Tokyo GOLD at the Humanitarian Technology Conference in IEEE Region 10

Sake barrel opening ceremony with three IEEE Presidents

Sake barrel opening ceremony with three IEEE Presidents

The 2013 IEEE Region 10 Humanitarian Technology Conference was held at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan on August 26-29, 2013. The focus of this conference was “Lessons learned from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake disaster and its worldwide effects.” This conference was a very important event for humanitarian technology community in Region 10. Furthermore, three Presidents of the IEEE attended this event – a very rare occurrence!

Lecture by Dr. Gordon Day

Lecture by Dr. Gordon Day

The Tokyo IEEE GOLD Affinity Group was a key partner in organizing this conference, especially the lecture by Dr. Gordon Day, past president of IEEE. The welcome reception was also organized by Tokyo GOLD. To ensure a good start to the conference, we carefully prepared and discussed these two opening events. We began the conference with a high level of motivation, since the lecture by Dr. Gordon Day had a strong positive message which resonated with young engineers and researchers.

Poster session

Poster session

For the welcome reception and party, we tried to offer a chance for participants of all ages to enjoy deep, meaningful interactions with each other in a friendly environment. In support of this goal, we offered food buffet-style and prepared the local drink “Sake of Tohoku” for a topic to discuss. During the reception, we also saw a presentation of the IEEE Region 10 Student/GOLD/WIE Congress Report by an IEEE Student member and a presentation of the SIGHT introduction by Raja Amarnath, IEEE HQ HTC Adhoc. Finally, we showcased the current Tokyo GOLD activities in a poster session.

Tour to a tsunami-affected area

Tour to a tsunami-affected area

During this conference, Tokyo GOLD members had several meetings with SIGHT members and engaged in a deep exchange of ideas with other participants, sharing our activities and discussing future collaboration on Humanitarian Technology activities. Tohoku University, which is located in one of the areas heavily affected by the Tohoku Earthquake in 2011, was chosen as the conference venue and a tour of a tsunami-affected area was also held as part of the conference. This allowed conference participants to share the experience of the disaster and improve their motivation and vision for the future of Humanitarian Technology activities.

IEEE Tokyo GOLD Ex-com members

IEEE Tokyo GOLD Ex-com members

Tokyo IEEE GOLD achieved a great success with this conference, enabling us to share the importance of Humanitarian Technology activities in IEEE with many other professionals. We believe we can improve and accelerate Humanitarian Technology activities from now on, thanks to this success. For more details on the conference, visit the conference website at http://www.r10-htc2013.org/.

Article contributed by Kojiro Nishimiya, Tokyo IEEE GOLD AG

GOLD at the 2013 IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Symposium

Chocolate winners Matt Juszczyk (left) and Chijoke Obiekezie (right) with Caroline Chan (middle) at the 2013 IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Symposium Ice Cream Social

Chocolate winners Matt Juszczyk (left) and Chijoke Obiekezie (right) with Caroline Chan (middle) at the 2013 IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Symposium Ice Cream Social

Greetings, and welcome to GOLD EMC news! At the 2013 IEEE EMC Symposium in Denver, GOLDies were very busy between the Ice Cream Social, the Ethics in Engineering sessions, and all the raffles. I was delighted to see the majority of the GOLD members who attended the symposium stop by the GOLD table to say hello and of course, collect their raffle tickets and lovely mugs.  Over 20 GOLDies attended each event.

I would like to thank our special speaker, Louann Devine from the Chicago Chapter, who presented remarks during the Ice Cream Social on the evening of Tuesday, August 6th. I also congratulate her on receiving a Certificate of Appreciation from the IEEE EMC Society Board of Directors, who presented her this prestigious award for acting as

Sandra Hernandez (EMC Student Representative) and Caroline Chan (GOLD EMC Representative) at the 2013 IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Symposium Ice Cream Social

Sandra Hernandez (EMC Student Representative) and Caroline Chan (GOLD EMC Representative) at the 2013 IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Symposium Ice Cream Social

program manager, lead instructor, and content coordinator for the IEEE EMC Society Chicago Chapter classes on Electromagnetic Compatibility at the Illinois Institute of Technology in January of 2013.  This program was well-received and generated much publicity for the IEEE EMC Society around educational assistance and membership development at the student level.  Louann’s energy and knowledge inspires all of us to further educate ourselves by reaching out to our communities. You can find her biography in the GOLD article inside the Spring 2013 issue of EMC Magazine.

Angela Adams briefing a case at the Ethics in Engineering discussion, 2013 IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Symposium

Angela Adams briefing a case at the Ethics in Engineering discussion, 2013 IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Symposium

On Wednesday August 7th 2013, we had our GOLD luncheon. Elya Joffe presented on Ethics in Engineering and discussed the IEEE Code of Ethics.  GOLDies savored the gourmet food from Bubba Gump Shrimp and enjoyed the infectious enthusiasm of the speaker for doing the right thing and making wise engineering decisions.  As an exercise, the audience was asked to identify where the Code of Ethics was broken in two cases, separating into two teams with each taking a turn to present their case.

If you’re in the mood for a brain teaser, meet Hung-Chuan
Chen from Taiwan and check out his article on “Suppression of RF Interference Using
Balanced Filter in Communication System” at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6623299.

Article contributed by Caroline Chan, IEEE EMC Society GOLD Representative

Ethics in Engineering and GOLD Luncheon participants at the 2013 IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Symposium

Ethics in Engineering and GOLD Luncheon participants at the 2013 IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Symposium

Region 8 GOLD Fall 2013 Recap

In July, the Tunisia GOLD AG of Region 8 was awarded a highly-coveted place in the IEEE MGA GOLD Hall of Fame for 2013. Congratulations to the Tunisia GOLD team for their remarkable work. This is the third time in a row that a GOLD AG from Region 8 has won this award.

The Region 8 GOLD Committee is also proud to announce the winner of the Region 8 Outstanding GOLD Affinity Group Award, based on activities conducted in 2012. The award goes to Finland! The Finland GOLD Affinity Group was acknowledged for its many successful and diverse activities, as well as their continued efforts to motivate volunteers and inspire IEEE GOLD members.

Are you an active GOLD member in a Region 8 affinity group? Have you made an impact on GOLD activities? R8 GOLD has established a new Region 8 GOLD Exceptional Volunteer Award to recognize the outstanding contributions of individuals to Region 8 GOLD activities. Get ready! The call for nominations for the Region 8 GOLD Exceptional Volunteer Award is coming soon.

In 2014, Student Branches and GOLD Affinity Groups from across Region 8 will gather in Krakow, Poland for the IEEE Region 8 Student Branch and GOLD Congress. This gathering is billed as the biggest IEEE networking and experience sharing event in Region 8 – so stay tuned for further announcements.

In the meantime, cross-Section Student Branch Congresses are being held across Region 8. The GOLD Committee engages in many efforts to increase the visibility of

GOLD presentation at the Central European Student Branch Congress

GOLD presentation at the Central European Student Branch Congress

GOLD, from materials and advertisements to presentations performed by committee members. This year, R8 GOLD has been showcased at the Iberian SBC in Porto, Portugal; the Central European SBC in Opole, Poland; the Middle East SBC in Beirut, Lebanon; EUROCON 2013 in Zagreb, Croatia; the UKRI SBC in Bath, UK; and the Hellenic Student Branch and GOLD Congress from in Nicosia, Cyprus.

Article contributed by Amir Zahoor, R8 GOLD Subcommittee Member

GOLD at Eurocon 2013, Europe’s Flagship IEEE Conference

Eurocon 2013 GOLD and Professional Activities track speakers and organizers

Eurocon 2013 GOLD and Professional Activities track speakers and organizers

This year’s Eurocon conference saw around 400 IEEE members gather at the University of Zagreb in the capital of Croatia. Here, distinguished keynote speakers and numerous paper and poster sessions covered a variety of topics with a focus on the latest research.

The Region 8 GOLD and Professional Activities (PA) committees teamed up to provide a special session track designed for IEEE GOLD members attending the conference. Eurocon, as the flagship conference of Region 8, presented a great opportunity to directly address young IEEE professionals and introduce them to the GOLD community and its activities. Sessions were organized with the local support of Croatian GOLD Affinity Group (AG) volunteers, and consisted of 5 lectures and a workshop during the first conference day.

GOLD/PA sessions began with a welcome talk by Croatia GOLD AG Chair Tomislav Pokrajcic, who presented some interesting facts about GOLD in IEEE Region 8 (R8) and encouraged members from sections without active GOLD affinity groups to join and boost networking between young IEEE engineers and students. He also showcased activities of the Croatia GOLD AG (a recipient of the R8 GOLD Outstanding Affinity Group Award in 2011).

Marko Lackovic, Chief Secretary of the Croatian Competitiveness Council and IEEE Croatia Industrial Relations Chair, followed with a presentation on the Global Competitiveness Index with a focus on the competitiveness ranking of Croatia. While traditionally ranked low in general competitiveness of developed countries, the latest World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report places it within the top third of countries in ICT categories. Marko explained the potential reflected by that position and the role of engineering in the economic development of a country.

Jan Verveckken, R8 Professional Activities Chair, highlighted the fact that the conference opening day July 1st was also the day Croatia joined the European Union. He presented a set of data that benchmarked the entrepreneurship environment and opportunities for young engineers in Croatia relative to other countries which recently joined the EU.

Damir Sabol from the Zagreb Entrepreneurship Incubator initiative gave an overview of what it takes to secure the required resources and build a successful startup company based on a new technology. He emphasized that gathering an excellent team, building a product and finding customers or investors are complex tasks, but with proper execution they can generate significant market changes and business results.

Prof. Željka Car from the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing gave an informative and inspirational talk about active corporate social responsibility in the ICT domain with an emphasis on accessible user interfaces. Participants learned about the barriers that persons with disabilities face in a modern digital world, and ways to help them to fully benefit from a networked society.

The final part of this special Eurocon track was a workshop on body language held by an excellent trainer and speaker, Professor Kurt Richter. In a relaxed atmosphere, he explained the importance of understanding non-verbal communication in a business environment and demonstrated some real-life situations through interaction with the audience.

The special GOLD/PA sessions at Eurocon were well received by IEEE GOLD attendees. We commend these attendees for demonstrating a clear interest in complementing their technical knowledge with business know-how and soft skills.

Contributed by Tomislav Pokrajcic, IEEE Croatia GOLD AG Chair

Being Successful in Spite of the Economy

“Sorry, but it’s a rough economy right now, so don’t expect a significant pay raise.” Since I began work five years ago, I have heard a chorus of such remarks almost every year – as have many other graduates of the last decade I suppose. Only the root cause of this economic uncertainty has changed: first the dot-com bubble in early 2000, next the attacks of September 11 2001, after that the financial crisis in 2007, followed by the Greek debt crisis in 2009… the list goes on. These days it seems impossible to isolate one’s career completely from economic crisis, so another question is: how do I manage my career when the economy flattens out?

It is said in Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” that anyone who excels in defeating his enemies triumphs before his enemy’s threats become real. In other words, you saddle today and ride out tomorrow. This advice holds true for anyone, and means you should never settle for the skills you currently have, whatever the economic context. Instead, you should try to acquire new skills either by training or by practical experience. The more skills you have, the easier it will be to move in case of crisis, whether to a different job or even a different line of business. At the same time, you should take care not to spend too much time or money in any training. This kind of investment should be planned as carefully as a house purchase, as the rest of your career depends on your choice. For example, depending on the cost, some e-learning or conferences may constitute a better investment for a career than many degrees if they offer new or valuable competences.

The second tip is directly linked to the first point. To enhance your career flexibility, it is important to stay informed of major changes in your chosen fields. “Major change” could mean a new technology, regulations or even economic news. Of course the goal is not to be an expert in all topics. Indeed, you can assume that new technologies are taught in universities, so new graduates have the advantage here. The point is rather to be in a state of forecasting the direction of technology and the industry. This way, you can position yourself to help evolve a company in the direction of new technological trends. In short, be a part of the link between today and tomorrow.

Sometimes geographical mobility may help you avoid a crisis. The automotive market is declining in Europe? It is growing in China and North America. Crises that affect all sectors worldwide are not frequent, contrary to what many may say. Of course, this international mobility requires open-mindedness and a willingness to move. But if you have both, you have an excellent advantage over others. Therefore, English language skills are necessary but not sufficient: you have a better chance of success if you have a good command of one or two other languages, or at least a willingness to try them.

Last but not least, it is important to keep in mind that frequently changing your employer may work against you in the long term. Even if you are able to increase your salary when changing companies, your responsibilities may be similar to those you had at your former employer. Doing this repeatedly can make you look like a mercenary who cares more about money than career evolution, unless you are given greater responsibility in your new company. Most directors in my company who have switched companies spent between five and ten years with each institution. So loyalty is still rewarded today, but it means you must stand firm through the crises.

Based on my humble experience, following the advice I have given here is an excellent way to progress in your career. In other words, some taste for adventure, open-mindedness, curiosity, patience and perseverance will be valued allies on the road to success.

Article contributed by Adama Ba, IEEE France Section member