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).

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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.

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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.

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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 MichaelJohnGrist.com

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

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: http://spotcard.co/)

Be strategic about your networking (Image courtesy: http://spotcard.co/)

Networking?

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: http://www.wall321.com/)

Online / Offline networking? Or something in between?
(Image courtesy: http://www.wall321.com/)

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 meetup.com 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:

  • assessment.com/  – An online career assessment that identifies how one best fits in the workplace
  • efactor.com/ – An online community and virtual marketplace designed for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs.
  • networkingforprofessionals.com/ – A business network that combines online business networking and real-life events.
  • plaxo.com/ – An enhanced address book tool for networking and staying in contact
  • ryze.com/ – 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

 

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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.

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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.

IEEE_DINNER

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”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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