Happy New Year, we have re-branded and moved!

Dear IEEE Young Professionals,

Happy New Year!

2015 was a record breaking year for the IEEE Young Professionals publication and I would like to thank you all for all of your contributions. In 2015 we officially re-branded our publication from GOLDRush to IMPACT by IEEE Young Professionals.

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The official IMPACT by IEEE Young Professionals logo

In 2015 we published over 70 unique articles and we grew our reach via social media to beyond 11,000 followers. We received over 100,000 individual views and more than 5,000 comments/likes through our social media. We covered stories based on geographic location to highlight wonderful work our young professional members are undertaking in their respective sections. We covered IEEE volunteers involved in major global events such as the earthquakes in Nepal and the war in Iraq. Our editors interviewed world experts and provided tech reviews of cutting edge research and development. We profiled over a dozen IEEE members who have made big impact through their volunteer and leadership.

Listed below are a few of our high impact articles.

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2016 and beyond

In 2016 we commence a new chapter in our publication evolution. We have officially incorporated the IMPACT by IEEE Young Professional publication into the brand new IEEE Young Professionals website. From now on you will be able to read all the wonderful stories through http://yp.ieee.org/impact/ 

You will also be able to follow our publications through the official Young Professional facebook page www.facebook.com/ieeeyp

Want to become and editor or contributor?

We are actively seeking editors and contributors. To become an editor you must be highly proficient in the English language with writing, editing and proofreading experience being highly desirable skills. Contributors of articles are welcome with all levels of English as our editors will strive to assist you in getting the article publication ready. To become an editor or active contributors please email Eddie Custovic.

Regards,

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Eddie Custovic

Editor-in-Chief, IMPACT by IEEE Young Professionals 

Email: e.custovic@ieee.org

Five things that can make you a better employee faster than everyone else

What do we do when we graduate from an undergraduate school? We either work full-time or we pretend to work; either way, being primarily responsible for every outcome in our lives. The journey that extends from two to four years of our undergraduate studies has a marked effect in shaping the type of professional that we will become in the future. But do we realize its importance?

I don’t know, at-least I am sure that I didn’t at the time (reasons are many). However, the students who did realize its importance were the ones who increased the probable chance of them becoming a better and more ‘industry ready’ employee than people like myself.

Credits: altmaninsurance.wordpress.com

Credits: altmaninsurance.wordpress.com

Being an engineering graduate for the last three years, I have experienced many facets of the industry, both good and bad. Compiled below are a snapshot of five areas/pieces of advice that I normally outline to juniors and those looking to progress themselves within the industry.

  1. Creating, developing and managing a start-up

I believe every student should try creating and working on a start-up project while being undergraduate. The resultant success or failure is inconsequential, rather the experience alone will assist you in understanding business dynamics and how companies work. Terms like business plans, strategies, profit/loss, financial rations, shares/equity will become part of your lexicon.  The benefits of undertaking such activities is limitless. It will give you a deeper understanding of what it takes to run a company and the importance and value of time and money and the correlation between them both.

Credits: blog.asmartbear.com

Credits: blog.asmartbear.com

  1. Volunteering Officer Experience

My second piece of advice is to not underestimate the worth of volunteering experience. When I was in my undergraduate program, I was told to take part in local society/clubs and specifically IEEE student branch activities and programs to widen my experiences throughout my degree. Whilst I found these experiences emotionally beneficial, the leadership skills generated and refined cannot be denied.

Just by involving yourself into your IEEE Student branch, be it in a formal Chair position or even a committee member, such leadership skills are continuously being fostered.  Having an understanding of what it takes to be an effective leader and the associated best practices to demonstrate this can have a marked effect at shaping the path of your own career.

  1. Everyone can work, but not everyone is good at communicating

I wish, I could write a whole book on this topic, but already there are many published and available in the market emphasizing the importance of this characteristic. Being good at talking and communicating effectively can make you stand out in front of your office colleagues, even when your job role is purely technical in nature. You might wonder, what makes me a better employee if I am good at talking? – Consider this opportunity, and trust me it is a real time case where I have seen people realizing and accepting this bitter truth.

Let’s say there is a company called “Mango” which produces cellphones and similar products. You are a R&D Engineer or a Product Manager and you, alongside dozens of other team members, are working on this new software/product/project. You all work tirelessly on the project, and you put in extra hours because somehow your supervisor (who was in-fact good at talking), motivated you effectively that now you own this software/product/project and you take a sense of pride and ownership over it. Finally, you along with your team have made it and now the company is considering sending some employees to Silicon Valley where delegates will talk on its features and promote it as much as they can. Here, the one with acceptable technical skills and a great effective communication skills would be preferred over someone who is only technologically savvy. Why? Because at the end, it’s the talking that matters.

Credits: patlearningplace.com

Credits: patlearningplace.com

Why waste time on polishing your speaking skills after you have finished graduating? These skills should be enriched and developed throughout your education!

Ways to improve your communication skills can include actively participating in IEEE Student branch/Local section events and partaking or joining professional organisations such as Toastmasters etc.

  1. Writing is as important as speaking

When it comes to writing a formal email, or a preparing a project report or writing an application to a client/manager/supervisor, it seems that many talented individuals feel helpless to do so. It’s not that you cannot write it, or you do not know how to write it, it’s all about practice. The more you do the faster you will improve and better yourself at it.

It is often very important that your language skills are of a high standard as little subtleties such as tone and message can often be misconstrued in the written form. Sending vague electronic emails are a typical example in the industry that can lead to potential problems for workers and managers alike.

  1. Internships: As much as you can

Attaining an internship in your Summer or Winter gaps is very important, as it offers you a chance to work and recognize the rules and techniques of being a full professional employee in a national or multi-national organization. Care less about the company and what it does but join it with the aim to feel a corporate responsibility and immerse yourself into the organizational environment. Focus more on learning from an individual rather than company itself.

Credits: austincollege.edu

Credits: austincollege.edu

I have seen students in the past trying to get an internship and not joining-in because the company profile is low or it is not of their interest. What they completely miss out on is the point where they can study human behavior, office politics (surely most of them do have) and working cycle that can open-up new dimensions and can yield thoughts to see avenues that they haven’t seen before in their professional life. Get into internships as much as you can. I completed four internships and every company had a different culture, environment and learnings.  I also met some very intellectual people working for the various companies whom I still connect with to this day. The networking opportunities and gateways that are opened up are endless.

 

Consider your undergraduate time the most valuable phase of your life, where if you indulged into activities and programs that can nurture your personal and professional development, the results and benefits once you graduate are limitless.

Try to foresee your future by investing your time, energy and efforts into something that can grow as an asset for you in future. Don’t just spend your time, invest in it.

Article contributed by Sarang Shaikh, Editor, IEEE Impact

Articled edited by Michael Gough, IEEE Impact

Young Professionals at TENCON 2015

The Young Professionals track for the IEEE Region 10 Conference, TENCON 2015 started with the session on “Rejuvenating Young Professionals” by Mr. Ranjit R. Nair, IEEE Region 10 Young Professionals Coordinator. During his session, Ranjit emphasized the benefits of being a Young Professional in IEEE and how IEEE can be beneficial to them. He cited examples of various young professionals across the globe who have been active IEEE members and benefited very much by contributing to technology and society. Special mention was given to members in academia and how to leverage the benefits from IEEE. There was also a discussion about the need for a Young Professionals Affinity group in each section and how a local affinity group can provide benefit to members.

The Next session was a talk by Dr.S.N.Singh on the topic “Opportunities for Academics in Industry”. With his vast industry experience and then being an academic serving at various institutes, elaborated on the needs of engineers from each area and how Industry Academia linkage can promote research. He cited examples on how we can promote the linkage between academics and industry. During his talk, he elaborated the need for academics to raise up to the current industry standard so as to take part in projects from industry. There was good interaction during the Q&A session on various challenges faced by academics to involve Industry and possible ways to resolve these.

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This was followed by a Discussion on “How Academics can leverage benefits of IEEE”. There was a fruitful discussion between the speakers and the delegates. IEEE 2017 President, Ms.Karen Bartleson was also present and contributed significantly to the discussions. Some of the major discussion points and suggestions raised are described in the next paragraph.

Dr.S. N. Singh suggested promoting Young Professionals and spreading more awareness to local sections especially with those who do not have an Affinity Group. Young Professionals awareness has to be made as a main track in the conferences. Mr. MGPL Narayana, R10 Vice Chair, stressed on the need for career opportunities and mentioned about the India strategic initiative programs. Jithin Krishnan, EMBS Young Professional volunteer, suggested having tool based training programs. Karen Bartleson, IEEE President Elect 2016 pointed out that even though technology changes every couple of years, the institutional curriculum changes only once in seven or eight years, she emphasized the need to have a dynamic structure so that the course curriculum come at par with changing technologies. Anil Kumar C. V., PhD resource scholar suggested that increasing the number of free downloads of IEEE papers help students (especially graduate students) in their research work. This will help reduce the economic constraints faced by the members from developing nations.

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Mr.Ajin Baby, Chair, IEEE Kerala Young Professionals AG, pointed out that Government and Universities have to be convinced to promote entrepreneurship. Programs like GDP boot and employment opportunities can be conducted to promote this. The units should provide a sandbox environment for interested students to try out entrepreneurship so that they can pursue the same. Ms. Preethy V. Warrier, Secretary WIE Kerala Section, shared her industrial experience, being a Young Professional and also suggested a method to promote women in the field of engineering. Identifying the reasons that are pulling back young girls from entering the world of technology after their graduation, finding out solutions and implementing them will provide more opportunities to them. Dr. Paul Chen, Chair of IEEE Macau Section expressed willingness to start a Young Professionals Affinity group after hearing about the benefits.

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The discussion led to opening the doors of opportunities for members as well as other students and professionals. The session came to a close with a group photograph of the attendees and speakers. The event was realized with support from Region 10 and MGA Young Professionals Committee.

Article contributed by Ranjit Nair, IEEE Region 10 Young Professionals Coordinator

Being a Young Professional in Bosnia & Herzegovina

Today we had the privileged of speaking to Dusanka Boskovic to learn about one of the smaller but very active IEEE groups based in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Can you tell our readers about the IEEE Section in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

The IEEE Section in Bosnia and Herzegovina was founded in 2005, and we are now celebrating our 10th anniversary.  We are a relatively small section, with approximately 300 stable members. Although the majority of our members are members of the Computer Society and the ComSoc, we have also very active Chapters linked to the Power & Energy, the Industrial Applications, and the Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Societies. The Chapter’s activities focus around organizing technical meetings with interesting and motivating lecturers. We try to be regular in making use of the ‘Distinguished Lecturer Program’, and bringing to our members recognized experts and topics on emerging technologies.

Since our members are mainly from academia, we are engaged in technical co-sponsorship of our local conferences, with motivation to improve their quality.  We were also bringing some prominent IEEE conferences to Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a region.Our Student Branches and YPAG are in addition to technical activities, engaged in organizing workshops related to soft skills, and also social events, technical excursions and competitions.

STEP Visit to PowerUtility Company

STEP Visit to PowerUtility Company

Tell us about the Young Professionals group in BiH and their activity

Young Professionals AG were the organizer of some very interesting and popular training, focusing mainly on communication skills and emotional intelligence. They are motivated in helping students to make easier careers starts and they organize students’ visits to major companies, panel discussions related to job opportunities and career development.  Such activities are performed in co-operation and conjunction with our Chapters.

What are some of the key achievements of the IEEE in BiH?

Providing a framework for motivated volunteers to work together and make better conditions for engineering professionals in our society. With the IEEE we have access to relevant publications and are in touch with distinguished professionals from all around the world. The Bosnia and Herzegovina Section was a proud host for the Region 8 Committee Meeting in Sarajevo in 2013.

We are especially proud with the achievements of our students. The IAS SBC University of Sarajevo received in 2014 IEEE Region 8 Student Chapter of the Year Award, and several awards from the IAS, most recently as 2nd Most Happening Chapter globally. The PES SBC University of Sarajevo was also declared as Outstanding Student Branch Chapter in the PES. Our programmers are regular participants of the IEEEXtreme, and for many years were positioned among the top 25 teams.

Active on campus

Active on campus

For me the most important achievement was a chance for our students to measure up with their peers and build their confidence in their knowledge and their abilities.

Our Section is continually sponsoring participation in the Region 8 and Cross-section Students and Young Professionals Congresses, where they can enjoy being a part of the large community of engineering students.

Can you tell us about any upcoming and exciting initiatives?

There are two important projects that our students and YPs are engaged with:

  • Construction of a “Solar tree” at Campus University of Sarajevo, which will be used for battery charging, and also for analysis of the solar energy potentials.
Solar Tree project at University of Sarajevo

Solar Tree project at University of Sarajevo

  • Smart home project, recently launched, for which our SB was awarded funding from the IEEE and our Federal Ministry of Science and Education.

We plan for several PA trainings for YP members related to project management and writing project proposals.

BiH went through a terrible war in the early to mid 1990’s which left the country devastated.  Can you tell us a little about how an organization such as the IEEE can help rebuild relationships amongst ethnic groups and provide a platform for the betterment of youth?

The role of an organization such as the IEEE is very important to help us recognize our abilities, capacity for development and building connections with our peers worldwide. This is especially significant for our students and young professionals to have possibility to build their skills and competences.   The difficulties that these young people are facing during their education and in their careers are linked to devastation of industry and economy, lack of the resources,  and these difficulties are the same, all around Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Young Professionals and Students Celebrate IEEE day in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Young Professionals and Students Celebrate IEEE day in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina

With activities in our Section we try to facilitate our members in joint actions to bridge these gaps and overcome these difficulties. It is very important when these efforts are recognized and awarded, especially by Societies through their Chapters, as focal points of technical activities.

Anything else you would like to add?

We are very proud of achievements of our students and young professional members, but there are so many projects and ideas ahead of us. We would like with these activities to attract our young professionals to stay with us, with the IEEE , and to be able to offer to them support through the different stages of their career.

About Dusanka

Dušanka Bošković completed her tertiary education at the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, where she is currently an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering. Before joining the University, Dušanka was working on software development for embedded systems for Energoinvest – Institute for Computer and Information Systems (IRIS).  Currently, she is teaching human computer interaction and biomedical engineering, and was the founding President for the Bosnia and Herzegovina National Association for Biomedical Engineering. In addition to teaching and research, Dušanka has been engaged in several projects promoting accreditation activities to improve quality of engineering education in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Dusanka Boskovic at CERN

Dusanka Boskovic at CERN

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

jonathanstanger

 

References:

[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).

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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.

event

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.

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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.

iraqi

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).

yrp

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 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