Tech review: Electrospinning – Weaving tiny fibres

Electrospinning: An ancient nanotechnology rediscovered for modern demands

Electrosinning, the closely related cousin of electrospraying, is a method of using high voltage electric charge to draw a polymer into a fine fibre [1]. Depending on the strictness of your definition it can be considered a nanofabrication process. Electrospun fibre is commonly between 150 nm to 600 nm with extreme cases being an order of magnitude in either direction [2-3]. This places it neatly between formal nanotechnology (a single dimension less than 100 nm) and traditional microfibers (1-5 µm). The process has been known since the turn of the 20th century, not long after mass production of synthetic polymers began [4]. During the Second World War Soviet researchers developed the technology to produce high performance gas mask filters [5]. The subsequent iron curtain resulted in the technology remaining a forgotten scientific curiosity until it was rediscovered by accident in the early 90’s [6].

Figure 8 - Colour Online Only.jpg "Photo Credit: Robert Lamberts, Plant & Food Research, New Zealand"

Figure 8 – Colour Online Only.jpg
“Photo Credit: Robert Lamberts, Plant & Food Research, New Zealand”

There are three main benefits that electrospun fibre offers [7]. From geometry, the narrow diameter of the manufactured fibre results in a very high surface area to volume ratio ideal for catalytic reactions [8] and similar processes. Due to the high degree of stretching the fibre experiences it is likely that the fibre produced will have a tensile strength that begins to approach the theoretical limit making it of great interest for nanocomposites [9]. Finally, at the nanoscale, mater sometimes obtains new properties intrinsic to its scale leading to applications in filtration and tissue engineering [10]. With emerging consumer concern over nanotoxicology, electrospun fibre has the additional benefit of being relatively unlikely to contaminate biological systems. Electrospinning usually produces one long continuous fibre. Unlike asbestos, the fibre aspect ratio is very high allowing the immune systems defences to cope efficiently with exposure without requiring safety equipment.

"Electrospun poly(vinyl alcohol) fibres embedded with dispersed magnetic nano iron oxide particles"

“Electrospun poly(vinyl alcohol) fibres embedded with dispersed magnetic nano iron oxide particles”

Electrospun fibre does carry some downsides. During manufacture, the fibre is ejected from a highly charged polymer droplet and pushed towards a collector by forces due to carried electric charge and high voltage static fields [11]. Part way through the process, the ejected jet becomes unstable resulting in traditional electrospinning producing random fibre coils spread over the entire deposition area. There are techniques on the market that can produce aligned fibre to varying degrees [1,5,11] however, they are almost all limited to batch processing making scale up challenging. A similar problem extends to precision placement of individual fibres which requires post-handling of the manufactured material. This limits applications in microscale electronics despite the ability to directly create insulated conductive fibres [12]. The final challenge faced by the technology since its discovery is a detailed theoretical understanding of the process itself. The current level of public knowledge often slows down commercial development due to trial and error still being required.

"Lycopodium fungal spore trapped on an electrospun poly(vinyl alcohol) membrane"

“Lycopodium fungal spore trapped on an electrospun poly(vinyl alcohol) membrane”

Electrospinning has the potential to impact many industries. With mater manipulating nanomachines still a long way from practical realization, manufacturing methods that can produce nano structured materials are the logical intermediate step. Using a two-step process it is possible to manufacture most ceramics in the form of nanofibers [13]. These fibres find their use in catalytic chemical reactions, dye sensitized solar cells and piezoelectric energy harvesting. Using conductive polymers it is possible to create conductive meshes or using co-axial technology create insulated fibres. These fibres can find use in sensors by grafting chemical sensor groups to the fibre surface. The same fibres also find use in lithium polymer batteries and high capacity capacitors [14]. The use of co-axial fibre production has also allowed the nascent development of optical waveguide fibres [15]. Rather than use co-axial fibres it is possible to directly mix mutli-component polymer fibres or electrospin multiple fibre types into a single membrane. This technology can be used to produce various energy storage devices or organic solar cells [16].

Vac-High PC-Std. 10kV x1000 (46mm)

Vac-High PC-Std. 10kV x1000 (46mm)

The industrial market for electrospun fibre has experienced variable growth over its history. Early years saw growth driven by entrepreneurs such as Cooly and Morton [4] primarily aimed at the textile industry. Ultimately the technology lost against cheaper manufacturing methods. After the Soviets recognized the value of electrospun fibre for air filtration they started producing “Petryanov filters” and scaled up to 20 million m2 of filter per annum [4-5]. The infrastructure resulting from this industry lives on in one of the largest electrospinning companies Elmarco Ltd., one of the few produces of industrial scale electrospinning equipment. Much like the Soviet utilization of electrospinning, from the 1980’s onward Donaldson Inc. in the USA has been producing high performance filter materials predominantly for military applications [17]. Public information is sparse due to the intellectual property being protected as trade secrets. Other early electrospinning companies include Electrospinz Ltd. and MECC Co. Ltd. producing lab scale equipment. In the modern era there are over 30 companies around the world manufacturing products or machines.

Electrospinning is a fascinating technology with a long rich history. Steeped in potential, the technology has been tackled by a number of great minds but has yet to attract the right scientist or engineer to realize that potential. While electrospinning has seen commercial products developed in the filtration and medical markets, electrospinning has yet to see a company corner the market either in product or technology. These untapped solutions may just be the next solution key to solving a major commercial problem.

Article contributed by Dr. Jonathan Stanger




[1] S. Ramakrishna, An introduction to electrospinning and nanofibers. Singapore: World Scientific, 2005.

[2] M. Costolo, J. Lennhoff, R. Pawle, E. Rietman and A. Stevens, ‘A nonlinear system model for electrospinning sub-100 nm polyacrylonitrile fibres’, Nanotechnology, vol. 19, no. 3, p. 035707, 2007.

[3] Q. Pham, U. Sharma and A. Mikos, ‘Electrospun Poly(ε-caprolactone) Microfiber and Multilayer Nanofiber/Microfiber Scaffolds:  Characterization of Scaffolds and Measurement of Cellular Infiltration’, Biomacromolecules, vol. 7, no. 10, pp. 2796-2805, 2006.

[4] N. Tucker, J. Stanger, M. Staiger, H. Razzaq and K. Hofman, ‘The History of the Science and Technology of Electrospinning from 1600 to 1995’, Journal of Engineered Fibers and Fabrics, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 63-73, 2012.

[5] Y. Filatov, A. Budyka and V. Kirichenko, Electrospinning of micro-and nanofibers. New York: Begell House, 2007.

[6] J. Doshi and D. Reneker, ‘Electrospinning process and applications of electrospun fibers’, Journal of Electrostatics, vol. 35, no. 2-3, pp. 151-160, 1995.

[7] J. Stanger, ‘Experimental Assessment of Charge Flow in Electrospinning’, Ph.D., University of Canterbury, New Zealand, 2013.

[8] S. Chuangchote, J. Jitputti, T. Sagawa and S. Yoshikawa, ‘Photocatalytic Activity for Hydrogen Evolution of Electrospun TiO 2 Nanofibers’, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, vol. 1, no. 5, pp. 1140-1143, 2009.

[9] J. Kim and D. Reneker, ‘Mechanical properties of composites using ultrafine electrospun fibers’, Polymer Composites, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 124-131, 1999.

[10] K. Hofman, N. Tucker, J. Stanger, M. Staiger, S. Marshall and B. Hall, ‘Effects of the molecular format of collagen on characteristics of electrospun fibres’, J Mater Sci, vol. 47, no. 3, pp. 1148-1155, 2011.

[11] A. Andrady, Science and technology of polymer nanofibers. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley, 2008.

[12]A. Luzio, E. Canesi, C. Bertarelli and M. Caironi, ‘Electrospun Polymer Fibers for Electronic Applications’, Materials, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 906-947, 2014.

[13] V. Tomer, R. Teye-Mensah, J. Tokash, N. Stojilovic, W. Kataphinan, E. Evans, G. Chase, R. Ramsier, D. Smith and D. Reneker, ‘Selective emitters for thermophotovoltaics: erbia-modified electrospun titania nanofibers’, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, vol. 85, no. 4, pp. 477-488, 2005.

[14] L. Wang, Q. Xiao, Z. Li, G. Lei, L. Wu, P. Zhang and J. Mao, ‘Synthesis of Li2CoTi3O8 fibers and their application to lithium-ion batteries’, Electrochimica Acta, vol. 77, pp. 77-82, 2012.

[15] G. Kwak, G. Lee, S. Shim and K. Yoon, ‘Fabrication of Light-Guiding Core/Sheath Fibers by Coaxial Electrospinning’, Macromol. Rapid Commun., vol. 29, no. 10, pp. 815-820, 2008.

[16] S. Chuangchote and T. Sagawa, ‘Application of Electrospun Nanofibers in Organic Photovoltaics’, Nanostructure Science and Technology, pp. 141-162, 2014.

[17] S. Cavaliere, Electrospinning for advanced energy and environmental applications. CRC Press, 2015.

Industry ready in Bangalore

The ties between IEEE Young Professionals and Industry is crucial. In today’s article we highlight the work of IEEE Young Professionals in Bangalore and how they are ensuring that ensuring industry readiness through a series of events run earlier this year.

The A and A of IoT: A Tutorial on Arduino and Android  Organised at the Robert Bosch Centre for Cyber Physical Systems. The event was organised by IEEE Computer Society (IEEE Bangalore Section), IEEE Young Professionals Bangalore Section and IEEE IoT SIG (IEEE Bangalore Section).


Every day we see various sensors integrated into product such as a Smartphones, tablets etc. It is only a matter of time before every mechanical machine is coupled with our Smartphone. The A and A of IoT: A Tutorial on Arduino and Android gave an insight wherein people and ʺThingsʺ are connected in an immersively networked computing environment. The past couple of years have seen a heightened interest in the IoT space transcending industry, academia and government.

The day started off by the speaker Gurinder Singh Gill who gave an overview about PCB design aspects, Hardware Design process, Design Considerations, Parts and Tools selection, CAD Design and Layouting, Testing and verifying PCB and Finalizing the Prototype. This was followed up by the speaker Ashish Joglekar who discussed about Mixed Signal Board Design and problems and solutions to EMI considerations. The next session by Mr Gurinder Singh Gill was related to the middleware suite offered by Arduino and Android for building IoT applications. The session deeply stressed on use of arduino boards which links the real world to IoT. An Introduction to Arduino Yun (hardware and software) was provided and then configuring and programming the Yun was taught to us. In the later session by Mr. Vasanth Rajaraman, a working knowledge of these systems and an Introduction to Android, a Open Platform for Mobile Development was provided. We also learnt about the  Development Framework and the Android Architecture. Finally the day was ended by Dr. Prasant Misra, who spoke about the Android for IoT and different Sensors, a mechanism for self-describing devices which forms part of a plug‐n‐play IoT infrastructure that is necessary for interoperability (across platforms from multiple vendors) and successful deployment of large‐scale systems.


C-DAC Knowledge Park Industry Visit

C-DAC at Bangalore is engaged in carrying out research and delivering solutions and product in area of System Software for PARAM series of super computer. The centre is highly acclaimed as a centre for excellence in the thermatic areas of High Performance and Grid Computing, Cyber security and Cyber Forensic etc. The student members and young professionals had Demo sessions on IoT and Augmented Reality from MARS Lab, along with presentation and visit to Super computer facility conducted by CTSF lab. The student members were explained the necessary and importance of IoT and given a brief introduction about it. They also got an opportunity to visit PARAM PADMA super computer and know its application and its performance in India’s development.  The most interesting bit was session on Augmented Reality with real-time application. The tour was extremely informative and greatly benefitted its attendees and enhanced their knowledge about Super Computer and Recent Technologies.

Industry readiness program 

This 2 day program mainly focused on Aptitude Training and Interview Handling Skills. Students from various parts of North Karnataka, from around 5 different colleges attended this event. aaaa

The first session conducted by Ms. Neena Nair dealt with communication skills, resume building and interview handling. Her session kick started with an ice breaking session which created a gregarious and warm environment. Tricks and knacks on how to crack an interview were taught. Next the students were trained on resume building which gave various ideas on how to polish and refine ones resume. The session seemed to be quite peculiar and interesting for the students as they were able to grasp various things taught by the speaker. At the end of the day, it showed that the students didn’t had any barrier as such with their communication skills.

The second session conducted by Mr. Abhilash Varma dealt with Aptitude training. Topics covered included mathematical thinking and analytical thinking. Various problems on numbers systems, profit and loss, percentages and as well in analytical, verbal and non verbal reasoning were solved. The various shortcuts taught by him to arrive at an answer in less than 10sec were really beneficial. Showing the problems in a pragmatic way made the students to understand them easily. The course material covering most of the topics was distributed. Therefore the students seemed much active during his session and also gave them a solid grip on aptitude.

The speakers were excellent and brilliant in their respective fortes and an overwhelming response from the students was received. The speakers were delighted about the response and cooperation from the crowd. Indeed it was a great platform provided by IEEE to the students, to become well versed with their aptitude and interview handling skills, in order to get placed. And of course, the Non -IEEE members who attended this event are now willing to become an IEEE member. This event was a good example of how Young Professionals can enhance the learning outcomes of students.


Articles contributed by Nipun Manral


Young Professional Update from Iraq

It was not long ago that we reported on IEEE Young Professionals in Iraq and their struggles. With this article we wanted to update all IEEE members on the situation there and some their activities. Despite the raging war and instability our IEEE members are still making the best of their time.


IEEE Iraq section and Young Professionals team in collaboration with American University of Iraq, Sulaimaniya (AUIS) ran a scientific workshop in late October based on the topic of “Robotics Sciences”. The purpose of the workshop was to gather all robotics experts and students to share the latest developments in the field. The workshop was conducted in coordination with IEEE Iraq Section represented by Dr. Eng. Sattar B. Sadkhan, Vice chairman of IEEE in Iraq who emphasised the importance of IEEE Robotics society, benefits of being IEEE member to motivate new students of AUIS to join IEEE family. The importance of robotics in disaster recovery was also discussed. Mr. Suhail Al-Awis, IEEE Young Professional and doctoral Candidate from University of Technology, presented the on the use of neural networks in robotics and explained the concept around the investment into neural networks in the implementation of autonomous vehicles.

The topics covered advanced concepts and applications of robotics in general and the role of IEEE in supporting local activities in this field. The interaction created stimulating discussions as well as brainstorming for possible future collaborations and activities in the field of robotics.

The event was concluded with celebrations of IEEE Day 2015. All attendees shared the special IEEE cake in spirit to encourage new volunteers in serving the society by scientific or humanitarian activities which reflect. So dear friends of IEEE, we are well and we are continuing to operate with smiles on our faces. We will continue to contribute in developing technology for the advancement of humanity.

IEEE Iraq Section and Young Professionals

IEEE Iraq Section and Young Professionals

Robotics and Automation Society Young Reviewers Program

IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Young Reviewers Program

The Young Reviewers Program (YRP) is intended to introduce the Robotics and Automation Society’s young members to the best practices in peer-reviewing of scientific papers. This is achieved by establishing a mentor–mentee relationship in which Senior Reviewers (SR) give reviewing assignments to the Junior Reviewers (JR) and oversee the review process.

How does it work?
Traditionally, the papers are submitted to the Paper Plaza conference management system and the review request is sent by the associate editor to the reviewers. Once the review request is confirmed, the paper’s quality is evaluated, and the review is submitted.

Now, let us assume that the reviewer is an invited SR for the YRP, which runs separately from Paper Plaza. In that case, the SR may upload the paper assigned to him/her in Paper Plaza to the YRP website, and then our program begins:

  • SR chooses a JR from the pool of applicants by searching keywords,
  • SR assigns the paper to the JR and mentors him/her throughout the process (by providing guidelines, corrections, etc.),
  • SR uploads the final review (revised by the senior member) to the Paper Plaza by the review deadline, as carried out traditionally (indicating the YRP involvement towards the Associate Editor).


To facilitate such a mentor–mentee relationship, YRP

  • provides the JR with enough (starting) material to enhance his/her reviewing skills (e.g., by providing documents, webinars, etc.),
  • provides the senior member with tools to search for the JR by using the keywords, assign the paper and communicate with the JR,
  • applies safeguards to protect the review’s confidentiality.

Noteworthy, serving as a SR in YRP will not increase the number of papers that the SR is asked to review. Only papers that a SR has already accepted to review would be eligible for the YRP.  In this way, there will be no net increase in SR’s reviewing workload. Therefore, the time a SR would normally spend writing a careful review would be invested instead in developing skills of a Junior Reviewer.

Once the required skills are obtained, JR will be graduated with an overall qualification grade. High-profile JRs will be given the opportunity to participate to the ICRA/IROS RAS-YRP events and will be provided with certificates and awards to recognize the effort.

To become a YRP member as a Junior Reviewer, please register here.

This is a fantastic initiative from RAS and will provide young professionals with the right training in becoming research reviewers and we hope that other technical societies will follow in their footsteps.

70 years on: The Atom Bomb and Lessons Learnt

As a species, humans have progressed tremendously in the past 10,000 years. We can now fly, talk to loved ones across the globe, access information on remote locations, study the human body and our planet earth with the most sophisticated technological instruments. We not only have landed on the moon and timed the landing with the precision of a second, but have robots investigating Mars for suitability of life. We have satellites looking down on us providing the most astounding views of planet earth. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

The purpose of this article, however, is not to rest on our laurels but to scrutinize the mistakes we have made in the past. This article is intended to provide young professionals globally with a critical perspective of mistakes humans have made in hope that we learn from them.

Very few mistakes we have made as a race come close to the abuse of the most powerful bomb ‘The Atom Bomb’. Though World War II ended with the atomic bombing of Japan, it instigated an arms race known as “the cold war” between the Capitalistic Bloc i.e. The United States and NATO allies and the Eastern Bloc i.e. The Soviet Union and the Warsaw pact allies, which encouraged both sides to build powerful atomic weapons. The scientists and engineers in United States and Soviet Union had only one purpose: To build more powerful nuclear bombs.

In this article we review some of the critical events  and lessons learnt.

6 August 1945: The atomic bombing of Hiroshima takes place. After sometime, a second bomb is dropped on Nagasaki by the United States. This basically ends World War II killing 150,000 people! But a lot more people die as a result of radiation from the bombing.  This marked the beginning of the era of mass destruction. Joseph Stalin, the then General Secretary of the Soviet Union and the Dictator of the State decides he too wants to own a nuclear weapon, the Atom Bomb.

atom bomb

20 August 1945: Stalin orders Russian scientists and engineers to build him an Atom Bomb.

1946: U.S decides that it will test all its nuclear weapons on an Island 2700 miles southwest of Hawaii, Bikini Atoll. The native people living there are moved to a different island. A fleet of 90 Japanese, American and German  warships are assembled in a lagoon near the island to witness the power of the Atomic Bomb.

25 July 1946: The first test of the Atom Bomb is conducted and all warships assembled in the vicinity are destroyed. At this point, only the United States knows how to build an Atomic Bomb.

29 August 1947: The Soviets tested their first Atom Bomb which was a copy of the Nagasaki bomb. The likeness was so much that it was believed that there were spies in the Los Alamos Project making the Atomic Bomb in United States.

1950: The spies are caught and 4 days after, the United States announces that it will design even more powerful weapons. The need to strike balance created a great rush in design exercises which resulted in the creation of the Hydrogen Bomb. The first Hydrogen Bomb intends to draw power from a fission reaction unlike the earlier Atom Bombs which worked as a result of a fusion reaction (splitting of atoms under immense pressure releasing vast amounts of energy i.e. 20 Kilotons which is equal to 20,000 tons of TNT). In comparison, the energy released from a Hydrogen Bomb is measured in Megatons (Millions of tons of TNT). At this point the US scientists and engineers believed that it is only a matter of time before the Russians will catch up. So now it is up to the Los Alamos scientists and engineers to build the world’s first thermo-nuclear bomb, the Hydrogen Bomb, codenamed ‘MIKE’.

1 November 1952: The first Hydrogen Bomb is tested, the world’s first man made thermo-nuclear reaction. But it weighed 82 tons and was not of much use.

12 August 1953: There is intense debate as to which group created the first portable Hydrogen Bomb. There is still debate to this day. But it is strongly believed that the Soviets built it. Could the United States do the same?

March 1954: 6 months later, Los Alamos answers the Soviet Union by creating a Hydrogen Bomb from solid fuel made from the lightest metal on earth, Lithium, specifically Isotope Lithium 6. America’s super bomb is codenamed ‘Castle Bravo’. The bomb was only tested with liquid Hydrogen and not Lithium 6 which resulted in incorrect calculations. Even then, United States decides to test Castle Bravo on the northwest side of the Bikini Island. The bomb is to be triggered from the island of Enyu, 20miles away, from a water tight bunker protected by reinforced concrete and massive doors. 48 hours before triggering, all personnel except the firing men, are removed from Bikini Island.  The expected energy from the explosion is 5 Million tons equivalent of TNT. If the explosion produces a higher energy release, no one within the 20 mile radius will remain alive.

Question to consider: Why did the US test a bomb which they knew was never simulated with liquid hydrogen? Isn’t it an obvious lesson to never execute without thorough testing, especially when it’s the case of a bomb? It was poor judgement on behalf of the United States to ever test the Hydrogen Bomb without full knowledge.

atom bomb

1 March 1954: Castle Bravo is tested. The energy, heat and light from the explosion was so high that personnel on a ship 23 miles away could see the bones in their bodies. The aftershock produced a Tsunami. The explosion even got so close to the bunker that the concrete walls creaked.  So what went wrong? Castle Bravo was not only made up of 30% Lithium 6 but also 70% Lithium 7 which was thought to be inert. However, on post analysis it was confirmed that the explosion went out of control and as a result, Lithium 7 became radioactive. This was something the scientists and engineers were not aware of, but should have been. Castle Bravo was designed to yield 5 Megatons of TNT, but because of the miscalculation, it resulted in an explosion of 15 Megatons of TNT. It also was directed towards Japan, another unexpected variation in the explosion that was not as per designs. There was a national outcry over radiation effects that not only affected people but also marine life.

Question to consider: How much bomb testing is too much testing when it comes to destruction of natural resources? I think that considering that both parties, the US and Soviet Union, acted on fear alone of being bombed by nuclear weapons, it was already time to stop creating more powerful bombs.

Before and After the Castle Bravo explosion on Bikini Island, Image courtesy of

Before and After the Castle Bravo explosion on Bikini Island, Image courtesy of

1960s specifically 1961: By this time, United States has all the necessary technology and expertise needed to build bombs of all sizes, ranging from a few kilotons to megatons capacity. It was also in this time, that Soviet Union scientists and engineers started building long range missiles in response to the Castle Bravo. Relations between US and Soviet Union deteriorate even further. At this time, John F. Kennedy was sworn in as the 35th president of the United States.

July 1961: President Kennedy decided to station half of the bombers in Europe on more alert. This freightened Nikita Khrushchev, the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union who then called on Russian scientists and engineers to show US what the Soviet Union is capable of. He wanted the biggest bomb ever made in history dubbed the Tsar Bomb meaning the King of Bombs. The Castle Bravo exploded at 15 Megatons, but the Tsar was designed to explode at 50 Megatons.

30 October 1961: The seismograph in the US Military Monitoring Station in Alexandria, VA records a massive surge of activity. But the origin of this surge is not an earthquake, it is from a location inside Soviet Union territory. The only explanation to this event is that the Soviets have built a bomb more powerful than the United States ever had, a 50 Megaton weapon deliverable. This is 4000 times bigger than the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

The Soviet Union tested the Tsar Bomb. The most powerful bomb ever made by man, created a mushroom cloud which peaked at 40miles, around 7 times the height of Mt. Everest. Buildings 70 miles away were destroyed, and windows shattered 300miles away. Analysis state that if the Tsar Bomb was detonated on Washington D.C. from an optimum height of 2000 Ft, the initial fireball will kill everything and everybody within 3 miles, people 12 miles away would suffer 3rd degree burns, most building 20miles will be destroyed killing 1 Million people instantly and 3.5 Million in total.

The scientist who designed the Tzar Bomb estimated that 500,000 worldwide will suffer in the coming decades if the radiation deposited by the huge cloud slowly disappeared. The fallout of the Tsar Bomb is still classified. The United States test zone Bikini Island as of 1970 is still radioactive.

1963 – Finally both sides agreed to a Test Ban Treaty performing all further tests underground to avoid fallouts.

So what can Young Professionals learn from this experience today? We can learn that progress for the sake of progress is not as great an idea as it may first seem, that progress at any cost often results in very high costs paid by countries and people of the world. Our lessons learnt are also that politicians must not drive technological progress the way they did during the Cold War. Building such weapons in the name of protection of one’s own countrymen does not make them any less destructive to neither man nor nature.  So as scientists and engineers, if we have the capability of building such technology, technology that has the capacity for mass destruction, then it is our duty to ensure that all steps are taken to avoid mass destruction. Power against power and meaningless wars only create destruction of our world as we know it.

Article written by Sneha Kangralkar, IMPACT Assistant Editor

Why your Network is your Net Worth

Networking is one of the most powerful and useful acts an individual can undertake to advance their career. Your network can help you build visibility, connect you with influencers, and create new opportunities. However, as professionals who work in technology development and management we often overlook the importance of this attribute. Given that I was born in the 1980’s, I can clearly remember the widespread usage of the internet and some of the basic social functionality that emerged. In the last 5 to 10 years we have been swamped with online portals that offer alternatives to face to face networking such as Linkedin. In today’s article I will dissect networking and why I believe the face to face approach is still the key to success, provide you with six points of advice to hit the ground running and a few useful online sources.

Be strategic about your networking (Image courtesy:

Be strategic about your networking (Image courtesy:


Networking in simple terms is an information exchange between you and another individual with a focus of establishing relationships with people who can help you achieve a particular goal; including advancing your career.

A networking contact could result in one of the following:

  • Intimate information on the latest in your field of interest (IEEE technical society is a good example) or information about an organization’s plan to expand operations or release a new product.
  • Job search advice specific to your field of interest (where the jobs are typically listed).
  • Tips on your job hunting tools (resume, cover letter and /or design portfolio).
  • Names of people to contact about possible employment or information.
  • Follow-up interview and a possible job offer

Who is in my network?

Developing your network is easy because you know more people than you think you know, and if you don’t then you really should get out there and start meeting people. Networking is the linking together of individuals who, through trust and relationship building, become walking, talking advertisements for one another.

Your family, friends, room mates, partners, university academics and staff, alumni, past and present co-workers, neighbours, club and organization and association members, people at the gym, people at the local cafe and neighbourhood store, and people in your sports club.

These people are all part of your current network, professional and personal. Keep an on-going list of the names and contact information of the people in your network. Ask your contacts to introduce you to their contacts and keep expanding your list. Opportunities to network with people arise at any time and any place. Never underestimate an opportunity to make a connection.

Who is in your network?

Who is in your network? “Start a conversation and see where it leads you to” says Dr. Eddie Custovic

Online vs Offline?

There are a number of social networking sites where you can make great professional contacts, such as LinkedIn and Facebook. You can also use discussion groups such as blogs, newsgroups, and chat rooms to network online. IEEE Collabratec is a fantastic integrated online community where technology professionals can network, collaborate, and create – all in one central hub. This will help you discover the hot issues in your field of interest, post questions, and find out about specific job openings that are not otherwise posted to the general public.

“The digital arena has shown much promise in terms of networking. It is convenient, universally accessible and very quick. The 21st century human is impatient and demands results at the snap of a finger. While online networking is a big part of relationship-building nowadays, it is only one part of relationship/partnership building. Face-to-face interaction still offers a host of real, unique advantages – which you should not brush aside easily. Trust, transparency and momentum behind strong business relationships emerge as a result of sharing a physical presence. Online interaction of whatever format it may be can’t provide this. It can’t simulate the reassuring grip of a confident handshake, or the positive energy of experiences, values, and interests shared face to face. These things can only unfold by interacting in person. Because of that exclusive context, live networking can be a valuable opportunity to help keep you ahead of the game.”

The power of personally connecting and human interaction accelerates relationship building. In 10 minutes I can know more about someone, or they about me, in person than in several months online. However, you must also keep in mind that online and offline complement each other. If I meet you online and strike up an online relationship that has value and interest to me, then taking it offline is going to enhance and progress that relationship. If we meet in person, then staying connected online is going to enhance and progress our relationship until we meet in person again.

Online or Offline networking? Or something in between? (Image courtesy:

Online / Offline networking? Or something in between?
(Image courtesy:

Another thing worth noting is that the new generation of young professionals has become heavily online dependent and often lack a strong face to face networking approach. It is easy to sit behind the computer and type questions but one must have the confidence to do the same in real life. By ensuring you have the face to face element covered also means that you are one step ahead of the pack!

Get out there, start a conversation and make it happen!

If you haven’t been out and about enough, make some goals this year to reconnect in person in your community, business world or hobbies. Go where you already have commonality and know people. It’s much easier and faster to get connected, get personal and make some new friends, connections and you just might get that job, interview, or new customer. Once you feel comfortable with your ability to strike up a conversation then you may want to consider as a way of growing your network.

Want to learn how to network? The IEEE Young Professionals can help.

Want to learn how to network? The IEEE Young Professionals can help.

Here are some strategic tips on how leverage networking to maximise outcomes:

  1. Be strategic about your networking – Strategic networking is more than just socializing and swapping business cards, it is about developing relationships to support your career aspirations. It takes focus and intention to build such a network, but it’s invaluable for your professional development. Identify who you know and who you need to know to help you reach your career goal and build a power network to support your advancement.
  2. The power of diversity – Move out of your comfort zone and identify people who can help your career, not just those people you like and the people who can immediately be of benefit.
  3. Be proactive – Networking is not something that we do and then sit on the shelf. It must be done proactively. Ask yourself this “If you were to lose your job tomorrow are you confident that your current network would be able to help you bounce back and start lining up interviews for new roles?” If the answer is no then It will most likely take you much longer to find a new position. And how can you get information about a hiring manager or new boss if you don’t have a network of people to provide that information? As fantastic as some of job sites are, remember that you are not the only one online looking at job adverts. A majority of jobs don’t make it to the websites and are filled through a powerful network.
  4. Follow up Follow through quickly and efficiently on referrals you are given. When people give you referrals, your actions are a reflection on them. Respect and honour that and your referrals will grow. It’s often said that networking is where the conversation begins, not ends. If you’ve had a great exchange, ask your conversation partner the best way to stay in touch. Some people like email or phone; others prefer online sites such as LinkedIn. Get in touch within 48 hours of the event to show you’re interested and available, and reference something you discussed, so your contact remembers you.
  5. Volunteer in organizations – A great way to increase your visibility and give back to groups that have helped you. This is one of the first tips that I give to my students and it is often right in front of you.
  6. Be interested, stay focused – The best way to network is to show interest in what others have to say. People will be more likely to trust you because they’ll know it’s not all about you. In this process you will also uncover new information that can lead to favourable outcomes. You don’t know what you don’t know. So what’s the best way to learn more?  Step away from your desk and do something, see something, read something or listen to something/someone that has nothing to do with your work. Do something that has nothing to do with what you know.

You network will quickly become a web of intertwined relationships that can be a very powerful tool in advancing your career. In conclusion, don’t underestimate what networking can do for you. Your network is your net worth.

Some useful networking tools for your career:

  •  – An online career assessment that identifies how one best fits in the workplace
  • – An online community and virtual marketplace designed for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs.
  • – A business network that combines online business networking and real-life events.
  • – An enhanced address book tool for networking and staying in contact
  • – A business networking community that allows users to organize themselves by interests, location, and current and past employers.

Article contributed by Dr. Eddie Custovic, Editor-in-Chief, IMPACT by IEEE Young Professionals

Young Professionals, Students and Industry gather in Melbourne, Australia



Students & Young Professionals network with Industry representatives Mr Justin Carline from Mondelez International and Ms. Fiona McGill from NBNCo.

On Wednesday 23rd September, 2015, IEEE Young Professionals, students and industry gathered for an annual networking event hosted by La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.

The event provided a fantastic opportunity for students, ieee members of all membership status, academic staff, alumni and industry to renew contacts and expand their own personal networks across the fields of engineering, computer and mathematical sciences. Almost 150 attended the night, contributing to a vibrant and friendly atmosphere.

The night was sponsored by and industry partner Vert Engineering, the IEEE Victorian Section and La Trobe University, whilst the main Australian engineering governing body, Engineers Australia, proudly supported the event.


A capacity crowd of nearly 150

One of the key highlights of the night was the insightful and passionate talk provided by the guest speaker, Tim Dunlop. Tim was awarded the 2015 Young Victorian Professional Engineer of the Year and spoke about the challenges and rewards he has faced over his 10 year working career. Tim is currently a project manager and civil engineer and has worked on many high profile oil and gas projects. Throughout his career he has had roles in the design phase, construction phase and even as a project manager. This has enabled Tim to understand all aspects of project delivery at a deeper and more complex level.

Mr Tim Dunlop, Young Professional Engineering of the Year

Mr Tim Dunlop, Young Professional Engineering of the Year

Tim also highlighted his background and discussed his early childhood; being raised in a small regional town. Growing up, Tim always had very big ambitions; ambitions that he continually strives toward to this day. His “can do” and “never give up” attitude has enabled Tim to develop within the industry and make a positive impact with those he works with.


The night was a fantastic opportunity to socialize with like-minded individuals on an array of differing topics. It provided a means of mentoring and allowed for students to mingle with leading industry guests. I particularly enjoyed the casual nature of the event, providing a fun atmosphere for all those who attended.

Others who attended the night were also impressed with the calibre of young prospective engineers in attendance and how ‘in touch’ they were with the current engineering industry and climate. It was certainly a night to remember.

IEEE IMPACT Editor in Chief, Dr. Eddie Custovic believed that the night was a huge success.

What I found most fascinating was to see such a rich multidisciplinary crowd. We had representatives from the civil engineering profession engaging electronics engineers to discuss smart buildings and smart cities. Biomedical engineers were in deep conversation with telecommunication engineers to discuss security measures for patient data. Agricultural scientists were exploring the option of advanced imaging systems for plant phenomics that could ultimately improve crop productivity in hostile terrain. There were also round table discussions around the effective skills transfer from the automotive and aerospace industry to improve margin and productivity in the food sector. In summary, the event exceeded all expectations. I would highly recommend more of these events to help bring professionals from a variety of industries around common goals”


The IEEE Young Professionals are strong believers in networking events to open new opportunities for students, young professionals, industry and academia.

Article contribution – Michael Gough, Assistant Editor, IEEE IMPACT

WIE are Leaders: International Summit

September witnessed a celebration of women in engineering and technology from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds. The largest IEEE WIE summit was hosted from 11-12 September, 2015 for the first time in the Asia-Pacific region with 200 delegates, 40 speakers, 18 partners and 4 sub-tracks at Hotel Green Park, Chennai, India. IEEE Young Professionals partnered with the summit in hosting the Early Career track.

The summit attendees

The summit attendees

With the theme – “Beyond Yourself – Leveraging your strengths and Breaking barriers”, the summit aimed to build a strong network for its attendees and give them actionable data and points of contact as a leg-up in their careers. The mission of this summit was to bring together individuals from different backgrounds of engineering, empower and inspire them into leadership and entrepreneurship. With diversity as a key for both attendees and speakers – the congregation consisted of delegates from Japan, Afghanistan, Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh, USA, Sri Lanka and speakers from industries that included Defense, Automotive, Technology, Consulting, Media & Arts, Not-Profit, and many others.

The program was divided into four sub tracks – Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Inspiration (sponsored by IEEE Young Professionals) and Empowerment (sponsored by CISCO, India) with four sessions in each track and a one hour career-planning workshop on the second day of Leadership track. The summit focused on various aspects of a professional career and also included inspiring talks from individuals from non engineering backgrounds.

Delegates in deep discussion

Delegates in deep discussion

The first day set the pace for the remainder of the event with multiple networking and learning opportunities. Kumud Srinivasan, President, Intel India opened the conference with a keynote on pushing boundaries, women in leadership and discussed opportunities for diverse influence. The panel discussion by IEEE WIE leaders (three IEEE Global WIE Chairs – past and current) on how WIE Affinity Groups are playing a key role in transforming the role of women as change makers was well received by the audience. Malvika Iyer shared her candid story on how she continued to do what she loved in spite of impairment – PhD in Disability – Inclusion and becoming a Global Changemaker. Her quote – “Disability is in the mind of the observer, not the observed” left the audience awe-struck and received a standing ovation.

Teach for India, showcased leadership in the classroom, with TFI students sharing their stories. Archana Ramachandran, Chennai City Director TFI presented the leadership lessons that fellows learnt from the low-income schools and students.

The technology panel discussed a range of disruptive technologies with larger insights from CISCO. Lavanya Gopalakrishnan, Director CISCO caught the attention of senior delegates in the room while sharing – “Five things I wish I knew early in my career”.

11779869_1492636874391816_5998709747242720681_oThe viral hashtag #ilooklikeanengineer was discussed by Kamolika Peres, Vice President, Ericsson India on how it is important to break the stereotypes about women in technology. For MBA career enthusiasts, the fireside chat with Vibha Kagzi (CEO, ReachIvy & Harvard Business School Alumna) provided useful insights to the top ten frequently asked questions on how and why MBA matters while transitioning from Engineering into Management.

For the early careers/young delegates, talks by Leena Bansal (Globe Trotter who solo travelled 32 countries), Esther Ling (IEEE Larry K Wilson Award recipient) and Ekta Grover (Bloom Reach) stood as great inspiration to be creative and think outside of the box.

Esther Ling at the Inspiration track sponsored by IEEE Young Professionals

Esther Ling at the Inspiration track sponsored by IEEE Young Professionals

The summit ended with a keynote from Lakshmi Pratury on stories around  leaders from different cultures and backgrounds – a 12 year old who battled her life with a deadly illness to an entrepreneur from a rural background, who revolutionized women’s hygiene by creating a 1INR sanitary napkin and about young women entrepreneurs and leaders who leverage technology to make this world a better place. The organizing committee was recognized at the closing ceremony along with the support volunteers.
Committee Leads with IEEE Leaders and SICCI President - Mr. Jawahar

Committee Leads with IEEE Leaders and SICCI President – Mr. Jawahar

Click here for more details on the 2015 IEEE WIE Leadership Summit
More photos can be found here

Article Contributed by – Preeti Kovvali (Program Curator & Partnerships Chair, 2015 IEEE WIE Leadership Summit). Preeti works at Tech Mahindra as a Service Delivery Leader handling database operations for a major healthcare client. She played a key role to design and curate the program for the IEEE WIE Leadership Summit. She also serves the 2015 Committee Member, Global Strategy Adhoc Committee & Liaison of the IEEE Young Professionals for IEEE WIE.

Article Edited by Dr. Eddie Custovic, Editor-in-Chief, IMPACT by IEEE Young Professionals

Startup in Focus: Hand in Scan and Tamas Haidegger

Tamas Haidegger is the CEO/CTO of Hand-in- Scan & Adjunct Professor at Obuda University in Hungary Budapest. He is highly active within IEEE through the Robotics and Automation Society and currently representing Young Professionals. We interviewed him today to find out more about his research and his startup product Hand-in-Scan. Here is what he had to say to the Young Professionals around the world:

Hand-in-Scan's CEO Tamas Haidegger was awarded the prestigious Dennis Gabor award in the Hungarian Parliament for his entrepreneurial achievements

Hand-in-Scan’s CEO Tamas Haidegger was awarded the prestigious Dennis Gabor award in the Hungarian Parliament for his entrepreneurial achievements

Your Research is in the field of Long Distance Teleportation control. Could you elaborate on this?

I was very interested in Space Robotics and through a Physician colleague, who asked questions about the possibility about performing long distance surgery in space, my interest in this area increased. Despite the fact that surgical robotics started in 1975 with the aim to support Astronauts, there was no research on the physical consequences of space travel. Hence I chose the topic of my thesis to be the feasibility of such analysis and whether tele surgery will be possible.

Could you tell us more about the field of Long Distance teleportation control?

The field of Long Distance teleportation control became a hot topic in research when tele robotics became possible. There are a lot of transatlantic and transcontinental robotic research experiments that are undertaken in this area today. In the meantime, I still think that it is very extreme and the more we think about going to the moon and shooting from Mars the more interesting the area is becoming.

How did the idea of Hand-in-Scan come about?

The idea of Hand-in-Scan came from one of my students who worked in hospitals. He researched the process doctors and nurses sanitized their hands after surgery. There are a lot of market products but when not used properly can cause infections which actually happens more times than we know of.  In the western world, statistics also say that about 200,000 people die because of secondary infections they receive at hospitals during getting a treatment. Hand-in-Scan is an engineering machine which scans hands to point out the missed areas after regular sanitization is done. There is also a reporting function in the machine which sends reports and statistics to the management for analysis to make sure that processes are running correctly.

When you had the Hand-in-Scan idea, how did you know that you wanted to turn it into an entrepreneurial opportunity?

For me, I definitely think that it was an evolution more than a revolution for me and initially I tried to acquire some research grants and some funding for this project but after struggling for a couple of years, we decided to run it as a business. And we had to really change our mindset from Academic to business oriented.


Could you share your experience working with the World Health Organization WHO in relation to the Hand-in-Scan product?

WHO has a special patient safety group consisting of users and companies who devote a lot of their time, energy and money to improve the standards of patient safety. One subgroup or committee is the hand hygiene group which consists of companies selling hand hygiene products and solutions and we are a part of that community and try to contribute towards better patient care.

With doing research, managing a company and teaching, how do you manage your time?

Excellence in research involves good methodology, very thorough basic knowledge and good people you work with can really make you successful in research and this can be translated into good startups. Teaching has provided me with the sales skills required to run this startup successfully.  Also because the company is embedded into the university itself, management is something that I think I am doing well.


Where do you see yourself working in Technology in the future, while also working at the university?

I think the technology transfer process from university is a very interesting one because I think brilliant students deserve a chance to make their ideas a reality and university can help with translating some ideas into businesses if not all. And I think that is a very exciting future for students.

What role has IEEE played in your career so far?

Starting with 10 years ago, we were organizing small IEEE chapter events, organizing competitions and exchange programs for local students. I did not only get in involved in organizing events but also getting involved in community. Since then, throughout many years, I have attended many IEEE conferences and I developed strong professional connections which helped me in numerous ways. One of the best thing was that I met the best people in my field and once I got to know them, I could ask them questions any time and they assisted me all along. On the other side, IEEE does a lot of work in the business outreach direction as well.  I gained a lot of regulatory knowledge from this which I used during the development of my project.

How has your experience been so far and do you have any special moments you wish to share with us?

I have a lot special moments working so far and I think if you cannot enjoy your work, then you need to change it. Two key messages that I really live by and would like to share with young professionals worldwide are that if you can enjoy your job, you will never have to work your entire life and that get smarter people aboard and make them excited about your problem. And this will help you be creative both in academic and business.


So what is your message to young robotics professionals around the world? What can they look forward to in the future in Robotics?

This field is growing immensely and the rise of new systems and new companies is unprecedented. The Robotics and Automation society grew from 9000 members to over 12000 members now and I am not talking about amateur member students, but professionals who are currently working in this field. Robotics is integrating into my life increasingly. So this is a good time to join if you are interested, more over if you have an idea which has not been explored before, you can get paid to actually get it into fruition by forming a team.

The team at Young Professionals thanks Tamas for this amazing insight into the world of Robotics. It sure is a field that is growing tremendously and is always hungry for more innovation.

Interview conducted by Shashank Gaur, IEEE Young Professionals

Interview transcribed by Sneha Kangralkar, Assistant Editor, IEEE IMPACT

10 soft skills to define your early career

It is 9 am Monday morning and for many people it is a day just like every other. However, it is late September and in the southern hemisphere (in my case Australia) it is summer internship application period. During the last two weeks of September I will meet with dozens of students looking to secure one of many highly competitive work experience positions. My inbox is flooded with emails related to CV structure, cover letters, interview advice and if there is sufficient mention of projects/technical content in a job application. What I find in 99% of engineering and technology students is that their key sales point to industry tends be along the lines of “I am a good coder”, “I am a great electronics designer”, “I am an outstanding mechanical engineer”, “I am highly proficient in the use of CAD” and the list goes on. I think by now you get the point. Historically students in STEM careers have ignored the “soft skills”, often brushing them aside to hone in more of the tech crunch. The 21st century engineer can no longer expect to find jobs solely on their ability to solve problems.

"Stand out in the crowd with a well defined set of soft skills" says Dr. Eddie Custovic

“Stand out in the crowd with a well defined set of soft skills” says Dr. Eddie Custovic


In a recent survey 77 percent of employers surveyed by said they were seeking candidates with soft skills — and 16 percent of the respondents considered such qualities more crucial than hard skills. Soft skills relate to the way employees relate to and interact with other people. Another study conducted by Millennial Branding said employers ranked placed the most emphasis on: communication skills, a positive attitude and the ability to work in a team, all of which can be labelled soft skills or emotional intelligence. Hard skills, on the other hand, are teachable abilities or skill sets that are easy to quantify, such as a proficiency in a computer programming language. In today’s world employers have an expectancy that graduates will come to an organization already in possession of soft skills. When employees lack these basic soft skills, it can hurt the overall success of the organization.

While there are endless articles on which soft skills matter most, I have taken the liberty of creating a summary of 10 that are crucial:

1. Effectively managing your time and being organised Time management is one of those skills that we often feel we are failing at as students. Late assignments? Missing a class? Forgot to do your preliminary reading before a laboratory session? During your studies you will be introduced to the concept of project management which contains an element of time management. Your undergraduate degree should serve as a testing ground to hone in on your time management skills. 8 semesters of studies will allow you to experiment with different ways of keeping track of time. Some of you prefer keeping notes in a diary and others will use a digital diary/calendar to keep track of tasks. It is important that have time management and organizational skills that stand out. There is not much room to missing meetings and project deadlines when out in industry. Missing project deadlines can often have grave consequences for the organization you work for.


2. Working under pressure. Many of you have pulled an “all-nighter” during your undergraduate studies. Drinking red bull or coffee to give you that extra few hours of concentration need to complete an assignment or project. While learning good time management skills can help you minimize the frequency of these taxing situations, they are likely to occur from time to time in a demanding job. This is particularly true if you are wanting to make an impact early in your career.While “working smarter, not harder” is a term often thrown around, evidence shows that putting in the extra hours from time to time early in your career delivers results. You will not go unnoticed. It might come as a surprise that the ability to focus all your energy on something is a skill you often utilize in the workforce.

3. Being dependable. Employers value workers they can rely on to get the job done. There’s nothing better than an employee who is on time every time and is highly reliable. Your managers will be under enormous pressure to deliver outcomes. Having employees who can take on tasks with confidence can alleviate some of the pressure from management.

4. Being creative and innovative. Whether you are an IT professional or biomedical engineer, creativity is what sparks change in the workplace. Finding a unique solution and thinking outside of the box is what standout graduates do. During interviews you will most likely face questions such as “Please tell us about a time when you were assigned a tasks and how you dealt with it”. This is the time to demonstrate your creative thinking and ability to provide innovative/non conventional problem solving. The challenges we face in industry often require solutions that fall outside of what we normally expect to see. A great example of a large scale creative solution is the construction of the Burj-Khalifa tower in Dubai. To ensure the concrete of the mega structure cured properly, ice blocks were thrown into concrete and poured over night.


5. Voicing opinions while being open to feedback. Employees who are confident in their ideas but open to feedback can play influential roles in a workplace. During a brainstorming session, for example, such an employee would not only share ideas but also challenge others’ by asking thoughtful questions. This can create a stimulating discussion and even spark innovation. As a graduate you should ask yourself the following questions; Are you open to training and advice? If someone senior in the organization made a comment about your work (feedback), how would you react (defensive or acknowledge it)? Accepting negative feedback in a graceful manner speaks volumes about an individual and their character.


6. Solving problems. Especially for fast-paced organizations, strong employees can think critically and effectively solve problems. Are you generally a resourceful person? Even if you don’t have all the answers, would you be able to look for them? Know what to do? People who take ownership and are ready to own up their mistakes are highly regarded by the organisation. A typical question you will face during an interview in this area is: “Please provide an example of a time when you had to overcome a challenge in the workplace”. This will help a hiring manager gauge the candidate’s ability to solve problems, be resourceful and face obstacles at work.

7. Coaching and mentoring of co-workers. According to Millennial Branding report, 92 percent of employers value strong teamwork skills. Strong employees are individuals willing to help co-workers and coach them along the way. Let’s say a new employee has been hired and added to a group project. The new employee probably doesn’t have a clue about what’s going on yet. In this scenario, an employee who’s been on the team a while should take the new worker under his wing and coach the person through the new project.


8. Taking initiative. An employee demonstrates initiative by coming up with an idea and putting it into action. For example, an employee might develop an idea for social-media marketing campaign that will build awareness for the organization. Don’t always wait to be assigned a task, if you can see a problem take initiative to see how you can contribute in solving it.

9. Being flexible and focused. Deadlines and projects can change at a moment’s notice. Employees need to quickly adapt while remaining focused on meeting deadlines. For example, an employee may have just received an assignment and deadlines for the week. But Wednesday arrives and the manager decides everything needs to be shifted to arrive a day earlier. A flexible employee would be able to quickly adapt to these changes and focus on projects with top priority.

10. Developing new work processes. Employees with the ability to analyze work processes and discover new ways to complete them efficiently are valuable to employers. Not only does this save employers time, but it can also add to the bottom line.

Have other soft skills that you believe should be in this list? Let us know.

Article contributed by Dr. Eddie Custovic, Editor-in-Chief, IMPACT by IEEE Young Professionals