IEEE Academic – An interview with founder Mr. Rui Costa

It is with much excitement that we bring an IEEE GOLDRush exclusive interview with the founder of IEEE Academic, Mr. Rui Costa.

Mr Rui Costa delivering the concept of IEEE Academic

Mr Rui Costa delivering the concept of IEEE Academic in 2013. Several years later and IEEE Academic is growing at a rapid rate.

How did you come up with the concept for IEEE Academic?

The IEEE Academic concept started when a group of students in one of the universities in Portugal understood that, despite all the available online contents, most of them failed to prepare students for their classes and examinations. The problems were that the majority of the videos were English based and establishing a relation between what was being watched and what was being taught in classes was very difficult. That was due not only to the fact that the teaching language was different but also the technical jargon was sometimes hard to compare. We then had the idea of inviting a few academics from our university to create video modules about the most difficult topics and make those available in an online platform so that our community could watch and use those videos in their studies for free. This quickly became a big success and that was the very beginning of what today know as IEEE Academic, a project were students and academics work together to create community-relevant video modules in multiple languages all over the world.

IEEE Academic Poland website

IEEE Academic Poland website

What is the vision for IEEE Academic and how do you and your team plan to achieve it?

The goal of IEEE Academic is to become a fully sustainable project that is a global reference for multi-lingual online educational content based on multimedia. By creating a vast library of high-quality contents in multiple languages, students all over the world will recognise IEEE Academic as the go-to place for the videos created in their language. The way we are working to achieve that goal is by capturing the efforts of many volunteers and academics all over the world, that in a distributed fashion create video modules for their communities and make those available using the global platform of IEEE Academic.

IEEE Academic teaching algorithms

IEEE Academic teaching algorithms

What are some of the biggest achievement of the program to date?

At IEEE Academic we dont like to isolate individual achievements yet focus on the overall impact of our program. Our achievements are measured through positive and encouraging student feedback from around the globe. Students from many countries thank us and all the volunteers for the effort that is put into making online educational video modules available for free, which enhance their academic achievements. Every time a new university or a new country joins the program and launches a new video tutorial a new IEEE Academic milestone is reached. As we grow our community of content producers and enthusiastic learners, new and amazing achievements will start to stand out.

Tell us a little about the IEEE Academic team, a little about the volunteers, their careers, residing country and so on.

IEEE Academic is composed by a core-team of 5 volunteers from students, to researchers, professors and people working in the industry. These volunteers are very organised and plan well ahead the next steps of the project to ensure that quality content is kept flowing. A team of ambassadors organize and foster the growth of the project in many countries by working closely with the volunteers in various universities. We have ambassadors and project support scattered all over the world including; Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey, Greece, India, Portugal, Colombia, Tunisia, Brasil and many more, a truly global team!

IEEE Academic on your mobile phone

IEEE Academic on your mobile phone

Tell us about the next big thing in regards to IEEE Academic

We have much planned for the remainder of 2015. IEEE Academic will make available more innovative video modules that will approach and teach  various topics using more creative techniques. Also, an improvement in the quality of the website along with some exciting key-partnerships to make IEEE Academic a more global and interesting platform for online education.

Tell us about the most memorable moment while you have been involved with IEEE Academic.

The most memorable moment with IEEE Academic was when I received the first email from a student sending his gratitude to everyone involved in the project, for creating video modules that actually helped him reach academic success in a course he was trying to pass for several semesters. The excitement did not stem from the fact it was the first email, but because it made me understand that with some effort and dedication to this project we could positively impact the lives of many. This was more than enough to fuel the IEEE Academic team.

IEEE Academic Pakistan

IEEE Academic Pakistan

Can you provide us with any facts, figures and statistics in regards to IEEE Academic?

As of today, IEEE Academic has published more than 380 video modules in 6 languages. We have 16 ambassadors from 16 countries working to make more videos available. The website received more than 90 000 hits from over 32 500 unique users and IEEE Academic video modules have been watched more than 102 000 times (equivalent of 230 days of continuous video viewing).

Who is Rui Costa?

Rui Costa is a MSc. Network and Communications Engineering graduate from Instituto Superior Técnico, Portugal. Rui Costa has a research focus on Vehicular Networks and Intelligent Transportation Systems which was developed as part of his Masters thesis titled He is currently developing cutting-edge systems and technologies to build up vehicular-network enhanced cities as Senior Systems Engineer at Veniam Works. Rui Costa is the founder and coordinator of IEEE Academic, international non-for-profit educational project, based on online multimedia resources developed in close collaboration with several universities to deliver free, high quality contents, in the local languages.

Rui Costa, Founder of IEEE Academic

Rui Costa, Founder of IEEE Academic

He is an experienced and creative presenter, having led several presentations to different targets on several topics, such as vehicular networks, team management/motivation, entrepreneurship and usage of technologies within education. Rui Costa was awarded the Larry K Wilson Student Activities Award in Region 8 for his outstanding contributions

Interview conducted by Sarang Shaikh, Senior Assistant Editor, GOLDRush

Article edited by Dr. Eddie Custovic, Editor In Chief, GOLDRush

Getting SOCIAL with Kavinga Ekanayake

Who is Kavinga Ekanayake?

Kavinga Ekanayake is the Chair of the Sri Lanka Young Professionals Affinity Group and a research assistant at University of Moratuwa.

Kavinga

 

Suggestion – Do you have any suggestions for the IEEE? 

IEEE is a great platform to utilize the skills of bright minds across the world for the betterment of humanity. However, due to lack of awareness, I feel that sometimes these brilliant skills of IEEE volunteers are not fully optimized. If IEEE can devise an effective plan to create awareness about the vast number of opportunities available in the career path from the student branch member level to the IEEE President, both parties will benefit through increased motivation towards IEEE and optimal contribution attracted from the skilled volunteers, while helping their professional development.

Opinion – Provide an opinion on any IEEE related topic. 

IEEE is currently more focused on academia, whereas organizations like IET have more industrial relations. IEEE should focus more on getting the industrial personnel involved to their activities and committees. People should be able to use IEEE as a great platform to bridge the gap between industry and academia which are a bit more separated at the moment, especially in region 10. Academic researches should reach the public through industry in order to advance humanity through technology.

Concern – Express a major concern related to IEEE 

Huge percentage of student members and volunteers of IEEE are not retaining their membership after the graduation and this is a major concern. IEEE should concentrate more on this issue through the entities like Young Professionals groups to retain the members and volunteers with a clear motivation. IEEE Young Professionals is a great platform to bridge the gap between student members and sectional level.

Idea – Do you have any great idea for the IEEE 

Media can play a major role in shaping attitudes of people in any part of the world. I suggest that IEEE should invest more time into IEEE TV and bring it to the level of a satellite channel to reach out to every corner of the world, capturing a wider audience. Investments could be obtained from industrial partnerships, especially from Multinational organizations, allowing their brand to be promoted through this. It will showcase the all the IEEE activities, adding more value to IEEE and volunteers and members could easily learn from each other improving effectiveness of all IEEE activities.

Advice – What advice can you provide to IEEE or IEEE members? 

All IEEE members should try to hold an effective volunteer position as long as they can. IEEE is the greatest platform to develop interpersonal skills such as leadership, management etc. through volunteering. It’s a rare opportunity to create local as well as international connections with a community of higher caliber. Sharing experiences among the people of different regions will help to make the world a much better place to the humanity.

Kavinga 2

Lesson – Describe a lesson you have learnt as a result of the IEEE 

I was attracted to IEEE because of its tagline – “Advancing technology for Humanity”. It helps me to use my skills towards the betterment of humanity, which has been my very own ambition since childhood. I was lagging behind in leadership and public communication skills in earlier days. IEEE helped me a lot to improve leadership  and communication skills through a variety of volunteer positions. One of the greatest aspects is the opportunity to create an international network of friends. I learnt how to deal with different people and different situations. I owe all of this to the IEEE since it has unveiled my true potential.

What is SOCIAL?

Suggestion, Opinion, Concern, Idea, Advice, Lesson (SOCIAL) is a new initiative of the IEEE GOLDRush publication team to connect with Young Professional volunteers world-wide. The SOCIAL questionnaire provides members with a “voice” that can be shared with our entire membership by answering a few simple questions.

Article edited by Nadee Seneviratne, Junior Assistant Editor, GOLDRush 

From star gazing to rising stars

Wrapping up a solid year of growth and community contribution, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Young Professionals Southern Alberta Chapter has recently been awarded best Canadian Young Professionals group for 2014. The team’s vision – to cater to the professional and overall development of their fellow young professionals – has made them role models for young professionals.

Electrical and geomatics engineering students on the IEEE Young Professionals Southern Alberta Team. Front row (l to r): Yuting He, Mohsin Aziz, Piyush Rawat, Jatin Chatrath. Back row: Yuhong Liu, Neha Dawar, Tushar Sharma, Hani Badaway and Zhixing Zhao. Photo courtesy IEEE Young Professionals, Southern Alberta Section, Region 7

Electrical and geomatics engineering students on the IEEE Young Professionals Southern Alberta Team. Front row (l to r): Yuting He, Mohsin Aziz, Piyush Rawat, Jatin Chatrath. Back row: Yuhong Liu, Neha Dawar, Tushar Sharma, Hani Badaway and Zhixing Zhao. Photo courtesy IEEE Young Professionals, Southern Alberta Section, Region 7

Under the leaderships of current chair Tushar Sharma, a graduate student in the iRadio Lab at the Schulich School of Engineering, the chapter has undertaken a number of academic exchange, industry engagement and educational activities.

In the 2013-14 season, the chapter held several technical lectures aimed at increasing research and knowledge exchange among different areas in engineering, physics and education. Special focus was given to professional and career development in the form of mixers, panel discussion, and networking sessions, with the goal of assisting members in the transition from undergraduate to graduate student or to joining the workforce.

University of Calgary students, faculty, staff and industry at the IEEE Holiday Mixer.

University of Calgary students, faculty, staff and industry at the IEEE Holiday Mixer.

In collaboration with the Astronomy Teacher Training Institute, the Young Professionals created a students, teachers and researchers (STAR) initiative to spread awareness of radio and microwave education to schools across Alberta. The group hosted a star gazing session at All-Star Telescopes outside Calgary, where IEEE members, students, and Mitacs interns from around the globe witnessed phenomenon like saturn rings and meteors. Plans for 2015 include an extension of the 2014 lectures series and the creation of a continuing education centre in Siksika Nation.

Sharma will receive the award on behalf of the Southern Alberta Section during the IEEE Canada regional meeting in Vaudreuil-Dorion, Québec this April.

Article contributed by Tushar Sharma, IEEE Young Professionals Chair of Southern Alberta, Canada 

Getting SOCIAL with Preeti Kovvali

What is SOCIAL?

Suggestion, Opinion, Concern, Idea, Advice, Lesson (SOCIAL) is a new initiative of the IEEE GOLDRush publication team to connect with Young Professional volunteers world-wide. The SOCIAL questionnaire provides members with a “voice” that can be shared with our entire membership by answering a few simple questions.

Ms Preeti Kovvali

Ms Preeti Kovvali

Who is Preeti Kovvali?

Ms. Preeti Kovvali is the past Chair of the Hyderabad Young Professionals and the Service Lead, Database Operations at Tech Mahindra.

Ms Preeti Kovvali

Suggestion – Do you have any suggestions for the IEEE? 

IEEE is a global organization, catering to local needs which puts it in a unique position compared to other professional organizations. Diversity being the important aspect of globalization, I would like to see a substantial representation of women in leadership roles. Young professionals leadership via micro volunteering should be encouraged through all units from the section to the board. This enables volunteers to bring and execute unique thoughts and ideas.

Opinion – Provide an opinion on any IEEE related topic. 

Early this year, I attended a strategy session of the IEEE BoD which was primarily about IEEE’s focus on the “future”. It is very important to be a visionary and think well into the future and that would be a key differentiator in making IEEE the most preferred global organization. There were many ideas that emerged to answer one question- How can we better position IEEE for success in 2030? Everyone in the organization should be envisioning what IEEE could be 15 years down the lane. It is our collective thinking from the grassroots that will advance technology for humanity catering to changing needs.

Concern – Express a major concern related to IEEE 

After working tirelessly in their home section, Young Professionals are likely at some stage in their career to move elsewhere. As a result, in the new community, they have to start from scratch. Enabling a continuous “global-volunteering” framework with IEEE is important in this case. One of the challenges is that the volunteer doesn’t update their information which disables the communication at the new location. There should be a relative “how-to” wiki that could help the volunteer upon relocation. IEEE Collabratec is one of the pilots focusing on this, but again it is very important to create value in using this social networking medium as the de facto “Facebook of IEEE”.

Hyderabad - The home of Ms Preeti Kovvali  (Photo credit: Trillophillia)

Hyderabad – The home of Ms Preeti Kovvali
(Photo credit: Trillophillia)

Idea – Do you have any great idea for the IEEE? 

Re-initiating alumni connections with the graduating students is quite important to engage the young professionals and the student members. To enable this, YP should create focused YP groups along with the student branches in each school or college led by the final year students who will constantly interconnect with their graduated seniors. This leads to a better transitioning experience for the graduating students, strengthen alumni associations and establish stronger mentor-mentee relations.

Advice – What advice can you provide to IEEE or IEEE members? 

IEEE comprises of global innovators and technologists who explore how technology drives the world and impacts the society of today and tomorrow. The beauty of this network is that there is a place for everyone who believes that advancing technology can revolutionize the way we live. IEEE provides a platform for individuals who want to figure out what they want and how they can fit in to deliver the mission. The best way to do this is through volunteering, which will facilitate exploration of self and areas of interest while being part of the journey.

Lesson – Describe a lesson you have learnt as a result of the IEEE 

As a firm supporter of women leadership, especially in technology, I learnt more about my strengths, weaknesses and interests through the IEEE journey. One important thing I learnt is discipline. Discipline can lead to perseverance and stability. While volunteering with IEEE, I experienced both and this enabled me to figure out my areas of interests and follow my passion. When we combine the passion, action and things we love to do, it creates a life’s work. Many times volunteering involves coming back to the learners mode and being pragmatic. IEEE helped me lead to self-improvement, confidence and become a better leader!

Want to get SOCIAL with IEEE GOLDRush? Send us your response GOLDRush@ieee.org

Want to get in touch with Preeti? preeti.k@ieee.org

Article edited by Nadee Seneviratne, Junior Assistant Editor, GOLDRush 

An IEEE beacon of light in Iraq

Today’s story is a very sad one, but also one filled with a sense of pride and hope. The once beautiful country of Iraq has experienced much hardship in recent times, going from one conflict to another. Following the withdraws of foreign troops in 2011, the country has plunged into unrest which has led to deep division. With the current difficulties in Iraq, we have had the pleasure of speaking with one of the beacons of hope, a dedicated IEEE volunteer, Saad Jasim, the IEEE Young Professional Chair of Iraq. Saad and his IEEE volunteers see no division and no barriers in educating others, even in the hardest of times. Currently there are over 3 million displaced people in Iraq as a result of the attack of terrorism forces (ISIS), amongst them many IEEE members and their loved ones. These families are distributed in many cities and the IEEE Iraq Section is continuously visiting these families to offer them any kind of support possible.

Dr. Sattar with student and local volunteers

Dr. Sattar with student and local volunteers

An overview of IEEE Young Professional activity in Iraq

IEEE has been in operation in Iraq since 2008 and since then has taken major steps in expanded IEEE offerings from conferences, workshops, specific lessons, and many social activities. This has been highly beneficial to the entire Iraqi society and in particular to educational bodies such as universities and colleges. The IEEE Iraqi volunteers support the educational bodies by introducing the core values and objectives of the IEEE and the scientific activities which assist in promoting the engineering profession. Iraq has 18 cities and many rural regions which are not easy to access. As such, a major effort is required to distribute the activities throughout the country. The dedication of the IEEE volunteers has made this possible. The IEEE in Iraq have an active Communication and Computer society as well as enthusiastic YP and WIE affinity groups.  Since 2012, the IEEE Young Professionals of Iraq have run many valuable events supported in many instances financially by volunteers in times of hardship. Some of their activities are listed below:

  • Social gatherings to introduce the vast interests of IEEE to students, professionals and communities
  • Lessons on wireless communications (2G,3G and evolution of 4G) for many companies.
  • Robotic lessons supported by professional experts
  • IEEE day celebrations on an annual basis with other volunteers and share it with non-members like children.
  • Dinner meetings and discussing for future direction
  • Management of IEEE Iraq section elections

In the words of Saad Jasim

Before the ISIS conflicts, the education in Iraq was normal but the internal conflicts heavily impeded on the progress of education. For example the road between Baghdad and the northern cities has been extremely dangerous, preventing students from travelling freely. As a result of the country status, permission for thousands of students to complete higher education outside of the country was given and this has complicated the lives for the families due to displacements, cost of living and education is high and the economy and salaries not sufficient. I can say that in Iraq we have the ability to live through the hardest of times because hard times such as this turn your heart to “iron”.

Dr. Sattar encouraging students to think positively

Dr. Sattar encouraging students to think positively

 

When ISIS occupied some cities of Iraq and applied their rules on the citizens there, the link with the central education system was destroyed. ISIS authorities insisted in radically altering the teaching methodology and content for primary and secondary schools because of their views and objections on existing techniques. The Iraqi students in these regions have become extremely confused and the current situation does not support them in their learning requirements. Many of these students have lost family members, their homes and their freedom.  Their history and their future being destroyed in front of their eyes. It is the most dearest wish of all of the IEEE Young Professionals and ordinary citizens that we live in peace and prosperity.

Dr. Sattar helping students

Dr. Sattar helping students

 

Lastly, I would like to share the details of a small IEEE event during the times of conflict. Dr. Sattar, an active IEEE member, recently visited one of schools that is assigned for displaced students from Mosul, Anbar and Tal’afer in (Babil City – Zuhair School). He spent much of his day listening to their hardship, educating them and providing them with words of inspiration that this will all pass and that they have a bright future ahead of the.  “They are our little angles, and all of our wishes are directed at providing them with shelter and security. To give them the happiness and so that they can go back to their homes which they see only in dreams.” says Dr. Sattar.

Last words

“I do apologise that I can not share any more with your readers and that we are not able to document every effort to help others. Please accept this simple report as a means of telling our fellow IEEE members that we are experiencing difficulties and that your support means the world to us. I am sure I’ll be in touch with you in the future since we are all part of the greater IEEE family” says Saad Jasim.

“I have visited many places in and around Babylon offering any assistance I areas between. In all these areas, we have thousands of families who have been expelled or left in fear their homes in northern and western Iraq. The Iraq section has attempted to visit these areas on a regular basis to provide a good picture about the status of these families. We have also made big efforts to visit schools as the pictures show. The last IEEE day was solely dedicated to all the students who are displaced from their homes.  Many of our IEEE Iraq Section members and their families have been collecting “financial support” to help these students. This is our “Social and Human ” responsibility as IEEE members inside our country.” says Dr. Sattar.

Dr. Sattar with future IEEE engineers

Dr. Sattar with future IEEE engineers

Article contributed by Saad Jasim, Chair of the Iraqi IEEE Young Professionals in correspondence with Dr. Eddie Custovic, GOLDRush Editor-in-Chief 

Professional Awareness Conference: Smart Cities

“Smart Cities” is a buzz phrase that is often heard, so it makes sense that IEEE Young Professionals are engaged at the core of this theme. Today’s report comes from Nigeria, where the Young Professionals and Students have put together a two day awareness conference in Nigeria themed around Smart Cities on the 19th and 20th of March 2015.

Smart Cities utilise readily available and emerging digital technologies to improve  performance and wellbeing, to reduce costs and resource consumption, and to engage more effectively and actively with its citizens. There is a myriad of  ‘smart’ sectors which include energy, transport, health care, waste management, water. 

The conference was made of up of exciting technological exhibitions and keynote presentations. Day one featured exhibitions from special guests Prof. M. O Omoigui and representatives from the Great FM Radio Station, Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) and EEESS Officials.

A total of 17 project were showcased, including; Yellow foot – a piezo electrically powered smart shoe for the blind, Artifind – an application to help visitors to a city where art can be viewed, Voissapp – an application designed to network students and teachers within the campus, Security systems for home appliances and many others.

Day two featured industry guest speakers and exhibitors including; Mr. Adeyinka Aderombi (Konga.com), Mr. Ifeayin Odoh (Schneider Electric), Mr. Samuel Enoch-Oghene (TAHMO), Mr. Oloma Ibrahim (Center4tech), Mr. Richards Boyewa (Sanwo), Mr. Femi Omoniyi  (Topupextra) and Mr. Harry Enahoro (Mettalloids).

Students and Young Professionals at the Smart Cities Conference

Students and Young Professionals at the Smart Cities Conference

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few key highlights include the presentation/demonstrations from Mr. Aderombi who highlighted the importance of e-commerce and smart cities, Mr. Boyewa Richards who demonstrated “Sanwo.me” an offline payment system and Mr. Odoh from Schneider Electric who presented on innovations in Smart Grid Networks.

TopUpExtra – TopUpExtra is a web and mobile application that avails you the opportunity to recharge your mobile phone with vouchers accessed via a very intuitive, simple to use and innovative system to make the process seamless. Mr Enoch Enoch-Oghene from TAHMO examined Green Energy and Renewables for Smart Cities while Mr Oloma Ibrahim from Center4tech delved into the Transportation and Environmental Health.

Over 200 students, staff and industry personnel attended the two day event. The organisers, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) hope that this event will serve as a platform for students and Young Professionals of Nigeria to consider how they can make their city a smarter city. 

Article contributed by Tobi Taiwo, IEEE OAUSB Chair  and Abdullateef Aliyu, Chair of the Nigerian IEEE Young Professionals

Who am I? Cyber-security expert and TV Host

Cyber security expert and host of a television show? It is not every day that we come across an IEEE volunteer involved in these two distinct fields. Dr. El Guindy is a frequent blogger on Middle East cyber security issues, human rights, digital surveillance and cyber threats. In addition, he publishes whitepapers on critical issues related to technology and Middle East. Furthermore, he is the author of variety of books, study guides and IT courses in English and Arabic which are approved by international reputable organizations. Dr. El Guindy was involved in developing Arabic booklets for an Internet Awareness Project “Saleem Net” in Saudi Arabia. Mohamed is an authority in the filed of cybercrime study in the Middle East and his contributions cited in UN reports and university research around the world.

As the Editor-in-Chief of GOLDRush, I have had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Mohamed N. El-Guindy and would like to share this with all of our readers.

Mr. Mohamed El-Guindy in front of the green screen during a shoot of "Tech-Talk"

Mr. Mohamed El-Guindy in front of the green screen during a shoot of “Tech-Talk”

Mr El-Guindy, thank you for taking the time to take this interview on such short notice. Tell us a little about yourself and your work history.

My main job is cybersecurity consultancy and training. I started my career as a computer programmer in the 1990′s and developed my skill set in the IT stream during my study. Over my career span, I have worked in several organizations as a systems engineer, IT trainer, IT manager and now represent the Information Systems Security Association in Egypt (ISSA International). In addition to delivering consultancy tasks to government and private sectors in the Middle East, my cybersecurity career took off as a result of my involvement with international organizations such as ISSA, BCS and IEEE. I’m also active in the cybersecurity research domain at national and international levels and have participated in workshops related to drafting cybersecurity laws and regulation.

How did you get involved with the IEEE and what benefits has this had on your career?

IEEE is the largest and one of the oldest international organizations for engineering and technology, and as a result it was very attractive for me to be a part of it. I started by joining the IEEE Computer Society and then joined IEEE at large. My involvement with the IEEE benefited my career and study. I have always been keen to read the specialized journals published by IEEE in the field of Computer Science, Engineering and Technology. This has allowed me to stay on top of the latest developments in my field. In addition, my CPD is easily updated through the IEEE Computer Society learning portal. I am proud of being an IEEE member for 6 years. Furthermore, I developed IT training courses that are approved by IEEE which is one of my greatest achievements.

Tech Talk in Egypt

Tech Talk in Egypt

You are an assessor in a leading IT body, BCS. Can you tell us what your typical day will consist of, what challenges do you face and what have you learnt that you could share with our readers?

BCS is a respected IT organization that has taught me much of what I know and helped me enormously in advancing my career. I successfully earned the Chartered IT Professional, Chartered Engineer, and now Fellow of BCS. My passion to advance my knowledge and recognition in the field encouraged me to join the BCS assessors’ training I am now an approved BCS assessor. My volunteering job with BCS involves assessing both chartered and incorporated engineers looking to join the Engineering Council-UK through BCS. It is a challenging job to assess other professionals in the field. It requires assessors to understand the details of the SFIA (Skills Framework for the Information Age) and possesses interdisciplinary expertise. My affiliation with BCS was instrumental in receiving the Registered Scientist Award through the Institute of Science and Technology in the UK. Indeed, I encourage young engineers and technologists to join international organizations such as the IEEE to advance their knowledge and expertise in an ever-changing field.

You are a presenter on a Technology TV Show called “Tech Talk” on (Cairo Centric), the leading TV Channel in the Middle East. Tell us more about the show and how you got into it? What do you normally present on?

My Tech Show focuses on Technology, Science and Engineering. At times I am required to talk about politics, economics and history. Connecting these disciplines to technology and science can be a challenging task, but is ultimately an unavoidable part of my job. Tech Talk is the first TV program in the Middle East to raise the awareness of technology and its effects on society. The program episodes provide variety of technical topics in forms of investigative journalism and  thriller. From digital espionage and internet surveillance to 3D printing and reverse engineering the human brain. From civil society to military applications, technology is affecting our everyday lives and became part of social, political and economic scene. The main objective of the program is to deliver controversial technical or scientific topics in an exciting and entertaining presentation to our audience. I really believe that we are moving from an interdisciplinary to an transdisciplinary stage in science and technology. I got into the media industry when I met the right people who believed in the Idea of a technology show, which is not easy in Middle East. Mr. Tarek Nour, the owner of Cairo Centric satellite channel was instrumental and helped me a lot in this matter. There are many others who work behind the scenes, especially in editing and shooting of the show that must also be thanked.

What advice can you provide to IEEE Young Professionals seeking to make their mark in the world of engineering and technology?

Rather than advice, I am giving an open invitation to anyone working in engineering and technology related careers. I invite my fellow young professionals to be active in research, get involved in volunteering jobs and join international organizations that will help advance their careers and expertise. Finally, I would like to tell them that today’s economy depends on their expertise and they are shaping the future with their careers and study. In this technological era, Young Professionals need to be extraordinary men. Elbert Hubbard once said “One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.”

To find out more about Dr. El-Guindy and his great work please click here

Tech Talk videos with Dr. El-Guindy can be found on YouTube

Article contributed by Dr. Eddie Custovic, GOLDRush Editor-in-Chief 

IEEE Adventures in Croatia

Today’s story comes to us from a small country situated on the beautiful Adriatic Coast, Croatia. While this may be one of the smaller sections in the IEEE world, it is very passionate with volunteers who strive for perfection. On another note, you may recall that Nikola Tesla, arguably the world’s greatest thinker was also born in Croatia.

IEEE Day 2014, annual Croatian Student Branch and Young Professionals Congress

IEEE Day 2014, annual Croatian Student Branch and Young Professionals Congress

As IEEE Young Professionals Croatia team is preparing to host the Central European Student and Young Professionals Congress (IEEE CEuSYP), organized together with Student Branch Zagreb University, they are taking a moment to reflect on 2014 which was a huge success for the group.

In 2014 the IEEE Young Professionals Croatia Affinity Group organized four events as part of IEEE Elevate, a program that was initiated in 2013 as a series of lectures gathering young engineers, students, professionals and scientists. It was started by Young Professionals Croatia with the intention to instigate networking between young enthusiasts and visionaries in the ambiance of attractive innovation and emerging technology lectures. They have hosted seven such events to date and brought together a mixture of technology, entrepreneurship and networking. Topics of recent Elevate events include: electronic money, online games industry, fusion of art and science, developing software for space industry, etc.

Step event - Career skills

Step event – Career skills

Furthermore, the YP Croatia group organised and hosted a STEP event in October. Fran Mikulicic (MBA, Vanderbilt University), one of the best public speech coaches in the region, presented on the art of public speaking, job hunting, verbal persuasion and business negotiations – skills crucial for career development. The event was intended to raise the awareness of attendees on the important of self-presentation for their future career. They were expected to learn how to get rid of the usual jitters when standing in front of the audience, focus on the participants, their attention, needs and expectation, how to accomplish the individual communication approach with each one of them and finally achieve best possible outcomes.

One of the year’s highlight was the celebration of the IEEE Day in the form of an annual Croatian Student Branch and Young Professionals Congress. Last year, 4th in a row, it was held in the city of Rijeka, Croatia, on 4-5th of October, hosted by the University of Rijeka student branch in cooperation with IEEE Croatia Section and Young Professionals Croatia. The event was attended by 25 representatives from all Croatian student branches. The program focus was based around workshops on  technical and administrative nature, presentations about organized activities, and lots of team building. The congress enabled exchange of ideas, knowledge transfer to the new volunteers, and finally, enabling the students’ transition to active Young Professionals volunteers.

Meeting with Region 8 Young Professionals Subcommittee

Meeting with Region 8 Young Professionals Subcommittee

The year was rounded up with the Region 8 Young Professionals Subcommittee meeting that took place in Zagreb, Croatia on December 13-14, 2015. The Young Professionals Croatia Affinity Group officials had the chance to participate in the meeting by contributing to the preparation of the SYP Congress Organization Manual with their experience from previous congress attendances and filed application for organization of SYP Congress in 2014. During the meeting, the Outstanding Volunteer Award was given to Young Professionals Croatia Affinity Group Vice-Chair Ivana Stupar.

If you would like to find out more check out the Young Professionals Croatia activities at www.ieee.hr/ieeesection/yp and www.facebook.com/IEEEYPCroatia, and meet them at the Central European Student and Young Professionals Congress in Zagreb, on May 8-10, 2015. To find out more about the Congress please visit http://www.ceusyp2015.org/

Central European Student and Young Professionals Congress, Zagreb, May 8-10 2015

Central European Student and Young Professionals Congress,
Zagreb, May 8-10 2015

The editorial team thanks the Croatian Young Professionals and wish them the best of luck in 2015.

Article contributed by Vinko Lesic, Young Professionals Chair of Croatia.

Building extended professional networks through the YP of Germany

Professional and social networking is one of the most important tasks in the early career of an engineer. Therefore, the IEEE Young Professionals Affinity Group of Germany provides numerous networking opportunities for its members. Getting in contact with peers from your field across the globe is most relevant, and IEEE can provide this better than most professional organisations. Two major pillars of networking opportunities have been identified:

Conference Event (Power and Energy Student Summit 2015 in Dortmund)

Conference Event (Power and Energy Student Summit 2015 in Dortmund)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Young Professionals Metropolitan Area Groups (MAG) – There is no better way of communicating than doing it face-to-face. The Young Professionals Metropolitan Area Groups provide an excellent opportunity to get in touch with other engineers from your area. Workshops, Company Visits, Q&A-sessions with senior experts or simply meeting up in a pub to help broaden one’s personal and professional horizon. Three MAGs have been organised so far (Munich, Berlin, Rhine-Ruhr) with more to come.
  2. Young Professionals Conference Events -Joining a technical conference as a young professional sometimes feels like being merely tolerated and a little overwhelming at times. Young Professionals Conference Events provide a great opportunity to get in touch with those that share the same fate. Here, substantial conversation can easily be achieved with a much greater depth than the occasional small talk in the conference hallways. Interesting workshops, guided city tours and dinner events provide an adequate setting. Many of these events in different conference fields have been held during the last two years in Germany, which certainly will be continued because of a lot of encouraging feedback.
YP Germany Team from left to right - Sebastian Sichelschmidt, Ana Cigaran Romeroc, Arne Redl

YP Germany Team from left to right – Sebastian Sichelschmidt, Ana Cigaran Romeroc, Arne Redl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article contributed by Sebastian Sichelschmidt, Young Professionals Chair of Germany.

A word from Young Professionals of Poland

The Young Professionals of Poland had a very successful 2014 which they hope will be the backbone of another big year ahead.

Opening Ceremony

Opening Ceremony

The affinity group was responsible for organising the IEEE Region 8 Student & Young Professional Congress which was held in Krakow from 6th – 10th of August 2014. The participants of the congress were students, graduate students and young professionals from universities of Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

 

The aim of the Congress was to exchange ideas and experiences among young scientists representing broad fields of science related to electronics and electrical engineering, establishing international cooperation between young engineers, as well as to help students in choosing a career path.”  says Jacek Kołodziej, the YP Chair of Poland.

Key presenters and topics:

  • Zbigniew  Kąkol  -  Vice-­‐Rector  AGH  -­‐  University  of  Science  and  Technology
  • Jacek  Guliński  -  Under-­‐Secretary  of  State  at  the  Ministry  of  Science  and  Higher  Education  − Andrzej  Jajszczyk  -­‐  Director  of  the  National  Science  Centre
  • Leszek  Grabarczyk  -  Deputy  Director  of  the  National  Centre  for  Research  and  Development
  • Martin  Bastiaans  -  IEEE  Region  8  Director  − Ryszard  Jachowicz  -­‐  IEEE  Poland  Section  Chair
  • Rafal  Sliz  -  Region  8  Young  Professionals  Coordinator
  • Pablo  Herrero –  Vice-­‐Chair,  Student  Activities  (OpCom)
One of many workshops

One of many workshops

The  official  launch  of  the  Congress  took  place  at  the  Wawel  Castle  courtyard.  The  Opening Ceremony  gathered  Congress  participants  including  IEEE  authorities,  local  government  officials  and  invited  guests.

Plenary  sessions  formed the core focus of  the  Congress.  They  were  conducted  by  IEEE  representatives  and  focused  on  topics  of  students  and  young  scientists  and  their  role  in  the  organization  of  the  IEEE,  career  opportunities,  successes  and  future  in  IEEE.  Discussion  panels  were  held  along  with  sessions  including  president  elect  debate.

Interaction with Industry

Interaction with Industry

Organizing of such a congress was a great challenge, mainly logistically, but thanks to the passion and drive of local Students and YP’s,  this meeting as a huge success. This event had a significant impact of the support for the scientific, educational, and professional activities of IEEE organization and spreading of its ideas.

 

Article contributed by Jacek Kołodziej, the YP Chair of Poland.