YP Member Spotlight – Anthony Deese

IEEE PES Young Professionals is an international community of enthusiastic, dynamic, and innovative members and volunteers. A spotlight on selected PES YP members is provided here to provide insight into this great community. These members provide unique insight into their education, career goals and progression, and personal lives.

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Anthony please tell us about yourself 

I am currently an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The College of New Jersey as well as director of the NSF-funded Smart Electric Power System (SEPS) Laboratory.  I teach a number of courses on power system analysis, power electronics, electronics, circuits and systems, as well as differential equations.  My research areas include field-programmable analog array (FPAA) technology, artificial neural networks, measurement-based load modeling, demand response, and state estimation in distribution systems.  Much of my work examines applications to power system planning and operation.  I completed both my undergraduate and graduate work at Drexel University, working on my doctorate as a research assistant within the Center for Electric Power Engineering (CEPE) under advisors Dr. Chika Nwankpa, Ph.D. and Dr. Karen Miu, Ph.D.  I am a member of the IEEE Power and Energy Society as well as IEEE IEEE Young Professionals Committee.  My hobbies include running as well as playing piano and guitar.  Please refer to my website: www.anthonydeese.com for further information.

Dr. Deese with students during a hydroelectric power plant visit

Dr. Deese with students during a hydroelectric power plant visit

What professional achievements are you most proud of?

I am very happy that I have had the opportunity to establish a power engineering laboratory at The College of New Jersey.  Not many undergraduate institutions have a facility like SEPS.  It has been a great asset in both teaching and research.  I look forward to further expanding the capability of the laboratory in coming years.

What were your early career goals (first 10 years in industry)? Which have you accomplished? How did you plan/execute these goals?

My early career goals included acquiring a tenure-track faculty position at a highly-regarded institution of higher learning as well as starting my own laboratory.  I have been able to achieve these goals through hard work and the assistance of many colleagues from Drexel University, The College of New Jersey, and the IEEE.  I cannot overstate the importance of IEEE and PES involvement; the resources it provides are invaluable to young electrical engineers.

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What are you career goals moving forward?

One of my primary career goals moving forward is the acquisition of additional research funds that 1) allow more undergraduate students to participate in research and 2) provide students and faculty at TCNJ with more robust power engineering research and educational facilities.  I am also interested in learning more about the utilization of artificial neural networks and machine learning in power system planning and operation.  I hope to include these topics in both my future teaching and research.

How are you involved in PES?

I serve on the IEEE PES Young Professionals Committee.  Additionally, I have attended the IEEE PES General Meeting every year for the past 5 – 7 years.  It is a great opportunity to present work, learn about emerging topics in the field of power engineering, and connect with others in the power community.

Do you have any advice for Young Professionals getting involved in PES?

First, I would advise YP members to learn about and take advantages of all the opportunities the IEEE provides.  There many sources of scholarship, travel funding, and job placement assistance that go under-used.  Subscribe to IEEE Spectrum as well as IEEE Power and Energy Magazine, and make time to read them monthly.  The IEEE uses these publications to communicate with its membership and inform them of new and exciting opportunities.  Second, I would advise YP members to always maintain a five-year career plan, formal or informal.  It is important for young engineers to ask themselves important questions regarding: 1) technical areas to focus on, 2) interest in graduate education, 3) desire to work in academia vs. industry, as well as 4) expectations for income and lifestyle.  I have always maintained an informal five-year plan.  And, although it’s constantly changing, this vision for the future encourages me to devote some time to career development in spite of more pressing / immediate tasks.

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You have been in the power industry for approximately ten years, what was the biggest challenge you faced in your career? How did you deal with this challenge?

The biggest challenge I have faced in my career is learning how to turn negatives into positives.  Almost everyone faces setbacks in their career.  However, it is important to realize that these setbacks are invaluable learning experiences essential to self-improvement and long-term career success.

In your experiences, how important has/is continuing education to career advancement and personal development?

No one succeeds in their chosen profession without devoting time to continued education and personal development.  This education may take place in the university classroom, research laboratory, or corporate / industrial environment.  However, it is essential that professionals look ahead and obtain the skills that will be needed in the future, especially in a fast-changing technical field like engineering.

What advice do you have for newly graduated power engineers?

I strongly believe that you (aka. the recent graduate) have chosen the right field to enter at the right time.  I suggest that you use the early years of your career to gain as much experience and as many skills as possible.  They will pay high dividends in the future.

Profile was provided by the Young Professionals of Power & Energy Society (PES)

Engineering, Ethics, Society and the IEEE Young Professionals

Ever thought about the ethical impacts of a technology? Ever wondered why some promising technologies fail? How do we understand the ties of technology to society and how do we ensure the society is benefited?

We interviewed Dr. Greg Adamson, the Associate Associate Director Operational Assurance at ANZ and President IEEE SSIT (Society on Social Implications of Technology) to get the answers to some very important questions every young engineer must know.

With over 35 years work experience, here’s what Dr. Greg Adamson had to say:

Dr. Greg Adamson, tell us a little about yourself and the work you do at ANZ Bank?

I work in the field of operational risk, which looks at technology, information security and operational issues that can cause difficulties for the bank and its customers. Banks often look to people with engineering backgrounds to undertake operational risk tasks, as our training provides us with a structured way to look at problems and challenges.

Dr. Greg Adamson

Dr. Greg Adamson

How did you get involved with IEEE and can you highlight the activities of the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT)?

I joined IEEE as an undergraduate student following the encouragement of one of my lecturers. A couple of years later when renewing my membership I noticed SSIT. Sometime later I helped to establish an SSIT chapter in Australia, and more recently I have served on the SSIT Board of Governors and this year as President. In recent years IEEE has been encouraging SSIT to be involved in all new IEEE initiatives. For areas such as drones, the Internet of Things and brain technology interfaces, the social implications are clear. The common view within IEEE today is that if SSIT isn’t at the table in a new initiative, a key stakeholder has been missed.

Why do young professionals today need to understand the interplay between technologies and society?

I see three answers to that. The first is ethical: it is the responsibility of technologists to think about the impact of what they are working on. The second is practical: a lot of technologies fail in the market and in many cases the ones that fail ignored users and the relationship between the technology and the community. Finally, when we finish our careers, we would generally prefer to be remembered for something we achieved, not for some disaster we accidentally caused.

What resources can young professionals use to understand the underpinnings and effects of technology in society?

There is the IEEE Code of Ethics. Then we have an excellent magazine, IEEE Technology and Society. As well as that we are developing some great social media resources on Facebook, Linked In, and IEEE’s Collabratec.

What advice would you provide to young professionals worldwide who wish to pursue a career in the societal impacts of technology?

In industry fields such as ergonomics, industrial design, cybernetics, specialties such as the human aspects of security, and operational risk are all fields that expect you to think outside the box. Beyond that, all other areas of industry still benefit from the breadth that an SSIT background gives you. In academia teaching ethics, environmental research, humanitarian technology, privacy and security, and other areas that involve a multi-disciplinary approach to questions are all relevant. Most of the not-for-profit areas that involve technology volunteering are also very relevant.

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The IEEE GOLDRush team thanks Dr. Greg Adamson for showing us a side of technology which is not just important but very much present. With this understanding, Young Professionals can build technologies that will create better and greener societies.

Interview conducted by Sneha Kangralkar, Assistant Editor

Who am I? Qualcomm, Motorola, IEEE and San Diego

Today we have the pleasure of speaking to Dr. Xun Luo, a research staff member at Qualcomm Inc, an adjunct faculty member at the University of California, San Diego, and a distinguished guest professor at Tianjin University of Technology, China.

Dr. Luo is also a Program Evaluator for the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. In 2014, Dr. Luo co-founded the IEEE San Diego SIGHT group – Connected Universal Experiences Labs, which dedicates itself to breaking the geographical, cultural and lingual barriers between volunteers and people in need. Connected Universal Experience Labs has now evolved into a multi-national, multi-society incubator of for-public benefit projects.

Dr Luo with some of his students

Dr Luo with some of his students

Dr Luo can briefly tell us a little about yourself and the work that you do at Qualcomm.

Well, I grew up in China and I came to the US for my graduate studies. I got my Masters in Mathematics, out of my hobby, at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I got fond of Commodity Pricing. While my PhD research was in very topical fields of Pervasive Computing and Visualization. I worked with a professor of finance for a year and published a report on crude oil price prediction and I am still receiving hundreds of requests these days for the model source code. After graduation, I was lucky enough to get into the mobile communication industry, first at Motorola Labs and then at Qualcomm. I worked at the research institutes of these two companies.

At Qualcomm I conduct connectivity research, which spans from radio networks to local area networks.In layman terms, you can say 3G/4G, WiFi and Bluetooth technology. In the past few years, I was have been researching these technologies and I have several numerous research papers and  8 patents.

In my part time, I serve as an adjunct faculty member at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and a distinguished guest professor at Tianjin University of Technology, China.

How did you get involved with IEEE?

That is a very interesting story. San Diego has a very vibrant IEEE community and every year they hold about 50-60 technical meetings. Many attendees are attracted by the interesting topics of these meetings. Back in 2008, I had just started my career and all the topics seemed very exciting to me and they were delivered by volunteers who were experts in their field. For example, one of the local meeting was able to invite Dr. Irwin Jacobs, Qualcomm’s founder as a panellist. This clearly says a lot for the San Diego IEEE community. I was impressed by the dedication and passion of the local IEEE volunteers and eventually I decided to join. I started as the chair of Computer Chapter and ran approximately 40 meetings a year. I became the section chair In 2012 and had the honour of leading the IEEE San Diego Section to win the “Outstanding Section Award of Region 6”.

“The IEEE volunteering experience is very rewarding. I have had the pleasure of working with passionate and bright people, grew my leadership capabilities and was able to to embrace multi-national team work.” 

 

Dr Luo receiving the award for Outstanding Section in 2011

Dr Luo receiving the award for Outstanding Section in 2011

How have you personally benefited from being an IEEE member?

IEEE has helped me in so many ways that it is hard to summarise in short. However the three key area that I would like to highlight are:

  • Technical: Contributions in the form of the IEEE Digital Library proceedings, literature and talks delivered by the individuals/teams who are leading the industry.
  • Leadership: Through volunteering, I was able to developed great organisational skills and to work as a team in order to achieve bigger goals. Several initiatives today are going to impact tens of thousands of IEEE members’ lives; for instance, the IEEE SIGHT initiative.
  • Friendship: I made friends and visited some of the most unexpected places in the world. I have been to several Indian cities and rebellion-controlled areas of Colombia to name a few. What is most exciting is that no matter what people’s political views may be, all engineers love technology and the idea of exchanging information with their peers takes precedence. I have undertaken adventures with friends to some very intriguing parts of our planet and hope to continue doing so.

What advice can you provide to IEEE Young Professionals who are wanting to pursue in highly prestigious companies, like Qualcomm?

First of all, IEEE is a technical institution, not a university; it provides great networking opportunities. My suggestion is make good use of the IEEE network and try to get in touch with professional members in various disciplines. The second thing is grow your leadership capabilities. We live in an age of innovation, more or less of entrepreneurship. Even if you work at a company, you are still required to have the capability and mindset to start a job from scratch. So, innovation, leadership and technical capability are some things that you definitely need to further develop while you study.

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Another important point is that you need to ensure that you work with the most passionate and bright people. I would say that the IEEE is a vehicle to enable this for young professionals. Ensure that you work in teams and feed of each others knowledge. This team will help you in achieving many things. Firstly, it will help you to establish yourself technically. Secondly, it will provide the network for you to get noticed. You could be a great engineer but not noticed, you could be noticed but are not a good engineer. You need to have talent and you need someone to discover your talent. So, you need to prepare yourself for this and you need to work with people because at the end of the day, you need to do something big, something innovative, something that is by itself of high quality, that is self-contained, where you can prove yourself. Without a team, that is not possible. So, connect with people and make the best use of your connections.

Interview conducted by Neha Dawar, Assistant Editor, GOLDRush

Article edited by Dr. Eddie Custovic, Editor-in-Chief, GOLDRush

The Human Face of the IEEE

“Each morning I check Facebook, eagerly awaiting the latest Humans of IEEE post. Whether the post is related to a newest member defining how the IEEE has changed his/her life, a young professional sharing their success story or a life member sharing wisdom with the community, I read each post and stare at each picture with excitement. Some of you may ask ‘why”? Humans of IEEE (HOIEEE) represents the true image of the the people within IEEE” – Jaison Abey Sabu, IEEE Volunteer (Past SAC Chair, IEEE Kerala Section)

Sarang Shaikh - Creator of Humans of IEEE

Sarang Shaikh – Creator of Humans of IEEE

About Humans of IEEE

Humans of IEEE is a first of its kind photo-blog (a Facebook page) inspired by the movement Humans of All and its pioneer project Humans of New York. It has been making the world of IEEE more personalized since July, 2014, where it continues to embody and characterize people who constitute the IEEE. Humans of IEEE ensures that you are aware of the great achievements of IEEE Heroes. Everyone should take out some time in their busy schedule to read the articles and find inspiration and motivation from IEEE member stories – Om Perkash (Past R10 SAC Chair)

Humans of IEEE

(HOIEEE) was launched in July 2014 by IEEE Young Professional, Mr. Sarang Shaikh from IEEE Karachi Section, Pakistan (Region 10). Over 77 IEEE Stories and 16 group pictures from 32 different countries have been posted thus far.Humans of IEEE has developed a large following through its Facebook page, and has over 4,200 followers from 56 different countries as of February,2015.

“Common is not common indeed – we are all human, we speak different languages, hail from different places, follow different careers, and we all have a unique story & philosophy for life. Sharing their IEEE story on the page isn’t only necessary for others to understand how unique we all are, but valuable for the contributor to comprehend how unique he/she is.

Why Humans of IEEE?

The Humans of IEEE will never run out of stories as we have more than 400,000 volunteer members hundreds of staff members. There are still so many unique stories to be told. We all love to hear childhood and life stories which take us back to exciting and life changing times. “These stories raise feelings and emotions and it is what drives us. Listening to people is more like listening to yourself and Humans of IEEE is providing everyone with a chance to listen to what’s inside of you” says Sarang.

What’s next at HOIEEE?

Humans of IEEE are determined to build a human natured image for IEEE. As such, many new initiatives are in the pipeline. One of the next initiatives is to introduce stickers based on words that can have IEEE in them such as “HappIEEEE, SelfIEEE, achIEEEvement and LovelIEEE” so that if an IEEE human sees another lovelIEEE human with an achIEEEvement for which they are happIEEE about, he/she doesnt forget to take a selfIEEE with them.

Sarang believes we should all be prepared to listen to others no matter what they advocate. Humans of IEEE is not just a Facebook page for Sarang, it is a passion that has transformed into a habit for him to interview people, listen to them and share their stories with the public.

About the Curator:

Besides his engineering profession, Sarang is a passionate blogger who writes about his life lessons, philosophies and is an avid writer at quora.com. He has recently released his maiden book “Inspire your Motivations” available on Amazon and amazon kindle. Sarang had a working opportunity as Technology Columnist at Technology Times Newspaper, Pakistan for the whole of 2013 where he started the column “Entrepreneurs in making”. He interviewed people who are aspiring entrepreneurs or accomplished business leaders. Interviewing them and listening to people’s feedback, he developed a sense to help people by sharing their work in public and inspiring others with it. As a result, the idea of Humans of IEEE came to life.

Have an interesting story? Wait no more, email  humansofieee@gmail.com and inspire others.

IEEE Member Spotlight: Dr. Jason Gu, PhD

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

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

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

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

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

Jason Gu presenting at GYSS

Jason Gu presenting at GYSS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jason Gu with students at Robocon

Jason Gu with students at Robocon

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

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

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

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

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

GOLD EMC At Work In Chicago

fullHello! My name is Caroline Chan, the GOLD EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility) Society Representative, and I am proud to introduce Louann Devine who is another GOLD EMC member volunteering at the IEEE EMC Chicago Society.

Louann Devine received her M.S. degree in electrical engineering with emphasis in electromagnetics from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2010 while working full-time at Agilent and Panduit, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2005. She is currently employed as a Principal Transmission Engineer in Panduit’s Corporate Research and Development organization; in this role, she focuses on wireless applications, antenna design and measurements, IEEE 802.11 developments, wireless infrastructure, and structured category cabling.

Louann has been an active member of the EMC Society since 2008. Her first interest in the society began when she saw the type of interference issues and testing that designers encountered while working at Agilent as a wireless applications engineer, and her previous experiences at Motorola developing cellphones. Fast forward to this year: she and her team from the Chicago IEEE EMC Society held a successful complimentary “Introduction to EMC” class over a series of four Saturdays.

The Illinois Institute of Technology was a key partner in the success of this course by providing the classroom space and enabling successful recipients to earn 1.5 hours of Continuing Education Credits (CECs). Each of the four classes offered approximately two hours of lecture and two hours of hands-on-labs.  The lectures were focused on topics ranging from cables, shielding, and PCB layout to the history and motivation of EMC. The labs concentrated on providing students an opportunity to work with lab equipment such as LCR meters, oscilloscopes, function generators, and network analyzers to explore the fundamentals of capacitance and inductance, the mechanisms of crosstalk, and how to design a low pass filter.  The intent of the class was to provide undergraduate seniors in electrical engineering, recent graduates or engineering students new to electromagnetic compatibility an opportunity to gain relevant knowledge and lab experience in applied electromagnetics.  The format of this class is unique when compared to a majority of university-level Introduction to EMC classes because it offered a practical hands-on lab component; many universities offer a class focused on the theory of EMC but do not offer hands-on lab experience.  Members of the EMC Chicago Society and Chicago area students recognized the need for electromagnetic applications and created this class to provide young Chicago area engineering students an opportunity to gain initial hands-on learning.

The class was taught by four instructors (Robert Hofmann, Louann Devine, Jerry Meyheroff, Roy Leventhal) and was supported by several dedicated EMC Chicago Society Members (Roger Swanberg, Jack Black and Yai Cao).  All instructors and supporters volunteered their talent and energy to prepare and deliver the lectures and hands-on labs.  Lectures were based on Henry Ott’s latest book “Introduction to EMC” (published 2009), and the lab ideas were sourced from the IEEE EMC Society lab handbook.  The EMC Chicago Society underwrote a heavy majority of the costs for the class including the Ott textbook, the lab equipment rentals, lab materials, and the administration costs.  Several key donations were made to the class including a personal donation from Sharon Phillips, the IEEE Chicago Section President.

The successful completion of this class in early 2013 encouraged the IEEE EMC Chicago Chapter to host a similar hands-on event at the 2013 Chicago EMC Mini-Symposium and create a new EMC Education board.  The board will support hands-on EMC concepts and demonstrations for engineers seeking to acquire practical EMC experience.  The board is planning for the Second Annual IEEE EMC Chicago Chapter Introduction to EMC class to be two to four days longer, with longer sessions each day (potentially offering more CECs).  The format and class content will be more rigorous and geared to young working engineers that are new to EMC concepts.  The IEEE EMC Chicago Chapter looks forward to these educational opportunities in 2014!

For more information on the IEEE EMC Society, visit their website at http://www.emcs.org/.

Article contributed by Caroline Chan, GOLD EMC Society Representative