2015 IEEE Young Professionals Chairperson Announced

Mario Milicevic was recently selected as the incoming Chairperson for the 2015 IEEE MGA Young Professionals Global Strategy & Operations Committee.

Mario Milicevic, 2015 IEEE Young Professionals Chairperson

Mario Milicevic, 2015 IEEE Young Professionals Chairperson

Mario currently serves as the Vice Chair of Member Products & Services on the MGA Young Professionals Committee, where he leads a international team of volunteers to deliver high-impact products & services to IEEE Young Professional members worldwide. As part of his portfolio, Mario has re-vitalized the monthly Young Professionals webinar series and initiated the promotion of online IEEE career-focused services including Mentor Centre and ResumeLab.

Currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Toronto, Mario’s research focuses on the design and development of integrated circuit implementations of Low-Density Parity-Check decoders for today’s emerging wireless and wireline communication technologies.

The Young Professionals program has undergone a major transformation since its re-branding from GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade). Mario says: “Get ready for a bigger and better membership experience!”

Need Help With An Event? Region 8 Has the Answer

In order to increase collaboration within the region and help Affinity Groups organize new and exciting events, the Region 8 Young Professionals subcommittee is launching a new program called the Event Exchange Program across the region (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa).

The concept of the program is simple: Affinity Groups send the Region 8 Young Professionals subcommittee information about the events they have organized, and this information is then published at http://yp.ieeer8.org. Submissions typically include the title of the event, a short abstract, aims, main challenges and how they were overcome, outcomes, and suggested improvements, but they can differ depending on the nature of the event. While the amount of information and materials provided are decided by the members submitting them, the more content is shared, the more useful the program will be. Any publicity materials or other content used for the event can also be submitted.

By participating in this program, members will help other Young Professional Affinity Groups around Region 8, create a closer sense of community, and offer the ability to engage with YP members from all over Region 8. It is not just a great opportunity for individual Affinity Groups to show the world the great events they organize, but also to help other Affinity Groups while obtaining new ideas for innovative activities they can run themselves. Affinity Groups who submit event materials will receive Region 8 Young Professionals t-shirts as a token of our subcommittee’s gratitude.

We hope the Event Exchange Program will prove to be a valuable and useful tool for all Young Professional Affinity Groups in Region 8, and we look forward to achieving this goal with your help.

Contributed by Flavia Dinca, Region 8 Young Professionals Subcommittee Member

2014 IEEE YP Affinity Group Hall of Fame Awards Announced

We are pleased to announce this year’s winners of the IEEE Young Professionals Affinity Group Hall of Fame Award! Entries were evaluated based on their 2013 activities. A very competitive contest this year, the judges commented that it’s never an easy choice to choose from all of our great affinity groups worldwide.
This year the two inductees into the Hall of Fame are Santa Clara Valley (Region 6) and Croatia (Region 8). If you didn’t win this year, we highly encourage you to apply again next year. We will be providing feedback on your applications to help you plan for greater success in 2015!

The 2014 IEEE Young Professionals Committee

Mixing it up in Toronto

IEEE YP's mixing it up in TorontoMore than 150 early-career professionals from a broad range of industries turned out to raise a glass and make new connections at Toronto IEEE Young Professionals’ latest networking social on May 6, 2014. The event at The Three Brewers microbrewery was co-hosted with IEEE Women in Engineering and scheduled to coincide with the Canadian Conference on Electrical & Computer Engineering at nearby Ryerson University.

The goal of the event was to introduce conference attendees to the local IEEE Toronto community, and bring together students and early-career professionals in a broad range of industries, including engineering, science, business, marketing, arts and media. The venue was packed all night.

“Speaking with young professionals at our events is always an invigorating experience,” said Mario Milicevic, chair of IEEE Young Professionals Toronto. “In just a couple of hours, I can have an in-depth discussion about CAD tool design for electrical engineers, the state of the economy and political trends, MBA opportunities in Canada and abroad, the challenge of selling men’s pants, interactive virtual gaming platforms, implantable bio-devices, and of course, IEEE volunteer opportunities.”

Click here for the full gallery of photos from the event.

Toronto IEEE Young Professionals is coordinating a professional development series of events for September, featuring workshops on dressing for success, dining etiquette and networking skills. Look out for a half-day mini-conference on entrepreneurship slated for Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014 at Hart House at the University of Toronto to bring together technical innovators and early-career professionals through keynote talks, workshops, panels and networking.

Post contributed by Marit Mitchell, IEEE YP Toronto Senior Communications Officer

YP Webinars Now On YouTube, Google Hangouts

We’ve seen lots of webinar activity recently, but here’s an exciting piece of news about all our webinars. The Young Professionals Webinar Series will now be hosted on the Google Hangouts platform, with live broadcasts streamed directly to YouTube and IEEE.tv. Webinars are archived as YouTube videos for future on-demand viewing, and will be available on the new IEEE Young Professionals YouTube channel.

Please take a look at our first Google Hangouts webinar “Out with the GOLD and in with Young Professionals” on our Young Professionals IEEE.tv page: https://ieeetv.ieee.org/live_event/yp_live

The video that is embedded on our Young Professionals IEEE.tv page is also available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-am9waY3MWQ

Our new IEEE Young Professionals YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN1IB9Qq9UIp3lV3SHPfTYg/

We look forward to hosting many more engaging webinars for Young Professionals!

Post contributed by Mario Milicevic, Vice Chair of the IEEE YP Member Products & Services Committee

Webinar on Staying Easy While Being Busy: 19 June 3PM EDT

Join us at the upcoming webinar on “How to remain easy while being busy,” brought to you jointly by IEEE Women in Engineering and IEEE Young Professionals.

In this webinar, you’ll learn to stay easy-minded while doing everyday tasks. In this information age we may have time to recharge our phones and laptops, but do we have time to recharge ourselves? Join us for this insightful session on holistic development with practical tips to keep you effective and efficient in both your professional and personal life!

Date: Thursday, June 19
Time: 3:00pm – 4:00pm EDT
Speaker: Punam Nagpal (Technical Leader, Engineering, Cisco)
Link: http://bit.ly/1sVQICB

Webinar on Becoming a Star Engineer: 27 August 1PM EDT

What are the characteristics of a star engineer? In this webinar, we’ll learn the tricks of the trade required to make the jump from “Engineer” to “Star Engineer.” We’ll discuss the transition from student to professional and the various stages in career development, highlighting the steps to stardom through anecdotes and personal experiences. We will also discuss the importance of preparation in determining future achievement. You too can learn to be a star engineer!

Our presenter, Nagi Naganathan, is the Secretary of the IEEE Princeton / Central Jersey Section, the Solid State Circuits Society Chair, and the Computer Society Vice-Chair. He is a Senior Member of IEEE. Dr. Naganathan is a Principal Engineer with LSI Corp in Allentown, PA. He is involved with the design of SoCs for storage products and has 24 years of industry experience. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of ECE at Rutgers University. He received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, his M.ScE from the University of New Brunswick in Canada, and his B.E from the University of Madras in India.

Date: 27 August 2014
Time: 1:00pm EDT
Location: Online via IEEETv at https://ieeetv.ieee.org/live_event/yp_live
Register here: http://goo.gl/691t5t
Webinar event page: https://plus.google.com/events/cstgcd7f8vngk1nkclhr21jhkh0

Tunisia YP STEP Event on Green Power and Renewable Energy

The Tunisia IEEE Young Professionals affinity group (AG) conducted its 3rd IEEE Student Transition & Elevation Partnership (STEP) program at the National Engineering School of Sfax (ENIS) on the 16th of November, 2013, which was attended by 60 students and young professionals. The event was held in cooperation with the Tunisia chapter of the Power and Energy Society (PES) and the PES student chapter at ENIS.

The event began with the presentation of the 2013 IEEE YP Hall of Fame award to the Tunisian YP AG, after which the AG Chairwoman Chiraz Walha discussed the challenges of transitioning from student life to professional life and explained various aspects of IEEE’s support during this transition. This talk was an opportunity to encourage recently-graduated student members to renew their memberships as professionals.

The second talk was presented by Professor Bruno Meyer, IEEE Fellow, CEO of ARTERIA (RTE Group) in France, and 2013 IEEE PES President-Elect candidate. Prof. Meyer presented an overview of PES and its benefits for members, especially those applicable to students and young professionals.

Prof. Bruno Meyer presents his distinguished lecture at the Tunisia IEEE YP STEP event

Prof. Bruno Meyer presents his distinguished lecture at the Tunisia IEEE YP STEP event

Following this, Prof. Meyer presented his distinguished lecture on key research and development challenges for European transmission system operators. He explained the struggles of adapting transmission systems to cope with new green technologies, and emphasized the importance of smart grids to industry in the current energy market. He also outlined a few projects implemented by the European network of transmission system operators, including the French transmission system operator (RTE). Finally, Prof. Meyer shared his experiences working with various organizations, outlined his career path, and detailed his relationship with the university.

The talk was followed by a networking reception, also used as an occasion for student and young professional volunteers to share their experiences working with IEEE and its contributions to their professional career.

In the closing, certificates of accomplishment and official Tunisia IEEE YP AG t-shirts were presented to congratulate the graduating IEEE student members.

Tunisia IEEE YP AG Chairwoman Chiraz Walha presents a certificate of appreciation to Prof. Bruno Meyer

Tunisia IEEE YP AG Chairwoman Chiraz Walha presents a certificate of appreciation to Prof. Bruno Meyer

Article contributed by Chiraz Walha, Habib M. Kammoun, Soufien Kammoun, and Mouna Baklouti of the Tunisia Young Professionals AG Executive Committee

IEEE Member Spotlight: Dr. Jason Gu, PhD

In January of this year Singapore played host to the Global Young Scientists Summit, or GYSS (click here for our earlier article on this event). An integral part of this event was a design competition called the Singapore Challenge. Participants in this competition, researchers under 35 nominated from around the world, were invited to submit proposals that addressed challenges related to urban development. The theme of this year’s challenge was “From Sensing to Solution: Leveraging ICT to Build Sustainable Cities.” A total of 35 proposals were submitted, and among the 10 shortlisted finalists was IEEE member Dr. Jason Gu.

We spoke to Jason about the proposal he submitted to the Singapore Challenge, and how IEEE has played an important role in his career development so far.

Jason is currently an assistant professor at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). He also holds a joint appointment as a research scientist at the Advanced Digital Sciences Center, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the US. He received his PhD from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 2010. He is an author or co-author of over 50 peer-reviewed papers in various journals and conferences.

His research includes Networked Embedded Systems, Wireless Sensor Networks, Cyber-Physical Systems, Wireless Networking, Real-time and Embedded Systems, Distributed Systems, Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networks, and Stream Computing Systems.

Jason’s proposal for the Singapore Challenge involves an open platform called

Jason Gu presenting at GYSS

Jason Gu presenting at GYSS

the “Idea Store”, which facilitates contributions from both city planners and residents. It was inspired by “app stores” for smartphone apps. The intent is for the platform to integrate raw data sensing, data processing, and big data analytics to facilitate interaction between city planners, municipal authorities, and residents themselves. Ultimately, the proposal seeks to encourage shared ownership of finding solutions for urban problems.

The typical municipal planning approach is very much top-down; city residents are often not sufficiently motivated or empowered to improve their living environment. But the “Idea Store” aims to change that with built-in “drag-and-play” block programming functionality, so even an average resident without prior programming training would be able to use it.

This idea of empowering citizens to shape the city around them stems from the emerging technological trend of “the Internet of Things,” sometimes referred to as “IoT,” “pervasive sensor networks,” and various other names. A network of interconnected smart objects, cameras, sensors, and so on generates much data which can be analyzed and used to inform better city planning and design. Singapore – a city-state with clearly defined boundaries, contained geographical spread, a reasonably-sized population, and a high level of internet connectivity – is the perfect sandbox for such a project.

Three key features behind this proposal are big-data management capabilities; a user-friendly drag-and-play programming platform with visualization tools that let users jointly experiment with the data; and utilization of a cloud-based execution engine.

Jason hopes that this idea can improve quality of life for city residents in the short term; in 5-10 years it has the potential to make a substantial improvement in urban conditions if a critical mass of worldwide data points is reached (allowing benchmarking, comparison, and derivation of best practices to apply in response to various issues). In the long term, he surmises the team can even work with social science researchers to study the interactions that take place throughout the Idea Store – illuminating the human process of developing ideas into solutions.

IEEE membership definitely paid off for Jason, since he found his current job through an IEEE job site listing! Jason joined SUTD – Singapore’s newest university established in partnership with MIT, with a focus on technology and design – three and a half years ago, among the first faculty members to join. His initial office was a vacant block of old offices that previously belonged to the Singapore Ministry of Education. Jason notes that in these early days there was a true “pioneering spirit,” because they were designing the new campus from the ground up. In particular, they sought to design things differently from existing universities (the goal of SUTD was not to be yet another clone of the mainstream university model, but rather to take a different approach), right down to details such as deciding what books and journal subscriptions to buy for the library (the IEEE digital library was among those chosen, of course).

One aspect that differentiates SUTD from many established universities is their use of the “home room” concept. Each first-year student cohort stays in the same classroom, which has easily reconfigurable furniture to facilitate group work for different group sizes and 3D printers that the students can use for fast prototyping.

Because of the large class size, there can be up to 3 instructors in the classroom

Jason Gu with students at Robocon

Jason Gu with students at Robocon

simultaneously. Jason notes that this calls for a radically different teaching approach than traditional lecturing. The instructors need to do much more preparation, and need to communicate frequently to ensure they are consistent in their teaching speed, methods, and expectations of the students. They do less “instructing” and more “facilitating.” Typically after spending 10-20 minutes introducing basic concepts, they guide the students through hands-on group projects.

This approach has its drawbacks for the instructors, though – mainly long meetings between the faculty. For a compulsory first-year course there may be up to 20 instructors for the same program, with weekly 2-hour meetings to keep everyone in sync.

In spite of this, joining SUTD was a great career move for Jason, because while he’s still quite young, he’s already among the more senior faculty members. The research support is excellent as well; he has access to $10m in funding and his team consists of over 10 post-docs, PhD students, and teaching assistants.

Jason appreciates the recognition he has received as an IEEE member, especially since 80% to 90% of his articles are published in IEEE journals and conferences. He is working on elevation to senior membership, and has already set a goal to eventually become an IEEE Fellow. We wish him the best of luck!

Article contributed by Helene Fung, Senior Strategy and Business Development Manager, IEEE Singapore