 kilometers. “People are busy and don’t want to waste their time sitting in traffic,” he says. “Flying cars can vertically take off and land, so you could arrive in 20 minutes. I predict we’ll see these small aircraft in the next decade, but of course these planes will first need to undergo rigorous safety tests.”

You can view the presentation Huang gave last year about the future of electrification of aircraft for the IEEE Industry Applications Society’s webinar series.


The aerospace industry needs more engineers to achieve its goals.

“We are in the beginning of a new aviation era,” Huang says. “The growing industry needs skilled electrical engineers to design, build, and test components. We also need mechanical engineers and thermal engineers. There’s a lot of work to do. Companies need to get aircraft ready for the next decade.”

Huang encourages engineers who want to learn more about the industry to join IEEE, attend its conferences, subscribe to its publications, join its societies, and take advantage of the networking opportunities the organization presents.

“I joined IEEE in 1986, and the organization has helped me tremendously,” he says. “I cannot imagine where I would be today without IEEE. It’s really a wonderful organization to associate with. Its societies have helped me to broaden my knowledge.

“I’m a big fan.”

The Pioneers Behind MEMS Technology, Bose Speakers, and 4G Networks Honored

Post Syndicated from Kathy Pretz original https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-institute/ieee-member-news/the-pioneers-behind-mems-technology-bose-speakers-and-4g-networks-honored

Synopsys and Zipline innovators also receive top IEEE awards

THE INSTITUTERemember when electronic components tended to be big, slow, and unreliable? The technologies pioneered by several award recipients recognized at this year’s IEEE Honors Ceremony have brought us smaller consumer electronics, more accurate medical devices, and dependable wireless communication systems. They were celebrated on 17 May at the Marriott Marquis Marina hotel in San Diego.

IEEE Life Fellow Kurt Petersen received the organization’s highest award, the IEEE Medal of Honor, for his foundational work on microelectromechanical systems. MEMS technology involves merging miniature mechanical and electromechanical elements such as sensors and actuators onto a silicon substrate along with integrated circuits. The functionality of smartphones and human-machine-interface applications depend on MEMS.

“The MEMS industry has grown incredibly over the years thanks to the hard work of many researchers all over the world,” Petersen noted in his acceptance speech. “When I started working in MEMS in 1975, the market was $30 million. This year it’s going to be $20 billion.

“There are a lot of projects going on in research labs all over the world that haven’t been commercialized yet but will soon be,” he added. “I think the field still has a lot of momentum.”

IEEE Fellow Antun Domic also miniaturized an important technology: electronic design automation tools, which power many of today’s applications. EDA allows the creation of complex systems with computer software that aids in the design, verification, and testing processes and helps detect flaws in chips and circuit boards. As chief technical officer at Synopsys, in Mountain View, Calif., the IEEE Robert N. Noyce Medal recipient has developed tools that enabled the design of chips containing billions of gates.

IEEE Senior Member David Flynn and Member David Jaggar developed reduced instruction set computing (RISC) architecture that can be found in more than 100 billion microprocessor cores. The recipients of the IEEE/RSE James Clerk Maxwell Medal created the foundations that launched the system-on-chip market with microprocessors that power smartphones, portable computing devices, and Internet of Things applications. Based on the RISC process, their designs use less energy.

Bose Corp. has changed the way people listen to music at home and on the go. The company received the IEEE Corporate Innovation Award, which was founded in 1964 by IEEE Life Fellow Amar G. Bose when he was a professor at MIT. Based in Framingham, Mass., Bose pioneered technology that provided more realistic recorded music with a full range of sound—from speakers that were a fraction of the size of conventional ones. He died in 2013.

Accepting the award was the company’s vice president of research, Thomas Froeschle, an IEEE member. He said Bose was frustrated that he wasn’t applying his innovations at MIT to real products that actually reached people. “Reluctantly he reached the decision to form the company and in doing that, he tried to ensure it would continue to innovate over its whole existence,” Froeschle said. “We have strived to do that for 54 years.”

The work by IEEE Fellow David Ngar Ching Tse increased wireless data transmission’s channel capacity and decreased interference. The recipient of the IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal developed an opportunistic scheduler, demonstrating that fading can be harnessed to increase network capacity, contrary to the conventional thinking at the time. His theory helped enable today’s wireless data boom. His work was part of Qualcomm’s Evolution–Data Optimized telecommunications standard for high-data-rate wireless systems and was incorporated into all 3G and 4G cellular systems. Tse further developed the technology by using multiple antennas to induce fading.

In his acceptance speech, he thanked Claude Shannon, who in 1948 laid out a grand vision for digital communication. “After 80 years the vision is fully realized,” Tse said, adding that Shannon’s work “set a tradition of research from first principles. In this era of fast-moving research, it’s now left to the next generation to uphold and expand upon that tradition.”


Every day thousands of people living in remote areas of the world die because they can’t get access to medicine or a blood bank. To address the problem, the world’s first drone-delivery service, Zipline International, is distributing medical products—thus far in Ghana and Rwanda. For its efforts, the company received IEEE Spectrum’s Technology in Service of Society Award.

Founded in 2014 in Half Moon Bay, Calif., Zipline designs, builds, and operates small drone aircraft. The fixed-wing drones can fly 100 kilometers per hour and carry 1.8 kilograms of blood and medical supplies.

Zipline, which has two distribution centers in Rwanda, has made more than 10,000 deliveries since it opened its first center in 2016. Each facility services villages within an 80-kilometer range. It takes the aircraft about 30 minutes to deliver its payloads, and the drones can fly in all types of weather, day and night.

“Five years ago, when we started Zipline, we were told countless times that we were crazy,” said Keenan Wydrobek, the company’s cofounder and head of product engineering, who accepted the award. “We were told the governments we wanted to partner with weren’t going to be able to afford it. Our partners in the Rwandan and now Ghanaian government have moved barrier after barrier to make this a success. We now fly the equivalent of once around the equator a week delivering medical supplies, and we are just getting started.”

You can watch the entire ceremony on IEEE.tv.

Nominate a Colleague For The 2021 IEEE Technical Field Award

Post Syndicated from Lynn Frassetti original https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-institute/ieee-news/nominate-a-colleague-for-the-2021-ieee-technical-field-award

Honor someone for their contribution in 27 specific fields of interest

THE INSTITUTEThe IEEE Technical Field Awards are awarded for contributions or leadership in specific fields of interest of the IEEE. Submit your nominations by 15 January 2020.

IEEE Biomedical Engineering Award

For outstanding contributions to the field of biomedical engineering.

SPONSORS: IEEE Circuits and Systems and IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology societies

IEEE Cledo Brunetti Award

For outstanding contributions to nanotechnology and technologies for microsystem miniaturization.

SPONSOR: Brunetti Bequest

IEEE Control Systems Award

For outstanding contributions to control systems engineering, science, or technology.

SPONSOR: IEEE Control Systems Society

IEEE Electromagnetics Award

For outstanding contributions to the theory and/or application of electromagnetics.

SPONSORS: IEEE Antennas and Propagation, IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility, IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques, and IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing societies

IEEE Electronics Packaging Award

For outstanding contributions to advancing components, electronic packaging, or manufacturing technologies.

SPONSOR: IEEE Electronics Packaging Society

IEEE James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award

For an outstanding contribution to the advancement of speech and/or audio signal processing.

SPONSOR: IEEE Signal Processing Society

IEEE Fourier Award for Signal Processing

For an outstanding contribution to the advancement of signal processing, other than in the areas of speech and audio processing.

SPONSORS: IEEE Signal Processing and IEEE Circuits and Systems societies

IEEE Andrew S. Grove Award

For outstanding contributions to solid-state devices and technology.

SPONSOR: IEEE Electron Devices Society

IEEE Herman Halperin Electric Transmission and Distribution Award

For outstanding contributions to electric transmission and distribution.

SPONSORS: Robert and Ruth Halperin Foundation, in memory of the late Herman and Edna Halperin, and the IEEE Power & Energy Society

IEEE Richard Harold Kaufmann Award

For outstanding contributions in industrial systems engineering.

SPONSOR: IEEE Industry Applications Society

IEEE Joseph F. Keithley Award in Instrumentation and Measurement

For outstanding contributions in electrical measurements.

SPONSORS: Keithley Instruments, a Tektronix company, and the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society

IEEE Gustav Robert Kirchhoff Award

For an outstanding contribution to the fundamentals of any aspect of electronic circuits and systems that has a long-term significance or impact.

SPONSOR: IEEE Circuits and Systems Society

IEEE Koji Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award

For outstanding contributions to the integration of computers and communications.


IEEE William E. Newell Power Electronics Award

For outstanding contributions to power electronics.

SPONSOR: IEEE Power Electronics Society

IEEE Donald O. Pederson Award in Solid-State Circuits

For outstanding contributions to solid-state circuits.

SPONSOR: IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society

IEEE Photonics Award

For outstanding achievements in photonics.

SPONSOR: IEEE Photonics Society

IEEE Robotics and Automation Award

For contributions in the field of robotics and automation.

SPONSOR: IEEE Robotics and Automation Society

IEEE Frank Rosenblatt Award

For outstanding contributions to biologically and linguistically motivated computational paradigms and systems.

SPONSOR: IEEE Computational Intelligence Society

IEEE Marie Sklodowska-Curie Award

For outstanding contributions to the field of nuclear and plasma sciences and engineering.

SPONSOR: IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society

IEEE Innovation in Societal Infrastructure Award

For significant technological achievements and contributions to the establishment, development, and proliferation of innovative societal infrastructure systems through the application of information technology with an emphasis on distributed computing systems.

SPONSORS: Hitachi Ltd. and the IEEE Computer Society

IEEE Charles Proteus Steinmetz Award

For exceptional contributions to the development and/or advancement of standards in electrical and electronics engineering.

SPONSOR: IEEE Standards Association

IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award

For outstanding contributions to communications technology.

SPONSOR: Nokia Bell Labs

IEEE Nikola Tesla Award

For outstanding contributions to the generation and utilization of electric power.

SPONSORS: Wolong Electric Group Co., Ltd. and the IEEE Industry Applications and IEEE Power & Energy societies

IEEE Kiyo Tomiyasu Award

For outstanding early to mid-career contributions to technologies holding the promise of innovative applications.

SPONSORS: Dr. Kiyo Tomiyasu and the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing and IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques societies

IEEE Transportation Technologies Award

For advances in technologies within the fields of interest to the IEEE as applied in transportation systems.

SPONSORS: IEEE Industry Applications, IEEE Industrial Electronics, IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems, IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques, IEEE Power Electronics, IEEE Power & Energy, and IEEE Vehicular Technology societies

Teaching AWARDS

IEEE Leon K. Kirchmayer Graduate Teaching Award

For inspirational teaching of graduate students in the IEEE fields of interest.

SPONSOR: Leon K. Kirchmayer Memorial Fund

IEEE Undergraduate Teaching Award

For inspirational teaching of undergraduate students in the fields of interest of IEEE.

SPONSOR: IEEE Education Society

For more information, visit the Awards website or contact IEEE Awards Activities: [email protected].