IEEE GOLD and PES in Boston Host Joint STEP Event

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Image credit: Mert Korkali, IEEE PES NU Treasurer

By now, Barack Obama is well into his second term in office as President of the United States. However, there were moments when the outcome of the election was not so certain. For electrical engineers and energy-conscious voters, issues leading up to the election included power consumption, renewable energy development, and national energy independence.In mid-October of 2012 the IEEE GOLD Boston Section co-sponsored a STEP event held at Northeastern University (NU) in Boston, Massachusetts entitled “Energy Policy – Innovating a way to a clean energy future or a rapid development of domestic reserves.” The distinguished lecture and social event was jointly held with the Boston chapter of the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES), and the NU PES student branch. The widespread interest surrounding the upcoming United States presidential election led to a big turnout for the technical meeting. The audience was mainly composed of undergraduate and graduate engineering students, mixed with faculty and professional IEEE members. This event was also open to non-members of the IEEE, and it sparked the interest of non-STEM majors at the university that were following the race for the White House.The premise was that the two presidential candidates had substantially different ideas about how the United States of America could secure its energy future, create jobs, and reinvigorate the economy. Audience members were free to ask questions and discuss any related topics with the speaker, Clarke Bruno, during the presentation. Clarke Bruno currently oversees Anbaric Transmission’s legal affairs and projects in the Mid-Atlantic region. Recently he was appointed chair of the NYC Bar Association’s energy committee for 2012-2015. Previously, during Mayor Bloomberg’s first term in New York City, he helped win dismissal of four major lawsuits that hobbled the City’s operations.

Overall, the goal of the presentation was to provide an accurate portrayal of both the Democratic and Republican candidates’ energy plans that were made public. Bruno highlighted several areas where each of the candidates differentiated themselves in their energy policy proposals, such as coal and wind power. Each renewable and fossil fuel plan was compared in a bipartisan way was that was very informative to undecided voters with strong interests in energy consumption. One of the few similarities between the two candidates was the promise of energy independence, though how each intended to acheive that was a different story.

During the discussion, Mr. Bruno took an in-depth non-partisan look at the manifestos of both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama to compare and contrast their energy policies, and discuss the possible implications of each plan for the future. The sources used to compare the policies of each candidate included information on their websites at the time and other information made public by their respective staff. The speaker also attended a debate held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) between top-level affiliates representing the views of both Romney and Obama.

Calvin Zhang concluded the lecture and introduced me to speak on the benefits of membership in IEEE GOLD. For most students, the transition starts after partaking at the student branch level. However, some of members in the audience did not have that opportunity so I gave an overview of the several dozen IEEE societies that exist, therefore, no matter the area of expertise or discipline, you can find a society that suits your interest.

We wish to thank all of the organizing members of Boston’s IEEE PES and GOLD Sections for making this event possible.

Article contributed by Jean M. Blanc, IEEE Boston Section Membership Development Co-Chair

Welcome from the 2013 MGA GOLD Chair

fullDear GOLDen members,

It is my pleasure to welcome you to another exciting year ahead in 2013. I am excited to have the opportunity to be a part of shaping your GOLD membership experience and am grateful for the generosity of spirit shown by our volunteers and the support of IEEE staff.

Allow me to introduce myself.

I live in one of the world’s most isolated cities in the world – a place called Perth located in Western Australia. I work in the power industry as a power systems planning engineer and have qualifications in electrical engineering and computer science. My IEEE journey started back in 2004 when I first became a student member without any thought or regard as to where I might end up. I decided to volunteer as an IEEE member in 2005 and have never looked back. I enjoy the global community that IEEE provides and the new skills that I learn from being involved with IEEE events.

The IEEE GOLD team is mostly comprised of volunteers from around the world, different walks of life and timezones. We would also invite you to ask us about how you can become involved with helping other people and share in the spirit of giving. For many, it is a life changing and rewarding experience.

I invite you to experience the many benefits of IEEE GOLD other than GOLDRush, including our webinar series program and our mentoring connection. I also encourage you to connect with your local GOLD and IEEE Section community events. In this newsletter, you will see many examples of the events that take place around the world for the benefit of our GOLD members.

Despite the realignment and restructuring that is currently occurring in the global economy, I want to assure you that our team here at Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) is here at your service.

As usual, we would love to hear from you.

All the best for 2013,

Timothy Wong, 2013 MGA GOLD Committee Chairperson

Successful STEPs in the Argentina Section

fullSTEP is an acronyms for Student Transition & Elevation Partnership, a program developed by IEEE to facilitate the transition from student member to young professionals by introducing opportunities and benefits of IEEE membership at the start of the career.

The program has been developed with great success in many Regions and for the third time has been carried out at Argentina. At this time, the event was carried out at two cities: Tucumán and Córdoba. The objective pursued with a decentralized STEP is to spread GOLD activities beyond the city of GOLD Coordinator’s residence, as well as develop activities in other cities that have a strong presence of GOLD members.

The first STEP event was developed al Tucuman on Saturday 15th, December. Participants included 14 attendees, between them were Milton Marché, GOLD-Ar AG president, Juan Vera, GOLD-Ar AG Secretary, and others authorities from IEEE UNT Student Brach.

This STEP event was coordinated by Milton Marché, attending Eng. Sergio Nuñez and Ismael Chaile as lecturer invited. During the event, STEP programs was presented to all attendees and was recognized with an award one of the most active volunteers from IEEE UNT SB, Ricardo Bazán, past president of the Student Branch. Finally attendees were invited to continue working as volunteers at IEEE, promoting the organization of joint activities between Student Branches and GOLD-Ar AG.

The second STEP was carried out at Córdoba, on Thursday 20th, December. The event was attended by more than 20 IEEE members, of which 15 have GOLD members. The event was attendeed by Eng. Ricardo Taborda, Argentina Section president, Eng. Miguel Piumetto, Córdoba Subsection president, and other authorities, current and past, from Cordoba Subsection. Representing GOLD-Ar AG attended Eng. Augusto Herrera, GOLD Argentina Secretary, and more than 14 students members (near tu graduate) and GOLD members (mostly GSM) living at Cordoba’s city. The event was held at Cordoba Specialist Engineering College (CIEC – Colegio de Ingenieros Especialistas de Córdoba) and also had the participation of Eng. Luis Calderon and Eng. Carmen Rodriguez (IEEE member), president and vicepresident of the College, respectively.

Eng. Augusto Herrera, representing GOLD-Ar AG, was responsible for the formal inauguration of the STEP, where he thanked all attendees for their participation. Then, he explained about STEP program and theirs main goals, inviting all student members and graduates students members to continue actively involved in the development of IEEE professional activities after graduation, maintaining active relationship with the GOLD´s officers, Section and Branches in cities which they were volunteers. During the event also were presented to all attendees, GOLD activities developed during 2012, urged them to remain actively involved in GOLD activities next year (2013). Finally there was also time for a formal dinner and a toast to celebrate New Year’s, followed by awards and recognition to all members who worked during 2012 on Cordoba Subsection and GOLD activities.

Article contributed by Augusto Herrera, IEEE GOLD Region 9

Entrepreneurship pathfinding in the IEEE Madras Section

Barnabas Muthu, IEEE GOLD Madras Section Execom Member

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To cater to the needs of new startups and to guide budding entrepreneurs, the IEEE GOLD Affinity Group of Madras Section organized a Pathfinder Workshop in association with the IEEE Madras Section Student Network and IEEE Region 10 GOLD Committee on 29th December, 2012, at the Anna University Alumni Centre, Chennai.

The workshop was an invite-only event for selected delegates based on the statement of intent they were asked to give on the registration form. Fifty delegates from different academic and industry backgrounds ultimately participated in the workshop. The opening speakers were Mr. T.S. Rangarajan, Chairman of the IEEE Madras Section and Mr. H.R. Mohan, Vice-Chair of the IEEE Madras Section. Mr. Srivatsava (Co-Founder and CEO of JadeMagnet) and Mr. Manik Kinra (Co-founder and CMO of JadeMagnet) were also present to serve as mentors. A complete profile of the speakers is located at http://goo.gl/19Zgy.

The workshop began with participants introducing themselves and sharing their expectation of the workshop. Manik and Sitash then elucidated the concepts of entrepreneurship in an illustrative and interactive manner. Additionally, they presented insights on how to identify megatrends at a given point of time and use them to the benefit of the startup. Both Manik and Sitash were quite engaging and responsive to the questions of participants. Finally, they explained how to solve problems and how to take examples from the experiences of global organizations running successful business models in various domains. All told, this session was helpful and informative for all participants.

The post-lunch session featured instruction on building an effective business plan and revenue stream. Manik and Sitash then shed light on the processes needed to build a sustainable start-up. Incorporation, Sales/Marketing, Human Resources, Financial Management and Governance were a part of this session. Manik emphasized the importance of effective documentation and on-time payment of taxes. Slides from this presentation can be downloaded from http://goo.gl/vECYd.

The one-day workshop was brought to a close with an expression of thanks by Nivas Ravichandran, Lead of Chennai Hub – IEEE Madras Section Student Network.

It was indeed a wonderful day of learning and enlightenment for all the participants. We had wonderful feedback from all the participants and we hope to see a lot of young entrepreneurs and successful startups in the near future.

As a continuation of this event, the GOLD Affinity Group of IEEE Madras Section is planning to start a Special Interest Group on Entrepreneurship (IGM-SIGE) which would focus on providing continued support to aspiring entrepreneurs. The Pathfinder series will continue to serve the mission of the IGM-SIGE in the form of workshops, collaborative platforms to network, and webinars on different topics from the CEOs of successful startups.

We wish to express special thanks to the IEEE Region 10 GOLD Committee for their financial support and the GOLD/Student Network Volunteers of Madras Section for their active and tireless support in the successful execution of the event.

Teacher-In-Service Training in Argentina and Honduras

By Augusto Herrera, IEEE GOLD Region 9

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On August 23rd, the XIV Student Branch Regional Meeting (RRR – Reunión Regional de Ramas) was held in San Juan, Argentina. During the first day of this meeting, we held a TISP workshop in between other activities.

The overall event (both the meeting and workshop) was organized by the National University of San Juan Student Branch (UNSJ SB), with support of the Argentina GOLD AG and the Region 9 TISP Team.

The workshop was attended by more than 100 students from over 15 sections of Region 9 and more than 10 teachers from pre-university schools, the primary focus of the program.

This workshop was notable for both the enthusiasm of the attendees and the large number of systems designed. Two activities were featured: Rotational Equilibrium and Critical Load.

After the workshop, the Region 9 TISP Team highlighted the proliferation and success of the TISP program within the region. We note that holding a TISP workshop at the Regional Meeting of Student Branches is significant because it represents a commitment by the Student Branches to carry out the program within their Sections.

On September 24th-25th, a new TISP workshop was organized in Tegugigalpa, Honduras as part of the XXXI CONESCAPAN Congress, the biggest technological student event in the CAPANA (Central America and Panama) Council. The workshop was organized by IEEE EAB with the support of the Honduras Section, the National Autonomous University of Honduras Student Branch (UNAH SB), and the Region 9 TISP Team.

In attendance at the workshop were over 200 students from various sections of Region 9, mostly from within the CAPANA Council.

It is notable that three activities were developed at the workshop. The first day’s activity was Ship the Chip, followed by Wind Energy and Critical Load on the second day. Also notable were the large number of participating students, their enthusiasm to continue participating in the program, and the significant number of systems built.